The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House will resume on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD15-86

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Kevin Murphy

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

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



Second Session

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Science Olympics - Tri-County Reg. Comp.,
7508
Gov't. (N.S.): Position - Entrenchment,
7508
Refugee Effort: Drop-Off Ctr. (Horseshoe Lake Dr.),
7509
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Decision-Making Processes, Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse »
7509
Dill, Michael - Hockey Achievements,
7510
Paris Summit: N.S. Environ. Min. - Meeting Cancellations,
7510
Hillcrest Wesleyan Church: Haiti Trip - Fundraising,
7511
Gillis, Alex/Bitness - Startup Can. Award,
7511
Gov't. (N.S.) - Divisiveness,
7511
Duynisveld, Maria - Accomplishments,
7512
Wood, Eric & Rachelle: Christmas Dinner - Donations,
7512
Hamilton, Dianne - Star Women in Grocery Award,
7513
Hill, Elizabeth/Reader, Bill - Landscaping/Gardening,
7513
Millwood HS: Free the Children - Fundraising,
7514
Big Brothers Big Sisters (Col.): Work - Thank/Support,
7514
Parks, Hunter - S.H.A.I.D. Fundraising,
7515
Cdn. Lebanon Soc. - Christmas Dinner/Long-Term Serv. Awards,
7515
Maybee, Janet: After Shock - Hfx. Explosion Book,
7515
Enfield Vol. FD Extrication Team: Comp. - Congrats.,
7516
Sugar Moon Farm - Taste of N.S. Prestige Award,
7516
Antigonish MADD Chap. - Red Ribbon Campaign Launch,
7517
Calhoun, SSgt Rocky - Retirement,
7517
Skinner, Shelly - Soccer N.S. Vol. of Yr.,
7518
Sackville Christmas Lighting (8th Anl.),
7518
Chowdury, Sanjeev - Rio de Janeiro: Consul. Gen. - Congrats.,
7519
Stokes, Katelyn Laura - Lt.-Gov.'s Award,
7519
Consular Corps (N.S.) - Congrats.,
7519
Reflection of Time in the Legislature,
7520
Fresia, Isaac - Can. Games Young Artist of Excellence Award,
7520
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON BILLS AT 12:35 A.M
7521
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 1:00 A.M
7521
CW REPORTS
7521
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 1194, TIR - Bay Ferries: Vessel - Update,
7521
No. 1195, Tupper, Robert: Law Amendments Comm. - Attendance,
7523
No. 1196, Prem. - Fed. Gov't.: Universal Child Care Benefit - Effect,
7524
No. 1197, Fin.: Income Tax Revenues - Forecasts,
7525
No. 1198, Prem. - Farmers: Food Bank Donations - Tax Credit,
7526
No. 1199, Health & Wellness: Prov. Health Auth. Bylaws
- Consultation, Hon. C. d'Entremont »
7527
No. 2000, Fin. - Economic Update: Tax Revenues - Decline,
7528
No. 2001, Fin. - Revenues: Film Tax Credit Changes - Impact,
7529
No. 2002, TIR - Argyle/Lwr. Argyle: Repaving - Time Frame,
7530
No. 2003, Status of Women: Fiscal Plan Update - Consultation,
7531
No. 2004, Bus. - Women (15-24): Economic Boost - Lack Explain,
7532
No. 2005, TIR - Bridges: Safety - Ensure,
7533
No. 2006, SNS: Access N.S. - Retain,
7534
No. 2007, Bus: DSME Dept./Mgt. Team - Meetings,
7535
No. 2008, LAE - Lbr. Standards Office: 2 Retirements - Office Closure,
7536
No. 2009, Health & Wellness - Bad Faith Bargaining
7536
No. 2010, Health & Wellness: Home Care Workers - Consult,
7537
No. 2011, LAE: Lbr. Provision - Charter of Rights & Freedoms,
7538
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:]
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON BILLS AT 1:53 A.M
7539
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 1:47 P.M
7539
CW REPORTS
7539
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Dec. 18th at 12:03 a.m
7540
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3064, Three Churches of Mahone Bay Wine: Producers
- Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell »
7541
Res. 3065, Huggard, Dick: Atlantic Agric. Hall of Fame - Induction,
7541
Res. 3066, Corkum, Doug & Suzanne: Wine Ind. - Contribution
(25 Yrs.), Hon. K. Colwell « »
7542
Res. 3067, Preston, Tom - Stutz Fam.: Honour - Congrats.,
7542
Res. 3068, Rodda, Wendy/Selig, Howard/Flax Flour Ltd.:
Jamie Oliver Cookbook - Inclusion, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7543
Res. 3069, Peller, Andrew/Peller Estates - Anniv. (50th),
7543
Res. 3070, 4-H Can./Syngenta Can.: "Proud to Bee a 4-H'er" Init
- Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
7544
Res. 3071, Wynn, Megan - 4-H Awards,
7544
Res. 3072, Bishop, Patricia/Ebata, Duncan: Harvest Hand
- Development Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
7545
Res. 3073, Somebeachsomewhere/Schooner Stables: Harness Racing
Hall of Fame - Induction, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7545
Res. 3074, Ruiz Salvador, Chef Martin: Cdn. Culinary Championships
(02/16) - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
7546
Res. 3075, Benjamin Bridge/Nova 7: Cdn. Culinary Championships
(02/16) - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
7546
Res. 3076, L'Acadie Vineyards/Vintage Cuvée Rosé 2011
- Lt.-Gov's. Award, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7547
Res. 3077, Domaine de Grand Pré/Riesling Icewine 2013
- Lt.-Gov's. Award, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7547
Res. 3078, Gaspereau Vineyards/Riesling 2013 - Lt.-Gov's. Award,
7548
Res. 3079, Creaser, Stewart/Vassalo, Lorraine/Staff: Agric. Ind
- Contributions, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7549
Res. 3080, Stutz, Jurg & Hanspeter/Grand Pré Winery: Agric. Ind
- Contributions, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7549
Res. 3081, Gray, Quita/Whitelaw, Scott/Staff Sugar Moon Farm:
Agric. Ind. - Contributions, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7550
Res. 3082, Rafuse, Simon/Ramey, Tim/Staff Blomidon Estate Winery:
Agric. Ind. - Contributions, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7550
Res. 3083, Kalt, Dr. Wilhelmina: Agric. Ind. - Contributions,
7551
Res. 3084, Blatt, Dr. Suzanne: Agric. Ind. - Contributions,
7552
Res. 3085, Abbasi, Dr. Pervaiz: Agric. Ind. - Contributions,
7552
Res. 3086, Ells, Dr. Timothy: Agric. Ind. - Contributions,
7553
Res. 3087, Javorek, Dr. Steve: Agric. Ind. - Contributions,
7553
Res. 3088, Fan, Dr. Lihua: Agric. Ind. - Contributions,
7554
Res. 3089, Taylor, Liam/Staff LaHave Natural Farms: Agric. Ind
- Contributions, Hon. K. Colwell « »
7554

[Page 7507]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2015

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

12:01 A.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, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Page 7508]

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

Science Olympics - Tri-County Reg. Comp.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, if you are challenged to build a tower of sand as tall as possible using only sand and water, you may be a participant at the Science Olympics. This competition allows children to work on teams and solve three challenges. They do so using few materials, their knowledge, and their creativity.

Last May Grades 4, 5 and 6 Digby County students of the Tri-County Regional School Board participated at their local competition. The winners were the Grade 4 Science Sharks from Digby Elementary, the Grade 5 Toxic Sci-Canoes team from Weymouth Elementary, and the Grade 6 DNCS Science Wizards from Digby Neck Consolidated. The top three teams then proceeded to the Tri-County Regional competition, where two Digby elementary teams finished third.

I want to recognize the participation of all the students and to congratulate the teams that placed top three and went on to represent their schools at the county and then the regionals. Lastly, I would like to recognize the work of the organizers. They're such professionals who strive to make learning fun. Thank you.

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

Gov't. (N.S.): Position - Entrenchment

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, this government is entrenched in its position. This entrenchment continues to detach the government from Nova Scotians and hinders their ability to achieve, but compromise is necessary to find creative solutions going forward.

For example, Mr. Speaker, the Minister responsible for the Film and Television Production Incentive Fund continues to claim that the new fund is working, no matter how much evidence is produced to suggest otherwise. Our health care system is deteriorating, however when the Minister of Health and Wellness talks about our health care system, many members of this Legislature are left to wonder if he is talking about the same province that we live in.

Mr. Speaker, this government remains entrenched and the war with Nova Scotians wages on.

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

Refugee Effort: Drop-Off Ctr. (Horseshoe Lake Dr.)

[Page 7509]

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to update the House on our efforts to welcome more refugees to Nova Scotia. As you know the federal government is committed to settle 25,000 refugees by March, and Nova Scotia is ready to do its part.

On Saturday we opened a drop-off centre for donations to the refugee effort at 350 Horseshoe Lake Drive, located in the former Rona store. Two great companies, Armco Capital and Rank Inc. generously donated the space and Kent supplied some trollies and carts.

Mr. Speaker, the public response has been outstanding so far. Almost 2,000 people visited the centre in its first two days of operation, donating more than 1,500 bags of clothes, 200 pieces of furniture and 40 strollers. Yesterday Teddy Buddies for Courage, a group from Middleton also donated 2,300 teddy bears and Halifax Municipality encouraged the public to leave small donations at City Hall.

We're amazed but not surprised by the generosity of Nova Scotians. People in communities across the province are offering support. This holiday season let's extend the same generosity to our fellow Nova Scotians. Together we can build a stronger province. Thank you.

