The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD14-25

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Kevin Murphy

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/



Second Session

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

SPEAKER'S RULING:
Nat. Res. Min. raised portfolio matters in Statements by Members
(Pt. of order by Hon. F. Corbett » [Hansard p.1824, 10/31/14])
Contravention of guidelines
1861
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TIR: W. Jeddore Rd. - Paving Prioritize,
1862
TIR: W. Jeddore Rd. (Hwy. No. 7 to Ostrea Lake Rd.) - Repave,
1862
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
1863
Law Amendments Committee,
1863
Private and Local Bills Committee,
1864
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Order of Nova Scotia - Recipients (2014),
1864
Energy - Intl. Conf. on Ocean Energy,
1867
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
C.B. Reg. Hosp./Harbourview Rehab Ctr. - Treatment,
1872
Marentette, Meghan - The Stowaways,
1872
Delaney, Gordon: Retirement - Well Wishes,
1873
Bowater Lands - Public Access,
1873
Maitland & the Noel Shore (E. Hants),
1874
Arsenault, Kenny - Speedy Recovery Wish,
1874
Firewood - Suppliers: Min. - Meet,
1875
PSA Testing,
1875
WOW! Reading Challenge
1875
East. Chebucto Hub Organization (ECHO),
1876
N.S. Flag - Half Staff Protocol,
1876
Rick Mercer Report - Col. N. Visit,
1877
Robson, Kelsey/Nielsen, Madalyn - Free the Children Fundraising,
1877
Bedford Lions Club - Commun. Contribution,
1877
Taylor, Emma - Rugby Achievements,
1878
Violence Against Women,
1878
Cape & Cowl Comics,
1879
Immigrants - Welcome,
1879
St. F.X. Women's Rugby Team,
1880
Holocaust Educ. Wk. (10/02)
1880
McNabs Island - Waterfront Dev. Corp
1880
Remembrance Day Banners: Outhit, Coun. Tim/Pitcher, Joyce
- Commend, Hon. K. Regan « »
1881
Hwy. No. 101 (Digby to Weymouth) - Const. Announcement,
1881
Hum, Myra - Retirement Well Wishes,
1882
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 252, Prem.: Hfx. Bridge Commn. - Rates,
1882
No. 253, Prem. - BCE Cuts: Job Losses - Discuss,
1884
No. 254, Prem.: Onshore Dev. Ban - Repeal Consultation,
1885
No. 255, Agric. - Prov. Exhibition: Audit - Cost,
1886
No. 256, ERDT - Invest N.S.: Board Appt. - Delay Explain,
1887
No. 257, Agric.: Turkey Bd. - Changes,
1888
No. 258, Agric. - Turkey Producers: Food Safety - Details,
1889
No. 259, Energy - NSP: Unpaid Fuel Costs - Recovery,
1890
No. 260, TIR - Petroleum: West Coast/East Coast - Proposal,
1891
No. 261, Health & Wellness: Health Superboard - Budget,
1892
No. 262, ERDT: Southwestern N.S. - Eastlink Wireless,
1893
No. 263, Prem.: Sexual Violence Against Women -
Workplace Protection, Hon. M. MacDonald « »
1894
No. 264, Mun. Affs. - Artsy Fartsy Art Studio: Status - Update,
1895
No. 265, TIR - MV Miner: Removal - Update,
1896
No. 266, EECD - JL Ilsley HS: Asbestos - Air Quality Testing,
1897
No. 267, Health & Wellness: Oxygen Therapy - Palliative Care,
1898
No. 268, TIR: Cornwallis Bridge (Rte. 359) - Replacement Update,
1899
No. 269, Environ. - Amherst: Waste Water - Disposal,
1900
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 2:52 P.M
1901
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 3:36 P.M
1901
CWH REPORTS
1901
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 26, Animal Protection Act
1902
1902
1905
1906
1906
1908
1909
1910
Vote - Affirmative
1912
No. 49, Economic Development in Nova Scotia Improvement Act
1912
1913
1914
1915
Vote - Affirmative
1919
No. 6, Petroleum Resources Act
1919
1919
Amendment moved "bill be read six months hence"
1932
1932
1939
1953
1967
1978
1984
1988
1992
1993
Motion defeated
2001
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Nov. 5th at 1:00 p.m
2001
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 525, Leslie Thomas JHS: Music Progs. - Funding,
2002
Res. 526, Morrison, Kathleen: Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal (1961) Prog
- Participation, Mr. J. Stroink »
2002
Res. 527, Metlege, Steven & Houda - Anniv. (50th),
2003
Res. 528, Cada, Suzanne & Michal: Marriage - Congrats.,
2003
Res. 529, Rooney, Connie - Commun. Commitment,
2004
Res. 530, Mingle at the Dingle: Vols./Supporters - Thank,
2004
Res. 531, Amyoony, Tony: Bk. Release - Congrats.,
2005
Res. 532, Antigonish: Public Transit - Congrats.,
2005
Res. 533, Mann-Dixon, Blade: Saint John Sea Dogs - Selection,
2006
Res. 534, Konchalski, Steve: X-Men Coaching - Anniv. (40th),
2006
Res. 535, Chiasson, Dr. John: Doctors N.S. Award - Congrats.,
2007
Res. 536, Risk, Dr. David - College of New Scholars,
Artists & Scientists, Hon. R. Delorey « »
2007
Res. 537, Riley, Dr. Sean: St. F.X. Pres. - Accomplishments,
2008
Res. 538, Murrant, Darryl - PSC Long-Serv. Award (30 Yrs.),
2008
Res. 539, Grant, Denise - PSC Long-Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
2009
Res. 540, MacDonald, Donald - PSC Long-Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
2009
Res. 541, Kelly, Gerard - PSC Long-Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
2010
Res. 542, Delorey, John - PSC Long-Serv. Award (30 Yrs.),
2010
Res. 543, O'Brien-Kendall, Kimberley - PSC Long-Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
2011
Res. 544, Gillis, Teresa - PSC Long-Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
2011
Res. 545, Chisholm, William - PSC Long-Serv. Award (30 Yrs.),
2012
Res. 546, Martelli, Matt: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2012
Res. 547, Martens, Steuart: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2013
Res. 548, McGrath, Heather: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2013
Res. 549, McLeese, Ruth: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2013
Res. 550, McLeese, Mary-Helen: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2014
Res. 551, Melanson Stubbert, Jenna: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2014
Res. 552, Mizzi, Jennifer: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2015
Res. 553, O'Reilly, Sarah: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2015
Res. 554, Pettinaro, Alex: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2016
Res. 555, Pickett, Gwynedd: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2016
Res. 556, Platt, Brent: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2016
Res. 557, Reardon, Bobby Lou: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2017
Res. 558, Ring Herron, Carla: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2017
Res. 559, Shaw, Emma: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2018
Res. 560, Stewart, Kier: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2018
Res. 561, Surrette, Megan: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2019
Res. 562, Taggart, Sarah: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2019
Res. 563, Tremblay, J.D.: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2019
Res. 564, Turner, Andrew: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2020
Res. 565, Coyle, Josh: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2020
Res. 566, Hillier, Kerri Ann: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2021
Res. 567, Taggart, Ellen: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2021
Res. 568, Bruce, Cali: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2022
Res. 569, Cameron, Blake: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2022
Res. 570, Collins, Chris: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2022
Res. 571, Anstey, Scott: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2023
Res. 572, Ayers-Glassey, Samantha: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2023
Res. 573, Bendor-Samuel, Richard: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2024
Res. 574, Crawley, Trevor: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2024
Res. 575, Currie, Randy: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2025
Res. 576, Dwyer, Keith: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2025
Res. 577, Fraser, Hannah: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2025
Res. 578, Giddings, Sabrina: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2026
Res. 579, Grant, Robert: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2026
Res. 580, Graves, Dennis: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2027
Res. 581, Hall, Sarah: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2027
Res. 582, Hamilton, Beth: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2028
Res. 583, Hamilton, Curtis: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2028
Res. 584, Holmes, Meaghan: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2028
Res. 585, Hoyt, Jen: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2029
Res. 586, Jackson, James: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2029
Res. 587, Keough, Tanya: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2030
Res. 588, Kidd, Christopher: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2030
Res. 589, LaPierre, Sue: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2031
Res. 590, Lorenz, Konstantin: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2031
Res. 591, MacDonald, Ted: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2031
Res. 592, Mallard, Emily: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2032
Res. 593, Marks, Thomas: The Big Swim - Congrats.,
2032
Res. 594, Crooks, Lillian - Peggy's Cove and Beyond!:
Publication - Congrats., Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
2033

[Page 1861]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

1:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Before we begin with the daily routine, I'd like to present a Speaker's Ruling regarding the honourable Minister of Natural Resources using the members' statements regarding his portfolio.

SPEAKER'S RULING:

Nat. Res. Min. raised portfolio matters in Statements by Members (Pt. of order by Hon. F. Corbett [Hansard p.1824, 10/31/14]) Contravention of guidelines.

On Friday, the honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party caucus rose on a point of order, complaining that the honourable Minister of Natural Resources had been using Statements by Members to raise matters that fall under his portfolio. I have reviewed Hansard and confirmed that the minister has made several statements with respect to the availability of firewood and his department's efforts to coordinate people who need firewood with suppliers. Such statements do contravene the guideline that provides "Members who are Ministers should not use this Order of Business to raise matters that fall under their portfolios, or to announce government policies or initiatives."

While I understand that the minister is attempting to counter the daily statements that have been made during most of this sitting of the House by the honourable member for Queens-Shelburne, first through Notices of Motion and now through Statements by Members, the guidelines do not permit the minister to make such statements. The minister has an opportunity to deal with matters falling under his portfolio under the order of business, Statements by Ministers.

[Page 1862]

I can appreciate the honourable minister's frustration over the repeated statements by the member for Queens-Shelburne, but I have to ask him to rise above the fray and not get into matters falling under his department during Statements by Members. This time during our proceedings is not intended to be used for debate between members, and I am concerned that if it deteriorates into sessions of duelling statements, that will become the case.

I realize this is only the fifth day for the House to have members' statements and that the guidelines are not yet familiar to all members, so I do ask all members to revisit those guidelines provided to everyone. They were circulated to each caucus, and the Clerks have additional written copies available at the Table, if they are needed.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. ALLAN ROWE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition that was passed along to me by the honourable member for Eastern Shore. The petition, sir, is with regard to the paving of the West Jeddore Road. The operative clause is:

"Therefore we respectfully request that the entire road be repaved and repaired as soon as possible."

Mr. Speaker, I have the signatures, and I have affixed my signature to that document as well.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

MR. ALLAN ROWE « » : I have a second petition, as well, Mr. Speaker, also passed along to me by the honourable member for Eastern Shore and also dealing with the condition of the West Jeddore Road, seeking to have it repaved:

"We, the undersigned, request the paving of West Jeddore Rd from HWY # 7 to the cross road of Ostrea Lake Road."

Mr. Speaker, signatures are attached, and my signature is also affixed on the front of that. I table that.

[Page 1863]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

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

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

Bill No. 38 - Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act.

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

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

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

Bill No. 24 - Civil Service Act.

Bill No. 52 - Consumer Protection Act and Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act.

Bill No. 58 - Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act.

Bill No. 59 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 62 - Shared Services Act.

Bill No. 65 - Railways Act.

Bill No. 66 - House of Assembly Act and House of Assembly Management Commission Act and Members' Retiring Allowances Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

[Page 1864]

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

The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Private and Local Bills, I'm directed to report that the committee has met and has considered the following bills:

Bill No. 44 - Victoria Hall Continuation Act.

Bill No. 45 - Black Cultural Society Act.

Bill No. 61 - An Act to Incorporate the Trustees of the Onslow Cemetery Company.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Premier.

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House of Assembly and recognize five outstanding Nova Scotians who will be invested into the Order of Nova Scotia next month. Their background and accomplishments are diverse. However, there is no doubt that each of them has made a lasting positive impact on their community, and our province as a whole.

Recipients of the Order of Nova Scotia are nominated by people in their community, and I would like to thank members of the selection committee for their dedication to examining more than 100 nominations and selecting five amazing Nova Scotians to be honoured this year.

Mr. Speaker, among this year's recipients we have an artist, doctors, sculptor, social activist, all internationally recognized for their work. All of their accomplishments would take too much time to speak about here in this House, but I am honoured to say a few words about each of them.

[Page 1865]

Walter Marven Borden of New Glasgow is a poet, playwright, actor, community leader, social activist receiving awards and accolades for his work both on and off the stage.

Dr. Richard Goldbloom of Halifax has worked over the past four decades to help expand and develop the IWK Health Centre into one of the leading hospitals of its kind in Canada, something I'm sure all parents in the province, including myself, are grateful for. If I could add, I'm sure Ruth Goldbloom is smiling down from heaven and telling her husband he'd finally joined her in this respected group of Nova Scotians. (Applause)

Dr. Stanley Paul Kutcher of Herring Cove is an expert in adolescent mental health and an international leader in mental health research, advocacy and health service innovation. He has used technology to create new resources for youth, parents, educators and health providers.

Wanda Elaine Thomas Bernard of East Preston is an educator, scholar and social work practitioner. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers and has been involved in a number of important projects within the African Nova Scotian community.

Finally, Ruth Holmes Whitehead of Halifax is a scholar, researcher, author and historian who has brought the stories of the First Nation and African Nova Scotians to the forefront, preserving them for generations to come.

Each one of this year's recipients has earned their place in the Order of Nova Scotia. They are truly a testament to the difference an individual can make. Simply put, they have all made our province a better place to live. I invite all Nova Scotians to continue to submit and resubmit nominations to the Order of Nova Scotia. It is the highest honour the province can bestow on a citizen and this year's recipients have earned this recognition through a lifetime of passion, dedication and commitment to their communities and to our entire province.

I ask all members to please join me in recognizing these outstanding Nova Scotians and I look forward to the formal investiture that will take place here at Province House next month. Thank you.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the Premier for providing us with an advance copy of his statement today. I too want to add our congratulations to the five Nova Scotians who receive this important honour, our province's highest honour, next month.

Walter Marven Borden of New Glasgow, a poet, a playwright, a community leader and social activist who was also named to the Order of Canada in 2006; Dr. Stan Kutcher of Herring Cove, an expert in adolescent mental health, an international leader in mental health advocacy and health services innovation; worthy recipients; Wanda Elaine Thomas Bernard of East Preston, an educator, a scholar, social work practitioner, a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers; Ruth Holmes Whitehead of Halifax, another scholar, researcher, author and historian who has brought the stories of our First Nation and African Nova Scotians to the forefront.

[Page 1866]

If I could just pause for a moment, on Dr. Richard Goldbloom, I am one of those many Nova Scotians who is fortunate to have known Dick Goldbloom for many years. He and his wife, Ruth - I know the Premier made reference to Ruth Goldbloom a moment ago - who is already a recipient, now deceased, of the Order of Nova Scotia. These are all worthy recipients and I wish I could speak personally about all of them but I just want to say about the one person who I do know personally, we all in this province owe thanks to Dick Goldbloom for the work he did building up the IWK Hospital, for the work he and Ruth have done building up the community around us, their philanthropy, their advocacy. I don't know if they are the first husband and wife team to be invested, I suspect they are, and if they are, I cannot think of a more worthy couple to be first as wife and separately as husband to receive the highest honour that our province can bestow.

The Order of Nova Scotia was established in 2001 to encourage excellence by recognizing Nova Scotians for their outstanding contributions and achievements to our province. This year's recipients, like many others over the years, have distinguished themselves and brought honour and prestige not only to themselves, their families and their communities, but our entire province and I am very pleased to be able to add our voice to the Premier's in congratulating them and thanking them for their work. I would also like to thank the many Nova Scotians who took the time to recognize excellence in their community and nominate a fellow Nova Scotian for this important and prestigious award. Thank you.

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to stand and make a few remarks on behalf of our Leader and join the two previous speakers in congratulating these fine recipients: Mr. Borden, Dr. Kutcher, Ms. Bernard, and Ms. Whitehead, and I leave out Dr. Goldbloom for the same reason as the previous speaker did, but all these people - certainly there's no first among equals here. They are all highly deserving of this prestigious award. What I would also like to do is lend my support to the words put forward by the speaker about thanking the group that helped to select these because it's not easy. There are many good people and many days in this House, we quibble over matters, some of greater and some of lesser concern, but the one real thing that binds us together as Nova Scotians is when we take time to celebrate great Nova Scotians.

Make no mistake about it, these are truly great and deserving Nova Scotians, and just in finishing my short remarks I have to say that Dr. Goldbloom would get in for any other reason than having the sheer intellect and common sense of marrying a woman from New Waterford. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 1867]

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

HON. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. May I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Thank you. Mr. Speaker, in the gallery today I would like to welcome two representatives of the Maritimes Energy Association: Mike Morris, General Manager with Endurance Wind Power, and John Woods who has a whole lot of titles but he's Chairman of the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy and he is Vice President of Minas Energy - and if they could receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

It's my privilege to welcome the world to Nova Scotia today for the International Conference on Ocean Energy. It is also an opportunity to update my colleagues in the House, and Nova Scotians, on the state of the marine renewable energy sector in our province. This is the first time the International Conference on Ocean Energy has been held outside of Europe. This is a significant opportunity for Nova Scotia communities and businesses as we welcome experts and renewable energy investors from around the world who have an interest in our industry and what we have to offer.

Many of the delegates from the 25 countries represented at this conference are visiting our province for the first time. Since Sunday I've had the chance to meet with many of the international delegations, as well as companies looking for opportunity in our province. I've also had the opportunity to bring the expertise of Nova Scotia companies to the attention of many international players. Many of the delegates plan to see first-hand the magnificence of the Bay of Fundy tides that have captured worldwide attention and are a tidal resource like no other.

At every tide change more water flows through the Bay of Fundy than the combined flows of all rivers in the world. At the Department of Energy we are working hard to realize our potential to advance the marine energy industry around the globe, not just in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia industries and local communities share our government's enthusiasm and commitment and are working in unison to develop a tidal energy industry here. We are developing the expertise here so it can it be shared around the globe. Nova Scotia has already made significant progress in supporting the installation of commercially connected tidal energy arrays and in developing the technology and expertise to get there; in fact, in just the past few days, the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy announced that it has successfully installed all four cables in the Minas passage.

[Page 1868]

Developers will now be able to connect their turbines to FORCE's cable and feed electricity into Nova Scotia's power grid. Over the past year we have selected and announced two new berth holders at FORCE. We've also completed the berth holder agreements with all four FORCE berth holders.

I am pleased to announce today that we are going further and our government is working with FORCE to expand the tidal demonstration site to accommodate a fifth berth holder to answer the call of international investment and research interest in our province. We are in discussions with DP Energy of Ireland and their technology partner, Andritz, for this berth. DP Energy was one of the applicants to the 2013 RFP.

If it is feasible within the Crown lease area the inclusion of the new berth holder will enhance the province's strategic objectives and add another of the world's leading technologies to those operating here.

Mr. Speaker, very soon Nova Scotia will have the highest concentration of multiple technology arrays for tidal energy anywhere in the world. We are moving forward strongly and with determination on this issue, and we are now being looked to by governments, industry, and academia from around the world on tidal energy. In the past year we have developed, approved, and announced tidal industry regulations. We have invested millions of dollars to connect in-stream devices to the grid.

We are also focusing on international collaboration. We are developing strong ties on tidal research with the European Union, including Scotland, the U.K., Ireland, France, and Germany, as well as elsewhere - in the United States, Chile, Singapore, and others in southwest Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan.

We have negotiated and reached and signed a memorandum of understanding on tidal research with the United Kingdom. As a result of that MOU, it was recently announced that $1.4 million will be available for research and development projects to support the acceleration of the tidal sector in Nova Scotia and the U.K. businesses in rural Nova Scotia have already benefited from this memorandum of understanding.

We have also been working closely with Scotland over the past few years. We and their universities, industry, government, and regulators will be formalizing that collaboration in the near future.

We are also working to renew an expanded memorandum of understanding with British Columbia, and we are finalizing work on agreements with other jurisdictions to promote innovation. Our research and our businesses - and the expertise is shared around the world, so we can reduce costs associated with commercialization.

In the coming months, Nova Scotia will sign an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding with our federal partners to ensure that regulatory reviews are efficient, coordinated, and effective. This is a clear sign that the province and Canada are committed to the development of tidal energy and view it as an opportunity that will continue to grow and thrive in our province and our nation.

[Page 1869]

To that end, my department will introduce comprehensive legislation on marine renewables, especially tidal, in the Spring session of the Legislature. It will outline a clear path to move forward from demonstration projects to commercial development at all scales, small and large. We also have the formal feed-in tariff rates that developers will be paid for electricity for their in-stream tidal devices, and we have received the first applications for the tariff from all four berth-holders at FORCE. We'll be announcing the results shortly.

We are also working with communities along the Bay of Fundy to ensure that there are opportunities along the coast for this industry, and are especially proud to be working with Digby on their deep-water tidal servicing aspirations.

Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to announce today that, with my colleagues in the federal government, the province has recently completed a statement of best practices for in-stream tidal development and operation in Nova Scotia. The practical guide will assist industry and regulators in determining the right approach to consultation, environmental assessment and monitoring, community engagement, and regulatory requirements. Our department worked with industry, federal and provincial agencies, and other stakeholders to develop the guide, and confirms our decision to make sure that there is solid research undertaken on technology and environmental impacts as we grow in a staged and adaptive manner.

Our government, Mr. Speaker, made a strategic decision to expedite work on tidal energy in the province, and it is already paying off. The work is setting us up for success to develop the technology that will produce environmentally sustainable and competitively priced electricity from the ocean - energy powered by the moon, energy that is predictable, from the best tidal regime in the world.

Our government is committed to seizing opportunity where we can be a world leader, where we are uniquely positioned to lead the world in research, commercial development, and investment. We are focused on turning the ocean into a source of power and a thriving commercial industry with robust and environmentally-safe technology.

I will close by recognizing the fact that not only have members of this caucus been supportive of tidal energy, but I wish to acknowledge the support of the Opposition Parties as we develop the tidal industry. I also wish to thank very much the many municipalities, Mi'kmaq communities, fishing stakeholders, researchers and research organizations, as well as businesses across the province that have worked with us and share excitement about the opportunities which lie ahead. Mr. Speaker, I hope you'll join me in welcoming the world.

[Page 1870]

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I first of all want to thank the minister for providing a copy of this statement. I can say the Progressive Conservative caucus would like to welcome folks from all around the world to the International Conference on Ocean Energy. Of course, for those who haven't been here before, I hope they do spend some extra time and spend some money in our stores and around, even come down to Argyle or they can go off to Richmond County and spend some time in our communities.

We're looking forward to further research on this promising technology, Mr. Speaker. If we can see where we've gone in the last number of years things are getting better and better. If you look at the investment that continues to go on in the Bay of Fundy I think it's paramount to a success story as it continues to evolve.

It's a hard thing to believe or understand that more water goes past Cape Split - I don't know where they draw the line - than any river in the world, all the rivers combined in the world. You know when you look at an Amazon, or a Ganges, or a Mississippi, put all those together there is still way more water that goes across there in a cycle than in any of those rivers put together. There is great potential there for harnessing that in some way or another to provide energy to our communities.

I do want to thank the previous NDP Government for FORCE, which is the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy, which of course is the cables and the connectivity, the research that is going on in the Minas Basin. I also want to say, to have all these international partners to come visit Nova Scotia to participate in this conference is important because we do need those international partners in order for this to truly work. Not just for their expertise or their university research capacity, but, Mr. Speaker, for their money; we need the money to make these things work because it is still tremendously expensive when you look at the investment on the types of technologies that will be installed on the floor of the Bay of Fundy.

I am looking forward, Mr. Speaker, to the legislation that the minister speaks about in his speech when he referenced marine renewables. I want to quote just a little part here that he said, "The practical guide will assist industry and regulators in determining the right approach to consultation, environmental assessment and monitoring, community engagement, and regulatory requirements."

Mr. Speaker, if that doesn't sound like what we should have been doing on fracking nothing will. This is a good move forward rather than just looking at something and banging it right out and saying we're going to do the work later, which is exactly what they're doing with Bill No. 6. It's heartening to see that maybe they've learned from that mistake and are going to move forward on marine renewables.

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Mr. Speaker, I think what we would need to do, and we've been saying in this caucus for a while, is let's provide the best regulatory framework that we possibly can to make sure that this energy source can be used to its full potential for generations to come. Thank you very much.

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I too would like to thank the minister for sending an advance copy and welcoming the people in our gallery here today. It's interesting, it was quite a lengthy statement and I won't be nearly as long, but what is interesting is there was a lot of "in the last year" - in the last year seemed to be the theme. I was wondering, I was almost suddenly running to the history books to see who besides the Minister of Energy discovered the Bay of Fundy because it seems like it didn't exist until a year ago.

As my colleague from the Progressive Conservative Party said, this is a lot of work that has been laid out by successive governments and it's one of those things that it is good news, other chiding remarks aside, Mr. Speaker, these are good-news stories for the Province of Nova Scotia.

When we can attract international conferences with the movers and shakers, if you will, to this province to see first-hand what's going on and to see the potential of an area like the Bay of Fundy it means well for everybody. So when we look at what we're going to do with energy and maybe later on today we may end up debating a bill about fracking, I'm not sure, but the reality is there are many doors that can be opened or closed to us, Mr. Speaker. This is one door that I'm glad is open.

I throw this out as maybe a discussion the minister and I could have away from the floor because I'm not sure, but how does this impact in the United States where their position is not seeing hydro as a renewable? I would like to flesh that out a bit. I believe they are wrong but I would hope that if that is a fact, if they see the Bay of Fundy as not being renewable, I would hope and I would support this government in being as forceful with them as possible, that it is renewable, that it is done with as many checks and balances as possible.

With those few remarks, we thank the minister for helping facilitate this conference coming here. I am glad that they will see the good work that is being done in this province and I hope the next statement that we have on the Bay of Fundy will be getting very much closer to actually producing power from that great energy source. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg. (Applause)

C.B. REG. HOSP./HARBOURVIEW REHAB CTR. - TREATMENT

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today thankful to return to this House of Assembly and I am pleased to have this opportunity to express my gratitude. (Interruption) You ain't heard nothin' yet.

Over the past several months I have seen the Nova Scotia health care system up close and I can say it is filled with smart, caring and professional people that I will never be able to thank enough. I am thinking of the four doctors whom I believe I owe my life to, the staff of 4D at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital who took such good care of me and my family for such a long time, and to the wonderful staff at the Harbourview Rehabilitation Centre in Sydney Mines. The last few months have been tough but the outpouring of support and well wishes from so many in this House, from friends and from family, made it easier. Thank you.

It's great to be back. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, an introduction if I may?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. KOUSOULIS « » : I would like to take our attention to the east gallery. Meghan Marentette has recently authored her first book, The Stowaways, and that is going to be part of my member's statement. Please give her a warm round of applause from the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

MARENTETTE, MEGHAN - THE STOWAWAYS

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Meghan Marentette, a resident of Halifax, on the acclaim that she has received for her popular children's novel, The Stowaways. The Stowaways was nominated for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy and was the finalist for both the Ann Connor Brimer Award and the Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Children Award.

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I am proud of Meghan Marentette's wonderful contribution to literature for children and young adults, as one of our exceptional Halifax authors. Thank you.

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

DELANEY, GORDON: RETIREMENT - WELL WISHES

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, Gordon Delaney is one of eight long-time news staffers at The Chronicle Herald who recently retired. He worked the past 33 years as a news reporter and bureau chief at The Chronicle Herald. Gordon was a master at telling people's personal stories: their accomplishments, their tragedies, and their triumphs. He was known for his depth and fairness of his coverage of the Annapolis Valley people and events.

Gordon was proud to have worked for Canada's last remaining independently-owned daily newspaper. He understands that now more than ever an open and free democratic society needs a vibrant, independent, and courageous media.

Mr. Speaker, I hope all members of this House will join me in wishing Gordon the best on a well-earned retirement and in thanking him for his contribution to a vibrant free press in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne.

BOWATER LANDS - PUBLIC ACCESS

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, the Bowater lands were purchased for the public to have more access to Crown lands for recreational use and commercial fibre. However, gates are still up, protecting what appears to be private land in very large sections of the former Bowater lands.

Mr. Speaker, I visited one of these parcels of land this summer, known as the West Brook gate, just southwest of Caledonia, only to find it closed by two gates, with some 35 to 40 miles between each gate. Thank you.

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

MAITLAND & THE NOEL SHORE (E. HANTS)

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MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to speak for a moment about the Maitland and Noel Shore area of Hants East. This is an area of my constituency that has seen immense transformation over the past few years, despite setbacks and many struggles. Reinvestment in business and community groups, road infrastructure improvements, and the dedicated work of April MacLean, tourism development officer for the Municipality of East Hants, have seen Maitland and the Fundy Shore put itself back on the map.

With the assistance of the Nova Star ferry literally delivering tourists to Nova Scotia by the boatload, tourist visits to Burnt Coat Head increased by 58 per cent last year. These visitors were also able to visit the newly-restored Frieze and Roy General Store, Canada's oldest general store in continual operation; stop by the Tidal Interpretive Centre; or experience the roaring tides on the Shubenacadie River.

I would welcome all members of this House to bring their families to drive along the Hants East Fundy Shore and stop at the restaurants and museums and of course at Burnt Coat Head, home of the world's highest recorded tides.

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

ARSENAULT, KENNY - SPEEDY RECOVERY WISH

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, where would our communities be without our volunteer firefighters? Volunteer firefighters like Kenny Arsenault, who generously donate their time and energy and make many sacrifices to serve their communities?

They accept that responding to that pager going off means putting themselves in harm's way. Mr. Speaker, we don't want to increase that risk by careless acts. Kenny was hurt at the scene of an emergency when a careless driver sped through the area and actually snagged a fire hose on his car. The driver kept going until the hose snapped, flying back and hitting Kenny. Kenny is still recovering.

Mr. Speaker, Kenny didn't deserve this. The least we can do to thank our volunteer firefighters is respect emergency scenes by slowing down. I ask Nova Scotians to always drive safe, and I ask the members of this House to wish Kenny a continued speedy recovery.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne.

FIREWOOD - SUPPLIERS: MIN. - MEET

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HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, on October 29, 2014, the Minister of Natural Resources referred to my member's statement as foolishness - foolishness for bringing the topic of the firewood shortage to the floor of the House of Assembly. I would like to point out that I am not a fool, nor is the issue of firewood supply. Foolishness is defined as a lack of good judgment or common sense.

It is this minister who is acting foolishly toward those who rely on firewood to keep warm and those who need firewood for their suppliers who rely on the people to buy firewood. Might I suggest that the Minister of Natural Resources meet with firewood suppliers to get a better understanding and a firm grasp of the situation so he does not look the fool?

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

PSA TESTING

MR. ALLAN ROWE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak about an issue that is of extreme importance to all men in this province and, in particular, of personal importance to myself.

You may notice that I am looking a little scruffier than usual today, as has been pointed out by many of my friends and colleagues already. Myself, yourself as well, Mr. Speaker, and several of our other colleagues, including the Minister of Health and Wellness, went up to Mark Peyton's Sailor Bup's Barbershop on Friday last and had a lovely shave by Jennifer - a straight-razor shave, of course, for prostate cancer awareness and Movember, the month in which we raise funds and we raise awareness and education of prostate cancer.

Mr. Speaker, prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers affecting men in Nova Scotia. As a survivor myself, who had his prostate removed two years ago, I urge all men in this province to undergo regular PSA tests, and DREs as well, whenever possible - particularly, I might say, beginning in the mid-40s so you can establish a good baseline.

Mr. Speaker, thanks to all of those who are taking part in Movember, and good luck to all who are facing prostate cancer. Thank you.

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

WOW! READING CHALLENGE

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of the House to a wonderful Pictou County program. The WOW! Reading Challenge began on November 3rd. The event began eight years ago in the Salt Springs Elementary School. RCMP Officer Constable John Kennedy challenged the students to see how many books they could read over a certain period of time. The challenge has grown and it is now international, and participants are readers of all ages and abilities from schools, colleges, group homes, special needs facilities, and provincial institutions.

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The slogan, Fighting Crime One Book at a Time, is based on Constable Kennedy's belief that if children are taught to read today we can help keep them out of trouble tomorrow. The reading challenge averages more than 100 Nova Scotia schools with approximately 15,000 students participating. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

EAST. CHEBUCTO HUB ORGANIZATION (ECHO)

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about an initiative that has been undertaken in Spryfield.

On September 19th, twelve community partners announced a new partnership project at Chebucto Connections during a press conference. The Eastern Chebucto Hub Organization or ECHO was formed, bringing together the services of twelve different agencies operating out of Chebucto Connections on a rotating schedule during the month.

The agencies in Spryfield always had a close relationship, with round table meetings being held each month and open to all non-profits in the community. ECHO takes this one step further by formally creating a relationship among the various agencies and offering an assortment of services at a centralized location. Now the residents of Spryfield have a community hub where they access the following services: Capital William Spry Public Library; Chebucto Community Health Team; Addictions and Mental Health; Boys and Girls Club; Chebucto Family Centre; Nova Scotia Legal Aid; Progressive Centre for Early Interventions; SchoolsPlus; YWCA; IWK Primary Health; and St. Paul's Family Organization.

I also say a special thank you to Bonnie Ste-Croix, a friend of mine and the executive director of Chebucto Connections, for dreaming this and making it happen.

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

N.S. FLAG - HALF STAFF PROTOCOL

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, with the recent event in Ottawa I had two constituents raise concerns about our policy regarding flying provincial flags. A week ago Thursday at the Canso Research Station the Canadian flag was flying at half-staff; next to it, the Nova Scotia flag was all the way up. The second constituent asked why, given that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were both militarily important provinces, weren't our flags at half-staff at the border when New Brunswick's were.

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Our flag in an important symbol of our government and the policy of how it is flown is important in our province. I believe in national times of mourning, our flags should fly at half-staff along with the federal flag. Thank you.

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

RICK MERCER REPORT - COL. N. VISIT

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Rick Mercer and his production crew recently visited Colchester North to film a segment of the weekly television show Rick Mercer Report. He harvested wild blueberries in Folly Mountain, delivered them to a receiver shed, visited Oxford Frozen Foods where they were processed, and ended his visit by joining Alice Pugsley, a member of the Wild Blueberry Producers of Nova Scotia and chairman of the promotion committee, at her home in Five Islands where they baked and enjoyed a variety of Alice's favourite blueberry recipes, an event we will be able to watch on a Tuesday evening on CBC in the next few weeks. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

ROBSON, KELSEY/NIELSEN, MADALYN

- FREE THE CHILDREN FUNDRAISING

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, Kelsey Robson from Pictou Academy and Madalyn Nielson of Northumberland Regional High School teamed up to have students canvass their local neighbourhoods, not for Halloween treats but for donations for the food banks. The campaign is part of the Free the Children, the largest youth service organization of the world. The event called We Scare Hunger demonstrates that students are empathetic to their community and want positive change. Participants were easily identified by badges as they made their rounds, and I applaud them all for their participation.

Students of today are leaders of tomorrow, and these students are demonstrating their desire to help others and to make Pictou County an even better place to live and work. Today I am proud to thank Kelsey and Madalyn, and wish them continued success.

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

BEDFORD LIONS CLUB - COMMUN. CONTRIBUTION

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to take a moment today to bring attention the value our Bedford Lions Club has brought to our community over the years. I've previously mentioned some recent and ongoing contributions by the Lions; today I would like to focus on some of the historic contributions made by the club.

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One of their first major projects was the LeBrun Centre and the adjoining Lions Den. Over the years the Lions also took on other major projects including the Lions pool and its adjoining playground, the Bedford Leisure Club which today houses a seniors club, a furniture repair shop, and the Bedford Lawn Bowling Club. The Lions have made major donations to the Bedford Lions Sandy Lake Park, the Cobequid Community Health Centre, the Bedford Youth Centre, the Diabetes Foundation and C. P. A. High School scholarships.

This past Saturday night I had the honour of joining the Bedford Lions Club for their 68th Annual Charter Night Dinner. I wish them many more dinners and thank them for their important contributions to our community.

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

TAYLOR, EMMA - RUGBY ACHIEVEMENTS

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, Emma Taylor, a fifth year athlete with the St. Francis Xavier X-women's rugby team was recently named Atlantic Conference female rugby most valuable player. Emma led the AUS with 10 tries and had accumulated 60 points. The MVP honour follows being named All Canadian last year and a three-time conference All Star.

