The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Mon., May 13, 1996

Fourth Session

MONDAY, MAY 13, 1996

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Lequille Garage: Closure - Protest,
Mr. E. Rayfuse 1639
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Environ.: Youth Conservation Corps - Summer Program, Hon. W. Adams 1640
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 525, Nat. Res.: Mining Week (12-18/05/96) - Endorse,
Hon. E. Norrie 1642
Vote - Affirmative 1642
Res. 526, Health - Renewal: Changes Positive - Recognize,
Hon. R. Stewart 1643
Vote - Affirmative 1643
Res. 527, Sports - Paddling: Olympics (1996) - Steve & Peter Giles
[Orenda Canoe Club] Congrats., Hon. W. Adams 1643
Vote - Affirmative 1644
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 30, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. R. Stewart 1644
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 528, ERA - Jobs: Creation - Promise Fulfil, Dr. J. Hamm 1644
Res. 529, Devco - Job Losses: Gov't. (N.S.) Inaction - Condemn,
Mr. R. Chisholm 1645
Res. 530, Hfx. Reg. Police Serv. - Employee Assist. Prog.:
Work - Thanks, Mr. T. Donahoe 1645
Vote - Affirmative 1646
Res. 531, Nat. Res. - Mining Industry: Contribution - Commend,
Dr. J. Hamm 1646
Vote - Affirmative 1646
Res. 532, ERA - Job Creation: Strategy - Adopt, Mr. J. Holm 1646
Res. 533, ERA - Job Creation: Anna. Valley - Failure Admit,
Mr. G. Archibald 1647
Res. 534, Environ. - Recycling Prog.: Employment Creation -
Opp'n. Respect, Hon. W. Adams 1647
Res. 535, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Public Hearings - Hold,
Mr. R. Russell 1648
Res. 536, Educ. - Crystal Lowe (Milton, Queens Co.):
Post-Graduate Scholarship (MSVU) - Congrats., Mr. J. Leefe 1648
Vote - Affirmative 1649
Res. 537, Commun. Serv. - Social Assist.: Accommodation - Ensure,
Mr. R. Chisholm 1649
Res. 538, Educ. - UCCB: Graduates - Congrats., Mr. A. MacLeod 1649
Vote - Affirmative 1650
Res. 539, ERA - Job Creation: Backbenchers (Lib.) Abandonment -
Recognize, Mr. T. Donahoe 1650
Res. 540, ERA - Job Creation: Southern (N.S.) - Action,
Mr. J. Leefe 1650
Res. 541, Transport. - Highway No. 104 Western Alignment:
Profit - First, Mr. J. Holm 1651
Res. 542, Educ. - Auburn Drive HS Band: Outstanding Performance
(Internat. Comp.-N.J.) - Congrats., Mr. D. Richards 1651
Vote - Affirmative 1652
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 17, Halifax Regional Water Commission Act 1652
Hon. J. Abbass 1652
Mr. T. Donahoe 1653
Mr. J. Holm 1653
Hon. J. Abbass 1654
Vote - Affirmative 1654
No. 25, Halifax Trust Funds Transfer (1996) Act 1654
Hon. J. Abbass 1654
Mr. T. Donahoe 1654
Hon. J. Abbass 1655
Vote - Affirmative 1655
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 2:44 P.M. 1655
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:45 P.M. 1655
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 13, Occupational Health and Safety Act 1656
Hon. G. Brown 1656
Vote - Affirmative 1663
PRIVATE MEMBER'S PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 27, Acadia Trust Company Dissolution Act 1663
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 29, Executive Council Act/Public Service Act 1664
Hon. B. Boudreau 1664
Mr. R. Russell 1664
Hon. B. Boudreau 1664
Vote - Affirmative 1664
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 7:23 P.M. 1665
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:57 P.M. 1665
CWH REPORTS 1665
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. R. Mann 1665
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Anl. Rept. of the Superintendent of Pensions, Hon. B. Boudreau 1666
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., May 14th at 12:00 p.m. 1666
[Page 1639]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, MAY 13, 1996

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Fourth Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Paul MacEwan

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mrs. Francene Cosman

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. We will proceed with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. EARLE RAYFUSE: Madam Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by about 700 residents in the Municipality of Annapolis and it is a petition to protest the closing of the Department of Transportation garage in Lequille. The preamble is:

"We, the undersigned, being residents of the Municipality of Annapolis County, Province of Nova Scotia; do hereby protest the proposed closing of the Department of Transportation garage (plow shed) located on the Cape Road in Lequille. The Department of Transportation intends to relocate the Lequille garage to Cornwallis Park facilities which has the following ramifications:

1. Job loss (possibly 4 Annapolis County positions).

2. Deterioration of winter services - Cornwallis Park does not have direct access to Highways #101, #8 and #201 and other secondary roads such as Shore West Road and Parker Mountain Road. It is probable that response time for these areas will increase by about 20-45 minutes.".

Madam Speaker, I have signed the petition.

MADAM SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

1639

[Page 1640]

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of the Environment.

HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Madam Speaker, protecting the environment and providing work for young Nova Scotians has proven a successful partnership in the seven years that my department has sponsored the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps. This year, the youth corps will hire 92 young Nova Scotians under its regular summer program and assist another 100 youth to create their own jobs under the Youth Environmental Challenge Program. That is a total of 192 jobs. These jobs will be created in communities across Nova Scotia.

The participants of the 1996 edition of the program will focus their efforts on watershed management, development of trails for eco-tourism, organic weed control, our new solid waste strategy and improving the general public's awareness of environmental matters.

Madam Speaker, these young people will leave a legacy of tangible benefits to the communities they serve. Those in watershed management will be improving fish habitat and rehabilitation of streams. The youth corps will build on the early successes of our new Solid Waste Resource Management Strategy. Some participants will be kept busy this summer demonstrating to the public alternative measures of waste management such as composting. Others will clean some of the province's many beautiful beaches.

