The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD15-47

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

THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
SNS - Natl. Pub. Safety Communications Wk.:
911 Call-Takers/Dispatchers - Honour, Hon. M. Furey »
3785
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1487, Yom HaShoah (04/16/15) - Observance,
3787
Vote - Affirmative
3788
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
N.S. Legislature: Clerks (Two Women) - Historic First,
3788
Arsenault, Daniel - Role Model,
3789
Reviews - Prem.: Results - Heed,
3789
Natl. Vol. Wk.: Vol. Contributions - Recognize,
3789
Horne, Gerry & Jean - Anniv. (60th),
3790
Rural N.S.: Gov't. (N.S.) - Action,
3790
MacKenzie, Patsy: Kids Yoga After the Bell Prog. - Commend,
3790
St. Matthew Wesley United Church - Men's Thank You Dinner
for Women's Groups, Mr. E. Orrell »
3791
Film Ind. - Protect: Cause - Support,
3791
Boston Marathon: Organizers/Participants - Well Wishes,
3791
Hall's Hbr. Vol. FD - Gratitude Express,
3792
Prem./Fin. & Treasury Bd. Min. - Film Tax Credit Decision: Reverse
- Shatner Urge, Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse »
3793
East. Passage - Easter Egg Hunt,
3793
Hardy, Glendon W.: Death of - Tribute,
3793
HPV: Boys - Vaccination Prog
3794
Gonzales, Mary - Cheer Expo Nationals Coach of Yr. (2015),
3794
Jones, Lorraine: Retirement - Congrats.,
3794
Summer St. Works Employment Prog.: Grads - Congrats.,
3795
Goldberg, Jon: Yom HaShoah Observance - Organizing Recognize,
3795
"Love Thy Neighbour" - Fall River Churches Prog.,
3796
Culloden: Battle - Gaels Remember,
3796
Film Tax Credit Cuts: Young People - Effects,
3796
Culloden: Battle - Gaels Remember,
3797
Prem.: Protesters - Response,
3797
Laba, Mary - Hedley G. Ivany Senior of Yr. Award,
3798
MacNeil, Sarah - Atl. Univ. Sports Student-Athlete
Commun. Serv. Award, Hon. A. MacLeod « »
3798
Smith, Sgt. Craig - Order of Merit of the Police Forces,
3798
Whitney, Brandon: Chicago Blackhawks - Draft Pick,
3799
Fanfare regionale de Clare - Anniv. (40th),
3799
MacDougall, Gordon - Birthday (91st),
3800
Cruise Ship Season: Royal Princess - Beginning,
3800
Yee, Colin - Ryl. Conservatory Gold Medal,
3800
S. Shore Fam. Resource Ctr.: Staff/Vols. - Thank,
3801
The Walk of the Cross: North Sydney Organizers - Thank,
3801
Bratty, Heather-Ann - Commun. Fitness,
3801
Eisenhauer, Cathie: Retirement - Congrats.,
3802
Natl. Vol. Wk.: Vols - Thank,
3802
Alderwood - Children/Residents Prog.,
3803
TIR - Roads: Winter Work/Spring Repair - Thank,
3803
Strickland, Seth - Football Accomplishments,
3804
Kearney, Coach Paula/Pitts, R.J. - Special Olympics Awards,
3804
Coleman, Bob & Sally: Retirement - Well Wishes,
3805
Alford, Emily: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
3805
Wolfville Mid. Sch. "Robo Lobo Wired" - Achievements,
3805
Sea Shore Vol. FD (Port Bickerton) - Anniv. (45th),
3806
Soc. Justice Youth Camp - Pink Award,
3806
Hairspray - Hfx. West HS: Prod. - Congrats.,
3807
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 615, Prem.: Ivany Rept. Goals/Film Tax Cuts - Correlation,
3807
No. 616, Prem. - Film Ind.: Value - Protection,
3809
No. 617, CCH - Film & Creative Industries: Loss - Impact Research,
3811
No. 618, Prem. - Epilepsy Assoc.: Funding - Details,
3812
No. 619, Fin. & Treasury Bd.: NSLC - Training Conf. Costs,
3812
No. 620, TIR - Little Narrows Ferry: Rate Relief - Provide,
3813
No. 621, Health & Wellness - Long-Term Care: Wait-List
- First Choice, Mr. C. Porter »
3814
No. 622, Prem. - N.S. Film Ind.: Value - Minimization Explain,
3815
No. 623, LAE: Tuition Increases - Min. Involvement,
3816
No. 624, Nat. Res. - Mining Ind.: Fuel Tax Rebate - Status,
3817
No. 625, Prem. - Film Tax Credit Cuts: Rural N.S. - Effects,
3818
No. 626, Energy - NSP: South Canoe Capital Costs - Court Decision,
3819
No. 627, Gaelic Affairs: Office Staff - Reduction,
3820
No. 628, LAE - Film Tax Credit Cut: Grad. Retention - Effects,
3821
No. 629, Agric. - Stewiacke & Musquodoboit Valley 4-H:
Truro Exhibition Park - Usage, Mr. L. Harrison « »
3822
No. 630, Com. Serv. - Riverview Renovations (Phase 3):
Cancellation - Costs, Mr. T. Houston « »
3823
No. 631, Fin. & Treasury Bd.: N.S. Community Counts
- Elimination, Hon. M. MacDonald « »
3824
No. 632, Agric. - Prov. Exhibition: Forensic Audit - Table,
3825
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
3826
3831
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 3:21 P.M
3835
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:37 P.M
3835
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 87, Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Act
3836
3836
3837
3838
Vote - Affirmative
3838
No. 88, Dental Act
3838
3839
3840
3841
Vote - Affirmative
3842
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 76, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter
3842
3842
3843
Vote - Affirmative
3843
No. 80, House of Assembly Act
3843
Vote - Affirmative
3843
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 8:02 P.M
3843
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 8:17 P.M
3843
CWH REPORTS
3844
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Apr. 17th at 9:00 a.m
3844
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1488, Lake Echo: Commun. Contributions - Recognize,
3845
Res. 1489, Bayard, Bob: East Hants Mun. - Vol. Recognition,
3845
Res. 1490, Cajolais, Claude: East Hants Mun. - Vol. Recognition,
3846
Res. 1491, Hartlen, Donald: East Hants Mun. - Vol. Recognition,
3846
Res. 1492, Roulston, Elizabeth: East Hants Mun. - Vol. Recognition,
3847
Res. 1493, Meehan-White, Katie: East Hants Mun. - Vol. Recognition,
3847
Res. 1494, Robinson, Lara: East Hants Mun. - Vol. Recognition,
3848
Res. 1495, Walsh, Nadine: East Hants Mun. - Vol. Recognition,
3848
Res. 1496, Bartlett, Stacey & Doug: East Hants Mun. - Vol. Recognition,
3849
Res. 1497, Diman Assoc. (Can) - Commun. Togetherness,
3849
Res. 1498, Alshazly, Ms. Faten - Can. Top 100
Most Powerful Women List, Hon. L. Diab « »
3850
Res. 1499, Tompkins, Keiren - N.S. Medal of Bravery (2014),
3850
Res. 1500, MacDonald, Robert: Achievements - Congrats.,
3851
Res. 1501, O'Keefe, Sister Joan: Chancellor MSVU/
Congregational Leader Sisters of Charity - Appts., Hon. L. Diab « »
3851
Res. 1502, Ross, Stephen - N.S. Medal of Bravery (2014),
3852
Res. 1503, Anderson, Tom: Elizabeth Chard Award - Congrats.,
3852

[Page 3785]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

1:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. We will now begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

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

HON. MARK FUREY « » : I rise in the House today to honour the 911 call-takers and emergency dispatchers during this National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which runs until April 18th.

This week provides a great opportunity to pay tribute to the critical role our 911 call-takers and emergency dispatchers play in the province. They are often unsung heroes who work around the clock, 365 days a year, to protect the health, safety, and property of Nova Scotians. Many lives are saved each year thanks to the dedicated service of our 911 call-takers and emergency dispatchers.

[Page 3786]

Mr. Speaker, when an emergency occurs, prompt response from police, fire, and ambulance is critical to the protection of life and property. Nova Scotians can be comforted knowing there are skilled and dedicated people ready to take calls for help, and 911 call-takers and emergency dispatchers provide a vital link to emergency services and offer compassion in times of crisis. They work behind the scenes and are the first to offer help when it is needed. From an initial call to 911 through to the dispatch of emergency responders, these dedicated individuals provide a vital link to emergency services.

Mr. Speaker, 911 call-takers answer more than 240,000 calls per year. There are four 911 call centres in Nova Scotia - located in Kentville, Truro, Dartmouth, and Sydney. The Emergency Management Office is responsible for the province-wide 911 emergency reporting service and works closely with all emergency and first-responders.

Mr. Speaker, as Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Office, and on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia, I want to thank the 911 call-takers and emergency dispatchers for their hard work and dedication to preserving the safety of all Nova Scotians, and in doing so, improving our lives in the communities in which we choose to live. Thank you.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to thank the minister for providing us a copy ahead of time. It's my pleasure to rise and recognize and honour the dedicated service of 911 call-takers and dispatchers in Nova Scotia during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

Mr. Speaker, whether it is 12:00 noon or 3:00 a.m., these individuals are waiting and ready by the phone to respond to emergencies and dispatch help to those who need it. Our dedicated 911 call-takers and dispatchers are often the first contact that Nova Scotians have during a crisis or emergency. At the times when Nova Scotians and their families are at their most vulnerable, due to crises and emergencies, call-takers and dispatchers are the calming voice on the other end of the phone and make sure that all necessary services are dispatched to help those in need.

I'm sure that all members of this House and their families have been impacted by the quick action of 911 call-takers and dispatchers during a time of crisis. Due to this quick response and connection with emergency responders, I am sure that we all have had loved ones who owe their lives to the work of our 911 dispatchers and our emergency responders.

Along with my caucus colleagues, I extend my thanks and gratitude to all 911 call- takers and dispatchers, and encourage all Nova Scotians to recognize their dedicated service during this year's National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Merci beaucoup.

[Page 3787]

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I'd like to thank the minister for offering a copy of his statement to our caucus before we sat today. National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is an absolutely appropriate time to celebrate the vital contribution 911 call-takers and emergency dispatchers make to our society.

Mr. Speaker, as legislators, I feel compelled to say we can do more than just stand in the House and recognize their contribution with speeches and statements. We can, in fact, use our time here to make real change for those emergency responders who put their mental and physical health at risk to help save others in dire situations.

In September last year my colleague introduced a bill that would guarantee PTSD coverage for paramedics, nurses, correctional officers, social workers, police officers, and other emergency responders like 911 call-takers and emergency dispatchers. At that time, the McNeil Government refused to allow the bill to proceed to the Law Amendments Committee, but did promise to set up an all-Party committee to explore the issue. That still has not happened.

Today, I'd like to take the opportunity to again call on the McNeil Government to please stop dragging their heels on this incredibly important opportunity. Let's show that we can celebrate the sacrifices of our first responders with more than just these words.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1487

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

Whereas today, April 16th, marks the observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day; and

Whereas Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time for people around the world to reflect and educate about the enduring lessons of the Holocaust; and

Whereas today we pause to remember the countless innocent people, including six million Jewish men, women, and children, who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis;

[Page 3788]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature be ever mindful of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and ensure that these events are neither forgotten nor repeated.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

N.S. Legislature: Clerks (Two Women) - Historic First

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the members' attention to the fact this is a historic day in the Nova Scotia Legislature. It is the first time that we have two women acting as our Clerks here in the Nova Scotia Legislature. (Applause)

C'est aussi la première fois qu'il y a deux Acadiennes qui sont les greffières ici à l'Assemblée de la Nouvelle-Écosse. It's also the first time that we've had two Acadians acting as our Clerks here in the Legislature. I would like the members to rise and give Mme Boucher and Mme Arsenault the congratulations of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : That will teach Chief Clerk Ferguson for being late.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

Arsenault, Daniel - Role Model

[Page 3789]

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place today to speak about a young constituent in Pictou Centre, Daniel Arsenault. Daniel has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is a progressive muscle-wasting disease. He also possesses something else: a positive attitude and the biggest genuine smile you can find in the province. Every day is a struggle for him, but he faces every day with determination. He's a true role model for all of us, an inspiration, and an amazing young man. Thank you.

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

REVIEWS - PREM.: RESULTS - HEED

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, in 2014, the McNeil Government spent $200,000 to conduct a tax and regulatory review, and then they promptly put it on a shelf and forgot about it. The Premier's own review told him that if he were to make any changes to the Film Tax Credit, it should be done over a five-year period in consultation with the industry and in a transparent way. It also recommended that Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia be responsible for administering tax credits.

Instead, the Premier ignored his own review, consulted no one - except perhaps the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board - and eliminated the very staff who should have been administering the program. Why is the Premier undertaking so many reviews, if he is just going to ignore the results?

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

Natl. Vol. Wk.: Vol. Contributions - Recognize

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, as this is National Volunteer Week, it is important to reflect on the individuals who give their time to volunteer. Chloe Goulden, a young 15-year-old from Lower Sackville, was touched by the story of a young boy with cancer. Because of this young boy's story, Chloe decided she wanted to raise money for childhood cancer. She was also instrumental in having Mayor Savage declare last September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

When Daphine Gomes heard of the work that Chloe was doing to raise money for childhood cancer, she decided that she wanted to help Chloe. Daphine held several barbeques at the Sobeys store in Spryfield. She also purchased bracelets to sell and secured corporate donations. Daphine was able to raise over $800 for this important cause.

Mr. Speaker, when one person gives unselfishly to their cause, it often inspires others to do the same. Because a young girl from Lower Sackville decided to volunteer to raise money for childhood cancer, a lady from Spryfield was inspired to help her in her quest. It is important to recognize the contributions of volunteers and let them be an inspiration to us all.

[Page 3790]

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

HORNE, GERRY & JEAN - ANNIV. (60TH)

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today and offer Happy Anniversary wishes to good friends from Lorne. Gerry and Jean Horne are celebrating 60 years together and like the diamond that is a symbol for this anniversary, their love is still a strong and beautiful thing.

Six decades after they said "I do", they are still going strong and they are doing it together. They are an inspiration to me and I am honoured to call them my friends. It's a remarkable milestone that they are celebrating and I want to send along my heartfelt congratulations to this wonderful couple and wish them many, many more happy years. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

RURAL N.S.: GOV'T. (N.S.) - ACTION

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I can't understand why the Liberal Government keeps ignoring the issues facing rural Nova Scotia. I brought several issues to their attention in the last few weeks but all I hear are crickets on the other side of this Chamber.

