The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Mon., May 31, 1999

First Session

MONDAY, MAY 31, 1999

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3089, Health: Access Awareness Week (N.S.) (30/05-05/06/99) -
Recognize, Hon. F. Cosman (by Hon. R. MacKinnon) 6437
Vote - Affirmative 6438
Res. 3090, NSGEU - Joan Jessome: President - Congrats.,
Hon. R. MacKinnon 6438
Vote - Affirmative 6439
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 110, Yarmouth Area Industrial Commission Tax Exemption Act,
Mr. N. LeBlanc 6439
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3091, NSGEU - Joan Jessome: President - Congrats.,
Mr. R. Chisholm 6439
Vote - Affirmative 6440
Res. 3092, NSGEU - Joan Jessome: President - Congrats., Dr. J. Hamm 6440
Vote - Affirmative 6441
Res. 3093, Environ.: McIntosh Run Watershed Assoc. - Congrats.,
Mr. R. Chisholm 6441
Vote - Affirmative 6441
Res. 3094, Justice - Crown Prosecutors: Concerns - Prioritize,
Mr. M. Scott 6442
Res. 3095, Agric. - Apple Blossom Festival: Queen Annapolisa (67th) -
Julie Barbara White (New Minas) Congrats., Hon. R. Harrison 6442
Vote - Affirmative 6443
Res. 3096, Environ. - Awards (N.S.): Bradley Beaver (Timberlea) -
Winner Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 6443
Vote - Affirmative 6444
Res. 3097, Guysborough Lions Club: Anniv. 25th - Congrats.,
Hon. R. White 6444
Vote - Affirmative 6445
Res. 3098, Culture - Arts Council: Grant Recipients - Congrats.,
Ms. E. O'Connell 6445
Vote - Affirmative 6445
Res. 3099, Educ. - New Germany Elem. Sch.: Improvements -
Arrange, Mr. M. Baker 6446
Res. 3100, Environ. - Sydney Tar Ponds: Environ. Pollutants
(Frederick St.) - Relocation Criteria Outline, Ms. Helen MacDonald 6446
Res. 3101, Oakhill Dist. Fire Dept.: Anniv. 25th - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Baker 6447
Vote - Affirmative 6447
Res. 3102, Youth: Awards (Entrepreneurship) - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Montgomery 6448
Res. 3103, Justice - Crown Prosecutors: Reports Ignored - Condemn,
Mr. Kevin Deveaux 6448
Res. 3104, Commun. Serv. - Sheltered Workshop (Clare):
Clarence Comeau (Saulnierville) - Funding Provision Thank,
Mr. N. LeBlanc 6449
Vote - Affirmative 6449
Res. 3105, Health - Hospitals (HRM): Rating (3rd-Maclean's Mag.) -
Congrats., Mr. G. Fogarty 6450
Vote - Affirmative 6450
Res. 3106, Fish. - Sport Weekend (05-06/06/99): Opportunity - Applaud,
Hon. K. Colwell 6450
Vote - Affirmative 6451
Res. 3107, Environ. - Awards (N.S.): Dartmouth HS - Winner Congrats.,
Mr. D. Chard 6451
Vote - Affirmative 6452
Res. 3108, Environ. - Climate Change: Regs./Policies - Currency Ensure,
Mr. J. DeWolfe 6452
Res. 3109, Sysco - Support (Gov't. [N.S.]): PC (N.S.) Leader -
Endorse, Mr. P. MacEwan 6453
Res. 3110, Health - Frank Macdonald (Oran): Speedy Recovery -
Best Wishes Convey, Mr. F. Corbett 6453
Vote - Affirmative 6454
Res. 3111, Fish. - Lobster: Illegal Fishing - Bill No. 105 Recognize,
Mr. G. Balser 6454
Res. 3112, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hwy. No. 101: Work Postponed
Announcement - Standard New, Mr. John Deveau 6455
Res. 3113, Housing & Mun. Affs. - Bible Hill Vil. Comm'n.:
Tom Burke & Earl McKenna - Election Congrats., Mr. B. Taylor 6455
Vote - Affirmative 6456
Res. 3114, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Min.: Prospect Rd. - Travel,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 6456
Res. 3115, Health - Cancer Soc. (Can.): Dal. Univ. Student Union -
Charity Ball Congrats., Mr. E. Fage 6456
Vote - Affirmative 6457
Res. 3116, Educ. - Parrsboro RHS: Music Prog. - Reinstate, Mr. M. Scott 6457
Res. 3117, Justice - HRM Police: Reduction - Consequences Remind,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6458
Res. 3118, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Upper Clements Theme Park:
Hanse Soc. (Volunteers) - Congrats., Mr. G. Balser 6459
Vote - Affirmative 6459
Res. 3119, Fin. - Budget (1999-2000): Drama - Cut, Mr. H. Epstein 6460
Not Tabled 6460
Res. 3120, Commun. Serv.: Access Awareness Week (N.S.)
(30/05-05/06/99) - Recognize, Mr. J. Muir 6461
Vote - Affirmative 6461
Res. 3121, NDP (N.S.) - Campaign Workers (N.S.): Lesson
(Crusty the Lobster) - Learn, Mr. Charles MacDonald 6461
Res. 3122, Culture - "Young Guns" Band: Name Change - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Dexter 6462
Vote - Affirmative 6463
Res. 3123, Educ. - Pupil Transport. Conf. (N.S.): Award Winners
(Anna. Valley Sch. Bd. & Kings Co. Firms) - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Moody 6463
Vote - Affirmative 6463
Res. 3124, Environ. - Awards (N.S.): Ken Partridge (Burnside News) -
Congrats., Mr. J. Pye 6463
Vote - Affirmative 6464
Res. 3125, Commun. Serv. - "Men at Peace" Prog. (Yar.): Funding -
Provide, Mr. N. LeBlanc 6464
Res. 3126, Sports - Golf: Future (Former Lib. MLAs) -
Consequences Investigate, Mr. C. Parker 6465
Res. 3127, Environ. - Global Warming: Clean N.S. Foundation -
Work Recognize, Mr. J. DeWolfe 6465
Res. 3128, Sports - Volleyball (Juvenile Women's "A" Cdn. Champs.):
Lakers (N.S.) - Reps. Congrats., Mr. P. Delefes 6466
Vote - Affirmative 6467
Res. 3129, Sports - Orienteering (N. American Open Champs 1999 -
Tatamagouche): Dawson McWade & J.P. Hastey (Cumb. Co.) -
Winners Congrats., Mr. E. Fage 6467
Vote - Affirmative 6468
Res. 3130, Health - Doctor Crisis: Rural Areas - Miscommunications,
Dr. H. Bitter-Suermann 6468
Res. 3131, Sports - Gymnastics: Kris Burley (Truro) -
Success (World) Congrats., Mr. J. Muir 6468
Vote - Affirmative 6469
Res. 3132, Educ. - Curriculum (JHS): Family Studies & Tech. Ed. -
Maintain, Mr. Kevin Deveaux 6469
Res. 3133, Health - Doctors (New): Nos. - Documents Table,
Mr. G. Moody 6470
Res. 3134, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Min.: Musquodoboit &
Stewiacke Valleys - Roads Travel, Mr. B. Taylor 6470
Res. 3135, Housing & Mun. Affs. - HRM (Lake Major Plant):
Private (Skills)/Public (Ownership) - Recognize, Mr. H. Epstein 6471
Res. 3136, Educ. - LeMarchant-St. Thomas Sch.: Interactive
Journey (Internet) - Use Congrats., Mr. P. Delefes 6471
Vote - Affirmative 6472
Res. 3137, Nat. Res.: Wolfe Research (Can. Ctr.-Shubenacadie) -
Success Wish, Mr. C. Parker 6472
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 107, Tobacco Access Act 6473
Hon. J. Smith 6473
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6476
Mr. G. Moody 6478
Mr. R. Chisholm 6481
Dr. J. Hamm 6483
Mr. D. Chard 6486
Hon. J. Smith 6487
Vote - Affirmative 6488
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. R. Harrison 6488
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 108, Health Council Act 6489
Mr. G. Moody 6489
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6489
Hon. J. Smith 6489
Mr. G. Moody 6490
Vote - Affirmative 6490
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 8:56 P.M. 6490
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 8:58 P.M. 6490
CWH REPORTS 6490
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., June 1st at 2:00 p.m. 6491

[Page 6437]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, MAY 31, 1999

Fifty-seventh General Assembly

First Session

7:00 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

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3089

HON. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of my colleague, the honourable Minister of Community Services. I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

6437

[Page 6438]

Whereas each year in Nova Scotia since 1988, there has been a week set aside to honour and support the 189,000 Nova Scotians with a disability; and

Whereas the mission of the Partnership for Access Awareness - Nova Scotia is to improve the quality of life for all Nova Scotians with disabilities through the promotion of diversity and inclusion; and

Whereas the attainment of this mission will require understanding and empathy on the part of all citizens;

Therefore be it resolved that in this House we join in recognizing the week of May 30th to June 5, 1999 to be Nova Scotia Access Awareness Week.

