The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD12-54

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Gordon Gosse

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

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



Fourth Session

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
URB - NSP: General Rate Application - Deny,
4148
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2191, Natl. Restorative Justice Wk. (11/19 - 11/25/12)
- Recognize, Hon. R. Landry »
4149
Vote - Affirmative
4149
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 144, Insured Health Services Act,
4150
No. 145, Residential Tenancies Act,
4150
No. 146, East Hants Curling Arena Act,
4150
No. 147, Regulated Health Professions Network Act,
4150
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2192, Margaretville & Dist. Vol. FD - Anniv. (50th),
4151
Vote - Affirmative
4152
Res. 2193, Hfx. Skating Club - Anniv. (150th),
4152
Vote - Affirmative
4152
Res. 2194, "The Halls Have Eyes": Cole Hbr. Dist HS Students
- Congrats., The Premier » (by Mr. C. MacKinnon » )
4152
Vote - Affirmative
4153
Res. 2195, Prem. - Corporate Handouts: Lunenburg West MLA
- Support, Ms. D. Whalen « »
4153
Res. 2196, Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals: Alder Point (C.B.)
Recipients - Congrats., Mr. E. Orrell »
4154
Vote - Affirmative
4155
Res. 2197, Fest. Antigonish Summer Theatre - Anniv. (25th),
4155
Vote - Affirmative
4155
Res. 2198, Prem. - Power Rates/Wages Inaction:
Lunenburg MLA - Support, Mr. L. Glavine « »
4155
Res. 2199, Shannon, Joe: Enterprising Spirit - Congrats.,
4156
Vote - Affirmative
4157
Res. 2200, Shea, Jenna: Pengrowth-N.S. Energy Scholarship
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau »
4157
Vote - Affirmative
4157
Res. 2201, Doucette, David - Little Brook FD: Serv. (15 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Hon. W. Gaudet »
4158
Vote - Affirmative
4158
Res. 2202, Pothier, Marcel - Tusket Ford: New Owner/Manager
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont »
4158
Vote - Affirmative
4159
Res. 2203, 105.9 Seaside FM - Anniv. (10th),
4159
Vote - Affirmative
4160
Res. 2204, Fdn. United Baptist Church - Anniv. (26th),
4160
Vote - Affirmative
4160
Res. 2205, Dennis, Leading Seaman Peter: NATO Medal
- Congrats., Mr. A. MacLeod »
4161
Vote - Affirmative
4161
Res. 2206, C.B. Highlanders: Iron Mike Trophy - Congrats.,
4161
Vote - Affirmative
4162
Res. 2207, Brooks, Linda: Creativity/Positivity - Congrats.,
4162
Vote - Affirmative
4163
Res. 2208, MacKinnon, Hughena/Christmas Island P.O.:
Efforts - Thank, Mr. K. Bain »
4163
Vote - Affirmative
4164
Res. 2209, Snyder, Brandon: Natl. Heritage Fair Award
- Congrats., Mr. G. Ramey »
4164
Vote - Affirmative
4164
Res. 2210, Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team/Coach/Asst. Coaches:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger » (by Ms. K. Regan « » )
4165
Vote - Affirmative
4165
Res. 2211, MacMillan, Vivian - Birthday (100th),
4165
Vote - Affirmative
4166
Res. 2212, Cumberland Cab & Shuttle: Remembrance Day
Complimentary Fares - Thank, Mr. B. Skabar »
4166
Vote - Affirmative
4167
Res. 2213, LeBlanc, Lise: Emergency Response - Commend,
4167
Vote - Affirmative
4167
Res. 2214, Dauphinee, Franklyn: Diamond Jubilee Medal
- Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall »
4168
Vote - Affirmative
4168
Res. 2215, Larkin, Courtney: Young Woman of Distinction Award
- Congrats., Mr. Z. Churchill »
4169
Vote - Affirmative
4169
Res. 2216, Comeau, Joe - Little Brook Vol. FD: Serv. (10 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Hon. W. Gaudet « »
4169
Vote - Affirmative
4170
Res. 2217, Black Educators Assoc./Executive/Members:
Dubois Award - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
4170
Vote - Affirmative
4171
Res. 2218, Digby Dolphins & Digby Golf Classic - Anna. Valley Event & Sport
Tourism Assoc. Awards: Nomination - Congrats., Mr. H. Theriault « »
4171
Vote - Affirmative
4172
Res. 2219, Mercier, Mike: Yarmouth Area C&C Bus. Person of Yr. (2012)
- Congrats., Mr. Z. Churchill « »
4172
Vote - Affirmative
4172
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 463, ERDT: Corporate Funding - Layoffs,
4173
No. 464, Prem. - Rural Job Losses: Obsession - Explain,
4175
No. 465, Prem. - NSP/Prem.'s Office: Correspondence
- Details, Hon. S. McNeil « »
4177
No. 466, NDP Gov't. - NSP: Min. Speaking Notes - Delivery,
4178
No. 467, Health & Wellness - Auditor Gen.'s Questions: Answers
- Lack Explain, Mr. K. Bain « »
4179
No. 468, Prem.: Tuition Fees - Statements (2005),
4180
No. 469, ERDT - JobsHere Plan: Failure - Admit,
4183
No. 470, Com. Serv.: Strait Area Women's Place - Funding Denial,
4184
No. 471, Justice - N.S. Home for Colored Children: Inquiry
- Denial Explain, Mr. A. MacMaster « »
4186
No. 472, SNSMR - Municipalities: Fed. Funding - Min. Advocate,
4188
No. 473, Com. Serv. - Social Housing: Funds - Disbursement
4190
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 97, Fairer Power Rates Act
4191
Vote - Affirmative
4191
No. 125, War Amps Key Tag Act
4192
Vote - Affirmative
4192
HOUSE RECESSED AT 1:52 P.M
4193
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 2:17 P.M
4193
CWH REPORTS
4193
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:]
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 143, Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act
4194
4196
4202
4204
4208
4210
Vote - Affirmative
4210
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
NDP Gov't.: Econ. Dev. - Fundamentals,
4211
4214
4217
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Nov. 23rd at 9:00 a.m
4219
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2220, Mooney, Gerard: UFC Tournament - Congrats.,
4220
Res. 2221, Annapolis Highland Vineyards: Atl. Cdn. Wine
Competition Medals - Congrats., Mr. H. Theriault « »
4220
Res. 2222, Truro Debate Team: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
4221
Res. 2223, St. Croix Ballfield & Recreation Complex: Anna. Valley Event
& Sport Tourism Assoc. - Venue of Yr. Award, Mr. C. Porter « »
4221
Res. 2224, Turner, Lexxie: Debert Legion Bursary - Congrats.,
4222
Res. 2225, Hoyt, Taylor: Debert Legion Bursary - Congrats.,
4222
Res. 2226, Pickard-Tattrie, Aly: N. Col. HS Student of Mo. (05/12)
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
4223
Res. 2227, Frenette, Brittany: N. Col. HS Student of Mo. (06/12)
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
4223
Res. 2228, Ross, Bernard: N. Col. HS Student of Mo. (04/12)
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
4224
Res. 2229, Hunt, Jesse: N. Col. HS Student of Mo. (05/12)
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
4224
Res. 2230, Bush, Noah: N. Col. HS Student of Mo. (04/12)
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
4225
Res. 2231, Reeves, Rebecca: N. Col. HS Student of Mo. (06/12)
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
4225
Res. 2232, LeFort, Patrick/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4226
Res. 2233, Naugle, Michael/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4226
Res. 2234, Hayward, Jackson/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4227
Res. 2235, Malette, Chris/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4227
Res. 2236, MacIntyre, Kai/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4227
Res. 2237, Torrey, Matthew/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4228
Res. 2238, Murphy, Ryan/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4228
Res. 2239, Henman, Brent/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4229
Res. 2240, Fisher, Bruen/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4229
Res. 2241, Gillis, Logan/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4230
Res. 2242, Arsenault, Luc/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4230
Res. 2243, Canning, Alex/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4230
Res. 2244, Benigno, Julien/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4231
Res. 2245, Fahie, Scott/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4231
Res. 2246, Clark, Morgan/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4232
Res. 2247, Doggett, Jacob/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4232
Res. 2248, Gamble, Scott/Dart. Whalers PeeWee AA Team:
Success - Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4233

[Page 4147]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012

Sixty-first General Assembly

Fourth Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Gordon Gosse

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. Before we start the daily routine, the subject matter for late debate has been submitted and I will now read it:

Therefore be it resolved that this NDP Government heed their own words while in Opposition when they condemned corporate welfare, stop handing over hundreds of millions of dollars to large corporations who lay off Nova Scotians, and get back to the fundamentals of economic development in Nova Scotia.

It was submitted by the honourable member for Colchester North.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

4147

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

[Page 4148]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction, if I may?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. LANDRY « » : I would like to draw your attention to the gallery where we have with us today our staff from the Restorative Justice - I'm going to ask everyone to stand afterwards, but what I'll do is just read out the different names -Yvonne Atwell, director of the Community Justice Society and Susan Hughes, director of the John Howard Society, and with them today are the following colleagues: Denise Russell, Selena Guildford, Rennie Shah, Matthew Thomas, Kim Nash, Dan Wandless, Kylene Mellor, Tracy Sabean, and Sobaz Benjamin.

I would like to ask them all to stand, the staff to stand, and receive the warm welcome of this House, please. (Applause)

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2191

[Page 4149]

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

Whereas November 19th to November 25th is National Restorative Justice Week, and government recognizes the importance of restorative justice programs that help victims move forward and prevent people from reoffending; and

Whereas Nova Scotia has had a restorative justice program for youth aged 12 to 17 for more than a decade and is one of the most well-developed and well-recognized programs in the world, with an 80 per cent success rate, along with two adult restorative justice pilot sites in Cape Breton and Colchester County that have received more than 650 referrals since February 2011; and

Whereas Nova Scotia is the first Canadian jurisdiction to initiate a province-wide restorative approach in schools and offer a restorative justice program for university students that will help young people better understand the impact of their actions and find new ways to take responsibility and manage conflict;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize November 19th to November 25th as National Restorative Justice Week, and congratulate everyone involved with restorative justice in this province for the positive impact these programs have on offenders, victims, and our communities.

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.

HON. RAMONA JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction. I would like to draw your attention to the east gallery where we have with us today, amongst a number of people with us today, two very highly trained and extremely dedicated volunteers from the Annapolis Valley. They help the province to protect some of Nova Scotia's most vulnerable citizens.

If the members of the House remember, on Monday I brought forward a resolution talking about our visitors today and that they have been honoured by the Government of Canada for their fine work, for their work with Project Lifesaver. They are from Project Lifesaver and the Annapolis Valley Ground Search and Rescue - we have Nancy and Ron Arenburg. I would now ask that Nancy and Ron please rise and receive the very warm welcome of this House, and a thank you from all of us for the fine work you do on behalf of Nova Scotians. (Applause)

[Page 4150]

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

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, am I permitted to make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Yes.

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, with us in the east gallery today are members of the Nova Scotia Citizens' Health Care Network. They're here to support the piece of legislation I'm going to introduce. With us are Dr. Tim Bood, Paul Currie, Dianne Frittenburg, Ian Johnson, Kyle Buott, Bill Swan, Lee Seymour, John Hutton, Adrienne Silnicki, Angela Giles, and Paula Richardson. So I would like all members to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 144 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Funding and Provision of Health Services. (Hon. David Wilson)

Bill No. 145 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 401 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Residential Tenancies Act. (Ms. Diana Whalen)

Bill No. 146 - Entitled an Act to Authorize the Municipality of the District of East Hants to Aid in the Funding of a Curling Arena. (Hon. John MacDonell as a private member.)

Bill No. 147 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Nova Scotia Regulated Health Professions Network. (Hon. David Wilson)

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

The honourable member for Glace Bay on an introduction.

[Page 4151]

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to your gallery, where we have a CBRM councillor, Mr. George MacDonald. George is a well-known guy in Glace Bay. He's a fantastic educator and guidance counsellor. He gave me a little bit of guidance over the years. I understand he's up for meetings with yourself, Mr. Speaker, and he's certainly a good friend of yours and a good friend of mine, and a great representative for Glace Bay and for Cape Breton. So if you would, please, give George a welcome and a round of applause. (Applause)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2192

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

Whereas in 1962 residents of Margaretsville, Annapolis County, concerned with protecting the property of their friends and neighbours from the devastating effects of fire, came together to form the Margaretsville and District Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas remarkably, one of the founding members, Arthur MacLean, along with eight other members who have served the community for 20-plus years will be recognized at the 50th Anniversary banquet on Saturday November 24, 2012; and

Whereas these veteran firemen, along with other committed volunteer members of the department, are to be commended for the many personal hours they dedicate to training, fundraising, and firefighting;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Margaretsville and District Volunteer Fire Department on this momentous occasion and thanking the members for their dedication in serving the public.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4152]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 2193

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

Whereas this year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Halifax Skating Club, making it the oldest club in all of Canada; and

Whereas events will be held throughout this week to commemorate the special anniversary, including a special segment with Rick Mercer; and

Whereas throughout the years the Halifax Skating Club has produced a number of talented skaters including Rob McCall, Nova Scotia's first Olympic medallist;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Halifax Skating Club on its 150th Anniversary and encourage people from across the province to come out and take part in the anniversary festivities.

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 Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2194

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

Whereas Alderney Landing, as a cultural centre, promotes community and cultural programs and hosts 400 events that attract some 300,000 people annually to the Craig Gallery, the Alderney Landing Theatre, the Dartmouth Farmers' Market and the Outdoor Events Plaza; and

[Page 4153]

Whereas one of these events is the annual Bluenose Ghosts Festival, which includes a Youth Horror Movie Trailer Feature; and

Whereas this year The Halls Have Eyes, a horror film trailer created by the students at Cole Harbour District High School, was among the submissions featured in the festival, which ran from October 5th to the 31st;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate all the students who worked on the Youth Horror Movie Trailer Feature, The Halls Have Eyes, with Derek Stephenson, a teacher at Cole Harbour District High School, and encourage all of them to continue exploring their creative and artistic talents.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 2195

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

Whereas the Premier has handed out over half a billion dollars in taxpayers' money to six companies with no job guarantees and with no assurance the taxpayers will ever see this money again; and

Whereas the Premier has written these multi-million dollar cheques to big corporations at the same time as he has hiked taxes and fees and gutted essential programs such as education; and

Whereas after receiving over a half a billion dollars in taxpayers' money, two of these companies shut down, one went bankrupt, two of them are on the brink of closure and all six laid off employees;

[Page 4154]

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Lunenburg West still supports the Premier's misguided approach and that the Premier cannot grow the economy by simply writing blank cheques to big corporations and that he must end his corporate handouts and begin work on growing the economies in communities across this province.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2196

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

Whereas on October 13th at Alder Point the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals were presented to seven very deserving local residents; and

Whereas recipients Ron MacDonald, Sandy McAdam, Wes Stubbert, Anne Reashore, Pencie Granchelli, Max Sehl and Bill Poole were honoured for decades of service to their local communities; and

Whereas it is individuals such as these who build strong and caring communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate these recipients on receiving the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and thank them for their countless hours of volunteering, to make our hometowns a better place.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4155]

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. 2197

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

Whereas Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre is an integral part of the cultural life of Antigonish, drawing talented actors from across the country to its stage; and

Whereas each summer Festival Antigonish delights theatre-goers of all ages with Main Stage, Stage2 and Family Stage productions; and

Whereas Festival Antigonish celebrated its 25th Anniversary this past summer with the Summer of Comedy;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre on their 25th Anniversary and wish them all the best for many seasons to come.