Why is this government closing rural courtrooms? I ask. Why has this government limited access to Community Services in my constituency? I ask again. I can't even count the number of times I brought the closures of Roseway and there is still no action from this government.

Mr. Speaker, I won't let this silence stop me. I come from rural Nova Scotia. I was elected to represent my community and I'll continue pushing this government to make sure our rural communities have a voice in this House of Assembly. Thank you.

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

MacKenzie, Patsy: Kids Yoga After the Bell Prog. - Commend

MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, in Boularderie and Baddeck schools, as a result of partnerships between the Active Living branch and the Department of Health and Wellness, Victoria County, Nova Scotia Thrive! and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, there is a Kids Yoga After the Bell Program that takes place after school. Kids who partake in this program learn skills through yoga that will promote mindfulness, health and wellness, all while having fun. Patsy MacKenzie, program leader, should be commended on her leadership in this area. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 3791]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

ST. MATTHEW WESLEY UNITED CHURCH

- MEN'S THANK YOU DINNER FOR WOMEN'S GROUPS

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the wise men of St. Matthew Wesley United Church in North Sydney. The women of the church play a vital role in the weekly running of their church, through groups like United Church Womens Group.

The men of the church hold an annual dinner to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of these women. They shop, prepare, serve the ladies and, most importantly, clean up. The event has taken place for the last 12 years and a group of about 50 women enjoy the event each year. Events such as this highlight the power of co-operation and gratitude. Well done, gentlemen.

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

Film Ind. - Protect: Cause - Support

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday we witnessed one of the largest peaceful protests ever seen outside our provincial Legislature. Thousands of people from across the province circled our Legislature in a show of solidarity. Some were actors, some were writers, producers, technicians directly impacted by the Liberal Government's cuts. Many others were supporters of the arts and families of those in the arts in Nova Scotia, an industry that benefits all of us greatly and helps put this beautiful province on the map.

I was so proud to join the rally yesterday, along with my caucus colleagues to show Nova Scotians that we hear them, we feel their pain and we will do whatever we can inside the Legislature to make sure the Premier and his caucus hears them too. Thank you.

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

Boston Marathon: Organizers/Participants - Well Wishes

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia has always had a special relationship with the City of Boston. It began in part with the Halifax Explosion and the help provided to the city by Nova Scotia following the disaster. From there it continues with our annual gift to the city of a Christmas tree. There is also another special connection - the Boston Marathon. No, it's not special because, like the explosion, or the Christmas tree but each year Nova Scotians flock to Boston to compete in the race or to support their loved ones who are participating.

[Page 3792]

In light of the Boston bombing, I believe many Bluenosers feel even closer to the city and its famed marathon. I ask that all members of the House join me in wishing the organizers and participants of the Boston Marathon, especially those from Nova Scotia, a wonderful and safe event on April 20th.

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

HALL'S HBR. VOL. FD - GRATITUDE EXPRESS

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to express my gratitude to the Hall's Harbour Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief David Watson and 25 volunteer firefighters for service they've provided the community this past year. For 25 years, since 1990, the Hall's Harbour Volunteer Fire Department has provided dedicated service to the community. Their commitment to our community has been expressed through countless hours of training and practice to prepare for any emergency, and the assistance they offer those in need is at all hours of the day and night in all sorts of weather. Our community is a better place to live in because of their willingness to give of themselves in this great act of service to be volunteer firefighters. Thank you.

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

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : May I make an introduction, please?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to call the members' attention to the east gallery and I am very pleased and honoured to introduce today a group of individuals involved in the film and television industry and, in particular, with Haven.

If they could stand as I introduce them? I would like to introduce: Cailin O'Neil, assistant director; Melani Wood, producer; Kevin Fraser, cinematographer; Lindsay Thorne, makeup and special effects artist; Josh Denaro, second assistant camera; Alaura Shaw, production coordinator; Nicole Feriancek, fourth assistant director; Marcel Boulet, aerial rigger; Zander Roseborough, production sound mixer and stunt actor; and Mark Dunphy, props builder. I would ask for everybody to welcome them to our House today. (Applause)

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

PREM./FIN. & TREASURY BD. MIN. - FILM TAX CREDIT DECISION:

[Page 3793]

REVERSE - SHATNER URGE

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the McNeil Government's decision to gut Nova Scotia's Film Tax Credit is still reverberating across the province. In fact, news of this Liberal Government's decision to gut the Film Tax Credit with no consultation has spread across Canada and North America. It has spread even further, as I hear William Shatner, whom we all lovingly know as Captain Kirk, has even weighed in and urged the Premier and Minister of Finance and Treasury Board to reconsider their decision through a tweet he sent. Is this really what the Premier wants, an international spotlight to be on our province? Is this what the Premier's definition is of a winning business environment? Thank you.

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

EAST. PASSAGE - EASTER EGG HUNT

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, April 4th, there was a great egg hunt held in Eastern Passage. The Easter egg hunt was scheduled to be an outdoor event in the community gardens but after an extended winter and huge snowfalls in March the committee moved it indoors. This fundraising event was a lot of fun and hundreds of children from the community came out to enjoy it. There was a cakewalk, which I personally baked a bunny cake for, also face painting and pictures with the Easter bunny.

With a lack of hiding places for the eggs, the school gymnasium became an area that was set up with stations. There were different activities and you had to earn your coloured eggs. Once the children completed the activities and collected all their coloured eggs, they traded them in for a bag of chocolate ones.

This is a community event I look forward to every year.

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

HARDY, GLENDON W.: DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the late Glendon W. Hardy of Marion Bridge, who passed away on March 23, 2015. Glendon was the last founding member of the Marion Bridge Volunteer Fire Department, and was also a member of the Myra Community Pasture. Glendon was a practical man who lived his life simply and always had a story to tell and advice to give. He was a humble man who never realized the impact he had on his family, his friends, and his community.

It is a true honour for me to have known Glendon Hardy, and I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to his family at this time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

[Page 3794]

HPV: BOYS - VACCINATION PROG.

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, human papillomavirus - more commonly known as HPV - is one of the most common sexually-transmitted infections among young men and women and will affect nearly all sexually-active men and women at some point in their lives.

In June 2006, Gardasil, a vaccine to fight HPV, was approved by the FDA for girls and women ages 9 to 26. In Fall 2007, Nova Scotia was one of the first to launch HPV immunization as part of the regular school-based immunization program for girls in Grade 7.

The budget presented on April 9th announced that starting this Fall, males in Grade 7 will also be offered the HPV vaccine through the immunization program. This makes Nova Scotia only the third in Canada to extend public funding of the cancer-thwarting shot to all children, regardless of gender. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

GONZALES, MARY - CHEER EXPO NATIONALS COACH OF YR. (2015)

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, Mary Gonzales of Truro Heights is a coach for the Truro Allstar Cheer and Tumble group. Recently, Gonzales took four teams to the Cheer Expo Nationals 2015 in Halifax. Although not surprised that her teams fared very well during the competition - earning first-place, second-place, third-place, and seventh-place standings - Mary was shocked to be presented with the Coach of the Year award. She was unaware that she had even been nominated.

Coaching since 1989 and starting the Allstar Cheer and Tumble group in 1992, Mary's dedication has seen the group grow to 105 children in both competitive and non-competitive groups. This is a well-deserved honour, and I wish to congratulate Mary Gonzales on being the Cheer Expo Nationals 2015 Coach of the Year.

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

JONES, LORRAINE: RETIREMENT - CONGRATS.

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to congratulate Lorraine Jones on her recent retirement after nearly a half-century of work for the Town of Wolfville. Since beginning work as a receptionist and secretary in 1968, Ms. Jones, with a quiet and steady hand, has served at least six mayors and seven town administrations.

One of her many contributions to the community was compiling a photo record of important Wolfville events that will be treasured for years to come. Her dedication to the Town of Wolfville and its citizens will long be remembered by her colleagues and the community.

[Page 3795]

On behalf of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly, I would like to thank and congratulate Lorraine Jones on her years of service to her community and extend best wishes for her well-deserved retirement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

SUMMER ST. WORKS EMPLOYMENT PROG.: GRADS - CONGRATS.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the recent graduates at the Summer Street Works employment program. Summer Street Works is funded through the Government of Canada's Skills Link Program. It provides funding for employers and organizations to provide workplace training to youth facing barriers to employment.

The program is a 40-week course with a combination of structured classroom education and practical job training experiences. In the past five years, 40 ongoing jobs have been created as a result of the partnership between the federal government and Summer Street, with a success rate of 80 per cent.

It is an honour to congratulate the Summer Street Works graduates for their hard work, dedication, and achievements, and I wish them well in the future.

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

GOLDBERG, JON: YOM HASHOAH OBSERVANCE

- ORGANIZING RECOGNIZE

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Yom HaShoah, 2015, Holocaust Memorial Day observances will take place across Atlantic Canada. Tonight at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Nova Scotians will gather to remember the over six million women, men, and children who were murdered during World War II. There will be excerpts from the memoirs of Holocaust survivor Steven Marcus and there will be speakers and a commemorative ceremony this evening. This will mark over 70 years since the end of World War II.

I would like to recognize the Atlantic Jewish Council and their executive director Jon Goldberg, who will put on this event this evening. I think it reminds us all, even though 70 years have passed, that the memories of those who were killed and exterminated during World War II cannot be forgotten.

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

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"LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR" - FALL RIVER CHURCHES PROG.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the residents and churchgoers of Fall River who took a pledge to love thy neighbour through a program that saw all four local churches come together as one. The Compassion Project: Fall River Cares took place over three evenings, with representatives from all congregations.

The focus was on being there to provide support for issues in the Fall River area, getting more people involved, and making a difference to the community. The hope is that the passion and the desire they have to make a difference in the community will be shared by a lot of others who want to do the same. This is one of the many examples of the caring and supportive community-minded residents of Fall River and its surrounding areas. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

CULLODEN: BATTLE - GAELS REMEMBER

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Bidh Gàidheil na h-Albann Nuaidh a' cuimhneachadh an diugh air Blàr Chùil Lodair. Anns a' bhlàr sin agus na thàinig as a dheaghaidh, chaidh milleadh a dhèanadh air Gàidheil na h-Albann. Tha droch-bhuaidh a' là sinn leinn gus a' là an diugh. Bhris seo am pobull Gàidhealach agus am misneachd agus 's e miarailt a th' ann gu bheil cànan agus dualchas nan Gàidheil fhathast an Albainn Ùir. Tha an dà chuid ann an éiginn agus feumach air cobhair.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member will provide us an English translation for that, I would hope, for Hansard. Thank you.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

Film Tax Credit Cuts: Young People - Effects

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday I spoke in this House about an email I had received from Aaron Horton and how he, like many other people, feels betrayed by this McNeil Government and the Premier's broken promises regarding the Film Tax Credit.

Aaron ended his email to me by stating that he's worried about Nova Scotia's young people. I share his concerns. He writes that many young people employed in the film and television industries are already making plans to move to Ontario or B.C., and those who decide to stay will be forced to take lower-paying jobs outside their field. I can't fathom why the McNeil Government is making Nova Scotia less attractive to young people, including those from other provinces and other countries who come to our beautiful province and want to stay here, at a time when we socially and economically need them the most.

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

CULLODEN: BATTLE - GAELS REMEMBER

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, today we remember of the Battle of Culloden, April 16, 1746, part of the immigration story for thousands of Gaels who made their new homes in Australia, Ontario, the Carolinas, and here in Nova Scotia.

Today, many Gaels are taking action to connect with who they are. Through education, they are learning the Gaelic language of their people and coming to know more about how penal laws and other discriminatory actions gradually stripped away their ethnicity.

Remembering Culloden is not about being bitter. It is about honouring our ancestors by taking actions today; by fighting a new battle - a battle to learn and to celebrate the Gaelic language and culture and add to the cultural richness of our province, which is just what they were fighting for back on this day in 1746.

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

PREM.: PROTESTERS - RESPONSE

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, thousands of people came together yesterday to protest the McNeil Government's short-sighted decision to gut the film tax credit. People wondered why there was no consultation before this decision was made. Why didn't the Liberal Government take into account the overall economic impact this industry has here in Nova Scotia? Why did they also eliminate Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia, which supported thousands of other artists besides those in the film industry?

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, those thousands of Nova Scotians didn't get any answers yesterday. While the national media was watching, our Premier slipped into a waiting van and was whisked away. This is not what those Nova Scotians wanted to see yesterday. This is not the way government should approach changes, dramatic changes like this that have an impact on our economy. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I just want to remind the members of our gallery here today that it is unparliamentary to show favour or displeasure for any business that is transacted on the floor of the Chamber here.

The honourable member for Halifax Armdale.

LABA, MARY - HEDLEY G. IVANY SENIOR OF YR. AWARD

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HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure today to rise, honour and congratulate a woman whom I have personally known for many years, Mary Laba, on being named the recipient of the Hedley G. Ivany Senior of the Year Award presented by the Northwood Foundation. Her late husband, Halim Laba, laid the foundation for the successful Fancy Lebanese Bakery in 1962. The business today is a prominent North End icon, providing quality baked goods for over 50 years.

Mary has had a prominent role in the day-to-day operations since 1971. Mr. Speaker, Mary is the mother of four, a devoted member of Our Lady of Lebanon Church, is cherished in the community as an active volunteer and is a quiet but big supporter of many non-profit organizations.

The award will be conferred on May 2nd at the Northwood Foundation's 17th annual Appetite for Life fundraising dinner. Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to extend best wishes to Mary Laba for continued health and success. Thank you.

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

MACNEIL, SARAH - ATL. UNIV. SPORTS STUDENT-ATHLETE

COMMUN. SERV. AWARD

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Sarah MacNeil of Albert Bridge for being the recipient of this year's Atlantic University Sports Student-Athlete Community Service Award. Sarah plays forward with the Dalhousie Tigers women's hockey. The recreation management student is in her fourth season with the Tigers and serves as the team's assistant captain.

Sarah also serves as a student-at-large board member for Recreation Nova Scotia, along with being a team spokesperson and organizer for hockey players for kids, a two-month long reading competition at a local elementary school. She was also one of two winners of the 2015 Sun Life CIS Scholarship Award at Dalhousie.

