The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD
01-20

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

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

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

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

Second Session

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2001

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Environ. & Lbr. - Strait of Canso: Coal Dust - Seepage, Hon. D. Morse 1353
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 555, Health: Nat'l. Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness Week
(22-28/04/01) - Recognize, Hon. J. Muir 1354
Vote - Affirmative 1354
Res. 556, Earth Day (22/04/01) - Events: Participantion -
Encourage, Hon. E. Fage 1354
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 37, User-fees Disclosure Act, Mr. K. Deveaux 1355
No. 38, Provincial Sovereignty Act, Mr. H. Epstein 1355
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 557, Women's Institutes: Contribution - Recognize,
Mr. J. MacDonell 1355
Vote - Affirmative 1356
Res. 558, Baie en Joie - Dance Festival: Trophies - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 1356
Vote - Affirmative 1357
Res. 559, Brannon, Taylor - Nat'l. Chess Championship: Best Wishes -
Convey, Hon. G. Balser 1357
Vote - Affirmative 1358
Res. 560, North End Commun. Teen Health Centre - Opening:
Participants - Congrats., Ms. Maureen MacDonald 1358
Vote - Affirmative 1358
Res. 561, Liberal Party (N.S.) - Annual Meeting: Success - Wish,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 1359
Res. 562, Liberal Party (N.S.) - Annual Meeting: Fin. Min. (Can.) -
Offshore Policy Explain, Mr. B. Taylor 1359
Res. 563, Reach Nova Scotia: Law Day Award - Congrats., Mr. J. Pye 1360
Vote - Affirmative 1361
Res. 564, Fin. Min. (Can.) - Message: Prem./Fin. Min. (N.S.) - Heed,
Mr. D. Downe 1361
Res. 565, Williams, Danny - Nfld. PC Party: Leader -
Acclamation Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 1361
Res. 566, Jacobs, Lisa - NDP Caucus Office: Contributions - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Dexter 1362
Vote - Affirmative 1363
Res. 567, Educ. - Janitorial Strike: MLA's (PC) Representation -
Motivation Acknowledge, Mr. R. MacKinnon 1363
Res. 568, Hfx. Reg. Sch. Bd. - Cape Breton West MLA:
Apologies/Resignation - Offer, Ms. M. McGrath 1364
Res. 569, Parent Abuse - Spry, Capt. William Commun. Ctr.:
Research Proj. - Participants Congrats., Mr. Robert Chisholm 1364
Vote - Affirmative 1365
Res. 570, Glace Bay Shoe Store - Establishment: Owner/Managers -
Congrats., Mr. D. Wilson 1365
Vote - Affirmative 1366
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. F. Corbett 1366
Mr. D. Downe 1368
Mr. J. Chataway 1370
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 9:46 A.M. 1372
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 1:47 P.M. 1372
REPORT OF CWH ON SUPPLY [Rule 62G(1)]:
Motion to Concur 1372
Vote - Affirmative 1373
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 39, Appropriations Act, 2001, Hon. R. Russell 1373
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 39, Appropriations Act, 2001 1374
Vote - Affirmative 1375
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 39, Appropriations Act, 2001 1375
Vote - Affirmative 1375
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Apr. 23rd at 2:00 p.m. 1376
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 571, Parks, Natalie: Youth Volunteer Award/Duke of
Edinburgh Award - Congrats., Ms. M. McGrath 1377
Res. 572, Agric. & Fish. - Outlook 2001: Participants - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Fage 1377
Res. 573, Cumb. Co. - Pins (10 Yr.): Recipients - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Fage 1378

[Page 1353]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2001

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

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

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, in response to a question earlier this week on coal dust being able to seep into the Strait of Canso, I would like to table this response.

