The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
June 16, 2017.

Hansard -- Tue., Nov. 10, 1998

First Session

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1998

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Swissair Flight 111: Memorial (Permanent) - Plans, The Premier 3561
Remembrance Day - Sacrifice: Silence - Observe, The Premier 3563
Health - St. Kitts-Nevis: Medical Supplies - Donate, Hon. J. Smith 3564
Environ. - Orangedale (C.B. Co.): Water Supply - Clean, Hon. D. Downe 3566
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1732, Tech. & Sc. Sec't. - Unisys Atl. Reg.: Achievement Award -
Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell 3567
Vote - Affirmative 3568
Res. 1733, Fish. - Hfx. Wildlife Assoc.: Peter Weal -
Life Member Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell 3568
Vote - Affirmative 3569
Res. 1734, Nat. Res. - Mining Conf. (Natl.-Hfx.): Organizers - Congrats.,
Hon. K. MacAskill 3569
Vote - Affirmative 3570
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1735, Health - Nursing Homes: Workers - Equal Treatment Urge,
Mr. R. Chisholm 3570
Res. 1736, Remembrance Day: Sacrifice - Recognize, Dr. J. Hamm 3571
Vote - Affirmative 3571
Res. 1737, Hfx. Chebucto & Chester St. Margaret's MLAs -
Gov't. (N.S.): Support - Congrats., Mr. R. White 3572
Res. 1738, Gov't. (N.S.) - Info. Release: Accountability - Lacking,
Mr. J. Holm 3572
Res. 1739, Health - Col. Arthritis Soc.: Telethon - Success Applaud,
Mr. J. Muir 3573
Vote - Affirmative 3574
Res. 1740, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Siteman's Gen. Store (Ship Hbr.):
Mr. Lee Siteman Birthday (90th) - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell 3574
Vote - Affirmative 3574
Res. 1741, Environ.: Emissions Offensive - Reduce, Mr. D. Chard 3575
Res. 1742, Environ. - Olympic Games (Aust.): SCC Environmental -
Contract Congrats., Mr. J. DeWolfe 3575
Vote - Affirmative 3576
Res. 1743, Col.-Musquodoboit Valley MLA: Margaree Hbr. Bridge
(Res. 1728) - Research Inadequate, Mr. Charles MacDonald 3576
Res. 1744, Nat. Res. (Can.) - Coal (C.B.): Preservation - Negotiate,
Mr. F. Corbett 3576
Res. 1745, Fish. - Georges Bank: Drilling Moratorium -
Extension Support, Mr. M. Baker 3577
Res. 1746, Hfx. Chebucto MLA - Fin. Critic (NDP [N.S.]): Resignation -
Tender, Mr. P. MacEwan 3578
Res. 1747, Transport. & Pub. Wks.: Prospect Rd. Org. for Safety (PROS) -
Contact, Mr. W. Estabrooks 3578
Res. 1748, Health - QE II Health Sc. Ctr.: Waste Uncontrollable -
Admit, Dr. J. Hamm 3579
Res. 1749, NDP (N.S.) - Info. Tech.: Realities - Unprepared,
Mr. M. Samson 3579
Res. 1750, Kristallnacht: Remembrance - Join, Mr. H. Epstein 3580
Vote - Affirmative 3581
Res. 1751, Vet. Affs. (Can.) - Carmen Johns (Windsor-WWI Vet.):
John McCrae Medallion - Congrats., Mr. G. Balser 3581
Vote - Affirmative 3581
Res. 1752, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Stories Good - Recognize,
Mr. G. Fogarty 3582
Res. 1753, Commun. Serv. - Soc. Assist.: Reform - Progress Awaited,
Mr. J. Pye 3582
Res. 1754, NDP (N.S.) - Gov't. (N.S.) Future: Tax Burden -
Infliction Condemn, Hon. D. Downe 3583
Res. 1755, Veterans (Can.) - Role (Vimy Ridge): Thanks - Extend,
Mr. M. Baker 3584
Vote - Affirmative 3584
Res. 1756, Fin. - Fiscal Responsibility: Claims - Stop,
Mr. John MacDonell 3584
Res. 1757, Culture - Laughleton Gallery (Judith Brannen-
West Chezzetcook): Success - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell 3585
Vote - Affirmative 3586
Res. 1758, NDP (N.S.) - Bill No. 13: Support - Wisdom Recognize,
Hon. D. Downe 3586
Res. 1759, NDP (N.S.) Leader - The Three Questions (Bob Rae):
Caucus (NDP [N.S.]) - Read, Hon. R. MacKinnon 3586
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 444, Exco - Expenses (Mins.): Release - Cessation, Mr. R. Chisholm 3587
No. 445, Health - QE II Health Sc. Ctr.: Cash Flow Difficulties -
Service Ensure, Dr. J. Hamm 3589
No. 446, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Pt. Tupper Lateral - NEB Circumvention,
Mr. J. Holm 3591
No. 447, Health - QE II Health Sc. Ctr.: Price Waterhouse Study -
Tender, Mr. G. Moody 3592
No. 448, Health - QE II Health Sc. Ctr.: Cash Flow - Difficulties,
Mr. R. Chisholm 3593
No. 449, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Prices Pref. - Addtl., Dr. J. Hamm 3594
No. 450, Health - Long-Term Care: Workers - Parity,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 3595
No. 451, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Bypasses Addtl. - Benefits, Mr. J. Holm 3596
No. 452, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Bypasses Decision - Responsibility,
Mr. G. Archibald 3597
No. 453, Commun. Serv. - Adoption: Legislation - Amend, Mr. J. Pye 3598
No. 454, Nat. Res. - Crown Land: Native Harvest - Authority,
Mr. J. Leefe 3599
No. 455, Econ. Dev. - Shel. Mun.: Indust. Park - Take-Over Status,
Mr. D. Dexter 3600
No. 456, Commun. Serv. - Adoption: Info. Release - Changes Necessary,
Mr. J. Muir 3601
No. 457, Environ. - HRM: Pollution Abatement Fund - Disbursement,
Mr. D. Chard 3602
No. 458, Health - Physio. Act.: Amdts. - Intro. Date, Mr. G. Moody 3603
No. 459, Housing & Mun. Affs. - Upper Hammonds Plains:
Drinking Water - Commit., Ms. R. Godin 3604
No. 460, Culture - Lun.: UNESCO Designation - Promote,
Ms. E. O'Connell 3605
No. 461, Nat. Res. - Logging Illegal: Oath (Min.) - Breach, Mr. B. Taylor 3606
No. 462, Nat. Res. - Nat. Gas: Lateral (Strait) - Approval Verify,
Mr. J. Holm 3607
No. 463, EMO - Emergency Serv. 911: Ass't. Report. - Status,
Mr. J. DeWolfe 3608
No. 464, Commun. Serv. - Adoption: Legislation - Openness, Mr. J. Pye 3609
No. 465, Fish. - Shrimp: Mulgrave Plant - Update, Mr. N. LeBlanc 3610
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Nov. 12th at 2:00 p.m. 3611

[Page 3561]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1998

Fifty-seventh General Assembly

First Session

12:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Ronald Russell

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Donald Chard

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

TABLING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. RUSSELL MACLELLAN, Q.C. (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, today I rise to inform the House of efforts underway for a permanent memorial to remember those who lost their lives aboard Swissair Flight 111.

Mr. Speaker, my government believes there needs to be a special place to honour the memories of the 229 men, women and children who died, and to offer solace to those they left behind, and also a place of comfort for the many residents of the area who searched in vain for survivors and other Nova Scotians who helped out in the days following the tragedy.

3561

[Page 3562]

To this purpose, Mr. Speaker, we are creating a community-based committee to oversee the planning and design of a memorial. This committee will bring together family members with representatives from the community and business and government. I am pleased to advise the House that former Chief Justice Lorne Clarke will chair the committee. He is known for his integrity, compassion and professionalism during his many years of service in the judiciary, qualities that I know will be greatly appreciated by those who will be touched by the work of the committee. Mr. Clarke has agreed to take on this important task and over the next few weeks will be adding members to the committee.

Mr. Speaker, we have already received numerous offers of assistance from many generous individuals. Rest assured, the committee will consider each and every offer as it endeavours to find a fitting expression of the lives lost and the grief suffered. We intend to create an office that will serve as an information centre for those looking to find out more about the memorial plans. This office will also be a link to family members, a place for them to keep in touch with what is going on and to offer their input and advice as planning goes ahead.

As we are mindful of the concerns of the community, so too have the families expressed their wishes to maintain the unspoiled beauty of Peggy's Cove and the surrounding area. Mr. Speaker, the wishes and the needs of the families will be paramount in our decision making. It is for them that we set out down this road. It is for them that we wish to set aside a special place.