It is with great pleasure that I congratulate Sarah MacNeil on her many achievements. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Portland Valley.

SMITH, SGT. CRAIG - ORDER OF MERIT OF THE POLICE FORCES

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take a moment to highlight a recent history-making achievement by the site supervisor of the RCMP's Cole Harbour detachment, Sergeant Craig Smith. It was recently announced that Sergeant Smith will be the first African Nova Scotian who will be appointed to the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

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This is not the first time Sergeant Smith has been given a distinguished honour. As reported in The Chronicle Herald, he has also been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Burnley Rocky Jones Award, the Harry Jerome Award of Excellence in African-Canadian Achievement and he is also placed on the Wall of Fame at the Black Cultural Centre.

Sergeant Smith has been with the RCMP for 18 years and has been an advocate for his community for even longer. Having known the esteemed Sergeant Smith most of my life, I can think of no one more deserving than him to be named for the Order of Merit. Thank you.

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

WHITNEY, BRANDON: CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - DRAFT PICK

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to express my congratulations to goaltender Brandon Whitney of Centreville who recently signed a contract with the Wheeling Nailers Pro Hockey Club of East Coast Hockey League. Twenty-two-year-old Brandon overcame some injuries the past year in what he terms as an up and down year. His demonstration of the benefits of focus and commitment to the game is inspirational.

Brandon Whitney was also picked in the seventh round of the 2012 draft by the NHL Chicago Blackhawks. Congratulations, Brandon.

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

FANFARE REGIONALE DE CLARE - ANNIV. (40TH)

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the 40th Anniversary of the Fanfare régionale de Clare. Forty years ago, the newly-named president of Université Saint-Anne met with Father Maurice LeBlanc to convince him to come home and become the university's artistic director. As part of his duties, he would revive the band under the name Fanfare régionale de Clare and start beginner music classes. Eventually, Père Maurice would retire and the band would continue to evolve under the baton of new directors.

Every year, the Fanfare and the choir Les Voix dans l'vent hold three concerts, two at Christmas and one prior to Easter. People consider these concerts the beginning of the Christmas season and then an early sign of Spring. This August, the Fanfare will hold a fourth concert in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Festival acadien de Clare. Congratulations to the Fanfare for 40 years of bringing music to our communities.

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

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MACDOUGALL, GORDON - BIRTHDAY (91ST)

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer special congratulations to Mr. Gordon MacDougall on his 91st birthday. My congratulations to Mr. MacDougall do not stop at recognizing this significant birthday, but extend also to acknowledging and thanking him for being part of the Devil's Brigade. The First Special Service Force was an elite American-Canadian command unit during World War II and it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge Mr. MacDougall's participation in this unit. I wish Gordon good health and happiness on this special day, and I thank him for his service to our country. Thank you.

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

CRUISE SHIP SEASON: ROYAL PRINCESS - BEGINNING

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to acknowledge the start of the cruise ship season in our province on Sunday, April 19th. The 2015 season will have an extraordinary beginning with the arrival of the Royal Princess, the world's largest cruise ship, moving from Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen, Denmark. In fact, it is the only stop on its journey; 4,000 passengers will disembark to catch a glimpse of our beautiful province.

Ambassatours Gray Line will be engaged in transporting our guests to iconic and world-class locations. We wish this tour company and all who will host the 100-plus cruise ships an outstanding season.

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

YEE, COLIN - RYL. CONSERVATORY GOLD MEDAL

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Colin Yee, a 15-year-old student at Barrington Municipal High School. On November 30, 2014, Colin earned a gold medal from the Royal Conservatory for achievement in his piano studies. To be eligible for a gold medal, a student must have had a mark of at least 80 per cent for their instrument as well as have completed the theory subjects. Colin earned his gold medal for having the highest mark and is now working on his diploma. He's looking forward to graduating with his Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto diploma in two years. I congratulate Colin Yee on receiving his gold medal and wish him continued musical success.

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

S. SHORE FAM. RESOURCE CTR.: STAFF/VOLS. - THANK

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HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to speak of the important work being done for the South Shore Family Resource Centre. The main objective of the centre is to provide the families of Lunenburg County the tools they need to be great parents and raise their children to become productive, caring, and independent people. The South Shore Family Resource Centre is comprised of a compassionate and caring staff committed to the families who access their programs. The centre has recently moved and has created a friendly, open atmosphere where families feel comfortable. I'd like to thank the staff and volunteers of the South Shore Family Resource Centre for the work they do and programs they continue to provide within our community. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

THE WALK OF THE CROSS: NORTH SYDNEY ORGANIZERS - THANK

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an important event in the Town of North Sydney. The Walk for the Cross is a solemn ceremony that marks Good Friday. For 14 years, Christians of many denominations come together to re-enact Jesus's walk to his crucifixion. People take turns carrying a large wood cross along the route and stop for prayer, Bible readings, and meditation. Organizers say the Walk for the Cross is a way to reflect on the true meaning of Good Friday. Today, I am pleased to thank Father Patrick O'Neill and all the organizers of the Walk for the Cross for continuing this important event. Thank you.

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

BRATTY, HEATHER-ANN - COMMUN. FITNESS

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Heather-Ann Bratty for inspiring a community to be active. Heather-Ann is a high-energy fitness instructor who has created an enormous following of dedicated students in her classes at the Prospect Road Community Centre. Since the facility opened in June 2010, Heather-Ann has developed classes and workshops for all ages and fitness levels. She teaches all kinds of activities, such as older adult fitness, yoga, dance fit, yogalates, yoga fit, zumba, all-in-one fitness, cardio strengthening, chair yoga, high-intensity interval training, and more.

I would like the members of this Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in thanking Heather-Ann for her dedication to fitness and her commitment to health and well-being for our community. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Before we go on to the next member's statement, I'll take a moment to do an introduction. If I could draw everyone's attention to the Speaker's Gallery, I'd like to invite all the members to welcome my CA, Jenna Wilson, who is here today. (Applause) Jenna came in to participate in the retirement luncheon for Cathie Eisenhauer, out of the Speaker's Office, so we are pleased to have her with us today.

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The honourable member for Hants East.

EISENHAUER, CATHIE: RETIREMENT - CONGRATS.

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, actually, I am not going to read this member's statement. Instead, I would like to commend Cathie Eisenhauer for the amount of work she has done for this House, for all of us as new members coming in, her dedication to us, and her patience with us as we learn the ropes and deal with the intricacies of staying legal in the system of expenses within the Province of Nova Scotia.

I hope all members of the House join me in congratulating her on her retirement and wishing her well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of the members to the west gallery. With us today is Deirdre Floyd. Deirdre has been a volunteer with the Nova Scotia Epilepsy Association. She has been recognized as the past recipient of the 2010 Women of Excellence Award in the category of health, sport, and wellness.

I'd like the members to give her a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

Natl. Vol. Wk.: Vols - Thank

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak of National Volunteer Week. National Volunteer Week began in 1943 as a way to recognize the contribution women made to the war effort on the home front. After the end of the war, National Volunteer Week was largely forgotten. However, in the late 1960s, it was revived as organizations realized the importance of recognizing, thanking, and celebrating their volunteers. It has grown over the years to become the largest celebration of civic participation in Canada.

Volunteers are essential to our society and are the most important resource that community organizations have. Volunteers deliver essential services; keep our neighbourhoods safe; tutor, teach, mentor, and coach our young people; care for stray or injured animals; educate the public on health and safety; and organize arts, culture, and sporting events - and the list goes on and on.

Volunteers can be seen in every aspect of our life and help make our country a great place to live. Mr. Speaker, I ask the members of the Nova Scotia Legislature to join me in giving a heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who give their time willingly to better the lives of Nova Scotians.

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

ALDERWOOD - CHILDREN/RESIDENTS PROG.

MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, wonderful friendships are being fostered in Baddeck as a result of a program that brings together babies and toddlers and their parents with seniors residing at Alderwood, a long-term care facility. The program, developed by the library, has children singing familiar rhymes and songs and telling stories with lots of repetition, all of which help the children develop literacy skills. Residents of Alderwood are active participants as well, often singing along and sharing stories and memories of their childhoods. Toddlers and seniors even share in craft creation.

The energy and positivity created in this program is beneficial to all involved. I'd like to commend library assistant Kate Oland, the staff at Alderwood, and all the participants - kids and seniors - who participate in this wonderful program. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

TIR - Roads: Winter Work/Spring Repair - Thank

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, Spring has finally sprung. It was an unusually harsh winter, but the recent weather has been very promising. The snow is disappearing in Lunenburg County at an alarming rate.

As that snow disappears, we are learning that our roads took a heavy beating this winter. Across the province, the cleanup and repair work has begun. This work, for the most part, will be done by our local Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal staff. The winter may have been hard on us but it was twice as hard on them. The Spring promises much of the same. These staff members will be out in full force working hard and often, to repair the damage Mother Nature has dealt. It is going to take time and it is going to be inconvenient.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all members of the House join me in thanking these staff members for their hard work during this cruel winter, and ask that people recognize their hard work and efforts.

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

Strickland, Seth - Football Accomplishments

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MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : There is a hard-working young athlete from Eastern Passage, Seth Strickland. He plays the role of defence end and defence tackle with the Dartmouth Destroyers football. Seth began his rookie year with the Destroyers Minor Football League in the Adam Division and quickly became an important part of his team. The team finished their season undefeated and won the provincial championship. Seth was awarded Adam Offence Lineman of the Year for the Dartmouth Destroyers as well as the Larry Uteck Memorial Fair Play Award by Football Nova Scotia. Good job, Seth, on your accomplishments in your rookie year. You are well on your way to accomplishing your aspirations for playing in the NFL.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I would like to remind the honourable member for Cole Harbour- Eastern Passage to word the member's statements in the third person and not speak directly to the topic of the member's statement.

The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisburg on an introduction.

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the members of the House to the west gallery where we have a visitor today who has been a former long-serving member of this House of Assembly, who served in many different Cabinet portfolios along the way and a former principal of the Teachers College in Truro, and that would be the Honourable Jamie Muir. Welcome. (Applause)

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

Kearney, Coach Paula/Pitts, R.J. - Special Olympics Awards

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, every year Special Olympics Nova Scotia recognizes and celebrates their athletes, their coaches, and volunteers with awards that are handed out at the Special Olympics Festival. I have previously mentioned that three Antigonishers received the award at this year's festival, and I'd just like to mention the other two members.

One of them was Paula Kearney. Paula won the Female Coach of the Year award, and R.J. Pitts who won the Male Athlete of the Year award and is considered one of the best up-and-coming track stars in the province. R.J. has been involved with Special Olympics for over 15 years. He started when he was just seven. He has participated in many invents including track and field, bowling, floor hockey, swimming, and curling, but in 2014 he travelled to Vancouver and competed in the Special Olympics National Summer Games, winning a gold and two silver medals.

Mr. Speaker, Special Olympics Nova Scotia is an amazing organization that through the power of sport offers empowerment, confidence, and acceptance. I'm so proud of the festival, the work that they do, and of Coach of the Year Paula Kearney, R.J. Pitts, and all of the athletes. Thank you.

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

COLEMAN, BOB & SALLY: RETIREMENT - WELL WISHES

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take a moment today to acknowledge a local businessman from my riding, Mr. Bob Coleman. Bob recently made the decision to retire after 30 years of owning and operating Coleman's Autohaus in Bridgewater. He started the dealership in 1985 and has built a reputation over the years for quality and service. Bob built his business to 17 employees who he ensured would keep their jobs under the new ownership.

I would like to wish Bob and his spouse, Sally, all the best as they enjoy retirement and embark on a new chapter in their lives.

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

ALFORD, EMILY: ACCOMPLISHMENTS - CONGRATS.

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize Emily Alford for her interest in current affairs and her involvement in sporting activities. Emily is 10 years old and a keen darts player. This past weekend she successfully competed in the provincial youth darts competition held at the Bedford Legion. Competing against 14- and 16-year-olds, Emily finished as a second place junior girl and earned a spot on Team Nova Scotia. In May Emily, along with fellow teammates from Nova Scotia, will travel to St. Catharine's, Ontario, to compete in the national competition. I ask that members of this House join me in congratulating Emily Alford on her recent accomplishment and wish her every success at the Nationals.

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

WOLFVILLE MID. SCH. "ROBO LOBO WIRED" - ACHIEVEMENTS

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Wolfville Middle School's first Lego League robotics team, Robo Lobo Wired, with team members Lexington Zacharias, Alex Stewart, Austin Oickle, Dylan Pitter, Ethan Butterwell, and Anna Joy Aylward Burgess, as well as their coaches and mentors Robert Pitter, Andriel Pitter, Evan Warner, and Neil Burgess.

Their team was selected at the recent provincial competition to attend the first Lego League World Festival in St. Louis, Missouri, in April 2015. They will be one of 107 teams representing over 200,000 children who participated in the FFL Tournaments in 2014. Robo Lobo Wired has excelled in advanced problem solving and creative tasks through building, testing, and programming an autonomous robot that solves competition missions.

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On behalf of the House of Assembly, I would like to congratulate the Robo Lobo Wired team for their impressive achievements, and wish them well at their first international festival. Thank you.

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

SEA SHORE VOL. FD (PORT BICKERTON) - ANNIV. (45TH)

MR. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, the Sea Shore Volunteer Fire Department of Port Bickerton celebrated their 45th Anniversary. For almost five decades their department has provided their community with an essential service. At the recent celebration they honoured some of their members for their long service. Mr. Keith Horton and Mr. Walter Bingley have been serving the department for 45 years, and Mr. Ellis Kaiser has been providing service to the department for 38 years.

These members are ready, willing, and able to assist our community at its most vulnerable time of need, all the while juggling their own lives and often missing important events such as birthdays, anniversaries, family events, and much more. I admire their courage, dedication, and commitment to the people of their community and the Province of Nova Scotia.

I am honoured to have such a remarkable group of individuals in my constituency, and I would like to thank all members of the Sea Shore Volunteer Fire Department for providing such a vital service but, most importantly, for bestowing their time to make our communities such wonderful places to call home. Thank you.

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

SOC. JUSTICE YOUTH CAMP - PINK AWARD

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Social Justice Youth Camp at Tatamagouche Centre in North Colchester, for being presented with the Irving and Ruth Pink Award for Youth Development and Social Justice by Dalhousie Legal Aid in January 2015.

