The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.
























HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Third Session



2:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan






[The Third Session of the 56th General Assembly was opened with historic ceremony on a mild and
sunny day.]



The Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable J. James Kinley, preceded by his escort and aides and by
Mr. Delmore Day, Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing the Mace, entered the House of Assembly Chamber. The
Lieutenant Governor then took his seat on the Throne.



The Sergeant-at-Arms then departed and re-entered the Chamber followed by the Speaker, the
Honourable Paul MacEwan; the Chief Clerk of the House, Roderick MacArthur; and the Assistant Clerk,
Arthur Fordham, Q.C.



The Speaker, with the Sergeant-at-Arms on his right and the Clerks on either side, took up his position
at the foot of the Speaker’s Table.]



SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: It is the wish of His Honour that the ladies and gentlemen be seated.



SPEECH FROM THE THRONE



THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: I welcome you in our Sovereign’s name to this opening of the
Third Session of the Fifty-Sixth General Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia.



This year My Government was saddened by the passing of several prominent Nova Scotians: former
members of this House including Percy Gaum, the member for Cape Breton Nova; James Harding, the
member for Shelburne; and Dr. Colin Stewart, the member for Colchester-South. Community leaders
including Johanna Oosterveld of Halifax; Yvon Deveau of Cheticamp; I.W. Akerley of Dartmouth; prominent
historian, Dr. James Cameron of Pictou County; labour leader J.K. Bell; Deacon Sydney S. Jones; musician
Tara Lynne Touesnard; and AIDS activist Randy Conners.



1



My Government is pleased that the eyes of the world will be on our capital city this summer as Nova
Scotia hosts the Halifax Summit of leaders of the G-7 countries.



My government continues with its plan for this province, one that will put this province on a secure
footing and enable us to control our destinies.



We are committed to working with Nova Scotians in developing a province with a strong future, one
where businesses thrive, exports grow, young people find good employment opportunities; one where we have
the resources to look after those who are most in need, and one where we build on our unique strengths and
showcase Nova Scotia to the world.



A CLIMATE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH



When My Government took office 21 months ago, the unemployment rate was 14 per cent and
climbing.



Today, the unemployment rate is 12 per cent - the lowest in the Maritimes. In the past year, there has
been a dramatic shift toward the creation of full-time jobs versus part-time jobs. In 1994, Nova Scotia had the
third highest growth in jobs in Canada.



Building permits have increased by 12 per cent, urban housing starts are up by 19 per cent, new
business incorporations up by 19 per cent, and business bankruptcies have gone down by 7.5 per cent.



My Government has been a major player in the turn around. My Government has made changes to
taxation policy, such as:



-the elimination of the provincial Deed Transfer Tax

 

-the income tax reduction to help the working poor

 

-an increase in the Research and Development Tax Credit to encourage innovation by Nova
Scotia Companies

 

-tax relief for companies who meet international quality assurance standards.



A positive climate for doing business is essential to create new opportunities for Nova Scotians.



The Fiscal Recovery Plan continues to make significant progress towards effectively reducing the costs
of Government.



To further this cost reduction effort, the Province will begin a comprehensive Program Review to
evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of every program and service expenditure managed by My
Government.



My Government’s Growth Dividend - 20 per cent of the annual increases in provincial revenues - has
earned dollars in the past year.  We have committed these revenues to enhance economic incentives. Details
will be announced in this year’s Budget address.



Public/Private Partnering

 

Public/private partnership will see government and the private sector create new opportunities for
economic development and jobs. This year, My Government will undertake several unique public-private
partnerships to deliver public services in new and innovative ways.



The new economy is largely focused on technology. Improved technology means better public services
and greater opportunity for attracting economic development and job creation.



The Province of Nova Scotia is committed to preparing Nova Scotia to take advantage of emerging
technologies. A key part of that commitment is My Government’s Integrated Wide Area Network Project.



The province wishes to create a long term business alliance with a consortium of companies to provide
enhanced mobile radio communications to support emergency services including police, fire protection, and
emergency measures.



My Government will also initiate a bold new approach to building essential public infrastructure
through a unique and creative public-private partnership. Last year My Government received seven responses
to a call for expressions of interest to complete the twinning of Highway 104 between Masstown and
Thompson Station. The Minister of Transportation and Communications will announce the next step in this
process shortly.



My Government will partner with the private sector on an exciting education opportunity. We have
recently selected the first-ever private sector partner to design, build, finance and operate a high-tech public
school in Cape Breton. Two other sites for technology-rich schools have been selected and will offer other
opportunities for interested private sector companies to become involved in this leading edge initiative.



Investment and Trade Promotion

 

Nova Scotia has many attractions to offer potential investors. New investment is required to expand
the existing base of businesses and to develop new jobs.



