The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
June 16, 2017.

Hansard -- Mon., Nov. 9, 1998

First Session

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1998

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
Gov't. (N.S.) - No Confidence: Debate - Opportunity,
Point of Order by Mr. R. Chisholm 3521
Speaker's Ruling - No Point of Order 3524
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1694, Educ. - GG (Can.) Award for Excellence [Cdn. History
Teacher]: Gloria Johnson (Sydney) - Finalist Congrats.,
Hon. R. Harrison 3525
Vote - Affirmative 3525
Res. 1695, Lbr. - Remembrance Day Act: Interpretation - Contact,
Hon. R. MacKinnon 3526
Vote - Affirmative 3526
Res. 1696, Culture - African Nova Scotian Music Assoc.:
Annual Awards - Success Congrats., Hon. R. Harrison 3527
Vote - Affirmative 3527
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1697, Liberal MLAs: Info. (Northwood Manor Visit
[NDP (14/10/98]) - Verify, Ms. Y. Atwell 3528
Res. 1698, Health - Min.: Full Time - Appoint, Dr. J. Hamm 3528
Res. 1699, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - C.B. Co. EDA: Marketing Awards -
Congrats., Hon. Manning MacDonald 3529
Vote - Affirmative 3529
Res. 1700, Guys. Co. - Port Hawkesbury MLA - Computer
(Richmond Co. MLA): Action (HOA [06/11/98]) - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 3529
Res. 1701, Commun. Serv. - Adoption: Info. Release -
Slow Progress Recognize, Mr. J. Muir 3530
Res. 1702, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Petrochemical Plant (Canso Strait) -
Welcome, Mr. R. White 3531
Res. 1703, Cdn. Citizenship (Auburn HS): Canadians New - Welcome,
Mr. D. Dexter 3531
Vote - Affirmative 3532
Res. 1704, Health/Human Res. - Central RHB: Maternity Leave -
Unfairness (Adoptive Parents) End, Mr. G. Archibald 3532
Res. 1705, Educ. - SMU: Book Donation (The Gambia) - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Fogarty 3533
Vote - Affirmative 3533
Res. 1706, Commun. Serv. - Adoption: Info. Release - Regs. Review,
Mr. G. Pye 3534
Res. 1707, Tech. & Sc. Sec't. - Y2K Bug: Health Care - Plan Provide,
Dr. J. Hamm 3534
Res. 1708, Health - VON [Can.] Award For Excellence:
Suzanne D'Entremont (Yar.) - Congrats., Mr. L. Montgomery 3535
Vote - Affirmative 3535
Res. 1709, Health - MS Soc. (Can.): Granville Miller (Pictou) -
Recognition Congrats., Mr. C. Parker 3536
Vote - Affirmative 3536
Res. 1710, Housing & Mun. Affs. - NSP: Taxation (Grants) - Review,
Mr. J. DeWolfe 3536
Res. 1711, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Cornwallis Park Dev. Assoc.:
Mandate Completion - Congrats., Hon. W. Gaudet 3537
Vote - Affirmative 3537
Res. 1712, Maitland - Pat & Vola Furneaux: Commun. Service -
Dedication, Congrats., Mr. John MacDonell 3538
Vote - Affirmative 3538
Res. 1713, Environ./Housing & Mun. Affs. - Orangedale:
Water Solution - Commun. Approach Congrats.,
Mr. Charles MacDonald 3538
Vote - Affirmative 3539
Res. 1714, Fish. - Resource (N.S.): Inaction (DFO) -
Backbone (Min. [N.S.]) Show, Mr. N. LeBlanc 3539
Res. 1715, Tech. & Sc. Sec't. - Y2K Problem: Plan - Reveal,
Mr. P. Delefes 3540
Res. 1716, Educ. - Teaching Fellowship (3M): Michael Atkinson
(Dart. [UWO Prof.]) - Honour Congrats., Mr. E. Fage 3540
Vote - Affirmative 3541
Res. 1717, NDP (N.S.) - Economy (N.S.): Growth Future - Recognize,
Mr. R. White 3541
Res. 1718, Econ. Dev. & Tourism: St. Margaret's Bay Tourism
Action Comm. - Congrats., Dr. H. Bitter-Suermann 3542
Vote - Affirmative 3542
Res. 1719, Health - Hearing & Speech Clinic (N.S.) [Truro]: Staff -
Increase, Mr. J. Muir 3543
Res. 1720, Educ. - St. F.X. Enterprise Dev. Ctr.: Scholarship Winners -
Congrats., Mr. H. Fraser 3543
Vote - Affirmative 3544
Res. 1721, Educ. - East Preston Partridge River: School Reunion Success -
Congrats., Ms. Y. Atwell 3544
Vote - Affirmative 3545
Res. 1722, Educ. - Willis S. McLeese Award (Student Debating [Can.]):
Agnes Malouf (Dart.) - Contributions Congrats., Mr. E. Fage 3545
Vote - Affirmative 3545
Res. 1723, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Craft Marketing:
Glen MacEachern (Judique) - Congrats., Mr. Charles MacDonald 3546
Vote - Affirmative 3546
Res. 1724, Educ. - P3: Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea -
Comments (Min.) Apologize, Mr. W. Estabrooks 3546
Res. 1725, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Petroleum Producers Assoc. (Cdn.) -
Office Opening Congrats., Mr. G. Fogarty 3547
Vote - Affirmative 3547
Res. 1726, Emo - Emergency 911: Ass't. Report - Progress Table,
Mr. J. DeWolfe 3548
Res. 1727, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Job Creation: Policies - Endorse,
Mr. M. Samson 3549
Res. 1728, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Margaree Hbr. Bridge: Survey -
Release, Mr. B. Taylor 3550
Res. 1729, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Bypasses - Issuance Cease,
Mr. G. Archibald 3550
Res. 1730, NDP (N.S.) - Nat. Gas: Deal - Comments Reserve,
Mr. M. Samson 3551
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Commun. Serv. - Adoption Info. Release - Update, Hon. F. Cosman 3552
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 5:03 P.M. 3555
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 8:48 P.M. 3555
CWH REPORTS 3555
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 13, Financial Measures (1998) Act 3556
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 10, Queens Regional Municipality Act 3557
No. 51, Queens Regional Municipality Act 3557
No. 45, Pictou Regional Development Commission Act 3557
No. 69, Lunenburg Fire Protection Agreement Implementation Act 3557
No. 41, Centennial Arena Commission Act 3557
No. 63, Halifax Water Commission Act 3557
No. 57, Town of Lunenburg (Linden Avenue) Act 3557
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 10th at 12:00 p.m. 3558
NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1731, Gov't. (N.S.) - No Confidence, Mr. R. Chisholm 3559