Madam Speaker, people come to Nova Scotia to admire the beauty of our province. Youth corps members will make that easier by building trails and producing interpretive materials for visitors to use.

Some of our summer employees will devote their energies to demonstrating how we can reduce our dependence on chemicals in gardening and lawn care. We are committed, Madam Speaker, to promoting environmental stewardship in our youth and in our communities. The youth corp program provides an opportunity for young people between the ages of 17 and 24 to gain environmental management work experience while contributing a valuable service to their communities. Since its inception, over 800 young Nova Scotians have participated. With this year's hirings, the youth corps program will have assisted 1,000 Nova Scotians.

The creation of jobs and enhancement of our environment is a joint effort. I want to acknowledge the assistance of the Nova Scotia Economic Renewal Agency, the Department of Community Services, as well as Human Resources Development Canada. Madam Speaker, the private sector has also made a generous investment in the Youth Corps Stora Forest Industries, Sears Canada and Global Geoenergy Research Limited have shown they know the meaning of good corporate citizenship through their assistance.

Job opportunities through this program are now listed with all Canada Employment Centres for students, and all regional and district offices of the Department of the Environment. The closing date for youth corps applications is May 24th. Applications for funding assistance, through the Youth Environmental Challenge, will close on June 1st.

We believe, Madam Speaker, it is important to protect two of our most valuable resources, our young people and our environment. Thank you very much. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MR. JOHN LEEFE: Madam Speaker, I welcome the statement by the minister this morning. I did have some small hand with respect to the beginning of the Youth Conservation Corps in that I was the [Page 1641]

minister who introduced the legislation which created it in 1989. That was a very sound initiative by our government and I think the strength and the soundness of that initiative is underlied by the fact that this government continues to pursue that initiative aggressively and, I, and I am sure all Nova Scotians, welcome that high level of support, particularly the personal level of support provided by this minister, and indeed, by his predecessor with respect to this government.

What better way to make our communities aware of the opportunities available with respect to improving their environment than by having our young people providing leadership in our communities, working with community organizations; working with individuals; working with institutions within our communities, to improve the environmental quality of towns, villages, rural areas and our cities throughout this province.

Not only has the Youth Conservation Corps provided job opportunities during the summer, there is a modest infrastructure in place which has provided it good strong planning opportunities through each non-field working season. It has produced a newsletter. The newsletter has been widely circulated, beginning back in the very early 1990's. The private sector came into play with respect to co-sponsoring programs with government and that, certainly, is to be welcomed.

On top of the tremendous opportunity it provided young people, many of whom, who count themselves as alumni of the Youth Conservation Corps, have gone on to create professions for themselves in the environmental sector. On top of all those very good things, of course, it also provides an important job opportunity for students in the summer.

I commend the minister for his support and all of us look forward to seeing these young men and women working throughout our communities in this summer of 1996. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Madam Speaker, I, too, very much welcome the minister's announcement in the House today. Certainly as the previous speaker has summer up, these projects and the benefits that are obtained, not only by the communities but by the young people themselves who are employed in this, are indeed numerous. It is a project that deserves the continued support of the minister and the government and, in fact, all Nova Scotians.

In reading through the minister's announcement, the minister talks about the number of young Nova Scotians who will find employment under the project this year - that being 92 - and also that another 100 Nova Scotians will be assisted to create their own jobs. When I found out that there was going to be a ministerial announcement made today, I tried to find out, five minutes before the House opened, how many positions had been available last year, for example, and the year before. I don't know how the numbers compare because unfortunately I couldn't get that information in that short period of time. It strikes me, however, that it is about probably the same number as previous years, possibly a little bit

[Page 1642]

lower, depending on how you break out the comparisons, but it is indeed a very valuable project.

There are many important projects going on across the province that have benefited from this. I know one of them, Madam Speaker, you would be familiar with as well. In fact, when I was looking for another environmental issue last night, I came across the home page for the Sackville Rivers Association on the Internet and had an opportunity to again refresh my memory about a few of the projects that they have been involved with over the years and they are one of the groups that have in the past also benefited from the youth project. They do tremendous work and there are many others across the province.

So, Madam Speaker, I welcome the minister's announcements and look forward to finding out a little bit later on some details in terms of which projects have been approved because it is indeed very important. Young people are in so many ways leading the way and it is great to know that they are going to be provided with some assistance and community projects that are aimed at stewardship of the environment are going to receive some degree of support again this year from the government. Thank you.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 525

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

Whereas May 12th through May 18th has been designated Mining Week across Canada and in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas a wide variety of minerals including coal, gypsum, salt, limestone, dimension stone, silica sand, aggregate and peat moss are mined in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas mineral exploration and mineral production are major employers and contribute more than $400 million to the Nova Scotia economy each year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House endorse Mining Week and congratulate the Mining Society of Nova Scotia and the Chamber of Mineral Resources for their support and sponsorship of this important event.

Madam Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

MADAM SPEAKER: Waiver is requested. Is there agreement?

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 Health.

[Page 1643]

RESOLUTION NO. 526

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

Whereas many public health centres, health care facilities and agencies across the country acknowledged their community's vision of health and health care on May 12, 1996, Canada Health Day; and

[2:15 p.m.]

Whereas the theme this year was, A New Perspective on Health; and

Whereas significant changes in the health care system are being implemented in many provinces;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the positive health renewal changes currently taking place in Nova Scotia's health care system to ensure quality health care services are readily available to meet people's needs.

Madam Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

MADAM 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 Minister of the Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 527

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

Whereas the community of Lake Echo, Halifax County, was an unknown entity on the international sports scene until 1987 when their canoe club, the Orenda Canoe Club won their first of three consecutive Canadian canoe championships; and

Whereas the Orenda Canoe Club of Lake Echo has sent a number of athletes abroad over the past six years to win gold, silver and bronze; and

Whereas the Orenda Canoe Club of Lake Echo have two brothers, Steve and Peter Giles, who have won positions to compete for Canada at the 1996 Olympics paddling competitions in Atlanta;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly send our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Steve and Peter Giles to represent Nova Scotia well at the Olympics.