We have all been touched by this tragedy but none among us suffered as much as the families. We cannot answer their many questions and we cannot ease their grief. What we can do is offer them a place of comfort, a place to remember their loved ones, a place to honour their lives. Thank you very much. (Applause)

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

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to say, through you, sir, to the Premier, that I very much welcome your announcement today. It is extremely important that we have a place to honour those who lost their lives, a special place where they can be remembered and also the family members certainly can come to remember them. It is also extremely important that those who gave so generously of themselves, not only their time and their energies but really gave of themselves in the most deep, personal way, to involve themselves in the tragedy, it is very important that they also have a place.

I certainly have great confidence in Chief Justice Clarke and that he will do an excellent job. I am sure that he will want to ensure that there is an opportunity, and not only an opportunity but a genuine involvement of the local community because, Mr. Speaker, the local community has given so much and I am sure that the family members would want the

[Page 3563]

local communities, at the bottom level, from the grass roots, to have a very significant input into the design and the type of memorial that is going to be established.

I say, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Premier, that those who lost their lives in this tragedy and their family members already have found a place in our hearts. Now it is time that we move forward, that we provide a special place, too, where we can provide the kind of long-lasting dignified memorial that all who took part in this exercise and who lost their lives in the tragedy, a dignified place where all the memories can be shared.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the Premier's announcement today. It is most fitting and appropriate that some kind of a lasting memorial be established in the Peggy's Cove area. I welcome the announcement that the Premier made that this will be headed up by former Chief Justice Lorne Clarke. He will, I believe, as he does on all things, do an excellent job. The memorial will serve as a place for the families to come in the future and to be a centre where they can collect when they come in the future to this place. I believe that that is a type of pilgrimage that many of these families will engage upon in the future.

Also, I believe it is a memorial to the compassion that many Nova Scotians exhibited in the minutes, the hours and the days following the tragedy. I believe it will be a testimonial to that kind of sacrifice, that kind of commitment, that kind of compassion which makes us proud to be fellow Nova Scotians.

It is unfortunate that memorials have to be erected to be a reminder of tragedy but, on the other hand, while it was a tragedy, we can take some comfort in the way in which we were able to respond as a province. I do congratulate the government, as well, in the way that it responded to the tragedy as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, if I might just make one more statement and be brief. As all of us know, tomorrow is Remembrance Day. All of the Remembrance Days are tremendously significant but this year it is the 80th Anniversary of the end of the Great War, World War I.

I want to say that all of us feel, I am sure, in this House that we deeply honour the commitment that all of those who fought in the two Great Wars and the Korean Conflict have made, those who died and paid the ultimate price, the families who suffered and were left behind.

[Page 3564]

Mr. Speaker, it is not only a mark of the people who served in the gallantry of which they represented and fought for their country, but it says a lot about us that we remember those gallant deeds and the sacrifice and the privilege of our freedom that we have today.

I would ask that we take a moment of silence for those who did give their lives for the safety and freedom of their country.

MR. SPEAKER: I would ask members to rise and observe one minute of silence.

[One minute of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to offer thanks and congratulations to the medical and health care communities of Nova Scotia for their generous donation of emergency and medical supplies to the hurricane ravaged Caribbean country of St. Kitts-Nevis.

Following Hurricane Georges' total destruction of the main hospital in St. Kitts, including the loss of the entire hospital complex's roof, the Governor of St. Kitts, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian - recently honoured by Dalhousie University - called upon the Nova Scotia Department of Health for help.

A national emergency had been declared in this area, with a priority for medical supplies. The Nova Scotia Department of Health then contacted various health care facilities in the province to meet these needs to the best of their ability.

Today, approximately 240 boxes of medical, laboratory and emergency supplies were flown from Nova Scotia destined for St. Kitts. The donations range from laboratory testing kits to dressings, syringes, gloves, gowns and hospital linens. These amounted to around 2,000 kilograms of hospital supplies.

I would like to extend special thanks to two Halifax-based hospital personnel who made this quest for humanitarian aid such a success. First, Mrs. Sherry Morrison, an operating room nurse at the IWK-Grace Health Centre, who assembled almost 90 box-lots of surplus materials from that facility for this cause. At the QE II, Vice President of Supplies, Mr. Steve Jensen, and his staff assembled more than five pallet-loads of laboratory and hospital supplies which, upon arrival in St. Kitts, will permit the hospital to begin to offer lab and ward services.

[Page 3565]

[12:15 p.m.]

St. Kitts-Nevis, as many would know, is a small two-island country in the eastern Carribean with a population of approximately 50,000 people. This country is now relying on Dalhousie Medical School and the QE II hospital for radiological services by a telemedicine link. St. Kitts-Nevis receives International Development Bank and World Health Organization funding to assist in health care reform and in renewal.

This Nova Scotia donation, Mr. Speaker, will permit the hospital in St. Kitts to begin again to offer timely care to its residents. I am very proud of the role of our health care facilities here, and the role that they have played in responding to this natural disaster in the Caribbean. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister, and I, too, would like to extend thanks and congratulations to the personnel in the Department of Health and the non-designated facilities of the QE II and the IWK-Grace for this very important and compassionate initiative. We all recognize, as Canadians and Nova Scotians, I think, how important health care is and health care services and especially our tertiary-care facilities, hospitals.

When a tragedy like this occurs, it is important that we respond as good international neighbours, and I think it is particularly fitting in this case, given our historical ties with many of the Caribbean Islands. Again, thank you and congratulations to all those involved. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for bringing this to the House today and making this announcement and commending those who were involved. So often we complain about what we have, but when we hear of disasters around the world and how people have so little, it is nice to see that Nova Scotians share in helping those people by responding to a disaster. I know we have another disaster in Central America. I know if the minister can, in any way, we could support him in showing some help there. I think these are the kinds of things that show that Nova Scotians do care about others, that we are a compassionate people, we do understand that national disasters have an affect on others and, that some times, we can help.

Even though it may seem in a small way, it can help in a very major way. I would congratulate those two individuals who were singled out by the minister, Mrs. Sherry Morrison and Mr. Steve Jensen, for heading up this and making sure this package was put together and reached those in need. Again, I congratulate the minister in responding, and his

[Page 3566]

staff and others, to a need and, hopefully, we can show leadership in other areas in the same manner. Again, my congratulations to the government. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of the Environment.

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to share news with the House today that celebrates a partnership and a proactive approach to overcoming a community problem.

After years of concern about a water supply for people living in the Village of Orangedale in Cape Breton, a cost-effective solution is up and running. New technologies produced in Nova Scotia have given the people of this Cape Breton community clean drinking water and a worry-free water supply for the first time in years.

This challenge has brought community, business and government together in an effort to find an affordable solution to a serious problem for the people of Orangedale. This community looked for a solution to their water troubles for years. After looking at a number of potential solutions, many of which were cost-prohibitive, the Environmental Industries and Technologies Division of the Department of the Environment introduced technology it thought might help. Dissolved air flotation, DAF, is a concept developed by MG Environmental Equipment of Enfield, and manufactured by ABCO Industries Ltd. of Lunenburg.

It is a process which removes suspended solids and organic particles by bringing them to the surface through flotation. The DAF system for Orangedale was designed and engineered by ABL Environmental Consultants Limited of Dartmouth. It can treat 12,000 gallons of water per day and right now it is serving six homes and a seniors' complex and several other facilities with an average daily consumption of 8,000 gallons.

Mr. Speaker, this system has been put in place at a cost of $75,000 which is a huge saving to the community. Initially the people of Orangedale were facing a possible $300,000 expenditure to install an entire new pipeline system to another water source. Now they have a system that works, clean water at a fraction of the cost. It has been difficult to secure a good source of drinking water in the Orangedale area. Groundwater is notoriously unfit for domestic use because of the gypsum deposits in the area. In fact, before this treatment solution residents were forced to drive 6 to 10 kilometres to collect their drinking water in bottles. Water quality testing indicates that water treated through the new system meets and/or exceeds Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines.

I congratulate the people of Orangedale for their proactive and energetic approach to this significant issue and congratulate Environmental Industries and Technologies for its innovative enthusiasm in helping to solve this dilemma. This project not only benefits the community and the environmental industry sectors of Nova Scotia but it presents the

[Page 3567]

opportunity to display yet another promising Nova Scotia technology that can be used in our community and, in fact, around the world. Thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

MR. DONALD CHARD: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Official Opposition I want to thank the minister for his statement. We welcome information of this nature. We are pleased to see this kind of progress and particularly pleased to see that we are leading into the development of appropriate technology by Nova Scotia companies. We look forward to the further implementation of measures like this for the benefit of the people of this province. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. JAMES DEWOLFE: Mr. Speaker, I, too, am pleased to respond to the statement. I commend the partners that were able to find a cost-effective solution to a long-term problem with the water quality in Orangedale, Cape Breton. Clean drinkable water is something that we sometimes take for granted, yet in the early years of settlement, it is something that at one time was fought over, sometimes to the death, for quality water rights.

