The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 01/02-99

















HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY



DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS



Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott



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



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



Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.





Second Session



MONDAY, MAY 6, 2002





TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Health - New Waterford Emergency Services: Cuts - Oppose,
Mr. F. Corbett 9527
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - East. Passage:Hovercraft Operation - Oppose,^
Mr. K. Deveaux 9528
Commun. Serv. - Transition Houses/Women's Ctrs.: Service Cuts -
Oppose, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 9528
Tourism & Culture - N.S. Arts Council: Dissolution - Oppose,
Mr. J. MacDonell 9528
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3667, Nat'l. Nursing Wk. (05/06-12/02)/LPN Day (05/09/02) -
Recognize, Hon. J. Muir 9529
Vote - Affirmative 9529
Res. 3668, NSCC/UCCB: Offshore Training - Congrats., Hon. J. Purves 9530
Vote - Affirmative 9530
Res. 3669, Brooks, Mary - Int'l. Trade & Transport. Comm.: Chair -
Appt. Congrats., Hon. R. Russell 9530
Vote - Affirmative 9531
Res. 3670, Mental Health Wk. (05/06-12/02) - Recognize, Hon. J. Muir 9531
Vote - Affirmative 9532
Res. 3671, N. Amer. Occup. Safety & Health Wk. (05/05-11/02):
Opening - Acknowledge, Hon. D. Morse 9532
Vote - Affirmative 9533
Res. 3672, Emergency Preparedness - Participants: Efforts -
Recognize, Hon. J. Muir 9533
Vote - Affirmative 9533
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 130, Lunenburg Common Lands Act, Hon. M. Baker 9533
No. 131, Gray Grant Act, Mr. J. Chataway 9534
No. 132, Atlantic Blue Cross Care Inc. Act, Ms. M. McGrath 9534
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3673, Westray: Lessons - Heed, Mr. D. Dexter 9534
Res. 3674, Nat'l. Nursing Wk. (05/06-12/02) - Recognize, Dr. J. Smith 9535
Vote - Affirmative 9535
Res. 3675, Urbana Architects/MacFawn & Rogers - Library Design:
Award - Congrats., Ms. M. McGrath 9535
Vote - Affirmative 9536
Res. 3676, Nat'l. Nursing Wk. (05/06-12/02) - Acknowledge,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 9536
Vote - Affirmative 9537
Res. 3677, Emergency Preparedness Wk. (05/06-12/02) - Recognize,
Mr. K. MacAskill 9537
Vote - Affirmative 9537
Res. 3678, Atl. Journalism Awards: Recipients - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Purves 9538
Vote - Affirmative 9538
Res. 3679, Seniors: Concerns/Needs - Address, Mr. D. Dexter 9538
Res. 3680, Lunenburg Co. - Employers/Employees: Workplace Safety -
Prioritization Congrats., Mr. D. Downe 9539
Vote - Affirmative 9540
Res. 3681, Crooker, Marie: Contributions - Thank, Mr. J. Chataway 9540
Vote - Affirmative 9540
Res. 3682, C.B. Post: Atl. Journalism Award - Congrats., Mr. F. Corbett 9540
Vote - Affirmative 9541
Res. 3683, Rideout, Samantha: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 9541
Vote - Affirmative 9542
Res. 3684, Cottars: Album Release - Congrats., Mr. C. Clarke 9542
Vote - Affirmative 9543
Res. 3685, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel. - Assess.: Uniform Policy - Create,
Mr. J. Pye 9543
Res. 3686, Workplace Safety: Support - Recognize, Mr. R. MacKinnon 9544
Vote - Affirmative 9544
Res. 3587, Dumas, Roger: Entrepreneurial Spirit - Applaud,
Mrs. M. Baillie 9544
Vote - Affirmative 9545
Res. 3688, Russell, Peter: Doubleday Award (2002) - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 9545
Vote - Affirmative 9546
Res. 3689, Sampson, Evan/Doucette, Karina: War Amps Award -
Congrats., Mr. M. Samson 9546
Vote - Affirmative 9546
Res. 3690, Trites, Dr. Allison: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Parent 9547
Vote - Affirmative 9547
Res. 3691, Cable, Lou - Ice Award (Posthumous): Organizers -
Commend, Mr. J. MacDonell 9547
Vote - Affirmative 9548
Res. 3692, Sports: Hfx. Oland Exports - Congrats., Mr. B. Boudreau 9548
Vote - Affirmative 9549
Res. 3693, D'Alessio, Jillian: Achievements - Congrats., Mr. B. Barnet 9549
Vote - Affirmative 9550
Res. 3694, Diverse Visible Cultures, Ctr.: Cultural Diversity
Recognition Awards - Congrats., Mr. G. Steele 9550
Vote - Affirmative 9551
Res. 3695, Hospice Care Wk. (05/06-12/02) - Recognize, Dr. J. Smith 9551
Vote - Affirmative 9552
Res. 3696, Sears, Dr. John T. - St. F.X.: Honorary Deg. - Congrats.,
Hon. A. MacIsaac 9552
Vote - Affirmative 9552
Res. 3697, Celtic Mass for the Sea - Carnegie Hall Performance:
Participants - Congrats., Ms. Maureen MacDonald 9552
Vote - Affirmative 9553
Res. 3698, Nat. Res. - Parks: Operating Hours - Extension Criteria,
Mr. K. MacAskill 9553
Res. 3699, Palliative Care Wk. (05/06-12/02)/Lun./Queens Palliative
Care Prog. - Recognize, Mr. D. Downe 9554
Vote - Affirmative 9555
Res. 3700, Whistleblowers Act (NDP): Gov't. (N.S.) - Adopt,
Mr. J. Pye 9555
Res. 3701, Notre Jardin d'Enfance: Prix de la Francophonie - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 9556
Vote - Affirmative 9557
Res. 3702, ADI - Public Body: FOI Act - Designate, Mr. J. MacDonell 9557
Res. 3703, Greaves, Daniel - Ryl. Can. Humane Assoc.: Award -
Congrats., Mr. G. Steele 9558
Vote - Affirmative 9558
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 125, Smoke-free Places Act 9559
Hon. J. Muir 9559
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 9563
Dr. J. Smith 9570
Mr. D. Dexter 9576
Mr. R. MacKinnon 9586
Mr. K. Deveaux 9594
Mr. D. Downe 9606
Mr. F. Corbett 9619
Mr. K. MacAskill 9629
Mr. M. Samson 9634
Hon. J. Muir 9640
Vote - Affirmative 9641
No. 101, Fire Safety Act 9641
No. 105, Elevators and Lifts Act 9641
Hon. D. Morse 9641
Mr. F. Corbett 9642
Mr. Manning MacDonald 9642
Hon. D. Morse 9643
Vote - Affirmative 9643
No. 106, Guardianship Act 9643
Hon. M. Baker 9643
Mr. K. Deveaux 9643
Mr. M. Samson 9643
Hon. M. Baker 9644
Vote - Affirmative 9644
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., May 7th at 12:00 noon 9645
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3704, Hfx. Shopping Ctr. Teen Advisory Bd. - Teenage Violence:
Stance - Applaud, Hon. J. Purves 9646
Res. 3705, Private Bus. Networks Inc. - Lotus Advisor Magazine:
Award - Congrats., Mr. J. Chataway 9646
Res. 3706, Boyd, Danny & Sons: Rescuers - Thank, Hon. A. MacIsaac 9647
Res. 3707, Laskin Moot Court Comp.: UNB Law Students - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Clarke 9647
Res. 3708, Can. Mental Health Assoc.: Efforts - Applaud, Mr. F. Corbett 9648
Res. 3709, C.B. Literacy Network: Participants - Honour, Mr. F. Corbett 9648
Res. 3710, Nursing Homes - Costs: Policy - Reconsider, Mr. J. Holm 9649

[Page 9527]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, MAY 6, 2002

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Brooke Taylor, Mr. Jerry Pye, Mr. David Wilson

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, if I may have the indulgence of the House, before I table this petition, I would like to introduce three people in the west gallery: Heather Henderson, President of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union; Diane Gillis and Sandra Rizzato, health care workers, RNs. Sandra is a health care provider and RN at New Waterford Consolidated Hospital and certainly one of the key driving forces around a coalition. I would like them to receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause of this petition, which has been signed by over 6,000 people in and around the Town of New Waterford, "A coalition of concerned citizens are calling for support to fight RECENTLY ANNOUNCED health care cuts to New Waterford Emergency Services. We believe that HEALTH CARE for our families is a RIGHT and not a LUXURY. We call on the NOVA SCOTIA GOVERNMENT to support us in our cause. NO CUTS TO EMERGENCY!." I would like to table these 6,000 names.

9527

[Page 9528]

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to file a petition on behalf of the residents of Eastern Passage, 205 of whom have signed with the prayer, "WE THE UNDERSIGNED ARE ALARMED AND OPPOSED TO THE UNCONTROLLED AND DISRUPTIVE OPERATION OF A VERY LOUD HOVERCRAFT ON OR NEAR THE SHORES OF MCNABS ISLAND, LAWLORS ISLAND AND MACCORMACK'S BEACH PROVINCIAL PARK." As I said, 205 signatures and I have affixed my signature as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition, the operative clause which reads, "WE DO NOT SUPPORT A BUDGET BALANCED ON THE BACKS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN. Being safe is a right and not a privilege! We believe that every Nova Scotian woman should be able to count on shelter and support whenever and wherever it is required. By threatening to reduce or eliminate services provided by transition houses, women's centres and men's treatment programs, we put women and their children at further risk. We therefore urge the government to abandon its plan to limit access and to cut those essential programs and to begin a meaningful dialogue with communities about addressing true need. In our community, Chrysalis House, a valuable and essential resource, helps hundreds of women and children each year - by providing shelter, support, counselling, outreach, and advocacy. Chrysalis House helps the rest of us in the community to understand the complex problem of family violence and how we can all take part in 'breaking the cycle of violence'." This petition has been signed by 276 people and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition with a title, Save our Arts Council. It's to the Honourable Rodney J. MacDonald. The operative clause is, "We the undersigned strongly oppose the government's decision to dissolve the Nova Scotia Arts Council without notice to or in consultation with the people of this province. The arts community needs an agency that works at arm's length from government. We call on the government to restore the Nova Scotia Arts Council." There are 43 signatures on this petition and they cover an area from Maitland, in my constituency, to Truro to Tatamagouche. I have affixed my signature in support.

[Page 9529]

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3667

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

Whereas May 6th to 12th is National Nursing Week and May 9th is Licensed Practical Nurses Day; and

Whereas we are very fortunate in this province to have over 12,000 highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced men and women dedicated to the nursing profession; and

Whereas nurses use that skill and knowledge to fulfill many valuable roles in our health care system;

Therefore be it resolved that the House recognize May 6 - 12, 2002 as National Nursing Week and May 9, 2002 as LPN day and thank the nurses in our province for the dedicated contribution they make to the betterment of our health care system and the health of all Nova Scotians.

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 9530]

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 3668

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 Nova Scotia Community College and the University College of Cape Breton have joined forces to train workers for offshore industries; and

Whereas these institutions have secured a contract to train 15 ExxonMobil workers from the National Petroleum Institute in Angola; and

Whereas these Nova Scotia institutions won the contract over facilities in the U.S., the U.K. and South Africa;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the NSCC and UCCB on their achievements in offering high calibre offshore training for Nova Scotians and for professionals around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

RESOLUTION NO. 3669

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

Whereas Mary Brooks has recently been appointed Chair of the International Trade and Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board; and

[Page 9531]

Whereas based out of Washington, D.C. the committee is part of the U.S. National Research Council and provides expertise to the government, the public, and to scientific and engineering communities concerning their areas of proficiency; and

Whereas Ms. Brooks, the first Canadian to ever chair this committee, is also the William A. Black Chair of Commerce at Dalhousie University and serves on the board of directors of the Halifax International Airport Authority;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Mary Brooks on her prestigious appointment as Chair of the International Trade and Transportation Committee and wish her continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3670

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

Whereas May 6th to May 12th is Mental Health Week, a time to raise awareness about mental health and reduce the stigma around mental illness; and

Whereas we are encouraged by the home-grown research, treatment and educational opportunities in Nova Scotia for mental health professionals; and

Whereas we are increasing funding to mental health and reaffirm our commitment to develop continuum of care for children, youth and adults with mental health needs;

Therefore be it resolved that the House recognize May 6 - 12, 2002 as Mental Health Week and thank all those individuals and groups working to support persons, families and friends affected by mental illness.

[Page 9532]

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 Environment and Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3671

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

Whereas the goal of the Occupational Health and Safety Division of Nova Scotia Environment and Labour is to improve health and safety in the workplace; and

Whereas the week of May 5th through May 11th has been designated as North American Occupational Safety and Health Week all across the continent; and

[2:15 p.m.]

Whereas North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is intended to increase understanding and raise awareness of occupational health and safety issues among employees, employers and the public;

Therefore be it resolved that we acknowledge the official opening of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week in Nova Scotia, which took place at 11:00 a.m. today, Monday, May 6th, at the Grand Parade in Halifax, and thank all employees, employers and the general public who took part.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 9533]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister assigned the administration of the Emergency Measures Act.

RESOLUTION NO. 3672

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

Whereas May 6th to 12th is Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada; and

Whereas Nova Scotia has demonstrated its ability to respond to very extreme emergencies over the past few years thanks to the many staff and volunteers associated with emergency agencies; and

Whereas this year's theme is Keeping Canada Safe - Emergency Preparedness Begins With You;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the valuable efforts of all those who are involved in emergency preparedness and encourage every Nova Scotian to become more prepared for disasters that may take place in their own 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.

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 130 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 72 of the Acts of 1897. The Lunenburg Common Lands Act. (Hon. Michael Baker as a private member.)

[Page 9534]

Bill No. 131 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Title of The Gray Grant Society to Certain Lands at Chester Basin in the County of Lunenburg. (Mr. John Chataway)

Bill No. 132 - Entitled an Act to Enable to Blue Cross of Atlantic Canada and Maritime Medical Care Incorporated to Amalgamate to Form Atlantic Blue Cross Care Inc. (Ms. Mary Ann McGrath)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3673

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

Whereas as the 10th Anniversary of the Westray disaster approaches, surviving family members, like Allen Martin, feel that their efforts have not yet gained the necessary protection of workers' lives, safety and health; and

Whereas the federal Liberals' refusal to enact the recommended Criminal Code amendments symbolizes that failure to value the lives of working Canadians; and

Whereas families are also disheartened by the long delays in enactment of adequate health and safety regulations, both by the Hamm Government and the previous Liberal Government;

Therefore be it resolved that no government should neglect the lessons of Westray by dragging its feet on legislation, regulation and proper enforcement to avoid preventable workplace deaths, injuries and illnesses.

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.

[Page 9535]

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3674

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

Whereas this week, May 6th - 12th has been designated National Nursing Week; and

Whereas this week is a time to acknowledge the dedication of nurses and the vital role they play in the acute and long-term sectors, as well as those working in public health and home care; and

Whereas National Nursing Week provides us with an ideal opportunity to think about our province's many nurses, as well as the opportunities and challenges they face in providing quality health care;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize National Nursing Week and recognize the vital role that nurses play as valued members of the health care team.

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 Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 3675

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

Whereas the Mary E. Black Gallery is showcasing an exhibit of award-winning, environmentally responsible architectural designs; and

[Page 9536]

Whereas the exhibit focuses on water and energy efficiency, use of environmentally friendly materials, and restricting the occurrence of health hazards such as mould; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Award of Merit at the exhibit was presented to Urbana Architects Corporation and MacFawn & Rogers Architects Ltd. for their environmental design for the Keshen-Goodman Public Library;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Urbana Architects Corporation and MacFawn & Rogers Architects Ltd. for the design of this award-winning library, a true community resource for the residents in Mainland North.

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. 3676

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

Whereas May 6th to May 12th is National Nursing Week; and

Whereas nurses are the cornerstone of our health care system; and

Whereas nurses often find themselves under-appreciated and their work undervalued;

Therefore be it resolved that this House acknowledge National Nursing Week and nurses for their hard work, dedication, and value to our health care system.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 9537]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 3677

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

Whereas this week, May 6th to May 12th, has been designed Emergency Preparedness Week; and

Whereas this year's theme is Keeping Canada Safe - Emergency Preparedness Begins with YOU; and

Whereas Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada that uses a formal process to evaluate the emergency preparedness of its municipalities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize this week as Emergency Preparedness Week and the importance of planning ahead and preparing for potential emergencies.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

[Page 9538]

RESOLUTION NO. 3678

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 Atlantic Journalism Awards began in 1981 to honour journalists for their professional excellence; and

Whereas from the many deserving nominees, winners of Atlantic Journalism Awards were named at a gala dinner and ceremony this weekend in Halifax; and

Whereas winners from Nova Scotia include The Chronicle-Herald's Paul Schneidereit - feature writing, print; Tim Krochak - photojournalism print; The Cape Breton Post newsroom - spot news, print; Pam Berman of CBC Radio, Halifax - continuing coverage, radio; The Daily News' Scott Dunlop - photojournalism, spot news; Paul Pickrem of ATV Sydney - photojournalism, feature, television; and Michael deAdder of The Daily News - editorial cartooning;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate these journalists on their recognition of excellence by way of their Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3679

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 government has presided over rising Pharmacare premiums, and shortages of and increased costs for in-home support and care facilities for seniors; and

[Page 9539]

Whereas the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and then seniors know their voices aren't being heard by the Hamm Government; and

Whereas this discontent is such that the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia has gone so far as to call upon this government to appoint a minister to deal exclusively with seniors' issues; and

Therefore be it resolved that this government heed the call of seniors to devote more resources to hearing their concerns and design programs that address their needs in an adequate and rational manner.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3680

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

Whereas occupational health and safety is of major concern to employers and employees in Lunenburg County; and

Whereas companies like Michelin, Bowater Mersey, MTT, NS Power and NSCC have made workplace safety a priority; and

Whereas despite the efforts of employers and employees, last year 16 people were killed accidently on the job while another 11 died as a result of diseases acquired in the workplace here in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize those employers and employees who have made workplace safety a priority, especially those in Lunenburg County during occupational health and safety week.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 9540]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 3681

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

Whereas Marie Crooker served her last month on the South Shore District Health Authority in April and recently moved to join her family in Prescott, Ontario; and

Whereas Marie came to the South Shore from Ontario 25 years ago to settle in Italy Cross and, after a few years in real estate, she became a full-time volunteer, devoting the majority of her time and energy to health issues; and

Whereas for the past 15 years Marie has served on a wide variety of boards and organizations pertaining to mental health, violence, addictions, women and youth issues and human rights, including time as chairperson of the Lunenburg County Community Health Board;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank Marie Crooker for her tireless volunteer work and recognize the very extensive and important contributions that she has made - both in her community and in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 3682

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

[Page 9541]

Whereas the Atlantic Journalism Awards were held in Halifax on Saturday, May 4th; and

Whereas the Cape Breton Post newsroom took top honours in the sport news print category; and

Whereas the award was bestowed upon the Post for its in-depth coverage of the closure of the last working coal mine in Cape Breton, the Prince Mine in Point Aconi;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Cape Breton Post for winning the distinguished Atlantic Journalism Award and for its efforts to present comprehensive, timely news on issues of regional and national importance to its many readers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader in the House of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 3683

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

Whereas Samantha Rideout, a Grade 12 French immersion student at the Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School, has placed second in the country in a national poetry contest; and

Whereas the poetry competition, sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets, offered students the opportunity to compose a poem in either official language; and

Whereas in honour of National Poetry Day on Thursday, March 21st, Samantha was invited to read her poem entitled "Je Danse Moi" at Government House;

[Page 9542]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly extend their congratulations to Samantha Rideout on her accomplishments and recognize the value of a French immersion education.

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 North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3684

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

Whereas the Cottars - a name once given to recent immigrants from Scotland and Ireland who settled in Nova Scotia - are also Cape Breton's most recent Celtic group; and

Whereas with music and a sound that sets them apart, the Celtic quartet has just released its first album - Made in Cape Breton; and

Whereas ranging in age from 11 to 14, this group is made up of the very talented Jimmy and Roseanne Mackenzie from Baddeck, and Fiona and Ciaran MacGillvary of Mira;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Cottars on the release of their new album and wish them luck and success in their musical career and happiness whenever they play.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 9543]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3685

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

Whereas this government introduced legislation that dumps upon municipalities the thorny issue of devising a fair tax system to deal with the consequences of rapidly escalating assessments on waterfront properties; and

Whereas the member for Timberlea-Prospect observed sagely that this will create a patchwork system of tax breaks on coastal properties, only adding confusion to the situation; and

[2:30 p.m.]

Whereas this government would rather wash its hands of the matter through this legislation than develop a fair, comprehensive and uniform rule for application throughout the province on all properties faced by sky-rocketing assessments;

Therefore be it resolved that this House call upon the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations to go back to the drawing board and create a fair, comprehensive and uniform formula for the taxation of not only coastal property owners, but for all owners facing rapidly escalating assessments.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

[Page 9544]

RESOLUTION NO. 3686

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

Whereas each year in Canada about 1,000 workers are killed on the job and close to 1 million workers are injured; and

Whereas each year in Nova Scotia an average of 12,000 workplace injuries or accidents are recorded; and

Whereas last year in Nova Scotia 16 people were killed accidently on the job while another 11 died as a result of diseases acquired in the workplace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the need for the continued support of safety in the workplace as this week marks occupational health and safety week 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.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3687

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

Whereas it is hoped that in the not too distant future, cruise ships will be docking in the Town of Pictou; and

Whereas Transboreale Cruises, now in the process of constructing two cruise ships, each valued at approximately $220 million, chose Pictou as a destination because of its old town charm, Scottish history and walking access to town attractions; and

[Page 9545]

Whereas two different cruise routes are being proposed around Atlantic Canada, with Pictou being included as a stop on both routes;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of businessman Roger Dumas and wish him every success as he works toward the enhancement of Nova Scotia's cruise ship industry and, more importantly, toward the enhancement of the tourism and economy of downtown Pictou.

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. 3688

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

Whereas Richard "Dickie" Doubleday of Upper Tantallon was a legendary old-timers' hockey player; and

Whereas the Doubleday Spirit of Old-timers Plaque is awarded annually to a player from the St. Margaret's Masters Hockey League who best typifies the true spirit of old-timers hockey; and

Whereas on Saturday, May 4, 2002, Peter Russell was named as the winner of this year's Doubleday Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Peter Russell on this prestigious award with best wishes in the future on and off the ice.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 9546]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 3689

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

Whereas two local War Amps from Richmond County were honoured during a parade in Sydney; and

Whereas 16-year-old Evan Sampson and Karina Doucette of Richmond County were presented with a pin featuring ASTAR, the War Amps safety symbol, in recognition of their commitment to spreading the association's messages; and

Whereas it is the mission of the War Amps to assist, protect and bind together Canadian war amputees, as well as adult and child amputees through financial assistance, emotional support and information;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Evan Sampson and Karina Doucette on receiving this prestigious honour and recognize the invaluable contributions of the War Amps Program.

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 9547]

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3690

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

Whereas the Rev. Dr. Allison Trites has served as professor of Greek and New Testament at the Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville for the past 37 years; and

Whereas during his time as professor, Dr. Allison Trites has instructed and inspired countless students through his teaching, friendship and faith; and

Whereas Dr. Allison Trites, during his tenure as professor has also provided leadership beyond the walls of the Divinity College, having served as president of the United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces, chair of the Deacon's Board of the Wolfville Baptist Church, Baptist representative on the Canadian Council for Theological Education as well as countless other volunteer positions;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Allison Trites on a job well done and wish him continued health, happiness and opportunities for service in his richly deserved 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.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3691

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

[Page 9548]

Whereas during his short life, Lou Cable created many memorable designs through his company, Lou Cable Design Inc.; and

Whereas on March 18, 2002, Lou's time on this earth came to an end, thus robbing Nova Scotians of a vital, creative force; and

Whereas Lou Cable's lifetime of work in graphic design and advertising will be recognized at the first annual Ice Awards for achievement in advertising;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize the amazing contributions of Lou Cable to the field of graphic design in Nova Scotia and commend the organizers of the Ice Awards on honouring him.

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 The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 3692

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

Whereas Halifax plays the proud host for Canada's National Junior "A" Hockey Championships from May 4 to May 12, 2002; and

Whereas Halifax Oland Exports won the Eastern Canada Championship with a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Junior Senators despite having an automatic berth into the tournament; and

Whereas this is Halifax's first trip to the Nationals since 1992 boasting the Maritime Junior "A" Hockey Leagues's top goal scorer and the two No. 1 goaltenders;

[Page 9549]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Halifax Oland Exports on their excellent season and wish them the best of luck in the tournament.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 3693

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

Whereas Jillian D'Alessio has, at the age of 17, already made great achievements in her sport of kayaking, earning two gold medals at the Pan Am games, seven at the Canadian Nationals and as part of the world junior team, took a fourth in the worlds, the best ever performance from a Canadian World Junior Team; and

Whereas despite the rigours of her physical training, this Grade 11 Middle Sackville resident is also an honour student, a volunteer with Pier 21, Hope Cottage, the Home of the Guardian Angel and Recreation Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Jillian is working towards a silver medal in the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program, one of the most comprehensive, individual development programs in the world;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud Jillian D'Alessio for her hard work and sense of achievement and continued success in kayaking and in every challenge she faces.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 9550]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank on an introduction.

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, today visiting in your gallery is Jillian D'Alessio. Along with Jillian is the Principal of Sacred Heart School, Pauline Scott. I want to point out that Jillian is also the sister of our Page, Talia, and I would ask members to give her a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. We certainly welcome our special guests to the gallery today and we hope you enjoy your stay with us during the proceedings.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 3694

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

Whereas Nova Scotia is made up of many different cultures, thus proving that all people can live in harmony regardless of their differences; and

Whereas on April 27th of this year, the Centre for Diverse Visible Cultures, headquartered in beautiful Halifax Fairview, sponsored the Cultural Diversity Recognition Awards at a gala and banquet at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax; and

Whereas individuals and groups who received awards have demonstrated a commitment to advancing racial harmony and cultural sensitivity;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature recognize the work of the Centre for Diverse Visible Cultures, congratulate the winners of the Cultural Diversity Recognition Awards and recommit itself to an inclusive and equitable Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 9551]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3695

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

Whereas this week, May 6th to 12th, marks the 9th Annual National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada, this year's theme being The Final Gift: Caregiving at the End-of-Life; and

Whereas the annual National Hospice Palliative Care Week is an opportunity to raise awareness and become familiar with palliative care, a special kind of care for individuals and families who are living with a life-threatening illness; and

Whereas to mark this week, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, has developed the Living Lessons Guide for Caregivers, a handbook offering practical guidance and information to help caregivers as they experience the death of a loved one;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize this week. May 6th to 12th, as the annual National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada and support the many caregivers across Nova Scotia who give so freely of themselves to help others.

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 9552]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 3696

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

Whereas Antigonish native Dr. John T. Sears has devoted his life to building St. Francis Xavier University, the community of Antigonish and this province; and

Whereas known for his hard work, dedication, common sense and a good sense of humour, Dr. Sears was a member of the St. Francis Xavier University faculty for 41 years, holding the posts of President of the St. Francis Xavier Faculty Association, Dean of Arts and Academic Vice-President; and

Whereas St. Francis Xavier University paid tribute to this outstanding member of its faculty this weekend by conferring on Dr. Sears an honorary Doctor of Laws degree;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Dr. John T. Sears on his honorary degree and thank him for the valuable service to his university, his community and his 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 Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 3697

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

[Page 9553]

Whereas talented Nova Scotian composer and musician Scott MacMillan and librettist Jennyfer Brickenden composed the Celtic Mass for the Sea more than 10 years ago; and

Whereas Scott MacMillan's Celtic Mass for the Sea will have a Carnegie Hall debut on June 9, 2002, with a Halifax send-off on June 2nd; and

Whereas the Celtic Mass for the Sea has been performed more than 30 times since its 1991 premiere;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature wish Scott MacMillan, Jennyfer Brickenden and the 150 choristers who will be partaking in the Celtic Mass for the Sea well as they go to Carnegie Hall.

