The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.



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

Second Session

MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2016


Law Amendments Committee,
House of Assembly Management Commn. - Anl. Rept. (2015),
Elections N.S. - By-Elections (07/14/15) Proceedings Rept.,
No. 162, Elections Act,
No. 163, Dignity for Victims of Sexual Violence Act,
Hebb, Ralph: Death of - Tribute,
Res. 3192, Cdn. Cancer Soc.: Vols. - Work Recognize,
Vote - Affirmative
Justice - Strickland-Murphy, Camille/Park, Veronica:
Nova Institution Deaths - Inquiry, Ms. M. Mancini »
Fraser, Dr. Sandy - Paul Harris Fellowship,
McGrath, Lisa - Stellarton Vol. of Yr.,
Tony's Trek - Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness,
Com. Serv. Sexual Violence Strategy: Millwood HS Students
- Efforts Thank, Mr. S. Gough »
O'Connell, Beth: Sarapiqui Learning Ctr. (Costa Rica) - Educ. Proj.,
ECMA - Music Ind. Bus. Study,
Smith, Wendy - The Beacon: Anniv. Proj. - Thank,
Smaldon, Natalie - Silver Blades Skating Club Award,
Health & Wellness: Physician Access - Promises,
Lockview Commun. Group: ME to WE/Free the Children
- Vol. Trip, Mr. B. Horne »
Cruikshank, Chris: Karate - Fifth-Degree Black Belt,
No. 164, Sexual Violence Action Plan Act,
Taylor, Aaron - Dal. Univ. Bd. of Governors Award (2016),
Chisholm, Diane - AGNS: Chief Advancement Officer - Appt.,
Barclay-MacKay, Rev. Marion - Hon. Degree,
Firefighters/DNR Staff: Tri-Counties - Efforts,
E. Hants Peewee Triple A Penguins - Prov. Champions (2016),
Bedingfield, Rachel - Cdn. Assoc. for the Advancement of Women in
Sport & Physical Activity Award, Mr. J. Lohr »
Nurses: Dedication - Thank,
Stoddard, Sherrill: Prov. Vol. Awards - Recognition,
The Sound of Music - École John W. MacLeod Fleming Tower Sch.:
Prod. - Congrats., Hon. L. Diab »
Palmer, Muriel - New Glasgow Vol. of Yr.,
Noil, Joseph Benjamin: Congressional Medal of Honour - Grave Marker,
Jewers, Mr. Dana - Teachers Make a Difference Award,
Dal. Univ. - Active Health Proj.,
Dewar, Chester - UNSM Scroll of Recognition,
Ringer, Ethan - Lt.-Gov.'s Award,
Young, Dr. Gordon - Retirement Congrats.,
Mensour, Nicole: NSDCC Craft Show - Speaker,
Temple Sons of Israel Synagogue (Sydney) - Anniv. (100th),
Dixon, Kayley - Youth Engagement Round Table,
DeLeon, Martin: Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Students
- Support Thank, Mr. I. Rankin »
Rockingham Residents Assoc.: Syrian Refugees - Fundraiser,
Weinberg, Connie - Kings Co. Reg. Vol. of Yr.,
MacDonald, John Garth - Tema Conter Mem. Trust Award,
Morrison, Donnie: Bus. Success - Congrats.,
DND: 404 Licence - Certification,
Saulnier, Remi: Death of - Tribute,
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Apr. 26th at 1:00 P.M
Res. 3193, N.S. Spirit Co.: Contributions - Recognize,
Res. 3194, Kelly, Sean - Elizabeth Shard Award,
Res. 3195, Smith, Sherry: MFA (Univ. of Alberta) - Congrats.,
Res. 3196, Marchand, Aiden: Humanitarian Efforts - Thank,
Res. 3197, Aliga, Tony & Alex - Message in a Bottle Voyage,
Res. 3198, Adams, Debbie: Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network
- Entrepreneur of Yr., Hon. David Wilson « »
Res. 3199, Tyler, Jenny: Sackville-Bedford Autism Commun
- Dedication Commend, Hon. David Wilson « »
Res. 3200, Marshall, Levi: Mining ROCKS!/N.S. Recycles Contest
- Congrats., Hon. David Wilson « »
Res. 3201, Team N.S. Curling Athletes: Special Olympics
Can. Winter Games (2016) - Congrats., Hon. David Wilson « »
Res. 3202, Habib, Rodney/Planet Paws Pet Essentials: Achievements
- Congrats., Mr. A. Younger »
Res. 3203, Curlett, Lillian: Selflessness/Dedication - Congrats.,
Res. 3204, Conter, Jenna: Citadel Physiotherapy Position - Congrats.,

[Page 8131]


Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

4:00 P.M.


Hon. Kevin Murphy


Mr. Gordon Wilson, Mr. Keith Irving

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



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

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

Bill No. 152 - Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 156 - Public Archives Act.

Bill No. 157 - Government Records Act.

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

[Page 8132]

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


MR. SPEAKER « » : As Speaker, I'll table the following two documents: The first is the 2015 Annual Report of the House of Assembly Management Commission. The second is the Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on the Proceedings of the By-Elections, July 14, 2015, Volume II: Financial Information and Statistics.

The reports are tabled.




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

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, just before I introduce my bill, I'd like to do an introduction, if I may.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. WHALEN « » : Thank you very much. We're joined in the west gallery today by some visitors from Elections Nova Scotia. We have with us Richard Temporale, who is the Chief Electoral Officer; Peter Gzowski, who is Assistant Chief Electoral Officer; and Dorothy Rice, the Director of Electoral Finance. They're with Tina Hall from the Department of Justice, who has helped us draft this bill.

I'd like the House to please give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

Bill No. 162 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 5 of the Acts of 2011. The Elections Act. (Hon. Diana Whalen)

Bill No. 163 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 14 of the Acts of 1989. The Victims' Rights and Services Act. (Hon. Jamie Baillie)

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


[Page 8133]

Statements by members

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


HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, today I would like to take a minute and recognize World War II veteran Ralph Hebb, who died peacefully at the Veterans' Unit at the Fishermen's Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg this past Saturday. Mr. Hebb was the great-grandfather of Angie Zinck, and I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago. Everyone who had the privilege of meeting Mr. Hebb liked him and respected him. He was a proud family man who served his country and his community.

His 97 years were certainly well spent in service to others. In recent years, his war service was recognized by two foreign governments. In 2010, he received the Thank You Medal from the Government of the Netherlands, and in 2014, he was the recipient of the French Republic's Legion of Honour, Knight's designation medal, for his role in the Battle at Normandy.

On behalf of the entire Official Opposition, and I'm sure the whole House, I would like to offer our sympathies to his family, especially his wife Ruth of 66 years.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON » : Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House, would you revert to the order of business, Government Notices of Motion.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.


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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I will ask our guests to stand when I call their names. Joining us in the gallery this afternoon, it is my pleasure to introduce from the Canadian Cancer Society: Heather Rice, Patricia MacArthur, and Margaret Schwartz - and we're missing one other. I'm very happy that they're able to join us today, and I'd like for the House to give them a very warm welcome. (Applause)

[Page 8134]

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


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

Whereas every day almost 17 Nova Scotians hear the words "you have cancer"; and

Whereas last year the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society raised $7 million in funds to lead cancer research, improve the health of Canadians, and continue the fight against cancer; and

Whereas this is all thanks to about 5,000 volunteers and 45,000 generous donors across the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the hard work of Nova Scotians who volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society to eradicate cancer and improve the quality of life for those living with cancer, and urge all Nova Scotians to make a donation of their own during the month of April, Daffodil Month.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We'll now revert to the order of business, Statements by Members.