I congratulate the residents of Orangedale for their initiative and I am proud of the fact that this dissolved air flotation system was designed right here in Nova Scotia and manufactured by Nova Scotia's skilled workers. Thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Business and Consumer Services.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence I would like to make an introduction before I read this resolution.

Mr. Speaker, sitting in your gallery are Mr. David Wagner, President and CEO of Unisys Canada Incorporated; and Mr. Rod Miller, Program Director of Unisys Canada. I would ask the House to give the usual warm welcome and ask them to stand. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Business and Consumer Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 1732

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

[Page 3568]

Whereas last week at the Government Technology Exhibition Conference in Ottawa, Unisys Canada won a silver medal in the Distinction '98 government awards program for its development of Atlantic Canada On-Line; and

Whereas Atlantic Canada On-Line is designed to support government's strategy of improving the efficiency and convenience of information access by the business community and the public; and

Whereas this government's strategic alliance with Unisys in its Atlantic Canada On-Line project will help improve service delivery while maintaining and even reducing costs for Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize and congratulate Unisys Atlantic Region on its award for outstanding achievement in helping to improve the delivery of government services in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: There is 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 Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 1733

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

Whereas on October 21, 1998, the Halifax Wildlife Association held its annual general meeting; and

Whereas on that date, Mr. Peter Weal, who has served two terms as president of the association and also on the board of directors, was awarded a life membership in the Halifax Wildlife Association in recognition of his dedication to and work for the enhancement of natural wildlife habitat, including inland fisheries; and

[Page 3569]

Whereas this is one of only six known life memberships awarded by the association in its 146 year history;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the contribution Mr. Weal has made to the natural habitats of this province and congratulate him on being awarded the lifetime membership by the Halifax Wildlife Association.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 1734

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

Whereas all day yesterday and today, here in Halifax, representatives from the mining community across Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada are gathering for the Mining Matters for Nova Scotia 1998 Conference, which involves many technical information sessions and over 50 poster displays; and

Whereas this event represents a partnership involving my department, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Chamber of Mineral Resources of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Prospectors Association; and

Whereas mining is a major contributor to the Nova Scotia economy providing jobs for about 4,000 people with a total value of mineral production last year, including petroleum, being $503 million;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the staff of the Department of Natural Resources for all of their hard work in organizing this conference and adeptly promoting with many others the mining industry in Nova Scotia, here at home and abroad.

[Page 3570]

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 1735

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

Whereas Liberal Cabinet Ministers and Cape Breton MLAs have been gravely offended by the suggestion that any other political Party stands up for Cape Bretoners; and

Whereas the government and its Tory auxiliary have been even more offended by the suggestion that anyone else stands up for rural Nova Scotians; and

Whereas the current nursing home negotiations provide a perfect opportunity for Liberals and Tories to demonstrate that they believe in fair and equal treatment for people in Cape Breton and rural Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to give equal treatment to nursing home workers regardless of whether they work in metro, Cape Breton or a rural community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3571]

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1736

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

Whereas each year on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, Nova Scotians pause to honour and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country; and

Whereas more than 100,000 Nova Scotians participated in the two World Wars and the Korean Conflict; and

Whereas Remembrance Day must be honoured by each one of us in recognition and thanksgiving of the supreme sacrifices made for our country;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House pause on November 11th to reflect on the true meaning of freedom and recognize the monumental contribution made by the thousands of men and women who gave so much for our freedom.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 on introduction.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, in the east gallery we have four special guests from the shiretown of Pictou: Mr. Joe Brown, Mr. Ralph Power, Mr. Paul Landry and Mayor Lawrence LeBlanc. I would ask that the House extend to them the usual warm welcome. (Applause)

[Page 3572]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

RESOLUTION NO. 1737

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

Whereas yesterday in this House the Financial Measures (1998) Act, Bill No. 13, was passed with the support of the NDP and Conservative caucuses; and

[12:30 p.m.]

Whereas the Finance Critic, the member for Halifax Chebucto, and the newly minted socialist NDP member for Chester-St. Margaret's voted in favour of the bill; and

Whereas the member for Halifax Chebucto had publicly stated that he would not support the bill and the member for Chester-St. Margaret's said he would never support the government's financial agenda;

Therefore be it resolved that the House congratulate the member for Halifax Chebucto and the member for Chester-St. Margaret's for finally seeing the light and supporting the Liberal Government.

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 Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 1738

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

Whereas the Premier, in his wisdom, has decided that Nova Scotians are not interested in the expense accounts of his ministers; and

[Page 3573]

Whereas instead of automatically issuing ministerial expense accounts according to guidelines tabled in this House in June 1994, the Premier has decided accounts should only be made public through freedom of information requests; and

Whereas the Department of Economic Development took one week to respond to an FOI issued February 29th, and the Department of Finance still has not responded to an FOI of the same date;

Therefore be it resolved that this is yet one more example of the appalling lack of accountability on the part of this Liberal Government.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 1739

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

Whereas arthritis is the most prevalent disease in Canada; and

Whereas on November 8th the Colchester Arthritis Society held its 21st successful telethon; and

Whereas over the years contributions to the telethon have enabled the Colchester Arthritis Society to turn over approximately $300,000 to help fund the search for a cure for this too common affliction;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the Colchester Arthritis Society and all who contributed to its telethon in any way for their outstanding effort in raising money to combat a dreadful disease.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[Page 3574]

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 Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 1740

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

Whereas last week Mr. Lee Siteman of Lower Ship Harbour celebrated his 90th birthday, for which the Ship Harbour Youth Action Team held a surprise birthday party at the community hall; and

Whereas for the past 66 years Mr. Siteman has operated a general store in his community, offering his customers groceries, hardware supplies, fishing and sewing supplies and work clothing; and

Whereas the general store has been an important part of the community for many years, serving not only as a store, but as a landmark and a source of local pride;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Mr. Siteman on his 90th birthday and wish him good health, happiness and continued success as the proprietor of Siteman's General Store.

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.

[Page 3575]

The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

RESOLUTION NO. 1741

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

Whereas the province will be compensating some Nova Scotians for car damage due to acid from the smokestack of the Nova Scotia Hospital; and

Whereas we have observed enormous clouds of hot air, heavy with exaggerated boasts and acidic criticism of the Official Opposition being emitted from the Liberal caucus opposite; and

Whereas this acidic hot air has been raining down province wide;

Therefore be it resolved that this government include in its budget projections compensation for all Nova Scotians and their vehicles damaged by these hot, acidic clouds, and resolve to reduce offensive emissions to acceptable levels immediately.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1742

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

Whereas SCC Environmental Group of Dartmouth and St. John's, along with an Australian partner, have been awarded a $2.3 million contract by Olympic Coordination Authority of Sydney, Australia; and

Whereas this contract is to treat soil located near the site of the 2000 Olympic Games that has been contaminated with hazardous chemical waste; and

Whereas SCC Environmental's successful bid for this project is a clear demonstration that they are the leaders in their field;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate SCC Environmental on their high-profile contract and wish them and their Australian partners great success.

[Page 3576]

Mr. Speaker, I 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 Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1743

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

Whereas the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, yesterday in this House by resolution, stated the government was hiding the results of a survey on the Margaree Harbour bridge; and

Whereas this survey was released to the Inverness County Council; and

Whereas the report, which has been well-received by council, provides recommendations for short-term repairs and the long-term reconstruction or replacement of the bridge;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley carry out adequate research to find the true facts before tabling a resolution in this House. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 1744

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

[Page 3577]

Whereas Monday night saw the resumption of coal production in industrial Cape Breton; and

Whereas the industry players realize this is a short-term fix at a time when, as the MP for Sydney-Victoria noted, Nova Scotia needs a comprehensive energy policy; and

Whereas last week, the United Mine Workers District 26 brought forth a well-thought out long-term plan for the Cape Breton coal industry, but its voice has not been allowed at the table in negotiations between the federal Minister of Natural Resources and Devco;

Therefore be it resolved that this House demand that the federal Minister of Natural Resources immediately come to Cape Breton and negotiate with the industry's stakeholders to preserve the Cape Breton coal industry.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 1745

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

Whereas Georges Bank is one of Canada's most productive fishing grounds; and

Whereas there is presently a moratorium on drilling on Georges Bank designed to protect this rich fishing ground from possible damage from drilling; and

Whereas the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and the Town of Lunenburg have called for an extension of the moratorium;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly support the further extension of the moratorium on drilling on Georges Bank.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 3578]

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 1746

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

Whereas the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto, and NDP Finance Critic, stated in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald of Wednesday, November 4th, that the Financial Measures (1998) Act is a money bill and traditionally money bills are seen as confidence measures in the government; and

Whereas the honourable member went on to say, "We ran against the Liberals in the election and don't really have confidence in them, especially on financial issues."; and

Whereas the member went on to say that his Party probably would not vote for the Financial Measures (1998) Act even if amended;

Therefore be it resolved that forthwith the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto should tender his resignation as NDP Finance Critic for his advice has been spurned and rejected by his Leader and caucus and, very clearly, he is no longer in possession of their confidence. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect. (Interruptions)

Order, please. Order, please.

