The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.
























HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Third Session



2:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mrs. Francene Cosman






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would like to call the House to order at this time for the afternoon
session.



We have some visitors in the gallery. Are there any introduction of visitors?



The honourable member for Queens.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure this afternoon to introduce to you and
through you to all members of the House, the Grade 901 Class from South Queens Junior High School, who
are here visiting the city and visiting this Chamber with us this afternoon. With them is Sharilyn Conrad their
classroom teacher. I would ask them to rise and the House to welcome them. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I, too, in the gallery see a very honourable member from the
Richmond County Council, Steve Sampson. Steve represents District 9, the Lower L’Ardoise district. I would
ask all members to give Steve a warm welcome. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: We will commence at this time the daily routine of business.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES









1059



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



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



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, as Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the
Status of Women I beg leave to table the Annual Report for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women for
the period April 1, 1992 to March 31, 1994.



MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



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



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to advise the members of a
very special event that will be happening in all work places around Nova Scotia tomorrow. I want to
encourage all members and, indeed, all Nova Scotians to take your daughters to work tomorrow.



On April 27, 1995, we are offering an unique learning opportunity for young girls. They will be
given a chance to accompany an adult to work. Here they can learn firsthand about the career opportunities
that are open to them. Young women will be given a chance to learn about the range of opportunities that are
waiting and they can set goals that will put them on the path to success.



Unfortunately, women are underrepresented in mathematics, engineering and science programs in
Nova Scotia’s universities and community colleges. We must help young women realize that they can
overcome any obstacles placed in their career path by supplying them with education, support and
encouragement. This hands on approach to learning is key in building self-esteem and in shining the light
on just how bright their futures can be.



I want to acknowledge and thank the parents, the teachers and the organizations that have become
involved and thank them in advance for the successful initiative. I also want to single out the staff at the
Women’s Directorate and the Advisory Council on the Status of Women for their input and guidance. I
encourage everyone to take your daughters to work tomorrow. If you don’t have a daughter, you can always
welcome the daughter of a colleague, a neighbour or a friend into your work place.



Obviously, this is an important day for young women. I also want to point out that it can be a very
important learning experience for boys as well. They can begin to have a greater understanding of the
obstacles faced by girls today. This insight can foster respect and generate a better attitude towards women
in their own lives. That can only prove to be a benefit for everyone.



As I am confident of the success of tomorrow’s initiative, I would also like to propose that we build
on this success and make this an annual event. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Minister responsible for the Advisory
Council on the Status of Women for making this announcement on this initiative today. I also want to thank
her for sending me the information over early; a good minister.



As a former Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women at the time when
the Advisory Council produced a very important report on the experience of young women in the education
system and the kind of difficulties they encountered in trying to make career choices which were non-traditional, I think this initiative is an important one in demonstrating to young Nova Scotian girls that there
are many career opportunities available today.



The experience of going to the work place of their mother may be as valuable an educational
experience as talking about a career with a counsellor because, when you are at the work place, you see exactly
what is going on and I think it is a good initiative. I was a little bit disappointed today, I thought that perhaps
the Minister of Education supported this project but I understand that schools in Dartmouth and Sackville will
not be able to participate in the Take Your Daughters to Work Day without jeopardizing their standing in a
pilot stay-in-school project. The minister will know that some schools have a very positive program whereby
if they only miss four days in school they will not have to write one exam. I know of an individual student,
and that is why I am raising it, who would have liked to come to work with her mother tomorrow but can’t
come, because the school will not give her the day off and she would lose her right to not write that exam.
However, I do applaud the minister for this initiative. I think it is a good one and we hope that it will
continue. I have the article, it is a good article and I thank the minister for raising it today.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I, too, certainly want to thank the minister for not only making her
statement in the House today but for having the courtesy to have her staff or somebody notify us in advance
by providing a copy to our offices. I certainly do welcome the initiative that has been taken by the minister
and I think that the program does have some merit in giving young women the opportunity to be exposed, in
the work place, to different options and opportunities that may be available to them. I can’t help saying,
however, that although it is welcome, it is an extremely modest program; modest in terms of what is actually
needed. It is something, of course, if it is going to be done every year.



Far more important than a one day, very modest, take your daughter to the work place initiative,
would be for this province to get on with doing what needs to be done; for example, putting in place a proper
pay equity program in the Province of Nova Scotia, putting in place proper counselling services in our school
system so that young women will see and be able to identify the career opportunities that exist out there for
them. We have to remove the roadblocks that have prevented women from assuming and occupying the kind
of careers and opportunities that are there. We have had some promises but we have to make concrete efforts
to put an end to the family violence and abuse that goes on against women in the home.



Mr. Speaker, I do welcome the minister’s announcements but I want to put it in context. Although
it is welcome, it is, indeed, very modest and what is crucially important is that we get on with addressing the
other very severe roadblocks that are hindering young women from being able to advance and move forward
into their rightful positions in the economy of the Province of Nova Scotia. Thank you.






GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



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



RESOLUTION NO. 191



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, in light of the other two announcements I have made
today, I hereby give notice that on a future day I will table the following notice of motion:



Whereas April 26th marks the anniversary of the day in 1918 when Nova Scotia women received the
right to vote in provincial elections; and



Whereas May 24th marks the anniversary of the day in 1918 when Canadian women were given the
right to vote in federal elections; and



[2:15 p.m.]



Whereas this year will be the 77th Anniversary of these important gains in the rights of 51 per cent
of Nova Scotia’s population; and



Whereas the rights of all citizens to full participation in the political process is one of the hallmarks
of a democratic society;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize these anniversaries of important milestones for
Nova Scotia’s women and, further, that those of us in political life encourage the women of our province to
participate in the electoral process as candidates as well as voters so that future sessions of this House will
show a representation of women that reflects their representation in the population.



Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that notice be waived?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Minister of the Environment.



RESOLUTION NO. 192



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



Whereas the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation is a leader in fostering public support for improvement
to the province’s environment; and



Whereas they have recently helped the Department of the Environment in its public consultations
with the people of Nova Scotia on solid waste management options; and



Whereas the foundation is currently launching a fund raising drive to help it in its respected efforts
at environmental education;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation and wish it
every success in its first ever Earth, Air and Water Raffle.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The request is for waiver of notice.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 193



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 people of Manitoba yesterday had an opportunity to elect a new government to lead them
through what will undoubtedly be difficult economic times; and



Whereas the people of Manitoba provided Premier Gary Filmon and his Progressive Conservative
Party with a strong majority government mandate to lead their province for the next five years; and



Whereas all Nova Scotians benefit, as a part of a strong Canadian federation, by having provincial
governments right across the country which emphasize prudent fiscal management;



Therefore be it resolved that this House unanimously congratulate Premier Filmon and his new
government, wish them well as they face the many challenges ahead and ask our Speaker to convey best
wishes to the Premier, his government and the people of Manitoba for continued growth and prosperity.



Mr. Speaker, I ask for waive of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: 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 Rule 9(2) of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly states that it is the right of any member
to appeal a Speaker’s ruling by way of substantive motion; and



Where as on April 25, 1995, Mr. Speaker engaged in a debate of the substance of a substantive
motion of appeal before the motion was read and then proceeded to rule the motion out of order; and



Whereas Rule 37 states that “Whenever Mr. Speaker is of the opinion that a motion offered to the
House is contrary to the Rules . . . he shall appraise the House thereof and quote the Rule or authority
applicable to the case.”;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges Mr. Speaker to take the time to read and listen to
members’ motions before making rulings that interfere with well-established rights and privileges of members
of this House.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, with the greatest of regret, I must rule that notice of motion out of order as
well. The notice of motion yesterday was out of order because it called on the Speaker to undertake actions
which are contrary to the law and contrary to the Rules of the House, that is to refrain from making rulings,
which is the Speaker’s duty to carry out.



Today’s notice of motion calls upon the Speaker to read and consider matters brought before the
House. The Speaker does that. Let me assure the honourable member that the Speaker reads and considers
very carefully those matters that are brought before the House. I feel it is in excess of what is in order in this
House for that particular notice of motion to be tabled. Therefore, I rule it out of order.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The whole intent of the motion today
was the fact that before my motion even got read into the record, you had made a decision on whether, in fact,
it was going to be in order or not in order. In other words, in fact you debated with me, here on the floor, what
the contents were. All I am suggesting and asking for in the further notice of motion is that the Speaker give
the member the opportunity to present the notice of motion and then, having read it and considered it, you
will review it and present to the floor whether it is in order, based on precedent, based on the rules and cite
those accordingly, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: I would base my response to that on the specific contents of Rule 9(2) “Mr.
Speaker’s ruling shall not be subject to appeal or question except by substantive motion upon proper notice
having been given.”.



I think it flows from that that the notice must be properly constructed and must be in order and be
couched in respectful language and not in language that would constitute a contempt on the Chair. Therefore,
I rule the motion out of order.



It is out of order to appeal a Speaker’s ruling by way of raising a point of order.



MR. CHISHOLM: The question is that you didn’t have an opportunity to review the substantive
nature of that motion.



MR. SPEAKER: I most certainly did. My mind operates very quickly and I am able to catch on quite
rapidly to things. Are there further notices of motion?



The honourable member for Sackville-Beaverbank.



RESOLUTION NO. 194



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



Whereas one child’s violent death can cause a great deal of shock, grief and fear in a community; and



Whereas Sackville, the surrounding metro area and the province have been greatly saddened by the
sudden loss of Grade 10 student Kristy Salter; and



Whereas the principal and teachers responded immediately by providing assistance, counselling and
support to the students at Sackville High School;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Assembly extend their condolences to family,
friends, teachers and the community on the sudden loss of Kristy Lynn Salter.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that notice be waived?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Inverness.



RESOLUTION NO. 195



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



Whereas Ms. Rhea MacDonald, a student at Inverness Junior-Senior High School was recently
awarded a $21,000 scholarship to attend Harvard University; and



Whereas her hard work and dedication to learning has created the opportunity of a lifetime, to
explore a large number of career choices; and



Whereas the success of Rhea MacDonald provides a role model for other young Nova Scotians that
anyone from anywhere in Nova Scotia can achieve their dreams;



Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly and the Province of Nova Scotia
offer congratulations to Ms. Rhea MacDonald for winning this scholarship to attend Harvard University and
wish her well in her future endeavours.



Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that notice be waived?



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 Cape Breton South.



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



Whereas the Halifax County-Bedford District School Board has endorsed recommendations in the
White Paper on Education; and



Whereas the Leader of the NDP dismisses the recommendations of the board; and



Whereas through his statement the Leader of the NDP has put his own personal interests up against
those of the duly elected members of the people;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House condemn the Leader of the NDP for his
complete disregard of the wishes of the duly elected members of the Halifax County-Bedford District School
Board.



MR. SPEAKER: With deference, I am going to have to take that motion under advisement. It strikes
me as contrary to the type of motion that I encourage here particularly in the third whereas clause. I think that
the motion is subject to review.



The honourable member for Lunenburg.



RESOLUTION NO. 196



MRS. LILA O’CONNOR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas volunteers really are the heart of our communities; and



Whereas four volunteers from Lunenburg County were recognized at the Nova Scotia Provincial
Volunteer Luncheon on Friday, April 21, 1995; and



Whereas Volunteer Week and Nova Scotia Provincial Volunteer Association are supported by this
government through the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission and the Nova Scotia Youth
Secretariat;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Assembly extend congratulations to Robert Parks,
Gordon Crouse, Harold Langille and Scott Carnegy for their great work and self-sacrifice throughout
Lunenburg County.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that notice be waived?



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.



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 provincial government has embraced, completely uncritically, the new language of
public/private partnering and seems unaware that this is only a marketing ploy to strip public dollars away
from needed services and put them at the disposal of a few individuals and companies in the private sector;
and



Whereas the government has gone so far as to sign a cooperation agreement with the federal
government to promote public/private partnering and is even today sponsoring a conference in Halifax to
guide those select companies on how to take advantage of this new scheme; and



Whereas Nova Scotians have seen the latest example of the sheer waste of public dollars in the
obscene profits to be ripped off in the Highway No. 104 toll booth scandal, something that could only happen
under the guise of this new blarney about reinventing government;



Therefore be it resolved that the Government of Nova Scotia will reject the privatization of essential
and monopoly public services, as a disservice to the people, and no more than a hidden tax perniciously
directed to the benefits of very few in society.



MR. SPEAKER: That resolution also appears to be out of order. It is so lengthy as to constitute a
speech.



The honourable member for Hants West.



RESOLUTION NO. 197



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



Whereas some 35,000 Canadians will celebrate the liberation of Europe in Amsterdam on May 8th;
and



Whereas 42 of those Canadians will be from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 9 in Windsor;
and



Whereas the Windsor Legion members will be involved in a variety of events including a national
parade on May 7th;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature unanimously support the war veterans and
their wives from the Royal Canadian Legion in Windsor, as they participate in the celebrations of the
liberation of Europe next week in the Netherlands.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The request is for waiver of notice.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.



RESOLUTION NO. 198



MR. JOSEPH CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move on behalf
of the honourable member for Annapolis and myself the adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas on Monday, Lester B. Pearson’s son, Geoffrey, a distinguished Canadian diplomat,
officiated at the official opening of the Lester B. Pearson International Peacekeeping Training Centre located
at the former Cornwallis military base; and



Whereas this centre, designed to provide peacekeeping training for high ranking officers from all
over the world, is already in operation with 15 students from all over the world; and



Whereas this ceremony was carried out with military precision in a very dignified manner;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the President, Alex Morrison, and all staff and
wish them well as they work together for the preservation of peace throughout the world.



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



[2:30 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The request is for waiver of notice.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.



RESOLUTION NO. 199



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



Whereas today is set aside to honour and acknowledge secretaries; and



Whereas the great work carried out by secretaries on behalf of government MLAs, as well as
Opposition MLAs, ensure the efficient conduct of business; and



Whereas without the dedicated service of secretaries, the business of the province and indeed, all of
Canada, would grind to a halt;



Therefore be it resolved that this House commend the work and commitment of all secretaries during
Secretaries’ Day and not forget the invaluable service they offer throughout the year.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice on this motion.



MR. SPEAKER: The request is for waiver of notice.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried unanimously.



The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.



RESOLUTION NO. 200



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



Whereas the Leader of the New Democratic Party spends much of the time condemning the actions
of elected members other than himself; and



Whereas despite a recent recommendation by Halifax County-Bedford District School Board, the
Leader of the New Democratic Party dismisses the concerns of those elected representatives who are closest
to the people; and



Whereas the Leader of the New Democratic Party must surely realize that he represents just one view,
which is obviously not held by the majority of representatives from Halifax County;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House demand that the Leader of the New
Democratic Party apologize to Halifax County-Bedford District School Board for dismissing their unanimous
decision and to urge him to consider other points of view before he speaks.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Queens.



RESOLUTION NO. 201



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



Whereas the people of Sackville and area have worked hard to ensure the integrity of Second Lake;
and



Whereas the Cameron Government committed to the supporters of Second Lake that the provincial
government would work cooperatively with them to preserve Second Lake and its environs; and



Whereas the provincial Liberal Government and especially the Department of Housing is giving
indications that it is backing away from a commitment made and taken in good faith;



Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government move immediately to cooperate with the Friends
of Second Lake and preserve its integrity as a valuable green space in the rapidly growing community of
Sackville.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Hants East.



RESOLUTION NO. 202



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



Whereas 16 Nova Scotian high schools, including Hants East Rural High School, recently
participated in two Power To Change workshops held in Halifax and Sydney; and



Whereas the Power To Change workshops help students stay in school by assisting them to better
connect and feel a part of their schools; and



Whereas the Power To Change workshops establish a leadership team in each school, consisting of
two teachers and four students - mostly from Grade 10, the most at risk school year;



Therefore be it resolved that this House commend the staff and students of the 16 schools who
participated in the Power To Change workshops and applaud their efforts to help high school students stay
in school and feel more connected with their schools.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice on this motion.



MR. SPEAKER: Is the request granted by the House?



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 Eastern Shore.



RESOLUTION NO. 203



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



Whereas recently, the elected members of the Halifax County-Bedford District School Board decided
unanimously to accept the recommendations of the White Paper on Education; and



Whereas the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party, who consistently professes his
commitment to upholding the interests of school boards and students; and



Whereas the remarks of this same Leader in a statement to this House, clearly indicated he has little
regard for the decisions of the duly elected members of the Halifax County-Bedford School Board;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House deplore the Leader of the NDP for his
complete disregard of the decisions of the members of the Halifax County-Bedford District School Board in
carrying out their responsibilities.



MR. SPEAKER: I will table the motion.



I have asked the Clerk to check the text of it as against that presented by the member for Timberlea-Prospect. The two are almost identical but we find slight variations in the text.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 204



MR. JOHN HOLM: It seems to be my day, Mr. Speaker, so I will put a resolution in and see if I can
get this one on the floor.



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



Whereas the Education Minister announced last week that intake into the Medical Laboratory
Technology Program at the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology is suspended; and



Whereas the Medical Laboratory Technology Program is the only one of its kind serving Nova Scotia
and Prince Edward Island; and



Whereas the Department of Education’s own publication, Career Options: An Occupational
Handbook for Nova Scotia, show the unemployment rates in this field to be “significantly below average”;



Therefore be it resolved that in the light of the career opportunities for Nova Scotians including the
much-heralded jobs at the Blood Fractionation Plant, this House urges the Minister of Education to reconsider
his decision to cut the Medical Laboratory Technology Program.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



Further notices of motion? If there are no further notices of motion, I wish to advise the House that
the Clerk has conducted a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00 o’clock this afternoon. The winner today
is the honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury. He has submitted a resolution reading:



Therefore be it resolved that since this is Education Week, the House recognize the critical
importance of lifelong learning, as supported through the Nova Scotia Community Learning Initiative.



So, we will hear debate on that topic at 6:00 o’clock this afternoon.



Is there any additional business to come before the House under the heading of the daily routine?



If not, the Oral Question Period today will run for 90 minutes, that will be from 2:37 p.m. until 4:07
p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



COMMUN. SERV. - MS. NANCY FAULKNER: ASSISTANCE - POLICY



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. The
minister is no doubt aware of the plight of Nancy Faulkner, the young woman with cerebral palsy, who is
expecting her new baby very shortly. Ms. Faulkner has been unsuccessful in her attempts to secure from the
department supports necessary to assist her in caring for her child in her own home. As a result, the Children’s
Aid Society have advised Ms. Faulkner that they may take her baby once it is born.



