The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD12-30

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/



Fourth Session

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1085, Justice - Police Services (N.S.): Work - Recognize,
2068
Vote - Affirmative
2069
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1086, Linthorne, Gary/Peters, John: Minor Football League
- Formation Congrats., Mr. G. Ramey »
2069
Vote - Affirmative
2070
Res. 1087, Prem./NDP Cabinet: Rate Hikes - Effects,
2070
Res. 1088, Justice - Police Officers: Work - Recognize,
2071
Vote - Affirmative
2071
Res. 1089, White, Tony: Yar. Town & Co. Sports Heritage Assoc
Hall of Fame - Induction, Mr. Z. Churchill »
2072
Vote - Affirmative
2072
Res. 1090, Edmond, Wilf "Hook"/Caledonia Aces (1961):
C.B. Sports Hall of Fame - Induction, Mr. A. MacLeod »
2072
Vote - Affirmative
2073
Res. 1091, MacLellan, Hon. Russell - Judge J. Elliott Hudson Distinguished
Alumnus Award (King's), Hon. S. McNeil » (by Hon. M. Samson » )
2073
Vote - Affirmative
2074
Res. 1092, Highland Wrestling Club/Coach
- Atl. Can. Wrestling Championship, Mr. K. Bain »
2074
Vote - Affirmative
2075
Res. 1093, Prem./NDP Gov't. - Rate Hearings: Attendance
- On-line Petition Support, Ms. K. Regan »
2075
Res. 1094, MacNeil, Dayna: Victoria Co. Youth Ambassador
- Recognize, Mr. K. Bain « »
2075
Vote - Affirmative
2076
Res. 1095, Naturopathic Medicine Wk. (05/07-05/13/12)
- Recognize, Mr. L. Glavine »
2076
Vote - Affirmative
2077
Res. 1096, Eco-Endurance Challenge: Comeau, Jody et al
- Congrats., Hon. W. Gaudet »
2077
Vote - Affirmative
2078
Res. 1097, MacPherson, Fr. John: Priesthood
- Ordination Anniv. (20th), Mr. Z. Churchill « »
2078
Vote - Affirmative
2078
Res. 1098, Power, Kevin: Sch./Commun. - Contributions,
2079
Vote - Affirmative
2079
Res. 1099, Patrick, Richard - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
2079
Vote - Affirmative
2080
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 9:27 A.M
2080
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:30 A.M
2081
CWH REPORTS
2081
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:]
PRIVATE & LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 57, Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act
Vote - Affirmative
2081
No. 83, Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival Incorporation Act
2082
2083
2084
Vote - Affirmative
2085
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 17, Financial Measures (2012) Act
2085
2101
2109
Vote - Affirmative
2112
No. 30, Promotion of Respectful and Responsible Relationships Act
2112
2115
2117
Vote - Affirmative
2119
No. 52, Conservation Easements Act
Vote - Affirmative
2119
No. 55, Community Easements Act
Vote - Affirmative
2119
No. 65, Consumer Protection Act
Vote - Affirmative
2119
No. 78, Justice Administration (2012) Act
Vote - Affirmative
2119
No. 79, Education Act
Vote - Affirmative
2120
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., May 14th at 4:00 p.m
2120
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1100, Butler, Barbara: Arts/Culture N.S
- Contributions, Ms. P. Birdsall »
2121
Res. 1101, Lutwicke, Bill et al: Oakland Restoration
- Efforts Recognize, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2121
Res. 1102, Veinot, Connor - Entrepreneurial Spirit,
2122
Res. 1103, Foran, Alayna - Mahone Bay Founders Soc. Award,
2122
Res. 1104, Mutual Aid Training Weekend (05/12/12):
Participants - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2123
Res. 1105, Robertson, Kellye: Brew-Off Challenge
- Win Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2124
Res. 1106, Guitton, Maurice: Atl. Innovation Fund Advisory Bd
2124
Res. 1107, Neptune Theatre: Lun. Town Satellite Prog
- Benefits Recognize, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2125
Res. 1108, Doctors N.S. Run Club: New Germany Elem. Sch
- Commend, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2125
Res. 1109, Weagle, Rebecca: Boston Pizza Female Midget AAA
- Prov. Championship, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2126
Res. 1110, So. Shore Sustainability Expo:
Organizers/Participants - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2126
Res. 1111, Weber, Cecile/MacDonald, Bob - Home:
Loss - Condolences Offer, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2127
Res. 1112, Kowalski, William: Something Noble
- Publication Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2127
Res. 1113, Edmond, Wilf "Hook": Glace Bay Sports & Vol. Hall of Fame
- Induction, Mr. G. MacLellan »
2128
Res. 1114, Francis, Krim: Glace Bay Sports & Vol. Hall of Fame
- Induction (Posthumous), Mr. G. MacLellan « »
2128
Res. 1115, Bras d'Or Yacht Club - Anniv. (30th),
2129
Res. 1116, Highland Wrestling Club/Coach
- Atl. Can. Wrestling Championship, Mr. K. Bain « »
2129
Res. 1117, Burke, Shauna/C.B. Attackers - Volleyball Prov. Banner,
2130
Res. 1118, Hanspal, Reya: C.B.-Victoria Reg. Sch. Bd. Art Show
- Congrats., Mr. A. MacLeod « »
2130
Res. 1119, Walton, Richie: C.B. Sports Hall of Fame Induction (Posthumous),
2131
Res. 1120, Geddes, Frances Mary - Waverley-Fall River
Beaver Bank Vol. of Yr., Hon. P. Paris »
2131
Res. 1121, Besler, Graeme - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
2132
Res. 1122, Lockview HS Dragons Boys Football Team:
Championship Season - Congrats., Hon. P. Paris « »
2132
Res. 1123, Lockview HS Band/Music Director
- Kiwanis Music Fest. Honours, Hon. P. Paris « »
2133
Res. 1124, Kennedy, Sydney: Nat'l. Atom Girls NHL Skills Comp
- Congrats., Hon. P. Paris « »
2133
Res. 1125, MacIssac, Duncan - Hantsport & Dist. Lion of Yr.,
2134
Res. 1126, Hfx. Kinsmen Club - Anniv. (75th),
2134
Res. 1127, Lowther, Jim - Homeless Veterans: Commitment
- Salute, Mr. G. Burrill »
2135
Res. 1128, Soehner, Kevin/Amherst Cdn. Tire: Amherst Food Bank
- Fundraising, Mr. B. Skabar »
2135
Res. 1129, Victoria's Quilts Can. Tantramar Br
- Cancer Patient Quilts - Donation, Mr. B. Skabar « »
2136
Res. 1130, Fougere, Suzanne - Bolivia: Habitat for Humanity
- Congrats., Ms. L. Zann »
2136
Res. 1131, Hamilton, Florence: RCL Poppy Campaign
- Dedication, Ms. L. Zann « »
2137
Res. 1132, Crawford, Gillian & John/Lismore Farms
- Environmental Production/Marketing, Hon. C. Parker »
2137
Res. 1133, Dobson, Starr: My Goat Gertrude - Congrats.,
2138
Res. 1134, Walter Duggan Elem. Sch.: Students/Staff
- Adopt A Library Prog., Mr. C. MacKinnon »
2138
Res. 1135, Jewells, Jamey: Cdn. Olympic Team - Selection,
2139
Res. 1136, C.B. Vision Impaired Curling Team - Bronze Medal,
2139
Res. 1137, Dube, Danielle: Cdn. Olympic Team - Selection,
2140
Res. 1138, Tingley, Paul: Cdn. Olympic Team - Selection,
2140
Res. 1139, Moore, Joan - Commun./Neighbours: Volunteering
2141
Res. 1140, Brown, Erika: Leadership/Volunteerism/Commun. Dedication
- Recognize, Hon. R. Jennex « »
2142
Res. 1141, The Wiz - Horton HS: Production - Congrats.,
2142
Res. 1142, Lane, Elsie - Paul Harris Fellowship,
2143
Res. 1143, Clarke, Luke - Art Lightfoot Mem. Hockey Trophy,
2143
Res. 1144, MacPherson, Rebecca: Swimming Achievements
- Congrats., Mr. J. Morton « »
2144
Res. 1145, Walsh, Madison - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
2144
Res. 1146, Chen, Jean - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
2145

[Page 2067]

 

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012

Sixty-first General Assembly

Fourth Session

9:00 A.M.

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

[Page 2068]

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I beg leave to make an introduction, if I may do so.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw your attention to the east gallery where we have with us today some people from our province's highly dedicated and professional police officers. We have from the RCMP, Inspector Greg Bursey and Sergeant Joe Taplin; and in attendance from the Halifax Regional Police, Superintendent Sean Auld and Constable Illya Nielsen.

I would ask the police officers representing us here today to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : We welcome all our visitors to the gallery and hope they enjoy this morning's proceedings.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1085

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

Whereas Police Week takes place in various regions across Canada during the month of May, to recognize police services and increase community awareness; and

Whereas the police services provided in Nova Scotia contribute to the public safety and security they provide to their communities; and

Whereas police encourage community involvement and initiation of activities, while providing a critical service to protect Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House respect, appreciate, and recognize the work of the police services in Nova Scotia and support the proclamation on May 13-19, 2012, as Police Week in Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 2069]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Applause)

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1086

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

Whereas Mr. Gary Linthorne and Mr. John Peters are well-known figures in the football community in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Mr. Linthorne and Mr. Peters recently visited all schools in Lunenburg County to gauge interest in the formation of a new minor football league, which resulted in the successful formation of the Seahawks team; and

Whereas the Seahawks Atom Division will include Grade 4 and Grade 5 students, and the Peewee Division will include Grade 6 and Grade 7 students;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mr. Linthorne and Mr. Peters for organizing this league, which will contribute to the health and personal development of many young people in Lunenburg County, and wish them success going forward.

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 2070]

The honourable Minister of Justice on an introduction.

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, it is once again that I have the privilege to acknowledge the fine guests who are in the east gallery here today. I would like to first acknowledge one of our employees, Ross McLaren, with Communications Nova Scotia and his wife, Louise, who are here with their daughter Maggie. Maggie is here learning about the government. She's taking this up in school and she wanted to bring along two special friends of hers, her cousins Willem VanWart who is eight years old and Lewis VanWart who is six years old. Willem and Lewis' father is a member of our Public Prosecution Service. So I would ask them to stand and receive the warm welcome of this House and what a privilege it is to have them here. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : We welcome all our guests to the gallery and hope they enjoy this morning's proceedings.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1087

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

Whereas after three years of NDP mismanagement through tax hikes, fee increases and skyrocketing power rates, the economy of Nova Scotia has stalled at 0.3 per cent GDP growth; and

Whereas this government keeps making decisions like hiking the HST, increasing user fees, allowing power rates to soar, refusing to take the tax off tax on gasoline, adding a tax on every power bill in the province, and refusing to end bracket creep on income tax, all of which has made Nova Scotia a tougher place to do business and a less affordable place to live; and

Whereas even as the NDP hike taxes and fees and allow higher and higher power rates, it's the same NDP Government that has cut $65 million from education, ensuring that hundreds of classroom teachers, librarians, and support staff positions will be, and are currently being cut;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House remind the members of the NDP that it is this Premier and his NDP Cabinet, through their endless tax cuts, fees, and power rate hikes, as well as their cuts to education, that have made businesses less competitive and life less affordable in Nova Scotia.

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

[Page 2071]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1088

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

Whereas May 13th to May 19th is Police Week in Canada, and is dedicated to increasing community awareness and recognition of policing services in our communities; and

Whereas police officers are local heroes who risk their lives every day to keep their communities safe and protected; and

Whereas Nova Scotians and all Canadians owe a debt of gratitude to the police officers in their communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature recognize this and salute the important work our brave police officers do in every community in Nova Scotia, and thank them for making our province safer and more secure.

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 Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 1089

[Page 2072]

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

Whereas Tony White's success as a champion bowler has resulted in him having the highest average in the province at 128.76 in the 1989-90 season, and he anchored provincial championship teams in 1990 and 1992; and

Whereas Tony White won the World Candlepin Singles Championship in 1998, holds the highest average ever recorded at his home lanes and is listed as one of the top bowlers in Nova Scotia for the past 20 years; and

Whereas on May 5, 2012, Tony White was inducted into the Yarmouth Town and County Sports Heritage Association's Hall of Fame;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tony White on being inducted into the Yarmouth Town and County Sports Heritage Association's Hall of Fame and recognize him as a world-class championship bowler and thank him for his contributions to sports in Yarmouth.

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. 1090

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame recognizes the island's top athletes, teams, coaches, officials and builders; and

Whereas Wilf "Hook" Edmond will be introduced into the Hall of Fame at the 2012 awards banquet as a member of the 1961 Caledonia Aces Maritime Senior Softball champs; and

[Page 2073]

Whereas the 1961 Caledonia Aces were a legendary team built on speed, power, defence, hitting and pitching;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Wilf "Hook" Edmond for receiving this honour and wish him and his teammates the very best in the future.

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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 1091

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

Whereas the University of Kings College is known nationally and internationally for its interdisciplinary programs and the valuable contributions its alumni make to our province, country and world; and

Whereas last evening the University of Kings College Alumni Association awarded the Honourable Russell MacLellan the Judge J. Elliott Hudson Distinguished Alumnus/Award for significant contributions to his profession and community; and

Whereas 22 years of dedicated public service to the people of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia, his distinguished legal career and significant contributions to the international tae kwon do community make Russell most deserving of this distinguished award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly extend our congratulations to our former Premier, the Honourable Russell MacLellan, and wish him many more years of continued contributions, success and health.

[Page 2074]

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. 1092

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

Whereas seven athletes between the ages of 10 and 16, of the Highland Wrestling Club, North of Smokey, competed at the Atlantic Canada Wrestling Championship in Newfoundland and Labrador in March; and

Whereas encouragement and support from families, superior guidance from coach Duncan MacKinnon and hard, long hours of cardio training by all determined team members paid off; and

Whereas the Highland Wrestling Club successfully brought home six gold medals and one bronze;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud and congratulate coach Duncan MacKinnon and team wrestlers Cole Barry, Jezzy Thornton, Coady MacKinnon, Johnny Fraser, Russell McEvoy, Hillary Burton, and Charles Fraser, and wish them the best in all their future endeavours.

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 2075]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 1093

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

Whereas power bills have risen 20 per cent since the NDP Government was elected in 2009; and

Whereas on May 8, 2012, Nova Scotia Power announced it will attempt to take more money out of the pockets of Nova Scotians with a proposed rate increase in 2013, 2014, and likely in 2015; and

Whereas an on-line petition has been started by outraged Nova Scotians, which calls upon the House of Assembly to use whatever power it may have to deny NSPI from seeking power rate increases in 2013, 2014 and 2015;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly support the on-line petition's intent and call upon the Premier and the NDP Government to appear before the rate hearing, to deny Nova Scotia Power's proposed rate increases over the next three years.

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 Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 1094

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

Whereas the Municipality of Victoria Country celebrated its 39th Annual Volunteer Recognition Night recently during Volunteer Week in Canada; and

[Page 2076]

Whereas Dayna MacNeil, nominated by the Nova Scotia Highland Village Society and recognized for her work at the Highland Village, was awarded a Municipality of Victoria County Youth Volunteer Award; and

Whereas Dayna, who has assisted with many events such as Highland Village Day and Highland Village famous Codfish Supper, received the award for her dedication and contribution to her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Dayna as a youth ambassador for Victoria County, and congratulate and thank Dayna for her contributions to her community.

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 Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1095

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

Whereas May 7th to May 13th is Naturopathic Medicine Week; and

Whereas naturopathic doctors are trained as primary care practitioners and can complement and enhance health care services provided by other health care professionals; and

Whereas throughout this week, naturopathic doctors have travelled and will travel the province speaking to Nova Scotians about natural medicine, health promotion, and disease prevention;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature acknowledge May 7th to May 13th as Naturopathic Medicine Week, and extend our appreciation to the Nova Scotia Association of Naturopathic Doctors for all of their contributions both this week and year-round in helping Nova Scotians learn more about health awareness and preventive medicine.

