The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD12-34

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

THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1337, World Hypertension Day (05/17/12): "Knowing Your Numbers"
- Importance, Hon. Maureen MacDonald »
2405
Vote - Affirmative
2405
Res. 1338, Intl. Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (05/17/12)
- Recognize, Hon. D. Wilson »
2405
Vote - Affirmative
2406
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 93, Labour Standards Code,
2406
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1339, Boudreau, John: Décès de - Hommage,
2406
Vote - Affirmative
2408
Res. 1340, Com. Serv.: - Talbot House Funding - Restore,
2408
Res. 1341, Jumpstart Day (05/26/12) - Recognize,
2409
Vote - Affirmative
2410
Res. 1342, Intl. Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (05/17/12)
- Acknowledge, Hon. S. McNeil »
2410
Vote - Affirmative
2410
Res. 1343, Intl. Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (05/17/12) -
Importance Recognize, Hon. J. Baillie » (by Hon. C. d'Entremont » )
2411
Vote - Affirmative
2411
Res. 1344, Surette, Chantal: Prov. Science Fair (2012) - Congrats.,
2411
Vote - Affirmative
2412
Res. 1345, NDP Gov't. - Child Protection Legislation:
House Sitting - Extend, Mr. A. MacLeod »
2412
Res. 1346, Duffus, Carol: Death of - Tribute,
2413
Vote - Affirmative
2413
Res. 1347, NDP Gov't. - Health Strike Protection: House Sitting
2414
Res. 1348, Hemeon, Mr. Lynn: Yar. Music - Commitment,
2414
Vote - Affirmative
2415
Res. 1349, NDP Gov't. - Bullying & Cyberbullying Legislation:
House Sitting - Extend, Mr. E. Orrell »
2415
Res. 1350, Citizenship Ceremony (05/10/12) - Can. Games Ctr.:
New Canadians - Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen »
2416
Vote - Affirmative
2417
Res. 1351, NDP Gov't. - NSP Settlement Agreement Legislation:
House Sitting - Extend, Mr. A. MacMaster « »
2417
Res. 1352, NDP Gov't. - NSP Rate Increases Legislation:
House Sitting - Extend, Mr. C. Porter »
2418
Res. 1353, Taverner, Maeghan: Highland Dance Championships
- Congrats., Ms. K. Regan « »
2418
Vote - Affirmative
2419
Res. 1354, Hatfield, "Superfans" Ernest & Dorothy - Yar. Sports:
Support Thank, Mr. Z. Churchill « »
2419
Vote - Affirmative
2420
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 300, Prem. - Dart. Imperial Oil Refinery: HRM Tax Break
- Basis, Mr. A. Younger »
2420
No. 301, Prem. - Imperial Oil Refinery: Closure - Reasons,
2422
No. 302, Prem. - NSP: Rate Hearings - Attend,
2424
No. 303, Prem.: Gas Regulation Study - Tendering Process,
2426
No. 304, Prem. - NSP Rate Increases: Prem./Gov't
- Awareness Time Frame, Hon. J. Baillie « »
2427
No. 305, ERDT: Power Rates - Min. Action,
2429
No. 306, Justice - Taavel Death: Review - Release Date,
2431
No. 307, PSC - Jobs: Relocation - Update,
2433
No. 308, Com. Serv. - Talbot House Bd./Min.: Meeting - Details,
2434
No. 309, TIR - Louisdale Rds.: Upgrades - Time Frame,
2436
No. 310, Health & Wellness - Mental Health Strategy:
Wait Times - Effects, Ms. K. Regan « »
2438
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 81, Gaming Control Act
Vote - Affirmative
2439
No. 82, Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations Incorporation Act
Vote - Affirmative
2439
No. 84, Dalhousie University-Nova Scotia Agricultural College Merger Act
2440
2441
2443
Vote - Affirmative
2443
No. 86, NewPage Port Hawkesbury Pension Plans Act
2444
2446
Vote - Affirmative
2447
No. 87, Good Forestry Management on Crown Land Act
2447
2447
2448
2449
Vote - Affirmative
2450
No. 88, Maritime Link Act
2450
2450
2452
Vote - Affirmative
2453
PRIVATE & LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 90, Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission Act
Vote - Affirmative
2453
HOUSE RECESSED AT 12:28 P.M
2455
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 1:32 P.M
2455
ARRIVAL OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
2455
BILLS GIVEN ROYAL ASSENT:
Nos. 1, 5, 9, 11, 13, 17, 20, 22, 24, 30, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41, 52, 55
2456
Nos. 57, 59, 61, 65, 71, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88, 90
2457
No. 69
2458
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again at the call of the Speaker » :
2459
NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS:
No. 9, ERDT - Ships Start Here Campaign: Correspondence
- Copies Provide, Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
2460
No. 10, ERDT - Ships Start Here Campaign: Meeting Minutes/
Correspondence - Copies Provide, Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
2460
No. 11, Prem. - Ships Start Here Campaign: Intergovernmental Affairs
Correspondence - Copies Provide, Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
2460
No. 12, Prem. - Ships Start Here Campaign: Premier's Office
Correspondence - Copies Provide, Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
2461
No. 13, Communications N.S. - Ships Start Here Campaign Correspondence:
Deputy Prem. - Copies Provide, Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
2461
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1355, NDP Gov't. - Power Rate Transparency Legislation:
House Sitting - Extend, Mr. E. Orrell « »
2462
Res. 1356, Teachers Assoc. for Physical and Health Ed.:
Nat'l. Conference (2012) - Commend, Hon. R. Jennex »
2462
Res. 1357, Southwell, Rustum: Retirement - Congrats.,
2463
Res. 1358, Taste of East Preston - E. Preston United Baptist Church:
Hosting - Congrats., Hon. P. Paris « »
2463
Res. 1359, BIO: Research Contribution - Congrats.,
2464
Res. 1360, Turner, Chris: Film Production - CBC Funding,
2464
Res. 1361, Zwicker, Paige - TD Scholarship,
2465
Res. 1362, Guysborough Interdenominational Choir: Success
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau »
2465
Res. 1363, Sheet Hbr. Addiction Awareness Comm./ Duncan MacMillan HS:
Awareness - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
2466
Res. 1364, Canso Lions Club: Area Support - Congrats.,
2467
Res. 1365, House of Assembly - Spring 2012 Sitting:
Staff - Thank, Mr. M. Whynott »
2467
Res. 1366, House of Assembly: Pages - Thank,
2468
Res. 1367, Friends of the Yarmouth Light: Commitment - Thank,
2468
Res. 1368, Surette, Nelson - Par-en-Bas Arts Coun.: Recognition
2469
Res. 1369, Ripley, Bob - Commun. Commitment,
2470
Res. 1370, Gilbert, Ed - Parrsboro: Contributions - Thank,
2470
Res. 1371, NDP Gov't. - Rural N.S. Legislation:
House Sitting - Extend, Mr. A. MacMaster « »
2471
Res. 1372, NDP Gov't. - Lbr. Relations Legislation: House Sitting
- Extend, Hon. J. Baillie « »
2471
Res. 1373, NDP Gov't. - Private Child Care Legislation:
House Sitting - Extend, Mr. K. Bain « »
2472
Res. 1374, Haase, Martin "Rudy" - Birthday (90th),
2472
Res. 1375, Kinley, Lt.-Gov. John James: Death of - Tribute,
2473
Res. 1376, Wentzel, Lloyd & Muriel: Parkdale-Maplewood Commun. Museum
- Vol. Serv., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
2473
Res. 1377, Barry, Jennah: New Album - Congrats.,
2474
Res. 1378, NDP Gov't. - Muskrat Falls Proj. Legislation:
House Sitting - Extend, Mr. C. Porter « »
2475
Res. 1379, Mason, Kerri Lynn & Cameron/ Arsenault, Philip
- Duke of Edinburgh's Award, The Premier « »
2475
Res. 1380, Black, Graham & Carla/Lr. Main Market/Employees
- Vol. Award, Hon. J. Baillie « »
2476
Res. 1381, C.B.-Richmond/Inverness-Victoria Feds. of Agric.:
Gov't. (Can.) Prog. - Applaud, Mr. K. Bain « »
2476
Res. 1382, Beck, Hilary/Poole, Matthew:
Hfx. West Co-Presidents - Election, Ms. D. Whalen « »
2477
Res. 1383, Hallal, Ann - Commun. Champion Award (2012),
2477
Res. 1384, Flynn, Aislin - Debating/Public Speaking Awards,
2478
Res. 1385, Arthur, Adam - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2479
Res. 1386, Bentley, Robert - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2479
Res. 1387, Carroll, Paul - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2480
Res. 1388, Buckley, Christian - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2480
Res. 1389, Patenaude, Jonathan - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2481
Res. 1390, Raniowski, Shelley - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2481
Res. 1391, Gillis, Simon - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2482
Res. 1392, Chauvin, Max - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2482
Res. 1393, Burrell, Marie - Prov. Vol. Recognition,
2483

 

 

STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
61st GENERAL ASSEMBLY

(May 2, 2012)

 

Internal Affairs

Hon. Darrell Dexter (Chairman) Hon. Manning MacDonald
Hon. Frank Corbett Hon. Wayne Gaudet
Hon. Ross Landry Hon. Christopher d'Entremont
Becky Kent Hon. Jamie Baillie
Vicki Conrad

 

Law Amendments

Hon. Ross Landry (Chairman) Hon. Manning MacDonald
Howard Epstein Hon. Michel Samson
Leonard Preyra Hon. Christopher d'Entremont
Clarrie MarKinnon (Vice-Chairman) Keith Bain
Becky Kent

 

Private and Local Bills

Michele Raymond (Chairman) Hon. Keith Colwell
Clarrie MacKinnon Harold Theriault
Gary Burrill (Vice-Chairman) Alfie MacLeod
Gary Ramey Keith Bain
Brian Skabar

 

Public Accounts

Hon. Keith Colwell (Chairman) Mat Whynott
Howard Epstein (Vice-Chairman) Hon. Manning MacDonald
Clarrie MacKinnon Chuck Porter
Gary Ramey Allan MacMaster
Brian Skabar

 

Economic Development

Pam Birdsall (Chairman) Hon. Keith Colwell
Vicki Conrad Geoff MacLellan
Clarrie MacKinnon Chuck Porter
Brian Skabar (Vice-Chairman) Eddie Orrell
Lenore Zann

 

Human Resources

Mat Whynott (Chairman) Hon. Wayne Gaudet
Leonard Preyra Zach Churchill
Becky Kent (Vice-Chairman) Hon. Christopher d'Entremont
Maurice Smith Allan MacMaster
Brian Skabar

 

Community Services

Jim Morton (Chairman) Hon. Karen Casey
Gary Ramey (Vice-Chairman) Kelly Regan
Sidney Prest Keith Bain
Gary Burrill Eddie Orrell
Brian Skabar

 

Resources

Sidney Prest (Chairman) Leo Glavine
Howard Epstein Andrew Younger
Jim Boudreau (Vice-Chairman)
Gary Ramey Alfie MacLeod
Lenore Zann Chuck Porter

 

Veterans Affairs

Gary Burrill (Chairman) Hon. Wayne Gaudet
Michele Raymond Harold Theriault
Howard Epstein Alfie MacLeod
Jim Boudreau (Vice-Chairman) Chuck Porter
Lenore Zann

 

Assembly Matters

Hon. Gordie Gosse (Chairman) Gary Ramey
Hon. Frank Corbett Hon. Manning MacDonald
Clarrie MacKinnon Diana Whalen
Vicki Conrad Hon. Christopher d'Entremont
Mat Whynott Alfie McLeod

 

[Page 2403]

 

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012

Sixty-first General Assembly

Fourth Session

10:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Gordon Gosse

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Before we start the orders of the day, I just want to let everyone know that there has been a change and there is no late debate today.

We'll now commence with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to be able to rise today and present a petition, which the operative clause is:

"THEREFORE, your petitioners call upon the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to use its powers over the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) to deny any General Rate Application presented by NSPI requesting a rate increase in 2013, 2014 and 2015."

[Page 2404]

Madam Speaker, there are over 28,000 Nova Scotians on this on-line petition that I would like to table.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The member knows full well that Internet and on-line petitions are not accepted in the House under the Rules and Forms of Procedure. I will finish my calling on this.

It was debated as recently as yesterday, and our Speaker as well has ruled that out of order. All petitions must bear original signatures. I am aware that in fact there are some fictitious and inflammatory names that are not representative of real people, which would be an indication of one of the concerns around on-line petitions. There are other jurisdictions that do accept it but they have rules and procedures to address that. The Nova Scotia practice of not accepting Internet and on-line petitions mirrors that in Ottawa, where electronic petitions are not accepted. This is set out in O'Brien and Bosc at Page 1165. So that petition will not be tabled today.

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Madam Speaker, I rise today on a point of privilege. As a member of this House I believe my ability to represent Nova Scotians as Leader of this Party is being infringed upon by not being able to table an on-line petition. As a matter of fact, the member for Halifax Clayton Park has asked three successive Premiers in this province - Premier Hamm, Premier MacDonald, and now Premier Dexter - to modernize this House so that we reflect the modern society that we live in today here in the Province of Nova Scotia and allow all Nova Scotians to have access to their House of Assembly.

Madam Speaker, Premier Dexter has been in power now for three years, and a Committee of the House . . .

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

I've made my ruling. The member knows full well that that rule is not a procedure that we practise. That petition will not be tabled and there was no breach of privilege.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

[Page 2405]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1337

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas today, Thursday, May 17th, is World Hypertension Day; and

Whereas hypertension, or high blood pressure, damages blood vessels and significantly increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease; and

Whereas almost one-third of Nova Scotia adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure - a preventable, measureable, and controllable disease;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in acknowledging the importance of knowing your numbers on May 17th as World Hypertension Day and having your blood pressure checked regularly by a health care provider.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 1338

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

Whereas May 17th is recognized as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, an opportunity to speak out in support of respect for the human rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people; and

Whereas Nova Scotians value communities that practise respect for differences because of the diverse culture and heritage that we all share in this province; and

[Page 2406]

Whereas respect for human rights and the dignity of all people is a basic principle in our democratic society and ensures that all Nova Scotians, including LGBTI people, are able to contribute to the economic and social development of our province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize today, May 17th, as International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and indicate their support for fair and equitable treatment of LGBTI people in all aspects of life.