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 Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 3698

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

Whereas the Department of Natural Resources misspoke when they indicated in their business plan a goal to improve the quality of life for all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas last year the department invested $320,000 in park facility construction and upgrades only to slash their operating season this year; and

Whereas seven out of the eight parks that had their operating season extended belonged in PC ridings;

[Page 9554]

Therefore be it resolved that all members agree that when the government announced to improve the quality of life for all Nova Scotians they were only speaking of improving the quality of life in their own ridings.

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 Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3699

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 Lunenburg/Queens Palliative Care Program provides care and support for individuals and families who are living with or dying from a life-threatening illness; and

Whereas Janet Carver is the coordinator of the Lunenburg/Queens Palliative Care Program; and

Whereas this week, May 6th to May 12th, marks the 9th Annual National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize this week as Palliative Care Week and recognize the tremendous work done by Janet Carver and all members of the Lunenburg/Queens Palliative Care Program for giving so freely of themselves to help others.

[2:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 9555]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3700

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

Whereas dedicated workers are concerned about the government's plan to reduce child protection in Dartmouth and the former Halifax County below the recommended levels; and

Whereas several of these workers used their lunchtime and accumulated overtime to come to Province House and bring the issue directly to the attention of the minister responsible who has claimed he is increasing child protection; and

Whereas these dedicated workers, who spoke out on behalf of children at risk, were in fact ordered to stay away from the Legislature and are now being punished by the government for speaking out;

Therefore be it resolved that the Hamm Conservatives should immediately withdraw their punishment of public-spirited whistle-blowers who alerted Nova Scotians to the government's decision to decrease the level of protection it provides for children at risk and halt all such attempts to censor whistle-blowing and freedom of expression within the Public Service by adopting the NDP legislation on whistle-blowers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader in the House of the Liberal Party.

[Page 9556]

RESOLUTION NO. 3701

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

Attendu que Notre Jardin d'Enfance de Meteghan, centre de développement de l'enfant, a gagné le Prix de la francophonie de l'Association canadienne d'éducation de langue française; et

Attendu que Notre Jardin d'Enfance oeuvre auprès de la jeune enfance de Clare depuis 1981; et

Attendu que le prix de 1,000$ servira à défrayer les coûts de publication d'un recueil de comptines acadiennes;

Qu'il soit résolu que cette Assemblée exprime ses félicitations et ses meilleurs voeux aux personnes associées au programme de Notre Jardin d'Enfance de Meteghan.

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

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

Whereas Notre Jardin d'Enfance of Meteghan, a child development centre, is this year's winner of le Prix de la fancophonie, sponsored by l'Association canadienne d'éducation de langue française; and

Whereas Notre Jardin d'Enfance, which focuses on child development, has served the community of Clare since 1981; and

Whereas the $1,000 prize will cover the cost of a publication of a collection of Acadian stories;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate all those involved with the Notre Jardin d'Enfance program in Meteghan and wish them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 9557]

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 Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3702

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

Whereas this government proclaims itself the champion of accountability for the spending of public dollars; and

Whereas this government has taken control of a school board because it decried, among other things, the lack of control and accountability the previous Liberal Government allowed that board over salaries and benefits; and

Whereas the Agricultural Development Institute receives $2.2 million in funding from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and says freedom of information legislation doesn't apply to it, and the minister doesn't require it to account for the salaries and benefits it pays out to its employees;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries call upon his Cabinet colleagues to make ADI accountable for the spending of public dollars and to clear up the question of whether the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies to it by designating the Agricultural Development Institute as a public body under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

[Page 9558]

RESOLUTION NO. 3703

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

Whereas Daniel Greaves of Manganese Mines, near Truro, is a reluctant hero; and

Whereas on November 11, 1996, in Northampton, New Brunswick, Daniel Greaves drove his forklift into a smoke-filled warehouse, all the while sounding his horn, thus alerting and leading the 40 to 50 people trapped inside to safety; and

Whereas Daniel Greaves was only recently awarded the bronze medal for bravery from the Royal Canadian Humane Association in Truro;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature congratulate Daniel Greaves on winning the Royal Canadian Humane Association bronze award for bravery for his quick actions in leading people out of a burning building in New Brunswick in 1996.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 9559]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 125, the Smoke-free Places Act.

Bill No. 125 - Smoke-free Places Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today for the second reading of Bill No. 125, an Act to Protect Young Persons and Other Persons from Tobacco Smoke, also known as the Smoke-free Places Act.

This is a very important piece of legislation for this province; indeed, it's a first. The province has had a long history, probably 10 years or more, of promised legislation that would protect young persons and other persons from tobacco smoke; yet this is the first time that a government has really introduced it. Indeed, I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I do have a file of material dating back to the previous government where two of the three previous Health Ministers have promised to table that legislation and that did not happen. Now there were a variety of reasons for that. It's not easy to introduce this type of legislation. If it was, it would be in all provinces and territories of the country. Therefore, I'm pleased to stand here and say that it is this government that has been able to do it.

It's an important piece of the comprehensive tobacco strategy that we announced last October which, indeed, Mr. Speaker, was another first for Nova Scotia. The legislation is step seven and represents the completion of the strategy, or at least the completion of the items in the strategy. The strategy obviously won't be complete until everybody stops smoking and there is a total avoidance of smoke, but it does complete the seventh step of the strategy.

When we introduced the bill, a number of the stakeholders were present. They congratulated the government for taking this significant step forward. I would like, Mr. Speaker, to congratulate the stakeholders who worked with officials from the Department of Health, who had a major contribution to seeing that this important piece of legislation reached the floor of the House and will also be passed. A number of the stakeholders have written to me and, in the case of the Medical Society this past weekend, have written to the newspapers expressing support for the legislation.

I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the government and the Health Department have received calls and e-mails from all over our province, and indeed from other jurisdictions, thanking us and congratulating us on this Bill No. 125 which takes a stand against tobacco use in our province. There are only two other jurisdictions in the country with extensive province-wide smoking legislation. I'm proud to stand here and say that ours is among the very strongest of the three pieces that are available.

[Page 9560]

Mr. Speaker, people in Nova Scotia have been waiting for this legislation and, as we can see from the reaction last week - or in some cases the lack of reaction - it means that the people are ready for it. As I said earlier, such legislation has been talked about for many years and for a variety of reasons, it was not possible or not felt it was an appropriate time to introduce it. If it was easy, then it would have been done and it would have been done not only in Nova Scotia, it would have been done in the other seven provinces and three territories where such legislation is not present.

What I want to say, Mr. Speaker, is that this government made a commitment to Nova Scotians to severely limit exposure to tobacco smoke and we have kept that commitment. The reaction that I've heard, as minister, and I know that my MLA colleagues have heard, is that it's about time. The about time doesn't necessarily just come from friends of the government, it comes from representative people who would be supporting all of the political Parties in this House and that's why I'm pleased to see and believe that the other two Parties will support this legislation and help us move it through the House quickly.

We know, and we have known for some time, that smoking is one of our most significant public health problems. Indeed, it's the leading cause of preventable deaths in Canada. I just want to recap a few statistics, Mr. Speaker. There are an estimated 1,650 Nova Scotians who die each year from smoking-related illnesses and there are about 200 non-smokers, it's estimated, who die from second-hand smoke. Unfortunately, we still have the case where about 30 per cent of Nova Scotians smoke and what is even more alarming is that a large number of our young people smoke; fully about one-quarter of Nova Scotians between the ages of 15 and 19 are smokers.

We lead the country in those two categories, Mr. Speaker, and it's not something that any of us in this House would be proud of, nor would not take a step to lessen. At the rates which I have just mentioned, about 65,000 of the young people alive today will become regular smokers and we can also predict that somewhere around 15,000 of these will die of smoking-related diseases sometime around middle age. Most young people experiment with their first cigarette when they're about 12 years old and with that first cigarette, they are taking the first step towards a lifetime of addiction and tobacco-related health problems. Many, even before they never take that first cigarette, have smoked the equivalent of hundreds through exposure to second-hand smoke. Those children suffer more respiratory illnesses and infections, such as colds, bronchitis, pneumonia and middle ear infections and, as a government, we are obligated to do all that we can to protect all children and youth in Nova Scotia. That is what is the thrust of this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, this Act is a fairly complex piece of legislation and, as I said before, it can be best summed up like this: in public places, wherever there are children and youth present, there will be no smoking and although the legislation focuses on protecting youth, it goes far beyond that. In fact, under the new legislation, most workplaces and public places in this province will provide 100 per cent protection from second-hand tobacco smoke and

[Page 9561]

that is significant. It includes a total ban in places such as schools and school grounds, shopping malls, taxis, theatres and recreational facilities.

Mr. Speaker, just to give you an example of how inclusive this ban will be, consider the Halifax Chamber of Commerce with over 2,000 business members. Under this new Act, approximately 97 per cent of the business of their memberships will be smoke free. Smoking will also be banned in restaurants, most bars and clubs, including outdoor patios and in bingo halls where there are youth allowed unless it's in a separate ventilated smoking room where youth are not allowed to go.

Mr. Speaker, the final aspect of this legislation is that it makes it illegal for youth to possess tobacco. This is consistent with the Tobacco Access Act which bans the sale of tobacco to youth. Quite simply, if you're not old enough to purchase the product, you're not old enough to possess it. However - and I've made it very clear - possession of tobacco by youth will not be an offence. The youth who smoke are not necessarily criminals, they're victims of an industry.

[3:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, we all know that one of the most challenging things a government can do is try to make social change by bringing in legislation. It takes time to see a real change in people's attitudes and behaviours; it takes time to see a change in society. All of us in the House can think of how attitudes have changed towards seat belt use, or drinking and driving, because of legislation and tougher legislation. It's a challenge, but once that change has taken hold, it becomes the norm. I believe that will happen with the changes about smoking. Younger generations experience the benefits and few will remember the hard battles that were fought. That's what we're doing with this legislation, securing a healthier future for our young people.

Mr. Speaker, the tobacco strategy that we introduced last October has created real momentum. We've seen a number of municipalities bringing in their own bans on smoking in public places in their communities. I've already said that this legislation will not replace theirs. We've also seen community health boards designating some of their wellness funds for local tobacco initiatives. We've seen school boards re-examining policies about smoking on school grounds and in school facilities. Even some restaurants and bars have voluntarily gone smoke-free because it makes good sense.

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to comment on my hometown of Truro, where a number of restaurants have gone smoke-free because it makes good sense businesswise, but also to protect the health of their clients and more importantly - or just as importantly - the workers in those businesses. I congratulate all of those businesses that have voluntarily gone smoke-free, not only in Truro and area but right across the province.

[Page 9562]

Mr. Speaker, that is the wave of the future, and I encourage the business community to take the lead and not necessarily be required by government intervention. There's no question that smoking will die a natural death. Since beginning work on the tobacco strategy, we've consulted with many stakeholders, and we gave this legislation very careful consideration. I'm confident that what we have at the end of this process is fair, effective and very important, workable legislation.

Mr. Speaker, we are attacking the tobacco problem from many different angles. We know that you just can't introduce legislation and expect people to quit, but with all of the elements of the strategy working together we will see a reduction in smoking. Since last April we've raised tobacco taxes three times, something that's known to have an effect on smoking, particularly youth smoking. The strategy, like this legislation, also has a strong focus on youth, and it supports school-based programs.

During Question Period last week, both the Minister of Education and myself talked about the Smoke-Free for Life curriculum for Primary to Grade 9. Our departments have updated that curriculum and plans are underway for more promotion in in-servicing to encourage more teachers to use it - about one-half to one-third of the teachers in the province use that program currently. We're also piloting a program in a number of schools which is called No More Butts, in which teams help other teams quit smoking.

Mr. Speaker, the legislation includes a total ban on smoking in schools and on school grounds - something our Youth Advisory Committee has recommended and schools have indeed been working towards. Now we will have a standard province-wide policy in schools. We've also been working with the Department of Education and others in the Nova Scotia School Prevention Coalition on how to effectively implement a smoke-free policy in schools. We will have more to say about that in late May or early June.

Mr. Speaker, we've put more money into the strategy - 50 per cent more than last year so that district health authorities can hire tobacco coordinators and three have already done so. We ran TV ads and we will be doing some more, possibly creating our own ads tailored to a Nova Scotia audience. Later this summer we will be introducing a 1-800 line to help people who wish to quit smoking. These are just some of the initiatives that will complement this legislation to ensure that we are successful in helping Nova Scotians, especially young Nova Scotians, to stop smoking and be less exposed to tobacco smoke.

Mr. Speaker, we're serious about fighting tobacco use and this legislation proves it. It's fair, effective and workable legislation. It protects youth and it goes a long way towards protecting everyone from dangerous exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. Nova Scotians have been waiting years for this legislation and if all members of this House are serious about fighting tobacco too, then I ask them to help us raise future generations of non-smokers and help us all breathe easier by supporting Bill No. 125. (Applause)

[Page 9563]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to rise in my place and have an opportunity to speak to this bill, Bill No. 125, Entitled An Act to Protect Young Persons and Other Persons from Tobacco Smoke.

Mr. Speaker, I think the Truro Daily News said it best, this legislation is about as tough as silly putty when it comes to protecting people who work in the hospitality industry and, in fact, with respect to many young people in our province and that essentially is what I would like to speak of here. Before we get into the features of this bill that are profoundly unsettling in terms of the mixed messages that are being sent and some of the weaknesses, I would like to start by just talking in a general way about why we need strong, not weak, but strong legislation with respect to the control of tobacco.

Mr. Speaker, there are quite a few pieces of research and lots of literature in the field on this issue, but a book that I found over the weekend that is just an extraordinary survey of all of the information that's out there on tobacco use in Canadian society is this book which I'm not going to table, I'm afraid, because it belongs to Dalhousie, the Killam Library, called Smoke & Mirrors, The Canadian Tobacco War. I would highly recommend this to members of the government benches and, in fact, my own colleagues and members of the Third Party here in the House. It's an extraordinary and very comprehensive look at the tobacco industry and the whole attempt by governments historically in this country to come to terms with what I think most of us would agree is a real scourge in our society.

Tobacco companies have quite rightly been called merchants of death. That's precisely what they are. In this book it tells us that it's been estimated that for the period from 1955 to 2005 a total of 12.3 million Canadians will die prematurely from tobacco use. That is a startling, startling statistic.

What is equally as startling is when you look at the corporate wealth of tobacco companies. The worldwide revenues of the tobacco transnationals operating in Canada total $168 billion in cumulative assets. It's almost incomprehensible to imagine the magnitude of the wealth of these corporations. If you consider that in the Province of Nova Scotia our entire annual budget that we have just seen work its way through this Legislature is in the vicinity of $5 billion, it's no wonder that governments have lacked the political will in the face of an extraordinarily powerful and well-financed industry that has been able to support the lobbying efforts of a whole variety of players to keep strong tobacco control legislation from advancing in this country. That is the context in which we have to look at this legislation.

On the one hand we have the extraordinary damage that tobacco has done to individuals and families in our communities; on the other hand you have these enormous transnational conglomerates that have benefited profoundly by the trade in a substance that

[Page 9564]

leads to the health risks, the disease and the premature death of many, many people in our society.

As I read through this book, I became more and more angry, especially when I read about the strategies that tobacco companies use with respect to young people. There's a cartoon in this book that's really quite funny. It takes a subject that's very serious and it does present some humour. It shows this huge billboard with a tobacco advertisement where you have cigarettes and you have all around the outside of the billboard Crayola crayons and you have a tobacco executive standing in front of this billboard speaking to a Legislature saying:, oh no, whatever makes you think that we aim any of our marketing at young people? The article that accompanies this cartoon makes it absolutely crystal clear that what the tobacco industry has been doing in terms of their focus groups and so much of their marketing, they have been spending all of their efforts looking at how they are able to entice a whole new generation of smokers.

As much as the Minister of Health would like us to believe - and I think we would all like it to be true - that smoking will die a natural death, I have news for the Minister of Health, smoking will not die a natural death as long as you have an industry that's worth $168 billion and their interests are in ensuring that their profit margin is maintained. They are going to go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that their interests are protected and that's why it's our job to make sure that they run up against the opposition that stands up and speaks for the collective interests of people in our community and in our society.

[3:15 p.m.]

So smoking will not die a natural death. Smoking will only cease when people in government have the political backbone to do the right thing in terms of tobacco control legislation, and tobacco control legislation that is strong legislation, Mr. Speaker, that doesn't wimp out and that doesn't yield to the lobbying and the pressure in the backrooms that we know can and has been exerted many, many times around this kind of legislation.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would say that Nova Scotians who desire a ban on smoking in public places will unfortunately have to wait another day and, frankly, for another government, because this legislation for all its merits - and there are merits in this legislation, I will admit to it and I will speak to what those are, but for whatever merit there is in this legislation, - in no way protects and goes far enough. This legislation fails abysmally with respect to workers in the hospitality industry, who are the very people who need protection from second-hand smoke in their workplaces.

There are approximately 250 people in this province annually who die from exposure to second-hand smoke. This legislation, Mr. Speaker, has done nothing to prevent that exposure. The other thing is second-hand smoke doesn't only lead to premature death, it creates all kinds of additional health problems. It's very clear that this form of exposure to

[Page 9565]

second-hand smoke has not been dealt with in this legislation, and this in fact is what we had hoped for in this caucus. We had hoped that when the Premier said we were going to see strong legislation that went further than any other legislation, there would be a commitment to protect workers in the hospitality industry from exposure to second-hand smoke. That has not been the case, and this is a very serious flaw in the bill that's in front of us today.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the minister talks about how other legislation around seat belts and drinking in and driving in fact has created in our society a profound change. Behaviours that were once accepted are no longer accepted. You get into your automobile now, you buckle-up automatically. You don't even think about it; it's not an issue. But that's because the legislation is strong, and the legislation doesn't give you options and it doesn't have all of these exemptions and all of these conditions. If you read this legislation, this legislation is riddled with exemptions. Workers who work at casinos don't have the benefit of any protection; people who work in Legions don't have the benefit of any protection. This is very problematic, and in fact workers in the restaurant industry will continue to be exposed to second-hand smoke, notwithstanding that fact that there will be a requirement that there be non-smoking areas and that they be ventilated.

Mr. Speaker, there is no evidence that ventilation is, in fact, a way to remove the smoke in these workplaces and in these settings. This is a very big problem. On the weekend, I had a chance to look at a Web site called Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. I was very disturbed when I saw that the tobacco companies are going to a great extent and they have formed alliances with Honeywell and some of the large ventilation companies to lobby government to accept ventilation as a solution to smoke in these settings, in these public places. Lo and behold, we see that showing up in our legislation. I think this is a situation that causes us a great deal of concern here in this caucus.

Mr. Speaker, I've been here in this Legislature for four years under two different governments. I remember only too well when this caucus and my colleagues, some of them who aren't here now - one of them, Dr. Bitter-Suermann - day after day after day asked the then Minister of Health, the honourable member for Dartmouth East, about when his government was going to bring forward legislation for smoke-free public places.

Mr. Speaker, you probably remember this as well, because you were here in this Legislature at that time. I remember only too well that the honourable member for Dartmouth East, his position at that time was to let municipalities bring in smoke-free legislation. We were absolutely horrified that we would have this patchwork of different places and different forms of where smoking was going to be permitted or not.

Mr. Speaker, to be frank, quite a few aspects of this legislation will, in fact, contribute to the ongoing patchwork of municipalities - the Minister of Health has said municipalities are free to adopt the regulations that they see fit, they can go further than the legislation. Really, what's required is a uniform standard across the province, a total ban on smoking in

[Page 9566]

all public places. That's what's required. That is the only acceptable thing that should be advanced in legislation, and I believe that that kind of strong, clear, public policy direction will inevitably come into being, but probably after you have a different government. In fact, I would submit that our Party is the only Party that would pass 100 per cent smoke-free legislation.

Mr. Speaker, this legislation also aspires to protect children. It aspires to keep children from starting smoking, which is a very laudable goal. While it's true that children under 19 are prohibited from purchasing tobacco products, this legislation makes it illegal for children to possess tobacco products, but it does not have any ability for enforcement. I think this is a very big problem. Again, I would like to refer briefly to something in this book, Smoke & Mirrors, about young people that I found quite interesting because the authors of this particular publication, who have looked at this issue for many years . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I know the honourable member mentioned, when she first started her debate, that she didn't want to table the book. I appreciate that; however, the honourable member is reading from the book, and I would ask that she, at the end of her debate, have those pages copied and tabled.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, that's not a problem. I have them marked and I will do that.

This particular group of people who have looked at this issue says the most effective way to reduce illegal sales to minors would be to hold manufacturers responsible for youth smoking. They go on and they actually have quite an interesting scheme for the way that that could occur. I would recommend that the Minister of Health take a look at this because it seems to me that what we have here with the bill, Bill No. 125, in front of us is, as the minister admitted in the press conference he held, a completely unenforceable piece of legislation. No thought whatsoever has been given to enforcement. No resources are being allocated for enforcement.

Nobody in this caucus would suggest the criminalizing of the possession of tobacco by young people. But, Mr. Speaker, you have to ask yourself, as many of the anti-smoking groups have asked - it's a very legitimate question - in taking this approach, is there not a danger of making the possession of tobacco an attractive proposition for young people, who will aspire to behaviours that are condoned and carried out by adults? Will it not encourage, in some ways, the rebelliousness that we all went through in adolescence and youth as an outlet to find ways to demonstrate how cool and with it we are when we can, as young people, get away with carrying and using a substance that has been outlawed?

So this is a provision in this legislation that we have, and we join with the anti-smoking groups or groups that are concerned about how really to create an environment where young people don't take up smoking in the first place, Mr. Speaker. These provisions

[Page 9567]

in the bill are not in keeping with what the knowledge and expertise in the field is out there with smoke-free groups. No, and it's a bit of a puzzle, or it was a bit of a puzzle, to try to identify how these provisions found their way into this piece of legislation. I puzzled over this for some time. How is it that a bill that was supposed to be about protecting people exposed to second-hand smoke in workplaces and public places, how was it that this bill came to be transformed somewhat to include focusing on attempts to keep young people from smoking, combining both of those goals into one piece of legislation?

[3:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I went back and I read Hansard again from the minority government, because if you remember, and I'm sure you remember, while the honourable member for Dartmouth East as Minister of Health, didn't introduce tobacco control legislation in public places what he did introduce was a bill that removed tobacco from pharmacies. Do you remember that? We had a piece of legislation that took tobacco out of pharmacies. The Minister of Finance is shaking his head. He remembers that bill. He's nodding his head. He agrees that we did have this piece of legislation, and perhaps he will remember that the PC caucus had a free vote on that legislation when that legislation was introduced and perhaps he will remember that his colleague, the member for Truro-Bible Hill, who is now the Minister of Health, in fact, voted against that legislation to remove tobacco from pharmacies. I don't know if he remembers that, but not only did I remember it, I went back - because sometimes, you know, your memory can play little tricks on you, and I sort of thought I remembered that - and I checked Hansard and sure enough the member for Truro-Bible Hill was not in support of the former government's legislation where tobacco was removed from pharmacies.

In reading the debates around that particular piece of legislation, I was taken by the Premier's remarks because it was very clear to me in reading what the Premier had to say - and I think I might have that here someplace - the Premier spoke on this legislation about removing tobacco from pharmacies, and at that time he spoke about his concerns around young people. He spoke as a physician. He spoke from the vantage point of somebody who had been a physician for many years and how distressed he was. Mr. Speaker, I will be quite happy to table this copy of Hansard, but I want to talk a bit about what the Premier had to say.

The Premier talked about whether or not - he questioned actually, the Premier questioned whether or not there was any wisdom in trying to convert older Nova Scotians, people who had smoked perhaps for 70 years or so, to get off tobacco, but that perhaps the approach that should be taken would be to focus on young people. As I was reading this, I started to think, you know, I can see now why in this legislation we have a focus on young people. I think that the Premier, no doubt, has had his hand in this legislation and has had the influence and the opportunity to impress on his colleague, the Minister of Health, the importance of protecting young people.

[Page 9568]

But, Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, while I think the Premier's heart is in the right place, I don't think that he has the particular knowledge base in terms of how to achieve the outcomes that he desires. I would say to the Premier that it's important to listen to people in the field who are equally as concerned and motivated to keep young people from smoking, listen to what they have to say about the best way to approach this. We need to move forward together and we need to be doing the effective things. We need to be doing more than operating with our hearts. We need to operate with our hearts and our heads. So we need to do the kind of measures that not only we believe in emotionally, but that we have the research that indicates that there will be change.

I know from speaking to members of the anti-smoking community, they're concerned about these measures, and perhaps they will have an opportunity to come to the Law Amendments Committee and lay out their concerns in much more detail and with much more knowledge and eloquence on the subject than I have. Mr. Speaker, are you . . .

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

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Absolutely.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, there is a very special constituent of mine in your gallery today. His name is Walter Piers. He comes from a very distinguished family, one of the founding families of Halifax, and he has been on a tour of the Legislature today. It's a very special day for him because it is his 92nd birthday. (Applause) With him is his daughter, Jane Piers-Foreman from Toronto.

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome our special guests to the gallery today and hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you enjoyed your tour of the Legislature. Thank you very much. The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, this bill, Bill No. 125, doesn't take effect until January 2003. It certainly gives opportunity for members of this Legislature and members of the public to learn more about these issues and to prepare in greater detail for the implementation of this legislation.

I said at the outset that I was going to focus on some of the flaws and the weaknesses in this bill and they are considerable. The failure to protect workers in the hospitality industry beyond exactly the situations that they find themselves in today is not only regrettable, but it's unconscionable. This government had an opportunity and has an opportunity to do the right thing and to do something really significant in terms of the health and well-being of a large group of workers, literally thousands of people working in our province and they failed

[Page 9569]

to take that opportunity. This is, in fact, what they will be remembered for with respect to this legislation. I submit they will not be remembered for having introduced a strong bill and a bill that would take us forward in this area as they would like to believe. They will be remembered for their failures and for choking when they had the opportunity to move forward.

There are a variety of settings where smoking will see an out-and-out ban. I want to suggest that many of the settings, if not virtually all of the settings where smoking will be banned already are smoke free. I know very few daycares, for example, in the Province of Nova Scotia where smoking is going on. I know of no health care facilities or libraries or art galleries or museums or so on, so in many respects, this legislation is disappointing in that it was an opportunity this government had to be tough.

It's interesting to look at this government and see when it is that they can be tough and when it is they have no ability to be tough. They were tough with the arts community and the Arts Council, they had an ability to stand up and be tough with women's organizations and transition houses and what have you, they've been tough with the child protection workers who came down to this Legislature to express their concerns about how they were being dealt with, they've been tough with nurses and they've been tough with health care professionals, but when it comes down to certain sectors - the hospitality industry, for example - they have absolutely no ability to be tough, to say this is something we have to do for the health of our province, the health and the well-being of people in our province.

The health care costs alone of prohibiting smoking in public places, the benefits, would be enormous over time. I'm not sure how much time I have left.

MR. SPEAKER: According to the agenda, the honourable member for Halifax Needham started at 3:07 p.m., so I guess she can go until 4:07 p.m.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: I'm not going to take my full hour on this legislation. I know I will have ample opportunity to speak to this probably at least one more time and maybe more than that.

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I, as all members of this caucus, am very anxious to hear from members of the public, through the Law Amendments Committee process, what their views are on this legislation. I hope that in the next few days and weeks we have an opportunity to really study and examine, in greater detail, the impact of this legislation. The Premier has made claim that this legislation will put this province at the forefront of the tobacco control movement in the country, and I don't know if that's true. I don't think it is. I intend to look into it. If in fact it is the case, it's a very sorry statement to make about the state of tobacco control in this country.

