The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Fri., Oct. 29, 1999

First Session

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1999

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 11, Foresters Association Act, Mr. K. Morash 1201
No. 12, Mineral Resources Act, Hon. E. Fage 1201
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 366, Health - Paramedics: Strike - Leadership (Premier)
Skills Search, Mr. R. MacLellan 1202
Res. 367, Environ. - McIntosh Run Clean-up (Hfx. Atl.): Volunteers -
Congrats., Mr. Robert Chisholm 1202
Vote - Affirmative 1203
Res. 368, Educ. - Jamie Keirstead (Truro): Success (World Solar Car
Challenge Award) - Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 1203
Vote - Affirmative 1204
Res. 369, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Marine Atl. (N. Sydney):
Jobs Retention - Leadership (Gov't. [N.S.]) Required,
Mr. B. Boudreau 1204
Res. 370, Metro Immigrant Settlement Assoc. (Immigrant Showcase) -
Congrats., Mr. F Corbett 1205
Vote - Affirmative 1205
Res. 371, Agric. - Hants Co. Ex.: Sheep Showmanship -
Mandy McGovern & Kelly Brown Congrats., Hon. R. Russell 1205
Vote - Affirmative 1206
Res. 372, Justice - Min.: Paramedics Strike - Reality Consult,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 1206
Res. 373, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hwy. No. 103 Otter Lake:
Garbage Patrol - Arrange, Mr. W. Estabrooks 1207
Res. 374, Tourism - Windsor Pumpkin Regatta: Leo Swinimer
(New Ross) - Winner Congrats., Hon. J. Chataway 1207
Vote - Affirmative 1208
Res. 375, Abor. Affs. - GC Donald Marshall Senior Elder Award:
Elsie Basque (Saulnierville) - Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 1208
Vote - Affirmative 1209
Res. 376, Exco - Human Res. (Min.): Removal Eventuality -
Real Tune Sing, Mr. H. Epstein 1209
Res. 377, Health - Auxiliaries (N.S.) President: Mary Swetnam
(Anna. Valley) - Congrats., Mr. M. Parent 1209
Vote - Affirmative 1210
Res. 378, Justice - Min.: Paramedics Strike: Blame True - Determine,
Dr. J. Smith 1210
Res. 379, Metro Food Bank Soc. - Anniv. 15th: Work - Recognize,
Mr. J. Pye 1211
Vote - Affirmative 1211
Res. 380, Veterans Affs. (Can.) - Col. Reg. Hosp.: Beds - Increase,
Mr. B. Taylor 1211
Vote - Affirmative 1212
Res. 381, Culture - Cow Bay Hall: Preservation Efforts - Recognize,
Mr. K. Deveaux 1212
Vote - Affirmative 1213
Res. 382, Justice - FIO (Info. Leak): Leadership (Premier) - Show,
Mr. D. Wilson 1213
Res. 383, Educ. - Long Distance Learning Prog.: Work - Recognize,
Ms. M. McGrath 1214
Vote - Affirmative 1214
Res. 384, Culture - Atl. Digital Media Fest. (Baddeck): Success -
Recognize, Mr. K. MacAskill 1214
Vote - Affirmative 1215
Res. 385, PC Women's Assoc. (N.S.): Anniv. 50th - Congrats.,
Mrs. M. Baillie 1215
Vote - Affirmative 1216
Res. 386, Lbr. - Fire Serv.: Radio Systems Usage - Continuance Allow,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 1216
Res. 387, Nat. Res.: WLCC - Support, Mr. Robert Chisholm 1217
Res. 388, Scouts/Guides - Beaver Bank: Scout Camp -
Initiation Congrats., Mr. B. Barnet 1217
Vote - Affirmative 1218
Res. 389, Culture - Radio (CIFA) [Comeauville]: Staff/Volunteers -
Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 1218
Vote - Affirmative 1219
Res. 390, Tourism - East Hants: Success (1999) - Congrats.,
Mr. John MacDonell (by Ms. Maureen MacDonald) 1219
Vote - Affirmative 1220
Res. 391, Educ.: N. Queens Breakfast Prog. - Applaud, Mr. K. Morash 1220
Vote - Affirmative 1221
Res. 392, Health - Care: Award (Healthcare Manager Mag. [Cdn.]) -
Dr. Mahmood Naqvi (C.B.) Congrats., Mr. Manning MacDonald 1221
Vote - Affirmative 1221
Res. 393, Culture - Grace Art Gallery (Cole Hbr.): Grace Luke -
Efforts Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 1221
Vote - Affirmative 1222
Res. 394, Culture - Hants Co. (Home Restoration): Sherman &
Andrea Hines - Congrats., Hon. R. Russell 1222
Vote - Affirmative 1223
Res. 395, Preston MLA: Transport. Needs (Preston) - Attend,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 1223
Res. 396, Fin. - Position (N.S.): Seriousness - Recognize,
Mr. D. Hendsbee 1223
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 8:36 A.M. 1224
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 11:11 A.M. 1225
CWH REPORTS 1225
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 11:12 A.M. 1225
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 3:12 P.M. 1225
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY:
Mr. J. Carey 1226
Mr. K. Morash 1228
Mr. B. Taylor 1233
Mr. T. Olive 1245
Mr. W. Dooks 1255
Adjourned debate 1255
HOUSE RECESSED AT 4:55 P.M. 1256
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 5:15 P.M. 1256
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 5:17 P.M. 1256
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 5:25 P.M. 1256
CWH REPORTS 1256
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 9, Ground Ambulance Services Act 1257
Hon. J. Muir 1257
Mr. R. MacLellan 1257
Mr. Robert Chisholm 1259
Hon. J. Muir 1260
The Premier 1261
Vote - Affirmative ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Nov. 1st at 3:00 p.m. ~ 1263 1263

[Page 1201]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1999

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

First Session

8:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 11 - Entitled an Act to Incorporate the Registered Professional Foresters Association of Nova Scotia. (Mr. Kerry Morash)

Bill No. 12 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1990. The Mineral Resources Act. (Hon. Ernest Fage)

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

1201

[Page 1202]

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 366

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

Whereas being in government is all about making decisions; and

Whereas strong leadership can best be described in the phrase, you live by the sword, you die by the sword; and

Whereas this Premier abandoned his strong leadership promise last evening by telling all Opposition members it was now time for us to make a decision on Bill No. 9;

Therefore be it resolved that this Premier search long and hard for his much-promised strong leadership skills and finally admit that this paramedic strike has been caused by decisions made by his government, not by the Opposition or the paramedics.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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 New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 367

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

Whereas on October 17th, the McIntosh Run Watershed Association hosted its annual fall clean-up of the McIntosh Run; and

Whereas the clean-up began in two locations, South Centre Mall and Roaches Pond Recreation Park; and

[Page 1203]

Whereas this event was sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 152 and participants included Legion members, Cub packs, Halifax Atlantic NDP Riding Association, Captain William Spry Community Centre, environmentalists and area residents;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the volunteers who participated in the clean-up and demonstrated true stewardship of the only river to flow in Halifax.

Mr. Speaker, I would 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.

RESOLUTION NO. 368

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

Whereas Jamie Kierstead of Truro, a 1998 graduate of Cobequid Educational Centre, has been awarded the Science '48 S N Graham Award from Queens University; and

Whereas the award is given to the second year student who has a sound academic record and has demonstrated outstanding performance in extracurricular activities on campus; and

Whereas Jamie Kierstead is an integral part of his university solar car team which is currently in Darwin, Australia, preparing for the World Solar Car Challenge, a 3,000-plus kilometre race from Darwin to Adelaide;

Therefore be it resolved that all members recognize and congratulate Jamie Kierstead for his academic and extracurricular achievements and wish him continued success as he continues to study toward his degree in civil engineering.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 1204]

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. 369

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

Whereas on Wednesday in this House, the Minister of Transportation and Public Works was asked what the Tory Government was doing to stop Marine Atlantic jobs in North Sydney from moving to Newfoundland; and

Whereas the minister replied that he would wait and watch, and act only after the jobs have left; and

Whereas the Government of Newfoundland is lobbying hard for Marine Atlantic to move their entire headquarters to Port aux Basques;

Therefore be it resolved that employees in North Sydney need a government that will provide strong leadership and a clear course and not sit back while jobs are robbed by other provinces.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

[Page 1205]

RESOLUTION NO. 370

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

Whereas on October 28, 1999, the Metro Immigrant Settlement Association held its 2nd Annual Immigrant Showcase; and

Whereas the showcase featured participants of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Orientation Program who have successfully established businesses; and

Whereas among those featured were Hisham Sharif, Abdul Ghani Yaseen, Ana Jenkins, Amani Omar, Branko Radisic, Mezher Ismaiel, Golumba Kim, Adel Alia and Kamal Sedarous;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate both the Metro Immigrant Settlement Association and the showcased immigrant entrepreneurs and wish them all well in their future endeavours.

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 Minister of Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 371

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

Whereas for the first time in many years, sheep took their place in the show ring at the Hants County Exhibition with 34 entries, which included four purebred breeds; and

Whereas the Showmanship Class exhibited 15 excellent entries; and

[Page 1206]

Whereas Mandy McGovern of McKay Road won the Top Show Person and Kelly Brown of Linden Crest Farm in Scotch Village took the Top Ram award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Mandy McGovern and Kelly Brown on their fine showmanship at the Hants County Exhibition and wish them continued success in the upcoming years.

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 Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 372

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

Whereas Premier Hamm's new Progressive Conservative Government had its first encounter with political reality at 12:01 a.m., Friday, October 29, 1999; and

Whereas this Tory Government grappled to shift all responsibility on the paramedics and EMC issue to anyone who opposed its extreme right-wing agenda approach on this matter; and

Whereas in legislative debate the Minister of Justice alluded that support by MLAs of the paramedics plight is a form of parochialism against the interests of all Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Justice consult with reality before he assumes the responsibility of employment and ethics counsellor for the Nova Scotia Legislature.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

[Page 1207]

RESOLUTION NO. 373

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

Whereas Highway No. 103 continues, at times, to be strewn with garbage from trucks making their way to the landfill site at Otter Lake; and

Whereas the residents of Timberlea-Prospect did not expect they would have to learn the game of garbage bag dodge ball when they became the host for metro's dump; and

Whereas road approaches to the landfill site must not become a training ground for this new daredevil sport;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Public Works instruct his staff to meet with the operators of the Otter Lake landfill site to provide for a regular patrol truck to pick up garbage along this busy and dangerous stretch of highway.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 374

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

Whereas on October 10, 1999, Windsor held the first Pumpkin Regatta on Lake Pesaquid; and

Whereas more than 4,500 people showed up to watch the regatta; and

Whereas Leo Swinimer of New Ross and his 821 pound pumpkin squashed the competition by completing the gruelling 500 metre race in 20 minutes and taking first place;

[Page 1208]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Leo Swinimer, the winner of the first Windsor Pumpkin Regatta, and the organizers of this unique fall festival.

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 Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 375

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

Whereas Elsie Charles Basque of Saulnierville was presented with the Grand Chief Donald Marshall Senior Elder Award at Treaty Day celebrations earlier this month; and

Whereas Ms. Basque was awarded this honour in recognition for her contribution to the Mi'kmaq community over her lifetime; and

[8:15 a.m.]

Whereas this award was established by the provincial government in 1993 and is presented to Mi'kmaq elders who have been recommended by the Grand Council;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Elsie Basque on this important award and thank her for her many years of service to her community.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver.

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

Is it agreed.

It is agreed.

