The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Mon., Dec. 16, 1996

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Health - Children's Dental Program: Cuts - Oppose, Dr. J. Hamm 3923
Fin.: PST & GST Harmonization - Oppose, Mr. R. White
Fin.: PST & GST Harmonization - Oppose, Mr. R. Russell 3924
Fin.: PST & GST Harmonization - Oppose, Mr. R. Chisholm 3924
Fin.: PST & GST Harmonization - Oppose, Mr. R. Chisholm 3924
Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Federation of Senior Citizens and
Pensioners of N.S. - Oppose, Mr. R. Chisholm 3924
Health - Home Care Services: Cuts - Cease, Mr. G. Archibald 3925
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. J. Abbass 3926
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1180, Agric. - Farmers (Anna. Valley): Food Donation -
Recognize, Hon. G. Brown 3926
Vote - Affirmative 3927
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1181, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Tax Fairness -
Hollow Ring, Dr. J. Hamm 3927
Res. 1182, Fin.: PST & GST Harmonization - Abandon, Mr. R. Chisholm 3928
Res. 1183, Agric. - Farmers (Anna. Valley): Harvest Share -
Organizers Congrats., Mr. G. Archibald 3928
Vote - Affirmative 3929
Res. 1184, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Propaganda - Stop,
Mr. R. Russell 3929
Res. 1185, John Abbass & Family: Photographic Services (Anniv. 50th) -
Congrats., Dr. J. Hamm 3931
Vote - Affirmative 3931
Res. 1186, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Hearings (LA) -
Concerns Unheard, Mr. J. Holm 3931
Tabling Deferred 3933
Res. 1187, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Methodology - Explain,
Mr. B. Taylor 3933
Res. 1188, ERA - Photo Power Inc.: Centre (Springhill) Opening -
Leadership Congrats., Hon. G. Brown 3933
Vote - Affirmative 3934
Res. 1189, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Poverty - Increase,
Mr. R. Russell 3934
Res. 1190, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Corporate Benefits -
Condemn, Ms. E. O'Connell 3935
Res. 1191, Health - Home Care: Homemaker Cuts - Condemn,
Mr. G. Moody 3935
Res. 1192, Vol. Fire Depts. (Lun., Hants & Hfx. Cos.) -
Fires (14-15/12/96): Quick Response - Gratitude Extend,
Mr. D. McInnes 3936
Vote - Affirmative 3936
Res. 1193, M./Cpl. Rob Fisher (Greenwood) - Maclean's Magazine
Honour Roll 1996: Inclusion - Congrats., Mr. G. Moody 3937
Vote - Affirmative 3937
Res. 1194, Justice - Driving: Drink Refrain - Remember, Mr. G. Archibald 3937
Res. 1195, Canada Post - Admail Workers: Firing - Oppose,
Mr. R. Chisholm 3938
Res. 1196, Educ. - Julie Bailey (Truro): Engineering Scholarship (Women) -
Congrats., Mr. D. McInnes 3939
Vote - Affirmative 3939
Res. 1197, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Consumers Effect -
Withdraw, Mr. J. Holm 3939
Res. 1198, HRDC - Commun. Action Prog. For Children: Funding -
Restore, Ms. E. O'Connell 3940
Vote - Affirmative 3940
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Dec. 17th at 8:00 a.m. 3941
[Page 3921]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1996

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Fourth Session

7:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Wayne Gaudet

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mrs. Francene Cosman

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We will now begin with the daily proceedings of the House at this time.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege in relation to the comments made by the honourable member for Hants East on Friday. As you know, I tabled two petitions relative to the BS Tax and the honourable member stated that a large majority of the people who signed the two petitions that I tabled were from areas outside of the constituency of Hants East. I very clearly stated that the signatories were primarily from the constituency of Hants East.

For all members, Mr. Speaker, I would like to set the record straight - 516 people signed one or the other petition. On the first petition 398 individuals signed it, 367 of them leaving their address or place of residence and their name. The 367 individuals were from the following areas: Enfield, 71; Elmsdale, 29; Lantz, 25; Nine Mile River, 23; Minasville, 1; East and West Gore, 8; Hardwood Lands; Shubenacadie; Rawdon Gold Mines; Milford; Milford Station; Kennetcook; Upper Kennetcook; Noel Road; Rawdon; Clarksville; Indian Brook First Nation; Belnan; Admiral Rock; and Mount Uniacke; 224 of the 367 individuals or 61 per cent who left their places of residence on the petition were from the constituency of Hants East.

