The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.


Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Second Session

12:00 P.M.


Hon. Paul MacEwan


Mr. Gerald O’Malley

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I believe we can commence the daily routine at this time. Could we
have order, please.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place on a point of privilege. Last night in debate
in this Assembly, comments were attributed to me, comments were reported that I had made in this House
of Assembly. On April 13, 1994, the Leader of the New Democratic Party raised an issue with regard to House
Orders and the return to House Orders, that an order had been issued by this House. At that time, she quoted
myself, as the Opposition House Leader in 1992. In her quote of my remarks at that time, she said, “`. . . it
is fundamentally important that the orders of this House are complied with.’”, and she said that I supported
the argument that, “. . . failure to comply with orders issued in a preceding session constituted a prima facie
case of privilege.”. Those were her remarks which she quoted from earlier comments I had made.

Mr. Speaker, in that debate in April, I went on to say in great length that I felt it was very important
for Cabinet Ministers to follow up and to return House Orders where that order had been passed by the
Assembly and that, in fact, if they were not prepared to do that, that they should, in fact, vote the order down
at the appropriate time, not have the order passed and then not come forward with the remarks.

She rose in her place last night, Mr. Speaker, and she indicated that I said that they could pass all the
House Orders they wanted but they were not going to get the information. I challenged her to support that
statement and she was unable to do that. I feel that this certainly infringes on my privileges in the House and
I am questioning the word of that member. I am not going to ask you to throw her out because I think that is
what she wants. She had indicated last night she is not going to withdraw those remarks.



What I want to do, Mr. Speaker, is clearly put on the record, and I will table this document to clearly
show my position, my stated words on how this government intends to deal with House Orders and to clearly
show the motives of that member last night that she cannot support the statement she made and to put the
matter to rest.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: On that point of privilege, I want, first of all, to say that I absolutely
acknowledge that the House Leader made the statements to which he has referred on April 13th indicating
that compliance would be given where possible and urging his colleagues to cooperate in filling House Orders
once they were passed.

However, Mr. Speaker, my comments last night did not arise from the April 13th sitting of the House,
but rather from the June 15th sitting of the House, which was the last NDP Opposition Day during the spring
session. At that time, we were seeking for a House Order to be returned that had been approved by this House
in April. In response to our again raising that matter, the Government House Leader indicated that the only
return that we could expect would be a return that would say, no, we have not done anything to comply with
the House Order that was approved back then.

Mr. Speaker, without nit-picking over the words, nobody could gain confidence from that kind of a
statement by the Government House Leader, that he or his colleagues aimed to fully cooperate with filling
House Orders. For that reason, I do not for a moment doubt that the minister made the comments in April,
that is exactly why we were alarmed when, with one hand, that cooperation was extended and with the other
hand, he pulled back from the cooperation that had been committed earlier to fill that particular House Order
with respect to the Premier’s 1-800 line information. To this very day, no such full compliance has been given.
In fact, we have had to go to court to try to get information on the Premier’s 1-800 line.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, if my recollection serves me correctly what she is referring
to is the debate in this Assembly on how we responded when the Opposition Party put forth a House Order
and the government said, we will comply with that if we can, if that information is available, whether we sent
back an empty sheet, and that is what she is referring to. I did not make the statement that House Orders of
this House would not be complied with, as she suggested last night.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, I have given this matter some thought. I am not sure that it would be
appropriate for me to issue any ruling at this time. I think it might be appropriate for me to consult with the
Clerk and with legal counsel before making any particular ruling.

By way of a general observation, I might state that an Order of the House when passed, is an Order
of the House, and were there any evidence of any conspiracy on the part of a Government House Leader
certainly to subvert the Orders of the House, that could be demonstrated to be true, I would think that a very
definite matter of privilege of the whole House. As to the allegation that there exists such a situation which
the minister denies, I might note the provisions of Beauchesne as to the acceptance of the word of a member
which states at Paragraph 494: “It has been formally ruled by Speakers” - of the House of Commons - “that
statements by Members respecting themselves and particularly within their own knowledge must be accepted.”
Therefore if the Government House Leader assures us that there has been no effort on this part or no attempt
on his part to subvert orders of the House, we must accept his word that that is indeed so.

I also note, rules of our own House, Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly, Rule No.
25, Improper Language in Debate: “No Member shall use offensive words against any Member of the House
. . .”. I should think that an allegation of that type, unsubstantiated, would constitute offensive words by any
reasonable interpretation of that term. However, I do not propose to make a ruling at this time on this matter.
I will have to study the Hansard text of what was stated on the various occasions involved and consult with
counsel before making any decision and ruling, which I propose I will do at a future time.

We will now commence with the daily routine.




MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, in regard to a question that was posed yesterday by the
honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley with regard to the wildlife management area and
I indicated at the time I wasn’t aware of that information. As I was going back to the office last night, I found
information pursuant to that and I would be happy to discuss that matter with him later today regarding the
issue he brought forward. I wanted to clarify that point in the House.




MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


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

Whereas the Help Line Society, a United Way agency staffed by over 100 volunteers is celebrating its
25th Anniversary this year: and

Whereas metro’s two help lines, the youth as well as the regular help line, field up to 40,000 calls a
year from despondent Nova Scotians seeking counselling of one form or another; and

Whereas the Youth Help Line has now been expanded through a toll-free telephone number to cover
all of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature commend the many people who volunteer
their time to respond to stressful telephone calls from Nova Scotians in need and assist them in dealing with
personal problems and, in turn, empowering these people to help themselves.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice on this motion.

MR. SPEAKER: There is a request for waiver of notice that requires unanimous consent.

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 New Democratic Party.


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

Whereas Liberals protested loudly when it was suggested that they had voted for rotten Tory freedom
of information laws because they intended to be just as secretive if they ever gained power; and

Whereas the Justice Minister promised quick, easy access to virtually all public information when he
introduced the latest Freedom of Information Act; and

Whereas pursuant to Statute, the Deputy Health Minister declared there are no documents relating to
the merger of tertiary care hospitals three days before the minister displayed, but did not table, a pile of reports
that he claims recommends a mega-institution;

Therefore be it resolved that this House regrets that Liberal Ministers would attempt to gain a
temporary political advantage by withholding information about important decisions, after winning election
with promises of freedom of information so that all Nova Scotians can quickly gain the fact about public
policy, administration and Cabinet decisions.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings West.

[12:15 p.m.]


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

Whereas CFB Greenwood is the home base for Canada’s Hercules aircraft, renowned for their search
and rescue capabilities; and

Whereas the Hercules aircraft and their respective navigators once again showed the very important
role these aircraft play in Canada’s Defence Program on Tuesday, as the result of a search over the icy waters
of Frobisher Bay; and

Whereas this search resulted in the rescue of two walrus hunters who had been clinging to their 36 foot
boat for three days in gale force winds;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge the extreme importance that national
defence plays in Nova Scotia and commend Captain Rob Brooks and his flight crew for their dramatic rescue
on Tuesday.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent. Is
there consent?

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 Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.


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 Premier had employment confusion last April when he stated that the unemployment rate
in Cape Breton was 15 per cent when, in fact, it was actually 25 per cent; and

Whereas the Premier attempted to have Nova Scotians believe, in a television interview last week, that
his government had created 9,000 full and long-term jobs in the past year when, in fact, 85 per cent of them
are only part time; and

Whereas more than 50,000 people are still seeking long-term employment here in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier actually honour his election promise of creating 63,000 jobs,
before he takes credit for jobs he hasn’t created.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.


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

Whereas while the Minister of Education makes another trip to the Far East parents must continue
fighting to secure a quality, primary-level education for their children’s crucial first months of school; and

Whereas Liberal rhetoric about training, education and a knowledge-based economy is made hollow
by this deliberate decision to encourage and permit school boards to reduce the quantity of quality primary
instruction time; and

Whereas the Liberals would be the first to scream if anyone else suggested quality education be
maintained by cutting out half the school days;

Therefore be it resolved that this House affirms its belief in the importance of early childhood
education and urges the Minister of Education to ensure that quality, Primary-level education is available
throughout the school year in Halifax County-Bedford district and other school districts.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.


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

Whereas Amherst-based Ballastronix Incorporated has been named Canadian electrical manufacturer
of the year for considerable input into the electrical industry; and

Whereas the award is the first ever national honour for the Cumberland County business which
relocated from Ontario; and

Whereas Ballastronix Incorporated was able to win the award and relocate while supporting their
customers with a work force of 183 employees who show great dedication;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature commend Ballastronix Incorporated of
Amherst for continuing to make the rest of Canada aware of Nova Scotia’s rich and talented business

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

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice on that congratulatory motion.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.


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

Whereas A.T. Kearney Incorporated, a retail consulting firm, has studied grocery and chain retail
stores all over the world; and

Whereas this consulting firm has ranked Sobeys, Clayton Park, first in the key areas of service,
cleanliness, food quality, selection and accessibility; and

Whereas Sobeys, Clayton Park, has been named the best in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that this Assembly extend congratulations to Manager Brian Perro and his staff
at Sobeys, Clayton Park, for this outstanding accomplishment.

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

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.


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

Whereas November 3rd is the date for a forum held by the National Quality Month Committee; and

Whereas the mission of the Nova Scotia Quality Month Committee is to get people from every
company, trade organization, school and government department involved; and

Whereas quality in the delivery of products and services has an enormous impact on everything from
staying competitive in the global market place to providing effective social programs to Canadian citizens;

Therefore be it resolved that this Assembly congratulate the Nova Scotia Quality Month Committee
and all participants of today’s Nova Scotia Quality Month Forum: The Route to Success.

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

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.


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

Whereas the Oxford Dictionary defines arm’s length to mean “far enough to avoid undue familiarity”,
while Webster’s defines the term to mean “at a distance”; and

Whereas there has been regular contact between members of the arm’s length casino project team and
Cabinet Ministers, plus Liberal Party relationships with casino representatives; and

Whereas Beauchesne’s parliamentary language list, Page 147-148, includes arrogant, false, hypocrites,
misinforming, misleading, misrepresentations, trickery and smokescreen;

Therefore be it resolved that only parliamentary language could describe the Premier’s assertion and
assurance to all Nova Scotians that he will fire any Cabinet Minister who goes near a single member of the
arm’s length casino project team.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.


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

Whereas metropolitan Halifax will play host to the G-7 Summit in June of next year; and

Whereas the G-7 Summit will prove to be a tremendous boon to hotel operators, not only in Halifax
but, hopefully, as well in Truro, Bedford, Bridgewater and Windsor; and

Whereas despite the thousands of people expected for the G-7 Summit, many Nova Scotian bed and
breakfasts owners will still have plenty of room for other tourists wanting to see Nova Scotia’s beautiful

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Economic Renewal Agency
work in conjunction with the Nova Scotia Farm and Country Bed and Breakfast Association and ensure
adequate promotion of Nova Scotia bed and breakfasts.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.


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

Whereas today Ultramar is beginning to lay off employees from its Dartmouth refinery, in preparation
for a quick, permanent shutdown of that facility and the loss of 100 jobs; and

Whereas Ultramar was permitted to take over and consolidate a large retail-wholesale heating oil and
gasoline network, despite reduced competition, on condition that it operate that refinery; and

Whereas with this government’s support, Ultramar now claims that any consumer hostility and boycott
caused by Ultramar’s actions would hurt the employees of those retail and wholesale units;

Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of this House, Ultramar give up its retail and wholesale
operations in this region, voluntarily or by virtue of the Competition Act, if it persists in its hastily shutting
down its refinery, further de-industrializing our province.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.


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

Whereas tens of thousands of public servants are asking other Nova Scotians by what right or authority
the Liberal Party and this government feels free to break their trust with the people; and

Whereas they describe as dictatorship laws that wipe out collective bargaining rights for another four
years, after the Cameron freeze, the first Savage roll-back and the permanent wage reduction; and

Whereas Nova Scotia’s retail sales slump, the worst in Canada since the last budget, is only one sign
of the economic damage imposed by such arrogant measures;

Therefore be it resolved that before proceeding further down the road of non-consultation, non-openness and no collective bargaining, the Premier and Cabinet should book a weekend with the Coalition
for Full Collective Bargaining to start restoring some sense of balance and accountability in government.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.


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

Whereas the Premier has made it a top priority of his China trip to gain approval for the sale of Sysco
to Minmetals, a goal that has eluded him and the Finance Minister for a year now; and

Whereas the proposed deal states that if Sysco makes money, the province shoulders all outstanding
capital costs and pays an extra $30 million during the first three years; and

Whereas under the same deal, if Sysco does not make money, Minmetals is able to walk away without
necessarily buying Sysco products or putting one extra cent into Sysco;

Therefore be it resolved that on the day of his departure this House urges the Premier, while in China,
to avoid heads you win, tails I lose deals like that which his government has negotiated for the sale of Sysco.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of the Environment.


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

Whereas Acadia University has been recognized nationally in the inaugural award ceremony of the
Michael Smith Awards for Science Promotion; and

Whereas Acadia’s School of Continuing Education has been so recognized by this national body; and

Whereas since 1981, 2,500 young people from throughout Nova Scotia have learned an appreciation
and a greater appreciation of science on the campus of Acadia University;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commends Acadia University for this national distinction.

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



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice. Is there unanimous consent that notice
be waived?

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.


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

Whereas the Tourism Association of Nova Scotia and MT&T are holding the Crest the Wave tourism
conference and Trade Expo from November 4th to November 6th; and

Whereas all sectors of the tourism industry will be gathering to learn, to network and to strategize over
these three days; and

Whereas the tourism industry represent 4,600 businesses and employs some 30,000 people;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend the sponsors of Crest the Wave for
their commitment to the development of Nova Scotia’s rapidly growing tourism sector.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00
p.m. The successful entry has been submitted by the honourable member for Halifax Atlantic who has
proposed a resolution reading:

Therefore be it resolved that the casino gambling decision based on guesswork is not acceptable to
Nova Scotians.

That matter will be debated at 6:00 p.m.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Tabling
Reports, Regulations and Other Papers.


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I wish to table returns to House Order Nos. 10,
50, 77 and 80.

MR. SPEAKER: The returns are tabled.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, and this is a pleasant one. The last
few days have seen a strategy by members of the Opposition to quote or cite letters they have received from
constituents across the province and to put forth questions posed by people across the province and we
certainly have no difficulty with that. They refer in the letters to Ms. So-and-so from Truro or Mr. So-and-so
from Bridgetown or Greenwood, whatever.

The Deputy Opposition House Leader has also provided members of the Executive Council, the
Speaker of the House, and members of the Press Gallery with a letter, asking that we cooperate with this
process and that we treat these questions raised by Nova Scotians with the respect they deserve. We certainly
will and we would want to treat them with the respect they deserve and cooperate in getting responses and
information to those individuals.

It may be necessary, however, Mr. Speaker, to follow up through a department and provide additional
information on policy and this refers specifically to policy which may be too elaborate to go into in the House
which is cited in Beauchesne, that extensive policy will not be quoted in the House. In order that we give those
questions put forth by Nova Scotians respect they deserve, I would ask you to rule as to whether or not those
letters when they are referred to, or when they are quoted from, if those letters could be tabled so that we could
ensure as members of the Executive Council that the answer is in fact consistent with the exact question put
forth by the resident of Nova Scotia. I would ask you for ruling on that, Mr. Speaker.

[12:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think we would have any hesitation in tabling the
questions because these come to our office there in a form that is actually a questionnaire and it is simply the
question and the name and the address of the person who is making that request that their question be
answered by the appropriate ministry.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, I have no difficulty in supporting the request that if a written question, as it
were, is going to be asked orally that the written question be tabled together with the oral question. It would
help. I know that the rules provide that if the question is read from it, it must then be tabled on request and
it might be possibly helpful even if it isn’t read from literally word for word if it could be tabled.

MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, I wonder would it also be too much to ask for the address of the individuals
so that the follow-up could take place to ensure that the best possible respect and cooperation is paid to that
request and that information provided to those Nova Scotians.

MR. RUSSELL: Yes, Mr. Speaker, we have no difficulty with that whatsoever. As I say, these
questions are coming to us by way of a document which is made up in a certain format so that the person can
clearly state their name, the question that they request information on and that is it. (Interruption) In response
to a phone call to the office we send out a form so the people can complete it.

MR. SPEAKER: All right now, I have three members standing.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, on this point of order, the Opposition House Leader has
indicated full cooperation in supplying as much of the information as possible. I wonder, because this has been
an ongoing concern whether the Government House Leader would also want to exercise the same kind of
conscientious response and diligence in regard to the request for similar information arising out of the 1-800
number line, because it is exactly the same issue.

If the government is concerned to ensure that there is an appropriate response from people who call
in, in good faith to the 1-800 number, and they passed a House Order saying that information would be shared
with the Opposition, they have done nothing but frustrate any access to that information every day. I guess
my point is that surely if it is a solid principle on which the House Leader has made this request of the Official
Opposition, the same principle should apply to the government’s response to our request for information about
calls into the 1-800 line.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader to conclude the exchange.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Clearly, I think we have, if we have read from a letter in this Assembly
quoting an individual’s name and their concerns, we have tabled that letter and that is what I have asked them
to do. It is up to them whether they want to quote from the letter or whether they want to use the name. All
I am asking is when they do it, that they then provide it so we can do follow-up.

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Opposition House Leader has indicated that they will be mailing out or a copy
of Hansard will be mailed to the individuals who asked the questions and we would just like to ensure that
the answers we give, that we are treating this with respect, we are going to cooperate, that we make sure that
the question and the answer is just consistent. That is all.

MR. SPEAKER: Very well. Is this a new point of order?

MR. RUSSELL: No, it is not a new point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: All right. One last kick at the can.

MR. RUSSELL: What I was going to say is a point of clarification. I would think that from the
response that our caucus has made that we have absolutely nothing to hide with regard to these particular
questions and I would think, therefore, that in responding to the Leader of the New Democratic Party, that
the Leader of the House has clearly demonstrated that they have no desire to make any information available
to the Opposition or to the public of Nova Scotia with response to questions that they received.

MR. SPEAKER: I feel that this matter has been adequately canvassed and that the views of all
concerned have been entered into the record and that is my ruling.

We will now advance to Orders of the Day, Oral Question Period, the time being 12:36 p.m., I will
state that the Oral Question Period will run for one hour, until 1:36 p.m.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. It is my
understanding that a gathering was held in Ingonish on or about October 25th and that event was hosted by
Mr. Hugh Lynch in honour of Alberta Premier Ralph Klein. The party was held at the home of a Mr.
MacDonald, brother to Lloyd MacDonald who is an aide to Mr. Klein. I am further informed that in
attendance were people directly involved with the bid to establish a casino in Nova Scotia, including Jerry
Nickerson, a director of Casino Halifax-Sydney Limited, as well as Mr. George Unsworth.

I would ask the Minister of Finance to confirm whether or not he, the Minister of Finance, was as well
in attendance at that event?

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I can indicate to the honourable member and to the
House that a social evening was organized to welcome Premier Klein to Cape Breton, that invitations were
issued, I think, probably to about 50 people and I attended.

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. By way of supplementary, it has
been further reported to me that the Minister of Finance spent, at this what he describes as a social event, a
significant portion of the evening huddled in the corner, engaged in private conversation with Messrs.
Nickerson and Unsworth. I would ask the minister to advise whether or not that is, in fact, so?

MR. SPEAKER: I will permit the question but it really does not relate to the minister’s departmental
responsibilities. It does not appear to in any event.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I am going to take this question seriously because I know the
honourable Leader of the Opposition is serious about this issue. Let me say that I do not even remember if Mr.
Nickerson was there or not. Quite frankly, I cannot remember. I think I spent more time in the evening with
Mr. Klein than I did with anyone else and I do not think he is involved in any of the casino bids.

MR. DONAHOE: Well, the point, and I take at face value what the Minister of Finance has said as
I place my supplementary, Mr. Speaker, that he takes the question seriously. The question is seriously put with
serious intention, because we are dealing with an event one week prior to the decision made on finalists in
the bid to establish a casino in Nova Scotia and this minister, who is the minister responsible for casinos and,
hence, the relationship and the importance to him being there with proponents having to do with casino bids,
and the information that was made available to me is that this minister was, in fact, engaged in considerable
discussion with Mr. Nickerson and with Mr. Unsworth.

I ask this minister, in view of the Premier’s edict of October 27th that he, the Premier, would fire any
Cabinet Minister or MLA who fraternized with the bidders for these casinos, I ask the minister today if he
is prepared to tender his resignation as a consequence of what I would consider to be a considerable
indiscretion in defiance of the Premier’s edict?

MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, as hard as I try to take this question seriously, the honourable
Leader of the Opposition is getting silly. The fact of the matter is, what he does not seem to recognize or want
to admit is that this is a totally arm’s length process in selection. He says that Jerry Nickerson is involved in
one of the bids or that somebody else is involved in one of the bids. His information is better than mine. I have
no idea who is involved in the bids. I have had no contact with the Casino Project Team to ask them, give me
a list of everyone who is involved. Of the 50 people in that room, there may have been two, three or five who
are involved in one way or another in the bids.

I can tell you this, I have had no conversation with the Casino Project Team on any basis, about any
bidders and I simply do not have the information from them as to who the bidders are. (Applause)

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


MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Human
Resources. Approximately one year ago, as the result of some questioning, the Premier issued a directive on
tendering which said in part that every business must have an equal opportunity to do business with the
provincial government, that the principle of open tendering must be vigorously applied in all departments and
that even where a sole-sourced contract appears to be necessary, a call for proposals will give the government
the assurance that all persons or companies capable of doing the work have been considered.

My question to the minister is quite simply, is the minister and her department vigorously following
the Premier’s directive of approximately one year ago?

HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, yes unless we see it necessary to find a certain expertise that
we can identify under one sole source.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, as I read in one of the directives, it says quite clearly that even where a sole-sourced contract appears to be necessary, a call for proposals will give the government the assurance that all
persons or companies capable of doing the work have been considered.

Yesterday we saw a copy of a release issued by Priorities and Planning that the Department of Human
Resources had retained Berkley Consulting Group without tender, I might add, a $40,000 to $50,000 tender,
and my question to the minister is quite simply, why have you and your department so blatantly violated the
Premier’s directive on open tendering?

MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, in our assistance to other departments - in this case it is the Department
of Health - in their restructuring there is a definite expertise needed because as the Minister of Health stated
yesterday, there is very little evidence of health reform going on in this province, there is very little evidence
of anybody in the province with the expertise that is needed to help with the human resource management of
the department and to bring the expertise in in the reform that is a three year or five year ongoing process.

MR. HOLM: I am going to direct my final question to the Premier because it is quite clear even though
the minister is making up excuses for having violated the Premier’s own directive that he’s guaranteed would
be introduced, my question to the Premier is quite simply, will the Premier request the minister’s resignation
for flagrantly violating the policy that you introduced, the directive that you introduced and that you gave
assurances would be followed by all departments; will you request that resignation?

THE PREMIER: No, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.


MR. GEORGE MOODY: My question is to the Minister of Finance, as well the Minister in charge
of the Lottery Act. I haven’t, either, talked to the Nova Scotia Casino Project Team; they are not giving me
any information and the minister says he is not getting any, yet I read the paper and hear the news so,
obviously, you know some names that are connected with some of the projects and I assume the minister reads
the newspapers, like most of us. My question to the minister is whether he has read Section 4 of the casino
RFP or not?

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: I think at one point I read the RFP. Now, if you tell me what Section
4 is, I might be able to give you a more specific answer.

MR. MOODY: I will and I cannot imagine the minister in charge of the whole project not reading the
specs by the committee. Section 4 of the RFP says that any attempt on the part of the proponents of any of
their employees, agents, contractors or representatives to exert influence on any members of Cabinet with
respect to the RFP constitutes grounds for disqualification.

I would ask the minister, would it not seem that if he had conversation with somebody like a Mr.
Nickerson, would that not open himself up to criticism that they may have contravened the terms of the RFP?

MR. BOUDREAU: The short answer is no. Mr. Speaker, I don’t have a terrific social life in Cape
Breton, but I will tell you that if I have to start avoiding every event at which a potential involvement might
be there by one of the attendees, I am going to have no social life. (Applause)

[12:45 p.m.]

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I really don’t want to stop the minister from having some social life, that
is not my attempt. I hope he is having a better social life in Halifax. I would ask the minister in my last
question, as he is responsible for the Nova Scotia Lottery Commission, would the minister outline the process
for dealing with someone who did contravene the RFP, what would he do in that case?

MR. BOUDREAU: Well, I think, Mr. Speaker, that is a hypothetical question and we can certainly
take it very seriously but I think that is a hypothetical question best left unspeculated upon at the moment.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: My question as well is for the Minister responsible for the Lottery
Commission Act. Given the Premier’s statement on TV and repeated in this Legislature that he, the Premier,
would fire any Cabinet Minister or MLA who fraternized with a casino proponent, and I might say as an
aside, and I say it seriously and without any rancour, we are not much interested nor do I expect, with respect,
Mr. Speaker, that too many Nova Scotian taxpayers are too concerned about the social life that anybody in
this place enjoys or doesn’t enjoy when we are talking about the lives of Nova Scotian taxpayers.

The Premier’s statement on television was clear and definitive and repeated in this Legislature that he
would fire any Cabinet Minister or MLA who fraternized with a casino proponent. I ask the minister
responsible, is he concerned that he may have compromised, himself, the impartiality of his department and
the already questionable casino selection process, as a result of his fraternization with Mr. Nickerson?