In the past 18 months, My Government has led or participated in major trade missions throughout
Europe, the Pacific Rim, South America and the Caribbean.



The benefits have included millions of dollars of direct business and valuable contacts that will open
doors for Nova Scotia businesses for decades to come.



My Government will ensure that senior ministers and officials continue to lead the effort to open up
new markets for Nova Scotia companies in 1995.



Marketing

 

We must ensure that the world knows that Nova Scotia has unique products, skills and business
strengths. We must market ourselves aggressively to a waiting world economy.



My Government has already created the Nova Scotia Marketing Agency to promote Nova Scotian
products, and Nova Scotia itself, as a reason for investment and tourism.



We have also joined with the private sector to attract jobs and investment. The province has combined
with MT&T to create “Connections Nova Scotia.” This partnership has been responsible for attracting major
investments from Sears-Canada, creating 150 jobs, and the recently announced CIBC Teleservice Banking
Centre, which will eventually create over 530 high-tech jobs.



My Government will continue to seek more marketing partnerships with other Nova Scotia businesses
and industries.



Sustainable Development

 

The global economy and the environment are inextricably linked. Environmental Industries in Nova
Scotia employ more than 4,000 people and contribute over $300 million to the economy. This year My
Government will begin the Environmental Industries Program.



PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE FOR THE FUTURE



Our young people will be part of the new global workplace. We must prepare them to take their place
in a world that demands a firm grounding in essential skills and the flexibility to adapt.



My Government wants to ensure that the resources we allocate to education are used to the best
possible advantage for our children. To that end we are instituting changes that will ensure that education
dollars are spent in the classroom, not on bureaucracy.



This year My Government will also introduce Legislation that will put more control of the system in
the hands of the parents, teachers and students.



My Government believes that by reducing the number of school boards and cutting down on
duplication of services we can achieve substantial savings which will be redirected toward the classroom.



The Minister of Education is now in the process of consulting Nova Scotians on these ideas, recently
made public in My Government’s Education Horizons - a White paper on the Restructuring of the Education
System.



[2:15 p.m.]



Nova Scotia’s Community Colleges are building on their reputation for excellence.  Last year we
offered 27 new programs in the growing fields of business and applied technology.



This year My Government will introduce new programs at the Truro Campus of the Nova Scotia
Community College commencing in September 1995.



My Government will also expand programs in applied arts, business and technology and increase the
number of training seats throughout the Province.



My Government will expand programs offered by the extremely successful College de l’Acadie, North
America’s first community college to be developed on a foundation of interactive distance education
technology.



Universities

 

Universities are a critical component in preparing young people for the future. My Government will
continue to address recommendations and issues raised in the Green Paper on Higher Education and in other
reports on the structure of Nova Scotia’s university system.



Post-secondary institutions, the Nova Scotia Community College, and businesses in the Province will
benefit from the creation of 390 internship training plans to help adult students gain invaluable work
experience.






My Government will also build on the principles laid out in the Report of the Black Learners Advisory
Committee.



DIRECTING RESOURCES FOR THOSE MOST IN NEED



Community Services

 

Nova Scotians, as a society and as individuals, are proud to be contributing members of their
communities. We all strive for a place where our own unique talents and skills can flourish. This year My
Government will focus on making employment a reality for people who are receiving social assistance. We
will promote the financial independence of individuals, families, and communities.



My Government has developed the framework for a phased-in and single-tiered welfare system that
targets assistance for those most in need. This year My Government will initiate the first phase of this plan
by integrating the delivery of social assistance programs in concert with the reform of municipal governance
in industrial Cape Breton.



We will expand support and prevention services for individuals, families, children, and communities.
For example, this year My Government will sponsor the creation of an additional 50 day care spaces to remove
parental barriers to employment, and enhance employment equity.



My Government will intensify its efforts to promote community living for persons who are disabled.
This year My Government will develop alternative placement, day programs and in-home supports for
children residing in the Childrens’ Training Centre and the Nova Scotia Youth Training Centre. We will also,
after public consultation, adopt policies on community care of adults coping with mental handicaps or
disabilities, and on the rules and framework for unlicensed community residential services, such as supervised
apartments, for those with mental handicaps or disabilities.



Justice

 

My Government is concerned that a significant number of women in Nova Scotia are not safe in their
own homes. Violence within families is a serious social problem - an abuse of power that robs victims of their
dignity and leaves long lasting scars.



No single intervention by any agency can control this complex problem, but our Justice system has a
clear responsibility to swiftly and responsibly respond to family violence as serious criminal behaviour.



