The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD16-10

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

FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3934, Law Amendments Comm. (05/16/16) - Referral
Agreement, Hon. M. Samson »
9383
Vote - Affirmative
9384
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 184, Affordable Housing Act,
9384
[GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:]
Res. 3935, Senior Citizens & Pensioners Fed. (N.S.): Role
- Recognize, Hon. L. Glavine »
9385
Vote - Affirmative
9385
Res. 3936, Natl. Police Wk. (05/15 - 05/21/16): Police Services
- Work Recognize, Hon. D. Whalen »
9386
Vote - Affirmative
9386
Res. 3937, Point Pleasant Lodge: Contribution - Recognize,
9387
Vote - Affirmative
9388
[INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:]
No. 185, Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter,
9388
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
LaRusic, Bernie & Janet - Anniv. (60th),
9389
Fort McMurray: Fundraising Event (C.B.) - Organizers Thank,
9389
Shaar, Sandra - Barrington Mun. Prov. Vol. of Yr.,
9389
Legal & Action Fund (LEAF) - Commun. Res. Guide for Women,
9390
Mawhinney, Laurence - Ordination Anniv. (50th),
9390
100 Men Who Give a Damn in the Anna. Valley: Work - Acknowledge,
9391
Streetscape/Heritage Protection - Prov. Legislation,
9391
Cdn. Masters Curling Championship (2016): Co-Chairs/Vols. - Thank,
9392
Lions Club Convention - Student Speeches,
9392
Shelburne Med. Ctr. - Construction Delays,
9393
Langille, Jillian - Elite Gymnastics Championships (2016),
9393
Boot Drive - Muscular Dystrophy (Can.),
9393
Steel Auto Group Parking Lot Expansion - Protest (05/13/16),
9394
Sch. Yr. End - Events: Teachers/Organizers - Thank,
9394
Rose, Hailey/Glace Bay Female Bantam AA Miners - League
Champions, Hon. A. MacLeod « »
9394
Cornwallis Sites: HRM Coun. - Vote Disappointment,
9395
Caswell, Adriana: Awards - Congrats.,
9395
Walser, Derrick: Hockey Season (2016-17) - Success Wish,
9395
ER Closures/Doctor Shortages - Predictions,
9396
Diab, Monica & Antonios: Achievements - Congrats.,
9396
Kings Co. Register: Newspaper Atl. Awards - Recipients Congrats.,
9397
Dunn-Keefe, Erin - Educ. Wk. Award,
9397
Pictou Co. Curl for the Cure - Participants/Organizers Congrats.,
9398
Pottie, Dr. Ian - Alzheimer's Breakthrough,
9398
Hutchinson, J. Jeffrey: HMCS Winnipeg Command - Congrats.,
9398
Fam. SOS: Exec. Dir. - Recognize,
9399
Adams, Hailey Rae/d'Entremont, Kirkland Mervin - Lt.-Gov.'s Awards,
9399
Peddle, Brad - AUS Coach of Yr.,
9400
First Shift Prog.: Bauer Hockey/Hockey Can. - Congrats.,
9400
Sampson, Natalie Corbett: Novel Release - Congrats.,
9401
Spryfield Lions Club: Commun. Commitment - Recognize,
9401
EIBI Prog. - Funding,
9401
Myles, Sean/Haverstock, Gina/Anna. Cider Co. - Congrats.,
9402
Stranger Danger: Safe Practices Review,
9402
Bell Bay Golf Club - McKenzie's Tours C.B. Open,
9403
Care Free Clothing - Recognize,
9403
Bachman Rink - Atl. Univ. Sport Curling Championship,
9403
Carroll, Tim - Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank Vol. of Yr. Award,
9404
Kirkpatrick, Dr. David: Medical Research - Recognize/Commend,
9404
Deveau, Louis - Order of Nova Scotia,
9405
Murray, Andrew - Antigonish Town-Prov. Vol. Award,
9405
Naugler, Grace et al - Mining Assoc. (N.S.) Awards,
9406
C.P. Allen HS Remotely Operated Vehicle Club: Cygnus
- Development, Mr. B. Jessome « »
9406
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 2314, Prem.: Wait-Time Website - Update,
9407
No. 2315, Prem.: Hosp. Infrastructure - Underspending,
9408
No. 2316, Prem. - Online Gambling: Gov't. Sponsorship - Confirm,
9411
No. 2317, Com. Serv. - North End: Affordable Housing - Increase,
9412
No. 2318, Health & Wellness: C.B. Orphan Clinic Wait Times,
9413
No. 2319, Health & Wellness: Budget - Underspending,
9414
No. 2320, CCH - Cultural Sector: Decrease (2013-2014) - Confirm,
9415
No. 2321, Health & Wellness - Alberta Influx: C.B. Seniors - Impact,
9415
No. 2322, Com. Serv.: Public Housing - Wait-List,
9416
No. 2323, Environ. - Wildcat Reserve: Enforcement Officers
- Jurisdiction, Hon. S. Belliveau « »
9417
No. 2324, Nat. Res.: Parks/Beaches - Infrastructure Funding,
9418
No. 2325, Bus.: Digby Pines/Liscombe Lodge - Newcastle Mgt. Fee,
9419
No. 2326, EECD - Surplus Schools: Downloading - Details,
9420
No. 2327, Agriculture: Mink Ind. - Viability Increase,
9421
No. 2328, LAE - Employees: Seniority - Protection,
9422
No. 2329, Health & Wellness - N. End Commun. Health Ctr.:
Funding - Update, Hon. David Wilson « »
9422
No. 2330, Prem. - Doctor Shortage: Health Min. - Address,
9423
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 156, Public Archives Act
9425
9425
9426
Vote - Affirmative
9426
No. 157, Government Records Act
9426
Vote - Affirmative
9426
No. 158, Securities Act
9426
Vote - Affirmative
9427
No. 160, Blueberry Associations Act
9427
Vote - Affirmative
9427
No. 165, Occupational Health and Safety Act
9428
9429
9429
Vote - Affirmative
9429
No. 168, Labour Standards Code
9430
Vote - Affirmative
9430
PRIVATE & LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 176, Otter Lake Landfill Act
9431
9432
9433
Vote - Affirmative
9433
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., May 17th at 1:00 p.m
9434
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3938, Kirkpatrick, Dr. David: Medical Research
- Recognize/Commend, Hon. L. Diab « »
9435
Res. 3939, Veniot, Brian Joseph: Policing Services (Can.)
- Thank, The Speaker » :
9435
Res. 3940, Murphy, Dawn Kimberly: Policing Serv. (Can.)
- Thank, The Speaker « » :
9436
Res. 3941, Cdn. Lebanon Soc./Day of the Lebanese Emigrant
- Success Wish, Hon. L. Diab « »
9436
Res. 3942, Aquino, Ismael/Bedell, Dan/Red Cross (N.S.):
Syrian Refugee Effort - Support Thank, Hon. L. Diab « »
9437
Res. 3943, Armco Capital/Banc Incorporated: Syrian Refugee Effort
- Contribution Thank, Hon. L. Diab « »
9437

[Page 9383]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Gordon Wilson, Mr. Keith Irving

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

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3934

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

Whereas the three House Leaders have reached an agreement to facilitate the business of the House next week;

[Page 9384]

Therefore be it resolved that any bills considered by the Law Amendments Committee on Monday, May 15, 2016, and reported back to the House on Tuesday, May 16, 2016, will be able to be considered by the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, under Government Business, on May 16, 2016.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 184 - Entitled an Act to Ensure the Provision of Affordable Housing. (Ms. Marian Mancini)

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

There has been a request to revert to the order of business, Government Notices of Motion.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I know they just got barely settled in the gallery, but I'm pleased to have joining us today members of the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia. This organization is composed of seniors clubs and councils, is a member of the Group of IX Seniors' Advisory Council of Nova Scotia.

It is a pleasure to introduce Bernie LaRusic and Alma Johnston-Tynes. If everybody in the House would give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

[Page 9385]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3935

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

Whereas we know that older Nova Scotians contribute a great deal to our province, and we all benefit when seniors are actively participating in social and economic activities in their communities; and

Whereas older Nova Scotians are a diverse population who represent a valuable source of knowledge and experience for government and communities; and

Whereas the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia is an organization composed of seniors clubs and councils across the province, which represent the issues and needs of individual seniors;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize the important role the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia plays in advocating for programs, services, and benefits for seniors.

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

Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution: (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order. 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.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, having been in the Chair for a while, I know it's a real learning experience, for sure. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following - oh yes, I need to say: I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

[Page 9386]

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.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 3936

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

Whereas National Police Week takes place across Canada during the month of May to recognize police services and increase community awareness; and

Whereas the courageous men and women serving in our provincial and municipal police services across Nova Scotia keep our communities safe and secure; and

Whereas police encourage community involvement and initiation of activities while providing a critical service to protect Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House respect, recognize, and celebrate the work of our police services in Nova Scotia during National Police Week, from May 15th to May 21st.

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.

The honourable member for Cape Breton-Richmond.

[Page 9387]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm advised by the Chief Clerk that under Resolution No. 3934, which I just presented earlier, that the dates should have been Monday, May 16th and Tuesday, May 17th. I just want to make that correction on the record.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

I guess Friday the 13th brings out the rookies in all of us. (Interruptions)

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I do retract my earlier comment. I've had a few introductions longer than the resolution and that's where I did get confused. But I'm very pleased this morning to make another introduction, if I may - and they can rise as I introduce them to the members.

Mr. Speaker, joining us today are two individuals from the non-profit Point Pleasant Lodge. Michael Manuel is the general manager of the Halifax-based facility, and with him is Michael MacDonald, who is secretary and treasurer for Point Pleasant Lodge which specializes in providing affordable accommodation to those travelling to Halifax for medical-related travel.

Michael and Michael have indicated that they have provided brochures for every member, which are in their mailboxes, and they will remain at the House for a while to answer members' questions about how constituents can use their services. So please join me in welcoming the team from Point Pleasant Lodge. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3937

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

Whereas medical-related travel, especially in times of emergency, can create an additional financial burden for patients and their families; and

Whereas since 1975 the not-for-profit specialty hotel Point Pleasant Lodge has been welcoming guests travelling to the Halifax area for medical treatment with a place to stay; and

Whereas Point Pleasant Lodge also provides accommodations for patients' families and friends, so they can be close to their loved ones during times of treatment;

[Page 9388]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize the contribution and service that Point Pleasant Lodge continues to provide patients and their families.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[INTRODUCTION OF BILLS]

Bill No. 185 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act, and Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008. The Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. (Ms. Marian Mancini)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Before I do my statement, I wonder if I can make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. MACLEOD « » : In the gallery behind - he's gone. Apparently the individual I wanted to recognize is gone. He has been here in the House on many occasions. His name is Bernie LaRusic. Bernie is a very active community worker in the area of Cape Breton when it comes to seniors' issues.

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

LARUSIC, BERNIE & JANET - ANNIV. (60th)

[Page 9389]

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, today I would like to rise and congratulate Bernie and Janet LaRusic. This happy couple will be celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow, May 14th. Also, Bernie will be celebrating his 81st birthday on the 29th of this month. Bernie is a well-known and well-liked individual who has been very strong with seniors' interests in and around the Province of Nova Scotia, and an active member of the Group of IX.

