The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Wed., June 20, 2001

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HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2001

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

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

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege. Earlier today, I witnessed at the Law Amendments Committee, that the Chairman of the Law Amendments Committee denied my colleagues who sat on the committee some basic and fundamental rights that are afforded them through the Rules and Forms of Procedure for the House of Assembly by denying the rights of the members on the committee the ability to call for a recorded vote, a standing vote, or any other recognized Rules and Forms of Procedure, or even to ring the bells for a notice.

My understanding is, according to the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly, they clearly state that the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House apply equally to the rules of the committee. Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you direct the Minister of Justice to uphold the laws and the Rules and Forms of Procedure for the House of Assembly. Given the fact that the Minister of Justice equally denied members access to legal counsel at the Law Amendments Committee this morning, to Legislative Counsel, to be able to provide a proper legal decision, because his conduct, in my view, was nothing short of contemptuous for the rights and the privileges of all members of the House.

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I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to allow all members of the House to be afforded the access to legal counsel on this matter and that you, in conclusion, direct the Minister of Justice to uphold the laws, not only of the Legislature but, in effect, the laws of the Province of Nova Scotia. Because he is the one, of all members, who has the Great Seal to protect the laws of justice and fairness of this province. What we witnessed this morning was bordering on a criminal act, to say the least. Thank you.

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

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I have, as you can tell, a copy of our Rules and Forms of Procedure for the House of Assembly. I just want, if I may, in support of the point of privilege that was just brought forward, to read but one rule called, Application of Rules; it is number one in the book, the first, therefore, the most important rule in it. It says, "The proceedings in the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia and in all committees of the House shall be conducted according to the following Rules."

Obviously, I won't read all of the following rules, but our number one rule is, obviously, that not only this House of Assembly but that the committees of this House are to follow the rules as laid out in our rule book and, therefore, obviously, the Minister of Justice must have been misguided or ill-informed because I am sure he wouldn't have done it intentionally. He would know, as the Minister of Justice, that he is bound as the Chairman of that committee to enforce the Rules of the House of Assembly and committees as spelled out in the Rule Book that we are required to follow.

MR. SPEAKER: Any other interveners on the point of privilege? The issue brought forward by the member for Cape Breton West certainly is a serious one. What I am prepared to do is take it under advisement and report back to the House as soon as I possibly can, when I can get out of the Chair and have an opportunity to discuss it.

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege about a very dangerous precedent which I have spoken about before in this House, but I think this morning was really borne to bear as to where this government is going and what message it is sending out to Nova Scotians. Needless to say, as you are well aware, security has been heightened in Province House, inside and outside of Province House, since we have been sitting here, with the barricades and everything else being outside.

This morning at the Law Amendments Committee, the Minister of Justice, who is the Chairman of that committee, chose to walk out as soon as Joan Jessome, President of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, began her presentation. As he walked out he was confronted by a number of the presenters and a number of the individuals who were in the Red Room, who called him to question for his actions. Mr. Speaker, immediately after

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the Minister of Justice left the Red Room, within a matter of minutes, a uniformed police officer was sent into the Red Room and posted in the Red Room directly above where the presenters were making their presentations. This sent a very clear message to those in the Red Room. It was that you are not to do anything to try to talk to the Tory members, or to the government members, or to the Attorney General. As if the armed officer wasn't insulting enough, the Minister of Justice in all of his wisdom, when he re-entered the Red Room, came in with a plainclothes, undercover armed officer right by his side who, once again, sat in the Chamber also.

When questioned, the Deputy Chairman, the member for Eastern Shore, at the time, and I believe even the Chairman said that he was not responsible for security and that it was you, as Speaker, who was responsible and you must have given the instructions to send the armed, uniformed officer into the Red Room while we were meeting. Now, Mr. Speaker, you were not there at that time to be able to say whether that was correct or not; it is sincerely my hope that it was not you who made that instruction. I have only been here for three years, but there are members who have been here much longer than I have and never before in the history of the House has it been seen that an armed, uniformed officer be posted inside the Red Chamber while Nova Scotians are appearing at the Law Amendments Committee.

The privileges of all members of this House is that we be permitted in this Chamber to have open and frank discussions, free of any encumbrances. Today, what we told Nova Scotians is that the rights we enjoy, they do not enjoy because their speech today was not open and free speech, it was being supervised by an armed officer and every action was being watched to see what was going to happen. Mr. Speaker, it has gone too far and it is up to you, as the one who is in charge of this House, to put an end to this. We are becoming a police state. We are sending a terrible message to Nova Scotians. Those watching the news tonight will see exactly what happened, because the media quite clearly noticed that this was not appropriate, and it will be reported in such a way.

I would ask you now, Mr. Speaker, to put an end to this, to make a clear ruling that there is not to be any armed officers, uniformed or not uniformed, in the Red Room when Nova Scotians are invited to come before that committee to make their presentations, and I would ask that you make a clear ruling once and for all on this issue.

MR. SPEAKER: Before I comment, if I could ask the honourable member for Richmond if the police officer went in there, if he actually prevented the presenters from either questioning (Interruptions)

Order, please.

I have a question for the honourable member for Richmond for my own good, if you don't mind. Did the officer prevent the presenters from presenting, or any of the members from responding? It is just a question.

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MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, what I would suggest to you, and in reviewing and in making your decision, it is to review the record of Hansard.

MR. SPEAKER: I will.

MR. SAMSON: And the presenters who were there when the officer came in made it quite clear how offended they were at seeing an officer enter the room immediately after this altercation which sent a clear message and they, themselves, it is on the record where they said we feel intimidated and the Tories are sending us a clear message as to what happened, they send in an armed, uniformed officer, that's the message being sent to them. The presenters, themselves, made that clear, a number of them, that it was intimidation. It was done intentionally and I would argue that it violates the privileges of all members of this House and all Nova Scotians that such actions are being permitted to take place by this government.

MR. SPEAKER: I thank the honourable member for Richmond for his point of privilege. If I could, first of all, say that the armed officers who have been over here the last few days, or here this morning, are absolutely not at the request of the government. The government has absolutely nothing to do with security in this building.

AN HON. MEMBER: This is your building, Mr. Speaker . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Let me finish for a change, please. There has been no presentation or representation from the government to me, since I have been in this office as Speaker, in regard to placing security in this building other than what I have brought forward at the Committee on Assembly Matters, which all Parties have members sitting at. In regard to the issue this morning of the uniformed officer going into the Red Room, the answer is no, I did not instruct anyone to send any officer (Interruption) Would you please let me finish? This place is made up of interruptions, not listening, no cooperation. Please, let me finish. You asked me and I am trying to explain.

I did not send an armed officer into the Red Room. I did instruct to have the armed officer brought out. When I became aware that, for whatever reason, obviously the officer felt he should go in, whether it was his fellow mate who was here with him who instructed him to go in or he went in on his own, I can tell you, the Speaker's Office did not instruct him to go in nor, to the best of my knowledge, did the gentleman who is in charge of security. I believe he responded to whatever was going on in the room at the time and I wasn't there, so I can't say. I did not send him in. However, when I became aware of it, I came up, I spoke to the sergeant who is in charge and asked him to remove the armed officer from the Red Room for the reasons you just stated a minute ago, which I happen to agree with. That is why I asked you if they prevented people from either presenting or returning court response.

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So, yes, I did ask to have him brought out of there. However, I want to stress security in this building is my responsibility and I am willing to stand up and defend it at any time. I can't be in every room in this building at one time, I have no idea what is happening but I am also responsible if someone is not there to respond to a situation if it does happen and it may never, and I hope it never does, but I am responsible, yes I am. I will stand by the decisions that are made by people who respond to the facts they have in front of them at the time and I did this morning. I came up and I asked the sergeant who was here to instruct his partner, who he is responsible for, to come out of the Red Room and not to have a uniformed officer in there.

[2:15 p.m.]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In regard to the same subject, if you didn't ask the officer to go in there and the government didn't ask the officer to go in there this morning, then the question that begs an answer is who did ask the officer to go in there and why was he there?

MR. SPEAKER: Again, the uniformed officer was certainly on this floor and I am certainly aware of that. There was a uniformed officer on the bottom floor and there was a uniformed officer on this floor, I know that. How he arrived in the Red Room, I have no idea but I will find out. When I came up this morning, I believe - and, again, I stand to be corrected - to the best of my knowledge, no one from government asked him to come in, to the best of my knowledge.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, on another point of order. We can settle this issue very quickly by you asking the officer if anybody asked him to go in the Red Chamber.

MR. SPEAKER: I will do that.

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that you use the term uniformed police officer. Now as much as our hard-working, undercover officers here wear visitor's badges, no one is being fooled by the fact that they are officers and that they are armed. If what you are saying is correct, I would also ask you to investigate who asked the plainclothes, female, undercover officer to escort the Minister of Justice back into the Red Room at the Law Amendments Committee meeting. She clearly walked in with him, it was not just a coincidence, and sat there and walked in with him. If you are not responsible for having instructed that, that is another instance. Everyone knew she was an undercover officer even though the plainclothes officer had left. So the message is still the same. I would ask you to also investigate whether it is the Minister of Justice or not who requested that that officer accompany him into the Law Amendments Committee meeting.

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MR. SPEAKER: The issue of the plainclothes officer, yes, I was aware of that. No one requested it. I don't know how she was assigned to the Minister of Justice but obviously this morning she was here (Interruptions) It is quite obvious as well, the Red Room is open to the public. Other than those who feel so paranoid, I guess, by uniformed officers which, for some reason, I can't understand, all of a sudden everyone is paranoid of a police officer being around this Legislature. (Interruptions) Yes, it is. (Interruptions) So are the police officers not allowed in the Legislature? (Interruptions) I have said it publicly and I will say it here, I actually feel quite comfortable with police officers around and if there was one at every door, it wouldn't bother me.

AN HON. MEMBER: It bothers us.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, I am sorry that people feel intimidated by police officers. (Interruptions) What is ironic about it is, I don't hear any outcry from the public about police officers being here.

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, you have five members of your caucus who serve on the Law Amendments Committee. I would ask you to speak, if you are wondering if there is any private Nova Scotian who was offended by it this morning, I would ask you to show more respect to Joan Jessome than your colleague, the Minister of Justice did, but to ask her and to ask the presenters with her and those in room whether they took any offence that as soon as after there was a demonstration towards the Minister of Justice, an armed, uniformed officer came in.

Mr. Speaker, with the highest respect to your previous profession, your statement that there should be nothing wrong with seeing uniformed, armed officers in the House of Assembly, in the oldest House of democracy in this country is a most dangerous statement. This is not a police state. Nova Scotians do not want a police state. As I said, the privileges of each member of this House is that we come in, we have open and free discussion. Having to go to a place that looks like Dorchester Penitentiary is not free and open discussion, okay?

It is going too far. What was the message? What was the message? As soon as there was a confrontation, an armed officer was sent in. When the Minister of Justice returned, a plainclothes officer was sent in. That is not normal, Mr. Speaker, and for you to say that you can't understand how anyone would take offence to that or be bothered by that is very disturbing to hear. I think it is quite clear that members of this House, we have been here quite a long time and we have not seen this before. This should not be a precedent, it is unacceptable, and I certainly do hope that you will put an end to this farce.

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MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that you don't feel uncomfortable with the presence of uniformed police officers in the House and on the grounds, but there is another layer to this which I couldn't help but notice yesterday as well, and I want to raise it with you because I think it pushes yet further the presence of the uniformed police officers on the grounds, and that is this: There appeared to be a uniformed police offer here yesterday who had a telephoto lens on a camera, who appeared to be taking photographs of people who were attending at the House. These kinds of invasive procedures, in my view, are designed to intimidate people.

The message is very, very clear to the members of the public: If you come here you are going to be photographed taking part in these proceedings, you are doing things that may be conceived to be against the interests of the government. This is the kind of message that is being sent. I am not so sure that that is what you are intending to send, but I have to say it is very troubling for people who believe firmly in the democratic rights of the public and the citizenry of this province to participate in this process.

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure on whose instructions they are here, but it is indeed very troubling.

MR. SPEAKER: Just for clarification. The honourable member for Richmond rose on a point of personal privilege in regard to the uniformed police officer and why that gentleman was in the Red Room. I will ascertain that and report back to the House.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I would like to say I feel, on behalf of a number of members in this Legislature, that we appreciate you looking after the rights, privileges and well-being of all members in this House. I don't think there has been an unfriendly confrontation with police officers and members in this Legislature. I would like to say that I believe that what you are doing is right, and I don't think any concerns they have are concerns that are very valid, they are nothing more than grandstanding.

MR. SPEAKER: That wasn't a point of order, but it was certainly a good point. (Interruptions) Order, please.

The subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Pictou East:

Therefore be it resolved that yesterday's announcement regarding the shipbuilding industry be acknowledged as a first step in assisting Nova Scotia's shipyards.

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

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We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order just before we move on. Obviously time is of the essence on the point of personal privilege I raised, because the Law Amendments Committee is meeting as the Assembly has convened. I would ask if perhaps you could check with Legislative Counsel, while both of them are here, to ascertain whether my point of personal privilege is valid or not.

MR. SPEAKER: I will. As I said, when I get through the business here, I will deal with that when we have a chance to discuss it.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform the House of an issue that is a priority for the Department of Transportation and Public Works, and that is the safety of the men and women who work on our roads and highways. As construction season is now underway across this province, hundreds of Nova Scotians are putting on hard hats, safety vests and steel-toed boots and are heading out to the various work sites across this province. These workers are trained to put safety first. Departmental employees must take occupational health and safety training, and private contractors must be safety-certified before working on our roads and highways.

Safety is a priority for us in the roadwork, and today I want to emphasize for the travelling public how critical it is that they also have the safety of our workers in mind as they drive across this province. There are two major factors that we need all motorists to think about when they approach a construction area. First, to reduce their speed; second, to drive with extra caution as they move through construction areas.

Mr. Speaker, as you well know, there are a number of construction areas around the province at the present time that does, to some extent, impede traffic. However, we would ask that drivers take that into consideration. We know first-hand that inattention in this regard can cost lives, the lives of highway workers. In many cases, the only line of defence for road workers is a traffic control person and an orange pylon. Imagine sitting at your desk and having a vehicle roar by at 110 kilometres per hour. Imagine, instead of one motorist, it is a steady stream of vehicles, and go one step further and imagine how quickly that flow

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of traffic can turn into a tragic statistic with one simple error in judgement. Today I am asking the motoring public to use common sense and to slow down. Moving at high speeds through construction areas is not safe, nor is it legal.

Mr. Speaker, the people who work on our highways know that safety is a critical success factor in their jobs. They rely on motorists to complete that equation. Prudent driving speeds and strict attention to our signage and traffic control people are crucial elements in the lives of our road workers. As we look at the summer ahead, we are determined that we get this message out to the travelling public. That is why, beginning next week, the Department of Transportation and Public Works will be sponsoring an advertising campaign aimed at increasing awareness around this issue, particularly with motorists.

I encourage all members of the House to take the message back to their constituents. Our people work hard and they deserve a safe working environment. Accidents happen in an instant and change lives forever. Each and every one of us should think of this next time we see construction ahead. (Applause)

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, the statement which I have just heard, and I know we have many other busy commitments today, getting it in advance was not necessary in this case. I think it is of some concern to point out that we have some construction sites, some highway construction happening. I wish we had a lot more and I think the minister does too. I am aware of the fact of a terrible, unfortunate accident out in the Miller Lake area, on the road to the airport, a number of summers ago, and how unfortunate that was at that time.

It is also important to point out to the motoring public, and I hope this is included in the advertising, and I hope the advertising is on appropriate stations that are going to be able to get the message out there, that there is not just common sense, there is the deterrent of increased fines. In temporary worksites, temporary highway construction, there are going to be increased fines now because of legislation that the minister agreed to bring forth because the NDP pushed that particular envelope and made sure that it was done. Not that we are taking credit for such legislation, but let's be clear, what is going to work is enforcement and proper fines, making sure these motorists are aware of how we are going to make sure, not just through enforcement, but we are going to get them in their pocketbook. It is, after all, a busy time of the year for tourists, for motorists moving around this province. I do concur, it is time to slow down, it is time to respect our highway workers and the very dangerous job they do throughout the busy summer months ahead. Thank you for your time.

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[2:30 p.m.]

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I would like to echo the comments of both previous speakers, safety is the number one concern and priority for all Nova Scotians. It is important that our government body that is in charge of such issues ensure that every available opportunity is taken to promote the idea of safety and make motorists realize how easy it is to forget, especially when you get on the 100-Series Highways and you are travelling along at these high speeds that are certainly in excess of what you would see on secondary roads. It is very easy to be cajoled into kind of a state of complacency, even though you don't realize it. You always have to be alert.

That having been said, I am a little disappointed, as well, that our occupational health and safety laws have been relaxed at the same time the minister is advocating additional safety so that's a real disappointment. His own government reports show that the number of preventable time-loss accident have increased, and I am sure some of those are on highways. I am also disappointed that, perhaps, for example, down in Colchester County where we have five highway work crews but we only have one flagging crew. Those crews can go out and work only one out of every five weeks, on a rotational basis. It is absolute disgrace.