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

UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

- DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international legal agreement, which was ratified by Canada. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes that discrimination against person on the basis of disability is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person. Also, it recognizes considering that persons with disabilities should have the opportunity to be actively involved in decision-making processes about policies and programs, including those directly concerning . . .

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

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Considering that persons with disabilities should have the opportunity to be actively involved in decision-making processes about policies and programs, including those directly concerning them. The intent is to be involved in the decision-making process before it is made and not after, thank you.

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

[Page 7510]

DILL, MICHAEL - HOCKEY ACHIEVEMENTS

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, there is no dispute in these historic chambers about where the origin of the game of hockey began. It is a town I proudly represent - Windsor, Nova Scotia. Another talented and skating wizard from Windsor, Michael Dill, is currently a member of the Pictou County Weeks Crushers of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.

Michael was recently added to the Maritime Junior A Hockey League All-Star Team and traveled with the team to Cornwall, Ontario, where he played in the Eastern Canada Cup junior A tournament against the best junior players on all-star teams from the Quebec Junior, Central Ontario, Ontario and Northern Ontario junior hockey leagues.

Michael, 18 years of age, is presently the second leading scorer of the Weeks Crushers having scored 17 goals and had 15 assists in 28 games played. He is the son of Danny Dill and Carol Dill, and the grandson of the famous pumpkin grower and hockey historian, the late Howard Dill.

Mr. Speaker, congratulations to Michael Dill, a talented young hockey player and like is dad and granddad, a huge Boston Bruins fan.

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

PARIS SUMMIT: N.S. ENVIRON. MIN. - MEETING CANCELLATIONS

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, Atlantic Canada is on the front lines of climate change. That's what makes this government's performance at the Paris Summit so disappointing. The Ecology Action Centre noted that the Nova Scotia Government's presence at the Summit was lacklustre and easily missed. The Interim Environment Minister declined to meet with a large contingent of Nova Scotia's civil society. He also cancelled a meeting with the Canadian Youth delegation, even though federal ministers and other premiers found time to meet with them.

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately this behaviour abroad reflects the government's weakening performance at home on energy and climate policy, jeopardizing the province's national leadership on these very issues.

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

HILLCREST WESLEYAN CHURCH: HAITI TRIP - FUNDRAISING

[Page 7511]

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the congregation of Hillside Wesleyan Church, which is located on Forest Hills Parkway in Cole Harbour. This past Spring, Hillside Wesleyan Church held their annual five-kilometre run to raise funds for their mission work in Haiti. The money raised in the annual run goes to a team of church members who travel to Babaco, Port au Prince, Haiti, to teach community members skills in finance and sustainability.

The event itself sees participants run the old red barn Salt Marsh Trail and Bissett Road, where runners enjoy the beautiful, scenic landscape of Cole Harbour. The run raised $4,000 for the Hillside Wesleyan Church trip to Haiti this year.

Mr. Speaker, I extend thanks to all those who took part in the run and to those travelling to Haiti to spread good will and empower people there.

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

GILLIS, ALEX/BITNESS - STARTUP CAN. AWARD

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, there is a young entrepreneur in my community whom I'd like to recognize - Alex Gillis, a recent graduate of Sacred Heart School was named young entrepreneur of the year by Startup Canada. Mr. Gillis is the founder of Bitness, a device that can track customer traffic. Bitness is a small sensor that companies can install on their sales floor. It will passively track the number of shoppers that pass by the store's location by locating smart phones.

For his development of Bitness, Mr. Gillis is one of nine entrepreneurs who will be honoured by Startup Canada. I want to congratulate Alex on his outstanding achievement and for his contribution already to the tech world. He is a remarkable youth and certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

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

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

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are speaking out. One teacher told me tonight, while protesting outside this House: Collective bargaining is our right. Wages do not concern me. I do not trust this government. I don't believe they will stop at wage freezes, and if the Premier can legislate this he can legislate anything.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are distrusting this government. In two years they've watched this government break promise after promise and, to make matters worse, the Premier continues to talk about how proud he is of the work this government is doing.

[Page 7512]

Mr. Speaker, this government is divisive in its attempt to pit Nova Scotians against each other. I truly hope that Liberal MLAs will use this Christmas season to talk to their constituents, to talk to teachers and other public sector workers, and do some soul-searching and reflect on how their actions are destroying Nova Scotia. Thank you.

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

DUYNISVELD, MARIA - ACCOMPLISHMENTS

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, this evening I'd like to recognize Maria Duynisveld. She is an impressive Grade 9 student from Pugwash District High School. She has been recognized for her science fair project she conducted last year entitled Examining the Connection between Foraging Behaviour and Egg Characteristics. She received her award from the 13th Annual Discovery Awards for Science and Technology. Maria's project focused on whether hens' foraging behaviour measurably affected any of their egg characteristics.

Her project advanced out of her school and went all the way to the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Fredericton last May, where it was awarded a gold medal in the junior category, as well as the 4-H Canada award.

This talented student is also an editor on her school's yearbook committee, a member of 4-H, and involved in school sports. Mr. Speaker, we can all be proud of Maria and her accomplishments - she has a bright future ahead of her.

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

Wood, Eric & Rachelle: Christmas Dinner - Donations

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, Eric and Rachelle Wood have committed 25 years of volunteering during the Christmas season to help families with their festive meal. They have been the driving and organizational force of providing several hundred hampers for needy families from Coldbrook to Kingston. They are delivered by the Coldbrook, Berwick, Aylesford and Kingston Lions just in time for preparing Christmas dinner.

Eric and Rachelle are a family with a military background who have engaged 14 Wing Greenwood to provide transportation and willing hands to fill the hampers at the Aylesford Fire Hall. It is transformed by the busy and caring Christmas scene with Eric at his command post.

Eric and Rachelle Wood have truly made a difference in keeping alive the seasonal tradition of a Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings for several hundred families. We are grateful to the Woods for capturing and spreading the spirit of Christmas in our Valley community.

[Page 7513]

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

Hamilton, Dianne - Star Women in Grocery Award

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Dianne Hamilton, who was recently honoured with a Star Women in Grocery award. Before the recent acquisition from Sobeys, Dianne was the COO of Pete's Fine Foods, known for the local Pete's Frootique grocery stores.

Dianne took over eight years ago from Pete Luckett, the founder and current president of the company. She has done a tremendous job in this role, with a focus on locally-made products and supporting Atlantic entrepreneurs.

Pete's has been a valuable grocery chain to our community for a long time. Pete's has been lauded for its innovation and fresh ideas. It even has a gluten-free eatery at the Halifax location, inspired by Dianne's own battle with celiac disease.

Although its future operated by Sobeys remains to be seen, there is no doubt of the exceptional work Dianne has done in her leading role with Pete's. I would like to commend her for that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Hill, Elizabeth/Reader, Bill - Landscaping/Gardening

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, Elizabeth Hill and Bill Reader of Selma were the first to be recognized for landscaping and gardening they have done with a Featured Property designation. This is awarded for the effort and maintenance of the wonderful gardens.

Driving by their home is a treat and shows a love of our flowers and the colours of our seasons. The property is located on Highway No. 215, near the old Selma airport. The garden is also a certified backyard habitat because it offers shelter, wood, and water to a number of different birds.

Elizabeth Hill has been active in the gardening club. She is always interested in different flowers and sharing with other gardeners. Elizabeth is available to give gardening advice and to help others in her community. She has also encouraged gardening club members to get involved in decorating the bridge in Maitland for their annual Christmas Festival.

[Page 7514]

Thanks to people like Elizabeth, our communities are able to showcase their beauty and their community spirit.

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

Millwood HS: Free the Children - Fundraising

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the time to recognize the students of Millwood High's Free the Children group. They have been working toward raising awareness of poverty and homelessness in our community for the month of November.

The students did a Stuff a Bag campaign to help support local shelters. Their goal was to stuff 100 bags and purses with items such as toiletries, razors, gift cards, snacks, crosswords, socks, and underwear. Students would also include handwritten notes and knitted scarves to add a personal touch.

They would like to thank everyone for their donations and support through this campaign. The items will be delivered to the local shelters before Christmas.

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

Big Brothers Big Sisters (Col.): Work - Thank/Support

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester has been looking for a way to give back to the community for their enormous support of the Big Bucks fundraising campaign. Sponsoring the children's room in the new Truro library is a perfect fit for the agency.

The $25,000 from Big Brothers Big Sisters will be donated over two years and will allow every child and youth in the community across the region a chance to discover, enjoy, and experience the joy of reading. Having the opportunity to access books, learning, and programs in an equitable way is very important to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Over the past three years, the agency has helped 50 financially-disadvantaged youths from communities across Colchester County with activities ranging from piano and voice lessons to eye examinations, dental work, and counselling. Big Brothers Big Sisters deserve our thanks and support for the excellent work they do to improve the lives of children and youth.

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

Parks, Hunter - S.H.A.I.D. Fundraising

[Page 7515]

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to recognize Hunter Parks, an amazing young man with a love for animals. The 11-year-old resident of Lunenburg recently held a Halloween party for his friends and instead of presents or treat bags, Hunter accepted donations for S.H.A.I.D., our local animal rescue shelter. It was a generous and unselfish act from a fine young man. For his efforts, Hunter was given a certificate of appreciation from S.H.A.I.D. and a visit to the shelter.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that you join me today in recognizing Hunter for his loving and generous act of kindness towards the S.H.A.I.D., and all the animals it rescues.

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

Cdn. Lebanon Soc.

- Christmas Dinner/Long-Term Serv. Awards

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the president and members of the Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax for hosting the annual Christmas Dinner last Sunday at the community centre. This year's dinner provided the opportunity to honour three members for their long-term service to the society: Ann Hallal and Maroun Hage were recognized for 50 years' dedication and commitment, having joined in 1965; and Ralph Alphonse was recognized for over 50 years' service.

