The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD
01-13

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

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

Available on INTERNET at http://www.gov.ns.ca/legi/hansard/

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

Second Session

MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2001

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 351, Health: Mouth Cancer Awareness Day (09/04/01) -
Recognize, Hon. J. Muir 840
Vote - Affirmative 840
Res. 352, Sports - Curling: Colleen Jones Team - World Champs Congrats.,
The Premier 840
Vote - Affirmative 841
Res. 353, Nat. Res. - Nat'l. Wildlife Week (08-14/04/01): Recognize -
Conservation Encourage, Hon. E. Fage 841
Vote - Affirmative 842
Res. 354, Health: Frosst Health Care Foundation - Thank, Hon. J. Muir 842
Vote - Affirmative 843
Res. 355, Ile Haute - Wilderness Designation: Cumberland-
Colchester MP/Cumberland South MLA - Efforts Support,
The Premier 843
Vote - Affirmative 844
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 22, Liens Act, Hon. M. Baker 844
No. 23, Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act,
Hon. M. Baker 844
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 356, Sports - Curling: Colleen Jones Team - Applaud,
Mr. J. MacDonell 844
Vote - Affirmative 845
Res. 357, Sports - Curling: Colleen Jones Team - Victory Congrats.,
(by Mr. W. Gaudet), Mr. B. Boudreau 845
Vote - Affirmative 846
Res. 358, Vimy Ridge - Anniv. (84th): Participants - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Steele 846
Vote - Affirmative 847
Res. 359, Econ. Dev. - Tesma: Expansion - Congrats.,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 847
Vote - Affirmative 847
Res. 360, Educ. - Janitorial Strike: Gov't. (N.S.) - Settle,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 848
Res. 361, Rodgers, Kent: Gene Kinch Mem. Award - Congrats.,
Dr. J. Smith 848
Vote - Affirmative 849
Res. 362, Scott, Carolyn - Eastern Passage-Cow Bay Lions Club:
Volunteer of the Year (2001) - Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 849
Vote - Affirmative 850
Res. 363, Katikos, Rena - C.B.-Vic. Reg. Sch. Bd.: French Language
Speaking Comp. - Congrats., Mr. K. MacAskill 850
Vote - Affirmative 850
Res. 364, Almond, Alice: Abbass Award (UCCB) - Congrats.,
Mr. F. Corbett 851
Vote - Affirmative 851
Res. 365, Educ. - Spending: Min. - Re-Examine, Mr. R. MacKinnon 851
Res. 366, Chebucto Links - Vial of Life Prog.: Participants -
Congrats., Mr. H. Epstein 852
Vote - Affirmative 852
Res. 367, Can. Peacekeeping Service Medals - C.B. Ceremony:
Recipients - Congrats., Mr. Manning MacDonald 853
Vote - Affirmative 853
Res. 368, Transport. & Pub. Wks./Tourism & Culture -
Swissair Memorial: Parking - Review, Mr. W. Estabrooks 853
Res. 369, Vimy Ridge - Anniv. (84th): Sacrifice - Reflection,
Mr. D. Wilson 854
Vote - Affirmative 855
Res. 370, Commun. Serv. - Seniors Residence (Arnold Dr., Spryfield):
Elevator - Fund, Mr. Robert Chisholm 855
Res. 371, Cellucci, Hon. Paul - Ambassador (Can.): Appt. - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 856
Vote - Affirmative 856
Res. 372, Health - Hepatitis C: Victims - Compensation Pkg.,
Mr. D. Dexter 856
Res. 373, Educ. - Janitorial Strike: Student Safety - Ensure,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 857
Res. 374, Gillespie, Brian & Thelma: Anniv. (50th) - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Holm 858
Vote - Affirmative 858
Res. 375, Van Slyke, Kelly - Figure Skating: Achievements - Congrats.,
Mr. J. MacDonell 858
Vote - Affirmative 859
Res. 376, Educ. - Student Council Presidents: Prov. Council Assoc. -
Formation, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 859
Vote - Affirmative 860
Res. 377, Eastern Passage Educ. Ctr. - Call to Remembrance (2001) Comp.:
Gold Medal - Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 860
Vote - Affirmative 861
Res. 378, Deveaux, Jean Marie - Royal Cdn. Legion: Zone Commander -
Appt. Congrats., Mr. F. Corbett 861
Vote - Affirmative 861
Res. 379, Tourism & Culture - Hotel/Innkeeping: Operators - Assist,
Mr. H. Epstein 861
Res. 380, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Rte. 376/Priority List:
Pictou West MLA - Notify, Mr. W. Estabrooks 862
Res. 381, Econ. Dev.: Dist. 18 Bus. & Dev. Assoc. - Commend,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 863
Vote - Affirmative 863
Res. 382, Maple Leaf Foundation - Auburn Drive HS/Boston Latin Sch.
Exchange: Participants - Congrats., Mr. D. Dexter 863
Vote - Affirmative 864
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. W. Estabrooks 865
Mr. R. MacKinnon 868
Mr. M. Parent 872
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 5:22 P.M. 876
HOUSE RESUMED AT 9:25 P.M. 876
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 11, Financial Measures (2001) Act 876
Mr. D. Downe 876
Adjourned debate 885
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Apr. 10th at 12:00 p.m. 886

[Page 839]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2001

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

4:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, I will just mention that today is the birthday of the honourable member for Preston, 41 years old. (Applause) Yesterday was the birthday of the honourable member for Pictou Centre, age unknown. (Applause)

AN HON. MEMBER: Was he 41 as well?

MR. SPEAKER: He is 41 as well, plus. Are there any other birthdays before we move on? (Laughter)

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

839

[Page 840]

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 351

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

Whereas this year in Nova Scotia 100 individuals will be diagnosed with mouth cancer and 45 individuals will die; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Dental Association and the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry are conducting a Public Mouth Screening Clinic on April 9th, April 10th and April 12th; and

Whereas the clinic will help raise public awareness of the dangers of mouth cancer and is the first of its kind to be conducted in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize April 9, 2001 as Mouth Cancer Awareness Day in Nova Scotia, and thank both the Nova Scotia Dental Association and the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry for their efforts to create awareness of this medical condition.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 352

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

[Page 841]

Whereas on Saturday, April 7th, Nova Scotia's Colleen Jones and her teammates Kim Kelly, Mary-Anne Waye and Nancy Delahunt defeated Sweden to win the women's world curling championship; and

Whereas this tournament demonstrated Team Canada's great determination in that they lost their first two games and came back to win the next nine games in a row; and

Whereas this victory is a source of great pride for Nova Scotia and for all of Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Colleen Jones and her team for proving what Nova Scotians have known for a long time, that they are the best curlers in the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Standing Ovation)

Just for the information of the members, before Ms. Jones and her team left, I called on behalf of all members and wished them all the best, and, as well, invited them to visit the House upon their return. They will be, I believe, with their children as well, so we can expect to see them here in the next few days.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 353

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

Whereas the week of April 8th to 14th is National Wildlife Week, a week that focuses on the importance of wildlife and the need to conserve this nation's wildlife and its habitat; and

[Page 842]

Whereas this year's theme for National Wildlife Week, Our Community Includes Wildlife, Does Yours?, challenges all Canadians to initiate projects that will benefit wildlife throughout our communities; and

Whereas Nova Scotians are encouraged to participate in this week's special activities, including nature hikes, community cleanups, birdhouse building and special lectures in order to pay tribute to Canada's beautiful and diverse wildlife;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the importance of conserving the diversity of wildlife species and the integrity of wildlife habitat throughout this province, not just during National Wildlife Week but every week.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 354

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

Whereas the Frosst Health Care Foundation was established in 1998 as a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of patients in health care policy and health care reform; and

Whereas the Frosst Health Care Foundation is regionally represented across Canada, and the Director representing Nova Scotia is Mr. Ian Thompson; and

Whereas the foundation board held its first Atlantic Canada meeting in Halifax on April 6, 2001, and during its meeting released the publication, Speaking for Ourselves;

[Page 843]

Therefore be it resolved that this House thanks the Frosst Health Care Foundation for providing national advocacy to ensure that patients are the first priority within the Canada health system, and wish it every success in its future activities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West, on an introduction.