RESOLUTION NO. 1747

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

Whereas residents of the Prospect Road daily are faced with the increasingly dangerous road conditions on this busy stretch of highway; and

Whereas PROS, Prospect Road Organization for Safety, has been organized to express these concerns; and

Whereas PROS continues to press the Department of Transportation to show leadership and respond to the safety of the users of the Prospect Road, particularly school children who now have to walk to and from the schools on this road;

[Page 3579]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation communicate, in person, with this committee of concerned volunteers as soon as possible.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1748

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 part-time Minister of Health has taken exception to claims that the cost of consultants hired to reduce costs at the QE II are not $15 million, but maybe only $10 million; and

Whereas the cost of the consultants' study into ways to reduce costs at the QE II added millions to an already outrageous and crippling debt; and

Whereas the part-time Minister of Health attempts to defend those foolish costs at the same time as he claims he unsuccessfully tried to stop the exorbitant costs of the year-long study;

Therefore be it resolved that the part-time Minister of Health admit that he has absolutely no control over how health care dollars are being wasted and appeal to the Premier to ease his load and the load that will eventually be borne by the taxpayers of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 1749

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

Whereas yesterday in this House, the member for Timberlea-Prospect complained that his short attention span was further disrupted by my laptop; and

Whereas the NDP reference to this compact, high-tech marvel as a toy and a plaything indicates their total lack of understanding on matters of information technology; and

[Page 3580]

Whereas the NDP Education Critic has been quoted complaining about the introduction of new computers in classrooms;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize that the NDP have shown themselves to be technology-fearing Luddites, who are woefully unprepared to handle the realities of the growing information technology sector in the Nova Scotia economy.

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.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 1750

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

Whereas 60 years ago, on November 9 and 10, 1938, a series of concerted attacks on the homes, workplaces and synagogues of Jews took place in Germany; and

Whereas this Kristallnacht was remembered by a ceremony held last evening in the Grand Parade; and

Whereas Kristallnacht was one of the harbingers of the Holocaust, and remembering it teaches us the terrors that can follow when a great nation allows itself to become dominated by paranoia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join with those in remembering and pledge "never again".

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3581]

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 Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 1751

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

Whereas First World War Veteran Carmen Johns was honoured yesterday at a ceremony at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Cornwallis; and

Whereas Mr. Johns, now 98 and one of only 20 surviving First World War Veterans, was only 15 years old when he joined the Canadian Army and joined the fight to preserve the freedom which we enjoy today; and

Whereas Mr. Johns, who was born in Weymouth in 1900 and now lives in Windsor, was presented with a certificate from the Queen by Lieutenant Governor James Kinley, and was also presented with the John McCrae Medallion, named for the author of In Flanders Fields, by Southwest Nova MP Mark Muise;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mr. Johns on receiving this medallion and recognize his courage and the sacrifice he made for his country on this eve of Remembrance Day.

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 Halifax Bedford Basin.

[Page 3582]

RESOLUTION NO. 1752

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

Whereas yesterday, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that new housing construction in Nova Scotia was up for the third straight month; and

Whereas the report says multi-family construction made up 170 of the 327 homes that were started in Nova Scotia's urban centres last month; and

Whereas analysts say the Sable offshore project is behind the jump, which is a good sign new home building will continue to grow well into next year;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize that good news stories related to Nova Scotia's offshore project seem to appear daily, and all indications point to long-term prosperity for our provincial economy based on this development.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for 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 North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1753

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

Whereas earlier today, the Community Advocates Network held an Empty Plate Luncheon at which guests were served an empty plate, but a hearty helping of alarming statistics about poverty in Nova Scotia; and

[12:45 p.m.]

Whereas this event was held to draw attention to the tremendous public interest in social assistance reform in this province; and

[Page 3583]

Whereas the Department of Community Services has been unwilling to hold public meetings or hearings on social assistance reform;

Therefore be it resolved that as sure as people can't eat from an empty plate, this province won't progress toward social assistance reform so long as pleas of Nova Scotians to the Minister of Community Services continues to fall on deaf ears.

Mr. Speaker, I 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 Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1754

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

Whereas the NDP proposes to raise the cost of living and the cost of doing business in Nova Scotia by imposing a new sales tax on consumers and businesses; and

Whereas the NDP tax plan would impose a vast array of new regulations and red tape on Nova Scotia's entrepreneurs; and

Whereas the organizations such as the Canadian Construction Association and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business have recently gone on record opposing the NDP's plan for a new provincial sales tax system;

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemn the NDP scheme to inflict huge new tax burdens of Nova Scotia consumers and businesses.

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?

[Page 3584]

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 1755

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

Whereas Veterans Week is an opportunity for all Canadians to take time to consider the sacrifice and accomplishments of our veterans; and

Whereas Canadian Armed Forces captured Vimy Ridge on Easter Monday, 1917, where others had failed; and

Whereas the courage and ability of the Canadian Armed Forces at Vimy Ridge and throughout the world represents a great source of pride for all Canadians;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly, on behalf of all Nova Scotians, extends its thanks to all our veterans for their role in creating and protecting our country and we assure them that we shall not forget.

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 member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1756

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

[Page 3585]

Whereas a mixture of Gatorade, baking soda and icing sugar is known in some harness racing circles as a milkshake; and

Whereas this concoction which has spelled much trouble recently for some horses and owners at one Nova Scotia track, gives horses an illicit burst of speed and thus misrepresents their true capabilities; and

Whereas the milk of human kindness on the part of Nova Scotians has run out for this Liberal Government;

Therefore be it resolved that this government stop milkshaking its true governing abilities with far-fetched claims of fiscal responsibility.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 1757

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

Whereas Laughleton Arts and Crafts is located by the magnificent salt marshes of West Chezzetcook; and

Whereas the Laughleton Gallery contains a remarkable collection of paintings, woodwork, carvings, jewellery, pottery and glassworks, as well as various other items; and

Whereas on November 21st, the gallery will be having an open house to formally introduce and celebrate the fine art, prints of gallery owner, Judith Brannen;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Judith Brannen and the Laughleton Gallery for realizing this long-term goal and wish them every success in the years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3586]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1758

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

Whereas Bill No. 13, the Financial Measures (1998) Act was carried and passed yesterday evening; and

Whereas the Leader of the Official Opposition and his caucus, including his newest member, voted in favour of the bill; and

Whereas the Official Opposition and the MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's have been converted and demonstrated that one can see the errors of their ways;

Therefore be it resolved that the House recognize the wisdom gained by the NDP in supporting the action of the Liberal Government through Bill No. 13.

Mr. Speaker, I 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 Minister of Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1759

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

Whereas the former socialist Premier of Ontario in his latest book, The Three Questions, reached conclusions that will make many members of the NDP socialists squirm in discomfort; and

[Page 3587]

Whereas Rae's thesis is that the old political polarity, capitalism versus socialism is no longer relevant because capitalism has won; and

Whereas Bob Rae believes the traditional solutions advocated by the left, "bigger, centralized government, higher taxes, more intervention and public ownership" are no longer acceptable to the electorate;

Therefore be it resolved that the Leader of the NDP socialist Party in Nova Scotia who preaches these outdated solutions makes the book required reading for his caucus.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

Before we commence Orders of the Day, are there any introductions?

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: We will terminate at 1:51 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

EXCO - EXPENSES (MINS.): RELEASE - CESSATION

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to send my question over to the Premier. This week the Premier was quoted as saying that his government stopped releasing ministerial expenses because, "people lost interest in them". I put it to the Premier, that Nova Scotians, in fact, are interested in keeping their government accountable and that they shouldn't have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to find out how their ministers are spending taxpayers' money.

My question to the Premier, how did he reach the conclusion that Nova Scotians weren't interested in keeping their government accountable?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this is the only province, as you know, that provides this monthly report and we have done this for quite a while. In the recent couple of years, there was no one asking for the information, even though the information was compiled and ready to be distributed. We just felt that if no one was asking, why take the time of staff and the

[Page 3588]

cost involved of having this information assembled. But if the interest is there, and we assume it is, then it will be resumed.

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am going to table what is called the Guidelines for Monthly Reporting of Ministerial Expenses, it is dated June 14, 1994, and it quite specifically lays out the purpose of these guidelines, which I would remind the minister was to make ministerial expenses open to public inspection . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. CHISHOLM: . . . in a place where Nova Scotians can see them. I want to ask the Premier why he has not been following the guidelines since 1997 and will he, in fact, instruct his ministers and himself to ensure that that information is filed and made available to the public?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, there is an overriding obligation to the people of Nova Scotia and that is that tax money be spent as wisely as possible. We are quite pleased to make this information available to the people of Nova Scotia, to the press, whomsoever; all we ask is that after they ask for it to be tabled and available that they at least take the time to look at it.