Emma is an excellent athlete described by many as a versatile forward and a solid rugby player with a great work ethic. Emma displays strong leadership and is a valued member of the team both on and off the field. This past weekend she was named the MVP leading her St. F.X. squad to another national rugby title. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

MR. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about and on behalf of all women in Nova Scotia. During November, Nova Scotia recognizes awareness of violence against women. As well, November 25th marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

We know that incidents of violence against women have been consistently under-reported. This is something that needs to change. We need to make a concerted effort to change the attitudes and the unacceptable behaviours that exist in our society. Nova Scotia women need to know that they can speak up about their experiences and that they will be taken seriously. These steps are necessary to make sure women in Nova Scotia feel safe in their homes, in their schools and at their workplace. It is important that we create safe conditions for women in all aspects of their life and that we ensure that appropriate measures are taken to create effective reporting procedures if violence against women does occur. Thank you.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

CAPE & COWL COMICS

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight a new business in my riding of Sackville-Cobequid that opened in late September. Cape and Cowl Comics and Collectibles is owned by a local HRM resident, Jay Aaron Roy. He achieved this endeavour to open a store outside the downtown core, with help from the Centre of Entrepreneurship Education and Development.

Future plans for the store include a literacy program to help youth make a connection between graphics and reading. Jay is an active supporter of the youth project and is an asset to our community. I'd like to welcome Cape and Cowl Comics and Collectibles to Sackville and wish Jay Aaron Roy success with his business and efforts to promote literacy in our community and in the province.

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

IMMIGRANTS - WELCOME

MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, the government has acknowledged that the province is facing a population decline. Immigrants to the province will play an important role in our future.

I would like to acknowledge today the work that community members are doing to welcome new residents. In my riding one of the municipal councillors, Athol Grant, recently held a reception complete with music, food and a true Cape Breton style that provided an opportunity for new residents to mingle and meet with community members, fostering a spirit of togetherness and networking.

I would like to commend the efforts of people like Councillor Grant for walking the walk and talking the talk in terms of making our communities desirable places for newcomers and supporting their integration and successes. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Waverly-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

MR. BILL HORNE » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. HORNE « » : In the east gallery, I would like my CA to rise today and be recognized for her hard work and dedication and long hours. Thank you, Danielle. (Applause)

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

ST. F.X. WOMEN'S RUGBY TEAM

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the member for Pictou West for acknowledging the hard work of the team at the St. F. X. women's rugby team. I'd like to draw the members' attention to the fact that while many of us were coming home this weekend with a bagful of Halloween treats with our kids, the X-women's rugby team was coming home with gold. The team will be recognized tomorrow on campus by the community and campus community for their victory and their fantastic season.

Before I take my seat, Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to wish a belated happy birthday to my colleague, the member for Fairview-Clayton Park. Happy birthday. (Applause)

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

HOLOCAUST EDUC. WK. (10/02)

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : I rise in the House today to speak about an important initiative this month. For the week starting November 2nd, the province supports Holocaust Education Week. Teachers across Nova Scotia are encouraged to share books, videos, and other helpful resources with their students so that they tell the story of the atrocities that were committed during the Holocaust. The Learning Resources and Technology Services division has 78 titles available through the online library about the Holocaust. Teachers can easily access this library which ensures accurate materials are made readily available.

It is very important to promote cross-cultural understanding and human rights education across Nova Scotia. It is important that we remember, that we discuss, and that we continue to grow as a society by learning from our past. Our duty to those who have suffered during the Holocaust is to ensure that it will never happen again. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MCNABS ISLAND - WATERFRONT DEV. CORP.

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Mr. Speaker, my riding of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage is home to the beautiful McNabs Island. It is a provincial park and a gem in the Halifax Harbour. The Friends of McNabs Island Society is a non-profit group dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the island as a national park and outdoor classroom.

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I would like to acknowledge the $150,000 investment by the Waterfront Development Corporation. They will be working with the Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of McNabs Island Society to enhance the island with improvements to the dock, compostable toilets, and signage. I ask everyone to please take the time to visit McNabs Island. You will not be disappointed.

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

REMEMBRANCE DAY BANNERS:

OUTHIT, COUN. TIM/PITCHER, JOYCE - COMMEND

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I rise today to commend the Bedford Legion and our Bedford-Wentworth Councillor Tim Outhit, on a project that rolled out last week. All along the Bedford Highway, Councillor Outhit has put up new Remembrance Day banners. Each bears the words "Lest We Forget" in a design of three poppies; many of them also bear the name of a Bedford resident who lost his life in service.

In fact, Mr. Speaker, many of Bedford's streets are named for our war dead, but few residents know that. I believe this project will make more of us aware of the sacrifices our past residents made. I wish to commend Councillor Outhit and the Legion's Joyce Pitcher for this timely project, and thank them.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Clare-Digby.

HWY. NO. 101 (DIGBY TO WEYMOUTH) - CONST. ANNOUNCEMENT

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Last Friday was one of the best days of my years since being elected. I was privileged to announce that the construction of the unfinished controlled access highway between Highway No. 101 in Digby and Weymouth will finally commence. (Applause)

This is a joint $17.6 million announcement between the provincial and federal governments under the Building Canada Fund. The announcement was attended by Greg Kerr, MP for West Nova; and civic leaders from the Municipality of Clare, the Municipality of Digby, and the Town of Digby. There are also many residents who live along this undeveloped section of highway, currently listed as a 100-Series Highway.

This announcement marks a major step in a project that stalled over 20 years ago; it also shows the support of our government to provide infrastructure that every other region of our province takes for granted. My sincere thanks to our Premier for his support, the federal government for their partnering, and the residents of my riding for their patience.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

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HUM, MYRA - RETIREMENT WELL WISHES

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : Myra Hum has had a long, distinguished career as a physical education teacher, with 35 years of dedicated service to the youth of the Timberlea- Prospect riding. Myra introduced downhill skiing to her students and has planned the annual trip to Wentworth for the past 18 years. She has developed a winter program to loan out snowshoes to the community and was one of the founding members of the Prospect Road Bulls Basketball Association. She coached the first mini girls basketball team for six years for mini to adolescence.

Myra established a cross-country skiing club after school and still cross-country skis throughout the winter. Myra began a running club at both her schools. She introduced the Bluenose kids' run to PRES and AM-TB schools. They have participated for the last 11 years, and both schools have been presented with banners for the last 10 years.

Myra has always gone above and beyond as a teacher and role model for her students. She lives an active, healthy life and has installed those values in hundreds, if not thousands, of students whose lives she has touched. I'd like you to join me in wishing Myra Hum great happiness in her retirement. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. We'll now move on to Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM.: HFX. BRIDGE COMMN. - RATES

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Daily commuters across our bridges here in Halifax deserve to know that they are getting a fair deal from this government. In 2011, the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission was allowed by the URB to raise our rates by 33 per cent, based on an estimated cost of refurbishing the Macdonald Bridge at $220 million. I have that here and I'll table it for the benefit of the House. We now know that the actual cost will be much less. I'd like to ask the Premier, has his government taken steps to ensure that those savings are passed on back to commuters?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I will take the information that the Leader of the Official Opposition has brought forward, but I want to remind all members of this House that the URB is an independent body from us. They would have been working with the Bridge Commission, but I am very pleased that everyone is working toward ensuring that our roads and transportation infrastructure are safe for all commuters.

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MR. BAILLIE « » : Well, for the benefit of the Premier and members of the government, in 2011, the URB approved a 33 per cent increase taking our tolls up to $1 for non-users of the MACPASS, because they intended to spend $220 million refurbishing the Macdonald Bridge. The cost of refurbishing is actually going to be at least $35 million less, according to this briefing note, which we obtained under a freedom of information request. All of the money should be returned to the commuters who pay those tolls every day. In light of that information I ask the Premier, does he agree that if the bridges are collecting more money than we know they now need, will he take steps to see that that money is returned to consumers?

THE PREMIER « » : My first answer, we'll take the information and look at it, but the URB is an independent body and the Bridge Commission is running that piece of infrastructure. I'm sure all members of this House know the deficit that bridge infrastructure has had. But ultimately, this is simply about making our transportation infrastructure safe for all commuters. The information that the Leader has brought forward, I'm sure, if the Bridge Commission feels like they have too much money, it'll go back to the URB. All of that will go on as it normally would.

MR. BAILLIE « » : For that commuter in Fall River who has to cross the bridge to get to work twice a day to downtown Halifax, the Premier's answer sounds an awful lot like the answer the previous government used to give about the URB on power rates. Mr. Speaker, when the Premier was in Opposition he instructed the government to intervene with the URB to protect ratepayers. I'd like to ask the Premier, will he consider the same steps now that he's in government to protect commuters on our bridges?

THE PREMIER « » : Again, I thank the honourable member for bringing the question to the floor. I said we'll look at the pieces of information. I'm very pleased to hear that, through the work of the URB and the Bridge Commission, the work is coming in under what was believed to be the budget process. I don't know the methodology used by the Bridge Commission or the URB to settle on the rate hike, but as I said, that information will come forward, we'll look at it, and I'm very pleased, quite frankly, that people are focused on ensuring that our transportation infrastructure is safe, because I know the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal continues to work for communities across this province to make sure that is the case.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party.

PREM. - BCE CUTS: JOB LOSSES - DISCUSS

[Page 1884]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. Yesterday BCE announced they were eliminating some senior management positions at their head office here in Halifax. We know that more cuts are on the way as part of a plan to reduce spending in this region by $100 million. In a year where the province has seen a loss of more than 9,000 jobs under this government, more job loss - good, high-paying job loss - is always a concern. So my question to the Premier is, what discussion has his government had with BCE to try to reduce the potential job losses resulting from the takeover of Bell Aliant?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the honourable members, I'm sure all members of this House have recognized that it has been communicated to all Atlantic Canadians that the head office would remain here in Halifax. We know that over the last number of years there has been some attrition in job opportunities in this province, but we also have to recognize - I was very pleased to hear yesterday some of the announcements that were coming out - that hard-working Nova Scotians and Atlantic Canadians were landing top jobs in that private sector entity and they were going to be located right here in Nova Scotia.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday on CBC a business professor at the university here at Dalhousie, Mr. Dave Shaw, spoke about these job losses and said that every time someone leaves from one of these high-paying jobs, they take with them money that they have been spending in the community and it is something we need to be worried about.

My question for the Premier again is, can he tell this House what impact the loss of good jobs at the Bell Aliant headquarters in Halifax will have on the provincial economy?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the honourable member that Bell has committed to keeping their headquarters here in Nova Scotia, here in Halifax. There was an announcement about jobs that were being filled by Nova Scotians, by Atlantic Canadians, that would be located here in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, this is a private entity that is making a business decision based on what they believe is in the best interest of their business model. We are going to continue to work with all employers to ensure there is economic opportunity here in this province. I am always pleased when I hear national companies use Nova Scotia as their base in Atlantic Canada; we continue to see that. We are going to ensure to send them a great signal that we're going to manage the finances of the public sector.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I know the Premier likes to talk about how he is going to leave the growth of our economy up to the private sector but we have seen more than 9,000 jobs leave this province in the last year, under the strategy of that Premier. We know that Bell Aliant, or BCE, are looking at taking $100 million out of the regional economy.

[Page 1885]

My last question to the Premier is, why is it that he is sitting back and being so cavalier about the potential loss of high-paying jobs from a region that sorely needs them?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want assure her that we are going to do everything we can to ensure that this province continues to remain a destination for national companies when they are locating their headquarters, for their Atlantic headquarters to be here in Halifax.

I also want to remind the honourable member that when that announcement was made around the takeover, there was also an announcement of a successive amount of investment in wireless, Mr. Speaker, research that would provide opportunities across this province, allow entrepreneurs to move forward.

I want to remind the honourable member that this government closed the chequebook. That government was writing blank cheques - no, let me rephrase that, Mr. Speaker - they were allowing someone else to fill in the blank cheques, while those jobs were leaving.

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

PREM.: ONSHORE DEV. BAN - REPEAL CONSULTATION

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, while the ban on onshore development is not even in place yet, the minister has already said that he is going to someday repeal it. I will table that from the allnovascotia.com article this morning. The bill is not even passed and the government is already walking away from its own ban on onshore gas development.

My question to the Premier is - the fact is they already have the ability to consult and study with the current rules in place - now that we see the minister saying he will enact it and then repeal it later, he'll put it in law and then rip it up, why is enacting and then repealing a law better than simply following the current rules?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the honourable member that what the Minister of Energy is doing is exactly what the Wheeler report said, that we should not be entering down the road of fracking at this time in our history. We should be going out, consulting, doing research and understanding whether or not, first of all, we have the resource, how we extract it, and what do we do with the fracking waste.

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, fracking is taking place in this province. Through the Minister of Environment we have been dealing with the mess left behind by the previous government. If the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party thinks fracking waste is a joke, he should go and tell the people of Amherst why it is that they should have to take it.

[Page 1886]

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the only joke I see here is a government that puts a ban on jobs and then when the heat is turned up, they say they can always rip it up later. That's no way to run a province.

The fact of the matter is, there is the ability now, as the Wheeler report pointed out, to simply not issue permits while all the consultations take place. But the government didn't do that. They didn't follow the Wheeler report at all. Nowhere in the Wheeler report does it say make it illegal, put a ban on onshore gas development, and if people don't like it, rip it up later. Mr. Speaker, you'll have to show me what page in the Wheeler report says that.

The Premier has said he's not banning anything. The Minister of Energy is saying he is banning it, but he'll rip it up later. I'd like to ask the Premier, quite simply, is there a ban on onshore gas development or not?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party that we're going to continue to do what we have done for the last year, which is consult with Nova Scotians to ensure that all Nova Scotians are part of the conversation. We're going to follow the recommendations of the Wheeler report, which say to make sure you consult in this province.

I'm sure the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party recognizes that it is the law in this province and that it is our duty to consult with Aboriginal communities around resource development or any other development. We're going to continue to make sure that we follow the law.

Mr. Speaker, I don't think anyone in this province has said this government has moved away from legislation because the heat is turned up. It's just the opposite. They've said, finally, we've got a government that stands its ground and makes sure it does what's in the best interests of all Nova Scotians.

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

AGRIC. - PROV. EXHIBITION: AUDIT - COST

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Last January, in a government release about the Provincial Exhibition, the minister said, "An audit will help the commission's new board of directors get a clear understanding of its current finances and help them chart a path to a sustainable future." Also, "This step will help provide assurance to the Truro-Bible Hill community, and to various groups that use the facilities, that the commission has a viable future." I will table that.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is, can the minister describe for this House, almost a year later, how much this audit is going to cost and how this audit has helped the new board of directors so far?

[Page 1887]

HON. KEITH COLWELL » : Mr. Speaker, this is a very important question for the Truro-Bible Hill area. The audit is still ongoing. We hope to have it completed in another six months. We have hired a new manager to operate the facility, and we are running ahead of schedule on the progress to improve the facility and to make it profitable long term.

MR. LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you for that response. In that same release, dated January 28th, the minister goes on to say, "This audit is not just about ensuring the farm loan board's loan is paid, it is also about ensuring that the commission deals with its outstanding debts to all creditors." Also, it was said, "I commend the commission's new board of directors for its efforts to ensure the long-term viability of the commission and its facilities, and am confident an audit will help ensure that."

Mr. Speaker, my question is, can the minister show this House that the commission is running a viable operation by tabling the current financial statements for the Provincial Exhibition and how much his department has spent on operations of the Provincial Exhibition to date?

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we're doing very well in the exhibition. We're making a number of changes in the facility. We'll make it long-term profitability of the facility, which is critical to the community, and we will continue on that route until we're very successful. We're well on the way.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party.

ERDT - INVEST N.S.: BOARD APPT. - DELAY EXPLAIN

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. Last week, after months of speculation, the Liberal Government finally announced the members of the Invest Nova Scotia panel, chaired by Mr. Tom Traves.

My question for the minister is, why did it take so long to appoint the panel? The new Liberal Government in New Brunswick announced a similar panel within a few weeks of taking office.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, as I'm sure the Acting Leader of the NDP would know, we were elected on a mandate to fix the problems in economic development. We have taken our time to do that. Similar to another famous Nova Scotian, we took our time to get it right.

Mr. Speaker, we're very impressed with the Nova Scotians who brought their names forward to serve on Invest Nova Scotia. We're very excited by the opportunity that this board will now have to make investments on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia, to do so independent of government, to do so in supporting sectors, and helping entire sectors of our economy grow. We look forward to the board meeting very soon as part of an orientation and then starting to consider proposals that will be coming forward as a result of that. Merci.

[Page 1888]

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for the answer. On Friday Dr. Traves said that it will take some period of time for the new board to get up to speed and he predicted that it would take them as much as a year to become mature, as he called it, in their operations. My question for the Minister of ERDT is, with the loss of more than 9,000 jobs from the province in the last year, in the interim period of that one year when this board will actually get to mature, who can we expect to be minding the shop and helping the Nova Scotia economy, which desperately needs some help?

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Invest Nova Scotia is but one of the tools that we are using to help grow the economy of Nova Scotia. I would encourage the Acting Leader of the NDP to go on our website. In fact, I may not have mentioned this before but we have an accountability website here in Nova Scotia now. If I am not mistaken we are the only province in the country that has such a website which will show the work that has been done by Nova Scotia Business Inc., the work that has been done by Innovacorp, and the work that has been done by our department in making investments on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia to help grow our economy.

We are very pleased to see that Nova Scotia companies are coming to us with a spirit of optimism, with a spirit of growth, and they are doing so through the independent, arm's-length agencies that we have established - not by unelected, unnamed people sitting in the Premier's Office.

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

AGRIC.: TURKEY BD. - CHANGES

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Agriculture. Last Friday during Question Period, in response to questions regarding the unfair treatment of rural Nova Scotians who want to raise their own turkeys, the minister responded by saying, ". . . the Turkey Board has the authority to shut down operations that aren't approved by either federal inspection or provincial inspection." He went on to add, "We are presently working with the Turkey Board to make some changes in the process." I'll table those statements.

Will the minister elaborate today on those changes that will assist rural Nova Scotia turkey farmers from being run out of business by the Turkey Marketing Board and the Government of Nova Scotia?

[Page 1889]

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, this indeed is a very important topic for our government, as we move forward with food safety in our province, and this is a food safety issue as identified by the Turkey Board. We are definitely working with the Turkey Board to see if we can put facilities in place and also with processors in the province to see if we can put some facilities in place to ensure that all the processors can do this in a safe manner and a properly inspected manner.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. The government has essentially handed significant control over to industry panels such as the Turkey Marketing Board. They have wide powers to generate their own regulations. These can be overturned by the government, however, through the Governor in Council. The minister could regain control of this whole fiasco around small turkey farmers and processors by taking charge and using these powers provided to him under the Natural Products Act. Will he today commit to rural Nova Scotians to use Section 17 of the Natural Products Act along with some good old-fashioned common sense to exempt small processors from the one-size-fits-all approach of the Turkey Marketing Board?

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you again for this very important question. It all goes back to food safety. We have to ensure we have food safety in all the products we eat in Nova Scotia, and part of my portfolio is making sure we have food safety.

For instance, anyone who is involved in a church supper or anything like that, you have to have one individual who has had a training course around food safety, and indeed as we move forward to resolve this problem that has been identified, we will have food safety as a number-one priority. We also understand the needs of the small farmers in the Province of Nova Scotia and we are going to try to blend the two of them together to get a solution to this problem.

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

AGRIC. - TURKEY PRODUCERS: FOOD SAFETY - DETAILS

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Agriculture. The minister continues to use the Turkey Board's line and that is not acceptable to thousands of Nova Scotians or this House. Last week, also in response to one of our questions on unfairness of treating small turkey producers the same as large producers, the minister responded, "This is about food safety. This is about a court case. Indeed they tested this in the past and did go through court, it was appealed and the people and the Turkey Board did win the case both times." I will table that comment.

My question for the minister is, can the minister identify which part of that case was regarding food safety or anything to do with the slaughtering of turkeys?

[Page 1890]

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : This court case - and I don't have the information with me today, but I will table the information on that court case - was in 2002 and it was a processor that was not inspected, if I recall properly, that said, we should be able to process these turkeys without being licensed by the Turkey Board and indeed the Turkey Board did win that case and on appeal, they won the appeal.

MR. LOHR « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the minister for that answer. The case the minister refers to actually began in 2002 and was finally settled in 2009 and had nothing to do with the slaughtering of turkeys. What it really tested was the sweeping powers of the Turkey Board. I will table that. The farmers in question were initially fined for unspecified infractions without a hearing, the Turkey Board then threatened to withhold the licences until their files were placed in good standing - files, not food safety.

My question is, why did the minister suggest that the 2002 and 2009 appeals involving the Turkey Marketing Board were matters of food safety?

MR. COLWELL « » : Indeed, everything we do in the province around processing any kind of meat product is around food safety and we have to continue monitoring food safety to make sure that we don't have any catastrophic problem happening, someone getting very ill or indeed somebody dying because of improper handling or processing of any kind of product in the province.

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

ENERGY - NSP: UPAID FUEL COSTS - RECOVERY

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Energy. Currently the Utility and Review Board is considering how Nova Scotia Power should recoup costs of $100 million in unpaid fuel costs from ratepayers. While the Consumer Advocate has stated that those costs should be reclaimed over a three-year period starting in 2015, this government, in a letter submitted to the URB just this Friday - and we know how much the Premier loves the independence of the URB - stated that it would prefer the recovery of those costs be delayed for at least another year.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, why does he disagree with the Consumer Advocate?

HON. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think it's interesting to hear the NDP argue for a rate increase for Nova Scotians but we've always argued that the government should be fighting for ratepayers, and that's what we're doing there. Moreover, we have presented to the board a number of pieces of evidence which show that the fuel, the deferred amounts of fuel can continue to decrease without going back to ratepayers and in fact, they've already decreased this year to $86.7 million which is almost $13 million, or $13 million more than expected and we believe it can continue to decrease without the need to go back to ratepayers.

[Page 1891]

MR. CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I enjoy listening to the minister and his crystal ball but the reality is, the ratepayers of this province are out $7.1 million and an authority that he may not accept as higher than him, the Consumer Advocate that says pay it, pay it next year. He wants to wait another year. So I want to ask the minister, why is he allowing NSPI to earn $7.5 million on the backs of hard-working Nova Scotians?

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure what $7.1 million the honourable member is talking about but the reality is, well, if he's talking about interest, he's not talking about net interest because, in fact, ratepayers have been overpaying on the other side of the ledger sheet and earning interest from Nova Scotia Power on the other side that more than offsets that amount.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

TIR - PETROLEUM: WEST COAST/EAST COAST - PROPOSAL

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. It was brought to my attention that there may be a proposal to bring petroleum from western Canada to the East Coast, which could boost rail traffic between Truro and the NuStar Energy transshipment facility in Point Tupper.

My question to the minister, did the minister receive any information regarding this proposal?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. The answer is no, I haven't received anything of that nature. Obviously, as the regulator, I'm sure we would have that information in terms of the impact on the rail. For us, any developments in NuStar in the Strait and Point Tupper would be welcome news for our economy, but of course we'd always balance that with rail safety. So should that be the case, we'll certainly look into it, as the regulator, and make sure that the products are travelling safe and sound across our railway. Thank you.

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure the Minister of Energy will share some information there with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

Several people have raised the alarm over the state of this rail line's infrastructure. I am aware that several sections of the entire line have go-slow orders, due to safety concerns. Cleanup costs from the Lac-Mégantic disaster have been estimated to be approximately $200 million. The company responsible reportedly carried $25 million in insurance and has recently gone bankrupt.

[Page 1892]

Genesee & Wyoming, owners of the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway, meet the minimum insurance standards, which appears to be approximately $15 million in Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is, does the minister agree that their coverage is somewhat inadequate?

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, certainly with respect to Transport Canada guidelines, as the regulator, our province and all provinces that operate rail systems adhere strictly to those standards. For us there's a set amount of insurance that is required by law through our federal partners. If there are questions about the level of insurance, then certainly I would suspect that they would be conversations that I would have with our federal counterparts.

At this point, Transport Canada has the ultimate hammer in terms of compliance with respect to rail safety and with respect to insurance and other administrative matters. So from my perspective, that's something that the member could ask Transport Canada, to verify that they have adequate insurance. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: HEALTH SUPERBOARD - BUDGET

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is through you to the Minister of Health and Wellness. On Friday, the government announced the makeup of their new health superboard. Instead of having 10 CEOs across the province, there will be 8.5 vice-presidents in Halifax, and there will also be eight executive directors.

My question for the Minister of Health and Wellness is, now that the executive structure of the superboard has been announced, what is the total budget for implementing the superboard, including executives' severances?

HON. LEO GLAVINE » : Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, that figure is impossible to determine at this moment because we don't know who those 8.5 VPs will actually be. Therefore, those who will be receiving severance are an unknown entity at this stage. I guess that until that group are selected and in place, we can't determine the exact figure.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, earlier this Spring the NDP received information from the Department of Health and Wellness identifying various district health authorities' amalgamation costs. I'll table that. When I asked the minister about the cost - and I'll table that also - on October 1st, he said, "That's a very fair question."

However, Mr. Speaker, he refused to tell Nova Scotians what it is costing to implement their superboard. So I'm going to ask the minister again, after over a year of moving toward amalgamating the district health authorities in this province, the government must have a cost that the taxpayers of Nova Scotia will incur because of this amalgamation. Can the minister provide that cost?

[Page 1893]

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, what I can tell the member opposite and all Nova Scotians is that we will be saving a minimum of $5.5 million in the next fiscal year and every year, just based on that 50 per cent reduction in administration, which is the platform for additional health transformation in the coming years.

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

ERDT: SOUTHWESTERN N.S. - EASTLINK WIRELESS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. As he knows, last session I introduced a petition in the House of Assembly with over 800 names of people who were very unhappy with the service that Eastlink is providing them on wireless Internet in southwestern Nova Scotia, particularly those from above Pubnico Head going into Cape Island and around to Baccaro Point and I do know there are a number of individuals in the Yarmouth area too, who are very unhappy with their service. I'm just wondering if the minister has had the opportunity to look at the Eastlink contract and maybe give us a bit of an update.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. As members of the House will recall, the broadband initiative started in 2006 with the goal of being able to provide connectivity to high-speed Internet to all Nova Scotians. Unfortunately while it was certainly a goal that we would have hoped that the province would have achieved, there have been some challenges along the way, especially in the areas that the member represents in southwestern Nova Scotia and into the Valley.

We continue to work closely with Eastlink to try to find solutions for not only the residents who don't have high-speed but as well those who have connectivity but are certainly not getting the level of speed that they should be getting. As well, Mr. Speaker, as I've said before, we are certainly looking forward to the funding that will be coming from the federal government's recent announcement of increased speed of five bits per second, on which we expect more details to come out soon.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Really what is happening is those people who are paying a decent fee to Eastlink don't have anybody to call when they are having problems or are not getting called back. We are getting connection speeds of less than one megabit per second, if they can connect at all. The service is actually deplorable in southwestern Nova Scotia.

I do hope that there is going to be some funding coming along for improving the system because what we are hearing from Eastlink, when I did have an opportunity to chat with a couple of individuals there, is that the radios are old, need replacing, and they are waiting on the further contract from the provincial government on how to proceed with the next step of the broadband initiative, so I do hope that there is going to be a program . . .

[Page 1894]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is there a question there?

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I do hope there is going to be a program coming, so I am just asking the minister whether there is a program coming up in December so that there can be an improvement in the service.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, again we await details from the federal government. While they have made an announcement of their intention to see the connectivity speed increase throughout the country from one to five, we await the details. We do not have those yet. Once we do have those, we will be in a better positon to see what role the province can play in that. In the meantime we continue to work with Eastlink to try to find solutions that exist, again, unfortunately solutions that are problems that have been in essence since 2006 when this initiative was first started. We do hope to see that those individuals will get connectivity very soon.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party.

PREM.: SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

- WORKPLACE PROTECTION

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Premier. I think we have all been startled by details coming out about the alleged conduct of a very prominent media personality lately, and it has caused all to reflect on how little things have actually improved for women who are sexually abused or harassed, even assaulted at work. In light of the attention this issue has received recently, I want to ask the Premier what steps is his government taking to ensure that workplaces in Nova Scotia are safe and free from sexual violence against women?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to also inform the House, as she knows, coming in the last campaign we committed $2 million to a sexual violence strategy in this province. We continue to work through the Minister of Community Services, the Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, to ensure that workplaces across this province are safe from violence. We also want to ensure that households across this place are safe, that women and children feel safe in their own home environment, and it will be a collective responsibility, one that the government will be part of, one that we will be looking for our community partners to be part of, but we will need for all Nova Scotians to engage to ensuring that every Nova Scotian feels safe whether they are at work or at home.

MS. MACDONALD « » : I really appreciate the Premier's response. Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia has the highest rates of sexual assault in Canada so I want to ask the Premier what actions is the government taking to create an environment where Nova Scotian women feel they can report sexual violence and expect due process?

[Page 1895]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as I said in my earlier answer, we have committed with the resources we believe are required to ensure that the infrastructure continues to be improved. I want though to make certain that all members of this House, all Nova Scotians, recognize that we have a responsibility to encourage women who are faced with sexual violence - or violence of any kind - that there is the support infrastructure in place and that when they come forward we will support them, we will do all we can to ensure that they feel safe at work, at home, and that their children feel safe in this province.

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

MUN. AFFS. - ARTSY FARTSY ART STUDIO: STATUS - UPDATE

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. One month ago after Question Period, the Minister of Municipal Affairs kindly met with Rhonda Frank, owner and operator of Artsy Fartsy art studio. Rhonda's business was shut down, but a business on the same lane in Chezzetcook continues to be open.

Will the minister please provide an update on what is being done by his department to help correct the unfair situation that has closed down Rhonda's business?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. Yes, we did meet with Ms. Frank and her husband and the circumstances that she's dealing with were shared in great detail. Staff within the department, in consultation with Transportation and Infrastructural Renewal and HRM, continue to work on finding a solution that would be in the best interests of Ms. Frank.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, before I arrived over here today I had the opportunity to speak to Rhonda and she expressed how frustrated she is with the inability of not having anyone return her calls and have a conversation with the minister's department. She has attempted to follow all the rules in order to offer a service to people in her community that is much needed.

Will the minister commit to contacting Rhonda Frank himself today to reassure her that a solution is being worked on?

MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, again I thank my colleague for the question. In fact, staff from my department have had contact with Ms. Frank and Ms. Frank has acknowledged that in correspondence she forwarded to our office advising us of additional steps that she has taken. We will continue to communicate with Ms. Frank in an effort to find a solution for the challenges she's facing.

[Page 1896]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg.

TIR - MV MINER: REMOVAL - UPDATE

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of TIR - and no, it's not the New Boston Road.

The effort to remove the MV Miner off of Scatarie Island has been underway for a period of time now by a strong Nova Scotia company and to the relief of the residents of the local area. I wonder, would the minister provide an update to the House on how this project is progressing?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question and, truly, on behalf of all members of the House, it really is a great thing to see him back here in the Chamber today - so happy to see you. (Applause)

As for the MV Miner, which the member has been a tremendous advocate for the clean-up, we've joined forces many times over the last number of years to fight that battle, I can tell you that RJ MacIsaac is doing tremendous work. I had the opportunity to see the vessel a month ago and it would do your heart good to see this massive rotting ship on the shores of a beautiful pristine island like Scaterie.

We are getting there, there are a number of challenges with the weather of course; it's a tremendously complicated and dangerous project. RJ MacIsaac is faring off pretty well, they're happy with their progress. We're still shooting for a November date for completion, we're going to let the experts in the field and on the ground there, RJ MacIsaac, indicate the exact timeline. Right now things are progressing well. There's new information that is available and we're going to work through that and see where we can come, but at the end of the day we are having some significant progress on the MV Miner.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for his answer and his kind words - and maybe this would be a good time to ask about the New Boston Road.

Mr. Speaker, through you, I would like to ask the minister if he could tell us if the timeline is not met that was proposed in the contract, are there any penalties that will be paid by the contractor, or is there a contingency plan in place for that timeline?

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Again, Mr. Speaker, it's a complicated project. One of the things we've identified this week through RJM was that there's an additional amount of asbestos, which is a tremendously dangerous product, as we all know. The original green passport report said there were 6.6 tons of asbestos on the M.V. Miner. RJM to this date has actually removed 30 tons, so it's significant numbers. In addition, we were given an assurance that there was no diesel fuel left on the vessel; we are now learning that there are significant amounts of diesel fuel left on this vessel, which is in a very lucrative fishing ground.

[Page 1897]

So far, in my opinion - we haven't verified the information, but I think it certainly strengthens our case with the federal government to say that this is an environmental contamination and an environmental issue. Once we have that information verified, I'll certainly share with the member. We may have to take up this case again with the federal government to see if we can get some help. This is new information that is very concerning for the people on Main-à-Dieu and Scatarie Island. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

EECD - JL ILSLEY HS: ASBESTOS - AIR QUALITY TESTING

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question through you is to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. Asbestos was discovered at J.L. Ilsley High School on Friday. According to CTV News, the asbestos was contained inside tar particles that fell in the library and the audio-visual room. I will table that news story.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development is, with teachers and students returning to the classroom this week, what can the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development tell us about the testing done for air quality at J.L. Ilsley High School?

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. As soon as the asbestos was identified, it was brought to my attention. I know that the staff at the school board and at the school took every precaution to ensure that contact between students and teachers and the area of contamination was addressed, and that the testing that was done was done to ensure that the environment was safe for both staff and students to return. I was assured that that testing was done and it was safe, but no student would be put in an unsafe situation.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for her answer. Certainly asbestos raises warning bells with parents. CTV News was advised by one parent that he will be convinced the air quality is safe after he sees the results of the air quality test. So my question through you to the minister is, will the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development direct the school board to release the results of the air quality study to put parents' minds at ease about their concerns?

MS. CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, to the member, it is extremely important that parents are provided with the most accurate, most current information available. They too are concerned about the safety of their children, and the school board has a responsibility to ensure that any and all information is communicated to the parents. Initially, parents were informed of the situation, and I will be ensuring that the follow-up information to guarantee that the space is safe will also be shared with the parents.

[Page 1898]

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: OXYGEN THERAPY - PALLIATIVE CARE

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. There are people receiving palliative care at home who are suffering from breathlessness. They are close to the end of their lives. Oxygen therapy relieves a feeling of suffocation when they are gasping for air. Imagine a nurse having to decide if oxygen can be provided outside the hospital setting based on funding from the local community or the patient's own ability to pay.

Mr. Speaker, why are we paying for it in the hospital but not for people at home?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for that question. As we all know, this is an area that is undergoing considerable change. If we think back to a very short time ago, we had pharmaceuticals that were used in the hospital but not covered in the home. That has changed. This whole area of palliative care, now that we have a director for the province, will be one of those areas, again, that will receive evaluation.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that comment. We often boast of course in Canada about how wonderful our Medicare system is because it's free. In this case the Palliative Care Society of Inverness has spent over $10,000 in just this past year alone to provide oxygen at home for these people.

Will the minister reconsider the policy - and it sounds like they are looking at it now - and report back to this Legislature with a decision to fund oxygen therapy when it is prescribed for psychological support or really for any form of breathlessness?

MR. GLAVINE « » : As we all know, with the new provincial one board, we will be developing programs right across the province. In terms of palliative care at the moment, there are many variations of the practices, the protocols, and even the availability of top- notch palliative care specialists.

I know that once we have the provincial system in place, a provincial palliative care program will be one of those that will be addressed. It certainly is indeed one of the needs that we need to look after.

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

TIR: CORNWALLIS BRIDGE (RTE. 359) - REPLACEMENT UPDATE

[Page 1899]

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. In the last five years a construction plan the Cornwallis Bridge in Kentville on Highway No. 359 was scheduled for replacement. This vital link to residents of Kings North has been in dire need of replacement for several years.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is this: Can the minister update this House on the scheduled replacement of the bridge and if all the necessary preliminary work and design have been completed so this project can be done in the next construction season as scheduled?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. I don't have the specific details about what the timeline is for the Cornwallis Bridge. Obviously that's something I can bring back to the House.

I know the preliminary design work has been undergone through the department officials and I can bring an update back to the Legislature as soon as possible.

MR. LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the minister for that answer and I look forward to that update.

Also, the Cornwallis Bridge is a vital link to the Town of Kentville and virtually splits the town in half - the core business and some residential are on one side of the river and the health services and more residential are on the other. Can the minister tell this House what plans are there to keep traffic flowing over the river while construction of the new structure is built, so that vital links for this community are not compromised?

MR. MACLELLAN « » : I thank the member for the question. Certainly when it comes to bridge rehabilitation, replacement and all the work we do on our highways and infrastructure, the plan for mobility and the plan to get residents, businesses and commuters around is paramount in the design phase. So for us, we'll have a safe passage that's well thought out and planned. Our traffic control system is second to none in North America - we do a great job getting people through.

When the design portion is ready and available for the Cornwallis Bridge, certainly that's something that we will communicate to the public - but, Mr. Speaker, we'll get them to where they have to go safely, that I can assure the House. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.