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. 2198

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

Whereas since 2008, food bank usage is up more than 38 per cent in Nova Scotia; and

[Page 4156]

Whereas power rates have risen 25 per cent under this government's watch; and

Whereas this NDP Government agreed to hand over $590 million to six corporations, only to watch them lay off 1,310 Nova Scotians, $245 million of that went to Bowater and Port Hawkesbury Paper, companies that slashed wages, rolled back benefits and left pensioners in the cold;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Lunenburg still supports the Premier's inaction on power rates and their failure to improve wages is hurting this province and the people in the riding of Lunenburg.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2199

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

Whereas Joseph P. Shannon will be one of four Canadians inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame on May 21, 2013; and

Whereas Mr. Shannon built a diversified portfolio of businesses in the sectors of transportation, health care, real estate, information technology and construction; and

Whereas Joe remains committed to our province, having offered his expertise on provincial and federal boards and his guidance to Premiers past and present;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Joe Shannon for his enterprising spirit, which has created employment for over 5,000 people, including many Nova Scotians.

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

[Page 4157]

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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 2200

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

Whereas on October 3, 2012, the 22 Nova Scotia students awarded the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship for 2012 were announced; and

Whereas the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship Program is offered to students attending a Nova Scotia institution to study in an energy-related field, including science, engineering and business; and

Whereas Jenna Shea of Guysborough Academy was among the 22 students who received the scholarship and is now studying at St. Francis Xavier University;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jenna Shea on receiving the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship and wish her every success in her future studies.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

[Page 4158]

RESOLUTION NO. 2201

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

Whereas many local volunteer firefighters provide a vital and outstanding service throughout rural Nova Scotia; and

Whereas David Doucette will be recognized for his dedication and service beyond the call of duty in helping preserve the security of our community; and

Whereas David Doucette will be recognized on November 24, 2012, by the Little Brook Volunteer Fire Department for his 15 years of dedicated service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate firefighter David Doucette for his 15 years of service to his community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2202

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

Whereas on June 20, 2012 Marcel Pothier became the new owner and manager of Tusket Ford Sales and Service in Tusket; and

Whereas Marcel Pothier is the son of Hubert and Phyllis of Tusket, who founded Tusket Toyota in 1967 and, subsequently, Tusket Ford in 1975; and

Whereas Tusket Ford presently has 67 employees including office staff, mechanics, collision technicians, and sales representatives, who offer a complete range of exceptional customer service to its clientele;

[Page 4159]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Marcel Pothier on becoming owner/manager of Tusket Ford, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2203

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

Whereas this past July, 105.9 Seaside FM in Eastern Passage celebrated their 10- year Anniversary; and

Whereas during the last week of March, this growing, popular volunteer-driven local radio station's Radio-thon team spent 10 days of relentless fundraising during their sixth annual on-air fundraiser, beating out last year's total by 8 per cent with a whopping $47,446; and

Whereas Seaside FM already has fundraising planned for next year's event, being that it's a core entity in the community of Eastern Passage, with listeners across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate105.9 Seaside FM easy listening radio of Eastern Passage, its manager Wayne Harrett and all volunteers who daily provide a sensational alternative to popular radio on its 10-year Anniversary and successful 2012 Radio-thon.

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

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

[Page 4160]

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2204

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

Whereas the Foundation United Baptist Church was first chartered in 1992 by a caring group that had been worshipping at the Stevens Road Baptist Church; and

Whereas after 16 years of planning, dedication, and prayer by many individuals and families, their dreams were answered in the form of a new building that was constructed on the present site; and

Whereas the congregation celebrated their 26th Anniversary, November 4, 2012, with an exciting evening of praise and worship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the members of the Foundation United Baptist Church who have made this celebration possible through their dedication and hard work.

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. 2205

[Page 4161]

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

Whereas Leading Seaman Peter Dennis of Eskasoni is proudly wearing a NATO medal after a ceremony held at CFB Stadacona recently; and

Whereas Leading Seaman Dennis helped Canadian civilians get out of Libya safely, enforced a United Nations arms embargo, and then a UN no-fly zone over Libya during Operation Unified Protector; and

Whereas the purpose of the mission was to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Leading Seaman Peter Dennis for his service to our country and congratulate him on receiving a NATO 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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2206

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my good friend, the honourable MLA for Cape Breton North - for Cape Breton Nova. (Interruption) I have a good friend from Cape Breton North too - I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on October 19-20, 2012, at Aldershot, Nova Scotia, the West Nova Scotia Regiment, First Nova Scotia Highlanders (North), the Princess Louise Fusiliers, and the Cape Breton Highlanders participated in an infantry skills competition; and

Whereas this event is held to foster competition between infantry units to improve basic infantry skills and esprit de corps; and

[Page 4162]

Whereas for the first time since 1995, the Iron Mike trophy was awarded to the champions of the competition, the Cape Breton Highlanders;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Cape Breton Highlanders on their outstanding achievement and wish them all 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?

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. 2207

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

Whereas Linda Brooks, a Bedford-based singer and songwriter, wrote and recorded and launched a CD entitled The Upside, an inspiring adult pop music CD about finding strength within; and

Whereas after witnessing the destruction from the flooding of the Saint John River in the Spring of 2012, Linda was so moved by the fortitude displayed by the victims that she took part in a benefit concert in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, to help those affected; and

Whereas Linda Brooks is a gifted artist whose work is recognized not only here in the Maritimes but also in Nashville, Tennessee, the international hub of the country music industry;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Linda Brooks on her creativity and positivity, and wish her success in her artistic endeavours.

[Page 4163]

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. 2208

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 Christmas season is an especially busy time for postmistress Hughena MacKinnon of the Christmas Island post office in Cape Breton; and

Whereas people from all over the world send their Christmas cards and letters to the post office for its famous cancellation stamp; and

Whereas mail from Mexico, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and many other parts of the world arrives at the Christmas Island post office before it reaches its final destination;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank postmistress Hughena MacKinnon for all she does by going that extra mile for the many clients that she serves and spreading holiday cheer around the world.

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.

[Page 4164]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2209

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

Whereas more than 5,500 students from Nova Scotia participated in the national Heritage Fair program, which encourages students to tell stories about Canadian heroes, legends, milestones, and achievements in a hands-on way; and

Whereas Bridgewater Elementary School student Brandon Snyder took part in the Heritage Fair by filming a very creative video on the War of 1812, which led to his selection as one of Canada History's top six Young Citizens of 2012; and

Whereas Brandon and his family were awarded a trip to Ottawa for the Governor General's History Awards in December, where he will also have an opportunity to showcase his film at the 5th National History Forum at the Canadian War Museum;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Brandon Snyder, a truly exemplary young citizen, and thank all our students who took part in celebrating and exploring Canadian history in creative and engaging ways.

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. 2210

[Page 4165]

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5-8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team head coach Ray Murphy, and assistant coaches Doug Clark and Gord Gamble on their 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 Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2211

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

Whereas Vivian MacMillan celebrated her 100th birthday in style recently, as she was served a beautiful birthday meal at Lisa's Café in Windsor; and

Whereas Vivian, who turned 100 years old on October 24th, has been an ardent supporter of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party ever since she was entitled to vote, over 80 years ago; and

Whereas Vivian, until she sold her home and moved into the Windsor Elms, was always a defender for the rights of seniors and played an integral role at the federal level when the Prime Minister was convinced to name a Minister of State responsible for Seniors, a move she had pushed for quite some time;

[Page 4166]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly extend their warmest wishes to Vivian MacMillan of Windsor, on the celebration of her 100th birthday, and wish her continued years of health and prosperity.

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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2212

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

Whereas the commitment of our Armed Forces is part of what makes Canada one of the greatest countries in the world and this commitment has a lasting impression on our nation's history and identity; and

Whereas we, as Canadians, do support and honour our veterans, our active members of the Canadian Forces, and the families of these individuals; and

Whereas the Cumberland Cab and Shuttle, as a way to thank past and present veterans for their service, provided complimentary in-town fares to all men and women in uniform, as well as Legion and Air Force Club members on Remembrance Day;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in thanking Cumberland Cab and Shuttle for their generosity on Remembrance Day.

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

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

[Page 4167]

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 Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2213

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

Whereas the quick response and training of the Grades 2 and 3 French immersion teacher at Weymouth Consolidated School, saved the life of her student and earned her a certificate of appreciation; and

Whereas the teacher, Lise LeBlanc, was quick to act when Cady Cromwell was choking on a snack; and

Whereas after performing an abdominal thrust, the snack dislodged and Cady, although upset, began to breathe;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly commend Lise LeBlanc on her quick response to an emergency situation, and wish her and Cady Cromwell a happy remaining school year.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto on an introduction.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN » : Mr. Speaker, I wanted to draw the attention of members of the House to some visitors in our gallery opposite. We have here today, to observe our proceedings, a group of 19 students who are in Grades 8 and 9 at the Halifax Independent School, which is located in the constituency I represent, along with two of their teachers, Heather Johnson and Mandai Mohan. I would ask all of them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

[Page 4168]

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

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 2214

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

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the Throne as Queen of Canada, while also serving to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians; and

Whereas medal recipients are recognized for their service and dedication to their community and country in their respective fields; and

Whereas on October 27, 2012, Mr. Franklyn Dauphinee of West Northfield was presented with the Diamond Jubilee Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the contribution of Mr. Franklyn Dauphinee of West Northfield to his community and his country and congratulate him on receiving this recognition.

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.

[Page 4169]

RESOLUTION NO. 2215

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

Whereas every day countless young Nova Scotians are driven to make a significant contribution to their community, province, country and world; and

Whereas Courtney Larkin, director of Annual Giving for United Way Halifax, is a stellar example of a young Nova Scotian who has given so much of herself through her involvement with the Dalhousie Student Union, serving on the Dalhousie Board of Governors, the Cole Harbour Harvest Festival Committee, the Halifax Club Board and the Dalhousie Alumni Association Board; and

Whereas on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Courtney was awarded the Young Woman of Distinction Award at the 23rd annual Progress Women of Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Courtney Larkin on receiving the Young Woman of Distinction Award, and extend our appreciation for the significant contributions she makes to her community and province every day.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2216

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

Whereas many local volunteer firefighters provide a vital and outstanding service throughout rural Nova Scotia; and

[Page 4170]

Whereas Joe Comeau will be recognized for his dedication and service beyond the call of duty in helping preserve the security of our community; and

Whereas Joe Comeau will be recognized on November 24, 2012, by the Little Brook Volunteer Fire Department for his 10 years of dedicated service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate firefighter Joe Comeau for his 10 years of service to his community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2217

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

Whereas the U.S.-based National Alliance of Black School Educators, a 10,000 member international not-for-profit educational organization, presented 11 exemplary awards at its AGM and conference in Nashville, Tennessee on November 17, 2012, to deserving African educators from all around the world; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Black Educators Association was the NABSE 2012 recipient of the W.E.B. Dubois Higher Education Award; and

Whereas this is the first time in National Alliance of Black School Educators' history that a Canadian or international organization, or an individual, has received this prestigious award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House commend the Black Educators Association President, Mr. Ken Fells, executive directors, and members on receiving this esteemed award and making international history.

[Page 4171]

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 Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2218

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

Whereas the Digby Dolphin Provincial Swimming Championship, which was held in August, is a finalist in the Event of the Year category in the Annapolis Valley Events & Sport Tourism Association annual awards; and

Whereas the Digby Golf Classic is also in the running under the Sport Legacy category; and

Whereas the AVESTA awards celebrate achievements of the Valley events and festivals recognizing the important positive economic and social impact on the region;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Digby Dolphins and the Digby Golf Classic on this honourable nomination and wish them the best.

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.

[Page 4172]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth

RESOLUTION NO. 2219

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

Whereas Mike Mercier, operator of Canadian Tire Store in Yarmouth, employs 70 people and is extremely active in our community, including his work on the Board of the Economic Development Council and the JumpStart program, which assists hundreds of children to participate in organized sport and recreation, and he also donates to our community, including the Salvation Army and minor hockey and $10,000 worth of kayaks for municipal recreation, and he was pivotal in Yarmouth's attempt to keep our riding united; and

Whereas on November 15, 2012, the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual business awards banquet; and

Whereas Mike Mercier was awarded Business Person of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mike Mercier on being named Business Person of the Year at the 2012 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards banquet and thank him for very generously giving back to his community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

[Page 4173]

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : Question Period will begin at 12:47 p.m. and will end at 1:47 p.m.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

ERDT: CORPORATE FUNDING - LAYOFFS

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, this government has handed out $590 million to six corporations and watched those corporations lay off more than 1,300 Nova Scotians. On April 16th, 2003 the now Agriculture Minister stated:

". . . what the Minister of Economic Development tends to forget is that that $9 million could have been used to create some jobs that were sustainable, not gone down the road. . . If somebody wants to know what it looks like to give away $9 million for nothing, they might want to take a look at this."

I would suggest that $590 million could have been used to create some jobs that were sustainable and if somebody wants to know what it looks like to give away $590 million, they can look at these deals by this government. My question to the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister is, why did he sit back and watch six companies he agreed to give $590 million of taxpayers' money to, lay off more than 1,300 Nova Scotians?

HON. PERCY PARIS » : Mr. Speaker, actually what we are doing is we are creating a good, healthy environment when it comes to employment in the Province of Nova Scotia. Since we've taken over as government, we've increased employment by 7,600 jobs. The member opposite should be more concerned about those federal jobs that are leaving the Province of Nova Scotia. We are creating jobs in the Province of Nova Scotia, our jobsHere plan is working and we stand by it.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, on April 30th, 2009 the MLA for Pictou East said:

"But to pump so much money into the Industrial Expansion Fund and at the very same time, almost creating a bit of a competition with Nova Scotia Business Inc. to some degree - I think we have had a return to the politics of the 1940s and 50s with this government, and the people of Nova Scotia will remember what is going on in this province."

This government has set a record for slush fund spending that they call slush funds, once ridiculed by this government and this Party and that member in particular - $590 million to six corporations who laid off 1,300 of our Nova Scotian workers. My question to the minister is, why is government writing blank cheques to big businesses after criticizing the Progressive Conservative Government for that practice in 2009?

[Page 4174]

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, what we criticized was the IEF. As a result of that, when we came into power in June, we realized that the IEF needed some oversight. Actually what we have done is disregard the IEF and we created the Jobs Fund, with greater security, greater oversight - in fact, based on the recommendations and the check-offs by the Auditor General.

Mr. Speaker, we have a fund now that is doing just what it is supposed to be doing, with accountability and transparency, not like previous governments.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, this minister added $50 million and changed the name, that's all he did with the slush fund. It's no different in the way it works now.

On May 16, 2001, the member for Halifax Chebucto said:

"What is the problem with Nova Scotia Business Inc.? Unfortunately, it is all too apparent what the problem is. Here is what goes on in the Department of Economic Development. The department has a fair bit of money to spend on economic development. Now it has about $60 million as part of its budget each year. The problem has been that in the past there has been a tradition of give-aways of that money. The tradition has been that in order to attract business or to stimulate business in this province, there has been nothing but a history of give-aways."

That member criticized giving away $50 million, while this government has handed out almost $600 million to six corporations that laid off 1,300 Nova Scotians. My question to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is, why is he handing out $590 million to companies that lay off Nova Scotians when $60 million wasn't acceptable in 2001?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, after 20 years of being in last place, the Province of Nova Scotia finally a government that wanted to move forward, wanted to advance the Province of Nova Scotia, and not only just in jobs but in training and education, in health care and everything.

Mr. Speaker, what we have now is a government that's moving forward; we've got a province that's moving forward. Two weeks ago we made the announcement of 1,000 good jobs coming to Nova Scotia. No longer will we have Nova Scotians going West, we're going to have the West coming to Nova Scotia.

