The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD11-67

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Gordon Gosse

Published by Order of the Legislature by Hansard Reporting Services and printed by the Queen's Printer.

Available on INTERNET at http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/



Third Session

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
5504
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3211, Auditor Gen. - Estimates Review: Special Comm
- Establishment, Hon. F. Corbett »
5504
Vote - Affirmative
5505
Res. 3212, N.S. Legislature: Pages/Staff - Thank,
5505
Vote - Affirmative
5506
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3213, Miller, Dick: N.S. Home Builders' Assoc. Award
- Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen » (by Ms. K. Regan » )
5506
Vote - Affirmative
5507
Res. 3214, Santa's Workshop - FCA Benefit: N.S. - Relocate,
5507
Res. 3215, Boudreau, Lisa - PROFIT Award: Finalist
- Congrats., Hon. M. Samson »
5507
Vote - Affirmative
5508
Res. 3216, House of Assembly: Staff/Pages/Messengers
- Merry Christmas Wish, Mr. A. MacLeod »
5508
Vote - Affirmative
5509
Res. 3217, Power, Phil: Sport N.S. Tae Kwon Do Vol. of Yr
- Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen « » (by Hon. M. Samson « » )
5509
Vote - Affirmative
5509
Res. 3218, McIntyre, Ron - Baddeck Public Works: Serv. (25 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Mr. K. Bain »
5510
Vote - Affirmative
5510
Res. 3219, Conseil Acadien de Par-en-Bas: Centre Communautaire
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont »
5510
Vote - Affirmative
5511
Res. 3220, Sampson, Shirley - Driving Adventures: Luck - Wish,
5512
Vote - Affirmative
5512
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 599, Prem.: Economic Targets - Update,
5512
No. 600, Prem.: Political Postcard (Queens Co.) - Authorization,
5514
No. 601, Prem.: Non-Unionized Employees/Employers
- Representation, Mr. Z. Churchill »
5516
No. 602, Health & Wellness - Dart. Gen.: Min. Announcement
- Details, Mr. A. Younger »
5517
No. 603, Prem. - Long-Term Care: Wait Lists - Assist,
5519
No. 604, Educ. - Student/Teacher Ratios: Calculations
- Tabling Confirm, Hon. K. Casey »
5521
No. 605, Justice - Grandparents Rights Group: Access Legislation
- Introduce, Mr. K. Bain « »
5523
No. 606, Educ. - Bedford HS Proj.: Performance Spaces
- Furnishings, Ms. K. Regan « »
5524
No. 607, Nat. Res. - Whycocomagh Prov. Park: Grass Mowing
- Halt Explain, Mr. A. MacMaster »
5526
No. 608, Health & Wellness - GASHA: Foot Clinic
- Charges Explain, Hon. M. Samson « »
5527
No. 609, Health & Wellness: Mental Health Strategy
- Receipt Confirm, Ms. D. Whalen « »
5528
No. 610, Com. Serv. - Private Daycare: Funding Policy
5530
No. 611, TIR: Grand Gully Rd. - Upgrade,
5531
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 1:20 P.M
5532
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 1:28 P.M
5532
CWH REPORTS
5532
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 136, Members' Pension Review Implementation (2011) Act
Vote - Affirmative
5533
PRIVATE & LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 129, St. Michael's Polish Association and Benefit Society/
Ustawa zmieniajᶏca rozdzial 236 Ustaw z 1912
Vote - Affirmative
5533
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 133, Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Investment (2011) Act
5533
5535
5538
Vote - Affirmative
5542
HOUSE RECESSED AT 2:04 P.M
5542
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 4:05 P.M
5542
ARRIVAL OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
5543
BILLS GIVEN ROYAL ASSENT:
Nos. 38, 55, 65, 72, 73, 76, 78, 80
5543
Nos. 81, 84, 85, 86, 90, 93, 94, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 104,
106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 114
5544
Nos. 115, 116, 118, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 128,
129, 131, 132, 133, 136
5545
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again at the call of the Speaker » :
5546
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3221, Coderre, Geoff: Entrepreneur of Yr. - Congrats.,
5547
Res. 3222, Edinger, Merv. & Natalie - PLAN Can.:
Contribution – Recognize, The Premier « »
5547
Res. 3223, Dart. Destroyers Football Club - Success:
On/Off Field - Congrats., The Premier « »
5548
Res. 3224, Gerstenecker, Tina & Hans: Rest. Success
- Congrats., The Premier « »
5548
Res. 3225, Church of Latter Day Saints (Cole Hbr.):
Pageant (25th) - Congrats., The Premier « »
5549
Res. 3226, Simmonds, Trena: Adult HS Diploma
- Congrats., The Premier « »
5549
Res. 3227, Curves for Women Club (Cole Hbr.) - Anniv. (10th)
- Congrats., The Premier « »
5550
Res. 3228, Sackville HS Music: Musicounts Grant
- Congrats., Mr. M. Whynott »
5550
Res. 3229, Bodnarchuck, Andrew: Boston Bruins Training Camp
- Congrats., Mr. M. Whynott « »
5551
Res. 3230, Off the Hook - Solution Search: Finalist
- Congrats., Hon. S. Belliveau »
5551
Res. 3231, Take Our Kids to Work Day - Employers:
Mentorship - Thank, Hon. Maureen MacDonald »
5552
Res. 3232, Foster, Jacqueline/Cdn. Team: Australian Lawn Bowling
Championships - Well Wishes, Hon. M. More »
5552
Res. 3233, McCarthy, Megan: Ingenuity - Recognize
5553
Res. 3234, McNeil, Glo - Recipe to Riches: Grand Prize
- Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall »
5553
Res. 3235, Bezanson, Mark: Positive Role Model
- Commend, Hon. S. McNeil « »
5554
Res. 3236, Rice, Bryan: Youth Ambassador Proj
- Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil « »
5554
Res. 3237, Jessome, Hal: Book Publication - Congrats.,
5555
Res. 3238, Ritchie, Ruth/Rice, Denise: Book Launch
- Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil « »
5555
Res. 3239, Hawboldt, Stephen: Bay of Fundy Environmental
Stewardship Award - Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil « »
5556
Res. 3240, Bouchard, André: BaM! Prog. - Congrats.,
5556
Res. 3241, Beck, Garrett/Culinary Team - Cool Water Café:
Opening - Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil « »
5557
Res. 3242, Burns, David: Fundraising - Congrats.,
5557
Res. 3243, Ackroyd, Diana Mullings - Lawrencetown:
Backyard Habitat Commun. - Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil « »
5558
Res. 3244, McGuire, David: Run to Remember Tour
- Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen « »
5558
Res. 3245, Kernaghan, Rowan: Running Accomplishments
- Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen « »
5559
Res. 3246, Prince Andrew Players - The Sound of Music:
Performance - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
5559
Res. 3247, Crawley, Kyle: Capitalk Productionz
- Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
5560
Res. 3248, Sullivan, Darryl: Commun. Spirit/Vol. Effort
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter »
5560
Res. 3249, Yar. Chorale/Yar. Orchestra/Yar. Citizens Band:
Talent/Dedication - Recognize, Mr. Z. Churchill « »
5561
Res. 3250, Cook's Cup HS Hockey Tournament - Teams:
Best Luck - Wish, Mr. Z. Churchill « »
5561
Res. 3251, West Pubnico Water Treatment Plant:
Residents - Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5562
Res. 3252, Wesley, Gloria Ann: Book Publication
- Congrats., Hon. P. Paris »
5563
Res. 3253, Osinga, Megan - Cdn. Nat'l. 4-H Conf.:
Prov. Rep. - Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil « »
5563
Res. 3254, Gravel, Jessica - Cdn. Nat'l. 4-H Conf.:
Prov. Rep. - Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil « »
5564
Res. 3255, MacMillan, Gerry & Chad: Golf Success
- Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine »
5564
Res. 3256, Hussman Can.: RRFB Award - Congrats.,
5565
Res. 3257, Cunningham, Dr. Peggy: Woman of Excellence Award
- Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen « »
5565
Res. 3258, École Beau-Port Boys Volleyball Team:
NSSAF Banner - Congrats., Hon. M. Samson « »
5566
Res. 3259, Bourque, Michael & Tiffany Cottreau-Bourque:
Daughter - Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5567
Res. 3260, Surette, Sylvia & Shawn: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5567
Res. 3261, Hubbard, Sarah & Jamie: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5568
Res. 3262, Thomas, Muriel/Doucette, Jerry: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5568
Res. 3263, Nickerson, Lynn & Josh: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5569
Res. 3264, LeBlanc, Kelly & Jacques: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5569
Res. 3265, Corporong, Jody & Scott: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5570
Res. 3266, Amirault, Jessica & Jeremy: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5570
Res. 3267, d'Entremont, Dianne & Jamie: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5571
Res. 3268, Hubbard, Denise & Kevin: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5571
Res. 3269, Nickerson, Denise & Brent: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5572
Res. 3270, Amero, Ashley & Patrick: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5572
Res. 3271, Surette, Amanda & Hazen: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5573
Res. 3272, d'Eon, Anissa & Cameron: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5573
Res. 3273, Amero, Candice & Scott: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5574
Res. 3274, d'Entremont, Jeannette/Cottreau Luc: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5574
Res. 3275, Nelson, Jennilee/Haley, Ryan: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5575
Res. 3276, d'Eon, Jenny/Doucet, Todd: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5575
Res. 3277, Muise, Laurie/Jacquard, Cody: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5576
Res. 3278, Hurlburt, Meaghan/Mohamed, Hussain: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5576
Res. 3279, Gaudet, Megan/Muise, Tyler: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5577
Res. 3280, d'Eon, Michelle & Todd: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5577
Res. 3281, Pottie, Nicole & Brian: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5578
Res. 3282, d'Entremont, Tessa & Nick: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5578
Res. 3283, Newell, Tracy/Rafuse, Adam: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5579
Res. 3284, LeBlanc, Megan & Renald: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
5579
Res. 3285, MacQueen, Margie/Vols.: Port Morien Commun
Fair - Commend, Mr. A. MacLeod « »
5580
Res. 3286, Atkinson, Sylvester: Middleton - Thank,
5580
Res. 3287, Johnson, Albert, Bonnie: Middleton - Congrats.,
5581

[Page 5503]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011

Sixty-first General Assembly

Third Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Gordon Gosse

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Ms. Becky Kent, Mr. Leo Glavine, Mr. Alfie MacLeod

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. We'll begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Justice.

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

[Page 5504]

Bill No. 136 - Members' Pension Review Implementation (2011) Act.

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

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Deputy Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 3211

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I move this resolution - and I believe that the two House Leaders, from the Official Opposition and the Third Party, have seen it:

WHEREAS the Auditor General Act provides that the Auditor General shall present annually to a Committee of the House of Assembly, designated for that purpose by the House, estimates of the sums of money that will be required by the Auditor General to conduct activities required under the Act and any other enactment or authority, together with any estimated recoveries;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS:

(1) THAT there is hereby established a Special Committee to Review the Estimates of the Auditor General and that Committee is designated as the Committee required pursuant to Section 16 of the Auditor General Act;

(2) THAT the Special Committee is composed of those individuals appointed from time to time to the House of Assembly Management Commission, and is chaired by the Chair of the House of Assembly Management Commission;

(3) THAT membership to this Special Committee is ancillary to the members' duties on the House of Assembly Management Commission and no additional compensation for the members, Chair or Vice-Chair is payable; and

(4) THAT pursuant to subsection 36(1) of the House of Assembly Act, this House declares that the Special Committee is not dissolved by prorogation of the House and authorizes the Special Committee to continue its deliberations after the House is prorogued.