[Page 1209]

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. 376

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

Whereas in California they have a "three strikes and you're out" law; and

Whereas it now appears that we need similar legislation in Nova Scotia for Cabinet Ministers; and

Whereas that old country song by Tammy Wynette, Stand by your Man, now appears to be the Premier's swan song when talking about the Minister of Human Resources;

Therefore be it resolved that standing by Nova Scotians should be the real tune the Premier should be singing when he removes the Minister of Human Resources from his Cabinet position.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 377

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

Whereas health auxiliaries generated more than $1.5 million through their fund-raising activities for Nova Scotia hospitals last year; and

Whereas auxiliaries throughout Nova Scotia continue to create new and innovative community projects that serve their communities in countless ways; and

Whereas Mary Swetnam, who was treasurer and served as Past-President of the Valley Regional Hospital Auxiliary, is the newly-elected President of the Nova Scotia Health Auxiliaries;

[Page 1210]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in extending congratulations to Mary Swetnam on her new position and also congratulate her on her past accomplishments and service to her community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 378

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

Whereas the Minister of Justice rose in his seat earlier this morning to lead off round one of the Blame Game; and

Whereas the real blame for the paramedic strike is his government's much-flawed Bill No. 9 currently before the House; and

Whereas our caucus has worked diligently in our attempts to amend Bill No. 9, only to have our suggestions fall on deaf ears;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Justice take a good hard look at himself and at his colleagues seated to his left and to his right to determine where true blame really rests.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 1211]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 379

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

Whereas the Metro Food Bank Society was established in 1984; and

Whereas the Metro Food Bank provides a valuable service to all residents of HRM, particularly the 14,000 clients who use the food bank every month; and

Whereas the food bank is celebrating its 15th Anniversary on October 31st at Pier 21;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the very important work of the Metro Food Bank on its 15th Anniversary and wish it all the best at Family Day celebrations on October 31st.

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 Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 380

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

Whereas Colchester County is home to the North Nova Highlanders, an infantry division that sustained much death and many injuries during the world wars; and

[Page 1212]

Whereas the federal Department of Veterans Affairs only supports five beds at the Veterans' Wing in the Colchester Regional Hospital when many more beds are needed; and

Whereas our dwindling veteran population that provided us with peace, freedom and democracy must have their health care needs met;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature supports its veterans and encourages Ottawa, the Honourable George Baker to do what he can to increase the number of beds at the Colchester Regional Hospital.

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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 381

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 Cow Bay Hall was built in 1888, in the beautiful community of Cow Bay; and

Whereas the Cow Bay Hall has been used as a church meeting hall, a one room schoolhouse, and most recently as a reception hall and tea room; and

Whereas the Cow Bay Hall has been recently renovated by its current owner, the Cow Bay Benevolent Society;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the efforts of many residents of Cow Bay to preserve and promote a key part of the history of Cow Bay.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[Page 1213]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East.

RESOLUTION NO. 382

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

Whereas when it was learned that his office leaked confidential information to the Minister of Human Resources, the Premier first blamed his staff; and

Whereas the Premier then singled out his media relations person for blame; and

Whereas the Premier then blamed the Freedom of Information law for the leak;

Therefore be it resolved that instead of finding someone else to blame for this unprecedented breach of public trust, the Premier should show strong leadership and take a good long look in the mirror.

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 Bedford Basin.

[Page 1214]

RESOLUTION NO. 383

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 through its long distance learning program, Mount Saint Vincent University continues to lead the way in providing options to those who wish to pursue higher education; and

Whereas through this program, which is available to students both internationally, as well as within Canada, the university has recently graduated 150 distance education students; and

Whereas this is another example of the proactive thinking and the dedication to education that has defined Mount Saint Vincent University;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in recognizing the faculty and staff of Mount Saint Vincent for their hard work in making this program a reality and in congratulating recent graduates as well as new and continuing students of this program.

Mr. Speaker, I hereby 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 Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 384

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

Whereas the third annual Atlantic Digital Media Festival is now being held in Baddeck; and

[Page 1215]

Whereas the festival attracts participants from around the world and promotes the growth of the multi-media industry in Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas this popular festival has doubled in size in just two years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize that the success of the Atlantic Digital Media Festival is a sign of an emerging new industry in Nova Scotia.

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 Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 385

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

Whereas it is always significant to note that in 1918 the women in Nova Scotia, through years of struggle, achieved the victory of the right to vote; and

Whereas at the political Party level, Progressive Conservative women formed their own association, first in Pictou in 1946, and in 1949 the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Women's Association was formed; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative Women's Association has been an integral and important part of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party and of politics in the province;

Therefore be it resolved that members recognize the important contribution of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Women's Association to the province's political landscape as they mark their 50th Anniversary as an association.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[Page 1216]

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 386

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 provincial Tory Government is forcing fire services across Nova Scotia to spend upwards of $20,000 each on new communications equipment; and

Whereas this expenditure could add 3 cents or 4 cents to the fire rate in most districts; and

Whereas the system won't benefit the fire service because the new radios won't work in many remote areas which could affect search and rescue or forest fire operations;

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government allow fire services to continue to use their present radio systems until such time as the new system has proven to be accessible from all parts of the province no matter how remote.

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.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

[Page 1217]

RESOLUTION NO. 387

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 Williams Lake Conservation Company incorporated in 1968 to protect the water quality of Williams Lake and the surrounding watershed area; and

Whereas two parcels of Crown land in the Herring Cove area and the designation of such is up for consideration; and

Whereas the pressures of development are ever present in the area, it is critical that every effort be made to preserve our wetlands;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources support the Williams Lake Conservation Company and give the aforementioned Crown lands special designation under the Wilderness Act and place a moratorium on future development.

Mr. Speaker, I would 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 Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 388

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

Whereas on Sunday, October 24th, scouts, guides and members of the Beaver Bank community gathered to celebrate a sod-turning for a new scout camp in Beaver Bank; and

Whereas a new scout camp will send a positive message to the young people of this community showing heard work has been rewarded; and

Whereas this new camp is another example of binding ties and building community spirit between young and old;

[Page 1218]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the camp-building committee for initiating this valuable and worthwhile project.

I seek waiver, Mr. Speaker.

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 Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 389

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to make the following resolution in French, first.

M. le Président, par la présente, j'avise que je proposerai à une date ultérieure, l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que la radio communautaire CIFA de Comeauville célèbre cette année le dizième anniversaire de sa fondation; et

Attendu que depuis dix ans, Radio CIFA fait la promotion de la culture et de la musique acadienne dans le Sud-Ouest de la Nouvelle-Écosse; et

Attendu que le succès de Radio CIFA est le résultat de l'appui considérable accordé par la communauté;

Qu'il soit résolu que cette Chambre exprime ses félicitations et transmette ses meilleurs voeux de succès continu aux membres du personnel de CIFA et à tous les bénévoles qui ont donné sans compter temps et efforts pour assurer la survie de CIFA depuis les dix dernières années.

M. le Président, je propose l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débats.

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

[Page 1219]

Whereas radio station CIFA in Comeauville is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year; and

Whereas for 10 years, CIFA has promoted Acadian culture and music in southwestern Nova Scotia; and

Whereas CIFA's success is the result of the tremendous support received from the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the staff of CIFA and the numerous volunteers who have worked so hard to maintain CIFA on the air for the past 10 years.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: Merci. 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. 390

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

Whereas tourism has become a major part of the Nova Scotian economy; and

Whereas areas other than the coastlines are largely ignored by the provincial departments responsible for tourism promotion; and

Whereas tourism in East Hants has recorded another strong year to build on previous increases;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the tourist operators, their staff and promoters of East Hants for their continuing success.

[Page 1220]

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 Queens.

[8:30 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 391

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 North Queens Breakfast Program is set to begin on November 1, 1999; and

Whereas the breakfast menu will contain food recommended by the Canada Food Guide and will be focused on ensuring the 156 students at the elementary level will have a nutritious start to their day; and

Whereas this program, organized by local business owner Linda Frail, receives foods donated by local community members, organizations and businesses;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the hard work and community spirit displayed by all participants of this vital program and acknowledge the initiative of Linda Frail in reaching out to the numerous children who will be benefitting from the North Queens Breakfast Program.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1221]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 392

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

Whereas Dr. Mahmood Naqvi, Medical Director for the Cape Breton Regional Healthcare Complex, is the recipient of a Who's Who in Healthcare Award from the Canadian Healthcare Manager Magazine; and

Whereas Dr. Naqvi was one of 40 individuals from across Canada nominated for this prestigious award; and

Whereas Dr. Naqvi has demonstrated great leadership in recruiting specialists and developing new hospital programs for the Cape Breton Regional Healthcare Complex;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dr. Mahmood Naqvi on this recent award and extend our appreciation to him for his dedication in improving the standard and quality of health care in Cape Breton.

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.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 393

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

[Page 1222]

Whereas Grace Luke, a resident of Cole Harbour, is a local artist who is committed to promoting other local artists; and

Whereas Ms. Luke has established the Grace Art Gallery on Durham Way in Colby Village to highlight the works of local artists; and

Whereas Ms. Luke has also been committed to exhibiting the work of local young people;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Grace Luke on her efforts to promote local artists and on the opening of their new showing at the Grace Art Gallery.

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 Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 394

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

Whereas the November 1999 issue of Architectural Digest has a five page spread devoted to the restoration work carried out on the Hants County home of Sherman and Andrea Hines; and

Whereas the magazine, recognized as an industry leader in North America, also carried a similar spread on Senator Ted Kennedy's Washington, D.C. home; and

Whereas the restoration of the ruins of this Poplar Grove home, believed to be constructed in 1699, is indeed an architectural dream and worthy of worldwide fame;

Therefore be it resolved that we congratulate Sherman and Andrea Hines on gaining this much deserved recognition and thank them for preserving a piece of Nova Scotia history.

[Page 1223]

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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 395

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

Whereas the previous outstanding member for Preston, during the last session of this legislative session, pressed the then Minister of Transportation and Public Works about his department's plans for roads in her constituency; and

Whereas roads throughout the Preston riding remain a top priority for area residents; and

Whereas the current part-time minister has obviously forgotten about these wonderful speeches which he heard in this House as a member of the Third Party at that time;

Therefore be it resolved that the current member for Preston resurrect his outspoken municipal reputation, ask Hansard for copies of the previous member's comments, and wake up the part-time minister to the needs of his Preston constituents.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 396

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

[Page 1224]

Whereas the Canadian Bond Rating Service has reaffirmed Nova Scotia's credit rating; and

Whereas the report by the Canadian Bond Rating Service has also changed the province's long-term borrowing outlook from stable to negative; and

Whereas the release of this report is indicative of the serious financial consequences for the province if the deficit is not eliminated;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the seriousness of the financial position of this province and the need to ensure a stable future by identifying core government services and priorities as announced this week with the leadership of the Voluntary Planning Fiscal Task Force.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[8:36 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Brooke Taylor in the Chair.]

[Page 1225]

[11:11 a.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

[11:12 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Kevin Deveaux in the Chair.]

[3:12 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made some progress in considering Supply and asks leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

[Page 1226]

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I move that the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be now resumed.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. JON CAREY: With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge my wife in the gallery at this time. (Applause)

AN HON. MEMBER: Long-suffering.

MR. CAREY: Long-suffering. It has been quite a while so I will try to pick up where I left off. West Kings District High School is special to me as I attended, graduated and returned to teach for six years at that school. My wife and two sons also attended West Kings District High School, so you can see the significance it has played in my family's life. As West Kings and Central Kings, which several of my constituent's children attend, have been scheduled for major renovations for several years, I look forward to seeing the work proceed in a timely fashion.

Mr. Speaker, Auburn has the distinction of having the second oldest consecrated church in British North America, St. Mary's Anglican Church, built in 1790. Today it still serves the local Anglican denomination. Aylesford is our next village and it is home to the world-renowned Oaklawn Zoo which is operated by the Rogerson Family and attracts in excess of 100,000 people each year. Aylesford is a beautiful residential community where many seniors have chosen to reside, and I had the pleasure of growing up there, living and working in this community most of my life.

The Sun Valley Company in Aylesford is home to one of the first developed cranberry growing and packaging operations in Nova Scotia and continues to thrive today. Bordering Aylesford and Berwick is the Annapolis Valley Peat Moss Company which is owned and operated by Mr. Henry Endres. The last three decades have seen the development of peat moss and related prospects expand so that exports to the United States, Europe and Asia make this company recognized worldwide for good management and quality products, a true success story in Nova Scotia.

[Page 1227]

Mr. Speaker, the largest community in Kings West is Berwick, the apple capital of Nova Scotia, and at times, I think, they claim in Canada. This town is home to: Larsen Packers, well-known in Nova Scotia for quality meat products; Avon Foods, a major producer of farm products through various brands; as well as Stirling Fruit Farms operating an apple warehouse storing some of their quality products as one of the largest apple producers in Canada, over 1,500 acres. Berwick is home to the Apple Capital Museum, the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board and the West Kings Health Clinic that continues to strive to expand its health related services to the area. Berwick is renowned for its Camp Meeting and its Berwick Gala Days.

