The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD12-51

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

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Energy - Hillside Boularderie Rd./Groves Point: Wind Turbine Proj
- Objections Address, Mr. K. Bain »
3881
URB - NSP: General Rate Application - Deny,
3882
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2085, Black Educators Assoc.: Dubois Award
- Congrats., Hon. P. Paris »
3883
Vote - Affirmative
3883
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 136, Green Economy Act,
3884
No. 137, Public Highways Act,
3884
No. 138, Motor Vehicle Act,
3884
No. 139, Sisters of Saint Martha Consolidation Act,
3884
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2086, Tobin, Adam - PGA (ON) Award,
3885
Vote - Affirmative
3885
Res. 2087, MacDermid, Stephen: Death of - Tribute,
3885
Vote - Affirmative
3886
Res. 2088, Arenburg, Ron & Nancy/Valley Search & Rescue
- Natl. Search & Rescue Award, Hon. R. Jennex »
3886
Vote - Affirmative
3887
Res. 2089, N.S. Home for Colored Children - NDP Gov't.:
Inquiry - Call, Ms. K. Regan « »
3887
Res. 2090, Stewart, Walter: Retirement - Congrats.,
3888
Vote - Affirmative
3888
Res. 2091, DeLorey, Herb - Antigonish Co.: Mun. Serv. - Thank,
3889
Vote - Affirmative
3889
Res. 2092, MacKenzie, Michelle - Yar. Co. Athletic Award,
3889
Vote - Affirmative
3890
Res. 2093, Gillis, Joe & Jacqueline - Atl. Bus. Ethics Award,
3890
Vote - Affirmative
3891
Res. 2094, Milne Court Petro - Canada: Cap it for Cancer
- Contributions, Hon. R. Jennex « »
3891
Vote - Affirmative
3891
Res. 2095, White, Simon: Courageous Efforts - Acknowledge,
3892
Vote - Affirmative
3892
Res. 2096, Taylor, Emma - Cdn. Interuniversity Sports
Championship Award, Hon. C. Parker »
3892
Vote - Affirmative
3893
Res. 2097, Mercier, Brett - Yar. Co. Youth Athlete of Yr. Award (2012),
3893
Vote - Affirmative
3894
Res. 2098, White, Melvin: Bravery - Acknowledge,
3894
Vote - Affirmative
3894
Res. 2099, Water of Life - Vols.: Fundraising - Congrats.,
3895
Vote - Affirmative
3895
Res. 2100, Natl. Addictions Awareness Wk. (11/19 - 11/25/12)
- Acknowledge, Mr. L Glavine « »
3895
Vote - Affirmative
3896
Res. 2101, MacLeod, Eveline: CBU - Hon. Deg.,
3896
Vote - Affirmative
3897
Res. 2102, TELUS World Skins Game: Hosting - Congrats.,
3897
Vote - Affirmative
3898
Res. 2103, Cowan, Sen. James: Dalhousie - Archibald Alumnus of Yr. Award,
3898
Vote - Affirmative
3899
Res. 2104, Gordon, Aimee: Scott Award (2012) - Congrats.,
3899
Vote - Affirmative
3899
Res. 2105, Siddhartha Fraser, Devon T. - Screenplay Award,
3900
Vote - Affirmative
3900
Res. 2106, de Jonge, Mark/Olympic Athletes - Stantec:
Support - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
3900
Vote - Affirmative
3901
Res. 2107, La Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie: Organizers/Vols
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont »
3901
Vote - Affirmative
3902
Res. 2108, Weagle, Rebecca: Hockey Accomplishments
- Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall »
3903
Vote - Affirmative
3903
Res. 2109, French, Alexandra: Scholastic Performance/
Commun. Contribution - Congrats., Ms. K. Regan « »
3903
Vote - Affirmative
3904
Res. 2110, Sydney Credit Union - Atl. Bus. Ethics Award,
3904
Vote - Affirmative
3905
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 133, Inter-city Bus Service Act
3905
3907
3909
3909
3910
3913
Vote - Affirmative
3913
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 8:15 P.M
3913
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 8:29 P.M
3913
CWH REPORTS
3914
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS]:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 105, Agriculture and Marketing Act
3914
3916
3917
Vote - Affirmative
3917
No. 109, Bee Industry Act
3917
3919
3920
3920
3920
Vote - Affirmative
3921
No. 112, Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter
3921
3922
3924
3924
Vote - Affirmative
3925
No. 114, Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act
3925
3926
Vote - Affirmative
3926
No. 115, Interprovincial Investigative Authority Act
3926
3927
Vote - Affirmative
3927
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 20th at 12:00 noon
3928
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2111, Queens Co. Fair: Bldgs. - Heritage Property Designation,
3929
Res. 2112, O'Toole, Mr. Erin: Dalhousie -
Coulter Young Alumnus Award, Mr. A. Younger « »
3929
Res. 2113, Harvey, Dr. Frank: Dalhousie - Excellence in Teaching Award,
3930
Res. 2114, MacKay, Justice W. Andrew: Dalhousie
- Alumnus Achievement Award, Mr. A. Younger « »
3930
Res. 2115, Stead, Bob: Retirement - Well Wishes,
3931

[Page 3881]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Sixty-first General Assembly

Fourth Session

7:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Gordon Gosse

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition, the operative clause being:

"We, the undersigned, wish to register our objections to the proposed wind turbine project to be erected in the rural neighbourhood of Hillside Boularderie Road, Groves Point, Cape Breton, NS. We ask that the government address these objections prior to any work proceeding."

3881

Mr. Speaker, the petition contains 298 names. I have affixed my signature and the kind residents have asked if I would forward copies on to the ministers involved.

[Page 3882]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition with the operative clause:

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

Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my name to the petition.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the signatories from the Molega Lake area. The operative clause reads:

"We as a group living within the Molega Lake Lot Owners/Forest Point Loop Lot Owners Society/Handley Point Lot Owners are thoroughly disappointed at the lack of maintenance of the above road (Labelle from the start of the gravel portion to the Handley Point Road)."

Mr. Speaker, it is signed by 187 residents, and I too have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER « » : It doesn't ask of the Assembly or ask of the . . .

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I thought roads could come here. I could give it to the minister if you want, sir.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Well, I'd have to rule it out of order because it doesn't ask anything of the House of Assembly or of the province. Thank you.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

[Page 3883]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

RESOLUTION NO. 2085

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

Whereas the Black Educators Association is a grassroots organization formed in 1969 to assist African Nova Scotian communities in developing strategies toward an equitable education system; and

Whereas over the years the association has been successful in enhancing its profile at home and abroad with its cultural programs and by creating partnerships to ensure learners have access to quality educational opportunities; and

Whereas the Black Educators Association made history in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 17th as the first Canadian organization to be honoured with the W.E.B. Dubois Higher Education Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators, in recognition of the work the association is doing to create a more equitable education system;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the Black Educators Association on receiving this prestigious award, and wish the organization continued success with their efforts to promote their mandate for equitable education at home and abroad.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, may I be allowed an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

[Page 3884]

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Thank you. I want to draw the attention of the members of the House to the east gallery where we have some really dedicated environmental staff from our department here tonight. Also, in the east gallery we have Mark Butler and son Abush Butler, and Martin Janowitz. Mark is also a member of the EGSPA Round Table - and I ask you to give them a warm welcome here tonight. (Applause)

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

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 136 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 7 of the Acts of 2007. The Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. (Hon. Sterling Belliveau)

Bill No. 137 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 371 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Highways Act. (Ms. Kelly Regan)

Bill No. 138 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Mr. Allan MacMaster)

Bill No. 139 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 141 of the Acts of 1918, an Act to Amend and Consolidate the Acts Respecting the Sisters of Saint Martha. (Hon. Maurice Smith)

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

The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : May I make an introduction? We have a couple of people with us in the east gallery today. I would ask them to stand. We have Max Rastelli and Romi Foley of Segway Nova Scotia. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Again, we welcome all our guests to the gallery and hope they enjoy this evening's proceedings.