My Government will introduce a Policy on Family Violence, which will require a pro-active arrest and
prosecution response by the Justice system. A comprehensive training program, targeting all justice workers,
will be implemented to promote understanding of the revised policy and procedures. In co-operation with
community agencies we will provide enhanced support to victims of Family Violence.



Health

 

My Government will continue to improve health care services in Nova Scotia. We are committed to
ensuring that Nova Scotians live healthier lives by focussing additional resources on disease prevention and
by allowing local communities to determine their own health care needs.



My Government will begin transferring responsibility for the provision of health services to the
regional boards. My government will dedicate significantly increased resources to the new and enhanced home
care program. The new Emergency Health Services Agency will create the best possible emergency services
including a new fleet of modern ambulances, high standards for training and consistent service across the
province.



SERVICE TO NOVA SCOTIANS



In 1993 My Government said it would become more open, more client-centred. We said that we would
look at the delivery of services through the eyes of those being served.



Transportation and Communications

 

My Government has revised and refocused service delivery in the area of transportation. We adopted
new ways of hiring and of acquiring trucks and equipment. We have replaced decades of patronage with open
and fair procedures. We have moved decision-making out of Halifax to local managers who best know the
roads and conditions in their areas. We are changing the way we purchase and replace vehicles so that capital
spending for road equipment is efficient and rational.



We have improved overall road safety and service delivery through changing the vehicle renewal
system from one to two years, and through the Graduated Drivers Licensing system and the new photo-licensing program.



This year the department is pioneering new technologies. Working with MT&T, the department will
lead a six-month pilot project that will use electronic service kiosks to deliver Registry of Motor Vehicle
services, tourism information, and general government reference material. This project will be one of the most
innovative of its kind in Canada and will allow Nova Scotians to receive a number of different government
services through one outlet or information centre.



Housing and Consumer Affairs

 

The province will fully integrate “one stop shopping” for the Rental and Rooming House Programs
(RRAP). Over the next two years, both levels of government will contribute up to $11 million in renovations
in housing for people with lower incomes.



Municipal Affairs

 

My Government will continue to support better local government.



Last year My Government provided for Provincial-Municipal Service Exchange.



This year My Government will achieve a smooth transition for municipal service exchange and
rationalization of municipal boundaries in metro Halifax and industrial Cape Breton.



Legislation was enacted to establish the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, effective April 1, 1995.



My Government will introduce legislation in this session of the House that will establish a new
regional government for the Halifax-Dartmouth metropolitan area and Halifax County.



My Government will work to assist other municipalities who wish to pursue similar opportunities.



As a result of these changes savings will be realized for the taxpayer.  As well, stronger local
government will be better positioned to plan services such as waste reduction, policing, and local economic
development.



A continuing reform of the registries for both real and personal property will be carried out to provide
better and more accessible data for the general public and business.



Labour

 

My Government faced the challenge of saving the Workers’ Compensation Fund.



My Government will continue to work toward establishing financial stability for the Fund, and we will
implement the many Legislative reforms passed by this House in its last sitting, thus securing the future of
this essential program for our workers and their families.



Human Resources

 

My Government is dedicated to the principles of fair hiring.



My Government will introduce reforms to enhance employment equity across all levels of the civil
service. The Department will also continue to enhance human resource development and training.



Supply and Services

 

My Government is actively using an innovative new procurement system called Co-operative Business
Solutions.



There will be an updated comprehensive provincial procurement policy based on the principles
outlined by My Government in 1993.



The department is also leading the Atlantic Canada On-Line Initiative, which is providing for a
framework for dealing with the management of a wide variety of government information in electronic form.



SUSTAINING OUR RESOURCE INDUSTRIES



Natural Resources

 

Last year My Government was active in promoting sustainable development and sound stewardship
of our natural resources.



A draft mineral policy has been prepared to ensure a viable mineral industry. This year My
Government will implement the policy, which supports exploration, development and marketing of primary
and value-added mineral products.



This year My Government will introduce a new Power Planning and Conservation Act which will
strengthen regulatory authority, and provide a rational framework for energy production and conservation that
does not compromise our environment or our economic well being.



My Government will be challenged this year to work with federal authorities on establishing specific
co-operative arrangements for the continued development of mineral and forestry resources.



My Government will provide assistance to the forest industry through focusing on market identification
and promotion of forest products, both existing and new. We will also investigate opportunities for innovative
and higher value-added products.



Fisheries

 

My Government has worked intensively with federal authorities to develop initiatives to restructure
and economically diversify the east coast fishing industries. Working with many departments and agencies
on such programs as Coastal 2000, which provides a model for coastal zone management, we are helping
communities deal with this difficult era of transition in the fisheries.



My Government will continue to build on the tremendous progress of the aquaculture industry by
managing the new federal-provincial agreement on aquaculture and recreational fisheries.