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

PREM. - RURAL JOB LOSSES: OBSESSION - EXPLAIN

[Page 4175]

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for Premier Obama over there. Last night the Premier « » (Interruptions) - I withdraw that.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you, okay.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, last night the Premier accused his critics of saying he was "obsessed with jobs." Just want you to know, sir, I checked with his critics here in the Progressive Conservative caucus and none of us have ever accused him of being obsessed with jobs, and I'm willing to bet that criticism never came from the other Opposition caucus either.

Certainly it did not come from the 7,400 Nova Scotians who are without a full-time job today, as compared to when the Premier took office. In fact, Statistics Canada reports that Nova Scotia's economy last year grew by a meagre 0.5 per cent, the lowest in the country, while the rest of Canada grew five times faster. Halifax did grow by 1.5 per cent, which clearly means that the rest of Nova Scotia actually had a period of economic decline.

My question to the Premier is, will the Premier tell us why rural Nova Scotia is so obsessed with job losses under his watch? And I'll table those statistics for the benefit of the House.

HON. DARRELL DEXTER « » : Mr. Speaker, the information that he has just quoted of course is wrong, but that's usually the case. In fact, the level of employment in this province has increased since June 2009 by some 7,600 jobs, but that is beside the fact. The simple fact of the matter is that the investments that we are making are designed to ensure the long-term health of the Province of Nova Scotia.

The investment in Irving Shipbuilding means tens of thousands of jobs for Nova Scotia when combined with investments that we have made, for example, in Port Hawkesbury Paper. That solidifies that community and means that there continues to be a payroll going into that community, that there continues to be goods in stores, and there continues to be kids in those schools because we support the community.

In fact, I've heard it said many times that this seems to be an obsession with our government - the economic development of this province. We understand that in the Opposition you support none of these measures. It's important that the people of the province know that you do not care about the economic development of our province.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, Nova Scotia had the worst record for consumer spending in 2011, during the NDP time in office, combined with the highest cost of living in the whole country - it's in the document that I tabled in my first question. Clearly this is a time of economic hardship for Nova Scotians and their standard of living has actually gone into reverse. For business investment, business investments actually dropped by one-third below the national average last year. When people aren't investing, jobs are not being created. Will the Premier explain why Nova Scotia has a dismal record under his obsessive watch?

[Page 4176]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I just have no idea where the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party is getting his information. In fact, business investment in Nova Scotia is so enthusiastic that a member of his staff said in a report in The ChronicleHerald that this was a great time to be an investor in Nova Scotia and that, in fact, he was going into the private sector specifically because that business investment climate was so good in Nova Scotia - and he'll undoubtedly remember that article.

The simple fact of the matter is there are 30 building cranes up over Halifax today, more economic activity taking place in the Regional Municipality of Halifax than at any time in our past. This is a time where we are building the prosperity of our province after having inherited a mess from the previous government.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, wherever the Premier dreamt up this critic that believes that he's obsessed with jobs must be the same place that he dreamt up that answer because it is so far from the reality of Nova Scotia today.

The fact of the matter is outside Halifax, the rest of Nova Scotia is in real economic decline and facing real job losses. In fact, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently reported that farming optimism is at an all-time low, 13 per cent lower than the rest of the country and that a majority of our rural farms are facing closure or reduction in their workforce - that's the CFIB, a real entity not an imaginary critic.

My question for the Premier is, when will he admit that his policies are killing jobs and opportunity in rural Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we are the only province in the country in which the number of farmers is actually growing, people are actually moving back into agriculture because they see a government that is actually committed to enhancing the agriculture sector, just as we have in the forestry sector because we are not willing to walk away from communities. It is this government that created the Atlantic Venture Capital Fund that has been joined by New Brunswick and by Prince Edward Island, in order to make sure that there is more capital available to small, innovative businesses, cutting-edge technology. These are the kinds of investments that we make in order to ensure there is a good economic future for the young people in this province and for the taxpayers who have to after all bear the load of supporting the services that we have.

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

PREM. - NSP/PREM.'S OFFICE: CORRESPONDENCE - DETAILS

[Page 4177]

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, ties between the NDP Government and Nova Scotia Power have always been strong. We've seen this many times over the last three years as the Premier and his government have become the chief apologists for Nova Scotia Power. My question for the Premier is, how often does the Premier and his office staff correspond to the officials of Nova Scotia Power?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, just as with every business in the province, we would of course correspond when they make a request of us, or if it was necessary for one reason or another. After all, one of the things we make sure of for all businesses, no matter what sector they are in, is that they have the opportunity to speak with members of my office or, for that matter, any of the offices of government.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, heavily-redacted documents obtained by our office prove the Premier's inner circle is in regular contact with Nova Scotia Power officials. As a matter of fact, the e-mails we've obtained show the Premier's staff report comments made in scrums just outside of this House to the Premier's inner circle and to employees of Nova Scotia Power. You would think that Nova Scotia Power and Emera have enough money to assign their own staff to the Nova Scotia Legislature.

So, Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is, why has the Premier assigned his staff to be Nova Scotia Power's eyes and ears at the Legislature?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Official Opposition would know, he often asks questions about Nova Scotia Power, as he is right now. Even though they are a privatized company, privatized by previous governments, he asks questions. If he has questions for us, where the information resides somewhere else, well, of course, we would look to try to fulfill our responsibility to the Leader of the Official Opposition and answer his questions.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, the e-mail was reporting information back to Nova Scotia Power about what the media are asking this Premier about their utility. What's clear to us now, and clear to the people of this province, is that when it comes to power and energy policy in this province, Nova Scotia Power is part of the NDP Government's inner circle. Things are so tight between the government and Nova Scotia Power that the Premier's staff even apologized for not passing along information in a timely enough manner.

The Premier's staff, senior government officials, a deputy minister, and a redacted recipient at Nova Scotia Power are all part of the government's energy inner circle. It's bad enough Nova Scotians are paying the highest power rates in Canada. Now they are learning that their tax dollars are being used to defend this corporation's monopoly.

My question to the Premier is, why is the Premier marshalling government resources to support Nova Scotia Power's monopoly?

[Page 4178]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all, I just want to correct that. We don't have the highest power costs in the country. That's something that he continually says that's not true, but what I recall is this. We got elected in June 2009, and when we did, the Leader of the Official Opposition came into his office. One of the first things he did, after he hired a consultant to tell him how to run his office, was hire an executive from Nova Scotia Power to be his chief of staff.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on a new question.

NDP GOV'T. - NSP: MIN. SPEAKING NOTES - DELIVERY

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, e-mails obtained from our office further highlight the close connection between this government and Nova Scotia Power. On Thursday, March 15, 2012, the Premier's staff sent the Environment Minister's speech on new coal-fired regulations to someone in Nova Scotia Power five days before it was delivered to the public.

My question to the Premier is, why is this government sending the speaking notes of a Cabinet Minister to Nova Scotia Power five days before they're delivered to Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't know if they were requested or not, but the point is that we communicate with businesses in all sectors and we want them to know what it is we're going to say. We want them to know the context for the decisions that we're making. That's part of the consultation process, but I can't imagine that you could get any closer with a company than hiring one of their executives to be your chief of staff.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, it's too bad the Premier hadn't consulted the private-sector companies that were opposed to first contract arbitration like the way he seems to be cuddling up to Nova Scotia Power. With the exception of the title page - and I'll table that - the speaking notes of the Environment Minister were entirely redacted. It is odd that the speaking notes were redacted, as the speech was delivered publicly on Monday, five full days after the e-mail was sent to Nova Scotia Power. For some reason Nova Scotia Power was allowed to see the speaking notes while the elected members of this House, and the people of Nova Scotia, are not.

My question to the Premier is, what changes did Nova Scotia Power make to the minister's speech that this government doesn't want Nova Scotians to see?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I haven't seen what it is that the Leader of the Official Opposition is tabling. I would be happy to have a look at it for him and to see if there is any merit to the allegations he has made. All I know is he complains about the relationship of the government and Nova Scotia Power. He hired one of their executives to be his chief of staff. He hired another one of them to be a communications officer. (Interruption) And now, I understand, a Liberal candidate. If anyone had a close connection to Nova Scotia Power it is the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.

[Page 4179]

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, this Leader doesn't fly in Emera's jet. This Leader doesn't inform Nova Scotia Power of speaking notes and this Leader doesn't apologize for Nova Scotia Power's monopoly, but that Leader and that government do. Now the Premier's office is giving Nova Scotia Power influence over the speaking notes of Cabinet Ministers in his government, so my question to the Premier is, will the Premier table the original un-redacted speaking notes of his minister, along with the e-mail, so Nova Scotians can see what input Nova Scotia Power has on this document?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we have consultations with all kinds of companies around the province. As I pointed out, the Leader of the Official Opposition, and the Liberal Party generally, have been closely connected to Nova Scotia Power for many, many, many, years. What we are trying to ensure is that the power rates that the people of this province have are as low and as stable as possible, and that means getting off of fossil fuels, ramping down the amount of coal that is being used, ensure that we have more renewables, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. It means ensuring that we have an environmentally sustainable power system. It means ensuring that the people of the province will have rate stability over the long term. That is what our relationship with Nova Scotia Power is about: ensuring they understand that the goals of this government are lower emissions; lower chaining to fossil fuels; and good, stable long-term rates.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - AUDITOR-GEN.'S QUESTIONS:

ANSWERS - LACK EXPLAIN

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Acting Minister of Health and Wellness. Yesterday, the Auditor General's Report showed the extent to which the Department of Health and Wellness mismanages taxpayers dollars. The report shows that Capital Health proposed a project that would save Nova Scotians $3 million annually. The approval process was skewed. The initial score given to the project eliminated it from consideration. The Auditor General says the scoring did not appear consistent with the scoring matrix. The department couldn't explain what happened.

Through the audit the project was finally approved but the department still can't explain the inconsistency. So, Mr. Speaker, my question through you is, why couldn't the Auditor General get answers to these serous questions?

HON. FRANK CORBETT » : Mr. Speaker, a good question but the reality is that we did it, and that's what the Third Party doesn't get: we actually go and we do things and we get them done, and that's the end of the story.

[Page 4180]

MR. BAIN « » : Yes, they did do it but it was after they got caught. Mr. Speaker, Capital Health explained that the savings would mainly be realized through a reduction in FTEs. The matrix is flawed, but the scoring was inconsistent with the matrix. You have to wonder what exactly took place.

My question, Mr. Speaker, through you to the minister is, did the department tinker with the numbers to maintain funding for an unnecessary number of FTEs?

MR. CORBETT « » : No.

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, this government routinely ignores opportunities for cost savings in their health care system. We've highlighted the Ernst & Young report, where they ignored $43 million in savings. We've highlighted the short-sighted budgeting of 2011-12 when they allocated zero dollars for hospital equipment. Now we have an issue with questionable conduct surrounding the scoring matrix for future projects.

The minister doesn't believe his department should be accountable for this, Mr. Speaker, so my final question through you to the minister is, will the minister explain exactly what went wrong with the matrix, why it was inconsistent, and what is being done to ensure no future cost savings are so carelessly overlooked?

MR. CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, to the member, at least we have a matrix and it's working, more than what they had. They had stuff like Corpus Sanchez that just spent money and didn't help health care, didn't provide a job to anybody.

We're now engaged with the DHAs and we see reductions now in executives, and that's being reduced. We also see merged services, where we can move forward and see real savings. That's what we're doing. That's what we had to clean up. When we got here the medicine chest was empty. We're refilling it for Nova Scotians.

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

PREM.: TUITION FEES - STATEMENTS (2005)

MR. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, in Opposition the Premier was an advocate for investing in post-secondary education and reducing tuition rates. In fact, on April 19, 2005 - and I'll table this - the Premier tabled a petition which he signed, calling on the government to, ". . . make a considerable reinvestment in core funding to Nova Scotia's post-secondary institutions . . ." and ". . . tie increased core funding to progressive reductions of tuition fees at Nova Scotia's public post-secondary institutions."

My question to the Premier is, if the Premier still stands by this statement, how does he justify his $100 million in cuts to universities and the subsequent hikes in tuition fees in the Province of Nova Scotia?

[Page 4181]

THE PREMIER « » : Well, first of all, that's a fabrication. There haven't been $100 million in cuts to post-secondary education. In fact, it's very much - a very different picture emerging for universities. We're putting aside the Innovation Fund, which is allowing universities to take advantage of capital investment, which will actually reduce their costs - not just for a single year but over the long term, through effective savings, so that money can actually be reinvested in their students.

When we came here in 2009, one of the very first things we had to deal with was that fact that the federal contribution to post-secondary education in the province was going to be reduced by $30 million, which would have meant a 15 to 20 per cent increase in the cost of tuition for students.

We could have passed that right along to students. Did we do that? No, we did not. Mr. Speaker, we backfilled all of that loss, that considerable loss of revenue, in a time when it was very difficult, with wanting to get to a balanced budget, wanting to balance off health care, support for seniors, the necessity to repair roads that had been neglected for years. Even through all of that, we made students a priority.

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, no wonder this Premier is losing credibility with students, their parents, universities, and the public, because he gets up and says things that aren't true in this House of Assembly.

There was a $34 million operational cut to core funding in universities, and if you add in inflationary costs, that leads up to $100 million. That's according to the universities. I have the data here, and I'll table that.

Mr. Speaker, this Premier stands up and says that if it wasn't for his government, tuition would go up 15 to 20 per cent. That would be impossible under the current contract that this province actually has signed with the universities which limits tuition at 3 per cent - a maximum increase of 3 per cent. That was signed by the previous government in 2004 - 3 per cent tuition has been the cap since 2004. I have the most recent copy of that MOU signed by his minister and so if the Premier says tuition was going to go up 20 per cent, he would have to break his own contract with the universities of this province.

One interesting thing about this MOU compared to the previous MOU, however, Mr. Speaker, is that this MOU signed by this government allows for tuitions to go up even more next year. So my question to the Premier is, if the tuition policy review recommends a tuition increase, will the Premier stand up for Nova Scotian students and their families, invest in their education and deny further tuition increases to our institutions?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, well, according to the member for Yarmouth, $34 million plus inflation equals $100 million. Now, that's extraordinary math. I have to say the simple fact of the matter is that the MOUs continue to be renegotiated, but those MOUs actually took into account the amount of money that was being supplied by the federal government. One of the reasons why tuition in this province is so high is because when the Liberal Governments of the 1990s gutted all of the federal funding out of post-secondary education, the tuition prices skyrocketed and they have stayed up there since the 1990s.

[Page 4182]

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Right, it's the same old story from this Premier - blame past governments back all the way to Gerry Regan and not take any responsibility himself for the cuts that he has made. Those numbers are based on math that was provided by the universities of this province and I trust their word any day over the word of this Premier, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

Nova Scotia has the least affordable post-secondary education in the country, Mr. Speaker, and I'll table that; that's according to the Canada Centre for Policy Alternatives. We have the third-highest undergraduate tuition rate in the country and we have the second-highest graduate tuition rate in the country and this Premier still stands up and boasts about all the great work he's doing relieving the cost of tuition to people of this province. It's false.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote the Premier from April 2, 2007, then the Leader of the Official Opposition, "Again, that is part of the gap between what is said and what is done. . . . grants to students instead of loans is an appreciated initiative. I am pleased with this, but it is not a substitute for actual tuition reductions." I'll quote those comments here.

So my final question to the Premier is one that he actually asked to the then-Premier in 2004, "How does the government expect the universities in Nova Scotia to continue to offer high-quality education, when they are continually starved for funding?"

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I understand that the member for Yarmouth used to be a student leader at one point in time and if you go far enough back in history, so was I, and always, we have understood that access to university is made up of two parts. They are made up of tuition costs and assistance to students because if you have no assistance, no matter how low the tuition is, you have difficulty being able to attend.