The minute book for the society notes that Ralph was elected in 1959 as the sergeant-at-arms. I also want to congratulate the outgoing President, Michael Faddoul for agreeing to take over when I left in 2013 as president for the last two years.

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

Maybee, Janet: After Shock - Hfx. Explosion Book

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to congratulate Janet Maybee, an author whose new book called After Shock has come out, about the Halifax Explosion and the persecution of pilot Francis Mackey. On December 6, 1917, harbour pilot Francis Mackey was guiding the Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship, into Bedford Basin. Of course it resulted in a massive explosion.

Who was to blame? Federal government and naval officials found in pilot Mackey a convenient target for public anger and he was charged with manslaughter, imprisoned, villainized in the press, and denied his pilot's licence, even after the charges were dropped.

Through interviews with Mackey's relatives and transcripts and letters, Janet Maybee has now explored the circumstances leading up to this explosion and the question of guilt and the impact on this pilot and his family of the unjust, deliberate persecution that followed. Congratulations to Janet Maybee.

[Page 7516]

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

Enfield Vol. FD Extrication Team: Comp. - Congrats.

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, from September 8 to 12, 2015, the Enfield Volunteer Fire Department's extradition team competed in the North American Vehicle Rescue Challenge in New York, against some of the best professional fire stations.

The Enfield team consisted of Jeff Goodwin, Luke Guthro, former Fire Chief Cecil Dixon, Dave Dixon, John Allen Canning, and Shawn Hicks. The Enfield team placed first in the Limited Pit Challenge. This challenge must be completed within 20 minutes and teams must only use hand tools such as reciprocating saws, air chisels and high-lift jacks. No hydraulic rescue tools are allowed.

They finished second in the Rapid Pit Challenge, which allows for unlimited tool use. This team placed second overall in the competition, only being beat out for the first place by a fraction of a point.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate this remarkable team on their second place finish, and thank them for volunteering their time to train hard and service Enfield and the surrounding communities of East Hants.

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

Sugar Moon Farm - Taste of N.S. Prestige Award

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : The Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards celebrate excellence in the Nova Scotia culinary industry. It is the only province-wide awards program that recognizes the best of Nova Scotia's producers and restaurants.

Sugar Moon Farm, owned and operated by Quita Gray and her husband, Scott Whitelaw, and located in Earltown, Colchester North, has been awarded the Restaurant of the Year - Essence of Nova Scotia Award from the Taste of Nova Scotia program. These awards give Taste of Nova Scotia an opportunity to recognize some of the best culinary experiences in the industry, as well as the hard work, dedication, and pride, that these businesses have for their products.

Sugar Moon Farm sources all of its products locally, providing a quality driven menu and personal service. Their menu is based on maple syrup, their service is old-fashioned, and their work ethic is based on rural values.

[Page 7517]

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

Antigonish MADD Chap. - Red Ribbon Campaign Launch

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, November 21st, for the third year in a row I had the privilege of attending the annual launch of MADD's Red Ribbon campaign. I'd like to thank the Antigonish chapter of MADD for the invitation to join their launch. I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Antigonish chapter for their efforts in eliminating impaired driving in Nova Scotia.

This dedicated group of volunteers works closely with the Antigonish RCMP and other local community organizations year round. They organize and participate in various checkpoints, conduct countless presentations on the effects and impacts of impaired driving, support victims and their families, and of course, participate in nation-wide awareness campaigns like the Red Ribbon campaign.

Mr. Speaker, we know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is reckless, dangerous and irresponsible. By putting a red ribbon on your car, purse, briefcase or backpack, it lets people know that you have made the choice to drive safe and sober. It also reminds others to make that same decision. This message is so important, especially over the holiday season.

So Mr. Speaker, I just want to say that I'm incredibly proud of MADD's commitment to raising awareness and supporting victims of this violent crime. I wish MADD all of the success with this year's campaign and I hope to see many red ribbons around Antigonish, thank you.

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

Calhoun, SSgt Rocky - Retirement

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : I would like to salute Staff-Sergeant Rocky Calhoun, who just recently retired from the RCMP in the Digby detachment. I would also like to thank him for his service to the community and for keeping us safe.

Originally from the Miramichi area, Staff-Sergeant Calhoun transferred to Digby to take command of the Digby RCMP detachment, moving here from nearby Annapolis detachment. Prior to his coming to Nova Scotia, Staff-Sergeant Calhoun had served for 30 years in different communities in British Columbia. During his time in Digby, he exemplified the core values of RCMP. When taking the job, one of his priorities had been to repair the relationship between the RCMP and First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities.

[Page 7518]

As he leaves, he can be assured that these relationships are now much improved. The Calhouns are moving to a much different life, retiring to a small farm in New Brunswick. Good luck in his new endeavours, which should have much less stress and time behind the desk, thank you.

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

Skinner, Shelly - Soccer N.S. Vol. of Yr.

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : I rise today to recognize an outstanding volunteer. Volunteers are the backbone of our province and they are invaluable and freely give so much of themselves to the benefit of others.

Shelly Skinner is one of such volunteers. Each and every year she devotes countless hours to the game of soccer in Lunenburg County. Her passion and knowledge of the game is evident the moment you see her on the field. Shelly was honoured on November 28th by Soccer Nova Scotia as one of its regional volunteers of the year. It is a fitting honour for a wonderful person and a great volunteer.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that you join me today in recognition of Shelly Skinner being recognized by Soccer Nova Scotia as one of its volunteers of the year, for her passion and commitment as a volunteer who makes a difference, thank you.

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

Sackville Christmas Lighting (8th Anl.)

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take the time to recognize the annual Sackville Christmas Tree Lighting. The Sackville Business Association has been hosting the tree-lighting since 2007 at Acadia Park. Every year community organizers come together to provide live entertainment, treats, a visit from Santa, and the lighting of the Christmas trees for Sackville residents.

Efficiency Nova Scotia and the Sackville Rivers Association partnered to provide an LED light exchange where you can exchange two sets of old lights, for one set of brand new ones. There are also songs and stories inside the Sackville Library, before the tree lighting begins. The 8th annual Sackville Christmas Lighting took place on November 27th.

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

Chowdury, Sanjeev - Rio de Janeiro:

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Consul. Gen. - Congrats.

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to offer my congratulations to Mr. Sanjeev Chowdhury, a Haligonian who is making his mark on the international stage.

Sanjeev Chowdhury grew up in the neighbourhood of Sheffield in Clayton Park West and following studies at Saint Mary's University, he joined the Canadian Foreign Service. I had the pleasure of meeting him in 1995 when we both worked on the G7 Conference here in Halifax. Mr. Chowdhury has been posted in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India, while maintaining his close ties to Halifax. He now serves as Canada's Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In this role he helps Canadian companies access the Brazilian market and promotes Canada.

Recently Mr. Chowdhury was named an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro. He is the first Canadian ever to receive this distinction. This honour speaks highly of the relationships he has built and the support he has provided since being posted to Brazil. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating this proud Nova Scotian and thanking him for representing Canada abroad.

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

Stokes, Katelyn Laura - Lt.-GOV.'s Award

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Lieutenant Governor's Award is given to students who demonstrate excellence in their academic studies and have contributed to their community through leadership or a participatory role in the life of their school.

Katelyn Laura Stokes is one such valued member of her community who has been awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Medal. Katelyn has achieved academic honours with distinction at her high school of West Kings; she has also made a significant contribution to both her school and local community. She is co-captain of the girl's rugby team and is involved in the Student Restorative Justice program.

Katelyn's pride in her community has been admirable. Her involvement in extracurricular activities and her dedication to her academics are deservingly recognized. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Consular Corps (N.S.) - Congrats.

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I wanted to rise this evening to congratulate our Consular Corps of Nova Scotia, that seldom gets any recognition, but do a wonderful job here in the Province of Nova Scotia. The Consular Corps is made up of more than 30 representatives of nations and they include both the professional and honorary consuls in that corps.

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I had the opportunity to join them for their Christmas dinner this year and at that dinner - and members of the House will not be surprised - the Honorary Consul, Mr. Wadih Fares actually challenged the other consular members to donate money to sponsor a family from Syria in the refugee efforts. That evening alone they collected more than $5,000, but they've set a goal of $30,000 and hope to be able to work with an organization and help to sponsor a family from Syria.

As I said, this group does an awful lot to introduce our Province of Nova Scotia to other countries, to increase trade, educational relationships, and cultural diversity. I would simply like to honour them this evening and hope that everybody is made more aware of their role in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Glace Bay.

Reflection of Time in the Legislature

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, these late hours have provided an opportunity to reflect on my time here in the Legislature. I remember one night specifically where the members for Chester-St. Margaret's and Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River explained to the MLA for Yarmouth and myself that the Yarmouth Ferry would never work and is never coming back. Yet, these members were proud of their government's efforts to bring the ferry back in the dying days of their government, just to try to win votes in a region where the economy was decimated by their own decisions.

I also thought back to the member for Halifax Needham, who celebrated her Back to Balance budget, a celebration that lasted for about two hours before the rest of us realized the reality that we had a deficit in the hundreds of millions of dollars range.

Finally, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, who as Minister of Health and Wellness did none of the things he's now demanding our government should have as priorities. Mr. Speaker, what a season for reflection.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cumberland North. (Interruption) Order, please.

Fresia, Isaac - Can. Games Young Artist of Excellence Award

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to congratulate Isaac Fresia of Oxford on receiving the $10,000 Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award. Isaac is a graduate of NSCAD University who studied sculpture and who has been accepted into a Master's program in Architecture at Dalhousie University.

