The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Tue., Nov. 13, 2001

[Page 6949]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2001

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

4:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. JAMES DEWOLFE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Standing Committee on Resources.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

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Bill No. 29 - Elections Act.

Bill No. 82 - Municipal Law Amendment (2001) Act.

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

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

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 75 - Revenue Act.

Bill No. 80 - House of Assembly Act.

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

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

The honourable member for Colchester North.

MR. WILLIAM LANGILLE: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Standing Committee on Veteran Affairs, I am pleased to submit the 2000-01 report of the committee for the Second Session of the 58th General Assembly.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: I, as Speaker, beg leave to table the annual report for the period of October 1, 2000 to September 30, 2001, the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Office Report.

The report is tabled.

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STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2410

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 annual Maclean's university rankings placed Acadia and St. F.X. in the top five undergraduate institutions in the country; and

Whereas St. Mary's joined these universities in the top 10 list of the best institutions in the country; and

Whereas on reputation alone, Acadia University was listed as offering the highest quality, producing leaders of tomorrow, being the most innovative and the best overall undergraduate university in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the ability of Nova Scotia's post-secondary institutions to consistently match and exceed the quality of education offered by other universities across the country and congratulate our institutions on their 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 the Public Service Commission.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2411

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

Whereas today, the Nova Scotia Government held the 35th annual Long Service Award ceremony to honour civil servants who have achieved 25 years of service; and

Whereas a total of 209 provincial employees celebrated this career milestone among friends, family and co-workers; and

Whereas this group of recipients represents the diverse range of services provided in the provincial Civil Service, from inspectors to admin support to social workers to computer experts to deputy ministers to policy analysts;

Therefore be it resolved that the House extend its congratulations to the women and men honoured for their years of service to Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[4:15 p.m.]

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 89 - Entitled an Act to Recognize Heritage Angling, Hunting and Trapping and to Amend Chapter 504 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Wildlife Act. (Hon. Ernest Fage)

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

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HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the Minister of Economic Development. Before I introduce the bill, I would like to introduce three individuals in your gallery, from the Nova Scotia Co-Operative Council, the President of the Council is Marinus Van de Sande. Marinus is a native of Antigonish County, I would like to note that. With Marinus is the CEO of the Nova Scotia Co-Operative Council, Dianne Fitzgerald; with them, from the Department of Economic Development is Jeff MacCallum, who worked very closely with these individuals on the development of this legislation. (Applause)

Bill No. 90 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 98 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Co-Operative Associations Act. (Hon. Gordon Balser)

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. 2412

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

Whereas New Yorkers had just begun their recovery from the shock and horror of the tragic events of September 11th; and

Whereas yesterday, their spirit received another crushing blow when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed, with much loss of life, into the New York neighbourhood of Rockaway Beach; and

Whereas Nova Scotians stand strong in support of New Yorkers during these terrible days, and hope that their long night of anguish will soon pass;

Therefore be it resolved that this House express its shock and dismay at yesterday's tragedy in New York and send its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to those New Yorkers suffering through this long night.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

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It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 2413

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Tourism Association plays a key role in marketing tourism in Cape Breton; and

Whereas if there has ever been a time when Nova Scotia can't afford to lose tourism revenue, it is now; and

Whereas Tourism Cape Breton is facing a shortfall in revenue from both the federal and provincial levels of government;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Tourism get involved in the funding dispute between these governments and Tourism Cape Breton so they will be able to properly market our world-renowned Island.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

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RESOLUTION NO. 2414

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

Whereas Dr. M. Allen Gibson is much respected and well liked and has been an important member of the community of Chester for more than 50 years, gaining the love and admiration of those who have come to know him; and

Whereas Dr. M. Allen Gibson was one of the longest-serving and most-distinguished ministers in the Chester United Church's 240 year history, has authored 15 books and, until recently, was a popular columnist for The Chronicle-Herald and Mail-Star for over 46 years; and

Whereas the congregation of the United Baptist Church has shown their true admiration for Dr. M. Allen Gibson by renaming their parsonage Gibson House as a testament to his years of committed service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join the congregation of Chester United Baptist Church and pay tribute to Dr. M. Allen Gibson, an exemplary man whom many generations have always held in admiration.

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 North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2415

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

Whereas this government commissioned the Kendrick report and promptly shelved it; and

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Whereas the Kendrick report calls for the active involvement of people with disabilities, their families and all stakeholders in arriving at policy and programs for people with disabilities; and

Whereas the Community Action Coalition for the Implementation of the Kendrick Report will hold its candlelight vigil today outside the Legislature to plead for this government to allow people with disabilities a voice in setting public policy affecting them;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Community Action Coalition for the Implementation of the Kendrick Report for its tireless efforts on behalf of people with disabilities and call on the Minister of Community Services to implement the Kendrick report immediately.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2416

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

Whereas terrorists have wrecked havoc on the civilized world; and

Whereas the U.S.-led coalition with NATO partners and others, particularly several Islamic and Muslim countries, have joined forces to bring an end to terrorism; and

Whereas Pakistan is one such country which has demonstrated considerable courage, commitment, resolve and leadership in the present war against terrorism;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House by way of this resolution to the Minister of National Defence, Hon. Art Eggleton, thank President Pervez Musharraf and the Country of Pakistan for their considerable support and efforts to end terrorism in the civilized world.

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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 Eastern Shore.

RESOLUTION NO. 2417

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

Whereas there is no time in recent history when the risks associated with the job as well as the sense of duty of all fire departments has been more evident to all; and

Whereas Dean Emmerson of the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department has placed his life on the line for the good of his community for the last four decades, rising through the ranks from regular firefighter to deputy chief to captain of the hoses; and

Whereas not only is his community appreciative of his commitment to Oxford and area, but his fellow firefighters value his knowledge, his work and think so well of him personally, a true credit to an individual;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Dean Emmerson for standing above the crowd through outstanding service for 40 years with the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department, a true Nova Scotian hero.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2418

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

Whereas the Tantallon Public Library is now open; and

Whereas at the official opening there was an overwhelming response from the community and particularly from young people; and

Whereas this library has quickly become the focal point of our growing community;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Librarian Elaine Murray and her staff on the opening of the Tantallon Public Library.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2419

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

Whereas Anastasia Tobin of Sydney Mines turned 100 years old on Saturday, November 10th; and

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Whereas Ms. Tobin has 29 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; and

Whereas Ms. Tobin is a charter member of St. Pius X CWL and there was an open house at the church in honour of her birthday;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Anastasia Tobin on the occasion of her 100th birthday.

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 Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2420

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

Whereas the Second Annual Peacekeeping Medal Service in Nova Scotia was recently held at Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal is an outward recognition of an inner strength and represents the thanks of a very grateful nation; and

Whereas Hank (Henry) Colyer of Bridgetown was among the 23 men and women honoured this year and received recognition for his work in Korea in 1954, marking the first time he had formally received a medal in a ceremonial fashion;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Mr. Hank Colyer and the other Canadian peacekeepers for their selfless dedication to establishment and promotion of peace, order and good government throughout the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2421

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

Whereas literacy has always been the basis of a sound education; and

Whereas education allows people to realize their potential and contributes to the commonwealth of human kind; and

Whereas on September 10th, Mr. Jack McCullough of Elmsdale Lumber Company was honoured with a Workplace Education Ambassador Award in recognition of his effort in promoting education as a lifelong endeavour and for his own accomplishments in achieving a higher level of education;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly extend their congratulations to Mr. Jack McCullough on his receipt of the Workplace Education Ambassador Award in recognition of his stellar efforts in promoting education for adults.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2422

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

Whereas Mr. Ben Hebb of Wileville was crowned double champion at the 17th Annual Windsor-West Hants Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-off with a 917 pound squash and a 938.5 pound pumpkin; and

Whereas Mr. Roland Rhodenizer and family of Newcombville raised four of the top 10 squashes, including 2nd place squash weighing 868 pounds; and

Whereas Ms. Lisa Wentzell's Midville Branch pumpkin - it wasn't quite as large as Midville Branch, Mr. Speaker - won 3rd prize in the weigh-off;

Therefore be it resolved that Lunenburg County - where the squashes grow half as tall as Christmas trees and twice as wide - be acknowledged as this year's pumpkin and squash capital of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2423

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

Whereas the visual arts make a very significant contribution to the diverse cultural composition of the Province of Nova Scotia; and

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Whereas the work of artists Susan MacEachern, Svava Juliusson, Irena Schön and Jane Schlosberg, all of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, were recently featured in the Visual Arts News, the publication of the non-profit art service organization, Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) founded in 1976; and

Whereas the artistic scope of these prolific and talented artists includes sketched works, sculptures, photography and painting on a variety of media;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the valuable contribution of Susan MacEachern, Svava Juliusson, Irena Schön and Jane Schlosberg and all Nova Scotian artists to the province's culture and heritage, and thank Visual Arts Nova Scotia for their dedication and commitment in promoting the work and talent of our province's artisans.

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 Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 2424

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

Whereas Donna MacCarville has been the backbone of the Greystone Tenants Association for 18 years; and

Whereas Donna, a Greystone resident for 25 years, began as secretary of the association in 1983 and worked her way up to President; and

Whereas she sees the focus of her job helping people through programs, such as the Greystone Food Bank, tutoring programs, the Family SOS Centre and social events;

[Page 6963]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize and congratulate Donna MacCarville, President of the Greystone Tenants Association for her years of continued, committed service to her 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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2425

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

Whereas the member for Kings North, a.k.a. the reluctant politician doesn't like the parliamentary system, has disdain for its politicians and really doesn't like being in the House of Assembly; and

Whereas the member incessantly feeds into stereotypes about politicians yet doesn't realize that he's just a Tory backbench yes man whose constant refrain to the Premier and his Cabinet is yes sir, yes sir, three bags full, sir; and

Whereas now the member wants fewer seats in the House of Assembly;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Kings North recognize that if he hates politics and politicians so much he could reduce the number by one by recognizing he is dead weight in a useless Tory backbench and then he can take his ball and bat and go home.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2426

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

Whereas a three year agreement between Massachusetts-based Babcock Borsig Power and Banc Metal Industries was recently signed, valued at an estimated $100 million; and

Whereas this lucrative contract was awarded to Banc Metal Industries because of their competitive pricing, its deep water ports, and because they won the American company's confidence as people who keep their word and who produce quality work in a timely fashion; and

Whereas this contract for the fabrication of emission-reducing equipment for power plants will generate 200 jobs for the Pictou Shipyards and will help ensure long-term growth for this company;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate the owner of Banc Metal Industries, Besim Halef, on the awarding of this important contract and the workers whose skill and energies will be employed in what could prove to be a growing market.

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 Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2427

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

Whereas Susan Dodd served this Legislature during the last year of operation of the excellent Legislative Intern Program; and

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Whereas that education served Ms. Dodd well as she went on to bigger and better roles in the world of politics and academia; and

Whereas Ms. Dodd successfully defended her dissertation at York University on November 5th, meaning she has earned her Doctorate in Sociology;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Dr. Susan Dodd on earning her Doctorate of Sociology and wishes her a long and successful career at Kings in academia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

[4:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2428

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

Whereas Ron Weber and Associates has officially opened its business operations in Sydney River, Cape Breton, on November 12, 2001; and

Whereas this Fortune 500 company has created 320 full-time jobs within this rapid-growth area of industrial Cape Breton; and

Whereas Ron Weber of Ron Weber and Associates has cited a high-quality workforce, a conducive business environment and geographics as key elements to locating in Sydney River;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and welcome Ron Weber and Associates and its staff on becoming vital business partners in the new economy of industrial Cape Breton.

[Page 6966]

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2429

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

Whereas our region's finest Black performers were honoured this past weekend on Saturday, November 10th; and

Whereas the fourth annual African Nova Scotian Music Awards (ANSMA) were highlighted by the amazing performances of award winners, including 13 year old Tiyaila Cain-Grant; the Carson Downey Band, Papa Grand and Jeremiah Sparks; and

Whereas the awards are not only a wonderful showcase for current local Black artists but also acknowledge the excellence in the field of past performers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate ANSMA for its fourth year of recognition for our fine Black artists and commend the 2001 winners, wishing them all the best as they continue to make gains in the music industry and with fans everywhere.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 6967]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2430

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

Whereas on Saturday, October 20, 2001, the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Rails to Trails was officially opened; and

Whereas this trail has the potential to be a popular recreational facility for the citizens of all ages of these growing communities; and

Whereas this project resulted because of the countless hours of numerous volunteers;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate and thank all the residents of Beechville, Lakeside and Timberlea for their initiative in the Rails to Trails project.

I ask for waiver, Mr. Speaker.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2431

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

Whereas the Northside Hospital Foundation will stage a major fundraiser beginning on November 30th at the Northside General Hospital; and

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Whereas the Lights for Health 2001 Campaign will raise funds to purchase much- needed medical equipment; and

Whereas the foundation is raising these funds by asking the general public to purchase lights for the foundation's Christmas tree;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House urge the general public to support this initiative and congratulate the Northside Hospital Foundation in its worthwhile efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2432

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

Whereas organized recreation is an essential part of summer's activities for young people; and

Whereas soccer is the province's fastest-growing sport; and

Whereas the Hants East Under 14 Tier II girls' soccer team won its second provincial championship on the Labour Day weekend in Bedford-Sackville, capping an undefeated season with undefeated tournament play;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Legislature congratulate the staff, coaches and players of the East Hants Under 14 girls' soccer team for their awesome display of excellence.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 6969]

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. 2433

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

Whereas the Windsor Warlord Division II Invitational Basketball Tournament was held at Windsor Regional High School on November 8th, 9th and 10th; and

Whereas eight teams from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick competed in the tournament; and

Whereas the Amherst Vikings won the championship and team member Kirk VanVulpen was named the most valuable player in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kirk VanVulpen, the Amherst Vikings and their coaches Andy Kranack, Dwight Jones, and Ben McIsaac for their success of the Windsor Warlord Division II Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, may I request the concurrence of the House to revert to the order of business, Statements by Ministers.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of the Public Service Commission.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Now, if I can locate my statement, I will be in business. This has not been a great start today.

As Minister of the Public Service Commission, I would like to comment briefly on Public Service employees and unpaid leave during the holiday season. With Christmas just over a month away, many of us are starting to think about and plan for the time we would like to share with family and friends. Once again this year, employees who wish to have some extra time off have the option of taking voluntary, unpaid leave. Unpaid leave will not affect the operation of normal business, Mr. Speaker. Restrictions have been put in place to ensure that essential services are not interrupted. Management and staff will make arrangements so that fair and equitable time is granted to everyone who requests it.

Last year 207 provincial employees opted for unpaid Christmas leave. This amounted to the equivalent of 717 working days, at a cost saving of $108,000 to the province. This year, leave can be taken between December 17, 2001, and January 4, 2002. It is worth mentioning that unpaid leave does not include vacation days allotted to employees. Employees can still request vacation time during the holidays and not lose pay. The holidays are a time of warmth and peace, and we encourage all employees to spend time with their loved ones and to reflect on the kindness of friends and co-workers. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for providing me with a copy of his statement. On behalf of the NDP caucus, we are certainly always happy when government extends the opportunity for its workers to enjoy some time with their families at this time of the year. We are also very happy when these kinds of leaves are voluntary and not imposed on workers, as they were during the Savage days.