So, Mr. Speaker, what we did is we took a two-pronged approach. We inherited the absolute highest tuitions in the country and they are now sliding down towards the middle of the pack. That's why he said the third-highest now because they have continued to decrease comparative to the other tuitions in other provinces. More than that, we took the worst student loan program in the country and made it one of the best. We brought in the student debt cap, we brought in increased access to needs-related grants, and over and above that, we have now a new Graduate Retention Rebate that means that if people graduate from our universities and stay in the province, they will recover the cost of their tuition. That is what the great news is for young people in our province.

[Page 4183]

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

ERDT - JOBSHERE PLAN: FAILURE - ADMIT

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, 8,200 Nova Scotians between the ages of 15 and 24 have lost full-time employment since October 2009. That is close to the same population as North Sydney, my home town. At the same time as we are losing full-time jobs, we're adding debt to fund the NDP's expensive bailouts and handouts. My question to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is, will the minister admit his jobsWhere plan has failed young Nova Scotians and rename the plan wastefulspendingHere?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I always welcome the opportunity to get on my feet and talk about all the good things that we are doing for employment in the Province of Nova Scotia. With the help of this government, Irving landed the Ships Here contract - 11,500 jobs. This government, just last week, signed an agreement with two companies that are bringing almost 1,000 jobs here. That means $130 million and $135 million respectively in payroll, during their term in the Province of Nova Scotia.

That amounts to, over the term - that means $13 million after incentives are paid. I stress, after incentives are paid. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, order.

The honorable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism has the floor.

MR. PARIS « » : We have proven time and time again that we have a strategy, we are doing things differently. We will continue on the path of success.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the fact that there could be potential jobs but up to this date, I don't think there are any jobs created by that money invested in those companies - to date. Total employment, full and part-time, for Nova Scotians aged 15 to 24 has dropped 9 per cent. That's nine times the national average.

Meanwhile, 3,800 Nova Scotians have left the labour force in the last three years, at the same time the NDP have added nearly $1 billion to our province's debt. There are no jobs. Our children will inherit responsibility for this NDP's debt. My question to the minister is, what advice would the minister give to these students and how are they expected to pay the new NDP debt with no jobs?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous government, when we came up with the jobsHere strategy, we put in place a program for recent grads. With these jobs that are coming to the Province of Nova Scotia, we have an agreement with these governments that they will hire recent graduates. I know that it may take a little getting used to for the Third Party because they certainly didn't do things this way. In fact, they did nothing at all.

[Page 4184]

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we didn't add debt to lose jobs in this province. The unemployment rate for young men aged 15 to 24 in this province has gone up by 41.4 per cent since October 2009 - that's 41.4 per cent.

The NDP's jobsHere plan is failing. Nova Scotians and the students here today deserve better. They deserve lower taxes. They need to stop wasteful spending and they need more jobs. My question to the minister is, will the minister finally admit his plan has failed young Nova Scotians, apologize to the unemployed who saw their numbers increase by 41.4 per cent, and for adding $1 billion of debt on their shoulders.

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, dare I say this, but I wouldn't think that the member would be against those nice good jobs in his riding that were created with Copol.

I just want to read something, very, very, recent, today, and this is by Valerie Payn - I think we all know Valerie Payn is president of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. She says: "Surely, we cannot expect to do the same thing . . . take the same approaches over and over and expect a different result. Seriously, can we expect changes but not actually change?"

We have much more important issues facing us. And let's not, for sure, absolutely for sure, lash out at those businesses that chose to locate here. Unless, of course, we would prefer that they, and others like them, not come. And let them take their business elsewhere."

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

COM. SERV.: STRAIT AREA WOMEN'S PLACE - FUNDING DENIAL

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, in the Spring of 2011 the Strait Area Women's Place opened its doors. Since then women and girls from the area have been coming to the centre to access services such as crisis counselling, parenting classes, and workshops. The centre's first year was supported by a pilot project from the IWK and was a resounding success.

This past Spring the centre applied to the Minister of Community Services for funding to sustain the Women's Centre. Community organizations saw the merit and the work of the Strait Area Women's Place and wrote to the Minister of Community Services to ask for funding to continue this good work. My question is, will the minister tell members of this House why she denied funding to the Strait Area Women's Place in March 2012?

[Page 4185]

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE » : We have supported women centres and transition houses in this province way more than the Liberals or the Progressive Conservatives ever thought of. We invested $500,000 which we said was a commitment that we made as an election commitment and we fulfilled that commitment. There are many of the centres that were doing a lot of good, good work.

In particular the question the honourable member is asking - the fact is that that was a pilot project, and that's what pilot projects are all about. It is to let them run their course and then look at them at that time and make decisions based on what other programs we have offered throughout the province and in that area.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, when you have a pilot project that everyone deems to be a resounding success, one would think it's only logical that you continue to fund something that everyone deemed to be a success.

Mr. Speaker, the minister told the organization that her department could not fund the Strait Area Women's Place on the basis of tough economic times. The Strait Area Women's Place has remained opened through the support of other centres, volunteer hours, and fundraising. This clearly is not a sustainable arrangement. The Minister of Community Services recently received a letter requesting that the Strait Area Women's Place be funded for 2013 at an investment of $70,000 by her department.

My question is will the minister tell us today whether or not she will provide the funding so that Strait Area Women's Place can keep its doors open and offer these important services to the women of the Strait Area?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, as I understand that part of the funding was coming from a variety of areas and, as I said, we are offering many different programs throughout the province and in that area that is meeting the needs that have come forward to us.

Once again it was a pilot project, we have made the decision at this moment that we are not going to go any further with that project, but I'm always open, as I have always been as a minister, to sit down and have a meeting with individuals or groups to discuss those issues further.

MR. SAMSON « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the minister, if these services were already being offered then no one would deem the pilot project to have been a success; one would say it was unnecessary. In this case I've yet to hear the minister acknowledge it to be a success, but everyone else has deemed it to be a success and that's why even after she rejected funding last year they found means through organizations, through volunteering, through fundraising, to continue the service, because it was necessary. If the Premier thinks this is the way they should continue to be operating such an important service for women, I don't think any other Nova Scotian deems that to be reasonable, certainly in light of the challenges being faced in the local area.

[Page 4186]

I'll ask the minister again, in light of the various letters of support from multiple organizations throughout the Strait area that have deemed this to have been a resounding success, will she see to it that this centre is appropriately funded so it can continue its work into 2013?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, it's important to know that we were the first government in a decade that recognized the significance and importance of women's centres and transition houses and we did give them dollars - we gave them $0.5 million.

The Liberal Party - it's funny how they stand there and they pretend that they care now. Do you know what? The past reflects the present and the way they acted in the past - not supporting this type of initiative or other initiatives - just tells Nova Scotians how they would be acting now or in the future, if they made government. That would be a sad, sad state because we would be turning time back decades.

It is we who have supported the women's centres in this province; they never did, so they have no right to go forward and pretend that they care now. Thank you.

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

JUSTICE - N.S. HOME FOR COLORED CHILDREN:

INQUIRY - DENIAL EXPLAIN

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier continues to resist calls for a public process to allow healing and uncover what happened at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. VOICES, a group of abuse claimants and former residents of the home has launched an on-line petition demanding an inquiry into the abuse they claim they suffered at the home.

My question is to the Minister of Justice. Why is the Minister of Justice refusing to give these residents a public forum so they can begin the healing process before it is too late?

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, once again there is a lot of emotion around this issue. I've heard the various people who are affected by this matter speak and my sympathy goes out to them in their journey. As a government, we are looking hard at the criminal matters. I voiced that the RCMP are conducting their investigations. I get some indications there are reports coming forward from them soon.

The civil process continues to go. We are consulting with the various options and impacts that this matter is having within the community and we will continue to do that, unlike the Opposition who I believe is not sensitive to this issue but is trying to make political gain.

[Page 4187]

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I can only say that we're raising this concern because the people are raising this concern. Mike Dull, a lawyer for the firm that represents the former residents, was reported in the ChronicleHerald today talking about criminal cases and civil cases. He said, and I will table that, "What neither of these legal processes can do is look into and address the discriminatory practices of the past. Only a public inquiry can do that."

Mr. Speaker, the home has no objection to a public forum for healing. Experts like Dr. MacKay say nothing legally impedes running the two processes together. Mr. Speaker, my question for the Minister of Justice is, why is he refusing to give these residents a public forum so they can begin the healing process?

MR. LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I just want to assure the member there that I read the materials from the home and I have been digesting their presentation. I also had the opportunity to listen to Dr. MacKay and have an understanding of his points of view. He acknowledges that the government's approach that we are taking is sound in its own right, and he makes the correlation that an inquiry could run, in his opinion.

I also had the opportunity, just recently, within the last 48 hours, to speak to some of the people in passing who are involved in this matter. I assured them that we have a compassionate heart and mind. Our mind is open. We are willing to look at all the issues and that as a government, we must look at the full picture and get a full understanding of events and how to move forward.

I should point out that for 10 years the Third Party that raised this question were in government, and they did not - did not - do their due diligence in addressing the issues there.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, it's never too late to do the right thing. An editorial in The ChronicleHerald on November 17th called for an inquiry, saying that it's time that the government responded to the former residents' courage with courage of its own. There are many factors that weigh in favour of holding the public forum now, "including whether the people involved will live long enough to take part in a delayed inquiry. Many former residents of the home are now in their 70s and 80s. They may not live to see the results" of the court cases or to see the charges laid against former staff. I will table that.

I'm hearing a lot of talk out of the minister today. Perhaps he could provide these people with some substance to know that he will take their request for a public inquiry seriously.

[Page 4188]

MR. LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I couldn't agree more with the member. It's never too late to do the right thing. That's what we're doing. We're consulting. We're getting all the appropriate information, and when he talks about courage and the public forum - we have an open mind. We are looking at the issues, unlike his government, who did not - I repeat, did not - address this issue. Shame on them.

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

SNSMR - MUNICIPALITIES: FED. FUNDING - MIN. ADVOCATE

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, Ottawa is close to releasing a long-term infrastructure plan, and municipalities are concerned that the federal government is not going to meet their needs. Here in Nova Scotia, this NDP Government has already cancelled the municipal MOU, which has cost every municipality in this province and stretched their capacity to deal with long-term infrastructure.

My question to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is, why has this minister not been advocating on behalf of our municipalities on this file?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure if it's a genetic thing with the Liberals to get their information wrong, but I have raised the issue that the member raises at our federal-provincial-territorial meetings around infrastructure funding. Minister Lebel came to our meeting a year ago but was unable to come this year.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in this province is the department that is the lead on the infrastructure negotiation with the federal government, but I've made it clear with my colleague the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and also with his present deputy - who was a deputy at the Department of Agriculture, so I have a good rapport with that deputy, to impress upon him that when he is in Ottawa working on this file to think about the municipal side of infrastructure. I want that member and all members to know that we are genuinely concerned around where the federal government might go with its funding around infrastructure.

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities have already requested $2.5 billion from Ottawa. This would help our communities plan for and secure long-term infrastructure projects, which are sorely needed in many towns and municipalities in Nova Scotia. It was this NDP minister who cancelled the municipal MOU, putting this kind of long-term work in jeopardy - all the more reason that he must stand up to the Harper Conservatives and ensure that our communities have the resources from Ottawa that they require.

What action is the minister taking on behalf of our municipalities across the province to ensure that Ottawa meets the needs of Nova Scotians?

[Page 4189]

MR. MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I think that the changes in the MOU - and actually, it wasn't so much a cancelling of the MOU as following the clauses of the MOU, which allowed the province to move away from the MOU. The members opposite don't like to hear that but they can actually read it in the MOU, the clauses that are there - and I apologize if I confuse them with facts, that does seem to happen.

The issue around infrastructure funding is a genuine concern. I think that members in this province, and I think municipal leaders across the country, have tried to impress upon the federal government, I think provincial governments and certainly provincial ministers who sit on this file across the country have definitely raised it with the federal minister. I know my colleague, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, who actually has the lead on this file with the federal government, has done that as well, Mr. Speaker.

MR. COLWELL « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, the minister talks about the right to cancel an MOU and he's correct, he can do that and he did that, but he didn't also take into account the serious financial crises it has caused some municipalities in the area. So maybe the minister should do more homework before he speaks in here.

Mr. Speaker, we haven't heard anything from this minister to date on this file. The minister's silence is puzzling since you should be voicing the concerns of Nova Scotians in Ottawa. He should be making the case that there is an infrastructure deficit in our province which needs to be fixed. Instead, he cancelled the MOU. He made it harder for municipalities across the province to finance this important work. When will the minister stand up to the Harper Conservatives and clearly make the case for our communities that need proper support so they can replace deteriorating infrastructure?

MR. MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, the member may know and may choose to ignore the fact that the municipalities presently are better off coming away from the MOU than they were when they entered it, and that was because of the initiative we took when we backed away from the MOU. So they didn't get all they wanted, they would have got it in a few years, but that would have meant that Nova Scotians would have carried a greater burden than they deserve to carry for the services that are carried by the municipalities.

The municipal units have seen an increase in assessment over last year, a 6 per cent increase. They have the ability to set their tax rate to meet the demands, whatever they might be, for infrastructure improvement in their municipal units and we continue to be a voice to the federal government to let them know the seriousness of the issue for the deficit in infrastructure in this province.

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

[Page 4190]

COM. SERV. - SOCIAL HOUSING: FUNDS - DISBURSEMENT

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Community Services is silent on cuts to heating assistance rebates, silent on power increases, and has dragged her heels on a new housing strategy. Mr. Speaker, that strategy was promised a full year ago. Only now has the minister seen fit to begin consultations - that's three and a half years into a four-year mandate.

There are currently 1,800 families waiting for homes. They need action from this minister now. The federal government transferred almost $52 million this year for social housing under the Social Housing Agreement, and I'll table that. If this money isn't being spent on social housing - and it's not - what is the minister spending it on?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, firstly, the member opposite obviously does not understand how you put together a very strategic plan. You build a strong framework. I have been meeting with stakeholders and advocacy groups from day one when I became the minister and that is why we are looking at our consultation process.

Right now I am travelling the province and speaking to people because we put a solid framework together for that consultation. We did a great deal of research to work with our partners and brought partners in who have helped us put that framework together. If she really does care about it, like she tries to make out they do, the fact is we did a consultation for HRM the other night and I did not see her there as part of that.

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't intend to go to sham consultations because they already know what they're going to do, just like they knew what they were going to do on the budget consultations and they ran all around and said, should we raise the HST? They knew they were going to raise the HST - it was a sham consultation.

Mr. Speaker, under this NDP Government power rates have gone up by 30 per cent. According to the Department of Community Services, in 2011-12 there were 11,300 income assistance clients reporting power in their monthly budget at an annual cost to the department of $12.9 million, and I'll table that information.

Mr. Speaker, this government's inaction on power rates and cuts to the HARP program are hurting Nova Scotians. Where was the Minister of Community Services when the Premier refused to stand up against Nova Scotia Power and two more years of rate increases?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to know where her Party was when they were in, with respect to housing issues. Those issues did not happen overnight. We are the first government that has made a commitment to a housing strategy and the member opposite can also go around and ask all the individuals who spent time in a round table consultation process, giving their opinions, their thoughts, and we have set up a feedback opportunity for each and every one of them. Do you know what the problem is? They are totally embarrassed because they did not do anything about housing in this province and so they are trying to tear apart something that people are very excited and thrilled about and are so pleased with this government in what we have been doing.

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

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 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. 97.

Bill No. 97 - Fairer Power Rates Act.

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

HON. CHARLIE PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to close the debate here on Bill No. 97, the Fairer Power Rates Act. I certainly want to thank all my honourable colleagues for their thoughts and discussions over the last couple of days. I now move that we have the vote on third reading of Bill No. 97.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 97. 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. 125.