The camp, which has been held for the past 12 years, shows young adults how to make a difference and what it is to be socially just and responsive to the needs of the community and different groups. The camp works with young people from all different communities and cultures in the Maritimes, from fishing villages to urban centres, from Mi'kmaq communities to recent immigrants. Together they explore social justice issues that affect all aspects of their lives. They practise strategies against racism and injustice, discuss gender relations and positive, healthy sexuality, explore different cultural contexts, build alliances and, most importantly, have lots of fun.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Portland Valley.

Hairspray - Hfx. West HS: Prod. - Congrats.

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to highlight the sold-out performances of Cole Harbour High's production of John Waters' "Hairspray."

Over the weekend of April 10th, 40 dedicated students performed for two sold-out audiences at the Alderney Landing Theatre. The show was described as a "memorable and energetic performance" in The Chronicle Herald by Brett Williams who happens to be a Grade 11 student at Cole Harbour High.

In his glowing review of the work of his peers, Brett also shines a light on the staff who helped to ensure yet another remarkable production. The staff includes: Tina Gallant, the play's director and a music teacher at the school, who has directed 10 years of successful productions for the school; she was assisted by choreographer Ashley Rowsell; stage director Celine Cusson; band director Paula Danyluk-MacDonald; school staff Nancy Stanbrook; and Meridy Thompson, who helped create costumes for the musical.

I know I speak for all members of the House when I say school, staff, and students, regardless of where they're from, enrich the greater community with . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for the member's statement has long since expired.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM.: IVANY REPT. GOALS/FILM TAX CUTS - CORRELATION

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The Ivany report includes several important economic goals, including increasing our exports by 50 per cent and increasing the number of business start-ups by 4,200 a year. Yesterday we learned that Cindy D'Orsay of British North American Pictures, a Halifax company, just lost a $3.5 million film contract, as a result of the mistake this government made with the film industry. I will table the email that we received from her, which is entitled: My company just lost a $3.5 million project because of the new film tax credit.

Mr. Speaker, we are all willing to admit that this was probably a mistake but can the Premier explain to Cindy how losing this new investment and putting her job at risk is helping us achieve these important Ivany economic goals?

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HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I again want to remind him that in the budget there's $24 million, the same amount that was allotted last year for the film tax credit. We've laid a proposal in the Financial Measures Act. The industry says that does not work for them. We have gone back to the industry and said, here's the fiscal envelope that we have, you tell us how you want it to be delivered.

The good news, Mr. Speaker, is I want to tell the honourable member and all members of this House that Nova Scotia led the country in exports last year.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, we can only imagine how Cindy will feel hearing that answer, as her company loses out on a great opportunity as well as the jobs that go with it.

Mr. Speaker, immigration is also an important topic of the Ivany report, as you know. It includes the goal of increasing immigration by 7,000 new Nova Scotians a year. Today we heard from Konstantinos Manos of Greece who immigrated to Nova Scotia just this past August. In fact he was attracted here by Nova Scotia Business Inc. because of our growing film and creative industries and he started a company here. That was just nine months ago.

I'll ask the Premier, did he consider the impact on immigration and the Ivany immigration goals when he made the decision to cut the film industry?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I'm sure he knows, as all Nova Scotians know, we've had tremendous growth in immigration. We had a cap on the Nominee Program that was at 700. We convinced the federal government to lift that. We would have liked it to have gone much higher but they lifted it to 1,050 and we actually met that cap.

We'll continue to grow. We need the support of the national government to lift the caps on immigration. We've seen real opportunities.

Again I want to remind the honourable member that the same amount of money that was allotted for the film industry last year is in the budget this year. Mr. Speaker, it is there for people to apply for. What we are talking about is a go for basis. We laid an envelope of money on the table. We showed a way that we want to distribute it to the industry, on behalf of taxpayers. They said they didn't like it. We asked them to bring us back something that worked for them.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, what the Premier doesn't seem to understand is that for people like Cindy, for immigrants like Konstantinos, they need jobs; they need something to do when they are here, to make a living, to earn a livelihood.

[Page 3809]

Mr. Speaker, in Cindy's email, which I tabled a minute ago, she goes on to say that she really doesn't think the Nova Scotia Government understands the impact of their changes. Well, that's putting it mildly. Konstantinos was attracted here because of the film industry; Cindy was growing a new start-up business here. All of that is now at risk. The evidence is mounting that this was all one big mistake. Will the Premier agree to delay the changes from July 1st to a future date, so that something reasonable can be worked out so this mistake can be fixed?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to tell all members of this House that the Province of Nova Scotia had the most generous grant program, when it came to the film industry, in the entire country - the entire grant program across the country.

What we have said from the very beginning is we have X number of dollars that we have to put on the table. We've put it on the table on behalf of taxpayers. The industry says it doesn't work for them, Mr. Speaker. We have said that if it doesn't work and you have a model to deliver that money to the industry, we're more than prepared to look at it.

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

Prem. - Film Ind.: Value - Protection

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday was an awesome display of support from the creative people who work in our province. They spoke loud and clear to the Premier and his Minister of Finance and Treasury Board about what this industry means to Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, in its submission to the province's tax review, the Motion Picture Industry Association indicated that in 2014 there were 1,200 Nova Scotians working full-time in the industry at an average salary of $52,500. In addition, there are another 1,500 spinoff jobs . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Does the member have a question?

MS. MACDONALD « » : Yes, Mr. Speaker, I do. I want to ask the Premier to explain why an industry that pumps $135 million into the local economy and these good-paying Nova Scotian jobs isn't worth protecting.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we believe it's worth protecting. That's why we've put a program on the table that is fair to taxpayers and we believe is fair to the industry. The number that the Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party is using is talking about all productions that take place in this province. We know and she knows that not all of those take advantage of the tax credit because it's not available to them. Furthermore, I want to say to the honourable member, we're looking forward to those good-paying jobs staying in the Province of Nova Scotia, but the taxpayers of Nova Scotia cannot afford to pay 50 to 65 cents on the dollar.

[Page 3810]

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, on April 3rd, the McNeil Government announced a payroll rebate of $22 million to the Royal Bank of Canada to create 150 jobs, in comparison to a $24 million investment for more than 3,000 jobs in the creative sector. You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to figure out who is getting the lion's share here. How can the Premier justify giving millions to a bank while taking away millions from a growing industry that creates thousands of jobs?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to tell all Nova Scotians that the payroll rebate she's referring to at the Royal Bank has been used by successive governments of all political stripes. It's about eight or nine cents. The program that we've put on the table, the idea that we believe is fair to taxpayers when it comes to the Film Tax Credit, is about 16 cents.

The industry says that doesn't work for them. We've said, bring us back a proposal that works for them. The fact of the matter is, the proposal that's on the table now is the richest in the country. We've had the worst performing economy and we cannot afford to continue to do things the same way.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier standing up and saying what he says without putting down one shred of information doesn't make it accurate. Why won't he show us to back up what he's saying? The film industry has been given three months to change their business model. It's hardly enough time for them to adjust to the changes that this government is expecting.

I want to ask the Premier, if he's too stubborn to change his mind on the tax credit, then what's his plan to help the industry and those who work in it to transition so we don't lose them out of this province?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't know what the honourable member wants me to table. There isn't a single person, not even in the industry, who disputes that it's 50 cents to 65 cents. No one is disputing that fact. They may be arguing about whether it's fair or not. The fact of the matter is, we have the worst performing economy in Canada. What we have laid on the table is a very (Interruptions)

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

THE PREMIER « » : Do you want me to start over again, Mr. Speaker? We have laid on the table, on behalf of taxpayers, a fiscal envelope that we believe is fair. The industry says our proposal doesn't work for them. We said to them, give us one that works for you. We're pleased that the industry is sitting down with government. Hopefully, we'll be able to move forward and find a positive conclusion for both the taxpayers and the industry.

[Page 3811]

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

CCH - Film & Creative Industries: Loss - Impact Research

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia was the lead agency for Nova Scotia's creative businesses. The small group of professionals at Film & Creative Industries provided support and expertise for creative entrepreneurs to become more productive and globally competitive. The loss of this organization is a blow to many creative businesspeople who are already reeling from the gutting of the Film Tax Credit.

What research did the minister do to understand the impact the loss of Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia would have on the thousands of musicians, filmmakers, crafters, performing artists, and book publishers who rely on his department to support the creativity of Nova Scotians?

HON. TONY INCE « » : We value the contributions of those working in the creative industries. Our government has provided a lot of support for the creative industries; as a matter of fact, this year, we are putting $70 million into the industry. Thank you.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : I certainly didn't ask that question, I asked what research was done. However all members in this Chamber have now heard how important the Film Tax Credit was to Nova Scotians involved in film and television. The government has rendered the credit useless to them; the other support that government provided to the sector has now been eliminated - the very office where studios came calling to bring productions and jobs has been closed. Who will now answer the call when film studios look to bring their investments and jobs to Nova Scotia?

MR. INCE « » : As was mentioned earlier, we can tell you that the current situation is not sustainable for the province. We are meeting with the industry and we will hope to have common ground.

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

Prem. - Epilepsy Assoc.: Funding - Details

[Page 3812]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. On March 26th the Premier read a resolution to recognize Purple Day. He said epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions and it's estimated to affect more than 10,000 Nova Scotians. He mentioned Cassidy Megan, who started Purple Day for epilepsy in 2001, to help people recognize types of seizures and respond with appropriate first aid. But, on April 9th, his government advised the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia that their funding had been eliminated, 100 per cent cut.

I'd like to ask the Premier what changed between Purple Day for epilepsy on March 26th and the letter sent on April 9th?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question and inform him, and all members of this House, that that contract and the arrangements with Epilepsy Nova Scotia will be honoured and they will receive their funding.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Unbelievable, Mr. Speaker, first they're told they're going get the funding in December, then they are sent a letter that stated that the service and activities provided by the Epilepsy Association no longer fully support or align with the priorities or direction of public health.

I'd like to ask the Minister of Health and Wellness, why would they get this mixed signal from the government - first you're going to give them money for two years and then you're going to take it away. Today they're going to give it back - can you explain that minister?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : It is very easy to explain in that as we were reviewing grants, that was one of the organizations that inadvertently got on a list and got sent a letter. The Epilepsy Association and their work in our province we highly regard, and our commitment to them is at 100 per cent of what we said we would provide.

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

FIN. & TREASURY BD.: NSLC - TRAINING CONF. COSTS

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. In the months leading up to the budget and the days since, Nova Scotians heard a lot of tough talk from the government, tough talk about belt-tightening. The executives at the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation might not have received that belt-tightening memo. Through an access to information request we learned that the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation intends to hold a $140,000 manager training conference for 220 people.

My question for the minister is, how can the minister justify that kind of extravagant use of taxpayer dollars at a time when the Film Tax Credit is being slashed, programs are being cut, and real Nova Scotians are receiving pink slips?

[Page 3813]

HON. DIANA WHALEN » : Certainly that's information that I don't have at the moment. I can certainly look into it - and it's an interesting thing to know in the spirit of the current budget. (Interruption) Absolutely, and thank you. Perhaps you have a second question.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, we learned that in 2013 the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation spent more than $140,000 on their manager training conference at that time. They shelled out more than $664 for each of the 212 attendees to dine on beef or scallops the first night, and chicken or salmon the second night, and to round out the fun, a popular band played at a cost of $6,000. My point is, will the minister, at a time when many Nova Scotians are feeling pain at the hands of this government, will the minister put an end to this type of extravagant spending?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. I do know that we have looked into the size of the NSLC and at the administration and the head office, but I will certainly look into this in particular. Thank you.

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

TIR - Little Narrows Ferry: Rate Relief - Provide

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of TIR. Increased rates for the Little Narrows ferry are putting an extra burden on people who work in Baddeck and others who have to use the ferry for going to their employment in other areas. It is a real hardship on seniors on a fixed income who use the ferry for their groceries, medical appointments, to attend church and to pick up their prescriptions they need in either Baddeck or Whycocomagh.

My question to the minister is very simple. Will the minister provide any rate relief for those in this area who use the Little Narrows ferry for necessities like groceries and medicine?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : Mr. Speaker, the reality is - and it's certainly a tough one for any government to make of any political stripe - but at the end of the day we have very published costs of what the ferry services require from the taxpayers of Nova Scotia, all taxpayers including those who use the service. We had to close that gap between what the costs are overall and the revenue collected.

I have certainly heard from people from the Narrows and all regions of the province about this increase and the best we could do is look at the annual passes - which we had hoped folks would migrate to, since they use it on a regular basis - to see what we could do in terms of the payment plan. We are still putting that plan together with input from all stakeholders in each respective area. Thank you.

[Page 3814]

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for his answer. Individuals are not the only casualties of the ferry rate hike. When tourists see that a return trip to see the Highland Village Museum is $14, they may think twice. Construction companies on the Little Narrows side that bid on jobs on the other side of the Narrows will be forced to pass along these increases to consumers or have it affect their bottom line. My question to the minister is, did the minister factor in the harm ferry increases would do to tourism and small business in the area, when the rates were jacked up on the Little Narrows ferry?

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, we factored in everything that we could. It was certainly a painstaking process to look at what the costs were, what the revenue collected was currently and what adjustments we could make to close that gap and be mindful of the fiscal realities of the province and of our department.

With respect to tourism, we'll monitor what happens in the summer months and in all of the season for the operations of the ferries. At the end of the day these are expensive services. When you are north of $9 million per year, the reality is it's not unreasonable to ask tourists who are visiting this province to put in a little extra to make sure we do our best to cover those costs. We'll look at all information. We'll continue to engage the people in the area. It's a tough choice but it's one we had to make to look after the taxpayers of Nova Scotia.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - LONG-TERM CARE: WAIT-LIST - FIRST CHOICE

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you today would be to the Minister of Health and Wellness. It has been a great discussion over the years in this House - all the years that I've been here - on long-term care, the wait-list and so on. I wonder if the minister could tell us today - I know unfortunately our time is when family members and folks have to transfer to long-term care facilities outside their home area or the requested area - is there a formalized process to move back, to be requested back to a transfer to one of those facilities which was currently or prior to that being moved that were on the wait-list?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Hants West for the question. When a person enters our long-term care facilities, they will have their first choice of a facility. On many occasions that's not possible. What happens then is they work to get them to their preferred facility. Some people will like the residence where they are and will want to remain there but the goal is always to work to help them return or get to their first choice in terms of long-term care.

[Page 3815]

MR. PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his response. I know that the minister and the department has been challenged with trying to really determine what the true number on the wait-list is. I know different people have refused because they are not quite ready when the call comes.