Mr. Speaker, I note however, that in spite of this opportunity last year really only a very small number of members of the Public Service took advantage of this option. We have almost 6,000 public servants in the province, so having 207 public employees take this opportunity is really (Interruption) Oh, only 40,000. Well provincial employees, we have about 6,000 members in the Civil Service, so I think it is actually a very small number and

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I would say to the minister that we should look on this as a family-friendly workplace policy, not as an opportunity to save money. Saving $108,000 is always a nice thing, but really, Mr. Speaker, it is pocket change if you think that this province spends $5 billion annually in its budget.

So we wish the provincial employees well at the Christmas break, those who take advantage of this opportunity, and those who will continue to provide public services to Nova Scotians throughout the holidays. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, we in Liberal caucus would also like to thank the minister for providing us with a copy of his statement beforehand. Again, I don't know if anybody would indeed argue against any such thing as unpaid leave for the holiday season, even though a small number of employees are taking advantage of it, and hopefully more will. It is questionable whether or not this government and the minister are trying to play the bottom line game again by saying that it saves $108,000. I don't know what that means, and I don't know why the minister would include that in his statement but, of course, we wish the employees and their families well. It is good for them to be home during the holidays.

Mr. Speaker, having said that, I think it would be much better if indeed the minister paid more attention to what is going on within the Civil Service, to such things as appointing someone to an arbitration board, which the Civil Service of course has been calling for for some time. The minister has paid no heed whatsoever to calls from the NSGEU to appoint someone to that arbitration board. I think, indeed, the minister knows that if he wants his employees to treat his government and himself with respect, then that respect should be shown in turn to the employees. It would be a small step and something they have been calling on for quite some time. Having said that, of course, as the Minister of the Public Service Commission has said, this will give the employees a brief time, an unpaid time, with their families and friends over the holidays. We hope they enjoy it and wish them well, and we thank the minister for his statement.

[4:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Before we go to Orders of the Day, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Dartmouth East:

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier, who promised strong leadership and a clear course, is overseeing an agenda that is clearly off course.

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

[Page 6972]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 4:46 p.m. and will end at 5:46 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

EDUC. - C.B.: TEACHERS - LOSS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Superintendent of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, Mr. Ed Davis, said today that this government is forcing him to get rid of hundreds of teachers. Mr. Davis said that the Cabinet is forcing the cuts by dictating that the board increase its student teacher ratio. This decision has caused Mr. Davis to create a plan that will cut a total of 142 teachers over the next four years. My question to the Minister of Education is, why is it that this Cabinet is following a course that could lead to the loss of hundreds of teachers in Cape Breton?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, as the House may recall, last spring upon several occasions we gave the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board more money than had been budgeted for because we do recognize that they have a difficult problem. In the end, we asked for a plan; we asked for their plan to be presented to us by the fall so that we could help the board achieve the reductions it needs to make in an orderly and timely fashion.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board Superintendent Ed Davis says that student-teacher ratio is a poor way to judge education. In fact, he says it's irrelevant. This is because the formula includes any teachers who work in administration or other positions. A better formula might be to compare the actual class size averages. My question for the troubled Minister of Education is, why are you forging ahead with this formula when you know that it will cost hundreds of Cape Breton teachers their jobs and potentially close schools?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, actually the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has one of the best teacher-student ratios in the province. We are not going out of our way to close schools or to move teachers to other parts of the province, but the fact is that we are losing students at a very high rate from that school board. They are being funded at a base level of 1996. It does not make sense to keep schools open which are only half full and to keep teachers there who could be used in the rest of the province.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, we know that the Minister of Education doesn't care about jobs in Cape Breton. Her Sysco postcard made that abundantly clear. This is a wake-up call to the backbench Tories over there, because where these cuts are going to come next is in rural Nova Scotia. I bet many in the Tory backbenches would be interested to know that Mr. Davis said that the minister's ratio formula threatens every rural school in the province.

[Page 6973]

My question to the minister is, why is she insisting on a ratio formula that threatens hundreds of teaching jobs in Cape Breton and in rural Nova Scotia?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the last I heard, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board was also responsible for Sydney, which, the last I heard, was not a rural constituency. Be that as it may, Nova Scotia is losing students at a fairly dramatic rate. This is happening all across the province. What we are trying to do is to make sure that the student-teacher ratio is relatively even from one end of the province to the other. And, no, my job as Education Minister is not to provide for job creation in the school boards in Cape Breton or anywhere else. Thank you.

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

FIN. - SABLE GAS: AGREEMENT - INTENTIONS

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Last Thursday, the Economic Development Minister and the Finance Minister were playing games when they said that Nova Scotia was not considering a $150 million buy-in on a natural gas pipeline. Their answers were evasive and misleading. On Friday both members changed their tune, but each had a different story. The Economic Development Minister said the province was considering all options, including $150 million buy-in on the PanCanadian pipelines, while the Finance Minister was saying that Nova Scotia's interest in the pipeline would be sold or used as a negotiating tool. My question to the Premier is simply, what option is the province considering?

HON. JOHN HAMM (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, right by my side is the Minister of Finance and I would refer that to him.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member opposite, I guess the path that this government is going to follow is the opposite path that the member opposite and the previous government followed, whereby there was a back-in provision that the province could have exercised that they didn't tell the people about and the debate did not happen. This government will have a debate on what the role of the Province of Nova Scotia shall be, unlike the government that honourable member was a member of in the previous administration.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, listening to the Minister of Finance talking about what the former government did, maybe this minister and the Minister of Economic Development can get their act together and decide in terms of what their government's policy will be on this pipeline deal. This government has made it clear that government has no place in risky ventures, whether it be Sysco or NSRL. Yet, for some reason, the Premier and his ministers are being less than forthcoming regarding its potential interest in gas pipelines, at a time when the Premier even admits that he can't guarantee a balanced budget. My question to the

[Page 6974]

Premier is, is the Premier going to use the buy-in provision to acquire and/or sell its potential interest in the elpaso pipeline project, as well?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous government, this government recognizes that the back-in provision has value and unlike the previous government, we won't give it away.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, there is no guarantee that the elpaso pipeline even has a source of natural gas to fill its pipe yet. So my question is, why is the province engaging in such a high-risk game when there is no guarantee that the elpaso pipeline will even have a source of natural gas?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is perfectly right. There is no guarantee that elpaso will build a pipeline, unless there is significant discovery over the next few years but there is a guarantee and the guarantee is this government, unlike the previous government, will not give it away.

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

EDUC. - SCH. BDS.: REGS. - AMEND

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Last week the Minister of Education said that she did not know that public funds were being misused at the Strait Regional School Board. She said that loopholes existed in the ministerial regulations, loopholes that very clever people were able to find a way around. A clever Minister of Education would close those loopholes. My question is to the Minister of Education. When will she amend the ministerial regulations so all payments to school board employees are publicly accounted for?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, there are a number of changes we would like to make, both to the Education Act and to the regulations, and we expect we'll be making those not in a rush because we don't want to have to do some and then do some more. We would like to do them in a package and we expect to do them in the spring.

MR. DEVEAUX: Well, Mr. Speaker, I still hope there's some money left in the till by the time this minister decides to close the loophole that the Strait Regional School Board is using. When the school board paid tens of thousands of dollars into so-called education funds, that was an expense of the school board. When the school board paid tens of thousands of dollars for travel expenses, whether someone travelled or not, that's an expense of the school board. The Minister of Education has the responsibility and the power to ensure that all these expenses are publicly accounted for and that the loophole is closed. In fact our caucus will help, and I will table, today, four specific amendments that tighten up the ministerial regulations so all payments to school board employees are publicly reported. My question to the Minister of Education is, why won't you agree to close these loopholes now?

[Page 6975]

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, first I would like to say that the member opposite may say those are expenses, and I agree they are certainly expenses, but also they were claimed as benefits and thus they were hidden from their own board and from the Department of Education.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of regulatory changes. We have a forensic audit going on. We have the Public Service Commission looking at salaries. We intend to have a full package of changes ready for the spring.

MR. DEVEAUX: Let's be clear, Mr. Speaker. This minister can change these regulations with a stroke of a pen. She doesn't have to go to Cabinet; she doesn't have to go to the Legislature. These are ministerial regulations that she can pass with the stroke of a pen. This Minister of Education is now in her third year on the job and I hope she doesn't need to wait for the deputy minister to tell her what to do. These problems have been public for four weeks and she has not closed those loopholes. My question to the Minister of Education is, what is taking you so long to fix these obvious loopholes?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, there are a number of things this government plans to change, not only regulations, but parts of the Education Act. We are waiting for a review from the Public Service Commission and we have a forensic audit going on. I can assure this House and the people of Nova Scotia that the changes that need to be made will be made.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

ECON. DEV.: ACL - NEGOTIATIONS

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The Premier has indicated last week in the Legislature that ACL is the fourth largest shipper to the Province of Nova Scotia. It is in question whether or not they're going to be able to stay in the Province of Nova Scotia as a shipper. My question is quite simple to you, Mr. Premier. Realizing that ACL represents between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of Halterm's business, it represents about 50 per cent of our products that we ship to the Midwest, was the Premier aware at any time prior to my question to the Minister of Economic Development last week between ACL and CN, that negotiations had broken down and were putting the port in serious jeopardy of losing that particular carrier to the Province of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, government was aware of the issue, yes.

[Page 6976]

[5:00 p.m.]

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I will check Hansard. It was my understanding that the minister last week indicated that he was not aware. I am glad if he is not aware that somebody was aware in government. The question I asked you, were you aware last week?

I will then go, again, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Premier. The Minister of Economic Development indicated publicly that he was not aware that this problem was going on and then he went on to say that he had done nothing to rectify the serious problems that could be facing the Port of Halifax. My question to the Premier is, could the Premier indicate to me, has he taken any proactive steps in regard to the serious problem between ACL and CN and doing anything to get them back to the table to negotiate to secure jobs and economic development for the Province of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the question is relative to the actions of the acting minister in the House today. I would refer that to him.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to let the honourable member know that I will take that question as notice and provide an answer to him as soon as possible.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I am glad today at the end of this period we are going to talk about leadership because we have not seen leadership by this Premier nor his front bench and that kind of answer is an absolute insult on the people who work at the Port of Halifax in Halterm. My final supplementary to the Premier is simple. He didn't seem to do anything until we started losing air carriers in the Province of Nova Scotia to Toronto and other areas. Now we have the threat of possibly losing a major carrier to the Province of Nova Scotia. I table this article that was published today in the newsprint. My question to the Premier is - and not the acting minister, who if the minister himself wasn't doing the job, how can you expect the acting minister to do anything - will you do something yourself and pick up the phone and phone Tellier and get them back to the table to negotiate a fair contract in Nova Scotia and not south of the border?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that the minister responsible is taking this as a very serious issue and the appropriate contacts are being made on behalf of the government and we will work very hard. The member opposite has brought a very serious issue to the floor of the House and the government will do all within its power to retain that customer.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

[Page 6977]

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL. - CANADA 3000:

TICKETS - REMUNERATION

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Many Nova Scotians purchased airline tickets with Canada 3000 which have suddenly become worthless. These consumers are ordinary people innocently going about their daily lives, for education, business, employment, leisure and for family emergencies. Several Canadian provinces have acted to provide protection for consumers who might otherwise be out of pocket, hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars. My question to the Premier is, can the Premier tell this House what steps will be taken by his government to ensure that Nova Scotians have some protection when they find themselves holding worthless plane tickets?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I refer that to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for bringing this question to the House. It certainly is an important question and one that all Nova Scotians who travel are concerned about. We certainly feel for those who are left stranded and are left wondering as to their circumstance. I can tell the honourable member that it is something that my department will be looking at (Interruption) The event occurred over the weekend. (Interruptions) We will be dealing with this.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, it is not enough, really. I am surprised that the department is only looking at it now that Canada's second largest airline has gone out of business. The Government of Ontario several years ago enacted the Travel Industry Act, which among other things requires the industry to contribute a portion of its sales revenue to a compensation fund. Consumers can seek to recover the cost of their airline ticket when the service has not been provided. In fact, Nova Scotians who booked through Ontario travel agencies are fine, but Nova Scotians who booked through a Nova Scotia agency are out of pocket the money. I would like to ask the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations when can Nova Scotia consumers expect to be given the same degree of protection that consumers in other provinces already enjoy?

MR. MACISAAC: The answer to that question is that we will come forward with as much protection as we can on behalf of the people of this province. The protection has to be protection that can be made available in this circumstance even though there is a bankruptcy involved. We will be looking at it and I thank the honourable member for bringing the question to the House.

MR. STEELE: It's not good enough. I hear my colleagues saying it's not good enough and it's not. My final question is to the Premier. Mr. Premier, an essential component of stabilizing the air travel industry in this country is to bolster consumer confidence and there is plenty for this province to do. To the Premier I ask, to those Nova Scotians or their distant

[Page 6978]

family members who are now holding worthless airline tickets, what will you say Mr. Premier, to them about why their province is letting them down?

THE PREMIER: I believe I heard an answer to that question in the words that the minister responsible for consumer protection gave in the previous answer. I would ask him to field the question because I believe he has already answered the last question.

MR. MACISAAC: As the honourable member knows and other members of the House know, the degree to which we are going to be able to protect consumers in an industry that's federally regulated, is questionable. To the extent to which we have a responsibility, we will be looking after that responsibility and we will be ensuring and urging the federal government to take similar action.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

EDUC.: ADVANCED STUDIES PROG. - REIMBURSEMENT

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: On November 1st, I stood in this House and asked the Minister of Education if she was going to reimburse students and parents who incurred expenses as a result of the failed Advanced Studies Program. At that time I held up a receipt for $776 for the purchase of computer upgrades from a single mother who was told that if her daughter was to remain in the program, she would be required to complete web-based home assignments. The minister told me that she had consulted with her staff and they assured her that, "No personal materials were needed for this program." However, on October 31st, the day before the minister claimed that no equipment was needed for the program, she sent a letter to the same mother refusing to refund her for the equipment she purchased. The minister obviously realized on November 1st that there were expenses associated with this program.

My question to the Minister of Education is, why is your department refusing to reimburse parents who paid money out of their own pocket for computer equipment and graphing calculators purchased as a direct result of this failed program?

HON. JANE PURVES: I do remember discussing this issue in the House and I remember saying that it was my understanding from my department that home computers and equipment were not required for this course, but that if that information was inaccurate, I would certainly reimburse parents. That information was correct, there were no home computers, there was nothing extra required at home for this course.

MR. SAMSON: This is the same minister whose staff told her not to worry, there was nothing wrong with Knowledge House and that everything would be okay. The minister might want to check on that, especially when a single mother writes to her to tell her that she had to pay $776. Minister, I don't think this single mother dreamed this on her own, someone told her that this was required. These students were given special software to

[Page 6979]

download to their home computers and told that special graphing calculators were required. In fact, teachers told the students to purchase the calculators together in Halifax and that they might be able to get a deal on the cost if they purchased them together.

My question to the minister is, why did the minister not disclose to this House on November 1st that she was aware that expenses had been incurred as a result of the Advanced Studies Program and that she had already received complaints, but decided not to refund these parents?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I had already received requests from parents requesting reimbursement for home computers. At that time, I wrote back to those parents saying they were not required for the course and I was very sorry but I could not reimburse them. The question of the graphing calculators is quite different. All high school students taking calculus are required to have these graphing calculators and they were not peculiar to the Advanced Studies Program whatsoever.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it is ironic to hear a Minister of Education say that she doesn't believe that a Web-based program would actually require you to have access to a computer at home to do your assignments and your homework. This is the minister who put these students at risk to start off with when she had the opportunity to say that this program would not go forward because of the financial problems at Knowledge House and her own deputy minister told us at a Public Accounts Committee meeting that this minister did absolutely nothing to request added financial information from Knowledge House before allowing the program to go forward. Why would the minister suggest that a Web-based learning program that required 1,500 hours of projects and home assignments would not require access to a home computer with the appropriate software?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the reason I suggest that is quite obvious, because the program and the teachers did not require students to purchase equipment for home in order to do this advanced studies course.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

HEALTH - MIN.: MEXICO TRIP - PREMIER EXPLAIN

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The Premier has sent the Minister of Health to Mexico for 10 days as a representative of the Education Minister on a delegation dealing with higher education. The Minister of Health will be missing four Question Periods, just after his department authorized deficit financing for district health boards this year. Can the Premier explain why he sent the Health Minister to Mexico for a 10 day trip in the middle of the session?