My Government will again this year target the development of fish export markets through trade
missions.



[2:30 p.m.]



Agriculture

 

My Government has embarked on a sweeping review of agricultural programs. This review will form
the basis for a new industry development program.



The Farm Registration Program, based on Legislation enacted last year, will enable all registered
farmers and farms to apply for assistance and services.



My Government will help the Agri-food industry adjust to the new globally competitive environment
by enacting the recommendations made by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Task Force.



My Government will work this year to improve the Income Stabilization Program.



1995 is an important year for Nova Scotia. The eyes of the world will be on us at a time when we are
beginning to achieve economic success. We have turned the corner in gaining control of our finances. We are
firmly in control of our destiny. We have secured essential programs. We have established new initiatives.
We are setting the stage for businesses to expand and hire Nova Scotians. We have a plan and a framework
that will lead us into the next century.



My Government believes its responsibilities extend beyond the present day. My Government will
ensure that the vital programs and services that Nova Scotians cherish are secure, not only for this generation,
but for generations to come.



God Save the Queen;



God Bless Nova Scotia;



God Bless Canada.



[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.



The Lieutenant Governor left the Chamber preceded by his escort and the Sergeant-at-Arms.



Mr. Speaker took the Chair.]



MR. SPEAKER: Please be seated.



Order, please.



The honourable Minister of Justice.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a bill entitled An Act Respecting
Oaths of Office.



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



Honourable members of the House of Assembly, I wish to advise the House that His Honour the
Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to make a speech to the members met in General Assembly, of which
Speech, for greater accuracy, I have obtained a copy which the Chief Clerk will now read.



The honourable Premier.



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I move that the Speech be taken as read.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin. (Applause)



MR. GERALD FOGARTY: Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect and humility that I stand before you
and the honourable members of the Assembly, and all our guests present in the gallery today, to move the
Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank our Lieutenant Governor who presented our government’s agenda
to the people of Nova Scotia today with great clarity of purpose. This, of course, is the first opportunity for
His Honour to read a Speech from the Throne. On behalf of all the citizens of this great province, I extend
to Their Honours, the Lieutenant Governor and Mrs. Kinley, our pledge of support and best wishes.



Mr. Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to say thank you to the constituents of my riding of Halifax
Bedford Basin for the confidence they have placed in me since I was first elected in May of 1993. It is, indeed,
a privilege and an honour to serve as their elected representative. It is a privilege and an honour for every
elected member of this Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia to present, to debate and enact legislation which
will serve to further the common good.



Mr. Speaker, the legislative agenda of our government, as set forth by the Lieutenant Governor today,
presents this province with an economic and social agenda that builds upon and solidifies the many
accomplishments which this government has brought to Nova Scotia over the past two years.



We have, in this Throne Speech, a course of action which provides Nova Scotia with a strong and
vibrant economic and social future, a healthy business climate for continued growth and expansion, an
environment in which our people will be educated and empowered to meet the challenges of a highly
technological work place and a course of action which will ensure that those most in need are supported and
sustained. Mr. Speaker, I feel there is no better example of this resolve than the new Workers’ Compensation
Act which gives primary consideration to those who have suffered total, permanent or partial disability; in
other words, those whose situation in life requires compassion.



The Throne Speech which we have heard today, Mr. Speaker, reflects the results of bold leadership
and the courage to make those difficult, sometimes unpopular, decisions, which our government has
implemented during the past 21 months. Under the dynamic and intrepid leadership of the honourable
Premier, (Applause) this government has turned the Nova Scotia economy around from an economy that was
on the road to destruction to a Nova Scotia that has gained control of its financial house, a Nova Scotia which
is in command of its destiny, a Nova Scotia which is creating a climate for investment and growth which will
become increasingly attractive at the international level.



Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be a part of this government under the leadership of John Savage.
(Applause) I am proud that this government has had the foresight and the courage to seize the moment and
look at ourselves, at our structures and policies and the way we deliver services to the people of our province.



I am proud to be a part of a government that is committed to change, not only out of necessity, but
because change promises a more vibrant life for all Nova Scotians. I am proud to be a part of a government
whose decisions are bearing positive and effective results, results that are helping to lower the unemployment
rate and stimulate economic growth, giving Nova Scotia the third highest growth in jobs in Canada.
(Applause)



All Nova Scotians are beginning now to experience the benefits of this government’s efforts in more
jobs, in an education system that ensures that dollars are spent in the classroom, not on bureaucracy and
administration and also an education system that has a work transition program preparing students for the
challenges of a competitive job market.