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2086

[Page 3885]

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

Whereas Adam Tobin of Sydney River has worked in the golf industry since the young age of 16 and today holds the position of assistant professional at the Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ontario; and

Whereas Adam was recently recognized by the PGA of Ontario as Apprentice/Candidate for Membership of the Year; and

Whereas this award is the highest honour the association can bestow on a working apprentice in the golf profession;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Adam Tobin on receiving this prestigious award and wish him much success as he continues to make Nova Scotians proud through his significant accomplishments and contributions to the Canadian golf industry.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2087

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

Whereas the soccer community in Cape Breton has lost one of its biggest champions in the passing of Stephen MacDermid of North River, Victoria County; and

Whereas Stephen touched many players throughout his coaching career by lending his wisdom to players at Baddeck Academy and being a driving force behind Soccer Cape Breton's Tier 1 women's team; and

[Page 3886]

Whereas along with coaching girl's high school hockey, Stephen played an instrumental role in establishing soccer programs at Rankin School of the Narrows and Whycocomagh;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Stephen's tremendous contribution to the sporting community in Victoria County and beyond, and express our deepest sympathy to his wife Grace, his children Ben, Caleb and Jessica, and his mother Gwen.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2088

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

Whereas in Nova Scotia we are grateful for the work of our ground search and rescue teams and proud of their dedication to the safety of fellow citizens; and

Whereas Ron and Nancy Arenburg, volunteers with Valley Search and Rescue, were concerned about people with Alzheimer's and children with autism becoming lost and sought a solution that was safe and reliable and not intrusive for the wearer; and

Whereas the National Search and Rescue Secretariat recently recognized the Arenburgs and Valley Search and Rescue for their innovation and their ongoing effort to ensure that all 24 search and rescue teams across Nova Scotia knew how to use the technology and process;

Therefore be it resolved that members join me in congratulating Ron and Nancy Arenburg and Valley Search and Rescue on receiving the Award of Excellence for Innovation from the National Search and Rescue Secretariat, and thank them for their outstanding commitment to some of Nova Scotia's most vulnerable citizens.

[Page 3887]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 2089

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

Whereas numerous allegations have been made about the abuse of children at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children; and

Whereas survivors have asked this NDP Government to hold a public inquiry, but the government has refused; and

Whereas the current board of directors today gave its blessing to this NDP Government to call a public inquiry into abuse allegations, as long as it does not delay or impede the prosecution of criminal charges against individuals or the advancement of civil suits against the home;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge this NDP Government to call a public inquiry into the activities of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 3888]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2090

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

Whereas it has been a very busy week for Deputy Sheriff Walter Stewart, who in just seven days turned 75, welcomed his first great-grandchild, and was placed under arrest for stealing the hearts of all the women working at the Sydney Justice Centre; and

Whereas the mock arrest and trial were fitting tribute to the Sydney Mines resident, who officially retires at the end of this year, after 12 years of service; and

Whereas Walter has a remarkable resume, including five years of service in the Royal Canadian Navy, a 50-year membership in the Royal Canadian Legion, 10 years as an underground miner, 26 years with the Sydney Mines Police Department, town councillor, deputy mayor, and level four boxing referee, as well as boxing judge and coach;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly salute Walter Stewart, a remarkable individual who at age 75 will be looking for other challenges to fill in his retirement.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 2091

[Page 3889]

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

Whereas earlier this year Antigonish County Warden Herb Delorey announced that he would not be seeking re-election in October's municipal elections; and

Whereas Herb Delorey served the people of District 8 for 30 years, including the last 18 as Warden of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish; and

Whereas Herb Delorey displayed tireless commitment to his constituents and his community, and the County of Antigonish saw many improvements and advances under his leadership;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly thank Herb Delorey for his 30 years of municipal service and wish him all the best for the future.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2092

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

Whereas Yarmouth resident Michelle MacKenzie is the instructor for MacKenzie School of Dance and her dancers perform and compete regularly, both locally and internationally, and Ms. MacKenzie has encouraged in her dancers the values of team spirit and kindness to fellow dancers; and

Whereas the 36th Annual Yarmouth County Athletic Awards Banquet was held on November 16, 2012; and

Whereas Michelle MacKenzie was named the 2012 Fair Play Award recipient;

[Page 3890]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize Michelle MacKenzie for the many positive contributions she has made in the lives of her dancers and her community, and congratulate her on receiving the 2012 Fair Play Award at the 36th Annual Yarmouth County Athletic Awards Banquet.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2093

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

Whereas the Mira Stitch'n Post, located in Marion Bridge, is Cape Breton's largest full service quilt shop; and

Whereas the Mira Stitch'n Post was one of three finalists in the Under 15 Employees Category at the 8th Annual Atlantic Business Ethics Awards that were held by the Atlantic Provinces Better Business Bureau at the World Trade and Convention Centre on Wednesday, November 7th; and

Whereas the Mira Stitch'n Post promises quilters a full range of services, classes, and supplies, and was also recognized as the number one dealer for a Premier Sewing machine in both 2009 and 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Joe and Jacquie Gillis for winning the 2012 Atlantic Business Ethics Award for companies under 15 employees and wish them continued success for many years into the future.

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

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

[Page 3891]

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 Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2094

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

Whereas Scott Fraser and the team at Milne Court Petro-Canada have created an inspiring and innovative fundraiser for breast cancer called Cap it for Cancer; and

Whereas Cap it for Cancer has already seen success, generating over $3,000 via the sale of pink valve stem caps for a modest donation and setting a goal to reach $15,000 after a year of fundraising; and

Whereas Cap it for Cancer has rallied members of the community, from individual supporters to sponsors, including but not limited to 89.3 K-Rock, Workplace Essentials, Shortcut Blogging and Wizard of Ads Atlantic;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by the Cap it for Cancer team at Milne Court Petro-Canada and all those involved with producing and promoting this vital fundraising event.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

[Page 3892]

RESOLUTION NO. 2095

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

Whereas August 10, 1949 marked a day of sadness in Inverness when four lives were lost to a strong undertow; and

Whereas Simon White, age 59, lost his own life when he ventured into the ocean to save Gerald MacNeil, age 14, and Malcolm Gillis, age 16; and

Whereas Simon was a hard-working coal miner, fisherman, father and husband known for his generosity helping to feed people in his community who were less fortunate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the late Simon White for his selfless and courageous efforts to save another's son.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2096

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

Whereas Emma Taylor of Scotsburn, Pictou County, is a third-year student at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish and is a member of the X-Women's Rugby Team; and

Whereas Emma Taylor is a dedicated and talented rugby player and received the All-Star (Back Row) Women's Rugby Award from Atlantic University Sport; and

Whereas Emma Taylor, as a member of the X-Women Rugby Team, won first place at the Atlantic University Sport championships and also went on to win a gold medal at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships in November 2012;

[Page 3893]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate Emma Taylor on her Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship award and her X-Women's Rugby Team success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2097

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

Whereas Yarmouth resident Brett Mercier was a member of the Yarmouth Peewee AA Gateways that won the Atlantic Baseball Championship this September in Tignish, P.E.I., with Mr. Mercier being named Tournament MVP; and

Whereas Mr. Mercier has a .500 batting average, pitched a no-hitter in the quarter-final game of the provincials, is one of his team's main catchers, played shortstop or second base, and is also a competitive hockey player in the Yarmouth Minor Hockey Association; and

Whereas Brett Mercier was named the 2012 Yarmouth County Youth Athlete of the Year at the 36th annual Yarmouth County Athletic Awards Banquet held on November 16, 2012;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize Brett Mercier on his many impressive accomplishments in the sport of baseball, congratulate him on being named 2012 Youth Athlete of the Year, and wish him every future success.

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

[Page 3894]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2098

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

Whereas August 10, 1949 marked a sad day in Inverness when four lives were lost to a strong undertow; and

Whereas Melvin White, age 27, lost his own life when he ventured into the ocean to save Gerald MacNeil, age 14, and Malcolm Gillis, age 16, and his father Simon White; and

Whereas Melvin was a coal miner, father and husband, and served our country in World War II;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the late Melvin White for his bravery and compassionate actions to save those who were drowning.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

[Page 3895]

RESOLUTION NO. 2099

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

Whereas Water of Life is a Colchester County-based volunteer group that recognizes the struggles and diseases that arise when there is no access to safe, clean drinking water in African and Haitian villages; and

Whereas this volunteer group consisting of local churches, schools, businesses and individuals is entering its 10th year of fundraising and has raised enough money to build 17 wells in Africa and Haiti; and

Whereas the Water of Life program is also affiliated with Life Water Canada which utilizes some of the funds raised to assist with training and equipping the rural poor of Africa and Haiti to build washrooms, drill wells and also provide educational opportunities for young girls;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Water of Life volunteers for their years of successful fundraising endeavours and for providing life-giving assistance to countries needing clean drinking water.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2100

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

Whereas the week of November 19-25, 2012, is National Addictions Awareness Week; and

[Page 3896]

Whereas according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, alcohol and drug abuse costs Canadian taxpayers more than $40 billion a year - the biggest single direct cost being the accessing of health care services; and