Bill No. 125 - War Amps Key Tag Act.

[Page 4192]

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

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand to begin debate on Bill No. 125 and I move that Bill No. 125 be now read for a third time.

I think members probably understand from second reading that this amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act will help to balance the privacy rights of Nova Scotia drivers with the rights of citizens who want to support the work of the War Amps of Canada. I think we are all well aware of the good work that the War Amps do. I think people would like to know that their privacy is respected and protected. We are ensuring this is a priority of government.

This legislation will clarify what information about Nova Scotia drivers will be passed on or provided to the War Amps and will clarify how that information is passed on. It will also clarify how Nova Scotians can request that their information may not be shared with War Amps should they so choose. Mr. Speaker, the War Amps uses this information on Nova Scotia drivers provided by the Registry of Motor Vehicles for its popular key return fundraising program which returns lost keys to their owners. Somewhere in the range of about 500 Nova Scotians a year have their keys returned by War Amps, and maybe more often to the member for Timberlea-Prospect as he indicated the other day.

Mr. Speaker, with those few brief comments, I look forward to whatever any members opposite may have to say in regard to this bill. I move third reading of Bill No. 125. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 125. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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

The motion is carried.

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[1:52 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

[2:17 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 102 - Education Act.

Bill No. 119 - Cosmetology Act.

Bill No. 127 - Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act.

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

Further, Madam Speaker, the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 107 - Debt Collection and Management Reform (2012) Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 143.

Bill No. 143 - Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act.

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MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Madam Speaker, I'm very pleased to rise today to speak on second reading of a bill that I introduced yesterday. This bill is an amendment to the Nova Scotia Liquor Control Act. It is a bill entitled the Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act and it will allow me to make regulations that, when adopted, will allow Nova Scotian wine consumers the ability to directly import Canadian wine into our province for personal use. I will now move that Bill No. 143 be read a second time. I can see the panicked look on the Clerks' faces; I was going to do that.

The proposed amendments stem from a decision made in June by the federal government to lift prohibition on the individual importation of wine. I think members of the House would all have remembered when this bill was going through the federal Parliament. It was one of those very rare occasions in the federal House of Commons where there was all-Party support. I'm looking forward to the same collegiality on this particular bill. I'm sure that all members of this Legislative Assembly will be very much in favour of lifting any prohibition on the individual importation of wine.

Not only is it good for wine lovers, consumers in our province, but in particular this will be a very good thing for our wine industry. These changes are a great first step. Every province in Canada has its own liquor control laws and regime that will be required to change in order to allow wine to flow freely across provincial boundaries - no pun intended.

At this point, British Columbia and Manitoba are the only other two provinces that allow for importation of wine for individual use. I'm pleased that Nova Scotia, yesterday, took the initiative to be the next province to respond to the federal changes. As I indicated, those who enjoy wine were very pleased to hear about the positive changes to Nova Scotia's liquor laws and I've heard nothing but positive support for this initiative since I introduced it yesterday. Even before the bill was introduced yesterday, I've had many comments and letters in response to my earlier comments, when the federal legislation had passed.

Madam Speaker, I think you are probably aware, like other members of the House, that we have a lovely wine industry here in Nova Scotia. It's small but it's mighty. It consists of 18 small wineries in various parts of our province - along the South Shore, in the Annapolis Valley and elsewhere. They produce excellent wine. They have thousands of visitors each year who visit their wineries and enjoy what is produced here in Nova Scotia. Sales of Nova Scotia wines have grown to $13.3 million in 2011, which is a 65 per cent increase from 2001. In just 10 years the industry has grown quite significantly. Nova Scotia wineries generated $34.8 million in tourism revenues in 2010, including approximately 55,000 overnight visitors, tourists.

This is a success story that we should be very proud of and we should take measures to support and encourage in terms of the growth and the potential of this particular industry. We have a great wine industry in Nova Scotia and it certainly needs to be recognized, promoted, and supported, and I'm proud to say that is what this legislation is about and that is what this government is doing with respect to this industry. The industry itself welcomed the changes to the federal liquor laws and is very hopeful that other provinces will continue to adjust their laws to allow for cross-border shipping in the future, so that tourists can order their favourite Nova Scotia wines once they get home. Canadians who have never set foot on our vineyards can also order our wine.

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At the bill briefing I hosted yesterday I was joined by several of our winery operators who reinforced this point. Tim Ramey of Blomidon Estate Winery in Minas Basin said, "Ordering wine to be delivered to your home when visiting someplace is a wonderful addition to the cultural experience."

I have been in consultation, Madam Speaker, with our province's wine industry for months, to hear their thoughts towards changes to our Liquor Control Act and they could not be more supportive. As I said, I've received a lot of appreciation from the industry and praise for helping move Nova Scotia's wine industry forward. Wineries here are hopeful that other provinces will follow the lead of British Columbia, Manitoba and ourselves.

When other provinces begin to remove their provincial barriers, there will be a lot of growth potential for our already fast-growing wine industry. I will be writing to my counterparts in the other provinces, Madam Speaker, encouraging them to move forward with changes to their respective Acts. Taxes will be applied to purchases at the point of sale, at the tax rate of the province the wine is being purchased in.

Madam Speaker, our announcement yesterday made headlines in British Columbia, in Manitoba and in Ontario. In Ontario, wine experts were quoted as saying that Nova Scotia's move to allow wine imports could help nudge their province in the same direction. Ontario's MPP Rob Milligan said, ". . . we're going to introduce legislation of a similar nature so we can move forward. Anytime there are interprovincial barriers taken down, that's a good thing." I couldn't agree more.

As Gerry McConnell from Benjamin Bridge in Wolfville said yesterday, "We currently have a potential market of about a million people in this province and will soon see this potential market increased to about 30 million people across Canada. This is truly a huge development for our industry."

Mr. Speaker, our wine sector has provided us with significant support on this bill and I'd like to thank them for that. I am anxious to see other provinces follow our lead and witness the great growth opportunities for our industry. For now, this means more choice for Nova Scotians who want to experience wine from other great wine-making regions throughout our country. This is an exciting time for wine consumers as the doors will soon be open to products we've never had the opportunity to purchase in our province before.

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Madam Speaker, when the decision to remove federal barriers to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, Bill C-311 was made. As I indicated, all federal Parties were in support. I speak for both myself and for our province's wine industry and consumers when I say I would love to see our own amendments receive the same level of support from the provincial Parties represented in our House of Assembly.

Madam Speaker, I would encourage all members to . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Raise a glass.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : It's a little too early to raise a glass, perhaps, but I encourage all members, if you haven't had an opportunity to sample the excellent wines throughout our province in our small wineries, to do so. They have not only been winning awards nationally but I'm so proud that they win international awards and recognition. It is an industry that is on the move, and this initiative is a support to that industry, moving them forward, right up there with the great wines of the wine-producing regions of the world.

With that, I would like to thank you, and I will move second reading of Bill No. 143, the Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : I would like to remind the honourable minister that there would be a requirement to table the documents which you quoted from. Thank you.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : I'm pleased today to speak on second reading of Bill No. 143, which is a bill that revises the Statutes of the Liquor Control Act. As the minister has said, this will allow for the importation of wine for personal use from other provinces, and now, because of the federal government's move, it is going to be allowed federally, that liquor can pass between provinces and be transported, which it previously was not. I know the minister has called on us as a group - I won't say it was an appeal to us all, but asked us all to support this in a warm and collegial way, and I don't think there is anybody in the Legislature who would think that this was a wrongheaded move. It is, in fact, the right thing to do.

I think there is a demand. The public has been wanting this. People who enjoy wine are seeing it as a hobby and as something that they like to explore and try. It's a part of cultural tourism. It's part of our experience going to other places, and we hope that people who travel to Nova Scotia will have the same opportunity to take home with them the products that are coming from what I learned today are 18 small wineries here in the province. Even not knowing the number, I certainly knew that there has been an expansion of wineries in the province and that the tourists to the Valley and the day tours that people, even from Halifax, go down and enjoy are creating a lot of excitement in the province and for tourism.

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I think it's terrific. I think we're seeing not only more wine production but wines that are winning national and international awards, and that's very exciting for us as well. The minister referred to an increase of 65 per cent in the production or the value of our wines produced in Nova Scotia in just a 10-year period. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have a few other industries that are doing the same thing? That is a success story, and we have to celebrate the successes that we have in this province and try and nurture their growth.

This is, in all measure, a fairly small step to take, because we're following what the federal government outlined in their Act of June of this year, in June 2012, when they paved the way for us to lift the prohibition on wine and alcohol transportation. I think that it's important that we are one of the first. I often stand in the House, Madam Speaker, and lament the fact that we are slow to respond to changes, either cultural or national changes in demand or in business practice. We often tend to be slow to adopt, and I am pleased to see that we are one of the first provinces in the country to take this action and bring this bill forward. For that I am very pleased. I am glad the Minister of Finance saw fit to do so.

While I'm speaking on the goodness of this bill, I think it's important that we note that the Liquor Control Act, which this is an amendment to, really could use some other amendments that have been raised and discussed and talked to at quite some length in this House. The government has not chosen, or at least to date has not chosen, to move forward on other suggested amendments.

One of those in particular would be the amendment to make it legal for consumers to mix up and brew their own wine and beer in stores here in Nova Scotia. We have stores that sell the kits that allow for the production of making your own batches of wine and beer. In fact, those stores provide an opportunity for our local wineries as well because they can sell their concentrate to those stores for people to make their own wine and do that, you know, either in your home, or ideally in the store where you bought the kit. But the Department of Finance last year, or the Minister of Finance, brought in a bill that would almost throw, I guess, a wet blanket on the idea of doing that because they brought in a bill that gave extraordinary enforcement powers to the NSLC, to our Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, saying that the Liquor Corporation could now crack down basically on any measures, anything they see in the business community that they feel would be in contravention of the Liquor Control Act.

At the time, which was about this time last year, it was in the Fall sitting last year, we talked about this and I spoke very vigorously against that bill, Madam Speaker, because it was a regressive bill in my opinion. What the current Minister of Finance has proposed today and what we're on second reading of, Bill No. 135, that's a very positive thing. That is something that consumers in this country want, that the wine industry wants, and that supports an expansion of wine as a hobby and as, I guess, an interest. But on the flip side, the government's response to the request that government allow U-Vints, which again means that on-site you, yourself, can mix up your batch of wine and leave it in the vats in the store so that it actually ages there, and you return to the store and bottle it yourself - that, to me, is another innovation, another step forward that the government has not turned its attention to, or has not seemed willing to move forward on.

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Madam Speaker, this has been coming up periodically in the House around the Liquor Control Act, which we're talking about today. It has been raised since 2007, in fact, because there is a demand and I think it's important to take today as an opportunity while we're speaking to this bill to talk about why people would want that opportunity to experience wine, to become more knowledgeable about wine, and enjoy their hobby of enjoying wine, just as this opportunity to export wine between provinces will now offer that opportunity, because enjoying wine and wine tasting, it's sort of experiencing different wines from different regions is a real hobby and people enjoy that. When you can mix up your own batches of wine and taste wine, it's a way that people actually become more knowledgeable - and if you start by making your own wine, often the next step would be to buy wine from the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, to taste that wine, to compare it to your own, to try different varieties of grapes, to try some from local wineries and so on.

This is just part and parcel of the hobby of enjoying wines, and when the bill was presented to allow that to take place, the previous Progressive Conservative Government did not move that bill forward and the current NDP Government has not seen fit to move forward with removing the prohibition on this practice of brewing wine and beer in the stores.

I can't begin to say how much this annoys me, Madam Speaker, because it is such a small thing. It's a small innovation for small business in Nova Scotia. It allows those businesses to offer a greater service that is in big demand from the consumers - and there are a number of reasons it's in big demand. One is they've already been transporting their wine across borders. They've been brewing their wine at these on-site wine kits, or brewing in places in other provinces like P.E.I. and New Brunswick, and when the batch is ready and they've bottled their wine, they bring it back to Nova Scotia to their home. That's because it's not allowed here in Nova Scotia, but it is allowed in our neighbouring provinces. You can go to the stores in New Brunswick and P.E.I. and brew your own wine on the premises and go back and bottle it and bring it home to Nova Scotia.

The part that was illegal before was the transporting of it back home and people were either unaware of that or they chose to disregard the fact that they shouldn't have been transporting their wine across the borders. Now, luckily, that will be legal. We won't have to worry about that in the future. They can legally go to New Brunswick and brew their own wine, or P.E.I., if they want to come home on the ferry, and bring it back without contravening any laws, but the regressive part and the lamentable part is that here in Nova Scotia the government hasn't seen fit to move forward into this 21st Century and show that they are willing to allow this business practice.

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Why do people want this, Madam Speaker? Number one is, in my riding particularly, a lot of people live in apartments and condominiums and they don't have space in their house to set up that big vat full of the wine or beer while it is brewing. They can't leave it on a shelf or it would take up their whole kitchen, so they don't have that space as you would have in a home, where you have a basement or a corner where this can be left for a month or six weeks. Space is a problem if you're living in an apartment or a condominium. I think that makes the fact that we can't brew it in a store sort of discrimination against people who live in smaller homes or in apartments.

Secondly, Madam Speaker, we have a lot of older people in this province and we have a lot of women who can't lift and lug those big vats around when they're filled. They're very heavy. So as people age or if you're not strong enough - I don't think I could handle it, to be honest, I'd have to go into training - so it makes a lot of sense that you be in the store where there are shelves and it's all set up for filling the vats and leaving them there.

It's just a huge convenience to women or to older people. I think that's another reason why the demand has been growing, because more women are enjoying wine. That's just fine, more women want to brew their own and taste it and so on. This is preventing them from doing so. I think that those two reasons alone are very strong reasons why it should be allowed.

Not having it be clearly allowed in Nova Scotia is creating an air of uncertainty for that business. Madam Speaker, it's interesting that just in the Fall, I think it was in September, I received a letter from somebody who wanted to buy one of the franchises for these kits of wines you can sell and they were uncertain about whether or not to do that. They wrote me a letter asking, did I have any idea where the government stood on this? To them it made a big difference in the business case if they were able to offer that service of brewing it on their premises or not. If they couldn't, that was a huge hit to the income they could see in the business and again, a huge hit to the government taxes, too, because the businesses are prepared to do that, to collect HST, and to remit taxes to the Province of Nova Scotia. Interestingly, Madam Speaker . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would remind the member that this is an opportunity to speak to the principle of the bill. I have allowed some leeway to see if there was a connection that you were bringing forward but I would ask the member to come back to the bill at hand.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. WHALEN « » : I'm sure, Madam Speaker, that you've seen some of the connections I talked about. The fact that we don't have the ability to brew on premises here means that people are importing wine illegally, across the borders. That's what has been happening and that is really the biggest connection between the demand for on-site brewing and the passage of this Bill No. 135.

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In fact, it's going to add - the prohibition now, or lifting of the prohibition of transportation of liquor between provinces is going to actually help those people who are seeking to brew their own wine and are now going out of province to do it because it's not officially sanctioned here. There is a prohibition here in Nova Scotia against that practice, so as an offshoot of that, Madam Speaker, I wanted to speak to the benefits of allowing the on-site brewing and the fact that it would be good for the coffers, the financial income of the province. It would create an expansion of small business, create new jobs. That has actually been demonstrated in the stores that have experimented or tried this in Nova Scotia.

There is a growing demand and it's putting some pressure, I think, on government and I would hope in a positive light. We have a new Minister of Finance this year. Last year there was a very regressive bill passed that related to the Liquor Control Act and that's what we're discussing today, Madam Speaker, amendments to the Liquor Control Act.