[Page 2077]

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 Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 1096

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

Whereas the Halifax Regional Search and Rescue Eco-Endurance Challenge was held on May 5th to 6th, 2012; and

Whereas the Eco-Endurance Challenge fundraising event challenged your navigation abilities as well as your endurance in the backcountry; and

Whereas 196 participants took part in the Challenge 1 competition for Emergency Search and Rescue responders;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Yvonne Thibodeau, Jody Comeau, and Johnny Thibodeau for finishing third in the competition, with a score of 230 points and five controls, and wish them continued success in future competitions.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 2078]

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 Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 1097

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

Whereas Father John MacPherson was ordained on May 8, 1992, at Queen of Heaven Chapel, CFB Greenwood, by then-Archbishop Austin Burke and celebrated his first mass on May 9, 1992; and

Whereas Father John MacPherson has been faithfully serving the parishioners of St. Ambrose Cathedral in Yarmouth for many years as parish priest and vicar; and

Whereas on May 8, 2012, they celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Father John MacPherson's ordination to the priesthood with a special mass held at St. Ambrose Cathedral, followed by a filled-to-capacity reception where parishioners expressed their gratitude, appreciation, and deep affection for Father John;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Father John MacPherson on the 20th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood and thank him for his unwavering devotion and service to the people of his parish.

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 Halifax Clayton Park

RESOLUTION NO. 1098

[Page 2079]

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

Whereas since October 2007 the Halifax West High School Rotary Interact Club has been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Halifax North West and has been encouraged and guided by a dedicated teacher, Nicole Symonds-White; and

Whereas with the leadership of this year's president, Kevin Power, the club has been involved in a record number of activities from fundraising for the Out of The Cold shelter in Halifax, polio eradication in Africa, and other causes, to serving at the Sunday suppers at St. Andrew's Church; and

Whereas in recognition of his leadership qualities, international awareness and understanding, and the humanitarian service he has developed through involvement in the Interact Club, Kevin Power has been awarded a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship to study in Hamburg, Germany this Fall;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Kevin Power, president of the Halifax West Interact Club, for the tremendous contributions he makes in his school and community and wish him success with his upcoming exchange to Germany.

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 Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 1099

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award encourages young people to become active and engaged citizens and challenges them to develop new skills and learn what it means to exemplify leadership; and

[Page 2080]

Whereas Richard Patrick, a resident of Clayton Park, has received a silver Duke of Edinburgh's Award for, among other things, achieving a conservatory level 8 in piano, volunteering with seniors at his church, and tutoring students in English as a second language, French, and math at Fountain Academy of the Sacred Heart, where he attends school; and

Whereas Richard chose a canoe and portage trip to Kejimkujik National Park as his practice journey for the award and later returned with two other silver candidates to lead a group of young people on a three-day portaging, hiking, and canoeing excursion;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Richard Patrick on receiving this prestigious award and wish him continued success as a leader in our community.

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.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[9:27 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

[9:30 a.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Gordon Gosse, resumed the Chair.]

[Page 2081]

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

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

Bill No. 57 – Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act.

Bill No. 83 – Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, with the indulgence of the House, I wonder if we could move Bills Nos. 57 and 83 for third reading today.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Third Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 57.

Bill No. 57 - Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 57. 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.

[Page 2082]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 83.

Bill No. 83 - Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival Incorporation Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to have an opportunity to speak to the two sentences that are in this bill this morning. You know, I think it's fine that the honourable member puts forward a bill to make a rather simple change, and we've seen that go through the House. I mean it's just a matter of adding to the number of bills over there - I think the session has been pretty limited on the value of what has been in the bills over there actually, Mr. Speaker, but this particular bill, you know the Apple Blossom Festival is quite an event, it has been going on for nearly 80 years in the Valley and it has been supported . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: You remember every one of them.

MR. PORTER « » : . . . and I remember every one of them, my honourable colleague says - what a thing to say to a guy on a Friday.

Mr. Speaker, I think what is most important here is that we take the time and we'll put these bills through that are - I don't want to call it "meaningless", it does mean something to the organization there, that's for sure, and the Apple Blossom Festival, there's no question about that, but it's a very minute change that obviously somebody has brought to the attention of the member, perhaps, or it's just another reason to put a bill through.

Mr. Speaker, most importantly, what I'm wondering is how much that member is standing up and talking to government and supporting that local organization by way of funding, because we know that the funding is probably not quite what it used to be.

This is a big event for the Valley; this is a huge economic driver for the Valley. I hear the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage over there, I hope he's 100 per cent on board and that he's putting the appropriate investment into the Annapolis Valley.

As we know, Mr. Speaker, what is important about that event and the money going into the Valley is the fact that the Valley has lost hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of jobs, so every bit of help that we can get in there in supporting a great opportunity like this - it is one of the largest festivals in the Valley and it should be supported, along with lots of other good festivals around the province, there's no question about that.

I wanted to make the point that I hope that the member - and the member for Kings South, I'm sure she also is doing her piece to support the Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival and that organization - I hope that both of them are taking advantage of the government's ear to acquire the appropriate funding that that festival needs to operate as they have in past years, and support that accordingly.

[Page 2083]

As I said, every bit of help that they can get, as we move into what will soon be 80 years, it might even be - I think it's the 79th year this year, perhaps. I should know that because I've got an invitation sitting on my desk to the annual event, which is always a great time and well attended by folks throughout the Valley, certainly from around the province and from outside of this country there have been (Interruption) maybe from Shelburne and down on the South Shore and that area, too. I know people come from all over to attend this great event.

The last thing I would say is to congratulate once again the great organizing committee that has started already with the respective teas that go on and the electing of princesses and so on and so forth. Mr. Speaker, I wish them the very best this season, again for great weather and a great parade and lots of attendance.

So with those few words, I'll take my seat.

MR. SPEAKER; The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise in my place today and say a few words about the bill, but perhaps more importantly the Apple Blossom Festival. In fact I was quite surprised, when the member for Kings North brought the bill forward, that it hadn't been incorporated actually over the years. So that's positive, and if it has some value then that's fine.

I think the important point to make here today is that event tourism is so significant, and I'm not sure if the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism has really grasped how event tourism can be such a significant generator of income, not just for the local area but for tourism. You know, if we have a good weather day for the parade at the end of May, actually the first Saturday of June, we will no doubt - I guess maybe the parade is the 26th of May this year - we'll probably have 100,000 people visit the Valley. So the Apple Blossom Festival is one of the premier parades, actually, in the country, rating in the top three, so it's important that all Nova Scotians, if possible, come to the Annapolis Valley to celebrate the festival - celebrate, really, the apple industry.

It had its origins 85 years ago and it continues to grow. Another aspect of the Apple Blossom Festival now is an outstanding children's parade. For families to come down and participate in the children's parade, make it a full day or for many a full weekend as we also attract visitors from across Canada and internationally. There's always a wonderful event that's sponsored by AVR and that is to bring a former Valley resident home. I always watch with interest because over the years a few former students came back to the Valley to join in the festival celebrations.

[Page 2084]

It's an event that continues to appeal and it requires the entire Valley to pull it off. Hopefully, once again, the Valley community will come together and make this a very special celebration. All eyes are on the fact as to whether or not the apple blossoms will be out in full measure on that particular weekend. With that, I take my place.

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

MR. JIM MORTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm very happy to rise and just say a few words about the bill. I must say I was a little disappointed to hear the member for Hants West minimize the importance of this bill. Sometimes a very few words can matter a whole lot. Of course, the member for Kings West can probably be excused for not knowing that the Apple Blossom Festival has been guided by an Act of this Legislature since 1935.

This small piece of business is an opportunity needed by the board of the Apple Blossom Festival to actually modernize their experience. The Act which was put in place in 1935 required changes made in this Legislature even to do things like updating by-laws. This bill actually gives the Apple Blossom Festival board, a group of volunteers who are dedicated to creating a very important social, cultural and economic experience in the Annapolis Valley to do their work more efficiently and with less trouble. These few words allow the Apple Blossom Festival board to handle their finances more efficiently so in all of this I think the few words are important.

I do want to say that this activity in the Valley is an extremely important part of Nova Scotia's cultural experience. I think it's very interesting to think that in 1932, because this event is 80 years old this year, when it was founded this country and this province were in the midst of the beginning of the Great Depression. A group of innovative and hard-working people determined that maybe there were some ways to build something that could matter to the community and that work blossomed in many ways. For 80 years it has been an important part of this province, it's where people spend either the last weekend of May or the first weekend of June.

In fact it brings tens of thousands of people to the Annapolis Valley. The Annapolis Valley is an extremely beautiful place and I can remember last Fall actually, maybe a couple of months after the Apple Blossom Festival, meeting with an elderly man at a coffee shop in New Minas who was from Newfoundland and Labrador and he had a chance to have a little tour around the apple orchards of Kings County and he was in a state of awe. He said in his 80-some years, he had never seen sights like he had seen that day. I think the Apple Blossom Festival is one of the ways that we can bring attention to a productive, fertile, growing part of our province. I'm very happy to have played a tiny part in that.

In closing I would like to say that I congratulate those members of the board of the Apple Blossom Festival for all of the work that they do, for their commitment to their community, for their commitment to extending a cultural institution in our province. I will be happy to continue to support their work in every way that I can. Thank you.

[Page 2085]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 83. 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 « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 17.

Bill No. 17 - Financial Measures (2012) Act.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : I'm pleased to get up today and speak to Bill No. 17, an Act Respecting Certain Financial Measures, which is also known as the Financial Measures (2012) Bill. It's a companion piece, for those who are not aware, a companion piece that goes with the budget every year and includes the details that often are required for changes in other Acts in order to have the budget go forward. This year we've commented in second reading about what an unusual FMA it is because the majority of this bill, this time, relates to the formation of the pension corporation and there is very little in the way of changes to tax regimes or anything that is current.

There are only two provisions in it. One is the continuation of the path that was begun some years ago, I believe, before the last election, by the previous government. That path was towards reducing small business tax; that is in place and that's a good thing, because it needs to be done and it had already begun in the past. So we're holding the course on that, although other reductions were stopped.

It includes a promise, I think a cynical promise and an election platform promise, at least sometime ahead of an election - I don't believe it belongs in an FMA - and it's the promise to reverse the increase in HST, which the NDP Government put in place in 2010. This Financial Measures (2012) Bill includes a promise to reverse the damage done by that earlier increase. As we know, we currently have the highest HST in the country and that's a difficult thing for our province, and we've gone over that in the past.

[Page 2086]

Mr. Speaker, there's no question that along the HST promise we have concerns. We feel it's something that the public do not believe, that making promises well in advance of the next mandate of the government is irresponsible. To suggest that you put it in there, and the fact that it is in legislation, will make it stronger or make it more believable is just not true. What we have seen in previous legislation about balanced budgets, for example, a very similar intent, the earlier government in the 2000s, the Progressive Conservative Government brought in legislation that insisted there would be balanced budgets every year. As soon as that became financially difficult to do, the NDP just removed the legislation.

At that time the Liberal Party said don't remove it, put a two-year extension on it, give yourself two years to recover from the bad economic circumstances and then go back to the balanced budget legislation. But no, the NDP chose to just take that off the books, withdraw that, it's gone.

The fact that you can do that so quickly and with the stroke of the pen eliminate what was intended to be sound fiscal management, a good path for the province, just shows how much value there is in putting that in legislation. Now the balanced budget legislation was at least current, it mattered year to year. This piece of legislation, this clause about the HST, is something that's being promised for 2014-15, after the next election will be called, beyond the four-year mandate of this government, in the fifth year, in fact, since the election of this government.

So cynical is the best word to define that, I think. It's cynical on the part of the government and I think the public looks at it with a cynical eye because they've seen other promises broken, and I will go through a few of the others.

Mr. Speaker, in referring to today's legislation there have been a couple of amendments that have been proposed along the route to get us to third reading. As we know, and the members of the public that are watching today, third reading is the final step toward enacting this piece of legislation, provided it gets a majority of votes, of course, in the House on third reading. After second reading the bill went to the Law Amendments Committee and there were several, I thought, good improvements suggested for this bill at the Law Amendments Committee.

The one in particular I would like to speak to is around the comprehensive tax review. The Liberal Party put in an amendment asking that as part of the Financial Measures (2012) Bill we include a provision to do a comprehensive tax review and we included all the pieces of that review. That would be an examination of our taxes in comparison to other jurisdictions, to see where we sit in relation to other provinces: which ones are we too high in, where could we adjust? We also wanted to see an economic analysis of which taxes have the best impact to Nova Scotia if you lower them, if you adjust them: where can you get the best bang for your buck, if you like, how could we tweak certain ones that would make more impact on the formation of new businesses, encouraging people to hire more employees?

[Page 2087]

As people may know, we get our largest share of taxes for the province from personal income tax. So if we can encourage employers to expand their workforce, hire one more person for a small business, or set up a new business, we're creating a lot more wealth for our province, but to do that we need to create a competitive tax regime. There has been no examination of the sort that we were proposing in the amendment at the Law Amendments Committee to have a comprehensive tax review done. The government refused that. The government members of the committee said that it was, in fact, an exercise they conducted on an annual basis with the budget. But that is not done in the public eye and that information is not available, and I don't believe it is as extensive as we are talking about in a comprehensive tax review.

It's nothing more, really, than a cursory look at the taxes and much of it is just steady as she goes. There has been no major attempt to look at where we get the best impact of changing our taxes, of encouraging people who come back to Nova Scotia, putting a little bit more money back in the pockets of Nova Scotians that they in turn will spend in businesses here in our province. That's the way we want to create more stimulus and more economic activity but, as I said, out of hand that was rejected at the Law Amendments Committee and the government members voted against that amendment. So that was one thing that we should think is certainly wrong with the FMA right now.

Even more importantly, Mr. Speaker, in the path of this bill towards third reading today, yesterday at the Committee of the Whole we had another opportunity to introduce amendments. The Leader of the Liberal Party introduced a very substantial amendment to this bill and it would have made a huge difference to our confidence as to whether or not the government really believe that they would lower the HST in this future date of 2014. Do they believe it? Without even really taking time to caucus it or to take any time at all, the government rejected our amendment.

I would like to include the amendment just so you know what I'm talking about today, Mr. Speaker. The amendment said that where the Minister of Finance fails to take such steps as are necessary under the comprehensive integrated tax coordination agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia to reduce the rate of the provincial component of taxes payable under Part IX of the Excise Tax Act from 10 per cent to 9 per cent on or before July 1, 2014, the Premier shall forthwith provide advice to the Lieutenant Governor that the House of Assembly be dissolved and a general election be held.

[Page 2088]

Mr. Speaker, I know that members of the House understand what that means but what it means to all others who might be reading this in the future, or watching on television today, is if the government was truly committed to lowering the tax by one percentage point in 2014, they would pass this because if this were in place in the legislation, their failure to lower the HST would trigger an election. That's what it means, that they really believe in it so soundly that they would put that in as part of the legislation and we would go to the polls if they failed in that promise to Nova Scotians.

We believe that if you're that strongly - you're going to campaign on it, you're going to speak about it in advance, you're going to try to, and I have to be careful which words I choose, Mr. Speaker, but basically encourage the public to believe something that is well off into the future and is, as I say, an empty promise, then put some teeth into it and say that you believe it so strongly. You know, there's an attitude here that you expect Nova Scotians to trust government and I think that adding this amendment would have strengthened that tremendously. We were prepared to look at that. We thought that's the way to go. If you believe it and put this into the legislation, that would have meaning.

Without it, we believe it's meaningless and we believe that it is cynical on the part of government to try to play with the hopes and aspirations of Nova Scotians, quite honestly, because they would like to see some tax relief. So the government is playing on those hopes, making really a very empty promise to Nova Scotians.

As I said, when that amendment was read here yesterday and voted on - there was a recorded vote - definitely all members of the government voted against the amendment, which meant they would not stand behind that, they would not commit themselves to go back to the polls and give the public a second chance to vote again, should they fail to hold to their promise.