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

MADAM 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 93 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 246 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Labour Standards Code. (Mr. Allan MacMaster)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 1339

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madame la Présidente, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la resolution suivante:

Attendu que c'est avec beaucoup de tristesse que nous avons appris le décès hier soir de John Boudreau, préfet du comté de Richmond, mais également conseiller municipal du District Deux, Petit-de-Grat, depuis 2004; et

Attendu qu'il était le fils d'un pêcheur et un fier Acadien, qu'il a été un enseignant dévoué et un fervent sportif, mais avant tout, qu'il a été un leader stimulant quand, en 1985, lorsque la coopérative des pêcheurs de l'Isle Madame était sur le point de faire faillite et de peut-être fermer, il a pris un congé sans solde d'un an de son poste d'enseignant et il a entrepris de remettre l'organisation sur pied financièrement; et

[Page 2407]

Attendu que, à titre de pionnier du développement économique communautaire, John a mobilisé les chefs de file communautaires et maximisé le soutien financier pour sauver l'Isle Madame de la catastrophe économique avant l'effondrement de la pêche du poisson de fond, y compris en étant le président fondateur de Développement Isle Madame et en étant le vice-président fondateur de Telile, soit le poste de télévision communautaire de l'Isle Madame, qui, par ses efforts, est reconnu aujourd'hui à l'échelle nationale et internationale comme un exemple de résilience communautaire dans l'adversité, réalisation que la Province de la Nouvelle-Écosse a voulu souligner en décernant à John l'Ordre de la Nouvelle-Écosse lors de la cérémonie inaugurale le 2 octobre 2002;

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée se joignent à moi pour un moment de silence et pour exprimer nos plus sincères condoléances à son épouse, Viola, à ses enfants Michael et Michelle, et à ses petits-enfants qu'il aimait et admirait tellement, Nicholas et Aurelia, de même qu'aux autres conseillers municipaux, aux familles et aux nombreux amis dont la vie a été influencée par le leadership, l'amitié et la générosité du préfet John Boudreau.

Madame la Présidente, je demande l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat.

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

Whereas it is with great sadness that we learned of the passing last night of Richmond County Warden John Boudreau, who also served as municipal councillor for District 2, Petit-de-Grat, since 2004; and

Whereas the son of a fisherman and proud Acadian, John was a dedicated teacher and ardent sportsman but, most of all, he proved to be an inspiring leader when, in 1985, the Isle Madame Fishermen's Co-op faced bankruptcy and possible closure, he took a one-year leave of absence from his teaching job, without compensation, and turned it around financially; and

Whereas a pioneer in community economic development, John mobilized community leaders and maximized financial support to save Isle Madame from economic disaster prior to the collapse of the groundfish fishery, including being the founding chairman of Development Isle Madame, founding vice-chair of Telisle, the Isle Madame Community Television station for which today, through his efforts, Isle Madame is known nationally and internationally as an example of community resilience in adversity, which was recognized by the Province of Nova Scotia when John received the Order of Nova Scotia at the inaugural ceremony on October 2, 2002;

[Page 2408]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in a moment of silence and express our deepest sympathy to his wife, Viola, children Michael and Michelle, as well as grandchildren whom he loved and admired, Nicholas and Aurelia, along with fellow municipal councillors, family, and the many friends whose lives Warden John Boudreau touched with his leadership, friendship, and generosity.

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

MADAM 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.

We will now stand for a moment of silence.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Thank you.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 1340

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

Whereas Talbot House has provided men across this province with the treatment and support necessary to get back on their feet for over 50 years; and

Whereas the NDP Government's handling of the issues at Talbot House was reckless and illegal; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative Party did not stand by as the NDP embarked on a mission of character assassination against a well-respected man, but insisted that the government take responsibility for its actions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and restore funding to this vital resource, so young men across this province can once again receive the support and treatment they need.

[Page 2409]

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1341

HON. GRAHAM STEELE « » : Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Premier, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas physical activity is an important part of a child's life; and

Whereas Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a community-based fundraising program that provides kids a sporting chance, raising funds to help families in need with the cost of sport and recreational activities; and

Whereas since 2005 Canadian Tire Jumpstart has helped more than 400,000 children across Canada participate in organized physical activities, including more than 15,000 children in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature join me in recognizing May 26th as Jumpstart Day and congratulate Canadian Tire on its work in the community to help children participate in organized sports and recreation activities.

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

MADAM 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.

[Page 2410]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 1342

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas 22 years ago today the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases, an historic step towards considering freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity as a fundamental basic human right; and

Whereas today, May 17th, we celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia; and

Whereas flag-raising, conversations and organized discussions, including a rally to be held at Grand Parade this evening, will bring all Nova Scotians together in support of a prejudice-free province and world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature acknowledge today, May 17th, as International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and reaffirm our collective commitment as legislators to ending homophobia and transphobia in the workplace, in our schools, and in our communities across our province.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 1343

[Page 2411]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia; and

Whereas today is set aside to create awareness about the issues facing the gay and lesbian population and encourage understanding and appreciation around the world; and

Whereas today we are reminded of the many great achievements in combating homophobia but we must always remember that there is still more to accomplish;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the importance of today and show our gratitude to those who work to raise awareness and advocate for diversity and peace.

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

MADAM 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. 1344

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

Whereas the Provincial Science Fair was held on March 30, 2012, at École Beau-Port in Arichat, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Chantal Surette, a Grade 11 student at École secondaire de Clare won first place in Class 11 and 12 years for her project involving lunar energy; and

Whereas Chantal will represent Nova Scotia along with 40 students from the South Shore to Cape Breton at the 2012 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Charlottetown, P.E.I., a prestigious event that attracts over 450 of Canada's top students annually;

[Page 2412]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chantal Surrette for winning first place in her category at the Provincial Science Fair and wish her all the best at the upcoming 2012 Canada Wide Science Fair.

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

MADAM 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. 1345

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

Whereas ensuring the protection of children should be a priority of any government; and

Whereas the NDP Government's response to the threat to the safety of children at the East Preston Day Care Centre was callous and inadequate; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative Party did not stand by when the NDP failed to take appropriate action to address the risk to children but proposed legislation to make reporting any threat to children a requirement;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and not end the Spring session of the Legislature until it has passed adequate legislation to guarantee immediate action when children are at risk.

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

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

[Page 2413]

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 1346

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

Whereas Carol Hendry was a well-educated, self-reliant young woman, orphaned at a young age, who joined the Canadian Navy in 1942 and came to Nova Scotia the following year as a sub-lieutenant, rising to become a staff officer in charge of training; and

Whereas the young officer met and married local architect Allan Duffus and together they raised their family in Halifax and Bedford; and

Whereas Carol Duffus then immersed herself in her community where she was a chartered member of the United Church Women and was actively involved in the Junior League, the Atlantic Spinners and Handweavers, the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council, the Heritage Trust, the Fort Sackville Foundation and the Bedford Basin Yacht Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly send our condolences to the family of Carol Duffus on her passing recently, her daughters Sylvia, Rosalind and Heather, her son Graham, and their families, and recognize the remarkable woman who lived for so many years in our midst.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

[Page 2414]

RESOLUTION NO. 1347

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the NDP Government stood by while over 500 surgeries were cancelled and thousands of procedures were postponed in Capital Heath by the threat of a strike; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative caucus presented legislation that strikes the right balance between respecting collective bargaining, ensuring patient access to care and protecting taxpayers; and

Whereas Nova Scotia families expect and deserve to have the access to the health care they need when they need it and expect the Premier to protect important health services;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and not end the Spring session of the Legislature until it has passed adequate legislation to deal with the threat of strikes or lockouts creating chaos in our health care system.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 1348

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

Whereas Lynn Hemeon has committed countless hours to promoting Yarmouth music, locally and beyond; and

Whereas Lynn's continued on-line efforts through his Yarmouth Bands Web site, Facebook page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel have reached hundreds of thousands of people worldwide; and

[Page 2415]

Whereas Yarmouth's music scene and Yarmouth bands have benefited greatly from Lynn's active work;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Lynn Hemeon's commitment to Yarmouth music and promoting local talent and thank him for his many contributions to his community.

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

MADAM 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 North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1349

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas bullying and cyberbullying are growing problems that are endangering our children and causing anguish to too many Nova Scotian families; and

Whereas the NDP Government's response to bullying and cyberbullying doesn't go far enough or fast enough to provide relief to the many families who looked to the government for leadership on this crucial issue; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative Party did not stand by as the NDP slowly and inadequately reacted to bullying in our schools and on-line but proposed legislation to make bullying and cyberbullying an offence;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and not end the Spring session of the Legislature until it has passed adequate legislation to deal with bullying and cyberbullying.

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

[Page 2416]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 1350

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

Whereas on Thursday, May 10, 2012, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship sponsored a very special citizenship ceremony at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax; and

Whereas the event began with a roundtable discussion hosted by community leaders and volunteers, where there were both tears and laughter as each individual recounted the circumstances that led them to Canada and shared stories of their adjustment to our country; and

Whereas at the ceremony officiated by citizenship judge Linda Carvery, 18 people from eight countries took the oath of Canadian citizenship and were welcomed and congratulated by local officials Councillor Mary Wile and MLA Diana Whalen, as well as Gary Furlong, the CEO of the Canada Games Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Assembly congratulate the new Canadians sworn in at the Canada Games Centre on May 10, 2012, and recognize the volunteers of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and particularly Mr. P.J. Kapilan for adding further significance and meaning to the citizenship ceremony.

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

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Before I ask for waiver, I would ask the member to rephrase the Whereas with the proper name for the member.

MS. WHALEN « » : Yes, I'll do that.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Thank you.

MS. WHALEN « » : So in that where it says "congratulated by local officials Councillor Mary Wile and the MLA for Halifax Clayton Park."

[Page 2417]

MADAM 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 Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1351

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

Whereas the NDP Government continues to ignore concerns about Nova Scotia Power's profits and return on equity; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative caucus presented legislation to make sure Nova Scotia Power's profits cannot be raised during any settlement agreement but instead must be examined in a full hearing; and

Whereas Nova Scotia families expect and deserve to have a government that will stand up for their interests and their ability to afford electricity;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and not end the Spring sitting of the Legislature until it has passed adequate legislation to address concerns surrounding Nova Scotia Power's profits.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

[Page 2418]

RESOLUTION NO. 1352

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the NDP Government is standing by while power rates continue to outstrip families' ability to pay, and meanwhile Nova Scotia Power asks for another rate increase of 6 per cent; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative caucus presented five pieces of legislation in this Spring session to help deal with elements of skyrocketing power rates in this province; and

Whereas Nova Scotia families expect and deserve to have a government that stands up for their needs and their ability to pay for electricity, rather than one that stands with the power company;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and not end the Spring session of the Legislature until it has passed adequate legislation to deal with the skyrocketing cost of power rates.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The chatter is getting a little loud in the Chamber and it's difficult to hear. If I could ask the members just to keep it a little lower or take it outside the Chamber.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 1353

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

Whereas Maeghan Taverner of Bedford competed in Port Hawkesbury on April 28th in the Nova Scotia Provincial Highland Dance Championships and selection meet; and

[Page 2419]

Whereas Maeghan placed first runner-up in the 14- to 15-year-old age category; and

Whereas Maeghan will be one of 18 Nova Scotia dancers to represent the province at the Interprovincial Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, this July;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Maeghan Taverner on her selection as a dancer representing Nova Scotia and wish her well in all her future competitions.

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

MADAM 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. 1354

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

Whereas Ernest and Dorothy Hatfield have been long-time supporters of every level of Yarmouth sports, starting with the support and encouragement of their own children, with Dorothy often being the only mother present at her son's hockey practices in the cold rink during the wee hours of the morning; and

Whereas Ernest and Dorothy Hatfield are now steadfast cheerleaders for their grandchildren, as well as many other youth in the community, as they are known for attending practically every sporting event happening in town; and

Whereas the same two seats at Yarmouth Mariners Centre that Ernest and Dorothy Hatfield - or Ernie and Dort, as everybody knows them - have always sat in have been inscribed with the word "Superfans" in recognition of the Hatfields' whole-hearted and passionate support of all levels of sports in Yarmouth;

[Page 2420]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize "Superfans" Ernest and Dorothy Hatfield for their unwavering support of Yarmouth sports, and thank them for their contagious enthusiasm and dedication to sports in Yarmouth.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The time is 10:37 a.m. and we will proceed with Question Period until 11:37 a.m.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

PREM. - DART. IMPERIAL OIL REFINERY: HRM TAX BREAK - BASIS

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Madam Speaker, two months ago the Premier said he was forcing HRM to give big oil a tax break to keep the Dartmouth Imperial refinery open. Now we know the refinery may close, may become a terminal, may even be purchased and shipped overseas, like the Ultramar refinery before it.

Madam Speaker, the Premier was quite convinced that he was riding in to save the refinery as the white knight on a bright, shiny horse, but the Premier seems to have been blinded by his own propaganda.

Madam Speaker, will the Premier explain, what was the basis that he had for forcing HRM to give the refinery a tax break that would keep it open and gas prices low - both things he claimed two months ago would happen when he ordered the tax reduction?

HON. DARRELL DEXTER « » : Madam Speaker, I claimed neither of those things but what I can tell the member opposite is simply, if he thinks doubling the tax rate on the refinery would have been an incentive for them to stay, well he's welcome to that strategy.

[Page 2421]

MR. YOUNGER « » : Well, Madam Speaker, the Premier didn't seem to have any concern about that on May 10, 2004, when the Premier said, "What about the fact that this is going to mean a new regime imposed upon the municipality?" The recorded vote that followed had almost every single sitting member of the current NDP Government, who were the ones in Opposition at the time, vote against giving Imperial Oil a tax break - and I will table that - including the Premier.

Madam Speaker, just as the Premier got few, if any, guarantees with the Bowater deal to stay open, the Premier put no conditions on the corporate giveaway he gave to Imperial Oil either. This is typical of the NDP: handing taxpayers' money to big corporations like it is going out of style, with no commitment tied to the credit.

Madam Speaker, before handing Imperial Oil another tax break, paid for, incidentally, by another level of government, why didn't the Premier require a commitment to the refinery to stay open as a going concern and why didn't he demand to be upgraded to meet the new opportunities they now can't meet?

THE PREMIER « » : Well, Madam Speaker, of course that has no relationship or bearing to reality whatsoever but that's not unusual for the member for Dartmouth East. He should remember that Imperial Oil has an almost 100-year history in the community of Dartmouth. It has been deeply ingrained in the economic fabric of that community. For him to attack the workers who work at that refinery, to attack an economic asset for our region, I think is shameful. To suggest the continuation - not one cent of taxpayers' money went to that refinery. What happened was there was a continuation of a piece of legislation that was already in place that prevented the taxation on that refinery, which is already the highest east of Manitoba, from going even higher.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Madam Speaker, there are a couple of issues with what the Premier had to say. First of all, his own government's information shows it is nowhere close to the highest property taxes for refineries of its size in Canada. Secondly, if the Premier thought it was so important, he should have done as he said in 2004 and provided the tax break out of revenues of the province and not force another level of government to pass that on. Thirdly, the Premier voted against the legislation and said it was wrong when he was in Opposition. Now he's doing the complete opposite thing.

"The Premier had a choice. On April 13th Larry Hughes said, and I will table this, "The tax concessions for the refinery have been presented by Premier Dexter as a way to both ensure employment at the refinery and keep gasoline prices low since it is produced in the province . . . By focusing on these two objectives, the premier will ultimately succeed in doing neither."

[Page 2422]

That was April 13th, a little over a month ago, and it appears Mr. Hughes was right. When will the Premier realize he has to stop handing out big cheques to corporations without guarantees for Nova Scotians? When will he stop putting corporate shareholders first instead of Nova Scotia workers?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, that question goes from inane to bizarre. Exactly what we were doing was putting the workers at that refinery, their livelihoods and their families first. Furthermore, if he actually read what I said at the time, I did not say what he alleges I said. In fact, I said this was a complex issue, that there were many sides to be considered. That's what I said at the time. I can tell you this, I don't know what construction other people put on what it is that I had to say, but I do know that driving that refinery out of this province is not in the best interests of the people of Dartmouth that he's supposed to represent and it is not in the best interest of Nova Scotia.