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Isaac's winning project focused on Halifax's Central Library. Isaac said, "I believe architecture has a place in the realm of fine art" and that architecture is "just sculpture but bigger."

I wish Isaac all the best in his studies and congratulate him on winning this prestigious award.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

[12:35 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

[1:00 a.m. CW on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

TIR - Bay Ferries: Vessel - Update

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. In October the province hired Bay Ferries to provide a ferry service between Yarmouth and the United States next year. Part of that agreement with Bay Ferries was that they had 45 days to find a ship, a vessel, for that route.

That 435-day period has now passed but we have yet to hear from the government on the results, so I'd like to ask the Premier, has Bay Ferries secured a ship?

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : Mr. Speaker, I'll ask the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to answer.

[Page 7522]

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : I thank the member for the question; it is an important one. We are very secure with the relationship we have with Bay Ferries and Mark MacDonald. There are a number of options he's looking at across the globe with respect to the shipping industry, the cruise ferry industry, and what's available for vessels.

There are a number of leads; there's nothing confirmed at this point. Mark is working very diligently. He's our person, and Bay Ferries is our operator for 2016 and beyond. We're very confident in that relationship; we have the full support of Mark and vice versa. We know we're going to get this done and do a real good job. Thanks so much.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that answer. The concern is that after spending $40-plus million on the previous provider, Nova Scotians have seen that when it gets so late in the year it makes it harder for the next year's provider to actually properly market the route and to take ticket sales. It really put them behind the eight ball when they try to get up and running in the Spring.

Now that it is mid-December, a concern that is being raised again, I'd like to ask the Premier, how late does the government feel this can go before it creates a problem for the 2016 season?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the member for the question. As the minister just spoke about, we have a partnership with Bay Ferries. They have a long history in this province of operating ferries. They actually were the operator of that ferry service until it was terminated back in 2009-10 and, as the minister said, we're very confident with the fact that they will have a service in place and that that service will be marketed in an appropriate way and we will continue to welcome our visitors.

MR. BAILLIE « » : You know for the people in Yarmouth and along the southwestern Nova Scotia part of the province who are trying to make decisions about accommodations, restaurants, tourist attractions, they need to know whether there's going to be a service next year. For Nova Scotians who have carried a pretty hefty $40 million bill in the last couple of seasons because ferry services were not confirmed in time to properly give the route a chance, Mr. Speaker, people are concerned.

The Premier is assuring Nova Scotians that there will be a service next year, but I think it's reasonable to ask, what is the date by which, if we get beyond, it will be too late to have a ferry service for 2016?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The people of southwestern Nova Scotia - indeed all Nova Scotians - know this government will deliver on providing them a sustainable, long-term ferry service.

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

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Tupper, Robert: Law Amendments Comm. - Attendance

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Yesterday evening Robert Tupper, a man with hearing and vision loss who needs an interpreter to help communicate, was denied an opportunity to speak at the Law Amendments Committee. Even though there was still 25 minutes remaining and no other presenters were scheduled, Mr. Speaker, five members of the Liberal caucus voted against giving him 10 minutes to make his presentation.

Afterward, Mr. Tupper told reporters, "There was no respect paid to me in regards to disability from the Liberal caucus."

My question to the Premier is, why did five members of the Liberal caucus deny Mr. Tupper the respect he deserves by not allowing him to speak at Law Amendments?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As I said in the last Question Period, a few hours ago, it was unfortunate, the way that committee ended. It started the night before, when Law Amendments Committee were on. It was brought to our attention that there was a Nova Scotian with a hearing impairment who wanted to make a presentation. We found an interpreter. We told the NDP caucus that repeatedly during the day yesterday. They chose not to register the man and not bring him here until the last hour.

He was here in time and he should have made the presentation, Mr. Speaker, but as I said to you, I will reach out to you as the Speaker of this House that we see this opportunity as a learning experience, that we make sure that people with disabilities see every committee we have in this province as one they can participate in. We need to look at how we make sure that happens.

MR. WILSON « » : In the 12 years I've been here, Mr. Speaker, I don't recall ever having to bring someone, as a caucus member, to Law Amendments Committee. Mr. Tupper tried to make those arrangements. All Nova Scotians have the right to speak at Law Amendments Committee, and Mr. Tupper made several attempts to exercise his right.

Denying a resident of Nova Scotia a chance to present at Law Amendments Committee is no different than preventing a member of this House from speaking on a bill for second reading, or stopping the Premier from providing a response in Question Period. There are traditions members of this House are bound to uphold, and unfortunately, in Mr. Tupper's case, that wasn't the case, Mr. Speaker. To put it in his own words, "I feel I'm not part of the process now, that I've had no voice in this process."

So I'd like to ask the Premier, what justification did the five members of his caucus provide the Premier for not allowing Mr. Tupper to speak?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As I said to you, and to all members of this House on a number of occasions, this is an opportunity for us to look at all the committees that we have.

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In Mr. Tupper's words, he didn't feel part of this process. Every Nova Scotian should feel part of this process. We'll look at how we make sure we can improve the process to allow people with disabilities to be able to participate. We'll continue to do so.

MR. WILSON « » : Two months ago, the Premier defended the member for Dartmouth East after his invoked privilege to avoid testifying in court. One month ago, the Premier defended his chief of staff after he was caught on tape offering the wife of a Liberal MLA a job in exchange for him being a good soldier, Mr. Speaker. And tonight, the Premier is really defending the five members of the Liberal caucus for not giving Mr. Tupper the right to present.

My question for the Premier is, why will he defend the bad behaviour of his MLAs and staff but not defend the rights of Nova Scotian residents to testify and give a presentation at Law Amendments Committee?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think, as we talked about here, the opportunity will be provided tomorrow for the member to make a presentation at Law Amendments Committee, on the off chance to have the bill amended as we go forward. We'll continue to look at the processes of this House to make sure they're accessible to all Nova Scotians.

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

Prem. - Fed. Gov't.: Universal Child Care Benefit - Effect

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. So far this year, the government has managed to take its budget from a deficit of $98 million up to over $240 million, as tax revenues have declined. Now there's another threat to the provincial Treasury, and it's the new federal Liberal Government in Ottawa. According to their own update, released earlier this week, they said: The new federal government is committed to making changes to the Universal Child Care Benefit program that could have a negative impact on provincial revenues in the 2015-16 fiscal year if implemented in 2016 - which is what the federal Liberals promised.

I'd like to ask the Premier, how much revenue are we expected to lose here in Nova Scotia next year because of the new federal government?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Again, I want to congratulate the national government. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with them to make sure the Federation of Canada is strong and Nova Scotia is a participating partner in that.

The Minister of Finance and Treasury Board will be meeting with his colleagues from across Canada and the national Finance Minister in coming weeks. I think sometime in mid-January the whole issue - not only that issue, but a number of issues - will be addressed. We'll find a way to make sure that any changes the national government makes

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to the tax policy or any other policies, this government will stand up and defend the rights of Nova Scotians to make sure we mitigate any reduction that may be there.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, at some point the congratulations to the new government will come to an end, and defending Nova Scotia and the benefits and the programs that we're entitled to in this country will have to start.

I appreciate the Premier will make sure they know how we feel, but waiting until some future day is not an option, as these decisions are being made now. The government is concerned about declining tax revenues and the jobs that go with it; here is a case where a decision in Ottawa may actually cause declining revenues in the next budget.

I would like to ask the Premier, will he communicate to the federal government now that he intends to stand up for the benefits and the transfers that come to Nova Scotia? We can't afford to lose any more revenue.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to assure him that this Minister of Finance and Treasury Board and all members of this caucus are defending the interests of Nova Scotians. He can rest assured that with any changes the national government is talking about, it is communicated directly and quickly to them - the impact it would have on this province. This one is no different.

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

Fin.: Income Tax Revenues - Forecasts

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. During the budget forecast update Monday, we learned that provincial revenue from personal income tax is projected to be more than $18 million less than was originally estimated in the last budget.

My question to the minister is, can the minister explain why a forecasted revenue from personal income tax has fallen so short of government's original projection?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. I appreciate the opportunity to explain a bit about how these forecasts actually get created. First and foremost, the budget process and the forecasts are forward-looking. That means that we don't have the actual data until after the events take place, so we're trying to forecast into the future - a difficult process. We do so by using the most accurate and current data that we have at that point in time.

With respect to income tax data and the data for assessing that, we're integrated with the federal government, and we rely on the data that comes from them. That data has been updated and that data change is what resulted in the new information.

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MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, when asked during the technical briefing, the department's own spokesperson said that this significant drop in revenue is almost entirely due to a stagnation in wages - a problem that we know has the added disadvantage of reducing spending at local shops and small businesses.

My question to the minister is, if the department's own information is saying that provincial revenues are largely in the red because of wage restraint, why does the government think that further cuts would do anything but make the problem they've created even worse?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd just like to clarify for the member opposite. She concluded asking about why cuts would make this any better. I believe the question in the area that she's referring to has no reference to cuts at all. In fact, if she's referring to or insinuating anything about Bill No. 148, that, in fact, includes $150 million of new money available for wage increases. The information is because of a decline in the overall economy, something that Nova Scotia is not immune to. With respect to public sector wage increases, we have to pay 100 per cent of those expenses.

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

Prem. - Farmers: Food Bank Donations - Tax Credit

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. We have heard the Minister of Health and Wellness say that the government has to look at how much a tax credit for farmers to give donations of food to food banks would cost before the government would look further at this idea. That highlights the lack of economic insight in this government's Department of Health and Wellness.