My question to the minister is, can the minister indicate if the policies of his department will provide
the supports necessary so that Ms. Faulkner, as a disabled mother, may lead an independent life with her
child?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I am really quite surprised by this question from this
honourable member who otherwise normally asks what I think are pretty straightforward and up-front
questions, however, I will answer this question as well as I can.



As all honourable members in the House will know, this is a matter of confidentiality relative to
certain situations and certain people. I am aware that the matter of which the member speak has appeared in
the media.



I can only say, Mr. Speaker, in this province, this Department of Community Services places many
services in homes of one or two or more disabled persons. Whether so-and-so has been advised and whether
something or else has happened, I am really not prepared in this House to stand and make this statement. I
think this is a question that I am sure is within the realm that you would allow this question, but it is certainly
one that has a lot of probabilities and I am sure that the honourable member understands that.



There is no question that I feel that this matter is being looked after by any agencies involved and
that the process for meeting the needs of any disabled persons is being assessed and will receive full
consideration by the agencies involved.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the minister that as a result of a conversation I had with Ms.
Faulkner this morning, she has asked me to ask this questions. So, there is no question here of confidentiality
to concern the minister.



The Children and Family Services Act stresses the importance of keeping families together and
providing supports to allow all that to happen. My question, would the minister comment on whether the
Children and Family Services Act applies equally to disabled Nova Scotians?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that there are matters of confidentiality in the honourable
member’s questions. My answer to the question is that the Children and Family Services Act applies to all
those under the jurisdiction that the Act would have jurisdiction over in this province and disabled. If the
honourable member has read the Act, I think it would be quite clear in that it deals primarily with the rights
of the child. That is an Act that was brought in in September 1991 and it really spells out, quite clearly, the
rights of all peoples. I am really a little surprised at the question, that somehow or another legislation passed
by this House would really be prejudiced against disabled persons.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I would certainly inform the minister that there is some urgency as to the
resolution of this matter. By way of final supplementary, will the minister give an undertaking, given the fact
that time is of the essence in this case, that he will immediately instruct staff to sit down with Ms. Faulkner,
assess her needs and to assure her that every opportunity will be given to her to parent her child like any other
Nova Scotian?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I will undertake no such undertaking today. What I am prepared to say
in this House on this matter, I am confident that the process is in place and the needs of any person who
comes before the agencies and department will be addressed with fairness and understanding.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.









HEALTH - AMBULANCES: TENDER - VALUE



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question, through you, to the
Minister of Health. All Nova Scotians are aware of the fact that the bid to supply the province with 150
ambulances, a contract worth over $9 million over the next three years, has closed and the single loan bidder
there is Tri-Star Industries. Also, as most Nova Scotians will recall, that some three weeks ago when the
tender was originally opened, there was some controversy over the fact that there were very clear connections
between Tri-Star and the person who wrote the tender, and there were some questions about the connections
with the minister, himself.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister whether or not he can assure Nova Scotians that as a
result of the fact that we have ended up with one bidder for this $9 million, as was speculated some three
weeks ago, how he can assure Nova Scotians that they are going to get the best value for the dollar on this
contract?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, it is approaching the shocking that the honourable
gentleman opposite infers that there were questions regarding this tender. There were no questions; they were
answered in the press and in this House, in terms of any connections between the proposed tender, which at
that time was only being submitted, and one of the individuals who sat to develop the specifications for the
tender. That has been laid to rest, I should hope, although the honourable gentleman opposite raises it in some
sort of way in his question.



I would reassure him, which I would think in all charity is the reason for his question, that yes,
indeed, the people of Nova Scotia will be well-served by the provision of standards and top-notch in modern
ambulances in the province. We will assure both him and the people of the province of that fact.



MR. CHISHOLM: The minister can be shocked all he wants, but there were questions raised; there
are still questions. He has tried to answer them, but there are still concerns about how this tender has been
handled. The fact remains that one company submitted a bid on this deal, the same company that it was
suggested had the inside track on it in the first place.



Speaking to some of the other companies that should have bid, it is my understanding, Mr. Speaker,
that there were two specific problems with why other bids were not submitted. One had to do with the leasing
component; one had to do with the OEM designation, all of which Tri-Star is the only company that was able
to come forward with.



[2:45 p.m.]



My question to the minister, why was the contract written in that way, which specifically excluded
other companies from being able to submit a possibly successful bid?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this honourable gentleman opposite is trying to stir up mud when
there is no mud. The fact is that this contract was written in the interests of Nova Scotians, to provide the
finest quality of ambulance service and we will continue with that.



There was no skulduggery involved, never would have been. Those tenders were sent out. We
solicited from some 29 companies. There were questions which we very promptly attended to. The suggestion
by the honourable gentleman opposite that there was some kind of pre-designation and that the tender was
designed around that is purely not even to be considered in this House.



MR. CHISHOLM: Well, Mr. Speaker, the consequence of the way the deal was written, the way the
tender was written up and the timing, excluded local companies from being able to bid on this contract.



My final supplementary to the minister, it is precedent within the government, that when a tender
is sent out like this and you only receive one bidder, to pull back and examine why it is that you got only one
bidder, to redesign the tender and re-issue it, in order to get some competition, so that Nova Scotians have
some assurance that they are getting true value for their dollar.



I want to ask the minister, is he going to do that today? Will he indicate to this House that he is going
to re-issue that tender, to ensure that on fact, other companies have the opportunity to bid on this contract?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, certainly it is not within my purview here to say that we are going
to re-issue a tender, simply because of that. We very properly tendered, we very properly and openly - the
honourable gentleman opposite and his Leader were in the press, in terms of questioning and we welcome
those questions - after the history we have had in this province of tendering.



The fact is that this was done openly, fairly and above board. We will certainly sit down and ensure
that that tender that has been submitted - and no tender has been awarded by the way, yet - to make sure that
it fulfils all the requirements. The standard is here, that we are going to provide the best ambulances on the
streets and the byways and highways of this province and make sure we get a fair deal. That is the key issue
here. That will be vigorously pursued.



I am not going to commit to reworking tenders in order to satisfy the supposed fantasies of the
Opposition member.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



HUMAN RES.: WAGE RESTRAINT - ACT AMENDMENT



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources. I have
had a number of calls from civil servants who have had some problem with interpreting the wage restraint
Act which was passed in this Legislature a year or so ago. I was wondering if the minister could perhaps steer
me in the right direction. I phoned the Department of Finance, first of all, with this question, but was unable
to get a response from them. Then I phoned the Department of Human Resources. They got back to me very
promptly, very politely, et cetera, but they said they would have to get an interpretation of the Act.



The section of the Act which is causing the problem, is the fact that a person who was hired in the
Civil Service between January 1, 1994 and April 29 1994, will not receive an increase in their increment after
May of this year. But a person who joined the Civil Service subsequent to May 1 of this year, will, indeed, get
an increment this year.



Now, in case I am making it pretty soupy, Mr. Speaker, I apologize. But what it says, in effect, is that
a person who has been in the Civil Service for a longer period of time, will not get an incremental increase
whereas a person who has been in the Civil Service for a shorter period of time will.



I was wondering if the minister was aware of that problem and if, indeed, there is a problem in the
legislation, would he be prepared to perhaps consider making an amendment to that Act which we could put
through the Legislature in this session?



HON. JAY ABBASS: Yes, I am aware of that particular question, largely because the member
opposite actually posed it to me outside the Chamber and I want to thank him for that.



It does seem to give rise to a situation in which someone with greater seniority than another might
actually end up having to wait a longer period of time to receive an increment, meritorious or otherwise. It
is a question that deserves to go to the Public Sector Compensation Restraint Tribunal or the board, a member
of which the member has contacted, I understand, today, a gentleman by the name of George Fox, whom I
have also discussed this issue with. It is something that I would refer to that body if, in fact, it is not already
working on formulating some sort of formal response to the member opposite. So all I can do is confirm that,
yes, if they are already in the process of making some sort of decision on this, I will, in fact, urge them in that
direction and then, having received their response, take it from there; if there is an inequity being worked
here, to take whatever action is necessary to remedy it.



MR. RUSSELL: I appreciate that response because I don’t know how many civil servants fall within
that time period but, whatever number there is, they would certainly be served an injustice by the legislation
that we presently have. As I say, I thank his department, and Mr. George Fox in particular, for getting back
very promptly with a response to me and alerting the minister. So as I understand it, the minister is saying
that if indeed something is in error with the Act, then something will be done to correct that anomaly before
this session ends; so that on May 1st, those who are entitled will, indeed, get that increment?



MR. ABBASS: I don’t want to make the law as we go along and I don’t want to undertake to do
something by a particular day, but I have said that if there is an inequity being worked, certainly one that
obviously would not have been foreseen, then steps will be taken to remedy that.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens, on an introduction.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you and, through you,
to all members of the House, seated in the west gallery, a large Grade 9 class from South Queens Junior High
School. The Grade 9 students are accompanied by their teacher, Kevin Demone, and I would ask them to rise
and receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



FISH. - RADAC: AQUACULTURE CAGES - APPROVAL



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries. I will be referring to
the minutes of the Regional Aquaculture Development Advisory Committee meeting which was held on April
17th, and I will provide the minister a copy of these for reference while I am putting my questions to him and
I have highlighted the appropriate sections.



The minutes from the April 17th RADAC Committee meeting in Annapolis reference the selection
of sites for new aquaculture cages. It is unclear in reading the minutes whether this is three sites in addition
to those already approved or not and I wonder, can the minister confirm to the House the total number of sites
approved and proposed for approval in the Annapolis Basin?



HON. JAMES BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, we had received a letter some time
earlier to that particular meeting, it would have been the meeting on March 27th, that indicated that RADAC
was recommending three additional sites be identified in the Basin and that we call for tenders and proposals
to fill those sites with aquaculture to further answer the questions about research and development within the
Basin.



These unapproved minutes that came from the RADAC as of this week, as they are unapproved, we
have been exploring these to discover what it is that the people in the RADAC understood. I understood they
had played the tapes of that particular meeting back and forth and still they didn’t come to a unanimous
decision as to what was really being expressed at that original meeting. Our understanding from the RADAC
was that up to three sites be approved.



MR. LEEFE: It is clear that there is confusion on that. I know the minister wants to clear that
confusion as quickly as possible; that’s obviously in the best interests of the promotion of aquaculture and
peace and harmony in the Annapolis Basin, in particular.



Mr. Speaker, my second question. I note also in the minutes that Loran Hayden states that sites were
picked on the recommendation of DFO scientists, but the DFO officials have refused to show the letters of
recommendation to the RADAC committee members. I wonder if the minister can confirm if, in fact, this is
true, that this information has been withheld from RADAC and, if so, I wonder what the minister proposes
to do to ensure that all of the information is made available to RADAC so that it can make the appropriate
recommendations to him as minister?



MR. BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, this particular meeting of April 17th brought to it a number of
serious situations, the fact that the chairman resigned, the fact that two other people on that RADAC had
resigned. A member of the board was appointed as the interim chairman for the evening. Certainly, there was
a lot of discussion as to what had actually taken place. Mr. Jim Gushue, who had been the chairman of this
RADAC for some time, had given his resignation.



As a result of the letter of March 27th - and I will read to you from that particular letter - “the
RADAC agreed that you be advised that the RADAC has recommended three additional experimental sites
in the Annapolis Basin with the following conditions:”, which were with regard to environmental data. They
had expressed in that particular letter, I have taken in good faith, from many meetings that have taken place
in the Annapolis Basin area, the minutes and the letters as expressed by the secretary and the chairman of that
particular organization. It has expressed the direction of the community and, at the present time, the
expressions of interest have been acted upon, I say, in good faith.



Tenders were called and proposals were called and three proponents have been successfully chosen
by eight independent persons. The three sites were of seven sites that had been designated by the RADAC.
RADAC had selected seven sites. Three were selected by a group of scientists. I do not know the names of all
the scientists that were participating in that selection process. That process is one that satisfied the
requirements of the Basin fishers, three members of that organization.



I set this new RADAC up to satisfy the requirement that all their concerns be heard. They chose
arm’s length, independent scientists to sit on that committee. As far as I know, those people were participants
in that selection process. This is a subcommittee of the RADAC which provides advice to the RADAC and,
further, to myself. I do not have the correspondence of that particular meeting that took place when the
scientists chose those three sites.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my final question to the minister is this. Is it true, as stated in these
minutes, and whether they are approved or unapproved is not relevant with respect to the answer to this
question, is it true that the sites had been approved for 12 hectares each, with no consultation with the
RADAC?



MR. BARKHOUSE: The size of the sites is something that had been part of the proposals. Following
the concerns expressed verbally by telephone over the long weekend, I asked that an independent assessment
be made of the spatial requirements for these cage sites. It turns out that an independent anchorage expert in
Dartmouth who provides services to people throughout the world has provided us expert knowledge and a
written statement of the requirements of the space. Because of the high tides and the currents within the
Basin, it requires very long mooring lines, but actual space of the cage is only about 5 per cent of the actual
12 hectares. The lines that are required for the chains because of the high rise and fall of the tide in the Basin
requires approximately 11 hectares. So, plus or minus a couple of per cent, 12 hectares, I think, is a reasonable
space requirement.



MR. LEEFE: I did make reference to a document and I will table it. I want a copy of it made and then
I will make sure that it gets to the Clerk immediately.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - QE II HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE: BUDGET - STAFF REDUCTION



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. My understanding
is, it has been confirmed, that there is a cut of $6 million to the QE II Health Sciences Centre budget. Given
the fact that that board will have a deficit for this year, so that means more than $6 million? I understand Rick
Underhill, Vice President, indicated there would be some loss of employment. If we take that $6 million that
could mean a loss of up to 200 jobs. I would ask the minister if he would give some indication of the impact
of reduction of the staff that might happen because of the reduction to the QE II Health Sciences Centre
budget for 1995-96?



[3:00 p.m.]



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, first of all I might state in response to the honourable
gentleman’s question that I have every confidence in the board of that facility and the staff to, indeed, work
very diligently to provide the services that are necessary from their institution. The honourable gentleman
makes a leap of faith that a reduction of $6 million out of $268 million would therefore result in x number
of job losses. This has been, if I would guess correctly, that this board and the administrative staff of that
institution would be making every effort to concentrate on the provision of services and to concentrate on the
preservation of service delivery and retention of as many jobs as possible to carry out that mandate.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I hope all the employees can take great faith in what the minister has
said, that there will be no layoffs. Unfortunately, Rick Underhill, one of the Vice Presidents, indicated there
would be some loss of jobs with that kind of a cut. Given the fact that the employees at these former four
institutions, which is now one, are under a variety of contracts, can the minister indicate who will be
responsible for the task of straightening out how the complicated issues such as seniority are going to work
when staff will be reduced, and we can probably argue about how many, but given the fact that there will be
some, according to the hospital, who will fathom out who has seniority regarding which union over which
union when these job losses occur?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the honourable gentleman opposite is trying to indeed, force me into
imposing conditions upon a consultative process between labour, between employer, regional health boards
and the Ministry of Health all trying to work through a very complex and difficult situation and I will not do
that. I will not be drawn into that because it is unfair to the employees to impose any kind of restrictions or
any kind of requirements on their deliberations as we work through a very complicated process as the
honourable gentleman very properly refers to, in terms of the changes that will occur in this institution and
in others around the province.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, last week in this House the minister indicated in a response from a
question from the honourable member for Halifax Fairview, that the joint Labour/Management Council on
Transition would be responsible for identifying and resolving the union issues that come with the merger of
the hospital and subsequent budget cuts. I have since been advised by a member of that council that this has
never been communicated to the council and that it is news to the council that the minister believes that the
joint Labour/Management Council on Transition is dealing with that issue. Can the minister assure this House
that the council indeed has taken on this responsibility and if, indeed, he assumes it has, would he make sure
that this committee is apprised of the fact that it has been given the task of working on resolving the union
issues that arise from the merger and the cuts that are going to occur?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the board of that facility and the union representatives and labour
representatives will be involved intimately in the day to day questions that will arise and will together make
those decisions. The council to which the honourable gentleman refers is a council that was put into place to
discuss overall policies and how we might work better to ensure that transition in the health care system is
carried out with as little disruption as possible, there is a difference in that.



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



TRANSPORT. - HIGHWAY NO. 104: TOLLS - OPTIONS



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address my question to the Minister of
Transportation. The government has decided that it is going to go the toll route on the Highway No. 104 By-pass and while I am not thrilled with that idea, that is an option the government has chosen. However, if the
government were to build that road over two years and to finance the road itself at the 9 per cent rate which
is the current Nova Scotia provincial government bond market figure, the cost of building that road including
the interest payments could be paid off over eight to nine years, instead of over the approximately 32 years
that the government intends to do it by doing the private partnership up to the year 2030. So, that is going
to lead to millions of dollars in profits to the government’s private partner and I would like ask the minister
if he could explain how that option is in the best interest and the cheapest option available for Nova Scotians?



MR. SPEAKER: I caution the honourable minister and the member that we have a bill before the
House, Bill No. 10, the Highway No. 104 Western Alignment Act which appears to deal with the very matter
raised in the question.



MR. HOLM: I am talking about the minister’s statement.



MR. SPEAKER: That may be but we are still dealing with a bill that is on the order paper here in
this House and the rules state that such a question is out of order.



HON. RICHARD MANN: I have no problem dealing with the request. The government is operating
under an expenditure control plan and the money that I have access to as the Minister of Transportation to
build roads, is set out in that plan for the honourable member’s perusal anytime he wants to see it. He has a
copy of it, it is in Government by Design. I don’t have access to borrow that type of money to build roads. We
could borrow money to build all the roads that will be required for the next 30 years but it would significantly
impact on the debt of the Province of Nova Scotia and we are not prepared to do that.



MR. HOLM: The Oxford Barrier scenario is projected to bring in approximately $12.4 million a year
and over 32 years that is approximately $400 million to build what is going to be financed which is $70
million, according to the minister’s statement, give or take a few dollars, plus the couple of repaving projects.
My question to the minister is quite simply this, how many extra hundreds of millions of dollars is this
government prepared to give, in the way of private profits but increased cost to Nova Scotians so that you can
meet your expenditure control regulations right now. What is it, $200 million, $230 million? What are the
extra costs that you are expecting Nova Scotians to bear as a result of the option that you have chosen?