Imagine, Mr. Speaker, if we could go back to the polls today, with all the promises that have been broken in the first few years of this NDP Government. Look at how many have been turned.

Why is the public cynical? They are cynical because the last election, the Premier of this province, who was then the Leader of the NDP, sat in a Leaders debate and promised that he would not raise taxes - looked at the camera, spoke to Nova Scotians and promised there would be no new taxes and a balanced budget.

Well we've seen some of the largest deficits ever, really, in the last couple of years. (Interruptions)

The government loves to say that they're doing well in terms of coming in under budget - since this is a budget-related bill, I certainly think it's worth reminding the government that if you overestimate your expenses, you're going to come in in a better position; if you underestimate your revenues and then they come in stronger, lo and behold, you're going to have a bigger spread between what you estimated and what you achieve.

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Let's remember, it's still a deficit, over $200 million in deficit this year alone - and that is a big hole to dig out of, no question about that. The biggest point is that the promise was made. The Leader of the Liberal Party in that very same debate where the three Leaders squared off, our Leader was the only Leader who told the truth and said I can't promise what I'm going to do about taxes and HST and balancing the budget because we have to get in there and look at it - there had been no opportunity to see how bad the situation really was. And I think that was the honest and, really, the best position you could take, to say that we can't promise. Obviously we're going to try to do our best to manage the resources and not raise taxes and come in on a balanced budget. That's what the Leader of the Liberal Party said.

Contrast that with the cavalier attitude of the Premier who said no, I'm going to do balanced budgets; I'm going to keep all the emergency rooms open; I'm going to do everything you want - everything the polling said.

AN HON. MEMBER: What did they do?

MS. WHALEN « » : Well, I've got a list of things to see how they did - and they have not done well. Let's start with the balanced budget - the balanced budget is no, it didn't happen; increased taxes - 1,400 increased user fees off the bat last year, every single user fee went up. (Interruptions)

AN HON. MEMBER: What a nerve she's hitting over there.

MS. WHALEN « » : Yes. No new taxes.

In 2010, with just a year in office, the increase in the HST was brought down - two percentage points that hurt everybody, every consumer, and particularly low-income consumers because there are some products they have to buy, there is HST on them and they don't have a lot of disposable income.

Again, it's a question of integrity, Mr. Speaker, it's a question of whether you believe what you say before you go into an election. I'm just sticking so far to those provincial ones. There was a promise of no program cuts; there were all the platitudes about how important education is and, at the end of the day, this year in this budget, again we see another huge cut to education - we're talking about $65 million in total the last two years pulled right out of the education budget.

We know that the boards and others have cut to the bone to manage with this. Those cuts are now - and even last year - felt in the classroom. We're losing all kinds of specialists and support to teachers; we're seeing fewer teachers replaced. It's hurting every single school board and we've seen the statistics come down. In fact the government, Mr. Speaker, wants us to leave here soon so they don't have to keep talking about the cuts to education. The HRSB came down with their cuts yesterday, or the day before - and wouldn't the government have loved it if we could have gotten out of here before we heard that over 150 teachers are gone from HRSB next year.

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That's going to continue. We know that every single board is hit and, honestly, Mr. Speaker, I know the members on the other side of the House are just wishing they could go home to their ridings and not hear any more about it. That's what they're telling me; they want to go and hunker down at home. But there are things that the government has to take responsibility for. The government would not adopt (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, there are a list of broken promises. I've talked about the no-tax increases which brought in the HST, the balanced budget legislation which was removed.

I haven't even begun to talk about the program cuts, education is one department that's felt it very strongly. Health cuts as well with the passing on of large increases in wage settlements with no money following to help the DHAs. We know there's going to be more cuts that patients will feel. I love the promise to keep ERs open 24/7. We knew that ERs in small communities were stressed because of a lack of staffing, the difficulty in finding doctors and nurses to staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Again, it bears repeating that the Leader of the Liberal Party didn't make those kinds of easy promises. The Leader of the Liberal Party stood up and said, we'll have to look at it. Even in a small community that he represents, he knew that it was something that needed to be studied. What a simple promise to offer to Nova Scotians to say, all ERs open 24/7. That's what people expected, they expected the status quo because the government said they were going to get those closures - they were going to stop the intermittent and unscheduled closures of ERs. They were going to provide stability and if I lived in a small community, I would be able to trust that my ER was open.

That's what they thought. (Interruption) There were a few ridings that did question that, you're right. Digby County was questioning whether that would really happen; we have a few good members on the Liberal bench here as a result of that. But those promises were music to the ears of people who felt the insecurity around our health care, who were worried about the access to emergency care in their communities. They weren't told, we're going to engage on a long round of consultation and come up with a new and better model for you. They were told ERs open, 24/7 - simple sound bite. This government is great with little sound bites. That isn't what the government's delivering right now.

That's not to say that these care models are not going to work or aren't good. The fact of the matter is, it was a promise that was reneged upon, that has been twisted and changed. The government may try to pretend that they're meeting their obligations but it's a break from that sound bite and that promise that was written in publications, in campaign literature that went around the province. It was speaking to some of the concerns that Nova Scotians have, like will there be an emergency room if my family are sick in my community? Will I get that help? (Interruption)

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There's another promise - what about the promise to get rid of the immoral tax on tax? I use the word, immoral, because the Minister of Finance called it immoral. He said, it's just like the government digging in your pocket and taking out more money, taking out double tax when you buy gasoline in this province. Because we put the HST, which is now 2 per cent higher, and we've put it on top of a fuel tax already. That is something that the NDP had spoken against and been loudly opposed to and in government has allowed to perpetuate. Another broken promise. People had expectations. The record of what the government has spoken about for years were expected to be continued.

It really is a travesty that so many of these items have been ignored - I say items, promises, so many of these promises have been totally ignored. Anybody over there should really be worried to go out to the polls again in a year's time or less and try and defend the record of broken promises. I think it really is shameful.

Another one is the IEF slush fund. The IEF, which is the Industrial Expansion Fund, is larger now than it has ever been. Changing the name of it to some new name is not going to change the fact that it is a slush fund at the discretion of the Cabinet to invest in big businesses all over. Believe me, that money isn't going to the little businesses. We often hear from little businesses that say there are no special funds for us to access, no way for us to get over a difficult period of time but there are millions of dollars - absolutely millions of dollars - going to companies like the Irving contract, a very profitable company who had just won a $25 billion contract. We're delighted that they have that contract but the question Nova Scotians are asking is, do they need $300 million in public money? Is that necessary? I don't care how many years they spread it over - it still comes to $300 million. I love the misnomer of a forgivable loan going to the biggest company in Atlantic Canada.

The government would love to say it's black and white, that we don't want shipbuilding because we're questioning a huge investment of public money in a profitable company. You have to put two and two together. It's tax money. (Interruptions)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

MS. WHALEN « » : Thank you so much, Madam Speaker. It's a pleasure for me to continue to talk about the Financial Measures (2012) Bill. There are so many other points in this bill as well that I want to go on about. Honestly, the Nova Scotian public are asking where their taxes are going. They are happy to pay for education; they believe in education, they know that is the key to our future. They question large amounts of money going to companies like the Resolute company in Queens County, which has . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Bowater.

[Page 2092]

MS. WHALEN « » : That's right, better known as Bowater, which is the long-time name - money that then left our province and went to support other pulp mills in Quebec. I believe that's where it went, $25 million of that.

When we're putting in large amounts of money, they question whether the benefit is there. When we talk about $300 million to Irving, they question whether or not that was necessary to win the contract. Did we have to go in for so much money, and what's the benefit to Nova Scotia? That case needs to be made.

We have other investments. We have the Daewoo plant in New Glasgow that took over TrentonWorks, I think it was. That's about a $60 million investment there. I don't know whether we're getting any production off that plant yet. It was supposed to be creating wind turbines. We have a big investment in that now as a provincial government, but we don't know how it's going; there is no feedback. It's $60 million. When you start to add this up, you're getting well over half a billion dollars and higher, and as I say, there are many other examples of this that have been going on.

I started by saying we have an IEF fund which has grown to be larger than it ever was under the previous government, or under the earlier Liberal Governments. It has been pumped up to a huge amount, and it's at the discretion of the Cabinet, which really means it's a slush fund for political purposes. That was a fund that previous members who are sitting there today - the Finance Minister, who used to be the Finance Critic; the Premier, who used to be a critic as well of economic and other issues - all of them spoke against the IEF. They were outraged at the kind of spending that went through without legislative approval, without departments having a say, without proper business cases. They were outraged, but today it's okay, because we've renamed the fund something new. It was the Industrial Expansion Fund, and I think it's a jobs fund now. It must be a jobs fund, because job now, jobsHere, jobs there.

Again, there are an awful lot of sound bites and slogans that come out of this government. One area we know the government has increased spending in is communications, because they have communications officers travelling with all the ministers taking pictures every day all over the place. In fact, in crucial announcements they won't do the announcement until all the people have arrived to take the pictures and make sure it's properly recorded for posterity in the next election. But in the next election, Madam Speaker, what's going to be remembered are moves that were promises broken - promises broken at every turn.

I want to go back to this promise that's now enshrined in the Financial Measures (2012) Bill - the idea that in 2014 a cent will be taken off of the HST, and again, in 2015, a second percentage point off that HST. The fact of the matter is if the government truly believed it was doable, that there were no impediments, that they were going to do it, that they put in legislation, then why not accept the amendment from the Liberal Party that said, if you don't do it you trigger an election? What could be more certain that you really believe what you're saying? It wouldn't be a first time in a democracy that there's been an election as a result of changes in circumstances. That's not unprecedented. It's happened before.

[Page 2093]

As I say, Madam Speaker, it was an opportunity for the government to stand up and show that they still have some idealism - some of the idealism that got them elected last time. Some of the idealism that people were looking for, some of the change that people expected in the way you do business in government, but none of that has materialized under the NDP, none of it.

We see a government that's more conservative than the Progressive Conservatives were, in most respects. Frightened to make changes, cautious beyond belief about changes, even after years of speaking out, being so knowledgeable. In fact, being a bunch of know-it-alls, really, in Opposition - they knew everything, had the answers to everything. I've listened and I often admired some of the things said in Opposition, but I don't see the changes happening now and that is really what we're looking for, where's the sense of mission that once was there? I think it's gone, I really do. Why not say, we're different and we will put in this legislation, that if we don't keep this promise we'll trigger an election, we're ready to go that far, why not? There was no discussion, there wasn't a break to ring the bells to go and caucus this. It was a pretty quick decision to turn down that amendment.

I understand that there's politics at play on every part in the government when we sit here and we're in the Legislature, but it was an opportunity to show that the government is serious about what they're saying.

Yesterday I mentioned in Question Period a number of points that are question marks around the future financial capacity of our government here in Nova Scotia. One of them is that the shipyard had announced that they won't be beginning the actual cutting of steel until 2015, that is a delay. They've pushed out the start of this project a little bit further than was expected, so 2015 is when they start to cut the steel for the ships. We know there are so many other components to the shipbuilding, I understand, the technology and everything else. But the fact is that should change our financial projections as to when the benefit from the shipbuilding contract starts to be seen in employment and in business activity. That was one uncertainty that we know has sort of come into the picture.

Another one is the Donkin Mine which has had some discussion, around the mine opening in Cape Breton. I believe they're looking for another buyer now to run that mine, there has been some dispute about how the coal will be moved when they begin to mine it, so we have two things. That is important because the Royal Bank in their projections for Nova Scotia's future income - to say where we would be in terms of economic growth - said there were four important projects that were going to increase our growth; the Donkin Mine, the shipyard project, Deep Panuke and the last one is the Shell offshore, again. So two in the petroleum sector, the shipyard and the Donkin Mine.

[Page 2094]

With two of them either delayed or under maybe a little cloud of whether or not they're going forward, I think we have a real concern that the government's estimates on revenues are going to be off, that they're not going to have that money just from our local economy growth and now there are also issues around the federal growth as well. That comes from a change that the federal government wants to make to health funding. We are going to be the losers in that, if population is going to be used as almost a sole measure to hand out the federal dollars for health care. We are going to lose as a population that has a pretty flat population and an aging population which is much more expensive when it comes to health care costs.

The government, I'm sure, has begun to make some estimates on how that's going to hit us financially, but we have to look at that. We have to consider whether or not those decreases in transfer payments from the federal government are going to impact our financial capacity to go forward with an HST cut in 2014.

There are a couple of other things going on as well, I'm going to just look. We have the health transfers - oh, we have another federal government initiative and that is, they want to lock up a lot more criminals, people who break the law, wrongdoers. The federal government has a strong attitude toward that. They are not much for restorative justice, they're not much in favour of helping people to overcome difficulties - they're much more in favour of locking people up. That cost is going to come back here to our province. I'm not saying that the provincial government that we have today endorses that, I'm not saying that's the philosophy of our government, but we're going to end up with the costs of those jails. We don't have enough jails right now. In fact, right now a big problem we have at Burnside and other jails is that they're overcrowded, we have too many people in small spaces and there are a lot of problems that come with that.

I understand even on the weekends, people coming in on the weekends to Burnside are put on cots in some of the open common areas like the cafeteria and so on, they'll set up cots because they don't have room there to keep the people who are in serving sentences on the weekend. What are we going to do when those costs come back to roost here in Nova Scotia? And we won't be talking about one 50-person, or roughly that size jail, for the New Glasgow area, we'll be talking about the need to build a lot of new jails and who's going to pay for it? The people of Nova Scotia, I guess, will have to unless we can fight this. Again, these are costs that are going to have to be figured in in the future that I'm sure will impact the capacity of our province to lower taxes.

What we were asking for in the FMA was some assurance, some further proof that the NDP are serious about that decision, that they made this promise and put it in a piece of legislation in the hopes that Nova Scotians will believe it and we're saying, we don't believe it. The refusal of the NDP to (Interruption)

We'll have a little break for an introduction. Thank you.

[Page 2095]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Antigonish on an introduction.

MR. MAURICE SMITH » : Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to indicate that in the east gallery this morning we have two guests, Mary Chisholm from Antigonish and with her is Amelia DeMarco. Amelia is a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for Nova Scotia and Mary is a student taking her Master of Public Administration at Dalhousie currently and her credits are: she's an accomplished bagpiper, I understand she placed 3rd in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland last summer; she's an intern now with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business here in Nova Scotia. I would ask the House to give these two the usual, warm welcome. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : We welcome you to the gallery today and hope you enjoy today's proceedings.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. WHALEN « » : Thank you very much, again, Madam Speaker. It's a pleasure to make time for introductions when people come to the House, we're pleased about that.

Madam Speaker, I was talking about the budget, the Financial Measures (2012) Bill as well and the impact that this budget is going to have on Nova Scotians, particularly in sectors like education and health. Education, I think, is the key one that Nova Scotians are worried about for the future. We expect and we need health care every day and we worry about our families, but we know that the future of our province and the development of our province is going to hinge on having well-educated young people and opportunities for higher education, support in the classroom that's going to allow people to overcome any difficulties they may have, particularly things like reading difficulties, learning disabilities. To have the support there early on is going to mean that these young people will succeed and we know that.

There is all kinds of evidence, ample evidence, that investing in schooling and particularly in special supports at an early age are going to help young people succeed. What we have here is a budget that is going to cut, again, over $30 million out of the education system. Today's paper here that is in front of me, it's the Metro I have in front of me, has a large article where the Minister of Education actually says that these cuts are fine because they are restoring balance, restoring balance by cutting 150 teachers out of our school system, just here in the HRM alone, not counting all of the other boards that have had to make significant cuts.

Today in the paper there is an educator who has been interviewed who said that fewer teachers - which is the definite result in the HRSB budget - 150 teaching jobs they said they will be cutting for next year, leaving many local educators worried. It says, "Fewer teachers will result in lower-quality education . . ." and that comes from the head of the English Department at Prince Andrew High School, no question about it. Yes, I think we'll just take this page out and you can have that, I think it should be in the record of the Province of Nova Scotia that teachers themselves - this is not a union representative or a researcher at the Teachers Union - this is a teacher on the job at Prince Andrew School saying, this is going to hurt and we're going to have trouble.