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

PREM. - IMPERIAL OIL REFINERY: CLOSURE REASONS

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Madam Speaker, today we learned that the Imperial Oil refinery in Dartmouth is being put up for sale after more than 90 years in operation in our province. Sadly, that means that the jobs of 200 employees and another 200 contract employees are now at risk. This announcement comes just two months after the Premier gave that refinery a $3.6 million tax break but left in place the highest corporate taxes in all of Canada and the highest HST in all of Canada, which of course applies to retail gasoline. My question to the Premier is, why is Imperial Oil so anxious to leave Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, I do have to say I find that question to be just dripping with irony considering that the member, the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, at the time of the initial legislation that came forward with respect to that refinery was the chief of staff to the Premier at that point in time. They chose that particular manner of supporting the refinery. They put that legislation in place. They went out of their way to convince the Opposition that it was the best possible way to keep the refinery in Dartmouth. I find it is extraordinarily profound and ironic that the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party should ask that particular question.

We work with all of our partners in the business community to try to ensure that we have a strong economy in the province. We're going to continue to do that. I did meet with the president of Imperial Oil for the purposes of understanding their decision, but more than that, also understanding what the way forward was for that refinery and the people who work there.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Madam Speaker, the Premier's memory is pretty sketchy of that time. Let me remind him that at that time the HST was 13 per cent, the corporate tax rate was in the middle of the pack for the country, not at the top of the scale, that in exchange for that break the refinery made hundreds of millions of dollars in further investments and continued to operate for a decade afterward, not just two months. There's a pretty big difference between the history lesson the Premier just gave us and reality.

[Page 2423]

Here's another contrast, Irving Oil has a refinery in Saint John that is doing just fine and you know why? Because the Government of New Brunswick is working very hard to secure the future of that refinery by working with the owners of the Irving Refinery in Saint John to bring in new sources of crude, cheaper sources of crude from western Canada that are dozens of dollars less than the crude oil that supplies the refinery here. That is one of the reasons that we could, if we had a Premier as active as the Premier of New Brunswick, have both cheaper gasoline and a long-term, secure refinery in Dartmouth. My question to the Premier is, why isn't he fighting for jobs and cheaper gas here in Nova Scotia like they are in New Brunswick?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, you want to talk about sketchy memory, somebody who thinks that the HST was at 13 per cent back in those days - man, I'm telling you, that's a sketchy memory. In fact, the HST was at 15 per cent at that time so I just point that out if we're talking about a sketchy memory.

More importantly, I have been following the debate that's going on with respect to the pipeline. What I can say is that, of course, there is no proposition for any kind of a pipeline. There is no question that has been articulated with respect to, for example, who would bear the costs of that kind of project, what effect it would have on consumers, none of that has been determined. Of course, we follow all those debates in case they might in some way affect us down the road, but if it did it would be down the road and would be a long way down the road.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Madam Speaker, all Nova Scotians know that the provincial rate of retail sales tax 10 years ago was 8 per cent and it is now 10 per cent under this government; just to set the record straight it is up 2 per cent. The Premier of New Brunswick, past Premiers of New Brunswick, the business community of New Brunswick, none of them are waiting for someone else to tell them what to do like the Premier of Nova Scotia is. They are out actively working to secure the long-term health of that refinery in Saint John and all those jobs in a way that will actually deliver cheaper gasoline to the market in Saint John as a result. They're not waiting for someone else to do all of their homework for them, they're out and hustling now while our Premier sits back, idly by, handing out a tax break here and there, doing a bailout here and there and hoping for the best.

They have a refinery and their refinery is going to be there in the long run; they may well have cheaper gas, because they're actively working to make that happen while our Premier sits back and does nothing. My question to the Premier is, why is our Premier getting out-hustled by the Premier of New Brunswick when it comes to refineries and cheaper gas for Nova Scotians?

[Page 2424]

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, well, quite the opposite. We have been working with the refinery to ensure that they're in the best possible position. The position that's taken by Imperial Oil does not have to do with taxation, it has to do with the fact that it no longer fits into its global distribution chain. This is something that has been on the horizon, unfortunately, for some period of time, so that's the answer to the question.

I just go back to what the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party said. I think even he would have to admit that the HST rate at that time was 15 per cent.

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

PREM. - NSP: RATE HEARINGS - ATTEND

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Madam Speaker, Nova Scotians have had enough when it comes to the increase in their power bills. I want to read from a document that I have with me today which really sums up the feelings of, I think, all Nova Scotians. In the document it says, "We are adamantly against any increase in the existing residential rate structure for Nova Scotia Power Incorporated (NSPI) and that we feel with the huge net profits collected by NSPI under existing rates, and with the protection of the Fuel Adjustment Mechanism that NSPI currently enjoys, any increase to current residential rates is pure greed and usury on the part of NSPI and its shareholders."

Madam Speaker, I'll table that document. I want to ask the Premier, would the Premier share those views with Nova Scotians when it comes to the increase in power rates and show up at the URB and oppose any rate increase to Nova Scotia Power?

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I need to confer with the Clerk for a moment, please.

The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, what I would say and what I would agree with - I think any increase that affects the people and their pocketbooks is not something we would like to see but there is a process before the Utility and Review Board. They will review it and the Nova Scotia Government will be there at the Utility and Review Board hearing to examine the filings to ensure that any request treats everyone fairly. That is the process that was put in place by the Liberal Party when they were in government. (Interruption) Well, it has been a long time ago thankfully.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Madam Speaker, the Premier didn't mind increasing 1,400 user fees for all Nova Scotians. He didn't mind increasing the HST by 2 per cent. Now he thinks it's okay for Nova Scotia Power to continue to raise their rates.

[Page 2425]

Madam Speaker, Nova Scotians are finding the pressures of this government, the cost of living that has increased under this government, too much to bear. What they're asking for from this Premier and this government is to stand up for Nova Scotia ratepayers against Nova Scotia Power shareholders. Tens of thousands of Nova Scotians are responding in a positive way to support this government to go down to the URB and say enough is enough, Nova Scotia Power has taken enough money out of the pockets of Nova Scotians and it must stop now.

Madam Speaker, my question for the Premier is, will he stand up with those Nova Scotians and oppose any rate increase?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, we stand up every day for the people of Nova Scotia. That's why we took the HST off home electricity. It is why more than $100 million was returned to consumers through conservation efforts. It is why the HARP program was put in place to assist people in our province. There is now a myriad of programs that we have put in place, including increases in rates for the poorest of our citizens. This is what the record of this government is, unlike the record of the Opposition Parties who voted against those measures.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Madam Speaker, we've had seven rate increases over the last 11 years - a 36 per cent increase under the previous Progressive Conservative Government and now we have almost a 20 per cent increase under this NDP Government. On top of that, the HST has been increased under this government, 1,400 user fees have been increased, but what's even worse is that this Premier went and added a tax to every electricity bill in the Province of Nova Scotia. To quote the present Finance Minister, a fee is just another name for a tax. It is the NDP electricity tax.

So my final question for the Premier is, will the Premier do the right thing and stop charging Nova Scotia ratepayers and ask Nova Scotia Power shareholders to pay that fee?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, we took the HST off electricity. There is not one cent of provincial tax on electricity bills for Nova Scotians as a result of the efforts of this government - something that the Leader of the Official Opposition voted against, something that the Leader of the Official Opposition campaigned against. Now he complains about things like the HST and yet he votes against the very bill that will put it into law and he refuses to say what he would do.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on his next question.

PREM.: GAS REGULATION STUDY - TENDERING PROCESS

[Page 2426]

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Yesterday afternoon, Madam Speaker, the NDP Government released an executive study that was designed to tell Nova Scotians that gas regulation was working. This was a $40,000 report that went untendered and was instead handed out to a failed NDP candidate from St. John, New Brunswick, a long-time public defender of gas regulation. So my question to the Premier is, could the Premier explain to this House and tell all Nova Scotians why a $40,000 untendered contract went to a failed NDP candidate to produce an intentionally-biased report on gas regulation?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, if there's any indication of bias in this House, it is, of course, on behalf of those who would like to try and tell Nova Scotians that gas regulation is bringing them higher prices.

The study was done by a respected economist from the University of New Brunswick who has a Ph.D. in economics, of course, who has examined the market in Nova Scotia in the past, Madam Speaker. I want to table the previous opinion of the Leader of the Official Opposition when he says that it is deregulation, that it is scrapping regulation that will benefit Nova Scotians.

Of course, Madam Speaker, a study that shows that $8 million was returned to gasoline consumers and that we have the lowest diesel prices in the country is an inconvenient fact for the Leader of the Official Opposition.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Madam Speaker, the Premier's idea - this report the Premier has was conceived in late February and written within a period of 30 days. The NDP gave $40,000 to a known supporter of gas regulation, who just happened to be a failed NDP candidate. As a matter of fact, I think the best job in town is being a failed NDP candidate.

In fact, Madam Speaker, Dr. Hill previously published a paper defending gas (Interruptions) I think some of them want to jump ship, now that they see the amount of money that's being handed out to failed candidates. In fact, Dr. Hill had previously published a paper defending gas regulation in Nova Scotia, reaching very similar conclusions but in 2009 it was for the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives.

My question to the Premier is, wouldn't this $40,000 have been better spent in the classroom for students or on mental health initiatives, instead of asking this professor to redo a report he did just a few years ago?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, Professor Hill looked in great detail and did a great deal of analysis into the gasoline market in Nova Scotia - not just gasoline but petroleum products, including diesel. One of the conclusions he came to with respect to, for example, the diesel market, was that we had the lowest diesel prices in the country. He said in his report about the effectiveness of regulation, you just can't do better than that.

MR. MCNEIL « » : I think you can, Madam Speaker. The Premier could scrap gas regulation and put $10 million back in the pockets of Nova Scotians.

[Page 2427]

The Premier went on to spend this $40,000 for this failed NDP candidate for essentially the same report that Dr. Hill authored in 2009. Madam Speaker, it wouldn't surprise many members of this House if Dr. Hill just cut and pasted from his report of 2009 to the present day. It's a rather interesting idea that we need to spend $40,000 to a failed NDP candidate in New Brunswick. Was there no Nova Scotian who they could have hired to provide a review? Or is the fact of the matter that there is no Nova Scotian who would give the Premier the answer he was looking for? That would be the case. Is it not good enough to have to go out and ask a Nova Scotian who has to live under this failed public policy that the Premier continues to hang onto?

Madam Speaker, would the Premier tell this House why he sent out an untendered contract to a New Brunswicker and ignored all Nova Scotians who could have delivered to him the right answer?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, I point out to the Leader of the Official Opposition that there is gas regulation in Prince Edward Island, under a Liberal Government. There is gas regulation in New Brunswick, under a Progressive Conservative Government and the Liberals have no problem when we appoint prominent Liberals to take on projects on behalf of the government of Nova Scotia. They have no problem with that.

Madam Speaker, they only have a problem when a respected economist from the University of New Brunswick happened to participate in the democratic process. That's the only time they have a problem. The simple fact of the matter (Interruption)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order. Order, please. The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER « » : The simple fact of the matter, Madam Speaker, is simply this: gas regulation put $8 million back into the pockets of ordinary Nova Scotians. The Leader of the Official Opposition would like to have big oil companies setting the prices and looking after consumers in our province.

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

PREM. - NSP RATE INCREASES:

PREM./GOV'T. - AWARENESS TIME FRAME

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Madam Speaker, yesterday in this House the Premier failed to answer a simple question about when he first became aware that our power rates were going to go by 6 per cent over the next two years. Now that he's had some time to think about it, I will ask the Premier again. When did he and his government or anyone on his staff first become aware - what date, when - that the power company wanted to raise our power rates by 6 per cent?

[Page 2428]

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, we, of course, became aware that a filing was going ahead when the filing took place. My understanding is that Nova Scotia Power contacts all the Parties in the Legislature, gives them an update on what their plans are with respect to rate filings. My understanding is that they would have done that with the Progressive Conservative Party and with the Liberal Party. They do the same with us.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Madam Speaker, the fact of the matter is that Nova Scotia Power is now planning multiple years of power increases, not wanting to come back and ask again until after the next election, an awfully convenient way of going about business for the first time ever. I just want to be clear, I just want to confirm, that no one in the government, in the Premier's Office, in the Department of Energy - staff or otherwise - had any discussions with Nova Scotia Power prior to their filing about their interest in having a multi-year increase in our power rates.

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, the answer to his question is no. He's quite right that the filings of Nova Scotia Power, of course, belong to them. I can say this, one of the reasons why Nova Scotians find themselves in this position today is because of the history of privatization that took place in the province.

I pointed out yesterday that in the days gone by, the way that the Progressive Conservative Party acted was they appointed a former president of the Progressive Conservative Party as the president of Nova Scotia Power, then they privatized the utility. Then when the president of Nova Scotia Power - previously the president of the Progressive Conservative Party - was asked whether or not they did a study or whether or not they had any reason to believe that lower prices would be delivered to the people of Nova Scotia, he said, I didn't do a study, I'm not going to do a study and this is based on a philosophical feeling that we have.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Madam Speaker, as much as we all were entertained by the history lesson, let me just point out that he is the Premier now. He is the one who can stand up for Nova Scotians. He is the one who can say no to power rate increases if he wants to and yet that is not what the Premier is doing.

Since the Premier has been kind enough today to do what he did not do yesterday and confirm that they weren't working with the power company on this rate increase, I will ask the Premier to do one thing for us before the House rises. We have asked, by way of FOIPOP, over and over again, for the Premier's Office to provide details of any correspondence, e-mails or otherwise, between his office and the power company in the lead up to this rate increase. Will he commit right now to providing that information for all Nova Scotians to see?

THE PREMIER « » : Madam Speaker, if he's filed that FOIPOP request, it's my understanding that he had received everything he has requested under the Freedom of Information request. I know it's disturbing to him that there's nothing to support the theory that he has about this, but the the simple fact of the matter is - as it is with the economy, as it is with the deficit of the province - that even with respect to electricity, we are left to clean up the mess made by those two Parties.

[Page 2429]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Glace Bay.

ERDT: POWER RATES - MIN. ACTION

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Madam Speaker, the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism has been asked on multiple occasions why he does not take skyrocketing power rates in this province seriously for our businesses and for our economy. This is one of the top concerns for every single business in the province. Certainly when I talk and when I listen to businesses, they tell me they are being squeezed by high power rates and it is affecting their bottom line, their profits, and their ability to keep people employed.

Each time I ask the minister, he doesn't answer the question, so Madam Speaker, I'll put it simply and straightforwardly for the minister, why is the minister failing to take action on one of the largest concerns for business in Nova Scotia, high power rates?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Madam Speaker, I'm going to punt that question over to the Minister of Energy.