[Page 9570]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to address this legislation that's generally called the anti-smoking legislation. It arrived on the scene called an Act to Protect Young Persons and Other Persons from Tobacco Smoke. We know it as Bill No. 25, and it's called the Smoke-Free Places Act. I'm pleased to rise and join in the debate on the Smoke-Free Places Bill.

From the outset, our caucus acknowledges the leadership of Premier Hamm and Minister Muir in bringing forward Nova Scotia's first provincial smoke-free legislation. I think we spoke earlier of some initiatives that have been before this House and that have often been of an ad hoc nature in order to gain support within the minority government. I commend the minister for bringing this forward today. I just want the minister to know that I do forgive him for voting against my legislation. (Applause)

That was the legislation, as all good members would know, that was to prevent the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. I thought that wasn't too difficult. We didn't want to be too tough on the now-minister, but we thought that would be a gentle nudge. However, there are rumours that some pharmacies had donated to his campaign and there was a bit of a conflict of interest. I never did subscribe to that.

Albeit, here we are today with this legislation that we can certainly all support going through this Legislature, but have concerns that it has not gone far enough. I thought I would just clear the decks on that, because I think we knew that it was difficult to get legislation through, particularly in a minority government situation - I use that as an example - but it's also the mood of the people; you need the support of the people for this type of legislation. That was not the case years ago (Interruptions)

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

The honourable member for Dartmouth East has the floor. Please respect the honourable member who has the floor.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I will just say that the people are ready now, and they're looking at this bill and wondering why it hasn't gone further. (Interruptions) In light of all the statistical evidence available to this government and to this minister about the harmful effects of second-hand smoke and the high level of support a 100 per cent ban would have received from the public, this piece of legislation falls short.

[3:45 p.m.]

While this piece of legislation does go a long way to ensure the protection of children and some adults - and I underline some adults - in indoor public places, quite frankly, it

[Page 9571]

doesn't go far enough. April 26, 2002, was a good day in Nova Scotia; it just wasn't good enough. At the Liberal caucus we remain committed to 100 per cent smoke-free public places, including restaurants and bars. (Applause) It is because from a health and wellness perspective, a 100 per cent ban is the only way to go.

John, the people are ready, and even you are ready now . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member, seasoned veteran that he is, knows full well that he is supposed to direct his comments through the Speaker, not to the NDP House Leader. So I would ask the honourable member to rein himself in. I know he feels very passionate about this piece of legislation.

DR. SMITH: I know, and I do, Mr. Speaker. I know, having come in in 1984 with that honourable member, that I shouldn't be addressing him that way but I have never quite adjusted to that irritation. (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker, from a health and wellness perspective - and that is the issue that we're addressing this legislation on, basically. This is not justice legislation, although the Minister of Health is bringing in legislation that probably would be better brought in by the Minister of Justice. I will speak to that later, but from a health and wellness perspective, a 100 per cent ban is the only way to go.

From a public policy perspective, an outright ban is the way to go. In terms of ensuring that the enforcement is being met and that inspectors aren't spending all of their time ensuring that the correct percentage of available seating is contained within each of the sections, 100 per cent is the way to go.

From a strict evidence point of view, with all of the statistical data that was and is available to this government, a 100 per cent ban is the way to go.

From a fiscal perspective, in terms of increased costs to the health care system, an outright ban on smoking in all public places is the way to go.

Finally, in terms of whether Nova Scotians were for their government to implement a 100 per cent ban, there is no better opportunity, Mr. Speaker, than right now, here, today.

Mr. Speaker, as we have spoken earlier, we have seen an evolution, if you will, with the general public and its attitude towards a ban in smoking in public places. Some might even call it a bit of a revolution in change of attitude. Just a few short years ago, government had taken a leadership role in dealing with the issues of tobacco access and tobacco smoking, and the people have responded to those programs and those initiatives. Now government is trying to catch up to what the public is demanding. They're behind the public at this juncture;

[Page 9572]

they are trying to catch up, but they're not going far enough. They will not catch up with what the people are demanding with this legislation, Bill No. 125.

Proof of this point would be the leadership role that many municipal units have taken with regard to implementing their own 100 per cent ban in public places, including restaurants, taverns and bars. The people are ready to accept this ban and their local governments have listened. Quite frankly, I am concerned about the municipal units who have made that first bold move. I am concerned that the elected officials within these units will be faced with additional pressures given that the provincial legislation is not as strong. These units must be congratulated for making the right decision. The provincial government could have supported local governments' initiatives by implementing identical legislation. That is the legislation that we should be addressing here today. That is what Bill No. 125 should be saying. It should be supporting those municipal units that have taken the bold step of a 100 per cent ban in public places. They're showing leadership where this government is not, breaking out of their mould of being followers of men and women, not leaders.

Given all the evidence available to this government from both a health and wellness perspective and a cost perspective, the Minister of Health should have followed the lead being exhibited by municipal units and responded to requests from such municipal units as HRM right here locally for stronger legislation than Bill No. 125 that we have before us today. There is no better time than now, Mr. Speaker, and Mr. Minister.

In some areas, particularly, as I said earlier, we see this as a health and wellness issue and we tend to address it repeatedly in that matter. Second-hand smoke kills too many Nova Scotians each year - 200 to 250. It was election night in 1981, the first time I ran in an election. I attended the death of my father and he was 67 years old. He started smoking when he was young, probably before the 12 or 13 that we speak of. They told stories in Port Mouton of him catching a softball or baseball with a catcher's mask on while smoking a cigarette. They didn't know in those days. In fact, I can remember back that far that it was considered to be good for you. It would break up your phlegm and that sort of thing. That's the tradition that we've had to overcome. It was real to me when I saw my father dying of a preventable illness.

That's why I feel passionately here today, Mr. Speaker, and for all those families that are now fighting this terrible disease. I saw a person today in his home who was fighting that type of illness. These are real Nova Scotians. They are real people in families of yours and mine and all Nova Scotians. So 200 to 250; even if it's two, it's two too many. There's no better way for this government to improve the health and wellness of Nova Scotians than to implement a total ban in all public places, including bars and restaurants, effective immediately. Ironically, the government was in possession of a study commissioned by their own Department of Health which, quite frankly, provided overwhelming evidence that showed that exposure to second-hand smoke is a serious risk. No more questions, Mr. Speaker, the results are in.

[Page 9573]

Exposure to second-hand smoke causes heart disease, lung cancer, nasal sinus cancer and respiratory ailments in adults and these are the risks that non-smokers face. The list I just read is not smokers, Mr. Speaker, it is non-smokers, second-hand smoke. In children, second-hand smoke leads to respiratory conditions that are well-known as bronchitis, pneumonia, middle ear infections, asthma and the list goes on. The estimated 200 deaths per year caused by exposure to second-hand smoke is the generally accepted statistic right here in our Province of Nova Scotia.

Exposure to second-hand smoke is a leading cause of workplace death. That's what we're speaking of here today, as well, Mr. Speaker. Exposure to second-hand smoke is a leading cause of workplace death. It is a health and safety issue. It is a health and wellness issue. While this legislation goes a long way toward reducing exposure to second-hand smoke to children and some adults, it fails to protect those workers most vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke. Restaurant, bar and casino workers are particularly at risk from workplace exposure to second-hand smoke. Food service workers have a 50 per cent higher rate of lung cancer than the general population. That is more than just a casual incidence of relationship there. But Bill No. 125 fails to protect those workers most vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke.

Advocates in the hospitality industry, restaurants and bars will likely present a case that this piece of legislation will be harmful to their bottom line, that investing in separate rooms and ventilation systems could mean that establishments may go out of business. A 100 per cent ban in all indoor, public places would solve this problem, and solve additional costs that may well be on the horizon for many businesses. All businesses would be on a level playing field. No business would have to spend the money on alterations, and the workers would not be exposed to second-hand smoke. Quite frankly, I see this, and we in our Liberal caucus see this, as a win-win situation. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, speaking of ventilation systems, I noticed in this piece of legislation that the requirements as to the type of ventilation system that will be required will be dealt with in regulations. This must be a concern, a concern that I am certain is shared by both sides of the issue, regardless of what our differences are. I feel a genuine concern that is shared by both sides is the result of what the legislation, under regulations, will require as to the type of ventilation system that must be implemented.

From a research perspective, given all the accumulated knowledge to date in the health risk assessment and ventilation sciences, it is most unlikely that tobacco smoke in indoor environments could ever be reduced to safe levels throughout the application of ventilation technology. There's increasing new information available from research to show that this is just not doable, it's not an option, and it's not going to work. It's just going to cost a lot of money and further alienate those who should be working together to address this health and wellness issue.

[Page 9574]

However, Mr. Speaker, this bill is silent as to the types of ventilation systems that will be required. Will the ventilation simply be a fan, or will there need to be a system that will ensure a discharge of air outdoors? The bill remains silent. Not specifying the requirements from the outset leaves one party wondering whether the health and safety of workers is going to be protected while the other wonders about their capital outlay requirements. This would be a non-issue with a 100 per cent ban on smoking in indoor public places. That controversy, the differences of opinion and those left wondering, would not be an issue under a 100 per cent ban.

Mr. Speaker, from a public policy perspective, the provincial government, along with other levels of government, is responsible for a number of areas that protect public health. A province-wide ban on smoking in public places and workplaces would be in keeping with these responsibilities and would guarantee all Nova Scotians are protected from a known, documented health risk when they enter workplaces, businesses and entertainment venues. This is a workplace health issue and should be treated as such.

I just want to briefly comment on smoking on patios. Quite honestly, this piece of legislation seems to somewhat miss the mark when it comes to banning smoking on patios. There is, to my knowledge, again, no statistical evidence that proves that smoking outdoors produces a harmful effect when it comes to the issue of second-hand smoke. I'm sure there are those enclosed outdoor spots that may not have adequate ventilation where this might be an issue. Quite frankly, banning smoking on outside patios seems to be a meaningless law that extends state power without any evidence that it causes harm in the first place.

While we want to support doing the right thing, we have some concerns about this legislation being in place that just sort of gives those who are concerned another agenda that could be more controversial and more difficult to enforce. So if the minister could show us the statistical evidence - and I would ask him to do that - that proves that second-hand smoke is harmful outdoors, we would be more than happy to more fully support this part of the legislation, but we feel that it's not supported in research to the extent that we know that other matters that we have stressed here today are supported by research.

[4:00 p.m.]

The other issue of youth tobacco possession, the youth possession piece of this legislation is very much a justice response to a health problem; some people say it's a Tory response. Now, Mr. Speaker, I rest my case on that, but while the government may feel good that this is included in the bill, very much the question is whether they are effective or, worse yet, further increase the rate of youth smoking, and certain groups that are very strongly in support of anti-smoking legislation and a 100 per cent ban in indoor public places question this legislation. It's a mixed message to youth and we know how difficult that is.

[Page 9575]

You have to make a connection with youths, Mr. Speaker, gain their trust and confidence, but to be giving them mixed messages of what's right and what's wrong, and whether there is a disciplinary action after the law is broken is very much of a mixed message. So, quite frankly, youth possession laws are questionable because presently there's no convincing evidence of their effectiveness; in fact, in light of the fact that there is no compelling evidence of their effectiveness you very much run a risk of increasing smoking rates among our young people. We see that in other types of legislation relative to youths and adolescents, and I think this is a very important part that this government should look at, that part of its legislation and youth tobacco possession. Putting young people offside with the law without any evidence of effectiveness is very much a risk. If you can't demonstrate a potential benefit, and the clauses do nothing but create outcasts of 25 per cent of the population, then their effectiveness diminishes.

Laws are created to be respected and to be enforced, Mr. Speaker, and we would like the government to look at this part of youth tobacco possession more carefully. There's very much a question as to whether in the absence of any statistical evidence that these laws would indeed decrease young smoking rates. The youth possession portion of this bill is one of which would be respected or enforceable.

So, Mr. Speaker, I don't want to take much longer, I've made a statement as clear as I can that represents the feeling of our Leader and our Liberal caucus. I would like to bring in an amendment that would be effective at this juncture, to bring in a 100 per cent ban in smoking in public places, but for that, we would need the unanimous consent of the House. Or other options would be some matters that would delay the bill passing through the House. We want to get this bill to the Law Amendments Committee and back to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills. We want to hear what people in Nova Scotia say, and we do not in any way want to delay this bill.

So, Mr. Speaker, prior to taking my seat, I wish to make it clear to this government that this bill does not go far enough. Consequently, we will be bringing forward amendments at our earliest opportunity to ensure that those workers who are most vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke are protected. From a health and wellness perspective, Bill No. 125 does not do enough to protect all Nova Scotian workers in their workplace - and a restaurant, tavern, bar, or cabaret is indeed someone's workplace. It is a health and safety issue, and as well, from a health and wellness perspective, Bill No. 125 does not do enough to protect the health of the general public from the effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.

In reviewing and listening to the response of employers in the past few days, in listening to their expressions of concern about associated costs of complying with Bill No. 125, they too might agree that a 100 per cent ban would prove to be a better solution to this very serious health issue than the option in the bill that is currently before them. That is why we will be introducing amendments for a full ban on smoking in all public places to ensure

[Page 9576]

that the health of all Nova Scotians is protected by nothing less than a 100 per cent ban on smoking. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I want to begin the debate on this bill by simply saying that our caucus certainly supports Bill No. 125 and as has been said already, the difficulty, of course, is that it fails on so many grounds. It's a small, tiny step forward. Inasmuch as it does anything in terms of actually moving this cause forward, we intend to support it. But I think it's pretty clear that this fails on so many grounds to be effective legislation; it means that whenever there is a government that's elected that actually has the strength and the fortitude to bring forward smoke-free legislation, this bill will have to be completely rewritten or in any event substantially altered.

I wanted to make the point, Mr. Speaker, that we could vastly improve this bill if we just went to Clause 8. Clause 8 (1) says, "No person shall smoke in any place of employment except . . ." and then it lists a whole bunch of exceptions. If we just dropped the word except and put a period right after the end of employment so this bill read, no person shall smoke in any place of employment. That would solve the problem. Now I'm not surprised, I must say. I listened to my colleagues sitting next to me in the Liberal Party. They talk about their commitment to smoke-free legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I want to table for your edification and for that of the House, an article that appeared in the Cape Breton Post. It says, "N.S. backs away from smoking ban", and it's dated April 14, 1999 and it says, "The Nova Scotia government has backed away from a promise to ban smoking in public places. The Liberals made the promise before being elected in 1993.". Does that sound familiar to you? "Health Minister Jim Smith said Tuesday night he's leaving the issue to municipalities. He said municipal bylaws are challenged a lot less than sweeping provincewide rules.". The last paragraph, as pointed out by my colleague, you could actually give to members of the Liberal Party so it will refresh their memory, "New Democrat Maureen MacDonald said the government seems to have lost its nerve.". Well, that's absolutely correct. They lost their nerve.

In the run-up to an election, you can say anything you want. The Liberals do that frequently. It doesn't matter. You can say whatever you like; it doesn't matter whether or not you mean it. They can just spout it off and then they can stand up and be critical of this legislation. Yet, two short years ago when they had the opportunity to do what was right, did they do it? No, Mr. Speaker, they didn't. So as I said, we intend to bring forward amendments to this legislation that we think can be effective. We will simply make the amendment that says in Clause 8 (1) that no person shall smoke in any place of employment. That will go a long way towards addressing the problem.

[Page 9577]

Now I just tabled that little piece, but I want to table another little piece, as well, Mr. Speaker, because I'm going to try to indicate through a little story about how deadly smoking really is to employees. This is a style of cause in a legal action.

"LILO MCLEAN, individually and successor in intrest to DAVID MCLEAN, deceased

Plaintiffs,

vs.

PHILIP MORRIS, INC.; LIGGETT & MYERS, INC.; LIGGET GROUP, INC.; BROOKE

GROUP, INC.; R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPNAY; BROWN & WILLIAMSON

TOBACCO CORPORATION; THE AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY; B.A.T.

INDUSTRIES P.L.C.; LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY; THE COUNCIL FOR

TOBACCO RESEARCH-U.S.A., INC.; THE TOBACCO INSTITUTE, INC

COMPLAINT FOR PERSONAL INJURIES AND WRONGFUL DEATH

1. FRAUD AND DECEIT

2. NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION

3. MISREPRESENTATION TO CONSUMERS

4. BREACH OF EXPRESS WARRANTY

5. BREACH OF IMPLIED WARRANTY"

Then it sets out the nature of the case and I only intend to read the first paragraph, but I think you will find it interesting.

"1. In the early 1960s, Philip Morris, Inc., came up with perhaps the most famous advertising image ever created--the Marlboro Man. The portrait of a rugged, adventurous cowboy smoking a cigarette atop a horse against a scenic mountainous backdrop is used effectively to this day, making Marlboro the best selling cigarette in the world. But while the prominent image of the Marlboro Man lives on, David McLean, the actor who originally portrayed the Marlboro Man, has died of lung cancer. Cigarettes killed the Marlboro Man."

That is the actual style of cause from the case of the widow of David McLean, the person who played the Marlboro Man, against Philip Morris, Inc. (Interruptions) The member for Cape Breton West jokes about this, but I don't think it's a laughing matter. The reality is . . .

[Page 9578]

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. At no point in time would I ever jest about such a serious issue, but let's put things into perspective. When a man dies at 102, it's not like it's unexpected. Talking about his horse, that's entirely up to the member for the NDP.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. That's not a point of order, but I guess the honourable members understand the point that the member tried to make. The honourable Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

MR. DEXTER: That is disgraceful. That is absolutely disgraceful that he would diminish debates around something this serious with those kinds of interventions. The reality is that Philip Morris portrayed the image of the Marlboro Man, engaged a very, very clever advertising strategy for a number of years. It started out as - what was called at that time - a woman's cigarette; their slogan was: it's as mild as May. I think the member for Dartmouth East mentioned that in those days people thought cigarettes were good for you. They thought it was something that could help in all kinds of ways. In fact, cigarette companies used to actually advertise that. They used to say that Camel cigarettes would help with your digestion. This was the kind of thing that they were spreading about how important it was to engage in smoking.

Philip Morris, this tobacco giant, remains today the world's most profitable brand of non-durable consumer group, surpassing even Coca-Cola, to give you an idea of how powerful this organization is. Philip Morris cigarette division is by far its most profitable and it's the one that generates the greatest amount of profits. You would say, why is this at all important? Well, Philip Morris owns, just to give you an idea, they own General Foods, Kraft, Oscar Meyer, Miller brewery, they own some of the products that we know from day to day in our lives. Yet, the biggest selling and the most profitable is Marlboro cigarettes. This is astounding.

Fortune magazine - and people don't seem to see the contradiction - back in the 1990s held a poll among executives of big companies and they said, what is the most admired company in America? What has had the most success in terms of its image, its ability to generate profit? The second most admired company was Philip Morris. What's ironic about this is that the number one admired company in the United States was a health care company.

The irony that on the one hand you have a company that is causing untold havoc among people, that in Canada alone has contributed, over the last 20 or 30 years, to some 12.3 million premature deaths in this country; at the same time that we have those kind of statistics and greater, of course, because of the prevalence of smoking in the United States, in that country, at the same time, executives don't seem to realize that the companies they admire the most are working at cross-purposes. In fact, I guess you could say that they're making a profit off one another. It's hard to understand.

[Page 9579]

[4:15 p.m.]

If you don't think the campaign by Marlboro and Philip Morris was successful, you should know that when they introduced the Marlboro Man in 1955, the consumption of Marlboro cigarettes went up 5,000 per cent in eight months. That's how successful that campaign was. Unfortunately, for Mr. McLean, it was not very successful and it ended tragically in his death.

Mr. Speaker, there's a little quote from the president of the California Labor Federation regarding workers' exposure to second-hand smoke that I just want to remind this House of. He says that death by cigarette smoke should not be a condition of employment. That is why, in our representations here and in the Law Amendments Committee, we intend to introduce the amendment that I set out for you earlier, which says that we could amend Section 8 of that bill to simply put a period at the end of "employment", and to cause to have happen that this bill will have some real teeth.

There should be no doubt that in the world of the tobacco industry, they have an interesting marketplace because they have a constantly renewing group of consumers who, once they become users of their product, will continue to be users, perhaps for 50 or 60 years, like the Marlboro Man. I won't go through the whole story, but he started smoking when he was 12 years old as well. That's an all-too-common refrain for people who are smokers. They start at a very early age and it continues for a lifetime, however long or short that may be.

Mr. Speaker, workers, whether they smoke or not, have to endure the results of the smoking of other people. We know, and it's been documented, that many people die from the effects of second-hand smoke. I want you to think. I read just a short time ago that there can be some 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette. That seems almost incredible. How do you get that many different kinds of chemicals into a product? I understand that 50 of those 4,000 have direct links to cancer.

I want you to imagine if I were to pack those chemicals into an aerosol can and go about indiscriminately spraying them around people. I don't doubt that spraying a noxious substance around might actually end with me being charged with some kind of an offence - assault at the very least, maybe assault causing. Yet simply because you can buy it in a legal product and spread it, that seems to be an acceptable thing for this government to tolerate, not only in public places but in places where people work.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to spend just a couple of seconds talking about private clubs, because I know there has been some discussion around private clubs and whether or not they are different in nature from public places because people may pay to attend there, they aren't necessarily open to the general public, and they have kind of different nature. The reality is that there are all different kinds of private clubs. There was one in Dartmouth that I used to

[Page 9580]

go to from time to time and they charged a $5 membership. I think it was $5; maybe it was $10. I can't remember. It was some time ago. You got kind of a free drink when you went the first time and it was a private club. Do you remember it? I think my colleague, the honourable member for Dartmouth North, remembers the old Billy Club. It was right across the street from my office. So it was a convenient place, it had a good restaurant and all of that, Mr. Speaker.

But the reality is that what made it a private club was simply the payment of that fee. You could apply and I didn't know anybody who wasn't accepted, as far as I know. I don't know if they did a background check on you. I don't think so. So, really, it took on the character in name of a private club, but it wasn't really. Really, it was a public place and they admitted just about anybody. If you couldn't get in on your own through applications, then it wouldn't be long before somebody came along that would take you in as a guest. So if you exclude private clubs, if you allow private clubs to have some different set of criteria, you can be sure that there's going to be an awful explosion of private clubs because they're all going to become private clubs in name. It's going to become a way to circumvent the legislation itself. So I know that there may be representations that you will receive in this regard, but to my mind, Mr. Speaker, it doesn't carry with it any kind of substantive weight.

My colleague talked a little bit about the provisions that make the possession of tobacco by minors an offence under the Act and I believe that the actual wording is such that no person under the age of 19 shall enter - no, that's not it. They're not to have on their possession, anyway, tobacco. I'm looking for the clause, Mr. Speaker. "No person under the age of nineteen years may possess tobacco." I think my colleague pointed out and I think it's quite true that there is a great deal of concern about this clause. Its intent may be to protect young people. Its intent may be laudable in that regard, but the question is, what will actually happen once it's implemented? Won't it simply play to that sense of youthful rebelliousness that young people so often go through and my colleagues say that we all went through? Doesn't it become an easy way to be hip, to be cool, to say the rules don't apply to me, I can take bold steps and I'm not afraid? Is it possible that this will actually become another wedge between children and figures of authority, whether it's the police or the school principals or their teachers or their parents? Is that what's going to happen as a result of this and how effective is it going to be? There are some real concerns around what will ultimately be the effect of this kind of legislative initiative.

Mr. Speaker, I want to just remind the House of some of the things that we know about second-hand smoke and about the effect that it has on individuals. Second-hand smoke increases the risk of death from heart attack by 20 per cent to 30 per cent for non-smokers married to smokers.

Can you imagine, Mr. Speaker, that there is a 30 per cent increase, up to a 30 per cent increase in this serious health matter of heart disease simply by living in the same house as a smoker. I know probably all the members opposite, as well as myself, and the members

[Page 9581]

from the Liberal caucus have seen that commercial on television that says, little did I know that the life I would lose would not be my own. It's an extremely heartrending commercial, Mr. Speaker, but to me has always spoken to the need for an absolute ban. I mean it seems to say that if we're going to bring in legislation that is to protect young people and is to protect working people, is to protect our society, then it really ought to apply to everyone no matter where they go in public.

Yet, Mr. Speaker, what we see is legislation that fails to address on the most basic level, I think, the wishes of our citizenry and that's the point I really want to make, is that I think that the government is just way behind everybody else. I think that the people out in the general population are way ahead of you. Even people I speak to, I have had employees come to me and say, look, I know that my employer is not going to be too crazy about this, but I can't wait until the smoking ban is in because I'm just sick and tired of working every day all my life in a place where people smoke constantly. It destroys my clothes, I have to take a shower as soon as I go home, you know - and that's not to mention, of course, the deadly health effects on these people.

So, of course, they're going to hear from the people who have economic interests that are tied to this industry. We're going to hear at the Law Amendments Committee from people who want something less than what is even here, Mr. Speaker. You can hear right now, I can hear from people who are saying that they want freedom of choice. It's always freedom of choice, the same thing around Sunday shopping, freedom of choice.

Well, Mr. Speaker, there are some times that your choice has a profound and deleterious effect on me. There's an old story that your right to yell fire ends in a crowded movie theatre. You don't have the right to cause havoc among other people. So just because you may choose to engage in an activity, it's not right that you should be able to impose that on others and that's the real point that we want to make in our amendment to this legislation, just because we think it's important that working people be protected by legislation and that that legislation actually does what it says it's going to do.

Now, this is particularly important in Nova Scotia and why do I say that? Because Nova Scotia presently has the highest smoking rate in Canada. Thirty per cent of Nova Scotians aged 13 and over currently smoke, and this is compared, Mr. Speaker, to 24 per cent of Canadians overall. It is hard to understand why that would be so different here. When you think about it, it is a 5 per cent increase, it's a full 20 per cent more prevalent here in Nova Scotia than it is in the rest of the country.

[4:30 p.m.]

The province, of course, takes in tax revenue as a result of the sale of tobacco. They take in some $100 million a year, maybe more than that now that the taxes, through budgetary measures, have increased. Do you know, Mr. Speaker, it is estimated that the cost

[Page 9582]

to Nova Scotia taxpayers of treating smoking-related diseases - and that's the health care cost of treating those diseases - is something in the order of $170 million; $70 million more a year than is taken into the consolidated general fund of the Province of Nova Scotia is expended through our health care system in order to look after people who have contracted diseases related to the consumption of tobacco products.

So we have good reason to want to speak out on this, not just because the legislation itself does not go far enough, but because from a taxpayers' perspective, if you want to go - and I don't always look at everything simply for the cost drivers associated with it because sometimes that presents an odd sense of what is right or wrong with a particular position, but in this case, I think in any budgeting process where you said every year I'm losing almost twice what I'm bringing in from a particular industry, most people would say, gee, it's time we did something about that industry because it's losing money.

In this case, of course, the reality is that the wind-down on the losses from the effects of smoking would not be immediate, unfortunately. If everyone in the province were to stop smoking tomorrow, there would be lingering health effects from tobacco consumption that would likely go on for decades, even if everyone were to stop right now because that is the nature of the kinds of diseases that are associated with the consumption of that product. We see this and the people who work in the industry, I'm told, see it, and I think we've all had some experience, either personally or professionally, with people who are dying of lung cancer. I know that on a couple of occasions, as a lawyer, I've been called upon to prepare wills for people who are dying of lung cancer. It's an awful thing to experience - when the member for Dartmouth East was talking about his experience with his father - it is truly an awful thing to have to witness, to actually go to someone's bedside and watch them struggle for breath as they lie dying of lung cancer. It's an awful situation. I have had that experience on more than one occasion in a professional capacity, but I've also had it with a good friend of mine, a person who originally worked hard at getting me interested in doing work in this Party way back when, so it is something that I have seen on a first-hand basis.