Whereas a production developed by the RCMP entitled Canadian Champions, which features well-known personalities from across Canada providing advice on leading a drug-free lifestyle and making healthy choices, will be launched this week in Halifax to coincide with National Addictions Awareness Week;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly acknowledge November 19th to 25th, 2012, as National Addictions Awareness Week and remind all Nova Scotians, including ourselves as legislators, of the importance of working toward the elimination of addiction to make our province a healthier and safer place in which to live.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2101

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

Whereas on October 13th, the Gaelic College of Arts and Crafts was the scene of a special convocation ceremony hosted by Cape Breton University to recognize a pillar of the Celtic community in Cape Breton; and

Whereas Eveline MacLeod of South Haven, Victoria County, was awarded a Doctor of Letters for her dedication to sustaining Cape Breton's Celtic roots; and

Whereas Eveline's community passion is inspiring and her work will have a lasting impact for many years to come;

[Page 3897]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Eveline MacLeod on receiving this Doctor of Letters recognition from CBU and thank her for her commitment to Celtic culture in Cape Breton.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. MARILYN MORE » : Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to draw the attention of my colleagues to your gallery, where we have Mike Kelloway. Mike, if you would stand. Mike is the manager of Flexible Learning Solutions with the Nova Scotia Community College. He tells me he is a political junkie, and he is, I think, a good friend of several members of this House, including yourself, Mr. Speaker. I invite everyone to give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 2102

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

Whereas from July 29-31, 2012, the Glen Arbour Golf Course in Hammonds Plains garnered a sold-out crowd of 5,000 for the 2012 TELUS World Skins Game; and

Whereas the event attracted thousands from across the country and included special guests Kevin Costner; several PGA pros, including Canada's own Stephen Ames; and Juno Award winner, musician Tom Cochrane; and

Whereas TELUS was able to raise $200,000 in these two days alone for their charity partner, the IWK Health Foundation, which will directly contribute to the health and well-being of children and families in Atlantic Canada;

[Page 3898]

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank the TELUS team for hosting their TELUS World Skins Game at Glen Arbour Golf Course in Hammonds Plains and for their dedication to giving back to our community in a big way.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2103

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

Whereas Dalhousie University was founded in 1818 with a £7,000 grant from George Ramsay, the 9th Earl of Dalhousie; and

Whereas for the past 54 years Dalhousie University has hosted an alumni dinner honouring some of its most prominent alumni; and

Whereas at the Dalhousie Alumni Dinner in September 2012, Senator James Cowan was among the honourees, receiving the A. Gordon Archibald Alumnus of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Senator Cowan on this prestigious award of merit and wish all honourees of this year's Dalhousie Alumni Dinner the best in their future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3899]

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. 2104

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

Whereas the Northside Sports Hall of Fame awarded Aimee Gordon the 2012 Joe Scott Award, and she was the first inductee of this award; and

Whereas Aimee has always been involved in sports at the local and provincial level, participating in track and field events, but about seven years ago Aimee became interested in speed skating, where she won four medals at her first national competition in 2008, and in 2012, at the Special Olympic Games, Aimee took home two silver and one bronze medal; and

Whereas Aimee is always willing to share her experiences with the community, and it is her personality, desire, and dedication to the sports that she is involved with that make her an excellent choice for this award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating this young lady and her success at the national and provincial levels.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2105

[Page 3900]

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

Whereas Annapolis Valley native Devon T. Siddhartha Fraser is a prolific screenwriter and filmmaker currently living and working in Nanjing, China, where he writes for his newborn daughter; and

Whereas his latest script, Valley of the Dragon, is a family fantasy based on the legend of St. George and the Dragon, featuring a young heroine named Mary and set in the Middleton of the 1920s; and

Whereas Siddhartha Fraser's script, Valley of the Dragon, has recently received the silver prize in the family category for the Hollywood Screenplay Contest's feature film competition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Siddhartha Fraser on his achievement and look forward to his next storybook for children, which will also feature a Canadian perspective.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2106

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

Whereas Stantec Consulting, founded in 1954, provides professional consulting services in planning, engineering and architecture, and is recognized as a world-class leader and innovator in the delivery of sustainable solutions; and

Whereas Mark de Jonge has been employed by Stantec since 2008, who has supported Mark through donations, moral support, and working around a heavy-duty training schedule; and

[Page 3901]

Whereas Mark de Jonge is a Canadian sprint canoeist who won bronze for Canada this past summer at the 2012 Olympic Games held in London, England;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Stantec Consulting for their support of our Olympic athletes and for rallying around Mark de Jonge to allow him to pursue his dream of an Olympic medal.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2107

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

Attendu que la Municipalité d'Argyle fut hôtesse de la 33e Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie du 30 juin au 3 juillet; et

Attendu qu'après deux ans d'organisation avec l'appui de plus de 900 bénévoles, la 33e Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie a regroupé plus de 1,100 jeunes athlètes des Provinces atlantiques, ainsi qu'une délégation invitée de l'Alberta, incluant membres de familles et amis; et

Attendu que c'est seulement la deuxième fois que la Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie a eu lieu dans la Nouvelle-Écosse, et que cet évènement n'est pas seulement à propos des sports, mais également de l'importance de la culture et la langue francophone et Acadienne;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent le comité organisateur, les bénévoles, les athlètes, les entraîneurs, les familles et les amis qui partagent le succès de la 33e Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie et leur remercient de leur dévouement envers nos jeunes.

[Page 3902]

M. le Président, je demanderai l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat.

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

Whereas from June 30th to July 3rd the Municipality of the District of Argyle hosted La 33e Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie; and

Whereas after two years of planning and with the assistance of more than 900 volunteers, La Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie brought together more than 1,100 athletes from Atlantic Canada, plus an invited delegation from Alberta, as well as trainers, families, and friends; and

Whereas this is only the second time La Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie has been hosted in Nova Scotia, an event that is as much about sports as it is about recognizing the value of our culture and language;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the organizing committee, volunteers, athletes, trainers, families, and friends who shared in the success of La 33e Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie and thank them for their dedication to our youth.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 2108

[Page 3903]

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

Whereas Rebecca Weagle of Masons Beach, a Grade 12 student at Park View Education Centre, has made a reputation for herself as an accomplished and talented hockey goalie; and

Whereas Ms. Weagle, who played for the Metro Boston Pizza Midget AAA Women's Hockey Team last year, making it to the nationals and helping her team earn fourth place nationally at the Esso Cup this past season; and

Whereas Ms. Weagle has been selected as one of the two goalies to represent Atlantic Canada at the National Women's Under-18 Hockey Championship in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, in November of this year;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Rebecca Weagle for her continued success in her hockey career and wish her the best of luck in the National Women's Under-18 Hockey Championship.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 2109

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

Whereas 18-year-old Alexandra French, a recent graduate of Halifax Shambhala School, participated in her school's anti-bullying campaign by distributing pink arm bands, and making presentations to students, was in charge of makeup and costumes for the school drama department throughout 2011, and for Shakespeare in the Park, a school event which included three performances in Needham Park and a fourth in the school; and

[Page 3904]

Whereas Alexandra French organized two fundraisers which raised $500 to sponsor two tigers for the organization Save the Tiger, was a program assistant for the CanSkate sessions for the Sackville Skating Club, a volunteer at L'Arche House in Halifax, and a volunteer at a summer program offered at All Saints Anglican Church in Bedford; and

Whereas Alexandra French received a four-year President's Scholarship at Mount Saint Vincent University, and began studying science at MSVU this Fall;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alexandra French for scholastic performance and her contribution to her community at home and abroad, and wish her continued success in all endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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. 2110

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

Whereas at the Sydney Credit Union you are not only a member and a customer, but also an owner, which gives you the power to take ownership of your financial future; and

Whereas the eighth annual Atlantic Business Ethics Awards were held by the Atlantic Provinces Better Business Bureau at the World Trade and Convention Centre Wednesday November 7th ; and

Whereas the Sydney Credit Union, which has two full-service branches in Sydney and Sydney River, was named one of the three 2012 finalists in the 16 to 50 Employees Category at the Gala Awards Dinner;

[Page 3905]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Sydney Credit Union on the recognition they received at the Atlantic Business Ethics Awards, and thank them for their continued commitment to providing programs and services which enhance the economic and social well-being of its members and the communities they serve.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 133.

Bill No. 133 - Inter-city Bus Service Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. MAURICE SMITH « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 133, the Inter-city Bus Service Act be now read a second time.

It is my privilege to rise tonight to talk about this important bill. It's an important bill because it helps to support a reliable bus service right across our province for students, seniors, and many others who rely on scheduled bus travel throughout the year. Bill No. 133, the Inter-city Bus Service Act, responds to the concerns we have heard.