[Page 2096]

We're going to have a lower literacy rate than we currently do. We're going to have higher dropout rates than we currently do. We're going to lose young people who need that extra support, who might need some one-on-one help along the way and we can't do that if we don't have the teacher assistants, if we don't have the resource teachers, if we don't have guidance teachers, if we're not there to help young people when they have issues, problems and needs. You can't go and slash the Education budget and still expect an outcome that's going to be good, you just can't.

I think we have tabled that now, yes. I would hope that all members on the other side of the House, government members will have a look at that article, because a number of the members on the other side are teachers themselves, you know, surely their own professional knowledge would tell them this is the wrong way to go. Again, if they had gone for the day in a school, the MLAs' invitation to go to a local school and spend a day with teachers and the principals, they would have seen what kind of stresses there are in schools. It's not the same as just going to a presentation or an assembly, it's going in - maybe a few people did go, I'm not sure, but I do know that a majority of the NDP caucus did not go to the day in the schools.

I can't tell who did or who didn't, there are a few nodding heads, but I know that there were not many. The Teachers Union kept a record so the public can go on-line and see who went and who didn't, who signed the petition for Kids Not Cuts. Who said that – Kids Not Cuts - that's the NSTU petition that's on-line and handwritten as well for people who signed it. They got thousands of signatures going to malls, bowling alleys, schools, churches. Everywhere they could find people gathered, they collected thousands of signatures and even more on-line to say we need to put our emphasis on the kids and we can't be just cutting indiscriminately to do that but the members of the government did not sign that. Every member of the Liberal caucus signed that petition because we believe that they are there for the children, that the teachers in this province do care about education and the benefits that it brings to young people.

So that's very important, Madam Speaker, and we know that the FMA and the budget that it supports has cut teachers, has cut education, has hurt all of the supports that we need to have in place for the most vulnerable of our young people. You know, there's always going to be kids who will do well and there's going to be children who are going to private schools because their parents have the money. But we need to make sure we have the quality education that will keep everybody in our public schools and will do things like have the IB Program in more schools so that kids can have the enrichment they need. We need to extend those programs and we need to have a support for public education and that's not what I see at all in the last three years of the NDP Government and it is perpetuated in this budget and is perpetuated through the Financial Measures (2012) Bill as well. So, you know, that is a major concern to us and, I think, should be to all Nova Scotians who care about our future because we're going to be a backwater without it.

[Page 2097]

Madam Speaker, I wanted just to talk a little bit about the pension Act that's included in this, in fact makes up the lion's share of the pages in this bill. It's a long bill and most of it deals with - in fact other than one page, it all deals with the formation of a pension corporation, hiving off that function to an arm's-length corporation and taking it out of the control of government, setting up a governance board which would manage it. What we're told is it means that in the future the government will no longer, I guess the right term would be "bailing" out the pension fund. There will be a move towards joint administration so that employees and the government will both take equal responsibility. Even though it's going to be hived off and be a corporation, we have to remember half of the contributions in those funds come from taxpayers because they are the employer's share of the pension plans that all of our employees are receiving. So the employee makes a contribution and it's matched by the employer and if the employer is the Government of Nova Scotia, that's taxpayers' money.

Now, Madam Speaker, that's going to be created as a separate entity and, you know, it seemed like a lot of care has gone into the board and the requirements for funding and what will happen if a number of different scenarios occur. One thing I like in the legislation is that in future they will not be giving pension holidays which happened sometime in the past by law, that if a fund was a certain amount overfunded, that the employees no longer contributed. That has led to kind of a disastrous situation because in those good years with high interest payments and high returns on investments, our employees stopped paying in because the plan was so well funded and now we've gone through a period of very slow growth and low equity increases and those funds are now underfunded and it has created a real problem.

So that won't happen again in the future given the new governance rules that are here and put in place. I have two problems that I would like to just raise today and maybe the Minister of Finance might be able to provide an answer today, I'm not sure, but one would be whether or not the new pension corporation would be captured under our FOIPOP legislation? In other words, could there be any freedom of information requests made of that pension corporation and could our Freedom of Information Officer, or the director, have the authority to look at that pension corporation at all in the future.

The second one is, would it be an entity that could be audited by the Auditor General? Would there be that level of scrutiny for the pension corporation in the future? I had the opportunity to call the Auditor General's Office but that was only this morning, when this question had come up. The actual Auditor General, Jacques Lapointe, wasn't available this morning so I wasn't able to talk to him. I did speak to another auditor, who couldn't answer the question because it wasn't something they had discussed.

[Page 2098]

I would like to ask the question about, has the government considered that and whether they can answer today whether or not the new entity would be subject to FOIPOP legislation and subject to our Auditor General Act? I think those are important, again, from a scrutiny and governance point of view. I don't know if the answer would be available or not but I would like to ask the question today about whether or not that has been looked at.

My second concern around the creation of the pension corporation is that quite a number of employees will be changing from civil service benefits and being part of the civil service to being employees of this corporation. That has happened in the past, Madam Speaker. It happened when we created the property assessment group - I don't know if that's called a corporation, but we hived off all of the assessors and the responsibility for assessing properties into a separate entity (Interruption) The property evaluation group, anyway, they are separate.

My understanding was that when we hived off all those employees who had previously been in Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, that they were given guarantees and provisions that enshrined all the benefits they had as civil servants so that they could go forward with the same employment benefits and the same employment contracts. That was a guarantee they were given.

I'm not sure that same provision is provided in the current bill. We heard yesterday a little bit about this around the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, which is also being hived off by being given to Dalhousie University. Dalhousie will now have control. In the past, all the employees of the Agricultural College were civil servants, they were paid through the budget of the Department of Agriculture. So there's some concern as well about whether we provided provisions that will protect them.

In fact, Madam Speaker, today at the Law Amendments Committee we actually have, I believe, the NSGEU, the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union, had representation at the Law Amendments Committee this morning to speak to the concerns of employees around the Agricultural College and the treatment of their employees as they moved towards being employed by Dalhousie University. So we want to know, at the same token, what happens to the pension employees as they move into this pension corporation? Are there questions around whether or not their benefits will be protected? I think those are very legitimate questions to ask today, as we look at the Financial Measures (2012) Bill and I'm sure that's what the government would like us to talk about, some of those details, rather than broken promises.

I'm sorry, you can't escape the fact that broken promises come up the minute a document like the Financial Measures (2012) Bill begins to make new promises that are unnecessary at this point in time because they don't relate to this year's budget, they don't relate to next year's budget. They relate to 2014 and we know that there'll be an election between now and 2014 because that will be five years into the mandate of the NDP Government.

[Page 2099]

So this is a future promise, far off in the future, that's going to be impacted by things like our necessity to build new jails or fund things that are being passed down from the federal government. It will be impacted by shortages in payments that we may get - I say shortages, decreases from federal government transfers around health and social transfers. We know we have a federal government that has very little heart when it comes to supporting provinces and supporting the equity of services across this province.

The Harper Government in Ottawa have shown their disdain for that, they are not happy to put more money into provinces that need help, like Nova Scotia. We need to be able to fight them and we need to be able to speak up and make the case that we have an older population, a more static population - it's not growing - and we need help on the health care. Given that it's not going to be there, and it's going to decrease, we need to plan for that.

The Liberal caucus has not agreed that you can make this kind of blanket promise now in the Financial Measures (2012) Bill and expect Nova Scotians to believe it. It does not hold water. The government has repealed legislation in the past that they didn't want to follow through on. If there are financial difficulties and we're not able to meet our economic growth targets, which RBC had said hinge on Deep Panuke, Shell, the shipyard, and Donkin Mine - if we can't meet those financial obligations because our economy doesn't grow as expected, then there will be repercussions.

The first repercussion will be that the government will say we can't afford the HST reversal. Remember, the HST went up because the government chose that tax to increase. Now what they're trying to do is make a promise to reverse it in advance of an election so they won't have to really bear responsibility for having increased it in the first place. Now there's this attempt to reverse it, and it makes it sound like you're giving people a break when, in fact, the government did the exact opposite. They put an extra tax on every Nova Scotian, on every item we buy, on gasoline - which is receiving a tax on top of a tax - and so on.

We don't believe that's going to be the case. We've put in an opportunity to introduce an amendment yesterday that would have said that if the government doesn't achieve their goal of reducing the HST, it will be so serious that it will trigger an election - that if by July 1, 2014, we haven't decreased the HST by one cent, the Premier would go to the Lieutenant Governor and say, we couldn't do it, we're going back to the polls; we're going to explain ourselves to Nova Scotians and go for another run at the polls.

Then Nova Scotians would know they had a chance to speak out again. If the government did not do as it promised, if they put their trust in the NDP Government again and gave their vote to the NDP members in their riding, that should they be misled, it would trigger an election and they'd have a chance to go back to the polls. That's all we asked.

[Page 2100]

That has not been accepted. We think it would have strengthened people's belief in what was presented in the Financial Measures (2012) Bill. Right now it's just a cynical move to add that in today for a budget year that's two or three or more years away, and we know there are endless possibilities of economic stress and unknowns that the government has not factored in in making that promise.

It's really interesting that two weeks before the Premier promised his HST cut, the Finance Minister had said in another interview that he was not in a position to make cuts, that we're not there yet, it's not time. That was quoted in The Herald. The article's in The ChronicleHerald. It was about two weeks in advance, and it included the quote of - I don't have it before me now, Madam Speaker, but the quote that said, if I ask the people of Nova Scotia which tax they'd like to have cut, of course they're going to say the sales tax. Economists might disagree, but who am I to tell them that?

I don't know. We have to be careful, I guess, how the media report things, because as a member of the Opposition I wasn't at that scrum and I wasn't in that interview. I can only report what I saw in the paper, and that's what Nova Scotians see as well. The minister seems to disagree, but as I have said, we have seen it and read it and I do believe it. I do believe we need to look at which taxes are the best taxes to raise or lower. We've suggested a comprehensive tax review that would be thorough, that would be complete, that would be public, that would be made public and be easy for people to understand. If we had that kind of a tax review it would make the consultation piece that the Finance Minister did this year a lot more meaningful. Nova Scotians would have access to that kind of information before they go on-line and choose and play around with the different choices they could make about which taxes they want up or down or which programs they want funded.

I can tell you that people want education funded. They believe we have to build a province that is committed to education, and we know the future is going to be bleak without a good education system.

I don't think it comes as any surprise to say that the Liberal caucus will not be supporting this bill as it comes through for third reading and we come to a vote on this. I want to make that clear. We object strongly to the $65 million in cuts over two years to education, cut out of the schooling - that's Primary to Grade 12 - right out of the budget of Education.

We feel that's a travesty; we will not support that. We don't believe this piece of legislation that promises, two years out, to do something that the government would not say that they felt so strongly about that they would trigger an election if they don't do it - we thought that would be a real proof, a test to see whether they believed it, and, in fact, we don't see that level of commitment from the NDP Government, so I think that's another reason to say that this is inadequate.

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Again, Madam Speaker, I think I've been pretty clear on the broken promises we've seen and why Nova Scotians deserve to feel cynical about the moves that are in this budget, and cynical about promises that are made by this government.

With that, Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to take my seat.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. Let me just begin by saying that I appreciate the remarks of the member who spoke just a moment ago, who has done a very good and thorough job of reviewing the provisions of the bill before us. She shows a lot of class and a lot of wisdom.

In light of that, Madam Speaker, I just want to add a few remarks of my own, as both the Leader and the Finance Critic for the Progressive Conservative Party. Starting with some of the less contentious provisions of the bill, such as those around the reform to pension governance in our province, which we largely support because anything that strengthens pension governance, that sets our pension plans, the government and the Teachers' Pension Plan, on a better path forward is obviously a measure that is worthy of support.

Nova Scotians know that we have a heavy debt in this province, they know that we have a $13 billion net direct debt that they are each responsible for in their own way, through their government, but they also know that we have other liabilities that our pension liabilities, like the one in the Public Service plan, like the one in the teachers' plan, that are also there to be measured. So a step in improving the way those decisions are made around the ongoing health of those plans are good steps, and I just want to recognize that.

We did have some concerns, the ways that the governance of those plans could even be improved. Madam Speaker, I note that the Pension Agency will now have a governance committee which includes representatives of the employer, the Province of Nova Scotia, representatives of the employees from the various government unions and so on, and one representative of current retirees. That is a step forward in governance.

But I do want to note that all of those members, all 12, are in fact members of the pension plan but they are in charge of governing now. They are all beneficiaries of the pension plan, whether they are retired or whether they currently pay into the plan and accrue benefits under the plan, and an improvement over what the government has proposed would be to ensure that there is also some independent representation on the pension governance committee - like representation of the taxpayers of the province who are not themselves members of the government pension plan, so that we have a full view of all of those that contribute to that pension plan one way or another. After all, 60 per cent of Nova Scotians do not have a pension plan of their own. In the private sector that rises above 80 per cent. They are all taxpayers, they are all contributors, by their taxes, to the government and Teachers' Pension Plan and yet they are not represented on the governance committee.

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The other thing we know, Madam Speaker, is that only one in four Nova Scotians who are not in a pension plan can afford to make a contribution to their own RRSP, which is their own alternative when it comes time to make RRSP contributions, and yet they also, through their taxes, are contributing to the government and the Teachers' Pension Plan. So as far as the governance committee is concerned, it's a step forward from what we have now, but more work needs to be done to make sure there are some independent representatives on that pension plan because, ultimately, it is that group - employers, employees and retirees - who will be making decisions about how to manage pension deficits in the future.

I say it's an improvement, Madam Speaker, because we know that the record of the Minister of Finance and this government when they faced a deficit in the Public Sector Superannuation Plan, the government workers pension plan, made a deal with their union, with the government union, that left retirees out in the cold. Current retirees had their benefits retroactively ratcheted back and de-indexed. They weren't even in the room when that deal got made. That is a flaw in the process. It was a great injustice to the thousands of retired members of the government employees' plan who, through no fault of their own, had their benefits ratcheted back by a backroom deal by the Minister of Finance and the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union and they weren't even represented. That is a process that should never be repeated again. It is a process that needs fixing, and so at least now they'll have one voice among 12 in the governance of the new Pension Agency.

With regard to the teachers' plan, Madam Speaker, which is also covered by this bill, Nova Scotians learned a few weeks ago during the session of this House that it faces a $1.5 billion pension deficit, a deficit that left unattended is a debt of the entire Province of Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, when asked about that deficit, the Premier of Nova Scotia said, well, we're not going to deal with that this year, we'll deal with that in a future year because, after all, markets are volatile right now and that deficit can go up and down in a volatile market.

The problem with that approach, Madam Speaker, is that Nova Scotians see right through it. They know that what the Premier really means is that it's a giant problem that he does not want to address until after the next election because, after all, by the time they get around to it in the next year or two, there will be an election and everybody knows it. So to defer a $1.5 billion problem from now until after the next election does a great injustice to all the people of Nova Scotia who deserve to know what the government's plan is to deal with that much debt, but they won't know because they're putting it off.

Madam Speaker, given the history of this government saying one thing before an election and doing the opposite after the election, both taxpayers and teachers themselves should be very concerned that the government won't tell them what their plan is until after the election has been completed. That is not fair to them. It's not fair to the teachers who are members of that plan and it's not fair to the taxpayers, both of whom should be very afraid of what the government might have in mind when the election is over. After all, when they dealt with the deficit in the government workers' plan, they did it by way of a backroom deal and now we won't know until after the next election. By the way, to say that the reason is because markets are volatile is such a silly reason, it is insulting to the people of Nova Scotia who know full well markets are always volatile. Markets always go up and down. There is nothing new in that and it's not going to change.

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So we'll be watching very carefully, Madam Speaker, as the government avoids dealing with this problem. We'll be watching very carefully any scheming that goes on around the Teachers' Pension Plan because teachers deserve a fair pension. Retired teachers deserve the benefits that they have accrued during their working lives, and they deserve to be at the table with the government that is going to deal with their pension in an open and transparent and fair way and not slough it off until after the election when who knows what might happen when they're safely re-elected, if that were to ever happen.

