The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Wed., May 30, 2001

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HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2001

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 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, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Kings West:

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House urge the federal Liberal Government to do what is right for the health and safety of our military personnel and ensure a competent and timely replacement for this country's aging Sea King helicopter fleet.

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

I would like to bring to the attention of all members, in the Speaker's Gallery we have Diana and Gregory David. All members will know that Diana works as an assistant in the Clerk's Office and has been there for 13 years. Diana will be retiring tomorrow. She has told us that she wants to do some volunteer work and we have offered that if she wants to volunteer in this House in the fall, she is welcome to come back any time. (Laughter) I ask Diana and Gregory to please rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Standing Ovation)

On behalf of all members and the province, I would like to thank Diana for 13 years of dedicated service to this province.

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The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. JAMES DEWOLFE: Mr. Speaker, through you, I would like to do an introduction of sorts, someone who everyone in here knows. It is also a very special day for Bob Kinsman, the Editor of Hansard. It is his 55th birthday. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I certainly wish Bob a happy birthday on behalf of all members.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 10 - Order of Nova Scotia Act.

Bill No. 12 - Assessment Act and Municipal Government Act.

Bill No. 25 - Justice Administration Amendment (2001) Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 14 - Energy Resources Conservation Act/Pipeline Act.

Bill No. 28 - Securities Act.

Bill No. 31 - Agriculture Administration Amendment (2001) Act.

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

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

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

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the provisions of the Pensions Benefit Act, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Superintendent of Pensions for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise today that I have circulated to my colleagues in the Opposition the following statement. I wish to advise the House that Cape Breton will soon be getting its own night court. We intend to create a summary offence court which will hear virtually all summary offence matters in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The vast majority of summary offences occur under the Motor Vehicle Act. This can include things like speeding or parking violations. This initiative has been in place here in metropolitan Halifax since 1995, and it has worked exceedingly well. We are anticipating the same success for Cape Breton.

Mr. Speaker, we have discussed this matter with members of the judiciary and there is a general consensus that the creation of the court will have a positive impact on court scheduling. Currently, the Provincial Court in Sydney is averaging 90 hearings for peace bonds and summary offence tickets each month. Diverting these cases from the docket means that scheduling challenges are eased, providing more time for more serious criminal cases.

Mr. Speaker, users of the court also benefit. We are expecting the peace bond applications will be heard more quickly. The evening sittings will also convenience our clients. Clients have indicated that the cost and inconvenience of missing a day's work makes it difficult to attend court. With sittings from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. two nights a week, the court is more accessible to the public.

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We will be recruiting two adjudicators from the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, who will preside over this court. This allows us to maximize the use of our resources because we are using facilities in the off hours while improving efficiency and service. We know the concept works. Here in metro, almost 2,700 cases are being diverted from the Provincial Court docket each year. There are four sittings each week in Dartmouth and in Halifax. This is just another initiative in our continuing effort to streamline our justice system to improve accessibility and fairness. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I won't take very long in response to the ministerial statement. I will say it is a good idea, night court works, it is good for people, it does make it more accessible, though, I will say this, to use the words streamline our court system and accessibility in the same sentence, I find quite shocking, really. Cape Breton has suffered over the last 5 to 10 years from closure of courts in smaller communities; whether it be Glace Bay, whether it be New Waterford, or other communities throughout the CBRM or the rest of the Island, all being centralized in Sydney. If we are really serious about accessing justice for the people of Cape Breton and the rest of rural Nova Scotia, if we are really serious about ensuring that justice is not only done but appears to be done, we would be ensuring that we are investing so those communities can continue to have their courthouses.

That is not something this government is talking about, that is not something this government is even interested in. It is interested in a night court and making a very fluffy statement about a night court. Yes, it is a good idea, but in the long run, if we are serious about access to the people of Cape Breton to justice, we have to ensure they can have justice in their own community because a lot of people who may be charged who may not have vehicles, may not have the opportunity to get to Cape Breton and I would suggest what we need, is to ensure they can have access in their own communities. That is what has been taken away in the last 10 years and nothing in this statement is actually going to fix that problem. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I also want to thank the Minister of Justice and his staff for not only providing us a copy, I was even pleased to see I had a personal e-mail

with a copy of his statement as well as what came to our caucus office. I think the minister should be an example for the rest of his colleagues who seem to have a problem providing the same sort of notice as the minister did.

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[2:15 p.m.]

We are pleased to see that the government is moving forward on providing more night court sessions throughout the province. I am pleased to see that there will be night court now in CBRM. I know I had the opportunity to attend a few night courts here in the Halifax Regional Municipality - not as an accused, but both as a law student and also representing some accused and it is an efficient use of the court's time. I hope that the minister and his staff will look at extending night court to other jurisdictions also because I know, having attended court in other areas of this province, dealing with summary offences is time consuming. It creates an awful lot of confusion because you are trying to see if the accused is actually in court, are they not in court, are they represented, not represented. It takes up quite a bit of the court's time and this will be of great benefit to the justice community in the CBRM, especially in the Sydney area, in dealing with these matters in an expeditious manner.

As it has been pointed out by the Minister of Justice, this would also make it more of an accessible system to those accused, especially when it comes to traffic offences and that. People who hold down regular jobs, it is often quite difficult to have the time off to attend court. Unfortunately, the old way in which it was dealt, everything was on the docket and court may have started at 9:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. and you might have been waiting until 2:00 p.m. until yours made it there. I know most judges tried to deal with them as quickly as possible to clear them off the docket, but you never really knew how long you were actually going to be in court. If you were taking time off work, it was quite difficult and night court is a much more easy way to attend court and allows Nova Scotians to be heard when they are accused and asked to appear in front of court.

I also have to take a bit of exception with the minister's statement that this is making court more accessible because this is the actual Minister of Justice, himself, who presided over, I would say, the largest, single number of court closures throughout this province that has ever been seen in its history. I believe the total was between 12 and 15 which were all closed in one shot by this Minister of Justice. So for him to speak about accessibility and increasing accessibility, this minister instead, unfortunately, has shown that he was more interested in preventing accessibility to rural Nova Scotians to access the justice system in this province.

I also want to commend our hard-working research staff who have also raised some concerns about the minister's announcement as to where night court is actually going to take place. My understanding is, in fact, that this government continues to lease very expensive office space from a certain prominent Tory in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. In fact, I understand Mr. Chernin, himself, is the owner of this very expensive space and the Department of Transportation and Public Works has for quite some time recommended that the Department of Justice and Province of Nova Scotia build their own facility rather than continue to rent this expensive space which was initially taken out on a short-term basis.

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Quite clearly, I am sure not only will the justice community be pleased with this announcement, but I am sure that a good Tory contributor, Mr. Chernin, will be happy to see that there will be extended hours leased from his space.

But, with that, I think it is a good news announcement for the justice system in this province and I can only encourage the Minister of Justice to extend this to Nova Scotians in other parts of this province, not only the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Thank you.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 1465

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

Whereas former Globe and Mail columnist George Bain of Mahone Bay will be inducted into the Order of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday; and

Whereas the former director of the King's College School of Journalism had a career spanning 60 years, including stints covering events in the former Soviet Union, Poland and West Germany; and

Whereas other Nova Scotians being appointed to the Order of Canada on Thursday are educator, Kell Antoft of Bridgewater, breast cancer survivor Carol Ann Cole of Halifax, theatre director Sara Lee Lewis of Wolfville and businessman Allan Shaw of Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all Nova Scotia recipients of the Order of Canada and thank them for their contributions to this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1466

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

Whereas the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library has earned the 2001 CLTA Stan Heath Achievement in Literacy Award for its Adopt a Library Literacy Program; and

Whereas Constable John Kennedy of the RCMP in Stellarton founded the reading program and has expanded it to seven libraries in Pictou and Antigonish Counties, with the assistance of 57 sponsors from across North America, including the main partner, Sobeys Incorporated; and

Whereas this program was judged the most innovative of those submitted from across Canada and the award will be presented at the Canadian Library Association Conference Awards luncheon on June 16th in Winnipeg;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all those who have been involved in developing and implementing this unique approach to youth literacy in an effort to reduce crime rates.

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. 1467

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

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Whereas May 31, 2001, is the World Health Organization's World No-Tobacco Day; and

Whereas the deleterious effects of tobacco on health are well documented; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's smoking rate is, unfortunately, higher than the Canadian average;

Therefore be it resolved that all members support the World Health Organization's World No-Tobacco Day and support our government's initiatives to reduce smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke.

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 Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1468

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

Whereas the Expenditure Control Act was enacted in this House as Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1993 to limit government expenditures to a specific predetermined level; and

Whereas the net program expenditures and a net debt servicing cost that exceeds the level authorized under the Expenditure Control Act may only be made after a resolution has been passed by this House authorizing such an expenditure; and

Whereas it is necessary to exceed the net program expenditures and net debt servicing costs authorized by the Expenditure Control Act for the fiscal year 1999-2000 in order that this House honour its commitment to fund an appropriate level of service to Nova Scotians;

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Therefore be it resolved that a sum not exceeding $176,691,942 be granted to the Lieutenant Governor to defray expenses in respect to the following matters: Department of Community Services, $3,061,643; Department of Economic Development, $28,994,653; Department of Education, $96,000,552; Debt Servicing Costs, $26,528,526; Department of Justice, $2,668,423; Emergency Measures Organization of Nova Scotia, $171,741; Government Contributions to Benefit Plans, $144,278; Technology and Science Secretariat, $19,122,126, for a total of $176,691,942.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1469

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

Whereas Lyndsey Horton of Fall River, a Grade 12 student at C.P. Allen High School and the highest rated female Canadian waterskier, has received a full academic and athletic scholarship by Florida Southern University; and

Whereas Lyndsey began representing Nova Scotia at the age of 10 in the 1993 Canada Summer Games and recently represented Canada in a waterskiing competition in Australia, where she finished 5th in the Junior Masters; and

Whereas when waterskiing was dropped as a Canada Games event, she turned her attention to swimming and has made the Canada Games core team and will enter trials in June;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Lyndsey on her achievements and wish her well as she pursues her studies in computer science at Florida Southern University.

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.

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The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1470

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

Whereas the communities of Martins River, Indian Point, Oakland and Clearland formed a Crime Prevention Association in 1999 to promote a safer community environment; and

Whereas this is the second year that the Crime Prevention Association has offered a bursary to area students entering a post-secondary education institution; and

Whereas Danielle Hyson of Indian Point wrote an essay regarding crime prevention and was awarded the $500 bursary for this year;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Danielle Hyson on being this year's recipient of the bursary offered by the Crime Prevention Association serving Martins River, Indian Point, Oakland and Clearland, and commend the association on their promotion of crime prevention.

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. 65 - Entitled an Act to Develop and Provide for the Publication of Measures to Inform Nova Scotians About the Health and Well-being of People, Communities and Ecosystems in Nova Scotia. (Mr. Howard Epstein)

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a second time on a future day.

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NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 1471

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

Whereas this House yesterday resolved to commemorate June 11th as Davis Day and grieve the death of Cape Breton's coal industry; and

Whereas Davis Day has also been known as Miners' Memorial Day since 1939, yet this Legislature has never given official sanction to it as a Day of Mourning for the many who have died in the coalfields across Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Miners' Memorial Day also call for us to reflect upon the need for constant vigilance in occupational health and safety;

Therefore be it resolved that this House calls upon the Minister of Environment and Labour to introduce legislation enshrining June 11th as Davis Day, or Miners' Memorial Day, a day for miners killed, disabled or injured in the course of their work.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 1472

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

Whereas the 17th Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards were held in Halifax on May 23rd; and

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Whereas these awards are given to those Nova Scotia companies and individuals that excelled at exporting their work over the past year; and

Whereas exporting business from Nova Scotia is an essential component of economic growth;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the Nova Scotia Export Achievement Award winners.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 1473

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, previous to doing the resolution in honour of Diana David, I should also mention to the House that Diana, as well as being accompanied by her husband, is also accompanied by another very industrious, hard-working, dedicated employee at the Clerk's Office, who has been there for a number of years I understand. I won't mention how many years, but she has been there a number of years too, and that is Patsy Gallant.

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

Whereas Diana David is a hard-working and valued employee of the Clerk's Office; and

Whereas Ms. David has won the respect of staff and MLAs alike with her efficient style; and

Whereas after more than 13 years of faithful service to this Legislature, Ms. David is retiring;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank Diana David for her many years of service, and wish her health and happiness as she begins her retirement.

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. (Applause)

[2:30 p.m.]

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 1474

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

Whereas watered down national standards for toxin levels in Whitney Pier could be used to avoid relocation of residents affected by these poisons; and

Whereas the Minister of Environment and Labour stated so eloquently yesterday that, ". . . higher arsenic levels might affect lady's slippers, as an example, then that would be a concern if you were a lady's slipper, but we are concerned about protecting people in Whitney Pier . . ."; and

Whereas such statements underscore this government's cavalier attitude to relocation of Whitney Pier residents enduring this toxic legacy of coke and steelmaking;

Therefore be it resolved that this House ask the Minister of Environment and Labour to do his job and stop being the front man for the Hamm Government's fiscal restraint policies on the relocation of Whitney Pier residents.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1475

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Fire Department has provided outstanding service in the community of Bridgewater and surrounding areas since 1876; and

Whereas for the past 125 years dedicated volunteer firefighters and the Bridgewater Ladies Auxiliary have worked tirelessly to serve the people of Bridgewater and to fulfill the department's motto of Ever Ready; and

Whereas the fire department has been an integral part of our community, thanks to the leadership of Fire Chiefs John MacLean, R. Logan, J. Simonson, J. Morris, H. Pattillo, L. Gelding, W. Freeman, Walter Gow, Gordon Snyder, Harold Langille, Frank Gow, William Rhodenizer, Bob Corkum and Reid Whynot;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the volunteers of the Bridgewater Fire Department and the Bridgewater Ladies Auxiliary for 125 years of outstanding service to our 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 Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 1476

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

Whereas Marie MacLeod, a teacher from North Queens High School, has been bringing students to this Legislature for 15 consecutive years; and

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Whereas Marie MacLeod brought her Grade 8 class from North Queens school to this Legislature on May 24th; and

Whereas it was obvious that the students were well prepared for their visit and very interested in the proceedings of the House;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House thank Mrs. MacLeod and her students for visiting this House last week, taking the time to learn about the legislative procedures and the history of Province House and commend this Nova Scotia educator for carrying out this important tradition with her students for 15 years.

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. 1477

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 Nova Scotia School Boards Association honours school board members who have demonstrated exemplary service to public education in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas colleagues at this year's NSSBA conference have chosen Mary Jess MacDonald, a Strait-Richmond school board member, from Queensville, Inverness County, as the recipient of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association's Member Recognition Award; and

Whereas Mary Jess MacDonald has served on the board as an educator in many different capacities at levels from elementary school to university;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of this House honour Mary Jess MacDonald for being the recipient of this year's Nova Scotia School Boards Association's Member Recognition Award and for all of her contributions to the education of youth in province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1478

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

Whereas May 27th to June 2nd is Nova Scotia Access Awareness Week; and

Whereas the week is sponsored by the Partnership for Access Awareness - a group dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Nova Scotians with disabilities by promoting diversity and inclusion; and

Whereas at the Hour Glass Action Awards held today, Keith MacDonald and Donald and Sharron Gunn were honoured for their contributions in creating a barrier-free society;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Partnership for Access Awareness and all participants of Access Awareness Week for promoting principles of diversity and inclusion in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 1479

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

Whereas Brian Langley was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder at the 2000 awards ceremony; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Athletic Federation recently held its Celebration of School Sport Luncheon; and

Whereas Brian Langley, a recently retired teacher from Sackville High School, received the Dr. Hugh A. Noble Memorial Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to interscholastic athletics as a teacher-coach; and

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Brian Langley for earning the Dr. Hugh A. Noble Memorial Distinguished Service Award, and thank him for his exemplary service to young people as teacher-coach.

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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1480

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

[Page 4232]

Whereas gasoline prices are predicted to remain high for the summer driving season in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas high gas prices mean increased tax revenues for this province; and

Whereas this government refuses to give consumers a break by placing regulatory controls over gasoline prices;

Therefore be it resolved that if this government can't give consumers a break at the gas pumps, it give them a break on the roads by committing the increased tax revenues from gasoline sales to roadwork throughout Nova Scotia.

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 Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1481

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

Whereas a science fair project prepared by 17 year old Lindsey Edmunds of Antigonish was recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal; and

Whereas the report is based on a survey of physicians' use of probiotics; and

Whereas Lindsey now holds the honour of being the youngest author to be published in the journal in 20 years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Lindsey Edmunds for this honourable achievement, and send our best wishes for a successful future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 1482

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

Whereas the Annapolis County Rural Beautification Committee, in conjunction with the Municipality of Annapolis County, kicked off this year's gardening season by awarding members of the community for their beautification projects in year 2000; and

Whereas there are six categories allowing for a variety of tastes and talents, ranging from gardens with heritage artifacts, a youth category, a Women's Institute category, and a category for gardens with no flowers, with one stipulation that each garden contain Annapolis County's floral emblem, the red geranium; and

Whereas the winners of the Homeowner's Best Garden category were Claude and Marian Lowe of Lawrencetown, whose hard work was a pleasure to people passing by and is an inspiration and benchmark for this year's contest challengers; and

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Claude and Marian Lowe and the Annapolis County Rural Beautification Committee for their endeavours to create beauty and pride in their communities.

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 4234]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1483

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

Whereas the United Kingdom agricultural industry is experiencing an epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease; and

Whereas the Canadian Food Inspection Agency veterinarian, Dr. Alan MacAulay of Enfield, was sent to England to assist farmers as a supervising veterinarian; and

Whereas Dr. MacAulay's efforts may help to keep the dreaded disease from ever reaching our Nova Scotian farms;

Therefore be it resolved that this government do its utmost to ensure the safety of Nova Scotian farms against foot-and-mouth disease and commend Dr. MacAulay for his part in helping English farmers who have suffered great losses due to this terrible disease.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1484

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 Minister of Finance confirmed our worst fears Monday when he said it was he and not the Premier who ran the province; and

[Page 4235]

Whereas this explains why the government has squandered $613 million in extra revenue, directly contradicting the Premier's pledge to run a more efficient and cost-effective government; and

Whereas this may also explain why the minister has abandoned any commitment to pay down the debt until May 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House should congratulate the Minister of Finance for finally admitting that he is running the province and that he will be the one responsible for running it into the ground.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1485

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps develops self-confidence and leadership abilities, improves physical fitness and teaches about the Canadian Army, priding itself on being the oldest youth movement in Canada; and

Whereas army cadets follow basic military traditions including wearing uniforms and learning of military drills, and these traditions increase self-awareness, personal pride and teamwork; and

Whereas the 2741st Eastern Marine Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps held its 38th Annual Ceremonial Review to showcase their skill and teamwork and impressed their audience with a fine display of military drills;

[Page 4236]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the army cadets, their commanding officer, and the staff of the 2741st Eastern Marine Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps for a splendid show and praise the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps for its influential role in young people's lives.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 1486

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

Whereas on Sunday, May 26, 2001, the Cumberland Shrine Club held another successful lobster supper and fundraiser in the Town of Oxford (Interruption) I am being corrected by the honourable member for Preston. It was on Saturday, May 26, 2001, the Cumberland Shrine Club held another successful lobster supper and fundraiser in the Town of Oxford, serving to a sell-out crowd raising funds again to help with medical needs of children because the heart and soul of the Shriners are Shriners Hospitals for Children; and

Whereas the Shriners of North America have helped 650,000 children to date in their 22 hospitals across the continent, which are made up of 18 orthopedic hospitals, 3 burn hospitals and 1 hospital that provides orthopedic, burn and spinal chord injury care; and

Whereas a 515,000-strong membership have budgeted $567 million this year - yes, honourable members, that is correct, they have budgeted $567 million this year - to health care with no cost to the patients of families for the Shriners;

[Page 4237]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate the Cumberland Shrine Club and all Shriners across North America and thank them for their assistance to the 650,00 children they have helped to date, and wish the Shriners and all their supporters all the best in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I know you will permit me to ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

That is why the honourable member for Lunenburg West had a resolution earlier that was a little lengthy, but we allowed as well.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1487

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the liberal aspect of your job here today in providing a little leeway in acknowledging the Bridgewater Fire Department and the Shriners, both. I congratulate you.

