The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD15-83

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

MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
HAC Mgt. Commn. Regulations - Chester-St. Margaret's/Kings So
MLA Repts., The Speaker » :
7177
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Prest, Sid: Death of - Tribute,
7178
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 148, Public Services Sustainability (2015) Act,
7180
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Sisters of St. Martha/Tri-Heart Soc.: Syrian Fam. - Sponsorship,
7180
Earth Arc Animal Rescue Ctr.: Fundraisers - Thank,
7180
Gov't. (N.S.) - Transparency,
7181
Torrens, Jonathan - Altruism,
7181
Pictou Co. NHL Players,
7181
Wage Freezes/Concession Bargaining - Future Impacts,
7182
New Horizons Seniors Club - Reopening,
7182
Teachers: Rights - Respect,
7183
Henderson, Luke: Trumpet Exam - Gold Medal,
7183
Nova Scotians - Collective Bargaining: Right - Deserve,
7184
Downtown Dart.: Sm. Bus. - Growth,
7184
Liberal Gov't. - Austerity Agenda,
7184
Econ. Dev. - Initiatives,
7185
Prem. - Top 10 Most Irritating Canadians List (2015),
7185
Prem. - Lbr. Relations,
7186
N.S. Film Jobs - Decline,
7186
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 144, Antiochian Maronite Catholic Church
- Our Lady of Lebanon - Corporation Act
7187
7189
7190
7191
Vote - Affirmative
7191
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 141, Electricity Plan Implementation (2015) Act
7192
7192
7203
7214
7216
7222
7226
7229
7231
7232
7234
7236
Vote - Affirmative
7238
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Dec. 15th at 12:01 a.m
7239
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Tabled 12/11/15:
Res. 2969, Pineo, Alex: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr »
7240
Res. 2970, Simpson, Brayden: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7240
Res. 2971, Phillips, Brodie: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7241
Res. 2972, Robar, Bryce: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7241
Res. 2973, Bent, Chandler: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7241
Res. 2974, Gloumeau, Charles: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7242
Res. 2975, Hiltz, Colin: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7242
Res. 2976, Barkhouse, Corey: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7243
Res. 2977, MacLeod, Daniel: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7243
Res. 2978, Higgins, Darren: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7244
Res. 2979, Corey, Dawson: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7244
Res. 2980, Harris, Dylan: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7244
Res. 2981, Golding, Ethan: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7245
Res. 2982, Schofield, Gavin: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7245
Res. 2983, Abbott, Griffin: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7246
Res. 2984, Ogilvie, Jacob: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7246
Res. 2985, VanLuxemborg, John: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7247
Res. 2986, Simon, Jordan: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7247
Res. 2987, Upshaw, Kelvin: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7247
Res. 2988, Frank-Rogers, Kier: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7248
Res. 2989, Potter, Logan: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7248
Res. 2990, Scott, Logan: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7249
Res. 2991, Currie, Lyam: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7249
Res. 2992, Schofield, MacKenzie: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7250
Res. 2993, Bolland, Marcel: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7250
Res. 2994, Thompson, Max: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7250
Res. 2995, Zaloglu, Mehmet: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7251
Res. 2996, Ogilvie, Michael: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7251
Res. 2997, Pineo, Rhaden: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7252
Res. 2998, Gloumeau, Royce: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7252
Res. 2999, Harman, Sam: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7253
Res. 3000, Brett, Tyler: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7253
Res. 3001, Herber, Zach: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7253
Res. 3002, Kaizer, Zack: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7254
Res. 3003, Margeson, Zack: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7254
Res. 3004, Martin, Zack: NKEC Titans - Football
Championship, Mr. J. Lohr « »
7255
Res. 3005, Sydney Mines & Dist. Little League: Execs./Vols
- Congrats., Mr. E. Orrell « »
7255
Res. 3006, MacLellan, Dr. D. Lorne et al: St. Andrews
Presbyterian Church Elders - Serv., Mr. E. Orrell « »
7256
Res. 3007, Johnny Miles Fest. (13th Anl.): Exec./Committee
- Thank, Mr. E. Orrell « »
7256
Res. 3008, Holy Family Parish (Sydney Mines) - Anniv. (200th),
7256
Res. 3009, Billard, Max et al - Cuba Goodwill Tour (2016),
7257
Res. 3010, Maroun, Father Albert: Northside Gen. Hosp
- Donation Thank, Mr. E. Orrell « »
7257
Res. 3011, Symes, Dallas: Achievements - Salute
7258
Res. 3012, Quinlan, Trevor - Commun. Work,
7258
Res. 3013, Brophy, Katie & John: Son - Birth Congrats.,
7259
Res. 3014, Madden, Chandelle: Son - Birth Congrats.,
7259
Res. 3015, Thorburn, Courtney/Waybret, Luke: Son
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
7260
Res. 3016, LeBlanc, Nikki & Jules: Daughter - Birth Congrats.,
7260
Res. 3017, Pritchett, Katrena & Chad: Daughter - Birth Congrats.,
7261
Res. 3018, Muise, Chester A. & Kay R. - Anniv. (50th),
7261
Res. 3019, Landry, Roland E. & Diane M. - Anniv. (50th),
7262
Res. 3020, d'Entremont, Jasmine & Claude: Twin Daughters
- Birth Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
7262
Res. 3021, Stewart, Danielle: Ranger Can. Cord - Congrats.,
7263
Res. 3022, Weston, Sarah - Girl Guide Can. Cord - Congrats.,
7263
Res. 3023, Keating, Richard - East. Shore: Serv. - Salute,
7264
Res. 3024, McKeough, Janet/Colleagues: Mortgage Broker Ind
- Leadership, Hon. D. Whalen »
7264
Tabled 12/14/15:
Res. 3025, Ritchie, Myra - Commun. Contribution,
7265
Res. 3026, Garron, Bob - RCL Palm Leaf & Plaque Award,
7265
Res. 3027, Deveau, Myrtle - Church Dedication/Devotion,
7266
Res. 3028, Waldron, Tammy/Gr. 12 English Class
- Fundraising, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
7266
Res. 3029, LeBlanc, Kennedy - Scholarship Congrats.,
7266
Res. 3030, Perry, Chris/Zinck, Ray: Broadcasting Bus
- Success Congrats., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
7267
Res. 3031, Yar. Sch. Memorial Club - Anniv. (30th),
7267
Res. 3032, Parnell, Warren - Chef Development,
7268
Res. 3033, Kapsalis, Mr. Louis George - Birthday (100th),
7268
Res. 3034, Griffiths, Frances: Fairview Legion
- Assoc. Pin (20 Yrs.), Hon. L. Diab « »
7269
Res. 3035, Orman, Doug/Dill, Gary (Deceased) - Classic Heritage
Beef Show: Organizers et al - Thank, Mr. C. Porter »
7269
Res. 3036, Digby Dance Studio - Champions Dance Comp.,
7270
Res. 3037, Muise, Ernie: N.S. Golf Assoc. - Pres. Election,
7270
Res. 3038, Simpson, Vance/Snair, Darren: Serv. - Congrats.,
7271
Res. 3039, Calhoun, SSgt Rocky - Retirement,
7271
Res. 3040, St. Mary's Bay Acad. Sr. Lady Stingrays - West. Reg
Volleyball Championship, Mr. Gordon Wilson « »
7272
Res. 3041, Malone, Renée & John: Daughter - Birth Congrats.,
7272
Res. 3042, Mont, William (Bill): Vol. Work - Congrats.,
7273
Res. 3043, Big Brothers Big Sisters: Work - Thank,
7273
Res. 3044, Manthorne, Warren & Andrea: Boatbuilding Art
- Recognize, Hon. K. Casey « »
7274
Res. 3045, Sugar Moon Farm: Work - Congrats.,
7274
Res. 3046, Wilson, Alexis - N. Col. HS Student of Mo. (01/15),
7275
Res. 3047, Bresowar, Logan/Panthers Baseball Team
- Prov. Banner, Mr. D. Wilton »
7275
Res. 3048, Drake, Kaine/Panthers Baseball Team
- Prov. Banner, Mr. D. Wilton « »
7276
Res. 3049, MacDougall, Justin/Panthers Baseball Team
- Prov. Banner, Mr. D. Wilton « »
7276
Res. 3050, Campbell, Connor/Panthers Baseball Team
- Prov. Banner, Mr. D. Wilton « »
7276
Res. 3051, Duplisea, Chris/Teammates - Lacrosse Achievements,
7277
Res. 3052, Boudreau, Emma - Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award
7277
Res. 3053, Gould, Kendra - Gov. Gen.'s Caring Cdn. Award,
7278

[Page 7177]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2015

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

4:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. We'll begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGUALTIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : As Speaker, I am tabling two reports pursuant to Section 28(2) of the House of Assembly Management Commission Regulations on behalf of the members for Chester-St. Margaret's and Kings South, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

The reports are tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Premier, it is with great sadness that I rise today to recognize the passing of our former colleague in the Nova Scotia Legislature, Mr. Sid Prest. Sid represented the riding of Eastern Shore from 2009 to 2013.

[Page 7178]

As you would be well aware, Mr. Speaker, he was a well-known businessman and community leader along the Eastern Shore. Sid had a great passion during his time here for issues relating to forestry and natural resources. For those of us who had the honour to serve with Sid, even though he was a member of a majority government, he didn't hesitate to walk across the floor to speak with members of the Opposition and, ironically, to even lobby us on some of the issues, especially when it came to forestry. If I am not mistaken, he may have even encouraged us to ask questions on certain matters as it is very difficult when you are a member of a majority government, outside of a Cabinet position, to be able to raise issues on the floor of the Legislature.

There was no question for all of us, and I know the Premier had a very strong relationship with Sid, and with his family, which was maintained after his departure from politics, so it is with heavy hearts that we all learned today of his passing. There is no question that Sid Prest is the exact type of individual we want to see in elected office in Nova Scotia, someone who brought a passion not only for his community but a passion as well for all of his constituents and for our entire province.

Sid got into politics for all the right reasons, and he showed that during his mandate here in the Legislature. Sid leaves behind his wife Nancy, children Don, Dwayne, and Deanna, and seven grandchildren. On behalf of the Premier, our entire government, and the Province of Nova Scotia, we want to extend our deepest sympathies to his friends, to his family, and to all his colleagues, especially those in the NDP caucus who would have served with Sid and who would have been very close to him.

Mr. Speaker, following my remarks, I would ask that you recognize the Acting Leader of the NDP and then the Leader of the Official Opposition, and following their remarks, that we have a moment of silence in memory of Sid Prest.

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

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Indeed, Mr. Speaker, today the members of the NDP caucus have heavy hearts. We lost a very dear friend and a colleague to most of us in this caucus, former MLA for Eastern Shore, Sid Prest. Sid will always be remembered by members of our caucus as a strong advocate for his community and indeed, as the Government House Leader has said, for the forestry sector in particular.

He was a thoughtful, kind man, he was passionate about creating a sustainable future for his community, and we were very saddened today when we learned of his passing. Just before I came into the Chamber I received an email from the former Premier, Mr. Dexter, extending his condolences to me and my colleagues in the caucus. Darrell said he will never drive past a nursery again without thinking of Sid.

[Page 7179]

We were very deeply saddened, as I said, and we would like to extend our condolences to his wife Nancy, his children, and indeed his many friends and his extended family. Thank you.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : It is a sad day and it's times like this that remind us on all sides of this Chamber what is really important. We debate great issues here, sometimes very heatedly, but at heart we are all Nova Scotians. We all have our own families. We all have our own political families, but we come together when we lose one of our own, Mr. Speaker, and Sid Prest, a member of the NDP, a former colleague in this House, is someone that we, I think, all had great experiences getting to know over the time together, and are all saddened to hear of his passing today.

Mr. Speaker, he was the member for Eastern Shore. He may not have been the loudest and most boisterous member of the Legislature; I'm not sure he would want that title. He was a firm, yet quiet and unassuming man who felt strongly about certain issues: rural sustainability, the forestry sector, his home communities in Eastern Shore at the top of the list, and of course his family, and we all respect him for that.

I know for me, I saw Sid at the Stewiacke Tim Hortons just a few short months ago and he was very keen to talk about forestry issues and how we could do better, all of us in that area. Mr. Speaker, he was keen to meet. We never had that meeting because he got sick shortly after that. I think, like everyone else, we hoped he would get better, but he did not, and so that is a loss for all Nova Scotians. At this sad time I would just like to add our thoughts and prayers to those of the other two Parties and send them out to Sid's family, his wife Nancy, his children, his colleagues in the NDP who did get to work most directly with him, and to the many friends I know he has. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you very much. Would all members please rise and join us in a moment of silence, recognizing the passing of our former colleague, MLA Sid Prest.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

[Page 7180]

Bill No. 148 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Sustainability of Public Services. (Hon. Randy Delorey)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

SISTERS OF ST. MARTHA/TRI-HEART SOC.:

SYRIAN FAM. - SPONSORSHIP

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, we know that many Nova Scotians have taken it upon themselves to help prepare for Syrian refugees, who will soon make our province their new home. In fact, more than 100 organizations in Nova Scotia have fundraising efforts underway to sponsor private refugees.

Mr. Speaker, it comes as no surprise to me that some of the people involved are the Sisters of St. Martha in Antigonish. Together with the Tri-Heart Society they have raised more than $30,000 to sponsor a family of six from Syria, and they have stocked the former convent in St. Andrews with furniture and other supplies.

I know the wonderful work of the Sisters of St. Martha's, the things they do in their local community and I recognize the leadership they and the Tri-Heart Society have taken to welcome refugees to the community of St. Andrews and Antigonish County and town.

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

EARTH ARC ANIMAL RESCUE CTR.: FUNDRAISERS - THANK

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the organizers and homeowners of a special Christmas house tour that took place December 6th to benefit Earth Arc Animal Rescue Centre. The tour featured two private homes in New Glasgow, a private home in Sundridge, and the main lodge of Smith Rock Chalets located on Fitzpatrick Mountain.

Earth Arc is located in Pictou West and is currently home to 25 horses, 25 cats, six goats, and many ducks and hens. Animals are mostly rescued, with many being older or animals with health needs. The centre has many expenses, from vet bills, to maintenance, to food - they typically spend $20,000 per year on hay alone.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to thank and recognize the organizers and homeowners for their generosity in helping Earth Arc help animals in need.

[Page 7181]

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

GOV'T. (N.S.) - TRANSPARENCY

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, this government promised to be open and transparent, the likes of which we have never seen; however, headlines continue to question that promise.

Mr. Speaker, one of today's headlines reads, "Grits keep tourism marketing details secret." Apparently the public cannot know the details behind a Toronto advertising executive awarding a multi-million tourism contract to a company with which he has a long-standing relationship. Luckily the minister in charge of government procurement helps clear the matter up by declining an interview.

Mr. Speaker, this government is closed and opaque, the likes of which we have never seen before.

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

TORRENS, JONATHAN - ALTRUISM

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, everyone in this Chamber knows the incredible spirit of Nova Scotians during the holidays. Around all of our communities, families and individuals are helping those in need by donating food, clothes, hockey equipment, gifts, and their time. One recent example of holiday giving is in the recent actions of well-known local actor Jonathan Torrens. Jonathan has offered to fly any Nova Scotian, home for the holidays, who has been forced to move out of our province to find work after the gutting of the Film Tax Credit and can't afford to get back to Nova Scotia.

Jonathan has already helped one man fly home from Calgary to be with his family this season. Mr. Speaker, thanks to Jonathan Torrens, some of our province's brightest and aspiring people will get to come home for the holidays after this government's short-sighted decision.

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

PICTOU CO. NHL PLAYERS

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, the hockey sweaters worn by Pictou County's favourite hockey players are hanging high at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.

Former NHLers Lowell MacDonald, Derrick Walser, Jon Sim, Colin White, and former Pictou County Weeks Crushers Captain Kevin MacLean, their jerseys are on display for the public to admire.

[Page 7182]

MacDonald played with the L.A. Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings; Jon Sim won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999, his rookie year, and also played with the New York Islanders; Derrick Walser played with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and is presently the playing coach with the Belfast Giants in Ireland; Colin White, a two-time Stanley Cup champion during his 11-year career with the New Jersey Devils, finished his last year with the San Jose Sharks; and Kevin MacLean played four seasons with the Pictou County Junior Crushers and helped them win the Fred Page Cup in 2008.

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

WAGE FREEZES/CONCESSION BARGAINING - FUTURE IMPACTS

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, the impact of wage freezes and concession bargaining doesn't just impact current workers, it also negatively impacts the standard of living future generations will enjoy. In fact teachers across Nova Scotia are trying to tell the government that they feel disrespected and that they believe in their collective bargaining.

For the last 100 years, workers have negotiated not only wage patterns, but also workplace conditions and standards with their employers. An eight-hour workday and parental leave are just a few examples of things that previous generations have fought for and we benefit from today.

The behaviour of this Liberal Government is worrisome and if their pattern of disrespect, wage freezes despite inflation and a lack of attention to working conditions continues, many things that were fought over for a very many years could be lost to our children and our grandchildren.

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

NEW HORIZONS SENIORS CLUB - REOPENING

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to congratulate the New Horizons Seniors Club on their grand reopening following six weeks of renovations. Renovations were accomplished with the financial assistance of grants given by the previous federal Conservative Government for the roof and washrooms, a Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital Foundation Grant for the addition to the building and the siding, and a grant from the Town of Pictou. Additional funds were received from the Municipality of Pictou County and United Commercial Travellers. Fundraising was also done by various club members.

[Page 7183]

The New Horizons Seniors Club is very busy and is in use seven days a week, with activities ranging from line dancing to crafting. Many outside organizations use the facility as well. I'm happy that we have such a vibrant meeting place for seniors in Pictou to engage in social activities.

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

TEACHERS : RIGHTS - RESPECT

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, teachers across Nova Scotia are trying to tell the government they feel disrespected. They are saying that for a government that boasts of being the most open and transparent in history, teachers are experiencing something altogether different.

Collective bargaining and union contracts are agreements that should be negotiated at the bargaining table by the union and the employer, free from the heavy hand of government. We respect the rights of teachers that have been hard-fought and won over decades and the teachers in my constituency need to know that I hear their frustration and I'm here to be another voice for their cause.

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

HENDERSON, LUKE: TRUMPET EXAM - GOLD MEDAL

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, Luke Henderson of New Glasgow was recently awarded a gold medal for scoring the top mark in Atlantic Canada on the Level 8 Trumpet Exam through the Royal Conservatory of Music. The 17-year-old North Nova Education Centre musician was pleased to be awarded such a high honour. His music teacher Andrew Alcorn thought that Luke's mark was one of the highest marks he had ever seen on this exam.

Henderson plays numerous instruments and is also a member of a Stellarton pipe and drum band, as well as the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. Luke recently won a national essay competition with the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association. He won first place at the high school level for his piece on the benefits of traditional fiddle, playing for classical violin students.

I'm pleased to offer Luke my congratulations, the future looks bright for him.

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

NOVA SCOTIANS - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: RIGHT - DESERVE

[Page 7184]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier needs to understand that when he attacks workers and their unions, he is actually attacking the teachers that shape our children's minds and futures, the homecare workers who look after our parents and grandparents, the paramedics who deliver clot-busting drugs on the way to the hospital to Nova Scotians having a heart attack, the nurses who work double shifts in hospitals to watch over our loved ones. They deserve the right to bring their valid concerns about working conditions to the table and engage in a fair, collective bargaining process with the government.

Nova Scotia needs a Premier who is willing to respect collective bargaining rights instead of just trying to impose his will on our teaches, health care workers and public servants.