The same is equally so for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, where there is only one flag crew for the entire Cape Breton County. The progress has been retarded, quite substantially, because of government cutbacks and the relaxation of safety laws. That having been said, even the fact that the minister will stand and raise the issue of safety is a positive. I congratulate him on that, but put the money where his mouth is. Get those crews out in the field, the more safety crews we see out there the better it is, because they are worked to the limit. We wouldn't want to see the same thing happen with them as what is happening with our nurses, where they are working a lot of overtime and are stressed and strained. That in itself would become a safety issue. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 1749

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

Whereas a former Progressive Conservative member for Dartmouth North, Mr. Gerry Wambolt, passed away June 14th following a courageous battle with cancer; and

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Whereas Gerry Wambolt not only served the people of this province through his service as MLA between 1968 and 1970, but served previously at the municipal level for the people of Dartmouth as Alderman for Ward 5; and

Whereas in addition to his fine public service and work in the insurance industry, this former member was a tremendous community person serving on numerous boards and committees such as the Dartmouth North Boy Scouts and the Shelburne Home for Boys and, of course, his never-ending service through various positions within his church, Emmanuel Anglican in North Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members stand for a moment of silence to pay our respects for the former member and friend of this Legislature, Mr. Gerry Wambolt, and send to his wife, Lillian, our sincere condolences.

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.

We will rise for one moment of silence for Mr. Gerry Wambolt.

[One minute of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER: Please be seated.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 1750

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

Whereas over 2,000 Nova Scotians each year suffer brain injury; and

Whereas brain injuries are largely preventable and accidental occurrences that can result in long-term disabling effects; and

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Whereas the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia promotes and contributes to an environment that supports brain injury prevention and is responsive to the needs of people affected by brain injury;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the month of June 2001 as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Nova Scotia, and congratulate the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia for its worthwhile work.

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 Tourism and Culture.

RESOLUTION NO. 1751

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as the Minister responsible for the administration of the Liquor Control Act, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas it is important for alcohol not to be served and bought for those who have not reached the age of 19; and

Whereas in an ongoing effort to heighten awareness of the problem of underage drinking, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation will, from June 22nd to June 30th, launch its Don't Buy for Minors Campaign; and

Whereas as part of the campaign, the Liquor Corporation will be utilizing the Check 25 program, in which anyone 25 or younger will be asked to provide proof of age;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation employees' campaign to cut down on underage drinking.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1752

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: M. le président, à une date ultérieure, j'ai l'intention de proposer l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que cet après-midi, le ministère du Patrimoine canadien et la Province de la Nouvelle-Écosse signeront une entente de coopération en éducation, à l'école du Carrefour à Dartmouth; et

Attendu que cette coopération fédérale-provinciale a rendu possible le développement des services éducatifs en français en Nouvelle-Écosse; et

Attendu que l'établissement des écoles francophones rejoint maintenant toutes les régions de la province;

Qu'il soit résolu que cette assemblée félicite les participants à cette entente, qui est de la plus grande importance pour l'épanouissement de l'éducation en français dans cette province.

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

Whereas this very afternoon, Canadian Heritage and the Province of Nova Scotia will be signing an agreement of co-operation in education at the Carrefour in Dartmouth; and

Whereas this federal-provincial partnership has made possible French education services in this province; and

Whereas the establishment and development of francophone schools in this province has expanded to all areas of this province, and will continue to expand;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all the participants in this agreement, so essential to the growth of Acadian/French education 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 Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 1753

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

Whereas the aquaculture industry in Nova Scotia provides employment, new opportunities and economic benefits to many coastal communities; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries continues to work with coastal communities in the responsible development of aquaculture as a viable industry; and

Whereas during the course of the past two years, the farm-gate value in Nova Scotia's aquaculture industry has doubled from $25 million to $50 million;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the successful growth of fish farming in Nova Scotia and its potential benefits for our coastal communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1754

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

Whereas Sophie Mack Steadman, a native of Weymouth, and an early crusader for equity in employment in the federal Public Service, died this week in Ottawa at the age of 105; and

Whereas Ms. Steadman campaigned for the Famous Five in their fight to allow women to sit in the Canadian Senate, was active in the National Council of Woman, and the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women;

Therefore be it resolved that this House note the passing of one of the Canadian pioneers for women's equality, a tireless worker for women's rights for the length of her remarkably long life.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1755

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

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Whereas the practice of law in Nova Scotia has turned a new leaf with the call to the Bar of Tuma Young; and

Whereas as the first Mi'kmaq-speaking lawyer in Nova Scotia, Tuma Young will be invaluable to the Mi'kmaq community and to this province's legal environment, and will help to bridge gaps between the courts and the Mi'kmaq people; and

Whereas the significance of this event was marked by the first sitting of Nova Scotia's Supreme Court on a Mi'kmaq reserve;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Tuma Young on his admission to the Bar and acknowledge the significance his call to the Bar will mean to the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia and the legal system of this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

RESOLUTION NO. 1756

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

Whereas the Department of Transportation and Public Works, the Department of Education, and the Nova Scotia highway workers have sponsored a workplace education program for workers; and

Whereas workplace education certificates will, this week, be awarded to 33 employees of the Department of Transportation and Public Works; and

Whereas the employees have successfully completed the 80 hour program, which includes literacy upgrading and pre-GED studies;

[Page 5579]

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations to those employees for their hard work.

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 Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 1757

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

Whereas our seniors have made a valuable contribution to this province, and their contribution is one in which they improve upon each day through the many volunteer activities so many donate their time to; and

Whereas it is important for all Nova Scotians to show how much they appreciate all that our seniors have accomplished and contribute; and

Whereas to celebrate the volunteer work of the province's senior citizens, the week of June 17th to June 23rd has been declared Seniors Week in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the volunteer efforts of our seniors on the occasion of Seniors Week.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 5580]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 1758

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

Whereas the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors recognizes and celebrates advancements and excellence in new food distribution industry products with the annual Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award; and

Whereas a 20 member jury of consumers, media, and food industry experts from across Canada selects winners based on innovation, packaging and design, environmental impact, pricing, taste, nutritional value and overall benefits to the consumer; and

Whereas High Liner Foods Incorporated, one of the province's most progressive companies, aims to provide consumers with products that combine taste, value, nutrition and quality;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate and recognize High Liner Foods Incorporated for being recognized by its industry peers, having been awarded two prizes for its Salmon Fillets in a Light Dill Sauce, including the "All Canadian" New Product Grand Prix Award and the best-selling product in the prepared fillet category.

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.

[Page 5581]

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

Whereas Clean Nova Scotia is a non-profit environmental organization that works with Nova Scotians to help them understand the importance of environmental responsibility, and provides them with the information they need to make responsible decisions about the environment; and

Whereas saving the environment does not necessarily mean extra economic costs, Clean Nova Scotia has introduced initiatives aimed at helping businesses and organizations learn about what they can do to cut down on energy costs and thereby use resources responsibly; and

Whereas through the launch of its Climate Change Action Centre, Clean Nova Scotia is aiming to expand awareness about climate change and its effects on our environment by securing support from retailers, businesses and organizations who can educate the public by influencing their customers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Clean Nova Scotia for undertaking this initiative and encourage retailers, businesses and organizations to come forward as opinion leaders and take on the challenge to encourage and promote responsible use of fossil fuels.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

[2:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The resolution is too long. (Interruptions)

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1759

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

Whereas it is important for seniors, low income earners and disabled persons to be able to get to work, class and essential appointments; and

Whereas in May, the government announced the establishment of the Community Transportation Assistance Program, which will invest $500,000 a year in inclusive transportation service in rural and semi-rural Nova Scotia; and

[Page 5582]

Whereas under the program, individuals, community volunteer organizations and local businesses will work together to develop lasting viable transportation services for those who cannot use public transport;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support those who respond to the opportunities to create initiatives aimed at eliminating the transportation barriers some of our citizens face.

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 Tourism and Culture.

RESOLUTION NO. 1760

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

Whereas butterflies often provide a wondrous sight, with their fantastic colours, as they visit gardens across Nova Scotia over the summer months; and

Whereas an opportunity to view live, exotic butterflies will be available to all Nova Scotians when the Museum of Natural History officially opens its popular butterfly pavilion on July 1st; and

Whereas during the display, a new shipment of 100 chrysalises will arrive at the museum every two weeks, with each shipment containing about 20 tropical species, mostly from South and Central America;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House encourage as many people as possible to visit the butterfly pavilion at the Museum of Nova Scotia History and thank the organizers for again putting on such a marvellous display.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5583]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 1761

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

Whereas Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik visited Halifax on June 5th and June 6th; and

Whereas during a meeting with Premier Okalik, he and I had the opportunity to discuss a variety of issues, including energy and infrastructure; and

Whereas earlier this year, Premier Okalik was one of the first Premiers to show support for the Campaign for Fairness;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Premier Okalik for taking the time to visit our province and for his support of the Campaign for Fairness.

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 responsible for the administration of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

[Page 5584]

RESOLUTION NO. 1762

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 Avalon Sexual Assault Centre held a successful annual general meeting on Monday of this week; and

Whereas the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre provides a valuable service to women and the community, by assisting and counselling women who are victims of sexual assault, and helping them on the critical process of recovery;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations to the Avalon Centre and its dedicated staff and volunteers on a new year of valuable and vital service to women in our community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1763

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 provincial government and Nova Scotia's daily newspapers have signed an agreement committing the newspapers to providing the Resource Recovery Fund with $10 worth of free advertising for every ton of newsprint purchased; and

Whereas this agreement provides the province with an excellent opportunity to inform Nova Scotians about the value of recycling and the importance of the environment; and

[Page 5585]

Whereas this step forward was taken by The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, The Daily News, the Amherst Daily News, the Cape Breton Post, the Truro Daily News, New Glasgow's Evening News, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Resource Recovery Fund and the province's daily newspapers on striking this positive agreement and encourage enterprises across the province to search out ways that they can implement recycling initiatives in the workplace.

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 Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 1764

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

Whereas the second annual Natural Resources Exhibition took place on Saturday, June 16, 2001; and

Whereas almost 60 exhibitors, double the exhibitors of last year, attracted more than 2,200 visitors to the event; and

Whereas the exhibition provides an ideal opportunity to learn more about natural resources, the communities they support and their future sustainability;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Chairman James K. Reid and all those who have worked so hard in organizing this most successful event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5586]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister responsible for Acadian Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 1765

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: M. le président, par la présente, ja'avise cette assemblée que je proposerai à une date ultérieure l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

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

Whereas the Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse recently launched a business incubation centre with the Collège de l'Acadie; and

Whereas this initiative of the Conseil de développement économique is a joint venture between the federal and provincial governments, involving amongst others, the Collège de l'Acadie, ACOA, the Western Valley Development Authority and Industry Canada; and

Whereas this centre will benefit new and traditional businesses in the Acadian regions by offering them networking opportunities, financial counselling and services, as well as management and marketing techniques;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all the participants for their innovative approach and their contribution to this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice. (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, they are giving me a hard time over there.

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 5587]

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1766

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

Whereas Yarmouth resident and RCMP officer Craig Smith was the first African-Nova Scotian to graduate from the Dalhousie School of Pharmacy in 1974; and

Whereas he diligently compiled a resource guide on the many achievements and contributions of the Black community in Nova Scotia and nationwide, called Journey: An African Canadian History Study Guide; and

Whereas this guide has recently been recognized for being a valuable resource tool for teachers in this province by being chosen as supporting reference material for a compulsory Canadian history course being introduced by the Department of Education;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend RCMP officer Craig Smith for his outstanding commitment to educating our province's youth and for encouraging awareness of African-Canadians and their achievements and contributions to our society.

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 Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 1767

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

Whereas we recently celebrated the official opening of the Musquodoboit Central Elementary School at the Musquodoboit Forestry Complex; and

[Page 5588]

Whereas this new complex is a symbol of a very unique and innovative partnership; and

Whereas the Departments of Education and Natural Resources were able to share resources and therefore provide a cost-effective and efficient solution for the community's school situation;

Therefore be it resolved that we applaud those responsible for this magnificent new complex, and this unique and very important partnership.

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 1768

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

Whereas at month's end, Dr. David Large will retire after 30 years in family practice in Liverpool and at the Queens General Hospital; and

Whereas the community of Liverpool and the staff at Queens General Hospital will sorely miss Dr. Large, especially since they have tried unsuccessfully for two years to find a replacement to take over his practice; and

Whereas Dr. Large's commitment to the Queens General extended far beyond the walls of the hospital where he worked and into the community and the lives of the Queens County citizens;

[Page 5589]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Dr. David Large of Liverpool on 30 years of providing health care to Queens County and wish him a pleasurable 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 Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1769

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

Whereas nurses from District Health Authority 5 voted 87 per cent in favour of striking; and

Whereas District Health Authority 5 covers All Saints in Springhill, Highland View in Amherst, South Cumberland in Parrsboro, and Bayview in Advocate; and

Whereas the introduction of Bill No. 68 no doubt infuriated nurses and prompted them to vote in favour of striking;

Therefore be it resolved that this government show nurses and health care workers the respect they deserve, and immediately throw out Bill No. 68.

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 5590]

The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 1770

MR. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Adsum House, an emergency shelter for homeless women and their children, relies on the generosity of their community to continue its work; and

Whereas over a two year period, the dealers of metro's seven Canadian Tire stores have supported the women and children and Adsum House through donations of $10,000 each year; and

Whereas the generosity of this Canadian retailer will go a long way to supporting the generosity of this shelter;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the metro Canadian Tire retailers for making a real difference in the lives of women and children in need of shelter.

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. 1771

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

[Page 5591]

Whereas the Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Law Amendments Committee did not see fit to sit in his place this morning and listen to the leader of the largest public sector union in this province; and

Whereas the Minister of Justice protested that going to the bathroom was more important than listening to Joan Jessome express the concerns of her members who are directly affected by Bill No. 68; and

Whereas the complete lack of judgment and rudeness shown by the Minister of Justice further demonstrates this government's lack of understanding and respect for the health care workers of this province;

Therefore be it resolved that this House censure this Minister of Justice for his disgraceful performance this morning at the Law Amendments Committee on behalf of this Tory Government.

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 Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 1772

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

Whereas nurses from District Health Authority 8 voted 88 per cent in favour of striking; and

Whereas DHA 8 covers Cape Breton Regional, New Waterford, Northside, Inverness, Victoria County, Buchanan and Sacred Heart; and

Whereas the introduction of Bill No. 68 no doubt infuriated nurses and prompted them to vote in favour of striking;

[Page 5592]

Therefore be it resolved that this government show nurses and health care workers the respect they deserve and immediately throw out Bill No. 68.

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 Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1773

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 Chronicle-Herald has recently signed an agreement to buy new presses; and

Whereas The Chronicle-Herald's roots date back to the Novascotian, the newspaper published by Joseph Howe; and

Whereas The Chronicle-Herald is the last large independent daily newspaper in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate The Chronicle-Herald on its substantial new investment and its commitment to publishing an independent newspaper in Nova Scotia for 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.

[Page 5593]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 1774

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

Whereas the Standing Committee on Law Amendments will not accord enough time for public participation in the debate on Bill No. 68, the take what we're offering you and shut up or else Act; and

Whereas the chief villain in the piece, the feisty Minister of Justice and chairman of the committee, will let hundreds of voices go unheard as this government stampedes this bill through the House; and

Whereas the Minister of Justice fled the Red Chamber this morning, pursued by a number of persons determined to have their say on this inflammatory bill in spite of the minister's efforts to curb debate;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Justice save himself the indignity of running away from the public, reconsider limiting the public's right to be heard on Bill No. 68 and allow the Standing Committee on Law Amendments to thoroughly canvass the issue.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[3:00 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1775

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

[Page 5594]

Whereas nurses from District Health Authority 1 voted 90 per cent in favour of striking; and

Whereas DHA 1 covers HSA, Bridgewater and Lunenburg, and Queens General; and

Whereas the introduction of Bill No. 68 no doubt infuriated the nurses and prompted them to vote in favour of the strike;

Therefore be it resolved that this government show nurses and health care workers the respect they deserve and immediately throw out Bill No. 68.

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 Dartmouth South.

RESOLUTION NO. 1776

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

Whereas Nova Scotia is proud to have an efficient, caring and dedicated palliative care service for patients requiring special assistance in their time of greatest need; and

Whereas over the past few weeks, nurses Louise Pothier and Francoise St. Denis provided palliative care services to Frances Horner, my mother-in-law, who on Saturday lost her battle with cancer while at home in the care of her family; and

Whereas the care provided by the family would not have been possible without the dedication and professional support of Louise and Francoise and the Palliative Care Division in the Department of Health;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House show their appreciation for the professional and dedicated nurses who provide palliative care in Nova Scotia, in particular Louise Pothier and Francoise St. Denis, and thank them for their support to all those families who find themselves needing this vital service during very difficult personal times.