MR. MANN: As the member knows, we will be going for a call for proposals to build this highway.
To some of the questions that are being asked, we don’t have the answers until we see what proposals are
given to us by the private sector and the member opposite knows that.



MR. HOLM: I am going to back with one last question to the minister on this for moment. My
question is quite simply this, will the minister agree to submit the proposals, the contracts that he is going to
enter into, to the Auditor General for a cost-benefit analysis for Nova Scotians to determine if, in fact, the
route that the government is going to take is too costly and inefficient or if, in fact, by the government
building and financing the project itself we could save hundreds of millions of dollars for taxpayers in the
Province of Nova Scotia? Will you submit it to him?



MR. MANN: “Will I submit it to him?” I guess that question is not through you, Mr. Speaker. The
Government of Nova Scotia has made a policy decision here and the Auditor General whether he likes it or
not does not tell the government what projects they are going to spend their money on. Those are policy
decisions that elected officials have to make and have made (Interruptions) since there has been government.
This government will operate within the parameters set out in the expenditure control plan. I have asked the
Auditor General to look at aspects of this proposal and he said, no. He said that he probably will have to take
a look at it when it is complete and therefore, no, he thinks it is inappropriate to look at it at a certain stage
along the way and that he has other important things to do.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



JUSTICE: HOAX MEMO (HEALTH DEPT.) - POLICE INVESTIGATION



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. As the minister
may well know, I have sent a letter to the Premier asking the Premier that he ensure that there be an
independent police investigation of the alleged hoax memo which was sent to a legislative reporter on
Department of Health letterhead. It is my understanding that the police are, indeed, involved.



I wonder if the minister would confirm that that is so and assure this House that the substantive
findings and any recommendations of any report submitted to him will be released to the public?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware that the Leader of the Opposition wrote a
letter to the Premier on this particular matter, although I understand that the police may be looking at the
matter but I was not aware of the letter. Maybe if the Leader of the Opposition has a copy of the letter, he
could send it over to me and I would have it.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I am not sure that I do have it but I did write and I will call my office
momentarily and we can table that.



By way of supplementary, may I address that to the Minister of Health, through you, Mr. Speaker.
To the Minister of Health, it is clear or at least it appears that this particular situation does or may have
criminal implications and it is potentially damaging to the minister’s department and people in it. I wonder
if the Minister of Health will tell us what actions, if any, he has taken within his own department, in terms
of internal investigation when the possibility does exist, as I think it does, that the memo may, in fact, have
emanated from a member of his staff? We don’t know that for a fact but it may have.



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question by the honourable Leader of
the Opposition in this respect, that to inform him and this House that we have a group of senior managers and
my deputy who are working to investigate the incident as it occurs. We have had superb cooperation from all
parties involved, particularly the newspaper and, of course, the police as well. I would certainly be able to
report at a later time, as soon as that investigation is completed.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, the Minister of Health may have anticipated my final supplementary because
I was going to ask him and will, indeed, ask whether or not the Minister of Health would be prepared to
commit to the release of a report to the public, or at least to this House, of the findings of the internal
investigation being undertaken by him and senior officials in his department?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I am trying to be careful because the honourable Leader of the
Opposition has me at a disadvantage, legally, in terms of whether or not it is proper for me to commit to
tabling a report which might have police implications. I would say that given there are no legal repercussions,
in terms of the police or court action, then I certainly would be in favour of releasing whatever is necessary.



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



TRANSPORT. - ENGINEERING SERV.: EXEC. DIRECTOR - HIRING



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister of Transportation
and Communications. The minister will no doubt recall that an ad, which I have, Mr. Speaker, appeared in
various publications across this province back in July of last year. The ad called for an Executive Director of
Engineering Services. I wonder if the minister will confirm if that position has been permanently filled?



HON. RICHARD MANN: No.



MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and again through you to the Minister of Transportation
and Communications, this position has not been filled. Yet, it has been advertised now for nearly a year, or
at least 10 months. Since it has not been filled permanently, can the minister explain why 10 months have
elapsed, or thereabouts, and the position has not been filled? Can the minister tell this House and Nova
Scotians why the position of Executive Director of Engineering Services has not been filled?



[3:15 p.m.]



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, as we were reviewing and implementing the Department of
Transportation audit and going forward with the implementation plan, we sought out advice and direction
from our own employees on how further restructuring might be carried out. It was decided at that time that
it may be possible to look, as we restructured our Engineering Services Section, that the Engineering Services
Section may, in fact, be amalgamated, if you will, with the District Services Section.



So, rather than fill the position, hire someone and perhaps 8 or 10 months later have the position
become redundant, the position was filled internally, on an acting basis, and the Engineering Services Section
is presently being restructured and the merger of the two is presently being looked at.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, one does have to wonder why the minister bothered advertising at all.
Can the minister indicate whether or not the Acting Executive Director of Engineering Services, Mr. Eric
Caines, who I believe is not an engineer and he was formally the Director of the Right of Way Division, is
an engineer? Can the minister tell the House and Nova Scotians if Mr. Caines is an engineer?



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, no, Mr. Caines, is not an engineer as far as I know, but is a very capable
manager, a director, an administrator and is doing a phenomenal job in the department by everyone’s
standards within the department who knows what they are talking about.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.












EDUC. - ADVISORY COUNCILS: MEMBERS - VOLUNTARY



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you my question is to the Minister of Education.
My question for the Minister of Education and Culture is regarding the White Paper that has been circulating
throughout the province for some little time now. I received a copy of a submission the Glooscap Elementary
Home and School Association Executive put together in response to the White Paper and they raised several
very interesting questions.



The first question I would like to ask the minister would be the association’s concern about serving
a term on a school council as outlined in the paper will be a major commitment for a volunteer because of the
depth of their new responsibility. Does the minister feel there will be a problem finding parents to sit on the
councils based on the fact that these bodies have great responsibility and they are on a volunteer basis?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. I can
assure him that the advisory councils, as proposed in the paper and as exercised in many areas of the province
- Pictou County is an example where the board has chosen to develop councils; Halifax County; and in our
pilots - that there hasn’t been difficulty in finding people to work there because parents recognize the
importance of education and they come forth willingly. I can suggest to the honourable member that we have
no evidence that there will be any difficulty bringing parents into the school system to help, we have no
evidence of that.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I am also concerned about the decisions that will be made by the
school councils whether they need further school board approval and, if so, would this not prolong the
decision-making process within the educational system?



MR. MACEACHERN: In the definition of roles and responsibilities, Mr. Speaker, to the honourable
member through you, there is a very distinctive definition of the role of the council and the role of the board.
The exercise of those roles and responsibilities by the council won’t need the approval of the board.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you, again, to the Minister of Education. Does the minister
see a problem with the smaller boards in relation to being overshadowed by the concerns of the larger boards?
I am particularly concerned with the rural concern of the students and the schools in relation to the concerns
of the larger schools that would be located in the towns and in the larger centres. So do you think there would
be a conflict between the smaller schools in the rural areas and the larger, more urban, schools?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, the best example I can give the honourable member is the
Northside-Victoria board where in the 1970’s there was an amalgamation between a very urban board with
a rural board. The partnership not only has not caused a problem but has helped both sides of it. As reported
back to me, that is both the urban people and the rural people, that if they work together, in fact, what happens
is that they get a better understanding of each other and, in fact, they can enhance the performance of both
sides of the partnership, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.









HUMAN RES.: SAME-SEX SPOUSES - BENEFITS



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Human Resources. As
you and other members of the House may know, same-sex spouses have been prevented or prohibited from
receiving the benefits under the Government Benefit Plan. This whole issue has been undergoing some change
in other jurisdictions as well as with other employers, including the latest being the City of Halifax who have
ensured that same-sex spousal benefits have been extended.



I raised this issue with the former Minister of Human Resources; it has been before this government
as early as September of 1993. I would like to ask the minister, could he give us an indication today whether
he plans on moving on this issue and when we can expect to receive a decision?



HON. JAY ABBASS: There is a case right now before the Supreme Court of Canada and I would
prefer not to proceed before seeing what the disposition of that case is, but I would say that on a preliminary
basis, at least, the department has looked at the question of how things like medical and dental benefits might
be extended to same-sex spouses, I suppose, is the proper term. That is where it stands right now.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the matter before the Supreme Court of Canada deals with the
Canada Pension Plan which is separate from the provision of health benefits. What we are talking about is
the fact that other jurisdictions have, in fact, moved on this issue, including the City of Halifax, including the
Province of New Brunswick, and without waiting for the Supreme Court. This is a question of equity, plain
and simple, and I want to ask the minister, again, if he would not in fact agree - even putting aside the
pension benefits issue that is before the Supreme Court - on behalf of his government, the issue of fairness
and equity to extend these eligibility benefits to same-sex spouses?



MR. ABBASS: The member opposite is right. There have been jurisdictions which have extended
things like medical and dental benefits to same-sex spouses covered by those plans, but it is accurate, as well,
for me to say, Mr. Speaker, that even the obiter dictum in a Supreme Court of Canada case is compelling, is
interesting, at least to a provincial jurisdiction, and I would want to take that into account in making any kind
of final recommendation to my Cabinet colleagues on this matter.



MR. CHISHOLM: I guess, Mr. Speaker, that we have received our answer from this government,
that they are not in fact prepared to move on this issue as other jurisdictions have, as other employers
including Dalhousie University, the City of Halifax and other employers in the Province of Nova Scotia . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Is this a question?



MR. CHISHOLM: . . . and I would just like to remind . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Question.



MR. CHISHOLM: . . . the Minister of Human Resources, in fact, that it was his Premier that
indicated where there is injustice, where there is inequity, in the government . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Is there a question here?



MR. CHISHOLM: . . . he is going to deal with that. I want to ask the minister, in conclusion, has
Cabinet ruled on this matter and is that the decision that he has given us here today or is it his decision as
minister?



MR. ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, I think I have already answered the question. Before bringing anything
to Cabinet as the Minister of Human Resources, I would want to read the full text of any Supreme Court
decision which might be forthcoming, both the major issue, the passing by the judges on the major issue of
that case, plus any obiter dictum that they might present at that time.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



CONS. AFFS.: FILM CLASSIFICATION - FEES



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Housing and Consumer
Affairs. Last year, May 2, 1994, to be exact, the new Maritime Film Classification Board was announced. The
board provided the classification service for the film industry wishing to distribute films in Nova Scotia,
Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The board charges distributors a one-time classification fee for
each title rated. Today I noted that the Canadian film and home video industry is set up to begin May 1st and
will also provide a rating plan. Will the film industry now have to pay twice - once for review by the Maritime
Film Classification Board and once for the Canadian film and home video industry?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite may know that yesterday we
announced the launch of a national classification for videos across the country. They will be using ratings that
will be averaged on the provincial ratings done across the province. We are going to monitor that over the
short term, to see how it plays out. Hopefully, we will make it a simpler, easier product for the consumers of
the province to rate the video tapes that they rent or purchase within the province.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister could give me - I didn’t see a copy of the
announcement yesterday. What assessment method will be used to evaluate these systems then? What method
of assessment will we use?



MRS. NORRIE: Nova Scotia, or the Maritime Film Classification Board will carry on as usual. They
will rate the videos as they have done in the past. The national board will take all the ratings of the provinces
across the country and take the average of all those ratings. They will be labelling all the mainstream videos
from across the country and they will be labelled as they are put on the shelves.



In the meantime, there will be two stickers on, while we monitor the situation, to make sure the
interests of the Maritimes, the local community interests are addressed, before we decide to make any changes
other than what is happening right now.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. I hope we will get on with it and
not have a duplication of stickers because it is confusing enough if you go in and there is a rating R, or this
or that or whatever. I don’t watch TV very much but the movies come on and it is an R rating and you are
going to have two stickers put on the video. I ask the minister to get on with it and get it done as soon as
possible.






MRS. NORRIE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



CULTURE - SYMPHONY NOVA SCOTIA: FUNDING - ASSISTANCE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Culture.
The minister will recall that recently he wrote to Symphony Nova Scotia, in light of the financial difficulties
experienced by the symphony of late. In that note the minister said, and I quote a line of his letter, that the
symphony is “a vital keystone to the cultural sector of this province.”.



The minister went on to say that he is “prepared to work personally with the president and the
orchestra, to deal with the difficulties that have been encountered.”.



I wonder if the minister might explain how he, in his capacity as Minister responsible for Culture,
either has or is planning to assist Symphony Nova Scotia with its current difficulties?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, first of all relative to what happened so far, my deputy
has had significant conversations with Symphony Nova Scotia. As the honourable Leader of the Opposition
probably knows, we have already advanced them $450,000 towards this year’s expenses, which will help with
their debt. I am sure he is aware of that, but that does not help in the long run.



Since they ran into trouble and since that letter, both the Premier, the Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency and myself have been sitting in conversation and looking for ways to help. The Minister for
the Economic Renewal Agency has, in fact, been talking to the people involved, and there are some public
people. I mentioned Dennis Ryan, for example, who has stepped forward to do some work with them. In fact,
Mr. Speaker, they have stated that after they do the projects they are involved with, they will be back to talk
with us. So we are waiting to get the response back from Symphony Nova Scotia and the people involved with
their attempt to strengthen their organization. We will cooperate with them to make sure that Symphony Nova
Scotia continues to operate in Nova Scotia.



MR. DONAHOE: I wonder if the minister, in light of those remarks, can indicate to us with any
degree of specificity at all, any plans which he or his government may have to provide financial or other
support to the symphony to ensure the integrity not only of the 1995-96 season but the future life of Symphony
Nova Scotia? As he will know, as I learned in an earlier incarnation, the difficulty with the symphony is that
they have been behind the eight ball. They have been, unfortunately, living on borrowed time and borrowed
money with Canada Council and provincial government grants into the next year and they have always been
behind. That is not a happy or desirable situation. My question really is whether or not the minister is
attempting to work a deal whereby there might be provincial assistance to get them out of working on the next
year’s money and get them on a more stable course than they have been up to this point?



[3:30 p.m.]



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, to the Leader of the Opposition, I can assure him that we are
not going to allow people to spend next year’s money this year. In fact, that situation will not be allowed to
continue. My deputy, the people involved in the Economic Renewal Agency and people in the Premier’s Office
are going to work to make sure that doesn’t happen. I repeat, as I said a few moments ago, I am waiting to
see what in fact happens with the orchestra themselves because they have some endeavours of their own.
When they finish with those, they are going to come back to us and speak to us. We have initiated a contact,
they have asked us to hold off until they do what they are trying to do and then they are going to come back.
I can assure you that the Premier of the province has very much involved himself in this, as has the Minister
for the Economic Renewal Agency and myself.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, just before I pose the final supplementary, may I simply indicate to
you for the record that I did receive copies from my office of the letter which I had referred to in an earlier
question to the Minister of Justice. The minister felt a letter of April 24th addressed to the Premier relative
to this alleged hoax memo question . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I don’t mind recognizing you on a new question on that subject if you wish.



MR. DONAHOE: No, I don’t need that. I simply wanted to, without wasting Question Period time,
inform that I have tabled that as I had promised I would and gave a copy to the other ministers.



My final question is to the Minister of Education. I take it then from what he has said that the
minister is indicating to this House that the ball, for the moment, is in the symphony’s court. They are to come
back to him, to the Premier and to the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency and present a business plan
or whatever, which when finalized and presented will be addressed by those three ministers and the
government generally so that the government can determine whether or not financial or other support can be
provided to the symphony to ensure its continued integrity. Is that where we are at this point?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable Leader of the Opposition, I can tell him, first
of all, a group of people have stepped forward, supporters of the symphony, with the same determination that
we have, that in fact it should be on solid financial footing and, in fact, that there should not be borrowings
from next year to spend this year. That habit has occurred in several organizations in the culture industry and
we are addressing each of them as they come forth. I think that is an understanding that now has been
accepted by the board of Symphony Nova Scotia and the supporters. They want to step forward and
demonstrate good faith that they have accepted that as a given and then we, in the Department of Education
and in the government, can then step forward and get a partnership that will lead forward and assure that this
will never happen again.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I rise to make an introduction. It gives me great pleasure to
introduce to you and to all members of the House a group of Grade 9 students seated in the west gallery. The
students are from South Queens Junior High School and are here with their teacher, Raymond Aucoin, est
je pense que beaucoup des étudiants sont d’une classe des emersion française, c’est d’accord, et je dis, lui
bienvenue à notre chambre. I would ask all members to welcome them and I would ask the students to rise.
(Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.






HEALTH - PHARMACARE: SENIORS - PRIVATE PLANS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Yesterday in
responding to a question that I put to him on the Pharmacare Program, the minister at one point indicated the
government would be happy to look at individual cases, that the decision to participate in the program, he
said, of course, the decision is the decision of the senior. But he went on later to say, “We are saying if a
senior withdraws from this program, if that could be possible, their private plans would immediately change
in terms of scope and would immediately change in terms of their premiums.”. My question is, could the
minister indicate, given his contradictory statements yesterday, if in fact seniors have the option of opting out
of the government program?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the honourable gentleman opposite has misunderstood
what I said. What I said was, we will look at each individual case to explain to the seniors the true nature of
the program. If they have misunderstandings, if they have questions, we have dealt with individual questions
very diligently in our department. What I was saying was that when explained, when their plan would be
compared, they would see that the insurance program that we are proposing and that we have put in place is
very much in their interests and would in fact guarantee them coverage of needed medications for the rest of
their lives in what whatever quantity was necessary.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I have had calls, and I know this to be true, that some of the plans that
the seniors are covered by, are buying prescriptions that are new drugs that have yet to be approved by his
Pharmacare Program. In other words, there are drugs on the market they are now being able to get through
their private premiums and programs that they cannot get through the minister’s Pharmacare Program
because, as he knows, some new drugs come on the market and it takes a long time for the coverage to occur
in his department, if it ever occurs. I would ask the minister, given the fact, would he ensure that all new
drugs that come on the market, that are being paid for, obviously, by private plans, could also be covered by
this new plan that the minister is indicating all seniors must join?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I think this question speaks to the flexibility of the program and the
plan. I believe that since the seniors themselves will have a board that is very sympathetic to the needs of
seniors and, in fact, will have the majority on that board, I should think that that would be something that
would be in place - that is, that flexibility - and I would assume that that would be a major priority of the
board. So, I would indeed hope that flexibility would always be in the program. I think it is more likely to be
there now, in terms of the board’s making judgments and so on, in terms of the needs of seniors, than it had
been in the past, yes.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister, because I did not realize that the group that now
approves the drugs for the program will now be switched to the board itself. In other words, there will be no
delisting of drugs without the new board that the seniors are on giving the okay and the new drugs will come
before that board for approval. I am sorry I misunderstood that. Is what I am saying true? And if that is the
case, then I commend the minister, because the process now, he knows the process, seniors have no input
whatsoever. Is he indicating that approval of drugs and the drugs that come before any committee to be
delisted, will be approved by that new board that he is putting in place?



