The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Mon., June 7, 1999

First Session

MONDAY, JUNE 7, 1999

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Greenfield: Roads - Maintain, Mr. B. Taylor 6803
Educ. - Pugwash District High School: Teachers - Increase, Mr. E. Fage 6804
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Argyle: Argyle Head Road - Pave,
Mr. N. LeBlanc 6804
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Cumberland Co.: Tyndal Road - Rebuild,
Mr. E. Fage 6804
Fish. - Seniors: Licences - Fees Exempt, Mr. B. Taylor 6804
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3251, Health - IWK Grace Health Ctr.: Telethon - Volunteers/
Supporters Thank, Hon. J. Smith 6805
Vote - Affirmative 6805
Res. 3252, Fin. - Expenditure Additional: Debt Servicing/Health -
Approval, Hon. D. Downe 6805
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 114, Provincial Finance Act, Mr. H. Epstein 6806
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3253, Educ. - Elizabeth Sutherland Sch. Friendship Garden:
Creation - Congrats., Mr. R. Chisholm 6806
Vote - Affirmative 6807
Res. 3254, Health - Care: System - Mismanagement (1993-99) Admit,
Dr. J. Hamm 6807
Res. 3255, Housing & Mun. Affs. - HRM: Water Privatization -
Water Watch (Hfx.) Commend, Mr. R. Chisholm 6808
Res. 3256, Health - Budget (1999-2000): Advertising Campaign -
Condemn, Dr. J. Hamm 6808
Res. 3257, Sports: Seniors' Games (Inv. Academy) - Congrats.,
Mr. Charles MacDonald 6809
Vote - Affirmative 6810
Res. 3258, Sisters of Charity: Anniv. 150th - Congrats., Ms. E. O'Connell 6810
Vote - Affirmative 6810
Res. 3259, CBC Radio - Information Morning: Anniv. 29th - Congrats.,
Mr. N. LeBlanc 6811
Vote - Affirmative 6811
Res. 3260, Educ. - NSSAF (Exemplary Participation Award): Winners
(HS [Eskasoni/Mem./Riverview]) - Congrats., Ms. Helen MacDonald 6812
Vote - Affirmative 6812
Res. 3261, Commun. Serv. - Adoption: Disclosure -
Approach Flawed Recognize, Mr. J. Muir 6813
Res. 3262, Educ. - Sir. John A. Macdonald HS: Improvements Priority -
Study Use, Mr. W. Estabrooks 6813
Res. 3263, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hwys.: Durability - Crumb Rubber
Use Consider, Mr. J. DeWolfe 6814
Res. 3264, Health - Care: System - Improvement Believability,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6815
Res. 3265, Lt. Gov. (N.S.) Garden Party - Date: Closeness - Acknowledge,
Mr. G. Balser 6815
Res. 3266, Sports - Hockey (NHL Draft Preview Tournament):
Atl. (Can.) All-Star Team - Winners Congrats.,
Mr. Charles MacDonald 6816
Vote - Affirmative 6816
Res. 3267, Fin. - Budget (1999-2000): Bottom Line - Reveal,
Mr. H. Epstein 6817
Res. 3268, Environ. - Eco-Efficiency Ctr. (Burnside): Efforts -
Recognize, Mr. J. DeWolfe 6817
Vote - Affirmative 6818
Res. 3269, Gov't. (N.S.-Lib.) - Dogs: Poles - Use Remember,
Mr. D. Dexter 6818
Res. 3270, Fish. - Salmon (Atl.): Harvesting Ban - Support,
Mr. N. LeBlanc 6819
Res. 3271, Educ. - NSSAF (Track & Field): Prince Andrew HS &
Students (Dart.) - Success Congrats., Mr. D. Chard 6819
Vote - Affirmative 6820
Res. 3272, Bus. & Cons. Serv. - Funeral Conglomerate: Activities (C.B.) -
Info. Table, Mr. B. Taylor 6820
Res. 3273, Health - Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Assoc. (N.S.):
Fund-Raising (Slowpitch [Hfx. 05/06/99]) - Success Congrats.,
Ms. R. Godin 6821
Vote - Affirmative 6821
Res. 3274, WWII - Merchant Mariners: Contribution Enormous -
Recognize, Mr. M. Scott 6822
Vote - Affirmative 6822
Res. 3275, Culture - Charles MacDonald Concrete House Gallery &
Museum (Kings Co.): Significance - Recognize, Mr. G. Archibald 6822
Vote - Affirmative 6823
Res. 3276, Educ. - N.S. Commun. Co. (Sydney): Petroleum Inst. -
Initiative Congrats., Mr. P. Delefes 6823
Vote - Affirmative 6824
Res. 3277, Justice - Crime Prevention Soc. (N.S.) [Special Recognition
Award]: Sister Teresa Currie (Amherst) - Contribution Recognize,
Mr. E. Fage 6824
Vote - Affirmative 6824
Res. 3278, Culture - Music: Lisa St. Clair (Hfx.) [Music Director "Grease"
(Neptune Theatre)] - Success Congrats., Ms. E. O'Connell 6825
Vote - Affirmative 6825
Res. 3279, Sysco - Hoogovens: Payment - Table, Mr. G. Balser 6825
Res. 3280, Educ. - Mem. HS (Sydney Mines): Voc.-Tech. Progs. -
Excellence Commend, Ms. Helen MacDonald 6826
Vote - Affirmative 6827
Res. 3281, Educ. - Nat. Sc. Fair [1999-Edmonton]: Jennifer McRuer
(Hants N. RHS) - Winner Congrats., Mr. J. Muir 6827
Vote - Affirmative 6827
Res. 3282, Educ. - N.S. Commun. Col.: Arts Tech'n. Dip. Prog. -
Congrats., Mr. P. Delefes 6828
Vote - Affirmative 6828
Res. 3283, Sports - Fastball (HS [N.S.] Champs): Sir John A.
Macdonald Flames - Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 6828
Vote - Affirmative 6829
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. C. Parker 6830
Mr. B. Taylor 6833
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 4:12 P.M. 6838
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 8:12 P.M. 6838
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 105, Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act 6838
Hon. K. Colwell 6839
Mr. John Deveau 6839
Mr. N. LeBlanc 6839
Hon. K. Colwell 6840
Vote - Affirmative 6842
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 8:24 P.M. 6842
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 8:47 P.M. 6842
CWH REPORTS 6842
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., June 8th at 12:00 p.m. 6843

[Page 6803]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, JUNE 7, 1999

Fifty-seventh General Assembly

First Session

3:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Ronald Russell

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Donald Chard

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by hundreds of Nova Scotians. "We, the undersigned residents of Greg Road, Charmac Road., Anne Dr., Scott Ave., and Joy Dr., Greenfield, hereby request the Department of Transportation and Public Works to provide the necessary maintenance which would include but is not limited to gravel in order to maintain the above roads at an acceptable level.". I have signed that petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

6803

[Page 6804]

MR. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of residents of Pugwash. The operative clause reads, "Pugwash District High School has been cut a further 70% of a teaching position. This makes for a total 5.9 teaching positions cut for a decline of 56 students - an average of 1 teacher per 9.5 students. . . . We ask you to take the necessary steps to fund 3.5 additional teaching positions so that these services and programs can be restored.". I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Argyle.