MR. SPEAKER: The document is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

1353

[Page 1354]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 555

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

Whereas the need for organ transplants in our country far outweighs the number of organs available and there are more than 3,500 people awaiting organ transplants in Canada; and

Whereas the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Transplantation Services strives to improve the success of organ transplantation to ensure that all Atlantic Canadians are offered the option of organ and tissue donation and are given appropriate access to transplantation services; and

Whereas the QE II Organ Donor Awareness Committee has coordinated numerous events throughout National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, including the Gift of Life Celebration and the Green Ribbon Project;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize April 22 to April 28, 2001 as National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, and thank the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Transplantation Services for their efforts to create awareness and encourage more people to become organ donors.

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 Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 556

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

[Page 1355]

Whereas Sunday, April 22nd is designated as Earth Day throughout the world and this year's theme for Earth Day is Climate Change Solutions: Our Priority; and

Whereas Nova Scotia has always been, and will continue to be, willing to do its part to address environmental issues; and

Whereas this government's commitment to continue working with our federal, provincial and territorial partners on an effective strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gases was referred to in last month's Throne Speech;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House encourage all Nova Scotians to participate in Earth Day events and to move toward, increasing energy efficiency and more climate-friendly business and personal practices.

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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 37 - Entitled an Act to Provide for the Full Disclosure of User Fees. (Mr. Kevin Deveaux)

Bill No. 38 - Entitled an Act to Protect Provincial Sovereignty over Essential Public Services. (Mr. Howard Epstein)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 557

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

[Page 1356]

Whereas women have long been challenged by age-old customs and traditions of human society in general in their struggle to be accepted beside their male counterparts in areas outside the home and family; and

Whereas Women's Institutes were formed to "light the way to learning, sharing and improving the quality of life for all"; and

Whereas this past February 19th, women and men across Nova Scotia celebrated Women's Institute Day;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the valuable contribution Women's Institutes have made to the progression of society in general, as they move forward the goals of women in particular.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 558

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

Whereas La Baie en Joie, a dance group from Clare, recently participated in the British Association of Teachers of Dancing Festival of Dance, April 6th to 8th, 2001; and

Whereas La Baie en Joie placed 1st in their category, which included other dancing groups from Atlantic Canada and had the highest mark for step-dancing; and

Whereas La Baie en Joie placed 1st amongst the Nova Scotia dancing groups that competed in the category of Nova Scotia Traditional Dancers;

[Page 1357]

Therefore be it resolved that La Baie en Joie be congratulated for winning the BATD trophy for the Festival of Dance Rose Bowl and for winning the Dance Nova Scotia Trophy for traditional dance.

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 Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 559

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

Whereas chess has a 1,000 year history as the consummate game of strategy, logic and skill; and

Whereas seven year old Taylor Brannon, a Grade 2 student at Hammonds Plains Elementary School recently defeated all comers, to be named the Nova Scotia Grade 2 Chess Champion; and

Whereas the Halifax legal firm of Daley Black has recognized Taylor's accomplishments by sponsoring his trip to represent Nova Scotia at the National Chess Championship to be held in Toronto, Ontario;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House wish Taylor well as he competes on the national stage.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1358]

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. 560

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

Whereas the North End Community Health Centre serves to provide and promote quality health care to residents as a vital part of the North End community; and

Whereas a new outreach program, the North End Community Teen Health Centre, was launched on Thursday, April 10th, with the health centre's partner in this important program, the George Dixon Centre; and

Whereas the purpose of this outreach program is to provide a comfortable place for teens to have their physical and mental health needs met;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the North End Health Centre and the George Dixon Community Centre on their exciting new initiative to promote good health for teenagers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

[Page 1359]

RESOLUTION NO. 561

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

Whereas the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia is holding its annual meeting this weekend in Halifax; and

Whereas hundreds of Nova Scotians from every region of the province will be in Halifax for this very significant event; and

Whereas this meeting will make all Nova Scotians aware that the only Party that can provide honest, open and accountable government is the Liberal Party;

Therefore be it resolved that this House wish the Liberal Party every success at their annual gathering this weekend.