[Page 1644]

Madam Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

MADAM 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.

HON. RICHARD MANN: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, we were having a lot of difficulty on Friday with the sound system and I would suggest that we are having difficulty with it again. I can't hear you, the minister or hardly anyone else, probably I can be heard but that is about all. I wonder if we could have it checked out again.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think the problem with hearing me today is that I am almost at the point of laryngitis, but we will check the microphones.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 30 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Hon. Ronald Stewart)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 528

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

Whereas spring is usually a time of year when job prospects improve for the unemployed; and

Whereas figures released Friday by the Department of Finance indicate in April an additional 2,000 Nova Scotians joined the ranks of the unemployed; and

Whereas this brings the total number of unemployed Nova Scotians to 64,000, an increase of 8,000 since this Liberal Government came to power on May 25, 1993;

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government deliver on its 1993 election platform of putting Nova Scotians back to work, rather than engaging in meaningless pre-election posturing in 1996.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

[Page 1645]

RESOLUTION NO. 529

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

Whereas employment in Cape Breton has fallen by 9,000 since the beginning of the year and the official unemployment rate now stands at 22.6 per cent; and

Whereas the business plan for Devco approved by the federal Liberal Government will just make this unacceptably high unemployment rate even higher; and

Whereas the Liberal Government of Nova Scotia has failed in its duty to ensure that Nova Scotia's coal resources are exploited to the maximum benefit of Nova Scotians and Cape Bretoners;

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemn the government for sitting quietly on the sidelines while its federal cousins deliver yet another heavy blow to the Cape Breton economy.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 530

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

Whereas policing is a demanding career that often exacts a heavy toll, such as a high divorce rate and suicides that are six times more common than in any other profession; and

Whereas the Employee Assistance Program of the Halifax Regional Police Service offers counselling and assistance for police officers and their families in times of need; and

Whereas this program, which previously covered only police officers in the former City of Halifax, relies on the dedication of coordinator Constable Paul MacKenzie and 16 volunteer referral agents;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House thank the Employee Assistance Program of the Halifax Regional Police Service for addressing the emotional, psychological and physical concerns of one of society's most exacting professions.

Madam Speaker, I do request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

MADAM SPEAKER: Waiver is requested.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 1646]

The motion is carried.

The Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 531

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

Whereas this week is National Mining Week across Canada; and

Whereas the minerals and metals sector contributed $23 billion, equal to 4.4 per cent of Canada's Gross Domestic Product in 1995; and

Whereas minerals are an essential ingredient in the manufacturing of advanced technological products;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature understand and congratulate members of Nova Scotia's mining industry for their hard work and contribution to Nova Scotia's economy.

Madam Speaker, I ask for waiver.

MADAM SPEAKER: Waiver is requested.

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 Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 532

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

Whereas the Liberal Government opened this session of the House with a Throne Speech that bragged about its job creation record; and

Whereas ever since then the ranks of the unemployed have been growing in Nova Scotia so that now they total 60,000; and

Whereas the government's response is to hope that its fictitious $120 million tax break will create 3,000 jobs, while ignoring the job killing impact of the $150 million that will be taken out of the pockets of Nova Scotians by increased gasoline prices;

[Page 1647]

Therefore be it resolved that instead of waiting for jobs to appear magically as a result of pie in the sky tax cuts, this government adopt a real job creation strategy and use its regulatory powers to ensure that millions of dollars are not removed from the Nova Scotia economy due to it unconscionably high gasoline prices.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 533

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

Whereas during the 1993 election campaign, the Liberals said, "for the 380,000 of Nova Scotians who live in rural areas of the province . . . development from the bottom up represents one of the few viable approaches to job creation."; and

Whereas three years later, this Liberal Government is still attempting to comprehend how to put over 64,000 Nova Scotians back to work; and

Whereas there is no better example of the Liberal Government's failure to create sustainable employment than in Hants, Kings and Annapolis Counties where the latest unemployment statistics indicate 3,000 less people were employed in April 1996 compared to one year earlier;

Therefore be it resolved that since the Minister of Economic Renewal campaigned on the issue of jobs and the creation of 56,000 of them, the minister admit today his government's dismal failure at job creation and come forth with a sustainable economic plan to address the 15.4 per cent unemployment rate in the Annapolis Valley.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of the Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 534

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

Whereas on May 1, 1996, I tabled a statement in the House highlighting the fact that the recycling program had produced 171 new jobs and 30 new enviro-depots; and

Whereas both Opposition Parties jumped to their feet to condemn the progress and demean the new jobs created as being paltry; and

Whereas at least one irate citizen called from Dartmouth with the fortitude to criticize the member for Sackville-Cobequid for comparing his $45,000 salary with his so-called paltry $20,000, which represents his first job in four years, as a recycler;

[Page 1648]

Therefore be it resolved that the Opposition Parties in this place show some respect for our citizens who are becoming gainfully employed as a result of this government's environmental and other positive initiatives.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 535

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

Whereas the Premiers of the four Atlantic Provinces gathered in Charlottetown on Friday to discuss areas of regional cooperation; and

Whereas host Premier Catherine Callbeck made the wise decision of holding public hearings before entering into any blended sales tax agreement; and

Whereas the Minister of Finance has yet to detail any means of public consultation, other than his 1-800 line to the Department of Finance's answering machine, and a few speeches to chambers of commerce;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Finance follow the example of his Liberal colleagues in Prince Edward Island and hold public hearings into the BST agreement.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 536

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

Whereas three graduating students from Mount Saint Vincent University were awarded post-graduate scholarships by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and

Whereas Crystal Lowe of Milton, Queens County, a psychology major, plans to apply the $15,600 per year scholarship that she has won to a graduate program in either speech language pathology or clinical psychology; and

Whereas Mount Saint University continues to further the higher education of young men and women;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House congratulate Crystal Lowe for her academic achievements and wish her the very best in future pursuits.