Nova Scotians are experiencing the benefit of a health care system that funnels additional resources
to disease prevention and allows local communities to determine their own needs. We now have a new
emergency health services agency which will create the best possible emergency services of health care
anywhere. (Applause)



Nova Scotians, Mr. Speaker, the people of our province, are also beginning to experience the benefits
of one-stop shopping. These centres, for a wide variety of government services, including Registry of Motor
Vehicle services, Tourism Nova Scotia, support for small business and information technology. We all benefit
from an extensive partnership program linking government, business and community groups.






We will soon have, Mr. Speaker, in Cape Breton, the first ever private sector partner to design, build,
finance and operate a high-tech public school. My own riding of Halifax Bedford Basin has, of course, the
largest and fastest growing population base in all of the metro area. My riding is in need of a new school.
There is keen interest on the part of business to develop public/private sector funding for the construction of
such a school and my constituents are hopeful that such a project will soon reach fruition.



Another example of innovative approaches to building essential public infrastructure projects is the
twinning of Highway No. 104 between Masstown and Thompson Station. We heard today in the Speech from
the Throne that this work is to begin in the not too distant future.



Mr. Speaker, the Lieutenant Governor mentioned some of the initiatives this government has already
taken and other initiatives which this government will soon undertake in the course of this session of the
Legislature. A major component, of course, for the agenda for the session will be the new budget which the
government will table shortly, a budget which, in a recent statement by the Minister of Finance, will present
Nova Scotians with the lowest deficit in over a decade, a deficit that will be under $100 million. (Applause)
That is proof positive that our government has made tremendous progress in dealing with the economic
realities which confronted us upon taking office.



We stand on the threshold of great opportunity for growth and development and I am very proud to
be a member of an action oriented government that continues to make informed choices and decisions which
guarantee a more prosperous, self-reliant Nova Scotia for our children and our grandchildren.



I move that the following address be presented to the Lieutenant Governor in reply to the speech which
His Honour has delivered to this session of the Legislature and I move that this address do pass.



To His Honour, J. James Kinley, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Nova Scotia, may it please
Your Honour that we, Her Majesty’s cheerful and loyal subjects, the House of Assembly and the Province of
Nova Scotia in session assembled, beg leave to thank Your Honour for a most gracious Speech which opens
this, the Third Session of the Fifty-Sixth General Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia. We assure Your
Honour of our loyal support and affection. May God bless you all and keep you well.



Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)



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



MR. CLIFFORD HUSKILSON: Mr. Speaker, it is with great honour that I stand before you, the
honourable members of this Chamber, and all guests in the gallery today to second the Address in Reply to
the Speech from the Throne.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to our Lieutenant Governor, Jim Kinley, who
has so ably presented our government’s agenda to the people of Nova Scotia. The reading of the Speech from
the Throne is an opportunity to put before the people of the province a vision of the future by outlining those
plans and programs intended to achieve this vision.






[2:45 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by recognizing the constituents of my riding of Shelburne who have
worked so hard to support me, our Premier, and the many accomplishments of this government. (Applause)



It is an honour for me to represent Shelburne County in the provincial Legislature and to work with
my constituents to provide input into the many issues facing this government. It is with this input and support
of the people, like those in Shelburne County, that this government is able to achieve our vision of a world-class, durable economy that treats its citizens with compassion and offers a high quality of life.



Mr. Speaker, this is not the time for faint-hearted government, nor can we, as Nova Scotians, sit back
and become mere passengers on the road to the 21st Century. Reality has plainly shown that this is a time for
tough decisions and courageous actions.



Mr. Speaker, when this government assumed power in the spring of 1993, our Premier had no option
but to implement tough measures to regain sanity of our provincial finances. As a result this government,
under the leadership of Premier John Savage, continues to create a climate for economic growth.



I am pleased, Mr. Speaker, that this government’s four year fiscal recovery plan is exceeding
expectations and the deficit forecast has again been revised downward for the fiscal year 1994-95. The
province’s deficit should be below $100 million compared to over $450 million just two years ago when the
Liberal Government took office. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, this Liberal Government could post Nova Scotia’s first significant surplus in many years
during the fiscal year 1997-98. This Liberal Government is on a path of recovery from the reckless spending
of past governments. As a result, the really good news is that next year Nova Scotia will have its first balanced
budget since 1978 - the last year we had a Liberal Government. (Applause)



Premier John Savage, Mr. Speaker, is the first Premier in over a decade to take his duties seriously.
That is because Premier John Savage is prepared to continue to make the tough, short-term decisions in order
to achieve long-term gain for all Nova Scotians.



Mr. Speaker, with Premier Savage as our Leader for the last two years Nova Scotia has exceeded all
expectations in terms of deficit reduction and economic growth. While the fiscal realities of the 1990’s dictate
that government cannot return to the days of excessive spending, this government, led by Premier John Savage
must spend public funds in a more business-like manner to ensure we direct resources at real need.