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 Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3090

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 membership of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union has grown to 21,000 members, 70 per cent of which are women; and

Whereas on Saturday, May 29, 1999 the membership of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union elected Joan Jessome as their President; and

Whereas Joan Jessome is the first woman President in the 42 year history of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union;

[Page 6439]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Assembly congratulate Joan Jessome and her new executive on their election, herself as President, and the membership of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union for their refreshing and enlightened attitude.

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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 110 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 35 of the Acts of 1991. The Yarmouth Area Industrial Commission Tax Exemption Act. (Mr. Neil LeBlanc)

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. 3091

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

Whereas Joan Jessome has been elected President of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union; and

Whereas she is the first woman to be elected president of the largest union in Nova Scotia and an employee in the vitally important health care sector; and

Whereas she represents a generation of labour leadership who have come to the forefront in the relatively harsh economic and fiscal climates of the 1980's and 1990's;

[Page 6440]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Joan Jessome on her historic election as President of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union and affirm the value of a relationship with mutual respect between government and the NSGEU.

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 Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 3092

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

Whereas Joan Jessome was elected President of the NSGEU during its annual convention during the weekend; and

Whereas Ms. Jessome has an impressive history of bringing labour issues to the fore, serving as immediate first vice-president to former president David Peters; and

Whereas Ms. Jessome is the first female to be elected to this important and demanding position;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Ms. Jessome on her impressive milestone and wish her all the best in fulfilling her new and demanding responsibilities as President of the NSGEU.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 6441]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3093

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

Whereas this past Saturday, May 29th, the McIntosh Run Watershed Association held a clean-up of the McIntosh Run, the community river and the only river that runs through the Halifax area; and

Whereas the cleaning blitz started at two locations, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 152 on Sussex Street in Spryfield and the fire station in Herring Cove; and

Whereas the clean-up was also sponsored by the area Lions Club, the Chebucto Boys and Girls Club, Legion members, the 152nd Air Cadet Squadron and both Spryfield and Herring Cove area junior high school students and J.L. Ilsley High School students as well as area residents;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all the tireless volunteers who helped with the clean-up and contributed to the community stewardship of the McIntosh Run and its tributaries.

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 Cumberland South.

[Page 6442]

RESOLUTION NO. 3094

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

Whereas a working group on employee-employer relations for the Public Prosecution Service initiated by the former Minister of Justice over a year ago, submitted his final report over three months ago; and

Whereas the Minister of Justice has not yet moved to implement the recommendations of this report despite the urging of the Kaufman report to resolve this lingering dispute; and

Whereas long-standing issues continue to create frustration among Crown Prosecutors and contribute to what Kaufman referred to as a disturbing malaise;

Therefore before it resolved that the Minister of Justice and the Liberal Government start treating these concerns as a top priority and immediately move to implement the recommendations of the working group.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

Before tabling that resolution I would like to take a look at it.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 3095

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

Whereas each year, as part of the Apple Blossom Festival, a highlight is the selection and coronation of Queen Annapolisa; and

Whereas this year during the 67th Apple Blossom Festival 13 princesses, representing towns and villages from across the Annapolis Valley, all vied for the title Queen Annapolisa; and

[Page 6443]

Whereas Princess New Minas, Julie Barbara White, daughter of Kevin and Jean White, was selected as Queen Annapolisa the 67th;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Julie White and the Village of New Minas on the coronation of Queen Annapolisa the 67th.

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.

Order, please, just for one moment. The notice of motion by the honourable member for Cumberland South is okay.

Resolution No. 3094 is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 3096

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

Whereas on Friday, May 28th, various individuals and organizations were recognized at the Nova Scotia Environmental Awards Ceremony; and

Whereas among these award winners was Grade 12 Sir John A. Macdonald High School student, Bradley Beaver of Timberlea, who was honoured for his regional science fair project entitled Electrodialysis: The Effect of Electric Current/Fields on Oil; and

Whereas Brad concludes that if this process is further studied, it could become a method of containment of an oil spill;

Therefore be it resolved that this House offer its congratulations to Bradley Beaver with best wishes in his future endeavours.

[Page 6444]

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 Kings North on an introduction.

MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce to you and all the members of the House, the wife of our member, Michael Baker, Cindy Baker, sitting in the gallery and if she could rise. Today is a very special day in their marriage because it is their 19th wedding anniversary. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3097

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

Whereas the Guysborough Lions Club celebrated its 25th Anniversary over the weekend; and

Whereas for the past 25 years Guysborough area Lions have demonstrated their commitment to their community and dedication to serve others; and

Whereas there are now nearly 1.5 million Lions in 170 countries around the globe who raise millions of dollars for countless worthy charities;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the contribution made by all Lions Clubs across Nova Scotia with a special congratulation to the Guysborough Lions Club on a quarter of a century of service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

[Page 6445]

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 Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 3098

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 the Nova Scotia Arts Council has recently funded 33 projects using its peer review process for applications; and

Whereas these include grants for production, touring, commissioning and professional development; and

Whereas just a few of the funded arts groups and artists are Eastern Front Theatre, Shakespeare by the Sea, the Annapolis Royal Community Arts Council, the Bear River Music Society and the Whitney Pier Festival of Visual Arts Society;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the current grant recipients and the Arts Council for its three highly successful years of operation.

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 Lunenburg.

[Page 6446]

RESOLUTION NO. 3099

[7:15 p.m.]

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

Whereas a group of parents have formed to press for improvements to the New Germany Elementary School; and

Whereas a public meeting was held on May 28, 1999, which was attended by a large number of concerned parents; and

Whereas the New Germany Elementary School requires improvements to its physical environment and the playground equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education and Culture immediately contact the Southwest Regional School Board to arrange for necessary improvements to the New Germany Elementary School to ensure that all Nova Scotia children receive the same quality of education.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 3100

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 Liberal Government is finally doing the right thing in relocating residents of Frederick Street; and

[Page 6447]

Whereas other residents, whose communities and homes have been invaded by toxic waste from the tar ponds, are wondering about their safety too and whether they will also be offered relocation; and

Whereas to date, the government has not outlined to residents the basis on which people can choose to be relocated;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of the Environment outline clear criteria for relocation and make these criteria available to Sydney and Whitney Pier residents.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 3101

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

Whereas the Oakhill District Fire Department is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its founding in 1999; and

Whereas the Oakhill District Fire Department has an outstanding record of service to its community; and

Whereas the contribution of volunteer firefighters to the health and safety of their communities is an example of the generosity, hard work and public spirit of Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate all of the members, past and present, of the Oakhill District Fire Department for their outstanding record of contribution to our province and wish them well in their 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.

[Page 6448]

The honourable member for Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3102

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

Whereas Nova Scotia received three best practice awards for youth entrepreneurship programs in Victoria earlier this month; and

Whereas the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development took two awards for its program to establish a network of Open for Business Locations across Nova Scotia and its Break into Business Camp; and

Whereas the Windsor/West Hants Youth Strategy captured an award for projects such as Job Resource Centre, the Venture Centre, and the Youth Internship Canada Program;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize, support and honour the great work being done by our young people and governmental departments.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[The notice is tabled.]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3103

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

Whereas tomorrow is the 1st Anniversary of the Crown Attorneys' work stoppage to force the Liberal Government to treat them fairly; and

Whereas since the work stoppage, the Liberal Government has heard from Justice Kaufman, who recommended the government act immediately to address the concerns of the Crowns; and

Whereas a working group made up of government and Crown Attorney representatives recommended in January that an independent bargaining process be established;

[Page 6449]

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemn this Liberal Government for repeatedly ignoring numerous independent reports that recommend that the Crown Attorneys have the right to bargain freely with the government with regard to working conditions.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

MR. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, tonight I would like to make an introduction. In the west gallery, we have two members of the Nova Scotia Crown Attorneys office, Anne Calder and David Henry. I would ask that they rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 3104

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

Whereas the tremendous generosity of Clarence Comeau of Saulnierville is overwhelming and inspirational; and

Whereas Mr. Comeau has recently announced that he will be funding the expansion of a sheltered workshop for mentally and physically challenged adults in Clare; and

Whereas the much needed addition will double the current workplace and also double the number of participants who can partake in the workshop's programs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a sincere merci and thank you to Mr. Comeau for his extraordinary contributions to the community of Clare.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice and the question be put 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.