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


[Page 8135]


MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, last session I raised concerns about the tragic deaths of Camille Strickland-Murphy and Veronica Park at the Nova Institution for Women last year. There are still countless questions left unanswered after the untimely deaths of these two women. The Minister of Justice and her department have been silent since then.

The Minister of Justice would not commit to conducting a public inquiry into these deaths, but did commit to finding out more about the time frame of the internal federal review. I have yet to hear from the minister on this commitment, and hope that soon myself, and others, will have a better understanding on the outcomes of that internal review.

Mr. Speaker, I hope we hear from the minister shortly on this pressing issue.

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


MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, Dr. Sandy Fraser has a big heart and outstanding leadership skills that he puts to remarkable use in our community. Dr. Fraser was recently honoured by the Rotary Club of Kentville with its most prestigious award, the Paul Harris Fellowship. Paul Harris founded Rotary International in 1905, and the fellowship recognizes a substantial contribution to Rotary's humanitarian and educational programs.

Dr. Fraser sits on the board of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, and is board president of L'Arche Homefires in Wolfville where he is especially loved. His dedicated leadership in the capital campaign for constructing a new fully accessible building for all L'Arche Homefires day programs has been essential to this important community project.

On behalf of the Legislative House of Assembly, I would like to congratulate Dr. Fraser on his recent award, and thank him for his generosity and strong commitment to community.

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


HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, each year volunteers in Nova Scotia do the equivalent work of 41,000 full-time jobs.

This year the Town of Stellarton has recognized Lisa McGrath as their Volunteer of the Year. Lisa is recognized for her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Summer Street Industries, and Curl for Cancer. She has also contributed to the local autism walk, local food banks, and local elementary school. Lisa serves as the treasurer of the Dragon Boat Races, an event that has raised $200,000 for the Women Alike, a breast cancer support group. Lisa also finds time to donate to the prostate support group and Special Olympics, as well as helping out with the Stellarton Homecoming.

[Page 8136]

I would ask that members of this House of Assembly recognize the tremendous volunteer worth ethic of Stellarton's Lisa McGrath, and wish her every future success in her work in the community.

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

Tony's Trek - Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's time to increase awareness among Nova Scotians and Canadians on the importance of registering to be an organ donor and tissue donor. I encourage everyone to discuss with their families their wishes on being a donor.

On September 13, 2014, Tony Neville lost his battle with end-stage liver failure while waiting for a life-saving liver transplant. Tony was a dedicated emergency health care worker who worked as a paramedic in Cape Breton. This year Tony's wife, Debbie Neville, friends, family, and former colleagues, are honouring his wish to bring awareness to the need of organ and tissue donation by organizing the first Annual Tony's Trek, this Thursday, April 28th, at 12:00 noon at the Green Lake Rotary Park Trail in Cape Breton.

I wish the organizers success with Tony's Trek, and encourage everyone to become a donor.

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

Com. Serv. Sexual Violence Strategy:

Millwood HS Students - Efforts Thank

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, earlier today I had the privilege to speak at Millwood High School to announce that the school had received funding through the Department of Community Services Sexual Violence Strategy. The money will be used to help students recognize and intervene in situations that involve sexual violence. The goal is to empower and educate students on this important issue and to make sure that silence in the face of sexual violence is simply not an option.

It is inspiring to see young people take the initiative on this kind of project. It was amazing to be at the school and witness the energy and enthusiasm that the students have to eradicate sexual violence. I would ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating students at Millwood High School for their work on this important topic.

[Page 8137]

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

O'Connell, Beth: Sarapiqui Learning Ctr. (Costa Rica)

- Educ. Proj.

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of Education Week, I rise to recognize the next generation of educators.

Beth O'Connell, a South Colchester Academy student, is an active community volunteer. On top of being involved with the Middle Stewiacke Youth Band, the Khrysalis Youth Band, 4-H, and the Regional Council of the Nova Scotia Secondary School Student Association, Ms. O'Connell is planning an excursion to Costa Rica to teach elementary children the ukulele.

Working with the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Centre, which accomplishes their mission through education, conservation, and community development, the Grade 12 student is hoping to take supplies to aid the work of the centre, including school and art supplies, environmental supplies, office supplies, and ukuleles. I wish Beth the best of luck on this important project.

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


MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, the East Coast Music Association has recently announced partnerships with regional and national music organizations to work together to strengthen the business side of the Atlantic Canadian music industry. The group is set to undertake a business study of the music industry on the East Coast.

As with the film industry, there is a strong business argument for investing in the music industry. Many in the industry are still waiting for the tax credits that they were promised by the Liberal Government in the last election. Executive Director Andy McLean has said ". . . music is a huge economic driver. It's about the new economy, it's about jobs, bringing people back to Atlantic Canada."

Mr. Speaker, I'm sure the Premier is looking forward to the release of this report as much as we in the NDP are.

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


[Page 8138]

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Mr. Speaker, volunteers make communities strong. Eastern Passage/Cow Bay has lots of dedicated volunteers who are enriching the lives of the residents.

Wendy Smith is the editor of The Beacon. This very important monthly newspaper is distributed through Eastern Passage, Cow Bay, and Shearwater. Being the editor is a huge responsibility and requires a tremendous amount of work hours, many tasks, and lots of organization to make it happen every month.

2016 is the 40th Anniversary of The Beacon, and Wendy is committed to completing a special anniversary project for the paper that will commemorate its 40 years of providing wonderful service to the community.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the members of this House to join me in thanking Wendy Smith for her unwavering dedication to The Beacon and to all the people it serves.

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

Smaldon, Natalie - Silver Blades Skating Club Award

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to recognize Natalie Smaldon for receiving the Love and Dedication Award from the Silver Blades Skating Club.

The love of your sport and the dedication to be the best you can be are key elements to success for everything you do in life. I hope Natalie will always keep these traits and use them as she continues her skating and education. I am pleased to congratulate Natalie on her award. I hope it is always a reminder that if you can dream it, you can do it.

Being part of an organized activity is a great experience. I know this has been a very good journey for Natalie, and I wish her all the best.

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

Health & Wellness: Physician Access - Promises

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, sometimes "sorry" is the hardest word to say. The Premier promised every Nova Scotian would have access to a family doctor. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne has the floor.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Thank you. In October 2015 the Minister of Health and Wellness promised to keep the Roseway Hospital open. The new health authority promised to keep administration costs down. All of these promises have been broken.

[Page 8139]

Mr. Speaker, any good apology has three parts: first, "I'm sorry"; second, "It's my fault"; and third, "What can I do to make it right?" Most people forget the third part. To be continued.

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



MR. BILL HORNE « » : In July 2015, 10 members of a Lockview community group travelled to Ecuador (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank has the floor.

MR. HORNE « » : In July 2015, a 10-member Lockview community group travelled to Ecuador as part of a ME to WE/Free the Children volunteer trip. It was a summer that the young people and chaperones will always remember, and a trip to help empower women to make communities safer. The group helped build a community kitchen, as many families do not have safe kitchens in their homes. The experience was challenging but satisfying. The group appreciated seeing a new country and experiencing their culture and also got to leave knowing that they had made a difference in the lives of those living there. Please join me in congratulating these individuals for their hard work.

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


MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to congratulate Chris Cruikshank, a local karate instructor, for being awarded fifth-degree black belt status. Achievement of this status is extremely rare. Factors considered for a disciple to obtain this include the time they invest into karate and how they have been able to develop and implement training methods and learn technical skills. How individuals pass along their knowledge and experience to pupils is also considered.