[Page 3906]

Bus travellers want to know they can count on an inter-city bus service to get them to and from university, to get them home for the holidays, arrive safely to medical appointments, transport parcels, and provide many other services. Bill No.133 also responds to the concerns we've heard from bus operators - they want to run a successful business here in Nova Scotia, they want regulation streamlined so it's easier and more efficient to run a business, including the ability to more easily respond to evolving customer needs.

I was very pleased to have lots of company on Friday when I first introduced the bill. There were representatives from the Canadian Federation of Students, Students Nova Scotia, and the Department of Seniors - and Mike Cassidy, the president of Maritime Bus, also made the time to attend Friday's bill briefing to show his support, which I very much appreciated.

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say that the Inter-city Bus Service Act will make it easier for schedule bus service operators to successfully operate in Nova Scotia, while continuing to protect the travelling public's safety and interest. It also continues to ensure the public will have the opportunity for input should there be applications for significant changes.

Here is how Bill No. 133 will help to make that happen - the responsibility for the inter-city bus service will transfer from the Utility and Review Board to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Staff from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal met with the URB to review the changes we plan to introduce. They understood our rationale and were in agreement with this approach.

The Inter-city Bus Service Bill streamlines regulations. This means bus operators will be able to make timely, reasonable changes to tariffs, schedules and routes without incurring the cost of hiring a lawyer and attending a URB hearing. This will help to improve the efficiency of bus operators and ease financial pressures which can sometimes lead to increased fares for consumers. It will also allow for a more timely response to requests for routine changes.

For significant changes, Mr. Speaker, there will be an opportunity for written public input. The public will be advised of opportunities to comment through advertising in the newspaper, the Royal Gazette, on-line, and through bus terminals. In those situations where the minister deems a more thorough review is warranted, the minister retains the option to refer the application to the URB for a full assessment, including public hearings.

Streamlining regulations will also give operators the flexibility to meet the unique needs of rural parts of the province which can sometimes be the victim of low ridership. As an example, it will be easier to introduce smaller vehicles to provide services. This can sometimes be a better and more affordable approach for the operator while ensuring a route stays open for the consumer.

[Page 3907]

When you look at other jurisdictions, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia has been one of the most strictly regulated jurisdictions for bus operators - it's time for a change. The state of bus regulation varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction across Canada. New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador relaxed their regulatory environment a number of years ago. P.E.I. has not had economic regulation for several years. Ontario and Alberta have done a fair amount of regulatory streamlining over the years with Alberta recently removing all regulation related to tariffs, routes and schedules.

Last week, Mike Cassidy said, "I'm very pleased with the changes being introduced and the level of support from the Nova Scotia government. It means we can now obtain quick decisions so we can better plan and strategize our operations to meet market demand in a timely manner."

Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 133, the Inter-city Bus Service Act, is the right step to take. It will make a difference and set a solid foundation for a reliable inter-city bus service well into the future.

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

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise this evening to speak to Bill No. 133. I can't help but think back a little bit when the honourable member for Antigonish speaks to a time when a former member of the House and former Finance Minister for the province, in the name of Bill Gillis, in fact, used to use the Acadian Lines to come from his riding in Antigonish to Halifax and used the opportunity to work on his files. If we had more Bill Gillises, maybe we wouldn't be talking about the demise of the Acadian Lines. However, I think this bill is one that does provide some accommodation for the change that does need to go on, and certainly our Party will indeed support Bill No. 133.

In many ways it has come about because of the shutting down of the Acadian Lines. I'm sure there are many of us in this House who have used the Acadian Lines bus service from time to time. I know, as a university student in Antigonish, at St. F.X., getting to the city and getting down to the Valley, the Acadian Lines was certainly part of my history as a student in the province and there are many now for a couple of generations who have indeed depended on Acadian Lines. This bill will support reliable bus service across the province, especially for students, seniors and others who rely on scheduled bus travel. We know that in recent years, ridership has gone down and perhaps the competitive element wasn't present nearly as strong as it could have been, and perhaps should have been.

The bus industry in Nova Scotia, like many industries, in some ways has been plagued by the economic challenges but in particular the last three and a half years, under the NDP Government. Companies have had to apply to the Utility and Review Board and attend public hearings for all applications, including requests to change tariff schedules and routes. Of course this can be time-consuming and costly and again one of the elements that did catch up with Acadian Lines. The bill means that bus operators can make timely, reasonable changes to tariffs, schedules, and routes without the cost of hiring a lawyer and attending a hearing. So we support this initiative but we have questions about why it took so long for the NDP to allow for competition in the sector.

[Page 3908]

The minister claims there was no need for additional bus services when clearly there is a need. For many Nova Scotians, particularly in rural areas, the bus is the only means of transportation to far-away locations. The bill proves that completion was warranted. The government should have acted upon the matter sooner. It also begs the question, why is government prepared to allow competition in a heavily-regulated environment for bus services but will not support competition in a regulated environment for energy and allow independent, renewable energy providers to sell power directly to customers? So there is a constant effort by the NDP Government to really talk out of both sides of their mouth.

The minister will now have responsibility over licensing companies for bus service. So what is interesting is they've taken this power from the URB, something they say they won't do for energy. Why? They have enough control for an important matter such as bus service but don't have enough control to rein in Nova Scotia Power. It's all very strange, Mr. Speaker, but we do support this initiative - I want to make that clear. With transportation links being cut in Nova Scotia, whether through the NDP's reckless decision to stop the Yarmouth ferry or the federal Conservative Government not stepping in to ensure Via Rail has more than three days of service a week, Nova Scotians need reliable bus service more than ever.

Who knows, if the NDP had stepped in earlier in their mandate to alleviate the challenges Acadian Lines faced, perhaps the company would still be in operation past the end of November. Competition would have been great for customers - it would have forced companies to bring prices down for the consumers. Spending less money in this time of austerity is paramount, especially when life is less affordable under the NDP Government.

Again, Mr. Speaker, the bill is important and we do support the measure. It's a shame it was not done sooner but perhaps late is better than never. I look forward to seeing the bill through to the Law Amendments Committee and hearing from concerned Nova Scotians on this matter. Thank you.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think one of the reasons we have had recent loss of bus service has been the entry of the shuttle van services. I know that many Nova Scotians have chosen that service in favour of the traditional bus service for its convenience. I know years ago, I remember if you got stuck on what was known as the milk run, it was going to be a long trip home. I think what we are facing is a decision between regulation to ensure there is some standard of service and contrast that with another approach of allowing a free market approach with the ability of competition.

[Page 3909]

Mr. Speaker, I think the aim of this legislation is something we support and we hope it achieves its goals. I do know that when Acadian Lines announced the discontinuance of their service, the first thing I thought about was that probably a lot of it has to do with people changing their modes of travel and going towards the shuttle van services.

Mr. Speaker, we're interested to see the legislation proceed to Law Amendments Committee and look forward to hearing further comments by Nova Scotians, whether it's from industry or users of the service. Thank you.

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

MR. JIM MORTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise this evening to say just a few words in support of Bill No. 133. I think anybody who has lived in rural Nova Scotia understands how important bus services have been to this province, particularly to those people, maybe young people who are students in university to people who may have health issues and need to travel from one community to another for services of one kind or another, and the seniors who may have limited incomes or are no longer able to drive themselves.

Making adjustments, as Bill No. 133 suggests, to assist in the evolution and the maintenance of bus services is extremely important. We need a service, Mr. Speaker, in Nova Scotia that is reliable and I think that goes hand in hand with creating an opportunity for the operators of bus services to be successful; successful operators can lead to reliable services. One of the ways that this bill, Bill No. 133, suggests doing that is to streamline the processes.

We have, in this province in the past, required operators to spend considerable amounts of time and considerable amounts of money through the URB to make changes in fares or in routes, and I think that Bill No. 133 will provide operators with that opportunity to be more nimble. It does streamline the processes, it recognizes some newer realities, and it will help operators change tariffs, schedules, and routes more comfortably. And I think we can all be grateful that that change will occur - I know that in my experience in the Annapolis Valley it will mean that students from Acadia can travel more easily to Halifax and return; and it will mean that if somebody needs cancer treatment in the city, or an appointment, they are going to be more likely to be able to get with less difficulty. I'm certainly pleased that this change has occurred.

[Page 3910]

I'd like to just make note of one example, Mr. Speaker, that appeared in The Weekly Press in East Hants: "Milford resident, and University of Prince Island (UPEI) student Jeanetta McGinley often relies upon Acadian Lines to shuttle her back and forth from her school on the island province. With the recent announcement of the cancellation of the service, McGinley has found herself between a rock and hard place as she tries to find a cost-effective solution for her transportation needs."