[Page 5505]

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 3212

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

Whereas from the moment the House of Assembly began the Fall sitting, on October 31st, the Pages and staff have worked tirelessly, ensuring the smooth operation of the session; and

Whereas even during the long hours, the intense debate and enthusiastic discussion, these dedicated men and women maintained focus and assisted all MLAs, as they were asked; and

Whereas each employee of this historic House of Assembly contributed to the overall success of the session in his or her own way;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank the Pages and all staff of the Nova Scotia Legislature for their patience and assistance during this Third Session of the Sixty-first General Assembly.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 5506]

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 3213

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Dick Miller of Clayton Park was recently honoured by the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association for his years of service in the industry and in this province; and

Whereas Dick is past president of Clayton Developments Limited, and is currently senior adviser to the Shaw Group and chairman of the Mayor's Economic Advisory Committee with the Greater Halifax Partnership; and

Whereas during Dick's 40-year career he has been recognized regionally and nationally for his work, particularly in the areas of consumer protection and community planning;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in recognizing Dick Miller for his significant career which has helped to shape our city, and congratulate him on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 5507]

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 3214

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

Whereas Santa's elves have been working without a contract for far too many years; and

Whereas Santa's elves work under harsh conditions, at low pay, with intense deadlines; and

Whereas Santa's elves should organize collectively and seek a first contract;

Therefore be it resolved that Santa should move his workshop from the North Pole to Nova Scotia, so that at least someone will benefit from the NDP's obsession with first contract arbitration.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 3215

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

Whereas the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneurial Awards provide national recognition to Canada's women entrepreneurs whose successful business and achievements contribute so much to the Canadian and global economies, as well as their communities; and

Whereas Lisa Boudreau of Arichat, co-founder of Caper Gas and the founder of the Home Grown Rewards Program, attended the 2011 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneurial Awards held on November 28th in Toronto, Ontario; and

[Page 5508]

Whereas Lisa was a finalist for the PROFIT Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Lisa Boudreau for being chosen as a finalist for the PROFIT Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship, and wish her continued success with Caper Gas and the Home Grown Rewards Program.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

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 Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3216

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

Whereas we are fast approaching Christmas 2011; and

Whereas the members of this House of Assembly could not perform their duties if it were not for the help of the incredible staff of the Nova Scotia Legislature; and

Whereas the Pages and the messengers of this House constantly go above and beyond the call of duty during the session;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank the staff, Pages, and messengers of the House of Assembly, and wish them all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

[Page 5509]

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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 3217

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Sport Nova Scotia is a voice for sport that promotes the benefits of health, personal development, and achievement for all participants; and

Whereas every year Sport Nova Scotia awards outstanding teams, players, coaches, and associations for their dedication and work in growing the world of sport; and

Whereas this year Phil Power was awarded Volunteer of the Year for tae kwon do;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Phil Power for this outstanding accomplishment.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

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 Victoria-The Lakes

RESOLUTION NO. 3218

[Page 5510]

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

Whereas Baddeck Public Works Supervisor Ron McIntyre was honoured this summer for his 25 years of employment with the village; and

Whereas in his quarter century of service, Ron oversaw such things as water and sewer services; and

Whereas in a ceremony this summer, the Baddeck Village Commission presented Ron with a plaque and a watch recognizing his 25 years of employment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ron McIntyre and wish him continued success.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 3219

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Monsieur le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le 6 novembre 2011, à Tusket, une célébration communautaire a marqué l'ouverture officielle du Centre communautaire de Par-en-Bas par u banquet et un concert de musique mettant en vedette des artistes locaux; et

Attendu que le centre consiste d'un théâtre de 300 places, une école maternelle, salle de réunion, espace de bureau, une galerie d'art et est attaché a l'École Secondaire de Par-en-Bas et adjacent à une nouvelle piste et pelouse qui sera l'hôte des Jeux de l'Acadie en 2012; et

Attendu que l'investissement du Gouvernement Fédéral de prés de 2,4 millions de dollars est grâce de l'APECA et Patrimoine canadien qui a aidé le Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas pour construire l'édifice qui est 15,000 pieds carrés, de deux étages;

[Page 5511]

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent le Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas sur l'ouverture officielle de Centre Communautaire de Par-en-Bas qui leur permettra de mettre en valeur la riche culture, la diversité et le talent que existe dans la communauté de la région d'Argyle.

Monsieur le Président, je demande l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat.

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

Whereas on November 6, 2011, in Tusket, a community celebration marked the official opening of the Centre Communautaire de Par-en-Bas with a banquet and musical concert featuring local artists; and

Whereas the centre houses a 300-seat theatre, a preschool, boardroom, office space, an art gallery and is attached to the French-language high school École Secondaire de Par-en-Bas with the adjacent new track and field facility that will host the 2012 Jeux de l'Acadie; and

Whereas a combined Government of Canada investment of nearly $2.4 million through ACOA and Canadian Heritage assisted the Conseil Acadien de Par-en-Bas to construct the 15,000 square foot, two-story facility;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Conseil Acadien de Par-en-Bas on the official opening of the community centre that will allow the community to showcase the rich culture, diversity and talent that exist in the Argyle region.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

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 Cape Breton West.

[Page 5512]

RESOLUTION NO. 3220

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

Whereas Shirley Sampson of Port Caledonia, Cape Breton, recently appeared on the television series "Canada's Worst Driver;" and

Whereas Shirley earned the dubious distinction of Canada's Worst Driver on the season finale of the popular reality show; and

Whereas Shirley Sampson was among eight bad drivers selected from among about 900 who auditioned for the show;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly wish Shirley the best of luck in her driving adventures and commend her on her sense of humour which, as she stated, she needed to have to participate in the worst driver contest.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : Question Period will begin at 12:20 p.m. and end at 1:20 p.m.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

PREM.: ECONOMIC TARGETS - UPDATE

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Premier. We've been asking the government all session to update their economic targets. They said they are coming soon. Now we find out that they're going to wait until after the last question period of the session before they release this information. The financial sector consensus suggests that we will see downgraded expectations for Nova Scotia. My question is, why is the Premier trying to hide bad news from the people of Nova Scotia?

[Page 5513]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, actually, the quarterly update is being presented in line with which it has been presented in the past years, in fact, earlier than on many occasions. Instead of waiting until next week, we decided we would release it as soon as it is ready.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, to the Premier. Given that the financial update is available and the House is sitting, we would have expected it to come here today so that it could be discussed here today. It's the function of the Legislature to scrutinize the executive and it is the job of Opposition to hold the Cabinet to account. By waiting until after the final Question Period of the session, the Premier is avoiding being held accountable for this fiscal update.

Let's not mince words - the fiscal update is important to Nova Scotians. It actually holds the financial position of the province and shows us the taxation and spending projections for the government. My question is, why does the Premier think that this NDP Government should not be held accountable for their fiscal update here in the House?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, of course we agree with the elements of accountability and in fact we are producing the report when it became available, when the numbers were actually finalized. As you know, those things happen right up to the last minute so that we can give the most up-to-date information to the Opposition. I assume that they will attend the Minister of Finance's update. I assume they will speak to the press about it and give their impressions. The people of Nova Scotia will judge whether or not their criticism and/or praise - perhaps they'll be happy with it - is appropriately justified.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time that the NDP Government has withheld information from this House. They suppressed the socio-economic study on gambling. They continue to refuse to release the $80,000 study on the global paper industry. This controls its message by milking maximum coverage for stories every day that they wish to highlight by making multiple announcements packaged for the media while they avoid the Legislature for stories that they want to hide. This is wrong.

The Minister of Finance should have tabled his fiscal update with the Speaker of the House of Assembly so that it could be scrutinized on behalf of Nova Scotians here in the Legislature so we can do our job. My question to the Premier is, will the Premier direct his Minister of Finance to table, immediately and without delay, his fiscal update to the Legislature?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as you know, since this government has been in place we have been using more sitting days of the House of Assembly than has been the norm for the House of Assembly. In fact, we have some of the longest sessions in order to allow the accountability measures that the member opposite talks about. I can tell you this, we are presenting the financial information that is required through the quarterly update and that will be done at 2:00 this afternoon and I extend an invitation to the member to attend.

[Page 5514]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

PREM.: POLITICAL POSTCARD (QUEENS CO.) - AUTHORIZATION

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The people of Queens County deserve a government that works in their interests, free of politics. All they ask (Interruptions) it's not funny, Mr. Speaker. All they ask is that the government be focussed on preserving jobs, ensuring the community gets the guarantees it deserves, and ensuring that they and other taxpayers are protected. Now is not the time to engage in blatant, disgraceful political games but that is what the NDP seems determined to do, just when we should be focused on the people of the South Shore.

Today we learn that the government is clearly politicizing this serious and sensitive situation - contrary to the interests of the people of Queens County and contrary to the interests of getting to the right answers in a very difficult situation - by sending out a blatantly political, partisan postcard. I will table that postcard for the Premier and for the benefit of this House.

Mr. Speaker, I will ask the Premier - as Leader of the NDP and the Premier of Nova Scotia - did he authorize this blatantly political postcard to the people of Queens County?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg to differ. I see nothing blatantly political about having members of the Legislature who stand up for the people of the South Shore, as those members should have done but didn't. (Applause)

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, what the Premier is missing is that it is not supposed to be about him and his Party, or us and our Party, or them and their Party. It is supposed to be about jobs in Queens. It is supposed to be about families and their fears and their anxieties, which he and his Party have chosen to exploit in such a disrespectful, blatant, partisan manner. If they don't want to take my word for it, they can listen to their friend Parker Donham, who today said that what they are doing is just plain wrong.

I will ask the Premier, since he clearly does know about this political postcard, will he do the right thing and apologize to the people of Queens County for playing politics with their fears and anxieties?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, this is the same Leader who, when he is here in the House, says that this is a political bailout, he says it's unfortunate for the government to do this. These are the things he says when he is here, but when he is down on the South Shore, he says, oh, I'm going to vote for the bill. If that isn't politicizing the issue, then I don't know what is.

[Page 5515]

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, clearly the Premier is more than aware of the contents of this postcard because he is quoting from a part of it that I had not yet raised in this House. The fact of the matter is that the Premier is right - the postcard contains a premeditated, despicable, known lie that he and his Party are sending to the people of Queens County. The fact of the matter is that on this side of the House - and I have Hansard right here - we have said in Halifax, in Queens, in this Chamber, outside that Chamber, that we're voting for the bill and that we're supporting the deal, but the Premier . . .

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

Will you withdraw the remark that you just made? I'm going to ask you right now to do it; I just didn't have time in all the bickering going back and forth here today. So now I'm going to ask you to withdraw that remark, please. It's unparliamentary. "Despicable" is unparliamentary.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I withdraw the word "despicable." Thank you for pointing that out.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you very much. Continue on with your question.

MR. BAILLIE « » : My point, Mr. Speaker, is that it is not supposed to be about the NDP or the Liberals or the PCs. This is extremely disrespectful of the people of Queens who have gone through an awful lot to get to this point. You know what? The people of all of Nova Scotia deserve a Premier who is above this kind of political sleaze, so I am going to ask him to apologize to the people of Queens and to all Nova Scotians for acting in such a disrespectful manner.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, here's what should be apologized for, and I'll read back to the Leader what he said: "A Nova Scotia opposition leader is calling the government's deal to help keep a Liverpool paper mill operating 'an expensive bet.' Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says the money used to bailout the Bowater Mersey paper mill could have been better spent."

Mr. Speaker, that is disrespectful of the people of the South Shore. I'll table that.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Yarmouth.

PREM.: NON-UNIONIZED EMPLOYEES/EMPLOYERS - REPRESENTATION

[Page 5516]

MR. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Labour Management Review Committee was a creation born out of Bill No. 100. Businesses and employers were concerned with the makeup of this committee and its complete lack of representation of non-unionized employers and employees. The first item the Labour Management Review Committee was tasked to look at was first contract arbitration, something that would only affect non-unionized workforces - the very stakeholders who are not represented on this committee.

The committee didn't even reach a consensus on FCA, Mr. Speaker. Non-unionized workplaces are left wondering if the outcome would have been different had they been represented on this important group. My question for the Premier is, now that we have seen that the Labour Management Review Committee is, in fact, advising the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education on issues affecting non-unionized workplaces, will he ensure that non-unionized employers and employees are represented at this table?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as you know, and I think every member of this House knows, including the member opposite, that is a mischaracterization of the legislation and who it affects. The reality is, you have to be in a unionized workplace before the legislation applies, and that is why you have unionized representatives on the LMRC along with companies that have unionized workplaces.

MR. CHURCHILL « » : This coming from a Premier who has consistently misrepresented the concerns of the business community, consistently misrepresented the concerns of Michelin, and consistently misrepresented the opinions of every single employer in this province, Mr. Speaker. We're not going to take any lectures from the Premier on misrepresenting the facts.

On November 18th the Leader of the Official Opposition tabled Bill No. 105 to amend the Trade Union Act, calling for representation of non-unionized employers and employees on the Labour Management Review Committee. If this committee is going to be making recommendations to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education on issues that affect non-unionized workplaces, these workplaces deserve representation on this advisory committee. The government didn't call Bill No. 105 for second reading during the session.

Mr. Speaker, will the Premier tell members of this House when - or if - his government is going to call Bill No. 105 for second reading?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question would be, why didn't they call it on Opposition Day?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : This government knows that the agenda of this House is in their hands, Mr. Speaker, nobody else's. This Premier has consistently misrepresented the concerns of businesses and left them out of important advisory roles like the Labour Management Review Committee. He made that organization; he's responsible for what happens with it. When is he going to take responsibility for the decisions he makes?

[Page 5517]

Business and employers need to have their representation on the Labour Management Review Committee. It was clear when people raised concerns about first contract arbitration that this government and this Premier weren't willing to listen. It's unjust for this committee with no non-unionized representation to make decisions that affect the fate of business in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, why won't the government put partisan ideology aside and allow for fairer representation on the Labour Management Review Committee?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, if there was ever a misrepresentation of the manner in which this House works, you just heard it. The member knows that they have control over Opposition Day. They can call any piece of legislation they want to and they chose not to call it. Furthermore, the LMRC has a fair representation of the interests that are affected by the committee. So this government deals with things in a practical and pragmatic way, not hostage to special-interest groups.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH & WELLNESS - DART. GEN.: MIN. ANNOUNCEMENT - DETAILS

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. We've seen a series of these tiny little announcements involving Sobeys and Capital District, and tomorrow will be no exception, I suspect. They're often announcements about studies or future plans, some point off in the future.

Tomorrow the minister, we understand, will be at the Dartmouth General to make another government announcement. We don't know what about. (Applause) Well, I wouldn't clap yet, I wouldn't clap yet. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, when you talk to people at the hospital, workers at the hospital, you talk to people involved in it, you talk to people in the Health Department, it's probably one of two scenarios: either the minister is going to move ahead with what we've been asking for two and a half years now - and incidentally what the Premier asked for when he was in Opposition before that, but stopped asking for it two and a half years ago - which is to address the chronic overcrowding that has only gotten worse since the NDP took government, and address the fifth floor; or, as most in the hospital community suspect, they'll announce some movement of health care delivery to be transferred from the VG over to the Dartmouth General.