Does the Premier agree that there will be a cost savings to the health system because people who face socio-economic challenges will get to eat food that is local, healthier, and more fresh, resulting in less chronic disease, better "healthcomes," and lower costs for our health care system?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I encourage all Nova Scotians to eat local food, it's what the minister was referring to and what has been talked about in this House. That bill has gone to the Department of Finance and Treasury Board to see what the impact would be to provide that credit and, in actual fact, whether that credit would actually change what is happening now. Farmers are actually contributing a substantial amount of money to food banks and we are grateful for the work they have been doing. We are grateful for what all Nova Scotians are doing in response to those Nova Scotians in need - and when a good piece of legislation comes forward we'll have a look at it and identify whether or not we can implement it.

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MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, it is true, certainly farmers are donating now. But I know in Ontario in that case there's over a million litres of milk that was donated last year - additional milk donated because of the implementation of the tax credit there.

Feed Nova Scotia, the Federation of Agriculture, Young Farmers Forum, they are supportive of this idea.

The only question I have remaining, Mr. Speaker is, is the reason the Premier and his government refuse to advance the idea to increase the amount of local produce, especially at food banks (a) because it has not been a priority for his government two years into its mandate, or (b) because they don't like ideas when they come from other sides of this Legislature, even when those ideas are proven to help people, as is proven with Ontario food banks since they've implemented this measure?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I'm assuming someone else wrote that question for him because he knows very well that that's not the case. It's an idea that we brought forward, we said we would address it, we look forward, we'll have a look at it.

We've passed bills in this House that have come from the other side of the House - and, Mr. Speaker, whenever I see a good idea come that side of the House, we're often surprised, so it takes a little while to get the department to review it.

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

Health & Wellness: Prov. Health Auth. Bylaws - Consultation

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I have a whole bunch to say to that last thing, but I'm not going to.

The provincial health authority released updated medical staff bylaws earlier this year - I think they came into force in April. The bylaws affect practice for all doctors, including family physicians. Some doctors have raised concerns that there was no consultation during the preparation of those bylaws.

Meetings with doctors upon the introduction of these bylaws were largely negative, Mr. Speaker, so my question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, does he or his department believe there was adequate stakeholder consultation when creating these new bylaws?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to say we have continuous meetings with Doctors Nova Scotia, who represent all doctors in the province. We are one of those provinces where every doctor must be a member of Doctors Nova Scotia and there are ongoing conversations on many issues, and this one was no exception.

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MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : So we know now that doctors of course are licensed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons, but the district health authority is making them actually go through two licensing processes now, so they are actually duplicating the process because of these new bylaws.

Under the new system small practices are concerned that they will no longer be able to grow. Some are being told that no new positions will be granted by the district health authority to walk-in or solo practices under the new credentialing practices.

Can the minister inform the House whether he is planning to reduce the use of walk-in clinics and limit the ability of small practices?

MR. GLAVINE « » : What we know in the department and what the health authority and the leadership there - and in fact Doctors Nova Scotia are strong proponents of the collaborative health practice, having that interdisciplinary approach to medicine is, in fact, a very, very strong practice. That will be the direction over a period of time.

We're not closing walk-in clinics. One of the other areas that the member raises is solo practice. That is becoming extremely difficult to get a doctor now to go to a community as a solo practitioner; in fact, the latest survey at the medical school indicates 100 per cent of the students want to practise in a collaborative or team setting.

MR SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

Fin. - Economic Update: Tax Revenues - Decline

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. In the minister's economic update he stated that provincial income tax is declining more than expected since the Spring budget, and the minister stated that sales tax has declined more than expected since the Spring budget. We've also learned that there has been a sharp decline in both the number of movie and television productions filming in Nova Scotia and the number of Nova Scotia film jobs. My question is, how much of the decline in provincial income tax and sales tax revenue does the minister attribute to the decline in the Nova Scotia film jobs?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : As I also mentioned in the forecast update, Mr. Speaker, and in questions earlier this week about that, where the challenges come to our income tax revenue and of course, sales tax revenue, is related to an overall general economic and longer and sustained economic downturn that is affecting all parts of the country.

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Recent fiscal updates from jurisdictions across the country, including the federal government, have shown downturns in many jurisdictions even greater than Nova Scotia's, Mr. Speaker.

MS. MANCINI « » : The Minister of Finance and Treasury Board often talks about having a spending problem, but he must also continue his revenue problem. The film industry used to be worth over $100 million to the Nova Scotia economy. Can the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board tell us how much his department forecasts the film industry to be worth in 2016?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question and with everything again forward-looking, the fiscal update that was provided yesterday, there was a fiscal update looking at the 2015 budget season, updating for the December update based on data from the Fall. When it comes time to introduce the information for our 2016, it will be part of our 2016 budget; we'll bring that information as part of that process. Thank you.

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

Fin. - Revenues: Film Tax Credit Changes - Impact

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : My question is also for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, I just wanted to follow up on that question there. When the revenue estimates are down, it's not good enough just to say Canada is suffering, so therefore we're suffering. I would expect the minister would try to dig through the numbers and figure out which parts are down. Has the minister made no effort to figure out if the changes to the Film Tax Credit are impacting the revenues of the province?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, what we've done with the Film Tax Credit process, when the budget came down, there were a number of concerns raised. The Department of Business and the government have worked with representatives from the film and TV sector. They've developed a new fund that those groups agreed could work. That fund has been available and accessible for a number of months now, and my colleague, the Minister of Business, has been managing that through Nova Scotia Business Inc. That is available for people. We encourage them to get out and apply. Thank you.

MR. HOUSTON « » : It's just so hard to believe that here we sit all these months later and the minister would have you believe that there's a new fund, so going forward things will be good. Things haven't been good for the last little while. They've obviously impacted the revenues of the province, except for one person - the Minister of Business said he found one person that was "bucking the trend." Obviously the trend was downward. It has decreased the revenues of the province.

Has the minister not taken one second look to see what the impact on the revenues of the province has been? Is he satisfied to shuffle it off on somebody else or say it might go away in time with the new fund? We don't know; maybe we don't care. On this side of the House we care. Tell us what you know, minister.

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MR. DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question. Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned the income tax data comes from - and the data that we get there is an integrated process with the federal government. These are forecasts, forward-looking projections. That data that we put into our economic forecasting bottles is updated based on the most recent and detailed information we have available to us.

We plug that data into the system, Mr. Speaker. These economic models are designed and tested, but again we base it on the data that we have. We got updated data and the results were presented earlier this week.

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

TIR - Argyle/Lwr. Argyle: Repaving - Time Frame

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Knowing we are down to a couple of Question Periods here, it's time to get a few local roads in. (Interruptions) I want to get to Highway No. 3, through the beautiful community of Argyle-Lower Argyle. It did make the five-year plan but it did mark it out to 2019 that the people of Argyle will have to wait for repaving of their road.

Last winter wasn't very good to it, as it was to many roads in the province. I'm just wondering, is there an opportunity to move it up the list, depending on the acuity of that road?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, again I thank the member for the question. With respect to the route the member is talking about, obviously, as I said many times in the House, there really is a lens that is focused on the local TIR officials. I know that the member has a good relationship with Steve MacIsaac and the officials who support Steve down in his region.

Mr. Speaker, any time there are significant changes in highways, arteries and roadways that really do require repaving in a hurry, vis-à-vis the capital plan, we certainly look at that. Where roads are a situation where they become urgent in nature, they have to be moved up the priority list. We get that recommendation from the local level. I'm sure the member will talk to his local staff at TIR and we'll make those adjustments accordingly for all Nova Scotians.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much for that, Mr. Speaker. It's a very important road, as many roads are in this province, but I do want to quickly mention two other ones while I have the opportunity. One of them has to do with Southside on Cape Island because that was due next year, so I'm hoping that's still on the list for some work.

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Mr. Speaker, what I really need from the minister is maybe a lawnmower because Route 308, through Morris Island, has grass growing through it and I think the locals are having trouble getting through. Could I maybe get a mower or, even better, could I get a little look on that road, too, if you could instruct staff to look at it?

MR. MACLELLAN « » : I thank the member for the question. Obviously the member is bringing these concerns forward on behalf of his constituents and the people in the region, Mr. Speaker. Again we do have a very solid process that we have in terms of using the local staff in making those recommendations.

Mr. Speaker, if he does need a mower then it's a good time to add that to his Santa list.

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

Status of Women: Fiscal Plan Update - Consultation

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, the Minister responsible for the Status of Women would know that women compose 66 per cent and 84 per cent of employees in education and in health, respectively, and that women hold 66 per cent of all public sector jobs in Nova Scotia.

Given that her government's fiscal plan will disproportionately impact women working in the public sector and their ability to provide shelter, food, and clothing for their families, I am very eager to hear about her influence in the plan.

Mr. Speaker, what consultation was done with the Advisory Council on the Status of Women regarding her government's recent fiscal plan update?

HON. JOANNE BERNARD » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. One thing I learned when I came into government was the fourth largest expenditure of government was $872 million for interest payments each year. What I know is that that money doesn't help anybody in a classroom, it doesn't help anybody in a hospital, and it certainly doesn't help any vulnerable people in my department. So when we have to get the ship righted in this province, that benefits all of us, including women, including children, including vulnerable people. So I am absolutely 100 per cent supportive of the direction of this government in trying to maintain sustainability for the public service sector.

MS. ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the minister for that response. I'm afraid that won't really make anybody who is hurting in Nova Scotia feel any better, including the people who have lost their bus passes and had their income assistance frozen. A paycheque is not just money in the bank. Wages influence choice, they decide career ventures, and they also facilitate equity or widen inequality. Unfortunately, women in Nova Scotia experience a 33 per cent pay equity gap, which means that for every dollar a man earns in a full-time, full-year job in our province, a woman earns 67 cents.