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

Whereas the organization Senior Wheels congratulated George Mitchell for organizing the group's first fundraising campaign in five years; and

Whereas Senior Wheels of Bridgewater operates a shuttle bus service for seniors in the area; and

Whereas in 1999 the bus service carried over 8,000 seniors and covered 39,000 kilometres of roads in Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate George Mitchell for his outstanding contribution to this important volunteer organization in Bridgewater.

[Page 4238]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1488

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

Whereas recently in East Preston the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service, where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached a milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies' auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experience and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged 20 women elders for being a cornerstone of their community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the honoured elders and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:45 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4239]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1489

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

Whereas the Best Western Aurora Inn is a long established, family operated business which has become a noteworthy part of Kingston's appeal; and

Whereas this inn welcomes Kingston's visitors with high quality accommodations, wonderful dining and amenities for banquets and meetings, all with friendly service; and

Whereas a year-round operation enjoyed by the community, this inn employs 20 people and the facility brings business to the area by encouraging Nova Scotians and tourists from out-of-province to come to the Kingston area at any time of year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate owner Maureen Banyard and General Managers Tom and Jacqueline MacNeil on their 20th Anniversary and acknowledge the important role the Best Western Aurora Inn plays in Kingston and the surrounding area.

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 Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

[Page 4240]

RESOLUTION NO. 1490

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

Whereas the Guysborough Waterfront Development Project remains on schedule for an official opening in June; and

Whereas project fundraising and program co-ordinator Kim Avery has said that the project is attracting considerable interest and it is anticipated a lot of boat traffic will be at the waterfront throughout the summer; and

Whereas a fundraising goal of $30,000 has been targeted by the project committee with nearly one-third of it already raised and work continuing through the summer;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs take this opportunity to commend Ms. Kim Avery and her project committee for their determined and dedicated work with the Guysborough Waterfront Development 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 Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1491

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

Whereas on Friday, May 25, 2001, the official opening was held for the Visitor Service Centre on the waterfront of historic Lunenburg; and

Whereas the Visitor Service Centre was built as a result of the initiative of the Lunenburg Board of Trade, chaired by Warren Jollimore; and

[Page 4241]

Whereas the Visitor Service Centre would not have been built but for the collaboration of the community, the Town of Lunenburg, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulates the Lunenburg Board of Trade and the community on the opening of the Visitor Service Centre.

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 Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 1492

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

Whereas over 40,000 student athletes are involved in school sport programs in Nova Scotia, a good introduction to healthy living for our youth; and

Whereas their coaches are an integral part in encouraging and developing healthy living and excellence in athletic achievement through their leadership in sports; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Athletic Federation acknowledges the positives of encouraging athletics in our schools and has awarded a female and male student athlete and a coach chosen by their peers in each school;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge these individuals in schools across this province for their excellence in athletics and their encouragement of a healthy lifestyle.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4242]

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 Environment and Labour.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Just before reading this, I would like to draw the House's attention to David Sheppard. David is concluding a five year stint here as a Page in the House and I think that given that he is about to move on to his next career, we should give him a round of applause. (Applause)

AN HON. MEMBER: Speech.

MR. MORSE: A good idea. I would also like to thank the other Pages for making sure that he was there for this resolution.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1493

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

Whereas Richard Hatch and Tina Wesson proved their durability by emerging the ultimate survivors from the South Pacific and the Outback; and

Whereas we have our own House of Assembly survivor, David Sheppard, who is a five year veteran of the Legislature; and

Whereas David has survived many a lengthy filibuster while still providing attentive and cheerful service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members express their appreciation for our own House of Assembly survivor, David Sheppard, and wish him well on his next career.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4243]

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. (Applause)

Who knows, maybe he will be back someday.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1494

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

Whereas Bill's Store had operated in the Town of Mahone Bay for over 50 years; and

Whereas the Mahone Bay Trading Company, owned by John Bourinot, now occupies the former Bill's Store location and will continue to serve the needs of the residents and tourists alike; and

Whereas the grand opening for the Mahone Bay Trading Company was held on Saturday, May 26th;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate John Bourinot and his staff of the Mahone Bay Trading Company on the opening of their new store in the lovely Town of Mahone Bay and wish them every success with their business.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 4244]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 2:52 p.m. and will end at 4:22 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

HEALTH - CARE: PRIVATE CLINIC - DISCUSSION CONFIRM

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my office has learned that a private health care clinic is in discussions with the Department of Health to provide medical services currently only available through the public health care system. This private business will offer bone densitometer testing for people with osteoporosis, MRIs and other procedures. My question to the Minister of Health is very simple. Will you confirm you have held discussions with the operators for this private clinic, with the goal of allowing private bone densitometer testing, MRIs and other publicly funded medical procedures to be conducted for profit?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, he has been through the garbage can again. Clearly, the answer is no.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the details are not yet final, but the operator of this private clinic says he will make an announcement about the grand opening in the next two weeks. He has office space out in Burnside near the Medical Society building and he plans to open his doors on July 15th. Will the minister detail for this House exactly what services will be offered and how much they will cost and who will pay for them?

MR. MUIR: No.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the minister is considering a private-for-profit health clinic for the Province of Nova Scotia and yet he hasn't informed the public about this profound change in the health care system. I, quite frankly, consider this an abuse of trust that Nova Scotians have placed in this government. Why won't the Minister of Health suspend this plan and begin an extensive consultation process with Nova Scotians before he proceeds further with this fundamental change to the health care system?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I thought we went through this about eight weeks ago and the situation is no different now than it was eight weeks ago. He didn't listen. I don't even want to talk about it.

[Page 4245]

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

HEALTH - PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT POLICY:

MUNICIPALITIES - APPROVAL CONFIRM

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. I would like to ask the Premier a simple question. As a former physician and current Premier, does he approve of the notion of municipalities engaging in a bidding war for doctors?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as the good member for Clare is aware, many communities for many years have engaged in recruiting physicians to come to their area. This is not something new. It is something that has gone on in this province for decades and continues to go on as we speak.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, when my colleague, the honourable member for Dartmouth East, asked the Minister of Health that very same question on May 22nd, he said simply the answer is no. The problem here is about leadership. There are important policy questions that have to be answered and there just isn't anyone on that side of the House driving the bus contrary to what the Finance Minister may have said earlier. My question is, having said that, would the Premier care to share with the House what he is prepared to do in the event that a physician bidding war does break out among municipalities in the Province of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what this province has to be concerned about is not a bidding war between municipalities to attract physicians to rural Nova Scotia. What this province has to be concerned about is the lack of any federal input into an interprovincial arrangement that will prevent other provinces with more money than the Province of Nova Scotia in bidding away all of our physicians from our province.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, what I and I think a lot of Nova Scotians would like to know is simply this. If the Minister of Health is doing such a poor job of physician recruitment that municipalities have to step up to the plate, what is the Premier prepared to do about the Minister of Health?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the good member for Clare is aware that the current government's approach to redesigning the health care system is having a very beneficial effect in terms of what is being made available to Nova Scotians and we will continue to improve the system, the system that we inherited in very bad shape from that government.

[Page 4246]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

FIN. - SENIORS: TAX REBATES/PROP. TAX -

INCREASES CORRELATE

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I am asking this question on behalf of the senior citizens in this province. The maximum amount a senior can collect through the property tax rebate is $400. That amount has not changed since 1995, but I will tell you what has changed since then - the amount of property taxes seniors are paying. That means seniors are falling behind in this province. My question is to the Minister of Community Services. (Interruptions) My question will be to the Minister of Finance. Why have you failed to make sure the rebate programs have not kept up with the increases in property taxes?

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, in regard to the municipal rebate tax program that we have as a government, one of the things that we did when we formed government is we dealt with an inequity that was there, left over from the previous administration, whereby if seniors became 65 after 1995, they were not eligible for it. We have set in motion a process that will make sure that seniors across this province will be treated equally and although the amount is still at $400 maximum for those who qualify, we still believe as a government that we are still assessing senior citizens of this province in trying to stay in their own homes. That is why the program was created and that is why it is still in place.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, it is pleasing to hear the minister say they are still assessing, but it is far too critical now because it has happened since 1995. This government made some progress over the previous Liberal Government which cut off the seniors from the rebate in 1995, but they have also said they are going to keep the maximum of $400 to the year 2003. That is what the government has said since 1996, when the province stated that annual assessments and residential property taxes have gone up by nearly 30 per cent. That means seniors in need of this rebate are 30 per cent further behind because their taxes continue to go up. My question, again, to the Premier is, will you commit today to an immediate review of the maximum rebate and ensure it accounts for the annual increases in property taxes?

[3:00 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for bringing up what is a very important program of this government, that is the municipal tax rebate. As you know, it had been the intention of the previous government to phase the program out. We felt that was grossly unfair and we are in the process of reinstituting that program. Eventually, it will be available equally to all seniors. We are doing that incrementally. This is in response to what we felt was an inappropriate action by the previous government.

[Page 4247]

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, what this Premier is telling us is that he doesn't care if seniors on fixed incomes are able to live with dignity in their homes today; he doesn't care if they are forced out by increasing property tax burdens today. That is a shame, coming from that Premier. I want to ask this Premier to stand in his place today and explain to Nova Scotia seniors why his government doesn't care if they are able to remain in the dignity of their homes today and give that increase this very day.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, one of the great motivations of this government is to respond to the growing tax burden of all Nova Scotians. That is why we are doing many of the things that we are doing, to prepare ourselves to get the fiscal house in order so we can do exactly what that member is suggesting, reducing the tax burden in this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH - PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT:

GRANTS PROVISION - MUNICIPALITIES IDENTIFY

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. Today the Premier stood outside this Chamber and stated that municipalities across the province are providing grants to doctors, therefore, topping up their salaries. My question to the Minister of Health is, can he tell us what municipalities are, at this time, doing as the Premier stated, providing grants and subsidizing doctors' salaries?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I cannot comment on what the Premier said because I did not hear him. I can tell the honourable member, as he well knows, that we are indeed very fortunate in Nova Scotia to have many communities and community organizations working together with the Department of Health to recruit physicians and, in addition, to provide much-needed equipment for individual health care facilities.

DR. SMITH: I am giving the Minister of Health a chance to back up statements made by his Premier about how doctors in this province are paid. The question is, will the Minister of Health confirm that there are municipalities in this province that are directly topping-up the salaries of doctors?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, again, I will go back, I wasn't present when the Premier did his interview. He could answer this. I want to tell you that the Department of Health does top-up salaries for rural practitioners.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I didn't ask him about the Department of Health, I asked him about municipal units. Again, to the Minister of Health, are there municipalities that are directly contributing to the salaries of doctors in Nova Scotia? Yes or no; and if yes, will he table the list?

[Page 4248]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, physicians and other health practitioners go to a community for a variety of reasons. I have been told of situations where foundations have been very influential in attracting physicians to a particular situation. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

EDUC. - KNOWLEDGE HOUSE:

ADVANCED STUDIES PROG. - FEES

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. Throughout this sitting of the House, the Minister of Education has faced a number of questions about Knowledge House, but she hasn't been giving many straight answers. When asked to table the contract, she has refused. When asked to describe the Advanced Studies Program and what it will mean for students, she has refused. So I am hoping for a direct answer to this question. What new fees will be charged to students as a result of the Advanced Studies Program?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite has some knowledge that I don't have, I would be happy for her to produce it. We do not charge fees to school children taking public school programs.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I will table excerpts from the minutes of a recent Dalhousie senate meeting. In this meeting the senate states that students in the Advanced Studies Program will be required to pay a fee to have their final exams marked. Students in our public school system do not currently pay for the necessity of having their exams marked, but Knowledge House and this Minister of Education are about to change that. So again I ask the minister, how much will students in the Advanced Studies Program be forced to pay to have their examinations marked?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, it may be that this is similar to current practice where for advanced placement exams, students pay a fee. But I would be glad to look into that and bring the answer back to this House.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I have also learned that yet another company was prepared to tender for the Knowledge House contract. Knowledge Navigators International joins Pleiades Consulting on the list of companies snubbed by this minister. Now if the minister hadn't ignored these firms, the province could negotiate a better contract and we wouldn't have a deal where students will have to pay to have their own exams marked. Given this new information and given that the contract isn't yet finalized, will the minister do the right thing and cancel this failed deal with Knowledge House?

[Page 4249]

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I am finally glad to hear the member opposite say that the contract isn't finalized because it isn't and that is the reason I have not been able to table it. This is not a failed program. This has been a successful program. It is going to be a very successful program. The education of students in this program is very important to me and our department, if it is not to the member opposite.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH - PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT:

GRANTS PROVISION - MUNICIPALITIES IDENTIFY

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Today, the Premier stood outside the Chamber and stated that municipalities across the province are providing grants to doctors, therefore topping up their salaries. My question to the Premier is, can he tell us what municipalities are doing at this time, as he stated, providing grants and subsidizing doctors' salaries?

THE PREMIER: When the Minister of Health was asked a question, he excused himself because he wasn't at the conference. The member opposite doesn't feel that because he wasn't there, that he is not free to comment. What I said is that municipalities are engaged in recruitment programs for physicians in this province to attract physicians to their communities. This is not anything new. It has been going on for decades

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. I just want to bring to the attention of the House, first of all, that the line of questioning is bordering in regard to bills before the House. The other issue is, according to Beauchesne, Section 409 (10), it says, "A question ought not to refer to a statement made outside the House by a Minister."

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I have been here since 1984, but I guess I have to brush up on some of the rules because I always thought that any minister or Premier who made a statement outside of the House would be accountable to the legislators and this is a little bit of a reversal.

Mr. Speaker, if that Premier has information that municipalities are topping-up doctors' salaries he should share it here in the House and that is my question. Are there municipalities that are directly topping-up doctors' salaries in Nova Scotia? Will the Premier answer yes or no?

THE PREMIER: I wasn't able to answer that question outside the House and I am certainly not able to answer that question inside the House. What I have said, for the benefit of the member opposite, is that communities in this province have recruited physicians actively and aggressively for decades. They continue to do so and I would anticipate they will continue to do so.

[Page 4250]

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, we have been unable to get any answers from the Minister of Health. I am going to the Premier today. I want to know, and the people of Nova Scotia and various municipalities want to know, what the policy of this government is. Are they going to use municipal property taxpayers' dollars to subsidize salaries of doctors in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: The member opposite seems to have adopted the philosophy . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: . . it becomes legitimate. Well, the question wasn't legitimate the first time he asked it. It still isn't legitimate. What the Premier has said and what the policy of this government is, we encourage communities to actively recruit physicians to their area. (Applause)

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

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

EDUC. - PRIVATE COMPANY/BUS. COURSES:

ARTS & HUMANITIES - BIAS

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question, again, to the Minister of Education. Last week in this House the minister claimed that the curriculum for the Advanced Studies Program contained nothing new. However, minutes that I tabled earlier from a Dal senate meeting discussed the university's involvement in the department's controversial Knowledge House deal. They contradict the minister's claim. These minutes actually show that the program includes an advanced course on business management. They state that the business management course . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Needham has the floor.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: They state that the business management course, ". . . would be a new component of the formal curriculum intended for large numbers of students." So my question for the minister is, why is she allowing a private company to introduce a required business course, but gives courses in arts and humanities only cursory attention?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, there are a great many courses offered in high school these days that were not offered some years ago. Business is one of those courses. Canadian history is another one of those courses. The Canadian history course is not yet

[Page 4251]

ready but it will be. The conspiracy theory of education, according to the member for Halifax Needham, is an absolute fiction.

[3:15 p.m.]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Perhaps the Minister of Education would care to talk with faculty at Dalhousie who are also concerned that the Advanced Studies Program is too narrowly focused on science and technology. In fact, one of the Dalhousie senate members says that in his experience, Knowledge House has a good sense of business practise, Mr. Speaker, but not much sense about education. Now given all of the alarms raised about this untendered contract, it is becoming clear why the minister is refusing to deal with the detailed information that is required. So I want to ask the Minister of Education, why would she proceed with a deal that the Dalhousie University President calls, in those minutes, overly ambitious and others at Dalhousie say is worrisome?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, and as this House knows, we are proceeding with a pilot project in six to eight schools in order to create an Advanced Studies Program that can benefit students in Nova Scotia. If it is overly ambitious, then it is high time that we put a little bit more ambition back into what we want out of our schools and our pupils.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: I would like to remind the minister that the only ambition we have heard with respect to this program is Knowledge House's ambition to make $10 million from the public school system. Mr. Speaker, Dalhousie University Senators have expressed the concerns in minutes about having no control over the Knowledge House curriculum but they feel they are being forced into going along with a deal which is being fast-tracked by this department. I want to ask the minister, why is she so intent on fast-tracking an unproven program that will fundamentally change public education in Nova Scotia? Why doesn't she just slow down and listen to the alarms that are being raised?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the pilot projects that we are going to be undertaking this year will be the projects we judge to see how well our students are doing with this program. We have done pilots before, we have introduced new programs before. What is new here is the method of teaching. That is all, I repeat, and I have said it many times in this House.

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

PETROLEUM DIRECTORATE - OIL-BASED DRILLING MUD:

DISPOSAL - ENVIRON. REGS.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Petroleum Directorate. Recent media reports indicate the province is

[Page 4252]

considering loosening environmental regulations regarding the disposal of oil-based drilling mud. Both Nova Scotia and the North Sea require that the oil-based drilling mud be disposed of onshore. You would think that a province that allowed the dumping of toxic sludge into the tar ponds for 100 years would be sensitive to industrial pollution. My question to the minister is, why is the minister supporting such a backward regulatory approach?

HON. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, to the contrary. What we are attempting to do is ensure that the regulations in place are stringent but at the same time we recognize that in order to grow the industry off the East Coast of Canada, we have to streamline the regulatory environment. That is one of the concerns that has been expressed repeatedly by industry. So there is no view to move toward the least common denominator but to ensure that those issues are dealt with appropriately.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no excuse for dumping toxic mud in our ocean no matter how the minister tries to rationalize loosening the regulations. Technology exists to dispose of the mud without harming the environment. Either the oil companies can pay now or the taxpayer is going to pay later. My supplementary to the minister is, why is the minister so committed to soiling our still relatively clean water?