In the situation that I've just described, with people waiting to get back to their preferred - after being moved within the policy of the 100-kilometre circle, does the minister know how many are actually in that situation and await the transfer back to what I'll call their home, or their preferred facility?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, especially as we work to provide a nursing home for those of high need and high risk, we will have people who will not get to their first preference. Currently that is running at about 50 per cent, or about 1,200 who do not get in their first choice when it is time to go to a nursing home.

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

Prem. - N.S. Film Ind.: Value - Minimization Explain

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday thousands of people showed up at Province House in support of Nova Scotia's film industry. While the Premier didn't seize the opportunity to talk to any of the many peaceful Nova Scotians in the streets, he did have time last night to sit down and talk with CBC's Tom Murphy to defend his slashing of the Film Tax Credit.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier used a clever piece of misinformation to justify his poor decision-making. He told Mr. Murphy that Nova Scotia has the highest grant program available to the industry, and we are getting a smaller slice of what is happening inside Canada. However, he failed to mention that between 2009 and . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : The time allotted for the member's question has expired. We'll now move into the supplementary time.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Premier failed to mention that since 2009 the value of Nova Scotia's film industry has increased by $42 million, or 43 per cent. Those aren't my numbers.

I want to ask the Premier, why is he minimizing the value of Nova Scotia's film industry to Nova Scotians through the media?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member, and I encourage her to go and watch that interview again. What I said is that we have the highest grant program in the country. We now have a smaller percentage of the national film industry across Canada. What I said to Tom Murphy is that the dollar amount may have grown, but our percentage of the national activity has shrunk. (Interruptions) That's what I said. You can check it.

[Page 3816]

The reality is that the taxpayers of Nova Scotia cannot afford the program we have in place. We've laid out a fiscal envelope, provided it to the industry, told them how we want it delivered. They said it didn't work for them. We said to them to bring us back something that works for you in that fiscal envelope.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

LAE: Tuition Increases - Min. Involvement

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. The Liberal Government's budget uncaps university tuition rates for a one-time adjustment. Students and families across the province are concerned because this provides uncertainty about how much tuition will be next year. While the 3 per cent cap on tuition increases provided certainty, this market adjustment model does just the opposite. Universities, if they so desire, could raise tuition by up to 20 per cent.

Will the minister clarify for students and their families if she will step in should universities decide to raise tuition by an extraordinary amount?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the honourable member for the question. I understand that any time tuition increases are contemplated, it's difficult for students. The early word we have back from the universities is that they are unlikely to actually increase it in this particular school year.

They have already gone through their processes. They made assumptions about how much they could increase them. I do want to let the students know that we will be keeping an eye on those particular increases, and we will be making sure there are no outliers. Thank you.

MR. ORRELL « » : Thank you, minister, for that answer. Students and their families expect leadership from the government in reining in tuition fees. Hearing the minister suggest that the sky is the limit on tuition does not ease their concerns. The fact that we're not clear if she will step in if the tuition is raised - I want to ask the question, will the minister provide a number on how much she expects tuition rates to rise with the one-time market adjustment? If they do that, when will she step in? At what percentage rate?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to assure students that the universities are very clear that they are not going to make outrageous increases or anything like that because quite frankly, students are savvy shoppers. If universities were to raise them too high, they would simply vote with their feet.

[Page 3817]

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

Nat. Res. - Mining Ind.: Fuel Tax Rebate - Status

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. On Thursday, members of the mining industry learned that this government reneged on a promise to extend the fuel tax rebate to the mining industry. In a November 10, 2014 press release, the Minister of Natural Resources said, ". . . the government will start phasing in a fuel-tax rebate program for mining and quarrying vehicles, and introduce a revised Mineral Resources Act, in 2015."

My question, why did the minister renege on a promise he made only five months ago?

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL » : Mr. Speaker, let's be clear. There has not been any reneging on this commitment. We've been very clear all along. Our government is committed to restoring the fiscal health of this province. That is so critical to provide our core services in education and health and provide the investments we need to grow our economy.

The indication that we've given to the Mining Association was that this credit would be looked at and distributed over the course of our mandate. Our mandate is not yet over.

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, this Spring, the Fraser Institute released its annual survey of mining and exploration companies. Nova Scotia was ranked as the worst province in Canada for investment effectiveness. My question to the minister: how does the minister expect to fulfill the recommendations of the Ivany report and create good rural jobs when he refuses to fulfill his promise to make the industry a little more competitive?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, for the first time in 25 years, our government has actually taken a look at the legislative framework that regulates our mining sector. We're going to be bringing in a state-of-the-art, competitive legislative framework this Fall that the industry is going to be very excited about. For the first time in a generation, we are looking at returning coal to Cape Breton Island. We have mining companies from across the world looking at tin in Yarmouth, gold deposits across this province, copper deposits. This is actually a very exciting time for the natural resources sector and we look forward to continuing to partner with the private sector to grow our rural economy.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just before we move on to the next question, I want to remind the honourable member for Pictou Centre and the honourable Minister of Natural Resources, the term "renege" is an unparliamentary term.

[Page 3818]

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

Prem. - Film Tax Credit Cuts: Rural N.S. - Effects

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The Film Tax Credit has been a successful tool at leveraging investment from outside of the province and even outside of the country. In 2013, there was approximately $25 million disbursed in provincial film and television tax credits. It generated $124 million in production. That translates into $99 million in triggered capital, a 396 per cent return on investment, much of which goes directly into rural Nova Scotia. I'll table that.

Why hasn't the Premier considered the damage that will be done to rural parts of the province by slashing this tax credit? Can he answer by stopping diverting the public's attention away without having the real facts?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to remind her again that we as a province have the highest grant program when it comes to the film industry in Canada. We value the creative economy. If you look at this budget that was put in place, we have a creative fund that is set aside. For the first time, recording artists are being recognized by the government in a financial way. We are looking at publishers. The broader amount of that program is there for the film industry. We have an additional $6 million that is set aside specifically for the film industry. We have another $6 million that is targeted towards digital media.

There is a lot of money on the table for the creative economy. This is not a government that does not value the creative economy. As a matter of fact, we've demonstrated it by putting it in our budget.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : I'll remind the Premier, it is not a grant. It is called competitive edge and it is called investment, which he does not understand. The screen industry has so many spinoffs in small towns and in rural Nova Scotia, which he is closing the door on. In fact, when the Motion Picture Industry Association made their submission to the tax review, it is illustrated exactly how they stimulate the local rural economies. I'll table it. It says, "Our films, TV shows, and digital media products collectively serve as a marketing campaign for the province, helping to draw thousands of visitors every year."

My question to the Premier is, what is his plan to boost visitors to rural Nova Scotia when the film industry is not here and not promoting this beautiful province as he slams the door?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for her question. I want to thank Screen Nova Scotia who has come and is working with this government. They recognize the fiscal challenges facing our province. They have also recognized the amount of money that is sitting on the table. What they have told us is that the delivery model to the industry didn't work for them. What we've said to them is provide us with a way to deliver that fund to the industry that works for the industry and we will be more than happy to look at it.

[Page 3819]

I am pleased, Mr. Speaker, that they have come to the table, sitting down, talking with government, to lay out a plan. Not only can we ensure that the film industry will be here and into the future, we can also ensure that it will be sustainable.

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

Energy - NSP: South Canoe Capital Costs - Court Decision

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy. Last week the Nova Scotia Appeal Court ruled that Nova Scotia Power was wrongly permitted to include $93 million of capital costs for the South Canoe Wind project in the utility's base rate. The court said Nova Scotia Power should not have been allowed to put the cost of this investment on the taxpayers.

My question for the minister is, how will the minister ensure that this does not happen again?

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the member. As he is well aware, we are still undertaking the electricity review with a commitment to bring in legislation during the Fall session. We are closely looking at what the Court of Appeal had to say in this decision and are hoping to be able to correct that situation as part of the new Act that will be coming this Fall.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that response. I do recognize that the Liberal Government's plan to open up the renewable energy market is still a work in progress, but my question is, under the proposed structure that the government is working on, would Nova Scotia Power's parent company, Emera, be able to operate wind projects throughout the province?

MR. SAMSON « » : Again, Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we are still reviewing the decision from the Court of Appeal and that's all part of the review that will be taking place as well with the electricity review that is underway. As we are putting together the legislative package for the Fall, those are the exact types of questions we want to address.

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased with the Court of Appeal decision because what we said in Opposition, what we've said in government, is that we don't want to see any decisions being made by Nova Scotia Power that are going to affect its rate that is going to be passed on to Nova Scotia consumers.

[Page 3820]

We certainly support the decision and as indicated, there will be legislative changes that will be part of the package coming this Fall.

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

Gaelic Affairs: Office Staff - Reduction

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Gaelic Affairs. The Liberal Government has eliminated the positions of two of the five people working at Gaelic Affairs. This decision is short-sighted and comes at a time when Cape Breton is in the midst of a modest Gaelic renaissance.

Two of the 10 FTEs for the entire department were eliminated in this small office. It seems that Gaelic Affairs received cuts that were disproportionately large compared to other areas of the minister's department.

My question to the minister is, what did the minister do to fight for an office so important to many of his constituents?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Actually I apologize, Mr. Speaker, someone coughed and I actually missed the clause of your actual question. Can I ask him to just repeat that?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Can the honourable member for Pictou Centre repeat the question - just the question.

MR. DUNN « » : Really? Mr. Speaker, the question is, what did the minister do to fight for an office so important to many of his constituents?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker thank you to the member opposite for both the question and for repeating the question on my behalf. I would just like to clarify that the role of the employees in the Office of Gaelic Affairs is a very important role.

The question of making decisions that affect individual employees, such as the decisions referenced in the question, Mr. Speaker, don't come easy. There are people at the end of those decisions, and we do recognize the significant impacts on them, but the reality is that when reviewing and making these decisions, those decisions were primarily administrative functions. We found other ways to provide administrative support for the department.

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, many people are looking at the fruits of their labour after many, many years trying to improve the Gaelic language in our province. There are 300 children in Antigonish who are learning the language. Pictou County will also feel a negative impact of these cuts.

[Page 3821]

My question to the minister is - the Gaelic culture plays an important role in many tourism-related events and companies in Pictou County - did the minister calculate what these cuts would mean to small businesses and volunteer organizations?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, as I previously mentioned when we were making our decisions, as we were reviewing the role of the department, the focus of the department is on providing program service deliveries. The positions that were affected were administrative, office administration. We focused on maintaining those positions that are out there in the communities working with community members, promoting and delivering programming that supports the Gaelic culture. Those individuals continue to provide that service and continue to grow Gaelic awareness and support in the Province of Nova Scotia. Tapadh Leibh.

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

LAE - Film Tax Credit Cut: Grad. Retention - Effects

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, this government keeps saying that when it comes to business sectors they don't pick winners and losers. The Minister of Labour and Advanced Education also claims she's working to keep young Nova Scotians in the province after they graduate from post-secondary programs. However, the dramatic cuts to the Film Tax Credit will definitely threaten the ability for young, creative, and motivated students to remain and contribute to our economy - and a number of these young people actually take programs in Truro and also in Halifax.

So my question for the minister is, can she please detail the effect these proposed cuts to the Film Tax Credit will have on graduate retention in Nova Scotia?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the honourable member for the question and point out to her that we have a number of great programs here in the province that help young people get jobs upon graduation. I would note that one of the criticisms that we did hear about the former government was that they weren't doing enough for students to help them stay here in the province and help them actually get the real jobs that are out there.

So, for example, we have the START program which helps people - not necessarily young people, but young people who do not have job experience actually get job experience. We also have the Graduate to Opportunities program which my colleague, the former Minister of ERDT launched in February, Mr. Speaker, and we also have a number of (Interruptions) I would like to assure the honourable member that we have a number of other programs which I will be happy to detail to her in the next answer.

MS. ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier has suddenly begun calling the Film Tax Credit a "grant", which he says our province can't afford, that it's too rich for our province. Well I stand here today in my place to say that this province can't not afford the creative industry as it is one of our best hopes for a bright future to retain and attract young people to this province, which we know we all desperately need.

[Page 3822]

So my question for the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education is, would she please detail her recommendations for the countless young people in this province now reconsidering their attendance to creative post-secondary programs in Nova Scotia?

MS. REGAN « » : We have a number of industries in this province that have seen a 100 per cent increase over the last number of years for young people. That would be things like oceans technology, health care, ICT, the financial industry, trades, et cetera. Those are all career options for young people.

I would also urge those students to just hang on for a sec, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board is negotiating with Film & Creative Industries, and it is my hope we are going to come up with a solution that will be suitable for everyone and they will be able to stay here and work (Interruption) Mr. Speaker, thank you. I'll sit down.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

Agric. - Stewiacke & Musquodoboit Valley 4-H:

Truro Exhibition Park - Usage

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. There have been many changes in the ownership and administration of the Truro Exhibition Park. Some of the regular events that do bring revenue to the town have been cancelled, but what concerns me is that status of the 4-H in the Stewiacke and Musquodoboit Valleys with respect to the facility. My understanding is that the 4-H program can no longer afford the facility so will the minister shed some light on this unfortunate turn of events for the 4-H program at the Truro Exhibition Park?

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question as 4-H is a very important part of our rural economy and a great organization. As far as I know negotiations are going on with the facility in Truro around 4-H for this upcoming year and there are some different views on that. As far as we know from the facility it is still ongoing and we look to resolve that shortly.

MR. HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. The 4-H program is a vital program for the youth in rural Nova Scotia and we should be encouraging them as much as possible in their program. Is there a plan for the park that we are unaware of?

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, if I could get him to repeat the question.

[Page 3823]

MR. HARRISON « » : Is there a plan for the exhibition park that we are not aware of?

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, there are ongoing changes happening at the park toward making it profitable in the future, instead of having to have government handouts, as has been the case for many, many years. However, a very important part of that is 4-H. We want 4-H to stay there and work with them very closely, and we will definitely be working with 4-H to ensure that does happen.

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

Com. Serv. - Riverview Renovations (Phase 3):

Cancellation - Costs

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : My question today is for the Minister of Community Services. The minister's implementation of the new road map resulted in the cancellation of Phase III of the Riverview renovations. We heard in estimates this week that it cost at least $1 million of taxpayer money to cancel this project at this stage. My question for the minister is, can the minister provide a more complete and full estimate of the cost of the cancellation of Phase III at this time?