It's those kinds of problems that we're trying to correct and I think Bill No. 133 will go a long way to making that service available to Ms. McGinley and many other Nova Scotians in her circumstance. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : It's a pleasure to rise and say a few words on second reading of Bill No. 133 - the Inter-city Bus Service Act. I listened quite intently to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal because on the weekend we saw where the Government House Leader encouraged the Opposition to speak more on government legislation, so I figured the government would lead by example. But considering the minister took about five minutes to read his comments on Bill No. 133, I'm not quite sure how we can be expected to go much longer than that.

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that this is addressing a problem that existed in this province - as my colleague, the member for Kings West has pointed out the question becomes, why did we wait to fix a problem when already the operator who was involved here has basically suspended operations? One has to ask the question, legitimately: is this not something that could have been done sooner?

Now, with all due respect, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is fairly new to his portfolio, so I don't think it would be fair to say that he should have been expected to be able to do this sooner, but I would certainly suspect that there are enough capable people within the Government of Nova Scotia who should have been able to see there was a problem here, how can we fix it, because I think everybody realized that the way Acadia Lines was operating was not sustainable.

I remember this summer being actually in the minister's riding, stopped at the Subway on Main Street and looking at the Acadian Lines bus that was there for its stop - and when the bus left I looked and there was one person on the bus. So it doesn't take an economist to figure out that that business is not going to survive when you have the overhead expenses that that would have, and you had one person on that bus.

Mr. Speaker, like so many others, I've enjoyed many trips on the Acadian Lines bus, especially in my younger days travelling to the city from Cape Breton. We used to have a bus stop in St. Peter's at Joe Pops which is now a Needs convenience store, and you also had a bus stop in Port Hawkesbury for the Strait but that bus stop changed quite a few times. It was at Jean Depot at one point. Then it was over in Mulgrave, or in Aulds Cove I should say, next to the Irving Big Stop, in that blue building that's there, I believe they have flea markets there all the time, and then at one point I believe it was at the Canadian Tire gas outlet over in Port Hastings. So it has moved around, but it's something that was accessible to people in the Strait area.

[Page 3911]

As the minister knows very well, Antigonish was the site of a significant depot, right off of what used to be the highway, now we have the bypass there, but I believe that that building has been completely renovated now and there's a new business there. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, I had the occasion more than once to be stopped at that terminal and to eat at their cafeteria as we would travel up to Halifax. Truro was another place I remember had quite a significant terminal as well. Then many of us will remember the old terminal here in Halifax, off Robie Street, which now I believe has been taken over by a framing operation and was no longer being used by Acadian Lines because they were using the Via Rail station as their stop.

So that has been a service that has been available to Nova Scotians for so many years. Many Nova Scotians will have had stories of travelling on the Acadian Lines bus. As the member for Inverness correctly pointed out, the growth of the shuttle bus service clearly had an impact on Acadian Lines and any other operators like that, but it would appear that that spike in shuttle bus service has kind of levelled off now. Once upon a time, when you travelled on the highway, it was normal to see four or five shuttles going by from different parts of the province. Now I would say it's more the exception to actually meet a shuttle bus. Certainly from Halifax to Cape Breton, it's rare to actually see them and I know of a number of operators in Richmond County who started up that no longer offer that service any longer because of the challenges.

But there's no question, Mr. Speaker, as I'm sure you're aware, many of my constituents still travel to Halifax for medical appointments and especially for medical treatments. Many of them are seniors who are on fixed incomes and the cost of travelling with their own vehicle is becoming very prohibitive for them. As they get up in age, it's becoming a longer ride all the time. So having a reliable service that's going to be there - and hopefully at competitive rates - is going to be a good thing for the province and whenever you have an operator who can come in and say that legislation being brought in the House is going to make his business more competitive and hopefully profitable, then one would hope that that's a sign that this is a move in the right direction.

At the same time, Mr. Speaker, I think it's important for both the minister and his government to undertake possibly a public information campaign to encourage people to use public transit. I know we do that here in HRM. I know there are efforts within some of the other larger urban centres but the question is, what are we doing to encourage people to take transit from the rural areas? So rather than taking their own private vehicle with only one or two people in it to travel to other parts of the province, would it not be better to be encouraging them to use whatever public transit is going to be available?

[Page 3912]

I'm sure the minister is well aware of the success the Strait Area Transit has had for the Strait area, both for students attending NSCC campus in Port Hawkesbury, for people going to medical appointments, whether it be at the Strait Richmond Hospital - I believe there's a move now to possibly try to include a route that would go up to St. Martha's Hospital due to the level of demand for people who have to take treatments there. I certainly think there's a role there to be played by the minister - whether it be through his department or even the Minister of Environment - on how we can encourage Nova Scotians to use public transit where possible, especially on a carrier that would take them from various parts of the province rather than using their own private vehicles.

I would be remiss if I did not as well echo the comments of my colleague from Kings West, that having such a service is important to our province. We are all still reeling from the impact of this government's decision to cut the Yarmouth ferry, a decision which I'm sure they wish they could go back - that they would never have made. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, I travelled to Yarmouth this summer, and it was depressing driving by that terminal and to see it gated and to see the absolute lack of activity that goes there. The hotel that's right in front of it, one of the Rodds, is closed.

I can tell you, when you look at the tourist bureau that's there - we actually stopped in and you look at how big it is, how beautiful it is. The fact that there was almost no one in there, because of that ferry being cancelled - that was an incredible link between our province and the United States, and it's this government's decision that has terminated that service, and as a province, we are all still paying for it. (Interruption) The Minister of Justice can blame the federal government if he wants. The fact is that the province had an opportunity here and made a decision. Once again, they picked a winner and they picked a loser. The loser was Yarmouth County, but unfortunately, this government has learned that all Nova Scotians were the losers for that.

I'm sure you were made aware as well, Mr. Speaker, that the tour bus traffic in Cape Breton went down 35 per cent when that ferry closed, which was a shocker to me. I never thought anyone would travel on the ferry, on a bus, and then come all the way over to Cape Breton, but that's what was being done. So even that was an eye-opener for me, that there was that much bus traffic that was coming from the ferry to Cape Breton, helping our economy in Cape Breton and helping the economy throughout the province.

When you lose that type of transit service, there is obviously a significant impact. In this case, we've lost Acadian Lines. It would appear that there's a new operator who is going to be coming in. We'll be watching closely, especially from the rural areas, to see what level of service we can expect from this new operator, especially considering that much of the infrastructure that Acadian Lines had is gone. It's questionable whether a new operator is going to make significant investments in new infrastructure or whether they'll be entering into partnerships with existing businesses.

[Page 3913]

While I know the minister is going to want to be reasonable, at the same time I'm certainly hopeful that he will be strong in encouraging any new operator to ensure that rural Nova Scotia is properly addressed with any routes that are selected, with the times that travel will take place, the frequency of travel - that there's going to be consideration given to all parts of the province in a very reasonable fashion.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to this bill going to the Law Amendments Committee. If there's one thing we've learned, especially under this government, it is that one is never sure who is going to show up at the Law Amendments Committee or who may not have been consulted, so we'll wait to see what takes place at that stage and if there are any outstanding concerns with this specific piece of legislation. With that, I will conclude my remarks on Bill No. 133, the Inter-city Bus Service Act.

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

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. MAURICE SMITH « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the House for their comments, and indeed, for their support for this legislation. I am also looking forward to it going to the Law Amendments Committee to get further public input on it. I would now like to move second reading of Bill No. 133. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 133. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

[8:15 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

[8:29 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Gordon Gosse, resumed the Chair.]

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

[Page 3914]

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

Bill No. 97 - Fairer Power Rates Act.

Bill No. 125 - War Amps Key Tag Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 105.

Bill No. 105 - Agriculture and Marketing Act.

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

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 105 be now read for a third time. The members remember my comments in second reading and I feel that from my experience in the House that they probably all took notes on this. (Interruption) I appreciate the member for Argyle saying that he has given this some thought, and in light of the fact he is a former Minister of Agriculture, I can see why he might consider what I say in regard to this bill.

Actually, I would hope the former minister recognizes the conundrum that required this bill; I have to say that even for me, being the minister since 2009, to have my staff come to me and indicate that they are not sure the minister has all of the authority necessary to engage in policy development, or develop new programs that we would consider as helping the industry.

