The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Thur., May 8, 1997

Fifth Session

THURSDAY, MAY 8, 1997

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
Message from the Lieutenant Governor Acknowledging Address in Reply
to the Speech from the Throne, read by Hon. D. Downe 1527
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Tatamagouche: Streets - Repave,
Mr. E. Lorraine 1528
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 398, Nat. Res.: Arbor Day - Support, Hon. E. Norrie 1528
Vote - Affirmative 1529
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - East Uniacke: Lakecrest Drive - Upgrade,
Mr. R. Carruthers 1530
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 399, Nat. Res. - Sable Gas: Giveaway - Admit, Dr. J. Hamm 1530
Res. 400, Gen. Election (U.K.) - MPs (Female): Increase - Welcome,
Ms. E. O'Connell 1531
Res. 401, Agric. - Garden Clubs (N.S. Assoc.): Efforts - Congrats.,
Hon. G. Brown 1531
Vote - Affirmative 1532
Res. 402, Nat. Res. - Truro Tree Comm'n.: Anniv. (25th) - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Norrie 1532
Vote - Affirmative 1533
Res. 403, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Amherst Reg. Depot: Future -
Reveal, Mr. G. Archibald 1533
Res. 404, Environ. - Muns.: Waste Reduction Initiatives - Reward,
Mr. D. McInnes 1533
Res. 405, Health - Privatization: Talks - Stop, Mr. R. Chisholm 1534
Res. 406, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Collideascope Digital Productions (Hfx.):
Internat. Award Nomination - Congrats., Mr. G. Fogarty 1534
Vote - Affirmative 1535
Res. 407, Justice (Canada) - Bill C-68: Liberal Caucus (N.S.) Gag Order -
Ldr. (New) Remove, Mr. B. Taylor 1535
Res. 408, Educ. - Schools: Funding Adequacy - Assurance Convey,
Mr. G. Archibald 1536
Res. 409, Liberal Party (N.S.) - Election Promises (1993): Unfulfilled -
Apologize, Mr. J. Leefe 1536
Res. 410, Fin. - Casino (Sydney): ITT Sheraton Deal -
Arbitrary Power Condemn, Mr. J. Holm 1537
Res. 411, Culture - Truro Music Festival: Anniv. (75th) - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Norrie 1537
Vote - Affirmative 1538
Res. 412, New Glasgow Second Baptist Church - Rev. H. Donald Thomas:
Minister Emeritus - Congrats., Dr. J. Hamm 1538
Vote - Affirmative 1539
Res. 413, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hwy. No. 102 (Exit 4):
Report - Table, Mr. B. Taylor 1539
Res. 414, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - N.S. Film Dev. Corp.: Stagnation -
Avoid, Mr. D. McInnes 1539
Res. 415, Educ. - Costs: Comparison (Educ.-Debt. Serv.) - Recalculate,
Ms. E. O'Connell 1540
Res. 416, Health - Care: Universal - Ensure, Mr. R. Chisholm 1540
Res. 417, Health - Cancer Society Cdn.: Support - Encourage,
Mr. D. Richards 1541
Vote - Affirmative 1542
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY QUESTIONS:
No. 144, DND: Lester B. Pearson Centre (Cornwallis) - Relocation,
Dr. J. Hamm 1542
No. 145, Justice - Correctional Facilities: Privatization - Report,
Mr. J. Holm 1544
No. 146, Fin.: Private Care Providers Assoc. - Meeting, Dr. J. Hamm 1545
No. 147, Fin. - HST: Inventory Rebate - Meeting, Mr. G. Moody 1547
No. 148, Nat. Res. - Sable Gas: NEB Hearings - Passive Position,
Mr. G. Archibald 1549
No. 149, Health - QE II Health Sciences Centre: Supplies -
Privatization, Mr. R. Chisholm 1551
No. 150, DND - Lester B. Pearson Centre: Cornwallis - Relocation,
Mr. J. Leefe 1553
No. 151, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Atl. Procurement Agreement:
N.B. - Non-Compliance, Mr. B. Taylor 1556
No. 152, Educ. - HRM School Bd.: Funding Additional - Source,
Ms. E. O'Connell 1559
No. 153, Educ. - Reg. School Bd. (SW): Amalgamation - Report Table,
Mr. J. Leefe 1560
No. 154, Educ. - Post-Secondary: Amalgamation - Status,
Mr. G. Archibald 1560
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Subcommittee of CWH on Supply - Sitting Time Extension (08/05/97) 1564
Vote - Affirmative 1565
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Ms. E. O'Connell 1565
Mr. G. Archibald 1567
Hon. G. Brown 1571
Mr. R. Chisholm 1573
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 2:25 P.M. 1574
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M. 1574
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Business Interests (U.S.):
Expansion - Condemn:
Mr. R. Chisholm 1575
Hon. J. MacEachern 1577
Mr. G. Moody 1581
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:30 P.M. 1584
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:55 P.M. 1584
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 18, Appropriations Act, 1997, Hon. W. Gillis 1584
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 18, Appropriations Act, 1997, Hon. W. Gillis 1585
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 18, Appropriations Act, 1997, Hon. W. Gillis 1585
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 6:58 P.M. 1585
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:59 P.M. 1585
CWH REPORTS 1586
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Anl. Rept. of the Superintendent of Pensions, Hon. W. Gillis 1587
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., May 9th at 9:00 a.m. 1587
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 418, Health - Diabetes Care Prog. (N.S.): Leadership -
Congrats., Hon. B. Boudreau 1588
Res. 419, Health: Day (Can.) (12/05/97)-Commun. Health Focus -
Recognize, Hon. B. Boudreau 1588
Res. 420, Health - Hospice Palliative Care Assoc. (N.S.): Work -
Acknowledge, Hon. B. Boudreau 1589
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER:
No. 14, Commun. Serv. - Mentally Ill: Housing Support - Funding,
Dr. J. Hamm 1590
No. 15, N.S. Gaming Control Comm'n. - LIDA (Truro): Bingo -
Licenses, Mr. A. MacLeod 1590
No. 16, Commun. Serv. - Mun. Serv. Exchange: LIDA (Truro) -
Assistance, Mr. A. MacLeod 1591

[Page 1527]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MAY 8, 1997

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Fifth Session

12:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Wayne Gaudet

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mrs. Francene Cosman

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, and members of the House, I have a message from the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, and members of the House of Assembly, I have the pleasure to report that I have today presented the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne to His Honour, the Honourable John James Kinley, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Nova Scotia. His Honour has delivered a formal acknowledgement of the address to me and has asked me to place his acknowledgement before the House of Assembly, which I take pleasure in doing. His Honour's acknowledgement reads as follows:

"Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:

I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of the dispatch of April 15th, 1997, presented by the Premier and other Members of the Executive Council in reply to the Speech delivered by me at the opening of the present Session and passed by the House of Assembly on the 15th day of April, 1997.

1527

[Page 1528]

I thank you for the loyal Address and for your assurance that earnest attention will be given to the business of the Session and to all other matters which may come before your consideration.

John James Kinley

Lieutenant Governor.".

MR. SPEAKER: We will now begin the daily proceedings.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester North.

MR. EDWARD LORRAINE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of approximately 130 people in the Village of Tatamagouche requesting that some repaving on a number of streets in the village be carried out as soon as possible. They have listed what they desire to have done of which the original has gone to the minister. They asked me to table a copy of the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 398

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

Whereas today is Arbor Day, traditionally a day to plant trees and acknowledge their importance to life, natural beauty and the environment; and

Whereas Arbor Day was initiated more than 100 years ago in 1872 by a Nebraska man named Sterling Morton and has been observed throughout North America, including Nova Scotia, virtually since the tradition started; and

[Page 1529]

Whereas trees beautify Nova Scotia's urban and rural communities and in forestry contribute to the economy and the quality of life we enjoy in this province;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House endorse and support Arbor Day and encourage Nova Scotians to continue to observe and take part in this tree planting tradition.

Mr. Speaker, I request 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

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

MR. BRUCE HOLLAND: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to introduce two classes of Grade 8 students from Tantallon Junior High accompanied by their teachers Kelly MacLeod and Rod Debay and four parent chaperones.

We are going through the daily routine of the House. In a few minutes, we will start Question Period, where the Opposition members ask members of the government questions. Government members sit on that side; the front benches are made up of ministers who will answer most of the questions. This section here is called the government Rump. My colleagues here, we have so many Liberal members in the House, there is not enough room for us all to sit on the government side and we hope to extend this section after the next election and make that section over there smaller.

However, I welcome you all and I ask you to stand up and receive the warm welcome of all members of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Before we proceed to Notices of Motion, I have been asked to revert to Presenting and Reading Petitions.

[Page 1530]

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition which is signed by 60 residents. These are residents of Lakecrest Drive in East Uniacke, Hants County, Nova Scotia, insisting that the state of disrepair of the road constitutes a safety hazard. The undersigned have demanded that the Department of Transportation bring the road up to a standard. These residents also have included a video for viewing. I have endorsed this petition and I want to advise the House that I support it in full.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 399

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

Whereas the 1993 Liberal Energy Policy stated, "without secure, price-stable, and where possible indigenous energy sources, Nova Scotians will continue to pay the price of not being more self-reliant"; and

Whereas the Liberal Government has allowed Nova Scotia to sit on the sidelines as New Brunswick, New England and Mobil Oil dictate the fate of Nova Scotia's offshore natural gas; and

Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources continues pie-in-the-sky projections regarding the benefits of natural gas without presenting any evidence to support her claims;

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government admit another dashed hope and broken election promise as it blindly plays the great gas giveaway, a game in which others call the shots.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

[Page 1531]

RESOLUTION NO. 400

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 election of a new Labour Government has brought many more women into the Mother of Parliaments at Westminster; and

Whereas the presence of 120 women in the House is a great improvement over the Thatcher-Major years when the number of MPs called John exceeded the number of female MPs; and

Whereas in this House there are as many members called John as there as female MLAs;

Therefore be it resolved that this House welcome the results of the recent election in the United Kingdom and express the wish that it will be a forerunner of things to come in this Chamber.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Marketing.

RESOLUTION NO. 401

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

Whereas for 44 years Nova Scotian garden clubs have helped to develop skills through the friendly exchange of information; and

[12:15 p.m.]

Whereas the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs serves an important coordinating role for over 1,300 members of the 48 garden clubs and horticultural societies across the province; and

Whereas on the weekend of May 30, 1997, the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs will hold their annual convention in Stellarton, Nova Scotia;

[Page 1532]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs for their long-standing and valuable efforts in improving the attractiveness of their communities.

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

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 402

HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, as the MLA for Truro-Bible Hill I take great pride in serving notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas 1997 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Truro Tree Commission and commission members have worked diligently to help make Truro one of the most beautiful and one of the most treed towns in Canada; and

Whereas the Tree Canada Foundation has recognized the dedication and efforts of the commission and the people of Truro by officially designating the town as Green Streets Canada Community; and

Whereas this designation brings great honour and distinction to the Town of Truro and the Truro Tree Commission;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the commission on its 25th Anniversary and applaud both the town and the commission for achieving national recognition as a Green Streets Canada Community.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1533]

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. 403

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

Whereas this Liberal Government is playing cat and mouse with the people of Cumberland North concerning the future of the Department of Transportation's Regional Depot in the Amherst area; and

Whereas this Liberal Government has openly considered for the last several years moving the Regional Transportation Depot out of Amherst; and

Whereas the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce has expressed their concern over the proposed move because it could mean the loss of another 12 to 16 jobs in the Amherst area and an approximate payroll loss of $0.5 million;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Cumberland South, who felt it was important to challenge the point of view put forth by the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce, clearly enunciate to the Amherst area that the Department of Transportation and Public Works Regional Depot will remain in Amherst.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 404

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

Whereas a number of municipal units across Nova Scotia are very upset with the haphazard approach undertaken by the Minister of the Environment in his government's attempt at waste reduction; and

Whereas municipal units were broken down into regions and led to believe they would be rewarded for their waste reduction efforts on an individual, not regional, basis; and

[Page 1534]

Whereas the Mayor of Pictou recently expressed concern over the minister's solid waste regions and requested independent designation under provincial solid waste regulations with other municipal units in Pictou County;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of the Environment go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan that rewards, not penalizes, municipal units in their waste reduction initiatives.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 405

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

Whereas the Minister of Health defends his support for the privatization of the Supply Chain Management System at the Queen Elizabeth II on the dubious grounds that such action will save health care dollars; and

Whereas the privatization of Highway No. 104 and the ongoing privatization of schools in this province are advanced on the same basis; and

Whereas neither of those privatizations have saved education or transportation dollars and, in fact, are proving more costly;

Therefore be it resolved that this House demands that the Minister of Health stop talking about privatization as a way of saving money and admit that it is nothing more than a sell-out to the private sector.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 406

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

Whereas Collideascope Digital Productions was nominated for best animation at the Fourth Annual International Digital Media Awards held recently in Toronto; and

[Page 1535]

Whereas Collideascope, which provides interactive media production, is the brainchild of Steven Comeau and Michael Andreas Kuttner of Halifax; and

Whereas in less than two years, Collideascope has gone from working nights and weekends to a full-time office on Hollis Street, attracting clients such as Sobeys, Street Cents, Dalhousie University Polytechnic, Greco Pizza and the G-7 Summit;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend their congratulations to Steven Comeau and Michael Andreas Kuttner on their nomination and wish them continued success as they pursue their entrepreneurship from their Nova Scotia base.

I ask for waiver of notice, Mr. Speaker.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 407

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

Whereas federal Bill C-68, or the gun registration legislation, is not designed to impact upon the criminal element in society; and

Whereas the silence of the Nova Scotia Liberals on this fundamental issue of rights has resulted in a form of betrayal by political Parties never witnessed before in the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Bill C-68 is going to cost Nova Scotians money to administer the law, as well as police it;

Therefore be it resolved that the new Leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party lift the gag order imposed upon their caucus and allow their members individual freedom.