Madam Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

MADAM SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

[Page 1649]

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 537

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

Whereas one of this government's first actions on taking over responsibility for municipal social assistance in Halifax, April 1st, was to reduce shelter allowances for single, able-bodied individuals to $225 a month; and

Whereas this reduction will be especially devastating for women fleeing abusive relationships; and

Whereas the Minister of Community Services has rationalized this sharp decrease as being a response to unscrupulous landlords;

Therefore be it resolved that instead of punishing the victims for the misdeeds of landlords, this government take responsibility for ensuring that there are alternative means of accommodation available for people forced onto social assistance.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 538

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

Whereas the University College of Cape Breton presented five honorary degrees at its spring convocation Saturday; and

Whereas three of the five honorees - former music teacher and director of the Gaelic Choir, Mae Cameron; teacher, fiddler and storyteller, Archie Neil Chisholm; and physician Dr. Joseph Roach - are Cape Bretoners; and

Whereas their hard work and accomplishments will serve as an excellent example to UCCB graduates of the potential of staying on Cape Breton Island and making it a better place to live;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate UCCB, its honorary degree-holders and the graduating class of 1996 for continuing to demonstrate hope and confidence in Cape Breton Island.

Madam Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

[Page 1650]

MADAM 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 Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 539

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

Whereas the Premier and his Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency are trying, albeit without success, to convince Nova Scotians that jobs are a priority of the Liberal Government; and

Whereas the latest figures from Human Resources Canada show that 64,000 Nova Scotians were looking for work in April of this year, and that the unemployment rate for Nova Scotia had increased to over 14 per cent; and

[2:30 p.m.]

Whereas before attempting to convince other Nova Scotians of their efforts in creating employment, the Premier and his ERA Minister provide some assistance to the member for Eastern Shore who was recently complaining at a public meeting over the fact the unemployment rate from Musquodoboit Harbour east to the Guysborough County line was 60 per cent or above;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency recognize that even their own backbench colleagues are being abandoned as far as job creation is concerned, and please commit to a serious, effective job creation policy which they promised prior to being elected three years ago.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 540

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

Whereas the Savage Liberals in the spring of 1993 promised to put the then 56,000 unemployed Nova Scotians to work; and

Whereas the Savage Liberals have altered the number of unemployed Nova Scotians not downward but upward to 64,000 in the spring of 1996; and

[Page 1651]

Whereas the unemployment rate in southern Nova Scotia has increased by a full 12 per cent over this time last year, and now stands at 15.9 per cent;

Therefore be it resolved that the Savage Liberals stop talking about job creation in southern Nova Scotia, roll up their sleeves and get to work putting Nova Scotians to work as they, to date, falsely promised in 1993.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 541

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

Whereas the Liberal Government has decided to give Nova Scotia motorists more bang for their buck by increasing the speed limit to 110 kilometres per hour on twinned highways, particularly the Highway No. 104 toll road; and

Whereas such an increase in the speed limit will hurt the environment through increased air pollution and decrease fuel efficiency, and endanger the lives of Nova Scotian motorists; and

Whereas the obvious purpose of this ill-advised decision is to attract more vehicles and more tolls to Highway No. 104;

Therefore be it resolved that this government put public safety and the environment ahead of the need to make a profit for its private sector partner in the Highway No. 104 highway-robbery scheme.

MADAM SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 542

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

Whereas the Auburn Drive High School Band recently performed at the Festivals of Music International Competition in Lyndhurst, New Jersey; and

Whereas there were school bands from all over North America participating in this competition; and

Whereas the Auburn Drive High School Band came first in their division with a superior rating;

[Page 1652]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House extend to the members of the Auburn Drive High School Band and its Director, Mr. Jim Williams, their sincere congratulations and best wishes on their outstanding performance at the Festivals of Music International Competition.

Madam Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

MADAM SPEAKER: Waiver has been asked.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

Are there further resolutions? Are there further notices of motion? Hearing none, we will proceed, then, to Orders of the Day.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 17.

Bill No. 17 - Halifax Regional Water Commission Act.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

HON. JAY ABBASS: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 17, the Halifax Regional Water Commission Act. If I may, I would just like to say a few words on the bill.

The bill follows in the wake of the amalgamation of the various units in this part of the world. What we are dealing with is a change in the structure of the water commission itself; changing, for instance, the number of resident representatives and adding to the commission a voting staff member. In conversation with my colleagues and at least one or two members of the opposite side, some concerns have been expressed over the way in which that would change, fundamentally, the way in which the commission does its business.

So I am moving this bill for second reading with the caveat, or with the proviso I suppose, that I would look forward to appearing at the Committee on Private and Local Bills and hearing representations from other members and, in fact, making representations of my own with respect to the way in which this might change, as I have said, the way the

[Page 1653]

commission does its business and, perhaps, altering in a not attractive way, the way in which the commission does its business. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Madam Speaker, the minister was kind enough to find a few minutes to have a discussion with me or allow me to have a discussion with him about this bill prior to it being called today. We shared some comment about the very concerns to which he has just now made reference and I share those concerns. I think it is clear from the contact I have had from others in the Halifax regional municipal administration and a couple of elected members of the regional council, that there is some concern and some uncertainty as to whether or not the Halifax Regional Water Commission would function in as effective a way as that water commission has for many decades.

The appointment process and the configuration of the commission, really, I think, has to be looked at just so we can move the thing along, as I think is the intention of the minister, to the point where it will go to the Private and Local Bills Committee. We can then have representations at that point. I would support the bill for that purpose, simply because while I don't particularly like this present configuration, we have to redesign the Halifax Water Commission, in light of the reality now of a new regional government.

While I don't like what I see in the bill, I think it has to get out of this stage of the proceedings, get on to the Committee on Private and Local Bills, we will have a chance to make representations there. On that basis and that basis alone, I would support the bill for the purposes of moving it along to the Committee on Private and Local Bills. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Madam Speaker, very briefly, I guess I share the sentiments that have been expressed by previous speakers. This was one of the issues, the Halifax Water Commission, that was actually flagged when the minister and the Liberal Government decided that they were going to forge the amalgamation and that it was going to go ahead. At that time, there were representations made to the Law Amendments Committee about the impact that it would have upon the water commission.