Chris has studied karate for over 30 years and has taught thousands of students. Ron Fagan of the International Karate Alliance surprised Chris when he arrived at a routine training session for the Northumberland Karate Club to present Chris with his certificate. I congratulate Chris on achieving this prestigious status.

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

[Page 8140]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House, would you revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.


Bill No. 164 - Entitled an Act to Address Sexual Violence at Colleges and Universities. (Hon. Jamie Baillie)

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


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

Taylor, Aaron - Dal. Univ. Bd. Of Governors Award (2016)

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : A 22-year-old Truro native, Aaron Taylor, received the 2016 Dalhousie University Board of Governors Award. This award is the school's most prestigious student leadership award, handed out for academic work as well as extracurricular activities.

At the age of 15, Aaron wanted to learn Russian, so he taught himself, which came in handy when he travelled to Russia last year with other students. Currently, he speaks seven languages fluently and is functional in two others. Aaron is currently working on his final thesis on Russian-Canadian relations and hopes to have it published. Next year, he heads off to Carleton University to begin a Master of Arts degree at the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian studies.

As Aaron's MLA, I wish to congratulate Aaron and his family for his monumental achievement.

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


MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring your attention to a lady by the name of Diane Chisholm, who is a senior development professional from a significant network with a strong track record. Diane will lead a strategic review of fundraising at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and has been appointed the new chief advancement officer for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. She is helping to build for the future, has championed numerous development initiatives, and was a major contributor to the recent success of the bold, ambitious campaign in which Dalhousie University raised over $280 million.

[Page 8141]

Diane's new position will complete the gallery's current development and stewardship initiatives and will lay the groundwork to connecting communities and people with art. I want to congratulate Diane on her future with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

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


MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Reverend Marion Barclay-MacKay from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Sydney Mines. Reverend Barclay-MacKay will be awarded the Doctorate of Divinity, Honoris Causa, at the 149th Annual Convocation of the Presbyterian College in May.

Reverend Marion has served in pastoral ministries in various communities, as well as an ecumenical worker in Ghana and also a mission worker and educational consultant. It's a true honour to have this opportunity to recognize this talented lady and the impact she is having on the Presbyterian Church of Canada.

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

Firefighters/DNR Staff: Tri-Counties - Efforts

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the NDP caucus to offer many thanks to the firefighters and DNR staff who have been tirelessly fighting a rash of forest and grass fires in southwestern Nova Scotia. Wind and dry weather has made it difficult for these workers who have been fighting fires in Yarmouth, Digby, and Shelburne Counties.

Mr. Speaker, the forest fire in Clyde River was in a difficult area to reach so a helicopter was employed to dump water from above. These types of fires highlight the importance of having necessary personnel and resources in place for when dangerous situations arise.

Again, I want to thank all those who continue to work to keep the Tri-Counties safe.

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


[Page 8142]

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, the hockey season is once again drawing to a close. I rise today to recognize the great success of East Hants Pee Wee Triple A Penguins who are the 2016 provincial champions. The East Hants Sportsplex in Lantz hosted the championship on March 24th to March 27th.

Going into competition, the Penguins were the team to beat and they did not disappoint. In front of a hometown crowd the Penguins hosted the Hockey Nova Scotia Champions banner and earned the right to represent Nova Scotia at the Atlantics held in Charlottetown. They have since returned home from P.E.I. with the silver medal.

Mr. Speaker, anyone involved with hockey knows the long, often early hours at the rink, the training, dedication, and passion, necessary to reach this level. East Hants is very proud of these 11- and 12-year-olds and congratulates them on a tremendous season. We thank the East Hants Minor Hockey Association, all the parents, the volunteers, the officials, and coaches, who made this and every season possible.

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


MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, recently a prestigious award was presented to the Town of Kentville's Director of Parks and Recreation. Rachel Bedingfield has been recognized as a person of influence by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity and is considered one of its 25 most influential women honourees in Canada.

Rachel shares this recognition with an Olympic gold medalist, a Canadian women's soccer team captain, Ontario's Premier, and many top executives of sporting companies in our country. In her role for the Town of Kentville, Rachel led initiatives addressing gender equity fairly in recreation and physical activity, providing free fitness passes to women living in transition houses, and having female change rooms installed in rinks.

Please join me in my congratulations to Rachel for this most amazing acknowledgement.

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


[Page 8143]

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, nurses have been helping individuals in our province for over a century. Nurses are here to provide medical and nursing care to patients in hospitals, at home, or in other settings, such as people who are suffering from both chronic and acute physical or mental ill health.

Before the foundation of modern nursing, nuns and military often provided services which were like the duties performed today. Nurses have many duties that come with the title. A few of these duties are: assess and planning nursing care requirements; providing pre- and post-operation care; monitoring and administering medication; intravenous infusions; taking samples, pulses, temperatures and blood pressures; writing records; and many more.

Mr. Speaker, hospitals, NSH Trusts, residential homes, prisons, agencies, health centres, schools, companies, and GP practices, are all employers of nurses. These outstanding caretakers go through a lot of training and hard work to get where they are today. Truly, they are a blessing to so many in our province. They are ready, willing, and able to assist so many in their time of need.

Please join me in thanking and honouring nurses all around the province, and in Canada, for the dedicated work to become a qualified and registered nurse. I can't express how significant these wonderful people are to our community.

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

Stoddard, Sherrill: Prov. Vol. Awards - Recognition

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : The 42nd Annual Provincial Volunteer Awards are a special day to acknowledge those who dedicate their time and effort to supporting others in our community. Amongst those being acknowledged was Sherrill Stoddard.

Sherrill has been a member of the Cape Sable Island New Horizons, serving on the board of directors as well as being their official caretaker and organizer. Sherrill is also known for her great kindness and compassion to others. She has fostered children in her home, actively serves at the United Baptist Church in Clark's Harbour, and has collected for numerous organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Arthritis Society. I'd like to congratulate Sherrill Stoddard for all her dedication of her time to her community.

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

The Sound of Music

[Page 8144]

- École John W. MacLeod Fleming Tower Sch.: Prod. - Congrats.

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express how pleased I was to attend École John W. MacLeod Fleming Tower School's Spring musical, The Sound of Music. The April 7th production showcased an astounding amount of talent that made the audience and me very proud. A lot of work goes into putting on a musical like this.

Two particular volunteers and constituents of Armdale, mother and daughter duo Lorraine and Lily Simon-Yerian, dedicated untold hours of backdrop and props work to the production, exercising their creative skills. The school's rendition of The Sound of Music was a joy to experience. The students brought the story to life, and the two shows were wonderful community events.

Please join me in thanking and honouring Lorraine and Lily and all students, staff and volunteers. Félicitations et bonne chance à l'avenir.

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

Palmer, Muriel - New Glasgow Vol. of Yr.

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Volunteers are the lifeblood of Nova Scotia towns and villages. This year, the Town of New Glasgow has chosen Muriel Palmer as its Volunteer of the Year.

Muriel is a tireless and committed volunteer. She has been an Aberdeen Hospital Pastoral Care volunteer, representing the First Baptist Church of New Glasgow, where she has served on every board and committee within the church. Muriel is also a member of the Archway Counselling Committee for Pictou County and former president, now secretary/treasurer, of the Colchester-Pictou Women's Association. She has coordinated and judged the regional science fair for the past 30 years.

I ask all members to join me in recognizing and thanking Muriel Palmer for her dedication to her community.

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

Noil, Joseph Benjamin: Congressional Medal of Honour

- Grave Marker

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, I stand today to acknowledge Joseph Benjamin Noil, an African Nova Scotian veteran. I learned earlier this year that Joseph Benjamin Noil, an African Nova Scotian, received the Congressional Medal of Honour for Bravery in 1872, while serving on the USS Powhatan in the Civil War.