HON. CHARLIE PARKER » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. I certainly know that we're all concerned about power rates here in our province, from our most vulnerable citizens right up to small business and large industry. Trying to find the happy medium that allows a rate that is workable for large industry is what the URB is tasked to do. They are looking to the consumer advocate, to the small business advocate, and through interveners such as political Parties to find what is fair and just for all Nova Scotians, including large industry.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Madam Speaker, again, this is about economic development and tourism and the growth of our economy in this province. While I understand that power rates are a factor in the Minister of Energy's portfolio, this affects businesses, it affects entrepreneurs, and it affects our growth, so I would suspect that the minister would know a little bit about an input cost that is so important to small businesses in this province.

Nova Scotians are paying among the highest power rates in the entire country, and they are obviously continuing to rise. This is very bad for our economy, Madam Speaker. However, every time the minister is asked, he shrugs it off and dismisses it. I truly think that he doesn't understand the impact this is having on our economy, so my question is, why can't the minister understand and explain that skyrocketing power rates are hurting the economy, and why won't he stand up and do something - take action against Nova Scotia Power?

[Page 2430]

MR. PARIS « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. In the three years that I've been minister, I've been more than happy to stand up and respond to questions that are relevant to me.

I will say through you, Madam Speaker, to the member opposite - he says he's been trying to get things through to me. I've been trying all session to get some things through to him. I've made the offer to the member opposite to come and learn about Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, to come and learn about the jobsHere strategy. Come and learn.

I reiterate, Madam Speaker, that one of the most important things that companies look at when they want to invest in Nova Scotia is our most important asset, our human resource asset. There are many factors that determine whether or not a company will do business in Nova Scotia, and yes, electricity is one of them, but the most important are the people.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Madam Speaker, the minister, as usual, doesn't answer the question about power rates, but he talks about education. It's very difficult to talk to this minister about education when it's his government that has cut the guts out of public education in this province.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : I'd ask the member to retract the word "guts," as it's unparliamentary, and to rephrase his question.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : My apologies, Madam Speaker. What I meant to say was, cut the heart and soul out of the public education system.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. (Interruptions) Again, I would ask the member to retract the word, retract it and then rephrase your question.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : I will retract that statement.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Thank you.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : What I meant to say was, cut the heart and soul out of public education.

Madam Speaker, the minister does offer so I will respond to him, I'm glad he gave me the opportunity to respond. I will meet with that minister anytime. We can do it in the Red Room now if he would like but, minister, I just want to make it clear that it's just him and me - not the department, not the deputy minister. I don't want to watch PowerPoint slides. I want to hear what that minister knows because he's failing his 0.3 per cent growth. He's failing this province in economic development and I want to hear what he has to say about it.

[Page 2431]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : I'm not sure that there was actually a question in there. You've made a statement but perhaps you could ask a question, a short one. You've had enough? A quick question.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : My question is to the minister, if he wants to meet, will he meet with me one on one to discuss these issues without statistics and PowerPoint presentations?

MR. PARIS « » : Madam Speaker, the last time I heard a challenge like that, I think I was in Grade 9. (Interruptions)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

I recognize the honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

MR. PARIS « » : I want to say, Madam Speaker, it was this government that put the heart and soul back in education. It was this government that put the heart and soul back into economic and rural development and tourism for the Province of Nova Scotia.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Argyle.

JUSTICE - TAAVEL DEATH: REVIEW - RELEASE DATE

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice. It has now been a month since the tragic death of Raymond Taavel. It sent shock waves through the province. As people mourned for a remarkable man, Nova Scotians wondered just how it was that our system let him down. The NDP were very quick to deflect the difficult questions. They came out the very next day and the Minister of Justice said:

"We announced today that we will be doing a review and having a review. I'm in partnership with the Minister of Health and Wellness, and we are going to have a statement back by 30 days from now to talk about were the policies and procedures followed, and at that point to determine if they were adequate and in what direction we need to go."

I'll table that, of course. So on what date did the minister suspect that such a review might not happen as promised?

HON. ROSS LANDRY » : Madam Speaker, I want to first start off by giving my condolences to the family and friends of Raymond Taavel and today is a very special day, looking at the ceremony that's going to be carried on this evening. In regards to the question that the honourable member presents, I very clearly recall the fact that we took a position that we would gather information and we would look at the best course of action to take to address this very complex issue that has many different levels of concern within society and that we have to progress in a very positive, structural manner in order to deal with the complexities.

[Page 2432]

So the bottom line of where we're at here today is that the Minister of Health and Wellness has made an announcement today, has very clearly articulated the direction in which we're going to go, and I fully support the position that she took this morning.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, I will go to the Minister of Health and Wellness for the next set of questions. The 30-day review promise conveniently allowed both the Ministers of Justice, and Health and Wellness to deflect the questions for the balance of the session, until the last day when of course Imperial Oil dropped the bombshell. All along the minister has left the impression that we would have a review but it turns out that only today are the NDP, in fact, promising a review. I think we've heard promising reviews before.

So my question, again, is on what date did the Minister of Health and Wellness first suspect that the review promise for 30 days hence could not be done by the province, that no review would be ready at all within 30 days, and why did she not do something to tell us about it?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Madam Speaker, at no time did we indicate that a 30-day review would be complete within 30 days. What we said was that there would be a review and we would report within 30 days on the progress made toward doing that review. That's precisely what we've done. The Capital District Health Authority and the Departments of Health and Justice have each secured two experts from outside of the Province of Nova Scotia. The terms of reference have been established, all of the information about the expertise, the background of the people who will be conducting the review is on-line for people to see and we will have the results of that review, which will be available to the public, later this summer.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, I think we in the Opposition and I think Nova Scotians took it for granted that 30 days meant in 30 days we would find out what things transpired that resulted in the death of a much-loved activist in Nova Scotia. We find today that apparently it was more of an empty promise that we would have any answers within 30 days, a promise not kept and then a new promise that repeats the old promise - that sounds like the HST all over again.

People are getting tired of getting meaningless promises from that side of the House. My question is, why can't the NDP ever learn that before you make a promise, you have to make sure you can actually deliver or people will see you as lacking in basic credibility to govern?

[Page 2433]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Madam Speaker, after being Minister of Health and Wellness for three years following on the occupant of that office being that member, I don't think that member wants to stand up here and talk about comparing accomplishments. I can tell you when that member occupied the Minister of Health's office, nothing was done on emergency rooms, nothing was done on mental health, nothing was done to improve drug coverage for seniors, nothing was done on ambulance fees. I don't need to take any lessons from that member on keeping commitments in the Department of Health and Wellness. (Applause)

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

PSC - JOBS: RELOCATION - UPDATE

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Madam Speaker, at a breakfast this morning at the Chamber of Commerce in Berwick, the mayor of Kentville asked the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism why this government is taking jobs from one rural area and moving them to another. The minister proudly stated that more information would be coming from the Premier.

My question is to the Deputy Premier. To what was the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism referring this morning and is there anything new to report to employees who are in the dark about their relocation?

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, as we said when we initiated the rollout of jobs throughout the province, we would be looking throughout all of government to make sure we can utilize jobs right across this province. That's what we're intending to do and that's what we'll continue to do.

MS. REGAN « » : Madam Speaker, on April 30th, the government announced it would relocate the Maintenance Enforcement Program to New Waterford. For many this move means finding a new job for a spouse, transferring kids to a new school, starting a new life. For some it means moving from one rural community to another. But maintenance enforcement employees recently received a letter telling them they would have to decide by June 30th if they were going to relocate or take a chance they would be transferred into another local position. The problem is they don't know when they have to go. They have no moving date.

Given that employees have been given a deadline to decide whether they're going to move, will the Minister of Justice please tell members of this House when, exactly, will the program be relocated and employees expected move?

[Page 2434]

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Madam Speaker, I'll pass that question back to the honourable Deputy Premier.

MR. CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, as stated in the question, there is a deadline of June 20th for the people who are incumbent to those jobs to say what their wishes are and then, as in most locations or in all these instances, there will be a rollout, and first and foremost those affected employees will be involved all the way through the process. That's the way it works, that's the way the collective agreement works and that's the way we will operate.

MS. REGAN « » : Madam Speaker, employees in Maintenance Enforcement are already overworked. The office in Kentville alone sees 3,000 cases, and that's for five enforcement officers and two assistants. Across Nova Scotia maintenance enforcement officers are responsible for collecting the nearly $81 million in arrears payments that are owed to families. This program is already seriously under-resourced and now we learn that on top of managing these caseloads, maintenance enforcement officers are being asked to make major life decisions with no information. If the Minister of Justice, if the Deputy Premier cannot tell members of this House the exact date of the program move, how can they expect employees to make a decision about whether they're willing to relocate?

MR. CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, first let me tell you that this is what has been done in seven other provinces in the country. We said that we were going to centralize that program and we will - unlike past governments - respect employees' wishes. We will not fire employees and we will not throw them aside as we've seen in the previous Liberal Governments. What we will do is we'll work with our employees to make sure that they have the best options in front of them. Thank you.

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

COM. SERV. - TALBOT HOUSE BD./MIN.: MEETING - DETAILS

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Madam Speaker, last week the Minister of Community Services told this House that she had offered to meet with the board of Talbot House and at that meeting a decision would be made regarding the future of Talbot House. My question through you to the Minister of Community Services is, can the minister tell the House the date on which that meeting will be held?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Madam Speaker, I want to also clarify, I said that we would meet with the Talbot House board of directors, we have been working on that. As the member opposite realizes, when you're in the House it's very difficult to find time to go to Cape Breton. The commitment has been made. Also at that time we said that we would sit down and talk to the board about the review and what took place, if they had any questions with regard to that review process. Once again, they try to just twist the facts to their benefit continually. We have given them all the information that they need to know. Thank you.

[Page 2435]

MR. BAIN « » : Madam Speaker, it's our understanding that the board is feeling frustrated with this minister's department. They are finding it difficult to pin the minister down. As a matter of fact, there were a couple of dates sent by the minister to the board of Talbot House that she eventually said she could not meet. Why did she send them in the first place? It's also our understanding that as late as last Tuesday evening, the Cape Breton Regional Municipal Council unanimously agreed to send the minister a letter asking that she immediately meet with the board of Talbot House. People in this province have gone over two months without the vital services that are provided at Talbot House, enough is enough. My question through you to the minister is, will the minister commit to meeting with the board of directors of Talbot House next week?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Madam Speaker, if the member wants to talk to his political ally on the board of directors to get more clarified information, the fact was that the meeting time they were looking at was a Friday morning, at 7:30 a.m., and because of the flights to Cape Breton and the House sitting the night before, we wrote back and said we would not be able to do that. I think that's very reasonable.

Once again, I want to clarify to all Nova Scotians that the Department of Community Services did not shut Talbot House. It was a decision of the board of directors of Talbot House. You can reference back to February 16th, the press release that they sent out to all Nova Scotians. It says exactly in that press release that it was their decision to close the house. Thank you.

MR. BAIN « » : Madam Speaker, the minister's department has produced a perfect storm at Talbot House. It has produced a report that the board deemed inaccurate and biased, it publicly smeared the well-respected executive director, and it pulled funding. It's time for the minister to right her wrongs.

My question through you to the minister is, does the minister yet understand the detrimental effects her decisions have had and will she finally, at the end of this session, admit her mistakes and commit to meeting with the board with the goal of reopening Talbot House next week?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Madam Speaker, one of the things I'm wondering in all of this is whether or not the e-mail that was inadvertently sent to my staff from a board member - who was identifying that they needed to take a different strategy because the media wasn't covering the issue the way they felt or the community was not putting their pressure on it. So let's ask the Party on the other side about the political motivation that's going on here. (Interruptions) Listen to them scream. They don't like the answer, because they cannot handle the truth.

[Page 2436]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Richmond.

TIR - LOUISDALE RDS.: UPGRADES - TIME FRAME

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, roads continue to be a major concern for the residents of Richmond County. Allow me to start on a positive note by saying we're very pleased that the minister and his staff have approved tenders to have the repaving of the road from Dundee to St. George's Channel, where the beautiful Dundee Resort and Golf Club is located, the road in Whiteside, along with the continued multi-year plan to pave Route 4 to Sydney, between the community of Johnstown to Chapel Island.

There are many more communities in Richmond County that are asking when their roads will be addressed. Madam Speaker, in the community of Louisdale that recently, in the last number of years, has installed new sidewalks, the main road is now in deplorable shape. It obviously needs to be repaved, along with some of the side roads, Silveroak Drive and Duncan Road and Harbourview Crescent. The minister will recall that I tabled a petition in this House earlier this session on behalf of those residents. So on behalf of the residents in those communities, I would ask, could the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal advise as to when they can expect to see upgrading to their roads?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS » : I thank the young member for Richmond for a question. It's good to see that we're going to be talking on an important topic that I know you conscientiously have brought to my attention. I want to thank that member and the members opposite.

The particular concern, of course, is always brought to my attention when the local area supervisors and managers have the same priorities as the members on either side of the House. That shows that everyone is doing their homework. I am aware of some of those roads. I give you the commitment, as I've done in the past, that when I have the next opportunity to get my invitation to New Waterford, I'll make a particular time that you can take me on one of your infamous tours of the area.

Again, I want to congratulate the member opposite and other members too. I know this agenda is crowded when we come into the Legislature. I know that on many occasions there are other topics that take precedence, but I am also very well aware that in rural Nova Scotia roads are a top priority.

MR. SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, the minister will recall that I also raised in this House the road in Cape Auget, where the Clearwater live lobster holding facility - in fact, the largest live lobster holding facility in the world - is located. This road has deteriorated as well, and it has become a safety hazard for both the employees of that facility and local residents. As well, the main road in Petit-de-Grat, what's commonly known as the stretch to Boudreauville, is in terrible shape. This is the road that accesses the local community cultural centre, La Picasse; the local ball field; the credit union; and the Catholic church. I would again ask the minister, could he advise as to when the residents in Cape Auget and along Petit-de-Grat can expect to see action on their roads?

[Page 2437]

MR. ESTABROOKS « » : Madam Speaker, that sort of local input is important to this minister, because to be very candid with the member opposite, I have never heard of the stretch to Boudreauville. I will assure you that when the time comes, we will have the opportunity to see that particular stretch of that road. I want to bring it forth again, because I know there are members opposite who have a working relationship with me, myself, as a minister - it's important that I continue to hear from you with local priorities, but I urge you, in turn, to make sure that your priorities are on the same page as local staff.

MR. SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, the lower road in River Bourgeois, along with South Side River Bourgeois, is in need of repair, along with Grand Gully Road, which the minister knows I've brought to his attention due to repeated flooding which has taken place along that gravel road, as well as the residents in Loch Lomond, which has gravel roads, but they are certainly looking for upgrades to their roads. The minister will recall last year when he visited Little Harbour Road in L'Ardoise, where the main wharf is located which is the economic engine of that community, which is a gravel road in desperate need of upgrades in light of the heavy traffic that continues to travel on that road. That road needs to be seen as something to generate economic development, not simply because of what the counters would say for traffic on that road.

So in light of all that, Madam Speaker, I realize it's difficult for the minister to appreciate the condition of these roads from his office here in Halifax or in the Legislature. Will the minister make a commitment today to the residents of Richmond County that this summer he will join me for an extensive tour of roads throughout Richmond County to better appreciate the needs facing the residents of Richmond County for good, quality roads?