[Page 6450]

The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 3105

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

Whereas today the Canadian Institute of Health Information, along with Maclean's Magazine released the results of a survey of health care services in 16 Canadian cities; and

Whereas Halifax ranked third nationwide, behind only Toronto and Edmonton; and

Whereas health care in Nova Scotia's capital received the high rating for such services as coronary bypass surgery, knee replacements, and having the highest number of physicians and specialists per capita;

Therefore be it resolved this House congratulate staff of all metro area hospitals and commend all health care professionals in Nova Scotia for their commitment to providing the best possible health care services to the people of our province.

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.

I'm sorry? (Interruption) There was a Nay? I did not hear it, I am sorry.

Order please. I did not hear a Nay. I will have to let it go because I did not hear it, I am sorry.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 3106

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

[Page 6451]

Whereas this Saturday, June 5th, and Sunday, June 6th, mark the 5th Annual Nova Scotia Sport Fishing Weekend across this great angling province, an event which promotes sport fishing as one of life's greatest joys; and

Whereas this weekend is co-sponsored by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and involves the dedicated staff of the department's Inland Fishery in Pictou, along with co-sponsors like the Nova Scotia Smallmouth Angler's Association; and

Whereas the sport fishing weekend allows all Nova Scotians to join in the thrill of catching more than a dozen species of freshwater fish free while, at that same time, generating business, especially in rural communities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House applaud the opportunities for Nova Scotians to discover and rediscover the enjoyment of fishing.

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 Dartmouth South.

RESOLUTION NO. 3107

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 High School received a plaque at the Nova Scotia Environmental Awards Ceremony on May 28, 1999, in the education category; and

Whereas this award is an acknowledgement of the commitment of teachers and students at Dartmouth High to improving the environment at the school;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the staff and students of Dartmouth High for their outstanding achievement in these environmental endeavours and wish them continued success in this field.

[Page 6452]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3108

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

Whereas Canada has an unfortunate record when it comes to global warming; and

Whereas our nation has consistently ranked second in the world in greenhouse gas emissions on a per capita basis; and

Whereas last year the federal, provincial, and territorial Environment Ministers agreed to develop a national implementation strategy on climate change by the end of 1999;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of the Environment ensure that Nova Scotia's regulations and policies are up to date in addressing the serious issue of climate change.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

[Page 6453]

RESOLUTION NO. 3109

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 Progressive Conservative Party Leader has aroused resentment in the Sydney area by his fulminations against Sydney Steel; and

Whereas the Leader knows, or ought to know, that every unemployed steelworker wants to get back to work; and

Whereas there is no happier day in the unemployed steelworker's life than the day the telephone rings to call him back to the steel plant;

Therefore be it resolved the NDP Leader should get off the fence, as regards to Sysco, so the PC Leader should climb out of his ivory tower and endorse this government's support for the Sydney steel industry.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 3110

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

Whereas on Wednesday of last week, Inverness Oran's Frank Macdonald suffered a heart attack; and

Whereas Mr. Macdonald is recovering nicely at the Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital; and

Whereas Mr. Macdonald will be taking some time off to regain his health;

Therefore be it resolved that this House convey best wishes to Frank Macdonald for a speedy recovery and that we look forward to his return to the Oran.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6454]

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. 3111

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

Whereas illegal lobster harvesting in southwestern Nova Scotia has grown rapidly over the last few years and has resulted in damaging consequences to the industry; and

Whereas the bill introduced by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture last week is an important first step toward addressing this problem; and

Whereas the bill must be followed by a long-term commitment to action aimed at ending this illegal activity;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture recognize this bill as a first step and table in this House a long-term plan to ensure that the illegal harvesting is a thing of the past.

Mr. Speaker, I would 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 on an introduction.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure this evening, through you and to the House, to introduce some young visitors from my community. I would like to introduce to you, and I would ask them to stand, the 11 members present of the 1st Hammonds Plains Scouts. Accompanying them, are leaders and parents, Mr. Samson, Mr.

[Page 6455]

MacLean and Mr. Burton. Could you stand and receive the recognition of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 3112

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

Whereas in 1998, the Liberal health care priority turned out to be their non-priority; and

Whereas one year ago, the Finance Minister claimed a budget surplus, which turned into $109 million deficit; and

Whereas today, the highways minister is promising not to work on Highway No. 101 for at least another year;

Therefore be it resolved that the highway's minister has set a new standard by trumpeting his failure to start construction work on Highway No. 101 and this House awaits tomorrow's efforts by the Finance Minister to go even lower in this Liberal limbo dance.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 3113

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

Whereas municipal elections held in the Village of Bible Hill saw the re-election of two individuals to the Village Commission; and

Whereas Tom Burke and Earl McKenna were returned to office on May 8th, after letting their names stand for nomination; and

Whereas municipal politics is the grass roots of democracy;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend our best wishes to both Tom Burke and Earl McKenna for taking on elected duties and serving the residents of Bible Hill in a faithful and democratic process.

[Page 6456]

Mr. Speaker, I would 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. 3114

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 Prospect Road again this summer will continue to serve as a popular route to the tourist destination of Peggy's Cove; and

Whereas a business on this busy road is advertising "Pothole Specials" for wheel alignment work; and

Whereas this garage operator must be congratulated for drawing the attention to the poor state of the Prospect Road;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation travel the Prospect Road and then check his vehicle's wheel alignment at any service garage on this neglected Nova Scotia road.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3115

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

Whereas the Dalhousie Student Union recently held its 9th annual semi-formal charity ball; and

[Page 6457]

[7:30 p.m.]

Whereas the event was held to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society; and

Whereas due to the generosity of those who were in attendance, more than $5,400 was donated to the Canadian Cancer Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the generosity and hard work displayed by the organizers of this annual ball and congratulate all those who attended and made this year's event so successful.

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 Inverness.

MR. CHARLES MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the members of the House, I would like to make an introduction. In the gallery tonight we have Rania Sayde who is President of the Young Liberals Association of Nova Scotia, and with her is Doug Boudreau who is Regional Director. I would like them to stand and receive the applause of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 3116

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

Whereas 100 of the 350 students at Parrsboro Regional High School are enrolled in the instrumental music program; and

Whereas many of these students have given up their noon hours and after-school time to dedicate themselves to this program; and

[Page 6458]

Whereas many of these students now can't help but feel their dedication has been overshadowed because of this government's financial decisions;

Therefore be it resolved that the government dedicate an equal program opportunity for rural schools and begin to take the needs of rural students into consideration by working with the community to permanently reinstate the music program at the Parrsboro Regional High School, along with other programs in Cumberland County which are affected by the provincial funding formula.

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 Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 3117

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. It is very difficult to hear the resolutions.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Whereas in the past year the number of incidents of break, enter, assault and vandalism in Halifax's North End have remained unacceptably high; and

Whereas since 1996 the number of HRM police officers have been reduced by 60 members;

Therefore be it resolved that this government be reminded of the continuing negative impact of forced amalgamation on the residents of Halifax, in particular the unacceptable number of crimes in Halifax's North End.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[Page 6459]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3118

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

Whereas when the Hanse Society, a volunteer community organization took over the Upper Clements Park, it was sinking in mounting operational costs; and

Whereas under the management of the volunteer board things have turned around, with attendance targets for 1999 set at 105,000; and

Whereas many believe that the secret to the park's success lies in the dedication of the 90-plus community volunteers who work because they want to see the park thrive and prosper;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend congratulations and best wishes to the volunteers who have worked to make the Upper Clements Theme Park a success, and extend to them best wishes for the 1999 season.

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 Chebucto.

[Page 6460]

RESOLUTION NO. 3119

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

Whereas this Liberal Government is bringing down its long-awaited budget tomorrow; and

Whereas the Finance Minister has called it a surplus, then balanced, and now maybe not; and

Whereas all of this makes for fine drama but terrible accountability;

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government cut the drama and deceit, and take a new, straightforward and honest approach when they present the budget to Nova Scotians tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

HON. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I believe if we check with Beauchesne, the word "deceit" is strictly and clearly out of order.

MR. SPEAKER: I did not actually hear the word deceit; that is my difficulty, I am not hearing the . . .

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, perhaps if the honourable member would be kind enough to reread his resolution.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, since the honourable minister wanted to hear this again, I would be happy to.