[Page 3521]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1998

Fifty-seventh General Assembly

First Session

4:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Ronald Russell

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Donald Chard

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

The honourable Leader of Opposition on a point of order.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I gave you and the Party Leaders a written notice of my intention to raise this point of order this afternoon. Confidence is a matter that must be decided by the House, since it is not a question of procedure or a question of order. Our rules and customs provide one undisputed opportunity for the House to vote on an unequivocal question of confidence. That is an amendment to the Address in Reply.

It has been the invariable custom in our House, for the last 50 years at least, for the Government House Leader to call the Address in Reply to debate until all MLAs have had an opportunity to speak and then to hold a vote on the address and any amendments to the motion. Mr. Speaker, this vote has taken place no later than 46 sitting days after the Throne Speech and usually much sooner. Today is the 46th sitting day since the session was opened by a Speech from the Throne yet there is no indication or guarantee that the Address in Reply will be called again or that a vote will be held on the non-confidence amendment to the address. This is a unique situation.

3521

[Page 3522]

Unlike most other Canadian Legislatures, our rules do not set aside a specific day for the House to vote on non-confidence motions or days for votes on Opposition motions. The Chamber to which our rules direct us and a legislature which also does not have a rule dealing with this situation, is the House of Commons at Westminster. Erskine May, 21st Edition, Page 272, describes the practice there. In part, Erskine May states that, "By established convention the Government always accedes to the demand from the Leader of the Opposition to allot a day for the discussion of such a motion . . . a reasonably early day is invariably found. This convention is founded on the recognized position of the Opposition as a potential government, which guarantees the legitimacy of such an interruption of the normal course of business. For its part, the Government has everything to gain by meeting such a direct challenge to its authority at the earliest possible moment.".

Today I tabled a specific resolution of non-confidence in the government to give you the opportunity to rule that the British convention applies to our House and that the government must find an early day for that resolution to be debated and voted upon. In the alternative, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that our invariable custom of a vote on the Address in Reply fulfils the intent of this established convention and demonstrates that the convention has been observed by this House also.

A motion that unequivocally declares non-confidence is now accepted as the sure and certain way for a House to decide this matter. As a British Speaker ruled in 1976, "the purpose of the convention is to allow an unimpeded and clear decision to be taken for and against the motion.".

Mr. Speaker, I will ask you to order the government to either set aside an early day for the resolution of non-confidence to be debated and decided or to call the Address in Reply for that debate to be concluded and an early vote held on a non-confidence amendment. I suggest that what we deserve here is a clear vote on a clear question. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader on the point of order.

MR. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, on the point of order, I would like to state that for our Party, we have only received this approximately less than an hour before it has been tabled here today so we, obviously, haven't done very much research in this regard. Far be it from me taking advice from the Leader of the Opposition as to when these types of votes can be put forward, non-confidence motions because I think he said on national TV that we could do it the next day when he had a debate with our Leader. So I would basically leave this to the discretion of the Speaker and we will abide by the decision.

[Page 3523]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: I just rise to inform the House that I have not seen the particular motion, as well, that the Leader of the Opposition brought before the House. I can't comment any further except to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that we plan on proceeding with the agenda in calling the required bills of this House, the important matters of this House, and will continue to do that.

MR. SPEAKER: I had some time before the House sat today to get together with the Clerks with regard to this notice of motion (Interruption) and the point of order and, in fact, the two are combined because one has to deal with both sections.

First of all, I do not believe that there is any point of order. If you take away the preamble from the notice of motion that we have, it boils down to simply the same resolution that is presently standing on the order paper as an amendment to the Throne Speech.

The government has a prerogative to bring forward, in its own time, any motions or government business before this House. The only day that it cannot do that is on a Wednesday, of course, which is the Opposition Day and on the Opposition Day, the Opposition has the ability to bring before the House any motion that it so desires.