I think maybe the thing that had shone the most light on this, Mr. Speaker, was the fact that the powers or authority that is given to me in this bill - there are similar powers in legislation for my colleague sitting beside me, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture - I think it was through the due diligence of the staff at the department that they recognized that there may be something amiss. I'm not sure I fully accept the notion that someone would challenge my authority in this regard but I think it is like all things that we do, I'm a Cabinet Minister, a member of Executive Council; the Cabinet Ministers and the Premier are the government, so I think if somebody brings something to our attention that there may be an issue, I think better to resolve that and ensure that I have that power and I think there will be many people who would say, under the Public Service Act, that you have that power anyway when you become a minister.

[Page 3915]

There are variety of things, I would say, that the minister would think that he would have power for, or authority for, when we think about the things that the department does on a regular basis, whether it is policy and programs on soil improvement, or forage development, or disease, or pests. Actually, coming up after third reading on this bill, I think we will be calling the Bee Industry Act where we establish a mechanism to give authority for collecting fees for inspection of bee hives that are transported into the province. This actually would come up as the very question about whether the minister actually has the authority to bring in the requirement that a fee can be charged.

For my colleagues in the House, I know that some may be aware of an initiative that we have undertaken over two years now on grass-finished beef. We started with a trial of six animals, slaughtered five of them - one turned out to be pregnant so she was given a reprieve. I won't go there. So, anyway, it turns out that the five animals turned out to be, I think, two AAAs, two AAs, and an A when they were graded. These were animals that were finished solely on haylage and silage, and no grain whatsoever. That was enough to move us into a second phase of that program, or actually I should say Phase I, that little trial actually was just enough to indicate whether we should do a program. So we went with 30 animals from the Cape John pasture, divided the pasture into six 20-acre paddocks, did a forage analysis in those six paddocks, did the weights of the animals periodically, did a rate of gain, and then bought 30 animals, did all the sensory testing for those animals as far as taste and so on, and did a chemical analysis on the omega-3 and other chemistry of the meat to determine whether or not it actually had the health benefits that are reported to be in grass-finished beef, and it certainly did.

In all the literature that we investigated, the actual testing of this beef was far better than what the literature indicated. So that process, experiment, whatever you want to call it, still continues. We'll buy 30 animals this Fall and continue with that, doing all the price-point analysis, et cetera, to see whether or not we actually have something that Nova Scotia beef producers, that we could roll out as a program in about a year's time, maybe less. So the question of putting resources behind a program like this, whether or not the minister actually has the authority to do that, we don't want to get halfway through this initiative, or any other initiative that we've worked hard with the industry to try to help them, and so it's somewhat worrisome I think on our part to find out that the minister may not have the authority that he or she might think. I know this bill is not necessarily about me but it's about whoever is in this role as the minister.

[Page 3916]

So, Mr. Speaker, I think it's incumbent upon the government to ensure when we speak to the people that we let them know that we've done our due diligence and recognize that if there is a possibility that our legal team thinks that the minister may not have authority that he needs to carry out any of these programs, whatever they might be, that we see to it that that actually happens. I think members would be familiar, I mentioned about the Bee Industry Act, but they would also be familiar with the Fur Industry Act which has amendments going through the House, and so there's another case for a program with regulations that we're trying to use to protect the environment and also stabilize the industry so it has a sustainable future in the Province of Nova Scotia.

So it's another case of a road we want to go down. We think it's better for the people, it's better for the industry, and we certainly don't want to get somewhere to find out that the minister never had the authority to initiate that direction at all. So I think for members across the way, we all have heard the term housekeeping and that's really, I think, what the amendments to this Act could be considered. As much as we might think that's kind of the ordinary business of government that we do this on occasion, we look at the language, or look at what's missing in the language, and someone realizes that this should be strengthened which is a very good thing but it shouldn't be considered to be just an ordinary thing, or an ordinary process.

This is about ensuring that the authority that the people's government has is real and that we can initiate programs and processes. and policies that are to the benefit of the industry, and therefore to the benefit of the people.

I'm not sure if members opposite intend to have any comments in this regard on this bill. I look forward to them, but with that, I move third reading of Bill No. 105, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the minister started by commending us for listening so well to his comments on second reading. He was so impressed with our attentiveness that he basically repeated his comments from second reading here tonight.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to be brief. In light of the Government House Leader's comments on the weekend lamenting the lack of debate by the Opposition on government legislation, I thought that - as important as this bill is to the minister - for the purposes of those who may be watching tonight, this bill actually has two clauses. It's a bit more than half a page in length, but not quite three-quarters. Therefore, needless to say, it's pretty tough to get up and speak at length on legislation when you see that there are actually only two clauses and not quite three-quarters of a page in length for Bill No. 105. Merci.

[Page 3917]

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm going to be very brief as well. I want to add to the comments of my colleague, the member for Richmond. There's not a lot in the bill, but if it's effective to some degree and helps us do business better and helps the industry, then as I said at more length in second reading, we would support this going through all the way.

I know that some consulting has been done there, but both Parties on this side of the House did offer a number of comments with regard to how to make life better and proposed things and so on for the agriculture industry. I won't take a lot of time, just to say that we do support the bill going through, and would like to see, I guess, again at length, a lot of comments for very few words in a bill. Mr. Speaker, with that I will take my seat.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 105. 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. 109.

Bill No. 109 - Bee Industry Act.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 109, the Bee Industry Act, be now read for a third time. I'm sure the members opposite may count the clauses and get back to me.

The intent of this piece of legislation is to give authority for the collection of fees for inspection of hives. My colleague, the member for Argyle, in his former role as Minister of Agriculture, probably would remember any issues around the bee industry and the health status of Nova Scotia's bee industry. We have quite a good health status in Nova Scotia.

If the members are coming into the province from New Brunswick, they'll see the sign about a ban on importation of bees, Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions) The honourable member for Argyle is telling me bees can't read. (Interruptions) Although people would read the sign, it may cause a bit of a curiosity as to the intent of it. Nova Scotia's bee industry and the honeybee population here has a significantly good health status. I think Prince Edward Island is the same as well. We have a concern around what diseases, pests, et cetera may be brought into the province that would negatively impact the honeybee population.

[Page 3918]

I wish I had thought of it, and I didn't, to let members know about the economic or financial impact of pollination to the province. I'm sure that we do have that number about what it means to the fruit industry in particular in terms of hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions.

The industry has a concern that we may jeopardize the health status of the industry by bringing in hives that bring a disease so - I think of the view that the regulation actually prevented the importation of bees into the province, but I knew that there were some beekeepers bringing in queens from other jurisdictions to expand their hives and so it's obvious it was possible to bring bees into the province. But the regulation really was written around bringing in bees with a particular health status. You had to have a health certificate in order for bees to come into the province.

That has been the regulation for some considerable amount of time; I actually was of the view that you couldn't import bees into Nova Scotia, but you can bring them in with a health certificate that says they meet the protocols of the province for health.

There was a pilot project last Spring where I think 4,600 hives were brought into the province and were inspected when they entered. They were actually inspected at the location that they left - I believe in Ontario - they were inspected before they came to Nova Scotia, they were inspected again when they got to Nova Scotia and I believe they were inspected when they left. This was an importation of honeybees primarily for the use of the blueberry industry. The hives came in, they were here for a fairly short period of time and then they left the province.

This is something that other, in particular, blueberry producers are eager to look at to determine whether they might consider doing that. In light of the necessity for more hives, we put together a Pollination Expansion Program of about $450,000 into that program to try to encourage local beekeepers to invest money into expanding their hives. There was a fair bit of uptake on that, I think the expansion did happen in the range of about 1,000 more hives in the province and we're hoping that will continue.

It's a far cry from the 4,600 that came into the province, but hopefully over time we'll encourage the people who are deemed to be commercial operators, and there's about 25 or so in the province who we would consider to be of a large enough number of hives – I think 50 or more – to be considered commercial. We're also hoping to encourage some younger people, new entrants into the bee industry.

[Page 3919]

A little known bit of trivia that the members may not know, the income from 20 hives is equivalent to one dairy cow. I do know of one operation in Nova Scotia that has 1,000 hives and that would be equivalent to a 50-cow milking herd of dairy cattle. I think that's reason enough to invest because this is an industry that, unlike the dairy industry, there's no quota that you have to buy and it provides a valuable service for fruit production in the province.

Mr. Speaker, the initiative of this bill is to allow for us to collect our fees back. That's what we're hoping to do. Because we had no authority to charge a fee, we might as well say that the inspection on those hives that came in this year was carried by the taxpayer. We think the industry should pay for those inspections, so this allows us, the authority, to now collect a fee for those inspections. The industry has no problem with that.