DR. STEWART: Yes. The structure of the Pharmacare Trust would be that the subcommittees would
report to the board. Those current committees that are in place affecting Pharmacare and its programs would
be reporting to the board.



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



EDUC. - LABORATORY TECH. COURSE: SUSPENSION - EXPLAIN



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question, through you, to the Minister of
Education. I think it was last week the minister announced changes in the programs that are being offered
in the community colleges. One of the programs that was on the suspended list for new intakes was the
medical laboratory technicians and technologists. In the Career Options, 1994 Edition, of the minister’s own
department, it says that particular program, in terms of the unemployment in 1993, that the unemployment
of those in that trade was significantly below average and that the earning potential way back in 1990 was on
average $32,000 a year. My question to the minister is quite simply, why would this program be suspended
given the fact that it appears to be extremely successful both in terms of wages, of graduates and the
employability of those who took the program?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: I can assure the honourable member that, in fact, the staff at the
community college and, by the way, in the presence of representatives of the Nova Scotia Government
Employees Union and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, analyzed each of those courses and evaluated them
in terms of the future. One of the things I think maybe the honourable member is referring to is that as new
industry comes in, we are going to have training of that type required. But that type of training will be
customized to the interests of the particular industry.



No longer will it be a core program but one targeted very clearly, for example, for the blood
fractionation plant. They will describe the specific type of training they want and we will provide specifically
for it. It has just been removed from the core and not from the possibilities of being presented by the
community college, just that it is no longer part of the core program.



MR. HOLM: I guess that leads to another question as to why it is no longer part of the core, because
certainly, Mr. Speaker, according to again the government’s own books, it pointed out that there were over
1,640 people estimated to be employed in that field in 1993 here, that the employment situation was, in fact,
stable and that there are openings for approximately 100 new positions every year. This is the only program
that trains people for the laboratory technology program here in Nova Scotia or in Prince Edward Island.



I would like to ask the minister, is it now the government’s decision that, in fact, they are going to
be moving towards eliminating these programs unless there is a specific demand or request coming ahead
from an industry to train people or are you going to continue to make sure that those who are also able to gain
employment through core programs such as this are able to continue to see that training through the
community college system?



MR. MACEACHERN: Again, if I might for the honourable member, when the community college
recognizes a specific need that is out there in a specific industry, we will train people accordingly and that
is something we can do. We can also, to the honourable member, all we have done is suspended intake
because the class that is presently being trained will be completed. I can suggest to the honourable member
that, in fact, he is correct in suggesting when a particular industry needs employees we will train them for that
particular industry. To suggest that we are going to train a group of people just to train a group of people, that
is a habit that existed in the past but no longer will be there because it is not fair to the students. When a need
is demonstrated, we will train them specifically for that need.



MR. HOLM: I am puzzled by the minister’s answer because it is the minister’s own government
document that points out that there is obviously a need and that those who have been taking this program have
been successful in gaining employment and making, thank you very much, a very decent wage. I will however
come back to him and, in my final supplementary, to another matter that the minister raised and that has to
do with specific training.



The minister will know that the Miles-Red Cross are going to be developing the plant in Bedford and
that the fractionation plant will be employing approximately 250 people and that both the federal and the
provincial governments have committed up to $10 million for that employee training. We have heard reports
and have been told, in fact, by a spokesperson for the corporation that they are looking at doing training at
the Bayers facility in North Carolina.



My question to the minister is, what negotiations have been going on and can the minister assure us
that the training for those who will be working in this new plant will be made available here in the Province
of Nova Scotia?



MR. MACEACHERN: I can assure the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party that every
industry that has approached Nova Scotia over the last period of time, we haven’t hesitated for a moment to
offer whatever training has been required. We have been working with the Department of Health and the
community college system to design that training and that training will be provided and everything we can
do in the community college we will, in fact, do that.



[3:45 p.m.]



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



TRANSPORT.: ENGINEERING SERVICES - EXEC. DIRECTOR



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable the Minister of
Transportation and Communications. The Executive Director of Engineering Services for this province is
responsible for the provision of highway planning, engineering, traffic management, material services, et
cetera, and during a previous question the Minister of Transportation and Communications indicated that Mr.
Eric Caines who is not an engineer has been acting as executive director and has been for some time. I wonder
if the minister can tell us on whose recommendation did the minister appoint and elevate Mr. Caines to that
position?



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, that would have been recommended by the deputy minister
through the management committee of the department, not by the minister.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, in a previous response, the minister indicated to the Leader of the New
Democratic Party that his capital expenditures are outlined in the Government By Design and I wonder if the
minister could indicate on what page the capital expenditures are outlined?



MR. SPEAKER: I do not believe that type of question is in order. It would be beyond any minister’s
reasonable knowledge of their department to know on what page of a document something appeared.



MR. TAYLOR: Okay, Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary, may I ask the Minister of
Transportation if tolls on the new, to be constructed, Highway No. 104 do not reach the minister’s predictions
in terms of revenue collected, does the minister intend that Nova Scotia taxpayers will be called on to
subsidize the private operation in the form of a grant?



MR. SPEAKER: The question is hypothetical, but I will permit it.



MR. MANN: No, Mr. Speaker, not at all and the honourable member was in the room the other day
during the press conference. I know I saw him there and it was indicated at the press conference that if the
toll revenues fell short of what would be set out in the contract, which is yet to be signed because we have not
sent the request for proposals out for the private sector to come back yet. If and when that all happens and
there is a shortage of funds, if you will, or if the toll revenues fall short of what is required in the contract, the
member would know because he was there, I saw him the other day, that there would be no increase in tolls.
There would be no subsidies for that purpose, it would mean repayment over a longer time period.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, again, I would like to go to the Minister of Transportation and
Communications. The minister suggested that there will be a ceiling or a cap on the number of axles for which
a commercial vehicle will be charged. I wonder if the minister can tell the House and Nova Scotians, and
particularly the trucking industry, what is the maximum number of axles that will be charged. What will be
the number?



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, is this a new question or last supplementary?



MR. SPEAKER: I granted him a final supplementary.



MR. MANN: Okay, I was not sure where we were for a moment there. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: I was not either.



MR. MANN: He prefaced his last question, for my final supplementary, so I assumed the last one
would have been the penultimate, this will be the last one. Mr. Speaker, now I have forgotten what the
question was, oh the axles. As I say, and I will continue to say, in response to two specific questions in here
regarding the private/public partnering. We have indicated we are going out for proposals.



The private sector will give us proposals. We will sit down with them and negotiate a contract. What
I said, it will be my recommendation and my intent to put a limit to the number of axles that can be charged
for commercial trucks. Mr. Speaker, I will do that and specific numbers, probably six, I would think, but that
is yet to be negotiated with the successful consortium.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



JUSTICE - KINGS CO.: REGIONAL POLICE FORCE - STUDY



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question would be for the honourable Minister of
Justice. My question to the Minister of Justice is regarding a recent meeting they had of the Town Council
in Wolfville where they indicated that they were requesting a staff member from the Minister of Justice’s
Department to go down to Kings County and join with Kings County Municipality, the Town of Berwick and
the Town of Kentville to do a joint regional police force study. I am wondering whether the minister has had
the opportunity yet to assign a person to go to Kings County and look into the requests that the municipal
units have made?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I have not received such a request from the Town of
Wolfville with regard to this study, but I certainly would be happy to look at it, if and when such a request
arrives.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Well, perhaps my question is arriving prior to their request. My supplementary
question then would be forwarded to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I am wondering if the minister would
indicate one way or another whether her department would consider a regional police force for Kings County
a priority within the department at this time?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think I have stated on any number of occasions that the
Department of Municipal Affairs is more than willing and, in actual fact, has invited municipalities to put
forward requests of where we could assist them on regionalizing services or amalgamating boundaries. So
certainly we would be most pleased to receive a request.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I appreciate the thought, both from the Minister of Justice and the Minister of
Municipal Affairs that they will be cooperative and helpful. My question would be to the Minister of
Municipal Affairs, Mr. Speaker.



As I tabled the other day in the House the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency, according
to the Mayor of Wolfville, had assured her that regional government for Kings County would not take place
unless Kings County municipalities would wish it. My question to the minister would be, would you need to
confer with the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency before you pursue this issue any further with the
request from the municipal units in Kings County?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I guess I would say that contrary to what may be the popular opinion over
there, these amalgamations that we have talked about and all the discussions we have had with regionalizing
of services and the service exchange have all been done with the full cooperation of caucus and Cabinet. So,
it is something that I would, on a routine basis, bring forward to the Cabinet, bring forward to the caucus,
have an opportunity to have discussion on it and then, as a group, we would make a decision and then as a
government we would take it forward.



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



EDUC. - LE CONSEIL D’ÉCOLE DU GRAND-HAVRE: FUNDING - NEGOTIATIONS



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you, sir, to the Minister
of Education. Le Conseil D’École Du Grand-Havre - my pronunciation is not very good, I acknowledge - is
facing major growth in enrolment at the school and they anticipate that next year they will have 10 portable
classrooms around the school. I know that the funding arrangements, in terms of additions or construction,
is cost-shared, or has been in the past, with the province and the federal government.






I am wondering if the minister could indicate where the negotiations with the federal government
currently stand, in terms of trying to get a badly needed addition for that school?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I can inform the honourable member, through you and
to all members of the House, that those negotiations are ongoing for both that facility and the one in Sydney,
but they are still under negotiation.



MR. HOLM: I can appreciate that negotiations can be somewhat timely. If I may, just to continue,
of course a concern is in the Dartmouth situation that the land that would be necessary to build an addition
is rather scare, in that the developer who owns it is considering putting a development on that land.



Could the minister indicate if the province is prepared to purchase the land that would be necessary,
to ensure there will be a space to put the addition up when the negotiations with the federal government have
been completed?



MR. MACEACHERN: I can tell the honourable member through you, Mr. Speaker, that there has
been active consideration of that within the department. I met with the board about a month and one-half ago
and we discussed it and that is being looked at very carefully by the department.



MR. HOLM: I knew the minister was going to be meeting with the board because I was over there
touring the school and speaking with members, I believe the day before the minister was, so I had also heard
some of the concerns.



My question to the minister, given the timeliness, and I appreciate that I am not expecting a final
answer in terms of exact detail of date, but could the minister indicate to the board, more importantly to the
school community, when he expects a decision will be made regarding whether or not the province is prepared
to purchase the land, to ensure that there will be space for the addition when the negotiations with the federal
government have been completed?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I don’t believe I have that at my disposal. The decision has not
been made and when it is made, the land will be purchased.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



WCB: COUNSELLORS - POLICY



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Acting Minister of Labour. Earlier this week
I was contacted by a constituent who has an internal appeal before the Workers’ Compensation Board. He is
married, has children, and his unemployment insurance is due to run out in a couple of weeks. He has heard
nothing with respect to his appeal since November. His lawyer attempted to contact the Workers’
Compensation Board and could find out nothing from them. So I did what I have done over the past 17 years,
I contacted the WCB myself and was told that it was not possible for me to speak to the worker counsellor.
The worker counsellors were at the Appeal Board dealing with appeals, were forbidden to speak with lawyers,
clients or MLAs. That is a new policy as far as I know. I wonder if the minister can advise me if there has in
fact been a change in policy directed to WCB by the provincial government?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the member opposite. I
certainly have not found that to be a reality in any dealings I have had. I, too, have made calls to find out
status and I will undertake to go back to the department to get a clarification for the member opposite in
regard to his experience on the phone.



MR. LEEFE: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister to do more than provide
a clarification. It is absolutely essential to every member of this House that in order for us to be able to serve
our constituents who are clients of the WCB, that we do have the kind of access we have traditionally had and
I would ask the minister to make sure that a directive is given to WCB not to deny that right of access that
all members have enjoyed irrespective of Party?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member, himself, who is responsible for the Workers’
Compensation Act, will be back early next week. I will endeavour to speak to him in regard to whether there
are any possible changes but at first I will look into the matter first and report back.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



HEALTH - AMBULANCES: LEASE - DEFINE



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. The Department
of Health has entered into some kind of an agreement, I am not just too sure what kind of an agreement, to
supply new ambulances to the ambulance service of Nova Scotia. I understand that that process, as the
minister has explained it, is a three-way lease. I wonder if the minister could provide for the House and for
the members of the ambulance industry and the people across this province as to what exactly his definition
of a three-way lease is?



HON. RONALD STEWART: I appreciate the question and in clarifying for the member and his
constituency, if I should use the term, for me to table the Murphy Report. It is well contained in that. It was
discussed around the province, it was explained around the province at some 60 meetings and I would refer
both the honourable member and his constituency to that.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I have heard the minister say that there is no financial obligation of
the Department of Health or the Province of Nova Scotia involved with the purchase of these 150 brand new
ambulances. My interpretation of a three-way lease is that it does indeed bind the party of the second part to
be responsible for the initial cost of those vehicles. Would the minister confirm that?



DR. STEWART: Again, if I have said that it absolutely does not involve the Ministry of Health or
the government in terms of financial obligations or backing, then I would certainly retract that definitive
statement there. We have, as I have indicated in this place, made a commitment to supply ambulances in
terms of the three-way lease through the agency. It is the agency that has the immediate financial risk, if you
would. It is the province, of course, that backs the agency, so of course we have liability.



MR. RUSSELL: The question was prompted, Mr. Speaker, by the fact that I was present, as were a
number of other people from the ambulance industry, when the minister made his announcement with regard
to the ambulance question. My recollection and the recollection of many others was that the minister was
asked the specific question as to whether or not this three-way lease would encumber the province and, as I
understood it, the response was no. The minister is saying then indeed, that the province is guaranteeing the
lease of these 150 ambulances that will be provided to the industry in Nova Scotia?



[4:00 p.m.]



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to review the tape of the conference. If I have said
something that is not accurate, I will correct it in this place. I would come back to the Murphy Report and
have that tabled if it will help. The other issue, of course, is that there should be no beating around the bush
here, the province is responsible for this agency and its provision of care ultimately, there is no question about
that. We therefore incur a liability.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



HUMAN RIGHTS - EXEC. DIRECTOR: APPOINTMENT - RECOMMENDATION



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice. Some days ago
the government, by way of a question to the Premier, was asked about the lengthy, some might say unseemly,
delay in replacing the former Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission. When asked why it was
taking so long the Premier said, and I quote, “It is because we are doing it properly.”. It has been suggested
that the fair hiring process has indeed been followed but the choice made and recommended to the
government was turned down by the Premier.



I wonder if the Minister of Justice could perhaps let us know if, in fact, that is so, that there was a
recommendation and that recommendation was turned down? If that information is correct, could he explain
why that recommendation was rejected?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, there was a selection committee appointed quite some time
ago, probably a year ago, to recruit and find a new Executive Director for the Human Rights Commission.
They engaged a human rights consultant and an extensive search was undertaken. Now I am not aware, I don’t
have that quote in front of me, I am not aware that someone was recommended and turned down. I do know
the committee has made a suggestion and that suggestion is currently being looked at. Like I say, I don’t have
the quote in front of me, you have it and have read from it, but I can’t answer that. I am not aware that
somebody was turned down but I know that it is being actively pursued at the moment.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister then might indicate to the House, if he is
now saying he understands that there is a recommendation before government, if I am hearing him correctly,
can the Minister of Justice indicate to this House when he expects then that a new Executive Director of the
Human Rights Commission will be selected and appointed, if the government now has in front of it a
recommendation for such an appointment?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, there is a recommendation that is being considered.
If this recommendation is dealt with, it is my understanding that it would be in the relatively near future. I
don’t think there is going to be any undue delay but it is a matter that Cabinet must deal with and I don’t want
to second-guess when they might finalize in their deliberations.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, it may have just been an inadvertent addition of a word in the
minister’s response but he did say, “If this recommendation is dealt with . . . “, and I think Hansard would bear
me out that in fact the minister did say that, which concerns me. It leaves me with the impression that if he
meant to use that word, if Cabinet deals with it, then the flip side might also be a possibility, that maybe
government or Cabinet wouldn’t deal with it.



I guess what I am really looking for is a clear, definitive statement from the minister today that he
is acknowledging that, to the best of his knowledge, there is a recommendation for the position of Executive
Director of the Human Rights Commission in front of government now and that the government will, in
whatever time it takes, address that issue and either accept that recommendation or reject it. Is that, in fact,
the position we are in today?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I believe that is really what I said. I said that if Cabinet accepts the names
before it, then there will be an appointment. It is the same thing. Yes, there is a recommendation and that
recommendation will either be accepted or rejected, as is the prerogative of Cabinet. Then, if they don’t accept
it, then Cabinet will have to come up with somebody else and make an appointment. I would hope this matter
would be dealt with, as I have said earlier, in the relatively near future.



MR. SPEAKER: There is a minute and a half remaining. The honourable member for Halifax
Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will defer to the member for Kings West
because I was going to direct a question to Natural Resources.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - SECOND-HAND SMOKE:  PUBLIC PLACES - BAN



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Notes in Hansard
from last session indicated that the Minister of Health indicated and promised that he would be bringing to
this House a comprehensive policy on tobacco legislation dealing with second-hand smoke.



I want to know, as do Ms. Sheralee MacEwan, of Shubenacadie and Mr. Henry Holgate, of Halifax,
whether this government is considering legislation banning smoking in public buildings or in designated
public areas?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, banning in designated public areas, I assume you mean
control of environmental tobacco smoke. Yes, certainly, this government has been pledged to consider the
aspects of clean indoor air and we are pursuing that actively, to look at the issues. We have convened a
conference last year on this very issue and we are preparing the preliminary studies that would indicate the
course of action we should take, particularly in view of legislation, yes.