MR. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition, the operative clause being, "We, the undersigned, feel that the Argyle Head Road needs immediate attention. Due to the heavy traffic travelling our road the condition has deteriorated to the point where touch ups are just not enough. We feel that the road needs to be repaved immediately.". I have affixed my signature, as required.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

MR. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of residents of Cumberland County who wish to see the Tyndal Road repaired and rebuilt. It is Route 366, known as the scenic coastal route on the Sunrise Trail. The road is in deplorable condition, not only for local residents but for tourism operators in the area as well. I have affixed my signature to a copy of the petition as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition here signed by Nova Scotians and the petition's operative clause is, "We, the undersigned respectfully request of the Minister of Fisheries to eliminate the charge for fishing licenses levied against the senior citizens of the province of Nova Scotia as agreed by resolution in the Nova Scotia Legislature.". I have signed that petition and would add, again, that it is an original petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

[Page 6805]

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3251

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

Whereas June 5th and June 6th marked the IWK-Grace Health Centre for Children, Women and Families' 15th Annual Telethon; and

Whereas this year more than $3.5 million was raised toward research, purchasing equipment and funding special programs; and

Whereas the IWK-Grace provides vital services and support to women, children and families across the Maritimes;

Therefore be it resolved that this House take the opportunity to thank Ms. Annette Marshall, the volunteer chairperson for the Telethon, and the over 2,000 volunteers and millions of individuals and organizations who supported the IWK-Grace telethon this year.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 3252

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

[Page 6806]

Whereas the Expenditure Control Act was enacted by this House as Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1993 to limit government expenditure to a specific predetermined level; and

Whereas the net program expenditures and the net debt servicing cost that exceeds the level authorized under the Expenditure Control Act may only be made after a resolution has been passed by this House authorizing such an expenditure; and

Whereas it is necessary to exceed the net program expenditures and net debt servicing costs authorized by the Expenditure Control Act for fiscal 1998-99 in order that this House honour its commitment to fund an appropriate level of service to Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that a sum not exceeding $105,763,000 be granted to the Lieutenant Governor to defray expenses in respect to the following matters: Debt Servicing Cost - $52,450,000; Department of Health - $53,313,000; for a total of $105,763,000.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 114 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 365 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Provincial Finance Act, to Restrict the Forgiveness of Debts Due to the Province of Nova Scotia. (Mr. Howard Epstein)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3253

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

Whereas Elizabeth Sutherland School in Spryfield was 1 of 25 schools taking part in the School Grounds Naturalization: Model School Project sponsored by The Evergreen Foundation and the Ecology Action Centre; and

Whereas the project was a school and community effort to diversify the school grounds and benefit the students by having a habitat where wildlife and plant life cycles can be observed; and

[Page 6807]

Whereas after more than two years of hard work, this Wednesday, June 9th, staff, students and community members will participate in the dedication ceremony;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate everyone involved in creating the Elizabeth Sutherland School Friendship Garden and acknowledge their commitment to keeping the school "green".

Mr. Speaker, I would 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 Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 3254

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

Whereas for six years this Liberal Government has maintained that health reform was on track and that Nova Scotians were receiving better, more timely care; and

Whereas for six years this Liberal Government attacked health-care providers, community-based organizations and the Opposition as fear-mongerers whenever legitimate questions were raised about its failed and costly health reforms; and

Whereas for six years this Liberal Government redirected scarce health care dollars away from patient care, prevention, and wellness promotion into a wasteful, unnecessary bureaucracy that continues to grow by leaps and bounds;

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government admit that for six years it totally mismanaged Nova Scotia's health care system and that its so-called, new-found attention to health care has more to do with political survival than it has to do with improving health care delivery across Nova Scotia.

[Page 6808]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The resolution is much too long.

[The notice is tabled.]

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3255

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

Whereas on Friday night a coalition of unions, environmentalists and community activists, collectively known as Water Watch Halifax, held a public meeting to discuss the impact of private ownership of municipal water resources; and

Whereas in March Halifax Regional Council passed a motion to investigate integrating the water commission with the municipality, or privatizing it; and

Whereas the strong message that came out of Friday night's meeting is that public-private water partnerships do not make economic sense and that private owners are not accountable to taxpayers;

Therefore be it resolved that CUPE and all members of the Water Watch Halifax Committee be commended for their leadership in putting this serious and important issue on the public agenda.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 3256

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

[Page 6809]

Whereas the Department of Health is spending well in excess of $100,000 on a propaganda campaign designed to trick Nova Scotians into believing it has a plan to fix health care; and

Whereas this wasteful, inappropriate and offensive use of scarce health-care dollars is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded PR campaign to prop up the image of this Liberal Government; and

Whereas this wasteful, offensive spending makes a mockery of this Liberal Government's new-found commitment to spend scarce health care dollars wisely;

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemn this Liberal Government for wasting scarce health-care dollars and, further, that it demand that not one more cent of taxpayers' money be used for what is clearly Liberal Party propaganda.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 3257

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

Whereas this weekend was the official opening of the 3rd Annual Seniors' Games at the Inverness Academy; and

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly has declared 1999 as The International Year of Older Persons; and

Whereas our seniors are an important resource that can help all Nova Scotians learn from our past and aid us in our future;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate our seniors and extend a thank you to the Department of Recreation and Tourism and the Municipality of the County of Inverness for another successful seniors' games.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6810]

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 Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 3258

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

[3:15 p.m.]

Whereas this year the Sisters of Charity in Halifax are celebrating their 150th Anniversary; and

Whereas over the past 150 years many of Halifax's institutions were started by the Sisters or shaped by their vision, including St. Joseph Orphanage, the Halifax Infirmary, the Home of the Guardian Angel and Mount Saint Vincent College; and

Whereas current local programs run by the Sisters include the Single Parent Centre in Spryfield, the DePaul Centre at the Motherhouse, the Scotia Court Literacy Program and Pax Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the Sisters of Charity on this significant milestone, acknowledge their important contributions to our community and join in wishing them another successful 150 years.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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.

That motion was also rather long.