ENVIRON. - AMHERST: WASTE WATER - DISPOSAL

[Page 1900]

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Last week we learned that the Town of Amherst is planning to allow Atlantic Industrial Services to dispose of treated fracking waste water through its waste water treatment system on the Tantramar Marsh.

I'd like to ask the Minister of Environment: The residents are concerned and shocked about this, so will the minister require the Town of Amherst to extend its consultation period before issuing any necessary approvals from the province?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : At this point we haven't received a formal application for this process, although of course the Town of Amherst is having some discussions and initiated some public consultation which took place just yesterday.

As far as this process, certainly the town has some decisions to make and presumably they'll be going through proper channels with their constituents, the people of the area, to have those conversations and make sure they are comfortable because we will have to get a letter of authorization or approval from the municipality if they were to choose to move ahead with this agreement with AIS, the company that has the waste water to be disposed of.

At this time, Mr. Speaker, we haven't seen any complete application forms, so we're not part of that . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers has elapsed.

The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GOUGH « » : I'd like to recognize in the east gallery my CA, the CA for Sackville-Beaver Bank, Sylvia Fraser. I just want to add that many of us know Sylvia as Sylvia Sinclair but just recently she got married and now she is Sylvia Fraser. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : I will also take a moment to do an introduction. I see the Minister of Environment saying no. In my tradition of recognizing families of all of our members that help us out so greatly at home, I would like to draw your attention to the Speaker's Gallery while I introduce my mother-in-law, Sally Messenger, please rise, as well as her sister all the way from Australia, Allison Dain and her husband Dr. Stephen Dain. Would the House please give them a warm welcome? (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

[Page 1901]

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, with the unanimous consent of the House, the bills that were reported today from the Committee on Law Amendments by the Minister of Justice and by the Chair of the Private and Local Bills Committee, the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank, I ask that the following bills be added to the order paper for consideration of Committee of the Whole, Bill Nos. 24, 38, 52, 58, 59, 62, 65, 66 along with Private and Local Bill Nos. 44, 45 and 61.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : 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.

[2:52 p.m. The House resolved into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

[3:36 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK » : That the Committee of the Whole has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 44 - Victoria Hall Continuation Act.

Bill No. 45 - Black Cultural Society Act.

Bill No. 52 - Consumer Protection Act and Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act.

Bill No. 58 - Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act.

Bill No. 59 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 61 - Onslow Cemetery Company Trustees Incorporation Act.

Bill No. 62 - Shared Services Act.

[Page 1902]

Bill No. 65 - Railways Act.

Bill No. 66 - House of Assembly Act and House of Assembly Management Commission Act and Members' Retiring Allowances Act.

without amendments.

Bill No. 24 - Civil Service Act.

with certain amendments.

Bill No. 38 - Pooled Registered Pension Plans 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 these bills to the favourable consideration of the House.

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

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : 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. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 26.

Bill No. 26 - Animal Protection Act.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, I move third reading of Bill No. 26.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm looking forward to a chance to say a few words on the Animal Protection Act. It is a bill that we support, certainly in principal. A lot of the details will be left to regulation and the proof of whether it works will be, of course, in the regulation. But I do believe that one of the inspirations for this bill was actually an event in my constituency in Joggins, where all Nova Scotians were told the story of Buddy the dog who was tethered outdoors in freezing cold weather, inhuman, unbearable cold weather for months and months at a time; tethered to a home where no one was there on a regular basis and no one was providing Buddy the dog with food or water.

[Page 1903]

Neighbours tried to help this dog, which was tethered, in providing things like water for his dish but the water would freeze instantly and that didn't help the dog at all as it turned out, Mr. Speaker. I know I spoke to many of them. They were very frustrated that the law enforcement officials had no law to turn to, to break this dog free on this private property, to charge its owner with a crime so that the dog could be freed and justice could be served.

We all, pet owners - dog, cats, other pets or not - do not want to see that kind of cruelty go on in our province and for that reason I am glad to see the government bring forward a bill to do more for animal protection. Mr. Speaker, hopefully when the government enacts its regulations that it will put in place strict definitions of tethering as cruelty, hopefully the regulations will be strong enough that tethering that's cruel, such as in extreme weather or for extreme lengths of time will become an offense that our law enforcement officials can deal with.

I know the people of Joggins want that, I know the people of Nova Scotia want that and it's not the only example - by the way, just to finish the story on Buddy the dog. Buddy was eventually freed, but he died shortly after that because it was too late to save his life because there was no tool for law enforcement to free him earlier. That's why we need stronger protection for our pets, for animals.

Also, Nova Scotians have been brought to speed over the last little while on the peril that pets, dogs, and others face when they are left in a closed car on a hot summer day where the temperatures can reach unbearable levels, where dehydration can set in. We do need to give our law enforcement officials the ability in law to free them and to charge a negligent owner.

I know there have been debates about this and the fear that neighbors will be blowing the whistle on one another if they leave their car for a minute. Hopefully the regulations can be brought in, common-sense regulations that will allow our law enforcement officials and others to free an animal in distress in a locked, hot car and to charge the owner with an offence when it's deliberate and where it's negligent. We're calling on the government to use the powers it's giving itself in the bill, its regulatory power to make that happen.

I want to put a new idea on the floor here today for the government to consider. As it turns out, there is a law that remains on the books of the Province of Nova Scotia that allows any Nova Scotian to shoot and kill a dog, a domestic dog, a pet, if, in their opinion it's chasing a deer. God knows how old that bill is, that Act of the Legislature, but it's still there. I'll tell you how I know - this actually happened in Parrsboro, in town where one neighbour, unhappy with the loud barking from the neighbour down the road, their pet dog and the fact it ran free, including on his property, took the law into his own hands. That's not right.

[Page 1904]

Somehow, when confronted with this by the family involved, by the police, he knew that this law existed and said he thought it was chasing a deer. Because of that, nothing could be done about it. I know this bill doesn't cover that exactly but it is an act of cruelty if there is someone out there who is unhappy with the noise that their neighbour's pet is making, and this is not the way to go about dealing with it. There should not be a law on the books that holds that person harmless from the force of law when they take the law into their own hands in such a drastic way. I will leave that with the government to contemplate as they bring forth regulations under this new Act.

There's another one I want to raise today. We're talking a lot about dogs, well of course, as we all know, people have pets of many kinds, including cats and we have yet to face up in this House to a debate about the practice of declawing cats and whether that's a cruel act or not. I know that there are many Nova Scotians now who are cat lovers and cat owners who have already, on their own, decided that that's not what they would do anymore because if you look at the procedure of declawing a cat itself, it is pretty violent. It's the equivalent of breaking off a human's fingers at the knuckles. It causes great pain, ongoing pain. It causes their paws to spread and makes it painful for them to walk.

Mr. Speaker, it's time we had a serious look at the practice of declawing. I know there are some who are still in favour, including some practising veterinarians, and I have great respect for veterinarians, but it's time we came to grips with this practice. Other provinces and states are looking at this, deciding whether it's an act of cruelty or not, and it's time that Nova Scotia did the same thing. Whether the government can deal with that in regulation under this Act or bring forward another Act that protects cats from acts of cruelty, I hope they give that serious consideration, because it is a good question.

The vast majority of Nova Scotian homes have a pet - a dog or a cat or some other pet. This is a province of animal-loving people, rurally and urbanly, and rightly so, Mr. Speaker. Our laws ought to reflect that, and the protections under the law ought to reflect that. The government is giving itself the power in this Act to regulate some of these abusive practices, and I am glad they are, but there is more work to do. There is more work to do along the lines that I've just suggested for dogs and cats.

I hope that when this bill clears the House today, the government doesn't consider the job done, because what we put into law and regulation truly is a reflection of the values we hold. The values we hold in this House ought to match the values of Nova Scotians - Nova Scotia families, Nova Scotia business, Nova Scotia individuals who have spoken pretty loudly and clearly that they are offended when they see abuse of dogs and cats and other animals.

[Page 1905]

Mr. Speaker, I'm glad the government has brought forward this bill, don't get me wrong. In fact, I think they need to make sure the regulations live up to the spirit of the bill and that our law enforcement officials have the power to actually see abuse where it is occurring and stop it and protect our pets from those - hopefully the vast minority of people - who put them in harm's way.

With those few points, Mr. Speaker, I will conclude.

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

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to have the opportunity to stand and speak on this proposed legislation today. I want to start off by saying that I am right now, today, very much an animal lover, and I love pets, but that wasn't always the case. I was actually paralyzingly afraid of dogs, and somewhere in my overactive young imagination, I had convinced myself that if a cat stared at me, it would suck my soul. It's true.

I'm sure that a lot of it had to do with the fact that my father, growing up in the mountains of Lebanon, only had pets that provided for his family. They had chickens, they had goats - they had things that actively gave to the family, so the concept of a dog or a cat or something that would take away from the family sustenance was foreign - no pun intended - to him.

But I don't think you have to be a pet lover or an animal lover, per se, to realize that this is a very necessary piece of legislation. It's important that the standards of care are clearly outlined, so that owners know what they are expected to do to keep their pets safe.

Mr. Speaker, it's also important that what is considered to be an offence under the Animal Protection Act is as clear as can be. We need to ensure that enforcement can be done as effectively as possible. I know that every member of this House wants to make sure that pets are safe and healthy in our communities. It is terrible when I read stories about animal abuse, including abandonment and leaving animals tethered outside in very cold weather, as the honourable member opposite mentioned.

I'm sure every member of this House wants to make sure that there are plenty of options for enforcing animal protection in Nova Scotia, and I believe that this bill advances us toward those goals.

I want to commend my colleague the Minister of Agriculture for bringing these amendments forward and showing leadership on animal protection, and I would also like to commend all the individuals and groups who participated in the consultation process that led to this bill and the regulation that makes it possible. With that, Mr. Speaker, I take my seat. Thank you.

[Page 1906]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg.

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, make no doubt about it, I will be voting for this bill. I am a proud owner of several dogs, and I think they are a valuable part of a young family growing up in the country, but I think it would be a bad thing on my part if I didn't bring something else to the attention of this House.

The very fact that this is probably the second, if not third, amendment to animal protection that we have seen since this government has come into power, yet young adolescents between the years of 16 and 18 fall through the cracks in this province on a daily basis and legislation has failed to come forward in this House to deal with that very important situation. Dealing with young people who are the fabric and the future of our province should be a priority for the government of this province.

On different occasions the member for Northside-Westmount and I have attended meetings with people who are pushing for this cause. I know the Minister of Community Services has it on her radar screen and I know that it is important to other members in this House, but as much as it is important to do things to help the quality of the life of our pets, I think it is incumbent upon the House of Assembly to make sure we do the right thing for the adolescents of this province who fall through the cracks because they are in that age group of 16 to 18.

It is a very important topic and it's a topic that I would hope the government will take seriously and look at in the very near future because young people in our province, in any province, have enough challenges but certainly to get left behind because of an age factor is something that I think we all, regardless of what side of the House we sit on, need to take into consideration and fix that problem before it gets any worse. Thank you.

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank you for calling on me today to speak to this piece of legislation. Over my lifetime I have seen some vast changes in how we, as a community and individuals in our community, treat animals and how we see the treatment of animals. I think we have come a long way and we have made much progress in that regard and this piece of legislation is certainly a recognition of the place that animals have earned in our society and the esteem in which we hold them. I think this has to be one of the most significant pieces of legislation that recognizes that and brings that forward into the 21st Century, if you will.

I do want to congratulate the Minister of Agriculture for seeing this through and as legislators I think we can all be proud that we appear to be uniformly supporting this and we can be very pleased that we get to vote to make this a part of the law of the province. Really, the people who deserve credit for this are the people from the community at large, the people who consulted with the minister and advised him and the department in crafting this legislation and the people in each of our individual communities who came forward to make their views known to us. They certainly deserve full credit for this legislation coming forward.

[Page 1907]

From my riding I want to mention some specific groups and some specific individuals who definitely made me more aware of these issues than I had ever been and who gave me information that I was able to pass on that I think had some role in the crafting of this legislation. I have always said that I like animals too much to own them. Unlike my colleague, the member for Fairview-Clayton Park I've not been a pet owner and I'm not a committed pet owner. I certainly live with one, we definitely enjoy our furry companion Fluffy, but it's something that I need guidance and instruction on and I've certainly received that from members of my community.

We have groups in our community like Ca-r-ma, which is the Cat Rescue Maritimes, who are going out and rescuing feral cats from the community and making sure that they are well taken care of. In Amherst we have a particular group; it started about a year and a half ago and they are called Emily's Place and their mandate is to raise funds that can be used by pet owners in the community who are unable to afford to spay and neuter their own pets, and Emily's Place provides them with transportation and veterinarian fees and other resources that allow them to spay and neuter their own pets. I think we all know how important that service is in the community and how that serves to promote animal welfare. These are also the people who were directly responsible for bringing the plight of Buddy the dog to the media and to the attention of the province, and as my colleague, the member for Cumberland South said, unfortunately that ended badly for Buddy, but it did certainly shine a lot of light on the issue.

I just want to mention that Janet Dale, a friend of mine, is certainly the person who created Emily's Place and the person who conceived of that better way to help people deal with their pets in the community. Michelle MacKay-Hicks is the coordinator and the sole workhorse of Ca-r-ma and her work to bring pets into her home and save them just goes beyond.

Two very old friends of mine who have tortured the life out of me on this issue ever since I was elected are Terry and Patty McCormack. They affectionately refer to themselves as the Ethels, and they have assured me over and over again that I would not have a moment's rest until this piece of legislation became the law of Nova Scotia. I'm happy to be able to go home after today and report to them that this bill will, in fact, be there to assist to take care of the animals of our community. And, with that, I'll take my seat.

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

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I too would like speak in favour of this bill. As a pet owner myself - we have a dog and a cat that we're very fond of - it's difficult for me to understand that anybody would not look after their pets. Growing up on the farm, we had many animals. Although it has been a vegetable farm, we always had a dog, and in an immigrant family - as the member across the floor said - everything had to have its purpose. The dogs would roam free and serve to improve the fuel economy on our vehicles for one thing, and protect the property, and had many functions, but they were always beloved, mainly for their idiosyncrasies and the odd things they did.

[Page 1908]

So I do commend the legislation, but I do want to express a concern about the legislation, which is, I think, a significant concern, and that is that in Clause 3, Section 20 of Chapter 33, there is, I would say, what is essentially a downloading of the responsibilities of this Act onto the municipalities.

We need to be careful in this Legislature and as government when we think of our municipalities. It's well known that many of our municipalities struggle financially, and for us as a Legislature to download onto them the responsibilities here is a significant issue. I notice it says, "appointing, subject to their consent one or more individuals, organizations or municipalities . . ." but the reality is that in most of our communities, the municipalities bear the fundamental responsibility of it. They have the dog catcher, they're the first line of where people would go to get some of these issues addressed, and this new legislation with new powers will undoubtedly involve our municipalities.

So my question for the government is, are they providing further funding to the municipalities to carry out these new activities?

I know that if you are familiar at all with what's going on in our many municipalities, the downloading of various responsibilities, or new and improved regulations is a theme in which the municipalities feel that they've had many things put on their shoulders without really adequate funding for them to address the new, better regulations. I think it is something that we as a House need to consider when we make new, better, upgraded regulations and ask another level of government to be responsible for fulfilling those regulations. It is something that we have to consider in the House, and it is a reservation in this, as much as I do believe that we do need these rules for certain.

I know my constituency has many tireless advocates on behalf of animals. I think of a young man named Justin Halbersma who is a tireless advocate for feral cats and wants us in Kings County to have a preserve for them. I don't know if we will get there but it's something. Many people I know are involved in the SPCA and all that, they are all such good activities and to have the legislative framework to allow the government to deal with these issues is great. But as I say, my reservation would be, where is the funding for this for the municipalities to deal with it? It will certainly cost them something in this case and I know we do it in other cases.

With that reservation but in favour of the legislation as it is, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

[Page 1909]

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

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to add my voice of support for the amendments to the Animal Protection Act. In doing so, I join the thousands of Nova Scotians who support the efforts of the Minister of Agriculture and his department officials to strengthen our animal protection laws.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia is a province with a long record of animal protection. In fact I was surprised to learn from the information provided by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the SPCA, that our province was the first place in North America to pass laws on the prevention of cruelty to animals. This was 190 years ago, in 1824.

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Agriculture introduced the draft standards of care a year ago, I heard from many people in Kings South who welcomed the early commitment by our government to strengthen our animal protection laws. As colleagues, we are aware, from previous remarks in this House, that mine is a dog family. Dog owners who spoke to me were extremely pleased to see the clear language around dog tethering in the draft standards of care. They felt it was unacceptable that our province did not have the regulatory teeth to prevent dogs from being tethered outside for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so this will change.

However, it was the cat-friendly households that I heard from throughout last year's election, before I even opened the doors of my constituency office. It has been my experience that cat owners are well organized and outspoken advocates for animal welfare. They added their voices quickly when the minister circulated the draft standards of care. Nova Scotian cat owners, if I can use my own constituents as a measure of cat owners, were pleased that the minister listened to their concerns and consequently made three amendments to the Animal Protection Bill: (1) to include cats in the bill, (2) to make it an offence to abandon an animal and (3) to require a veterinarian's certificate for the sale of a cat.

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, governments alone cannot carry the full responsibility of animal protection. Effective animal protection relies on the support of citizens to uphold the standards and to responsibly enter into their social contract that is expected of animal owners. Effective animal protection also relies on our partners in animal welfare; municipalities that enforce our animal protection laws and the non-governmental organizations such as the SPCA, who provide such tremendous leadership in preventing cruelty, through their public education programs and responding to cases of neglect, abuse and cruelty to animals.

In Kings County we rely on these partners. The Kings County Chapter of the SPCA and in my home community of Wolfville, the Valley WAAG Animal Shelter - the WAAG stands for We Are Animal Guardians. WAAG does a tremendous job of placing cats and kittens for adoption and providing them with food, shelter and medical care until they are adopted.

[Page 1910]

Mr. Speaker, as I have followed the discussions and commentary around the Animal Protection Act and the draft standards of care, it has really opened my eyes to the tremendous volunteer network that operates in this province, looking out for the protection of our animals.

Mr. Speaker, we all have a role to play: individuals, families, governments at the municipal and provincial levels, and service organizations. Nova Scotians have demonstrated their leadership in animal welfare since 1824. This amendment to the Animal Protection Act is another progressive step in our long and distinguished history of protecting animals. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : I move to close debate on Bill No. 26. (Interruption)

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

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move to close debate on Bill No. 26.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is to close debate on Bill No. 26.

There has been a call for a recorded vote.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[4:06 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Are the Whips satisfied?

We'll proceed with the recorded vote on Bill No. 26. Before we do, I want to take this opportunity to remind everybody to refer to Page 17 of the Rule Book for conduct when the question is put: when the Speaker is putting a question, no member shall walk out or across the House or make noise or any disturbance.

I suggest that if it's important enough for a recorded vote, it's important enough to remain silent and be respectful while we do the vote, please.

The Clerks will now commence with the recorded vote.

[Page 1911]

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[5:06 p.m.]

YEASNAYS
Mr. Colwell 
Mr. Churchill 
Ms. Bernard 
Ms. Regan 
Mr. Samson 
Mr. Glavine 
Ms. Casey 
Mr. MacLellan 
Ms. Diab 
Mr. Horne 
Mr. Hines 
Mr. Stroink 
Ms. Arab 
Mr. Delorey 
Mr. Ince 
Mr. Kousoulis 
Mr. Furey 
Mr. Farrell 
Mr. Gordon Wilson 
Mr. Rankin 
Ms. Miller 
Mr. Rowe 
Mr. Maguire 
Ms. Eyking 
Ms. Lohnes-Croft 
Ms. Treen 
Mr. Gough 
Mr. Jessome 
Mr. Irving 
Mr. MacLeod 
Mr. MacMaster 
Mr. Dunn 
Mr. Baillie 
Mr. d'Entremont 
Mr. Corbett 
Ms. MacDonald 

[Page 1912]

YEASNAYS
Mr. David Wilson 
Ms. Zann 
Mr. Belliveau 
Mr. Orrell 
Ms. MacFarlane 
Mr. Houston 
Mr. Porter 
Mr. Harrison 
Mr. Lohr 

THE CLERK « » : For, 45. Against, 0.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 49.

Bill No. 49 - Economic Development in Nova Scotia Improvement Act.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 49 be now read a third time.

Mr. Speaker, I know there has been significant interest in this piece of legislation. I would like to take this opportunity to address a few of the questions and misconceptions around the Act to Improve Economic Development in Nova Scotia. This legislation changes the way economic development is done in Nova Scotia. It positions business to lead economic growth, it makes Nova Scotia a more attractive place for manufacturers and processors to invest, and it makes sure that government supports the private sector only after a company makes its own investment.

Les jours des fonds gratuits pour les entreprises sont terminés. Les jours où le gouvernement choisissait des gagnants et des perdants sont terminés. M. le Président, cette loi rend les règles de jeu équitables.

Bill No. 49 has something for businesses of all sizes. The Capital Rebate Program supports companies of many sizes across many sectors, once they make significant capital investments in their businesses and our province. Much has been made about the 97 per cent of Nova Scotia businesses that are small. Well, the Capital Rebate Program is available for applications as small as $25,000. That says nothing of the many other programs government has for small business, including the Credit Union Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, for which we doubled the budget and increased the guarantee from 75 per cent to 90 per cent; the Global Business Accelerator Program; the Small Business Development Program; and the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program.

[Page 1913]

Mr. Speaker, what about the 71 per cent of Nova Scotians who work for business with 50 employees or more? Well, this legislation addresses that group, as well. This legislation introduces a new tax credit for projects over $15 million.

Ce sont des projets qui représentent un engagement à long terme pour les Néo-Écossais, et un engagement envers la croissance de l'économie de la Nouvelle-Écosse. M. le Président, nous devons créer un environnement économique concurrentiel axé sur la création de bons emplois durables.

Not only does this legislation level the playing field for all sized businesses, it ensures clarity and accountability. It reduces duplication, cuts red tape and takes funding decisions for businesses out of politicians' hands. These are all things businesses have wanted, and Bill No. 49 gives it to them.

Cette loi fait en sorte que la Nouvelle-Écosse sera au même niveau de concurrent alité pour les entreprises que les meilleures administrations. Il s'agit d'un changement considérable et fondamental. Le statu quo n'était pas une option. Nous allons de l'avant avec une nouvelle approche envers le développement économique en Nouvelle-Écosse.

We're now one of the most transparent and accountable jurisdictions anywhere. We provide more information on financial assistance to business than any other province in the country. Why? Because we're at a turning point. We know we can't keep going the way that we were going. This legislation is what our province needs to overcome the daunting economic and fiscal challenges we face. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. With that, I move third reading.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : I am pleased to rise here and have an opportunity to say a few last words on Bill No. 49. The other day when I spoke on it, I sincerely meant that I liked the bill, that I felt that there were a lot of great elements within the bill that certainly will serve all across the province, and definitely larger industrial businesses, and hopefully will be the incentive to bring a lot more businesses to Nova Scotia.

I think there are some concerns that maybe the bill didn't address small businesses, and I appreciate the minister's comments just now around small businesses. We do know that they are the backbone to our province. I hope that Bill No. 4, that I presented, will still be given some consideration. I am a little bit concerned. I know in my last speech the minister had addressed some concerns that I had with regard to the bill and I indicated that I wasn't a Philadelphia lawyer and that I had gone through the bill the best I could and felt that I understood it.

[Page 1914]

I do have some concerns around whether there is protection in place to prevent a company who may come into Nova Scotia, make an investment, gain that tax credit, and then leave a year or two later and take that investment or resource with them. I guess if we look at a 15 per cent tax rebate on $15 million in corporate investment, would that $15 million have to be spent in our province on actual Nova Scotia goods or services?

So I do agree with this bill, I think that it's, hopefully, going to address some of our economic challenges in the province and I'll wait with great anticipation to see if it comes to fruition and that we generate some more economic growth here in the province.

On that note, thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise in my place on behalf of the member for Chester-St. Margaret's who, unfortunately due to a family matter, was called away this evening and isn't able to comment on this bill.

There are provisions that we certainly support with respect to this bill and the government's attempt to improve economic investment and economic development in the Province of Nova Scotia. I think that collectively in this House we, all three Parties, are concerned about the future of our province. We all have seen the numbers, we know what the demographics look like in terms of the job losses that we've seen over the past year, the continued loss of young people from our province and skilled workers out of the province, and I think it's incumbent upon all of us to work very hard to find ways to move our province forward.

We all recognize that in doing so government requires a number of tools, not any one tool but a variety of tools, to meet the diversity of needs across the economic spectrum. We live in an increasingly globalized world where there are small-, medium-, and large- sized businesses that have investments in our province, that have benefited our province, in some cases have exploited our province, so we need to find ways to be able to address all of the kinds of characteristics that come from business investment, from inside and from outside.

We have expressed some concern with respect to whether or not we will get the kind of accountability and transparency on a particular tool that is part of the government's tool kit for investments, and that is with respect to a corporate tax break which will go to very large corporations that invest very large amounts of money. I, like my colleague who spoke previously, am not a lawyer, let alone a Philadelphia lawyer, a corporate tax lawyer, but I do know how difficult it is to do research and make transparent the kinds of corporate tax breaks that corporations get through the income tax system and the corporate income tax system in this country.

[Page 1915]

I believe that one of the tools that the government has opted for may very well result in a lack of accountability and transparency - ironically, less accountability and transparency than was previously the case with respect to capital investments in the province.

We will continue to press the government for answers with respect to those concerns that we have raised, and we will continue to hold the government to account for any decisions that result in the breach of trust with the taxpayers, and the citizens of the province, who this government promised in an election campaign to end corporate welfare. I think ultimately the test will be in terms of whether or not we see a jobs plan and we see a change in the jobs numbers in this province on a go-forward basis.

Mr. Speaker, with those few words I will take my seat.

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

The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the critic from Pictou West for her comments. I laughed when both she and the Acting Leader of the NDP referred to lawyers - it reminded me of a story I was told when I was younger. There was a lawyer in Sydney whose last name was Rosenbloom and a gentleman from home, an Acadian, had gotten in trouble with the law and secured the services. When he called the law firm and asked, he reported back that there was no way he was going to lose because they weren't sending one, but they were sending two lawyers to represent him, Rose and Bloom.

Needless to say, it reminded me of that story and I'm not sure what kind of legal services he got or what level of disappointment he had when he found out it was only one lawyer representing him, but he was quite confident going into it.

I've heard the concerns from the member for Pictou West and unfortunately I don't have the details right in front of me, but I will certainly provide that with these types of incentives there are conditions that come with it. There has to be some protections at the end of the day but, at the same time, I would submit that any company that is making a $15 million investment, it's not the type of investment you can throw in a pickup truck and drive away with - these are massive investments.

They are not the type of things you can just pick up and move and leave under the cover of night. They are significant whether they be buildings, they be structures, they be manufacturing types of equipment, these are going to be of a significant nature and, hopefully, this as well addresses some of the concerns from the Acting Leader of the NDP in her remarks as well in that basically with this new incentive, it's piggybacking on an incentive which exists from the federal government. It's the Atlantic Investment Initiative which provides a tax break to companies in Atlantic Canada in manufacturing and processing from the federal government.

[Page 1916]

So, when trying to figure out how we can assist companies making large investments but, at the same time, make sure that there is the transparency and the protections that Nova Scotians want to see, the recommendation came back of why don't we use the same criteria that already exists from that federal tax credit. In fact, to give even a better sense of transparency it is actually Revenue Canada that will help administer the tax break along with our staff through the Department of Finance and Treasury Board. That is some of the rigorous process that this will go through.

Invest Nova Scotia is who will have the oversight of which companies will be able to apply for that tax credit. Again, as pointed out, this is an arm's length agency that we just named the initial members late last week who will be able to make that decision. The question was raised, and a legitimate question by the Acting Leader of the NDP: Will those investments be added to the accountability website? What I can say is that right now we're in talks with the federal government, especially with the Canadian Revenue Agency because there are questions as to whether, being that they're helping administer it whether we can provide that information without their consent because they operate under different rules than we do, especially with that website.

We're doing our best to encourage them in light of where we've gone with all our other investments that it really would make sense not include this as well. I can tell the House, it is our intention to have it on the website, it's a matter of just negotiating how we're going to do that with Revenue Canada in meeting with their legal protections that they have for their clients as well. The intent is yes, it's just a matter of working out how we're going to get around the Revenue Canada rules to be able to allow that to happen.

Secondly I think it's safe to say, if there's a company in Nova Scotia that's going to making a $15 million investment, I have no doubt that members of the Opposition and all Nova Scotians are going to hear about it one way or the other; it's not something we'd want to keep quiet as a government. I believe companies that want to invest $15 million in capital upgrades is good news, so if for nothing else, common sense would tell us it is the type of information that Nova Scotians will be made aware of. To answer the question, it is the intent; it should be up on the website. We want it to be up on the website as we have posted all of the other transactions that have existed as well.

Again, just a reminder on this for the smaller one, and the member for Pictou West acknowledged the list that provided the support we give to small business. That Capital Investment Incentive program, which goes as low as $25,000 for small business to apply for new equipment upgrades and everything else, is administered by staff in that if you qualify you get it. As minister I don't sign off on those, I never did, but just in case someone thought that there was somehow some manipulation that could take place as part of this legislation, that program has now gone to NSBI - it's not administered by Economic and Rural Development and Tourism anymore. It's no longer within my main department. It is with NSBI just to give that added sense that there is complete transparency, complete arm's length when it comes to applying for this.

[Page 1917]

One thing I can say, when we're talking about some of the concerns around our economy, we had to stop taking applications for that program because the budget was exhausted, which means that Nova Scotia businesses are making the investments, are making the upgrades, are growing, in fact they are growing to such an extent they have exhausted the actual budget for that program, which is something that I'm happy to say is a good problem for us to have, Mr. Speaker, when we see that type of confidence.

We hope that that will continue with the new budget cycle, that that program will be there again with a new envelope. It is a sign that Nova Scotian businesses do have confidences in our economy; they have confidence in our people; they have confidence in our province. Bill No. 49 is a way of government getting out of the way of business and giving business the tools necessary for them to be able to sustain that growth. Merci.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill 49.

There has been a request for a recorded vote.

We will ring the bells for one hour.

[5:27 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. A recorded vote has been called for Bill No. 49.

Although I will not read Rule 13.2, I will certainly refer to Rule 13.2 regarding conduct during the vote.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[6:27 p.m.]

[Page 1918]

YEASNAYS
Mr. Colwell 
Mr. Churchill 
Ms. Bernard 
Ms. Regan 
Mr. Samson 
Ms. Whalen 
Mr. Glavine 
Mr. MacLellan 
Ms. Diab 
Mr. Horne 
Mr. Hines 
Mr. Stroink 
Ms. Arab 
Mr. Delorey 
Mr. Ince 
Mr. Kousoulis 
Mr. Furey 
Mr. Farrell 
Mr. Gordon Wilson 
Mr. Rankin 
Ms. Miller 
Mr. Rowe 
Mr. Maguire 
Ms. Eyking 
Ms. Lohnes-Croft 
Ms. Treen 
Mr. Gough 
Mr. Jessome 
Mr. Irving 
Mr. MacLeod 
Mr. MacMaster 
Mr. Dunn 
Mr. Baillie 
Mr. d'Entremont 
Ms. MacDonald 
Ms. Zann 
Mr. Belliveau 
Mr. Orrell 
Ms. MacFarlane 
Mr. Houston 
Mr. Harrison 
Mr. Lohr 

[Page 1919]

THE CLERK « » : For, 42. Against, 0.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 6.

Bill No. 6 - Petroleum Resources Act.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Energy, I move third reading of Bill No. 6.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I recognize that we just finished two bills where everyone voted together. Unfortunately, that great spirit of togetherness is going to come to an end right now, here this evening in the House, as the government has called third reading of Bill No. 6, their ban on hydraulic fracturing.

It's no surprise to the government that we strongly oppose this ban on a new way of creating new jobs in our province. Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by saying that this bill is about a lot more than just whether the government is going to ban high-volume, onshore shale gas hydraulic fracturing or not. It's actually about what kind of province we're going to be, what kind of province the government wants Nova Scotia to be, what kind of province the Progressive Conservatives want Nova Scotia to be. It's about a lot more than the method of mining that the bill technically talks about.

I'll tell you why I say that, Mr. Speaker. I have met many Nova Scotians over the last little while since the government announced its ban. A lot of them say to me, I don't know if hydraulic fracturing is good or not, I don't know if it's safe or not, but it just seems wrong to ban it. There is the wisdom of Nova Scotians right there, that it just seems wrong to ban it, particularly when there has been so much job loss. There are so few opportunities for young people to live and work here in their home province, in their home community. It just seems wrong.

Mr. Speaker, what they are saying is that whether you have studied the details of hydraulic fracturing and onshore gas development or not, really what we're debating is, in the face of this new opportunity and the uncertainty about how it would work here and the questions about how much gas there is, whether you're going to be the kind of political Party that bans it and says, well, we're not used to that, so we're going to say no, or whether you're going to be the kind of political Party in the face of that opportunity and all the details that come with it, and you're going to say, you know what? We are going to spend our time and energy reaching out for that new opportunity, finding a way to make it work, finding a way to do it safely and responsibly and sustainably, taking the time to do it right so that Nova Scotians can live and work here at home. That's the bigger question.

[Page 1920]

So in this House tonight, Mr. Speaker, we have two very different visions about how our province should be run. The Liberal Party thinks that when we're not used to something, we should ban it. We believe that when there's a new way to create new jobs in this province, we should look for a way to do it as winners, safety and responsibly, and grab that benefit that comes with trying new things. It's kind of what Mr. Ivany and his panel said we should be doing: changing the old ways of making decisions, of banning things, of saying no because we don't get it, and actually reaching for something new that might work here, as it has worked in other places. That is the greater question of this bill.

It's not the only way of looking at it, whether you know the ins and outs of how hydraulic fracturing works or not. It's also about how you want this province to look. Do you want it to have a big "closed for business" sign over it - we're not willing to try new things, we're not willing to enable investment to come here and create jobs, to develop the natural resources that our part of the country has beneath its feet? We may be willing to let other people do it in other places, but we're not willing to do our bit here.

Do you believe it's appropriate to close down the province for new business investment? Or do you want to make Nova Scotia a place where people can develop our resources responsibly, can create jobs here at home, can see that we're open for business. That's also another bigger way to look at what this bill actually does. Closed for business, is what the Liberals have decided. Open for business and jobs is where we are, Mr. Speaker. That's another way of looking at this bill, whether you know the technique of hydraulic fracturing or not.

Mr. Speaker, the bill also raises a third bigger question. That is, whether this province is going to elect leaders who, in the face of questions and uncertainty, point a way forward, or whether we're going to have leaders who say, you know what? There are a lot of questions, let's not do it, let's not even try, let's ban it. Then we don't even have to think about it, anymore. That's the Liberal way, Mr. Speaker, and this bill shows it. They say, well, Nova Scotians aren't ready. There's a lot of unanswered questions. Not everyone has been consulted with. That all may be true. But that leaves leaders with a choice. Oh, that's too hard, let's ban it, or let's push through all those issues and come out the other side ready to take on the world, do our bit, create jobs here at home, be the best at this new idea.

Mr. Speaker, that's also what this bill is about. And it's also about another big question, besides those ones, and that is, not only do we have to decide whether we have an open for business or closed for business sign, but whether we really want a government that puts a gigantic neon sign right up over our whole country that says, please keep sending us money. We're not prepared to do the hard work, to do it or to earn it ourselves here at home, which is what this bill does to all those Canadians working out West, developing their natural resources, building up their economies, creating jobs, building wealth, paying money into our country, wondering why we're happy to accept the cheques that come our way - equalization or otherwise. But we think we're too good to actually do the work that they do, to earn it ourselves. That's the Liberal vision. That's what this bill says.

[Page 1921]

Or are we going to have leadership in this province that says, you know, we actually still hold that great hope that Nova Scotia can earn its own way in this country, be a net contributor to Canada, to get off equalization, to rip up that last equalization cheque and say, thank you very much, we'll take it from here. That's our great vision for this province, Mr. Speaker, and I know it still is for many, many Nova Scotians, who scratch their heads and wonder how we can possibly ban new ways of creating new jobs, of developing our natural resources, of doing the hard work here to build up our part of Canada, if we're going to have a government that bans it instead.