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, I have every confidence that the people of Nova
Scotia will take a far more reasonable approach to it than the Leader of the Opposition. What was intended,
quite clearly, and what has been put in place is that there be an arm’s length process, and there has been an
arm’s length process and there is no one, to my knowledge and perhaps if the honourable Leader of the
Opposition has evidence he will bring it forward, there is no one who has attempted to influence the process
and affect the decision of the Casino Project Team - not myself, not any other minister, not the Premier. I
think that is what the people of Nova Scotia will apply as the test.

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, we are talking about fraternization, to use the Premier’s words in his
strongly worded edict. By way of supplementary, I ask the minister responsible for lotteries as to whether or
not, in light of the fact that Nova Scotians have, in the main, been shut out from information relative to this
whole process and it has been shrouded in secrecy, if the minister is committed to fair and transparent process,
will he agree to direct the selection committee to suspend the final phase of the bidding process until this
particular matter is sorted out by the Nova Scotia Casino Project Team, so that it can be determined whether
or not Casino Halifax-Sydney Limited is allowed to participate in the final bidding, as a result of the
fraternization between the Minister of Finance and proponents of the Casino Halifax-Sydney Limited?

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, that request is simply silly and I won’t do any such thing. As we have
indicated, I can assure the honourable Leader of the Opposition, I can assure this House and I can assure the
people of Nova Scotia that this process has been completely arm’s length, completely independent of the
political process. I know that is difficult for this former government to believe (Applause) but, in fact, that
has been the case. If there is one smidgen of evidence - not innuendo, not suggestion, no hint under the breath,
but if there is a suggestion that any Cabinet Minister influenced or attempted to influence the process, let’s
have it. Otherwise, I have confidence that the people of Nova Scotia will trust the legitimacy of the process.

MR. DONAHOE: My final supplementary, Mr. Speaker, is to the Premier. The Premier, as I indicated
a moment ago and as he himself said in this Legislature and on television some time ago, that his edict
relative to what he considered to be the proper conduct of his Cabinet colleagues and his caucus MLAs, was
a proscription against fraternization with those who are proponents for these casino bids.

I ask the Premier whether or not he is prepared to act on his own, what we thought at the time were
clear and definitive edicts and in light of the Minister of Finance placing himself in a compromising position
with one of the casino proponents, is he, the Premier, prepared to demand the resignation of the Minister of
Finance on that account?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the only real answer to this has already been given by the minister and
that is, quite simply, that if any member has any evidence that there is anything that happened, instead of the
underhands, scurrilous innuendo that is thrown across this floor, then let them put it forward.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. On the Victoria
Day Weekend last, the minister, his deputy and senior staff of his department held a retreat to review, as I
understand it, public policy initiatives and processes and programs to be reviewed and possibly undertaken
by the Department of Health.

I wonder if the minister will tell Nova Scotians at whose invitation those staff members attended that

HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this meeting to which the honourable gentleman refers was
one of many meetings that we had concerning the development of reform planning and the issues that
surround that, whether it be with the professions in Nova Scotia or with other issues. These meetings were
organized by my senior staff.

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister would be prepared to table any memos or
letters of invitation to senior staff who gave up their holiday weekend to participate in the retreat to which I
have referred?

DR. STEWART: In the cases of some of these meetings, particularly this one, senior staff agreed that
we would meet at a given date and we all agreed and we met. There were no memos, formal or otherwise.

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Health if he could indicate to this House who it
was that extended an invitation to Mr. Patrick Dobbin to participate in meetings with the minister and senior
staff on this occasion?

DR. STEWART: There was no invitation issued to Mr. Dobbin, Mr. Speaker. He was there as a
resident of the home in which we were meeting.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.


MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am going to pursue another contradiction on this casino
issue. I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Finance. The Premier stated, when he announced
that they would be licensing casino gambling in this province, that that decision was based on numerous
economic studies of the positive spinoffs. The Minister of Finance, when he met with the editorial board of
the Cape Breton Post, discussed the economic projections for casino gambling. The minister told this House
a week ago that the decision was based on a number of studies. Yet, in response to a freedom of information
request, which I would be happy to table here in this House, his officials have stated that there were no studies.

My question to the minister is, what are Nova Scotians to believe that the government is basing its
decision to go forward with casino gambling on in this province?

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, that particular Party is the worst quoters of previous
material that I have ever heard in my life. (Interruption) Let me address that question specifically. What we
said was that we based our decision on the experience and material, too, and reports of six other provinces
who had gone through the process. Three of them, by the way, are NDP governed provinces. We benefitted
very much from their experience, from the actual operation that took place, from some of the studies that they
have done. We did not commission a study in the Department of Finance or we did not commission a study
of the Casino Project Team, that I know of. I do not see a contradiction there. Does the honourable member?

MR. CHISHOLM: So, Mr. Speaker, then would the minister please confirm for me that when he and
the Premier stated that there were studies in their possession laying out the economic and financial effects of
their decision that they were being untruthful to Nova Scotians and to members of this House.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I do not know if the honourable member understood what I just told
him. I said there were studies. As a matter of fact, let me quote from a study that was done in Saskatchewan
by a government of the same political stripe as the honourable member. This study was completed in January
1993. This is just one line, but it has to do with economic benefit. “The gaming facility will attract some
visitors who would not ordinarily travel to the province and who will spend money on both gaming and
activities ancillary to gaming, such as food, gasoline etc. These visitors will inject `new dollars into the
Province.’ -`It is estimated that 25% of the high demand visitor projection will be visitors from out of province
. . .”.

Now, for example, that was a statement from a study that was done in Saskatchewan that we had
available to us and it was very helpful.

MR. CHISHOLM: Again, Mr. Speaker, each one of the government’s statements and policies gets
twisted and rearranged depending on how badly they are able to come up to the standard. My questions have
to do with studies based on the impact of casino gambling on Nova Scotia, not Saskatchewan.

I want to ask this minister if he is telling me that the only thing that his department or that his
government based his decision on was two reports of standing committees in this House, according to the
response of the FOI to my office from his office, was based on standing committee reports, both of which said
no to casino gambling. Is he telling me that?

MR. BOUDREAU: Now, I am not telling him that, Mr. Speaker, and I just have not told him that
twice. I will not tell him it a third time. What I will say is that the experience of the six provinces including
studies that they had done were very helpful to us in the general decision. I think that is clear. It is as clear
as I can make it.

Mr. Speaker, they may suggest that on the general question of gaming and the benefits, that Nova
Scotians may be tremendously different from the six other provinces who entered into it and we believe that
the evidence, the actual operated evidence existing in six other provinces and the material that they had
gathered, was very useful and applicable to the Nova Scotia situation.

MR. CHISHOLM: Where is it?

MR. BOUDREAU: Let me reassure the honourable member shouting from the rear over there that we
are now, under the Casino Project Team, assessing it at very great length, Mr. Speaker, the three proposals
that remain and we are doing it from all sorts of aspects. I have full confidence that the Casino Project Team
has the capability of doing that in very specific terms.

Let me just tell you very briefly, Mr. Speaker, of the total of 25 people involved with the Casino Project
Team, eight are RCMP officers, seconded. Five are economists. (Interruption) Wait a minute now. He had
his question. Five of them are economists, seven of them are lawyers. These people are analyzing specific
proposals. Now I think it is a reasonable process and I stand on that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: He huffs and he puffs, doesn’t he, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Health and I would like to ask the Minister of Health if he would
tell this House please, who it was who extended the invitation to Mr. Dobbin to attend a dinner which the
minister and the deputy and senior department staff held? It was a dinner, I understand, that was paid for by
the minister.

MR. SPEAKER: With deference, I thought we had just had that question.

HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this was concerning a dinner that I had asked both the
senior staff since we did not have an evening meal prepared, we had brought our own food for the lunch and
had ordered out some pizza.

In terms of the dinner in the evening, I asked both senior staff and their spouses to come to a dinner
in a local restaurant. I can’t recall what the restaurant’s name was. I am sure if the honourable member wishes
the details, I would be happy to provide. Mr. Dobbin, as spouse of the deputy, was obviously invited as well.

[1:00 p.m.]

MR. DONAHOE: By way of supplementary to the Minister of Health, Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the
minister could please tell the House who it was who extended the invitation to Dr. Rick Lemoine, who was
then President of the Medical Society, to attend the senior staff retreat?

DR. STEWART: Yes, we had been discussing, Mr. Speaker, some issues regarding physicians and as
the President of the Medical Society, I extended the invitation by telephone. This was in keeping with our
practice of meeting with special groups and those who were involved in health care reform around the

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the Minister of Health could indicate to us as to whether
or not it was he, or perhaps if not himself who it was, who extended the same invitation or, if such were, in
fact, extended, to other health professionals in the province to attend the retreat and the meeting to which we
have been referring here in the House today?

DR. STEWART: As I mentioned, Mr. Speaker, in my previous answer, this was but one of many
meetings that we had. We had meetings in our department, outside of our department, with groups. Certainly
I have met in this regard with many of the groups, and I would be happy to give you a tally of those groups,
on meetings regarding health care reform. We have had them prior to the weekend to which he refers, the
Victoria Day weekend, and, in fact, we continue to do that.

MR. DONAHOE: Could I accept the minister’s last answer as a commitment from him to provide me
with the tally he describes?

DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, yes, I will go through my schedule and through the notes and so on,
it will be extensive, but I will try my best to do it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.


MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. On Tuesday I asked
the Minister of Health if he would table the contract and terms of reference for the Health Reform
Commissioner and he said he would. I wonder if the minister is prepared to table that today?

HON. RONALD STEWART: I think I mentioned, Mr. Speaker - if I didn’t, I was negligent in not
doing so - that this contract would be tabled as soon as it is finished and completed with Human Resources.

MR. MOODY: I thank the minister. I wonder if the minister could give me an approximate timeframe
that it would take. It has been four months that I think the person has been on the job. How much longer will
it take for him to be able to table that information?

DR. STEWART: Again, Mr. Speaker, I would have to consult with Human Resources and I would
undertake to give that answer at a future date.

MR. MOODY: I thank the minister. I hope I will see it soon. I would ask the minister, in my final
supplementary, if he could tell me what the Health Reform Commissioner is currently being paid? I am sure
that person is not working for nothing on a day to day basis, and he has had time to check. Could he inform
me today what the Health Reform Commissioner is actually being paid?

DR. STEWART: I will seek that information for the honourable member. I do not have it with me but
I certainly will do so.

MR. SPEAKER: On a new question, the honourable member for Kings West.


MR. GEORGE MOODY: I appreciate the minister saying, yes, we will get the answers. I just hope they
will come.

My question again is for the Minister of Health. Also last week I asked the minister about the Health
Reform Commissioner. He answered by talking about a commissioner for community development. I realize
that the blueprint outlines the allocation for funding for community development. However, if we have a
Health Reform Commissioner, are we now also getting a commissioner for community development?

HON. RONALD STEWART: No, Mr. Speaker, the honourable gentleman is referring to our
implementation team that is currently being put in place. We had a specific need for a commissioner for
community development. This was the original description applied to the individual to whom he refers. We
believe she has and should have additional responsibilities and we are seeing to that restructuring, hence the
delay in the provision of the contract.

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, it is strange that a person was hired and we are trying to figure out now
what the person is going to do. I would ask the minister, I think initially my understanding that part of the
role of the new health commissioner or commissioner for community development was to be part of the
selecting of the interim regional boards and part of the training for the interim regional boards, is that still
part of that person’s duties?

DR. STEWART: Yes, the individual involved, Ms. Hampton, was involved in the selection and will
be involved in the orientation, if you would, for the regional boards.

MR. MOODY: Ms. Hampton also does not approve of hospitals closing without having the necessary
information and service support in place. She has continually said before hospitals close there should be the
information support services in place. Does her statement made during the summer months have any
implications for the hospitals in Wolfville and Berwick?

DR. STEWART: Her statements have been completely consistent with the plan. She has been working
on that very diligently with the citizens of those areas as has our staff. She has been involved in the planning
and in the information gathering and so on, there is no inconsistency.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.


MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Justice. Yesterday
in this House the minister asked Nova Scotians to put their confidence in an alternate dispute resolutions
process to deal with sex abuse issues that have arisen in relation to Shelburne and other provincial institutions
on the basis that the government was making a sincere attempt to provide fast and fair compensation to
victims and was for that reason not launching a full public inquiry. That unleashed a number of very angry
phone calls both from victims and their lawyers who have experienced to date nothing but total obstructionism
from this government in regard to claims for compensation that they have already tried to make.

My question to the honourable minister is simply this, why should such victims have confidence in the
government’s interests, supposed sincere interests, in providing a fair compensation when it is obvious that
the government so far has been anything but cooperative in response to victims who have come forward and
sought such compensation?

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I think any government in any jurisdiction when it is being
sued has a responsibility to let a court decide in a fair way the rights of the matter. One can criticize the work
that is being done by the solicitors of my department in this particular case but they have a right under the
law just like anybody else to file all possible avenues of defence. They may not be used in due course but it
is a fair procedure that is used not only in government but in general.

What we are trying to offer here is a three point process: (a) to make sure nothing untoward is
happening now and must never happen again as best as humanly can be determined; (b) to try to find out with
an independent investigator what happened in the past and do it as quickly as can be done and to see if it can
be done and if not there might be an inquiry; and finally (c) to try to be innovative. Anybody can go into a
public inquiry mode and say this is it and then some of the same people would criticize us for hiding behind
a royal commission. We thought we would be innovative and try to see if there is a way that the victims, and
they have been victimized too much already in many cases, could get fair compensation through this
mechanism that we are planning to set up.

At the same time, in respect to their rights under the law if they want to work with their lawyers and
proceed with civil suits they are certainly free to do that. We think it is a fair way to do it, we are not trying
to hurt anybody or restrict anybody but we are trying to get on with the job and do it in a reasonable time and
do it fairly.

MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I want to pursue this further because I think there is a genuine
concern about what seem to be some contradictions here. The minister stated outside of the House, and I think
the implication was in the statement in the House, that the reason for not having an inquiry was to try to make
sure that scarce resources were really being directed to victims’ compensation instead of used up in court
proceedings. Yet, the government has used every kind of delaying tactic, stalling tactic and attempt possible
to frustrate the bid for justice that has been launched by some victims already.

Could the minister indicate if the government’s position on the litigation route is, for example, to trot
out arguments that the Statute of limitations should be brought in and no compensation should be available?
Is the minister indicating that for those who go the dispute resolution route, that such arguments as Statute
of limitations will not apply and so this is, therefore, a more fair, more timely route to pursue?

MR. SPEAKER: That is too long for a supplementary question.

MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, it is true that given the resources that the government has and our
department has, we are trying to use them as wisely as we can. One of our priorities, if not the chief priority,
is to compensate fairly the victims. We would rather use the money for that than for administration and other

The honourable member brings up the limitations of actions. As I indicated in my first answer, this
is only one of a number of defences brought up. In the end, and I am not going to get into the case because
it is not appropriate, but the lawyers may not use this. But there is, if you look at the law, if a victim didn’t
remember, as we know from the law, didn’t recall this and wasn’t able to recall it until recently and act on it,
then the limitations of actions does not apply. We know that, but the solicitors have to bring forward all these
things. They only get one chance to do it and they are doing that.

So there really is no contradiction. They can choose to go the litigation route or they can go the other
route. If two sides can sit down, the victim and representatives from our department, aided by someone, an
independent person who is appointed under the alternative dispute resolution, maybe they can get together
and solve the compensation and do it quickly and use the money there, rather then spending it for
administration and courtrooms and lawyers and what have you.

MS. MCDONOUGH: It seems like such a reasonable argument, but can the minister understand that
those who have already experienced the opposite of cooperation, those who have already experienced the
opposite of the government saying let’s sit down and try to come to a reasonable, up-front settlement and are
already dragging through time-consuming, costly administrative and judicial procedures would not have
confidence in a dispute resolutions mechanism that the government is now setting up and asking such victims
to show their confidence in.

Can the minister not understand why there would be a lack of confidence on the part of such victims
and their legal representatives?

MR. GILLIS: Well, I suppose you could take that view, but I think you should remember that the
Department of Justice has a responsibility to the public in general. In my memory, in going from suits that
are filed in any variety of things, I have one that runs into over $100 million dollars that we are being sued
for. If I followed your argument, you might say, well, look, let’s not just argue this in court and have a fair
adjudication of it, let’s hand over the taxpayers’ money, monies which are needed for so many other things,
to improve our correctional centres and our young offenders centres.

What I am saying is we are being sued as a government and a department and the lawyers have their
rights, the solicitors, on behalf of the victims who have come forward and say they want certain monies. Our
lawyers are entitled to make their defences. We are not trying to beat them down. They are just trying to do
their jobs. You cannot criticize them for that. But they are always open to discussions and we are trying to be
innovative, move to a new edge and not just follow the ways of the past, hide it behind a commission for two
or three years and use up a lot of money and then not have the money. We say, let’s try this. Let’s give peace
a try and if it doesn’t work, we will go to an inquiry and work another way. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.


DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Health - it is now over a month since the four
regional health boards have been appointed - would he inform the House and Nova Scotians if the orientation
process for those boards is underway and how long it will take?

[1:15 p.m.]

HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, no, the formal orientation program is beginning this
month. It is not yet underway; it is being planned and I suspect it would take, our estimate is five weeks.

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, these boards will be charged with many important things. They will be
producing local health care programs, administering hospital budgets, funding programs in our regional areas
and determining the boundaries for community health boards and, in fact, the boundaries for the regional
boards themselves. My question to the minister is, when will this very important process begin?

DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for his question. We have attempted
in every way to make as gradual as possible, yet as expeditiously as possible, our move to the regional health
boards having the decision-making and the planning authority that they need to move. The Act itself restricts,
of course, designation of hospitals very clearly in the Act to January 1, 1995.

We would strongly - and this is on the advice of the boards and the chairs with whom we have already
met - we would then anticipate that the function and the structure of the boards should be in place after proper
orientation within the next three to four months.

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer because there have been a lot of
different times produced in the press. I understand then, three to four months.

My final question for the minister is, would he commit to table all documentation relating to the
administrative cost estimates of the health boards, including the remuneration and expense allowances which
will be made available to the chairpersons and members?

DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, yes, I would undertake to do that. A part of the difficulty in doing that
immediately is that we have other members of the boards to be appointed, as has been suggested by
honourable members opposite and so the accuracy or the specificity of such information might be a little bit
off the mark. I would undertake to do that as promptly as possible, however.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.


MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.

This morning I made an inquiry at the Registry of Joint Stock Companies to ask if the Bluenose II
Preservation Trust is registered as a Nova Scotia company or under the Societies Act. I was told that they have
never heard of the Bluenose Preservation Trust. I went back again at noon hour to double-check. I was further
told that there are 157 Bluenose variations registered at the Registry but, no, they have never heard of
Bluenose II Preservation Trust.

I called Lunenburg information and asked for a telephone number for Bluenose II Preservation Trust.
There is no listing; there is no telephone number. I learned the address, in the tender call which was tabled
in the House the other day for work on the Bluenose, is 170 Montague Street, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, as that
of Adams and Knickle. I called Adams and Knickle and asked to speak to somebody who was the
spokesperson for Bluenose II Preservation Trust. I was told there is nobody at that address to speak for
Bluenose II Preservation Trust but, if I wanted the tender documents, I could pick them up there.

My question to the minister is, will he tell Nova Scotians to what legal entity has he turned over
responsibility for Bluenose II?

HON. ROSS BRAGG: Am I allowed that long to answer?

MR. SPEAKER: I think so.

MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I will try to be brief. We have asked and agreed to the terms with Wilfred
Moore to chair the Bluenose II Preservation Trust. It is my understanding that it is in the process of being
incorporated. I would suggest that if the honourable member opposite is so keen on making a donation to the
Trust that he should call Mr. Moore’s law office and I am sure he could arrange to pick it up.

MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister said that there have been letters back and forth, he
thought, between himself and Bluenose II Preservation Trust, letters which he refused to table in the House.
I want to know, and I am sure all Nova Scotians want to know, what legal documentation has the minister
put in place which clearly identifies the relationships between the provincial government and Bluenose II
Preservation Trust with respect to responsibilities for Bluenose II, a trust which has already tendered in the
paper for work to be done on Bluenose II?

MR. BRAGG: I undertook yesterday in this House to get the honourable members opposite information
on the terms of agreement between us and the Preservation Trust and I will do so.

MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, is the minister then telling us, and I can draw no other conclusion other
than that he is, is he telling Nova Scotians that he has conveyed responsibilities for Bluenose II, a multimillion
dollar asset belonging to the people of this province, to a group which has no legal existence, no phone
number, no fixed address, all on the basis of an article of faith, simply because they are the good old boys?

MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, if I were them, I would be careful about talking about good old boys.

Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite is just having fun with this issue. We have not given
up control or ownership of the asset. The province still owns it.

MR. LEEFE: Then why are they putting out the tender call?

MR. SPEAKER: You can have another question but let’s have the answer first.

MR. BRAGG: Because we have asked this group of concerned people who want to preserve the
Bluenose II to do so, and they are doing it on explicit instructions and the agreement that we have had, which
I have said I will give you the details of.

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether you would call Ron Joyce of Tim Hortons Donuts a good old boy.
I do not know whether you would call Heather Robertson a good old boy. (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker, these are serious Nova Scotians and Canadians who want to do the right thing and they
want to do it for the people of Nova Scotia, not so that these people can play politics with it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.


MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. On the
Premier’s expense account, there are some references to the provincial government purchasing plane tickets
for Mrs. Savage and I am wondering if there is a government policy to purchase plane tickets for the wife of
the Premier?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to see the document. I cannot answer without seeing a
document. Perhaps I can see it.

MR. SPEAKER: Is there a document?

MR. ARCHIBALD: I would certainly table, one of them is dated, Honourable John Savage, Office of
the Premier, August 31, 1994, received September 7th, Executive Council Office. I will make copies of them
and table them.

These certainly are not documents that I dreamed up. I would like to have copies of them back.

I am just wondering if there is a policy of the government for the taxpayers to purchase tickets for the
wife of the Premier to travel with the Premier?

THE PREMIER: Yes, this was the Maple Leaf Ball in Boston to which I was asked by no other than
the former Leader of my colleague over there who told me (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, so I can hear the Premier.

THE PREMIER: . . . who told me that it was quite the custom for the Premier and the Premier’s wife
to attend the Maple Leaf Ball to enhance (Interruptions) He would know, Mr. Speaker, and that is the date.
Thank you very much.

MR. ARCHIBALD: I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, most assuredly, that the province and the provincial
taxpayers never once purchased a plane ticket for Rosemary Cameron to travel anywhere in Nova Scotia or
anywhere else. My question is, I asked him, is this a new policy of this government, to purchase tickets for
members of the Executive Council to travel with their spouses? It is a simple question and I think if it is a
departure from the past, the Premier should know.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this was a function at which Nova Scotia was to be represented in
Boston, one of our best trading partners. The invitation was also extended to my wife, as it has been, whether
or not the member on the other side remembers it, to previous Premiers and to their wives. Therefore, we went
at the request of the Consul General of Canada and he extended the invitation to my wife and myself and we
went. I think it is quite legitimate under those circumstances for my wife to be paid for by the province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.


MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I can understand the Premier wanting to have a date to
go to a dance. Was it another dance also that was held in Toronto, where the government also purchased a
ticket for Mrs. Savage?

THE PREMIER: I didn’t quite hear your question.

MR. ARCHIBALD: I said the Premier is reluctant to go to a dance by himself and I can understand
that, but was it also a dance that you attended in Toronto, where you felt obligated that the taxpayers would
purchase a ticket for Mrs. Savage to travel there as well?

THE PREMIER: Thank you for repeating that. That was the Premier’s Conference, Mr. Speaker, to
which it has been the practice in this province for the Premier and his wife or, for that matter, the Premier
and her husband, to attend. This is in keeping with the common practice that that government had followed
for many years.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, when I was fortunate enough to be a minister in the previous
government and I took my wife to a ministerial function out of the province, I purchased her ticket myself and
I paid for it myself. Now all I want to know is, is this a departure and a new policy of this government, for
spouses to be paid to travel with (Interruption) You should listen to your Premier and his questions, he was
indicating that I would know.

MR. SPEAKER: I believe we have heard the question. Would the Premier care to respond to the

THE PREMIER: I suspect the answer has been put by one of my colleagues over there, Mr. Speaker.
I have on occasion, when I have gone to other places without an official request, obviously paid for my wife.
In this case this is the invitation to the Premier’s Conference. The customary practice throughout Canada is
that this is an occasion on which the Premier’s wife is paid for by the province that the Premier represents.
This is not new policy and, indeed, it is well-known to those people who have survived.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Does this policy extend to members of Cabinet?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this is a policy that is extended, as far as I know, from the advice that
I have had from the civil servants who have directed me on this, it extends only to the Premier and his wife
or the Premier and her husband.

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


MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Housing and
Consumer Affairs, actually on a matter that I have already congratulated the minister about, on a decision he
has taken.