[Page 6811]

The honourable member for Dartmouth North on an introduction.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to bring to your attention representatives from the Union of Canadian Municipalities in the west gallery. I would like to bring to your attention Alderman John Wall for the City of Swift Current, Saskatchewan and his wife Alice; Mayor Don Schlorser of Weyburn, Saskatchewan; and Mayor Don Coady of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I hope that this House will give them a generous welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 3259

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

Whereas CBC's Information Morning turned 29 years old - my age, I wish - on June 1st; and

Whereas Information Morning's annual birthday party is scheduled for this Friday, June 11th, with co-hosts Don Connolly, Elizabeth Logan and Sports Director John Hancock broadcasting live from Pier 22 on the Halifax waterfront; and

Whereas CBC's Information Morning provides a wealth of information concerning a wide variety of issues facing Nova Scotians every weekday morning between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature commend the CBC Information Morning team of Don, Liz and John, as well as the producers and directors of the show, in presenting informative stories on a continuing regular basis.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for the question to be put.

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 6812]

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 3260

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation celebrates the significant role inter-scholastic athletics plays in education; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation recognizes outstanding contribution to inter-scholastic athletics; and

Whereas Nova Scotian high schools each selected a male and female student athlete who are true examples of good sportsmanship, ethical behaviour and respect for others;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Arnold Sylliboy and Angie Gilles from Eskasoni High School, Adam Johnson and Jo Ann MacLean from Memorial High School, and Robert Pottle and Kelly Knickle from Riverview High School on receiving the Exemplary Participation Awards.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

I must also caution the member that that one was rather long.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

MR. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, in advance of reading my resolution I would like to make an introduction. I draw the attention of the House to the west gallery, a constituent from the Truro area, Sergeant Wayne Mont from the Truro police service is with us. I would like to say welcome to him and ask the House to extend a welcome to Sergeant Mont. (Applause)

[Page 6813]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3261

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

Whereas in 1994 the Ministerial Committee on the Release of Adoption Information recommended the government make it possible for adult adoptees and birth parents to obtain identifying information; and

Whereas the minister responded to this report by forming an advisory committee also to review issues relative to the release of adoptive information; and

Whereas the advisory committee did not have representation from the adoption community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Community Services recognize the illogical and fundamentally flawed approach she has taken with this issue and immediately move to work with the adoption community to address their concerns regarding disclosure.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 3262

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

Whereas the Halifax Regional School Board has made the renovating or replacing of this region's high schools a priority; and

Whereas this board wants the provincial Department of Education to look at all high schools in the region; and

[Page 6814]

Whereas the board and the department have agreed to jointly fund an engineering study of all high schools from Hubley to Sheet Harbour;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education use this study to determine where Sir John A. Macdonald High School is on the department's priority list for improvements and renovations.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3263

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's roads are continually deteriorating at such an extent that safety to the motoring public has become a real factor; and

Whereas if this Liberal Government is going to neglect roads at the rate they have for the past six years, creative solutions must be found to extend the life of these roads; and

Whereas one creative solution proven to be a success in the United States is the use of crumb rubber being mixed with the asphalt, in turn extending the life of the asphalt;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Transportation and Public Works begin looking at creative solutions such as the use of crumb rubber to improve the durability of our provincial highway system.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

[Page 6815]

RESOLUTION NO. 3264

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

Whereas it has been five years since the government released its Blueprint for Health System Reform; and

Whereas in those five years, the government hasn't implemented the programs and improved services recommended by the blueprint; and

Whereas health care reform for this Liberal Government has consisted of mismanagement, top-down waste and cuts to front-line services;

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal's track record on health reform gives Nova Scotians absolutely no reason to believe them now, when they say they are finally going to improve the health care system.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3265

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

Whereas the literary classic, Through the Looking Glass, tells the tale of a young girl's adventures in a land of confusion and contradictions; and

Whereas protocol, top hats, time and ornate furniture figure prominently in the proceedings of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly; and

Whereas the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Queen of Hearts would undoubtedly feel right at home as members of Cabinet;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge the irony that the Lieutenant Governor's Annual Tea Party is only two weeks away.

Mr. Speaker, I would seek waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

[Page 6816]

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 3266

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

Whereas yesterday the Atlantic Canadian All-Star Hockey Team defeated Boston to win the NHL Draft Preview Tournament; and

Whereas Inverness native, Ali MacEachern of the Halifax Mooseheads, was named co-winner of the Top Defenceman Award; and

Whereas MacEachern and his tournament-winning teammates relied heavily on the expert coaching of Blair Joseph of Sydney;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Coach Blair Joseph, Top Defenceman, Ali MacEachern and the entire Atlantic Canada All-Star Team on their outstanding performance during the weekend tournament.

Mr. Speaker, I request 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.

HON. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I realize that a point of order should be raised at the time of a resolution but I would ask the Speaker if he would be kind enough to review the resolution from the member for Digby-Annapolis because I believe, quite frankly, it does infer a rather negative view of our most distinguished Lieutenant Governor. I would ask if the honourable Speaker would be kind enough to review that. I am sure that wasn't his intent but the context and form by which it was written certainly could leave a very negative impression of our Lieutenant Governor.

MR. SPEAKER: I shall have a look at it.

The honourable member for Antigonish on an introduction.

[Page 6817]

MR. HYLAND FRASER: Mr. Speaker, in the east gallery I would like to welcome to the House two of our nominated candidates. In the front row is Cathy Langille, who is our nominated candidate for Cumberland North and in the back row, Karen Willis Duerden, who is our nominated candidate in Timberlea-Prospect. We would like the House to welcome them to the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: With regard to the intervention by the Minister of Labour with regard to the resolution by the member for Digby-Annapolis, I do not agree with the tone of the notice of motion but, however, it is in order.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 3267

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

Whereas Merlin the Finance Minister has once again revealed his sleight of hand by presenting Nova Scotians with a so-called balanced budget; and

Whereas Merlin the Finance Minister has made $600 million disappear from the province's books and has magically made it reappear as a so-called investment; and

Whereas the Auditor General of this province is not the slightest bit amused with Merlin the Finance Minister's antics and has said that a Finance Minister should put all of his cards - and debts - on the table;

Therefore be it resolved that Merlin the Finance Minister stop the hocus-pocus and give Nova Scotians the straight goods on the state of the province's finances.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3268

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

Whereas the Eco-Efficiency Centre in Burnside marked Environment Week by initiating the eco-business program; and

[Page 6818]

Whereas this is a voluntary plan for businesses interested in waste reduction and resource conservation; and

Whereas participating companies agree to adopt an environmental code and the centre supports them by providing resource material and doing environmental reviews;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the significant efforts of the Eco-Efficiency Centre and the companies who are working towards protecting the environment through waste reduction and resource conservation.