MR. BALSER: Mr. Speaker, the muds that are used offshore Nova Scotia are transported and taken care of onshore. That regulation is in place and will be in place.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: We know that. That is why we are concerned about the possibility of the minister allowing a loosening of the regulations. My final supplementary is to the Premier, since I am not getting any satisfactory answers from the petroleum minister, according to what the media have already reported in regard to this issue. Mr. Premier, the minister told a Yarmouth audience that the drilling moratorium might be lifted on Georges Bank. My question to the Premier is, does the Premier support this minster in his actions that would allow for the pollution of the ocean off Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: I can assure the member opposite that the position of the government on that particular issue has not changed.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Just before the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid, I am advised by the Clerks that it has been accepted in the past in this House that ministers can be questioned on statements outside this House. So, I was wrong. (Applause)

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

[Page 4253]

PREMIER - MEETINGS: PREMIER GRIMES (NFLD.) - OUTCOME

MR. JOHN HOLM: I am pleased to see that my recollection also concurs with that of the Clerks. I want to address my question through you, sir, to the Premier. (Interruptions) They too, Mr. Speaker, they too, they say. A bunch of me toos over there, they say.

When the Premier was in Texas, he was telling all who would listen that he and Premier Grimes had an agreement that they would be co-operating if Nova Scotia lost on Phase I of the Laurentian Sub-basin Tribunal. Of course, when the Premier was announcing his humiliating loss over a week ago, he said that he would be meeting with Premier Grimes within a week, so that would have been last week, to work out areas where they will be co-operating. I am wondering if the Premier, who has been absent quite a bit over the last week, he must have been in Newfoundland, if he could tell us what the outcome of those meetings were with Premier Grimes?

THE PREMIER: Really, to correct the member opposite's misconception, what Premier Grimes and I have agreed to do is to co-operate outside of any decision made by the tribunal. So, the decision to co-operate had nothing to do with the tribunal or any eventual decision made by that tribunal. We believe that developing an East Coast industry co-operatively will work for the best interests of the people of Nova Scotia and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. I believe that the Premier of Newfoundland shares that commitment with me, that he believes that he can best serve his people by agreeing to agree.

MR. HOLM: Agreeing to agree to what is the question, Mr. Speaker. I am quite aware of what the announcement had been that you two had agreed that the provinces would co-operate so that things could move forward. The Premier had said that a meeting would take place last week; obviously it hasn't. Quite honestly, it is not on the Premier's agenda for this week either. One would come to the conclusion that maybe since this is no longer a good media issue for the Premier, it has dropped in terms of priority.

So I want to ask the Premier this very specific question. The Premier knows that if the oil industry is going to get involved, they want to know that licences, any licences that may be issued under whichever interim agreement could be worked out, will be valid afterwards and that any expenditures that they make . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: How about a question?

MR. HOLM: . . . will also be considered. So, I want to ask the Premier, have you and the Premier of Newfoundland reached an agreement that will allow for those oil companies that wish to begin exploration on the Laurentian Sub-basin to do it and to feel confident?

[Page 4254]

THE PREMIER: The member asked two questions and out of courtesy to the long-serving member, I will answer both questions. The first question is relative to a proposed meeting between myself and Premier Grimes and that is in the works and the member opposite will be among the first to know.

Secondly, the whole issue of co-operation is one that we will be pursuing with the people of Newfoundland. I believe it is right way to go, and I believe that it will serve the people best that I serve as well as the people that Premier Grimes serves. The industry, and the member opposite has heard this from the industry, they are anxious to develop . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, to summarize the Premier's answers, the first one was in the fullness of time, and the second one was no. I want to ask the Premier, he knows that drilling is already taking place on the French Quarter - people of France stand to benefit but not the people of Nova Scotia - when will the Premier get off his seat - to put it politely - when will he get out of his seat and actually start to work in an aggressive fashion to get an interim agreement, so that we can actually have the benefits start flowing to the people of Cape Breton and . . .

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I do welcome the question, because immediately on returning from the Houston conference and trade show, my officials began discussing with the officials in Newfoundland the very issue that the member is addressing by way of his questions. To this time, there has not been a way found to accommodate those lessees who are near the current boundary. We are pursuing that with the intention of providing them with some assurance that they can go forward with the blessing of both governments.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would just ask the honourable members to shorten the questions and the answers, please, just a bit to allow the other members an opportunity to ask questions.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

FIN. - TRANSFER PMTS.: PROVINCE (N.S.) - RELIANCE

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. On Monday a report was released showing that our Province of Nova Scotia was the most dependent in this country on equalization payments. The Premier is going around the country with a tin cup in hand asking to make Nova Scotia more dependent on handouts from other provinces. My question to the Premier is, is the Premier trying to simply make Nova Scotia self-reliant or is he trying to make Nova Scotia more dependent on transfer payments?

[Page 4255]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it is very disappointing that the member opposite has chosen not to support an initiative that will allow the development of a strong economy here in Atlantic Canada, and in Nova Scotia in particular, that will take us out of the dependence on equalization. The member opposite, unfortunately, has chosen to support his Party in Ottawa rather than the people he is elected to represent.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, the Campaign for Fairness is not working. Taking Natural Resources out of equalization means that Alberta won't be paying in. No wonder Alberta would be in favour of this particular agreement. It also means that provinces like Quebec, who now receive over 65 per cent of every dollar, will receive more. It is clear this Premier does not have a plan, a plan to make Nova Scotia self-reliant. My question to the Premier is, how can the rest of Canada take Nova Scotia seriously when our own Premier has no idea where he wants to take this province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it must be disheartening and confusing to the majority of Nova Scotians to see somebody elected to promote benefits for the people of Nova Scotia, to stand up in Confederation for benefits for the people of Nova Scotia, to find that one of our elected representatives is not onside with the people of Nova Scotia.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, this Premier just does not get it. He just does not get it. If the equalization plan were changed tomorrow, my question to the Premier is very simple, where is the Premier's specific plan to bring Nova Scotia up to a national standard? Answer the question, Mr. Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, unlike the government of which the member opposite was a prominent figure, this government has a direction. It has a plan. It will balance the budget. It will reduce taxes and it has an economic development plan that will allow this province to provide jobs for the young people, something that they haven't had for decades.

[3:30 p.m.]

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

EDUC. - CALDWELL RD. ELEM. SCH.:

LUNCH FEES - MIN. ACTION

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. The other day I heard some troubling news with regard to school lunch programs in my riding, and I believe in other areas of the Halifax area as well. Parents at Caldwell Road Elementary School have been informed that the school lunch program is going to be replaced by what is known at the Halifax Regional School Board as the Excel Program. Those parents are now paying $65 a year to provide lunch monitors during lunch for their children. The Excel Program is going to charge them $200 per year per child for the exact same program.

[Page 4256]

That means that, at one school, Caldwell Road Elementary, the school board and its Excel Program will be making $40,000 in profit off the parents who have to pay the extra fees.

The minister is ultimately responsible for the school boards, as we know. She sets their budgets and she has an opportunity to force or not force these fee increases. So I want to ask the Minister of Education, will she today stop the tripling of lunch fees at the Caldwell Road Elementary School?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows full well that all these kinds of programs are the responsibility of the school board, not the Department of Education. Lunch programs are not covered under the Education Act. School boards in various parts of the province have programs they believe will help and suit their children, but it is entirely within their area of responsibility.

MR. DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, someone should remind the Premier that during the 1999 election he came out in one of his election campaign promises saying he was going to address the lunch fees, even though they were members of the school board who were dealing with it. The Excel Program last year alone made $250,000 in profit. Now the minister wants to let that same Excel Program charge families triple what it costs to provide the program for the children in that community. All this is happening because the Minister of Education continues to cut and cut. So I want to ask the minister, why is she forcing parents to subsidize the school boards instead of the province providing them with the funding that they require?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, the school got roughly $7 million more from the province this year than it did last year; in fact the board is looking to one of its best years in years, thanks to our budget.

MR. DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, you know it is pretty easy to balance the books when you throw your workers out on strike and keep jacking up lunch fees for the parents.

Well the parents have told the school board that they are willing to pay - a reasonable plan for the extra money. Let's remember this: this is the government that continues to cut funding to our school boards in real dollars. They are not even keeping up with inflation. So my question is, will the minister consider a plan for extra funding for that school board, so the parents do not have to pay triple the lunch fees that they are now paying?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the responsibilities of the province and this minister, under the Education Act, are to provide for and set standards for the education of the students of Nova Scotia. With all the money in the world, we would like to put that into education programs. The Department of Education does not fund school lunches.

[Page 4257]

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

EMO - DHA: BUDGET CUTS - RURAL EMERG. SERV. EFFECT

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act. I have an article here from the latest edition of the Coast Guard and I would like to table it. This article is titled, Firefighters opposed to dispatch cuts, and in it the Shelburne Fire Chief is quoted as objecting to the proposed cuts made at the Roseway Hospital that have eliminated the nightly dispatch service that used to be there. My question, therefore, is to the Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act. Will these cuts made by the Health Minister's DHAs mean that emergency service in rural communities will be jeopardized?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I guess I would attack that question as wearing two hats, one as the minister for the EMO and the other as the Health Minister. Again, like the honourable Leader of the Opposition, he has been through the garbage can because (Interruption) because that's hypothetical what he is talking about.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, if I indicated to the minister responsible for EMO that's an article from the latest copy of The Coast Guard and not from the garbage. I am certainly aware that the Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act is also the Health Minister, but I was pointing to a pattern that is emerging with this government. Not long ago, we had the Minister of Justice in conflict with himself as the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. So then let me ask the Minister of Health a question.

In that same article, Mr. Speaker, the chairman of the District Health Authority 2 is quoted as saying that he fears the worst of the cuts are yet to come. Can the Minister of Health tell the people of District Health Authority 2 what to expect that is coming that is worse than the loss of emergency services at night?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is speaking in terms of hypothetical things. To my knowledge there has been no cut in emergency services at night. I really, to be quite frank, can't comment on what he has been reputing has been said. Certainly, it hasn't come to my attention and I don't know what it refers to.

MR. GAUDET: Well, Mr. Speaker, that the chairman of the DHA 2 that is saying in that article that the worst of the cuts is yet to come, not what I said what the chairman of DHA 2 is saying. A fireman is also quoted in that same article. He says that hospital dispatchers know the area and are a whole lot cheaper than private dispatchers. As this seems blatantly obvious, can the Minister of Health tell us why it is that he is allowing this ill-conceived plan to move forward?

[Page 4258]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is referring to what I am not sure. He has gotten the information and one would have to sometimes dispute the accuracy of what they purport to be true in this House. My knowledge is that there has been no cut to that switchboard. I can tell the honourable member and all members of this House that the business plans are being reviewed. If that is contained in the business plan, he knows something that I don't know. (Interruptions) He and his colleagues went through the garbage cans last year and they have clearly gone through the garbage cans again this year.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

ECON. DEV. - TIBBETTS PAINTS RUNOFF:

CLEANUP ORDER CONFIRM - N.S. BUS. DEV. CORP.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Economic Development. Last week I raised the question about a developing environmental mess in the Premier's constituency, the former Tibbetts Paints plant has been abandoned and there is a real danger that toxic runoff is flowing into the East River. The federal Department of Environment is involved because of the fish habitat in the East River and Pictou Harbour. My question to the minister is this, will you confirm in the House today that one of the parties the federal government has served a cleanup order on is the Nova Scotia Business Development Corporation?

HON. GORDON BALSER: I will have to take that question under advisement and get back to the member opposite.

MR. GRAHAM: Mr. Speaker, the answer to the question is yes. This is the second time in the last two weeks I have raised questions about environmental problems involving the Business Development Corporation. Concerned residents in both places, one in the Valley and one in Pictou County, are wondering why the provincial Department of the Environment and Labour isn't moving just a little bit faster. Maybe it is because the Minister of Environment doesn't want to serve cleanup orders on his Cabinet colleague over there.

My question to the Minister of Environment and Labour is, what steps are you taking to make sure that your own government, and especially your Cabinet colleagues, live up to their environmental obligations?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated last week, the role of our department is to make sure that the legislation and the regulations are being carried out. The member should know that we are looking at our legal position, vis-a-vis a ministerial order and what the implications would be. When we reach a determination, we will make a decision.

MR. STEELE: Looking at our legal position, Mr. Speaker, that is what he is doing. He is looking at his legal position. My final question is to the Premier. Tibbetts Paints is in your constituency. The former owner and the former directors are friends of yours. Your ministers

[Page 4259]

are in a hopeless conflict of interest. Your government has been ordered by the federal government to clean up. What are you doing about this mess?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, Tibbetts Paints was a business that was in our community for close to half a century. Unfortunately, it has gone by the way. This government will look at all the environmental concerns on that site and will absolutely determine that they will be looked after.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH - DALHOUSIE MED. SCH.: TRAINING SPOTS - INCREASE

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, last Friday I attended the annual meeting of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. It was interesting to learn there that the Minister of Health will not even begin to consider increasing the number of physician training spots at Dalhousie University Medical School for at least another two years. My question to the minister is, given that the President of the Canadian Medical Association is saying that there is a chronic shortage of doctors now, why is this minister not increasing training spots at Dalhousie University Medical School today?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, as the members of the House may be aware, there is an Atlantic - particularly Maritime - Provinces Strategy on Health Human Resources. Addressing the number of additional spots at Dalhousie University in their faculty of medicine is one of the items that is on the table. It is not just as simple for us in Nova Scotia, as to increase the number of seats. You have to be concerned about retention and it may be that it may be more efficacious to use the dollars in different ways to ensure that the graduates stay in Nova Scotia.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, it takes five to six years to train a physician and waiting two more years means that we are looking at 2008-09 before we have more trained physicians here graduating from Dalhousie. My question to the minister is, given that this minister has failed communities like Noel, Rawdon and Barrington that need doctors now, could this minister please explain to all residents of Nova Scotia why he is jeopardizing the future supply of physicians here in Nova Scotia?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, on the contrary. What this government is trying to do is put in place a strategy that will ensure a continuous supply of physicians here in Nova Scotia.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the Annual Report of the College of Physicians and Surgeons states that last year 992 physicians practising in Nova Scotia graduated from Dalhousie. The minister himself mentioned the importance of retention and these graduates represent the largest number of physicians who practise in Nova Scotia. My question to the minister simply is, given the statistics that show that those who train here stay here, why will

[Page 4260]

minister not increase the number of training spots at Dalhousie University this year and not wait to consider it for two more years?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, there is a Maritime Provinces Committee on Health Human Resources. Actually, it is being chaired by a person from this province. We are working with Dalhousie University to try to ensure that when seats are increased, and it is very likely they will be increased, that they will be increased in the best way, the one that ensures greatest return to our province.

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - CONST. DEBRIS: HRM - LOCATION

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to direct my question through you to the Minister of Environment and Labour. As the minister knows, the Halifax Regional Municipality is wrestling with a serious problem in this municipality of the disposal of construction and demolition debris. One of the communities that is facing the prospect of hosting its disposal site is Harrietsfield and Williamswood. They had a public meeting to discuss the bylaw last week. Residents overwhelmingly at that meeting expressed concerns about the fact that a disposal site may come to the Harrietsfield and Williamswood area.

I want to ask the Minister of Environment and Labour, Mr. Speaker - there was a representative at that meeting from the Department of Environment and Labour who was not very helpful in terms of being able to provide any information - would the minister give some assurance today to the residents of Harrietsfield and Williamswood that the Department of Environment and Labour will be involved in that community to ensure that nothing is done to harm the environment?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his question and his concern for the community. I can assure him that we, as we always do with anything that has to do with the environment, will enforce the legislation and the regulations and that includes the regulations that apply to construction and demolition sites. So once the HRM has decided what sort of siting process they want to go through and incorporate it in their bylaw, then that will work in conjunction with the provincial regulations and, yes, of course, we will be enforcing those regulations.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, in the surrounding community there is quite an important network of lakes, streams and marshes. As well, these communities, of course, are on private wells and the residents there are concerned about the possible contamination of the waterways and of those wells. I want to ask the Minister of Environment and Labour, because we have not been able to get this information from his officials, will he confirm here

[Page 4261]

today whether or not tests have been done on the drinking wells in the area, on the lakes, on the streams? If that work has been done, will he table the information and if it hasn't been done, will he see that it is done so that a base level of information can be available?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to inquire as to whether this has been done in the area. I appreciate the rationale of the member opposite for asking that question and I will get back to him.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, also with respect to the issue of construction and demolition debris, the company in question in Harrietsfield and Williamswood is a company called RDM Recycling. We understand that the Department of Environment and Labour has had this company under investigation since last fall. The company, the residents, nor anyone else knows what the extent of that investigation is or whether any conclusions have been reached. I want to ask the Minister of Environment and Labour if he would provide to this House, and certainly to the residents of Harrietsfield and Williamswood, the results of his department's investigation into RDM?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, in the run of the year we get countless complaints about various operations and we take each and every one of them seriously and that may or may not lead to an investigation. But until we reach a conclusion to the investigation, it would be premature of me to comment here in the Legislature.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

JUSTICE - PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS: DIRECTOR - HIRE

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, this government has now been in office for 650 days and still no Director of the Public Prosecution Service. On January 31, 2000, the minister said he had a candidate for the director's position. Yet on November 15, 2000, a full 10 months later, still no director. On April 12th of this year, I asked the minister and there was still no definite answer when we would get a full-time director. At the rate that this minister is going, the johns bill might pass before a Director of Public Prosecutions is hired. (Laughter) My question to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General is, when can Nova Scotians finally expect the minister to hire a full-time Director of Public Prosecutions?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable member for the question, although it once was indicated to me that one should never become involved in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. (Interruptions) We will have a Director of Public Prosecutions in this province in the very near future, I am very hopeful, although I am also very hopeful that we will have a johns bill in the very near future.

[Page 4262]

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, well, looking the way he does today, the Minister of Justice would do best not to refer to anyone who is lacking wits today. (Laughter) At this rate, the Strait-Richmond Hospital might even get a doctor before we have a full-time Director of Public Prosecutions.

On a more serious note, the current director, Martin Herschorn has been doing a very good job in this position. Most Crowns and Nova Scotians are very pleased with his performance, yet the only person who doesn't seem to recognize his good work is the Minister of Justice himself. My question is, why won't the minister reward the good work of Martin Herschorn and designate him the full-time Director of Public Prosecutions?

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, one of the few things he and I agree on is the very fine qualities of Mr. Herschorn and the fine job he is doing on behalf of Nova Scotians in that job.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, usually what you do when you reward a good employee is you give them a promotion or you recognize the good work they do, not give the empty platitudes that this minister gives here in this House. The taxpayers have funded a very expensive Canada-wide search process that has failed. In fact, nearly $5,000 of taxpayers' money has been wasted on headhunters for this position. The minister should express some confidence in the abilities of Nova Scotians to do this job. The minister has had 650 days. Martin Herschorn has been in the job longer than any permanent Director of the Public Prosecution Service. My final supplementary is, what possible reason could the minister have for not appointing the current acting director as the new permanent Director of the Public Prosecution Service?

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I think it is somewhat ironic that the honourable member is clamouring and indicating that there is a desperate need for the appointment, while at the same time acknowledging that the present incumbent has been doing a wonderful job on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia. It seems a tad inconsistent. Again, I agree with the honourable member (Interruptions) The honourable members opposite, while they are not consistent are also very right, Mr. Herschorn is doing a fine job, and the Public Prosecution Service is doing a good job for Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

NAT. RES.: SUSTAINABILITY FUND - INTENT

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the minister of stumps and stream siltation. When federal dollars for silviculture dried up, small silviculture operators faced lean times. They took heart that their businesses might survive when this government announced the sustainability fund, which this government said will increase the funding level for silviculture in the province to over $15 million. These small silviculture operators have had a rude awakening because they aren't getting work and they are starting

[Page 4263]

to drop like flies. My question to the Minister of Natural Resources is, was it the minister's intent, when he brought in the forest sustainability regulations and the sustainability fund, to bankrupt these small silviculture operators?