I met on Saturday with the wild blueberry producers for Nova Scotia. The industry has had a significant increase in production this year, and part of that - I don't know if all of it can be linked to the increased pollination, but certainly the people there saw that as part of the answer for the industry. I think it was in the range of an extra 10 million pounds, is what they think the crop is better than in previous years, so that made bringing in bees worthwhile.

If members opposite are going to have any comments on this, I look forward to hearing them, and I move third reading of Bill No. 109. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I certainly appreciate the comments from the Minister of Agriculture. Again, in light of the comments from the Government House Leader lamenting the lack of debate of the Opposition, I thought it would be important for Nova Scotians to realize that Bill No. 109 has one clause. In fact, it adds to an existing Act, and the bill itself actually contains eight words. Let me repeat for the members of the government who may have missed that: this bill that we're being asked to debate contains eight words.

Needless to say, Mr. Speaker, to suggest that the Opposition should be using up the time of this House for a bill that contains eight words - I think Nova Scotians are realistic, and I can assure them that the Opposition bills before this House are of much more substance and would generate much more debate. Merci.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : I thought I'd just take a couple of seconds, since the minister did use my name a couple of times during his debate. Just as coming from an area, and in knowing that a number of areas around this province that are larger blueberry-producing areas - I know my area of Kemptville, which I sort of share with the member for Yarmouth, had a pretty darn good crop this year when it came to blueberries. Whether it came with the sun, whether it was the rain, whether it was the bees - it's always hard to say exactly where it came from, or maybe it is all of the above, but when it comes to the issue of streamlining legislation, streamlining regulations, I think it's a good one.

[Page 3920]

The only thing I'm not too sure of, because I did miss second reading - I don't know exactly what the debate has been with the producers. Is it an extra cost that is going to be borne by them? Are they okay with that kind of charge? I think we've always been - that as long as it's a reasonable charge, it can go along. If it's too much of a charge, well, that's a completely different question.

With that, Mr. Speaker, again, even though I do agree a little bit with my friend, the member for Richmond that it is a very little bill that doesn't seem to do a whole lot, I think this is one that will have the support of our caucus.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I could buzz right through this, but I just wanted to take a minute to get on the record that, as the Agriculture Critic for the PC caucus, I have travelled and met with many different sectors of the agricultural industry. As much fun as we might poke at something like the bees, it is a very important piece of our agricultural industry in this province. I want our folks in the agricultural industry to know that we do support things that will help them grow.

With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much.

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

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to say a few words about the bill, since it does have major implications for the blueberry industry. We all know the need for a precautionary approach as we could, in fact, bring disease or pests, especially mites, through the transport of bees. It is very important that inspections do take place and this bill will allow a sustainable feature now to be built in. Our blueberry industry is thriving and Oxford Frozen Foods depends on a good pollination in order to have the quantity, sometimes in the range of six million pounds, that will be exported, and to have that guaranteed pollination is essential to the process.

We've had some challenges with over-wintering of bees and, as a result, we still have great room for expansion of our Nova Scotia bee industry, but at the current time we often don't have sufficient bees to do the kind of intensive pollination that the wild blueberry crop requires. This bill does allow for inspection of the hives as they leave Ontario or perhaps other areas of the country, as well, and also when they leave the province, so the bill has merit for our blueberry industry. With that I thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 3921]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 109. 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. 112.

Bill No. 112 - Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll put on my other hat for Bill No. 112, Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. This is a piece of legislation where I know members opposite are going to count the clauses. This was at the request - actually it started out, I think, with the Village of Port Williams, through to the Kings County Municipality.

The issue in the Municipal Government Act was that municipalities didn't have the authority to give grants to villages that were within their jurisdiction. So, Mr. Speaker, I think, for our consideration, we wanted to know that there was significant support for this. Certainly we wanted to see some movement on the part of the villages association in the province and also support from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

I believe it was in the past convention, in September, that resolution was passed at the UNSM meeting that gave support by the UNSM to amending the Municipal Government Act so that municipalities actually could give grants to villages. So for us that was really the agreement that we wanted to see in order for us to amend the Act and allow them that authority.

I'm not sure if members would be aware - I think there are around 22 villages in the province, and members may not recognize that there are just a few services that villages can offer, but it is another level of taxation within a municipal unit. So the ability, I think, for villages to gain the revenue that they might feel they need to carry out a particular project is a bit limited. And I think the municipality rightly deems that the citizens in the village are part of the municipal unit, so they're their citizens, they're paying taxes to the municipality as well as to the village and so for, I think, the municipal unit, they felt that they do have some responsibility in terms of trying to ensure infrastructure and projects that have come to the benefit of the citizens in the village because they are their citizens as well.

[Page 3922]

So I can see that although it wasn't - this question really came up with the relationship of one village in one municipal unit, but certainly there was support through all the villages and all of the municipalities, I believe. Certainly it received enough support to pass at the UNSM. So I would say that that, for us, is message enough that they deem this significant and would like to be able to help - I think that's really what the bottom line is.

The municipal unit of Kings County that contacted my department around this, I think that genuinely was what they felt, that they wanted to be able to help the village, and they looked at various scenarios that might be possible under the Municipal Government Act in order to do that, and there really wasn't flexibility there to allow that to happen. So this amendment to the Act was really the appropriate thing that needed to be done in order to allow that to happen.

So there's nothing particularly controversial in this legislation, Mr. Speaker, and it's certainly widely supported. I think it's incumbent upon us to try to be helpful when the people who see the need and need the authority to help - and they still have a responsibility to watch their own financial situation within the municipality as well as the village - I see no reason to think that they shouldn't be able to partner for one to help the other.

I look forward to the comments by my colleagues opposite, and with that, I move third reading of Bill No. 112.

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

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm happy that the minister is looking forward to hearing our comments - I hope that means that he might take them under consideration.

The minister talked a lot about one of the provisions, which is related to changing grants as it relates to villages and so forth, and I think that makes a lot of sense and has the support of UNSM. So I think that probably addresses some issues. May I point out for the benefit of the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal that the minister over here mentioned Port Williams and, I might add, they have implemented crosswalk flags - I was just going to slide that in there. Actually it's kind of neat if you go up and see them.

One of the things I did want to note here is the minister did not mention the fact that this amendment also changes the date of the filing of the Auditor General's Report in the Halifax Regional Municipality from July 31st to September 30th. I suspect that there's a request for that reason. I'm not standing to speak against that, but more standing just to seek clarity as to that change because their year-end is March 31st and I know the Auditor General's reports wouldn't necessarily always be tied to that anyway. It would be interesting to know from the minister just what the rationale is behind that change. I'm sure it was a request and there's a good reason for it but where we are moving those reports back, I just think it's important to know.

[Page 3923]

The other thing that I would just flag is, obviously this is - I was going to call it an omnibus bill because it covers three different issues. It changes a definition but it also only has six clauses, so it's sort of a mini-omnibus bill. Since the minister was introducing a bill to make some various amendments to the Halifax Regional Charter and the Municipal Government Act, I know that there has been a long-standing request from the Halifax Regional Municipality for an amendment to their charter which would allow the form planning provisions, which are now currently permitted just in the peninsula area - and actually only a portion of the peninsula area of the former City of Halifax - to allow that to now be implemented elsewhere in the municipality.

There were a number of councillors here the other day who were here to actually talk about that issue, including the new deputy mayor who was down here looking to find out when that might be happening because, as some members opposite are probably aware, the municipality has been running public consultations now for a couple of years, in various parts of the municipality. I haven't been to them all but I've been to some of the ones inside the Circumferential Highway on the Dartmouth side, where there was a lot of eagerness to move forward with those.

I know that for six years now we have had the document waiting to go to council for the Main Street Business Improvement District, in my own riding, and all of those are on hold. Actually the one in my own riding has almost - I never want to say unanimous support because I'm sure there are people out there who don't support it, but at the meetings it has had unanimous support. It's probably the best way to word that for moving in that direction.

Currently the only reason it is on hold, I'm told by the municipality, is they are waiting for those amendments to be approved to the Charter that had been a long-standing request. I only point that out because I think that where this is an amendment to two Acts that covers at least three separate issues - it covers the village issue; it covers the changing of the date for an Auditor General and also changes the definition of a deputy minister - obviously this is covering a broad variety of issues and this may have been a chance to introduce that.

I would add, had I known about it before just the other day, I might have actually suggested that, in second reading, to look at the Committee on Law Amendments, but I only became aware that that was what some of those were on hold for. So there are planning documents ready to go to council in the municipality that are simply waiting on that amendment. One would hope that may very well come before this House because I know the Main Street one, for example, has been sitting there now since early 2009, waiting. I get calls to my office wondering when it is coming. The feedback that we have received is they are waiting on the ability to expand those provisions that allowed HRM by Design in the core to the broader area.