We have a new minister and I'm hoping the new minister will be listening as well, so I'm appealing to the Finance Minister today to perhaps review this and discuss it with staff. I think the lamentable thing is that under a Progressive Conservative Government, letters were written as to why this was not going to be allowed and currently under the NDP Government the same kind of responses are coming out from the government - no change. These letters are drafted by bureaucrats who have not changed their opinion one bit and, Madam Speaker, there's an opportunity for the government of the day, the NDP Government, to put their stamp on things and to change things. Don't just write what the previous government wrote, put your own thoughts together.

Obviously, in coming up with Bill No. 135, in deciding to be a leader in the country by being one of - well, now we are the third province to bring this bill forward . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Bill No. 143.

MS. WHALEN « » : Bill No. 143, sorry. I appreciate that; I had the wrong bill in front of me. The bill I was looking at was the one that would permit the operation of businesses that assist others in making wine, beer or cider. So, you know, Madam Speaker, you've asked me to speak to the bill at hand, which is Bill No. 143.

But in bringing this forward we are showing some leadership in this province; we're not being the laggards, which is the norm for Nova Scotia's adoption of new ideas. We're actually stepping forward and I think that's a very good thing to see. I'm glad to see that other provinces wrote about it, that it appeared in the press that Nova Scotia was doing something positive. Only last Fall the National Post had an article about how regressive it was that we did not allow the brewing of wine and beer in our stores here in Nova Scotia, where it is allowed in Ontario, B.C., New Brunswick, P.E.I., and other places.

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They thought that was a very lamentable thing, so I'm glad to see that there's a more positive piece of media that's recent following the move and the introduction yesterday of Bill No. 143. The minister can take pride in that. I think she would be quite surprised to see the article that was written last Fall in the National Post. I would be happy to get a copy of that and make it available to her because, maybe in reading that, she might reconsider and look at how Bill No. 143 is actually paving the way for allowing stores to brew on premises here because it is a step forward to support the industry.

I note that in her comments the minister said that this Bill No. 143 is good for wine lovers and it's good for our industry. Those are exactly the words the minister chose - "good for wine lovers and good for our wine industry here in Nova Scotia." By the very same token, I would say that allowing U-Vints in our province, allowing people to make their own wine in a store is also very good news for wine lovers and would be very good news for small businesses that are engaged in that line of business.

And it creates income for the province - right now when you sell these kits in the store there is no HST paid, because it's considered a food product so it doesn't have HST on it when they sell that. It does though when it's brewed on premises and there is HST revenue to the Province of Nova Scotia. So it's a win-win-win situation and Bill No. 143 paves the way to really review and, I think, expand the changes you're making to the Liquor Control Act. It's a perfect opportunity to review that, and I would hope this might just be the spark that would allow that to happen.

I'm sure every member of this House would agree that it is really silly that we have forced Nova Scotians to go out of province to our nearest neighbours - P.E.I. and New Brunswick - where they brew their wine in a store and then they go back and bring it across the border, which has been illegal. So we've made law-abiding, good Nova Scotians, in fact put them in a position where they've gone elsewhere and brought their wine back, against the law. It had been against the law to transport that across the border, now we are changing that with the introduction of Bill No. 143, which I'm sure will receive support from all sides of the House - I'm pretty sure; I can't see a downside to Bill No. 143 quite frankly.

There is no reason, we're not protecting the people, we're not decreasing risks to the public, or in any way helping by prohibiting the transportation of wine across provincial borders. I think that we need to move to freer trade in a lot of ways between our provinces and this is one way, one very small step we can take to do that.

While we're trying to bring ourselves into the 21st Century, I would call on the minister and on the government to review why there is such a strong aversion to moving forward with allowing a store to brew on premises. When the NDP were in Opposition, there was a lot of . . .

[Page 4202]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order.

MS. WHALEN « » : Yes, Madam Speaker?

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Again I would remind the member to speak to the principle of the bill. I've allowed a lot of lenience on your interpretation of connecting the two, but you're now repeating yourself. I would ask you to go back to the bill.

MS. WHALEN « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. This is the only bill - really there are not many bills on our docket this afternoon so I thought I might be allowed the latitude to repeat myself, as it often happens in this House, but I do understand why we might not want to. I do understand. Perhaps at 2:50 p.m. we might be in a hurry to hear some Speeches from the Throne or replies or some other compelling business, but I can tell you that this is a really important issue for the wineries of our province. They are looking forward to this bill passing second reading, going to the Law Amendments Committee, and becoming law in Nova Scotia so that they can begin to expand their sales - as the minister said, going from just a small pool of a million people in Nova Scotia to being able to sell to Canadians right across the country.

By the same token, as you move forward, I would just call on the government to please reassess your approach to other changes to the Liquor Control Act, which are much needed in this province. It is an opportunity for the minister to put her mark on a department that needs some shaking up when it comes to the Liquor Control Act. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I look forward to seeing this go to the Law Amendments Committee.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : I am pleased to take a few minutes this afternoon to speak to Bill No. 143. I certainly stand here in favour of this bill, given that a couple of weeks ago now, I think, I introduced a bill very similar even in title to this one. It's good to see this bill before the House.

I have not been a person who - I should say that the minister spoke about the number of people who do enjoy a glass of wine. I think that it's quite a few, given sales and how good the wine industry is in this province. I'm not one of those folks who care for a taste of wine, but that may be just generally because I haven't found one yet that I like. You never know. (Interruptions) I'm getting a few offers here, Madam Speaker.

But I should say in all seriousness that this is a very good industry, one that we know is strong in the province, which is good to see. It's nice to see it growing - I guess pardon the pun there as well. I have the pleasure of having a couple of wineries in my constituency. Sainte-Famille Winery in Falmouth, which has been there for quite a number of years . . .

[Page 4203]

AN HON. MEMBER: I was there a couple of weeks ago.

MR. PORTER « » : One of the ministers is saying he was there a couple of weeks ago. I've been there many times myself, Madam Speaker, and they do a great business. They've just added quite a large expansion for shipping and packing and storage there for throughout the course of the year, which is nice to see, and it speaks to the success that they are having.

One of the important pieces to this industry in the province is how they market themselves as well, as we all know. I speak to that because some of you may know the Avondale Sky Winery in Avondale is quite famous for having been once upon a time an old church that was floated up the river and put upon the hill where it now sits.

AN HON. MEMBER: The Walton.

MR. PORTER « » : The Walton Church. Thank you, minister. You're correct. It was, and it floated up the river and put quite an ordeal to . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Down the bay.

MR. PORTER « » : Down the bay, he says. Floated down the bay, down the river, to Avondale, where it was put on the hill where it now resides and added on to and turned into a beautiful building and turned into that. It's quite unique to go into that place. They've left a lot of aspects of the church intact, Madam Speaker. To see that as a winery and thriving there is very nice. They get a lot of visitors and their sales are good. This bill will only help enhance what we already have in place. Those are just a couple of examples.

We also have the growers who support those wineries. They don't just do those themselves. There are other growers independent from the winery who do help with the grapes and stuff that are grown and transported to these wineries. I've had the pleasure a couple of times over the last few years - Tony and Susan Duke, who have quite a big vineyard - through the men's club in our church, go and cut the grapes when they are ready and then they ship them to Sainte-Famille, I believe, and maybe others, to be processed. That's just another example of what is going on in our own community there in Hants West, and I'm sure that there are others who are growing.

I also know that throughout the Valley, even just a little further down the Valley, Madam Speaker, there are a number of wineries, again, throughout Kings South, Kings North, and onward and around the province, as we heard the minister speak to. There are a lot of wineries. This industry is something that is doing very, very well, and we should be thankful for that. It's nice to see this opportunity come to light here today in the bill before the House, and I know that this will pass through - unanimously supported, I'm sure, as the federal bill was, which was the right thing to do. As more provinces sign on, it becomes easier for that industry to continue to expand and to grow, and we look forward to that. So with those few words, I will thank you for the opportunity and again thank the minister, and take my seat.

[Page 4204]

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

MR. JIM MORTON « » : Madam Speaker, I'm very happy to rise this afternoon to say a few words myself about Bill No. 143, the Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act, although I must say that any time I stand up to talk about the benefits of alcohol, I do so with a sense of irony. I spent 10 years of my professional life before I was elected mostly as the manager for Addiction Services with Annapolis Valley Health, so I know something about alcohol from a number of perspectives.

I have to say too that my grandmother, if people do roll in their graves, probably would be doing that today if she heard me rise to speak about the benefits of alcohol. She was a good Baptist. She was also a very active member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and when I was growing up in Somerset, in the spare bedroom of my country farmhouse, one of the prominent pictures on the wall was a large portrait of Frances Willard, a suffragette who was the founder of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and a very powerful American woman who led the way in many regards. My grandmother was so passionate about these issues that she spent a good deal of her life going to schools throughout Kings County to give lectures on the evils of drink, so I know that she wouldn't necessarily approve of what I would like to say today.

While I'm fully in favour of this bill - I think it's a positive move forward - nothing should help us forget that along with those powerful benefits of alcohol and the value of social use, there are also a great deal of harms. I think the responsible consideration of policy is important in that. As I listened to the member for Halifax Clayton Park, I thought that maybe in some of her remarks she wasn't paying full attention to that other side of things, but I do want to stay focused on Bill No. 143.

The fact is that when my grandmother was making those presentations in Kings County schools to young students, she wouldn't have imagined - I wouldn't have imagined, and probably none of us in this room would have imagined, who are old enough to remember that time - we wouldn't have thought about Nova Scotia's potential for growing grapes and for making award-winning wines. When I was growing up in Kings County, there were no vineyards to see and no wineries to explore. So there has been a certain change that has occurred in our province, and I'm very happy that one of the results of that activity is it has been a draw for people around the world.

I know the Kings Regional Development Authority prepared an award-winning Web site a few years back to help promote the wine industry in the world. It got hits from every continent, from people who wanted to know more about what was happening in this whole industry. It helps draw attention to Nova Scotia.

[Page 4205]

I recall a couple of years ago meeting an investor from Toronto who has planted a vineyard in Port Williams. I asked him how he had happened to buy some land in this part of the world, and he said that obviously he had deep enough pockets to set up a business like this, but he said that for many years he had had a dream of owning a vineyard. He had always imagined that he would probably do that in southern France, because that's where he thought you could probably make the best investment. So because of that interest of his, he was Googling possible wineries for sale, and he came upon the winery in Bear River that at that point was for sale, and thought, I didn't know there were any vineyards or wineries in Nova Scotia. So he came down to Nova Scotia to have a look, and all it took was a couple of days of looking around the Annapolis Valley to decide that this was a place to put his money. He was sold on the idea, and now he's growing grapes and he's planning a winery that will have a future here and will add to the work that is going on in Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, the function of Bill No. 143 is to allow Nova Scotians to import into our province wines that are 100 per cent locally produced and grown in Canada. I think this is a really important step forward. I know that the minister quoted Gerry McConnell earlier and I noticed today in the Halifax ChronicleHerald that Gerry McConnell, who works for Benjamin Bridge Vineyards, said this is truly a huge development for our industry. I think we need to look at it this way. It's a short bill but a huge step forward.

Of course, Madam Speaker, this is a step in the process. This is legislation that follows some federal legislation that opens the way for moving wines across borders but it does require reciprocal agreements in other provinces. We've had some development already in the country because British Columbia and Manitoba have both passed similar legislation. We need other provinces to follow and I think there is every reason to believe that work will unfold. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction; it's another way to help what is clearly a growing industry and a bright spot in our provincial economy.

Of course, Madam Speaker, the economic bright spot is not just about growing grapes and making wine; it's also about tourism. Maybe it's particularly about tourism - the opportunity for people both in the province and outside the province to connect with products that are grown in what is a very beautiful part of the world. Tourists who come here, as this process moves forward, will be able to carry a little bit of Nova Scotia home with them. Perhaps we can imagine the day when people are thinking about a gift or a Christmas present or an ability to support their employees, that they'll buy a case of wine and have it shipped to Toronto or Vancouver or Montreal, to help remind themselves and their employees, to give them a taste of Nova Scotia in another part of the world.

Maybe the ability to take these wines to other parts of Canada will encourage conversations in living rooms and dining rooms, not only about the quality of the wine but where it came from. We need that kind of conversation because we need more people to know about Nova Scotia, to know not only what a wonderful place this is but about the quality of the things that we know and the things that we can build and make. That is what will help grow our economy and that's what will give us a great deal more confidence.

[Page 4206]

Provincial wineries, Madam Speaker, are already important. They helped generate, in 2010, $34.8 million in tourism revenue alone. I think that's a significant number, and they helped encourage about 55,000 overnight tourist stays, so a very important part of our rural tourism economy. The sales of Nova Scotia wines in 2011, last year, were, I understand, $13.3 million and that is actually an amazing 65 per cent increase in dollar sales over 2011.

I would like to mention too, Madam Speaker, as I comment on Bill No. 143, that the possibility of building this industry and of connecting it with other parts of the country has been possible, in part, because of research work that has been done at the Kentville Agricultural Research Centre. Scientists at that location have been doing a great deal of work to help understand how traditional grapes can grow in this environment, how new varieties of grapes can do better in our climate, and how we can match those cultivars with the changing climate in Nova Scotia, which is now a little warmer than it was when I was a kid growing up here.

Acadia University has also been a very important part of the development of our winery and grape-growing industry, doing a great deal of work now with the industry to help them think about how to design and market their products more effectively here and eventually across Canada and around the world.

As has been mentioned, there are in Nova Scotia at this moment 18 wineries, an amazing number. I'd just like to mention a few of them to illustrate that Bill No. 143 is not simply about a small thing but it's about different parts of our province. I'd particularly like to highlight, because I represent folks in the Annapolis Valley, some of the wineries that are there. Some of these have been mentioned but some haven't.

One of the places that has wineries is the Gaspereau Valley, an absolute jewel of a place. If somebody in this room has not been through the Gaspereau Valley at some point, it's worth the little detour at any time of the year. There are several wineries in the Gaspereau Valley; L'Acadie Vineyards is one of those, Benjamin Bridge is in the Gaspereau Valley and there is also a vineyard called Gaspereau Vineyards. All of those now exist in the Gaspereau Valley and I think give people an opportunity to have a look at them and maybe to stop and do some other things while they're there.

One of the things that is particularly interesting to do in the summertime if you're in the Gaspereau Valley is to do a little bit of tubing. Nothing might be more interesting than to go tubing and then have a glass of wine at maybe Benjamin Bridge. The winery I mentioned earlier in Bear River is called the Annapolis Highland Vineyards. It shows that we can grow wine in a more westerly part of the Valley. The member for Hants West has mentioned the Avondale Sky Winery - I guess my grandmother wouldn't be so happy to know that we're now selling wine out of a former church. But the ambience in that building is truly amazing and I think the story of how that old church has been put to some new use is interesting and part of the cultural evolution of Nova Scotia.

[Page 4207]

There's only one winery at this moment that is actually up and running which is Blomidon Estate Winery in Canning. It's on the Habitant Road between the wonderful small village of Canning and the jewel of a community called Kingsport on the Minas Basin. It has some interesting wine because its grapes are growing down to the edge of the Minas Basin and the quality of that wine is related not only to the land but also to the sea.

We can look beyond that to Grand Pré, one of the birthplaces of our province, the Domaine de Grand Pré which has been probably one of the earliest vineyards in Nova Scotia and the people who founded that vineyard and winery foresaw the possibility that other people couldn't see and actually started the work that has spread across the province.

I neglected to mention as I have been talking about these things, the Luckett Vineyards in Gaspereau Valley, one of the newer ones, but people in this House and others might recognize that the vineyard is owned by Pete Luckett whose fame spreads to other parts of the industry. I mention these things, not just to name the vineyards but to show the importance of Bill No. 143 in connecting Nova Scotia with a growing and burgeoning part of our economy to other parts of the world. I think understanding the value of Bill No. 143 is not just about interprovincial trade, it's very much about being able to connect the kind of work that's being done in particular, beautiful locations with the importance of trade.