MR. ESTABROOKS « » : Thank you, member, for the question. It must be my day with back-to-back questions on the important topic of roads. It's ironic that we have to deal with it at this juncture of the sitting. However, I want to bring to the attention of all members opposite - and I notice the member for Annapolis is sitting there, and I know, I can read his lips as he says to me, what about the Middle Road? Then I can look and make eye contact with the member for Colchester North, who of course knows how to do her homework as an old - as a mature teacher, sorry.

The commitment that I will give to the members of this House on all sides is that I will continue to listen to members as they bring forth their priorities and I will assure you that I will make sure the shocks in my Jeep are in good order before I tour the roads in Richmond County with the member opposite.

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

[Page 2438]

HEALTH & WELLNESS - MENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY:

WAIT TIMES - EFFECTS

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Madam Speaker, Holly Slaunwhite has seen her share of challenges in her 31 years. She's a bright, intelligent young lady with everything to live for, but she found herself caught up in an abusive relationship. Her mental health deteriorated, and rapidly so, when her former partner committed suicide. She visited her family doctor for help, and there she was given a phone number for mental health services in Dartmouth. She called and she got an answering machine. They returned her call two days later and told her to try again next week. She did, and she got the same answer: call again next week. So she returned to the family physician, who gave her another number. The problem was, it was actually the same phone number she had been calling in the first place. So Holly waited for months for an appointment with Dartmouth Mental Health.

My question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, where in the new mental health strategy would Holly see any difference in the way her pleas for help would be answered?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Madam Speaker, yesterday the mental health strategy was announced, and one of the features of that strategy is improvements in meeting the standards for addressing wait times for mental health. Those standards essentially require that people in a crisis be seen within 24 hours. People with urgent needs be seen within five to seven days, and people whose needs are not urgent will be seen in an additional period of time within 30 days, I believe, for a first contact in terms of assessment.

We will be investing resources through the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy to meet these wait time standards. We will be posting the wait times on the Web site and we will be offering an annual report on the implementation of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, including the progress with meeting wait times.

MS. REGAN « » : Madam Speaker, no doubt this situation sounds familiar to the minister because the minister received the same e-mail as the Liberal caucus did. There is a glimmer of hope in this case because Holly finally has an appointment. Oddly enough it happened the day after the minister received the e-mail.

Holly's family was skeptical of the mental health system before all this. They now believe the system is absolutely broken if an e-mail to the minister's office prompted an appointment while months of crying out for help cannot. They are also skeptical whether the appointment will actually lead to help for Holly. We heard yesterday the minister talk about the $5.2 million for mental health which I would be remiss if I did not add pales in comparison to the $300 million given to the Irvings and the $50 million given to a pulp and paper plant that continues to close every time we turn around.

[Page 2439]

The fact of the matter is, when you look at . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, on a point of order. During questioning the Minister of Community Services quoted an e-mail. I know that we've been very apt to provide those e-mails as they're quoting from them, so I was wondering if she could table that before the end of this session.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : My understanding, or my perspective is that she did not quote it, she referenced an e-mail and she paraphrased her thoughts on the e-mail. I will rule that one out of order.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker would you please call Bill No. 81.

Bill No. 81 - Gaming Control Act.

Bill No. 82 - Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations Incorporation Act.

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, would you please call Bill No. 84.

Bill No. 84 - Dalhousie University-Nova Scotia Agricultural College Merger Act.

[Page 2440]

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

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today on third reading and make a few comments about Bill No. 84.

Bill No. 84, as you know, has a huge impact on residents in Colchester North, all parts of Colchester County, Truro-Bible Hill and beyond. The Agricultural College, as we know, has been a very successful institution over the years and the workers who are there have helped make it the prize that it is today.

I'm pleased to support the merger, I believe there are benefits to that and . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. We've just realized that the Deputy Government House Leader did not actually move it, so we're going to go back to him, move it and then I'll come back to the member.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 84.

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

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Madam Speaker and I will begin again. I'm pleased to rise and speak on third reading to Bill No. 84. As I stated, many of the workers who are employed and have been for years at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College come from my constituency of Colchester North; as well, many of them come from Truro-Bible Hill, other parts of Colchester County and beyond. Those workers are very proud of what has developed and grown into a gem with the Agricultural College and I believe that the merger is a positive move and I'm not speaking against the merger, but there are a couple of issues that the employees there have brought to the attention of government, to the minister, to the Premier and, in fact, to the Law Amendments Committee. I had the opportunity to speak with the minister yesterday. I appreciate his time and his conversation and for him listening to the concerns that I was bringing on their behalf.

Those concerns are twofold. One of them is that the integrity of the agricultural industry be maintained and recognized as a result of the merger. As we know, the history of the Agricultural College is based on the farming industry and there is a concern that with the merger that Dalhousie may not respect the importance of agriculture in the community and the integrity of that institution may be lost. They were hoping that there would be something in the legislation which would speak to that. Bill No. 84 is silent on that. I have the reassurance from the minister that that will not happen, however I believe it would have been a greater protection to have it enshrined in the legislation.

[Page 2441]

The second concern that has been brought to my attention many times - in fact, I met with many of the employees during the winter months when the whole prospect of the merger was before them. They were seeking answers, they were seeking information and they were seeking protection within the legislation and that protection was for some of their rights. As we know, many of the NSGEU contract employees had their contract terminate on March 31st and the new contract will be negotiated with the new entity. There wasn't a request that the protection that they were looking for would be enshrined in Bill No. 84.

We heard at the Law Amendments Committee from a number of presenters and they were very articulate and they were referencing previous devolutions where the protection of workers was enshrined in legislation, 2004 and 2008. There was an expectation that if governments in previous years had been able to enshrine that protection in the legislation, then why could this government not do the same thing, and so they came before the Law Amendments Committee. I wrote to the Premier myself on January 17th to ask that that considered. I wrote to the president of the NSGEU and that was the same position that they were taking, that they wanted those things enshrined. They wanted to make sure that the workers would not lose something as a result of this merger.

Their disappointment is a disappointment that I share, I've shared it, as I said, with the minister and I shared it at the Law Amendments Committee, and I'm sharing it here today. The disappointment is that Bill No. 84 is silent on that protection. The workers are uncomfortable, they know this legislation will pass through with the majority in the House and they were asking that their concerns be respected and be reflected in the legislation. Thank you.

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

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to rise in my place to speak briefly on Bill No. 84, the Dalhousie University-Nova Scotia Agricultural College Merger Act. Like my colleague from Colchester North, as we sat in the Law Amendments Committee meeting, we had a number of presenters who expressed concern over what might take place as a result of the merger.

If I might, I'd like to mention that Joan Jessome - the president of the NSGEU - expressed her concern, or her union's concern, with the absence of protection for employees, as the Agricultural College devolves from the Public Service and into Dalhousie University. As a matter of fact, she even went so far as to say that it had to be the worst piece of legislation they've seen, from the point of view of protecting the rights and the benefits of their members.

As a result of that, Ms. Jessome made a couple of recommendations and she was followed by Ray Larkin. As everyone knows, Mr. Larkin is a noted labour lawyer. Mr. Larkin said that the province has a responsibility to its employees to treat them decently and fairly. There are three provisions that have always been in agreements previously and Mr. Larkin even referenced - now I'm just going to name them - the Nova Scotia Power Privatization Act of 1992, the Regional and Community Health Boards Act, the Queen Elizabeth II Health Science Centre Act, the Community Colleges Act, the Health Authorities Act, the Nova Scotia Business Incorporated Act, the Property Valuation Services Corporation Act and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College Act.

[Page 2442]

Mr. Speaker, all those statutes made provision for participation in the Nova Scotia Public Service Long Term Disability Plan. They all preserved the right to participate in the Public Service Superannuation Plan, without the same benefits that civil servants have under the Public Service Superannuation Act. The absence of these protections was a strong indication to Dalhousie and to any decision-makers in legal proceedings that the Legislature did not intend to protect the employees to the same extend as it had previously done.

As a result of that, too, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Larkin made a couple of presentations to the Law Amendments Committee. He also stated that no rationale had been publicly expressed for the denial of continued participation of these employees in the Nova Scotia Public Service Long Term Disability Plan. Again, all the previous statutes made provision for that continued participation.

Again, Mr. Larkin asked that these amendments be considered as part of the bill to merge Dalhousie and the Agricultural College. But those recommendations made by both Ms. Jessome and Mr. Larkin fell on deaf ears at the Law Amendments Committee. The determination was to get the bill through and possibly they might look at making them part of the merger process as things went along.

I don't think any of the presenters really had a great concern about the merger taking place but it's the very fact that these benefits that they had been entitled to under the Agricultural College would no longer be there and they had no assurance that would be continuing. So again, that was the biggest concern, in my view, that was expressed at Law Amendments Committee.

I would ask that the government, as this goes forward, consider the recommendations that both Ms. Jessome and Mr. Larkin put forward and keep in mind the present plan that the staff at the Agricultural College has and their entitlement to carry that along, as this merger continues. So with those few words, Mr. Speaker, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : If I recognize the honourable minister it will be to close the debate.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

[Page 2443]

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just want to put a couple of comments on the record. I hope to allay the concerns of my colleagues who have spoken. It's not that long ago, and I have a memory of this in this House, around Section 31 of the Trade Union Act that was brought forward by the previous Progressive Conservative administration to ensure that when employees are devolved out of government to another institution, that they take their collective agreement with them and certainly that is the case.

Now perhaps that's not necessarily all that reassuring for some of the employees, or even for Joan Jessome, because they will have to negotiate another contract. I think that it's not the place of the government to really legislate that next contract, that's what negotiation is all about. We believe in free and open collective bargaining.

The employees in this legislation, their pension plan is protected, we've been upfront about that and the other thing that members opposite didn't mention - which I expected that they would because it is the other thing that I've heard about from employees and certainly a couple of them who are constituents of mine - was around the service award for employees and that is something that what they've accumulated goes with them in this agreement. Though it's not written in the legislation it's to be in the agreement between the government and Dalhousie, and negotiations forward into the future will spell whether that's something that employees want to continue or if they want to negotiate for something different, better, or whatever. But anyway, that's for the future to see. The agreement will ensure that what they have accumulated under government in their service award that that moves forward with them.

With those few comments, I think the government actually worked very hard to ensure that the employees who will be leaving us and going to Dalhousie will be well thought of and looked after as they leave government. With those comments, I take my place, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 84. 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 Bill No. 86.

Bill No. 86 - NewPage Port Hawkesbury Pension Plans Act.

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

[Page 2444]

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 86.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to say a few words on Bill No. 86, the NewPage Port Hawkesbury Pension Plans Act. As I've indicated at the earlier stages of this bill we're certainly supportive of what is being done here which, in essence, is allowing the windup of the pension plan to be extended for a period of 11 years with the hopes that market conditions will improve and that the current losses that that fund has faced might actually be lessened for the workers.

As I mentioned a number of times the pension plan from the NewPage workers and the previous Stora workers is a major economic component of our economy in the Strait area, which is anywhere from Richmond, Inverness, Guysborough, Antigonish and further, where the workers reside and many of the retirees are found. As I mentioned before in this House, the numbers we've seen from Morneau Shepell show that the pension plan was paying in excess of $20 million a year in benefits to retirees from that mill.

Right now what they've been told is that the losses that those pensions have faced would require a 30 per cent reduction in benefits to current retirees and upcoming retirees. Overall, using rough numbers, that could mean a $7 million hit to what's being paid out on a yearly basis from the pension fund. Needless to say that's going to have a significant impact on the retirees, their families, the widows of retirees and that's of tremendous concern to myself, as the member for Richmond, for all of the residents in the Strait area.

As I've mentioned a number of times, the NewPage pension plan and the retirees from that facility and the previous Stora and StoraEnso facility are some of the few retirees we have in the Strait area that have private pension plans. Other than teachers and a few civil servants we have, for the most part, the only others that had private pension plans were the employees of the mill. Any changes taking place there are going to have a significant impact on our economy.

Mr. Speaker, you'll recall that I did introduce an amendment at the Law Amendments Committee stage and here in the House during the Committee of the Whole House stage which would have allowed the government to work with the Stern Group, which is currently the sole bidder on the mill, to use a portion of the stumpage fees which they paid to the Department of Natural Resources for the timber, or the fibre, that's cut from Crown lands, to go directly into the pension fund. The government has indicated that they did not want to see tax dollars going directly into a private pension fund, and so this was an attempt on my part, on behalf of the workers and retirees, to try to find a way of putting in some additional funds until such time as the final windup occurs.

I do want to again thank my colleagues in our caucus, the Official Opposition, for their full support, as well as my colleagues in the Progressive Conservative caucus who gave their full support as well. The record will show that it was the NDP Government through its majority that rejected that amendment, and unfortunately, rejected even the concept of having discussions regarding how there might be opportunities to assist that pension fund. So other than Bill No. 86, it now looks like that's it for the workers and the retirees when it comes to the pension fund, as far as the government is concerned.

[Page 2445]

I would like to be able to tell - and I will be able to tell the employees that I tried my best. I doubt that the government will be able to say the same, due to the fact that we haven't even had a discussion as to what could be done there other than extending the windup, which is something the workers themselves and the retirees asked this government to do in the first place. So it's unfortunate this legislation came at such a late stage in the House, but I certainly can say I did my best through the amendment to try to assist the retirees and the workers even more.

I do believe that in light of the new collective agreement that has been signed between the Stern Group and the workers, where seniority rights are not as sacred as they were previously, there's a tremendous fear amongst workers, especially those above the age of 50, that they may not be called back even after 20 or 30 years of service at that facility. So, Mr. Speaker, it may be time for the government, not only at the NewPage site but certainly at Bowater and the other mill that we have in Nova Scotia, to possibly even start talking to the federal government about some sort of a buyout package for some of the older workers.

I can tell you that those I've spoken to are very nervous that they may not be called back to work. They're very nervous as to what's going to happen to their pension plan, what's going to happen to their retirement. Many of them have made financial decisions, whether it is improvements to their home, whether it is paying for their children's university education, and other decisions, based on what they legitimately believed would be their benefits once they retired.

So again, I think that's a discussion that we may need to have, especially once the mill does reopen. At that point we will be able to see exactly how many of these older workers are affected, who may not get their call back, and I certainly hope that the government is not going to turn a blind eye to this but that possibly we can work together, whether here in the Legislature or outside, to try to address those concerns.

With that, Mr. Speaker, we're certainly all very hopeful that market conditions will improve in the years to come, and that that will help the fund bounce back, at least a portion. There is hope it will bounce back by 5 per cent, possibly as high as . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The chatter is getting quite loud on this side of the House.

The honourable member for Richmond has the floor.