3921

[Page 3922]

The remaining 39 per cent were from the following areas and they are also Nova Scotians, with the exception of one individual who wanted to be heard on this taxing issue: Halifax County, 122, Mr. Speaker; Colchester County, 12; Kings County; Hants West; Annapolis County; they all are opposed to this terrible tax. In fact, the individual who was not from Nova Scotia was from the Northwest Territories and he said that he wanted to certainly sign in opposition to this tax.

The second petition, Mr. Speaker, and I will make this quick, 118 individuals signed and 84 individuals were from the constituency of Hants East or 71 per cent. So again I state that the petitions were primarily signed by people from the constituency of Hants East. Thank you.

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, on the point of privilege. I took the time out on that day to get a copy of Hansard so that I could read exactly what the member said. Now the member did not raise the issue then so I decided to let it go, but I looked very closely. I saw a period and then I saw a sentence that began, these signatures are from Hants East and Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. That is what he said and I know that Dartmouth is not from there. He talks about, gee, this petition is only out by 40 per cent. That is real accurate. That means that it is out by 40 per cent. That is what it means it is out by. (Interruptions)

I will tell you another thing, Mr. Speaker, on this point of personal privilege. This is not a point of personal privilege at all. It is not even close to a point of personal privilege. I am sure you are going to rule that it is not a point of personal privilege, but I want the member to understand this. If a member states something categorically, he should proofread it first before he tables it, especially when he knows one-half of the communities he talked about, like Hants, Elmsdale, Lantz, and Enfield have people residing in both Halifax County and Hants County. He should know that because he is supposed to represent some of them. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. Order, please.

On the point of privilege that the honourable member did raise, first of all, it is not a point of privilege. It is rather a clarification, providing more information to the House.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I might just state, on a point of order, and I think it merits repeating in this House. I know the honourable member for Hants East did not intentionally intend to mislead this House, but the numbers speak for themselves. In the honourable member's other profession, I certainly hope he uses different mathematics when he is billing his clients relative to his lawyer business. Thank you. (Interruptions)

[Page 3923]

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I was going to let this go, but if he just wants to keep at it, good enough. I am going to table the copy from Hansard, and I am just going to read the first two sentences. "Mr. Speaker, I also have another petition to table. This petition is primarily from the citizens of Hants County also, Hants East. The signatories are from Hants East and Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.". That is what it said. Now, you should have a look a your own reading, sir, and I will table it. (Interruptions) Oh, is Dartmouth from there? When did Dartmouth move, sir?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. (Interruptions) Order, please.

The paper is tabled.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a petition containing the names of 4,011 Nova Scotians who are opposed to the Liberal Government's recent cuts to the Children's Dental Program. The petition reads, "We, the undersigned oppose the recent cuts to the Nova Scotia Children's Dental Program. The two-tier system is a personal affront, and changes within the program are not based on sound clinical experience. We the voters and tax payers of this province insist that the government not make any more cuts to this extremely cost efficient program.".

Now, Mr. Speaker, this brings the total number of Nova Scotians who have signed petitions denouncing the Liberal Government's cuts to the Children's Dental Care Program to 9,117. The 4,011 signatures on this petition were gathered in about a three week time-frame. I would also point out that Nova Scotians continue to sign petitions opposing these cuts and that this is by no means the total number of Nova Scotians who wish to express their displeasure with the government in respect to this particular issue.

Mr. Speaker, I have added my name to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by 24 constituents from Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury who express their non-support for the harmonized sales tax.

[Page 3924]

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from about 60 or 70 people, I have signed it myself. It reads, "We, the undersigned oppose the unfair and regressive BST. It increases taxes on the necessities of life and gives another tax break to big business. We hereby call upon the Liberal Government to scrap the BST and live up to their commitment to bring in fair tax reform.".

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I have 1,225 signatures bringing to a grand total to date of 7,402, actually if you add the 60 that the member for Hants West put in of our petitions that would bring it up to about 7,462. This petition reads, as I have said, as follows, and I will just read the last line, "We hereby call upon the Liberal government to scrap the BST and live up to their commitment to bring in fair tax reform.".

I have affixed my signature - no, I haven't - to this one but I will.

I have another petition here signed by 479 people. This came from the Digby area. It is a general coverage, opposing the ". . . government's proposal for a blended sales places an unfair and impossible burden on consumers and will be destructive to small businesses.". Government should delay signing ". . . agreements on tax harmonization until the tax payers of Nova Scotia are respectfully consulted . . .".