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce to you and through you to all members of the House Mr. Tom Ripley from Sydney River, Nova Scotia. Mr. Ripley is a member of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service. He has done a tremendous amount of public relations work with the Cape Breton Regional Police Service. He is a very lively and vivacious community activist in and about the community of Sydney River. He is a constituent of mine and a good friend. I would ask if all members would be kind enough to extend the warm welcome of the House to Mr. Tom Ripley who is sitting in the west gallery. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly we extend a warm welcome to the visitor in the gallery today.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 355

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

Whereas Ile Haute is a unique island located in the Bay off Fundy, just off Cape Chignecto, that has been declared surplus by the federal government and is scheduled to be sold; and

[Page 844]

Whereas Ile Haute has an interesting history filled with legends and history involving French and English settlers and the native community and boasts 300 foot cliffs and nesting sites for peregrine falcons and other endangered species; and

Whereas Cumberland-Colchester MP, Bill Casey, recently met with the Honourable David Anderson, the federal Minister of Environment, to further the case supporting the designation of Ile Haute as a wilderness preservation area;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House support Mr. Casey and the member for Cumberland South as they work to ensure Ile Haute is designated as a wilderness preserve and contact the federal Minister of Environment indicating this Legislature's support for the proposal.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 22 - Entitled an Act to Codify and Reform the Law Respecting Liens on Personal Property. (Hon. Michael Baker)

Bill No. 23 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees. (Hon. Michael Baker)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 356

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

[Page 845]

Whereas on Saturday past, Nova Scotia's Colleen Jones and her team of Kim Kelly, Mary-Anne Waye, Nancy Delahunt and Laine Peters won the women's world curling championship at Lausanne, Switzerland; and

Whereas showing true grit, Ms. Jones and her teammates rebounded from two opening losses to go undefeated on their way to the crown; and

Whereas the Jones' fivesome are a true inspiration to Nova Scotians who, like NDP Leader Helen MacDonald and the Premier, e-mailed their congratulations and admiration for their feat of finally making it to the top on their third trip to the Worlds;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join with all Nova Scotians in applauding the wonderful showing of Colleen Jones and team and for putting Nova Scotia curlers on the world map.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 357

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Colleen Jones rink from the Mayflower Curling Club in Halifax won the women's world curling championship on Saturday in Lausanne, Switzerland; and

Whereas the rink, after losing its first two games in the tournament, showed true grit by winning all of their remaining games in the round robin and the playoffs; and

[Page 846]

Whereas the team was encouraged in their march to the championship by the hundreds of supportive e-mails that were sent by Nova Scotians throughout the duration of the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations to skip Colleen Jones, mate Kim Kelly, second Mary-Anne Waye, lead Nancy Delahunt and fifth Laine Peters on their outstanding victory at the world curling championship.

[4:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 358

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

Whereas on April 9, 1917 the Canadian-led assault on Vimy Ridge began; and

Whereas the capture of Vimy Ridge was a decisive victory for the Allied Forces in World War I and marked a turning point in Canada's progress as a nation; and

Whereas 10,602 Canadians were killed or wounded at Vimy Ridge;

Therefore be it resolved that on this day, the 84th Anniversary of the assault on Vimy Ridge, this House acknowledge with gratitude the courage and sacrifice of all those who have fought to keep Canada a free and democratic country.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 847]

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 359

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

Whereas Tesma Precision Finished Components of Sydney announced the creation of 100 new jobs and the acquisition of a neighbouring building and the purchase of more equipment today; and

Whereas thanks to the provincial and federal governments, this agreement will allow Tesma to enhance their production of auto parts to companies such as General Motors; and

Whereas the previous Liberal Government played a key role in securing previous financing for Tesma;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Tesma for their new expansion and also for their outstanding commitment to the community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

[Page 848]

RESOLUTION NO. 360

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

Whereas the lowest paid employees of the Halifax Regional School Board are paying the highest price for years of provincial underfunding and a terribly misguided amalgamation; and

Whereas the deteriorating situation in metro schools during the board's dispute with its janitorial staff is the latest result of the province's deliberate neglect of education in metro; and

Whereas this province has stood by as the school boards try to break the strike and force people earning $15,000 a year to accept a contract that provides even less than they had enjoyed;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the government to take an active role to settle the current dispute at the Halifax Regional School Board with fair funding of daily cleaning, maintenance and other tasks that are essential for quality education in clean, healthy schools.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 361

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

Whereas annually, organizers of the SEDMHA International Hockey Tournament honour an outstanding supporter with the Gene Kinch Memorial Tournament Marshal honour; and

Whereas the recipient of such an award personifies the namesake in that he or she possesses qualities of dedication, unselfishness and great zest for the sport of hockey; and

Whereas this year's recipient, Mr. Kent Rodgers, has spent the past 30 years playing, coaching, refereeing and holding various elected positions in the Dartmouth Whalers' Hockey organization;

[Page 849]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate and thank Mr. Kent Rodgers for his many years of dedication to the sport of hockey and extend to him our best wishes in the times ahead.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 362

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 heart and soul of any community is its volunteers, who give endlessly of their time and energy to improve the lives of residents; and

Whereas Carolyn Scott of Cow Bay has provided countless hours of volunteer labour for numerous causes in the Eastern Passage-Cow Bay area; and

Whereas Carolyn Scott's activities have included, among others, the steering committees for Tallahassee Community School, Eastern Passage Education Centre, the community garden, the CAP site, the Cow Bay Benevolent Society and the Fishermen's Cove Development;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Carolyn Scott on being recognized by the Eastern Passage-Cow Bay Lions Club as Volunteer of the Year for 2001.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 850]

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. 363

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

Whereas Rena Katikos finished in first place for the second time in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board French language public speaking competition; and

Whereas Rena will be competing in the Dartmouth Provincial Concours in Dartmouth on April 21st; and

Whereas both Rena's mother and father and siblings Ariana and Gabriel, are extremely proud of her;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Rena Katikos on her first place victory in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board French language public speaking competition and wish her well in her competition on April 21, 2001.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

[Page 851]

RESOLUTION NO. 364

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

Whereas the University College of Cape Breton honours individuals who have contributed to the promotion of employment opportunities for young people in Cape Breton; and

Whereas the Abbass Award is the University College of Cape Breton Student Union's highest award; and

Whereas the individual honoured with the Abbass Award this year is Alice Almond, the Manager of Cape Breton Response Strategy;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature join in recognizing Alice Almond for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of entrepreneurial opportunities for young people and for having won the Abbass Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 365

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

Whereas according to the supplementary details for the budget within the Department of Education, this department paid over $184,000 in hotel bills in the past fiscal year; and

Whereas the minister belongs to a government that says every penny counts; and

[Page 852]

Whereas children in some of our schools are forced to pay for their own paper due to fiscal restraint at the departmental level;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education re-examine her department's spending habits and cut the frills instead of cutting short our children's education.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 366

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

Whereas Chebucto Links is a non-profit seniors' outreach program which has operated in District No. 14, Halifax Chebucto, since 1995, helping seniors to live independently and safely in their neighbourhoods; and

Whereas Chebucto Links will provide to seniors, for the first time in Halifax, free access to the Vial of Life kit, a program which provides vital medical information for emergency personnel responding to a crisis situation; and

Whereas Chebucto Links has an objective to distribute 5,000 kits in Halifax Chebucto at information clinics to be held at Lawtons and Sobeys locations each month;

Therefore be it resolved that Chebucto Links and their partners in the community be recognized for the vital service they provide to seniors and be congratulated in this good neighbours project.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

[Page 853]

RESOLUTION NO. 367

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

Whereas Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medals are given to Canadians who were deployed outside Canada for a minimum of 30 days in a peacekeeping unit of the Canadian Forces, or acted in direct support of a unit; and

Whereas on Saturday, over 50 members of the Major General Lewis MacKenzie Peacekeepers' Chapter of Cape Breton received Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medals; and

Whereas the ceremony, which took place at the Victoria Park Armouries, was particularly special because General MacKenzie was on hand to present the medals;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend its thanks and congratulations to the medal recipients for their service to Canada and their effort in the promotion of peace throughout the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request ask waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 368

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 Swissair Flight 111 Memorial at the Whalesback on Route 333 continues to attract visitors; and

Whereas this memorial recognizes the tragedy of this crash and the heroic response of the surrounding communities; and

[Page 854]

Whereas visitors have to contend with inadequate parking facilities at this memorial;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier instruct the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, and the Minister of Tourism to review the need for expanded parking facilities at the Swissair Memorial on Route 333.

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 East.