Therefore be it resolved - are the operative words - that the Liberal Government cut the drama and deceit, and take a new, straightforward and honest approach when they present the budget to Nova Scotians tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The word "deceit" is unparliamentary and the honourable member will have to change that before it can be tabled.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

[Page 6461]

RESOLUTION NO. 3120

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

Whereas this year's Nova Scotia Access Awareness Week officially began May 30th and will continue through Saturday, June 5th; and

Whereas access has been recognized in many venues as a major concern of the community of persons with disabilities; and

Whereas the theme for 1999, Levelling the Playing Field for the New Millennium, highlights the need for persons with disabilities to receive fair treatment when it comes to issues of accessibility;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Nova Scotia Access Awareness Week and the efforts of all those who work to highlight the significance of accessibility.

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 Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 3121

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

Whereas last week a nine kilogram lobster named Crusty was returned to Nova Scotia to be set free off our coast; and

Whereas Crusty was found in a shipment of smaller lobsters in an Ontario restaurant; and

[Page 6462]

Whereas Crusty the lobster was one of the few visitors from Ontario that the NDP didn't try to recruit as a paid out-of-province campaign worker;

Therefore be it resolved that the NDP learn a lesson from Crusty the lobster, that when things look like they might boil over, always look for help closer to home, boys. (Laughter)

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 Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3122

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

Whereas the members of this Legislature look beyond the borders of this province to congratulate individuals who set good examples for young people; and

Whereas the country music stars, the Young Guns, have agreed to change the name of their band in light of the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado; and

Whereas in addition to changing the name of the band, members, aged 17 to 21, are donating the proceeds of their next single, Take This Heart, to the charity for the victims' families;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the members of this band for being positive role models and placing compassion above career.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 6463]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3123

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

Whereas honours were recently handed out at the Nova Scotia Pupil Transportation Conference held in Dartmouth; and

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board received the 1998 Gold Achievement Award for school bus transportation; and

Whereas awards at this year's conference also went to W.C. Rooney Transportation Limited of Canning, Perry Rand Limited of Cambridge, as well as G.N. Bezanson Trucking of Kentville;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate this year's award recipients and applaud their efforts at keeping students safe when travelling Nova Scotia's roads.

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 Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3124

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

[Page 6464]

Whereas Ken Partridge received a certificate of merit at the Nova Scotia Environmental Awards Ceremony on May 28, 1999, for the Burnside News, in the creative arts/cultural sector; and

Whereas this award is an acknowledgement of the commitment of the Burnside News to continuing improvement of the environment of the Burnside Business/Industrial Park;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Ken Partridge and the Burnside News for their outstanding achievement in the environmental area and wish them continued success in this field 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.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 3125

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

Whereas a Yarmouth-based program called Men at Peace is presently having difficulty handling the influx of cases given to them by the courts; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's Minister of Justice is on record as saying more charges than ever before are now being laid against spousal abusers while also noting an increase in convictions against such abusers; and

Whereas despite waiting for more than a year now to hear about their application for funding from the Department of Community Services, while also being refused financial support from the Department of Justice, the program remains in a state of uncertainty;

[Page 6465]

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government immediately review this program and remove this cloud of uncertainty facing the Men at Peace program in Yarmouth by providing them with the necessary financial resources to do their court appointed work properly.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3126

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

Whereas certain members of the Liberal caucus are of the opinion that excessive golfing is on a par with problem gambling; and

Whereas many members of the Liberal caucus do, from time to time, tee up a golf ball; and

Whereas after the next provincial election, many members of the Liberal caucus will, of course, have much more time to fall prey to the evil clutches of problem golfing;

Therefore be it resolved that this House fully investigate the serious social consequences of problem golfing that will surely arise among former Liberal MLAs.

I will ask for waiver, Mr. Speaker.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3127

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

[Page 6466]

Whereas it is predicted that a long-term consequence of global warming will be a rise in sea levels; and

Whereas such a consequence will have serious impacts on Nova Scotia's coastal regions; and

Whereas the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation has begun a series of five free public workshops on climate change across the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the efforts and hard work of Clean Nova Scotia and its Executive Director Meinhard Doelle in undertaking this public education campaign.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

MR. PETER DELEFES: Mr. Speaker, prior to making a resolution, I would like to introduce to members of this House Mr. Shawn Jolemore and Ms. Andrea Shakespeare who are seated in the west gallery. I would ask them to stand. Shawn is the coach of the Lakers, a Nova Scotia Juvenile Women's "A" Volleyball team, which recently represented Nova Scotia in the national championships in Newfoundland. Andrea is the captain of the Lakers. I would ask that the members of this House accord them a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 3128

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 Juvenile Women's Volleyball team, the Lakers, from May 7 to May 9, 1999, represented Nova Scotia at the national championships in St. John's, Newfoundland; and

[Page 6467]

Whereas the team, comprised of 13, 17 and 18 year old athletes from eight local high schools, coached by Shawn Jolemore, were competing in their first nationals;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Lakers for a fine competition and thank them for the terrific job they did representing 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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3129

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

Whereas the North American Orienteering Championship was held in Tatamagouche on the weekend of May 22nd; and

Whereas Dawson McWade and J.P. Hastey represented Cumberland County and Nova Scotia in the open all age group; and

Whereas Dawson and J.P. were successful in winning the competition and becoming the North American champions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and applaud the achievement of these two young Nova Scotia men.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6468]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 3130

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

Whereas the Ministers of Health and Finance made reassuring statements regarding the retainment of a Bridgewater paediatrician; and

Whereas they stated that negotiations had been successfully concluded; and

Whereas the negotiations, astonishingly enough, did not include the doctor himself;

Therefore be it resolved that the doctor crisis in rural Nova Scotia is the result of the inability of the Liberal Government to talk to the very doctors it claims to have talked to.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

[7:45 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 3131

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

Whereas Truro native, Kris Burley, recently won the senior men's division at the Canadian Artistic Gymnastics Championship in British Columbia; and

Whereas this victory demonstrates that Mr. Burley is the top artistic gymnast in Canada; and

Whereas Kris is a 1996 Olympian, a veteran of six world championships, a member of the gold medal winning 1994 Commonwealth Games team and in 1998 won a silver on the high bar at the Commonwealth Games;

[Page 6469]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Kris on his numerous accomplishments and wish him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 3132

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

Whereas family studies and technical education are the current names for the long-standing education programs of home economics and industrial arts; and

Whereas there has been a recent and disturbing trend towards the elimination of family studies and technical education from the curriculum of our junior high schools; and

Whereas the Department of Education is responsible for developing and maintaining school curriculum in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House encourage the Department of Education to maintain family studies and technical education as viable curriculum choices for our junior high school students.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

[Page 6470]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3133

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

Whereas the Minister of Health recently boasted his government has reversed the flow of doctors leaving Nova Scotia; and

Whereas tens of thousands of Nova Scotians still do not have a family doctor; and

Whereas despite evidence to the contrary, the minister claims that only three Nova Scotia communities are looking for family physicians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health table today whatever documentation he has that supports his claim that 143 new doctors established practice in Nova Scotia since 1997, including where they are working and under what licence.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 3134

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 public highway system in the beautiful Musquodoboit Valley and Stewiacke plays host to some of the heaviest truck traffic in Nova Scotia and eastern Canada; and

Whereas this public highway infrastructure is indeed a dangerous disgrace, especially Route 224 and Route 289; and

Whereas potholes, bumps, craters, cracks and heaves are the norm instead of the exception;

Therefore be it resolved that this Minister of Transportation and Public Works and this Liberal Government travel the scenic, beautiful Musquodoboit Valley and Stewiacke roads and experience some of the worst roads in North America.

[Page 6471]

Mr. Speaker, majority vote?

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 3135

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

Whereas today was the official opening of the Lake Major water treatment plant of the Halifax Regional Water Commission; and

Whereas the plant is often referred to as a P3 project, although it was only designed and built by the private sector but will be owned and operated by the public sector; and

Whereas design-build is more like traditional tendering than it is like P3;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the skills of the private sector in engineering construction and also the legitimate place of the public sector in owning and operating public facilities and services such as water treatment.

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.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 3136

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

Whereas LeMarchant-St. Thomas School, Halifax, Nova Scotia, recently hosted one of three cycling teams criss-crossing Canada as part of the Canada Heritage Interactive Journey; and

[Page 6472]

Whereas the Canada Heritage Interactive Journey utilizes the Internet to offer students across Canada an opportunity to communicate with each other about the culture, heritage, language and lifestyle of their own communities; and

Whereas students at all grade levels at LeMarchant-St. Thomas School have participated in the preparation of a website with information about their school and city;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the students and staff of LeMarchant-St. Thomas School for participating in the Canada Interactive Journey and for using information technology to make history and culture come alive in the classroom.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3137

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

Whereas Celtie, the 45 kilogram female wolf that escaped from the Canadian Centre for Wolf Research in Shubenacadie, is still on the lam; and

Whereas Jenny Ryon and a dedicated group of volunteers have spent many years working with this wolf pack; and

Whereas today the project relies entirely on charitable donations to raise the roughly $50,000 needed annually to continue;

Therefore be it resolved that this House wish the Canadian Centre for Wolf Research continued success in their research with Celtie and the rest of the wolf pack.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

[Page 6473]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 107.