My office received a call today from Halifax County Planning. They are still awaiting word from the
minister’s department about the request by Mr. Mont to have a portion of the Pleasant Hill estates utilized for
the disposal of animal remains. Now I have a copy of the minister’s letter that he kindly provided me and the
county found out that the minister had made a decision because I copied for them my congratulatory letter to
the minister. I am wondering if the minister would clear this up immediately for Halifax County and more
importantly for all of those who have relatives and loved ones buried at the cemetery, will he clear up and put
on the public record and notify Halifax County, that under absolutely no condition will he permit a portion
of the cemetery to be used to bury the remains of pets?

[1:30 p.m.]

HON. GUY BROWN: Mr. Speaker, some two, three, four or five months ago, my staff received the
request with regard to have part of the cemetery in question turned over for people’s pets, their animals that
they love very much. I took it as a very serious request as did my department. I then personally went out there
with the warden of the county, the mayor, as well as the honourable member for Sackville-Beaverbank, Mr.
MacDonald and then I wrote a letter, you have a copy which I copied to all MLAs in that area.

The county has also received a copy of that and I personally talked to the warden about it or the mayor,
and I, as minister, will not proceed with any such request in that area, but I am certainly prepared to look at
other requests in other areas of the metropolitan area because I think the need is there. I cannot approve such
a request where people have bought lots for their loved ones with the intention of that cemetery being used
for anything else. I personally told Mr. Mont and I will not proceed as minister and I hope no government of
this province ever does.

MR. HOLM: I do applaud the minister on his answer and he knows I have written to him already to
applaud him for that. The reason that I raise it today is that my understanding from staff at the county that
they still have not, the minister may have and he was very kind to provide me with copy of his letter, but the
staff haven’t heard this yet and there is still a request in for a change of use permit for a portion of the
cemetery involved. My question to the minister is will he ensure or make a request when he goes back or
leaves Question Period today, that he has his staff get in touch with the planning department in the
municipality to make sure that they are fully aware that this request isn’t going to be approved, because I
understand that the request to the county is still being pursued by Mr. Mont at that level for the change of use

MR. BROWN: Mr. Mont has every right to make an application before the county. The honourable
member for Sackville-Beaverbank, the Mayor of Halifax County were there, they definitely know my decision
but, however, I appreciate the confusion being brought up here today and I will certainly see that a copy of
that letter again, which I have already sent, goes to the county.

MR. SPEAKER: Is there a final supplementary? We have time for another question.

The honourable member for Kings West.


MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance, a very simple
question. As the minister knows, a 3 per cent roll-back started I believe on Tuesday, and I would ask the
minister if this 3 per cent roll-back applies to any Civil Servants earning under $25,000.

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: The limitation was that under $25,000 they were exempt.

MR. MOODY: Well, I thank the minister that was my understanding. If you earn under $25,000 you
are exempt. I would ask the Minister of Health then why his department sent out to the hospitals and the
Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville, that anyone working part time would be based on an hourly basis and
therefore nurses who are supporting family and children earning $25,000 are now being rolled-back on his
instructions, are now being rolled-back 3 per cent. I would ask the minister why he sent that out?

HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly consult with my staff to answer specifically
this question by the honourable member opposite. The honourable Minister of Finance has made some
comments regarding this, perhaps you would like to add to the answer to this honourable member’s question.

MR. SPEAKER: There is only one minute left.

MR. MOODY: Somebody who knows something, the Minister of Health can’t give us any details about
anything. I would ask the Minister of Finance, people working part time on a two day a week basis, even
though their hourly rate, if they were working full time may add up to $25,000, would he please change the
regulations so that these poor people earning under $25,000, these nurses are not clawed back 3 per cent of
their salary?

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: The calculation, for the honourable member’s information, is on an
annualized basis so that if somebody came in, for example, and earned $20,000 a month and only worked for
one month, they would face the clawback as well.

MR. MOODY: If they work two days a week, seven days a week and they are clawed back.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired. Possibly the member
could pursue this matter privately with the ministers involved.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During Question Period, on an
exchange between myself and the honourable Minister of Finance, the minister was quoting from a document.
I think he referred to it as a document from Saskatchewan or based on the Saskatchewan Government’s
decisions to go forward with gambling or whatever, but he definitely was quoting from some sort of a
document. I would like to ask if you would direct the Minister of Finance to table that document.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: I would be happy to do so.

MR. SPEAKER: Very well. I would say this, that if ministers are reading from briefing books and
quote a page, they need only table a copy of that page, not the entire book.


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 114.

Bill No. 114 - Municipal Reform (1994) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, here we have before the House and before Nova Scotians and, most
particularly, before the citizens of the four municipal units that comprise the metropolitan area and that rural
part of Halifax County which is adjacent to that urban area, a bill which is deemed by the government to be
on the cutting edge of municipal reform.

I think it behooves us to look at some of the aspects of this bill which is put forward by the minister
with great fanfare and understand just how cutting some of the aspects of this bill are. We don’t have to go
very far to see one aspect of it, for on the first page of the bill we find that there is a definition of a dog. Well,
that certainly is germane to the entire matter of reform of municipal units across Nova Scotia. Indeed, for
those who may wonder just what a dog is, a dog, under this new regime will be, “. . . any dog, male or female,
or any animal that is the result of the breeding of a dog and any other animal;”. Well, Mr. Speaker, I am sure
that the municipal ratepayers across this province will find comfort that that is encompassed in this bill which
establishes the cutting edge of municipal reform for Nova Scotians.

A little further on I find another novel aspect in this bill. It is one section which requires the removal
from municipal responsibility for certain court costs, including fees and interpreters. Then it goes on to talk
about court-houses and lock-up houses. The difficulty here is that we do not yet have a plan from the Minister
of Justice with respect to how court-houses are to be distributed throughout Nova Scotia, as to what lock-ups
are to be in place and as to how people are going to be able to access what facilities in what communities. If
this is part of municipal reform, then it should be here in the bill, not simply alluded to, but in detail.

I am sure that all citizens across the province will be relieved to know that under this cutting edge
legislation, municipal councils will now require resolution before they adopt a coat of arms or a flag to be
named or appointed for the municipal units. Mr. Speaker, the legislation is full of these very kinds of poignant

I note, and I am sure that the Minister of Natural Resources is particularly interested in another section
which causes if possible for the new municipal units to prohibit or regulate the keeping of goats, pigs, foxes,
mink, geese, turkeys, hens, domestic fowl and other animals in areas defined by by-law and so on and so forth.
Again, Mr. Speaker, on the cutting edge of municipal reform.

The bill is replete with these kinds of examples and we have learned from my colleague, the member
for Kings North just the other day, fully 10 per cent of the bill revolves around dogs which causes one to
wonder just where this government is going, if not to the dogs, with respect to municipal reform.

The minister has talked about the introduction of this legislation as a watershed event in municipal
reform in Nova Scotia. She is right that it is a watershed event but it is not a watershed event with respect to
the quality and the thrust of the legislation which is before us. Rather, it is a watershed event with respect to
the determination by this minister, this Premier, this government, all of their Cabinet colleagues, to reject
consultation in favour of dragooning municipal units into amalgamation.

We now have a new President for the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. It wasn’t very long before
that President, Madaline Libbus, found herself in the position where she had to speak on behalf of the union
with respect to this legislation. Not wanting to put words into Mrs. Libbus’ mouth, I quote from her, “It is the
ultimate betrayal. My first term on the UNSM was under Mr. Savage’s rule and I had a lot of respect for him
at that time. Things have certainly changed but I guess a lot of municipal people who get into the provincial
government soon seem to forget where they came from and their grass roots.”.

We know that there is one member here on the government side of the House who hasn’t forgotten his
grass roots and that, of course, is the MLA for Cape Breton West. I take my hat off to that member for
standing and standing alone among all of his caucus colleagues thus far with respect to representing the best
interests of his constituents. That member is quoted in the Daily News of October 28th as saying, “The bottom
line is, are we paying more taxes or less taxes? I just want to know what it’s going to cost the people I
represent. If it costs more, I’m not supporting it.”. Now there is a member with intestinal fortitude.

I contrast that thus far, and we may well hear from these other members, but I contrast that thus far
with the apparent position taken by other members of this House. In fact, I suspect the very people to whom
Mrs. Libbus referred when she spoke of people who had leaped from the municipal to the provincial forum.

We have already had tabled in the House a document entitled, The Province wants you to be part of
a new super-city and in the last page of this document is says, “Now is the time to express your concerns. We
do not believe that Halifax County residents will accept the package of reforms with unknown costs and
benefits. You should be properly consulted, presented with all the relevant facts and be guaranteed that your
sense of community and grass roots representation will be maintained.”.

Mr. Speaker, as we all know from the tabled document, the names of all of those who are signatory
to this document are down the right-hand column of the back page. Those include a former councillor by the
name of Bruce Holland, a former county councillor by the name of Bill MacDonald, a former county
councillor by the name of Dennis Richards and a former country councillor by the name of Brooke Taylor.

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member would entertain a small

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens it is at your discretion.

MR. LEEFE: At the close, Mr. Speaker. I do want to say that it strikes me that of those former
municipal councillors there is only one who has maintained a consistent position with respect to municipal
reform and that is my colleague, the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit.

The honourable member says that he traded in his Liberal card, I must say that I know he is not unique
in that among Nova Scotians if that in fact is the case at all.

What is the difference between the bill that is before us today and the direction which the government
of which I was a part intended to move. One of the differences lies in the responsibility for paying for
municipal social assistance. It was the determination of our government that the province would assume the
responsibility for municipal social assistance payments and that there would be one tier of social assistance
for all those Nova Scotians who find themselves from time to time having to take advantage of it.

[1:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, this new plan does not do that. With the exception - and this is as yet unexplained - of
the new, super municipality we created in Cape Breton, every other municipal unit will be required to
continue to pay the costs of municipal social assistance across this province. My information tells me that the
net municipal cost of social service programs is approximately $94 million, so one would have to take out of
that the amount that is going to be paid for by the province and the super municipality in Cape Breton, but
it still means that every other municipal unit in Nova Scotia, before and after amalgamation, will be required
to pay out millions and millions of dollars to sustain a two-tiered social assistance system in this province,
a system which is outmoded, out-of-date and should be out of the way altogether, excepting that this
legislation does not accomplish that.

Mr. Speaker, it was also the intention of our government that the municipal units would no longer be
required to contribute to the cost of corrections. Again, the information I have, and this comes in fact from
the Department of Municipal Affairs - it is public information and the minister would certainly have it
available to her - the costs of corrections to the municipal units in the fiscal year 1994-95 is estimated to be
$13.4 million. Well, that is $13.4 million that the municipalities were not supposed to have to meet but that
they are now going to have to meet.

The terms of reference given to the commissioners on municipal reform by our government in January
1993, also stated that public health hospital services and all health-related services be financed, enforced and
delivered by the provincial government. It is my understanding, Mr. Speaker, that that would have meant that
homes for special care would also be a financial responsibility of the province, but that is not the case in this
legislation. In this legislation, as I understand it, the province will assume up to 80 per cent of the cost but
not the full cost of homes for special care.

Mr. Speaker, there are very significant differences with respect to what the original plan was for
municipal reform and what this plan is for municipal reform. We wanted to move on municipal reform and
the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities wanted to move on municipal reform, in order to cease having extant
a fuzzy line between provincial and municipal responsibilities and, instead, to create a very clear delineation
based on the delivery of people services by the province and property services by the municipal units.

Mr. Speaker, this bill, at its very best, is fuzzy. It is unclear and because of the way it was delivered
and the way the decision was delivered by this minister and by this Premier and by this government to
municipal units across this province, and particularly in the metropolitan area, this legislation is poisoned.
Whether the minister understands it or not, that poisoned a chalice, the chalice poisoned by the Premier
himself, has been conveyed to her and she has been infected by it as surely as has he. That poison will spread
throughout this government and this community and all communities which take great exception at having
the municipal reform, which was promised to them by way of consultation, rammed at them, those people
being entirely unsuspecting as to what was going to happen.

Mr. Speaker, we now know what the blueprint of this government is with respect to municipal reform.
That blueprint has left a footprint, a very clear footprint as of last week and the footprint is the footprint of
the jackboot.

Mr. Speaker, the swap that is encompassed in this bill is a myth. It is a myth in that it does not provide
substantial change but rather it reinforces an inadequacy with respect to the arrangements between municipal
units and the provincial government, an inadequacy that should have been cured by this government and by
this legislation.

We need look no further than the editorial that appeared in the Chronicle-Herald, I believe the day
after the announcement was made by the Premier and by the minister, and that editorial, one with which I
agree, states, “The great service swap between the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and the province, after
eight years of discussion, turned out to be a confusing non-event. . . . The UNSM, denied a chance to review
the new service exchange policy, says the province dumped the consultation process in favour of heavy-handed

I say, Mr. Speaker, that is too bad. It is more than too bad, it is a dramatic negative turn of events. I
believe and I am sure that most Nova Scotians believe that through consultation we could have arrived at the
right kind of clear split between the responsibilities of the province and the municipal units.

This government, as I have said, has poisoned the chalice and they will taste the fruits and the
bitterness of that poison as we move forward under this legislation when, as it will, it passes in this House.
I, sir, am one who will not be supporting it in third reading unless there are very substantial changes made
which reflect a clear kind of delineation that should be in place with respect to the responsibilities of
municipal units in the province.

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, a question for the honourable member. My friend had
mentioned to the House that he had read in the newspaper, and quoted from that newspaper, that another
honourable member had indicated that he would not support any legislation unless there was a net monetary
gain to the people that he represented, at least that is the way I interpreted the matter. I noted that my friend
had indicated that that member would be a man with integrity or a member with integrity. I only took that
to mean that anyone who did not take the same path, in other words failed to support legislation unless it was
a net gain to their constituents, was a person without integrity.

I am just wondering if the member is saying that if any of the members of his caucus represent people
that actually would have a monetary gain under this exchange that they should vote in favour of it, otherwise
they would be people without integrity. I wonder if that is what he meant? Since you can only vote for a bill
unless your people make money on it, if any of the members of his caucus represent a constituency that is on
the plus side, does he expect them to vote in favour of this legislation or else they are people without integrity?
Is that what the member is saying?

MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, the question is almost as long as my offer for the debate this afternoon. I
think it is fair to say that in this event it seems clear that integrity is like beauty, it is in the eye of the

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

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am surprised some of my former Halifax County colleagues
didn’t beat me to my feet here but obviously they are waiting until a little later on to speak against this bill.
I don’t exactly have a whole lot of problems with the legislation other than the process. As we know there are
66 municipal units presently in Nova Scotia. There are 3 cities, 39 towns, 24 municipalities, 26 local village
communities, 92 local governments, over 600 elected officials in a province with a population of
approximately 900,000.

As of August 1, 1995, with the beginning of the new Cape Breton regional municipality, 8 will become
1 and 66 will obviously be reduced to 59. With the minister’s announcement last week, on April 1, 1996, 4
will become 1 in the metro area. That will mean that 59 will become 55. This means that one-half of the
population in this province would be under 2 municipal governments and the remainder of the population
would require 54 units to deliver property service.

Mr. Speaker, I have a question. Does that sound logical? Does this sound like the result of consultation
or does this sound like a government without foresight and planning? I am just asking the question, I would
never suggest that. I am just asking the question.

Mr. Speaker, the current government’s track record on reform must be scrutinized as this very
necessary process unfolds. The position of the members for Timberlea-Prospect; Sackville-Beaverbank; Cole
Harbour-Eastern Passage - I see the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage does not even hang around,
I am sure he is listening outside - the member for Preston, the Supply and Services Minister; and, of course,
the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, were very clear and documented in the paper, the super-city.
This paper has been tabled. I am sure the members, my former Halifax County colleagues remember well the
super-city document.

Mr. Speaker, we had a large number of concerns when the previous provincial government decided
to amalgamate the four metropolitan municipal units. Some of the concerns we had was along these lines. Is
this same high level of personal representation possible in the new super-city? Probably not. In the super-city,
each municipal politician would be responsible for representing as many as 17,000 residents, a population
greater than many provincial constituencies.

MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. In fact there are two points of order.

MR. SPEAKER: One at a time, please.

MR. RICHARDS: I was just accused, Mr. Speaker, of being absent from the Chamber during the
honourable member’s comments. I want the record to show that I was in the Chamber. I had occasion to speak
to you on a matter that I thought was of importance. I was here. I was participating in this debate, as I have
through most of the debate on this particular piece of legislation. I would ask the honourable member for
Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley to retract that comment and let the record stand to show that I am in the
Chamber listening, albeit difficult, to his comments, but nevertheless I am here and I am participating.

MR. SPEAKER: It is not a point of order. If the honourable member wishes to retract his statement,
so be it. But it is now registered in Hansard, the correctness of the situation, that you have been in the House
during the debate, Hansard will register that fact.

MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: Mr. Speaker, on a second point of order, the honourable member keeps
referring in his debate on this legislation about the amalgamation of the four municipal units and he makes
reference to a particular document.

MR. TAYLOR: You were a signatory to it.

MR. RICHARDS: Mr. Speaker, the point of order is that the legislation that is before us in Bill No.
114, I believe, has nothing to do with amalgamation. Maybe the honourable member has not read the
legislation. Maybe he has not seen to have the time to do that, I don’t know. But I would suggest that he and
his colleagues should make their comments on the legislation, which has nothing to do with amalgamation
of the four municipal units in the metropolitan area. If he has not read it, perhaps he would take the time now
to pull his book out and do just that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage makes a point.
Beauchesne outlines that during second reading of a bill, while it is essentially a reading that is intended to
deal with the principle of the bill, normally Speakers give a very wide latitude to the debate and allow the
debate to stray in some measure, from the principles of the bill. But the member is correct, that the bill is not
a bill specifically on amalgamation, it is a bill on service exchange. While I have permitted the straying and
will continue to allow a reasonable degree of latitude, I must remind all members that we are debating a bill
on service exchange. There is no direct point of order.

[2:00 p.m.]

MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for that ruling, and I do apologize, I looked over at the
member’s seat - this is with respect to his comments that he was in the Chamber -and noticed that he was
absent. Some of my Liberal hockey playing colleagues may suggest I need these glasses on more than I wear
them but I certainly don’t mind assisting them and helping them set up any of the goals they are trying to
attain. I will help them on the ice as well as in here in the Chamber. So I do retract that statement. I
apologize, it was just an oversight. I do hope the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage will
forgive me.

Mr. Speaker, I do feel the concerns in this document about the super-city and why we have tabled it,
are some of the concerns we have respecting the current legislation, Bill No. 114. We are concerned about
political representation, we are concerned about cost implications. We are concerned about the sense of the
community, we are concerned about property taxation, we are concerned about public participation. Those
concerns are the same today as they were back in May 1993. We are extremely concerned about this.

Mr. Speaker, I believe a member opposite wants to have the floor. I would certainly be willing to yield,
if you so desire.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no debate across the floor, please address your remarks to the Chair.

MR. TAYLOR: Okay, Mr. Speaker, I do apologize for that. There is one question here that I think still
begs to be asked, with regard to the super-city, who will . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of the Environment is rising on presumably a point of

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Well no, I would wonder, I just question as to whether the honourable
member would entertain a question, is that possible?

MR. SPEAKER: Will the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley entertain a

MR. TAYLOR: I would be pleased to entertain a question at the end of debate, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Okay, there is no question.

The honourable member has the floor.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, some of the questions and concerns we have with this piece of legislation
is, who will decide how much property tax you should pay and how will your tax dollars be spent? A very
legitimate question.

Mr. Speaker, another concern is public participation and consultation. I am sure my former Halifax
County colleagues have those concerns today, as I do. Halifax County has a clear track record of listening to
its citizens. For example, county residents have told us they want government that was closer to their

Last year, which would be 1992 in this case, community councils were established in Sackville and
Cole Harbour-Westphal, Mr. Speaker. What is going to happen to those county councils? I wonder if the
minister has given that some consideration? Why haven’t you been asked about the province’s decision . . .

MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I understood from your ruling that the
honourable member must stick to the principle of the bill. The principle of this bill has nothing to do with
amalgamation. The honourable member keeps talking about amalgamation, will you please rule that the
principle of the bill has nothing to do with amalgamation of the metropolitan area, has strictly to do with
service exchange from municipal units all across the Province of Nova Scotia. That is the bill that is up for
debate, not amalgamation of the metropolitan area.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to kindly keep the honourable member on track and not swaying all over the
place on issues he obviously knows very little about.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, the honourable member had raised the point of order earlier. I thought I was
clear in my explanation so I will quote directly from Beauchesne, Page 195, Paragraph 640(2), on second
reading. “The stage of second reading is primarily concerned with the principle of a measure. At this stage,
debate is not strictly limited to the contents of a bill as other methods of attaining its proposed objective may
be considered.”.

Again, on Page 197, on second reading, Beauchesne indicates that the second reading of the bill is not
for a clause by clause or definitive analysis of the bill but allows some degree of latitude in the debate. I have
left some degree of latitude in the debate as I have outlined to you and I have asked all members in the debate
to stay within a reasonable latitude as is expected of second reading of a bill. It is not strictly limited to the
principle of the bill but may stray within reasonable latitude.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, after that vociferation by the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage
I will certainly try to be as relevant as I can to the bill. (Interruption) No, I didn’t say pregnant I said
vociferation and he was certainly very vociferous. This document on the super-city, The Province wants you
to be part of a new super-city, the former Deputy Mayor of Halifax County seems to have a problem with it.
I want to assure him if he wants to take an extra look at it there is one tabled with the House. I have all kinds
of reasons and rationale why I am opposed to this bill, namely the process.

I want to start with the process and it started when the minister made her statement on municipal
reform. She said since assuming government 16 months ago we have pursued an unprecedented reform
agenda. Well, she is certainly very correct. They certainly pursued an unprecedented reform agenda. Mr.
Speaker, it is a chaotic reform and people in health care, people in education, people in whatever type of
reform they endeavour to take have some concerns, so it is a chaotic reform.

The minister of municipal reform says that after extensive consultation this government is taking
action now. I grant it she did have extensive consultation respecting the service exchange but where was the
consultation respecting boundary change? (Interruption) Mr. Speaker, if you are going to merge four
municipalities, obviously you are going to change some boundaries, so the handwriting is on the wall and the
minister knows that. I had a call from one citizen, a citizen from Halifax County, in fact that citizen lived in
the Cole Harbour area, and she said that it appears as though we are moving back to the modern dark ages
or we are moving into the modern dark ages, that was a concern that that lady had.

Mr. Speaker, you know there are a lot of bees in here, wannabes and never-will-bes. Sometimes you
know their bad manners are exceeded only by their bad manners. The concerns I had with Bill No. 114, here
is what they say, we committed to a process of consultation and we have kept that process. We committed to
a process of consultation and we have acted on them. There are certainly many who would say the process of
consultation is very much one-sided.

I will make a few more comments here and I surely don’t intend to incense the honourable colleagues
in the House here but I do want to indicate that the position of the members for Timberlea-Prospect, Sackville-Beaverbank, Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, Preston was very clear and documented in the super-city
document which again is tabled. That paper is tabled here in the House. These members while stating . . .

MR. BRUCE HOLLAND: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I would like to also point out because the
Opposition has, on numerous occasions, referred to this document that it also says that we want to assure you
that your mayor and municipal council, of which the honourable member was a member at the time, does not
reject the idea of reform. So, for them to infer that we did, from this document, is wrong and I would hope
that they would refrain from doing it in the future. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order, but there may be a difference of opinion and views.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has the floor.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect just would have
listened for another sentence or two, I could have saved him getting up on that non-legitimate point of order.

These members, while stating they did not request reform, called on the Cameron Government with
the words that you should be properly consulted, presented with all the relevant facts and guaranteed that your
sense of community and grass-roots representation will be maintained. This is what these former Halifax
County councillors had said . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: . . . the legislation comes in. We’re not talking about that legislation . . .

MR. TAYLOR: I sincerely hope these members will all stand up now and be heard, to ensure this very
necessary process reverts to the sentiments expressed in a document to which their names are attached.

The Liberal municipal reform policy, part of the 1993 Liberal election platform, states categorically
that the Liberal Government will not change municipal boundaries and structures before providing full
information to the public on the impact of such change including the cost and benefits of available options,
nor before members of the public have had full opportunity for input and critique. Mr. Speaker, that is the
Liberal municipal reform policy, part of the 1993 . . .

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Once again I have to remind the
House that the member is talking about municipal boundaries. This bill has nothing to do with municipal
boundaries that is before the House now, it has to do with a service exchange and the member continues to
refer to municipal boundaries and the position of this government prior to the election on municipal
boundaries. The whole discussion is out of order. If he can’t stick to the discussion at hand, he should sit down
and let somebody else take the floor.

MR. SPEAKER: I have outlined to the House on two occasions the rules governing the procedures of
conduct and debate. I have read from our authority, Beauchesne, on two occasions and to stray from the strict
principle of the bill is permissible on second reading.

MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for that very fine ruling. I just want to say that my colleagues
have well-documented the type of consultation that they felt should take place. A completely revised document
has been introduced on which little or no consultation occurred. There is no question that Bill No. 114 implies
boundary change; there is no question and they know that as well as I know it. It may not be explicit but it
certainly implies it.