Will the minister's announcement tomorrow provide immediate relief for the overcrowding in the emergency room and the underutilized operating room space at the Dartmouth General, or will staff and patients at the facility continue to struggle and suffer with daily overcrowding?

[Page 5518]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. What this government is doing is we're doing our due diligence as we plan for the future of our really important health care facilities, our tertiary care facilities, our regional hospitals, our important facilities like the Dartmouth General. This was something that the former government did not do, which is evidenced by the situation that developed at the Colchester hospital, so perhaps the member for Dartmouth East would like to talk to the former Minister of Health about why that wasn't done in that case.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, isn't it interesting that the minister talks about planning for the future and yet for two and a half years has done zero there, really has done worse than the previous government, which I think is pretty hard to do. (Interruptions) I don't mind waiting, it doesn't matter to me.

Yesterday the minister was concerned and I heard somebody yell a couple of minutes ago that I might get apoplectic about her announcement tomorrow. I'm going to table that definition because of course she knows that's relating to her causing a stroke. I certainly hope that if I do get apoplectic her announcement is about solving the problems at the emergency room because otherwise I might be transferred to Hants, like patients the other week, when I have that stroke tomorrow.

For two and a half years - and again this morning, frankly, or this afternoon - the minister's response to overcrowding at the Dartmouth General has been to ignore it and tell us how she's improving things at other facilities. Over those two and a half years the overcrowding has gotten worse under this NDP Government, not better, hasn't even stayed stable. Will the minister confirm whether the Dartmouth General's fate lies in another five-year planning and execution process or will the needs of patients and staff who face overcrowding in the ER, every day now, be addressed immediately by tomorrow's announcement?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD » : Mr. Speaker, I want to tell members of the House that tomorrow we will be having an announcement with respect to further investment in the Dartmouth General Hospital. As I said to the members of the media yesterday when they were very persistent, doing their job, trying to get a jump on what that announcement might be, they will have to wait until tomorrow for the details. Thank you.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure the minister can understand why the media and people in the community are concerned because in one of her answers, just a few moments ago, she talked about planning exercises again. Long-range planning is really important but 173 Code Censuses last year at the Dartmouth General means there is an immediate problem that has gotten considerably worse since the NDP took over government - worse, not better, which means there is the need for an immediate solution at that hospital.

[Page 5519]

Mr. Speaker, the minister has to know that patients are shuffled, and surgical procedures are cancelled, not just there but elsewhere, because of overcrowding. The fact is that the minister saw fit to announce changes at Cobequid, which are effective on January 1st, and a number of times since then she has oddly talked about changes, those changes, when she talks about the Dartmouth General Hospital and yet things get worse.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to ask again - I understand that she's not going to . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Well, please ask her.

MR. YOUNGER « » : . . . answer with the exact details.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Please ask it. It has been six minutes now, please ask. I time the questions. Please ask the question, honourable member.

MR. YOUNGER « » : That's fine, Mr. Speaker, as long as they're answered.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Next, next, next.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Will tomorrow's announcement . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. (Interruptions)

PREM. - LONG-TERM CARE: WAIT LISTS - ASSIST

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. (Interruption)

AN HON. MEMBER: With all due respect . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Are you flouting the Chair? Are you flouting the Chair, I'll ask the honourable member? Would you like to stand up in your place? (Interruption) Okay, after Question Period because if you keep it up, you're going for the remainder of the day.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party has the floor.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Of the 1,700 seniors on a waiting list for more advanced long-term care, one-third of them are currently in a hospital bed. A review of the list will show another one-third are currently living in a community where home care support does not exist or is insufficient to meet their needs, yet zero dollars have been allocated in the recent capital plan to provide more permanent services and housing for them.

[Page 5520]

My question to the Premier is there are 1,700 reasons to help those seniors who need more advanced, permanent care, why is he ignoring them?

THE PREMIER « » : Well, far from ignoring them, Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is working very hard to try to meet their needs. We have either built or are in the process of building almost 1,000 new, long-term care beds to try to meet the need.

We do know, of course, that we have an aging population and we can expect this problem to continue to grow in terms of the number of people who will require service. One of the things that the member opposite could do is he could speak to his colleagues in the federal government and ensure that in the next round of health transfers there is sufficient money in the health care budgets to actually be able to meet the needs in the provinces.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, apparently it's somebody else's fault. Seniors have been waiting too long for the care they need. According to the Premier's own Department of Health and Wellness, they are going to have to just go on waiting, contrary to the answer he just gave. The Department of Health and Wellness wants to review the issue of long-term care facilities prior to tendering for any new long-term care beds, and I will table that document from the department for the benefit of the House.

The problem with this approach is that the Department of Health and Wellness has given itself three years to complete their review before they intend to tender for any more long-term care facilities.

My question to the Premier is, how long will seniors have to wait? How long is that wait list going to be and how many more dollars are going to be wasted due to his inaction?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I guess it's just the matter that the member didn't hear what I said. I said, we have built or are building, so, in fact, building is actually taking place of beds that will be used for that very purpose.

In addition, there are many other initiatives that are taking place in the department to try to address the issues that seniors are facing today and they have to do with the whole continuum of care, from home care right through to long-term care. There is not going to be a single answer to the question of how we provide services to our seniors. It is going to be a broad spectrum of choices that will fit the circumstances of the individual seniors. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, just so we all have our facts straight, the Premier is referring to 1,000 beds that were announced four years ago and have been tendered and under construction since that time. The fact of the matter is those thousand were part of the 1,300 that were announced then; 200 of which his government has cancelled since they got into office. Clearly that action is not going to help the 1,700 seniors currently waiting for more advanced, permanent care.

[Page 5521]

We're listening to the answers that the Premier is giving but obviously his own Finance Minister isn't. He is going to update the province on our financial position today, looking for ways to save money. Clearly getting that one-third of seniors in an expensive hospital bed into more appropriate and more cost effective care is one way to both increase services to seniors and save money. So my question to the Premier, finally, is, why is he ignoring such an obvious opportunity to get this right, provide better care, and save money?

THE PREMIER « » : Well Mr. Speaker, we're not ignoring it and we also know, as has been raised in this House before, that there are many days in which there are beds in various facilities that are actually empty, and that has to do with the fact that the manner in which the single-entry access program was put in place by the previous government is not efficient, is not working the way it should, and that's why the minister and the department are working with the various providers across the province to try and sort through that so we can have a more efficient service and a more efficient usage of the beds that we already have. In addition to that we are continuing to build beds, as I have said.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Colchester North.

EDUC. - STUDENT/TEACHER RATIOS:

CALCULATIONS - TABLING CONFIRM

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Thank you Mr. Speaker. In previous Question Periods on November 8th and November 9th I asked the Minister of Education about student/teacher ratios and how they are calculated. On November 8th the minister said, " . . . that's calculated by how much money is provided to the school boards . . ." We know, Mr. Speaker, that ratio has nothing to do with money provided to school boards so on the next day, November 9th, the minister responded that student/teacher ratios is " . . . based on the number of students that we have for projected enrolment." In reality it's not based on projected enrolment; it's based on actuals. Actual enrolments are determined by the number of students in our schools on September 30th.

To her credit the minister tabled a page that contained three numbers but the ratios that were tabled were still calculated on projected student enrolment and total number of teachers. In response to the question on November 8th the minister said, and I quote, " . . . as soon as I have all of that data in a spreadsheet, definitely, I will be tabling it . . ." So my question to the minister is, has she tabled the spreadsheet containing the requested information and if so, when?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX » : Thank you for that question. I do not have a spreadsheet. There is one school board that I don't have that data in a spread form. What I do have is a number of papers that outline where all of the population of our students are across the province, and it's quite cumbersome to read through. As soon as I have that in a spreadsheet that is readable, that we can utilize appropriately, I definitely will make sure that the honourable member has a copy, thank you.

[Page 5522]

MS. CASEY « » : Nova Scotia Teachers Union members include but are not limited to school principals, vice principals, superintendents, consultants, speech language pathologists, resource teachers, math mentors, literacy mentors, learning support staff, counsellors, and so on.

These are the positions that provide support in various ways in our schools but they do not interact on a daily basis, face to face, with a class of students. These numbers are significant, Mr. Speaker, and it is misleading to include them in the calculation of student/teacher ratio. So my question to the minister is this, how many Nova Scotia Teacher Union members, in total, in our school system, provide these out-of-class supports and therefore would not be included in the calculation?

MS. JENNEX « » : I would like to remind the member opposite that the ratios have been brought forward that way for many years and especially when she was Minister of Education. The ratios are always based on the number of students, based on all of the staff.

We are looking at class sizes, I can speak to that. The ratio is 12.9 to one, but class sizes in the Province of Nova Scotia, in elementary schools and junior highs and high schools, are at average 21 - average class sizes in the Province of Nova Scotia - and 20 at the junior high level. I do have information that I will table here around how many teachers that we have. We have 300 more teachers in the system than we had 10 years ago and when we had 30,000 less students - sorry, I said that wrong. We had 30,000 more students 10 years ago, we have 300 more teachers now even though we've lost those students out of our system. But I would like to note that I do have information on class sizes for junior high and elementary schools that I would like to table.

MS. CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, at the Public Accounts Committee on November 30th, the deputy minister responded to questions about student/teacher ratio and the real numbers of teachers in the classroom. The deputy said " . . . what people are most interested in are those who interact on a daily basis, face to face with a child, as compared to those who don't."

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well the numbers that we're looking for are the numbers of teachers in classrooms and the actual number of students - so the deputy gets it. During the same discussion at the Public Accounts Committee, the member for Hants West asked the deputy: "What is the actual number? Do we know that . . . ?" The deputy's response was: "We do."

So, my question to the minister. If the schools have the numbers, the department has the numbers, the deputy has the numbers, why would the minister not have them and be prepared to table them here?

[Page 5523]

MS. JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I just will repeat that it's the class size that people in the province want to know about - and we have the lowest class sizes, average class sizes, in decades in this province - the lowest class sizes in decades.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

JUSTICE - GRANDPARENTS RIGHTS GROUP:

ACCESS LEGISLATION - INTRODUCE

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, one of the highlights of this time of the year for many Nova Scotians is gathering with family and experiencing the holidays through the eyes of children. Unfortunately, a group of Nova Scotia grandparents will not experience that joy this year. Because of family breakup, some of these Nova Scotians will have no right to see their grandchildren during the holidays, or at any time of the year.

Mr. Speaker, last June 8th the Minister of Justice met with the Grandparents Rights group and indicated that he was considering legislative amendments which would more clearly recognize grandparents for access to their grandchildren.

So, Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the Minister of Justice, Why hasn't his government introduced the legislative amendments that gave the seniors the minister met with such hope in the Spring?

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I know the Minister of Justice really wants to ensure that all Nova Scotians enjoy the holiday season and that's why the minister met with that concerned group, something I believe the former government just chose not to do.

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, last April during debate on a Progressive Conservative bill concerning grandparents' rights, the Minister of Justice told members about how his life is enriched by the special relationship he has with his granddaughter. As the debate went on, the minister said: ". . . we have the responsibility to ensure that any legislation or legislative change strikes the right balance between the best interest of the child and the wishes of the extended family." And I'll table that quote.

Mr. Speaker, this was something we all agreed with. So my question through you to the acting minister, the minister understands the importance of the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, he rightly believes legislation has to strike a delicate balance. With all that correct information, why is the government so reluctant to take the next step and introduce legislation that strikes the balance and encourages healthy relationships between grandparents and grandchildren?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I believe the Minister of Justice made a commitment to that interest group and I believe that the Minister of Justice will do due diligence with his department to ensure that we do have a balance when it comes to this issue. I think it's ironic that the member opposite asked that question - he was part of a government for 10 years that chose not to bring legislation forward. The Minister of Justice, the Department of Justice, is going to look at this issue and make sure that we bring a balanced approach to this issue.

[Page 5524]

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all, this is not a special interest group. This is a group of concerned grandparents. Later today, this government will issue a press release that will boast about the number of bills this government introduced and passed during the Fall sitting. That number will be cold comfort to the members of the Grandparents' Rights group who had hoped that the minister meant what he said when he told them in June that this government would consider providing relief from emotional pain, financial expense, and the legal expenses they've experienced while fighting for some access to the grandchildren they love.

My question through you to the acting minister is, will his government make the holidays a little brighter for members of the Grandparents' Rights group and commit to introducing legislation in the Spring to help them spend time with their grandchildren?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I did not call them a special interest group. They're an interest group and a very important part of our communities here in Nova Scotia. I know first-hand - I've talked to many of them in the Grandparents' Rights group. Some of them live in my community, and we've spoken over the last number of years. I think the Minister of Justice was genuine with his meeting with those individuals, and I believe he is going to take the appropriate steps to ensure that all Nova Scotians have the rights they deserve under the law. It's unfortunate that we have to actually discuss this issue, but the Minister of Justice will live up to his commitment. I believe he will bring forward a balanced approach to address this issue in the near future.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

EDUC. - BEDFORD HS PROJ.: PERFORMANCE SPACES - FURNISHINGS

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, the construction of a new high school is always a major event in the life of a community. The building that results is one that the community is going to live with for 40 to 50 years, so it's important the school is well built and fills the needs of the community. In Bedford-Birch Cove, a sod-turning for the new Bedford high school took place recently, and I commend the government for living up to the commitment made by the previous government to build that school, because that hasn't happened in all situations.