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, it has been a number of years and was a different administration when the federal government decided to stop grants for silviculture and sustainable forestry use. Through the years, many small silviculture operations have had trouble sustaining themselves. This government, on the other hand, to ensure the sustainability of forests in this province has embarked on a sustainable forest practice and a sustainable forestry fund, which will ensure that dollars are returning to that resource and these people will have an opportunity in the coming years to ensure that they do some of the work.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, what the minister doesn't realize is that they won't be around in the coming years. One operator has said that it is becoming impossible to cover costs and retain skilled employees. The sustainability regulations have privatized silviculture, put it in the hands of large companies, the pulp mill and sawmill operators, and they can hire anyone off the street to do the work. These small, experienced silviculture contractors cannot compete against untrained labour, so no wonder they are shutting down their businesses. Can the minister tell us, did he simply stumble into this or was he convinced to do this by the big companies?

MR. FAGE: Again, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member portrays his misunderstanding and poor understanding of the issue. Obviously, occupational health and safety standards apply to all forestry workers, so there is no unskilled labour involved here. What is happening here is that for the first time in 10 years actual funds and new dollars will be going into reforestation sustainability and these contractors will have their opportunity to have a share of those new dollars.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, that must be why the minister allowed the mills to cut back on the amount of money they had to pay into the fund in this first year. This government continues to fail rural Nova Scotia. The minister has sacrificed these small silviculture operators for a principle that industry can best regulate and administer silviculture programs. These small, experienced silviculture operators will become extinct unless something is done to even the playing field. So, at the very least, will the minister undertake to put in place a certification process for silviculture workers and contractors and make it a requirement that silviculture in Nova Scotia can only be done by certified workers and contractors?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, again, the honourable member seems to misrepresent the entire situation. Again, if I have to explain one more time, there were no funds allocated;there was no sustainability fund and this government has taken the initiative to establish sustainability funds so that there are dollars actually spent in the forests of Nova

[Page 4264]

Scotia to provide future employment. These people will have their opportunity the same as any other business in Nova Scotia.

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

ENVIRON. & LBR. - WATER: PRIVATE COMPANIES -

EXPORT POLICY EXPLAIN

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Two weeks ago I read a Southam News report where the Premier is quoted as saying that Nova Scotia doesn't have enough water for its own needs, much less enough to meet export demands. So my question to the Premier is, if we don't have enough water for domestic needs, why do we license private companies to draw and export water from Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it gives me an excellent opportunity to explain to the member what I did say. What I said is that we do not have an excess of water here in Nova Scotia and we do have a problem with the distribution of water. We had, until last summer, three dry summers in much of the agricultural parts of our province. If the current weather conditions continue summer after summer we will be looking at moving water around within the province to better serve the agricultural community.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, this is a quote that is attributed directly to the Premier so I guess we will have to leave that for another day. The fact of the matter is that the Department of Environment and Labour has confirmed that on Tuesday, May 8th of this year, before a Resources Committee meeting, that it has no idea what the volume of Nova Scotia's groundwater or surface water reserves are. So my question, again to the Premier, is, upon what basis did he offer the statement that we do not have enough water for our domestic needs?

[4:00 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: What I can offer to the member opposite, if you look back and speak to any farmer in the Annapolis Valley and ask that farmer if he had enough water two years ago, three years ago and four years ago, I believe that farmer would be prepared to give an answer to the member opposite that would convince that member opposite that the Annapolis Valley, for three years in a row, didn't have enough water.

MR. MACKINNON: That is rather scientific coming from a Premier, to base public policy on discussions with a couple of farmers in one jurisdiction of the province. We are talking about the entire province here. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

[Page 4265]

MR. MACKINNON: We will stand behind the farmers, but we won't stand for the bull that is coming across the floor, you can rest assured of that. My question is to the Minister of Environment and Labour. Under the Environment Act, one does not require a licence to withdraw less than 5,000 gallons of water per day. In light of the Premier's decree that we lack water, will the minister be introducing amendments to the Environment Act that will further conserve our groundwater supply?

HON. DAVID MORSE: The member opposite is quite right. We are going through a review of the Environment Act. We are considering a response to the Act, but specifically this would seem to pertain more to the water strategy, which we will be proceeding with a discussion paper shortly in conjunction with the waste water strategy. The two go hand in hand and the member brings up a valid concern and that is also a concern of the department and this government.

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

NAT. RES. - SUBSIDENCE: POLICY - DETAILS

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, last year in this House I asked the Minister of Natural Resources to assist residents in the Ellsworth Avenue area of New Waterford with the subsidence problem caused by the workings of the former No. 12 Colliery. At that time the minister refused to help these people and I want to remind that minister of the Premier's feeling on compensating people experiencing subsidence - and I will table this - because in November 1995, the Premier introduced a resolution calling for action for government to deal with the subsidence issue in three homes in Westville. So I want to ask the Premier, is it the policy that you still now have and of your government, to help residents who are being affected by subsidence by former mine workings?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will refer that to the Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member certainly knows that subsidence occurs and it is an unfortunate side effect of old mine workings. In relationship to subsidence in the Sydney area, obviously that is the responsibility of the federal government and in regard to subsidence in the area of Pictou County, the Department of Natural Resources is not responsible for that, although local municipalities from time to time are involved in relocation with subsidence.

MR. CORBETT: How times have changed. When he was in Opposition, he supported these things. But do you know what? If you are in Westville, Pictou County, I guess subsidence is an issue for the Tories; if you are in Cape Breton, it is not. Last year the Minister of Natural Resources indicated to me he was willing to continue discussions with these residents. I am looking for an update. So, Mr. Minister, will you please tell the House

[Page 4266]

today what progress you have made with the residents of Ellsworth Avenue concerning the condition of subsidence?

MR. FAGE: Subsidence certainly is a problem that is the by-product of some coal mining or mining operations, but in regard to the residents of the Sydney area, obviously these areas are in areas controlled by Devco or the federal government and these are part of the discussions that are ongoing between myself and this government on responsibilities of the federal government as they stop coal mining in Nova Scotia.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, passing the buck from government agency to government agency doesn't help these people. They are facing real problems and they are facing them today. They don't want to be told that their government is sitting idly by while they help other areas of the province and won't help them.

Mr. Speaker, I want to table another document from the then Leader of the Tory Party and now Premier, because in December 1996, he said he was worried about the cold weather coming and how people facing subsidence in Westville and Glace Bay would deal with the problem. Too bad he doesn't have that same concern today. So I want to ask you, Mr. Premier, will you go to New Waterford and meet with the affected residents of the Ellsworth Avenue area when this House rises; will you do that, will you make that commitment today?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, yes, I will be travelling to Cape Breton when the House rises. My scheduling is not yet complete and I would anticipate hearing about a number of concerns from that area. I am not personally familiar with that particular street, that particular issue but I do have sympathy for those people. It is my understanding, and I stand to be corrected, that there is a confusion of responsibility relative to that particular coal seam.

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

WOMEN, STATUS OF - WOMEN'S CENTRES (TRURO):

FUNDING - ENSURE

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister responsible for the administration of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Women's centres in Truro and Yarmouth are in need of emergency interim funding. The funding for the Truro centre is particularly urgent as their present funding will terminate at the end of June and the centre will have to close. Now, these centres provide a wide range of support services and programs and a computer literacy program, which is essential to women in those communities. The Department of Community Services will not help until such time as they get their act together and implement service agreements.

[Page 4267]

Now, given that the Minister of Education has some money to hand out to anyone who can make a persuasive case, my question then to the Minister of Education is, given that this centre is a valuable resource in the community of Truro, does the minister responsible for the Status of Women have any money to offer to ensure that that centre will stay open?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite said quite correctly that the women's centres are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Community Services. The Status of Women organization exists to provide policy advice for government and to provide advice and programs and research, it does not have a budget to fund centres.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, well, I couldn't persuade the Minister of Education to give money there. Now, I will go to the Minister of Health. The women's centre in Truro has assisted 600 individuals since January of this year. This minister depends on the centre and sends numerous referrals from his constituency office in Truro. Apparently, as Opposition Critic, he was even instrumental in getting them an increase. Well, now the centre is in dire need and the amount needed is only $38,657 to remain open until the service agreement is in place. My question to the Minister of Health is, will he once again play an active role in saving this centre for his community by approaching the Minister of Community Services for the much-needed revenue in order for that centre to stay open?

HON. JAMES MUIR: As the honourable member will know, I was certainly an advocate for our women's centres when I sat on that side of the House and I continue to be an advocate for women's centres, as does our government. When I did discover that the centre in Truro is having some difficulty, actually a member of my staff has been in contact with Community Services to see if there is anything that can be worked out.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I have had a no from the Minister of Education and a no from the Minister of Health, so now in my final supplementary, I will go to the Premier. The Minister of Community Services is leaving this centre in Truro in limbo; $38,657 is all that is needed to keep this centre open. Over 600 women have received assistance from this centre in the past five months. My question is, will the Premier speak to the Minister of Community Services immediately to ensure that this women's centre in Truro will not close?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite brings a good question to the House, and I will discuss it with the minister.

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

NAT. RES. - DOMINION BEACH: EROSION - ACTION DETAILS

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Most people in my area are concerned over the government's continued inaction to address the deterioration of Dominion Beach. This beautiful beach is the only beach

[Page 4268]

located within industrial Cape Breton that provides a place for locals and tourists alike. This beach is facing a serious sand erosion problem. It was taken over in 1973 by the Department of Natural Resources, who are failing to take care of it. I want to ask the Minister of Natural Resources, what is his government's department going to do about the serious erosion problem at Dominion Beach?

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member raises a good question. There are number of provincial and other beaches around the Province of Nova Scotia with storm surges and various tidal actions that are experiencing the depletion of sand. Dominion Beach, certainly, is one that staff has looked at, and are trying to determine cost-effective ways that sand could be restored to that area or at least the sand that is there could be maintained.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is to the minister. It is one of wanting and needing to spend money and the commitment the residents of Dominion are not getting from your department. They need dollars spent there. It is not enough to merely talk about fiscal restraint. I want to ask you, Mr. Minister, if you will commit to a public meeting with the residents of Dominion to discuss proper funding of this site to restore it and provide proper maintenance on an ongoing basis?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for his invitation and request. Certainly, as the summer progresses it is my intention to be in the area of Dominion Beach, and I would welcome a tour. Obviously, I would like to make that tour with the honourable member. (Interruptions)

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, well, you know what, I had my luck over there, I am going to try the Minister of Tourism and Culture now. Surely, he, being from Cape Breton, will recognize the importance of this beach. I don't have to remind the minister that this beach is a very valuable piece of tourism infrastructure for industrial Cape Breton. This beach currently receives virtually nothing from his department. I want to ask the minister, what are you going to do to support the people of Dominion in protecting this beach and to promote it as a valuable tourist attraction?

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member has such an interest in beaches. I know that the Dominion Beach is a particularly nice beach, almost as nice as Port Hood Beach. I will continue to work with the Minister of Natural Resources. I know that his staff is working very hard on this particular file, taking a look at various ways, the most cost-effective ways to ensure that the sand, as much sand as possible, is there, either keeping it from going or to make sure it stays. I will continue to work as the Minister of Tourism and Culture with the minister, and I can assure that in our marketing, we will continue to market the beaches of Cape Breton and the entire province.

[Page 4269]

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

TRANSPORT. & PUB. WKS. - LITTLE BRAS D'OR BRIDGE:

WORK - STATUS

MR. BRIAN BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works looks bored over there today, so I think I will direct my question to him. There has been a great deal of controversy in both the public and the media over the past several days with regard to the Little Bras d'Or bridge. One report in the Cape Breton Post this morning indicated that the work will be finishing on the surface of the bridge, but that the structural work would be held over until this fall. Will the Minister of Transportation and Public Works confirm for the House what in fact the status of this project is?

[4:15 p.m.]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member for Cape Breton North brought to my attention the problems encountered by traffic through the Bras d'Or bridge reconstruction (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, a meeting was held yesterday and certain arrangements were made to delay some aspects of that reconstruction until the fall.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the rumour that has been circulating around the project is that the steel beams themselves are too rotten to be repaired at the present time. In fact, I have heard from the iron workers personally that they had to stop work because neither the contractor nor that minister were prepared to accept the liability for the safety of the iron workers. So my question to the minister is, will he tell the House if this is true?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would advise the honourable member that he not listen to rumours.

AN HON. MEMBER: You should have left him sleeping where he was over there. You woke him up.

MR. BOUDREAU: Perhaps I should have. Mr. Speaker, this is a joint highway project with the bulk of the funding coming from the federal government. The minister has the road practically closed now and if the crews worked at least two shifts, the repairs could be done properly once and for all and all at the same time. Can the minister assure the House and the people of Nova Scotia that this bridge is safe?

[Page 4270]

MR. RUSSELL: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I can assure the honourable member that the bridge is safe and I can assure the honourable member that the work will be done and it will be completed this fiscal year.

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

ENVIRON. - ANTIFREEZE:

COLLECTION - ENFORCEMENT DETAILS

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, when service stations change the antifreeze in a vehicle, they are required to collect that antifreeze because, according to the label on the container, it is a hazardous material. That is being done by the Minister of Environment's regulations. My question to the Minister of Environment and Labour, first of all, quite simply is, does his department enforce the collection of that so that that hazardous material does not get placed into the environment?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I would advise the member opposite that if there are any regulations in place and there are infractions that occur and they are brought to our attention, then we deal with them.

MR. HOLM: The minister was being advised by his colleagues to be cautious because this is a leading question and indeed it was; the minister knows it is a hazardous material and it cannot be poured down the drain. It has to be disposed of safely and collected. So I want to go to the Minister responsible for the Petroleum Directorate and ask that minister why it is that his government is not objecting to the dumping of hundreds of metric tons of basically antifreeze, ethylene glycol, offshore without there even being any independent monitoring to assess the environmental impact or the amounts that are being dumped?

HON. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable member opposite for the question. The member opposite is well aware that the CNSOPB is the body that monitors this and certainly we would like to see no glycol dumped into the waters offshore but, at this point in time, they are within the regulations and that has been confirmed by federal departments as well as our departments.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, that minister also knows that half of the membership on that board is appointed by the Province of Nova Scotia. He also knows that his colleague, as the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, represents a significant portion of the Nova Scotia economy that could be placed at harm, not to speak of the environment. I want to ask the minister, what is he going to do to ensure that the fishing industry and the environment is not going to be harmed by the careless or the wanton disposal of this hazardous material off our coast?

[Page 4271]

MR. BALSER: Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the member opposite would use Question Period to fear-monger about the potential impact of this situation. He knows very well that we are well in compliance and, in fact, very much in keeping with what is the practice in the North Sea.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

HEALTH - SOUTH SHORE REG. HOSP.:

POSITION CANCELLATION - DETAILS

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. The South Shore Regional Hospital recently advertised for licensed practitioners, practical nurses, and there were eight openings. A constituent of mine who applied for one of those jobs later was informed that those jobs are no longer required simply because the department or the South Shore Regional Hospital cancelled those particular programs or eight beds that are required. My question to the minister is, why were the South Shore Regional Hospital positions cancelled so abruptly?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, as all members know, the staff who work in those facilities are employed by the regional district health authorities and for a correct answer to that information, the question should be directed to that authority.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The honourable member for Lunenburg West, you have about 30 seconds.

MR. DOWNE: They first asked for eight openings. Then they were cancelled. The question is, Mr. Minister, why haven't you provided money enough for those nurses who are required for our area?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, each of the district health authorities received more money than they did last year. My understanding is that there is money there in the amount that was given to each of those authorities this year so they can have the staffing they need.

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading.

[Page 4272]

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 59.

Bill No. 59 - Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak on Bill No. 59 this afternoon, an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Motor Vehicle Act.

Mr. Speaker, this is a basic health prevention issue that we have brought forward in the form of an amendment to an Act. It simply in Clause 1 amends the definition of bicycle in Section 170A of the Motor Vehicle Act to make it clear that a bicycle includes a scooter, rollerblades or a unicycle. What prompted the unicycle? About the time that this was introduced there was a picture in one of the newspapers, The Daily News, I believe, of a person sitting high up on a unicycle. So as not to miss some of the potential injuries, this was included. Along with bicycle, we include scooter, rollerblades or a unicycle.

This might seem very simple, but I think it is really important. It is important when you look and put a human face on those who have suffered severe injuries from scooters across the world which are becoming more increasingly used and are a bit of a fad almost. Now it has gone beyond the fad stage and is perhaps established as a modern means of conveyance for a young person. Section 170A is the section which requires a person who rides on or operates a bicycle to wear a bicycle helmet. Clause 2 provides that the Act comes into force on proclamation.

Mr. Speaker, we think this is an important initiative. It is the type of initiative that Opposition members can bring forward and with the support of government would realize the full benefits of the protection and the recognition of brain injuries. Basically, brain injury, brain trauma is a very significant issue facing young persons particularly, but persons of all ages. So our position is simple, this requires that helmets be worn just like on bicycles for all those riding scooters, rollerblades and unicycles.

Who will be affected, Mr. Speaker? Mostly young people who are using the means of conveyance listed above. What does it do? It amends the definition of a bicycle to include the means of conveyance listed above. So, it amends a definition. When will it come into effect? I want to underline this very clearly, it will come into effect when the government comes onside with this particular amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act. It is important. There have been several studies recently and I think this has brought the attention of the world to

[Page 4273]

this particular issue. There have been studies, particularly in the United States, that have concluded that this would be a good thing. It is particularly pressing as we move into the summer months.

There are several studies - somebody keeps putting papers on my desk - thank you very much, my colleague. I am getting too much paper because this is a very simple issue. There are several studies calling for this sort of measure. We even offered to the government that they can reintroduce something very similar and call it their own. I have no problems with this; I want to bring attention to this issue which I think is really important. I know Beth Bruce was in the media recently again regarding safety and playgrounds. She works at the IWK which used to be - I think it is just proper to call it the IWK now - and she has done studies, she has done work on the injuries of children and I think this would be included under that mantle.

So we have offered to the government that they should introduce something very similar as their own and we would support that if they have problems supporting an Opposition member's bill. Part of the reason, I guess, I have so many papers on my desk, I have both papers from the Internet and clippings from local newspapers that have pointed out the advantages of a helmet being worn, mandatory for those using scooters in the province.

So, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you again for the opportunity to bring this amendment forward. The bill is a basic preventative health measure from our point of view. What the bill does is amend the definition contained in the Motor Vehicle Act to include Rollerblades, scooters and unicycles as bicycles for the purpose of the Act. In doing this, we would be requiring those using those devices to wear helmets when they are riding or be subject to the same fines as those who don't wear helmets when riding a bike.

It is interesting that we see at this time of the year in particular a lot of bicycles out now in the city, around metro Halifax-Dartmouth and there is a really significant, I think probably an increasing number of those who aren't wearing helmets. That might seem like a low risk endeavour. We all grew up - most of us in this Chamber grew up - with our bicycles and not wearing helmets, but some of our colleagues of those days are either no longer with us or have suffered severe brain damage because of bicycle injuries. We know that to be true so we include the scooters and Rollerblades in the same way.