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

DOWNTOWN DART.: SM. BUS. - GROWTH

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, last week I spoke of the amazing transformation underway in Downtown Dartmouth. Local small businesses seem to be opening daily and the newest addition is Battery Park which opened its doors on December 10th on Ochterloney Street.

Battery Park is the latest venture of Brooklyn Warehouse and Ace Burger founders, Leo and George Christakos, the father and son team who have helped to put Dartmouth on the national food scene. Chef Mark Gray will feature local dishes and hopes that people will say the best food in Halifax is in Dartmouth.

North Brewing Company brew masters Peter Burbridge and Josh Herbin will use the new space in Dartmouth as an opportunity to expand their current Agricola Street Brew House, zeroing in on its goals of being a zero emissions operation. I think after this House sitting, many of us could use a well-deserved pint, and I hope all members will take a moment to relax and unwind at Battery Park in Dartmouth.

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

LIBERAL GOV'T. - AUSTERITY AGENDA

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, today's budget forecast, provided by the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, demonstrates that this government's austerity agenda is just not working. Economists will not be surprised by this outcome, as austerity agendas usually do more harm than good.

It is important to remember that this government is not asking everyone to tighten their belts. The Premier's deputy minister has been allowed to pay less taxes. This government has given RBC, one of Canada's most profitable institutes, over $20 million. University executives are earning more than ever before.

[Page 7185]

Under this Liberal Government, the rich get richer, and Nova Scotians pay the price.

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

ECON. DEV. - INITIATIVES

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, reality has a way of interfering with fiction. I remember it wasn't that many months ago when I stood in this House and said, "Increased revenues?" to the Finance and Treasury Board Minister over the budget.

I said I wasn't hearing from Nova Scotians and I wasn't seeing Nova Scotians on the street who were feeling so optimistic about their financial future that they would be paying more in taxes. Yet this government defended those increased numbers all through the whole process - Question Period, Budget Estimates, everything. They defended and they defended.

Mr. Speaker, where are we today? Reality is catching up. Nova Scotians are struggling. The way to get out of this mess and move this province forward is through economic development. Where are the initiatives for that? This government knows how to cut. It knows the cost of everything, but the value of nothing. I hope they suddenly look in the mirror and try to change.

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

PREM. - TOP 10 MOST IRRITATING CANADIANS LIST (2015)

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : December marks the end of 2015 and the return of the best-of lists. We have the year's best movies and the year's most touching moments, and John Doyle with The Globe and Mail also has a list called the Top 10 Most Irritating Canadians of 2015, which was released today. I'm not sure if the Premier has had a chance to read it yet, but I'd like to be the first to congratulate him on making it to Mr. Doyle's Top 10 list.

I'm sure there were plenty of reasons to include the Liberal Government. However, Mr. Doyle cites the elimination of the Film Tax Credit as the reason that pushed them above the rest of the crowd to earn a spot on this year's list.

The way things are going, Mr. Speaker, I really look forward to seeing the Premier and his Liberal Government on next year's list as well.

[Page 7186]

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

PREM. - LBR. RELATIONS

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier needs to show the public sector workers of this province some good faith. How will attacking workers' rights help the government keep emergency rooms open? How will strong-arm tactics help us recruit more doctors? How will floating the trial balloon of legislating teachers' contracts help improve kids' test scores?

First the Premier passed legislation taking away the hard-won rights of homecare workers. He took away collective bargaining rights for all health care workers next. Now the Premier has set his sights on teachers. That's not good labour relations.

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

N.S. FILM JOBS - DECLINE

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, each week, we ask the Liberal Government about the decline in Nova Scotia film jobs. Each week, they say the new incentive fund is celebrated by the industry.

Heather Soper is an animal wrangler with IATSE Local 849. She wrote us, saying she's at a loss as to what work she will find so she can provide for her family. Nate O'Brien is a cameraman. He wrote us to say that everyone he worked for over the last five years is gone, Mr. Speaker. Christopher Ball wrote us and said that this time last year there were four and sometimes five crews working, with over 200 people on each crew. He told us that he and his wife now work in two separate provinces, Mr. Speaker.

He says that the Liberal Government not only took away and took down an industry but pulled apart families. This is not the government the Liberals promised they would be.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Third Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING

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

[Page 7187]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 144.

Bill No. 144 - Antiochian Maronite Catholic Church - Our Lady of Lebanon - Corporation Act.

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

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Before I move my bill I beg leave to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. DIAB « » : With us in the gallery are four key individuals from Our Lady of Lebanon Church. I will simply say their names now and ask them to stand, but then when I make my comments about the bill I will introduce them more wholesomely. Father Pierre Azzi, Mr. Sayed Arab, Ms. Nicole Arab, and Mr. Anthony Zibara - I ask you all to rise and for the House to please acknowledge them and give them the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

HON. LENA DIAB « » : I move that Bill No. 144 be now read a third time and do pass. Mr. Speaker, this bill amends Chapter 38 of the Acts of 1996, the Antiochian Maronite Catholic Church - Our Lady of Lebanon - Corporation Act.

As I introduced Father Pierre Azzi earlier, just a bit of background on Father Azzi. He is the current pastor of Our Lady of Lebanon Parish in Halifax since September 2006. Before that he served as an auxiliary pastor of the Cathedral of Saint-Maron in Montreal. Pierre Azzi has been appointed the protopresbyter for the Atlantic Region. He's responsible for overseeing the mission in Prince Edward Island and in New Brunswick as well. He is the coordinator of the Christian Maronite Youth Organization, the Christian Maronite Young Adult and the Christian Maronite Senior Citizen's Committee for all of Canada.

Mr. Sayed Arab with us today, is the member of the parish council and the Coordinator of the Administrative and Finance Committee and past Chair of the Lebanese Cedar Festival; he's also my brother-in-law.

Ms. Nicole Arab is a parishioner in the church and is a member of the youth council; she's a lector, a current Page in our Legislature, and she's my niece.

Mr. Anthony Zibara is also a parishioner. He's the organist in the church, member of the youth council, lector, religious education instructor, and also my executive assistant.

So, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank Father Azzi, the members of Our Lady of Lebanon Church Parish Council, our Legislative Counsel and Clerks, and all of the individuals who worked on this piece of legislation. This is a bill that amends the membership section to change the number from two to four, substitute the protosyncellus to a bursar - these are Latin church terms - and further provides for the use of any proceeds from the sale of real property. These changes permit better governance in the congregation. It allows more people to be involved and clarifies the affairs of the corporation that governs Our Lady of Lebanon Church.

[Page 7188]

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a brief moment to speak a little bit about the history of the Maronite Church. The first Lebanese immigrants came to Nova Scotia in the late 1880s. The Lebanese Maronite settlers were active and respected members of the Roman Catholic churches wherever they settled. They have also proven to be invaluable additions to their respective Canadian communities, both in private and public life.

In 1907 the community in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia invited a Maronite priest, Reverend Louis Soaib to visit their small community, and with the agreement of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Antigonish, he founded the Church of St. Joseph. Two years later in 1909 Reverend Louis Soaib, on the invitation of the bishop and the larger community of Sydney and North Sydney, Nova Scotia, traded the tiny church of St. Joseph with St. Patrick's Church on the Esplanade in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

He served this community until 1951 and later died in 1955. In the 1960s the Maronite Church of St. Patrick became a heritage museum and witness of the great religious and social work this priest had done.

I had occasion to visit that church a couple of years ago and I invite everybody to visit that wonderful museum in Sydney.

In the 1960s and 1970s the population of the Lebanese grew in the Halifax area. The Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax, which was the Lebanese organization established in 1938, began requesting the Vatican, with the help of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, for a Lebanese priest. In 1979, Reverend Kheirallah Aoukar, a Lebanese Canadian priest and scholar serving in Germany, was instructed by the Vatican to establish a parish of the Maronite Church in the County of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Maronite Community of Metropolitan Halifax, in collaboration with Reverend Aoukar arranged for the construction of a church accommodating 500 worshippers on Dutch Village Road and a large parish hall in 1981-82. On July 8, 1982, the parish hall was inaugurated by the Roman Catholic Archbishop James M. Hayes, to whom the Maronites were entrusted and whose support was graciously given.

On November 4, 1984, the parish of Our Lady of Lebanon in Halifax-Dartmouth was established. As the years passed, the congregation grew and an addition was built. On November 1, 1997, the official opening of the completed church was celebrated under the auspices of His Grace Bishop Joseph Khoury.

[Page 7189]

Our Lady of Lebanon continues to grow under the guidance of Bishop Marwan Tabet and our parish priest, Pierre Azzi, with a range of groups and committees of all ages, including parish council, Knights of Columbus, the Cedar Festival Committee, a Confraternity of Our Lady, Fersan El-Arz Dabke group, a junior choir and senior choir, Ladies Auxiliary of Mary, Liturgical Committee, youth council, religious education for all ages, altar servers, student support and scholarship committee.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that I am a member of this parish and I am grateful for all the support it has given me and my family throughout the years. I was lucky to have baptized my four children at this church and they also received their First Communion and attended the wonderful religious education program.

I had the pleasure of serving on the executive of the parish council in the 1990s for many years and I was chairperson of the Fairview Scouts group which was co-sponsored by the church.

Our Lady of Lebanon Parish is known for the Cedar Festival and it was a privilege in 2014 to have acted as the honorary chairperson with many of the colleagues from the House present, with excitement and pride. I invite everyone to attend that.

To sum up, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move this amendment of the 1996 Act that makes a couple of amendments to better govern the congregation. With those few words, I look forward to any of my colleagues' comments.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise for just a few moments and express our support for Bill No. 144 and for Our Lady of Lebanon Church here in Halifax. If I may, I just want to extend an extra welcome from our side to Father Azzi, who I know personally, and to the guests he has in the gallery, many of whom appear to be related to the minister who is sponsoring the bill.

It is a real pleasure to be here and celebrate, actually, one of the great cultural and religious additions to our province and to support a bill that will further strengthen and deepen the roots of this parish here in the City of Halifax.

Mr. Speaker, I can't help but note that one of the provisions of the bill is to allow for the sale of real property and the proceeds to be invested by the parish, through its corporation. One could only hope that somewhere in the congregation of Our Lady of Lebanon that there is someone with real estate experience who can help them in that area.

I hope they're laughing up there, Mr. Speaker. They're probably one of the most successful developers, many of them in the congregation, of the City of Halifax and the province. I have no doubt that this is a very well-run and very well-attended and very well-supported parish here in our city. In fact, it's a great example of how immigration does nothing but add to the life of our province. It is always a plus; it is always a benefit. (Applause) I've got to do this more often. I'm getting applause from sides of the House I don't usually hear from.

[Page 7190]

If you look at the story of the Lebanese community in Nova Scotia, here in Halifax and in other places, in my hometown of Truro, in Sydney, and in Yarmouth - Yarmouth is another example - the jury's out on a few examples from Yarmouth, but not too many.

It has just been up, up, up in so many ways. The economic life of the province - it's self-evident, the richness, the wealth, the infrastructure, the build-up of our city and our province brought to us by the Lebanese community is evident for all Nova Scotians to see, the employment of so many people.

But it's not only an economic story, as we all know, Mr. Speaker. The minister mentioned the Cedar Festival. I've been a happy attendee every year since I've been elected and even before. I can tell you that the culture, the music, the dance, the food - what a great example of adding to the richness, the vibrancy, and the culture of our province. I, too, would like to encourage all members to attend - I can absolutely guarantee you will leave with a full heart and a full stomach.

If you're particularly liked, you might even get a shot of Johnny Walker Black on your way out the door - Mr. Speaker, I hope I'm allowed to say that here in the House. I don't know if that's the official drink of the parish, but it's one that I know is often matched well with Lebanese food.

We're having a little light moment here, but I just want to take this opportunity to thank the guests that we have, Father Azzi and his friends who are here, for all they've done to make our province a richer place in so many of the different meanings of the word "richer," to congratulate them on this new bill, to show them that I think I can say it's going to pass with unanimous support - certainly with our support and the government's - and just to say to everyone who's paying attention to this bill, thank you, merci, chokran. Get on with the job of building this great province, as we know you can do.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : It's a pleasure to rise and speak in favour of Bill No. 144. Our caucus recognizes the importance of the process here in the Legislature to ensure that organizations and associations and places of worship are able to conduct their business, as you would say, Mr. Speaker, appropriately and have legislation behind them to support that. I want to thank the minister for bringing this forward. I know the community and the parish and the church also thank you.

[Page 7191]

I know the tremendous value that the Lebanese community has given Nova Scotians to ensure that we have a dynamic, diverse province. It's interesting to note over the last number of months with the goings-on around the world with refugees that we see a lot of our faith-based churches stepping up to the plate and offering support and services for those new refugees.

I just wanted to make sure that our caucus associates ourselves with the comments from the minister, and I wish all the success for the parish of Our Lady of Lebanon to continue the success that they've had. We will look forward to supporting this piece of legislation.

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

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate the words that have been said by the Minister of Immigration and my colleagues across the aisle. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Father Pierre Azzi, and Sayed, and Nicole and Anthony. It's very strange to see Nicole up in the gallery; she's supposed be down here, but it's all right, she can be a guest here today.

Just a few, brief words. I have the great fortune of actually being the MLA for the area that our Lady of Lebanon is located and my office is actually across the street from the church. When I sit in my office I overlook the church and whenever times get tough or if I'm stuck and I don't know how to handle something, I find that the church really gives me guidance. I look out the window and it reminds me of where I come from; it reminds me of the perseverance of my ancestors and it allows me to push forward and find a way, the way that our church has always taught me to.

Again, in supporting Bill No. 144, I want to just take a few seconds to mention the youth council that the minister spoke about. Within the youth council the amount of community service that is done by the young people of Our Lady of Lebanon is remarkable. The church is following the teachings that I learned as a child and as a young person to give back to the community and they are creating a new generation of people who find it to be a privilege and an honour and a duty to give back to their community. I'm very proud of them. I'm very happy to support this bill and I'm very happy to have them in the House today. With that, I say thanks.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 144. 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.

[Page 7192]

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. 141.

Bill No. 141 - Electricity Plan Implementation (2015) Act.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 141 be read a third time and do pass.

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand for a third time to speak about this important bill. It puts into action many of the key elements of our 25-year electricity plan. The plan and this bill are built on the input and advice government received from over 1,300 Nova Scotians, experts, and interest groups.

We listened in our delivering on the desire for more accountability from Nova Scotia Power, for predictable and stable power rates, for more research and innovation, and finally, for more competition within the electricity marketplace. Our plan is about creating an electricity system that works better for Nova Scotians. This bill clearly puts ratepayers first.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 141.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to follow the minister responsible for freezing power rates. It was a very stirring address he just gave in support of his bill, I might say, and no wonder because it wasn't that long ago that the Minister of Energy spoke very critically against anyone who would dare to suggest that maybe we should stop the increases in power rates, that maybe it's time to freeze them, or maybe even time to provide rate relief to Nova Scotians.

What Nova Scotians want to see in a real electricity plan is that rates come down, is that the government actually keeps the promises that it made to them in the election campaign of two years ago, which included getting rid of the guaranteed profit or in the words of the government, to stop asking Nova Scotians to fund Nova Scotia Power's profits - that's not in this bill. They wanted to actually get the efficiency fee off their power bills, that's what the government promised, and that's not done in this bill; in fact, it extends it even further. They wanted to see an end to the monopoly, and that's not in this bill. In fact, as every Nova Scotian knows there is only one place in this province you can get an electricity bill from and that remains Nova Scotia Power.

[Page 7193]

The things that the government ran on and said they were in favour of in the election campaign, they are now no longer going to do. But the things that were proposed that they were against, like freezing power rates, now they bring in a bill that proposes to do that. Although as I intend to show in the next few minutes, this bill does anything but that.

Mr. Speaker, to make my point, I can't help but quote from the Minister of Energy himself, who said when asked about freezing power rates, he said that Nova Scotians know that Frozen is an act of fiction. Well how would he describe his bill to freeze power rates, other than as an act of fiction, if that's what he truly believes? I don't know how a minister can say on one day, not that long ago, in fact it was May 8, 2015, that freezing power rates would be an act of fiction and then a few short months later come in with a bill to freeze power rates.

It reminds us of Prime Minister Trudeau - the original Trudeau - who campaigned against wage and price controls, saying zap, you are frozen, it won't work. Then he got elected and reversed and did the exact same thing. Maybe they are following the Trudeau line but they are following the wrong Trudeau because they are following Pierre Trudeau and campaigning against one thing and then doing it when they get into government. That's what the Minister of Energy said, that freezing power rates would be an act of fiction.

That's not all he said. He also said that those who believe we should freeze power rates were playing a little bit on the children's movie, Frozen, the cartoon, and that they could be like Elsa if they actually believed that power rates should be frozen. Then a few short months later he comes in with a bill to do what? To freeze power rates.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know how he can do that with a straight face. I don't know how he can look Nova Scotians in the eyes, they expected so much better from the government. I would stand here and say aha, they finally get it, they are going to actually do something about power rates and they are going to freeze them, if that's what the bill actually did. But it doesn't freeze power rates. It actually gives the power company another chance to jack them up even further, and then we'll freeze them at the higher level.

Well, when the water is rising, Mr. Speaker, when the flood waters come in and it's up to your neck and you're looking for help, help doesn't mean we'll let the waters go up another couple of feet and then we'll freeze them. That is of no help to the poor soul in that situation. It's equally of no help to the people of Nova Scotia who already pay among the highest power rates in the country, to tell them that the Liberal Government's solution is to let those rates go up again and then freeze them at an even higher level. It's cruel. It's not a plan at all.

[Page 7194]

In fact in a couple of places the bill allows the power company to have another kick at the can, not just once but twice, Mr. Speaker. The first case we already know is on the fuel surcharge, that it is going to be permitted to go up. In fact the government is going to give the power company a three-year window to look into the future, to guess how high from today's low prices fuel might go and then to start charging us for it with approval ahead of time.

Now any company in that situation is going to make as safe a guess for itself as it can, which means higher fuel surcharges for the people of Nova Scotia. Yes, I know the URB reviews all that, Mr. Speaker, like they did when the NDP were in and like the NDP used to say to defend their power bills, it all goes through the URB.

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Government said they would be different and yet they are enabling the power company to take a look at fuel over three years and put it up now. That's one way our rates could go up. Instead of having the day-to-day price of fuel decide what that fuel surcharge is, the government will let the power company hedge its bets. That might sound good on the surface, but hedging is a very expensive way of managing fuel costs.

And why wouldn't the power company buy fuel hedges? Why wouldn't they go into the market and find the futures contracts and forward contracts to guide their fuel costs? Of course they will, and it doesn't even matter how expensive it is because the government is going to allow all of that to be passed on to the ratepayers of Nova Scotia once again, in higher fuel costs. There's no freeze when the government is allowed to do that, and then of course there is the base rate or the general rate that we all pay, and the government is going to allow the power company, the utility, one more chance to raise our general rate of electricity.

There have been lots of people debating, well maybe they will or maybe they won't, or maybe it will go up 1 per cent or maybe it'll only go up 2 per cent. That doesn't matter. The point is the government has enabled the power company, if it chooses, to raise the general rate again and then freeze it. So, much like that poor soul in hot water up to his nose the government says, our solution is to let that water go up a little higher, and then stop it.

Well, that is no solution, Mr. Speaker. It's no solution in a policy sense, and it's also no solution for the many, many thousands of Nova Scotia families who are on fixed incomes, whether they're seniors or whether they have young people at home who at the end of the month do not have enough to pay every bill and they have to choose, and their power bill is one of the big ones. And at no time is that more clear than at this time of year, at Christmas time, where for far too many Nova Scotia families they're also trying to find a few extra dollars for Christmas presents for the kids, or for the grandkids, and they need that power bill to come down.