Bill No. 107 - Tobacco Access Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for this opportunity. I am very pleased to rise in the House on what is known as World No Tobacco Day for the second reading of Bill No. 107, an Act to Amend Chapter 14 of the Acts of 1993, the Tobacco Access Act.

Perhaps, with your permission, if I could, in your gallery tonight, there is a group of people that has come to listen to the debate on Bill No. 107, the Tobacco Access Act. I would like to introduce Dr. Gerry Brosky, President of Smoke-Free Nova Scotia and Chair of the Medical Society Working Group on Tobacco; Dr. Michael Riding, the 1999-2000 President of the Medical Society of Nova Scotia and he is accompanied by Catherine Cole and Janet Robertson. I would like to say that this might well be Dr. Riding's first official act as the new President of the Medical Society of Nova Scotia, a very historic society, formed in 1867 - I think, here this evening - on the weekend in Digby-Pines.

Ms. Maureen Summers, Executive Director, the Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division; Sandra Aylward, President of the Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society; Sid Chedrawe, President of the Independent Food Stores Association, accompanied by Roger Khoury; and Elaine Shelton, Education/Lifestyles Coordinator, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia. I would like to thank those people for taking time this evening. I would ask the House to give them their usual warm welcome, if you would. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, smoking cessation has been selected as the international theme for World No Tobacco Day 1999, today. Smoking cessation is a critical step towards reducing the health risks of current smokers and thereby improving their health. Health professionals and,

[Page 6474]

in particular, pharmacists play an important role in promoting and in supporting smoking cessation among Nova Scotians.

This support can be actively demonstrated by legislation that would amend the Tobacco Access Act. The Act was created five years ago. Shortly afterward, the Department of Health established a tobacco control unit; Merv Ungurain is with me this evening, representing the Department of Health. This unit, the Tobacco Control Unit, is closely involved with public education initiatives and is also charged with enforcing the Tobacco Access Act which restricts the sale of tobacco products to youth under 19 years of age.

Mr. Speaker, the bill and parts of the bill, and I am sure it will bedebated, changed to accommodate matters relative to access, persons of all ages, not just minors. The amendments that have been proposed to the Tobacco Access Act represent movement forward in our goal to create comprehensive tobacco control legislation. The first proposed amendments are designed to strengthen the legislation around enforcement of the Tobacco Access Act.

Feedback from judges has indicated that adjustments in the legislation were, in fact, needed to help facilitate better enforcement. Enforcing the restriction of tobacco products to our youth is a vital component of our strategy and we must make sure the legislation allows us to enforce the restriction as effectively as possible. We hope these proposed amendments will do just that.

Another proposed amendment would change the way that tobacco products are displayed in retail outlets. Similar to New Brunswick and other jurisdictions, we want to prohibit countertop displays. These types of displays give tobacco products a very high profile and enhance promotion, particularly to our youth. We know that marketing is a key factor in the sale of tobacco products and if we can restrict one of the vehicles of that marketing strategy, then we may achieve greater success in reducing smoking rates.

An additional proposed amendment would prohibit the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. The ban of tobacco products in pharmacies is something that has already been dealt with elsewhere in many parts of Canada. Ontario was the first province in Canada to prohibit tobacco in pharmacies. Legislation to that effect was passed in 1994. New Brunswick did the same thing in 1997. Most recently, in 1998, Quebec passed legislation also banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. There is every indication that Alberta will follow the same route, following a recommendation of that province's professional body of pharmacists. We want the same type of legislation here in Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, and we believe we have the support of pharmacists, as well.

I have met with the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia on this issue, as have staff within the Department of Health. We have also met with the Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society, who are strong supporters of these amendments. We have also met with the College of Pharmacy at Dalhousie University and the Medical Society of Nova Scotia about this issue.

[Page 6475]

Pharmacists are among the most respected health professionals in our society and there is consensus among members that the sale of tobacco products in a pharmacy is, in fact, contrary to their ethical standards as health professionals. Indeed, in Ontario, it was the Ontario College of Pharmacists that recommended the Minister of Health ban tobacco products in pharmacies.

As a result of legislation, more than 4,000 pharmacies in Canada are not allowed to sell tobacco. Another 1,500 pharmacies have voluntarily stopped selling tobacco. That leaves about 1,000 pharmacies in Canada that still sell tobacco. We do not expect jobs to be lost if the legislation is amended. There are alternatives. We do not expect revenues in pharmacies to drop if the legislation is amended. We do not expect pharmacies to close if the legislation is amended. None of these things have happened in provinces where similar legislation has been enacted.

If the legislation is changed, we would expect to provide pharmacies a reasonable period of time to comply. Other provinces have said a period of four to six months. If the legislation is passed, as I hope it is, Mr. Speaker, I am proposing January 1, 2000 as the date for the changes to take effect. I want to emphasize again that the ban of tobacco products in pharmacies elsewhere in Canada has not led to a loss of jobs, decreases in revenue or closing of pharmacies, and we don't expect anything different here in Nova Scotia.

We are encouraged that many pharmacies have chosen not to sell hazardous tobacco products. It is encouraging that many pharmacists already believe that they should not be selling unhealthy products next to medicines and have, in fact, taken action to remove tobacco products from their drugstores. Not selling tobacco products in our pharmacies is a health message to all Nova Scotians and it is a key step along the road toward a more comprehensive legislative tobacco strategy, which will benefit the health of Nova Scotians.

[8:00 p.m.]

Our goal is to cut the rate of smoking, particularly among our youth. This is not an easy task. No one, single initiative can significantly reduce smoking rates. We hear from the tobacco companies that peddle their wares of death saying, well, there is no sense banning them from pharmacies because you are not going to lower the rate of smoking, and they quote statistics from certain provinces. We have to admit, there is no one, significant initiative that will do that but we have to do this a step at a time and we also need public support in doing that. A series of initiatives can do this so that is why we are creating comprehensive tobacco legislation that tackles this issue from a number of different directions. That is one of the reasons, as I have said, that we would like to follow the lead of New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, three provinces that have already passed legislation to take tobacco products out of pharmacies. Pharmacists in those provinces agree that the sale of tobacco products in a pharmacy does, in fact, send the wrong message.

[Page 6476]

I think that pharmacists in Nova Scotia will also agree that as health professionals who are highly respected and the most accessible health care providers often in a community - they are highly respected by the public - that they should not be selling products that do harm to people. We realize that we may face some challenges in these proposed amendments and our staff has been in close contact with the other provinces where similar legislation has been enacted. I suspect that our response to any challenges would be consistent with the way other provinces have responded to similar challenges.

When we look at these measures, you have to look at the long run. We are trying to change the environment here, an environment that promotes the sale of tobacco products. Certainly, there is a conflicting message when we find tobacco products for sale in a pharmacy. In addition, if someone is trying to stop smoking and asks the pharmacist for smoking cessation advice or counselling - which they are getting into more I am pleased to say and I commend them for that - it seems to me contradictory that the very product they are trying to stop using is readily available at the front counter of the same place.

The goal of reducing smoking rates is a long-term goal and we need to take many different steps. We have already taken significant steps with regard to enforcement. These proposed changes are another step and we won't stop there. It is our intention to continue moving forward to create comprehensive tobacco legislation. This is not simply removing a product from one market and displacing it to another. This is a sound message about health. We are trying to change attitudes and this has such an important impact on our youth.

In closing, I want to thank the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia for the time they spent consulting with us. I also want to thank the Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society for their valuable input. We also consulted other stakeholders and I want to thank them as well. They include the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Medical Society of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to have an opportunity to speak here on the floor of the House to Bill No. 107 and these amendments. For a long time members of this caucus have argued that Nova Scotia needs a comprehensive anti-tobacco strategy, a strategy that would have two goals that are very simple and very straightforward. One would be the goal of helping Nova Scotians with tobacco addiction kick the habit and the other, prevent Nova Scotians not yet addicted from taking up this practice; in particular, of course, when we talk about prevention, we are talking about our youth. This is a matter I will speak to in more detail in a moment.