I had the opportunity as Minister of Health to bring the helmet law in. Some people didn't agree with it, some people today still don't agree with that. I think so be it, but we wonder how we can reduce human suffering and I think this is one way that we can do it and it is also very cost-effective within the health care system if you prevent those injuries and I have some examples of some cases that I will table that have come out of studies and also have come out of newspaper reports. There have been reports written on the subject, the most recent earlier this month, all of which have indicated that serious injury can come from riding

[Page 4274]

scooters, in particular. There is no question about that, this is not an issue of debate, this is a fact. So given the proliferation of scooters recently, this is becoming an area of real concern.

[4:30 p.m.]

I would also like to table some articles on these subjects. They indicate the range of concerns from as near as the New Glasgow Evening News and as far away as the London Times. This is a simple bill, but there are no losers, there are only winners. I would like to also mention that the Ministers of Health, and Transportation and Public Works have been asked to introduce this bill on their own, but so far have refused to do so. This government is always speaking in terms of leadership, promises made not fulfilled, here is a chance to show some leadership. It is a small step, and it is a step that some will criticize them for. They are becoming so shell-shocked and so sensitive to any criticism that I can see that the Minister of Health and the Minister of Transportation and Public Works will probably not want to bring something like this forward, because they are so afraid that someone might not agree with them.

Mr. Speaker, let them go to the hospital and see the families of the children who have suffered accidents on scooters without helmets, and let them hear their point of view and what they think. I think you would find people who were certainly converted. This is not a political issue. As an Opposition member I want to say very clearly that this is brought here not to embarrass the government in any way, it is to prod them to activity and action on this. This is a safety issue, it is a health issue, and it is mainly affecting children. Very few things we do as legislators directly impact on children. We have legislation on children's services and children in need of protection, the definition of neglect and some of those other matters that have been brought in by legislation. Those things alone have saved lives, the definition of neglect that allows a social worker to bring a child into protection.

Here is another very simple way, it is very simple, just change a little amendment in a section of the Motor Vehicle Act that will result in the saving of lives and, certainly, the lessening of brain injuries. You can debate whether helmets reduce death or reduce injury; it certainly reduces cuts, it certainly reduces some of the effects of concussion. I think it is a good step, and I think the time has well come before us that we should address this.

Mr. Speaker, I hope that this government will be willing to co-operate with us on this matter, and I hope to see this policy implemented before the summer season really hits. Let's not let another summer and fall go by. What will be the tally in Nova Scotia, and the loss of function of children through brain injury? Another child into the school system with a learning problem because of brain injury, maybe even death. Let's not wait another summer. I would implore, through you, to the government members to become active, become pro-active and have a positive piece of legislation.

[Page 4275]

The Brain Injury Association, and neurosurgeons who work with children particularly, those with disabilities, they will recognize that this is a positive step. It is a small step, but it is a step I will quite willingly hand over, to the role of government, to recognize their responsibility and to bring in this legislation. I will tear mine up today, as we speak, if the government themselves would only bring this forward.

Mr. Speaker, I don't have a lot of speaking notes. I could go on about my experience as a physician and those types of other issues, but basically even since we introduced this bill, initially, when we tabled it for first reading we have an increasing amount of material that we have been able to gather from the Internet and from other areas. I will just summarize a few perhaps. Reports on scooter sales skyrocket, injuries soar, recommends riders wear safety gear, Washington, D.C. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission today reported that emergency room-treated injuries related to popular lightweight scooters have increased 700 per cent since May. The data went on to show that there were more than 4,000 scooter-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in August alone, and this was dated September 5, 2000. That is what they were talking about, the year 2000.

A 700 per cent increase since the month of May through September in Washington, D.C. There have been more than 9,400 emergency room-treated injuries reported for the year 2000, so far. Nearly 90 per cent of these injuries are children under the age of 15. Think what that means in terms of human suffering, family stress and strain, and looking after a disabled child, and the worry. We hear so much about bone marrow transplants and all the other initiatives and this is really positive. But there are other very simple things. Some things are very difficult and some things we haven't cracked yet. We haven't solved the issue of acute leukemia in children totally; in some types we have. But there are issues and we all say, what a terrible thing and the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars that is being spent on that.

We have a simple need of a little amendment in a bill that would save the lives of children, particularly under the age of 15 in this province and yet this government sits on its hands. That is not good enough and we want to do something about it and we ask them to bring forward their initiative on this and recognize their responsibility, particularly to the children of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for bringing forward this legislation and for the opportunity to discuss the principle of the bill which he has brought forward. I am going to talk about safety - in particular the issue surrounding scooters - but all recreational devices as well, because it is very important that we look at not just this single item that is used by people, but all other vehicle types that are used for recreational use. I am going to talk about how these vehicles are used as well.

[Page 4276]

When we talk about scooters, it also brings to mind the use of things like skateboards, rollerblades and unicycles, which are all devices used in a recreation form by people of all ages. So as we consider this particular item, we do it in the context of there being such a wide range of these types of vehicles being used by people throughout the province. In my mind, Mr. Speaker, there is no credible argument that can be made against the spirit of safety legislation. The real issue is not so much the spirit of legislation, but rather it is an issue with respect to enforceability.

Some in this situation would say that we are infringing on rights and freedoms inasmuch as they said that we infringed upon the rights of individuals with seat belt legislation or when helmets were brought forward for motorcycle riders and cyclists. We saw those arguments defeated by public will and common sense. So, Mr. Speaker, we will put that particular issue to rest.

Earlier this month, Motorcycle Awareness Month was proclaimed by the government and motorcycles have long been portrayed as a vehicle of freedom, or a vehicle of attitude or a vehicle of free spirit. Motorcycles across the province and across Canada and around the world have developed a greater safety mindset. Part of this change was due to legislation, but a large part, Mr. Speaker, was due to a growing maturity and sense of responsibility within the motorcycle community itself. I do not dispute these safety-minded proposals. What we do need to think about, however, is the implemention proposed in this bill. There is more to simply passing legislation than moving it through this place. There are enforcement issues that must be considered and there are public support issues and practicality issues as well.

So, Mr. Speaker, when we come forward with legislation, we must be certain that it is legislation that can in fact be enforced and enforced credibly. A survey of legislation in other Canadian jurisdictions on this subject will be a very short exercise because there is no other such legislation. That in itself is not a reason to say that there shouldn't be legislation here, however, it does point out a very important fact and that is that we are dealing with a vehicle which is very new to the recreational field.

First and foremost, as legislators, we must ask ourselves is a new law the way to go? Is it the only way to go and is it the best way? Is this the appropriate level of government to legislate on the issue and what other approaches are available? I don't believe that all of these questions got asked before the bill was brought before us.

Another fundamental consideration is that we cannot quickly slap a band-aid solution together without analyzing whether new legislation would contradict existing laws. Clearly, Bill No. 59, despite its good intention misses the mark, Mr. Speaker, and we need to be very certain that what we bring forward is, in fact, in the best interests of the situation that we are attempting to address.

[Page 4277]

The Motor Vehicle Act focuses on those vehicles that use roadways in this province. There is no provision under the Act to have scooters, rollerblades, skateboards and unicycles on our roadways. That, Mr. Speaker, is a very real problem facing all of us, because we know that these vehicles move from sidewalks to roadways, they move from driveways to roadways and there is a very real problem with respect to the enforcement of that sort of legislation.

You have municipal units which attempt to curb the use of these types of vehicles by banning their use in certain parts of their jurisdiction or their municipality. You have municipal units attempting to encourage the use of these vehicles off roadways by creating facilities for the use of these vehicles within the municipal units. Yet despite these many and varied efforts on the part of municipal units throughout the province, Mr. Speaker, they do not satisfactorily result in a complete elimination of these vehicles on roadways. All of us, as drivers, are forced to become extremely careful with respect to encountering these vehicles or these devices or people on these devices when they might dart out from between cars or come out of a driveway very suddenly onto the road and those are very real concerns.

Legislating is not the answer. The answer lies much more in an education process and the creation of an awareness process on the part of people. When it comes to scooters it is a very, very important issue with respect to parents and parents must be aware of the potential problems associated with these vehicles and the youngsters that wind up using them for their entertainment.

Now, by travelling on roads and sharing the roads with cars and trucks, cyclists face a much greater danger and that is specifically why scooters and other devices are not allowed on roadways except to cross the road and, of course, to cross the road they must use crosswalks in order for that effort to be achieved.

Now parts of the Motor Vehicle Act provide for municipalities to set aside portions of roadways that are specifically for bicycles and we see that in this city. You can go up on Brunswick Street and you will see the lanes that are used for bicycles there. There are bike lanes just a few blocks away, as I indicated, and likely more in many of the communities that the honourable members gathered here represent. I expect as an emphasis is placed on fitness, there will be even more and more lanes set aside for the use of bicycles so that individuals can get out and move and, indeed, we would like to see that encouraged wherever possible as an alternate form of transportation. Obviously, it has very many benefits for society as people would become much more active and they would be able to preserve energy and fuel and add to the improvement of our environmental situation.

Mr. Speaker, as we would move in that direction then, of course, we have to be able to accommodate the increasing demand, and we do that by ensuring that the vehicles are used appropriately and that we provide an opportunity for them to be used in a more appropriate manner.

[Page 4278]

[4:45 p.m.]

One of the tenets of good legislation is that it should provide a long-term solution to a long-term need. That is hard to establish for a device such as the scooter in the current environment. There were virtually no sales of scooters in 1999, then last year, the market exploded. Still, that doesn't mean that scooters won't be in attics beside Hula Hoops by this time next year. We simply do not know at this stage whether it is an activity which is going to be sustained, an activity which will grow and continue to grow into the future so that it will become well established as a device that will be used extensively by young people.

If that is the situation that develops then obviously, we have a long-term need. If it doesn't develop then we would be faced with legislation that is, in many respects, redundant if, in fact, it goes the way of a fad. That is the question that needs to be looked at. We are, within my department, monitoring very closely this situation, not only here within the province but in other jurisdictions. We would certainly be availing ourselves of any of the materials that are brought forward in the debate here today with respect to this subject matter as well.

Our government is working with partners and agencies on this issue, to develop a safety solution that protects Nova Scotians that is workable and enforceable. We have not brought forth legislation on this issue because we are still vetting approaches with our partners. We are talking with safety advocates like the Nova Scotia Safety Council, with police services and with the Department of Health. Our solution, if it is to be effective and widely supported, must speak to the people who use these devices, mainly young people, and reflect the probably short-lived fad that scooters could be.

There is general consensus that there is not a lot of information available. There are few, if any, injury statistics kept in Canada, mainly because of the off-road nature of the injuries. There are some benchmark statistics from the United States. According to the Centre of Disease Control and the Consumer Products Safety Commission. There were 30,000 scooter-related injuries in America last year; 9,000 in September alone. Statistically, that would translate to about 100 possible injuries in Nova Scotia last year. Clearly, there is potential for injury that must be addressed.

Yet, regardless of who we contacted, whether it was the safety council, whether it was the metro police, whether it was the Department of Health which initiated bicycle helmet laws in this province, we heard the same message - this is primarily a public education issue. Everyone acknowledges that laws restricting access to roads for these devices are on the books. Everyone acknowledges that rules requiring bicycle riders to wear helmets are on the books. Yet, we still see contraventions of these laws.

[Page 4279]

Are more laws the answer? We think not. We believe the answer lies in making people more aware of the dangers they face. That is the best solution. If it turns out that we are not dealing with a fad but there is, indeed, a long-term requirement, then that is a different situation. We expect to see greater responsibility exercised by the people who use these devices, and there is responsibility on their families to ensure that they are used appropriately and safely.

Mr. Speaker, the government has introduced new road safety legislation where it is appropriate. For example, the graduated fines for speeding that we recently brought before the House. We will soon introduce a new regulation for other areas of road safety and we will continue to monitor and take appropriate action on new issues such as scooters.

We appreciate that the . . .

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

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment the member for Dartmouth East for bringing this piece of legislation forward today and I also at the time was aware, as a school teacher, that during his time as the Minister of Health he took a leading role - prior to the minority government days when I had to put up with him as the Minister of Health - in bringing in legislation with regard to bicycle helmets.

I am ready to support this piece of legislation and our caucus has looked over the fact that there are always examples of pieces of legislation that are brought forward by us in the Opposition and they are worthy of support. The member for Dartmouth East, in fact, said that he would have allowed the appropriate minister, it would have seemed to me perhaps the Minister of Transportation and Public Works - you know there was an example, or there is an example in this sitting of the House, in this very session, that I stood in my place and had the pleasure of introducing a proposed piece of legislation about doubling fines in school zones for speeding and doubling fines for speeding in temporary construction sites.

That minister and his staff took it upon themselves to personally compliment me on the legislation, but also to include that legislation as amendments that they brought forward under Bill No. 21. It would seem to me that this would have been an opportunity for the appropriate minister, in this case the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, to accept this particular amendment. To look at this particular piece of legislation and bring it forward and the member for Dartmouth East has said that it is not necessary for him or his caucus to receive the credit, and we are not talking about credit here, we are not talking about political plums, we are talking about the health and safety of many young people.

[Page 4280]

I must tell you - that old adage about teaching old dogs new tricks - both of my daughters have assured me that whenever I get on the bike, which was supplied to me as a birthday present a number of years ago, I am to wear a helmet. I want you to know that helmet, incidentally, does have a Boston Bruins crest on it. At first I felt quite awkward about wearing that helmet. That old dog and the new tricks adage aside, I felt awkward wearing that helmet, but my daughters would not go on the Rails to Trails and they would not travel on the busy Highway No. 3 unless their father wore a bicycle helmet. I now feel comfortable with that, after all young people and the education of having people wear those helmets, that is after all only based on common sense, particularly when you are travelling some of the rotten roads that we have to bicycle in Timberlea-Prospect - I had to get that in for the minister's attention.

Last night I met a good friend of my friend for Cape Breton Centre and he was talking about his two children, Rory and Riley. Rory and Riley, first thing, when they get up in the morning, when Mom or Dad change them into - I believe they are five, is that correct? They are five years old this summer - these two hotshots from New Waterford, the very first thing they put on after the proper clothing of the day is their bicycle helmets and those bicycle helmets are on those two little guys for the rest of the day. Whether they are on their bikes and I don't know what kind of equipment they have when it comes to scooters or various other pieces of equipment, but those two little fellows feel great with those bicycle helmets on. Those bike helmets reflect the fact that young people in this province are fully accepting of the fact that this is the safe way for them to be biking.

Now let's look at what the minister said earlier. If anybody in that caucus over there should be carefully reading editorials, I would hope it would be out of the New Glasgow Evening News. Now there is a paper that the Premier and the good members for Pictou West and Pictou East read, I hope conscientiously. Kevin Adshade, a reporter for The Evening News, has covered a story in which young Michael MacKenzie and his dad, Earl, point out the value of having on the appropriate helmet when it comes to a scooter accident. It is called wear the right gear, Mr. Speaker.

I will table that because I think it is interesting that members opposite, if they don't read the New Glasgow Evening News, they should look at that piece of very well thought out journalism and look at the fact that here is proof positive that this is a piece of legislation that, although it could take some fine tuning, I am sure that the members of the Department of Transportation and Public Works staff could look at this suggestion and they could have incorporated it quite nicely into the omnibus bill which we dealt with earlier.

It does concern me and I have brought it to the attention to the mover of this bill that skateboarders are not included in this legislation. Now whether it is skateboarders or rollerblades, you have that generic term of scooters. What are scooters right now? The push scooters, the motorized scooters. These are terms that I know that the staff from the Department of Transportation and Public Works could have taken on and have met with the

[Page 4281]

member for Dartmouth East and encouraged him to perhaps fine-tune it somewhat and include some of these other motorized or other very quickly, no longer a fad.

For the member opposite to say that these are fads, I am sure that any member of this House who has not just young children but themselves are aware of the fact that these aren't fads. This isn't going to go the way of the Hula Hoop, although if you noticed recently, the Hula Hoop has come back. What we are talking about here is the safety of the many people who have these push scooters or if you see in return some of these people who are on these rollerblades, which is good for weight.

I hope the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has a pair of rollerblades because it is a great way to stay in shape over the summer, to make sure that when we get back on the ice again, he is not gagging and gasping for air. But if he goes out and gets a pair of rollerblades this summer, I urge him to go get a helmet to go with it. Don't use that old battered chinless hockey strap that he calls a helmet; don't use that, but get the proper equipment. After all, it would be a good example for the young people in his community and it would be a good example for other athletes of all ages to make sure you have the right equipment. When you go out there, you can, after all, make sure that you are safe.

Now the concern that I have and it is a minor one and I don't want to make light of it. I know that buskers are on those unicycles and I know that is a very entertaining part of summer entertainment across this province. Perhaps that would have been a concern that people in the Department of Transportation and Public Works, with the advice of the member for Dartmouth East, might have said now, you know, we will go along with parts of this proposed legislation, but we are not too keen on unicycles. But that conversation, according to the member for Dartmouth East, never happened.

I don't know whether, or I do know personally, but I am not sure whether our caucus would support the fact that entertainers, whether buskers or clowns or professional entertainers on the waterfront here should have a helmet on during their performance, but that is a minor point. That is a minor point in a piece of legislation. Those are professional people. I guess if we look at the fact that helmets are necessary in places of work, perhaps a helmet would be a decision they would ultimately have to make. But it is of real concern and the doctor for Dartmouth East brought it forward as an MD. He brought it forward because of the concerns and some of the results that he, probably as a doctor, has had to deal with.

[5:00 p.m.]

Let me tell you that as an educator, I have had the unfortunate situation of dealing with young people who have suffered from brain injuries. One of them was from a bicycle accident and the young person did not follow the advice of his parents and was involved in an accident without a helmet. The long-term results are really quite terrifying when you have

[Page 4282]

a young person who perhaps in a rush, perhaps because of one reason or another they can't find it as they head out the door, when you find a young person who has made that wrong decision.

In the community where I live, when I see a young person without a bike helmet, I must admit I go out of my way and say to them, where is your helmet? Well, I - for one reason or another, and I encourage them to please make sure when they run out the door after they have got the right kind of sneakers on, they have whatever right kind of gear, they are headed off, if they are on that bicycle, they must have a helmet on. That is the law.

So I see absolutely nothing wrong with extending that to include some of these popular modes of transportation and that is what they are for young people today. You see them, they are moving on the streets, they are moving on the sidewalks sometimes where perhaps they shouldn't be, but they are moving around at a fair speed and they have no helmets on. I am very sure that this would be an education process, it could take place very quickly because young people are much more receptive to change than maybe an old-timers hockey player like myself.

I know that if you look at what young people in their community would say to them, you know, remember the example from Brookside Junior High. Remember what happened to that particular young person that fateful day. Well, it was not fateful. I don't want to go too far with that, Mr. Speaker, but this young person without that helmet I am sure, I am not a medical doctor as you know, but I am sure that there wouldn't have been the trauma and the resulting injuries if that young fellow had had on his helmet.

So I am really surprised, when we look at the fact that here is a good suggestion brought forward by the Opposition, by the members of the Third Party who have looked at this as a positive suggestion the appropriate minister could have taken the action. The appropriate minister could have met with the member for Dartmouth East and said to him, some good ideas included here, perhaps I can have a member of my staff talk to you further because of your expertise in your medical career, because of some facts that you have. That minister can do that now. He can say that it would be appropriate to send this to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, to see that this would be a piece of legislation. This is something that could perhaps be a little more well-defined when it comes to unicycles. It is something that the government could have looked at in all common sense and said, good idea, let's incorporate it, let's allow that particular member the credit if necessary, although we are not into credit. We are not into looking at scoring political points here. This is a matter of safety. This is a matter of common sense and it does disappoint me that the government opposite wouldn't look at this suggestion and say it is something we can work with.