[Page 7195]

They really do need rate relief; they really do need a little help. Yet what they get from the government, who made a lot of noise about power rates in Opposition, is we'll let them raise it once or twice more and then it will stop. Well, Mr. Speaker, it does nobody any good at this time of year. It does nobody any good in the long run and I don't even know how the government can say it's keeping their promise, when it doesn't match.

One of the big debates about power bills, one of the ones that galls Nova Scotians the most is that guaranteed profit of the power company. That almost infamous now 9.25 per cent guaranteed rate of return that the power company gets year in, year out. Nova Scotians know that is unfair to them, that regardless of what happens throughout the year, that the power company can target that rate of return. Even if by some happenstance they don't hit it exactly in one year, they have a chance to apply to make it up in the next year. That's why it's a guarantee, Mr. Speaker.

At 9.25 per cent, it is a guarantee that frustrates many Nova Scotians, whether they think it's too high, whether they think it's unfair, whether they think it came out of nowhere, or, Mr. Speaker, like many of us who think there should not be a guarantee on a private company's profit at all. That's actually what Nova Scotians heard the Liberal Party say on the campaign trail in their own platform, which I've tabled in earlier debate on this bill in this House. They said it's time to stop asking Nova Scotians to fund Nova Scotia Power's profits - that's what they said.

Well, Mr. Speaker, we're over two years into the government's mandate and they've now laid out their electricity plan, which they have entitled "Our Electricity Future: Nova Scotia's Electricity Plan," and our electricity future clearly continues to include asking Nova Scotians to fund the profits of Nova Scotia Power to the tune of a guaranteed right of return of 9.25 per cent. We are still paying it, and we're still going to pay it.

Now, the government counters that they're going to introduce a penalty clause for the power company, a penalty clause for poor performance, Mr. Speaker. That is a good idea. We have that in our plan too, it exists in other provinces and states.

But they capped the entire annual penalty at a measly $1 million. When I say "measly," I know they are counting on that sounding like a lot of money, but Nova Scotians are smarter than that. Nova Scotia Power made a profit of $130 million last year. That maximum penalty would be less than 1 per cent of their profit - far less than 1 per cent. Mr. Speaker, $1 million to the power company is a slap on the wrist. In fact, it's not even as firm as a slap on the wrist. Even if they incurred the entire penalty, their guaranteed rate of return would only move from 9.25 per cent to 9.21 per cent. That is not in any way a serious infringement on that guaranteed profit. Nova Scotians know it, and the power company knows it.

[Page 7196]

In some places where they do this, they actually put in place real, meaningful penalties. In Alberta, the penalty is $1 million a day. Here it's $1 million a year. And in Alberta they have multiple utilities, both regulated and non-regulated, that have to deal with that. That's a real performance-based system, where lack of performance leads to real penalties. But here, if the power company was so offside on its performance, so offside on its reliability, so offside in its speed of getting the power back on or on customer service or on its call centre availability and all of those things that Nova Scotians want to see, it would still face a penalty of only $1 million a year and no more. Mr. Speaker, that's really laughable on its face, considering the profits of the power company year in and year out.

The sad thing is, if the government had been serious about performance-based regulations, they could have brought them in at any time in the last two years, and we would have real performance-based regulation in place today. When the power company wanted to go looking for a change in rates in the future, they would know that no longer do they have a guaranteed profit, that they would have to apply under a new system where they're measured on their performance. All of that has been lost because the government dragged its feet on bringing in new regulations. Then when they did, they fumbled it and left us with the guarantee in place and a tiny little slap on the wrist in the space where real performance-based regulation should have been.

They had three big promises. One was to stop asking Nova Scotians to fund Nova Scotia Power's profits. That's a strikeout, Mr. Speaker. We're nowhere near what that promise made.

The other promise that the government made to Nova Scotians was that they would take the efficiency fee away - that we wouldn't have to pay it, that it would come off our power bill, that they would make Nova Scotia Power pay the efficiency fee out of their profits. Well, that clearly is not happening. That we knew last year, when the government struck out on that other big electricity promise a year ago, when they brought in legislation that continues the efficiency and leaves it on our power bill but moves it from a line where you can see it and buries it in the power company's rates, where it continues to be collected out of the pockets of Nova Scotians and then sent to Efficiency Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, the only change, really, between the NDP electricity plan for the efficiency fees and the Liberals' plan is that now you don't see it. But you still pay it, and that's not good enough.

In fact, you might say, Mr. Speaker, that was last year's Liberal electricity bill, and this is this year's. Why are you still talking about that?

I'll tell you why, Mr. Speaker, because in this bill it wasn't good enough for the government to have made us pay the efficiency fee through the general rates and break their promise, they now want to extend that broken promise an additional year, as the efficiency fee gets not just projected three years into the future but now four years into the future, proving to Nova Scotians that we'll be paying that efficiency fee for another year, even beyond last year's amount.

[Page 7197]

In a weird way we're about to pay twice - not in a weird way, in an actual way - we're about to pay twice because in 2015 the government did take the efficiency fee off our bill and allowed the power company to borrow the money to pay Efficiency Nova Scotia, but in 2016 and for eight years, we're going to pay the 2015 efficiency fee through our power bills, plus interest, Mr. Speaker. We're now in the awful position of paying twice for that efficiency fee.

Mr. Speaker, that is not the same as the NDP plan, that is not better than the NDP plan, it's actually worse than the NDP plan because now we pay interest on the efficiency fee of last year, plus the efficiency fee of this year, plus next year, plus the year after that, plus the year after that. It is unbelievable that a Party could promise to take the efficiency fee off our bills and make the power company pay it out of their profits and then actually put it on our bills not once, not twice, not just for one year but for four years.

I can tell you my own personal experience, I was there in the televised election debates where the Leader of the Liberal Party was asked, how much will your power plan save Nova Scotians and he said right of the top, $40 million because we're going to make the power company pay the efficiency fee. Well, Mr. Speaker, that's a matter of public record.

He we are, two years later, and the government got what they wanted - they got elected - but the ratepayers of Nova Scotia didn't get what they wanted. They are still paying that fee; they are still paying that guaranteed profit. They are left holding the bag, Mr. Speaker, plus interest. That is no way to organize our power system; it's no way to campaign; it's no way to oversee the power company; it's not even any way to leave it to the URB to oversee the power company. So that's strike two.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we turn to the Liberal promise to break the monopoly, introduce competition into the power system. Well we're two years in. How many Nova Scotian homes or businesses get a bill today from anyone other than Nova Scotia Power? Zero. Now I know the government is going to be quick to say that there are a few townships that have legacy municipal electricity systems that generate power for the residents of their towns - like Berwick, for example. Well that has been true for 80 years. That was true under the NDP. There is nothing new in that arrangement. In other words, if you got an orange power bill from the power company in your house two years ago, you get the same orange power bill from the same Nova Scotia Power today as you did then and you have no other option.

Actually, Mr. Speaker, the only thing that is the same is the colour and the provider, because in fact it is higher; it's a higher bill and it will be higher again. Now the bill, as orange as it is, it doesn't say, and here's your share of the profits, but it's in there. It no longer says, here's your share of the efficiency fee, but it's in there. If you don't like it, there is nowhere else for you to go.

[Page 7198]

Now, what is the definition of a monopoly if it isn't that - that you have no place else to go buy a product, other than one? That's where we are with the Liberal plan.

Really, there is no prospect that you're going to get to buy electricity from anyone else anytime soon. The great promise, of course, was that renewables would be made directly available to retail customers, which gave Nova Scotians some hope. Except when you think about it, all of the major renewable contracts in this province, all of the major wind producers, are under long-term contracts - 20 years, 25 years - well into the future. And who do those contracts require them to sell their power to? Nova Scotia Power, where we will then buy it from them with the usual markup, the guaranteed return. There is no way for that to change.

There used to be a plan for smaller wind producers to be able to build their generation and put it on the system. Maybe that's where we'll go if we want to buy it directly from a renewable producer - except the government ended the COMFIT program that supported smaller production. That's the end of that, so where are we going to buy our power even from smaller producers? How is a new smaller producer even going to come to the province and build a windmill or some other kind of renewable generation, when they have no customers? How are they going to transmit that power to a household customer if they want to?

Well, what the government has been pretty quiet about is that that is where Nova Scotia Power comes in: they own the wires, and they will be given the ability to charge a transmission fee even in this situation. What that fee will be remains to be seen, but it's obviously a ways down the road yet. It's pretty hard to imagine that a new small renewable producer is going to suddenly set up shop in Nova Scotia, spend millions of dollars to build their generating windmill or some other renewable, hope they can sign up customers, and hope that there's still a cent or two of profit in it for them after they've paid the power company to distribute their electricity.

The logic is clear that for the foreseeable future, every Nova Scotian who gets an orange Nova Scotia Power bill today is going to continue to get an orange Nova Scotia Power bill. They have nowhere else to go, even if they wanted to. They're not going to have somewhere else to go in the foreseeable future, and if someday they do, the power company still is in the middle collecting the transmission fee between the wind generator and that household on a guaranteed-profit basis. The monopoly is still there.

No wonder the power company is able to borrow the money it needs, to raise the capital it needs, year after year. Everyone knows they have a guaranteed profit to pay it back with. That is great for Nova Scotia Power, and apparently the Liberal Government is fine with all of that, but it is not fair to the ratepayers who are frustrated by the guaranteed profit, who were told the efficiency fee would be gone, who thought they might get some choice, at least. None of that is going to happen.

[Page 7199]

How ironic that the government has chosen to call their electricity plan - and I quote from its title - "Our Electricity Future." It is pretty clear, if you put all those pieces together, that under a Liberal Government our electricity future includes the ability for more rate increases; it includes more years of the efficiency fee that they said they would get rid of, that's in our future; it includes the guaranteed profit to the power company that they said they'd get rid of; and the company itself is still a monopoly. Our Liberal electricity future looks an awful lot like our NDP electricity past. That is the problem with this bill in a nutshell, that's our electricity future. We can't possibly support that, Mr. Speaker.

I know there's a Liberal majority government - they got what they wanted out of their power promises - they're going to use that majority to pass this bill, but not with our support they won't, Mr. Speaker. What we're against is raising rates even further; what we're against is leaving the guaranteed profit in place; what we're against is creating some crazy shell game to try and hide the efficiency fee instead of deal with it like they promised to; what we're against is leaving the monopoly in place after promising not to - we're against all those things, and all those things are in this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that it does not have to be this way. It does not have to be this way, and Nova Scotians, I think, are beginning to wonder after their experience under the NDP and a lot of big promises made by the Liberal Government, and now their experience under the Liberals.

Well, Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is we did lay out, as the Progressive Conservatives, a five-point plan to actually freeze power rates and start to bring them down, and it remains our policy today. It actually bothers me to criticize the minister for bringing in a freeze, when he made fun of freezes. It bothers me, because his freeze isn't a freeze at all. As I said the other day it's the anti-freeze, it's a freeze where rates still go up, so we rightly criticized them on that.

But that does not mean that rates always have to go up, Mr. Speaker, it does not mean that we can't truly, fundamentally redesign the electricity system in this province to the benefit of ratepayers. That remains a goal for Nova Scotia, it remains an objective of Nova Scotians themselves, and it remains the policy of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Starting with getting rid of that guaranteed profit once and for all, let's move to a truly performance-based system, Mr. Speaker, where the power company can earn a profit or not based on their performance; based on their ability to deliver good services at fair prices; based on how they respond to emergencies and power outages; based on how they do at returning Nova Scotians' phone calls when we have to call in; based on the speed with which they get the system back up and running when it goes out; based on how reliable the system is in the first place. These are measures of performance and we can actually measure the power company on that basis, and they can earn a profit if they're good at those things, and they won't if they're not.

[Page 7200]

That's not such a crazy idea. Every other company has to live that way, and what makes it work is that they have to put customer service first. What makes it work is they know that they operate in our province as a privilege granted to them by the House of Assembly, that we're here on behalf of the people who pay the bills, to protect their interests. That's what could make a performance-based system work, but the minute you cap their penalties at a million dollars you've lost all moral authority over the oversight of the power company. Mr. Speaker, that's the problem. Basically the government has said we will protect the interest of Nova Scotia ratepayers up to $1 million a year and, after that, sorry you're on your own.

Mr. Speaker, we are supposed to be here representing Nova Scotia ratepayers, without limit, without capping how much we're willing to protect them. If we're going to have one power company, then we need the full force and effect of this Legislature to protect ratepayers. That is part of the deal when you grant a monopoly. If you are not going to do that, there shouldn't be a monopoly. But as long as there is, Nova Scotians need to know they can look to their elected Legislature to protect their interests without limit, not up to $1 million.

That's a grave flaw in this bill. It is a grave flaw in governance and on its own it's enough reason to vote no, to send the government back to the drawing board to remember who they are here to represent; to remember who put them here, and come back with a bill that protects their interest without limit.

For us, as Progressive Conservatives, point number one, get rid of that guaranteed profit and bring to this House true performance-based regulation, but we are not seeing that, Mr. Speaker.

Now if you are going to propose a rate freeze, it has to be all in. You can't say we're freezing this part of our power rates but not that part. That's really what this bill does, Mr. Speaker. We'll let the power company have one more chance to jack up the general rate, and will they or they won't, but they also have the fuel surcharge, which will go up. Everyone says it will go up.

Mr. Speaker, a true freeze would include everything, including that fuel surcharge. Here's why, it's only fair - yes, someone has to budget, how much is the cost of fuel going to be next year and the year after that and the year after that? How much is coal going to cost? How much is natural gas going to cost? How much are other sources of electricity going to cost? The place that is best able to make those estimates is the power company itself and because of that, they should bear the risks when they get it wrong, not the ratepayers of Nova Scotia.

[Page 7201]

The whole problem with the fuel surcharge is it transfers all the risk of fuel increases onto the shoulders of Nova Scotia ratepayers, the ones who can least afford to pay it and the ones who have the least information to manage it, Mr. Speaker.

There are some very well-paid people at the power company who are paid for their expertise in projecting what the fuel price will be and they should do the best job they can for the people of Nova Scotia. But when they are wrong, it is the power company that should bear that risk and that cost and not the people of Nova Scotia. That's why any real freeze must include the fuel surcharge. In fact we believe you should get rid of that fuel surcharge and just have a power rate - hopefully a lower one - but just have a power rate and when the power company is wrong, it's on their account.

When fuel goes down, as long as that guaranteed return is in place, that money should go back to the ratepayer, too, just to be clear, because ultimately they are the ones that we are here to look after. That's why we could set up the system this way, it's why the government's bill, which actually says, guess for three future years and go into the hedging market, if you want to, and charge the cost to the ratepayer one more time is actually the worst combination for the ratepayer because of course the power company will make sure it guesses as high as possible and if they hedge, which is expensive, they get to pass that cost on to the ratepayer. They can't lose. Only the ratepayer can lose when it comes to fuel surcharges. So why not get rid of that whole scheme anyway and get back to a straightforward setting of power rates, and the risk of fuel costs being up being borne by the power company itself? That would make sense to Nova Scotians.

It's the way most companies operate. I'll give you an example, Mr. Speaker; McDonald's does not have a hamburger surcharge; they don't have a ground beef surcharge. If you go to McDonald's to buy a hamburger, if they've guessed wrong about the price of ground beef, that is their problem and not yours. It should be the same thing. In fact, it should be even more true in this case because you can't go anywhere else. There's no Burger King of electricity. There's no Wendy's of electricity. I know this sounds funny, Mr. Speaker, but it's true. Imagine if you went to McDonald's to buy your hamburger, and you were told, "Well, the price on the board is $2.50, but I'm going to charge you an extra 35 cents today because the price of ground beef went up." You wouldn't be very happy about that.

But that's exactly what this government is going to allow the power company to do. In fact, they get to charge three years' worth of the price of ground beef and get approval for that in advance. That doesn't help Nova Scotians. That doesn't stand up for the people we're here to defend. That's the problem. Point two; get rid of the fuel surcharge altogether. Transfer that risk off the backs of Nova Scotians and on to the power company and let them manage it as best they can.

[Page 7202]

Coming out of Paris, coming out of all the talk about emissions into our atmosphere, about climate change, Nova Scotians are, like all Canadians, hopeful that something positive can be done to stop the progress of climate change, to clean up our environment, to cut back on emissions into our atmosphere. Nova Scotians have already done a lot in this area through the move to renewable sources of energy, the greening of the utility. I think we should be given credit for that.

But we also have an opportunity to be cleaner still in the way we generate electricity, and at lower cost, by making greater use of natural gas. It is a real shame, Mr. Speaker, that over the last 20 years, so much of our offshore gas has been successfully extracted and then piped away for somebody else to use where their power rates are going down.

Today, on a peak day, we are able to generate about 20 per cent of our electricity from natural gas. This is a good thing, that we can use natural gas, because it is cheaper than other sources, and it is far cleaner. The atmospheric emissions are half of the way we generate electricity now. This is something we can do that gives us another source of electricity supply at a cheaper price, which would reflect in our power bills and limit emissions into our atmosphere so we can continue to do our part for climate change. Any plan for the future of electricity in this province has to include more use of natural gas.

I know, Mr. Speaker, that not everyone is in favour. Some people say natural gas is not a renewable resource. Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Yes, it is. But as long as we're using fossil fuels to some extent, shouldn't we use the cleanest kind available? That would be natural gas. It also is cheaper. But there is nothing in the government's plan to make that happen. The mistakes of the past, where we sold our gas off, continue to be made by this Liberal Government.

By some estimates, onshore we are sitting on 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. No one is going to go looking to find it because the government banned onshore gas development, but imagine if we could actually find a way to safely and responsibly use our own onshore natural gas to generate electricity to power our homes and our factories, and lower power rates and clean up our atmospheric emissions at the same time. That's what we should be talking about, but it is not going to happen. If it does happen today, because we ship in gas from somewhere else, we're going to pay multiple tolls in the pipelines to get it here, undoing the cost savings we could generate here by using our own gas at home.

If we truly want competition here in our region of Canada, why not build a true, independent system operator that can buy electricity from the existing utilities in the Maritime Provinces and then send it to wherever it's needed. That is the Progressive Conservative plan; it actually creates instant competition across the region. It makes our power rates cheaper because we can buy it from the cheapest source at any given time and it makes us cleaner and more renewable as well because the wind is always blowing somewhere. The bigger area you cover, the greater the chance that is true. Why not take windmills to the Miramachi when the wind is blowing at optimal levels there and use that power where it may be needed in Dartmouth or in Truro, and vice versa? There is none of that in this bill; there's a $1 million penalty, but there's none of that.

[Page 7203]

These are all elements of the Progressive Conservative plan to start by freezing power rates to bring power rates down and to make our contribution to a more sustainable, livable, and cleaner planet at the same time. This opportunity is right there in front of us to grab a more hopeful, a brighter, a more affordable future for all Nova Scotians, but it has been lost because the government plan - the Liberal plan called Our Electricity Future - means more rate increases. It means more years of the efficiency fee, it leaves in place the guaranteed profit, and we still have a monopoly. Who can support that?

Even the most cynical voter couldn't possibly support that, so we're here to register our strong objection to this plan, which is no plan at all other than more of the same, except more expensive. That is why it's important that we have this debate. I know we made these points in second reading and at various stages along the way, but I can tell you I truly want Nova Scotians to see clear through the Liberal bill and the plan that they have put before us called Our Electricity Future, which is so grim, and invite them to contrast it to the opportunity that lies ahead for all of us when we get serious about electricity reform, finally, in this province. With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for your time.