[Page 6477]

In looking at Bill No. 107, amendments to the Tobacco Access Act, in light of our goals and objectives to see a comprehensive anti-tobacco strategy, an honest assessment of this bill would have to be that it does not do a great deal to meet either of these objectives. However, as a first step, timid as it may be toward a comprehensive anti-tobacco strategy, this bill does contribute to a health promotion kind of environment; it sets a tone, if you will. I would say on behalf of our caucus that members of the Pharmacy Association who have been working on this are to be congratulated for their contribution in urging this government to move forward, in some fashion, on what is an extremely important public issue, that of tobacco control.

The selling of products in pharmacies that contribute very much in our communities to the health and wellness and well-being of Nova Scotians while, at the same time, selling a substance that contributes to so much disease and illness and hardship in our society is indeed a contradiction. It must be a very difficult contradiction for the men and women in that particular industry to face from day to day. I am sure that pharmacists do not have to be reminded of the problems that are associated with tobacco products and smoking in our society.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, Mr. Speaker, more than 17,000 Canadians will die this year from lung cancer, an average of 48 a day, and more than 20,000 new cases will be diagnosed. The only cancer rate that is not stable or in decline is lung cancer deaths among women; this is truly a situation that is grave and it has to be of enormous concern to us all.

In Nova Scotia, the statistics are very shocking. Cancer rates in Nova Scotia, as we all know, are very high; they are unacceptably high. Cigarette smoking is to blame for 30 per cent of all cancer deaths and 85 per cent of lung cancers. In Nova Scotia, 690 people can expect to be diagnosed with lung cancer and the disease is expected to kill 700 people, many of whom would have been diagnosed before 1999. The researchers say that 14 Nova Scotians die weekly from lung cancer disease and that 14 people are diagnosed daily of the same disease.

Mr. Speaker, smoking costs Canadian taxpayers $3 billion in direct health care costs and another $7 billion in indirect costs; that is according to calculations by Health Canada in 1997. So, we have to be bold in our approach to dealing with what is an insidious situation that results in human tragedy and great personal cost, and also takes an enormous financial cost on our health care system, which we are all very aware is under a tremendous amount of pressure these days, and we need to be looking for ways to deal with these pressures, and certainly a strong, comprehensive approach to tobacco control is precisely what is required.

The jurisdictional responsibility for tobacco control in this country lies both at a provincial and at a federal level. This Premier and this Health Minister would certainly hold themselves and be seen in the community to be exercising some leadership if they would act

[Page 6478]

incisively and strongly to take up the call of the World Health Organization to governments throughout the world to protect future generations of our children by instituting strong tobacco control measures.

It is important to deal with the complexity of this issue, but not to become buried in a concern that is so complex that we can't deal with it, we can only move very slowly. The public support is there. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it is there. We have all received research that has been done out of York University, a survey that was done of MLAs in this House, and they continue to send us the results of their research. Certainly, there is a strong public mood for tobacco control, legislation that is comprehensive, that moves both to deal with people who have current addictions, but also to move quickly and decisively to deal with preventing young people taking up this habit.

The kinds of measures that are required are more regulation in public spaces, places where people are affected by second-hand smoke, education, aggressive public health education around prenatal care with respect to the impact of smoking on the foetus, we need regulation around packaging and promotion, and we certainly can stand to see an increase in the cost of cigarettes. It has proven to be the most significant deterrent in people taking up the practice of smoking.

In many countries and most notably in the United Kingdom, following the election of the Labour Party several years ago, they aggressively moved a wide variety of approaches, many of the things I have talked about here, but a central feature of that was to deal with the taxation of cigarettes to prohibit young people in particular from taking up this practice. We also need to continue our research. We need to know why people start smoking, and why it is so hard to give it up.

In closing, this caucus will be supporting this amendment to the bill, and we will be looking for stronger, comprehensive measures to deter people from starting smoking and to help people who want to kick the habit to do so. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation. I support the legislation because I think it does send the right signal, although unfortunately I am not sure that it addresses the problem we have. In other provinces that have put this legislation forward, such as Ontario, the effect on young people has been the opposite. It has been five years, maybe six, since we have had the legislation and as of today there are more young people smoking than when they banned them from the drugstores. So, obviously, we are sending the right signal, but the programs there aren't working and I don't believe they are working here either.

[Page 6479]

[8:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, our young people are so important. I believe it is at that age that we can have an effect on whether people smoke or not. As you know, when you get older like yourself or myself, it is difficult to change our lifestyle. It is difficult for us to give up things that we have been accustomed to or we are addicted to. But, for young people, if you never start smoking, obviously you never have to give it up and you never have the habit.

When we look at the taxes on liquor, we spend money in that area on programs to those who are addicted and we spend money on programs with young people on drinking. The government collects a large amount of tax on cigarettes and I would not object if it was even higher, Mr. Speaker. We don't turn around and spend that money. We all know that cancer is caused by smoking and we also know that second-hand smoke can cause cancer. So we know that smoking is harmful to us as humans and yet, we are not doing anything with regard to the tax money we collect to actually try to set up programs to do something about it. In the long run, we are paying more for health costs because many of these people end up not only with cancer, but with breathing problems, heart problems and all kinds of health problems can be related to lifestyle, which includes smoking.

Mr. Speaker, you cannot stop all of this. I know that. We can't stop drinking because it can be harmful. We can't stop drugs and we can't totally stop cigarettes. Drinking and driving has had a great effect because socially it is not acceptable anymore. It is becoming more socially unacceptable to go smoke in public places and around people when they are eating and that sort of thing. As we socially accept the fact that smoking is harmful and accept the fact that it is not the thing to do, we can make some progress.

Somebody sent me a note and they said if smoking is so harmful, why do we have a smoking room for the staff at the QE II. That is an institution to make people well. It doesn't sell cigarettes, but we are sort of promoting it if we provide areas and encourage people to go there and smoke. In wrapping up, we have health food stores and I don't know of any of them selling cigarettes, but will this legislation eliminate them from selling cigarettes, if they so decided? Maybe the minister might know. You have a health food store and you so decide to sell cigarettes, does this legislation affect them or does this just affect somebody who sells prescription drugs? I don't know.

I know that we are trying to send the right signal. I don't think that it really matters, I think the retailers in the province are trying their best to cope with not selling to minors. But the problem is, they get others to buy the cigarettes and they give them to somebody and there is no penalty for that, but there is a huge penalty for me to sell them at the store to somebody. So I can give them away if I am a friend of somebody's. I can give them a cigarette. There is no penalty. So we are not really trying to address the issue. I just think that the government has to, in some manner. This is a step. I will be supporting the legislation, but it is not addressing the real issue with our youth. The government is talking about more

[Page 6480]

money for health care so if we are ever going to get health care under control, we are going to have to spend more money on prevention, because if we don't spend more money on prevention, the health care costs will go out of whack.

If the government's budget is talking about more money for health care, one of the areas - this does not cost the government anything, they are banning cigarettes being sold in drug stores, cost is zero to the government, so it is not a money thing - I would like to see the government on the preventive side when they put their budget in this year, that we see something there that will actually be programs that will be targetted towards youth, so that we actually can have an impact on our young people and smoking in general in this province.

I know that people have talked about smoking in public places and I know the controversy it creates, but if we could start making some progress. I do not believe, Mr. Speaker, that you can change everything overnight. If you attack it in a manner where we start eliminating some public places for smoking and then expand that as time goes on, as it becomes more acceptable, because with a plan in place we could reach that goal. If you try to do it today, announce it and have it done tomorrow, it will not work.

The government needs to have a long-range plan. As I thought of this legislation, the problem with this, it is again a piecemeal thing. The government, they have this smoking group over in the Department of Health, or whatever they are called, to police smoking and, I assume, to come up with policy. Wouldn't it be nice for them to put a long-term plan together and present it to the people of this province, to the Legislature, where we could say, in year one we are doing this with the youth and in the year two we are doing this, and over a period of time, Mr. Speaker, we actually could have an impact on smoking in this province.

So I would encourage the minister to go back to his department, work on a long-term plan, have a vision. Surely his vision must be like ours; that is to get a smoke-free workplace, smoke-free place, and to prevent youth from smoking. We all want the same objectives. I am hoping that the minister will sit down and say to his staff, let's look at a long-term, phase-in on smoking in public places. Let's work, let's look at programs that target youth to keep them from smoking and, yes, look at a program to help those who want to quit. If we put those three things in place, we will have a healthier population and, I believe, a more productive population. I believe in the end our health costs, we could see some savings in the long term.

Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting this piece of legislation. I hope that it passes. I am sure I heard the Party to my right say they would support it; it looks like we have all-Party support. Let's make sure this passes before we leave this spring sitting. Thank you. (Applause)

[Page 6481]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak for a few moments on this legislation. I do so, but not because we have not already covered the ground. Our critic, the honourable member for Halifax Needham did a great job of laying out some of our issues relative to this piece of legislation and relative to the whole question of a comprehensive anti-smoking strategy which we have been firmly supportive of in this Party and in this caucus for a number of years.