[Page 8145]

When a shipmate fell overboard, Noil dove into the water after him, saving his life. He died in 1882, but his grave was not marked with the Medal of Honour marker. That will be remedied this week or next week, in a ceremony in Washington, DC.

Joseph Noil deserves to be included in the story of Nova Scotia. He was one of many Blacks from this province who served during the Civil War. It's a story which we can all be proud of.

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

Jewers, Mr. Dana - Teachers Make a Difference Award

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Each year, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union hosts the Teachers Make a Difference program. Students and/or parents nominate teachers who have made a difference. This year there were 308 nominations, representing 227 teachers. Brookfield native Dana Jewers was one of 10 educators honoured through the Teachers Make a Difference program.

Mr. Jewers has been an educator for 10 years and currently teaches math, English, and science at the Fanning Education Centre in Canso. He, along with the other nine award recipients, received a $300 donation for their school or campus breakfast, food bank, or library program.

I wish to extend congratulations to all the educators who were nominated and especially Mr. Jewers and the other nine award recipients. It truly is a testament to the impact they are having on their students' lives.

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


HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge an innovative health and wellness project taking place at Dalhousie University.

Kathie Wheadon is director of athletics and recreational services at Dalhousie; she recently started the Active Health Project to see if exercise can play a role in helping students cope with stress; as much research lends to that argument. A unique angle to this is that students are paired up with Dalplex personal trainers, who also happen to be Dal students themselves. Participation in the program means students learn how to exercise properly and, hopefully, because of that can develop stronger coping mechanisms for anxiety.

Although this is just a pilot project at the moment, it is an interesting one with great potential for growth. I'm intrigued to see what Ms. Wheadon's findings will be, and I want to congratulate her on starting this initiative. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 8146]

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


MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize another politician from Pictou East, Mr. Chester Dewar. Chester is the councillor for the fine folks of District 12 in Pictou County, and was recently the recipient of a scroll of recognition from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities for 15 years of dedicated service.

Chester is likely one of the hardest-working men I know and he wears many hats in the run of a day. He knows his constituents well and he has no problem addressing the issues that affect the people of District 12.

I congratulate Chester on receiving this award and for the good work that he has done for District 12, and I hope he will continue to do so for a long time.

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


MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm rising today to read a statement on behalf of the member for Lunenburg West.

Mr. Speaker, I'm always pleased to stand in the Legislature to acknowledge the youth of our province. One such youth, Ethan Ringer, recently was recognized by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and was awarded one of 16 Respectful Citizenship Awards.

Ethan is a Grade 6 student who attends South Queens Middle School and has become a real role model to his classmates and community. Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, Ethan has made it his mission to create awareness and to educate others about inclusion, how it feels to live with ASD, and how others can help create a more positive environment with others also living with ASD.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating Ethan Ringer for his award and accomplishments, and in wishing him all the best. Thank you.

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


[Page 8147]

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to congratulate Dr. Gordon Young on his full retirement after 40 years as a practising physician.

While Dr. Young semi-retired in June of 2013, he continued to practise medicine on a part-time basis by working a few nights a week at the Pictou Outpatient Clinic. Though many choose to enter full retirement immediately, Gordon remained dedicated to his patients and assisting other local doctors. Gordon hails from a long line of doctors who have served our community for approximately 115 years.

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to recognize and thank Gordon for his dedication to his patients, and wish him a very happy and fulfilling retirement. Thank you.

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


MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Nicole Mensour, a home stager, interior designer, and a professional organizer, who was selected to speak at the Interior Designers Talk Series at the Nova Scotia Designer Craft Council Designer Craft Show last winter.

Nicole was one of three top interiors consultants who spoke at this annual event. As owner of Maddex Interiors she was honoured to share her passion for design and organization with others. Maddex Interiors is a professional home staging and organizing firm that provides clients with tasteful and well-organized interiors.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in recognizing Nicole for being chosen to speak at this important event and receiving the exposure that she and her firm deserve. Thank you.

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


MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Temple Sons of Israel Synagogue, in Sydney, will mark its 100th Anniversary this summer with a celebration and a reunion called Sydney Shul 100.

Many of Cape Breton's earliest Jewish settlers came from Europe, as did thousands of others, to work on the coal mines or at the Sydney steel plant. People with ties to Cape Breton's Jewish communities have been spread to all corners of the world.

Invitations to 100th Anniversary celebrations started going out in the mail and on social media in early April. Organizer Stephen Nathanson expects people to attend from as far away as California and Israel.

[Page 8148]

I know the members will join me in thanking the Temple Sons of Israel community for their many contributions to our province, and in wishing them a large and happy 100th Anniversary celebration.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of the members to the west gallery, where we have two guests with us, Tim Worthington and Pam Birdsall. They're from Birdsall-Worthington Pottery in Mahone Bay. Of course Pam Birdsall is a former MLA for Lunenburg. I wish all members give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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


HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, they say it takes a village to raise a child. However, that child can often lean in and support their community in ways that even surprises them. For Kayley Dixon, a recent Facebook post about the community we live in teaches us all about resiliency, positivity and the power one person has to ignite change.

I met Kayley Dixon, a Grade 9 student at John Martin Junior High about a year ago at a Between the Bridges community engagement event. That exchange resulted in my Youth Engagement Round Table in Dartmouth North last November 13th. There, kids from John Martin and Bicentennial Junior High Schools spent an afternoon with me discussing their hopes and dreams, challenges and frustrations. Together we worked on solutions concerning the perception of our community.

Kayley and the others were adamant, the stereotypes associated with Dartmouth North were damaging to the youth and the community. Each had a story of attending sporting events outside the community and the low expectations of performance, coupled with the high expectation of misbehaviour was something each student had faced.

As the day ended, each person had their own plan of action. Some would volunteer, some would start their own programs in their schools, others would speak out on social media.

Kayley Dixon delivered; her recent Facebook post about breaking down the stereotypes of Dartmouth North were shared over 200 times and were featured in the various news outlets. Kayley so eloquently put into words what the youth of the round table were feeling, that Dartmouth North is a good community, it is her community and, more importantly, she believes in the people in her community.

[Page 8149]

Mr. Speaker, I want to publicly thank Kayley for reminding everyone of that.

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

DeLeon, Martin: Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Students

- Support Thank

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize Martin DeLeon who has been a teaching assistant at Ridgecliff Middle School for more than a decade, as well as at the former Timberlea Junior High School before that. Martin is well-respected by school staff, the students and the larger community for his caring and compassionate work ethic. Martin is deeply committed to young people in the community not only through his job but he also gives generously of his time as a volunteer to coach softball and volleyball.

I would like the members of this Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in acknowledging Martin for his dedication and kindness while supporting young people in the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea community and wish him all the best in the future.

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

Rockingham Residents Assoc.: Syrian Refugees - Fundraiser

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize the work of the Rockingham Residents Association for their very successful fundraiser in support of Syrian refugees moving into our community. Across the province dozens of organizations have stepped up to privately sponsor refugees. The Rockingham Residents Association is one of those groups of caring and concerned citizens who make us proud to be Nova Scotian. Their work has been absolutely tremendous. With the help of a landlord, they secured a free apartment for one year for their sponsored family.

On February 5, 2016, they also organized a Comedy Night and attracted over 100 people. They raised $5,000 that evening, with a matching donation of $5,000 from Scotia Bank's Clayton Park branch. This fundraiser allowed them to reach the full amount needed to sponsor a family.