I want to talk just for a second about the experience in other provinces. I want the Minister of Health to know that although this legislation is extremely weak, is not going to come anywhere near doing what it ought to do, and is going to leave exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco smoke many people in this province, it will be opposed. It will be opposed by any number of organizations, groups, and people who have economic interests associated both with the sale and consumption of this product. I can only reflect on having travelled a short time ago to the City of Ottawa, which has a comprehensive ban in restaurants and bars throughout the city. Sometimes people will say, you see, Ottawa brought this in and there haven't been any problems whatsoever, so you can have a complete ban and there isn't any trouble. That's not really true if you've been to Ottawa, because there are a number of different levels of opposition that have taken place to that bylaw in Ottawa. Some, in fact, many of the establishments are compliant; they do comply. I'm sure that the people who go there appreciate that.

[Page 9583]

There are some who are simply not compliant; they refuse to comply. They've launched a lawsuit, they're contesting the legislation, and they bill themselves - it's become something of an advertising plus, if not directly in newspaper ads, certainly by word of mouth - as a non-compliant bar. They aren't shut down. They do it because they say that the legislation is under contest and, until it has been determined by the courts, they don't intend to comply, so they do that. There are some that are partially compliant; they will comply up until 9:00 o'clock at night and, then, after 9:00 o'clock at night they don't comply at all.

The Minister of Health should know that there are different experiences in different parts of the country with attempts to try to move our society along. Indeed, there will always be those who oppose, as the Minister of Health knows. Indeed, in this very Legislature, when the former Liberal Government brought in legislation to keep tobacco out of pharmacies, the Minister of Health himself opposed that legislation. So, he knows that there will always be people who oppose progress. He knows it only too well. I'm sure he's regretting it now. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, he's sitting over there saying that it's good for the construction industry. Well, that may well be, they're going to build all of these separate chambers . . .

HON. JAMES MUIR: No, the drugstores.

MR. DEXTER: Oh, I see what's he referring to, that a lot of these places, grocery stores, have separated off. It is truly amazing, if you go to Sobeys for example, they have a separate tobacconist on the same grounds, and you have to go outside and go in the other door in order to go in and buy tobacco products. So technically they no longer sell them in the grocery store, they no longer sell them in the pharmacies, but it's kind of a wink-wink, nod-nod, you know what I mean.

It's a great help to the construction industry, the Minister of Health says that, but I think that's what this is going to be about, this is going to be about renovations, and it's going to be about the larger places that can afford it, they're going to do it, and the smaller places are going to go out of business I guess. I think that's part of the complaint you're going to hear, the Minister of Health is going to hear just simply that, whereas if they instituted a total ban there wouldn't be any such problems.

I'm sure the Minister of Health, now that he has become the Minister of Health, absent his former life, I think if somebody asked him outside of this Chamber, will say that he profoundly regrets his opposition to the original bill that was brought forward. I have heard him speak on a number of occasions about how important this kind of legislation is.

Mr. Speaker, I didn't hear him in his opening comments, perhaps he had already apologized for opposing it, but I'm sure that in his closing remarks around this bill he will have an opportunity to mention the fact that he voted against it back then, to withdraw his

[Page 9584]

support for that motion at that time and to make proper amends to the people of this province. I'm certainly going to be looking forward to that; it would be an important signal for him to do that.

My colleague also mentioned that the assets of the transnational tobacco companies amount to something like $168 billion. There are some countries that don't have GDPs that are that large, Mr. Speaker. It's truly an amazing amassing of wealth by a particular industry. That's why they believe that they can withstand any legal challenge on negligence claims or on the claims like I had enumerated out of the David McLean case, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express and implied warranty.

Mr. Speaker, you may not know this, but when you buy a product in this country, every product comes along with an implied warranty. Every product is warranted to be reasonably fit for the use for which it was intended, is kind of the phrase. So if you buy a shovel and you go out and you start to use it and the first time you stick it in the ground it snaps in two, you can take it back to the store and you can say, look, I bought this and I didn't get a warranty card with it that I filled out and sent in, but I think it's only fair that if I bought it to use to dig in my garden and the first time I stick it in the ground it snaps, that I ought to get my money back. This product ought to perform in a way that it's expected to perform and if it doesn't, there should be some consequences to the seller for that. Well in this country when you do that, in fact, you're entitled to get your money back because there's an implied warranty that that product will be reasonably fit for the purpose for which it was intended.

So what about cigarettes, Mr. Speaker? What about the warranty that comes along with cigarettes? What the people say is that one of the warranties is that it will kill you because, of course, nobody would willingly kill themselves by consuming a product. In fact, there are still tobacco companies in the United States that refuse to admit the link between tobacco consumption and cancer. This is what litigation has been about between the tobacco industry and individuals for decades now. Yet, there have been books written on it. I think John Grisham wrote one called The Runaway Jury. It talked about, I think in that case it was about a juror, an individual who actually went around trying to get himself on juries where these cases were being fought. The reality is that that's been part of the litigation history of the tobacco industry now for decades.

So we would be well advised not to look to that industry for any advice as to the best way to control the distribution of their products because, of course, Mr. Speaker, for them, it is always the case that the best rules are no rules. As things got harder to do in the United States and here, you may remember that I'm old enough that I recall when they used to have tobacco advertisements on television, when you could turn on your radio or television and there would be tobacco advertising. I think it was the early 1970s when they did away with it, when they didn't have any warnings on cigarette packages, that you just bought Lucky

[Page 9585]

Strike or Belvedere or whatever it was and there was nothing to indicate that you were buying a product that had the possibility of being harmful to your health.

While I'm at it, Mr. Speaker, I might as well mention that those warnings by the Surgeon General and by others have also turned out to be an excuse that tobacco companies have used because, of course, once they started putting them on, that became one of the defences of the tobacco companies, that people knew the risks and decided to take them anyway because there they were in black and white, red and black, or whatever colour the cigarette package was and you could read the warning against their use right there and yet you chose to do it anyway. So it was one of these cases where the government implemented regulations or implemented rules about what kind of a disclosure you had to make about a particular product, hoping to assist consumers and advising them of the deleterious health effects and the tobacco companies use that as a defence to the lawsuits that are subsequently launched against them.

[4:45 p.m.]

There are some interesting facts about the average workplace that allows smoking and I wanted to just touch on a few of them, Mr. Speaker. In an average workplace that allows smoking, the level of pollution-causing chemicals in the air is some 250 times higher than what is considered a safe level. Can you imagine? Let's use a comparison, suppose you worked in a nuclear power plant and in those plants, as you may know, Mr. Speaker, they wear these little badges and they're essentially a film and what they do is they kind of measure the amount of radiation because that's a big concern in those plants and you're not allowed to get more than a certain number of roentgens of radiation. It's a measurement, they have a maximum permitted dosage. Now, can you imagine working in there if you found out that the radiation pollution in the workplace was 250 times greater than what it should be, what would be considered a safe environment for you as a working person. Yet with respect to second-hand tobacco smoke, it makes no difference or seems to make no difference, that it can be 250 times what is considered a safe level.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, businesses and their employees are paying higher insurance premiums as a result of second-hand smoke. That only makes sense. It has a deleterious health effect. That means that there are going to be more health problems. That means there are going to be more claims against health insurance policies. If there are more claims against health insurance policies, then necessarily that has to be paid for from somewhere and, of course, that payment comes out of the premium pool. So all of the people in the pool have to pay the premiums, they have to pay higher insurance costs.

From an employer's perspective, absentee rates are higher among smokers and, in fact, among others in the company who are non-smokers because they're exposed to second-hand smoke. So it becomes a productivity question. I remember a story, I'm not sure if I told it, I think I told it in respect to some other matter, Mr. Speaker, but it bears repeating, there

[Page 9586]

was a story that said that Henry Ford had a policy when he used to go out to hire people. He said he wouldn't hire anybody who wore a belt or who smoked a cigarette. People would say, well, why? He said if you wear braces and you don't smoke, then you don't spend half your time either smoking or trying to pull up your pants. That's what he said. So if you wanted a job with Henry Ford, you wore suspenders and you didn't smoke. (Interruption)

I'm not chasing that one. So, Mr. Speaker, it becomes a question of productivity and an absenteeism question for employers.

The Conference Board of Canada has developed conservative estimates of smoking costs. In 1995 Canadian dollars, the annual cost per smoking employee was estimated to be $2,565 - per employee. So there are lots of good reasons that we can find for the need for strong legislation with respect to an all-out ban of smoking in public places. I think we've said already that the public is already there; even smokers are there already. They know and they've been preparing for this. There are, of course, some people who are still somewhat cantankerous about it because, perhaps, they have been smoking all their lives and they feel that it's an infringement of their liberty, but I think that even in that regard, most people understand that this is the right thing to do and the time has come for it.

Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure exactly how much time I have left. I'm sure that you will indicate that to me. I'm not going to take a lot more time. I understand that my colleague in the Liberal caucus is ready to speak on this matter. I did want to point out that the Truro Daily News assessment of this - when they said that this was really about as tough as Silly Putty, I think that does go a long way toward summing it up. Although we're going to support this legislation, we do so with a profound sense that it does not go far enough, that it does not represent nearly what the people of Nova Scotia are asking for, and with our commitment to do everything in our power to try to strengthen it in any way that we can. With those comments, I intend to take my seat.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and speak on Bill No. 125, the Smoke-free Places Act, as it has been introduced, otherwise known as an Act to Protect Young Persons and Other Persons from Tobacco Smoke. At the outset, I think I would be remiss if I didn't correct the impression I left with my colleague, the honourable Leader of the socialist Party, when he spoke about the Marlboro Man.

Generally, that was always a bit of an excuse when somebody would complain about tobacco smoke back in our community. Somebody would say, well, the Marlboro Man smokes, he's healthy and everything like that, and it would always refer to somebody in the community who was 102 or something like that. (Interruptions) Well, that's right. The Marlboro Man did die at a much younger age, even though he smoked for 48 years. I guess

[Page 9587]

that was the point I was trying to make. I do apologize to my colleague, the member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, if I left the wrong impression there, because it is a serious matter.

Mr. Speaker, from the outset, our caucus also acknowledges the leadership that's being shown by the Premier, the Minister of Health and all members of the Legislature who support this initiative. We've never taken any issue with that. However, in light of all the statistical evidence that's available to this government about the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke and the high level of support for a 100 per cent ban that would have been received by the public, it's obvious that this particular piece of legislation falls short of its objective.

While this piece of legislation goes a long way to ensure the protection of children and some adults in indoor places, quite frankly, it doesn't go far enough. The issue of smoking bans on patios and not in confined spaces is a bit of a contradiction to some of the occupational health and safety laws and regulations that we now have before our advisory councils under the Department of Environment and Labour. Again, April 26th of this year was a good day for Nova Scotia, but it's not good enough. The government says, well, the Opposition, it's their job to say those things, but there's a lot more to it. For example, last year I had occasion to put a number of requests to the Department of Environment and Labour, in particular, FOIPOPs. On one particular freedom of information request I found out that with Casino Nova Scotia, they have certain designated areas within the casinos, both in Sydney and Halifax, where employees or patrons can do their gambling or whatever the terminology is, in smoking areas. The employees that work in the casino also have to work in those confined spaces whether they like to or not. One particular employee complained about that and what happened to that particular employee? Within six months that employee was unemployed and despite a complaint to the Department of Labour at that particular point in time, it didn't do any good and that's a documented fact.

Mr. Speaker, while we applaud the government in moving in that direction, we would hope that this will be a level playing field and that employees won't, in a kind of quiet, backhanded way, be ignored when their complaints come forward because I think that's a very difficult situation. I'm not sure of the background of this particular employee, I don't even know who this employee is. When you read the report of the complaint that was filed with the Department of Labour, it was because this particular employee could not work in a smoking area and her employer, her superior at the Casino Nova Scotia, told her either she worked there or she couldn't work at all and that's what happened in the final analysis. Is that fair to that particular employee? I don't think so and what did the government do about it? Absolutely nothing. When it was raised at the ministerial level what happened there? Nothing. These are they types of things that people are looking for some leadership on.

Mr. Speaker, as a Liberal Caucus, I can't overstate or understate in as many words as has been put by my colleague the member for Dartmouth East, we want a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places. I think my colleague has made that point abundantly clear.

[Page 9588]

Undoubtably he will be introducing amendments, either at the Law Amendments stage or the Committee of the Whole House, and we will be looking on this issue for some feedback from the government in greater detail. As well, from a health and wellness perspective, a 100 per cent ban is the only way to go.

If we recall, let's say 30 years ago, drinking and driving were acceptable. It wasn't legal in many respects but what did they do if they caught you drinking and driving? They pulled you over on the side of the road perhaps and smelled your breath; if they smelled too much liquor then they would say that you were intoxicated and perhaps you were banned from driving. Or perhaps they would ask you to walk down the yellow line or the white line as it was known at that juncture, and if you could walk straight down the line, whether you were intoxicated or not, they let you go. Now with technology and everything else, you don't see that, okay, that's not acceptable - much the same with a lot of other issues, smoking is the same thing.

I saw in the minister's opening remarks where he made reference to members at the Public Accounts Committee smoking at committee meetings. Well, I don't know of any record of that in the 10 years I've been in the House where members at Public Accounts were smoking. They were fuming because they didn't get the answers they wanted or they were quite upset about a few other things, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone at Public Accounts smoking. Perhaps the minister may want to revise his comments on (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I am getting lots of assistance here and I do appreciate the clarification. No documentation to support his position but I will take his hearsay evidence on notice to support his argument. If he has that much evidence that shows it's such a bad thing, why isn't he doing more about it? Why is he only walking half the walk? Why doesn't he walk the walk, the whole distance? That's essentially the point we're making here in the Liberal caucus.

[5:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, it was quite acceptable to go into a community hall where there was a dance or whether there was a concert or a milling frolic or whatever and half the people in the hall would be smoking. If they weren't smoking, they certainly appeared to be smoking because there was so much smoke around you didn't know if it was just the people smoking or if the place was on fire. For those who didn't smoke, they, for the most part, just accepted that as a way of life, that they were the minority and that was acceptable and so on.

How things have changed over the last 20 years, even the last 10 years. I think that's the way we've come as a society. Our attitudes and our dispositions about certain things in life have changed quite substantially. Obviously, with advanced technology and more information in medicine and science, we're seeing more and more that smoking does have a detrimental effect on one's health. One only has to point to all the evidence from the court

[Page 9589]

cases down through the United States, in particular, where the various States, both collectively and individually, have filed lawsuits against the tobacco companies, and tobacco companies have been found guilty in different cases of inducing people to smoke when perhaps they shouldn't have, or at least accepting responsibility for people developing lung cancer or other forms of cancer as a result of smoking.

Mr. Speaker, the evidence is mounting. I've watched some of these documentaries, these reports - I'm not sure if it was for "This Hour has 60 minutes" or what, but one of the reports where tobacco companies actually inject tobacco at some stage of its development with a certain chemical that would enhance a person's ability or desire to want to smoke and to smoke more and more. For years and years that evidence was concealed from the public. That is now starting to surface. It's like the caffeine in coffee. They say that there's more caffeine in Tim Hortons coffee than there is in any other coffee. Whether that's true or not, I don't know, but if you talk to the consumer they will say that Tim Hortons coffee is the best coffee in town. I don't know all this, the extent of the documentation, but certainly people with more expertise lend a voice to that particular position.

As well, strictly from an evidence point of view, and with all the evidence that's there, I'm really surprised that the government hasn't gone the extra step from a fiscal perspective on the increased costs to the health care system. We've heard the Minister of Health stand in his place on numerous occasions and show the tens of thousands of dollars more that are expended on health care than the revenues that one would generate for the government by simply purchasing tobacco during their lifetime. If it's that traumatic, why isn't the government being more proactive and more aggressive in reducing the costs to the health care system? Maybe it's because the government itself, and maybe the minister and his colleagues in Cabinet, they're addicted to the revenues that are coming from tobacco taxes. So, again, we just can't have it both ways.

It was just a few years ago that the government was taking the leadership role and dealing with the issues of tobacco - access and smoking - and I think all people in Nova Scotia certainly started to follow that lead. Now the government is trying to catch up to what the public is really demanding.

Again, as my colleague, the honourable member for Dartmouth East, has indicated, we will have some opposition at the Law Amendments Committee from the restaurant owners and the bar owners in Nova Scotia. They will be making their case for lost revenues and increased costs to making changes to their businesses and so on. But in the big picture, Mr. Speaker, those costs and those concerns outweigh the loss of life and the loss of health. If you want to keep it strictly monetary, do they outweigh the costs to the health care system of Nova Scotia? Not at all. So I think that's something that the government is going to have to be a little more proactive on.

[Page 9590]

Mr. Speaker, I have a rather interesting article here. Perhaps all members received this particular circulation. It's from the Fraser Institute. I know not everybody subscribes to the Fraser Institute because they find them to be a little bit of a right wing - I wouldn't say extreme right wing like some people I know, but this certainly passes Alberta. This is right to British Columbia. But there was a rather interesting segment in the latest edition, the 5th Edition, referred to as CRITICAL ISSUES bulletin. Environmental Indicators. With your permission, I will just refer to the subsection on Page 13 called "Total suspended particulates". It says, "Suspended particulates are small pieces of dust, soot, dirt, ash, smoke, liquid vapour, or other matter in the atmosphere." Then it goes on to say that these "Particulates are an irritant to lung tissue and may aggravate existing respiratory problems and cardiovascular diseases."

Mr. Speaker, recently, changes were made to the Canada's National Ambient Air Quality Objectives guidelines. What that essentially did was to "up the bar" in terms of what was acceptable for air quality for each and every one of us, and for society as a whole. This was a Canada-wide agreement with all provinces signing on and it was on environmental harmonization and it was signed, by golly, under the Liberal Government here in Nova Scotia. So I don't know if it was by accident or coincidence or what, but the fact of the matter is that in 1998, that agreement was signed that would develop a set of ". . . standards for particulates smaller than 2.5 microns, known as PM 2.5. The recommended standard is 30 g/m3 averaged over 24 hours, to be achieved by the Year 2010."

Really what I'm saying from this somewhat technical report, Mr. Speaker, is that smoking is not permissible. For example, in a room of this particular size it would only take one or two people to smoke in this room to make the air quality unacceptable. The point made by our Health Critic and my colleague, the former Minister of Health, who understands this issue very well, would certainly take issue with the government not wanting to go that extra step to providing compatible legislation that deals with the issue of environmental concerns that were put forth by this national council. We're hoping that the government will reconsider it between now and the Law Amendments Committee and certainly, at the very least, when it comes back to Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

Mr. Speaker, second-hand smoke, obviously, is a bigger killer than direct smoke; that's the general feeling. They say that if somebody is smoking - I don't have the scientific evidence. I've heard the Minister of Health say that second-hand smoke is worse than first-hand smoke; I've heard the previous Minister of Health say the same, and others in the health care field say the same thing, so it must be pretty bad. We do have an obligation to protect people who are very vulnerable to this particular situation.

Mr. Speaker, again, if we look at this issue of second-hand smoke, there's increasing evidence that this leads to heart disease, as well as to lung cancer, some nasal, sinus cancers and respiratory ailments in adults. These are just the risks that non-smokers are facing. Obviously, with children it's much more severe. We're dealing with issues such as

[Page 9591]

bronchitis, pneumonia, middle ear disease and asthma. If we were to look at each one of those issues individually, the cost to the health care system is just overwhelming. That's something that, perhaps, I will supply in a little more detail when we come back to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that there are over 200 deaths per year here in Nova Scotia because of second-hand smoke. This exposure to second-hand smoke is the leading cause of workplace death, so all the more reason that the government should re-examine having a ban on patio smoking but not on indoor smoking. It's kind of a contradiction that you can be out on a patio on a windy day, with 25 or30 mile per hour winds, and you're going to be banned from smoking there, but it's okay for you to go inside, in a confined space. It kind of defeats the purpose. Is it little wonder that the Medical Society would say yes, this bill is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't address many of the major concerns that they have.

AN HON. MEMBER: Like smoking in casinos.

MR. MACKINNON: Well, exactly. Smoking in casinos. I addressed that point a little earlier with the fact that one former employee of Casino Nova Scotia, I believe, if the report that I read is correct - and it's one that I tabled in the House on a previous day, so I'm not going to be repetitive. The fact of the matter is that she felt she was losing her job because she was forced to work in a smoking area that she couldn't tolerate. My heavens, if they couldn't find another location in the casino for her to work in, then there's something wrong. There's something wrong with our occupational health and safety laws, and there's something wrong with the inspection and enforcement division of that particular department. We won't even waste our time talking about the minister on that, because half the time he doesn't even seem to know what's going on in his department.

Last week, he indicated - to a resolution that was put in by the member for Cape Breton Centre asking for violence in the workplace regulations to be implemented immediately, he said yes. How could he say yes, have them implement it immediately, when they're still before the advisory council? He said the week before that they were just sent back. Sometimes, before I ask a question I'm seriously considering asking him what day it is so that I will know whether I should proceed or go to another minister. That's how scary it is, when you have a minister saying he's going to adopt immediately regulations that he doesn't even have before his department.

[5:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, that point is made. I think we also have to look at some of the advocates in the hospitality industry, as I've stated. They're concerned about their bottom line because this has become a way of life. Smoking in bars, taverns and restaurants where smoking has always been the norm, it's very difficult to all of a sudden stop cold turkey, but it has to be done; it has to be done whether we like it or not.

[Page 9592]

Mr. Speaker, what about the people who don't smoke? They go to a restaurant or a bar and before 15 minutes to half an hour they have to leave because they can't breathe, then when they get outside and they go home the smell off their clothes is unbearable. Is that fair to them? No, it's not. So, people can say, well, you know, this is our constitutional right to smoke wherever we want and so on. Well, I'm not a lawyer and I don't pretend to be a lawyer and maybe in some cases, I'm very glad not to be a lawyer, but the fact of the matter is there are some constitutional arguments there and what's legal and what isn't and what are the rights of children.

The government is going to pass this law and then make it illegal for children to possess cigarettes or tobacco, but how do they plan to enforce that and what's the value of the way this entire process is articulated? Is there anything in there for education? I mean, Mr. Speaker, coming down with the heavy hand of the law isn't necessarily the right way to deal with this with young people. It just isn't. It's like (Interruption) The Minister of Tourism and Culture is saying that's a bit of a contradiction. From my prospective, it's not. It's not, because what's contradictory is the fact that the government is trying to legislate something that's a health issue - something that should be an educational issue. Yes, they should be educated to know and to believe that smoking is harmful. You don't go around like smoke cops and say, well, I found you with a cigarette in your hand, or I found you with a package of cigarettes, I'm going to fine you and you're now going to be an outlaw. That's no way to encourage young people to understand the seriousness of this situation. This is something that has developed ever since Sir Walter Raleigh came across with his bag of tobacco leaves to the New England States. This is not an easy issue for, I am sure, any member of the House.

Mr. Speaker, let's look at the Department of Health; let's look at the Department of Finance, the money that's collected for tobacco taxes. Why doesn't the government take - let's say if they're collecting, I don't know what they would be collecting, let's say $1 for every package of cigarettes, maybe it's $2.50, but let's say for the sake of discussion $1 - certain percentage of that dollar and put it into some type of a separate account, whether it be like a trust fund or something specifically for educating people, particularly young people on the ills of smoking?

If you recall several months ago, Mr. Speaker, when representatives from the Department of Health came before one of our committees of the House, they had well over $1 million, perhaps upwards of $2 million for cessation of smoking programs, and they hadn't spent it. Why? Because they hadn't positioned themselves to be able to address that in a logical and sequential fashion. That's why that money was just sitting there in the Department of Health's budget not being expended. I don't know if it's because they didn't have the staff, I don't know if it's because they didn't have the program properly articulated or what, but the fact of the matter remains that things weren't being done as the government said it was going to be done. So here's an opportunity with this particular piece of legislation to lay some of those dollars aside to deal specifically with that. Don't beat up on the young people of Nova Scotia - educate them, encourage them, teach them. (Interruptions)

[Page 9593]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton West has the floor. I'm keenly interested in listening to his debate on Bill No. 125 and I'm sure there are other members of this Legislature interested as well. I would greatly appreciate it if you would show the respect to the honourable member. (Applause)

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased for your intervention because I could feel the groundswell of support ever since you started to speak. That will probably fall off after about five minutes, but I will see what I can do to capture their attention.

I'm not a smoker so I guess (Interruptions) No, I didn't. I think I smoked one pack of cigars when I was in Grade 9 at Holy Cross in Glace Bay and I couldn't breathe for a week so I had to quit. That was the extent of it, so I'm pretty lucky that I just couldn't smoke because my respiratory system wouldn't allow it. Some people have the capacity to smoke and it doesn't affect their respiratory system. (Interruption) There are some rabbit tracks here and I don't want to get caught up in rabbit tracks.

I think it would be fair to say there are members from all three caucuses that know people who smoke, probably they're chain-smokers, probably there are members in all three caucuses that smoke themselves. They realize and they understand that it's not easy to quit smoking. I appreciate that. I know my father, before he passed away - he died at age 86 - and he smoked, starting when he was 14 years of age so he smoked for 72 years. Is that why he died? No, he died of a stroke. Did the smoking cause the stroke? I don't know, but I would say he had a pretty good life, having 14 children didn't make it easy, but it goes to show you that smoking doesn't always affect people the same way. The Minister of Health is quite excited about this dissertation, I can feel it.

It's another thing as well - smoking by and of itself is one issue. But we know we have a lot of other problems in the environment as well. There's a lot of pollution. Last week the Premier was speaking on the issue of the Kyoto Accord when he was being scrummed by the media. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a policy position on the Kyoto Accord at this point, not according to his comments that were made to the media. He's going to wait for Alberta to take the lead and then he's going to wait for Ottawa to present its position paper when they meet later on this month.

This all ties into smoking as well. We know some of the effects of activities in the environment from other jurisdictions. Do you recall - believe it was around 1993, 1994 - that large forest fire in Quebec? The prevailing winds moved all the smoke from eastern Quebec right down to Nova Scotia and we had to shut down the ventilation systems in just about every major office complex here in Halifax. Equally so, if you look at the prevailing winds from the northeastern United States, and a lot of those industrial complexes, we're the recipient of what's happening and the effects through acid rain and so on. That's more

[Page 9594]

common today than it ever was before - coupled with the smoking that people do, given the fact that Nova Scotia is supposed to have one of the highest rates of smoking and cancer and ill health because of smoking, it's all the more reason for us to be more vigilant and more forceful when pieces of legislation like this come before the House.

If we're going to get into the issue of tax credits and shared responsibilities and the cost of making transitions in our industrial complexes to make our workplace and our air quality better, well equally so for those who are working in the workplace. I don't want to digress too much and I don't want to belabour the issue, but I think the point is made that workplace safety as far as air quality is extremely important. The Minister of Environment and Labour should get cracking, just stop being a cheerleader and show some leadership on some of these issues because that would support the Minster of Health and it would certainly make the Minister of Health better positioned to be able to address the issue of smoking in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, in closing I would like to say that obviously from a health and wellness perspective, Bill 125 does not do enough to protect Nova Scotia. It does not do enough to protect workers in their workplace, a restaurant, a tavern, a bar, a cabaret, is indeed somebody's workplace. As well, from a health and wellness perspective, it does not do enough to protect the health of the general public from the effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. In reviewing and listening to the responses of the employers in the past few days, in listening to the expressions of concern with associated costs with complying with Bill No. 125, they too might agree that a 100 per cent ban would prove to be a better solution to this very serious health issue than the option in the bill that is currently before them.