RESOLUTION NO. 369

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

Whereas the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge, which took place on April 9, 1917, was a pivotal turning point in ending World War I; and

Whereas the victory was not without its losses, with 3,602 Canadian troops dying during the two day battle; and

Whereas Canadian Brigadier General Alexander Ross noted that Canada's efforts at Vimy Ridge helped unite our fledgling country when he said, "It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought then that in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by these brave Canadians 84 years ago in order to secure the freedom that we enjoy today.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 855]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 370

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

Whereas over 40 residents in their 80's and 90's reside at a seniors' residence at 6 Arnold Drive in Spryfield; and

Whereas due to their advanced ages there are frequent medical emergencies and the routine demands of daily living such as grocery shopping that require these seniors to go up and down two flights of stairs; and

Whereas the residents have petitioned successive governments to install an elevator to ease the burden only to be told that funding will be put in the next year's capital improvement program budget;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Community Services explore all available options to find the necessary funding to install an elevator once and for all to make life less stressful and a little more comfortable for our senior citizens who have contributed so much to society.

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 Leader of the Liberal Party.

[Page 856]

RESOLUTION NO. 371

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

Whereas Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci has been named Ambassador to Canada, ushering in a new area of bilateral relations between Canada and the United States; and

Whereas Mr. Cellucci has a demonstrated understanding of the economic and cultural links between Nova Scotia, as expressed during his visit to Nova Scotia for the spring 1999 Nova Scotia summit hosted by then Premier, Russell MacLellan; and

Whereas this appointment is an excellent opportunity for Nova Scotia and New England to solidify our relationship and to put forward issues of mutual interest;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia congratulate the Governor of Massachusetts Paul Cellucci on his appointment as Ambassador to Canada and invite him to Nova Scotia at his earliest convenience.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 372

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

Whereas the victims of hepatitis C in Nova Scotia have been forced to wait years for a fair and equitable settlement from the government; and

[Page 857]

Whereas the Premier made a promise to the victims of tainted blood that he was committed to finding a fair, just and speedy settlement to this long-standing issue; and

Whereas the victims continue to lobby the Progressive Conservative Government to do the right and honourable thing, as has been done in other provinces;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier show some compassion, live up to the commitment he made in March 1998 and instruct the Minister of Health to negotiate a compensation package for the victims of hepatitis C, who have suffered enough through no fault of their own.

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 West.

[4:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 373

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

Whereas recent reports from schools throughout HRM suggest that increased uncleanliness in our schools is becoming a serious concern for students and teachers; and

Whereas one report says garbage cans are overflowing, washrooms are filthy and rat droppings can be found throughout some schools; and

Whereas these problems can clearly have a negative impact on the learning environment and health of both students and teachers;

Therefore be it resolved that this government do its utmost to protect the best interest and safety of students and teachers while janitors are engaged in labour negotiations.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

[Page 858]

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 374

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

Whereas Brian and Thelma Gillespie were married on April 13, 1951 in Moncton, New Brunswick; and

Whereas these two special people will be in the hearts and minds of their seven children and their partners, their seventeen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as they celebrate their 50 years of fond memories shared together as husband and wife;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend greetings, congratulations and best wishes for many more years of good health and happiness to Brian and Thelma Gillespie on the occasion of their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 375

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

Whereas figure skating is an international sport enjoyed by millions; and

Whereas national calibre figure skaters are a pride to their communities and country; and

[Page 859]

Whereas Ms. Kelly Van Slyke, of Lantz, competed in the Canadian National Skating Championships last January;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Van Slyke on her achievements in figure skating and wish her every success in years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 376

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

Whereas on Friday, March 30th, high school student council presidents from across Nova Scotia met at Horton District High School to discuss forming a provincial council association; and

Whereas through this process, students hope to unite in dealing with issues of concern to young people, such as education funding, curricula and codes of conduct; and

Whereas a provincial council association would allow students a greater voice in consultations on matters that affect their education;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the efforts of the high school student council presidents to contribute to the betterment of the education process in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 860]

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. 377

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 Royal Canadian Legion sponsored a Call to Remembrance 2001 Competition for regional junior high school students to test their knowledge of Canada's involvement in past conflicts; and

Whereas the Eastern Passage Education Centre team consisted of Alex Boniface, Timothy Anderson, Monica Henneberry, Donald Ebsary and Holly Maclean; and

Whereas the Eastern Passage Education Centre team won the gold medal at the regional competition and will now advance to the Nova Scotia competition in May in Sackville;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Eastern Passage Education Centre team for their success, wish them all the best at the provincial competition and thank them for helping to keep alive the memory of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 861]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 378

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 in Port Hawkesbury is proud to be the first Legion branch in Nova Scotia to have a female zone commander; and

Whereas Jean Marie Deveaux of Port Hawkesbury is also the first woman president of Legion Branch 43; and

Whereas in her position as the first woman associate member of the Royal Canadian Legion to serve as zone commander, Jean Marie will need to ensure that the branches in Zone 3 are running smoothly;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature join in congratulating Jean Marie Deveaux on her new role.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

Order, please. There is too much noise in the Chamber, you can't hear the honourable members speaking. I would ask the members to take their conversations outside.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 379

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

[Page 862]

Whereas small business operators in the innkeeping/hotel industry throughout the rural areas of our province are constantly facing an uphill struggle to keep their doors open and their businesses operating, despite the high cost for licence fees; and

Whereas the Tory Government claims that one of its priorities is to "make it easier for businesses to start, grow and create jobs by building the best business climate in the Atlantic Region"; and

Whereas the budget introduced last week contains nothing that will help these small business operators maintain and grow their businesses;

Therefore be it resolved that the minister provide some assistance for small business operators in the hotel/innkeeping sector by revisiting the fee policy for the annual "fixed roof accommodation" licence.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 380

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

Whereas Route 376, the Durham-Lyon's Brook Road, from the Pictou Rotary to Central West River, needs immediate attention; and

Whereas this road serves as an important local highway and as a popular tourist route for travellers going to and coming from Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas area residents want to know where this road is on the priority list of the Department of Transportation and Public Works;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Public Works tell the honourable member for Pictou West, publicly, when Route 376 will receive this necessary work.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 863]

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 381

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 March 27, 2001, the District 18 Business and Development Association held its inaugural Annual General Meeting; and

Whereas this group has grown from a group of five, that met over breakfast to discuss common issues, to a group of 50; and

Whereas together they have instituted the Buy Local Program, a program which promotes doing all your business in the community, keeping dollars and jobs at home;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend and congratulate those members of the District 18 Business and Development Association who have worked so hard and given so much to the community of Spryfield and District 18.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 382

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

[Page 864]

Whereas the Maple Leaf Foundation was founded by Bobby Orr, and a group of businessmen in the Boston area, to fund exchanges of students between a Boston school and a Canadian school; and

Whereas in this, its 14th year, the Maple Leaf Foundation used the proceeds from its black tie dinner to fund an exchange of students between the Boston Latin School and Auburn Drive High School in Cole Harbour; and

Whereas Auburn Drive High School students who went to Boston this past March as our Nova Scotia ambassadors of goodwill are Tracy Banfield, Nicole Brooks, Jason Downing, Jenanne Fisher, Michael Fraser, Leanne Hines, Greg King, Jennifer Lake, Allison MacDonald and Meaghan McIntyre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all the students from Auburn Drive High School and the Boston Latin School who took part in this exchange, and thank the Maple Leaf Foundation for making it possible.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 865]

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 Supply unto Her Majesty.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, it is with pride I take to my feet this afternoon to make a few comments on a pressing issue, an issue that is of concern for the constituents of the communities along the Prospect Road. This weekend I took the opportunity, with my wife, to travel a section of the Prospect Road, to tour a couple of places I had not been to for a while. The highlight of the trip, I suppose, was the fact that we went to the SS Atlantic Memorial Park in Terence Bay, a wonderful tourist attraction; a tourist attraction that, along with the many other scenic areas along this road, will attract visitors throughout the summer months ahead.

As you travel down that busy Prospect Road, you travel by some wonderful places, including Golda's Cafe - now there is a woman who is involved in the community, particularly with an incident of some concern to the Minister of Environment and the ongoing problems with the New Era Farms. You also travel by Dow & Duggan which is famous for those pre-built log homes. Along the way, of course, you can visit some fabulous restaurants - and I just want to list them for a moment because they are tourist attractions - whether it is Shaw's Landing in Dover, John's in White's Lake or Holt's at the end of the Brookside Road.

Of course, along the way there are golf courses. And those golf courses, whether it is Granite Springs or Indian Lake, whether it is the driving ranges, the bed and breakfasts along the road, the popular attraction that I mentioned earlier, the SS Atlantic Memorial Park, all of these factors combine to make the Prospect Road one of the busiest tourist roads in this province.