It is with great honour and pleasure that I ask all members of the House to congratulate Bernie and Janet on their 60th Wedding Anniversary.

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

FORT MCMURRAY: FUNDRAISING EVENT (C.B.) - ORGANIZERS THANK

MS. PAM EYKING « » : All across Cape Breton, communities and groups are coming forward to support those who have been affected by the wildfires in Fort McMurray.

60th

I rise today to thank all the coordinators, volunteers, and local talent for putting together a great fundraising event that will take place at the Emera Centre in North Sydney on May 21st. To name just a few: Cory Keeping; Ed Burke & Jeff Stapleton; The Michael Lloyd Band; Terry Peters and the Off the Wall Band; Dirt Road Band; Alter Ego; and The Blues Merchants have all come together to provide entertainment. Nicole and Mike White will do photo shoots; sound and lighting will be provided by Railroad Recording; and Duke Pero will provide a DJ service.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all of those who volunteered to organize this event and thank everyone for coming together to help those who were affected by the wildfires.

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

SHAAR, SANDRA - BARRINGTON MUN. PROV. VOL. OF YR.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : I'd like to congratulate Sandra Shaar on being honoured at the 42nd Annual Provincial Volunteer Awards on April 4th. The Municipality of Barrington nominated Ms. Shaar as Provincial Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding dedication to her community.

Sandra has been actively involved with Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes, a humanitarian organization that provides aid to people in physical need; at the Woods Harbour Wesleyan Church, she has been involved as the superintendent of the Sunday School for a number of years, as well as teaching Sunday School and serving on the board; and, recently, Sandra has given leadership to the Barrington Area Refugee Sponsorship Group as coordinator.

[Page 9390]

I'd like to thank Sandra and of course all of her family for their commitment and dedication to making a difference in their community.

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

LEGAL & ACTION FUND (LEAF) - COMMUN. RES. GUIDE FOR WOMEN

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Yesterday I was pleased to attend an event organized by the Halifax Chapter of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, (LEAF). LEAF was created to defend the equality rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Over the past 30 years, the battles LEAF has fought in the courts has achieved many victories and advanced substantive equality for women and girls in Canada.

Yesterday, the Halifax Chapter unveiled a Community Resource Guide for women released from custody in Halifax. This guide was developed in consultation with women incarcerated at Burnside jails. Copies of this guide will be available to women in corrections.

I want to extend congratulations to LEAF Halifax, Pro Bono Students Canada, and the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group for the work on this important project.

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

MAWHINNEY, LAURENCE - ORDINATION ANNIV. (50th)

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, in the world of politics and government, most of us know Laurence Mawhinney as the former long-time mayor of Lunenburg. It is a post he held for more than 30 years. The former mayor is also approaching another milestone. This coming weekend, the Rev. Dr. Laurence Mawhinney will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of his ordination. He oversees the congregation of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Lunenburg.

Few men and women have meant so much to their community for so long. The impact he has had in the lives of people both professionally and personally can never be measured. He is as much a part of the community as the famed Bluenose and the water she sits on.

I ask that all members of House join me in recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the ordination of Rev. Dr. Laurence Mawhinney of Lunenburg.

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

100 MEN WHO GIVE A DAMN IN THE ANNA. VALLEY:

[Page 9391]

WORK - ACKNOWLEDGE

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to bring the attention of the members of this House to the wonderful work of some local men in my constituency. Bruce Tupper, Joel Stoddart, and Greg Coldwell are founding members along with their MLA of the new chapter of 100 Men Who Give a Damn in the Annapolis Valley. This group meets four times a year to donate funds to local charities with no strings attached.

Their slogan is: 100 guys making an impact - $100 at a time; it is a simple concept. At each meeting the 100 men present, each who have brought a cheque for $100, hear presentations from three charities and vote on a recipient charity. The recipient charity then leaves with $10,000 in hand at the end of the evening. The inaugural meeting on April 19th saw 100 men donate $10,000 to the VON Adult Day Program. The number of men who give a damn continues to grow and now exceeds 105. Please join me in acknowledging this tremendous group and the work of these very devoted and committed individuals to support the charities that work in their community.

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

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction before I do my member statement.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. ZANN « » : Thank you. I would like to draw everybody's attention to the west gallery where we have a young visitor who is 13 years old and his name is Angus. He is here visiting us today with his mother Joanne Hussey, who is our new NDP researcher. I would like everybody to acknowledge them. (Applause)

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

STREETSCAPE/HERITAGE PROTECTION - PROV. LEGISLATION

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, there are two issues in Halifax that have generated considerable outcry among the city's residents. At first glance, the issues seem unconnected. One involves a large heritage residence on Young Avenue in Halifax's south end, while the other is a cluster of modest but sturdy homes in a vibrant north end neighbourhood. All of these residences are within a hair's breadth of demolition.

Underlying both issues is the city's apparent inability to ensure affordable housing to control the issuing of demolition permits and to effectively protect streetscapes and heritage spaces. These problems are exacerbated by flaws within the HRM Charter and deficiencies with the application of the current heritage legislation. A bold vision at the provincial level would help Halifax become the city that its residents want and deserve.

[Page 9392]

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

CDN. MASTERS CURLING CHAMPIONSHIP (2016):

CO-CHAIRS/VOLS. - THANK

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce that the largest curling event ever held in the Annapolis Valley, the Kings County 2016 Canadian Masters Curling Championship, was a great success. The Wolfville and Glooscap Curling Clubs jointly hosted 26 teams from across the country. On Front Street in Wolfville, in fact, our national, provincial, and territorial flags flew proudly.

The level of play was of high calibre. There were 22 former Canadian champions, nine former world champions, and one Olympic bronze medallist competing. Kathy Siddall and Tony Stirling co-chaired the event with the help of almost 100 willing volunteers and provided their guests with extremely enjoyable competition and tourist experiences. Our visitors were thrilled with the Annapolis Valley and with Nova Scotia.

On behalf of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, I would like to thank and congratulate the co-chairs and volunteers of the 2016 Canadian Masters Curling Championship for bringing this important national sporting event to our community.

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

LIONS CLUB CONVENTION - STUDENT SPEECHES

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, recently seven students in our province presented speeches to more than 250 Lions Club members at their annual provincial convention in Baddeck on April 30th. The topics chosen by these young people range from individual accomplishments through life skills, to subjects of national and international interest. These young people not only delivered their speeches with confidence and clarity, but maintained their poise while fielding tough follow-up questions.

Adriana Caswell, a Grade 9 student sponsored by Lions Clubs in Zone 4, won second place with her speech about first impressions. I wish to commend the Lions Club in Nova Scotia for providing this leadership opportunity for our youth, to congratulate Ms. Caswell and the other competitors, and to note that the member for Kings North must be equally proud of Coldbrook's Sydney Milne, who took first place with her speech about overcoming the stigma attached to mental illness.

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

SHELBURNE MED. CTR. - CONSTRUCTION DELAYS

[Page 9393]

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, in August of last year the Premier and the Minister of Health and Wellness told residents of Shelburne that the construction of the Shelburne Medical Health Centre would start this Spring. They have been extremely disappointed to learn that there will be more delays in the start of this new building. Imagine how those thousands of people feel today as they read in the news that this government has spent only half of what they promised on hospital buildings - half.

Mr. Speaker, budgets are promised and they are broken yet another time. To be continued.

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

LANGILLE, JILLIAN - ELITE GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS (2016)

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Jillian Langille of Beaver Bank. The 2016 elite gymnastics championships were held in Halifax this past February at the Canada Games Centre. Ms. Langille achieved a silver overall ranking in the High Performance Novice category. In March she attended the nationals weekend-long training camp in Montreal and went on to tie for first overall at the International Gymnix.

Ms. Langille is currently preparing to travel with her team to Portugal to represent Canada. This is the second national competition for 12-year-old Jillian Langille. Introduced by her two aunts when she was 3 years old, Ms. Langille says she was hooked right away and practises five days a week while balancing her studies as a Grade 7 student.

I would like to congratulate Jillian Langille on her future successes.

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

BOOT DRIVE - MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY (CAN.)

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the Annual Boot Drive for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. The two-day campaign raised $19,000 in Pictou County. Approximately 100 volunteers from 25 fire departments set up at 12 locations throughout Pictou County.

To date, the Boot Drive campaign has raised upwards of $252,000 in its 28 years of operation. I would like to give a special shout-out to Little Harbour Fire Department's Kenny Arsenault for spearheading the event. Although his son Daniel, who lives with muscular dystrophy, was not able to take part in this year's event, the pair have become the faces of the Boot Drive in recent years.

Congratulations on another successful Boot Drive for muscular dystrophy, and thank you to all the volunteers involved.

[Page 9394]

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

STEEL AUTO GROUP PARKING LOT EXPANSION - PROTEST (05/13/16)

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, Steele Auto Group is planning to expand the parking lot close to its Honda dealership on Robie Street. It has permits to demolish 17 recently purchased homes, mainly single family homes and multi-unit rentals. There has been a strong reaction to this plan from the surrounding closely-knit neighbourhood. More than 1,000 people signed a petition which was presented to City Council on Tuesday.

A community picnic and peaceful protest has been organized for today at 12:00 noon. The invitation encourages families to bring food, picnic blankets, chalk, and music. The organizers want Steele Auto Group to know that this is a neighbourhood that wants communities, not parking lots; people, not cars; homes, not Hondas. Mr. Speaker, we wish them well.

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

SCH. YR. END - EVENTS: TEACHERS/ORGANIZERS - THANK

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give a big shout-out to all the dedicated teachers, parents and school admin who finish off the school year with a bang. These individuals plan and operate spring flings, musicals, field days, end-of-the-year trips and barbeques. This time of year is very exciting for our students as they complete yet another year of schooling. There is no better feeling than counting down the days to the fun activities that round out the year. These activities would not be possible without the dedication and time those teachers put in who go above and beyond the call of duty. A big thank you to all of you.

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

ROSE, HAILEY/GLACE BAY FEMALE BANTAM AA MINERS

- LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Hailey Rose of Coxheath and her team, the Glace Bay female Bantam AA Miners as they finish up their 2015-16 season in fine style. Hailey and her team ended their season as the Southern Conference League champions. It is a pleasure to congratulate Hailey Rose, along with all her teammates and coaches, for the hard work and dedication they put in to making their team champions.

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

[Page 9395]

CORNWALLIS SITES: HRM COUN. - VOTE DISAPPOINTMENT

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : I rise today to express my sincere disappointment at the recent HRM Council's vote on the decision to simply ask staff to look at ways to create a public engagement process that would examine the potential renaming of sites named after Edward Cornwallis.

One of the TRC calls to action is that provincial governments install publicly accessible and highly visible monuments in each capital city to honour the survivors and victims of Canada's residential school system. This is not work that has been undertaken by this government yet.

Mr. Speaker, there's no path to reconciliation without addressing the monuments in our cities that bring pain to our community members because after all, we are all treaty people.