Mr. Speaker, with that I will conclude my remarks and I will be looking forward to supporting this bill going on to Law Amendments Committee because I believe that public input is important and we will most likely be looking at, in fact I know we will be providing some amendments at Committee of the Whole or even at Law Amendments to make this bill the bill that it was intended to be. Thank you.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have an opportunity to speak on this piece of legislation. Obviously it is an important piece of legislation for a lot of reasons. I might say that this is one of those rare pieces of legislation in the House where you actually get, prior to its introduction, a fair bit of debate in the community. In particular there was a lot of discussion, over the winter months I had a lot of people dropping by my office, average citizens, people involved in the Cancer Society, physicians who wanted to speak on this and encourage us to make sure that we had a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places and in workplaces.

[Page 9595]

Quite frankly I was hoping that this government would bring forward legislation that would enact and entrench a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places and in workplaces. Unfortunately this government, like on so many other issues, has the opportunity to show leadership and instead has dropped the ball and tried to find a middle ground. On some issues there is no middle ground. It is not possible with regard to smoking, I would suggest, to say that it's okay in some circumstances but it isn't okay in others. This was clearly a compromise that this government and this Minister of Health put forward as a means of trying to appease those in the restaurant and bar industry and the bingo industry to prevent them from feeling completely isolated because of this legislation.

[5:30 p.m.]

The fact is, smoking is bad for the health of those who smoke and those who are in the room when they smoke. Unfortunately this government in this legislation has failed to recognize that.

I want to talk in my moments of speaking, Mr. Speaker, around a few issues. As the Justice Critic, I may have a few comments to make on the truck that you can drive through the prosecution parts of this legislation. In fact, I would say there are no prosecution components. We have told the youth in this province that they cannot smoke, yet we've provided no provisions in which that can be enforced. There were actually some interesting comments in the newspapers in the New Glasgow area about some of the police chiefs there and their comments with regard to this legislation. They clearly see it as a farce. They see it as a joke, one which they have no intention of having anything to do with.

So even before this legislation has had second reading debate, even before this legislation has been passed by this Legislature, the people of this province who will be enforcing the laws of this province have said that it is a joke and they will not enforce it. That really is quite telling, that the Minister of Health's own legislation is not even considered legitimate and serious by the law enforcement people in this province. That can be changed. The Minister of Justice can send guidelines. Maybe the Minister of Health should talk to his colleague, the Minister of Justice, and tell him to send out guidelines forcing the police to make this a priority. But until that happens, that police have said that this legislation is a farce.

But before I do that, Mr. Speaker, many times I think about smoking. I was never a smoker in my life, but one of the things that has struck me is that when I used to do prosecutions in Ontario, in talking about health and safety, there used to be mine workers who were exposed to diesel fumes. I never really understood what was in smoking until we used to have these workers coming with severe lung problems, emphysema, asthma and chronic lung problems, like they were smokers and people would compare it. But there would be like a third or half of a mine. There's one in particular outside Thunder Bay where

[Page 9596]

a third or half of the workers have these chronic problems and they came to the conclusion that it was because there were diesel fumes in the mine. They didn't have proper ventilation.

This all goes back to that issue of ventilation, which is what the minister seems to hang his hat on with regard to the opportunity for bars and restaurants to be exempt from the legislation, or at least partially exempt. He's hung his hat on the fact that there's going to be ventilation. Well, ventilation doesn't always work. In health and safety, there's an old theory: don't use technical aids in order to make something safe when administrative ones can do the trick in many cases. It's cheaper to do an outside ban. Ventilation is very expensive, Mr. Speaker, as many in this House have already noted. I would suggest it's important that we look at those factors as well.

I think what's most important about this legislation, though, Mr. Speaker, is what it has forgotten. On so many other issues in this Legislature in the last three years, we've seen a government that has failed to provide any true leadership or vision as to where it wants this province to go. I can say that about health care. I can say it about education. I can say it about labour issues. I can say it about almost anything. The problem is that this government has not had a vision or the leadership to actually try to impose a clear vision of many different policies. But in the case of smoking cessation, it seems pretty clear, even to someone like myself who's not been actively involved in this issue beyond listening to my constituents' concerns, that there are several components you need to ensure that we reduce smoking in Nova Scotia. Education is something that you see. We see the advertisements on television. Presumably there's less going on in our classes in junior high.

I actually have the opportunity every year, Mr. Speaker, to go to something called DARE, Drug Awareness Resistance Education, which is put on by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It's an American program. It does deal with drugs, but it deals with alcohol and smoking. At Grade 6, which I think is a key time before those children, those students, go on to Grade 7, to a new junior high school, where they're going to be around a lot of new circumstances, smoking being probably the biggest one, but alcohol, drugs, others - they teach these children about self-esteem. They teach them about making the right choices and about being proud of themselves and who they are so that they are much less likely, when they leave Grade 6 and go into Grade 7, to actually try smoking or drugs or alcohol.

But let's just focus on the smoking part of it, Mr. Speaker. This is a program that the Mounties have put in place in my community, I know. I think it's around the province. In the months of January to May, they do a weekly program with all the Grade 6 students talking about smoking cessation, about self-esteem, and promoting healthy choices in life and the right choices in life. Time will tell the success of it, but I can assure you that I see on those children's faces every year there's a graduation - and I've gone a couple of years now to schools in my riding - Colby Village Elementary School, Caldwell Road Elementary School. This year it's being expanded to Seaside Elementary School, and also to Astral Drive Junior High School. I see, in this programs, children who, clearly, are leaving elementary school,

[Page 9597]

entering junior high school with a much higher level of self-esteem, a much higher level of respect for themselves and, therefore, they are much more likely to make the right choices with regard, in this case, to smoking.

Mr. Speaker, that's vital; that's crucial. That's not part of our curriculum, necessarily - I'm sure there are programs around that as well - but there are programs like DARE that are doing something to help our children. That's why I'm saying education is a vital component, and yet this government has never really spelled out how it's going to provide the proper funding to ensure we have truly good educational programs to prevent smoking amongst our youth.

They are raising hundreds of millions of dollars a year in tobacco taxes. They claim it's to help reduce the number of people smoking. Directly, they're probably right. Fewer people will smoke when they have to pay $7 for a package of cigarettes which I think it is now, roughly. But if some of that money went into educational programs (Interruptions) Thank you. One of the members on the other side, who will remain nameless, said it was $8 for a package of cigarettes; remembering our little discussion of not too long ago, when the Premier walked by on the steps of the House.

Mr. Speaker, $8 for a package of cigarettes is going to stop some people from smoking, but on the other hand, the extra revenue raised, instead of putting a nominal amount into smoking cessation programs, instead of putting a nominal amount into educational programs, a lot more money could be put into those programs to help ensure that our children - and the benefits are broader. It's not just smoking. If there's a child who has stronger self-esteem, more self-confidence, they're much less likely to try drugs, they're much less likely to become dependent on alcohol, they're much more likely to choose healthier lifestyle choices.

Mr. Speaker, that means, in the long run, that's an investment that will help ensure our health care costs are down, it will help ensure that our children will be better educated, and we're all better off as a society. We have to look at this as interconnecting. We can't just take smoking alone, smoking is a key issue but it's part of a bigger problem, one in which we have children making unhealthy choices that we need to fix. Let's be clear, again, I don't have the studies on this, but there are many cases you hear anecdotally of young women particularly who smoke because of body image issues. This is something that I don't think is discussed enough. This government doesn't even seem to recognize it as an issue. Let's be candid, there are a lot of young women and youth out there who are choosing to smoke for body image issues, particularly because they want to keep the weight down.

If we do more to educate them, more to promote self-esteem, more to promote self-confidence, both physical and mental self-confidence, we will go a long way to ensuring not only that they won't smoke but that they will make healthy choices throughout their life. That is something that we don't seem prepared to recognize and take the time to deal with. Even

[Page 9598]

though we're raising all this extra money in smoking taxes, we're not putting enough into those educational programs. That's the first component, education, and this legislation does nothing with regard to that.

The second is taxation. To be candid, this government has provided a tax increase with regard to smoking. This was done in the past, then smuggling increased and, therefore, we ended up reducing them. I hope this time we will be able to keep those taxes up. They are an important component. I will recognize this government has done much in that way. That's the second component.

Education, taxation. The third one is smoking cessation, not only for our youth because if we can stop them from smoking we're all better off, but there are those who are smoking who need help, whether it's treatment, whether it's maybe some assistance with the cost of certain forms of programs, whether it's training, whether it's other programs, all can be done as a means of trying to ensure those who are smoking, stop. Yet again, our government has taken millions and hundreds of millions of dollars out of our economy for purposes of taxing cigarettes, yet very little of that, I think it's $1 million or $2 million, has gone into smoking cessation programs.

Mr. Speaker, that is another thing that isn't addressed in this legislation. Three components, and none of them are addressed in this legislation. The final one is enforcement, which means putting in place legislation that says there will be a 100 per cent ban on smoking. The government has failed to do that as well. They have not provided a 100 per cent ban on smoking, and because of that we have legislation that you can drive a truck through. On top of that - and you would recognize that, I would think, driving a truck through it, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker - the minister comes forward in his press conference for his photo op a couple of weeks ago, saying we are going to make sure no one under 19 years of age can smoke.

That's wonderful, but there is not a single word in this legislation to say that if you are caught in possession of tobacco products and you're under the age of 19, you will receive a fine of a certain amount of money, or that there are provisions for the police to prosecute you on a first, second, third offence and for those out there who don't understand, almost every piece of legislation that is an enforcing legislation in this province, Mr. Speaker, has a fining component, has a prosecution component, so that it's clear that if there is a violation of the legislation there are certain fines to be paid. This legislation has none of that.

So our government has said it is illegal to possess tobacco if you're under the age of 19 and yet they are doing nothing, and even in this legislation they have done nothing to say what will happen if you're caught in possession of tobacco. It will be seized? Well, Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear that enforcement is not a priority in this legislation. As has been used in other examples, this is nothing more than a Russian constitution. It looks good on paper, but it's not enforceable and it will not be enforced. This is about a government that

[Page 9599]

is more worried about polls and trying to get itself re-elected than it is about truly trying to stop smoking in this province.

You can see that in the compromises it has made, the compromises that have resulted in some key supporters of the Party, who happen to run bars, or run restaurants, or run bingo halls, who have told them to back off on a 100 per cent ban on smoking, Mr. Speaker. As a result of that, we have a muddled compromise that will only result in legislation that is not enforceable and does not meet the goals of trying to stop smoking in this province and beyond a few key lobbyists, almost everyone in this province would say they support a 100 per cent ban on smoking. Yet this government seems more worried about what a few key supporters are saying than they are about what most people in this province are saying. I guess that's another reason why we could use a Lobbyist Registration Act, so we know who exactly is talking to this government about this legislation and every other piece of legislation.

Mr. Speaker, that's the problem. We have no idea who's talking to this government, who is influencing them, who is making them make decisions that are destroying the lives of Nova Scotians - from the youth who haven't started smoking, but will because this legislation does nothing to help them; to those in their 20s or 30s who, if they stopped now, could still reverse or even at least limit the impact of the smoking; to those much older because of health reasons who want to quit smoking, but are having a heck of a time stopping. All of these people could use the help of this government but, instead, behind the curtain of government decisions, someone is pulling the levers and we don't know who it is because there's no lobbyist registration in which we can actually identify who has told this government to back off on a 100 per cent ban on smoking and that is what is such a shame, is that this government tries to herald this as a success story.

In fact, I think they've even gotten up - whether it is the Premier or the Minister of Health - in their seats in this Legislature and said we're the first province to ban possession of tobacco under the age of 19. Well, whoop-de-doo, Mr. Speaker, there's no prosecutorial ability. There's no enforcement. There's no ability to fine. It's a Russian constitution. It's not worth the paper it's written on and this Minister of Health knows that full well. I just hope that this isn't another example, like Bill No. 68, of a Minister of Health who probably did want to do something, but was told by his other Cabinet Ministers that there's too little and too late and do what he's told, because I would hope this Minister of Health would have the strength of his conviction to want to ensure we had a 100 per cent ban. Maybe his other Cabinet Ministers weren't willing to do it, but I would hope this Minister of Health would at least believe in that.

So talking about enforcement, I want to talk a bit about - and I will table this - an article from the New Glasgow Evening News, April 30th, and it's very telling. I will quote from it, then I will table it, Mr. Speaker. It's written by Kevin Adshade of the Evening News and I will quote different parts, but he basically goes on to talk about some of the questions

[Page 9600]

he asked some of the police chiefs in the New Glasgow area - I think there are three, or four, or five police chiefs - whether this was a priority, because there is no prosecutable powers within the legislation. He says, "Calling youth who smoke victims of industry . . .", the Health Minister said when he introduced the legislation, " . . . if you're not old enough to purchase the product, you're not old enough to possess it. It's that simple."

It almost sounds like he's tough. It almost sounds like he's going to do something, Mr. Speaker, but the New Glasgow/Westville Police Services Chief Lorne Smith says, "'If we see a violation, we have to take action.' He added, however, that he doesn't anticipate police will be launching massive anti-youth smoking campaigns, like they do with seat belt usage and drinking and driving enforcement campaigns." Why? Because everyone knows that you don't drink and drive, everyone knows you wear a seat belt - it's black and white, and because of that the legislation is black and white and people know if they're caught they will pay major fines, they will face suspensions, but with this legislation, there's none of that.

[5:45 p.m.]

So the government has sent the message even before this legislation is passed that violating it is a slap on the wrist. We have so many people in this province who complain about the criminal justice Act, whether rightly or wrongly, to say it's a slap on the wrist, it's nothing compared to this legislation. If you think the teenagers of this province don't know already or won't know within minutes of this legislation being passed, that it is toothless, they will know and they will laugh at those who try to stop them.

There are some more interesting quotes here. The Trenton Police Department Chief, Bob White, says - no, I'm sorry, I will back up, it's the Pictou County Municipal Force, one of the veteran officers questions the value of asking police to seize smokes: "'It's easy to make these laws. Sometimes it's very hard to enforce them,' the officer said. 'I'm more concerned about drugs on the street, I'm more concerned about violent crime on the street. Having a cigarette? To me, that's a very low priority.'" Of course, the government's already told him it is because they don't even have any fining or prosecution provisions. "He said if the law is passed, police departments can expect to be deluged with phone calls from people snitching on young smokers. 'We're going to get calls every day, and you know we will, (of) people seeing teenagers walking down the street holding a cigarette. It's going to be something we'll have to deal with on a daily basis. It's hard to keep up with the work we have now. Now we're babysitting people that are smoking.'" I will table that, Mr. Speaker.

It's pretty clear that these are police chiefs of some major communities in our area. I would only wish we had quotes from the Truro police chief to enlighten the Minister of Health, but these are from the New Glasgow area - the Premier's own riding, and the ridings of the member for Pictou West and the member for Pictou East. Key Tory members who, their police chiefs are saying, this is a joke, this is more of a problem, this is babysitting. Pretty clearly, the police in this province are not taking this seriously, the teenagers in this

[Page 9601]

province therefore will not take it seriously and we will be left with a law that will be worthless. Yet this minister continues to try to click his heels together in hopes that someone will actually stop smoking because of it.

The Amherst Daily News, dated April 30th as well - it must be the same day. In their opinion, they say, "At the end of the day, however, Muir . . ." - that must be the Minister of Health - ". . . can't say that his attack on tobacco constitutes a complete ban on public smoking, and until such time as such a ban is put in place and enforced, smoking will continue to claim the lives of both smokers and innocent bystanders." I will table that as well.

There are others. There's the Truro Daily News, there are others in here, but it's pretty clear that this legislation is worthless. This Minister of Health knows it and for him to try to promote this as his signature piece as a minister really says a lot about the other legislation that he has introduced. That is why we have so much problem with this.

We need a 100 per cent ban on smoking, period. The workers who work in bars and restaurants and lounges and taverns and bingo halls need a 100 per cent ban on smoking. Those who have suffered because they are inhaling second-hand smoke need a 100 per cent ban on smoking. Those who are addicted to tobacco and nicotine need a 100 per cent ban on smoking as part of a broader program of education, of cessation, of taxation, and of enforcement. All of these things need to be done. Yet this government has dropped the ball on all but one of them.

They have no problem jacking up the revenue and putting it towards general revenue, not towards smoking cessation programs, but yet we have done little with regard to cessation, we've done almost nothing with regard to education except what the community itself has done through things like DARE, and this legislation proves we are doing nothing with regard to prosecution.

Without a four-pronged approach to smoking - and maybe there are others out there, those who know more than I do on this issue - we will fail, we will not be able to ensure that Nova Scotians will stop smoking. If we have one of the highest rates of smoking in this country, we need to do something about it. The Minister of Health on a daily basis, when asked, rails against the Opposition by saying look how much our health costs are going up, look how much we're spending on health. Well, we can debate that for a long time as to whether that's the case, but even if he believes the words that come out of his mouth, he has to know that if he did something serious and legitimate to stop smoking in this province in the long run he would go a long way to reducing health costs in this province.

Yet he does nothing and he stands on the fence and tries to get both ways; tries to appease his supporters who run bars and restaurants and bingo halls while at the same time hoping that the people who want smoke-free communities and public places will be happy with the pittances he has thrown to them. Well, you can't have it both ways and the people

[Page 9602]

know that. On an issue that is black and white they want the government to take a stand. They don't want their government to sit on the fence. Yet this government sits on the fence. Until they stop that, the people of this province will not have any confidence in this minister or in this government.

Someone was suggesting to me before I got up that one of the issues that needs to be looked at is comparing this to seat belts and I mentioned earlier drunk driving or seat belts. These are issues that when they first came in there were those who were skeptical, those who said we can't do it. I know from my own personal experience with regard to occupational health and safety and drafting legislation, there are those who told us there are certain things you can't do. Yet, you know what, this is why I am such a believer in legislation and I'm such a believer in the ability of government to be an active partner in our society, cause when you pass certain types of legislation, they do follow the rules. That's the beauty of the rule of law, that's what our society is based on.

When someone passes a law that says we shall have to wear a seat belt, I don't remember how long ago that was, 20 years ago, 22 years ago - 17 or 18 years ago the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank is saying, a while ago. When we passed that legislation there were those who said they would refuse to wear them. There were those who said we will not wear seat belts yet. Now in Canada and in Nova Scotia the rate of seat belt wearing is much higher than it is in the United States where many places still refuse to impose legislation. People recognize that it's the law, that the Legislature has passed it and it's important. You will always get those who will try to fight it. There will be those, like with the gun registration, who will mount the high horse and attempt to stop it. In the end the vast majority of people will accept it as the law because they know that we as the people who are elected here or those who have passed legislation in the past thought with due diligence that it was the best thing to do and they did it.

The same thing could be with smoking. Instead of trying to take the muddled, fuddled middle road, instead of trying to compromise where you shouldn't, this government should have taken a tough stand on a 100 per cent ban on smoking. Like seat belts, a 100 per cent ban might have taken some time for people to get used to but they would have gotten used to it.

If I can draw on my experience briefly, I remember working on fall protection and scaffolding regulations and there was one with regard to flat roofs. I remember many people telling us that you couldn't put fall protection around people who are tarring flat roofs because there was nothing technically that could be done to put a guardrail up because you needed the whole surface of the roof to be clear so that they could tar it. At the time we said that if we pass this regulation there are people out there in the safety industry who will find a way. I remember that legislation was passed in February 1995 and within one month I was in a taxi cab driving in downtown Halifax and I looked up to the roof of a building and there was a guardrail around that building on a flat roof where people were doing work. By passing

[Page 9603]

that legislation we pushed an envelope that forced people to find a way to make it work. The same thing could be done if we had a government that had the courage of its convictions to go out and actually pass a 100 per cent ban on smoking. We don't have that and because of it we will find those who will always find an exception to the rule.

What is 25 per cent - not getting into the clause by clause - there are certain exemptions in here, 25 per cent of a bar or restaurant or what's an outside patio area? There are all kinds of debates that could be had about what's 25 per cent of a bar. I can only think of it now. There are bars with a large patio or deck, in the summertime 25 per cent of the bar could just be the inside of the bar and you could have a separate ventilation system for it. While in the wintertime, you know they can keep the deck open, no one may go out there, but it's still only 25 per cent of the bar, that's the bar that's actually being used.

I guess it must be going through law school. It gets you thinking about, you know, with every rule there's an exception you can make to the rule, but that's the point. Without a 100 per cent ban on smoking, there are people out there who are paid darn good money to find an exception to the rule and they will find ways and I've heard about this in other places. The same thing will happen here because this government didn't have the courage of its convictions to actually go out and put a 100 per cent ban in place, and that's the problem.

The other part of this is around youth. Someone said, you know, you can put a 100 per cent ban in place like we did for alcohol and people still drink. That's right; they do. I'm not saying that a 100 per cent ban will mean there will be no smokers under the age of 19. But what I will tell you is, combined, prosecution, education, cessation and taxation, Mr. Speaker, you can do a lot toward that end. The education component is crucial. Alcohol is a good example. With regard to alcohol, we have a situation where banning it isn't necessarily the answer and hasn't been the full answer, but there's a good education program that's really reduced the amount of drunk driving and the amount of alcohol abuse in our youth because we use education as a component as well to teach them about responsible drinking. All of this needs to be done and yet this government has done none of it.

I mentioned occupational health and safety earlier and I said, Mr. Speaker, that my background is in occupational health and safety. Ventilation systems can work. They can be expensive, though, and as a result of that, there are many people out there, many smaller businesses, many businesses starting up, who, quite frankly, will not be able to compete with the bigger players and the more established bars. Ventilation is not necessarily the answer. It's expensive; it's costly. A separate ventilation system means a separate intake; that means a separate out-take. That means having a completely different system. Let's face it, if you travel around Nova Scotia, bars and restaurants aren't always in the nice, new, shiny buildings. Many would argue that they like to go to the bars and restaurants that have character.

[Page 9604]

I can think about the Town of Pictou. There are some very lovely restaurants and bars. But do you know what that means? That means buildings that could be 100, 200 or 300 years old, Mr. Speaker, that have a bar or restaurant, and now they've got to find a way to put ventilation in. You might say, well, they don't have to. They can just ban smoking 100 per cent. You're right. But then the guy or the woman running the bar down the street is going to put ventilation in. They're going to have smoking there and that's going to create, potentially, an unfair situation and a costly one for those operating bars.

Now, you're right. That's the argument you hear from the food service industry. Well, this is costly. We can't do it. But if we had a 100 per cent ban, we would just be able to say there is no option. The competition will be equal across the board. Maybe Amherst will have a problem with it because you can go across to Sackville across the way. I don't know what the legislation is in New Brunswick with regard to smoking, but I can tell you that in most of this province a 100 per cent ban will result in fairer competition. As I said, any time you can use administrative changes over technical support, it's less costly and probably results in more effective use.

Let's be clear, Mr. Speaker, the workers of this province who work in bars are suffering because of their exposure to smoke. The problem is that in many cases they're not well organized; they're not unionized; they're younger workers, or transient workers and so their rights and protection are ignored. That's a shame, but that doesn't mean that their right to a healthy lifestyle, their right not to be exposed to smoke, isn't any stronger than my right or the right of the Minister of Health or anyone else in this province. Until this government recognizes that and again has the courage to provide true leadership with a 100 per cent ban on smoking, it's one more reason why this legislation has no real impact on Nova Scotians.

I will take about five minutes, Mr. Speaker, to wrap up on some of the myths that have come up around smoke-free legislation. I'll table this. This is from Smoke-Free Nova Scotia. They talk about why don't we have a choice in this? Why don't we allow people - and this is really what this legislation does. Bars can be exempted. They can create the 25 per cent smoking area with separate ventilation. The key point, I think, to be made there is that we don't say it's a voluntary choice whether you wear a seat belt. It's not voluntary whether you drink or drive. It's not voluntary with regard to our rules around handling food or water treatment. These things are mandatory because they are so important. If smoking is a health risk, then it should be mandatory, not voluntary, and this legislation has basically created a voluntary exemption on smoking in bars, restaurants, bingo halls, taverns and so on and until that changes, this legislation will not work.

[6:00 p.m.]

I mentioned about ventilation, Mr. Speaker. Some say is it an option? It's costly. It allows those with deep pockets who run industries to be better able to afford the changes and, therefore, provide an option and a competitive edge that others don't have and in a province

[Page 9605]

that relies so much on its small businesses, that encourages entrepreneurs, especially amongst our food services industry, especially in our smaller towns and communities where people want to open a pub as part of a tourist industry expanding, if we eliminate that by providing competitive advantages to others with deeper pockets, then we're destroying small business in this province and I'm sure that wasn't the intent of the Minister of Health or this government but, quite frankly, that will be the result.

Mr. Speaker, will this decrease business in bars and restaurants, will it decrease business in a store in a mall because you can't smoke in it? We accept now that you can't smoke in a mall or most parts of a mall, you know, or in an office building. You know you can't smoke in them, but that doesn't mean people don't go and use those services. Well, that's the problem. We assume that there's something different about a bar or restaurant. Yes, we've all been to bars or restaurants from time to time and there is a fair bit of smoking in them, but that doesn't mean (Interruption) I'm sorry, I've offended the members of Timberlea-Prospect and Cape Breton Centre with that comment, but it really is, for most of us, a place in which we can go and recognize there is smoking there.

Mr. Speaker, the point is that I don't think it will have an impact on business and there are objective studies to prove that it will not have an impact on business and yet this government, again, because of some pressure from some of its supporters I suspect, and we will never know because we didn't see the Lobbyists' Registration Act passed, or I should say proclaimed to be accurate, because of that we won't know who pressured them into limiting and cutting the knees out from under a serious ban on smoking.

With regard to the tourism industry, Mr. Speaker, I think it's vital that we recognize that as our communities, as our country, as our continent is aging, there are fewer and fewer people who can enter places where smoking is. To say this would be a hardship on tourism, I would suggest is completely the opposite. There are many out there who are looking for places to go - people who are seniors, people who are recently retired, who have free time, who have the assets to be able to do more travelling, they would want to come to a province where smoking isn't happening in bars and restaurants, and that is what is important here - recognizing the advantages of this and not always looking at it as a negative.

Yet we have a minister, we have a government that, again, compromised, sat on the fence and was unwilling to do what needed to be done to protect our youth, or to protect the health of the people of this province, and in the long run, if this Minister of Health wants to have any credibility, Mr. Speaker, in his saying we need to reduce the cost of health care, we need to maintain and control the cost of health care, he lost every bit of legitimacy when he brought in legislation that is so equivocal in how it deals with smoking because it's pretty clear, if he meant what he said, if he did what he said, we would have legislation that went a lot further to banning smoking, a 100 per cent ban, hopefully, so that we would have a province that in the long run would have healthier people.

[Page 9606]

Yet we have a minister who instead of saying what he believes in, brings forward legislation that pleases no one. Instead of a minister who has a true commitment to stopping smoking through education, taxation, cessation and prosecution, we have a Minister of Health who sits on his hands and does nothing except bring in more tax dollars for his cronies, Mr. Speaker, while at the same time doing nothing to actually help prevent smoking in this province and this legislation will do nothing.

Mr. Speaker, based on all of that, I have concerns that this legislation - I look forward to hearing from the Law Amendments Committee; I understand there are a fair number of people lined up. I look forward to hearing at the Law Amendments Committee what people have to say on this legislation. I'm sure we will hear both sides. I suspect many have already whispered in the ear of the minister, or of the Premier, or other members of the government, as a means of trying to get their position put forward. Some might say they already got what they wanted out of this legislation. Maybe no one likes it. It wouldn't surprise me with this government.

Mr. Speaker, I think it's important that we have that debate, because I think it's about time that Nova Scotians had an opportunity to tell this government that they're tired of their compromises, they're tired of their wishy-washy policies that really stand for nothing, yet at the same time say nothing. What's the old Macbeth line? - ". . . full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." - that's a quote that can apply to this government, that's a quote that can apply to this anti-smoking legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the opportunity to hear from Nova Scotians as to whether they will stand for a piece of legislation that does nothing to help prevent smoking in this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak on Bill No. 125. In my opening comments I echo the comments that have been made by my colleagues, both from the Liberal Party as well as the New Democratic Party, that acknowledge the government's first step in the right direction, and the fact that they needed to take a position but, at the same time, we, in the Liberal Party, have made it very clear that the step they made was not bold enough.