I have some reservations with the present legislation, I guess, as does the minister who moved it and the member for Halifax Citadel. I think the situation or problems were created when the government introduced the amalgamation legislation, without having thought through or worked through a number of the issues that they were going to end up creating as a result of that shotgun wedding that they put forward in such a short period of time.

I can appreciate that the municipality and the water commission are trying to address a situation that has been imposed upon them but I am not totally convinced that this is the best solution in terms of the configuration. Therefore, I too will be encouraging or supporting the bill moving forward and will be looking forward with as much of an open mind as I possibly can, to representations that are made on the bill and suggestions for ways in which it can either be changed, amended, or whatever to try to meet the real needs that do exist out there now for some sort of change as a result of the decisions that the Liberal Government took to impose the amalgamation effective April 1st that just passed.

With those few remarks I will be voting in support of this bill proceeding to the next stage but beyond that, I make no commitments at this time.

[Page 1654]

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources to close the debate.

HON. JAY ABBASS: Madam Speaker, actually I would like to move second reading of another bill at the appropriate moment.

MADAM SPEAKER: The question is called for on second reading.

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

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 25.

Bill No. 25 - Halifax Trust Funds Transfer (1996) Act.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

HON. JAY ABBASS: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 25, Halifax Trust Funds Transfer (1996) Act.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Madam Speaker, again the minister sponsoring this bill was kind enough to chat with me about it earlier. I think the bill deserves support of all members. I assume from what the minister has said that notwithstanding the fact that when we spoke on an earlier occasion, he left me with the impression that there might have been a little technical glitch with the legislation, not having mentioned it as he moved second reading, I am hopeful that he has now concluded that any such glitch that was brought to his attention earlier is overcome.

Personally, as I read the legislation, it is eminently sensible, in my opinion, notwithstanding the establishment of a regional municipality, that at the time of the establishment of that regional municipality there were four trust funds, which are described in the schedule to this legislation. They were trusts established, in the first case, under the name of G.R. Hart; under the second, J.D. O'Connell Picnic Fund Trust; under the third, J.M. Foote Trust; and under the fourth, Cogswell Military Drill Trust. They are specific to activities and organizations in what was the City of Halifax.

I think the transfer of those trusts to the Halifax Foundation, which does exist, having been incorporated under Chapter 69 of the Acts of 1983, is completely sensible. They are referable to those particular bequests and to the previous City of Halifax. I might say, as I would expect is the case, there are probably such funds in trust that exist in Bedford or in Dartmouth or in Halifax County. If they do, it is completely appropriate, in my opinion, that having been established by leading citizens and organizations in those municipal units, prior to amalgamation, then a foundation, such as is in place in Halifax, would be appropriate for them to administer those funds to the benefit of Bedford, Dartmouth or Halifax County.

[Page 1655]

So I support this bill and believe that the foundation is the appropriate way in which these trusts should now be administered, in light of the amalgamation and the establishment of the regional municipality.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

HON. JAY ABBASS: Madam Speaker, just by way of closing the debate on this particular bill, this bill as well will, of course, go to the Private and Local Bills Committee. Since there will be a government lawyer present and making interventions on the water bill, which was previously read for a second time, I will be asking that same government lawyer to remain present and give some assurance that any legal technicality is satisfied, such as the sort that I discussed with the member opposite.

MADAM SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 25. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that Bill No. 25 be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply unto Her Majesty.

MADAM SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[2:44 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]

[6:45 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]

MADAM SPEAKER: The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply reports:

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made progress and begs leave to sit again.

MADAM SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Madam Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

[Page 1656]

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 13.

Bill No. 13 - Occupational Health and Safety Act.

MADAM SPEAKER: The debate was adjourned on Friday by the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

Are there any further speakers on this?

The honourable Minister of Labour, to close the debate.

HON. GUY BROWN: Madam Speaker, it is only appropriate to close the debate with regard to the bill, but there were some very serious questions that were asked and I want to try to answer as many of those questions. I know some of my colleagues will start hollering pretty soon, carry, carry, but this is too big.

The first thing I want to do, Madam Speaker, is I want to congratulate the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works, along with the two Opposition Parties, that agreed, when I was up in Pictou, to bring the bill forward and to start the debate on the bill. I want each member of this House to know that that was important and I appreciate everybody's efforts in dealing with that. I am going to try to answer the questions that have been raised because I would like to see this bill, which everybody knows, go through the House this session.

I believe that this bill, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and we all have concerns with regard to small business but there is one point that nobody ever talks about - and I am talking about my own Party as well - and that is, what about the families out there that are hurt and are left out of this total picture? As elected people, and it doesn't matter where we sit in this House, we have some obligation to those people as well. So, I would hope that we would all keep that in mind.

Madam Speaker, I had the opportunity to put through the Credit Union Act, as minister, which I thought was great in the long term for economic growth and it is if people will support the credit unions the way they should throughout the Province of Nova Scotia. I happen to believe that this bill is more important, when it comes to economic growth and economic justice for the business person as well as the employee and their families, than any other bill that has gone through this House in a long time.

First of all, there seems to be a lot of confusion with regard to this legislation or this bill, joint occupational health and safety committees, what does the new concept of employee health and safety represent. The honourable member for Hants West raised that several times. The answer, of course, is that 20 or more people in a workplace, the committee is the same as in the 1985 Act. All we did was bring it forward. There were no changes made to that

[Page 1657]

clause, we took exactly what the previous government had introduced because we thought it was fair and that is what we transferred. Five to 19 employees, though, in a workplace, health and safety representatives under Clause 38 is a new part of the Act, and that I agree with and I will get into it a little more later.