MR. CHISHOLM: I don't know where we are now, Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions) Whether the Premier has seen the error of his ways . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition is on his final supplementary.

MR. CHISHOLM: We have the Premier (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. CHISHOLM: . . . on the one hand saying, well, we didn't think anybody would be interested . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. CHISHOLM: . . . and on the other saying . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. CHISHOLM: . . . well, if they are interested then we will make it available. I want to ask the Premier, Mr. Speaker. It wasn't me that made this . . .

[Page 3589]

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. CHISHOLM: . . . this exhibition of grandstanding. (Interruptions) I am trying to ask my question.

MR. SPEAKER: Go ahead.

MR. CHISHOLM: My question to the Premier, Mr. Speaker, recognizing the fact that these guidelines were put in place so that people, if they were interested, would have access to this information, will the Premier ensure today that instructions are given to his ministers that this information will be filed at the Executive Council Office so that the public can have access to this information?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have already given that direction. That information will be provided on a monthly basis and I look forward to the Leader of the Official Opposition sending someone over on a monthly basis to receive this information from each department.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

HEALTH - QE II HEALTH SC. CTR.:

CASH FLOW DIFFICULTIES - SERVICE ENSURE

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Health, the Minister of Health, after some considerable prodding is becoming more and more interested and more and more aware of what has been going on at the Queen Elizabeth II. He is aware that the operating line of credit at the Queen Elizabeth II will be exhausted in the next couple of weeks. Will the Minister of Health indicate that once that line of credit has been exhausted, what he will do to ensure that there will be no interruption of service at the Queen Elizabeth II?

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the line of credit is quite a normal process to have in any organization. It has been in place at the QE II for some time now over this past while. It is a way of doing business. Our role, as a government, is funding facilities and health care organizations and programs and we will continue to do that. I want to add that I do believe that, even with the past concerns on the administration, that we have a new administration in place and I think things are operating well.

DR. HAMM: Thank you. Nothing the minister said indicated that he has any idea what to do when the operating line of credit is exhausted. He is simply going to rely on somebody else, the same kind of approach he has had right along. Is the minister aware that people now across the province are concerned that their local health care budgets are going to be impacted by the expenditure of a large amount of money at the Queen Elizabeth II to provide studies that have not provided any real benefit to that organization. Can the minister, today, provide assurance to the people of Nova Scotia that the overexpenditure on consultants fees

[Page 3590]

at the Queen Elizabeth II will not have a negative impact on health care in Yarmouth, Amherst, New Glasgow, and other rural communities in Nova Scotia?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, we, as a government and as a department, are responsible for funding. We are also responsible for the quality of care. That is a balance that we are achieving. While the QE II hospital and the inflated figures that that honourable member, that really probably do not even (Interruption) $15 million he said the other day for a study (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

DR. SMITH: That is absolutely untrue and he knows that. But, Mr. Speaker, we have priorities right across this province. We have regional hospitals. We have community hospitals. We have regional health boards. They are all priorities and we are dealing with Ottawa . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, your final supplementary.

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, the minister is hardly able to lecture when a scant two weeks ago he did not have the foggiest notion about what was happening to 20 per cent of his budget at the Queen Elizabeth II. This minister is not in a position to lecture anybody about numbers.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

DR. HAMM: By way of final supplementary, Nova Scotians are concerned that they have spent $10 million, or $15 million, you pick a number, Mr. Minister, for a study that by the minister's own account has not provided anything to the health care delivery system in this province. Will the minister table that study and give us the result of the recommendations of that . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The Minister of Health.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, that member has spoken in terms of $15 million. That is really a shame and that is part of the problem of the confusion of the message in health care. The numbers, for his own information, about one-third of that have been acknowledged. There is some more that is in dispute. When we found that this program, this study and this management system analysis, involved more cutting of beds, it involved laying off of staff, Mr. Speaker, we said no, we are not going to manage the finances of this province on the backs of health care . . .

[Page 3591]

MR. SPEAKER: Next question.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

NAT. RES. - NAT. GAS: PT. TUPPER LATERAL -

NEB CIRCUMVENTION

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, my question is through you to the Premier. People are under the impression that the National Energy Board was going to be regulating the entire lateral to Point Tupper. Yesterday, we learned that the government has secretly reconstituted the Energy and Mineral Board, a resource conservation board made up of five public servants and that that board secretly, already has received an application from Maritimes & Northeast, Mr. Speaker, . . .

[1:00 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. HOLM: . . . and it is going to be that body that is regulating the line under the Strait.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. HOLM: My question to the Premier. Why the secrecy and why has the government chosen to circumvent the NEB public hearing process, and turn this over to his own department's conservation board to regulate those laterals?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government has done no such thing. We have told the National Energy Board, we have told the whole province that the National Energy Board will have jurisdiction in this. If Maritimes & Northeast wants to put the natural gas line and the liquids line under the Strait of Canso prior to them getting approval, then that is their risk. If the National Energy Board tells them that what they have done is inadequate or wrong, then that does not pass and they would have to make changes.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I have to tell the Premier that he is contradicting what his senior staff has said. They have said that the conservation board has been and is being reconvened and that that board will be regulating the lateral across the Strait.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

[Page 3592]

MR. HOLM: My question to the Premier. Since you may not be aware of it, but your department has decided to take over control of that regulation, will you guarantee that there are going to be public hearings held to ensure that the lateral going across is, in fact, going to be sufficient in size across the Strait to carry the amount of gas to meet the future need?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we have done a study to that effect. We are going to be intervening with the National Energy Board to present the case of the province just to make sure that that is the result.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, the Act says that that conservation board can make the decisions without giving any notice and without holding any hearings. I ask the Premier, will you guarantee that your secret energy and mineral conservation board will not make a decision on approving that lateral without there being full public hearings?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, Maritimes & Northeast can build whatever they want to build, but for it to be approved to be a public utility, to be approved as a properly sized line, they have to get the approval of the National Energy Board.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

HEALTH - QE II HEALTH SC. CTR.:

PRICE WATERHOUSE STUDY - TENDER

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Health. The minister has said that Deloitte & Touche study is about $8.8 million, which he stopped. Now, I understand there was a study commissioned by the Minister of Health at the QE II by Price Waterhouse and it has been going on for some time. I think the minister mentioned this in the press. I would ask the minister, was that put out for tender to Price Waterhouse or was that sole-sourced?

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that it was put out to tender. It is ongoing. It is less than $300,000, probably in the range of $260,000.

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, we know we didn't get anything helpful from Deloitte & Touche. Obviously, the minister says. I would ask the minister, could he tell me what is the purpose of the study and what does he expect to get out of the study for $300,000 or $1 million, whatever the study may cost, what does he expect to get out of that study?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, this is obviously being done within the QE II. They are looking at the Year 2000 performances. We are having some representations made to us from the facilities that are involving new equipment and those sort of things. I think that has to be balanced. They are looking at the outstanding bills of QUEST and other programs. They are

[Page 3593]

evaluating bills that are in dispute and they are also, I am pleased to say, working on a human relations project within that facility.

MR. MOODY: I would ask the minister, in a final supplementary, when they talk about the Year 2000, my understanding is the QE II has replaced, and when the new facility was put in place, there was new equipment bought, and it is my understanding, or I would hope, that it would be Y2K-compliant. Is the minister telling me, and telling Nova Scotians, the equipment that was bought, was it Year 2000-compliant or are we now looking at replacing the new equipment that was just purchased within the last year?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, when I was saying that this company and the department and others will be looking at what initiatives are coming forward from the facilities that they will, in fact, be compatible and it is ensuring that we will not have to replace them. Now, there has been equipment, probably, throughout the province somewhere, I am not aware. I have not micromanaged the health care system, but I am sure there are some areas, maybe, that they have been incompatible.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

HEALTH - QE II HEALTH SC. CTR.: CASH FLOW - DIFFICULTIES

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask a question of the Minister of Health. Very serious questions have been raised in the past number of days about the ability of the QE II to meet their financial obligations. I want to ask the Minister of Health if, in fact, he will confirm that there is a very serious cash flow problem being faced by the administration of the QE II?

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, they have developed, along with the Department of Health, a business plan. We are working at that. It is a three year plan - possibly a year or two longer, but generally a three year business plan - that we are looking at the operating and the capital debt and those types of issues. There is no question that health care, in my opinion, right across this country from B.C. to Newfoundland is underfunded and we have to get support from Ottawa on that. When we do get that, the priorities, the regional hospitals, like the QE II, will receive assistance.

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am not talking about the business plan. We dealt with that last spring. I am not dealing with any other province. In fact, I am focusing on one hospital and that is the QE II. There are suggestions that the QE II is running up against a wall in terms of being able to meet their financial obligations.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

[Page 3594]

MR. CHISHOLM: I want to ask this minister, will he confirm, here, today, that the QE II is about to hit the wall and that they will not be able to meet their financial obligations when their line of credit of $30 million runs out in the next couple of days or weeks?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, a line of credit is a usual way of doing business with large organizations. That is an organization, a facility, that has 6,000 employees. It is a small town. That is the way business is done. The idea, and I hesitate to repeat what the honourable member said, hitting the wall, whatever that means. The health care needs of the people of Nova Scotia will be met and we will see that. We are responsible for the funding. They are responsible for the management. You go and ask them.