[Page 2446]

MR. SAMSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I mentioned, it's the hope that with time the markets may help this pension fund bounce back by 5 per cent, possibly even as high as 10 per cent. We're certainly all hopeful of that. Clearly the government is not in a position, nor is anyone in this House, to be able to predict what the future will bring regarding market conditions, but we can all be hopeful. We're certainly pleased to be able to support the initiative that the workers have asked this House to do, and we stand with them in the hopes that their pension funds will be able to bounce back and that they will be able to continue to enjoy the retirement benefits which they have paid into for so many years.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to this bill being passed into law, and again, we can only hope that the conditions will improve for both the retirees and the current workers at the NewPage facility. Thank you.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, the most important thing that government could have done for these pensioners was to introduce this legislation here that we see before us. If the amendments I proposed last December were - this legislation has virtually the same intent as those amendments that were put forth last December. If my amendments and the media attention that they gathered have contributed in any way to this piece of legislation, then perhaps there is some hope that when in Opposition, we on this side of the House can still effect change in the province.

The changes that are proposed here are going to help the pensioners, because if they were forced to wrap up that pension right now, and according to the existing legislation be forced to put their pension into an annuity at some of the lowest interest rates that we've seen in the past 100 years, they would be hurt by that.

I think especially of the people who are on survivor pensions, getting 60 per cent of the pension that their spouse had gotten. I particularly think about them. Their pension is not only down 30 or 40 per cent, but that's 30 or 40 per cent of the 60 per cent amount. So they may be, in effect, down to 40 per cent of the original pension and trying to live on that.

I thought that if they had to convert their pension money into an annuity, the real risk to them would be that they wouldn't have enough money to live on. We can talk about market risk, where the markets go up and down, but we also must remember that risk. This bill gives those people hope that in time, the markets will recover and they can maintain investments similar to what they have now inside the plan, with the hope - because those investments do have a chance to rise. We know that is a possibility, Mr. Speaker, so we will be supporting this legislation.

I also want to point out for active members of the plan that the changes will not have any negative impact on them. This would be people who are actively working or who were actively working at NewPage up until the hot idle. For them, they can opt out of the windup and they can take the commuted value of their pension and have complete control of that. So I think this is a win-win all around, Mr. Speaker. Because of that, we feel comfortable supporting this legislation and I would like to thank the government for bringing it forward. This is going to make a real difference for the people living in the Strait area and in the constituency I represent, Inverness.

[Page 2447]

MR. SPEAKER « » : If I recognize the minister it will be to close the debate.

The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 86. 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 Bill No. 87.

Bill No. 87 - Good Forestry Management on Crown Land Act.

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I now move third reading of Bill No. 87, Good Forestry Management on Crown Land Act.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise to make a few comments on Bill No. 87. Again, as I mentioned on second reading, I find the title of the Good Forestry Management on Crown Land Act a bit ironic. While I questioned the fact that both NewPage and Stora before it had received certifications for their forestry practices, we had the Ecology Action Centre come before us at the Law Amendments Committee saying that the bill does absolutely nothing, actually, to ensure good forestry practices. So again, this government, since coming into office, has been clever with the play on words they have put for bills.

In fact, the previous bill regarding the NewPage pensions talks about an Act to protect the NewPage pensions. When we use the word "protect" one can only hope it's actually going to do that but we all realize there is a risk that the funds in the pension plan could actually do worse than what they are now. When one reads that one would think the government is doing something that's going to make sure they're okay and those funds are going to bounce back, which is completely out of the control of this Legislature.

[Page 2448]

I just wanted to say, as the member for Richmond, that we're all anticipating when all the final agreements are in place so that the Stern Group is able to finalize the sale and purchase of the former NewPage mill in Point Tupper. One of the main elements to that is a new agreement with the province regarding access to Crown land. This bill is repealing the previous Stora Act. In fact, when it first came to the Legislature I believe it was called the Nova Scotia forest industries Act, which was actually the first company to start up the mill in Point Tupper. So we're repealing that legislation to bring in this new system of licences over Crown land.

I've mentioned to the minister before, and I'll say it again, we certainly are hopeful that the discussions with the Stern Group are proceeding and that they can be wrapped up in the very near future. The EI, employment insurance benefits for the workers have, for the most part, run out. We want them to be able to maintain that workforce for the new operators.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Again, the chatter is getting quite high when the member for Richmond is speaking, I don't know if that's an indication or not, but the member for Richmond has the floor.

MR. SAMSON « » : Thank you. Clearly, this is an essential element of the sale agreement between the Stern Group so I would hope that the Minister of Natural Resources is working very diligently with his staff to be able to put these new licences in place to ensure this facility can get up and running as soon as possible.

We'll certainly be watching to see how this legislation is going to affect those who rely upon Crown lands for their operations, whether it is a pulp mill, sawmills or other enterprises. Certainly we'll be supporting Bill No. 87 and I am certainly hopeful we're going to hear the Minister of Natural Resources announce that an agreement has been reached with the Stern Group, in the very near future, so we can get that mill up and running and get those men and women back to work. Thank you.

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

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to stand in my place for just a couple of seconds to speak in support of the bill the government has put forward. One of the reasons I support the bill is because Finewood Flooring in the constituency of Victoria-The Lakes, in the community of Middle River, has over the years been able to, through the good graces of NewPage, access some hardwood on Crown land. There was a concern by the owners of Finewood, at the time, that if the ownership of the mill or the transfer of the Crown land went to another company that they could end up losing their access to the hardwood product that would exist on the Crown lands.

[Page 2449]

I think what this bill does is to ensure that companies like Finewood Flooring will have the ability to have a licence to get their wood on Crown land because a lot of their wood, in order for them to put out the wonderful product that they do, has to be imported. Some of it actually comes from New Brunswick in order for them to make their hardwood flooring. This provides an opportunity for places like Finewood Flooring to be able to access material for their business on Crown land, rather than having to import it through the province. For that reason alone, we will be supporting this bill. Thank you.

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

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, very briefly - both the previous speakers have talked about the importance of this bill as it relates to NewPage but I think it's important to also recognize the bill actually isn't specifically about NewPage but actually addresses how Crown forest lands would be managed on a province-wide basis. Whether those are in Yarmouth or Cape Breton or Cumberland County, it doesn't make much difference.

I think there are some important changes in here and I just want to reflect the fact that what we heard from the minister sounded very good the other day and I'm certainly supportive of what he said in terms of this bill. As with many of the bills that have come forward, the devil is in the details because a lot of it is set out in regulation and so we'll be looking forward to seeing what regulations the government produces around this. Specifically, we're still waiting on a number of the definitions. We're waiting on a number of the definitions for things like clear-cutting, whole-tree harvesting, and all of those sorts of things that factor very much into how these regulations will play out in the forestry sector and what impact they would have on Crown land.

The other thing I'd be remiss if I didn't mention is that we'd hope that some of these agreements protect access to a diversified forest management and use. One of the challenges that some of the hardwood users had was some of the leases were so big and so restrictive that they couldn't get in and get the hardwoods out for higher value uses before everything was removed for pulpwood purposes. I would like to see the minister try to address that in some of these leases because I think there's the opportunity for a very good relationship between different users of the forest product. We can have those companies that need to access pulpwood get that without taking away the opportunity for hardwood users to go in and get those higher-value hardwood logs out and see that we have the highest value possible out of those forests. That is really important because otherwise we won't have changed anything from what we had in the previous agreement, we'll just be doing the same old thing under a different Act.

I think there are opportunities here. I've criss-crossed the province a number of times over the past year meeting with people who work in the woods, a lot of people who try to get timber from Crown lands. I've met with a lot of hardwood users who just can't get the supply and would like to be able to get into those forests and say listen, we know you're going in to get pulpwood, let us go in and pull out those larger hardwood logs first so that we can make - whether it's flooring, they make guitars, they could make furniture, I mean there's a whole range of products that are of very high value and have a higher value per foot of tree length than the pulpwood would.

[Page 2450]

I think that is something that is important and I hope that the minister and the government will address that. If we haven't addressed that, then we haven't diversified the forest economy in Nova Scotia and we haven't changed anything, and we haven't allowed these rural communities in particular to diversify the use of the forest and better protect itself against the big collapses that we've seen with both NewPage and Bowater. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 87. 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 Bill No. 88.

Bill No. 88 - Maritime Link Act.

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I so move third reading of Bill No. 88.

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

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think it's very important that the government has brought forward a bill that would ensure that the Maritime Link is reviewed and moreover that addresses a hole that was in the previous ability of government, as outlined by the deputy minister who said that there was no way they could have actually reviewed the components that were outside of the geographical jurisdiction of Nova Scotia. I think that's important and I certainly thank the government for listening to the calls for that from various sources that said that had to happen, so I'm glad they did that.

I think we'll certainly support the bill, as imperfect as it is, and when I say imperfect, the one thing that I think is missing in this is the fact that we are left with a hastily-crafted bill that designs everything in regulation and says, well - it's basically a bill that says this allows the Cabinet to create regulations to do this.

[Page 2451]

I think it would have been better for the public, at this stage in the game, to have seen in the legislation a complete list of the issues that the board will cover in the review of the Maritime Link. There are many issues and we have to leave it to our belief that Cabinet will ensure that those regulations are appropriate and ensure an appropriate review, and I think we have mixed feelings on that. So we're going to have to wait and see what those regulations come out.

My hope would be that the minister and the Premier would actually be willing to consult with the Opposition Parties on some of the issues that should be covered in that, or even if they ultimately don't agree with this, at least if the minister and the Premier would seek out our feedback in terms of what issues should be covered by those regulations. We would certainly appreciate that opportunity and we hope that the minister and Premier would do so.

I think there has been a lot of talk about whether this particular piece of legislation stacks the deck. I'm not sure that this is the piece that does it. Emera had said after the renewable targets went to 40 per cent, which we voted in favour of, Emera had said at the time that if Muskrat Falls doesn't go ahead, they weren't sure whether they would actually be able to meet the 40 per cent target because they didn't know where else they would get the energy. So I think it's because all the eggs are in one basket, it means there probably is only one option anyway.

For those who have suggested in the media and elsewhere that the deck is stacked by this legislation, I'm not convinced that this is a piece of legislation that does that. I think it's the target that does because they've committed to a project, which still seems very much in limbo at this point, since Emera and Nalcor have been unable to reach an agreement and they're now months overdue on reaching that agreement.

I think that should be a concern and I would hope that the government is looking at other options, for two reasons: one, other options so that there are other ways to meet those targets - it never hurts to have other options on the table; but also because if we look at the rates that are coming down the chain from Newfoundland and Labrador, when we look at their review board hearings there, those rates are very, very high. If they are not mitigated with other options, then we'll have an extremely high rate in the province when there's an opportunity to mitigate that by blending it with cheaper green energy sources.

There are benefits to this project, in terms of creating that energy loop, and I think that's probably one of the greatest benefits, but the silence on the status of the project from government has actually been very concerning. I think it has been concerning to a number of Nova Scotians because we're at the point now where, when this project was first announced, the construction date for that project is rapidly approaching, and the longer that Emera and Nalcor go without actually signing the final agreement, the longer that construction on the project is potentially delayed. So there's a cascading effect all the way down the chain for when that project actually happens and we go another three or four months without a signed agreement, and you have to wonder whether that project is even capable of being completed on time at that point.

[Page 2452]

The government has not provided any reassurance or any answers. Emera has not provided any answers or reassurance and Nalcor has provided the opposite of reassurance on the project. So I think we come to the end here with a piece of legislation that is better than what we had without the legislation, so I think it's important to move forward with it. We are left with a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this project and we can only be left to hope that the government will be willing to seek out our feedback, in terms of what should be included in the regulations, since they were unwilling to support the amendments that were proposed that may have allowed a third party to do that. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : I am pleased to have an opportunity this afternoon to rise on Bill No. 88, regarding the Maritime Link. As you know, Mr. Speaker, we put forward a bill in this House and debated it a week or so ago now, Bill No. 72, the Capital Projects Review Act that was put before this House, and it would have added to this bill. This is a good step, it was something that the government obviously saw that was of good use. It was things that we had discussed and proposed in the past, but it still falls far short of what we really need to have in place when it comes to such bills.

This is a large project with an undisclosed amount of money at this time - that might be the right word, but a large amount of money we know this is going to cost, an unknown amount of money, and we don't know at the end of the day what it will cost. We've been unable to obtain that information. Nobody wants to share that with us, whether it's Nova Scotia Power or Emera or the Premier and this government.

It doesn't seem to even matter at this point, it's just all about going green. We've said many times in this House before that we believe that green is a good path and we do need to get there, but we do need to do it at an affordable price, one that Nova Scotians can afford. This doesn't speak to anything that Nova Scotians can afford. It speaks to spending hundreds of millions of dollars whenever they so desire without any input from the people. We feel that there's room to improve this bill. We've offered some solutions to it, but to no avail.

We did put an amendment to this bill through, as you may recall, Mr. Speaker, but it was defeated, unfortunately. Again, it was something that we felt was the right thing to do on behalf of Nova Scotians and so I wanted to make those couple of points today. I hope that there will be room in the future for some potential amendments if they are required and desired. I'm not going to take a lot of time today, though. I've had a lot to say on this in previous debate. So with those few comments, thank you, and I'll take my seat.

[Page 2453]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 88. 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, 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. 90.

Bill No. 90 - Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission Act.

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 90.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 90. 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, I was going to move we recess for a while as we await the arrival of the Lieutenant Governor. But just in speaking across the floor, I wonder if it would be in order if the three House Leaders - I think we each want to go on record thanking the staff, particularly the Pages and everybody. We make their lives miserable but they make our lives just the opposite, very workable, and we're very fortunate to have them. On behalf of the government caucus, I want to thank them for all the work that they do to make this House and your job more efficient. (Applause)

[Page 2454]

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our Leader and the entire caucus for the Official Opposition, I as well want to take the opportunity to thank all of the staff who make the House of Assembly operate while we are here, from your own staff, both here within the Chamber and outside of the Chamber; to our Chief Clerk, our Assistant Clerk, and our Sergeant-at-Arms; to the commissionaires who are here who work so diligently for us; to Mike Laffin and Peter Theriault, who continue to provide direction here in the House; and certainly to our Pages. We would hope that they have had a rich experience in their time here in the Legislature. I'm sure they have probably seen elements of democracy that the average Nova Scotian will never get to see, in some cases probably doesn't want to see, but they do so every day, in the long hours that we sit with great professionalism, with certainly great discretion and certainly, we want to thank them and wish them well over the summer months. For those who won't be returning, we want to thank them and hope that we will be seeing some of the faces again here in the Fall.

With that, on behalf of our caucus, we certainly want to express our sincerest thanks. Merçi. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I, too, want to join in on thanking, of course, all the staff who participate in these sessions of the House of Assembly. So on behalf of our Leader and our caucus, I want to thank everyone who is here, all the Pages who are here, the Sergeant-at-Arms who is here, the Clerks and, of course, the Clerk's staff for all the hours that they put in for us, making us seem that much more smart.

I also want to thank our staff because not only do we front the caucuses here in the House of Assembly, but I know a lot of our assistants, our researchers on all sides of the House, do a tremendous amount of work during the House sessions. I know probably in any caucus' yearly activities that these sittings are more busy for them.

With that I again want to thank everyone for their hard work and their diligence during this sitting of the House and, of course, I wish everybody a great summer. For those of you who are coming back, it will be great to see you back in the Fall. For those who are moving on to greener pastures, I guess you would call it, I wish you all the very best. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : I would also like to add my thanks to all the staff and all of those who make the House of the people work here in the Province of Nova Scotia. It is quite an honour for us all to be here and we appreciate the work that is done by all of those who make this House function the way it does.