Also, part of this one came in with the same bunch. It says, "Vitamins and Homeopathic Remedies are an essential part of our health care. An additional 8% tax on these would prohibit their use by those that require them to maintain health - SENIORS and the CHRONICALLY ILL. I OPPOSE THIS GOVERNMENT'S CONTINUED ATTACK ON MY HEALTH CARE.". This was signed by 479 people, Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table and have affixed my signature accordingly.

I also have a petition here from the Federation of Sr. Citizens & Pensioners of Nova Scotia, 112 names. This is a separate petition with a covering letter addressed to the Premier. It say,

"Enclosed please find a petition signed by people who are opposed to the harmonization of the GST and the PST that is being debated in the house.

[Page 3925]

These enclosed petitions are in addition to the others that were delivered on November 29th. Others will follow.

More people are realizing that blended tax is not a good deal particularly for seniors and low income earners and families with young children. Their is no guarantee that business will pass any assumed savings on to the consumers.

The Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia opposes this harmonization.".

The petitions call for the abolishment of the HST and I have affixed my signature to that; again, 112 names, Mr. Speaker, and I beg leave to table.

MR. SPEAKER: These three petitions are tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition containing 2,458 names. Mr. Speaker, if I could read (Interruptions) Yes, that is a lot. I received this petition last night from Marie Bishop in New Minas, and it reads:

[7:15 p.m.]

"WHEREAS the present provincial government has made significant changes in the way Nova Scotia delivers health care; AND

WHEREAS one positive aspect of health care reform is Home Care Nova Scotia, whereby citizens are cared for in their own homes . . .; AND

WHEREAS the financial savings to the government of keeping citizens in need of health care in their own homes is substantial; AND

WHEREAS the present government capitalized on this opportunity by closing the Eastern Kings Memorial Hospital and the Western Kings Memorial Hospital, and cut the budget of the Valley Regional Hospital, etc.; AND

WHEREAS they subsequently expanded Home Care Nova Scotia to care for displaced patients in their own homes, and now claim to be further increasing Home Care Nova Scotia . . .; AND

[Page 3926]

WHEREAS Home Care Nova Scotia clients are experiencing cutbacks to their current level of service to a point where some no longer receive an adequate level of care; despite government claims of an expanding service;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the undersigned demand the government immediately stops cutting the home care services to those citizens most in need and resume the necessary housekeeping and meal preparation which have already been cut, so that clients may continue to live a dignified lifestyle in their own homes.".

Mr. Speaker, I and several other members of the Legislature have also signed this petition and I hope that the government will, indeed, heed the request of 2,458 residents of Kings County. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 48 - Sales Tax Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Marketing.

RESOLUTION NO. 1180

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

[Page 3927]

Whereas the Nova Scotia agricultural industry provides first-class produce for Nova Scotians and markets abroad; and

Whereas the Metro Food Bank is faced with very serious needs at this busy time of year; and

Whereas the farmers of the Annapolis Valley have just donated 28,000 kilograms of produce to the Metro Food Bank to help 7,000 needy families in this province;

Therefore be it resolved that the true spirit of Christmas is here and that this House recognize the farmers from the Annapolis Valley for their kindness and compassion in supplying home-grown produce to those in need.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver 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. (Applause)

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 1181

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

Whereas last Friday the Minister of Finance announced a Direct Assistance Program to help cushion the blow of the blended sales tax on low-income Nova Scotians; and

Whereas the minister said that his announcement underscores the government's commitment to equity and fairness in our tax system and our concern for social responsibility; and

[Page 3928]

Whereas if the government was truly committed to equity and fairness, it would not be introducing the blended sales tax which increases taxes by $84 million, much of which is on the basic necessities of life and which, despite the $8 million in direct assistance, will make it much harder for low and middle income Nova Scotians to make ends meet;

Therefore be it resolved that the government recognize its words of equity and fairness ring hollow to Nova Scotians who will be gouged by this new tax.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1182

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

Whereas over the last few days, dozens of Nova Scotians from all walks of life have come in person to the Law Amendments Committee to express their opposition to the proposed blended sales tax; and

Whereas their opposition has been added to that expressed by members of this House and those thousands of Nova Scotians who have signed their names to petitions opposing the BST; and

Whereas this massive outpouring of opposition to the BST must be acknowledged by members of this House;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the government to listen to Nova Scotians and abandon its headlong rush to impose this unwise, unpopular and unnecessary tax on Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1183