[Page 5595]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Applause)

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1777

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

Whereas Shubenacadie residents have been trying for over 30 years to have sidewalks restored to their village core; and

Whereas the cost of new sidewalks has been beyond the financial ability of the affected residents; and

Whereas Mr. Harry Smith, who already donated his century-old tin smith shop to the village, has now donated $60,000 towards sidewalks for the village, making construction of 200 metres now possible;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Smith for his remarkable generosity towards his neighbours and giving the Village of Shubenacadie $60,000 for the construction of sidewalks.

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 5596]

The motion is carried.

The honorable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 1778

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

Whereas according to media reports, the brown spruce longhorn beetle is making its way across the province; and

Whereas Harrietsfield is the latest community which shows signs of the dangerous insect; and

Whereas other areas of our province could be under threat from this hungry beetle, that could destroy much of our valuable timber;

Therefore be it resolved that the Department of Natural Resources take this threat very seriously and do everything in its power to control the spread of the brown spruce longhorn beetle.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 1779

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

Whereas Open to the World - Nova Scotia Energy Forum took place on June 13th and June 14th; and

[Page 5597]

Whereas the event was well attended and enjoyed by many leaders from the various sectors of the energy industry; and

Whereas the discussions during this forum brought forth many ideas regarding the development of Nova Scotia's energy industry;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the participants of the Energy Forum for their input in developing a comprehensive energy policy.

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. 1780

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

Whereas women make up 97 per cent of the nurses in the profession today; and

Whereas women have traditionally earned substantially less than men in their working careers; and

Whereas this Tory Government is seeking to perpetuate this injustice by continuing to mistreat nurses as second-class workers by proposing only marginal salary increases;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government stop gender-based discrimination against nurses and offer nurses a fair wage offer.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5598]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Eastern Shore.

RESOLUTION NO. 1781

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

Whereas Jennifer Churchill has been chosen as 1 of 103 Canadian Army Cadets to represent Canada in the 2001 International Army Cadet Exchange Program; and

Whereas Jennifer was selected from her region on the basis of excellent physical fitness, status within her cadet corps, and top marks on the national cadet exams; and

Whereas Jennifer, a committed team player, is now focused on being a goodwill ambassador for the Army Cadets of Canada and will travel to Italy to experience Italian culture first-hand and to learn about the nation's military;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jennifer Churchill on being chosen for the Army Cadet Exchange Program and acknowledge the hard work and good character which placed her among a select group of Canadian youths.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

[Page 5599]

RESOLUTION NO. 1782

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's economy continues to move forward in a vibrant manner; and

Whereas an excellent example of the economy's strength is the recent expansion at Debert-based Kohler Windows; and

Whereas this is the third expansion in the past five years for Kohler Windows, the largest door and window maker in Atlantic Canada, employing 180 people and possibly even 200 during peak times of the year;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature, through this resolution, extend its congratulations to Kohler President Brian MacPhee and his staff on the expansion and wish the company many more years of 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 member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1783

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

Whereas 55 per cent of all pork production in Nova Scotia takes place in Kings County with a large percentage of that 55 per cent situated in my constituency of Kings West; and

Whereas the Larsen Meat packing plant in Berwick plays a pivotal role in Nova Scotia's hog industry, as more than 180,000 of the 220,000 hogs come through the Berwick plant;

[Page 5600]

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature commend the Nova Scotia Pork Industry and Larsen Packers of Berwick for playing an important role in Nova Scotia's economy.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 1784

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

Whereas Trevor Dalby was recently selected as the Region of Queens' star SuperHost from among the nearly 350 ballots submitted by Queens' SuperHost businesses; and

Whereas Trevor is a five year Liverpool Home Hardware employee and was nominated by approximately 50 customers who described Trevor as polite, friendly, helpful, dedicated, familiar with the products, while offering great service; and

Whereas all ballots were collected and sent to Halifax for judging with the Nova Scotia Tourism Industry Association making the final choice;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in this House of Assembly, through this resolution, extend our sincere congratulations to Liverpool Home Hardware employee Trevor Dalby and wish him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 5601]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1785

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

Whereas Lunenburg will be the site of the largest family reunion the region has ever seen when it celebrates its 250th birthday in 2003; and

Whereas a group associated with Lunen-Links are planning a five day event starting July 23, 2003 that will unite approximately 1,400 immigrants who made Lunenburg home when it was founded in 1753; and

Whereas many events are planned, including tours, a possible boat trip from Halifax to Lunenburg, and a variety of services that will appeal to those interested in local history and genealogy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate those who are involved in the organization of the 2003 reunion for their pride in their ancestry and their interest in the history of their community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

[Page 5602]

RESOLUTION NO. 1786

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

Whereas many tales have been told about the 'big catch', with the trouble always being whether the big catch actually took place; and

Whereas there was no doubting Joe Richard's and Bill MacEachern's story about their big catch as they recently brought home an 11 pound trout from a secret fishing spot; and

Whereas it took hard work by both Joe and Bill to land this big catch as their fishing hook wasn't set too deeply and the fish was simply too big for the net;

Therefore be it resolved that Joe Richard keep secret his favourite fishing hole in which he allegedly blindfolded Bill MacEachern before taking him there, to maintain that secret and enjoy many more fishing expeditions with his friend.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

RESOLUTION NO. 1787

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

Whereas the Strait Regional School Board, the Teachers Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees honoured 42 retiring staff members on June 9, 2001; and

Whereas those honoured from Guysborough County included: Barbara Anderson, a teacher at St. Mary's Education Centre; Ronald Bond, a bus driver in the Canso area for 37 years; Leo Duggan, a teacher at St. Mary's Academy for 30 years; Donna Lewis, a teacher

[Page 5603]

at Fanning Memorial for 35 years; Doug and Judy Lumsden, both teachers at Canso Academy for 30 years; Bernie MacDonald, a bus driver in the Canso area for 29 years; and Joe Marriott, a bus driver in the Canso area for 17 years; and

Whereas these individuals have clearly demonstrated a commitment to the education and safety of generations of this community's children as well as dedication to their professions;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these outstanding men and women and thank them for all their hard work.

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 Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 1788

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

Whereas the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has recognized six local teachers for their individual creativity, innovation and effectiveness in teaching with the Excellence in Teaching Award; and

Whereas while these teachers' accomplishments are extensive, spanning years of work, certain efforts stand out, like Ian Brushett's crucial contributions to French immersion; Anne Henderson and Mary MacCallum, who have worked extensively on their school's improvement plan and introduced and organized student-led conferencing; and

Whereas teacher Judith Burton is considered second to none, with her school resource program; as well as Adele Campbell, known for her dedication in bringing out the best in her students; and Linda Murray, a leader in mathematics and reading instruction;

[Page 5604]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these teachers for their Excellence in Teaching Awards, and acknowledge them as leading examples of the profession of teaching in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

[3:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 1789

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

Whereas three members of the Middleton High School Track Club were the big winners at the Nova Scotia Athletic Federation Provincial Track and Field Championships held in Lower Sackville earlier this month; and

Whereas Erin MacLean captured three gold medals in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 metre races, while Ryan Elmore took home a gold in the 100 metre race and a bronze in the 200 Senior Boys Class; and

Whereas Allison Letourneau rounded out the medal contingent taking home silver medals in the 800 and 1,500 metre Junior Girls;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs acknowledge the tremendous efforts put forth by these three students, while wishing both Ryan and Erin all the success in their training efforts and a chance to represent Nova Scotia at the Canada Games in London, Ontario, later this summer.

[Page 5605]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

RESOLUTION NO. 1790

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

Whereas Nova Scotia lobstermen experienced one of the best lobster seasons in recent memory, with prices for catches spiking in March to $11 per pound and dropping back to $6.25 per pound by late May; and

Whereas approximately 1,700 boats carried 5,000 captains and crew members over 21,000 square kilometres of ocean available to them from the start of the season last November, while thousands more on land packed and shipped lobster to various destinations around the world; and

Whereas a combination of high landings and high prices made this season an exceptional one for all those involved in the industry;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the hard work of those who participate in the lobster harvesting industry each year and congratulate them on their record catches.

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 5606]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 1791

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

Whereas the Halifax International Airport, residing in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, is Atlantic Canada's principal full-service airport, welcoming more than 3 million passengers per year; and

Whereas the Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) has recently reported strong financial results and will invest part of its surplus in capital improvements to the main lobby, adding new and expanded retail and food and beverage outlets; and

Whereas the new retail and food and beverage outlets, targeted for completion in 2002, are expected to provide a sizeable increase in revenue and will increase concession employment by 40 per cent, right in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the developments at the Halifax International Airport and applaud the Airport Authority for expanding the services clients demand and for continuing to increase its contributions to the provincial and local economies.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

[Page 5607]

RESOLUTION NO. 1792

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

Whereas childhood energy is boundless and children need to climb, romp, and play, and the Dartmouth Kiwanis Club is making sure there is a fully accessible and safe environment in downtown Dartmouth where kids can be kids; and

Whereas Phase 1 of the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal Park project has been successfully completed and was made possible with the co-operation of the provincial and municipal governments, Dartmouth's private sector, and the Dartmouth Kiwanis Club; and

Whereas this park is also an important addition to Alderney Gate, transforming the Dartmouth waterfront into an attractive destination and, on completion of its second phase, will include new pathways, lighting and benches;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud these community-minded partners for their initiative and for creating a new, fun and secure park for children and families and wish the planners all the best as they work to complete Phase 2 by their August 1st deadline.

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. 1793

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

Whereas over the past week volunteers at Springfield Lake Rec Centre erected a memorial for their past president who passed away after a courageous battle with cancer; and

[Page 5608]

Whereas Paul Theriault was a well-respected, loved and valued member of his community for the commitment to his community; and

Whereas the memorial includes a sitting area, maple tree and a plaque overlooking the field that Paul took such pride in;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the community volunteers for paying respect to the memory of a great community volunteer.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1794

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

Whereas dreams are inspired when success comes and happens close to home, and world champion and Olympic medalist Steve Giles has shown local paddlers that great things are possible with hard work and discipline that can pay off; and

Whereas three local teenagers from the Orenda Canoe Club in Lake Echo have been named to the Nova Scotia canoe/kayak team and will compete this August at the Canada Games, and will pursue their dreams; and

Whereas Catherine MacKenzie, a 17 year old student at Eastern Shore District High School; Chelsey Bowser, a 16 year old student at Prince Andrew High School; and Sara Lawlor, a 15 year old student from Auburn Drive High School, will compete in the singles, doubles and quad canoe/kayak events and proudly represent Nova Scotia;

[Page 5609]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Catherine MacKenzie, Chelsey Bowser and Sara Lawlor on this achievement, and wish them every strength, skill and confidence as they compete at the 2001 Canada Games and in all future challenges they will face.

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. 1795

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

Whereas the landscape of downtown Pictou is soon to change when Ryan's Gift Shop, a fixture on Water Street for 20 solid years, sadly closes; and

Whereas store owner Duncan Ryan, who has enjoyed operating his shop as much as people enjoyed going there, regrets that illness is ending this part of his life; and

Whereas known affectionately as "Dunc's Junk", the popular business is now for sale and Duncan Ryan hopes to soon find a buyer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute Duncan Ryan as a Pictou favourite and encourage him to enjoy the days ahead and to feel good about the wonderful memories he has helped make.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5610]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1796

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

Whereas on Saturday, June 16th, the community of Chester Basin was seriously threatened by a raging fire when a kiln drying and lumber storage facility was swallowed by flames and the blaze began to spread throughout the nearby woods; and

Whereas the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department was joined by the fire departments from the neighbouring communities of Chester, Western Shore and New Ross, who raced to avert disaster, and were quickly joined by a Department of Natural Resources' water bomber that made containing the fire possible; and

Whereas the community is grateful for this success, their spirits are dampened by the devastation to Adam and Bobby Hatt, whose hard work and business, the Robert M. Hatt Company, was destroyed.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the quick action of the volunteer fire departments and express their sorrow to the Hatt family for their incredible and crushing loss.

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 Tourism and Culture.

[Page 5611]

RESOLUTION NO. 1797

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

Whereas while all members of this House might be familiar with Team Canada missions, a junior Team Canada mission also exists; and

Whereas this year's team will travel to the Far East, and Miss Lizzie Dodds will potentially be one of only two representing Nova Scotia - she is representing tourism; and

Whereas Miss Dodds has proven to the organizers her skills and knowledge, which have ensured her place on the month-long mission;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Lizzie on her achievement and wish her well as she represents our province on the significant educational journey this August.

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. 1798

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

Whereas studies have shown that by continuing to read throughout the summer, students can maintain and improve the reading level they have established during the school year; and

[Page 5612]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. When the members are reading resolutions, if the Clerks can't hear it, they can't record it and I would ask the honourable members to please keep the noise down so at least the Clerks can hear what is being read.

MR. GORDON BALSER: Will I start again, Mr. Speaker? Thank you.

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

Whereas studies have shown that by continuing to read throughout the summer, students can maintain and improve the reading level they have established during the school year; and

Whereas in order to encourage student reading during the summer, public libraries across the province are gearing up for this year's summer reading program, Don't Bug me....I'm Reading; and

Whereas the official launch of the program was held Tuesday in the Alderney Landing Theatre with activities including games and a presentation on the importance of reading by noted children's author Budge Wilson;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the efforts of libraries across this province in encouraging young people to continue to read during the summer months.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

RESOLUTION NO. 1799

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

[Page 5613]

Whereas on June 2nd, the Canso Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary celebrated their 40th Anniversary; and

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, isn't that his third resolution? (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I believe the honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury read one on behalf of the member for Shelburne. (Interruptions)

Order, please. There is so much noise that it is very hard to hear when the members rise and who they are reading the resolutions on behalf of. So it is just another good indication of why, when there is a lot of noise, it is hard for the Clerks and hard for myself and, obviously, hard for the other members to determine who they are actually reading on behalf of. So I would ask the honourable members if they would keep the noise down a little bit so that we all can hear what's going on in the House.

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

Whereas on June 2nd, the Canso Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary celebrated their 40th Anniversary; and

Whereas over the past 40 years many ladies from the Canso area have volunteered their time and effort to the auxiliary through a number of activities, such as fundraising for fire department equipment and encouraging community involvement; and

Whereas one lady who has been an active member of the auxiliary for the past 40 years is Mrs. Gertie Snow;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mrs. Snow and the Canso Volunteer Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary and applaud their commitment to this community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 5614]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture.

RESOLUTION NO. 1800

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

Whereas Theodore Too, star of the hit television program Theodore Tugboat will return to Halifax - or the Big Harbour - June 30th; and

Whereas as well as being a beloved television star, Theodore is the official North American ambassador for safe boating; and

Whereas Theodore is returning home after a hugely successful 11 month water safety tour in the United States in front of 8 million fans at events in more than 45 ports along the Eastern Seaboard as far south as Tampa Bay, Florida;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Theodore Tugboat Too and all the people at Cochran Entertainment upon their return from the successful tour and thank them for the high quality, educational programming they provide for children all over 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 member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 1801

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

[Page 5615]

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is presented to students who distinguish themselves for being the best of the best among their peers; and

Whereas these students illustrate this by achieving outstanding academic standing in addition to making contributions to their schools and communities; and

Whereas Leslie Ann Rogers and Zachariah Churchill, both of Yarmouth, were chosen to receive this award in a ceremony earlier this month;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend Zachariah and Leslie Ann for being honoured with this award and may they achieve the same success in everything they do in the future.

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.

[3:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 1802

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

Whereas Jake MacDonald and Jane Warren are both extraordinary examples of people who have successfully overcome the trauma of serious brain injury; and

Whereas Jake and Jane not only made remarkable recoveries from their injuries, but, in fact, both subsequently achieved remarkable academic success by earning their masters degrees; and

Whereas Jake and Jane met, fell in love, and married this past weekend in a wonderful well-attended ceremony at the Bethune Building at the VG;

[Page 5616]

Therefore be it resolved that all members recognize the tremendous recovery of these two individuals and wish Mr. and Mrs. MacDonald all the best as they celebrate their recent union.

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. 1803

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

Whereas the Lung Association's annual Flight for Life encourages people to take personal action to reduce air pollution, with the event's proceeds used to promote clean air; and

Whereas coinciding with World Environment Week, Flight for Life was held on Father's Day to remind us that individuals can make a difference; and

Whereas improving air quality is one of the most significant challenges facing us, everyone must support the changes and actions that will be required to improve air quality;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the efforts of the Lung Association for raising awareness about air quality issues and encourage everyone to become willing to take the necessary steps to improve the air we breathe.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5617]

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 Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1804

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

Whereas four young Nova Scotian artists have been selected to represent Nova Scotia as part of the Canada Summer Games in London, Ontario; and

Whereas modern dancer Laura Arsenault, of Scotsburn; musician Alex MacCaull, of Antigonish; actor Emma Kathleen Slipp, of Wolfville; and fine artist Jennifer LeBlanc, of Sydney River were selected by a panel of four professional artists; and

Whereas Laura, Alex, Emma Kathleen and Jennifer will remain in London for the duration of the games to interpret their experience through the arts;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Laura Arsenault, Alex MacCaull, Emma Kathleen Slipp and Jennifer LeBlanc upon their selection as representatives of the province at the Canada Summer Games, and wish them every success as they explore and develop their talents at the games.