Some may ask the question, why should we be making a bold statement and taking a bold step in regard to smoking and the ban on smoking? Well, here's 45,000 reasons why people should be looking at a 100 per cent ban on smoking - over 45,000 Canadians die each year from smoking. That's 45,000 reasons why this government has not gone far enough. I acknowledge the fact that they've moved in the right direction. I'm sure the Minister of Health and his caucus colleagues have grappled over this issue, whether they dare to go and

[Page 9607]

show true leadership or whether they take the political middle-of-the-road approach that hopefully sets them on the fence to get through this particular issue.

They were asked to govern, to show leadership. They have not had the strength or the determination to show that leadership. It's 45,000 Canadians, that's 5 times the number of people who died from car accidents, murder, suicide and alcohol abuse combined. What's even more tragic is that the 45,000 people in Canada who died, that could have been prevented. It's the number one preventable disease in this country, and yet the government is not prepared to go far enough to deal with this issue.

Our Liberal caucus, our position is a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places. Health and wellness is what we're talking about here. We're talking about a community, the Province of Nova Scotia, of approximately 1 million people, and we spend about $2 billion a year on health care, and the single issue that we could go and deal with to curtail the cost of health care, notwithstanding the fact that we're talking about lives and individuals, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, neighbours and friends; for that alone, this government - that is a Conservative Government - should be sensitive to the fact that they could be saving for the future by putting a 100 per cent ban in place.

Health and wellness is about providing leadership, it's about providing opportunities, it's about being proactive instead of reactive. It's interesting. I've been here since 1993, and the issue of smoking has come up time and time again. When we first started talking about smoking problems and the need to deal with this addiction and to deal with the issue of cessation opportunities and programs for smokers, but also just educating people about the problems of smoking, in some ways we might have been a little bit ahead of the general public in 1993.

I can tell you today that right now the public of Nova Scotia may be ahead of where this government is, in regard to legislation about smoking. I know the Minister of Health has probably talked to a number of people throughout the province on this issue, and yet, they had to come in with a piece of legislation, although in the right direction, and quite a bit watered down from, maybe, what the Minister of Health had himself wished he had been able to bring forward.

Where are Nova Scotians on this issue of a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places? Well, I had a number of letters and correspondence in my riding over the last period of time talking about it. Recently I tabled in this House petitions of some 37 students from Pentz Elementary School. Every one of those students in the elementary school wrote me a handwritten letter asking that we would support a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places. Now if the elementary school children can write a letter to an MLA about that and they can be that committed to showing leadership, why can't this government do the same thing? I've had letters, I met with members of the Public Health Service, Parks and Recreation in my area, the Public Health, Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission,

[Page 9608]

Addiction Services, regional coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society, all in my riding, showing categorically that a 100 per cent ban is the only way to go if we are going to seriously go forward on the issue of curtailing addiction- and cancer-related deaths in the Province of Nova Scotia.

I got a letter from a doctor, a general practitioner, a family practitioner in my riding, Dr. Kydd, who wrote me as a representative of the Medical Society of Nova Scotia. He goes on to talk about "There is no question that smoking, and second-hand smoke as well, are very serious health hazards." in the Province of Nova Scotia that could be fixed. "Needless to say we do not have the government dollars to treat . . ." the increased health care costs related to tobacco smoke in the Province of Nova Scotia. He, in effect, is saying why aren't we doing something about it? "The doctors in Nova Scotia, and the people of Nova Scotia are very ready for this change . . ." and the change toward a smoke-free environment.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are you tabling that?

MR. DOWNE: I will be tabling these later, if I can Mr. Speaker. I would like to get them photocopied before I table them. I had a letter from the Bridgewater unit of the Canadian Cancer Society supporting the proposed smoke-free legislation to restrict smoking indoors in public places and in workplaces. "Smoke free legislation that guarantees 100 % protection is about protecting people's health . . ." It's about providing opportunity for Nova Scotians to have good health and healthy communities. "Nova Scotia is in a position to be one of the leaders in protecting the health of its citizens." You have a choice to be one of the leaders, not only in the province, in the region, but in the country. Isn't that what being elected is all about, showing leadership. Isn't that what they were elected to show, is some leadership in this province and, yet, we have not seen it.

I have another letter that was sent to me from Bridgewater. "We urge you to give this issue serious consideration. Second-hand smoke is not just a nuisance, it poses a serious risk to the health of all individuals in our community. Second-hand smoke has been established as a cause of lung cancer in non-smokers." It goes on to say, "Protecting people from second-hand smoke in indoor public places and workplaces will provide for a healthy community." You notice what's being said in all these letters is talking about healthy communities. We're talking about the health and the safety of Nova Scotians. I know that we've got the Minister of Environment and Labour, and I know he supports initiatives that talk about safety in the workplace. There's no better solution than that, than a 100 per cent ban on smoking that would immediately show an effect to his cause with regard to occupational health and safety.

I got a letter from a dental hygienist from my community expressing support for legislation on a 100 per cent smoking ban in public places, and the list goes on. Well, Mr. Speaker, I want to say that as an MLA in my riding I've heard the other side as well, but by far more people have stopped me and talked to me about the need for a 100 per cent ban of smoking in my community.

[Page 9609]

I want to talk now a little bit about the fact of this government's ability to miss opportunities. Recently we've seen municipalities in this province come forward with a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places; somewhere in the Valley, there are a number of communities in the Valley and up in Cape Breton . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: New Glasgow.

MR. DOWNE: And New Glasgow. Those individual municipalities, towns, have shown great leadership. They have shown the political will to go forward where no one else has ever gone before. They have taken the heat, politically, for doing what is right for the community.

[6:15 p.m.]

When you have municipalities and towns that are showing leadership, and then along comes the provincial government that says, no, we don't agree with going that far, then what happens? It's basically saying to the municipalities and the towns who have taken that bold step, that leadership role, that maybe you were wrong by going as far as you have, and we're only going halfway with a piece of legislation. What does that do to support the communities that have made that leadership role? What does that do to other communities that are looking at bringing in legislation themselves, in their own communities? They're saying, well, if the provincial government doesn't think it's smart to go to a 100 per cent ban, maybe we won't either.

So what do we have? We have a government that is, by example, saying to municipalities that are prepared to show the leadership and the commitment to go forward, you are wrong. You are wrong to take that leadership role; you are wrong to take that political heat; you are wrong to show an example to the people of the Province of Nova Scotia. Well, I think that the government is wrong by not showing leadership to all of the people of Nova Scotia. I think they are wrong, saying to the municipalities that have had the political will, the fortitude and strength to go forward, where no one else has gone before - instead of showing them support, they've taken away their level of support and their level of acknowledgement for what they have done.

Health and wellness are what we're talking about here. It's time that we take a look at health and wellness from a cost point of view, a social point of view, a health point of view, and a Nova Scotian point of view. Now that we've seen that this government has had a chance to deal with leadership, they haven't gone as far as we hoped they would, maybe (Interruptions) The minister responsible for sport and recreation, I'm sure, of anybody in this room, along with the Minister of Environment and Labour and the Minister of Health, should be standing in his place and talking about the need for a 100 per cent ban as an example for all the young athletes in the Province of Nova Scotia.

[Page 9610]

What example is that minister responsible for sport and recreation giving the athletes and to the young people in the Province of Nova Scotia by saying it's all right to smoke in the bars after nine o'clock as long as we don't have any children in there; it's all right to have smoke-free for part of it and not for another time. You have to put walls up, ventilation in and then it's okay to smoke? What signal is that minister sending? I think that minister has an opportunity, an obligation and a responsibility to show leadership. He can fiddle, so why can't he get up and talk when it comes to the issue of a smoke-free environment?

Second-hand smoke is just short of legally being able to go in and cause physical damage and problems to your neighbour. Many smokers - and I was a smoker myself - I understand that they don't realize it to that degree, second-hand smoke causes death. It's not just a matter of a health issue here. We're talking about health; obviously it is an issue of health. But it talks about death. Second-hand smoke kills; 200 die because of second-hand smoke every year. That's a huge number of people dying. That's your neighbour; that's your friend; that's your workmate.

I've had a number of people talk to me about second-hand smoke, and some don't believe it causes a problem. I can tell you that I have a woman in my riding who works in a restaurant. She used to work in a facility where they had smoking. She ended up with lung cancer. She doesn't mind. She likes to tell her story, as a non-smoker, how that smoking environment has caused her great health problems.

We can't get away from the fact that the proof is there. Food service workers have proven that they have a 50 per cent higher rate of lung cancer than anybody else in society. That is a huge statistic that we should not forget about. I asked the question to the government, what are they doing about that statistic? What is the Minister of Health doing about that issue? What is the Premier, who is a doctor, doing about that issue? That is something that they can solve themselves with the proper piece of legislation. But I don't know if they have the political will to do that. Obviously they don't.

What about heart disease? I can tell you heart disease is pretty prevalent in my family. We all grew up smoking, it was in fashion. I'm now 50 years old so I can talk way back when - not that that's so old, I think it's very young actually. Actually, the older I get, I realize how young I really am, right. Is that how it goes? But, in the environment that I grew up in, it was a fashionable thing, it was all right. My parents smoked, they don't now, and they both have heart problems. I think it's an issue that we have to be very serious about - heart disease and smoking, the relationship ties together 100 per cent.

What about children? We talk about education, you're a product of your environment. I'm sure the Minister of Health is a product of his family environment as is the Minister of Finance, as is the Minister of Education, as is the minster of sport and recreation. Those home environments teach you the right way to go, you are a product of that environment and you will reflect some of that. So, if we can have an environment in the province that shows

[Page 9611]

a reflection that smoking is not healthy, it's not cool, it's not right, it's not good for you, then I think we're sending a signal that says if you're a product of the environment of Nova Scotia then you're going to be the product of an environment that is healthier for all communities. If we have 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places and in work areas. I know the minister is nodding his head and I support that.

When we take a look at young people and we talk about youth - and this morning I was at a flag-raising ceremony for North American Occupational Safety and Health. We had a number of speakers get up and we talked about the number of accidents and deaths related to young people. That is why I think we, the larger we of government, Members of the Legislative Assembly, have an obligation and a responsibility to the young people of this province to come forward with bold initiatives that talk to them of why we want to have a smoke-free environment and why it is in their best interests in the long term.

There are 16,000 young people addicted to smoking in the Province of Nova Scotia. I believe that number is accurate - 16,000. Sixteen thousand young people, youth, are addicted to tobacco smoke, to smoking. Some people might laugh at that, I don't think that's funny. I think 16,000 young people in this province of a million people is a huge statistic. It's sad when you see that. Years ago, I was part of that statistical number because I started to smoke when I was 13. I can tell you, as a smoker, the hardest thing I've ever done in my life is to quit smoking. It's a little over two years now and I'm very happy that I was able to do that, but it's tough. (Applause) Thank you very much. It was a hard thing to do. My wife will tell you how tough it was for me to quit because that tobacco addiction is real. Maybe some people can quit just like that, but I think most people realize it is very tough. When we have 16,000 young people in our province addicted already, that is not a good sign for the future of Nova Scotia.

What we're going to have to do is start spending some time and some energy and be an example, but also start to educate people about what's important. This legislation does not go far enough with regard to the educational side. Just think what signals this is sending to the young people in the Province of Nova Scotia. When you talk about the youth possession law, what signal does that send to the young people in the Province of Nova Scotia who smoke, the 16,000 that are addicted? You know what I think that sends? They're going to show that they are above the law. That's almost like tempting them to smoke more. That's like tempting people to try to go against the establishment of society. Is that how you deal with this issue? Is the Minister of Justice going to have a smoke police force go around? That's a joke to the young people.

I asked my kids - they're older now - and they said, this is a joke. Young people are laughing at that. Well, that's not the message I think the government should be sending. I don't even know if the youth possession law is maybe a justice thought-up process. I think when we talk about the fact that you cannot smoke in public places and you cannot smoke in workplace environments that that will then start showing that there is leadership by this

[Page 9612]

government and the young people of this province will start realizing that it's not cool. It's not a really appropriate thing to do from a health point of view and from a society's point of view.

The signal that we send is important and that is why we talk about, as well, this government is pretty flush with cash when it comes to the new tobacco taxes. I believe the number is approximately $138 million a year they have coming in. I believe, since they've been in power, there's an additional $38 million in tax revenues that they're receiving from the increased cost of tobacco. Well, what are they doing with that money? I think some investment in education, more than what we have, would be an important vehicle. The money is there. They say there is no money there. That's new money that the Minister of Finance has been able to achieve and we support it. But you know when you realize that we spend about $1 million in the Department of Health, actual dollars on the ground, on smoking cessation programs, even $2 million when you consider $138 million coming in, then that is really bizarre. It's almost like the government's saying, we don't want you to stop smoking because we would rather have the tax revenue.

Well, the reality is that you spend more in health care on health-related problems because of smoking than you do in revenue. Yes, you won't see the changeover overnight, but you will see the changeover over time. You will see the benefit of going ahead and being proactive on a 100 per cent ban on smoking in the Province of Nova Scotia simply by a cash-flow basis. The Minister of Finance should be coming forward with those initiatives. I encourage the Minister of Education to do whatever she can by being an example to the young people of the Province of Nova Scotia. One way to be an example is by putting in more programs for education. I know it's needed and I know it helps. I can remember when the children came home from elementary school and they would say, Dad, why do you smoke? It's a bad thing. You're not supposed to smoke. It's wrong to smoke. Of course, my wife would then say, they're right. Why don't you do what the children tell you to do, Dad, because that's the right thing to do? The more education we can have for our young people about smoking, the better off society will be. I ask the Minister of Education to seriously look at bringing more programs forward.

The issue of the Department of Health, what can they do? Well, the addiction issue alone is huge. I had a letter from an individual in my riding, James MacDonald. He said, I am trying to quit smoking. The question was, are you aware of any program and funding that are available to assist Nova Scotians who want to stop smoking by this government? I don't know if there are, but for those who are addicted to smoking, unless you have a lot of cash - it's expensive to either go on the patch or Zyban or some other process or hypnosis. Those are expensive remedies. People sometimes don't have the cash to be able to do that. Maybe we should be coming forward with some programs to help our young people and to help those who are addicted who cannot get through that challenge of addiction. So the government could be doing something with that $38 million windfall that they just received

[Page 9613]

through the tobacco tax increases and put some of those dollars back in helping to protect Nova Scotians from the issue of tobacco addiction.

[6:30 p.m.]

There are some studies that have been done throughout the province and there's been a lot of homework, a lot of hard work, no ifs or no buts. The cost of tobacco in Nova Scotia, those particular programs put out by the Cancer Care of Nova Scotia and the Coalition of Smoke-Free Nova Scotia are publications that are there for Nova Scotians to read. The information and the professional data is there to show categorically that we would be smart if this province would come out with legislation that talks about a 100 per cent ban on smoking.

Mr. Speaker, 51 per cent of Nova Scotians are asking for a complete ban on smoking in bars and 74 per cent support a complete ban on smoking in restaurants; 86 per cent of Nova Scotians support a complete ban on smoking in retail stores and 82 per cent of Nova Scotians support a complete ban on smoking in office places. In Cape Breton, in beautiful Cape Breton, 68 per cent support a complete ban on smoking in bars and 85 per cent support a complete ban on smoking in restaurants. In rural mainland Nova Scotia, 45 per cent support a complete ban on smoking in bars and 68 per cent support a complete ban on smoking in restaurants. That has been put together by the Canadian Cancer Society and it was a survey by Opinion Trac out of Halifax. The survey was done between January 29, 2002, and February 8, 2002. In the HRM area, and we have the members here, 51 per cent support a complete ban on smoking in bars and 77 per cent support a complete ban on smoking in restaurants.

Mr. Speaker, those statistics that I read into Hansard here today are evidence that Nova Scotians are in some ways ahead of where this government is in this legislation. They are looking for leadership; they are looking to be bold. They are looking to go forward so that we, as a society, can be an example of a community that cares about its youth and cares about the health of our neighbours, our friends, and our family, and a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public places and workplaces would be a step in that direction.

I had the opportunity and the pleasure to meet with a number of representatives in my community before this legislation came in. Those individuals were Lynn Myra and Carol Pickings-Anthony, who put a resolution forward to me and supported a 100 per cent ban, Brenda Ziemer, Ina Nelson, Debby Smith, Paula Veinot and Dona Pottie did a study in our area. They went around to the restaurants in my community and asked the question about smoke-free, and then smoking, if it was separate areas, and what their plans are to go smoke-free.

[Page 9614]

Do you know, I was surprised by the number of restaurants in my area that are smoke-free. Arby's is smoke-free; the Bridgewater Mall is smoke-free; Crafter's Corner is smoke-free; Dairy Queen is smoke-free; Eastside Plaza Subway is smoke-free; Gateway Plaza Subway is smoke-free; Greco is smoke-free; KFC, of course that lovely chicken is smoke-free; King of Donair is smoke-free; Kos banquet room is smoke-free; McDonald's is smoke-free; the Motor Inn dining area is smoke-free; Tim Hortons is smoke-free; the Wandlyn Inn is smoke-free; Waves is smoke-free; and Wendy's is smoke-free. That's a pretty proactive group of people in my community that are smoke-free and there are others that are partially smoke-free.

AN HON. MEMBER: Partially.

MR. DOWNE: Well, that's right and the member laughs, that's what this government is bringing in for legislation - partially smoke-free.

AN HON. MEMBER: What did you bring in?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, this is too important an issue to go off in those kind of comments and I will not take the bait.

I want to say that there are other areas in our community, in Lunenburg County, we have our town hall in Bridgewater, smoke-free; Bridgewater Inter Church Food Bank is smoke-free; the Family Support Centre is smoke-free; the Bridgewater's Senior Club is smoke-free; the Nova Scotia Home Support is smoke-free; Wile's Carding Mill is smoke-free; DesBrisay Museum is smoke-free; the Artificial Reef Society is smoke-free; Kippers School of Gymnastics is smoke-free; and the Girl Guides of Canada is smoke-free.

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of people - I know my colleague, the member for Chester-St. Margaret's has the information and I won't go through the list, but suffice to say that there are a number of areas in Chester that are smoke-free. I'm sure my colleague has the information, as he nods his head, and the honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's has met with these people, I believe, already, and is aware of the concerns about smoke-free legislation. I would be happy to share that with my colleague, as I know he would probably support a 100 per cent ban on smoke-free environments in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to get into some other aspects of this bill and that is a health and wellness perspective. Bill No. 125 does nothing or does not go far enough, I should say, to protect all Nova Scotia workers in their workplace. Restaurants, taverns, bars, cabarets are indeed someone's workplace. Somebody works there and whether they smoke or they don't smoke, they work in those environments. As well, a form of health and wellness perspective

[Page 9615]

does not do enough and this particular legislation does not go far enough to help protect the workers, as well as the general public, from the effects of second-hand smoke. That is why we are asking for a 100 per cent ban on smoking in those areas.

The cost of smoking, I think we've got the front benches lining up here now. They deal with finance issues every day and I'm sure that the Minister of Finance continually expounds on the issue of the budget issues. If we look at the cost of smoking and second- hand smoke and the cost to lives and health care systems, they are astounding. The effect of second-hand smoke costs the health care system in excess of $20 million a year. That's second-hand smoke. The cost of second-hand smoke cost about $20 million and 80 per cent of the non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke and tobacco smoke occur in the workplace. Overall, if you combine the $20 million cost to government with the lost productivity in the workplace caused by the devastating health impact, second-hand tobacco smoke, the drain on government, its resources and the economy are in excess of $82 million a year. That's on second-hand smoke.

Now I wonder what the Minister of Finance would do with an additional $82 million? That's half-way toward the 10 per cent tax reduction for Nova Scotians. Although he's already hauled almost double that out of our back pockets in new taxes, it would help him out. So why isn't the Minister of Finance, who probably is more preoccupied about that, of course, I think he's preoccupied with the health and safety of Nova Scotians, but I can't get over why he wasn't championing the cause of a 100 per cent ban on smoking in the Province of Nova Scotia. A 100 per cent ban would reduce enormously the health care costs and the burden of personal costs associated with second-hand smoke.

This year alone - this number here actually scared me when I read it - more than 130 Nova Scotians will die every month due to tobacco-related diseases. I'm going to repeat that because I think it's important for the members to listen to this. This year alone, more than 130 Nova Scotians will die every month due to tobacco-related diseases. You know, 130 Nova Scotians every month is a lot of friends and a lot of family members in a lot of communities throughout this province. There are 52 ridings in this province. That's almost three people a month from each riding dying because of smoke-related diseases. When you put it in that perspective, you know, that's a huge number and one that we should be serious about, we should address that issue.

This is an issue that's in our power, in our grasp to deal with. The prevalence of smoking in Nova Scotia is somewhere around 30 per cent. Nova Scotians have the distinct acknowledgment in this country as having fairly large smoke-related problems in the Province of Nova Scotia. We're one of the worst in the country. I don't know how to phrase this. I guess if you're trying to be number one in this country, we are number one at being the worst in regard to the number of people affected by smoking in the Province in Nova Scotia anywhere I understand in this country. That is terrible, that is terrible to be able to say that. Statistics have shown that there is a direct relationship between smoke-free legislation and

[Page 9616]

the ability of smokers to quit. I've heard that time and time again. When it gets so impossible to smoke anywhere, I will finally quit. I bet you the Speaker has heard that himself. I know that ministers across the front benches have heard that. When you've got no place to smoke then finally I will end up having to quit because there's no place to go.

I remember 1994, I believe 1994-95, I took my family to California and everywhere you went you couldn't smoke. Smoke-free, that was back in, well it was long before 1994-95. Everywhere I went you couldn't smoke and that really made an impression on me because nobody smoked. It didn't matter where you went, nobody smoked. You didn't smoke at restaurants, didn't smoke in a bar, didn't smoke in any of those places, public places but everybody was treated the same. Everybody was given a level playing field from a business point of view but from a health point of view everybody was treated the same as well. So, I found that was quite an experience because I smoked at that time. I started to realize, my gosh, California, which is a fairly large population, and is concerned about the environment, but they're concerned about their public. They went forward with this legislation and I'm thinking to myself you know here it is almost a decade later, why can't Nova Scotia do the same thing?

A comprehensive tobacco control strategy supported by effective smoke-free legislation ensures that an individual have access to nicotine treatment options, a smoker's help line, smoke cessation counselling and pharmaceutical aids will be a step in the right direction. This government says, well number one they don't have the money. Well, we've already debated that issue and I've already pointed out they got a windfall of $38 million in the last couple of years in tobacco tax. They have the money to do it. Do they have the political will? Well, it's not evident in the fact that this legislation came forward with the fact that they are going halfway when they could go all the way. The third one is that they do not have the political will to show the leadership to the generations that are following that this was a government that wanted to stand on a principle but instead will stand on what they consider as being politically palatable. To me that is not the way to go when you are trying to lead by leadership. Instead what maybe we've got is a government that is trying to lead by polling, or lead by going halfway. I don't think that's good enough in today's society.

An investment of $1 million in smoke cessation programs in light of $138 million in additional tax revenue for the Province of Nova Scotia is unacceptable. It is unacceptable when you think about the fact that the smokers deserve a return back on their investment and that is in the area of education, in controls, in help for those individuals that want help. This government does nothing, absolutely nothing, but throw a couple of crumbs off the table to help those individuals. I would hope that this government realizes the more they do to help people, the more help they will be for the Province of Nova Scotia and the better the province will be overall.

[Page 9617]

Smoking costs Nova Scotia's economy approximately $0.5 billion a year. This is a government that talks, and the Minister of Finance talks about his so-called debt reduction program based on GDP. Well, I can show him $0.5 billion in how he can increase the GDP of the Province of Nova Scotia or the economic well-being by $0.5 billion by having a 100 per cent smoke-free legislation. Can you believe it, $0.5 billion a year it costs the Nova Scotia economy. That's according to statistics I've read in documents that have been presented to me. Maybe somebody might want to challenge the documentation, but it's open for challenge. I understand that we spend $250 million for employers to hire individuals who smoke. That's a huge number. I'm only going by the data that I was given. If you hire individuals who smoke, across the board it costs businesses about $250 million a year to service those people, because you have to have outside environments or other environments for those who smoke and, of course, productivity - they have to go for their smoke. The list goes on.

[6:45 p.m.]

It costs $168 million a year in direct cost to the Department of Health. The Minister of Health can argue whether it's $168 million or $198 million; it's more than what you take in in tax revenue from tobacco. The Minister of Health, I believe, would agree with that. Why would they come forward with a piece of legislation that goes halfway? What they're going to do is go halfway in regard to the revenue, but the costs are still going to outstrip the revenue stream for the province. Why aren't they going forward and being bold on bringing forward legislation that deals with health and wellness in our communities and for our people?

High tobacco taxes benefit this government by providing cash flow. It's like sticking your finger in a dike; they have their fingers stuck in dikes all over the place, but the reality is that there are more holes springing up because smoking costs the government more money than it takes in. I hear the argument at home, well, I pay my taxes; I should be able to smoke. Well, it costs more to society for people who smoke.

Why aren't we doing something to help those who are addicted? It's not just a matter of legislation; it's the full package of a health-wellness approach to communities. Why aren't we doing more to try to help through education and programs, to assist those who are addicted? That addiction is the hardest thing to give up that I've ever done in my life. I can assure the Minister of Health - maybe he's never smoked; I don't know. The thing is that we, as a society, should be trying to help those who want to quit smoking. We should be trying to do that.

We have the opportunity to do that, and the fact is that we are now bringing in more revenue than ever before when it comes to taxes on tobacco. That Minister of Finance and that Minister of Health and that Premier of the province, the good Premier of the province, brought in those taxes, and everybody on this side of the House, both Opposition Parties, the

[Page 9618]

Official Opposition and our Party, agreed that that was all right because it will be a deterrent on smoking. But we also said, you better start investing some of that money back in so that we and society will be better off.

What did we get? We got an almost cold-shoulder approach by this government to the issue that we talked about, investing back in and helping Nova Scotians. One way they could have done it is by providing a 100 per cent ban and smoke-free environments in Nova Scotia. The other is through education, and the third component is through assistance, medical aids to help those who are addicted. They have the money to do it; they have new taxes to do it. We all agreed to it. They have the mandate from Nova Scotians, who are saying, by and large, that smoke-free legislation, a 100 per cent ban, is the right way to go. They have the Medical Society on their side. They have all the professionals who understand the effects of smoking on society. They have 16,000 youth who are addicted to smoking in the Province of Nova Scotia. They have people out there who are dying in their beds because of smoke-related illnesses. They have workplace environments that are killing people every day. They have all the evidence in the world to do the right thing.

They've had a government, in a previous administration, from 1993 that has been talking about a smoke-free environment. We brought in a number of changes that have been very proactive, and we took a lot of political heat for it. (Interruptions) If they want to get up and speak, their chance will be next, if they have the guts to stand up and talk about it. I want to tell you something, Mr. Speaker; we broke the ice and took the political heat to move the . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Lunenburg West knows that I had ruled on a previous occasion that to use that word in this Legislature is unparliamentary and I would ask you to retract it please.

MR. DOWNE: I will retract it and I will refer to it as intestinal fortitude to go forward with legislation. We tried to show that leadership, and now they have a chance to show real leadership and you know (Interruption) Well, that's the only way you go, is you try. Do you think you're the only perfect people in the world? My gosh. I think the bottom line is that these people back there are getting sensitive to the fact that they know the public of Nova Scotia is ahead of them on this issue. (Interruption) I take it the way it's sent and I think it was meant personally.