Mr. Speaker, this Liberal Government realized early on that reform of government was needed if this
province were to survive. Reform means making sure that the money we spend on essential programs, such
as health and education, produces the maximum benefit.



Mr. Speaker, we do not have the money to waste on inefficient administration and duplication of
services. This Liberal Government has started to break the cycle of debt and compounding interest. As the
fiscal situation continues to improve confidence in the economy grows. With the confidence comes growth
and with growth, recovery. Having turned the corner towards fiscal recovery during 1994 I believe we can
embrace 1995 with renewed confidence. (Applause)



That is why I, and the people of Shelburne County, look forward to the months ahead as the broad
reform process comes together. The people of Shelburne County, Mr. Speaker, look forward to the coming
year as an important turning point in the life our community, within our province.



Mr. Speaker, this government is fulfilling the vision that people in Shelburne County and across the
province have helped to shape, knowing that this government will continue to do it in a responsible manner,
while living within our means.



I am convinced, Mr. Speaker, that this Liberal Government will succeed with this approach and that
while we will continue to face opposition on many of our policies, we will not lose courage, we will stay the
course and pass on to our children a province that is reformed, effective and fiscally sound. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, it is with a great sense of pride and optimism for our future that I second the motion for
the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition. (Applause)



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to say how pleased I am and my
caucus members are to be back here in this esteemed place. We are told by the Premier that we are only here
for a short time . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Not for a good time.



MR. DONAHOE: Rarely for a good time but we will see how that unfolds in the coming weeks.



I am pleased too, if you will indulge me, Mr. Speaker, to have the opportunity to welcome a number
of guests in our gallery today. I refer, of course, first and foremost to the spouses and significant others of
members of this place who (Applause) you know well and all of us who engage in the public life of this
province know the very real strain and difficulty that it does place on relationships. I am pleased that as many
of the family members of some of us here today are able to be here for opening ceremonies as we open this
session.



I might, if I may, Mr. Speaker, extend a special welcome as well to a former colleague who is seated
in the east gallery, a former member, a former minister and now Mayor of the capital city of the City of
Halifax, His Worship Mayor Walter Fitzgerald and we welcome him here today as well. (Applause)



The Minister of Municipal Affairs is not in her place at the moment, it may be that she is waiting for
the mayor out in the hallway to give him a sneak preview of the metro amalgamation legislation. But I expect
that we will see that in pretty short order.



Might I extend, too, Mr. Speaker, my compliments to our colleagues, the member for Halifax Bedford
Basin and the member for Shelburne for what I guess I would describe as their very eloquent and valiant effort
to defend the indefensible. I might say they are both very good friends and they are both good legislators and
make a contribution to the work of their caucus and to the work of this House.






I was intrigued, however, as I listened to the member for Halifax Bedford Basin as he moved the
Address in Reply, he talked about the economic and social agenda, the course of action for strong economic
and social action as represented in this Throne Speech, as he saw it. I was intrigued that along the way of
explaining all of that he made reference to the workers’ compensation legislation and there was great
applause. I recall that my friend the member for Halifax Bedford Basin said, that just shows the intrepid
leadership of our Premier, Premier Savage. (Applause)



It occurred to me, I could not help, Mr. Speaker, wonder a little bit how one equates the fact that this
government passed the legislation and now has failed or refused to this point to proclaim it could be
considered to be intrepid leadership. It occurred to me, in fact, that there must have been a typo in the remarks
presented by my friend from Bedford Basin and that, in fact, what the speech-writers had prepared for him
was that he was to applaud the entrapped leadership of Premier Savage. (Interruptions) Well, I wait and those
thousands of men and women about whom we had so much to say in this place not so many months ago, not
so many weeks ago, that we all said we were attempting to assist with improvements to the workers’
compensation legislation, I sincerely hope on their behalf that we will very shortly see proclamation of that
legislation which was intended to have that very effect.



May I, too, Mr. Speaker, extend best wishes to those on the government benches who have been added
to Cabinet or to whom new responsibilities have been assigned. All Nova Scotians, and I mean this sincerely,
wish them well because the welfare of all Nova Scotians depends very much on their effort and their ability.
May I say, as I make that remark, as I look across I see my friend and former member of the Executive
Council, Mr. Bragg from Cumberland North, and I want to say on behalf of our caucus and, again, on behalf
of all Nova Scotians, a sincere thank you for the time which he spent as a member of the Executive Council.
(Applause) His time in that capacity was shorter than perhaps he might have liked, shorter than perhaps many
of us expected it would be, but he is one of a very small handful of Nova Scotians who have had the
opportunity to serve in that capacity and we wish him well in any and all future endeavours.