[Page 3924]

I hope the minister will be looking at that, or having his staff look at that, and look at the advisability of that. I know that it would be nice to at least allow the municipality to move forward and make some decisions in that respect since it has been promised for some time. Thank you very much.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to tie up the resources of the House. We're supportive of this legislation and look forward to the evening proceeding here. Thank you.

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

MR. JIM MORTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to rise for a moment to say a word on Bill No. 112. There are two villages in Kings North, the Village of Canning and the Village of Port Williams and both are important to the life of our overall community. Both have a critical relationship with the larger municipality.

When I think of Canning I think of the work that's happening right now to implement a strategic plan; when I think of Port Williams I think of a growing residential community that's in good proximity both to this city, Mr. Speaker, to Wolfville, to Kentville, which has been doing a great deal of work to improve its waterfront and its appearance. All of that work requires collaboration with other levels of government, including the Municipality of Kings, of which, I would say, it has kind of a sibling-like relationship. I think there has been an irony in the way that the Municipal Government Act has been structured in that it has been possible for municipalities to grant money to many kinds of organizations, but it has not given the municipalities the authority to actually support those villages which are structures that do a lot of good for citizens.

I don't want to say a lot about this bill, Mr. Speaker, except that I see this as a small change that has some significant implications. I'm particularly pleased that we've been able to make this legislation happen through collaboration and consideration by UNSM. This is not something that has been forced on any municipal unit but something that has been agreed upon by the whole. It will make life in the villages better; it will allow some projects so proceed.

[Page 3925]

I know that in the case of Kings North this will be particularly important to the community of Canning and maybe even more so to Port Williams in the short term.

I'm very, very pleased that the minister has seen fit to move this legislation forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 112. 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. 114.

Bill No. 114 - Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 114 be now read a third time.

The changes to the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act are housekeeping amendments. Changes will fix three small errors and clarify the Act; they will not change how the Act works. Since 2007 families have relied on the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act to ensure that they can get the financial support from a spouse who lives outside Nova Scotia. That's very important to many families.

Nova Scotians want a law that allow spouses to collect the support they are due. This bill ensures that Nova Scotians can have a support order enforced in other provinces and in other countries. Again, Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate that Bill No. 114 is about housekeeping changes that do not change the intent of the Act. I want to thank the members of the House for their consideration of Bill No. 114.

Mr. Speaker, I now move third reading of Bill No. 114.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise on Bill No. 114. As the minister indicated, it is a housekeeping bill, but for the purposes of those who may be interested in seeing why there is limited debate on this, there are actually three clauses to this bill, not actually quite half a page - almost. Needless to say, Mr. Speaker, we won't take up any more time of the House to debate a bill with three clauses that is not half a page and, as the minister described himself, is housekeeping in its nature. Merci.

[Page 3926]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 114. 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. 115.

Bill No. 115 - The Interprovincial Investigative Authority Act.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : I move that Bill No. 115, the Interprovincial Investigative Authority Act, be now read a third time. Mr. Speaker, the changes proposed in Bill No. 115 will ultimately help provincial enforcement officers investigate people and companies based in other provinces that break the law in Nova Scotia. Right now, people who do business in Nova Scotia can break the law and potentially get away with it. I think we can all agree that that's not right.

This legislation is the first step in changing that, as the members opposite have pointed out, but you have to start somewhere. If you are going to initiate a change, the next step is to get together, to get other provinces on board, and to put the reciprocal agreement in place.

We don't anticipate that being a problem, Mr. Speaker, as most other provinces and territories have agreed that out-of-province search warrants are an issue. In fact, there is a working group looking at this now, and that group has representation from 10 provinces and territories. Nova Scotia will be the first province to add a provision of out-of-province search warrants to its legislation. This will set a model for other provinces and territories to follow. Once we have reciprocating agreements in place, our enforcement officers will be able to execute a search warrant in other provinces, and other provinces will be able to execute their search warrants in Nova Scotia. We will be able to gather evidence that exists in other jurisdictions, and more importantly, we will be able to better investigate and prosecute crimes.

[Page 3927]

Mr. Speaker, I thank the members of the House for this consideration of Bill No. 115 and ask for their patience as we move this forward with our provincial and territorial partners. At the end of the day, we all want to ensure that people and companies that do business in Nova Scotia are held accountable for their actions; this legislation will help us do just that. With that, I now move third reading of Bill No. 115, the Interprovincial Investigative Authority Act. Thank you.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : It's a pleasure to rise on third reading of Bill No. 115. This is one of the heavier bills that we have seen this session - it's got three clauses, but it's actually four pages in length, so it's one of the bigger pieces of legislation.

As the minister pointed out, the challenge with debating this bill is that until other provinces enter into the agreement to allow for interprovincial investigations, this bill will be of no effect. It's going to take those types of agreements being put in place first. The minister has indicated that we're the first province to be putting legislation through their Legislature. Therefore, there is a lot more work that needs to be done, and in my experience, even though the Ministers of Justice may agree on a concept, from agreement to reality tends to take a significant period of time, unfortunately.

This is something that we've indicated our support for in second reading. It's the same thing now. We look forward to seeing other provinces bringing forward legislation and entering into agreements with the Province of Nova Scotia in a very timely fashion. Merci.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 115. 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, it will give great pleasure to the other members of the House that that concludes the government's business for tonight. So I move that the House do now rise to meet from the hour of 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m. tomorrow. Following the daily routine, we will be doing Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill No. 136; Private and Local Bills, Bill No. 139; Public Bills for Third Reading, Bill Nos. 97 and 125; and if time permits, Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. I move that the House do now rise.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet tomorrow at the hour of 12 noon. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 9:20 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 3929]

RESOLUTION NO. 2111

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas the Queens County Fair has been held in Caledonia at the same site since its main building was constructed in 1886 and the pavilion in 1920; and

Whereas the Region of Queens Municipal Council received a recommendation from the Heritage Advisory Committee to include the main building and pavilion of the Queens County Fair in the Municipal Registry of Heritage Property; and

Whereas bronze plaques have been presented to the Queens County Fair recognizing the heritage designation of these buildings;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the Queens County Fair for the heritage designations of its main building and pavilion.

RESOLUTION NO. 2112

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 Dalhousie University was founded in 1818 with a £7,000 grant from George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie; and

Whereas for the past 54 years, Dalhousie University has hosted an Alumni dinner honouring some of its most prominent alumnus; and

Whereas at the Dalhousie Alumni dinner held this past September, Mr. Erin O'Toole was among the honourees receiving the Christopher J. Coulter Young Alumnus Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. O'Toole on this prestigious award of merit, and wish all honourees of this year's Dalhousie Alumni Dinner the best in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2113

[Page 3930]

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 Dalhousie University was founded in 1818 with a £7,000 grant from George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie; and

Whereas for the past 54 years, Dalhousie University has hosted an Alumni Dinner honouring some of its most prominent alumnus; and

Whereas at the Dalhousie Alumni dinner held this past September, Dr. Frank Harvey was among the honourees receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Harvey on this prestigious award of merit, and wish all honourees of this year's Dalhousie Alumni Dinner the best in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2114

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 Dalhousie University was founded in 1818 with a £7,000 grant from George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie; and

Whereas for the past 54 years, Dalhousie University has hosted an Alumni Dinner honouring some of its most prominent alumnus; and

Whereas at the Dalhousie Alumni Dinner held this past September, the Honourable Justice W. Andrew MacKay was among the honourees receiving the Alumnus Achievement Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Honourable Justice W. Andrew MacKay on this prestigious award of merit, and wish all honourees of this year's Dalhousie Alumni Dinner the best in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2115

[Page 3931]

By: Mr. Leo Glavine « » (Kings West)

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

Whereas Bob Stead completed an exceptional tenure as Mayor of Wolfville that had a reach and impact well beyond the Annapolis Valley town; and

Whereas Bob's leadership in initiatives such as a bylaw banning smoking in vehicles was a first in Canada, as well as implementing the first conservation easement in Canadian history that protects municipally-owned land; and

Whereas Bob's time in office was also highlighted by signing the Kings 2050 plan for regional co-operation, establishing Wolfville's own community foundation, and creating a healthier environment with a ban on cosmetic pesticides;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Bob Stead on a mayorship characterized by vision, leadership, and inspiration. May he be blessed with good health and enjoyment in retirement as he pursues his interests in the town he loves.