[Page 4283]

I encourage the government to accept the challenge now, to move this over to committee, perhaps with the change or two that have been suggested by me on behalf of the caucus here, but to look at these changes and to understand this is a good idea. It is a good idea that the appropriate minister should have accepted and whether you are on rollerblades, whether you are on that scooter, or whether you are on a skateboard, and I challenge members opposite, you want to get on one of those skateboards and try it. I wouldn't get on one without having a helmet on and I can assure you I have tried it a number of times and I have worn the helmet.

The concern I have, Mr. Speaker, is clear. Good legislation, good suggestions, and that group over there is putting politics before it because they will not accept the fact that although this idea has lots of merit, it should be moved forward to the committee as has been suggested. That comes from me as a school teacher, that comes from me as a New Democrat as supporting a medical doctor and a member of the Liberal Party. It is a good idea. So let's tune it, let's redefine it, let's move it to committee because the last thing, and here is the fear-mongering part, isn't it, I am waiting for somebody to say it, the last thing we need are further head injuries because of this lack of legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I know I am over my time, but I had to take that extra minute and 16 seconds.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

MR. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to congratulate and thank the member for Dartmouth East for bringing this important matter forward. I also want to point out to members of this Legislature that I certainly do believe in helmet safety. I believe, quite frankly, that there are a number of people who are walking around in Nova Scotia enjoying a reasonably good life as a result of wearing bicycle helmets and motorcycle helmets. It is certainly, in my view, the kind of thing that at some point in time this government should look at, and there should be an opportunity for this government to review the circumstances surrounding, particularly, micro-scooters, as well as other similar types of devices.

Mr. Speaker, in the community of Sackville and the surrounding communities, there is a growing number of young people who are taking these devices and enjoying themselves throughout the summer months. It is important that we provide them every opportunity for protection that we can. It is also important that we provide the parents with the right kind of knowledge and information that helps them provide the right kind of education and protection for their own children.

Mr. Speaker, one of the issues in Sackville that has been a growing issue in this area is the issue of skateboards. Skateboards in the community of Sackville have been an ongoing debate and battle for a number of years. There is a growing number of skateboard enthusiasts who use both the streets and the non-street parts of the community. In Sackville, we have had

[Page 4284]

to recognize the fact that it has been important for these people to provide a safe and reasonable place for them to participate in their sport. A lot of people would question whether or not skateboarding is a sport, but I would say that it is, contrary to the views of others; it is not a fad, it is something that, in my view, is here for the long term. I have had the opportunity to watch and enjoy some of the talent of the young people of Sackville in the skateboarding areas that we have set aside for them.

Mr. Speaker, in Sackville, we have had the opportunity to develop at least one temporary skate park in Metropolitan Field that has provided a relatively safe environment for those people who want to participate in that sport. The member opposite says they are a lot safer with helmets; in fact, at this particular facility they are required to wear helmets, but unfortunately they don't always do that. We know that even laws don't always make that happen, so that people will follow them.

I know for a fact that just today, I was driving across the bridge and on the bike lane there were a number of bicyclists who were going in both directions. I noticed a number of those people who were on bikes and weren't wearing helmets. I would point out to you and to members opposite that biking is a sport that I have enjoyed, more so over the past number of years. I have taken the opportunity to drive my bike to work, and I bike with my children. I wear a helmet, and I wear a helmet because of the fact that it is the law in Nova Scotia. I must confess, I am one of the people who didn't wear a bicycle helmet until it became law.

Getting back to skateboarding in Sackville, I will say that one of the very important things that is going to happen this summer is the community of Sackville is going to provide a safe place for people to skateboard. I have spoken to the councillor for District 20, the Lower Sackville area, and I have spoken to the councillor for District 19, and they are working diligently to try to develop a site in Sackville that will provide safe opportunities for people to participate in skateboarding and rollerblading as well. These micro-scooters, I would suspect, will be permitted in there as well.

It is a growing sport. I don't believe it is a fad, I think it is something we are going to see for a long time to come. One of the issues, though, that has been brought to people's attention in this House is the fact that these machines, these pieces of equipment are inconsistent with each other. You see them in all different shapes and sizes, and some of them powered. I would say that there needs to be some study with respect to the operation of powered scooters, these are very small scooters, often one, two, three horsepower motors that run these up and down the streets. They are very tiny, they are very powerful on a power- to-weight ratio, and they provide some element of danger and risk with respect to the operation.

Mr. Speaker, my children, both of my sons are skateboarders, they enjoy the sport of skateboarding. My wife and myself insist upon them wearing helmets when they use their skateboards and, therefore, I believe that it is important and imperative that this government

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look at the whole issue surrounding skateboard safety, the issue surrounding bicycle safety, surrounding motorized micro-scooter safety and micro-scooter safety. I think that it is imperative that we look at this entire issue. We can't look at one in isolation of the other.

I know that the member for Dartmouth East brought this issue to the attention of members. He has legitimate concerns. There is no question about that. I am certain that his rationale for bringing this forward is not to receive credit or to be the one who gets the glory as a result of this province potentially passing legislation that will provide safety. He did it, Mr. Speaker, in my mind he did it, because he felt it was the right thing to do. He did it because he felt that too many people were receiving needless injuries as a result of trauma caused by accidents on these particular devices.

Mr. Speaker, the member for Timberlea-Prospect pointed out an article that appeared in a local newspaper in New Glasgow. I have had the opportunity to read that article and I certainly understand the concerns that the parent, Mr. Earl MacKenzie, felt when he watched his son cream off into the asphalt and injure himself. There is nothing worse, having been a parent that has witnessed an accident like that with my own son, there is absolutely nothing worse than watching your son as he moves out of control and hurts himself, injures himself. It is horrifying, absolutely horrifying for a parent to see an issue like that.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, would the honourable member be kind enough to entertain a small, short question?

MR. BARNET: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Would the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank entertain a question.

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member. Simply put, does the honourable member support this particular piece of legislation?

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question and I support young people wearing helmets on these types of devices. I support young people wearing helmets on bicycles. I support young people wearing helmets and wrist and knee guards when they skateboard. I will say that, from a personal perspective, it is a requirement in my household and my children are required to not only wear a helmet when they ride their bicycles, but they are required to wear a helmet when they skateboard as well. My children don't have a micro-scooter, but if they did, as a parent, as someone who is concerned about the safety of their children, I would require that they wear a helmet on that as well.

[Page 4286]

Mr. Speaker, again, getting back to the issue, it is my belief fully that the member for Dartmouth East was looking out for the interests of Nova Scotians. I think that the bill, although at a first glance it is a worthwhile endeavour, in my view, we have to look at this issue much more fully. I think there are other things that can be considered. I think we have to consider the fact that there are issues surrounding skateboards. There are issues surrounding other types of sports that require this type of protection. I believe that it is important for parents, it is important for children to make sure that the right kind of protection is provided to the young people of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations gave a lengthy address about the virtues of safety. He talked in detail about the Premier's proclamation of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week. I will say that motorcycle safety in the Province of Nova Scotia has come a long way. It has come a long way as a result of the riders, those people who operate motorcycles, those people who enjoy and participate in that sport.

[5:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, as somebody who has been an enthusiast in motorcycles over the past 15 to 20 years, as somebody who has seen the bad side, the negative side of motorcycle accidents, I stand here today and represent the people of Sackville-Beaver Bank in large part due to the fact that I was wearing the proper safety equipment on an occasion when I had a less than ceremonious run-in with the side of a 1975 Camaro as a result of an accident that was no fault of my own but, obviously, the fault of the other driver.

I will say that I know first-hand the value of good safety equipment and I think that all parents should do the right kind of thing, not only provide the equipment to their children, but provide the right kind of education. It is my belief that there is a level of personal responsibility upon parents and upon the athletes - and I will call them athletes - who use these pieces of equipment, to make sure that they provide not only a fun, enjoyable opportunity for their children to participate in a healthy living experience, but to provide a safe and reliable enjoyment of the sport.

Mr. Speaker, I spoke earlier and I kind of got side-tracked by the member for Cape Breton . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable member allow for an introduction?

MR. BARNET: Yes.

[Page 4287]

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank. In the west gallery is a friend of many of us in this House. He is the former editor and chief of Hansard, Mr. Rodney Caley, who just retired recently and he looks no worse for wear. So he can rise and receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome Rodney here today to the Legislature. He has been in this House many times and he is quite a familiar face.

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have left actually?

MR. SPEAKER: You have about 35 seconds.

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I want to wrap up by saying that, again, I commend the member for Dartmouth East for bringing forward this idea. It is my hope and expectation that the government will take the idea, will work with it, and try to find ways in which we can, either through education or through legislation, if absolutely necessary, provide a safe and enjoyable experience for the young people who operate not only micro-scooters, but the motorized micro-scooters, the skateboards, the rollerblades and all other devices like this in the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time for debate on Bill No. 59 has expired.

The honourable House Leader for the Liberal Party.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 46.

Bill No. 46 - Sydney Casino Profits Distribution Act.

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

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 46 is necessary because the current government has violated the original rationale for establishing a casino in Sydney. That is very clear. When casino gambling was established in this province, there were legitimate concerns that came from our citizens. On the one hand, concern was expressed for those who can't control their own gambling activities and, in response, the regulated industry was required to direct a certain percentage of its profits towards addiction treatment for problem gamblers.

Another important concern, Mr. Speaker, the previous government addressed was the use of casino revenue and while government relies on those revenues, so too do many community-based, not-for-profit organizations. As we all know in this House, those

[Page 4288]

organizations provide some valuable service to us through their activities. When the current government took power, they abandoned the community organizations that were eager to apply casino profits for the purposes of community development and community service on Cape Breton Island and across this province.

Despite that fact, by virtue of some generous federal equalization payments, this government, Mr. Speaker, is now hauling in the highest level of provincial government revenue in history. The Minister of Finance and his Cabinet buddies over there diverted Sydney Casino profits away from the community and the organizations that need them the most and put them into the coffers of general government revenue.

Mr. Speaker, throughout this session of the House, our caucus has gone on record and documented and highlighted financial decisions of that government that go against the government's stated policy. The work of fiction that it distributed as an election platform and its stated intention to serve fairly the communities of Nova Scotia. The fact is that had this government continued the policy of distributing 50 per cent of Sydney Casino revenues to charity, not-for-profit organizations would have now received a total of $3.8 million. Anyone who has ever worked in the not-for-profit sector will know that community-based organizations, among the least wealthy but certainly the hardest-working agencies in our economy, can do a great deal more with a smaller amount of money than many publicly-administered programs and services; my point is that $3.8 million could have gone a long way in our communities.

For instance, let's think about how long the money that would have come from that $3.8 million would have gone with the monies that would have been received by such organizations as food banks throughout our province, including in my own constituency, the Glace Bay Food Bank Society. Had that money been distributed by that bunch of meanies over there, indeed, a lot more people would be better off, but that was not to be the case. Think of the women's centres whose funding crisis could be solved with the infusion of earnings from the Sydney Casino. Think of the ability of child-care providers to meet demand with some infusion of casino earnings. Think what that would have done. Think of the opportunity for community-based adult educators and job trainers, they could have made real progress with additional financial supports that would have been allocated from casino profits.

The only thing that this government serves is Tories. This bill would require them to serve all Nova Scotians and it would do that through community-based charitable organizations. I am not just talking about the Progressive Conservative endowment fund here. By devoting 50 per cent, fully one-half, of the Sydney Casino profits to non-profit organizations in the communities of our province, they could have accomplished that goal.

[Page 4289]

It is bad enough that a government that has record-breaking revenues would choose, for political reasons and only for political reasons, not to introduce the balanced budget. It is even worse that they have to increase fees and hidden taxes so if they ever do cut personal taxes by 10 per cent, Nova Scotians would still be out by another 25 or so per cent in increased user fees. This government has gone even further. It chooses not only to cut government funding to community-based organizations, but then it turns around and it also robs them of much needed earnings and revenues from the Sydney charity casino.

Meanwhile, we are left with the mark of a Buchanan era, political decision making everywhere on the record of this government, sort of like tattoos on a sideshow act or a circus. There are promises and more promises. You know the old saying, that power corrupts. It certainly has taken (Interruption) and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as a matter of fact. What happens (Interruption) and again, when I start talking about anything to do with the Sydney charity casino, all you can hear are catcalls from that bunch across the floor. Certainly they know and these are the same members, this is the same Tory Government that pulled that PR, public relations exercise about their raises and we exposed them for what they were on that. That has come to light, as well.

The member for Preston, for instance, stands up over there and catcalls about profits from the Sydney Casino and not too long ago when I was talking about their raises and what they did with them, he handed me a sheet and said, here is who I have given my raise to. It turns out that on that sheet he listed a bunch of churches. Not one of those churches has received any of that money. Not one. Not one church has received any money from that member. That member knows it, and that member turns around and says, he is quoted in the paper as saying, that he gave them the money. Then he says, oh, I am financially strapped at the moment, by the way, they didn't get that money.

Mr. Speaker, you take a look at his Web site, take a look at this Web site and you'll see what's on there.

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

MR. DAVID HENDSBEE: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. This honourable member is making assertions about me in regard to my commitments. I made a commitment that I will be making those contributions. (Interruptions) I said that in my newsletter, as well as I have until the full end of the year. (Interruptions) I have until the full end of the year to fulfill that commitment. I have already made contributions to a couple of churches this past weekend while I was attending their functions.

Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member is making assertions which are not true. (Interruptions)

[Page 4290]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member rose on a point of order and it is not a point of order, it is a disagreement of the facts between the two members.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for rising because he has just proven the point, that he is the biggest hypocrite in this House. The biggest hypocrite in this House right now, that is what you are. (Interruptions) The biggest hypocrite (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. (Interruptions) Order, please. So late in the day, too.

Honourable member for Cape Breton East, I would suggest that calling an honourable member a hypocrite is unparliamentary and I would ask you to retract that, please.

MR. WILSON: . . . retract those remarks.

MR. WILLIAM LANGILLE: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I would like to remind the member opposite, the member for Cape Breton East, that on this side of the House the Conservatives have all made a commitment to give their raise to charities.

AN HON. MEMBER: Let's see it. Let's see yours.

MR. LANGILLE: All of them. All of us. On that side of the House, the Liberals and the NDPs have contributed nothing, absolutely nothing, nor have they made a commitment. When that honourable member stands up and starts saying about our commitment and his lack of commitment, there is something definitely wrong. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. That is not a point of order.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East, your time has expired.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I was listening with interest in regard to the debate on the bill that the member for Cape Breton East put forward. I find it amazing, the member talks about catcalls on the other side in regard to his speech, and when anybody on this side gets up to try to retort, who is yelling the most but the honourable member opposite.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I just want to clarify (Interruptions) Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton East, his time has expired on the bill. Is the honourable Minister of Finance up on the bill?

MR. LEBLANC: It is my turn, yes.

[Page 4291]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance has the floor. I didn't know if you were up on a point of order.

MR. LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, for once I am not up on a point of order, I am speaking about the bill.

MR. SPEAKER: Very well. The honourable Minister of Finance has the floor, on the bill.

MR. LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I was referring, in my comments on the bill, to the lively debate that took place in this House in regard to the bill put forward by the member for Cape Breton East. I find it amazing because the member talks about the fact that Tories are heartless and the Tories are doing everything wrong, and that the Liberals somehow are God's gift to Heaven. He seems to forget a lot of things, such as the Hawco accounts, we could go through the litany that the honourable member for Lunenburg gave in his speech a little while ago.

Mr. Speaker, we don't profess to be perfect, never said we were, and we never will. However we did come forward with a platform that said that we would deal with the situation that was very serious in this province, the fact that we had a huge deficit, a huge challenge for us to overcome, and we put in place a four-year plan on how we are going to do it. One of the things that we said was that we wouldn't introduce a lot of new programs. As much as the honourable member opposite wants to say that this was a program that had already been started, the program had not been put in place.

[5:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, it was announced in 1994 when the previous government put in place a casino in Cape Breton after their committee, basically chaired by a previous Speaker of this House, Mr. Fogarty, I believe, went across the province and asked people of this province what they believed in. Did they want a casino? When they came back, the report was that they didn't want a casino. So what happened? The government, as that government did, never listened to anybody. They put in place the casino and they also put a casino in place in Sydney. Let's put it on the table. The minister at the time happened to be a gentleman by the name of Bernie Boudreau, who happened to come from that area.

Mr. Speaker, let's look back in history as to what unfolded in this whole casino debate. When they did that, they made provisions I think for half of the casino profits to go to the First Nations. They put that in place and they actually started paying those funds to the aboriginals of this province. I am not sure exactly how many years that was in place by the time I became a member of the Executive Council. Though I speak today as Minister of Finance, I was also Minister responsible for Business and Consumer Affairs, which was responsible for that program that the member opposite is talking about.

[Page 4292]

I know that the program hadn't been started. There was a committee that had been struck, Mr. Speaker, that people served and they were coming up with terms of reference as to how this money was to be disbursed. The obvious question was, since the thing started in 1994, how come I became minister in 1999 and the program hadn't started? Now that begs a lot of questions as to why that is so.

The other issue, Mr. Speaker, is the honourable member has stated time and time again, he makes the inference that this would be paying ongoing costs of food banks and of women's centres and other groups. The fact of the matter is, it was never designed to pay ongoing costs of programs. This program, the program that was designed prior to our taking office, was that this would be for special projects for non-profit organizations. I don't argue the fact that this program would go to non-profit organizations. I never argued that and I agree with the member's contentions opposite to say that this is where it was going to go. I disagree with the assertion of the member opposite that this would be an ongoing funding agency for soup kitchens or for food banks or whatever that he wanted to say. The other thing that he refers to is that this would be going to Cape Breton so we have stolen the heart and souls of Cape Bretoners. This was a provincial program that was designed by the previous administration.

Mr. Speaker, I go back to the fact that we as a government, when we came in, were faced with a $500 million deficit. I noticed the honourable member opposite, he plays both sides of the game, saying that we have blown additional resources and we should have balanced the budget by now and making inference that we don't have control. We have a plan. It is over four years and I say again, we have been fortunate that our economy has done better than previewed and for that, we thank the citizens of this province. It isn't government that makes the economy grow, it is the private sector. Because of that, we have had increased revenues. What we have we done with it? We have invested it back into things that Nova Scotians care about, things such as community services and helping those people get on their feet and become independent, things such as my colleague, the Minister of Health, whereby we put more money into health. The same thing that bunch over there is asking us for. We have also put it in education . . .

MR. JERRY PYE: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The point of order is that I have listened to the Finance Minister's comments and some of those comments I concur with, with respect to the distribution of the money from the gambling revenues that come through this province. But one thing I would like that minister to do is to table the kind of information that he is saying where that money has been put to use. I want that minister to table that tomorrow or before this House rises in this spring session. That is what I want that minister to do, table a list of where every one of those dollars went.

MR. SPEAKER: It is not a point of order. It is a disagreement of facts between two members. The honourable Minister of Finance has about three minutes.

[Page 4293]

MR. LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I am amazed. I sat through the estimates for 80 hours where that same bunch and that same member had access to where we are spending the money. We are spending more money in health. We are spending more money in education. We are spending more money in community services. If he doesn't know that, where was he? At least the members opposite know we spent more money; where was he?