At the workplace, directors can order a committee formed, it doesn't say necessarily that committees will be there. But if we have a bad employer who comes up on the screen, which we are now able to track, which we weren't before through the WCB, yes, our directors will be directed to order a committee in that case, but that is not necessary. Under the 1985 Act, the minister had to order the committee. I have taken that out because I don't think a minister should be responsible or direct orders or anything. Now, that has gone to the people who understand it and to the people that know that can direct that to be done.

Five or more employees in an organization, yes, that policy is new. It is similar to the Province of New Brunswick and other provinces in Canada with regard to that. Twenty or more employees in an organization, the only thing that's new is the written program. We hope to develop that when we get this bill through and hire educational officers to go out and set up a written program so everybody will have as near as possible the same program. We will give leadership in the Department of Labour and direction, because this is not new. Do not forget the previous government in this province set up the whole stage for all this to proceed. We worked with 100 volunteers, 50 per cent employers and 50 per cent employees, over the last three years and this bill, 90 per cent of it, is a consensus of those people that we had before us and, in some cases, they never changed the previous bill that was there. So that is new.

The honourable members for Hants West and Kings North, the requirement for committees. I must again correct a misunderstanding, the bill and the 1985 Act - and this is for dealing with seasonal workers - both cover seasonal workers, in fact, all workers under the 1995 Act. We have been, thanks to the advisory council and thanks to labour and management, making recommendations to it, they have seen a way of improving that so that now it does not state all workers. As far as the committees are concerned, Section 18(1) of the 1985 Act required committees of 20 or more employees where regularly employed at a workplace. People who work seasonally . . .

MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Madam Speaker, on a question. What I was referring to in my remarks on the bill, I think, was the fact that now seasonal workers who work for four weeks or more are treated as regular employees - I beg your pardon - make up the number of employees at the workplace and, if I may, in the previous Act it did not mention seasonal employees vis-a-vis regular employees. However, as I understand it, Occupational Health and Safety used to ignore employees who would come and go, such as people picking apples or something for four or five weeks. Thank you.

MR. BROWN: Well, if they did, they should not have because under the old Act it was regular employees, meaning that if somebody picked strawberries in June and apples for a week or so, or let us say they picked strawberries, the same person every year, then they would be considered as regular employees and would be under the Act. What we have done, thanks to the advisory council, people who worked seasonally, even for a few days and still had a regular cycle of employment, those people were included under the old Act. The old Act appeared to require committees no matter how short the cycle was, even a week; even a week picking strawberries each year might have done it, and included them.

[Page 1658]

The new bill specifics that at least four weeks is needed to trigger a committee and that is so important, I think that is the major reform for agriculture and for people employed and encourages them to be more active. The definition of a regular employee found in Clause 3(ac), and the power in Clause 82(1)(o) of making regulations to change the four weeks into another number. This will both allow reconsideration of this issue and the advisory council which will be ongoing will continue to look at that. If we need five weeks, then we can do that under those sections or, if for some reason we need three weeks because there is too much going on out there, we can also deal with that.

So, Madam Speaker, through you to the honourable member, I think it is more flexible now for agriculture than it was before. A question by the honourable member for Kings North raised a concern that a committee could require a very small workplace and asked how you could have a committee if there is only one or two employees. Well, Clause 29(2) enables the executive director of Occupational Health and Safety Division to require that a committee be formed in a workplace under 20 employees. If after investigation it appears necessary, then we will support that. The executive director must meet with the employer and the employees and they must consult before there is any committee set up. Again, I am very proud of this because it makes the bill more open, it makes it better.

Again on questions from the honourable member for Kings North. Agriculture has many small farms. Let me tell you, we know that better than anybody else. We all know that sitting in this House. Staff of the department have provided services to agriculture since before the Occupational Health and Safety Program was in, an Act that was introduced by the previous government in 1986. Not new, good Act. What we are doing is putting this all together so a farmer now doesn't have to go through three, four, five, six or seven different Acts to understand what is going on.

Staff of the department have provided services to agriculture since well before. These services, until 1986, were voluntary and educational. We, the Department of Labour, have for some time participated in the farm health and safety committees and contributed over the last years to many volunteer initiatives that have come forward from agriculture, not from government.

There is a human suffering though with regard to accidents, injuries and occupational illness which we have in agriculture that we are going to have to start dealing with in this province, governments and elected officials, in the years ahead. As I hope you would appreciate from the agricultural industry, it is difficult because many of the people in agriculture are not listed under the Workers' Compensation Board and we don't even know they are out there sometimes. We thank the Department of Agriculture for coming together and we are meeting on a regular basis. The minister and I have met, the deputy ministers, Occupational Health and Safety people are meeting with agriculture on a regular basis.

What we are trying to do, for the honourable members that raise their concerns, agricultural field representatives and Occupational Health and Safety representatives are now meeting to formalize a program where we can meet together and develop a program for agriculture. All of the Department of Agriculture's field staff will be involved in that leadership. We have signed the Memorandum of Understanding, the Minister of Agriculture just said. This is going to be great because the Department of Agriculture is working with us on it.

[Page 1659]

This is a serious issue. Most members over there spoke about this and I agree with them. When I started finalizing the bill and going through it - now you will know why it took the Safety Council three years to develop this bill with some of the best staff there is - I just want to give you some quick figures. In 1991, five fatalities occurred in agriculture. I won't go through where they are from but staff do not believe that workers' compensation was involved in any of those five fatalities. If they had a built-in pension plan, which is unlikely. What we have to think about as elected people, it is our role to defend those who can't defend themselves. When you talk to those families today of those five people who are not with us any more, we should ask about their spouses and their children because they had no coverage under WCB in this province, so that is important.

In the same period for the province there were 28 fatalities reported under workers' compensation industries. Agriculture represents 2 per cent of the labour force in this province, of the employees, approximately 5 per cent of the employers in the province. This small group represents 15 per cent of the fatalities and I am not talking about injuries. We have a problem and I am pleased when groups write to us and ask us to do something.

[7:00 p.m.]