You know, the reality is, no matter how they want to hide in the backbenches and talk over the microphones and they don't want to stand up and take a position here, that's their right. But, Mr. Speaker, you will keep them under control; I know it because you're an excellent Speaker. But, you know what? The issue does not go away no matter how much heckling they want to give - the issue will not go away - that people are dying every day because of smoke-related issues.

[Page 9619]

Every day young people are becoming addicted to tobacco smoke, no matter how much they want to heckle and make fun of my presentation here today, those statistics do not go away and those people that we're talking about still die and will continue to die unless we, as a government or we, as a Legislative Assembly, are prepared to be bold and go forward with legislation that talks about prevention, that talks about cures, that talks about help, that talks about financial means, that talks about education, so that we as a community will be a healthier community, a wellness and health, healthier community for generations to come. That is what the issue is.

I look forward to reading in The Daily News by one of the members opposite, his views on the issue of a 100 per cent ban on smoking in the Province of Nova Scotia because that is where I think we need to start speaking out as legislators, taking some of the concerns of people and trying to provide a healthier environment. We are trying to go forward where others have tried before and we're going to keep raising that bar and going forward with the issues of helping Nova Scotians help ourselves to do better about providing long-term, sustainable programs that will benefit our young people and all of Nova Scotia.

That's why I asked this government to consider the 100 per cent ban on workplaces and in public places in Nova Scotia.. We will hear what Nova Scotians have to say when we go into the next stage of this legislation. We will hear what Nova Scotians have to say and we will find whether or not this government is prepared to be bold, to be leaders, to go forward and support what the statistics, the evidence and the proof of what all Nova Scotians have been saying - that we need to make sure this government does what it should do. I applaud them for the first step, but it's only the first step. They have a chance and they have a choice - a choice to make a giant step for the health and well-being of all Nova Scotians. Thank you.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: This bill is the beginning. It's not what I think Nova Scotians wanted or expected, but it's a beginning. I want to talk about a few things around smoking. Having been blessed as never being a smoker, it's kind of hard for me to talk about the addiction, but around smoking there are addictions. Are we just talking about, in some respects, smoking, or are we talking about tobacco addiction? There is another deadly form

of tobacco and that's chewing tobacco. It's a grave concern where I come from because for years - and I'm sure you would remember this, Mr. Speaker, being from a coal mining town yourself - many miners, because of regulations, couldn't smoke in the workplace because of the danger of the methane gas, but they would chew, and many of them would take that out of the workplace and chew in the case of not smoking even at home.

It's been proven, Mr. Speaker, that the carcinogens in chewing tobacco are just as great, certainly not in your cardiovascular aspects, but in other ways. There's another group of people who are closely associated with the chewing tobacco industry and that's baseball

[Page 9620]

players. Now, there is a group of former professional baseball players who actually, every Spring during Spring training, go from Spring training camp to Spring training camp talking to young players about the evil of chewing tobacco. Nowhere in this bill is there a ban on chewing tobacco or is it even referred to. I believe that is one of the very real evils. I would say it's evil in this way too because, as I just spoke about, many professional baseball players use it. Whether we like it or not, some young people use them as their role models. If they start pursuing the sport to any great degree, they may feel that well, that's the thing to do, chew tobacco, and I believe that's totally wrong. We have the evidence around chewing tobacco, that it causes degenerative jaw disease, cancer in the bone in and around the jaw, and if you ever saw the people who survive that form of cancer, what often happens is you will see that there has to be a radical operation take place, which means removing a large part of their lower jaw.

So, Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the minister at some point - and I'm sure it will be brought up when this bill leaves this room to go over to the Law Amendments Committee - about that. Why wasn't that considered? Clearly, we know and I will talk later on about the problems associated with smoke and second-hand smoke. Why was that not considered? I grew up in a home where chewing tobacco was very prevalent. My dad chewed it for over 60 years. It was either MacDonald's Twist or Club, or in his later years it was a brand called Workaday. If you look at that in that light, that's how they attract you. I think even, at some point, I remember it was apple-flavoured Workaday. That was one way of attracting, I would think, younger people to it, because I would see younger people working. So that's a real problem.

I hope at some point, when we get to the Law Amendments Committee, we will find out from this government, unless somebody from the front benches wants to come up and explain to us why what I believe would be an integral part of that bill wasn't included and why they would think that that is not as major a concern from the health perspective as any other. I suppose one could make the argument that it's your individual right to choose, but I mean we don't see it - people under 19, we don't see it there. At least it doesn't jump out at you in the bill, Mr. Speaker, to say whether that's a real concern. Or if a peace officer finds a young person with chewing tobacco, have they contravened this bill, if it was to be passed under this form as we stand here? So that has to be a question.

[7:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, there's a thought by this government that if by not allowing people under the age of 19 to have possession or use tobacco that it will, I think their words were, die a natural death.

Well, Mr. Speaker, that's like saying, you know, we have seen there is a prohibition on people under the age of 19 from having and consuming alcoholic beverages. As far as I know, they're still selling booze and people are still, when they turn 19, going to have a

[Page 9621]

drink. So I don't think that's going to be the reality of it, that you're going to choke it off and pardon the pun, by not allowing people under the age of 19 to have it. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I think it's pretty obvious to everybody in the room there's way too much noise in the Chamber. I would ask the honourable members to take their conversations outside, please.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre has the floor.

MR. CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So this idea of having it cut off at the age of 19 and having the smoke police out there hunting down these minors and arresting them, whatever, I know that's an overstatement, but I'm just trying to visualize the reality of the enforcement. A law is only really as good as its enforcement capabilities in a lot of ways. So if there's really no enforcement around it, it really serves no practical purpose. Previous speakers before me spoke about the fact that that age group, the young teens to age 19, will see this as a form of rebellion. They will use this as a stepping-off place, they can see it's another substance that is restricted from them and that will provide a bit of intrigue for them to try.

So, to say that we have some enforcement around there, I don't think will work. I think it goes a long way to show that this bill was a bill that really showed a lack of any kind of real vision because we have clauses in here and so on that really are either just impossible to enforce, and that really do not make any rhyme or reason. It doesn't make any reason from a health perspective because let's be clear here, this bill was introduced and sponsored by the Minister of Health, not the Minister of Justice, not the Minister of Environment and Labour, but the Minister of Health, so one only assumes then, flowing out of that, that it is a bill that's to be dealt with around health care. That's what it would appear to be. It would be a health care bill.

So I guess I want to ask the minister at some point, what does it do for the health care of Nova Scotians by allowing people to smoke in casinos? How is that a health care issue? Are people healthier when they gamble in casinos and so, therefore, they can smoke more? Is that the reality? Does the minister have studies that show that proximity to VLTs cuts down the rate of lung cancer, if you smoke in front of a VLT? Is that the reality of it? What sense does it make other than the fact that he has been lobbied? Now, some people would think, the industry that lobbied and twisted his arm may have been the gaming lobby.

Well, Mr. Speaker, my idea is, I think it's the tobacco lobby because we know the length they will go, but these are some of the questions that this minister is going to have to answer as this bill moves forward. It's a bill that we will be supporting going on to third reading. The member for Halifax Needham clearly put our Party's position out. Our position was one of a total ban. The only people in this House who obviously don't believe that a total ban is the way to go is the governing Party. At some point during this process, they're going

[Page 9622]

to have to get up and explain to Nova Scotians why a total ban doesn't work, why a level playing field where everybody knows who's in and who's out, why that doesn't work. Is it so simplistic that it just doesn't work? I contend not. I believe that's the way to go. That's what Nova Scotians wanted.

Nova Scotians want a level playing field, a comprehensive anti-smoking bill that says no, there's no smoking, no how, nowhere. I remember in the early 1980s to mid-1980s, when the federal government of the time came up with legislation about smoking in the workplace. At that time I worked in a control room and there were 10 or 12 of us and I think I was the only non-smoker there. Everyone said, if this comes in and if the union supports it, we will quit and we will do this and we will do that, but everybody stayed there and everybody stopped smoking in that workplace. Those who continued to smoke went elsewhere, went outside with it.

Mr. Speaker, there was much ado about nothing in the long term. That's what it is. There's a fear out there, and it's not a rational fear, it's a very irrational fear, that if we ban smoking in restaurants and in bars and bingo halls and casinos people will all stay home. Well, first of all, I have to say what's wrong with staying home with your family? What's wrong with that? What's wrong with people staying at home and spending quality time with their families? I might have missed the bus on that one. I find that's a good thing. I may be wrong. I may be the only one who thinks that way, but I don't think that's a bad thing.

That's another question the government has to ask as this bill goes forward, explain to us why they believe people will stop going to restaurants and bars. I think every right-thinking person agrees to some point, there may be a downturn in business for a while, but everyone's business fluctuates. Will it be the fact that these places will close? I think not. Would some businesses close? Possibly. I would think that the smoking ban would be one of a multitude of things that may have caused it. That may be the proverbial straw to a couple of businesses, and I'm sure some of them will huff and puff, and say that's the reason my business closed, but if you were to look beyond the little pall they put on it, you would realize that for years they had a restaurant that was in an area of declining population, there was little work around there, unemployment was high, and all these other things, somebody else had driven a bypass through that community and they don't use that road anymore.

I'm sure those who are looking for a stump to kick, it will be a total ban on smoking. They will say, that's it, that's what put my business under. I couldn't bring smokers into my business anymore, and that's why it shut down. Well, I just don't think that's the reality of it. I don't think we will see, up on Argyle Street here or any of the larger areas where there are many restaurants, a wholesale shutdown of the hospitality industry.

Mr. Speaker, you ask that same part of that industry, you ask hoteliers what is their biggest request when someone comes for a night's lodging, the biggest request most times is a non-smoking room. You know, it's almost that same, if you want to follow the chain

[Page 9623]

along, it's the same clientele. The person comes out, they stay at a hotel in the city, they go out for a meal and they go to a bar. If it starts off that they want a non-smoking room, it would follow that they would enjoy a non-smoking restaurant and maybe for nightcap they would go to a bar that was non-smoking and the circle would be complete.

There is a fear I think of any entrepreneur that runs a business that clearly says, I'm kind of a venture capitalist, I don't want government telling me how to run my business. It's not the long arm of government, what it is it's the long arm of the health of our community is what we are talking about here. We're not talking about taking away the right of anyone from making a living. We're not talking about the effects of trying to shut anybody, we're not talking about the late 1920s and so on, when they foolhardily tried the prohibition of alcohol. What we are trying to do here is level out the field. We know that there's nowhere and no public facility that will allow smoking.

You know, when we see the hockey playoffs going on now, we'll see often times they'll go back to old black and white footage of games in the Montreal Forum or the Maple Leaf Gardens and what's interesting is you look and you'll see up in many of the seats, people smoking. Sometimes you would even see the coach smoking behind the bench. Well, that's nowhere to be seen today; at those type of public events, there's no smoking in your seats in a hockey arena anymore. You look at all these new facilities, they're not there. Are fewer people going to hockey games because they don't allow you to smoke in the seating area? No. Has the movie industry suffered because you cannot smoke in a theatre? No.

For some reason this government feels that we can't allow a total ban on smoking in bars, in restaurant and casinos and bingo halls, for an alleged fear, a fear that, as I said before, is completely irrational. When you play it out you realize that it's not there. There's nobody out there that can really come up with any conclusive evidence that says if you ban smoking my business is going to fail. It's a burden of fact, there's a saying about a guy who is being tried and they say to him we have five people, we can deliver five people that shows that you shot that fellow. He says well I can deliver 500 who didn't see me shoot that fellow. Really the argument doesn't make sense and that's like this one here. It doesn't carry water.

Let's go in and talk about the health and safety of the people in that industry. It's North America Occupational Health and Safety Week and today is I believe the 10th Anniversary of the McDonalds' slayings which was a restaurant chain. We're coming up fast on Thursday which will be the 10th Anniversary of the Westray disaster and many times this week I'm sure in this House we will be talking about workplace health and safety. Yet, this government doesn't see smoking in the workplace as a health and safety issue. It was certainly put forward in the Province of British Columbia under a former government as a workplace health and safety issue. Many of the employers fought it so bitterly that it was eventually overturned in the Supreme Court. We have to see that if you're exposing a worker to carcinogens - we all know there are carcinogens in second-hand smoke. I don't think anybody's going to debate that fact, but we're exposing those workers to those carcinogens.

[Page 9624]

[7:15 p.m.]

If we were in any other business, if we were doing any kind of small, light manufacturing and there was any type of carcinogen being used in the moulding process, certainly there would have to be all kinds of extra precautions taken or sealed-off areas and all these other things. But for some reason they feel that - the women and men working in the hotel, restaurant and food association - that doesn't affect them, that they're going to be all right, that they're impervious to this disease, and that they're not going to get it.

One thing I would say to this government, if this government really believes that this is not a problem, one of the ways they could show that they support the workers in that industry is to put the women and men who work in the hospitality industry in this province - let them be covered by automatic assumption under the Workers' Compensation Act. Allow them to be covered by automatic assumption whereby if anybody in that industry, similar to the coal mining industry is affected by any lung disorders, it will be automatically assumed that those lung disorders are a result of the working environment. If they're not willing to put a total ban, and if they're true in their words, what they say - they say they're worried about workers and the health - again, I have to go back. This was a bill introduced by the Health Minister, not the Justice Minister, not the Labour Minister, but the Health Minister, so if it's a health issue, then he should be willing to go to his colleague, the Minister of Environment and Labour, and say that's what we're going to do. We're going to allow these workers to be covered by the automatic assumption section of the Workers' Compensation Act. That way, people working in that industry would automatically be covered.

I put that out as a challenge to this government. Certainly that's something that I would hope is not necessary because I hope they would see the error of their ways and do a complete ban. Failing that, I would hope that they would look at pursuing amendments in that area or the Minister of Environment and Labour himself can come forward and cover them up.

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

MR. CORBETT: Certainly.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

MR. TIMOTHY OLIVE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for yielding the floor. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you and all members of the House four outstanding members of the community of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. I say outstanding because they're also very hard workers at the PC Constituency Association for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. I would like to introduce Ron and Karen Cross and Harold and Pauline Northrup, if they'd stand and receive the welcome from the House. (Applause)

[Page 9625]

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. I certainly welcome our special guests in the gallery this evening. The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre has the floor.

MR. CORBETT: Let's hope they're not non-smokers. So let me go back. It's extremely important, I believe, that the Minister of Environment and Labour would really consider amending the Workers' Compensation Act; if the Minister of Health isn't going to protect the workers in that industry, then I believe it's his responsibility to say as a health bill it doesn't cut it for the workplace, so I will show leadership through my ministry and protect these workers. We know that automatic assumption, though, is only an after the fact. The reality is that to gain any compensation you have to have a real disease and so what we have is we've exposed those workers to a carcinogen and it's caused them to have some kind of either chest or cardiopulmonary problems. We've got to go back to the reality that it has to be a complete ban, Mr. Speaker.

Another very important aspect that has been missed in this bill, Mr. Speaker, is no support for smoking cessation. There is absolutely nothing in the bill supporting smoking cessation. It's fine to say that if you're curled up behind the dance hall and you're 17 years old and you're having a smoke and a cop comes whipping by and he puts the light on you and he blinds you and takes your smoke from you, that's the end of it. Well, Mr. Speaker, that's not the reality of it. The reality of it is that it's an addiction. You can say all you want about - we're going to stop you and if we catch you we're going to take them off you, well, if it was just that easy we probably wouldn't have to debate this bill. There are very few people who I know who smoke them because they like them. Most people are addicted to them. Now, the odd person will say, gee, I really like sitting down and having a good smoke after a cup of tea or something but, by and large, they realize after they have it that it's a filthy, rotten, dirty habit that they really don't enjoy.

So, these kids, you take the pack of smokes from them but they're going to go somewhere else with their buddies. As you know in your former life, Mr. Speaker, that while it's illegal for people under 19 years of age to possess or consume alcoholic beverages you know very well that does happen, that we don't encourage it and we try to enforce it and the reality that happens there is that the 16-, 17- or 18-year-old will go in and purchase that. I think most know that it's usually people who are of legal age supply them with that. These people are not very nice people for doing it, but that's the reality of it. You will see the Liquor Corporation has, actually, a campaign - I forget, it's like no minor matter, or something like that. But that's the reality of it.

There is nothing like that in this bill. There's nothing that the government seems to have budgeted to have said that we're going to go on this campaign to reach out to young people to (a) not start; and to go target people that have started, and with cessation; and then really go after people who are of age - if you want to call it that - for supplying young people with cigarette products. So far, we have a piece of legislation that really has no teeth in it, as far as it goes, for underaged smokers. We have a bill that does not talk cessation, and we

[Page 9626]

have a bill that doesn't really talk about deterrence. So we have to wonder why the government applauds itself by saying that it's one of the harshest bills in the country? It really tells you, from coast to coast, how weak smoking legislation must be in this country.

I am sure, and the minister knows this much better than I do, the cost to our health care system smoking does, Mr. Speaker. The burden on our health care system is huge because of smoking, and primarily the two are lung disease and cardiovascular disease. About a month and a half ago, a friend of mine had open-heart surgery, and he was kind of worried when the cardiologist was seeing him, that he wouldn't allow him to have another little nip late at night. He said, well, within reason (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre has the floor.

MR. CORBETT: He said, within reason, a little dram late at night wouldn't be all that offensive and probably wouldn't really hurt you, but you have to throw the cigarettes away. He said, well, one a day can't hurt me. He said, if you can prove to me that one a day is safe, then I have no problem with it. Obviously, the answer is he can't prove it. That is the large box we have to draw around smoking and health care.

Mr. Speaker, we always hear the story, oh, I know a fellow, so and so, 90-some years old, smoked since he was 9 years old and it hasn't killed him. The reality is those stories are not as common as the one of the person who smoked for three or four years and got lung cancer, emphysema, throat cancer and so on. So let's not get carried away with that. The reality is nobody really knows the impact of one cigarette a day as opposed to anything else.

Mr. Speaker, that just has to go to the reality of a complete closure and a smoking ban in public areas. The whole trauma of going through that system, of losing a loved one through lung cancer or emphysema or throat cancer because of smoking, what would probably be even more traumatic would be having to go through those same diseases and being a non-smoker; but you are subject to those diseases because of where you worked, that it caused you, just because you decided, because of economics or whatever, to become a waiter or worked in the hospitality industry. At some point, I would want the government to tell me how it can justify that, how it can really tell these people in this industry that it's okay if you get cancer but it's not okay for somebody else; your workplace is exempt.

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, we are coming up, on Thursday, to the 10th Anniversary of Westray. This province should be a leader in all forms of workplace safety. Certainly, it could show its leadership in a strong and vibrant way, if they would just do that, if they would say, look, here's what Nova Scotians want. We have no proof on the other side of the ledger that says these industries will be decimated or hurt in any great way. We have the interventions of a few saying that it "could" be. We have to say no, that these are all hypothetical.

[Page 9627]

What we do know is that smoking kills people. We do know that people are dying every day from smoking-related diseases, and that a complete ban is the only way to go. It's the fairest way to go. It doesn't pit a casino against a private bar owner. It doesn't pit a private club against a beverage room, it puts everybody on an even plane. All of a sudden does the person who is in, we will say, a beverage room and the fellow doesn't have the right kind of area scribed off, does he stop going to that beverage room if he was using a VLT there? He says, well, I'm not going to go here anymore because I can't go to this bar and have a cigarette and play my VLT. I'm going to go to the casino in downtown Halifax because I can play a VLT there and I can have my cigarette. So that makes it unfair. So the reality is that if you had a complete ban, everybody is even. So that's why I don't understand the exemption of the casino.

[7:30 p.m.]

When we use the term private clubs, I mean, I suppose we could always think of very high-end clubs, but I think private clubs, under the bill, are somewhat different. I believe that things like Legions are considered private clubs. I would suspect that the legislation contemplates private clubs as meaning places you would have to have a membership to join or be on the premises, i.e., the Legion or an Elks Club or something like that.

AN HON. MEMBER: The Buffalo Club.

MR. CORBETT: The Buffalo Club. So these type of things, why are they exempted? When the minister talked about it, there was no rationale given of why that drinking establishment, we will say, is exempt as opposed to a beverage room. So that again causes animosity in that industry. There's enough animosity in that industry as it is now. I'm sure the minister responsible for that section of the bill could tell you that owners of for-profit bars certainly have a problem with some private clubs. They're membership driven and they can sell their product at a lesser price because they're not having to make a profit, where the private owner of a beverage room, certainly has to make a profit to stay in business. The private club, all it has to do is break even: pay its lights and heat and insurance and a couple of bartenders. So that's already a problem within that business as it is now.

Now what you are going to do is drive a bigger wedge within that industry by saying, well, not only is it harder for these guys to make money, but we're also going to allow smoking in these other bars. If that's the attraction, if you listen to the industry and the rationale and take it further, they will all go to these private clubs and they will leave in droves from the beverage rooms and the taverns. So you have a real industry problem. That's going to be interesting when the members of that lobby group come to town, who they're going to represent, because there's going to be a yin and yang there.

[Page 9628]

Mr. Speaker, we've talked quite a bit today. There have been many speakers here. They've talked about the many things that they would have liked to see this bill have in it. It's a problem because when the government thinks it's doing the right thing, being against this bill is like being against motherhood in some ways. But our problem with the bill is while we're thankful for some of the things that are in it, we're thankful for what it's going to do around schoolyards and we applaud these things. We basically applaud the 19-year-old rule. There are things like that that we believe are the proper things to do. Our problem is, both Parties on this side of the House have said consistently today that there has to be a complete ban. At some point I would like a real explanation from this government of why they don't believe that's the way to go, why they think just a partial ban and different rules for everybody, it doesn't make any sense.

There has been talk paralleling this to seat belt laws. Well, as you are well aware, Mr. Speaker, there are certain people exempt from wearing a seat belt. It's not everybody that has to wear a seat belt. There are peace officers and so on who do not have to by law wear their seat belts, but I think most do because they realize the safety aspect, but those exemptions in that snapshot made sense. We knew why they were exempting those people, you know, they operated emergency vehicles and so on. So we knew that there was a rationale behind that and people understood, okay, these people are not wearing their seat belts, not because they're above the law, but reality is that they realize that these people, whether some delivery vans and the people are in and out, and disabled people, so these people knew the reason for this law.

But, today, as we stand in this House, we don't know and don't understand the reason for these exemptions in this bill and we're asking for clarity from this government of why you would do that. I'm afraid to say that we still have to go back down the road, that somebody lobbied this government and said, you know, we can't have these. But if the government would only even kind of step back and look, it's probably a bill that has gone a little ways, but really it's a bill that doesn't appear to satisfy any component in that picture. The people from Smoke Free Nova Scotia clearly feel that this bill in a lot of respects does not go far enough. The people from the Restaurant and Food Service Association feel that it's a mishmash, who's in it, who's out, you know, are you punishing us, can we afford to put these rooms up, what time do we allow children in. So it's a bill that really serves to confuse rather than clarify.

These are items that I think this government has to address. I think they will be put forward at the Law Amendments Committee by many of the groups that will be coming before them because I think the people who will be showing up at the Law Amendments Committee will be people who see this bill from a health care perspective and a wellness perspective that, you know, they feel that this government that introduces a bill on smoking, Bill No. 125, that they have to see this bill as a bill introduced by the Minister of Health. So, therefore, it has to have a substance that moves this towards a healthier Nova Scotia, but I

[Page 9629]

don't believe this bill really goes that distance. It may take a baby step in that direction, but it really doesn't do what Nova Scotians want.

The reality is, if this minister stood up in his place and said, okay, we'll amend it, we'll make it straight across the board, this bill would be passed in no time. Both Parties on this side of the House would agree to it and he would have the support and I think he would have the support of many Nova Scotians. I don't know who really supports him on this bill. Even the day he introduced this legislation, to describe the supporters as lukewarm would be, I think, even a bit over the top because I think one health care advocate said it reminded him of when he was in school and the teacher would grade his papers and the teacher would say, well, it's not bad, but it needs more work. I believe that was a phrase used on that day.

If the minister would come clean and really give Nova Scotians the bill that they were expecting, the bill that they were hoping for, he would get the support of all of this House. I believe it's a bill that the backbenchers should have some input into. It has a lot of impact right across this province.

Mr. Speaker, I will be taking my place shortly. I wanted to impress upon this minister that we were expecting much more in this bill. We, as members of this House, and we, as Nova Scotians, were expecting a lot more because he and his Premier had told us to expect tough, hard laws that would help ban smoking in public areas in this province. That's not what we got. What we got is confusion, we got some good measures, we got an idea around young people but it's basically unenforceable, it doesn't talk about helping them any, it doesn't go forward to helping people over the age of 19 to quit smoking. There's nothing in that.

We would hope that the government will see, when this bill makes its way to the Law Amendments Committee, that they have a real vision of what Nova Scotians think, and they will support Nova Scotians in this bill and bring back amendments that will say, public smoking in Nova Scotia is no longer acceptable, smoking kills people, it's a drain on our health care system, it's a system that has to stop, and this government can do the right thing with an outright ban of public smoking in this province. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria.

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I want to address the House for a few minutes this evening. I can assure the House I won't take up too much of the time, but there are some points that I want to make in support of our Leader and in support of our caucus, and I guess, to some degree, support Bill No. 125, but also to let the people of Nova Scotia know that our belief is that Bill No. 125 does not go far enough.

[Page 9630]

It doesn't go far enough to protect the health and wellness of Nova Scotians, and from that perspective, that's where I see Bill No. 125 falling short. It doesn't protect Nova Scotians, and it doesn't protect the workers in the workplace. Restaurants, taverns, bars, or cabarets are, indeed, someone's workplace, as well, from a health and wellness perspective, it does not do enough to protect those people or enough to protect the health of the general public from the effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. Very clearly, this bill has not moved far enough in this degree.

Mr. Speaker, as we have listened in the past weeks or more to the response from employers and listened to their expressions of concern about associated costs of complying with Bill No. 125, they might, too, agree that a 100 per cent ban would prove to be a better solution to this very serious health issue than the option in this bill that is currently before us. Our Liberal Health Critic, the member for Dartmouth East, wants to make an amendment for a full ban on smoking in all public places to ensure that the health of all Nova Scotian workers and the general public are protected . . .

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

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I want to talk for a moment on the costs of smoking, and the costs to our health system. If we look at the costs of smoking and the costs to our health system. If we look at the costs of smoking and second-hand smoke, the costs to lives and the costs to the health care system, it is just astounding. The effects of second-hand tobacco smoke costs the health care system over $20 million annually.

[7:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, 80 per cent of non-smokers' exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke occurs in the workplace. Why does this government force people to work in an environment of that nature? Overall if you combine with the $20.5 million costs to government with lost productivity in the workplace, caused by the devastating health impact on second-hand tobacco smoke, the drain on the government resources and the economy, it escalates to much more than $80 million. A 100 per cent ban would reduce the enormous health care burden and the personal costs associated with exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

Mr. Speaker, this year alone more than 130 Nova Scotians will die every month due to tobacco-related illnesses and diseases. With a smoking prevalence of 30 per cent, Nova Scotians have the distinction of having the highest smoking rate of any province in Canada. Statistics have shown that there is a direct relationship between smoke-free legislation and the ability of smokers to quit. I believe that we need a comprehensive tobacco control strategy supported by effective smoke-free legislation which ensures that individuals have access to nicotine treatment options, a smokers' help line, smoker cessation counselling and pharmaceutical aids. That will help the public and the government will be seen as trying to help people who are trying to kick the habit.