However, along that busy Route No. 333, there is one attraction that does not really deserve any attention. That is along the road there are a number of crosses. I say it doesn't need attention, I believe it is important that we are aware of the fact that those crosses draw attention to the untimely deaths of people because of traffic accidents on this busy highway.

From Goodwood to West Dover, the increasing traffic population results in the fact that the tourist population which tours this riding - as many as 42 tour buses a day from Victoria Day to Labour Day - along with the busy commuters who use this road, we have an increasing amount of traffic on the Prospect Road.

If you remember the names of the attractions that I mentioned, let's look at Dow & Duggan. Do you know that Dow & Duggan was unable to ship out and receive shipments to their pre-built structures business because of the fact the road is in such poor shape. Dow &

[Page 866]

Duggan has customers in Iceland and Europe and it is impossible to move those containers up and down Route 333 because it is in such terrible condition.

That factor of economic development in combination with tourism, has made an active group in my community called the PROS Group - the Please Respect Our Safety Group - to press the Minister of Transportation on a plan for the improvements to the Prospect Road. If you look at the concerns that this group of volunteers - and if I may, I would like to mention three of the main organizers, Linda Keddy, Ed and Pauline Andrews - who have given of themselves tirelessly to continue to bring to the attention of the communities along the Prospect Road concerns about the safety on that busy road.

Let's just quickly look, if I may, at some of the concerns. There are a number of schools on that road and there are concerns with the school crossings and the fact that there is appropriate signage to make sure that visitors and regular users of the road alike are aware of the fact that this is a busy highway and that there are three schools prominently along the Prospect Road.

On the topic of crosswalks, there are a number of growing subdivisions in Brookside, in Pinedale and of course, through the White's Lake area where there are crosswalks that are dangerous. They need more markings and that do need attention on a yearly basis when it comes to budget decisions.

There are number of bridges, Mr. Speaker. The one in particular that I want to bring to your attention, I saw on Sunday when I stopped and had a look at the Shad Bay Bridge, goes over Nine Mile River. It is in poor shape. It has been neglected for a long time, it needs work, and I bring that matter to the attention of the member for Hants West and the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. There is a community further along called Black Duck Run. Black Duck Run has a bridge too, but the problem is that that particular community does not even have a community sign. That is a concern for the people who live in that particular community, but I want to talk about some of the notorious, dangerous areas along Route 333.

[4:45 p.m.]

There are a number of spots, Mr. Speaker, that need immediate attention. There is, for example, what we call locally the racetrack on the long bog. The long bog is the stretch on the Prospect Road where basically the locals decide to have a race once in awhile. That concern, along with dangerous intersections to and from busy subdivisions, necessitates that the Minister of Transportation must tell the residents of the Prospect Road area what his department's plans are for this busy road or, unfortunately, there will be more crosses along that road. I can tell you without getting overly dramatic that those crosses in a couple of cases, are of friends of mine or, in the worst example, a student at a local school who was, unfortunately, killed on this busy road. When it comes to road priorities, all members here

[Page 867]

know that they have concerns, but the criteria for work on roads is what this Party, the New Democratic Party, continues to bring forth. Tell us when, but also tell us why a particular road will receive attention.

Let's look at the factors that I have mentioned so far. There is unparalleled traffic, daily growing, on the Prospect Road because of the growing subdivisions in this area. There is tourism traffic, as many as 42 tour buses a day in the peak of the tourist season. In fact, the Tourism Department of all things ironic that it might be, Mr. Speaker, promotes the Prospect Road as a bicycle tour when it has no shoulders and is even dangerous to walk on, but let's also look at the criteria for economic development, the example of Dow & Duggan, unable to get their goods out to Iceland because of the fact the road is in such poor shape. You can also talk about fishermen who have to bring their goods up the road in small trucks because the refrigerated trucks are unable to navigate part of the road.

The other factor that is of some concern, Mr. Speaker, about the plan for the criteria for roads is when did the road last receive a major upgrade? Now, there is a concern that I think we all can address. There has to be a plan based upon clear priorities - economic development, tourism, traffic. But when did the road last receive work? I want to tell you that the Prospect Road has been neglected for a long time. What is needed is a comprehensive plan so that the people who live along this road, so that the tourists who regularly use it, can look at that road and can say that we have a plan and that plan is for the safety of all concerned.

Mr. Speaker, during the few moments that I have left, and how much time do I have left, if I may ask? (Interruption) I would like to take a few moments to tell you that during my visit to Terence Bay, I had the opportunity to pay a visit with a custodian who is on strike. The Halifax Regional School Board is currently involved in a labour interruption, an unfortunate labour interruption. This particular man who I worked with for many years was a valued and trusted member of the team at Brookside Junior High School. He is a native Terence Bayer. He now lives in Brookside, but that particular man, his name is Ron Harrie, was a valuable member of the staff at Brookside. I was the vice-principal and I thought I knew who ran the school.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, it was the principal, and I thought I knew who ran the school. Of course, Mr. Speaker, it was the principal, but the vice-principal had some say. I want you to know that the most valuable member of the staff at Brookside Junior High School was Ron Harrie. Ron Harrie cared for that school. He cares for it now because, of course, he is on the picket line and he is not allowed to continue to do his job. Now mind you, there is a secretary in that school who is pretty important, too, by the name of Donna Hopkinson.

Let me tell you that this unfortunate labour interruption, Mr. Speaker, needs intervention by the Minister of Education. The Minister of Education should step in there. Occupational health and safety concerns, this should be a matter for the Minister of Labour

[Page 868]

because there are concerns in our schools; they are unsafe, they are dirty, they are unclean. There are young people, who perhaps have problems such as asthma, who are currently staying home because schools in the Halifax Regional Municipality, schools along the Prospect Road, schools that are cared for by people like Ron Harrie - people who want to go back to work, people who are willing to sit down and talk to the employer but the employer, from my understanding, has been complete intransigent, completely inflexible. And what is happening? Our children, my children, are attending schools that are unclean and that are unsafe, and it is being allowed to continue.

It is being allowed to continue because there has to be leadership from either the Minister of Labour, when it comes to an issue such as occupational health and safety or the Minister of Education who should step in and instruct the CEO, and we well know the Minister of Education has concerns about the Halifax Regional School Board's CEO. Those concerns are continually going to be expressed by people like Ron Harrie, by people who have called me. I can mention their names because I have worked with them, by a young man by the name of Danny Gallivan, by concerns from other people who have concerns about what is happening in our area schools.

As I travelled by those school, Mr. Speakers, and we see picketers outside, that is, after all, a very tough decision for someone like Ron Harrie to make. He wants to be at work. He wants to have his school, as he calls it, clean and accessible and safe for the children of that community. Ron Harrie, unfortunately, cannot go to work because he has a belief in the labour process, and the strike that is taking place is a legal one. It is a strike that is on principle and it is a strike that is making the employer pay these men and women a decent wage so they have decent working conditions, decent benefits and that they have a proper way to maintain their schools.

Those are some of the concerns that I have heard this weekend, Mr. Speaker, concerns reflecting on the safety of a road that has been neglected for far too long, concerns about a school system that needs attention. Those are the types of things that I am proud to stand in my place and speak on this afternoon. I thank you for your time.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and make a number of interventions on this particular resolution going into Supply. I wanted to just briefly follow up on the comments that were made by my colleague, the previous speaker, because within the parameters of the issue he raised with regard to the Halifax Regional School Board is, in fact, an issue that was brought before the Public Accounts Committee several weeks ago. An issue to which the government hasn't responded and hasn't provided any leadership despite some very disturbing evidence to suggest that the impasse that is now before the management of the Halifax Regional School Board and indeed the labour component which are now in a legal strike position, could very easily have been resolved.

[Page 869]

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General found great difficulty in doing an audit on the Halifax Regional School Board's books because he indicated that they weren't able to provide vital information that was necessary for the auditor to complete his audit of that school board. You would have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to realize that it is almost impossible, on a $350 million budget, to plan for the next fiscal year if you did not have some of the vital information from the previous fiscal year. That to me could very well be the key to resolving the impasse of the financial difference between what management is willing to pay and what labour is willing to accept.

This is an opportunity for the Minister of Education to show some leadership. It is certainly an opportunity for the Minister of Labour, as the chief administrator of all negotiations in the province, in a rather complex and restricted form of legislation and stewardship to labour-management relations. Now, obviously we know that process. If there is an impasse, we have conciliation; then it goes on to mediation; and then binding arbitration; and - Heaven forbid - the worst case scenario, an industrial inquiry. That is not required at this juncture. Some gesture from the Minister of Labour, and the Minister of Education more importantly in this particular situation, would go a long way to making the Halifax Regional School Board be accountable for what is transpiring here.