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

CASWELL, ADRIANA: AWARDS - CONGRATS.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise and acknowledge Adriana Caswell who was also recently recognized today by the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. Adriana Caswell, a recent winner of the Youth Volunteer Award in Beaver Bank and as well the Halifax Volunteer Award.

Several years, Adriana saw the garbage that was left behind through the Spring thaw and was determined to do something about it. She rallied a group of volunteers and began what has become an annual roadside clean-up of debris in Waverley and the Waverley area of Rocky Lake Road, Waverley Road and Highway No. 2

Adriana is an active in soccer, basketball, 4-H Club, WE Day and Waverley's Gold Rush Days. With amazing young volunteers like Adriana setting an example, the future of our community is in good hands. Congratulations on your well-deserved awards.

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

WALSER, DERRICK: HOCKEY SEASON (2016-17) - SUCCESS WISH

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place today to talk about a gifted hockey player, Derrick Walser of New Glasgow. Walser, a former graduate of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is an offensive minor defenceman who is capable of producing high scoring stats. In his final year of junior hockey in Rimouski in 1997-98 Walser scored 41 goals and 69 assists for 110 points, leading all defencemen while capturing the Defenceman of the Year honours and First Team All-Star.

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In his third season of professional hockey, Derrick finished fifth in the AHL among defencemen in points with 55 and played a major role in the Flames 2001 Calder Cup win. Following his tenure with Columbus blue jackets, Walser played over in Europe in the German league. This current year he was the player/coach of the Belfast Giants of the United Kingdom Elite Ice Hockey League.

I am sure all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature will wish this classy Nova Scotian great success in the 2016-17 hockey season.

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

ER CLOSURES/DOCTOR SHORTAGES - PREDICTIONS

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to make the House aware of my new-founded ability. For several weeks now I have raised questions and read members' statements about ER closures and our province's doctor shortages. Each time I have successfully predicted that I would not get any answers from this government.

Mr. Speaker, this insight into the future is a great ability that I have just discovered. My prediction for the future is this: This Liberal Government, and this Premier will not keep their promises to Nova Scotians that they will provide a doctor for every Nova Scotian, and also this slogan will not be in the next Liberal campaign documents in the next election.

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

DIAB, MONICA & ANTONIOS: ACHIEVEMENTS - CONGRATS.

HON. LENA DIAB « » : I rise today to congratulate my daughter Monica and son Antonios on celebrating their birthdays. Even though they were born almost 12 months apart, we've always celebrated their birthdays together.

My son graduated in neuroscience and is currently doing his Ph.D. in pharmacology and instructs nursing students on the significance of administering drugs, and has conducted research on cancer, epilepsy and other illnesses. My daughter graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and in Environmental Engineering, and is currently doing her Master's in Chemical Engineering, and conducting very innovative research. She's an athlete, coach, and a mentor for children with intellectual disabilities and is a Go Eng Girl, promoting junior and high school girls to enter the engineering programs.

I want to thank them both for being Mom's number one supporters. Thank you.

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

KINGS CO. REGISTER: NEWSPAPER ATL. AWARDS

- RECIPIENTS CONGRATS.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, recently the prestigious Newspaper Atlantic Awards were handed out. In the General Excellence class three for highest circulation the Kings County Register was a standing finalist.

Wendy Elliott of the Kings County Register was also a standing finalist in Outstanding Investigative Story category, for her collaboration on a series looking at mental health services, as well as a standing finalist in the local columnist category.

Reporter Ashley Thompson was a standing finalist in the Outstanding New Photo category. Kirk Starratt's work on his website feature for kingscountynews.ca brought him a standing finalist recognition on the Online Innovation category. Jennifer Vardy-Little, Kings County Register's advertising managing editor was a standing finalist in the Outstanding Feature Story category.

Please join me in congratulating these very competent reporters for jobs well done.

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

DUNN-KEEFE, ERIN - EDUC. WK. AWARD

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, each year teachers from across the province are recognized during Education Week. This year one of those recognized is Erin Dunn-Keefe of Bridgewater Jr./Sr. High School.

Ms. Dunn-Keefe is being recognized for her work in educating students around digital citizenship. With the ever-evolving digital world and social media, digital citizenship is an important issue for all teachers to address, and engage students in the potential consequences their actions may cause.

Ms. Dunn-Keefe was presented with her award at an event on April 18th, by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and the Education and Early Childhood Development Minister. I'd like to congratulate Erin Dunn-Keefe and all recipients of this award and recognition, and thank her and all teachers for the dedication to our students.

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

PICTOU CO. CURL FOR THE CURE

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- PARTICIPANTS/ORGANIZERS CONGRATS.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, February 2016 marked the 20th Anniversary of the Pictou Curl for Cancer event. In that time, the event has raised more than $250,000. Participants fundraise with recognition being given for top individual and top team fundraiser. There is a good-natured rivalry among the teams and curlers to see who has the best costume. Curlers have a fun four-end game, followed by an evening socializing and enjoying local entertainment.

Pictou County has three different events that take place this year raising in excess of $41,000. Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the generosity of the people of Pictou County. I wish to thank all the curlers, organizers, entertainers, and sponsors for generously donating their time to this very important cause.

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

POTTIE, DR. IAN - ALZHEIMER'S BREAKTHROUGH

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a well-known researcher and professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, Dr. Ian Pottie, who is at the heart of a recent breakthrough in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and was published in the February print edition of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Dr. Pottie and his team have been working for almost 10 years towards creating a new compound for the definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in living patients. In his laboratory at the Mount, Dr. Pottie has involved countless students in the cold chemistry part of his work, which means the Mount has been home to the synthesis, characterization, and biochemical investigations associated with the development of this new diagnostic compound.

I wish to congratulate Dr. Pottie and his team on this significant scientific breakthrough, and wish them many future successes.

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

HUTCHINSON, J. JEFFREY: HMCS WINNIPEG COMMAND - CONGRATS.

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : In January of this year, a Middle Musquodoboit native, J. Jeffrey Hutchinson, after 25 years in the Canadian Armed Services, was given the responsibility of command of HMCS Winnipeg during a ceremony in Penang, Malaysia.

The appointment includes responsibility for a crew of 250. Commander Hutchinson's appreciation and respect for the people who make up the Canadian Navy crews must certainly have been a deciding factor in the promotion. He attributes leadership, teamwork, self-discipline, and life skills to CAF training and encourages young people from Musquodoboit Valley to enlist at least for a few years.

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I rise today to congratulate Commander Hutchinson on his appointment, and to offer gratitude to all Canadians who protect us through service in the military.

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

FAM. SOS: EXEC. DIR. - RECOGNIZE

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : A new community project in Dartmouth North is creating quite a buzz. Family SOS, a non-profit which offers in-home support and after-school programs, has partnered with the Healthy Honey Beez Youth Social Enterprise to run two beehives at Guy Jacobs Community Garden on Jackson Road.

Children involved with Family SOS will be leading the project. They've already raised the capital for the project by hosting a bake sale featuring treats made with honey. This project goes far beyond educating children about the differences between honeybees and bumblebees, this project has an environmental component and sparks discussion about food security and sustainability, and kids can learn sales and business skills which will, in turn, increase their confidence.

I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in recognizing Donna Morrison, executive director of Family SOS, on this exciting new initiative and what it means for the children in Dartmouth North.

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

ADAMS, HAILEY RAE/D'ENTREMONT, KIRKLAND MERVIN

- LT.-GOV.'S AWARDS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : The Tri-County Regional School Board recently held a ceremony at Lockport Regional High School to present the Lieutenant Governor's Medals to Grade 11 students. The award recognizes Grade 11 students for their academics, leadership, and service to their community and their school.

The honourable J.J. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented the award to Hailey Rae Adams and Kirkland Mervin d'Entremont, students from Drumlin Heights Consolidated School in Argyle.

Please join me in offering our congratulations to Hailey and Kirkland, thanking them for their service and wishing them continued success in their studies.

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

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PEDDLE, BRAD - AUS COACH OF YR.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : It was a tremendous year for the St. F.X. X-Men hockey team. The team finished the 2015-16 season as the Atlantic University Sport Champions, and their head coach Brad Peddle was named not only the AUS Coach of the Year for the first time in his career, but he was also named the CIS Men's Hockey Coach of the Year.

Brad was selected by his peers as the AUS Coach of the Year. He has been the head coach of the X-Men for 11 seasons. They finished the regular season with an 18-6-4 record. His AUS award made him a nominee for the CIS award, and at the CIS All-Canadian Gala, he was presented with the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award, the CIS Men's Hockey Coach of the Year.

It's the first time the Kehoe Award has ever been presented to a St. F.X. coach, and this is quite the honour for many reasons; for starters, the recipient is selected by his peers. This speaks volumes to Brad's character and achievements. It also has a strong St. F.X. connection because Father George Kehoe was a passionate Xaverian, having graduated in 1952. He was also the director of athletics for 23 years.

I'd ask that all my colleagues in the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Brad on being named AUS Coach of the Year. Thank you.

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

FIRST SHIFT PROG.: BAUER HOCKEY/HOCKEY CAN. - CONGRATS.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Tatamagouche-Colchester North was chosen by Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada to host the First Shift Program. The program is designed to ease kids and their families into the sport of hockey by offering a manageable time commitment that is affordable, convenient, and fun.

With the dedication and commitment of the coaches, the program was set up for 6- to 10-year-olds who have never played hockey but want to try the sport. For $199, it included all their gear from head to toe, six beginner lessons, and registration for the year with the Tatamagouche and Area Minor Hockey Association.

This program was obviously a great success because 45 boys and girls participated in the First Shift Program, and after six weeks 40 of them joined Tatamagouche Minor Hockey Association. Congratulations to all those who worked to bring this opportunity for fun and recreation to so many children.

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

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SAMPSON, NATALIE CORBETT: NOVEL RELEASE - CONGRATS.

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Natalie Corbett Sampson, a novelist from Hatchet Lake. Natalie has just released a new novel focusing on cyberbullying called It Should Have Been a #Good Day. Written from the perspective of four very different students, it tells of a day at high school. The book exposes teens' unique vulnerabilities to social bullying and provides insights into the issues of cyberbullying and the importance of cyber safety.

I would like the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Natalie for tackling this very real and salient topic in a way that resonates with youth.

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

SPRYFIELD LIONS CLUB: COMMUN. COMMITMENT - RECOGNIZE

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Spryfield Lions Club once again hosted their annual Rene Quigley Business Bowling Challenge in support of the Boys and Girls Club of greater Halifax-Spryfield location. Ten teams comprised of local businesses and community members participated this year. The event kicked off at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and ended with a lunch at the Lions Den where prizes were presented to the teams.

For the fifth year in a row, Jim Hoskins, Denise Hoskins, Ron Morrissey, Greg Baldwin, and Kelly Gomes of the Honeydale Hotshots team took home the trophy for raising the most funds. This year the team raised almost $1,700. Overall the tournament raised approximately $3,500 for the Boys and Girls Club.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize the ongoing commitment of the Spryfield Lions Club to our community and thank them for hosting the bowling tournament once again. The proceeds from the challenge will certainly help the Boys and Girls Club continue the great work they do.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Lucasville.