Mr. Speaker, I am so proud of the support my community has shown for the settlement of Syrian refugees. I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating and thanking Renee Field, Eleanor Power and Karla Nicholson of the Rockingham Residents Association for organizing this successful community event.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

[Page 8150]

MR. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of chairing the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs here in the Legislature. Last week, we had our Premier announce the certification of the Department of Defence 404 Licence for our military personnel so when they (Interruption) Pardon me? Sorry, I'll skip and I'll start over again, so you go to the next person.

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

Weinberg, Connie - Kings Co. Reg. Vol. of Yr.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, at the 42nd Provincial Volunteer Awards ceremony held on April 4th, Connie Weinberg was recognized as the Municipality of Kings County's representative Volunteer of the Year. Connie was a constant volunteer during her 35-year teaching career. She was a 4-H light horse leader in Kings County for 25 years where she helped at the riding camps and horse shows. She continues to help with 4-H provincial shows and was honoured with The Friend of 4-H Award.

Connie helped Aylesford and District Lions Club and for the past 14 years has been an active volunteer with the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum. She helped set up the flight education program with schools that has helped deliver the program to hundreds of students. Her role as Santa's elf at Christmas, as they visited hospitals and the Veterans unit at Soldiers Memorial Hospital, is one of her many involvements that have made her an exemplary role model.

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

MacDonald, John Garth - Tema Conter Mem. Trust Award

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : John Garth MacDonald was recently honoured with the Public Service Award from the Tema Conter Memorial Trust in Toronto. It is a national charity dedicated to helping those who spend their lives helping us, a leader in providing peer support, family assistance, and training to those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Public Service Award is a way to recognize first responders who are bringing awareness to post-traumatic stress disorder in their communities.

Mr. MacDonald has been doing just that. As a veteran paramedic who lives with PTSD, he has made significant contributions to helping others and raising awareness. In 2014, Mr. MacDonald planned the first Helping the Helpers Awareness and Education Day, and over 300 people attended. This Fall, on October 22nd, he will be hosting the event for the third time.

Mr. Speaker, this annual awareness and education day is for people coping and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. The day is filled with keynote speakers from various front-line professionals sharing their experiences of suffering with and surviving PTSD, and professionals providing clinical education on the same.

[Page 8151]

The positive feedback he receives every year is amazing, Mr. Speaker. Mr. MacDonald is breaking down walls and opening the conversation around mental health. He's raising awareness of PTSD in Nova Scotia, and I applaud him for his efforts.

I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating and thanking Mr. MacDonald. We congratulate him on receiving the 2016 Public Service Award for it is a recognition that is well deserved. We thank him for his service as a paramedic and his contributions to the lives of Nova Scotians.

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

Morrison, Donnie: Bus. Success - Congrats.

MR. DAVID WILTON « » : I'd like to take this opportunity to mention long-time small business owner Donnie Morrison. In 1977 Donnie, along with his long-time friend Tom Cummings, wanted to go into business and purchased Midtown Pharmacy. Midtown was already a successful pharmacy that was opened in 1967, serving New Waterford and surrounding area. Donnie has operated Midtown Pharmacy in New Waterford for the last 38 years.

Since he took over the business, Donnie has grown this pharmacy into a small chain of five pharmacies in the CBRM. Mr. Morrison joined his pharmacies with the national chain Pharmasave, a chain of pharmacies with the same commitment to individual personal service that was part of his business model. This has helped not only grow his business, but also bring his business into the future. I would ask the members of this House to join me in congratulating Mr. Morrison on his continued success.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier with an encore presentation.


MR. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Let's try this again, Mr. Speaker. I had the honour of attending an event last week in Shearwater with the Premier where he announced the certification of the Department of National Defence 404 licence, so that our military personnel who take this test and who are certified in the military can now transfer that certification into civilian service.

There were a lot of people who were involved in that process, and I want to stand here today to recognize the Premier for supporting that initiative and to recognize all of our military personnel here across the province who will now be certified under this new licence that will enable them to transfer those skills from military life to private life.

[Page 8152]

Thank you, Mr. Premier, and thank you to everyone who supported it. I specifically want to also mention Brigadier-General (Retired) Greg Matte from Helmets to Hardhats Canada and I also want to mention Brad Smith from the Mainland Nova Scotia Building and Construction Trades Council, who were very pivotal in making sure that this took place.

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


MR. GORDON WILSON « » : On the same note of the Armed Forces, I'd like to rise today to remember a great man and my friend, Remi Saulnier. Born in Saulnierville, he joined the RCAF in 1956, starting a stellar career as a pilot in the Air Force. Locally, people still talk of the day when the young pilot flew down and buzzed his mother's house - actually twice.

By the end of his career, he had risen to the rank of Brigadier-General and Deputy Commander of NORAD Continental United States. Retiring to Clare, he was quickly a leader in the community. He became president of the Royal Canadian Legion, the board of Université Sainte-Anne, the Clare Woodlot Association, and the West Nova Liberal Association. He was also zone commander for the Legion and campaign manager for three federal elections.

On April 24th - yesterday - we all met at Salle Général Rémi J. Saulnier Hall at the Legion to celebrate his life. Despite spending so much of his life outside of Clare, he had such a big impact on our community, we will miss him dearly. My condolences go out to Roland, his children and the other family members, and his large number of friends. Merci beaucoup, thank you very much.


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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.


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

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

[Page 8153]

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to rise in my place and speak going into Supply. Like most budgets, we all find reasons to be pleased and reasons to be disappointed. I congratulate the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board on his first-ever budget delivery. I know it's a colossal task that I will never personally have to endure, although I do hope that in the future I will be part of a team that helps to create a balanced budget and perhaps even a surplus.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have had the opportunity to discuss the budget with many of my constituents this past weekend. From coffee shops, to church, to the farmers' market, to a 100th birthday party I was able to connect and hear from a number of individuals about their thoughts on the budget. Hearing from constituents and learning their concerns is one of the most important aspects of our job as an MLA.

Mr. Speaker, I also had an opportunity this past weekend to gather a number of seniors from the Pictou West area to discuss their concerns, challenges and, as well, to hear about the positive dividends seniors give back to our communities. One thousand seniors a month in Nova Scotia turn 65. Our seniors are a wealth of knowledge. I love spending time with them and listening to their stories of days gone by and learning of the many changes they have witnessed in their lifetime living here in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, it is through their adversities that they remain hopeful and always seem to put a positive spin on their hardships. However, the one common denominator that I often hear about from our seniors is the need for more long-term care beds. It truly is unfortunate that there is nothing in this budget that gives relief to those individuals and families with loved ones waiting to find a long-term care bed facility. I know for certain that we have well over 40 individuals in the Aberdeen Hospital waiting to be placed. I am most frustrated that this government is not addressing this issue in this current budget.

Mr. Speaker, what I probably fear most about the budget is the absence of a plan for economic growth. Where is the plan to create jobs? Where is the plan to create a welcoming environment by lowering taxes and power rates? I once recall the past member for Halifax Needham indicating that 52 per cent of Nova Scotians make less than $30,000 a year. Many who come to my office are either on WCB, EI, or social assistance. There is nothing in this budget to provide hope to these individuals to find employment.

Mr. Speaker, many of these individuals are between the ages of 18 and 35. They have lost hope. I wonder if perhaps there is a plan that the Liberal Government has not shared with us because when we see a $108 million increase in personal income tax, one begs the question, how is that revenue going to be generated? Taking out my calculator I see that this increase would only be justified by the creation of approximately 20,000 more employed people, considering that the average paid on generating $108 million in income tax would be approximately $5,200. It excites me, but only if perhaps it was true and I could believe it.