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

[Page 3929]

Whereas for the second consecutive year, Rufus Ells, a farmer from Sheffield Mills, Kings County, has organized Harvest Share, a collection of produce from Valley farmers for the hungry people of the Metro Halifax Food Bank; and

Whereas Harvest Share totalled 28,000 kilograms of produce for the 6,700 needy families who have registered to date with the Metro Food Bank Society for Christmas dinner; and

Whereas Harvest Share members this year range from Windsor to Berwick and include Saulers Gardens, Stirlings Fruit Farms, East Coast Apples, Nova Agra, Dominion Produce, Darrell Steel, Brian Morse, Floyd Woolaver, Scotian Gold Apples and Masons of Windsor;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Rufus Ells and Harvest Share for showing the generosity that best defines Christmas.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice without debate.

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 Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1184

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

Whereas the Finance Department's propaganda ads state that the BS Tax will increase the costs of only 25 per cent of products; and

Whereas according to Statistics Canada the average household spends approximately 51 per cent of its budget in areas which will mostly suffer cost increases under the BS Tax; and

Whereas according to Statistics Canada, an additional 18.6 per cent of the average household budget goes toward paying personal taxes, leaving only 30 per cent of the average household spent on items which will decrease or remain unchanged in price;

[Page 3930]

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government stop spending taxpayers' dollars on misleading propaganda and that it recognize the people of Nova Scotia are a heck of a lot smarter than the ads give them credit for.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

MR. PAUL MACEWAN: I rise on a point of order. I heard twice in the proposed notice of motion the term BS Tax. I take exception to that terminology, Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MACEWAN: Beauchesne's 6th Edition, Chapter 11, Rules of Debate, Paragraph 492, Page 149, under an index of expressions which have caused intervention on the part of the Chair, Item No. 4, "B.S.". The Deputy Speaker has already admonished the honourable Opposition, the Loyal Opposition, against the use of this turn of phrase and it has been ruled unparliamentary in New Brunswick and I think that it is time that we faced up to the issue. This item is unparliamentary and not to be used in these Chambers, in my humble opinion.

MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I noticed that last week, in an interview with the ex-Minister of Finance, that that minister was using BS Tax, the BST, et cetera, interchangeably with HST all through the interview that he was having with the media.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Let me just say, first of all on the point of order, that I appreciate the sensibilities of the member for Cape Breton Nova, but let me say, this matter has already been brought to the attention of the Deputy Speaker. I believe her ruling said something to the effect that she would ask all members to hopefully take into consideration that there may be different understandings of this terminology, and that they would take that into consideration before using it, there was no prohibition of using that term in the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The point of order that the honourable member raises, certainly looking at Beauschene, makes reference when a member uses the BS, it is definitely unparliamentary. When one makes a reference to the BS Tax, I guess, especially looking at the precedent of this House, we have allowed using that term. I think I would certainly encourage all members, when they do make reference to the BS Tax, to try to spell out the BS, the blended sales tax, as much as possible.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

[Page 3931]

RESOLUTION NO. 1185

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, it seems that a lot of governments want the names of taxes changed recently.

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

Whereas Abbass and Econo Colour Studios recently celebrated 50 years of quality photographic services across the Maritimes; and

Whereas owner and founder, John Abbass, with the help of many in his family, has built Abbass and Econo Colour into one of Nova Scotia's economic success stories during this half of the 20th Century; and

Whereas the Abbass family has proven that with self-initiative, creativity, risk-taking and entrepreneurship, small businesses are one of the best vehicles for job creation;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate John Abbass and family for their first 50 years of successful operation and extend to them best wishes for many prosperous years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request 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 Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 1186

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, when I use the term BST, it stands for blended sales tax in the resolution, in case the member for Cape Breton Nova might want to wonder.

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

[Page 3932]

Whereas the Liberal Government has described the BST as the biggest tax change in Nova Scotia in 40 years; and

Whereas many Nova Scotians, at considerable personal expense in both time and money, came to Province House to express their concerns with the proposed tax changes; and

Whereas government members didn't even pretend that they were concerned about the issues raised by presenters as they voted Bill No. 48 back to the House as soon as the last presenter was heard;

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government should apologize for misleading Nova Scotians into believing that their concerns would be listened to by the Liberal majority on the Law Amendments Committee.