The motion itself is not out of order but, however, what is out of order is ordering the government to debate this motion in the House. The Opposition does not have that power. I would also point out that the House is going to sit for who knows when. I do not know and I am sure that probably the Leader of the Opposition and the government themselves do not know when this House is going to complete. During this session, the government can still bring forward that vote on the Throne Speech. There is still ample time.

Secondly, there are votes of no confidence that can be achieved by other motions than the actual non-confidence motion. I think you probably have that ability at the present time because it is clearly parliamentary practice that defeat on a tax bill is a vote of non-confidence in the government. We have a bill at the present time, as I say, going through the House. In fact, it is going to be debated tonight. (Interruption) Sure, go ahead.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am referring to a memo and I would be happy to provide it to you for your consideration. This is a memo that was provided to the House Leaders from the Clerk of this House. I believe you were the Speaker at the time back in 1991. That memo points out that it is very ambiguous as to what is and what is not, in terms of votes on a particular piece of legislation, considered to be a vote of confidence in the house. There are those who would contend that even a vote against, for example, the financial measures that that in itself does not necessarily constitute a vote of non-confidence or

[Page 3524]

confidence in the House, but the one thing that would is a clear motion that is put before this House that would either affirm or negate confidence in this House.

If a Page would, I would ask that a copy of the memo from 1991 be provided to you if you are not aware of that, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: I am aware of it. Actually, the rationale in most Parliaments now is that even major legislation is not reason for defeat of a government but, however, the fact remains that a tax bill or the estimates are indeed accepted as being defeat of a government.

So, you have that opportunity but, as I say again, there is presently on the floor of this House an amendment that states specifically what the Leader of the Opposition has brought forward in this notice of motion. I rule that there is no point of order.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, may I ask for some clarification. I think, by implication, what you are suggesting is that the vote, if the government so decides, on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne does not need to be put?

MR. SPEAKER: No, certainly a motion or a bill can die on the order paper and that happens every session that I have ever been in this House. One last intervention.

MR. CHISHOLM: Sorry, Mr. Speaker, we provided evidence, in the past 50 years (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. CHISHOLM: . . . where it has never happened that a vote has not been held. As we have presented, that 46 sitting days has been the longest period at which that period has spun, between the time when the Speech from the Throne has come down. My concern is, as a member of this House, and that is why the order was brought in, is that this government has absolutely no intention of bringing this Address in Reply to the vote. You are suggesting to us that we have no ability to ensure that that decision is, in fact, brought.

[4:15 p.m.]

I am not trying to force the government. I am asking you, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the members of this House to, in fact, ensure that that vote be held before this sitting is finished.

MR. SPEAKER: The only way that you can do that is by changing the present rules and you can only do that by the consent of all members of the House. I am not prepared to put that motion forward at this time. If you want to bring that forward at some future date, please do so.

[Page 3525]

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1694

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

Whereas a secondary teacher from Sydney has been named one of 12 finalists for the 1998 Governor General's Award for Excellence in teaching Canadian history; and

Whereas Gloria Johnson was selected from a Canada-wide pool of 94 nominees for her creation of unique resource materials relevant to her students' culture; and

Whereas Gloria Johnson's teaching innovation is marked in particular by her skilled approach to the traditional teachings of Mi'kmaq culture;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Gloria Johnson on her selection as a finalist for the 1998 Governor General's Award for Excellence in teaching Canadian history.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

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 Labour.

[Page 3526]

RESOLUTION NO. 1695

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

Whereas on Wednesday at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, Nova Scotians will pause to pay their respects and reflect on the sacrifices of the veterans of World War I, World War II and the Korean Conflict; and

Whereas as our population ages and younger individuals take over the reins of businesses and industry, it is important they understand an Act Respecting the Observance of Remembrance Day; and

Whereas this Act of 1981, clearly spells out which businesses, industries and professions can open;

Therefore be it resolved that businesses and industry leaders who are unsure of the law contact the Department of Labour for clarification, thus ensuring that the strong and loyal support of our veterans continues.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

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.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, on an introduction in the Speaker's Gallery I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you and the members of the Legislative Assembly, members of Parent Finders Nova Scotia. I would like to name them off: Mike Slayter, an adoptee; Pat Marshall, a birth mother; Karen Myers, an adoptee and adoptive parent, wife of an adoptee; Larry Myers, an adoptee and adoptive parent; Glenda Gouchie, a birth mother; Pat Cantlay, an adoptive parent and birth mother; Sara MacInnis, an adoptee; Lucille Harrison, an adoptee and adoptive parent; Barbara Greensides, a birth mother; Faith Hendrickson, sibling of an adoptee; Rose Neil, an adoptee; Bill Sullivan, an adoptee; Sheryl Pastiorus, a birth mother; Arnold and Nora Brown, Nora is an adoptee. These are all members

[Page 3527]

of Parent Finders Nova Scotia. I will ask them all to rise to receive the warm wishes of this House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1696

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

Whereas the African Nova Scotian Music Association's First Annual Awards Luncheon was held on Thursday past, November 5th; and

Whereas this association recognized Jamie Sparks as the Best New Artist, Four the Moment as Best Artist, and Afro-Musica and the Nova Scotia Mass Choir as Best Live Act; and