[Page 8154]

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Liberal Government knows of wage increases in some industry within Nova Scotia that we, in Opposition, are not aware of. A red flag for everyone to take notice to in this budget is the $110 million contribution from the federal government and HRM towards the Halifax convention centre.

There are a lot of concerns arising from this revenue flow as to what it will actually be applied toward. I have heard from the Premier, who indicated in Question Period that it's going toward debt, and then we heard from other Liberals that this money is going toward the development of a new VG Hospital, and as well for the convention centre - which I do believe it actually is intended for - that is, the convention centre. All I know is that we are not receiving a straight answer, and Nova Scotians deserve to know the truth.

Mr. Speaker, I'm a big proponent of libraries, and I am most concerned for their existence within rural areas, but as well in urban settings. Everyone can benefit from and appreciate the value a library adds to a community.

Last year, before the budget was released, I wrote to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board requesting that the recommendation from the Laurel Broten report to increase taxes on books would be put to a halt. Luckily, the minister listened to the citizens of Nova Scotia and realized that this recommendation would absolutely be a wrong move. However, the economic and social importance of our public libraries continues to be overlooked in this budget and undervalued by our provincial government. As placement economics tells us, large department stores and malls generate interest and foot traffic for surrounding businesses. The same effect can be observed when we have a well-funded library in a small community.

Within an increasingly digital world, libraries have evolved to meet the needs of their environment by becoming community and cultural centres. In the face of shrinking municipal and provincial funding, our libraries uniquely offer person-to-person human contact and customize programs to meet the individual needs of the communities that they are central to.

Local libraries are educating and inspiring patrons in art, music, and literature and helping members to engage in their community. After-school programming, hobby and interest groups, workshops, lectures, and guest speakers are all being hosted by libraries to assist young families, our seniors, new members to the community, and of course, new immigrants.

Free-of-charge home delivery of books and literature is available to those in rural communities or those unable to access the services offered by the libraries. I know personally, myself, I took my children to the library, and they continue to go to our local library at the ages of 14 and 18.

[Page 8155]

Job seekers are able to use public computers and employment resources at no cost, as well as 24-hour access to wireless Internet. This allows them to seek educational and essential employment tools to improve their lives. The fact that the materials can be borrowed and technology utilized without a fee is of paramount importance in levelling the playing field between socio-economic classes by offering universal access to information.

Libraries build engaged citizens. They educate individuals, they foster equality and nurture thoughtful communities, and are absolutely worth fighting for. They are worth funding, and I am most disappointed to learn that libraries have received no increase in funding for seven years and that the Liberal Government has failed in this budget to extend financial help, only to once again download onto the municipalities to come to their rescue.

My time is limited, and there are so many other important subjects to address. The lack of attention in this budget deeply concerns me. There are definitely some positive items, but speaking to residents this weekend, I am focusing on some of their concerns and challenges.

My first glance at the budget made me think of those who are struggling with mental health issues. Why can't this Liberal Government see what everyone else sees in Nova Scotia: that we do have a mental health crisis and it is not being addressed?

Roads were not mentioned in this budget, but we all know that in rural Nova Scotia our roads are eroding and crumbling away.

I guess to finish off, does Cape Breton even exist anymore? One would think not when looking at this budget. Cape Breton has the highest unemployment rate, and sadly, child poverty continues to inflate at the hands of the Liberal Government.

I believe this budget reminds me a little bit of last year and it's bittersweet, and I just want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing me to say a few words.

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

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to address an aspect of the budget that I may have referred to already in that it relates to the budget outline for Justice.

Again, it would appear in reviewing it that there has been no increase; it stays as a flat-line budget. Particularly where the court system is involved there's a tremendous amount of pressure. There's a lot of pressure on a daily basis faced by Crown Attorneys trying to keep up with very high caseloads and also consistent for Legal Aid lawyers who are facing the same types of pressures. That has always gone on, it's no secret that both the Crown and defence lawyers that are paid for through the government have always been under a lot of pressures, but we did makes some inroads, and I would suggest that it was during the previous government, in fact I know it was, when two therapeutic courts were introduced into the province. The first I believe was a Mental Health Court which is here in HRM, the second is the Domestic Violence Court, which is currently in Sydney.

[Page 8156]

It's important to note that there is - here is an example of an access to justice issue because anyone who is going to participate in the Mental Health Court has to be able to reside in HRM, because they have to be available to participate in the very rigid therapeutic regime that's involved there. The same in Sydney, you would essentially have to be living within CBRM to be able to access the Domestic Violence Court and, as a result of that, individuals who live outside of those areas are not able to and therefore we have a Charter issue - you know, unequal access to justice in this province and it's only by good luck that we haven't faced a Charter challenge in this regard to date.

I'd just like to speak a little bit about both of these courts, to emphasize the importance of them within the legal system. I'll speak first, because it was the first court, of the Mental Health Court. We hear so much and our Official Opposition has been very effective, I think, in outlining the need for ongoing mental health services and the dire lack of them in the province at the present time.

The therapeutic court of the Mental Health Court allows people - and so many of the people who come into contact with the criminal justice system are people with mental health issues - if you are to be accepted into the Mental Health Court you need to establish that whatever the criminal act is that took place was linked in some way to your mental health condition, and this link is taken very seriously by the judge and by defence and Crown, who all work together in a very, I think, more friendly setting than the typical restrictions of an ordinary court.

When an individual is accepted into that court they are able to avail themselves of - first they are assessed by medical professionals to determine whether they should be in the court, and if they are accepted into the court then there is a lot of very detailed discussion that takes place about the appropriate plan for this individual. Sometimes it can be housing needs that may be linked to their mental health issue, and oftentimes that is the case; there can be addiction issues - any number of issues - and medication issues, properly taking medication, and maybe even the condition going undiagnosed. But a team of professionals, legal and medical, will work with the individual and set up a plan. That individual is expected to be back in court on a very regular basis for the purpose of providing updates to the court as to their progress.

It's not an easy ride - not at all. In some cases, it's an individual who, if they had gone into the ordinary court, maybe would have gotten a short period of probation, and it would have been over and done with. In this situation, they can be linked into the Mental Health Court for a considerable period of time. But the obvious benefit to the individual, and to Nova Scotians generally, is that it is getting to the root cause of the criminal act in the first place.

[Page 8157]

It's not unusual for us to hear, at least when I was practising, and I'm sure even as MLAs people will often hear about parents maybe of adult children who have significant mental health issues, and it gets so frustrating to try and find appropriate help at the times when the episodes occur. It has happened, I know, that sometimes a parent - it could be a mother with an adult son in her care may assault her. Sometimes her only avenue to turn to is to actually invite the police in and make use of the mental health court, because the other appropriate services aren't available. It is not an ideal situation by any stretch.

But I think it's important for all of us to recognize that the mental health service is only available in metro. We need to look at expanding that. It is unfortunate that there does not seem to be any type of vision - at least that I can see, and maybe estimates will prove differently - to see about bringing this forward and expanding it.

The Domestic Violence Court is a little bit different in the sense that an individual has to actually admit and acknowledge that a spousal assault has taken place. Then the individual must enroll in therapeutic counselling to try and understand the root causes of the violence toward a spouse.

So many times we hear of situations where individuals who are the alleged victims in matters come to court and don't want to be there. When a domestic assault takes place, the police have very little discretion. Sometimes they charge both of them, and they end up in a ridiculous situation where they both have to stay away from each other, or even in a situation where it's a minor assault, then the parties have to live away from each other. For the alleged victims, it can be a year before a trial date, and during that period, they can suffer dire financial hardship if the accused person is required to live away and if he was the sole breadwinner in the home.