Madam Speaker, those are the things I particularly wanted to say. I would like to add one other element in this. What I'm noticing as I watch the growing interest in the wineries and vineyards, the growing interest in tourism as it's related to wineries and vineyards is that people are interested in coming to Nova Scotia to have a look at certain things, and one of the things they can have a look at are the vineyards and wineries that we have. They can use tours to do that.

Several businesses have begun to evolve, to take advantage of that opportunity, and while they do that, Madam Speaker, it means that when people are staying overnight, they might be staying in one of our bed and breakfasts, they might be visiting a provincial park, they might be doing a little bit of other shopping, and certainly that experience is going to help them carry, as I've already said, the message of Nova Scotia to other parts of the world.

We need that I think, Madam Speaker, more than most other things - we need the world to know about Nova Scotia. We need to know that Nova Scotia is seen by the world so that we can see ourselves in a more confident light and we can build the confidence to build our economy and our culture in a way that can create a higher level of prosperity for everyone in this province. So I would like to end by just thanking, again, the Minister of Finance for bringing this small, but important bill forward and for opening the door to a better future not only for the winery and vineyard industry but as another step in building a better future for Nova Scotia.

[Page 4208]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. RAMONA JENNEX « » : Madam Speaker, I would like to stand here today to speak a few words on the bill, the Importation of Wine for Personal Use. It goes without saying that many people here in this House know how proud I am to be the MLA for Kings South. Kings South is one of the areas in the Annapolis Valley that the member for Kings North mentioned. We have a wonderful area in the Annapolis Valley that has most of the wineries that are now in the Province of Nova Scotia.

I would like to start my comments by speaking about the comments from the member for Hants West when he said that he didn't care for wine. Actually what the member should do is actually take some time at one of our wineries, and they're very good at educating folks to the different kinds of wine and allowing them to taste samples, and talking about how the wine is, the grape that's used and how it's produced. Interestingly enough, some people who don't care for wine will actually find one of the wines that they actually will like very much, because there is quite a variety of wine now produced in our province.

The honourable member for Kings North made a comment about his dear grandmother who, I know, would be concerned about what we're talking about here today, but I just want to stress that when we're talking about wine we're not talking about spirits in its purest form. What we're talking about when we talk about wine is we're talking about food because, actually, when you look at wine, wine is food for our table. It is meant to be enjoyed with food and it's meant to be enjoyed in small amounts with friends.

I would have to say that I'm very, very proud of the work that's being done at Grand Pré. The owner at Grand Pré, Hanspeter Stutz, is a fine gentleman who has brought . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: He's awesome.

MS. JENNEX « » : Yes, he's awesome - beyond awesome - and I could go on about the work that not only he has done for his own winery but how he has supported all of the wineries in the province. But Hanspeter and I have had this conversation about the importation of wine over the last number of years, and I know that Hanspeter Stutz is very proud of our Minister of Finance for moving this as quickly as she did once the federal government paved the way that we could do this.

This bill is about us bringing wine in, but the most important component of this is that now people around Canada can enjoy our Nova Scotia wine. This gives the ability for our wine to go out into other parts of the world, for them to know the fine wine that Nova Scotia is actually now producing.

[Page 4209]

At the winery at Grand Pré - help me here - anyway, the winery at Grand Pré. Grand Pré Winery started quite a few years ago. I remember at the time all of us in the Annapolis Valley kind of looked at each other and going - a winery, growing grapes, we're going to make wine in the Annapolis Valley? But the person that did that back at that time period was really quite brave to start the industry. Unfortunately, the first attempts at that winery were not successful, but when Hanspeter Stutz came to our country and recognized that it was the wrong grape that was growing, he actually planted the grape that was going to grow in our soil that matched our climate. That's when the magic happened. Hanspeter has the grapes that are now growing in the Annapolis Valley. You can't grow certain grapes in the Annapolis Valley; we grow what are best for the wines we are making.

I don't know if members here today know that the restaurant that is at the winery is one of the top wine restaurants of the world. Two years ago it was recognized as one of the places for a destination for one of the best wine restaurants. Hanspeter Stutz has not only grown, as I said, his industry, his winery, and his restaurant, he has been supportive and a mentor to many of our other wineries in the Annapolis Valley and around Nova Scotia. He feels very strongly that working together makes a better industry.

Now I think we're all very well aware of this in the Annapolis Valley and the member for Kings North has actually seen the results of what is happening in the Valley over the summer. Wolfville decided, through the president of their business association, Suzanne Balcom, to hire a bus and they called it the Wolfville Magic Winery Bus. They brought it on for a number of weekends. This was a double-decker bus that actually took you on a tour - I think there were five wineries. I think they went to Grand Pre, Muir Murray. I know that they went to the Gaspereau Vineyards, up to Pete Luckett's and there might have been one more.

I know that they didn't make it all the way out to Benjamin Bridge but they went to five wineries. For $10 you could get on and off the bus throughout the full day, from one winery to the other, tasting wines and the wineries were able to not only provide samples but the education around what people were tasting, smelling and how to taste wine.

It was so busy downtown and I'm going to say this for one of our honourable members, "Woofville", it was so busy in Wolfville that we had people jams. We didn't worry about the traffic but there were so many people coming to the Valley to taste our wines. Now when they come to the Valley to taste their wines, they can actually purchase wines to take home with them that they can now share with their friends in other parts of Canada. Before, as we know, it was illegal to move wine from one province to another. So because of the Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act, people who are coming from the Valley can now share our wine all across Canada.

[Page 4210]

I wanted to also say that, one of the things that many people might not know, Jason Priestley came to the Annapolis Valley for a visit because of the wines; he had heard about them. He was so impressed with the wines in the Annapolis Valley that he decided to stay for a little while and brought a film production - Call Me Fitz. That filming was actually created because of the wine industry because he recognized the wine and the great food that we have.

I just want to thank the Minister of Finance very much for us in Nova Scotia to be able to share the gem that we have of our excellent wine, in all areas of Canada. Now I have to qualify that - in the provinces that also allow this because not all provinces have the same bill that they're moving forward. We hope they will soon. I just want to close my remarks, Madam Speaker, and say thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to say how proud I am to be the MLA of an area that has such great wines and great food.

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

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, and I'd like to thank all of the members for their intervention. It was very interesting.

Madam Speaker, I apologize to you. There is an article from which those quotes were taken. I will table that article so that it will be on the record. With that I will close debate for second reading.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 143. 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 « » : Madam Speaker, that concludes the government's business for the day. I move that the House do now rise to meet from the hour of 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. After the daily routine, the business of the House will be Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill Nos. 140, 144, and 147; Private and Local Bills for Second Reading, Bill No. 146; Public Bills for Third Reading, Bill Nos. 102, 107, 119, and 127; and if time permits, Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. I move that the House do now rise.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 9:00 a.m.

[Page 4211]

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 Adjournment motion was submitted by the honourable member for Colchester North:

"Therefore be it resolved that this NDP Government heed their own words while in Opposition when they condemned corporate welfare, stop handing over hundreds of millions of dollars to large corporations who lay off Nova Scotians and get back to the fundamentals of economic development in Nova Scotia."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove - sorry, Halifax Clayton Park.

NDP GOV'T.: ECON. DEV. - FUNDAMENTALS

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Remember, the member for Bedford-Birch Cove is blond, and I am not blond, but we do get mixed up with each other for some reason. I do find that women politicians are often mixed up with each other. I don't know why that is.

On another point, Madam Speaker, in elections I have gone door to door and been completely mistaken for another candidate who happens to be female but doesn't look a bit like me. I see that this may strike a chord with some other members of the House, but it's just a funny thing. I don't think we do the same thing with men when it comes to mixing up men, but in one campaign they were saying to me, oh, I thought you had four children, and I said no, no, this is the picture of my family, it's two children. It's kind of amazing.

Madam Speaker, the point of my late debate tonight is not nearly so pleasant as to share our experiences as women in politics and women in the Legislature. Today my job is to rise as a member of the Liberal Party and speak about corporate welfare and about the corporate giveaways that have made an imprint on the people of Nova Scotia as a legacy of the NDP Government. It's a real surprise for many who supported the NDP Government in 2009 to see the direction that the government has taken.

[Page 4212]

I know that in Question Period we have heard time after time quotes that have come from earlier times here in this Legislature, where members who are currently in the House said one thing when they were Opposition, and now that they are part of the NDP Government and sitting on the governing side of the House, we are hearing, as people of Nova Scotia, a completely different story. It's a real surprise for many, and I include myself among those.

I sat in Opposition for six years; I was on the Liberal side of Opposition. The NDP were sitting as the Official Opposition, and I heard the statements and the outrage and the concern that the NDP raised, time and again, about corporate giveaways, about writing blank cheques for business, about pointing out the hypocrisy of supporting big business when other things were being neglected, like social programs, like education, housing, and we can go on and on, social assistance, not addressing poverty. Those issues were paramount and certainly the NDP members, one after another, had spoken against them.

Madam Speaker, I only have 10 minutes in late debate so I don't want to take a long time to go over this but I've been given many, many instances of these kind of quotes that were made by other members who now sit in government. In particular, there were a series of comments made about the loans given to Scotiabank at one time, where members in the NDP Government - at the time they were the NDP Opposition - were saying how on earth can you be giving them millions of dollars and, in fact, I think it was a $15 million support, when this business has hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, billions in fact, and is one of the largest companies in Canada?

Now, Madam Speaker, in the new situation that we find ourselves in, we see the NDP completely reversing their stance on corporate welfare. I didn't coin the phrase "corporate welfare". That is synonymous with things that the NDP say. They're saying it in Ottawa. They say it in other provinces. They said it in Opposition. It is an NDP phrase. In the meantime, the NDP Government, as I say, has become characterized by these large giveaways to big business.

Madam Speaker, I'm sure you know the figures now, it's $590 million that has been given in guarantees, loans and support, and equity stakes in six businesses - just six businesses. Out of those six businesses, a number have gone bankrupt; a couple are uncertain. I don't have the exact figures of the numbers but it has definitely led, and this is very important, it has led to 1,300 fewer jobs working in those six businesses. So we've put millions of dollars in and we have fewer workers to show for it.

Now, there has been largesse in the past, no question. Companies have been given money but they've been given money when there are guarantees of jobs and security is actually entrenched into that agreement. You don't give money to companies so they will cut your workforce. That's not how it's done.

[Page 4213]

Madam Speaker, the point of today's discussion really was to look at "that was then and this is now", and how greatly the NDP have changed in terms of their stance on really running this province and what they stand for in running this province. You know, it's just quite amazing to see the changes that have come over that time. We have the Finance Minister, the current Finance Minister, in 2000 saying something. I know the minister may think that's a long time ago - 2000 - but every day that I sit here as a member of the Liberal Party, I hear all kinds of allegations and talk about the 1990s, so going back even further. The Finance Minister, on November 24, 2000, actually made a statement saying - I want to get the whole statement - "We have no difficulty as a province, previous governments and this government . . ." she was talking to the Progressive Conservative Government at the time, ". . . have no difficulty giving millions of dollars to profitable companies and corporations as a first priority, where people with disabilities . . ." are now requiring help. So she was comparing the support for people with disabilities to the millions of dollars going out the door to corporations.

Madam Speaker, you can see that the current Finance Minister has made a complete about-face on this. In the few minutes that I have today I also wanted to speak particularly about the IBM contract, which is to me a very mistaken choice - to give away the expertise and really the core of our financial systems to IBM as a carrot to bring them here to the province.

Madam Speaker, we didn't invite tenders to outsource all of our SAP services. We have spent 15 years in this province building up strong services in SAP. We are, I think, the most integrated SAP client, I guess, or provider I think almost in the world - certainly in Canada. We are the best. As one province we chose what has been described as a Cadillac system, and I've sat on Public Accounts here and I know you have too, Madam Speaker, listening to stories of cost overruns and the investment we had made into integrating SAP into all of the functions of government.

Everything from our driver's licences, all of our records, our property records, who owns land, where do they own it, what's it valued at - all of our procurement, all of the payments we make for everything that we buy in government goes through SAP. It's an enormous financial database and full of information that's private information of Nova Scotians.

I'm concerned about that and I think it's important that we mention it. By contracting this out, we are losing the control of that information. We're then going to become dependent on a private company to answer questions, to run the system for us and so on.

Madam Speaker, I have something which I'd be happy to table, which actually comes from a little magazine called The Stand, Fall of 2012, and it's actually the NSGEU newsletter and they have an article on the outsourcing of the SAP services, saying it's a quality service we can't afford to lose. They talk a lot about the privacy and the loss of control over private information. They also talk about their members, 73 out of 110 of the government Department of Finance SAP workers are union members.

[Page 4214]

We're talking about - that was the government before, the NDP, when they were in Opposition, and where they are today. Would anybody ever have imagined them taking 100 Nova Scotia Government Employee Union members and throwing them out of the government, taking them off the payroll and taking away - what bothers me, not only the privacy and all the information, but literally millions of dollars of investment that we as a province put in to building up that expertise.

That expertise did not appear overnight. That expertise was built up painstakingly over 15 years in computer programs, in systems, countless millions in consultants to help our people learn the systems. We have invested, I am sure, well over $100 million to get to where we are today with a first-class system and a solid team of people who can run these systems - and we're now going to jeopardize the whole thing by giving them as a carrot to IBM to locate a centre here in Halifax.

The cost, according to the minister, is neutral by outsourcing these jobs. Again, think about it - the NDP Government outsourcing good government jobs, losing control of private information and not even losing a night's sleep over it. Not any concern whatsoever.

Is my time up, Madam Speaker?

Madam Speaker, it is a travesty and I hope there will be an opportunity to debate it further here in the House.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Madam Speaker, I know we're talking about corporate handouts, and I just thought about talking a little bit today about a gentleman whom I read a resolution about earlier today, Mr. Joe Shannon.

He's somebody we're very proud of - he lives in Long Point, which is just down the road from me where I live in Judique. Mr. Shannon is a tremendous person; he obviously has a gift. Bucking the trend, he quit school I believe at the age of 16 - maybe "quit" isn't the right word, I think he left school at the age of 16. He started working and it wasn't long before he impressed people around him - and I'm going to tell the story as best I can. I know there are others who could tell it much better.

It wasn't long before he gained the respect of those around him. He started out driving a truck, and of course today we see all kinds of Seaboard Transport trucks on the highway, many of them are B-train trucks with two trailers in the back - I believe that company is the largest distributor of bulk liquids in the country. So from humble beginnings, but obviously a man who was gifted, made wonderful contributions to the economy of our country and especially here, as we appreciate here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 4215]

I'm going to call Joe, Joe, because that is what we all call him at home. Joe built his businesses from scratch and over the years he diversified. I know many people will be familiar with Shannex, the assisted living homes for seniors. He has real estate, information technology, construction and, of course, transportation, which I referred to already. I know he has bought up numerous other trucking companies around the country as well.

It is surprising, Madam Speaker - because I've known Joe for years and have seen him around a lot - when you realize what he has actually done with his life. I mean having over 5,000 employees working for him is really amazing. I know the member for Cape Breton West chuckled today and said that he has created more jobs than the Premier. I thought that was kind of funny but it is really on that - and we always talk in government about how we are the ones who create jobs. I believe we may be able to create the environment for jobs to be created but I don't think we really create jobs. It is people like Joe Shannon who create jobs.

If I can tie that back into the debate today, we talk about corporate handouts, Mr. Shannon has built his businesses from scratch, the good old-fashioned way with hard work, attention to detail. If I can use the word my father would use, I suppose he was pretty shrewd over the years, making investments that he was careful to make, ensuring that they made sense, and that there was a return on investment. Those are the kinds of business people that we want in this province and that really produce results. So I tip my hat, as the saying goes, to Joe Shannon for that.