[Page 7532]

My question for the minister is, how can she justify freezing the wages of public sector workers, primarily women, when there already is a huge pay equity gap in Nova Scotia of 33 per cent?

MS. BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, in public sector wages in Nova Scotia across the board, women are represented very well, as you mentioned. One of the things that I find ironic about this line of questioning is that the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Office, under your government, actually lost close to $300,000 in funding over the four years - yes, it did. I know because I do the budget for that Status of Women Office.

Over the last couple of months, we've actually transferred all women-serving organizations over to the Status of Women. We have a gender analysis now going on that is starting from one part of the department to other parts of the department, so I'm quite happy with the Status of Women Office in Nova Scotia and what we're doing with equality in the public sector.

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

Bus. - Women (15-24): Economic Boost - Lack Explain

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Business. Young women between the ages of 15 to 24 are having trouble finding work to justify staying in Nova Scotia. Over the last five years their population has decreased by 4,400, their presence in our labour force has decreased by 3,900, and their employment has decreased by 4,000.

Will the minister explain to the young women in our province why they are not seeing any economic boost to encourage them to keep looking for employment in Nova Scotia?

HON. MARK FUREY » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague. My colleague in Labour and Advanced Education is working diligently across all sectors and genders to ensure that Nova Scotians have equal opportunity. Yes, there's a challenge; there's a need. My colleague is working on that focus, intent on bringing those opportunities to the female population.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, without being double-standard here, males ages 15 to 24 are also witnessing devastating economic environments here in Nova Scotia. Their population also has decreased by 4,200, their labour force has decreased by 4,300, and lastly, their unemployment rate is now at 15.7 per cent. What does the minister have to say to the young men who have lost hope in the government and chosen to leave our province in search of work?

[Page 7533]

MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in a previous Question Period, there are a number of initiatives ongoing within Labour and Advanced Education - Graduate to Opportunity, particularly for the age group, our focus on Junior Achievement, and the investment in students' time and interests at the high school level to gear them toward careers and professions that would desire them to stay and pursue careers in Nova Scotia.

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

TIR - Bridges: Safety - Ensure

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of TIR. On June 11, 2014, the Deputy Minister of TIR appeared before the Public Accounts Committee, saying that Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will close any bridge or adjust posted weight limits if engineers feel that bridge is unsafe. According to news reports, the bridge in Bear River has a crumbling concrete arch, while four bridges in Cape Breton are listed in poor condition, including the Highway No. 105 overpass in Sydney.

My question for the minister is, what measures has the department taken to ensure that bridges in our province are safe?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : I thank the member for the question. I did see that article. I am familiar with that particular bridge. I can assure the member, I can assure all Nova Scotians that the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, through our engineering measures and through our inspections, we don't let anyone, any vehicles, any pedestrians on bridges that aren't safe structurally, so that would never happen in this case and all cases.

We have a very vigilant and diligent department that looks at these things. The engineers go through every component of the structure to make sure that it's safe. Under no circumstances would we ever allow a bridge to be open if it wasn't safe. If there are weight challenges and concerns then obviously those restrictions are put on there.

We've got over 4,300 bridges and about 90 per cent of them are structurally sound. Those that are a concern, we watch very closely and we replace or repair as necessary.

MR. MACLEOD « » : I want to thank the minister for his answer. About half of Nova Scotia's 4,100 bridges are past their expected 50-year lifespan. This is a concern for drivers and local residents who rely on the bridges to get around their communities.

[Page 7534]

My question for the minister is, how many bridges are being monitored and are any in danger of being closed permanently because of the condition that they are in?

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, the short answer is that there is a regular maintenance check and inspection of all our bridges. That is done by the local engineers associated with each region.

With respect to bridge closures, if you look at just the metrics and the process that the department uses, over the next number of years there are a relatively significant number of those bridges that could be slated for closure. I can cite two quick examples: Cranton bridge in Inverness and the St. Benoni bridge in Digby. They were slated for closure, based on the model that the department uses, but because of the response from the community, from the MLAs, from the people in that region who deem them necessary and say that the detour drive-around isn't good enough, we made the commitment to the respective communities that we would put the work in, make the investment, and keep those bridges open.

Mr. Speaker, we don't want to close bridges if they are necessary so when the community steps up, we make sure to protect that infrastructure.

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

SNS: Access N.S. - Retain

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia. Given the budget forecast update, one would think now more than ever that the government would want to hold on to key sources of revenue. While revenue has declined in certain areas, the Registry of Motor Vehicles bucked the trend and is forecast to increase revenues, bringing in over $127 million this year.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is, given the budget forecast update, why is the minister still considering selling off a key source of government revenue?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : I thank my colleague for the question. As I've indicated on many occasions in the past, Mr. Speaker, there have been no decisions made with regard to alternative service delivery. We are exhausting all that we can do. We're exhausting the work that's necessary because in the past when government had responsibilities, in the best interests of Nova Scotians, they committed to contracts without doing the work necessary to make those decisions.

There are no decisions made with regard to alternative service delivery. We would never relinquish revenue for the province that my colleague is suggesting. Any option for alternative service delivery would sustain and enhance revenues for the province.

[Page 7535]

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, as I said in this House before, the Land Registry is a driver of economic development. One of the brightest spots in the budget forecast for residential construction, where there was an 11 per cent increase, yet there is concern that the cause of doing business in this sector will dramatically increase if the Land Registry is privatized.

My question for the minister is, why is he still considering privatizing Land Registry when there is substantial evidence that it is a driver of economic growth in Nova Scotia?

MR. FUREY « » : I thank my colleague for the question. No decision has been made with regard to any of the registries. We continue to do the work necessary to make informed decisions, decisions that are based on evidence and in the best interests of Nova Scotians.

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

Bus: DSME Dept./Mgt. Team - Meetings

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Business. DSME is the manufacturer of large wind towers located in Pictou County. They continue to attempt to seek out new opportunities in strengthening their current business practices, in order to build a strong future for the company. My question to the minister is, will the minister give the members of this House an update on any recent meetings between his department and the management team at the windmill facility in Trenton?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. The Department of Business has representation on the Board of DSME. They continue to meet consistent with the desires and efforts of this facility. As a matter of fact, their next monthly meeting is tomorrow morning.

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. DSTM management are making efforts to diversify, to be an integrated manufacturer of large-scale, heavy sealed products and a provider of EPC services for all aspects of the energy industry. They also have been attempting to do secure contracts to build railway cars to transport oil.

The Province of Nova Scotia has a 49 per cent equity stake at this one-time TrentonWorks railcar plant. Will the Department of Business make it a priority to assist this facility to secure steel contracts in order to bring employees back to the plant?

MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, as my colleague would know, the Department of Business is a policy centre that is intended to align the responsibilities of all government departments who have responsibilities for economic development. The area my colleague is referencing is one area where we continue to engage by representation on the board the efforts of the particular facility, DSTN in Pictou County.

[Page 7536]

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

LAE - Lbr. Standards Office: 2 Retirements - Office Closure

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. In recent days it has come to our attention that two employees at the Labour Standards Office in Sydney, Patricia MacNeil and Dave Genter have retired and as a result of that have not been replaced and that office has closed. Could the minister confirm if that is true?

HON. KELLY REGAN » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I'm not familiar with that particular situation, but I would be most happy to get back to him at our earliest convenience.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the minister will look into that situation. The office works with many different offices within CBRM and it is very important to have local people to be able to contact to do the work that is done. It is not satisfactory for the community to be told that they have to contact Halifax to get results for their answers.

I'm asking that the minister will not only check into the situation, but make sure there is an Office of Labour Standards open in the Provincial Building in Sydney.

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the honourable member that the folks in Halifax are perfectly capable of answering questions from Cape Breton Island. However, I do appreciate him bringing this concern to my attention and I will make sure I will get back to him with an answer.

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

Health & Wellness - Bad Faith Bargaining

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, at the Law Amendments Committee we heard from Janet Hazleton, President of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union. She spoke out against the government's pattern of bad faith bargaining and she called it bargaining under duress. Given that nurse morale is already low in the province, why is the Minister of Health and Wellness in support of imposing contracts instead of allowing for fair arbitration?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say we look forward to the nurses arriving at the essential services legislation being completed by both Parties. They will then go into negotiations for their next contract and we'll certainly be receptive to how they see changing and improving their workplace in the coming years.

[Page 7537]

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : She also noted in the 40 years that the Nurses' Union has negotiated, they haven't seen a legislative package like we see with the bill in front of the House. Other nurses and health care workers spoke out at the Law Amendments Committee too. They spoke about working conditions, they spoke about overtime, being short-staffed, and being stretched too thin.

Why is the Minister of Health and Wellness supporting a labour strategy that takes away the chance for fair arbitration from health care workers and does nothing - nothing - to improve working conditions?

MR. GLAVINE « » : It's probably a good time - with some of the challenges we've had at the Centennial Building and the VG - to commend our nurses for the exceptional work that they do each and every day, how they responded to a couple of crises. What we must realize and take into account is the entire picture of health care delivery by nurses in the province.

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say that last year we attracted over 300 nurses to the province from other provinces and other countries to work in our province.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: HOME CARE WORKERS - CONSULT

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Home care is a very important service, both to people who are receiving it but also to their loved ones who rely on home care to ensure their loved ones are looked after.

I know the government has talked about home care, about possible changes made to it, and I've met with workers working in home care. Especially in rural areas, we see situations where home care workers are not staying - they're not happy with the work environment. I've certainly seen home care workers locally, who have been excellent workers, who have just gotten tired of it.