Mr. Speaker, Waterville is the next community in Kings West, home to the Youth Centre, the Kings Rehab, along with Michelin Tire, a company that employs a good number of my constituents and continues to be an excellent corporate citizen as it contributes to the economy of this province.

Mr. Speaker, Kings West covers a large area with several small communities on the North and South Mountains, spreading from the Bay of Fundy, taking in Morden, a wonderful community with its French Cross, to Harbourville with one of the few natural harbours in the province, committed to economic and tourism growth, spearheaded by a far-sighted, energetic group with total community support, determined to restoring the wharf that will bring increases to the fishing fleet, provide tourists the opportunity to explore the bay and provide locals, as well as travellers, a place to tie up and launch pleasure crafts of all sizes.

Mr. Speaker, we have small communities such as Burlington with its July 1st celebrations; Tremont with its traditional fair; East Dalhousie with its local fair continuing to express the community spirit and traditional values that make this such a great constituency in which to work and live.

Mr. Speaker, tying all these communities together is a tremendous agricultural base that we have with approximately 40 per cent of the dollar value of Nova Scotia's agricultural industry coming from Kings County. We have the climate, the technical expertise, the hard-working labour force and the soil conditions to produce the best quality and most diversified agricultural products of anywhere in the world. Complementing this is a strong forestry industry with the pulp, logs, Christmas trees, maple syrup and firewood. Also, there are some very successful people in the fishing industry on the Bay of Fundy, including lobster, scallops and a variety of species of fish.

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not mention our wonderful tourist facilities with five campgrounds - Rainbow Haven, Klahanie, Plantation, Forever Green Wilderness and Fox Hill, providing various activities such as fishing expeditions, whale watching and pleasure trips on the Bay of Fundy or, in season, viewing of the highest tides in the world.

[Page 1228]

Mr. Speaker, having been a member of the volunteer fire service for over 30 years and Chief in Aylesford for over 20, I feel compelled to recognize the wonderful volunteer fire department we have in Kings West. They include Kingston, with Chief Jim MacMaster; Berwick, with Chief Brad Palmer; Waterville, which recently celebrated 75 years of service, with Chief Robie Carty; and, of course, Aylesford. These departments provide fire and other emergency services to Kings West on a total volunteer basis and make up part of the Mutual Aid System recognized North America-wide as the original and best Mutual Aid System in North America. I am pleased to see that this government is committed to providing some tangible recognition to the volunteer firefighters of this province.

Mr. Speaker, the government of the day has already started setting a clear course. In our health system, more full-time nurses, a nurse policy adviser, the reorganization of the regional health boards; in education, a review of the P3 system; in agriculture, the commitment to young farmers to pursue the federal government for fair dealings and equitable drought programs and the drought program that was just announced in the last week where we will be helping ones who have been having so much problem over the last three years that was beyond their control and to develop a Buy Nova Scotia First Program; in forestry, to initiate discussions with the federal government to protect our forest industry; in tourism, by establishing a separate department and to promote infrastructure equally in rural areas; in transportation, to develop a 10 year program for highway work.

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to improving the lot of all sectors of our population and to provide affordable government so that we might have a bright future, not only for ourselves but generations to come. In closing, let me reiterate my determination to work to the best of my ability for the people of Kings West, the Province of Nova Scotia, as we strive to improve the economy and way of life.

Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting the Speech from the Throne. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MR. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to rise today to respond to the Speech from the Throne on behalf of the people in the riding of Queens. To begin I would like to extend my congratulations to you as the second truly elected Speaker in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. I would also like to congratulate the three Deputy Speakers, who will play an important role in this 58th sitting of the General Assembly and will help guide me through this, my first opportunity to be part of this honourable Legislature.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend my congratulations and best wishes to the other members of this House, both returning and new. I am proud, as must be all the members of this House, to have been selected to be the voice of my constituents. I am greatly appreciative of the trust the people of Queens have shown in me, and I will try to honour that trust by

[Page 1229]

performing my duties and responsibilities as their elected representative to the very best of my abilities.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to compliment my predecessor, John Leefe, whom some of you here know well, for his hard work and dedication to the people of Queens County. During the election campaign, I heard many stories that gave me insight into why John Leefe's career was long and very successful and could have undoubtedly continued for another 21 years, if he so desired. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize John's contribution to the people of Queens County and to the Province of Nova Scotia, and to wish him and his wife, Nancy, well in their well-earned retirement from public life. (Applause) Thank you John and Nancy for a job well done.

I would like to thank Arnold Meisner and Margo Walsh-Leaman, who managed my campaign, for their support and guidance as well as their friendship. I would also like to thank the many volunteers who worked tirelessly during the campaign, not only for me but for all candidates. I would also like to thank my family and my wife, Pat for their tremendous support, and my eight year old daughters, Kathryn and Laura for their patience during the campaign.

Mr. Speaker, the riding of Queens has much to be proud of. I believe it is one of the most beautiful places in our province to live, to work and to raise a family. The people of Queens County are steeped in the tradition of being hard-working, helpful to neighbours and able to overcome difficulties such as those that have always been associated with our resource-based industry. The people of this area take pride in their communities and have worked hard to improve their way of life. As an example, the downturn in the fishery has added new challenges for many of our coastal communities.

However, the people of Queens County have proven their ability to move forward and to prosper, and it is this strength and fortitude that will ensure that such challenges are overcome. Queens County has consistently drawn upon the resourceful nature of its people, and this has led to the development of successful businesses, the growth of new industry and the appropriate preservation of the past.

I would like to take a few minutes to highlight some of our successes and point out examples of the strong community spirit that is Queens County. Queens County is fortunate to have the largest commercial processing plant for silver hake that exports to markets worldwide. This is a tribute to the owners of Blue Wave Seafood, Sylvain D'Eon and family, who have aggressively sought out and secured new markets. This underutilized fish species has impacted the community in a very positive way.

The fishing communities of Southwest Port Mouton, Port Mouton, Hunts Point, Port L'Hebert, Moose Harbour, Liverpool, Brooklyn, Eagle Head, West Berlin and Port Medway are populated by hard-working entrepreneurs with each boat representing a family business.

[Page 1230]

New and innovative ways of developing the fishery are evident on the waters of Queens County. Aquaculture operations are growing and developing markets to allow this business to develop its full potential. This includes salmon, oysters and mussels.

Mr. Speaker, another example of a new and growing industry in my constituency is ecotourism. The T.H. Raddall Park, the Kedge Adjunct and the Federal Migratory Bird Preserve are only a few of the assets that enhance our ability to grow and to highlight the truly unique characteristics that are Queens County.

Efforts to stabilize the Coffin Island lighthouse by the recently formed heritage society have been successful and will help attract people to our area. Although on this point I must express disappointment that our federal government now considers this lighthouse, which is located where our lighthouse has stood at the mouth of Liverpool Harbour for nearly 185 years, to be unnecessary. This is unfortunate indeed. However, undeterred by insufficient federal funding the heritage society, led by Tom Raddall and Ken Wilkinson, has invested considerable sums to build a protective retaining wall around this lighthouse so as to preserve the integrity of this significant part of our history.

It would be very difficult to promote the lighthouse route without Coffin Island Lighthouse and the lighthouses located at Little Hope, Spectacle, Western Head, Port Medway and Fort Point, which is a park and museum. The initiative and vision of the groups of organizations such as this reflect the type of community commitment to the past, present and future that is found in Queens County.

The Brooklyn Marina is another success story that bears mentioning. A few interested boaters got together just four years ago and decided a marina would be useful to the community and today, through the efforts of volunteer labour, the marina is looking to expand from the 50 berths it currently operates. Also, through the establishment of this facility, we have enticed boaters from all along the Eastern Seaboard to stop in and enjoy the hospitality of the people of Queens and they have undoubtedly helped our local economy during their stay. The marina has become a focal point of the community and has brought together old and young, boaters and non-boaters alike.

Tourism opportunities have been further enhanced with the recent expansion of White Point Beach Lodge which has developed a reputation throughout the province as a premier tourist destination and conference facility. Innkeeper Doug Fawthrop has played a strong leadership role in the tourism industry both locally and provincially. I would urge all members to come to Queens County to confirm this and enjoy their speciality, which is planked salmon.

Liverpool is constantly building on being known as the port of the privateers with Privateer Days parade being an event that we were fortunate enough to have the Premier participate in. I would encourage the Premier to celebrate next year's event with us as well because of his popularity and his presence in this year's event.

[Page 1231]

Come visit us and take in the Hank Snow Centre for Country Music, the Sherman Hines Gallery, the Astor Theatre, as well as historical re-enactments by the Liverpool Privateers Militia and the Kings Orange Rangers. North Queens is thriving and continues to be well-known for its rich history and links to the forest industry. Holdwright Lumber and N.F. Douglas are two sawmills in the area that are efficient and well-run mills with a dedicated workforce that will ensure long-term growth and prosperity.

The community spirit evident in North Queens area is hard to match anywhere in the province. The 200th Anniversary of the permanent settling of South Brookfield was a tremendous success, due in part to the dedication and hard work of the many volunteers led by Sharon Crooker.

The community of Greenfield, located on the beautiful Medway River and Ponhook Lake, has a reputation for one of the best, if not the best, planked salmon suppers in the province. As a community fund-raising event, it is impressive to see the community cooperation that makes this event such a success.

Harry Freeman and Son sawmill is the largest employer in the area and is currently expanding which will create more jobs as well.

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to be here today to represent the people, the industry, the communities and the organizations about which I so proudly speak. There has been a great deal of good work accomplished by the people of the communities of Queens County and that came through loud and clear when I was campaigning.

However, although there is much to celebrate, there is always much more work that must be done and more issues that must be brought forward. Each constituency and, indeed, each community will have issues that are of particular concern.

In Queens County one of the concerns for me is our ageing population. This ageing population represents two things: people see rural Nova Scotia as a good place to live and remain when they retire and also many others see it as a beautiful place to move upon retirement; and number two, we have not been successful as a province in keeping young people in the communities where they were raised. Unfortunately, we cannot have a healthy province if this continues.

[3:30 p.m.]

Our government will work hard and I will work hard to promote business opportunities in rural Nova Scotia so our young people can have choices for their future. It is sad that so many people have had to leave their communities and homes to find opportunity. I will work with the sound policies and the vision of this government, with the people of Queens County

[Page 1232]

to enable growth and economic development in our rural areas. Providing choices for our young people will ensure a brighter and better future.

I also want to ensure that we draw upon the experience of our seniors and assist them as best we can as their needs grow and change. Sometimes until you experience life's changes, it is hard to anticipate the future needs that those changes inevitably bring. That is why I applaud this government's approach to hearing from, listening and responding to all Nova Scotians, particularly seniors.

The people within our communities deserve no less than our best effort and I, for one, can assure the people of Queens County that they will receive my best effort. I am fortunate that my best can and will be supported by a solid vision for Nova Scotia's future, a vision that is evident from the Speech from the Throne.

The Speech from the Throne talks of good government. Government that recognizes the merit of ideas regardless of their source. Good government requires all parties to work together to ensure that the people of Nova Scotia are represented fairly and wisely. It certainly is our government's plan to provide good government to Nova Scotia.

The Speech from the Throne talks about quality health care and education. It references reviews and careful planning that will make things better and lay the groundwork for a bright future for our province. It talks about health care being given back to the community and educational boundaries being reassessed. It talks about long-term plans to repair roads based on need and not partisan politics.

The Speech from the Throne referenced the need to develop a long-term sustainable forest for our future. Our forest industry is a renewable resource but it is time dependent and, therefore, must be handled carefully to ensure our current or expanded levels of harvesting is sustainable to the next generation.

Mr. Speaker, issues and plans such as these are helpful to all our communities and, indeed, to the communities within Queens County. The points that I have just noted from the Throne Speech were also points that were presented to me by my constituents during the campaign and I am pleased to see that they are front and centre for this government.