Madam Speaker, moving on to some of the more troubling parts of the Financial Measures (2012) Bill, I do want to point out that since this is the bill that enacts the tax provisions and other provisions of the budget, that we are now into the fourth budget of the NDP. It contains yet another deficit, over $200 million this year alone, and will add $430.7 billion to the total debt of the province in this one year, bringing the growth in our provincial debt, under the NDP, to $1 billion.

Now, Madam Speaker, that is a great hardship on the people of the province. We're already one of the most in-debt provinces in all of Canada, everybody knows that, although they promised to be financially responsible before the last election and, in fact, they promised to run balanced budgets from day one. We know that as soon as they got in, not only did they come into this House and repeal the balanced budget law that a previous government had put in to protect taxpayers from these kinds of deficits, they repealed it and instantly started running deficits of their own. Now each and every Nova Scotian shares in an extra $1 billion of debt because of the financial decisions of the NDP since they came in.

Do you know what the NDP actually have to say about that, Madam Speaker? Do you know what the NDP have to say about that, after inheriting a string of eight consecutive audited balanced budgets and the single largest payment against our debt under Premier Hamm, when they came in and repealed that law and added to our debt, do you know what they had to say about it? The Auditor General of Nova Scotia came to this House and spoke at the Public Accounts Committee and he said this kind of debt accumulation raises moral concerns about the unfairness of adding that kind of burden onto the backs of future generations of Nova Scotians, on the backs of our children and beyond. You know what the NDP said to him? Who asked you? That is what the NDP said to the Auditor General of Nova Scotia. Who asked you, is their attitude about adding $1 billion of new debt on the backs of our children. It is a disgraceful thing to say to the Auditor General of Nova Scotia but it's even worse to say that to the people of Nova Scotia whose debt they're adding to every step of the way.

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You know Madam Speaker, $1 billion is an interesting number when it comes to promises made and promises broken, because at the end of this year, covered by this Financial Measures (2012) Bill, that happens to be the same amount, $1 billion, that each and every Nova Scotian will have paid in extra HST since they came into office, having promised not to raise taxes then raising the HST - now will have $1 billion more in HST revenue because of that one change.

The fact of the matter is, $1 billion is more than $1,000 for each and every living, breathing Nova Scotian, man, woman or child. A typical family of four will have paid $4,000 in extra HST because of that decision. No wonder, Madam Speaker, that Nova Scotia's economy grew by the paltry amount of 0.3 per cent in the last year, 0.3 per cent for the province as a whole. Because we have the highest sales tax in the country; we have the highest corporate income tax rate, at 16 per cent, in the country; we have the highest marginal income tax rates for anyone that makes more than $50,000 a year in the country and in some of our municipalities we have the highest property tax rates in the country. As well, we all know, all too well this week, we have skyrocketing power bills on top of all that.

All of that adds up to an economy that is losing jobs outside of Halifax, that is flatlined, that is going nowhere. If you assume that there is some growth in Halifax and we're only growing at 0.3 per cent overall, you know there is a real recession going on in rural Nova Scotia, where real jobs are being lost, where real families are facing hardship because they broke their promise and took $1 billion extra out of their pockets in HST alone, added $1 billion to their debt, stood by and watched their power bills go up and their disposable income go down. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist economist to know that that will scuttle the economy and cost real jobs, that is the record of the NDP which is perpetuated in this Financial Measures (2012) Bill, Madam Speaker.

How ironic that our power bills have to go up because there is a shrinking base of industrial payers into the power system. The two obvious ones are NewPage and Bowater, each of which were very large customers of Nova Scotia Power, NewPage alone representing almost 13 per cent of power consumption in our province, Bowater, down in Liverpool, represents about half of that. They're off the grid, they're shut down. They cited power rates as one of the reasons, among others, that they are out of business and the answer of the power company to that is to raise our power rates even higher because they are no longer on the grid to make a contribution to the cost of distributing power.

But, Madam Speaker, in Nova Scotia Power's reasoning you'll find out they're not the only ones that are shrinking, they are not the only ones that are shut down. The fact is that the industrial class of users of power, which includes all of the manufacturers and businesses of the province, are also shrinking. Not because they've become great conservers of power but because they are cutting back on production, they are cutting back on jobs. They are losing sales because their costs have gone up, their taxes have gone up, regulations have gone up and now their power bills are going up.

[Page 2105]

Under the NDP we have entered this vicious circle of a shrinking number of manufacturers to pay for the power system, of a shrinking number of private employers, particularly outside Halifax, to provide real, meaningful, sustainable jobs. We've lost jobs by the thousands on the North Shore, on the South Shore, in Pictou County, because of this vicious circle of a shrinking economy, of losing jobs, of higher costs, that is the record of the NDP. None of that was talked about in their pre-election brochures, pamphlets and advertising, all of that has come to pass in the last three years and this Financial Measures(2012) Bill perpetuates it and that is a crying shame.

Madam Speaker, we do have one opportunity before us, which is the Irving shipyard contract, that federal contract that was awarded to Irving on the basis of merit. All Nova Scotians take pride in the fact that Irving won that work and the workers of Irving won that work on the basis of merit, on the fact that they're the best ship producers in all of Canada. It is a $25 billion contract that is a great opportunity to kick-start our economy, but as Mr. Jim Irving has told all Nova Scotians, they can't do all the work themselves, they can only do a fraction of the work themselves. They are going to need to subcontract out a lot of that $25 billion of work to other suppliers.

The fact is, those businesses that are going to compete for that subcontracting work do not have to be residents of Nova Scotia, that work can go anywhere in Canada. It is the job of the government and it is the job of the business community to work together to give our employers the best possible competitive position to win that work so that the suppliers of the Irving contract aren't in New Brunswick, aren't in Ontario, aren't in B.C., but are right here in Nova Scotia so that all of those jobs and all of that investment can be collected here in our province.

As long as those businesses, those employers, are forced to compete with one hand tied behind their back, we are not in a good position to win that $25 billion worth of work. If they have one hand tied behind their back because they're paying the highest taxes in Canada, if they have one hand tied behind their back because they're paying skyrocketing power bills, if they have one hand tied behind their back because they are facing ever-increasing amounts of paperwork and regulation that keeps them from doing their real job, which is to run an efficient business that can compete with the best in the world, we are not going to win that work.

The record of the NDP in the last three years, and continuing in this bill, is to jack their taxes up, is to let their power rates skyrocket, is to go from a B on regulation to a D on regulation, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. That is the record of this government.

[Page 2106]

Just when business needs to be as competitive as it possibly can, a month after we win the Irving shipyard bid they bring in first contract arbitration, which again ties a hand behind the backs of our employers, particularly the non-unionized ones who now have a new threat on the horizon. I will tell you this, Madam Speaker, as we talk about all the other businesses, all the suppliers to Irving, all the other businesses that want to be the best in the world, you know who's a non-unionized employer who competes for work to bring to Nova Scotia? Michelin. Michelin is exactly the kind of company that we're talking about. Michelin that has a plant in Bridgewater, where the member for Lunenburg West represents, Michelin who has a plant in the Valley, where there are several NDP members, Michelin that has a plant in Pictou County, represented by three NDP members, all of those people voted against Michelin, they voted against jobs for their areas, they voted for first contract arbitration. They told the people of Nova Scotia it would cost nothing. Do you know what? In this session we learned the cost of their votes because Michelin has 13 plants in North America, Michelin has 30 plants around the world . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order. I know it's Friday, but please, it's becoming increasingly difficult to hear. I've given you quite a bit of leeway on this one, but the honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party has the floor.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate your intervention on that. I know that what I'm saying is upsetting to some of the members, particularly the ones that actually represent areas where Michelin employs their constituents, but they should be upset because they had a chance to do the right thing and protect those jobs and now we know the cost. Just this month Michelin announced that they are investing $750 million in one of their plants and creating 500, high-paid, sustainable jobs and do you know where it's going? It's not going to Bridgewater, it's not going to the Valley and they're not going to Pictou County. They are going to South Carolina and the reason they gave is because the business climate is better there. So the biggest beneficiary of that member's vote from Lunenburg West and his colleagues in the Valley and Pictou County are not his own constituents, but the people of South Carolina. They are the big winners under first contract arbitration.

The shame of it all is that it would have cost nothing. We didn't need a bailout to have those jobs come to Nova Scotia for free. We could have had those jobs by making this place a business-friendly, investment-ready province. And as they insult the people of rural Nova Scotia by moving a handful of jobs outside of Halifax, they should remember that they cost Nova Scotia 500 high-paying, rural, manufacturing jobs - each and every one of them on their heads - because they did the wrong thing. They voted against jobs in their own ridings and now they insult the people of rural Nova Scotia with a few crumbs from Halifax. Shame on them, Madam Speaker.

[Page 2107]

Perhaps I'll move on to another contentious part of the bill, which is, of course, the infamous Clause 3 - the sales tax clause which makes another pre-election, insulting, tomfoolery, sham commitment by the NDP to possibly, maybe, hopefully, some day consider lowering the HST after the next election. Here we go again, Madam Speaker. As we go into year four of the government's mandate, they make another promise about taxes. Nova Scotians have been down this road before. Nova Scotians have heard this before. Nova Scotians know one thing now that they didn't know the last time and that is the true record of the NDP in government and that is that they say one thing before the election, they say whatever it takes to get elected, and then afterwards, they go back on their word and, in this case, they get back on their word by taking the HST and jacking it up to the highest in Canada.

Now, Madam Speaker, I think we all know that the reason this Clause 3 is in this bill is because the NDP members themselves also know this to be true. They know that they broke their word, they know they fooled the people of Nova Scotia once before. They know that if we're going to talk about taxes again in the run up to this election, they're going to have to try and find a way to show people that maybe they'll keep their promise this time. As a result, they planted this goofy, silly, sham clause, Clause 3, in this year's Financial Measures (2012) Bill.

Everyone in this House who makes laws for a living knows that the Financial Measures Act is the bill that implements the budget measures, the tax measures of the budget, for the current year. Everybody who has followed our great traditions about budget-making under our system of government knows that to be true for this Legislature and for all Legislatures - for Ottawa, for London, England and for all the Parliaments of the world, you have a Financial Measures Act to implement the budget measures of this year, and for very good reason. When governments propose to change things like tax rates and make other tax changes, they don't telegraph them in advance, so that they don't cause consumers and others who are going to be affected, to take actions that they wouldn't otherwise take, to gain a benefit that they wouldn't otherwise gain, to confer an advantage of one person over another. That's why we have lockups, that's why we have budget secrecy, so that everybody knows, at the same time, when a tax is changing and they know in the year that it is going to change.

Now, for this one time, this government has decided they want to make a promise about a tax change that may possibly happen two years and three years from now. The obvious question is why? The obvious answer is, because they did this before and they didn't keep their word and now they want to find a way to show people that they mean it.

We also know that it's just a clause in a bill that will become law, like other clauses in previous bills that were made law by previous governments, like the balanced budget law that says a government can't run a deficit. It was a clause in a bill that became law. When you elect a government and they get into office, everyone knows they can simply retract that law, as the NDP did in the case of the balanced budget law so they could then run deficits. This clause has no more value under this NDP Government than that one did. A majority vote, if they're ever re-elected and given a chance to fool us again, will result in the same outcome.

[Page 2108]

I'll get into that in more detail in just a moment, because I do want to spend a moment or two on the Liberal Party amendment that they tried to make to Clause 3 yesterday. We supported the amendment for the very obvious reason that Nova Scotians deserve as much protection as they can possibly get from another broken NDP promise. It was presented as an insurance policy against more NDP broken promises. I will point out that like all insurance policies, it comes with a pretty heavy premium. The premium in this case is the re-election of an NDP Government - a premium that is too expensive for Nova Scotians to pay to have this kind of insurance in place. But at least the amendment was put to this House as an attempt to try and hold the NDP's feet to the fire if they were ever to try and break their promise again.

The problem with the amendment, of course, is that like any other clause in any other bill, it can be repealed by a majority vote of a re-elected government. So although Nova Scotians would pay the premium to have this insurance, they would have that insurance yanked away from them like they did before with the balanced budget law the minute the NDP got back into office, if, God forbid, that were ever to actually happen.

For that reason, Madam Speaker, although we supported it as a worthy attempt, it really didn't provide any more protection to the taxpayers than any other bill that has been put in place before the NDP got in did. We know that they'll just use their powers to repeal it in the first place. I will point out, as I did yesterday, that the Liberals exempted themselves from their own amendment to be free in order to do as they please when they get in. I was disappointed to see yesterday that when asked if they would cut the HST, they didn't have an answer to that question, even though we've been debating this for almost three years now.

I do note that, kindly or otherwise, they actually also exempted the Progressive Conservatives from being bound by their same amendment. I just want to be clear that we have studied this, we know where we're going; and we have told the people that we will balance the budget and move on to reduce the HST back to 13 per cent within the context of a balanced budget. That is one way where there is a difference between the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. Although we did support the amendment, we are very clear on where we will take the province when it comes to taxes.

I know that the Liberal Party had another amendment in the Committee on Law Amendments, to insert into the Financial Measures (2012) Bill that the government should do a comprehensive tax review. Well, I just want to say that on our side of the House we don't need a study to tell us what all Nova Scotians already know: they're paying the highest taxes in all of Canada and they are deserving of tax relief, and that cutting taxes when there's a deficit is wrong. When that deficit is cleaned up, the first action of a PC Government will be to cut the HST back down to 13 per cent.

[Page 2109]

We don't need a study to tell us that. We don't need a fancy consultant to tell us that. The common-sense view of Nova Scotians who are paying that crushing burden of HST already know it to be true. So what Nova Scotians now know is that they have an NDP Government that puts goofy sham amendments that they can't keep into Financial Measures Bills, a Liberal Party that even after all these years in Opposition doesn't know what they want to do with taxes, and a PC Party that knows exactly where it's going to go when it gets into government. Those are the three choices that Nova Scotians will have when the time comes.

Since there is no amendment to Clause 3, we are faced with dealing with Clause 3 as it was proposed originally by the government, with this sham provision that binds the Minister of Finance to take steps to lower the HST - with so many asterisks after it and so many conditions that Nova Scotians will see right through it.

I want to conclude my few remarks here today by saying that we see what the NDP is up to by trying to fool Nova Scotians once again. We know what the Liberals are up to by trying to amend a sham clause. We are not even convinced that amending the sham clause makes it any less of a sham clause because no matter how it's amended, they can still repeal it and go back on their word when they get back into office - if they ever do - like they did last time. For that reason, I just want to make clear we will not participate in a sham bill like this. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Madam Speaker, I did want to speak briefly today to the Financial Measures (2012) Bill. I would like to note that the government did accept the amendment - slightly reworded - that I put in that would have provincial pensions subject to garnishment for the Maintenance Enforcement Program. We thought that was an important thing to add in there because it's an area where we could actually get that in. It is an area that, as members of this House will know, that I have focused on a bit. But (Interruptions) I see the Minister of Finance and I see how disappointed he is right now and it hurts me to crush him like this, but I still have some concerns around this bill.

I felt that the amendments that the Liberal caucus put in were entirely reasonable. What we have heard, time and time again, from business is that we pay the highest taxes in the country and what we would like to do is find out, is it better for us to reduce income tax or is it better for us to reduce the HST? Are there other taxes that we could reduce that would make life better for Nova Scotians and make life better for Nova Scotian business?

To me, it is an entirely reasonable thing to ask that we don't just make promises but that we actually have the intellectual foundation to make those promises. It's a good idea to actually know what the best way is to make life easier on our constituents. Instead we have two groups that say they are going to reduce the HST, but we haven't seen any evidence why that is better than doing any other thing, so I am concerned about that and the government declined to accept that amendment.

[Page 2110]

They also declined to accept our amendment, which would have seen an election called if they did not actually reduce the HST. As the Leader of the Third Party pointed out, it really is an insurance policy and based on the government's past behaviour, it is an entirely reasonable thing to so. Let's face it, promising something in an election campaign that you're pretty sure you can't deliver is a pretty cynical move and a lot of Nova Scotians felt, after the election, that they had been had and that's not the only thing they feel they've been had on.