Mr. Speaker, to get back to the point. In regard to this bill, we made a decision not to go forward with this program. It was a new program that had never been announced - it had been announced, but had never been put in play. I go back to the point. If it was such an important program for the Liberal Party, where were they since 1994? They were in government all those years and never put it in place; it was always going to be tomorrow. They have to explain to the people of Cape Breton as to what they were doing putting a casino up there and what was the whole aspect. Was it trying to buy jobs in Cape Breton? Trying to buy votes? They will explain it to the people of Cape Breton, because I don't think they believe them very much, whatever they say.

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I would like to ask the honourable minister, the biggest question after hearing everything he is saying, I am wondering, what did you do with the $3.8 million that you stole from charities? (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton East knows that to use the word "stole" in here is unparliamentary. I would ask him to retract that, please.

MR. WILSON: I retract that particular word . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable Minister of Finance, you have about one minute.

MR. LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, what did we do with it? We tried to deal with the difficult problems of this province, where every Nova Scotian has to take part. They didn't want to do it and now they have the audacity to stand up in this House and say that we haven't balanced the budget. The mess and the misrepresentation that they told Nova Scotians that they had the budget of this province balanced, telling Nova Scotians that they should rest easy at night, that everything was taken care of, when that was the furthest thing from the truth, for that the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia owes an apology to every man, woman and child in Nova Scotia, and they should be ashamed. For that member opposite to ask what I did with the money, I am dealing with the problems that that Party didn't deal with.

Mr. Speaker, in regard to this bill being put forward, I have stated before that I will not support the bill. I said why we did it in the first place; it was a new program, and we are not prepared to go forward with it.

[Page 4294]

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

Order, please. Order, please.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, once again I find myself being the calming influence in this House. I will be sharing my time with the member for Dartmouth North.

Mr. Speaker, I do support this bill. I want to say from the beginning that I support the bill, and the Minister of Finance, in his assessment, is somewhat correct but again is somewhat wrong. This province entered into casino gambling with, I think it is fair to say, not a lot of public support. One way, I think, that the government of the day decided it would be able to garner some public support would be to say that certain profits would go to help charities throughout the province. That is one of the points where I agree with the Minister of Finance; it was for all of Nova Scotia. It wasn't for industrial Cape Breton or it wasn't for Cape Breton Island or eastern Nova Scotia, it was for all of Nova Scotia. So, I agree with that.

I think what is fundamentally flawed with the Minister of Finance's argument on this was you waited so long to get it done. Well, I think it is fair to say that it was quite some time before that very casino started showing a profit so it could be distributed. I sat on the Human Resources Committee when we named the board of directors, so I find that was some of the problem with making it grow at that point. The other side, like most members of this House - had that money been taken out and we were given a dollar by dollar breakdown of where those casino profits went I think it would have made us a lot happier. Would not have satisfied us, but would have made us a lot happier. Instead, it just went into the sinkhole and that is what we fundamentally disagree on.

I think the other fundamental problem we disagree on is where this money was headed and why the minister took it away. If we remember back, at the same time, there were Ministers of the Crown taking away funding for building accessibility for the disabled - that money could have been used for that, so those things - and later on that was reintroduced. I guess my problem with the government's cash grab on this money was quite simply that it was taking money that was not theirs. They can argue the position and say that it hadn't started to be distributed, but that is not fair. It is money, it is not tax revenue. The money had already been taxed as payroll before the bettors even bet the money. This was not new money, it was old, taxed money that they then took.

I will be taking my seat and giving the floor over to my colleague for Dartmouth North, but in essence, I agree with this bill and I disagree with the Minister of Finance's position that it was money that was not really earmarked. I believe it was on the road to being that,

[Page 4295]

while it doesn't take any great pleasure to agree with the Liberals on this, I have to kind of hold my nose and somewhat agree with them.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: I want to compliment the member for the new constituency of Glace Bay and hopefully that will be the constituency that will be there after the next provincial election.

I want to tell the member though that although I support the intent of Bill No. 46, I would say that the profits should not only be from the Sydney casino, but from casino operations entirely. I think that we ought to look at that.

The problem that concerns me is when the Minister of Finance stands in this Legislative Assembly knowing full well the intent of the revenues that were generated from gaming. The minister turns around and says himself that this money was to be generated to non-profit organizations throughout this province in order to enhance and benefit those non-profit organizations. Then that minister turns around and says that he is going to use that revenue for deficit cutting, to put into health, to put into community services, to put into education and he doesn't tell us specifically where those dollars went.

I want you to know that it is extremely difficult for charitable organizations to generate any revenue and I want to go to the gaming authority's annual report and tell you on Page 8 it simply implies that charitable bingos, which charitable organizations used to raise money for bingos, is down some 4.1 per cent. Also charitable lottery tickets are down some 15.5 per cent. They are competing in the marketplace trying to generate revenue for those charitable, non-profit organizations in a marketplace that they can't compete in. Because they are competing against the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and the casino operations. All of which are generating money for this government and I want to tell you that the government is the biggest gambler at the table. They come and they always come with the winning hand. They can never lose.

Do you want to know who loses? The charitable organizations lose. Also, the VLT retailers have lost because they had their revenue cut back and also problem gamblers have lost. Three organizations that in fact were recipients of these dollars - or should have been the recipients of these dollars - are all losers. We are now in over $1 billion industry which this government could dispense those dollars into those non-profit organizations which would benefit those non-profit organizations greatly. It would give those non-profit organizations the ability to stand alone.

[Page 4296]

[5:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, the problem with the gambling addiction in itself is a very real problem in this province, and 66 per cent of Nova Scotians do not want video lottery terminals - 66 per cent. What kind of a business can you have I want to know, an organization like the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and the government, which can pay back 66 per cent to 67 per cent of the gambling money while holding 45 per cent of that revenue? That is significant money. Money which this government has in its black hole or its sink hole or within its purse, and money which this government chooses to dispense of whichever way it chooses to dispense, and that might even be for election campaigning.

Unless we get an itemized list on how that money is spent, the revenues from gaming, then we in the House can only speculate that that money is being spent improperly, and that government is not prepared to address this issue. Also, there should never be a reason for this bill. If, in fact, the Gaming Foundation, which was set up to dispense the money garnered from the casino operations, as well as the video lottery machines, as well as the Atlantic lottery money, if, in fact, the Gaming Corporation took on its responsibility and dispensed those dollars out to the agencies and organizations that rightfully deserve it, then Bill No. 46 would not be before this House.

Bill No. 46 is primarily a bill that sets up a structure, it sets up an organization and it sets up a committee. That is what Bill No. 46 is all about. It sets up a committee to dispense the money. There is never a need for Bill No. 46 if, in fact, the government sets up the agency or allows the agency, called the Gaming Foundation, to continue to dispense that money into this community. Let the Gaming Foundation go on and do its job.

The Minister of Health is very much aware of how many dollars there is within the trust of the Gaming Foundation. The Gaming Foundation has an obligation to dispense that money now, and to dispense that money to those agencies and organizations. The Minister of Finance can stand here and speak all he wants, but the intent of generating revenue from gaming was to assist non-profit organizations, not to pay off the debt of this province, and that is an important point as well.

Mr. Speaker, I think this is such an important item that it deserves an emergency debate at some time . . .

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

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to close the debate on Bill No. 46, a bill introduced in this House by my colleague from the constituency of Glace Bay. I believe that this bill was introduced with the intentions of righting a wrong here;

[Page 4297]

that is why this bill was introduced. It became apparent to us as a Party, and I am sure to the Official Opposition to my right as well, that this government was not going to move on undoing a wrong that they have done in terms of the proceeds from the charity casino.

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk for a few moments about the impact in my area, an area that has the highest unemployment rate in Canada. It has a number of organizations that have been literally shut off from government funding and were looking forward to relying on the kind of assistance that this bill would provide, and also the assistance that the government should have insisted was provided from the charity casino in Sydney.

Mr. Speaker, to hear the Minister of Finance talk about finances is laughable. That is the same minister who was part of the tag team, with the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, that bankrupted this province, bankrupted the province in the 14 or 15 years they were in government from 1978 to 1993. Bankrupted this province, that is what they have done and this is the same minister who stands on his feet here today and tells us about the direction this province is heading in. (Interruption)

Well, Mr. Speaker, I will tell you the direction. He is trying to say that he needs this $3.8 million because he is going to balance the books of this province and that is going to help. That is the message he sends when, in fact, the reality is in that the next four years the deficit in this province, the long-term debt in this province is going up over $400 million. That is not my figure. That is a figure that comes from his own department and, not only that, the interest payments on the debt are going to go up over $1 billion, the highest in this province since Confederation. That minister can still stand on his feet over there and tell Nova Scotians what a wonderful job he is doing. He is going to complete his first term in office with a debt of this province $400 million more than when he started and the debt repayment is going to be over $1 billion a year in that term.

The Minister of Transportation and Public Works pipes up, another one of the tag-team match who literally bankrupted this province and are setting out to do that again, Mr. Speaker, by the introduction and the passing of Bill No. 20 in this House which is going to take the scrutiny of this House away from what they intend to do in the next couple of years - look after their friends in Nova Scotia. But, do you know what, here is who are not their friends - the people who need the assistance most in this province, the people like groups in my area, the Every Woman Centre, Transition House, Loaves & Fishes, all of those, the John Howard Society, you name them, I can go on and on, who depend on assistance and were looking forward to getting assistance from the proceeds of this charity in order for them to operate because they are not getting any other help from this government.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I could stand in my place here and tell you that the people are profoundly disappointed in my area that this government has decided to abscond with that money and put it into the general Treasury of this province. Our Premier, Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham there and, yes, I have referred to them as that before with a good

[Page 4298]

reason. I want that title on those two gentlemen to stick because that is exactly what they are doing. They are lifting money from the pockets of the people of Nova Scotia on a regular basis - in Bill No. 30, in Bill No. 20, the casino legislation, and every other piece of legislation you can throw in this House. They are lifting money out of the pockets of the people of Nova Scotia in order to give some of it back in a couple of years time, trying to buy re-election with the people of this province's own money. That is what they are trying to do.

They are not fooling anybody, Mr. Speaker, they are not fooling anybody at all because the people of this province are going to be reminded time and time again of the agenda of this government. It has one agenda and one agenda only - look after Tories in this province and get re-elected at any cost. One of those costs is to hurt the most vulnerable people among us in our society. The people who need assistance from the government are simply not getting it. You saw a group out here, today, picketing this place because they are being forced back into the workplace because of legislation. They are being forced back into the workplace because of being cut off. I was out there talking to them today and I hope that every member of this House talked to them today to hear their stories, but I doubt it. I don't think too many men or women on the government side here, today, were out there talking to them, but I was and I am sure colleagues on this side of the House were out there.

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, it is a shame when people and organizations who are out there doing valuable work in our community cannot even count on this government to take profits from a charity casino and put it into their pockets so they can do valuable work in the community. I think that is not only a travesty, I am not even sure whether it is morally right. I am sure it isn't morally right. I don't have to wonder about it, I am sure of it, but the people on the front benches of this crowd over here are going to be making all the decisions. The decisions aren't going to be made in this House. The Premier said to the press yesterday that this House was becoming a nuisance and he would hope that we would get out of here because ministers have work to do.

Well, excuse me, Mr. Speaker, but the business of the people of this province is being conducted in this House and as long as we have something to say, this is where the discussion is going to take place, not in the Treasury benches or in the bunker downstairs. (Applause) The lack of accountability is what this government wants. That is what they want, the lack of accountability to be able to have their way with the people of Nova Scotia and those who are more vulnerable than any other group are going to suffer greatly as a result of this government. This government doesn't care about the disadvantaged of this province. This government does not care about community-based groups and this government only cares about lining the pockets of their friends, the high and mighty, the rich and the powerful, and their only goal is to get re-elected. You know what? They are trying to do that by trying to camouflage the fact that we are going to be $400 million more in debt when they go back to the polls.

[Page 4299]

Mr. Speaker, isn't that a great legacy for the first mandate of the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Transportation and Public Works? That is one heck of a legacy, and the interest payments are going to be higher than the amount of money we spend on education for the first time in history of this province. That's some legacy. What they are going to do is they are going to take that $3.8 million - or whatever the amount is that was supposed to go to casinos; I believe it is around that and it is probably growing as the profits grow - they are going to take that money and they are going to try to sell a bill of goods to Nova Scotia. Oh, that is going to be put in the pot to help stabilize the budget of this province.

In two years time they are going to come out with a tax break. They are going to give Nova Scotians back the money they absconded with in the first two years of their mandate. The money that they absconded with, the money that should have flowed through from the federal tax cuts, they grabbed that, took it in their pocket - the sheriff took it, another tax. He went around the land, to Nova Scotia, on the orders of Prince John and he said you pick the pockets of every Nova Scotian you can and then, when you are finished doing that, find more ways. Call them user fees, but do not give any assistance to the poor of this province. Do not give any assistance to the groups in our communities who need that assistance, from Yarmouth to Glace Bay. Never mind them because they can't do anything for us. Look after our friends in high places. Like the Education Minister says, look after our friends. Look after groups that will eventually look after us.

We see it time and time again. Tendering is a thing of the past with this crowd because they are going to pick somebody to do something for them, and then say nobody else can do it. But, Mr. Speaker, having said all of that, we will discuss that at another time. What we want to tell this House and the people of Nova Scotia is that there are people and groups in our communities who need this assistance, who were expecting this assistance, and are deserving of this assistance and should be given this assistance by this crowd over here. If they do nothing else, that is the least they can do for Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Cape Breton East, I want to move second reading of this bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, you have about two seconds.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Yes, Mr. Speaker, we have . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Time has expired on Bill No. 46.

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 4300]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move now that the House do rise to meet again on the morrow at 12:00 noon. The House will sit until 8:00 p.m., and the order of business will be Bill No. 54 for third reading, and if we complete that bill we will move into Committee of Whole House on Bills and we will deal with the bills that were returned from the Law Amendments Committee today. If we finish that, we will then go into third reading of those bills. So with those few remarks, I move that we now adjourn.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The House will be adjourned until 12:00 noon tomorrow. We have reached the moment of interruption.

[Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House urge the federal Liberal Government to do what is right for the health and safety of our military personnel and ensure a competent and timely replacement of this country's aging Sea King helicopter fleet.]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable for Kings West.

SEA KING HELICOPTERS - GOV'T. (CAN.): REPLACEMENT - URGE

MR. JON CAREY: Mr. Speaker, I rise today on an issue of great importance to the constituents of Kings West and to all Nova Scotians, and that is the health and safety of our military personnel. More specifically, I refer to the crew of our Sea King helicopter fleet. A few weeks ago I brought in a resolution that basically requested all members of this House to urge the federal government to do what is right for the health and safety of our military personnel and to ensure a competent and timely replacement of this country's aging Sea King helicopter fleet.

This motion did not receive the unanimous support of the House, so I felt that it must have been either misunderstood or it needed more explanation. So that is the main reason for me really bringing this topic back this evening.

[Page 4301]

[6:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, this is an occupational health and safety issue because, as they now stand, while faithful in service for many years, the Sea Kings have had a declining margin of safety, making them extremely unreliable. Way back in 1993, the federal Liberal Government told the people of this country of their disgust for the cost of the Conservative plan to build EH-101 helicopters. In 1992, the Progressive Conservative Government approved the replacement of the Labrador Search and Rescue units and the Sea King Maritime helicopter fleet with a common helicopter, the EH-101.

Mr. Speaker, 43 EH-101s were ordered at a cost of $4.3 billion. The Chretien Liberals campaigned against the EH-101s in 1993, and scrapped the program at a cost of approximately $0.5 billion on taking power in 1994. In fact, in the Liberal backgrounder of September 1993, they stated, "In considering the question of whether Canada should proceed with the acquisition of EH-101 helicopters, Liberals have sought to match the value of this purchase with our view of the necessary priorities that government must pursue in light of changing times and scarce public dollars."

Unfortunately, time has shown that they did not show any respect for scarce public dollars in this matter. The Liberals split the program to replace both the Labrador Search and Rescue helicopter and the Sea King. In 1998, they awarded a contract to Team Cormorant for 15 EH-101s at a cost of $800 million for search and rescue. In 1994, a White Paper promised an immediate replacement of the Sea King fleet by the end of the decade. The Minister of National Defence repeatedly stated that the Sea King fleet would be replaced by 2005, or as soon as a procurement strategy was put in place.

The project was also subject to further scrutiny and the Grey Committees, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, also reinforced this statement. While the EH-101s meant jobs for Canadians, a by-product of buying off the shelf, as advocated by the Liberals, means that less money will be spent directly on Canadian industry. The last two years have seen several high-profile operational failures of Sea Kings, including aborted NATO exercises, failed medical evacuations at sea and impaired high-sea seizures of the GTS Katie.

Our Forces are required to do the search and rescue, to provide drug enforcement and to take part in these NATO exercises. When they do these and the equipment fails on them, it is demoralizing for them, not only an embarrassment to the country but also their safety is at great risk. I don't know if you have ever had flying instruction, Mr. Speaker, but I have had some, and one of the first things the instructor said - I have never had a pilot's licence for a helicopter, but I have for fixed wing - that runway behind you and fuel on the ground is not very valuable. If you ever wonder why the Sea Kings, when they fly around Halifax, up the harbour, or if they are at Greenwood going up in areas, they fly very close to the ground and stay near the runways and over the water.

[Page 4302]

There is a reason for this, the safety factor. They could have an emergency at any time. They have fear in flying this equipment. It's really a shame. The unreliability of the Sea Kings is hampering the operational effectiveness of our Navy despite valiant efforts by maintenance crews. As I said, it is extremely unreliable, although it is a testament to the crews, the maintenance personnel and the machines that there has only been one fatal crash of a Sea King since 1994.

Let's keep in mind that for every hour that one of these helicopters flies, there is 30 hours maintenance. Is this economical? I think not. Would this encourage you to fly one? I think not. The Maritime Helicopter Project was initiated in August 2000, yet it now seems likely that there will be no full replacement of the Sea King before 2008, despite the Minister of National Defence's promises. This was nothing more than a political football for the government, ever since they first sunk $0.5 billion into the EH-101 cancellation fee. The federal Liberals continued to promote on both their Web site and their 2000 election campaign of their actions to strengthen the Canadian Forces and properly equip them to ensure they are able to respond quickly to calls for help at home and abroad.

When you see articles, which I will table, of former high-ranking military personnel criticizing the government under which they faithfully served, you know the concerns I have spoken of tonight are real. (Applause)

It will cost approximately $600 million just to maintain and upgrade the helicopters to the year 2008. What they claim was going to be a saving for the taxpayers has turned into a huge additional expenditure somewhere in the area of $3 billion over and above the original Tory commitment back in 1993.

From a personal standpoint, I live and work with some of these people who fly this equipment, use this equipment in the fire service and when you work with them, many of them so well trained and they volunteer in the community and live in our communities, they are willing to share and commit their time, their training and so on to the advancement of the public and to the communities in which they live, I must say that when I get to know these people. It is all right to put a number on somebody or say so many people are flying these, but when you know them and they are going out every day flying equipment that they know is not safe, some of it as old as I am and that is too old to fly. I can tell you that when you see the wives who have a concern on their faces when their husbands go to work and on the children - this is not, I am not just saying this to bring something to say about the government and what they do - this is much bigger than politics. These are human beings who are asked to go out and do a job serving our country, who are well trained, the best in the world actually, they go out and they are in competition all the time with Commonwealth countries and the U.S. and they come back successfully winning trophy after trophy as being the most efficient. They are doing this in spite of equipment that is not what it should be. We owe these people. We are asking them to do a job - let's provide them with the equipment to do the job.