EIBI PROG. - FUNDING

MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention Program, or EIBI, recently supported with an additional $3.6 million. The program's focus is scientifically validated and focused on teaching children skills using motivational strategies and principles of applied behavioural analysis. The main goal of this is to develop communication, play, and other skills.

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The program also strives to teach parents and caregivers strategy to better support their children. I believe that programs like this will optimize support effectiveness for children with autism. To have the greatest impact on the lives of children, youth, and their families, it is critical to identify needs and intervene as early as possible in a child's life.

On this note I want to acknowledge my friend Marni Adams who has opened my eyes to the needs of these children. Further, I would like to recognize the work of Autism Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, this is a great step forward, let's keep up the good work.

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

MYLES, SEAN/HAVERSTOCK, GINA/ANNA. CIDER CO. - CONGRATS.

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, a very unique and talented husband-wife duo has opened the first cidery in the Annapolis Valley. Professor Sean Myles researches apple biodiversity at Dalhousie and Acadia and doesn't let his allergy to apples get in the way of his work. Gina Haverstock is a sommelier and award-winning winemaker at Gaspereau Vineyards. The pair has a passion for supporting local.

Their apples are grown in nearby orchards, pressed into juice just down the road, and fermented in their cidery on Main Street in Wolfville. Their worthy goal was to capture the taste of the Annapolis Valley in a bottle and share it with everyone.

On behalf of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, I congratulate Mr. Myles, Ms. Haverstock, and their team at the Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville for their innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, and their commitment to building community by producing top-quality local product.

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

STRANGER DANGER: SAFE PRACTICES REVIEW

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : I would like to bring "stranger danger" to the attention of the House and the residents of Nova Scotia. Over the past few weeks I have heard stories of young people being approached and asked to enter unknown vehicles. As parents, it is our duty to periodically review safe practices with our children to keep them safe. Too often we let our guards down and our children are left unattended and vulnerable to predators.

I remember growing up and seeing the Block Parent signs in the windows of our neighbourhood. Maybe we should re-educate and remind parents and children about their personal safety on a regular basis, possibly beginning with the lockdown procedures placed in the school system. As sad as it is, "stranger danger" happens much too often.

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

BELL BAY GOLF CLUB - MCKENZIE'S TOURS C.B. OPEN

MS. PAM EYKING « » : I rise today to congratulate the Bell Bay Golf Club in Baddeck for recently being announced as host of the McKenzie Tour's Cape Breton Open. The McKenzie Tour serves as a developmental tour where golf's future talent will look to take the next step on the path to the PGA by leveraging their performance into advantages to reach the next level. Bell Bay Golf Club will certainly offer these future stars a challenge when play gets under way in the newly rebranded Cape Breton Open on August 29th. The tournament will be played in Baddeck for the next three years.

I want to congratulate all the staff, volunteers, and members of the Bell Bay Golf Club and look forward to seeing another great Cape Breton golf course being showcased in a top event.

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

CARE FREE CLOTHING - RECOGNIZE

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Care Free Clothing is a local outreach program that provides the service of offering free children's clothing, books, toys, bedding, adult clothing, and assorted household items. The organization collects donations of gently used items and hosts a couple of giveaways throughout the year. These events often take place at St. Andrews Parish Hall in Eastern Passage. Everyone is welcome and can help themselves to all the items.

Care Free Clothing is located at the Happy Bee Child Care Centre, and the owner, Sheila, is one of the program's organizers. Mr. Speaker, I ask that the members of this House of Assembly join me in recognizing Carefree Clothing and the amazing work they do for the community and its people.

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

BACHMAN RINK- ATL. UNIV. SPORT CURLING CHAMPIONSHIP

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : It's always special to win a provincial championship, especially when it's as part of a team. Oftentimes those teams have been together for years and years before they reach the pinnacle of their sport. Lunenburg's Raquel Bachman had a slightly different experience on her way to the Atlantic University Sport Curling Championship last month. Prior to the four-day championship tournament Raquel and her Dalhousie University teammates had never competed together as a team. Raquel and her teammates not only won the championship, they swept the competition going 7-0 in the process.

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I ask that all members join me in congratulating Lunenburg's Raquel Bachman and her teammates for winning the Atlantic University Sport Curling Championship.

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

CARROLL, TIM

- WAVERLEY-FALL RIVER-BEAVER BANK VOL. OF YR. AWARD

MR. BILL HORNE « » : I rise to acknowledge Tim Carroll of the Waverley Amateur Athletic Association, who was awarded Volunteer of the Year during a recognition and award dinner in Beaver Bank during Volunteer Week. Chairman of the WAAA, he spends his Spring, summer, and Fall working on trail maintenance. Tim has been the head ski trail groomer for MacDonald Park for the past seven years. After each snowstorm, in fact, 30 of those days this winter, Tim can be found at the park grooming the 7.5 kilometre trails. Tim is fully dedicated to the development of the trail system within MacDonald Park and has created a venue for families and children to learn to ski, and for community groups to gain fitness and have adventures.

Please join me in congratulating Tim for his well-deserved award and thanking him for his contribution to our community.

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

KIRKPATRICK, DR. DAVID: MEDICAL RESEARCH

- RECOGNIZE/COMMEND

HON. LENA DIAB « » : I rise today to recognize the significant contributions Dr. David Kirkpatrick has made to all of Nova Scotia and around the world and how lucky we are in Halifax-Armdale to have him as a constituent. Dr. Kirkpatrick is a graduate of both Acadia and Dalhousie Universities and has offered attentive and empathetic care to his patients for over 25 years as an otolaryngologist, as his grandfather had done before him. He served as head of the division at Dalhousie and as the surgical site chief at the Victoria General Hospital and the head of the department of surgery at Dalhousie and Capital Health while consistently prioritizing clinical research, teaching, mentoring of residents, and the well-being of our community.

I ask all members of the Legislature to recognize and commend Dr. Kirkpatrick for the exceptional service, leadership, and advancement in medical research. Thank you very much.

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

DEVEAU, LOUIS - ORDER OF NOVA SCOTIA

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about Louis Deveau, a native of Salmon River who founded the innovative company Acadian Seaplants Limited in 1981. His company, a biotech manufacturer of technical, marine, plant-derived products now employs 350 people and exports to 80 countries. It has been repeatedly recognized by the business community, including being named one of Canada's best-managed companies for 13 years. In 2015, Nova Scotia Business Inc. named the company Nova Scotia's Exporter of the Year. He is proud of his heritage and has served as the chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne. This same institution bestowed to Mr. Deveau his first of four honorary degrees and named their entrepreneurship centre for him.

For his accomplishments in business and his contributions to his community, he has been awarded the Order of Nova Scotia. Congratulations to Mr. Deveau for having received our province's highest honour. Thank you.

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

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, at the recent Leadership Prayer Breakfast, keynote speaker Brian McConaghy described the horrific details of what he was exposed to and witnessed in dealing with the issue of human trafficking both here and abroad.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. It has been brought to my attention that the honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank has already read two member statements today.

The honourable member for Antigonish.

MURRAY, ANDREW - ANTIGONISH TOWN-PROV. VOL. AWARD

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Every April, municipalities in Nova Scotia nominate a volunteer to receive a Provincial Volunteer Award. This year, the Town of Antigonish named Andrew Murray as their Volunteer of the Year recipient. On April 4th, Mr. Murray was presented with his award from Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant and Premier Stephen McNeil - rookie mistake, sorry, Mr. Speaker.

Andrew is well known in Antigonish for his incredible artistic and creative talent. He has left his mark on Antigonish in many different ways including artwork, window displays, and interior designs that are showcased in many Antigonish downtown businesses. I ask my colleagues in the House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Andrew on receiving the Provincial Volunteer Award. It is well deserved. Thank you.

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

NAUGLER, GRACE ET AL - MINING ASSOC. (N.S.) AWARDS

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to visit Hebbville Academy recently to recognize several students with awards from the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. Three students from Hebbville Academy, Grace Naugler, Raegyn Judge, and Noah Dickson, took part in a video contest with Noah finishing as runner-up for the best comedy video and the team of Grace and Raegyn won runner-up for best junior high video. These three students worked incredibly hard on their videos, and I was so pleased to be able to take part in recognizing and rewarding their hard work. Congratulations Grace, Raegyn, and Noah. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Lucasville.

C.P. ALLEN HS REMOTELY OPERATED VEHICLE CLUB:

CYGNUS - DEVELOPMENT

MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the members of the Charles P. Allen High School Remotely Operated Vehicle Club for the development of Cygnus, a remotely-operated robot designed for marine work that was chosen as one of two Canadian entries at NASA's Marine Advanced Education Technology Education ROV competition in Houston, Texas, in late June at the Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Lab. I would like to extend congratulations to the members of the team, Morgan Higginson, Liam Acres, Simon Qi, Johnny Ye, Saul Hughes, Logan Crookes, Matt Glencross, Fran Annan, Noah Mason, Will Paul, and Jeff Zhao. Congratulations also to their instructor, Jonah Scott.

It is with great pride that I commend them on their work and hope that this opportunity leads to a promising future in this exciting field for these talented students. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The time allotted for members' statements has expired, and we will just pause briefly while we await QP.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM.: WAIT-TIME WEBSITE - UPDATE

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HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : My question is for the Premier. Mr. Speaker, the government's wait-time website is described as helping you and your family doctor make informed choices, and then it lists wait times for important services and procedures in health care like addictions treatment, mental health treatment, surgeries and MRIs.

Mr. Speaker, an update to the wait-time website is due this month, May 2016. I'd like to ask the Premier if he can ensure that that website is updated with current wait times before this Spring sitting of the Legislature concludes.

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As he would know, being involved in a former government, the Department of Health and Wellness has a number of things on the go, but I'm sure that people in the Department of Health and Wellness will ensure that that website is updated as quickly as possible.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, it's hard to imagine how many things could be more important than updating the wait-time website so that people know how long they're waiting, either for addiction services, or for an MRI, or other diagnostic testing. But of course that's only helpful if you actually have a family doctor and of course, thousands of Nova Scotians don't even have a family doctor today. The Premier promised a family doctor for every Nova Scotian, but we know there are thousands and thousands of people without a doctor today, to help them.

Mr. Speaker, they are waiting and waiting for that family doctor. Would the Premier agree to update the wait-time website to include wait times in Nova Scotia for family doctors?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I think Nova Scotians are working with the Health Authority to ensure that we have the appropriate health care teams across our province, to deliver primary health care services from one end of the province to the other.

Since coming into government we've invested over $8 million to deal with wait-lists; we had 1,400 more surgeries since coming in. I think there were about 500 more scheduled for last year. We're looking to have that increased, but we're working with our surgical teams across this province, looking at the province not in a fractured way but in a holistic way to ensure that we continue to improve and deliver services to Nova Scotians.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier might think everything is fine, but every day we hear another story about a Nova Scotia family that does not have a family doctor, and they call every day and they're told, their doctors are not taking new patients, or they're going to be taking new patients months from now.

The Premier promised every Nova Scotian family that they would have a doctor. If he truly meant that, he should not be concerned about publishing the actual wait times for getting a family doctor in this province. All that they talk about is that they're putting into the system, Nova Scotians only care about what they're getting at the other end and what they're not getting is a family doctor.