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 Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 562

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

Whereas on March 23, 2001, members of the Liberal caucus supported a resolution endorsing and supporting the Campaign for Fairness; and

Whereas tomorrow night at their annual general meeting, Nova Scotia Liberals have the opportunity to bring their support to the attention of federal Finance Minister Paul Martin; and

Whereas Nova Scotians from one end of this province to the other are calling on Ottawa to stop keeping 81 cents out of every Nova Scotian offshore dollar;

[Page 1360]

Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotia Liberals use their annual meeting to ask the federal Finance Minister to explain the fairness of only Ottawa benefiting from Nova Scotia's offshore.

[9:15 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 563

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

Whereas Reach Nova Scotia has been selected as this year's recipient of the annual Law Day Award; and

Whereas the Law Day Award is presented annually to a non-profit organization by the Canadian Bar Association's Law Day Committee, and the executive of the Canadian Bar Association, Nova Scotia Branch, for outstanding contribution to public education; and

Whereas Reach Nova Scotia is dedicated to ensuring that quality legal and social representation is provided to persons living with disabilities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the board, committee, staff and community volunteers of Reach Nova Scotia for the success demonstrated in their first year of operation, and wish the organization much success in its future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1361]

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 Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 564

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

Whereas this weekend the Honourable Paul Martin will be addressing the Liberal faithful; and

Whereas Mr. Martin will no doubt state the importance of balancing the budget in good times and the virtue of providing tax relief; and

Whereas unlike our Finance Minister, Mr. Martin surprised those on the left and those on the right by fully restoring indexation of tax brackets which finally ended the punishing effects of bracket creep on low- and middle-income Canadians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Finance Minister listen to Paul Martin's message closely and perhaps learn a thing or two about the benefit of indexing tax brackets and ending bracket creep.

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 565

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

[Page 1362]

Whereas on June 12, 2000, Mr. Ed Byrne announced his resignation as Leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party; and

Whereas Mr. Danny Williams, a well-known Newfoundland lawyer and businessman, was sworn in on April 7, 2001, as the Leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party in the presence of thousands of cheering Party supporters; and

Whereas Mr. Williams announced in his acceptance speech that he will seek to represent the people of Humber West in his province's House of Assembly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Danny Williams for his recent acclamation as Leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative Party, and wish him well in his bid to enter the House of Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 566

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

Whereas today, Friday, April 20th, is Lisa Jacobs' last day as the health researcher for the NDP caucus office; and

Whereas Ms. Jacobs has been consistent and persistent at ferreting out details on the government's shadowing efforts to conceal health cuts across the province; and

Whereas Lisa will be missed not only for her excellent research skills but also for her dog, Luka, who often accompanied her to the caucus office;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House thank Lisa Jacobs for her stalwart contribution to the health care system in this province.

[Page 1363]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 567

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

Whereas the present labour strike at the Halifax Regional School Board requires the full attention and support of all members of this Legislature, so as to ensure a settlement; and

Whereas on Thursday, April 19th, during the legislative debates, the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank opted to focus on volunteerism rather than debate issues surrounding the strike while the member for Halifax Bedford Basin revelled at the prospect of providing milk and cookies as a method of soothing her lack of resolve to address the effects of this strike on her constituents; and

Whereas continued babbling from the member for Dartmouth South contributed nothing while the Minister of Education and the Minister of Environment and Labour said absolutely nothing;

Therefore be it resolved that these silent apologists for the Tory Party publicly concede partisan politics is more important to them than representing their constituents' interests.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

[Page 1364]

Normally that resolution would have been too long, but with all the interruptions, we will allow it.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 568

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 in 1991, elected school boards were legislated, a change supported by the Liberal Party at that time which included the current member for Cape Breton West; and

Whereas since that fall, those wishing to put their names forward for the school boards have gone to the voters in their district to ask to be selected for service; and

Whereas both the Liberal Leader and the member for Cape Breton West have tried to score political points over the last few days by implying that there is political collusion from within the ranks of the current HRM board members in their decision-making process;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Cape Breton West do the right thing and apologize to school board members for his damaging accusations of political collusion or resign, again.