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

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased that I have the opportunity today to speak on Bill No. 141 because it's very important to me, as a Nova Scotian, and as a member of a political Party who knows some background in this particular issue, and having had the opportunity to sit at the Cabinet Table of the previous government. The important part for me, I feel that my job is to be able to provide the factual information to Nova Scotians and especially those who live in the Chester-St. Margaret's constituency.

The reality is what I want to speak about today and I've mentioned it before when I spoke on this bill. The reality of our world when it comes to electricity pricing and the cost of a barrel of oil, and how the world market affects what our electricity costs are, and the position that we are in as a province because of the privatization of Nova Scotia Power. Also the fact that Nova Scotia Power has a parent company called Emera and that the key business of a major corporation of that nature is to make sure that their shareholders receive enough money back from their investments. That's the whole goal. That's what a privatized electricity company does.

It's very much different than if it was a public company and that a government would have more flexibility in their budgeting and in the decision making in order to make sure that the public is receiving the lowest cost as possible. We know the history behind our power company in Nova Scotia so I don't need to repeat that, but we do know that that has put us in a position that is very challenging in terms of electricity pricing.

[Page 7204]

What I actually have termed this bill and this plan, is actually the electricity perception plan, and the reason, Mr. Speaker, is because this is all about politics. Unfortunately it's not actually about the consumer and the people of Nova Scotia. It's all about the political cycle, and decisions being made around that political cycle, how the perception can be presented to the public. We know that this is a major issue for Nova Scotians, because they've seen increases in electricity pricing over the years. So, it is something that is on the front of everybody's minds, because it's challenging. We have many things that go up in terms of cost in our society such as food, just to do business, just to live every day; it's very, very expensive. When electricity prices are high and they're rising a number of times, it is something that consumers are going to feel the pinch about and be very concerned about.

It's human nature, Mr. Speaker, for us always to have a little bit of a ray of hope, and when a political Party comes along and they're offering that carrot, that hope, that's what people tend to turn to. It can be difficult at times to be able to just plainly explain it, because there's a lot of complicated language and information behind the electricity in our province, and how it's set up and how the grid is owned by Nova Scotia Power and how that all works. It's much easier just to come up with public relations slogans such as "breaking the monopoly" - they're a few words and those words ring well with people and it's that hope, and that's what occurred during the last election.

We know that during our mandate the electricity prices did rise. Government has no control over that, as I pointed out, and I believe that Nova Scotians do understand that, but when there is a piece of hope put in front of people they believe that maybe the other Party has something more to offer, and that certainly is not the fact because the prices of electricity are affected by the price of oil and, as we know, the cost for a barrel of oil has plummeted in the last year or so.

If we were in a situation that oil was as much as it was before, or going up higher, this particular government would be in quite a desperate position because they wouldn't have any control over those prices. So, when they stand in the House and they yell oh well, when you were in government, electricity went up a number of times, and it went up this percentage - well, yes that's true, but it was nothing to do with the government of the day, as it would not be anything to do with the government that we have now, because it is based on our world economy and the price of oil. That's a fact that will not be changed today and will not be changed 20, 40, or 50 years from now.

What would be a change is coming up with a plan for the future. It's almost like Buckley's medicine, Mr. Speaker - how the commercial says you have to take the medicine now. It tastes awful, but it will make you feel better later on. That's really the reality of electricity in our province, and that's why we should be investing more in renewable resources.

[Page 7205]

I'm very proud that it was the NDP that set the goal of 40 per cent renewable resources for the year 2020. It started at only 13 per cent and we're well on our way. What that has created is a cushion for this present Liberal Government to ride on, just like the genies that they think they are, riding on the carpet of programs that were implemented and philosophy that was implemented under the NDP because we knew that we had to move toward renewable resources. Unfortunately, this government knows that they have an opportunity to utilize the plan and the implementation that was done previously. But I think that because we're on the right track, they should not sit on their hands about that.

We still should be pursuing more opportunities for renewable resources. However the Liberal Government cut COMFIT, a very good program that encouraged not only Nova Scotian businesses to come in and to establish clean energy, renewable resources, it also gave Nova Scotians an opportunity to invest in the project, which was really nice because it gave people that feeling of ownership and an opportunity to be doing something. If you had the ability to invest, you were investing in your future; you were investing in the green economy of Nova Scotia. I know there were some discussions, there were a few issues around how that program was set up; but it was a new program, and like any program, it needed to be reviewed not cut.

It's kind of surprising, I know that the government loves reviewing because they review their review of the review, so I don't understand why COMFIT was not reviewed. COMFIT should have been reviewed and it shouldn't have been cut.

Mr. Speaker, I know the reason for that, and that's where I want to speak to the public about the reality of the cost of electricity in the province. If we're investing more in renewable energy and promoting more renewable energy, there is a higher cost factor to that. It's very similar to when organic products came to the market, and they're still priced somewhat higher than the food that's not as good for us or the food that has more chemicals in it or whatever. We often think, well, gee, if it's organic, then shouldn't it be cheaper to grow because there's not all these things thrown into it? But that's not how it works.

Renewable resources are very similar to organic products. It's cleaner, it's greener, but it costs more. What the government does not want to do is that they know we're on track for the renewable target that was set by the NDP, but they don't want to push it any harder because if they do that, it will have an effect on costs in terms of electricity. If we have more companies offering the renewable resources, and we educate the public on the importance of that investment for not only themselves but their future generation - that's exactly what we should be doing. We should be encouraging people and having a program set up for those who are at middle or lower income, who would find it a little bit more difficult to pay for those renewable resources. Our money should be invested in some type of renewable resources relief for those families, but at the same time we would be developing renewable resources.

[Page 7206]

The government doesn't want to invest in renewable resources because it will cost more and then it will look like they did not keep their promise during the election. However, as I mentioned, if we were doing this for the good of Nova Scotians and the good of our future, we would educate Nova Scotians on the Buckley theory - we need to kind of take our medicine now, but it will be much better in the future.

The sad part is that the political world - and I'm part of it - I find that's the part I find very difficult to watch, because it is on the whole concept of pretending we're talking about the future, but we're really talking about the next election. All the decisions are based on the next election. It's not based on 10 years down the road; it's not based on what is the best for our society. If it was based on what was best for our society, this electricity plan would not look like it does. The plan would be talking about renewable resources and how we need to improve the opportunities and availability of those renewable resources and encourage that in Nova Scotia.

That really saddens me, because there could have been somebody like myself or one of my colleagues probably standing in this House 10 or 15 or 20 years ago, probably saying the exact same speech - not as much about knowing about the renewables as we do today - we know more about what is available - but back then there were discussions and talks about the future and the importance of educating people on renewables. But 20 or 25 years ago, or even back 250 years ago in this House, the same conversations would be going on, and those conversations would be all around what decisions the government of the day can make to ensure that they'll get re-elected. That's the unfortunate part of the political world. It is not any different with the Liberal Government at this time, because they would be investing into those renewable resources instead of cutting back.

Because of the fact that the Liberals put a lot of eggs in the basket of breaking the monopoly, what they've had to do is look at - that slogan worked so well for us, so how are we going to make people perceive that we're doing something? That's why I call it the electricity perception plan.

The part on how to perceive that we're doing something is, first, bring in some legislation that gives other businesses an opportunity to utilize - come in as a renewable-resource company, with all great fanfare - that we're breaking the monopoly, we're giving these companies an opportunity to set up their renewable energy business, whether it was solar, whether it was wind power, whether it was through - if the ability was for tidal, whatever was clean and green.

So it sounded good once again. It's all those little sound bites that are trying to be captured. But the full details of the fact that those companies would then have to turn around and utilize the Nova Scotia Power grid - there was very little if any conversation on that. That's part of my job: to educate Nova Scotians to know we have only one power grid, and that is owned by a major corporation that is private - a private company that we know is Nova Scotia Power, that has a parent company called Emera, and has shareholders. That is what their dedication is, and what they survive for and live for: to ensure that the shareholders see an increase in their investments each and every year. It's profit-driven.

[Page 7207]

If you are a profit-driven company, you are not there for the total good of the consumer. Those things just don't go together. It's just like on Sesame Street. One of these things just does not fit with the other. Those are the facts, and that's what I'm here to speak about. The facts are that if you're a profit-driven company, you're not going to be making decisions around the boardroom table of what's the best for the public or the consumer. Your decision around the boardroom table is going to be about shareholders. What do we have to do to increase our revenue for our shareholders and ensure that our shareholders are being taken care of because our shareholders are the ones who are putting money in our company?

That is why, when we hear the Liberals say they broke the monopoly, they have not broken any monopoly. The monopoly would have been broken if there was another avenue for those renewable companies that are now allowed to compete, to find a way to get electricity to our homes, but they have to use the same power grid as Nova Scotia Power, which is owned by Nova Scotia Power.

If you're sitting around a boardroom and a new renewable company comes in and gives a presentation that we have this wonderful green energy, but we would like to be able to buy part of your grid and use your grid to offer that electricity to Nova Scotians, and we want to pay a lot less for it than what it cost you, what do you think the answer is going to be from the boardroom? They're going to laugh them out of the room because the fact is, they're profit-driven. So it's an important fact that breaking this monopoly in Nova Scotia will not work because of that.

As a government, to tell people that the monopoly is broken - and I know part of the slogan changed once the Liberals were in government because it started off as breaking the monopoly and then I heard the minister talk at Budget Estimates last year that it wasn't about breaking the monopoly as much as it was to provide Nova Scotians with options. I certainly did not hear that. When I went door to door during the election, people were resonating with the slogan "breaking the monopoly." They didn't say, Denise, the Liberals are saying they're going to break the monopoly, but they're really not; they're just going to offer options, which is not going to reduce my costs for electricity - that was not what was on the minds of Nova Scotians during the 2013 election.

I bet you every member sitting on the government side used those lines over and over again and in every piece of literature that was sent out: we are going to break the monopoly - that was it, period, nothing else after that to explain that was impossible to do. It's unfortunate that people get caught in that political trap.

[Page 7208]

When you look at breaking the monopoly, which is not possible, the government knew that once they got in, well, I don't even know if we tell people they have more options and their electricity prices start to go up; we're going to be in a little bit of trouble here so what are we going to do? We're very lucky because the cost of oil seems to be going down, but nobody can predict. Those things can change quickly. They could change next year. Look at the Canadian dollar, it wasn't that many years ago that we were above $1; now we're, what, 73 cents? So it doesn't take long for things to happen in the world with the way the world is that those changes could take place.

I'm sure that around the minister's department and around the Cabinet Table there was discussion about the fact that, you know, by the time we want to go into another election, what if the price of oil has increased again? We're going to have an awfully difficult time explaining that one, where we told Nova Scotians during the last election we're going to break the monopoly and that they were going to actually have lower electricity prices. The next part of the electricity perception plan was, perhaps what we can do is we can look at bringing in legislation to freeze electricity.

As my colleague for the Progressive Conservatives said, that was something during the last election that was brought forth by them that was criticized by both Parties at that time, which was impossible to do or sustain. Well, I still believe that it's not impossible to do, but it is impossible to sustain, Mr. Speaker. What's happening now is we're getting a piece of legislation that is saying that we're going to have electricity rates frozen for three years.

I will give credit to the government in terms of their brilliance with their slogans. They also know that people live in the moment. When you live in the moment, because you're trying to pay the bills that come in each and every day, it's awfully hard sometimes to think five or 10 years down the road. Even when you have children and grandchildren, you want the best for them and future generations. But when you're struggling to pay your bills, and you have to make a decision between heating your home and putting food on the table for your family, you live in the moment. You have to, in the world that we live in. It will ring very well with people to hear that their electricity prices are going to be frozen for three years - but there is no discussion or conversation about what will happen after that.

What does that three-year agreement look like? There's something that Nova Scotia Power has that is sort of the golden rod in all this, and that is the fact that they have a guaranteed rate of return - and that's legislated. So what that means, Mr. Speaker, is that before the three years begin, they're able to predict how much the rate should be, go to the URB and say this is what the rates should be based on our guesstimates. That's what they will be because even Nova Scotia Power has no idea if the price of oil is going to change over the next three years. They're going to throw out a figure, and there's no doubt about it that they're going to pad that figure.

[Page 7209]

It's like when you're selling something. You know yourself when you're selling a vehicle you always start a little bit higher - you don't start lower and work yourself up. The reality, once again, is that they're going to start at the highest level that they think they're going to be able to get away with to get approval, that doesn't look like it's extraordinarily high, and the government's not going to allow that to happen. So you're going to get this rate that will be higher than we pay now, but we're going to be told that we don't have to worry about it for another three years.

What does that do, Mr. Speaker? I'll bet you I could go to a class of Grade 5 students, and they would tell me that they know what that does - that takes you over the political period of another election. What that means is that going into the next election - and I'm glad I have the opportunity to say this in the House because it gets recorded in Hansard. It gets recorded that this is what my view is of this situation, and we'll see in a number of years whether this is true or not. I believe it is. What we'll see is that after those three years, we're going to be over that political hump. After those three years, Nova Scotia Power has the ability to go back, because of a law, to say to the government of the day that the rates need to go this high, which could be much, much higher than what we pay over that three years. It could be doubled, it could be tripled, it could be quadrupled. They're going to have the right to ask for that because, by law, they have a guaranteed rate of return.

So they're not going to lose. Who is going to lose? Nova Scotians. They're suddenly going to realize that after that three years of stability the price of electricity has quadrupled. What kind of position does that put Nova Scotians in?

Mr. Speaker, I'm very saddened by that kind of planning because I had the opportunity at one point in my career to be a mortgage broker. During that period of time, just at the end of my profession, I saw the housing crisis in the United States and how people were left homeless, and people left their homes and walked out of them, not even locking the doors, just leaving everything behind. Do you know why, Mr. Speaker? Because the American lawmakers did not plan appropriately, knowing that possibly could happen in their society someday.

Now thank goodness that in Canada we have much stricter laws, but in the U.S. they allowed that the mortgage companies - the banks - could offer very low rates to people who normally could not afford a home at that particular price. They were able to offer them a rate they could pay. With that rate the people did not realize, because as I said, people do not usually look beyond that five years - oh, I've got a wonderful rate for five years, this is great, we're not going to buy the $250,000 house because right now with those rates we can buy a $400,000 house. That's just natural for people to want the best for their family and if that opportunity is presented to them by their lawmakers in their society, they believe their lawmakers are making decisions that are good for them, that are beneficial for them - there's a trust level there.

[Page 7210]

The people in the United States thought well, gee, we have this opportunity for the first time in our life, and everybody loves to have a home, they want their own home. Mr. Speaker, what took place is that thousands of Americans were able to receive mortgages at a low enough rate that they could afford, then after that five-year period, or two-year period, whatever they signed on the dotted line, the mortgage companies and banks were able to double, triple, and quadruple the cost, the rate of that mortgage. People suddenly found themselves with a bill - they might have been paying $500 a month for their mortgage, happily for five years, and suddenly they received a mortgage payment invoice for $1,500 or $2,000 a month. They couldn't afford it.

What do you do? They couldn't sell their homes because so many people couldn't afford then to go out, because the rates had gone up so high. That's exactly what is going to happen here in Nova Scotia, where we have our lawmakers Nova Scotians trust saying to them we are freezing electricity rates for you, good on us, vote us back in, we have done what we said, without them knowing that in three years there is a very high probability that those electricity rates will double, quadruple, and people are going to be devastated. They are not going to be able to afford to heat their homes.

It is very similar when you look at the privatization of Nova Scotia Power, the same thing, Madam Speaker, is that Nova Scotians at that time thought their lawmakers were making the best decisions for them. It is not to criticize anyone who sat around that Cabinet Table at that time and made that decision, but once again those decisions were driven by the political process. That's what it boils down to, the political process. It doesn't matter what Party you are in, that is the reality.

I think, though, Nova Scotians voted for the Liberals because they thought they were going to be different. Obviously they are far from being different, it is a lot worse with some of the legislation we have seen coming through here and the way that Nova Scotia, whether you are a worker, if you are vulnerable and you don't have a high-level income, you've had your income assistance rates frozen, if you are a worker your negotiation rights have been taken away from you.

So, there's a long list. If you work in the film industry you've lost your income, nobody expected that. I think that it's very sad and I do know that - when you're looking at one of the things that the minister will stand in the House and say, well, you know we're being really tough on Nova Scotia Power.

I do recall that when the Liberals were in Opposition it was like all the time on Nova Scotia Power - we're the ones that are going to take them down, we're the ones who are going to make Nova Scotia Power bend on their knees to us if we become government. Well, Nova Scotia Power is just as well off, or better off than they ever were.

[Page 7211]

The only difference is a threat of $1 million fine. Well, I'm telling you, Madam Speaker, everything has to be looked at in proportion. If you were charged $1 million fine, but you're making, oh 2014 it was $319 million in profit, what is $1 million out of that? That's like asking them to throw a penny into a cup. This is what we're going to charge you, a penny, because everything is relevant. If you made $319 million and you're paying out a fine - and also, when you look at the fact that if you make a decision as Nova Scotia Power and you end up making more profits with the decision that you've made and that you got caught on and then you get fined, well gee, if our profits went up $10 million and we've got to pay $1 million because of that decision, what are they going to do?

So, Madam Speaker, we have to look at reality, the facts. I'm not making any of these facts up; this is all factual. Anybody in the government can get this information; any Nova Scotian can get this information. What it is all about is public awareness and our job on this side is to make sure. We don't have to go out there and create a slogan, break the monopoly, all we have to do is go out there and tell people the facts. That's our job and we will do that because that is what we're here for.

It's unfortunate that the political process has interfered in this whole bit about electricity and the cost of electricity. I know that there are other speakers who will bring up different facts and I know that it's just not me being in Opposition saying this. There have been editorials in The Chronicle Herald about how this is just basically a perception bill, a thin bill, doesn't really do anything.

There have also been people who gave us a hard time when we were in government about the electricity, but they're saying the same thing. The very people that the Liberal Party lined themselves up with during the election, to make statements, are the very people now that have come to Law Amendments Committee and the very people who are saying, this is not what you talked about when you were running for government. This is not at all what you talked about. It is not as advertised. That will be the slogan probably from Nova Scotians going into the next election, not as advertised, and there's a whole list, Madam Speaker, we can look at.

I can remember the now-Premier, standing in Opposition, talking to people in unions, right? Bringing in union members and cozying up with them and, we care about you and, we care about you, we care about your rights, putting big ads in newspapers. Then you have the home care workers, the nurses, the filmmakers; you bring the people together consciously, consciously you have a press conference saying how much you support them and how you'll continue that support if you become Premier.

How do you do that and then look people in the eyes. How do you do that? I don't get it. When you've got people, how do you do that? That's the question. How do you do that? How do you then go look at yourself in the mirror after you've said that to people? I don't understand it - right? I don't understand it. It is the political process, and that whole bit about power, it's more important than the people. That's the sad part. Power is more important than the people, and we're here for the people. It's the people who put us in, and we have a job to do, right?

[Page 7212]

At the end of the day, I don't think that Nova Scotians are going to be fooled by this. I know that they're riding high on the polls that are done by a Liberal company and that kind of - come on, now. We have our Liberal media, we have our Liberal companies. We know, I know, who's behind that. (Interruptions) Yes, oh yes, that's right.

Madam Speaker, once again, I guess my point is that it's all about the politics, and that's the sad part of it. I'm really discouraged. I would hope that the government would have brought out a plan that was a real, true plan.