[Page 1536]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 408

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

Whereas the member for Kings South promised on May 7, 1993, that the Liberals "would find new money for education by some manner or means"; and

Whereas that same minister's response yesterday to the lack of funding to our schools to assist students with special needs was, "We've invested more than you did."; and

Whereas this government has closed the youth training centres and directed the mainstreaming of students with special needs into the classroom;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education and Culture convey to the teachers, students and parents of this province, by some manner or means, how he intends to meet his government's obligations to ensure that every student in this province is assured the proper funding for their needs, a very serious issue which was not properly addressed with the minister's comment, we spent more than you did.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 409

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

Whereas on May 14, 1993, the Liberals stated, "Under a Liberal Government, there will be no false pictures of the province's finances."; and

Whereas the Liberals also stated, "A Liberal Government will be up front and accountable about its expenses and its revenues."; and

Whereas the recently released Auditor General's Report showed that the Liberals were not "up front and accountable" about the budget, choosing instead to provide a picture of the province's books so phoney that it would make NDP B.C. Premier Glen Clark blush;

[Page 1537]

Therefore be it resolved that by way of political deathbed confession, the Liberals apologize for continuing to break election promises.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 410

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 man who would be Premier forced the bitter medicine of casino gambling down the throats of Nova Scotians with a spoonful of sugar consisting of promises that non-profit organizations and First Nations would get a cut of the profits; and

Whereas these promises, like so many other Liberal promises, have proven empty as charities and bands are still awaiting any significant payoff from casino gambling; and

Whereas non-profit groups, like the Cape Breton Labourers Development Corporation, have not only been denied those few crumbs that fall from ITT Sheraton's table but have been refused access to Sheraton's charitable contribution criteria;

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemns the government for signing a deal with ITT Sheraton that gives it the arbitrary power to callously reject internationally recognized organizations, like the Cape Breton Labourers Development Corporation.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 411

HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, as MLA for Truro-Bible Hill, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas this year is the 75th Anniversary of the Truro Music Festival Society, a volunteer organization dedicated to the performance and appreciation of music; and

Whereas the annual Spring Music Festival, organized and sponsored by the society is the third oldest continuous music festival in Canada; and

[Page 1538]

Whereas the society will stage its 75th Anniversary and awards concert at the Cobequid Education Centre in Truro tomorrow evening;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Truro Music Festival Society on its 75th Anniversary and commend the organization for its excellent work with young musicians and vocalists.

I seek waiver of notice, Mr. Speaker.

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 Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 412

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

Whereas many people from all walks of life gathered at New Glasgow's Second Baptist Church recently for a service in honour of Reverend H. Donald Thomas; and

Whereas Reverend Thomas, who pastored at Second Baptist for 39 years, was inducted during this service as Minister Emeritus of Second Baptist; and

Whereas Reverend Thomas' status as a pillar of Pictou County's spiritual community was recognized by the large congregation of government and civic leaders, former parishioners, family and friends;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Reverend H. Donald Thomas for his well-deserved honour and thank him for his life of dedication to community, family, friends and God.

I seek waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1539]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 413

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

Whereas today's accident on the Highway Nos. 101/102 interchange caused major traffic delays and re-routing, affecting tens of thousands of commuters to metro Halifax; and

Whereas this accident underscores the need to fully complete the Glendale Drive-Duke Street connector, which would include a new Bedford-Sackville interchange with Highway No. 102; and

Whereas in a June 19, 1996, news release, the former Minister of Transportation and Public Works stated that the connector "will significantly relieve congestion on local roads";

Therefore be it resolved that the current Minister of Transportation and Public Works table a written progress report on the Glendale Drive-Duke Street connector which includes the date for when the connector will be open for use by drivers.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 414

MR. DONALD MCINNES: 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 cut the budget of the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation, leaving the organization in desperate shape according to the interim chair of the corporation's board; and

[Page 1540]

Whereas the Liberal Government should worry less about increasing their public relations budget by $700,000 and worry more about cutting funding support for a new and growing industry, valued at approximately $30 million annually; and

Whereas the corporation will not be able to invest in any new film or television projects until next April;

Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government review their spending priorities so that our growing film and television industry does not stagnate from Liberal cuts.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 415

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 Minister of Education constantly justifies his government's underfunding of the education system in Nova Scotia with the excuse that in this province we spend "twice as much on debt service as we do on educating all of our children"; and

Whereas net debt servicing costs in 1996-97 totalled $700 million while the cost of educating our children in public schools alone totalled $673 million; and

Whereas $700 million is nowhere near twice as much as $673 million;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education go back, redo his sums, abandon his all-purpose excuse and start to do his job as an advocate for education in the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 416

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

[Page 1541]

[12:30 p.m.]

Whereas in response to questions about privatization initiatives at the QE II the Minister of Health stood in this House yesterday and stated the Canada Health Act addresses nothing concerning the purchase of supplies; and

Whereas the definition of hospital services in the Canada Health Act includes medical and surgical equipment and supplies; and

Whereas the Minister of Health has demonstrated his ignorance time and time again about the Canada Health Act and completely ignores its contravention in the form of increasing user fees, extra billing by physicians and the creation of two-tiered health care in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House call on the Minister of Health to dust off his copy of the Canada Health Act and follow its dictates to ensure that our health care system remains universal, comprehensive, accessible, portable and publicly administered.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 417

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

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers inspired to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with this illness; and

Whereas each year the Canadian Cancer Society's promise of hope and renewal is offered through education, patient services, fund raising and research; and

Whereas last evening the Dartmouth unit of the Canadian Cancer Society at Pope John XXIII Church held an interfaith service of remembrance and hope for those who have in any way been affected by the illness of cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House encourage continued support for the Canadian Cancer Society and recognize the outstanding efforts of volunteers in Dartmouth and across the province.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[Page 1542]

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.

Before moving on to the Orders of the Day I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted a draw for the Late Debate. The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party will debate at 6:00 p.m.:

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemns the example being set by the Liberal Government which promotes private profit for U.S. based corporations and discourages local investment in decent jobs for Nova Scotians.

That will take place at 6:00 p.m. The Oral Question Period will last for one hour. The time now being 12:33 p.m., Question Period will last until 1:33 p.m.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

DND: LESTER B. PEARSON CENTRE (CORNWALLIS) - RELOCATION

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Deputy Premier. A paper has been prepared for the Honourable Doug Young. This is a report to the Prime Minister and it has to do with peacekeeping and other services in Canada. This report indicates that the activities at the Lester B. Pearson Centre in Cornwallis be centred in Kingston, Ontario. I know the government must be aware of this paper because it has been in existence for a month and one-half. I would ask the Deputy Premier what interventions this government has made to the Prime Minister to ensure that the Prime Minister does not act on the recommendations put forward in this report but fulfils his commitment that he made to the people of South West Nova in the fall of 1993? What interventions has the government made?

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable Leader of the Opposition would realize, it is impossible for somebody that is filling in for the Premier on Question Period to know every facet of his activities. I undertake to the House, however, to check on the efforts of the Premier on behalf of the people of southwestern Nova Scotia and, in particular, the Cornwallis area.

[Page 1543]

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to continue with the Deputy Premier. I know the Deputy Premier is very aware that our Premier made a very firm commitment that he was prepared literally, and I say perhaps figuratively, to go to the wall to make sure that the facility in Cornwallis was fully utilized. That was in May 1993. On September 1, 1993, and I am sure the Deputy Premier is aware of this, the now Prime Minister of Canada had arranged to circulate, I believe 20,000, letters to the people of South West Nova, indicating firm support for Cornwallis to be the training centre for the Canadian military.

Will the Deputy Premier indicate if he is prepared, once he receives or makes himself aware of the information, to fulfil the commitment of the Premier of Nova Scotia made to the people of Nova Scotia, particularly those in southwestern Nova Scotia, in the spring of 1993 that Cornwallis remain the peacekeeping centre for the Canadian military? Will this government intervene, firmly and strongly, on behalf of the commitment made to the people of Nova Scotia in 1993?

MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I already said that I would check into the matter and, knowing Premier Savage, I know the Premier will live up to any commitment he can. The peacekeeping centre for the Government of Canada, it seems to me that the honourable Leader of the Opposition should direct some of these questions to some of the federal candidates who are on the campaign. If the decision is a federal decision, they should be doing it. Having said that, I will undertake to check what was said and pass this information and copies of the questions that have come up today to Premier Savage when he returns to the province later today.

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Premier indicated, quite correctly, that this is an issue for candidates in the federal election. As a matter of fact, today, the candidate in that end of the province, the Progressive Conservative candidate, Mark Muise, did issue a press release that he is campaigning on the basis of supporting Cornwallis. But it was not only the Prime Minister of Canada who agreed to support Cornwallis, it was the now Premier of Nova Scotia. He was firm in his position in the spring of 1993. What has happened since then? What interventions has the government made?

I am simply asking the Deputy Premier, is he prepared to recommend, when the Premier returns to Nova Scotia, and I believe that could occur as early as tomorrow, that he will demand an immediate meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada to fulfil the commitment that the Prime Minister made in the fall of 1993 and that Cornwallis be established as the training centre for the Canadian military?

MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I made the commitment to check into the matter and to bring the Premier up-to-date, when he arrives back in the province from business on behalf of Nova Scotia in Houston at a conference with regard to the offshore. But I certainly don't intend and it has not been my style as a member of Cabinet, to start ordering the First Minister

[Page 1544]

around. I certainly will bring the whole matter to his attention and I know he will do what is right. (Applause)

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

JUSTICE - CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES: PRIVATIZATION - REPORT

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Health, I am going to direct a question, through you, sir, to the Attorney General. The minister, of course, has talked, on a number of occasions and there has been a great deal of discussion in this Chamber, about the privatization of correctional facilities and also about the consultants report that is being prepared for the government. It is my information that the Department of Justice has now received the report and recommendations of the consultants. I was also told, hopefully correctly, that, in fact, the recommendation is that there be one large correctional facility constructed, a facility that would have over 500 beds in that facility.

What I am trying to get from the minister is, first of all, clarification. Has, in fact, the government received the report and, if so, will it reject it if that is a recommendation that it be one large facility with over 500 beds?

HON. ALAN MITCHELL: Mr. Speaker, I believe that the information that the honourable member has is not correct. My understanding is that the final report of the study has not been received by the department, as of yet, and I certainly have not seen it. I am looking forward to receiving it, hopefully, sometime later on this month and we will give it very careful study when we do receive it.

MR. HOLM: I want to ask the minister, then, if the position of the government has remained fixed because there is a great deal of concern about the privatization and we have seen a great deal of concerns about where and how they have been operated in other jurisdictions, for example, the United States. The former, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, now Minister of Finance, on the floor of this House stated, in October 1995, ". . . the notion that we are considering one large central facility must be dispelled now . . . We hear words like super-jail. It is not in the cards. It is not going to happen . . .". I want to ask the minister, is that still the position of government? Will the minister guarantee that we will not and that his department will not support the notion of a super jail as his predecessor had said?

MR. MITCHELL: Mr. Speaker, I would agree with the quote that the honourable member has given with regard to my predecessor that we are not favouring a super jail. I would not expect that to be one of the recommendations. We are looking forward to receiving the report in the near future and we will give it very careful study. Our duty and obligation is to make sure that we provide the best correctional services possible for those

[Page 1545]

who use them, those who work in them and for the people of Nova Scotia and we will ensure that that is the case.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I note the minister said that he agrees with the statement but he wouldn't make the commitment that the government would not adopt such an approach and he is not anticipating that as a recommendation. What I am trying to get from the minister is a clear commitment and that clear commitment had been given by his predecessor and stated that that option is not in the cards. The minister has been very careful not to assert that same unequivocal statement in his answer. So I want to ask the minister very directly, will the minister guarantee that his government, that he is a member of, will not support one large super jail type of facility for the province should that be the recommendation that comes forward?

MR. MITCHELL: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member that I do not favour such proposal of one large institution. I would like, very much, to see the report and have a chance to study the recommendations that are coming forward but I do not expect that to be one of the recommendations. I would not support it if that was the case.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

FIN.: PRIVATE CARE PROVIDERS ASSOC. - MEETING

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Finance. It is my understanding that the Minister of Finance attended as recently perhaps as the last couple of days, a meeting with the Association of Private Care Providers. My understanding and my information is that the minister entered that meeting and said, I am busy, I haven't got time really to listen but I have something I wish to tell you. They wished to meet with the minister because they are very concerned that medical care services being provided by PCWs are, in fact, being taxed. The minister made a suggestion to the Association of Private Care Providers and that was that they lobby other provinces to see if they could have PCWs designated as medical service providers.

My question to the minister is, does his suggestion mean that he is sympathetic to the position taken by the association or does it simply mean that he is powerless to do anything about the taxation system in this province because he has signed away that right to Ottawa and the other provinces?

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: First of all, I want to say, with regard to the Leader of the Opposition's opening comments, I suppose it all depends on how the group might take the reaction from the minister who is sitting in the House up to eight hours a day. Within days of that group contacting me for a meeting, I agreed to meet with them and we agreed mutually, I understood, to the amount of time that was to be used for it. Now if that is not a good way to do business, I don't know. Maybe I am guilty of something but when you meet within days

[Page 1546]

during the House session on a matter with a group like that when there are many groups that come forward. I think I did my job in that regard.

[12:45 p.m.]