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 Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3269

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

Whereas this Liberal Government keeps trying to regain support with their fishing polls; and

Whereas the Liberals have for six years pole-vaulted away from delivering on their health care promises; and

Whereas the latest Liberal budget shows that this government wouldn't touch the true state of the province's finances with a 10 foot pole;

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government should remember that dogs know best what to do with poles.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

[Page 6819]

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 3270

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

Whereas scientific evidence supports the fact that North American Atlantic salmon stocks are at an all-time low; and

Whereas the threat to this valuable species has prompted consideration for it to be listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act; and

Whereas the Atlantic Salmon Federation intends to urge the international community to temporarily ban harvesting of this resource in order to secure its future;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture recognize the urgency in addressing this looming crisis and immediately move to support the Atlantic Salmon Federation with its call for a harvesting ban.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

RESOLUTION NO. 3271

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

Whereas Dartmouth resident Jeffrey Englehutt won gold medals in the junior boys 800 metre and 3,000 metre track events at this year's Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation provincial track and field championship; and

[Page 6820]

Whereas Andrea Leahey, of Prince Andrew High School, won the bronze medal in the senior girls long jump and Andre Boudreau, also of Prince Andrew, won the gold medal for the senior boys shot-put; and

Whereas Prince Andrew High School also won the bronze medal in the intermediate boys 4 x 100 relay and the bronze medal in the senior girls 4 x 100 relay;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Jeffrey Englehutt, Andrea Leahey and Andre Boudreau on their distinction in track and field, and Prince Andrew High School on its showing, and wish them all continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

It was also a rather long notice of motion.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 3272

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

Whereas the Minister of Business and Consumer Services is refusing to give officials in his department permission to release information on alleged fraudulent activities against more than 500 Cape Bretoners by a North American funeral giant; and

[3:30 p.m.]

Whereas the minister was more than reticent to answer questions concerning an investigation launched by his department during the debate on estimates for the Department of Business and Consumer Services Friday afternoon; and

[Page 6821]

Whereas figures in the range of $1 million were reportedly taken by this funeral conglomerate and deposited into bank accounts outside of Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Business and Consumer Services immediately table all pertinent information concerning this investigation so Cape Bretoners will know where they stand.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 3273

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

Whereas Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus are among Canada's most common disabling birth defects, yet remain unknown to most people; and

Whereas the goal of the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Nova Scotia is to help people achieve independence and integrate into the social mainstream;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Kentville-based association on the success of its 8th Annual Slowpitch Tournament held in Halifax on Saturday, June 5th, 1999 at which it raised over $47,000 for support, education and research.

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 Cumberland South.

[Page 6822]

RESOLUTION NO. 3274

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

Whereas the contribution made by veterans all across Canada for their role in creating and protecting our country must never be forgotten; and

Whereas yesterday, Canadian Merchant Mariners were presented with a national award for valour for their efforts during the Second World War; and

Whereas this much-deserved award coincided with the 55th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the enormous contribution made by the merchant mariners and extend to them our heartfelt congratulations on receiving this award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3275

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

Whereas a unique home in Kings County has recently been designated a heritage property; and

Whereas the Concrete House built by painter, sculptor and political activist, Charles MacDonald, in 1913 was opened as a museum last year; and

[Page 6823]

Whereas the house will now join 193 other buildings in the province as having historical significance and will be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the significance of the Charles MacDonald Concrete House Gallery and Museum and congratulate residents of Kings County for helping to enrich this structure as a site with historical importance.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 3276

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

Whereas the Marconi Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in Sydney, Nova Scotia, has been selected for the site of the new Petroleum Institute; and

Whereas the institute will provide training in such areas as instrumentation and power engineering, skills necessary for employment in the burgeoning energy sector; and

Whereas both the petroleum sector and trade unions have identified instrumentation technology as an area needing immediate allocation of training resources;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Nova Scotia Community College on this new initiative, which will prepare students to succeed in the offshore industry and related careers associated with the development of oil and gas in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 6824]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3277

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

Whereas Sister Teresa Currie of Amherst has spent a lifetime reaching out to others and offering support to those in need; and

Whereas Sister Currie was recently presented with a special recognition award in honour of her lifelong work and commitment to prisoners and their families; and

Whereas the award, given out for only the second time in its 13 year history, was presented at the annual crime prevention conference hosted by the Crime Prevention Society of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the special and unique contribution to our communities given selflessly by Sister Currie and extend our warm congratulations to her on receiving this much-deserved award.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 6825]

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 3278

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

Whereas Lisa St. Clair is a 1981 graduate of Halifax West High School and a product of the Halifax City music program; and

Whereas Lisa has had a highly successful career as a musical director both here and in Toronto; and

Whereas Lisa has returned home to live in Halifax and is the musical director of Neptune's production of Grease;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Lisa St. Clair on her successful career so far and welcome her back to Halifax, home and the sea she has missed so much in her years away from us.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3279

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

Whereas the Minister responsible for Sysco recently stated that his government was paying Hoogovens $750,000 per month to manage the money-losing steel mill; and

[Page 6826]

Whereas despite the minister's startling admission and a report by the Freedom of Information Review Officer stating the public had a right to scrutinize the government's payment agreement with Hoogovens, the minister is still refusing to make the information public; and

Whereas the minister's steadfast refusal to table his government's payment agreement with Hoogovens suggests he is hiding the true cost of running Sysco from the Nova Scotia taxpayers;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister responsible for Sysco either table his government's payment agreement with Hoogovens or admit the costs are much higher than he led the public to believe.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 3280

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

Whereas Memorial High School in Sydney Mines has been training vocational-technical students for over two decades; and

Whereas the vocational-technical program combines academic courses with vocational and technical training in a high school setting; and

Whereas Memorial High School is an excellent model of how to customize a learning environment to reflect the abilities and needs of high school students;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the staff of Memorial High School on their ability to deliver programs of excellence with limited financial assistance.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

[Page 6827]

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 Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 3281

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

Whereas Jennifer McRuer, a Grade 12 student at Hants North Regional High School, recently competed against 700 students at a national science fair in Edmonton; and

Whereas Jennifer's project topped those of her competitors; and

Whereas as a result of her win, Jennifer will spend a month this summer studying at the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the achievements of Jennifer McRuer and wish her the best of luck this summer and in all her future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

[Page 6828]

RESOLUTION NO. 3282

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Community College has just announced a two-year Screen Arts Technician Diploma program; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's film and video industry has become one of the leading employment and economic generators in the province with increasing industry demand for technical crews; and

Whereas starting this September, this program will train students in state-of-the-art digital technology using digital cameras and computer image generation;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Nova Scotia Community College for offering a program with such tremendous potential for contributing to the film and video industry in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 3283

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

Whereas this weekend at the provincial high school fastball tournament in Truro and Brookfield, teams from Cobequid, Eastern Shore, J.L. Ilsley, Windsor, South Colchester and Sir John A. Macdonald competed; and

[Page 6829]

Whereas in the championship game, the strong pitching of David Slaunwhite and the hitting of Adam Smith and Craig Slaunwhite of Sir John A. Macdonald school were featured; and

Whereas in this championship game, Sir John A. Macdonald school defeated South Colchester school by a score of 4 to 1;

Therefore be it resolved that this House offer its congratulations to all participating schools and, in particular, to Coach Al Reyner and the provincial fastball championship team, the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply unto Her Majesty.