The benefit of the Domestic Violence Court is that it does allow for a speedy resolution. Domestic violence offences probably take up - at least, I would say, at times - 50 per cent of the court docket. They do stress the docket considerably. The expansion of this would have that effect of eliminating or reducing some of the pressures on the system. I really do believe it would be cost-saving to the province in the end if this could be expanded. I guess there are multiple benefits to the expansion of the court, both of these therapeutic courts. It would free up court time and in terms of the domestic violence, it directly addresses the root cause of the violence. In terms of the mental health court, it does go to the nub of the issue that caused the individual to act in the way that he or she did.

The other aspect in relation to domestic violence is that many times we see that a victim will not report domestic violence crime because of the experience they had in the court system, because of the long wait for trial or for many reasons - a second assault takes place, they won't report it.

[Page 8158]

Again, if we rely more on the Domestic Violence Court, and expand that role, there is that really significant benefit that I think more victims would come forward and report the domestic violence. If they know the outcome is real therapy and rehabilitation for the offender, it will really encourage people to do that.

I would ask or at least present that in this budget we're not seeing the growth in that direction. I see the potential for costly Charter challenges, if these courts are not expanded, but I also see the benefit and cost-saving measures for the government, should they expand these courts. Those are my comments.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

MR. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise for a few moments to talk a little bit about what the budget means for me, as the MLA for Sydney-Whitney Pier, about what I see it means for my community and the future generation of entrepreneurs that will represent my community.

For a few moments I just want to talk about some of the key initiatives that the budget entails. This is some information and some budget detail that was provided last year, a continuation of some great programs that this government has supported and, as well, some new initiatives, based on my experience before I became an MLA.

Before I became an MLA last August, I had the privilege and the opportunity to work at Cape Breton University in partnership with the Nova Scotia Community College, as a coordinator for what was the Island Sandbox, a new initiative of this government. It supported entrepreneurship at both institutions with students and across the community. I can tell you that we hear a lot about the start-up scene and we hear a lot about some of the great stories across Atlantic Canada but I'm proud to stand here today, as the MLA for Sydney-Whitney Pier, and see that Sydney is the fastest-growing start-up hub in Atlantic Canada. We've seen a great amount of growth over the last three years. I'll table this when I'm done my presentation.

The Intervestor talks about Cape Breton, and talks about Sydney specifically, as the fastest-growing start-up hub and talks about how they are following 24 IT companies on the Island now and in the Sydney area; 16 of those companies have been established in the last two years. We've seen an explosive rate of entrepreneurship and support for the tech sector at home.

There are a lot of reasons for that: we have a great support network of private sector, government and post-secondary institutions playing the role. We also have a great, new generation of entrepreneurs who are stepping forward and utilizing the strengths that Sydney offers in regard to the tech sector. We are an island, we have traditional industries that have always supported our community but we are seeing this explosive rate of new entrepreneurs come forward to utilize the Internet capacity that we have and to utilize the talent that we have at home.

[Page 8159]

We've seen some great companies come forward. Some of those are local companies and some of those are companies that have moved to the area, which is also very exciting. We're seeing new companies come to Sydney. We're seeing new people set up roots in our community and we're seeing these new businesses start to pop up all over town so it is very exciting.

To get specifically into what I want to talk about today, the start-up community predominantly is because of the support and the creativity and the hard work of the entrepreneurs, but there is a great support system that is in place. I'm proud of this government, and I'm proud of the decisions that we've made in past budgets and in this current budget that will help support our next generation of entrepreneurs and will help support newcomers who come into the community to start up those businesses.

Specifically in my time in the sandbox, I had a very close relationship with the representatives from Brilliant Labs. I will recognize Kim Desveaux, who is actually a former colleague of mine on city council, who is now responsible for Brilliant Labs for the Cape Breton region and a little bit beyond. I had the opportunity to work with the P to 12 system, trying to develop programming and looking at coding and looking at robotics and trying to instill that new sense of ownership and that new sense of entrepreneurship in our youth.

It was a pretty amazing experience to be part of that and to see that, when we were putting on programs and putting on events, we were full immediately. These kids couldn't get enough of technology and what we were trying to offer and what we were trying to show them. Brilliant Labs is something that will pay off tenfold as we move forward.

One thing I also want to say that we've implemented as a government and I'm very proud of - it's something that's very important to the start-up community and to the tech community - is coding starting in our elementary schools. I can tell you that - and I don't think I have to sell anybody in this room - the students have the creativity, and now we're going to give them the tools to take that creativity to the next level.

We've had the opportunity to do a lot of great events and a lot of great programs and a lot of great supports for those students, but now we're going to give them the tools so that if they want to take that path to entrepreneurship, they'll be able to do it. I'm very proud of this government for taking that initiative.

There are a lot of other initiatives that this government has been involved with, aside from the coding and Brilliant Labs. The sandbox for us was very important at Cape Breton University and NSCC. That gave our students a gateway to learn more about entrepreneurship and to take those ideas to the next level. It also gave the students an opportunity to work with the private sector, to gain mentors, to work with people who have been in industry for years.

[Page 8160]

We've actually seen it in the past two weeks. We had Louisbourg Seafoods step forward in our community, and they put on the Sea++ competition, looking at fishing technology and trying to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to solve some of the problems that they're facing in the industry. The sandbox plays a big part in that role, connecting mentors with students.

Something very significant, and I see Minister Diab is here . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Please do not use the proper name of our colleagues here in the House.

MR. MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Sorry. I'll start over by saying . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier has the floor.

MR. MOMBOURQUETTE « » : What I want to say is that one of the initiatives this government has just brought forward is something that I had a lot of experience working with in the last couple of years, and that is newcomers to our area trying to set up businesses and trying to be more entrepreneurial in their approach when they came here. Cape Breton University has a very large international student population, but in turn, a very large percentage of them are of a very entrepreneurial nature. They wanted to start businesses, they wanted to establish themselves within the Sydney area - and not only the Sydney area but in communities across the province.

Having this new entrepreneurship stream for international students coming in - I believe this is going to pay off very big for communities across the province. This gives them a gateway to come in and take their ideas and establish themselves in communities. I'm also very proud of that initiative from the government.

There are a number - I could talk about this at length, but I think it's important that we recognize that we have a new generation of entrepreneurs who have started not only in Sydney but across the province. We are doing everything we can as a government to support those entrepreneurs, by the initiatives that I just mentioned and many more. We need to continue to do that. We need to continue to connect them with mentors in our community.

From Cape Breton's perspective and from Sydney's perspective I grew up in a time where steel and coal reigned supreme. My grandfather was vice-president of the labour union at the steel plant at one time, and he was very involved with the plant; my other grandfather worked in the mines, and he was also in the navy. There's a strong tradition in any family in Cape Breton, and specifically in the Sydney area, that would have those connections. I believe that we can attract a lot of my friends home and I believe we can attract a lot of new businesses home by continuing to support the start-up community, by continuing to support the tech sector in doing whatever we can to capitalize on the strengths that we do have.

[Page 8161]

We are a beautiful island. We're a world-renowned island for our beauty and our tourism, and we're a very kind and caring community. But we also have some very great capacities to really expand our economies, support a new generation of entrepreneurs, and move forward into the future.

I appreciate this opportunity to say a few words on behalf of this great explosion of entrepreneurship in Sydney, and I want to continue to do whatever I can to support that, and I thank the government for the initiatives that they put forward because it's really starting to pay off in our communities. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

[5:21 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Keith Irving in the Chair.]