Now, on the matter of substance, I tried to be helpful to the group. I explained to the group that the rules that are being followed in the three provinces, that were developed by the three provinces and the Government of Canada, were the GST rules, the HST rules were the old GST rules. Those are the rules we followed. In an effort to be helpful because I can understand some of their points. They said they think they should be changed and want to change them. I emphasized approaching the Minister of Finance for Canada in the first instance and asked them, specifically offered that they might want to send me copies and I would contact the Honourable Mr. Martin on their behalf and also the Honourable Jane Stewart, the Minister of National Revenue. But I also said because there are groups in other provinces they might want to contact them too. I tried to be helpful, if they misconstrued it as being some other way, well, c'est la vie.

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, the minister made reference to the tiresome eight hours we spend in this place, actually eight hours is a piece of cake compared to 12 hours. This is really not much of a chore at all. I would like to continue with the Minister of Health.

The Minister of Health is aware that with early discharges, which are becoming a fact of life in Nova Scotia hospitals, that a discharge officer in a hospital will call up Home Care Nova Scotia and will try to make arrangements for an early discharge and provide services to that patient to facilitate early discharge. What is happening, however, in many instances where Home Care Nova Scotia's resources are being overtaxed they contact a private home care provider to arrange an early discharge. I can assure the minister this happens over and over and over around the province. So what happens is that the discharge officer makes arrangement with a private home care provider to provide services to that patient on immediate discharge from hospital. This saves the system money because it shortens up the admission to hospital.

My question to the minister is, does he agree that these services, which shorten the hospital admission and which provides a real saving to his budget, should result in a payment by that patient which is taxed by the HST?

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the early discharge program I think for the most part has been well received by patients who find, I think, that their recovery is more pleasant and more speedy if it can occur in their home surroundings rather than in a hospital. So I think having acknowledged that right off the bat, we also have to make the point that the average length of hospital stays in Nova Scotia are still well within national averages, as a matter of fact somewhat higher than national averages.

[Page 1547]

Specifically with respect to the question on the HST, there really is no impact on programs delivered by Home Care Nova Scotia, as I think the honourable member would agree. The HST is not charged on all government funded/government approved provincial home care services; all services provided by registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, I am informed by our department. There are some services which are taxed if they are provided and purchased on the basis of a private home care service. But, in fact, that has been the case in the past and the regular GST rules apply.

DR. HAMM: The minister outlined the problem, he simply didn't know the solution. As the minister has just freely said, services that are being provided by private home care, the Association of Home Care Providers, they are taxed. In other words, you are discharged from hospital, your discharge is facilitated by the fact that you are prepared to provide home care services yourself, through a private provider, and you are going to be taxed for it.

Now the Minister of Finance made a suggestion that the Association of Home Care Providers would lobby other provinces to see if they could have this turned around. He didn't make a commitment that he would do it, but is the Minister of Health now prepared to follow-up on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance that a lobby be initiated with other provinces to have PCWs designated as medical care providers? Is he prepared to lead that charge?

MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, just to once again reaffirm what HST is not charged on, which is, by far, the vast majority of all home care services provided, public or private: all public health care services, all home care services, there is no HST; all medical devices, no HST; all government-funded and government-approved provincial home care services, no HST; additional home care services purchased by Home Care Nova Scotia clients from their care provider; all services provided by registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, no HST; necessary homemaking services provided to the elderly, infirm or disabled, by either a charity or government or municipality or a non-profit organization that receives funds from government or from a municipality for that service, none of those are charged HST.

There is a limited number of services, if they are rendered by a private company, that do attract HST; that is the circumstance. I leave the tax matters to the very able Minister of Finance.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

FIN. - HST: INVENTORY REBATE - MEETING

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. I know that when the HST was brought in that the Minister of Finance said, first of all the consumers were going to get a break and later we found out that the consumers were not

[Page 1548]

going to get a break, but he did say that the companies would get a break. Now I have been contacted by a number of companies who were in the contracting business and prior to April 1st they had a large inventory. One particular company had $80,000 and when they bought their materials they paid the PST and the GST. The GST is not a problem, the 11 per cent is a problem.

When they made the change for cigarettes, they allowed the inventory to be counted and people were given credit for the PST. What we are now seeing is a large number of companies that have inventories, one company of $9,000, and a lot of companies in this province that are small and struggling, with this kind of inventory. They had a meeting, I believe in March, and were told at that time that there would be a meeting of the HST people and the PST people to resolve the issue. So, I would ask the minister, has that meeting taken place and how was the issue resolved?

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the general matter that the member brings up, the matter of inventory. I am not sure of all the details of the meeting. If he has a specific case, a specific company, that he wants to pass to me, I would be glad to take it back to my department and ask the responsible officials in the department to check on it.

I think the policy has been that under the PST, there is not a refund for that. However, if there is a specific company that raised this and were told that they would get an answer and didn't get it, if the honourable member would provide that information, I would be glad to check with my officials.

MR. MOODY: I will be glad to provide the minister with the name of the individual who is inquiring. My point is, Mr. Speaker, that cigarettes in this province, the government was quick to give up the tax on that and rebate those with inventory, but contractors like electrical contractors and others, because they were not dealing with cigarettes, have now no way to deal with their issue.

If I am aware of the details, I can't understand why the minister isn't aware of the details, because both the PST and the HST officials in Ottawa and Halifax have said there is a problem that is unfair and needs to be addressed. I will ask the minister, and I will provide him with the individual name and contact, will he assure companies that the issue will be resolved? In other words, they will get an answer of how they are going to be able to deal with this very important issue to them. Most of these contractors had bid on contracts and now have no way to collect that 11 per cent and, as the minister is aware, a lot of companies around Nova Scotia - and you are probably aware, too, Mr. Speaker - do not have any more than 11 per cent marginal profit, so it means a great deal to these companies in this province.

[Page 1549]

MR. GILLIS: First of all, in reply, it is fine to cite cigarette inventories as being the reason that you make certain other changes, but I think the honourable member, being a former front bencher when his Party was in government, knows that tobacco has been treated differently. There have been a lot of inventories that have been taken at the times of tax changes over the years. I am sure he is aware of that.

I certainly, as indicated earlier, once I get the information about the specific company, I will give the answers. I am not trying to hold back. I think companies that have come forward have been told the answer. In some cases, they might not like the answer because it might not be to their favour, but I have already indicated and the member has said he will give me the specific name, and I will check and see if we owe that particular company an answer. I will ask my officials to get back to them as soon as reasonably possible.

MR. MOODY: I would ask the minister, in coming up with his answer - these people have not been given an answer because the HST people push it on the PST people and the PST people push it on the HST people and no answer is given - I would ask that the minister in his consideration of companies like this, would he make sure that companies in Nova Scotia, local Nova Scotian companies, employing local Nova Scotians, will be treated fairly by this government and not take a tax grab away from companies by saying, too bad, the rule's changed, you are not entitled to receive that PST back. Would he ensure that Nova Scotian companies are treated fairly when the decision is made regarding this tax change?

MR. GILLIS: I can assure the honourable member and all members of the House that this particular company and others will be treated fairly but, again, I am in a vacuum. I need the information and the member has promised it to me. I will take that and turn it over to my officials as soon as I can.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.

NAT. RES. - SABLE GAS: NEB HEARINGS - PASSIVE POSITION

MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: My question is to the Minister of Natural Resources, and I would like to ask a question regarding the NEB Sable gas hearings. Nova Scotia seems to be taking the position of spectator at those hearings. We have no supply guarantee; we have no reduced price; we have no laterals. Why is the position of Nova Scotia - the position that your government has chosen to take - why is it so passive at these NEB hearings?

HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: I want to, first of all, congratulate the member opposite for his promotion to the front benches and I welcome him. Now we can more directly converse and answer questions during Question Period.

[Page 1550]

Nova Scotia has taken a very serious, very informed, very diligent approach to the Sable gas hearings. The member opposite would know and I have copies of it here and I have tabled these in the House of Assembly, the evidence that Nova Scotia has prepared in response to the applications by both the Sable Offshore Energy Project and the pipeline project. We also have the very distinct pleasure and the very distinct advantage to be the last intervener at these hearings. We have made our position known, not only on supply, but also our definite position on the best price we could get an advantage for Nova Scotia, a better price for Nova Scotians. Also all the other issues that are involved that are working in the best interests of this province.

The member opposite's caucus are interveners as well in this process. They would have access to all of Nova Scotia's interventions, all the evidence that we have filed. It is there for public viewing. Their caucus office has access to those intervention papers as well. We are standing up for Nova Scotians. We are working very diligently for Nova Scotians. We have experts supplying evidence in each of the different categories for the province and we are making sure Nova Scotia is being heard in a very responsible, sane and diligent manner so that the best interests of this province is heard at these hearings.

[1:00 p.m.]

MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, again to the Minister of Natural Resources, this line that the minister has been using when the minister indicates that Nova Scotia has some preferential position because we are last. Nova Scotia should be first and have a guaranteed price, a guarantee of supply, there should be laterals around the province. And the minister says we are lucky because we are going to be the last to be heard. Does the minister realize and she read all the documentation, the minister should absolutely understand that being last is not the place that Nova Scotia deserves. We should be first.

I would like to ask the minister why she has taken such a passive role in this, that we have allowed other areas to say that they have a guarantee of the receipt of gas, they are going to get a better price, they are going to have laterals? Even the City of Saint John is going to have a lateral and the pipeline company is going to pay for it. Could the minister tell us why she thinks it is better if Nova Scotia is last?

MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite in his preamble to the question has made statements that he knows are not the facts. Other jurisdictions have stated what their interventions, have stated to the National Energy Board what their position is. We have stated what our position is and when I say Nova Scotia is last, is the way he makes the comment, because we are first because this is our gas.

Every other jurisdiction has a problem with that because this gas is off of Nova Scotia, it can't get to New Brunswick until it goes through Nova Scotia. We have a very, very advantageous position here, we are taking advantage of that position. When the member

[Page 1551]

opposite makes comments that they are paying for a lateral for Saint John, when New Brunswick has done that, they have given up their jurisdiction over that lateral. They have given jurisdiction for that lateral to the National Energy Board. We here in Nova Scotia and the member opposite knows this, with our Gas Distribution Act we have claimed jurisdiction over every pipe that is laid off that main transmission line here in this province and we are going to make sure that this province gets the best deal and the best possible tolling mechanism here in this province so that we get the best possible price for the people of this province.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Natural Resources. Truly, Nova Scotia is coming in last at the present time. We do not have a price advantage, there is no guarantee of supply, the royalty agreement that the minister signed is the worst in the country and there aren't even any laterals. Could the minister start putting Nova Scotia first?

My final question is, last week in the submissions and reports that were tabled at the hearings they indicated there were secret deals between the gas pipeline company and the supplier. Those secret deals indicate that Nova Scotians may not even be entitled to any gas. Has the Minister of Natural Resources looked into the fact that there are secret deals that exist and it was a New Brunswick lawyer and a Nova Scotia lawyer for a private Nova Scotia consortium that has found this out? Does the minister realize there are secret deals that may exclude Nova Scotians from ever receiving any natural gas?

MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I would say to the member opposite that Nova Scotians will have access to gas if Nova Scotians want gas and we will get it in Nova Scotia at the best possible price.

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

HEALTH - QE II HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE:

SUPPLIES - PRIVATIZATION

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you to the Minister of Health. Yesterday the Minister of Health here in this House defended privatization of the supply chain management system at the QE II on the grounds that it will save health dollars. Our understanding and most people's understanding of the whole process of privatization is that it adds another cost factor onto the process as the company needs to generate dividends for their shareholders or in other words, create profit.

I would like to ask the minister, given that added cost factor in the whole privatization system, how can this minister say that privatization of the supply chain management system at the QE II will, in fact, save money?

[Page 1552]

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, first of all, again, as has been his habit on a regular basis since he has been in the House, the honourable member proposes in his preamble a position that the member has not taken, that no member of this government has taken, including the Minister of Health. What we said was that we believed it was reasonable to look in areas which did not involve patient services to see if there were any economies to be achieved so that we might redirect precious limited resources from non-patient areas, such as purchase of supplies, into patient areas. I simply said I thought that was reasonable.

If the honourable member is right that in terms of purchasing supplies - medical supplies, cleaning supplies - and other things, and the alternative is not going to be less expensive, not going to be more cost-effective, I don't see why anyone would want to do it.

MR. CHISHOLM: I agree. Why would anybody want to do it? Mr. Speaker, we know clearly that the provision of private health care in the United States, as an example, by for-profit hospital management organizations has led that country to lead the world in the most expensive health care system. At the same time, there are over 30 per cent, or nearly 75 million Americans who don't receive health care in that country. The question is, as the minister has cited, why would we do it?

I want the minister, Mr. Speaker, given that and given the chaos and the problems that we see at the QE II hospital, why would the minister even allow this concept to be entertained, adding further certainty to the chaos that exists, by initiating this kind of process without any evidence that it will, in fact, make a difference?

MR. BOUDREAU: I would ask the honourable member a question as well. If the honourable member is so convinced, beyond a shadow of any doubt, that the way we purchase supplies now, be it medical supplies or cleaning supplies, or I think I used the example yesterday of toilet paper, that the way we do it now is the most efficient, the most cost-effective and allows for the most money to be diverted towards patient care, if he is absolutely convinced of that, why is he afraid of letting people at least look to see if they can be convinced the way he is? But he is convinced, I think, on ideological grounds, Mr. Speaker.

MR. CHISHOLM: I guess, partly, a conviction that the principles of the Canada Health Act should be adhered to in this country, that prohibit profit-taking for health services on the backs of the ill and the infirm in this country. I have no preconception about the private sector, Mr. Speaker, other than understanding, very clearly, that you are adding in an extra cost factor, as they have to do one of three things in order to generate that kind of profit for shareholders. They have got to increase cost, they have got to drive down the cost to their employees' salaries and benefits, or they have got to lay people off. That is the reality of the for-profit health care system.