Taxpayers in Bedford will be paying extra to make sure the new community centre is attached to the high school. They are also underwriting upgrades to the cafetorium, which will double as a performance space. I've heard from parents who are concerned that the technology and materials used in the upgrades will be selected by people who have no experience in the arts or in creating performance spaces. They want to make certain the fixtures will enhance the performances of students and not hamper them. Can the Minister of Education assure those parents that furnishing decisions will be made for the right reasons, and not just because they're cheap?

[Page 5525]

HON. RAMONA JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm looking forward to the opportunity of having the member opposite meet with the department and with the people in charge of that project. At that time she will receive an overview of what is going on in terms of construction.

At this point I will say that, as with all capital projects, it's in the hands of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, but it is overviewed with members in the Department of Education. I look forward to the honourable member opposite having that meeting with people in the department. Thank you.

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for the letter I just received. I sent it to her three weeks ago and just got an answer asking for those briefings, so I do appreciate that.

Parents have also expressed concerns to me about the learning centre. They want to make certain the layout and the design and the products used will be appropriate to its use. I've already heard about one design error that was caught before construction proceeded - toilets that were not accessible being used in the design for the learning centre for students with disabilities. Can the Minister of Education, whose department would be responsible for the furnishings, assure parents - who are, after all, taxpayers - that a supervisor with expertise in accessibility issues and the design of learning centres is going over this design with a fine-tooth comb to make sure we won't have to fix mistakes like this later on?

MS. JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I just want to say that it's very important when we're building our new facilities that they do meet the needs of all of our students, especially our students with mobility issues. We also want to make sure that the materials we use in our schools are not only the very best materials but are safe materials too. All of those considerations are being considered as we move forward.

I have to say that I do agree with the member opposite. We want to do it right the first time so that we don't have to go back and correct mistakes. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Inverness.

NAT. RES. - WHYCOCOMAGH PROV. PARK:

[Page 5526]

GRASS MOWING - HALT EXPLAIN

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. The Whycocomagh Provincial Park has recently benefited from federal economic stimulus investment and accompanying provincial investment. Over $550,000 has been spent to improve this asset, for the enjoyment of visitors and the people of the Whycocomagh area.

My question for the minister is, why has the minister's department issued orders to stop mowing grass?

HON. CHARLIE PARKER » : Mr. Speaker, it's the last Question Period, near the end of the last Question Period, so we're getting some interesting questions here today. We take the maintenance of our provincial parks very seriously, including in the member's riding. We're looking at a different maintenance system on mowing grass. It's certainly a more au naturel approach to our provincial parks and so this is one of them, a nature-based system of maintenance within our provincial parks.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I realize that at this time of year it may sound funny, this question, but I'm actually referring to a new policy, called Growing Not Mowing. I drove through the park in Whycocomagh myself this past summer and was surprised to see a once beautiful park with views of Whycocomagh Bay now full of weeds and encroaching bush. People in Whycocomagh, including the Whycocomagh Development Commission, are confused. They are also becoming embarrassed because an asset that they have always been proud of has visitors questioning why the park is starting to look abandoned.

Growing Not Mowing is a provincial policy. Has the minister been asked questions in his own constituency, or perhaps from other members of this Legislature, who may have concerns similar to those of the people in Whycocomagh?

MR. PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, certainly we've had some concerns from other areas of Nova Scotia and at first I agree, it looks a little bit untidy but the eventual aim is to put it back into its natural growth, if it's softwood or hardwood or whatever species are growing there. There is still a mowed area but there is just less of it. It's just to try to make our parks more appealing and more nature-based and with just a natural look to it, really.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to be supportive of staff who maintain our parks and I want our parks to benefit from innovation, like the yurts that are now offered in Whycocomagh.

My final question to the minister is, will the minister conduct a review of this new policy when parks open next Spring and gain input from park visitors and local users, to make a decision which has their support?

[Page 5527]

MR. PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, certainly our policies are always under review and input from the public is welcome, including from the honourable member. I would suggest perhaps if the honourable member wants more details, more information, to contact our director of Parks, Mr. Harold Carroll, and he can fill you in on exactly how the policy works.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Richmond.

HEALTH & WELLNESS - GASHA: FOOT CLINIC - CHARGES EXPLAIN

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, seniors' groups in Richmond County are expressing alarm at the decision by the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority to cut the foot clinic that was held at the Dr. W.B. Kingston Memorial Health Centre in L'Ardoise. Clients of the foot clinic will now have to travel to the Strait Richmond Hospital. For residents on the eastern end of Richmond County this will mean a half-hour to one-hour drive.

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, it gets worse. Due to cuts by the NDP Government the health authority is now going to charge $15 per visit to the foot clinic, which was previously a service provided for free.

My question is, will the Minister of Health and Wellness explain how this is better health care sooner for the residents of Richmond County?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, this is the first that I've heard about this specific service and what's happening with this service. If the honourable member would like to provide me with the details, I'll certainly look into it. Thank you.

MR. SAMSON « » : Well, thank you very much. Many seniors who access the foot clinic are diabetics. They rely on this service and question if they'll be able to travel to the Strait Richmond Hospital and pay the $15 per visit. Unfortunately it gets worse because the district health authority has also announced that due to cuts made by the NDP Government, they will now charge for parking at the Strait Richmond Hospital. So for seniors who access the foot clinic, now they have to pay $15 for a service that was free and now they'll have to pay parking, which was previously provided for free. So my question is, will the Minister of Health and Wellness intervene in this matter and return the foot clinic to the Dr. Kingston medical clinic?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : There are two things I'd like to address in the honourable member's question if I could, Mr. Speaker. First of all is the question of parking at the Strait Richmond Hospital. With the situation at NewPage, I spoke with the deputy minister because I had heard that GASHA was looking at putting parking in the Strait Richmond and I asked that, in fact, parking be deferred until we assist the Strait through this difficult time. So to the best of my knowledge parking fees are not imminent at the Strait Richmond Hospital.

[Page 5528]

The second point I would like make is - and the honourable member would know this - there is a proposal on my desk from the Kingston clinic, which I have indicated in the past that I view very favourably. I do not know the circumstances under which that clinic was moved. I know that the representations I've had from the community have been around the adequacy of space, et cetera, in the existing clinic, and as I indicated I will take the information under advisement and look into this matter.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, that's the first that I've heard the minister raise some issue with parking at the Strait Richmond Hospital and hopefully she can provide a bit more guidance on that because I know that the media reports that did come out with the delay indicated that it was an issue with the tenders that had been called for the actual parking machines at the hospital. If that is not the case then certainly I look forward to hearing exactly how long the minister is asking for an extension of that.

The foot clinic was a service provided for free at the Kingston clinic that was accessed by a lot of diabetics. The district health authority basically said that to cut costs, due to reductions in the budget, they would have to move it to the Strait and charge a fee. So I am hopeful that the minister will look into this and will work with the district health authority with the hopes of returning that service.

My final question is, will the minister take the time to review this whole situation, and working with the health authority, hopefully return that free foot clinic back to the Kingston clinic?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : As I indicated, I will take the information and look into it. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: MENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY

- RECEIPT CONFIRM

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Health and Wellness. In March 2010, the government announced the development of a mental health strategy. Three months later they announced co-chairs for the advisory committee and three months after that they announced the committee itself.

The mandate of the committee is to produce a mental health strategy by the summer of 2011. My question to the minister is, given that it is now almost the end of December - or almost Christmas - can the minister confirm whether she has received the mental health strategy, and if so, when will the results be shared with Nova Scotians?

[Page 5529]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : I want to thank the member for raising a very important matter; as members know, a mental health strategy is one of my personal priorities and certainly it is a priority for this government. I have yet to receive the mental health strategy from the working group. I look forward to that work being completed, having an opportunity to review it, and then respond in a public way. Thank you.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, it has now been close to two years since the announcement of the creation of the strategy. The challenges and pressures that are faced with the mental health system and the need to address them have not changed. What has changed, though, is government's announcement that there will be a cut to district health authorities of 3 per cent next year - a reduction that could be close to $90 million coming out of the budgets of front-line health care, including mental health services, and that will present considerable pressures. My question to the minister is, can the minister please indicate whether cuts to the DHA budgets will slow down progress when it comes to implementing the pending recommendations from the mental health strategy?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, in giving the DHAs and the IWK their budget target of a 3 per cent reduction for next year, we set out some parameters. One of the parameters was that existing services in terms of mental health and addiction services were to be protected from the 3 per cent target. Our budgetary planning should have no impact on existing services, and as I said, I have yet to receive the final document in terms of a mental health strategy to do planning from on a go-forward basis.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, even if the budgets are frozen, that's going to be a cut to services in mental health. At the very minimum there are going to be increases to wages and inflationary pressures on those services. We're still waiting on the strategy - I guess the minister is too - but it's only going to be a lot of nice-sounding words unless there's a plan for implementation of the recommendations. I'd like to know, can the minister confirm whether the advisory committee that was struck to produce the strategy will remain in place to ensure that their recommendations are actually implemented?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, we've had a very able working group. They have dedicated many, many hours of volunteer time to developing the strategy. I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work on behalf of myself and the government and, I'm sure, all members. I very much look forward to the final product. I'm sure it will be an excellent blueprint or roadmap to help us improve mental health services in the province. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Argyle.

COM. SERV. - PRIVATE DAYCARE: FUNDING POLICY - EXPLAIN

[Page 5530]

HON. CHRISTOPER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, earlier the Minister of Community Services joined CUPE in the foyer of the House of Assembly for a press conference, where the CUPE president is calling on the government to stop funding private health care. My question to the minister is, is this now government policy to phase out private daycare funding?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr Speaker, I'd like to thank the honourable member for his question. It gives me the opportunity to tell you that we joined CUPE because we are supporting what they have presented in terms of a very informative report, the Fairholm Report, which shows the economic benefits that a province has when they invest in the early years and in our daycares. That's important to us as a government, to recognize that that investment is going to make a huge difference in our future. That is the reason that we were there to say, congratulations on the work that you've done with this report. Thank you.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, as the father of two young children I recognize the need for all working parents to have access to high-quality, affordable, accessible, trustworthy daycare. But we find this is an attack on small businesses that work very hard to provide the service in rural and urban areas, and it's not the answer. We've seen this government attack many small business sectors, including road pavers, pharmacists, non-unionized employers, and insurance brokers, and here we go again.

On the minister's own Web site there is also a list of all daycares in the province, and I'll table those 16 pages of contact information for daycares across the province. My question for the Minister of Community Services is, which daycares on the list has the minister consulted prior to participating in this type of announcement that will send shock waves through our small business community?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, the only shock waves that get delivered are from that other side there that continually fear-monger every time they have an opportunity to take an issue and twist it around.

What we have done - I was very clear at the press conference, Mr. Speaker - that we're in our early days of developing a framework and bringing together, in the first steps, our different departments. That's one thing the Progressive Conservatives did not know how to do. They only worked in their silos.

The second step that we're looking at is the fact that this is not an attack on small business because we truly appreciate the number of daycares that we have that are for-profit. They know that. I've had discussions with them to indicate that we approve of them and we appreciate the work - there are about 50 per cent of them in the province - but this is looking at the future very much the same as Prince Edward Island has done in terms of how we can grandfather those businesses in. It's supporting them. How can we consult with them? That is something that they don't understand - strategy and consultation and vision, looking towards the future.

[Page 5531]

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, CUPE was very clear in their press conference today and that was to phase out private daycare funding. In Nova Scotia there are a number of child care options available, as we've heard in the announcement, about 50 per cent are private daycares. They have an important role in communities and according to her own Web site, "You can have your children cared for at a licensed child care facility staffed by early childhood educators, or in someone's home by a child care provider, or by someone who cares for a small number of children in your home or theirs. Each setting has its advantages." I'll table that document from the Web site.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, would the minister please explain for this House what future a private daycare plays in an NDP Government?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, as I said at the press conference, I was very clear and I will clarify it again. Number one, we are not phasing out the for-profit daycares that exist today. We will consult with them and we will also work with them in terms of grandfathering the clause in. What we're doing is what they never, ever understood, which is to take a situation and look and analyze it. Instead of making decisions that are based on political benefits for them, we look at what is beneficial for the people of Nova Scotia and for the children of Nova Scotia. They're always crying that we're not investing. This report shows that investing in the early years, and using tax dollars wisely, is an economic stimulus. They just clearly do not understand that. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Richmond.

TIR: GRAND GULLY RD. - UPGRADE

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the Grand Gully Road in River Bourgeois is a gravel road that has been subject to flooding on a repeated basis. The only means by which this can be addressed is for the roadbed to be raised, which is beyond the financial capabilities of the district office; therefore, they need a capital investment to be made. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that's going to be done this year, but will the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal be willing to look at this matter and find the capital money to upgrade the Grand Gully Road to prevent continued flooding?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS » : Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I thank you for the question, and Merry Christmas, I appreciate the gift. More importantly, I'm aware of the Grand Gully Road, the fact that it's a priority for you, and perhaps the next time I visit your fabulous island I'll take an opportunity to take a tour as we did before. I want to point out to you that you were driving that day and that poor lady named Samson, she has the same problem you do, you drive too fast. (Interruptions)

[Page 5532]

MR. SAMSON « » : Well, you were in too much of a rush, that's why I had to go a bit faster. The Clearwater road is another important road in Cape Auget, where the Clearwater facility is. Will the minister be looking at that road as well?

MR. SPEAKER « » : The time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : 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.