[Page 6980]

THE PREMIER: The answer is very simple. There are business opportunities for our post-secondary educational institutions that are too good to pass up. We needed high-level representation and the government sent high-level representation.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, health is the biggest responsibility of this government. The Premier promised that the number one goal of this government would be fixing the health care system. Elective surgeries are being cancelled and Nova Scotia has suffered its first recorded decline in nurse registration. This is a very peculiar time to add the Health Minister to an education delegation. Does the Premier know something that others do not? Does he know that the Health Minister is as good as gone and so it doesn't matter if he is away from his portfolio? Is that what the Premier knows?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable Leader of the Opposition repeat the question only, please.

MR. DEXTER: With pleasure, Mr. Speaker. Does the Premier know something that others do not? Does he know that the Health Minister is as good as gone from that portfolio so it doesn't make any difference if he is in the province or far away?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is very correct. This is a cash-strapped province. We are having difficulty in providing the level of funding for our health care system that clearly is indicated. But one of the solutions is growing our revenues and the trade mission that the minister is on could produce as much as $22 million of business for Nova Scotia.

[5:15 p.m.]

MR. DEXTER:Well, Mr. Speaker, the Premier has not explained this failure in judgement or planning that led to the Mexican send-off in the middle of the legislative session. Nova Scotians know that health care is job one.They want to know why now, why Muir, and who is minding the shop in the Department of Health, the Minister of Education?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the answer to the first question, why now, well, the reason why now is because the trade mission is now; seems like the appropriate time to go. The answer to the second question is that we need money to run the system. This is a way in which we can increase revenues. I would surely hope that the member opposite is against the government's efforts to increase revenues.

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

HEALTH - BILL NO. 68: NURSE RETENTION - EFFECTS

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Our caucus has always insisted that Bill No. 68 would ultimately hurt Nova Scotians and we stated that from

[Page 6981]

the beginning. This bill will only serve to drive health care workers away from Nova Scotia and make it more difficult to recruit professionals from outside the province and now we are seeing more of the bitter fruit that the Tories have sown with Bill No. 68.

Mr. Speaker, we are facing more nursing vacancies and fewer registered nurses and my question to the Premier is, will he finally admit to Nova Scotians that Bill No. 68 has crippled any strategy this government had for nurse retention and recruitment?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this government has a record in dealing fairly with all its employees. All employees of this government have been treated fairly. There has been no wage freeze. There have been no unpaid holidays. There has been no wage rollback. Every employee got a raise commensurate with the ability of the taxpayers in Nova Scotia to pay.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I think we sent the wrong guy on the trade mission to Mexico. Holy smoke! You know, I am just wondering if the Premier already forgot what his government ran into last June.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier once said that you will never convince Nova Scotians that Bill No. 68 was a mistake, because it prevented a health care strike. This Tory Government lost the battle over Bill No. 68 and Nova Scotians are now paying the price. The current nursing staff shortage has led to closure of beds, fewer procedures being completed and longer waiting time for patients. It has forced hospitals to postpone in-patient operations and elective surgeries have been cancelled or delayed. My question to the Premier is, will you finally admit that Nova Scotians are being forced to suffer for the mistake that your government made by introducing Bill No. 68?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think it only fair to remind the member opposite that he was a member of the government that gave nurses an early retirement package. He was a member of the government that forced those nurses to sign a contract not to engage in nursing in Nova Scotia. Therein lies the problem, the actions of the former government. We are trying to fix the problem that you created.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, from one end of the country to the other, nurses and health care professionals are aware of Bill No. 68, especially with all the media attention that Bill No. 68 received last spring.The damage has been done to our province's reputation and my question to the Premier is, what changes will this government make to the nursing recruitment strategy that will convince nurses that this Premier and this government respects the profession of nursing?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that the issue (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

[Page 6982]

THE PREMIER: I have to start over. Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that the government takes this issue very seriously. I can assure the member opposite that the nursing strategy that was put in place by this government is a good one and I can quote a recent press release which quoted Carolyn Moore of the Nurses'Association who said strategies such as those launched in Nova Scotia's nursing strategy will take time to make a difference. But the point is they will make a difference.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: ASSESSMENTS - EQUITY

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, last week in this House the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations stated that property assessment is based on fair market value and it's applied across the province. He defended his department's decision to assess some properties with "superior water views" at $150,000, saying that's what they're worth. Well, somebody better tell this information to the Cabinet. The Cabinet just sold a lot right on the Bras d'Or Lakes to an American for $2,900 Cdn., that's $2,000 U.S., right on the Bras d'Or Lakes for 2,000 American bucks.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister, how can the minister defend assessing a senior like Eric Creaser $380,000 at the same time he's agreeing to sell a waterfront lot on the Bras d'Or Lakes for $2,000 U.S.?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the transaction the honourable member refers to is one which comes under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Transportation and Public Works and I will refer the question to him.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the land was sold to two persons from Nova Scotia who are in the United States and who are returning to Nova Scotia to retire. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. One question at a time.

MR. ESTABROOKS: So what's your point, as my daughter would say. I would like to talk again to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and I will table an overview of Beaver Cove. It's a picturesque little spot, Mr. Speaker. It looks right across the Bras d'Or Lakes to Boularderie Island and Kelly's Mountain. I will table the Order in Council also showing that Cabinet sold this one-half acre lot to a John Denault from Connecticut for $2,900 Cdn., I don't care where he lives or where he is retiring, $2,900 Cdn., a waterfront lot on Bras d'Or Lakes.

My question to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, if you think water view lots are worth $150,000, why are you selling them for $2,900 Cdn.?

[Page 6983]

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I am going to refer that question to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, as I said before, the lot was sold to Nova Scotians and it was property that was excess to the requirements of the Department of Transportation and Public Works. It was sold (Interruptions) Would you like me to give you an answer? The policy of the Department of Transportation and Public Works is to always offer the land to abutting landowners. The abutting landowners are Nova Scotians who are temporarily in the United States and who are returning to Nova Scotia to utilize their property and that property is not a full-sized lot.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I am going to go slow and I'm not going to use big words. What does that - where these people are from - have anything to do with the cost? My question, again, is to the minister responsible for assessments in this province. Let's look at the town of Baddeck. Their properties there - one couple saw their Water Street assessment go from $29,000 to $95,000; another one, from $58,000 to $110,000 in assessment.

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and not the Minister of Transportation. Mr. Minister, can you please explain these outrageous prices on one section of the Bras d'Or Lakes - that is in the town of Baddeck - while selling property to an American or a Canadian or somebody retiring here for $2,900?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the question we have heard from the honourable member and the question we heard from him last week are typical of how he would like to create impressions that are not accurate (Interruptions). He spoke last week and he suggested to this House that the person he referred to was living in the house and that that was the situation. The person was not living in the house. Today he is talking about a parcel of land and he is suggesting that somehow that figures into this. If the honourable member wants to bring forward accurate situations, we will be happy to deal with them.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: ASSESSMENTS - CONSULTATION

MR. BRIAN BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, a consultant's report prepared for the government is now being considered by Nova Scotia's 55 municipalities. It proposes that property assessments be transferred out of the Civil Service and into a new, non-profit agency. In 1997 the Premier signed the NSGEU's five-point protection plan for the public service. I have a copy of this today, with his signature and I will table that document, Mr. Speaker. It states that contracting out will not occur without public consultation in a full and open review by mutually agreeable parties. My question to the Premier is, after the municipalities respond at the end of November, will he begin a public consultation and review process as he promised four years ago?

[Page 6984]

HON. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, that issue is one for the Minister of Serivce Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the honourable member that the document to which he refers will, in fact, be lived up to. Thank you.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, my first supplementary is to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. On October 4th the minister said the collective agreement of the assessment workers would travel with them to the new agency. These employees have put in many years of hard work and despite this one assurance in passing by the minister, they are very nervous about their future.

My question to the minister is, will he today reassure the 170 employees that they will be all employed with this new agency and that their new collective agreement and all their existing collective agreement benefits, including their Public Service Award, will go with them to this new agency?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the answer is yes.

MR. BOUDREAU: Thank you very much for that answer, Mr. Speaker. This year the province began billing the municipalities for assessment services and this year the total cost was $12 million. If the assessment workers are transferred with all these benefits, which the minister just acknowledged that they will be, the municipalities are worried that they will be forced to pick up this additional cost by themselves. My question to the minister is this, will the province provide compensation for the costs associated with the transfer of these employees, or is it yet another burden that this government will download to the municipalities?

[5:30 p.m.]

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, we will be living up to the terms of the agreement; the municipal units will have adequate resources to carry out their responsibilities. That will be part of it. There are some elements with respect to technology that will be discussed between ourselves and the municipal units.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COMMUN. SERV.: KENDRICK REPORT - RECOMMENDATIONS

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, my question will be to the Minister of Community Services. I want to read you a quote, "My son is an angel, my strength, and my heart. I want for him what he deserves and that's inclusion." Those are the words of Jennifer Gallant, a mother of a disabled child. Jennifer made that statement at a press conference held by the Community Action Coalition to yet again express their concerns about the government's

[Page 6985]

inaction in regard to the Kendrick report. My question to the Minister of Community Services is, how much longer are the needs of people with disabilities going to be put on hold while you ignore the recommendations of the Kendrick report?

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I can say a few things to the honourable member. First, I want the honourable member to go back and remember who it was that commissioned the Kendrick report. It was this government, because we wanted to try to find a solution for disabled people in this province. We are now working with the Department of Health to find the direction and to get the resources together to make sure we have a substantive plan to go forward in the future.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the honourable minister that he is the minister who made the commitments to this community. Jennifer is concerned about the future of her child and the fact that this government seems to have no real interest in consulting the community. Dr. Kendrick spoke of the need of a blue ribbon panel - the minister is aware - to be appointed immediately to provide feedback and direction to this government. The panel should consist of representatives of mentally disabled people, their families and caregivers, and representatives of groups and agencies that advocate on their behalf; I might add, some 44 to 46 advocacy groups. My question for the minister is, will you stop ignoring the real experts and appoint a panel of the blue ribbon committee immediately?

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, the Kendrick report made a number of recommendations. One was to have the blue ribbon committee, but another one was to make sure that as we move forward we weren't raising people's expectations and we were able to meet the needs of our plan. That's what we're going to do as a government; we are going to get our plan in place and then we are going to go forward.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I would remind that honourable minister that he ought to involve the community, and he ought to involve in the community right now. The minister continues to ignore the voices of the people who are most familiar with the needs of the disabled. For months now the Community Action Coalition has been asking this minister for three things: one, accept their involvement and participation as stakeholders; two, establish a blue ribbon panel; and three, do not continue to proceed with activities contrary to the Kendrick report, such as the movement of disabled people and mentally handicapped individuals to Sunrise Manor. The minister has failed on all three of these issues. My question to the minister is, tell the truth, Mr. Minister, do you have any intention of establishing the advisory committee that includes the real stakeholders and their advocates? Stand up and tell those people right now.

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable knows, I did have the opportunity to meet not so long ago with the coalition. We indicated to them at the time that we were going to go forward and we indicated that we would be involving them in the process as we move forward. We have said that to them; I say that again to them. They will be part, as we move forward, when we have the plan ready to go.

[Page 6986]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

COMMUN. SERV.: KENDRICK REPORT - IMPLEMENTATION

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. On February 13, 2001, this minister released the Kendrick report. The funny thing about this government is that the countless reports that they have commissioned do nothing but sit on a shelf and collect dust. There has been a candlelight vigil that has been held outside this House asking the government to establish meaningful consultation on the implementation of the Kendrick report; that cost that government zero dollars. My question to the minister is, why has he not yet accepted the invitation of community stakeholders to assist in a process that would begin the process of implementing some of the recommendations of the Kendrick report?

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to the previous honourable member, when Health and Community Services have their direction ready, when we have put together the plan we are going forward with, and the resources, we will involve them.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well that he has had long enough. That government has had long enough. It is frightening to see what we get from this government and that minister. If this government is silent in their responding to an invitation, then it means one of two things - they are either doing nothing or they are busy implementing recommendations and activities that are contrary to the Kendrick Report and they are not willing to take the heat. In fact, we have already seen what this government is capable of doing by placing residents of the Halifax Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Sunrise Manor.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, will he commit to sitting down with representatives of the Community Action Coalition immediately - meaning right after he finishes this question - and setting up an appointment about starting a process of implementing the Kendrick report?

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I would draw to the honourable member's attention, in the Kendrick report it talks about a number of things, but one of the things it is really quite clear on is the time that it takes to implement these sorts of changes and the impact it has on the community. Dr. Kendrick was quite clear that you don't rush ahead and do a lot of things and raise expectations, that you have to have these properly planned. I have had a meeting with the coalition, and I am happy to meet with the coalition again to hear their views and keep them involved as we move forward.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, Dr. Kendrick did not say to sit on that report forever and the minister knows that.

[Page 6987]

My final question is for the Premier. We see what this government is capable of, making great fanfare over the release of reports and then they do nothing to follow up. The strength of those reports lies in the recommendation and the actions of that government, not in the value they bring a government when they are announced. My question to the Premier is, why, Mr. Premier, is your government so unwilling to implement recommendations that would make such a difference in the lives of people with disabilities and their families? Why, Mr. Premier, can't you turn to your left and tell your minister to implement the Kendrick report right away?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I refer that to the minister responsible.

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to this member, this government is quite concerned about disabled people and bringing the proper process to them. We will be doing that; we will be consulting with them and moving forward when we have plans.

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

JUSTICE: CRIME VICTIMS - PROGS.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. In June of this year a cab driver, Michael Tran was brutally stabbed and nearly lost his life. Mr. Tran is now in the process of a long, difficult rehabilitation. His family want him home so they can care for him. However, the Tran family cannot afford costly home care and the physical changes of the house that must be made before Mr. Tran can come home. However, the Trans discovered that in June, 2000, the Premier's Government quietly eliminated any right to victim compensation that people in this province once had, except for counselling. The Victims Rights and Services Act was originally created to provide compensation to those who were victims of crime. My question to the Premier is, can the Premier explain to Michael Tran and his family why this government is cutting programs that were meant to help innocent victims of crime?

THE PREMIER: The Minister of Justice who normally would field that question is otherwise engaged in a select committee in Sydney. I will take the question under advisement.

MR. DEVEAUX: This was a decision of the Cabinet and I presume the Premier was there when that decision was made and I would hope that this is something that he could just as easily put his mind to. The government brings in almost $1 million a year from victim fined surcharges specifically for victim services but is unable to provide even basic help for those who suffer from serious life-altering crimes. If the Victim Services Program is self-funded, I want to ask the Premier why his government decided to limit the amount of money and the type of money that it will provide through that program?

[Page 6988]

THE PREMIER: I will take that question under advisement until I have had a chance to talk to the minister.