I just want to touch very quickly. The Occupational Health and Safety Division - and I know I have it here somewhere - sent out a questionnaire to 500 farmers, I think it was, in Nova Scotia. I am looking for the figure. The Department of Labour, 500; and there is a question on how farmers would be helped under this new Act. Is the role of the Department of Labour for all types of workplaces described in Clause 2(b) of the bill? Set and clarify the standards to be met. Support people who are trying to meet their responsibilities. What I am saying is, we drafted this and we have to support those people. We have to sit down with those small farmers in the agricultural sector as the Department of Labour, along with the Department of Agriculture, and we have to define those things that they need to work with, with regard to that. The Department of Labour has a role in monitoring the enforcement of health and safety requirements in all sectors. Farmers will not be pushed off to a corner because we had some major problems there. They must be looked after.

In good news, improvements are being made. In 1994 the Farm Health and Safety Committee - and this is a committee of agriculture - in conjunction with the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing, conducted a survey of health and safety. Over 500 farmers - I was wrong - responded to this survey. I was told by my staff just a few minutes ago, for the honourable member for Hants West, that we can table that survey in the House and we will make it available and we will table it.

Already the Department of Agriculture - and I want to praise them a little - are arranging to bring together their field staff to meet in one room, to make sure each of us understands the realities out there. Now with my Department of Labour, the people there, they are very bright, they work very hard and they do a great job. Let me tell you, I can go to bed at night and sleep just a little bit better because I am going to have all the field representatives of the Department of Agriculture and Marketing to help finalize that policy, which I think is important.

The honourable member for Kings North, also is seeking reassurance that the new Act will not call for a lot of paperwork. You know, that is true. God, if anybody doesn't like paperwork, it is me. The bill recognizes the need to limit bureaucratic burdens. This is why this is an internal thing. Government is not going to be there doing all this, to this end. The

[Page 1660]

requirements such as committee minutes, records of inspections and written safety programs are only required in organizations with 20 or more employees. Organizations between 5 and 19 employees will have a minimal level of paperwork. Representatives must be given information with regard to the safety hazards in the workplace. Get this, a one page safety policy must be posted. Not a book. We will help them, we will give them some draft guidelines so those people, and I hope the honourable Minister of Business and Consumer Services is listening. One page, a regular page by the way, not a notepad page, must be posted. We will help them with that, no big deal. If they can send them into my staff, we will photocopy them for them, won't we? See, they made the commitment.

I know that you people want me to wrap this up. The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley raised a concern with regard to the new bill which addresses the fall protection from heights. However, the fall protection bill has nothing to do with this. The regulation, in most cases, I won't go into that because it appears the honourable member got that question.

Another question. The farmer must worry about his first aid kit. When is it supposed to be there? Is it feasible, given the expected exposure to the weather and rough work? Let me make it clear, this bill we are dealing with here does not address the need for a first aid kit in the workplace whether it is on a tractor or in a factory but there will be first aid regulations passed, I hope, in the near future which will cover those things. We have worked with agriculture and as of now, this bill has nothing to do with that. I appreciate, though, the member bringing it forward because now he informs everybody else it may be an issue. So I appreciate that.

Questions from Hants West again. Boy, he certainly did his homework, Mr. Speaker, with regard to this bill. The list of players with responsibility under the bill because a lot of people will be involved. Is there a need to make everyone share the responsibility? The present Act, the one we have now, already lists the responsibilities of employers, constructors, employees, self-employed people, product and equipment suppliers and so on. Where is the honourable minister from Bridgewater? Get this, the present Act includes those people so somebody remind him for me with regard to that.

The list does get a little longer because there are new people in today's society. For instance, if an engineer stamps a roof support plan for a mine or a barn or a building or something like that out in the area, the employer and the workers rely on that individual's professional advice. They rely on you. If they hire an engineer or an architect to build a building, a farm, and it is supposed to be stable, those people don't question that. They rely on those people so they have to have some responsibility.

In the course of developing this bill, and let me make it very clear, three discussion documents were sent out over the last three years to a wide variety of interested parties including the Association of Professional Engineers, APENS. It was sent out on three occasions (Interruption) Because I suppose it is like anything else, some people are opposed. They do not want that new responsibility. They want to go in there, stamp a building, put a new building up and feel their responsibility should end there but it doesn't and it doesn't today but now it is going to be spelled out in the bill.

APENS made submissions to the advisory council that no doubt affected its recommendations. I don't believe that the architects got so involved. The question of when one of these professions might be seen as a constructor, for instance. So we have to deal with those

[Page 1661]

things today because the 1990's are not like the 1980's when the previous Act was introduced. So they have to be obligated.

Another question from the member for Hants West - you and I should have had lunch and discussed all your questions, I could have summed up by now. Anyway, the role of the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour. Clearly the advisory council's report tell us what the division must deliver. That is what the advisory council tells us, not the government, but the government must live up to that responsibility; set standards, such as regulations and let people know what they are expected to do; support the people - and don't ever forget this word, any of you members of the House of Assembly - who are trying to do the right thing. Get out there and sit down with them, even MLAs can do that. There is not an MLA here that cannot go into their office and write out one page, if you have the guidelines on safety rules for that place, not one in this House of Assembly who can't do that.

For example, an employee who refuses to do unsafe work, that person has to be protected. As members of this House, it is our obligation to protect them. Or an employer who can't sort out a committee problem, if the employer can't sort out the committee problem then, as an MLA, all of us here, don't leave the person out there hanging, he or she, the employer; say, look, I will get somebody down from the Department of Labour who will sit down with you and help you with that. Don't shove it back and criticize it and say, I don't know about governments, I don't know why they do these things. That is not an MLA's role and when an MLA fulfils their role, this is no problem. Intervene where the bill requests it. If the department does do these things, then that will be our role.

Why did the advisory council put forward the description of internal responsibility, Mr. Speaker, and to all members of this House, you must understand that this is going to be an internal responsibility. The employees and the employers are involved and it is up to us to guide them. We are not sitting here dictating with regard to these issues, we want to work with them. We have people who will meet anywhere around the province; in Yarmouth, if they have 25 or 50 or 100 employers who want to meet with us, we will arrange to meet with them to explain the bill; be it in the Valley, the honourable member for Hants West, if he contacts my department or phones me, we will go down and explain the agricultural thing there. I can understand why it is a problem, I am not criticizing that.