[Page 1553]

I want to ask the minister, Mr. Speaker, will he not, in fact, agree that what he is really doing with this decision and others is presiding over the Americanization of our health care system, clearly to the detriment of patients, of health care workers and of the taxpayers of Nova Scotia?

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, that is the biggest piece of baloney that we are likely to hear in this session and it comes as we near the closing. First of all, he is trying to convince you that the purchase of toilet paper is protected under the Canada Health Act. I don't remember reading that. Then he drips off his lips, profit in the supplying of hospitals, we must not let profit enter it. I suppose Scott Paper sells the toilet paper now on a non-profit basis. I suppose all the other people who supply the hospitals at the moment do so on a non-profit arrangement, do they? Well, maybe we missed that; they were giving all these supplies for nothing, they were not interested.

Mr. Speaker, this is the kind of panic attack that the honourable member irresponsibly tries to generate for his own political purposes. To turn what everybody in the world would regard as a very sensible approach, is there a cheaper way we can buy supplies? If there is, we can use that money to help patients.

The ideological roots of that Party, which never emerged from the 1930's, cannot stand the possibility of doing something innovative like purchasing hospital supplies so that we can put more money into patient care. It doesn't fit onto Page 32 of their manifesto, Mr. Speaker, so they are not prepared to consider it. Instead, they want to try to create panic among the people of this province. I simply believe that people will recognize this last line of questioning for exactly what it is, a line of baloney marketed for political purposes.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

DND - LESTER B. PEARSON CENTRE: CORNWALLIS - RELOCATION

MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question, really I am not quite sure to whom I should place it and perhaps you can help me in this respect. I am assuming that there is still a Team South-West, appointed by Cabinet and that one of the ministers is responsible for chairing that team and speaking for it. If you could identify that minister for me, I would be pleased to place the question to him or her.

MR. SPEAKER: To the member's question, the honourable Minister of Human Resources is the chairman of that team.

MR. LEEFE: My question then, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Human Resources is really prefaced by a statement made by the government on August 24, 1993, and here I read from the government's press release. I will table it, if need be, but it is already in

[Page 1554]

the public domain. It says, "The premier said Nova Scotia 'will strenuously oppose the establishment of peacekeeping training at any location other than at CFB Cornwallis.'"

My question to my honourable colleague, sir, is this, is this still the policy of the Liberal Government of Nova Scotia?

HON. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, just as a preface here, Team South-West is a Cabinet committee that the Premier would answer for, of course, and the government would answer for. Team South-West has been looking at a number of issues in southwestern Nova Scotia or West Nova, as it is now called, this being one of the issues. I know we have continually informed the Premier of the issues facing southwestern Nova Scotia, including Cornwallis. The idea of the peacekeeping centre in Cornwallis has been an important issue for us and something that we will continue to follow.

MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I would assume, then, that this team is fully conversant with a paper prepared for the Minister of National Defence by Professor Albert Legault at Laval University, forwarded to the Honourable M. Douglas Young, a report to the Prime Minister, dated March 25, 1997, a month and a half ago. I want to share some of the content of this with the House because it is of vital interest not only to southwestern Nova Scotia but, indeed, to all Nova Scotians.

The report says; ". . . it would be urgent to create within the RMC (Royal Military College) or any other institutional location that the government deems fit a Forum for Higher Learning that will integrate within a one-year training programme both civilian and military senior officers . . . We believe that it would be important to bring together the three major institutions crucial to that Land Forces, namely, the Lester B. Pearson Centre for Peacekeeping Training, located in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia . . .", and the other two.

It further says that they should be located in Kingston, Ontario, that is that CFB Cornwallis will be closed down, the peacekeeping unit there will be closed down and will be moved to Kingston, Ontario.

[1:15 p.m.]

My question to the minister, who speaks for Team South-West, is this. Has he read this report which is now in the public domain?

MR. SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, on this particular issue, of course, like I said before, Cornwallis has been an important issue to us as far as Team South-West, this being one of the issues, yes, that we are very aware of. As the previous speaker, the Deputy Premier, has mentioned in one of the initial questions, we will bring it again to the Premier's attention. I know the Premier is aware of it and it is something that we will continue to follow.

[Page 1555]

If you look at what has been happening to Cornwallis over the last number of years, yes, they probably had a slow start. But if you look at some of the things that are happening now at Cornwallis with the tire recycling plant being moved in there, a number of private industries there, as well, Atlantic East, which is there now, they are moving in a very good direction. I am pleased at what is happening there. Yes, this is still an outstanding issue at this place that we will follow.

MR. LEEFE: Isn't it interesting, Mr. Speaker, that not once during his statement did this minister who chairs this committee on behalf of Southwest Nova Scotia admit that he has read this report? Clearly, neither he nor any of his Cabinet colleagues have read this report. Each and every one of them is fully fit to have served as the officer of the watch on the Titanic. That is how watchful they are.

My final question, Mr. Speaker, is through you to the Deputy Premier. Again, I reiterate the statement made by this government on August 24, 1993. Nova Scotia will strenuously oppose the establishment of peacekeeping training at any location other than CFB Cornwallis. Bearing in mind the importance of this issue for the people of southwestern Nova Scotia, bearing in mind that the Minister of Transportation and Communication last December identified the federal policies which are in effect as being absolutely disastrous for southwest Nova Scotia, my question to the Deputy Premier is this. It is clear and it is simple and you can answer it definitively. Will he today, in further underlining and underscoring the importance of this policy which his government put in place in 1993, write a strong and vigorous letter on behalf of the Government of Nova Scotia to the Prime Minister of Canada saying that this government, this province, will strenuously, vigorously, oppose in every way it possibly can the implementation of any of the recommendations in this report which would cause CFB Cornwallis peacekeeping unit to be closed down and to move to Kingston, Ontario? Will he write that letter today in the defence of Nova Scotian interests?

MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, it seems as if the member for Queens is trespassing upon the turf of the Leader of the Opposition. (Interruption) The honourable member for Queens had his chance, but he is not very democratic in allowing somebody else to answer. I don't think that is a very good way to go.

This honourable member is trespassing on the turf of the Leader of the Opposition. He brought it up. I assured the Leader of the Opposition that I would bring this matter to the attention of the Premier, who is back in this province within hours. I told him I would do that and I intend to do it.

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

HON. GUY BROWN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw to your attention and all members of the House some fine employees - the deputy minister and his secretary, called Yvelle - with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing, who are in Halifax

[Page 1556]

today, some of them from Truro, for a training course. I would ask them to stand and receive the recognition of the House of Assembly. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I, too, have the pleasure of introducing special people in the gallery and the east wing today. I ask members of the House to join with me to acknowledge several members of the Department of Transportation and Public Works who have provided outstanding service to the public. I would like to draw your attention to the gallery and ask the following people to rise: Amherst area manager David Hamilton, secretary Debbie Ripley, dispatchers Dwayne Mattinson and Donald Stiles and plow operators Wade Pipes, Stephen Darragh, Clyde Elliott and Ivan Fromm.

I am sure all will recall the ferocious snowstorm of April 1st. The storm closed the Trans Canada Highway on two consecutive evenings from Oxford to the New Brunswick border. The winter road crew team in attendance today was called on twice to get snowplows on the highway to escort a sick baby to the hospital. They responded like true professionals on both these evenings and I am happy to say that the baby is fine.

Department of Transportation crews are faced with difficult and often dangerous tasks of keeping roads clear of snow and ice. These people are out on the roads every snowstorm when most people are snowed in. All too many times they are the centre of criticism during our harsh winter months and rightly we should salute these snow fighters for the job that they do. Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the Transportation and Public Works employees who responded quickly out of concern for this child and his family. They made a difference.

I ask the members of the House - and I realize there will be extra time added to Question Period - to join with me and other Nova Scotians in welcoming these people. I would ask their spouses, who are here with them as well, to please stand. I ask the members of the House to please give a warm welcome to these people. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Before I recognize the next speaker, I will advise the House that I will add an additional three minutes to Question Period today, which will run until 1:36 p.m.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

TRANSPORT. & PUB. WKS. - ATL. PROCUREMENT AGREEMENT:

N.B. - NON-COMPLIANCE

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving us that additional time. My question is for the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The minister would know that despite allegedly wanting to participate, the Province of New Brunswick is not adhering to the rules of the Atlantic Procurement Agreement; in fact, the New Brunswick

[Page 1557]

McKenna Liberal Government consistently posts tenders and notices which state categorically that the notices are open only to New Brunswick companies. I will table a number of these tenders that state: tender restricted to the Province of New Brunswick.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works for the Province of Nova Scotia is, will the minister explain why the Nova Scotia Government continues to permit the New Brunswick Government to skip around the issue of full public tendering?

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that the member for Truro-Bible Hill also brought this matter to my attention. As we all realize, we have brought in a procurement policy that has passed the test of time in many ways and I believe the previous Minister of Supply and Services brought it forward to bring integrity and honesty and fairness to the whole process of tenders. In regard to the concern brought up by the member opposite in regard to the New Brunswick situation, we will be looking into that matter and determining whether or not, in fact, there has been some wrongdoing on their behalf in regard to disqualifying a Nova Scotia company.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I think the minister, and perhaps his colleague to his left, does recognize that Nova Scotia companies are being jeopardized and certainly are not playing on a level playing field relative to the tender-bidding process. I am asking the Minister of Transportation and Public Works if he would support restricting this province's tenders to the Provinces of Newfoundland and Alberta, the only two provinces who have adopted the Interprovincial Trade Act?

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, in regard to the Interprovincial Trade Act, and the agreements that have been signed, we are working through our First Minister and other members in dealing with fairness across the board. We talk about, I believe it was brought under the previous government's initiatives, working together in cooperation, in economic unity, within the Atlantic Provinces or Maritime Provinces. These are kinds of irritants that certainly bother provinces that are perceived to have been mistreated in regard to proper, fair and orderly tendering processes and we will, as I indicated before, be looking into this matter.

MR. TAYLOR: I hope the minister moves quite expeditiously, relative to this concern, because again, Nova Scotia companies, and I think this province is losing job opportunities and economic benefits as long as New Brunswick restricts its tenders to the Province of New Brunswick.

I will ask the minister to play hardball, if he will, with Frank McKenna and the Liberal Government in the Province of New Brunswick because Nova Scotia employers and Nova Scotia companies are losing jobs to a company that is not playing by the same rules. I commend the minister and I hope he moves forward as swiftly as possible on this matter.

[Page 1558]

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I would also like to refer, as the tendering processes are under the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, maybe the Minister of Finance, who is responsible, would like to say a few words in regard to that tendering process as well.

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, in response to the question, the Department of Finance procurement section is aware of some of the problems created by New Brunswick. We have introduced a standard clause permitting us to evaluate out-of-province bids on the same basis as their home government would evaluate a Nova Scotia bid under like circumstances; in other words, if there was a similar one.

What we have done allows us to evaluate Nova Scotia bids, when it is in our interest to do so and, to date, numerous New Brunswick bids have been rejected on this basis, but we are continuing to talk to them. If the honourable member has a specific example, if he will get it to me, I would be glad to look into it.

I want to tell all honourable members and that honourable member that we are aware of this and bids have been refused because New Brunswick has not played fair and we will continue to play hardball with them. (Applause)

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I want to table a further document but I think I should read the one sentence that the Minister of Finance is referring to. It doesn't come within a country mile of addressing the concerns that Nova Scotian employers have, Nova Scotian companies have. The tenders I tabled restrict the bidding to New Brunswick companies.

What we have is a statement that says, "The Procurement Branch may consider and evaluate bids or responses from other jurisdictions on the same basis that the government purchasing authorities in those jurisdictions would treat a similar proposal from a Nova Scotia supplier.". Why don't you put it into laymen's language so that all Nova Scotians understand what our procurement policy is?

MR. GILLIS: I did indicate that we are aware of this and we have a policy. We do not have to accept a New Brunswick bid if they are not playing fair. Again, I would ask the honourable member, if he really (Interruption) Well, fine, maybe he could ask the Clerk to see that I get a copy, including that last document. So if the member - as I am sure he is - is trying to help the companies he is talking about, that is what I want to do and the government wants to do, too, let's be together and if there are unfair practices, we all work against those practices.

[Page 1559]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

EDUC. - HRM SCHOOL BD.: FUNDING ADDITIONAL - SOURCE

MS. EILEEN O'CONNELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. According to the media reports today, the drastic staff cuts at the Halifax Regional School Board will not take place because the minister has found nearly $2 million in new money to give to the board, in addition to the $13 million of new money that was recently announced in the budget.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we welcome that money for the Halifax Regional School Board. We have said all along that education in this province is underfunded. The questions remains - and I would like to ask it to the Minister of Education - where is the money coming from?

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, that is a very important question and I am delighted to hear the member for the Third Party talk about the fact that she is encouraged by responsible action taken by boards and the province in adding money to public education; I know she speaks for her entire Party on that matter.

We indicated last week that we were sitting down with boards in this province and that we were working our way and their way together through budget problems. The announcements last night confirm that, between the province and the board, we were able to provide opportunities for that board to reduce its shortfall of some $2.8 million down to zero and, therefore, a balanced budget.

MS. O'CONNELL: Well, Mr. Speaker, I didn't hear an answer to my question but the minister did say, he did make reference to other boards. Now the Halifax Regional School Board superintendent said, according to the press, that this cash infusion is to help the board in a transition year with finance and amalgamation costs. All school boards have finance and amalgamation costs. I would like the Minister of Education to tell us this, can the other boards assume there will be money to help them with finance and amalgamation costs?

[1:30 p.m.]

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, we have made it perfectly clear to every board in the province that what was done in terms of working with the board in Halifax are practices that are available to every board in the province.

MS. O'CONNELL: Mr. Speaker, the question is, if the minister is discussing it where is the money, what shoebox is it in? Can the minister tell this House, when all these boards get what they need, how much the total is going to be and where he is going to get it?