MR. DEVEAUX: Maybe I will ask when the Premier will have an answer? Will the Premier instruct his Cabinet colleagues to reconsider their earlier decision and again provide compensation to those innocent people who suffer because they're victims of crime?

THE PREMIER: One could take these questions a little more seriously if, in fact, there were some consistency from the members of that Party. Every step of the way, they are looking for ways for the government to spend more money and yet earlier today, they scoffed at an initiative of the government that last Christmas saved $108,000. They as well scoffed at the government participating in a trade mission that might bring $22 million of new revenue to the province. You can't have it both ways. Spend more and yet you scoff when the government shows initiative in bringing in more income. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH: MAPPING SYSTEM - SOURCES

DR. JAMES SMITH: My question is to the Premier. We learned this past weekend the problems of the municipality . . .

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

DR. SMITH: . . . due to a lack of an updated digital mapping system. Despite the Premier's committment in 1999 to fix the health care system, it would appear that since forming the government, they haven't even bothered to update the information that is vital for ambulances and response times. My question to the Premier, given that he was likely aware of delays in updating the maps due to his government's inaction, why would they not make arrangements to gather information through other sources for use by the ambulance drivers?

THE PREMIER: I refer that to the Acting Minister of Health, the Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: I am amazed at the reaction of the Opposition. I do want to say, it's a technical question that the member has asked. Obviously, I will have to take that as notice, but I will endeavour to get the information back to the member as quickly as possible.

DR. SMITH: It's interesting - the Minister of Finance increases the tax grab on tobacco and then he gets to be Acting Health Minister. I said they were walking hand in hand. Seriously, it is a technical question to some extent, but it's certainly a health care issue. The wife of a heart patient who was unconscious waited 20 minutes on the line after the first call

[Page 6989]

to 911 to give directions to the home. This is unacceptable. This is what happened. It's not technical, it really translates into health care issues. To make matters worse, this Premier and this government introduced a 911 tax, and this will tie in to the Minister of Finance, that would pay for improvements such as updating digital mapping systems. My question to the Premier or the acting Health Minister, whoever wants to take it, is, in light of collecting 911 taxes from the people of Nova Scotia and promising that the revenues would be used for system improvements, why hasn't there been more work done to update the mapping system for a more timely ambulance response?

[5:45 p.m.]

MR. LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I will say that it is unacceptable to be waiting that length of time.

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

The honourable member for Dartmouth North on an introduction.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in this Legislature today to introduce a constituent from Dartmouth North whose phrase I actually quoted today in Question Period. The individual is Jennifer Gallant, the mother of the disabled child we were talking about in the Legislature today. I would hope this House would give her a warm welcome. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 86.

Bill No. 86 - Pharmacy Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Minister of Health, the Minister of Finance.

[Page 6990]

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Health, I have to say I am pleased to rise today to start second reading of Bill 86, an Act Respecting the Profession of Pharmacy.

Mr. Speaker, this is an important day. The bill we will start to debate tonight is long overdue. In fact, this bill replaces the former Pharmacy Act, which was first introduced in 1876, according to my records. The new bill brings the regulation of pharmacy into the 21st Century. The new bill is good news for the 900 practising pharmacists in this province. I also believe it's good news for Nova Scotians, who each and every day depend on their community pharmacists for good, solid advice and information with a focus on drug use management, drug therapy monitoring and compliance.

Over the years we have the seen the role of pharmacists advance significantly. Society as a whole is depending on its pharmacists more and more for up-to-date information on new drugs introduced on the market, how these drugs interact with one another and their possible side effects. Pharmacies themselves are more accessible now than ever before, some providing service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The most up-to-date information on disease prevention and health promotion lines the shelves of most pharmacies these days.

The Government of Nova Scotia relies on pharmacists to provide service to seniors of this province under the Pharmacare Program, to patients under special disease programs, income assistance Pharmacare under the Department of Community Services, and government-sponsored private plans for employees. Pharmacists take the time to explain these plans and their benefits, and to serve the health needs of these groups as well as all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, these pharmacists provide valuable information on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and lifestyle issues. The Department of Health relies heavily on pharmacists to ensure that seniors who qualify are registered with the Nova Scotia Seniors' Pharmacare Program. Many pharmacists take time out of their busy days to sit down with their senior clients to review the Pharmacare Program and help them complete the registration form. This, in itself, demonstrates the valuable role of pharmacists and their commitment to the public in their communities.

In addition, a couple of years ago, pharmacists supported the removal of tobacco products from pharmacies. It was an important step toward reducing tobacco use in this province and improving the health of Nova Scotians, and another example of how pharmacists contribute to the health of Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be here tonight to demonstrate this government's support for pharmacists. This new bill, tabled in the Legislature last week, will enable pharmacists to better serve the public. It will also support the evolving role of pharmacists. For example, the bill requires pharmacists to complete the requirements for continuing education and continuing competency as prescribed by the regulations. Any member failing

[Page 6991]

to do so will be suspended as a member of the college until the time they have complied with the regulations to the satisfaction of the registrar.

The new Pharmacy Act provides a new legislative framework for the pharmacy profession and focuses on the pharmacists' responsibility in achieving the best health outcomes for Nova Scotians. Mr. Speaker, it also modernizes a long-outdated regulatory scheme and enhances both the accountability of pharmacists and protection of the public. There has been public input and support for this new legislation. The new Act is also supported by the College of Pharmacy at Dalhousie and Health Canada.

The highlights of the new Act include the creation of a professional college comprised of all licensed pharmacists with a duty to "serve and protect the public, to exercise its powers and fulfill its responsibilities and the public interest, and to govern the practice of pharmacy in the interest of optimal health outcomes." The college will maintain and ensure standards of professional practice and accountability.

It also has a clear definition of the role of professional responsibilities of the pharmacist and enables them to fulfill their role as drug therapy experts in the health care system.

It also improves the enforcement or disciplinary provisions similar to what has been recently enacted in other health profession Statutes.

It also has new licensing requirements in accordance with labour mobility obligations under the Agreement on Internal Trade. This will make Nova Scotia's licensing requirements consistent with other provinces.

A council will oversee the college and be comprised of the director of the pharmacy program at Dalhousie University, the immediate past president of the college, councillors elected pursuant to this Act from among members of the college, by the members of the college and three laypersons who are not members of the college and are appointed by Governor in Council.

Mr. Speaker, we are confident in this Act. We're confident that it responds well to this evolving profession and will better serve the public. In closing, I want to acknowledge the hard work of the Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society. They worked very hard and very well with the department as staff endeavoured to update an Act which was more than 125 years old. I was very pleased to see Susan Wedlake, the Registrar, and the President, Sujay Khiroya - if I didn't say that properly, I apologize, - who were able to be in the gallery last week when the legislation was also introduced.

Mr. Speaker, we will support this bill and we will support the pharmacists of this province. With those very short comments, I will move second reading of Bill No. 86.

[Page 6992]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, before I speak to the bill, with your permission I would like to make an introduction, please. In addition to Ms. Gallant, whom my colleague, the honourable member for Dartmouth North, introduced to members of this House, this evening joining us in the gallery are a number of people who have come with the Community Action Coalition for the Implementation of the Kendrick Report. I am not going to name them all by name because I don't know them all although there are a number of faces I do recognize - friends, former students and advocates. I would invite them to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House, please. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome the guests to the gallery today.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a great pleasure to stand in my place on behalf of the NDP caucus in support of Bill No. 86, An Act Respecting the Profession of Pharmacy. This indeed is an important occasion, I believe, for an important part of the health care team in the Province of Nova Scotia and, increasingly so, I think that everybody really recognizes now, it is generally recognized among the public the expertise of pharmacists across our province, the important place that they occupy in the provision of health care services and the difficulty that they must confront, I think, in their daily work as pharmaceuticals increasingly change. New drugs are being introduced almost daily on a regular basis and trying to sort out who has coverage, in terms of insurance or under our Pharmacare Program, must indeed be quite a big job for a pharmacist.

Mr. Speaker, in the past two or three years we have seen numerous pieces of legislation like this come into this Legislature, legislation that has created a more professional and accountable body in the field of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work and other important people on the health care team. I think some of those professions are young; they are babies in comparison to the profession of pharmacy which has been around for many years and is one of the first regulated professions we can find, 125 years, in terms of having a piece of legislation regulating the practice of pharmacy. Indeed, we know that the profession of pharmacy certainly goes back much further than just 125 years.

This legislation not only provides the important recognition of the profession of pharmacy and provides for requirements of continuing education and staying current and having the skills and competency to practise in a modern context of new drug therapies coming into the health care area every day. I think it is also an important piece of legislation in terms of providing reassurance and protection to the public who rely extensively on their neighbourhood pharmacy and the important men and women who do these jobs.

I know that pharmacists, the Minister of Finance indicated, take a great deal of time in their work every day to speak with seniors and young mothers and people who are coming to them with prescription drugs. They take the time to advise on the use of the drugs, the administration of these drugs, the importance of particular kinds of routines, mixing drugs

[Page 6993]

with other substances, foods and the use of particular pharmaceuticals. They have taken on a role of not simply filling prescriptions but of actually educating the public as they come and acquire the services of a professional pharmacy.

Mr. Speaker, I know this is a piece of legislation that probably had many hours of work go into it, from the perspective of the Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society. These pieces of legislation do not come together overnight, they require many hours of committee work and dedication and detail; going through words, looking at legislation in other jurisdictions and trying to build an Act that will not only meet the current conditions of this profession, but will hold this profession in good stead for a number of years to come.

With those remarks, Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend the support of the NDP caucus for this legislation through second reading and on to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We have reached the moment of interruption. Would the honourable member like to move adjournment of debate.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move adjournment of debate on Bill No. 86.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East moves adjournment of Bill No. 86.

We have reached the moment of interruption. The subject of this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Dartmouth East:

[Therefore be it resolved that a Premier who promised strong leadership and a clear course is overseeing an agenda that is clearly off course.]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

PREMIER: AGENDA - DIRECTION

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to rise and speak regarding the resolution which reads:

[Page 6994]

"Therefore be it resolved that a Premier who promised strong leadership and a clear course is overseeing an agenda that is clearly off course."

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that nothing in this province is more apparent than the fact that this government is off course and I think it becomes more and more apparent to everyone, to more and more people in this province as each day passes, clearly.

[6:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I am hoping that most people would have by now read an article that was in The Chronicle-Herald on Monday, November 12th of this year, and it's an article that was penned by our Leader of the Liberal Party, an article penned by our Leader who clearly stated that there were, "243 promises, or just three?" Just three promises that were introduced by the Tory Government when they came to be in this province. Well, it was 243 promises that got them elected. Anyway we know that, and we are keeping count on exactly what is going on there. But what the three promises I am talking about that Nova Scotians heard from the Hamm Government, they heard that they were going - the Tories - to fix health care for a cost of $46 million, they were going to balance the budget, and then they were going to cut taxes by 10 per cent.

Well, Mr. Speaker, we found out since that time that the Hamm Government is a government that has no plan. It's a government without a vision for Nova Scotia. A good Leader always carries a road map. John Hamm, as Leader, the Premier now, had his vision for Nova Scotia. I suggest perhaps that it was on a sticky note somewhere and perhaps he left it, he lost it on the way to the Cabinet room.

In the 1999 election, as I said, the Tories tried to confuse Nova Scotians with those 243 promises, and they tried to fool the people of this province into believing that they had an agenda and they had a clear course for Nova Scotia, as the resolution states, Mr. Speaker, but it is clearly off course. Nova Scotians are now smarter, they realize that this campaign was not exactly what they were hearing and those three messages, as I mentioned before, that they were hearing, it has become an obsession with this government to fulfill those three promises, not all the 243 promises, but at least those three and it looks like they can't fulfill any of their promises right now.

Health care. We know health care has been abandoned by the Hamm Government despite the $300 million extra dollars that the Tories put into health care since 1999. We see nothing of any benefit to the people of Nova Scotia. You have increased waiting times, closed hospital beds, health care services have been reduced and there has been a demoralized health care workforce out there right now. Those are all the hallmarks of the Hamm Government. We need look no further than Bill No. 68 to remember what that has done to our health care workers. So there never was a plan for health care from the Hamm Government.

[Page 6995]

Now what does a good Leader do when Plan A doesn't work? Well, we all, we always, most of us, plan for Plan B and we go to Plan B if Plan A doesn't work; fall back. And the Tories fall back, they went to becoming a position of let's balance the budget; we can't fix health care, let's balance the budget. The Premier just the other day indicated his lack of faith in the ability of the Minister of Finance to balance the budget. You know, facts are facts and despite receiving the highest revenues in the history of this province - over half a billion dollars since 1999 - there is still a question as to whether or not the budget will be balanced by this government. Now, those are pretty significant numbers we're talking about, Mr. Speaker.

Then of course we have the famous 10 per cent tax cut - a tax that if this wasn't so sad it would be funny - the fact that if you are making $40,000 a year that amounts to about 96 cents a day, the tax cut. And you can't deliver on that promise, we're not assured that there is going to be a 10 per cent tax cut by this government because the government has shown, time and time again, that the course that they have chosen is less than clear. It is cloudy. It is murky. You can't see that clear course that the Hamm Government promised that they would take Nova Scotians on and the many promises of the Hamm Government, they have collided. Unfortunately, it is the impact of those collisions that are now being felt by the people of Nova Scotia day in and day out.

It is up to all of us, Mr. Speaker, in this Chamber, and for all Nova Scotians, to send a clear message. That message will wait, and people are patient, until the next election day. The people of Nova Scotia know that they deserve a better government. They deserve a government with a plan. They deserve a government with a vision. They deserve a government that can manage. They deserve a government that was promised to them on election day in 1999, a government that has not delivered since that day.

Mr. Speaker, we have seen many examples of that, many times we have heard. We have been hearing from people throughout this province as to exactly what they think of the Hamm Government, what they thought of those 243 promises and where they are going to go. If you closely examine the three main planks of their platform - and those three main planks again were health care, eliminate the deficit, and the 10 per cent cut in taxes - if you carefully examine those main planks, then you can see things that are not boding well for the Premier. You can see a real difference between the agenda that the Premier is now trying to push and the one that was out there originally, the one that was promised to Nova Scotians by the Hamm Government.

So when asked for a prediction of the type of legislation that the government would introduce into this session, as the Leader of the Liberal Party, I described it as warm and fuzzy, expecting innocuous bills that would try to portray the government in a positive light. Well, what have we seen so far, Mr. Speaker? In a few cases, it has been less than warm and fuzzy. We all know how heated sometimes it can get in these Chambers and we all know what effect it has on some people, not all of us, but we know exactly what some people think about this Chamber. I don't happen to share that opinion, but I don't want to get off my

[Page 6996]

course here either. I want to stick with the subject that we are talking about, so I will leave that for another day.

We have seen, Mr. Speaker, in this case, that the agenda that had been set by the Tory Government is not the agenda that is being played out today before us. We have seen a session so far that, yes, the bills have been innocuous and, in some cases, they have been totally meaningless that have been introduced into this Legislature, but that is the kind of legislation that the Tory Government is now putting forward because they don't want to get into the meat and potatoes, so to speak. They don't want to get into the fact that they can't balance the budget, they can't eliminate a deficit. They can't any longer promise a 10 per cent cut in taxes and they certainly, and we have seen it time and time again, have no idea how to fix health care in this province.

You know, Mr. Speaker, the Premier is trying to do a lot of things to get the message across, a positive message and to put a positive light on this government, including trying to stage manage the media, trying to make sure that they go to certain areas of Province House and stand in front of the flags so that the Premier looks like a very stately figure who is in charge of his government, who is in charge of his province. We have seen that not even the media believes that. Not even the media would show up at his flag-stance grandstanding that is taking place.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, again, the strong leadership and a clear course that was promised by the Hamm Government is an agenda that is very clearly off course, off the rails and out of touch with Nova Scotians. Thank you.