Whereas the association paid tribute to the career of Bucky Adams in naming him Pioneer Award recipient, and acknowledged the Gospel Heirs' contribution to Nova Scotian music by presenting them the Heritage Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the African Nova Scotian Music Association for their successful launch of an annual awards luncheon.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

[Page 3528]

RESOLUTION NO. 1697

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

Whereas on October 14th, the members for Cape Breton Centre and Halifax Needham visited Northwood Manor to discuss concerns about wage parity; and

Whereas they met administrators and workers; and

Whereas at the request of Northwood Manor, they did not invite media or use the tour as a media occasion;

Therefore be it resolved that Liberal MLAs should hesitate before they ever again rely on their usually unreliable sources, and ministers who have alleged that this visit never took place should apologize to Northwood and to the MLAs who responded to Northwood concerns.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1698

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

Whereas the Liberals merged four of metro's health care institutions, claiming it would improve services and save millions of dollars in new administrative efficiencies; and

Whereas the debt for the Queen Elizabeth II continues to skyrocket and is projected to be as much as $152 million by the end of fiscal 1998-99; and

Whereas the part-time Minister of Health seemed to be caught off guard by the latest deficit projections of the QE II Health Sciences Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier recognize that it is high time he appoint a full-time Minister of Health, who can give his undivided attention to health care and the financial crisis at the QE II Health Sciences Centre.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

[Page 3529]

RESOLUTION NO. 1699

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

Whereas the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority was recently honoured in the 1998 Marketing Awards Program, "Best of the Best"; and

Whereas CBCEDA received honours for its nationally aired and highly successful Retirement Cape Breton television commercial; and

Whereas CBCEDA was also awarded recognition of its Business Case for Investment in Cape Breton, a business case designed to attract business to Cape Breton Island;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority for its marketing awards and applaud their continued efforts to improve Cape Breton's economic future.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1700

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 member for Richmond left his favourite toy, his laptop, unattended during Friday's debate; and

Whereas this laptop announced to the House that it was either down on battery supply or overloaded with excessive partisanship; and

[Page 3530]

Whereas the member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury was the only one of the members opposite to take the initiative and rescue us from this interruption;

Therefore be it resolved that this House compliment the MLA for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, and ask the member for Richmond not to leave his toys unattended without instructing his seatmate from Inverness on how to operate his playthings.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 1701

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

Whereas November is Adoption Awareness Month; and

Whereas in 1994, the Minister of Community Services committed to positive action on the recommendations of the Ministerial Committee on the Release of Adoption Information; and

Whereas it is reported that the current Ministerial Adoption Advisory Committee will not report until next spring, further exacerbating the intolerable delay for adult adoptees and birth parents wishing identifying information;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Community Services recognize the frustration and disappointment the tortoise-like progress of her department is causing adoptees and birth parents wishing identifying information, and fast-track the report of the Community Services Advisory Committee on Adoption.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

[Page 3531]

RESOLUTION NO. 1702

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

Whereas the Casino Strait area received more good news over the weekend with the announcement of plans to build a $600 million petrochemical plant by the year 2002; and

Whereas the proposed ethylene plant will employ 1,500 workers during construction and 250 permanent employees; and

Whereas this project is being planned by experienced petrochemical developers who recognize the outstanding economic benefits that a Nova Scotia-based plant will provide;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join with the business and community leaders of the Strait region in welcoming this encouraging news and applaud Russell MacLellan for his vision and leadership, making Nova Scotia's offshore dream a reality.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1703

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

Whereas last Thursday, the member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour had the privilege to speak at a citizenship ceremony at Auburn Drive High School for 35 new Canadians; and

Whereas the theme of the speeches at that ceremony was How Great it is to be a Canadian; and

[Page 3532]

Whereas the member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour told these new Canadians that one of the great things about being Canadian is the country's long history of welcoming people from around the world to our family;

Therefore be it resolved that this House welcome these new Canadians and congratulate them on their achievement.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1704

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

Whereas the challenges and responsibilities of adoptive parents are just as daunting as those of birth parents; and

Whereas adoptive parents who are employees of the Central Regional Health Board are denied the same maternity leave benefits as employees of the Central Regional Health Board who are birth parents; and

Whereas this discriminatory and unfair response to adoptive parents and their children suggests that adoptive children are not as deserving of the same care and attention as children borne by their parents;

Therefore be it resolved the Minister of Health and the Minister of Human Resources immediately convene a meeting with officials from their departments, representatives from the Central Regional Health Board and local labour officials to end this unfair and discriminating practice.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

[Page 3533]

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

Is it agreed.

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 1705

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

Whereas students at Saint Mary's University in Halifax donated 12,000 used text books to The Gambia; and

Whereas these books are valued at $150,000 and will be used at a university being established by the Government of The Gambia with help from Saint Mary's University; and

Whereas the Canadian International Development Agency is helping to fund this project and is providing a budget for representatives from Saint Mary's University to visit The Gambia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the faculty and students of Saint Mary's University for their generosity toward the developing nation of The Gambia, and recognize that their efforts confirm Nova Scotia's important role in international development.

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

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

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.

[Page 3534]

RESOLUTION NO. 1706

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

Whereas today marks the beginning of National Adoption Awareness Week; and

Whereas many adults, both parents and children, have a desire to be reunited with their biological relatives; and

Whereas the Department of Community Services, even though it has the resources to reunite families, continues to make this a difficult task for people;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the Minister of Community Services to undertake a careful review of her department's regulations with an eye to easing the unnecessary difficulty she has placed before individuals searching out their biological parents or children.