There is more confusion. The honourable Minister of Business and Consumer Affairs came to me tonight and said, Guy, there is all kinds of confusion out there. Well, some of the questions he asked have nothing to do with the government at all. He can't show me one sentence in this bill, and the rest of the things he raised have been in the Act since 1985 with regard to it. I am trying to give you something here. I am trying to go through this, I know some of you are getting impatient.

The honourable member for Hants West asked about three people on the appeal board, he wanted some added. We have looked at that, the advisory council looked at it. It would just create too many problems because now if you have the three people and to appoint another one is wrong and it won't work, or at least that is what we are told through the committee structure, not by this House now, but by the advisory council and the people that have come in to talk to us about it. So we are leaving that the same but I will tell you this, if it doesn't work and if all parties can't agree to it, I am prepared to make a change with regard to that but not at this time.

The honourable member also suggested that Clause 77 and Clause 78; Clause 77 allows the company directors and managers to be prosecuted. Of course, you know they have to. Too bad we couldn't - and I am not getting into another debate - but too bad there were not people today who would be prosecuted over certain things in this province. Clause 78 prevents lawsuits against enforcement staff if in good faith, only in good faith. The honourable member suggests that Clause 77 can be changed so the company managers could not be prosecuted if they acted in good faith.

Why did the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Council propose some of these limits on lawsuits against people doing enforcement work? Why do most provinces in Canada have a section similar [Page 1662]

to Clause 78? I suppose because they thought that the lawsuits could intimidate Occupational Health and Safety Officers - I am just saying that - if the order would interfere with the profits of a workplace that is being inspected.

[7:15 p.m.]

I expect that they did not want officers to be sued for their jobs in good faith since the officers may be reluctant to the side of safety.

Clause 77 is copied directly from the 1985 Act of this province. (Interruption) Oh, the penalty has changed, yes. The questions by the honourable members for Kings North and Kings West, there are stories of people who say they won't hire this year, who will not be able to get to work government construction jobs. They say this is because you are required to get certified. That has nothing to do with this bill.

Let me make it clear again and again, you cannot show me anything in the previous Occupational Health and Safety Act and you cannot show me anything in this bill, you cannot show me one sentence that that applies to. I congratulate the construction association. I know some of their members are opposed to it now, or some of the smaller ones, but isn't it great that we had an industry in this province like the construction industry that sat down at the table and voted themselves to develop a safety plan within their own industry. I think that is magnificent and I think it is wonderful and every elected member should be singing their praises, instead of going out and saying, well, no, it doesn't really happen that way. The government is doing it.

I ask any member of this House to get up on a point of order now and tell me where you can find anything in this bill dealing with that situation. When the private sector identifies the need, which they were identifying through the WCB and through their injuries and loss of time and the cost of construction, then I want to tell you that I totally support them.

The honourable member for Kings West also raised a point about farmers with regard to gasoline containers. Let me tell you that this bill has absolutely nothing new with regard to gasoline containers. It is the same clause that was in the 1985 Act. What I am prepared to do is make up a list of all the rest of the questions and forward them to the member, if he is in agreement. (Interruption)

Okay, if so, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all members of this House. I will thank the Minister of Transportation and Public Works once again for introducing the bill, I want to thank everybody and I want to thank all members of this House. But if any praise has to go out, and I cannot sit down until I announce it, the praise must go to the 50 volunteers from labour, the 50 volunteers from management in this province that worked this consensus out

[Page 1663]

in 90 per cent of the cases over the last three years. Also, the Department of Labour staff that worked so hard with these people. I want to thank each one of them in a public way. I now move second reading of Bill No. 13.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 13, An Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety. 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.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBER'S PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 27.

Bill No. 27 - Acadia Trust Company Dissolution Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: I so move, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved. Are we ready for the question? The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 27.

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

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

[Page 1664]

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 29.

Bill No. 29 - Executive Council Act/Public Service Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 29 is an Act to Amend Chapter 155 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Executive Council Act, and Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Service Act.

I do not intend to spend a great deal of time on this. This simply outlines the changes that were made organizationally with respect to the departments, primarily concerned with the creation of the Department of Business and Consumer Services, the amalgamation of the Departments of Transportation and Public Works and Housing with Municipal Affairs. Those are the three main provisions in the bill. This simply gives effect to the reforms that have already been introduced and, indeed, implemented in those departments. With that, I move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion has been made.

The honourable member for Hants West on the motion.

MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak at length on this bill; however, I will not because I think we can probably deal with it much better when we get it into Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

I would just comment that perhaps we are getting into a range of different names for departments these days, whether they be agencies or secretariats or what have you. I think that is a matter that should be discussed at length when we get into the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, with that, I thank the honourable member for his intervention. I recognize that in the Committee of the Whole House there may be other very specific interventions with respect to individual clauses and so on. With that, I would recommend this to the favourable consideration of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: That concludes the debate on second reading. Is the House ready for the question?

The question has been called. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

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The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[7:23 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Robert Carruthers in the Chair.]

[9:57 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Paul MacEwan, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made progress and asks leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

Bill No. 4 - Nursing Assistants Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendment.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the provisions of the Pension Benefits Act, I beg leave to table the Annual Reports of the Superintendent of Pensions for the fiscal years ended March 31, 1994 and March 31, 1995.

MR. SPEAKER: The annual reports are tabled.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, the House will meet tomorrow from the hours of 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. Following Question Period we will go to Committee of the Whole House on Supply, I believe we will conclude Supply tomorrow in both the Chamber and the Subcommittee. Following the passage of the Appropriations Bill, we will then move on to Committee of the Whole House on Bills, beginning with Bill No. 18.

I move that we adjourn until noon tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 12:00 noon.

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 9:59 p.m.]