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the minister on my final supplementary, we are talking about the QE II. We are talking about responsibilities of this Minister of Health. It appears increasingly clear that the QE II has reached the end of the line on its $30 million line of credit. Will this minister and his government guarantee and provide more money for the QE II and where is that going to come from?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, at our recent Health Ministers' meeting in Regina where every minister from British Columbia to Newfoundland was there, we agreed our number one priority was the health care system across this country which is underfunded. Ottawa has cut back $342 million over three years for Nova Scotia. We are making representations, very strongly. The Premier and other ministers are going with very focused funding requests for programs and that will be a priority within the health care system and will go to hospitals like the QE II, the IWK-Grace and Yarmouth and Sydney.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

NAT. RES. - NAT. GAS: PRICES PREF. - ADDTL.

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Stora, Canadian Gypsum and Nova Scotia Power have been able to make a special arrangement to receive gas at a preferential price. My question to the Premier is quite specific. Will other industrial and commercial users be able to negotiate a similar preferential package?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, any further requests for direct access will have to go to the Utility and Review Board, where it will undergo full consideration, in the light of public scrutiny. If it is felt that approving such a direct access would be in the interests of the public or the Province of Nova Scotia, then they quite possibly could approve them.

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, the Premier has just said that further decisions will be made by the URB, which makes one wonder why it is that the Premier arranged to have the preferential treatment given to three major customers already. Would the Premier indicate that because a preferential rate has been given to Nova Scotia Power here in metro and a

[Page 3595]

preferential rate was given in the Strait area to both Canadian Gypsum and to Stora, that in fact the remainder of those in metro and the remainder of those in the Strait area will pay a higher price for gas because of the industrial bypasses . . .

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in the statement yesterday on the distribution of natural gas, it was stated quite clearly, everybody in the Province of Nova Scotia will pay the same price for natural gas. These are anchor loads which brought forward the need to have pipelines to those particular areas.

DR. HAMM: To the Premier, obviously we are not going to pay the same price, because others have already gotten the preferential price. Will the Premier now indicate, because he didn't seem to know . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Question.

DR. HAMM: The question is, will the Premier confirm that the increased price that will be paid to Maritimes & Northeast to transport gas, in other words a base rate of 73 cents rather than 60 cents, is the result of industrial bypasses that have been granted by this Premier?

THE PREMIER: No, I cannot say that that is the case. Direct access would allow a cheaper price to the recipients, but these are industries which are tremendously important. Already there are rumours around, and the honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party may have heard them, about another expansion of Stora.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

HEALTH - LONG-TERM CARE: WORKERS - PARITY

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Yesterday, workers at nursing homes in Cape Breton voted 100 per cent against a new contract offer. Now, this offer wouldn't have given them parity with other long-term care workers for another three years, let alone parity with the acute care sector. Management has made the best offer they can, but they can't end the stalemate without the government's help. My question is, what steps will the minister take to ensure that administrators will be able to make an offer that workers will accept?

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the settlement at Northwood, the largest nursing home complex in the province, shows that collective bargaining does work. I think we have to give that a real opportunity. I am concerned. It is day nine of a very disruptive strike. Our obligation is to the residents of that facility. Whatever is needed or required to provide the safety and security of those people will be taken by this government.

[Page 3596]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: With all due respect, our obligation is to residents and workers and family members. It is a lot broader than the minister seems to understand. Although workers at Northwood are back on the job, hundreds of others are moving toward the picket line. My question for the minister is, when will this government stop setting up a two-tiered health care system, one for metro Halifax and another for the rest of the province?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, we have a term plan for over the next three years to have parity, to have standardization of wages within the long-term care sector in this province. That will be the first time that was ever done. Sometimes it will require an increase of over 80 per cent in wages for some workers. This is a very complex issue; it is one the government funds, but the negotiations are done by others. The responsibility is within the homes and the agencies. We have made progress, and we have a plan to move forward on that.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, this government said a nurse is a nurse no matter where she works and gave them parity, but it continues to . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. This is your final supplementary, do you have a question, please?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: . . . treat workers in the long-term care sector as second-class citizens, letting them work without parity. My question for the minister is, when will this government admit that all long-term care workers are worthy of parity no matter where they work and help administrators to make this possible?

[1:15 p.m.]

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, we have seen collective bargaining work well at the Northwood Centre. This is the largest nursing home and other services that has shown that the system is working well. That same offer is available to all homes across this province. Many are accepting it and if others cannot at this time, that is a difficulty. Yes, our responsibility is to long-term standardization of all workers within the province but it is also to the residents.

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

NAT. RES. - NAT. GAS: BYPASSES ADDTL. - BENEFITS

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Premier, my question is, does the government believe it is in the best interests of Nova Scotians to have more industrial bypasses?

[Page 3597]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it depends on the value of the bypass. If it is going to create jobs, if we are going to get new industry that is going to employ Nova Scotians, if it is going to grow the economy as this government wants to do, then we will seriously look at direct access.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, the Premier will or at least should be aware of what his senior staff is saying. For example, his deputy minister told the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities that there would be no more industrial bypasses. My question to the Premier is, why is it that he is contradicting the statements that are being brought forward by his senior staff members?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am not contradicting anyone. The tribunal came down with its decision saying that the bypass option was there for those who could take advantage of it.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, the Premier continues to talk about history when we are talking about the future. My final question to the Premier is, why has he chosen to abdicate his responsibility and the responsibility of government to the Utility and Review Board the job of setting public policy instead of doing his job and setting public policy as a government is supposed to?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it is funny the honourable member would mention that because I am doing my job. We now have regulations for the distribution of natural gas, no questions on that. We now have a company, Sable Petrochemicals, very interested in a petrochemical facility, no questions on that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.

NAT. RES. - NAT. GAS: BYPASSES DECISION - RESPONSIBILITY

MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister responsible for Petroleum Directorate, the Premier. Yesterday we learned that the energy, mineral resource conservation board would be deciding the pipe that is going to Cape Breton, from the Petroleum Directorate. Today we also learned that the Petroleum Directorate said there would be no more industrial bypasses.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. ARCHIBALD: The Premier has just indicated that that is not the case.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

[Page 3598]

MR. ARCHIBALD: Could the Premier tell us why on the one hand the government is making policy, the department staff knows nothing of it, who is in charge of this energy project anyway; is it the politicians or is it the staff because it is a confusing mess?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the tribunal came down in its decision giving the right to bypasses. Direct sales could be an interest to the economy of this province. They could provide a very definite benefit to grow the economy in a vital part of this province. We have to be able to have that option. The Utility and Review Board will decide if it is in the public interest or not.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, the Utility and Review Board will decide what the Cabinet of Nova Scotia decides because under the regulations the Governor in Council can excuse the decisions they make. What it is getting down to . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. ARCHIBALD: . . . has got to be very clear; the energy and the distribution of gas . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. ARCHIBALD: . . . in the province is going to be hindered. Will the Premier . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Your question.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, no I don't, you have interrupted me three times and I am not going to ask anymore. Go ahead.

MR. SPEAKER: I am asking for the question. Okay, next question.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COMMUN. SERV. - ADOPTION: LEGISLATION - AMEND

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Community Services. Yesterday the Minister of Community Services told this House that she wants input from the adoption community in the spirit of openness and cooperation but the groups like Parent Finders have told me that even though they are talking to the government, the government is not listening. If the government is listening, then the 14 recommendations would have been implemented by the ministerial report.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

[Page 3599]

MR. PYE: When will the minister truly act in a spirit of openness and cooperation and make this province's adoption laws more open?

HON. FRANCENE COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, I think that the question shows that the honourable member opposite really does not understand the process under the advisory committee that we have in place which is structured to give me advice on the Act.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, the minister will also recognize that this has been going on for four years and Nova Scotia is the most restrictive with respect to openness in an adoption policy.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. PYE: The present advisory committee is neither open nor cooperative . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. PYE: . . . because no members are on that committee. Will the minister, Mr. Speaker, . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Next question.

The honourable member for Queens.

NAT. RES. - CROWN LAND: NATIVE HARVEST - AUTHORITY

MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. I will table this. The minister's own departmental documentation states that timber and other resources on Crown lands may be made available by means of a permit, letter of authority, licence, forest utilization, licence agreement or specific Act.

My question to the minister is, under which of these five limiting categories is the native harvest in Nova Scotia now occurring?

HON. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I do not know that it is under any of those but we are dealing with the native community. The honourable member knows that. There is consultation going on. We have taken the approach that we are not going to get into confrontation on this issue but we are going to try to deal with it around the table.