What is happening with the students, the teachers, and indeed all stakeholders, is very unfortunate and, I believe, very unnecessary. It is very unnecessary because when you have chief administrative and financial officers within an institution with a budget of some $350 million say that they cannot account for their previous year's financial activities, I have a problem. I have a problem when the Minister of Education will sit quietly and not take issue with that; I have problems when the Auditor General of this province is not permitted to complete his job. I have problems when the safety and well-being and educational opportunities of our children are at risk because of the type of shenanigans going on.

Where is the leadership? Where is the Minister of Education? Where is the Minister of Labour? Indeed, where is our chief cook and bottle washer, the Premier of this province? He had no problem dismissing the fact that teachers were saying that were was not enough money to buy paper for the students in the classroom. What does the Premier say? There should be no problem, there is lots of money in the system. Well if there is lots of money in the system, why doesn't he ensure that there is accountability for that process? Why doesn't he speak to the Minister of Education? Why doesn't he have the Minister of Education contact the chief administrative officers, whether elected or through public-employeeship, and ensure that what is happening with these workers who are on strike is not small-minded political games or some type of a union-busting tactic?

There is an old saying that you pay with bananas, you will get monkeys. I dare say that what this government is trying to do is to force some very good, honest, hard-working people into a very dismal state. It is very unfortunate that these people are out there, and the classrooms are not clean and the washrooms are not sanitary.

[Page 870]

We have heard some very unsavoury published reports in the media about what is happening at these institutions. What is the Minister of Labour doing? Nothing. He is hiding behind his Conciliation Services Division within his department. What about his Occupational Health and Safety Division? What about the health and safety of these children? Is he too busy beating up on his Occupational Health and Safety Officers because they try and do their job? He is concerned about little political agendas or the fact that big business may have some influence with this government. It is a shameful, shameful indictment on any government when you see a junior minister capitulate so early to the forces that are not conducive to good public policy.

[5:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, we saw this minister during budgetary debates. For two hours he incessantly, persistently, stated he couldn't discuss the contents of this secret deal with Meadowview Landfill and the property owners. Yet, as soon as the heat was on his political bacon - and yes, during Question Period - what did he do? He tabled contents. He went to the media and he disclosed portions of the agreement which he said in this House were confidential. How can you trust that minister? If that is what he will do to protect his own political bacon, what will he do on other issues?

He is willing to compromise a confidentiality agreement and he has stated on several occasions during budgetary debates that they are confidential. There is a confidentiality section in that agreement. Yes, he is waving his hands and is jovial and making mocking remarks to himself, I am sure, but that is the type of attitude that got other ministers in a lot of trouble too. That is the type of attitude - that type of bravado and arrogance - for such a junior minister. You wonder why there is such an impasse with the striking workers in the Halifax Regional School Board.

We have a very irresponsible minister, in my view, who is just a little bit haughty and a little filled in the head with the whole aura of being a Minister of the Crown. This is a very serious responsibility. This is not a political opportunity for him to put another check mark on his CV, this is a very serious responsibility for all Nova Scotians. Not for those who can pick up the phone from the backrooms and say, cut the pressure, get those Occupational Health and Safety Officers off the job. They are creating some heat, they are doing their job and that is costing us money. Never mind about the safety, what is more important - us being in operation or do we expect this government to allow these officers to continue to needle us to death?

That would be the argument put forth, but in reality we have some of the finest professionals in this province within the Occupational Health and Safety Division in Nova Scotia. Indeed, the independent assessment that was done after the reshaping and the reformulating of legislation and staffing within the Department of Labour showed that we were second to none in the country. What is this government and this minister doing? They

[Page 871]

are adopting legislation bringing in sunset clauses to eradicate all that good work, they are putting pressure on our professionals and telling them that if they do their job they are going to be either promoted or shovelled into some backroom or even fired or dismissed.

Is that the type of minister, is that the type of Department of Labour that we want? Do we want to go back to another pre-Westray? This is the minister, this is the member who, when he was at the local level, said that he would be accountable. How many times did this honourable member, at the local level, state that he was going to be the spokesperson for his constituents. There would be no changes in his personality or his ability to represent. He would be as honest and straightforward with the people here in Halifax as he was in Wolfville at an all-candidates forum back several years ago.

October 1, 1994, I think would probably capture a memory or two with that honourable minister, not to mention the fact that, well, he was so adamant on the issue of plebiscites, he referred to it as democracy denied, Mr. Speaker. That was his statement in the Kentville Advertiser, Tuesday, September 9, 1997. I will table this for all members of the House of Assembly to review.

What we are seeing here, Mr. Speaker, is a man whose words are not what he says or what he does; they are not consistent. Just in the last week, we have seen him pick up the torch or turn back the hands of time on safety within the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour. We saw what is happening to the Fire Marshal's Office. Yes, that was merged with the Public Safety Division.

You know what is so sad about that? It just downgrades the level of acknowledgement that this government has towards the fire marshall service in this province. That is why they didn't want to proceed with the Fire Prevention Act, despite two and one-half years of extensive consultation with all stakeholders across this province. This government has decided to put it on hold and go with a road show across the province, a select committee. Why? Why wouldn't it even be put to the acid test before this Legislature? If that is not politics, what is?

It is very easy. Anyone who has been around this Legislature knows that certain political interests have been lobbying all political Parties to relax the laws of fire safety in this province for business considerations, and they certainly got through to this minister and to this Premier and to this government. Mr. Speaker, that is very unfortunate.

Do you know what will happen? I will make a prediction. Within the next 5 to 10 years, we will be right back where we were pre-Westray, not just in terms of accidents and deaths in this province, but the cost to employers will go up. Employers are now saving money because of this new Occupational Health and Safety Act and the regulations. Any responsible employer in this province will tell you this is good, but what they are doing is bad. It is bad in the first degree.

[Page 872]

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

The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, in one of Lewis Carrolls' books, Humpty Dumpty is describing a rather heated argument going on between two people and he concludes with the word that argument was glory and Alice responds, "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knockdown argument,' . . . When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

When we come to the topic that I want to bring before the House this afternoon, the topic of globalization, it almost seems like we are in sort of Alice in Wonderland's Humpty Dumpty world where globalization can mean many things to many people, depending upon the person using it. So I want to sort out, in this talk to the House here, four definitions of globalization in order to get some sort of clarity on the definition of this word which means many things to many different people.

The first form of globalization, Mr. Speaker, is religious globalization. It is probably the form, with my background in the ministry and as a professor in religious studies, I am most familiar with. It is also the oldest form of globalization. It appeared very early with, in large part, the growth of the Christian faith out of Judaism, as different followers of this Jewish leader, Jesus of Nazareth, spread out across the known world at the time in order to share their new understanding of faith and their understanding of who this Jesus was: Thomas, for example, with the Coptic Church in Africa, later also taking it over to India; the Apostle Paul, well known, travelling throughout the Roman Empire; and, later, Peter, who, by tradition, started the church in Rome.

Presently, right now, if we skip over 2,000 years, this globalization is still going on and there is a competition, an interesting and, in some ways, troubling competition for global domination right now between two faith traditions. The first is Christianity, which claims about 3 billion adherents in the world and the second is the Islamic faith, which claims about 2 billion. The battleground, although I hesitate to use that word, the conflict is taking place most clearly in Africa, with the north part of Africa being dominated by the Islamic faith and the south part by those of the Christian persuasion. There have been strong influences, when I talk about religious globalization, in the North American context, there had been strong influences starting in the 1960's from the East, and from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, particularly in North America, popularized through pop music and through the start of various different sectarian groups.

One form of globalization is religious. The second is cultural globalization. This is something that we are all familiar with, those of us who have had the opportunity to travel outside of our country. I remember being introduced to it very early on, as a young boy in Bolivia. At the local store, I joked with the clerk of the store because I asked for siete arriba.

[Page 873]

The clerk, of course, looked at me as if I was crazy. he must have known I was going to be a politician in later life. Siete ariba is the translation for 7-Up. Of course, this clerk didn't know what 7-Up meant, he just knew seven up. When I went back to Bolivia about five years ago, the cultural globalization took on even greater movement. When I left in the early 1970's, we didn't even have television. It just came in the year I left.