The other thing is, I know there are some new members here, and I'm proud that you're here, but you should go back and watch some tapes from history. Go back and watch your colleagues in Opposition (Interruptions) Go back. It will put things in perspective, and you'll know why I'm saying the things I am. Go back and listen to some colleagues talking about, oh, we'll go to Hydro-Québec, they are going to be the answer, giving another carrot to the public thinking, oh gee, we know what we're doing, they are going to be the answer to our problems. Which is no different than the fact that they would have had to use the Nova Scotia grid, right? Same thing - they stood on this side of the House and went after the whole concept of Churchill Falls, just went after it like, oh, we don't know what the rates are going to be (Interruptions) Muskrat Falls, sorry - we don't know what the rates are going to be. Muskrat Falls - what are the rates going to be? And that's what they threw out after.

Have we heard a peep from them about the rates since they've been in? No, Muskrat Falls is the greatest thing in the world now. It's funny how you take a trip from this side over to that side, it can be totally - we're in a different world now. Muskrat Falls is great. Politically, 10 feet makes a difference.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's has the floor.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you very much. Maybe that should be the next slogan: 10 feet makes a difference. I know we can't get a film made on it, because there's nobody left to do a film, but 10 feet makes a difference. Ten feet and $10 million that's not capped is what can make a difference.

In all seriousness, it really is a challenge. I find it very sad. If this electricity plan was a good plan and offered Nova Scotians real, true stability, if it was making sure that Nova Scotians five to 10 years down the road would not be paying through the nose in terms of their power rates - but it's really bothersome to know that we're looking at this three-year freeze, and it's a pretend freeze, because what's going to happen after that is all about getting through the political election period.

[Page 7213]

I guess if anybody watching Legislative TV or anybody that is . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's has the floor.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Madam Speaker, I want to end my discussion today to just encapsulate what I'm saying. The fact is that it is politically-driven. This plan is a politically-driven plan, there's nothing else to it.

The good things that are in there in terms of Muskrat Falls and in terms of renewable resources were initiated under the NDP. We deserve to take that credit. There's nothing wrong with the government of the day taking up what was done by a past government - nothing at all wrong with that. But be open about that and the fact that you do have more opportunities to pursue renewable resources. Just don't go on the fact that things were done in the past, and we're on that route.

Please, please - you have to go back to knocking on those doors, and when you go back to those doors, and say, well we froze electricity prices, can members in the government say that knowing that there's a great possibility that after three years are up, and after the next election, Nova Scotians are going to be probably facing some of the highest electricity rates they ever have in their life? (Interruptions) When I hear some of them yelling back, saying - and I already explained that - under the NDP the highest electricity rates. Obviously they're not listening.

That's what the public is upset about. I started this whole talk about the fact that governments do not have control over the world oil prices, and Nova Scotia Power relies on fossil fuels. That is why we need to be moving towards renewable resources; and that is why we need to tell people the real facts; and that is why we need to say that if we're going the renewable resource route, we need to take a little bit of that bitter medicine at the start. For those who are on the lower income side of things, of their life, or middle income, or who can't afford, we can come up with a program to support and help them in that. That is the way to go with an electricity plan, so that we know, five or 10 years down the road, we have real true electricity rates based on the availability of that electricity whether it's through Nova Scotia Power or through a number of renewable resources, through tidal power or solar power or wind power.

In closing, Madam Speaker, it's all about the facts. It's all about the hope that's put in front of people. Putting hope that is not real is really sad. We're here for Nova Scotians whether it is three years down the road, five years, 10 years, or 20 years down the road. I do believe that Nova Scotians will see the light. You can only try to tell a story so many times and then people are going to start questioning it. It will be our job on this side to ensure that there's a big question mark around this leading up to the next election. Thank you.

[Page 7214]

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : I'm sure, as everyone knows in this Chamber, I will probably only speak for about five or 10 minutes on Bill No. 141. We are all hyper-aware of the cost of energy and the consumption of energy.

Since I was a child, the cost of energy has been discussed many times, in my house growing up, at the dinner table. However, most times growing up, the only time my brothers and I would hear our parents yelling at us was when we left the lights on or the TV on, or when we stood too long at the fridge door with it open, trying to decide what we wanted to eat.

Every so often, Mom and Dad would get serious and ask us to come into the living room and have a serious discussion with us about energy. We would sit there, and we would listen to Dad tell us about how he was born on the kitchen table at the farm across the road and how poor his family was and how far he had to walk to school (Interruptions). Yeah, uphill both ways, never had milk, always had the outhouse. Often he would say that he would even wake up in the morning, sometimes in the winter, and because there were holes in the roof, there would be snow on his blankets in the morning.

I often wonder if my father actually embellished on these stories but I don't think he did; I really don't think he did. As a child, it really bothered me that he lived this way. It certainly injected a sense of appreciation for what he and my mother were able to offer my brothers and me. I was blessed to live in a warm home with hot meals, hot showers, electronics and so on.

What upsets me even more than thinking about the difficult life my father experienced is the sad reality that there are still many people in Nova Scotia living the way he was brought up. I'm not certain if many MLAs in more metropolitan areas witnessed this but I certainly have seen way too many people in rural areas that I represent, who live in poverty. Many of them can't even afford electricity. It's true, I know it's hard to believe and comprehend that there are people out there living without electricity, but it is true.

We all know we are headed to that dreadful time of year when every day we are calling upon the resolve department at NSP. I do want to take a moment and take this opportunity to say thank you to all the people working at the resolve department because I have nothing but great respect for the people who work there. They have been most compassionate and helpful and I have had to call them many times. It has already started this year so I just want to big a big shout out to the individuals who work at the resolve department at Nova Scotia Power because they certainly have helped Pictou West constituents in many situations.

[Page 7215]

At any rate - and no pun intended - the concern of energy is on everyone's radar, as it should be. Madam Speaker, I believe the biggest disappointment in this piece of legislation is the fact that it really is the polar opposite of what the Liberals campaigned on in 2013. The bill simply fails to live up to any of the Liberals' 2013 election commitments on energy. No one can deny that. Sadly, the position the Liberal Government is taking on Bill No. 141 is a real disconnect from the reality of what Nova Scotia ratepayers, who thought that by voting-in a Liberal Government, they would see the end of an energy monopoly. I have to admit that I was even excited about it.

The truth of the tale, though, is now being told through Bill No. 141. Madam Speaker, the intent of this bill is to address everything from performance-based regulations, a rate stability period, South Canoe tax savings that would be passed on to ratepayers, closure of the COMFIT program and lastly, one big concern to many who appeared before Law Amendments Committee, is the changes to net metering.

I know that many of my colleagues here will be talking about all kinds of these different topics within the bill but I want to focus for a moment on net metering because I believe there are reasons to be very concerned. We all know previously the government stated objectives to break the energy monopoly and to make Nova Scotia Power more accountable, responsive to the needs and expectations of taxpayers. This does not align at all with how this bill has unfolded.

Net metering allows many groups, organizations such as churches, municipalities, universities, volunteer fire departments, non-profits, individuals and even many small businesses to become their own power generators - of course only to a certain level as they still have to stay connected to the Nova Scotia Power grid. It's an incentive to become more green by using your own resources to produce renewable energy to supply a percentage or portion of your energy needs. It's a good incentive and we all want to do better and we all want to become greener and definitely have a much lesser carbon footprint.

However, Madam Speaker, this bill will lower the currently permitted nameplate capacity of a system utilizing the new metering program from a potential one megawatt down to 100 kilowatts. Before an amendment was made, the Liberal Government first suggested going from one megawatt to 20 kilowatts. However, still the 100 kilowatts is not acceptable and to me, this part of the bill is really regressing and makes no sense economically for ratepayers; in fact, it is a step backward. This is a time when all efforts are needed to address climate change and provide incentives for ratepayers to become more self-sufficient with regard to their energy needs. There is no doubt the existing limit is appropriate and does not need further restriction.

Another point I wish to make is the lack of consultation on this bill. We know there was no notification given to those affected organizations, groups, businesses about these colossal changes that will have a negative impact on projects, as well as community energy planning processes. I know this was of great concern to a representative from the Ecology Action Centre who attended the Law Amendments Committee and indicated they could find no evidence out there that the provincial government consulted with or even informed those who would be directly affected by these proposed changes. Frankly, I just believe this is unacceptable.

[Page 7216]

At the end of the day, as legislators, we are to do what is just and fair for the public good and this bill fails to do that. This bill continues to put ratepayers of Nova Scotia at a disadvantage and I'm not looking forward to this winter or the years to come. I think it's fair to say that all governments have failed the ratepayers of Nova Scotia, all of us. I really was hoping that this bill would shed some light on moving forward in a positive direction, however, it continues to allow Nova Scotia Power to dominate an industry that the Liberal Government promised to break the monopoly.

There are a lot of unintended consequences and we will definitely see the negative impacts of the decisions within this bill in the aftermath of being passed. On those few, short notes I will take my seat and thank you so much.

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

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Madam Speaker, it gives me pleasure to rise to my feet today to talk about Bill No. 141, the Electricity Plan Implementation (2015) Act. As my colleagues for Pictou West and also for Chester-St. Margaret's have already spoken about, this bill really is a rather thin plan, by Nova Scotia's Consumer Advocate it was even called that. I'd like to add a few additional comments based on what I saw and heard at the Law Amendments Committee and also what I'm hearing on the ground.

I am honoured with being on the Law Amendments Committee and we hear many interesting presentations about all the various different bills. For this particular bill, I was very curious to see that three particular people came forward with grave concerns about the future of solar energy in our province and the ability for smaller communities, municipalities, churches and various other buildings around the province being able to take advantage of putting solar panels on their roofs. This is what I heard, the three presenters came forward and raised concerns about the 20-kilowatt capacity limit that was first offered for independent power producers.

These presenters are highly involved in developing independent power production in Nova Scotia and every single one of them said they were not consulted on developing a workable capacity limit. I don't understand that, I don't see why if a bill is being put forward that the people who are involved directly with such a bill would not be consulted. They all made the same point, in fact, that with the limit at 20 kilowatts there could be no project beyond the size of a household.

[Page 7217]

Well, with all the talk of greening our economy, of greening our environment, of trying to cut down on fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions, I don't understand why the government would even try to float such a thing in front of people who know what they are talking about and obviously were very upset.

Madam Speaker, that means that many of these groups around Nova Scotia would not be able to participate. It also means that communities like mine, in Truro, Bible Hill, Millbrook First Nations, and Salmon River, who are very interested in starting a solar project right across Colchester County really, would be in trouble.

I've attended a few meetings about solar energy, one that was held in Tatamagouche recently, and the people in Tatamagouche were very interested in getting something similar going there as what the people in Halifax were able to have from Solar City - actually one of the people there was very much involved with Solar City. That is a program that went very well here in Halifax where the municipality in fact put money into buying solar panels and then were able to distribute them to people who were interested. People were able to pay them off as part of their municipal tax structure. That seemed to go very well here in Halifax. Now, in Colchester County - Tatamagouche, Truro area, we are very, very interested in doing that as well.

The second meeting I went to was in Truro and it was packed full, chockablock, of people very keen on moving forward with this. I'm sure that once they started to realize what this bill is doing, that's why I'm now being contacted by a number of people by emails, Facebook messages - and there's even a new petition going around. People are signing on to that petition like hot cakes. I can't tell you - it started off, it has only been going about 48 hours and we already - I think about 600 people have already signed it.

One presenter said that the only group that would actually benefit from such a low limit would be Nova Scotia Power.

Now I ask that question, Madam Speaker, because as I started to listen to all these presenters present the facts, I started thinking well why is this happening and who would actually benefit from this? The third speaker said there's one group that would benefit from this and that's Nova Scotia Power. That's when I had my lightbulb moment, so to speak, because that was what my guts had been telling me and my guts are usually right about these things. Now by the next day the government had actually changed the capacity limit from 20 kilowatts to - wait for it - 100 kilowatts.

I asked a representative from the Energy Department how many solar panels this would account for, for the 100 kilowatts. He said, roughly 2,000. However, apparently it's a lot more that are needed for bigger structures, so this is a significant change. It's not that much but in some ways it's significant, from 20 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts; it's significant. They changed it overnight, which suggests that the government had already assessed the impact of setting the limit at 100 kilowatts, but they chose 20 kilowatts.

[Page 7218]

It leaves one to wonder why, and is 100 kilowatts the right limit? I would say not; in fact, many of these projects won't be able to go forward and that's what these presenters are saying, and that's what many of my constituents are saying as well.

The number that was set before that was actually one megawatt, which is the equivalent of 1,000 kilowatts. So this is what people who were presenting would like to see it remain as - they are feeling that the 100 kilowatts is just too low an amount.

Now I did notice that the Department of Energy did provide the following information on the matters raised at the Law Amendments Committee. Madam Speaker, I'm just going to read some of that message from the Department of Energy: The department advises that a good deal of information for a study and rate design needs to be collected. That is why the Act before us includes provisions for all net meter, new community and innovation programs must collect and share data on production and use of electricity. It is anticipated that the data for such a discussion should be available - wait for it - toward the end of the decade.

Toward the end of the decade? We can't wait that long, Madam Speaker. We need it now. We want a green Nova Scotia and to get solar energy going now in all of our communities. We don't want to wait until the end of the decade.

This bill continues to say: This Act gives the Governor in Council the authority to set a date for such a hearing - at the end of the decade. Secondly, it says: With respect to the cap on net meter production, the department notes that the enhanced net metering program was brought in five years ago. Since that time, the average solar PV installation has been for just under 6 kilowatts and the only one over 20 kilowatts was for 30 kilowatts. Accordingly, the cap was drawn around the 20-kilowatt level.

Then it goes on to say: After hearing the sector's submissions yesterday, the Minister of Energy is advising this committee that a higher cap of 100 kilowatts should have a minor impact on ratepayers and not impact system reliability and safety, as all installations are covered under Nova Scotia Power's small generation interconnection guidelines.

Interesting. It certainly begs to offer a few more questions about how and why this bill has come about and, again, who is going to profit in the end?

Many people, including many from my constituency, strongly oppose the adoption of Bill No. 141 as written now. They ask that it be postponed for consideration until there can be adequate consultation and reflection of its impact on Nova Scotian communities and organizations. In the context of the recent Paris accord, Nova Scotia will be asked and must increase the speed of its transition to renewable energy, and solar is a particular area for expansion that can maximize environmental and economic benefits to the province. In rural areas, solar can be a positive economic driver at the same time that the government is trying to adopt recommendations from the Now or Never report.

[Page 7219]

So doesn't it make sense to generate renewable energy and create green economic activity in rural Nova Scotia, rather than young rural Nova Scotians leaving for the West and the oil patch, which destroys families, communities, and the planet? For instance, just recently in the news, haven't we heard that suicides out West in the oil patch have gone up 30 per cent in Alberta? Why, Madam Speaker?

Well, what we're hearing is that so many young people are making so much money so quickly that they don't quite know how to handle it. Many of them are turning to alcohol and drugs and spending their money like wildfire, and then suddenly there's a downturn in the whole oil industry and the oil has gone down and suddenly people are losing their jobs. All of a sudden they are losing their jobs, so they don't know how to pay for their mortgages, they don't know how to pay for their fancy big trucks, their wives have probably left them because they've been having affairs and whatnot out there, and they're starting to come down for their big - some of them have. Watch the reports. Watch the reports. Madam Speaker . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River has the floor.

MS. ZANN « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker, although I'm glad I got their attention after some time. But you know, when I say "wives," that could be male wives too - some people call their partners wives or husbands, depends on your gender.

The problem is, I've been watching the reports and reading a lot about this. I know many people whose daughters and sons have gone out West, and I'll tell you right now, when they're doing drugs and alcohol and their lives are becoming unmanageable and they're away from their families for a long time, sadly, the truth is many are having affairs, and sometimes their families are the ones who lose from that, even though they're sending the money home.

Madam Speaker, it's amazing what alcohol and drugs will do to a person. Take it from me. I've been sober 20 years now, and I've seen all kinds of things. I can say right now it's a big problem out West, and that's probably why many people right now are struggling and why so many people are committing suicide. It's very, very sad, nothing to sneeze at, and nothing to make fun of. It's a very, very serious problem.

Madam Speaker, the thing is, we want to green this planet. We want to green our country. We want to green Nova Scotia, as quickly as possible. Do we really want to be an island with the Tantramar Marshes under water? Do we really want my hometown of Truro under water? I don't think so. But if we don't do something very, very quickly, we will be. (Interruption)

[Page 7220]

If the honourable members would like to pay attention to what just happened at the summit in Paris, I think we have all kinds of reasons to be very excited about what is going on for the world and for our country, and the fact that we do have a federal government now that is actually admitting that climate change is happening and that it is, sadly, a man-made occurrence. I think the more that we can do to try to get on that bus, get on the train, the renewable-energy train, that's a very important thing for this province to do. In that way, we will be helping every single constituent and every single citizen of this one small province.

I also want to talk about the fact that there is some concern, as well, for the tariff structure. The concern about the tariff structure is what Nova Scotia Power will pay independent power producers. On December 4th, The Chronicle Herald had an article that suggested that Nova Scotia Power's tariff bid was too low and that the calculations showed that with the tariff structure being proposed, Nova Scotia Power would actually make more money than it currently does, if it were to lose all its customers to independent power producers. The low tariff could mean that projects would not be economically viable for independent power producers. That means we have to rely on the URB to get it right.

Now, again, just to echo a couple of my colleagues who have already spoken before me, the current government did try to beat the drum of breaking the monopoly of Nova Scotia Power, yet here we have Nova Scotia Power popping up everywhere. It's got its fingers in every piece of the pie, and now these independent producers are the ones who are going to be suffering from it. Here they are trying their hardest to get projects off the ground. I say, good for them. Keep it up. Keep going, and we're going to try to help you. We will be there to help you to push this through because these kinds of things, I'm hoping the public will notice and will actually do something about it to encourage the government to not let this happen.

The guaranteed rate of return for the shareholders of Nova Scotia Power is also still a huge concern for many Nova Scotians. I believe it's 9.25 per cent now, and it has been for a long time. In this day and age, that's a lot. Here they are, they're guaranteed this rate, and Nova Scotia Power keeps asking for higher and higher and higher rates, while our bills keep going up through the roof.

I'll tell you, Madam Speaker, when I lived in Toronto, I had a house that was similar in size, and we had long, cold winters. My bills there were so much lower than they are here. That's because we had hydroelectricity, and we weren't relying on fossil fuels and coal.

Some of us know that the reason why coal has gone up in price is because (Interruption) They went up 75 per cent over the last 25 years. That's because there are monopolies on coal. In the early years, coal was cheap, but then a few people bought up all of the different coal producers and the coal mines around the world, and the price went up 75 per cent. That's a lot, Madam Speaker. That's partly why our prices have gone up so high. Also, there are so many furnaces in Nova Scotia that also use oil.

[Page 7221]

I personally would prefer to see geothermal, I'd like to see solar; I'd like to see more wind. I also believe air to air source heat pumps are great, they use about 80 per cent of your energy and cut your costs way down, especially if you get your house insulated - first of all, you've got to get the house insulated.

I'd like to see the government trying to help our Nova Scotian people cut down on costs and help them pay for some of these things that will actually bring down their costs, keep some money out of the pockets of Nova Scotia Power, and also that will green our province and our country.

Now the other thing I wanted to talk about is that there is, in fact, this new petition, as I mentioned earlier, that is going around and already in 48 hours we have about 600 signatures. The young gentleman who started that is a young man named Patrick Yancey in Antigonish. He contacted me to tell me about this petition and I say kudos to him for starting it. He is a typical young Nova Scotian who really wants to try and do something legitimate to try and green up our province, get our emissions down, and try and give small producers a chance to get into the renewable energy.