[1:20 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

[1:28 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Bills reports:

THE CLERK » : That the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 136 - Members' Pension Review Implementation (2011) Act.

which was reported with certain amendments by the Committee on Law Amendments, to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills without further amendments, and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 136.

Bill No. 136 - Members' Pension Review Implementation (2011) Act.

[Page 5533]

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : I now move third reading of Bill No. 136.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 136. 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. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 129.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, I move third reading of Bill. No. 129.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 129. 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. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 133.

Bill No. 133 - Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Investment (2011) Act.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Madam Speaker, I just want to say a few words on behalf of our caucus, and I know our Leader may say a few words when he gets back.

It's disappointing to me how this has transpired around this bill, that when people have questions - and many of the questions that we have asked in this House have actually come from people who work at the mill, have come from members of the union there, have come from workers who are involved in the mill. Yet the very act of asking questions, that people living in Queens and elsewhere in Nova Scotia have asked us to ask, means that the Premier stands up and says that means we're opposed to it when, in fact, our Leader has said this Party would vote for the bill. I find that offensive.

[Page 5534]

It is the role of the Opposition to ask the questions of the people of Nova Scotia and, as the member for Halifax Clayton Park said earlier, to hold the Executive Council to account in this Chamber. It is entirely reasonable for us to ask those questions and seek those answers because, frankly, we do not have access to the report that was done on the future of the paper industry, like the government does.

We did not have access to that report, so it's reasonable that while the government members may not have questions because they have access to that information, the Opposition did not. For them to say that means that automatically the Liberal caucus or the Progressive Conservative caucus is not going to support that bill - even to send a flyer out suggesting that - is offensive. We made it very clear from the very beginning that we had questions about this deal and we had concerns about the deal; in fact, some of the concerns we had are with elements that aren't even covered in this legislation.

This legislation really is two parts. It has the enactment of the municipal - the changes to the municipal tax structure, or the allowance of the Municipality of Queens to do that, which we said from day one we supported the municipal council in Queens being able to do that. We said that from day one that we supported their ability to do that, and yet the Premier and other government members would have the public believe that we don't. We said they're a democratically elected council and they can do as they wish.

One of our primary concerns with the first part of the deal, as it's reflected in this legislation, is that the deal has already been signed. It says in the legislation; it says the deal was signed, I believe, on December 1, 2011. If the Legislature were to vote no, it would likely have little effect, if any - probably no effect because the deal has already been signed and executed by the Cabinet, by the Premier on behalf of the government.

So, in looking at the legislation, there's only one part of this legislation that we're truly voting on, and there's only one part of this legislation that actually had any effect in this Legislature - and that's the municipal tax deal. And we absolutely support the ability for municipalities to make those decisions - they're democratically elected, we're just giving them tools to make that decision.

Madam Speaker, in closing, I just want to summarize the fact that we end up in a situation here where the Premier, just by virtue of the Liberal caucus asking questions about the deal, questions that come from some people who have chosen to vote for a deal with their union that they know means they won't have a job - we ask their questions in this Legislature because people in Queens and elsewhere in Nova Scotia are not getting the answers they deserve. Just by asking those questions, the Premier and the member for Queens decide that everybody is against it and send out a flyer on that. I find that personally offensive.

[Page 5535]

Madam Speaker, we will vote for this bill because this bill is about the municipal tax structure and that's the only part that this Legislature really has any control over because Cabinet already decided on December 1st to execute an agreement. The rest of the bill is largely irrelevant, in terms of this Legislature. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Madam Speaker, I'm going to aim to be brief today. I'm pleased to get up to speak on this bill. I want to start off by affirming that the Progressive Conservatives are going to be voting for this bill and I know people down in Queens, I know the Mayor of Queens, are certainly pleased to see this investment. I think it's important for that community and I think it's certainly relevant for me to get up to speak about this, because of NewPage Port Hawkesbury in my area.

I know that in the new year we hope there will be a new owner who is going to continue business there. We expect that they'll be looking at this deal and they'll be looking at the economics of continuing to run that operation. They will likely be coming to government to see what government can do to help them build a better business case for an industry that, while some may say it's dying, we're still using paper, we've got all kinds of it here and we always will need paper. It is a competitive world marketplace and the province has to make sure that we're providing, giving the companies that plan to do business here, a fighting chance in that competitive marketplace.

I want the people of the Queens area to know, and Mayor Leefe to know, the municipal representative of that area, that we are supportive of their community and the continuance of this operation. As I've mentioned, I myself in my area certainly know what it's like to face the uncertainty of the shutdown of a major employer.

I guess, Madam Speaker, one of the focuses that we've tried to do as this sitting of the Legislature comes to an end, one of the focuses that the Progressive Conservatives have made is a focus on power rates and on bringing transparency to power rates. We put forward four pieces of legislation that, because we're in Opposition, of course we don't have the power to put them into effect. One of the most important issues facing pulp mills like Bowater Mersey is power. I know in the case of NewPage it's the number one cost, by far. Of course government decisions around energy policy impact power rates.

We heard from Nova Scotia Power that 25 per cent of the most recent increase is a result of government energy policy. So I do want to say we are supportive of this piece of legislation and what it means for people in the Queens area, but we want to maintain our feeling that government needs to be looking at power rates and the four pieces of legislation that we introduced in this sitting, had they been passed, I think would have given Nova Scotians more transparency around rates, would have put it into legislation that executive bonuses could not be added as a cost to the ratepayers, that instead it had to come from profits.

[Page 5536]

There were two other pieces as well, Madam Speaker, in fact I have them right here, now that I think about it. That was the Elimination of Bonuses in Power Rates Bill. The transparency in power rates would have provided that a portion of any rate increase that was attributable to government energy policy cannot take effect until debated right here in Legislature. The Ratepayer Fairness Bill set out what the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board must take into account in determining an allowable rate of return. I know I spoke on that another time, recognizing that investors in Nova Scotia Power benefit from being the owners of a virtual monopoly and that there's less risk in that business model, and thus perhaps they maybe should not be getting the same kinds of rate of return that would be available in other kinds of, say, common stock investments.

Finally, the Power Rate Reduction Review Bill which would empower and establish a committee to independently file information with the Legislature around power rates and what they think might be causing increases, so we can address them right here in the Legislature.

Those are things that we think wouldn't cost the province anything but would help mills like Bowater Mersey. We must recognize that power costs are one of the main problems in why these industries becoming uncompetitive in Nova Scotia, when we have mills in Quebec that have hydro power because they have hydro power in Quebec.

We can't avoid the issue of addressing power rates, so while supportive of this bill, we highlight here in the Legislature, and for the people down in Queens, that we must also get to the root of the problem that's causing risk of people losing their jobs because companies don't want to run these pulp mills in our province. I know a lot of people in the Strait area have been watching this piece of legislation, and I know they appreciate seeing the government support another area of the province because, as I say, very soon the Strait area may be looking for support.

I put a couple of things on the record about NewPage, Madam Speaker, because I think it is quite relevant to this bill. People say sometimes that the province put a lot of money into that paper mill in Point Tupper in the Strait area and it's time to stop that, but I just want to mention that before NewPage bought the plant, when PM 2 was constructed by the previous company, Stora Enso, there was an $800 million investment in new technology.

Now, granted that that investment may have left our economy, in the sense that the equipment may have been brought in from outside our area, but that was a significant bit of confidence into the Strait area, for a company to invest $800 million into equipment that would help give a better competitive advantage for that area. They received $20 million in training grants from the government at that time, which, while a lot of money, Madam Speaker, when you consider the leverage of an $800 million piece of technology that is still in the Strait, that's probably one of the reasons why anybody's actually interested in looking at that mill right now. I certainly don't want to discount the skilled labour and the access to wood, but that equipment means a lot to the monitor who's looking at the bidders and why there actually bidders looking at the mill.

[Page 5537]

In 2006 there was a Crown land buy back for NewPage, previously Stora Enso, and that was $60 million. Yes, that's a lot of money too. We also recognize, as the member for Richmond would recognize because NewPage is in Richmond County, technically, in Point Tupper . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Technically it is.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Well, it is, but I say technically because it's called NewPage Port Hawkesbury and a lot of people think it's in Port Hawkesbury. But we know that Richmond County has given up some of their tax revenues for the benefit of having the plant in their area.

All things said, yes, government put money into that mill, but think about the money that that mill has brought into our economy since the 1960s. For anybody here in Halifax who would say, stop the government money being poured into that mill, let's think about all the money that's spent in Halifax by the government. Let's recognize that while there's a few million dollars spent there on that mill, since the 1960s that mill has been bringing export dollars into our province. That's been paying for things like health care, when people from back home come up here to Halifax with serious medical problems. That's just one example. We also recognize that NewPage has benefited from load retention rates, as has Bowater Mersey.

Madam Speaker, I just wanted to put that on the record, because I think that's important. I'm going to close up here, but I do want to leave us all with this final thought. There was a gentlemen a number of years ago who mentioned to me, he said, if we are trying to promote our area, let's make sure that we respect ourselves. I say that from the perspective of, let's not just tell companies that we're here to do whatever it takes for them - in the sense of, we'll hand you a bunch of money. I think companies that are here for the long haul are companies that are going to - if they're serious about doing business here, I don't believe they expect to live on cash infusions from government. I think they appreciate when governments make shrewd investments and when governments expect money to be paid back. Those companies want to be operating in an environment that recognizes the importance of being a good negotiator, recognizes the importance that an economy is not going to pour a bunch of money into business if it's not sustainable it's only causing higher taxes and may not achieve the long-term goals of creating jobs.

I just want to leave us all with that final thought, Madam Speaker, and I look forward to other comments on this piece of legislation and we will once again reaffirm that the Progressive Conservatives will be supporting this bill. Thank you.

[Page 5538]

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

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to say a few words on Bill No. 133. This has been obviously a debate outside of this House and here during Question Period. There has been a lot of confusion in and around this piece of legislation and an agreement that has been already signed by the Government of Nova Scotia to commit to $50 million of taxpayers' money, with a separate clause that will allow another $40 million to be spent, for a grand total of $90 million.

Let's be clear, if this House were to vote this bill down, if this House were to say no to spending that money, it's too late. The only thing we would be voting against in this House is the municipalities' right to change their taxation. If we say no to this bill today, the $25 million that has been made available to Bowater Mersey to invest in their plant and to invest in the power utility next door is already gone. If we were to say no to this piece of legislation, the $23.7 million that we paid for land that will be leaving Nova Scotia to go pay down debts of this company will already happen. The agreement has already been there. If we say no to this deal, if we say no to this piece of legislation the government will still have the ability to spend an additional $40 million of the Industrial Expansion Fund on land.

When you look through this agreement, as we have as a caucus, we've raised serious concerns about the agreement. A lot of the concerns are based on the fact when we look at this agreement we see a tremendous commitment by the people of Nova Scotia and we see little to no commitment by Resolute, the parent company of Bowater Mersey. When we look at that we see a major commitment by the workers of Bowater Mersey, the difficult position they were put in, neighbour against neighbour, job against job having to say we're going to do away with some of the jobs.

Madam Speaker, ironically, as we were debating this in this House, more layoffs were announced; 40 per cent of the management team were let go as we were debating this very bill. It then made us ask the question, what guarantee do the people of Nova Scotia, does the government have in terms of the remaining job positions at that plant? There isn't any. Those members of the community who were fortunate enough to have retained employment today have no certainty that they're going to have that job tomorrow. For our caucus, it would have been wise and prudent on the government to have protected their investment to make sure that the workers in that community would have a job at the end of us writing the cheque.

We're going to write a cheque to buy land of $23 million, we're going to actually write that cheque and we're going to pay it in advance. On January 3rd, I believe the date is, we will transfer that money to Resolute. Resolute will transfer that money out of Nova Scotia and pay down debts. I don't think it's unreasonable for this side of the House to ask the government when they're going to make that kind of investment in land, that they get some assurance from Resolute that that money is going to be used to reinvest in that community into Bowater, to make sure that company has the best possibility of surviving. As we know, the global issue with the paper mill industry is in a downturn, contrary to what the Premier said earlier in his remarks. We know and he knows that.

[Page 5539]

The other aspect of this deal is that there's an additional $40 million that's available to buy land. It's our view that it's an opportunity just to write another cheque with no long-term plan. As the member for Inverness said earlier, the very reasons this plant closed, or was on the verge of closing, still exist after this deal - power rates, taxation, an uncompetitive environment, a downturn in the paper industry. We need to recognize this investment that we're making into the community, we're making it into this business, and we're not changing the product that they're making or selling. They're still making the same product.

The Premier has a report on the paper industry across the globe and yet he's unwilling to release that to allow people to make a decision and assess this deal against what the future market looks like. He knows that, and I believe all members of this House, and the members of the public, have a right to know that. We're not asking for him to give up any proprietary information about a particular company but let's remember what was asked for. It wasn't about Bowater, it was about the global paper industry, trends, where we saw it going, what was going to happen. Those are important facts that we should know and he had a way and an opportunity to lay that out for Nova Scotians.

As you know, oftentimes things are "faux pas'd" in this province and you end up seeing where something has been blacked out because it's private information or because it is proprietary. That could have been very easily done with this report and we could have made sure that we saw the trends that were happening globally. Nothing in this deal looks at the forest industry and its future. How do we transition for more sustainable forestry?