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 Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 569

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

[Page 1365]

Whereas parent abuse is a very real problem faced by many families in today's troubled times; and

Whereas families are embarrassed and fearful to talk about their plight; and

Whereas there are limited facilities and resources available to deal with this issue;

Therefore be it resolved that all here recognize and commend Spryfield's groundbreaking research project on parent abuse undertaken by the Captain William Spry Community Centre, Committee Against Woman Abuse and the Family Service Association which led a workshop advising participants of the few resources available, letting them know they are not alone. Also let it be known that this is still the only publicly accessible information on the subject in North America.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East.

RESOLUTION NO. 570

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

Whereas the Glace Bay Shoe Store is set to open its doors later this month on Commercial Street; and

Whereas this new business will fill a void in the community; and

Whereas this will create much-needed jobs in Glace Bay;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate owner Jimmy Huang and managers Cecil and Rita Saccary on the establishment of what hopefully will be a successful business venture.

[Page 1366]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: I would like to stand in my place today and speak about a subject that I have brought to this House on at least three other occasions and that is the beautiful Dominion Beach that is situated in the Town of Dominion. The reason I bring it to this House is because the beach itself was taken over in 1973 by what was then called the Department of Lands and Forests, which is now the Department of Natural Resources.

That beach is the only reasonable, suitable beach for swimming in the greater Sydney area. It is a recreation area for over 170,000 residents and it plays a vital role in the recreational aspects plus the tourism aspects. That beach, because of the lack of ongoing maintenance, is finding itself every year falling farther and farther behind as a worthwhile recreational facility.

[Page 1367]

Now, Mr. Speaker, one only has to go over and see the damage that is done. I suppose to really appreciate the ravages of that beach, one should go back and understand that in 1973, the then Progressive Conservative Government and, I believe, at that time the Minister of - again what was called - Lands and Forests, Mr. Streatch, toured that beach and when they took over, also in conjunction with the federal government, they began a renewal of that beach. A large part of renewal was parking lots, an extensive boardwalk system and some efforts to mitigate the erosion of the sand dunes.

Mr. Speaker, the mere fact that Dominion Beach is referred to locally as the sandbar tells one that it is basically sand and it shifts quite a bit with tidal action and, indeed coming out of the winter months, with the major ice floes in and out, it wreaks havoc on the sand dunes. What we are seeing now is that the sheer force and the lack of any kind of barrier, the ice has moved in so far during the past few winters that it is basically supplanting the boardwalk system. Even during the winter months, this beach is used by many, many residents as a recreation area. It is not just a summertime recreation area, it is full-time. Many residents use it to walk their dogs, to jog, to just go for a stroll and get out in the fresh air, but it is being inhibited because of the damage that is being done.

I have talked to the minister about this and I have talked to the ministers, as a matter of fact, in the previous Liberal Administration and I have continued on into this administration, Mr. Speaker, because as I said in my opening statement, it is a major piece of the tourism and recreation infrastructure. It is as much a part of the recreation infrastructure as an arena or a baseball field, because it is used seven days a week, 12 months a year. One only has to go over there whether it is when the sun is going up or the sun is going down, you will see residents from all parts of the CBRM.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I will just remind all members that cell phones are to be shut off while in the Chamber.

MR. CORBETT: I guess that is Don dialling for dollars, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, you will see people there when the sun comes up and the sun goes down, you will see people using that facility. Much has been said about what direction industrial Cape Breton is going to be shaped by in the next coming years. We have talked about and we can argue about this if you want, but I think this position isn't one that I will be taking today, the future of coal and steel. There is a feeling that we must get beyond that and I think a very real part of getting beyond that is the real investment in our natural recreational areas.