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. (Interruptions)

Order, please. It must be the heat, the various types of heat. Again, it is very difficult for myself and for the Clerks to hear the resolutions. I would ask the honourable members to please keep the noise down.

[Page 5618]

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 1805

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

Whereas the Annapolis County Ground Search and Rescue Team, comprised of a membership of 40, is a group of individuals ready to go on a moment's notice to search for people who get lost or to help emergency responders with a specific search; and

Whereas Annapolis Search and Rescue Team members Barry Gillis, Malcom Gillis and Cecil Hannam were recently recognized for their 25 years of service to the association, while Liz Denison receive a pin for her 5 years of service; and

Whereas the Annapolis County Ground Search and Rescue Team was initially formed in 1976, after a search was launched in West Dalhousie, Kings County for two young children reported missing by their parents;

Therefore be it resolved that Barry and Malcom Gillis, Cecil Hannam and Liz Denison be congratulated by members of the Assembly for their many long hours of dedicated service, while wishing each one every success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1806

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

[Page 5619]

Whereas June is Awareness Month for ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a disease which affects 6 or 7 Canadians out of every 100,000; and

Whereas the ALS Society operates in many locations across Canada, including Nova Scotia, providing support and counselling for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, their families and caregivers, and equipment such as mobility devices; and

Whereas ALS is a rapidly progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease, attacking the motor neurons responsible for transmitting electrical impulses from the brain to the voluntary muscles throughout the body;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize June as ALS Awareness Month, applaud the efforts of the association and its membership, and hope that this year will be the year they find a cure.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and I would like to table this in the memory of my father, who died of ALS.

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 East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1807

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

Whereas 11 year old Leah Cyr of Churchville, Pictou County, recently had her first-ever real haircut, other than ends being trimmed, at Friend's Hair Care in New Glasgow; and

Whereas Leah's hair, which went down to her waist, has now been cut to shoulder-length, with the cut hair being mailed to the Wigs for Kids program in Toronto, where it will be used to make wigs for children who have lost their hair to cancer; and

[Page 5620]

Whereas Leah Cyr decided to do this after watching a program on television about wigs and how they were made for patients;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs congratulate Leah Cyr on her thoughtfulness and generosity, and for making such a kind decision which will translate into a tremendous gift for someone she probably will never know.

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. 1808

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

Whereas youth who demonstrate qualities of leadership, academic achievement and participation in community service are an enormous source of pride for our province; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is given to students who make significant contributions to their academic communities, as well as those in which they live; and

Whereas Aafiah Hamza and Henry Lo from Halifax West High School were awarded the Lietutenant Governor's Medal earlier this month;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these students for their hard work and diligence and for receiving the distinguished award of merit, and wish them the very best in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 5621]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1809

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

Whereas Chris d'Entremont served as my Executive Assistant from September 1999 to this month when he assumes his new duties with the Regional Development Agency in Yarmouth; and

Whereas Mr. d'Entremont served this province with dedication and proficiency during his tenure; and

Whereas his smile and offer of assistance will be missed, I believe, by all who serve in this House;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly offer Mr. Chris d'Entremont a sincere thank you for his service to this province and wish him, his wife Anne and his son André, best wishes in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

[Page 5622]

RESOLUTION NO. 1810

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

Whereas the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital Auxiliary recently finalized the purchasing of three new pieces of equipment for the hospital; and

Whereas the new purchases made were both medicine and treatment carts, as well as a urinalysis monitor; and

Whereas the three new purchases are in addition to what the auxiliary has already purchased for use in the hospital, which includes a blood pressure cuff, glucometre and cholesterol testing machines for use during the hospital's regular screening clinics;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs recognize the diligent and hard work put forth by the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and wish them 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. 1811

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

Whereas Special Olympians from across the province will gather this July 13th to July 15th in Halifax to participate in the Nova Scotia Games; and

Whereas Messom's Foodland in Bible Hill, along with Scott Paper, recently sponsored the Angel Effort, a week-long fundraiser in support of the Special Olympians from Colchester County taking part in the games; and

[Page 5623]

Whereas this event, which included a barbecue and a number of special in-store activities, raised more than $650 in support of our Special Olympians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Messom's Foodland and Scott Paper for their generous support and commitment to our local community and extend sincere best wishes to all of the participants in the upcoming Nova Scotia Games.

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 Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1812

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

Whereas May 17th was the first day ever the 15 member countries from the European Union were allowed to legally import Canadian icewine; and

Whereas last year Canada imported nearly 1,500 times the amount of wine from Europe as we exported to them in terms of dollar value; and

Whereas icewine undergoes a delicate process in being made, as grapes are frozen solid, squashed and only concentrated grape juice extracted while the water in the grape is crystallized as ice;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the significant effort put forth by Nova Scotia wine producers and agree with the President of the Grape Growers' Association of Nova Scotia, Ralf Wuhrer of Kingston, who said the opening of the European borders to Canadian icewine is an important step for wine producers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5624]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

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

Whereas the fundraising efforts of 48 corporate teams and the commitment of sponsors and volunteers, the 5th Annual Atlantic Blue Cross Care War Canoe Challenge was a huge success, raising over $100,000 for the IWK-Grace Health Centre; and

Whereas this entertainment-packed, day-long event, which took place on June 17th on Lake Banook, included volleyball and obstacle course challenges, a giant barbecue, Cosmic Adventures Kiddie Fair, and live entertainment, along with the main event - the war canoe race; and

Whereas Remote Access Technology Inc. was this year's winning team, with Moosehead Breweries and Danka Canada following close behind, and Philip Broderson of Hunter & Belgrave Investors Group and Ron Nugent of Moosehead Breweries were the top individual fundraisers with teams from Hunter & Belgrave Investors Group and Kraft Canada topping the list for team efforts;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the participants of this wonderful fundraiser, and the volunteers and the event sponsors who sustain this important support for the IWK-Grace Health Centre.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The resolution is way too long. It is out of order.

AN HON. MEMBER: But, was a good one.

MR. SPEAKER: But it was a good one.

The honourable Minister of Health.

[Page 5625]

[3:45 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 1813

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 Disabled Consumers Society of Colchester recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary; and

Whereas for 20 years this organization has raised funds to provide assistance and support to disabled people in Truro and the surrounding area; and

Whereas the society operates a bus service for both persons who are disabled as well as those who are not, provides funding for medical equipment for disabled people in the area, makes donations to hospitals in Truro, New Glasgow and Halifax, and gives an annual bursary to a disabled student, or child of a disabled parent, graduating from the Cobequid Educational Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Disabled Consumers Society of Colchester on its 20th Anniversary and extend our sincere appreciation for its hard work and dedication in providing these valuable services to our community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1814

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

[Page 5626]

Whereas at Rev. H. J. MacDonald Elementary School in Heatherton the students have completely transformed their school yard; they have created a local nature preserve; and

Whereas by replacing the school's half-acre front lawn with a natural wildlife habitat, including two vegetable gardens planted for the local food bank, each of the 164 students have participated in a hands-on study of ecosystems; and

Whereas this unique idea, proposed by School Principal George Murphy, who also mustered the necessary financial and material support, relates environmental studies to each grade's curriculum through practical experience and imparts a sense of environmental stewardship to each participant;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the work and creativity of the students of Rev. H.J. MacDonald School and commend their principal, George Murphy, for taking an innovative and practical approach to teaching ecology and responsibility for the environment.

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. 1815

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

Whereas elementary school students from Trenton, New Glasgow and Pictou Landing recently released small salmon fry into McLellans Brook; and

Whereas the students raised the salmon for the past five months, hatching and growing the fish in their classrooms as part of the Atlantic Salmon Federation's Fish Friends Program; and

[Page 5627]

Whereas these students have been able to learn first-hand about aquatic habitats, the life cycles of fish and environmental concepts of stewardship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the exceptional interest displayed by these young scientists in the management and monitoring of their local environment through the careful study of the life cycle of an important species of fish.

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. 1816

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

Whereas the presence of the RCMP in a community helps to make it a safer one so residents feel more protected; and

Whereas officers of RCMP detachments make an enormous contribution to their communities above and beyond the prevention of crime; and

Whereas the RCMP opened a new community office last weekend in Lower Sackville, in the riding of Sackville-Cobequid, at the Sackville Sports Stadium, to extend their presence in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the Sackville detachment of the RCMP for the new community office opened at the Sackville Sports Stadium in the riding of Sackville-Cobequid, and wish good health and safety to the officers as they serve and protect the community, including the communities of Sackville-Cobequid and Sackville-Beaver Bank.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5628]

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 Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1817

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

Whereas Meagan Smith of Woods Harbour has accomplished a rare feat amongst school students in this province; and

Whereas Meagan is graduating this year from Barrington Municipal High School with a perfect attendance record in over 13 years; and

Whereas even a concussion suffered on school grounds two years ago did not prevent Meagan from attending her classes;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs take notice of this impressive attendance put forth by Meagan Smith and wish her continued success as she enters Saint Mary's University this fall.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Applause)

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

[Page 5629]

RESOLUTION NO. 1818

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

Whereas Dartmouth is the proud host of the 17th Annual Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival 2001; and

Whereas the festival runs between June 22nd and June 24th, thanks solely to the hard work of the Multicultural Association, the Festival Management Committee and their volunteers, as well as their sponsors, advertisers and guests; and

Whereas this year's theme for the festival is Experience the World, an appropriate theme as the food and exhibit booths offer a glimpse of the many cultures that enrich the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House find time in their busy schedules to sample the wonderful performances and food that await visitors to the Multicultural Festival 2001, and thank organizers.

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. 1819

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

Whereas under the direction of Yarmouth High School teacher Ken Langille, a proposal has been developed, aimed at discovering why students drop out of school and on finding ways to bring them back; and

[Page 5630]

Whereas during the past 10 years, Yarmouth High School has seen 850 students drop out of school during the years, including 67 students this year; and

Whereas the intent of Mr. Langille's proposal, under review by the Tri-County School Board Education Committee, is to find out why they leave, where their options are, how they survive and what it would take to bring them back;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in this House of Assembly acknowledge the research efforts of Ken Langille on this very serious issue which has, for ages, been a concern of the education system in our 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 Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 1820

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

Whereas last summer Nova Scotians were treated to the breathtaking spectacle of the tall ships when they visited Halifax; and

Whereas the main attraction was a visit from the SV Concordia, which was one of the ships offering full academic courses and sail training on-board a tall ship; and

Whereas as proof of how many of the tall ships that visited here enjoyed themselves, the SV Concordia returned to Halifax on Monday for a six day visit, and will hold public tours between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House offer a warm welcome back to the captain and crew of SV Concordia and also encourage them to come back soon.

[Page 5631]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1821

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Monsieur le président, à une date ultérieure, j'ai l'intention de proposer l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que l'Université Sainte-Anne est la seule université acadienne et francophone en Nouvelle-Écosse; et

Attendu que le poste de président de cette université nécessite de nombreuses heures de travail et de dévouement à la cause de l'éducation en français; et

Attendu que Harley d'Entremont, qui a occupé le poste de président pendant treize ans, a choisi de quitter son poste après des années de services exemplaires;

Qu'il soit résolu que cette assemblée transmette son appréciation à Harley d'Entremont pour son engagement et ses meilleurs voeux de succès dans tous ses projets futurs.

Mr. Speaker, for the edification of the member for Sackville-Cobequid, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Université Sainte-Anne is the only Acadian-Francophone university in the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas being President of this university requires many hours of hard work and dedication to the cause of Acadian-Francophone education; and

Whereas Harley d'Entremont, President of Université Sainte-Anne for 13 years, has decided to leave his position after years of exemplary service;

[Page 5632]

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend its heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Harley d'Entremont for his commitment and wish him well in his future endeavours.

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. 1822

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

Whereas the Early Intervention Association of Nova Scotia helps families with pre-school aged children who are developmentally delayed because of conditions like autism, Down's Syndrome, cerebral palsy and spina bifida; and

Whereas since 1997, the Trucker's Association of Nova Scotia (TANS) has assisted this cause on an annual basis, raising more than $18,000 through a variety of activities; and

Whereas these funds are used to provide professional development for the Early Intervention Association's personnel and to send families to specialized workshops;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the members of the Nova Scotia Trucker's Association for their compassion and good works for developmentally delayed children, and thank them for their valuable support for the Early Intervention Association of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5633]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1823

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

Whereas Nova Scotia students will be completing their school year shortly; and

Whereas as the summer holidays approach, more of our young people will be out on our streets enjoying the summer weather; and

Whereas it is important for all drivers on our provincial highways to be especially cautious and observant in order to prevent any tragedies;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly wish our young people a happy and enjoyable summer holiday and request that everyone be careful on our public highways.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

Order, please. The honourable member for Lunenburg West, there are to be no props in the House. I would ask him to take that down from his microphone, please.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

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

[Page 5634]

Whereas the Chignecto Central Regional School Board's Lieutenant-Governor's Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, June 14, at Hants East Rural High School in Milford; and

Whereas 33 grade 11 students from Cobequid Educational Centre, East Pictou Rural High School, Hants East Rural High School, Hants North Rural High School, New Glasgow Junior/Senior High School, North Colchester High School, Oxford Regional High School, Parrsboro Regional High School, Pictou Academy, Pugwash District High School, River Hebert District High School, South Colchester High School right in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Springhill Junior/Senior High School, Stellarton High School, Trenton Middle High School, West Pictou District High School and Westville High School received these prestigious awards from Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor, Myra Freeman;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate these young, outstanding students.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The notice is too long.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period begins at 3:59 p.m. and ends at 5:29 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

PREMIER - LEGISLATION: FREE VOTE - ALLOW

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, we learned today that there are at least two Tory backbenchers who are not committed to supporting Premier Hamm's draconian measures. The member for Kings North and the member for Kings West are apparently listening to what health care workers are saying. I wonder how many other members on the government benches heard that message yesterday - negotiate, don't dictate. I want to ask the Premier, will you give all backbenchers the chance to respect the rights of health care workers and commit today to a free vote with no coercion or arm-twisting?

HON. JOHN HAMM (The Premier): The member comes forward with a question that he really doesn't expect to be answered. What I can say is that this caucus is determined to deliver its mandate that it received in July 1999, that all 31 members ran on, and that is to fix what is wrong with the province.

[Page 5635]

[4:00 p.m.]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Premier that he ran on fixing health care, not driving health care workers out of this province.

I couldn't help but notice yesterday the absolutely stunned, angry looks on the faces of government members as thousands of health care workers surrounded this House demanding respect for their rights. The Tories don't seem to understand what it means to take people's rights away and to try to force people to work under conditions they dictate. Maybe that is because they don't know what it was like to fight for those rights, but I think they are starting to figure it out. Health care workers are showing them that they can't hide in this House, acting like dictators. I want to ask the Premier to tell us, will you show Nova Scotians that you were listening yesterday and withdraw these draconian measures?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I did see health care workers upset about where we are today, but I can say to health care workers and all Nova Scotians that if we are not successful in delivering our mandate, while we may be able in the short term to fix health care, in the long term we will destroy it.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Premier knows that he is on a collision course, with chaos in the health care system, and he is the one who is steering. The question is whether or not he is going to admit he made a mistake or is he going to stubbornly drive right over democracy. I want to ask the Premier, will you at least adjourn this House and give negotiation an opportunity to proceed without a gun at the heads of health care workers?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am very encouraged that tomorrow both unions will meet relative to the issues surrounding nurses. It is the preference of this government, as it always has been, to have a negotiated agreement. We will not impose, without adequate negotiation, any kind of a solution. We want it settled at the table, and I believe that can occur.

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

PREMIER - BILL NO. 68: FREE VOTE - ALLOW

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, one of the things this government was elected on was the promise for giving backbencher MLAs, greater freedom to represent the views of the people they represent. I know for a fact that constituents from the backbenchers' ridings have contacted their Tory MLAs and told them to vote against Bill No. 68. My question to the Premier is, will the Premier live up to its promise and give his backbench MLAs the freedom to vote against Bill No. 68?

[Page 5636]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this government has demonstrated a different approach, and I think if you will look back in the record you will see that we have given more freedom to our backbenchers. We certainly have included them far more in the decision-making process than ever occurred when that government was in power.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, last night, ironically, the three Kings County Tory MLAs were absent for the second reading vote; I suspect their absence was more than mere coincidence. I suspect those MLAs know that Bill No. 68 is flawed and that it should be thrown out. My question to the Premier is, why won't the Premier allow his MLAs to vote against this bill without facing the threat of being disciplined?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think if you look back at the attendance during the debate on this Bill No. 68, you will see that each member on the government side has logged more House time than any individual member or any member on either the two Opposition Parties. (Applause)

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, what is going to count here is not how many minutes these people have to check into this Chamber. What really counts, Mr. Premier, is the final vote on Bill No. 68. That is where it is.