[Page 2455]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : You shouldn't blame them for the way this place functions some days, Mr. Speaker. I know what you meant and they were very kind and generous words.

With that, I would ask that we recess to await the arrival of the Lieutenant Governor at approximately 1:30 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[12:28 p.m. The House recessed.]

[1:32 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

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

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Let His Honour be admitted, please.

[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.]

[The Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable John James Grant, preceded by his escort and by Mr. Ken Greenham, Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing the Mace, entered the House of Assembly Chamber. The Lieutenant Governor then took his seat on the Throne.

The Sergeant-at-Arms then departed and re-entered the Chamber followed by the Deputy Speaker, Ms. Becky Kent, the Chief Clerk of the House, Neil Ferguson, Q.C., and the Assistant Clerk, Annette Boucher.

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

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

[Page 2456]

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

THE CLERK » :

Bill No. 1 - Status of the Artist Act.

Bill No. 5 - Municipal Government Act.

Bill No. 9 - Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act.

Bill No. 11 - Nova Scotia Tartan Act.

Bill No. 13 - Education Act.

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

Bill No. 20 - Public Trustee Act.

Bill No. 22 - Mortgage Regulation Act.

Bill No. 24 - Purchasing Management Association of Canada Act.

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

Bill No. 32 - Securities Act.

Bill No. 34 - Matrimonial Statutes Repeal Act.

Bill No. 37 - Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.

Bill No. 39 - Maintenance and Custody Act.

Bill No. 41 - Grandparents' Rights Affirmation Act.

Bill No. 52 - Conservation Easements Act.

Bill No. 55 - Community Easements Act.

Bill No. 57 - Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act.

[Page 2457]

Bill No. 59 - Fish Harvesters Registration and Certification Board Act.

Bill No. 61 - Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

Bill No. 65 - Consumer Protection Act.

Bill No. 71 - Assessment Act.

Bill No. 73 - Municipal Government Act.

Bill No. 74 - Patient Safety Act.

Bill No. 76 - Personal Health Information Act.

Bill No. 77 - Medical Society Act.

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

Bill No. 79 - Education Act.

Bill No. 81 - Gaming Control Act.

Bill No. 82 - Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations Incorporation Act.

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

Bill No. 84 - Dalhousie University-Nova Scotia Agricultural College Merger Act.

Bill No. 86 - NewPage Port Hawkesbury Pension Plans Act.

Bill No. 87 - Good Forestry Management on Crown Land Act.

Bill No. 88 - Maritime Link Act.

Bill No. 90 - Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission Act.

THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR:

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

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Your Honour, having been graciously pleased to give your Assent to the Bills passed during the present Session, it becomes my agreeable duty on behalf of Her Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, Her faithful Commons of Nova Scotia, to present to Your Honour a bill for the Appropriation of Supply granted in the present Session for the support of the Public Service and to request Your Honour's Assent thereto.

[Page 2458]

THE CLERK « » :

Bill No. 69 - An Act to Provide for Defraying Certain Charges and Expenses of the Public Service of the Province.

THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR:

In Her Majesty's name, I thank Her loyal subjects, I accept their benevolence and I Assent to this Bill.

[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.]

[The Lieutenant Governor left the Chamber.]

[The Speaker took the Chair.]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : I would ask that the members please remain standing and join me in the singing of our national anthem.

[The national anthem was sung by the members.]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : You may be seated.

The honourable Deputy Premier.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, I move that this General Assembly now adjourn, to meet again at the call of the Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Before I adjourn, I would like to, on behalf of the Speaker and the deputies - and I know one of them has had a chance to thank you all - but I would like to thank each and every one of you for your diligent work in the Legislature in this sitting. I certainly want to thank all of the Pages, the staff, Legislative Counsel, House operations and any of the support staff, and the Library, and Hansard and such, for all of their guidance and support and efforts that allowed us to fulfill our duties.

On a personal note, I want to thank all of the members for their attempts to address me as Madam Speaker. I believe I have been called every possible combination of titles and I would note that they've all been appropriate and parliamentary. I do feel a little bit bad for Hansard though and I thank them for their patience in that regard. I hope you all have a very safe, happy and a productive summer season in your constituencies. We'll see you all back in this Chamber in the Fall.

[Page 2459]

The motion is to adjourn.

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 House rose at 1:47 p.m.]

NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS

[Page 2460]

Given on May 17, 2012

(Pursuant to Rule 30)

QUESTION NO. 9

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

To: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

(1) Will the minister make available a detailed listing, with copies, of all written and electronic correspondence within the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism between January 15, 2011 and March 5, 2012, regarding the development and execution of the Ships Start Here Campaign?

QUESTION NO. 10

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

To: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

(1) Will the minister be able to provide copies of minutes of Ships Start Here steering committee meetings as well as all associated emails, documents, memos and all other correspondence from January 2011 to March 8, 2012?

QUESTION NO. 11

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

To: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

(1) Will the Premier make available, copies of any and all hard-copy and electronic correspondence - including, but not limited to e-mails, faxes, letters, memos, et cetera - sent or received by the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs between January 15, 2011 and March 5, 2012, regarding the development and execution of the Ships Start Here campaign and follow-up on this matter, including, but not limited to any involvement/exchange with MT&L.

QUESTION NO. 12

[Page 2461]

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

To: The Premier

(1) Will the Premier make available, copies of any and all hard-copy and electronic correspondence - including, but not limited to e-mails, faxes, letters, memos, et cetera - sent or received by the Office of the Premier between January 15, 2011 and March 5, 2012, regarding the development and execution of the Ships Start Here campaign and follow-up on this matter, including, but not limited to any involvement/exchange with MT&L.

QUESTION NO. 13

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

To: Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Communications Nova Scotia

(1) Will the Deputy Premier make available, copies of any and all hard-copy and electronic correspondence - including, but not limited to e-mails, faxes, letters, memos, et cetera - sent or received by the Office of Communications Nova Scotia between January 15, 2011 and March 5, 2012, regarding the development and execution of the Ships Start Here campaign and follow-up on this matter, including, but not limited to any involvement/exchange with MT&L.

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 2462]

RESOLUTION NO. 1355

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Cape Breton North)

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

Whereas the NDP Government refuses to address concerns about transparency around the amount government policies are driving up power rates, even though it was recommended by the Utility and Review Board in the last general rate application decision; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative Caucus presented legislation that requires any government policy that would increase power rates to be approved by the Legislature; and

Whereas Nova Scotia families expect and deserve to have a government that will stand up for their interests and ability to afford electricity;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and not end the Spring session of the Legislature until it has passed adequate legislation to address the issues with transparency in power rates.

RESOLUTION NO. 1356

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Teachers Union Teachers Association for Physical and Health Educators (TAPHE) and Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) partnered to host the 2012 National Conference, "A Harbour of Hope: Health and Physical Literacy", at Dalhousie University from May 10th to May 12th; and

Whereas the conference brought together more than 600 delegates from across Canada and the United States, including physical and health educators, public health professionals, recreation leaders, and researchers, over three days dedicated to fostering active, healthy living for children and youth in the school community; and

Whereas Co-Chairs Steve Ranni, President of the Teachers Association for Physical and Health Educators; Dr. Dan Robinson, PHE Canada board representative from St. Francis Xavier University; and Farida Gabbani of the Provincial Department of Health and Wellness did an excellent job in hosting a successful event;

[Page 2463]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in commending the Teachers Association for Physical and Health Educators executive and the conference team for a job well done in welcoming guests for the 2012 National Conference, from across the continent, and promoting active, healthy living for our students.

RESOLUTION NO. 1357

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 Rustum Southwell has been the Chief Executive Officer of Black Business Initiative (BBI) since its inception in 1996; and

Whereas in his role as CEO, Rustum Southwell had influenced the development and growth of Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs while creating nearly 700 jobs throughout the province; and

Whereas after 15 years of commitment and dedication, Rustum Southwell has retired from the Black Business Initiative;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulates Rustum Southwell on his retirement and thanks him for the years of service to the Black Business Community of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1358

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 East Preston United Baptist Church, founded in 1842, is the spiritual home of about 300 members; and

Whereas each year the East Preston United Baptist Church offers another reason to visit our province by showcasing the culture and heritage of the community by hosting an annual fundraising event called "Taste of East Preston", featuring a wide range of local dishes and cultural cuisine from southern United States, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries; and

[Page 2464]

Whereas this year visitors far and wide are invited to the annual "Taste of East Preston" to be held at the East Preston Recreation Centre, 24 Brooks Drive, on Saturday, June 9, 2012;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates East Preston United Baptist Church for hosting this annual event and commends the leadership and congregation for efforts to reach out and enhance the profile of the church and the community

RESOLUTION NO. 1359

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

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

Whereas in 1962 a team of marine champions, including Dr. W.E. Steenburgh, opened the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, a multi-disciplinary ocean research centre on the shores of Bedford Basin in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the team at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography conducts world-class oceanographic research and is comprised of 600 employees from six federal government departments; and

Whereas the Bedford Institute of Oceanography is celebrating its 50th anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the Bedford Institute of Oceanography for its significant contribution to research and through its work partnering with local universities, industry and community groups.

RESOLUTION NO. 1360

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

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

Whereas Chris Turner is a young film producer from Cole Harbour whose most recent work includes Tainted Love, a modern day love story about Cupid armed with a magical camera that makes people fall in love with a click of the shutter; and

Whereas earlier this month Mr. Turner received the CBC/Film Nova Scotia Bridge Award which includes $20,000 in equity funding from Film Nova Scotia and an equal amount in broadcast license and services from CBC to produce his short film; and

[Page 2465]

Whereas this award is meant to help cultivate and grow emerging talent in Nova Scotia with a chance to produce a six- to 12 minute short film for Canadian broadcast;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the up and coming talent of Chris Turner, congratulate him on receiving this support for his film and wish him great success in all his future projects.

RESOLUTION NO. 1361

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

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

Whereas every year TD Bank Group recognizes 20 of Canada's most promising students by awarding each of them a TD Scholarship for Community Leadership, a prestigious honour valued at up to $70,000 per student for demonstrating innovation and initiative while making a difference in his or her community; and

Whereas this year, two of the 20 students chosen are from the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas those students are Paige Zwicker of Fletchers Lake who set up a Leadership Mentor Program in a local public housing community to help at- risk, disadvantaged youth and Aaron Stevens of Dartmouth who is working to make Nova Scotia a safer place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Paige Zwicker and Aaron Stevens and commend them for their incredible work to make their communities and their province a stronger, safer place for all Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 1362

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 the residents of Guysborough, under the direction of Sharon Martin, recently formed an inter-denominational choir which was present at a number of events over the Christmas season; and

[Page 2466]

Whereas on Friday, December 2nd the newly formed choir took part in the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Main Street, Guysborough and attended the reception at the Rare Bird Eatery to enjoy hot chocolate, hot apple cider, treats and a visit from Santa Claus; and

Whereas the Guysborough inter-denominational choir continued to share their talents when they took part in the 11th Annual "Old Fashioned Christmas Carol Concert" at St. Paul's Church in Boylston on Saturday, December 3rd;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Guysborough inter-denominational choir on their active presence at local community events over the holiday season and wish them much success as they continue to share their talents in the near future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1363

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 Health Canada uses the third week of November as National Addictions Awareness Week which is celebrated across the country; and

Whereas the Sheet Harbour Local Committee on Addiction Awareness sponsored a kickoff event to start National Addictions Awareness Week and invited the students of Duncan MacMillan High School to attend; and

Whereas Ricky Anderson, Drug Prevention Specialist with Addiction Services in Dartmouth, spoke to the students on the dangers of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana and there was also a "Keep Your Dreams Alive" flag unfurled in honour of the start of National Addiction Awareness Week;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Sheet Harbour Local Committee and Duncan MacMillan High School for their efforts in drawing awareness to the dangers of drug addiction and extend our best wishes as they continue to tackle this serious societal problem.

RESOLUTION NO. 1364

[Page 2467]

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 the Canso Volunteer Fire Department recently received a donation of a portable defibrillator; and

Whereas the Canso Lion's Club were active in the community once again, donating a $2,377 portable defibrillator to the Canso Volunteer Fire Department to assist them with much appreciated equipment upgrades; and

Whereas Canso Volunteer Fire Department treasurer Juanita Dort, secretary Melissa Richards and fire chief Addison Underwood were all present when King Lion, Ray White, and Lion's Wayne Sullivan and Emily Lumsden presented the Canso Volunteer Fire Department with the new portable defibrillator;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Canso Lion's Club for their continued support of area residents and organizations and wish this much- valued club success as they continually work for the betterment of the entire area of Eastern Guysborough County.

RESOLUTION NO. 1365

By: Mat Whynott (Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville)

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

Whereas during every legislative sitting, House of Assembly staff go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure each day runs smoothly; and

Whereas staff from government departments and agencies, political offices and constituencies spend countless hours preparing ministers and MLAs for a productive sitting; and

Whereas making lives better for the people of Nova Scotia is worth the extra hours and sometimes stress-filled days and is very much appreciated by all MLAs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank staff from the House of Assembly, government departments and agencies, political offices and constituencies for their hard work during the Spring 2012 sitting of this Legislature.

RESOLUTION NO. 1366

[Page 2468]

By: Mat Whynott (Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville)

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

Whereas the Pages who work at the Nova Scotia House of Assembly help MLAs represent their constituents on the floor of the House; and

Whereas the House of Assembly Page Program employs young people each sitting, giving them the opportunity to learn about government, politics, rules and procedures; and

Whereas Markus Arsenault, Andrew Chisholm, Miguel Chua, Richard Clark, Emily Dalrymple, Gunjan Goel, Morgan MacLean, Olivia McMackin, Colleen McNeil, Hannah Morton, David Rodgers, Ivan Slywka and Madison Veinotte will be moving on at the end of this Spring 2012 sitting;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Markus Arsenault, Andrew Chisholm, Miguel Chua, Richard Clark, Emily Dalrymple, Gunjan Goel, Morgan MacLean, Olivia McMackin, Colleen McNeil, Hannah Morton, David Rodgers, Ivan Slywka and Madison Veinotte for their time as Pages in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1367

By: Mr. Zach Churchill « » (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas in the early 1990s, when lighthouses in many parts of the world were no longer being used, a small group of concerned community members came together in order to maintain the beautiful Cape Forchu Light in Yarmouth; and

Whereas The Friends of the Yarmouth Light helped establish a museum, two look-offs, stairs and public washroom facilities at the Light and 2006 saw the opening of the Mug Up tea room – a 20-seat tea room in the Light keeper's original dining room; and

Whereas through the determination of the Friends of the Yarmouth Light, the assistance of local levels of government and the dedication of many volunteers, the Cape Forchu Light continues to be a tourist attraction and symbol of Yarmouth's important seafaring history and culture;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly thank the Friends of the Yarmouth Light Society for their unwavering commitment and dedication to the preservation of one of Canada's most breathtaking historical treasures.