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

MR. JOHN CHATAWAY: Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the opportunity to speak in this debate. I certainly have many pages of notes and I am not sure that I will necessarily get through them all, but I certainly want to bring up some points of view for the Opposition, I am sure as well as everybody who is thoroughly interested in what we have done.

It is interesting that a Party like the Liberal Party would talk about being off course. This is the Party that preached consultation when it was swept into power and rammed its policies - on what it was not elected - down the throats of Nova Scotians. Who could forget municipal amalgamation in the new HRM, for example. I do know that Randy Ball, Gloria McCluskey and Walter Fitzgerald certainly wouldn't, and not to mention the metro voters who were forced into something that that Party was not elected on. Of course, who could forget the merged school boards, the P3 schools. They had pages of promises in the first three months, they did have their 30-60-90 plan and Leslie Southwick-Trask, speaking out opinions of Nova Scotians on their behalf.

[Page 6997]

Where did they stand after five and a half years on these promises? Ask them. Unlike our government the Liberal Party didn't bother to update Nova Scotians as to where they stood on their record. By the time they were running a minority government you wouldn't have known where they stood. We have gone to the people after the first year and then again two years after being sworn into government. I would certainly recommend this book the Opposition has certainly not read it yet. Instead of hiding from our promises we are fulfilling them and letting the people know if we are progressing on others. The steps we have taken have been positive.

In the column yesterday, the Liberal Leader asked the question, 243 promises or just three? He probably knows more about our commitments than he did about his own Party's in 1993. Although they told Nova Scotians theirs was a balanced budget with a surplus, we did know it wasn't. Because of our commitment to budget process, we accepted the fact that we had to have Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and we were truly going to achieve a balanced budget. Perhaps that's why he and his colleagues are a little bothered by that promise.

He keeps talking of his eagerness to have the budget balanced ahead of schedule. What he forgets to tell Nova Scotians is exactly which of the millions of dollars reinvested in essential services he wished were cut in this year's budget or the millions that he and his Party have asked for in new spending in every area imaginable. Our government has made commitments and we are working to keep these promises on behalf of the people of this province.

I will list some of the promises that we have accomplished for the Third Party so they are possibly more aware. To help our children succeed we have extended parental leave; hired an additional 71 child protection workers; launched an expanded Active Young Readers Program; integrated child benefits for more low income children; eliminated clawback of the National Child Tax Benefit; expanded access to community college; enhanced incentives to support self-reliance, that is, daycare, transportation incentives, et cetera. We have removed disincentives to working, for example by extending Pharmacare coverage for social assistance recipients.

We have increased spending for special needs, we have added new support for autistic children, we have introduced the first back-to-school supplies program and dedicated $500,000 to healthy lifestyles, focusing on children and youth. We have formed the Premier's Youth Advisory Council on Smoking, we have introduced comprehensive home visitation program for new parents, we have expanded access to daycare and provided more funding to support child care centres. We have developed a new code of conduct for our schools, and built a new secure treatment centre for troubled youth, and we have also invested $39 million in safe, healthy schools.

[Page 6998]

[6:15 p.m.]

To ensure a health care system that is reliable, sustainable, we have relieved regional health boards of years of accumulated debt. We are improving access to continuing care through the single entry access program, increased home care and long-term care funding. We have new information management systems that support better, more and timely care for everybody who needs it. We have hired a Nurse Policy Adviser. The best way to have an improvement with people who work for the government is to get one of them to give us recommendations and indeed that has been the case. We have launched Nova Scotia's first nursing strategy in co-operation with the nursing profession. We have introduced nurse practitioner legislation and established a new co-operative program for nursing students, a new bursary program for nursing students and LPNs, and a debt assistance program for doctors working in Nova Scotia.

We have also created a new wellness fund to address community priorities and introduced a new patient navigation system for cancer patients. We have increased funding to help low income cancer patients pay for drugs and launched Nova Scotia's Health Research Foundation with a $5 million investment.

This is, indeed, just some of the list that I am going to speak on. What we've done the last two years - if you want to get this book, I am sure you should read it - but, also, I would like to help to protect and enrich Nova Scotia's quality of life. We have introduced Canada's most stringent regulations for monitoring and reporting the quality of drinking water. We have allocated $850,000 to implement a new drinking water strategy. We now have more than 50 per cent of Nova Scotia's solid waste recycled. We have signed new stewardship agreements to divert more waste and have a $196 million federal/provincial/municipal infrastructure agreement addressing green projects.

That's just a start. We have made a new effort and invested new money to support reforestation. We have developed Nova Scotia's first Disaster Relief Fund and expanded Nova Scotia's parklands and set aside more land to be preserved. We have introduced a new community outreach program to promote safe homes and communities. We have expanded programs so that more seniors now qualify for property tax rebates. We have allocated $500,000 to expand community-based transportation services in rural Nova Scotia. We have allocated $1.2 million to make public buildings more accessible and increased respite support for family caregivers. We have also established Nova Scotia's first school for adult learning.

I do know that I can't go on forever, my time allotted, but I certainly appreciate this. Another thing we certainly have done is ensure a modern, innovative government. We have the Nova Scotia Business Registry making it easier and faster to deal with the government. Registry 2000, the modern, electronic land registry is underway and we have the most aggressive, fully functioning online government tendering system in the country: Service Nova Scotia Express. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate this opportunity and hopefully maybe some other day we'll get more said.

[Page 6999]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise tonight to speak to this resolution. My grandmother had an expression, a stopped clock is right twice a day. The member on the opposite side reads off a list of things the government has done. Well, government is a big and powerful machine. Over the course of time you are going to do a few things right. Sure, the government has done a few things right; they brought in some programs that are worthwhile.

The problem is, and really the thrust of the resolution is that on the big things promised to the people of Nova Scotia in the last election, they have really let the people down. The story that for me does now and will always epitomize what is wrong with this government is freely available to anybody who cares to look at the newspapers. The day after the 1999 election was called, the person who is now the Premier, then John Hamm, the Leader of the Third Party, was wandering around Scotia Square, a shopping mall in downtown Halifax. He said, you know I'm not going to promise a tax cut because people won't believe me. That's in the newspapers for anybody who wants to look it up.

Then, a week later, what does he do? He promises a tax cut - the thing that just a week before he said people would not believe if he did. In the interim the spin doctors and the sloganeers must have got to him and said, John, it doesn't matter what you really think, this is what you have to promise. It doesn't matter if you don't actually believe we can do it.

The fundamental problem with this government is it's a government of slogans. The campaign book from the last election, the blue book, the book of shame, whatever you want to call it, has on the front, "Strong Leadership . . . . a clear course". Now the reason it says that is because the Conservative Party polling told them that is what people were looking for, so they put it on the front - not because what is inside is what they are actually going to deliver, not because what they have done in the interim since being elected is strong leadership, a clear course, but because their polling told them that is what people wanted.

Inside the book is the smiling face of John Hamm, saying among other things, this - and this is very important because this is something the government desperately wants the people of Nova Scotia to forget. From the day after the election, the government started working and is still working very hard to get people to forget this sentence I am about to read. It is a sentence that was repeated throughout the election campaign. It is this, "As your premier, my first priority will be to fix the health care system." That is what the Premier said in his book. He said it over and over again during the campaign. He said he was going to do it with $46.5 million that he was going to save just by cutting out the waste in the health care system.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier would have had us believe there was just $46.5 million in quarters rolling around the corridors of hospitals and he was going to pick them up and fix the health care system. Of course it was nonsense when he said it and it is nonsense now. In

[Page 7000]

a budget of $1.8 billion you are going to get a little bit of waste, you are going to get some money that is not really spent where it is supposed to be. The problem is that nobody knows exactly where that money is. If everybody knew it was being wasted, it wouldn't be spent that way. It was just a convenient fiction that the Premier came up with so that he didn't have to follow through or think very clearly about exactly where the money was going to come from.

Of course the fact is that the health care system hasn't been fixed. That was his number one promise. Back in my office, on my computer I have a radio ad that the Premier had. I wish I could play it in the House, although I am sure it would be against the rules. The essence of it is, more doctors, more nurses, better health care, vote for John Hamm and everything will be okay. That is a paraphrase and not a bad paraphrase of what the ad actually said. That is what they were promising Nova Scotians in the last election.

In the blue book, the book of shame, there are actually 50 individual promises about the health care system, most of which have been shuffled aside or broken or downplayed. Who can forget over the course of this government - they have been at it for only two years, Mr. Speaker, but at Christmas of 1999 we had demonstrations outside this very House from the paramedics. All they were asking for was a fair wage, and they had to go on strike to get it. In 2000, it was the turn of education, as parents and teachers and students across Nova Scotia said, this is not good enough, it is not enough to cut Education funding. The government likes to say they actually increased Education funding that year, but they only did it as a result of the very large protests in the streets in the year 2000.

Even that kind of paled in comparison to Bill No. 68. Bill No. 68, the big failure of this government on health care. Who knows better than the health care professionals, the nurses and all the other truly thousands of health care professionals doing the difficult work in our health care system about how bad things are and how bad they can be. They were here every day, in great numbers, to tell the province that what was happening simply was not good enough, that they were prepared to resign en masse rather than accept the wage settlement this government wanted to impose on them.

No, Mr. Speaker, I'm afraid to say that the health care system is not fine, it's not fine at all. All anybody on that side of the House has to do, if they doubt me, is talk to some of my constituents about the situation that they're facing in their daily lives, with home care, with long-term care, with relatives, maybe even themselves, being pushed out of hospitals too quickly, without the supports at home. I have some real people with real stories who would like to sit down with the Minister of Health and tell him what's really going on in the health care system. The problem is that the Minister of Health is in Mexico at an education conference. It looks like this sitting of the House is going to last maybe a month at the most, and the Minister of Health leaves for 10 days in the middle of it to go to Mexico for an education conference. A small thing, perhaps, but I think it tells Nova Scotians everything they need to know about this government's attitude towards the health care system.

[Page 7001]

Mr. Speaker, if the members on that side of the House won't take my word for it, well, let's look at what the Halifax Chronicle-Herald says, a paper that in the past has been more or less the Tory Party newsletter and is still very much in support of Conservative Party policy. What did the Halifax Chronicle-Herald have to say about this government's record? Well, I won't read it all, here it is, freely available on my Web site for anybody who cares to refresh their memory.

I will just read the highlights, ". . . the government botched a major test earlier this summer . . .". Later on it says, " . . . the province's finances, a test the Tories continue to fail." Later, "The Tories deserve to be kept after class for their shoddy work on the environment . . .". Later it says, "The Tories aren't doing much better when it comes to helping Nova Scotians tap into offshore gas . . . The government stumbled in efforts to equalize finances for municipalities . . .". Later it says, "Headmaster Hamm deserves a brief stint in the corner himself." Then it goes on to say, "But where Mr. Hamm has let voters down the most is in failing to reach worthwhile goals he's set for himself . . . his success has been limited, indeed mostly non-existent, to date . . . Two years in office show the Tories earning mostly failing grades."

Mr. Speaker, that's not me talking, that's the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. Yet the government continues to be a government of slogans. They have the slogan that is repeated by the Premier and his ministers wherever they go, that somehow the government is on course, they're doing what they said they were going to do. I am here to say, I am here to witness to the fact that it's not true. It is not true. This government is not delivering on the promises it made to Nova Scotians. The biggest failure of all is the failure of hope. This government, when running for office, said that they had the answers, they had 243 answers to the problems faced by Nova Scotians. At the end of the day, what I can say about this government, the best I can say for them is they are letting Nova Scotians down.

MR. SPEAKER: I thank the honourable members for taking part in the debate this evening. We will now return to second reading of Bill No. 86.

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING]

Bill No. 86 - Pharmacy Act. [Debate Resumed.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to speak to Bill No. 86, an Act Respecting the Profession of Pharmacy.

[Page 7002]

[6:30 p.m.]

This bill is comprehensive and fairly detailed, it is 36 pages in all, and I want to compliment the government for bringing this forward on behalf of the profession of pharmacy, to replace a bill, I think it was 1876, with all the amendments that it had gathered over the years. I am pleased to speak on this bill and in doing so I would like to thank the Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society for all their efforts in working towards bringing forward this legislation today. I know that they have been working on this particular piece of legislation for some time now and on behalf of our Liberal caucus I would like to acknowledge all their hard work. I also trust that through the development of this piece of legislation, the government has solicited input from the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, they too have a valuable role to play and a responsibility within the profession of pharmacy and a vested interest in this piece of legislation. Like many other health care professions, this bill will provide a new legislative framework for pharmacists and pharmacies. The development of a College of Pharmacy will serve and protect the public and the college will exercise its powers and fulfill its responsibilities in the best interests of the public. Standards of professional practice and accountability will be ensured by the college, so that when a person in Nova Scotia has a problem with the actions or the conduct of a pharmacist it can be directed to the college for investigation and, if necessary, discipline.

I would like to note that the hearing committee will include a non-pharmacist that would follow, if necessary, following the investigation committee meeting and referring matters to the hearing committee; both of those, Mr. Speaker, I want to note would include a non-pharmacist on that board. It doesn't exactly spell out that that would be a layperson, but I'm assuming that it would be in that direction. If not, then I would say that the bill should provide for a layperson. I think it has been obvious that most of the bills coming forward relative to the licensing and regulatory matters, relative to health care professions particularly, have laypersons on those boards, on the college itself, and on the committees, particularly matters relative to complaints that are brought forward, and the bill provides for that. I'm not going to go through all those provisions, but there are matters relative to the conduct and actions of pharmacists that would be heard by these committees. Generally, I think the move throughout the country has been to have a committee such as those that have laypersons on those committees.

The practice of pharmacy will also be governed in the interest of optimum health outcomes as a result of this piece of legislation. One only has to take a look at how quickly the profession of pharmacy has changed in Nova Scotia over the past few years. We have seen a progression of the profession from a stand-alone druggist in a drug store to the creation of pharmacies in large retail stores such as Wal-Mart and other large stores. As we see the rapid expansion of this health profession physically move further and further away from the hospital, or the more formal health care setting, this type of bill that enables the

[Page 7003]

profession of pharmacy to maintain and ensure standards of professional practice and accountability is even more important.

I cannot underline that more strongly. As programs are developed, in particular of an education and an information-giving profession that this has always been done by the family druggist, the corner druggist, but now we have moved into more of a corporate structure and also moving more into the community perhaps. So we are seeing this rapid change of delivery of services by the pharmacies and by the pharmacists and also in home care and the Home Care Programs.

Mr. Speaker, that often seemed to be the stumbling block why people in need of home care, particularly in need of narcotics, couldn't seem to be managed at home. This was, of course, an administrative matter and that has really been solved through the Home Care Program. The pharmacist is very much an integral part of that Home Care Program.

Also outside the Home Care Program there are pharmacists and pharmacies that are developing programs of monitoring persons, particularly mental health patients, but also the feeble or elderly with complex and multiple medications. There are programs that have been developed that are cost-effective and allow people, in need of that type of care to remain in their homes while they are carefully monitored by a visiting pharmacist. These are programs that have been developed. I know there is one on the Eastern Shore that is very much in the forefront of moving out from the more formal hospital and pharmacy setting directly into the community. So legislation such as Bill No. 86 must reflect these changes and I believe it does from what I can read, Mr. Speaker.