The reason I wanted to get up and speak for a few moments is I was driving in the car, yesterday, with my daughter. She is 11, Mr. Speaker, and she said to me, Dad, did you know that people get addicted to cigarettes between the ages of 13 and 18? Or 11 and 13, I forget exactly what the figure was she used, but she asked me that question. Then she said, when did you start smoking, Dad, and I said I got hooked at about 12 years old, about 12 and 13. I had to work pretty hard at it, I remember getting sick and all the rest of it, but I worked hard enough that I finally did get hooked and, 25 years later, I finally was able to quit.

So I said to her that she has a couple of years and a window there, of time, where if she is able to get through that period without smoking, without trying it, then chances are she will not get the habit, she will not be addicted. What I was really impressed with was somehow she heard that information somewhere, whether it was at her school or on the radio, maybe on the news - we do listen to the news a bit in our house - whether it was on the news around the introduction of this bill or whatever, I don't know, but I was just really happy that she had gotten that information, she is very conscious of smoking, very uncomfortable when we are ever around anybody who is smoking either indoors or outdoors. I just want to say that I hope that she stays, and I am going to do my best to make sure that she stays, aware of that. I actually quit smoking right around the time that we got Jessie and that was my commitment to her and I have tried to maintain it and hopefully, we will be able to keep that going.

I wanted to raise that issue because it is cutting the rate of smoking in young adults which is a real serious challenge for this government and for all governments. I think the way we do that is that we prevent them from starting in the first place, that we make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure that young people and those in that age group don't ever get attracted in whatever way to smoking. I think we could have a much more aggressive strategy in this province to turn kids off, to not make it attractive.

I had the opportunity to see a campaign that was in British Columbia and I don't know what the experts say about that particular campaign but I will tell you, on TV and in posters and in publications going out to young people, to families, and to schools, there were pictures of what smoking does to your mouth, teeth and lungs. It was extremely graphic, it was wild and scary. I really think that the pressure seems to be so - I don't know what it is and I have heard other people explain it a lot better than I could - but the pressure to smoke seems to

[Page 6482]

be so strong for young people. It is like the more we tell them not to they want to rebel or in other ways, through peer pressure or whatever, it seems like the thing to do.

I believe that if we develop a comprehensive anti-smoking strategy with really aggressive advertising and public education in our school system, that it would go some distance. I know that our critic, the member for Halifax Needham, had already talked about that but you can do that, you can raise taxes, you can reduce access to cigarettes and to tobacco products and that is part of it and it is important.

The other part of it that I think we miss sometimes, in fact, the member for Kings West made this analogy, he said, we fund programs to help people who are addicted to alcohol to kick that habit, we address that as a sickness. In some collective agreements there are employee assistance programs that provide courses and counselling and other strategies to support employees to kick the habit, to reduce their dependency on alcohol. We just don't seem to have that kind of appreciation for the powers of the drug called nicotine.

We have to recognize that smoking and nicotine is an extremely powerful drug and that in order to assist people, to reduce the rate of smoking, especially in a province like this that has got such a high cancer rate and such a high rate of illness due to cigarette and other tobacco product use, that we should be doing a bigger job or playing a greater role in assisting people to kick the habit of smoking, whether that is covering some of the treatments through MSI or through our drug plans or whatever, I think it is something we need to do more for.

As was stated earlier by our Health Critic, a comprehensive anti-smoking strategy that involves helping people kick the habit is important but as important if not more important is the whole question of prevention and that needs to be targetted at our youth. Others have talked about the high cancer rates and the number of deaths and illnesses directly related to smoking. We have a responsibility as legislators to do something about that.

[8:30 p.m.]

As I wrap up, just let me say that there are some of us in this province who have been somewhat disappointed by this Liberal Government and their lack of action on these kinds of strategies because a former Minister of Health, Ron Stewart, is a well-known national, if not international, anti-smoking advocate. I know that he had great plans. Somebody said earlier this government has to come up with a strategy. I know that they have a strategy. I know that they have a comprehensive anti-smoking strategy and they have had it in their offices, or in their purview, now for some years, but what they have lacked is the political will. That is unfortunate because I know members of this caucus have encouraged this government prior to the 1998 election and since, to bring in components of that comprehensive anti-smoking strategy so that we can deal in a responsible, assertive and aggressive way with the problems of smoking in the Province of Nova Scotia.

[Page 6483]

While we support this, we say that it is a very small step and that Nova Scotians, Canadians, support strong measures to reduce smoking rates in the province and in the country. It is time that the Government of Nova Scotia recognized, especially given how I understand they are increasingly paying attention to polls, there is a poll out recently that indicates that only 11 per cent of Nova Scotians want an election. So this government is going by that. They are allowing that poll to direct themselves. Well, why do they not listen to the polls that tell them that Nova Scotians overwhelmingly want to see some real action on a comprehensive anti-smoking strategy. Mr. Speaker, I tell you that each and every member of this caucus would stand up and fully support any strategy brought forward. Thank you. (Applause)

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

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak on Bill No. 107. The use of tobacco in this province is arguably the single greatest health hazard that we face. I remember on occasion when around noon I visited a doughnut shop which is next-door to a middle school. There were 12 empty seats. At 12:05 p.m. those 12 seats were filled by students from that middle school here in Nova Scotia. Before they left the doughnut shop, 12 of 12 had a cigarette. Not one would appear, at least on a quick evaluation, to be of legal smoking age in this province.

It is a very difficult addiction and it grieves me, as I know it grieves many in this place, to see so many of our young people around schoolyards or walking the streets smoking, particularly when many of these youngsters are well below the age when they can legally purchase tobacco products in this province. It is a difficult addiction. I remember on many occasions, those who had been addicted to alcohol and successfully were able to defeat that addiction and then started down the road to stop their smoking, saying to me that this is a much more difficult addiction to deal with than alcohol.

During the course of my other life, I waged a valiant but singularly unsuccessful campaign against smoking in my community. One of the initiatives that I followed was going to the schools and talking about smoking and bringing to the schools a number of pathological specimens, hoping to be able to create an impression in the young people about what it is that tobacco and all of the poisons that are in tobacco do to the human system, in bringing them samples, for example, of lungs showing the very demonstrable chronic changes of the use of tobacco, showing them a lung with a cancer which was directly due to the use of tobacco.

I spent countless hours in my office counselling my neighbours and my patients on the damage that tobacco is doing to their system and encouraging them, in fact, to make a valiant effort to give up the addiction, but I was not very successful. Awareness of what it is that tobacco does to us is part of a program; part of a program that we must initiate in this province, if in fact we are going to make a significant dent in the use of tobacco and thereby improving the health status of Nova Scotians.

[Page 6484]

This bill is a very small step. It is part of an awareness program, but by itself it will achieve little. We have been very unsuccessful in dealing with the addictions in young people in this province. Very recently there was a study released showing just how in vain our efforts up until now have been. The issue is so important, the results of failure are so devastating that we cannot give up the quest.

The medical community in general, like myself as an individual practitioner, have been particularly unsuccessful. It takes a multi-disciplinary approach. I believe, if we are to affect the smoking habits of young people in this province, that a greater role will be played by the Department of Education than will ever be played by the Department of Health, but we have to have the appropriate information available at the appropriate age, and we have to have some example.

For example, I am always distressed when I see how openly young people smoke in our communities, how openly young people smoke around our schools. I believe we should have a province-wide policy on smoking in our school system. I do not think that we should delegate this to the individual school boards. We should have a province-wide, well-thought out, scientifically-developed program and policy about smoking in our schools.

We need, in this province, a comprehensive tobacco strategy particularly directed at young people. There is not a lot of wisdom in trying to convert an 80 year old Nova Scotian who has smoked perhaps for 70 years to try to wean them off tobacco. They obviously have a great resilience to the harmful products of tobacco, and if tobacco has not had a disastrous effect on them by the age of 80 years, then in fact it is probably that they are one of those fortunate individuals that are very resilient and resistant to its effects, but so many of our young people, when you hear the statistics that in fact tobacco and cancer of the lung is becoming the chief cause of death in women, actually passing cancer of the breast, these are scary statistics.

By and large, the large majority of cases of cancer of the lung - not all but the large majority - can in fact be influenced by non-smoking, and that is non-smoking from day one. There is an advantage, a medically measurable good effect if in fact you are a smoker and you give it up, even after a great number of years, but the real benefit is reserved to those who don't smoke from day one. That is where our efforts, in fact, should be directed.