[Page 2469]

RESOLUTION NO. 1368

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

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

Attendu que un nouveau comité a été formé dans le cadre d'un projet par le Conseil des arts de Par-en-Bas à reconnaître la vie d'un artiste acadien nommé Nelson Surette qui est décédé en 2004; et

Attendu que la majorité des peintures de Nelson Surette on été inspirés par la vie des acadiens de la région et plus particulièrement de la déportation; et

Attendu que Nelson a reçu la Médaille du Jubilé de la reine Elizabeth en 2001 et en 2003 il a reçu une reconnaissance spéciale par la lieutenante gouverneure Myra Freeman en affichant ses peintures dans a Government House;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membrés de cette Assemblée félicite le Conseil des arts de Par-en-Bas et les remercier d'avoir accepté ce projet et leur souhaiter beaucoup de succès and leurs recherches.

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

Whereas a new committee has been formed as part of a project by the Arts Council of Par-en-Bas to recognize the life of an Acadian artist by the name of Nelson Surette who died in 2004; and

Whereas the majority of Nelson's paintings were inspired by the lives of Acadians of the region and specifically of the deportation; and

Whereas Nelson received Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee Medal in 2002 and in 2003 he received special recognition by Lieutenant Governor Myra Freeman who displayed his paintings in Government House;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Arts Council of Par-en-Bas and thank them for bringing attention to the work of Nelson Surette.

RESOLUTION NO. 1369

[Page 2470]

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie « » (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Bob Ripley of Oxford has been recognized as one of the most valued volunteers of 2012; and

Whereas Bob is known for never turning down a request and always lending a helping hand, whether it be in the kitchen, on the grounds of Sunset Industries, or working with the local sports teams; and

Whereas Bob's tireless efforts and sunny disposition make him a clear choice for this award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bob Ripley and thank him for the countless hours he has spent bettering his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 1370

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie « » (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Ed Gilbert has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to his community of Parrsboro; and

Whereas Ed is known for his tireless dedication to community projects and events, including the Parrsboro Shore Historical Society, the restoration of the Ottawa House Museum, the Remembrance Day Parade, and the Trinity United Church; and

Whereas Ed is known in his community as an excellent storyteller and a gentleman and this year he will finally be honoured for the countless volunteer hours he has contributed to making Parrsboro what it is today;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly honour Ed Gilbert for his extraordinary contributions and thank him for everything he does for his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 1371

[Page 2471]

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster « » (Inverness)

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

Whereas over the last two years rural Nova Scotia has been plagued by job losses and depopulation; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's gross domestic product grew by a paltry 3 per cent in 2011, next to worst in the country; and

Whereas according to the Conference Board of Canada, the Halifax economy grew by 3 per cent, suggesting that areas outside of Halifax have had sustained negative GDP growth, or a recession;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and not end the Spring session of the Legislature until it has presented a plan to turn around the recession in rural Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1372

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie « » (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas last weekend the Halifax ChronicleHerald said that "Nova Scotians don't want to repeat last month's experience of seeing thousands of hospital procedures cancelled simply because a labour negotiation might result in a strike"; and

Whereas the Halifax ChronicleHerald said "patients wouldn't have to endure disruptions again if the [NDP] Government brought in responsible legislation to replace health sector strikes and lockouts with a fair and balanced process of arbitration"; and

Whereas the Halifax ChronicleHerald concluded that Progressive Conservative legislation is "a reasonable effort to take health care disruptions out of the picture and to replace lockouts and strikes with a mix of bargaining and arbitration";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take the Halifax ChronicleHerald's better advice sooner and not end the Spring session of the Legislature without providing a better type of labour relations that doesn't punish the patient.

RESOLUTION NO. 1373

[Page 2472]

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 Nova Scotia has more than 400 licensed child care facilities providing care to nearly 9,000 children; and

Whereas the NDP Government's inconsistent comments and inability to guarantee that funding will remain in place for more than half of those daycare centres has caused a great deal of distress and anguish for owners and parents alike; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative Party did not stand idly by as the NDP flip-flopped on the issue and created uncertainty among those in the early childhood development sector, and instead tried to find clarity and advocate for day care owners;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and ensure that privately-owned child care centres remain an important, government-funded entity in our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 1374

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 on March 31st, 2012, friends and family gathered at St. James Anglican Church in Halifax for a concert of favourite music performed by favourite artists of environmentalist Martin "Rudy" Haase on the occasion of his 90th birthday; and

Whereas tributes were received from those in attendance who had traveled from near and far to share this wonderful occasion with him and he also received written greetings and messages from those, who for reasons of distance or other commitments, were not able to attend; and

Whereas some of the accolades used to describe him included patron of the arts, environmental and social activist, sailor of many seas, proud Nova Scotian and finally friend and neighbour to all;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly extend their very best wishes to Martin "Rudy" Haase on the occasion of his 90th birthday and wish him many more years of continued good health and working for the environment.

[Page 2473]

RESOLUTION NO. 1375

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas John James Kinley, a resident of Lunenburg, was an engineering graduate of Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Technical College, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who practised professional engineering in business and the community for more than 50 years in executive positions at Lunenburg Foundry & Engineering Co. Ltd. and Lunenburg Marine Railway; and

Whereas Jim Kinley served in a number of military offices including the Canadian Merchant Marine, the Royal Canadian Navy, Canada's Naval Reserve and retired as Lieutenant Commander in 1958 when he then served as President of Branch #23 Royal Canadian Legion in Lunenburg, President of the Navy League of Canada and was appointed the first Grand President of the Nova Scotia Command, Royal Canadian Legion; and

Whereas Mr. John James Kinley, who passed away on May 1st of this year, was appointed the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia by the Governor General on the advice of Prime Minister Jean Chretien in May 1994, was sworn in on June 23rd, 1994, when he went on to serve the Province of Nova Scotia for six years;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes the passing of the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia on Mary 1st, 2012, and also recognizes a truly accomplished man who was fully committed to his community, his province, and his country.

RESOLUTION NO. 1376

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas In the 1930s the Parkdale-Maplewood Community Museum was founded by Thomas I. Spidell, who collected interesting items on his travels and brought them back to his community of Parkdale, creating a museum which has stood in various locations in the community over the years; and

[Page 2474]

Whereas Lloyd Wentzel was chairman of the museum board for 51 years and his wife, Muriel Wentzel, was curator for many years, both being instrumental in helping the museum grow from very humble beginnings to the expanded space the museum occupies now at the location of the Maccabee Lodge Hall, which was taken over in the 1960s; and

Whereas a memorial garden honouring the efforts and commitments of Lloyd and Muriel Wentzel has been erected with the help of Demon's Monument, with the official memorial dedication being held on June 10th, 2012, at the museum in Parkdale;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes the many decades of volunteer service provided by Lloyd and Muriel Wentzel to the Parkdale-Maplewood Community Museum and commends the museum board for establishing the Lloyd and Muriel Wentzel Memorial.

RESOLUTION NO. 1377

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Jennah Barry of Clearland has been touring across Canada promoting her new album "Young Men", which was recorded in part in Riverport at the Old Confidence Lodge by Diego Media, and will be returning to the South Shore for her CD launch at the Old Confidence Lodge on May 25th, 2012; and

Whereas Jennah Barry will be teaming up with "Tea and Biscuits - Young Singers in Harmony", a 28-member choir of girls between the ages of seven and 20 who are directed by Leslee Barry; and

Whereas the event called Tea and Biscuits, with Jennah Barry, will be held on June 2nd, 2012, at the St. John's Lutheran Church in Mahone Bay as a fundraiser for local food banks;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Jennah Barry on her new album "Young Men", while also commending Leslee Barry and all 28 members of Tea and Biscuits for their enthusiastic love of music and their commitment to community development by supporting local food banks.

RESOLUTION NO. 1378

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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 NDP Government cannot answer a simple question about the Muskrat Falls project, such as how much will it cost or if Nova Scotia will secure more energy than the 20 per cent commitment; and

Whereas the Progressive Conservative caucus presented legislation to have an independent review of the Muskrat Falls project through a Nova Scotia lens, comparing it to all other possible green energy projects; and

Whereas Nova Scotia families expect and deserve to have a government that asks the important questions about megaprojects such as this one, like how much will it cost;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the NDP Government to take better advice sooner and not end the Spring session of the Legislature until it has passed adequate legislation that requires a completely independent review of the Muskrat Falls project.

RESOLUTION NO. 1379

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

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a program that encourages young people to be active, to participate in new activities, and to pursue current interests in four different areas, including community service, personal skill development, physical recreation, and adventurous journey; and

Whereas there are three levels of the award that a young person can achieve: Gold, which takes the longest to achieve and is the hardest of the three, Silver, and Bronze; and

Whereas this year, three young constituents of mine were honoured: Kerri Lynn Mason of Cole Harbour achieved the Bronze level; her brother, Cameron Mason of Cole Harbour, achieved the Bronze level; and finally, Philip Arsenault of Cole Harbour achieved the Gold level;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature commend these outstanding young Nova Scotians for their hard work and dedication to better themselves and the communities in which they live and congratulate them on this great achievement.

[Page 2476]

RESOLUTION NO. 1380

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie « » (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Oxford's Lower Main Market is owned and operated by Graham and Carla Black and was recently chosen Corporate and Small Business Volunteer of the Year at a special volunteer awards luncheon in Halifax; and

Whereas Graham and Carla and all their employees are exceptionally active in their community, volunteering in a variety of ways, including as church treasurer, in the Oxford Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, and coaching sports; and

Whereas owner Graham Black is very supportive of employees and their many volunteer activities, allowing them to move their shifts around to accommodate their activities and even filling in when a shift cannot be filled by another staff member;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the employees at the Lower Main Market in Oxford and owners Graham and Carla Black for believing so strongly in their community and making important contributions to make it stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1381

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 Cape Breton-Richmond Federation of Agriculture and the Inverness-Victoria Federation of Agriculture, recognizing the high cost of farm machinery, are taking part in a unique new program with the Government of Canada; and

Whereas recently, Nova Scotia's representative in the federal Cabinet allocated monies for the Cape Breton-Richmond Federation of Agriculture by allocating $133,000 for the purchase of critical farm machinery, such as replacing an aging round baler that will also include a wagon and a rack to move the bales, along with 15 pieces of equipment from the Bras d'Or Farmers Co-op in Boularderie, which will be shared with other federation members; and

[Page 2477]

Whereas for the Inverness-Victoria Federation of Agriculture money was allocated for the purchase of a round baler, a liquid manure spreader, a set of no-till discs and a processor for high-moisture corn, which will greatly assist the 170 farms in Inverness and Victoria Counties;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the unique farming program established by the Government of Canada and encourage Nova Scotia's Minister of Agriculture to begin introducing constructive ways of assisting the Nova Scotia agriculture industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 1382

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

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

Whereas Halifax West High School, located in Clayton Park, is the most multi-cultural school in Nova Scotia and is known for its long tradition of school spirit; and

Whereas Halifax West High School recently held its student council elections and Hilary Beck and Matthew Poole were elected as co-presidents of the student government for the upcoming year 2012-13;

Whereas Hilary has been Minister of Environment and Matthew has served as Minister of Community Involvement at the school and they have many plans for the upcoming year to continue the strong work of the council to offer students the experience of helping the school, the community and international causes with the support of Sandra Starratt, their student advisor;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Hilary Beck and Matthew Poole on being elected Co-presidents of the Halifax West High School Student Government and offer best wishes for all of their activities in the coming year and beyond.

RESOLUTION NO. 1383

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

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

Whereas Ann Hallal is an active volunteer with her church, Our Lady of Lebanon, and has served on the building committee where she played an integral part in finding the Fairview site where the church now proudly stands; and

[Page 2478]

Whereas Ann Hallal has been a contributing member of the Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax for 46 years and has been serving on the board for over 14 years; and

Whereas Ann Hallal has been instrumental in organizing many functions for the Canadian Lebanon Society such as the banquet in honour of former Lebanese President, Bashir Jemayal; the grand opening of the society's current facility on the Bedford Highway; and a banquet to honour Wadih Fares, the Lebanese Honorary Consul;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Ann Hallal for receiving a 2012 Community Champion Award on May 2ND, 2012, from the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee for her significant contributions to her church and

community through her volunteer work and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1384

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

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

Whereas Aislin Flynn is an accomplished young woman who has distinguished herself as a champion debater, a talented singer who has performed in musical theatre at her school, in the community and at Neptune Theatre, and has also competed on a number of school sport teams in her years at Sacred Heart High School; and

Whereas Aislin Flynn placed first at the Nova Scotia Provincial Debating Tournament, first at the Donahoe Cup, and first at the University of Toronto Hart House debates and competed on the Canadian team at the World Schools Debate Championship in Cape Town, South Africa, in January 2012; and

Whereas, as a public speaker, Aislin Flynn placed second at the Canadian Public Speaking Championships, first at the national Concours d'Art Oratoire French Public Speaking Championships, and eleventh in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships in Australia in 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Aislin Flynn for her debating and public speaking awards and wish her success with her studies in ethics and law at the University of Toronto commencing this September.

RESOLUTION NO. 1385

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Adam Arthur was one of those recognized for his community involvement, especially for his work with the Halifax Regional Police volunteer program;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Adam Arthur for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of himself to make our community a better place in which to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 1386

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Robert Bentley was one of those recognized for his community involvement, especially for his work with the Canadian Red Cross Home Support Program;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Robert Bentley for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of himself to make our community a better place in which to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 1387

[Page 2480]

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Paul Carroll was one of those recognized for his community involvement, especially for his work with Michael Wallace School and through minor hockey programs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Paul Carroll for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of himself to make our community a better place in which to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 1388

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Christian Buckley was one of the youth volunteers recognized for his community involvement, especially for his work with the Needham Community Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Christian Buckley for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of himself to make our community a better place in which to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 1389

[Page 2481]

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Jonathan Patenaude was one of the youth volunteers recognized for his community involvement, especially for his work with Boys and Girls Club of East Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Johathan Patenaude for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of himself to make our community a better place in which to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 1390

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Shelley Raniowski was one of the volunteers recognized for her community involvement, especially for her work at the Military Family Resource Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Shelley Raniowski for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of herself to make our community a better place in which to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 1391

[Page 2482]

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Simon Gillis was one of the volunteers recognized on the provincial level for his community involvement over the past 40 years with multiple organizations including the East Dartmouth Food Bank, the Canadian Cancer Society, St. Thomas Moore and DASC Industries;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Simon Gillis for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of himself to make our community a better place in which to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 1392

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Max Chauvin was one of the volunteers recognized on the provincial level for his community involvement with multiple organizations including the Canadian Red Cross, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the National Injury Prevention Society and he currently serves as President of the United Way Opportunities Council;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Max Chauvin for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of himself to make our community a better place in which to live.

RESOLUTION NO. 1393

[Page 2483]

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

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

Whereas volunteers are a vital part of our communities and provide essential services to many aspects of our life in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia recognized 69 outstanding volunteers in a ceremony on April 2, nine of whom are residents of Dartmouth East; and

Whereas Marie Burrell was one of the volunteers recognized on the provincial level for her community involvement with multiple organizations including Michael Wallace School, Dartmouth United Soccer Club, Port Wallis United Church and the Micmac and Senobe Aquatic Clubs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Marie Burrell for being a committed and engaged volunteer and for giving of herself to make our community a better place in which to live.