[Page 6830]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few minutes to talk a little bit about my riding of Pictou West and some of the concerns and some of the issues, some of the positives and some of the not-so-positive things that are happening there in Pictou West.

As you may know, Mr. Speaker, Pictou West is located on the north shore of Nova Scotia, along the beautiful Northumberland Strait. It stretches all the way from Marshville, just west of River John, east to Abercrombie, which is with the town boundary of New Glasgow, Stellarton and Westville, and it stretches from Mount Thom right through to Pictou Island, which is a few miles offshore in Northumberland Strait. I guess the centre of my riding would be the Town of Pictou, an historic, small town in Nova Scotia with strong Scottish roots. In fact, just last year, we celebrated the 225th Anniversary of the ship Hector on the shores of Pictou. We had a good, large turnout of people who came to celebrate with us and celebrate our Scottish culture and heritage.

In fact, in the Town of Pictou, Mr. Speaker, there are a number of centres and developments centred around our Scottish heritage. We have the reconstruction project with the ship Hector and that is to be launched on September 15th in the year 2000. We have the interpretation centre there that shows where the Scots first landed and how their lifestyle was in the early parts of the 1770's and throughout the 1800's. We have a nice genealogical centre called the Hector Centre and McCulloch House complex where people come and do genealogical research from all over North America. Finally, every August, we celebrate with our Hector Festival. In fact, this year is rather special in that we have the ship Bluenose coming to our harbour and I am sure there will be lots of tourists, lots of locals coming to help us celebrate in mid-August.

Pictou West is also made up of a number of rural communities: farming communities like Scotsburn and West Branch, Salt Springs, Mount Thom; fishing communities along the shore like Toney River and River John, Caribou, Braeshore, Bay View; and also other inland communities like Alma, Union Centre, beautiful Greenhill with the lookoff, White Hill, Mill Brook and so on. Our major industries are the Michelin Tire plant at Granton, the Kimberly-Clark pulp mill at Abercrombie Point and, just outside the riding but employing a lot of residents, is Trenton Works located in the Town of Trenton. So resource-based industries like farming, fishing and forestry are important, but so are our manufacturing industries.

I want to turn now, Mr. Speaker, to a few of the concerns, a few of the issues that are prevalent in our community. The other day I had an opportunity to speak on a major issue in Pictou West - and I am sure it is true in many rural communities throughout Nova Scotia - that is the total lack of responsibility that this government is taking in repairing and maintaining our rural secondary roads. They have been described to me in terms such as deplorable, terrible, damaged, broken, rutted, destroyed, cracked, even some with hay crops

[Page 6831]

growing up in the middle of the highway. It has been too long that this issue has been neglected by this government and by previous governments. I know it is probably the number one issue I hear from residents on the doorsteps, at the constituency office, over the telephone, by fax, by letter and it is an issue that this government has failed to address.

[3:45 p.m.]

When I heard the Budget Address the other day that the Finance Minister gave, I listened very intently for the word roads, or rural infrastructure. I did not hear it. I went back to the Budget Address to verify that and there was no mention of rural roads or improvement. In fact, I hear there are actually fewer dollars going into our secondary road maintenance budget this year compared to last year, which we all know was also slashed at that time by $27 million, Mr. Speaker.

I will give you a few examples of some of the roads in my riding that are in really poor condition at this time. First up I will mention Highway No. 289, which is out to the Union Centre, Lansdowne area and on out through to the Stewiacke Valley. This road is never closed to heavy truck traffic, it is open 365 days a year and it never gets a break or a rest during the spring weight restrictions. So, it is considered a 100-Series Highway and there are a lot of B-Trains that travel over it that do a tremendous amount of damage to that particular road. The residents there would like to see it closed, the same as other secondary roads because it was never built for the large heavy traffic that is travelling over it 365 days a year.

Other roads in great need of repairs. The old Number 4 Highway at Mt. Thom, this used to be the main road to Truro from New Glasgow at one time, but it has been neglected for decades and it is in great need of fixing up at this time.

The Stillman Road, the River John Road, the Scotch Hill Road, Greenhill Road, White Hill Road; I could go on, Mr. Speaker, in fact I think I will, the Granton Road, the Cape John Road, the Westville Road that runs between New Glasgow and Westville, the West Branch Road and a number of others are in dire need of maintenance and repair at this time. Some of the worst I have seen in the province, Mr. Speaker, and they are in great need of repair. This government, really, has been abandoning rural Nova Scotia by not investing in the infrastructure of secondary roads. They are spending less money this year and that is unacceptable. They are completely ignoring the very real need of rural Nova Scotians.

Another issue that is of major concern in my community, especially in the Town of Pictou, among shipyard workers is the delay, the holdback in getting our shipyard up and running. Many people have been pressing this government to try to do something to assist, to get the marine slip operating again. It makes it difficult for the company to attract shipbuilding contracts when they come and show an empty yard to a ship owner. It makes it hard for them to have some confidence in Pictou Industries when they see nobody working, all they see is an idle yard. I know the company is trying hard but I really feel that this

[Page 6832]

government still has a responsibility to assist Pictou Industries Limited to get the marine slip up and operating so it would make it easier to attract new shipbuilding construction. In many ways this government has let the people of Pictou down, the people of Pictou County and Pictou Industries and they still have an obligation to offer assistance to get our shipyard up and running once again.

Another concern I hear about, especially at this time of the year, is among the fishermen along the Northumberland Shore. Recently, this government and the federal government combined, issued offshore gas and oil licences off Cheticamp, off Cape Breton, and this will allow oil and gas exploration and blasting of undersea beds. There is concern among the fishermen, not just in Pictou County but all along the Northumberland Shore and over to Prince Edward Island, they are fearful for the spawning grounds.

I understand that there are lobster, herring, mackerel, scallops, snow crab, and various groundfish, including hake, that use this area for spawning and the fishermen are concerned the blasting and exploration by the oil and gas companies could cause major harm to these valuable spawning grounds. Neither the federal government nor the provincial Department of Fisheries intervened in the licensing process last winter and tried to stop these to protect the fishermen of our area, so it is a major concern to them. Lobster prices have been good this year and the lobster catches have been relatively good but in future years if there is a danger to our spawning grounds, then that could cause real harm to a very valuable fishery that has sustained our shores for hundreds of years.