[Page 4303]

We are in a position, thankfully that the federal government says they have a surplus. There doesn't appear to be any reason and I have pieces of newspaper here where commanders, retired admirals and so on, are criticizing the government on their choice. They want to replace with a cheaper model, units that will not fly on the fuel supply to the boundaries that we have to protect on the sea. We can't go within 20 miles of our boundary. I just can't understand how they can - we have a Sea King air crew stage near revolt. These people are not happy with this type of equipment.

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

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have an opportunity to speak on this resolution. For the record, it should be known that the vast majority of the members who work on the Sea Kings and fly the Sea Kings, live in my riding of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. Some of them live in Dartmouth South, some of them may live in the Preston or the Dartmouth East ridings. No one in this House knows better than I do the work that these people go through to keep these aircraft flying. These are my neighbours, these are the people I work with on a daily basis, they are the people I see at the Lions Club or at the Legion or at the local schools. The member is correct, these are people who clearly have concerns about the safety of the aircraft. They are based at CFB Shearwater; that's 12 wing, that's what the Sea King is attached to. They are also out at Esquimalt, out at the airport in Victoria.

It is important that we reflect on the fact that the future of the Sea King and the future of CFB Shearwater are one and the same. This isn't an issue that needs to be - the member says we don't want to have politics involved, and he is right, it is bigger than politics. We need to ensure that the replacement for the Sea King comes and comes as soon as possible for the safety of the crews that fly them, for the safety of the people who live near Shearwater, which includes predominantly my riding or the riding of the member for Dartmouth South. It is also important to remember that the Sea Kings must fly out of Shearwater, and that is a political issue and it is one that we must reflect upon as well. They shouldn't be flying out of Greenwood, they shouldn't be flying out of Gander, they shouldn't be flying out of the Halifax International Airport. They should be flying out of Shearwater, and I will talk about that for a minute.

I think one of the things that the member wasn't remiss from that I think is important to reflect on, is the fact, yes, it takes 33 hours of maintenance for every hour that these things fly and it is important to reflect on the crews who risk their lives flying these, and they shouldn't have to risk their lives. It is a dangerous job as it is being a member of the military, but I hope that they wouldn't do that as well.

[Page 4304]

I think what is also important to note is we must not diminish the work and the efforts of the maintenance crews who keep those aircraft flying. To dismiss it as something that is a shame or is costly, doesn't reflect on the fact that those maintenance crews do incredible work to keep those aircraft flying and we must have the respect and show them the respect necessary.

The member for Kings West did note the fact that there has not been a fatality since 1994 - only one, I think, since 1994. That is a testament to the incredible amount of work being done by the maintenance crews at Shearwater, and they must be given some appreciation for that. As are the crews, the navigators, the pilots, the co-pilots who fly the helicopters; they as well need recognition for the efforts in keeping these flying, continually to get in them and continue to fly. Yes, clearly, they are very concerned about the future of the aircraft, as well.

That is why I was proud last Thursday, I think, I had the opportunity to go to a town hall, organized by the MP for the area, including Shearwater, Peter Stoffer, the Defence Critic for the NDP.

AN HON. MEMBER: Where was that?

MR. DEVEAUX: At the Aviation Museum. It was a very well-attended town hall and one in which people had major concerns about the future of Sea King and the future of Shearwater, because they are tied together.

When you get down to it, Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear that if you are going to have an aircraft, the Sea King, that is meant to be for our frigates, that's their purpose, they are supposed to be aircraft helicopters that will be on board frigates. It doesn't make sense to have them in Greenwood, it doesn't make sense to have them at the Halifax International Airport. All that extra flying time that results in maintenance; all that extra fuel that will be spent flying them back and forth just to get them on ship. In Shearwater you have a jetty in which the ships can pull up and the aircraft can be brought on board, or they can easily just be flown over quickly.

That is why we need to ensure that Shearwater stays open as well. It employs over 1,000 people, both civilian and military personnel in the Dartmouth area. It is a major employer, I think one of the largest in the Halifax area, and there is no need for it to close. It is a viable airport, it is a viable Air Force base and there is no need for that to close. Yet, we have a government, a Liberal Government federally, that is talking about closing Shearwater, moving these aircraft to Greenwood. That isn't the answer, Mr. Speaker, that's not the answer for the people of Nova Scotia, that's not the answer for the Navy. The Navy fully funds the cost of maintaining CFB Shearwater. They should be able to dictate where they want them and I would suggest, not to put words into the mouths of the senior brass in

[Page 4305]

the Navy, I think they would like them to stay at Shearwater, because that is so close in proximity.

Shearwater has a long history, Mr. Speaker, a very long history of naval air support in Nova Scotia and in Canada, and indeed for NATO. You can go back to Lieutenant Byrd who later became - I think he was a South Pole explorer - Admiral Byrd. But when he was Lieutenant Byrd, he started at Shearwater in 1918, at Bakers Point, which later became a very important base during both World Wars. After the war we had the Magnificent, we had the Bonaventure, aircraft carriers that were - if you ever go to the Aviation Museum and talk to the people who served on those aircraft carriers, you will see people who clearly show the pride of being part of the naval air, a time in which they could say they played a proud part in the history of NATO, the Cold War, and World War II.

[6:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, that is gone and that is sad. That was done 30 to 35 years ago, but we still have an opportunity to maintain logistically a form of naval air. Whether it be part of the Air Force or part of the Navy, there is a need to have people and have aircraft positioned on the coast at Shearwater so that they are able to be ready to serve when necessary, whether that be search and rescue, whether that be onboard frigates. That is why we need to ensure that we keep Shearwater open and that has to be tied to new aircraft that will be brought in to replace the Sea King and as soon as possible I might add.

That is why in this House earlier this session I moved a resolution asking this House, and it was unanimously accepted, to send the message to the Liberal Government federally that they want the Sea King replaced as soon as possible. That is why last week I moved a resolution that this House adopted unanimously, Mr. Speaker, encouraging the government to maintain Shearwater into the future. Both these are tied together and it is important. I thank the House for its support for the people in my riding. It is important that we replace the Sea King as soon as possible. It is important that we don't put politics into that.

Let's make sure that the replacement is the best aircraft possible. Yes, we have wasted a lot of money because of the Liberals tearing up that contract. I don't think there is anyone in this House who would deny that. Yes, the government continues to play politics with the problems with the replacement, putting people on committees that clearly have biases and have an animus toward some of the potential providers of the aircraft.

All these are problems that must be addressed, Mr. Speaker, but the biggest problem is always that this government came forward with a press release and some very good statements just before the election last year, the federal government did, saying that they were going to replace the Sea King by 2005. Clearly it was nothing more than a PR gimmick prior to the election so the people in Atlantic Canada, and particularly the people in metro, maybe it was meant for Bernie Boudreau, I don't know, but clearly it didn't work. Clearly it was

[Page 4306]

meant to try and send (Interruption) I think Bernie also went up in one once, he was trying to show how impressive it was, how brave he was by going into a Sea King at one point.

Mr. Speaker, those kind of gimmicks, that kind of PR, we see that with regard to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works with regard to Highway No. 101. It is the same sort of thing, but people don't buy it. People don't give into it and that is why we don't see Liberals sitting in the federal Parliament in Dartmouth and greater Halifax and my area because people didn't buy into that. (Interruption)

Mr. Speaker, the key here is that this House has endorsed the need for Shearwater to be maintained as a base and for the replacement aircraft for the Sea King to be brought on as soon as possible. Those two things put together will create a strong naval air support for our frigates, for our submarines. That is what is necessary, having a base that is located in the metro area close to the naval base, having a base that clearly has the facilities, has the maintenance crews, has the pilots and the navigators who will ensure that they will be able to keep those aircraft flying, whether it be the Sea Kings for another 5 or 10 years, or any aircraft after it. But we must ensure that Shearwater stays open and we must ensure that the replacement for the Sea King is done as quickly as possible and is also at Shearwater because those two together will ensure a proud naval future as well as a proud naval history.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, thanks for the opportunity to debate in the Adjournment debate under Rule 5(5) tonight. Certainly I, too, want to speak as the member for Dartmouth East, an area where many of those persons involved with the maintenance and the actual flying of the Sea King helicopters have resided. I have known them as families, patients of mine when I was doing family medicine practice in that area and also shared with families the loss of some of their loved ones, their fathers and their spouses whose lives were lost during those years.

It has been very much a part of Dartmouth East and the Shearwater community, the exercises of war and the exercises of practising for war. It seems trite to call it a health and safety issue, but that is exactly what it is and I think the member for Kings West was correct in having that, that anything that can be done must be done. I think the fact that they have been able to maintain in such good condition and the minimal loss of life for so long a period of time in the outmoded and the outdated Sea King helicopters speaks well for those types of personnel who work on the machinery.

The last accident report that we heard of took place in Quebec, that just was released the other week does show that it was a very unusual accident and probably the sort of thing that can happen under any circumstances; it may not have been directly related to the age of the machine. But when things go bad, they go bad very quickly and often with dramatic results and the loss of limb and life. We saw on television, I don't watch a lot of television,

[Page 4307]

I happened to see some clips yesterday I think it was, on a Korean helicopter hitting a bridge and very dramatically exploding on the roadway. So these are very dramatic issues and very important and ones that we take very seriously.

I just want to say, as a member of the Provincial Legislature, whether I am Liberal, Tory or NDP, but as a Liberal I certainly would put the onus on the federal government to speak for itself. They don't ask me what I think. So I can say to them, get on with it and get the job done. I agree, Mr. Speaker, that the Sea Kings should be replaced and they are being replaced now as we speak. I would like to see them replaced faster and I know that the government's procedures and processes of procurement take time.

It is amazing that the Tories would lecture us about another government on inaction and that is the fun about this issue here today. We just reflect back to Question Period today and see the difference of opinion and the inaction and the paralysis actually, of this provincial Tory Government. For example, Sydney Steel and the government budgeted $250 million for a cleanup and nothing has happened. They keep putting it on their books to make their books look better and yet nothing is happening. The people are in the streets. Literally, the children are in the street eating the dirt from time to time and the people are suffering.

So schools throughout the province need to be replaced, but only a handful are being built. Roads are crumbling, yet very little is being done this year so far as I have seen. Nothing is being done on Highway No. 101, except some landscaping by the Minister of Transportation and Public Works from West Hants. Is it any wonder that he is known locally, in these Chambers, as the minister of landscaping and not the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. Remember the gentleman - it was the day after the election - who, if nothing was being done, was going to take a bulldozer and go out and plow a highway, a second lane on that Highway No. 101? And the nurses and the list goes on and on, Mr. Speaker.

The province won't pay the nurses what they are worth. They are undervalued by this government and emergency rooms are closing from a lack of doctors and the proper organization of medical services to support those types of services all throughout the province. It is a shame that the member who submitted the resolution won't bring these issues forward instead of issues which really, basically, he and I have very little control over. I do agree it is a subject of debate and that is why I chose to rise here this evening. This is the third time or fourth time that this has been on the order paper and it is certainly not like the johns bill that the Minister of Justice doesn't have the guts to bring forward. This member at least stands in his place and debates that. (Interruptions)

On a second thought, he may have . . .

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The honourable member knows quite well that it is unparliamentary to suggest that any member lacks guts and I would ask the honourable member to withdraw it because he knows better.

[Page 4308]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East, being the honourable gentleman that he is, I know will want to rise and withdraw that comment.

DR. SMITH: Yes, I got carried away in that moment. But I do get so emotional when there is a Minister of the Crown who has a bill that has three times - so I would just say that the minister has adequate girth to address the johns bill.

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian military has undergone a major refit over the last 10 years, including new frigates, new coastal patrol vessels, upgrades to Auroras, Hercules aircraft, as well as CF-18s. Sea Kings will be replaced over the next eight years. Twenty-eight new Maritime helicopters will be required at a cost of $2.9 billion, and that is a very significant amount, and it is a great investment.

Replacement helicopters cannot be bought overnight. It is not like going out and buying a fleet of trucks. The advance technology of new helicopters requires a longer period of procurement and an updating so that you don't get a machine that is already out of style and out of operation. I agree, no question, that Ottawa should move faster, but let's look at our provincial government one more time. When the Sea King replacements were announced in August 2000, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, the Honourable Alfonso Gagliano said, This procurement strategy has been developed to ensure that Canada gets both the helicopter and mission system that meets its need at the best possible price. Let's compare that to what the Education Minister said when she changed the P3 school process on June 23, 2000. She said, our plan is to build great schools for students at a cost taxpayers can afford.

It seems rather ironic that this resolution basically condemns the federal government for doing exactly what this government did with the P3 schools, except that in the case of P3 schools, Nova Scotians are going to get cookie-cutter schools without the proper technology. In 20 years time, when there are fewer students, once more, the government will be stuck with empty schools. We are still paying today for those schools that were improperly built by friends of the government under that Tory Regime that have worn out and practically fallen down. We are still paying that, that is still in that $11 billion debt. So, don't talk to us about the debt of schools. I think the record of this government speaks for itself.

Mr. Speaker, except in the case of the P3 schools, the lesson here is that the problems facing Nova Scotians are great, and the Tory backbench should solve the problems at hand rather than constantly trying to find a scapegoat in the federal government. I say the federal government will speak for itself. It is amazing that every time we ask a question in this House a member of the Cabinet says, oh, yeah, Liberals are worse than us, the Minister of Health says that, just like children who won't take responsibility, the government will not take any responsibility for any action. Time is running out . . .

[Page 4309]

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The Department of National Defence and national defence in this country is a federal responsibility, for that member to stand and try to shift focus onto P3 schools and this, that and the other thing is reprehensible. He knows that men are going in the air in unsafe conditions, and the men and women, their families and children are very concerned about it. I would ask him to withdraw those comments. He should be ashamed of himself . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. That is not a point of order that the honourable member is up on, but it certainly is a clarification of the facts, a disagreement of facts between two members and a clarification.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East has the floor, you have about 30 seconds.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, that member, very effectively, in a nonsense way has taken my time away from the points I wanted to make. He doesn't like to hear the truth. Even though the Premier said the debt wouldn't go up, the debt is going to go up for the next six years, and the Premier didn't know that. When asked a question, all he can say is, the Liberals did it, too. That is not a good government. When they get tired of blaming the former government, they blame the federal government. That is what is going on. The federal government can answer for itself. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Time has expired on this evening's late debate.

The House is adjourned until 12:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 6:29 p.m.]

[Page 4310]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 1495

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Majorie Riley for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Majorie Riley and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1496

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Marjorie Ross for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Marjorie Ross and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4311]

RESOLUTION NO. 1497

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Beatrice Adams for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Beatrice Adams and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1498

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Sarah Fairfax for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Sarah Fairfax and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4312]

RESOLUTION NO. 1499

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Rita James for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Rita James and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1500

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Ada Simmonds for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Ada Simmonds and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4313]

RESOLUTION NO. 1501

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Dorothy Slawter for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Dorothy Slawter and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1502

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Iva Clayton for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Iva Clayton and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4314]

RESOLUTION NO. 1503

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Gladys Thomas for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Gladys Thomas and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1504

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Mary Jane Kane for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Mary Jane Kane and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4315]

RESOLUTION NO. 1505

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Pearl Glasgow for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Pearl Glasgow and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1506

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Nellie Saunders for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Nellie Saunders and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4316]

RESOLUTION NO. 1507

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Lillian Ross for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Lillian Ross and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1508

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Elsie Glasgow for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Elsie Glasgow and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4317]

RESOLUTION NO. 1509

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Elsie Johnson for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Elsie Johnson and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1510

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Edna Colley for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Edna Colley and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4318]

RESOLUTION NO. 1511

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Eliza Brooks for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Eliza Brooks and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1512

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Edith Colley for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Edith Colley and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4319]

RESOLUTION NO. 1513

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Ida Clayton for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Ida Clayton and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1514

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas recently in East Preston, the Women's Auxiliary of the East Preston United Baptist Church held the Annual Women's Day Service where they paid honour to the women in their community who have reached the milestone of 80 years or more; and

Whereas this ladies auxiliary has rightly chosen to honour these women whose life experiences and contributions have made their community richer; and

Whereas the auxiliary has gratefully acknowledged Mrs. Ada Clayton for being a cornerstone of her community and for paving the way for younger generations to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Mrs. Ada Clayton and commend the East Preston United Baptist Ladies Auxiliary for celebrating these women and reminding their community to pause to pay their respect.

[Page 4320]

RESOLUTION NO. 1515

By: Hon. Michael Baker (Minister of Justice)

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

Whereas this is the second year that the Canadian Woodland Forum has given an award to recognize outstanding forestry contractors in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Andy and Wendy Looke of Scarsdale, Lunenburg County, own Looke Cancut Ltd. and have been in operation since 1995; and

Whereas Andy and Wendy Looke were the recipients of the 2001 Canadian Woodlot Forum's Outstanding Contractor of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Andy and Wendy Looke on being awarded the Outstanding Contractor of the Year for 2001.

RESOLUTION NO. 1516

By: Mr. Barry Barnet (Sackville-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation recently celebrated their School Sport Luncheon Awards; and

Whereas these awards are presented to student athletes and coaches who exemplify the qualities of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation; and

Whereas Millwood High School student Andy Ingram on May 4, 2001, was awarded the Exemplary Participation Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Andy Ingram for his commitment to Millwood High School, his education and sport.

[Page 4321]

RESOLUTION NO. 1517

By: Mr. Barry Barnet (Sackville-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation recently celebrated their School Sport Luncheon Awards; and

Whereas these awards are presented to student athletes and coaches who exemplify the qualities of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation; and

Whereas Millwood High School student Stephen Nicks on May 4, 2001, was awarded the Exemplary Participation Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Stephen Nicks for his commitment to Millwood High School, her education and sport.

RESOLUTION NO. 1518

By: Mr. Barry Barnet (Sackville-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation recently celebrated their School Sport Luncheon Awards; and

Whereas these awards are presented to student athletics and coaches who exemplify the qualities of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation; and

Whereas Millwood High School student Candice MacDonald on May 4, 2001, was awarded the Exemplary Participation Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Candice MacDonald for her commitment to Millwood High School, her education and sport.

[Page 4322]

RESOLUTION NO. 1519

By: Mr. Barry Barnet (Sackville-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation recently celebrated their School Sport Luncheon Awards; and

Whereas these awards are presented to student athletes and coaches who exemplify the qualities of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation; and

Whereas Millwood High School student Amanda Pashkoski on May 4, 2001, was awarded the Exemplary Participation Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Amanda Pashkoski for her commitment to Millwood High School, her education and sport.

RESOLUTION NO. 1520

By: Mr. Barry Barnet (Sackville-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation recently celebrated their School Sport Luncheon Awards; and

Whereas these awards are presented to student athletes and coaches who exemplify the qualities of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation; and

Whereas Millwood High School student Larry Marchand on May 4, 2001, was awarded the Exemplary Participation Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Larry Marchand for his commitment to Millwood High School, his education and sport.

[Page 4323]

RESOLUTION NO. 1521

By: Mr. Barry Barnet (Sackville-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation recently celebrated their School Sport Luncheon Awards; and

Whereas these awards are presented to student athletes and coaches who exemplify the qualities of the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation; and

Whereas Sackville Heights Junior High School Coach Dorothy Lutz on May 4, 2001, was awarded the Outstanding Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Dorothy Lutz for her commitment to Sackville Heights Junior High School and sports.