I remember the first hamburger stand in the City of La Paz, the capital city of a million and a half people. When I went back five years ago, lo and behold, not only were there hamburger stands, but there was in Santa Cruz, which had grown to be about a million people, a McDonald's hamburgers. When I went back in August of this year, McDonald's spread throughout the country, in every major city. We have had the McDonaldization of culture - not our Rodney MacDonald, of course, not our Minister of Tourism - but the McDonaldization of culture in other countries. We have sort of cultural globalization, alack and alas no Tim Hortons there yet but maybe someone will rectify that soon. (Interruption) No, no pizzas, well they have pizzas but none of these others.

The third form of globalization, the one more pertinent to our activity as a Legislature is political globalization. Of course, this isn't anything new either. We have seen it with the spread of the Roman Empire, which imposed political hegemony across the known world at that time, not including, of course, China, where great civilizations had been formed before. We saw it in the Middle Ages with the holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne, and then more recently with the growth of the British Empire and the great sort of boasting claim to statement, that the sun never set on the British Empire. Then, of course, in our own day and age, the political power that has reached global stature, in fact, probably the greatest empire in terms of its domination, politically, of any empire in the history of humanity, is the empire to the south of us, the American empire, the United States.

Then the fourth form of globalization is economic globalization. This has been a little slower in coming, in many ways, as we move from the feudal system to capitalism, but with the rise of capitalism in the market economy, because capitalism taught that wealth should increase continually, there was this sort of missionary impulse, which lies behind globalization, that came into the economic sphere that wasn't there in the feudal system, which was fairly static. Then with the collapse of the communist system, this just sort of took off.

Globalization is not new, it is multi-faceted and it is affecting us all. The thing that is new, I think, in our day and age is probably the technology that has allowed globalization to reach all corners of the Earth and to penetrate different cultures and different political nation states a lot faster than before. Marshal McLuhan's global village is now very definitely with us. So it is not new, it is multi-faceted, and it is always controversial. All forms of it are controversial.

[Page 874]

[5:15 p.m.]

I want to concentrate very quickly on the economic and political globalization. In the controversies on political and economic globalization, Mr. Speaker, you see four different positions emerging when you examine the various writers and speakers on it. The first is an isolationist position. I have in my constituency a fellow named Chris who is the leader of the oldest continuing commune, I believe, in Canada. Chris speaks with me very often about globalization. He is very much against it. He thinks it is very bad. He thinks we need to move into these local communes and ignore these wider global currents which he feels are dislocation of society and hurting people.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have capitulation. We have those who say that we are moving to a global economic and political system and that there is nothing we can do about it and, hooray, this is good. Harvey Cox, for example, writes about Pillars of Modernity and talks about the nation state being one of those pillars and as we move into the post-modern society, this pillar is collapsing and we are moving to a global economy.

In between are the two positions that I think, Mr. Speaker, most of us would adhere to - the position I would call a maximalist which is that not all aspects of globalization are good, but nonetheless, most of them are. This would be the position, for example, taken by a business professor, Alan Ragman, who wrote an article in The Globe and Mail about how globalization is benefiting Canadian society as many of our corporations are global and have reached throughout the world.

Then you have those in our society who take what I say is a minimalist position. In Linda McQuaig's book, the Cult of Impotence, or Naomi Klein, I think her book No Logo, claim, yes, we are moving into a globalization. There is globalization taking place, but much of what goes under the rubric of globalization is really a capitulation to multinationals that really is not part of globalization per se, but is a sort of political and economic approach that simply uses the rubric in order to justify its expansion.

In between these maximalist and minimalist positions, Mr. Speaker, I sit in the middle. I like that joke about why the Canadian crossed the road and the answer, of course, is to get to the middle. So I find myself, when I try to position myself somewhere in the middle, in between these maximalist and minimalist positions. Globalization though is a factor, is controversial. It will affect us. We are seeing this in our money supply. One of the reasons why government, not only our government but the government before us, had to deal with deficit overruns and with this massive debt is because we are not in control of our money supply the way we were before so we have to guard it. We have to make sure we are not in debt so that we can be in control.

[Page 875]

Another area it is going to affect us in, and this in some sense is going back to pre-Confederation days, is in trade. Our primary trading routes are going to, I suspect, Mr. Speaker, move from being east-west to north-south, as we once again move back to trading more with the New England States, with the Caribbean and I hope with Latin America in time since I think we have a strong connection with that. In terms of the environment, we are seeing the effect on us as the northern nations - who have a fairly good standard of living right now - pushing environmental issues while the southern nations who are able to compete with jobs and undercut many of our jobs here, but at the expense of destruction of the environment. So those issues are affecting us.

In terms of jobs, many different issues, very interesting, Mr. Speaker, the little riding of Kings North, which is the most important riding in Nova Scotia and the prettiest as well, we know that, but in Kings North globalization has affected us and it has affected the agricultural sector. We have, just up from my road, there is actually a coalition of farms called Kings Produce. Kings Produce now knows that it has to compete globally with not only farmers in the rest of Canada, but with farmers in Chile, with farmers in the United States, with farmers in Europe. How is it going to do that with the climate that we have where the growing season is not very long?

Well, the way it has done it is to take this threat of globalization and turn it into a positive benefit by creating links with the country of Cuba because we have an opportunity there with what has gone on with the United States and Cuba, Canada has a unique opportunity to go into Cuba. They have gone into Cuba and they have formed a partnership there so that they can supply produce year-round into the New England market to compete with produce which comes year-round from other countries. So, globalization is a double-edged sword in some ways.

Mr. Speaker, I think we can't take the isolationist position and hide our heads in the sand; it is here, but I don't think that we have to capitulate totally, instead we have to find our way through this sort of new reality that we are experiencing and to find our way in ways that will be best for the citizens of the Province of Nova Scotia and of the various ridings that we represent. I think that is a major challenge and we are all trying to deal with it in different ways.

I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity to speak to you, and just conclude with a comment from one of the articles I was reading on globalization by Shields and Evans, the Changing Political Economy of Post-War Canada. They conclude on this, and I think these words are important, "What must be remembered in the drive to achieve global competitiveness is not just the importance of a vibrant state sector, but also the importance of preserving policies that sustain the social health and well-being of society as a whole. Enhanced global positioning will mean little if the majority or significant minorities of the nation's population fail to enjoy the fruits of economic growth." So we must be temperate,

[Page 876]

we must be bold where necessary but we must preserve the quality of life that we have here as well in the face of these global challenges.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[5:22 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. William Dooks in the Chair.]

[9:25 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 Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 11.

Bill No. 11 - Financial Measures (2001) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the opportunity to stand in this House to discuss Bill No. 11, the Financial Measures (2001) Act. It is true, I am from Lunenburg West, a beautiful part of Lunenburg County. Of course, Lunenburg County is very beautiful in relation to anywhere in the world. I am very honoured to be the MLA for that area. I am very honoured to have an opportunity to speak tonight on the whole issue of the Financial Measures (2001) Act, an Act that talks about a government that went in an election and said that they were going to do everything in their power to balance the budget and put

[Page 877]

their fiscal house in order. (Interruptions) And like spineless, weak-kneed individuals that they are, they had a chance to do it and they blew it. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. I will throw you all out.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West, I would suggest that spineless is very unparliamentary and I would ask you to retract that, please.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West has the floor, and I would ask you to withdraw that, please.

MR. DOWNE: What, sir?

MR. SPEAKER: Spineless. (Interruptions) Order, please.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West has 45 minutes left, and I would like to see you finish it.

MR. DOWNE: I will withdraw spineless.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West has the floor.

MR. DOWNE: But they are like people without spines, Mr. Speaker, because if they had a spine they would have stood tall and they wouldn't have bent, cowardly bent, and blown an opportunity to do what they should have done. (Interruptions) Is that a wrong word?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West, you have certainly been here a lot more years than I have, and hopefully will be here as long. In all seriousness, the honourable member for Lunenburg West certainly realizes words like that are unparliamentary. I would ask you to retract that and refrain from those types of words in the future, please.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

[Page 878]

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw those comments and thank you very much for your patience. I can't help but get a little exercised when I have read the comments they made during the election campaign, only to find out they were - I can't say that word either (Interruptions)

AN HON. MEMBER: They were playing with the truth.

MR. DOWNE: They were playing with the truth and stretching it just a little bit. They had a chance, they had an opportunity, a golden opportunity, and they blew it. I heard a member across the way who apologized, and I do appreciate them doing that because I think they should apologize to Nova Scotians. They should apologize on a number of fronts. I remember the $46 million fix of Health, and we just finished having the Minister of Health go through his budget estimates. I think Nova Scotians are asking the question, why, why did they have to go borrow $300 million over the budget that they took when they took over, and they still haven't fixed the problem of Health, on borrowed money, some $300 million.