[4:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I am requesting waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1707

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

Whereas the government has consistently underestimated the cost of dealing with the Y2K bug; and

Whereas each estimate released is significantly higher than the one previous; and

Whereas our over-administered health care system has overrun its budget;

[Page 3535]

Therefore be it resolved that the government and its science and technology minister provide a comprehensive plan to ensure health care will not be devoured by the Y2K bug.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 1708

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

Whereas Nova Scotia nurses are admired across this country for their skill, professionalism and dedication to health care; and

Whereas Suzanne d'Entremont of Yarmouth recently was honoured at a ceremony in Ottawa by the Victorian Order of Nurses with the Award of Excellence in Professional Practice in the Education Category; and

Whereas Ms. d'Entremont, a 12 year veteran of the VON, was recognized for her work in developing the VON's foot care program for seniors;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join with the VON Canada in congratulating Suzanne d'Entremont for her dedication to health, independence and quality of life for people living in the Yarmouth area.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

[Page 3536]

RESOLUTION NO. 1709

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

Whereas Granville Miller of the Town of Pictou has been awarded the Pioneer Spirit Medallion from the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Society; and

Whereas Granville is the sole recipient for this award in the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Mr. Miller has worked tirelessly for many years and has made a significant contribution to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, with his exceptional volunteer commitment;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Granville Miller for the recognition the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Society has bestowed upon him.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1710

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

Whereas employees of Nova Scotia Power Inc. in Pictou County are reportedly facing a 40 per cent reduction in their wages and are being forced to apply for new jobs within the corporation; and

Whereas the New Glasgow and District Labour Council is extremely upset with what they described as callous disregard in which some of the corporation's long-term employees are being treated; and

[Page 3537]

Whereas the New Glasgow and District Labour Council is asking for a review of the way taxes are being paid by Nova Scotia Power Inc. to the Nova Scotia Government, in light of the reduction in wages being faced by the Pictou County corporation workers;

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government re-examine the issue of grants being paid in lieu of taxes by the corporation instead of an outright commercial tax paid by so many other Pictou County businesses.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 1711

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

Whereas the Cornwallis Park Development Association has completed its five year mandate with ACOA ahead of schedule and is now a self-sustaining community; and

Whereas since 1994 the members of the association and the community have been rebuilding the local economy resulting in 47 businesses located in the park and employing approximately 500 people in the area; and

Whereas on Saturday evening I had the pleasure of joining in the celebrations held at Cornwallis Park and met many of the people responsible for this success;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend its recognition and congratulations to the people of Annapolis County for their hard work and dedication in developing a new vibrant community.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

Is it agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3538]

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1712

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

Whereas Pat and Vola Furneaux of Maitland have contributed in many extraordinary and useful ways to the community of Maitland over the years; and

Whereas the good citizens of Maitland saw fit to honour the Furneauxs with a tribute on November 8th at the Maitland Fire Hall; and

Whereas the Furneauxs are in poor health and were unable to attend this celebration;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Pat and Vola Furneaux for their dedication to service in their community of Maitland and for their good deeds.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1713

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

Whereas because of gypsum in the groundwater, the people of Orangedale, Inverness County, have been forced to drive great distances to collect clean drinking water; and

Whereas the community worked with business and the government to develop an affordable, effective solution to the drinking water problem; and

[Page 3539]

Whereas the new water treatment technology created in Nova Scotia will now allow the citizens of Orangedale to enjoy a clean water supply for the first time in years;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Village of Orangedale for their community-based approach to solving the water crisis and recognize the Departments of the Environment, and Housing and Municipal Affairs for their contributions to the water project.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver and passage without debate.

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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 1714

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

Whereas the House of Commons Fisheries Committee has unanimously called for the complete overhaul of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans by dismissing several senior bureaucrats; and

Whereas the committee also recommended that DFO move a large portion of its bureaucracy closer to the fishermen that they serve; and

Whereas recommendations put forward in the East Coast fishery report sparked the forced resignation of the committee's chair, Newfoundland Member of Parliament George Baker, due to his outspoken views and disagreements with the federal Fisheries Minister;

Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotia's Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture show some backbone and follow the lead set by Mr. Baker in standing up to Ottawa on behalf of this province's fisheries resource.

[Page 3540]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 1715

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

Whereas the minister of science and technology and his colleagues have refused to table a specific plan or budget for addressing the Year 2000 problem; and

Whereas the minister has instead chosen to complain about having to answer a freedom of information request for the facts about how the Liberals are addressing this serious deadline; and

Whereas last week the Health Minister and his senior staff were unable to confirm or deny or provide any details about the $20 million grant for Year 2000 that the QE II Hospital expects to receive;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the minister of science and technology to enlighten his colleagues, this House and Nova Scotians with the plain facts about the provincial government's Year 2000 plans and budget.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1716

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

[Page 3541]

Whereas University of Western Ontario assistant professor and Dartmouth native Michael Atkinson has recently been named a recipient of the 1998 3M Teaching Fellowship, one of Canada's top teaching awards; and