In closing today, let me confirm the commitment that I have made to the riding of Queens County and the Province of Nova Scotia, let me confirm that I will work hard as part of the government to ensure that we provide good, sound, well-informed decision making. Decision making that is in the best interest of Queens County and our great province and that will encourage growth for business, provide for quality health care and education and build upon our resources. Decision making that will ensure our successful move into the next millennium. Mr. Speaker, thank you. (Applause)

[Page 1233]

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

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in this historic Chamber this afternoon. A great pleasure to rise in this Chamber this afternoon. The home of the first responsible government in the British Empire, February 2, 1848.

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate you on your election as Speaker. You have indicated that you will preside in a fair and just manner. So far you have and I know you will continue to do so. The electorate in Cumberland South has put their faith and confidence in you and I know you won't let them down. I would also like to thank you for attending several meetings in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley over the past 18 months, including being our guest speaker at the nomination convention back on June 24th in the Bicentennial Theatre in my hometown community, Middle Musquodoboit.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to congratulate the Deputy Speakers in this House: Wayne Gaudet of Clare and Kevin Deveaux of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. I know both deputies will preside fairly, in fact, when Mr. Gaudet was the Speaker in this House, he treated all members with dignity, with respect and I want to extend a big thank you to Mr. Gaudet in helping me in my new experience as the Government caucus' Deputy Speaker. I thank you, Mr. Gaudet. (Applause) I would also, of course, like to thank my Premier and my Tory colleagues for placing me as our caucus Deputy Speaker. I pledge to treat all members fairly and I pledge to treat all members with respect. I would also like to salute the Clerks and the Sergeant-at-Arms, the Pages and, of course, all staff here at Province House. I want to extend a sincere deep appreciation to the caucus staff at the PC Office. While 52 of us as MLAs make it to this Legislature, there is a considerable number more who help to make our stay here comfortable. I know all members would like to thank their respective staffs for helping them out.

"Politics is almost as exciting as war and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.". That was said by none other than Sir Winston Churchill. (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, as I said, it is an honour and a privilege for me to rise in this historic Chamber and reply to the Throne Speech. The Throne Speech was of course eloquently presented by the Honourable John James Kinley, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, on Thursday, October 7, 1999. The Throne Speech clearly articulates that this Progressive Conservative Government will be an open government, a government that is accountable (Laughter) a government that is answerable to the people.

Mr. Speaker, this is not a government that will grab municipalities and throw them into some big merged super-conglomerate like the previous Savage Government did. (Applause) Remember the little Town of Bedford? Remember old Halifax County, the City of Halifax and the City of Dartmouth when Premier John Savage and this Liberal swarm came to office and said, we know what is best for you, amalgamation, no consultation - shoved it down our throat. I think we all know where the Liberal Government resides today. That was just one

[Page 1234]

of many dictatorial, undemocratic, anti-democratic moves that the Liberals made, and as the honourable member for Cape Breton West indicated last night, they lost the election for various reasons. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, we should also mention that his colleague, the former Minister of Transportation from Richmond, and the former federal minister, David Dingwall, were kind enough to hijack $26 million from the coffers of the Strategic Highway Improvement Program. They had no difficulty coming in and confiscating and ripping that money away, but do you know what, the Official Opposition of the day, the Progressive Conservatives and the Nova Scotia public, especially the Nova Scotia taxpayers, made the Honourable Richie Mann and the Honourable Dave Dingwall return that money back to its rightful place.

Yes, so we can talk about answerability and accountability, but let's not forget that other governments who have taken over the reins of power in this province, treated Nova Scotians with distain and contempt. We need not look any further than across the way, Mr. Speaker, so let's not forget. Individuals, organizations and communities are encouraged by this government and invited by this government to become involved. They are invited to share responsibilities and participate in decisions. I have to say many times in the past, Nova Scotians have had very serious reservations regarding their government acting in their best interests.

There has been talk, and I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, I wrote this speech some time ago. I think it seems very appropriate today that I do mention that the Premier of this province will establish a code of conduct. Let's make no mistake about it. (Interruptions) For six years the Liberal Government and the New Democratic Party that were in the House and the NDP that had followed politics, know that for six years the Liberals talked the talk, but they never walked the walk, never would John Savage come in with a code of conduct. (Applause)

As the days, weeks, months and years go by, it will become abundantly clear that the Progressive Conservative Government knows its place; individually and as a government we will fully support and respect the right of Nova Scotians. We will respect the right of Nova Scotians to direct their own lives and to chart their own futures. Yes, we are constituting and putting in place a red tape commissioner and, Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of enterprises out there, there are a lot of individuals who are very concerned about the great amount of bureaucracy in the Province of Nova Scotia, the great amount of red tape in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, we want Nova Scotians to be able to go about their legitimate business without undue intrusion. That is the type of government you are going to see. While this government's role in the economy is limited, we can and will create the climate, an environment to let the private sector more easily create jobs. Government should not even think that they can make jobs. Let's let the private economy flourish. Crown Corporations will incorporate and they will establish real business principles.

[Page 1235]

Mr. Speaker, my background is small business. I have run a few different fleets up and down the road and I am proud to say that my wife was an exceptionally good bookkeeper and as a consequence, we were able to stay one step ahead of the wolf, but I know what it is like to meet a payroll. I know what it is like to have to pay those payroll taxes, and I know how red tape is suffocating businesses. I am not here to blame it on the Liberals or the Tories or the NDP. The fact of the matter is there is absolutely too much red tape today.

Mr. Speaker, on the lighter side, and I promised I would not tell this in the House, but nonetheless I am going to anyway, but two men, a Tory and a NDP were chatting at a cocktail party. "Your wife certainly brightens the room.", the Tory said to the NDP, "Her mere presence is electrifying." "It ought to be," replied the NDPer, "everything she is wearing is charged.".

Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, we must live within our means. A climate for prosperity and stability can only be achieved by balancing the provincial budget. Our debt and our annual deficit is denying our children and our grandchildren the choices and opportunities that they deserve. No longer can expenditures exceed (Interruption) The honourable member for Dartmouth North should realize that no longer can expenditures exceed revenue.

Mr. Speaker, as in the other Tory provinces, and there are a number of them across Canada, we will walk the walk. (Interruptions) Just to be fair and prove that I am not picking on a particular gender, I will tell you another one. Do you know how you get a man to do a sit-up?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No.

MR. TAYLOR: You place the remote control between his feet. (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, I believe in gender equality.

Mr. Speaker, let's get back on track here. While getting the finances of the province under control is a major and primary objective, it is, however, only part of our overall direction. A balanced budget is a means to an end and a more secure future for Nova Scotians. Providing quality health care is our first priority. As the Speech from the Throne points out, from early intervention programs to long-term care beds, you simply cannot buy good health care by pumping more money into the system.

Nova Scotians have witnessed this and, yes, in too many cases they have had the unfortunate experience of learning that hard and expensive lesson, Mr. Speaker. Strategic health care investment can minimize costs and greatly improve results. We must and will meet our commitment of achieving greater value for every dollar spent on health care.

[Page 1236]

[3:45 p.m.]

Like other speakers and like most everyone in the House, I strongly believe in Nova Scotia and its people. I particularly believe in our young people and yes, education is definitely key. Students must be given the opportunities. They must be given the tools necessary to succeed. When a student's educational needs are not being met society as a whole suffers, Mr. Speaker. Every available tax dollar directed to the education of our young people must help improve the learning chances of our students. We all have important roles and responsibilities in education, we all have a role in educating our young people.

For eight years now, Mr. Speaker, I have been an elected politician. As I look back, . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Tell us about the increasing plurality over the years. (Laughter)

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I shouldn't get side-stepped by the rabbit tracks here, but as I reflect back on four successful election campaigns (Applause) Thank you. It has been a very humbling experience. In 1991, my constituents gave me a majority of 66 votes in the Municipality of Halifax County, District 12. Some of my former municipal colleagues, the MLA for Preston, David Hendsbee and Barry Barnet who represents Sackville-Beaver Bank, they also now sit in this Progressive Conservative Government. I know that Barry Barnet and David Hendsbee will put the best interests of Nova Scotia first. I know they will because when they served on municipal council, they gave their constituents full and fair value for the representation that they were given and the mandate that they were given.

In as much as every election is unique in its own right, that particular campaign was very special while the campaign, the crusade, was basically run from our home and from our kitchen table, Mr. Speaker, I am forever indebted to my family and my friends, especially my wife, I am especially dedicated to my wife and to my daughter, Julie, and to my son, Trevor.

On November 2, 1993, I ran in the provincial by-election as MLA for the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, in a very hard contest against Liberal candidate John Tilley, NDP's Roger Hunka and independent Jim McKillop.

AN HON. MEMBER: How many votes?

MR. TAYLOR: Once again, my constituents, my family, my friends, they carried me through with a majority of 385 votes, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

[Page 1237]

I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, we most certainly celebrated that election win. I was welcomed to the Tory caucus by then Leader Terry Donahoe with open arms and I have to tell you I was also welcomed by colleagues, Donnie McInnes, George Moody, George Archibald, Ron Russell, John Leefe and John Hamm. As Cecil O'Donnell said, I was feeling 10 feet tall and bulletproof too at that particular time. (Applause)

That was in the aftermath of the Savage slaughter. (Laughter) Mr. Speaker, while we are doing a little boasting here tonight, I have to tell you, and my colleague Ron Russell will remember, that was the first Tory election win, not only in Nova Scotia, that was the first Tory election win in Canada, after the Mulroney Tories were defeated and after the Savage swarm came to power, that was the first Tory win and look at us now. Just look at us now, the Government of Nova Scotia. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to go from 66 votes to 385 votes but in the March 1998 election, my very formidable campaign team, probably - now this is arguable - but I claim to have the most formidable and talented election campaign machine in this province. They carried me through in 1998 with a majority win of 3,500 votes. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, again, I was very humbled and very proud of my constituents, of my family, of my friends and of my campaign team. The people in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley had once again, overwhelmingly this time, put their confidence in my ability to represent them. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, what is the question? I am sorry.

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley entertain a question.

MR. TAYLOR: Oh, I would be delighted. (Applause)

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to ask this question. I have been keeping close count of your mounting plurality in electoral success. You have gone from 66 to 350, was it? (Interruptions) 385, and then it was 3,500, and in July election of this past year, I was wondering if you could tell us what your vote count was on that night? (Laughter)

MR.TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, this time the folks in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, the people's constituency, who were on vacation, increased my majority to nearly 4,000 votes. (Applause) Again, just before I take the question from the honourable member, I do want to emphasize that my campaign team, my family, my friends

[Page 1238]

and my constituents rallied behind me, and it was truly a team effort by one of the most effective political machines. I am very proud to be the candidate.

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

MR. TAYLOR: Yes.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for accepting the question, because obviously we have evolving here what appears to be a rather senior statesman in the House of Assembly. (Laughter) He is, obviously, by unparalleled proportions a growing very popular member, not only of this House but in his constituency and province-wide. My question is, why hasn't he made it to Cabinet? (Interruptions)

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not fair. That is not nice.

MR.TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I have no difficulty answering that question. I got into provincial politics in 1991, I got into politics to represent people. My loyalties lie with my constituents in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. (Applause) Furthermore, I indicated to my Premier, the honourable John Savage, that I would accept whatever role (Laughter) John Hamm, I apologize. I should have my mouth washed out with soap for that one, yes. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I do have to say that I did indicate to my Premier, the Honourable John Hamm that I would accept whatever role that he gave me. All jokes aside, (Laughter)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. TAYLOR: All jokes aside, that was a very poor comparison.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would suggest the member maybe not take any more questions. (Laughter)

MR. TAYLOR: Or else you could take the advice of a friend of mine who told me once, when you haven't got anything else to say, shut up. (Laughter) But it is a great feeling to actually be in a job and I hope a vocation, because it is really a pleasure when you enjoy the job you are doing. I can truthfully exclaim that each and every evening, I don't want to sound corny here, but I give thanks to a higher power for permitting me to do work at a job that I love. Representing people possibly isn't for everyone, nonetheless it is something I feel very comfortable in doing. Author Dr. Richard Carlson said, nothing helps us build our perspective more than developed compassion for others. It is the recognition that other people's problems, their pain and their frustrations, are every bit as real as our own, often, far

[Page 1239]

worse. In recognizing this fact and trying to offer some assistance, we open our hearts and greatly enhance our sense of gratitude.