Our failure to significantly impact the smoking habits of our young people has to be one of the failures that we all must bear the responsibility for, but it should not allow us to give up the fight. The strategy that we are using here in Nova Scotia, obviously, isn't working. We are seeing more and more smoking by young people, particularly young teenage females. It literally grieves me when I see a young person 13 or 14 walking along the street, which you do see on many streets in Nova Scotia, these young people openly smoking. There has got to be something wrong when we allow that.

[Page 6485]

When I grew up, it is not that many of my confrères did not smoke, of course they did, but they certainly didn't smoke openly. They certainly didn't smoke in the schoolyard and they certainly knew that they smoked at their own jeopardy. The open permissiveness of young people smoking is something that we should be taking a second look at and allowing young people to openly flaunt, by their smoking habits is, I think, wrong. But we need to develop a strategy that must be implemented by not only the Department of Health, but the Department of Education and many volunteer agencies right across this province. Just maybe there should be some kind of a penalty imposed on young people who, in fact, flaunt society by the open use of tobacco.

This is just a very small approach to what is a very serious health hazard here in Nova Scotia. I would encourage the Minister of Health and I would encourage the Minister of Education to initiate a forum on smoking in this province, that will go out to Nova Scotians and seek ideas to get support as to how we are going to approach this very serious health hazard here in Nova Scotia.

We have not addressed, in any serious way, the problem of second-hand smoke here in Nova Scotia. Many Nova Scotians are exposed to a considerable amount of tobacco smoke because we haven't yet, in a serious way, addressed the exposure of Nova Scotians to second-hand smoke.

One of the interesting things that smokers would tell me, and I am sure you have heard of this, when I would inquire of their smoking habit, they would say, but I never inhale. In fact, that was the line, I think, that was adopted by a U.S. President not all that long ago. But, in reality, if you are not inhaling your own smoke, in fact, the only way you can achieve that is if you stop breathing; not only are you inhaling the smoke, your neighbours are and the people all around you.

The effect of smoking by young mothers is extremely important. The effects of tobacco smoke on the foetus is significant. The effect of tobacco smoke on the born youngster is extremely significant. These are things that perhaps we have become a little less vigilant about because, up until now, we have been so singularly unsuccessful. I believe there is room for a much more aggressive approach to this and I would encourage the ministers responsible to constitute a forum that will start looking at tobacco smoking to raise awareness and to look at strategies that will affect young people, that will convince them of the harm of tobacco smoking. I think it is a very worthwhile initiative for those ministers to take and it is one that I know our caucus would support and I believe, as well, it would be one that the New Democratic caucus would be pleased to support. It would be one of those occasions when we could perhaps, again, find common ground and address a very serious health problem collectively and I would be more than pleased to be part of that initiative. Thank you.

[Page 6486]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the members of the House to a group of guests who have joined us this evening in the west gallery. We have been joined by 16 members of St. Mark's Anglican Church Mothers' Union. This church is located in the north end of Halifax, on the corner of Russell and Gottingen Streets. I would ask the members of the House to extend a warm welcome. I would ask them to stand. (Applause)

[8:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

MR. DONALD CHARD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak briefly on this legislation. Like all of the other members of this House who have risen on this bill, I would like to express my support for this measure. It is an important step, but it is a modest step. I think we must recognize that there are other measures that are needed if we are going to wage an effective battle against smoking and against the consequences of smoking.

Indeed, I am acutely aware of the fact that the Minister of Health as a family physician is himself very much aware of the consequences of poor health habits in young people and would very much like to see improvements in those areas. I have had conversations in the past with him about these issues, and I don't question his sincerity for a second.

I am going to get a little bit personal about this issue, because it is one that has affected my family very much over the years. I can remember as a child going with my father to hockey games in Glace Bay and in other communities that we lived in subsequently. In those days you could smoke in public places like hockey rinks. I can remember my father pulling out a cigar and lighting up and myself suffering from the effects of having to breathe that smoke.

At that age though, in the 1950's and early 1960's, I don't think too many of us really thought about the consequences of that habit. It later became a little more obvious and better known that we were incurring very extreme risks in smoking. My father wasn't a heavy smoker and eventually he tapered off and more or less stopped. I am thankful to say that smoking did not do him in.

But on the other hand, my father-in-law, who was a physician, was a smoker, smoked all of his life. I often reflect upon the fact that if he had been able to stop smoking, he might have had the pleasure of seeing a grandchild that he didn't live to see. I can remember one night getting a phone call from my father-in-law to tell us that he had just been diagnosed with lung cancer and that fortunately it was operable and he was going to have surgery shortly after that.

[Page 6487]

We were able to encourage him to hang in there, because my wife had news for him. We were expecting our first child at that point and we hadn't told my wife's parents. My father-in-law was so choked up at this news that he had to hang up, compose himself and call us back later. I am pleased to report that he lived not only to see his first grandchild, but he lived to see his second grandchild, he did not see the third. He never stopped smoking. His surgery was successful, but the cancer spread.

Any members of House who are physicians will understand the consequences. When lung cancer spreads, it often spreads to the brain and the outcome then is virtually inevitable. You can get some relief, but there is seldom, if ever, a cure. I am very saddened that my father-in-law did not live to see all of his grandchildren.

I think there are many of us who have been touched by the consequences of smoking. I would encourage this government to bring in truly comprehensive measures to deal with it. There is a cost to individuals and families from the amount of smoking that takes place in this province. There is certainly a great cost on our public health system and on the government and taxpayers of this province.

I think there is hope that we can change people's habits and that we can encourage people to stop smoking. Certainly, making tobacco less accessible is an important part of this, but I think we must also bring in more vigorous measures, more effective education to make people understand the consequences of smoking. We have seen progress in the banning of smoking in many public areas, in many workplaces. It is now illegal to smoke in federal government workplaces. When I worked with the federal government, I saw the changes there. I saw the initial resistance, Mr. Speaker, among those smokers who felt it was their right to smoke, regardless of the consequences for their own health or for the health of their co-workers. But, eventually, we got reasonable acceptance and the smokers went outside. Many of them cut back, many of them quit.

I think we have made progress in this area and I would vigorously encourage the minister and the government to bring in more effective and more comprehensive measures than we see here tonight. Thank you. (Applause)

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

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Parties on the opposite side of the House for their discussion of this bill this evening, entering into debate and, actually, their personal sharing. I guess it shows, really, how personally we do take these matters. I want to say thank you for sharing and for the support that was promised to see Bill No. 107 through the Legislature. I would move second reading of Bill No. 107.

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MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 107. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I beg leave to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 97 - Business Efficiency (1999) Act.

Bill No. 98 - Motor Vehicle Act.

Bill No. 99 - Direct Sellers' Regulation Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would please call Bill No. 108.

Bill No. 108 - Health Council Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak on second reading of Bill No. 108, the Health Council Act. As you know, one year ago, we had legislation to reinstate the Provincial Health Council. The health council is now up and running and what this legislation does is to allow the council to choose their own chairperson. I believe that this legislation will enhance the role of the health council in that I believe that the people on the health council are best able to decide who they would like leading them right now. The health council will choose a vice-chairman. They will choose their own executive members. This way they will, in the future, be able to choose their own chairperson.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, the health council faces challenges. We know the importance of health care in this province. We know that the government and all of us say that health care is the issue that has to be tackled. I believe that the health council can play an important role in helping us and in helping this province go down the right road in making changes to health care that will benefit us all.

As I have said, after the present chair's term expires this change will allow the council, among its own members, to choose its own chair annually. Somebody can obviously be reappointed for longer than one year, but the council itself would determine that. Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to move second reading of Bill No. 108.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief. We can support this amendment to the Health Council Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I will just briefly take the time of the House to support this bill going forward. I would like to say I am appreciative of the Provincial Health Council's work. I know that this is given in the spirit of making more autonomy with the council and, in supporting this bill, I want to recognize the great work that is being done by the Chair, Barbara Hart, and also other members of that council.

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I agree with the honourable member that in times ahead, let's give them the autonomy to choose their own chair, as he mentioned, as vice-chair already done with the vice-chair. I would certainly support this.

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

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the members of the New Democratic Party and the government members for supporting this legislation. I so move second reading of Bill No. 108, the Health Council Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 108. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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

The motion is carried.

[8:56 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Donald Chard in the Chair.]

[8:58 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Ronald Russell, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 92 - Applied Science Technology Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, that completes the government's business for this evening. The House will reconvene tomorrow between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Following the Budget Speech tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., there will be the daily routine and, of course, Question Period and any other business that might come before the House. I move that we do now adjourn until 2:00 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.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 9:00 p.m.]