After speaking with taxpayers in my area, the beautiful Musquodoboit Valley, I hear many more
questions than answers regarding Bill No. 114; there are a lot of questions. Many councillors are wondering
what will happen to taxes in rural Halifax County. District 12 Councillor Jim Reid, whose district includes
the Musquodoboit Valley and, incidentally, Mr. Reid tried to get the Liberal nomination for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley back in 1993, Councillor Jim Reid. (Interruption) Mr. Speaker the bees are at it again,
the wannabes and the never-will-bes. The bees are buzzing again.

AN HON. MEMBER: . . . where’s your card, Brooke?

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, could I perhaps digress just a little to tell them where my card is?

MR. SPEAKER: Digression to the degree of your stature in any Party in this province is not within
the parameters. That I would accept as straying from the principle of the bill.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I have to go back to District 12 Councillor Jim Reid, whose district
includes the beautiful Musquodoboit Valley. He is very concerned about the lack of concrete information
respecting Bill No. 114. This information would have been forthcoming if there would have been consultation
after changes had been made. The uncertainty that many, if not all, the municipal units are feeling could have
been avoided if they were part of the process, if only they were part of the process, not the result of a
dictatorial decision.

[2:15 p.m.]

Municipalities must be relieved of the fear, both real and imagined of provincial downloading. It is
unreasonable to suggest an increase in either residential or commercial tax rolls in many parts of our province.
Consultation must take place on this legislation. These fears must be addressed by government through a
consultative and listening process. I support, again, Mr. Speaker, amalgamation, there is no question about
it, but the process stinks, quite frankly. The process has been a sham.

This was passed out October 27, 1994, Mr. Speaker. Some of the costs that municipal units will incur.
Amherst, for example, the cost to Amherst with the result, pardon me, this is a financial impact statement.
I am sure it is tabled with the House. If it is not, I would certainly make copies. It is respecting the provincial-municipal service exchange. Revised proposal, October 27, 1994. Amherst, $57,000 cost; New Glasgow,
$97,000 cost; Annapolis Royal, $92,000; Antigonish, $88,000; Canso, $580,000; Parrsboro, the little Town
of Parrsboro, $100,000; Stellarton, $118,000. (Interruption)

Well, Mr. Speaker, sometimes the truth does hurt. This is the stuff that is on the table. You know there
is a saying, it is not so much what is on the table as what is on the chairs that counts and I think it is very
appropriate here in the House. The cost to Stewiacke, $82,000; Trenton, $710,000, the direct result of this
legislation, Bill No. 114. Then we have Annapolis, $111,000; the County of Colchester over $1 million; the
County of Halifax, over $4.5 million. These are costs that the municipalities are going to have to incur and
pick up, they will incur. Kings County, $760,000.

AN HON. MEMBER: Say that again.

MR. TAYLOR: Kings County, $760,000, the cost to Kings County. So, Mr. Speaker, it is the process.
It is not so much the legislation. It is the form that it was presented and there has been no consultation
whatsoever. They dropped a bombshell, they dropped a bombshell overnight. As the Mayor of Halifax County
says, it is going to be a shotgun wedding. Thank you, very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I rise to enter the debate on Bill No. 114, a bill concerning
municipal reform. I have had the opportunity to speak on this bill on a previous occasion, not on the principle
of the bill itself, which we are now debating, but rather on the amendment introduced by my colleague for
Sackville-Cobequid when he tried to make an appeal to all members of the House, on both sides of the House,
to see the wisdom in the proposed course of action that I think would be widely supported by all Nova Scotians
affected by this bill and that, in fact, is all Nova Scotians, because there will be no Nova Scotian that will not
be impacted by this bill in one way or another.

I think that course of action suggested by my colleague was indeed a wise and a responsible one,
namely, that this bill not be read for a second time. Meaning that it not go ahead to the Law Amendments
Committee at this time but rather that we have a six month period of delay, during which there could be the
kind of consultation that was very much promised by this government. Perhaps more important even than the
broken promises - and no one can deny that it is a broken promise to be going ahead with this bill at this time
without further consultation - it seems to me, is the fact that success of municipal reform very much depends
upon a cooperative relationship between the government of the day and the municipalities, between the
provincial government and the municipal governments and that is at the level of leadership and that is also
at the level of the citizenry.

I think the tragedy about what this government is doing with its municipal reform initiatives contained
in Bill No. 114 is that it is poisoning the climate. It is creating a climate in which municipal reform will be
very much more difficult. Surely, when there is such a broad consensus that municipal reform is indeed
needed, it is incumbent upon the government to ensure that that reform take place, that that change process
take place in as positive and constructive and collaborative and cooperative a manner as possible.

I know that when various members on the Opposition benches have risen in debate on Bill No. 114
to object to the lack of sufficient consultation, we have heard a lot of yelling from the back benches and some
of it taunting from the front benches, including from the minister herself, asserting that there has been a huge
amount of consultation, that all the consultation in the world has taken place, that there has been consultation
ad nauseam and for Heaven’s sake the time to act is now.

The minister herself acknowledged that the commitment to consultation that had been made to the
Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and to the municipal leaders across this province was not fully honoured.
It is the minister’s own letter of September 2nd to which I refer and to which reference has been made by
others. A letter sent by the minister to all municipal units and villages in the province in which the minister
herself acknowledges that the coordinating committee that was set up for the purpose of consulting around
the provincial-municipal service exchange had not met during the summer because several issues related to
the proposal arose at the provincial level; that once they are dealt with, a meeting of the coordinating
committee will be held.

That is a specific, concrete commitment that was made in good faith, one assumes, in writing and very
widely disseminated to all of the municipal leaders in this province. Surely the government cannot be
surprised that the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and the municipal leaders across the province who are
represented through the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities are angry that that commitment has been
violated. That was a very specific undertaking and there were very good reasons for that kind of undertaking
to have been sought.

There have been many assertions made from across the floor from the Government members that there
were committees meeting all of the time, that all kinds of committee meetings took place. Well, let me just
say that the coordinating committee to which the minister herself makes reference and which she
acknowledged on September 2nd had not met through the summer, had not, in fact, met since early May. How
in the name of Heaven can the government expect people to respect their commitment to consultation and to
trust their word, frankly, when they commit themselves to consultation with the very partners in the process
of the provincial-municipal service exchange and then grind that consultation process to a dead halt in May
and, over a five month period, there be no further consultation or communication take place around the
provincial-municipal service exchange, leading up to the most far-reaching, wide-sweeping municipal reform
legislation probably ever introduced in this province, and not understand why people don’t consider that to
be sufficient consultation, don’t consider that to be an honouring in good faith of the commitment to

How can dead silence in the consultative process that was set up, absolutely no information exchange
whatsoever taking place in the whole five month run-up to the introduction of this legislation constitute a
genuine, serious commitment to consultation? Mr. Speaker, it simply can’t. You can’t pretend that that is
adequate consultation. Or if this government is going to continue to insist that that is an adequate nod to
consultation, then it is a very alarming signal to Nova Scotians as to what this government means when it
commits itself to consultation. If that is consultation, what in the name of Heaven would non-consultation look

Now, Mr. Speaker, I know there are some government members, and the minister herself has tried to
make this point, well, you can’t just go on consulting forever, there comes a time when action is required. I
think every reasonable person who understands and recognizes the need for municipal reform would agree
you can’t go on consulting forever, that there is a time when action is indicated. But, Mr. Speaker, it was the
minister herself who wrote to the municipalities and acknowledged that there was the need to resume
consultation and made the specific commitment that that consultation would be resumed by her and her
government, after the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs - and presumably the other departments
impacted because Heaven knows, there are a lot of departments impacted by this proposed municipal reform -
after the provincial government had done its homework and come up with the kind of information they were
prepared to enter into further consultation around.

Presumably, that is why the minister wrote - I assume she wrote it in good faith and I think the
municipal leaders received it as a commitment in good faith - when she said on September 2nd, “At the
moment we are proceeding to develop a final proposal with all of the financial implications identified and an
assurance that any cost increases for the provincial government can be accommodated.”.

I am sure that the municipal leaders, on receiving this some four months after consultation had
virtually ground to a halt and there had been no meetings of the coordinating committee, were not necessarily
happy with the minister arguing, pleading the case for further delays. But I am sure they accepted it as a good
faith undertaking, that the province was doing what the minister said it would do and what the municipalities
requested the province to do, namely to analyze the financial implications and bring them forward for further

So the minister went on, “At the same time we are attempting to ensure that the details of municipal
reform dovetail with reform programs in community services, health care and justice.”. Again, Mr. Speaker,
I think people regarded that as a reasonable kind of undertaking, that everybody understands that municipal
reform is not something that is very neat and tidy and circumscribed and restricted to some neat little
compartment of government called Municipal Affairs, that it, indeed, has implications for health care, for
community services, for education, for justice, for transportation. In fact, there is hardly any area of
government responsibility that is not potentially impacted by municipal reform. That is why the minister’s
case for the province needing more time to do its homework, I think, was accepted by people as a reasonable

[2:30 p.m.]

People gave a fair hearing to the minister when she wrote on September 2nd and said, further,
“Proceeding in this manner means that it takes a little longer to develop the final program, but the end result
should be a more substantial, practical improvement in municipal government in Nova Scotia.”. She
concluded that communication, Mr. Speaker - I think this letter from the minister has already been tabled but
if it has not, I certainly will do so - that September 2nd letter to the municipal leaders by saying the following,
“I want to stress that no final decisions have been made, and we will continue to consult with the UNSM as
the program proceeds. Yours truly, Sandy Jolly, Minister of Municipal Affairs.”.

Well, I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that it should have been no surprise to this government when,
on behalf of the UNSM, their president expressed how stunned and disappointed and, I think frankly, angered
the municipal leaders of this province were that instead of returning to the consultation process, instead of
honouring the commitment to bring forward, not a piece of final legislation, but a proposal flushing out the
financial implications in its proposed reforms, it should have been no surprise that those municipal leaders
were very upset, that the first knowledge that they had of what the government’s final proposal was going to
be was not in a consultative process, not in a collaborative process, not in any situation that gave them the
opportunity to have some further input or even the opportunity, even the courtesy of this government to give
them some way of knowing what it was they were going to be responding to, the government comes in here
and brings in the final proposal in the form of the legislation that we now find ourselves debating. Now, there
are several problems with proceeding in that manner.

The minister, when queried last week about why the government had violated its commitment to
consult, why it had specifically breached the commitment made to come back to the municipal leaders in that
September 2nd letter, said that what we are doing is responding to the pressures from the municipalities to
get on with reform, we are responding to the resolutions from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, so
why are Opposition members in this House giving us a hard time?

Mr. Speaker, I did not have the opportunity to attend the UNSM convention in Sydney in September
because I was temporarily sidelined. My colleague, who is this Municipal Affairs Critic for the New
Democratic Party, did attend that convention and I think has attended pretty well every UNSM convention
that has been possible for him to attend in the 10 years that he has been in this House, and he has represented
municipal concerns in this province so ably and effectively.

At that UNSM convention, Mr. Speaker - let me be very clear and direct about this in response to the
minister’s assertions that all the government is doing is what the UNSM wants them to do and what their
resolutions call on them to do - there was a resolution passed on the very precise issue of service exchange
at that September convention of UNSM. I am going to read it into the record because I think it is absolutely
germane to this debate and that it refutes absolutely, categorically, the claim by the minister that the
government is doing what the UNSM wanted them to do. It speaks for itself. The resolution on service
exchange from the September UNSM convention reads as follows:

Whereas the Minister of Municipal Affairs has indicated that a provincial-municipal service exchange
will take place on April 1, 1995; and

Whereas the complete details of this exchange are unknown by the UNSM Executive and its members;

Whereas the UNSM remains committed to participating in the planning and decision-making process
of the service exchange;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Municipal Affairs be requested to provide all units with
details, including financial projections, of the service exchange by November 1, 1994;

Be it further resolved that the UNSM seek a commitment from the minister to consult regularly and,
further, to meet with the UNSM Executive Coordinating Committee at a minimum on a monthly basis until
at least April 1, 1995;

Be it further resolved that following the release of the minister’s next report, not the final legislation,
but the next report, that the UNSM Executive consider convening a meeting of mayors and wardens;

Be it further resolved that the UNSM request the minister to hold public meetings in at least each
UNSM region of the province;

Be it further resolved that the Executive Committee be empowered to negotiate a fair and achievable
service exchange;

Be it further resolved that the UNSM regularly report on all new developments to the general

Mr. Speaker, that makes it abundantly clear and it is now very clearly on the record that the minister
is not telling the truth when she says that the government’s legislation is simply responding to the UNSM’s
stated wishes because there are the UNSM’s stated wishes on the public record and publicly expressed.

HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I hesitate to rise because the member
continues to go on and on, but I have to, based on the comments that she has made. My point of order is the
fact that the honourable member sitting next to her had asked me questions about the legislation. He asked
the questions as reference to regulations, by-laws, things that are in the bill. As she per usual does, tries to
twist it into another aspect of the bill, which is the service exchange portion. They are two totally unrelated
aspects, although covered under the same bill with two totally different responses from the minister.

MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Deputy Speaker, as a long-serving municipal leader, you may have some
understanding of what that meant, but it absolutely bore no relationship to the points that I was making and
did not deal at all with the subject that I was addressing. So maybe that is because the minister was not able
to be in the House when I started to address this subject and I can only assume that (Interruption)

Well, she may have watched it, but she certainly did not listen because what I am addressing is the
issue which is very much in dispute here as to whether the government kept its word to the UNSM or it did
not. The minister says they did, the UNSM says they did not and they said so very clearly, both prior to the
government bringing in this legislation, because virtually all consultation had already been suspended since
May, and subsequent to the introduction of the legislation in which, not surprisingly, the president of the
UNSM made it very clear that they were not happy and, again, quoting directly from that press release from
the UNSM, they have made the same point again.

In September the minister wrote to all mayors and wardens and indicated that no final decision had
been made on the components of the service exchange and that she would consult with the UNSM before
making decisions. The government has not consulted, instead the government has acted unilaterally. The
service exchange package does not remove all municipalities from funding general assistance.

Mr. Speaker, that brings me to one of, I think, the most serious breaches of all in this government’s
commitment to municipal reform. Well in advance of the last election, in fact, in this House, repeatedly,
Liberal members taunted the Cameron Government for their failure to get on with bringing Nova Scotia into
the 1990’s in regard to provincial assumption of responsibility for social assistance and they did so on many

During the election campaign, the Liberals didn’t make some vague commitment to the idea that this
is something that the government should think about doing or that this is something that a Liberal
Government, if elected to office, would begin to consider. The Liberal Party went all over this province in the
election in the spring of 1993 making a very clear commitment to eliminate the unfair, inequitable, two-tiered
system of social assistance as an urgent priority. As a matter of fact, they were even more specific than that.
They said that this was a priority that they would address within the first three to six months.

When the government completely failed to deliver on that commitment when they brought in Bill No.
114 which is now under debate, the explanation that they offered was that finances did not allow them to do
this. There are a couple of things that Nova Scotians are thinking about as they try to decide whether this is
a credible, reasonable response from this government which had made an absolute commitment that this
would be a priority.

What I think many Nova Scotians will remember, and for those who don’t I am happy to have the
opportunity in debate to remind them, is that this government, this Party that is now in power, when it was
out there campaigning in the spring 1993 election campaign, made a very big virtue out of the fact that their
commitment to eliminating the two-tiered social assistance system, preceded any commitment made by the
Tories to do the same.

In fact, they were incensed at the idea that Donald Cameron on the campaign trail might get a tiny bit
of credit for having made a commitment to eliminate the two-tiered system. They couldn’t stand the idea that
any Nova Scotian would not think that this was a commitment that came first from the Liberals, had been
consistently supported by the Liberals and, therefore, was one that was packed with such credibility, that Nova
Scotians should certainly rush to support the Liberals in the election campaign because the Liberals alone
really meant it when they said that they were going to eliminate the two-tiered system of social assistance.

Here is what they said in their Liberal welfare reform policy, and I am sure you had an interest in this
issue both as critic for that area and with a background in municipal government. They went on to say, it has
been the stated policy of the Liberal Party for some time that we would dismantle the two-tiered welfare
system and establish a provincial system to replace it. Particularly given that the present government has made
replacement of the two-tiered system a cornerstone of its proposed municipal reform, it is important to
remember that a Liberal commitment to this initiative preceded the government directive by a number of

So, it was very important for Nova Scotians to be reminded of what a long-standing commitment the
Liberal Party had to tackling this as a top priority. Moreover, our initial policy direction was not fiscally
driven through any response to rising case loads, nor was it a detail of municipal reform. Rather, our policy
was formed in recognition that the present system contains inherent inequities, fails in some cases to
adequately address basic needs thereby violating federal law and is unnecessarily complex administratively
and managerially. Our initial concern was that the delivery system structure inhibited its ability to deliver its
services to a standard that we consider satisfactory.

[2:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, where is this government’s concern today for the severe inequities that will remain for
some considerable period of time after Bill No. 114, in its present form, is implemented? Let me remind you
that Bill No. 114 does not keep faith with the commitment to eliminate the two-tiered system of social
assistance in this province.

Where is the Minister of Community Services today in regard to the concern expressed during the
election campaign by the then Leader, John Savage, and by all of the Liberal candidates, that there was even
a good possibility that the Province of Nova Scotia was breaking the law by continuing to perpetuate the two-tiered system of social assistance?

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member yield the floor for an introduction?

MS. MCDONOUGH: Yes, I would be happy to do that, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to through you and to you, introduce to all
members of this House, the newly elected councillor for Mount Uniacke in my district in Hants East, John
Patterson. He is in the gallery directly behind me. I wonder if we could give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I just want to further comment, and will wrap up my comments
in regard to the social assistance issue before very long, but let me say that it rings hollow indeed to now
repeat the words of the Liberal Party platform that their commitment to this reform was based on their
compassion, on their concern, on their commitment to women and children living in poverty in this province
and to the severe inequities across the province that resulted from the two-tiered social assistance system. We
have heard absolutely nothing on those subjects and yet, as the Liberal Party accurately reported in its own
reform platform during the election campaign, data shows that Nova Scotia’s welfare delivery has been
strained during a prolonged recession by rising case loads and costs of meeting basic needs and by declining
federal subsidies.

Mr. Speaker, we would do well to reflect on those insights that the Liberal Party shared with Nova
Scotians in advance of the election and in advance of introducing this legislation because I think, without any
doubt, that one of the reasons that the Government of Nova Scotia has not moved forward with its
commitment to take over provincial responsibility for social assistance is that it can quite accurately foresee
what the federal government is going to do in the coming months and years which is going to make the
inequities that now exist from municipality to municipality, from one part of the province to another, from
one region to another, between families in one area and families in another area, individuals in one area and
individuals in another, what is going to be done to us by the federal Liberal Government is going to make
those inequities even more severe and is going to increase the burden to an even more intolerable level on the
backs of municipalities and municipal taxpayers.

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe for one single moment that there is a Liberal member in this House who
has sat on a municipal council in this province who does not believe that to be true and does not know that
that is what is going to happen as a result of (a) this government’s failure to eliminate the two-tiered system;
and (b) as a result of the federal Liberal Government’s shifting even greater burdens onto the backs of
taxpayers at the local and provincial level.

So what is the province doing, Mr. Speaker? It is ducking its responsibility, it is welshing on the
commitments they made because they know that added costs are going to be shifted down from Ottawa. They
know that added costs are going to be downloaded from the federal government when they further slash
unemployment insurance. So we are going to have a lot more Nova Scotians going to the general assistance
offices at the municipal level saying that we are no longer eligible, we have been cut off unemployment
insurance and we have no recourse but to come to the municipal assistance office.

This government knows that that is exactly what is going to happen and they don’t want to be in line
to inherit those added costs. But, Mr. Speaker, if any of those insights and observations that the Liberal Party
made during the election campaign, about how unfair the two-tiered system was, meant anything at all a year
and a half ago, then there is no possibility that the Liberal Government doesn’t fully understand that those
very inequities and injustices and inequalities are going to become even worse, even more exaggerated and
even more onerous on both the municipalities affected and on those families who continue to live in the
municipalities that pay desperately inadequate levels of assistance, that have extremely cautious and, in some
cases, mean-spirited policies and programs as they relate to meeting the most basic needs of Nova Scotians
living in poverty through no fault of their own.

So, Mr. Speaker, it seems quite clear that this government has deliberately made this decision. They
know perfectly well that by doing so they are ducking their responsibility and, in fact, they would do well to
be reminded of their own analysis during the 1993 election that this, in fact, may mean that the very terms
of the Canada Assistance Plan are being violated by the failure to establish standards and by the failure to put
in place policies that will meet the basic needs of people at the community level.

Mr. Speaker, I remember on many occasions in this House that Liberal members, when in Opposition,
raised their voices in protest to the fact that the Conservative Government of the day was putting a cap,
putting a limit, an artificial ceiling on what resources they would allocate to cost share with municipalities
in the payment of that general assistance because they recognized that increasing the burden on the
municipalities was a most unfair and unacceptable thing to do.

Where are those voices today, Mr. Speaker? Where are those people on the Liberal benches who spoke
in support, in 1987, when the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers did a detailed analysis and reported
to Nova Scotians in the form of a report entitled, How Will the Poor Survive?, when Liberal members stood
up and cited the appalling statistics about the inadequate level of income to families and children because of
that system? Where are those Liberal members today who spoke out in support of the Nova Scotia Nutrition
Council when they did a study, I believe, in 1989 - I don’t have that study here in front of me but I believe I
am right, that that was done in 1989 - How Will the Poor Feed Themselves?

Again, Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia Nutrition Council carefully and accurately reported on what a
disgrace it is that a provincial government could preside over such inadequate payments of general assistance
to families because they continued to tolerate a two-tiered system and, secondly, because they failed to set any
kind of provincial standards.

I can remember, Mr. Speaker, when we cited from the statistics that were reported by professional
social workers in this province, by concerned municipal workers in this province who came together and made
their contribution to the analysis of the data and the analysis of the hardship, when the Nutrition Council
dietitians and nutritionists in the province came forward and contributed their analysis and we argued for
Nova Scotia to put an end to that two-tiered system, in partnership with those many, many people who had
documented the problem.

The then Conservative Government said, well, we are not the only province. Ontario still has a two-tiered system, so, Nova Scotia is not alone in the inequities of that two-tiered system. Well, let me say two
things about that, Mr. Speaker. In the first place, while it was true that Ontario still had a two-tiered system
and shared with Nova Scotia the distinction of being the only other province in the country that maintained
that anachronism and that antiquated system, it is also true that Ontario had province-wide standards. So, it
was not permissable for municipalities to pay levels of assistance that were so substandard as to just leave
families and children in grinding poverty.

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, and perhaps more germane, is the fact that the Ontario Government also saw
fit to put an end to this two-tiered system, even though it had provincial standards built into it because it
recognized, as did the Liberal Party, supposedly, during the election campaign, and as did the Liberal
Opposition before the election campaign, that it is not administratively and managerially efficient or fiscally
responsible to maintain that two-tiered system. So, in the same difficult financial climate, there is no question
about it, the Ontario NDP Government, having made the same commitment that they would eliminate that
two-tiered system, has moved forward with doing exactly that. So, now we are left with the unhappy
distinction of being the only province with a two-tiered system.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Community Services, who I note is in the House today, maybe he will
enter this debate because he certainly has no excuse for not fully understanding the disastrous impact of this
decision of the government as reflected in Bill No. 114 that is now before us. The Minister of Community
Services has been very fond of citing the universal rights of children as a legitimate basis for public policy
concern and for public policy. Particularly in recent months, we have heard the Minister of Community
Services again and again talking about how important it is that this is the International Year of the Family.

Yet, we have not heard a single word from this Minister of Community Services about the fact that the
perpetuation of this two-tiered social assistance system continues to tolerate and perpetuate horrible,
destructive poverty conditions in the lives of far too many families and children in this province. Maybe I am
being unfair to the Community Services Minister. Maybe he is going to have the integrity and the guts to
stand up and indicate how completely unacceptable this action is of the government.

During the election campaign, Mr. Speaker, there were numerous groups that tried to make an honest
and an informed evaluation of where the political Parties stood on the issues that were of great concern to
them. One such group was the Anti-Poverty Network, another such group was the Coalition for Children and
Youth and numerous other organizations. Where the Liberal Party said it stood was four-square onside and
in line with those many activist groups, progressive groups, reform-minded groups who had long advocated
the elimination of the two-tiered social assistance recipient and they said that it would be an urgent priority.

[3:00 p.m.]

There is something particularly perverse about the Liberal Party having said, our reason for being
committed to this reform has to do with the hardship and the suffering that we say can no longer be tolerated
in this province, if we are serious about our commitment to family, if we are serious about giving our kids a
decent start in life. They then completely sidestep the issue, push it onto the back burner, shove it over onto
the shelf and say that we are not ready to make that a priority after all, knowing all of the time that this
already unfair inequitable unjust system is going to become even more burdensome and even more serious in
the months and years ahead, as the federal Liberal Party takes its crack at trying to further unravel the social
safety net that has been put in place in this country through a long struggle with the forces of reaction that
are still very much at the helm.

Mr. Speaker, we will have the opportunity to debate the clause by clause provisions of the bill on
municipal reform but let me just finish. There are some members in this Chamber that particularly delight -
practically every day they can find a way of doing so - to inject, not into the microphone, not so it will end
up on the public record but just to taunt from the back benches that here is the New Democratic Party that will
never, never be in power, that will never get elected to govern, that will never get enough votes.