The petition says: "To the Honourable Stephen McNeil and the other Honourable Members of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia: It has come to our attention . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, it is unparliamentary to mention the names of people.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.

MS. ZANN « » : Sorry, I was reading it so I forgot but I'll start again: To the honourable Premier and other honourable members of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia:

"It has come to our attention, as concerned citizens of Nova Scotia, that the Nova Scotia government is considering changes that would further complicate, undervalue and discourage the use of solar power in Nova Scotia, specifically by restricting the sizes of solar installations, and by reducing the rate that Nova Scotia Power pays to solar power producers.
In light of the reality of climate change, we have both a moral and practical imperative to acknowledge that the full long-term benefits of solar power far outweigh any short-term inconvenience to Nova Scotia Power Incorporated, its parent company Emera ($319 million in profit in 2014), or their private shareholders, and we must do everything in our power to accelerate the installation of solar power generation systems in Nova Scotia.

[Page 7222]

Our responsibility to future generations compels us to move rapidly towards eliminating restrictions on solar installations and incentivizing them with a feed-in tariff (where solar users may sell power back to the grid at a price significantly higher than they pay for power from the grid). This model has enjoyed massive success in countries that are leading the green energy transition, such as Germany. For the reputation of our province, the legacy of this government, and for all of our futures, we urge a reversal of the aforementioned changes currently under consideration and offer our strong encouragement and support for positive changes to solar energy policy in Nova Scotia."

That's the petition going around, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Would the honourable member like to table that document that you just read?

MS. ZANN « » : Yes. And to conclude, Madam Speaker, while this bill has been dubbed a plan, I would say there actually seemed to be more questions than answers. Thank you.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, I did have the opportunity to speak to this bill in second reading so I probably won't be taking a whole lot of time during third reading but I thought I would take the opportunity to bring forward a couple of things that we have heard here tonight. One really revolves around the issue of Bill No. 141 and it not being everything that the Liberal Party has talked about.

I think it was a good stab at what they were trying to accomplish, yet I do believe that it does miss the mark in what the Liberal Party had talked about of rate stability and the issue of trying to save Nova Scotians some hard-earned money, to try to find a way to put money back in the pockets of Nova Scotians so that they can use it more appropriately.

We know energy rates are high in Nova Scotia. We've been hearing about high energy rates for some time. Why is it high in Nova Scotia? Well it does revolve a little bit around the generation that we do have, but it does have a lot to do with the inefficiency of the delivery systems, so, the wires, the transformers, the generating systems itself, that it is an old system, one that does need a fair amount of upgrades, and the upgrades themselves ended up being caught up in being paid for by the ratepayers.

[Page 7223]

As MLAs we continue to hear, or will continue to hear from Nova Scotians, for the foreseeable future, on not being able to pay their bills. I don't think a week goes by that somebody hasn't come to our constituency offices, mine or others that I have heard of, who are having trouble making ends meet, and of course are having tremendous trouble trying to pay for their Nova Scotia power bill, and quite honestly Madam Speaker, it is the issue of scale when these constituents fall into this problem.

Not only do we hear about a few hundred dollars of bills, we hear of thousands of dollars of bills, and as the member for Pictou West talked about earlier in her speech - thank you to the Resolve Team. Thank you to Nova Scotia Power for being patient, but there does come a time where the business of Nova Scotia Power ends up having to get those dollars from that individual or disconnect their service.

I know there is sort of an unwritten rule that Nova Scotia Power won't be shutting the power off when it gets cold. We saw our first snow here today as we had the opportunity to drive into Halifax. I know as I hit Hubbards and into Tantallon that I did see a little bit of snow hitting the ground and it kept getting more as I hit here. Pretty soon all the province will be covered in a little bit of snow, maybe not the banana belt of Yarmouth County, but in most parts of the province there will be snow and cold, and it will make it very difficult for these constituents to survive. If you don't have heat in your house, if you don't have electricity in your house, I can tell you it's going to be a very, very cold winter, regardless of what kind of winter we do have.

Anything that we can do as legislators to come up with a plan that helps these individuals, I think is a valued one. Now, there are two ways of doing that: there is legislation that would come in to this Legislature by Opposition Parties or by government. We know the way it works in this House, that it's always government bills that get passed and Opposition bills that get ignored, but, in this particular case, we have the opportunity to look at the Liberal bill to see if it is truly going to help Nova Scotians.

The unfortunate part with a piece of legislation like this and by presentations by ministers, we have to trust them on it and my trust in these things continues to wane over the years, where we don't quite - well maybe not for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, because he's doing a great job, because we all need paving and of course the New Boston Road for my good friend from Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, but when it comes to this particular issue there have been a number of ministers talking about the electricity system, the previous Minister of Energy, the current Minister of Energy, the previous, previous Minister of Energy from the NDP, and even the Minister of Energy from our government, such a long time ago now.

It's a difficult issue to truly encapsulate in one piece of legislation and I quite honestly don't think that this one really does it. I really don't like the way the COMFIT program was shut down because it did provide an opportunity for small power producers to truly access the grid. There have been a number of expansions in my constituency, whether it's Little River Harbour, whether it's in Doctors Cove. They had a tremendous opportunity on that. It isn't the cheapest electricity available to them; maybe over time there will be a way to do that.

[Page 7224]

I didn't like the way the efficiency program was transferred directly to the hands of ratepayers. Quite honestly I don't think the Premier truly thought that one through, when he talked about it during the election when he said no, Nova Scotia Power will be paying for the efficiency programs and what happens in the end is, well, they got transferred to ratepayers, quite directly on their power bills.

Really what is before us is the issue of rate stability. Is this truly rate stability when Nova Scotia Power has a set amount of time to truly look at what it's going to hold its rate to over a three-year-period and have an opportunity to apply for that increase now? They will have an opportunity to recoup the issue of fuel adjustments at the end of it, so it might be stable for a three-year-period, after having one big jump before it, but it will have a tremendous jump after it because a number of other things are not being addressed within this bill.

The other thing I talked about quite a bit last week, when I spoke in second reading on this, is the issue of the performance-based regulations that will go along with this. We spoke a lot about this after post-tropical storm Arthur, when a number of our communities were without power for a number of weeks. I know the member for Kings North, his communities were completely shut down because of the wind shear that knocked down all these trees and power poles. Some of it, yes, had to do with the storm itself, but a lot of it had to do with a lack of maintenance on those systems because there's no performance that truly is imposed upon Nova Scotia Power on what kind of cutting program it should have, what kind of equipment it should be using, what kind of a performance that we should expect if we're out of power, what is our expectation to have power turned on? We know our lives are turned upside down when the power goes out. I hate to admit it, but it truly does.

When the power goes out we obviously can't watch television. We can't listen to our radios unless we have battery-operated ones. Forget about the computer systems and our iPads and all of that stuff that we rely on now, all of those things are basically shut down on us. And I can tell you the thing that I miss the most is running water. For those of us who live in the country and don't access a municipal water system, our water shuts off. You have to go and bucket it to your well and try to flush your toilet and maybe, luckily, have some drinking water when you're there, some water to cook. It's far more difficult than here in the city, at least for a period of time, while the reservoirs are full.

So the performance issue is extremely important to us to understand what those performance-based regulations are. What are we really going to be holding Nova Scotia Power to? I guess we'll have to reserve our thoughts on that until we actually see them.

[Page 7225]

The secondary part to this one is the issue of the guaranteed profits versus the fine for not providing us with that performance. We know Nova Scotia Power has enjoyed a return on investment that is extremely good. I think last year's return on investment for the profits of Nova Scotia Power were like $131 million. Wouldn't it be better for us as consumers to see $131 million reinvested back into the system in the way of rate changes, to change the rate lower, to put that back into the pockets of Nova Scotians, or to see $131 million of infrastructure upgrade to our power system to make sure that these things don't happen anymore. So the balance on that is the problem of the fine that goes with it, the one I made fun of a little bit last time when I had a chance to speak - $1 million per year.

If Nova Scotia Power does not adhere to the performance-based regulations that are going to be set forward by the Utility and Review Board, they could be fined up to $1 million a year. Well they made $131 million last year so what's $1 million truly going to mean to them? It's not going to hurt a whole bunch, for a whole year, losing $1 million.

When we've looked at other systems across Canada, the Alberta model is the one I think is a lot larger on this one, where it's $1 million a day. So if you are not meeting those performances, you are being fined $1 million a day. We need to have legislation that has teeth, ones that will truly, for lack of a better word, "punish" Nova Scotia Power for not meeting up to its obligation to our constituents, to Nova Scotians, and to Canadians.

Those are the notes that I have, that I've written down. I know I have a whole bunch of other ones that I did want to bring forward, but I do have to leave you with something - if I remember what I did with it; I think I lost it. It really revolves around what power has become. Power, I think, is everything to us. If we look around the world, if we fly in an airplane and we see the millions and billions and trillions of lights that light up our lives these days, we are responsible, I think, for the greenhouse gas emissions that are created by our power system by having too much lighting around us. Compared to, let's say, 50 or 40 or 30 or 20 years ago, there's a tremendous drain on the power system today such that we're going to have trouble creating the electricity that we need to do the most basic things.

I guess we can thank Thomas Edison for the lightbulb, where this whole story began, and it reminds me of a bit of joke - What Thomas Edison's mother might have said to her son: "Of course, Thomas, I'm proud that you invented the electric lightbulb, but now turn it off and go to bed." Thank you.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : I, like the rest of my caucus members, won't be spending a lot of time on this bill. I just know that in the last general election, under the Liberals' election platform, it said that "it's time to stand up Nova Scotia Power."

[Page 7226]

To quote directly from the platform: "We will break Nova Scotia Power's monopoly and put Nova Scotia first." Madam Speaker, I live in Cape Breton, and when I get my power bill at the end of every month, it comes from a place called Nova Scotia Power. I cannot buy power from any other power generating company in the province

HON. LEO GLAVINE » : Come to Berwick.

MR. ORRELL « » : I just heard the Minister of Health and Wellness say "come to Berwick." But I think Berwick's power bill comes from Nova Scotia Power.

MR. GLAVINE « » : No.

AN HON. MEMBER: They have their own.

MR. ORRELL « » : They have their own? Okay, then I take it back. But I don't think that happened since 2013. (Interruptions) I believe that's old. That's new. That's not new.

It says here that the power monopoly of Nova Scotia Power is hurting households and businesses alike. In the same document it says enough is enough, you deserve a government that will stand up to Nova Scotia Power and fight for fairness and choice by looking at long-term solutions to benefit you, the power user.

Madam Speaker, I know we had a lot of talk in this building about breaking Nova Scotia Power's monopoly and lowering power rates. I know as a ratepayer in the Province of Nova Scotia, my rates haven't gone down probably since I've been paying power rates and owning my own home.

But I did see over the last number of years, the efficiency tax that was put on Nova Scotia Power. The Liberal Government was going to turn around and take that off of your power bill and make Nova Scotia Power pay that efficiency tax - I haven't seen proof that that has happened.

The scary part is that efficiency tax helped low-income earners in this province. I know that the few dollars they took from my power bill to help my next door neighbour who may not have been able to do the efficiency upgrades at their household to allow them to burn less power - my impression is the way to save money is to have to generate less power. To allow those people not to have to make a choice between paying their power bill and their grocery bill or their medical bills, or paying for their prescriptions was a big thing. But I don't think I've seen my power rate go down where that has been eliminated.

In saying that, we look at the fact that that's not done. That's one promise that didn't happen. Of course, we're only two years and a little bit into their mandate, so we're hoping that that might be started by the next election, and hopefully completed for the people of Nova Scotia. I don't sit here and wait for that to happen, because I don't see any indication of it happening yet.

[Page 7227]

As I said, I come from Cape Breton, and I can't buy power from any other company. My impression is that Nova Scotia Power owns the transmission lines. Why would Nova Scotia Power, as a competing company to any other company that could produce power, let them send their power over their transmission lines and undercut them? I can't see how that can happen. I'll be corrected if it can, and I'll be the first to thank them if it does happen, because that would only be good for the people of the Province of Nova Scotia - ratepayers and people who can't afford to pay the big.

If you want to take the cost of electricity generation down, we have an abundance of coal here in Nova Scotia, especially in Cape Breton. We have a sustainability centre for energy in the Verschuren Centre at Cape Breton University. Why can't we invest in that centre to figure out how to burn coal efficiently and cleaner? It solves all the problems in one: we burn coal cheaper, we burn Cape Breton coal, we put Cape Bretoners to work, they pay taxes. We save money on our power generation, and we take that money off our power bills. We put the Verschuren Centre on the map. We sell that technology to other places all over the world. Everybody wins. We get to develop a natural resource that could put royalties in the pockets of the Province of Nova Scotia, and we win again.

Madam Speaker, I think to save money for people and for Nova Scotia Power and for the Province of Nova Scotia, we should look at these new ways. We banned onshore gas development, fracking; we banned even looking at the fact that that could happen. Natural gas is a cheaper form of energy. That combined with coal instead of oil could really produce energy a lot cheaper. But we're not even looking at that.

So are we trying to save the taxpayers of Nova Scotia money? Are we trying to make Nova Scotia Power more efficient? I'm sure Nova Scotia Power would think that was great - cheaper forms of fuel, generate power at a freer rate - people would maybe even use a little bit more, which would then increase their profits, and it wouldn't have to go out of the pockets of the ratepayers or the taxpayers of Nova Scotia.

The other concern I have is that, as I said, the bill doesn't live up to any of the promises that the government put forward in their election platform. They said that with these new standards they would put a fine and a penalty of $1 million per year if they don't live up to certain production standards.

I know $1 million sounds like a lot. In my household, in my vocabulary, and in my neighbourhood $1 million is a lot of money. I hear that Nova Scotia Power, in their profits that's not a great deal of money, but I'm sure that would be enough to make a person stand up and look at it.

[Page 7228]

Last year, Madam Speaker, we had a bunch of major storms that happened early in the year - February, I think, was the first one. If Nova Scotia Power didn't live up to their standards in the first year, in the first month or two, and they were fined that $1 million, what would be the incentive for them to do any better more so into the year?

I know if I got a fine for speeding and that was the only one I was going to get for the year, I could get to Halifax a lot quicker. The member for Pictou Centre, who taught driving school, is cringing in his seat there, but that's what people look at. If there are no consequences for what you do, why would you worry so much about it?

If that's only 1 per cent of their profits, Madam Speaker, I'd be concerned that that would not be an incentive to do better. I know the people who work at Nova Scotia Power are doing their best to make sure that that stuff doesn't happen. I see those people out there in snowstorms reconnecting power and they're gone from their family for days and I'm sure they don't want to do that either. Let's help Nova Scotia Power make sure the lights stay on and allow them to buy cheaper forms of fuel.

We've introduced windmills in the area and our power rates went up because of the cost of that technology. Why can't we look at using the coal that we have, pay off that coal generating station and the money we've been paying to pay that off, now develop further new energy systems? Use that money so that rates don't have to go up instead of adding it in all at once. We'll get to where we've got to go; it just might take a little longer to get there.

This bill allows Nova Scotia Power one rate increase in 2016, and they're saying it freezes the power rates for the next three years. Now, if they run a deficit up over those three years Madam Speaker, there's nothing there that says they can't raise the power rates up enough in 2019 to recoup those costs. Hopefully, we're going to be around for those three years and then longer, and if our power rates are going to go up that significantly after the fact, what was the sense in it?

It doesn't serve the ratepayers of the province - it's no good to have that happen. They are going to put the URB in charge of this so-called rate increase and who gets the blame if something is to happen and they have to raise their power rates? They'll blame the good people of the URB. So, they're going to require Nova Scotia Power to average their fuel costs over the three years and not allow them to have any fuel adjustments in that period. That sounds good right now, when the price of oil is low and we rely on oil to generate some of our power, but if that price of oil goes back up again, it's going to be a lot more expensive after they take that cap off, or the so-called cap off.

You know Madam Speaker, one other section that I have heard concerns about and that bothers me is the net metering section of the bill - Section 23(4)(b). It reduces the abilities of companies to go from a one megawatt generator to a 20 kilowatt generator, a 50-fold decrease, which limits the ability of businesses, municipalities, universities and non-profit groups to generate power cheaper and they probably wouldn't adopt the renewable projects that would allow them to decrease their energy cost and usage. The 20 per cent of the energy would be all they could produce, so those costs will go up.

[Page 7229]

So Madam Speaker, with those few words I'm going to sit and let a few other people have their say, but as far as the promises that the Liberals made in their election platform, as far as a decrease in the cost of power in the Province of Nova Scotia, they're not doing anything to help Nova Scotia Power in this goal, because if they did they'd look further at new ways to develop energy, cheaply. They would use the money that they'd save from burning the coal that we can mine here in our province, cleaner, by using the sustainability centre at the Cape Breton University to develop that. They would look at other ways to develop natural gas and we would be able to generate power cheaper and then we could start to play some of the new ideas that they have, and still continue to work forward as a province, thank you.

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

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to get up and have to speak on this bill, because this bill will do nothing to help the people of the Province of Nova Scotia when it comes to power rates. It's with interest that I listen to all my colleagues talk about this particular bill and what it will do, and what it won't do, and you know I find myself kind of torn between some of the things that are being said.

I believe that renewable energy is a very important part of the energy plan for the Province of Nova Scotia and I applaud the initiatives that have been taken to make that happen, but the reality is, if you listen to the Department of Energy, and if you listen to Nova Scotia Power, coal-fired generation is going to be a part of producing power in this province for at least 20 years. My constituents feel that if the government says it's going to be there for 20 years it's probably a 40-year project, that there will be, indeed, coal needing to be burnt. Currently, the supplier of power in Nova Scotia brings their coal in from overseas. Madam Speaker, what's wrong with that picture?

We have coal here in the Province of Nova Scotia, an abundance of coal that could be used in coal-fired generation in our province. Currently we see a private company investing their own money in the Donkin Mine and that resource there could provide Nova Scotia Power with the coal they require over the next 20 years. In another life I actually worked in the lab that did the testing on the coal that came out of the Donkin Mine and the qualities of that coal as far as a good-quality thermo-coal.

We have an opportunity now with this government and the federal government of the same political stripe in place. The last time we saw this federal government of this particular persuasion in place they actually sat and closed the mines in Cape Breton. The two current MPs from Nova Scotia, from Cape Breton Island, were at the table when they closed the mines in Cape Breton. Well now they have an opportunity to be at the table to encourage that mine to be used by Nova Scotia Power as a source of fuel supply. We have seen Nova Scotia Power year after year come in short on their estimate of what they were going to spend for fuel supply.

[Page 7230]

Currently, they are buying coal on an open market, using U.S. dollars, which puts us in Nova Scotia at a disadvantage. That disadvantage is quite simple, the very fact that it's a 75-cent dollar that we have in Canada versus the money of the U.S. currency that they're using to buy coal, right off the bat, coal is more expensive to bring to Nova Scotia. Indeed, if you were buying Nova Scotia coal using Canadian dollars the costs would be cheaper and more beneficial for Nova Scotians.

The transportation costs, if you were taking coal and moving it from Donkin to Lingan, or Donkin to Port Hastings, or Donkin to Trenton would be cheaper than bringing it overseas by ship. If we'd started to move coal like that it might help us solve the issue of the rail line and the troubles that we have trying to keep the St. Peter's Junction open from Port Hawkesbury to Sydney and that, in itself, is a very important piece of infrastructure. I don't know how many people understand or realize, but there are about 100 good-paying jobs that had relied on the raw materials for their factories to come in by those means, which would be by train and it made it cheaper and more effective for them.