One of the interesting things that we've been hearing from members of the community outside is where in this deal are we looking after the people who work in the woods, the people who are cutting the pulp? You've got no commitment that we're going to buy pulp from anyone. The fibre - where's the fibre coming from? Where is the individual entrepreneur in south western Nova Scotia who has been supplying pulp to this mill? There's nothing in here, not a single thing in here to ensure that their fibre will be bought.

Those are all legitimate questions and we ask on this side of the House, who are you looking after in this deal, who were you looking after? Who stood up for the men and women who are working in the woods every day cutting the pulp? Where's their part of this? As a matter of fact, some of them are telling us we can't give our wood away now and there's nothing in this deal to ensure that we're going to.

[Page 5540]

Madam Speaker, as a matter of fact, many of them believe that there's going to be a rash movement on the remaining lands of Resolute to start clearing it for fibre until we see the end of the five years. And what does the land look like that we're buying? We're paying top dollar for that land but what does it look like? Are they going to sign Crown leases with the company, or are they going to literally protect that land, and are we buying land that has been left and not already been cut? Those are all legitimate questions, questions that are being asked in the community.

Madam Speaker, I'll tell you I smiled this morning. I know the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party mentioned about the postcard that went out. I knew, and I know, that government is hearing from that community, and not in a positive way with the questions we're asking. I don't remember ever, for a deal that has been signed, I don't remember ever in the Province of Nova Scotia that we do a postcard drop on a great announcement, trying to justify it - never.

You know what was interesting as well, what was left off of that postcard was the extra $40 million. What was left off that postcard were the job guarantees for the people of the South Shore. What was left off that postcard was, who is looking after the people working in the woods? What was left off that postcard was, which lands we are actually buying.

Madam Speaker, let me be clear about the piece of legislation we're about to vote on in this House. It doesn't deal with the $25 million. It doesn't deal with the $23 million for land. It doesn't deal with the additional $40 million. The only thing it deals with is the municipality's request to adjust their tax rate. They are an elected government and they have a right to govern their municipalities in the way they see fit. It's not unprecedented, it has happened in this House before, but that's the only thing in this bill.

When you read the piece of legislation, all other aspects are superseded by the deal that has already been signed, already done. It's just here, quite frankly, because I believe government recognized there are a lot of concerns that have been asked about it. They're trying to jam the Opposition Parties.

You know, Madam Speaker, we feel very comfortable with the questions we've asked and we're going to continue to ask them and we're going to continue to watch this as we send money out of our province. It's been said that, we've had no suggestions. Let me give you a couple. How will we make job guarantees part of that investment? How about we go down to the men and women who are working in the woods in southwestern Nova Scotia, cutting their fibre, and say to them, you will be the people we source this fibre from that goes into that mill. How about we say to Resolute, we're prepared to buy your land but that investment needs to stay in Nova Scotia, in the community of Queens. We're going to hand over $90 million, potentially, to lay people off.

[Page 5541]

You know it's interesting, the Premier and members have talked about 2,000 jobs. No one has seen a multiplier of 10 at any time in the history of this province. Identify the jobs. The company is even having a difficult time identifying how many people are actually left at the mill, yet we're throwing out the term of 2,000 jobs, not because it's accurate but it paints a better picture for what has obviously been a difficult decision for government. We recognize that, but it would have been wiser, on our side, to put some guarantees for the workers in Queens County and across southwestern Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, if that company was so unwilling to put in writing its belief in that plant, or its belief in Nova Scotia workers, then that should have been the time that the Government of Nova Scotia should have said, no thanks, we'll invest in the men and women and the entrepreneurs of this province who have been creating jobs for generations in those communities.

We have never once suggested that we should not be making investments in creating jobs in Nova Scotia. We just want to make sure that we spend taxpayers' dollars that are going into creating jobs and not paying debt somewhere else. If there's one thing that we should have understood, and I think we do understand, is that we have to have a serious look at the future of the forestry industry in this province. I've heard many people talk on the other side in the last few days about futuristic. Well, I'm not sure that this is any different than what has happened for quite some time.

Futuristic would be looking at how are we going to protect that fibre we have in the province. Are we going to be able to use it to create good jobs, but continue to make sure that it's there for generation after generation in this province? We have a deep history of people working in the woods, creating a living, building communities. I'm not sure that the track we're headed on has recognized the difficult circumstances being faced in the forest industry. That's where I believe government needs to refocus and send its direction. If you want to be futuristic, how do we do value added to our fibre? How do we create a hardwood industry - not just to burn, but one that we're creating finished products, one that we're selling at its maximum value, and one that we're making sure we're not clear-cutting every stand that we have for instant gratification and instant reward without a look towards the future?

We will, as a caucus, continue to try to hold the government to account for the decisions they make. When they become as insensitive as they are around this particular deal - we know that we're asking the same questions that members of Queens County are asking, the only thing in this deal, the only thing we're voting on today is giving the municipalities the right to adjust their taxes. Our caucus, and as a Party, has supported municipalities before to give them that right, and we will do it today. But we will not stop asking questions about a $90 million cheque that we're going to write with no guarantees and no commitments for the workers of this province. It is our hope, it is our wish, that a large number of southwestern Nova Scotia residents stay employed.

[Page 5542]

We shouldn't have to hope and wish for that - it's our view there should be a guarantee written in this agreement that they're going to be working at the end of the day. (Applause)

Madam Speaker, with those few words (Interruption) I hear the member for Lunenburg West - it's too bad he didn't stand up for the people at Michelin, it's too bad he didn't say let's commit to a certain number of jobs. But he's been silent. He would get an opportunity, he had an opportunity to stand up and defend the people of the South Shore, and what did he do? He remained silent. He can't even stand in his place to tell this House how many people will be employed at the mill at the end of the day, because he doesn't know, nor does government. (Interruption) I hear someone say he's not allowed. I would suspect the House Leader would let him. (Interruption) Yes, he'd let him.

We had said at the very beginning that we're going to continue to scrutinize this legislation, and I'm going to tell you, one clear difference between this caucus and the government is that there's no way we would have written a $90 million cheque without having guarantees for the people of this province. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 133. 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. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, may we take a recess until about 4:00 p.m. and await the arrival of Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor?

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The House will now recess until Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor has arrived.

[2:04 p.m. The House recessed.]

[4:05 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

[Page 5543]

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor is without.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Let Her Honour be admitted, please.

[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.

The Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Mayann Francis, preceded by her escort and by Mr. Ken Greenham, Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing the Mace, entered the House of Assembly Chamber. The Lieutenant Governor then took her seat on the Throne.

The Sergeant-at-Arms then departed and re-entered the Chamber followed by the Speaker, the Honourable Gordon Gosse; the Chief Clerk of the House, Neil Ferguson, Q.C.; and the Assistant Clerk, Annette Boucher.

The Speaker, with the Sergeant-at-Arms and the Assistant Clerk on his right and the Clerk on his left, took up his position at the foot of the Speaker's Table.]

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : May it please Your Honour, the General Assembly of the Province has, in its present session, passed certain bills to which, in the name and on behalf of the General Assembly, I respectfully request Your Honour's Assent.

THE CLERK « » :

Bill No. 38 - Yarmouth North Baptist Church Act.

Bill No. 55 - Medical Act.

Bill No. 65 - Nova Scotia Jobs Fund Act.

Bill No. 72 - Timely Medical Certificates Act.

Bill No. 73 - Safer School Zones Act.

Bill No. 76 - Civil Forfeiture Act.

Bill No. 78 - Civil Constables Act.

Bill No. 80 - Constables Act.

Bill No. 81 - Identification of Criminals Act.

[Page 5544]

Bill No. 84 - Animal Protection Act.

Bill No. 85 - Agriculture and Rural Credit Act.

Bill No. 86 - Fair Automobile Insurance (2011) Act.

Bill No. 90 - Safe Collection of Scrap Metal Act.

Bill No. 93 - Education Act.

Bill No. 94 - Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority Act.

Bill No. 95 - Education Act.

Bill No. 96 - Pension Benefits Act.

Bill No. 98 - Fish Harvester Organizations Support Act.

Bill No. 99 - Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth Act.

Bill No. 100 - Municipal Elections Act and Municipal Government Act.

Bill No. 101 - Halifax Kennel Club Incorporation Act.

Bill No. 102 - Trade Union Act.

Bill No. 104 - Gaming Control Act.

Bill No. 106 - Libraries Act.

Bill No. 108 - Perpetuities Act.

Bill No. 109 - Safe Body Art Act.

Bill No. 110 - Residential Tenancies Act.

Bill No. 111 - Equity Tax Credit Act.

Bill No. 112 - Community Spirit Act.

Bill No. 114 - Consumer Protection Act.

Bill No. 115 - Labour Standards Code.

[Page 5545]

Bill No. 116 - Elections Act.

Bill No. 118 - Motor Vehicle Act.

Bill No. 120 - Liquor Control Act.

Bill No. 121 - Education Act.

Bill No. 122 - Environment Act.

Bill No. 123 - Corrections Act.

Bill No. 124 - Arts Nova Scotia Act.

Bill No. 125 - Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council Act.

Bill No. 126 - Police Act.

Bill No. 128 - Public Sector Lobbyists Act.

Bill No. 129 - St. Michael's Polish Association and Benefit Society Act/Ustawa zmieniajaca rozdzial 236 Ustaw z 1912.

Bill No. 131 - Snow Sport Helmet Act.

Bill No. 132 - Acadia Recreation Club Act.

Bill No. 133 - Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Investment (2011) Act.

Bill No. 136 - Members' Pension Review Implementation (2011) Act.

THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR:

In Her Majesty's name, I Assent to these Bills.

[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.]

[The Lieutenant Governor left the Chamber.]

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: His Honour, the Speaker.

[The Speaker took the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you. I would ask that all members do please rise and stay on your feet and join me in the singing of our national anthem.

[Page 5546]

[The national anthem was sung by the members.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Please be seated.

The honourable Deputy Premier.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Before we take leave today, I want to thank everybody for their hard work in this session, it has been (Interruption) Well, that's a word that I wasn't going to use but it has been fun.

I know the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and I, besides doing some things that we shouldn't do, will be spending some time with Ella and Jessie and Sophie, and a new arrival when we meet here again. (Applause)

AN HON. MEMBER: It won't be named Frank.

MR. CORBETT « » : No, it won't be named Frank. This is has been a great sitting, Mr. Speaker, because the Province of Nova Scotia is graced with very good members who love this province. So as we take leave today to go back to our respective constituencies, I want everybody to be safe, enjoy the holidays.

Mr. Speaker, I move that this General Assembly be adjourned, to meet again at the call of the Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion for adjournment has been made. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 4:22 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 5547]

RESOLUTION NO. 3221

By: Hon. Darrell Dexter « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas this government is committed to creating new jobs and growing the economy and therefore is constantly looking for opportunities to achieve these goals for the betterment of the province; and

Whereas an important part of fulfilling those commitments includes supporting small business and encouraging the next generation of young business leaders in Nova Scotia, like Geoff Coderre, of Dartmouth; and

Whereas the 20-year old launched DCMG Clothing Company, which features a line of clothes inviting customers to "Get Stoked", a venture that helped land this young man Entrepreneur of the Year honours in the 20 Years and Younger category;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature congratulate Geoff Coderre on his success so far and wish him all the best in his future business endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3222

By: Hon. Darrell Dexter « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas Merv and Natalie Edinger of ReMax Nova in Dartmouth are supporting the construction of a well through PLAN Canada; and

Whereas PLAN Canada promotes child rights and lifts millions of children out of poverty; and

Whereas one of PLAN Canada's eight priorities is water and sanitation - everyone deserves clean drinking water;

Therefore be it resolved that the House recognizes the contribution of Merv and Natalie Edinger and the work of PLAN Canada to change the world.

RESOLUTION NO. 3223

[Page 5548]

By: Hon. Darrell Dexter « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas this is the second year that the Dartmouth Destroyers football club has hosted the Partners in Pink Football Day called, The Crucial Catch, where players, coaches and fans dress in pink for the games to raise money for breast cancer research; and

Whereas this year the event brought in more than 100 people and raised approximately $3,500; and

Whereas this season the Destroyers and coach Louie Velocci were also named Junior Varsity Champions in a thrilling victory over the Halifax Red Hots;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature thank the members of the Dartmouth Destroyers football club and congratulate them on a successful season both on and off the field.

RESOLUTION NO. 3224

By: Hon. Darrell Dexter « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas Tina Gerstenecker and her husband, Hans, own and operate the widely popular Vines Pasta Grill on Panavista Drive in Dartmouth; and

Whereas the couple are very passionate about giving back to the people and the community that supports their restaurant; and

Whereas this October they held the Vines second annual free community breakfast where participants were asked to bring a monetary or food donation for Feed Nova Scotia in exchange for a delicious meal, on the house;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Gersteneckers on the great success of their restaurant and thank them for setting an example of how to be a socially conscious business owner.

RESOLUTION NO. 3225

[Page 5549]

By: Hon. Darrell Dexter « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas the holiday season is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends and reflect on those things most important to us; and

Whereas every year at this time the Church of Latter day Saints on Cumberland Drive in Cole Harbour puts on a live nativity pageant for the people in the community; and

Whereas this year marks the 25th annual pageant at the church;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Church of Latter Day Saints on this milestone and thank the organizers who take the time every year to make sure the pageant is a success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3226

By: Hon. Darrell Dexter « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas Trena Simmonds of Cole Harbour recently received the Council of the Federation Literacy Award; and

Whereas the annual award recognizes an adult learner from Nova Scotia who demonstrates outstanding achievement in literacy and makes significant contributions to their school, workplace, or community; and

Whereas Ms. Simmonds, a student and mother of seven children, returned to school to earn her Adult High School diploma, after a 21 year absence;

Therefore be it resolved that the House congratulates Trena Simmonds on her graduation with honours, and wish her well in the future as she enters into her business administration program.