Madam Speaker, as I was saying, I think it is important for government to be focused on building a competitive economy. I know the members opposite have heard me say this many times, but that includes looking at power rates, looking at our taxation. We've seen both go up under this government; those are two significant costs for business. I think when we see government so focused on handouts and trying to connect itself to the jobs created by the handouts, it is a real shame and it is a disappointment for Nova Scotians.

There are many people who are upset about these handouts and I know small business is frustrated with it because they go to work every day. They don't get these handouts and there becomes the element of fairness. It raises the question, is this government being fair to them? Madam Speaker, I don't think it is and I've been told that by many small businesses that I've spoken with.

We also talk a lot about power rates in this Legislature and I don't often heckle in the Chamber, Madam Speaker, but I was heckling the Premier today and asking him to back up his energy statements with numbers, with economics, because as soon as he presents numbers with his philosophy, I think - and I think he really knows, which is why he won't table any numbers or any economics behind his philosophy - he knows that his philosophy holds no weight.

[Page 4216]

I also have to say that I laugh because I know that at a fundraising dinner recently, the Premier, to his own flock, talked about the lords of the world economy and if the lords of the world economy smile upon the world, then maybe they can balance the budget next year. Madam Speaker, I had to laugh, it almost made me think they might do some kind of a ritual, maybe all the members should get up and do a dance and maybe we can appease the lords of the world economy, to appease the lords of world economies.

Madam Speaker, I say that in jest but it is actually how ridiculous this has become, where the government is actually blaming their ability not to balance the budget on the lords of the world economy. (Interruption) The member says there's no recession. We have been in a recession. We're certainly in a recession in certain parts of this province and I wish the member would realize that his government is contributing to that recession.

I have to say too, Madam Speaker, that we talk about balanced budgets - it's critical in this province that we balance the budget, because we don't have a cyclical economy. We don't have an economy like they have in Alberta, where they get a quarter of their revenues from royalties from oil and gas. If we had that, then I could see if we were in a bust period that maybe we could go into a deficit, recognizing that we would have a future boom period that could pay for that, but we don't. We don't have a boom period on the horizon, at least not that I'm aware of.

I know there have been some oil and gas announcements lately with Shell and British Petroleum, thanks to the investment of the previous government - as the members opposite refer to us, "the lot over here." Those investments are the reasons why British Petroleum and Shell are going to be conducting over $2 billion worth of economic activity on our offshore.

Madam Speaker, how much time do I have left?

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Two minutes.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Well, Madam Speaker, it's been a long day for many of us. I think I've made my points enough for the record today, and I will conclude my remarks with that. Thank you.

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

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON « » : I have to begin by saying that I was just hauled out of the Law Amendments Committee. I thought that I would have another two and a half hours to get some thoughts together, but that's okay. In dealing with that crew and that crew over there, I don't think I need very much time for preparation. I know what we are doing in government and I know what they did, and I'll tell you, we've had some very good weeks in Nova Scotia in recent times, and we had very few in the past.

[Page 4217]

I want to begin by talking about what we're supposed to be talking about this afternoon: the disparaging remarks that have been made from the other side of the House in relation to "corporate welfare bums." Those are words that actually came from one of the great federal NDP leaders, David Lewis. David Lewis was the person who coined the term "corporate welfare bums."

However, those were in the days when Progressive Conservative and Liberal Governments were handing out money without any kind of rebate system. Both provincial and federal governments were involved in a system - and what a disservice and a misrepresentation it is to David Lewis, because David Lewis actually talked about the good companies as well. He talked about companies with integrity. He didn't group everybody as "corporate welfare bums," and I believe that there has been a real disservice in this House in the past couple of weeks, when we refer on that side of the House to "corporate welfare bums" when we are, in fact, bringing renowned companies like IBM and PROJEX to Nova Scotia.

We have been in government for - I'm just trying to do the math - 180 weeks, a lot of really good weeks, but even The ChronicleHerald referred to the recent week when we came up with 940 jobs in Nova Scotia as being the best week the Government of Nova Scotia has had in its term in office. The best week. We've had 180 good weeks, but we've had a really good week - and it was too good. The news was too good for over there. The news was just too good, because all we heard was attack.

You know something? That other side of the House could actually turn saints into sinners. That's the way, and I'm not saying we're saints, but we've been a lot better than the other two Parties opposite. (Interruptions)

So I want to talk about what has happened. In the 1980s (Interruptions) Okay, let's just listen for a moment, please. Can you stop the heckling for a moment because we came to government with a whole series of messes and the biggest mess of all was $13 billion worth of debt and three-quarters of that debt can be traced back to the Progressive Conservatives and one-quarter of it to the Liberals - $13 billion. You are responsible for over $9 billion worth of debt and that came from the 1980s when there was no fiscal responsibility. It came at a time when government made their friends rich. That's what happened.

Now, I have to say - I have to actually give a bouquet to the Liberals. I have to give a bouquet to the Liberals because the Liberals actually came up with a situation where the money just wasn't given out to the companies and some of the companies could take the money and run. The Liberals actually came up with something called a rebate system. So this is what we're involved with today. Now, they didn't do a very good job with that rebate system. They came in with it, they came in with this rebate system which was actually a good move because they keep talking about all the money that's being given to companies and that money is geared, today, to performance, and they can't seem to get it over there. They cannot seem to get it. They can't get it through their heads. I don't know, I think we need crayons, I think we have to draw a picture for them and actually show them.

[Page 4218]

So, you know, the Liberal rebate system was good, but we have actually turned the poor job that they were doing with it, we have refined it and honed it to become a very good project. (Interruptions) We come in with 940 jobs, two major announcements in the very same week - 940 jobs for Nova Scotians. Do you know something? There is really something wrong on the other side of the House when we hear Jim Irving actually saying that you as a government were responsible for us getting the shipbuilding procurement contracts and, anyhow, what I want to point out is something that Nova Scotians want; Nova Scotians want good, high paying, long-term jobs and a growing economy so they can stay and raise their families at home. Our government shares that vision and is working hard to make it a reality.

The Opposition is misleading Nova Scotians and those interested in establishing or expanding business here. Their constant negativity - this is what really bugs me, is their constant, constant negativity - hurts the image of our province and is not productive. You're not helping Nova Scotia out. You're actually job killers. That's what you guys are. (Interruptions)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would remind the member that the use of "you" is not permitted in the Chamber and to direct your comments to the Speaker.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. MACKINNON « » : Madam Speaker, I know that, I've been in the House long enough to know that. I just get a bit carried away with that crew over there because they are in fact, through you, Madam Speaker, they - I'm allowed to say they - have so much negativity that they are hurting the productive approach that we are taking here in Nova Scotia today.

Our NDP Government is committed to protecting good jobs like we did when we stood with the workers and their families in the Strait area. I was very proud of the member for Inverness yesterday when he stood and we hear so much from the folks in the Liberal Party, we hear so much from them about the money that was spent in the Strait and the member for Inverness talked about seeing the steam coming out of that plant again and how proud he was of it. That member knows what this government is doing. I was very touched, I was heartened by what he said yesterday. I know I'm running out of time.

[Page 4219]

I just want to say in closing that our government is committed to bringing those high paying jobs and long-term jobs and protecting the ones in Inverness and elsewhere, in Richmond County and elsewhere. Madam, Speaker, am I out of time already?

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order. The time allotted for late debate has expired. The house now stands adjourned to meet again tomorrow at 9:00 a.m

[The House rose at 3:51 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 4220]

RESOLUTION NO. 2220

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

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

Whereas Gerard Mooney, of Eskasoni, won a silver medal recently at the UFC Fan Expo Grapples Quest Tournament in Las Vegas; and

Whereas Gerard took home this silver medal in the beginners 210 pounds and over division; and

Whereas Gerard trained at Mac Mooney's Gym in Eskasoni, and was among a group of 11 fighters who made the trip to Nevada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gerard Mooney on his win and wish him well in future tournaments

RESOLUTION NO. 2221

By: Mr. Harold Theriault « » (Digby-Annapolis)

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

Whereas Annapolis Highland Vineyards in Bear River East have once again added medals to their already impressive medal collection; and

Whereas these recent medals from this year's Atlantic Canadian Wine Competition include silvers for their 2011 Blushing Bride and 2011 Geisenheim Riesling and a bronze for their 2011 Highland Blue; and

Whereas the most impressive medal from this competition was the first ever gold medal in Nova Scotia for their Gamay wine;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Annapolis Highland Vineyards on this very impressive win and wish them continued success in producing award winning wines.

RESOLUTION NO. 2222

[Page 4221]

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

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

Whereas the Truro Debate Team of Cobequid Educational Centre is a program which develops confidence, public speaking skills, and knowledge of global and current issues that its members find very useful in many of their high school courses, as well as a preparation for careers such as the law; and

Whereas the Truro Debate Team, mentored by Lesley Fisher and Paul Millman, has won the provincial title at the Nova Scotia Senior High Impromptu Debating Championships 2012; and

Whereas the Truro Debate team of Sarah Millman, Brie Dukeshire, Rumana Rafiq and Leanna Langille have made history by representing both their school and province at the national championships in Calgary next April, as well as at the Oxford Cup for the North American championship in November;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulates the Truro Debate Team and its mentors on their accomplishments to date and wishes them well in future competition pursuits.

RESOLUTION NO. 2223

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Event and Sports Tourism Association held their 4th annual awards luncheon November 15th in Greenwich; and

Whereas Venue of the Year Award came down to three finalists, the St. Croix Ballfield and Recreation Complex, Acadian University and the Annapolis Valley Exhibition Grounds in Lawrencetown; and

Whereas following another huge successful fastpitch softball tournament, this one being the Eastern Canadian Bantam Boys Championship held in late August, the St. Croix Ballfield and Recreation Complex was named Venue of the Year with Barry Thorne and Andrew Harvey being on hand to accept the award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Municipality of West Hants, student workers at the ball field who work so hard all the time and even harder when major events are scheduled, as well as organizers Tony Meehan, Barry Thorne and Andrew Harvey of the Eastern Canadian Bantam Fastpitch Softball Tournament for making 2012 a special year for the St. Croix Ballpark.

[Page 4222]

RESOLUTION NO. 2224

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion provides bursaries at both the Branch Level and the Provincial Level, to assist students entering or continuing their post-secondary education, leading to a recognized degree, diploma or certificate; and

Whereas need, community involvement and connection of parent, grandparent or other family member to the Legion are some of the criteria considered by the bursary committee; and

Whereas Lexxie Turner of Debert, Colchester North, will be attending Mount Allison University for the 2012-13 academic year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lexxie Turner for receiving a 2012 Debert Legion Bursary and wish her success as she begins her post-secondary education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2225

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion provides bursaries at both the Branch Level and the Provincial Level, to assist students entering or continuing their post-secondary education, leading to a recognized degree, diploma or certificate; and

Whereas need, community involvement and connection of parent, grandparent or other family member to the Legion are some of the criteria considered by the bursary committee; and

Whereas Taylor Hoyt of Lower Onslow, Colchester North, will be attending St. Thomas University for the 2012-13 academic year;

[Page 4223]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Taylor Hoyt for receiving a 2012 Debert Legion Bursary and wish her success as she begins her post-secondary education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2226

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Aly Pickard-Tattrie, a Grade 11 student at North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, is an excellent academic student who strives for perfection; and

Whereas Aly is a student council representative, a member of the Reach for the Top team, a peer mentor for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, co-editor of the school yearbook, a participant in Encounters with Canada and the Nova Scotia Secondary School Students' Association (NSSSA) leadership conferences, and a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for 2012; and

Whereas Aly is a member of the North Colchester High School soccer, softball, and basketball teams, as well as the CC Riders under 18 soccer team, a provincial-level participant in track and field, and a skilled hockey player;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Aly Pickard-Tattrie, an exceptional student, an excellent athlete, and a school- and community-minded volunteer, for being named the May 2012 Student of the Month at North Colchester High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2227

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Brittany Frenette, a senior student at North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, is especially known for her organizational skills, her reliability, her volunteer work, and her extracurricular interests; and

Whereas Brittany is a member of the senior girls soccer team and helped to organize the grad banquet, the Halloween Safety Patrol, Safegrad, prom, and ordered grad clothing; and

[Page 4224]

Whereas she has been involved with Girl Guides and the Duke of Edinburgh program, has been a junior leader for Girl Guides, and has volunteered her time for many fundraisers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brittany Frenette for being named the June 2012 Student of the Month at North Colchester High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2228

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Bernard Ross, a Grade 12 student at North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, is described as an excellent academic student by his teachers; and

Whereas Bernard also participates in extracurricular activities, including the Math League and both the softball and basketball teams; and

Whereas Bernard is known for his maturity, his kindness to his peers, his leadership, and his dependability, as well as his academic and athletic abilities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bernard Ross for being named the April 2012 Student of the Month at North Colchester High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2229

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Jesse Hunt, a Grade 11 student at North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, has excellent work habits, a desire to succeed, and a strong academic ability; and

Whereas Jesse, a gifted athlete, plays defence for the NCHS senior boys soccer team and basketball for the Mustangs, and is a member of the softball team; and

[Page 4225]

Whereas guitar lessons, community and church involvement, and volunteering his time to help others are further evidence of Jesse's active lifestyle, and his contributions, hard work, and positive attitude earned him the 2012 Lieutenant Governor's Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jesse Hunt, student, athlete, and community-minded volunteer, for being named the May 2012 Student of the Month at North Colchester High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2230

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Noah Bush, a Grade 8 student at North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, is described as an excellent academic student by his teachers; and

Whereas Noah represents his class on student council, plays hockey and soccer, takes piano and horseback riding sessions, and is active in 4-H; and

Whereas Noah is known for his kindness and respect for others, his leadership ability, his eagerness to learn, his work ethic, and his excellent example as a role model;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Noah Bush for being named the April 2012 Student of the Month at North Colchester High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2231

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Rebecca Reeves, a senior student at North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, is kind, hard-working, and conscientious, and has a strong social conscience; and

Whereas Rebecca, a member of the O2 class, has successfully organized several trips for the O2 students and has impressed her employer with her work ethic; and

Whereas Rebecca teaches Sunday school, helps at church and community suppers, and volunteers at the Wallace and Area Museum and at Sunset Adult Residential Centre;

[Page 4226]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Rebecca Reeves for being named the June 2012 Student of the Month at North Colchester High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2232

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Patrick LeFort on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2233

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Michael Naugle on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2234

[Page 4227]

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and goalie Jackson Hayward on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2235

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and goalie Chris Malette on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2236

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

[Page 4228]

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Kai MacIntyre on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2237

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Matthew Torrey on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2238

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and defenseman Ryan Murphy on his success.

[Page 4229]

RESOLUTION NO. 2239

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Brent Henman on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2240

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest Hockey Tournament was held in Bedford, October 5 to 8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Bruen Fisher on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2241

[Page 4230]

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5th-8th, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and defenseman Logan Gillis on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2242

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5th-8th, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Luc Arsenault on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2243

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5th-8th, 2012; and

[Page 4231]

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Alex Canning on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2244

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5th-8th, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and forward Julien Benigno on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2245

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5th-8th, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and defenseman Scott Fahie on his success.

[Page 4232]

RESOLUTION NO. 2246

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5th-8th, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and defenseman Morgan Clark on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2247

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5-8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and defenseman Jacob Doggett on his success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2248

[Page 4233]

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

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

Whereas the annual Oktoberfest hockey tournament was held in Bedford, October 5-8, 2012; and

Whereas 35 teams from across the province competed in all divisions; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA won the championship game in their division and proudly brought home the gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Whalers PeeWee AA team, and defenseman Scott Gamble on his success.