If I could, I would like to move and shift gears to another topic. I know I have, from time to time, talked about, the Firearms Act and I know you, Mr. Speaker, have some concerns about the Firearms Act. We did do that in the late show so I will perhaps move over this quickly. I would like to make one point, and I have made it before but I would like to emphasize it, that the Chretien Liberals in Ottawa spent under $5 million on breast cancer research, which claims 5,400 lives each year. Yet, to date, they have spent nearly $475 million on a bogus, ineffective Firearms Act. Now, that doesn't make sense. Haven't they got their priorities mixed up; $478 million.

Mr. Speaker, when the Honourable Allan Rock was the federal Justice Minister, and now the Honourable Anne MacLellan, they out and out misled Canadians by telling them that the firearms registration scheme would cost $85 million. Do you know what? Canadian taxpayers spent $132 million before one firearm was registered. Come on, does that make sense and they are spending less than $5 million on breast cancer research. They have got their priorities screwed up.

On Page 21 of our blue book, Mr. Speaker, it points out that we will, and we have, joined the efforts of other provinces, including Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut, in legally challenging this bill. True to our word, we have made application for intervention status. I want to thank our Justice Minister, the Honourable Michael Baker, for carrying that initiative through. I understand that, possibly, on December 16th the hearings will commence.

We are very blessed in the people's constituency, the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. The future looks exceptionally bright. As has been the case for several decades. Agriculture, forestry, mining and our small businesses will continue to sustain and lead us into the millennium.

By saying that our most precious and valuable resource is our people is no more true than in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. It is truly a very beautiful riding, both literally and figuratively. With Stewiacke the fastest growing town in Nova Scotia, complemented by some 62 other communities. In the gorgeous Upper Stewiacke Valley communities and villages such as Eastville, Cross Roads, Pembrooke, Burnside, Upper and Middle Stewiacke, Cloverdale, Birch Hill, South Branch, Meadowvale, Otter Brook and Halfway Brook can be found either nestled along the hillside or situated adjacent to the beautiful Stewiacke River.

As you would no doubt be aware the hardwoods, just a few weeks ago, were all in their splendour, Mr. Speaker. If any honourable member had an opportunity to drive up through the beautiful Stewiacke Valley, they would have had an opportunity to see nature at its best.

[Page 1240]

Now, over in the beautiful Musquodoboit Valley, on the other side of the mountain, Mr. Speaker, communities of Dean, Upper Musquodoboit, Elmsvale, Moose River, Caribou Gold Mines, Moose River Gold Mines, Middle Musquodoboit, my home community, Elderbank, Meagher's Grant, Gibralter, Cooks Brook, Lake Egmont, Gay's River, Carroll's Corner and Dutch Settlement come to mind. Just to name a few.

Along the old Highway No. 2, we have Enfield, Halifax County and just across the river, of course, my honourable colleague, John MacDonell represents Enfield. I have to say and I am not here to brag members up but I have to tell you, John is well like over in Hants East, Mr. Speaker. He certainly is. (Applause)

Now, back to the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, on the right side of the river, we have communities such as Enfield, Shubenacadie East, Fort Ellis, Alton, Brentwood, Brookfield, Hilden and so on and so forth. Travelling out the very scenic Route 236, we have Lower Truro, Old Barns, Beaver Brook, Green Oaks and so on, Mr. Speaker. The scenery again, a couple of weeks ago, was especially beautiful.

[4:00 p.m.]

So picture yourself, Mr. Speaker, driving out Route 236 and on your left you will have beautiful rolling hills dotted with beautiful properties, colourful forests and off to your right as you proceed in a westerly direction, you will have the beautiful Cobequid Bay. I am, indeed, very honoured to be the provincial government representative for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

Now you know in Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, for the most part - I say the most part, Mr. Speaker, I will get to that a little later - we do have very strong municipal government in Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. Mayor Bruce Lohnes and the Town of Stewiacke councillors have always made me feel welcome. On occasion I attended their sessions and very much appreciate and respect the hard work that they do. Colchester County Warden Mike Smith and county council also work very hard to deliver municipal services that are perhaps the most cost-effective in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I am comparing the residential and commercial rate per $100 of assessment. Councillor Juanita Johnson, who represents communities such as Salmon River, Greenfield, Harmony Ridge, Murray Siding, and Councillor Hugh Matheson of Brookfield, Richard Elliott of Upper Stewiacke-Otter Brook, are indeed a pleasure to work with. Again, from time to time, and depending on issues, I do go to their meetings. Local government certainly is very near to the people but 50 per cent of the geography in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley resides in the Halifax Regional Municipality and for the past nearly four years, I have had the pleasure of working with Eastern Shore MLA, Bill Dooks.

[Page 1241]

Bill Dooks represented District 1 and represented the HRM portion of my provincial constituency and Bill and I worked together, we discussed and argued at times, but we always came out in the best interest of the people. We worked together on a number of initiatives and I am proud to say that Bill Dooks is sitting in the Nova Scotia Legislature today, where he deserves to be. (Applause)

Now, Mr. Speaker, all in the name of our constituents best interests, all members of this House try to do the very best that they can. You make a lot of friends in the Legislature and that certainly makes the job more enjoyable. We all have a very common interest in this Legislature and that is to represent our constituency to the best of our individual abilities. That is why we are here and we should never lose sight of where we come from and I don't believe anybody in this House ever has. From time to time, the electorate at large may question that but my experience has been - and it is somewhat limited, I admit - that all members that I have come to know in this Legislature have worked very hard on behalf of their constituents and on behalf of Nova Scotia, irrespective of political stripe; we are here for the common good and we are here for the people of Nova Scotia.

So with those comments, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place. I understand there is some other business that people might have.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I was wondering if the member, before he concluded his remarks, would answer just a minor question of which we have riveting interest and I had not heard the minister - the minister, excuse me, there is a slip - the minister-to-be on this topic. Would the member entertain a question?

MR. TAYLOR: I would be delighted, Mr. Speaker.

MR. ESTABROOKS: During your highly informative and well-organized ramble, and on many occasions, you stood in this place and criticized the prior government for their Speech from the Throne at which time they never mentioned a precious word to you and to the seat of your pants, yet you stood in this place now, member, and never once mentioned the word roads. I would love to hear more about roads and the need and the plan that (Interruption) I want to know, what is your government's - I hear 10 years of roads. You have had 10 years of neglect. Would the member please address the issue of roads.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I do have a sheet here somewhere that indicates there are over 26,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. There are something like 3,500 or 4,000 bridges, but I know where the honourable member is coming from. I served as the Transportation Critic for nearly six years in this Legislature and I will have to tell you that I was extremely disappointed by previous Liberal Governments. I was extremely disappointed, Mr. Speaker. The member for Cape Breton West laughs and I can understand why he is laughing, but that particular crowd, when they were in government, save the boys in the back,

[Page 1242]

they completely shut out all the Tory ridings relative to paving on secondary roads. They completely shut them out.

Mr. Speaker, the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has Highway No. 102 that runs from Truro to Halifax. The biggest portion of that highway is in the Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. From time to time that road has been upgraded and improved, but this government knows full well that the 100-Series Highway is on a schedule basis and it is very important to keep our 100-Series Highway in good condition. However, I have to tell you that there are a number of 200-Series Highways, and there are a large number of 300-Series Highways that run through my constituency and I will just focus on mine.

That Liberal Government for seven construction years, seven construction seasons, did absolutely zilch, Mr. Speaker, in spite of the fact that the riding has the largest percentage of roads per capita in the province and the biggest piece of geography on mainland Nova Scotia. It is absolutely a disgrace and, yes, I stood up in this Legislature on behalf of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley and on behalf of Nova Scotia asking the Liberals, pleading with them to employ some fairness in the system. Do you know what, Mr. Speaker? They siphoned off the money. They went into the capital side of their budget and the expenditures were largely employed in Liberal ridings. There was no fairness. There was absolutely no fairness. (Interruptions)

Just to go one step further, Mr. Speaker, how would you feel if you did not get any roadwork in Cumberland South? You have a large number of secondary roads in Cumberland South and I would ask you, since you have been elected, and I know the Speaker is not supposed to impart answers or ask questions, in fact, but do you know what, I know because my friend, the MLA for Cumberland South, did not receive any paving either. He did not receive any paving either by that crowd opposite, absolutely nothing.

I used to laugh, it was absolutely a joke. It was the laugh of the town. Then the Minister of Transportation, Richie Mann, would come in with some big matrix, some system, here is the secondary road criteria, but he did not even have the courage to reoffer in the subsequent election after he siphoned away the $26 million. Let's be serious about it. That $26 million was in the federal-provincial Strategic Highway Improvement Program. That money was set aside to fix and repair and improve. (Interruptions) We accomplished something and you cannot blame them.

How much time do I have, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: You have about 25 minutes.

MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I certainly will not take 25 minutes, but I do want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, from working with you, I know that you, as the MLA for Cumberland South, tried your very best. You wrote letters. You made phone calls. You had

[Page 1243]

personal conversations with the previous Ministers of Transportation and Public Works, as I did, and I know the Transportation Critic for the NDP worked very hard on behalf of his caucus and brought numerous concerns to the floor of this Legislature that basically fell on deaf ears. That is the problem, but we are committed, and I know the honourable member for Dartmouth North, if he would hold up our blue book, would the honourable member for Dartmouth North hold up the blue book, he is always doing it. In that book he will find a pledge (Interruptions) do you know what this government has done? We put our money where our mouth is.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. TAYLOR: I didn't ask him to get up, Mr. Speaker, I asked him to hold up the blue book.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, the reason why I am standing is I want to tell the honourable member that someone, I believe who was a Conservative, confiscated the blue book last evening. (Laughter)

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I might be able to (Interruption) That former Minister of Transportation treated the Tory ridings with disdain and contempt. He even went up into my riding and held secret meetings with the big pooh-bah. Yes, he did, and he even had the audacity to tell people in my riding that as long as Brooke Taylor is MLA, you won't get a smell. That's what I was told and I brought that to that honourable member's attention.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I am happy to see that the member is alive and well. (Interruptions) I question his mental fortitude at this point in time with the exhaustive hours that he has been working lately, that he is probably a little deranged, and misplacing his thoughts, but on a point of order, I don't believe I ever made that statement and I would ask him to either substantiate that statement here today right now or take it back.

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, can you substantiate that?

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, you know from your experience in the House that an argument between two members is just that, an argument between two members, but I will tell you that the honourable member - you know how in a constituency like yours, (Interruption) you don't want me to name names . . .

[Page 1244]

MR. DOWNE: On the point of order, I just happened to walk through the door and I was walking around the back to get to my seat and all of a sudden I was being literally accosted by the member opposite, literally coming out of his hide over something. So I think really the member is stretching a long bow here by saying it is an argument point. I was just barely walking into the Legislative Assembly. I think the member is . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Kind of like an innocent bystander, you mean? There was no point of order. Would the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley continue, please.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry. Would you give me the directions you gave me a little earlier, relative to the comment he made. Did you tell me I have to substantiate it or withdraw it?

MR. SPEAKER: I am ruling that there is no point of order. I would ask you to continue with your speech.

MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. By way of wrapping up my Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, I will tell you that the Progressive Conservative Government of Nova Scotia today will establish a comprehensive, now get this one, this is foreign to the members opposite, we will establish a non-partisan, multi-year plan for maintenance and upgrading of our secondary roads. You notice, we didn't mention just in Liberal, New Democratic Party or Tory ridings, on provincial roads in Nova Scotia. We will come in with a non-partisan plan. That is another promise we will keep. (Applause)

Do you know what else, Mr. Speaker, something else that is foreign to the members opposite, something else that will be very foreign, especially to the Liberals opposite, we will put criteria in place that will be available to the public. We commit to that and that is a promise that we will keep. We are also going to dedicate all taxes. Now you know that there never seems to be enough money in the Department of Transportation and Public Works budget, whether it is in the current account, the operating and maintenance account or in the capital budget. We are going to dedicate all taxes raised through motor vehicle licensing and fuel sales to highway construction and maintenance to provide a solid base; fuel taxes for roads, something that is foreign, to the members opposite.