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So, I'll ask, why not post wait times for a family doctor, so Nova Scotians can see for themselves what's really going on?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. At no time did I say things were fine, what I've said is things are improving. We are working very diligently with health care providers across this province to ensure that we put together the primary care health care teams that communities are looking for. They are finding innovative ways through nurse practitioners along with physicians. Some are walk-in clinics, some are running practices, some are doing them in a collaborative way, some of them are running under a single practitioner, working together. The health care teams are working with the Health Authority to ensure that we can deal with the primary health care needs of Nova Scotians, and we're going to continue to work with them.

At the same time, Mr. Speaker, we're continuing to invest. We've invested over $50 million in home care to improve home care service. We invested over $8 million in surgical times, seeing 1,400 more gone up since coming into power. We know there's more work to do, but we're going to continue to work with health care providers to provide that service to Nova Scotians.

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

PREM.: HOSP. INFRASTRUCTURE - UNDERSPENDING

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, since the government took office in 2013, hospital infrastructure budgets have been significantly underspent. Across three budgets, there has been $146 million budgeted for hospital infrastructure, but only $72.6 million spent. That means that less than half of the money budgeted has been spent. The former deputy minister has said, "What I see in looking through the numbers is that there's been a drastic reduction." I'll table that.

So, I ask the Premier, why has this government been drastically underspending on hospital infrastructure?

THE PREMIER « » : Again, Mr. Speaker, this is the same mistake the honourable member made when she talked about the housing budget. That money has been committed to projects, that money has already been put out there. There have been delays whether it has been through design, or in terms of construction. We have to account for that money. It would be inappropriate for us to tell any Nova Scotian we've already spent it when in actual fact the contract hasn't been done. As I think she should know, the investment we're making in Dartmouth General, we continue to make. That is an ongoing project, some of those are being done on time. (Interruptions)

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Mr. Speaker, she may not know this, but the honourable member sitting next to her (Interruptions)

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

THE PREMIER « » : She may not know this, but the honourable member sitting next to her was Minister of Health and Wellness and sat on the file around the VG We're moving forward to ensure that we continue to build, to make sure (Interruptions)

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : That's a load of baloney. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid, order, please. (Interruptions) The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER « » : So we're going to continue to invest. I'm sure she understood and heard that we're opening a third OR surgery down in Windsor to ensure that we make sure we have access to surgical time outside the Valley. We're capitalizing on infrastructure. We're going to continue to work with the health care providers across this province to continue to drive, making sure that we have the proper health care services in place.

MS. MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, it's really hard to ignore the facts on this. Nova Scotians do not approve of trying to balance the budget by underspending on much-needed hospital infrastructure. The government is trying to give the impression there will be plenty of money spent on hospital infrastructure once a so-called review of projects is complete. However, in this year's budget, there is only $34 million budgeted for hospital infrastructure, as compared to $42 million last year.

I ask the Premier, if there will be more work done this year, why is the hospital infrastructure budget $8 million less than it was last year?

MR. SPEAKER « » : I just want to remind the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid that "a load of baloney" actually was ruled unparliamentary by this Speaker here, on December 4, 2015.

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Takes me back to my childhood, Mr. Speaker, I remember my mother used to buy that baloney that had the wax around it, and you could cut it off and you fry it. It was a wonderful time when we would see that.

I do want to answer the question, Mr. Speaker. We're continuing to work with contractors across the province, continue to work with health care teams to ensure that we continue to invest in health care infrastructure. We are very encouraged by the announcement we made around the QEII, encouraged by what's happening in Dartmouth, that's moving forward on time, making sure that the health care clinicians across this province have the infrastructure they require.

[Page 9410]

We know there's more work to do, we're going to continue to do that, Mr. Speaker, in a consistent, thoughtful way so we look at the province in its totality instead of the fractured way it was done before.

MS. MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take a minute to return to an unanswered question yesterday.

Yesterday my colleague asked the Minister of Environment, three times, if the Brooklyn quarry had been approved but she could not answer the question. So given that it's in the Premier's riding, perhaps he knows the answer.

So I ask the Premier, has the Brooklyn quarry been approved?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to thank her for giving me the opportunity to stand up and talk about the constituency of Annapolis. It is the birthplace of this country, and I'm looking forward to taking the Premiers there, Mr. Speaker.

I want to tell the honourable member that since being elected, there has been a quarry sited directly behind my house. I want to tell her that there's an opponent who offered on the Brooklyn quarry, Mr. Speaker. There was an incomplete application that was brought forward. There were a number of extensions on that application. The proponent did not bring all the information to the Department of Environment.

They have an obligation, if the proposal is incomplete, to reject it. That is before the courts right now but there's an opportunity for anyone, if they want to apply for a future quarry on that site, it is still there. The only reason that quarry was rejected was based on the fact that it was an incomplete application that was brought before the department.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'd just like to remind the honourable Leader in the House of the New Democratic Party that the theme of her line of questioning should remain consistent and not jump from one topic to another inside the supplementary - just for future reference.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - ONLINE GAMBLING: GOV'T. SPONSORSHIP - CONFIRM

[Page 9411]

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. We learned last week that Atlantic Lottery Corporation is now renting space at Volta Labs. A spokesperson for the lottery company said they are particularly excited about gaining access to the province's top gaming talent. This is another step towards introducing online gambling here in the Province of Nova Scotia, from a government that already is relying on gambling revenue in their budget.

I'd like to ask the Premier very directly, will he tell us today, is his government preparing to introduce online gambling, government-sponsored, in the province?

THE PREMIER « » : That file is not with me, Mr. Speaker, but I want to tell the honourable member how excited I am about what's happening at Volta, how excited I am that young Nova Scotians are providing job opportunities in this province. We're continuing to work to ensure that they take their first opportunity for entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia. We're seeing private sector investment not only at Volta; we're also seeing it at Ocean Centre - looking forward to that continuing to grow, and how excited the private sector is at finally seeing a government in Atlantic Canada that recognizes we can do anything in this part of the country that they can do anywhere else in the world.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Yes, and let's let Volta do their thing but not direct them to raise more money from gambling for the Government of Nova Scotia. Let's let them do wonderful things but not that. It's the last thing we need. This is a government that already spent over $100,000 studying online gambling, and now the gambling company, ALC, is co-located with Volta Labs and they're excited about getting access to that talent. But the Premier can clear this all up. Will he make it clear to Atlantic Lottery Corporation that his government has no interest in getting into the online gambling business?

THE PREMIER « » : I'd like the minister responsible for that to respond.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : The fact is that Atlantic Lottery is reviewing the issue of online gaming with all of our partners in the Atlantic Provinces. The honourable Leader of the Opposition may be aware that there are already several Canadian provinces that do regulate online gaming. In fact, I believe they represent approximately 80 per cent of the Canadian population which is already under a system of regulated online gaming.

Currently, online gaming in Nova Scotia is not regulated. There is no means of knowing if it is causing problem gaming. It is being done by offshore companies that have no jurisdiction here in this province. Again, there is research that is being done. It has been a very structured approach. It is Atlantic Lottery's intention of having all four Atlantic Provinces look at this together.

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

COM. SERV. - NORTH END: AFFORDABLE HOUSING - INCREASE

[Page 9412]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : In Halifax, there's a lot of concerned residents who meet on a regular basis, especially over the last number of months, to talk about affordable housing in Halifax, specifically around North End Halifax. These community members know how important it is to address affordable housing, and they see an expansion of businesses tearing down residences that potentially could have been used for affordable housing.

I'm wondering if the Minister of Community Services could indicate to those citizens in North End Halifax and on the peninsula what the government is doing specifically to increase the availability of affordable housing in the downtown area and North End Halifax?

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : I thank the member for the question. I'm very proud of the record of this government in investing $42 million over the last couple of years from the deferred federal contribution. Of that $42 million, $10 million was actually set aside for 300 rent supplements. What we've seen because of that is over the last 18 months, the wait-list has actually decreased by almost 600 people because that's the fastest way to move people off the wait-list. We've also worked very closely with the Brunswick Street board, and we will be announcing something in the very near future about the non-profit society there. We're also working with our private partners in Dartmouth North and other areas of HRM because we know that affordable housing is an issue within this jurisdiction.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : We know the government has put a lot into rent subsidy, but ownership of stock in the province I think, is something the government is not going towards and trying to increase. It's like renting a house: you don't get the equity in the end for the homeowner. I think the government needs to look at opportunities to increase the stock that we have in Nova Scotia.

North End Halifax is also in desperate need of affordable housing options, as I said. It has been more than three years since the province won the bid to develop Bloomfield to create hundreds of spaces of affordable housing. We're hearing rumours now that the Premier and the government are pulling out of the Bloomfield development project. I'd like to ask the Premier a very direct and simple question, is the government pulling out of the Bloomfield development project?

THE PREMIER « » : As the member would know, the honourable member talked about affordable housing. There are many options across this province. We're working with our partners, both government and private-sector partners, to deliver affordable housing options. If our government is going to do anything around Bloomfield, we'll communicate that with them.

We're going to continue to work with the options that were before us, to make sure that we deal with the issue of affordable housing. I've said many times, I think it's the single biggest thing that government can do, in terms of helping low-income Nova Scotians - to work towards an affordable housing strategy that gives many options, the many varied options that are required to provide housing to citizens of this province.

[Page 9413]

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: C.B. ORPHAN CLINIC WAIT TIMES

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. The shortage of doctors in Cape Breton is threatening the health and safety of Island families. Just months after it opened, the orphan clinic is no longer accepting patients because the doctors can't keep up with the demand. There's a crisis in health care on Cape Breton Island.

My question to the minister is, exactly how many Cape Bretoners have been turned away from the orphan clinic? Would the minister please supply that number to the House today?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, those are numbers that probably the Health Authority would have; I don't have those here at my fingertips. We'll work on that this morning.

What I'd like to tell the member opposite and all those in Cape Breton, the success of recruiting doctors for Neils Harbour and Baddeck, we'll build on that in the coming months.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, we know there are some doctors coming; we also know that it's going to take a while for that to happen. What about the people today who need a doctor?

The orphan clinic, which opened only a few months ago, has already closed its doors to taking new patients. When it started, the orphan clinic had nine doctors, today it has two. When it had nine doctors, it was booked until August. Now there are only two doctors so who knows when, if at any time, these people are going to get an appointment?

Can the minister please tell us what the current wait time is for those who need care at the orphan clinic? Mr. Speaker, it's a crisis.

MR. GLAVINE « » : The orphan clinic obviously plays a role, as I stated on CBC Cape Breton earlier this week. Cape Breton has an anomaly currently, due to the downturn in the oil industry. We've had a tremendous return of Cape Bretoners to all of Cape Breton and to Sydney, and we need to keep that in perspective as the Health Authority is making recruitment for Cape Breton the number one priority - 10 doctors, 10 more in the recruitment process.

[Page 9414]

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: BUDGET - UNDERSPENDING

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Recently we learned that Health and Wellness underspent last year's hospital infrastructure budget by some $26.888 million; this when there are so many huge infrastructure needs in the province, including a very badly needed dialysis and hospice in the Valley the minister has promised in the past.