HON. JOANNE BERNARD » : Mr. Speaker, somehow I think this question is penance for my inability to take the member across the hall out to dinner. I think, maybe, it is the fifth time it has been asked. The actual cost to end Riverview - and we have already made a $26 million investment, the original budget was $22 million, and there have been some mitigations that we've had to do around environmental areas - it will cost about $1 million to shore up the end of Phase III. I have said many times on the floor of this Legislature that we are committed to the road map, and under my watch there will not be one more new institutionalized bed added to the inventory in the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I understood from the estimates process that there was roughly $1 million allocated to the demolition of walls that had recently been built as part of Phase II. I can't think of a greater example of government waste than to pay for walls to be built and turn around to pay for those same walls to be demolished. My question is, if the minister didn't see value in a half-finished building, did the minister consider completing the building and finding an alternative use for it, maybe long-term care beds or something?

MS. BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, we have been working very diligently with the service provider. We are in talks right now with the contractor who in turn is in talks with his subcontractors. Cancelling Phase III was merely putting up a wall. I think what the member has to realize is that in five years' time, if we had finished Phase III, those beds would be empty because people in his community as well as other communities actually want to live in the community, have it person-directed and community-based, so that would be a tremendous waste of taxpayers' money, but even greater would be the cost to families for the personal cost of having them in institutionalized care when they should be in community-based options.

[Page 3824]

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd.: N.S. Community Counts - Elimination

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. Nova Scotia Community Counts was a small government service, an important resource for people doing research and making decisions affecting thousands of Nova Scotians. Less than a year ago, the director of Economics and Statistics in the Department of Finance and Treasury Board told the Economic Development Committee of this House that the Community Counts program provides detailed information that is "widely used for community, government, and business planning throughout the province."

Unfortunately, this program was eliminated by the McNeil Government in their recent budget. So I want to ask the minister, why doesn't the minister agree with the director of Economics and Statistics about the value of the Community Counts program?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : I had a question about this a few days ago as well. Community Counts is the only non-core activity in the Department of Finance and Treasury Board. It is taking Statistics Canada information that is widely available, and it did change its format to some degree, but Mr. Speaker, the context of this budget was that if it wasn't core to your activities, if it didn't help to move us toward the path of sustainability - we had to look for savings in every department. I say again, all of the information is Stats Canada information. It's available.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, the minister previously has said that the Community Counts program isn't well used. Perhaps she could have done something to promote it, rather than make sure nobody would ever get to use it. One year ago today, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage tabled a report of the Task Force on Violence and Public Safety that cites Community Counts a number of times. The data that was available was really important for that report.

My question for the minister is, why did she eliminate such a valuable source of data for people, for municipal government, for business trying to provide programs and services to Nova Scotia?

MS. WHALEN « » : I think other members have said as well that every cut we made was a difficult cut. Every department had to play its role and find some savings. It doesn't mean that the people who work there weren't doing a good job or that somebody didn't value what was done, but the fact is that Stats Canada provides that information. It is still available to researchers or people who want to find out more about their communities. It's just not going to be provided by the Department of Finance and Treasury Board.

[Page 3825]

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

Agric. - Prov. Exhibition: Forensic Audit - Table

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : My question, Mr. Speaker, is for the Minister of Agriculture. Last Spring during Budget Estimates, the Minister of Agriculture said that the forensic audit of the provincial exhibition would be completed by June. I will table that. We have not heard anything of that audit.

My question for the minister is, will the minister table the audit so members of this House can be made aware of the financial state of the provincial exhibition and the path forward to make it sustainable?

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Yes, indeed, that audit is finally being completed. Part of the audit was to do an initial audit of the facility and then follow up with the management of the exhibition. That follow-up is just about complete. That audit will be tabled shortly.

MR. LOHR « » : That's a long time to wait for an audit, Mr. Speaker. That was June of last year. The minister also said that the new provincial exhibition board would provide him with quarterly updates on what they were doing as they move forward, and that those updates would be made public. I'll table both of those comments right now.

My question to the minister is, how many updates has the minister received, and will he table them in this House?

MR. COLWELL « » : That is a very important question. More accountability for the exhibition, that is underway, and we are in the process of receiving regular updates from the facility.

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

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, the last time I tried to ask this question we ran into the same problem: by the time I get the question out we'll get no answer. But then again, when we get the questions out, we get no answers anyway, so it doesn't make much difference. I'm trying to fill in the time, because this is such a good question. (Applause)

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

[Page 3826]

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : I know he had a really good question there, too. (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER « » : 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 on Supply unto Her Majesty.

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

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : It is my privilege, Mr. Speaker, to now speak into what I understand is termed Supply, to make a comment on the budget, and I would like to do so. I am afraid that I am not able to provide the members of the House with a new topic. I wish to talk also about the Film Tax Credit. This has been a common theme.

I would like to talk maybe in a little bit of a different sense about the Film Tax Credit, in that I would like to make some comment on the sort of structure of the industry and the logic of the Film Tax Credit and how I see that. Maybe in a different . . . (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Kings North has the floor.

MR. LOHR « » : Maybe in a different comment than has been made.

One of the things, just sort of to fill you in, my agricultural background gives me sort of a different view of subsidies. As all members of this House are well aware, in the western world in particular, agricultural subsidies have been around for a long time. Farmers think of those as government involvement in what we would term the cheap food policy. In 1997-98, I actually had the privilege of touring (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Kings North has the floor.

MR. LOHR « » : . . . touring, in Brussels, DG6 - Directorate-General 6 - which was responsible for the European Union's farm agricultural policies. One of the things that those agricultural policies have done is that different jurisdictions, in order to be involved, have had to sort of participate. One of the things that has happened in agriculture is the European Union has had, in the past very rich, subsidies. The United States, in order to compete, has had to likewise participate in those. The Canadian Government also has participated.

[Page 3827]

One of the things about these is that they do affect trade. I've asked in this House before about - and in fact the Minister of Agriculture is looking into that - the effect of how small changes in government policy - even in an interprovincial way - towards an industry can affect where that industry moves, even in something like agriculture. You'd think that that's not very mobile; if I'm a farmer in Canning, I'll farm what I want to farm. But in fact, what is done and what happens is differential subsidies or slightly improved subsidies in Ontario and Quebec actually move the industry that way.

Likewise, the film industry is an industry that is highly mobile. Even small differences, I would suggest - and in this case, in this budget, very significant differences - in government policy towards that industry can cause big shifts in where that industry locates.

If I think about the reduction in the Film Tax Credit, we heard from the industry clearly yesterday, very articulately, how they believe that this will devastate their industry. If we think about the effect of that, it is clearly - and I will drill down into that later on - a very devastating effect to that industry here in Nova Scotia.

It's government policy in many ways to put money into many different things in our province. I know a number of years ago when the Larry Uteck intersection was suddenly appearing - so there was a new intersection being built right outside of Halifax. For whatever reason, the government saw the need to have an intersection there. As a result of the construction of that intersection, there were a bunch of businesses built around that - a Sobeys, a Tim Hortons, and a few others. But those businesses didn't actually pay for that intersection to be constructed there at millions of dollars. To suggest that maybe if we look at the value of the business there, maybe we could say that even that didn't pay for itself yet.

In some ways, the Film Tax Credit is similar in that if you think of it as compared to building an intersection. The government money goes into infrastructure, and as a result of that, there are all sorts of good things that come into the province. I would suggest that if we were to compare that, I would suggest that the Film Tax Credit is a better investment even than an intersection on the Bicentennial Highway.

Likewise, if we think about airport infrastructure, the government clearly puts money into runways and keeping an airport functioning. That brings a lot of business into our province. It's all stuff that we can easily understand.

But I would suggest that, likewise, the Film Tax Credit brings money into this province from other jurisdictions. Would we like to live in a world where there were no agricultural subsidies and distorting trade? As a farmer, I think, yeah, sure. I'm willing to work as hard as anybody else - we can make money here too, I believe - yet we live in a world where there are these distortions in trade. Likewise, in the film industry, different jurisdictions - I know the Premier has said we have the best one in the country, and I know I've heard others say it. I haven't actually seen that information. It's not clear to me that ours was the best in the country, so I would like to see that information that's available.

[Page 3828]

What we have is a world in which these different jurisdictions are attracting these industries. If we think about where we could go back to a world in which that didn't happen, maybe everything would be filmed in Hollywood. What happened is that maybe they would only come on location when they needed to be in a very specific location. But clearly we're not in that world anymore.

The thing about the creative industries, I believe, is that it creates a lot of - it's sort of part of the future. If you think about what type of industries we see, I mean, the days of iron and steel for this province seem mostly gone - I hope those industries come back - but this creative industry is sort of cutting-edge in our world. I don't think that there is any sign that the desire or the demand for the creative industries will in any way decrease in the future. We will see more and more put into them and they will continue to be more dynamic.

It's attracted a lot of sort of dynamic growth in our province, I believe, in terms of young people and how they interact with that industry. I know yesterday, walking outside, I met a young man named Ryan who had said he is from Nova Scotia, he was living in Ottawa, and he moved back home. The impact that this industry had had on him - he just friended somebody on Facebook in the industry about eight or nine years ago and immediate got a job. He was near tears talking about the impact that the changes in the Film Tax Credit would have in his life. It wasn't clear that he totally understood what the Film Tax Credit was from his description of how he thought it worked, but nevertheless, he believed - and I think he's correct, I believe too - that the changes will have a big impact.

The ability to attract those big international productions that sort of come in and have a big impact on our lives will be dramatically altered by the changes in the Film Tax Credit. I understand that tomorrow that there will be a meeting and maybe there will significant changes, changes that the industry can live with I hope, coming out of that. I trust that that will happen.

I just think that we live in a world in which this is the reality. Maybe we would all prefer that this wasn't the reality and that each jurisdiction could just simply compete on talent and location. I think we have fantastic locations in Nova Scotia for the Film Tax Credit. I don't want to speak disparagingly of other parts of the country, but we just have a lot of different types of scenery in Nova Scotia - a lot of water, a lot of history - and those things all play very well into the film industry. I think that to have this tax credit, and a functional one that the industry can take to the bank so that they can attract investment, is a very good idea.

[Page 3829]

You know, in this House, one of the things that happened in the past was cancelling the Yarmouth ferry. Now, on our side, we've asked many questions about the new ferry. It's clear that when something is cancelled and the industry or whatever there was associated with that moves away, bringing it back is doubly difficult and doubly expensive. It is clear that that is the case with the Yarmouth ferry.

If at this moment in time, the momentum in the film industry is lost in the province, I believe that in four years or whenever the next government - likely this issue will continue to be an issue right up into whenever that next election is. But if at this moment, we lose this momentum that this industry has, bringing it back will be doubly difficult, I believe. Whatever tax credit will be required at that point will be more and it will have less effect, as we've seen with the ferry. It's just difficult to bring something back once it's gone. I think that, for those reasons, the momentum that this industry has needs to be kept going.

One of the unfortunate things, I think, in the way that this film tax credit change has come about is the fact that it was so clearly spelled out previously by this government that there was no change coming and in fact it was clearly spelled out that it would be enhanced. Obviously those clips of previous statements by various ministers of the government are on YouTube.

One of the things that I know is a goal of this present government is transparency. I've heard that said. I think I could say that is a goal of the government. I applaud that goal. I'm not sure if we feel that goal has really been met, mostly in terms - and we've talked about transparency. We've talked about the details of different things. I would like to talk for a minute about the transparency of overall direction. There was a Liberal platform in the last election and these changes to the Film Tax Credit were not spelled out in that, in fact opposite things were said.

I think that it is important as government - and I know that things do change but signals have to be sent very clearly and there has to be transparency of purpose and of overall goals. I don't feel that the film industry would feel, at this moment, that there was anything like that sort of transparency in this change. I think that there is a sense of betrayal.

I think that most of you have probably seen some of the YouTube clips. I think that doesn't just hurt your Party, that hurts this Legislature, actually. I know that it would be easy for us to take - and there's a German word for it, I think it is schadenfreude - that we take delight in your pain at this moment. In fact I think that ultimately when the public sees an about-face on a government policy, when it was so clearly spelled out not that long ago, it actually hurts all of us in this House; it is unfortunate.

I think that sort of transparency is important, that there be transparency of purpose. That, I think, is an important point in that we need to be seen as owning up to what we have said and to be honest, I think that largely you do, but this is a case where you haven't . . .

[Page 3830]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would just like to remind the honourable member for Kings North that twice in the last minute and a half he has referred to the members opposite directly, using the word "you", so just be mindful of that. You started at 2:51 p.m. so you have 15 minutes total.

MR. LOHR « » : Just a few more minutes, okay. My apologies, Mr. Speaker.

I believe that this House, in this Legislature, in our Parties, in the way that we function, we need to have transparency of purpose. In other words, if we have said that something will be a certain way then if for some reason it can't be that way, the reasons need to be clearly spelled out and there needs to be time for the industry to adapt to this.

I just think that the film industry, as many industries, does not operate on what I would call political time. Political time seems to be on like a 24-hour news cycle. We're operating on very short time frames and maybe two weeks is a long time in political life but I would suggest that in most industries and in most businesses that many years - a year or two and notice and discussion and consultation are more the norm.

It's easy for us, I think sometimes we - I think I can say "we" - we live in a bubble here but I believe that the film industry would like to have had much more notice of changes and much more opportunity to consult with the government. Consulting after the fact is damaging. I hope not but whatever comes out of tomorrow's meeting I hope that the damage has not been done, that we will continue to see investment by the industry in this, the film industry in Nova Scotia.

One of the surprises to me in this has been the number of neighbours of mine who have participated in the industry and I didn't really realize it. One which was mentioned in this House is Ken Bezanson who owns a really great antique store in Port Williams. I was unaware of the amount of business he was doing renting props all over the province.

I think I've mentioned in this House that I had a number of personal friends who rented cars to Call Me Fitz, so obviously they were selling on the car lot, the used car lot of Call Me Fitz, they were selling some little more high-end cars, or the neighbour was, I'm not sure quite how that storyline went, but they were renting cars to them.

Another surprise to me was I actually had a neighbour not very far from where we farm some land who is a movie director in, it's called Moving Films Inc. and her name is Bliss. Her email to me was "I guess I'll have to shoot Rockbound in Germany." I don't really have the details on that, why Germany for Rockbound, which is an iconic Nova Scotia story. But clearly her point was the Film Tax Credit changes were jeopardizing her ability as a moviemaker to shoot in Nova Scotia for what is an iconic Nova Scotia story.