I opened The ChronicleHerald today and as we predicted last year, as this caucus rallied against last year, we are facing education cuts yet again. It is incredibly frustrating for parents who see what's wrong in the education system now to know that it's going to be cut further and their kids will be in bigger classes, and there will be fewer course offerings. We know this because HRSB finally came out and told us their budget and I really do wish that HRSB had come out last year against the cuts as strongly as they're coming out this year. Maybe the government would have sat up and taken notice if HRSB had spoken up then, maybe not because they didn't pay any attention to any other school boards, but it sure would have helped if we could have had that kind of support from the beginning, from the school board.

I can tell you, the parents I am talking to are extremely upset and they say, we did not vote for this. This was not part of their election campaign. So it is yet another concern about what the NDP promised during the election and what has actually come to pass post-election. They promised they wouldn't raise taxes and they did. I would like to point out that it's only the Leader of the Official Opposition who actually had the intestinal fortitude to say, no, we're not going to promise things if we can't deliver and it may be nicer for sound bite for the media if you say we're going to do x and y instead of saying, no, we want to find out what the situation actually is and maybe it is easier to get elected that way but the fact of the matter is, it is disingenuous and our Leader is the only one who stood up for being clear about what he was promising.

I can tell you right now, the letters that are coming into my office, people are very upset because they feel that they were not told the truth - 24/7 emergency rooms. There was going to be some magic wand waved. That didn't happen. We don't have 24/7 emergency rooms. We were going to do away with the IEF. Boy, it's back and bigger than ever. Education, I can't say enough about that because people - when you're a parent and your child is in a class and that class is not going well, and I can tell you because I've had kids in classes with over 30 kids before, it's not a good place for the kids and the parents know it. The parents who have the money go and get some extra tutoring for their kids and they can make up for that but the parents who don't have the extra money or who don't even realize what's going on, they can't, and that makes life very difficult for Nova Scotian families.

[Page 2111]

So I just want to, again, thank the government for accepting the one amendment that we put in but it really is sort of a hollow victory when, in fact, they didn't accept two other ones, which made eminent sense, and would have offered more protection for Nova Scotians.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 17. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[11:12 a.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

Are the Whips satisfied?

The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 17. A recorded vote has been called for.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[12:13 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS
Mr. Landry Mr. Gaudet
Ms. More Mr. Glavine
Mr. Estabrooks Ms. Whalen
Ms. Peterson-Rafuse Mr. Samson
Mr. Corbett Ms. Regan
Mr. Steele Ms. Casey
Ms. Maureen MacDonald Mr. Colwell
Ms. Jennex Mr. Zinck
Mr. Belliveau Mr. MacLellan
Mr. Preyra Mr. Churchill
Ms. Zann  
Ms. Conrad  

[Page 2112]

Mr. Wilson  
Mr. Parker  
Mr. MacKinnon  
Ms. Raymond  
Mr. Smith  
Mr. Ramey  
Mr. Skabar  
Mr. Whynott  
Mr. Morton  
Ms. Birdsall  
Mr. Boudreau  
Mr. Burrill  

THE CLERK « » : For, 24. Against, 10.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : 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.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, on a point of order. We all know that the recorded vote on the Financial Measures (2012) Bill was requested by the Progressive Conservative caucus under the leadership of the Leader of their caucus. I believe that their not even showing up for that vote is certainly a signature of what leadership we could expect from the Progressive Conservative caucus after that. (Interruptions)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would rule that that is not a point of order.

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 30.

Bill No. 30 - Promotion of Respectful and Responsible Relationships Act.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. RAMONA JENNEX « » : Madam Speaker, I move that Bill No. 30 be read a third time.

This bill, an Act to Address Bullying by Promoting Respectful and Responsible Relationships, sets the stage for a comprehensive plan to work with our partners as we address the recommendations of the Nova Scotia Task Force on Bullying and Cyberbullying.

[Page 2113]

Madam Speaker, I've said that bullying and cyberbullying are societal problems that we must face together. We know that they are very real issues that affect many people. We are wrestling with this not just here in Nova Scotia, but throughout North America and indeed many parts of the world. I appreciate this is a sensitive issue that often hits close to home, and I want to thank all those who took the time to speak on this bill at the Law Amendments Committee and I know that they spoke from the heart.

To that point, Madam Speaker, I want to stress that this legislation is only the beginning of our action plan. I know there are some who feel we are not going far enough right now but these amendments give us a framework to take a measured, focused approach to tackle this problem. We will certainly consider some of the suggestions made at the Law Amendments Committee, but as we go forward, I believe it is important to bear in mind that bullying is ingrained in our culture and will require a cultural shift to change.

As we know, these issues extend far beyond the classroom or the schoolyard. We can't simply legislate them away, any more than we can stop them solely by confiscating cellphones or handing out punishments. We are amending the Education Act to focus on a restorative, proactive approach as supported by Professor Wayne MacKay and the task force. We appreciate all the work Professor MacKay did in leading the task force and working group, and we continue to work towards many of the other recommendations as we move forward with our action plan.

The task force report stressed that knowing the scope and prevalence of the problem is critical as we develop appropriate strategies; in fact, the first six recommendations in the report all focused on collecting better information about bullying. This legislation will help do just that - it requires school boards to collect, monitor, and report data on severely disruptive behaviour including bullying and cyberbullying. This legislation also updates the Education Act to address student behaviour and discipline in more current language, and to reflect our direction in promoting a school-wide approach to creating positive school environments.

Madam Speaker, I should point out that we already have policies such as the Provincial School Code of Conduct to address behaviour issues and promote restorative actions. We are building on a foundation that is already in place. The amendments provide authority to define bullying and cyberbullying to make sure we have a consistent definition in all of our policies and regulations. As I said previously, we are adopting the definition the task force carefully drafted.

In short, we are beginning our work by clearly defining bullying and cyberbullying and working to gauge their scope in our schools; we are also appointing an anti-bullying coordinator to spearhead a strategic, collaborative action plan - these are just the first steps, but I want to stress they are very important first steps that should not be taken lightly.

[Page 2114]

Madam Speaker, bullying is not a new problem, but it has taken on a new and very complex dimension in our rapidly evolving technology. These are tough issues here and we need to have clear solutions. We want to be focused and strategic; we don't want to rush or be reactive. For example, one suggestion at the Committee on Law Amendments was to give police the power to access Internet usage information without obtaining a warrant. As we know, on-line privacy is a hotly debated issue with a whole host of ethical questions - it is certainly beyond the scope of the Education Act.

But what we will do is to invite Internet service providers to participate on the task force working group. We will continue to include providers in the discussion as we go forward with this action plan. We are also directing school boards, through policy, to support student requests to establish groups such as gay-straight alliances and cultural diversity groups. The task force report showed that students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, are major targets of bullying and we want to be deliberate in making our schools safer places for those students.

We provided an opportunity for three staff to attend a conference on suicide education and we have given materials on suicide prevention, called Coping and Support Training, or CAST, to every school in this province. We will also engage with other jurisdictions on best practices - I know Ontario continues to work on its own anti-bullying legislation and we will be following that closely. This summer I will host my fellow Education Ministers from across Canada here in Nova Scotia, in July actually, and I have made sure that a conversation on dealing with bullying is on the agenda.

We are enlisting students to help with a public awareness campaign and we will be launching that shortly. We know student voices are our best asset in tackling a problem that affects them directly. We will be working across government on this, not just in the Education Department but with Health and Wellness, Community Services, and Justice, among others. By the Fall we will be unveiling some of our next actions, which will include not just legislation, but proactive approaches that will directly impact the classroom.

We are working to address bullying and cyberbullying in our communities - some of that work is already underway and some is still to come. We want to do this right. We don't believe that reacting in the moment or creating penalties for children and parents without thinking through the implications is the best way to produce long-term results; instead we are taking a strategic, collaborative, well-thought-out approach that is designed to promote respect and change the way our youth think about bullying and cyberbullying.

We are well aware that this is not an easy task and we will not have overnight results. However, Madam Speaker, us all working together is the only way to produce real change. It begins here, with this legislation that we are considering today.

[Page 2115]

I want to thank my staff for their ongoing work on this important topic, and once again, I want to thank the task force and working group, along with the many Nova Scotians who have provided input.

I look forward to having these amendments in place to allow us to get to work on tackling bullying and cyberbullying in our schools and communities. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

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

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for her comments. I stated in the House previously that I appreciated seeing a piece of legislation come forward that addressed what we all know to be a very serious problem. That was intended to be addressed through Bill No. 30.

I was also pleased to hear a member opposite speaking yesterday about the importance of us working together to try to address the problem. I think it's fair to say that every member in this Legislature acknowledges that there is a social problem. They also acknowledge that it is our responsibility, as legislators, to put forth legislation designed to address that. I believe it's also our responsibility to make sure that we do work in the best interests of the students and the kids in our province.

There's no question that there's a social problem. There's no question that we need legislation, there's no question that the legislation comes through this House, and there's no question that we need a sense of co-operation. So in the spirit of co-operation, when Bill No. 30 went before the Law Amendments Committee, we did have some experts in the field who were not members of the Legislature who came forward to express their concern. Not only did they express their concern with what was not in Bill No. 30 but they went so far as to offer suggestions as to how that bill could be strengthened.

We had Dr. Wayne MacKay, and we all recognized his expertise. We all value his opinion. It was certainly an asset to the task force to have Dr. Wayne MacKay agree to be the chair of that. His comments at Law Amendments Committee, his comments to the media prior to the time that the task force was submitted, and then at the time the legislation was introduced, were that he was disappointed. When we have someone with the expertise that Dr. MacKay has, who has agreed to lead the task force and who has given nine months dedicated to that, to say he's disappointed, I think it behooves the minister to pay attention to that message.

We also had at Law Amendments Committee another member of the task force and also a member of the police force who reiterated that the bill was a disappointment, it did not go far enough, and it was certainly not addressing many of the 85 recommendations that had been put forth in that task force report. Pretty hard to ignore comments that come from somebody who is at the front line in dealing with cyberbullying in the community and also a participant in the task force.

[Page 2116]

The third presenter, Madam Speaker, was the mother of a child who had been the victim of cyberbullying, and unfortunately chose to take her own life because of that. I commend that mother for being able to come before a legislative committee, to come before us filled with sadness, filled with frustration, and also filled with anger. She was able to articulate her feelings to those of us on the committee, but also her disappointment, again, that the legislation in her mind was not designed to prevent another Jenna. She has made it a mission of hers to get into schools to try to do what she can to help educate our young people. She was very instrumental in the Walk So Kids Can Talk in Truro last weekend and she is holding her head up high in the midst of her grief to try to help others.

When we, as a Legislative Committee, or we as members as members of this Legislature, hear those concerns, those frustrations and those recommendations, they are not coming from members of a political Party, and I think we need to get beyond that. They are coming from people in the community who are directly impacted, and in her case negatively, by what's happening with cyberbullying.

We also heard amendments at Law Amendments Committee that were submitted by the Liberal Caucus, which we believed would strengthen the bill. No one has ever said that the bill has to be complete in its initial stages. No one has ever said that the amendments that have been presented will make it complete but what we have said is this: as it now stands, what happens in the schools in our province tomorrow will not change as a result of this legislation, and that's exactly what people are asking for.

People are asking for short-term and long-term. We know that data collection is important and the minster has said - and I think as I went through my list the other day there were six recommendations out of 85 that talked about data collection. Nobody is underestimating the importance of data collection but the task force would be the first to tell you that the data collection that we currently have tells us that we have a major problem in our schools and collecting the data from now until the end of next year is good information to have but it does nothing right now to address the problem.

What we were proposing in our amendments was that there would be some teeth put into this. There would be something that would allow school principals, class room teachers, school boards to put in place some definitions of identifying inappropriate behaviour, identifying cyberbullying and some consequences and making sure that every student in our school understood what behaviour was not acceptable and what the consequences were for that. That did not happen; that is not in this legislation.

Another amendment that we put forward had to do with notifying internet and cellphone providers. The minister spoke about the importance of doing that. Well there was a member on the taskforce who represented internet and cell service providers, so the expertise was there and it was incorporated into recommendations. We have no jurisdiction in education to tell Bell Aliant or to tell service providers what they do with their accounts but we do have a responsibility, if we know that there are people in our schools who have been found to be using the internet or their cellphone to bully or cyberbully - we have a responsibility to make sure that the service providers know that. It's their responsibility then to address that. That was in the amendment, that's not in the bill.

[Page 2117]

We also know that in the long-term - and this came directly from the taskforce member who is a member of the police force - we also know that police are saying their hands are tied in many cases and that's because we need to have something in the criminal code that addresses cyberbullying. One of the amendments that we put forward from the Liberal caucus were the negations, conversations, dialog will begin immediately between the province and the federal government to deal with changes to the criminal code; that was not in Bill No. 30.

Madam Speaker, we know that there are number of things that can happen immediately, and collecting data and going to talk to somebody at a conference about what's happening across other jurisdictions is not anything related to action, current action, to address the current problem. The research done by the task force, directed by Dr. Wayne MacKay, looked at jurisdictions across the province. That research has been done; we do not need to recreate this. We know what we have; we know we have a problem; and we know that will Bill No. 30 it's not going to get any better. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville on an introduction.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. In the east gallery we have some folks from Ontario visiting us. We have Gay Martel, Heather Fawcett, David Lapp, Ken Fawcett and Marie Thompson. We also have Shelley Martel, who is a former member of the provincial Parliament in northern Ontario, and she is the partner of former NDP Leader and former MPP Howard Hampton. I'd ask them to please rise and receive the warm welcome of the House, and welcome to Nova Scotia. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : We welcome all of our guests to today's proceedings, and I hope you enjoy your day.

The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. It's my pleasure to speak for a few moments on this bill, cyber - you know, quite honestly, the short title should be Cyberbullying or Bullying in our Schools.

You know we have had a chance to participate in a number of the processes here in the Legislature and we've all had the opportunity to speak about bullying, cyberbullying, what we think of electronic mediums, of Facebook, of texting - all these things that, of course, lead to an opportunity for those who bully to bully.

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Madam Speaker, the issue that we're really trying to address, I think this bill provides a good start. We in the Opposition feel there are a number of things that this bill could have done in adopting the recommendations from the bullying task force that were not accepted. I know the minister is working hard to work with her colleagues, whether the Minister of Justice, whether the federal government for Criminal Code issues, or all those things that I think will create a better picture or package when it comes to trying to stop this scourge of bullying/cyberbullying.

The challenge we saw when we provided our amendments at Law Amendments Committee were to try to provide a little more direction for the setting of regulations, not to leave everything to regulations because what happens is that regulations seem to take an awful long time to put together, there are a lot of hands that end up being part of it, and sometimes the original intent of certain recommendations might be lost. What we were hoping through the Law Amendments Committee process was that we would take that opportunity and strengthen the document so that when the regulation issue started to happen and the debate started to happen, not on the floor of this Legislature but, of course, in the offices of the Department of Education, that we would have a better feeling that things would be done more correctly and more to the spirit of the recommendations by that cyberbullying task force.

This, by far, is not all the recommendations that, of course, the task force brought us. We would like to have seen more of those recommendations incorporated here. We also would like to have seen, if not in this bill - maybe the Minister of Justice could have come with a bill as well, to provide a little more of that issue that we heard about in Law Amendments Committee, giving a few tools to the police departments to truly investigate and give them some powers to try to stop the cyberbullying where it's at, because we know this cyberbullying does not just happen during school hours. This happens after school hours, where that line becomes grey between if it's an education issue or if it is a broader criminal issue.

We talked, of course, in our bill, and we talked about it in one of the bills that we do have here, which is the issue of trying to find more restorative justice methods to sort of bring these bullies to light, to try to provide them with information to get them to stop, and if that doesn't happen, then to try to hold them accountable and/or their families accountable because this cannot continue to happen.