Mr. Speaker, there is no room for Bill No. 68 in a democratic society. It has no place in the Nova Scotia Legislature. My final question to the Premier is, will the Premier commit here and now to allow his Cabinet and caucus to exercise their democratic right and to vote against Bill No. 68, yes or no?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, there are members of the House in the Opposition Parties who could more legitimately ask that question than the member for Clare. He was a member of the government that for four years suspended all bargaining rights of organized labour in the public sector of this province. (Interruptions)

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

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

PREMIER - LAW AMENDMENTS COMM.:

FULL TESTIMONY - ALLOW

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, if the Premier wasn't aware before, he sure is now. There are thousands of health care workers in this province who are furious over Bill No. 68. Hundreds of these workers want an opportunity to have their say on this bill and they are guaranteed that right in our democratic process. However, it appears that the Premier wants to cut that right short, just like he is cutting off the rights of workers with Bill No. 68. So I want to ask the Premier, why won't you commit today to instruct your members of the

[Page 5637]

Law Amendments Committee to hear the testimony of every single Nova Scotian who wants to speak on Bill No. 68?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, because of the Rules of this House, it takes a much longer time to put any piece of legislation, even an emergency piece, through this House than in any other province in Canada, but the Opposition Parties felt that it was more important that we hear from them than from Nova Scotians, and hour after hour after hour they ate up the time between now and June 27th because they felt that their voices were more important than those that we hear at the Law Amendments Committee. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, that was a disgraceful answer and made more disgraceful by the applause from the government benches. He has it within his power to listen to Nova Scotians. It seems that the point is lost on government members that people have a right to have their say on this bill. (Interruptions) You know this point was made forcefully this morning and one member, a minister in fact, . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the majority of workers in health professions affected by Bill No. 68 are women. This is a point that was made forcefully this morning. It seems, however, that the point was lost on some government members. One member, a minister in fact, ignored this point with the greatest of disrespect. I would like to ask the Premier, why have you not instructed the Chairman of the Law Amendments Committee that he must actually be present during hearings to listen to concerns of women who are affected by this bill?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I find it difficult perhaps to respond to this question without perhaps getting into a delicate area of human behaviour, but I can assure you that it is the intention of this government, and it has been and will continue to be, to treat all Nova Scotians with respect. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, what is becoming more clear is that the Premier has an inability to treat democracy seriously. He has a cavalier attitude. It is perfectly clear that the Premier, along with the Minister of Justice, is content to turn a deaf ear to the concerns of women whose rights he is tearing away.

So I want to ask the Premier, your Minister of Justice stood up and walked out of the Law Amendments Committee in the middle of a presentation by the head of the NSGEU, and stood outside in the foyer. That is disgraceful. Now, what are you going to do about it?

[Page 5638]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what I am going to do about it is continue to urge the leaders of the two major unions with which we are now negotiating to get back to the table tomorrow and negotiate an agreement that is fair to their membership and fair to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

JUSTICE - MIN.: LAW AMENDMENTS COMM. JOAN JESSOME -

DISRESPECT EXPLAIN/APOLOGIES OFFER

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, there was somewhat of an altercation this morning at the Law Amendments Committee. The root of the problem was when the Minister of Justice, who also acts as the chairman of that committee, and another Tory member of the Law Amendments Committee, in fact the member for Halifax Bedford Basin, left the Red Room immediately after Joan Jessome, a representative for the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, began speaking. We all know the NSGEU is one of the unions most affected by this Bill No. 68. This unbelievable lack of respect shown by the minster was met with an understandably defiant response from the presenters present.

My question to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General is, will the Minister of Justice explain to the House how he can personally explain his disrespect this morning, and make a public apology to Joan Jessome and the NSGEU?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I actually appreciate this question from the honourable member. First of all, for the record, at the beginning of the proceedings of the Law Amendments Committee today, it was indicated to all people present in the room that, from time to time, members would leave the room. At one point in the morning, at a break between the speakers, I chose to leave the room to attend to personal business. I, unfortunately, failed to appreciate the degree of upset that is found amongst the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union. I apologize for the perceived insult that some received from my behaviour, but no insult was intended and, frankly, it was a bit of a manipulation.

MR. SAMSON: I just knew, Mr. Speaker, that an apology just wasn't enough. There had to be that little dig put in at the end. It is ironic because about 10 or 15 minutes later the media asked the Minister of Justice, why did you leave the room? He answered, well, I had to use the washroom. One of the media said, well, have you gone yet? He said, no, I haven't. So, obviously, his timing wasn't that urgent. The Minister of Justice is a perfect Tory. His lack of regard for the process this morning only serves to highlight his government's attitude toward the entire Law Amendments process. They are more than happy to run roughshod over the Rules of this House, just like they have run roughshod over the health care workers.

[Page 5639]

My question is, will the Minister of Justice explain to the House what happened in the Law Amendments Committee this morning, and why he was shouted out of the Red Room by several health care workers?

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the reason, I assume you best ask the individuals involved why they were shouting, I don't read minds. What I can tell you is what we all know, is that there are health care workers in this province who are very upset and emotional. I appreciate that. No insult was intended to any health care workers and, in point of fact, the reality is that I guess we have to understand and deal with that emotional state of mind.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the message basically is, we had a bunch of women in there, they are an emotional bunch to start off with. Ho hum, they got mad at me. Once again, it is more disrespect shown by this minister to those presenters there this morning. As if that wasn't offensive enough, upon leaving the Chamber, after he had been confronted by the health care workers, an armed uniformed officer came into the Red Room. When the minister returned, he came in with a . . .

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

MR. SAMSON: . . . plain clothes officer by his side, sending a clear message of respect to the health care workers there. Health care workers in Nova Scotia are clearly angry. They are angry and they are ashamed by the way this government has behaved. Will the Minister of Justice commit to treat the health care workers or any other Nova Scotian presenter at the Law Amendments Committee with the respect they deserve for the remainder of his hopefully short duration as Chairman of the Law Amendments Committee.

[4:15 p.m.]

MR. BAKER: I can absolutely undertake to the House to say that I intend to treat all presenters at the Law Amendments Committee with the utmost respect. I can also tell you that I noticed that a number of other members from the Opposition Parties chose at various time of the morning to leave during break periods, and that point doesn't seem to be subject to criticism. It seems to me that there is a double standard. Government members can't leave, Opposition members can. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

HEALTH - NURSES: DISRESPECT - PREM. EXPLAIN

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. I was asked a question the other day about whether firefighters and police, who are

[Page 5640]

predominantly male professionals, would be treated the same way as those in the health care professions are currently being treated by this government and, sadly, I had to say no. This government has made a calculation that they can get away with mistreating health care workers because they are predominantly female. I want the Premier to explain to this House, why does his government choose to treat a profession made up primarily of women with such disrespect?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I know the Opposition means well, but it is very difficult to present a reasonable answer to what is simply a ludicrous question, a ludicrous question. (Interruptions)

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Well, the women who were here last night who work in the health professions, they don't think it is ludicrous. What they think is ludicrous is what this government is doing to them. This morning when Joan Jessome, the President of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, got up to speak at the Law Amendments Committee, the Minister of Justice, the chairman of the committee, decided he needed to use the washroom. He was gone for almost an hour, and I am sure he wasn't fixing his makeup.

Mr. Speaker, this union is the largest union in Nova Scotia. They have started job action and they are very upset. Despite this, the Minister of Justice is showing his disrespect for this woman and the women in this union.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable member put the question, please.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: I want to ask the Premier, is this the kind of action that you condone in your Cabinet Ministers?

THE PREMIER: We are confident that the leadership of both of those unions will come forward tomorrow, sit down at the negotiation table, and will put forward the case for their membership very effectively with government, resulting in a negotiated agreement, something that would be very disappointing for that member.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to, through you, put this question to the Minister of Justice. Respect for health care workers, respect for nurses and respect for women is very important, and this is what this is about. I want to ask the Minister of Justice, is he prepared to stand in his place here, now, and make a sincere and unqualified apology to Ms. Jessome and her members for the disrespect he showed today in the Law Amendments Committee?

[Page 5641]

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I will indicate, as I indicated earlier, I intended absolutely no disrespect to anyone with respect to the matter and, in point of fact, at the time that I tried to leave, a member of the Cabinet was coming in to replace me and it was objected to by the Liberal Party.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

JUSTICE - LAW AMENDMENTS COMM.:

PRESENTATIONS - RESTRICTION EXPLAIN

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is also to the Minister of Justice. This morning the Minister of Justice was picking and choosing which Rules of the House to follow in the Law Amendments Committee, as he saw fit. One of his first transgressions, among many this morning, was the limits imposed on both the sitting committee and on individual speakers. We had 450 requests to appear at the Law Amendments Committee, approximately 175 can be accommodated. My question to the Minister of Justice is, why is he allowing the democratic process to wilt under his care?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we are very much interested in the democratic process. In point of fact, I stood in this House on Monday morning and indicated that it was our wish that the bill be referred to Law Amendments Committee earlier, so there would be more opportunity for Nova Scotians to speak. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Also, we maximized the amount of time available for speakers to speak, by giving each one five minutes.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, that is a poor excuse and it is a poor answer. The minister knows exactly what he and his Cabinet are doing here. His government's abuse of process on Bill No. 68 is simply a smaller version of their abuse of health care workers within Bill No. 68.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, will the minister commit to the House that he will allow the Law Amendments Committee to sit as long as necessary to hear everyone who wants to be heard.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, we are attempting to do everything we can to maximize the amount of time that individuals can present to the Law Amendments Committee. We are doing everything we can within the level of the time limits of passing the bill. I know the honourable member wants to make sure we have a job interruption in the health care sector in Nova Scotia; unfortunately, I don't.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, Joseph Howe must be rolling around in his grave today. I think perhaps we had better go out and check the statue, that might have fallen down as well.

[Page 5642]

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice is running roughshod over justice in this province, 153 years of responsible government in this province. My question to the minister is, why is the minister so intent on dismantling one of Nova Scotia's greatest forums for democratic public input, the Law Amendments Committee.

MR. BAKER: Actually, Mr. Speaker, the one thing on which the honourable member and I do sincerely agree is the value of the Law Amendments Committee. The Law Amendments Committee has provided many valuable suggestions to legislators on changes in legislation. However, we must temper all things by issues of public safety.

The difficulty we have, and it is the great philosophical divide which separates myself from the honourable member opposite, is that I believe that public health and safety comes before all other things. That is what this bill is about; that is what the process is about and we are doing everything else to accommodate it within those concerns.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I know that introductions are not permitted during Question Period. We have the North American Imperial Potentate from the Shriners here. I would ask that the honourable members allow for an introduction and I will add it onto the end of Question Period because he can't stay.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the members of the House for the distinct honour to be able to welcome to the gallery opposite, four very distinguished Shriners. We have Mr. Robert N. Turnipseed, the Imperial Potentate of the Shrine of North America. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is accompanied by Shriners John Dunbar, Ted Fowler and Vernon Toole. I would ask our four guests to rise and receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I thank the honourable member for that. I certainly welcome our special guests to the Legislature today. Question Period will expire at 5:30 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

HEALTH - ELECTIVE SURGERIES:

REDUCTION - PREM. EXPLAIN

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it is good to see the Shriners here. They know something about health care, let me tell you.

[Page 5643]

In March the QE II reduced elective surgeries by 15 a day for 20 days because of budget restraints. The Premier and the Minister of Health did not protest then, nor did they seem to be worried about the health of Nova Scotians when the reason was simply the bottom line.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier, why is it okay to cut elective surgeries for the bottom line but not okay as a result of your inability to deal with an ongoing labour dispute?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I refer that to the Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member raises a very good point and he reinforces the position of the government, that we do not want those surgeries cancelled. (Interruptions) He has created a lot of interesting message since I have been in this House, but this is probably as interesting as any to say that these things were cancelled because of budgetary reasons.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, recently we have been hearing about elective surgeries being cancelled, this time due to an ongoing labour dispute. These are surgeries not generally considered to be elective surgery by most people. We are talking about cancer surgeries, aneurisms, brain surgery and even heart surgery. I want to ask the Premier, you are a medical doctor, can you explain how these surgeries could be considered elective?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I would refer that to the Minister of Health.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member perhaps knows that a person goes on an elective, urgent or emergency list as determined by a team of health care professionals at the Capital District Health Authority.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it is done in response to the budget from the Minister of Health. We spoke with a surgeon from the QE II and he explained that the term elective surgery to a surgeon is meant to indicate the person is not in immediate danger. He said that death would not be expected within 24 hours should the surgery not occur. He told us that the use of this medical term could be very misleading to the general public. Elective surgery does not mean unnecessary or even not urgent, it only means not immediately life- threatening.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier, as a doctor, you must certainly understand the circumstances of when the medical term elective surgery is used. Why is your government's long-standing policy to cut elective surgery to meet budgetary limits?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the question gives an opportunity, perhaps, to discuss one of the real reasons why Bill No. 68 is before us. What the question implies and really tells us is that even if we have emergency service during the period of a strike, elective

[Page 5644]

surgery is not carried out and people will suffer. That is what the question tells us. That is why we are here debating Bill No. 68. That is why we don't want to strike because during a strike, elective surgery is cancelled.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

JUSTICE - LAW AMENDMENTS: MIN. - ACTIONS EXPLAIN

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice. Today, the so-called tough guy Minister of Justice decided to throw out 153 years of hard-won, responsible government by trying to make up his own rules for the Law Amendments Committee. In fact, the minister continually belched out his orders to the committee by proclaiming the Rules of the House don't apply to the Law Amendments Committee. He is trying to shut down debate on a bill that takes away collective bargaining rights and results in de facto decertification of health care unions in this province. My question to the minister is, why is the Minister of Justice acting like a tinpot ruler instead of ensuring that all Nova Scotians can exercise their right to appear before the Law Amendments Committee?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, it absolutely amazes me that the honourable member could tell me how interested he is in hearing from Nova Scotians when this morning, the honourable member wanted to ring the bells on a decision by the committee on dealing with members. I can assure you, ringing the bells is not a way to encourage the free exercise of Nova Scotians' freedom of speech.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I am quite happy he brings that up because the motion, in fact defeated by the Tory Government, was a motion to try to have the Law Amendments Committee sit for as long as needed to allow Nova Scotians to appear before it, which is the motion that that minister, that that chairman broke the tie vote to make sure Nova Scotians could not continue to appear before the committee. The bottom line here is the Minister of Justice barely tolerates democracy here in Nova Scotia. For the first time in history, in the Law Amendments Committee, a police officer, armed with a rifle, is being posted inside the committee room for only one purpose. (Interruptions) A pistol, a pistol, it's a gun; call it whatever you want, it's a weapon.

[4:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. SAMSON: Call it whatever you want. It shows you how childish this government is. You see what we get, Mr. Speaker . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

[Page 5645]

MR. SAMSON: It was a weapon.

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member put the question, please.

MR. SAMSON: What was it meant to do? It was meant to intimidate, to intimidate the members in that committee. I, like many other Nova Scotians, am extremely proud . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable member put the question, please. The honourable member for Richmond, on the supplementary question.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I, like many Nova Scotians, am extremely proud of the democracy that we have here, but we cannot continue to have a minister who is . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. SAMSON: . . . oppressive to the Law Amendments Committee. Why is the Minister of Justice not allowing full, open, accountable discussion in the Law Amendments Committee by all Nova Scotians who wish to appear before it?

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I will answer the question again. The answer to the question is quite simple. We are determined to make sure that the bill is passed by the strike deadline. That is the only deadline that we are interested in imposing. That is why I requested that the House refer the bill to the Law Amendments Committee on Monday. The honourable member and the members opposite continued to talk repetitiously and do everything but read the telephone directory, and that is the reason we haven't got the time to do the hearings. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, if this government took 25 per cent of the effort it is currently using to put the screws to nurses in this province and go to fair collective bargaining, none of us would have to be here in this House, today, considering Bill No. 68. The minister and the Premier continue to say that this is being done because it is a matter of necessity. A former British Prime Minister, William Pitt, said in a debate in 1783, "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." My question is, why is the minister using necessity as a tool to shut down public input on the most significant labour bill in the last 100 years in this province?

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, well, it is kind of ironic that it comes from a member of the Liberal Party, this ray of protestation. My information is, and I wasn't in the House at the time, that it was the Liberal Government of the day that used closure at Law Amendments Committee to pass the HST or BST bill through the Law Amendments Committee. It is hard to suggest that that bill was a matter of public safety and health. Perhaps the honourable

[Page 5646]

member should talk to some of the members in his own caucus, who didn't seem to be very interested in democracy, as opposed to us; we gave lots of notice, Mr. Speaker.