[9:24 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for this evening. I can advise that the House will meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, April 26th, from the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at which time, following the daily routine, we will go back into estimates. Following estimates we will move into Second Reading of Bill Nos. 158, 161, 162. Following that we will do Committee of the Whole on Bills, based on what was reported back from Law Amendments Committee today.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow, April 26th, at 1:00 p.m.

[Page 8162]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet again, April 26th, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until Tuesday, April 26th, at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 9:26 p.m.]


[Page 8163]


By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Minister of Agriculture)

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

Whereas agriculture and food and beverage businesses are the backbone of the economy for rural Nova Scotia communities, contributing more than $576 million in farm cash receipts annually and more than $385 million in agri-food exports in 2015, a 21 per cent increase; and

Whereas some of Nova Scotia's most innovative producers are engaged in the development of unique, quality products like beer, wine and spirits that are helping to build new businesses, secure jobs around our province and attract visitors to our rural communities; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Spirit Company from Trenton in Pictou County began marketing its small batch spirits in October 2015 and showcased its products this past weekend at the 2016 Saltscapes Expo at the Halifax Exhibition Centre, contributing a unique approach that links its vodka, gin and rum to Nova Scotia's traditions of storytelling;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize the contributions made by distillers like Nova Scotia Spirit Company to spurring innovation, generating tourism and growing the value of our agri-food and agriculture sector.


By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Sean Kelly is a resident of Lower Sackville and a long-time member of the Sackville chapter of the Knights of Columbus; and

Whereas through the Knights of Columbus, Sean became involved with Special Olympics, working on the annual Invitational Special Olympics track and field event in Lower Sackville as well as the provincial games, and has served as State Special Olympics chairman for 13 years; and

Whereas after 27 years of volunteerism with Special Olympics Nova Scotia, Sean Kelly has been recognized with the Elizabeth Shard Award at the Special Olympics Nova Scotia Gala held in January 2016;

[Page 8164]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lower Sackville's Sean Kelly on being presented with the Elizabeth Shard Award by Special Olympics Nova Scotia, and commend him on the fine example of volunteerism he sets in the community.


By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Sherry Smith, originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, now residing in the Halifax Municipality, is a seasoned actor, director, and writer of 35 years, and has appeared on television and in nearly every theatre company in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Sherry is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and boasts many accomplishments, including six years with the Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, past president of the Atlantic Chapter of ACTRA, founding member of Halifax's LunaSea Theatre, and is a Merritt Award recipient for Best Performance by a Female Actor in Samuel Becket's Happy Days; and

Whereas with the support of her husband and children here in Nova Scotia, Sherry attended the University of Alberta for the past two years and has just completed her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge Sherry Smith for her many contributions to the acting community throughout Nova Scotia and beyond, offer heartfelt congratulations on her efforts to obtain her Master of Fine Arts, and wish her future success.


By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Aiden Marchand is an 11-year-old resident of Lower Sackville; and

Whereas although of a young age, Aiden has proven himself as a compassionate and generous member of the community, helping neighbours with shovelling and odd jobs for a minimal charge of $2 and generously using this money to buy food for the food bank; and

[Page 8165]

Whereas with Aiden's $100 donation being matched by a local grocery chain, he was able to purchase enough food for Feed Nova Scotia to feed 127 people;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Lower Sackville's 11-year-old Aiden Marchand for his humanitarian efforts and extend sincere best wishes for his future endeavours.


By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Tony and Alex Aliga are twin brothers who attend Cavalier Drive Elementary School in Lower Sackville; and

Whereas in July 2014 the Aliga family visited Lunenburg where the then four-year-old boys put a note in a bottle to be taken to sea on a scallop trawler, where it travelled until it was found by Alex Peebles on a beach near Drummore, Scotland, on February 25, 2016; and

Whereas Tony and Alex have connected with students at Drummore Primary School in Scotland and are sharing the experience with their classmates at Cavalier Drive Elementary School;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lower Sackville's Tony and Alex Aliga on the successful 19-month voyage of their message in a bottle to the shores of Scotland and extend best wishes to their classmates at Cavalier Drive Elementary School and to their new friends at Drummore Primary School in Scotland.


By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Debbie Adams is the owner of PeopleCan Training and Development services located in Lower Sackville; an

[Page 8166]

Whereas originally from Upper Island Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Debbie was formerly a journey mechanic with the military who did not let a diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa stop her from being successful; and

Whereas on April 12, 2016, Debbie Adams was honoured as entrepreneur of the year by Nova Scotia's Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Debbie Adams of PeopleCan Training and Development Services in Lower Sackville on being recognized as entrepreneur of the year by the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network and extend best wishes for continued success.


By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Jenny Tyler is a resident of Lower Sackville who moved to Canada from England 10 years ago with her husband and two children; and

Whereas after Jenny's now 12-year-old son was diagnosed with autism, Jenny began volunteering with Autism Nova Scotia and the Special Olympics' Active Start program to connect with and support other members of the community, and after six years was hired as Family Support for Autism Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Jenny demonstrates kindness and generosity every day through her efforts and support of neighbours and friends and was recently recognized as a member of the Halifax Heroes in the Halifax Metro News for her extraordinary volunteerism in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend Lower Sackville's Jenny Tyler for her dedication to the autism community of Sackville, Bedford, and beyond and offer congratulations on her achievements and best wishes for the future.


[Page 8167]

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Levi Marshall is a student at Sackville High School with a talent for making videos; and

Whereas Levi entered the 2015-16 Mining ROCKS! video contest held annually by the Mining Association of Nova Scotia and won Best Comedy with his Back in My Day video and runner-up in the Best Commercial category with Does Mining Matter to You; and

Whereas Levi also submitted a winning entry in the short film category of the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest run by the Resource Recovery Fund Board for 2015-16;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Levi Marshall of Sackville High School on his winning entries in both the Mining ROCKS! and Nova Scotia Recycles contests and extend best wishes for future success.


By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games were held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, from March 1 to 5, 2016; and

Whereas Team Nova Scotia represented our province with 35 athletes competing in cross country, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating, with support from 11 coaches and five leadership members; and

Whereas Team Nova Scotia curling athletes Mark Munro (skip), Andrew Snow (mate), Devin Barrett (second), Kelly Keefe (lead), and Conar Clory (alternate), who curl out of Lakeshore Curling Club in Lower Sackville, brought home the silver medal in the curling finals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Team Nova Scotia curling athletes on their success at the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games and extend best wishes to all team members.


[Page 8168]

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

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

Whereas Rodney Habib operates Planet Paws in Dartmouth with his family; and

Whereas Planet Paws Pet Essentials now has one of the largest Facebook followings in Canada with over one million "likes"; and

Whereas this milestone puts him in a league with celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Rodney Habib and his team at Planet Paws Pet Essentials on their achievements.


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

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

Whereas Lillian Curlett is a Dartmouth resident who will turn eleven on April 29, 2016; and

Whereas for the past six years Lillian has asked that people make food bank donations rather than give her birthday presents; and

Whereas hundreds of pounds of food have been collected as a result of her decision to forego presents for her birthdays;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lillian Curlett for her selflessness and dedication to those in need.


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

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

Whereas Jenna Carter is completing her training as a massage therapist at the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy; and

[Page 8169]

Whereas Jenna has dedicated her time and work to the health and fitness of her community through these studies and her work as a fitness instructor; and

Whereas Jenna will be taking up a position with Citadel Physiotherapy on May 31, 2016;

Therefore be it resolved members of the House of Assembly congratulate Jenna Carter on her achievements in massage therapy and her new role with Citadel Physiotherapy.