[Page 9631]

Mr. Speaker, we would be looking at an investment of $1 million in smoking cessation and in light of the $138 million windfall in additional tobacco taxes it seems like this government could be doing more in terms of smoking cessation treatments. Higher tobacco taxes benefit government, providing a sound financial basis for continued long-term funding of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy. A comprehensive tobacco strategy gives schools and communities the best available support to design and implement tobacco control strategies that work in our communities. Perhaps mandatory Smoke-Free for Life curricula would be a good place to start. Important as well is smoke-free legislation which protects workplaces and indoor public places and is a critical element in a comprehensive tobacco control strategy. Bill No. 125 falls way short of that; as I said in the beginning, the government has not gone far enough on Bill No. 125.

Legislation is driven by strong leadership and strong leadership comes from strong leaders. Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time that a Liberal Leader has been out front on issues relative to smoking and smoke-free places, and it's not the first time that the Leader of the Liberal Party has called for smoke-free workplaces.

I want to refer to a resolution back in 1989. This resolution was introduced by the member from Sackville and if I may I will read it and I will table the copy.

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

Whereas passengers on inter-provincial trains, busses and airplanes are now guaranteed travel in a smoke-free atmosphere by Parliament's approval of Bill C-204; and

Whereas a smoke-free atmosphere is not guaranteed for passengers travelling shorter distances within Nova Scotia, on busses that are operated under the provisions of the Motor Carrier Act; and

Whereas operation of passenger busses is subject to regulations established by the Public Utilities Board under the Motor Carrier Act;

Therefore be it resolved that this House ask the Public Utilities Board to take all necessary steps to promptly put in place the requirement that all passenger busses operated within Nova Scotia under provincial jurisdiction are entirely smoke free, and that Mr. Speaker convey this request to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities."

Mr. Speaker, he goes on to say further,

[Page 9632]

". . . as a smoker myself, and I am sure that certain members opposite who are trying to break the habit would also wish that I request of [sic] waiver of notice without debate."

It goes on,

"MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice without debate which requires unanimous consent.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed."

But I notice he's still smoking. So much for that.

The Speaker goes on,

"Is the House ready for question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay."

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Liberal Party at that time, Mr. Vince MacLean, gets up on a point of order.

"Now that we have recommended to the Public Utilities Board to get rid of smoking on the various routes and all members unanimously supported it, perhaps it is time that we can get rid of smoking in Province House (Applause) and do exactly the same . . .".

He goes on,

". . .with the approbation that we could eliminate it in all the jurisdictions that come under you which excludes the Premier's office, but perhaps we could have an indication from the House to see if the House would be interested in supporting that particular resolution. (Applause)"

Mr. Speaker, the Speaker goes on to say,

"Nobody would be happier than I to implement such a resolution should the House see fit to declare its wishes on this matter. (Interruptions) If the House wishes to declare that Province House be a smoke-free building, then I would be more than willing to implement that."

[Page 9633]

So Resolution No. 693 from the Leader of the Opposition, the Leader of the Liberal Party, that is.

"Mr. Speaker, I would so move that Province House be designated a smoke-free environment, excluding the Premier's office because it does not technically come under your jurisdiction. (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Well, the introduction of such a motion requires unanimous consent.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture.

HON. ROLAND THORNHILL: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that this resolution that the honourable Leader of the Opposition has presented requires the unanimous consent of the House to be placed here for debate at the present time?

MR. SPEAKER: Exactly, that is what I meant to indicate.

MR. THORNHILL: You were not voting on the resolution at that time, it was just a (Interruption) oh, without debate. I think it is a wonderful resolution and I think it should be debated. (Laughter)"

There was some laughter, Mr. Speaker, but that was the beginning.

AN HON. MEMBER: Nervous laughing.

MR. MACASKILL: Nervous laughing from that side of the House. Then, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova gets into the debate and he said,

"I might say I find the motion proposed by the honourable Leader of the Opposition to be quite commendable because how very dangerous it would be for our proceedings here at Province House if we were to smoke the peace-pipe together.

The Speaker says,

[Page 9634]

". . . I am in the hands of the House. Is the House ready for the question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay."

The motion was carried, Mr. Speaker, at that time, to make this place a smoke-free building.

"The motion is carried. (Applause)

I will be pleased to hear from members who might be interested in having a small area outside the building designated as a smoking zone. I can assure honourable members that it is my intention to see that the motion is enforced. I do not consider this to be a frivolous matter."

To close off, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health,

"HON. DAVID NANTES: I think on behalf of the Department of Health and Fitness I would like to express thanks to all members for their resolution."

Mr. Speaker, to make my point, this is not the first time that the Leader of the Liberal

Party has moved forward with a bold move to make the workplace of all Nova Scotians a free and healthy environment to work and live in.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place and give the floor to some other member.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise this evening and make a few comments on Bill No. 125, better known as the Smoke-free Places Act. As many colleagues in our caucus have started off their speeches, I will start mine off the same way, by commending the Minister of Health and the government for bringing this legislation forward to a full debate and allowing for a full debate here in this House on this most important social issue and, even more importantly, health issue, which is one of great importance to all of us in this House and to all of our constituents and our families back home.

As much as this is an important first step, Mr. Speaker, as has been stated by the members of our caucus, it is our collective opinion that this legislation does not go far enough. I believe that the government had a great opportunity here to be able to come to this House with legislation that would have given a 100 per cent, total ban on smoking in public places. Now, I'm sure that most of the members of the front benches of the government and even the backbenchers would agree that it has seldom been the experience that the

[Page 9635]

Opposition members are united in calling upon the government to bring forward legislation that they are prepared to fully endorse. In this case we have a situation where the government is being told by the Opposition that if they bring in a total ban, they will have the unanimous support of the Opposition in doing so, which is a golden opportunity.

Again, Mr. Speaker, as you are very well aware, the way our system of representative government here in this province is set up, although the government has introduced this bill, there is ample opportunity, before it reaches the third reading stage, for the government to make significant changes to their legislation before it comes for a final vote. I would sincerely hope that with the speeches and the comments that have been given to the Minister of Health and the government by my colleagues, it would clearly indicate to them that it's time they review this legislation and take the final step rather than just take a few baby steps forward and then, rather than going all the way, coming to a complete end.

Mr. Speaker, what I am looking for and what I have not heard yet today from the minister, the Premier, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Justice, or any of the government members, is why not a 100 per cent ban? No one has ever explained that to me and I'm not sure if anyone on the government side has the intestinal fortitude to stand here and tell us why they do not agree there should be a 100 per cent ban, because I don't think, clearly, that deep down in their hearts, they don't agree there should be a 100 per cent ban. So that being the case - and those are certainly the assumptions and I have nothing to lead me to believe that I'm not correct in assuming that because I see none of them leaping to their feet on a point of order or a point of personal privilege to explain why they don't feel there should be a full ban.

So if that is the case, Mr. Speaker, one has to ask who has convinced them not to put in a 100 per cent ban? It leads us to ask how can we lift the veil of the government and look behind that veil to see who are the parties responsible for convincing this government not to go all the way with Bill No. 125? Now, as has been said, if we had the Lobbyists' Registration Act, then we could probably see exactly who the ones responsible are. If this government was actually the open and accountable government that they've claimed to be, they would tell us who has lobbied them, who has come to see them, what are the arguments, and what has convinced them not to go with this total ban, and they haven't done that. I believe they owe it to Nova Scotians to explain exactly why they don't want to go all the way.

[8:00 p.m.]

The Minister of Health is very clever in his remarks to say we've worked with business, we need their co-operation, and I believe they will be happy with this, but he never explains why not go all the way. He has never said it, nor has the Premier nor anyone else on the front benches or the back benches of that government. Now, Mr. Speaker, I believe they owe that to Nova Scotians.

[Page 9636]

What we have before us, really, it almost makes a farce of what we do here. To say that we think there should be a ban on smoking, yet we're going to make an exception. There's going to be certain places where you can smoke, there's going to be certain hours when you can smoke, there's got to be a certain seating capacity before you can smoke, there's got to be a specific type of ventilation system put in. Why? Why? A government that says they want to cut red tape, a government that says they want to make business more friendly in Nova Scotia - would they now say we're going to be creating this new bureaucracy which is what they're creating? They will have to hire new inspectors, inspectors are going to have to come in now and check to see if the smoking area is the right size, does it have the right amount of seats, is it operating at the right hours, is the ventilation system at the proper setting? That's red tape. That's the red tape this government said they were going to try to eliminate. They're not eliminating it, they're building it by the day. They're putting in more and more. Why? When they could simply say, there's no smoking in public places.

It doesn't put anyone at a disadvantage, competitively, because the competition next door can't have smoking either. It's a level playing field and you've heard that word over and over again. Level the playing field, no smoking and that's it. That's what the government could have done, yet now they're going to tell businesses we're going to allow you to have smoking. So, if I'm a bar owner and I say I don't want to have smoking, but buddy next door, he's going to build this new smoking place and everything, so to keep up with my competition I'm going to have to build a smoking place and so on and so on. My big concern is that we all know deep down, whether this government wants to admit it or not, within the next five years there will be a total ban on smoking in the Province of Nova Scotia.

So, we're telling these entrepreneurs, these business owners, that because we're not going for a total ban, many of them in essence will argue you're forcing us to make these expenditures to allow for smoking because you're allowing our competition to have it. So they're going to spend this money, make these investments and within five years, there will be a total ban and then they will come back to government and say, look, give us compensation. Give us compensation. We spent all this money to set up these specific places for smoking and now you're going to say there's no smoking. Yet we built all these special little smoking rooms. That's what's going to happen, we all know it. The government knows it deep down so why wouldn't they have gone all the way?

I don't need to repeat the stats on smoking - you've heard them from the different members of our caucus. They're alarming. The Minister of Health has given them himself. The number of people who smoke, who die from smoking, of young people who start smoking, young people who will die from smoking, and the costs of smoking on our health care system. It's staggering. No one doubts that and I believe the Minister of Health agrees and the government agrees.

[Page 9637]

So how are we going to deal with it? It is the position of the Leader of our Party, it is the position of this caucus that the way to deal with it once and for all, is to put a total ban across the board.

It's interesting because the minister in his speech talked about the challenges the government faces in enacting legislation to address social policy. It's not easy. He made reference to the seat belt law. He made reference to the drinking and driving laws. So, let's put ourselves - I believe he said the seat belt law was 20 years ago - back here in the House of Assembly and if we were to use the same logic on seat belts that this government is using on smoking, we would say the proposal from the government would be, you only have to wear seat belts on 100-Series Highways, you only have to wear a seat belt if there's a child in the car, you only have to wear a seat belt if it's a two-door sports car, if it's a family sedan you don't have to wear a seat belt, you don't have to wear a seat belt on gravel roads, you don't' have to wear a seat belt through town limits, but you have to wear a seat belt if you have more than four people in the vehicle. That would be the logic. You don't have to wear a seat belt during the night time, you don't have to wear one during the day, you only have to wear a seat belt if you're coming home from work, not if you're going to work.

I could go on and on, but I think you understand the point, that we would laugh at that. We would say that was crazy. If you're going to put in a ban and you're going to put in a seat belt law for safety reasons and to save lives, then you have to go all the way and say at any time that you are operating a motor vehicle, you need to be wearing your seat belt, with a very limited amount of exceptions, and we know what those exceptions are, very limited. If we were to use the same logic this government is using with smoking, those would be crazy rules, the silly rules we would have around seat belts.

Let's say we use the government's logic for drinking and driving. What we would say is, well, drinking and driving is only an offence during the daytime because that's when most people are on the street, that's when children are in school, that's when children are playing on playgrounds, but the law does not apply at nighttime; after 9:00 o'clock at night drinking and driving no longer applies as an offence in the Province of Nova Scotia, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. drinking and driving is legal in this province.

Now, Mr. Speaker, what would Nova Scotians think if this government were ever to make such a proposal? They would think that's crazy. Drinking and driving at any time of the day is a hazard, it is a danger and, therefore, it should be an offence, just as smoking any time of the day is a danger, it's a hazard and it should be banned, same thing. So the Minister of Health cannot say that he is doing just as the legislators did before us on the seat belt law and on the drunk driving law, because they went all the way. Mr. Minister, your government, apparently, for some unknown reason, is not prepared to go all the way, and Nova Scotians deserve to know exactly why you won't go all the way.

[Page 9638]

Mr. Speaker, as has been said by many, certainly in our caucus, especially by my colleague, the member for Lunenburg West - I was very impressed, he listed off all the different organizations in his riding that had already gone smoke-free. I remember, back in Richmond County, like many other areas of this province, bingo is a very popular night out. When it was first proposed that some of the bingo halls would go smoke-free - oh, they're going to go under. No one will come out to bingo. Those who smoke will no longer come to bingo, the bingo's going to go under, the hall's going to go under and you're going to see exactly all the negative effects of going smoke-free at your bingos.

So the first hall did it. Sure, at first, some of these smokers no longer went to bingo, but, all of a sudden, another hall went smoke-free for their bingos. So, all of a sudden, the smokers stopped going to that one. So there are two bingos they couldn't go to. Then, all of a sudden, the next hall went smoke-free, and on and on and on. Mr. Speaker, bingo, I can tell you, in Richmond County today is alive and well and it's smoke-free.

That is but one example, and I can only imagine what sort of arguments are being given from the bar and food service industry in saying that we're going to go under if we go smoke-free. If there's a total ban and nobody else is allowed to have smoking, how can you argue it will have a negative impact on your business? They're not allowed to do it anywhere else, the competition is not being allowed to do it, but now we're going to go with this Mickey Mouse system of a certain area being a smoke room, a certain ventilation, a certain size, all this red tape and all these regulations and everything else. For what reason? The Minister of Health, is he going to stand after us and say, well, now it's no longer going to cost the health care system $175 million because of smoking, once you have done this. No, that's not the case.

Mr. Speaker, one of the more ridiculous things the government has said is, well, it's going to be illegal. No, that's not how they said it - how did they say it - they said, you are not permitted to have cigarettes in your possession if you're under the age of 19. But the minister said let me make it clear - in his comments - there is no offence for having tobacco under the age of 19. So, what are you going to achieve? What they are allowed to do, my understanding is they are allowed to seize the tobacco or the cigarettes from them and that's it. What is that going to do?

Now if the government was proactive in their thinking, invested more money in education on the issue of youth smoking, I believe that they could have better results. I will give you an example. Now I'm still quite young and I don't remember any of my colleagues ever undertaking in this pastime, but I'm sure you may have heard about how popular it was once upon a time in high schools to chew tobacco. It was a very popular thing, it was a cool thing to do when you were younger, to get a little bit of chew and chew on that during your lunch breaks and for the boys to gather around and to chew tobacco and spit it out and it was a wonderful thing to do at the time.

[Page 9639]

AN HON. MEMBER: As long as you didn't swallow it. (Laughter)

MR. SAMSON: But all of a sudden with time, we learned about mouth cancer, we learned about the impact that chewing tobacco was having on those partaking in that activity. We saw the ads, we saw the pictures, the disgusting pictures of the inside of mouths that had cancer from chewing tobacco. I challenge you to go to most of the high schools and I challenge the Minister of Education to indicate how many high schools she has gone to and seen young people on breaks chewing tobacco, spitting out, or how often she has seen spittoons around schools grounds to collect chewing tobacco. Now, with time it just doesn't happen anymore. There are no laws passed through this Legislature saying that under 19 you can't chew tobacco but it just doesn't happen. People just don't do it because they now know the effects and we are getting there on smoking but we need to continue to have a strategic plan of education to go with that.

The other day I asked the Minister of Education about a specific program on smoking and her answer was, I will ask my staff to look into it. A very responsible answer. Now the Minister of Health today made comments to the belief that this was part of their strategy and they were going to do this all along. Well it was unfortunate that they didn't share that with the Minister of Education because just last week she thought it was a great idea that she would share with her staff and look into it and explore as to what they could do about it. So, let's be realistic here. Yes, there should be more education programs, we should move forward on that as much as we can. But for the Minister of Health to give the apprehension in this House, the belief that this is well underway, the figures he is quoting about how many teachers have been trained in this program are clearly inaccurate, clearly inaccurate and he knows that. Yes we agree they should be moving forward on this, but what they are paying to the young people is lip service.

Now to show you, and I know that we're not supposed to talk about specific parts of the bill or specific clauses, so I will just make reference to one part. There is actually a clause in here, believe it or not, that allows for an inspector to go into one of these smoking rooms at bars, let's say, for example, if that inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that someone is in there under the age of 19 and has in their possession cigarettes or tobacco, they are authorized to seize it from them. Then it goes on to say that that person if they feel the seizure was an improper seizure can go before a judge and argue before the judge that it was an unreasonable or an improper seizure, let's say for example because they were 20 years old, they are over 19 years of age. The Act says that the judge if he so believes that the seizure was improper shall order the return of the confiscated goods.

Now, being a member of the Nova Scotia Bar, being a practising lawyer and as many of the members of this House know, our justice system is overburdened as it is and the schedules for being able to get cases heard in this province are at an all-time length. It is incredible the amount of time it takes. Now on top of that we are going to have young people coming before our justices of this province arguing that they should get their pack of smokes

[Page 9640]

back because the inspector took it where he should not have taken it from them in the first place. A total ban makes these provisions redundant. (Interruptions)

Really, who has come up with these ideas. A government that said no more red tape, we're going to cut back, we're going to streamline our justice system, we're going to streamline the offences that we have in this province and now they're adding all this stuff.

[8:15 p.m.]

AN HON. MEMBER: A total ban would take care of that.

MR. SAMSON: A total ban takes care of all that, as one of my colleagues has said, and as my colleagues have said, and here you are, both Opposition Parties telling the government we will support you in a total ban. So if we walk out of here with all 52 members of this House supporting a total ban, Mr. Speaker, I believe we can walk out of here with our heads held high in knowing that what we have done was the proper thing to do. We didn't cave in; we didn't back down. We went all the way and we went all the way in the best interests of Nova Scotians, whether they be 12, whether they be 18, whether they be 30, whether they be 50, or whether they be 75.

Mr. Speaker, we have all seen the effects of smoking. In our own families we have all seen it. We've seen our loved ones sick, gasping for one last breath, knowing how much longer they could have lived had they not smoked, how many years were lost having them with us if it wasn't for their smoking. Everyone knows that. I certainly don't need to preach to anyone in this House. We can all give examples of that. Whether you're on the government side, in the NDP caucus, or in our caucus, we've all seen that. The public mood now is calling upon us as legislators to bring in a total ban, just as the public was calling upon legislators 20 years ago to bring a seat belt law for safety, just as the public was calling upon legislators to bring in a law to ban drinking and driving on the roads of this province - they are calling upon us to do the same today.

Those who were here before us did not back down on seat belt laws. Those who were here before us did not back down on drinking and driving laws and, Mr. Speaker, it is my belief that it is the duty of all 52 members of this House, regardless of where they are seated and regardless of what Party they are in, not to back down and to go forward with a total ban on smoking in public places in the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. If I recognize the minister it will be to close debate.

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the members from the opposite side who made helpful interventions. Their points were listened to on this side. I

[Page 9641]

believe nonetheless that the bill is a good one and I look forward to moving it through to the Law Amendments Committee process, and with that I move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 125. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 101.

Bill No. 101 - Fire Safety Act.

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

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby move to close debate on the Fire Safety Act. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 101. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 105.

Bill No. 105 - Elevators and Lifts Act.

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

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 105.

[Page 9642]

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I was going to say a few words tonight on Bill No. 105, an Act to Provide for Licensing and Regulating of Elevators and Certain Other Types of Lifts.

Mr. Speaker, we welcome some of the aspects of this bill. There are some of them that are long overdue. It provides for the registration of contractors in this business and is a very good idea, and contractors are required to comply to the Act and apply the appropriate codes and employ qualified staff. I think we agree with that.

A few concerns we have, it appears this Act overrides certain sections of the OH&S Act where the two bills are in conflict and we find that may be injurious to this bill going forward unamended - qualifications of inspectors, competent persons such as mechanics, conditions for registration fees, schedules, et cetera are all put off to the regulations. We need to see those regulations. I think it's imperative in any OH & S type of bill and need to see a risk management system, a timely annually detailed reporting application around the risk management system. We need specific protection for mechanics to refuse to do anything they feel is contrary to the Act, regulations or applicable codes.

There are a few things in this bill beyond second reading we will be looking at and hopefully when it gets to the Law Amendments Committee and the public have the right to say a few words, we will certainly be looking for amendments. Thank you very much.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: I rise to say a few words about this particular bill as it heads through the process of the House and through second reading and on to the Law Amendments Committee. Basically some would say this is rather a housekeeping bill, but there are some provisions in here that I believe, because of its very nature of amending the current Elevators and Lifts Act, which dates back to 1958, indeed some amendments were appropriate at this time - some might say it's high time and about time. Nevertheless, the bill is before the House. There are important issues here that this bill is going to address and I think certification is the key word here, that attention will be paid to certification for new and altered installations in the province and make sure they comply with all satisfactory standards in this province. I believe that we will see perhaps the significance of this bill when it gets into the Law Amendments Committee to see if there are people here who will think, one, that the bill has not gone far enough or, two, that they express their satisfaction with the bill, Mr. Minister.

Hopefully, the bill will accomplish one thing - it will update and bring into this century some of the regulations surrounding lifts in elevators in this province. Having said that, on behalf of our critic for this particular bill, we will allow this bill to move on through

[Page 9643]

the process of the House and hopefully, we may have something more to say when it gets back here for Committee of the Whole House. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the minister it will be to close debate.

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. DAVID MORSE: I move second reading, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 105. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 106.

Bill No. 106 - Guardianship Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: I briefly rise to indicate that this bill is designed to protect the assets of children during their minority in a situation when the law with respect to them is a bit unclear. I look forward to hearing the comments of my colleagues from the Opposition Parties, perhaps after we've had the opportunity of going to the Law Amendments Committee with the bill. With that, Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of the bill.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I echo the words of the Minister of Justice. I look forward to hearing at the Law Amendments Committee the number of people who will come forward with comments on this legislation. It's, in many ways, motherhood, it's good legislation and we look forward to hearing more comments and we will support it in second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to say a few words on Bill No. 106, an Act Respecting the Guardianship of Children. As mentioned by the Minister of

[Page 9644]

Justice, this Act will clearly stipulate how a child's property and entitlements are to be managed. One of the things that it will do is move the administration of this from a Justice perspective away from the Probate Court into Supreme Court. There are a number of changes being made which we feel clearly will provide significant protection for those most vulnerable in our society - children, especially in unfortunate situations where children may be left without parents and left with certain assets which must be protected in their best interests until they reach the age of majority.

I should point out, for the comfort of members who may be alarmed by this, that this is not revolutionary legislation. It is very similar to provisions in Newfoundland's legislation and Saskatchewan's Children's Law Act.

Clearly, I believe this is legislation that has been proven in other provinces to be of a positive nature. Upon review, at this point we have not found cause to be overly alarmed with the legislation, but again, that's what the Law Amendments Committee process is for. It allows us to hear presentations from the Nova Scotia Bar Society or any other interested parties that may want to bring forward ideas. I certainly hope, as with the smoking bill, that any amendments brought forward for this legislation that are reasonable and supportive, the minister will be willing to entertain them and incorporate them into Bill No. 106. With that, I look forward to sending it off to the Law Amendments Committee and entertaining the presentations that we may receive at that point.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the minister of Justice it will be to close debate.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I move close of the debate and second reading of the bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 106. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 12:00 noon. The House will sit until 8:00 p.m. Following the daily routine and Question Period, we will commence Public Bills for Second Reading with Bill No. 104, then going to Bill No. 107, then numerically through the rest of the order paper. With that, I move that the House do now rise.

[Page 9645]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House adjourn until 12:00 noon tomorrow.

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 House is adjourned until 12:00 noon tomorrow.

[The House rose at 8:27 p.m.]

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NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 3704

By: Hon. Jane Purves (Education)

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

Whereas the Halifax Shopping Centre Teen Advisory Board was formed to help improve communications between youth and the shopping centre and to raise awareness of youth-related causes and issues; and

Whereas violence is a real and increasing concern among our youth - an issue the advisory board is taking action to address; and

Whereas through Carnival Day the board is supporting the League of Peaceful Schools, through Art Against Youth Violence it is providing an outlet for expression and feelings and with Speak Out they are hosting four consecutive open discussions on matters such as bullying and "No means No";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the Halifax Shopping Centre Teen Advisory Board for its sense of responsibility and taking an immediate stand against teenage violence.

RESOLUTION NO. 3705

By: Mr. John Chataway (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas Private Business Networks Inc. of Hubbards has recently been presented with the Lotus Advisor Magazine's editor's choice gold award in the category of business solutions; and

Whereas PNB, established in 1994 and headed up by President Don Winchell, specializes in applications that make the Internet more efficient, manageable and profitable for companies; and

Whereas the award was based on the work PNB carried out for Alisar Corp., including the development of a web-based application in a mere nine months and at a cost one-quarter that of similar products from other companies;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Private Business Networks Inc. on its editor's choice gold award and wish the company much success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3706

By: Hon. Angus MacIsaac (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

Whereas lobster season has recently opened in Nova Scotia and many trappers were eager to get out to sea to set up their gear including Antigonish resident Danny Boyd and his two sons; and

Whereas the day was not the best, however, and Mr. Boyd's boat, the Gulf Crabber, began to take on water and sink, forcing the three men to abandon ship and jump into the three-degree water where they waited 15 minutes for rescue; and

Whereas Mr. Boyd, who was conscious at the time of the rescue, is recovering, his two sons, who were worse off than their father and in later stages of hypothermia when rescued, have been stabilized and on the road to recovery and all are taking steps to resume fishing;

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank those individuals so quick to their rescue - five fishing vessels including the Keagan PC which was the first on the scene, a Coast Guard cutter and a Coast Guard aircraft - and wish Danny Boyd and his sons a swift recovery.

RESOLUTION NO. 3707

By: Mr. Cecil Clarke (Cape Breton North)

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

Whereas Amy Sakalauskas of North Sydney was one of four University of New Brunswick law students to win the national Laskin Moot Court Competition; and

Whereas Canada's top mooting event, students from the best Canadian law schools compete in this fictional courtroom situation and make the case for an appeal based on the facts given; and

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Whereas in addition to their first place win, these students were invited to attend a national conference, Canadian Rights and Freedoms: 20years Under the Charter Conference, where they met leading Canadian jurists, legal scholars and practitioners;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud Amy Sakalauskas and her teammates, Shiva Galbaransingh, Michelle Brun and Kitty Maurey for their first place performance in this national competition in constitutional and administrative law.

RESOLUTION NO. 3708

By: Mr. Frank Corbett (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas May 6th to May 12th is Mental Health Week in Canada; and

Whereas mental health affects one in five Canadians with costs estimated at $14.4 billion in 1998 and showing no signs of a decrease in 2002; and

Whereas the Canadian Mental Health Association is petitioning the federal government to introduce a national action plan to promote the mental health of all Canadians;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize and acknowledge the importance of mental health issues and applaud the efforts of the Canadian Mental Health Association to get the federal government to put the issue on the national agenda as a priority of its citizens.

RESOLUTION NO. 3709

By: Mr. Frank Corbett (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas all over Nova Scotia, literacy programs are run by volunteers; and

Whereas the International Adult Literacy Survey reported about 22 per cent of adult Canadians fall in the lowest level of literacy; and

Whereas the Cape Breton Literacy Network in Sydney is a non-profit group which offers a free program which teaches literacy skills to individuals who have difficulty reading and writing;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature honour the men and women who bravely decide to learn how to read and write and the men and women who give their time freely to eliminate illiteracy.

RESOLUTION NO. 3710

By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas the May 6, 2002 Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports how an elderly couple is considering a move to Ontario because of the extremely high cost of long-term care in this province; and

Whereas nursing home care for the wife and mother in that family would cost $44,000 less a year in Ontario; and

Whereas the Hamm Government even reserves its right to impoverish the husbands and wives of nursing home patients rather than limiting itself to half the household income;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the Conservative Government to reconsider its inhumane policy of forcing very ill men and women into nursing homes, then seizing virtually all income and assets until those patients and their surviving spouses are impoverished.