Can the minister explain why his department saw so few needs in hospital infrastructure that nearly two-thirds of the budget for hospital infrastructure was not spent last year?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address that question. I've learned, like all Health Ministers, that projects are delayed for a whole number of reasons. We have situations ready to spend several millions of dollars. There are some legal issues that will get in the way and then practice changes with the input of clinicians and we go back to redesign. That's what happened in a number of cases.

I'm excited about a lot of projects across the province that will roll out over the next couple of years.

MR. LOHR « » : Thank you for that answer. My response to that is it's simply work, you have to do the work. Can the minister assure this House and the citizens of Kings North that the budget for this year will be spent and one of the items in the budget is a dialysis building for the Valley Regional Hospital? Can the minister assure this House and my constituents that he and his department will spend this money?

MR. GLAVINE « » : As the member knows, we have millions of dollars going out for hospital construction, whether it's the Aberdeen, whether it's the community hospital in Guysborough, work at a number of facilities across the province. As the member opposite knows very well, the original design was looking at a two floor addition to Valley Regional that would've had a floor for hospice, a floor for the dialysis unit. That has now all changed as hospice will be a stand-alone facility, and that project is moving along.

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

CCH - CULTURAL SECTOR: DECREASE (2013-2014) - CONFIRM

[Page 9415]

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage sent out a media release, which bragged about the contribution of culture to Nova Scotia's GDP and jobs. While I certainly support the highlighting of the creative industry's contribution to our economy, I'd like to point out that when we checked the link provided in the minister's release, we learned that between 2013-14 there was actually a drop of 1.8 per cent in culture-related jobs, and only a minimal increase in GDP, and this was when the Liberals became government.

So, my question for the minister is, would he agree today that the cultural sector's jobs actively decreased between 2013 and 2014?

HON. TONY INCE « » : Thank you for that question, or statement actually. This new data that Stats Canada provides us, gives us and all Nova Scotians a clearer understanding of the economic importance of culture and sport in our province. Those numbers for 2013-14 are projections, and Stats Canada uses those as indicators. Those projections show both an increase in jobs and money to the GDP. I will say to you that if you have any questions regarding these numbers, reach out to Stats Canada.

MS. ZANN « » : Well, Stats Canada's numbers clearly show that the trend between 2010 and 2013 in Nova Scotia was an increase in jobs in the cultural section, and GDP, while the NDP was in power. So, perhaps the minister meant to thank the government of the day for the sector's contribution to the economy during those years. On behalf of the NDP I'd like to say you're very welcome.

Keeping in mind that current numbers do not reflect the changes resulting from the 2015 elimination of the Film Tax Credit, will the minister please confirm his intention to use 2014 numbers as a baseline going forward?

MR. INCE « » : First of all let me say to you, thank you, Mr. Speaker. If you look at the trend from 2013-2016, if you look at the numbers from 2010 sorry, to 2016 there is an increase. There is an increase, so I'd like to thank the NDP for giving us this pleasure of talking about the good numbers that we produced.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - ALBERTA INFLUX: C.B. SENIORS - IMPACT

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. In his reply to my last question, the minister talked about all the influx of people coming back from Alberta as part of the reason we have a doctor shortage in Cape Breton Island, but I would like to inform the minister and all the members of this House, that there are a number of senior citizens who have not had doctors for years, for the last two and three years in Cape Breton Island, because there are no doctors for them. For him to stand here and use that as an excuse in a long line of excuses of not living up to the real truth of the matter - there is a crisis in doctors in Cape Breton Island.

[Page 9416]

So, I would like the minister to explain how an influx of people from Alberta has had an impact on the senior citizens of this province, who haven't been able to get a doctor in two, and three, and four years' time?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, since this has been an issue here in the House over the last few days, I went back and reviewed the situation over a decade and we don't see a great deal of difference. Every now and then there's an area of the province that has more retirements of doctors than usual, or sudden departures from practice. What I know is that Cape Breton and a few other areas of the province are now the highest priority to add to the 10 doctors that have been recruited.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Yes, 10 doctors have been recruited; yes, they're looking for 10 more doctors; and yes, there are more doctors leaving every day because of the policies that have been put in place by this government. The question is, are we to live in hopes of what might happen?

What are you going to tell the people who do not have a doctor today, who haven't had a doctor for months - what are you going to tell them? What is the minister and this government - who promised every Nova Scotian would have a doctor - going to tell them? They can't get a doctor, they can't get a health report. What is this minister really going to say to those people who cannot get a doctor and do not have a doctor, and he's doing nothing about it?

MR. GLAVINE « » : I thank the member for raising a very important question that affects Nova Scotians. What I can say is that recruitment has gone well. We'll see the introduction of more nurse practitioners. What all Nova Scotians now are starting to realize is that medical practice has changed. They're talking about primary care delivery by a wide variety of primary care clinicians.

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

COM. SERV.: PUBLIC HOUSING - WAIT-LIST

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : My question is for the Minister of Community Services. My questions are going to be very similar to the member for Sackville-Cobequid's. In estimates, we found out that the wait-list for public housing is huge. Seniors and families are waiting for placements and waiting for transfers. Would the minister tell us, again, what the department is doing to address the wait-list for seniors and families who are waiting for placement?

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : I thank the member for the question. Over the last number of years, there have been increases in different areas of the wait-lists. The family lists go down - because most of the 12,000 units that are available in Nova Scotia for subsidized housing are actually family units. We find a lot of seniors who now are leaving their homes and looking for affordable housing are on the wait-list. I'm very pleased to say that over the next couple of years, in partnership with CMHC and the federal government, there are dedicated funds for new builds of seniors' housing, and we really hope to alleviate some of the wait-list in that demographic.

[Page 9417]

MR. HARRISON « » : Just another part of this - in correspondence from Public Accounts, they provided details about the wait-list by region. In eastern mainland, my region, there are 278 families with approved applications and 485 approved seniors waiting for placement; there are also 419 current tenants approved for transfers. So what can the department do to make people aware of the opportunities to move into a housing unit that is better suited for their needs?

MS. BERNARD « » : That's an excellent question. We often try to mirror and reflect the needs of people who are in social housing right now with what their actual needs are. Many people right now are over-housed. We have housing authority staff in all five regions reaching out to people who are over-housed, to help them move into the community by providing them a wide array of tools that we have in our toolbox, such as rent supplements, so that we can move people off that wait-list.

I'm pleased with the 600 people, family movement, in the last 18 months. It's the largest movement on that wait-list in the last decade. But there is more to be done, and we'll be working with people to help them find adequate housing within their communities through the tools that we have at Housing Nova Scotia.

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

ENVIRON. - WILDCAT RESERVE:

ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS - JURISDICTION

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : My first question is for the Acting Minister of Environment. I have been contacted by local residents from the wildcat reserve, in Queens County, who keeps horses. He told me that the provincial enforcement officers have been showing up asking questions about his activities. The resident is concerned that under federal law, these officers have no jurisdiction to be on the reserve.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Acting Minister of Environment, on what grounds are these enforcement officers going on the Wildcat Reserve?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, that certainly is a specific local question and we'll have the Minister of Environment address this next week.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, my second question is for the Minister of Agriculture. I have heard from yet another resident who keeps cattle and oxen that he has been advised that he is now required to report if he transports his animals, even for a short distance. He is concerned that these permits are just more red tape that previously did not exist, so I ask the Minister of Agriculture . . .

[Page 9418]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Can the member confirm this is the same theme as . . .

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : It's the same.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Sorry, please proceed. The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : So I ask the Minister of Agriculture, can he provide any comments on this issue?

HON. KEITH COLWELL » : I'm presently not aware of that situation. I will investigate it and get back to the member.

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

NAT. RES.: PARKS/BEACHES - INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Our province has numerous provincial parks and beaches. Local residents and tourists continue to enjoy the spectacular beaches and beautiful scenery. However, visitors and employees at these parks and beaches continue to suggest that a lack of funding to maintain these areas is of major concern.

My question to the minister, will the minister admit that the infrastructure in several parks and beaches has been ignored during the past two years?

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : I thank the member opposite for the question. Quite the contrary, Mr. Speaker, the department is very proud of the commitment we have to our over 200 parks and the over one million visits that we have to those parks every year. We have a robust schedule of maintenance and it is a challenge in the province because we are working with nature to keep these parks going.

We have a significant commitment and our staff work very hard with the public to keep these parks vibrant.

MR. DUNN « » : Fading white trail markers, fallen trees, erosion, deteriorating pavement, eroding sand dunes appear to be of concern. In some areas, lack of maintenance is causing potential safety concerns.

[Page 9419]

My question to the minister is, will the minister commit today to providing the necessary funding to upgrade our provincial parks and beaches?

MR. HINES « » : I thank the member opposite for the question. We are committing significant funding to our beaches and parks and we're working with all the NGOs who help us a lot, in terms of determining what's going on. Sometimes things like changing dunes are natural features that are welcomed in the process. Erosion is a consideration and I guess in the history of the earth, when you see a change that happens over our memory and our time, compared to the millions of years that the earth has been around, we should take that into consideration when we're making statements about how the sky is falling. Thank you.

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

BUS.: DIGBY PINES/LISCOMBE LODGE - NEWCASTLE MGT. FEE

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : My question is for the Minister of Business. Newcastle has been the company providing management services for Digby Pines and Liscombe Lodge since 2002. Operations cost the province more than $1.5 million a year. Our office has been trying to find out the management fee, which is done through a contract and is public information. His department officials have not been forthcoming with this information.

My question for the minister is, will the minister confirm how the Newcastle management fee is being paid out? Is it a cut of revenue, a management fee, or some other way? Will he provide the House with the breakdown and a total of these costs for the past two years?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : I thank my colleague for the question. I'm certainly aware of the circumstances around Newcastle and the services they're providing in the management of those facilities. The revenues that are expended to them for that service, I will obtain and be certainly prepared to share with my colleague. But I will say that the management fees of those facilities over the last 10 years have decreased - the fees are the lowest that they've ever been over the past 10 years under this present government.

MR. LOHR « » : I thank the minister for that answer, and I look forward to seeing those numbers.

Another issue has been the potential sale or the effort to sell Liscombe Lodge. I have in front of me a document which we received through FOIPOP, and I will just read from it: The offer from - and this is redacted out, blank - includes keeping the property operating as a resort. They have not requested financial assistance from the province, and they've offered $1 as a purchase price. The offer also includes a request for additional lands totalling close to 90,000 acres outside the Liscombe Lodge lands.

[Page 9420]

It's not clear whether this offer has been accepted or rejected - will the minister confirm he's not giving away the farm when he puts these facilities up for sale? Ninety thousand acres is a lot of land.

MR. FUREY « » : I want to assure my colleague that we're certainly not going to give away the farm. That's the very point of the discussions we're having with proponents. There are people who believe that the government will give in and give the farm away, and that's not the case. I've said before both in this House, and externally, that we will have the best interest of Nova Scotians at heart. (Interruption) To my colleague from Pictou East, who continues to chirp, certainly this continues to be a distraction for Nova Scotians. What I will tell the House is this government has the best interests of Nova Scotians in mind.