MR. LEEFE: It is worse, Mr. Speaker, than the fact that the minister is allowing it to go on, the minister now admits that he does not even know.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

[Page 3600]

MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, everybody who cuts under one of these five categories . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. LEEFE: . . . is required to provide a harvesting plan.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. LEEFE: Will the minister please explain why his department has not provided a management plan to each of these native groups which is cutting without authority in Nova Scotia?

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, the member well knows that we do not condone what the native community is doing but they feel they have a right and until we work to that system, so we can understand, we wish it was as easy as that member brings to the floor of the House, but we are working on it and at the end of the day . . .

MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, there are people in Nova Scotia who think they have a right not to wear a bicycle helmet but they are charged if they do not do it.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. LEEFE: My question, Mr. Speaker, is this, why is this minister not doing what he is required to do by his oath of office and that is to uphold the law in Nova Scotia? This harvesting is occurring outside the law in Nova Scotia. Why is he not meeting his obligations?

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the honourable member that we are working very hard on this along with the Minister of Indian Affairs who is also working on it. We will find a solution to this problem and we will work with the native community. We will do it at the table. We will not do it on the floor of the Legislature like that honourable member thinks it can be done.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

ECON. DEV. - SHEL. MUN.: INDUST. PARK - TAKE-OVER STATUS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. For more than a year the Department of Economic Development promised to provide the Municipality of Shelburne an answer on the future of its industrial park. I will table a letter in which the warden of Shelburne says the council has no confidence in the present minister's ability to deal with this issue. My question, why has a decision not been made on whether Shelburne can take over the park from the province so it can have the opportunity to operate it for the betterment of that region?

[Page 3601]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the question of economic development in Shelburne County is of tremendous importance to this government. Everything, including what the honourable member has mentioned, will be taken into consideration in achieving that result.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the MLA for the region has told the municipality the issue is on the minister's desk and the previous minister said there will be an answer by July 1st.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. DEXTER: My question to the Premier is, when will you make a decision on this issue so that Shelburne can get started with the task of economic development in that region?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we encourage the County of Shelburne to do everything they can for economic development. I want to assure him that this government will give them every support that they possibly can.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a recent letter from the Minister of Economic Development stating that the issue has not been decided because there are many pressing agenda items of an urgent nature which require attention. My question is, will the Premier commit to the House today to direct the Minister of Economic Development to stop stalling and act immediately on this request, as the industrial park, too, is a pressing agenda item of an urgent nature for Shelburne?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member has indicated, the minister has this question under due consideration and I am sure he will be able to reply before too long.

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

COMMUN. SERV. - ADOPTION:

INFO. RELEASE - CHANGES NECESSARY

MR. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the Minister of Community Services. The thrust of the 1994 ministerial committee's report on adoptions clearly stated that the right to know outweighs the right to privacy. The minister in her statement yesterday was still pondering this question and my question is why?

HON. FRANCENE COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, I think the question is why am I still pondering, if I hear it correctly. Obviously, when the legislation was put in place a little less than two years ago, it tried to recognize that there is a diversity of opinion on the question that is asked and it did try to put the legislation together in a way that met that diversity of opinion.

[Page 3602]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, again to the Minister of Community Services, in her statement yesterday, she talked about effecting a balance between these two items. There were 14 recommendations in that 1994 report which indicated what changes were needed to get this balance in.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. MUIR: What changes do you see are necessary, Madam Minister, to get the correct balance?

MRS. COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that I will be looking with great anticipation to the report of the advisory committee, probably in February, which will deal with all the submissions that they have heard from the adoption community over the past year.

MR. MUIR: Again to the Minister of Community Services, is the minister trying to give the impression that her advisory committee, which incidentally contains no representation from the adoption community, has more credibility in addressing this issue than the group that put together the ministerial committee in 1993-94?

MRS. COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member opposite is trying to use divide-and-conquer tactics here and that is just very unfair. I think all the opinions that the department receives are very important to us, whether it is from individual submissions or from group submissions to us.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

ENVIRON. - HRM: POLLUTION ABATEMENT FUND -

DISBURSEMENT

MR. DONALD CHARD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of the Environment. This summer the Minister of the Environment stated publicly that we would be getting good news soon regarding the Halifax Harbour clean-up. Last week we learned that much of the HRM Pollution Abatement Fund is gone, spent on sewer lines and pumping stations. My question is, is this the good news the minister expected?

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, the news that we are referring to is the fact that HRM is, in fact, going to go forward with a solution for cleaning up our largest septic system in all of Nova Scotia, a tremendous disgrace to this province. I understand HRM is moving forward through a public-private partnering initiative or an expression of interest to deal with that very important issue.

[Page 3603]

MR. CHARD: My question, Mr. Speaker, is, in light of the loss of so much money in this fund, will the Minister of the Environment direct his department to review what the municipality has done with this money?

MR. DOWNE: I think it was already written in the paper, Mr. Speaker, that they spent the money building sewer systems and piping systems for the septic. It is very clear that the mayor had already indicated exactly where those monies were spent.

MR. CHARD: That money, Mr. Speaker, was supposed to go for treatment, not for sewer lines. My final supplementary is for the Premier. Can he explain the province's plans to honour its commitment to the clean-up of Halifax Harbour, the plans, the promises it made to help fund that clean-up.

[1:30 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think that there is a certain lack of credibility when you talk about putting money into the sewer lines but not into the treatment plant. You need a means of getting the sewage to the treatment plant, so I would say the Halifax Regional Municipality has already started the investment in the process.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

HEALTH - PHYSIO. ACT.: AMDTS. - INTRO. DATE

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Health. The Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists and the Department of Health have been working on amendments to the Physiotherapy Act. I know the minister has written many physiotherapists in support of those revisions. I would ask the minister, when does he expect to bring that legislation forward?

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for his question. I think this is important, this is one of the legislative issues that we have before us that will be coming through the House. I checked last evening with the Legislative Counsel and I am informed that the bill will be ready for next week, and I would hope to have it before the House.

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister. I know all the physiotherapists will be happy to hear that. I would ask the minister if he could tell me when the occupational therapist legislation might be brought forward?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, again I thank the honourable member. It is my understanding that they will come together. I could stand corrected on that, but that is the information that I have as we speak.

[Page 3604]

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my last supplementary. I know the minister has met with the lab techs, and they are looking for legislation. I would ask the minister, does he expect that legislation to be brought forward as well this fall?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I have reviewed draft legislation there. It is my understanding that it will be difficult to accommodate it at this time, in all fairness. I have my staff working on that and if it can be accommodated, we will, but I think it will require more extensive working and having it in a form other than the draft legislation. I would not want to make that commitment at this time.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

HOUSING & MUN. AFFS. - UPPER HAMMOND PLAINS:

DRINKING WATER - COMMIT.

MS. ROSEMARY GODIN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs. In the past, provincial governments have taken steps to ensure that the quality of drinking water throughout the metro Halifax area is a good one and, in fact, has produced a statement of provincial interest regarding drinking water that declares a safe supply of drinking water is a basic requirement for all Nova Scotians. My question to the minister. What commitment has the Department of Housing and Municipal Affairs made to the people of Upper Hammonds Plains to supply that community with the same quality of drinking water as the rest of the metro Halifax area?

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for bringing this very serious issue to the floor of the House. I am pleased to report through you to the honourable member that our department has made a commitment of $200,000 over two years to this project. Also, I understand, the Department of the Environment has committed $300,000 towards this project over three years. In all, this provincial government has made a commitment of $0.5 million towards this project.

MS. GODIN: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of that commitment, but I believe that the minister is also aware that it is not enough; it leaves the community with far too much for the residents to pay, and they cannot afford it. I would like to ask the minister for a commitment that his department will take the lead in encouraging other levels of government to follow suit.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, the member certainly brings another point to the floor. The projected total cost of this project is in the area of $3 million. I certainly am ready to make a commitment to the honourable member and to all members of the House this afternoon that our department, the staff and myself included, is certainly interested in pursuing discussions with members of the Halifax Regional Municipality, along with the Halifax Regional Water Commission. So I am prepared to extend an invitation to these two groups.

[Page 3605]

MS. GODIN: Mr. Speaker, this province played a major role in taking advantage of one of our valuable Black heritage communities by paying $3.00 an acre for a water supply for basically everybody but the residents of this community. My question is, what effort is your department willing to make to make up for this past injustice?

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, again to the honourable member, I don't think I can make it clearer than I certainly am ready and prepared to meet with the two different groups, as I indicated earlier, to look at this very sensitive issue, especially providing water to the Upper Hammonds Plains community. I certainly will undertake to do so.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

CULTURE - LUN.: UNESCO DESIGNATION - PROMOTE

MS. EILEEN O'CONNELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Culture. In 1995, the Town of Lunenburg was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and as you know, the Town of Lunenburg is the only small town in North America to receive such a designation. My question to the Minister of Education and Culture is, given the government's purported commitment to promoting tourism in Nova Scotia, what plan does his department have to promote this prestigious UNESCO designation?