Whether you know all the details about hydraulic fracturing as a mining technique or not, every Nova Scotian has an opinion on these greater questions. Open for business or closed for business. Willing to try new things, or insisting on banning new things. Reaching out for more development to do our part in our part of Canada, or not? Mr. Speaker, having leaders that point the way or leaders that ban new things. Every Nova Scotian can have an opinion on those things, and they have been speaking up. They have been speaking up in editorials, in letters to the editor, in presentations to the Law Amendments Committee, in Tim Horton's debates all around our province. And they are saying, whether you know enough to have an opinion on this technique or not, it just seems wrong to ban it. And they're right. It is wrong to ban it, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, I believe we have a duty to look at new ways of creating new jobs, when 8,000 Nova Scotians lose their jobs in one year and when we know what happens to them, Mr. Speaker. They want to live here and work here. But as they give up hope, they move out West where tens of thousands of Maritimers are already working, away from their families, away from their communities. How ironic, Mr. Speaker, that they are already engaged in resource development, including onshore shale gas development. They're doing that very work now. Thousands of Nova Scotians have already said, we're willing to give it a try. In fact, we're doing it right now. We're just doing it in Saskatchewan, we're doing it in Alberta, and we're doing it in North Dakota - earning a decent living and sending those paycheques home, hopefully to be home one week out of two or two weeks out of four, whatever shift they're on.

We want those Nova Scotians to continue to do that work that they are already doing out West right now, but why not find a way to allow them to do that work and have those jobs right here in Nova Scotia, where they can go home to their family not once a month but every night after work, doing the same job? Why not put Nova Scotians to work developing our resources that exist beneath our feet, to our benefit, in our province, with their families just a few kilometres away at home, instead of sending them out West to do the same thing?

[Page 1922]

In other words, for all those Nova Scotians that want to see a plan to create jobs here in this province, here it is: let our fellow Nova Scotians that are developing onshore gas resources in Alberta do that work, but let them do it here at home. That creates jobs in Nova Scotia. That ends the exodus out West. That allows them to be full participants in their family life and their community life at the same time as they are earning a decent paycheque developing our resources here.

After all, as Nova Scotians we're responsible for our part of Canada. We look out at all the other provinces that have gotten ahead, and we see that with the possible exception of Ontario, every other province in Canada that ever got off equalization and stood up on its own two feet did so the same way: by developing their own natural resources. Whether it's Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, on and on, having been at one point or another a have-not province, they're now a "have" province for the same reason. They developed their own natural resources.

I know that there are those who say, well, they're just lucky. Alberta's lucky, Newfoundland and Labrador are lucky; they have oil, they have gas, they're lucky, that's the difference. Well, it's time we made a little bit of our own luck here in Nova Scotia. That's what this bill is all about. We have offshore resources and we have onshore resources. Very modest estimates for one onshore gas field alone say there are 69 trillion cubic feet of gas in that one onshore field. That is almost three times the size of the Sable offshore project alone.

How can we say no to developing that? The Wheeler report says that under the modest scenario, 1,500 direct jobs could be created if we were to proceed with developing our onshore resources. How can we say no to that? We have a duty to say yes to finding a way to responsibly develop those resources.

I will say that we are very mindful of the environmental concerns that have been raised. We're very sensitive to them. We want to protect the pristine environment that we've all inherited around us here in Nova Scotia. Of course we do.

Rather than ban fracking, rather than use that as an excuse to ban this new way of creating jobs, why not accept the challenge that that provides us to figure out how to be the best at developing our onshore resources in a responsible way? For all those who think that's too hard, just look to the other provinces and states that have done this. Saskatchewan is on their 35,000th hydraulic-fractured well - no significant issues. Do they have strong regulations that protect their groundwater, their environment? Yes they do. Should we go and find out how they did it and what would apply here and what we might do to protect ours in a way that's unique to Nova Scotia? Absolutely. Our energy would be much better spent doing those things than banning the practice altogether. That's what is wrong with this bill.

[Page 1923]

Obviously this is not the only bill in this session, it's not even the only natural gas-related bill. Just a few short days ago the government passed, with our support, Bill No. 18, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Implementation Act. How ironic. That bill itself simply puts in place strong regulations concurrent with the federal government to manage safely our offshore resources. We all support that. We're 15 years into the Sable offshore project now and we have become one of the best in North America at managing offshore resource development. We've certainly been the beneficiary of the jobs and the royalties and the taxes that came with that development and we also have pretty stringent regulations in place to protect the safety of workers there and to protect our offshore environment.

Of course, we should because our offshore, our deep water, North Atlantic offshore happens to be one of the more hostile places to develop oil and gas resources. But we didn't ban it because of that - luckily, governments of the day saw that as a challenge. They didn't say to themselves, how can we stop this from happening? Thankfully. They said, how do we embrace this challenge of regulating a pretty hostile offshore environment to protect the workers and protect that environment and develop those resources responsibly? Now, 15 years later we've had a 15-year run at the Sable project and the Deep Panuke project is new and coming along. Thankfully we have that, Mr. Speaker.

In the face of all that history this government brings in Bill No. 18, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Implementation Act and we passed it all together, unanimously, but it's lost on the government side only that's exactly what we want to do with our onshore resources - a less hostile environment where the dangers are less to workers and the environment, but they still have to be protected. That's what we want for the onshore as well.

Then there was another bill to regulate the transportation of compressed gas around the province and we supported that because it has to be done in a way that's safe and regulated. But it raises a broader question - where is that gas going to come from? We know that after 15 years the Sable project is starting to decline. The Deep Panuke project will only make up part of that volume - if we had a discovery offshore today, which would be great, that gas would not come online soon enough to replace the decline in the Sable project.

That's why when we get to the dead of winter when the demand for gas is at its highest we end up importing the most expensive natural gas from away, driving up our power prices, making it harder for homeowners who are in an area where they can get natural gas to their own home to get that supply. That problem is going to get worse. But it doesn't have to get worse, our power rates don't have to be driven up when gas is hard to get. Nova Scotia homeowners who would like to heat their homes with natural gas, they don't have to be told to wait for some far-off future day if we would get on with the job of developing our onshore gas resources now.

[Page 1924]

Now. Developing them now, putting in place good regulations now, studying how to do this right now because, Mr. Speaker, if we do that, then in the medium term, when some of that 69 trillion cubic feet is on stream, we won't need to import it from somewhere else; we won't need to pay all the tolls and take the highest price at the worst time, if we have our own gas resources here.

By the way, let's just be clear, natural gas is a clean-burning, low-emission option for Nova Scotia homes and businesses and power production. We actually become cleaner and greener and cheaper as we use more natural gas, particularly if we're using our own.

That is the great hope of onshore shale gas, Mr. Speaker. We actually make our environment better off. We actually make it easier to hit the targets for emissions from our province through this kind of development, not by banning it.

Mr. Speaker, under all projections, when it comes to electricity, coal is going to be a part of our energy mix for a long time to come, in some proportion. But federal emission standards, mirrored by provincial emission standards, will mandate the closing or conversion of some of our older coal plants in the next few years. One of the ways to keep those turbines running and lower our emissions and stay under the cap at the same time is to burn more natural gas. Far and away the best and cheapest natural gas will be our own. That's why we shouldn't ban it.

For a government that complains loudly, or used to, about the price of electricity, to deliberately take an action like banning natural gas that actually could bring our electricity prices down is shameful, Mr. Speaker. Clearly we don't have a government where the left hand and the right hand know what each other is doing because on the one hand if we want cleaner electricity, lower emissions and cheaper prices, we should be looking to natural gas as part of the solution. But on the other hand, if we're banning our own sources of onshore gas, we're defeating ourselves.

We look to other provinces that have cheaper electricity than we do and we say, well, they are just lucky, Well, Mr. Speaker, when it comes to electricity, it's time we created some of our own luck here, too, and encourage new ways of generating electricity that can help bring prices down and be cleaner at the same time, but that's not what's going to happen.

Now there have been many calls for more research into shale gas development, and of course that's always fine to do more research, but the government acts like we're the only ones on the planet facing this question or who have ever faced this question, when, in fact, we can see, in many other provinces and states, decades of experience with onshore gas development. One province with a similar population to ours, with a similar makeup to ours - a few urban areas and a lot of rural areas - is Saskatchewan. Up until 10 years ago Saskatchewan was a have-not province with a big debt and big deficits; in fact, they almost defaulted on their debt not that long ago, Mr. Speaker. It's a matter of public record: spread out over a bigger geographical area, with much more rural ground to cover than even here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 1925]

Right next door is the Province of Alberta which was moving ahead and booming and Saskatchewan faced out-migration. Their towns were shrinking; the people were leaving to go to Alberta for jobs. That should sound familiar, Mr. Speaker, to all of us here and to all Nova Scotians; it's exactly the same problem we have now. They asked themselves a question: we have lots of resources like Alberta does, so why are we held back while Alberta moves ahead? Saskatchewan has great potential, and yet we never realize it.

They decided, you know what? We're going to responsibly develop our onshore resources. And as soon as they made that decision, Mr. Speaker - in other words, as soon as they decided to make a little bit of their own luck - they started to move ahead. Ten years later, the unemployment rate in Saskatchewan is 3.5 per cent, among the lowest in the country. Small towns are growing again. Young people are coming home again. Saskatchewan's population went from about 950,000, close to what Nova Scotia is today, to well over one million people; 35,000 onshore wells later, no environmental incidents, because they are strongly regulating it, and they are a "have" province. In fact, the migration flows are reversed and people are moving into Saskatchewan.

Mr. Speaker, that's what we want for Nova Scotia: a chance to create our own luck too. Here we have reports - the Wheeler report and others - that say we're sitting on great onshore gas potential, with geology and rock formations very similar to New Brunswick, where they're proving a big resource, and the potential to develop it and create some jobs here and get our population growing again and get more Nova Scotians working, part of the workforce, and then earning royalties and taxes in the millions and millions of dollars that the government can use to balance the books, to improve health care and education, to pay down some debt, maybe even give Nova Scotians a little tax relief from those high taxes that we all know we pay.

Maybe that's another way of looking at this bill: would you like to give that a try and see if we can have those things in our province too, or do you want to ban it? Mr. Speaker, you don't need to know all the ins and outs of hydraulic fracturing to have an opinion on that question, and that's also what this bill is about.

The Ivany report says it's now or never, that we have to set some pretty important goals for our province that we should all get behind if we're going to reverse the sad course we're on now. The Ivany report had a whole section on getting serious about natural resource development. It had 19 goals. Almost all of them get moved forward if we give this new way of creating new jobs a try. In goal number one, the biggest goal that the Ivany report had, our out-migration, our declining population, that has to be turned around, that you cannot have a growing economy and a shrinking population at the same time - particularly true in our rural areas.

[Page 1926]

What better way to reverse the interprovincial out-migration from Nova Scotia to places out West than to start getting serious about developing our own onshore resources in a responsible way here too? All those Nova Scotians that are working somewhere else suddenly have a chance to earn a paycheque like the one they have now, except earn it here. This is one of the most direct things we can do to achieve that first goal of the Ivany report.

We have a choice. We can all say we're in favour of reversing out-migration, we can all say we like the Ivany report, but then if we ban one of the ways to actually achieve it, it's really just talk, isn't it?

Well, I hope the government knows that they will be judged on the Ivany report, on immigration, on jobs, and on their actions, not by warm and fuzzy words. Warm and fuzzy words are easy, Mr. Speaker, and nowhere is that more true than in this place, but when you're on the government side, you are expected to act. You are expected to lead and by actually making it harder by banning things that could have us move ahead, well that's kind of an action that speaks more loudly than words too.

Goal four: business start-ups. The Ivany Report says we should double the number of business start-ups. That's a great goal and it's a great measure of whether our economy is growing and we're moving ahead or not. How many businesses would love to get going here in Nova Scotia, to supply goods and services to an onshore gas industry much like has been developed from start-up to supply the offshore industry?

None of that will happen if there is a ban on onshore development and that's a shame. Again, the government can quote the CFIB and talk about how they like small business but those are just words and they are pretty empty words if the government actually proceeds to ban one of the new ways to get business start-ups going to supply a new industry and a new way to create new jobs.

Goal five: increasing our exports. You know the Ivany report didn't pick increasing our exports for no reason. Increasing our exports means that in exchange, dollars, wealth and income comes flowing back into our province for the goods or services or resources that flow out. It is one of the best ways to build wealth as a province. We can all say we are in favour of that, generally, but actions speak louder than words because if you ban one of the new ways to create new jobs, to develop our resources, to use them at home but also to export them to where they can get a good price and import the value and the wealth that comes back to us, if you ban that, we're actually further behind on achieving the Ivany report. Whether you know the ins and outs of hydraulic fracking or not, you can see this - that we're making it harder to achieve an important objective of our province.

[Page 1927]

Goal nine: youth employment. Increasing the participation of young Nova Scotians in our workforce, increasing the participation of all Nova Scotians including those who have not historically participated to the full extent - these are very worthy goals. Unless the government has 10 other ways to create jobs, of which we have seen none, then banning one of the new ways to create new jobs is even more wrong. I'm sure that many members speak to schools, high schools, junior highs, colleges in their constituencies; I know I do. I think it's a very important part of our job. When you go there and you ask the upcoming class of young Nova Scotians looking to the end of their school time, how many of you would like to live and work in Nova Scotia when you graduate, almost every hand goes up. Then when you ask how many of you expect you will be able to do that when you're graduated, almost every hand goes back down. That is very sad.

That's why we're fighting this ban on new ways of creating jobs so strongly. It's time we created our own luck for them too and got serious about developing our natural resources so that they can live and work here. For a lot of those young Nova Scotians who are graduating soon and looking for that first job, too many of them are going to end up working out West, including in onshore gas development, like many of their friends and neighbors have done, because here we have a government that says no, you can't do that here. So much for the Ivany report goal on youth employment.

I could go on to all the other Ivany goals and make the same point but let me just zip right to Goal 19, the last goal on the Ivany report, the fiscal health of the province, our financial health. How ironic we have a government running a large deficit, piling up our debt to record highs, saying they may get balanced possibly by the end of their term in office and looking at ways to do that, acting like they're going to cut on the expense side by declaring their goal of cutting spending by 1 per cent and then completely missing that modest goal. Comfortable with the high HST and the high income tax and the high corporate tax that we already pay, bizarrely now defending the high taxes that we pay, telling Nova Scotians that they're going to have to get used to high taxes if they want good services, telling them they can't have their cake and eat it too.

As if high taxes is something we just have to get used to forever while other provinces find a way to have more modest taxes, putting a few more dollars back into people's pockets and having health care and education at the same time. The government has to figure out how to get our financial house in order, Goal 19 of the Ivany report isn't just calling for the budget to be balanced - it actually wants to bring our debt down as a percentage of the size of our economy to a more reasonable level.

In the face of the sorry state of the province's books, the government bans one of the ways to actually make it better, a way that wouldn't require cuts to services or raising taxes or fees. Actually doing the thing that all Nova Scotians think we should always do first, which is to grow our economy, to develop our resources, to actually create more jobs and have more taxpayers and more businesses paying taxes and more royalties and more money coming in.

[Page 1928]

That would be a good first step. I already pointed out that in Saskatchewan's case they went from a have-not province to a have province, they went from deficit to surplus, they paid down their debt and they've lowered their taxes. They have a 3.5 per cent unemployment rate. They have a virtuous circle going on. The government says that they like the Ivany report, that they look at the goals, including the financial health of the province, and say those are good goals and then ban one of the ways of actually trying to achieve them. Well, actions speak louder than words, Mr. Speaker.

I know that the government likes to say the reason for the ban is that Nova Scotians are not ready. Well, Mr. Speaker, lead them. Lead them, take the science and the research and the seismic and the experience of other places and put it out there for Nova Scotians to see. Show a little courage and point a more prosperous way forward - that's what Nova Scotians are crying out for. The government could have done that - they could have done that within the existing rules. No drilling project is going to go on without a permit from the Department of Environment. They could have easily taken a little time to lead Nova Scotians to a place where they're ready by just not issuing any permits.

But that's not what happened. Instead they banned the practice altogether, said no, and sent that awful message to all our sister provinces and all those companies that want to invest here that they're not open to new ways of creating jobs, they're not open to new development.

They didn't have to do it, that's the great shame of this. If the policy objective of the government was to take some time, that could have happened under the existing rules. In fact, this is where the real truth of what the Wheeler report was recommending comes into play because we've had this debate - are they following the Wheeler report; are they not following the Wheeler report? We say it's very clear on Page 5 of the Wheeler report, that they are not recommending a ban or any other political device. The Wheeler report says to take your time.

Well, Mr. Speaker, both are true if this bill did not exist because that ability to take our time is already there, but that wasn't good enough for the government. They actually went out of their way to bring in a bill that bans onshore development all together. Then, in an attempt to have their cake and eat it too, when someone complains to them they say well we can always repeal the ban later, as if bringing in new laws and then repealing them later was some kind of economic development plan.

It is the opposite of an economic development plan; it is confusing, it is short-sighted, it is a mess and it makes it harder for people to come and live and work and invest in our province. Surely as legislators, we realize that the best thing we can do is make the rules of the game clear and fair and in place and that investors and Nova Scotians trying to decide whether to work here or work away can know with confidence for the future what the province's rules are going to look like. Instead, the government says yes, there's a ban in place but we might take it away later, or we might not.

[Page 1929]

Well, Mr. Speaker, how are we ever going to get ahead? This is a modern country, this is a modern province, it deserves modern, professional, competent, real leadership and that's not how modern, professional, competent, real leaders act - put it on the books, yank it out later, put another one in, yank it out later. That's not a plan. It might be politically expedient, I don't know, they're still trying to figure out why this ban was announced on day three of the Wheeler report's release, but it's not a plan and Nova Scotians deserve better.

You know, we've gone through a lot of correspondence over the last little while on what the government is doing, some of it at Law Amendments Committee and some of it after. I was particularly struck by an email to the Minister of Energy from Mr. Peter Hill, who is the Chair of Triangle Petroleum Corporation which is a company that has engaged in hydraulic fracturing here in our province. It has a licence to do so and I am sure is wondering what their investment in that licence will be after this bill passes. Mr. Hill made some very interesting comments and I'll table this in a minute although I think it's already in the House record from Law Amendments Committee. I just want to quote from it, Mr. Hill says this: "This I believe takes a short-term, politically expedient view. . ." referring to the government's ban ". . . and overlooks what is a vital medium term energy supply issue that impacts heavily on a sagging economy that urgently needs rejuvenation . . ."

It's pretty clear that he sees the opportunity here that the government is banning. He goes on to say, "Gas provides half the GHG emission that coal delivers . . ." Although coal is going to be part of our energy mix for a long time yet, under any projection, the opportunities to generate more electricity from natural gas, our own natural gas, mean a cleaner and greener environment, Mr. Speaker.

He also goes on to say, "To condemn Nova Scotia to years of inaction, and no exploitation activity is a sad reflection on the political approach to energy policy and stimulation of a struggling economy." That's a pretty good summary, Mr. Speaker. "Further, any moratorium will damage industry confidence in making any future investment and ensures that Nova Scotia will import over 75% of its energy needs." Needlessly, I would add, import over 75 per cent, a heavy price of our energy needs.

Mr. Speaker, this is a company that is prepared, under strong regulation, to invest in developing Nova Scotia's onshore gas resources and employing Nova Scotians. Wouldn't it be great if we could just picture that day where Triangle resources actually runs job ads in the Calgary Herald or the Edmonton Sun or Fort McMurray Today: Wanted, Nova Scotians for jobs back home. Can you imagine how many would apply? Can you imagine how quickly they would be on planes to come back here and do what they do every day now, except do it here? Here's a real company willing to do it, Mr. Speaker, and condemning the government that wants to place a moratorium on this new way of creating jobs.

[Page 1930]

That's just one, Mr. Speaker. I know that the Maritime Energy Association has also written to the government and has presented at the Law Amendments Committee, and they make some very interesting points. One is that their name used to be the Offshore Technology Association of Nova Scotia (OTANS). A few years ago they changed their name to the much broader Maritime Energy Association. Do you know why, Mr. Speaker? Because their members recognize that we have a great onshore potential, too, and they don't want their name to imply that it is the offshore alone.

Well, that's very telling. They want to be part of our onshore development, or they did until the government banned it, and that's a shame, Mr. Speaker, because here we have the industry association that represents energy companies, large and small, whether they're oil, or gas, or wind or hydro, they can all be part of this association, wanting to invest private money - not taxpayers' money - private money in the development of our onshore resources, something they do in other places under strong regulation. One of the things that we know is that they actually want strong regulation because it protects them, too, and their workers; and they live and work here; and the environment is the same for them as it is for us. If there is a bad operator out there, strong regulations will prevent them from operating, which protect the reputation of all the others. We can all do that, Mr. Speaker, but instead, it's going to be banned.

Mr. Speaker, Barbara Pike, who I am quoting from here by the way, says very clearly, "We stand opposed to this legislation, because it is legislation. The existing legislation allows for regulation that could control onshore oil and gas development." It's the point I was making. They didn't even have to do the ban. There's already a way to control when and how quickly the industry develops. She goes on to say, "The existing legislation does not need to be amended to do that - existing regulations can be amended. However, amending the legislation" - which is this bill - "does send a strong message to industry that this province is not open for business."

There you go, Mr. Speaker. A bill that the government didn't even need to bring in to achieve its objectives has been brought in and here's the evidence. It sent the message that we're closed for business to the very people that we rely on to invest in our province and create these jobs. She goes on to say, "Industrial activities should be legislated and regulated based on facts and science and experience, not perception and hyperbole. If not, we risk the perception in the investment and other industrial communities that we are closed for business."

There are those awful words again, about a province that is crying out for new ways of creating new jobs, that has watched sons and daughters move away because of a lack of work. Putting up a sign that we're closed for business in the face of all that hardship?That's wrong, Mr. Speaker, and here is the evidence from those that we count on to actually have confidence in our province.

[Page 1931]

Mr. Speaker, I'm just wondering at the time, I don't want to…

MR. SPEAKER « » : 7:30 p.m., 10 minutes.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Okay, thank you. Mr. Speaker, earlier in this session I mentioned that when you hear about 42,000 Nova Scotians unemployed, tens of thousands of Nova Scotians working out West, 8,000 Nova Scotians who lost their job in the last 12 months alone, those are big numbers.

Sometimes it's helpful to think of these challenges not in big numbers but in very personal terms. I've already mentioned the story of Rob Henderson, but that's really why we're arguing so strongly against this ban - for people like Rob Henderson, who is working out West in resource development while his family stays here. His wife and his young children are here. He's home one week out of three, so that family is without their dad two weeks out of three. That family should be together, and it's sad that they're not. That's a very human story.

Mr. Speaker, Rob and his family have had enough of being apart, and they decided that the most important thing was that their family be together. So you know what they did? Rob's wife and his children, they packed up and they moved out West to be with him. Now we've lost them all. The ban doesn't help them. It makes their challenges harder.

That's one story, but no matter how many details you know about the process of mining for onshore gas, you know the ban is wrong, because it made Rob Henderson's family's life in Nova Scotia harder. That's why it's wrong.

Just the other day in my own constituency, in River Hebert, I met Rod Ackroyd. He's actually from out West, but he moved here to beautiful Cumberland County to start a family. And you know what? He has a problem. He works in hydraulic fracturing, very specifically. He's a fluid specialist, and he works in North Dakota, so every couple of weeks he goes away. He makes a good living at it, but he's not here, where he wants to be, where his family wants him to be. Instead he's away. All he's asking is to give him a chance to have that same job, to do the same work, except to do it here where he can go home to his family every night.

What we really have to decide is whether we want to ban that. Do we want to ban that, or do we want to do what we were elected to do as leaders in this province and say, you know what? We are going to go out and find a way to do that better than anybody, like we did with our offshore - strong regulation protects workers, protects the environment, allows resource development to occur, builds our economy, creates jobs, generates royalties, generates taxes, pays for health care, pays for education, brings more people home, gets more people working, and repopulates our communities, small and large.

[Page 1932]

They want to ban that, Mr. Speaker. Well, we think it's time we actually went out and grabbed that future, make our own luck - don't sit back and say, well, the other provinces got lucky. This bill is a decision. It's not luck. It's a decision in our hands to make, and they're going to choose no.

Well, we're choosing yes to all those things, Mr. Speaker, and we're going to do everything we can to help the government come to its senses for Rob Henderson, for Rod Ackroyd, and for the thousands of others. We're going to do everything we can to stop them in their tracks and make them reconsider.

We've got a busy session here, but this is the biggest decision that this Legislature is going to make. I know where the numbers are on the government side, but this is the biggest decision they're going to make, and saying no to all those things - that's wrong. We want to give them a chance to think it through again and so in the minute or two I have left, I am going to move, I am moving right now, I move that the motion be amended by deleting all of the words after the word "that" and substitute the following:

"Therefore Bill No. 6, the Petroleum Resources Act be not now read a third time but that it be read a third time this day six months hence."

I hope they use the six months to get the answers they need so we don't have to say no, that we can say yes. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg.

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight in support of the amendment that has just been put forward by our Leader.

Nova Scotia finds itself in a very special place right now. There are a lot of challenges for the people who live here. There are a lot of challenges for us as a province, challenges that didn't come about in the last year or four years or 10 years. We've had very learned people - Ray Ivany, Dr. Wheeler who have gone out and looked at the problems of the Province of Nova Scotia. We've asked them to give us some guidance and help and Mr. Ivany's report says it all, now or never.

What does that really speak to and how does that affect the amendment that has been just put forward? The Ivany report says this province needs to start thinking outside the box; it needs to take its natural resources and use them to the best of its ability. It needs to do something different. The things we are doing now are not working in this province.

It would be my guess that the people in this House are going to be fine throughout the next number of years, but it's clearly not about us. We are here to provide direction and support to the young people who are coming up behind us, to the people who are going out West and leaving their families behind here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 1933]

When we talk about taking another six months to look at how we develop an industry that could well be the salvation of the economy in our province, I think that's little enough to ask for. You know when we ask for that, it's not just us; it's not just this side, people in the Opposition who are talking like that. We go back to people like Ray Ivany and the Wheeler report or Frank McKenna, a former Premier of the Province of New Brunswick, a Liberal Premier, who has said that if we overlook the fracking opportunities that we have, we are probably doing a great disservice to our community and our province.

So, six months in the scheme of where we are as a province really isn't that long, but it would make a difference. There was nobody more surprised than I was when the report came out from Wheeler and we heard three days later that we were going to ban fracking in the Province of Nova Scotia. When the report was delivered, I remember the minister saying it's going to take a while for us to compile our thoughts and put out an idea of what we're going to do with this report. Then three short days later, three days later, he comes out and says we're going to ban an opportunity for the Province of Nova Scotia, for the people of Nova Scotia.

Then we hear from members of the Wheeler committee who say they don't agree with this idea of a complete ban. We know in the Wheeler report they didn't agree with it either. They said in the report that we should be looking at more consultation with our communities. What's wrong with that? What is wrong with talking to the people of the Province of Nova Scotia and getting more direction? Can we do that in six months? I believe we can and I believe we should. I think it is important to the Province of Nova Scotia to explore this to the nth degree, to make sure that our opportunities are being used in the best way.

When we talk to the communities and we talk to the people of the Province of Nova Scotia and they give us their opinions and their ideas, they are the ones who are telling us that we need to have opportunities here at home. Those people who are telling us that also told the Ivany commission that they need opportunities, that they want people to start thinking outside the box.

You know, industrial development in the Province of Nova Scotia is not foreign. In the area I come from we've had heavy industry, we've had coal mining, we've had steel making. Those industries were dangerous industries and they were industries that provided the basis of the economy for the Province of Nova Scotia for a number of years.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we have the opportunity to do something different, something new - it's really not new, that's what's really interesting about it. If you look around you can see that this technology has been used in many different places across our own country, we've even had some hydraulic fracturing done here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 1934]

Mr. Hill, who was referred to earlier today, his company did five exploratory drills in the Province of Nova Scotia, three of them using hydraulic fracturing. Mr. Hill has said in a written notice to the Minister of Energy that, indeed, we need six months of frank discussion, quick discussion, to talk about fracturing in the Province of Nova Scotia. This is somebody who is involved in the industry, knows the industry and wants the industry to be successful here in the Province of Nova Scotia.

What's interesting, Mr. Speaker, is our own Minister of Energy and where he has been, because so far I can count three different positions of the same minister, three different positions of where we should be on fracking. That same minister, when he was in Opposition, tabled a bill in the House of Assembly about fracturing. He talked about what we needed to do and how we should move forward. He says in this bill, and I will table it later - the first reading was April 1, 2011, the Act cited as the Hydraulic Fracturing Act - "The Minister shall hold public consultations that include an opportunity for stakeholders within industry and interested members of the public for input and open dialogue with the Government of the Province respecting hydraulic fracturing."

Mr. Speaker, these are words that were put forward by the Minister of Energy in 2011 and today, when he receives the report about it, three days later he decides there should be a ban put in place. Then yesterday the same minister is reported to have said in allnovascotia.com that indeed, we can put the ban in place but then remove it if we have to - three different positions from the same individual.

Mr. Speaker, that goes to show, that explains to us and the people of the Province of Nova Scotia that, indeed, we need more time. We need time to make sure that the right decision is being made.

Just imagine, Mr. Speaker, what our province could be like if we could cut down on the people who are travelling away to make a living. Imagine the impact it would have on the young people who would have their father or their mother at home instead of away two weeks and home for a week. Imagine what our economy has the chance of being like if we had this kind of business working here.

Now the minister says it's going to take time to put all these things in place. I don't think anybody would disagree with that, but what we are saying is in order to put all the things in place that need to be done, we need time. We should be looking and talking to the people of the Province of Nova Scotia. Our Leader said that's probably the most important decision we're going to make in this session - and I would disagree with him. I would disagree with that, because I believe it's probably the most important decision that is going to be made by this Assembly in this whole period of time.

Mr. Speaker, we are in a position in the Province of Nova Scotia and we're having a problem digging our way out. We haven't any more resources, there are no more new dollars coming into the system. There are many things that we can accomplish in this province. Our natural resources are part of that accomplishment. They have been in the past - we had a strong fishing industry, we had a strong forestry industry, and we had a strong mining industry, but all of those things are dying slowly so what we have now is a new opportunity with a natural resource and we have an opportunity now to move forward with that.

[Page 1935]

In order for us to move forward with that we need to have the proper consultation with the people of the Province of Nova Scotia, the people that you and I and everybody else in this House were asked to come and represent. We were given a great honour to be put in this House to make decisions. Fifty other people, plus myself, were given the honour in the province of 900,000 people to make decisions that will affect the future of all of us. Why then does the minister think that he can take the report that was delivered by Dr. Wheeler and in three days decide there should be a ban on hydraulic fracking?

Then a few weeks later, well you know, we can put it in place and then we can remove it. Well, gee, that's really nice, but if I was an investor and I'm looking at a province that's looking at putting piece of legislation in place that is going to make it hard for me to come here and make an investment, but then someday maybe I'll remove it just because I feel that I'm a different guy and I feel like I got up on the other side of the bed that day - well, you know what? That doesn't instill confidence in the investment public of this country.

We need to find a way to give those people who know more about hydraulic fracking an opportunity to make the investment in our province. And in order to do that I think we have to give it more time. Take time to hear what people have to say. The Atlantic Chamber of Commerce has said in the past, you know, we need to be proving to people that we're open to business, that we care about where we go and what we're going to do. This move to ban this procedure will certainly impede our ability to get ahead and get out of the debt that this province is in.

The debt, as I said earlier, didn't come from this government or that government or the last government - it has been an accumulation of doing what the people of the Province of Nova Scotia want, but now we haven't any means of paying that debt off so we have to find some new ideas and we have to use what's at our disposal. This is one of those things that I believe is at our disposal and we need to do more with.

We get back to the bill that the minister had offered up back when he was in Opposition in 2011. And one of the other recommendations that he has made says: "Following the consultations, the Minister is to recommend legislative and regulatory measures that address whether hydraulic fracturing should be permitted in Nova Scotia," and, if so, under what conditions permits for hydraulic fracking should be issued. This is something that he thought about in 2011, believed strongly enough in 2011 to get it put into the form of a bill and introduce it into this House. Then when he gets the report he takes it and three days later decides that we need to have a ban. Well, I think that has been and is a great disappointment to many Nova Scotians. I'll table that document as well.

[Page 1936]

Mr. Speaker, there was a letter tabled earlier today from Peter Hill and in that he said, ". . . request for a prompt, 6 months discussion, using the Wheeler Review results, and led by the Departments of Energy and Environment." Because if we're going to do this, the Province of Nova Scotia wants to be leaders that we know we can be, we want to be sure that we put the best regulations in place, that we have the best environmental controls but at the same time allow this province to be a have province not a have-not province, allow us to grow and see what indeed we can accomplish by using our natural resources as we have done it in the past.

Mr. Speaker, six months in the scheme of where we are is not a long time. Bill No. 6 focuses on banning high-volume hydraulic fracking for which the government has no definition. How do you ban something when you don't even know what it is? That's got to be something that's on a lot of people's minds. We're going to ban hydraulic fracking but yet you have no definition as to what it is in the Province of Nova Scotia, so how can you ban something if you don't know what it is? I don't think you can do that. We had the same problem with the former government, they couldn't figure out what clear-cut was and that was pretty simple compared to what we're talking about today.

Again, it screams that we need to have the time to actually look at what we're talking about and putting in place regulations that work but allow us to take advantage of what's going on in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, we need to allow business, as well as the public, an opportunity to have input on this legislation. It's interesting last night I sat at Law Amendments Committee and we talked about a bill to ban e-cigarettes, and presenter after presenter said to us well nobody asked us for our opinion, nobody would return our phone calls, they just came in with a piece of legislation and didn't think about some of the consequences. Well, let's not make the same mistake again, let's be sure that we do indeed talk to the business people, the people that are going to invest dollars, the people that make it easier for people to stay at home in Nova Scotia and raise their families and to be happy and proud to be from Nova Scotia.

Talk to the people who are going to invest the money, it's not a big ask, it's not a large amount of time, it's six months. Mr. Speaker, I just spent three months in the hospital and it felt like six months but the reality is it is not a lot of time and if we're talking about the future of the Province of Nova Scotia, if we're talking about your children's future and my grandchildren's future, and my children's future, then I think it's an investment that we should all be looking at and we should be looking at it very seriously.

You know, Mr. Speaker, what this hoist can provide to the Province of Nova Scotia, for the people of this province, and what we can do with this hoist is give the opportunity to strengthen the legislation that's being put forward. To make sure it is absolutely the Cadillac of legislation when it comes to doing hydraulic fracking. We don't have to go very far to see what is available, we've seen it in other provinces not too far away from here, so we could do that to make sure that what we are talking about takes place.

[Page 1937]

The establishment of the ban that is being talked about in Bill No. 6 would actually impede the establishment of a shale gas exploration in this province. We agree with Dr. Wheeler that there should be further conversations with communities, no question about that. The following six months should be used to establish regulations that will allow for the safe hydraulic fracturing operations when a social licence is established.

Government, we as people who are elected to the House of Assembly, have an obligation to make sure we make decisions that are good and sound for the people of the Province of Nova Scotia. Rushing into this ban, after three days of a report being tabled, makes me wonder how much thought was given to that idea of making sure the people knew what we were about to do.

As I said earlier, the minister's first bill, Bill No. 2 that he had tabled back in 2011, talked about doing exactly what I'm talking about: taking the time, going through the steps, making sure that we were doing what was right for the people of the Province of Nova Scotia and making sure that we would be able to do this development safely, be environmentally friendly, and at the same time get people to work at home.

The Ivany report talked about thinking outside the box but we seem to have a problem as a group doing that. We can take the safe road and do what has been done before by others who have been in this House of Assembly, but I have to tell you that the future looks pretty bleak from where I sit. We need to do something different. What we have been doing as members of this House of Assembly hasn't worked. We haven't been able to turn around our economy the way we need to.

We have an opportunity placed in front of us, an opportunity that I believe is one that if it is approached correctly, if it is approached by talking to the people of the Province of Nova Scotia, talking to the people who know the business of fracking, talking to the people who will invest in that type of industry and asking the people who leave our province on a weekly basis to go out West to work in areas where they're doing fracking every day, we would be doing a good service for the people of the Province of Nova Scotia.

There are many other things that I can think of about why we should be looking at making sure we move this down the road six months but there is nothing more important than being sure that we get it right, that we do what is best for the people that we all represent on all sides of this House.

Nova Scotians are directly impacted by natural gas prices, including hedging by Nova Scotia Power. The six months could be used to explore how Nova Scotia uses or could use its own natural gas resources to decrease electricity bills. Like the other members of this House, when I went door to door one of the things I heard about a lot was the high price of electricity and how hard it is for me to stay in my home as a senior, how hard it is for me to heat my home as a senior, and how I want to be able to stay at home. Here may be an opportunity to help that, an opportunity to make sure it is easier for people to stay in their own home, to have cheaper electricity prices and to use our own resources rather than that expensive imported coal that Nova Scotia Power points to.