Let me say that I take pride and I make no apologies that I am Leader of a Party that will not lie its
way into office by making these kinds of commitments during the election campaign and saying, vote for us
because we have a solid campaign of reform, that we are serious about eliminating these injustices and these
inequities and then, having sounded ever so progressive on the election trail, turf all of that aside and start
behaving exactly the way that its predecessor Conservative Government was behaving and that people thought
they were turfing out of office because it was not good enough.

AN HON. MEMBER: Way off the bill.

MS. MCDONOUGH: Well, it may be off the bill in the eyes of some members, it may be off the bill
in the eyes of those members who don’t want to be on the hook for the commitments that they made during
the election campaign, but it is certainly not off the principle of this bill. Because the principle of this bill is
supposed to be about bringing in the kind of municipal reform that this province needs and the kind of
municipal reform that this Liberal Party promised as a way of winning votes all over this province. Mr.
Speaker, in the short run that worked very well, thank you very much, for the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia
because there they are, 41 strong, sitting on the government benches. Only time will tell whether that outcome
of those kinds of devious electoral strategies will have worked very well for Nova Scotians in the long run.

I would suggest that Bill No. 114, as one part of that reform commitment made, will not serve the need
for municipal reform in this province very well, either in the short run or in the long run and that is why I
think it is unfortunate that the government was not prepared to cooperate in supporting an amendment to set
the bill aside for six months to consult further. But in an attempt to have a further opportunity to consider
what the implications of this bill are and in an attempt to plead with members to reconsider their position,
I would like to introduce the following amendment and it will be circulated to all members starting with the
Speaker, himself.

The amendment to Bill No. 114, the Municipal Reform Act reads as follows, “That the words after
`that’ be deleted and the following be substituted: `that in the opinion of the House, the introduction and
enactment of Bill 114 will destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal relations that is essential for effective
municipal reform’.”.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I rule that the amendment is in order and the debate will now proceed
on the amendment as submitted. “That the words after `that’ be deleted and the following be substituted: `that
in the opinion of the House, the introduction and enactment of Bill 114 will destroy the good faith in
provincial-municipal relations that is essential for effective municipal reform’.”.

The honourable member for Sackville Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I can’t help but think that there probably was some truth in the
helpful words that were being expressed by a member of this House . . .

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Maybe it would be more aptly described
as clarification but this says that you delete the words after that and then substitute words that begin with the
word that. So, does that put two thats in the clause back to back?

MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: On that very important, substantive point of order, I am sure that the
whole House would cooperate with an amendment to eliminate one of two thats so we could get on with

MR. MANN: I wonder if you could indicate which that would be eliminated?

MR. SPEAKER: The motion has been ruled in order and the honourable member for Sackville
Cobequid has the floor.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that some people can find at least some levity as we are talking
about very serious issues. I might also say as I was starting to say at the beginning that there might be some
good arguments behind the points that were being expressed by a member of this House who likes to rise on
points of order when he was suggesting - and I am sure this won’t appear in Hansard but I know a number
of us heard this comment - that this maybe is out of order because it assumes that there are good relations
there at the present time, or words to that effect. That may in fact be a very good argument for his saying that
this had been out of order because based on what this government is doing there really doesn’t appear to be
. . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The amendment has been ruled in order and I would ask that the
debate take place on the amendment, not on any side discussion.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am speaking about the idea of good faith. I hear the member for Cape
Breton South wondering what that has to do with anything and that is what an awful lot of people are
wondering, too, because quite truthfully, when people take a look at what this government is doing, they are
recognizing, quite honestly, Mr. Speaker . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: They are recognizing good government.

MR. HOLM: Wannabe is back, Mr. Speaker. I can’t wait - maybe wannabe, since he found out that he
isn’t going to be on the front benches, maybe he is going to wannabe mayor of the great metropolis back in
Cape Breton. So maybe the member for Cape Breton South is feeling his oats, in anticipation of an electoral
campaign where he will run against the other Liberal Goliath up there, John Coady, now that Vince MacLean,
who has stepped aside so he could take the mayor’s spot, or I should say Mr. MacDonald stepped aside so Mr.
MacLean could take the mayor’s spot, is now stepping aside so maybe he can go back.

However, that is rabbit tracks. What we are talking about is cooperation; what we are talking about
is good faith. Mr. Speaker, this resolution that was moved by the Leader of the New Democratic Party, and
I have to applaud her for having had the foresight and the integrity to bring this before the House because,
and again I want to make sure that everybody understands exactly what is being said, that is that in the
opinion of the House, the introduction and enactment of Bill No. 114 will destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal relations that is essential for effective municipal reform.

Now in my mind, good faith would include at least several aspects. Of course one would be trust; if
you are going to have good faith, you have to have a sense of trust. So, before I got up this afternoon I decided
to try to get a precise definition of trust, so I took a look at the Webster dictionary and it says, among other
things, that trust means one in which confidence is placed. Trustworthy then would mean a charge or a duty
in faith or confidence or as a condition of a relationship.

Now if we are going to have good faith, if we are going to have municipal reform going ahead as
effectively and efficiently as it needs to, then we have to have trust. That means - and you didn’t used to, Mr.
Speaker, I am sure and I say this without any hesitation whatsoever and I don’t say this about all people - if
you give me your word on something, I trust that word, and I honestly do. If you tell me something, I have
no reason to believe that you would not stick to your word in regard to what you are telling me. That is an
important principle. We can disagree politically on a whole bunch of items, but I honestly do believe that I
can take your word and I can trust in your word.

Mr. Speaker, people in this province took this government when it was in Opposition, when it was
seeking election, they took them at their word, not only their verbal word but the written word. They had trust
that the government was making commitments in good faith. They did not expect they would have to count
their fingers after shaking hands with this government.

[3:15 p.m.]

Respect, Mr. Speaker, another sign of good faith. What is respect? According to the dictionary, it is
to consider worthy of high regard. I believe that the municipal leaders in this province, all not equally, they
are not all equal any more than all members in this House are equal in terms of our abilities, and I may be,
and I am sure according to 41 members on the government benches, I am surely near the bottom of that.

I would suggest the municipalities - well, I have one person over there agreeing, at least a few people
would agree with that, Mr. Speaker - I would suggest that municipalities, and even from what this government
and what members of this House say, and just think when we get around to municipal appreciation week and
just wait for the resolutions to flow in, including from government members and on behalf of the government,
commending municipal government and municipal politicians for the work they do, the dedication to their
citizens in trying to provide high qualities and levels of service, which they do.

Mr. Speaker, nobody should know that better than many members of the government benches because
many members on the government benches had not only the good fortune but, I would suggest, the privilege
of working for their communities as municipal councillors. They, therefore, should surely recognize that
municipalities deserve to be treated with respect, that they deserve to be treated in a truthful manner if you
are to have that trust built between them.



We live, to the best of my knowledge - I don’t think that we have had a piece of legislation, although
I know that this government likes to decide all kinds of things in the bunker or over in the penthouse suite,
called the Premier’s Office, likes to decide all kinds of things outside of the public view. Of course, this bill
is going to be one of those things, taking away the grant structure from the public view and the public forum.

To the best of my knowledge, we still live in a democracy. We believe, supposedly, in this province,
in the principles of democracy. Some are starting to have questions, however, about how committed this
government may be to those principles, especially given the heavy-handed, disrespectful, untrustworthy way
in which they have been behaving. Those are pretty strong words, Mr. Speaker, and I don’t say them lightly.
There is no question in my mind, not one doubt about the need for municipal reform. That is a given.

Mr. Speaker, achieving something, if you are going to do it, there are those who do not believe in the
democratic principles who would say that the end justifies the means. Well, I don’t happen to believe that the
end justifies the means. I also believe that if an end can be justified, if it is justifiable, then the method or the
approach that is used to achieve that goal is equally as important as the goal that you are going to be trying
to achieve.

The municipalities year after year have extended their hand in friendship, in cooperation and, Mr.
Speaker, their hand in offering to get down to the nitty-gritty hard work of deciding where and how that
reform can be done in an open, honest, trustworthy and respectful manner. They reaffirmed that as recently
as the UNSM conference that was held between September 21st and 23rd in Sydney, of this year.

I had the pleasure to be at that conference and to hear that resolution debated, as did a couple of other
members and I know that the member for Pictou Centre was also there, as was the member for Timberlea-Prospect. For example, on the opening day, when there was a report given on the municipal exchange and
what was and what was not happening in terms of the information.

Mr. Speaker, the former president, up until the end of the conference, was not somebody who I would
suggest that the 41 members on the government benches and most Nova Scotians who are acquainted at all
with politics would say, is somebody who is unfriendly to the Liberal Party, because John Coady’s connections
and ties to the Liberal Party are well-known. Mr. Coady gave a report at that convention and he expressed,
on behalf of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, grave concerns and disappointment as to how this
government was acting.

He mentioned, these are not my ideas, these are not things I am pulling out of a hat; ask the hundreds
of councillors and elected representatives and others who were there, ask them. He pointed out, as did others,
that this coordinating committee, which is made up of representatives appointed from the Union of Nova
Scotia Municipalities and by provincial Cabinet Ministers, which was supposed to meet on a regular basis and
which is called not by the union, but the meetings have to be called by the provincial representatives, that
committee had not met for months and it has not met since the conference was held in September. There was
no consultation before this government introduced this heavy bill into this Chamber. That is not being
respectful to equal partners in government in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Remember, and the municipal members over here on the government benches, I am sure, will
remember very well, they probably ran around and used this as an argument to try to entice the support of
their constituents to vote for them and certainly, Mr. Speaker, to get their fellow councillors on-side in
supporting them. This is a group that even promised a charter. Remember that. The Liberals, in Opposition,
were promising that they were going to recognize different groups. (Interruption)

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, the member for Hants East is a little confused. So I will try to help him out.
He was, I believe, too, a councillor, if I am not mistaken, a municipal councillor. Maybe, and I have no reason
to challenge this, he may very well have been an excellent one. Some of us might even wish that he was still
back there being one, but that is an aside. We would miss his heckles, I am sure. However, when he was a
councillor, I was sure he was very much appreciative of the Leader of the Liberal Party of which I believe he
was probably a member since he now is a member of the Liberal caucus. He was, obviously I am sure, very
delighted and supportive of the fact that the Liberal Party was promising this charter, that it was going to be
recognizing the rights, officially, of municipalities and putting forward a charter as they had promised.

I am sure, Mr. Speaker, if he was not supporting the principles as being espoused by his Leader, I am
sure, being a man of integrity and principle, he would never ever have agreed to run for the political office
that he now holds if he did not believe in the things that the Party was saying at the time. I am sure he must
have believed in them. So, I am sure, Mr. Speaker, did many other people who believed that there was some
truth to the commitments that were being made.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, regarding remarks made by the
member. I would like to know what his remarks have to do with this amendment. I thought the rules were very
specific in the House that they must speak to the amendment and the amendment only. The member is all over
the block, talking about municipal politicians and how good or how no good they were and how they are now
members of this caucus. What has that to do with this amendment?

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the member for Cape Breton South for his question and
he should also be thanking me for giving him an opportunity to finally get to his feet so that he will have a
chance to say something in this House. It was a very worthy and worthwhile contribution.

Mr. Speaker, the point of all of this has to do with good faith and trust. What we are talking about in
the resolution before us today, the amendment I should say, that is before us, is that the good faith in
provincial municipal relationships is going to be destroyed totally and therefore you will not be able to have
effective municipal reform, if you do not do something to restore that good faith.

Mr. Speaker, I was suggesting, trying to put some arguments forward that certain members who have
had the privileges, as I said, and it was a privilege and an honour to have served as a municipal councillor,
I am trying to remind them of their roles before they were in this House. I am sure the member for Sackville-Beaverbank has not forgotten about what it was like to be a municipal councillor and the importance of having
good faith, working relationships with the provincial government. I am sure he would recognize the
importance of establishing or trying to re-establish that good working relationship. (Interruption)

Because the UNSM even in 1993 as part of one of the resolutions that they passed, we already heard
from the 1994 one, the Leader of the New Democratic Party read that into the record a few minutes ago. I am
sure that government members’ memories will last at least that long. They can remember that far back,
although they have selective amnesia when it goes back a little bit longer. They tend to try to forget that they
ever made commitments whether that be about tendering policies or openness, honesty or consultation.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order. The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid has the floor.

MR. HOLM: They are having fun, Mr. Speaker. It does not bother me.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order. The debate is on the amendment.

MR. HOLM: I agree, Mr. Speaker. (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, back in 1993, they said: Be it further resolved that whereas the Union of
Nova Scotia Municipalities is conscious of the need for municipal reform that will serve the best interest of
the people of Nova Scotia and its municipal ratepayers, the Union of the Nova Scotia Municipalities expresses
to the provincial government its sincere desire to cooperate with it in putting in place municipal reforms that
will achieve the objectives of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities as set forth in its response. Sincere in
its desire to cooperate.

I have never once heard, not even after what this government has done, I have never once heard the
union say that they are not still willing or any municipal leader, not one, say that they are not willing and
interested in moving forward in a cooperative, honest, trustworthy and respectful way to resolve and to find
ways to address municipal reform. What we have had happen instead, we have this government that those who
have a slightly misguided sense of what is maybe respectful and open and honest type of government. Some
might even say, those who feel that way might say, good government but the numbers who would suggest that
are dwindling rapidly. (Interruption)

I was going to say I felt like I was back in front of the Grade 7 class that I once had the pleasure to
teach but my classes were never that unruly. And that was a privilege and pleasure doing too, I can tell you
that it honestly was, very enjoyable.

We have heard and may refer to it again to the UNSM press release that came out but something that
I think is also worthy of note and this is from November 1st from the evening news in the New Glasgow
newspaper, where the mayor who also happens to be the Vice-President of the Union of Nova Scotia
Municipalities is speaking, so these are not my words. This is Mayor MacLean who said, although the union
has been given a mandate by its members to negotiate with the provincial government over the matter there
has been no consultation whatsoever. Interesting, Mr. Speaker. Obviously, the vice-president of the union is
not aware of all the obvious consultations that have taken place because we know they did because the
Minister of Municipal Affairs said they did. So, if the minister said they did, surely the vice-president must
be wrong.

So too, the Mayor of Pictou, Mayor Lawrence LeBlanc, who also said, there hasn’t been any
consultation at all. I am sure he too must be wrong because the Minister of Municipal Affairs wouldn’t go on
about all the consultations that have existed and gone on if, in fact, they had not. Heavens, nobody would try
to mislead about that.

You know, under this and some people might be slightly cynical and say that the government’s view
of municipal reform is to get what we want, meaning the provincial government, while we ignore and discard
the concerns of other levels of government because it is not in our best interest. You know the old saying that
some people switch around to turn it into another expression and that is to do unto others as they would do
unto you, only do it first. Now, Mr. Speaker, this government has a very good idea, I would suggest, they
know well that as part of their federal cousins’ plans under the name of supposedly reforming the social safety
network in Canada is planning to, supposedly in the name of reform, download a lot of its current costs at the
federal level down to the provincial level.

[3:30 p.m.]

What this government is trying to do and which undermines so tremendously the good faith that the
union had tried to develop, what this government is trying to do obviously in anticipation of that is to pass
those costs directly down to the municipalities. A fundamental principle and, Mr. Speaker, in 1993, and I have
already referred to this, the UNSM passed the resolution which said that they are willing to cooperate with
the putting in place of municipal reform that will achieve certain things.

The fundamental item and the commitment that had been made - and the Minister of Community
Services knows that his staff work hard with representatives from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities -
the fundamental principle upon which all of these service exchanges were to be based was the fact that the
province had promised over and over again -in fact the Liberals said that we said it first when the
Conservatives before had said that they would take over general assistance - this service exchange was based
on the premise that the province was going to take over and assume responsibility for social assistance and
establish a one-tiered system.

It was aimed at doing away with the inequities and the injustices and I can tell you too that a number
of municipalities, and Halifax County is one, have cut back on the level of assistance under their general
assistance that they used to provide in anticipation of and they budgeted for this too, in anticipation of, the
province assuming what it promised it was going to do.

According to this bill, municipalities are going to get no assurances whatsoever. They are not going
to get any control over their financial affairs or the financial management. The province has not taken off the
cap, it has not removed the cap on the amount that it is prepared to share with, which means as those costs
continue to grow and to increase, businesses large and more importantly - not that I am saying large
businesses are not important but they have more resources than small business - both businesses are going to
be paying higher commercial taxes, to have to pay for the increased cost at the municipal level because the
provincial government isn’t doing what it said it was going to do.

Homeowners, the elderly, those on fixed incomes, those on low incomes, the middle class are all going
to be seeing, any property owner that is, their taxes rising as the municipal costs for general assistance
continue to increase because that is the fastest growing area of expense. It will surely balloon, Mr. Speaker,
as the province knows and that is why it is ducking its commitment. The province knows those costs are going
to increase so they are running and hiding and pretending that it is another matter, they are pretending
something else as a reason for not assuming those costs as promised. They know those costs are going to
increase so they are just playing that little slippery game, let’s just put a little bit more grease on that slide so
that any increased costs to the social safety network that the feds are going to channel our way, we will make
sure it slides right on by us, down to John Q. Citizen, the property owners in the Province of Nova Scotia,
many of whom are having a very hard time maintaining their homes and staying in them at the present time,
often because of other policies of this very same government. That is not what good faith is built on. That is
not what trust is built on.

The province got what it wanted, Mr. Speaker, no question about it in this so-called service exchange.
The province off-loaded policing costs, the province off-loaded roads, municipalities are picking those up. But
no, they are not giving to the municipalities or fulfilling their end of their commitment to the people in this
province and to municipal leaders who entered in good faith, with the sense of enthusiasm and optimism,
these negotiations.

The minister promised, the Premier promised that consultation would be ongoing. Back in December
when the minister first introduced the discussion paper, on behalf of not only herself but all 41 members of
this Legislature who sit on the government side. You know I have heard people say that members go out and
citizens in their constituency complain to a particular Liberal caucus member, a member of this House, about
certain things and they say yes, I agree with you, but I can’t do anything about it, I am only a backbencher.
Or the caucus has decided, I don’t like it either, it was somebody else who made that decision and I can’t do
anything about it.

Well, Mr. Speaker, maybe they can’t, but if there is anybody in here who will ever intend to . . .

HON. DONALD DOWNE: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I would like to know who this individual
is referring to, and prove that that, in fact, has really happened and been said, before making allegations and
aspersions about my colleagues in caucus, saying that they are hiding behind a veil of whatever. I don’t like
the tone and the rhetoric I am hearing over there and I would like to see him substantiate that to this House.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the minister probably knows, even far better than I,
who may be some of those individuals. I would suggest that the minister maybe open up his ears because we
have had calls and I have no hesitation in saying about a number of people who have contacted us to suggest
that members of, and I don’t have the list of the individual people who have called me here, nor do I have their
permission to release their names, but I will say . . .


MR. SPEAKER: Well, I must make a ruling, if that is your response to the point of order being raised
by the Minister of Natural Resources, please be seated. I have taken this matter under advisement. I have
already taken under advisement a point of order raised earlier in the day by the honourable Government House
Leader with reflect to aspersions cast on members of the House, claims, allegations that they themselves deny
but, nonetheless, are sustained by those who make the allegations. This matter is currently under review by
myself and pending advice from legal counsel I have declined to make a ruling, but with that very point being
under advisement now by the Speaker, I think it would be most inappropriate for any member to indulge in
that type of conduct at this particular time. I would caution all honourable members to avoid making
accusations against other members of the House unless they are prepared to demonstrate that they are indeed
true and to prove them.

[3:45 p.m.]

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, just another further point of order. While this is under
review, I would assume that the comments that have been made by my honourable colleague across the floor
would have been stricken from Hansard in reference to the allegations that he is referring to.

MR. SPEAKER: I do not have the power to strike from Hansard anything that is uttered while this
House is in session. I do, however, have the power to enforce the Rules of the House and there will not be
aspersions cast against other members of the House, especially on an anonymous or hypothetical basis.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid will deal strictly with the terms of the amendment.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I look forward to that ruling being enforced on all of the members of this
House who cast aspersions in our direction on a constant basis, especially when we are trying to take part in
an intelligent debate on the floor of the House. I look forward to having the opportunity to speak in this
Chamber without aspersions on a regular basis being passed in our direction. (Interruptions) I am glad to see
that some members are still awake over there, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order please. The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid has the floor, not
Halifax Atlantic.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I thought that there were a whole bunch of members, not one, looking to
have the floor, mostly on the Government benches.

I would love to see some members, I wouldn’t want to cast any aspersions or make any allegations, so
therefore I will very cautiously suggest that it might be very helpful if some members on the Government
benches could get to their feet and explain how it is that bringing forward a piece of legislation that will
download - I see, Mr. Speaker, four members on the Government benches got to their feet, did they have
points of order or are they going to speak? I shouldn’t say, I don’t want to cast aspersions on them for getting
to their feet, I take that back, I shouldn’t have acknowledged that they did - I would love to see them get to
their feet and speak on this amendment and to explain how it is the government can, in all honesty, with a
straight face, justify introducing this bill and say how it will not destroy the good-faith process, tell us how
this is going to make essential reform more efficient, except in an autocratic sense.

If you believe in autocracy and dictatorship, then some would argue that is the most efficient form of
government - fortunately not here in this House -because you know, democracy is not necessarily always the
most efficient form in getting to an end. I would like to know how they can have the two items of good faith,
open consultation, gelling with the fact that the updated information that the minister promised almost a year
ago when she first introduced a discussion paper, that that information, updated information, was not
provided. I would like them to explain how you build good faith when the coordinating committee and one
of the so-called equal partners has been requesting that committee to meet for months, but the government
refused to call it into place.

How do you develop good faith and a sense of confidence and trust when many of the subcommittees
that were struck under that coordinating committee were never once called? The one committee, and the
member for Timberlea-Prospect, I am sure, was in attendance, I know he was in attendance, when Mr. Coady
gave his report at the UNSM Conference and that is not casting an aspersion; he was present and listening.
(Interruptions) I don’t know if he heard, but he was listening.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the one committee that did meet on a regular basis, from what we were told, was
the Community Services Committee that was working on ways to exchange, to set up this one system, a one-tiered system. That committee had met regularly. On the basis of that, one of the so-called equal partners, they
were equal in their mind, obviously the provincial government did not think that they were very equal, but
they were expressing concerns, they were expressing concerns for their employees, what will happen to their
employees when the one-tiered system is set up, they were trying to be responsible. They were looking at the
ideas that, okay, the province had blown it. The province, when it made its original estimates, was off by $27
million to $30 million on their projections.

So, the municipalities were saying that this has to be cost-neutral to the province. That is an underlying
key principle. So what else is going to be done? Let’s have some discussions to make sure that we have a
balance, which were the principles upon which service exchange was to be implemented. Mr. Speaker, I don’t
know if we have a balance or not in terms of actual cost. I doubt if we do. Certainly, it is set up in such a way
that the cost balance, however close it is, is going to continue to swing, quite rapidly I would suggest, to the
disadvantage of the municipalities. The weight is being downloaded to them.

I am not going to follow the rabbit tracks of the member for Hants East, who is trying to get me off the
topic of the amendment, that is before us, (Laughter) because we are talking about good faith. Let me say, Mr.
Speaker, surely this government has to realize that there are not too many more bridges you can burn. How
many more contracts, commitments? A contract may be a written legal contract like those with employees in
the Province of Nova Scotia that you tore up and chose to violate. A contract can be a moral contract, one of
a sense of trust. I would suggest with the casinos, especially given the position the Liberal Party had taken,
that is another one where the good faith has been destroyed.

Here, Mr. Speaker, the Government of Nova Scotia has a chance. Maybe what the minister needs,
because I would like to think that the minister honestly does believe, and I want to believe this, that the
municipalities are a responsible and an important level of government in Nova Scotia. I want to believe that
the minister believes that they should be treated in a trustful way, that they deserve her respect and that of the

I hope the minister, and I think the minister believes that. If she does, then maybe some of her
colleagues will support her, will help her to persuade whoever it is in Cabinet or behind the scenes who has
this foolish idea to hoist this bill, to download this bill on the municipalities.

I don’t know, Mr. Speaker, you have been here a heck of a lot longer than I have and I don’t know that
I necessarily want to try to match your record, but I don’t remember in my 10 years into this Chamber
important legislation being introduced that affects municipal levels of government being introduced into this
Chamber before that legislation was shared with the municipalities that it affected and, for example, the Union
of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

People can correct me if I am wrong, and we have many members who were wardens and others in this
House, and I ask them, when were the occasions that that has been done in the past? I can’t say that it hasn’t
ever been done but I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I called for a reaction on this bill at the end of the day it
was introduced and was told that they had not yet been given a copy. The bill has been tabled in this House,
they hadn’t even yet, as of 5:30 p.m. that day, received a copy of this Bill No. 114, on service exchange. They
had to wait for the next day.