I talked about the beach as a recreational area for people who would do running or just a walk, whatever, but also it has a very interesting tourist aspect because it has probably one of the most sensitive ecosystems in all of Cape Breton. We all have talked many times in this House about the great attributes of natural beauty that the Island of Cape Breton has and sometimes we tend to overlook what is referred to as industrial Cape Breton because we just see it as that monolith of probably days gone by.

[Page 1368]

[9:30 a.m.]

I think, Mr. Speaker, if we look at that area and say, where can we start our economic renewal and a renewal for the people, I think nothing would speak louder than if this government was to invest in that facility. I think it would send out the message loud and clear that we see the potential of industrial Cape Breton not only for the years we have taken your natural resources and so on, we have seen this resource as one that can attract tourism. I think if all levels of government would get involved, be it municipal, obviously the provincial, who own that park, and the federal government, if we could all get together and invest in that park.

I thank you for the time to stand and talk about this very valuable piece of infrastructure we have in industrial Cape Breton and I would hope that the minister would hear these words, that the Premier will hear these words and support us in this bid of going forward.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand here today as well to address the House as we go into Supply. My comments are going to be straightforward with regard to what I have seen so far with this government since they took office a little over 600 days ago. This government came into power with a specific plan and a lot of rhetoric about how they were going to make some tough decisions. We have seen the effect of this government in regard to changing its mind in midstream to going forward with making some tough decisions that they needed to make.

This government brought a budget in just recently and that is basically what we are going to be talking about over the next period of time. Undoubtedly, we will be voting on the budget today after estimates. In that budget, this Minister of Finance pointed out that there will be a $91 million operating deficit for the upcoming year, a deficit that not only have I said before the budget was brought down but others have said, could have been eliminated if the government had made the right choices. It made choices in their view that were right and ultimately we end up with a $91 million operating deficit this year.

This Minister of Finance says we are on his plan. The Premier goes on and states they are on their plan. In reality, what the plan was was projecting a base revenue at a certain level. What did they have? They had a windfall of profit last year, a windfall of additional revenue, $249 million additional revenue that came into the coffers of the Province of Nova Scotia. So instead of using that money for strategic investments and dealing with the operating deficit, they didn't. They blew their opportunity. In fact, as we said time and time again, they could have not only balanced off the $91 million deficit to being balanced this year, they could have made some very strategic investments with the dollars left over for

[Page 1369]

health or education. There is an organization, a third party support group, that actually was out and saying publicly the same message: this government blew a great opportunity.

This government is also, it is very clear the fact that the Minister of Finance, who had the opportunity to make a difference and blew it, is also talking to the Premier and saying to the Premier, by the way, Premier, the comments you are making out there are okay. Those comments that the Premier is making, are saying that once we have a balanced budget, we will not grow the debt.

First, the Premier started to say we are not going to grow the debt, when he was running and when he was first elected, we will not grow the debt. The reality is the debt has grown each and every day that they have been in power. In the last year alone, the debt of the Province of Nova Scotia grew by $1.3 billion or $3.5 million a day. Then, the Premier, to questions that were asked in this House - Premier, why are you projecting in the budget estimates that you are, in fact, going to continue to grow the debt? Well, he couldn't answer, even though he said repeatedly, time and time again, in public that they are not going to grow the debt. In fact, they are. We have seen it.

In fact, we see that the debt of the Province of Nova Scotia will grow until the year 2005, and staff within the Minister of Finance's portfolio are saying until the year 2007. Obviously, the Premier did not know what he was talking about. Obviously, he is either misleading or he didn't know. I believe he probably just didn't know the reality of what was going on in the finances of the Province of Nova Scotia. I say, shame on the Premier; shame on the government, the Premier, the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party for not knowing what he is talking about with regard to the finances of the province.

