The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Mon., June 25, 2001

[Page 5695]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2001

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

12:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria.

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from staff at the Victoria County Memorial Hospital in Baddeck. The petition reads:

"Whereas the Premier and the Minister of Health have continually shown their disregard for the rights of health care workers in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Minister of Health has now introduced Bill No. 68, which will remove the right to strike for 9,000 acute care workers as well as deny them access to free collective bargaining; and

Whereas the right to free collective bargaining is the cornerstone of a free and democratic society;

5695

[Page 5696]

Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, negotiating fair and reasonable settlements with them."

Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my signature to that petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I, too, am pleased to present a petition signed by 39 concerned residents of the Bridgewater and New Germany area. The operative clause reads, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." I have affixed my signature to that list as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by 39 residents of Mill Cove, Lunenburg, LaHave, in the Bridgewater area where the operative clause is, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." I will affix my signature to that.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on Bill 68. The operative clause is, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria.

[Page 5697]

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from several health care workers across Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. I will read the operative clause. "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." There are over 100 names on this petition and I have affixed my name to it.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby table a petition signed by almost 40 individuals from the Liverpool, Blockhouse, Mahone Bay and Pleasantville areas. The operative clause is, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." I have affixed my signature to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause reads, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." The petition bears 180 names from Glace Bay all the way to the Dartmouth-Halifax area, and I have affixed my signature to it.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of health care consumers who are in the catchment area for the Soldiers Memorial Hospital. The operative clause reads, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, commit to negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement with them." It is signed by 78 signatures.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

[Page 5698]

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by residents of Nova Scotia.

"Whereas the Premier and Minister of Health have continually shown their disrespect for health care workers, especially with the introduction of Bill 68;

Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, negotiating fair and decent settlements with them."

Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my signature to that.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a petition on Bill 68, the operative clause being, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68 and at the same time, commit to negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." The signatures are from members of the public in the Windsor area of Nova Scotia. There are 23 signatures on the petition, and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition, I believe, by the clients, and residents in the Springhill area, of High Crest Nursing Home. The operative clause is, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, commit to negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." There are 24 signatures, and I have affixed my signature, as well, in support.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[Page 5699]

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition, the operative clause of which reads, "Therefore be it resolved that we, the undersigned, call on this government to demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, health care workers in Nova Scotia by immediately withdrawing Bill 68, and at the same time, commit to negotiating fair and decent settlements with them." The petition is signed by 34 members of CUPE Local 2046, and I have affixed my name to it.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 69 - Entitled an Act to Maintain Adequate Levels of Nursing Professionals in Nova Scotia. (Dr. James Smith)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 1838

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

Whereas an editorial in June 21st's Globe and Mail entitled, The Wrong Way to Deal with the Nurses' Despair opined that this Tory Government and the Liberal Government of British Columbia have something in common - "they know how to pour gasoline on a fire"; and

Whereas the Globe goes on to say that Our Premier "didn't improve his stock by indulging in a bit of blackmail" in promising ". . . not to introduce the bill . . ." Bill No. 68 ". . . if nurses would accept the government's previous offer, the one they had already rejected"; and

[Page 5700]

Whereas the Globe concluded that this is a bad law that will "sap the morale of all" and a citizen's obligation to obey even bad laws "may be very severely tested"';

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Minister of Health follow the Globe and Mail's advice that the best way to avoid citizens railing against a bad law is "not to implement those laws in the first place."

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 1839

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

Whereas on July 27, 1999, the member for Shelburne was elected as a member of the House of Assembly; and

Whereas the Tory blue book states: "Nova Scotians expect their government to conduct the people's business in the open and to provide the public with opportunities for input"; and

[12:15 a.m.]

Whereas this Tory Government has shown its disdain for this very principle by limiting the number of Nova Scotians making presentations before the Law Amendments Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Shelburne vote against Bill No. 68 and apologize to nurses, health care workers and all Nova Scotians for forgetting the proud, democratic traditions upon which this great province was born.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5701]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1840

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

Whereas the Cole Harbour Community Radio (CHCN), 106.9 FM, began broadcasting live in the Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage and Preston areas on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30 a.m. in the Gordon Bell Building Auditorium in Cole Harbour, featuring music from local entertainers, as well as community and school news and information; and

Whereas the station is part of a plan that began five years ago to improve relations between the culturally diverse communities that make up Cole Harbour District High School, with more than 100 volunteers working for close to two and a half years to get CHCN on the air; and

Whereas the launch was kicked off with RCMP Corporal Keith Bromwell singing O Canada, followed by Rosella Fraser singing the Black National Anthem, with representatives of the country, province and local community, including our Lieutenant Governor, Myra Freeman and Senator Donald Oliver on hand for the ceremony;

Therefore be it resolved that all members recognize the hard work of all volunteers and community leaders resulting in a significant milestone in community development and cultural relations in the Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage and Preston areas.