So when we're looking at where we are and what Nova Scotia Power is doing and everybody wanting to see our rates stabilized, it is a made-in-Nova Scotia solution, it is Nova Scotian coal that can be used to fire Nova Scotia generating plants to help heat and light Nova Scotian homes which are operated on and used by Nova Scotians to make this happen. So if the government is serious about making a difference in electrical rates in the Province of Nova Scotia, they should be looking at making sure that the two entities sit down and hash out a deal, a deal that would see Cape Breton coal, Nova Scotian coal, being used right across this province for coal-fired generation.

Madam Speaker, if there's anybody in the Province of Nova Scotia who needs a good-news story, it's probably Nova Scotia Power because the people who call our office, in our constituency of Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, very rarely do they have anything good to say about Nova Scotia Power. They are worried about the rates, and they are worried about their power being cut off. We're very fortunate because we have some good liaisons we work with, within the Nova Scotia Power operation, who help us find solutions for individuals, but what we really need is a bigger solution, a solution that would make coal-fired generation use Nova Scotia coal.

I know there are a number of people in here, and I know that our Acting Minister of Environment just came back from Paris, where he was over talking about what's going on in the world and what we need to do. But again, the Nova Scotia reality is that we're going to be burning coal for the next 20 years.

[Page 7231]

Madam Speaker, there are a number of people all around this Chamber, around this province, who are tired of me standing up and talking about using Cape Breton coal. I know I heard the member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River going on about how coal-fired generation is bad. And she could be correct. But the reality is it's going to be used, so why would we use coal from overseas? Why wouldn't we use Nova Scotia coal? Why wouldn't we use Cape Breton coal? Tell me that. Why would we have a member of this House say that we shouldn't be doing that, that we should be supporting some other economy in some other part of the world? I don't understand that, and that person wants to lead the Party. She wants to form a government, and she wants to lead the economy of Nova Scotia. Shame on her. Shame on her.

Madam Speaker, this bill is not perfect, and we've had a number of them coming from this government. But right now, what we need to do is use and make a Nova Scotia solution so that the members of this House and the government of this province are actually in control of the actions going on with the generation of power in our province and not relying on people from other countries, who are buying their fuel in American dollars and costing the taxpayers and the ratepayers of Nova Scotia Power more money. It's a made-in-Nova Scotia solution. It's called Donkin coal and it will make a difference to the people of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia.

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

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : I just want to say a few words on this bill because I do get a number of calls from people who are in arrears with respect to power bills and really don't know what to do.

I know I was very fortunate. I built my first home about five years ago, and I was lucky enough to be able to put geothermal energy in. That has proven very good for me. I know it's expensive up front, but they say it's going to pay for itself in seven to 10 years, so that's one of the reasons I did it.

But a lot of people just cannot afford to do that. They have to do whatever is presented to them at this time. Electricity is extremely high for them. Again, I get a number of calls from people who are in arrears, and I end up calling Nova Scotia Power. As my colleague, the member for Pictou West said, they are very good, actually, at working with us to try to help people through that hump. However, the bill is not paid. They just try to come up with a solution whereby the arrears can be paid and still handle what bills are still coming out.

I see it as our mandate as legislators to look after the people within our province, to try to see that they have a way of life that is bearable in this province. There are a lot of people who find life unbearable because of the cost of living, and energy is a huge cost.

[Page 7232]

I don't understand all of the implications of what it costs to put energy in the province and so on. All I know is that there seems to be enormous profit by Nova Scotia Power, and there are a lot of people who are not surviving well. Surely there has to be some kind of compromise whereby they're going to make a good living, because they are providing a service, Nova Scotia Power, but at the same time to find something whereby the people of Nova Scotia can survive.

I guess I see this body of folks here as the ones who need to set the guidelines for that. I'm hoping that some kind of compromise can be found whereby the people are not going under because of the energy costs and still provide the company with whatever they need, as far as a profit is concerned. I know that's why they are in business; there's no question about that. I don't want to argue that.

I do want to argue the point that a lot of people cannot handle it. If we allow this to continue, there are going to be more and more people who will not be able to handle it. I hope we can find a compromise somehow and do what we can to help the people of Nova Scotia have a bearable way of life here.

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

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Madam Speaker, I want to take a few minutes, and although a lot of things you are hearing are somewhat repetitive, it's probably worthwhile repeating again. It's nice to have a chance to talk on Bill No. 141, the Electricity Plan Implementation (2015) Act.

Throughout the election in 2013, on many doorsteps, we heard a great deal from the present government about reining in Nova Scotia Power, and that Nova Scotians would see a reduction in the price of their electricity. That really resonated with residents of Nova Scotia, because it's a pretty powerful statement, and they actually came to believe that this would happen. For reasons yet to be explained, Nova Scotians in detail, when they look at this particular plan - I believe it's doomed for failure, because I don't think we're going to see any great relief in the province with this type of legislation.

People coming to the constituency office in my area have two things foremost on their minds. One is jobs, and of course one is the price of electricity. This government came to power promising lower electricity bills, and to date Nova Scotians are still waiting for lower bills. Bill No. 141 doesn't even lower electricity rates. All it does is provide Nova Scotians with a four- to five-year projection on how much more they will be paying for electricity. The legislation also forces Nova Scotia Power to develop a fuel stability plan. However, if oil prices suddenly turn around and go up, there are mechanisms in place in this legislation to allow Nova Scotia Power to recoup those costs.

[Page 7233]

During Law Amendments Committee, I can recall one Nova Scotia company expressing concern about this legislation. In a nutshell, what they were saying is that this legislation, if passed, will mean a 50-fold decrease in the size of certain projects, while limiting the company's ability to generate power onsite and reducing the company's carbon footprint.

Madam Speaker, Bill No. 141 - despite the Liberals' attempt to show they are actually doing something concerning power rate increases, they are doing very little, and Nova Scotians are still suffering.

Again on the doorsteps in 2013, many residents were promised a rate relief. This is what Nova Scotians heard during the election: we'll get rid of guaranteed profits, and the efficiency fee will disappear. However, this bill doesn't contain those items. This bill doesn't freeze power rates. It gives the power company the ability to jack up the price of electricity.

Madam Speaker, as you heard earlier this evening, we have the highest power rates in the country. When you think of our constituents, it's really tough for Nova Scotia ratepayers to swallow.

As most MLAs will experience in their constituency offices, we have many residents coming in complaining about their power bills, unable to pay their power bills, asking for relief on their power bills. Imagine having the opportunity to look into a three-year window and have the ability to put the cost up now. The power company must be pleased with this legislation. Ratepayers will face higher costs, there is no question about it. The government allowed them to raise the general rate and freeze it and there is no solution for families on fixed incomes, low incomes, families that are struggling.

Families need rate relief. They have trouble meeting their bills. As I mentioned earlier, constituents continue to come into the office, some often going without power. Some with family members, some with young kids, with the threat of power being cut off mainly because the amount of income they have per month will not provide the benefit of paying all their bills.

Madam Speaker, a 9.25 per cent rate of return guaranteed - Nova Scotians think this is not fair to taxpayers. Electricity rates will continue to fund the profit of Nova Scotia Power; a $130 million profit. The government is able to issue a $1 million penalty, which we all know is less than 1 per cent. It sort of reminds me of the fines they give professional athletes for demeanors; just a slap on the wrist. In other jurisdictions like Alberta, the penalty is $1 million a day. It's nice to see that type of teeth in legislation - tougher legislation, tougher fines, and a more realistic picture.

Let's take efficiency away from the power bills. Right now they are moving from one line to another, buried in the Nova Scotia Power rates. It's the type of thing where we don't actually see it, but it's still there. Perhaps we'll be paying twice as much, paying interest on efficiency this year, next year, and the year after, paying for the next four years.

[Page 7234]

Again, back on the election campaign, all we heard was we're going to break the monopoly; we're going to introduce competition. We know this is not the case. The electricity future is not promising in this province. The rates will continue to climb. During the election we talked about our five-point electricity plan: get rid of the Nova Scotia excess profit, move to a performance-based system, take the pressure off the shoulders of the ratepayer. As it stands, Nova Scotia Power cannot lose. We should get rid of the fuel surcharge and place the responsibility on the shoulders of the power company.

With those few, short words, Madam Speaker, as most of our members have said, we just cannot support this legislation. There are too many flaws in this legislation. Thank you.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Madam Speaker, they are going to break the monopoly. What they're doing is breaking the hearts of all those Nova Scotians who believed what they said: we're going to make Nova Scotia Power pay the efficiency tax - $40 million right in their pockets, that's what we're going to do for the ratepayers. We're going to break the monopoly. Here we are, when faced with reality, they're still patting themselves on the back believing that they broke the monopoly. That is the sad irony of government in this province.

I got dressed this morning, Madam Speaker, and I put my Santa Claus tie on, and I tried to get myself in a good mood about what was happening, and look at the way that the day has unfolded. It's the sad reality, and it really sucks when reality meets fiction.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order. I quite think that's probably an unparliamentary term.

MR. HOUSTON « » : I'm going to try and think of another word to properly describe it. I don't know that one exists, Madam Speaker.

It's not good when reality comes into everyday life. I know the members opposite want to believe that they are fulfilling their energy platform, but they're really not, and Nova Scotians know they're not.

The cherry on top for me was the closure of second reading with the minister. The Minister of Energy said - he had some very unflattering commentary on some of the Opposition members, but he ended - the words that I'm going to remember, and I'm going to hope that his prediction comes true, I hope that it does. His track record's not the greatest, but I am clinging to the hope. I wish I had the day that he said this, Madam Speaker, but I don't have that to hand - it was last week at some point, I believe. He said this: right now, it is anticipated that rates will not go up in 2016.

[Page 7235]

That was his prediction on that day - that rates will not go up. Shortly we'll know, and whether they go up then or not, it would be nice if they don't. But he made other predictions earlier. When we talked about freezing rates, he said, whoa, what will happen when the freeze is over? The rates will go sky high. We'll wait and see what happens there.

But I think this piece of legislation, and I'll just call a spade a spade - it's a bad bill. Nova Scotians shouldn't be too surprised to see bad bills come forward from this government. Some of them have been so bad that they even had to pull them off before they pushed it all the way through. This is a bad piece of legislation that they seem determined to push through, and that's a shame. That's their prerogative - that's what happens when you have a majority. Sometimes they accept that it's so bad we have to pull it away and start over again, and sometimes they don't. This is one where they had the opportunity, where they could pull this back, because it's bad. It's a bad piece of legislation.

Nova Scotians need performance standards that they can rely on. They should have an expectation of the level of service they'll be getting. That will come from performance standards, and this is an attempt to do that. It might be what you call a backhanded attempt to do it. We'll see. The URB will set the standards, and we'll just see how that works.

There was a point in time, another piece of legislation that they did not feel compelled to pull back and instead thought, we'll push this one through, too. That was the fracking legislation, Madam Speaker. We remember that. What was the result of that? This time they're saying the standards will come. That time they said the definition will come because we all might remember that they actually weren't able till then to find what high volume fracturing was. Remarkably, they still cannot define it today. But why would you need to when you have a majority government? You can just jam these things through, right?

So we'll see what happens with the standards, and there's a good chance we'll be standing here saying, where are the standards? What are the standards they are going to be held to? And there will be silence, and then they'll put up the little shield and say, well, we don't know, because remember, we asked the URB to do that for us. It's laughable, is what it is.

The Minister of Energy has stood numerous times and said and shown how little his understanding of business is when he talked about the $1 million fine. He advanced the position that surely the shareholders would make sure that that $1 million fine is hit. We've talked at length about how that explains his understanding of how business works, and it's pretty shallow. There will be many cases - I can see many scenarios where it is cheaper to pay the $1 million - per year, mind you - fine. That could come and go in an instant, and when you're talking about a company of this magnitude, I don't believe that will be a big factor in the decisions they make. Maybe they'll have their own corporate conscience that will be more of a factor. The $1 million fine that the minister is hanging his hat on is not going to be a big factor at that boardroom table. It really is not. There will be many circumstances when it shouldn't be.

[Page 7236]

The concept of holding the utility to performance standards is a good concept. It's certainly one that I support. Do I believe that this government will be able to execute it? Not given their history, Madam Speaker, so we'll see. Sometimes we give them the benefit of the doubt and we regret it, because they haven't been good at actually accomplishing things. They make a lot of noise, they do a lot of finger-wagging, a lot of patting themselves on the back. Even tonight, one of the members was patting themselves on the back about the "break the monopoly." I would love to take that member through rural Nova Scotia and stand on doorsteps and ask people, do you feel the monopoly has been broken? There are only about 30 people in the province who think it has been broken, and they all happen to sit in this Chamber.

That's the style of government that we're seeing, so we will see how this plays out. The energy platform this government advanced had three prongs, three legs. Right now it has three broken legs, and it is unfortunate, given the state of our health care system, that it will now probably be on a waiting list for Lord knows how long to get some attention to that.

I would say, Madam Speaker, that this bill shines a light on this government, and it's not an attractive light. It's not a good bill. It's not a bill that I'll be supporting. With those few words, I would take my seat.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Madam Speaker, perhaps no one is more surprised tonight that my colleague has finished his remarks. I was expecting that he would be going on for a bit longer. (Applause) But I do enjoy his speeches, I have to say. (Interruptions) I am being assured by the member that I will hear him throughout the night.

I think I'll keep my remarks brief this evening. There is one point that I wanted to make, and it is on the enhanced net-metering, and the point I want to make is this: renewable energy is very important and hopefully in the future it will become more and more affordable for people.

One of the things that this legislation looked at is limiting the amount that projects or organizations could sell back to Nova Scotia Power, and I think about something as simple as solar power. When certain times of the year, mainly in the summer, if you have excess capacity you need to dump that power somewhere, and if it can be dumped back onto the grid then that gives you an opportunity to bring in some revenue, and of course that can be used to perhaps pay the incremental energy costs that you need in the wintertime to, say, heat your house if the solar power doesn't complete 100 per cent of that job.

[Page 7237]

So, the point I wanted to raise, Madam Speaker, was that I'm hopeful that the government is thinking about these things when they're making their policies, and if there's going to be a future of more affordable renewable energy these are the kinds of things that come into play and people evaluate these things based on cost. I know there are people out there who, philosophically, want to have renewable energy, but many people out there can't just afford to do as they wish - they have to do as they wish within the limits of their finances at home.

So, with that said, Madam Speaker, I will take my place. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 141. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye.

There has been a request for a recorded vote.

We will ring the bells until the Whips are satisfied.

[7:49 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Are the Whips satisfied?

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[7:56 p.m.]

YEASNAYS
Mr. ChurchillMr. MacLeod 
Ms. ReganMr. Dunn 
Mr. SamsonMr. Baillie 
Ms. WhalenMr. d'Entremont 
Mr. GlavineMr. Orrell 
Mr. DeloreyMs. MacFarlane 
Ms. CaseyMr. Houston 
Mr. MacLellanMr. MacMaster 
Mr. Horne 
Mr. Gordon Wilson 
Mr. Stroink 
Ms. Diab 

[Page 7238]

Mr. Kousoulis 
Mr. Farrell 
Mr. Maguire 
Ms. Miller 
Mr. Jessome 
Ms. Lohnes-Croft 
Ms. Eyking 
Mr. Irving 
Mr. Gough 
Ms. Treen 
Mr. Wilton 
Mr. Rankin 
Mr. David Wilson 
Ms. MacDonald 
Mr. Belliveau 
Ms. Mancini 
Mr. Mombourquette 

THE CLERK » : For, 29. Against, 8.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. My only regret is that I didn't get a chance to wrap up reading on the bill, but I was going to spread holiday cheer around to everyone, especially certain members, but another day.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise, to meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15th, at 12:01 a.m., until 11:59 p.m., which after the daily routine we will start second reading debate on Bill No. 148, the Public Services Sustainability (2015) Act.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15th, between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.

[Page 7239]

[The House rose at 8:01 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 7240]

Tabled December 11, 2015

RESOLUTION NO. 2969

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

Whereas Alex Pineo participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2970

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Brayden Simpson participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2971

[Page 7241]

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Brodie Phillips participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2972

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Bryce Robar participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2973

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

[Page 7242]

Whereas Chandler Bent participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2974

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Charles Gloumeau participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2975

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Colin Hiltz participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

[Page 7243]

RESOLUTION NO. 2976

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Corey Barkhouse participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2977

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Daniel MacLeod participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2978

[Page 7244]

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Darren Higgins participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2979

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Dawson Corey participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2980

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

[Page 7245]

Whereas Dylan Harris participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2981

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Ethan Golding participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2982

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Gavin Schofield participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

[Page 7246]

RESOLUTION NO. 2983

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Griffin Abbott participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2984

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Jacob Ogilvie participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2985

[Page 7247]

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas John VanLuxemborg participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2986

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Jordan Simon participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2987

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

[Page 7248]

Whereas Kelvin Upshaw participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2988

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Kier Frank Rodgers participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2989

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Logan Potter participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

[Page 7249]

RESOLUTION NO. 2990

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

Whereas Logan Scott participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2991

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

Whereas Lyam Curry participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2992

[Page 7250]

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

Whereas MacKenzie Schofield participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2993

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

Whereas Marcel Bolland participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2994

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

[Page 7251]

Whereas Max Thompson participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2995

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

Whereas Mehmet Zaloglu participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2996

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

Whereas Michael Ogilvie participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

[Page 7252]

RESOLUTION NO. 2997

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championship; and

Whereas Rhaden Pineo participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2998

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Royce Gloumeau participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 2999

[Page 7253]

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Sam Harman participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 3000

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Tyler Brett participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 3001

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

[Page 7254]

Whereas Zach Herber participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 3002

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Zack Kaizer participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 3003

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Zack Margeson participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

[Page 7255]

RESOLUTION NO. 3004

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans football team has won the 2015-16 Division 3 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship; and

Whereas Zack Martin participated as a player on this championship team; and

Whereas this championship was the result of hundreds of hours of practice and hard work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the team on this achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 3005

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas the Sydney Mines and District Little League hosted the provincial Mosquito A championship; and

Whereas not one member of the executive has kids playing little league anymore, but they are still volunteering their time to allow the kids to be active, make friends, and compete in a safe environment; and

Whereas the local team, the Filmore and Whitman Ramblers, are indeed blessed to have such a support group;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the executive and volunteers for the countless hours they spend organizing and making this tournament for the 11-and-under kids such a success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3006

[Page 7256]

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas three retired elders were honoured at the 175th Anniversary of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, in Sydney Mines; and

Whereas together Dr. D. Lorne MacLellan, James Selfridge, and Dr. Wallace MacKeigan have served the church for more than 130 years; and

Whereas that kind of commitment to a faith community is remarkable;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. D. Lorne MacLellan, James Selfridge, and Dr. Wallace MacKeigan for their wisdom and faithful leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 3007

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas an army of volunteers keeps the memory of two-time Boston Marathon winner Johnny Miles alive in Sydney Mines; and

Whereas a full year of planning, fundraising, and organization goes into the Johnny Miles Festival; and

Whereas hundreds of people enjoy the festival that has something for everyone;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank the executive and committee members of the 13th Annual Johnny Miles Festival for a job well done.

RESOLUTION NO. 3008

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas the Holy Family Parish in Sydney Mines is celebrating the 200th Anniversary of its first Mass; and

[Page 7257]

Whereas the first Mass was held in a barn in the town; and

Whereas the occasion was commemorated by parishioners, community members, community leaders, clergy, and descendants of those who attended the first Mass;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank the members of the Holy Family Parish for enriching the spiritual life of the community for two centuries.