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

HEALTH - NURSES: GOV'T. (N.S.) - ADS REMOVE

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The Premier is knowingly inflaming a tense situation with regard to ads he is running in newspapers, and his government is running in newspapers. He is knowingly running ads which blame health care workers for the chaos in our health care system. We have asked him before, and this time I want a straight answer, why won't this Premier pull these inflammatory ads and try to show a little goodwill towards the health care workers, instead of continuing to try to blame them for the chaos?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am not in the habit of blaming anybody for anything. What I can say, though, that in a negotiation between employers, which in this case is the case, and employees, it is not unusual for public media to be purchased to provide the cases for the two parties. That occurs on a regular basis in the private sector. It is a similar situation here, although, on this particular case, the paying agency is the taxpayers of Nova Scotia. Their case has to be made as well.

MR. DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, this government is spending $7,100 a day to sell the people of Nova Scotia on information that is absolutely wrong. I am going to table this ad from this government that clearly says that this government is claiming that the unions are fuelling a crisis and chaos in our health care system. He is the only person in this province who can say with a straight face that it is the unions and not this government fuelling chaos within our health care system. I want to ask this Premier to defend these ads; I want to ask him if it is fair. What is fair about underpaying and overworking health care professionals and taking away their fundamental democratic rights?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the question allows me an opportunity, once again, to say it is because of the respect for and the value that we place on nurses that we have made them the single biggest offer that we have made to any group in the public sector, which will place them in the highest paid position in Atlantic Canada and in front of two other provinces. You know that is not bad for what, by some measures, is the poorest province in the country.

MR. DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, the Premier cannot be blind to the fact that an ad blaming the unions, blaming health care professionals in this province, is only fuelling the self-inflicted health care crisis that his government has created; it is certain to make negotiating a deal that much more difficult. Will the Premier explain why he is spending

[Page 5647]

more than $7,000 a day to antagonize health care workers and professionals in this province instead of sitting down at the table and trying to negotiate a fair deal?

THE PREMIER: I will take the advice of the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage and I will direct people to sit down tomorrow with representatives of both unions to discuss nursing issues. That's where we are going and I believe that's where we should be. I thank the member opposite for endorsing the direction that government is taking.

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

PREMIER - CAMPAIGN PROMISE (FREE VOTE):

BREACH - EXPLAIN

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Premier. You know it really saddens me to see the state of what government has come to in this province. In fact, last night was arguably the first recorded step in what will ultimately be the government's undoing and ultimate defeat.

Last night, Mr. Speaker, as we know, the vote on second reading of Bill No. 68 took place and several of the government's members were conspicuously absent for that vote and, I might add, all from Kings County. My question to the Premier is, why would he not live up to his campaign promise and let those members stand in their place and vote their conscience on Bill No. 68?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can say to the member opposite that those who have attended in the gallery, and I must say there have been a number of public sector health care workers have been very, very attentive in their attendance in the gallery, no. Who spent the most time in this House debating this bill? It is the members on the government side. We did not have the opportunity because we had to keep the quorum, the platoon, the way the other two Parties had. Our members were here for more hours of debate than any other member in the Opposition Party.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Yes, Mr. Speaker, we're not talking about hours of debate in here, we're talking about how these members voted and why they were absent, because they were told if they were going to vote against the government to not show up here. That is what is going on here. Among those who caught the blue flu during this vote was a Cabinet Minister who should probably have the most interest in Bill No. 68, the largest labour disruption this government is ever likely to face in its term and this particular minister was absent from the vote. Can the Premier explain why one of his ministers - and he knows which one I mean - was absent from such a critical vote?

[Page 5648]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, ministers on occasion have been absent from part of the debate, but I think it is painfully obvious to those who have attended this debate from beginning to end realize on many occasions, while the government benches were almost totally filled, there would be one member representing the Opposition Parties, one member interested enough to be participating in the debate, one member. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the Premier continues to justify the voting irregularity over there on this particular bill, by justifying the hours they served in this House over the past few days. Well, we have all done that. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that the Premier is trying to justify his own Labour Minister not voting on that particular bill. I want to know if that Premier is going to ask that minister to step down because he did not have the guts to come in here and vote for that bill. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

HEALTH - CARE WORKERS:

PREMIER - NEGOTIATIONS EXPLAIN

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I want to draw the Premier's attention back to the year 1975. That was the last time this province had back-to-work legislation. It was 26 years almost to the day that then Labour Minister Walter Fitzgerald introduced a bill that would take away the right to strike for nurses. It is amazing, isn't it, this province went 26 years without draconian back-to-work legislation, yet, Mr. Premier, you come into office and we have had two back-to-work bills in less than two years, during your term.

I want to ask you, why is it that so many other governments have been able to negotiate with health care workers but you insist on being inflexible and draconian?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the question from the member opposite reminds me of how difficult it was in 1975 when we did have a strike that shut down hospitals. People were not adequately looked after. There was utter chaos in the health care delivery system. That is why we are here today, introducing a piece of legislation that will prevent that exact same thing from occurring again.

MR. CORBETT: That Premier is not being truthful when he says they shut down hospitals. Nurses stayed on the job for free, and he knows that. He is not being truthful with Nova Scotians.

[Page 5649]

Here are some more facts from back in 1975; it didn't grant the Cabinet extraordinary powers that this dictatorial bill does. In fact, there doesn't seem to be a single Act in the history of this Legislature that would grant Cabinet such absolute power.

Mr. Premier, how is it possible that you are the only Premier in the history of this province who needs to grant himself absolute power to resolve a labour dispute? Is your incompetence, truly, of that historical proportion?

THE PREMIER: One of the reasons we are here debating this bill is that not only are we concerned about health care delivery today, we are concerned about health care delivery tomorrow. A solution today that does not protect and guarantee tomorrow, is not a solution that this government can support.

MR. CORBETT: A hot summer two years ago, that Premier was certainly singing a different song than he is today, so if we doubt, how could we ever believe you and anything that comes out of your mouth?

The last fact I want to give him from 1975 is that that bill never became law. It died in the Law Amendments Committee, just where your bill is now, Mr. Premier. You see, Mr. Premier, that dispute, like so many others, was resolved without bringing down this big hammer of yours.

So my final supplementary; your stubborn, bullying approach is not the Nova Scotia way. It doesn't work; it didn't work then and it won't work now. Will you finally recognize that you have made a great mistake and withdraw that bill forthwith.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has reminded me of a very important point that relates back to the actions of 1975. The reason the bill died is because a settlement was reached, the way this bill will die if a settlement is reached.

[4:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

FIN. - RESTRUCTURING FUND:

HEALTH CARE WORKERS - ALLOTMENT

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. On February 14, 2001, your highly-respected and trusted Deputy Minister of Finance outlined to the Public Accounts Committee the three areas where government's restructuring fund would be spent. First, wage increases; secondly, severance packages; and thirdly, in analysis and studies. I will table the statement that the deputy minister had made to that committee. My question to the Minister of Finance is, could the minister indicate exactly how much of

[Page 5650]

the $53 million in the fund this year is directed toward wage increases for health care workers?

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite knows that we don't divulge that information. The reason is because that money is for a multitude of things, and for the government to state how much of it is for negotiation is not in the best interests of the Province of Nova Scotia when you are negotiating, because we are negotiating with many different unions. That information is kept confidential. I should point out that this honourable minister kept that information confidential also, when he was in government.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that Bill No. 68 is going to be what the bottom line of that $53 million is. I wish to table another document from the year 2000-01 budget in which it indicated restructuring costs were somewhere to the tune of $126 million for the year 2001-02. All of a sudden, the 2001 budget comes along and there is $73 million missing from what was projected the year earlier. Could the minister explain to the House why the restructuring fund went from $126 million to $53 million, a reduction of $73 million, almost the exact amount of money that is missing to make Bill No. 68 not worthwhile and to have a settlement in health care in Nova Scotia? Why?

MR. LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, this question is so easy to answer it is almost incredulous that the member opposite would ask it. When we do multi-year budgeting going forward, a lot of the contracts that are not yet put in place, that will have to be negotiated, are projected forward. As you get into the next year, the ones that you have settled, obviously, get aligned to the appropriate department, where they should be shown. What happens, as you present the new year, the balance of the one you are working on, that you have left to negotiate, is the number that stays. The honourable member should know that as a former Minister of Finance. If he doesn't know that, I find it incredulous.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, what is incredulous is the fact that they took $73 million out of the projected requirements, either put it into a slush fund, it is certainly not there for the health care workers and the nurses in the Province of Nova Scotia. It proves one thing, either that minister cannot properly plan ahead for proper negotiations in the Province of Nova Scotia or he knew all too well that his government was not going to negotiate in good faith and they were going to bring in Bill No. 68 to restrict the amount of money that health care workers and nurses receive in the Province of Nova Scotia. (Interruptions)

MR. LEBLANC: There wasn't any question, Mr. Speaker. I do want to say one thing. This is the same member who said to us, when we didn't have a balanced budget this year, when we said to Nova Scotians what we would do over three years, he quoted, on April 17, 2001, Mr. Speaker, they had a chance in the last budget to balance but they refused to do so, because they were weak. They were weak in making the decision they needed to make. Well,

[Page 5651]

you can't have it both ways. We have a plan, and we will give health care workers a raise, something that they never did. (Interruptions)

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

The honourable member for Hants East.

HEALTH - NURSES:

OVERWORKED/OVERSTRESSED - PREMIER EXPLAIN

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I will be directing my question to the Premier. The Premier's anti-worker legislation is driving nurses away, like Lisa Jill Carrolls, a young nurse who chose to practice in Nova Scotia because her family is here, but now feels undervalued and disrespected by this Premier and his legislation. Now she is considering leaving. Like many others, Lisa has worked as a casual nurse. That means taking whatever shifts are offered this week because you don't know if you will get any at all next week. This creates overtired and underpaid nurses who are only too willing to take a better job somewhere else. My question to the Premier is, why are you forcing more and more nurses to seek employment elsewhere, especially when we don't have enough now?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's question, and I am disappointed if one of our nurses does decide to go, but the overall track record over the last two years in general nursing numbers is quite good. I would ask the Minister of Health to refresh the memory of the member opposite.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, like the Premier, we are concerned and have put in place in the past 22 months, working with the profession itself, a number of measures which we believe will help recruitment here in Nova Scotia. There are some people who are going to go down the road and that's fact. However, I want to tell the honourable member, for example, this year, of the graduating classes at Dalhousie and St. F.X., 64 members of that graduating class have been hired here in Halifax. (Applause)

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I think I want to tell the Premier that it would be pretty difficult for the Minister of Health to refresh my memory because the information he gave me was never in my memory. Nova Scotians, I think, all agree that there are more nurses leaving this province than are staying. Annette Ryan is another nurse who is considering leaving Nova Scotia. Annette is a highly-specialized nurse who works in labour and delivery at the IWK. In the last few months she has watched her colleagues leave for Ontario, Calgary and Hawaii and, by the end of the summer, she expects to join them. Annette says she wants to stay, she wants to create opportunities for herself and build a career in Nova Scotia but, despite their promises, this government is making it impossible. So, my question, again, to the Premier is, what do you have to say to the nurses you have disappointed with false promises?

[Page 5652]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we are always disappointed when nurses, who we need so badly, make the decision to go down the road. But our track record over the last 24 months has not been bad, and I would ask the Minister of Health to provide some additional information for the member opposite.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, one of the commitments we made when we were campaigning prior to assuming government was to try to resolve some of the - and I will use the term - nursing issues here in Nova Scotia. Among the things we did was to sit down with representatives of the profession and develop a nursing strategy based on their input. It was a strategy developed by nurses and for nurses. I want to just comment, last year there were 135 graduates from Dalhousie and St. F.X., and on March 31, 2001, there were still 86 who were registered in Nova Scotia.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, Annis Davidge is another nurse who chose to practice in Nova Scotia because her family is here. She says that her nursing student loans are so high that it will take her 14 years to pay them off. If it weren't for her husband's income she could not afford to stay in Nova Scotia. So, to the Premier, does the Premier think that the money he saves by underpaying nurses like Miss Davidge is worth the risk that they will simply leave?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we are prepared to accept the fact that there are jurisdictions out there that will pay more for nursing than we can afford here in Nova Scotia. But our nurses are not going to go to Newfoundland or Prince Edward Island or New Brunswick because we are going to be paying them more. They are not going to go to Manitoba and Saskatchewan because we will be paying them more. We can't chase the rich states in the United States, we can't pay that much, we can't pay as much as Alberta. Nova Scotians understand why that is the case and I believe and I heard many nurses who have been in the gallery in recent days tell me the same thing.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

FIN. - CONCERN: PREM. - EXPLAIN

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. In 1998 the MacLellan Government at that time ended seven years of a wage roll back and freeze by settling with health care workers and allowing wage parity between the NSNU and the NSGEU nurses. It wasn't easy, but collective bargaining was allowed to continue without government interference. The Leader of the Tories at the time called for equal pay for nurses even though that measure cost the government about $12 million, the Tory Leader never asked how much. My question for the Premier is, why is the Premier so concerned with the provincial finances now when he didn't seem to care three years ago?

[Page 5653]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the record of payment for nurses and other public sector nurses in the last decade in this province is a dismal one. In 1993 under the first year of the Liberals they had five days of unpaid leave. In 1994 they had a three per cent wage rollback and they had bargaining rights suspended. The time to which the member refers the Queen Elizabeth II nurses at that time after those years of rollbacks and freezes received from the Liberal Government 1.9 per cent, far less than we are offering them today, far less.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, sometimes you have to be careful when you move a large rock because you might find a snake underneath it. Three years ago it was this current Premier who was saying spend, spend, spend. In essence the Premier said give health care workers a raise and don't bother me with the money details. Unlike this government, the government of the day didn't have $250 million extra revenue to play with, but that didn't matter. It was the Tory Leader then who said spend, spend, spend. Regardless, the MacLellan Government at the time allowed collective bargaining to take place. My question to the Premier, why won't the Premier simply withdraw Bill No. 68 and allow collective bargaining in this province to continue?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite who asked this question was not a member of the House in the days - and on occasion I was critical of the spending habits - of the then government. At no time did I ever encourage that government to continue deficit financing. I provided alternatives of where they could look for the money, if in fact I didn't agree with their priorities. Unlike this caucus, that government, when it was government, couldn't balance the budget, didn't have any idea how to balance the budget, but they still, despite that, encourage us to continue deficit financing.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, there is a word for someone who asks another person to do what he would be unwilling to do but I can't use it in this Chamber. If that Premier has any sense of fairness, any sense of fairness whatsoever, why won't he at least replace the right to strike with an arbitration process instead of trying to drive a settlement down the throats of health care workers in this province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, while we wish we could do more with nurses and other public sector workers, we can't. We were able to achieve, through the bargaining process with a number of public sector workers, negotiated settlements that were within the ability of the government to pay. We will not allow any settlement that we know we cannot sustain and will not guarantee the financial and other viability of the health care delivery system. We will not, not, in order to save today, sacrifice tomorrow.

[Page 5654]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

PREMIER - POLITICAL AGENDA/HEALTH (NOVA SCOTIANS):

RELATIVE IMPORTANCE - EXPLAIN

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, this Premier faced a clear choice. He could provide Nova Scotians the health care they deserve and need or he could cut health care so it fit a budget and fits a Progressive Conservative political agenda. We know what he decided. John Hamm has chosen politics over health. I want to ask the Premier a simple question, why have you decided that your political agenda is more important than the health of Nova Scotians?

[5:00 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in order to provide a health care system that can meet the needs of the future, obviously it had to be redesigned, and we are in the process of doing that redesign. I would ask the Minister of Health to provide some details to the member opposite.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the costs of health care in this province keep escalating and, as the honourable member knows, take away any wage settlement that is going to come and we all know that there is going to be an increase for health care workers this year. The budget to budget increase in the Department of Health this year was $69 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: Plus the wage increases.

MR. MUIR: If you plug the wage increase into that, Mr. Speaker, and those are the offers that are on the table that are out there already, the increase in the health care budget is significant over last year. What we have to be concerned about is that we can afford to have a health care future in three years and in four years.

Mr. Speaker, there is no question, this government, for political expediency, could put all kinds of money on the table and then next year we end up shutting down half of the honourable member's hospital, having wage rollbacks, and reducing facilities all over the province. We have long-term care. They concentrate on one thing. The health care system is very complex. The demands on it are increasing each year. As a government we are responsible, and we accept that responsibility for seeing that that health care system is quality and . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

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MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Premier is more concerned about his political agenda than he is about the health and safety of average Nova Scotians. He has substituted politics for good judgment. He is repeating the very same mistakes that were made by the Savage Government when the Liberals cut health to meet their budget and political objectives. Why can't the Premier understand that Nova Scotians will not fall for his political games? They elected him for one reason, to fix health care, does he understand that?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite. If political expediency was the case, we wouldn't be here today. This is providing for the people of Nova Scotia the plan that we set before them in July 1999, a plan that is very specific, very, very detailed, and guaranteed to grow us a future here in Nova Scotia. It is the kind of thing that was avoided by governments in the past simply because it wasn't politically palatable.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Premier has decided that the fiscal burden is going to fall from his government onto the backs of nurses. I believe that people are genuinely disappointed that John Hamm has chosen political games over good health care. My question is this, why does he refuse every option that will truly meet the needs of good health care rather than his own political needs?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I believe that the offer that will make our nurses here in Nova Scotia more highly paid than in other provinces in Atlantic Canada and in two of the western provinces is a reflection of the value that we place not only in the system, but the value that we place on our nurses. I believe that that will be an initial, it may be a very small step, but a step to start the stabilization for the health care delivery system. I believe when things are better in this province, we will be able to in fact remunerate, in a more competitive way on the national scene, our nurses, but it is not within the fiscal capability of the province to do so today.