The bill has been broken down into different areas. Of course initially is the definition and then more specifically addressing the whole issue of what the college is about. The discussion relative to pharmacies and also registration and licensing and the various committees and finishing with the regulations and the various multiple areas, it shows the diversity of the programs and delivery of pharmacy and even if one was just to read relative to the regulations that are covered under this Act.

So, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me to be a very comprehensive bill and so we in the Liberal caucus support this bill and we look forward to hearing the comments from the public and the interested groups as this bill moves through the process from second reading into the Law Amendments Committee.

As I mentioned earlier, I just want to close with a few comments, Mr. Speaker. There have been many changes, as has been noted by the Minister of Finance as he introduced this bill on behalf of the Minister of Health, and particularly with the pharmacists and pharmacies moving closer to the public. I think pharmacists generally have become more prominent members of the health care team. They certainly, in many communities, are the only health care professional that is readily available even on a 24 hour basis and seven days a week. I think they have prided themselves on this as a profession and I compliment them for that

[Page 7004]

because with multiple medications and the interactions of medications, one with another, it is so important not only from the point of view of safety of those who are being medicated, but also the peace of mind they can receive by assurance from an informed pharmacist. So there are many complex issues arising out of medication. Many people are treated in cancer centres, such as Halifax and Sydney and then may be sent home and managed on an outpatient basis, or even in their homes, and require the use of high-powered, potentially lethal drugs in the treatment of cancer. So this has become an expanding role and the legislation must reflect those initiatives.

I would like to mention the School of Pharmacy and the manner in which they have met the challenges. The many matters of which we speak, relative to this bill, have been put right back on their shoulders in developing education programs. The bill spells these matters out. I would like to compliment the Pharmacy School, particularly at Dalhousie, on the leadership that they have shown on these matters. They are ever willing to participate in various community programs. The students that I have met, I must say, have been, during their time as students, very interested in the broad, community-based approach to pharmacy. So it is a very positive department within Dalhousie University. So the total health care through pharmacists as educators and health professionals is crucial and important.

I would probably be remiss, Mr. Speaker, if I didn't at least mention the removal of cigarettes from pharmacies. I happened to be minister at that time and I must say that while I had some concerns expressed to me, it was done in a very courteous way and a thoughtful manner, and I would expect them to make at least a business case for that initiative. But I think this has impacted on some. A free, stand-alone pharmacy, the corner pharmacies as we know them - they are not as common as they were - were impacted more on this removal of cigarettes from pharmacies. I thought as minister and we thought as a government that that was the right thing to do. I still believe it. I have absolutely no regrets. Some of the larger stores, though, have circumvented this to an extent by having just a separate entrance there and I would note that.

In fact, one day I was picking up my groceries over in the Woodlawn area. At the checkout, the person behind the checkout for groceries said no, Mr. so-and-so, you will have to go somewhere else to get your cigarettes next time you come in. But, she said, you will just have to go outside and come around, in another door. He was relieved by that, but I was standing there waiting to be checked out, so in case I would be recognized, I pulled my hat a little further down over my head, realizing that I was the one of the people who was responsible for that. Then they got on the helmet law, and that was another issue that I also had some passing responsibility for. So I quickly checked out and got out of there before they identified something else that I would be blamed for. I take responsibility for that and I want to compliment the pharmacy profession and the business of pharmacy on the way that they handled that initiative which I think was the right thing to do.

[Page 7005]

So we support the increased accountability with the pharmacy profession and those they serve because legislation such as Bill No. 86, Mr. Speaker, not only protects the people in the profession in a regulatory way, it allows them accountability within the profession and also to those they serve. The bill will ensure that the continued high standards for pharmacies and pharmacists are maintained as we see an increasing demand in a complex health care system on the profession. Our Liberal caucus will be supporting this bill through second reading to go to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the members for their participation and it is my honour to move second reading of this bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 86.

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

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 87.

Bill No. 87 - Cosmetology Act.

[6:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I am just going to have a few remarks to inform the members of this House about our proposed amendments to the Cosmetology Act. Because of this Act's link to training, the Department of Education holds legislative responsibility for it. The Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia is responsible for administering the Act. The association's members, professionals who work in Nova Scotia's cosmetology and aesthetics industry, agreed that the Act legislating their profession requires updating. They have asked for the changes which we are proposing.

Government and the association share the same goal with these amendments - to protect consumers of cosmetology and aesthetic services by improving regulation of the industry. Changes to the Act will help. Improving training is one way to ensure safer services

[Page 7006]

for consumers. The proposed legislation will give the association the authority to set provincial standards for cosmetology training programs. The goal is to ensure that students succeed in the programs and are well prepared to enter the workforce.

Once enrolled in a cosmetology program, students need to gain experience. To provide this experience, schools offer services to consumers at reduced prices. The proposed amendments will allow the association to issue student cards which will serve as licences for the students to perform services under supervision. The cards will also remind consumers that students are doing the work.

The current legislation addresses only part of the aesthetics sector of the industry which is growing at a rapid pace. Only hairstylists have voting rights within the cosmetology association. The amendments will bring aestheticians into the association by giving them voting rights. It will also establish training requirements, provide licences for qualified professionals and allow for better regulation of their services.

Mr. Speaker, improving regulation of this industry will help us to ensure, to the best of our ability, that consumers are safe whenever they engage in cosmetology services. Thank you.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to have a few moments to talk on Bill No. 87, the Cosmetology Act as well. Some in the media have made comments about the Cosmetology Act as an example of how this session is one in which the legislation is more innocuous and the issues may not be as burning. Funny enough, I might say that in the summer I started getting lobbied by barbers with regard to the Cosmetology Act coming forward.

This is an issue that to a great extent what the minister is talking about, is correct. It's a good piece of legislation, it talks about the need to regulate, to ensure that people who go to cosmetologists are being safe. Obviously, they are new issues that are being brought forward, new methods, new things that cosmetologists are doing and it's important to update the legislation.

I think it's also important to reflect that, in many cases, this is still, to some, a controversial issue with regard to the role of a barber, a cosmetologist; one that I'm not saying this legislation was meant to fix, one that I'm not sure this Legislature will be able to resolve in this session, but one that I think will be brought up as we go through this process. I will be surprised if the Law Amendments Committee doesn't have some representations whether it be from cosmetologists, barbers or the associations that represent them, with regard to this legislation.

[Page 7007]

The one issue - and I have raised it with the minister outside the House and I will put it on the record - there was an issue in this legislation, and I'm not going to go clause by clause, but there's a particular clause with regard to if you run a cosmetology shop, only other cosmetologists can work there. I believe that there may be some circumstances in which barbers may also be working in those shops.

This is something that, as I say, to most of the world is not an issue of very big concern, but in the business world of hairdressing and cosmetology and barbering, it is something that may come up and one that I am looking forward to hearing at the Law Amendments Committee as to any concerns that might have been brought up by those who are cosmetologists or those who may be members of a competing profession.

So, having said that, our Party will be supporting this in second reading, in principle. It is good legislation with regard to regulating cosmetologists but I am looking forward to the Law Amendments Committee to see if there are any concerns or comments raised by, whether it be the cosmetologists or associations or other professions with regard to the legislation. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and participate . . .

MR. SPEAKER: . . . the Speaker does apologize, the Speaker should have acknowledged that it is the Liberal Leader, the member for Clare.

MR. GAUDET: Thank you, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker. First of all I would like to welcome you to the Chair. I am sure, as previous Deputy Speakers have probably found out, there is lots to learn with the parliamentary rules in this House and I am sure all members will certainly understand if you, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, do now and then make some mistakes along the way. You can certainly count on our cooperation, to do whatever we can do to help out, trying to learn the rules of this Chamber.

MR. SPEAKER: The Speaker acknowledges your wise knowledge. Thank you.

MR. GAUDET: Thank you, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker. I am pleased to rise on behalf of our caucus and make a few comments on Bill No. 87, An Act to Amend Chapter 5 of the Acts of 1995-96, the Cosmetology Act. It is my understanding that many of the amendments in this Act were requested by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia. Although the Cosmetology Act was passed only about six years ago, this bill updates this piece of legislation to better reflect the state of the cosmetology industry in Nova Scotia. Perhaps most significantly the definition of cosmetology has been broadened to include the practice of aestheticians. It is good to see that this Act is being updated to reflect the changes in this rapidly evolving industry, as well as to bring clarity to the general public.

[Page 7008]

This bill certainly changes the scope, the practice of cosmetology in the province. Nova Scotian consumers will benefit by the inclusion of aestheticians in the association, as issues relating to their training and practice will be explicitly regulated.

Mr. Speaker, it is very important that every group of practitioners in this province has specific legislation that spells out their rights and their corresponding professional responsibilities. Other changes in this Act, which were requested by the association, will address the significant issue of consumer safety. This bill will enable the association to set minimum entrance requirements for training courses. Currently, I think, if I am not mistaken, there are eight private schools, eight private colleges offering programs, along with several - I think there are nine or ten campuses.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable members take their conversations outside. (Applause). The speaker has the floor.

MR. GAUDET: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, there are a number of private training schools that have their own admission requirements, along with the different campuses from the Nova Scotia Community College, offering programs as well. So, this change is certainly a welcome step towards setting uniform educational standards throughout this province. By-laws by the association that set out education requirements will require approval by Governor in Council under the Act. This is appropriate, given that sometimes there are health implications to be considered.

Another positive step with this bill before you, Mr. Speaker, is the provision for issuing student cards for cosmetologists in training. Many consumers are, of course, happy to give students the opportunity to learn their craft, their trade. However, consumers today are very sophisticated and they rightfully expect to be provided with all relevant information about the services that they are receiving. This includes being put on notice that they are dealing with a student cosmetologist. Requiring that that student cosmetologist work under the direct supervision of a master cosmetologist will give consumers an extra degree of reassurance of the quality of service that they are receiving.

Mr. Speaker, I am sure you will agree that an informed consumer is an empowered consumer, so we certainly hope that all necessary steps were taken to consult all the relevant stakeholders in this legislation and that their input was solicited and taken into consideration before this Bill No. 87 was drafted.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, our Liberal caucus will be supporting Bill No. 87 on second reading. We certainly look forward to hearing from individuals and from groups who may wish to appear before the Law Amendments Committee and speak on Bill No. 87. Again, our caucus will be supporting Bill No. 87 on second reading.

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

[Page 7009]

The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the members opposite for their remarks and I would like at this point to move second reading of the bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 87. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 88.

Bill No. 88 - Underground Hydrocarbons Storage Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise on movement of second reading of the Underground Hydrocarbons Storage Act, to move this for second reading on behalf of my colleague, the Honourable Gordon Balser, Minister responsible for the Petroleum Directorate.

I would like to just make a few background remarks. First of all, I would like to note that underground storage in the province is currently regulated by the Department of Natural Resources. It currently administers two Acts, the Gas Storage Exploration Act and the Mineral Resources Act. Interest in natural gas is on the rise and the facilities such as underground storage are an integral part of the natural gas transmission and distribution. Since the operation of an underground gas storage facility is essential to a petroleum operation, the government has decided to streamline administration by updating the rules and transferring the responsibility for regulating the construction and operation of underground gas storage facilities to the Nova Scotia Petroleum Directorate and the new Utility and Review Board.

These changes are accomplished through a new Underground Hydrocarbons Storage Act. Some of the main points this new Act will include are: a streamlined process for issuing of leases and licences by the Petroleum Directorate and approval by the URB; a Code of Practice that will provide guidelines for the operation of underground gas storage facilities; and new regulations that will be drafted in consultation with the public and other stakeholders. The government then will repeal the existing two Acts within DNR and relinquish the role of this part of the resource management to the Petroleum Directorate. I would also like to add, Mr. Speaker, that the government is committed to increasing the

[Page 7010]

efficiency of government operations by streamlining legislation and the regulatory process for the construction and operation of underground gas storage facilities in this province.

I would also like to note that underground gas storage facilities are an integral part of the natural gas transmission and distribution in this province. This Act will enhance opportunities for the development of our offshore industry and also lay the groundwork for a petrochemical industry in a safe and efficient manner. With those remarks I would like to move second reading of Bill No. 88, the Underground Hydrocarbons Storage Act.

[7:00 p.m.]

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

MR. JOHN HOLM: I welcome the opportunity to address the House on this bill this evening. Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, again congratulations on your appointment to the Chair. This is the first opportunity I have had to speak while you were in the Chair and so I will watch my Ps and Qs and make sure that I try to stay relevant because I know that you would be, of course, calling me to order if I were not. (Interruption) I am getting some advice from those to my left, in the Liberal Caucus, who are trying to give me some advice, but I know that you would want me to avoid their rabbit tracks and not use up the time of the House by responding to their rabbit tracks, therefore I will come back to order.

Mr. Speaker, as I begin my few remarks tonight, I want to indicate that certainly on the basis of what I have seen in the legislation, I will be supporting it going forward. There aren't many times that one can stand in one's place and look at what either this or the former government has done with regard to the oil and gas industry and say that this is a wise move that they are actually making. In fact, if one looks at the litany of events that has taken place through both this current government, under the former Liberal Government and we can go back to the Tories before them and the Liberals before them and we can find out that we have had nothing but lost opportunity after lost opportunity.

Again and again, Mr. Speaker, it is the people of this province who are drawing the short end of the stick and we yet again have been left out. (Interruption) I hear a former Minister of Natural Resources making some peeps over there; I am sure he is agreeing with me, and he is agreeing that during the time when the former Liberal Regime was in office, that Nova Scotians, unfortunately, missed out on many opportunities, like the opportunity to exercise our right to the back-in provision on the Sable pipeline which, unfortunately, they gave away in return for which we in Nova Scotia received absolutely nothing, zilch; not one red cent from something that had a lot of value, something that had they exercised that right, and I hope that this Tory Government doesn't commit the sins of the former Liberal Government, I hope that this government will not, as long as you are in power, give away our rights to exercise that back-in provision and receive nothing for giving up that right on the PanCanadian or the elpaso because they know, as they should have known, that those lines, the tolls that are charged are regulated by the National Energy Board, and in return for

[Page 7011]

expenditures the toll rate that you are able to charge is going to be based on what your capital costs are and you are guaranteed a profit. That is money that could have been helpful and useful in providing health care and education for the people of this province.

Now the Minister of Natural of Resources, who is filling in for the Minister responsible for the Petroleum Directorate, Mr. Speaker, and I can't mention the fact that he is not here and that he is away so, therefore I won't bring it up because that would be abusing the rules, but, of course, it was the Minister of Natural Resources who introduced the bill. In his statement, the minister said that this underground storage is an integral part, a very important part in the system for the transmission of natural gas. Of course, it was the minister who didn't introduce this bill who was quoted in last weekend's press as saying that a distribution system in Nova Scotia is worthless, it has no value. He agreed with the vice-president of SaskEnergy who said that a distribution system in the Province of Nova Scotia right now would have no value.

Mr. Speaker, we know that this government, like the former government, and Nova Scotians would agree that the efforts that have been put forward so far to ensure that Nova Scotia had a gas distribution system within the province, that their efforts have, indeed, been worthless because not one single home in this province has natural gas and without there being a distribution system in the Province of Nova Scotia, then storing that gas underground, of course, is good for the industries who want to build it up, but it won't be here for Nova Scotians.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. Just a correction, the remarks by both of those gentlemen in last Friday's press referred to the present value of the assets, not of distribution in Nova Scotia, I believe was the context of the remarks.

MR. SPEAKER: I don't see that as having any relevance with this bill that's before us. The point is not a point of order.