MR. BRUCE HOLLAND: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The honourable member's resolution infers that I felt a certain way. I do not know how he could know how I felt, or did not feel and, therefore, I would ask that you rule the resolution out of order.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Of course, you could always rule that this is a dispute between members, but I would say to you that the evidence is very clear and it was said by one of the last presenters when he pointed out that there was absolutely no way that that committee could give any attention to the concerns that were raised, if that bill was going to be referred back to this House at 7:00 o'clock tonight and, in fact, no sooner had the last speaker spoken and the typographical changes made to the bill than, in fact, a motion was put back. You cannot interpret that any other way than to say that, in fact, the decision had been made prior to that committee having met, prior to this afternoon, that that bill would be referred back to this House. There was not even a pretence as has been done on other occasions that the committee would rise and meet back even a day later after the minister had been consulted on the concerns. That wasn't done and I suggest that not only is the resolution in order but it is also bang on, it is 100 per cent accurate.

[7:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. BRUCE HOLLAND: Mr. Speaker, the bill was before the committee for three days, the committee broke on several occasions. That member has no idea what I did on those nights in between the time the bill was at the committee, has no idea and he is casting an aspersion that I did absolutely nothing. That's not true and I would ask that the resolution be ruled out of order.

[Page 3933]

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair will take this last notice under advisement before the notice is accepted.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 1187

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, when I use the term BST, I use it in the same manner that the former Minister of Finance did in April's Hansard of this year.

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

Whereas the Official Opposition has been hearing from thousands of Nova Scotians including numerous disaffected Liberals over the implementation of the BST; and

Whereas one of the disaffected Liberals opposed to this heinous tax is the former president of the Timberlea-Prospect Liberal Association, who appeared before the Law Amendments Committee over the weekend to voice his objections; and

Whereas the former Liberal Association president tabled a petition with 57 names on it opposing the BST;

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government explain why they are spoon-feeding this disastrous tax upon Nova Scotians, much to the disdain of their own loyal Party supporters.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Marketing.

RESOLUTION NO. 1188

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

Whereas Photo Power Incorporated opened up today in the Town of Springhill, the first distribution centre of its type in Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas Photo Power Incorporated are distributors for AA Cellular, Duracell, Energizer, Kodak, Maglite, Motorola, Panasonic, Polaroid, Sony, Timex and TDK; and

[Page 3934]

Whereas Shannon Sears and family, along with the Nova Scotia Economic Renewal Agency, the Federal Business Development Bank and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, made the development of this new business possible;

Therefore be it resolved that all Nova Scotians congratulate Photo Power Incorporated for their initiative and leadership in this field.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver 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 Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1189

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

Whereas the number of families living below the poverty line continues to increase in this province; and

Whereas 40 per cent of additional new people living in poverty are children; and

Whereas the BS Tax will add a further 8 per cent to the cost of many of the basic goods and services Nova Scotian families need to survive;

Therefore be it resolved that the government recognize the BS Tax will push more and more Nova Scotians under the poverty line and that its commitment to equity and fairness is pure pie in the sky.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member Halifax Fairview.

[Page 3935]

RESOLUTION NO. 1190

MS. EILEEN O'CONNELL: Mr. Speaker, I should also say that when I use the expression BST in my resolution, I mean it in the nicest possible way. (Laughter)

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

Whereas on Friday last the Liberal Government unveiled an $8 million Direct Assistance Program to offset the negative impact of the BST on 77,000 low-income working Nova Scotians and their families; and

Whereas this direct assistance pittance works out to 25 cents a day for individuals and 34 cents a day for those Nova Scotian families who apply for it; and

Whereas that assistance would have been closer to 10 cents a day if the government hadn't decided to provide no assistance whatsoever to 136,000 students, social assistance recipients and other low-income Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemn the Liberals for the BS Tax reform package which gives $240 million in tax relief to corporations and a mere $8 million to the working poor.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1191

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

Whereas Nova Scotians, the vast majority of them seniors, are seeing their home care services eliminated or drastically reduced as a result of Liberal cutbacks to the Home Care Program; and

Whereas a number of these Nova Scotians have been forced to prematurely enter nursing homes at a cost to taxpayers far in excess of the cost of regular Homemakers Services; and

Whereas this is yet another example of the short-sighted and backward approach of this Liberal Government's so-called health and fiscal reform polices;

[Page 3936]

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government acknowledge that cutting the Homemakers Services of those previously assessed and provided with home care will not only hurt the quality of life of many of our senior citizens, it will cost the taxpayers far more in the long run.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1192

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

Whereas three devastating structural fires across Nova Scotia this weekend resulted in property damage of approximately $1 million; and

Whereas the fires destroyed artifacts, manuscripts, business records and employment opportunities; and

Whereas five Lunenburg County, three Hants County and six Halifax County Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the alarms in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature extend our gratitude for the quick and efficient response of our volunteer firefighters in a time of need, while also extending support to the victims and being thankful that despite the ravages of the fires, all incidents were injury free.