Whereas Mr. Atkinson was selected for the honour largely because of his groundbreaking work in designing and teaching a multimedia-based introductory psychology class for more than 1,200 students; and

Whereas the teaching format developed and used by Mr. Atkinson engages students with course content in an interactive environment for use in classes of all sizes has become a model for all other Canadian institutions;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mr. Atkinson for this recent honour that recognizes his leadership and commitment to teaching excellence.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

RESOLUTION NO. 1717

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

Whereas according to the chief economist for the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, Nova Scotia contributes fewer subsidies to business than any other province in Canada on a per capita basis; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's Gross Domestic Product is expected to grow by 3 per cent next year, one of the best performances in all of Canada; and

Whereas consumer spending is strong and non-residential construction is up 40 per cent in the first half of this year and exports are up 7.6 per cent;

[Page 3542]

Therefore be it resolved that the NDP recognize what all the experts are saying about our province's performance and promote the economic benefits of this province, commending the Premier on his agenda for solid, sustainable growth.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1718

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

Whereas the St. Margaret's Bay Tourism Action Committee recently presented a fall tourism workshop; and

Whereas this is one of a number of recent initiatives of the local tourism industry; and

Whereas St. Margaret's Bay is one of the most visited areas of our province;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly extend its congratulations to the St. Margaret's Bay Tourism Action Committee.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3543]

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 1719

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

Whereas there is more than a one year waiting period for children who were first time referrals to the Truro office of the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Clinic; and

Whereas the national standard waiting period for such service is six months; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Clinic office in Truro was promised a one-half position increase in professional staff;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health make good on his promise and take immediate action to increase the permanent professional staff at the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Clinic in Truro.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Antigonish.

RESOLUTION NO. 1720

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

Whereas the St. Francis Xavier University Enterprise Development Centre has given $100 scholarships to 11 students for their outstanding efforts running their own businesses this past summer; and

Whereas the students took part in the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Program offered by the Economic Development and Tourism Department in conjunction with the Royal Bank; and

[Page 3544]

Whereas award winners from Antigonish included: Katie Arbuckle, who operated an ice cream stand; Adrian Cameron, who ran the family band Celtic Reel; Kim Campbell, who held creative writing workshops for children; and Kathleen Genge, Robyn Hickey, Faye MacDonald, and Eppa Lea Turniawan, who partnered in a business producing and selling tie-dyed T-shirts;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations and best wishes to these scholarship winners and wish them every success in future entrepreneurial endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1721

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

Whereas the East Preston Partridge River School held a 106th year reunion on August 5 to August 9, 1998; and

Whereas participants in the reunion included classmates, teachers and principals from Partridge River School; and

Whereas the purpose of this reunion was to provide education, and increase awareness about the historical legacy of the school, and an opportunity to spotlight the significant impact of the school's legacy on the community;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the organizing committee of the East Preson Partridge River School Reunion for this successful event.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[Page 3545]

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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1722

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

Whereas Agnes Malouf of Dartmouth is Nova Scotia's 1998 winner of the Willis S. McLeese Award; and

Whereas the award is a national trophy presented each year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to student debating in a province or territory; and

Whereas Agnes has coached debating at École du Carrefour and served on the provincial executive, as well as providing her assistance in hosting and organizing many Débats l'Acadien tournaments and the 1997 national seminar;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Agnes Malouf, both for her contributions to student debating and on receiving national recognition as this year's recipient of the Willis McLeese Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3546]

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1723

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

Whereas Glen MacEachern of Judique has turned a hobby into a thriving business that now employs two other people; and

Whereas Mr. MacEachern is known as the Tin Fiddler for his craftsmanship in turning pieces of tin into old-style lanterns and candleholders; and

Whereas the Tin Fiddler sells his creations to over 200 stores across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Glen MacEachern for his modern marketing of a traditional craft and wish him luck in his successful Cape Breton business.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

[4:45 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1724

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 Minister of Education, in a reply to a question in this House, said that the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea community "was split long before the addition or consideration of a fourth school site over location"; and

[Page 3547]

Whereas community members have worked hard to make these communities united; and

Whereas the minister, like his P3 partner, is not helping the unity of this community;

Therefore be it resolved that the minister apologize to the residents of Beechville, Lakeside and Timberlea.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 1725

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

Whereas the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers recently opened a new office in Halifax; and

Whereas the opening of this office represents an acknowledgement by the natural gas industry that Nova Scotia is fast becoming the new centre for offshore development; and

Whereas the new Halifax office will help its members deal with regulatory and policy issues, help educate the public and work with the media in making sense of this massive industry;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature welcome the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers to Nova Scotia and wish best of luck to Debra Walsh, Manager of their Halifax office, as we prepare to reap the many benefits of our offshore resources.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3548]

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

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

Whereas the Orders of the Day are reproduced on single-sided paper; and

Whereas many Nova Scotians are environmentally conscious and recycle, reduce and reuse; and

Whereas double-siding the order paper has the impact of not only reducing the use of paper, but it will also save taxpayers' dollars;

Therefore be it resolved that this government give the directive to have the Orders of the Day reproduced on double-sided paper.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: I am going to take it under advisement because there may be other ramifications in that particular notice of motion.

MR. GERALD FOGARTY: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that that resolution calls into question your authority here, which I believe comes under your jurisdiction as to whether both sides of the paper are used or not. The authority of the Speaker cannot be questioned in this manner. I would say that it is out of order.