[9:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I think the reality is that particular statement they made during the election campaign was wrong.

AN HON. MEMBER: We didn't realize how bad you . . .

MR. DOWNE: They didn't realize a lot of things, as the member opposite is saying. That is right, they didn't realize because they have never really thought it through, and they haven't got a plan to deal with it anyway. They are stumbling their way through this process of trying to govern the Province of Nova Scotia, and thank goodness they have a federal government under Jean Chretien, a Liberal federal government, and a Finance Minister in Ottawa named Mr. Paul Martin to help bail them out through this stumbling around the block trying to deal with the finances of Nova Scotia. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, is that parliamentary? The member for Yarmouth, his expressions in this House? Is that parliamentary? I personally take exception to anybody, somebody like that doing that, but if it is parliamentary then let him smack his lips all he wants. All they can do is smack their lips over there because those backbenchers cannot do anything else. If they could, they would be doing something about the problems of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Anyway, I am pleased to stand in this House to talk about the Financial Measures (2001) Act. This is a bill that allows this government to treat seniors the way they think they should be treated. This is a bill that allows them to charge $50 to seniors who are sick, who cannot go home, they have no place to go. That is what this government bill is all about, allowing them to go after and charge seniors $50 because they have no place to go. The poor

[Page 879]

Minister of Finance, I don't know how he sleeps at night realizing he is charging these seniors $50 a night because they have no place to go.

I hear the rabbit tracks in the background imitating a chicken, or was it a turkey back there? Probably closer to a turkey, Mr. Speaker. One thing about it, I can tell that sound a little bit, it is a little muffled back there. Next to the kisses that he was blowing a minute ago, he is now blowing turkey signals. I think these guys are losing it.

But $50, Mr. Speaker, to seniors. I say shame on this government. Shame on this government for charging that. What they need to do - it is clear - is to build facilities to provide the opportunity for seniors to have a place to go. But, no, they don't want to do that, they would rather deal with charging seniors $50 a day in a hospital because they cannot provide a place for them to go.

This is a government that treats seniors very poorly, in my view. This is a government that has gone after seniors on user fees - or hidden taxes, as I call it - for a long time, since they have been in power. That same government that wants to go after seniors in a heartless way is the same government that turns around and says that they want to move the agenda forward and the only way to do it is to tackle seniors.

In the bill itself, and I don't want to digress too far in the preamble of the debate, so I will go into some of the detail of the bill. I think it has been kind of slick on their part to mask their overall agenda, and that is to take advantage of seniors and municipalities.

AN HON. MEMBER: Bracket creeping.

MR. DOWNE: Well, if we are going to go after bracket creeping, we have talked about that today, and in fact we have been talking about that with the minister, about bracket creep. The minister would not admit that when they give this so-called 10 per cent reduction, whether part of that reduction will be really part of the bracket creep or not.

The minister would not say no, he didn't say yes; in fact he didn't say anything on the issue. He kept saying well, it will be my choice. Later on, I will decide how I am going to do that, the year 2000, 2003, 2004. So the question of bracket creep, that is really a tax grab, $25 million-plus to the government and that is taxing Nova Scotians who are working. Without them having any raise in their income, they are going to be taxed by this government, an additional tax. By the way, this is that Conservative Government that went on record as saying, we will not increase taxes. Yet, they continue to do so day after day.

So they want to talk about amendments to the Assessment Act, downloading to the municipalities and the towns. Boy, I tell you, they are not happy about this. I wouldn't want to be the minister responsible. I don't know what it is like for him to go around to all the municipalities, I am sure they have some words for him. I am sure they are saying to him,

[Page 880]

you guys promised us in the last election that you were not going to download anymore to the municipalities. Do you remember that? I remember that. I remember them saying, vote for us, municipalities and towns, because we are going to help save you. We are going to be the best person in the world for you. Now they are talking about doing the assessment and downloading the assessment responsibility to the towns and to the municipalities.

My question is, how are they going to do that? What is the process? How are they going to treat the employees who are currently provincial employees on their assessment? Who is going to pay the bill? In some cases, the provincial employees are paid more than some municipalities and some towns can pay their employees. The benefits are different. The salary adjustments are different. So how is that going to work? Are they going to fire all those people and ask them to reapply and then the salaries will be commensurate with what they are paying in the different regions in the Province of Nova Scotia, or are they going to establish a Crown Corporation for which this Crown Corporation, in turn, would come up with another type of salary adjustment?

What is the NSGEU saying about this? What are the municipalities saying about this? I think there is some concern about that. How will those employees ultimately be treated? I guess all of us are concerned about government employees on all sides of this House, that they are treated fairly and with respect. I remember those comments coming from the Conservative Party when they were in third place just a few years ago. (Interruptions) Where we are right now, that is right. We are in third place. That is nothing to be bragging about, but that is where we are. That is the reality. I can tell you one thing, we don't plan to stay here. We don't plan to stay in third place.

The good Minister of Justice over there, here is a guy who negotiates with the First Nations people and they are saying he should resign because of his arrogance and his ignorance and how he is treating those people. At a time when we are trying to build relationships with First Nations people, this Minister of Justice is antagonizing them and he is frustrating them and they are mad. I can understand that because of his arrogance right here tonight. Shame on that minister. Chief Lawrence Paul is not a happy camper and the Minister of Justice knows that, that he is not a happy guy. He is saying he is being blackmailed. Not blackmailed? Well, that is what he is saying. Is the Minister of Justice saying that Chief Lawrence Paul is misleading Nova Scotians?

I will go back to the bill. The municipalities should be part of a process in terms of granting the regulation power. The towns and the municipalities, in my view, have never been asked, at this point. I could be mistaken and I look forward to the minister responsible enlightening me. But the towns and the municipalities should be involved in developing any regulations that affect them. They should not be involved with just a simple, this is what you are going to be or how you are going to do it. The towns and municipalities should be involved in this process with this government that said they were going to consult a lot more and do a lot more. That is what I would hope that the minister is . . .

[Page 881]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable member allow his colleague to make an introduction?

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I do not want anyone to think there is a plot between you and me to slow any of our members down. I certainly would not do that to my colleague but I did want to take the opportunity to introduce to the House, in the west gallery, a distinguished Halifax physician, Dr. Arthur Trenholm. He is an old school chum of Russell MacLellan whom many of you would be acquainted with. He is a constituent of the honourable member for Halifax Fairview. I am sure that the next time he arrives he will know you, Art, and he will introduce you, himself. I really want to introduce a distinguished Halifax physician, Art Trenholm.

MR. SPEAKER: You are certainly welcome to the House this evening, doctor. The honourable member for Lunenburg West now has the floor.

MR. DOWNE: Thank you very much. I, too, want to welcome you to this Chamber and it must be interesting up - oh, I cannot speak to the gallery. Thank you very much for coming.

I am sure if he was watching, the Minister of Justice would know that when the First Nations people get mad, they get really mad. They will be going after him, I am sure, on the issue of how he is trying to play games with them. They like to deal in good faith and so do Nova Scotians like to deal in good faith and that is why this Financial Measures (2001) bill that the Minister of Finance brought forward on behalf of his rag team, his team back there, about dealing with municipalities, I think he is going to have some problems trying to go back to the public and explain this. Just like on the issue of equalization. They are going to have a problem trying to explain that, too.

It is interesting that the Minister of Justice, his municipality, his town, the town that he lives in, a heritage site - Unesco - a beautiful spot, they are opposed to what this government is proposing on the issue of equalization, they have come out officially opposing it. I do not know what the minister and the member for that riding would do. I would think that the honourable thing for the member in a riding that his own town, where he won his seat in his town, is that he would not fight against his own people. Do you know what? Not only in his town, but the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg has gone on record as opposing what that government is trying to drive down the proverbial throats of the municipalities in the Province of Nova Scotia. I would hope that the Minister of Justice, although he likes to have fun in here, stands up and fights for his people and not against them. I will watch with interest that he does.

[Page 882]

These individuals are scared to talk about issues. They get embarrassed, they are shy. They are ashamed of some of the things they are trying to do. That is why they do not want us to talk about them. Anyway, I will move on.