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

EECD - SURPLUS SCHOOLS: DOWNLOADING - DETAILS

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : As you know, Mr. Speaker, families in Cape Breton are facing the closure of 17 schools, and responsibility for many of these aging buildings has been downloaded onto the municipalities. Meanwhile, two of the schools built using the P3 model have been well maintained using public funds, and they'll have the keys handed over to private developers.

My question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, is she satisfied to be leaving municipalities with bills for unwanted buildings, while private developers walk away with a tidy profit?

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Thank you to the member for the question, and if the member understood the process, she would know that pre-1982 buildings, when they're no longer used by the school board for educational purposes, do revert back to the municipality.

MS. ZANN « » : Well, I seem to feel an ongoing theme here today, which is people don't like to answer the questions. I'm asking how she feels about the money going to private developers instead of keeping up the schools that are in these municipalities, and closing a number of small rural schools. Many of these schools are aging and need maintenance, so the province is providing millions to make sure these schools built by developers are kept up to date.

Can the minister please just tell Nova Scotians why their money is going to private developers rather than public schools?

[Page 9421]

MS. CASEY « » : What I am prepared to tell Nova Scotians and what Nova Scotians like about this government is that we have identified education and our students as a priority, and we will continue to do that.

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

AGRICULTURE: MINK IND. - VIABILITY INCREASE

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Nova Scotia mink farmers are struggling. Market prices are down due to decreased demand and increased competition from China and Russia. The price per pelt was between $100 and $130 in 2014, and now those pelts are only getting $30 to $40 - and I will table that.

My question to the minister is, what steps is the government taking to increase the viability of the mink industry during this difficult time?

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : It's a very important question about the mink industry in the Province of Nova Scotia. As the member will be aware, and I'm sure he's aware, the sale of mink furs on the international market goes on a 10-year cycle. We're at the bottom of the 10-year cycle now, and indeed the price is very low at the present time. But there is an indication, with the options that are going on at the present time, the prices are on the way up again.

MR. LOHR « » : I thank the minister for that answer, Mr. Speaker. A CBC article points out that 25 per cent of the workers in the mink industry are being laid off. The mink industry is very important to the southwestern region of Nova Scotia. It is said to have created as many as 1,200 direct jobs. In a Local Xpress article released March 2nd, which I'll table, presently the association representing mink farmers said in many cases there's a $20 bill or greater difference between what mink are selling for and what it costs to raise one. Last year alone we raised 2.3 million mink in the province. You start doing the math, there's a lot of money being lost.

My question for the minister is this, has the minister worked with the Minister of Business to develop a plan to instill confidence in lenders, so the mink industry can overcome the downturn?

MR. COLWELL « » : Indeed we've been working with the mink industry and their association very closely. We believe we're getting close to making an arrangement with them to ensure that we can not only make the industry survive but also so that we can make sure that the industry will survive this kind of downturn in the future when it comes in another 10 years.

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

[Page 9422]

LAE - EMPLOYEES: SENIORITY - PROTECTION

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. Jobs are very hard to come by and people who have them really want to keep them, because they depend on that to pay their bills. I cite one case where a man who had seniority had his hours cut and younger ones were picking up those hours. Another lady, after 25 years, was laid off with no severance. My question is, are there any labour laws that protect these people, or are they just at the mercy of employers?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member for bringing forward this question. Any worker who feels they have been unjustly treated at work can contact our Labour Standards division, and I wish I had the 1-800 number off the top of my head - it's 1-888 something - but I can absolutely provide that to the honourable member.

I would also point out there is legislation that protects employees who have been hired for longer than a 10-year period. Again the Labour Standards folks would be happy to walk those folks through that.

MR. HARRISON « » : Actually, that also answered my second question. If there's something in place then please would you get me that information, or just contact (Interruption) It's on the website? Okay, very good, thank you.

MS. REGAN « » : Before the end of today's sitting, I'll make sure he has the link and the phone number for his constituents to contact.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - N. END COMMUN. HEALTH CTR.:

FUNDING - UPDATE

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the North End Community Health Centre provides important health care and health promotion programs to nearly 5,000 residents in the North End of Halifax. Back in January the centre told the Nova Scotia Health Authority it needed financial help to replace the roof and fix a number of ongoing structural issues with their building. The centre already fundraises and uses funding that is available, but is unable to meet the costs of these repairs.

So, I'd like to ask the minister, can the minister provide us an update on the situation at the North End Clinic?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to commend all the clinicians, the board, for the outstanding primary care to wrap around service that the North End Clinic provides. We're currently in an exploration process to look at their future. It's definitely a clinic that must remain part of the community, but what will be the physical structure? That simply remains part of the current investigation. But I can assure all those who use the wonderful service of the North End Clinic that they will have a strong future.

[Page 9423]

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Well, I'm sure the residents of the North End will be glad to hear that answer, but whatever the future holds, if it means a new building or not, Mr. Speaker, and I hope that's where the minister is going, the repairs are needed today, yesterday, last week. So, I'm wondering if the minister - a direct question - will he provide, will the government provide funding to fix the roof and some of the structure issues today, so that the future of this clinic will still be there to serve the North End of Halifax?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, again it's one of those situations where, are we putting good money after something that may be very temporary in terms of the present location? What I can say is that the Health Authority and the Department of Health and Wellness are working as quickly as possible to identify what could be another building or what their future relocation will look like.

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

PREM. - DOCTOR SHORTAGE: HEALTH MIN. - ADDRESS

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. We have had a number of discussions in this House about the quality of health care in the Cape Breton Island area and, indeed, all of rural Nova Scotia. There have been many questions raised about this current doctor situation and the shortage of doctors for seniors and others on Cape Breton Island. My question to the Premier, will he direct his Minister of Health and Wellness to take this matter seriously and deal with it directly today?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The Minister of Health and Wellness identified to all members of this House this is a top priority for the Health Authority. We continue to work with communities across this province. As the honourable member would know, the Minister of Health and Wellness has said a number of times they recruited 10 positions; there is more recruitment ongoing; and we are going to continue to make sure that we work with our partner, the Health Authority, to make sure that we have front-line health care providers across our province.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, yes, there is recruitment going on, but does anybody understand, from that side of the House, that these people are not going to be taking their jobs, some of them, for 10 to 18 months from now and, yet, there is a current shortage of doctors today that patients need help with.

My question to the Premier is quite simple. If this Minister of Health and Wellness will not address the problem, will he put someone in the position to actually do the work?

[Page 9424]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The Minister of Health and Wellness has answered this question many times in this House. There are 10 physicians coming to Cape Breton Island. We know we are going to continue to work to provide more. We are continuing to work with issues with communities across this province.

My understanding five of those 10 have taken tuition relief, a program we have put in place. We are going to continue to work with the university medical school to ensure that we continue to put in place practices that will keep the young people here. It is unfortunate that the honourable member, when he is getting a positive response to the question he asks, is not satisfied with the fact that more doctors are coming to Cape Breton Island. We are going to continue to do that, and we are going to continue to go forward.

It is unfortunate when we continue to see results for the citizens of this province, for the citizens of Cape Breton Island - those are positive things regardless of what political Party puts that in. We should not let politics interfere with the fact that we need to get medical people on the ground across this province, including Cape Breton Island. And, when it is happening, they should recognize and be thankful the Minister of Health and Wellness is responding to the neglect that has taken place before he became the Minister of Health and Wellness.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I want to give credit to the Premier for finally identifying and answering a question.

This is an issue that is very important to all Nova Scotia; this is not a partisan issue. This is an issue about getting people on the ground, today, to look after the people, today, not as the Premier said, "down the road." (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Order, please. Order, please. The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg has the floor.

MR. MACLEOD « » : I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, that, yes, these doctors are coming in the summer, but actually people have health care needs, today, and they do not have a doctor. I can tell you, from personal experience, that within 24 hours your life can take an altering change and have an effect on you right away.

So, when is this government going to admit that there is a real shortage of doctors on the ground and they need to be there, today?

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

[Page 9425]

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

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 156.

Bill No. 156 - Public Archives Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 156, amendments to the Public Archives Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Mr. Speaker, I thank those who spoke to this bill in second reading for their support of the amendments. I thank the Archives, history and genealogical communities for working with us. They helped to ensure that our legislation does a good job in serving an important heritage institution.

I would also like to thank my department staff who worked with stakeholders on the amendments. The amendments are primarily housekeeping in nature. The bill went through Law Amendments Committee with no representation. I believe that this shows that our previous outreach work gave the stakeholders the information they needed about the nature and value of the amendments. I look forward to continuing to work with these stakeholders in the future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : I'll thank the minister for his comments. As stated in second reading, this caucus still remains supportive of this piece of legislation and thank you so much.

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

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I, too, echo the sentiments of our colleagues, the Progressive Conservatives, and we support this bill as well.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

[Page 9426]

HON. TONY INCE « » : I'd like to thank my colleagues across the floor for their support in this bill. Mr. Speaker, I now move third reading of Bill No. 156.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 156. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 157.

Bill No. 157 - Government Records Act.

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

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 157 be now read a third time and do now pass.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 157. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 158.

Bill No. 158 - Securities Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister Finance and Treasury Board.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 158 be now read a third time and do pass.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 158. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 9427]

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 160.

Bill No. 160 - Blueberry Associations Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 160 be now read a third time and do pass.

During second reading I heard from several members of the House who spoke about this important bill, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the members for Kings North, Pictou East, and Sackville-Cobequid for bringing their points forward. It's remarkable how a 13-word bill repealing an 88-year-old piece of legislation can elicit such thoughtful response from the Official Opposition. It is understandable, however, in view of their passion for the beloved blueberry. I know what the colour blue inspires in the members of the Opposition. It brings to mind our great friends the honeybees, who are attracted to the sweet blue blossoms. One can easily see the image of a small hive with a cluster of drones surrounding a busy queen bee, harvesting the nectar from the blueberry blossoms.

The Blueberry Associations Act was created to encourage the cultivation of wild blueberries, however, all matters associated with it are now dealt with through other pieces of legislation. It is important to modernize legislation, and that's what this bill does.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 160. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 165.

Bill No. 165 - Occupational Health and Safety Act.

[Page 9428]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I move that Bill No. 165 be now read a third time and do pass.

Keeping Nova Scotians safe at work is a priority for this government. Most employers share our commitment and operate safe workplaces, but there are some companies and individuals that repeatedly break safety laws, putting people at great risk. Our existing legislation does not do enough to hold these employers and employees accountable. They've found ways to get around our existing regulations. So we wanted to close these loopholes.

The proposed amendments will give government additional tools and authority to enforce safety requirements for those who violate safety regulations and laws over and over again. I want to be clear here: our key area of concern is repeat and serious violators whose actions could result in serious injury or death. There are four changes that we're proposing. Three will give government new safety enforcement tools, and one will clarify requirements for reporting workplace injuries.

The first will authorize courts to grant an injunction to prohibit an employer from carrying on work in an industry, if the employer has repeatedly failed to comply with the Act or safety work orders of a serious nature. This change would allow the courts to require the person to comply with the law and/or limit their ability to work in a particular industry. This limitation could be for a set period of time or until they demonstrate that they can do the work safely.

The second change will require an employer with repeat violations to give the OHS Director details of their future work activities, including locations and the nature of the work.