Then he goes on and says that once we find balance, then we will stop the bloodletting of the deficit and the debt growing. They are projecting a surplus next year. In fact, they are projecting a surplus for the next three years going forward. In each and every one of those years, they are still growing the debt of the Province of Nova Scotia. The debt of the Province of Nova Scotia is going to continue to grow because this government is having surpluses on one hand and growing the debt on the other. I don't know if that is a formula for fiscal management, to me it isn't. They say it is a formula for fiscal management, it is their formula for fiscal management.

Mr. Speaker, I say Nova Scotians are scratching their heads and wondering what kind of formula they are really talking about. This a government that had choices and blew it. This is a government that has come out with a number of promises and has not lived up to those expectations. I will give you a couple of examples, other than what I have just mentioned. This government has stated repeatedly that they weren't going to increase taxes. We have seen, day after day after day, this government coming in with user fees and increased taxation burdens on Nova Scotians.

[Page 1370]

We have said, as the Liberal Party, for a long time now that this government is really going to tax Nova Scotians to the tune of in excess of the 10 per cent reduction they talked about in their blue book, and when they give that back, they are only going to give back the money they have taken from Nova Scotians. We are going to be showing that day after day in this House. Even the Opposition Party is jumping on the bandwagon that we brought forward on that issue and agreeing with us. Nova Scotians are agreeing with us, that this government is taxing - whether they are farmers or whether they are workers or whatever they do, they are being taxed and charged day after day to be a Nova Scotian citizen, only so that that Premier and that Minister of Finance and that government can then in turn say, here, I am going to give it all back, aren't we good people. Nova Scotians will not be fooled any longer.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

MR. JOHN CHATAWAY: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to address the House today. I certainly feel gratified to stand in my place. I realize, of course, that people who don't want to hear me talk, it isn't a lifetime sentence. I appreciate the opportunity, though, just to say a few things.

First of all, I find it tragic to watch a colleague experience the same fate that I did last year. I know all in this House wish the member for Cape Breton Nova a quick and a full recovery. His family appears enthusiastically optimistic. (Applause) May their hopeful wishes be fulfilled in his complete recovery. Certainly, I know an informal hands up for that person I think is well intended, and to all listening, you might do that.

With my case personally, I would like to thank the health care providers I had last year, they were all wonderful. Not only were they competent, but also very kind and encouraging. In my humble opinion, we have the best people in the world taking on these responsibilities of health care and the challenges of health care. (Applause)

Many people expressed to me heartfelt concerns and support, and many local churches offered me prayers for my recovery. When talking with these wonderful, genuine people you realize how seriously your life was being threatened.

All three Parties in this House have had a member suffer from a brain aneurysm. In my case, I am pleased to say that I am close to a full recovery, I would like to think so. But the complete transition of the member for Sackville-Cobequid was, for this person at least, a tremendous inspiration as well. Certainly he had a wonderful recovery.

The good news is that during these operations, they put all my brains back and things are once again working pretty well. (Applause) Seriously, I am honoured to be here in the midst of such an illustrious group of dedicated public figures whose record of service, especially with the veteran MLAs at least, is very well-known and respected.

[Page 1371]

As with the newly-elected MLAs, one awaits with eager anticipation his or her chance to become a participant in the challenge of governing this remarkable province. It's an honour being here among you, rookies and veterans, chosen as you are by your constituents to be their advocates. Being aware of this responsibility also creates a sense of humility. Many wish for this job, few are chosen. To be the recipient of the confidence of your constituents is something not to take lightly.

Chester-St. Margaret's has specialists in various areas and I would like to take a minute just about the campaign team that we experienced. Certainly, we had chores of canvassing, media relations, finance, policy, and maintaining our headquarters just to name a few. All these jobs presented challenges yet all were managed and the numerous crises were met with common sense and good humour. That's why we won and I am sure that many in this room experienced that as well. I would like to take this opportunity just to thank once again my dedicated campaign team.

Nova Scotia is a beautiful province, each area having unique and distinct charms and attributes. Thus, I can easily brag about Chester-St. Margaret's, but, while we do not have a monopoly on beauty, we do have our full, fair share.