My question to the minister is, there's supposed to be some kind of consultation going on - what is happening with that?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : As the member opposite rightly described, it is challenging work, it is demanding work; hours can be spread over an entire day. What is taking place is that we've now had an ongoing process since we first started to talk about the need for changing the delivery of home care in the province, and that work continues. Now we'll be moving very soon into contractual negotiations, and all of the agencies providing care in the province will be involved with that process.

[Page 7538]

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I heard the government news about creating a new category of home care worker, and I'm not sure - maybe that would work in the city, but I know in a rural area it would be difficult to keep costs down by adding somebody else into the mix. In rural areas there's a lot of travel between appointments, there are issues with roads, with weather.

Needless to say, Mr. Speaker, one of the biggest problems with home care in rural areas is this focus on the direct service hour the department focuses on. It's not consistent across the province in how that dollar figure is tabulated.

Can the minister comment on whether the government has taken a serious look at direct service hours, to make sure it's fair for whatever organization is running home care in whatever jurisdiction across the province?

MR. GLAVINE « » : That, in fact, is a very considerable goal for the new contracts and the deliverables that will be required in that contract. In fact, fairness will be an exceptionally important part of that. Currently we have 21 different contracts and they all have different components. The wages over those contracts range by as much as $23.07, from the lowest to the highest. Bringing fairness to those contracts will be one of the important ingredients going forward.

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

LAE: Lbr. Provision - Charter of Rights & Freedoms

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. Earlier this evening the minister was asked what advice she had provided government regarding labour provisions in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She stated she wasn't a lawyer and so she provided no advice.

I would like to rephrase that question. What information did the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education's department provide to her government regarding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and their current labour strategy?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I think there may have been some confusion around my particular qualifications when the question was asked earlier. I want to clarify for the particular member who asked earlier that I do have a degree in English, in legal studies. However, the legal studies is, in fact, philosophy of law, et cetera. I am not a lawyer so I want to be clear on that with the member who asked the question, the member for . . .

[Page 7539]

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

We'll now revert to Government Business.

[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The House will now recess for a few minutes while it resolves itself into a Committee of the Whole on Bills.

[1:53 a.m. The House resolved into a CW on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

[1:47 p.m. CW on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK « » : That the Committee of the Whole on Bills has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 148 - Public Services Sustainability (2015) Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I would certainly wish to all of our colleagues and especially the hard-working staff here over the last number of hours that there are not any lingering effects from the bell ringing that any of them will suffer going forward today. (Interruptions) Not that much, but anyway, the House will meet again tomorrow, Friday, December 18th, from the hours of 12:03 a.m. until 11:57 p.m.

[Page 7540]

With that, I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow from the hours of 12:03 a.m. until 11:57 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for the House to adjourn to rise again tomorrow, Friday, December 18th, between the hours of 12:03 a.m. and 11:57 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until Friday, December 18th, at 12:03 a.m.

[The House rose at 1:49 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 7541]

RESOLUTION NO. 3064

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas The Three Churches of Mahone Bay Foundation and Petite Riviere Vineyards teamed up once again to release a second round of Three Churches of Mahone Bay wine; and

Whereas Petite Riviere Vineyards is a destination winery in the LaHave River Valley Wine Region on the south shore of Nova Scotia that relies on the unique terroir of one of the oldest grape growing regions in North America to make distinctive wines and is noted for the quality of its reds; and

Whereas The Three Churches of Mahone Bay wine, made from Lunenburg County grapes of the Marechal Foch variety, was launched in June at the HUB in Mahone Bay and a bottle sells for $22 with one dollar from each sold going to the Three Churches of Mahone Bay Foundation;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating these partners for a second year of producing Three Churches of Mahone Bay wine and for donating some of the profits to a good cause.

RESOLUTION NO. 3065

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas in October, Dick Huggard was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame at a ceremony held at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in Bible Hill; and

Whereas Mr. Huggard's involvement and contribution to the agricultural industry began at an early age working on his home farm that evolved into a 36-year career with the Department of Agriculture and Marketing, where he first worked as a livestock fieldman and then went on to become its deputy minister; and

Whereas Dick Huggard is a worthy inductee to the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame which established in 1968, annually celebrates the outstanding contributions of individuals involved with and contributing to the agricultural industry;

[Page 7542]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate Dick Huggard for this recognition and for his dedication and leadership to the agriculture community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3066

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Doug and Suzanne Corkum celebrated 25 years with Sainte-Famille Wines in June; and

Whereas the Corkums purchased a farm in Falmouth over 35 years ago, establishing the Sainte-Famille Wines vineyard in 1980 with one acre of vines; and

Whereas the vineyard is situated on a gently sloping hill overlooking the Avon River Valley, now spanning 25 acres and has the distinction of being the oldest family-owned winery in Nova Scotia and two of its top selling wines are Avon 25 (25th Anniversary Edition) which is a white blend of Siegfried, l'Acadie and Seyval, and their Wild Blueberry wine;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Corkums on this significant achievement of a 25 year contribution to Nova Scotia's wine industry and wish them much success and continued expansion in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3067

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Hanspeter Stutz and his son, winemaker Jurg Stutz, created a wine to honour one of their long time employees, Tom Preston; and

Whereas Tom Preston was a fixture in the vineyards of Domaine de Grand Pre since the 1970s where he planted, pruned and picked grapes until retiring in 2012. He died in 2014 at age 67; and

[Page 7543]

Whereas for his commitment and dedication to the industry, the Stutz family created Tom's Red, a special edition, limited release wine that uses the first crop of Marquette from the winery and has an ink sketch of him on each bottle's label;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Stutz family for honouring long time employee Tom Preston for his dedication as an employee and to acknowledge his witness to the growth of Nova Scotia's wine industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 3068

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Wendy Rodda and Howard Selig of Middleton based Valey Flax Flour Ltd. will be featured in a new cookbook by British chef and television personality, Jamie Oliver; and

Whereas at a recent food expo in Merigomish that promoted a buy-local theme, Jamie Oliver gave a cooking demonstration using quality foods produced in the Maritimes and Valley Flax Flour was among nine Atlantic producers selected for the showcase; and

Whereas Oliver personally chose Valley Flax Flour as a key ingredient for the protein bread recipe that is now featured in his new cookbook, Everyday Super Food;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Wendy Rodda and Howard Selig of Valley Flax Flour Ltd. On this achievement and for their continued support of and involvement in the buy-local movement in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3069

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Andrew Peller Limited (APL), the largest Canadian owned winery in the country is celebrating 50 years of winemaking in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas founder Andrew Peller arrived at Pier 21 from Hungary in 1927 with $5 in his pocket and now with three generations of excellence, the award-winning Truro-based winery stands at 1,200 employees in Canada, leading wine brands from coast to coast and over $300 million in sales; and

[Page 7544]

Whereas in celebration of this major milestone and his entry into Canada through Pier 21, Mr. Peller donated $1 from every purchase of Peller Estates French Cross sold in June and July to Pier 21 Museum, Canada's National Museum of Immigration in Halifax and the Children's Wish Foundation, which amounted to approximately $15,000 for each;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Andrew Peller and Peller Estates on its 50th anniversary, its continued investment to the provincial economy and wish it much success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3070

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas 4-H Canada and Syngenta Canada again held 'Proud to Bee a 4-H'er' in June, which is an initiative where 4-H club members learn about bees and other pollinators by planting and tending pollinator-friendly gardens; and

Whereas for a second year this fun activity encouraged club members to learn all about the amazing and fascinating work of bees, to get outside and enjoy nature, and to raise funds for their local clubs; and

Whereas 4-H clubs that register for the program received a free 'Proud to Bee a 4-H'er' garden bag stuffed with bee-friendly seed packets, planting instructions and information about pollinator habitat and more than 100 clubs took part with close to 80,000 seed packets distributed across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate 4-H Canada and Syngenta Canada for giving 4-H'ers a great opportunity to learn more about pollinators and take an active role in supporting pollinator health in their communities.

RESOLUTION NO. 3071

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Megan Wynn attended a 4-H event in Truro last year where she received the grand champion dairy individual award and the once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a group of Canadians invited to attend the European Young Breeders School in Battice, Belgium; and

[Page 7545]

Whereas from September 2nd to September 6th the 18 year-old from Crowes Mills was one of the six Canadians to participate in the Belgium school with hundreds of others from around the world; and

Whereas Megan got to learn 4-H skills, including learning to wash, clip and show animals which gave her a jump start on her pre-veterinarian medicine studies that she's enrolled in this Fall at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in Bible Hill;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Megan Wynn on receiving this important education opportunity and wishing her much success in her future contributions to the dairy industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 3072

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas through HarvestHand, Patricia Bishop and Duncan Ebata are helping farmers grow their businesses with valuable online connections; and

Whereas the Kings County based company has developed software and new media solutions for community supported agriculture producers that gives them a way to market their community shared agriculture online; and

Whereas HarvestHand provides integrated online services that are all accessible through a single platform with tools that assist farmers with organizing their orders, thereby increasing profitability and building valuable connections;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Patricia Bishop and Duncan Ebata for developing HarvestHand, which allows farmers to reach out to more consumers that in turn strengthens our regional food systems for all Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 3073

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

[Page 7546]

Whereas in July, world champion horse Somebeachsomewhere was inducted into the Harness Racing Living Horse Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.; and

Whereas owned by Schooner Stables of Bible Hill, Somebeachsomewhere won 20 of 21 lifetime races with career earnings of more than $3.2 million; and

Whereas Somebeachsomewhere retired after his three year-old year but his legacy lives on as he continues to breed about 160 mares a year;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Schooner Stables for receiving this incredible recognition receiving it on his first year of eligibility.