Tomorrow we will see the member for Bedford-Fall River assume new responsibilities here in this
place and I want to say in advance of that event - and we will perhaps have occasion to have the opportunity
to do so as well tomorrow - that we look forward to that addition of new responsibilities for her and trust that
as she undertakes those, she will meet those responsibilities in a fair and an equitable and an even-handed
way as it relates to all members.



Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne, which we have just had His Honour read for us here today,
clearly, I think, is designed to, as the press has been reporting recently, this is clearly a Speech from the
Throne designed to get a government in and get it out, and I mean get it out in terms of have as little time in
this place as possible.



It is a do-nothing Speech from the Throne. It is full of high-sounding rhetoric and platitudes but, as
is so often the case with this government, Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, there is no meat on the bones and there
is no potato in the stew and it is very sketchy to say the least. This is a Speech from the Throne clearly
designed in light of events of mid-July to do everything possible to protect the Premier. I will say, however,
if I may, to its credit - or to the credit of those who crafted the language appearing in this Speech from the
Throne - that it does appear to be environmentally sensitive and conscious because it clearly is a recycling of
last year’s Speech from the Throne.



[3:00 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, a government which cannot control its own actions, a government which is ruled by a
dogged race against its own demise is a government in the throes of every desperate step imaginable to staple
together the loose coupling.



This whole operation, this government and this Throne Speech, Mr. Speaker, reminds me a little bit
of the runaway train and it binds the engine car to the baggage car and the baggage car to the passenger car
and the passenger car to the dining car and the dining car to the observation car, and in the engine car the
Liberal Government runaway train is the engineer, Chief John Savage - an engineer who has lost his place,
he has gotten distracted and forgotten which control switch meant go and which meant slow and which meant
stop. In his state of confusion the chief engineer pulled the switch to divert the train in another direction, his
direction, not for the good of the passengers on the train but for the good of John Savage.



Mr. Speaker, we have all heard the story of the Little Engine That Could. This is about the little engine
that couldn’t. Behind the engine car lies the baggage car and on the Liberal runaway baggage train that car
is full. That baggage car on this Liberal runaway train, Mr. Speaker, is stacked with the luggage of the
$225,000 untendered contract to Grant Morash and the $100,000 hush money paid to Lucy Dobbin after being
fired by the engineer. Then there is the $120,000 spent on Judge Albert Bremner to get him off the bench and
the unreasonable firing, at a cost of $2.5 million, to unload 8, 9, or 10 highly competent and qualified public
servants when these people took over and the taxpayers of Nova Scotia are still paying for that. And the
disappearance from Economic Renewal of the deputy at a cost of some $40,000 to the taxpayers, and don’t
forget, of course, the $1.6 million illegal trust fund that the Liberal Party carries around with it which has
never been explained.



Of course, my friends opposite want to talk about toilet seats, well, how about we talk about the
$28,000 shower that the taxpayers (Interruptions) On the other side, Mr. Speaker, of this baggage car on this
runaway Liberal train, there are two large steamer trunks; one is marked Casino Halifax and the other is
marked Casino Sydney; COD - cash on delivery.



Right behind the baggage car is the passenger car and the passenger car is overcrowded on the Liberal
runaway train and the seats are packed with Liberal backbenchers. You know the Liberal backbenchers, Mr.
Speaker, you know them well, those are those people who have nothing better to do than to go along for the
ride - the ride dictated by Chief Engineer Savage. They have no idea where they are going and they can only
rely on this chief engineer to try to get them there, wherever that is and the chief engineer isn’t asking them
for any directions.



After the passenger car, Mr. Speaker, is the dining car. The dining car is absolutely crowded, it is full
of Liberal Cabinet Ministers and important movers and shakers in the Liberal Party. These are the first-class
passengers on the Liberal railroad in this province, these are the Liberals that get all the appointments to the
boards and the commissions and the agencies. (Laughter) Well, they laugh. That car, Mr. Speaker, is just
loaded with the Liberal appointments to boards, agencies and commissions. They are the Liberals who really
run this railroad. That dining car is full of what you might call the A-Team. That A-Team is in the process
now of handling the engineer and trying to decide what is best for this railroad.






Behind the dining car, Mr. Speaker, is the observation car. The observation car is full of Nova Scotians
who are in for a bumpy ride on the Liberal train to who knows where. The chief engineer has made it clear
that as far as he is concerned, it is his way or it is the highway. But the Liberal railroad observation car has
been changed. Nova Scotians can no longer look out at the beautiful scenery, the oceanfront, the beautiful
farmland, the forest and the small village communities, instead the observation car has been converted to a
24 hour non-stop gambling car with slot machines on both sides of the aisles, blackjack tables at one end and
the baccarat tables at the other end. Everywhere they turn, Nova Scotians cannot escape the Liberal railroad
slogan, happy passengers are gambling passengers. I didn’t hear much laughter or derisive comment about
that because they know that that is exactly what is going on across this province.