We have much to be proud of in Nova Scotia generally and in Chester-St. Margaret's specifically. We are an adaptive society getting ready to meet the challenges of a new millennium - and challenges we certainly have. One is roads. Our party is committed to spend what is collected in gasoline taxes and licensing where it should be spent - on the road system itself. (Applause) This commitment was especially well received in rural parts of Nova Scotia, parts where the neglected roads gave a daily reminder of the former government's lack of determination to solve this problem. We also take a better government for Nova Scotians and I realize that time is getting on.

Our future though is positive, predicting growth at approximately 2.3 per cent and we are reducing foreign currency exposure from 31 per cent to 20 per cent by 2004. The Finance Minister stated that servicing, or interest payments, are approaching $1 billion a year. So long as we borrow, our debt servicing cost will continue to increase. This year we spend 20 cents for every dollar we have on interest payments, but we are fixing for the future. As taxpayers, we all have the right to expect and demand that our provincial government spend their money wisely and prudently. Ultimately, the people should expect this government to spend no more than it takes in.

At any rate, Mr. Speaker, I do realize that at some time or other I will have more time but I very much appreciate this opportunity. Thank you.

[Page 1372]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[9:46 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. William Dooks in the Chair.]

[1:47 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered 42 estimates and the Chairman has been instructed to recommend them to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege. On Wednesday, April 18th, I posed a question to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries with regard to having staff attend the Federation of Agriculture's Council of Leaders meeting. The minister replied back in Hansard that when a request is made on a holiday for the first time to appear on a day, it is very difficult to have staff come forward. I checked with the Federation of Agriculture and, in fact, the Federation of Agriculture contacted senior departmental staff about the meeting on April 11th to have senior staff attend to answer specific questions that they had posed.

AN HON. MEMBER: A week's notice.

MR. DOWNE: A week's notice. I contend that the minister misled the House, misled me and misled Nova Scotians. I would ask if you would give a ruling on this matter, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. ERNEST FAGE: I thank the Speaker for the opportunity to rise. Honourable member, when my staff was contacted and advised me of it, it was Monday afternoon and they requested somebody to come on a holiday. The previous week a contact was made with the department staff. The department staff person advised that he had holiday plans to be out of the province and that if they would like someone else to attend - and that message is documented at the Federation of Agriculture - that they would return the call and somebody else would attend. No call was received from the President of the Federation of Agriculture that they would like somebody else to attend and the matter was left at that. It was the obligation of the President of the Federation of Agriculture to request that somebody would

[Page 1373]

attend that meeting. That call was not made and did not occur and when I was recontacted, through a staff person at their home on a holiday, the request was made that somebody appear that afternoon. So the facts are indeed correct from our side of the equation.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table documents to point out that what the minister is saying is not quite the same as what I am being told and I would like you to review the information - and it wasn't the President of the Federation of Agriculture that he is referring to, I am talking about a senior person within the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture who spoke with Mr. Smith and relayed that if he couldn't be there that somebody should be there. It is a concern of the Federation of Agriculture's Council of Leaders that nobody showed up and that is why the minister then was called. They weren't requesting the minister to be there, they were just asking that senior staff be there to inform them on specific questions and when no one was able to show up or no one was able to be there, that is when they contacted the minister because the Federation of Agriculture's Council of Leaders were so disappointed that nobody was there.

I will table the information I have for you to review, Mr. Speaker. I request a ruling on behalf of that matter.

MR. SPEAKER: With regard to the point of privilege that the honourable member for Lunenburg West rose on, I will review Hansard, the documents that have been provided, and the information provided by both the minister and the member today and I will take it under advisement and report back to the House on a future date.

The motion is that the House concurs with the report of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 39 - Entitled an Act to Provide for Defraying Certain Charges and Expenses of the Public Service of the Province. (Hon. Neil LeBlanc)

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 1374]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, I move second reading of Bill No. 39, the Appropriations Act, 2001.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 39, the Appropriations Act, 2001.