[Page 1560]

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, just so that the member opposite has an understanding of how we work with boards, boards have projected budgets, they experience either deficits carried from last year or projected costs. Boards are restricted in terms of their ability to carry debt from one year to the next or even certain borrowing restrictions. As an example of one way in which the province can help a board, there is a capital surplus account that came from the sale of buses, if I am not mistaken and part of what was done with this board in cooperation with them was to give them permission to borrow against next year's education funding and, over a number of years, some dollars that would allow them to make it through the transition of this year and make sure that they are able to protect programs and more importantly, to reduce class sizes.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

EDUC. - REG. SCHOOL BD. (SW): AMALGAMATION - REPORT TABLE

MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education. On numerous occasions the minister has been asked to make public the coordinator's report or the amalgamation of the Southwest Regional School Board. Board members, teacher, parents, students and municipal authorities all want to have an opportunity to see this foundation document which was authored by Laurie & Associates Consulting Incorporated at a cost that the Public Accounts of Nova Scotia tell us of $56,021.88. A freedom of information request was filed on January 30, 1996, that is 16 months ago and the report has yet to be made public. My question to the minister is, where is the report and why won't the minister make public the document for which the public paid over a year ago?

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table the coordinator's reports. They were to be tabled after Question Period today but I will make the coordinator's reports available right now.

MR. SPEAKER: The documents are tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

EDUC. - POST-SECONDARY: AMALGAMATION - STATUS

MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Culture. Next week, Truro and all of Nova Scotia will watch as the final students graduate from a fine institution which this government has chosen to close, the Nova Scotia Teachers College, a fine institution which will no longer be teaching or graduating students. Following the release of the Shapiro Report, we saw several other efforts emanate from the Nova Scotia Council on Higher Education. We are just wondering what has happened to all of the reports and recommendations they have made, Critical Choices, the Nova Scotia University System at a Crossroad? The metro universities have discussed

[Page 1561]

partnerships and released their own ideas. Can the minister tell the House where the amalgamation process that his government began stands at the present time?

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the member opposite has been. I realize this is a new portfolio as a critic but the universities of this province and the community college system of this province have been working together collaboratively for months now on university funding, on a new board of governors for the Nova Scotia Community College, on innovative programs, whether it is collaboration for international marketing or it is savings within. I am not sure specifically what this member is after. I would be pleased to provide him with any and all evidence of the kind of work that is being done that is gaining national recognition by the universities and the post-secondary institutions of this province.

MR. SPEAKER: There is approximately one minute left.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, that is hardly time enough to get an answer to the questions. Truly the difficulty is the government accepted some of the recommendations like the one to close the Teachers College in Truro, the government couldn't wait to do that. There are other recommendations. These is only an example of three of the books that were published. The government was so anxious to close the Nova Scotia Teachers College in Truro. Why have we seen so little action from this government beyond the closure of the Nova Scotia Teachers College? The rationalization of some teachers' education position, but it seems to have drawn completely to a close. I am just wondering what the government is doing with all the reports they have received from the commission?

MR. HARRISON: It is a great credit to this province that we have high quality public education systems, that we have high quality post-secondary institutions in this province. The member opposite is asking what work we are doing in response to recommendations that were processes that they initiated. Centres of excellence have been created, the Dal-TUNS merger, the Metro consortium. Listen to the cackle over there. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. HARRISON: In fact, Nova Scotia education has a world-class reputation and even if the Opposition members do not think so, the public of Nova Scotia does, this nation does, and there are international accolades coming to these universities, these institutions every single day. I have no idea where the Opposition is, Mr. Speaker, but let them get their heads out of the sand and celebrate education in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for Oral Question Period has now expired.

On an introduction, the honourable member for Pictou East.

[Page 1562]

MR. WAYNE FRASER: Mr. Speaker, to you and through you to the House, it is my honour today to introduce students of the Grade 12 Westville High Law class who are here today with their teacher Bruce Moore. I would ask them to please rise and receive a warm welcome from the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

DR. JOHN HAMM: I too wish to welcome the Pictonians to the House of Assembly.

Rising on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Earlier in the week there was an exchange between myself and the Minister of Health. It had to do with the waiting times for certain examinations at the QE II Health Sciences Centre. I had provided information that indicated that the wait period for those examinations was as long as six to eight weeks. The minister provided information, and he tabled that information, that indicated the wait period was 15.7 days.

After that exchange I had a number of calls indicating that the information that I provided was correct and the information the minister provided was incorrect. I want to table one of the responses. This comes from a local physician's office.

It is under the heading "Re: Bookings for Patients' Tests @ QE II. Further to speaking to your office, I have compiled the following information. Waiting periods for upper GI's and small bowel follow through, barium enemas, and skeletal series are up to six to eight weeks.". That was the figure I provided to the House. "Patients being booked for two different tests have to go to two different places. Not all tests are being done at both sites. This can be very confusing for patients, plus this can also be a problem because of the long wait. Getting through to the various departments is very time consuming. Sometimes you can be on hold for up to half an hour. I called Cardiology Department one day last week . . ." I being the doctor's secretary. ". . . and was told I couldn't get any appointments booked that day because they were short of staff . . . Also, I waited from February 7, 1997 to May 2, 1997 to get an Echo appointment for a patient." That is an echo-cardiogram. "Some departments, such as Respiratory, have a recorded message when calling to book appointments, stating to fax in the request and they fax back the appointment. We certainly are losing the 'personal touch'. The public is leaving the Blood Collection areas and are coming to . . .", the named clinic but we whited that out. ". . . because of the wait to get blood work at the hospitals. Unfortunately, with all these issues, providing 'high quality' medical care is becoming a very difficult task now." I will table that document.

HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: On the point of order, the honourable member, I do not know which doctor he is talking to, but after he asked the question last day I went over to the phone, picked up the phone book and I called the three numbers there. A real live person answered the three numbers and gave me the information I wanted. I spoke to the

[Page 1563]

people in each of the departments. By the way, I did not tell them. I told them I was up from Cape Breton. I had had an x-ray earlier in the week. It went very well . . .

SOME HON. MEMBERS: You were lying.

MR. MACEACHERN: No. By the way, I did have an x-ray. This is true. It was quick and when the honourable member opposite got up and said it was taking all this time, I asked him why. It was the GI I started with and I asked, very particularly, about the barium. By the way, a real live person, not a recorded message, a very nice young lady said, two weeks is what we have now. That is the waiting period, she said to me. But, she said, sometimes, when there is a cancellation, you can get in earlier. In fact, she said, if your situation, as she was talking to me on the phone, is an emergency and your doctor needs it quick, we will put you on the list in order to put you there. So I asked her, are there any long waiting lists? She said I would have to call the other areas. I said, okay, thank you. Barium enema was my first question.

My second question, when I went to the phone book again, the next number, I called them. A real live person answered who said hello, how are you? I asked questions and I talked about this long delay that was reported and I wanted to know the longest period of time for any x-ray that is there. She must have looked at the book because she said three months and that has to do with a bone density scan, that takes three months. I said, what is the next longest? She gave me a reference to a bone x-ray either on the leg, elbow or the back and that takes up to the end of June you would have to wait. This wasn't one doctor reporting what he saw from his experience. This is the place itself and she said if you need any other information, please call me, three phone numbers. (Interruption)

I will get you the phone numbers, three numbers, a real live person answered and gave me the three numbers. By the way, I didn't wait a long time, because the phone rang, they picked it up and spoke to me. Whatever impression the honourable Leader of the Opposition is trying to leave with the province, I suggest each of the members opposite go to the phone book, it is listed very clearly, give the numbers a call and report back to the House.

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: On a new but related point of order, Mr. Speaker. The honourable Leader of the Opposition tabled a letter from which he purported to be reading and relying on information given to him by a doctor, but what he has done is he has whited out the doctor's name so we have no way of confirming and whited out the reference to a particular hospital. I ask this honourable member, he was quoting from this document, table the full document. If he is really serious about this, table the full document. Let us check. (Interruptions)

[Page 1564]

DR. JOHN HAMM: On the point of order, Mr. Speaker. A discussion was held at the physician's office concerned. They were unwilling to have their name put forward publicly to the minister because the word they used was they feared retribution from this government. That is why they wouldn't let their names go forward. They feared retribution. (Interruptions)

I would like to respond to what the Minister of Community Services said. We have had phone calls confirming what we have said and which I have indicated through the point of order was the waiting time for certain examinations. If the Minister of Community Services would table that phone book, because, obviously, those numbers aren't available to the physicians of this province because they are waiting six to eight weeks to get upper GIs and barium enemas booked at the QE II Health Sciences Centre here in Halifax.

MR. PAUL MACEWAN: On the point of order, Mr. Speaker. I would like to address the point that had been raised concerning the tabling of documents, because all parliamentary authorities are very clear on this point. That if documents purporting to be letters are tabled, they must contain the name of the author. An anonymous document, an unsigned document, has no status and cannot be tabled in the House and it is a breach of order, sir, for the honourable member, or any honourable member, to table an anonymous, unsigned document in this House. (Applause)

MR. MACEACHERN: Responding to the request from the Leader of the Opposition, I would be pleased to table the phone book and he can look it up himself.

MR. SPEAKER: The telephone book is tabled.

[1:45 p.m.]

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, at this time I would request the consent of the House to extend the sitting of the Subcommittee on Supply for an additional 33 minutes and that that run continuous until they complete their sitting today, which will be four hours and 33 minutes.

[Page 1565]

MR. SPEAKER: Is there unanimous consent to having the additional?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply unto Her Majesty.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MS. EILEEN O'CONNELL: Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to say a few words going into Supply. In a lighthearted way today, we thought, my Party brought in a resolution on what I think all members would agree is a serious subject. That subject is the few number of women who are engaged in politics in this country, at the elected level.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the election of the Labour Government this week in Britain showed a substantial improvement in the numbers of women elected. In fact, in the new Labour Government in Britain approximately 1 in 5 of the elected Labour members are, in fact, women. This is an improvement over the federal Parliament of this country. So, I think it is significant for us to take a minute and remind ourselves, with a federal election going on in this country, with a provincial election coming up in the not-too-distant future, with an election held in Britain recently, it is as good a time as any for all of us to remind ourselves, and I believe that every single person in this House, in spite of the lack of support for this resolution, I still believe that every single member of this House does, in fact, recognize the whole question of fairness in representation, whether it be women, visible minorities or any other group that has been considered disadvantaged in our society.

We know, from other matters, that, in fact, every single person in this House does support that. So the whole question of getting women elected so that we have more representation in this House, as well as in other provincial Legislatures across the country and in the federal Parliament of Canada and right across society, that whole question raises issues that each Party in its own way, and some with greater and some with lesser vigour perhaps, have pursued, and that is the whole question of how to make sure that happens in this country.

Mr. Speaker, it is true that in every Party there are some measures. The phrase affirmative action seems to have gone out of the government's vocabulary. One can only hope that it hasn't gone out of the agendas of the political Parties in this country because it is true and it has been acknowledged time and time again that there are measures required to make absolutely sure that women find fair representation in the Houses of this country.

[Page 1566]

Mr. Speaker, I think members recognize, one hopes that members recognize, that there are very good reasons for affirmative action measures of any legitimate sort which improve the balance in a House of Assembly.

It was not very many years ago, Mr. Speaker, that a New Democratic member of the federal House of Commons stood up, in fact I think it was about 14 years ago now, and mentioned wife-battering, much to the amusement of the largest number of those present in the House of Commons at that time. We would find that shocking today because even this government has its own measures supported by the public and the Opposition for ending violence, so we have come some way in 14 years.

What is odd and unnerving and of great concern is that the representation in these Houses - and you can look around this House any day of the week when the House is in session and see that the representation in this House - is indeed nowhere near the sense of equality, it doesn't represent fairly the percentage of women in the general population. The figure that is commonly used is that the general population is 52 per cent women. Well, I certainly don't see that this House of Assembly has within its walls 52 per cent of its members as women. Here we are in 1997, after years of struggle and Party policies and public concern, with very few women and we did it jokingly by talking about men's names but the fact is that 5 out of 52 or 51 members is a very small percentage and does not fairly reflect the population of this province.

I think there are two main reasons and I have just named one of them, why it is so crucial to have a House of Assembly that represents in some balanced way the people who are represented in this House. One is, of course, just a matter of having their interests, their concerns raised on the public agenda. The other one which is a little more controversial, about which I make absolutely no apologies whatsoever, is that it has been clear historically that unless women have their place in sufficient numbers in elected Houses that very many issues which in the past may have been and perhaps have negatively been labelled women's issues or only women's issues or merely women's issues are issues that don't get their fair share of time, concern and legislation in the House of Assembly.

It is true also that over the course of the years more and more Nova Scotians and Canadians have come to understand that what affects women and their children in this country indeed affects all members of the population. So before I sit down I would like to just say that it is a very good time in this country to remind ourselves of the unequal representation and in fact, this coming Monday there is an opportunity for all members of this House to educate themselves, to refresh their education on this matter. Every single woman, all five of the women in this Legislature, have been surveyed by the Angus Reid polling agency. This survey was done on behalf of a documentary which will be shown on Newsworld at, I believe it is, 8:00 p.m. eastern daylight time, perhaps it is 7:00 p.m. but you can check that and the honourable members can do that as well.