Is that what you call developing good faith? Is that what you call consultation and cooperation? The
Premier met and consulted, after a news leak and told the metro mayors that the metro area was going to
amalgamate, for 15 minutes one night, Mr. Speaker, the day before this bill was introduced. This bill is not
about amalgamation but let me tell you, and it is not only me saying this, as, for example, the Mayor of
Trenton, and this, I would suggest, is as much what this bill is about as anything else; they are forcing us into
amalgamation although they are not saying so. That, I would suggest, is a fundamental principle behind this

Mr. Speaker, amalgamation may, in fact, be a good thing in some areas, depending on the process and
how it is done. That is part of municipal reform. But if you have a plan, if you truly have a vision, then put
it on the table; put your facts and figures on the table. People expect they can trust their government; they
don’t expect that the government is going to be saying one thing publicly at one moment while, at the same
time, it is behind their back developing other plans that go totally contrary to what they are saying publicly.

There is a lot of goodwill and it is not even too late, as much as this government is trying to destroy
any possibility to regain any credibility, in terms of having integrity, it is still not too late for this government
to pull back and go into a meaningful, trustworthy, open, honest, consultative process. Mr. Speaker, if after
that has genuinely taken place, if after that is genuinely done, you cannot get resolve on a number of issues,
then yes, government has a responsibility to take action. But before they take action, they have a responsibility
to do what they promised to do and that was to consult, to be up-front, to be honest. On all those counts this
government has failed.

[4:00 p.m.]

I cannot, in all honesty, knowing a number of members on the government benches and knowing how
much they believe in the principle, in their personal lives, of being open and honest and that their word means
a word, and their commitments to respect and help municipal governments, to work with them in a
collaborative approach, I cannot believe, or I don’t want to believe, that some of those members feel
comfortable with what this government is doing. It is the Party to which they belong with this legislation.

I urge them (Interruption) I am just waiting for the wannabes to be quiet, Mr. Speaker, so I can just
continue on. I urge those who value their word, I urge those who honestly believe that they were going to do
and were committed to do reform through a consultative, open, honest process, I urge them to, in fact, support
this amendment. This is not casting an aspersion, but it is a statement of fact.

If this bill passes and goes through in this form or in a slightly amended form, nobody can turn around
and simply say it was the Minister of Municipal Affairs’ bill or the Minister of Municipal Affairs’ fault. Nor
can they say it was the Premier’s fault and that I had no part to play in it. If this bill passes, this bill which
was developed behind closed doors, which violates the basic principles upon which the service exchange was
developed, open, honest consultation with the service exchange with the province to establish a one-tiered
system, if this bill passes, every single sitting MLA in this House has to be accountable for the vote that they
cast. Each of the 41 government member, every one of them, if you vote for this bill, it is as much your bill
as it is the Minister of Municipal Affairs’. Nobody in this House can turn around and say we could not do
anything about it.

Anybody who supports this bill, and that is not casting an aspersion, has to wear and carry with them
the knowledge that they are betraying, by this legislation, the commitments that this government made to be
open, honest and consultative and to treat municipalities in a respectful manner that valued them and treated
them in such a way that this government could earn their trust. That trust, understandably, is very, very shaky,
not just for municipal politicians, but, more importantly, for the people who live in those municipalities. It
is the citizens we are talking about, it is not individual municipal leaders, it is the citizens because the
implications of this bill, particularly the downloading of costs, are going to have an effect on each and every
single citizen in the Province of Nova Scotia.

The way this bill is crafted, it gives the government the power to continue to increase the amount of
cost that it downloads from itself to the municipalities. That, I would suggest, is part of their master plan in
meeting the Finance Minister’s so-called financial goals. It is not that they are going to be generating new
revenue necessarily or exclusively as a result of increasing jobs and growth of wealth. What it is going to have
also to do with is the fact that this government is trying to decrease its financial responsibilities by shovelling
them off to somebody else, another level of government that can’t do anything else about it. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I am rising here to say a few words about the amendment that has
been introduced by the Leader of the New Democratic Party. The amendment is that after the word that, the
following be substituted: “That in the opinion of the House, the introduction and enactment of Bill 114 will
destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal relations that is essential for effective municipal reform.”.

In speaking to the amendment it is certainly clear that in the months from December to April that in
going around and having consultation with each and every municipal unit in this province, the Minister of
Municipal Affairs established a climate of cooperation and a climate of consultation that had not existed,
certainly, in recent times.

I had the opportunity to be present at three of those meetings and witnessed with some considerable
admiration as the minister discussed with municipal officials in my three towns, Stellarton, Trenton and New
Glasgow, discussed her plan as in her proposal of December 1993 for service exchange. During the course
of those discussions the elected officials from those towns brought forward their concerns about the proposal
as it existed at that time. As well, the minister made a commitment that when she finished her round of
consultations that she would come back and would discuss her new position.

Now from April to October the process of consultation simply went away. Those of us who were
waiting for the minister’s new position waited and waited. Gradually, in speaking to municipal officials
around the province, they began to become impatient and irritated because there was no consultation and they
realized as well as I that legislation was coming forth in the fall sitting. Certainly history has borne out the
wisdom of that thinking.

Let us go back and see what the amendment says. That the introduction of Bill No. 114 without
consultation, because there hasn’t been consultation, will destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal
relations. I was at the meeting with the minister in Stellarton when she met with municipal officials. At that
time with the proposal that was before them, the Town of Stellarton would save $314,000 with service
exchange. After six months of non-consultation the accountants in working over whatever the exchange
process was going to be came up with a program that instead of saving $314,000 it would cost the Town of
Stellarton $118,000 to be a party in service exchange. Would you think that that kind of figure manipulation,
manipulation of the figures without consultation would maintain good faith in the system?

I was in the Town of New Glasgow in the Chambers when the minister met with the elected municipal
officials there. At that particular time with the proposal before all the municipal units the Town of New
Glasgow was going to save $291,000 with service exchange. The minister agreed that she would come back
with any new position and discuss it with the town officials. Well, that consultation didn’t occur. Service
exchange will cost the Town of New Glasgow $97,000 and their saving of $291,000 is gone. The accountants
have taken it all away.

The Town of Trenton, now we all know the Town of Trenton has been receiving emergency funding
for a few years to the tune of about $0.5 million. The service exchange that was presented initially in the
spring would cost the Town of Trenton $457,000 and needless to say they were looking at the fact that
emergency funding was disappearing and they weren’t going to receive a municipal grant and they were
wondering how they were going to survive. But, they thought, well, the minister has come to us and she has
consulted and she is going to come back. Well, she came back with legislation and it is now going to cost
$710,000 to the Town of Trenton and needless to say they are upset.

An earlier speaker had quoted that the Mayor of Trenton who obviously saw fit to go public and he is
very, very upset. One of the things that is interesting and the minister will remember this I am sure, is that
during the course of those discussions that the Mayor of the Town of Trenton reminded the Minister of
Municipal Affairs that they were in receipt of a letter written before the election of May 1993 from Dr. Savage
when he was running for office. I saw the letter, in fact, I have a copy and what that letter says is that he was
committed to Nova Scotia Power paying taxes to the Town of Trenton. Needless to say, if that were ever to
occur the Town of Trenton would be able to pay all its bills and probably those of a few of the other
municipalities as well because there is a very expensive power generating station in Trenton owned by Nova
Scotia Power.

The purpose of the statement is to bring to the floor the fact that the government at that point was
willing to discuss with the municipal units solutions to their financial problems that service exchange is
creating. Service exchange was designed to solve problems. All municipalities are having problems paying
their bills, some are having more difficulties than others but a service exchange that is guaranteed only to
create more problems for already struggling municipalities without them having the opportunity to sit down
and discuss possible solutions for those communities, that is what is lacking at this point.

Let’s look, it did not only happen in Pictou County. Look at the Town of Bridgetown. When the
minister went down there, and I was not at this meeting so I am not really sure what was said there but I
assume the minister said she would be back to talk to them. The Town of Bridgetown in the December
proposal, was going to cost them $9,000. So the minister went down and had a discussion with them, talked
it over and then in this new proposal she is going to send them a bill for $92,000. I ask you, what kind of
consultation is that and what kind of consideration? I would suggest that if I am going to send somebody a
new bill for $85,000 more than the one I had previously presented you with, I would at least sit down for a
few minutes and talk to you about it.

[4:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I could go on and on. There are 66 units and I do not intend to go on and discuss perhaps
Colchester County which is another case in point in which a considerable bill is being left on the backs of the
taxpayers if this goes through as the government would like. The people of Colchester County have not had
an opportunity to discuss that very sizeable expenditure that is coming their way in terms of service exchange.
They have not had an opportunity and I am sure that the warden and councillors of Colchester County would
like the opportunity to speak to the minister about that.

Mr. Speaker, the now government when in Opposition was very critical of the way that municipal
reform was being advanced by the then government. Certainly, in the first six months of service exchange a
different approach was being taken. I think all of us, in one way or another, recognized the contribution and
the effort of the minister and the relationship that she was able to develop between herself and her department
and all of the municipal units in this province.

But on October 27th, Mr. Speaker, in that bedlam and confusion of the press conference that occurred
in the Red Chamber, all of that went out the window. I was in the Red Chamber and certainly the confusion
was very prevalent. I have not attended too many press conferences in my life, but certainly it was one which
I think was characterized by, shall I say, confusion, noise and perhaps an aggressive line of questioning that
I had not seen before in a press conference, by people, I think, who normally, in public, are quite well-behaved. I can only assume that at that press conference they were expressing some anger and some
frustration and perhaps a loss of good faith in the whole process.

I also had the opportunity and I will not relate some of the things that were said, but as I stood very
quietly there trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, some of the private comments that were passed back
and forth between municipal leaders, suffice it to say that those comments were certainly indicative of a loss
of good faith in the process that was going on in terms of municipal reform and service exchange.

I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that you realize that the minister has a big job and no one for one minute was
suggesting that the ultimate decision as to what happens in municipal reform lies squarely on the shoulders
of the minister. She has decisions to make and they will be hard decisions because when you negotiate with
66 different parties, no one gets their own way, no one. All of those stakeholders, all of those Parties, all of
those municipal units have the right, before the final decision is made on the question, to make their point
of view known. That, Mr. Speaker, is why I am rising to speak in favour of the amendment.

Mr. Speaker, there is so much that could be discussed if, in fact, the discussion were allowed to take
place and if consultation could continue in good faith. Let’s look at the municipal contribution to Corrections.
As you are aware, that is still going to be a municipal responsibility despite the intent of a true service
exchange to completely separate people service from property service. Despite the exchange the municipal
units will still pay $13.5 million to the cost of Corrections. In this item alone, by $13.5 million we have
missed the mark in separating property service and people service.

Mr. Speaker, another item, and you will recall that in the previous government’s plan for reform, while
a formula was not devised, at least the education tax on the municipal taxpayer was to be on the table and it
was to be part of the process. I would suggest to you, if negotiations had continued, there would be a strong
lobby on behalf of the municipal units to put that on the table because obviously it is the province’s
responsibility to provide the educational requirements on the primary and secondary level to our children. The
municipal units in this province pay $119 million to the cost of education in this province. That is a
substantial amount, it is equivalent to 39 cents on the uniform assessment across the province.

So the other item, too, I am sure that what all the municipal leaders in this province would dearly love
to discuss with the minister is the fact that their general assistance cost is not going to be paid under this
current exchange.

Now the question is, if the province is not going to take over the social service costs and the general
assistance costs of the municipal units, which was the number one reason to do exchange in the first place,
why are we going ahead? We are leaving behind, with this program, the problems that we were trying to
solve. We are leaving the problems here. We are still talking about equalization payments, we are still talking
about cost-sharing, we are still talking about a direct avenue for the province to tax the municipal taxpayer.

So, I think it is obvious that by the abrupt introduction of this legislation, without proper consultation,
good faith has, in fact, been lost. I certainly will vote for the amendment and I certainly encourage whatever
the outcome of the second reading of this bill, that whatever information comes to the minister, I encourage
her to include it in her thinking and to come forward with amendments in her bill which are reflective of the
information that she receives from the municipal units. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to again be standing in my place
in the House, looking for a copy of the amendment, I don’t know where it went.

Here it is, the amendment reads “that in the opinion of the House, the introduction and enactment of
Bill 114 will destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal relations that is essential for effective municipal
reform.”. That is what we are discussing at the present time, as you well know, Mr. Speaker. I have to tend
to agree with the sentiments expressed by that amendment.

Mr. Speaker, there used to be a President of the United States who people thought was quite a guy, he
was the clothing-store operator from Hannibal, Missouri. He had a saying that he never forgot and we should
remember it; he said if you want to get ahead, you have to get along. Truly, those words speak volumes, if you
want to get ahead, you have to get along.

Well, we had an opportunity as politicians to get along. We had an opportunity to forge new inroads
and good feelings of good neighbourliness and brotherhood and cooperation with municipalities, but all that
went out the window a few days ago.

Mr. Speaker, there was a headline in the newspaper, the Chronicle-Herald on May 6, 1994 and can
I read just the headline. It said, “No shotgun wedding for metro, says Savage”. Well, a few days ago we were
hearing something quite different from one of the local mayors, in fact, he said that we were, indeed having
a shotgun marriage of these areas. So, a lot of things changed from May 6, 1994 until just last week.

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities reacted very vigorously to the announcement that we were
going to have a super-city located in Halifax and their reaction is just exactly what this amendment to the bill
says; the president, “. . . indicated to the Minister UNSM’s extreme displeasure for not being consulted and
shock that the government is not willing to follow through and assume . . .”, and it goes on, Mr. Speaker,
extreme displeasure and shock.

Well, the government has set a course and does not appear to be interested, even the slightest bit in
what you or I or anybody else thinks. As we learned the other day the Premier and some of his advisors set
a course that even the minister was not quite familiar with until she heard about it rather indirectly that this
policy was being directed not by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, but it was being directed from the
Premier’s office.

You have to understand, municipal reform has been talked about and beaten around for so many years
that, I think, it is one of those things that you know is coming, you just are not sure when, you are just not sure
how soon. If this government had a goal of municipal reform and knew where they wanted to go they should
have had a plan formulated of how to get there.

There are two ways you could have got to municipal reform in the metro region, to build this super-city, you could cooperate on this hand or you can legislate on this hand. Now let us have a little comparison
between . . .

MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Not only is the member not talking on
the legislation, he is not talking on the amendment that is in front of us, but he goes on at great length talking
again about amalgamation. The legislation contained in Bill No. 114 does not have anything to do with
amalgamation of the four municipal units in the greater Halifax area. I do not know if the member has read
the piece of legislation but I would suggest he should and I think you should rule on it to keep him on track,
first to the amendment and then if he can’t get that through his head, at least to the legislation that we are
dealing with here, which is not amalgamation.

[4:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: If I could respond to the point of order, I would direct the attention of honourable
members of the House to Rule 24(2), of our Rules and Forms of Procedure, entitled, Irrelevance or repetition
in debate. It states, “Mr. Speaker or the Chairman, after having called the attention of the House or of the
Committee to the conduct of a Member who persists in irrelevance or repetition of his own arguments in
debate, may direct him to discontinue his speech.”.

Now it is not my intention to invoke that rule at this time, but I would call the attention of honourable
members to its existence and the fact that there are safeguards that exist to protect the House collectively
against the trespasses of any one individual member who persists in either irrelevance or repetition.

This particular amendment refers to Bill No. 114 and specifically states that it, “. . . will destroy the
good faith in provincial-municipal relations that is essential for effective municipal reform.”. That being the
proposition, I would direct the debate must be addressed to that particular proposition and it ought not to
ramble too far afield. I am very interested in the biographies of all American presidents, but I heard a few
anecdotes from the life of the late Harry S. Truman here and we have heard newspaper quotations and various
other things that do not directly relate to this particular proposition.

I would ask the honourable member, please, to direct his remarks to the amendment.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Well look, I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I also want to thank the
honourable member for standing up on a point of order because at least it shows that he can stand up and it
also shows he can speak.

AN HON. MEMBER: I think he is casting aspersions, myself.

MR. ARCHIBALD: No, I am not, Mr. Speaker, but by golly, the honourable member, if he wants to
rise on a point of order, he should be prepared from time to time to speak his mind so we know where he
stands, as well.

AN HON. MEMBER: I will out speak him when . . .

MR. ARCHIBALD: Well, please begin. Mr. Speaker, what we are talking about is this bill. Let there
be no confusion.

MR. SPEAKER: The amendment to the bill.

AN HON. MEMBER: There is a difference.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my golly, look. We have this bill in this hand and you put this
amendment right here beside it and this is the substance of what we are speaking. You know very well I would
not deviate for even one moment from this amendment, as was presented.

AN HON. MEMBER: Quit tap-dancing.

MR. ARCHIBALD: But I want to be helpful here. I want to tell this House exactly how we could
improve on this bill by following this amendment.

Mr. Speaker, public opinion, cooperation was available and the opportunity was there. This House
could very easily have got the cooperation from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to pass this bill. The
goodwill was there. The public opinion, as we saw, was there. This minister travelled throughout the province
and visited all 66 municipal units. That showed that she wanted to build up good relations with municipal
units, not destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal relationships that are so effective to have municipal

I think, Mr. Speaker, all in this Chamber and the majority of Nova Scotians agree municipal reform
is something that we all support to some degree or another. Goodwill is hard to measure but I can tell you
through cooperation you get a lot of goodwill. Through legislation we are not getting goodwill and in fact,
the long-term disadvantage of this bill is going to have an effect on this government in the years to come.
There are people who have drawn lines and they will not waver.

The people in Kings County have supported municipal reform; we have had an active committee
looking into municipal reform involving all the municipal units in Kings County. Are they being listened to?
Is their advice being sought? That is cooperation. That is how you develop good relations. That is how you
can get along.

The future for this bill, municipal reform, is not well served. This amendment is so true. In the opinion
of this House, the introduction and enactment of Bill No. 114 will destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal relations that is essential. This amendment says exactly what Nova Scotians are saying today.
Through cooperation, this government could have had the benefit of the good ideas of the mayors throughout
this region. The attitude, the legislation, the lack of caring, the lack of faith in the people that this bill shows,
an Act to Provide for Municipal Reform, is causing real problems.

The energy that people are putting forth to try to counteract what this government is doing is energy
that could have been channelled to help, to aid and to assist all Nova Scotia, not just this region in Halifax
but all of the province. We are losing the energy that the people were willing to give. The trust that is so
essential for a government, the opportunity was there. All people were in favour of talking, cooperating and
reaching the goals. Bill No. 114 will destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal relations. It is going to
take a long time for this government to rebuild the faith and the trust and friendship that was developed
between the municipal politicians in this province and their provincial counterparts.

This bill as referred to in this amendment makes it crystal clear; the harm will live on forever because
of the uncaring and dictatorial and autocratic way that this region was told municipal reform and
amalgamation were coming to Halifax. This is an amendment so I don’t want to talk too long, but don’t lose
faith, Mr. Speaker, in the fact that it is a real and honest concern and I know backbenchers will rise from time
to time on points of order, but the points of order that are raised are just small points in parliamentary debate.
What we are talking about here is more important to the man on the street than having your technical
phraseology in order.

Any politician and any backbencher that want to jump up from time to time and rattle on about points
of order, to the people on the street, they wonder, where are they when it comes to municipal reform? Where
were they? Where were their opinions? Was anybody listening or do they even care beyond the Liberal Party
and this government in trying to bring forth that side of it.

Mr. Speaker, I yield the floor to another speaker who, I am sure, will be able to stick to the amendment
just as closely as I did. I hope that the rest of the members of the House that are so anxious to pass this bill
will stand up and tell us why. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, it is surely my privilege to rise and speak on the amendment
brought in by the Leader of our Party, our caucus, the member for Halifax Fairview.

The amendment to Bill No. 114, Mr. Speaker, I think really deals with the heart of the problem that
we see all about us right now as a result of, not only the introduction of Bill No. 114, but the announcement
of the merging of the metro municipalities, and you know, some of the stuff that has been going on in Cape

That is, Mr. Speaker, that this government has taken what is clearly a good idea, I think, consensus
is around the province that service exchange in this respect in terms of the province taking over the people
services and the municipalities taking over the property-related services makes good sense. In order to ensure
that there are proper standards with respect to people services across this province, the Province of Nova
Scotia should take over that responsibility, ensure that those uniform standards are kept.

I think we have seen in the debate over this issue, certainly in the last couple of years, that here in this
House when this Party was in Opposition, they certainly spoke very clearly and very vociferously and very
articulately, Mr. Speaker, about the need for the province to take over those services. For there to be a one-tiered social service system and for the government to take over responsibility for some other services to
ensure that there was a uniform standard across the province from municipality to municipality.

Then, just prior to the last election, when the former administration under Donald Cameron,
announced that they were going to begin the process of moving towards amalgamation and looking at the
whole aspect of this service exchange, the debate began loud and clear in terms of the question of cooperation.

This was a big issue and, Mr. Speaker, I can appreciate members of the government benches not
wanting to listen to, again and again, the commitments and the promises that they made when they were
running for election back in the spring of 1993 or when they were sitting on the Opposition benches arguing
for these very things or against these very things. But the contradiction between what they said then and what
they are actually saying and doing now is dealt with by this amendment. It deals with trust. It deals with
cooperation, it deals with credibility, Mr. Speaker.

I look back at that period during the election. You may recall that I, speaking on an earlier amendment,
referred to an article that was in, I believe, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald back in the spring of 1993 and I
referred to a quote by the then president of the UNSM when he said, and I quote from this article again and
it has already been tabled, but if the Speaker would like, I would be happy to table it again. It says, “But union
president Sylvester Atkinson said Wednesday the go-slow approach of the Liberals and the New Democrats
to municipal reform is the wiser approach. `The shape of municipal reform should be decided only after
thorough consultation with the municipalities and taxpayers of the province.’”.

It then went on in the article to quote the then Liberal Leader, John Savage, who said, “the Tory plan
`is dictatorial, topdown and shows a serious lack of understanding.’”.

[4:45 p.m.]

I then refer to a further article that was in the Port Hawkesbury Reporter, December 23, 1992. It talks
a lot about cooperation. Why it is important, Mr. Speaker, is because it was statements by the then Liberal
Leader, John Savage, who was staking out his position and that of his Party, on the whole matter of municipal
relations with the province or relations between municipal governments and the provincial government, in
matters of amalgamation, in matters of service exchange, in matters of municipal reform.

He stated very clearly in those days and for some time since that this is a matter that required extensive
consultation, extensive discussions, we need to see all the facts and figures in terms of the ramifications on
the municipal levels of government as well as the province. But he stated on behalf of the Liberal Party in
those days, that they were committed to not only engaging in that level of consultation, that kind of a
responsible and constructive process, but that they were also committed to full service exchange, in particular
in the area of ensuring there is a one-tiered social service system.

In this House in debate, I was here only one session when the Tories were still in government and the
Liberals were the Official Opposition in those days, but I certainly remember the then critic and others from
that Cabinet standing up and talking about the need for this kind of service exchange and the need for a full,
one-tiered social service system across this province. Now, when they have the opportunity to carry forward
with those promises and commitments, Mr. Speaker, they not only back off but they do it in a way that is
going to, I would suggest, irreparably harm the process and the ability of the process itself to reach a positive
and constructive conclusion in the near future.

That causes me some considerable concern and it should for all members of this House, Mr. Speaker,
I am sure, as it does many people in this province because now is not the time to have battles going on
between different administrations, different levels of government in this province. Now is not the time to have
the kind of acrimony that we are beginning to see develop between municipalities and the Province of Nova
Scotia on these issues.

An example of that, Mr. Speaker, more than the items that were reported in the media, which are
important, as metro municipal leaders and others across this province have responded to Bill No. 114, and
the fact that it was brought forward without adequate consultation, municipal leaders were not provided with
the facts and figures in order to make the decisions on how this was going to happen, it was just sort of
imposed upon them without adequate consultation. They feel betrayed by that and I can appreciate that.

I attended a meeting last night, as did some other members of the House, that was with respect to the
Metro Economic Summit. It was the political leaders’ forum, it was political leaders and other elected
representatives in the metro area who came together. It was facilitated by the co-chair of the Metro Economic
Summit and a facilitator. We, as participants, were asked what our vision was for metro, what we thought our
strategies were to get to that point and what are some of the actions that needed to be taken in order to get us
to that point. It was a very valuable process, I think most people who were there would agree.

What you could see, what you could hear and what you could feel, which was so disturbing was the
level of anxiety, the level of distrust, the level of. . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Acrimony.

MR. CHISHOLM: I used that word before, I do not want to repeat myself. (Laughter) I am trying to
find another, I am not as articulate as some, but hopefully somebody will throw me a word, but a number of
the municipal people who were there had real chips on their shoulders, to say the least. It was as a direct result
of these kinds of strategies, of Bill No. 114 and the announcement of the metro amalgamation. It is developing
a distrust, a resentment and a resistance on behalf of municipal leaders. Nobody wants to be treated with that
level of disrespect and contempt. Nobody wants to be treated that way and the result is that whenever I think,
and we are going to see this, whenever people come together in order to try to iron out some of these problems
you are going to have these underlying and sometimes not so underlying resentments articulated. It is a state
of conflict and controversy that I do not think is very productive.

That having been said, on the issue last night . . .

MR. SPEAKER: I hope the issue of last night relates to the amendment.

MR. CHISHOLM: Well, I obviously have not been as articulate as I was hoping I would be, but the
amendment talks about destroying the good faith in provincial-municipal relations. What I was trying to do
and would like to continue to do, with your consent, Mr. Speaker, is to use last night’s meeting of municipal
and provincial leaders in metro to discuss a very real situation, to use that as an example of . . .