Madam Speaker, I know the member for Colchester North who just spoke talked about the visitors that we did have to the Law Amendments Committee. I've been here for nine years, I've been in the halls of the Legislature for 12, and that was probably one of the hardest Law Amendments Committees that I had ever participated in and to hear the heartfelt sorrow about this issue when Pam Murchison came and spoke about her daughter. It made it extremely difficult but it also, I think when our hearts open up, we sometimes can find ways to maybe strengthen or work together to make these bills more appropriate to Nova Scotia.

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Madam Speaker, what happened was upsetting to me, that the recommendations that were presented by the Opposition Parties were not accepted even though there was a spirit, and I know the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island has on many occasions said, you know, the recommendations that you provide, the amendments you provide are of course in the spirit of what our regulation will look like, but I feel, our Party feels that that's just not good enough. We had a great opportunity here to make this an even better bill and that was ignored by government in this particular case.

So, Madam Speaker, all I can say as I conclude is that I hope that not all is lost, that of course the recommendations that we did provide will be seriously considered when this happens, when that process does get up and running, that of course will be taking some time. I hope that the minister will provide us with some updates of where it is in process so that we know that children across Nova Scotia will be protected by this legislation, to be protected from the bullies that seem to be all over the Internet and, of course, in places where we probably don't expect them to be in the future.

So with that, Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to speak to this bill.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 30. 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 Acting Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 52.

Bill No. 52 - Conservation Easements Act.

Bill No. 55 - Community Easements Act.

Bill No. 65 - Consumer Protection Act.

Bill No. 78 - Justice Administration (2012) Act.

Bill No. 79 - Education Act.

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MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motions are carried.

Ordered that these bills do pass. Ordered that the titles be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bills be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, that concludes the government's business for the day and the week. I move that the House do now rise to meet again on Monday between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. After the daily routine we will do Address in Reply and any other business that may befall us.

Madam Speaker, I move that the House do now rise - and to all, a happy Mother's Day. Have a great weekend.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again on Monday, May 14th, between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

The House is adjourned.

[The House rose at 12:47 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

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RESOLUTION NO. 1100

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Barbara Butler has a long history of involvement in the classical music scene, from her time as an organist at St. Andrew's United Church in Halifax, director of music at St. John's Anglican Church in Lunenburg, her associations with Debut Atlantic, and her role as artistic and managing director of Musique Royale; and

Whereas Ms. Butler began her association with the St. Cecilia Concert Series in 1980 and worked diligently to bring concerts and performances to other areas of the province, including New Glasgow and Lunenburg, sometimes organizing as many as 100 concerts in one year; and

Whereas Barbara Butler has just retired from her role as director of the St. Cecilia Concert Series to focus on her work with Musique Royale, although she plans to continue her popular brunch concerts at her home in Oakland;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Barbara Butler for her decades of contributions to arts and culture throughout Nova Scotia in her role as director of the St. Cecilia Concert Series and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1101

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Bill Lutwicke of Indian Point, with assistance from Ross MacDonald and Andrew Forbes, began the process of restoring a centuries-old barn overlooking Lantz's Cove in Oakland this past winter; and

Whereas the barn, thought to have been constructed between 1758 and 1760, was originally used as a stagecoach stop where they would freshen the horses en route through the main road from Mahone Bay to Halifax; and

Whereas the restoration has retained original materials wherever possible and has used hemlock, the same wood used in the original construction, maintaining the original feel of the building;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the restoration efforts of Bill Lutwicke, Ross MacDonald, and Andrew Forbes in restoring a centuries-old barn in Oakland and preserving the heritage of the local area.

RESOLUTION NO. 1102

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Connor Veinot of Blockhouse has been steadily growing his small business, called Connor's Kindling, since he was challenged by his father at age 11 to fill a niche and begin a kindling business; and

Whereas Connor started the venture after his father purchased a wood splitter, which Connor repaid with money earned from the business, and began strategically marketing the kindling that he sells for $4 a bundle or $20 for 6 throughout the neighbourhood, by partnering with existing businesses; and

Whereas Connor has earned over $7,000 in four years, which the 15-year-old invested in a second entrepreneurial venture called Connor's Yardworks, allowing him to learn from the experience of running his own business, keeping his own books, and planning for his future;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the entrepreneurial spirit exhibited by 15-year-old Connor Veinot of Blockhouse, Nova Scotia, and wish him much success in both his business ventures in the coming years.

RESOLUTION NO. 1103

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the inaugural Heritage Recognition Awards of the Mahone Bay Founders Society was held at the Mahone Bay Legion on April 14, 2012, to acknowledge individuals or projects that have made a lasting contribution to the conservation of heritage in Mahone Bay and surrounding area; and

Whereas Grade 7 student Alayna Foran was honoured as the first youth recipient of the award, designed to recognize research and development of a subject related to Mahone Bay and area through an academic program, for her project titled "The House I Call My Home," which provided an in-depth history of the 114-year old house she lives in; and

[Page 2123]

Whereas the Mahone Bay Centre was recognized in the category of Restoration and Adaptive Reuse of a Heritage Building for the commitment of its staff and volunteers to restore the Mahone Bay School building, built in 1913, which has become a focal point for gatherings, learning, and recreation within the Town of Mahone Bay;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the Mahone Bay Founders Society for developing the Heritage Recognition Awards and congratulate Alayna Foran and the Mahone Bay Centre for being the first to be recognized by the Heritage Recognition Awards.

RESOLUTION NO. 1104

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas junior firefighters from Hubbards to Bakers Settlement will participate in the fourth Mutual Aid training weekend, hosted by the Lunenburg and District Fire Department in Lunenburg this weekend; and

Whereas 15 to 20 instructors will spend May 12 and 13, 2012, receiving hands-on indoor and outdoor training in everything from vehicle extraction, breathing apparatus operation, and live firefighting skills; and

Whereas the training event, which teaches teamwork and life skills but has also produced an increased interest in the junior firefighting program throughout Lunenburg County, will feature a kick-off with retired Lunenburg Fire Chief Robert Parks and prizes at the end of the weekend;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate all junior firefighters who will participate in the Mutual Aid training weekend on May 12 and 13, 2012, in Lunenburg and encourage future participation in the firefighting activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 1105

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By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Garrison Brewery is an award-winning independent micro brewery in Halifax that produces all natural ales in small batches and holds an annual Ultimate Brew-Off Homebrew Challenge; and

Whereas Lunenburg native Kellye Robertson, who has had an interest in brewing her own beer for many years, entered the competition with her Rye India Pale Ale that she developed herself; and

Whereas Kellye Robertson beat out 61 other submissions to win the Garrison Homebrew Challenge, allowing her to work with the company's brew master to produce a full batch of her recipe for Rye India Pale Ale for special release in bottles next year;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Lunenburg native Kellye Robertson on winning the 4th Annual Ultimate Brew-Off Homebrew Challenge and recognizes her as the first woman to win Garrison's Homebrew Challenge.

RESOLUTION NO. 1106

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Maurice Guitton has long been an active member of the Lunenburg business community, starting with Cellpack in the late 1980s, and then becoming the founder and CEO of Composites Atlantic Limited; and

Whereas Mr. Guitton has been appointed as a member of the Atlantic Innovation Fund Advisory Board, an advisory board to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency on March 14th, 2012; and

Whereas the Atlantic Innovation Fund targets investments in innovation to increase the regions' capacity for jobs and business opportunities, with Mr. Guitton bringing a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience to the board;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Mr. Maurice Guitton on his recent appointment to the Atlantic Innovation Fund Advisory Board and wishes him the best of luck during his time on the board.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1107

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Neptune Theatre, which has been in operation since 1963, has a mandate that includes bringing arts education to as many youth as possible through outreach programs throughout the province; and

Whereas Neptune Theatre is partnering with well-known director and choreographer Shannon Moore to provide high quality theatre instruction through their pilot project in Lunenburg; and

Whereas Lunenburg County youth aged 7 to 13 will have the opportunity to participate in Neptune's satellite location at the Old Railway Museum in Lunenburg this summer;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes the benefits of Neptune Theatre's satellite program in the Town of Lunenburg this summer and recognizes the collaborative effort between Neptune Theatre and Shannon Moore.

RESOLUTION NO. 1108

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas students at New Germany Elementary School are among six South Shore schools participating in the Kids Run Club through Doctors Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the program, which is now in its eighth year, teaches kids about the importance of leading a physically active and healthy lifestyle while giving them the opportunity to build endurance and be active through running; and

Whereas 75 students in New Germany, divided into two groups, have signed up to run once a week while being coached by teacher Connie Meister and parent volunteer Jennifer Hayward;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the students of New Germany Elementary School and their coaches Connie Meister and Jennifer Hayward, for participating in the Doctors Nova Scotia Run Club.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1109

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas 16-year-old Park View Education Centre student Rebecca Weagle, of Lunenburg County, has been playing hockey for almost 10 years, playing the goalie position after her father encouraged her to take the position; and

Whereas Rebecca Weagle, the only Lunenburg County player to play for the Metro Boston Pizza female midget AAA team, won the provincial championships after the team had a perfect season and playoff season, without sustaining a single loss; and

Whereas Rebecca Weagle and the Metro Boston Pizza female midget AAA team made it to the nationals, playing in the 2012 Esso Cup, in Carlottetown, in April of this year, making it to the finals and ranking fourth overall in the championship;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Rebecca Weagle, goalie for the Metro Boston Pizza team, on her performance and accomplishments at the National 2012 Esso Cup and wishes her many successful seasons to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 1110

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the first South Shore Sustainability Expo took place at the Nova Scotia Community College Lunenburg Campus, in Bridgewater, on March 31st, 2012, organized by local NSCC teacher Leif Helmer; and

Whereas the South Shore Sustainability Expo featured displays, presentation and workshops exploring the best practices in green innovation and showcasing local groups and organizations that lead the green movement; and

Whereas the Expo featured such guest speakers as Peter Kinley of the Prometheus Project in Lunenburg, Brian Borganza of Bridgewater Community Christmas, and Gael Watson of the LeHave Bakery, sharing their greening efforts at an event that was free of charge;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Leif Helmer and all organizers and participants involved with the first annual South Shore Sustainability Expo, which took place on March 31st of this year.

RESOLUTION NO. 1111

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Cecile Weber and Bob MacDonald suffered a terrible tragedy in April of 2011 when they lost their Bridgewater home to a devastating fire; and

Whereas Ms. Weber and Mr. MacDonald were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they received from their friends and family, their community and their employers, all of which allowed them to get back on their feet; and

Whereas Cecile and Bob have now moved to New Germany where they have opened a Buy and Sell called, Turning Point, in a beautiful renovated shop that is full of interesting articles and treasures that is truly allowing them the turning point they needed to start a new life together;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly offers condolences to Cecile Weber and Bob MacDoanld on the loss of their home in April of 2011, but also congratulates them on their new home and business, Turning Point Buy and Sell, in New Germany.

RESOLUTION NO. 1112

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas William Kowalski of Mahone Bay is an award winning novelist who also teaches communication skills to adult learners; and

Whereas Mr. Kowalski has just published his latest book, Something Nobel, the story of a woman who is trying to find a kidney donor for her son, under Orca Publishing and its Rapid Read Series; and

[Page 2128]

Whereas this novel is the lastest work from William Kowalski, who holds the distinction of being the bestselling author for Orca Publishing's Rapid Read Series, on the strength of his novels The Barrio Kings and The Way It Works;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Mahone Bay author William Kowalski on the publication of his latest novel, Something Nobel.

RESOLUTION NO. 1113

By: Mr. Geoff MacLellan « » (Glace Bay)

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

Whereas The Glace Bay Sports and Volunteer Hall of Fame will host its annual dinner and induction ceremony this Friday, May 11th, 2012, at the Bayplex Community Hall; and

Whereas The Glace Bay Hall of Fame recognizes gifted athletes, coaches, builders and volunteers who have contributed to the rich sports culture of our proud town and played a role in countless championships over out 100-plus-year history; and

Whereas Wilf "Hook" Edmond will join the class of 2012 in the volunteer category for his outstanding career as a hockey, baseball and fastball player, in addition to his 50-year service with the Royal Canadian Legion, 33 year service with the Donkin Volunteer Fire Department, as well as acting as a community volunteer, coach and singer with local choirs;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating Hook and his family on his induction in the Glace Bay Sports and Volunteer Hall of Fame and wish him the best moving forward.

RESOLUTION NO. 1114

By: Mr. Geoff MacLellan « » (Glace Bay)

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

Whereas The Glace Bay Sports and Volunteer Hall of Fame will host its annual dinner and induction ceremony this Friday, May 11th, 2012, at the Bayplex Community Hall; and

Whereas The Glace Bay Hall of Fame recognizes gifted athletes, coaches, builders and volunteers who have contributed to the rich sports culture of our proud town and played a role in countless championships over out 100-plus-year history; and

[Page 2129]

Whereas Krim Francis will join the Glace Bay Hall of Fame, posthumously, as a community builder for his invaluable service to the Kinsmen, UNIA Hall in Glace Bay, as coach in the Glace Bay Little League program in addition to his time organizing blood donor clinics, delivering groceries to those in need, and supporting many community events and important projects in Glace Bay;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating the family of the late Krim Francis on his induction into the Glace Bay Sports and Volunteer Hall of Fame and we truly appreciate the efforts he made in making Glace Bay a better place.

RESOLUTION NO. 1115

By: Mr. Keith Bain « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas the Bras d'Or Yacht Club is expected to be an exceptionally busy place during the last two weeks of July as the club celebrates their 30th year of incorporation with a visit from the Cruising Club of America; and

Whereas Commodore Mona Anderson says between 75 and 80 yachts are expected, with each yacht being home to four sailors; and

Whereas the Bras d'Or Yacht Club is led by Commodore Anderson, Rear Commodore Dr. Tim Woodford, Past Commodore David Dunlop, and 12 members of the Board of Directors;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Bras d'Or Yacht Club on 30 years of success and wish them the very best during the planned visit by the Cruising Club of America in July.

RESOLUTION NO. 1116

By: Mr. Keith Bain « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas in April 2012 the Highland Wrestling Club sent nine of its top wrestlers to the 2012 Wrestling Nationals; and

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Whereas the Highland Wrestling Team did very well and impressed all who attended; and

Whereas team member Johnny Fraser took home a gold for Nova Scotia and was selected as top Cadet male wrestler in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud and congratulate coach Duncan MacKinnon and team wrestlers Johnny Fraser, Jezzy Thornton, Coady MacKinnon, Cole Barry, Russell McEvoy, Hillary Burton, Charles Fraser, Liam Costello, Colton Burton, and Haylee Burchell and wish them best of luck in all their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1117

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 Shauna Burke, daughter of Charlene and Howard Burke from Louisbourg, was recently named MVP for the Cape Breton Attackers volleyball team; and

Whereas Shauna plays for the Cape Breton Attackers under-15 volleyball team that earned a Provincial Banner; and

Whereas Shauna and her team won the title at the Volleyball Nova Scotia championship at the Canada Games Complex in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Shauna Burke and all the Cape Breton Attackers on their win and wish them luck in their future games.

RESOLUTION NO. 1118

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 Reya Hanspal, daughter of Raj and Jassi Hanspal from Sydney River, is a young, aspiring artist; and

Whereas Reya, a Grade 4 student from Sydney River Elementary School, was among a group of young artists showing work in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board's student art show; and

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Whereas artwork belonging to Reya, and many other students' art, remains on display for the rest of May at the Mayflower Mall;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Reya Hanspal and all the students who put their hard work into this show and wish them the best of luck.

RESOLUTION NO. 1119

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 late Richie Walton will be posthumously inducted into the Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame at the 2012 Awards Banquet; and

Whereas Mr. Walton will be inducted as a member of the 1961 Maritime Senior Softball champions, the Caledonia Aces; and

Whereas Mr. Walton was a pitcher for the team, which possessed not only a high skill level but also team chemistry and versatility;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions the late Richie Walton made to the 1961 Caledonia Aces and to sports in Cape Breton.