Mr. Speaker, do you know what we are going to do? We are not just going to send a fax or try to whisper - the Minister of Transportation and a delegate. One thing this government isn't afraid to do is stand up to the Chretien Liberals in Ottawa, whether it is gun control or whether it is the return of tax dollars, the excise tax. Do you know that 10 cents of every litre of gasoline purchased in the Province of Nova Scotia goes to Ottawa through the Fuel Excise Tax and since that crowd came into office hardly a pittance came back, hardly anything came back to this province, but we are going to demand that the Liberal Government

[Page 1245]

in Ottawa return a significant portion of the $130 million that they siphon away from Nova Scotians on an annual basis.

[4:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the honourable member opposite, for Timberlea-Prospect asking me to raise in this House a matter that is close to his heart, a matter that is close to all members, especially the rural members in Nova Scotia, and I know the honourable member for Antigonish raised a good point the other day relative to roads in his constituency. A lot of people feel that the number of roads in each riding should be, as close as possible - not right down to the kilometre or right down to the inch - you should possibly have a number of paved roads that is somewhat equitable to your colleagues across the province.

Mr. Speaker, that honourable member put forward a statistic, I guess I would have to call it. He disclosed a statistic that indicated that even when the Liberals were in, they treated his riding poorly. So you have to wonder, when you hear the honourable members start talking about cliques and what goes on and there are different groups and so on and so forth, I guess they know of what they speak.

Mr. Speaker, I do want to conclude, and I want to thank all members of the House for their cooperation as I gave my reply to the Throne Speech. Thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

MR. TIMOTHY OLIVE: Mr. Speaker, I don't know, I am such a laid-back guy, I don't know how I am going to follow that. A number of my colleagues who have presented their Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne have extended their congratulations and best wishes to you on the administration of your duties as Speaker of this Legislature. I would like to take this opportunity to follow their example and offer my congratulations to you as the second elected Speaker in the history of the Nova Scotia Assembly. I would also like to add my best wishes to you in carrying out your important duties in your new role as Speaker. To date, I believe you have exhibited fairness and wisdom in the deliberation of your duties.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the newly elected Deputy Speakers, the honourable members for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, and Clare. Your approach and that of the Speaker will clearly define the tone of this House and enable a spirit of cooperation that is expected of all members of this House. I wish you success and pledge my support to work with you and all members of the Legislature towards a better Nova Scotia.

[Page 1246]

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome all my colleagues in this House who appear here for the first time. I trust that the direction given by the voters on July 27, 1999, will provide the incentive needed on all sides of this House to do our best for our constituents and our province. I would also like to welcome those members who are returning to this place. Your experience and your knowledge, both in the House and in committee, will be invaluable to the new members, and I look forward to working with each of you.

It is my sincere hope that we will be able to place the best interests of Nova Scotians first, and that at the end of the day good decision-making will win out over partisan politics. Our constituents trust us to provide a solid leadership and regardless of political stripe that is what we must provide.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to move now to mention a very special individual, someone whose name I mention with deep sadness as a result of his recent passing. Mr. Paul Robertson, who tragically passed away shortly after our election victory, was a very devoted father, husband and friend to all who knew him. Paul was an incredible individual who was a family man. He took the unique position today of being a stay-at-home Dad. Only a few men could appreciate the bond that Paul had with his children. Paul worked tirelessly on my campaign, and we were grateful that he was spared long enough to enjoy the victory on July 27th. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family, particularly his wife Cathy and his daughters Natasha and Juliana.

Mr. Speaker, sadly, Dartmouth lost a number of outstanding citizens over the past year and I would like to take a moment to mention one other individual, Mr. Paul Morash, a fellow Kiwanian, a neighbour and a friend. Paul will be deeply missed by his wife Shirley and her family and all those who knew him.

I would now like to recognize and thank some very important people without whom I would not be here today. Many of you present know that I have been around this place and government for a number of years. I feel I was able to gain valuable experience as a result of my past work with a previous member of this House, Mr. Mel Pickings. I can fondly remember the many hours I sat in the gallery, observing and serving Mr. Pickings as his executive assistant. I am sure that many of you present would be able to provide interesting stories relating to this outstanding Nova Scotia businessman, politician and friend.

Mr. Speaker, on a deeply personal note, my mother Nesta died in 1994 and my father David followed her in 1996. There is no doubt in my mind that they are looking down now, on this place with pride today. My mother was a leader in the community, in community volunteer work in Elmsdale, in Halifax and for many years in Dartmouth. It was her example from very early in my life that prepared me for the role that I now assume. I was fortunate to be blessed with caring, loving parents who, while providing guidance, gave me the opportunity to develop freely as an individual.

[Page 1247]

I would also like to thank my brother David and his family, and my brother Richard, for their support over the years. Their encouragement and support of my decision to seek election was gratifying. I owe a considerable thank you to my sister, Mary Clegg, who tirelessly worked in campaign headquarters throughout. While being very efficient in the management of an office environment, she had no idea what it was like to work on an election campaign. I sincerely believe that her involvement was a key factor in our overall success and I publicly thank you Mary for your hard work and support.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to mention a former member of this House and by far one of the most valuable assets that the City of Dartmouth ever produced, Mr. Roland J. Thornhill. (Applause) The citizens of Dartmouth owe much to the efforts of Mr. Thornhill while he served as mayor and for over two decades as MLA. I would like to thank a number of other individuals who, like me, felt it was time to return a Progressive Conservative Government to the Legislature. Sharon Hopper, who for many years has toiled in the trenches in support of our Party, along with Agnes Connor, Brian Godsoe, Lil Wooley, Ted Knowler and Lynda Dixon, who were outstanding in their efforts on behalf of my campaign.

It is said that you should never start a list thanking people because you are bound to miss someone special. Everyone on my team was special and I thank them all for putting their faith in me. I would like to thank the Premier for without whom many of us would not be here today.

I was exceedingly fortunate to have a large contingent of new supporters who volunteered to assist in my campaign. Bruce Maclaughlin, my campaign manager, one of the few people during our campaign able to make me stop talking and take his direction. Mind you, when we first got together my advice to him was to take charge despite my anticipated objections. He took charge, I took his advice, and we were successful.

Brett Clements, my official agent, who was probably the toughest member of the team. He reminds me of our Minister of Finance. If the money is not in the bank box, the pamphlet's is not going in the mail box. Again, we were fortunate to have individuals like Ernie Myric and Bill Cameron to ensure that our efforts were based on a sound financial footing. Another valuable member of my team was Earle Clyke. Earle and his chief carpenter, Al Hutchinson, performed yeoman service in ensuring that our candidate profile was visible throughout the constituency.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to now take a few minutes to provide a brief overview of the history of Dartmouth. I believe that before we can be comfortable with where we are headed, we must ensure that we understand our past and Dartmouth's past speaks to many of its present day successes. In a book by noted local historian, Harry Chapman, excerpts from which are included in my comments, a long history of Dartmouth industry is detailed.

[Page 1248]

Dartmouth's very first industry was a sawmill that operated on the eastern shore of the harbour in 1749, a year before the first settlers stepped off the Alderney. It was located in what is now the Dartmouth Cove and its sawing equipment was powered by wind. Industrial development in the town took off in the mid-1800's and continued through World War I with the construction of the Imperial Oil refinery. Mr. Chapman's research indicates that Dartmouth workers produced many products, such as ice-skates, candy, soap, molasses, rope, sugar, flour, ice, woolens, beer, vault doors, dock bollards, ships, propellers, marine paint, bridge spars, iron gates, and I would like to mention that until recently a set of those gates stood at the entrance of Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. Workers also produced nuts, bolts, nails, rivets and petroleum products and built and repaired sailing vessels and steamships.

It is not a coincidence that Dartmouth today is home to the largest industrial park in eastern Canada and continues to produce many of the same products of the 1800's. From the days in 1785 when Timothy Folger and Samuel Starbuck brought the Nantucket Whalers from New England to establish a successful whaling industry in Dartmouth, to the United Empire Loyalists fleeing from defeat in the American Revolution and settling in Shelburne and Dartmouth in 1783, to the establishment of the Shipyards by Thomas Lowden early in the 1800's, Dartmouth has developed and prospered to where it is in 1999. It has developed through its industry. Dartmouth's success in the past and today is founded on sound investment and the creative business skills of the owners as well as a strong hardworking labour force.

Mr. Speaker, in researching major events in our history of Dartmouth, I note that in the mid-1930's a report by the then Department of Railways and Canals suggested that if a bridge was built across the harbour, it would be built for political reasons, not business. Its cost was estimated at $2.8 million. The yearly operating costs of that bridge were $32,000. The bridge was deemed to be unnecessary and further discussion was delayed for over a decade. A bridge over the Narrows was considered a total flop.

Mr. Speaker, I read this report with interest, regarding the decision-making process used by the government of the day. This report is significant proof that past decisions made by government would certainly not be made when economic times and fiscal realities dictate a completely different approach - a lesson that this government has learned and will utilize.

In the early 1960's there was a resurgence in industrial development after a long downturn from the Depression era. In March 1962, Gordon S. Hart, in his Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne spoke of the violent social changes in the past few years that affected Dartmouth. He outlined some history that showed during the period between 1945 and 1955, the population of Dartmouth and the surrounding region grew steadily. It got to the point in 1955 when the boundaries of the old town could not contain the number of citizens who wished to live in this area. Finally, in legislation passed in this House in 1960, a larger Town of Dartmouth was born. In 1961 the Legislature was presented with a full Charter that would create the City of Dartmouth.

[Page 1249]

[4:30 p.m.]

Mr. Hart encouraged the House and the Speaker to support this legislation so that the new City of Dartmouth would have a sound foundation upon which to build. He concluded by saying, "for those of you who are not familiar with the City of Dartmouth I suggest it's not too far away from here, and that they'd welcome you at any time to view the city and its potential. Its numerous lakes and play areas and to see what we are attempting to build on that side of the harbour.". Mr. Speaker, I, too, invite all honourable members in this Legislature to come to Dartmouth, especially if you are not familiar with its richness and enjoy our fine city.

Mr. Speaker, the history of Dartmouth is truly one of Nova Scotia's treasures. We will be celebrating our 250th Anniversary next year. History tells us, through the eyes of our local historians, that the lives of the people of Dartmouth were very intertwined with their community. The workers lived and worked together in the town. They worshipped together. Their children attended the same schools, they shopped in the same locally owned and operated shops together and they enjoyed the same recreational activities together. Together they fashioned a town and a city with an indomitable spirit and civic pride that has endured to the present generation.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid recently corrected me by referring to Dartmouth as a community rather than a city. Mr. Speaker, the constituents that I spoke to during the campaign, live in the City of Dartmouth, regardless of the mindless Savage storm that attempted to erase our identity. (Interruption) This is truly a day in history.

Today, Dartmouth continues to be prosperous and to experience exciting growth. Development in Dartmouth is on the verge of a great renaissance; King Street, Prince Albert Road, Octerloney Street, Portland Street and Portland Estates Phase III and IV. We have an enormous potential for residential and park land development on the waterfront CN rail yards. An issue that I fully intend on pursuing will clearly demonstrate cooperative development between the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Industrial development in Dartmouth Cove is meeting the challenges of today's business climate through industrialists like Fred Smithers. His Secunda Marine, based in Dartmouth Cove, is in the forefront of offshore development. Companies such as the Empire Group are poised to embark on a major revitalization of the downtown through the development of the Starr property into a major, modern supermarket.

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we ensure that new developments do not move forward without the recognition of, and inclusion of, a community's historical foundation. I am pleased to say that the Sobeys development will protect Dartmouth's unique history through preservation of the Starr Manufacturing turbine component in its development proposal.

[Page 1250]

Other progressive members of our business community including Charles Keating, Drew Sperry, Robert and Bill Bell, Richard Homburg and Roger Eckhold, to name a few, are poised to develop residential and commercial properties that will enhance the opportunities to expand our population base. It is very gratifying to note that the spirit of development in Dartmouth is alive and well. It is our people who are driving this initiative. It is vital, therefore, that these private sector initiatives of today not be extinguished, but that they be encouraged.