RESOLUTION NO. 3074

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas it is the first time that two Nova Scotia wines will be included in the Canadian Culinary Championships to be held in Kelowna, B.C. in February; and

Whereas Chef Martin Ruiz Salvador of Fleur de Sel in Lunenburg won the Halifax qualifier last month by pairing his winning dish with the 2013 Ancienne Chardonnay from Lightfoot & Wolfville; and

Whereas the 2013 Ancienne Chardonnay from Lightfoot & Wolfville is a 100 per cent Nova Scotian Chardonnay that is wild fermented in the Annapolis Valley from grapes hand-picked from their certified organic vineyards and at Fleur de Sel in Lunenburg, Chef Ruiz Salvador combines classical French cuisine using fresh, local seafood;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join me in congratulating Chef Martin Ruiz Salvador for qualifying in this respected competition and for choosing a Nova Scotia wine to assist in his entry.

RESOLUTION NO. 3075

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas it is the first time that two Nova Scotia wines will be included in the Canadian Culinary Championships to be held in Kelowna, B.C. in February; and

[Page 7547]

Whereas at the Toronto qualifying competition, Chef Stuart Cameron of the restaurant Byblos in Toronto took the gold medal by pairing pressed quail, foie gras, mousse borek, rose jam and Iranian pistachio with Nova 7 from Benjamin Bridge; and

Whereas Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge in the Gaspereau Valley is made from 100 per cent Nova Scotia grapes of the Muscat variety grown along the Bay of Fundy, the award winning winery is known for its handcrafted fine wines, sparkling wines and its perennial sell-out, internationally renowned Nova 7;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join me in congratulating Benjamin Bridge and Nova 7 for being part of the award-winning plate created by Chef Stuart Cameron for this respected culinary competition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3076

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Vintage Cuvée Rosé 2011 from l'Acadie Vineyards was one of three Nova Scotia wines that received the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia wines in August; and

Whereas l'Acadie Vineyards in the Gaspereau Valley near Wolfville is known for its traditional method of sparkling wine and boasts that it is the first vineyard and winery in Nova Scotia to be certified organic as all their wines are made with 100 per cent Nova Scotia grapes and they are leaders in encouraging others to grow organically; and

Whereas the winning selections, including that from l'Acadie Vineyards were chosen through a blind tasting by an independent panel of experts and were given their awards by Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant at a ceremony that was held at Government House in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate l'Acadie Vineyards and its Vintage Cuvée Rosé 2011 on this recognition of their excellent product and for continuing to contribute to the wine industry in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3077

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

[Page 7548]

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

Whereas the Riesling Icewine 2013 from Domaine de Grand Pré was one of three Nova Scotia wines that received the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines in August; and

Whereas Domaine de Grand Pré is a world-class, award-winning vineyard in Grand Pré known for its stellar white wines and features a museum, wine tours and Le Caveau restaurant and receives over 25,000 visitors each year; and

Whereas the winning selections were chosen through a blind tasting by an independent panel of experts and were given their awards by Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant at a ceremony that was held at Government House in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Domaine de Grand Pré and its Riesling Icewine 2013 on this recognition of their excellent product and for continuing to contribute to the wine industry in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3078

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Riesling 2013 from Gaspereau Vineyards was one of three Nova Scotia wines that received the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines in August; and

Whereas Gaspereau Vineyards is a boutique winery situated on a picturesque, 50-acre site near Wolfville that creates award-winning, premium, estate-grown, limited edition wines, best known for outstanding Rieslings and specializing in elegant white and robust red wines; and

Whereas the winning selections were chosen through a blind tasting by an independent panel of experts and were given their awards by Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant at a ceremony that was held at Government House in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gaspereau Vineyards and their Riesling 2013 on this recognition of their excellent product and for continuing to contribute to the wine industry in Nova Scotia.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3079

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Stewart Creaser and Lorraine Vassalo own and operate Avondale Sky Winery, an award-winning winery in Newport Landing that produces a broad range of quality products that appeal to a wide variety of consumer tastes; and

Whereas Avondale Sky Winery was named 2015 Winery of the Year in the Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards, and overall medalled nine times in six categories and was awarded Red Wine of the Year for their 2013 Montavista;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Stewart Creaser and Lorraine Vassalo and staff for their achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank them for the positive impact they have indisputably had in their community and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3080

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Jurg Stutz is the Winemaker and Hanspeter Stutz is the owner of Grand Pré Wines, an award-winning producer of wines in the Annapolis Valley that focuses on producing wines made from Nova Scotia grapes that they have worked to cultivate; and

Whereas Grand Pré Wines were the recipient of the 2015 Innovative Product of the Year Award through Taste of Nova Scotia's Prestige Awards, given to products demonstrating quality and value, with a primary focus on products targeted to premium specialty markets, for their Pomme D'or Apple Cream Liqueur which is deemed to be unique in the marketplace and addresses a previously unfilled demand while highlighting new, creative and unique technological capabilities in production, post-harvest, process handling and/or manufacturing;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jurg Stutz and Hanspeter Stutz of Grand Pré Winery for their achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank them for the positive impact they have indisputably had in their community and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3081

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Quita Gray and Scott Whitelaw are co-owners of Sugar Moon Farm, an award-winning year-round maple syrup farm and restaurant with 2,500 taps, a log sugar camp and restaurant that is a popular visitor destination in Earltown; and

Whereas Sugar Moon Farm was the recipient of the 2015 Restaurant of the Year Essence of Nova Scotia Award at the recent Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards that recognized they produce quality food in a manner that supports local agriculture and community and respects the land and water;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Quita Gray and Scott Whitelaw and the staff of Sugar Moon Farm for their achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank them for the positive impact they have indisputably had in their community and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3082

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hard-working people; and

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Whereas Simon Rafuse is the Winemaker and Tim Ramey is the owner of Blomidon Estate Winery, an award-winning boutique winery on the shore of the Minas Basin near Canning that is committed to producing 100 per cent Nova Scotia grown grapes and wines; and

Whereas Blomidon Estate Winery was the recipient of the 2015 Producer of the Year Award through Taste of Nova Scotia's Prestige Awards for their demonstration of all around high quality and value within their designated business sector and as the winner of this award has proven themselves to be a leader in the production of the best food and/or drink products in the province from their application of management skills to quality control, export opportunities as well as the bottom line;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Simon Rafuse, Tim Ramey and the staff of Blomidon Estate Winery for their achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank them for the positive impact they have indisputably had in their community and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3083

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hardworking people; and

Whereas Dr. Wilhelmina Kalt is a senior researcher at the Kentville Research Centre and is responsible for much of the awareness of the health benefits of flavonoids compounds; and

Whereas Dr. Kalt's research has contributed to the success of the blueberry industry, a super-fruit that is Nova Scotia's second largest agricultural export commodity with total sales at $31.7 million in 2013;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Wilhelmina Kalt for her achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank her for the positive impact she has indisputably had in her community and wish her continued success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3084

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hardworking people; and

Whereas Dr. Suzanne Blatt, a research scientist at the Kentville Research Centre is an expert in integrated pest management, chemical ecology and bio-control; and

Whereas Dr. Blatt is currently working on ways to use bees to protect apple trees from disease, the characterization of Honeycrisp rootstocks for production and storage and the evaluation of new cultivars and rootstocks for insect resistance;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Suzanne Blatt for her achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank her for the positive impact she has indisputably had in her community and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3085

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hardworking people; and

Whereas Dr. Pervaiz Abbasi, a research scientist at the Kentville Research Centre is an expert plant pathologist; and

Whereas Dr. Abbasi's current research includes developing and evaluating microbial agents for biological control of plant pathogens, and developing strategies to manage soil borne and foliar diseases of fruit and vegetable crops;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Pervaiz Abbasi for his achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank him for the positive impact he has indisputably had in his community and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3086

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hardworking people; and

Whereas Dr. Timothy Ells, a research scientist at the Kentville Research Centre is an expert in food microbiology, focusing on the safety and quality of horticultural products; and

Whereas Dr. Ells is researching ways to enhance mitigation strategies for microbiological risks in fresh horticultural products;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Timothy Ells for his achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank him for the positive impact he has indisputably had in his community and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3087

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hardworking people; and

Whereas Dr. Steve Javorek, a research scientist at the Kentville Research Centre is an expert in bio-indicators, berry crops and pollination; and

Whereas Dr. Javorek's research has looked at developing conservation and restoration guidelines for the landscape to nurture the preservation of native bee populations in Canada;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Steve Javorek for his achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank him for the positive impact he has indisputably had in his community and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3088

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hardworking people; and

Whereas Dr. Lihua Fan, a research scientist at the Kentville Research Centre is an expert in food microbiology, focusing on new technologies to control decay, extend shelf life and maintain quality of raw and fresh cut fruits and vegetables; and

Whereas Dr. Fan has been experimenting with edible coatings and natural anti-microbials on fresh cut vegetables that ensure safety and don't affect the taste;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Lihua Fan for her achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank her for the positive impact she has indisputably had in her community and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3089

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had exports totalling $310.2 million last year is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hardworking people; and

Whereas Liam Taylor is the commercial director with LaHave Natural Farms, an innovative grower of haskap berries founded by a group of like-minded friends with a shared passion for tasty food and natural agriculture; and

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Whereas LaHave Natural Farms was the recipient of the 2015 Consumer Choice Product of the Year Award, the only award selected solely on the basis of consumer votes by the Taste of Nova Scotia's Prestige Awards for their Haskapa Chutney out of nominations received in this category for a wide variety of local products;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Liam Taylor and the staff of LaHave Natural Farms for their achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry and thank them for the positive impact they have indisputably had in their community and wish them continued success.