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



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. In Question Period, the Minister of Community
Services implied that the matter I brought to the attention of the House was some how improper. I assure the
House that I fully understand matters of confidentiality. The facts of the matter are that the response to the
young lady by his department had been vague and non-supportive. Her problem is clear and she needs support.
The young lady has chosen to go to the print and other media and her case has been widely released. I spoke
with the young lady this morning and have her support and blessing to bring this matter to the House, a tactic
she now feels necessary, due to a failure of the department, which acts on her behalf and has resulted in the
Children’s Aid Society threatening to take her as-yet unborn child, as in-house support services have not been
guaranteed. I stand to defend the propriety of my decision to bring this matter to the attention of the minister
and the House.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I do not wish to get into any disputation on the matter. I did allow the
question. The minister made his answer. They are both in the record and I consider the matter closed.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would also like to rise on a point of order. The Minister
of Transportation and Communications, in response to a question from the Leader of the New Democratic
Party stated that the capital expenditures of the Department of Transportation were contained in Government
By Design. I quite honestly do not believe that is so, I think perhaps he has the wrong particulars.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications.



HON. RICHARD MANN: I think, Mr. Speaker, that the member for Hants West is exactly right. I
did go out and look at Government By Design and it was not there. I know I saw those figures submitted in
some document, I guess I referenced the wrong one, but those numbers are published, I believe. If they are
not, we will certainly make them available. It is a five, five, five and five per cent cut over four years, it is not
a very complicated formula, but those are published numbers.



OPPOSITION MEMBERS’ BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private
members’ Public Bills for Second Reading.



PRIVATE MEMBERS’ PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Would you please call Bill No. 1.



Bill No. 1 - Mineral Resources Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, this is a fairly simple bill. In fact, the bill could almost be
read in total without taking up too much time. What it does in essence, is amend the Mineral Resources Act
to prevent the “. . . prospecting for, exploration for, development in respect of or mining of uranium . . . and,
for greater certainty, no licence, lease or permit shall be issued pursuant to this Act in respect of uranium.”.
It is a very simple bill.



Mr. Speaker, before I start into second reading on this bill I would like to bring to your attention and
to the attention of the members of the House - and ask for their welcome of - a number of people who have
a great interest in uranium mining. They are not all from my riding, they are from around the province and
they are here today to listen to the debate on Bill No. 1. I would ask the House to join with me in giving them
the usual round of applause. (Applause)



I had sincerely hoped when I introduced this bill into the House four or five weeks ago that it would
not become necessary to call this bill for second reading, as I had thought that common sense would have
prevailed and that the government would have taken some action by now to ensure that the moratorium on
mining uranium would have been put on long-term hold in the Province of Nova Scotia. I say that because
the Premier of the province in this House on January 19th, in response to questions that I asked him seemed
to give the impression, at least to me, that indeed he was going to take some action. I have a copy of the
Hansard for that day and I would just like to read into the record the questions and the response.



My question to the Premier on that day was simply to the effect that before the Premier was elected
to this House, before he became Leader of the Opposition, he was quite adamantly opposed to uranium
mining. I was wondering, on that date, if the Premier would tell the House whether or not he had changed
his views. In response to that question the Premier said, “. . . I am glad for the opportunity to comment on
that. I, personally, would not support lifting any moratorium without being completely satisfied of the safety
that I questioned back in 1983 or 1984. At that time, I was one of three doctors who recommended against
it. It reflected my feelings and concerns, then. I still have these same concerns and I remain to be convinced.
I have told my Cabinet colleagues that.”



I advised the Premier on January 19th in a supplementary that the then present moratorium on
uranium mining was due to expire on January 31st, and I asked that he would ensure that something would
be done prior to that date. The Premier replied, “Mr. Speaker, in case the member. . .”, that is me, “. . . was
out yesterday, I think the Minister of Natural Resources gave a commitment that that would be done. Let me
assure you that I will take it under advisement. Given what I have said before, there obviously must be concern
felt by people like myself.”.



Then I responded to that with my final supplementary to the Premier and I said that I did not believe
that I had received that commitment from the Minister of Natural Resources. I simply said I would like
something from the Premier that would indeed prevent exploration and mining of uranium and the Premier
then again went on to say that the moratorium did not expire until January 31st and that during that time he
would be taking some action. Now, Mr. Speaker, that is three months ago. Since that date I have heard
nothing about any new technology that has come along to make uranium mining any safer and I certainly
haven’t heard from the Premier as to any action that this government would be taking to look after that
problem; that is why I introduced this Bill No. 1.



I don’t believe the government is taking this matter very seriously and it is a serious matter to
thousands of Nova Scotians who don’t want their environment polluted, not only during the lifetime of the
mine, but for the hundreds of years to come thereafter, when the effects of that mine would still be in evidence.
That is the nub of the matter. All mining, to a greater or lesser extent, affects the environment. It has a certain
amount of a long-term effect, but none has the long-term impact as the exploration and mining of radioactive
minerals. The impact can affect the mine area and surrounding area for millions of years.



[4:15 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, I think we are all aware of the dangers of radioactive materials but, sometimes, I think
we forget what the long-term effect of radioactivity is. When you consider that it takes 4.5 billion years - that
is not million - for uranium to go through the stage to its half-life and another 3 or 4 billion years to go
through the remainder of the stage before it finally ends up as an inert metal, a benign metal that is lead. So
we are looking at a material that is potentially dangerous for about 6 or 7 billion years.



Left undisturbed, Mr. Speaker, radioactive minerals are relatively benign. The covering of
overburden, in large measure, prevents the escape of most radiation, but all this changes dramatically when
exploration or mining takes place. To reach the rock - and most of the uranium, particularly in the Province
of Nova Scotia anyway and, in fact, all through the Canadian Shield, is contained in rock, normally it is a
granite - you have to remove the overburden. Even if you are only doing exploration and you start disturbing
that overburden, you are going to create problems because, first of all, you are going to have a much larger
amount of radiation permeating the atmosphere from the rock but, also, the overburden itself becomes dusty
and powdery, particularly in the dry season and some of that dust is picked up by air currents, transported
through the air and dropped into the surrounding area and it becomes a contaminant.



It contaminates food for animals, it can contaminate food for humans and even if it doesn’t directly
contaminate the food for humans, it can work through the chain in that, by contaminating the food for
animals, or plants for that matter, the radioactivity, the dangers and the impact of radiation move up through
the food chain. In addition to that, Mr. Speaker, when you remove the overburden, you also open up that
radioactive rock to the elements, to rain and snow; most of that rain and snow permeates into the earth and
it is quite capable of carrying with it traces of the radioactive element, so it leaches down through the ground
and enters into the water-table.



Now you and I both know, Mr. Speaker, because we are both from fairly rural areas, where people
do not have city or town water systems, they are dependent on either dug wells or drilled wells for their
drinking water, the water-table becomes contaminated, the wells become contaminated; the wells become
contaminated, the people become sick and people can’t live in that area unless they are into purchasing water.



I think we can all remember, not too long ago, in the Waverley area, where we had a problem. It
wasn’t radioactive materials, it was arsenic that had gotten into the water-table, again, simply because moving
the overburden had exposed strata containing arsenic, and that had leached its way through, once exposed -
I think it was road activity at that time that caused it - it got into the water-table and created havoc in that area
of Waverley, and a number of residents lost their wells because of contamination.



Mr. Speaker, exposure to radioactive materials is extremely hazardous, and I think that is well
known, in that it causes cancer. I think that we do not have to explore that further except to say that there are
also long-term effects of radiation on the reproductive cells and we can have people born either physically or
mentally handicapped. We certainly do not want that kind of thing going on. With these kinds of
consequences it is very difficult, in fact it is impossible to understand why any responsible government would
permit exploration or mining of any substance that carries that kind of risk with its exploitation.



These are short-term problems, because it must be remembered that when you are mining for
uranium you have to remove a tremendous amount of ore before you can get to the final product, the yellow
cake which is suitable for industry. In fact, to gain four or five pounds of yellow cake, something in the order
of 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of rock must be crushed. That crushing is done in a mill, the same as it is done for
any other ore that is taken out to be refined, whether it is tin or nickel or what have you. They all go through
a mill. Perhaps you have seen a mill. A mill is simply something that bashes the rock and crushes it and
pulverizes it and puts it out as a powder. It is a very dusty operation, Mr. Speaker. Again, during that
operation, and I realize that modern technology can keep that dust down to a minimum, but there is still dust
that enters the atmosphere from the mill; that dust, again, is transmitted through the atmosphere and could
be deposited somewhere in the vicinity.



That is only the first part of the problem, Mr. Speaker. The biggest problem is that we are only taking
about 2 per cent or something less than 2 per cent of that ore and turning it into a product which can be sold;
98 per cent of the rock that we take out of the ground, run through the mill, becomes waste, tailings. The
normal way to dispose of tailings is to put the liquid that comes out, full of chemicals which are used in the
milling process and the remainder of the rock, into ponds which are sealed with a clay base, banks around
it, et cetera, and the material is put in there and settles out. With most mining operations, like, for instance,
down in Yarmouth where they had the tin mine, most operations that have - I am running out of time already,
in most mining operations, for instance, where it is something benign such as tin, et cetera, you have to
maintain the tailings ponds for 20 or 30 years, perhaps. With radioactive minerals, it is required that you are
going to maintain those tailings ponds for hundreds and hundreds of years. It is physically impossible to build,
design or to keep a tailings pond that is not going to leach or leak or destruct in any way for that length of
time.



Mr. Speaker, I had a great deal more that I would have liked to have spoken about on this, what I
think is a very important subject, this afternoon. I regret that I have run out of time. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.



MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker and visitors in the gallery - I appreciate your concern in being
here today - and members of the House, I realize all too well that this issue is one of concern for many Nova
Scotians. The fear of some of the comments that have been made by the honourable distinguished member
opposite, I can understand why that fear would continue, because of the lack of understanding of the science
and maybe some of the realities that are going on.



I would like to bring to the attention of the members of the House in regard to the honourable
member’s comments in regards to the moratorium itself, the moratorium is in place. In fact, if you go back
to publications and commitments made in the previous government, of which he was a member in Cabinet,
made it very clear that the moratorium will stay in place until such time as a decision is made by government.
I have made that commitment to this House and until we as a government have made a decision to change
that, the moratorium is in place and will be retained and be in place until we decide otherwise.



Now, Mr. Speaker, (Interruption) I only have a very limited period of time and I would like to
conclude my remarks. Just to clarify some of the concerns in regard to the environmental aspects, the health
issues that he brought forward, the Province of Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction in all of Canada, the only
province in all of Canada that does not allow for uranium mining to take place. In fact, I believe, we are the
only jurisdiction in the world that has not allowed uranium mining to take place. I would like to ask a question
at some point in time to the member opposite, if everywhere else in the world and everywhere else in other
jurisdictions in Canada has said that there is no scientific reason to stop uranium mining, then I think the
member opposite should listen to some of those comments.



Now there have been a number of public reviews, Mr. Speaker, that have gone on around the world,
in Australia, in the United States of America. There have been public reviews in Canada and in the Province
of British Columbia, and in Saskatchewan to take a look at the very serious concerns. I know members in the
audience who are here are taking this matter extremely seriously and I respect them for that. I respect the
member opposite for bringing this issue to the floor because I know that he, as well, has some concerns. I want
to try to straighten out the fact that the public hearing processes that have gone on in Canada and around the
world, have been to focus the attention on the science and the reality of uranium mining and exploration in
their appropriate countries within the jurisdiction of Canada.



In all those areas, they have found that they can deal with the mining in an acceptable way. Mr.
Speaker, the New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan recently approved two mines for uranium production.
I believe they are now at a total of somewhere between four or five or six uranium mining activities in that
province. They, too, prior to the announcements of those mines, have gone through an extensive
environmental review process, an extensive social acceptance process because of their environmental
guidelines.



I would like to inform the member opposite and other members in this House that we, too, under the
leadership of the Minister of the Environment and the previous Minister of the Environment, have brought
forward legislation in the environmental Acts that hadn’t been there for a long time in this province, that deals
specifically with the whole issue of environmental assessments and deals with public consultation and
involvement. This in itself, because of the Act that we have, allows Nova Scotians to have the ability of
protection with or without a moratorium, allows Nova Scotians to have input into the process of what type
of mining activity goes on and allows Nova Scotians under the Act, similar to that of the Province of
Saskatchewan, similar to the Province of British Columbia, another province that at one point in time had the
moratorium put on and took it off because they realized that science was not there and the environmental
processes that are involved with it are legitimate and we have that in this province as well.



The new Environmental Protection Act that was passed in the House in January of this year will
require an extensive environmental assessment review of any proposal for uranium mining. We are saying
that there will be public hearings and there will be obviously representations in regard to dealing with the
environment, human safety and things of that nature. So that is a priority of this government and that is the
process that will be going on.



In recent years, there have been very substantial high grade deposit discoveries of uranium in many
jurisdictions around the world. Certainly the Province of Saskatchewan has been considered the best potential
for uranium mining in probably all of Canada. Their grade, for example, the grade differential in the Province
of Nova Scotia is at 0.2 per cent. The grade deposits in Saskatchewan are in excess of 2 per cent. So tenfold
the quality of uranium mining in that particular province.



People ask the question, with the moratorium on, it stops all processes. The reality is, that when
companies were looking to explore for the issue of uranium mining and that was when the science was maybe
not as clear as it is today. The price for uranium was somewhere in the vicinity of $50 a pound. Today the
current price of uranium is around the $10 a pound range. The reality is that with the poor quality grade that
we have and the high grade that they have in other jurisdictions and realizing the limited deposits that we
know that are out there, it isn’t even economically viable for mining companies to come here and explore that
process.



[4:30 p.m.]



I want to make it very clear that the moratorium in itself, basically sends a signal to the mining
companies around the world that we are the only province and the only area in this world that says no to
mining. I don’t know if you want to say no to mining. As a former Cabinet Minister realizes all too well that
the mining industry in this province contributes in excess of $0.5 billion a year. I don’t know if that is what
the member opposite is really referring to. But I think what we should be talking about here is the absolute
science and the integrity of the process of mining in regard to the concerns of many Nova Scotians about the
safety and health aspect of society in our environment.



I want you to know and I want this House to know, our government and this minister considers that
a number one priority in any development in the Province of Nova Scotia and that will retain in regard to the
number one priority of our province.



Now when you take a look at the price of uranium at $10 a pound, you realize that the future market
rate now are looking at a flat line process, realizing that the quality of uranium that we have in Nova Scotia
is a very poor grade, realizing the storage issues that are there are obviously not at a high rate, I don’t sense
anybody and there is nobody knocking on my door and I would be the first one to know, if anybody is
interested in exploring for uranium in this province because it isn’t economically viable, it isn’t an issue that
the mining companies are interested it. They are interested in Saskatchewan, they are interested in British
Columbia, they are interested in Manitoba and in other jurisdictions but certainly not Nova Scotia because
of the quality aspect.



In regard to the technical reasons for the moratorium. A member opposite brought up an excellent
point in regard to the tailings issue and I think that is a concern that many people have. Years ago, the tailing
issue was, we left the tailings on top of the ground and put some sort of little protection around that tailing
process. That was a fairly antiquated process and in fact, that technology is long gone. Much of what has
happened now in other jurisdictions within Canada, to make sure that the integrity of the environment is
protected, is a previous surrounding process where they actually have hole in the ground where they put the
tailing processes in. The compaction of the tailing processes actually brings it back to an inert state, the state
that it was in prior to its exploration out of the ground. What is in the ground today is not creating massive
problems for the environment of this province. If you can turn that tailing process back to its original state,
you have basically defused the whole issue of leaving the tailing process in a pile or a stockpile.



This science on technology has been around for a few years and it is has been used in other
jurisdictions in this country. They found that this process is as clean a process as they can possibly find. It has
passed the environmental processes in British Columbia, it has passed the environmental processes in
Saskatchewan, it has passed all the environmental assessments across the country in regard to the ability to
be able to do that and meet the requirements of society.



I want to make sure that people realize all too well that this government is very concerned about the
environmental aspects and we want to make very clear that we are not of any mind to say well, go ahead and
mine and the whim or wish of anybody who wants to come down and invest in Nova Scotia. We want them
to understand very clearly that we live in Nova Scotia, I live in this province and my kids are here and I want
to make sure that the integrity of the environment is kept as good as it is today for future generations. That
is one of the reasons we put together Parks and Protected Spaces Program. (Applause)



The member opposite has brought a resolution forward and it is very short and the resolution is
actually the Act to amend Chapter 18 of the Act of 1990, the Mineral Resources Act. At that time, in his
proposal, he is actually making a wording, suggesting changes within the Act. I want the members around
this room to realize all too well that we do not need to make the amendment to the Act to prevent uranium
exploration in the Province of Nova Scotia. The moratorium has done that already and until we as a
government deal with this issue in regard to making a final determination to it, the moratorium is in place.
People can rest assured in the Province of Nova Scotia, no mining for uranium will take place in the Province
of Nova Scotia unless otherwise changed.



Secondly, if there is a change, and I am not saying there will be a change, if there was a change, the
Environmental Protection Act will give more protection to Nova Scotians because the former Minister of the
Environment who brought that legislation forward, which is one of the best legislations in all of Canada - and
I think if you want to check with other jurisdictions you will find it is the most inclusive, it is the most
restrictive, it is the most caring of the environment than any other jurisdiction in this country - under that
Environmental Protection Act and under the leadership of this minister today, I can assure that members of
the communities of the Province of Nova Scotia will be well protected under that Act. All we have to do is
take a look at the Act, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, I realize the concern and worry of many people in this province in regard to the issue
of uranium mining. It has become a very sensitive issue. For some 15 years, it has been a very sensitive, a very
emotional issue and I respect the individuals who have kept the charge going for their point of view and their
understanding. Fifteen or 20 years ago, things were a lot different in regard to the environmental concerns,
the integrity of the environment and the types of technologies that have been introduced in the mining society
today as they were 15 or 20 years ago. Maybe 20 years ago they were right to be very concerned and maybe
they were right to deal with that matter the way they have done it.