MR. SPEAKER: I did not table the notice of motion.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1726

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

Whereas Halifax County Fire Chiefs, despite being told last November by the previous Liberal Minister responsible for EMO, that it would only take one week for an independent assessment of 911 operations to be done; and

Whereas that week has turned into one full year and the assessment has still not been made public; and

Whereas flaws with the enhanced 911 emergency call service are still being identified;

[Page 3549]

Therefore be it resolved that the minister responsible for EMO immediately table, in this Legislature, a progress report as to the status of the independent assessment of enhanced 911 operations promised one year ago.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 1727

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

Whereas between October 1997 and October 1998, full-time employment in Nova Scotia has increased by 7,000; and

Whereas there are now more Nova Scotians employed than at any other time in our history; and

Whereas there are numerous examples of accelerated job creation in this province, including the announcements of a petrochemical facility employing 1,500 during construction and another 250 permanent, high-paying jobs at the Strait of Canso;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House endorse the strong economic policies of the MacLellan Government that will result in an era of unprecedented job creation for Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 3550]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 1728

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

Whereas the Department of Transportation and Communications carried out a survey of the Margaree Harbour Bridge in Inverness County earlier this year; and

Whereas the Municipality of Inverness has been seeking to obtain information from this survey for some time, but are continually turned down by this Liberal Government; and

Whereas this Liberal Government reduced maintenance funding for bridge and road repair by some $30 million in the 1998-99 budget;

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government stop hiding the results of the survey on the Margaree Harbour Bridge and put forth their findings, and if it shows repairs are needed in an urgent fashion, to undertake these repairs instead of playing a game of hide and seek with the taxpayers of Inverness.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1729

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

Whereas the Petroleum Directorate indicated this morning there will be no more bypasses for big industrial users; and

Whereas the long awaited and little changed Nova Scotia Gas Distribution regulations released by the Premier later in the day indicate you can still have a bypass provision for big industrial users; and

Whereas these bypasses and exemptions means the gas distribution system in Nova Scotia will be built on the backs of residential consumers and small commercial customers;

[Page 3551]

Therefore be it resolved that the Petroleum Directorate and the Premier get their stories straight and ensure that no further bypasses are granted to large industrial users.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled. (Interruptions)

I heard several Noes.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 1730

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

Whereas NDP criticism of the Sable natural gas project is seen as short-sighted and politically self-serving by those who will benefit from the resource; and

Whereas the Warden for Richmond, Mr. Richie Cotton, has praised the recent announcement of a gas arrangement for Stora and Canadian Gypsum; and

Whereas this is the same deal condemned by the NDP, who claim to represent the concerns of rural Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the NDP reserve comment on any aspect of the natural gas deal until they get all the facts, and understand how their attacks will have a negative impact on rural Nova Scotian communities.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 3552]

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you revert to the order of business, Statements by Ministers.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that we revert to the order of business, Statements by Ministers?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. FRANCENE COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, before I begin I would like to just make mention of my apology to my two critics opposite, because they haven't had this statement in advance, with the exception of a few minutes. I would like to apologize for that.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take this opportunity to update members of this House on work under way in my department with respect to adoption and post-adoption information services. Staff of the department has been engaged in comprehensive discussions with members of the adoption community over this past year. These discussions have been very important in the continuing effort to reflect the wishes and needs of the adoption community, while at the same time recognizing the diversity of opinion within that community.

There are three key areas on the issue of adoptions that we have been discussing, and on which I would like to report progress. First, some segments of the adoption community have expressed concern with their ability to access information pertinent to birth families and adopted persons. As you are aware, Mr. Speaker, this government implemented new legislation in January 1997, a little under two years ago, that enshrined in legislation, the existing passive registry and also provided for an active registry.

We are fortunate in Nova Scotia that we built into our Children and Family Services Act and Adoption Information Act a provision for the ongoing review of legislation. The Advisory Committee on the Children and Family Services Act and the Adoption Information Act hear from different parties on aspects recommended for change in the current legislation. I have invited members of the adoption community to present this to the committee and it is my understanding that some have made representation to the advisory committee.

[Page 3553]

As you know, Mr. Speaker, in our current legislation our government has attempted to respond to the divergent views of the adoption community, taking into consideration the right to know and the right to privacy. This is a complex issue and it is one that calls for fairness and it calls for compassion. This government and the department will continue to work toward achieving consensus which will reflect the diverse nature and the diverse wishes of the adoption community. I look forward to receiving the report of the advisory committee in the near future.

Secondly, views have been expressed to the department regarding the financial hardship our current fee structure for services under adoption disclosure may impose on some in the adoption community. As minister I have considerable sympathy for this issue around fees. In response I have asked my staff to actively review this and we are working to address this issue.

Finally, it is my intention to bring forward legislation to implement the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and cooperation in respect to inter-country adoption, to establish safeguards ensuring that inter-country adoptions are conducted in the best interests of the children. The purpose of this convention is to establish safeguards to ensure that inter-country adoptions are in the best interests of children and that they respect their fundamental rights, establish a system of cooperation among countries to prevent abduction, sale, or traffic in children and set minimum standards and procedures designed to protect the interests of all the members of the adoption process, the children, the birth parents and the adoptive parents.