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 Kings West.

[Page 3937]

RESOLUTION NO. 1193

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

Whereas Master Corporal Rob Fisher has again been honoured for his role in a daring and courageous rescue during a winter storm over the frigid waters of the Atlantic one year ago; and

Whereas the Greenwood native is one of only 12 individuals named to Maclean's magazine's honour roll of Canadians who have made a significant contribution; and

Whereas the crew members who were plucked from the deck of their sinking ship by Master Corporal Fisher, as he hung from a hovering Sea King helicopter 1,400 kilometres southeast of Halifax, would be the first to agree that he most certainly rates the list of 12 noteworthy Canadians;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Master Corporal Fisher for this latest honour and for making the Christmas of 1996, and all those to come, such merry ones for the crew members saved and their families.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver 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 Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1194

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

Whereas impaired driving crashes injure one person every five minutes and kill one person every six hours in Canada; and

[Page 3938]

Whereas Nova Scotia accident figures show that while only 8.7 per cent of injury accidents are alcohol related, fully 41 per cent of fatal accidents in Nova Scotia can be attributed to alcohol; and

Whereas according to the Nova Scotia Student Drug Use 1996 survey released in November, 31 per cent of students surveyed reported being with drivers in the past year who had been under the influence of alcohol;

Therefore be it resolved that as Nova Scotians share in this festive season and take part in the numerous Christmas and New Year celebrations, all members of this Legislature encourage Nova Scotians to remember don't drink and drive.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1195

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

Whereas on October 8, 1996, the minister responsible for Canada Post announced the mass firing of 10,000 admail workers and the privatization of admail service; and

Whereas thousands of postal workers and ordinary Canadians have urged the federal Liberal Government to reverse this completely unjustified move by Canada Post and the Chretien Government; and

Whereas Liberal MPs are beginning to get the message and are reported to be pressuring the Chretien Cabinet to reverse its decision on privatizing admail services;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House add their voices to the growing outcry against the callous and ill-advised firing of admail workers employed by Canada Post.

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

MR. SPEAKER: I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

[Page 3939]

RESOLUTION NO. 1196

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

Whereas Julie Bailey of Truro has become the second Nova Scotian woman to be awarded a Women in Engineering Scholarship; and

Whereas the scholarship commemorates the murder of 14 female engineering students at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique in 1989; and

Whereas Ms. Bailey is conducting her studies right here in Nova Scotia as a third year engineering student at the Technical University of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Julie Bailey for her achievement in becoming a recipient of this important award.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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 Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 1197

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 Liberal Government has said that the $240 million tax break to big business known as the BST is justified because businesses will use the money to create jobs or lower prices; and

Whereas Clearwater Fine Foods, one of the biggest business backers of the BST, says the tax break will not alter their corporate plans or result in new jobs but will improve its bottom line; and

[Page 3940]

Whereas Clearwater's statement merely confirms what members of this Party have been saying all along about the BST;

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government withdraw the BST because it is a bad tax that gouges consumers and depletes the provincial Treasury just to improve the corporate bottom line.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 1198

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

Whereas the Government of Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and resolved to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000; and

Whereas Canada's response to the UN Convention generated the Community Action Program for Children, a program which has funded the establishment of 12 projects in Nova Scotia which have provided families and children at risk with much needed services, support and education; and

Whereas the federal government is planning a 51.9 per cent reduction in funding to CAPC projects despite the fact that the number of children living in poverty in Nova Scotia is increasing;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the federal government to restore funding to the Community Action Program for Children so these vital programs can continue their work in Nova Scotia.

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.

[Page 3941]

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I would ask for the unanimous consent of members of the House to go to Committee of the Whole House on Bills, on Bill No. 48.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No.

MR. MANN: That being the case, Mr. Speaker, I would advise members of the House that we will sit tomorrow from the hours of 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight. The order of business will be Committee of the Whole House on Bills, Bill No. 48.

I move that we adjourn until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: A motion for adjournment has been made. The House will rise to sit again tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.

[The House rose at 7:44 p.m.]