MR. HOLM: I think that was that it is not a point of order and, Mr. Speaker, the distribution system in Nova Scotia has no value at the present time. That's quite obvious because we don't have one. The Minister of Natural Resources, who sits around the Cabinet Table, you know, in the bunker across the road where they meet behind the veil of secrecy, they pull that blue curtain around so that the general public doesn't know what they're talking about, well, he would know that there are hundreds of families in New Brunswick signed up to take Nova Scotia's natural gas.

Mr. Speaker, they would know that people in New England are burning our natural gas and they know that this legislation that is before us isn't going to make it possible to heat one single home in this province unless we get a distribution system in place and this legislation is going to do nothing, nothing at all, unless this government gets its act together to ensure that that distribution system is built in a timely manner.

[Page 7012]

The minister is absolutely right that underground storage is crucially important and we do have in this province some excellent salt domes that can be used for storage and they're mainly in the Strait area. If the volumes are there, that region should have a major petrochemical industry developing in that region and that industry will not only benefit the residents in that general area, but they will benefit the entire province. Do you know, Mr. Speaker, one of the things, of course, that would ensure that there would be more jobs in that area would be if PanCanadian is told also that they must do their processing onshore and Goldboro would be a great spot, that it should be done onshore and if we're talking about developing petrochemical industries, that means that we have to have the volumes there. That means you have to have the volumes of the materials within this province in a convenient location where there is critical mass sufficient to be developing those industries.

That is one of the reasons why I have major concerns with the elpaso proposal. The elpaso proposal which is also, Mr. Speaker, basically talking about - because if you take a look at it, they are a pipeline transmission company, they're not a processing company - they would be transporting Nova Scotia's natural gas through a pipeline, it will kiss the province, down in the member for Shelburne's area, and then that pipeline will keep on trucking down to New York and what will the people down in the Shelburne area get? About five permanent

jobs, because basically what they would be doing down there is dehydrating a little bit more of the gas and maybe increasing the pressure so that they could ship more. But what they won't be doing is having that gas going into those salt domes, going into those areas.

We have no commitment that the liquids that would come from that offshore processing, if it is done offshore, we have no assurances that those liquids would be transported by pipe or other means to the storage facilities where we would be able to get the critical mass that would be necessary to develop the other industries. If you are going to have some of those liquids in one part of the province, and more of those liquids somewhere else, if you are going to have to be trucking them back and forth, Mr. Speaker, that's going to make it far less attractive and far more difficult to attract those other industries in there.

If you take a look at the big picture, the scheme of things, what have Nova Scotians got? I don't wish to minimize the importance that the Nova Scotia economy has benefited significantly - and I will use the word "significantly" - from the offshore oil and gas exploration and development, but not nearly what we should have. We have a poor royalty regime and in terms of the amount of money that comes to Nova Scotia, the Premier himself on his Campaign for Fairness talks about how we only get about 19 cents out of every dollar staying in Nova Scotia, that we get in the way of royalties.

You probably know the figures better than I do, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, the amount of money we get from VLTs. The amount of money we are getting from gambling machines, from lottery terminals in a period of a month - I think it's actually within a week - exceeds what we get in the way of profits from our royalties.

[Page 7013]

Now, Mr. Speaker, in terms of the bids, the government always likes to run out in the Petroleum Directorate and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and brag about, look how many millions of dollars were bid for licences to explore off the coast. The last group of parcels that were sold, I think it was $567 million that they promised to spend. But they don't promise to spend that in Nova Scotia. They simply say that they will spend those numbers of dollars. That includes the rigs that are brought in from offshore at $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 a day. It's very expensive to rent those machines. It includes all of that technical type of work that they are having done down in Houston, the evaluations of their statistics and their seismic chutes and so on done elsewhere. When they bid they set targets as to what they would like in the way of Nova Scotia content but we don't require, and there are no penalties if they don't meet, those Nova Scotia contents.

I don't apologize for one second in saying that residents in my constituency and in the constituency of every other member in this House - that means every Nova Scotian, Mr. Speaker - the people of this province, they are the ones who should be the primary benefactors for our oil and gas exploration. That means that Nova Scotia businesses should be given the leg up in bidding for that work.

All work is important and I'm not - those who are providing the supplies, those who are cooking, providing the meals, those who are providing the supply boats, that's all very valuable work and good paycheques in the pockets of the people of Nova Scotia, but we should be getting more. That means that we should also be getting the higher end jobs. And we should be requiring those businesses that wish to explore and exploit our resources, we should be requiring that the people in Shelburne, the people in Yarmouth and the businesses in Yarmouth have a better opportunity to bid on that work than a company from Houston. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. If you don't mind, honourable member, I'd like to bring you back to the principle of the bill. I have allowed you some lateral movement and I truly appreciate your debate, but if we could get back to the bill, I would appreciate that.

MR. HOLM: I appreciate you bringing me back and I said at the beginning, Mr. Speaker, that I had no doubt that you being a very impartial Speaker, that you would of course call me to order if I did slip a little bit. It is incumbent upon me, then, to make my comments relevant.

[7:15 p.m.]

We are talking here about the development of salt domes and so on for the storage of natural gas and liquids. Those things won't be taking place, those won't be developed and there won't be the opportunity to be storing those materials if the development doesn't take place. If that development doesn't take place in the proper fashion, then of course the liquids and the natural gas that are necessary to fill those salt domes so that people from one end of

[Page 7014]

this province to the other can have the opportunities to benefit from the secondary industries and businesses that will develop from that - then, Mr. Speaker, it is all for naught.

Mr. Speaker, that is why when I talk about the elpaso line, knowing full well that the major salt domes, the places where the storage would take place, are up in the Strait area, and knowing full well, of course, that you have to have the volumes in order to make - and that was the argument. That was what governments always said. That is what the former one said, that is what this bunch says, that you have to have the critical mass or the volumes to attract industry, to set up the petrochemical industries.

Look, let's face it: business is in business to make money - no problem with that whatsoever. In fact, Mr. Speaker, it is critically important that businesses make money because if they don't, then we don't have employment; therefore, if we don't have employment, there won't be the tax dollars to provide the goods and services that the people of this province so rightly deserve and need. That goes without saying.

Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of government to make sure that those businesses also act in a manner that is responsible and in the best interests of Nova Scotians. Remember that those big oil companies that are mainly foreign-owned, those businesses, their primary shareholders, the people that their constituency are the shareholders. Members opposite, your shareholders are the people of the Province of Nova Scotia and you know that.

If Exxon, Mobil or PanCanadian make a few cents less on their shares, but it means that Nova Scotians get good, high-quality paying jobs because of an action of this government, then you have done a good job.

Mr. Speaker, we have a long way to go in this province. We have no distribution system; people don't seem to be banging down the doors. We don't see the government laying out clear guidelines and - not just guidelines, excuse me - requirements for Nova Scotia content. We see the government reacting after the fact to try to meet so-called employment opportunities. We see the government always waiting for industry to tell it what to do. As the Premier indicated when we were talking, I asked him in Question Period earlier about offshore processing and about transporting the gas to shore. Industry, of course, says, oh, we can't transport sour gas. Well, you can. It costs more for pipelines because you have to have an added coating on those pipes; you have to use a thicker-gauge steel; you have to use chemical inhibitives. If you do that, that would mean that those products could be transported to shore safely, to an area where the liquids could then be separated out and stored in those salt domes that we're talking about. See it's all relevant.

Mr. Speaker, it would cost more, and the industry would also have to do a procedure that they call "pigging" more often. That's where a chemical or a mechanical device would go down through the pipe and it measures, it scans the inside of the pipe and it looks for weaknesses in the pipe, it can measure the thickness of the pipe. So if the pipe was starting to fail, if a proper maintenance system were followed, that would be detected earlier, and the

[Page 7015]

kind of disaster we saw, where in elpaso one of their lines had ruptured tragically and people were killed, proper maintenance and inspection would prevent that from happening.

There are many issues involved in this. I want to say that despite this government's many failings, despite the fact that measures like this should have been implemented earlier, it is still supportable, even though it is coming a little bit late. What I hope the government is signalling by this is not only that they are going to make it easier for the establishment of these storage facilities, but also that they are going to be prepared, that they will have the backbone and spine to say to the industries that you have two years and within two years we are going to prohibit the export of those liquids, so that industries can develop here using those things. That, of course, is going to mean that the Minister of Economic Development is going to have to do his job and get out there, beating the bushes, to try to attract those industries here.

If we're not stripping those, what I call goodies, the more valuable items out here, you know that they're going to be stripped out down the line; those industries and those jobs are going to be created in New Brunswick and throughout New England. We do have tremendous opportunities in this province. I will agree with the Premier, especially when he was in Opposition. When he was in Opposition the Premier seemed to have a lot more - how should I say it? - insight. Once he got on the other side of the floor, the Premier seems to - how should I put this nicely? Maybe I will put it this way - be taking more of his marching orders from big oil and not from the people of this province.

Mr. Speaker, we have tremendous resources off our coast. Industry, of course, will tell us, oh it's not proven, and oh we can't count on that, look, we're always in a frontier situation. They will tell us if we make things too difficult here in Nova Scotia, they can always take their money and go somewhere else and invest it, and they can. They could invest their money, for example, in natural gas exploration in Australia. It's a heck of a pipeline though to build from Australia to New York, one heck of a pipeline. Then, of course, whatever came from Australia would never go in the salt domes here in Nova Scotia, would they?

Mr. Speaker, we have tremendous opportunities. I know those to my left, in the Liberal caucus, they don't like to be reminded - and I can understand this - about what they didn't do. I am sure they don't like to be reminded how they permitted, and actually fast-tracked, the building of the undersized pipe that we now know is defective across the Strait, which is making it more difficult for a natural gas distribution system to be built in Cape Breton. However, I won't remind them of that, because then I might be drifting away a little bit from the topic, and I wouldn't want to do that. At least, no more than I think I can get away with.

But obviously, Mr. Speaker, we have a long way to go. We have tremendous resources if we develop those resources in a way that is truly in Nova Scotia's best interest. That will mean that we will have to have storage facilities here so that those - using the technical term

[Page 7016]

- goodies, the most valuable portions that are essential for secondary manufacturing, can be stored for the industry that can then develop and use them to employ Nova Scotians.

However, unless the government is going to ensure that those products can be amassed in a central location, it will be one more opportunity kissed off for the betterment of the people of this province. If we don't grow the economy - and that means sometimes playing hardball with the big boys in oil. If we don't play hardball with them, that means that the opportunities to provide improved health care, education, social benefits and a decent living wage to public servants and others who work in this province will be made that much harder.

I want to say I am pleased the legislation is before us; I have every intention of supporting it going through second reading and I expect from there on through to the completion in third reading. I also say that I want to see and I am anxious to see the code of practices that is supposed to be developed to go along with this and also the regulations that are going to be going along with that.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I will resume my seat. I see that some members on the government benches are indicating that they want me to go on for a little bit longer, but - another day. However, with those few, brief comments, being unaccustomed as I am to speaking in here for any great length of time, I will resume my seat and await the wise words from some other speakers.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Just to clarify for the record, members of this side of the House, the Liberal caucus, were referring to the member to do something, but it was not to conclude, necessarily. But no matter what we suggest to that member, he wouldn't listen anyway at the very best of times. If he did listen, he wouldn't understand, but that's beside the point, Mr. Speaker.

I wanted to say a few words. I know a number of our colleagues are wanting to speak on Bill No. 88, but I want to just set the record straight. The previous speaker, in his full rant, in a normal New Democratic approach that has all the answers, armchair quarterback, 20/20 vision, did allude to a number of comments that were inaccurate.

One of the ones, I just want to point out I know the current minister responsible did make a public statement recently with regard to the back-in provisions and that the previous administration had a lot more complex issues to deal with and, in fact, supported the decision we made publicly.

AN HON. MEMBER: He didn't do that.

[Page 7017]

MR. DOWNE: He did, I understand, minister, and much to your chagrin, I am sure. But I will say one thing about the New Democratic Party's comments relative to Bill No. 88 and relative to the issue of storage: it was the Liberal Government that made the deal come through that we now have gas coming to the shore of the Province of Nova Scotia. It was a Liberal Government, no matter how they want to rant and rave and scream and holler, it was a Liberal Administration that is now seeing thousands of jobs throughout, all over, that were involved with the development of the offshore in Nova Scotia. No matter how much they want to rant and rave, it was the Liberal Administration that actually had beachhead, actually had royalties coming from gas. If they had it their way, we would never see the light of day from natural gas in Nova Scotia because they never would have allowed that project to go forward. (Interruptions)

[7:30 p.m.]

I have just been referred to as - from the other side, but I'm saying that under a Progressive Conservative Regime, or a Liberal Regime, at least we try to make economic opportunities happen in Nova Scotia. In their regime you would never have jobs in Nova Scotia. It would be a socialist regime under the House Leader who we refer to here today. (Interruption) He came to the revelation today, he made that major revelation, I imagine his tongue almost swelled up in his mouth.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. (Interruption)

Order, please. Order, please! I would like to remind the honourable member that he is speaking to Bill No. 88 and I would like to remind the other members that the honourable member has the floor.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, I just want you to know that although the previous speaker was referring to your inaugural visit in the Chair, that he would not expect you to give him any latitude, well, all I ask of you is the same. I listened with great interest in the latitude you gave that speaker and I certainly hope that you would give the same latitude to the rest of the speakers who want to talk on this bill.

AN HON. MEMBER: It's only fair.

MR. DOWNE: It's only fair. I remember all too well the trip to Houston with this critic for the petrochemical industry and natural gas. I remember going to Houston and we were talking about the issues. It's funny when you talk to an individual about how important this industry is and, in fact, the fact that we have now got an industry and have a potential of having even a stronger industry, he says one thing, but in this House he stands here, as if he has all the answers and if it wasn't for him, nothing would ever happen. It's almost hypocritical listening to him speak one way and hearing him speak another - almost - but I would never call that honourable member that myself; I would say it was almost, but I would never refer to him as that in this House, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 7018]

Now I want to speak about Bill No. 88. (Interruptions) Little do the members know that actually he's a summer visitor in my riding and I have to look after his concerns when he's in my riding. I try to, but anyway . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Pave the road.

MR. DOWNE: The road actually got paved, I understand. (Interruption) He's the only one I know who wanted his driveway paved when they paved the road, but anyway. (Laughter) He thought that that would be a good social program - no, he didn't say that.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I do enjoy the banter, okay, and what goes on, but I wouldn't want the former minister to make such a statement that he just did about wanting to have the driveway of the summer place that I've got down in his constituency paved. He knows that I didn't want that and I hadn't asked him for that. I would ask that he withdraw that (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! That is not a point of order. (Interruptions)

Order, please. The Speaker has ruled it is not a point of order.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West has the floor and the member will speak to the bill. Thank you.

MR. DOWNE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Let's get some decorum back in the House, please.

MR. DOWNE: This bill provides a framework for underground storage of natural gas and the gas liquids in the Province of Nova Scotia - actually, you might learn something if you wanted to stay - but, of course, the issue of salt caverns in the Strait area where Sable gas comes ashore could provide an ideal storage site for the area of natural gas. I realize that in this bill they're actually allowing the provisions of the control of the Minister of Natural Resources who would control the licensing and things of that nature of salt caverns to his portfolio over to the Minister responsible for the Petroleum Directorate is in principle a good move. It tries to consolidate and tries to deal with the complexity of the offshore under one umbrella. I think that is, in principle, the right direction to go.