[Page 3831]

I was unaware of those local examples, that there was a movie . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Time allotted for the member has expired.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I know that I've had many opportunities in this House to talk about the film and television tax credit and I will continue to do that when the opportunity is given to me, but I will also be continuing to do that in my constituency and throughout the Province of Nova Scotia.

This is such a vital industry to the people of Nova Scotia, to our economy and it's absolutely mind-boggling to try to figure out why they were a target when what we've been looking at – we've had many reports about, and of course the Ivany report, of taking what we have already instead of trying to invent something that we don't have and hope that it works. We have something that really works, it has taken 20 years to get where we are - that's a true investment.

So we're not only losing and looking at the loss of what will happen in our future, we're losing a very important part of our history. As my colleague said, "you can't turn that off and on in a minute."

Let's look at some of the many, many things that the film and television industry touches in our province. It certainly touches youth. As you could see today those who have joined us from the film and television industry here today, and outside yesterday, many of them were young. They were young families. The same thing the members opposite, the members in government knocked on doors not too long ago telling people of Nova Scotia that we have to have a different province, we needed a province that created an environment and condition that our young people can stay here.

There's no argument whatsoever that can be made to say that industry is not the industry of youth. Those are promises that people made; they made promises to help with the youth. How do you go back to those doorsteps if this industry is destroyed and look somebody in the face and say what I said to you I meant it before. That's not going to work. The door will be slammed in their faces, the same as they're slamming the door on rural Nova Scotia - because that's another huge factor here. We're dying in rural Nova Scotia. Do you know what's keeping us alive? It has been this industry.

I know it myself; I've experienced it in the Village of Chester. A very tiny village of around 2,000 people, 10,000 people in the municipality - and you know what keeps us chugging along? It's the film and television industry. It was Haven dropping $50 million in just five years. Where can you get that kind of an investment? I plead with you to look at that. It's insane to think you would want something like that taken away, and it's very unfortunate that the very person who stood up in 2013 before the election, our now Premier, could stand in front of people - I watched the YouTube video again, over and over, of him saying to the people of Nova Scotia and the industry how important they were to us and that he not only was going to support it until 2020, that they were going to increase it and put in $750,000 to the digital entertainment industry. How can you ever say that?

[Page 3832]

I've been able to have the experience of coming from not a political world at all, to get thrust into politics and learn on the way. But I know one thing: when I went door to door, if somebody asked me if I could promise them something, I said no, but I will try. I will try. Those are the words that I would use.

You cannot promise anything as a politician, because you don't know until you get in what everything looks like. Why you would take the time consciously and stand and make political announcements, put ads in newspapers, to tell people - I cannot get that. I'm sorry, I was not brought up that way, and really, I feel bad that Nova Scotians are seeing that, because that paints us all with the same brush and it makes it very difficult.

Lots of times, unfortunately, when I go out and somebody says, what do you do for a living, I turn my head down and look on the ground and say, don't hit me, I'm a politician. I'm embarrassed by it, honestly - and I know there are a lot of people on the government side who are feeling very torn, because it's hard. It is very hard to be in the position that many of you are in, because you don't have the voice to make a difference.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I just want to remind the honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's not to refer to the members opposite directly.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : What I'm trying to do is, I've talked many times - I've talked about the 396 per cent return on investment, one of the best business deals that this province has ever had handed to it. I've talked about youth and the importance of our youth staying here, and I know that as the members in the government went door to door, they talked about these same things. They probably talked about tourism. Well, we're always trying to spend some dollars outside of the province to attract people to come here.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yarmouth ferry.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Well, yes, you can talk about the Yarmouth ferry. I have no problem . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I want to remind the honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's again to not refer to the members opposite directly.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

[Page 3833]

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : I have no problem. You can throw the Yarmouth ferry at us as many times as you want. Do you know what? The ferry, when we looked at it, was not sustainable - which you're finding out. What we did wrong . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's, please don't refer to the members opposite directly. Direct your comments through the Chair.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : I will say that where we went off the road or went wrong is exactly what is happening now: the fact that we did not consult and we did not provide a transition period. So the government members can say that to us, but we're here in the Opposition, and maybe that's part of the reason. The government members have thrown that at us many times.

I'm not going to stand here as a politician and try to defend a wrong decision. In terms of the Yarmouth ferry, I think the two big issues for us were the lack of consultation and not putting in a transition period.

What I'm saying is that we faced an issue and we should have done it differently, but it's no different than the Film Tax Credit in the fact that there is history. We see Prince Edward Island, where that province took away its tax credit and the film industry and television industry dried up. New Brunswick did it and the same thing happened, and other parts of the country, they did it.

Why are we not seeing what has not worked elsewhere? We've experienced it, and other provinces have experienced making mistakes, but for some reason this particular government wants to follow down that same path. That path may mean that after the next election, not everybody, but some will be sitting on this side. That's what they'll have to deal with, because I'll tell you, the film and television industry is vibrant with youth and they're individuals that will not give up.

They're people. They're human beings. They're the same people that we knocked on their door. They have children. They have established their roots in this province. They're either from Nova Scotia or they've come from elsewhere because they love this province. They're proud of this province and they're involved in the industry. As I've said over and over, my experience with Haven was that the money trickles through the whole community. It creates pride. It creates excitement when you're seeing a production being filmed down the street from you, and may get a glimpse of a movie star.

What you also see is, you go to Chester Building Supplies and you can see that the manager is all excited. He's thrilled because the Haven crew has come in and just put down $5,000 to buy materials. Or you go over to the rink complex that was going to close its doors, but it's surviving. The kids in the community can skate in the wintertime at the rink and people can go curling because of the fact that Haven used it as a production site - the main area for a soundstage - and they have put in hundreds of thousands of dollars over the five years. That facility did not have to come to the government and say, we need some grant money.

[Page 3834]

Let me say about all the things in the community - hairdressers, people from whom they rented homes to film. It is mind-boggling when you start drawing the dots and see where they go. Maybe that's an exercise that I would suggest that the Finance and Treasury Board Minister and the Premier do. Draw the dots, put them on the map of Nova Scotia, and just see how much this industry links and brings together all our communities in Nova Scotia.

Then, Mr. Speaker, it's beyond that. It's out to the world. Internationally, people are seeing what we're about. You do not know the number of people who have travelled to Nova Scotia and to Chester because of Haven. They want to see where that's produced. They want to be able to catch a glimpse of, perhaps, a production being done in the street.

We've gotten letters from people. We're not making this stuff up. I know we're in Opposition and you just expect that we're going to make a big to-do about everything, but I'm telling you, since I've been here in 2009, this is probably the most serious situation that I have seen to the local economy of rural Nova Scotia, right across. I will not forget Halifax, too, because this is a huge draw for people in the film and television industry.

It is very sad that it becomes a political battle where the government has to use their PR words like "grant". This is not a grant at all. This is not a grant - this is an investment. And the talk about, oh well, it's terrible because it's the highest credit, as they say, in all of Canada - which I think is arguable - but even if it is, shouldn't we be standing tall and proud of that? That we know where to bring our economy up? It's investing in something we already have that has taken 20 years to get there. Shouldn't we be standing up proud about that fact that we're investing in an industry that shows the world who we are? We're developing tourism through it. We're proud of our culture. We're proud of our heritage.

We're creating jobs. Jobs - thousands of jobs. About 2,700 jobs a year. Well, that's exactly why this government turned around and created a new Department of Business. They felt that it was important to focus on business. Well, what's the film industry? It's a huge business. The new mandate for the Department of Business actually is what the film and television industry is all about. I just don't understand how you can have a mandate mission - and I hope everyone on the government side has read that and knows what that mandate says, because you could actually just add into that mandate the film and television industry. We've got it here, so why are we not promoting it and making it bigger and better so that we're known not only in Canada and North America, but around the world?

[Page 3835]

I feel very sad with the fact that a decision that affects so many people's lives has been made with little or no analysis, and we know that. It can be argued as much as possible, but if the minister cannot provide that to us in the House and she cannot provide it to the industry, doesn't that tell you that this decision that is going to negatively affect thousands and thousands of Nova Scotians is based on no real, true facts?

Mr. Speaker, in closing, that's a very sad day for Nova Scotia that a decision of that nature is being made and people's lives are being torn apart because of the fact that there are no facts to make such a disastrous, insane decision. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

Barring no more debate on the Supply motion, the House will now recess while we resolve ourselves into a Committee of the Whole on Supply.

[3:21 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

[7:37 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole on Supply reports:

THE CLERK » : That the Committee of the Whole on Supply has met and made progress and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 87.

Bill No. 87 - Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Act.

[Page 3836]

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that this bill be now read a second time.

I wanted to rise in the House today to speak to my colleagues about the legislation I tabled that would require more than 300 audiologists and speech-language pathologists to be members of a self-regulatory body. This will help provide improved oversight and supervision. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are self-regulated in most jurisdictions in Canada, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. This legislation will put Nova Scotia on par with these eight provinces.

Speech-language pathologists and audiologists provide an important service to children and adults across the province. Self-regulation will make it clearer to the public that licensed audiologists and speech-language pathologists have, and work to maintain, the necessary qualifications and skills. Currently the Speech and Hearing Association of Nova Scotia represents the majority of these professionals in the province, both in private practice as well as in health care and education settings.

If this legislation is passed, the association would begin to set up a professional regulatory body. Mr. Speaker, the primary purpose of this legislation is to protect the public by preventing anyone who does not possess the necessary certifications and competencies from practising professions governed by legislation. It will also ensure that these highly trained health care workers can ensure that the highest professional standards are upheld.

The proposed Act will provide legislative authority with the creation of a College of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology and provide legislative authority for registration, title protection, scope of practice, complaints and disciplinary procedures. This legislation will help Nova Scotians have confidence that the audiology and speech-language pathologists they rely on have the training and the skills they need to help their patients.

With that, I look forward to the comments of the members opposite.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to rise to speak to this bill concerning the practice of speech and language pathology and audiology in our province. Ensuring the highest quality of care in these fields is very important. I am pleased to see that this bill will allow practitioners in this province and this field to self-regulate.

The setting up of a professional regulatory body, like in other fields, would help to establish high standards of care which all members must adhere to and will allow for disciplinary action for those who do not meet those standards. Having a self-regulated body will allow for the protection of clients in a way that did not exist previously. Those who practise speech-language pathology and audiology provide important services to Nova Scotians helping many to communicate, improve their hearing - both of these serve to improve the quality of life of many Nova Scotians and allow them to be productive members of society.

[Page 3837]

As mentioned by the minister, most other provinces in Canada have a self-regulatory body for speech and language pathologists and audiologists in place. It's a positive step for Nova Scotia to follow suit. Thank you.

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

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, it is a great privilege to speak about audiology and speech-language pathology folks in Nova Scotia. I guess when you grow up in the audiology world as myself - as many members know on that side of the House, being deaf in this ear, I can't hear them - so that whole process of growing (Interruptions) The other beautiful thing about being deaf in the left ear is you can't hear the chirping on that side of the room.

Going through the testing every single year, following the path of someone who has lost hearing due to German measles when I was two years old, you really struggle to adapt to the English language and understanding that. Having the audiology folks walk you through that whole process in life to make sure that your hearing is okay, when you are struggling with pronouncing words and understanding words that the speech-language pathologists are there to help you through that process, and then going through surgery after surgery with tubes and adenoids and all that kind of thing, trying to find solutions, the audiology group is such a wonderful group of people to help walk you through that and to understand that.

To be able to stand up here and talk about this is really neat because I've experienced it and now sitting here in government and allowing them to put a body in place, to allow them to self-regulate themselves, to ensure that kids like myself when growing up who are struggling with hearing will get the care they need under the certification that has been in place.

For many Nova Scotians - and I think this is a proud opportunity for me to speak to this - this is a good thing for the department. It's a good thing to follow the rest of Canada and it's good to ensure those 300 people and nurses in the field will get the support they need to ensure they are certified to make sure kids are taken care of. With that brief comment - I just needed to say that - I wanted to share my thoughts on this important decision. Thank you.

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

[Page 3838]

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the members on both sides of the House for their comments on this bill. I move second reading of Bill No. 87.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 87. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 88.

Bill No. 88 - Dental Act.

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 88 be now read a second time.

I'm pleased to rise in my place today to discuss the proposed amendments to the Dental Act. The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia is the regulatory body for dentists in the province; the responsibilities include licensing dentists to practise. As it currently stands the board only has two options - they can approve a full licence or reject the applicant. There are options beyond those choices. What the dental board has come to the province and asked for is a greater flexibility, and options, when it comes to listening to its members.

The amendments, as introduced, will grant greater responsibility to the board and provide the authority to grant a licence with conditions and/or restrictions. Those conditions could range from the requirement for a period of supervision or the need to attend courses on ethics or sensitivity training. Restrictions could prohibit a dentist from performing certain procedures for a period of time. These are all reasonable and appropriate options that the Provincial Dental Board should have.

Recent events at the Dalhousie Dental School caused the dental board to review its policies and procedures relating to licensing. The board also conducted a jurisdictional review of the authorities granted to other dental regulators. The review found a need for change in Nova Scotia. The dental board was behind its counterparts and needs greater authority and options when it comes to licensing.

[Page 3839]

It's important that Nova Scotians have confidence in the dental community. Good oral health is an important factor in supporting overall health. These amendments not only help empower the Provincial Dental Board, but they also ensure a high standard in quality of care that people expect. I'm looking forward to hearing from others on this bill, and I'm pleased to bring it forward on behalf of dentists across the province.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : It's my pleasure to rise to say a few words on Bill No. 88, amendments to the Dental Act. The dental profession in Nova Scotia is subject to rigorous standards and oversight. Dentists are medical professionals in whom significant public trust is required. When we look at a piece of legislation like this, one that amends the role and power of the dental board, we must look closely to ensure that patient safety is enhanced, and not compromised.

Nova Scotians deserve to be confident that they are in safe hands with the medical professionals that treat them, including dentists. Recent events in this province have been divisive and troubling to say the least. Unfortunately, they have also given Nova Scotians a cause to question the criteria for first-time applicants to be granted a licence to practice dentistry.