Another area of concern revolves around the forest industry. There are certainly a lot of jobs, both in the woodlot and in the mills that depend on our forestry. There seems to be a rush to cut down the last tree in Nova Scotia and many people that I have talked to are concerned about the over-harvesting, the clear-cutting, the cutting of immature trees and really, something has to be done to address this problem. As you drive around our rural areas, mile after mile you see vast acres of land being cut down. Sometimes there is replanting and sometimes there is not and it is an issue that has not been properly addressed in this province. It is an issue that we have to look at to find a solution and maintain our forests and our jobs.

HON. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, would the honourable member be willing to entertain a question?

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, no. And the forest issue has not been properly addressed by this government and I feel we need to look at the whole issue of forest management, not just the fibre production but we need to look at the ecotourism side of it, wildlife protection, value added production from our hardwood and softwood, the idea that our woodlands are carbon-sink, they control a better climate. There is just so much that our forests can provide and by investing more dollars into silviculture we can protect our woodlands now, we can provide jobs now and many more jobs down the road, in the future. It is an issue that if I get an opportunity on another day I would like to speak at it in more detail.

[Page 6833]

In spite of these problems we do have some positive, good things that are occurring in Pictou West. As you know, there is a new Trans Canada bypass about to open throughout Pictou County in August of this year. That will make it much safer for local residents and we welcome that highway when it opens. We have had some success in dealing with businesses that are able to get better signage to help attract people off the highway so they can get to the local businesses and keep supporting these and keep local retailers in business. So I thank the Department of Transportation and those involved in getting some better signage for our local businesses.

Tourism has been on the up and go in Nova Scotia over the last few years. In Pictou County, we have a vibrant tourist industry. I think people are just starting to discover the gem that we do have on the North Shore of this province. I know that more and more people are coming to visit our shores to take in our natural landscape and beauty and visit some of our fine restaurants and tourist attractions that we have in Pictou West. We are looking forward to another good summer.

A couple of other assets I think we have in Pictou West would include Pictou Island, which is an area that is not well-known. It is an offshore island about five miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide. There are some of the friendliest people on earth found there and they would treat you right if you went over to visit on any given day.

The final thing I want to mention, Mr. Speaker, is that we do have a lot of festivals, a lot of events going on this summer, including the Lobster Carnival coming up from July 8th to July 11th. We have the International Gathering of the Clans from June 30th to July 7th. I mentioned earlier the Hector Festival, August 11th to August 15th, with the Bluenose. Finally, the River John Festival Days, they know how to do things right out in that community and there are a number of events, including the Lions Club breakfast every morning at 6:45 a.m., lots of entertainment including fiddle contests and old-time dances, a seniors day, a children's parade, a large yard sale and lobster dinner, all kinds of other events, it is July 25th to July 31st this year. Everybody is welcome to come join in.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, those are some of the good things and some of the concerns and issues in my riding of Pictou West. Thank you.

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

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to rise this afternoon as we are going into budget estimates, and speak briefly on one or two topics. Like the previous speaker, the beautiful constituency of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has many roads. The constituency is made up of some 63 communities and I am told that we have the largest number of communities of any constituency in Nova Scotia.

[Page 6834]

I should also note, Mr. Speaker, because I know you have a large constituency with a lot of roads that also have been grossly neglected. In fact, I have learned that the highway between Brooklyn and Walton, for example - the route number escapes me right now - but I am sure if the minister wanted to repave that and fix it up, you could certainly provide him with the route number of that highway.

I do plan on, Mr. Speaker, petitioning the Minister of Transportation and Public Works to look at all the ridings in the province and look at some of the roads that have been, as I indicated earlier, poorly maintained by this government. Now in the Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Route 224 and Route 289, relative to the 200-Series Highway, have the largest volume of commercial traffic in the province and I have made that allegation in this Legislature for the last nearly six years and never has the member opposite or in the NDP caucus, stood to refute that claim. So I take that statement and that comment to be supported by all members in the Legislature. So I would ask the minister, and I realize that his budget has been cut in terms of gross expenditures and in spite of his protestations, his budget has been cut some nearly $32 million because this government can't get an agreement with Ottawa.

This government has been unsuccessful in its negotiations and deliberations with Ottawa. We have seen our forestry agreement has expired, our fishing agreements have expired and our highway agreements, all resource-based agreements, that were cost-shared between Ottawa and Nova Scotia under this Liberal Government, have expired. Now the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, who I don't dispute is a fine gentleman, has made a trip or two to Ottawa, with cap in hand, and he has tried but he hasn't had very much success. He came back with his cap, I think, well, maybe they even took his cap, Mr. Speaker, but the fact of the matter is, Ottawa has turned its back on the Province of Nova Scotia.

You know, it is a shame that Ottawa is treating this province like that because what it has meant is that the public infrastructure in Nova Scotia has deteriorated. It has deteriorated to such a state that many of us, and not just politicians, but many Nova Scotians and people from outside of Nova Scotia, motorists, are really concerned. They are concerned about their safety being compromised.

Now, Mr. Speaker, this government uses statistics that indicate, at least, I don't know how factual they are, but this government used statistics to indicate that a commercial vehicle, a tractor-trailer combination, now I don't know if that is running a tandem-tridem or a tandem-tandem, but anyway, an 18-wheeler is basically the equivalent of some - how many cars is it, Mr. Minister?

AN HON. MEMBER: Twelve hundred.

[Page 6835]

MR. TAYLOR: Twelve hundred cars. So the point I am making is that when this government is calculating the number of vehicles that travel up and down Route 289, up through the beautiful Upper Stewiacke Valley, and Route 224 through the beautiful Musquodoboit Valley, then if we have the largest volume of trucks and each truck is equivalent of 1,200 cars, then we have the largest volume of vehicles not only in Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, we have the largest volume of traffic on any of our highways.

[4:00 p.m.]

So, Mr. Minister, businesses like MacTara, the largest sawmill producer in the Province of Nova Scotia, resides in Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley; Ledwidge Lumber, the second largest producer, resides in Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. Those businesses necessitate heavy commercial vehicles to travel up and down those highways. The minister and this government - well, the Minister of Finance is certainly within earshot - and the Minister of Finance should look at the valuable contribution that businesses in the Musquodoboit and Stewiacke Valleys make to this province. They provide this province with a lot of job opportunities and a lot of economic benefits through jobs, tax dollars and spin-offs, et cetera. We also have Atlantic Explosives in Upper Musquodoboit; Mosher Limestone, which again requires a lot of heavy vehicles to travel up and down Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley roads.