MR. SPEAKER: It seems to me that you are drawing a very long bow. Now possibly that parable may
help you to make the point. That is the only sense in which I could see the relevance of this, the belief that
by explaining about a meeting that happened in the city last night, it would demonstrate the validity of the
point contained in the resolution. If that is your approach, I would ask you to please make that analogy as
succinctly as possible and get on to the actual text of the amendment and demonstration of how this
proposition is what you are advocating.

MR. CHISHOLM: With all due respect, I can stand up here and talk about what may happen, what
is going to happen. I can talk about the future all I want in great rhetorical splendour, but I am referring to
a meeting last night which came up after the introduction of Bill No. 114 and which, I believe, the
relationships which I saw and the mood that was in that room is a direct reflection, is an absolutely accurate
reflection of what is depicted here in this amendment. That is, that, “. . . Bill No. 114 will destroy the good
faith in provincial-municipal relations that is essential for effective municipal reform.”. That is the point that
I am trying to make.

MR. SPEAKER: All right, all right.

MR. CHISHOLM: That is simply the point that I am trying to make because last night you had
municipal and provincial leaders coming together to discuss the primarily economic problems affecting the
metro area and how do you resolve some of those problems, how do you move beyond that. (Interruptions)
What I am trying to suggest is that there were, and I will not repeat myself, even though there has been quite
a significant interruption and I am trying desperately to find my . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: You are fairly desperate, I can tell you that.

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, if the Government House Leader has something to say, I would be
happy to yield the floor if he has a question that he would like to direct to my attention. I certainly do not
expect the member to give me, as another member of the House, any respect that I am standing on my feet.
Let me just say that if he does have something to say to me, that he would want to get to his feet and put on
the record that, perhaps, with your indulgence, we might allow the member to rise and speak.

Mr. Speaker, my point about the meeting last night is that municipal and provincial leaders were
together in a room. The Minister of Municipal Affairs was there. (Applause) The Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency was there. I am afraid the people might not have heard the second one and they can likewise
clap there if they like,  the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency was also there. We probably took
three-quarters of the meeting trying to get over the results of these kinds of policies and these kinds of
strategic decisions by this government and the resentment that was obvious among those municipal leaders.
But the last quarter of the meeting was an example of the kind of commitment that municipal leaders, I think,
as well as the provincial representatives that were there from the metro area, showed in terms of, okay, that
having been said, we are going to have to work with that. We are going to have to deal with that problem, but
let’s not forget that our ultimate goal is to increase the economic activity in the metro area, Halifax,
Dartmouth, Bedford and Halifax County, and we are going to try to work beyond that. That is good and that
is positive and I was pleased to be part of that meeting because there was a positive end to it.

MR. GERALD FOGARTY: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, like you I was trying to understand and
trying to relate this meeting last evening, which I also attended, to the amendment that has been brought
forward. I want to make the point that that meeting was very productive and very positive. This member
would have us believe that everyone present at that meeting had nothing but complaints and it is simply not
so. There was a lot of very optimistic input and I felt that it was extremely productive and I just cannot sit here
and allow this member to say that that meeting was nothing but complaints and nothing but negativism.

MR. SPEAKER: I am troubled by the procedure that is being followed here. I know from my study of
the parliamentary authorities over the years that debate on amendments is supposed to be more narrow in
scope than debate on second reading of a bill. It is supposed to be strictly limited to the contents of the
amendment. Now we seem to have become sidetracked on what happened or did not happen at a meeting held
in this city last evening. The amendment, with all deference to the mover, makes no mention whatever of a
meeting held in the city last evening. It rather states a proposition that the enactment of Bill No. 114 will
destroy good faith. That is the essence of the amendment as I read it, that the enactment of the bill will destroy
good faith. Now I suppose that if this meeting demonstrates that the enactment of Bill No. 114 would destroy
good faith, it could be considered to be relevant and that is why I have allowed the member to give his account
of the meeting. But I caution the member and the House that we cannot afford to get sidetracked from the
main thrust of this amendment, which is fact and argument to demonstrate that Bill No. 114 will destroy good
faith in provincial-municipal relations. That is what we are discussing and not what happened in a meeting
last night.

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, let me just say to the member for Halifax Bedford Basin that I
apologize for not having mentioned that he, too, was at that meeting last night. Maybe before someone else
stands up on a point of order, let me say that the member for Timberlea-Prospect was there, the member for
Sackville-Beaverbank was there, the honourable Minister of Community Services was there, the honourable
Minister of Supply and Services was there. Were you there, Russell? No, you weren’t there. Again, my point,
and I put in the bit at the end of that, and what I was trying to do was to say that in terms of this the point is
made in this amendment about provincial-municipal relations. What I saw at least at the beginning of the
meeting last night was that those relations have been seriously affected by what has happened through Bill
No. 114.

[5:00 p.m.]

I tried also to express - and I say this in reference to the remarks made on the point of order - that there
was a positive resolve to that meeting as a result of the contribution of a lot of people and the commitment
of a lot of people to ensure that we do go forward. I did say that before and Hansard will show that. Anyway,
Mr. Speaker, the point is that there are a lot of difficult problems facing Nova Scotia right now.

There are a lot of very difficult challenges that this provincial government, that each and every
municipal government, every councillor, every mayor, every warden, every MLA is going to be faced with
trying to resolve, and it is going to take a lot of cooperation, and it is going to take collaboration on a lot of
problems, on a lot of matters to try to reach solutions, positive solutions, whether that be municipal reform
or whether that be trying to develop positive and constructive economic development strategies in our

Whatever it is that we have to deal with, we are going to have to have good relations with every layer
of government and, in this case, the levels between the province and the municipalities. My concern and the
concern I think that was raised by the member for Halifax Fairview brought forward in this amendment is that
Bill No. 114, while it encompasses a sound concept and an important idea, has done it in a way, has proceeded
in a manner that will irreparably harm or harm for long enough to make it very difficult for all of us to solve
the many problems that we have before us today.

You know, the example I used last night, we will get beyond that because everybody that is an elected
official in this province is committed to solving the problems that we have before us. Don’t be fooled by that
because, as some municipal leaders have said, there has been a blow struck to the trust between this
government and municipal leaders in this province and I think that is going to harm our ability to do what
it is that we have to do in the next few years. This government made promises to the people of Nova Scotia,
it made promises right up until the last couple of months before people ran for election to municipal councils
right from one end of this province to the outside edge of the industrial area of Cape Breton.

This provincial government was going to work with those councils to come forward with a real solid
strategy that would benefit those councils, that would benefit their taxpayers and would lead to a quick and
positive resolve on the question of the service swap. But you know right up until the week before this bill came
down, my colleagues and I were in different parts of this province and we talked to people from the different
municipalities. Overwhelmingly what they told us was, they hadn’t gotten the facts on this service swap. There
had been a couple of meetings but the details weren’t there, they didn’t know. Municipality after municipality
were saying, well, we were told at one point it was going to save us hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now
we are beginning to hear that it is going to cost us. We don’t know if they are going to take general assistance
but are they going to take special needs. What part of the whole social service structure are they going to take?
Are they going to take over all the workers?

These were important questions that were being asked and municipal leaders were frustrated because
a process had begun and they were there, they were ready, they were participating, they wanted to put this
stuff in place, but they weren’t getting any answers or information from this government, from the Minister
of Municipal Affairs and her officials. Having heard that and the concern that was expressed by those
municipal leaders and less than a week later, all of a sudden it is dropped on them that it is a done deal. I
mean you can imagine yourself, I am sure you have heard from municipal leaders as have many people in this
room that those people are extremely concerned. They feel like they have been used. They feel like they have
been abused. They have been betrayed and they expected it perhaps from a different type of government but
not from this new Liberal Government that was elected on a clear promise of consultation and building on
the relationships with the municipal levels of government, especially with a government led by a former
president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, they did not expect that.

Let us not forget that these municipal leaders are trying desperately to provide at least the same level
of services to their people in their municipalities that they did last year and the year before and yet all the
while the dollars they have to work with in many cases are decreasing. The monies that are being transferred
from the federal government through the province to them have been reduced. So, their ability financially to
respond to the kinds of crises that they are facing has been desperately impeded.

Instead of this government reaching out to them and saying okay, we are committed, we were
committed during the election, we were committed when we were in Opposition, we were committed last year
and we are still going to work with you to make sure that we do this and we do it right, because it is an
important principle and we need to cooperate on all these items in order to make sure that we can work
together and try to solve those problems. But instead, these people feel very clearly like they have been led
down the garden path by this administration.

When looking at a November 1st article from the Evening News out of Trenton, Trenton Mayor Barry
Trenholm said his town stands to lose about $710,000 now that the province has decided to do away with
emergency funding. Mayor Trenholm says that they are forcing us into amalgamation although they are not
saying it. In other words, if you had some members of this House stand up with some considerable outrage
that members on this side of the House who were speaking against Bill No. 114 were talking about
amalgamation, this bill has nothing to do with amalgamation.

Well, Mayor Trenholm doesn’t think that is the case. Many municipal leaders across this province
think that Bill No. 114 is a behind-the-scenes way of forcing amalgamation, by desperately affecting the kind
of money that the different municipalities have to operate. So it does, I would suggest to you, Mr. Speaker,
have a lot to do.

It says in the article that the original exchange of services formula announced this past year, that the
government was going to assume social service costs while the municipality would handle roads and police,
Mr. Speaker. But you and I know that has not happened, even though right up until a week or so ago that was
the plan under which the municipalities were still operating. The whole game has been changed and the game
was changed unilaterally by this administration.

In terms of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, it was the union that was given the responsibility,
in a more global sense, to negotiate the kinds of terms and conditions that were going to be reviewed and
negotiated between the municipalities and the province by the member municipalities; they were given the
authority to participate in those discussions, in a loose sense negotiate, on behalf of the municipalities. But
as has been discussed on a few occasions by the member for Sackville-Cobequid, there has been no
consultation whatsoever. The committee that was struck to review those matters has not met.

Now how can anybody in their right mind stand up and ask, well, why are people upset? Why are these
mayors and councillors and municipal representatives upset with us? We are just doing the right thing. Well,
Mr. Speaker, go back and read your clippings, your press statements, your campaign literature, read Hansard
from when you were in Opposition, replay some of the conversations you had at the Union of Nova Scotia
Municipalities conventions or the conversations you had with some of these municipal leaders in the halls and
in the back rooms. Those people and much of the public in Nova Scotia were convinced that this
administration was going to carry forward on its word, although surely by now most Nova Scotians have had
that belief stood on its ear by the actions of this government, that the fact that commitments were made during
the election and even now commitments are made on one particular day, or in one form, and then changed
completely on another, depending on the circumstances.

So, even those people who are clearly closely associated to this government politically are very
concerned, very upset with the way they are being treated through this whole deal, Mr. Speaker.

[5:15 p.m.]

It is a concern for many. It is a concern for me. It is a concern for those people who are out there trying
to resolve these problems, is that the last thing we need right now is a piece of legislation like this which is
going to set the whole works into turmoil. I do not see how you can refer to that as a positive process. Mr.
Speaker, it has been cited time and time again in this House already that this government has made a joke of
the word commitment, the word integrity and this is another example of it. I am not going to take time on this
amendment again to cite those examples.

Let me suggest that this amendment is an important one because I believe it does address in many ways
the lack of understanding of true process and the lack of a commitment to following forward with your word
or with your commitment on any policy. Nova Scotians, Mr. Speaker, are getting pretty fed up with this, not
only those of other political stripes but, I would suggest, also the same stripe as this government are beginning
to, you know, there is a quote I think I cited the other day, but you know when the mayors, many of them well-known Liberals here in metro, were so outraged the other day, the Leader of the Nova Scotia Government
Employees Union said, welcome to the disenchanted club.

There are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians who have already felt the stab
of betrayal as a result of policies brought in by this government since the beginning of their term a short year
and a half ago. Mr. Speaker, with those few comments, I will take my seat now and indicate that I will be
voting in support of the amendment brought forward by the member for Halifax Fairview, and I would
encourage all members to do likewise.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has taken his seat. Are there any further speakers to the
amendment? If not, we will now put the question. (Interruption)

Order, please. The proposition before the House for Bill No. 114 is, “That the words after `that’ be
deleted and the following be substituted: `that in the opinion of the House, the introduction and enactment
of Bill 114 will destroy the good faith in provincial-municipal relations that is essential for effective municipal

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells.

[The Division bells were rung.]

[5:19 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Are the Whips satisfied?

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[5:24 p.m.]


Mr. Moody Mr. Barkhouse


Mr. Donahoe Mrs. Norrie


Mr. Leefe Mr. Downe


Ms. McDonough Dr. Smith


Mr. Holm Mr. Boudreau


Mr. Chisholm Mr. Gillis


Mr. Archibald Mr. Bragg


Dr. Hamm Ms. Jolly


Mr. Mann


Mr. Casey


Mr. Gaudet


Dr. Stewart


Mr. Harrison


Mr. Abbass


Mr. Adams


Mr. Brown


Mr. Lorraine


Mrs. Cosman


Mr. O’Malley


Mr. MacAskill


Mr. MacArthur


Mr. MacNeil


Mr. Rayfuse


Mr. Richards


Mr. White


Mr. Holland


Mrs. O’Connor


Mr. Mitchell


Mr. M. MacDonald


Mr. Fogarty


Mr. Hubbard


Mr. W. MacDonald


Mr. Fraser


Mr. Colwell


Mr. Huskilson


Mr. Carruthers

THE CLERK: For, 8. Against, 36.

MR. SPEAKER: The amendment is carried in the negative.

We are now back to the main motion of Bill No. 114 be read a second time. On the motion for second

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I want to say a few words on second reading of Bill No. 114.

I have been watching with interest as word spreads around the province of what is in Bill No. 114 and
what kind of exchange of services we are getting and how it affects all of the municipalities. The
municipalities that we checked first are the municipalities that we live in. That is only natural, I guess, to see
how it affects the municipality that we represent here in the Provincial Legislature.

I noticed that the new Warden of Kings County is cautious. It is a little bit better on the numbers than
the initial approach on service exchange, on revenue sharing but his concern is that he would like to see the
figures first. I think there is a little bit, and I noticed the Mayor of Kentville would like to see the figures first,
I think what has happened is there is a little bit of mistrust. You have to say to yourself, well, why is there
mistrust? The reason there is mistrust is quite simple. This minister has not been as open with the municipal
officials across this province as promised.

The minister promised that before any decision was made on exchange of program, she would consult
with the UNSM before making a decision. In actual fact, she didn’t fulfil that promise or that commitment.
We can talk about our municipal reform. (Interruption) You know, if the member for Kings South has a lot
to say about this legislation he surely can take his place in the House.

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member entertain a question?

MR. MOODY: Of course.

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: There was a plan on exchange that circulated the province during the
tenure of his government. I wonder if the Kings County figures are figures that he recollects and would he
like to indicate what they might be in the House?

MR. MOODY: Well, I can tell you that in the municipal reform in terms of reference by our Party was
that social service would be delivered and financed totally by the provincial government. (Interruptions) When
you get into numbers, (Interruptions) (Laughter)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

[5:30 p.m.]

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, do I have the floor or do the rest of the people have the floor?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member has the floor, but before the honourable
member continues I would just like to point out to him that a moment ago he referred to the honourable
Minister of Municipal Affairs as having reneged on a promise and that language is unparliamentary. In
Beauchesne, on Page 147, it outlines that the reneging on a promise is unparliamentary.

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to do anything that is unparliamentary and I do have a lot
of respect for your rulings and if it is unparliamentary I will withdraw it, but I could quote of the newspaper
where those words are used. Would that be unparliamentary or would that be allowed under your rules?

MR. SPEAKER: I am quoting to you Beauchesne. Beauchesne is not firm, absolutely firm. It depends
on the context in which language has been used as to how the Speaker rules, one way or the other. I have just
indicated to you that Beauchesne, on Page 147, line 3, outlines that “reneged promises” is unparliamentary
as an expression.

MR. MOODY: Well, Mr. Speaker, then I will withdraw the word promise and didn’t fulfil a
commitment then, if that is allowed. Then the commitment that was made by the commitment was not
fulfilled. That is, I guess, probably means the same thing.

You know, Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting that, and I think it is right that this government and this
legislation takes over 100 per cent of the cost of social services in the new Cape Breton municipality. That
to me is what should be done across the province. I expect the people in Kings County are saying, why does
it apply there but not in Kings or Annapolis or Colchester or Pictou Counties or wherever? To me, that is
going in the right direction. When the government made the commitment to take over total costs of social
services, so we would have one level of social services right across this province, so that it would be fair
whether you lived in Shelburne or whether you lived in New Glasgow or whether you lived in Sydney, there
would be one tier, one level.

Mr. Speaker, as long as the municipalities are contributing under this legislation, everywhere but the
new regional Cape Breton municipality, everywhere else in the province will pay 80 per cent. What is going
to happen is we are going to have more inequities in the social services program across the province, probably
even more than we presently have.

If you are going to have municipal reform and you are going to have it so that the municipalities
actually, and the province, I mean, yes, municipal reform has been talked about but why would people do
municipal reform unless there was a benefit to the people of the province or the municipalities and that it was
cost-effective? If you are going to do it, why not do it in a manner out of which the taxpayer can actually get
some benefit?

AN HON. MEMBER: You answer Robby’s question.

MR. MOODY: Well, I am not going to be side-tracked, Mr. Speaker. I know that you do not want me
to be and I won’t be.

AN HON. MEMBER: He doesn’t answer.

MR. MOODY: I have got to stop. I just can’t get side-tracked. (Laughter)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MOODY: I apologize, Mr. Speaker, I am listening, but I wish you would ask those people to stop
heckling, that would help, too.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I have asked them to do so.

MR. MOODY: Thank you very much. In the municipal reform program that we did talk about, and
one that I know is of interest to many members of the House, there were cost savings to the taxpayers, actually
up to $70 million across this province. I look at this and I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, but I don’t find $70 million
worth of savings in this legislation.

You know, Mr. Speaker, there is not a taxpayer in this province paying property tax today who would
tell you they are paying at the maximum. What the Warden of Kings County said, that costs will go up to the
taxpayer because of this piece of legislation; he said it will go up so many cents per 100, obviously. So the
people in Kings County will have, because of this legislation, in 1995, an increase in their tax rate directly
attributed to this legislation.

Now some people might say that is okay in Kings County, they don’t pay enough taxes so that is why
we have to introduce this legislation that the member for Kings South is going to support because we are
going to say to Kings County people, you have to pay more taxes because that is really what municipal reform
is all about.

When I hear the warden of the county saying just exactly how much that will cost, he is not sure but
he does know because of the $700,000-some that it means to the county in the negative, but obviously, Mr.
Speaker, taxes will have to rise in order to meet that. So when I go around the county and people are
complaining, and in Kings County they had a meeting, an organized group of people who are against raises
in municipal taxes, one that the member for Kings South and the member for Kings North attended. I think
they both said they were against raising the municipal taxes.

Well here is legislation where one has to vote for either a raise on municipal taxes in Kings County
or not; if you are in Halifax you are going to vote for a raise in municipal taxes because of this reform or not,
and you are going to have to vote for a raise in municipal taxes in Colchester County or you are not. I can go
around the province and all I can say is if you vote for this you can’t go back home and say the taxes went up
because of municipal reform and I didn’t vote for it. You have to admit that you voted for it; how else could
you explain to the people in those areas that municipal reform is good for them - and maybe it is good for
them - but isn’t there a way to do it so that all the taxpayers in this province, from one end to the other, no
matter what county you are in, can get some relief from the taxation level that they are already at?

I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, one of the things that governments have to look for is how to stop the
increase in taxes. I don’t believe for a minute that the recession is over; I don’t believe for a minute that people
have more disposable income and I don’t believe for a minute they are going to have more in 1995. I wish they
were going to; I wish the economy would turn around; I wish there were jobs galore; I wish people could
afford to spend money on their homes. I wish that all those things could happen.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if that happened, and I guess everything was well, then maybe people could afford
more. But I have to tell you that the people I talk to, whether they are in business or whether they are
homeowners, they are having a struggle. They tell me that just to make ends meet is very difficult. We get
people today who are earning less than $25,000 who are homeowners and some of them thought they were
safe from the 3 per cent roll-back and found out on Tuesday that they weren’t, that they are rolled back. Yet,
they are going to find out and they live in the County of Kings that their taxes are going up. You have to say
to yourself, some poor person earning under $25,000 and has to pay additional taxes on their homes, that is
pretty difficult for these people, that is pretty difficult to swallow.

If you look at the legislation and in some areas, (Interruption) one of the things that this government
could learn and I thought they would learn after a year and a half because it was in their platform, and that
is you work with people, you consult and you work with people to achieve the goals that you want to achieve.
You don’t dictate to people or you don’t shove things at people and say, here it is, we know what is best for
you.  We have the answers so we are going to put it in legislation.

I will watch with interest as groups come in around the province at Law Amendments and I will watch
with interest the suggestions they make. I will watch with interest how flexible this government really is and
whether they really want municipal reform in a manner that can be supported by municipal units across the
province and the general public or whether the kind of reform that they are bound on having is what is in this
piece of legislation.

I know an exchange of services, and there are things that are confusing to people, of what government
is responsible for what. I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, the social service exchange, 100 per cent is the way
to go. This has not gone far enough, only in Cape Breton is it going 100 per cent. The rest of the province is
not but that is the right way to go. The way they are going in Cape Breton is exactly the right way to go. Then
I look at policing and I think the policing is right, that the municipalities take care of the policing, the total
policing so the people know who is responsible for it.

You get into highways, well you have a mishmash. If you happen to live on a Class J road, the
municipality is going to look after you, are going to pay and how much are they going to be able to afford to
pay. If you live on another road, the province is going to look after it. So, you know, it is going to become
confusing for the taxpayers because I think one of the things that municipal reform has to do and I know as
a politician for the last number of years, one of the things that I found was when people called me up they
were confused on what programs were delivered by the municipality and what programs are the responsibility
of the provincial government.

I can understand their confusion, I can understand that but you know this municipal reform, I would
think, would try to clear that up, would try to clear up areas where the general public could understand who
is responsible for what so that you don’t have that kind of confusion. I know in the roads there is going to be
more confusion on who is responsible for what. Mr. Speaker that is not a step forward, that is a step back.

Surely to goodness they could have had municipal reform in a manner so it was very clear to the
general public who was responsible. Now, when you go to public health, and I agree with the move on public
health, where you have the health boards around the province that are run by the municipalities. I have to say
that some of the municipalities have, well, they did have right to make decisions on septic systems for their
own municipalities in certain conditions. I think this is more of a provincial responsibility. I think it is right
that that be taken and totally looked after by the province. The province has the inspectors so it would make
sense under this bill, which it does, to have the public health totally under the provincial government.

[5:45 p.m.]

The only problem with that is there has to be a mechanism to deal with the situations that the
municipalities could deal with before. The problem is how does someone in Halifax understand and know a
certain situation in a particular county. You know, there were always areas where the municipality could make
a decision and grant a request that did not quite fit in the parameters of the provincial guidelines and usually
it was a small individual case, but the Minister of the Environment talks about Floral Heights. Maybe that is
a good example of where somebody let down and maybe it was the municipality, if that is what he is saying.
(Interruption) I am not sure what he is saying there, but what I am saying is that public health should come
under the province. There has to be, hopefully, a mechanism in place that certain situations that occur that
people and reason will prevail because yes we have to protect the environment and yes we have to have rules.

There are always those unique situations that somebody has to be able to visually visit and be prepared
to help someone who is in a very difficult position. So, I agree that the health aspect should come under the
provincial government and the general public can understand that.

Now when we talk about corrections, even though Justice is completely taken over by the province the
municipalities are still tagged with the sharing that they have been tagged with for a number of years and that
will increase according to the cost of living. In other words, the province is going to run them and take over
Justice, but there is still the contribution by the municipalities.

The problem with this bill is it really does not do the full job and that is part of the reason because if
there had been consultation then I think that all of these areas would have been eventually worked out. Now
I know, I am a realist, that it is probably not easy to get everybody to agree on the money aspect and I think
that is the part. Everybody probably would agree that there probably is not anyone in the Legislature that
wouldn’t agree that social services should be one tiered, social services should be run by the province. Now
if that was the case the government would have to decide what its priorities are and make a decision on
whether or not that is the right thing to do then they have to find the funding to do that.

My concern with Bill No. 114 is that after Bill No. 114, where do we go?


MR. MOODY: I thought is was 114. Oh, 115, I see. (Laughter)

This only does part of the job and when you do only parts of the job in cleaning up the services on who
is responsible, the problem with only doing part of the job when you go back to try to repair it the problem
seems to get worse, whereas if the job had been done completely at the beginning then, obviously then, I think,
we would have had a good piece of legislation.

I notice that the sidewalks are completely taken over by the municipalities and the rural areas have
benefitted greatly from a program that was cost-shared by the provincial government. Any of us that are rural
members will recognize the safety aspect of sidewalks and the importance of sidewalks and now that the
sidewalks are going to be totally funded by the municipalities then I can see that some of them may not be put
in. What I am not quite clear on is if you lived in the town of Berwick or the town of Kentville, they pay for
their own sidewalks, as you probably know, under the old agreement. (Interruption) Very small part, but in
some cases all paid for by the towns, but a very small share. The county has got the biggest share from the
province. If you look at their sidewalks, they met a different standard. They set their own standards in the
town. When you went out to the rural area, the standards were set by the Department of Transportation.