RESOLUTION NO. 1120

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

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

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of every community and the people of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank are supported by over 60 volunteer-run organizations; and

Whereas this year, the Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank community have selected Frances Mary Geddes to be honored as the Volunteer of the Year; and

Whereas Frances embodies the true spirit of volunteerism as she has given her time and various talents to her community over the past 60 years;

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Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly extends congratulations to Frances Mary Geddes for being named Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding commitment to her community.

RESOLUTION NO. 1121

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

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, came to Canada in 1963 and currently runs in over 130 countries around the world; and

Whereas the award encourages youth to become active, engaged citizens, to participate in new activities and pursue current interests in areas of community service, personal skill development, and learn what it means to exemplify leadership; and

Whereas Graeme Besler, a resident of Fall River, has received a Bronze Award of Achievement from the Duke of Edinburgh's Award for exemplifying leadership within his community;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Graeme Besler on receiving the Bronze Award of Achievement from the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and offer best wishes for continued success as a leader in our community and abroad.

RESOLUTION NO. 1122

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

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

Whereas the Lockview High School Dragons football team is the 2011 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Tier 2 Champion; and

Whereas the Dragons battled through a season of adversity that saw a sluggish start plagued with injuries, however, their hard work and determination would pay off; and

Whereas the Lockview Dragons' final game with the Halifax West Warriors would prove to be a thrilling matchup that saw the last kick by Lockview's Tim Hart through the uprights in double overtime to capture the title;

[Page 2133]

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly extends congratulations to the members of the Lockview High School Dragons boys football team and their coaching staff on their championship season.

RESOLUTION NO. 1123

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

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

Whereas the 2012 Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival Gala was held on April 30th, 2012 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium; and

Whereas Lockview High School Band members captured numerous honours at the festival with the Grade 10 Concert Band taking home top honours for outstanding band performance; and

Whereas Joe Cormier, music and band director at Lockview, was also awarded the P. Oxner Baton for outstanding conductor and musical director;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly extendS congratulations to Lockview High's music director and all members of the school's band on their accomplishments and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1124

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

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

Whereas Sydney Kennedy of Fletchers Lake plays with the Bedford Blues AAA Atom boys hockey team; and

Whereas Sydney was selected first in Canada among 100 girls in her division to compete in the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills Competition held in Ottawa on January 28th, 2011; and

Whereas Sydney captured the National Atom Girls Skills Competition by showcasing her hockey talents and finishing first in her age category before thousands of onlookers;

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Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly extends congratulations to Sydney on capturing the National Atom Girls Skills Competition and wishes her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1125

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Minister of Education)

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

Whereas Duncan MacIssac of the Hantsport and District Lions Club was recently named Lion of the Year at the Lions Club 28th Charter Night, which was held March 31, 2012; and

Whereas being named Lion of the Year is recognition of an individual's hard work and dedication to their community and their Lions Club; and

Whereas Lion of the Year is also presented in recognition of Lions who act as an example of the Lions motto "We Serve";

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Duncan MacIssac for being named Lion of the Year at the Hantsport and District Lions Club 28th Charter Night.

RESOLUTION NO. 1126

By: Mr. Leonard Preyra « » (Halifax Citadel-Sable Island)

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

Whereas the Halifax Kinsmen Club is a volunteer-driven organization, whose members are committed to enhancing the quality of life in our community; and

Whereas the Halifax Kinsmen Club promotes community service, fellowship and positive values, and undertakes a wide variety of fundraising and service projects, including support of cystic fibrosis research; and

Whereas on April 21, 2012, the Halifax Kinsmen Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary at a special event to remember the past, celebrate the present, and look to the future;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the Halifax Kinsmen Club for its commitment to community service, and extend congratulations on its 75th Anniversary.

RESOLUTION NO. 1127

By: Mr. Gary Burrill « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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

Whereas Jim Lowther CD, founder and national president of Veterans Emergency Transition Services, established VETS in 2011 after a personal effort to assist a homeless fellow veteran led to an awareness of the extent of the problem of homelessness amongst veterans in Canada; and

Whereas through his encouragement and mentorship, VETS has becomes a national organization, with chapters established across the country; and

Whereas VETS, a non-political, non-profit organization, has heightened awareness of veterans homelessness amongst Canadians, and has been acknowledged by the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman as the leading non-governmental organization combating veterans homelessness in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly salute Jim Lowther for his commitment and leadership to the cause of homeless veterans, and acknowledge with gratitude the continuing contribution of Veterans Emergency Transition Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 1128

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas there is an increasing need for fundraisers and donations to assist those less fortunate, and for community members to help local organizations meet their goal of providing for people in need; and

Whereas Kevin Soehner, and the Canadian Tire Amherst store, created a Facebook page for the store with the promise to donate one box of Kraft Dinner to the Amherst and Area Food Assistance Network for every follower amassed; and

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Whereas Kevin Soehner and the Canadian Tire Amherst store donated 1,000 boxes of Kraft Dinner to the Amherst Food Bank, which greatly assisted the food bank in providing food and easing hardships for residents of Cumberland North;

Therefore be it resolved that this House joins me in congratulating Kevin Soehner and the Canadian Tire Amherst store for their efforts to assist those in their community who are less fortunate by providing much- needed food donations to the Amherst Food Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 1129

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas many hardships are endured by those who fight cancer, and offering comfort in their time of need can help them find their way through difficult times; and

Whereas the Tantramar Branch, Victoria's Quilts Canada, through its many volunteers creates and donates comfort quilts to cancer patients who carry the quilts with them during hospital stays and treatments; and

Whereas the Tantramar Branch, Victoria's Quilts Canada, has been in operation for two years, during which time they have donated over 70 quilts to men, women, and children in Nova Scotia who are fighting the fight of their lives to beat cancer, and the Tantramar Branch stitch the hope in every quilt that they will "never need to make another";

Therefore be it resolved that this House show their support for that hope and join me in congratulating the Tantramar Branch, Victoria's Quilts Canada, who, through many hours of volunteer work, create and donate special quilts to bring a little extra comfort to cancer patients.

RESOLUTION NO. 1130

By: Ms. Lenore Zann « » (Truro-Bible Hill)

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

Whereas Suzanne Fougere, a teacher at Cobequid Educational Centre, is a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit, ecumenical housing organization that builds houses for people in need; and

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Whereas Suzanne Fougere will be leaving on July 6th for Bolivia to participate in her next build as a team leader for Habitat for Humanity; and

Whereas this will be her eighth trip with Habitat for Humanity and her fifth trip as a team leader;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Suzanne Fougere for her commitment to helping to provide the people of Bolivia with safe, affordable housing and wish her well on her future endeavours with habitat for Humanity.

RESOLUTION NO. 1131

By: Ms. Lenore Zann « » (Truro-Bible Hill)

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

Whereas Florence Hamilton, a resident of Truro, joined the ladies auxiliary with Branch No. 26 of the Royal Canadian Legion 63 years ago; and

Whereas Florence Hamilton has been participating in the annual Poppy Campaign since first joining the ladies auxiliary; and

Whereas at the age of 95, Florence Hamilton still has a passion for selling poppies each November in honour of the men and women who have served our country;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Florence Hamilton for her many years of dedication to the Poppy Campaign and thank her for her continued efforts on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion.

RESOLUTION NO. 1132

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Gillian and John Crawford of Lismore Sheep Farm of River John, Pictou County, have produced and are selling a new environmentally-friendly product called wool balls, which are used in the dryer as a replacement for chemical-filled dryer sheets; and

Whereas this new product called wool balls is made from sheep's wool and is 100 per cent natural and made in River John; and

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Whereas these wool balls can last up to two years and are free of chemicals, and they also help reduce drying times, which saves energy;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate Gillian and John Crawford of Lismore Farms in River John for producing and marketing new environmentally-friendly products which are made in Nova Scotia and sold worldwide.

RESOLUTION NO. 1133

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Starr Dobson, a Pictou County native and reporter for Live at Five, has written her first children's book, based on her experience growing up in Six Mile Brook, Pictou County; and

Whereas the book is called My Goat Gertrude and is based on Starr Dobson's childhood adventures with her pet goat, Gertrude Allawishes; and

Whereas Starr Dobson's book My Goat Gertrude is a story that many children will enjoy and a portion of the book proceeds will be donated to Special Olympics Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Starr Dobson on her children's book My Goat Gertrude, a true story of growing up in Pictou County with a mischievous goat named Gertrude Allawishes.

RESOLUTION NO. 1134

By: Mr. Clarrie MacKinnon « » (Pictou East)

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

Whereas the Walter Duggan Elementary School of Westville, Nova Scotia, took part in the Annual Adopt-a-Library program in Pictou County for the 2011-2012 school year; and

Whereas the Walter Duggan Elementary School won first place in the Past Champion Division as well as first place in the Pictou County Championship's WOW Reading Challenge; and

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Whereas the students of Walter Duggan Elementary School won the first place in the Past Champion Division and first place in Pictou County Championships WOW Reading Challenge by reading 383.11 books per student;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the students and staff of the Walter Duggan Elementary School in Westville for participating in the Adopt-a-Library program and congratulate them for winning first place in the Past Championships and first place in the Pictou County Championship WOW Reading Challenge.

RESOLUTION NO. 1135

By: Hon. Frank Corbett « » (Deputy Premier)

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

Whereas this summer many athletes from all over the world will travel to London, England, to compete in the summer Olympics, including Jamey Jewells of Donkin, Cape Breton; and

Whereas 21-year-old Jamie Jewells refused to be denied a life in basketball after a spinal cord injury in a car accident at the age of 14 and with no wheelchair basketball in Sydney, she had to commute to Halifax on weekend in a bid to make the Canadian senior team; and

Whereas Jamey Jewells has always dreamed of playing basketball in the Olympics, and her positive attitude and outlook will take her, and her wheelchair, to London this summer to represent Team Canada on our Wheelchair Basketball Team;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Jamey Jewells on being named to the Canadian Olympic team and wish her all the best at the summer Olympics in London, England.

RESOLUTION NO. 1136

By: Hon. Gordon Gosse (Speaker)

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

Whereas the AMI Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championships were held in Ottawa, Ontario, from February 5th to 11th, 2012; and

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Whereas the vision impaired team from Cape Breton captured the bronze medal in this national bonspiel; and

Whereas skip Louise Gillis, mate Christena Lewis, second Michelle Bartram, lead Joyce Wells, sweeper Terry Lynn MacDonald and coaches and guides Ann Marie Baldwin and John Marusiak are the proud medal winners;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Cape Breton Vision Impaired Curling team on their bronze medal win at the AMI Canadian Vision Impaired Curling Championships, and wish them continued success in their curling endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1137

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse « » (Community Services)

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

Whereas this summer many athletes from all over the world will travel to London, England, to compete in the summer Olympic Games, including sailor Danielle Dube, of Glen Haven, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Danielle Dube instantly fell in love with sailing at age nine and started racing at age 12 at the St. Margaret Sailing Club in Glen Haven; and

Whereas Danielle has been very successful in her racing career, traveling all over the world to compete, and has also taken time to complete her university studies at Dalhousie University;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Danielle Dube on being named to the Canadian Olympic team and wish her all the best at the summer Olympics in London, England.

RESOLUTION NO. 1138

By: Mr. Howard Epstein « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas this summer many athletes from all over the world will travel to London, England, to compete in the summer Olympic Games, including Paralympic sailor, Paul Tingley, of Halifax, Nova Scotia; and

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Whereas Paul Tingley began sailing at age 24, under the advice of his physiotherapist, after a skiing accident forced him to a wheelchair and he may have never known this physiotherapy exercise would lead him to the Olympics; and

Whereas this will not be Paul Tingley's first trip to the Olympics, and likely won't be his last, as he aims to make his friends, family and country proud in the keelboat racing competitions this summer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Paul Tingley on being named to the Canadian Olympic team and wish him all the best at the summer Olympics in London, England.

RESOLUTION NO. 1139

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas Joan Moore of Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, at the age of 93 has been a long-time supporter of social democratic principles, which initially drew her to the CCF and then the NDP; and

Whereas Joan Moore, the youngest child of an immigrant family from England who arrived in Halifax in 1900, has not only supported these principles but has lived a life filled with care, compassion, and concern for others, especially those who were sick or in need regardless of their location in the world; and

Whereas Joan Moore will receive an Honourary Life Membership from the Nova Scotia NDP at their convention, which will be held June 8 to 10, 2012, in recognition of her support and dedicated efforts over the many years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Joan Moore for volunteering her time to her community and her neighbours far and wide, and for being such an inspiration to those of us in Guysborough-Sheet Harbour who continue to follow in her footsteps.

RESOLUTION NO. 1140

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By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas since becoming Princess New Minas in 2011, Erika Brown has demonstrated leadership and volunteerism which has exceeded what is expected of an Apple Blossom Princess; and

Whereas Erika Brown has been studying full-time in Halifax, working part-time, staying active in sports, and being a loving sister, daughter, and granddaughter; and

Whereas Erika Brown has been at each New Minas function to be with her community and she has volunteered with the New Minas Lions Club monthly community breakfast;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Erika Brown for her leadership, her volunteerism, and her dedication to her community and wish her all the best with all her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1141

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Horton District High School presented the musical The Wiz March 30th-April 4th at the school in Greenwich; and

Whereas the community thoroughly enjoyed the talents demonstrated by the students with this fabulously-presented musical; and

Whereas many people supported this production by building sets, making costumes, conducting, directing, organizing the logistics, and driving students to and from practices, to name a few of the aspects of creating such a successful production;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly offer congratulations to the community of support and talents of Horton High School with their fabulous presentation of The Wiz.

RESOLUTION NO. 1142

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By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas Elsie Lane, 98, of Kentville, has been volunteering for multiple organizations since the age of 10; and

Whereas Mrs. Lane received the Paul Harris Fellowship from the Kentville Rotary on April 23, 2012, for her outstanding contribution to society and for demonstrating a shared purpose with the objectives and mission of the Rotary Foundation toward the building of world understanding and peace, both within and outside our communities; and

Whereas Mrs. Lane's warmth, friendliness, energy, and volunteer efforts have been an inspiration to all;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Elsie Lane on her Paul Harris Fellowship, celebrate her contributions to society, and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1143

By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas Luke Clarke, of Canning, has received the Art Lightfoot Memorial Trophy for his dedication to high school hockey in the Annapolis Valley; and

Whereas Mr. Clarke has been a valuable part of the NKEC hockey program, as an equipment manager and beyond, since its inception in 2001; and

Whereas Mr. Clarke has shown tremendous dedication and commitment to high school hockey;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Luke Clarke on receiving the Art Lightfoot Memorial Trophy and wish him further success in high school hockey and in life

RESOLUTION NO. 1144

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By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas Rebecca MacPherson, 16, of Canning, was awarded the honour of being named Swim Nova Scotia's Female Swimmer of the Year; and

Whereas Miss MacPherson will be officially recognized as a top-ranked swimmer on June 1st, 2012, at the Ken Dunn Memorial Swim Meet in Halifax; and

Whereas Miss MacPherson won two bronze medals at the 2012 Eastern Canada Championships in February, 2012, going on to establish a new provincial record in the 100-metre freestyle, breaking a 33-year mark held by 1976 Olympic medalist Nancy Garapick;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Rebecca MacPherson on her achievements in swimming and wish her further success in swimming and in life.

RESOLUTION NO. 1145

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 the Duke of Edinburgh's Award was founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the award came to Canada in 1963; and

Whereas Madison Walsh, of Windsor, was recently recognized as a Silver Award Achiever after completing the required activities for the silver level; and

Whereas the goal of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is to encourage young people to be active, to participate in new activities and to pursue current interests in the areas of community service, personal skill development, physical recreation and an advantageous journey;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Madison Walsh on being a Silver Award Achiever of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and wish her all the best.

RESOLUTION NO. 1146

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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 the Duke of Edinburgh's Award was founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the award came to Canada in 1963; and

Whereas Jean Chen, of Windsor, was recently recognized as a Silver Award Achiever after completing the required activities for the silver level; and

Whereas the goal of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is to encourage young people to be active, to participate in new activities and to pursue current interests in the areas of community service, personal skill development, physical recreation and an advantageous journey;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jean Chen on being a Silver Award Achiever of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and wish Jean all the best.