People are really becoming concerned, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Transportation. They are very concerned that if something is not done soon, the consequences could be quite severe and perhaps we could, God forbid, have a tragedy because there are just so many vehicles travelling our roads and they are in such poor shape that negotiating them is very difficult. I think the minister understands, or at least he should comprehend that we are very concerned about our public infrastructure, roads and bridges, in the Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

I have to say in the last six years, since this Liberal Government took office in May 1993, Mr. Speaker, and I know your roads have been completely neglected in Hants West, but we have had the misfortune of having a similar type of service imposed upon us in Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. I have to tell you as MLA, my riding has the largest kilometres of secondary gravel roads in any riding, it is extremely difficult to get the Department of Transportation to provide the residents on the gravel roads with calcium chloride. I am in no way, shape or form criticizing the operational supervisors and their staff. They have to work within the budget that this government gives them. If they could, I am sure they would not have any difficulty with applying calcium chloride once or twice a year, but residents are being told that because the budget has been cut so drastically that perhaps only one application may be put down this year. I think that is irresponsible and, again, if that is the policy that this government is taking, it will contribute again to unsafe roads.

[Page 6836]

Another problem I believe that is provincial in nature is the fact that it is very hard to get some gravel put on our secondary roads. It is very hard to get ditching. There used to be a time, Mr. Speaker, when the Department of Transportation would be out every day trying to ditch some of our back roads and alleviate some of the concerns that poor ditching has.

MR. SPEAKER: I wonder if the honourable member could just pause for a moment for an introduction?

MR. TAYLOR: Yes, absolutely.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

HON. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the member for permitting this introduction. Through you, we have two special guests attending the FCM Conference; Councillor Eileen Bieswawger and the municipal clerk, Helen MacDonald, from the District of St. Mary's, if they would stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to welcome our guests to the gallery.

Mr. Speaker, when we have had an opportunity to look at the resolutions on estimates and Crown Corporations' business plan for the fiscal year coming up, April 1, 1999, to March 31, 2000, we cannot help but notice that this government is asking members to approve a sum not exceeding $847 million to defray expenses in respect of debt servicing costs. I cannot help but wonder if that is not an increase of over $94 million from last year's cost to service a debt in this province.

Hospitals and regional health boards under this Liberal Government were permitted and given the flexibility to run up deficits that were never charged to the current Public Accounts of this province for, say, the last three years and, as a result, what this government has done - and they have done it, I guess, I cannot accuse them of having an ulterior motive because it is right here in black and white what this government has done - they added those costs to the debt, so our children and our children's children will have to pay off those debts down the road, and I think that is unconscionable.

All governments across Canada, especially since the early- to mid-1990's, during this decade, have tried - and some quite successfully - to balance their budgets. When you look at the monies that must be approved to service the debt it is very disturbing.

I had an opportunity, along with our Leader, and Gordon Balser and Jamie Muir, to sit through Hoogoven's no-plan. They made a presentation to the PC caucus and I placed a question to Mr. Rudderham as to what the debt for fiscal year 1998-99 was, the deficit. We were told - and I think my memory serves me well - that the deficit for last year was $106

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million and that too, to my way of thinking, has been added to the debt of this province, and it has been pointed out in this Legislature also, we're concerned about the debt that Nova Scotia Resources Limited is incurring and continues to make.

As far as I am concerned, it is very disturbing when a government lets expenditures exceed revenues, especially in this day and age when the taxpayers are demanding accountability, when the economy is, by the government's numbers, allegedly improving - but don't tell somebody who doesn't have a job that the economy is improving - so we will have certainly more to say about that concern when we get into budget estimates.

It is also very disturbing - just to shift gears back to Transportation and Public Works - that the government, by way of a press release, tried once again on Friday to pat themselves on the back. Perhaps, figuratively speaking, we could say they let their heads swell regarding maintaining the provincial contribution they make to the Department of Transportation and Public Works expenditure. I think rural Nova Scotians have the poultice to take the swelling down that the government has because when people start calling and writing, and they have been calling and writing about the destitute state of the roads in rural Nova Scotia, they will, when given the opportunity - I think the Minister of Transportation may understand this but I am not so sure about the Minister of Finance and the Premier - the electorate out there at large will take their wrath out on that government. They proved it back in March 1998. They proved it then and I have no doubt whatsoever that once again, if given the opportunity, the people will show the Liberal Government what they think of their plan for Transportation and Public Works in this province.

It seems to me that a veteran member of this Legislature, sitting not too far away, said, yes, health care is number one, if you need health care it is a number-one priority, but when you get on the doorsteps or you get in the coffee houses, or in the service stations, or in the police stations, or you get wherever you want to go and talk with people, the first thing they bring up is highways and roads. I think the Minister of Transportation understands that and, Mr. Speaker, I know you understand it. Your folks sent you back to this Legislature time and time again and, when you were around knocking on doors, I bet that more than once individuals brought up the concern about the public infrastructure in this province, which is and has been (Interruptions) Yes, no question, health care is extremely important, we all recognize the importance of health care, but this government has to fess up and tell Nova Scotians that they have been poor negotiators with their federal cousins in Ottawa, the Jean Chretien Liberals.

They have a disastrous record here, as indicated earlier; Devco came down and treated people very poorly. Where was the Minister of Labour, for example, when that announcement was made? Any time Ottawa expends some of the Canadian taxpayers' money in this province, the provincial Liberals are not too far behind them, they might be beside them; they certainly have no difficulty going to those types of announcements, but where were they when the announcement relative to Devco came down?

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Mr. Speaker, with all respect, I think a number of them were quite frankly hiding. The Premier was nowhere to be found. The electorate, the Cape Bretoners, Nova Scotians right across this province from one end to the other - their day of reckoning is coming. The people at large, they know what is happening in this province relative to health care, they know what is happening regarding Sysco, they know what is happening regarding transportation issues, and they also have some concerns with education, there is no question about that.

I just hope this government understands the mess that they have created and the mismanagement that has been done to this province. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[4:12 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Donald Chard in the Chair.]

[8:12 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Ronald Russell, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made some progress in considering Supply and asks leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 105.

Bill No. 105 - Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

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HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move third reading of Bill No. 105.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Yarmouth. (Applause)

MR. JOHN DEVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this bill on third reading. I and my caucus recognize that this bill is a step in the right direction. I have spoken with many a lobster fisher and buyer and although they, like I, support this bill, we all recognize that this is only a first step; this is only a beginning.

Mr. Speaker, there is much more work to be done. The necessity, the importance to get a handle on the illegal fishery is demanded by our fishers and our coastal communities. Their livelihood needs to be protected. The economies of coastal communities need to be protected. However, another message needs to be sent and that message is that illegal fishing will not be tolerated. The free ride is over. They will be prosecuted and they will be held accountable. I do, though, caution the government to listen and involve all stakeholders in the future in dealing with the illegal fishery. Their input is paramount. They know the industry best.