RESOLUTION NO. 3009

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas four local minor baseball players Nicholas Sutherland, Max Billard, Lyndon Quirk, and Cody Neil will be taking part in the 2016 Goodwill Tour to Cuba; and

Whereas along with other Nova Scotia players, these four will take new and used baseball equipment and educational supplies to Cuba; and

Whereas 24 teams from across Canada will be part of the tour, playing and interacting with their Cuban counterparts;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank these young ambassadors of baseball in Nova Scotia for their generosity.

RESOLUTION NO. 3010

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas Father Albert Maroun made a very generous donation of $50,000 to the emergency department waiting room at the Northside General Hospital; and

Whereas the total makeover of the emergency department waiting room came in under budget; and

Whereas the Hospital Foundation was also able to purchase a bladder volume scanner;

[Page 7258]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Father Maroun for his tremendous kindness toward all those using the emergency department at Northside General.

RESOLUTION NO. 3011

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas along with a handful of cadets from across Canada, Chief Warrant Officer Dallas Symes of the 1917 Vimy Ridge Army Cadet Corps in Florence has taken part in a National Expedition and Sub Zero, both extensive wilderness survival events; and

Whereas Dallas has been awarded the Cadet Medal of Excellence; and

Whereas Dallas has a full-time job, volunteers at his local Legion and Community Policing Office, and still finds time to be a member of the Tri-Country Boxing Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly salute this remarkable 18-year-old young man for being a shining example for young Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 3012

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas in 1989, Trevor Quinlan gave a coat to a friend who didn't have one, and later that day, Trevor and his dad, Kevin, came up with the idea of Coats for Kids; and

Whereas they began with a go-kart in the Sydney Santa Claus Parade their first year, collecting 50 donated coats and giving them to children in the community who needed them; and

Whereas Kevin Quinlan passed away in 2005, but Trevor, who is now a nurse in Halifax, has kept the Coats for Kids campaign going to honour his dad and to help people stay warm during the coldest months of the year, travelling back to Cape Breton each year to take part in the campaign;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Trevor Quinlan, a young man who honours the memory of his father through his work for his community.

[Page 7259]

RESOLUTION NO. 3013

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on October 15, 2015, Katie and John Brophy welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Katie and John on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3014

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 5, 2015, Chandelle Madden welcomed her son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chandelle on this miraculous event in her life and wish her many more happy years as a parent.

[Page 7260]

RESOLUTION NO. 3015

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on October 31, 2015, Courtney Thorburn and Luke Waybret welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Courtney and Luke on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3016

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on October 16, 2015, Nikki and Jules LeBlanc welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Nikki and Jules on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

[Page 7261]

RESOLUTION NO. 3017

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 11, 2015, Katrena and Chad Pritchett welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Katrena and Chad on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3018

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

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on November 20, 2015, a very special occasion took place when Chester A. and Kay R. Muise celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chester and Kay on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years together.

RESOLUTION NO. 3019

[Page 7262]

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

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on November 6, 2015, a very special occasion took place when Roland E. and Diane M. Landry celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Roland and Diane on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years together.

RESOLUTION NO. 3020

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 12, 2015, Jasmine and Claude d'Entremont welcomed their twin daughters into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jasmine and Claude on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3021

[Page 7263]

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas Danielle Stewart's outstanding work in her community as a Middleton Pathfinder has been recognized by the Girl Guides of Canada in presenting her with the Canada Cord, the highest achievement in the movement; and

Whereas over the past 10 years Danielle has worked up through the ranks, first as a Spark, then as a Brownie, a Guide, a Pathfinder, and now a Ranger; and

Whereas Danielle's hard work and dedication to service both locally and internationally have been recognized and rewarded deservingly;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing and congratulating Danielle Stewart on her Canada Cord and join me in wishing her continued success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3022

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas Middleton resident Sarah Weston has been awarded the Canada Cord, the highest honour in Girl Guides of Canada; and

Whereas for 11 years Sarah Weston has been a very active participant in the Middleton Guide movement, first as a Spark, then as a Brownie, a Guide, a Pathfinder, and now a Ranger; and

Whereas as a Pathfinder, Sarah's outstanding commitment to her community, the environment and other Guiders has earned her a Canada Cord, the highest achievement possible in the Guide movement;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Sara Weston on her outstanding achievement and join me in wishing her continued success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 3023

[Page 7264]

By: Hon. Kevin Murphy » (The Speaker)

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

Whereas Richard Keating, a native of Halifax, has made his home in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Richard has overcome a physical disability and established a long and successful career as a professional barber serving the people of the Eastern Shore from his shop in Porters Lake since 1976; and

Whereas Richard has set a fine example of the human spirit and dedication necessary to succeed in life and business;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in saluting Richard Keating for his long service to the people of the Eastern Shore and his ability to lead by example.

RESOLUTION NO. 3024

By: Hon. Diana Whalen « » (Justice)

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

Whereas in September 2015, the Mortgage Brokers Association of Atlantic Canada organized its inaugural conference and trade show in Halifax, attracting 150 delegates from across the country; and

Whereas the association's first President, Janet McKeough of Success Mortgages in Halifax, was instrumental in organizing this event, Catch the Wave 2015, which provided an opportunity for members to come together for professional development to keep pace with ongoing changes in the mortgage industry; and

Whereas the conference included industry speakers, networking events, and a keynote address by Pete Luckett on the theme of embracing change;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join me in congratulating Janet McKeough and her colleagues for their tremendous leadership in the mortgage broker industry, which contributes $70 billion annually to the Canadian economy.

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 7265]

Tabled December 14, 2015

RESOLUTION NO. 3025

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Myra Ritchie of Yarmouth owns and operates a successful restaurant, Mern's Family Dinner; and

Whereas she and her team of volunteers annually organize such events as a Summer Princess Tea and the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony; and

Whereas Myra Ritchie, throughout the year, generously assists those in need;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Myra Ritchie on the success of her business and thank her for her continuing contribution to the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3026

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Arnold Robert (Bob) Garron, a Korean War veteran, has received the palm leaf and plaque, the highest honour given by the Royal Canadian Legion in recognition of many years of meritorious service; and

Whereas Bob Garron spearheaded a fundraising drive that allowed the Legion to purchase a Veterans Place van, and has been active in numerous other volunteer activities; and

Whereas he was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bob Garron on this latest award and thank him for his many years of selfless service to his community and his country.

RESOLUTION NO. 3027

[Page 7266]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas 81-year-old Myrtle Deveau has been Sacristan at Saint Ambrose Cathedral of Yarmouth; and

Whereas she is a Life Member of the Catholic Women's League; and

Whereas she is also an altar server and Eucharistic minister;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Myrtle Deveau for her tireless dedication and devotion to her Church.

RESOLUTION NO. 3028

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School teacher Tammy Waldron and her Grade 12 English class are participating in the national Spread the Net program; and

Whereas they are fundraising to purchase mosquito nets for shipment to Africa; and

Whereas malaria kills fifty African children every hour;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Waldron and her students on taking the initiative to pursue this humanitarian project and wish them every success in their fundraising.

RESOLUTION NO. 3029

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Kennedy LeBlanc of Yarmouth has been awarded the first $1,500 nursing scholarship; and

[Page 7267]

Whereas this scholarship is endowed by Doctors Rajender and Asha Parkash; and

Whereas Kennedy intends to pursue her nursing career and settle permanently in Yarmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kennedy LeBlanc and wish her much success in her nursing career.

RESOLUTION NO. 3030

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas broadcasters Chris Perry and Ray Zinck of Yarmouth have retired from radio CJLS after a combined 93 years of broadcasting; and

Whereas these co-owners of Radio CJLS Limited have sold the station; and

Whereas the station has been bought by Acadia Broadcasting Limited of Saint John, N.B.;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chris Perry and Ray Zinck on their many years of success in the broadcasting business, and wish them many years of fruitful retirement.

RESOLUTION NO. 3031

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Yarmouth's school-based Memorial Club is celebrating its 30th year of existence; and

Whereas during those years the students of the Memorial Club have devoted many volunteer hours to doing good deeds for Canada's veterans; and

Whereas teacher Joe Bishara, the club's founder, has organized the students for many Memorial Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies;

[Page 7268]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Memorial Club on their 30th Anniversary, and thank them for their constant patriotic work on behalf of our veterans.

RESOLUTION NO. 3032

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Warren Parnell of Yarmouth has been a chef for 14 years, employed at the Villa; and

Whereas Warren's passion for good cuisine has made him a master chef; and

Whereas his excellence as a chef has put him very much in demand for catering activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Warren Parnell on his successful development as a chef, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3033

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas on September 15, 2015, Mr. Louis George Kapsalis, an Armdale resident for many years, celebrated his 100th birthday; and

Whereas family and friends honoured Mr. Kapsalis with a big birthday party in his home, which has for many years been the meeting place for succeeding generations; and

Whereas Mr. Kapsalis, originally from Greece, planted grape vines around his Armdale home, and it was beneath the canopy of grapes on his front veranda where I met to congratulate him on turning 100; he greeted me with cheer and charm, and it was great to see him dressed in a suit and tie and looking so well;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Kapsalis and family for his achievement on becoming a centenarian.

[Page 7269]

RESOLUTION NO. 3034

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Frances Griffiths has for many years supported the Fairview Legion, ensuring that veterans are remembered and cherished in the community and at the Legion; and

Whereas the Legion was proud to award her with the Associate 20-Year pin in recognition of her tireless support; and

Whereas in addition to her unwavering help to local veterans, Frances enjoys promoting democracy by lending her support during elections;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Griffiths for her outstanding community involvement, and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3035

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the first agricultural fair took place on May 21st, 1765, at Fort Edward, and is now recognized as the oldest and longest running agricultural fair in North America, the Hants County Exhibition celebrated 250 years in September; and

Whereas the Scotiabank Classic Heritage Beef Show was held during the second weekend of the exhibition and attracted as many as 200 entries of major beef breeds from as far away as Quebec, making it the largest cattle show across Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas organizers Dough Oman and the late Gary Dill, put a tremendous amount of time and effort into ensuring the show was the biggest and best beef show Nova Scotia has ever seen;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank all of the organizers, participants, sponsors and advertisers for making the Classic Heritage Beef Show such a huge success.

[Page 7270]

RESOLUTION NO. 3036

By: Mr. Gordon Wilson « » (Clare-Digby)

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

Whereas this Spring some 20 dance studios from across the province and from Prince Edward Island, competed at the Champions Dance Competition, in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Digby Dance Studio entered its students in this competition, bringing a total of 33 dancers to compete; and

Whereas not only did the Digby Dance Studio and its dancers return home with a number of individual and group medals, but for the first time the Digby Dance Studio also received the first overall medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Digby Dance Studio and its dancers, whose hard work and improvement allowed them to earn the overall first place ranking for the studio.

RESOLUTION NO. 3037

By: Mr. Gordon Wilson « » (Clare-Digby)

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

Whereas Ernie Muise, of Little Brook, has been elected the 62nd president of the Nova Scotia Gulf Association (NSGA); and

Whereas since retiring back home, Mr. Muise has been active at the local golf course and in the NSGA; and

Whereas Mr. Muise was on the board of the Clare Golf and Country Club for 12 years, he has been on the board of the NSGA since 2006 and he is also on the provincial council of Golf Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ernie Muise for being elected the 62nd president of the Nova Scotia Golf Association, and commend Mr. Muise's commitment to the sport of golf in Nova Scotia.

[Page 7271]

RESOLUTION NO. 3038

By: Mr. Gordon Wilson « » (Clare-Digby)

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

Whereas the Harbourview Inn is a 10-guest room inn, located in Smith's Cove, built over 150 years ago by a sea captain; and

Whereas the Harbourview Inn has been named to Expedia Insiders' Select Hotel list for 2015; and

Whereas the Expedia Insiders' Select Hotel list includes some of the best world-wide accommodations, including famous hotels and inns of New York and London, and considers such factors as superior services, exceptional guest experience, and value of money;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Vance Simpson and Darren Snair, the owners of the Harbourview Inn, and their staff for, providing quality service and being so welcoming to the visitors of the province.

RESOLUTION NO. 3039

By: Mr. Gordon Wilson « » (Clare-Digby)

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

Whereas Staff-Sergeant Rocky Calhoun recently retired from the RCMP and the Digby detachment; and

Whereas Staff-Sergeant Calhoun had served for 30 years in different communities before being transferred to Nova Scotia, where he served in both the Annapolis and Digby detachments; and

Whereas during Staff-Sergeant Calhoun's command of the Digby RCMP detachment, he exemplified the core values of RCMP;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Staff-Sergeant Rocky Calhoun for a job well-done, thank him for his service to the community, and wish him well in his retirement.

[Page 7272]

RESOLUTION NO. 3040

By: Mr. Gordon Wilson « » (Clare-Digby)

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

Whereas the St. Mary's Bay Academy hosted the Western Region Division 4 Championship on November 19, 2015, with five teams competing; and

Whereas the hosting team successfully defended their title for the sixth year in a row after winning the Regional Championship Banner; and

Whereas with the regional win, the Lady Stingrays advance to the provincial championships being hosted December 4-5 in Cheticamp by École NDA;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the St. Mary's Bay Academy senior Lady Stingrays and their coaches for winning the Western Region Division 4 Girls Volleyball Championship, and wish them all the best at the upcoming provincial championships.

RESOLUTION NO. 3041

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities", author Eda J, LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 28, 2015, Renée and John Malone welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Renée and John on this miraculous event in their lives, and wish them many more happy years as parents.

[Page 7273]

RESOLUTION NO. 3042

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas William (Bill) Mont is a long-time entrepreneur, history buff, and an indiscriminate collector; and

Whereas Mr. Mont has volunteered his time and energy to over 50 organizations and societies such as Friends of the Public Gardens, the Nova Scotia Museum, Clean Nova Scotia, Pier 21, Heritage Canada, and the SPCA, to name a few, and has a long-standing interest in heritage preservation; and

Whereas Mr. Mont is championing the replanting of the willow tree at the intersection of Robie and Quinpool Road;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Mr. Mont for the generous and honourable work he does and wish him the very best.

RESOLUTION NO. 3043

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester County has been looking for a way to give back to the community for their enormous support the Big Bucks fundraising campaign; and

Whereas the $25,000 from Big Brothers Big Sisters will be donated to sponsoring the children's room in the new Truro library, allowing all children and youth across this region a chance to discover, enjoy, and experience the joy of reading; and

Whereas over the past three years, the agency, through the Littles Bursary program and the Healthy Living Fund, has helped 50 financially disadvantaged youth from communities across Colchester County with activities ranging from piano and voice lessons to eye examinations, dental work, and counselling;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly thank Big Brothers Big Sisters for the excellent work they do to improve the lives of children and youth.

[Page 7274]

RESOLUTION NO. 3044

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas in 1700 Isaiah O'Hara built a ship in County Limerick, Ireland, and sailed it to Canso; and

Whereas eight generations later, Warren and Andrea Manthorne, from Onslow, Colchester North, carry on the tradition and for the last seven years have been building the Lena Blanche, named for Warren's mother; and

Whereas built in the style of a 1930s era schooner, its steamed and laminated oak ribs are fastened to its pine planks with over 8,000 black locust tree nails which Warren drilled and Andrea pounded and caulked with oakum;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the Manthornes for carrying on an art that sadly is becoming a dying one.

RESOLUTION NO. 3045

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas Sugar Moon Farm, owned and operated by Quita Gray and her husband, Scott Whitelaw, located in Earltown, Colchester North, has been awarded the Restaurant of the Year - Essence of Nova Scotia award; and

Whereas these awards give the Taste of Nova Scotia Program an opportunity to recognize some of the best culinary experiences in the industry; and

Whereas Sugar Moon Farm sources all of its products locally, providing a quality-driven menu based on maple syrup and personal old-fashioned service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sugar Moon Farm for their hard work, dedication, and pride in their products.

RESOLUTION NO. 3046

[Page 7275]

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas Alexis Wilson is a Grade 9 student at North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, Colchester North; and

Whereas Alexis is known for her involvement and active participation at school as a member of the soccer, basketball, and track and field teams, and as a participant in the regional science fair and provincial heritage fair; and

Whereas Alexis is also very active in her community, volunteering at Malagash Bible Camp as a cabin leader and kitchen worker, and sharing her beautiful singing voice at music nights and community events;

Therefore be it resolved that that Alexis Wilson be congratulated for her ability to take a positive approach and participate in events that benefit her school and her community, and for being named Student of the Month for January 2015 at North Colchester High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 3047

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Logan Bresowar is a member of New Waterford, and

Whereas Logan is also a member of the Glace Bay High School Panthers baseball team; and

Whereas the Glace Bay Panthers won the provincial banner with a 2-1 win over the Wolfville Horton Griffins;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Logan Bresowar and the rest of his team on a job well done.

RESOLUTION NO. 3048

[Page 7276]

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Kaine Drake is a resident of New Waterford, and

Whereas Kaine is also a member of the Glace Bay High School Panthers baseball team; and

Whereas the Glace Bay Panthers won the provincial banner with a 2-1 win over the Wolfville Horton Griffins;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Kaine Drake and the rest of his team on a job well done.

RESOLUTION NO. 3049

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Justin MacDougall is a resident of New Waterford, and

Whereas Justin is also a member of the Glace Bay High School Panthers baseball team; and

Whereas the Glace Bay Panthers won the provincial banner with a 2-1 win over the Wolfville Horton Griffins;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Justin MacDougall and the rest of his team on a job well done.

RESOLUTION NO. 3050

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Connor Campbell is a member of the Lingan community; and

Whereas Connor is also a member of the Glace Bay High School Panthers Baseball Team; and

[Page 7277]

Whereas the Glace Bay Panthers won the provincial banner with a 2-1 win over the Wolfville Horton Griffins; and

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Connor Campbell and the rest of his team on a job well done.

RESOLUTION NO. 3051

By: Mr. Iain Rankin « » (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas the First Nations Trophy and Alumni Cup are the National Championships for both U-18 and Under-15 field lacrosse, respectively, and the host city for these championships this year was Halifax, NS, where games took place at the Burnside Turf Fields and the CPA Turf Field from August 29th – 30th, 2015; and

Whereas each national championship is the culmination of the year's competition and promotes the Canadian Lacrosse Association's (CLA) core values through excellence in ethics, skills, fair play and organization, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and camaraderie among all participants; and

Whereas Chris Duplisea of Upper Tantallon was one of the youngest players on the U-18 team, performing at the highest level in this physically challenging sport;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Chris Duplisea and his team mates on their achievements and wish them all the best for the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3052

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award encourages young people to develop positive skills and habits while taking on new challenges and achieving success; and

Whereas to complete the requirements, participants must complete a number of activities under four program areas including community service, skill development, physical recreation, and adventurous journey; and

[Page 7278]

Whereas Emma Boudreau of Antigonish successfully completed all of the requirements for the Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award and Pin as an independent participant;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Emma Boudreau on receiving the Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award and Pin, and for achieving such a remarkable accomplishment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3053

By: Ms. Pam Eyking Wilson (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas Kendra Gould of Eskasoni was recently awarded the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award; and

Whereas this award is awarded to those who have made significant contribution to their community in Canada or abroad; and

Whereas Ms. Gould recently took part in the Live Different Build project in the Dominican Republic where she helped build a home for a family of eight;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Gould on her award and thank her for her ongoing dedication to her community and her ongoing enthusiasm for service.