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

PREMIER - LEGISLATURE RECALL:

NURSE POLICY ADVISER - ADVICE DETAIL

MR. BRIAN BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, my question is for no other than the Minister of Health. On many occasions, both inside and outside this House, this minister talks about the creation of a Nurse Policy Adviser. Although the position was created by the previous Liberal Government, this minister still counts it as one of his greatest achievements for the nursing profession. My question to the minister is simple. What advice did he solicit from the Nurse Policy Adviser prior to the recall of this Legislature?

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HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, we are, indeed, pleased. It was one of our platform commitments to establish the position of a Nurse Policy Adviser and we did that. I can tell you that the Nurse Policy Adviser works very carefully and closely with the professional organizations to develop our strategy for meeting the needs of the nurses in this province.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I want to share with all members of this House a statement from our Minister of Health: Our government recognizes the valuable contribution of nurses in this province. Ms. Hope Kennedy will be instrumental in helping to create an environment that better supports values and empowers our nurses. My question is simple. Did this minister receive any advice from the Nurse Policy Adviser prior to the recall of this House and, if he did, would he table it in the House prior to the end of this Question Period?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous government that was in power, we don't have a small group of three people making all of the decisions. I can tell you that, in my department (Interruption) I and my staff consult regularly. We seek their input on a good many decisions and that is one of the reasons why I think the plans that we are moving ahead with for the improvement of health care in Nova Scotia are going to be very successful.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the people of Nova Scotia deserve better. The Nurse Policy Adviser deserves to be treated better by this stubborn minister. My question to the minister is, what additional resources have you provided the Nurse Policy Adviser, given the uphill battle that she must face as a result of this minister's bungled bill?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the Nurse Policy Adviser has the resources that she needs to carry out her responsibilities and, I might add, she does this in a very responsible way.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

HEALTH - CARE: QUEENS CO. - PROTECTION ASSURE

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The Liverpool Advance of June 13th carries a letter about the upcoming retirement of Dr. David Large from family practice in Liverpool. Curiously enough, the letter is penned by Dr. Al Doucet, the VP of the medical staff at the Queens General Hospital. Dr. Doucet chronicles the difficulties of recruiting doctors for small communities. These have been documented before, but I note that they worked with the province's physician recruiter and, after two years of searching for a replacement for Dr. Large, they have come up empty. So I want to ask the Premier, given the chronic doctor shortage in Queens County, what assurances can the Premier give to the residents of Liverpool and Queens County that their right to adequate health care will be protected when Dr. Large retires?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, Dr. Large had a long and distinguished career, but the question really was about his replacement and I would ask the Minister of Health to respond.

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HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I happen to know Dr. Large and know that he has done very good work down in that area. I also want to tell the members of the House, just to give you an example of one of the things that he did, I guess the second to last time I saw him was at the recruitment fair in Moncton. He had indicated at that time that he did not wish to retire until a replacement had been found. I am sorry to hear from the honourable member today that he was not able to find a replacement. Like other communities that need physicians, we will continue to bring all of the resources that we have, working with the communities and with the district health authorities to get a replacement for Dr. Large in that area.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it is clear that this government's recruitment policy for doctors in small and rural communities is a failure. But Dr. Doucet goes on to say that they can't recruit nurses either. He says, nurses are being recruited to other locations that are offering higher pay scales, the opportunity for full-time work and better benefits. Services have been reduced, especially obstetric coverage at the QGH over the last several months due to nursing shortages. Staffing is very tight to supply vacation time. This has made caring for and admitting patients to hospitals progressively more difficult. So, I want to ask the Premier, will the Premier finally admit to the folks in Queens County and all Nova Scotians that his government's nurse recruiting strategy will continue to fail unless nurses are offered adequate pay scales, better benefits and job security?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite makes a very complex problem sound simple. He knows that in Canada, in the short term, there is a shortage of some 20,000 nurses. He knows that in the United States, on the short term, there will be a shortage of some 126,000 nurses. As long as we are living in that kind of a North American nursing-shortage environment, we will have problems in Nova Scotia with nursing numbers, the same as they have today in every province of Canada.

MR. DEXTER: Can you imagine the frustration that led Dr. Doucet to air his concerns in a public forum? I quote from Dr. Doucet: The medical staff at Queens General Hospital have taken the unusual step of publicizing these problems, as we feel that patients need to know the difficulties we are encountering as we try to provide medical care to this community. We hope that patients will be more understanding when they encounter longer waits and wearier physicians and nurses. If that is not a picture of a health care system in crisis, I don't know what is. I want to ask the Premier, will the Premier explain to the folks in Queens County why he has left them to longer waits for health administered by too few overworked doctors and nurses?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, much of the frustration that is being experienced by nurses around this province is generated by workplace conditions. Many of those conditions are really the result of inadequate staffing at various institutions, particularly the acute care hospitals around the province. As I say, much of the frustration that you see boiling over is the result of the so far unsuccessful wage negotiation process, really as not something that

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will be solved by the contract. It will be solved by a nursing adjustment program that will provide more nurses for the province. This is a very complex problem, and what we are seeing is frustration generated by a problem that is much broader than the wage issue.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

HEALTH: IN-HOME SUPPORT PROG. - DETAILS

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, as if Bill No. 68 and everything the Minister of Health has done has not created enough havoc in the health care system, it appears the minister hasn't finished just yet. Since April, 2000, the Department of Health has been reviewing the in-home support program in this province. For those members who are not aware, the in-home support program provided financial assistance to individuals who were taking care of loved ones in their own home rather than seeing them put in hospitals or long-term care facilities. As I mentioned in this House before, we watched over five missions to outer space since the time this minister has been reviewing this program and, in the end, the delay has been nothing more than a way of saving money for the Minister of Finance.

In a letter I have recently received from the Minister of Health after repeated requests on behalf of constituents in Richmond County and throughout the province about the status of the program, in that letter the Minister of Health indicated that the option he is now looking at, the direct funding option, would exclude family members of loved ones from being able to qualify for assistance under this program. My question to the Minister of Health is, why in God's name would you exclude family members from the new in-home support program? (Applause)

HON. JAMES MUIR: I know the honourable member has been concerned about in-home support, and he and I outside the floor of this House, as well as on the floor of this House, have discussed it from time to time. I am going to have to ask the member to table that letter because I don't remember exactly what was in it, but I do and I can tell all members of the House that we made no secret this policy has been one that had no consistency. As many jurisdictions as we are providing, there were that many different plans. What we are trying to do is come up with a consistent provincial policy and I make no apologies for that.

[5:15 p.m.]

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, in the letter it says that a direct funding option is one of the recommendations where clients could purchase their home care provision, based on an assessment of unmet needs by a department care coordinator and other eligibility criteria. The direct funding option does not allow the funding of family members to provide services to their loved ones.

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Mr. Speaker, the in-home support program was a means in which Nova Scotians took care of their loved ones, rather than have them go into long-term care facilities or hospitals which would be an added burden onto the health care system of this province. The idea was that by keeping loved ones at home and having care by family members, it not only provided them with comfort, it saved money for the government in the end.

My question again, Mr. Minister - and I have asked you this repeatedly, this is not the first time; I have written to you repeatedly - why in God's name would you disallow family members from qualifying under this program, so they could continue to provide care for their loved ones at home?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I ask the honourable member to please table the letter he read from.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, this program has been one which had no provincial consistency. The move of the department to try to analyze the needs and to get the best and most appropriate policies in place is something we continue to wrestle with. As he remembers, obviously it was a problem they didn't deal with when they had the opportunity on that side and, like so many things that that previous government didn't do, it is up to us to try to clean up the mess they left.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, that is an absolutely disgraceful answer. We all know there are serious problems in our health care system. The idea with the in-home support program, which may not have been perfect under the Liberals, kept Nova Scotians out of long-term care facilities and allowed them to stay at home and have care from their family members.

Mr. Speaker, if this government does not - they have been dealing with this program, reviewing it, for 14 months. Now for God's sake, 14 months; this government has been in power for 600 days and 14 months is how long it has taken them for one simple program.

My final supplementary to the minister; Mr. Minister, will you commit today to immediately announce the new funding for the in-home support program and change the policy you are currently looking at, which would disallow family members from qualifying under the new program?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I will tell the honourable member and other members of this House, when that policy has been developed and prepared and is ready for release, I would be delighted to send it to him or to table it, should the House be in session.

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

HEALTH - LAB. TECH. PROG.: LACK - EXPLAIN

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health as well. A recent report from the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Sciences said that Nova Scotia is in the most precarious situation with regard to a shortage of lab techs - I tabled that report yesterday, in one of my speeches.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia has no laboratory technologist programs and has sent 18 Nova Scotians to New Brunswick since 1996 to obtain certification. Only two have returned to Nova Scotia. My question to the Minister of Health, why does Nova Scotia not have a laboratory technologist program to help replace the retiring medical laboratory technologists?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Well, the reason we didn't have one when we assumed office was because it was cancelled by the previous government. I want to tell you that the technology and technologists' needs, Mr. Speaker, are things that are being addressed by our government. There is a program in the province, not specifically for that but I think the honourable member knows Dalhousie University has sort of a generic four-year program that is intended to deal with those needs. We don't think it is sufficient and there is a Health Human Resource Task Force and of course that is one of the things that it is considering. (Interruptions)

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

MR. DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, since 1996, Nova Scotia tax dollars, we have given $565,000 to the New Brunswick Government to help train (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage has the floor.

MR. DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, since 1996, Nova Scotia has given $565,000 in tax dollars to New Brunswick, and all we have gotten out of it is two medical laboratory technologists; that is an inefficient use of tax dollars. Why has the Nova Scotia Government squandered almost $600,000 and done nothing to address the medical laboratory technologist shortage?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, if I am not mistaken, he started back in 1996. Is that right? Well, 1996, I can't account for the period between 1996 and 1999, you would have to ask the group over there. I can tell you that we aren't pleased with the return we are getting out of that, and that is why it is part of our initiatives to try to establish a clear and firm direction to meet the health human resources needs in this province, that the issue of technologists and radiation therapists, all of these things, I want to tell you they are important to us and they

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are matters that we are dealing with to the best of our ability. We will be making announcements in due course.

MR. DEVEAUX: Soon, very soon, I guess is the answer, in short. Mr. Speaker, 17 per cent of the 810 medical laboratory technologists in Nova Scotia will be retiring by 2005, yet we have less than one medical laboratory technologist being trained and returning to Nova Scotia on a yearly basis. My final question to the Minister of Health is, will the Minister of Health stop inefficiently spending our money in New Brunswick and begin setting up a program here so we can stop the reduction in the shortage of medical laboratory technologists?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the Province of New Brunswick, and I don't know what the arrangements were when the program was stopped here, but the fact that we were able to send Nova Scotians to New Brunswick, I think, was a positive thing. As he knows, co-operative ventures in specialized education, whether it is medicine or dentistry or veterinary or forest rangers or law or whatever it is, is clearly something with which we are concerned. If the health human resources plan calls for the establishment of a program here, I can tell the honourable member we will go ahead with it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria.

NAT. RES. - BROWN SPRUCE LONGHORN BEETLE:

ERADICATION PROG. - STATUS

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. About this time last year I asked the Minister of Natural Resources what he was doing to protect the silviculture industry from an invasion of the brown spruce longhorn beetle. During the debate on May 30, 2000, the minister said that the best course of action was to quarantine and isolate the beetle within the bounds of Point Pleasant Park, and then devise an appropriate eradication plan. Media reports yesterday and today suggest the beetle has been in parts of Harrietsfield. Now, it is clear that the eradication plan is not working perfectly, can the minister tell the House today if he has stepped up action to deal with this problem of the brown spruce longhorn beetle?

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for his question, because it allows an update on the situation. The situation, as the honourable member knows, is the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency, the federal government is responsible for containing the outbreak and hopeful eradication. What is taking place is co-operation, fully, with our department and biologists, and they continue to map the area to the full extent of how far the beetle has spread.

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MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I guess the minister can tell the House at what time does the federal government decide it is a provincial responsibility. Because the beetle is an exotic bug, we know it is a federal responsibility, but this exotic bug may devastate the lumber industry in Nova Scotia, which generates about $1.4 billion. My question to the minister is, what money, if any, has the province earmarked to deal with this issue if the federal government decides it's no longer their responsibility?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for that question, it allows one to highlight, again, it is a federal responsibility and our biologists, our department co-operate fully in analysis of not only the insect, but areas that possibly may be affected. They will continue, at this point, to pay for the eradication and the containment costs.

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister, but there is a potential spread of this beetle and we know it is very easy for this beetle to spread. We know it is outside the park, and we know it will spread. If it spread from the park to Harrietsfield, we know it can spread to another area, to a lumber yard by a truck, or whatever means. Can the minister advise the House of what measures he has taken to monitor and eliminate the movement of the beetle to the other parts of our province?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, again, we, in full co-operation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, use our biologists, our staff, to help conduct the search on behalf of, and co-operate with, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to monitor any areas and help eradicate them where they are found.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

HEALTH - CARE WORKERS:

DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS - RESPECT

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, to the Premier. Yesterday, the government held Question Period in the very early morning hours while most Nova Scotians were asleep, and while Nova Scotians were sleeping the Premier was finally admitting that he would say one thing in Opposition and another thing in power. He said, and we can only assume that he is talking from experience, that the great thing about being in Opposition is that you can make suggestions to government that you know are entirely impossible. So I would like to ask the Premier, do you think that it is impossible to respect the democratic rights of health care workers in this province even though you promised that you would?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the situation in terms of how we deal with hospital workers is most inappropriate in this province in that they were and, I think, inappropriately, given the right the strike. I believe that that right to strike was what motivated legislation back in 1975 to end what was a very, very derisive hospital strike during which Nova Scotians were denied critical care. We did not want that to happen and that's why we are here

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debating Bill No. 68. Along with that, it is the responsibility of government to work through this issue in a way that can guarantee health care not only for today, but in the long term, and we are determined to do that.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, the Premier basically admitted that the promises he made about health care are pie in the sky, are naive impossible dreams of an Opposition Leader. But now that he is in the government, he says it is all different, he doesn't need to keep his promises because it is too complex, or too involved, or too inconsistent with what his corporate friends want. What I always learned is that you shouldn't make promises you can't keep. So, again, I want to ask the Premier, did you promise to "improve the working conditions of nurses" knowing that you would ultimately throw that promise out the window?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I welcome that kind of question because we have been working, as a government, to improve the working conditions of nurses and we would be prepared to table the very extensive list of initiatives that we have taken to do exactly what the minister brings to the attention of the House, and that is improvement of the workplace conditions of nurses. We will be prepared to table that tomorrow if he would repeat the question.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Chebucto, you have about five seconds.

MR. EPSTEIN: . . . down to the Premier saying anything, that's what it is, but isn't that bill just an admission that the promises in Opposition . . .

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, time, of course, is quite limited, but we want to ensure that even though it is limited members here have as much time as those who are speaking at the Law Amendments Committee have, and that is five minutes. There will be a maximum of six speakers, it could be more than that if they use less than their five minutes. The order has been given, if people wish to speak in that order.

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[5:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 1697.

Res. No. 1697, Gov't (N.S.) - Health & Safety (N.S.): Protection Ensure - Partisan Campaign End - notice given June 18/01 - Mr. D. Dexter.

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

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I guess I will kick this off. We know, of course, that nurses and other health care workers have endured the consequences of 10 years of political interference and mismanagement in health care. We also know that when they were in Opposition, the Conservatives recognized that the result of that was poor morale and an unrewarding, negative work environment which contributed to the chaos that exists in the health care system.

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Conservative Government, the John Hamm Government is now risking dire consequences for Nova Scotian health care by launching a partisan campaign that attacks the workers instead of fixing that health care system. The operative clause in the resolution says it all. That, of course, is what is being debated:

"Therefore be it resolved that to protect the health and safety of Nova Scotians, the government should end its divisive, partisan campaign and trust health care workers enough to meet them as equals and freely negotiate positive and lasting changes for Nova Scotia health care."

With those few brief comments, I will take my place, and await a government response.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to enter this debate today, because that issue is why we are back in the Legislature, and what it is all about, the health and safety of Nova Scotians. This legislation was prompted for that very reason, for the health and safety of Nova Scotians. Had this gone on, the Opposition would have been the first ones to suggest that if we hadn't been in the House long enough and a strike had come on, we hadn't adequately planned and that we weren't ready, and had we done something the strike could have been averted.