[Page 1938]

We heard earlier today how right now they over expended their budget by $100 million, Nova Scotia Power. Can you imagine making that kind of a mistake in your own budget? That's really hard to understand, but guess who pays for it? The consumers of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Here we have an opportunity to maybe change that by using our own natural gas, by developing that gas right here in our own province, by seeing some of these plants that are going by the wayside because they are coal-powered. There's no question in my mind that we're going to be using coal for the next number of years. The Department of Energy tells you that, and Nova Scotia Power tells you that. I would hope that because of that, we'll see the development of the Donkin mine. But again, that's so we can use our own resources instead of importing resources, and that way we'll have a better handle on the costs. That way we'll have a better idea of what we're actually paying to produce power in the Province of Nova Scotia. Natural gas, our own natural gas, can be part of that.

Not if we ban fracturing, it can't. Not if we don't move this down the road six months, it can't. It needs to be done now. It needs to be looked at as a way of improving the quality of life for Nova Scotians. This whole opportunity of moving this six months down the road could provide us a chance, as people in the Province of Nova Scotia, to look at how natural gas production has changed and what advantages we could take, as a province, toward that.

You know, Mr. Speaker, in the last year the province has lost more than 8,000 jobs - 8,000 jobs that have been lost. Just yesterday in Sydney we saw 34 jobs disappear at the co-op; people went into work in the morning at seven o'clock, thinking they were going to be in for an ordinary day, and before the morning was over they were told their jobs were going to disappear by November 21st.

Last week we heard about a number of jobs at a call centre disappearing because the times have changed. We hear all kinds of stories, Mr. Speaker, about jobs that are disappearing. Wouldn't it be nice to be part of a group that found a way to bring jobs to the Province of Nova Scotia, to improve jobs - good job, quality jobs, jobs that are outside the box that we're used to thinking about, and an opportunity to use our own natural resources to make the quality of life for the people we represent better than it has been in the past?

There is a prediction that we could have as many as 1,500 direct jobs from onshore, unconventional gas development. It's worth taking the next six months to look at that opportunity, to see if those jobs can indeed be created.

[Page 1939]

As you know, Mr. Speaker, I've been away for a little while because of some health issues, but every day I've been thinking about what this House has been doing, watching it on Legislative TV, and hearing some of the arguments of why we should be doing what we're doing. I have to say, I never bought into very many of those ideas. Having a ban put in place and then saying now, oh well, we might take that ban away, is something that I don't think the people of the Province of Nova Scotia can afford to have.

I think what's important is that we allow ourselves the opportunity to listen for six more months to hear what people have to say, to be ready to have an opportunity to take advantage of what is ours. That could be and should be natural gas in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Six months is not a long time. Six months to talk to the people who we represent, six months to talk to people who are involved in the industry, six months to listen to the people who invest in such adventures, and six months to make the quality of life in the Province of Nova Scotia just a little better than it is today. This hoist will give us the time that is needed to make this bill a better bill, to give the people of the province of Nova Scotia a chance to have their opinions heard and a chance for us to finally take a little more control of our own destiny. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and speak to this amendment on Bill No. 6. The purpose of this amendment is to give at least six months more time to take this bill out, consult with the people of the province, consult with the industry, try to get this bill right, because we don't just need legislation in this province, we need good legislation. So I am pleased to present the minister with this opportunity to hit reset. Just go away for six months, talk to people, and try to make the bill better. And that's what this is all about, it's about getting a good bill that serves the interests of Nova Scotians, because as it stands right now, we don't have that. It's going to take some time to develop that.

My colleague, the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisburg - so happy to see him back today - spoke about Nova Scotia being a have-not province and how we want to get to the status of being a have province. And that's really what everyone in this House wants. Everyone wants this province to be a have province and the decisions that we make in this Chamber will have an impact on whether we turn Nova Scotia around, turn it into a have province or not, because the decisions we make here are important decisions.

We know the financial situation that the province is in - $680 million deficit last year; $274 million projected deficit this year; $15 billion worth of debt. And in the face of all those numbers the Premier stood up last week, maybe a week and a half ago, and he said, look at those members from Pictou: they want lower taxes; they want classrooms; they want hospitals; they want all these things. Imagine that, that the people of Nova Scotia think that they have a right to deserve that. He was offended that we were standing up and asking for that for our constituents because he's saying we can't afford it.

[Page 1940]

At the same time, the government is turning their back on ways that, maybe, might give us the ability to afford what we need in this province. We can't just say no to these things and we can't dismiss people who want the best for their constituents and for Nova Scotians, because Nova Scotians absolutely can have both. They need a good government to take them there. They need good legislation. But we can have both, and we deserve both, and when we start to see bills that cut those opportunities off at the knees, then we do need to hit reset. We do need to think about it, and that's what we're asking for tonight.

I'm just a little worried that Bill No. 6 doesn't bring us closer to being a have province. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I'm really worried that it takes us farther away from being a have province, because by banning the chance to open up a new revenue stream, you are saying, well, we are going to shut the door on making life better for Nova Scotians and if you're going to shut one door, you should open another one.

Mr. Speaker, I've been waiting patiently, as we all have on this side of the House, to hear which door might be opened. What ideas does the government have? He's going to close that door, say we don't want to think about that, we don't want to talk about that, but can we open another door? Well, we don't know. We never thought about that. That's what has Nova Scotians so concerned about this. It's the process that the government is following and it's not a process that is producing effective results for Nova Scotians.

So what we're saying with this amendment is, let's hit reset here, let's go back and see if we can improve things because the only thing we hear from the government quite often is that government doesn't create jobs, private industry creates jobs. I certainly agree with that, and then the next thing we hear is it's the job of government to set the rules, to set the playing field, it's the job of government to create an environment where business has an opportunity to be successful.

Mr. Speaker, that's where we're falling down because the government is not creating an environment where business has an opportunity to be successful. This bill is just one more way we see that manifest itself because government should be creating certainty for industry and even when the minister did his opening remarks, I think, at second reading, he talked about it's the role of government to provide certainty to industry and he felt that Bill No. 6 was providing some certainty to industry.

But I certainly disagree with that and I believe that Bill No. 6 provides a lot of uncertainty to industry and you only need to look at the very first sentence of Bill No. 6, in fact, Mr. Speaker, in the explanatory notes to Bill No.6 before you even get into the meat of is, it says this bill "prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale unless exempted by regulation for the purpose of testing or research."

[Page 1941]

Well, Mr. Speaker, there is so much confusion from that one sentence, it's hard to imagine. It seems like the only way you could have one sentence create more confusion was if you were reading maybe one of my Grade 8 English submissions, my teachers reading it, because we just don't know what high-volume hydraulic fracturing is. We've asked the minister in Question Period a number of times to just explain that to us and he has produced submissions and said, well, Pennsylvania says it means this, and this state says it means this. Volumes of paper produced and tabled in an effort to describe a four-word phrase.

Mr. Speaker, there is an old expression that I heard lawyers say that if you want to make sure somebody doesn't read something give them more paper, and that's what we see here. We just asked a simple question: What is high-volume hydraulic fracturing? And then my colleague, the member for Kings North asked him if there is such thing as low-volume hydraulic fracturing. The minister just laughed - I presumed he laughed because he didn't know, but if you have a high volume then you must have a low volume.

I don't know, but these are the types of issues with this bill and it talks about high- volume hydraulic fracturing in shale - and that's another area of uncertainty because shale itself is a descriptive term. It describes a type of rock formation, obviously, but we have sandstone in this province. Is sandstone shale? Could sandstone be considered shale? These are all questions, Mr. Speaker, that we have and that Nova Scotians have with this bill. My colleague talked about if you're banning something you at least owe it to people to let them understand what it is you're banning. And we're just not there with this bill, we need to go back and we need to hit reset on this bill and make this bill a little more understandable and a little cleaner.

The mere fact that this bill prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracturing, we take that to mean that it's banned and, again in Question Period, we've asked questions around this and I remember the Premier said one day: We're not banning anything. Well you know maybe if we could get a common understanding from the government as to what they're trying to do, then Nova Scotians would have a chance to understand because right now they're not singing from the same song sheet over there, and it's not fair to expect Nova Scotians to have to interpret what it is they're trying to do.

We do spend a great deal of time in this House, particularly when a new government comes in, like we have here, doing housecleaning bills and just cleaning up little amendments to bills. That's often necessary. With the passage of time things change, and bills need to be kind of tweaked a little bit. But this bill hasn't even gone through third reading, and we're already hearing the minister talk about changes he's going to make to it.

[Page 1942]

Why are we passing legislation today that we know we're going to change? Let's do it right today. It's just silly. We understand that you have a majority government and you can exercise your might to push things through, but that's a bad use of force, Mr. Speaker. What we really need to do, and I hope the minister - I know the minister is listening carefully to this debate - will consider the opportunity we're giving to reset and go back and try to get this right, because when you rush things through you have unintended consequences.

I do think we're seeing that on some other bills that this government has before the House, particularly Bill No. 60, around the tobacco Acts and the e-cigarettes. I think some unintended consequences of that bill came home to roost yesterday in the Law Amendments Committee from some of the presenters, and I'm hopeful that in that case the department will go back and look at that bill and see exactly what it is they are trying to accomplish and make sure they get it right.

This is no different. It's not too late on this bill. It's never too late, Mr. Speaker, to admit that something can be done a little better. Tonight let's hope that there's some interest in taking six months and trying to get this one right so that we don't have unintended consequences, so we can make sure this bill is clear to the people who have to live with it and by it.

Why does it matter if a bill is clear, Mr. Speaker? Why does it matter if the bill does present certainty to industry? Well, it does matter, because these corporations are making decisions every day as to where to spend their capital. Businesses take the decision of where to invest money and which projects to pursue, very seriously. I can guarantee you that the people in those boardrooms who are looking at projects and deciding which projects to go forward on and which projects to finance, they are taking their time.

As legislators, we owe them the same amount of respect to also take the time to get it right, because when they sense uncertainty, when they sense some type of confusion in the laws, they're just not going to come here. They're going to invest their money where the ground rules are very clear to them. Right now, under this bill, the ground rules are very unclear. In fact, they are so unclear that the minister himself is already saying that we're going to have to change them down the road.

No business is going to come here and invest in this province when they don't have comfort as to what the government is trying to do. We owe it to them, Mr. Speaker, to make sure not only that we know what we're doing as a government but that we do it right. We don't want any unintended consequences here. The government is faced with trying to make decisions about the future of this province. The government is going to have to decide which road we decide to take.

When I was preparing for this, I was thinking of the Minister of Energy trying to decide which road to set us on. I was reminded of that great Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken. I feel like the minister is trying to take both roads. He doesn't want to miss one road and take the other and if you remember Robert Frost talked about:

[Page 1943]

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a chance to decide which road he is going to take. He can't take both of them. He has decided that he wants to take the easy road, the path of least resistance but he's trying to do that with a very poorly constructed bill and I'm urging the minister to hit reset, to take these six months, go back and look at this bill and look at what he's trying to do and look at where he wants this province to go. We all want this province to be a have province. We don't want this province to be a have-not province, but under this bill industry is uncertain. This bill creates uncertainty.

It's wishy-washy and I don't know if the bill is intentionally unclear. Is he trying to take both roads by saying we are banning an undefinable term of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, so that plays to a certain portion of the population, but at the same time talking to the other and saying that really doesn't have meaning? Is he trying to play both sides? Well that wouldn't be clever here. I don't think it's good to have subjective wording in a bill that impacts industry because what happens when you do that, when you have subjective wording, is you create the illusion of loop-holes. What will happen is people will try and look for those loopholes.

[Page 1944]

Governments should never create loopholes because people in industry don't want to be using lawyers and trying to find loopholes. They want to be conducting business and evaluating projects and moving forward with projects, and governments certainly don't want to be using lawyers to defend themselves against a company that's trying to exploit what they perceive as a loophole.

You can see what happens when you have a bill that is unclear, when you have a bill that creates uncertainty in industry. The image one builds with business owners, or if you're in business the image one builds with customers, its accumulative image. What you do today impacts how people will look at you tomorrow. Its accumulative image and we're hearing as we go out and talk to Nova Scotians and listen to Nova Scotians that there is a tipping point. With the image we are creating, the things that people are saying about us as a province is creating the illusion that we are not open for business and we don't want that out there.

We don't want people going around and writing editorials in other parts of the country or elsewhere saying that we're not open for business. We need to hit reset on that and this amendment will give us six months to do that, to hit reset, to go back to try to make the legislation strong.

Other provinces - talking to business owners from my past in business - other provinces have a reputation of saying to businesses, what can we do for you? How can we make things better for you? Sadly, our reputation is not that of open arms. Our reputation is of companies coming to us and being told this is what we are going to do to you. So it's not what can we do to help you? They're being told, this is what we are going to do to you. That's not a good reputation to have.

So I hope we can use this six-month period here to really look at this legislation, really send a message to industry that we are a province that is going to say what can we do to help you? We are going to do that and that's a message that comes right from the top, that has to come right from the top of government. Government can send a message about the type of government they want to be and they don't want to be a "do as I say, not as I do" government - they want to be a government that's open to listen to people.

In this case, we don't want companies out there debating what it is the government's trying to do. We don't want companies debating and trying to interpret what this bill means. We just want them to know that these are the ground rules, this is what we're going to do and we don't have that in Bill No. 6. We have very subjective wording in Bill No. 6, it's not clear what Bill No. 6 is trying to do. We need to hit reset, we need to take the six months and we need to go back and make it so that bill is clear so industry understands what to expect. We can't have industry confused and they are right now.

What are they confused about? Well, they don't understand what it is that's being banned, now they don't understand if it's a temporary or permanent ban, when is the minister going to repeal it? There are lots of things that are confusing industry and that's not fair.

[Page 1945]

We heard the minister talking in various Question Periods and I think in second reading here and in the media, he has acknowledged that there's a significant period of learning involved, that Nova Scotians need more information and I agree with that. But my concern with this bill is that this bill makes the learning period longer, it extends the learning period. We can't even get to the beginning of the learning period because it's banned.

We need to get the information, Nova Scotians need more information, we need to get them that information. When the people of Nova Scotia tell you that they don't understand or they're concerned, you do the hard work, you go get the information to alleviate those concerns. You don't just say no, no, no, we're not going to do that, we're going to ban that. If nothing else, he's moving us further away from getting the information that we need.

That's not a good thing for Nova Scotians. They want the information. They don't want to just push and kick that can down the road for another day because if we can do this here, they want to do it here. We have a province right now where we don't have enough money to fix the roads we have out there. We don't have enough money to eliminate waiting lists at hospitals. We don't really have enough money to properly care for our citizens in so many respects.

So, do we admit defeat and we say we are where we are? We are a have-not province; we're willing to stay there. Or do we stay open to new ideas, properly evaluate things and vet them and see what we can do? I'm hoping that this government will be open to new ideas because that's what Nova Scotians deserve.

With this bill we can start right here today, Mr. Speaker. We can have a government that shows they're open to new ideas; they can accept this amendment, they can take the six months and look at the bill and try to make it more clear, and try to make it a better bill. Maybe that will happen. Maybe we will see that the government does listen and that the government does accept new ideas because I can tell you that the industry is saying what next? What are they going to do next? Nobody wants a government that is hard to understand where they may go on things.

I want to get into some of those issues a little bit in a bit, but the sad irony, the sad irony that we have here is that this ban is being seen by the rest of Canada, and really the rest of the world, as our government throwing its hands up in the air and saying we are not capable of developing safe, enforceable regulations, or that we need years and years to do it.

Mr. Speaker, this is a world where you have to be responsive and nimble and we have a government that is throwing their hands up in the air and saying we are not capable of developing and enforcing safe regulations, and that is the sad irony that the government has admitted defeat on that and that's not fair. We need to find a way to develop safe, enforceable regulations that the people of Nova Scotia can rely on. We need to develop that trust and we don't have it now.

[Page 1946]

There is so much misinformation out there, Mr. Speaker. I was looking on the Department of Energy's website today, a couple of questions and answers on there, and there is a question on their website that says, "Do you think hydraulic fracturing can be done safely?" And the department's response to that was, "While hydraulic fracturing has been done safely at many sites, there have been instances where regulations haven't been followed or there was insufficient monitoring." Now they go on to say, "Canada's western provinces have experience which is important for us to learn from," Well yes they do have experience that we can learn from. The final answer to that question, the final sentence in that paragraph goes on to say that Nova Scotians do not support fracturing at this time.

Mr. Speaker, the question on their own website is do you think hydraulic fracturing can be done safely? The answer is about as straightforward as making a Question Period answer but it certainly does not say that they don't think it can be done safely, in fact what it says is hydraulic fracturing has been done safely at many sites and where there have been incidents it's because regulations haven't been followed or there was insufficient monitoring.

Well rewind when I said the sad irony is that the ban is being seen by the rest of Canada as our government throwing up its hands in the air and saying we are not capable, not capable of developing safe, enforceable regulations because if you flip over to their website they absolutely say on the Department of Energy's website that hydraulic fracturing has been done safely at many sites and the only place there are incidents is where regulations haven't been followed or where there was insufficient monitoring. So, Mr. Speaker, if we establish regulations and we make people follow them, and we monitor that they're followed, then we will be no different and it will be done safely here just like it is in many other sites.

So why are we throwing our hands up in the air and saying we're not capable of developing those safe, enforceable regulations? That's an unfortunate position we find ourselves in, where the minister is saying, let's ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing. I believe it's being said because he's worried that he can't develop and enforce the regulations, and I think if we were to take some time as a Legislature - and six months probably would be plenty - to look at what we're trying to do here, then we could bring a bill back to this Legislature that is useful and meaningful and does not hold the province back.

Because this bill holds the province back. It creates too much uncertainty. We need one that has certainty as to what companies can expect. This government took the chequebook away from the Cabinet Table, we're led to understand. But they also took the chequebook away from industry, because who wants to write a cheque and invest in Nova Scotia and try to explore for resources here when they can't commercialize it?

[Page 1947]

We have a very unique exemption in this bill. It prohibits fracturing unless exempted for research. Now, Mr. Speaker, you tell me - who's going to come here and do research? Who's going to invest in drilling in this province and exploring in this province when they can't commercialize the resource that they may find? I can take a guess as to how many times that exemption will be utilized. I suspect there are not going to be a lot of companies lining up saying, please, Minister of Energy, can I have an exemption so I can spend millions of dollars to look for a resource that you are not going to let me commercialize, unless you might let me commercialize it when you repeal the law, which you've said you're going to do down the road, but we don't know when that is?

Nobody's going to do that, Mr. Speaker. Industry doesn't want that type of confusion. I can tell you where they'll take the money, where they'll make the investments - it won't be here in Nova Scotia.

Let's take some time right now. Let's take six months. Let's try to improve this bill and show that industry that we're serious, we listen, we care, we do want your money. In fact, we want your money so much that we're willing to listen to you and try to make the laws so that they work for Nova Scotians and work for industry. It happens elsewhere, Mr. Speaker. Why are we so unique? Why are we so unique that we think there can't be a coexistence? And furthermore, that we won't even try? There's nothing in this bill that suggests that we're the least bit open-minded as a government.

So I'm urging the minister to hit reset on this bill, to go back to the drawing board, try and make this bill better. We'll meet with them. We'll talk with them. We'll try to help them. We're here to help, Mr. Speaker, to try to make the lives of Nova Scotians better. We don't want to send the message out there to industry that not only can we not tell you, as a government, what the playing field is, but we can't show you. We can't tell you the rules today. Tomorrow's not going to be any better, because we may change them tomorrow. We already have that out there. It's way too much uncertainty. People are looking at Nova Scotia, and they're wondering, what's going on there? Do they want industry? Do they not want industry? What are the rules?

It's putting our province in a very negative light, Mr. Speaker. It's sad and it's embarrassing. I believe that the Minister of Energy must be feeling some of this. I think we saw his position changing in different interviews about what the ban means and how long the ban will be and it's not really a ban. We see it changing and morphing over time, right up to the point where in Question Period the Premier stood up and said there is no ban, not banning anything.

Who knows, Mr. Speaker? And that's not fair. What we need to do is go back to the drawing board, hit reset, take some time, bring forward to this House a bill that people can at least understand. Whether or not they agree with it, whether or not they accept it, whether or not they vote for it, they have the right to understand what it is they are voting on.

[Page 1948]

Mr. Speaker, right now as I stand here today, I don't really know what this bill does. I don't really know what high-volume hydraulic fracturing is. I would be embarrassed about that but I feel in very good company about that because I know the minister doesn't know either. So why don't we figure out what that is and fix this bill and take that time so we can all know what it is. Then, as a Legislature, we can make an informed decision and then as companies and industries, they can make informed decisions.

If we don't know, if the minister doesn't know, we can't expect them to know. They are certainly not going to look around at the opportunities that face them and say, I'm going to open my chequebook and write a cheque to invest in something in Nova Scotia. Imagine being that CEO, Mr. Speaker, who goes to your board and says, we've got a great project we should invest in and it's in Nova Scotia. Let's proceed, and the board looks at the CEO and says, well I thought they banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing there. What does that mean? And the CEO says oh, I don't know, but it's a great project, let's go for it. It's just not going to happen, Mr. Speaker.

The sad thing is that the Minister of Environment is a very influential person. He has a lot of power and he could be using that power wisely to court industry in a way that makes them feel that he understands what it is they want to do. He absolutely will say no to certain projects that come along before him or come across his desk. People who come to the Minister of Energy expect to be treated with respect and given an answer they can understand.

I think maybe sometimes the minister underestimates the influence he has in his position because we heard when he came back from some conferences he says well gee, companies are really happy with what I'm doing. They all wanted to talk to me and shake my hand. Well, Mr. Speaker, when you are in industry and you are trying to further projects, you do shake people's hands who make decisions and you do smile at them and you are nice to them, because you are trying to work with them.

He has put them in a situation now where I think they can't really be completely honest with him because they are worried about his reaction. That's not going to be productive because they won't come here, Mr. Speaker, and that's just the industry side.

Now we talk about the people side, the citizens of Nova Scotia, the people of Nova Scotia do want more information about fracturing and they expect their government to go get it. The minister has talked a lot about the social licence. He made reference to the fact that a social licence doesn't exist right now in Nova Scotia. I believe he said something along the lines that Nova Scotians aren't accepting hydraulic fracturing and there has to be a social licence before they will accept it.

[Page 1949]

I think that's obvious, Mr. Speaker. I think that absolutely states the obvious. But how do you think that social licence will ever be built? How are you ever going to create a social licence when people read in the headlines, Nova Scotia bans hydraulic fracturing. That's going to send a message to those people who are reading those headlines that that's the government's conclusion after researching it. They're going to say, oh this must be a bad thing, the government's banning it, this can't be good. How are we ever going to repair that?

You can't proceed without a social licence, and you can't build a social licence if you're establishing an environment where you are telling people they'll never be able to proceed. It's a vicious circle and it's really unfortunate that this is a circle that this government has chosen to make. People have concerns about the dangers of fracking but to close the door entirely on it is not the answer. Education and research, that's the key to answering the questions that people have, that's the key to building a future where we can develop our resources, that's the key to taking us to a place where this province can prosper. Education and communication - that's what we need.

We don't need a subjective ban that's worded so the people can't really understand what's being banned. We need to educate people, we need to research, we need to communicate with those people. If we do that, then we can build a social licence and we should be part of this, as a government we should be part of trying to build a social licence. We shouldn't be injecting ourselves in there and trying to create a situation where a social licence can never be built because that's what we're doing. We are slanting the table away from a social licence. As soon as people read the headline that the province has banned fracking, they will make their decision on the social licence.

That's a hard thing to overcome and it's quite a position that the minister has put us in with this bill. But, ever the eternalist, I do think that if we hit reset now, and try to go back, and try to come to this Legislature with a bill that makes sense we can rebuild some confidence that has been unnecessarily broken. And the minister can use his position, his position of power, his position of great influence to be part of that. He doesn't have to put it on his shoulders to go out and build the social licence, that's going to be the result of industry, citizens, and government and all kinds of other influences. But what we shouldn't have happen, we shouldn't have a government create a situation where a social licence can never be built because they have influenced the population away from wanting a social licence.

When I think about taking six months to revisit this bill and to look at this bill, I'm reminded of the work that the Wheeler commission did. We should be thanking those great people who sat on the Wheeler commission and went around the province, sat through public meetings, prepared reports, invested their time in creating a report that, I am certain, they proudly handed over to the minister and said, we have done our work, we are proud of our work and I'm sure that there was a lot of time invested in the report itself.

[Page 1950]

If you've ever been on a committee like that where you're preparing a report like that and you painstakingly edit words in and out all the time and you want it to be just right, just the editing of the report can take tremendous amounts of time. To go through all of that effort, to feel like you have done a service to Nova Scotians, you proudly hand that report over and three days later you turn on the radio and you hear that Nova Scotia has banned fracking.

I wonder in those three days, did the minister meet with the people on the Wheeler commission? Did he sit down and talk with them and ask them what their thoughts were and ask for a debriefing and really have a spirited debate with the people who were on that panel about what they saw as a way forward? Do you think that happened? Do you think he sat down with his deputy minister and the people from the department and said all right, this is great? Thank you so much for doing this report; we really respect the work you did, now let's talk about it. Do you think that's what happened or do you think they turned on a radio and heard that fracking was banned?

I know I have my own suspicions about how that might have played out. But this would be a chance now to hit reset, go back to that panel now. Imagine the jump in the polls he might receive from that if he were to say alright, okay, let's hold on here, let's go back; I need to talk to the panel a bit more about what happened here.

As it stands today, what an insult to the people on that commission. What an insult to Nova Scotians who want to feel they have a government that listens to them. What an insult to the people who took time and went out to those meetings - and I know I attended one of those meetings - to think the government took what it heard from the panelists and just did its own thing in three short days. Did we really have consultation with Nova Scotians here? Some of these meetings went a couple of ways there. Sometimes you go to a meeting - and this is pretty common for a lot of people - you go to a meeting and you're all intent that you want to stand up and make your point. You get there and there are quite a few people in the room and maybe you are a bit shy or maybe there are lots of other people that have an opinion the other way, and you just decide not to stand up.

I know that happens to me. I'm pretty shy about voicing my opinions so I can sympathize with those people that may have happened to. But where is the voice for those people who went to that meeting and had an opinion on fracking, one way or the other? Maybe the first three or four speakers at that meeting stood up and they had an opinion the other way and the mood in the room grows and that person says gee, I'm not going to stand up and have my voice held here.

Those are your neighbours and your friends who are surrounding you there, and that's a hard thing. Where does that leave those people? Well I wish the government would just hit the little reset button here and go back six months and really look at what it's trying to do and make sure it's listening to people from industry, from communities, from all those places.

[Page 1951]

You talk about things that are unclear around this - the government says the report says one thing, the panel will say it says another. Everyone has their own interpretation of what it says but the report does say we need more information about fracking in Nova Scotia. The report says go, but go slow, and we should go slowly, but we should go.

That is the gist of what it is, the government got that report and just said no, we're not going to go. We're not going to do that. They made a hasty decision to not go and we are here tonight to present them with the wonderful opportunity to revisit that decision, take six months and look at what they're trying to do, look where we want to go. Where are we going to take this province? Robert Frost had to decide which road he was going to take. And we have to decide which road we want to take.

The good news, Mr. Speaker, is we haven't taken the road yet. We can still stand there at that fork in the road and we can still longingly look down one path and then gaze down the other. We can decide which path we want to take and we can decide which path we're going to take and then we can take it definitively, because there's nothing definitive about Bill No. 6. You can't even get past the first sentence without scratching your head and trying to figure out, what does this bill mean?

So we should take a path, we should think about which path we're going to take, we should take it in a manner that everyone knows which path we took, so that in the morning you will be able to see which path was trodden down. I know the minister right now is trying to kind of walk a little bit down both. But we can't have that. You can't legislate like that. We don't want to put industry in that place.

No matter how you interpret high-volume hydraulic fracturing, no matter how we sit in this Chamber and interpret it, the people in the industry are not going to try to interpret it. They're not going to lament over what it means or try to hang on a word or try to see if they can get cute with it. They're not going to bother with it. So at a minimum, what this bill does, as it stands today, is it takes a tool out of the tool box of industry. Let's suppose for a second that high-volume does have a meaning. Well, that tool has now been removed. Is there low-volume hydraulic fracturing, Mr. Speaker? Well, nobody really knows.

What kinds of lawsuits are we going to be into when somebody tries to say, well, that wasn't high-volume, I only used low-volume on that frack. Can you imagine? How would you like to be - we're going to have inspectors that go around and opine on what's high-volume and what's not high-volume? It doesn't make sense. It's meddling in the tool box of industry. That's what this does, and that's what this government is trying to do.

Industry will always try to find ways to evolve and find ways to improve. What business is it for the members of this House to meddle in that tool box of industry? I would love to know if there are any geologists amongst us here today. Maybe you can stand up and tell us, maybe enlighten us a little bit and maybe this will all go away. Maybe one of the members opposite will stand up tonight and say, I've been listening carefully and you've made a mistake over on the other side, folks. Let me clear this up for you. I'm all ears on that one. I would love for somebody to stand up and help us understand because what I would do then is go to these companies I've been talking to that can't understand, and I'd take the member with me to explain it to them, as well. Could have a nice little road trip, Mr. Speaker. But here we sit today, telling people in this industry what they should be doing and when they should be doing it.

[Page 1952]

The sentiment towards our province right now is not very good at all. When I pick up The Globe and Mail and I read editorials calling down my province and the attitude of our government, that's a sad day, Mr. Speaker. People across Canada are asking themselves, how dare you? How dare you accept transfer payments from us when you won't even consider trying to stand on your own feet. We're prohibiting things that they do as commonplace out there to generate revenues for their province but we're not going to do that. We're happy to take our share of them doing it.

We find ourselves in a situation where other jurisdictions with onshore resources now use our young people to develop their industry for their benefit. Mr. Speaker, our young people are going out West to further the economies of those provinces. Well, our young people have skills, have value to me. I think that as a province we should be finding ways to keep our young people here so they can add value to our economy.

Why are we making decisions that drive them away and say that what you should do is you should take all your knowledge and all your value and you should go out West and you should further industry there because we're not interested in that here in this province, we don't want any new industry. I did hear the minister talking about all the wonderful things that are happening in this province. That is a good thing, Mr. Speaker, but I'm not ready to stop there, I want more good things.

It's not good enough for me to hear the minister saying well we have activity here because you don't have to go very far to understand that we need more economic development in this province. We can never say we have enough because as long as there's a road that can't be paved, as long as there's a classroom that can't have windows in it, as long as we can't finish the projects we start, we need more revenue.

This government can do better for the people of this province but they have to open their eyes and open their minds to opportunities. The opportunities do exist but it's not just business that needs to be innovative, Mr. Speaker, it's also government.

I'm sure I'll get another chance to talk on this bill further and I look forward to speaking further on this bill. When I do, at that time I will be talking about how the ban impacts the economics of doing business in this province. I think that will be a particularly eye-opening speech that I am so excited to be able to deliver. It will be a riveting speech on the economics of doing business in this province and how those economics (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, I do assure you that you will find it riveting, I see you smiling over there.

[Page 1953]

When you ban something like this, when you are a government and you make these types of decisions, there are ramifications. In this case the ramifications on the cost of doing business in this province are pretty dire. This is a province - well, the member is worried about a politician's job, I'm not worried about a politician's job, sir, I'm worried about 9,000 jobs we just lost in the province.

When we make decisions that impact economics, without being mindful of the ramifications of those decisions, we are putting up a closed for business sign. Mr. Speaker, I am not ready to put the closed sign up and I will stand in my place and talk and talk and talk because every minute I talk it means that the open for business sign is open and that's what I want for this province. Thank you.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, water is certainly our most important resource and when I hear the horror stories that we all hear that are associated with the energy industry, it certainly gives one cause for concern, including myself. Certainly if that is what happens to water, why would any of us want any part of that? We know that water is essential to life itself.

We also know that energy is still important and our world needs it. We use it every day. We are even using it sometimes indirectly and we don't even realize it, and I'll get to that later this evening. I noticed - I was trying to add a little bit of humour the last time I spoke because I was talking about a favourite movie of mine from years ago, The Road Warrior, and the (Interruption) - not that, that was an excellent movie too, the member mentioned the movie, The Warriors, which is another one of my favourites from about 1979, I believe.

But this was The Road Warrior with Mel Gibson, part of the three part series, the Mad Max series. While it was a movie I enjoyed, and still enjoy watching it, we could see how volatile things got when energy became scarce. It's certainly a far cry from Mr. Dressup. A little inside joke there, but in any case.

The point I'm making is there needs to be a balance. I think, where would we be without oil and gas and I think, even last night my uncle, John Beaton of Little Judique, was helping me get a wheel unseized on my car that I was taking out and it's amazing how - obviously our automobiles are made of metal because of the resource, the many values that metal provides, its durable, it can move. But when he was hammering away on that rotor, trying to free it up, the park break was ceased from the inside, and when he was hammering away on that I was just thinking about the metal and I was thinking about the importance of lubrication and the use of oil as a lubricant and how if it's not used, of course, the problems that ensue, things seize up.

[Page 1954]

You think about something as practical as being able to hop in your car and drive up to Halifax for the business we conducted today and, of course, he was hammering away on that last night for well over a couple of hours and amazingly enough, he got it free and I'll say he worked a miracle, because I honestly didn't believe it was going to free up. Just a very small practical example of how in this case, oil as a lubricant is important and it's something that we all use. I think even the most ardent environmentalist among us would accept and acknowledge that we do use oil and gas and that we do need to use it.

We can be a purist. A person can be a purist and say well, no, I don't need to use that. A person can move back in time and live like people used to live 100 years ago. I have no doubt, we might be a lot less - we would probably be happier and have less on our minds with a simpler life, but I think we are where we are. Realistically speaking, the modern world has grown comfortable with the lifestyle we have and want it to continue.

We need a balance and one of the other examples I gave the last time I spoke on this matter was, if we were back in the horse and buggy days, we also wouldn't have things like indoor plumbing and we know that certainly caused environmental damage in the past. Today if you look into any modern home you see PVC pipe used, and of course copper pipe as well, but the PVC would be a product from the oil and gas industry. So there are good, practical purposes that are helping the environment and I think we have to acknowledge that. We can't just say, okay, we're not going to use any of that stuff anymore. I don't think that's being reasonable.

I also think about the quality of life, how things have improved. We only need to look at other countries that are poor. Many people in the world live in conditions that are much less fortunate than our own here in this country and in this province, and they are essentially living like we lived 100 years ago. I've seen it myself in some of my travels. They don't have the kinds of things that we have here. I think of something like, if we look at health care, people going in for an operation, for surgery, there are immense amounts of energy used for surgeries, and if we didn't have that, those things couldn't be happening.

That's just one example. Take everything that we enjoy in this life and reduce it to the way things were 100 years ago, and we simply wouldn't have the wealth we have. We wouldn't be creating the productivity we create, so we need oil and gas.

If we look at our own province and consider the wealth that is generated in this country that comes to us by way of the federal government outside of our own income tax - federal income tax, and GST that Nova Scotians pay when they buy things - some of that comes back to us, but we get about a third of our revenue from the federal government. If we weren't getting the transfer payments, which is the remainder of the 32 per cent over and above our GST and income tax that we pay to the federal government, we would have major financial problems in this province. Some people would argue that we already have major financial problems, with a 25 per cent increase in the debt in the last six years, up to $15 billion. Taking away one of every nine dollars that people pay in on their taxes to the province each year, and one out of every nine dollars works out to the fourth-largest expenditure of the province, which is interest on that $15 billion debt.

[Page 1955]

I think we all recognize that we need those transfer payments, and they are coming from resource development. If you look at any province in the country, provinces that are doing resource development are doing well, and those provinces that are not doing resource development are depending on the other provinces that are developing their resources.

Madam Speaker, you know, Newfoundland and Labrador as one province - I had the benefit of being there for a Public Accounts conference in August - Newfoundland and Labrador is booming. I believe their royalties have been in excess of $1.5 billion in a budget year, for a province with a much smaller population. They're awash in cash. They have good environmental regulatory regimens in place to protect their environment. They are letting progress happen, and they're doing their job as a government to ensure that the environment is protected. They're reaping the benefits of that activity.

Many people used to make fun of Newfoundland and Labrador, and I can tell you, they certainly don't make fun of Newfoundland and Labrador anymore. Newfoundland and Labrador has jobs for people. People are earning good money there. They've diversified their economy away from the strong traditional fishery they've had - they certainly had a strong fishery, but their economy is diversified. Where jobs have disappeared in the fishery, they've now popped up in the energy sector. Newfoundland and Labrador is now a "have" province.

I shouldn't be picking on Ontario, or the "Upper Canadians," as we sometimes call them, but I'm sure people in Ontario would have made fun of Newfoundland and Labrador in the past, and now Ontario, with the decline in the auto sector, is receiving transfer payments from provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador. This complete turnaround happened because that province embraced its oil and gas development. They're letting progress happen and making sure it is happening while protecting the environment.