The reality today, Mr. Speaker, is that this issue, I believe, is an issue that is more on the emotional
side in regard to the scientific side, as members realize here. The committee that was struck by the former
government had recommended that a committee be struck representing the Ministries of the Environment,
of Health, of Natural Resources, to meet to discuss and to review the scientific data, the information that is
out there around the country in regard to whether or not uranium mining should move forward. That
committee has now made its presentation to me and we will be dealing with that in Cabinet. But that is a
scientific issue, that is a scientific matter and it is being dealt with as a scientific matter.



You know, I think we have to take a look. Nova Scotia is unique and, gosh only knows, we are all
different. We are a very precious and caring community. But I can assure you, as an individual who was born
on Prince Edward Island, people in Prince Edward Island are very careful, very precise, very caring, very
sensitive about their integrity and their identity. I lived in British Columbia and the people in British
Columbia have the same kind of feelings toward their people. I lived in Ontario. The people there have the
same concern and respect for the people and their indifferences to the rest of the country as well.



I am now very honoured and pleased to live in the Province of Nova Scotia. I want you to know that
this is not any different than any other jurisdiction in Canada. I am sure, from a person who has grown up
in British Columbia, one of the California belts of North America as it were, if there was an environmental
problem, if there was a concern for the safety of health of the individual or the environment or the wildlife
or the streams or the air, then they would never have allowed the opportunity for uranium mining to take place
because they are probably more environmentally concerned than any other area in all of North America.



We, in the Province of Nova Scotia, realizing the scientific reality that is here, that what we are
looking at today is a scientific issue and the science in the other jurisdictions around the world and in Canada
have made it very clear there is not a problem.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise and speak for
a few moments on the private member’s bill brought forward by the member for Hants West with respect to
amending the Mineral Resources Act, primarily to ensure the prohibition of the exploration and development
of uranium mining in the Province of Nova Scotia.



Let me say at the outset, Mr. Speaker, let’s not necessarily use B.C. or Saskatchewan or Alberta or
any other jurisdiction as our model. I think those jurisdictions have been known to make mistakes, just as the
rest of us have. Let’s focus on what Nova Scotians want to do around this issue or any other issue and make
our decisions on that basis.



I am going to address this issue in two ways. One is that I, along with my colleague, the member for
Hants West and the NDP caucus have been trying to get some commitment from this government to either
restore the uranium moratorium that expired in January 1995 for another 5 years or for another 10 years or
15 years and/or to re-establish the uranium inquiry that was halted back in 1992 when the moratorium was
put on because we only went through one phase of a three-phase process. If there is going to be a decision
made on uranium mining and development in this province then I think we are obligated, this government
is obligated to the people of Nova Scotia to go back and revisit that process and ensure that there is a full and
extensive inquiry into this issue.



There have been a number of questions raised, over the fall of last year and this year, resolutions and
so on, directed towards the Minister of Natural Resources and the Premier, trying to get a commitment with
respect to a decision on the moratorium or a decision on public consultation and we have not been successful
in getting that. The minister responsible has said, as he has cited other jurisdictions, that we are the only
jurisdiction perhaps in the world that has a moratorium or doesn’t prohibit uranium mining or development.
I say good for us, to be leading the way in this direction. We have a lot smaller land mass here in geography
than does Saskatchewan or does B.C. or for that matter many other jurisdictions.



I think it is important that we don’t try to extrapolate, like we did - I think when the minister talks
like that, I think about - the decision on the casinos. It was because Ontario or Saskatchewan or some other
province went ahead with casinos therefore it is a good thing for Nova Scotia, that is not true. We have the
right and I think the maturity to be able to make those kinds of decisions based on Nova Scotia concerns and
Nova Scotia conditions and that is where we should be headed.



The minister says that no one has been knocking at his door to mine uranium or to develop it and
perhaps so. I have a letter here from the Chamber of Mineral Resources of Nova Scotia, dated February 14,
1995, to the minister that says Re: moratorium on uranium exploration and they list four points why, in fact,
the moratorium should be lifted.



It starts with the rights of landowners, the integrity of the environment are adequately protected by
other legislation, the point that the minister just made. They talk about the fact that it discourages investment
in Nova Scotia, another point the minister just made. They went at the barrier problem on exploration
investment twice. The point is that the minister himself is making the same arguments that the Chamber of
Mineral Resources of Nova Scotia is making. I think that is part of the problem here. These decisions should
not be made in isolation, in Cabinet. This is a process that started back in the early 1980’s, that the
government of the day saw fit because of the concern exhibited by people in Nova Scotia to put the
moratorium into effect in 1982.



I think that if this government is proposing to make a change to that decision then let’s go back and
restore the public inquiry that was on go at that particular time. They had just begun, in fact, completed I
believe Phase I of the inquiry and let’s go into Phase II and Phase III. Phase II was where opponents would
have an opportunity to come forward with expert witnesses, which they then were prepared to do. So the
suggestion is and the recommendation, certainly from this caucus, is that before the minister makes any
decision or before the Cabinet makes any decision on whether there is the development or mining of uranium
in the Province of Nova Scotia that we re-establish a public inquiry in order that all the facts, all the issues
can be presented and that we can all have input here in Nova Scotia. We can bring in the experts, put the facts
together and then we can come forward with a decision.



Mr. Speaker, . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I wonder, would the member for Halifax Atlantic entertain a question from the
minister?



[4:45 p.m.]



MR. CHISHOLM: Well, I think I have nine minutes left. I would just as soon, if I may, continue,
unless the minister of course is indicating that he will confirm that they will extend the moratorium and/or
that he will engage in immediately establishing a public inquiry in order to wrestle with the issue.
(Interruption) Well, you had your opportunity to put the factual information on the table, Mr. Minister.



Mr. Speaker, the minister has talked about the fact that an inter-departmental committee on uranium
was established, that involved deputy ministers of several departments, in order to review this whole question,
and I believe it was in July 1994 that they presented him with their report on this question. Under questioning
in this House, back last fall, the minister indicated that, yes, he did have the report and he was considering
it. He again, I believe, has suggested that not only has he reviewed the report, but that he is taking
recommendations forward from that report to Cabinet. I think it is important that that is a report that I
understand makes recommendations that the moratorium be lifted. So I say to this minister - as I have before -
before any process goes forward, release that report to the public so that we can all have an opportunity to take
a look at it and determine in what direction this government is even beginning to consider.



Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious and very controversial issue. Other jurisdictions have made
decisions to go forward. He mentioned Saskatchewan among others, and in Saskatchewan, the NDP had a
policy against uranium mining. They went through a very difficult, internal battle over what to do with respect
to that policy and the decision was made by the government, after extensive public consultation from one end
of the province to the other, to go forward with uranium mining.



Let me tell you that wounds were inflicted during that debate which may take a long time to heal
within the Party there in Saskatchewan. Because the NDP Government in Saskatchewan did something, it
does not mean that the Liberal Government in Nova Scotia has to follow suit or that the NDP in Nova Scotia
has to support that. We are a Party that represents people in Nova Scotia. This government represents Nova
Scotians, not people in Saskatchewan, not people in British Columbia.



There is no question that some of that material, that some of those issues need to be brought to bear,
perhaps need to be injected into the debate here in Nova Scotia. As I suggest, and I believe this information
came out during Phase I of the public inquiry, that the geography and that the geological composition, or
whatever it is you call it, of Nova Scotia is unique; it is not like Saskatchewan and, therefore the same criteria
that was used to establish mining in Saskatchewan cannot be just taken and applied holus-bolus to Nova
Scotia.



I think you know the point is fairly clear. I am getting a real strong sense from the minister, Mr.
Speaker, that he is leaning towards, and my understanding is the inter-departmental committee has made a
recommendation that the uranium moratorium be lifted and I am getting the sense that this minister is
agreeing with that. He is reflecting the exact arguments of the Chamber of Mineral Resources of Nova Scotia,
who are lobbying his department on the same basis and on those same arguments.



I am concerned about that, Mr. Speaker, as are many Nova Scotians, because if this important
decision is going to be changed in any way, shape or form, even, for that matter, before the decision would
be made to extend the moratorium, there should be the reinstitution of that public inquiry, in order that we
can resolve the matter one way or another, at least for a period of a few years.



I think the people of Nova Scotia deserve that. It is not just the people who are here in the gallery
or the people who have written letters or who have called the minister’s office who deserve that kind of
respect. I think all Nova Scotians need to have a matter that is so important to their welfare, to the viability
of the Province of Nova Scotia, not just economically, not just environmentally, but on the basis of health
concerns, that that matter should be presented to us.



It is not good enough for the Minister of Natural Resources to say that your concerns don’t have any
validity, Mr. Speaker. That is not good enough.



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, Oh!



MR. CHISHOLM: For him to say that there is evidence otherwise, there is evidence to suggest that
that is not a problem, well there is as much evidence, Mr. Speaker, to suggest that there are problems with
uranium mining. There are serious health effects from uranium and we need to deal with that. We can’t sweep
those concerns under the table. I think that this minister and this government have an obligation to the people
of Nova Scotia to deal with this matter in an up-front, open and responsible manner. Reinstitute the public
inquiry, continue the moratorium and let’s deal with this matter head-on, not through cute little letters and
representations to the minister by the Chamber of Mineral Resources, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Motions Other
Than Government Motions.



MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 3.



Res. No. 3, re Educ. - Reform: White Paper - Deadline Extend - notice given Mar. 31/95 - (Mr. T.
Donahoe)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to make brief
remarks today relative to Resolution No. 3, which I introduced some time ago here in this House. The
resolution essentially is that the Minister of Education make a commitment to all Nova Scotians that he will
extend his deadline, and at the time I introduced the resolution I referred to an April 5th deadline, for
submissions and to take time to ensure that the numerous concerns expressed to him will be reflected in a
revised policy paper on the restructuring of our province’s education system.



We know, Mr. Speaker, as I know you do, that the minister has publicly on April 5th refused to offer
that extension. However, our caucus felt that before this government does go ahead with anything more on
the White Paper, beyond the power grab contained in Bill No. 5 which we have been debating here in this
place, that the people of Nova Scotia, as we see it and as we are being told by them, really deserve many more
answers and assurances that this government is not proceeding with undue haste to Cabinet on what they and
what we, as a caucus, believe to be a very vague document which purports to outline the restructuring of our
province’s education system.



The Minister of Education mentioned on April 5th that he would be “. . . getting input to give three
recommendations to Cabinet for the end of this month.”. I believe in fact he would be taking something like
27 days, for whatever reason that happened to be the magic figure.



He did give what could be construed, I think, as a commitment to further consultation when he said,
“. . . those things that can be done but will take some time,”. I trust that is a reference and an indication that
the minister will, in fact, not simply take more time by sitting in his own office and musing about things that
might, in his view, take more time, but in regard to those which he legitimately and honestly considers, and
I believe there are a number of them, should take more time, that he will engage in a public dialogue in regard
to those. I am afraid, I am disappointed frankly, that the minister seems by reason or by virtue of having
introduced the legislation relative to the amalgamation of school boards, that he did not conclude that the
amalgamation of school boards was one of those things which might take a little bit more time. Even in the
last 24 hours since people have come to understand that that bill has been subjected to some debate, a great
many people have contacted our office expressing concern about that.



The problem, there are many, but a problem for sure with the White Paper is that there are many
questions that even in the wake of eight public meetings have been left rather cloudy in the minds of boards,
home and school associations, hundreds and thousand of parents, in the minds of the teachers, the PTAs and
many others interested in our education system. When this issue was last debated in this House, the minister
didn’t even bother to respond at that time. He had the private member for Argyle respond, and eloquently en
français, I might say, but I was struck by that. I hope the minister will in fact - today he is present - take the
opportunity to address some of the issues raised here in the debate today.



You know, Mr. Speaker, I was quite amused to hear two Liberal members stand up here today in this
House and introduce resolutions that purported to criticize the Leader of the Third Party for asking questions
on the White Paper in this House because he was from Halifax County. That board had responded, in part
only, mind you, positively to parts of the White Paper. But what those members failed to indicate in their
resolutions and as I am sure the member of the New Democratic Party knows well and may have an
opportunity to comment on, at the same time that very report from the Halifax District School Board was very
critical of some of the shortcomings of the White Paper. So we had a little bit of jiggery-pokery, maybe, with
some of those resolutions.



What those members I think failed to grasp in the media was the response which came from cities
and towns across the province, in other places. For example, there are headlines which read, in metro,
“Merging School Boards No Help to Already Stressed System”; in the Valley, “Minister Fails to Sway White
Paper Skeptics”; in the northern region of our province, “Cumberland Board Criticizes Education Reform
Proposals”; in Shelburne, “Thumbs Down on White Paper”; in Queens County, “Public Must Contest White
Paper”; in Yarmouth, “Bigger Board Not Better - School Officials”.



I have to say on review that the overall public and school board response seemed to have been, I was
going to say fairly negative, seemed to be rather negative, frankly, based both on media reports, telephone
calls, submissions and from what I saw myself at the public meeting in Halifax where over 1,000 people
showed up to convey for the most part their displeasure with this report and they gave it to the minister with
both barrels. I noticed with interest that the Nova Scotia School Boards Association responded to the report
with the comment that it continues to have concerns regarding the course of education restructuring in Nova
Scotia. I think if any of the backbenchers - oh, perhaps that is an inappropriate word - perhaps if any members
in this place who happen not to be members of the Treasury benches might want to cause mischief in this
House through resolutions, they might first reflect seriously on that statement.



In fact, the school board came up with many comments on the White Paper. Should school councils
be determined as an appropriate model to follow? The school council should be an advisory one only and we
need a commitment on that. Many thousands of Nova Scotians who have read the paper, have reviewed those
school council proposals, are very firmly of that view. School councils should not be mandatory as many
schools may determine that the local home and school association, the Parent-Teacher Association or the
existing trustee association may well be the appropriate vehicle for parent-community involvement in their
area. Recommendations have been made and proposals have been made that school boards should remain fully
elected and school board members should be paid an equitable stipend. We don’t have detail in that regard.
As the employer of superintendents, Mr. Speaker, the school board should have complete authority for their
hiring, evaluation and dismissal.



[5:00 p.m.]



The minister has mentioned, and I have shared dialogue with him relative to the issue having to do
with Acadian francophone governance, and the association urges upon the government to ensure that the
provincial direction be provided to aid in the implementation of a single board and that an implementation
team be struck which would utilize strategic planning to determine the implementation process. I, frankly,
am very much concerned that to my knowledge, to this date, there has not been such an implementation
organization put in place, at least not one which has produced any materials which have come to my attention.
I would hope and I frankly urge the minister that he not go to the Cabinet meeting with the authority that he
will have, if Bill No. 5 passes, to institute or constitute an Acadian/ francophone governance school board
unless we see some detail of previous strategic planning. To date, I don’t think you have seen that, Mr.
Speaker, nor have I.



I hope that these are some of the issues which the minister will take into serious consideration in the
few days that he has left, by his own self-imposed deadline, before he takes some of these matters and his own
decisions to the Cabinet table.



There are still questions, Mr. Speaker, as I know you know, regarding the minister’s comments about
cost-saving which are supposed to result from these amalgamations. A conservative, and he has even used the
word conservative estimate of $6 million. The Nova Scotia School Boards Association, however, sticks by its
assertion that the figures used to support that $6 million figure, are based on 1993-94 statistics and that the
$6 million number is simply not a valid number at this point.



It is, Mr. Speaker, the amalgamation evaluation committee’s belief, and that was a committee set up
shortly after the release of the paper, that, and I quote, the ratios of students to administrative positions
proposed by the White Paper will have been met if not exceeded by the proposed boards as described in either
option 1 or option 2 before school board amalgamation plans have even been finalized.



I know that the minister has explained his figures but, frankly, to me and to many others, they don’t
seem to add up with those who are responsible as the minister has reminded us, for the financing of our
schools.



In the resolution being debated here this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, I also raised the question brought
up by a parent who attended a public meeting and that is, why does the minister insist on railroading another
pilot program down our throats before it has been properly tested and adequately funded? The first pilot
project that comes to mind are the minister’s site-based management projects. He had the same tactics,
legislation-wise, in the spring session a year ago, where he was determined, through Bill No. 104, to legislate
for himself all-encompassing powers to initiate site-based management projects anywhere at all. He has now
decided to proceed with more of these projects under the premises or under the rubric or guise of the White
Paper even before the purported pilot projects have been evaluated. To me, it makes absolutely no sense
whatsoever to do that.



I note with interest too that the minister who purports to suggest to many who are prepared to listen
to him and take him seriously, that site-based managed schools are the panacea and the way of the future. I
note that at no point has the minister ever said that he is prepared, if he moves in that direction, or if this
government moves in that direction, that he is prepared to make the same kind of commitment to any and all
new site-based managed schools that he has made to those in the pilot project. As you are undoubtedly aware,
Mr. Speaker, and I certainly am, the fact of the matter is, is that this minister has made a significant amount
of additional money available to each and every one of those schools. My recollection is that it is $10,000 per
school.



AN HON. MEMBER: $20,000.



MR. DONAHOE: It is $20,000. Well, that makes my math even more interesting because there were
in my day and I know my time in the Ministry of Education is now some time ago but in those days we were
dealing with something like 700-plus schools in this province. Let’s make the assumption even for the sake
of easy math that we are now down to 600 which I don’t believe, I think we are well in excess, but for easy
math we are dealing with 600 schools. This minister, if he has his way I am afraid, will try to force site-based
management processes on those schools, 600 schools times $20,000 per school, if my math is any good, is
$1.2 million. I ask the minister where is that $1.2 million going to come from at a time when he and all of
the ministries are under an expenditure restraint program?



It is simply not reasonable, not sensible to say, we have done these pilot projects and now we are
going to move further without doing one of two things, without having a report that shows all of us in the
province the success or failure of the pilots; and secondly, if, in fact, the minister is satisfied that they show
success, that the minister is prepared to make the same arrangements, financial included, with all of those
other schools which he would move to a site-based managed environment and administrative structure.



The Minister of Education almost leaves the impression, as I watched him in public meetings and
I read his materials and so on, he almost makes it sound as if there are thousands of parents out there
screaming, wanting to be in the schools every day, running the schools. The unfortunate reality and I really
underscore the word unfortunate, the unfortunate reality, is that is not the case at all. If you talk to people who
know something about the public school system, not the Minister of Education but talk to people who know
something about what is going on in the schools, the principals, the teachers and some interested parents, you
will find that it is like pulling hens’ teeth to find people in the community, parents included, who are prepared
to come to be a part of the school administration and governance, any element of the school administration
and governance.