[Page 1567]

Every single woman in this House was surveyed by Angus Reid in order to find some truth around the issue of representation. It is worth noting that that survey didn't take very long because there were only a handful, over 200 women, in this entire country who had a place in either a provincial or federal Legislature. I would invite all members, as I said, to refresh their education on this vital question of representation in our democracy by watching this program on Rough Cuts, on Newsworld on Monday night. I don't know whether the member for Lunenburg has found the exact time but we can certainly make that available. I urge all members to take the time out of their busy lives to have a look at this and to come to a further understanding of why it is so crucial for women to be elected and to come and speak in this place and places like it. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: It is a pleasure to stand in the House again as we enter the debate going into the estimates. I want to speak today, very briefly, about agriculture and its importance to the economy of Nova Scotia. As you know, Mr. Speaker, being a former minister, the agricultural industry in Nova Scotia contributes well over $300 million to the provincial economy and there are about 16,000 or 18,000 people whose livelihood absolutely depends upon agriculture.

Kings County has the greatest concentration of agriculture of any area in Atlantic Canada. We have most of the poultry production, almost half the hog production, a great part of the vegetable production, the majority of the apple production and it amounts to well over $100 million in Kings County alone. This is a very significant industry.

I have been meeting and talking with farmers over the last several years and I am noticing a bit of a different trend from the attitude from the farming community, Mr. Speaker. There has been an enviable relationship between the Government of Nova Scotia and the Federation of Agriculture and the other boards and commissions throughout agricultural society in Nova Scotia. But, as of late, the trend is not as healthy, nor is it as communicative as it used to be. Farmers are wondering why the government no longer seems to be sharing their thoughts with the agricultural community before they announce a new policy. For instance, the department was recently totally reorganized. The department is quite free to be reorganized at any time; it is a branch of government. But in the past during reorganizations, the federation was always part of the reorganization structure in that they knew exactly what was being done and the reasons for it.

Mr. Speaker, there are several concerns in agriculture at the present time, not the least of which is the Agricultural Focus 2000 Program that was started a couple of years ago by this government and ran out of money after 15 months. Recently, the Minister of Agriculture announced that there was new funding and he was sure that funding would be in place for the next four years. That is a great relief to the farming community. But even with the new-found money the minister has put in, that still means that the agricultural policy development that

[Page 1568]

the farmers were using to develop agriculture in Nova Scotia, even with that, agriculture has been shorted by almost $7 million per year. That trend is not healthy when you think for a moment that the budget for Agriculture is very small compared to the contribution that farmers are making to Nova Scotia.

The farmers are interested, too, Mr. Speaker, in the Farm Loan Board at this time. Presently, the Farm Loan Board rate is about 9 per cent. There used to be a Young Farmers Program, there used to be an assistance program to help farmers with the interest rates. At the present time, the federal loan agency's rate is 6 per cent. At the present time, many farmers can borrow money from the bank in the range of 5 per cent and, yet, the Farm Loan Board is 9 per cent.

Today, Mr. Speaker, agriculture is in a unique position in that many of the established farmers are taking retirement. They would like to sell their farm and keep it in the family, but it is very difficult for the farm to stay in the family because the farm is worth several hundred thousand dollars and if the son wants to borrow money at 9 per cent, immediately he runs into the problem of being unable to make the payments. Certainly, we can say, well, the father should give him the farm, the father should take the mortgage back. In many cases, it is not even the father, it is the next door neighbour or the person down the road. It is some young person that wants to get into the agricultural industry and, at 9 per cent, the Farm Loan Board is not the vehicle that the young Nova Scotia farmer can use.

[2:00 p.m.]

I would like to suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the Department of Agriculture and Marketing, through the Farm Loan Board, look extensively at a program where interest rates are reduced to the young farmers for the first several years of their farming operation. It is very difficult to imagine any Nova Scotian not wanting to see a strong, rural family farm established and continue to be established throughout our province. But at the present time, under the policies of this government, it is very difficult, and I can see a real dilemma and a real crisis, if the government doesn't change its policy with regard to the Farm Loan Board.

Mr. Speaker, the farmers also are wondering about term loans from the Farm Loan Board. They are available at the banks. They are available from Farm Credit. It would be a good idea if the Farm Loan Board looked into the possibility of terms loans, because agriculture is too important for the Government of Nova Scotia simply to look at it as another form of business. Agriculture isn't just another form of business. If you have a vegetable farm, you are going straight out from the beginning of April until late into the fall. Then, in the winter months, things slow down.

It is not the kind of business where you are selling a service where you say, look, it cost me this much for my tractor, this much per acre, this much for my fertilizer, this much for the labour to help harvest the crop. You cannot itemize and then say, this is what I am going to

[Page 1569]

sell it for. Prices for vegetables, Mr. Speaker, are not even set in Nova Scotia. The wholesalers get on the phone and it is international. Vegetables are coming from Mexico, they are coming from Florida, they are coming from California and in the summer, they are coming from Quebec, Ontario and New England. So, Nova Scotians are producing for the entire North American market. So, we do need to look at agriculture in a little different light than we do other industries in Nova Scotia. We need to have a consultative process whereby the Minister of Agriculture meets regularly with his deputy and the Federation of Agriculture so problems like the Farm Loan Board can be negotiated.

Mr. Speaker, one of the problems, not unique to Kings County, but probably, I would have to say, more in the focus in Kings County than in other areas in the province, is land use planning. We have come to a crisis situation. We have a soil in Kings County and they call it the Cornwallis soil. Years ago, people thought, well, gee. Cornwallis soil was so sandy, porous and so hard to work with that it really wasn't realizing its potential. Now vegetable production is taking place in the Cornwallis soil and we have found, in Kings County, Cornwallis is truly the most valuable agricultural soil that we have in all of Nova Scotia, but, yet, it is not protected and it is subject to the development and encroachment of subdivisions, housing units. Land use planning must take priority in Kings County. The municipal council must realize that agricultural land is much too important to be allowed just to drift into housing units. The farmers have built their case and they have shown, conclusively, that Cornwallis soil deserves protection.

Then, Mr. Speaker, comes the dilemma. If you are a farmer and you have a few acres of land and you have some Cornwallis soil and you have an opportunity to sell that land to four or five people that are going to build some houses on it and live on it, your land is worth a lot more money as housing units than it is as agricultural land. If the government walks in and says, well, that is too, bad, it has to be used for agriculture. You do not have the option to sell it for building lots. At some point, there has to be an element of fairness and fair play.

As a farmer, I had quite a bit of land and none of it was suitable for housing because the land use plan said it wasn't and it isn't. So I didn't sell any of my property for building lots. Once in a while somebody would come by and want to buy some for a building lot and it just wasn't there. In some areas of Kings County, the land is zoned residential at the present time. The farmer has decided that he would like to build his retirement income from those building lots.

Well, Mr. Speaker, we need the fairness because, is it fair to tell the farmer that he is going to pay the price for land use planning? This is where we have to sit down, as a province and as a county and say look, if we cherish agriculture - and we should and we do - and if we want a viable agricultural industry, then we, as taxpayers and as people in the province, have to share the joint responsibility. It may cost a few dollars for the entire province to make sure that we do have a continued opportunity to farm Cornwallis soils in Kings County; it should not be left to one farmer to bear the brunt of land use planning.

[Page 1570]

You know, Mr. Speaker, thinking back a few years ago, I went to MacDonald College and one of the things we did in the late 1960's was we went on a bus tour; that was the acquaintance with agriculture in Quebec. In the late 1960's agriculture in Quebec was at the crossroads, somewhat to the degree that we are at a crossroad today. The Province of Quebec in the 1960's decided we are going to have a rural strike, we are going to make sure that agriculture is with us for the long term and we are going to expand agricultural development in the province.

The Government of Quebec decided that was what they were going to do and, Mr. Speaker, they have done it. Agriculture had about half the milk production that the Province of Ontario had in the 1960's. Now Quebec has twice the production that they do in Ontario, with half the livestock. Quebec had the lowest rate and usage of artificial insemination for herd improvement any area in North America. Today Quebec has the highest percentage usage of artificial insemination for herd improvement anywhere in North America and they have the finest selection of livestock to offer for herd improvement. Their unit was heavily subsidized by the government in the 1960's, and, as soon as it became profitable, the government walked away from it and said that you are on your own. That unit still has the finest selection of bulls of any unit in North America and they are selling their services throughout the world and making a handsome profit, only because the government had the leadership to say the dairy industry is important to Quebec.

The hog industry increased in numbers in Quebec, the poultry industry, and the vegetable industry. Mr. Speaker, I truly feel that Nova Scotia, unless the Government of Nova Scotia rededicates itself to agriculture and realizes the importance and realizes the potential and the further development that can take place in agriculture, we, and our children, will regret the fact that we gave up too easily and we quit too soon.

Mr. Speaker, the potential for employment for future generations, the potential for income and for job creation and further processing is not tapped. It is going to take a determination from the government, working cooperatively with the farmers, to develop the policies. Government cannot and should not develop agricultural policies in isolation from the Federation of Agriculture and the commodity groups that make up the federation. We must work hand-in-glove with the farmers to make sure that we are developing policies that farmers need, developing policies that will benefit all agriculture in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the members for giving me this time to stand and speak in support of agriculture and I urge the government to continue to support the farmers of Nova Scotia and renegotiate and sit down cooperatively with farmers, so that we can again have an agricultural industry working hand-in-hand with the Department of Agriculture in Nova Scotia and create more jobs and more income for rural residents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 1571]

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

HON. GUY BROWN: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that agriculture was put on the agenda today and I am pleased that we have been able to have a debate. I want to make it very clear that this government understands the importance and $300 million is farmgate. The total economic impact on the Province of Nova Scotia is over $1 billion a year, about $1.2 billion a year. That is the impact that agriculture has on the total economy in Nova Scotia.

Agriculture is responsible, when you look at the farmers, what they produce, and you look at the processors, and you look at the service sector for those jobs, we are talking approximately 16,000 jobs a year in this province, a fact that I am very proud of. I want to say that I am proud to be the Minister of Agriculture. I am somewhat saddened when I hear reports that we do not communicate because there has been no minister in any government that has visited in such a short time more federations, commodity groups, et cetera, all over this province. In fact, I met with Jim Austin, and staff has, and we are meeting with Jim Austin again within the next 10 days.

Communication is important with regard to this whole issue. I agree with that. We have been communicating. The night of the budget, what did I do? I called a meeting at the AC in Truro and invited the federation and all commodity groups in for two to three hours so we could go through the total budget process. The first time in the history of this province that that was ever done. I am very proud of that fact.

Agriculture is important to all of us. I want to tell you, every consumer in Nova Scotia. I wish somehow I could get every Nova Scotian into a place and go have the opportunity to talk about their role in the economy of this province. I have been working with the retail sector, the restaurant sector, the processors, everybody under the sun, with regard to agriculture in Nova Scotia. I stood very proud when I saw the work that was being done and an honourable member of this House, Mr. Moody, his retail or his brothers or whoever owns it was involved, the co-ops were involved, with regard to a beef promotion in the Valley. The Cattlemen's Association and the beef producers and the retail sector and the media. I was pleased through our program in government that we were able to help them a little bit and encourage them. That is what partnerships are all about.

I am so proud when I picked up a Foodland ad not long ago and they are communicating now with me. I would love to communicate with every retailer in the Province of Nova Scotia. Sobeys - what they did this week and those of you who wanted to take the time to look, there was a brochure tabled in this House - all the Nova Scotian products from Scotsburn Dairy in Pictou County to bread companies to pizza companies to people in Nova Scotia that produce the product here. Bolands will, I understand, be doing the same thing as well as the Superstore and other retailers.

[Page 1572]

The Restaurant Association must become involved. I have a meeting coming up with their executive from Ontario in the very near future. I am going to talk to them about where I think they should be going with regard to the promotion of Nova Scotian products. Somebody is asking for me to keep quiet, but I can't because I am on a roll, and the honourable member raised a lot of questions and I cannot allow this Assembly to recess without reflecting on those.

[2:15 p.m.]

I had the opportunity to meet with young farmers. I had the opportunity to meet with the Farm Loan Board. We will be doing a roll-out of some changes under the Farm Loan Board, hopefully within the next 10 days. Whenever the Farm Loan Board - and the Farm Loan Board is not government, they are appointed by government, they are farmers and business people - when they get everything worked out, and not until then, will I be announcing it. I met with the FCC and they have a major role to play in this province. I believe they can help many farmers. I don't think the province can do it all by itself.

I also want to talk very briefly - although, Mr. Speaker, I am getting the signal from several of my colleagues that I should sit down and keep quiet, but this is an important debate - I want to talk about soils and land use. For the first time we are going to become involved in land use in this province this year, the Government of Nova Scotia and I talked about that in my budget, which is a major breakthrough, the need is there. We recognize that and we are going to try to do something about it. The Agricultural College of Truro, a leading agricultural institute in Atlantic Canada, and in all of Canada, is graduating the highest class ever this year.

In the interest of my colleagues, I am going to bring this debate to a close but, before I do that, I say to every member in this House, in every Party, that when you are meeting with your executives and you are talking at political meetings or whatever, you should be talking about the importance of buying locally, you should be talking about the importance of buying Nova Scotian produce, and you shouldn't be going out and buying British Columbia apples or apples from Washington, D.C. when we have them right here in Nova Scotia.

In the interest of partnerships and working together, I will yield the floor and allow the Leader of the Third Party to have a few words to say about this debate, because I know with his social background that he has to support buying in Nova Scotia, but there are so many exciting things. I have met with Nova Scotia Power and we are now designing a little thing that will go into the power bill about buying in Nova Scotia . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Flat apples.

[Page 1573]

MR. BROWN: No, it is not a flat apple, but it is a little brochure that will talk about the importance of buying in Nova Scotia. They are going to send out 17,000 of them for us, and I have met with the Nova Scotia Government Employees Association and we are working with them to do the same thing. Thank you.

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

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister of Agriculture for giving me the opportunity to rise and say a few words. Let me say that I echo his thoughts about the whole idea of buying Nova Scotian and buying Canadian, and I would add buy union label at the same time.