We must be diligent, however, not to be in a position where we lose sight of our heritage. In Dartmouth, we have highly qualified historians and concerned, knowledgeable citizens working to ensure that we, as people, do not forget where we come from. Bernie Hart, Bob Frame and Carmen Moir are a few of our citizens who represent, through our various Dartmouth heritage societies, the citizens' desire to continue to resist such tragedies as the disbursement of our Heritage Museum into the vacuum called HRM. It was the efforts of our citizens' committee and its successor, the Dartmouth Heritage Museum Society that has begun the process of rebuilding our valuable historical assets. Other heritage groups are working to resurrect the Shubenacadie Canal Commission to ensure the continued support from all cultural sources for Evergreen House, Quaker-Whaler House, the Military Museum and the mechanical heart of the Starr Manufacturing site.

We have an active committee working diligently under the direction of Norman Weichert to save the Greenvale School building, one of the few remaining Andrew J. Cobb-designed buildings in the country. Dartmouth is home to in excess of 60 heritage properties that provide a profound connection to our past. With this government's creation of an independent Department of Tourism and Culture, we look forward to a renewal of efforts to ensure the preservation of our heritage and encourage visitors to come and enjoy our city.

Dartmouth has long been considered the bedroom community of a bustling and vibrant Halifax. We have endured the humiliation of amalgamation and survived. We have fought to regain our rightful place in the region after years of neglect by the previous government. We have salvaged, from within the umbrella of amalgamation, our sense of each other and our need to develop as a small introspective community whose residents relate to each other, care about each other, and work to support each other in all areas of our lives.

We have an active Downtown Dartmouth Development Corporation under the guidance of our Executive Director Marion Currie and our President Sheila Sperry. We have a number of effective community organizations that ensure that their specific interests are brought forward when the development bells start ringing. I applaud the Portland Estates Residents Association and their new President Kathy Hunt for their vigilance in ensuring that managed development remains a priority in this fast-growing community.

With foresight and in keeping with our waterfront development objectives, the citizens of Dartmouth, under the encouragement of Mary Vingoe, Artistic Director, and Gay Hauser,

[Page 1251]

General Manager, Eastern Front Theatre, have recently opened our own Alderney Landing Theatre complex that is providing an excellent foundation for expansion of our theatre companies. Under the direction of its Executive Director, Bea MacGregor, the Alderney Landing complex is proving to be a major factor in our revitalization process in Dartmouth. This complex also provides a weekend venue for our Farmers Market, which is growing at every opportunity. Development of our waterfront is a major initiative of all our organizations.

With a renewed emphasis on Dartmouth emerging from the Waterfront Development Corporation, I am confident that the business community will be anxious to invest in our future and that progress will continue. I am very pleased with the pending townhouse development planned for the Alderney Drive-King Street area, a project resulting from the efforts of the Waterfront Development Corporation and the Regional Planning Department.

One of the issues that concerned our residents was the effect that pollution is having on our waterfront. We have been pleased with the initial efforts of the three levels of government to eradicate the sewer outfalls. As residents support the continuation of this initiative, citizens around Dartmouth Cove continue to press for improvements to the levels of pollution resulting from industrial waste and activity. I am confident that the residents of Dartmouth, in consultation with government, will have this issue resolved so that as in our past, our future growth will encompass both industrial and residential development.

Mr. Speaker, Dartmouth is not to be outdone in the recreational field either. Dartmouth is home to one of the world's finest recreational lake systems. Our well-established canoe clubs of Senobe, Banook and Mic Mac are world-class facilities. Years ago, we hosted the World Canoe Championships with resounding success. Next year, we are hosting the 8th World Marathon Canoe Championships. The Dartmouth lakes and the Shubenacadie Canal will be the venue for the 32 kilometre races, including four portages through Shubie Park.

The Canoe to the Sea Society planning is well under way and we expect that as a result of this championship and the canal infrastructure improvements, we will have an enduring legacy left for the Shubenacadie Canal. If you are a hiker or a walker, then Dartmouth may be your Utopia. Our hiking trial begins at the waterfront and travels along the lakes on a boardwalk all the way to Shubie Park and beyond. It is a hiker's paradise and I encourage everyone to experience this trail.

We are home to the Dartmouth Sportsplex, a multi-service health and entertainment facility. We have an ultra-modern library that is unique in its services to support our youth in developing their literary knowledge. There are major plans under way for further development of a children's recreational centre, a marine aquatic facility, and an expanded marina on the waterfront that will provide additional incentives for families to visit and enjoy our fabulous waterfront.

[Page 1252]

Next year, the Tall Ships will be visiting Halifax and Dartmouth. A citizen's committee is currently working to ensure that Dartmouth fully participates in the activities associated with the Tall Ships visit. Mr. Speaker, it is a fitting complement to our 250th Anniversary celebrations for the City of Dartmouth to participate in the Tall Ships visit.

I previously made reference to the issues surrounding amalgamation and its effect on the psyche of the citizens of Dartmouth. It is unfortunate that the previous Liberal Government didn't take the time to consult with its citizens on this issue. While many citizens would not disagree with amalgamating some regional services, Mr. Speaker, the devolution of responsible representation in Dartmouth, at the municipal level is inexcusable. (Applause) It is unfortunate that we have gone so far down the road with amalgamation without a consultative process; however I am encouraged by the commitment of our Premier to work with communities that had been forced into amalgamation to find imaginative ways to rekindle their sense of identity.

Mr. Speaker, I would now like to address some major points in the Throne Speech. In Dartmouth we have a fine medical facility, the Dartmouth General Hospital. This facility was built as a community hospital but, due to the growth in our city, it has been expected to meet health needs beyond its funding or physical capability. The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party in his Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, appeared puzzled as to how the health care system degenerated into the state it is in.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you and other members of this House that the people of Dartmouth South understand what happened and they understand who caused it. We face a situation where there are not enough nurses, not enough doctors and not enough specialists. We are fortunate in that the one thing we do have at the Dartmouth General is a wonderful collection of volunteers to support the system that is struggling to survive. I was very pleased to see that our government has moved on its promise to appoint a Nurse Policy Advisor. Our nurses have shown incredible courage and determination in performing their duties, and Nova Scotians should applaud their commitment.

Dr. Howlett of the Emergency Department of the Dartmouth General is a new breed of proactive doctor dedicated to the introduction of programs and support services that will enhance our health care delivery system. This physician is an example of our government's commitment to ensuring that doctors, along with other health care providers, have a real voice in shaping the future direction of health care. Our government's commitment to outcome-based measurements will allow the system to identify weaknesses in the delivery of health care, and it will identify those programs and services that are effective, and deserve and require additional funding.

Mr. Speaker, the constituency of Dartmouth South has one of the largest seniors populations in Nova Scotia. Many of these seniors felt betrayed by the previous Liberal Government on issues such as safety, accessibility to government services, the property tax

[Page 1253]

rebate program and, most important, the failure of the previous government to effectively fund and operate the Senior Citizens' Secretariat. I believe that the failure of the previous government regarding the Senior Citizens' Secretariat was indicative of its overall consideration of seniors' issues. I am pleased to be part of a government that has respect for our senior citizens and treasures the valuable contribution they have made and continue to make to our province and our country.

[4:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I would like to briefly comment on the state of our finances. The people of Dartmouth South, whom I represent, sent a very clear message to the Government of Nova Scotia. They said it is time to live within your means. They said it is not acceptable to have a mounting debt that closes in on the $10 billion mark. They said it is not acceptable to incur another $600 million to cover up the mistakes resulting from mismanagement of our finances such as that accomplished by the previous Liberal Government. My constituents and many Nova Scotians clearly said that they were not prepared for the continued mismanagement of the previous Liberal Government whose answer to controlling the debt was to increase the debt.

Reference has been made by the Opposition to the Ontario Government and Mike Harris. Mr. Speaker, our program to reduce debt is home-grown but, if the process is similar to that in Ontario and we have the same results, then I believe that is precisely what we should be striving for. What the NDP Government of Ontario did to that economy prior to Mike Harris was shameful. We can be grateful to the people of Nova Scotia who were not ready for the socialist, spend-free, anti-business attitude of the NDP opposite, nor were the people ready for the NDP-inspired social programs such as designated street strolls in their neighbourhood as announced by the member for Halifax Chebucto.

To meet the needs of all Nova Scotians, we must develop the most attractive tax structure and the most business-friendly environment in Atlantic Canada. Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged by the commitment of this government in support of reduction in the excessive tax burden on Nova Scotia businesses. It will have a direct, positive effect on the continued industrial and residential growth in Dartmouth.

The residents of Dartmouth South are indirectly involved in major highway issues such as the need to twin Highway No. 101. We have an interest in the need of the federal Liberal Government to put back into Nova Scotia the roughly $125 million in fuel taxes it collects annually. A national highways program start is essential and support for our Department of Transportation and Public Works, through recognition of the importance of infrastructure programs, is a must.

An adequate transportation system is the foundation that makes our economy run and provides the fuel to fund other programs. I am pleased that our government has committed

[Page 1254]

to work with communities to ensure highways and the secondary roads are planned and designed to optimize economic growth as a priority. The neglect of the Liberal Government in ensuring the upkeep of our secondary roads has placed thousands of Nova Scotians in rural parts of our province in the position of being second-class citizens. The people of Nova Scotia deserve equal treatment in the selection of highway paving projects.

When the people of Dartmouth travel and vacation throughout our beautiful province, they have a right to expect a safe highway system in every region, every constituency. Our government commitment to ensure that roadwork is based on need is another example of why Nova Scotians elected a majority Progressive Conservative Government on July 27th. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, a number of members on this side of the House have responded to the Speech from the Throne. It has been refreshing to see that in their approach to the issues of the day, they have taken the opportunity to express their views and those of the people they represent without constraint. It is this freedom of expression from members of this side of the House that will raise the bar on an open and consultative process in the governance of this province.

With the pending introduction of the code of conduct for Cabinet Ministers and senior public servants, we can expect to see a significant decrease in the public's current disenchantment with politicians and the Civil Service. Once the new standards are in place, those persons in the Public Service of this province will again be able to hold their heads high knowing they again have the confidence of the electorate in the performance of their duties.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be a Progressive Conservative, especially if Progressive Conservative means that within a few years, we will be living within our means, if it means that it is possible to maintain essential social services to those who need them, if it means to provide health care to those who require it, and to put books and pencils back in the classrooms, to do these things and still live within our means; if that is what it means then the people of Dartmouth South made the only choice they could have on July 27th.

When one makes a decision to commit to run for elected office, it is not alone, everyone needs a solid foundation on which to build. My foundation is my wife and family. My wife, Bunny, who has stood by me faithfully over the years, supporting me during my military career, my business career, my political life through my years with the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia, and the subsequent years in government and the private sector and my recent re-entry into public life as the member for Dartmouth South.

Bunny is my friend, my confidante and the woman I look forward to growing old with. We share the good times and the bad times. She is there supporting me and there to bring me back to reality when I need it. She was and still is there ensuring our two girls, Jennifer and

[Page 1255]

Stephanie, and our granddaughter, Shonn, have their foundation on which to grow. Thank you Bunny for all those things.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I wish to thank the citizens of Dartmouth South for placing their confidence in me, a businessman, a family man, a community volunteer like so many others in Dartmouth South. My constituents have given me an opportunity not afforded many in this great province, and I am humbled by their faith in me. I commit to them, I will perform my responsibilities to the best of my ability. I will not satisfy all the requests, but those who know me recognize it won't be because I didn't try. I, with my colleagues in this place, have a job to do, and we will do it. (Applause)

Like a marriage, it will go through some rough times, and the electorate may on occasion question our direction. The end result will be a healthier Nova Scotia, a more prosperous Nova Scotia, a financially stable Nova Scotia and most important of all, Nova Scotians will again be proud of their province and its contribution to Canada, not as a have-not but as a driving economic force in this Confederation. I thank my constituents for giving me this opportunity, and thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: I move the adjournment of the debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from Throne.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I also would request a 15 minute recess.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for a 15 minute recess.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

[Page 1256]

We stand recessed from 4:55 p.m. until 5:10 p.m.

[4:55 p.m. The House recessed.]

[5:15 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

[5:17 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[5:25 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 9 - Ground Ambulance Services Act.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a third time.

When shall this bill be read?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Now.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1257]

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

Bill No. 9 - Ground Ambulance Services Act.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I move Bill No. 9 for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party. (Applause)

MR. RUSSELL MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have this opportunity to speak on third reading of Bill No. 9. When I spoke on second reading earlier in the week, I asked the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Health if they would get back to the bargaining table because I honestly believed that this matter could be resolved and certainly it has been today, not as early as perhaps it could have been, but it has been resolved a lot more quickly than perhaps it could have been had we not worked together to achieve this result.