RESOLUTION NO. 3227

[Page 5550]

By: Hon. Darrell Dexter « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has long been a province that encourages its people to live healthy, active lifestyles; and

Whereas the Curves for Women fitness club on Cole Harbour Road offers women in the community a fast and affordable way to stay in shape and feel great; and

Whereas this year marks the 10th anniversary for the Cold Harbour location;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the staff and members at Curves for Women on 10 successful years of physical activity, great friendship and community spirit.

RESOLUTION NO. 3228

By: Mr. Mat Whynott « » (Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville)

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

Whereas Sackville High School Music applied for, and received, a MusiCounts Band Aid Grant; and

Whereas the grant is offered by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and consists of $10,000 to be used in the purchase of instruments and music supplies; and

Whereas these funds will improve the quality of many young Nova Scotians' lives by helping expand the scope of their educations;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating everyone at Sackville High School Music who worked to obtain their MusiCounts grant, and recognize the positive impact that these funds will have on future students.

RESOLUTION NO. 3229

[Page 5551]

By: Mr. Mat Whynott « » (Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville)

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

Whereas former Halifax Moosehead's captain, Andrew Bodnarchuck signed with NHL's Boston Bruins after having one goal and 15 assists in 75 games last season with the American Hockey League's Providence Bruins; and

Whereas the 23-year-old will join fellow Hammonds Plains native and last year's Stanley Cup champion, Brad Marchand, on the professional hockey team; and

Whereas the local hockey community is thrilled to have another Hammonds Plains Athlete in the Boston Bruins system;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulates Andrew Bodnarchuck of Hammonds Plains on his recent agreement to join the NHL's Boston Bruins at training camp, and wishes him the very best of luck in the upcoming season.

RESOLUTION NO. 3230

By: Hon. Sterling Belliveau « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas Off the Hook, a community supported Nova Scotia fishery, works to connect a co-operative of small-scale, groundfish, bottom hook, and line fishermen from the Bay of Fundy to subscribing customers in and around Halifax; and

Whereas Off the Hook has been named one of the top 10 finalists, and the only North American finalist, in Solution Search: Turning the Tide for Coastal Fisheries; and

Whereas the winner receives $20,000 to invest in its work and will be the subject of a National Geographic video and the two runners-up each receive $5,000 to invest in their initiative;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly show their support for Off the Hook, in the Solution Search contest, by voting online at www.rareplanet.org/challenge.

RESOLUTION NO. 3231

[Page 5552]

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, November 2nd, Grade 9 students across Canada will get to experience a day in the workforce; and

Whereas Grade 9 students here in Nova Scotia, while spending the day at work with a parent or guardian, will learn firsthand the type of work they do and provide insight to future opportunities; and

Whereas it is important to provide youth with the opportunity to experience many jobs alongside the many individuals who do these jobs, which may jumpstart an interest in a future career;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank the many employers who have agreed to mentor our students today and welcome some special guests who came here this afternoon to see us work as part of this year's Take Our Kids to Work Day.

RESOLUTION NO. 3232

By: Hon. Marilyn More « » (Labour and Advanced Education)

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

Whereas the Dartmouth Lawn Bowls Club has an impressive record of accomplishments and championship titles; and

Whereas member Jacqueline Foster, following qualification at a training camp in Arizona in the Spring of 2011, was invited to be part of the ladies team to represent Canada at the 2011 Asia Pacific Lawn Bowling Championships in Adelaide, Australia, from November 30th to December 11th, 2011; and

Whereas Ms. Foster made all Nova Scotians proud as she represented Canada with skill and pride;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulates Jacqueline Foster and wishes her and the Canadian team well at the 2011 Asia Pacific Lawn Bowling Championships in Adelaide, Australia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3233

[Page 5553]

By: Hon. Marilyn More « » (Labour and Advanced Education)

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

Whereas the ability to innovate is key to the future economic growth and prosperity of Nova Scotia and of Canada; and

Whereas Dalhousie University students Megan McCarthy, Andre Coe and Jason Duong, and First Angel Network investment analyst Nicole Leblanc have formed Green with Energy to market Megan's energy-saving mobile application; and

Whereas Megan's brainchild was recently named the 15th-best new Web app in a global competition;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize Megan McCarthy's ingenuity, the team that made her vision a marketable product, and the synergy that developed between university students and the business community that once again has the world focused on Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3234

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Recipe to Riches on the Food Network is a new, competitive, reality series where each week Canadian home cooks battle to have their original recipes become a President's Choice product, win $25,000 and become eligible for a grand prize of $250,000; and

Whereas Lunenburg native Glo McNeil, an 82-year-old grandmother with a passion for the arts and a flair in the kitchen, entered the Recipe to Riches competition with her recipe for Luscious Lemon Pudding and won the first round and $25,000; and

Whereas on December 14th, 2011 Glo McNeil was declared the winner of the $250,000 top prize on Food Network Canada's inaugural season of Recipes to Riches, winning the largest prize ever offered on a Canadian television reality program thanks to the votes from supporters and fans across the country;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Glo McNeil on winning the grand prize of $250,000 and seeing her product, Luscious Lemon Pudding, placed in Loblaw's Stores across Canada as part of the Recipe to Riches contest.

[Page 5554]

RESOLUTION NO. 3235

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas Mark Bezanson, incensed by the recent negative publicity levelled at his town in the media, decided it was time to counter some of the pessimism through social media; and

Whereas Mark, a teacher at Bridgetown Regional High School, decided to start a Facebook page for friends to share their stories about the town they know and love; and

Whereas there seemed to be no shortage of stories of great things that have happened recently in Bridgetown being posted on the page - from things as material as a new library, a newly-refurbished curling rink, a new fire hall, and a new café to the intangible but ever-present sense of a supportive community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in commending Mark for being a positive role model for his students and an ambassador for a wonderful town he calls home.

RESOLUTION NO. 3236

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas Bryan Rice is keeping in the family tradition of selflessly giving of his time and talent to enrich the lives of residents in Bridgetown; and

Whereas Bryan recently unveiled his Youth Ambassador project in the form of a beautiful enhancement to the town's Jubilee Park, the Janet B. Rice Public Garden, which includes a public garden with entrance pillars, a pathway to the pavilion, and horseshoe pits; and

Whereas this enterprising young man is no stranger to achievement, having been named Bridgetown's Youth Ambassador for 2010-11 and a Junior Achievement member, as well as many other accolades in 4-H, and a recent graduate of Bridgetown Regional High School;

[Page 5555]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Bryan for a job well done and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3237

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas Margaretsville, Annapolis County resident Hal Jessome proved that it is never too late to try something new as he recently published a children's book of verse entitled The Big Bad Storm; and

Whereas this book, aimed at educating children about the innocuous effects of storms, is a dream come true for Hal after a 30-year music career in the military; and

Whereas being creative comes naturally to this new author, who is actively involved in theatre, music, teaching, and writing a book for future publishing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Hal Jessome on his most recent accomplishment and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3238

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas Ruth Ritchie and Denise Rice teamed up to write an ambitious book entitled Lequille: Chronicles of a Community; and

Whereas Annapolis Royal is renowned for its historical significance, however the neighbouring community of Lequille has its own vibrant and unique history that Ruth and Denise captured beautifully through photographs and stories; and

Whereas Ruth and Denise's book will serve to spark memories of those who can recall Lequille in years past as well as preserve the history of that community for future generations;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join with me in congratulating Denise Rice and Ruth Ritchie on the launch of their new book, Lequille: Chronicles of a Community.

[Page 5556]

RESOLUTION NO. 3239

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas when Stephen Hawboldt was recently awarded the 2011 Bay of Fundy Environmental Stewardship Award it came as no surprise to anyone in Annapolis County; and

Whereas Stephen has been the voice for environmental awareness for over two decades, both through his position as executive director of the Clean Annapolis River Project and as a weekly columnist for the local paper, The Spectator; and

Whereas this prestigious award, presented annually by the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership, was aptly awarded to a man who has made a positive difference in the environmental health of both the local watershed of the Annapolis River and in the Bay of Fundy region;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in applauding this award as tangible recognition for Stephen Hawboldt's efforts in improving the well-being of every citizen who relies on the health of our watersheds.

RESOLUTION NO. 3240

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas BaM!, a program launched two years ago by Annapolis County's Active Living Coordinator André Bouchard, is being employed throughout schools in the Valley and Clare and Argyle and is set to go province-wide; and

Whereas this youth program focused on both Body and Mind is a unique concept aimed at connecting kids to their community through fun, recreational activities that they design and implement themselves; and

Whereas André's passion for recreation and community spirit shines through in his many creative youth projects aimed at getting youth physically active in a fun way, from canoe adventures, to the making of snow angels, to Books in Motion, and his latest provincially-recognized BaM! pursuit;

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Therefore be it resolved members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing André Bouchard's creative recreational programs that not only encourage a healthy body, but a healthy mind and community as well.

RESOLUTION NO. 3241

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas Cool Water Café, in Bridgetown, has been chosen as the host for the VON Annapolis Valley Alzheimer's Café; and

Whereas the Alzheimer Café, in Bridgetown, is amongst the first in Canada to offer a safe haven, a resource centre and a networking opportunity for both caregivers, family members, and persons with Alzheimer's; and

Whereas Alzheimer Cafés are a new phenomenon to Canada with the first one opened in Antigonish, in March of 2011, they have been meeting the needs of the Dutch since 1997 when a Dr. Bere Miesen first started and trademarked the first in Holland;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating manager Garrett Beck and his culinary team, Pam Marshall and Kyle Conrad, on the opening of Cool Water Café, one of Canada's first cafés catering to the needs of those afflicted with Alzheimer's.

RESOLUTION NO. 3242

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas Middleton businessman David Burns completed his third annual Trout Lake swim with a personal best time of two hours and 28 minutes for a distance of three kilometers; and

Whereas David uses this annual event as a fundraiser, raising a total of $1,207.51 with the donations this year benefitting the Mid Valley Palliative Care and the Western Valley Shriners Club; and

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Whereas David, owner of the Big Scoop Family Restaurant, finds it hard to find the time to volunteer, however, he has found his own unique way of supporting local charities;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing David Burns and his successful fundraiser aimed at helping others.

RESOLUTION NO. 3243

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas it was Diana Mullings Ackroyd's love for wildlife and desire to transform her village as a sanctuary for winged and furry friends that led the Village of Lawrencetown, Annapolis County, to being certified as a Backyard Habitat Community; and

Whereas it took Diana's persistence and the commitment of 96 property owners that led to the entire village receiving national recognition as the first Backyard Habitat Community by the Canadian Wildlife Federation; and

Whereas over 30 per cent of the properties in the village boast wildlife-friendly gardening, earth-friendly gardening and a naturalized habitat, giving wildlife in the area a safe haven with a diverse food source;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Diana Mullings Ackroyd on her successful efforts in bringing national attention to the Village of Lawrencetown and for creating a unique and welcome habitat for local wildlife.

RESOLUTION NO. 3244

By: Ms. Diana Whalen « » (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas brain injuries are some of the most serious and least-discussed problems in society; and

Whereas in 2005, B.C. native David McGuire suffered a brain injury that left him in a coma and with no short-term memory; and

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Whereas on March 31st, Mr. McGuire began his Run to Remember tour across Canada with the help of Braintrust Canada, with him passing through Nova Scotia in late May, with the goal of bringing brain injuries to the forefront of conversations in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. David McGuire on his outstanding work and recognize the need for a serious discussion about the prevention of brain injuries.

RESOLUTION NO. 3245

By: Ms. Diana Whalen « » (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Youth Running Series is a volunteer-run organization launched in 1996 that provides Nova Scotian youth with the opportunity to participate in running as a means to an active and healthy lifestyle; and

Whereas Rowan Kernaghan, a student at École Rockingham School, has participated enthusiastically and with competitive success in a number of races this year; and

Whereas Rowan was honoured at the Youth Running Series year-end banquet for winning a bronze medal in both the Scary Beazley Run on October 30, 2011, and the Celebrate Natal Day Two Mile Race in August;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Rowan Kernaghan on his running accomplishments this year and his commitment to an active lifestyle and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3246

By: Mr. Andrew Younger « » (Dartmouth East)

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

Whereas the Prince Andrew Players are the renowned and long-standing drama group of Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth; and

Whereas this year the Prince Andrew Players have produced another production, which showcased the theatrical talents of students, staff, and community volunteers; and

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Whereas the Prince Andrew Players presented The Sound of Music from November 24 to 16, 2011, at the Prince Andrew High School auditorium;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the cast and crew of The Sound of Music on their exceptional performance and acknowledge the good work of the Prince Andrew Players, wishing the collective many more years of success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3247

By: Mr. Andrew Younger « » (Dartmouth East)

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

Whereas Mr. Kyle Crawley of Roleika Drive in Dartmouth has started Capitalk Productionz, a recording company, to promote local musicians; and

Whereas Mr. Crawley has applied for and was successful in receiving an investment through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage; and

Whereas Mr. Crawley will be using this investment to assist his record label, CKP, to promote its artists;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Mr. Kyle Crawley on his initiative and wish him the best of luck in his endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3248

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas when it comes to the word "volunteer," Windsor's Daryl Sullivan is a shining example of what voluntarism is all about; and

Whereas Daryl is an outstanding member of the Windsor Rotary Club who has worked many long hours on the Camp Mockingee project; and

Whereas family is an integral component of Daryl and his wife Pauline's lives, and children have a second home at their grandparents' place;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly express gratitude for the community spirit and volunteer effort shown by individuals across Nova Scotia such as Windsor's Daryl Sullivan.