Here, the municipalities are going to be responsible for funding these sidewalks and who is going to
set the standard? Do they have to go with the standard that the province has with the extra-wide lane and the
extra tearing up of trees? The costs were greater of putting sidewalks in the municipalities because of the rules
of the Department of Transportation. Now that the municipalities are going to be responsible, I would suspect
that they should be able to have a little more say on what the rules are. Maybe they have total say under the
Class J roads, I am not sure. Will they have total say under the Class J roads and they will not have any say
under the other roads or just how is that going to work? I did not find that in the legislation. I found that the
cost-sharing is there and who has to pay, but there are a lot of unanswered questions on how that whole system
is going to work.

To me, I was hoping that, I am sure, if the process had been right, some of that would have been ironed
out prior to the legislation being drafted. I have to tell you that we have got a lot of people living in
subdivisions that are called Class J roads. We have a lot of children and because of cutbacks on education
funding, with less bus transportation, a lot more children are having to walk to school. I have had a lot of
concern from areas in Greenwood and other areas of my constituency. Some parents have hired a bus on their
own and there are some children whose parents cannot afford to hire a bus on their own.

I am concerned that we are now beginning to treat people differently, that if you cannot afford
something, then you cannot have what your neighbour has. So what you have is the poor child who cannot
afford to pay the extra to go on the school bus, has to walk and if there is no sidewalk, some parents are
concerned for the safety of those five year olds. I understand that. I perfectly understand that. So we are now
saying to the municipalities, you are going to be totally responsible for those sidewalks and so those kids are
going to be at greater risk if there is no sidewalk.

People do not understand, Mr. Speaker, just what is happening out there in a lot of these rural areas
and how this legislation may just affect that kind of a situation. Maybe there are people that do not have
sidewalks, but I can tell you, in a highly populated area - and they are not towns - in the Greenwood area and
in Kingston where there are a lot of subdivisions, they don’t have sidewalks, but those children have to walk,
a little over two miles to school. You might say that is okay and it is okay if they have a sidewalk and it is nice
and safe. But you know, that is not the case.

So here, what we are saying to municipalities, you take on that responsibility and yet the municipalities
have no say when the Government of Nova Scotia cuts back on the monies contributed to education when the
buses go off. So it becomes a problem. One of the things that could have been done in this whole municipal
reform, when you talk about education, maybe that could have been handled as well, too. Because you have
taxpayers contributing to the cost of education and you have the province funding education. That is an area
that this municipal reform does not touch. But yet, the amount that this province pays to education

Mr. Speaker, with education being a very important service and really dictated by the provincial
government and yet the property owners in all municipal units, as you know, are levied an education tax.

Now I know, Mr. Speaker, that there is only so much money to go around and I will be the first to
acknowledge that. So when you divvy up your municipal reform you have to try to find a way that the money
sort of comes out as equal as possible, and I understand that. I understand when the Minister of Municipal
Affairs says, look, we can’t afford any more money, as a government. I am sure every municipal unit would
tell you that they can’t afford any more money, and I understand that. So obviously that is the premise you
have to have start on. You can start on that premise but how do you explain to some of these people that that
is the premise you start on but if you live in Kings County, you pay more taxes.

That is what is very difficult for many people to understand; you say to them, are you going to get
anything different out of this legislation? Are you going to get more services? Are you going to be better
served because the Government of Nova Scotia decided they were going to introduce Bill No. 114? Are they
going to be better served because the government introduced that bill, and even though the government
members don’t speak on it - only the minister, and then everybody votes on it and says, yes, it is wonderful -
is that what I tell those people, that is really municipal reform and that is really going to help them when they
go to pay their taxes? I don’t believe so, Mr. Speaker. I don’t believe I can tell them that.

I think if the government has a message that is so clear and so precise that the taxpayers in every
county and around this province could understand what benefit there is to Bill No. 114, then I don’t think we
would have been debating Bill No. 114 as long as we have been; it would have passed.

I am going to send this bill on to the Law Amendments Committee, yes, because I do believe in
municipal reform. I am not against municipal reform and I will support it to go to the Law Amendments
Committee. I think it is important that it go to the Law Amendments Committee and important that the people
of this province have an opportunity to voice their concerns about it and I will support it.

But you know, Mr. Speaker, I hope that when we have pieces of legislation that come before us, that
even though we support it, if there are parts in this legislation that we have concerns about, I hope we can get
up and raise them and that we can talk about the parts of the legislation because this bill is not totally bad,
there are parts of the bill that I do support. But I think there are some parts of the bill that will raise some
questions; it will raise some questions in the Law Amendments Committee and probably raise some questions
from all members of the House. I think that is the way we should deal.

Well, Mr. Speaker, the hour is late and I would adjourn debate on Bill No. 114. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate on second reading of Bill No. 114. Would all those
in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will be sitting from the hour of 10:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m. The order of business, following the daily routine, we will resume debate on Bill No. 114.

I move that we adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.

[6:00 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The Adjournment motion has been made. The debate on the Adjournment motion
has been won by the honourable member for Halifax Atlantic. The motion is as follows:

Therefore be it resolved that casino gambling decisions based on guesswork are not acceptable to Nova



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.


MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, this is a very important topic. We have talked a lot about
it since the House opened a few short days ago but there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered, in
terms of casino gambling in the Province of Nova Scotia.

I want to start my few minutes by referring to the statement made by the Premier and the House Leader
in a news conference on October 26, 1994, with respect to the legislation they were going to bring in for
casinos. They say on Page 6, and I will be happy to table this, “Much has been said and written about casinos
in Nova Scotia over the past several months. We are hopeful that legislative debate on this issue will be
grounded in reality, rather than an attempt to exploit unfounded fears in the name of political gain.”

I refer to that and read that into the record, Mr. Speaker, because in the last few months as opposition
to casinos in the Province of Nova Scotia has been mounting, where church groups, municipalities,
individuals - upwards of 30,000 and better who have signed petitions opposing casinos - as these people have
been presenting their arguments against casinos and casino gambling to this government and ask them to
consider them, they have basically pushed them aside and said, you are playing politics. There is no rationale
here. In fact, the Premier even said to the churches, where were you during debate when the two legislative
committees were going on.

The problem with this is that it appears, after having requested information from the Minister of
Finance through Freedom of Information, it appears that the decision to license casino gambling in the
Province of Nova Scotia was made on the basis of two reports that came from standing committees on the
issue. Mr. Speaker, you and I both know that those two reports were opposed to casino gambling. It said the
matter had to be studied much more fully before there would be any consideration of moving forward. One
has to wonder then, what is behind this decision?

On April 20th, when the decision was made, Mr. Speaker, when it was announced, and subsequently
in various newspapers and so on, the claim has been made, and I quote here from the April 20, 1994, State
of the Province Address by the Premier. He says, “This decision comes after a great deal of study and debate
by the government. The benefits to taxpayers of casino operations in Nova Scotia will be substantial. And a
significant portion of those benefits will be directed to the province’s health, social and education systems.”.

What studies, Mr. Speaker? What evidence do we have? What evidence has the minister put before
the Province of Nova Scotia, put before those people that are opposed to this issue? What evidence has been
put forward to refute those assertions by opponents to casino gambling? What evidence has been put forward
by the government to support its contention that in fact this is going to be a very significant economic
generator of jobs and revenues for the Province of Nova Scotia?

Well, unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, we have had very little. In fact, this afternoon in response to further
questioning from me, the Minister of Finance finally admitted that, well, in fact there are not any. We do not
have any studies here. We have looked at some things or I do not know if they looked at some things from
Saskatchewan or other provinces, or they were told that some things were happening in other provinces that
were good and that they should go with that.

Mr. Speaker, the people of Nova Scotia want to know. This is a very significant decision. There are
signatures on petitions opposed to casino gambling in this province, mounting upwards of 40,000.
Municipalities, the Cape Breton Board of Trade has said no overwhelmingly, over 83 per cent of the members
of the Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade have said no to a casino. They have taken a look at the evidence.
They have taken a look at studies like the one presented by, and they refer to, a Robert Goodman of the
University of Massachusetts that they suggest does not come down on either side, but raises some very serious
concerns about casino gambling and the effect that it has on the community.

They conclude, in fact, I would be happy to table this particular statement from the Industrial Cape
Breton Board of Trade on gambling in Nova Scotia which concludes and it says, “In conclusion, may I quote
the following which is to be found on page 67 of the Goodman Report:”, and it is a paragraph. I just want to
read the last line. It says, “However, we believe that none of these reasons are sufficient to simply ignore the
problems of costs or to provide misleading analysis of benefits.”.

This board of trade, as many groups in this province want to participate in a debate. They want the
province to come forward with the studies, with the rationale that they have, for licensing casino gambling
in this province. Don’t just dismiss us, people say, listen to us, engage us, let’s figure out before we go any
farther just what kind of a situation we are going to have. Some of the facts that are presented by the
opponents are quite troubling.

I look, for example, at some information that was provided by the People Against Casinos group and
it compares the jobs that are generated by tourism versus the jobs that may be generated by the revenue
generated by casinos. There are a couple of things that trouble me quite considerably. One of them and this,
I understand in reviewing other facts from across the country, is that they estimate that any revenue that does
come from casinos, that you can estimate that 20 to 25 per cent of that is from tourists but that the rest comes
from the local economy.

So let’s, for a moment, look at the figure that was universally quoted when the government made their
announcement to go ahead back in April 1994, that they were looking at $60 million in annual revenue to the
province. If that is going to happen then we can estimate approximately, and this was done by PAC Nova
Scotia, $214 million in gross revenues. Think about that for a second, Mr. Speaker. If you assume 20 per cent
as they have and I will pass this chart out, that means that 80 per cent of that $214 million or $171.2 million
that will have to go into casinos to generate $60 million worth of revenue for the province will come from the
local community, from the businesses, from the tourist locations, from the services and the shops, that are
having such a difficult time now as it is making ends meet.

How in the name of Heaven, why are we proceeding down this road when these kinds of facts are out
there which raise some very serious concerns? What does this mean to the small communities in eastern Nova
Scotia and in Cape Breton, communities that have been devastated by the fisheries shut down in many cases?
What is going to happen to those communities if that kind of money all of a sudden gets sucked into these
casinos? What good is that doing for this economy in Nova Scotia, I ask you? Has the government given us
any answers on these questions? Not one word from this government, not one word have we heard from the
Minister of Finance about this.

The other question is with respect to jobs. Tourism is estimated to create, you know the estimate from
Ross Bragg in 1992, was that tourism was worth $805 million in those days and we know it is much more
now, providing 31,000 jobs. An estimate that has been generated for that out of that $171 million through the
casinos, is like 6,500 jobs. These are very serious and very alarming facts that are being brought forward in
this debate by those people who are opposed to casino gambling in this province. What have we heard from
the province to support their assertions? Not a word, deafening silence and we need answers, Nova Scotians
deserve nothing less. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: I rise today to make a few brief comments on this matter and I
welcome the opportunity to do so. This along with other subjects that have come before the House in the short
period of time that I have had the privilege of representing Hants East is interesting in that whenever it suits
the purpose for some of those who would argue against the government’s policy to say it hasn’t been studied
enough, then that is what we hear. In a couple of debates it has become obvious to me that certain items have
been studied to death, this is a particularly glaring example of one. The member asks what studies did the
Nova Scotia Government do with regard to the pros and cons of licensing casinos, two casinos, both in the
two metropolitan areas of this province. What studies have you done?

Well, what we know is that studies have been done in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia,
Alberta, Saskatchewan. There have been a whole bunch of studies done for Canada overall, there have been
studies done in the United States. Some of the points that the previous speaker has tried to make in pushing
his position that there should have been a study done is by quoting from studies, he has done that three times.
He has quoted from three different matters that have been studied. He said you need to do a study, and here
is why you need to do a study, because this study says and then this study says, why in the world don’t you do
a study? Well, doesn’t that make itself clear the reason why we do not waste a whole pile of money on another
study, because there have been a whole pile of studies done?

Look at what has happened here. We are not breaking new ground, we are not inventing the wheel
here. Casino gambling has taken place or gaming has taken place all through this country. Not only that, but
did you notice that just after the Minister of Finance of this province announced that this province was
entering into this area, on television I noticed it not too long after that, just a few days, New Brunswick had
designated a piece of ground, they had the ground picked out. No, it wasn’t a casino though, it was a large
bingo hall with VLTs, not a casino, not gaming, a large bingo facility with VLTs. Of course there has been
quoted in this House that British Columbia turned down their casino. British Columbia turned down a
particular casino, they have a pile of them out there from one end of the province to the other.

The matter has been studied to death. Why should this province put forward a whole bunch of dollars
into a study when the whole country is already there? There are casinos all around us. When one argues
perhaps it is going to be hard on individuals because they take part in gaming, it is not like we can go, poof,
there are no gaming facilities that are accessible to Nova Scotians, they are all over the place. Not only that
type of gaming, does the member say all types of gaming and he said there should be no lottos, there should
be no scratch tickets, there should be no horse races, there should be no bingo. I wonder how popular he would
be then? No, he picks this particular issue and says we should have another study. By then of course we could
spend a whole pile of money and find out the same thing. We have had two commissions here.

Both commissions looked into this matter, what we used to call the Derrick Kimball Commission and
what we have called the Fogarty Commission, both and what have they said? They said at this time we don’t
have a gaming authority set up, we don’t have a gaming authority at this time. Until you have a gaming
authority set up, you shouldn’t get into casino gaming. Well, guess what, that was then, and now we do have
a gaming authority set up and we have looked into the matter. We have set up an expert committee to look
into it and that is what we put our money in, to look into the issues of Nova Scotia so that we have a proper
committee that would make the proper selection. We get the type of facility that is properly run, properly
managed, has the proper safeguards, the proper fall back procedures in place and those that are successful are
professional and well guarded against any type of a downside that has been outlined by my friend. That is
where we put our dollars, not into another big study to make work for a whole bunch of people who have
degrees somewhere to come to a conclusion.

[6:15 p.m.]

The Goodman Report, very interesting. My friend points out the Goodman Report, as he said. My
friend mentioned the Goodman Report in this House not more than seven minutes ago. Let me give you an
example of the Goodman Report. The Goodman Report quoted 14 other studies. That is what the Goodman
Report quoted, 14 other studies. Well, maybe we should have a study to report on the Goodman Report and
its 14 other studies. What did the Goodman Report say about its 14 studies? Ten disagreed with the findings,
three partly disagreed with the findings, one agreed with the findings and that was the finding of the report.
What great interest that is. We indeed need another study.

What did we do? We set up a casino report committee. That committee has 25 bodies strong, eight
RCMP, five economists, seven lawyers and support staff to support them. That is where we put our money and
then this government said, we stand back, you are the pros, tell us how this thing is to be done and done
properly. We did not put our money into a bunch of more foolish studies and that, I think, is at least an
intelligent move. (Interruptions)

There are a couple of interesting points here. Why did the Official Opposition of this province, and
I sure there is going to be a speaker from the Official Opposition that is going to speak on the matter after me,
so I am going to ask now because I am going to anticipate that speaker is not going to wholly endorse the
policies of this government. I have that feeling and why? I read in the paper that the Opposition Party has
withdrawn its support. Now a lot of people have said in this House, a lot of members have said, opposite, you
are not listening to the people. Is that not what the previous speaker just said? He said, look at all these
signatures and these petitions. You are not listening to the people. If you would have studied this matter, you
may have come to another conclusion.

When this matter was announced in this House, the Leader of the Official Opposition, said they were
in favour of this policy. Shortly thereafter they withdrew their support, withdrew, that is a great phrase. I have
to get that one down. Any time you change your mind you have withdrawn your support, that is interesting.

What I would like to know is what study came out in the meantime between when they were in favour
of it and when they withdrew their support? What was the study that came out? What was it that said, oh, we
are wrong, we change our mind, here is new evidence? I submit it is this; there may be short-term political
gain and I should not be picking on the Official Opposition only on this because the Third Party has been
doing it all along. Short-term political gain to criticize the government’s policies in this regard. We are in a
real world out there, we are not surrounded by walls and no one can get in or out of Nova Scotia. To even
imply that, my heavens, if you have a casino in Halifax, no tourists will come to Nova Scotia any more. They
will all stay away once they hear there is a casino in Halifax, all tourists will run away from Nova Scotian.

Therefore compare the amount of jobs in the tourism industry with the amount of jobs that are going
to be generated by this program because rest assured they will be. I hope the members that are opposite and
against this, I hope when they are doing this for their short-term political gain, when the jobs are coming they
are going to tell their people, now don’t you go apply for any of those jobs and they are going to sit across the
House and say to the minister, I represent my people and I do not want my people to be working in these
industries and you make sure, if you please, that none of the people from my district get any jobs in this
(Interruption) As long as it does not take away from my time, I will.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has about 30 seconds left, so I suggest you better sum up.

MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: The member has asked us to have confidence in the extensive studies
that have been done by the commission that have come to a favourably pro-casino conclusion. My question
is, how could he possibly ask us to have confidence when the chairperson of that Casino Project Team said
it would be nothing more than guesswork to try to weigh the social costs of legalizing casinos against their
economic benefit.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has not indicated that you are willing to answer the question,
in the first place; your time is now up in the second place. But you can sum up in view of the fact that the
member was out of order by putting the question.

MR. CARRUTHERS: Thirty seconds is all I need. I will try to tie the answer into the sum-up. But I
will tell you this, at no point in time did I say this committee did a study. I thought I said just the opposite.
This committee did not have a study, a great deal of studies to base information on. Pretty easy and pretty
straightforward and I thank you for the opportunity of that last 30 seconds, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on this debate because it is an important
issue to Nova Scotians. It is one that, I think, all of us hear, from time to time, when we talk to people, is
about the casino issue. I realize in this province there are people for and against. I don’t think that is the real
issue. I think the real issue is that what we are dealing with is human lives. Do you know when the previous
speaker talked about studies being done in a lot of provinces, British Columbia did a study and the study told
them the socio-economic impact was a negative and they withdrew and Newfoundland has been the same.

Not all provinces did the socio-economic and when the member says foolish studies, I am not so sure
doing studies on socio-economic impact on real people should be called foolish studies. I have to say that we
are dealing with human lives here. We are dealing with an issue that can be pretty emotional, can have a very
negative effect on people’s lives.

I noticed when the Premier was campaigning and the member for Hants East talked about trying to
gain votes for the moment, I remember in the Chronicle-Herald of May 19, 1993, and I don’t mind tabling
this, the three Leaders were asked about their stand on casino gambling and I am sure you remember what
your Leader said, Mr. Speaker, at the time. He said that, “Nova Scotians must decide whether they wish to
have a gambling casino in Nova Scotia. That is why public hearings like those of the Kimball committee are
so important.”. We know what the Kimball Committee Report recommended no casinos. “We believe caution
is necessary and will accept no proposal without extensive public consultation.”. So that has not happened.
“The Liberal Party is very concerned about strictly controlling gambling, treating gambling addiction, and
educating gamblers and the public about the risks of gambling.”. Well, that has not been done, Mr. Speaker,
and I don’t mind tabling this.

But you know the committee said, “One of the reasons that Nova Scotia is attractive to tourists, . . .”,
this committee of 1994, the one that I happened to sit on with my good colleague from Annapolis, who was
on that committee and the Leader of the New Democratic Party was a member. You know when we started
that committee, we wondered if we could reach a consensus.

I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, after going from one end of this province to the other, we were able
to reach a consensus. It did not matter what Party you represented, but you listened to what was being said
from one end of this province to another and there was a total consensus on that committee. It said, “One of
the reasons that Nova Scotia is attractive to tourists is because of its image as a safe, tranquil and scenic
destination . . . the Committee is not convinced that a commercial casino establishment would be compatible
with the existing attributes.”.

That is what the committee all agreed to. Everybody signed it. I signed it, Mr. Speaker. You know if
this government has a process, as the member talked about, it is the most secretive process. I am sure, in a
communist country, there would not be the secretive process that we are having right now with this committee
dealing with casino gambling in this province. Everything is a secret. You don’t know what the bidders are
to ask, what this government is looking for. They were not looking for what Grand Casinos was offering that
would attract tourists and families. They are looking for a casino in the downtown, even though the City of
Sydney and the City of Halifax have said no. It does not matter. Who, in reading the specs, is going to - is this
government going to say to the two cities, we are going to have control now over your land use? We are going
to be able to tell you, even though this needs rezoning, that we are going to do this for you, so that the whole
process is flawed.

It is flawed because it is so secretive, it is flawed because the general public have no opportunity to
have input. We had a number of committees and they said no, very clearly. I heard from one end of this
province to the other the majority of the people said no to casino gambling. Now they didn’t say no Lotto to
6/49, they didn’t say no to the other things, they didn’t say no to bingo. We heard all of that. But they did say
no to casino gambling and the effects it has on human lives, that they felt that this province at this time was
not ready for casino gambling.

Now there has been no study, no hearing since that time except the government decided, for revenue
reasons, that they are going to establish casinos and they are going to do it in a vacuum, without any research,
without any analysis, without any report. What they are trying to do, they are obviously trying to raise
revenues, Mr. Speaker, but revenues on the backs of who? On the backs of those who probably can ill afford
to pay it.

So, you know, Mr. Speaker, what they are doing here is something that amazes me because they say,
on one hand, you know, we had these reports and the Premier said a good report, we had a good chairman,
we are going to listen. Then the report comes in and they don’t listen. I don’t know and it is so secretive that
we can’t find out what changed their minds.

You have to ask the question, I think the big question is, Mr. Speaker, who will benefit from casinos
in Nova Scotia? Well, I have checked with the restaurant owners around and they are not sure they will
benefit; I have checked with the small bar owners and they are not sure. The City of Halifax and the City of
Sydney are not sure they are going to benefit. And you say to yourself, well, who is going to benefit? Is it the
person using, it is not going to attract a whole lot of people to come here as tourists.

I don’t disagree with the member for Hants East, it is probably not going to drive people away but, you
know, it is not going to attract people. So, it isn’t going to do anything for Nova Scotia, it isn’t going to do
anything for the quality of life. Yes, we are going to have a crime element associated with casinos, the RCMP
told us that. We will have a crime element, we will have a large number, obviously, of that kind of crimes
going on. And you have to say to yourself, well, who is going to police it? Is it going to be the RCMP? Is it
going to be the city police? They seem to be taking over the policing under this thing. Who is going to police

You know, Mr. Speaker, who is going to treat these people who become addicted and how are we going
to deal with their families? You know, Mr. Speaker, I listened, I know my colleague for the NDP who was
the previous speaker on this issue listened that day, to three people who spoke out against gambling. One
person related about a family member and I think even a death in the family totally attributed to gambling
addiction. You have to say to yourself, what risks are we willing to take, as a province, to gain $40 million
to $60 million revenues? What risks are we willing to take?

Now you have to say, yes, maybe there are some risks. But you know, Mr. Speaker, before you take
those risks, there are not foolish studies that study social and economic impact, they are not foolish. I see this
government spending hundreds of thousands every day to hire consultants. They spend $100,000 to get rid
of deputies and they can’t spend any money to assure Nova Scotians that they will not be hurt socially or
economically by this study. I find that hard to understand, Mr. Speaker, that there is money for studies that
they think are important, like firing deputies and firing superintendents and firing people. There is money
for that but there is not one red cent when it comes to a social-economic study of an issue that is being talked
about by a lot of people across this province.

I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, I have not yet figured out, we can’t find out who is involved. But I have
to tell you, I think this Austria group that is Jerry Nickerson and Unsworth and those people probably have
an inside track. I wouldn’t doubt they will probably end up being the winners. I don’t have any idea who but
just trying to figure out, reading between the lines and maybe I will be able to be a prophet, if that comes to
be. But that is what I am thinking might happen. I wonder when we are going to get all the information that
tells us how this decision was made. (Interruption)

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, there are thousands and thousands of people in this province who are upset
with casino gambling. Mr. Speaker, I will be opposed to that legislation and I hope many others will be.
Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The time for the debate of the Adjournment motion has now expired.

The Adjournment motion of the House has been made.

The House will now rise to sit again tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

[The House rose at 6:31 p.m.]



By: Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax Fairview)

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

Whereas Mr. Speaker has stated that it is unparliamentary to question ministers about fulfilment of
their statutory responsibilities as members of the Executive Council, and suggested further that questions
about the application by the Premier of his Cabinet ethics policy and standards are not in order; and

Whereas Mr. Speaker has stated further that Opposition members asking for the reasons behind
decisions made by ministers in the administration of their department is not in order if the question suggests
that the Opposition member does not agree with the minister’s reasons; and

Whereas the most recent statement in Beauchesne, Paragraph 410, notes both that, “The primary
purpose of the Question Period is the seeking of information and calling the Government to account.”, and
that, “The greatest possible freedom should be given to Members consistent with the other rules and

Therefore be it resolved that Mr. Speaker should reconsider the advice he has provided during and
immediately after the first Question Periods of this fall sitting and in particular remember that among his most
important responsibilities is giving the Opposition the great freedom necessary to call the government to


By: Mr. Brooke Taylor (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Department of Transportation:

(1) Expenditures for road work in each constituency in 1993-94 and projections for 1994-95; and

(2) A list of approved projects in each constituency for 1993-94 and 1994-95.