A recorded vote has been called for.

We will ring the bells until the satisfaction of the Whips.

[1:52 p.m. ]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Are the Whips satisfied?

A recorded vote has been called on second reading of Bill No. 39, the Appropriations Act 2001. The Clerk will call the roll.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[1:58 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Rodney MacDonald Mr. Corbett

Mr. Christie Mr. Deveaux

Mr. Russell Ms. Maureen MacDonald

Dr. Hamm Mr. MacDonell

Mr. Muir Mr. Holm

Miss Purves Mr. Manning MacDonald

Mr. Fage Mr. Downe

Mr. Balser Mr. Gaudet

Mr. Parent Dr. Smith

Ms. MacGrath Mr. MacAskill

Mr. Ronald Chisholm Mr. Wilson

Mr. Olive Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Morse Mr. Samson

Mr. MacIsaac Mr. MacKinnon

Mr. DeWolfe Mr. Pye

Mr. Taylor Mr. Dexter

Mr. Dooks Mr. Robert Chisholm

Mr. Langille Mr. Estabrooks

[Page 1375]

Mr. Chataway Mr. Epstein

Mr. Clarke Mr. Steele

Mr. Hendsbee

Mrs. Baillie

Mr. Carey

Mr. Morash

Mr. Chipman

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Hurlburt

THE CLERK: For, 28. Against, 20.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 39.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 39. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again on Monday at the hour of 2:00 p.m.; the House will sit from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; on Tuesday from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m.; on Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.; on Thursday from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m.; and next Friday will be TBA, to be arranged.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 1376]

We are adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on Monday.

[The House rose at 2:02 p.m.]

[Page 1377]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 571

By: Ms. Mary Ann McGrath (Halifax Bedford Basin)

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

Whereas the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award is presented each year during Provincial Volunteer Week to recognize the outstanding contributions of young volunteers in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Youth Volunteer Award goes to a junior or senior high school student who has made significant contributions as a volunteer in their school and community; and

Whereas this year Natalie Parks has been named Youth Volunteer of the Year for her far-reaching volunteer efforts such as helping seniors in their homes and at Fairview Villa, assisting elementary school children with reading and math, giving time to the IWK-Grace and refereeing during the Special Olympics to name a few, as well as participating in many school activities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Natalie Parks on this award and for also receiving, just yesterday, her Bronze Level Duke of Edinburgh Award, which recognizes both her generosity and community-minded spirit, so admirable in one so young.

RESOLUTION NO. 572

By: Hon. Ernest Fage (Agriculture and Fisheries)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, in co-operation with the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, recently held its Outlook 2001 conference in Truro; and

Whereas the agri-food sector in Nova Scotia, and indeed around the world, is facing both challenges and opportunities as it looks to the future; and

[Page 1378]

Whereas Outlook 2001 brought together key opinion leaders from across the country to share their thoughts and research with industry and government leaders from Nova Scotia, and have provided a framework for the development and pursuit of new opportunities;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the provincial agriculture community for taking the initiative and actively participating in developing an understanding of the future directions of an industry that plays such a critical role in the economic prosperity of our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 573

By: Hon. Ernest Fage (Agriculture and Fisheries)

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

Whereas the knowledge economy has resulted in a world of rapid change where individuals often spend less than a year or two with a company before they move on; and

Whereas the cost associated with developing individuals within an organization or company is a significant contributor to their business expenses and can often result in inadequate customer management, administrative oversights, rework and missed opportunities; and

Whereas it is as important today as it was 50 years ago to have a team of committed staff who diligently perform their duties day in and day out, focused on the needs of their employer;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize those individuals who have achieved a degree of tenure within their organizations but more specifically, Cumberland Municipal Council Executive Secretary Connie Speight and Cumberland County employees Leonard MacDonald and Sandy Huntley who were recently honoured with 10 year pins.