Really, what I rose to talk about in this little bit of time is the Nova Scotia Employment Program for Students, Mr. Speaker. The word has just reached me that, in fact, the decision has been made in terms of the allocation of those particular positions. I just want to put on the record that I am quite disappointed. An organization, Chebucto Boys and Girls Club, that has been working hard in the community of Spryfield and beyond to try to get itself going, applied for two positions, one as a coordinator of recreation and one as an assistant programmer.

Mr. Speaker, I don't need to tell you and other members of this House what an important contribution the Boys and Girls Clubs have made across this province, in many communities. I know that we have used the Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club as a bit of a model. I have also attended the Boys and Girls Club in Whitney Pier to see first-hand just what an important program it is and how important it is that in communities like Chebucto or like Spryfield, that we put together that kind of initiative in order to give our young people, boys and girls, an opportunity to have some structure in their lives and a place to go where they can be safe, a place to go where they will receive some kind of guidance and some kind of assistance in terms of making a positive and a constructive contribution to their community.

There have been a number of very able and committed people in Spryfield who have worked hard to try to get this initiative off the ground. The Spryfield Lions Club has donated some space for the club to have an actual physical location, but, as you can appreciate, and as I am sure other members can appreciate, the club needs a little more than simply volunteer help, although that is a huge part of what makes that club successful. They need the assistance that could be provided under this employment program for students, a little bit of guidance and a little bit of human resource to help get that club up and running.

I just want to put on the record that I was disappointed to see that they hadn't been successful in their application. I will bring that to the attention of the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, the minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Employment Program for Students. I have done that before in the past with other programs and pleaded

[Page 1574]

the case and the government has, in fact, responded in a positive way. I certainly hope that we can be successful this time because, clearly, Mr. Speaker, that program is extremely important to our community.

I see in the list of jobs for Halifax County that there have been a number of other Boys and Girls Clubs: Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Halifax, the program itself for Nova Scotia, and a few others, Preston, East Dartmouth and so on. A few of the other clubs here in metro have, in fact, received some guidance, some assistance from this program, which I would certainly applaud. But I would ask, and I will ask, personally, the minister responsible and members of government to consider reconsidering the application by the Chebucto Boys and Girls Club, a club that has recognized the need in our community, and provide them with some assistance to help them get up and running, because it is an important need in our community that needs to be addressed. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[2:25 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Wayne Gaudet, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

We have arrived at the moment of interruption. The Adjournment debate has been chosen as announced earlier and won by the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

[Therefore be it resolved that this House condemns the example being set by the Liberal Government which promotes private profit for U.S. based corporations and discourages local investment in decent jobs for Nova Scotians.]

[Page 1575]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

ECON. DEV. & TOURISM -

BUSINESS INTERESTS (U.S.): EXPANSION - CONDEMN

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss an issue which I think is increasingly important in the Province of Nova Scotia, especially given the changes that are taking place over at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre. The resolution talks about the government proceeding down the road of promoting private profit for U.S. based corporations and discouraging local investment and decent jobs for Nova Scotians.

I raise this issue and this "therefore be it resolved" comes from a decision that has been announced recently where Marriott Corporation at Acadia University has taken over the physical plant and they have contracted out and laid off the employees at Acadia University and are doing the work themselves. The effect has been that the workforce has been reduced, the wages have been reduced, the benefits have been reduced and the profits and the revenues that are being received are heading down to the U.S. to pay off the dividends for this U.S. based corporation.

This intrusion of United States of America based corporations into fields within the Province of Nova Scotia is increasing at an alarming rate. As we continue to see the idea pushed that government cannot work, followed by the haphazard and damaging cutting and slashing of different government departments and agencies, making it therefore even increasingly difficult for any government agency or department to work, the private companies, whether they be Marriott or Liberty Health or Health Staff - what are some of the other companies? - Health Resources Group Inc., it just opens the door for them to walk in and all of a sudden take over the service. If you look, for example, at this expression of interest from the QE II yesterday, valued at $90 million, the Minister of Health stands in his place and says we are just talking about the provision of toilet paper. How can that be a problem?

We are talking about $90 million, a third of the total budget of the QE II. We are talking about medical services that are in fact stated in the Canada Health Act, which says, hospital services means any of the following services provided to in-patients or out-patients at a hospital if the services are medically necessary for the purposes of maintaining health, and it includes the supply of the services that are contained in this expression of interest. All of those services have to do with the delivery of health care to patients and that is part of the issue.

[Page 1576]

It is part of the issue because the other issue is the question of jobs in Nova Scotia and it has to do with profits and benefits staying in the Province of Nova Scotia. In the health care sector in this province and in this country we are seeing private companies moving in because they see this as the most rapidly growing sector to invest money.

There was a seminar held just last summer called How to Profit from the Health Care Boom. There were four factors cited as to why health care makes a good investment. Besides an aging population, a growing middle class, the developing world and new medical technology, the factor is privatization. National governments, said the seminar leader, are finding it increasingly difficult to carry the heavy costs associated with health care. In the U.S. public funding of health care is expected to shrink from 50 per cent to 10 per cent. It goes on. Increasingly hospitals and clinics will turn over their operation and management to HMOs - hospital management organizations - who in turn will make increasing use of automation to cut costs and improve efficiency.

The American system, the system operated by these HMOs is the most expensive system in the world. Per capita dollars spent on health care in the U.S. are double what they are in Canada and over 30 per cent, 75 million Americans, cannot afford to pay for health care; it is too expensive, the government says they cannot get into it in the United States. Now we have this group, this gang, that says they want to head down that road. You see the issue here is that we have to prevent losing control over how to manage health care in the Province of Nova Scotia.

If the QE II management cannot manage that system, then let's do something with those managers. Let's try to impose some order on what is happening with respect to the transition over there. Let's try to involve the people that work in the system instead of throwing our hands up - and that is what I am afraid is going to happen - in the air because it is not working because it has been dysfunctional and turn it all over to these hospital management organizations to come in here and what are they going to do, how are they going to make it cheaper, if that is what they are going do. They have to make a profit and there is increasing pressure on the cost if they have to make a profit.

What are they going to do? They are going to jam down employee wages and benefits and they are going to lay people off because that is exactly what has happened from one end of this country to the other and that is exactly what has happened in the United States. In other words, people's access to health care in the Province of Nova Scotia is going to be reduced. We are going to see less health care, we are going to see user fees increasingly being applied as these HMOs continually try to squeeze money out of the private and the public health care system in this province and in this country.

We have to stop that; we have to stop it in health care. We have to prevent the privatization of our justice system. The last thing we want to see happen is the fiasco that has happened in so many American states where they turn over the operation of jails, of prisons

[Page 1577]

to these private corporations and you see security go down, you see the participation of the employees go down and you see them squeezing profits off the justice system in society simply not good enough. I can go right down the road.

Look at the Highway No. 104 project, for example, the government says we cannot afford it, so what is going to happen. We turn over operation to this private consortium that is operating in complete secrecy and we are going to end up paying probably twice as much over a 30 year period as a result of increased borrowing costs and as a result of those companies and corporations making a return that will be, I am sure, extremely handsome, although we don't even know that.

The point here is really simple. There is no magic to how these corporations make a profit. If we want to get services that are going to be delivered cheaper then we have to look at how we organize those services and how we deliver those services, not getting some company to come in from outside and deliver those services for us. The only way they can do it at reduced costs is on the back of the employees and on the back of quality of service. That has been the experience and this is what drives me so crazy about what this government has done. The experience is well documented across this country and throughout North America.

Privatization does not answer the problem of bad management and poor administration; better management and better administration solves those problems and that all this government is doing is selling off public services to the private sector and allowing people to come in and make a profit off valuable and important public services. Especially when it is companies from outside this province and outside this country, it is absolutely mindless that we would see those kinds of monies, those kinds of benefits leaving this country altogether. This idea of privatization being the panacea is absolutely wrong-headed and this government has to be stopped once and for all. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, after listening to the honourable member, I wonder if he read the resolution. I know it says he wrote it but I don't know if he read it. It says, "Therefore be it resolved that this House condemns the example being set by the Liberal Government which promotes private profit for U.S. based corporations and discourages local investment in decent jobs for Nova Scotians."

Then he went running off on HMOs and a tirade against private companies and also companies from outside the province, but I will try to address the resolution as best I can.

[Page 1578]

First of all, is this government against private companies making a profit in Nova Scotia? No. I mean profits are good. Do we encourage private corporations to make profits? We encourage that, with enthusiasm, without apologies. Private profits allow for the growing of business and the increasing of jobs in Nova Scotia.

If I could, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member seems to have some kind of hatred of the U.S. I don't know if the UMWA recognizes that this person seems to have some kind of opposition to leadership that comes from the United States because they get significant support from the United States that worked very well for them for a very long period of time. It doesn't weaken the local in Cape Breton that it gets support from there. In fact, when it runs out of support here, it reaches there to get professional, legal support and financial support and that has been the history.

I don't know what his hatred is for the United States but, if I could, I will just show some companies in Nova Scotia that are from away but have contributed significantly. They are not low-paying companies. Stora, for example, some of the best paid jobs in this province are Stora. I will just list a couple, if I could. There is Magna, from away; Atlantic Container Lines, from away; SNC Lavelin, which is building the Neptune Theatre, for example, from away; Octopus Pharmaceuticals that is doing the work on AIDS research, from away, doing great work here, in fact nationally and internationally recognized. (Interruption) Pardon?

Volvo is another one; Michelin; Bowater Mersey; Scott; Systemhouse; Orenda; Keane, Pratt & Whitney, giving good jobs. There are not poorly paid jobs that these people provide to the people of Nova Scotia and we welcome them, we encourage them, we hope they grow, we hope they make a profit. The fact that some of the profits go out, that is part of what happens if the service comes back.

I will give you a little story, Mr. Speaker, to show you how it is connected. Today I was up at the opening of the Cisco lab up by the CBC Building there in the TARA Shop. As they were introducing this, and I will give you some quotes that were made by some of the presenters. One fellow from San Jose who is the President of Global Marketing for this firm. By the way, there are four now and there are going to be six of these operations in the world, one of which is here in Halifax. He said to me, I have never been any place where the cooperation between the government, the universities and ourselves has been so positive. It has been up-front, it has been open and we hope to grow this operation. Somebody said, what is that going to profit us here in Nova Scotia?

In that room there were about 50 companies that were working through TARA and Cisco to develop their employees, to develop their operations. In fact, one of the first people - Mr. Speaker, they have trained 1,600 people in the world at the high level of internetting maintenance. One of them just so happened to be in fact a Nova Scotian from MT&T who just graduated, was a young fellow by the name of Joe Deveaux, who came from Glace Bay. If, in fact, they are talking about this is a bad company doing bad things, the connections in

[Page 1579]

terms of enriching people in Nova Scotia, enriching company in Nova Scotia is being lost to the honourable member.

The other thing, and I will step forward, in fact I will say are we against people investing in Nova Scotia? No, because it is good for Nova Scotians; it is enriching the province and we will go from a have-not province that equalization flows this way, to get up on our own feet, be self-reliant and the day will come in which equalization will flow the other way, if we do this right.

Mr. Speaker, this is very important, we in Nova Scotia have companies that do the opposite. If the honourable member wants to put a Berlin Wall around Nova Scotia so that nobody can come in, is he going to stop our people from going out? Hector Jacques, for example, who was up in the gallery a few moments ago, Hector Jacques has taken a Nova Scotia born company, he has developed it and now he has offices in London, South America, Russia, Vancouver, I think, too, he does business in Toronto. It is an international company. He told me one time the number of employees he had and it is in the hundreds. CCL, Corporate Communications, it now has an operation that it developed here in Nova Scotia with the call centre on tourism, and it is doing that in British Columbia. Are we going to stop that? I don't think so.

[6:15 p.m.]

Acadian Seafoods, with your good friend, Louie Deveau, a Nova Scotian-grown company. He now is doing marketing throughout the world. One of the most successful small companies that we have here, but it is only small in the fact that he uses a small number of people harvesting products from the sea that are being used around the world. He, as you know, Mr. Speaker, wants to take that company and double its size, with the help, by the way, of the HST, which allows him to be on a better footing in the world. Do we want to stop that? No, we don't want to stop that.

Sarsfield pies started in a kitchen down in the Valley, and now it is a world-class company. Are we going to say to the people of the United States, let's stop Sarsfield pies from coming in here? No, we are not going to do that. Why? Because it enriches Nova Scotia at many levels. Grace White, whom we all know, entrepreneur of the year last year, took a small Nova Scotian company and now has a fish exporting company around the world. Grace White is doing very well. Do we want to stop her? No, I don't think so. Our own NSCAD, with the help of Shaw Brick is right now working on markets in China in the ceramics industry. Do we want to stop that? I don't think so. Is it going to enrich Nova Scotia? Absolutely it is.

[Page 1580]

In terms of building schools, the honourable member talked about our highway and I am going to talk about consortia building schools. We have consortia, home-grown in Nova Scotia, looking to build schools in Prince Edward Island, in Ontario, in British Columbia and, yes, in China. Okay?

AN HON. MEMBER: It is cheaper?

MR. MACEACHERN: No, it is not cheaper. It is value-added. It is richer. Secunda Marine, Clearwater, National Sea, Joneljim Construction, who are looking at building things in China. We have a Nova Scotia house-building company who are actually going to be exporting North American houses over to China. Bad thing? I don't think so. I can give you some other examples because there are many examples here. MT&T, the honourable member, if he is watching the hockey games now, he will see advertised on national television Maritime Tel & Tel because it is doing business across the country now. Do I apologize for that? I absolutely don't.

Team Canada, in which we are taking the Leaders of this province, all, NDP, Premiers by the way, going with the Prime Minister to other countries to market Nova Scotia and Canada. Is it working? I think so. I will give the honourable member an example. In Time Magazine, an American magazine - the date of this is April 28th - "Canada is the new superhero of global trade . . .". That is what it says. In fact, I will turn it inside and give you the other lead. "Just a few years after starting its experiment with free trade Canada is flexing incredible muscles in the global arena.". It gives graphs.