Clause 4. We talk about a $20 fee for registration with the Child Abuse Registry for employment purposes. What crosses my mind is what the Auditor General said. The Auditor General's Report talks about the actual cost of doing the research is the only part of that they can really charge. Everything over and above that is a tax. I just finished talking to that Minister of Finance about last year's $29 million-plus tax grab that he had on Nova Scotians. I look forward to the information he is going to provide for us tomorrow. Where is the analysis to show that $20 is the figure? I do not know. It has not been shown in the House yet that $20 is the actual cost. Secondly, what about Big Brothers and YMCA?

AN HON. MEMBER: Good question.

MR. DOWNE: What about Big Brothers and YMCA? I think the minister responsible should be dealing - these are organizations, Big Brothers & Sisters, YMCA, they are phenomenal organizations. They have done a lot to build character and to help show compassion, love and caring for our young people. The YMCA and the YWCA and Big Brothers and Big Sisters are organizations that all those over there like to show - when it is the right time in their constituency - that they support them. They like to walk around and wear their T-shirts or do this or do that, you know. I don't know why they would not waive those expenses for these organizations. These organizations have a tough go.

[9:45 p.m.]

This government has a history of punishing not-for-profit organizations. Do you remember the Sydney Casino? Do you remember that? That money went to non-profit organizations, food banks. This is the crowd over here, Mr. Speaker, this is that heartless crowd that said that the dollars that came from that were going to go to not-for-profit organizations, food banks; they took it and that Minister of Finance took that money and ran.

AN HON. MEMBER: He has not been seen since.

MR. DOWNE: Yes, that is right. (Interruption) Well, that is what you said you were going to do, Mr. Minister, but you cannot have it both ways.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. (Interruptions)

Order, please. Order, please. Question Period is tomorrow.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West on Bill No. 11, the Financial Measures (2001) Act.

[Page 883]

MR. DOWNE: Anyway, this government is punishing not-for-profit organizations, Mr. Speaker, and they are good at that. They are doing a good job on that and they have a good history of that. They are consistent on that. The minister does not have to declare the profits from the sale of NSRL in the year that he should have. He can elect to do it later on so he does not show any kind of additional revenue. He can take all his windfall profits from Ottawa and try to bury them in slush funds, or whatever he does with them. We are trying to ferret all that out now, but we are talking hundreds of millions of dollars here. If you took the sale of NSRL, the net proceeds of that, plus the money that they have gotten from Ottawa, and the windfall revenue that he received this last fiscal year, you are talking approximately $400 million additional revenue.

So they have a good reason to hide some of that, but at the same time, by Jiminey, the food banks don't deserve any help. The food banks don't deserve any help in this province, that is what they are saying, Mr. Speaker. The food banks and the YMCAs and the YWCAs don't deserve any respect. That is what they are saying and I don't know, I cannot imagine the Minister of Finance being this heartless. It must be his colleagues who are pushing him in that direction as well. So I don't want him to have to wear it all because I know that minister might not be all that heartless, but I know one thing, he does not know how to plan and manage. He does not know what he is doing in regard to the overall affairs of the Province of Nova Scotia. (Interruption)

I think these guys over here get awful worked up, Mr. Speaker. Here I am just trying to talk and they constantly heckle. So, to me, when they get to heckling, it just goes to show you that they are really feeling guilty about what they are doing.

Clause 30 replaces Section 89 of the Revenue Act and it is to do with graduated fine structure. It goes on (Interruption) The Minister of Justice, no wonder the chief is mad at him. It would appear on the surface that the clause substantially is cutting the fines that are levied on tobacco vendors or tobacco wholesalers for offences so that the first-time offence would be minimum compared to what it currently is.

So this is a government that is saying, well, we don't think smoking is a good idea. I agree with them. This is a Premier that has gone out and said everybody should stop smoking and I agree. It is tough. It is easily said, but it is tough to do, but do you know what this crowd is doing over here? Instead of fining people for doing things wrong - the vendors who are doing things wrong - they are going to soften the penalty. They are going to increase the tax and they are going to soften the penalty to vendors. I don't know why they are doing that because that is a big problem, that is a big issue - cigarettes to minors is a big problem. Selling cigarettes to minors is a big social problem and it is a big health problem. I think all members of the House would agree with that. Well, then, why are you lowering the penalty against vendors that are doing something wrong with tobacco?

AN HON. MEMBER: What is that all about, anyway?

[Page 884]

MR. DOWNE: Well, I don't even know if they understand it. My good colleague just mentioned, why are they doing it? I don't understand it. It doesn't make sense to me. Do you know what it sounds like? It is almost sounding like they are wanting things to go wrong. They want to lower the penalty so they can continue - it is not a deterrent anymore. They don't want it to be a deterrent, they want it to be just a little, gentle touch on the wrist. This is that group that is supposed to be concerned about that particular issue of tobacco use in the province of Nova Scotia. I really fail to understand why they want to gut the fines levied against tobacco vendors for doing something wrong.

The government has expressed concern about smuggling, so how do they relax the fines discouraging smuggling? They say smuggling is a problem and any smuggling of tobacco products is a problem. They are saying by lowering the fine, that is going to help stop smuggling. Go figure. How do they figure that? Where is the rationale for that? We don't want anybody smuggling tobacco, but we are not going to fine you anymore if you do. What kind of mixed message is that sending out? Isn't that a mixed message?

Here is an example of what they have done. First offence, reduce the fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 to a fine of $250 and not more than $5,000. They have gone from a $10,000 up to a $50,000 fine down to a $250 to a $5,000 fine and they are saying that is good because that is a good deterrent. I don't understand where the deterrent is here. It is almost saying, I want you to go do it.

If the Minister of Finance, who is responsible for this, really meant what this government is saying publicly about tobacco and about their concern about tobacco smoke and the issue of smoking and youth, why are they saying now they want to reduce the fines? Why would this Minister of Finance want to reduce that? It is not a tax grab, just leave it where it was. You have gone from $10,000 down to $250 - that is not a tax grab - but you would rather do that, you would allow the vendors and the smugglers to pay less in tax but you are going to go after seniors for $50 - go figure.

That is where they are coming from, that is how ironic this government is. You want to go after seniors because they have no place to go, and charge them $50 a day, but if you want to smuggle tobacco into this province, if you want to do something wrong and illegal, we will soften your penalty. We will not charge you $10,000 on a first offence or up to $50,000, we will charge you $250. Shame. I don't think the Minister of Finance understood what he was doing there. I can't imagine him agreeing with that. He wants every cent he can possibly get. (Interruptions) Who promised they would eliminate it? Stockwell Day's little idol over there - that's who did it. You don't have to go on like that, Stockwell Junior over there. I wonder if he has hired some private investigators to check all these things out.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you one thing, I think they have made a mistake on this one. In fact, on the issue of tobacco, the tobacco tax increase, I agreed with the minister. I agreed with the minister and support him for the increase, as long as those dollars - another $20

[Page 885]

million in taxes - don't go into the black hole of consolidated revenue but go specifically for tobacco programs, rehabilitation, education and assistance for those people trying to quit smoking. How many people have ever quit smoking? Put up your hand, how many of you have quit smoking. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. The bottom line is that they should know how hard it is.

I would hope that the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance realize that that $20 million shouldn't go into any other program but programs to help people get over that. Maybe the minister would reconsider allowing smugglers of tobacco off, virtually free, take that clause out, and come up with a program that says we are really going to deal with this issue of smoke addiction, tobacco smoke addiction.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about Clause 19, Municipal Grants Act, the government using grants on the issue of equalization. They talk about grants. This is another thing this government likes to do, it likes to pit one community against another. They have been absolutely brilliant at getting communities upset in this province. I remember when they came up with this idea of Sunday shopping; we will leave it to the municipalities, the towns to decide. Do you guys remember that? All of a sudden they downloaded their responsibility for decision making to the municipalities to fight on an issue that they haven't got the spine in their back to make that decision themselves.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. Honourable member, remember back half an hour ago, I asked you to retract that. I would ask you to retract it again, please.

MR. DOWNE: I thought it was when I said spineless.

MR. SPEAKER: It is the same thing.

MR. DOWNE: Oh, well, okay. I will retract it.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. Would the honourable member like to move adjournment on debate? (Interruptions)

Order, please. The honourable member for Lunenburg West, would you like to move adjournment on debate, please?

MR. DOWNE: Yes, I think I will adjourn debate, I would be happy to do that, only to be able to come back again.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 886]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 12:00 noon. The House will sit until 8:00 p.m. Following the daily routine we will have Question Period, then we will go into Supply for four hours, and then we will return to the debate on Bill No. 11.

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

The motion is carried.

We are adjourned until noon tomorrow.

[The House rose at 9:59 p.m.]