The way I started off tonight, I spoke about the importance of water. If water can't be protected, there is no reason to do any of the development. To just simply say okay I'm going to accept that it can't be done, well, if you accept that then everything ends there. I know that for many people out there, that is where they want it to end. I've talked to people myself who don't want any of this development and they are quite happy to live without it. One reason is they don't depend on it; they wouldn't want to depend on it because they never worked in a sector like oil and gas because it would go against the very core of their being. I respect that.

[Page 1956]

But not everybody has the same feeling. Why not live and let live, provided anything that's happening is protecting our environment and our water? That is a choice people can make. There are many people, as we know, who are making the choice because they have to to put food on the table for their families, to fly out West every couple of weeks, which is not an easy thing to do, but they are making that choice because they have to.

I think we need to keep them in mind when we are talking about this bill. I know other members have talked at great length about that but we have to keep those people in mind because they need to eat too. I can understand how some people may be very much against energy development, but there are many people who are employed in that sector and they are creating a tremendous amount of wealth for this country and for this province and we're all using it anyway. Every time we get in our car or turn up the thermostat to keep our homes warm, we are using energy.

One of my points was if we didn't have those transfer payments, we would be in serious trouble in this province. I think at that point if the government took action to balance the budget or even to offset the loss of those transfer payments, I would venture to guess that every nurse and every teacher and every civil servant would immediately be facing, at minimum, a 10 per cent cut in pay. Immediately the economy would feel that in terms of the retail sector. People would be buying less.

I can tell you in the Strait area, when the paper mill was shut down for a year, the economy just closed off. People stopped buying. Renovations in homes stopped and I know that is something that is seen as a measure of the economy, an indicator of how the economy is doing, the housing sector; people stopped making renovations. They were scared; they were scared to spend a dollar. They were hunkered down. If we saw that across the province and we didn't see an end to it, thankfully in that case the mill started up again. Things aren't the same but they are a heck of a lot better than had that mill closed for good.

I can only imagine what state we'd be in the Strait area had that mill closed but if we were facing that across the province, there would be a lot of people upset and there would be a lot of people questioning why we weren't getting those transfer payments anymore. A lot of people would be questioning why aren't we getting them and why aren't we open to that kind of energy development so that we can get those dollars and the benefits they bring.

I guess when people don't see things in real terms and presenting a hypothetical situation there for the purpose that if people don't see things in real terms that hit them in their own pocketbooks, they are often content to just let something go. I can understand that but we here in this Legislature have to think about those things a little more deeply. That's why we're speaking here tonight.

[Page 1957]

There are many people who assume that we can't do energy development without pollution and without mistakes and they would also say we should only be using renewable energy. That is fine, but there are other people who say we can. We know that the Premier of Saskatchewan has come out and I know it has been mentioned here in the Legislature already.

I won't go into great detail on that but some of the incidents - and when we heard the word "incidents" we were expecting to hear things about pollution and about mistakes - but the incidents that are reported in that province are jobs, a very low unemployment rate, young people being able to stay around the communities where they grew up, families being able to stay together, a provincial Treasury that is thriving, where there is money available for the nurses, for the teachers, for the civil servants, for the services that people want from their government.

I think of roads, Madam Speaker. I know all of us in the rural constituencies could certainly do with a little bit of bolstering for our road budgets. I know I had the pleasure today to meet with staff from the office of the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. We talked about all the roads that need to be done. I understand the situation they are in because they have only so many dollars to work with and they need to make the best use of them.

You look at a province like Saskatchewan; the pressure is not on them so much, Madam Speaker. I know we would all like to be in government when times are rosy, when revenues are healthy, because it makes it a lot easier. It's not easy to be in a government where there is no money to spend, when there is a tremendous amount of pressure on you from your community, from the communities you represent, to provide the things they want, and in a lot of cases things that are very much needed.

I think of something in our own area, the CT scanner in Inverness, something that people felt so strongly about and something that was recognized, at least by the local medical community, as being needed. The government certainly followed up on providing that machine. I'm not going to go into any more detail on that one tonight, but the point being that it was something the community wanted and spoke very loud about, and something that will make a real difference for people in that area because they are two hours from a regional hospital. There are things that physicians serving in those areas need to be able to do where they don't have a lot of time to do it, to make decisions. Having a device like that will so help them in their work to help save lives in rural communities when they are two hours away from a regional hospital.

Madam Speaker, there is the assumption that we can't have energy development and there's also the assumption that we can have it without the consequences that the people who would be against it would say. Surely there has to be some middle ground.

[Page 1958]

I know one of the other things that was mentioned in Saskatchewan is that they've not had incidents of pollution. There are protections in place that if a mistake happens, that it can be corrected and the environment can be protected. That is the job of government as I see it, Madam Speaker.

I know the government is saying now that they are not the ones to create jobs. I can see why they are saying that because ultimately it is the private sector that creates jobs. I know that governments in the past always liked to say, well, we created X amount of jobs and blah, blah. Well, it was a lot of "blah, blah" I think, Madam Speaker, I really do. You can create the conditions for jobs to be created.

I don't think this bill creates the conditions for jobs to be created. It just closes off the opportunity for the opportunities to happen without letting them happen, without letting the science dictate whether or not we should move ahead with this in this province.

There has to be a balance. I was looking at a labour market report today, Madam Speaker, and especially looking at young people under the age of 24. I'm sure we can all remember when we were under the age of 24 and how it's much harder to get a job at that time in your life than it would be at a later stage in your life, when you have experience.

In Nova Scotia there were two figures given and I'd say that about 20 per cent of youth under 24 are unemployed in the province, and that is pretty scary if you're a young person. I hear of government positions where there are 80 to 100 people applying for them. Young people who don't really have experience, well, they have a hard time to begin with getting a job like that, but imagine if only three out of every four of you and your friends are getting jobs, and then you're facing job competitions where you have 80 to 100 people applying for the job, it can be discouraging.

The result from the labour market report is we see a labour force that's shrinking and people are leaving. If we want a different result, Madam Speaker, we need to change what we're doing, and I think that starts here in the Legislature with things like energy development. If we want to change that labour market report for the future, we need to be looking at how we create jobs for those young people. We owe it to them to give them opportunities.

It's easy for people to sit back - especially people who have worked, and people who may be retired - it's easy for them to say, well, we don't want any of this energy development. We don't want it in our backyard. Well, easy for them to say, Madam Speaker, but I think we owe it, in this Legislature, to look out for the collective wish; we have to look out for everyone. And you know, when we think of young people, well, it's hard for them to have clout in the job market when they're coming out of school and looking for somebody to give them a chance.

[Page 1959]

We create an economy that has more jobs, that provides more reward for companies that take risks, and we get more of them coming and setting up here and we create more jobs, then we're doing something good for those young people.

I think of Corridor Resources in New Brunswick, and I was just watching their stock during the election campaign in New Brunswick. It's amazing how - they say the stock market is a leading indicator in the economy. A leading indicator is one that would predict what's happening in the future. And sure enough, the stock market got it right. The stock dropped, which would indicate that it was priced in that the Alward Government would fall, and that the new government would come in and ban the activity that Corridor Resources was intending to continue.

I was reading last night, I think it was, that that company has now moved on to Quebec. That's where they're going, that's where their activity, that's where the jobs will be found, and not in New Brunswick, some of those projects. But we can't say that for sure, Madam Speaker. Maybe someone in New Brunswick will find a way to keep Corridor there, but the stock market had it right and they predicted it would happen and it did happen.

That is just a very real example of what happens when people don't feel that the business is going to happen, when they don't feel that the activity is going to happen. They don't want to be invested any longer, and they pull out.

I would also say this, Madam Speaker. Even the Canada Pension Plan - which I know we spoke about today in the Legislature - would have significant investment in Canadian oil and gas. Of course, our seniors benefit from the Canada Pension Plan. Why? Because those oil and gas companies are making profits, because they're sending oil to fuel our furnaces at home. They're sending refined gasoline to run our vehicles, and lubricants to keep our cars moving along. And from those profits they're being fed in to the investor, which in this case, would be the Canada Pension Plan and that, of course, is benefiting Canadians, seniors, people who are not really, maybe, at a point in their lives where they can go out and keep working.

So the oil and gas industry is helping those people. And when you look at the financial sector, like the energy and mining sector of the stock exchange, it's 50 per cent of the Canadian Stock Exchange. It's a massive part of our country, and the economy of our country. The financial sector, Madam Speaker, is probably over 20 per cent. And of course, what is the financial sector feeding off? Well, of course, it's feeding off real estate, people are taking out mortgages, but one of the sectors it's feeding off is oil and gas and mining. Take away the oil and gas and mining and your finance sector would shrink, and of course everything else would shrink too. I guess the question becomes, are we open to this or not? And as I started out, well, if it's going to destroy our water, like we are told, how can any of us be for that?

[Page 1960]

But I'm willing to look a little further, and I'm willing to look at the science. I think that's what was going to happen after the Wheeler report, was to look at this in our province, look at the science, and if the science said that this is not safe, well, it's not safe - but this ban is not even giving a chance to look at that. As I say, there has to be a balance. If we even look at driving a car, we all know there are risks to driving a car. There are things like crash safety, ratings that we can look at on cars so we can choose a safer automobile for our family. We can look at developments that have been made, like air bags that improve safety in cars, anti-lock brakes - but there's still a risk of injury or even death driving a car. Myself, because I'm on the road so much, I try to drive during the daylight hours just to reduce the risk a little bit, because I know I'm driving a lot.

But at the same time, it's not realistic for me not to drive. I couldn't do my job if I wasn't driving. I'd love to be able to take a train here, which would be an environmentally friendly choice, to come to the city every week. I used to come to Halifax on the train when I was a young fellow, because my father worked for the railway, and up until the age of 16, I had a free pass on the train. We would come up and do some shopping up in the city once a year or something like that. I used to love that.

I would love to do that now, because I could get some work done on the train on my way up, but we don't have that, largely because we don't have the population numbers to support it. The fact is, I have to use a car.

The public needs it. If you need to get to a hospital, you need to get there in an ambulance. People travelling to school every day, people travelling to sporting events, people going on vacations - I think of people that are even on the Cabot Trail. I know some members of the House are motorcycle owners; they like to drive a motorcycle, and they say you haven't ridden a Harley until you've ridden on the Cabot Trail.

We're all using this stuff, and I guess my point is, we could take the opinion, well, we can't use these things because they're not safe, people get hurt. Well, in my mind, to say that energy development just plain can't happen because the water is going to be polluted - I want more than that. I'm not satisfied. I'm not satisfied that we can just simply say no to it and pretend that our economy is not going to depend on it either. I just don't think it's realistic, and I don't think the majority of Nova Scotians, when it comes . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would like to remind the honourable member that the debate now is on the amendment and not on the bill itself. I've heard no mention of the amendment, so I encourage you to speak on the amendment and not on the bill itself.

The honourable member for Inverness has the floor.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment is certainly about hoisting this bill for more time, and my remarks are intended to indicate the reasons why, but I will try to intersperse that statement throughout my remarks so that people are aware that that is what we are speaking about.

[Page 1961]

The point being, if we just say no to this and let this bill pass without further consideration of what's being proposed here, a hoist for six months so that something can be done beyond the Wheeler report - it's just not realistic. It's not reasonable, and I think that most Nova Scotians, when they have a full understanding of what's being discussed here, would question why we are not looking at the science on this. I think we're all living in a world now where people place a great deal of trust in science.

Madam Speaker, what should we be doing? Well, if we were to hold off on passing this bill for six months, one of the things we could look at is we could continue to explore renewables. We could continue to look at them being cost-effective because it's important for them to be cost-effective. At the end of the day, Nova Scotians need affordable energy and letting this bill just zoom through the House tonight doesn't help that. It doesn't help it.

I think about what a roll I was on until I was called to and now it's just not flowing for me the same way, Madam Speaker. In any case, you can feel free to call me back as you see fit. I think my intent here is to speak about the motion, which is about instead of letting the bill zoom through the House, to allow some more time, to go beyond the Wheeler report. As I say, why aren't we exploring renewables more? But most important, exploring renewables that are cost-effective because it's great to have renewables, but if they're not cost-effective, they're not helping Nova Scotians who can't afford to pay for them.

If we want the world to get more interested in using renewables and if we are a leader in renewables, the most important thing we can do is to make them cost-effective so that we can get rid of all these fossil fuels because why wouldn't we, Madam Speaker, if we can have affordable renewable energy?

Another thing we could be doing, Madam Speaker, if we hit the pause button on this bill, we could look at coal. Coal is supplying 40 per cent of the world's energy needs and that is not going to change overnight. In fact, here in Nova Scotia 60 per cent of our energy mix is coal. Isn't it important that we look at ways to try to use coal in a way that pollutes less, until we can get off coal? To me that would be very practical, something very practical that could be done.

One of the ways that could be done is by replacing it with natural gas because natural gas emits less pollution than does the burning of coal. I think it can also be used a little more efficiently when it is used to offset a periodic decline in renewable energy, like windmills. When the wind is not blowing, unless we want to have a blackout somewhere in the province, we've got to ramp up the burning of something to create the energy, so, of course, it is coal. Sometimes that ramping up negates any benefit of the windmills. So those are a couple of things we could be doing.

[Page 1962]

Another thing I think about, Madam Speaker, is food security and energy security. We hear a lot about food security and how important it is. We see the amount of strong interest by Nova Scotians in using farmers markets. We see all the activity - I know we certainly have them in my area. We see how people value having local food. Why shouldn't we also value having local energy that would be creating jobs? In most cases it would be lower-priced energy that would make life more affordable for Nova Scotians. Those are real changes we could have in this province. That is why hoisting this bill and delaying it for six months, so that we can go beyond the Wheeler report, is important.

Madam Speaker, I think we need to be open to energy development. We all need it and we all use it. I think of home heating and all the changes people are making through Efficiency Nova Scotia, with some very good programs to reduce energy usage. I've taken advantage of them myself. I was recommending them to people today, recommending to somebody who owns their own home, who is, I believe, suffering from a cash crunch, Madam Speaker, because of all of the expenses. One of her expenses is $300 a month for oil, which, in her case, is consuming one-fifth, or 20 per cent, of her income, to heat her home.

For her, Madam Speaker - and this bill tonight - just ending any possibility of natural gas development onshore in the province is not going to help her. It's not going to provide her with a cheaper energy bill. It's not going to provide her with an option for natural gas. We need energy to be affordable, and if you look at any jurisdiction where there is affordable energy, it's domestic home-grown energy.

Madam Speaker, just like driving a car, government can regulate safety around these things and that is where the focus should be. I think we should keep trying with things like renewable energy, but I don't think they are there just from the perspective of cost-effectiveness; if they were we could get rid of coal completely. I used to say this to the previous government, what would the price of energy be if we just got rid of coal and oil and natural gas tomorrow; what would the price of energy be? They didn't want to (Interruption) and the member says, you'd have to drive a new car, that's right. You would have to drive probably a hydrogen-powered car, which could explode on you. In any case there is other technology that could be wonderful someday but it's certainly not there in commercial production yet.

Madam Speaker, we have to keep trying with those innovative forms of energy and I think of Danielle Fong, I was reading about today, a Nova Scotian. I believe she is 25 or 26 now, one of the top 30 Under 30 in I believe Forbes Magazine for the work that she is doing in trying to store energy from renewable energy, because if you could store it you could have more renewable energy and you would be able to use that at times when say the wind isn't blowing or when the current in the water is not as strong and so on.

I think about somebody like that, who we are all proud of here in Nova Scotia, somebody like her could make a real difference for renewable energy and then we wouldn't even have to have this debate about hoisting this bill because we would have energy that is affordable, energy that is domestic and energy that is really the best that we could have for our environment.

[Page 1963]

Madam Speaker, I think about what this means for my area. I was just handed a piece of information here and I wasn't really able to read it that closely, but I'm sorry to say that Tim Hortons in Cheticamp is set to close and how often do we hear a Tim Hortons closing? Anybody who owns a Tim Hortons is seen as - what a wonderful business opportunity that is. I'm surprised to read this because I know whenever I'm going by the place, the lot is usually full and it's a surprise to me, but I think it's a sign of the times.

The population isn't growing. Its market for drinkers of coffee and breakfast combos and boxes of donuts is not growing. Certainly in the summer things are busy in Cheticamp, but when the visitors go away, when the snow starts to fly, and, of course, many of the retired people are spending their summers in Cheticamp, but they're moving to the cities where their children are, like Halifax, maybe even out West where the work is, to be with their families, and we certainly can't blame them for that. They are moving because the opportunities aren't at home for their children to keep things going.

It's a great surprise to me to see that Tim Hortons is set to close and sadly because of things like - I think about the real impacts on people. When we just simply ban some development without exploring the science behind it, here is an example of people that get caught in the fray - 20 people are going to lose their jobs at Tim Hortons. If the economy was humming along, if it was a little more diversified, those people wouldn't have to worry about that. Instead, I expect they've probably found out today as now we're finding out that they don't have a job. (Interruption) The member is saying they found out last week, as I say, this has just been handed to me. I've just seen this now.

But for them to find out last week - whatever day they found out, it makes no difference. The day you find out you don't have a job is a very sobering day. You've got bills to pay, you could have a mortgage or car payment. In Cheticamp there are not a lot of other jobs to go to. The timing of this happening is irrelevant, the fact that it's happened is what's important.

I can't understand why we're not open to things happening in the province that could create a more secure economy. That's why I'm standing here talking.

AN. HON. MEMBER: Spending $2,000 an hour.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Spending $2,000 an hour, yes, and if we actually were going to change people's minds so we would be more open to energy development we might have a better economy and I think that would be a good investment of $2,000. Does anybody agree with me? (Applause)

[Page 1964]

I've heard a couple of heckles over on the other side (Interruption) I've heard a couple in the last couple of minutes and I tell you it bothers me that somebody in here would feel we should all just go home and let the government do whatever they want. I can tell members on all sides of the House that you may not always be in government when you're in this Chamber, and there are views that you may not agree with when you're in Opposition and that's your job is to represent them. Otherwise, we would be little pawns and we would be of no service to anybody, let alone the people we represent. (Interruption) Now they're being told not to make any heckles over there.

It does bother me when I hear things like that said. I'm thinking of people in Cheticamp right now that are losing their jobs and that bothers me a lot. We're trying to put this bill in real terms, and the hoist of this bill in real terms and that's why I'm bringing up this example. I think about when I was in South Africa in 2010 for the World Cup and I was travelling around with people there and seeing the townships which I remember seeing on television when I was a young guy growing up - I was probably in my early teens - and I knew something bad was happening over there.

When I was actually in South Africa, I started remembering some of the stuff I'd be hearing on television. One of the results of apartheid is poverty, the real reality for people in South Africa living in those townships, living in homes made of corrugated steel and other materials; whatever they could put together. The economy is certainly starting to improve and there are people who are able to pull themselves out of that poverty but there are people there that depend on burning coal. I remember driving on the highways and seeing clouds of coal over their homes.

For anybody that would condemn coal, I would suggest they go into those communities and look at what those people are dealing with. They want to stay warm. They're burning coal. It'd be great if they could use something else because they're feeling the very real impacts of that a few feet below the clouds. No doubt they're breathing that in.

It gets to the practical reality that for them, that's what is affordable. By extension, Nova Scotia, considering we're still using 60 per cent coal, that's really what's affordable for us as well, certainly for people who are on fixed incomes in this province.

I think that to take a purist approach and say we just can't be doing that, and to take a purist approach with the passage of this bill and say we can't be doing any of that energy development either, I just don't think it's realistic. I don't think it's fair to people who are living with the realities that people who need affordable energy are living with in this province.

As I say, I'm all for renewable energy, but sometimes it's not practical. I remember asking the Minister of Energy how many windmills it would take to power the paper mill in Point Tupper. He kind of laughed, and he thought, what a strange question. This was with the previous government, when they were in power. We didn't get a chance to get into it, because it was at the tail end of Question Period, but the actual answer was somewhere in the order of 700. If you had 700 windmills between here and the Causeway, you'd have about three per kilometre. The blades would pretty well be touching each other. It's just not practical. We need these other forms of energy like natural gas, and why not have it from a domestic source in this province if it can be done safely? That's what this is about.

[Page 1965]

Madam Speaker, do we also say no to pipelines? I know the Premier has been supportive of an oil pipeline to come to the province. I'm supportive of that as well. I think all members would be supportive of all the jobs that would create. I was talking to a man I know on the weekend who is currently out of work. He has a young family, and he needs work. One of the things that he would be in line for would be employment with construction of a pipeline going beyond Saint John, New Brunswick, and bringing it right to Point Tupper. That would solve a lot of problems for him.

Will we listen to those who say no every time one of these opportunities comes along? Will we say no to that pipeline development when it could bolster - there's over 60 jobs, I believe, at NuStar in Point Tupper, which is right next door to my constituency of Inverness. I know a lot of people in my area, in the very community I live in, who work there. There's another venture that will benefit from that pipeline. Will we say no to that as well? I don't think we should.

That's why we are standing here tonight on this bill and asking that the government hold off for six months and look at some of the science going beyond the Wheeler report to see whether or not this activity should be happening in the province.

Madam Speaker, I know we have concerns about the rail line and the safety of rail in this province. Looking at tragic events like the one that happened in Lac-Mégantic, pipelines would be much safer, and from the environmental perspective, probably a much safer way of transporting bulk liquids. Those are choices we can make.

I think of hospitals moving to natural gas, and why? Because it's cheaper. The previous government used to say, get off all these fossil fuels, but at the same time, the hospitals they were funding were moving to natural gas because it was cheaper. We saw Michelin move to natural gas because it was cheaper. They're making those investments.

I know the price of natural gas fluctuates, but they're making those investments - and they're significant investments - because they believe that it is cheaper energy. There's no other reason. So they must be questioning, Madam Speaker, why we would be saying no to domestic natural gas from onshore Nova Scotia. Certainly if somebody came forward and said, you know what? This is not going to work; this is going to harm our water and here is why, fine. Maybe they could accept that but just to say no and not to look at the science at all, they would question that. I'm sure they would.

[Page 1966]

Of course one of the reasons why in this province we are going to have higher natural gas prices is because we don't have an abundance of it because we don't have access to it and we are not generating it ourselves in the kinds of quantities that we could be using.

Madam Speaker, this bill says no, and it says a flat no. I know energy development is not popular and I know even in my own area it wasn't popular. I can think of the company that was involved in Lake Ainslie received death threats. There were loud protests. There were blockades of the causeway and I know that we all hear those protests and those people certainly have a right to express their views and we should be taking into account their views. We should be heeding their concerns about the environment; that is our job.

We should move towards science with those concerns, Madam Speaker, and if we don't fear the result of the science, why not move to the science? It's a lot easier to ban it than it is to try to do it safely and I know in practical terms - I spoke with somebody during Celtic Colours. They were home from out West, somebody from Inverness County, and he had heard about the ban and his first reaction was, he laughed and he said they just don't understand the whole process. They have no idea.

I said well what do you mean by that? He said well, the real issue is in well completion. He said if that's not done correctly, yes you're going to have problems but that is where government regulation and safety, working with the industries that are doing the energy development, come into play. Madam Speaker, his first reaction was that he laughed because he just thought well, they just don't understand what's involved. He does because he works in that field.

To start to wrap up here, you know I think that science should dictate and if science says that it can be done safely, and steps can be taken when problems occur to minimize damage, we should all accept that and not move the debate to a philosophical one because I think that's where this debate is right now, it's a philosophical one. You can never come to an end of a philosophical debate. Only with a scientific debate with evidence can we come to some conclusion.

Madam Speaker, we have had the review of this matter with the Wheeler report, now we need the science. This ban and this bill, unless we hoist it for six months to look at some more science behind this development, this ban is essentially fear, fear that science can prove that energy development can happen while keeping our water safe. Why would we fear that. Only with science can we make evidence-based decisions that all Nova Scotians can feel good about, one way or the other, thank you.

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

[Page 1967]

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : It is my honour to rise to address this motion to delay this bill for six months. I would like to first of all thank my colleagues from Pictou East and Inverness for their excellent comments. I think my colleague from Inverness make an excellent analysis of the Canadian economy and why our province needs to go ahead and push forward and participate in the economy of Canada in terms of resource development.

My colleague from Pictou East made a number of interesting comments, particularly about Robert Frost and made me think of Yogi Berra who said that if you come to a fork in the road, take it. It seems like that is what the Minister of Energy is doing in his comments this morning in allnovascotia.com - he wants to have it both ways. He wants both to have a ban on fracking and indicate the door will be open at some point in the future.

I'm happy to speak to the motion to delay this bill because I believe that this bill is flawed in two significant ways. First of all it's flawed in its philosophy, and secondly it's flawed in its content. The content of the bill is rather lacking, it's a very hasty bill. The bill prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracking without defining hydraulic fracking. In fact, apparently there exists such a thing as medium-volume hydraulic fracking and low-volume hydraulic fracking, and the bill does not address those.

The volume of hydraulic fracking fluid that is used is related to the depth of the well and the depth of the shale that is being fracked and in theory a well that is not as deep - maybe shale that is closer to the surface - would be a lower volume so is this bill permitting different forms of hydraulic fracking? This is one of the big issues with this bill and it has made no one happy, in fact, those who are on the other side of this debate than we are would have issue with the bill too for these reasons because this is not laid out in this bill.

This is a one-page bill which, I believe, will be a watershed moment in this government if this goes ahead and that's another reason to delay this bill for six months for the motion. It is a bill that will influence the course of this province for years to come if we say no to this type of natural resource extraction.

So the bill is limiting high-volume hydraulic fracking without addressing medium- and low-volume hydraulic fracturing without defining these terms and it is very flawed in that way. It is a flaw that has come to the attention of not only us, but also of those who would represent the other point of view on this argument. Furthermore, strangely enough, the bill is flawed in that it specifically mentions shale and in fact, a quick search of your electronic devices will show that in fact there is hydraulic fracking in sandstone. Does that mean that the hydraulic fracturing in sandstone is permitted?

The bill fails to address this important topic and it is no doubt a reason why both those on one side of this debate and on the other would feel that this bill is significantly flawed and deficient. Therefore I believe the motion to delay the bill should be passed and more time should be taken to define these points. What did the Minister of Energy actually have in mind when he brought this bill forward and when he publicly said that he would put a moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale just three days after receiving the Wheeler report?

[Page 1968]

In that sense, this bill is a very flawed bill. Certainly something as significant as hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia, the future of the oil and gas industry on land in Nova Scotia is very significant and I believe deserves more thorough analysis, more time to look at it than just to say we're just going to put this one page bill through and there you go. And already the minister is backtracking publicly in his statements and I think that that is an indication that this motion to delay this bill should be considered by this House so that more time can be taken to look at these definitions and to look at what other jurisdictions are doing.

I think we have an opportunity in Nova Scotia, clearly from what the Wheeler report said, to have an on land natural gas industry and to go forward in that industry and to just to say no to those things is the wrong way for this government to go. It's not like we have that many different opportunities out there. I believe we have some excellent industries in Nova Scotia, I've been a participant in agriculture all my life, I know that industry well, I know the fishing industry, but all of those industries have opportunities and I know there are other industries and the announcements on the tidal energy are very exciting for our province.

If we look across Canada, Canada is prospering as a nation in large part because of these natural resource extraction industries. We are the beneficiary of that, as my colleague the member for Inverness said, in terms of the money coming back into our province through transfer payments. We're quite willing to have that money, we're quite upset when that is in any way jeopardized or if the formula changes, but we don't want to participate in the industry ourselves. I believe that is a very flawed point of view.

Not only is the bill problematic in the lack of definitions - it's creating a modifier, high volume, when it's not clear what the minister meant by that term. It's also deficient as it now seems in the fact that it's specific to shale. We have sandstone in Nova Scotia - did it mean sandstone? Does the fact that low-volume hydraulic fracking could be very close to the surface shale - that's not clear.

We have the opportunity in Nova Scotia, I believe, in terms of this to have input from our communities to take the time in this motion to delay this bill, to take the time to have more consultation with First Nations, with the communities, with the industries that would like to work here. I think the onus is on us as government to create the framework. I know my colleague has said that government does not create jobs, in fact , we know that. I believe I heard the statistic that almost 300,000 people in the province work for the government one way or another , when you take all the three levels of government.

Government is obviously a very big industry in Nova Scotia, but it's clearly not an industry that is in my point of view, and given my whole career, that is really producing something. It's an industry that is essentially using the resources of the land to govern and regulate so we as a government have an obligation to provide good regulation to go forward in this hydraulic fracturing, I believe.

[Page 1969]

One thing we need is to have the oil and gas industry across Canada to have input into this legislation. I know the minister has said that he's received positive feedback from the oil and gas industry. It's clear that any industry wanting to do business in Nova Scotia would feel a compulsion to give positive feedback and sometimes, I believe, in politics there is a sort of selective feedback mechanism - whatever point of view you represent you tend to hear from the people who are of that point of view too. But there has been pushback on this, so that is a reason why we should take the time to look at this and have a delay in the passage of this bill, and that's why I support this motion.

As I've already mentioned, one of the things we saw in the Law Amendments Committee was that there was unformed opposition to this bill from both sides; both those who would oppose oil and gas development in Nova Scotia on land and those who would favour it. We've seen from my colleague's analysis that we are in a position where we're not really dealing from a positon of strength financially. Our government, all of us, our province is in financial difficulty. We're facing huge deficits, we're facing a huge debt. Servicing on the debt is, as my colleague said, is the fourth largest line item in our budget. We're living in a time of extremely low interest rates and if those interest rates were to change, I would suggest that that servicing of the debt could rapidly jump to the third highest line item on the budget, and we would be in a very serious situation. So that is a reason why we need to take a very serious look at going forward with this.

One thing we know that the Wheeler commission said was that we need to go forward, but to go slowly. There is an opportunity that we have in Nova Scotia. There are so many jurisdictions across North America that have already developed the legislation, that have already gone forward with hydraulic fracturing, both in the United States and Canada.

We can look at what those jurisdictions have done and choose the best practices for our regulations. I believe we have an opportunity, if we were to go forward slowly as the Wheeler commission said, to develop the best possible regulations that we could have. I think it is something we seriously need to consider.

One of the things my colleague was drilling down into is the benefits of natural gas, and one of the things hydraulic fracturing will do, it will provide more natural gas. We already see in Nova Scotia a very strong movement towards compressed natural gas, CNG, where we see all three Michelin plants will be using compressed natural gas. Acadia University is using it and the benefits of using natural gas over coal are huge.

One of the things that you may not realize is that 100 years ago in Nova Scotia, communities would have had community suppers that were salmon suppers - that would have been a very common type of thing to do so when the community got together, it would have been a salmon supper. I don't know how long it has been since there has been a salmon supper in Nova Scotia that a community held, but the reason we don't have salmon suppers, basically, is because of the coal industry.

[Page 1970]

The coal industry will put sulphur into the atmosphere; sulphur comes back down as acid rain; acid rain has killed out our salmon in our rivers. Natural gas would give us the opportunity to have that come back, I think. We know that the salmon will come back if the rivers are limed. I know there has been an experiment in one river in Nova Scotia, but it costs about $500,000 to adequately lime a river to bring the salmon back. But if we were to see the coal industry decline, the coal industry is a heavy polluter, so it would be good for us to get away from generating power by coal. That would be a huge benefit of developing our own natural gas industry.

In North America, in America, we have seen a decline in the coal usage, apparently, and America has been able to make some of their greenhouse gas targets that Kyoto would have given them, even though they never signed on. But they've made some of those targets because of switching from coal to natural gas. It's a tremendous opportunity.

I know on my own farm I would love to be using natural gas. We are using propane for drying our crops and we are also using oil. It would be a tremendous benefit to have natural gas. The economy of Nova Scotia would truly benefit from a better supply of natural gas. We have seen North America benefit from natural gas and it's from this hydraulic fracturing that this has come. It's called unconventional oil and gas because previously when they drilled oil and gas they just drilled straight down into porous formations where the oil and gas were readily available. Apparently shale is not porous and by fracturing these seams, they can acquire this natural gas and it's totally changed the whole world of oil and gas across our globe.

Apparently, in 2007-08 there was a website devoted to the end of big oil. You may have read in National Geographic that there was the end of big oil; that was something that was talked about. Apparently that website has been shut down now because there is no end in sight to oil and gas now. So much oil and gas is known to exist now across the globe because of hydraulic fracturing and the fact that, by and large, it is providing natural gas and an enormous benefit to cleaning up our environment because it's such a clean fuel.

For those reasons I think that I would say I believe we should very seriously consider the opportunity to take some more time on this bill to have this motion go forward, to take another look, to take six months to look again at why we are doing this.

I know it said in the Wheeler report that 92 per cent of the people who presented to the Wheeler report were in favour of a moratorium on fracking. I know that there is significant support for a moratorium on fracking in the province, but on the other hand, there were a lot of people who never went to the Wheeler committee meetings, and they're basically the people from Nova Scotia who are working out West. So there's a lot of people voting with their feet, in favour of the oil and gas industry.

[Page 1971]

I'm not sure that they were heard in those Wheeler commission meetings. I think you might even call them - maybe they're not a majority, but it would be very close to a silent majority of people who want to see and want to participate in the prosperity of other provinces and are willing to go there. I think that's a factor in this equation. There's a lot of people who didn't show up at those meetings who maybe could have, but they were out West working. In fact, I know the Wheeler report says there were 686 people who spoke against fracking in those meetings, and I know there are far more than 686 people working out West in the oil and gas industry.

I had a constituent named Brian Spicer. In fact, I'm friends with his brother, who is a beekeeper. Brian is actually retired. He spent his entire life fracking oil and gas out West, and now he has come back home to work on his brother's apple and bee farm. Brian would definitely be in favour of hydraulic fracturing, having done it his whole life, and he doesn't understand what the deal is.

I have another constituent, a young fellow named Rory, who I was just talking to a couple of days ago. He was employed in Alberta, driving a truck that was hauling the hydraulic fracturing waste water. He was telling me about the environmental regulations in Alberta, and all the things he had to do in that job. He is back here working on another job; he's driving a truck for Home Depot. The reason he is back here is that he would rather be back here, even at less money.

There are a lot of Nova Scotians out West or who have been out West and who are leaving who would dearly love to be working in those high-paying jobs right here in Nova Scotia. In fact, we recently had the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association here, and the Speaker of the House of Saskatchewan was sitting right over there in one of those seats. We had our meetings here in the Legislature. He told me that personally he didn't mind seeing Maritimers come to Saskatchewan at all, because he knew that after a year or two of the husband, the head of the family, being in Saskatchewan to work, the whole family would follow. We've seen that.

This out-migration is a very serious issue in our province, and if we want to participate in the economy of Canada fully, then we need to be looking at our relationship with hydraulic fracturing and participating in this industry. That is why I believe we really need to seriously think about our motion to delay this, to take more time for the minister to be able to more fully fill out that bill, whether the minister is going to continue with the moratorium or not.

Obviously both sides of this issue have issue with that bill. It's not a very well-thought-out bill. The definitions need to be put in there. That is a reason why I believe we need to seriously think about delaying the implementation of this bill and take a little more time, both for public consultation, for looking at the science of it, and also for looking at what the regulations are in Saskatchewan, in Alberta, in North Dakota, and Pennsylvania and some of these other states that are already doing this and have hundreds of thousands of wells that have been fracked in these jurisdictions.

[Page 1972]

Certainly the information is out there. In fact, one of the problems is that there's simply too much information out there. Both sides of this argument can have plenty of ammunition. So what is the truth? I mean, that takes work, and I believe that is one of the things that I would say is incumbent on the government.

One of my issues with this bill - a one-page bill on something so important to Nova Scotia - is that, in fact, I would say it is a lazy bill. It needs to be more thoroughly thought out and the definitions put into the bill, and the whole position more clearly thought out. Especially when, as I already mentioned, the minister has apparently back-tracked a little bit and indicated maybe they'll change their minds in the future, and maybe the bill is allowing other forms of fracking; maybe not. It's a little bit hard to understand. It depends upon these definitions. Maybe the minister didn't consider the fact that sandstone was being fracked in some areas, and maybe the minister wasn't aware that there was low-volume fracking when he made it. Those are all things that need to - and he's got staff in the department - those are all things that this bill needs to fill in.

So I think a very compelling reason why we need to take more time on this, why our amendment to put off this decision on this bill for six months is a very, very valid thing to do right now. I know that it is a political move on our part to stall, but in fact, in reality, it's the right thing to do. There are very compelling reasons why we should do so.