I am very concerned that the site-based managed process is potentially very flawed and I now see that
you are signalling me that my time is up and typical of me I have so many other issues relative to this White
Paper that I wanted to address. My time requires me to stop there. I will close by simply reiterating the
substance of the resolution which I introduced, I plead with this minister to get off the fast track, to please
extend for at least some couple of months an opportunity to thousands of Nova Scotians who wish to speak
with him and with others about the impact, some of which they think has the potential to be very negative,
of the provisions set out in the White Paper on Education. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: Just for the information of the members, I know the paper has been circulated but
the previous discussion on Bill No. 1 ended one minute early. That is why it is 5:08 as opposed to 5:09.



The honourable member for Argyle.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, I know I might get criticized by the Leader of the
Opposition in light of his remarks earlier that the other day I stood to respond to one late debate resolution
or actually it might be the minister that will get criticized for this but I have no difficulty whatsoever speaking
on this topic and on the topic of the White Paper.



The minister has made his views known many times and he can speak in light of this many times
in the House so I would just like to take a few minutes and no, I will not use the entire time, the member for
Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury will assist me for the second half of this debate.



I am pleased to debate this resolution. There are a couple of difficulties I have in looking at the
resolution initially. The people of Nova Scotia have spoken out loudly, I cannot really criticize that, however,
the first part of the resolution where it says there is faulty plan, I don’t know what that is founded upon; also
the second part of the resolution where we are railroading or the minister is railroading yet another pilot
program, I am not quite sure that this makes reference to, Mr. Speaker.



Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, the focus of this motion is to extend the deadline for submissions and to
take the time to ensure that the numerous concerns from the people of Nova Scotia have been heard and taken
into consideration.



Mr. Speaker, as you know, I have paid particular attention to the minister’s schedule of the
consultations on the White Paper and have actively participated in some of these meetings. The Minister of
Education is to be applauded and commended for the enthusiasm and energy he has put into the White Paper
and, over the last two years, into the restructuring of the education system. He has met with school boards,
unions, individual teachers, principals, support workers, parents, students and any other interested
individuals.



Mr. Speaker, the task facing the Department of Education, and hence the minister, in regard to the
provincial public education system is clearly outlined in the White Paper. I believe on Pages 14 to 17 the
challenges that we face are: (i) the financial challenges, which the member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury
will address later; (ii) school board services and (iii) francophone governance. Some of these issues have to
be addressed as soon as possible.



So if I may, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss the importance of moving as quickly as
possible on the issue of francophone governance, of which I have first-hand experience of course from the
riding I represent.



Mr. Speaker, if I may, this is by no means a faulty plan for restructuring the education system, nor
is it a pilot program, as is mentioned in the resolution. The department, along with the Acadians and
francophones of this province will move very carefully on this issue, to ensure that the Acadian and
francophone communities realize their fundamental minority linguistic rights guaranteed under the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms.



No movement or an ad hoc approach to this matter has a very realistic possibility of a court
challenge. The proposal of the provincial Acadian school board seems to have been well received in the
Acadian and francophone communities. I would like - and this board, yes, will be charged to manage and
operate all the Acadian and francophone schools in this province. That translates to approximately 5,000
students and I believe something like 17 schools.



By the way, Mr. Speaker, for the information of all members of the House and citizens of Nova
Scotia, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees French-speaking Canadians equal access to services
in their own language, where numbers warrant. Nova Scotia, as you know, has a sufficient Acadian and
francophone population to necessitate that the school board structure be realized to appropriately fulfil the
province’s constitutional commitment.



Mr. Speaker, there is a need to act immediately, not as the resolution states, in restructuring this part
of the educational system. I am very pleased with the approach being suggested by the minister to establish
an implementation committee to begin working towards a structure that would satisfy the constitutional
requirements.



Mr. Speaker, this is probably the first time whereby the Acadians of this province will have a direct
voice into the education of their children. With the establishment of a transitional implementation committee,
as was announced by the Premier some weeks ago, I am confident that this will ensure that the entitled parents
will play an active role in restructuring the education system for their children. Further, to the eventual
establishment of one Acadian school board for the province to oversee the French education, there appears
to be a consensus with the proposal of school councils, to ensure that the rights and needs of the eight Acadian
francophone regions across the province are met.



Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Education has made it very clear that the francophone school
governance must be defined by those who will inherit the system, so to the Acadian communities this is very
good news.



In closing and in sharing, like I said, the second half of this time with my colleague, I would simply
like once again to applaud the Minister of Education for devoting so much time and interest to this particular
matter of francophone governance. I feel and the communities feel that the minister has a very good feel and
a very good understanding of the needs and the demands of the Acadian communities. Thank you, Mr.
Speaker.



[5:15 p.m.]



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



MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, in the presentation made by the Leader of the Opposition
he quoted from the Nova Scotia School Board Association release. I would like to paraphrase part of that
report. It mentions that the Nova Scotia School Board Associations carried on extensive consultation and in
order to carry on extensive consultation with all the members and all the boards, that requires time.



Their report, Mr. Speaker, says that the association was pleased that many of the concerns of the
educational partners in response to last summer’s discussion paper on education restructuring were reflected
in a White Paper. I think that is worthy of note.



Mr. Speaker, when one looks at the White Paper and asks how it applies to boards that are in their
area, there are two things that I have to think about. First of all, the honourable member for Pictou Centre said
it is important to bring forward what our constituents tell us, and in the short period of time I hope to reflect
what I have received not only from school board members, from teachers, and from administrations about
their feelings on the recommendations as it affects not only Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, but the boards
in the Strait area.



The member for Kings North during Question Period mentioned that this White Paper had been
available for several months and he raised, during Question Period, some concerns of his constituents. That,
again, indicates that this is not happening overnight; there has been time for consultation.



In the White Paper it acknowledges that the public of Nova Scotia realize that there is time for
change and change must happen to the education system. The boards in our area realize that this change, the
recommendation in Option 2, will result in increased organizational efficiency. It will empower teachers and
communities to improve the schools and it will change the character and missions of schools to more truly
reflect the communities that they find themselves situated in. To do nothing, to delay this for several months,
Mr. Speaker, would cause a crisis that I do not think any members would want to see happen to some of the
small rural boards such as Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



In the past the Guysborough District School Board has reduced its administration and has redirected
that money into the classroom. They have done many innovative things, Mr. Speaker, but they alone will be
not enough to address the problem facing many of the rural boards, and that is declining enrolment. Declining
enrolment means that the funding that is available to these rural boards is reduced. To do nothing would have
serious consequences not only for the Guysborough District School Board but in speaking to representatives
of the Inverness School Board to the long-term implications on the delivery of programs, they believe by the
amalgamation of the four boards in the Strait area that they will be able to streamline operations; they will
be able to combine services and maintain service to their students.



Some of the things that were mentioned earlier, Mr. Speaker. Even if the minister’s prediction of
a saving of $6 million is not quite accurate, any dollars that can be redirected into the classroom is the most
important thing. We have in our area, qualified teachers who want to teach and who want to be able to provide
the best education and they have said in the past, where we can cut administration and benefit the classroom
and the students, we should take a look at that. This is what those four boards have done. They have looked
at the White Paper. They have looked at the recommendations and they have considered those
recommendations.



Parent involvement; the Leader of the Opposition mentioned that in some areas it is a problem, but
in rural areas throughout Nova Scotia and in areas that I represent, the communities, either through school
boards, PTA, trustees and, in some areas, school councils have shown that they are keenly interested in what
is happening to the education of their children and they want to be involved. If by the creation of this district
school board, through school councils, we facilitate their involvement, then this will be a positive aspect.



So, the idea of parents throughout Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, the ones in the Strait area, being
involved in the schools is not new. They have taken great pride in being involved in their schools through
school boards and other areas. It mentions in the White Paper, that we must streamline administration and
that is recognized that any time we can save money and redirect that back into the classroom, we have to
explore those options and the White Paper does address that issue. The White Paper also mentions that we
have to consider the geographic enrolment problems and throughout Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, for
example, we have to find ways to protect the small rural schools. If by combining these boards, that provides
the option, we should.



What I have been told by my constituents, by the school boards that make up part of my constituency
and by others, is that we have to get on with it. We cannot let the status quo exist, because the implications
to the school boards in our areas are serious. The four school boards met, they discussed the White Paper and
I would like to quote directly from a letter which they directed to the minister, dated April 18th, which I will
table. The letter has been signed by all four Chairs of the Antigonish, Guysborough, Richmond and Inverness
school boards. They say the four boards in the Strait Area, designated in Option No. 2 of the Education
Horizons - The White Paper on Restructuring the Education System, met on April 18th.



Discussions took place on the issue identified in the attached agenda. The overall conclusion of the
boards supported the Cape Breton-Strait board as proposed in Option No. 2. A plan of action has been
discussed, including appointment of a steering committee.  Each of these boards has expressed a willingness
to cooperate with the amalgamation in their original submissions to you and a position of each board is
reaffirmed today. My people are saying, we want this amalgamation, we believe it will help our areas and not
only to confirm that, it is interesting that in a Nova Scotia school board release today, in both options
presented, they recognize the construction of a Strait board. Not only does an independent body say this is a
feasible and a good idea, the school boards in the area support it and if this ensures that quality education will
be provided to the students, then I don’t think we should delay, we must move forward. Thank you very much,
Mr. Speaker.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: I, too, welcome the opportunity to rise to speak on the resolution that is before
us this afternoon. Even though I might have been the focus of some attention during some of the resolutions
that were introduced at the start, I am going to ignore the resolutions and the temptation to spend my time
commenting more thoroughly on those. I think that anybody who checks the records will, of course, know that
what was basically contained in the resolutions by the members who introduced them today, was, if I may be
polite about it, hogwash.



What we have before us, is what I think, quite honestly is a very reasonable and reasoned suggestion.
What the resolution that was called by the Leader of the Opposition Party today is suggesting, that the
Minister of Education make a commitment to Nova Scotians, that he will extend his April 5th deadline for
submissions and take time to ensure that the numerous concerns expressed to him, will be reflected in a
revised White Paper on the restructuring of the province’s education system.



Certainly, Mr. Speaker, April 5th has come and gone and quite clearly, also, the Minister of
Education, made it abundantly clear that he was unwilling and unprepared to listen to any suggestions that,
in fact, the deadline be extended.



Now, Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure, and it was a pleasure, it was very enjoyable, the minister in
response was suggesting that I was lurking around in the back the other day when I attended these public
meetings, in fear that somebody might have asked me questions when I went to the public forums around the
province. Well, let me tell you and tell you quite honestly, I would have welcomed the opportunity had the
minister wished to invite me to the stage. I can assure you I was listening very carefully and I took many notes
on what the people across the province were telling the Minister of Education and they weren’t very kind.



They weren’t very kind in the minister’s own backyard in Sydney Mines where hundreds of people
walked out, where they accused the minister of not listening, where they accused the minister and this
government of doing phoney consultations. From one end of the province to the other people were saying, yes
indeed, they recognize there is a need for education reform and yes indeed, they were prepared to roll up their
sleeves, to get down to work and try to come up with suggestions and ways that the education system for the
Province of Nova Scotia and more importantly, for our children can be improved but they were extremely
cynical, by and large, as to whether or not this government was actually listening.



At his press conference when he released his White Paper, the minister said, from his speaking notes,
students are my first priority, this is our plan to fix the system so the needs of students are put back on the
front burner. These are not my words, but if you take a look at the Cumberland District School Board, their
presentation made in response to the minister said, the White Paper begins by indicating that the proposed
restructuring has one objective, to offer young Nova Scotians every opportunity for the highest quality
education, yet the compelling factors do not even mention students, except Acadian and francophone students,
or quality of education, do not even mention them yet, of course, we are told that the government’s objective
is to improve the quality of education.



The Minister of Eduction in the same statement said, as a former basketball coach I know firsthand
how it motivates young people to have their parents and the community cheering them on. That is wonderful,
I am glad he knows how to be a good basketball coach. From one end of this province to the other I heard
speaker after speaker, whether they were school board chairpersons or members of the school boards, whether
they were parents, whether they were teachers or whether they were from home and school associations saying
that they wanted to work to try to increase the parental involvement in the school system. In fact, many school
boards have strategic planning strategies in place right now that are aimed at doing just that. Many boards
are setting up within their schools advisory councils at the present time.



What this government is trying to do, as the Cumberland board said, has nothing to do - that is not
their primary interest - really with trying to improve the quality of education. The primary focus of this
government is trying to find a way to cover themselves and to reduce the damage that is being done because
of the dollars that they are cutting out of the education system. The minister and the government say we have
to get by with less, we have to have less administration, regardless of the consequences.



Well, let’s take a look at it. We can do with less. The minister can stand up and say that he has moved
people and people have gone from one area into his office and so the costs are reflected in his own particular
budget line item, but the reality is, in the offices of the minister and the deputy minister the actual costs are
shown to have gone up by over 14 per cent over the amount that was estimated for last year. At the same time
school boards across this province are being told to operate with less and to cut down on the amount of
administration because we don’t need that many people in there to be providing the programs and services.
They are being told that there are millions and millions of dollars to be saved, yet the figures that they are
using are already two years old.



Already, because of budget cuts, and all you have to do is look at this year’s budget, and you will see
that it is about $26 million more is being taken out of the education system, monies to the school board
coming out, you will see and if you listen and talk to this board, that board and the other board, how they have
been making those serious cuts at the senior administrative level. Mr. Speaker, those cuts have been made so
that so-called money that the Minister of Education and his colleagues are saying is going to be saved to plow
back into the education system and into the classroom; much of that has already been hacked off.



[5:30 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, even if it was all there, even if $11 million did come tumbling out of the hat, that is still
less than half of what is being taken out this year in the way of funding cuts to the school boards across the
province. The Education Minister, the Honourable John MacEachern, should slow down and smell the coffee
before reforming the education system,  the province’s home and school president says. He is going too fast
and doing too many things at once. That is the same sentiment that is expressed in presentations that have
been made to the Minister of Education, not only by the home and school association president, and, I might
add, that other home and school associations across the province at meetings where I was in attendance, home
and school representatives spoke against the minister’s White Paper.



Let’s face it. The White Paper, itself, the platitudes, it is like apple pie and motherhood. Sure you
agree with the general statements and sentiments that are expressed in it but where are there any specifics?
Where are there any details? Where is there any substance? Where is, as the saying goes, the beef?
(Interruptions)



Some suggest over there, we have some cliches. Mr. Speaker, another presentation of the minister
has read all of his own that have been sent to him. I also fear that the school board is becoming larger, hard-won programs and facilities will be lost in the shuffle to bring equality. Will equality simply mean that those
who have will lose until everyone is at the same level? That actually is a sentiment that was expressed in many
areas and it is a major concern that many people have as to what this government’s view is, bring everybody
down to the same level so that we have equality.



We hear that the government is committed and wants to have meaningful consultation, that they are
interested in hearing what people have to say, Mr. Speaker. That is what the minister will tell us. Yet, what
do we have? We had seven weeks, up until the April 5th deadline for people in the Province of Nova Scotia
to somehow hear of the minister’s press release, to hear that there was a White Paper, to then obtain that
White Paper, to analyze that White Paper and then come together somehow to develop options in return, to
present those views to the government.



Now, Mr. Speaker, some bodies have a better opportunity to do that than others. School boards have
staff, they have people who are trying to be on top of things and get copies of it and were able to do a quick
analysis of that and make some presentations. But many of them also only came in at the deadline as the
minister certainly will know. The union has that opportunity, but do parents, do home and school
associations? As one presenter at one of the minister’s public meetings, by the way, there were eight of them,
eight public forums, excuse me, nine, eight that were advertised and publicized. The minister did have a
meeting down in Clare-Argyle with the francophone community on the day after he met with the Yarmouth
one, but he didn’t put that on his schedule of formal public meetings so I guess that one can’t have been a
formal public meeting because it wasn’t publicized along with all of the others.



Mr. Speaker, as people said, in Cape Breton, and one of the very first speakers in Cape Breton
chastised the minister for holding but one public meeting for the entire Cape Breton area. So supposedly those
- and the government wanted to consult - and they were going to all be able to come to Sydney Mines from
all over the island. There and at subsequent meetings, ones before and after, what you saw commonly was that
as people were coming in, the minister’s staff were passing out the White Paper because they did not have an
opportunity to see it before.



We are talking about something extremely fundamental. Education is not and should not be looked
upon simply as an expenditure. Education is an investment, probably the most important investment we can
make. Education is an investment not only in individuals, it is an investment, you might say, in economic
development 10 years down the road, as well as human resource development, to say nothing of personal
development. Surely to Heaven, this government and members of the government benches are not prepared
just simply to move in to destroy a structure, destroy a system, unless you are prepared to put on the table and
put out for public scrutiny and analysis, an alternative that people can comment on.



Seven weeks is what was given. Now the minister will pretend and he will say, oh no, consultations
have been going on for over a year, about 14 months. Yet, those who attended it, as the Chair of the Yarmouth
District School Board herself said and the minister will be aware, the only thing the people who attended those
consultations, at least those that she spoke with remembered, were not what questions were asked, not what
answers were given, they remembered that nobody there working on behalf of the minister bothered to pick
up a pen or a pencil to make any notes. They do not believe that genuine consultation took place and surely,
if the government is truly committed to making sure that Nova Scotians have an active involvement in the
education system and designing what is best, they will provide a reasonable period of time.



I am sure we will have more to say on this later and I know that you are indicating that my time has
expired so I will come back to this topic on a future day.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 13.



H.O. No. 13, re Transport. - Fleur-de-lis Trail: ERA Requests - Correspondence - notice given April
20/95 - (Mr. R. Russell)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Hants West, I so move.

 

 

[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly look for that and see what is there. The
previous administrations, federal and provincial, both Conservative, had signed an economic development
agreement, I believe, between the provincial Department of Tourism and the federal Department of ACOA
in 1993. That was cancelled by the federal government subsequently because of a lack of funds. I would think
that the previous administration would not have entered into that economic development agreement without
have some letters of support, so I will in fact look and see if they are there.



MR. SPEAKER: The minister will supply what he has. Is that acceptable?



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 14.



H.O. 14, re Educ. - Canso Commun. College: Study - Proposals List - notice given April 24/95 - (Mr.
T. Donahoe)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: On behalf of the honourable member for Halifax Citadel, I so move.