In this House, Mr. Speaker, whenever the issue of the illegal fishery came up, as this evening, I have been emphasizing the involvement of all stakeholders. When this legislation came before the House, my office started receiving numerous calls from concerned fishers and buyers who were frustrated and angered that they were ignored, that they were not consulted. I feel that if more consultation had happened, the minister would have realized that fishers are pleased that the maximum fines have increased, but they have insisted to me, though, that the bill would have more teeth if the minimum fines had been increased. They have expressed concerns that the courts would have too much flexibility in prosecuting illegal buyers and fishers, but as I have stated earlier, the industry recognizes this as a first step but are insistent that they need to be more involved.

[8:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, again, I rise in support and now I will take my seat. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

MR. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I rise on third reading for a few brief comments in regard to this bill. I had indicated in second reading that our caucus will be supporting this Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act. The biggest thing is that this is permissive legislation that will allow the government to bring in regulations which will clearly outline what will be expected of fish buyers and also of fish processors. You have to catch both of them, because there are some people who do some processing; if you want to do investigation and you want to be able to demand information and site inspection, these regulations are really what is required.

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Mr. Speaker, the big concern that I have in this - and I know that the minister is well meaning by bringing this forward and saying that he wants to have this passed as quickly as possible whereby we can move forward and do some enforcement, but I go back to my comments that I said before - I do not believe in all honesty that the minister has the staff to do the enforcement. If you have legislation and you have regulations that are outlined, we are still in a situation where the minister, in his capacity as the representative of the fishing industry in this province, will have a very difficult task to find people to enforce any kind of regulations that he has intended.

I know that the minister has put out some information questionnaires to buyers, I have seen one personally and I have gone through it. I think it is good to have input. I still bring up the point as to why the minister didn't start this earlier. This is not a difficult process. We have been asking, especially, for changes in reporting requirements for fish buyers in my area. The thing that has been very difficult for DFO officers in their capacity to monitor lobster sales is to do on-site inspections when people are trying to sell to fish buyers.

It is my understanding that they follow people who they believe are involved in illegal activities and they ventured into licensed establishments, closed the doors behind them, and the officers couldn't get in. There is something wrong with that scenario. If you are trying to enforce something, you somehow have to have the teeth.

I think this Act itself is good. I don't know why it took so long to bring it forward, but I will say once again, the Technology and Inspection Branch which has the capacity to do the enforcement has only 15 positions altogether and that has been cut back to less than 14 in this budget, so I have no idea who is going to do all this searching, all this inspection. Obviously during our estimates, we will be asking the minister specifically as to what he has intended for enforcement staff, whether he plans to go out and contract; if it is, it isn't in his budget, I have looked through it.

With those few comments, whereby I indicate my support for the bill, I still think that there is a lot to do beyond what has been tabled here today. This is a good start, but I still go to my last comment, it should have been done sooner, but we will support it in third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Fisheries.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to wrap up debate with just a very few words. First of all, I would like to thank the two Opposition Parties for supporting us with this very important bill and I really appreciate the amendments they put forward, I think it has added some more teeth to the bill and made it more credible, which I really thank them for and I think that is very appropriate.

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As I said initially, this is an all-Party issue that we cannot tolerate in Nova Scotia. I have said repeatedly that we will not tolerate illegal fishing in Nova Scotia, processing, or anything else to go with the fishing industry that is going to disrupt the livelihood of so many people in rural Nova Scotia. This is a major step forward in enforcement in the fishing industry of Nova Scotia. In the coming months the people of Nova Scotia will see just how effective a tool this is going to be.

There was some discussion by the Official Opposition that more consultation was needed. This is not the type of bill we need consultation with, this is one we need action on. There is consultation needed in the future on some other issues that we will be going to the public and the industry with and it is so important to make sure we have their input to make things better in the industry and make our enforcement better. Our regulations will soon be brought forward in our ongoing plan to curb this illegal fishing activity and they will tie in closely to the bill and to the other regulations of both federal Fisheries and other enforcement officers.

This bill has plugged some serious holes in enforcement that no other department, federally or provincially could do. The fact that we can now get proper information, we can make possession an illegal act and several other things we can do have added a lot of teeth to this bill to go along with the fines. The bill has a lot of teeth and the way we have structured it now with enforcement, we also have the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans enforcement officers deputized to utilize their skills, manpower and their resources to charge people the same as our own people can in our department. This is the first time in history this has happened.

We have also had a very interesting thing happen just last week. Customs and Excise called us and asked us if they could join the task force. According to the people in the RCMP, our department and DFO, this has never happened before. They evidently feel that they can have a real impact and the fact that we are bringing this new bill forward has really moved them forward as well. So we can get some convictions and the convictions could even be laid by them and we can move these things forward to stop this activity.

The changes have taken a lot longer than I would have liked to see them take, but we had to put a seamless process in place to make sure our regulations, our law, and our penalties fit in with what DFO and Revenue Canada were doing. Everyone forgets about Revenue Canada in this issue. They are probably the most key player we have and by tying all their information together and giving a proper audit trail, we are now going to be able to charge people and assess them with taxes, even if they are not convicted in court. I feel that is going to be a major deterrent in the battle to get this thing eliminated. We have to eliminate it in the Province of Nova Scotia.

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As time goes on we will make announcements on exactly how big this business is in Nova Scotia, this illegal activity; it is beyond belief, is the only way to put it. It is nice to see the fishing industry supporting us on this and it is really pleasant to see the fishermen now, the fishing communities and the processors actually helping us to shut down this illegal activity. It is nice, on an enforcement issue, to have all of the players, except the illegal activity players, of course, supporting this effort.

Again, I will close by simply saying that illegal fishing will not be tolerated, illegal processing will not be tolerated and illegal possession of fish products in this province will not be tolerated. Again, I thank the Opposition Parties for support and I move third reading of Bill No. 105.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 105. Would all those in favour of the motion please Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[8:24 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Frank Corbett in the Chair.]

[8:47 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Ronald Russell, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 95 - Lunenburg Common Lands Act.

Bill No. 102 - Petroleum Resources Removal Permit Act.

Bill No. 103 - Gaelic College Foundation Act.

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Bill No. 106 - Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities Act.

Bill No. 108 - Health Council Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be read a third time on a future day.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, that completes the government's agenda for this evening. The House will reconvene tomorrow between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Following the daily routine and Question Period, we will be in Committee of the Whole House on Supply. Following that, the government will be calling Bill No. 113, the Financial Measures (1999) Act and such other business that we may determine between the three House Leaders if there is sufficient time to do anything else.

I move that we do now adjourn until 12:00 p.m. tomorrow.

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.

[The House rose at 8:48 p.m.]