It wasn't that long ago that I was in the Red Room and there was a reception here and we had a gentleman that I've known all my life - and I'll only name him as Bob, I won't fill in his last name. But Bob was of the opinion that Nova Scotia couldn't regulate anything. He didn't believe that our position was a good position, because he said we can't regulate anything. That was Bob's position. He was here in the House and I know some of my colleagues across the floor know Bob too. Other than saying his name, I'm not going to say more than that. But imagine that? Someone was saying that government should just - I said, Bob, that means we should just put up a sign, abandon hope, all ye who enter here, and he kind of looked at me.

In reality, what he was saying, I don't believe that's true. We've done a world-class job of regulating trash, so we're recycling, we've got the garbage streams where we've managed to get our people to separate recyclables from garbage, and we managed to get them to separate out the compostables and all these three streams. I think compliance is pretty good. We've regulated that very effectively. In fact, I have a constituent in my constituency, a gentleman I know who goes around the world consulting with other countries on how to manage waste. Nova Scotia is seen as a role model in that, and if we can do it with garbage, I don't think we should take Bob's point of view and say, no, we can't regulate the natural resource industry so we should just give up.

[Page 1973]

I don't think that is a good way of thinking at all, but it is sort of a cynicism that is out in the public. He's not the only one who would have that point of view, that no, we can't effectively regulate things, and I think that we need this government to step up and do a good job of regulating oil and gas development so that it satisfies both the environmentalists and the industry. So not that it just gives us something - this one-page bill which I've already described, in my opinion, is a lazy bill and needs to be more fully fleshed out. There needs to be a legislative framework going forward that would allow a company coming in - and if we have the strictest regulations in the world, that's what I would hope we would have. We can have strict regulations, but I hope they would be clear so that a company coming in would know where they stand and know what they have to do.

I think that we can have very, very strict regulations that satisfy all of the environmentalists' concerns, but also give a very clear, straightforward path for a company coming in so that they know. To me, doing the work to get that right is worth it. That is why we should take more time. I don't know if six months is enough time to do that; maybe it will take more time than that. Maybe we need to look at many different jurisdictions and their legislation.

I believe that can be done and I think that takes work. I just think that three days after that report came out, for the minister to make his statement, I don't believe that the work has gone into this bill that needs to go into it. We've seen longer bills on other issues that maybe are - I wouldn't say they're less important - but less significant to the economic future of our province.

This is a bill which is highly significant to the economic future of our province. I know we're here on the other side, the Opposition, and maybe we'll be here for three and a half years - or maybe it'll be eight years, I don't know - but we need this government to show leadership right now and get the legislation right so that this industry can go forward in this province in a way that will provide prosperity for our province. Nobody really knows at the moment whether there are those volumes of oil and gas there but the Wheeler report tells us there may be 69 trillion feet of natural gas, in cubic feet, in one of the particular five basins that they analyzed.

Clearly there is economic opportunity for our province, if they are even remotely close. I can't even imagine what 69 trillion cubic feet look like. Trillion is a big number and it means economic security. It means having the money for the government to put into daycare centres. It means having the money to do all the road-fixes that Kings North needs and to provide good highways, all those things.

The opportunity here for us, as a province, to go forward with the oil and gas industry is just too important to put it on a one-page bill, which doesn't give us the proper definitions of what it really means, has ambiguities and satisfies nobody. It doesn't satisfy the environmentalists and it doesn't satisfy those who want to see the oil and gas industry go forward.

[Page 1974]

I think it will take hard work but the government needs to make the point that they are going to make the effort to give us world-class environmental regulations that will also provide a straightforward path for a company so they know where they stand, they know what the cost is, they can do a little bit of exploration, take a look at the size of the resource and think - do we want to go forward with that or not?

I think that should be possible and that is the role of government. As my colleague from Inverness has said, and from Pictou East, government is not in the role of creating jobs but I believe it's very important for government to create the right kind of regulatory framework to allow this type of industry to go forward. I was mentioning my friend Bob, who is very pessimistic about government - I don't believe he's correct. I think this government can do that.

The work is already done out there. It is a matter of going to Alberta and finding out, what are the issues with your legislation? What is it that the environmentalists don't like? What is it that the industry doesn't like? It's a matter of going to Saskatchewan and doing a little bit of homework and finding out - what is it? That takes time and I don't know if that can be done in six months or not.

I think we need to take a look at this bill and say there needs to be more to it. This issue is too important to just go on a one-page bill that looks partly like it was done in a very hasty manner and that doesn't provide any definitions when usually, from what I've read of bills, most bills do provide definitions. It doesn't provide any of these important definitions.

There are other jurisdictions that actually are going forward with this. I had a copy in my hand of something from the Ministry of Environment from the Province of Saskatchewan. It was hot off the press; it came off their website. I think it was just put out a day or two ago and I will table this in a moment. It's called Changing How We Do Business: An Introduction to Results-based Regulations and the Saskatchewan Environmental Code.

Saskatchewan is going forward in revising their environmental regulations and changing the whole philosophy of these environmental regulations. If Saskatchewan can do it, then we can do it. The Saskatchewan Minister of the Environment is moving to a results-based regulatory structure and has embarked on developing and implementing a visionary framework that includes unprecedented stakeholder participation to ensure its position to provide effective environmental management aligned with the growing economy. So it says changing how we do business, client-centred and result-based.

[Page 1975]

Essentially what this is saying is that they are going to go to a results-based environmental code. The environmental code had 16 chapters, five regulations and 28 environmental standards and they are changing that to a results-based code. I think it is incumbent upon us to be looking at that. The Province of Saskatchewan is changing the way its regulations are written, changing the philosophy, and I presume they are changing it to be - I hope, I would expect - both more protective of the environment and industry-friendly, if that makes any sense.

I think both things should be achievable. The Province of Alberta, I was looking at some of their environmental code and they have a substantial amount of environmental code on the fracking industry. They have Directive 083, where the Alberta Energy Regulator is now called the Energy Resource Conservation Board. So, hydraulic fracturing sub-surface integrity, it is substantial. That's one issue. It has another one, Directive 050: Drilling Waste Management.

What I mentioned previously, my friend Rory who told me he was actually in that business of drilling waste management, he drove a truck; he had the environmental regulations. So this is a document of 100-some pages, double size print, a little bit too long for me to drill down into right now, but this is something that other jurisdictions are meeting the challenges of regulating these industries. A one-page bill that bans this industry is not what Nova Scotia needs.

Nova Scotia needs this government to meet the challenge of both addressing the environmental concerns and creating a straightforward path for the industry to develop in this province and we need it so that our own children will have jobs here. We need it so we'll have the money to meet our commitments in health care, to meet our commitments in the Department of Community Services. All of these things take money, to meet our commitments in servicing our debt, and other jurisdictions around the country are doing this and we need, as a province, to take a look at what we are doing here and say, whoa, is this sending the right signal?

I believe that to have a moratorium sends a chilling signal not only to the oil and gas industry but to other resource-based industries too. This country is not that big. People pay attention to what is happening in other jurisdictions. If you're in the mining industry and you know that Nova Scotia just put a moratorium on oil and gas, you're going to say do I really want to go there and do business?

The fact is, these companies are in a hurry and they're not interested in jurisdictions that don't provide straightforward, comprehensive and clear environmental regulations so that they know exactly how they have to do forward; they're not interested in dealing with that. A moratorium sends a signal that this province is not dealing with these issues and going forward with them in a way that is both addressing environmental concerns and industry concerns. This bill is the wrong bill and why this government needs to take more time to think about what they are doing.

[Page 1976]

I want to talk about another subject too. I had mentioned when I previously spoke to this that my friend in Alberta had talked about the politics of envy. I had never really explained that to the House and one of the issues, because at that time I was talking about the effects of hydraulic fracking on agriculture, and this was my friend who had a 1,000 acre vegetable farm. I was vaguely aware that he had oil and gas in the area but I wasn't really truly aware that his farm was thoroughly fracked, so to speak. He had 15 wells on his 1,000 acres, which each took up about four acres, so he had about 60 acres; about 6 per cent of his farm was covered in wells.

He had mentioned the politics of envy and what he meant by that was if you were in that area and you weren't a participant in that, you had land but you didn't have a revenue stream from oil and gas, sometimes you would make it your business to try to find a revenue stream and one of the ways is to take the oil and gas industry to court over some issue.

That is not to say that I believe that every single lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is frivolous or just trying to get ahead, but this is what my friend Rod's comment was, that this is what was happening. I know that we talk about lawsuits and I have here from a website - and I know I did promise to table that Saskatchewan document and I didn't do that, maybe I'll pass that forward here. This is a pro-environmentalist point-of- view website and this says that 15.3 million Americans have a natural gas well within one mile of their home. It also says that nationwide residents living near fracked gas wells have filed over 1,000 complaints by 2012 regarding tainted waters, severe illness, livestock deaths, fish kills, and so on - 1,000 complaints from a population of 15 million people living within one mile of a natural gas well. What do we make of that?

If we look at the Wheeler report, we can see that there were two scenarios where there would be issues with the underground portion of the fracked well, and those are where gas would leak up the well, the well would lose its integrity, or gas would leak up through the soil. Both of those were listed as rare, but then the Wheeler commission report went on to list about 14 or 15 effects on the surface of fracked wells.

Those were listed as certain. In other words it is a near certainty if you have several thousand fracked wells that someone is going to make a mistake and turn a valve on when they should have turned it off, that someone is going to just fall asleep and drive the truck into the ditch. All those things are near certainties and some of this undoubtedly is because of - and of these 1,000 complaints, I'm sure that some of them are very legitimate complaints - accidents happen. Maybe the environmental regulations in some of these states aren't up to snuff. Maybe some of the companies are acting in unethical ways. Maybe there have been just simply accidents, but certainly some of them, according to my friend Rod in Alberta, some of them would be people just trying participate in the economy, knowing very well that if they were to go to court, it's a David and Goliath scenario where poor farmer John is going up against a huge oil company XYZ and by and large, courts tend to find in favour of the little guy.

[Page 1977]

I know that also from my days on the board of directors of a local insurance company. Insurance companies tend not to fare well in court either. They have to really prove their case well.

I just want to point out in quoting those statistics, 1,000 complaints for 15 million people near these wells that as you all know, the United States is one of the most litigious societies on earth.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order please, I would like to remind the honourable member to please direct your comments back towards the motion or the amendment on the bill, the hoist motion.

The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. LOHR « » : Thank you Madam Speaker. I think I have done a fairly effective job addressing the motion and I wanted to drill down into some of the reasons why this bill is flawed and really I am reacting to a comment that I had in the hall from a member that lawsuits were a reason why this moratorium should be in place. So my point in this is that I don't think you can go by lawsuits in the United States, one way or the other, to prove any point. The fact of the matter is that last year in the United States there were 300,000 civil lawsuits. The fact that there are 1,000 complaints from approximately 15 million people living near natural gas wells does not necessarily prove anything one way or the other. There were apparently 55,000 appeals last year in the United States. There were 66,000 criminal court cases in the United States. There were one point some million bankruptcy cases.

So my point being that the fact that there are lawsuits doesn't necessarily prove things one way or the other. Some of them are very legitimate, undoubtedly, but that does not mean that we as a province should say, well, there have been problems in other jurisdictions, we shouldn't do this. We know that on those surface effects there are accidents, there are things that happen and my point is that I really am arguing that we need to go forward with this industry in our province, I believe, and that we cannot look at - we have the opportunity, since there have already been hundreds of thousands of wells fracked in North America, to look at the best practices and what has happened in other jurisdictions and to not be deterred by the fact that there has been a lawsuit here or a lawsuit there. Those aren't always reasons why we should act in a certain manner because, as I've said, there are hundreds of thousands - well, I think in that statistics I just gave, there were 300,000 civil lawsuits in the United States in 2012.

The point is that that we need to take a better look at this legislation than just to say it is okay to take this Wheeler report, which does provide a reasonably good, I believe, road map forward, and take a little better look at it. I believe that the motion to amend the bill by delaying it will give this government time to go through this Wheeler report a little more thoroughly, look at the efforts of what the Wheeler report addresses here, and try to do a little better job of providing a bill to this House, which is more than one-page long, which provides definitions, does not leave ambiguities in it, and addresses some of these issues.

[Page 1978]

That's why I am in favour of this motion to delay the bill, and I guess, in reality, I'm only in favour of it on the assumption that the government will try to do a better job of doing their homework and provide us with a more fleshed-out bill that addresses many of these concerns, both of the environmentalists and of the industry that would like to see this go forward.

I would like to see both sides of this argument have a bill that is something more concrete and I believe that six months should be adequate; I'm not sure if it is, but it should be adequate to provide us with a much better bill, which would provide much more information, which would be much more satisfactory to both sides of this debate.

Clearly the environmentalist side of this debate does not like the fact that this bill seems to provide for medium- and low-volume hydraulic fracturing, and they don't like the fact that possibly it would be in other types of rock than shale. It doesn't make a lot of sense that a bill would prohibit one type of fracturing and allow another. There is coalbed methane, which I understand the bill does permit which is great, and I think there are opportunities there. But I think that that all needs to fleshed out. From the environmentalists' point of view this bill needs to be better and from the industry point of view this bill needs to be better and for both of those reasons, we need to take another look at what we are doing with that. With those few words, Madam Speaker, I will take my seat, thank you.

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

HON. PAT DUNN « » : I'm pleased to be able to rise in my place and talk about Bill No.6, the Petroleum Resources Act. Madam Speaker, I'm going use the analogy - I have had the opportunities over the years to do a lot of coaching, in fact, probably about 40 years of coaching, most of it in the hockey arena. I always made sure our players took advantage of the delayed offside rule, and I know the Minister of Health and Wellness and the members for Yarmouth, Inverness, and Glace Bay would certainly know what delayed offside means. The delayed offside rule gives the players trapped inside the offensive blue line a chance to get out.

Well, Madam Speaker, I'm going to let the minister who is trapped inside that blue line with that bill to skate outside in the neutral zone, give it to the referee in chief, bring it to the penalty box and delay it for about six months so we can have a real good look at it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Delayed offside right now.

[Page 1979]

MR. DUNN « » : Madam Speaker, our economy continues to face enormous challenges. Many businesses in Nova Scotia closed, or are simply struggling to stay afloat. More and more workers continue to head westward for employment. We have to create policies that produce entrepreneurial environments that will provide good-paying jobs. We have to provide the tools and opportunities Nova Scotians need to unlock their potential. If we improve our economy, our quality of life will improve.

Madam Speaker, fracking for natural gas has become a lively, debated topic across North America - a lively, debated topic here tonight in the Legislature. Experts in the industry continue to highlight the benefits. On the other hand, the health and environmental groups are concerned about its safety. We know that economic growth occurs in the areas where we have the natural gas industry exploring and obtaining this resource. Some scientists and environmentalists are not sure if it is worth the risk. They feel we need more long-term research into this industry, and that's why we want this bill delayed, so we can do more research, find out the facts, the pros and the cons. With a ban on fracking, it is not likely we'll obtain the necessary information we are looking for. What are the long-term results? Well, let's find out. Let's be responsible. If people think too many unknowns exist, well, let's find out what these unknowns are.

We also want our province to continue its focus on renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and biomass. However, we should at least pursue the benefits and risks of hydraulic fracturing. The Minister of Energy has an ace up his sleeve. We put that ace up his sleeve, Madam Speaker, a trump card. We gave him the ace, and the ace is taking this delay for six months. All he has to do is take the ace out and play it - agree that the right decision is to delay this bill until we carefully, diligently explore all the ramifications of this decision.

Madam Speaker, advances in this industry appear to be transforming America's energy landscape. Perhaps this is a reasonable solution to transform our energy landscape; a reason why we should delay this legislation and push it ahead six months is to gain more information, more insight, accurate data. Let's find out about the future of natural gas in this province. The environmental impacts of shale development will be challenging, but let's find out if it is manageable. If proper research takes place and proper regulation is in place, it should narrow or minimize the environmental problems. We need the appropriate checks and balances.

There's only one way to get this right - take the time, Madam Speaker. Take the next six months and do the proper research. Obtain the best possible answers to the questions we have. It appears that Bill No. 6 sends the message, forget out onshore energy investment. The bill discourages exploration. This bill discourages companies coming to Nova Scotia to explore. Will this bill result in the loss of billions of dollars to Nova Scotia's service providers? Will this bill result in loss of taxes, loss of employment, loss of product sales, loss of hope for potentially very good jobs? Madam Speaker, will this decrease the confidence in Nova Scotia energy projects? Should companies involved in offshore development be worried or concerned? If onshore development is discouraged through Bill No. 6, perhaps companies and investors involved in offshore development will be nervous and hesitant to invest in this province.

[Page 1980]

Madam Speaker, if the message is that we are not really interested, companies will quickly go elsewhere to invest millions in infrastructure, improving the economy elsewhere and supporting employment elsewhere.

Madam Speaker, we need these six months to study this. What kind of province are we going to be? We are debating about the uncertainty, so let's find out how it should work. The Ivany report suggests that we should go forth carefully and examine new things. Placing a closed sign to new business in Nova Scotia will not be very productive.

Madam Speaker, if we take the time to look at this topic and do the following: consult the experts, look at the opportunities, develop them and find out how to do it in a very safe way - by delaying Bill No. 6, we will have the time to study best industry practices that will ensure safe, sustainable, clean energy developments and not curtail them. We cannot afford to lose this opportunity. This may be one of our greater opportunities, developing our resources in our province, near our homes, creating jobs here at home, keeping Nova Scotia workers here at home, keeping families here, and improving the economy in Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, look at the provinces that are flourishing: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. How can we say no to explaining this in Nova Scotia? We have a duty to investigate this. We want to do this in a very environmentally safe and responsible way. There have been no significant issues in Saskatchewan after approximately 35,000 wells. Look at the message we are sending across the country, the world, and most important of all, the companies willing to invest in onshore gas development.

Madam Speaker, other areas have benefited greatly. Natural gas is a cleaner resource that we should look at and we must take the time to look at it. The price of electricity is hurting the pocketbooks of many Nova Scotians, let's encourage new ways to create ways to reduce electricity in a clean and sustainable way. Did Saskatchewan put up a No sign on their borders? Did Alberta put a No sign up on their borders? They certainly didn't and are reaping the benefits of their exploration. We have geology and rock formations similar to other provinces. We have a chance to earn royalties to help this province.

Madam Speaker, when we look at reports like the Ivany report, Now or Never, and the 19 goals of the Ivany report, Goal 1 deals with the out-migration of Nova Scotians. This is a great opportunity to reverse that out-migration, do the necessary studying over the next six months, and bring a lot of our youth and experienced workers back to Nova Scotia. Onshore gas development might be the answer to achieve Goal 1 of the Ivany report. We all have friends, families, and relatives who are out West working.

[Page 1981]

Madam Speaker, I have many nephews and nieces out West, probably enough to put a member in the Legislature, there are so many out there right now, and a lot of friends, like John Wilson, who left just recently to go to Cambridge Bay after spending close to 40 years in the plumbing business in Pictou County; Fergus Purdy; and Dave MacKay - and I could go on with many, many names.

Goal 4 in the Ivany report, Business Start-Ups - imagine an onshore gas industry and the jobs that it would create in Nova Scotia; imagine companies supplying this new industry, bringing Nova Scotians back home.

Goal 9, Youth Employment - increasing youth participation in the workforce. The government is banning this opportunity at the present time; they're saying no to this particular goal, Youth Employment. Many young Nova Scotians graduating from the Nova Scotia Community College and other post-secondary institutions want to stay here in Nova Scotia and work - will they have this opportunity? Hopefully if the government will take six months and examine this very important bill they will have this opportunity. At the present time it sure doesn't look like it.

Goal 19 is getting our financial house in order. We have an opportunity to grow our economy by developing our natural resources. Madam Speaker, we have reports telling us to take our time, the Wheeler report, the Ivany report - this is the real reason why we should delay this and explore the opportunities that may exist, take the opportunity to strengthen existing regulations, or create stronger regulations, to make this possible exploration safe and environmentally friendly.

We have industries, earlier mentioned by the member for Cumberland South, that are perplexed about the position of this government, a no sign that is very visible. The government is facing serious budget deficits and more job losses, and placing a ban on this new way of creating jobs is not the way this province should be heading. The government should welcome the opportunity to have additional time to study the possibilities of onshore gas development.

What an opportunity this could be to talk to the experts from other provinces in Canada to discuss the positive and negative effects of this situation. We have provinces in Canada currently benefiting from this particular industry. We do not hear about too many incidents - strong regulations are guiding this industry and these provinces. Let's take the time to get this right. The importance of this resource development has the potential to create jobs and, at the same time, protect our environment.

Madam Speaker, our number-one priority should be to improve the economy in this province. The government is already in their second year and there seems to be very little about jobs and the economy. This is the number-one issue in this province. We have to do everything within our power to keep bright, talented Nova Scotians working here in our province. We cannot afford to lose highly competent, experienced tradespeople like John Wilson from New Glasgow, Fergus Purdy, Jeremy Murray, and Dave MacKay from Pictou County.

[Page 1982]

Four weeks ago John Wilson made a very difficult decision - he closed his plumbing business, which he started in 1979, and left with one of his employees for Cambridge Bay. Basically there are no indicators that the economy is going to improve in the immediate future, so can we blame him for making that particular move? If we were the government of the day we would be taking a serious look at shale gas development, and we would take the next six months and examine all the possibilities. There is a possibility for good-paying jobs in our province if we make the right decisions today. We owe that to Nova Scotians.

What exactly is happening? Madam Speaker, the Liberals have taken the path of least resistance, the easy way out. We have numerous young people working out West, separated from their families. Many of these families are young. In the case of Jeremy Murray from Trenton, he has had a difficult time acquiring a reasonable paying job in Nova Scotia. He has a new baby a few weeks old. I talked to Jeremy on the weekend; he is home for a week but has to return tomorrow to Fort McMurray - Wednesday - after being home just for a short week. He would prefer to be staying home but feels he has no choice. He needs steady employment.

Madam Speaker, the government must demonstrate leadership; the province needs change. Without this change more and more friends and family members will continue to leave. Unfortunately many will create a new home environment out West and some of them will not return home. The resounding message that the Liberals are sending to all Nova Scotians, other provinces, countries, and oil and gas companies is that Nova Scotia is closed for business. We are simply not interested and the door is closed for future exploration.

Madam Speaker, we have a province crying for jobs. We should be opened for business and find out if our resources can be tapped into. We should find out for sure if we can create jobs in a safe, environmentally friendly climate. Again, by delaying this bill we can find answers to all those questions.

Our province's unemployment rate is embarrassing. It is now the third highest in the country. Nova Scotia's deficit continues to rise. Closing the door to securing answers and expert information is not what we should be doing today, Madam Speaker, we should be doing the opposite. Saying no now and postponing the difficult decisions to later is not something that we should be doing but that appears to be what is happening here today in the province.

[Page 1983]

We need jobs now, not in four years. We cannot afford to lose any more Nova Scotians; the outmigration must be stopped. Madam Speaker, our younger generation will need a strong, vibrant province with opportunities for good paying jobs. We cannot afford any more delays in rebuilding this province.

Madam Speaker, I do not hear the government saying anything about a balanced budget, hopes of a tax relief, a plan for jobs, or lower power rates. I know that my colleagues in the PC caucus believe in lower taxes, preventing wasteful spending, and creating more jobs. We want to rebuild this economy and we want to rebuild it now. We have too many people struggling in this province to make ends meet at the conclusion of each month. We want to start improving this economy for the seniors who live in this province and ensure they have the best care possible.

Madam Speaker, I want to see the students who attend our high schools, like North Nova Education Centre or Northumberland Regional High School in Pictou County, attend post-secondary institutions and build their lives and families here in Nova Scotia. I would like to see small businesses like Wilson's Plumbing and Heating, Hawboldt Machine Shop, WearWell Garments, and McLeans Flooring strive, and others will want to invest in our communities.

Madam Speaker, what am I afraid of? Without action and a plan in place, we will be in the same position one year from now. Unless we take this bill, place it on a table to examine it thoroughly, we will not progress. Exploring and studying the positive and/or negative effects of gas exploration is probably the sensible thing for this province to undertake. The government's quick decision to ban fracking may be a move we live to regret. We have certainly reached a crossroad in Nova Scotia. Large out-migration of our youth and experienced trades people heading out West to work in an industry that we have closed the doors on future exploration.

The government is not even on the fence on this issue, it is a plain simple "no thanks." Madam Speaker, where is the leadership? Listen to Nova Scotians, listen to the thousands who are out West working. We have to look at concrete ways of improving our economy. If this trend continues, the province will have a very difficult time providing major investments for our hospitals, schools, universities, roads and bridges. Thousands of Nova Scotians who are unemployed are now seeking opportunities out West.

Madam Speaker, the die has been cast, they realize the opportunity they hoped for might keep them home; however, the door has been shut tight. The message is loud and clear: investors, take your money elsewhere, we are not interested.

Madam Speaker, why should we investigate the possibility of developing natural gas? Why should we gather the most up-to-date scientific information available? Why shouldn't we talk to the experts? This would appear to be the most logical step to take. We have to move forward collectively and improve the economy of this province. We must share ideas and possibilities. Banning potential jobs is not the answer to prosperity. Without examining the possibility of gaining revenue from our natural resources and creating good-paying jobs, we will continue to watch the out-migration of Nova Scotians.

[Page 1984]

Madam Speaker, there are no easy answers. We need up-to-date stats with regard to the amount or possible volume of available gas. We have to eliminate the red tape and we need less bureaucracy. Nova Scotia has approximately 8,000 fewer jobs and that's a staggering stat. Our country is growing steadily while Nova Scotia is sliding backwards.

Madam Speaker, Nova Scotia finally has a new way to create jobs; however, the government stepped in and said no - no to a potentially viable project. Once again all we're asking is for this bill to be delayed so that the proper people in the industry and government, environmental people, can have a good look at it and see if it's worth pursuing and if it can be a viable project for the province. This part differs with that opinion, we would like to see the government take the opportunity to explore the potential of onshore gas exploration.

There is a potential for 1,500 jobs, Madam Speaker, and maybe more. We want to see more research, we want to see more scientific stats. This ban will never give us the opportunity to find out the answers we need to make an informed decision. If these companies believe we are closed for business, where do we go from here?

Madam Speaker, in my closing remarks I think the most sensible, common-sense, logical move would be for this bill to be delayed for six months and maybe longer, so everyone involved could have a very close look at this particular bill and decide what's best for the Province of Nova Scotia. I believe the best thing for the Province of Nova Scotia is to find out as much as we can about developing onshore gas in this province, to look at the pros and the cons and then decide if it's something we should pursue and go ahead with.

With those few words, Madam Speaker, I will take my place. Thank you.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Madam Speaker, this much I do know is true: that I am getting old because I feel like I'm hung over right now, I'm that tired. I thank you for allowing me to rise to say a few . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: How do you know what that feels like?

MS. MACFARLANE « » : I don't know what it feels like.

Here's what I think: I think we need to reboot. I think I can honestly stand here and say that I'm not completely, right now, let's do full-throttle development, and like the member for Cape Breton Centre stated, he wasn't ready for a "drill, baby, drill" - well, I'm not either, but I realize that change of scope and intensity invested in something like Bill No. 6 is bound to raise a lot of questions, and that's a good thing. That is to be expected, and that is what is needed to bring this discussion further, further investigating an industry that could actually make Nova Scotia a powerhouse in the energy industry. We could actually be a province that would be self-sufficient, or perhaps maybe not. Maybe there is no natural gas - you know, maybe we only have dribbles. We're not certain. I just think that we really need to step back and reboot this bill and start fresh and engage in further conversation.

[Page 1985]

Let's go back to the starting point and give ourselves six months, at least six months. You don't know what you have until it's gone, and this certainly is our opportunity to make this bill right. I've always felt that sometimes the fastest way to get there is to go slow, and if I recall, that statement is somewhat similar to what was in the Wheeler report. I believe it said: go. Go slow, but go.

I agree wholeheartedly with that. Nova Scotia is in a shameful situation, or at least it's in a shameful financial situation. We need time, and we actually have time. We have time to discuss this. I don't understand what the rush is. We all know that good solutions never result - we always have to listen to all arguments. We have a dangerous level of debt - $15 billion. We are basically having, in my opinion, an economic breakdown here in Nova Scotia.

The last time I spoke on this bill I mentioned how, back in the 1980s, around the kitchen table with my parents, they spoke about the debt that Nova Scotia had, and that, if it was paid off, each and every individual in Nova Scotia would have about $120-some to pay. Well, it brings me great sadness to think that right now, if each and every one - 940,000-some people - were to pay the debt off right now, we would all owe about $15,000.

It's a disgrace, and once again, it's shameful. We all know that if you don't take care of something, it comes to the point of no return. That's why we invest in taking good care of our cars and our homes. I think that we have to invest in at least six months to give this bill a new assessment - time to take care of Bill No. 6.

The hoist is necessary, Madam Speaker. It's an opportunity to get this bill right, for us to discuss it further as elected officials so we can get it right, so our taxpayers know we invested the proper amount of time in taking care of business in the most transparent and honest way possible.

Nova Scotia deserves this. Nova Scotians deserve this. You deserve this. We all deserve this, especially our children and our grandchildren. I am tired of feeling like the environment and the economy in Nova Scotia are always in direct competition. They don't have to be. We know oil has been our greatest discovery to move civilization forward. I am hyper-aware of the importance of creating a balance point between being beneficial to society in drilling, and the risks involved environmentally.

[Page 1986]

So at the end of the day, do the benefits outweigh the risks? Well, Madam Speaker, it looks like, with this bill, we will never know - never know the possible feeling of being debt-free, of having a debt-free province for our children and our grandchildren. So why don't we risk six months or more to allow ourselves to talk to industry, talk to people in our constituencies, and to educate ourselves more. We need this hoist. We need six months to begin with an assessment of priorities. Governments must have priorities. Governments must have plan, a plan to increase job growth and we need job growth in Nova Scotia. We need to reboot the economy just like we need to go back and reboot this bill.

There should be a time for all municipalities to engage in this conversation. Madam Speaker, this government is legislating a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing and we don't even know what the meaning is; we can't even get the minister to give us a concrete definition, so why not give our communities a chance to work with government and hear their voices, allow them to be involved, allow this discussion to take place at the grassroots level.

Madam Speaker, we need to be more proactive as government officials, all of us in this Chamber. People are losing faith in our business environment. Why not take six months to explore, get answers to create the proper, safe framework to get this bill right. Right now with the ban, who does this Liberal Government think is going to come here and explore for a resource that they can't and aren't allowed to produce? I can't think of any other word, it's almost delusional in thinking that companies will want to come here and explore. Where is the common sense?

What would be the harm, Madam Speaker, in waiting six months or more? The story to Bill No.6 should not end here tonight. Again, reboot, restart, go back and start fresh and allow more voices to be heard. Those voices matter; they expect more and they deserve more from this government and from all of us in this Chamber.

I was thinking how we are on a path to self-destruction, economically anyway, and as well as potentially on a path to artificial intelligence. I don't want to get all my thoughts on this bill from Google because I can stand here in this Chamber right now and I can stand up and tell you all the reasons and endorse why you should be fracking, and I can tell you all the reasons and endorse why you shouldn't be. I want my thoughts on this bill to come from my engagement within my community, with industry. I want face-to-face discussions and the real physical realm.

Nova Scotians deserve to be heard. We need to be the sounding board and then collect this information, this valuable information, from our constituents. Six months, Madam Speaker, smart people change their minds. They don't let pride get in the way of making good decisions. Why are we speeding through this bill? I don't understand - why the hurry? When I was thinking about speed, I was thinking about what the meaning actually is and to me speed provides a sense of power and control; however this bill is totally out of control.

[Page 1987]

Right now I am thinking about the virtue of patience; above all else that is what is needed right now. Sustainability will only work with a plan and unfortunately the Liberals don't have a plan, or at least not a job creation plan. That is why it is so extremely important not to have this bill pass but rather take six months and be totally sure we are not going to omit the potential job creation opportunities.

Do you know, Madam Speaker, that 61 per cent of the province's electricity is generated by burning coal at its four plants: in Trenton, Lingan, Point Aconi, and Point Tupper. I believe domestic natural gas from Nova Scotia would be a good thing. I know the individuals starting to come through my office door would love to heat their homes with natural gas; in fact, this past weekend I opened my doors to my constituency office a number of times to pass out the heating rebate form. Many of the questions raised by constituents were: Will we have an opportunity to tap into the natural gas that is being supplied now to Northern Pulp and Michelin? The answer is no; I had to tell them no.

Then they said well it's odd, you know I have relatives out West who are paying $50 a month or less to heat their homes. It's that time of year when we're all going to start getting people coming in, looking for heating assistance to help them get through the winter months, Madam Speaker. It's a difficult time and you know a lot of these people coming in, some people think, you know, oh they're negative but you know a lot of them are actually feeling hopeless. And it's an awful feeling, as an MLA, knowing that you can't help them find a job. There are no jobs to be had.

I think we need to stop and think, what is the demand for Canadian natural gas? I know that I read recently in an energy booklet that was passed out here in this Chamber that in 2013 natural domestic gas sales totalled 3.6 trillion cubic feet. In that same year 2.9 trillion cubic feet went to the United States - it's too bad we couldn't have kept that here.

Who are the consumers of natural gas? Natural gas distribution in Canada breaks down like this: 22,000 industrial locations use natural gas; 560,000 commercial establishments use natural gas; and over 5.9 million homes use natural gas.

This hoist is important; we need to get it right. Natural gas is cheap, it's clean, and I can assure you it's in demand - it's definitely in demand in Pictou West. We need to consider the potential life natural gas can have in all of Nova Scotia. I am listening to my constituents. We need to wait, we need to get it right.

One of my favourite Winston Churchill quotes: "You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something, sometime in your life" Well, Madam Speaker, I'm standing up right now for those unheard, valuable voices on Bill No. 6.

[Page 1988]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : It's a pleasure for me to rise and throw myself into this debate on the hoist that we should push this bill back six months to allow the proper consultation with people in the industry, with the citizens in each of our constituencies, with the businesses that rely on natural gas, or could rely on natural gas.

Madam Speaker, we know that this is a very important issue in the province. As I said before, people who are for it are really for it, and people who are against it are really against it.

We have to take this time, move this bill down the road a little bit so that we can get this right. Madam Speaker, if we don't get this bill right and we outright ban natural gas in our province, and the exploration of natural gas, we're looking at something that could put, they're saying, an estimate of 1,500 people to work here.

I know myself, Madam Speaker, my son, who planned on staying in the province to work and has heard of the development of our natural resources, took a power engineering course, passed the course, is writing his Department of Labour and Advanced Education exams. If we stop development of our resources, he will have to move away.

Madam Speaker, I know with my own family - my mom and dad live down the street from me and it was something that my grandkids got a chance to enjoy, their grandparents - I'm hoping that if we move this down the road, get it right, use our natural resources, my kids can stay here and my grandkids will get to grow up with their grandparents.

Madam Speaker, we've seen industries grow here in the province, thanks to natural gas. The government has introduced a bill already that will enable the growth of compressed natural gas satellite distribution networks. Now, wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to have those distribution networks, that we had natural gas in each of our communities, in each of our constituencies?

You know, this bill focuses on banning high-volume hydraulic fracturing and we haven't heard a good, solid definition of this yet. Six months could be taken to reconsider what the appropriate parameters would be in order to strike the right balance between development and environmental concerns, including input of all members of our communities and our First Nations people.

Access to natural gas contributes to the economic case as to why companies should invest here in Nova Scotia. Business should be provided with the opportunity to feed into this legislation, not just the regulations under a ban. Once a ban is in place there may need to be legislative and regulatory changes in order to bring this back.

[Page 1989]

We have a couple of offshore projects already, we hear one of them is winding down, so establishing the industry onshore could replace the gas we're going to lose from the shutting down of Deep Panuke and our Encana Sable offshore natural gas fields and the businesses that have natural gas now that rely on it. It's cleaner burning, it's supposedly cheaper, and it has allowed our businesses to be competitive both provincially and federally, and on a world scale.

Establishing a legislative ban restricts the conversation of shale gas development. We agree with Dr. Wheeler that there should be further conversation with our communities. That's why we're bringing this hoist forward. Six months could be used to establish regulations that would allow for safe hydraulic fracturing, and with those safe operations we could also get our social licence that we hear so much about, established.

Energy security is important, that's why developing onshore natural gas is essential. We already have the capabilities of developing our onshore industry. The supply chain to the industry in Nova Scotia has a long history of successful developments off the coast of this province. Many of the companies have an impeccable record offshore and are able to provide similar procedures onshore. It's unfortunate that the government doesn't recognize this and introduced this bill.

We had a letter from Triangle Petroleum, from Peter Hill - and I think someone read it earlier - that it's the ". . . hope and request for a prompt, 6 months discussion, using the Wheeler Review results, and led by the Departments of Energy and Environment. This is in the spirit of the recommendations of the Review and in line with the key needs of Nova Scotia and its critical energy supply future." Instead we have a government that wants to push this bill through, and throw up the "closed for business" sign.