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, I think as Minister of Economic Development and Tourism I had the pleasure to meet with the mayor and civic leaders in that community at the point of the UNESCO designation. We committed, as a government, to a partnership to ensure that that very prestigious designation was used to advantage not only the community but the entire province.

MS. O'CONNELL: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, some things have not happened that should have. The Town of Lunenburg has sent letters to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works requesting special signage. This request has met with a dismissive response that all towns are unique. My question for the minister is, will the minister insist that the Minister of Transportation and Public Works work with the people of Lunenburg in an effort to provide special signage worthy of the designation?

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite will know that the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, and the Minister of Transportation and Public Works are doing a signage study throughout this province to ensure that signage for every Nova Scotian takes advantage of the wonderful advantages we have in this province. The other thing that the member might realize is that requests came for some assistance with the school in Lunenburg in that community that was designated.

[Page 3606]

MS. O'CONNELL: Mr. Speaker, it seems three years is a long time to do a study. Given the amount of dollars that stream into the province every year from the tourist industry, will the minister pledge to do it to assist the people of Lunenburg and to assist them now?

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite and her Party, on this very day, are missing the announcement by the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism. Another banner year for tourism, unprecedented in the history of this province. When that community asked for assistance on the heritage site of their school, this province was a willing partner in the restoration of Lunenburg Academy.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

NAT. RES. - LOGGING ILLEGAL: OATH (MIN.) - BREACH

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. The minister took an oath that stated, I, Kenneth MacAskill, appointed to be the Minister of Natural Resources for Nova Scotia, do swear that I will diligently and faithfully perform the duties of that office whilst I hold the same, to the best of my ability. So help me God. I table that. My question is simply this, is the minister aware with respect to illegal logging that he is in breach of his own oath?

HON. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, yes, I am honouring my oath here.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, illegal logging, forest harvesting is taking place in the community of Moosehorn off the Annapolis Road in the Kejimkujik management park zone and in several other communities in the Province of Nova Scotia. When is the minister going to uphold the oath of office that he took and rein in these lawbreakers? When is the minister going to talk?

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, we are working to that end.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, talk is cheap. When is the minister going to do something to rein in these lawbreakers? When is he going to do something definitive?

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, as I stated before in this House, we are working with the native community around the table. We are doing that without prejudice and I can inform the honourable member that this will come to a head soon. I want to remind the honourable member, too, that there is abuse in this forest that is not created by the native community and we must remember that.

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

[Page 3607]

NAT. RES. - NAT. GAS: LATERAL (STRAIT) - APPROVAL VERIFY

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, we were told yesterday by the very senior staff of the Premier's Office that the Energy and Mineral Resources Conservation Board of the Petroleum Directorate has received an application for approval for the lateral across the Strait from Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. My question to the Premier is, is that true?

THE PREMIER: Yes, Mr. Speaker, that is true but the fact of the matter is when a pipeline is put into effect and in use, you have to get the approval of the National Energy Board if they are the jurisdiction that is responsible for that line, or the Utility and Review Board if they are responsible for that line. They have announced that they will be seeking approval and that is fine.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Premier will have read an Act Respecting the Conservation of Energy and Mineral Resources so he knows what it says. We were told that the board that I referred to is going to be the body that is going to be approving or not approving that lateral across the Strait.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. HOLM: My question to the Premier is, was your staff telling us the truth?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, of course, they were telling the truth. You have to get an approval to start construction in Nova Scotia. The Petroleum Directorate has to give that approval but as to whether the size of the line is going to be adequate for the service of Nova Scotians, the National Energy Board in the question of this particular line will have the ultimate decision.

MR. HOLM: My question, Mr. Speaker, is just to get the absolute clarification on this. Is the Premier then saying that the Petroleum Directorate is going to give them approval to start construction of the lateral and then afterwards the NEB will determine if the approval to build that line that was given by them is, in fact, going to meet the requirements and that it is the proper size? Is that what you are saying?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Petroleum Directorate is going to look at the application that has been made by Maritimes & Northeast to see if they will be able to begin construction in advance of the National Energy Board holding hearings.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

[Page 3608]

EMO - EMERGENCY SERV. 911: ASS'T. REPORT - STATUS

MR. JAMES DEWOLFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for Nova Scotia's Emergency Measures Organization. One year ago there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding emergency dispatching of 911 and a number of complaints were brought forward by fire departments in HRM. At that time government agreed to do an independent assessment of Nova Scotia's 911 system. Can the minister explain why the assessment report has not been tabled considering the fact that at that time he suggested the assessment would take only about one week?

HON. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I do not have that information today but I will get it for the honourable member. I know the study has been initiated and I would assume that the report will soon be ready to be tabled.

[1:45 p.m.]

MR. DEWOLFE: My first supplementary, Mr. Speaker, is back to the minister. In late August, a constituent from Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley waited some 27 minutes for a fire truck to respond to a residence, because a 911 call-taker supposedly would not believe she was calling from a neighbour's phone because her phone was obviously dead. There have been numerous examples of this problem. Does the minister know at this point whether the assessment will correct these problems which have been brought forward and into the public spotlight?

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I want to make reference to the case the honourable member is talking about and I have reason to believe very strongly that that particular incident, we were misinformed to a great degree.

MR. DEWOLFE: Mr. Speaker, by way of supplementary, back to the minister. It is my understanding that a consultant has sent letters to fire chiefs in all 315 or so fire departments in Nova Scotia asking for their input. Is this the case, and is the minister aware of the consultants contacting the Halifax County Firefighters Association, who are especially concerned about the 911?

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, we have seen, since September 2nd, the great work that EMO has done in this province. They have been very busy and if there is some information the member is looking for that has not been tabled, I will certainly get it for him. In my opinion, the EMO has done a terrific job in this province since September.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

[Page 3609]

COMMUN. SERV. - ADOPTION: LEGISLATION - OPENNESS

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Community Services. Given that most provinces have far more open adoptive procedures than Nova Scotia and that there were 14 recommendations made before the 1994 ministerial report, when will the minister make this province's adoption laws far more open?

HON. FRANCENE COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, I think if the honourable member opposite would like to have a look at the research around what every other province in the country is doing, he would find that we are quite consistent with what is happening across the country.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, my first supplementary. The present advisory committee is neither open nor cooperative because it has no representation from the adoption community. Will the minister please explain why she feels this process is more open and informative than the process already done in 1994?

MS. COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member opposite again is asking an important question around the issues of adoption. Certainly, we have a process in place with an advisory committee and we have a process in place where we can hear from individuals; that serves the clientele, I think, quite well.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, this government has had the answers to how to improve the laws for four years now, but has now had the duplication of process in delaying needed changes . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. PYE: The question. Since this government has already ignored the recommendations of the 1994 report, what assurances can the minister offer this adoption community that the new report won't be ignored?

MS. COSMAN: I did not hear it. Mr. Speaker, I could not hear his question. There was too much interference. If you would permit him to ask the last part of it again . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The member will repeat his final supplementary.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I will just simply read the question, so the minister can hear the question. Since this government has already ignored the recommendations of the 1994 report, what assurances can the minister offer the adoption community that the new report won't be ignored? That is the question.

[Page 3610]

MS. COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, there is a process in place. The process is working and I want to give the adoption community the assurance that the process is working.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

FISH. - SHRIMP: MULGRAVE PLANT - UPDATE

MR. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, last week in this House I asked a question of the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture regarding the Town of Mulgrave and how it has a potential to be impacted very negatively by DFO's policies. Can the minister answer, in the short time allotted here today, can he update this House as to what he has done on behalf of the Town of Mulgrave and the problem that is brewing there?

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable member for the question. It is a very important question. We have been working very closely with the Town of Mulgrave. It is a very serious situation, and it is a matter of resource, and resource that the federal government hasn't allotted to the town. We are going to continue to work on that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle. You have the opportunity for one very quick question.

MR. LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, almost in closing, because I don't think I am going to have an answer. The days are going by, we are basically five and one-half weeks or six weeks before a decision is going to be made by the company, and I pray that this minister and this Premier will intervene on behalf of the town . . .

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

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to table a letter from the Municipality of the County of Inverness that clearly states, this is relative to the Margaree Harbour Bridge; all attempts to retrieve this report have failed, therefore we are appealing to you directly. The date of that letter is November 5, 1998. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Order, please. (Interruptions) I have ruled that there is no point of order.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow being Remembrance Day, the House will meet from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, and following the daily routine and Question Period, we will be calling Public Bills in Committee of the Whole House on Bills, Bill No. 4, Bill No. 34 and Bill No. 35. As the Opposition House Leader has

[Page 3611]

suggested, if we happen to get through those bills, then we will go into Bills for Second Reading in the order they are presently on the order paper.

I move that we now adjourn.

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 2:00 p.m. on Thursday.

[The House rose at 1:52 p.m.]