Initially, upon examining this bill, we had a number of questions, and the most important question to consider with regard to this bill is the following: Will the bill enable the dental board to grant licences to persons who have not been granted one under existing provisions in the Dental Act? In the Dental Act, the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has the authority to determine their criteria for being issued a licence to practise dentistry in this province. The Dental Act regulates one condition for being issued a licence by the dental board is that applicants be of good moral character and be considered a fit and proper person to be licensed as a dentist. Currently the dental board only has authority to say yes or no in the decision to grant a licence to a first-time applicant.

The legislation before us in the House today enables the board to issue a licence with conditions, in addition to a clear yes or no. Our chief concern is ensuring the bill does not compromise the ability of the dental board to issue a clear no decision in the issuing of a licence to an individual who is deemed not to be of adequate moral character or fit to practise dentistry.

After discussions with the dental board, we have been reassured that dentists who clearly do not meet the standard for licensure would be declined a licence and those who clearly meet the criteria will be licensed. We are pleased to hear this; there is no room for compromise no matter what.

Nova Scotians want to be confident in any applicant who might pose any threat to public safety will be declined a licence and not issued one with conditions. In addition, we have been assured that this legislation gives the board added flexibility to issue licences to an individual on a case-by-case basis to applicants who do not clearly fall into the accepted or declined pool. It is our understanding that this could apply to applicants who might require additional educational courses followed by periods of supervision. It is our hope that, on a case-by-case basis, this will address individual deficiencies in dentistry competencies while those who are deemed to be a risk to public safety or not of sound moral character will still be declined a licence to practice.

[Page 3840]

We understand that other dental boards have the power to grant licences with conditions to first-time applicants. The view of the board is very important. Without their support, we would not even be considering support for this bill. There are, however, a range of voices on the matter; we'll be reaching out to them as well.

Frankly, the acceptance of conditions to protect patients will give some people pause. Understandably, we need to ensure the proper balance is struck here. While some of our questions have been answered to our satisfaction, we will continue to reach out to stakeholders to determine the impact this bill could have on patient safety before giving definite support to this bill. I trust the government will be open to amending this bill if Nova Scotia dental patients raise concerns not addressed in the bill, a bill the minister must proclaim by June to accommodate graduating dental students.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I look forward to this bill going through Law Amendments Committee to see what the public has to say.

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

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and make a few comments on this bill this evening. I'd like to begin with perhaps a bit of background. The dental profession is self-regulated. There are other examples of professions that are self-regulated - doctors, lawyers, engineers, and architects as well. I am an architect, and a member of the Nova Scotia Association of Architects, which regulates my profession. I am a member of that.

The Dental Act delegates the responsibility to regulate that profession. It is through this regulation that the public interest is protected - in which we delegate that duty to protect the public interest to a regulatory body that is better placed than government to effectively oversee the work of that profession, to stay current with all the changes in the profession, the modernization of the profession, what is going on in the profession. Government is not well-placed to do that. It's much more cost-effective for each individual profession to have a regulatory body to oversee that.

What is in the Dental Act? It's the power to license. That is conducted by the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia. Also, the power to discipline those members who do not meet the standards or who make errors. The other thing that they do is to set the educational, technical, and ethical standards for that profession.

[Page 3841]

It's this last item, the ethical standards, which has prompted this amendment to the legislation. The shocking events concerning the Facebook group the Class of 2015 DDS Gentlemen's Club has prompted this change. As we know, Dalhousie University has acted and that is ongoing, but also the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has acted. Now, they do not have any jurisdiction over students, but they have moved quickly. On January 12th, the Dental Board issued a statement, and I will quote one comment from that: "There is no place in dentistry for this type of behaviour." I will table that.

As the minister also indicated, they conducted a review of policies and procedures of their organization. That was followed with a press release and a statement that the board was moving quickly ". . . to strengthen its licensure review process by requiring all applicants to disclose any disciplinary proceedings or complaints made against them during their university education." I'll table that document as well.

Following that, the dental board approached government. They've come asking for changes to the Dental Act, and the events at Dalhousie have clearly revealed the need for changes to the Act for the dental profession, to give them greater authority and options when it comes to licensing their members.

What is in the bill? The creation of a registration appeal committee. It also allows the registrar to oppose conditions or restrictions on a licence, if necessary, and it expands the regulation-making authority of the board. Most importantly, it enables licensing with conditions - a period of time for supervision, ethics courses, sensitivity training. These changes will ensure that the board can respond to situations such as the Dalhousie events. It is of utmost importance that it will assist them in maintaining the public's trust.

In summary, the Dental Board should be commended on their prompt action, and the minister should also be commended for his prompt action to bring forward these amendments today. These are sound amendments which help maintain the public trust and improve the Act. I hope that all members will support this legislation. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the House for their very thoughtful comments on this important piece of legislation. With that, I move second reading of Bill No. 88.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 88. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 3842]

The motion is carried.

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

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. 76.

Bill No. 76 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 76 - an Act to Amend Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008, the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter - be read for a third time and do pass.

This legislation supports a request from the municipality. It provides Halifax Council with the authority to disclose information about the compensation the municipality pays to its officials. It also gives the council the authority to determine the appropriate compensation thresholds and to identify the municipal agencies, boards, and commissions to which the rules would apply.

I appreciated the comments of my honourable colleagues in the debate in second reading. I was gratified that the honourable members spoke in support of the legislation and its principle. That principle is one that I believe all Nova Scotians support: that governments at all levels have responsibility to provide transparency and accountability to their citizens and taxpayers. Thank you.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for his comments. I had an opportunity to speak on this bill before, and of course the PC caucus is in favour of this bill. Anything that is a step toward increasing transparency and accountability in the province's largest municipality is always a good thing. Thank you.

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

[Page 3843]

The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 76, the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 76. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 80.

Bill No. 80 - House of Assembly Act.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 80, the House of Assembly Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 80. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. 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.

[8:02 p.m. The House resolved into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

[8:17 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

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

[Page 3844]

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

Bill No. 79 - Civil Service Act.

Bill No. 84 - Statute Law Repeal (2015) Act.

without amendments, and

Bill No. 83 - Elections Act.

which was reported with certain amendments by the Committee on Law Amendments to the Committee of the Whole House 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.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. We shall meet tomorrow on April 17th, Friday, from the hours of 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The business for tomorrow following daily routine would be resumption of the debate on Estimates, and after four hours of debate on Estimates that will conclude the government's business.

Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again from the hours of 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The House stands adjourned until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, April 17th.

[The House rose at 8:19 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 3845]

RESOLUTION NO. 1488

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Malcolm Firth was born and brought up in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, worked as an associate research scientist with the Nova Scotia Research Foundation and in 1975 he and his wife Joan moved from Dartmouth to Lake Echo where that they brought up three daughters and two sons; and

Whereas he joined Saint David's United Church and in 1977 provided leadership to the much needed expansion of the church building through the construction of a large addition including a hall and kitchen; and

Whereas he also served as a founding member of the Orenda Canoe Club, provided the leadership for the construction of the canoe club building and still contributes to the success of the club through raising much needed funds through an annual fishing derby;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Malcolm Firth for the contributions he has made to the community of Lake Echo.

RESOLUTION NO. 1489

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas the Municipality of East Hants recognized the contributions and commitments of volunteers during their annual volunteer recognition on April 17, 2015; and

Whereas Bob Bayard was nominated as a Shining Star volunteer by the East Hants Community Rider Association where he volunteers as a driver and "go to" man and is a very conscientious volunteer who never misses an opportunity to take training that will help him be a more effective volunteer; and

Whereas volunteers such as Bob are the backbone of our communities, providing countless hours of devoted service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Bob Bayard's contributions and thank him for his tireless volunteer efforts.

[Page 3846]

RESOLUTION NO. 1490

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas the Municipality of East Hants recognized the contributions and commitments of volunteers during their annual volunteer recognition on April 17, 2015; and

Whereas Claude Cajolais, who was nominated as a long-time Mount Uniacke area volunteer by the Knights of Columbus, volunteers as the St. Francis of Assisi Church choir coordinator, is past Grand Knight, is a member of the Naval League of Mount Uniacke, is a Track and Field for Special Olympics volunteer, and is a Silver and Gold Seniors Club volunteer; and

Whereas volunteers such as Claude are the backbone of our communities, providing countless hours of devoted service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Claude Cajolais's contributions and thank him for his tireless volunteer efforts.

RESOLUTION NO. 1491

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas the Municipality of East Hants recognized the contributions and commitments of volunteers during their annual volunteer recognition on April 17, 2015; and

Whereas Don Hartlen, who was nominated as a Shining Star volunteer by the Uniacke District Civic Centre Association for his dedication to his community, is an active scout leader and the current group commissioner, coordinator for the Cookie Bake for the Catholic Church, and treasurer for the Silver and Gold Seniors Club; and

Whereas volunteers such as Don are the backbone of our communities, providing countless hours of devoted service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Donald Hartlen's contributions and thank him for his tireless volunteer efforts.

[Page 3847]

RESOLUTION NO. 1492

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas the Municipality of East Hants recognized the contributions and commitments of volunteers during their annual volunteer recognition on April 17, 2015; and

Whereas Elizabeth Roulston was nominated as a Shining Star volunteer by Rawdon Fire Hall for dedicating over 40 years of fundraising for the communities of Gore and Rawdon; and

Whereas volunteers such as Elizabeth are the backbone of our communities, providing countless hours of devoted service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Elizabeth Roulston's contributions and thank him for his tireless volunteer efforts.

RESOLUTION NO. 1493

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas the Municipality of East Hants recognized the contributions and commitments of volunteers during their Annual Volunteer Recognition on April 17, 2015; and

Whereas Katie Meehan-White was nominated as a Shining Star volunteer by the Cobequid 4-H for being a dedicated co-general leader, and she is a key member of the not-for-profit group Cobequid Creative Kids Zone and she often fundraises for other local groups; and

Whereas volunteers such as Katie are the backbone of our communities, providing countless hours of devoted service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Katie Meehan-White's contributions and thank her for her tireless volunteer efforts.

[Page 3848]

RESOLUTION NO. 1494

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas the Municipality of East Hants recognized the contributions and commitments of volunteers during their Annual Volunteer Recognition on April 17, 2015; and

Whereas Lara Robinson was nominated as a Shining Star volunteer by Maple Ridge Elementary for serving as the Home and School Treasurer for the past six years and playing the piano for the past two Christmas concerts; and

Whereas volunteers such Lara are the backbone of our communities, providing countless hours of devoted service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Lara Robinson's contributions and thank her for her tireless volunteer efforts.

RESOLUTION NO. 1495

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas the Municipality of East Hants recognized the contributions and commitments of volunteers during their Annual Volunteer Recognition on April 17, 2015; and

Whereas Nadine Walsh was nominated as a Shining Star volunteer by Girl Guides Canada - because of her hard work and dedication, enrollment in the Mount Uniacke program has more than doubled; and

Whereas volunteers such as Nadine are the backbone of our communities, providing countless hours of devoted service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Nadine Walsh's contributions and thank her for her tireless volunteer efforts.

RESOLUTION NO. 1496

[Page 3849]

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas the Municipality of East Hants recognized the contributions and commitments of volunteers during their Annual Volunteer Recognition on April 17, 2015; and

Whereas Stacey and Doug Bartlett were nominated as Shining Star volunteers by Rawdon District Home and School for supporting the youth in the community by providing drives to various sporting events, fundraising, and being available for whatever is needed; and

Whereas volunteers such as Stacey and Doug are the backbone of our communities, providing countless hours of devoted service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Stacey and Doug Bartlett's contributions and thank them for their tireless volunteer efforts.

RESOLUTION NO. 1497

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Diman Association Canada (DAC) was founded in 1973 by a group of young Halifax citizens whose ancestry was from the village of Diman in north Lebanon; and

Whereas the Diman Lebanese Community Centre, built in 1995, has become a meeting place for the larger Halifax community, hosting many events throughout the year; and

Whereas I was pleased to join DAC and celebrate the Christmas season in December and the ringing in of the New Year at the first-ever jointly co-sponsored New Year's Eve Ball with the Canadian Lebanon Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the members of Diman Association Canada for their continued dedication to bringing community together.

RESOLUTION NO. 1498

[Page 3850]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas I was pleased to have joined Ms. Faten Alshazly to help celebrate her accomplishment with other community leaders and partners on December 11, 2014, in Halifax; and

Whereas due to her many accomplishments, Ms. Alshazly was named as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women, the first in Nova Scotia in the Arts and Communications category; and

Whereas Ms. Alshazly is the chief creative officer of WeUsThem, an innovative communications company;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Alshazly for her success and wish her continued health and happiness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1499

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Keiren Tompkins, a resident of Halifax Armdale, was one of five courageous individuals receiving the 2014 Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery; and

Whereas I had the honour to host the ceremony at Province House wherein the Premier presented the medals to recipients on November 20, 2014; and

Whereas the quick and courageous actions of Mr. Tompkins saved the life of another man;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Tompkins for this award and wish him continued health and success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1500

[Page 3851]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Robert MacDonald of Halifax Armdale is an exceptional student at J. L. Ilsley High School particularly interested in all fields of math and science; and

Whereas Robert was a gold medal winner at the Canada-Wide Science Fair 2014 in Windsor, Ontario, for his ground-breaking work in being better able to predict tornadoes; and

Whereas he also received the Youth Award as part of the Discovery Awards 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Robert for these remarkable achievements and wish him continued success in scientific research and studies.

RESOLUTION NO. 1501

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Sister Joan O'Keefe is an active advocate in the community for marginalized people and has served many years as coordinator of the Single Parent Centre; and

Whereas Sister Joan trained as a doula, supporting to date 50 women through the childbirth process; and

Whereas she continues her vibrant work within the community, being recently elected Chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University and as Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Sister Joan on these two new appointments and wish her continued health and success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1502

[Page 3852]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Stephen Ross, a resident of Halifax Armdale, was one of five courageous individuals receiving the 2014 Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery; and

Whereas I had the honour to host the ceremony at Province House wherein the Premier presented the medals to recipients on November 20, 2014; and

Whereas the quick and courageous actions of Mr. Ross saved the life of another man;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Ross for this award and wish him continued health and success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1503

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Tom Anderson was the recipient of the Dr. Elizabeth A. Chard Award, which was presented at the Special Olympics Festival Dinner 2015; and

Whereas each year Special Olympics NS celebrates the best of the best in presenting their Provincial Awards; and

Whereas the Elizabeth A. Chard Award recognizes the volunteer dedication of Mr. Anderson to the Special Olympics NS Board of Directors, as co-chair of the festival and at the Winter and Summer Provincial Games;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Anderson for this award and wish him continued health and success.