There is a great opportunity for the Strait area and there is a great opportunity for the Pugwash area for the purpose of storage of the gas and the liquids. This bill really confers jurisdiction of licensing underground storage facilities to the Minister responsible for the Petroleum Directorate rather than the Minister of Natural Resources. Given the huge economic opportunities that are at stake, Mr. Speaker, with regard to the opportunities of the offshore, I believe it is an appropriate measure to take at this time.

[Page 7019]

In principle, our caucus is in favour of this legislation. Providing a framework for underground storage of natural gas would be positive step for the Province of Nova Scotia. It is a step that I know when I was a minister involved with both of those portfolios, we looked at and realized the great potential that it could provide, especially when one considers the opportunities that do exist for a petrochemical industry in Nova Scotia, a petrochemical industry that could create additional jobs here right in Nova Scotia, an opportunity for us to be able instead of exporting barrels of that product somewhere else to be refined into products, to do it right here, but we need a critical mass, we need a volume to be able to make it a reality. We have always felt very strongly about the fact that having storage facilities available would be part and parcel of the ability for us to be able to look at and develop the petrochemical industry.

Now we hear we have the natural gas by SOEP coming on stream and it is producing every day, we have the potential of the PanCanadian deal, and we are hearing comments from other players who are out there and going to be drilling over the next 12 months or two years of a great economic potential for the Province of Nova Scotia. We need to be very vigilant in regard to making sure that every possible job and every value-added opportunity is made right here in Nova Scotia, jobs created for Nova Scotia, infrastructure built for Nova Scotia, opportunities for the future of Nova Scotia retained right here in this province. That has always been an issue that we, as a Party, have fought for. I believe, in some ways, the Party that is in power is fighting for the same thing, but sometimes you listen to some people and you think that nobody cares about the future of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I believe very clearly that one of the major economic planks of the future of Nova Scotia will be the offshore, if we manage it properly. I might say that we have a minister responsible over there, but he has a ministry of I don't know how many different portfolios and maybe if that minister had the opportunity to devote more of his attention just to the offshore, then maybe we would have an even greater opportunity to expand the economic base in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I know that there are a couple of my caucus members who want to speak on this issue, so I want to keep my comments to the point of bringing up maybe a couple of valid questions with regard to the initiatives that are being taken here. One of the questions that has to be asked is what measures has this government actually carried out in its mandate to ensure the development of a petrochemical industry for the benefits of Nova Scotia. We would like to see the specifics of that, the specifics right here so we would know exactly that the minister is maybe overworked or overstressed, I don't know, but clearly, as our member for Sydney has pointed out, we need a single, solitary minister responsible for the offshore in the Province of Nova Scotia, not one who has so many portfolios that he can't keep up, but one who can actually focus on the economic development opportunities that are there.

In reality this government has shown very little over the last two years in regard to the potential of developing further opportunities in the province. I think the Premier needs to take a focus on that issue. We believe that this bill is a necessary step in some ways to the

[Page 7020]

future opportunities; however our caucus is much more interested in finding out what particular steps the government has taken and will take to further move the whole process forward with regard to further exploration, further opportunities, further petrochemical potentials for the Province of Nova Scotia.

Now I will close by just making one other observation that, of course, is a concern to all Nova Scotians. That observation would be that safety has to be a priority; safety in regard to storage; safety in regard to the future development of that product. Down the road we would like to see that we, as a caucus, can be assured that safety will be a priority during this whole exercise. Now that they are turning it over to the minister and the Petroleum Secretariat, maybe they can come forward with some steps to ensure that there are safety provisions built in, not only for Nova Scotians working in the jobs but for the fishing industry and others who may be affected by this bill.

So with those very few words, Mr. Speaker, I want to now refer to my colleague, the member for Richmond.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid on an introduction.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I would like to draw the attention of all members in the House to some special guests we have in our galleries this evening. We are joined today by the 8th Sackville Cubs. They are accompanied by their Leaders, Robin Mullin, David Stanley, Gary Acker - I can't read the writing here - Mary Hilchey and Travis Hatcher. I am sure they are working on their citizenship badge for Cubs. I remember once upon a time, in another life, I used to be a Cub Leader as well and it was an awful lot of fun working with the young men.

I would like to ask them to stand and please receive the very warm welcome from members of this House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome our visitors to the gallery this evening. I hope you enjoy the proceedings.

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is a pleasure to follow - following the comments from my colleague - the member for Lunenburg West, I would certainly outline some of the concerns we have about Bill No. 88. As the MLA for Richmond, it is a pleasure to rise to make a few comments on Bill No. 88 which will now give the approval to allow for the gas and liquid storage of natural gas in salt domes.

Now I know that the NDP House Leader kept referring to this being in the Strait area, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to tell you that the location of the salt domes in question are, in fact, in Point Tupper, Richmond County. In fact they are located adjacent to Statia Terminals.

[Page 7021]

For those who don't know, Statia Terminals is a U.S. company which took over from the old refinery which was located in the Strait area and kept all of the storage tanks that were there. What Statia Terminals has been doing is that large tankers, which are coming mostly from Europe, come into the Strait area, unload their cargo into these large storage tanks - I believe there are nearly 30 tanks on the farm - it is called a tank farm - and then smaller vessels come in, load up the fuel and they go down to the U.S. ports with it.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that Statia Terminals is a major employer in Richmond County and has been working on the issue of the salt domes and using the salt domes for natural gas and natural gas liquid storage. I certainly want to take this opportunity to commend Mr. Paul Crissman who is the Manager of Statia Terminals in Point Tupper. I know that Mr. Joe Calnan, from Statia Terminals has also been working very hard on this issue and lobbying the government to bring forward this type of legislation. Without a doubt, this is going to be of tremendous benefit to the Strait area and the Point Tupper Industrial Park.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, right now natural gas is coming into the Goldboro plant, which is located in the Municipality of Guysborough. From there, once it is processed the gas is coming into the Point Tupper Industrial Park, where their fractionation plant was built by the Sable Group and is currently taking the liquids portion of the gas and breaking it down into its different components. One of the problems is that as we speak right now, once the liquids are broken down at the fractionation plant, they are put on rail cars and they are then shipped out of the province of Nova Scotia.

[7:45 p.m.]

One of the major employment benefits that could come out of natural gas would be through the establishment of a petrochemical industry. Now, as we all know, bringing the gas ashore itself is not the major job creator but if we can establish a petrochemical industry, that is where the real jobs are.

I can tell you, I have had the privilege of meeting with different interests who have been looking and researching the issue and looking at setting up a petrochemical industry in this province and I have to tell you Mr. Speaker, some of the numbers that have been thrown around are hard to believe to say the least, and certainly create great enthusiasm for the establishment of a petrochemical industry.

The main problem why we don't have that right now is that most of the industry analyses are telling us that there is not enough volume of gas which is coming ashore at this point in time at the Goldboro Plant. So when asked, well, how do we solve that? Well, we now know that elpaso is putting forward a proposal which would bring gas ashore in Nova Scotia. Now, where they want to bring gas ashore, Mr. Speaker - what they propose - is somewhere down the South Shore in Lockeport or some other area where it would be

[Page 7022]

brought ashore there. There would be some sort of processing that would take place and then it would be shipped down into the U.S.

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to state my position on this as the MLA for Richmond and my position would be that this government should make it clear that any gas that is to come ashore should be forced to come ashore in Goldboro, Guysborough County. That way we would then be increasing the volume of gas coming ashore, the volume of gas which would be going to the Point Tupper fractionation plant and at that point in time, hopefully we would have the volume to create the petrochemical industry which is where the real long-term sustainable jobs will be for Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, the only ones who can force that to happen are the members sitting on that side of the House. The government must say that you either bring it ashore in Goldboro or you don't touch it, that's it. The idea that the Premier of this province is now going around saying that PanCanadian and the others shouldn't have to bring gas ashore for processing because it is a sour gas, it needs a better pipe, it might not be economical, or might cost him some more money, so we are going to allow them to do offshore processing. This Premier can clearly tell the industry there will be no offshore processing; any processing will take place onshore.

Now, it's ironic, you know I have to tell you, speaking in all sincerity, it's a bit disappointing that my colleagues in the Strait area have been so silent on this issue, because as we speak we have the Minister of Tourism and Culture from Inverness, we have the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations from Antigonish, and we have the MLA for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury where the natural gas is coming ashore. If anything, these three members should be lobbying their government, their Premier to make sure that there is no offshore processing and that any gas coming ashore comes to Goldboro. Yet unfortunately, all three have been dead silent on this very issue. That is extremely unfortunate because I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, while I am certainly proud of the efforts of Richmond County and the municipal council on issues surrounding the offshore, the one group in this province in rural Nova Scotia that has been the most proactive on the issue of the offshore and natural gas has been the Municipality of Guysborough County and the RDA in Guysborough. Warden Lloyd Hines, people such as Gordon MacDonald in the RDA have been strong proponents of fighting against the idea of offshore processing and trying to make sure that that gas comes to Goldboro so that we can establish a petrochemical industry.

I have to say, Mr. Speaker, it's sad that their own MLA is silent on this issue and has yet to even say whether he feels the gas should come to Goldboro or should the government allow them to bring the line somewhere down in Lockeport.

AN HON. MEMBER: Hasn't said a word.

[Page 7023]

MR. SAMSON: Not a word, Mr. Speaker, not publicly, not here in this House. Maybe privately, I can't attest to that. That's sad to say the least. Salt storage would be part and parcel of the establishment of a petrochemical industry. One would go with the other. Unless the government members from the Strait area actually decide to speak out on this and take an interest in this, it could be an opportunity lost for the Strait area. Having been the member for Richmond for the last three years, I can tell you we know of the potential that exists in the Strait area. We know that it is sitting there, but unless there is some action, some concrete rules established by this government in regard to the offshore, it could be an opportunity lost. We might be sitting back in 20 years and saying remember that time we had the chance to finally make the Strait area the booming place that it should have been. Well, unfortunately the Tory Government of the day didn't seem very interested in the entire issue.

Mr. Speaker, this government's whole direction on the offshore itself has been nothing but a dismal failure. We hear it from the industry itself; Nova Scotians themselves are saying what is going on when the Minister of Economic Development, responsible for the petroleum industry, says, yes, I agree, a distribution system in Nova Scotia is useless and worthless. Yet we try to tell Nova Scotians they should be enthusiastic and they should be looking forward to the promising future of having natural gas in their homes, when the minister is making such statements. The Premier, when asked questions today, wasn't interested in answering any questions. I don't know if, having heard about the new inductees in the Hall of Fame, he thought maybe he'd be able to get in under most assists by a player, that he might be able to get in under that category, but he certainly did his best today.

Mr. Speaker, at the end of the day Bill No. 88 will only be effective and will only be able to achieve the goals that we want to see it achieve if the government takes the issue of offshore natural gas seriously, makes sure that we concentrate where the gas is coming ashore now. If we need to increase the volume to have a petrochemical industry, well let's make sure that is a priority. Once again I am going to take this opportunity to encourage my colleagues, the member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, the minister from Antigonish and the minister from Inverness, to state publicly what their position on this is and to start lobbying this government. They are the ones who are sitting as members of this government, and if they haven't had the chance to lobby the Premier and the ministers on anything else, this is the one that they should put as their top priority on behalf of their constituents and the residents of the Strait area.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Minister of Natural Resources it will be to close debate on Bill No. 88.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise on behalf of my colleague, Gordon Balser, Minister responsible for the Petroleum Directorate, to say a couple of brief remarks and move to close second reading of this particular bill.

[Page 7024]

It's certainly a pleasure to hear a number of the comments made by the members opposite in regard to the potential of gas in the petrochemical industry. I was particularly pleased to hear the member for Richmond, for the first time, make a couple of remarks in this House on the subject. I was certainly pleased to hear that he is supportive of the government's move to establish gas storage in the Strait area.

With those brief remarks, and taking into account what the members opposite have put forward as positive suggestions, I move second reading of Bill No. 88.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 88. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 22.

Bill No. 22 - Liens Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, I move third reading of Bill No. 22.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, glad to have a few moments on third reading to talk about Bill No. 22. (Interruptions) I won't say for the record where I was, but I am glad to be able to come back for the Liens Bill.

AN HON. MEMBER: Doing research.

MR. DEVEAUX: That's right. I was doing research. That's right. Too bad I'm going to miss final Jeopardy.

[Page 7025]

I just wanted to say, about the Liens Bill, on the record, Mr. Speaker, that this is legislation that is going to make it more palatable to deal with liens. I know that some of the Liberal Party may have comments; they seem to have raised it before, but our caucus has supported this legislation from second reading. I don't believe there were any amendments at the Law Amendments Committee, and for the record this seems like good legislation. It is an opportunity to improve how liens are being dealt with in this province and we have no trouble supporting it on third reading as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I just have a few comments on the Liens Act. There were no amendments that came forward on this. We certainly indicated our support going into second reading and in the Law Amendments Committee. I do want to highlight again the concern, raised by my colleague for Cape Breton The Lakes who has experience in the industry, and the impact that this might have on low-income earners in Nova Scotia and even people who are on fixed incomes, especially in the situation, as my colleague highlighted, of those who might incur some mechanical difficulties with their vehicle, unexpected difficulties, and the fact that under legislation it clearly sets out some specific dates as to when payment is to be made before the mechanic could take some action on that.

While the legislation itself wasn't amended, Mr. Speaker, I once again hope that the government and the minister responsible for the regulations aspect of it will look at putting in some form of a clause to assist in situations so people who are on fixed incomes or are low income earners who might find themselves in those situations are not adversely affected by this bill - I see the honourable Government House Leader is nodding his head that they will be looking at this - we fully believe that if service is rendered, then payment should be made on that, but the reality is that some Nova Scotians find themselves in unfortunate situations where they may not be able to make payment in a timely fashion. So with that, it is our hope that the government will bring in those regulations that will reflect that and will certainly make members of this House aware of that.

I know all of us deal with situations, people who are on fixed incomes who find themselves with unexpected expenses that they did not foresee and then we are doing our best to try to assist them in those cases. I had one just the other day where a lady was very concerned about the fact that the car broke down, I guess it was a pretty serious malfunction in her vehicle, and it has basically thrown off her entire budget because she was on a fixed income. So I do hope these regulations will be brought in, as suggested by my colleague for Cape Breton The Lakes, and that the minister will make sure to make us all aware of that, so if the situation does arise we will know that there is some form of protection there. But certainly this is good legislation, and I commend the minister and the government for bringing it forward. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Government House Leader, it will be to close debate on Bill No. 22.

[Page 7026]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 22.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 22.

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

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government business for today, and I would turn it over to the Liberal Party House Leader to provide tomorrow's business and times.

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

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, the hours for tomorrow will be from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. After Oral Question Period, the order of business will be Bill No. 70, the Health Care Services Continuation (2001) Act and Resolution No. 2255.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 7:59 p.m.]

[Page 7027]

NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2434

By: Mr. Richard Hurlburt (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas in keeping with the motto "Lest We Forget", the members of Yarmouth High School and Maple Grove Education Centre's Memorial Clubs focused this Remembrance Day on the women who were part of the war efforts at home and overseas; and

Whereas these students acknowledged Canadian women's contributions: making weapons, working in factories, sewing uniforms, making care packages, working overseas as medics and treating the soldiers on the lines; and

Whereas this Remembrance Day, these thoughtful students paid their tributes and served to remind their community of the important war efforts of our women, asking the community to recognize and thank these women, along with the men who fought on our behalf;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly applaud the maturity and compassion of the nearly 250 young members of the Memorial Club in Yarmouth and join with them to pay respect and thanks to the contributions of the women of war, a tribute which is long overdue.