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 5702]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 1841

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

Whereas modern health care spans many, many professions; and

Whereas some of those professions including diagnostic imaging instructors, dark room radiology technologists, senior radiology technologists, EKG techs, and lab assistants; and

Whereas these health care workers contribute not only to the health and well-being of Nova Scotians in their work but to the social fabric of the communities in which they live;

Therefore be it resolved that this government realize that their wrong-headed, "take what we're offering you and shut up Act" is a recipe for the exodus of health care workers that will cripple the health care system and the communities in which they live.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1842

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

Whereas on July 27, 1999, the member for Preston was elected as a member of the House of Assembly; and

Whereas the Tory blue book states: "Nova Scotians . . ." (Interruptions) Well, that could be questionable. " . . . expect their government to conduct the people's business in the open and to provide the public with opportunities for input"; and

Whereas this Tory Government has shown its disdain for this very principle by limiting the number of Nova Scotians making presentations before the Law Amendments Committee;

[Page 5703]

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Preston vote against Bill No. 68 and apologize to the nurses, health care workers and all Nova Scotians for forgetting the proud, democratic traditions upon which this great province was born.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 1843

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

Whereas the member for Kings West was notably absent from this Chamber during the vote on second reading of the government's contemptuous Healthcare Service Continuation (2001) Bill; and

Whereas the member has indicated that he wishes to seek counsel from the constituents who elected him to this Legislature; and

Whereas last week's rally by health care workers at the Valley Regional Hospital, which the Premier wouldn't let him attend, saw workers and his constituents voice their concerns about this governments' disdainful treatment of the province's health care workers;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Kings West phone, fax, e-mail, link by satellite or use whatever means are available to him to make contact with his constituents who attended the rally in the Valley and heed their concerns as he prepares to vote on third reading of the notorious "take what we're offering you and shut up or else Act."

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

[Page 5704]

RESOLUTION NO. 1844

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

Whereas nurses from DHA 4 voted 92 per cent in favour of striking; and

Whereas DHA 4 covers Colchester Hospital in Truro, and Lillian Fraser Hospital in Tatamagouche; 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 withdraw Bill No. 68.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1845

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

Whereas maturity means the ability to hold back first impulses and employ a well thought-out, measured response to difficult situations; and

Whereas Nova Scotians expect their government to maintain calm and stability in all of its dealings; and

Whereas this government is displaying an astonishing lack of maturity in its knee-jerk, sky-is-falling response to a potentially difficult situation;

[Page 5705]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House admonish this immature government and advise it to rethink its wrong-headed policies toward health care workers.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 1846

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

Whereas on July 27, 1999, the member for Annapolis was elected as a member of the House of Assembly; and

Whereas the Tory blue book states, "Nova Scotians expect their government to conduct the people's business in the open and to provide the public with opportunities for input."; and

Whereas this Tory government has shown its disdain for this very principle by limiting the number of Nova Scotians making presentations before the Law Amendments Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Annapolis vote against Bill No. 68 and apologize to nurses, health care workers and all Nova Scotians for forgetting the proud democratic traditions upon which this great province was born.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 1847

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

[Page 5706]

Whereas the member for Pictou West has been closeted away in this House, away from her constituents as her Cabinet colleagues try to drive through the "take what we are offering you and shut up or else Act"; and

Whereas the abbreviated hearings before the Law Amendments Committee have allowed the member for Pictou West to hear the frustration and desperation of her constituents as they plead for this government to stop this ill-conceived bill; and

Whereas, surely the member for Pictou West will not ignore the clear opposition of her constituents to the bill in favour of propping up this soon-to-be one-term Premier;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Pictou West work with her backbench colleagues to remind the Premier and the Minister of Health that they didn't sign on to disembowel the health care system against the wishes of their constituents.

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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 1848

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

Whereas on July 27, 1999, the member for Pictou West was elected as a member of the House of Assembly; and

Whereas the Tory blue book states, "Nova Scotians expect their government to conduct the people's business in the open and to provide the public with opportunities for input."; and

Whereas this Tory Government has shown its disdain for this very principle by limiting the number of Nova Scotians making presentations before the Law Amendments Committee;

[Page 5707]

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Pictou West vote against Bill No. 68 and apologize to nurses, health care workers and all Nova Scotians for forgetting the proud, democratic traditions upon which this great province was born.

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 Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1849

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

Whereas bargaining in good faith is a hallmark of a free and democratic society in the modern western world; and

Whereas curbs on bargaining in good faith are typical indicators of backward, undemocratic regimes found in Third World countries; and

Whereas this government is determined to place curbs on collective bargaining at every level;

Therefore be it resolved that the backbenchers on the government side remind the members of Cabinet that they reside in a modern, western democratic society, which will have its way with them next time at the polls.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1850

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

[Page 5708]

Whereas nurses from DHA 3 voted 76 per cent in favour of a strike; and

Whereas DHA 3 covers the following health centres: Annapolis Community, Soldiers Memorial, West Kings, Eastern Kings, and Valley Regional; and

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

Therefore be it resolved that this government show nurses and health care workers the respect they deserve and immediately withdraw 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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

[12:26 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Brooke Taylor in the Chair.]

[8:35 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

[Page 5709]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 68 - Healthcare Services Continuation (2001) Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendment.

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

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, last week I had risen on a point of privilege in this House and you, Mr. Speaker, had made a ruling and, upon your recommendation, the House had referred the matter on to the Internal Affairs Committee. We have talked about the matter in this our caucus and have talked to the Liberal caucus, the Government House Leader and it is our opinion that with the unanimous consent of the House that we are prepared to certainly let the matter drop at this stage, that we are satisfied with the ruling that had been given by you, Mr. Speaker. Therefore I would move that the matter be dropped and no need to refer the matter any further on to the Internal Affairs Committee.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that the government certainly concurs with it and we thank the Opposition very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

To the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid, thank you for that motion.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet at the hour of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday and the House will sit until 23:59 or 11:59 on Tuesday evening - that is p.m. The order of business will be Public Bills for Third Reading and the bill will be Bill No. 68.

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

[Page 5710]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House adjourn until 12:01 a.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[The motion is carried.]

We stand adjourned until 12:01 a.m.

[The House rose at 8:37 p.m.]