RESOLUTION NO. 3249

By: Mr. Zach Churchill « » (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas the Yarmouth Chorale, the Yarmouth Orchestra, and the Yarmouth Citizens Band have been delighting our community for years with their music and talent; and

Whereas the Yarmouth Chorale, the Yarmouth Orchestra, and the Yarmouth Citizens Band consist of dedicated musicians who perform in our community throughout the year; and

Whereas the Yarmouth Chorale, the Yarmouth Orchestra, and the Yarmouth Citizens Band recently helped our community get into the Christmas spirit at a wonderful Christmas concert at Beacon Church;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize the talent and dedication of the Yarmouth Chorale, the Yarmouth Orchestra, and the Yarmouth Citizens Band, and thank them for their musical contributions to our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3250

By: Mr. Zach Churchill « » (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas Yarmouth is a thriving sports town with a proud and rich sporting tradition; and

Whereas Yarmouth is famous for its hospitality and for welcoming visiting sports teams and their families; and

Whereas this weekend Yarmouth will host the 5th Annual Cook's Cup high school hockey tournament at the Mariners Centre;

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Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly wish all teams the best of luck during the 5th Annual Cook's Cup high school hockey tournament and welcome all visiting teams and their families to our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3251

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas on September 24th the newly upgraded and enhanced water treatment plant in West Pubnico held its official opening to mark the completion of the project; and

Whereas this investment will give the people of West Pubnico and surrounding communities access to an improved water supply and upgrade to the collection and treatment of wastewater with up-to-date technology; and

Whereas the total estimated cost of the project is $4.7 million, of which $1.5 million was funded by the Communities Component, Building Canada Fund, and matched by the province, with the municipality contributing its share through various funding programs available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the residents of West Pubnico and surrounding communities on acquiring this new upgrade and the Municipality of Argyle for their proactive work of ensuring that the infrastructure meets current environmental standards.

À une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le 24 septembre l'ouverture officielle du nouveau système de traitement des eaux usées fut tenues à Pubnico-Ouest, pour marquer l'achèvement du projet; et

Attendu que cet investissement donnera au aux gens de Publico-Ouest et des communautés environnantes un accès à un meilleur approvisionnement en eau et d'améliorer la collecte et le traitement des eaux usées avec la technologie courantes; et

Attendu que le cout total estimé du projet est de 4,7 million de dollars, dont 1,5 millions ont été financés par le volet Communities Component, Building Canada Fund et égalé par la province avec la municipalité de contribuer leur part grâce à divers programmes de financement disponibles;

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Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent les habitants de Pubnico-Ouest et les communautés environnantes sur l'acquisition de ce nouveau système et la municipalité d'Argyle pour leur travail proactif du fait qu'il respecte les besoins environnementaux de la région et du pays.

RESOLUTION NO. 3252

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs)

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

Whereas Gloria Ann Wesley is an African Nova Scotian writer whose first collection of poetry, To My Someday Child, was published in 1975; and

Whereas in September Roseway/Fernwood Publishing released Gloria's latest novel, Chasing Freedom, which tells the story of a family of Black Loyalists who settled in Shelburne and Birchtown following the American Revolutionary War in the 1780s; and

Whereas Chasing Freedom has received glowing reviews, including a starred review in Quill & Quire magazine, for capturing this important yet often overlooked chapter of Canadian history in such an innovative way;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Gloria Ann Wesley on the publication of Chasing Freedom, and in wishing her much success with this book and others to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 3253

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas 4-H member Megan Osinga was chosen to represent Annapolis County at the 4-H Members Conference held recently in Toronto, Ontario; and

Whereas the Canadian National 4-H Conference, held annually since 1931, gives 4-H members the opportunity to get together with others involved in 4-H from around the world to discuss areas that concern them, while learning from each other; and

Whereas this senior 4-H member joined 13 other provincial representatives to discuss some of agriculture's most challenging and relevant issues, while developing leadership skills;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Megan Osinga on being selected to represent Annapolis County, and wish her success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3254

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas 4-H member Jessica Gravel was chosen to represent Annapolis County at the 4-H Members Conference held recently in Toronto, Ontario; and

Whereas the Canadian National 4-H Conference, held annually since 1931, gives 4-H members the opportunity to get together with others involved in 4-H from around the world to discuss areas that concern them, while learning from each other; and

Whereas this senior 4-H member joined 13 other provincial representatives to discuss some of agriculture's most challenging and relevant issues, while developing leadership skills;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Jessica Gravel on being selected to represent Annapolis County, and wish her success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3255

By: Mr. Leo Glavine « » (Kings West)

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

Whereas the MacMillans of the Kingston Paragon Golf Club, Gerry and his son Chad, had an outstanding father and son golf season, victories that may be a first for a golf family; and

Whereas Gerry, a member of the Nova Scotia Hall of Fame, won the Provincial Senior Championship at Lingan Golf and Country Club, marking his 13th provincial championship since winning at the Junior Amateur and Mid- Amateur levels; and

Whereas Chad experienced a successful summer season by placing third at the NSGA Taymer Junior Championship at Highland Links following runner-up finalist at the Apple Blossom and Burger King Invitational tournaments at Ken-Wo, and won the CN Future Links Atlantic Championship in Sussex, NB;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Gerry and Chad MacMillan on their successes in the game they love to play.

RESOLUTION NO. 3256

By: Ms. Diana Whalen « » (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the environment is becoming an ever more important and serious issue in our province; and

Whereas every year RRFB Nova Scotia honours innovative organizations and individuals who have taken a leading role in reducing waste at its Mobius Environmental Awards Gala; and

Whereas this year RRFB recognized the work of Hussman Canada, Atlantic Region as their Corporate Business of the Year in Waste Reduction;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the work of Hussman Canada in reducing their waste and helping the environment and congratulate them on their award as Corporate Business of the Year in Waste Reduction.

RESOLUTION NO. 3257

By: Ms. Diana Whalen « » (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the 22nd Women of Excellence Awards dinner was held on November 16th, 2011 to celebrate the achievements of women who are making an impact on their professions and their community; and

Whereas Dr. Peggy Cunningham, Dean of Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University was honoured at the event in the category of Education and Research; and

Whereas Dr. Cunningham has had an outstanding career in industry and academia including global experience, which enriches her leadership at Dalhousie;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Peggy Cunningham on receiving a Woman of Excellence award from the Halifax Cornwallis Progress Club, and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3258

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Richmond)

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

Whereas the École Beau-Port boys volleyball team competed at the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) Division 3 boys volleyball championship 2011-12 provincial tournament held in Truro, on December 3rd, 2011; and

Whereas École Beau-Port boys volleyball team won 1st place at the NSSAF tournament and brought home the banner; and

Whereas École Beau-Port boys volleyball team consists of Tyson Pierce, Riley Marchand, Eric Thibeau, Brett Pierce, Alex MacLean, Joel LeFort, Nathan Doyle, Brandon Short, Noah Kehoe, Gilles Fougere and coaches Judy Pierce and Scott Samson;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the École Beau-Port boys volleyball team for bringing home the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation banner and for showing great determination, and wish them continued success.

Monsieur le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que l'équipe de volleyball masculine de l'École Beau-Port a participé au championnat 2011-12 de volleyball masculin, division 3 de la Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) qui a eu lieu à Truro le 3 décembre, 2011; et

Attendu que l'équipe de volleyball masculin de l'École Beau-Port a remporté la première place au championnat de la NSSAF; et

Attendu que l'équipe de volleyball masculin de l'École Beau-Port est formée de Tyson Pierce, Riley Marchand, Eric Thibeau, Brett Pierce, Alex MacLean, Joel LeFort, Nathan Doyle, Brandon Short, Noah Kehoe, Gilles Fougere et des entraîneurs Judy Pierce et Scott Samson;

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée se joignent à moi pour féliciter l'équipe de volleyball masculin de l'École Beau-Port pour avoir remporté la bannière du championnat de la Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation et pour avoir fait preuve de détermination, et leur souhaitent un succès continu.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3259

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on October 6, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Tiffany Cottreau-Bourque and Michael Bourque welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Tiffany and Michael on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3260

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on August 11, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Sylvia and Shaun Surette welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Sylvia and Shaun on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3261

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on August 6, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Sarah and Jamie Hubbard welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Sarah and Jamie on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3262

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on September 25, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Muriel Thomas and Jerry Doucette welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Muriel and Jerry on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3263

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on July 21, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Lynn and Josh Nickerson welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Lynn and Josh on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3264

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on August 15, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Kelly and Jacques LeBlanc welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Kelly and Jacques on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3265

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on July 7, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Jody Saulnier and Scott Corporong welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Jody and Scott on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3266

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on June 26, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Jessica and Jeremy Amirault welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Jessica and Jeremy on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3267

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on October 28, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Dianne and Jamie d'Entremont welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Dianne and Jamie on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3268

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on May 13, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Denise and Kevin Hubbard welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Denise and Kevin on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3269

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on August 29, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Denise and Brent Nickerson welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Denise and Brent on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3270

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on May 12, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Ashley and Patrick Amero welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Ashley and Patrick Amero on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3271

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn; that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on October 5, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Amanda Hubbard and Hazen Surette welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Amanda and Hazen on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3272

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on October 8, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Anissa and Carmen d'Eon welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Anissa and Carmen on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3273

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on June 11, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Candice Amero and Scott Muise welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Candice and Scott on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3274

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on July 11, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Jeanette d'Entremont and Luc Cottreau welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Jeanette and Luc on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3275

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on October 13, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Jennilee Nelson and Ryan Haley welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Jennilee and Ryan on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3276

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on June 4, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Jenny d'Eon and Todd Doucet welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Jenny and Todd on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

[Page 5576]

RESOLUTION NO. 3277

By: Hon. Christopher D'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the reward far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on May 31, 2011 a very special occasion took place when Laurie Muise and Cody Jacquard welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Laurie and Cody on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3278

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on June 21, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Meaghan Hurlburt and Hussain Mohamed welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Meaghan and Hussain on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

[Page 5577]

RESOLUTION NO. 3279

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on September 26, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Megan Gaudet and Tyler Muise welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Megan and Tyler on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3280

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on August 17, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Michelle and Todd d'Eon welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Michelle and Todd on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

[Page 5578]

RESOLUTION NO. 3281

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on July 11, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Nicole and Brian Pottie welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Nicole and Brian on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3282

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on July 31, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Tessa and Nick d'Entremont welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Tessa and Nick on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

[Page 5579]

RESOLUTION NO. 3283

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on November 6, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Tracy Newell and Adam Rafuse welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Tracy and Adam on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3284

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas Bill Cosby once said, "the hardest truth for a father to learn: that his children are continuously growing up and moving away from him (until, of course, they move back in)"; and

Whereas on September 21, 2011, a very special occasion took place when Megan and Renald LeBlanc welcomed their son and daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Megan and Renald on this miraculous event in their lives and in wishing them many more happy years as parents.

[Page 5580]

RESOLUTION NO. 3285

By: Mr. Alfie MacLeod « » (Cape Breton West)

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

Whereas the 65th Annual Port Morien Community Fair was held this Fall and includes everything from home baking to handiwork and is believed to be the second-oldest fair in Cape Breton; and

Whereas Chairperson Margie MacQueen has been an exhibitor and/or organizer of the fair for all 65 years of its existence;

Whereas organizers say that after 65 years one thing has never changed, which is "the heart of the community which always goes into it";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend Port Morien Community Fair Chairperson Margie MacQueen and her volunteers for always making the September fair a great place to visit and catch up on old times.

RESOLUTION NO. 3286

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas everywhere you look, Middleton resident Sylvester Atkinson is there, whether it is fundraising for a new fire hall, collecting for a charity or spearheading a new town initiative, you can count on Sylvester being "in the thick of things"; and

Whereas as former Mayor of the Town of Middleton, Sylvester has served the town he loves for several decades in many capacities and hence, in recognition of his exceptional service, was awarded the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award by the Rotary Club of Middleton; and

Whereas the Town of Middleton would be a much poorer place were it not for the spirit, the drive and the persistence of Sylvester Atkinson;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Sylvester for his tireless dedication to making Middleton a better place and congratulate him on his award "in recognition of exceptional service".

[Page 5581]

RESOLUTION NO. 3287

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas Bonnie and Albert Johnson are Middleton's busiest, most renowned and most beloved couples who spend most of their free time volunteering in their community; and

Whereas Bonnie and Albert quietly go about their work at the rink, at the church, at the fire hall and at Kinsman Club with little fuss or fanfare; and

Whereas despite their best efforts to fly below the radar, Bonnie and Albert's efforts were publicly recognized by the Rotary Club of Middleton with the presentation of the Paul Harris Fellow Award - the highest, most prestigious award offered by the Rotary Club in recognition of exceptional volunteer efforts;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Albert and Bonnie on this award in recognition of their outstanding service to the Town of Middleton.