There is no escape, Mr. Speaker, off this Liberal runaway train because the chief engineer has switched
the rails and Nova Scotians are hurtled forward out of control to who knows where. The chief engineer only
has eyes for one prize. No matter what the cost, no matter what else gets lost in the scramble, his job on the
Liberal railroad is paramount. While thousands of Canadian railway workers went back to work this week,
Chief Engineer Savage has found that the Liberal rail workers are still on strike and Nova Scotians can be
sure that until the troubles on the Liberal railroad are ironed out, we will all, all of us, the Nova Scotia
taxpayers, be on that track instead of the fast-track towards a better future for our province.



Mr. Speaker, two years have gone by since this government assumed office. Some would suggest that
this government is at or, indeed, maybe past the half-way point in their mandate to another election. It is a
sad, sad commentary that for a good year and one-half of that two years this government and this Premier,
Chief Engineer Savage, have been completely preoccupied with the future of the Premier and not with the
future of the province and the people of this province.



This monumental distraction has lead the Premier and countless Cabinet Ministers into making serious
mistakes at the cost of the Nova Scotia taxpayer. The Liberal Government does not recognize that what is
important to Nova Scotians is establishing an environment of strong economic growth, creating the climate
for job creation and the strengthening of the health and the education systems, not the ripping apart of them
as is being effected now by the ministers of those two ministries. Instead Nova Scotians are treated day after
day to the trials and tribulations of the Premier and the Liberal Party. That, Mr. Speaker, as I am sure you
know, is not what is important to Nova Scotians today.



Nova Scotians want this government to get on with the job. Where are the 63,000 jobs promised within
90 days of this government being elected? What has happened to community economic development? The
Economic Renewal Agency has just recently lost a minister and a deputy minister and the business community
in this province tells us that that department is in a shambles. (Interruption) I know you have a new one, you
have a cheerleader over there. I am sure when he gets over there with his pompoms, the staff there is going
to be very impressed. The proof will be in the action.



There is no action plan, Mr. Speaker, there is no action plan in terms of economic development. What
became of the 30-60-90 charade? It was nothing more than just a charade. That charade is now dead and
nothing new has been initiated for small business in Nova Scotia. This government’s record on Nova Scotia
export market development . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Who writes this stuff?



MR. DONAHOE: You want to know who writes this stuff? APEC writes this stuff. If the honourable
Minister of Education could contain himself for just a moment, I will tell him who wrote this stuff.
(Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MR. DONAHOE: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, through you to the distinguished Minister of Education
who wants to know who writes this stuff, if he will listen to the next two sentences he will find out in part who
writes this stuff because, Mr. Speaker, you know, and unfortunately the business community of Nova Scotia
knows and all thoughtful Nova Scotian taxpayers know that this government (Interruptions) - see, the man
is pathologically unable to listen. (Interruption) This government’s record on export market development has
been rated - oh, the Minister of Fisheries wants to clap. (Interruptions) This government’s record on Nova
Scotia export market development has been rated second poorest in all of Canada and the author of that line
is APEC. I will read that and you read the APEC report.



APEC unfortunately says that the market development activity and performance of this government
is the second poorest in this country. So, Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding the rhetoric in this Throne Speech
about trade missions and market promotions and so on, the APEC analysis stands. If any of that was so
successful, those market trips and the promotion tours were so successful, why does APEC write that this
province has performed so poorly? That is the APEC report of January 1995.



Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia’s youth have fewer and fewer job opportunities than ever before with access
to post-secondary education seriously impaired by rising costs. Many young Nova Scotians are leaving this
province and they are leaving in very large numbers. With them, they take their hopes and their talents and
their dreams for the future. (Interruption) Well, they might be tempted to want to take me, they certainly
wouldn’t want to take you.



When I continue tomorrow, Mr. Speaker, I will offer remarks relative to the destruction by this
government - and it is very threatening - the destruction by this government of the fabric and the
infrastructure and the community life of rural Nova Scotia. That is exactly what is happening as a result of
the policies of this government.



On that note and with the expectation that I will have the opportunity to say those things tomorrow,
Mr. Speaker, I move adjournment of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. (Applause)



[3:15 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



The honourable Premier.



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, at the conclusion of this session this afternoon, on your behalf, sir, I
would like to invite all members of the House and all guests in the gallery to the Hollis Street foyer for a
reception.



I now move that this House rise to meet again at 11:00 a.m. to hear once again the Leader of the
Opposition.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow morning at the
hour of 11:00 a.m.



The motion is carried.



[The House rose at 3:16 p.m.]