My department will continue to work with members of the adoption community. We are actively working in an atmosphere of openness and cooperation and will continue to do so. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the statement that the minister has brought forward. I also want to thank the minister for bringing it forward on this day, there are many adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents who are in the Speaker's Gallery today, who I recently introduced. These are members of Parent Finders Nova Scotia and some of them made presentation in May 1996, to the Law Amendments Committee with respect to the legislative changes, regarding the Adoption Act of Nova Scotia. I want to say that many of those people at that time felt that their voice had gone unheard, that the recommendations that they had suggested with respect to the legislative changes were not adopted or addressed. I am very pleased to see that the minister has an advisory committee that, in fact, will continue to allow these people the opportunity once again to make representation and have discussion on changes or amendments to the Adoption Act.

[Page 3554]

Also, I want to thank the minister for recognizing the hardship with respect to the fees that are needed to do the research with respect to the adoptive parents and to look at those fees and to evaluate them and to assess them on, particularly, the needs of individuals wanting to do that research and to find that out who may not and cannot afford to be able to do that.

Secondly, I want to say that with respect to the Hague Convention, I have to tell you that in all fairness I am not totally clear on that but I do understand the international agreements that have been made with respect to adopted children. I want to say to the minister that there has to be an acknowledgement and an atmosphere of openness and cooperation. After all, many of the people who find themselves in the position that are here today in the Speaker's Gallery, are here today seeking a path for a right direction. They want a direction in which they can very well understand where they are able to make the move with respect to the changes in the adoption legislation of Nova Scotia and also, that they have access to what they would like to see within that legislation.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the representatives of Parent Finders Nova Scotia, I want to say that it is a pleasure to have them here today when the ministerial statement is being read so they too can hear this. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

MR. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to hear the minister rise in the House to address this timely matter with the members of Parent Finders group in the House. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to review the written statement but I did hear the minister say in that statement that she was interested in fairness and compassion. I am delighted to hear her say this because if her department has been criticized in one way for their action on the 1994 report and the long period of time it has taken for the government to get active on it, it would be that they are not acting with the fairness and compassion that this particular topic deserves.

[5:00 p.m.]

A four to five year period, the previous minister adopted this report in principle and here we are five years down the road and the minister is now saying, well, I think I am going to do something about it.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, she has indicated that the existing committee is holding full and frank consultation with members of the Parent Finders group or other people who are interested in the adoption. I think if you were to ask members of that group as to whether that is really serious and feel that is serious, legitimate consultation, there may be another side to it.

[Page 3555]

Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to hear the statement because perhaps now it is indicating that the minister does realize this is an important topic to many Nova Scotians and people outside of Nova Scotia and maybe now her department is, indeed, prepared to get on the fast track to implement the recommendations that the people who are birth parents and adoptees would like to see happen. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills, with Bill No. 13, the Financial Measures (1998) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the Speaker leave the Chair and that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

Is it agreed?

The motion is carried.

[5:03 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Donald Chard in the Chair.]

[8:48 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Ronald Russell, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 13 - Financial Measures (1998) Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

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

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Government House Leader, our caucus is quite prepared to deal with this bill for third reading if it is the government's wish.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, just wait one moment, we are jumping ahead here. (Interruption)

[Page 3556]

Is there concurrence of the House in the report of the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

When shall this bill be read for a third time?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Now.

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 13, an Act Respecting Certain Financial Measures.

Bill No. 13 - Financial Measures (1998) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: Is there any debate on third reading?

The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 13. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I do not know if I am in order or not to make a statement at this point in time . . .

MR. SPEAKER: No.

MR. DOWNE: You see, we are not following too many procedures here tonight.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, you have two options, the Government House Leader can revert to the order of business, Statements by Ministers or you can get the concurrence of the House unanimously to make a statement.

[Page 3557]

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 10.

Bill No. 10 - Queens Regional Municipality Act.

Bill No. 51 - Queens Regional Municipality Act.

Bill No. 45 - Pictou Regional Development Commission Act.

Bill No. 69 - Lunenburg Fire Protection Agreement Implementation Act.

Bill No. 41 - Centennial Arena Commission Act.

Bill No. 63 - Halifax Water Commission Act.

Bill No. 57 - Town of Lunenburg (Linden Avenue) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of these bills. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, this completes the government's business for this evening. I move that we now adjourn until 12:00 noon tomorrow.

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

[Page 3558]

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am just wondering if the minister - and I know tomorrow we have a short day - could indicate what the business will be for Thursday, when we come back after Remembrance Day?

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, Thursday, the House will be meeting from the hours of 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., and we will be calling some bills for second reading. We are not sure what is going to happen with the bill that is in the Law Amendments Committee (Interruption) It will be there until next Monday, will it? I will be able to tell you before we leave tomorrow what bills we are calling.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn.

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

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned until 12:00 noon tomorrow.

[The House rose at 8:57 p.m.]

[Page 3559]

NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 1731

By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Leader of the Opposition)

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

Whereas this government was elected on the promise of a balanced budget last year, a balanced budget this year and a balanced budget next year; and

Whereas this government was elected on promises of no more cuts in health care; and

Whereas both of these fundamental promises have been broken in the months since the last provincial election, with no reason to believe the government's performance will ever improve;

Therefore be it resolved that this House has no confidence in the government.