That was the situation that we were faced with, and that is why we had to move on it. We could have looked at co-operation with Opposition, but that was highly unlikely and it would have been slowed down at every step. We had to look at the alternatives and that is why we are sitting here now, it is for the safety of Nova Scotians.

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Mr. Speaker, I had a caller call me the other day. The caller said, why not let all sides sit down on this bill and negotiate, and if there is no movement then you can come back and bring the House back. That was the point I am trying to make, that if you had co-operation, if you knew you could pass it, then you could do that. When you don't, you have to play the math game. I had a number of calls, we have all had a number of calls. I have had calls from nurses, I have had calls from doctors, I have had calls from people that have ranged the whole gamut.

I was asked; we were challenged by the Opposition to bring in some notes that we had from people who supported it. I intend to table this. It is from a constituent of mine in Wellington. The constituent says: I just want to let you know I support the proposed action of the government, keeping health care fully operational without adding to the already massive provincial debt. Premier Lord in New Brunswick took this action to protect both the people in need of health care and the already heavily-burdened taxpayers of the province. At the time, I commented that I hope Premier Hamm and his government would have the strength to do the same thing if the situation arose. I think there are many reluctant to stand up and be counted. I feel confident there are many others who agree with my position on this matter, probably comprising a significant number. (Interruptions) - I have had seven or eight. I am going to table them - Please feel free to pass on my comments to Premier Hamm and other members of the government.

I will table this, and those. (Interruptions) You can read it when it is tabled. Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid has had the same responses and the same calls. I don't presume they are any different in Sackville-Cobequid than in my riding. People are concerned with health care, and they want to be able to see that it is carried on and protected. As people respond to us, as nurses respond, the message that everybody is saying is that we have to make sure the services are there. That is why the bill goes into the ability to go back and negotiate.

Mr. Speaker, one of the parts of the bill is to allow the employees to be able to go back and bargain, because it is the position that we have been espousing (Interruptions) That is the issue and that is the consequence that we are following on. (Interruptions) I hear the member for Cape Breton The Lakes, now he wants to get in the debate. He challenges me to get up and speak and now he can't wait for his turn again. (Interruptions) My community is who I represent, and that is who I am here to speak for. I am here to speak for my community and work with all Nova Scotians. That is the challenge the government has; that is the challenge we have as a government; and that is the challenge that we set out to look at.

Mr. Speaker, as I say, in the closing remarks, the protection of health care is why this is here. We have a variety of people who are calling - I will table some more as the days go by and the calls come in - we all get some of these calls. Perhaps people have found that they wanted to selectively table some of these, but we are all getting these calls, so we have to bring this out.

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Mr. Speaker, that is why this bill is here, that is why we are back this summer, for the health and protection of Nova Scotians. Thank you. (Interruptions)

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

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the Official Opposition for this opportunity to speak today. I did get up very briefly yesterday and said what I had to say in about two minutes, which does not nearly do justice to what I eventually expect to say. I am looking forward to the Committee of the Whole House on it and I want to send notice here that you can expect a good deal more from me in the Committee of the Whole House than we have heard thus far. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the members of the Liberal caucus are not really very interested in hearing what the members of the government have to say. I think that is shame, but I do thank the members of the Official Opposition for giving me this opportunity. It is regrettable that we are getting so much heckling from the Third Party. (Interruptions) I can see that the time is quickly ticking by and, really, what I have to say is going to take possibly as much as an hour; however I would like to very briefly confirm that (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to get above braying from the Liberal Party, but I will do my best. The point has been brought up that the Opposition bailed out early last (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour has the floor.

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate now the chance for everybody to hear, for all Nova Scotians to hear that if the Opposition had taken all the time that was available to them and had delayed the passage of the bill to the maximum length of time last night, I would have been back within two hours - with two hours safety - to vote for Bill No. 68. I appreciate the opportunity to be able to get up here and after the fact be able to say I look forward to voting for it at the next stage and at the final stage and at any votes in between. I will be standing up for the public safety of Nova Scotians and the fiscal sustainability of health care in this province, and voting for Bill No. 68.

However, having said that, as the Premier has most eloquently stated on many occasions, as have other members of Cabinet and the Party, we do look forward to the opportunity of continuing conciliation or whatever form of negotiation that is most appropriate, so that a negotiated settlement can be brought to the table. There is no doubt that that is the choice of this government, and we know that with the proper determination by both sides it is still quite possible that that could happen.

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Mr. Speaker, I realize that time is running out on me, but I will be serving notice that at Committee of the Whole House on Bills I will be talking about fairness in the Canadian situation, as we compete with the wealthier provinces . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a question. I wonder if the member would entertain a brief question. I wonder if he could . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable Minister of Environment and Labour accept a question?

MR. MORSE: I look forward to continuing on the conversation, not only about the difficulties of the less-affluent provinces competing with the Albertas and the British Columbias and the Ontarios, but also some of the difficulties encountered by the health care workers who go down south of the border. They do follow, for a short time, the temptation of what has been provided for them, but having my sister married to one of them and her being a physician, I can tell you it is not that easy being in a country where there is no Medicare. It is very hard for those health care workers to deal with people who come looking for their services and . . .

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

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

HON. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the opportunity to get up today and speak to Resolution No. 1697. Thank you for that opportunity. The resolution clause is something to which I would like to direct my comments. It reads, to be clear and have it in the record:

"Therefore be it resolved that to protect the health and safety of Nova Scotians, the government should end its divisive, partisan campaign and trust health care workers enough to meet them as equals and freely negotiate positive and lasting changes for Nova Scotia health care."

Mr. Speaker, I find it particularly curious that the Party that will be finally talking about health care and safety for Nova Scotia, as is the intent of our action in Bill No. 68, the Opposition, alternatively, has shown its disregard for the need to ensure our system continues to function, and they have shown that over the last number of days in the way in which they have prolonged discussion and debate, delaying the opportunity to have that bill taken to the Law Amendments Committee so that the public could, in fact, have some input.

[Page 5668]

The whole intent of Bill No. 68 is to ensure that public safety is maintained. The legislation is prompted because of this government's need to ensure that people from one end of the province to the other are protected. That is our primary concern and the reason why we are here today. The repetitive comments in second reading and the use of time is simply, to me, evidence that the Opposition does not take this situation seriously. What the Opposition is doing is simply using it as an opportunity to posture and drag out and prolong the discussion that could, in fact, lead to a greater appreciation of just exactly how serious this situation in Nova Scotia is.

Mr. Speaker, we sat here for endless hours, and after the first number of hours, when the speakers rose on successive occasions to discuss the situation, it became somewhat tedious in the fact that they failed to introduce new points to the discussion. If they had, in fact, used the opportunity to focus the discussion and to, in each instance, expand upon the situation, rather than to simply use repetitive ongoing discussions that seemed to go in small circles, and, in fact, I hear some of the people opposite who did do exactly that now calling across trying to divert my attention from this issue of some substance. It is interesting that members of the Opposition, on a number of occasions, spoke directly to members on this side saying, rise on your feet and speak to this situation. We are, in fact, doing that today. (Interruptions)

[5:45 p.m.]

I have been asked by a caller, why not let sides sit down and bring the bill forward, if there is no movement, and that is a misunderstanding, Mr. Speaker. Even on the Opposition benches, if we had some co-operation here, if in fact, the purpose of this was to co-operate to address a very serious situation, we could come together. But what often happens is when - at least one of the Parties opposite, when they were in government, they had opportunities to do exactly the kinds of things we are doing. They spoke in support of legislation that is very similar to this legislation. Now, when they sit on the other side of the House, they take an entirely different direction. It is interesting that the perspective you bring to a situation is often very much reflected by where you sit in the House. Again, situations of gravity and seriousness such as this should not be used for small-minded, partisan political rhetoric.

Mr. Speaker, it's very unfortunate that the way in which the Opposition members are trying to position this is not doing justification and service to the seriousness nor to the dedication of the health professionals. I believe from personal experience, any time that I have had to access the health care system, the support given by the nurses and the health care professionals in this province is second to none anywhere in the world. It is critically important that we make sure that this bill is passed in a timely enough manner to avoid any work stoppage or work interruption . . .

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

[Page 5669]

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be able to participate in this debate. It is quite interesting that in the last 15 minutes, in three, five minute speeches, there has been more enlightenment shed on this topic than there was in the 60 hours of repetitive debate that has gone on in this Chamber since the bill was introduced.

I want to touch on two topics in my allotted time. (Interruptions) It is quite interesting to hear honourable members opposite shout and holler and scream and yell while members are on their feet attempting to express views. It is very enlightening to what motivates them. Mr. Speaker, perhaps the . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. I know there is a lot of discussion and chanting across the floor of the House, but it is getting very hard to hear the honourable member. I ask the honourable member to please rein himself in.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations has the floor.

MR. MACISAAC: I want to thank the honourable member for his patience. There are two topics that I would like to touch on in my allotted time, assuming the allotted time is given to me and not to points of order, having to deal with members opposite.

The first is the fact of the settlement to date that has been offered to the health care workers and, in particular, to the nurses; it is the 10.5 per cent increase. That, Mr. Speaker, when considered in comparison to other jurisdictions in this area and relative to the point made by the honourable Minister of Environment and Labour with respect to the (Interruption) I just want to point out to anyone who may be listening in the television audience that it is practically impossible to speak with the yelling that is coming across the way. They have accused us of not wanting to participate in this debate, when we do participate in the debate relative to this topic, they don't want to hear what we have to say. So, that is unfortunate because it shows a level of intolerance that is not befitting a member of this House and I believe that the honourable members should be fair and allow members to proceed and to present their views in this place.

As I indicated, Mr. Speaker, there were two topics that I wanted to touch on. I started to talk about the size of the offer that was made and that, when it is considered in the context of the environment, is a reasonable and fair offer. It is obviously not an offer that enables us to be competitive with the Province of Alberta which has a surplus of $1.1 billion. We are not in that league and what we present needs to be considered in the light of the fiscal reality of this province and that is where we have been so far.

[Page 5670]

I also want to point out, Mr. Speaker, the fact that we're dealing with a countdown to a strike action. That countdown is proceeding. The rules of this place when stretched to their limit, as they have been by members opposite, do not permit speedy passage of debate. The rules say that every member can have an hour on each motion that is before the House. Those are the rules of the place. When those rules are employed to their limit, their maximum, that means that for second reading we required in excess of 60 hours of debate plus . . .

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

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: I am very pleased that the honourable Leader of the Opposition brought forward this notice of motion. As you would know, Mr. Speaker, perhaps more so than most, while debate on the bill before the House was working its way through the various processes, i.e. an amendment to hoist it, i.e. an amendment to refer it to the Human Resources Committee, there was a requirement that yourself and myself continue to preside in the Chair over the various contributions that honourable members made to the debate.

I have to say, Mr. Speaker, that most of the debate was quite interesting. On many occasions I did feel that some of the points that were raised deserved a lot of consideration. I don't think there is any member on this side of the House who is overly excited and eager to advance this legislation. I don't think anybody on this side of the House has said that. I think what we are doing is taking a responsible stand against what we perceive to be some potential difficulty down the road.

Mr. Speaker, I remember in 1993 when the Savage forum came to office and I recognized at that particular time that, yes, the same as today, the province was carrying an incredible debt and the government of the day felt in their wisdom, not the Tory wisdom, not the NDP wisdom, the Liberal Government of the day felt that they must bring the finances of this province in order or else the whole province could be financially destructive. At that particular time the Savage Liberals rolled back the wages that were frozen, they rolled them back 3 per cent. The rationale that the Liberals gave Nova Scotians and the NDP caucus - I think there were three in the NDP caucus at that time and perhaps only eight or nine in our caucus - but, the rationale that the Liberals espoused was, we have to put our finances in order. Well, do you know what this government did? They made an offer of 10.5 per cent and in very difficult financial times.

Do you know, Mr. Speaker, I know first-hand a PCW, a personal care worker, who has worked for 10 years and she comes home at night with a lot of aches and pains. Her feet ache, her knees ache, her back aches. Health care providers in this province are to be trusted and they are to be respected and members on this side of the House respect and trust them. (Applause)

[Page 5671]

As I indicated earlier, yes, some of the arguments brought forward by honourable members opposite were appreciated, were respected, they renewed points that deserve consideration, but when we are told by the district health authorities, by the CEOs that they are concerned - not all of them, no, not all of them, but when we are told by some of them, a good number of them - that the contingency plan that is in place will not be sufficient, there are no guarantees that the contingency plan will suffice to meet the very basic needs of Nova Scotians.

The Health Minister knows that I know relatives of mine who are waiting for urgent cardiac procedures that have been cancelled, have been delayed. I know a gentleman who went to the hospital for an aneurism operation behind his stomach and he was told that his bed and his appointment was delayed because there weren't nurses - I know that is happening. The health care providers in Nova Scotia, are to be respected . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member's time has expired and time on Resolution No. 1697 has expired. The Rule of the House is to allow the honourable Government House Leader time to give the business and the hours of tomorrow, which he will do now.

The honourable Government House Leader on tomorrow's business and hours please.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the House will meet tomorrow at the hour of 8:00 p.m. and sit until 11:00 p.m. The order of business following Question Period will be - there will be, essentially, no business following Question Period tomorrow. The House will then adjourn to meet again early Friday morning.

Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now adjourn.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn until 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South on a question.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Early Friday morning means what?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: It will probably be 12:01 a.m., I imagine.

AN HON. MEMBER: So we can have a recorded vote now on the adjournment.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Government House Leader gave the hours for tomorrow of 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.

AN HON. MEMBER: And we called for a recorded vote.

[Page 5672]

MR. SPEAKER: A recorded vote has been called for. The issue of recorded vote - when I was aware that there was going to be a change in the hours, looking at extended sitting hours, it does say on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday that the House shall not sit later than 8:00 p.m., so when you look at Rule 5C the honourable Government House Leader can change that with the majority vote of the House. I will allow a recorded vote. We will ring the bells to the satisfaction of the Whips.

[5:59 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. A recorded vote has been called on the hours for tomorrow.

[Are the Whips satisfied?]

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[6:59 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Rodney MacDonald Mr. Corbett

Mr. Christie Mr. Holm

Mr. Baker Dr. Smith

Mr. Russell Mr. Wilson

Mr. LeBlanc Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Muir Mr. Samson

Mr. Fage

Mr. Balser

Mr. Parent

Ms. McGrath

Mr. Ronald Chisholm

Mr. Olive

Mr. Morse

Mr. MacIsaac

Mr. DeWolfe

Mr. Taylor

Mr. Dooks

Mr. Langille

Mr. Chataway

Mr. Clarke

Mr. Hendsbee

[Page 5673]

Mrs. Baillie

Mr. Carey

Mr. Morash

Mr. Chipman

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Hurlburt

THE CLERK: For, 28. Against, 6.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

The House is adjourned until 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night.

[The House rose at 7:01 p.m.]

[Page 5674]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 1824

By: Mr. William Dooks (Eastern Shore)

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

Whereas one of the most important things that people from around the world wish for is peace and Canada is a world leader in diplomacy to achieve this end; and

Whereas Canadian peacekeepers are cherished and revered around the world for this presence in addition to the courage they display in the face of extremely dangerous and volatile circumstances; and

Whereas Mr. Stewart "Skip" Duffie will be presented with a Canadian peacekeeping medal at a ceremony being held tomorrow in Musquodoboit Harbour for his commendable service in the Belgian Congo during its civil unrest in the 1960's;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House salute Skip Duffie for his contribution to world peace and for being an enormous source of pride for all Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 1825

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 the Campaign for Fairness received another boost from the Edmonton Sun, June 15th which read, "As Klein so eloquently put it: 'Every dollar that stays in this province (Nova Scotia) is worth far, far more than any dollar that comes from Ottawa.'"; and

Whereas it goes on to say, "Albertans fought long and hard to win control over their natural resources in the 1930s. By a quirk of fate, Nova Scotia's new-found wealth lies under the seabed and not on dry land. As a result, only 19 cents of every dollar remains with Nova Scotians"; and

Whereas it continues, "It's absolutely deplorable that so many people have been forced to move away from home and family when the financial resources to make their great province thrive are so close to home, or rather just off their coasts";

[Page 5675]

Therefore be it resolved that all members encourage Ottawa's adoption of the sentiment of this campaign and, as the editorial concluded, "The (Federal Government's) right to collect them should be transferred to the Atlantic provinces quickly. That's the Canadian way, or at least it should be."

RESOLUTION NO. 1826

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 a skilled workforce in Cape Breton was a key to attracting Upsource Contact Centre and Technical Services Company to the North Sydney Mall; and

Whereas the announcement in early June that the San Francisco-based company's state-of-the-art facility will set up shop means 71 people will find jobs; and

Whereas the parent company of Upsource Inc. is Share Group Inc., a full-service telemarketing firm founded in 1983, offering services to businesses and non-profit organizations such as telephone fundraising, voter outreach programs, inbound customer service, database management and Internet solutions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this government recognize that this announcement and others like it will create a domino effect, reinvigorating the economy of Cape Breton and congratulate Upsource Inc. for making the decision to bring its business to the region.