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: No problem, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The minister agrees to the House Order. Would all those in favour of the motion
please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The House Order is carried in the affirmative.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 16. On behalf of the Leader
of the Opposition, I so move.



H.O. No. 16, re Justice - Dartmouth Prov. Court: Criminal Cases - Alternative Processes - notice
given April 24/95 - (Mr. T. Donahoe)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. There is no difficulty whatsoever with
paragraph (1) of this House Order but I am not sure what is referred to as a detailed breakdown of individuals.
Certainly the Minister of Justice would not be able to give out information on individuals, I think the
honourable member would recognize that. But if he was willing to amend the House Order, to request a
detailed breakdown of the charges that are facing individuals and who chose an alternative process and
sentencing then certainly we would be willing to comply with that, if it is amended that way.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Yes, I would be pleased, Mr. Speaker, to have a response that provides
the kind of information to which the Government House Leader refers. Obviously if there are constraints in
naming individuals and so on, I respect that and understand it, but we would be pleased to receive the
maximum amount of information that the minister believes is available, in the context of that House Order.



MR. SPEAKER: Does the House agree to the amendment? Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



On the House Order as amended, ready for the question?



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



The House Order is carried as amended.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 17, and I so move in the
absence of the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



H.O. No. 17, re Nat. Res. - Layoffs - notice given April 24/95 - (Mr. B. Taylor)



MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved. Would the Clerk please read the House Order.



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader. Did you want to put this matter aside?



HON. RICHARD MANN: Well I, maybe just put it aside for a few minutes. The Minister of Natural
Resources was around. I have not spoken to him about this so, in his absence, perhaps we could stand it.



MR. SPEAKER: Does the honourable Acting Opposition House Leader agree to have the matter
stand for a few minutes?



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Yes, we would agree with that. In fact the minister was at a meeting in the Red
Room and I do know that he is around. Perhaps we can do it before the end of the afternoon. So we agree to
standing that one.



Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 18. In the absence of the member for
Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, I so move.



H.O. No. 18, re Transport.: Motor Vehicles Operation - Employees Regulations - notice given April
24/95 - (Mr. B. Taylor)



MR. SPEAKER: House Order No. 18 has been moved. Would the Clerk please read the House Order.



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



[5:45 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what that House Order means. The policy, I
believe, for government-owned vehicles is consistent throughout the government and applies to employees
of all departments. There are guidelines and standing orders in the manuals for that. I would suspect they
would probably have a copy at their office, but unless I am missing something I will get a copy of the
government guidelines which apply to the Department of Transportation as well, unless he is referring to
trucks or something, but I do not know. However, I will interpret it my way I guess and provide what I can.



MR. SPEAKER: The minister agrees to provide what he can, particularly, the regulations as to all
government vehicles.



Is the House ready for the question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary
minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 19, and I so move.



H.O. No. 19, re Sport: Canada Winter Games (Grand Prairie) - Youth Study/Expenses (Yarmouth
MLA) - notice given April 24/95 - (Mr. B. Taylor)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.



HON. JAY ABBASS: We will happily provide that, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The minister is prepared to provide the information.



Is the House ready for the question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary
minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 23, and I so move.



H.O. No. 23, re ERA: Eco-tourism Conference (16-20/01/95) - Costs - notice given April 24/95 -
(Mr. D. McInnes)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, again the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency is
away. I would think this has probably even been tabled since he is gone, and I do not know that he has even
had a chance to see it. I would ask that this be stood and perhaps in the interest of advising the members
opposite we would also be standing House Order No. 24 if they want to call that.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed the matter be stood?



It is agreed.



House Order No. 23 stands.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 25.



H.O. No. 25, re Housing: Home Construction - Sales Tax Rebate - notice given April 24/95 - (Mr.
D. McInnes)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: I so move, Mr. Speaker.



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



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



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, this rebate was accessed through the Department of
Finance. I think it may more appropriately be directed to the Minister of Finance. If it is something I can
provide, I certainly will, but if it is something that should be through the Department of Finance perhaps that
could be directed in that direction.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Housing said, as we were reading the
House Order I really felt maybe it should have gone to Finance. However, if the minister could provide
whatever she can and if she can’t, if she would advise me I could put another one in, if that is fair.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that the minister will provide whatever she can?



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 26.



H.O. No. 26, re Housing/ERA - Winter Works Prog.: Jobs - Breakdown - notice given April 24/95 -
(Mr. D. McInnes)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: I so move, Mr. Speaker.

 

 

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



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Yes, it is agreed.



MR. SPEAKER: The House Order has been agreed to. Are we ready for the question? Would all
those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

 

 

The motion is carried.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, now that we have the Minister of Natural of Resources back in the
Chamber, I would ask that we go back to House Order No. 17.



H.O. No. 17, re Nat. Res. - Layoffs - notice given April 24/95 - (Mr. B. Taylor)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I will endeavour to get as much of the information as I
possibly can and the detailed cost breakdowns of $2.6 million in savings will be achieved during the fiscal
year and how a $4.9 million will be saved upon the implementation of the department’s reorganization. I
believe we can comply with most of this. If there is some of it that, due to staff time, is a problem I will have
to check with them, but in principle I agree with it.



MR. SPEAKER: With that qualification, is the House Order agreed?



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



The House Order is carried.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 20 and in the name of the
member for Colchester-Musquodobit Valley I so move.



H.O. No. 20, re Transport.: Seniors - Motor Vehicle Accidents (10/01/94-15/04/95) - notice given
April 24/95 - (Mr. B. Taylor)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications.



HON. RICHARD MANN: I will provide what information I can. There may be information that is
not in the Department of Transportation. If it is not there, I would not intend to be seeking it out from
individual insurance companies, but I will provide what I have.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications agrees to that
extent. Is that acceptable? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 21 and in the name of the
member for Colchester-Musquodobit Valley, I so move.



H.O. No. 21, re Transport.: Drivers Surveys (Steer Davies Gleave) - Table - notice given April 24/95
- (Mr. B. Taylor)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, again, I have looked at this House Order and I am not going
to agree to return that information in the interests, again the public interest, in negotiating a deal with the
private partner who comes forward. That information will be released, but at an appropriate time and I do not
feel the time is appropriate yet, so I will not be agreeing to return House Order No. 21 nor in fact, House
Order No. 22, if we get that far.



MR. SPEAKER: The minister does not agree to House Order No. 21.



The question is on the motion whether the House Order will carry.



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



The motion is carried in the negative.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Would you please call House Order No. 22 and in the name of the member for
Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, I so move.



H.O. No. 22, re Transport. - Highway No. 104 Alignment: Model (Arthur Andersen & Co.) - Table -
notice given April 24/95 - (Mr. B. Taylor)



MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved.



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I guess as most members of the House know, Arthur
Andersen Consultants Incorporated is a private consulting firm whose services were retained by the
Department of Transportation to assist in looking at the feasibility and the viability of entering into a
public/private partnership, to investigate the possibility of private sector involvement with public sector
involvement in the construction of Highway No. 104, western alignment.



The company went out and did a very extensive job in researching quite a number of factors and
issues involved in that process. They have advised us and worked with us and with a committee, if you will,
that has been composed of senior officials in the Department of Transportation and Communications, the
Department of Justice, the Department of Finance. They have worked with other private sector consulting
firms who had areas of expertise in other matters, to put together a model for the Department of
Transportation and for that committee, for the government in fact, to indicate whether or not it was possible
to move in this direction.



Mr. Speaker, what we intend to do is go for a call for proposals to the private sector, to three
consortia that have been identified and short-listed, if you will, through the process that has been set out. In
the interests of serving the public and attempting to arrive at the best deal within the parameters of the policies
established by the government, we have a working model, if you will, from Arthur Andersen. We will
entertain the proposals from the private sector. If, in fact, Arthur Andersen has identified other methods that
the private sector we will be involved with do not identify, it will provide us with an opportunity to go and
negotiate a deal on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia. So, Mr. Speaker, I suppose that is one of the reasons
why there is no interest in releasing it at this time.



Mr. Speaker, in light of the time and the lateness of the hour, I am going to move that we adjourn
the debate.



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a motion to adjourn debate on the House Order.



Is it agreed?



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. That concludes Opposition Members’
Business for today.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will be sitting from the hour of 12:00 noon
until 8:00 p.m. Following Question Period in the Chamber, we will be doing the estimates of the Minister of
Health. The Law Amendments Committee also intends to sit in the Red Room. Following the estimates of the
Minister of Health, we will be moving on to Public Bills for Second Reading. We will be starting with Bill
No. 5; we will resume the adjourned debate on Bill No. 5, after Health estimates or after the expiration of the
four hours we are allotted in the Chamber. We will spend four hours on estimates and then move on to public
bills. We may get beyond Health estimates. We will go to Bill No. 5 after that.



I move that we adjourn until 12:00 noon tomorrow.



[6:00 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: It is moved that we adjourn until 12:00 noon tomorrow. Will all those in favour of
the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



We have reached the moment of interruption. The resolution put forward by the member for
Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury reads:



Therefore be it resolved that since this is Education Week, the House recognize the critical
importance of lifelong learning, as supported through the Nova Scotia Community Learning Initiative.



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



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



EDUC. - LEARNING: LIFELONG - IMPORTANCE



MR. RAYMOND WHITE: On Friday of last week we took an opportunity to recognize volunteers
from throughout Nova Scotia. The intent of this resolution is to review the work of the Community Learning
Initiative but also to recognize that throughout Nova Scotia there are hundreds if not thousands of volunteers
who help in the delivery of literacy. The resolution also draws the intent that literacy and learning is a lifelong
experience. In my comments tonight, Mr. Speaker, I want to highlight some of those people involved in the
literacy program throughout Nova Scotia, the progress that the community literacy initiative has made to date
and also to look at some of the other players in literacy in Nova Scotia.



As I indicated, the intention of this resolution during Education Week is to pay tribute to those who
contribute to the literacy program. I want to mention some of the key leaders in literacy in Nova Scotia and
hopefully I will not miss any of the key players. One of the key groups is Laubach Literacy of Nova Scotia and
they have been involved in adult literacy in Nova Scotia since 1971. I also want to recognize the Mi’Kmaq
community of Cape Breton. They are represented by the Literacy Network Unama’ki and they have initiated
the first program under the community literacy initiative.



Mr. Speaker, I want to also pay tribute to the Target Training of Stellarton. This is a literacy network
involving several mothers in the first upgrading program and they recently attended the national family
literacy conference in Ottawa. Another group that is representative of what is happening in literacy throughout
Nova Scotia is the Halifax Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College. They have been using literacy in
initiating upgrading programs for persons with disabilities. Again, this reflects the broad scope in the nature
of literacy initiatives throughout Nova Scotia.



Most members will be aware that presently over 9,500 fishers are involved in The Atlantic
Groundfish Strategy, known as TAGS. Of this, over 6,500 will be eligible for upgrading. Many literacy
networks have taken advantage of funding and have been able to match their funding with this initiative. I
will mention, for example, the Digby Neck CLI is only one of several networks that have taken advantage of
the TAGS program.



The Victoria General Hospital is in its fifth year of a work place literacy program and they are an
example of the many industries and institutions throughout Nova Scotia that have made work place literacy
one of their commitments.



The community literacy initiative has an advisory committee of over 30 members that are drawn from
business, labour, education and other agencies and organizations involved with and interested in adult
literacy. I will just name a few of the representative groups and not all 30 to give you an idea of the
membership of this advisory committee who have so freely donated their time. I already mentioned the
involvement of the Mi’Kmaq community, the various Strait campuses, the Nova Scotia Provincial Literacy
Collation, St. F.X. University as well as Henson College, ABC of Canada, the Black Learners Advisory
Committee, Michelin Tire. I will table the complete list of the various institutions, banks and so on that are
part of the CLI Advisory Committee.



It is important to note that the CLI Advisory Committee, the Community Learning Initiative, was
set up on January 28, 1994, with an 18 month timeframe. At that time the objective was to encourage the
development of 25 learning networks throughout Nova Scotia. A network brings together various
representatives of the community who identify the literacy needs of their community. I am pleased to report
that not only have we met the objective of 25 networks but we now have approved 27 networks with a
potential of additional networks coming onstream.



The other objective we set, as the CLI Advisory Committee, was to establish 100 classes throughout
Nova Scotia. I am very pleased to say that we have far exceeded that objective and we now have throughout
all parts of Nova Scotia, over 127 classes involved in literacy training, which means we will pass our
estimated target of 1,500 learners. If it weren’t for the work of volunteers, and if it weren’t for the commitment
of communities, we would not have made that target. That is a compliment, not only to those with CLI
Initiative, but those who donate so freely of their time, to be part of the community literacy networks. To date,
this program has approved $971,763 to assist both with the travel, with the establishment of networks and
with training.



In the thumbnail sketch, Mr. Speaker, a network may apply for classes, receive funding to help with
the purchase of materials and so on. You may ask, what is a network? A network is a representation of various
school boards, literacy councils, community colleges and various government agencies, interested groups,
people who want to see literacy and choose to see literacy as a way of strengthening the skills and needs of
people in their communities. We have visible minorities, different cultural groups and it is one of the most
cross-representative groups involved. What is unique about this initiative, is these are the people who designed
the program, these are the people who assessed the applications, so it is the peer people. People involved in
literacy who have had a commitment.



What does the CLI provide to these people, Mr. Speaker? We provide not only the materials which
are culturally sensitive, we provide facilitators throughout Nova Scotia. There are six regional facilitators and
there are three provincial facilitators, for the Acadian communities, the black communities and the Micmac
communities. Each of these bring back to the CLI input from their communities, how the programs should
develop and how it should change.



One of the outcomes of this has been in many areas, that the Community Learning Initiatives
Advisory Committees have also become involved with community development because they realize that not
only literacy, but in developing the economic base of their communities, it will strengthen their communities.
They see literacy as one of the tools, Mr. Speaker, for strengthening their communities.



What have we provided? We have provided grants to assist them in going, we have provided support
and we have provided material. Not only that, we have provided accountability. We will be assessing, as this
initiative progresses, the results. One of the past supporters of this initiative and literacy throughout Nova
Scotia, has been the Peter Gzowski Golf Tournament. In the past, it has provided up to $3,000 in grants to
individual projects or activities that promote literacy. In 1994, approximately $65,000 was granted by this
initiative alone, to people involved in literacy throughout Nova Scotia.



I will table, because my time is somewhat limited, Mr. Speaker, a list of the groups who have
received applications for 1993 and, also, indicate that applications are now being reviewed for the allocation
of this year’s Peter Gzowski funding. I would like to mention that on June 26th, at the Ken-Wo Golf and
Country Club, will be the 1995 Peter Gzowski Golf Tournament. This will provide an opportunity for groups
to get involved, have a good time and support literacy.



Last year, we matched to the CLI, the funds raised at last year’s Peter Gzowski Golf Tournament and
that made another commitment of approximately $50,000 to literacy, which will be then given out through
the Province of Nova Scotia. Many networks have started publishing books or pamphlets, to not only educate
the people directly involved in literacy, but Nova Scotians, of the importance of literacy and that includes
numeracy and so on.



I would like to close, Mr. Speaker, with one sample letter that signifies how important to the
individual who takes these classes, what they are and I will table several other examples.



The letter is addressed to the Minister of Education and it reads, “Dear Mr. MacEachern, How are
you? Fine I hope. It is only me, one student out of many but I would like to thank you for this class. It is
helping me out with my math and, other subjects. I have learned a lot in the past five months.”. What is
significant, is the part, “It is only me . . .”. This adds to the quality of our citizens and if there is anything we
can do to strengthen their skills to add to the calibre of Nova Scotians, then these letters are a testament that
this has been a worthwhile and well-received program.



In summing up, I want to compliment everyone who has contributed so freely, not only to this
initiative but to the many literacy programs throughout Nova Scotia. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Have we no further intervenors? Then we shall adjourn until 12:00 noon tomorrow.



[The House rose at 6:11 p.m.]






NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 27



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Leader of the Opposition)



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 Nova Scotia Department of Justice:



(1) A copy of the report and any public information leading to recommendations by the Minister
of Justice concerning recent amendments to the Fatality Inquiries Act; and



(2) A detailed list of changes approved by proclamation of the Fatality Inquiries Act.






NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS



Given on April 25, 1995



(Pursuant to Rule 30)



QUESTION NO. 6



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (The Premier)



(1) I want to know, as does Mr. Doug Maxwell of Hants County, how this present Liberal
Government feels justified in implementing casinos in the province while facing widespread disapproval from
the majority of Nova Scotians? What is the rationale behind the government’s decision to provide native
communities with 50 per cent of the revenues accrued from the Sydney casino?



QUESTION NO. 7



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Eleanor Norrie (Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs)



(1) I want to know, as does Mr. Delbert Pick of Wolfville, what criteria has the present Liberal
Government used for regulating video gambling machines on native reserves in the province? How many
inspectors will be assigned to this duty? And why would the native communities in the province be any more
suited to have these machines than the community of convenience store owners?



QUESTION NO. 8



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Bernard Boudreau (Minister of Finance)



(1) Given the many Nova Scotians who are very concerned about the negative effects involved
with casino gambling, I want to know, as does Ms. Rebecca McKenna of Halifax, Nova Scotia, why hasn’t
the present Liberal Government agreed to conduct an intensive independent socio-economic impact study to
determine the cost/benefit analysis, in order to establish more concrete criteria, on which to base the argument
to build or not build casinos in the province?



QUESTION NO. 9



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Bernard Boudreau (Minister of Finance)



(1) I want to know, as does Ms. Lucy Russell of Halifax, Nova Scotia, why the minister and his
government did not consider the strong views held by Nova Scotians regarding the casino issue and hold a
referendum, so that all Nova Scotians could have an opportunity to express their view on such a contentious
issue which will undoubtedly have tremendous implications for our province?






QUESTION NO. 10



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Ronald Stewart (Minister of Health)



(1) I want to know, as does Mr. Ralph Gosbie of Truro, Nova Scotia, under the terms of the new
deal signed between doctors in the Province of Nova Scotia and the provincial government, what criteria are
now in place to ensure that medical doctors will continue their practices in rural Nova Scotia? What is in the
new agreement that will give rural Nova Scotians some kind of guarantee that doctors will not be lured out
of province?