It is not the question of the United States taking over our markets, we are stepping into their markets and making a significant indentation. Creating jobs, yes. Significant jobs, yes. I will give you an example: Bombardier. Good paying jobs, absolutely, and they are growing. I will give you another example - in fact, this is a company that had some involvement when the former government was here - a company by the name of Philip Environmental. Philip Environmental, which is a Hamilton-based company, is now marketing throughout the world the technologies it has learned in managing and mining waste and doing significantly well.

Nova Scotia and Nova Scotian jobs have always depended on export and this is growing. I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member seems afraid of competing in the world. I want to tell you, I have the greatest confidence in Nova Scotians, put them against Americans that he seems to have a problem with, Europeans or anyone in the world, I want to tell you, we can stand up to them and we are demonstrating that. We are inviting companies to come to Nova Scotia to partner with us, create more and better jobs in Nova Scotia and I don't apologize for that. If that scares the honourable member or he has fear in that, I want to suggest he should disqualify himself as attempting to lead this province because he will lead us back to the 1930's and I have no comfort to retreating to that time. Thank you.

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

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I just want to introduce in the west gallery, the executive from the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, Dave Peters, Joan Jessome, Kathryn Morrison, Darrell Lundrigan and Dave Ling, and would ask members to welcome them. Of course, they are here to listen to the government's response on the whole issue of privatization. If they would please stand and we will give them our warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, let me repeat for the people in the gallery, the resolution we were debating is not about privatization, it is about private companies.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak on this resolution. I think the Minister of Community Services missed what I thought was so important and that is when he started talking about the comparison between Canada and the United States, when we were talking about health care. There is no room anywhere for privatization in health care. When the minister talks about creating jobs, I would like to know how the QE II is going to create any jobs by putting some of this work out for proposals and maybe have it run by private companies?

We are not going to get any new jobs. But are we going to (Interruptions) Well, we are debating that because this resolution talks about this government, ". . . promotes private profit for U.S. based corporations . . .". Who do you think is going to bid on those proposals of the QE II?

AN HON. MEMBER: Hopefully, Nova Scotians.

MR. MOODY: They won't stand a chance, I know that. I know the kinds of things that they are looking for and the people we brought - this government, when I look, whether it was the company that did for the physician's billing, it was a company outside this province, these people that come into this province that this government said are the experts are not from this province.

I am saying that I am here to tell all Nova Scotians that I see no room for privatization in health care. I see no room for private companies coming in and taking jobs away from Nova Scotians so they can make a profit. Now I can apply that to health care, I can apply it to the workers up at Acadia that are going to lose their jobs because Marriott is going to take over and run the plant facilities. Tell those Nova Scotians that Marriott is going to create jobs. It is not going to create any jobs, what we are going to get is poorer paying jobs for Nova Scotians who already have good paying jobs.

[Page 1582]

The thing that bothers me is that this government doesn't recognize the talent and the dedication of the workers we already have in this province. When I see the QE II talking about putting out for proposals, when we look at the central prescription drug deposits, the pharmaceuticals, to put out for tender when we already did a study a couple of years ago and said that the private sector couldn't operate it as efficiently as we could operate it, that it is being operated there now. What is it that all of a sudden happens?

This government made a massive mistake when they created the largest monster in Canada called the QE II. Now that monster is out of control because it is so large. What has happened is this government hasn't recognized that the monster they created now is having to look for outside expertise, probably from the U.S. to help them run this. What does that do for Nova Scotians who are working there? What does that do for morale? Morale is already bad enough at the QE II, they are stressed out with limited resources.

Now management says, I am sorry, many of you people that already work here, we are going to spend one-third of the budget and hire a private company that will probably pay not much more than minimum wage, take a huge part of that $90 million profit back to the United States and Nova Scotians are going to get better health care? Absolutely not. It is time this government stopped playing around, whether it is correctional services or whatever area it is in, and saying, that in these areas - that is another area, correctional services - government should, no question, run that facility themselves.

The government should not privatize health care and say, wait a minute, we are only asking for proposals. I know where proposals go. You wouldn't ask for a proposal unless you were going to consider it when you got them in. What they are going to consider it on, they are going to get in bed with these companies and say, okay you can do it in the long term and in the short term we may save a few dollars but in the long term we are going to pay more and it will keep us in office three or four more years but Nova Scotians will pay down the road. Now what does that do to our system? It destroys a system that I think we are so proud of, whether it is health care or I believe even correctional services, this government should stop even considering proposals. If this government really believed in our health care and the system that we have, they would put a stop to what is happening at the QE II. Right now before it goes any further because I know what will happen, it gets down the road and the Minister of Health, as he said here today, he does not really have any control anymore. Whether it is the regional boards putting out and bringing in people from outside or whether it is the QE II, he has no way of controlling it anymore. You know what? The bottom line stops with this government.

We have to ask ourselves when the minister talked about companies coming to Nova Scotia, why would they come here? Well, I know that companies come here because of our health care system and our education system, they come here because of those very reasons and if we are going to destroy them by privatization, then anyone can stand up in this House and say they believe the American health care system is better than the Canadian. I do not

[Page 1583]

think you would find one Canadian that would stand up and say they want to see us go the route of the American system. If everybody agrees that our system is better because it is not privatized, because it is a public health care system and a public school system, almost until these people destroy it, then all of a sudden those people are not going to come here. We do not have something that is unique and something that serves everybody. Not everybody gets health care in the U.S. In Canada, this government is leading towards a two-tiered system and when I start reading day after day, more and more of this government is leading to a two-tiered system which is totally wrong. It is against the principles of the Canada Health Act.

I am amazed - they always stand up and say, yes, we agree with the Canada Health Act and we promote it. We do not like the two-tiered system, we want to make it a public system. It is just words because this government has demonstrated time and time again that those are just words because they would not be allowing this sort of thing to happen at the QE II, they would not be allowing the other things that are happening in health care where more and more people have to pay. I am already finding out that up in Cape Breton where the regional hospital may set up some beds, they are going to take out acute care beds and they are going to put in some level two care beds and what are they going to do? They are going to charge.

This government, every time it turns around, whether it is health care, education or whatever it is, they are going to find a way to charge and I am saying who can afford that? Whether you are going up for the cardiac project that was up at the Camp Hill where you used to pay $35 a month if you were a cardiac patient, you now are going to have to pay $260. Tell me what Nova Scotian and what senior with a heart condition can afford to pay $260? That, to me, clearly is two-tier system. That is what this government is allowing to happen and it has the audacity to stand up and say, my gosh, we believe in the Canada Health Act. We believe that everybody should have the opportunity, we believe in health promotion, we believe in all these things.

But you know what? This government is destroying the very principles that they have said is so important. You know what, Mr. Speaker? People are beginning to recognize all across this province that this government does not really care that what they are concerned about is what part can we privatize? I agree, private sector is out there and has a job to do and those companies have to make a profit. There is absolutely no room in health care and there is no room in the correctional system, there is absolutely no room in education and somehow we have to get the message to this government that Nova Scotians believe what I am saying. If you ask Nova Scotians they will tell you there is no room for the private sector. People should not make a profit on the backs of the young people. People should not make a profit on the backs of those that are sick.

There has to be a fair system in this province, a system that is one-tier, a system that is available to everybody, no matter whether you have 5 cents or $5 million. I am telling you this government is going to have to face Nova Scotians whenever they go to the polls. They have been putting it off and putting it off because Nova Scotians can see what has happened

[Page 1584]

to their health care system, they can see what has happened to their education system. You know what, the correctional officers do not get an answer from this government because I know what they are going to do, they are going to implement a proposal as soon as they get re-elected in their first year.

So, you know people are not going to be fooled and I know and I hope this government will stop what they are doing immediately.

MR. SPEAKER: I would like to thank all the honourable members for having taken part in tonight's late debate.

The committee will now resolve itself into Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]

[6:55 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Wayne Gaudet, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered and approved 43 estimates, being all the estimates referred to the committee. The chairman has been instructed to recommend them to the favourable consideration of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House concurs in the report of the Committee of the Whole on Supply. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 18 - Entitled an Act to Provide for Defraying Certain Charges and Expenses of the Public Service of the Province. (Hon. W. Gillis)

[Page 1585]

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 18, the Appropriations Act, 1997.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance moves second reading of Bill No. 18, the Appropriations Act, 1997. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 18, the Appropriations Act, 1997, be now read for a third time.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance moves third reading of Bill No. 18. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

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.

[6:58 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]

[7:59 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Wayne Gaudet, resumed the Chair.]

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

[Page 1586]

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the several bills:

Bill No. 3 - Ardnamurchan Club Act.

Bill No. 4 - Université Sainte-Anne Act/La Loi de l'Université Sainte-Anne.

Bill No. 9 - Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company Act.

Bill No. 10 - Incorporate the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the Dominion of Canada Act.

Bill No. 11 - Queens Regional Municipality Act.

Bill No. 12 - District of Argyle Financial Assistance Act.

Bill No. 13 - Antigonish Heritage Museum Board Act.

Bill No. 16 - Lunenburg Common Lands Act.

Bill No. 17 - Municipal Elections Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

Also, Mr. Speaker, the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 6 - Gas Distribution Act.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be read a third time on a future day.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will, as promised by the honourable member, resume debate on Bill No. 7 in Committee of the Whole House on Bills. I would anticipate following that we will do third readings of Public Bills, Private Members' Public Bills and Private Members' Bills.

Before we adjourn could we call the order of the business, Tabling Reports, Regulations and Other Papers.

[Page 1587]

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable and esteemed Government House Leader, I didn't give him much notice, I was fumbling around looking for it. So, I am sorry, Mr. House Leader.

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Superintendent of Pensions on the administration of the Pension Benefits Act for the year ended March 31, 1996.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: I accept the apology, Mr. Speaker, and I move that the House do now rise to sit again tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion for adjournment has been made. The House will now rise to sit again tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

[The House rose at 8:01 p.m.]

[Page 1588]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 418

By: Hon. Bernard Boudreau (Minister of Health)

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

Whereas more than 5 per cent of Nova Scotians have diabetes and for these 45,000 people and their families, the realities of living with diabetes and its complications are ever present; and

Whereas people with poorly controlled diabetes have a marked increased risk for and incidence of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney disease, foot and leg amputations and early death and the complications can burden families, affecting careers, productivity and quality of life; and

Whereas the prevention of diabetes complications will have a dramatic, positive effect on the lives of people with diabetes and their family members;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia for taking the leadership to develop an 80 page document and quick reference guide called Surveying and Preventing the Complications of Diabetes in Nova Scotia, due for release May 21st, to provide doctors and other health professionals with guidelines for the surveillance, prevention and management of five major diabetes complications: heart, kidney, eye, nerve disease and foot problems.

RESOLUTION NO. 419

By: Hon. Bernard Boudreau (Minister of Health)

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

Whereas it is expected close to 250 public health units and health facilities and agencies across Canada will carry out a wide range of Canada Health Day activities on or around Monday, May 12, 1997; and

Whereas the theme this year for Canada Health Day is to Focus on Community Health; and

[Page 1589]

Whereas just recently this government introduced a series of documents, titled The Community Health Planning Guidebook Series, to help involve communities in health planning and is investing up to $500,000 to encourage healthy community initiatives across the province to bring local citizens together to promote healthy lifestyles and improve the quality of life in their area;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize Monday, May 12th as Canada Health Day and support province-wide community health initiatives.

RESOLUTION NO. 420

By: Hon. Bernard Boudreau (Minister of Health)

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

Whereas May 11 to May 18, 1997 is National Palliative Care Week to increase public awareness of palliative care in Canada; and

Whereas the ultimate goal of palliative care is comfort and dignity for those persons and their families who are facing progressive life-threatening illness which is no longer responsive to cure-oriented therapies; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association is an organization representing more than 300 health care professionals and volunteers active in education, public awareness and research in the area of palliative care;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize and thank the Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association and all those who provide palliative care to Nova Scotians to help them achieve the best quality of life possible and to try to ensure that no Nova Scotian dies alone or in pain.

[Page 1590]

NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS

Given on May 7, 1997

(Pursuant to Rule 30)

QUESTION NO. 14

By: Dr. John Hamm (Leader of the Opposition)

To: Hon. John MacEachern (Minister of Community Services)

(1) Would the minister provide information on a fiscal year basis concerning the level of funding allotted for housing support services for the mentally ill since the 1992-93 fiscal year? Would the minister also outline the availability of alternative care programs which are replacing institutional care?

(2) How many individuals are living in the community under the alternate care program?

(3) How many individuals are presently on a waiting list to access alternative care programs and/or institutional care?

(4) What are the criteria of the supervised apartment program?

(5) What are the criteria of the small options program for the mentally ill?

QUESTION NO. 15

By: Mr. Alfred MacLeod (Cape Breton West)

To: Hon. Sandra Jolly (Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Gaming Control Commission)

The Life Improvement for the Disabled Association (LIDA) cannot use bingos to raise funds due to changes to provincial gaming legislation that included a moratorium on bingo licenses.

(1) Since the Minister of Community Services recently suggested fund-raisers as a means of funding for LIDA, will the minister undertake to review an exemption for LIDA, as a major service provider to the Truro area's disabled community, from the moratorium?

[Page 1591]

QUESTION NO. 16

By: Mr. Alfred MacLeod

To: Hon. John MacEachern (Minister of Community Services)

(1) My question to the Minister of Community Services is this, since his government's decision respecting municipal service exchange is responsible for the cash crunch faced by Truro's Life Improvement for the Disabled Association (LIDA), will the government restore provincial funding to LIDA's bus service?