I want to say, too, that this has been to me an enlightening experience in many ways as to how not to do things. Quite frankly I don't think this is the time to take political shots. I think the people of Nova Scotia are just very glad that the paramedics will be going back to work. (Extended Applause)

I want to thank the government and I want to thank the New Democratic Party for the pulling together which I think happened here today and at various times during this week. I think it has been constructive. I want to say too, to the union and to the employer, that they deserve a lot of credit for the intensity with which they talked and worked to achieve what has been done here today. (Applause)

Most of all I want to thank the paramedics. Mr. Speaker, in Nova Scotia, in our proud history, we have always been so proud of our young people, what they have achieved, what they have stood for, and how they reflected what we wanted to see in the faces of our youth so that we knew the future was in good hands, that the spirit and the fibre that we as parents and seniors want to be maintained to keep this great province in the course that we want it to go in. We have had sports teams that have been successful. We have had good academic achievements from our young people. We have had good records of the work ethic of our young people and their concern for one another and for seniors and all their fellow citizens.

I don't think quite frankly I have ever been more proud of our young people than I have been this week in talking to the paramedics, to learn and to be reminded of exactly what they do for the people of this province, how they give of themselves in every way possible to achieve the health and safety of Nova Scotians. How they do it, sometimes at risk to themselves, of long hours, but they do it because they believe that it is the right thing to do.

[Page 1258]

They have in their hearts this feeling that you can't instill, it is either there or it isn't, that human life and human welfare is paramount above all else. I just want to say that not only are they bright, hardworking young people, they are extremely classy individuals. (Applause)

They were here throughout this to exhibit their interest in what was going on. They sat in the gallery. I think they conducted themselves admirably. There were signs of frustration on occasion, but who could blame them? This was a very highly-charged ordeal. Their futures were on the line and what bright futures they are, Mr. Speaker, if only we realize what we have here in these young people and in our ambulance service. It is so vital that we, as Nova Scotians, do not lose sight of what we have.

[5:30 p.m.]

We have a first-rate ambulance service and first-rate paramedics. We are number one in Canada. We are, I think, in the top five in North America. We have to maintain that and to maintain it we have to make sure the quality not only remains the same but, in fact, gets better and that we reward these young people for what they are giving to us all. If we do not, then we surely will slide backwards and I do not think anyone in Nova Scotia wants that to happen.

The collective bargaining process works and it has worked today. It works and if we allow it to work, we not only get the solutions that we want, but we build the trust and respect between the parties, between the workers and government, between the workers and their particular employers, between government and politicians and the people of Nova Scotia. That trust is vitally important if we are to govern with the people, with the consent of the people and with the trust of the people, Mr. Speaker. So how we conduct ourselves and how we maintain that trust is a cornerstone on which our achievements will be built.

I want to say that this has been very important for the people of Nova Scotia. With Hallowe'en coming up in some communities tomorrow night and some on Sunday night, parents will now feel a lot safer with their children trick-or-treating in our communities. Our streets will be safer. Our hearts will be lighter. This is extremely important. We, in this Party, will not be voting for Bill No. 9 because we did not, as we stated, agree with the process that was undertaken by the government. However, in the interests of making sure that the ambulances are back on the road, the paramedics are back to work and the trust and the safety of Nova Scotians is in place, we will agree, following 15 minute speeches by each of the three Leaders, to allow Bill No. 9 to come to a vote. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, today, the process has worked. I think it is the wish and the prayer of all Nova Scotians, as we go through this year and into the new millennium, that the process keeps working. Thank you very much. (Applause)

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

[Page 1259]

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on third reading of Bill No. 9. I want to say at the outset, let's not forget a couple of things. First of all, let me say that I think all members feel somewhat relieved and feel some pleasure at being able to see an agreement on a compromise that was put forward yesterday, in effect by the paramedics and by the NSGEU, that I wish we had been able to sort out yesterday. I accept some responsibility as a member of this Legislature for us not having been able to sort that out yesterday.

I say that because, as pleased as we are that we were able to get an agreement today, and it is good that we were able to do that, the fact remains that these women and men went on strike as a result of our inability to achieve a resolution to the problem that was outstanding, which was a particular clause in this bill yesterday, these women and men were forced to go on strike. Those people will feel and will suffer the consequences of that, emotionally and otherwise, Mr. Speaker, for some time because, as I suggested before in debate, it is a very difficult decision to make and once you make that decision, then it is a whole difficult emotional turmoil that an individual goes through. I wish they had not had to go through that.

We don't feel any differently about this bill than we did, and it is not a surprise to any member of government, I am sure, when it was first introduced. It is a bad bill. It is a heavy-handed bill. It is mean-spirited, it is wrong-headed and it simply should not be in this House. It is a bill that took away the rights of these workers to bargain collectively and it is now a piece of legislation which requires these workers, by legal means, to return to work against their will. I am opposed and my colleagues in the New Democratic caucus are opposed, to such a bill, Mr. Speaker.

I believe we have seen that negotiations can work, that negotiations often work. You have to have faith, you have to have confidence, you have to have courage and respect for the women and men who are bargaining on both sides of the table, to be able to come to a resolve. Until this government understands that, we are going to continue running into problems when it comes to collective bargaining experiences with public servants in the Province of Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker.

As I have said, we recognize, this government is intent on this course. I wish they hadn't done this. I wish they could have somehow intervened in a way that was much more positive and constructive in order to see this settlement happen. I say, again, in this House, my respect for the women and men who work as paramedics in the Province of Nova Scotia have fought a long battle to try and bring about some changes to the working conditions to try to upgrade their standards, to try to ensure that the service that they provide to the people of Nova Scotia is of the highest quality. At the same time, they have had to fight a pitch battle against government after government, employer after employer, to try to get their working conditions and their wages and other remuneration to represent the level of professionalism,

[Page 1260]

the level of skill that they bring to their job. I hope this arbitration is a step in the direction of improving that situation for those people.

I want to make one last comment on this whole question of binding arbitration. The Minister of Health said this government has profound faith in the binding process method of collective bargaining, something like that. Clearly, they are enamoured with binding arbitration. I just say to the minister, don't go there. The only way binding arbitration is going to work is if the two parties agree to it. When I say the two parties, I mean the employer and the union, which means the membership. Don't accept a tentative agreement as being an agreement by the union, it has to be ratified. That is a democratic organization and there has to be agreement by the membership, but that is the only way binding arbitration is going to work. You can't impose it on people; let them come to it. It does work in certain circumstances, but it does have many flaws. I ask the minister and his government to maybe think about this in a different way and think about the options that are available in order to make sure that we don't run into these kinds of problems with collective bargaining again.

Let me say in conclusion that I am glad we were able to find a resolve today to the one sticking point that was remaining and that was the whole question of retroactivity. We played a small part in that, the major role was played by the paramedics, their union and the employer in coming to this agreement. All we have done is amend the legislation to recognize their right to have done that, something that was advocated some time ago. I wish it hadn't taken so long.

Again, I say that my heartfelt respect goes out to the women and men, the paramedics who came down here, who have fought, who ended up being forced to go on strike and are out there right now trying to deal with the emotional turmoil of what this legislation, in fact, means.

Mr. Speaker, I don't think we treated these women and men very well in this process, and I think we need to reflect on that as legislators. My colleagues and I will not be supporting Bill No. 9 but, in the spirit of trying to get this matter resolved, we have agreed to allow it to pass and be voted on today. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak for a few minutes about Bill No. 9. I can begin by saying, about 18 or 19 hours ago I didn't feel as good as I feel now, and I think the feeling would be shared by most members of this House. I want to thank the other two Parties. I must say I would not have said thank you to either Party yesterday, but today, when we did get the cooperation and were able to move this forward, I want to tell all members of this House that I do appreciate that you did allow this to move forward and we could stop something before it really started. (Applause)

[Page 1261]

Mr. Speaker, this bill was introduced in the interest of the public safety of Nova Scotians. As Minister of Health, I became aware, a couple of weeks ago, that the contingency plan that was put forth by EMC was based on the fact that there had been an early agreement between the employer and the bargainer, the NSGEU, that paramedic service would continue to be provided in the event of any work stoppage, at least for emergencies. When it became clear that that service could no longer be delivered, or at least delivery guaranteed, I felt that it was my duty as protector of the health and safety of Nova Scotians, or at least one aspect of that, that this bill had to be presented. I am pleased that we were able to move it forward today because the employer and the NSGEU got back to the table and worked something out.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased, because yesterday when we were approached about this, people were looking to have a political solution imposed. Our position then was that we were not going to impose a political solution on all of those items to which the parties had not agreed. Thus I am pleased to say that the movement today was because the parties got back to the table and they straightened out a fundamental difference. That fundamental difference is not now going to have to go to an arbitrator or be dictated. We said all along, once the parties agree, one of the fundamental principles in introducing in this bill - and I said it every time I was questioned about it - I hope the parties get back to the table and can straighten it out. I said it last night at 2:00 a.m. and I said it this morning at 7:55 a.m. I am pleased, Mr. Speaker, that it happened.

[5:45 p.m.]

I am not really proud of the bill, but it was necessary. This service has to be continued. It is a vital service. Our position on binding arbitration, which has worked, in a number of cases - I don't like binding arbitration much more than anybody else does. I prefer to see things settled at the table, but sometimes the sides reach a point where they need an objective, outside opinion to enable a fair settlement to be reached. That will be done, Mr. Speaker.

In closing, I would like to thank the NSGEU for their promise to ensure that the paramedics get back on the job just a quickly as it is possible. I am closing, too, Mr. Speaker, to say that I am relieved that I now know that there is going to be a better ground ambulance services, first responder service in place tonight than there was last night. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health has left me a couple of minutes. I am on my feet with few intentions, but I did want to, first of all, make comment to the professional decorum that the paramedics showed in their long vigil here in the last two days. I can't recall a group that had so much at stake that maintained themselves in such a professional way, during what was, for them, a very difficult time. (Applause)

[Page 1262]

I also want to thank those who, for the last number of hours, have been providing the contingency services around the province, the firefighters, the police officers, the volunteers, all of those who jumped into the breach and served the people of the province through a difficult time. They will be as relieved as anyone to see the paramedics back on duty in the next few hours.

I think there is a lesson here that all of us are prepared to accept, that the Legislature is no place to negotiate a contract. I would like to thank the two Opposition Parties, who had some fundamental problems with this bill, but were able to put that behind them and were able to look at the overall good that the bill provided and that is to get the workers back to work and a solution in place that will bring an end to these long and very difficult negotiations. So I do give my thanks to both Opposition Parties for their cooperation in what was, for all of us, a very difficult situation. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 9. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

A recorded vote is being called for.

Are the Whips satisfied?

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[5:50 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Chataway Mr. MacAskill

Mr. Christie Dr. Smith

Mr. Baker Mr. MacLellan

Mr. Russell Mr. Downe

Dr. Hamm Mr. Manning MacDonald

Mr. LeBlanc Mr. Holm

Mr. Muir Mr. Robert Chisholm

Miss Purves Ms. Maureen MacDonald

Mr. Fage Mr. Corbett

Mr. Balser Mr. Epstein

Mr. Parent Mr. Estabrooks

Ms. McGrath Mr. Deveaux

Mr. Olive Mr. Dexter

Mr. DeWolfe Mr. Gaudet

Mr. MacIsaac Mr. MacKinnon

Mr. Rodney MacDonald Mr. Samson

[Page 1263]

Mr. Taylor Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Dooks Mr. Wilson

Mr. Langille Mr. Pye

Mr. Morse Mr. John MacDonell

Mr. Carey

Mrs. Baillie

Mr. Hendsbee

Mr. Morash

Mr. Chipman

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Hurlburt

THE CLERK: For, 28. Against, 20.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried. (Applause)

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now adjourn to meet again on Monday at the hour of 3:00 p.m. and we will sit until 11:00 p.m., or we will quit earlier if the Government Business is completed. We will have the daily routine, followed by Supply and then we will do second reading of Bill No. 7, Bill No. 8 and Replies to the Speech from the Throne, if there is sufficient time.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn until Monday at 3:00 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 5:53 p.m.]