You know, businesses in Nova Scotia rely on this energy source. They provide good paying jobs and the industries that use natural gas provide great paying jobs. Hydraulic fracturing has been conducted across Canada; it's even going on today. A lot of our people are leaving to go work out West in these fields. All you have to do is take a trip to the Sydney airport any evening, any morning, and see the planes leaving full and coming back full.

It's our young people, our people who have their families here, and fortunately for us they haven't decided to pack up and take the whole family yet. If this is to continue, who knows what can happen? We're hearing all kinds of things that contamination . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The chatter in the House is getting quite loud. I would appreciate everybody keeping their tones down a little bit lower.

[Page 1990]

The honourable member for Northside-Westmount has the floor.

MR. ORRELL « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. We're hearing of all these people that are leaving and like I said, fortunately for us they're leaving their families here for now, but for how long is that going to take place?

I have a neighbour of my own that fortunately still travels back and forth for his family, but at one point not long ago, they decided that the whole family was going to move out West where Brian works. She got a leave of absence from her job, this lady had a good job working in the bank in Sydney, and when she went out West to see the conditions that are there as far as what she would have living and commuting and all that stuff, she realized that she's got it pretty good here in Nova Scotia, in Cape Breton, in North Sydney, believe it or not, and she decided not to go. But her children are missing out on their father.

He's a good father. He's a good husband, and he's good because he's putting everything on the table and he's working away and he's coming home and he's spending time with his family, but when he's away he's missing out. He's missing out on school concerts. He's missing out on his young fellow's hockey games. He'd love to stay here in Nova Scotia. We have the ability to do this. We have the ability to develop our onshore natural gas.

Dr. Wheeler says we can go, but go slow. In 2011 - I know it's been read already - the Energy Minister introduced a bill - a hydraulic fracturing bill, believe it or not. It was called "An Act to Ensure the Health and Well-being of All Nova Scotians in the Use of Efficient Hydraulic Fracturing", and it said:

"Following the consultations, the Minister shall recommend to the House of Assembly legislative and regulatory measures that address whether hydraulic should be permitted in the Province and, if so, under what conditions permits for hydraulic fracturing should be issued."

We're getting a different story today. From what we can see, there's no need to press forward with this bill right now. The government could bring it back in Spring 2015. It would be an act of good faith with Nova Scotians, with business owners, with everyone involved in this bill. It could provide the time to consider how the natural gas industry overall has changed in Nova Scotia, to consider how onshore resources can meet the needs of the future, and to be sure that a royalty scheme is in the best interests of the province.

Why couldn't we set up a scheme so that places in the province that want to explore with natural gas could get a royalty scheme a little different than what the province could get? Allow communities to take advantage of what natural gas resources might be in their community and get a benefit from it. Nova Scotians who are directly impacted by natural gas prices include hedging by Nova Scotia Power. The six months could be used to explore how Nova Scotia uses or could use its own natural gas to decrease electricity bill costs.

[Page 1991]

In the past year, the province has lost more than 8,000 jobs. With as many as 1,500 direct jobs possible from the onshore unconventional gas, it is worth taking another six months to achieve something all Parties could support here in the Legislature. The Wheeler panelist has indicated that the estimate of 69 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was in one region of Nova Scotia alone, and that similar geology elsewhere could also contain significant oil deposits. The six months could be used to ensure the bill addresses the possibility and enables the appropriate regulations.

I know we've heard that a number of different wells have been drilled throughout the country and we're not hearing of any ill effects of this result. The Governments of Alberta, B.C., and Saskatchewan are using hydraulic fracturing for their own energy needs, and we've heard things from people like Premier Brad Wall, who had nothing but good to say about bringing their people home, setting up business there, and keeping their people working and decreasing their debt. Imagine what we could do with the money from that with our own health care system, our roads, our education system?

Dr. Wheeler explained how Nova Scotia can enable responsible development of our shale gases. We don't stand here and ask the government to allow this in an unsafe manner. We're all residents of this province, and we all want to see our province move forward, but we don't want to see it move forward in a way that's going to damage our reputation or damage our tourism or our beautiful air and water. By putting an outright ban on this now, without looking at all of the other factors that could be involved, I think we're doing the people of our province a disservice. We're doing an injustice.

I'd like to see this ban move down the road a little bit. Let us study some more. Let us find out what the pros and the cons are going to be, where we can do this well. But I don't think an outright ban is the best thing for our province. It's not going to move our province forward. It's going to limit our investments, and it's going to continue to see our young people and some of our older people move where there's work and where they're doing the same type of jobs.

Madam Speaker, I'd love to see this moved down the road, give us time to consult with everybody involved and make a decision that's informed so that we can get this right. With those few words I'll take my seat.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : This is getting closer to my normal venue. I don't have to talk trying to overcome the noise, I try and talk to keep people awake so now I'm in my normal venue. (Laughter) I'm going to be brief.

[Page 1992]

AN HON. MEMBER: Now you're speaking to the choir.

MR. HARRISON « » : Now I'm speaking to the choir. I was raised in Saint John, New Brunswick, and it just seemed like there was a lot of darkness when I was growing up, I had what they called the slaughterhouse nearby, I had iron works, I had the dry dock, I had the Irving refinery, and I had a pulp mill and all of that stuff was going on around me with all the smells and the sights. It always seemed like to be a dark place.

Then I went to the University of New Brunswick and they had two restaurants at the time: one was called "The Gag and Puke" and the other was "The Parasite." What I'm saying is that it just seemed like New Brunswick was a dark spot for me and then I moved to Nova Scotia when I was about 25, and Nova Scotia has been my province ever since.

ANOTHER HON. MEMBER: Best move you ever made.

MR. HARRISON « » : It was the best move I ever made, you're right, because there is brightness to Nova Scotia that I didn't find in New Brunswick just because of all the resources that this province certainly does have.

I do believe that Nova Scotia has just so, so, so much to offer and I wonder what we're sitting on. Now I don't know what we're sitting on, we've certainly had coal and we've had gypsum, we've had a variety of different mines in Nova Scotia but I'm just not sure whether we've exhausted all the resources that we have in this province.

So what else do we have? I know we have a salt deposit that is dense enough to hold natural gas caverns. I mean I'm dealing with that now in my own constituency, and there are some people who see this as a great resource, it's going to create jobs and so on, and then I have people fighting me on the other side with respect to is it going to harm the environment and so on. So I have those two arguments going on in my own constituency now and I certainly don't want to go through this again with another resource.

What do we have in natural gas, I really don't know. How can we harness the gas, again, I don't know. Is it safe to harness the gas, I don't know. Will the province support that kind of project, I don't know. There is a lot of information out there and you can take the stats and you create for your own point of view. There is information out there that would say fracking is good; there is information out there that is saying fracking is not good. I don't know what is best, so I'm going to listen as much as I can to the information, what I am hoping is that the government will take this time, the six months or whatever is required to gather the information.

I mean I really want to know what's best for the province, I want to know if fracking is safe, I want to know if it's going to create jobs for us and so on. I just feel that if it's held off a little bit to gather that information, I'm going to be more informed; I'm hoping the province itself is going to be more informed. We just want to do it - I want to do it right; I want this province to continue growing and I want this as my bright spot. I always wanted it as my bright spot. I'm really hoping we will get the information that is required and we will act on it properly.

[Page 1993]

So with those few words, I will take my place.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, it's really hard to come and speak after so many people have spoken before me and had the opportunity to, I guess what I would call, put their oar in the water to at least bring forward why we would like to see this bill read a third time six months hence. We feel that from the debate, from the discussion that we've had, that there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.

I think the previous speaker outlined it very well - there are a lot of questions that have not been answered by the minister, nor by the Premier, nor by this government on exactly what this ban is going to do. Quite honestly, I don't think they know what this ban is going to do. I think they are hoping they can basically take the ball, throw it down the road, play a little bit of musical chairs, whatever you want to call it, and hope it's going to be somebody else's problem later on.

I was very disappointed in the article this morning that I read from allnovascotia.com where the Minister of Energy was basically musing with the fact of how to lift the ban, at what point and what kind of information would have to be available in which to lift the ban. I can tell you, Madam Speaker, if we're sort of still in the debate of putting the ban on and the minister is already talking about taking the ban off, why are we here to begin with?

The minister and the Premier had probably the best political smokescreen that they could ever have, which is they received a large report with a number of recommendations held within it. They could have easily said listen, there's a lot of information here, there are a few gaps that we would like to fill; we will discuss fracking in Nova Scotia at a later date. And do you know what? I don't think anyone would have said a word, I don't think they would have said an absolute word because it's a reasonable answer to a very tough question.

I mean we can go down the road - and I'll go down the road in a little bit of why I think it happened, but to take six months off here to allow the department to go and do its work, I mean by the admission of the minister already and by the briefing that we've had, is that it's going to be a process in order to define what high-volume hydraulic fracturing is going to be, what that definition is really going to be.

[Page 1994]

I know he tries to be smart when he answers questions in the House by tabling hundreds of documents, by doing the research in the middle of the night, drinking a Red Bull, but that's the minister. He is, in most cases, one of the smarter guys there, who does a tremendous amount of research. (Applause)

You can clap if you want, but the point is that he has tabled a number of definitions from different parts in the U.S. that actually don't ban hydraulic fracturing, it is simply the definition which they use for a bunch of things.

I did want to mention one quick thing here tonight - it's the minister himself, and I know he has received a number of threat letters. I just want to say on my behalf, that's not something I want to see of any political figure in this province. I don't want to see us worrying about what other people are threatening us with, and to the minister I just wanted to say I'm sorry about that. I can't imagine why someone would send a threatening letter in that way. Our thoughts, of course, are with him and his family, and hopefully this won't go on very long so his life can get back to normal. I wanted to say that. (Applause)

By taking this - I guess we would call it a political move - because when you're opposed to something in this House of Assembly you have a number of ways in which to oppose it. I mean you can vote no when a bill comes forward, you of course can speak to it, you can try to keep it from a vote but quite honestly the law of averages kind of count themselves out eventually after everybody has an opportunity to speak to one motion, one bill, whatever it may be.

The motion we see here tonight is called a hoist motion. It's one that is moved by the first speaker and it tries to move it to a later date. It basically takes the motion that will move that this bill now be read for a third time and actually tries to throw that into the future because the Opposition Party does not agree with the premise of the bill to begin with.

What you try to do at that point, of course, is what we've been trying to do for the last number of hours which is to say, you know, listen there is still a lot of information that needs to be brought forward before we actually feel that we can vote for something like this, let alone the fact that we are probably going to vote no against this, against the main motion, but the fact that if there was better information that we would need to make a full and outright decision on this it would take at least six months for that to happen because even the definition itself of not being before us, by the admission of the department that was going to be taken a number of times.

So by taking this motion, which will also be called a dilatory motion, which is a bit of an obstruction motion, I guess is what you'd want to call it, to move a vote to another day. Madam Speaker, I know at the end of our debate here we'll have a vote on it and I kind of figure the way it's going to go because so far what this government has tried to do is say listen, we're going to lead in a way that we're just going to duck and we're going to try to avoid the really tough questions when it comes to hydraulic fracturing, so we're just going to ban it and we're going to look the other way and hope that it doesn't really put up that big closed sign that we think it's going to put up, because I think that's exactly what's going to be happening here is we're going to put the ban on and nothing is going to happen.

[Page 1995]

I mean the minister can say that the department is going to be doing further work and further investigation and all that stuff but I don't see that happening. I quite honestly do not see that happening because in order to do some of the real work that's required into trying to assess what the resource really is, it requires someone to drill holes, it requires someone to do seismic, it requires someone to spend a lot of money. From what I've been hearing from this government on many occasions, whether they were talking about schools without windows or talking about roads that need to be fixed or whatever it is, whether we're talking about day programs for people with disabilities, we hear that there is no money, so how can we not say yes to somebody going to a day program? We've got to say no to them and we're going to spend money doing some drilling programs on land in Nova Scotia. I don't think that's going to happen, Madam Speaker, I have no expectation of that happening.

There are a number of companies that have already talked about the opportunities, I think we already talked about Trillium Petroleum that did do a number of wells in the Hants County area, who have said, listen, I hope we adopt the Wheeler report, that we put in set regulations as laid out by the Wheeler report, that we maybe not go really fast but take our time, get the information right and truly access what that resources is going to be. If we leave it to the Department of Energy, who has a very small budget as a matter of fact - I don't see them drilling a hole or doing some seismic exploration. So who is going to do it? I know the universities won't be doing it; St. FX won't be doing a drilling program; Dal won't be doing a drilling program. I know he has talked about the universities doing further research, okay, research is one thing, but you still need someone to be doing some true work to assess what that is going to be.

Not unlike what's happening offshore Nova Scotia today, what's happening with Shell. As a matter of fact, the seismic program for Shell has been completed; I think it was completed yesterday in the Shelburne Basin. It still looks like they are going to be able to bring a couple of drill shifts to offshore and they are going to be assessing what that resource is going to be. There's a true, I would say, example of the way it is supposed to work, how development of a resource is truly developed by companies coming to Nova Scotia, coming to offshore Nova Scotia, or any other province or state in North America, and spending some cash. And its cash that we as a province can't afford because we're already having trouble paying for the services that we, of course, all expect.

I think it's a little upsetting to see, I would say, the cavalierness about that - don't worry about it so much, here is what we're going to do. I would rather have seen some leadership, and I expected leadership from the Minister of Energy, because I've known him for a number of years now. I've seen the things that he has brought forward. I know the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisburg tabled a bill that the minister brought forward as an Opposition member back in 2011, which was the Hydraulic Fracturing Act. At that time he wasn't banning it. I don't think he saw the reason, the necessity of a ban, but it did talk about public consultations, doing some stakeholders with the industry, looking at interested members and public input.

[Page 1996]

In 2011 the minister was talking from a different book. Sure he was standing on this side of the House of Assembly, and maybe he didn't have all the information that he needed, but I think he was going in the right direction. I can also say, from my discussions with the minister, especially after all the news around the Wheeler report - as the Wheeler report was going from community to community, the minister was getting more and more concerned about the way the meetings were going on.

It seemed that when Dr. Wheeler and his committee were going out, their idea was not only to get information but to provide information. If somebody was interested in finding out what hydraulic fracturing was about, how it worked, and wanted to ask questions, of course people were expected to go to that meeting to do that. But what was happening was people were coming and basically flooding the time of those meetings - the anti-frack people - and the people that were just really there to find out about it, to be able to learn a little bit more about fracking in Nova Scotia, they weren't being allowed that opportunity or as the member for Pictou East said in his speech, people end up being a little shy when there is a little bit of adversity going on. They are either not going to say anything or they are just going to go home.

I would believe that that happened in a lot of instances when the Wheeler report was going from community to community around Nova Scotia. The end result or the public information part of the Wheeler report program really didn't happen the way it was supposed to.

That brings me to the issue of issuing the ban after three days. Three days. I've never seen something so quick by government in a long time. In three days after receiving the final report. (Interruption) That's 72 hours, not a very long time. Heck, when I call Eastlink in a lot of cases I could be on hold for three days, especially if I'm talking about Internet service in southwestern Nova Scotia - by the way, to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism who is responsible for the broadband service.

But three days? Three days is not a very long time in the life of government. (Interruption) I know I could probably go down the rabbit tracks with the member for Cape Breton Centre, but I'm not because I'd be here for very much longer and I am kind of running out of time. But I would have expected, again, like I said, you get the report and government ends up having an opportunity to say, listen, we're going to receive this, we're going to read it, understand it, we're going to do maybe a little bit more consultation with some of the stakeholders to see how they want to proceed on this. That would have been six months hence anyway. That would have brought us to the Spring where the minister wouldn't have had to talk about hydraulic fracturing at all. We wouldn't have had to talk about hydraulic fracturing in this House - this would not have been the issue that is before us.

[Page 1997]

Madam Speaker, I can tell you that this is a big issue. I know that the government members are here thinking, oh my God, here they are going on and on about nothing. But I go to my community and I don't hear that. What I hear are the people who say give us an opportunity to stay here and work. I can't do it fishing anymore; I can't continue to go out on that boat and pound around all day long and do that. I either have to look for a different opportunity on land here driving a truck, driving an excavator, doing that kind of thing or I'm going to have to go out West. And that's happening time and time again here.

I'm seeing people who have been fishermen and have had their own boats who have sold their full interest in lobster fishing because they've had enough. A gentleman from Argyle - I think he was about 50, 51, or 52, or whatever he is - had enough of the business, it was too much pounding around, the prices have never been correct, things just never worked, so at the end of the day he decided that he's going to drive a truck. I know another one who is the same instance who has now gone out West.

Not only are we losing those individuals who provided business to our communities, or economic stimulus to our communities - they were coaches, they were parents, a part of communities, a part of committees, they were part of a church community. So not only are we losing the economic activity we're also losing some of our community base out West because the opportunity is not here.

This is a good way to provide economic activity, and I know it's not going to create that economic activity tomorrow, but I know in the very near future, whether that's five years, 10 years in the future - and for us to say no I think is not the job we're supposed to be doing here in the House of Assembly.

Again, it's taking this bill and moving it off for six months, and maybe at that time the minister, the Premier, the other members of Cabinet, can convince us that banning hydraulic fracturing is the right thing to do. I don't believe that will happen from the people we're hearing from but, nonetheless, at least six months would give us that opportunity to do it.

The final thing I do want to hit on - we continue to ask the issue of why, why after three days, three days after Labour Day, did the government decide that it was time to ban hydraulic fracturing? And you know what was going on at the same time as the minister and the Premier were making a decision was an election in New Brunswick. Even though what happens in Nova Scotia doesn't normally influence what happens in New Brunswick, the New Brunswick election was run on hydraulic fracturing. Quite honestly, what happened in the end is that the incumbent, who was running on a platform of allowing fracking in New Brunswick, versus the challenger, Premier Gallant, who ended up winning it, who was against fracking - I think this gave them a little more ammunition, a little more help to convince the no side that this is the way it was supposed to go.

[Page 1998]

I think the dilemma that government is going to have now is that I think they did it to help bolster what happened in New Brunswick. We now have the folks in New Brunswick who are trying to figure out how to get out of their ban, that maybe they were a little too rash and a little too quick in saying we should ban hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick. They won the election, but I also hear the Premier flip-flopping on the fact that they want to ban hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick.

We've cited ex-Premier Frank McKenna, who has taken a stance that we need to at least have the opportunity in the Atlantic Provinces to find new ways to provide employment to Atlantic Canadians. You know what? I want to see what happens when New Brunswick says, okay, we're going to lift it, we're going to allow Corridor to continue the work they are doing, we're going to allow more development in New Brunswick - when this government is going to sit there going, well, heck, we did that for them and here they are flip-flopping on it.

So why don't we hold it off for six months and see what New Brunswick does, so that it will be able to be put into consideration, or at least into a place where you can say okay, in order for things to work, we should all be doing the same thing.

We are Atlantic Canada. We are the Maritimes, and what happens in one province affects what happens in the other province. If there's an outright ban in Nova Scotia, nothing goes on, and if there's no ban in New Brunswick, as was promised by the new Liberal Premier of New Brunswick, then what happens? New Brunswick gets the work, New Brunswick gets the energy, and Nova Scotia gets nothing, except for a lot of rhetoric on how we're going to continue to do our work and we're going slow, we're doing exactly what the Wheeler report asked us to do.

This is not what the Wheeler report asked this government to do, nor is the government acting on another bunch of reports that it has in front of it, the Ivany commission report being the number one.

We need to change, folks. We can't continue to expect an economy to grow and expand and become a new economy when we continue to say no. We really need to be open to the ideas that come before us. We need to be open for new ways to create employment. The old days are gone, and we can't keep holding on to them, Madam Speaker. We can't expect that our fishing industry will create the same number of jobs that it has in the past. There has been a downsizing in that industry. If I look at the stacking of lobster licences, the size of lobster rigs, where there were probably 1,000 jobs, there are now 700 jobs, and tomorrow or next year or the year after that, the 700 jobs are going to become 500 jobs, as that continues to be more productive and more efficient.

[Page 1999]

We can't continue to say no, because all of a sudden we'll have no economy. Will we be able to thrive on just Halifax doing well? No. We need all parts of Nova Scotia doing their part in creating a new, vibrant economy in Nova Scotia.

But again, to the political issue that's before us, that if New Brunswick says yes to hydraulic fracturing, after spending so much time saying no, trying to match things up between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, if they finally say yes - and I think that is the direction they are going, from all indications - where is Nova Scotia going to be when it has a ban, when it said no?

As I said, if the minister is already saying, here are the criteria that we might need in order to lift the ban, well Madam Speaker, I think the whole idea is lost and I think the whole idea should be thrown out and we'll talk about that more on third reading.

Madam Speaker, with those short words . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: You have four more minutes.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I do, okay, short words, I had to make up for - okay I'll leave it with this final thought before I do sit down: I am very proud of my caucus who have spoken very well on this topic, who I hope have at least made the members of the government think. I don't know if you agree or disagree, at this time of the night I really don't care, but quite honestly, I hope some of you listened and understand why we think, and what we're hearing from our constituents, this is the wrong thing to do for our communities.

If you're drinking the Kool-Aid and believing everything you're hearing, sorry, I can't say that. I was doing so well up to this point, I'll retract that.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Thank you.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : But if you believe everything you are being told, I don't think you're doing the job that you were sent here to do. You should be taking all thoughts and all points of view from the province and then bringing it together. What we have in the bill that is before us is not what we should be considering; we should be considering something different for the economy of Nova Scotia.

With that I thank you for the opportunity to speak. Of course, this is a hoist motion so we'll see what happens with our hoist motion.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the motion be amended by deleting all of the words after the word "that" and substituting:

[Page 2000]

Therefore Bill No. 6, Petroleum Resources Act, be not now read a third time but that it be read a third time this day six months hence.

AN HON. MEMBER: Recorded vote.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : There has been a request for a recorded vote. How long?

ANOTHER HON. MEMBER: Till the whips are satisfied.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. For the recorded vote I ask that the House be absolutely silent so that the Clerk will be able to hear everybody's voices. Proceed.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[11:58 p.m.]

YEASNAYS
Mr. MacLeodMr. Churchill
Mr. MacMaster Ms. Bernard 
Mr. Dunn Ms. Regan 
Mr. Baillie Mr. Samson 
Mr. d'Entremont Ms. Whalen 
Mr. Orrell Mr. Glavine 
Ms. MacFarlane Mr. MacLellan 
Mr. Houston Ms. Diab 
Mr. Harrison Mr. Horne 
Mr. Lohr Mr. Hines 
 Mr. Stroink 
 Ms. Arab 
 Mr. Delorey 
 Mr. Ince 
 Mr. Kousoulis 
 Mr. Farrell 
 Mr. Gordon Wilson 
 Mr. Rowe 
 Mr. Maguire 
 Ms. Eyking 
 Ms. Lohnes-Croft 
 Ms. Treen 
 Mr. Gough 

[Page 2001]

 Mr. Jessome 
 Mr. Irving 
 Mr. Corbett 

THE CLERK « » : For, 10. Against, 26.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is defeated.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. The House will meet tomorrow on Wednesday, November 5th, from the hours of 1:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Being the NDP Opposition Day, I would now call upon the honourable House Leader for the NDP to give us the business for tomorrow.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, the bills we will be calling after Question Period tomorrow will be Bill Nos. 42, 31, and 33.

I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 1:00 p.m.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again November 5th between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 12:01 a.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 2002]

RESOLUTION NO. 525

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Leslie Thomas Junior High School of Lower Sackville has approximately 370 students from Grades 6 to 8, with 170 students enrolled in the band program; and

Whereas on October 22, 2014, Leslie Thomas Junior High School was presented with a $9,800 donation from C100 Radio, who have contributed more than $25,000 to three Sackville school music programs this year; and

Whereas this funding will enable the band program to refurbish instruments, purchase new instruments, and enhance learning through workshops and improvements to the music library;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Leslie Thomas Junior High School in Lower Sackville on receiving funding to enhance music programs at the school and wish all staff and students a successful year.

RESOLUTION NO. 526

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Kathleen Morrison participated in the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal (1961) program; and

Whereas she has a commendable performance in the courses in which she is enrolled; and

Whereas Kathleen Morrison has demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in the school and community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kathleen Morrison and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 527

[Page 2003]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas my parents Steven and Houda Metlege celebrated their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary on October 1st, 2014; and

Whereas my parents passed on to me the greatest gifts children can receive from their parents: values, culture, tradition and meaning of their faith; and

Whereas my parents have shared this sense of compass and direction among all their six children and spouses, their 17 grandchildren and most recently their great grandson;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate my parents, Steven and Houda Metlege, on their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary and wish them many more years of endless love, laughter and peace, surrounded by their entire family.

RESOLUTION NO. 528

BY: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Suzanne Kapsalis and Michal Cada are long-time friends and residents of Halifax Armdale; and

Whereas Suzanne and Michal exchanged their wedding vows in a beautiful church ceremony on August 23, 2014, wherein I was honoured to read the poem These I Can Promise, by Mark Twain, bringing tears of joy to all present; and

Whereas the occasion marking their new life together is an inspiration to many and was celebrated with a marvelous reception with family and friends at the Armdale Yacht Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Suzanne and Michal Cada on their marriage and wish them many years of success together.

RESOLUTION NO. 529

[Page 2004]

By: Honourable Lena M. Diab (Justice)

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

Whereas Connie Rooney has a remarkable proclivity towards serving society by volunteering her time and organizing talents with respect to community campaigns, events and fundraisers; and

Whereas she has always demonstrated this vivacious volunteer spirit, despite being a busy soccer and career mom of three children; and

Whereas her unwavering support to me is invaluable and her dedication to the betterment of her constituency in Halifax Armdale is inspirational;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Connie Rooney and convey our gratitude for her commitment to the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 530

By: Honourable Lena M. Diab (Justice)

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

Whereas I held my first Halifax Armdale MLA community barbecue on August 17th, 2014, at the Dingle, Sir Sandford Fleming Park; and

Whereas the support of all the dedicated volunteers who joined together made the Mingle at the Dingle a huge success; and

Whereas we were blessed to receive marvelous sunshine on that day, which brought out the beauty of the gorgeous foliage, ocean water, and historical scenery around the Dingle;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate all volunteers, supporters and those in attendance for their wonderful spirit, support and dedication.

RESOLUTION NO. 531

[Page 2005]

By: Honourable Lena M. Diab (Justice)

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

Whereas Tony Amyoony and entrepreneur and resident of Halifax Armdale who immigrated from Lebanon over 35 years ago and has had a passion for Arabic literature since his youth; and

Whereas Tony Amyoony launched his newly published Arabic book of poetry, Between a Kiss and a Kiss (There is) Passion, in Halifax on November 1, 2014; and

Whereas the book consists of poems about his feelings and ideas on his mother, love of his birth place, Lebanon and evokes an emotional response by all readers,

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Tony Amyoony on the release of his new book and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 532

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas the buses are officially rolling on a pilot project offering accessible public transit to residents of Antigonish; and

Whereas funding from the Province of Nova Scotia allowed Antigonish Community Transit to launch its town routes in September and the country routes at the end of October 2014; and

Whereas this community led pilot project provides residents across the region with accessible and affordable public transportation;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate all those who have worked so hard to improve the quality of life for all living in Antigonish.

RESOLUTION NO. 533

[Page 2006]

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Antigonish native Blade Mann-Dixon was selected by the Saint John Sea Dogs in the 2014 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft; and

Whereas he has since completed the Sea Dogs training camp and has secured a place on the team's roster as a goalie; and

Whereas the 17-year-old came up through Antigonish Minor Hockey Association and has a whole community who is very proud of him for reaching his goal of playing in the Quebec Major Junior League,

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Blade for successfully completing training camp and wish him the best this season and wherever his passion takes him.

RESOLUTION NO. 534

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas the 2014-15 basketball season marks Steve Konchalski's 40th year coaching the X-Men of St. Francis Xavier University; and

Whereas Coach K's X-Men have made the conference playoffs for 38 straight years and at the beginning of the season he has 844 career wins, the most of all time among Canadian Men's coaches by more than 100; and

Whereas his achievements on the court also include three national titles, being named CIS Coach of the Year in 2001, helping coach national teams including three Olympics, multiple awards, and Sport Hall of Fame inductions,

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly and thank Coach K for 40 years of coaching, guiding and mentoring.

RESOLUTION NO. 535

[Page 2007]

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Antigonish physician John Chiasson was awarded the Physical Health Promotion Award by Doctors Nova Scotia, as part of a series of awards that celebrate special or unique things their peers have done; and

Whereas the award is given to a physician who has made an outstanding contribution to health promotion, safety and preventative care among Nova Scotians; and

Whereas, as an advocate of healthy living and physical activity in the community, Dr. Chiasson has been involved with the revival of Keppoch Mountain's being turned into a year round hub for activity,

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Chiasson for receiving the Physical Health Promotion Award and for his commitment and dedication to the Keppoch project.

RESOLUTION NO. 536

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on September 16, 2014, Dr. David Risk, an earth sciences professor at St. Francis Xavier University, was named one of the Royal Society of Canada inaugural members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Whereas he was one of 91 named to the college, representing the emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada; and

Whereas Dr. Risk is recognized for making significant contributions to understanding how greenhouse gases are released from soils and how sequestration of greenhouse gases can be monitored; and

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Risk for being named to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, and for his success in his field, since applications of his research are being used around the world.

RESOLUTION NO. 537

[Page 2008]

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas after 18 years Dr. Sean Riley made his mark as president of St. Francis Xavier University, making it one of the best learning environments, as well as one of the most beautiful campuses in Canada; and

Whereas when President, Dr. Riley led to nearly a quarter-billion dollars being invested into the university improving and building new dormitories, a new science building, and a state-of-the-art sporting centre; and

Whereas to honour him and his contributions to St. FX and the community, a new dormitory has been named Riley Hall and a tree has been planted in his name at the Antigonish Landing by the Town of Antigonish and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Sean Riley on his accomplishments, leadership and vision while serving as President of St. FX, and wish him well in his endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 538

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Darryl Murrant is celebrating 30 years of working for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas he received a Long-Service Award in September, 2014; and

Whereas the award recognizes a long and successful career in the government, providing the leadership, programs and services to help Nova Scotians have healthy, prosperous, vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly take this opportunity to thank Darryl for his commitment and dedication to our Public Service, as we appreciate his time and contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 539

[Page 2009]

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Denise Grant is celebrating 25 years of working for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas she received a Long-Service Award in September, 2014; and

Whereas the award recognizes a long and successful career in the government providing leadership, programs and services to help Nova Scotians have healthy, prosperous and vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly take this opportunity to thank Denise for her commitment and dedication to our public service, as we appreciate her time and contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 540

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Donald MacDonald is celebrating 25 years of working for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas he received a Long-Service Award in September, 2014; and

Whereas the award recognizes a long and successful career in the government, providing the leadership, programs and services to help Nova Scotians have healthy, prosperous, vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly take this opportunity to thank Donald for his commitment and dedication to our Public Service, as we appreciate his time and contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 541

[Page 2010]

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Gerard Kelly is celebrating 25 years of working for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas he received a Long-Service Award in September, 2014; and

Whereas the award recognizes a long and successful career in the government, providing the leadership, programs and services to help Nova Scotians have healthy, prosperous, vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly take this opportunity to thank Gerard for his commitment and dedication to our Public Service, as we appreciate his time and contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 542

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas John Delorey is celebrating 30 years of working for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas he received a Long-Service Award in September, 2014; and

Whereas the award recognizes a long and successful career in the government providing leadership, programs and services to help Nova Scotians have healthy, prosperous and vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly take this opportunity to thank John for his commitment and dedication to our public service, as we appreciate his time and contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 543

[Page 2011]

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Kimberley O'Brien-Kendall is celebrating 25 years of working for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas she received a Long-Service Award in September, 2014; and

Whereas the award recognizes a long and successful career in the government providing leadership, programs and services to help Nova Scotians have healthy, prosperous and vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly take this opportunity to thank Kimberley for her commitment and dedication to our public service, as we appreciate her time and contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 544

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Teresa Gillis is celebrating 25 years of working for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas she received a Long-Service Award in September, 2014; and

Whereas the award recognizes a long and successful career in the government providing leadership, programs and services to help Nova Scotians have healthy, prosperous and vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly take this opportunity to thank Teresa for her commitment and dedication to our public service, as we appreciate her time and contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 545

[Page 2012]

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Environment)

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

Whereas William Chisholm is celebrating 30 years of working for the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas he received a Long-Service Award in September, 2014; and

Whereas the award recognizes a long and successful career in the government providing leadership, programs and services to help Nova Scotians have healthy, prosperous and vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly take this opportunity to thank William for his commitment and dedication to our public service, as we appreciate his time and contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 546

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Matt Martelli has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Matt Martelli, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 547

[Page 2013]

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Steuart Martens has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Steuart Martens, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 548

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Heather McGrath has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Heather McGrath, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 549

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Ruth McLeese has participated in the Big Swim; and

[Page 2014]

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ruth McLeese, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 550

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Mary-Helen McLeese has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mary-Helen McLeese, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 551

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Jenna Melanson Stubbert has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

[Page 2015]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jenna Melanson Stubbert, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 552

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Jennifer Mizzi has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jennifer Mizzi, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 553

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Sarah O'Reilly has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sarah O'Reilly, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 554

[Page 2016]

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Alex Pettinaro has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alex Pettinaro, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 555

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Gwynedd Pickett has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gwynedd Pickett, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 556

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Brent Platt has participated in the Big Swim; and

[Page 2017]

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brent Platt and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 557

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Bobby Lou Reardon has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bobby Lou Reardon and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 558

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Carla Ring Herron has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

[Page 2018]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carla Ring Herron and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 559

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Emma Shaw has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Emma Shaw and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 560

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Kier Stewart has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kier Stewart and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 561

[Page 2019]

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Megan Surrette has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Megan Surrette and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 562

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Sarah Taggart has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sarah Taggart and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 563

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas J. D. Tremblay has participated in the Big Swim; and

[Page 2020]

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate J. D. Tremblay and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 564

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Andrew Turner has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Andrew Turner and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 565

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Josh Coyle has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

[Page 2021]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Josh Coyle and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 566

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Kerri Ann Hillier has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kerri Ann Hillier and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 567

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Ellen Taggart has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ellen Taggart and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 568

[Page 2022]

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Cali Bruce has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cali Bruce and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 569

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Blake Cameron has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Blake Cameron and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 570

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Chris Collins has participated in the Big Swim; and

[Page 2023]

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chris Collins and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 571

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Scott Anstey has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Scott Anstey and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 572

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Samantha Ayers-Glassey has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

[Page 2024]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Samantha Ayers-Glassey and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 573

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Richard Bendor-Samuel has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Richard Bendor-Samuel and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 574

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Trevor Crawley has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Trevor Crawley and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 575

[Page 2025]

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Randy Currie has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Randy Currie and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 576

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Keith Dwyer has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Keith Dwyer and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 577

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Hannah Fraser has participated in the Big Swim; and

[Page 2026]

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Hannah Fraser and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 578

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Sabrina Giddings has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Sabrina Giddings and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 579

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Robert Grant has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

[Page 2027]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Robert Grant and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 580

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Dennis Graves has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dennis Graves and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 581

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Sarah Hall has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Sarah Hall and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 582

[Page 2028]

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Beth Hamilton has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Beth Hamilton and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 583

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Curtis Hamilton has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Curtis Hamilton and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 584

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Meaghan Holmes has participated in the Big Swim; and

[Page 2029]

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Meaghan Holmes and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 585

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Jen Hoyt has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth, and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Jen Hoyt and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 586

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas James Jackson has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

[Page 2030]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate James Jackson and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 587

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Tanya Keough has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tanya Keough and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 588

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Christopher Kidd has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Christopher Kidd and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 589

[Page 2031]

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Sue LaPierre has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sue LaPierre and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 590

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Konstantin Lorenz has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Konstantin Lorenz and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 591

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Ted MacDonald has participated in the Big Swim; and

[Page 2032]

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ted MacDonald and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 592

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Emily Mallard has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Emily Mallard and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 593

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Thomas Marks has participated in the Big Swim; and

Whereas to attempt an epic feat - to swim across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island; and

Whereas funds raised from the 2014 Big Swim will support Brigadoon Village, which gives a summer camp experience to children, youth and families living with chronic illness or special needs;

[Page 2033]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Thomas Marks and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 594

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse « » (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas Lillian Crooks, self-taught artist and author, recently had her book Peggy's Cove and Beyond! published; and

Whereas Lillian tells stories of Peggy's Cove and surrounding communities gathered from generations of family and friends, as well as personal history and research; and

Whereas this book was her second published work;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Lillian on the publication of Peggy's Cove and Beyond!