The last new enforcement tool will allow stop-work orders to be issued at more than one worksite operated by the same employer, where the same risks are believed to be present. Under this amendment, with the OHS Director's approval, an OHS officer could issue a stop-work order to more than one worksite operated by a repeat and serious violator.

The fourth and final amendment clarifies the requirements for reporting workplace injuries. Employers are currently required to report injuries that occur at the worksite, however, the Act does not clearly identify which types of injuries should be reported or how they should be reported. So this has been clarified. A specific list of reportable injuries has been developed, and email or phone reporting will be allowed to improve efficiency.

We've also ensured there are clear definitions and appropriate checks and balances. We met and talked with stakeholders about these changes. The feedback they provided was helpful. It has helped us to better describe the intent of the amendment and to ensure the changes were well defined.

[Page 9429]

Furthermore, the changes in the bill will be by proclamation and will not take effect right away. This will allow time for policy development, communication, and education about the changes. We will continue to work closely with industry as we do this.

Mr. Speaker, at the end of the day these amendments are one part of government's overall effort to improve workplace safety. All of our efforts are having an impact, we're seeing positive changes, but there is still work to do and this legislation is one more important step forward. Thank you.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, every Nova Scotian deserves a safe workplace that keeps workers safe from injury, or heaven forbid even worse. We know the legislation should not impact the many thousands of Nova Scotian employers who follow the rules without major workplace violations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

I am pleased to see that the legislation appears to be able to tighten the rules around repeat violators of the Act and will take into consideration different workplaces. As always, we want to ensure that it only penalizes people who break the rules, and it appears that this legislation aims to do so. It is my hope, Mr. Speaker, as the minister said, that meaningful consultation and outreach will occur before this bill is proclaimed. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I move to close debate on third reading of Bill No. 165.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 165. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 168.

[Page 9430]

Bill No. 168 - Labour Standards Code.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 168 - entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 246 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Labour Standards Code - be now read a third time and do pass.

Mr. Speaker, the changes we're proposing are to the kinds of records that employers who operate in more than one Maritime Province need to keep. Businesses shouldn't have to waste time figuring out which records need to be kept in which province, they should be the same; it just makes sense. As a reminder, the specific changes we're making to the Labour Standards Code will align record-keeping requirements among the three Maritime Provinces, clarify language around record-keeping requirements, and eliminate unnecessary record-keeping requirements.

We haven't added any new regulations or provisions, except for language that gives employers the option of providing electronic pay statements. We have consulted with stakeholders and the reaction to these changes has been positive.

Mr. Speaker, these changes may sound small, but this is an area the business community has highlighted as overly difficult, and complex. We know there's more work to be done to make things easier for businesses, but the Premier has made this commitment. We're listening and we're acting. Our colleagues in P.E.I and New Brunswick have already introduced changes in their respective Legislatures, and to provide time to employers, the changes will take effect on January 1, 2017 in all three provinces.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I want to reaffirm our commitment to cutting red tape and making it easier for businesses to grow and prosper in Nova Scotia and in the region. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 168. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

[Page 9431]

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Would you please call Bill No. 176.

Bill No. 176 - Otter Lake Landfill Act.

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

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 176 be read a third time and do pass.

Bill No. 176 establishes firm parameters with respect to the capacity of the residual disposal cells at the Otter Lake Landfill. Mr. Speaker, I believe that the primary role of an MLA is to do whatever they can to stick up for their constituents. And this bill, it seems to me, constitutes the most important legislation possible for the people of Timberlea-Prospect, the host communities of the Otter Lake landfill.

Above and beyond the commitment made to the host communities in the 1990s, recent public consultation clearly revealed that cell height extension was not what the vast majority of citizens wanted within HRM. A meagre 15 per cent of HRM respondents on the online survey were supportive of increasing cell heights.

For the benefit of the members, Mr. Speaker, it is germane to mention that approximately 140,000 tons is generally what came into the landfill on an annual basis. After several recent changes that figure is now down significantly, to approximately 40,000 tons. There are a number of factors with that, some of the most major changes were the decision by HRM Council to start exporting their ICI waste, so institutional, commercial and industrial waste is now beginning to be exported. Obviously that's a significant portion of that waste, so that will provide a longer lifespan for each cell. That, combined with clear bags, more source separation, obviously that culminates in the longer lifespan at the Otter Lake landfill.

I don't begrudge HRM for viewing cost-saving measures and extending the predicted life of Otter Lake landfill, that seems to me to be in the overall public interest. However, today we are at a critical juncture - the Nova Scotia Environment approval of the landfill states that it will operate until the footprint is full. There should be no opposition to legislating that this remains the case.

I appreciate the attendance of the three presenters at the Private and Local Bills Committee. We had the area councillors of the host community, we had the community stakeholder committee that was developed in the 1990s to site the landfill on the various components with the community-led strategy, and we had representation from the community monitoring committee, both the chairman and the vice-chairman. I will note that no presenter at this committee was opposed to this legislation.

[Page 9432]

I also want to thank my colleagues who brought up very salient questions. My colleague, the member for Kings South; my colleague, the member for Pictou East; my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid; also my colleague the member for Hammonds Plains-Lucasville, and going back into the history before I came to this House, I want to thank the former member for the constituency of Timberlea-Prospect, Bill Estabrooks, who stood by communities all through - making sure that the environmental safeguards were in place at the Otter Lake landfill. I want to thank the member for Argyle-Barrington who brought forth the resolution in the House that was supported by all Parties at the time.

So it's great to see the Parties continuing to stand by the constituency of Timberlea-Prospect and ensuring commitments will endure with this legislation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I have about an hour on this bill, just to bring up some concerns – no, I'm only joking. I want to thank the member for Timberlea-Prospect for bringing this forward. I think it shows the importance of each MLA here in the House that we need to continue to be reminded and make sure that we bring forward initiatives that are important to the community, and this one definitely is important to the community that the member represents.

I know over the years dealing with landfill and landfill issues that it can be a very hot issue, a controversial issue within the community. As I said, I think in second reading, we do support this piece of legislation. I do want to make sure it's very clear that even though in this piece of legislation, and I contemplated bringing in an amendment to address the issue that concerns the community that I represent and the communities around Sackville, and I know the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank would probably support me on this amendment - and even the Premier was encouraging me to bring in an amendment. I think at this time the message is going to be clear to the municipality that commitments made to communities should be kept when it comes to hosting landfills, or if you have hosted a landfill.

Of course I am referring to the Sackville landfill that the community that I represent, and the surrounding community, hosted for a number of years, the commitment was to close that facility. Monies were put forward to support the community post that landfill, and I have to say that money is well spent, well used by the community. We have an amazing facility very close to the landfill, Weir Field, that has an all-purpose soccer field, an amazing baseball diamond, a community centre, and it is used for a number of events.

[Page 9433]

The controversial decision by the municipality to potentially activate or increase the capacity at the leachate plant that is the Sackville landfill right now created a lot of stir in the community. I hope that the municipality recognizes that with this legislation it will be a bit clearer on the cell size and the expansion that can take place in Otter Lake, but by no means should it give them a free pass to look at the Sackville landfill and reactivate or increase the capacity of the leachate plant that is there from runoff from Otter Lake. If I need to, I will bring legislation forward like this to support the community and the surrounding community.

By all means, I think this piece of legislation sends a strong message to the municipality that a commitment is a commitment, a promise is a promise - closing the landfill is closing the landfill. Let us not reactivate or increase what goes on there. I want to thank the member for bringing this forward and we do support it.

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

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : I move third reading of Bill No. 176.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 176. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I am happy to advise that that concludes the government's business for today.

There are a couple of matters to advise members on. Law Amendments Committee will be meeting on Monday, May 16th at 12:00 noon and will be considering Bill No. 171, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act; Bill No. 174, Financial Measures (2016) Act; and Bill No. 177, Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Mr. Speaker, you will recall that earlier today we had a resolution pass which indicated that bills considered on Monday would be added to the order paper on Tuesday for consideration of the Committee of the Whole.

[Page 9434]

A point was raised with me that on Monday at Law Amendments Committee, if there were any concerns with the bills that they could be sent for review by government staff. That can be done if it is needed. If so, the Law Amendments Committee will meet early on Tuesday morning to review that and report those bills back to the House for the start of business on Tuesday.

For planning for members, the hours for next week: we will not be meeting on Monday, but we will be meeting on Tuesday, May 17, from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; on Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; on Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and on Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

So, with that, I move that the House do now rise to meet again on Tuesday, May 17, from the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House rise to meet again Tuesday, May 17th, between the hours 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until Tuesday, May 17th, at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 11:14 a.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 9435]

RESOLUTION NO. 3938

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas the riding of Halifax Armdale is fortunate to count Dr. David Kirkpatrick as a constituent and wishes to recognize the significant contributions Haligonians make here in our province and around the world; and

Whereas Dr. Kirkpatrick, a graduate of both Acadia and Dalhousie Universities, has offered attentive and empathetic care to his patients for over 25 years as an otolaryngologist, as his grandfather had before him; and

Whereas Dr. Kirkpatrick has served as head of the division of otolaryngology at Dalhousie, has served as the surgical site chief at the Victoria General Hospital, and has served as head of the department of surgery at Dalhousie and Capital Health, all while consistently prioritizing clinical research, teaching, the mentoring of students, and the well-being of our community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize and commend Dr. David Kirkpatrick for the exceptional service, leadership, and advancements in medical research that the people of Nova Scotia have benefited from over the length of his distinguished career.

RESOLUTION NO. 3939

By: Hon. Kevin Murphy » (The Speaker)

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

Whereas Brian Joseph Veniot, a native of Musquodoboit Harbour and a long-time resident of the Eastern Shore, is a dedicated father and grandfather; and

Whereas Brian realized his lifelong dream of graduating from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1987 and has capably served the fabled scarlet uniform in many capacities over the years, most notably in bringing special canine services to the H Division; and

Whereas Brian has always been involved in many volunteer community activities along the Eastern Shore including minor sports and community and service groups;

[Page 9436]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly join me in thanking Brian Joseph Veniot for his years of dedicated policing services to our country.

RESOLUTION NO. 3940

By: Hon. Kevin Murphy « » (The Speaker)

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

Whereas Dawn Kimberly Murphy, a native of Dartmouth and a long-time resident of the Eastern Shore, is a devoted mother and grandmother.

Whereas in 1987, Kimberly realized a lifelong goal and joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and shortly thereafter graduated from Saint Mary's University in 1993 with a degree in criminology; and

Whereas Kimberly has faithfully served the beloved scarlet uniform in many capacities, including the inquiry into abuse at the Shelburne Youth Training Centre, the Swiss Air disaster in 1998, VIP Services, and community policing;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly join me in extending a heartfelt thank-you to Dawn Kimberly Murphy for her years of dedicated service to policing in Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 3941

By: Hon. Lena M. Diab (Immigration)

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

Whereas on Sunday, May 15th, 2016, the Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax will host the Day of the Lebanese Emigrant; and

Whereas this year marks the 16th annual year where the Nova Scotian Lebanese community gathers to recognize their success and accomplishments; and

Whereas this event is an opportunity to reflect on what has helped Lebanese emigrants to overcome the many challenges and to celebrate this traits: strong faith, family values and community spirit;

[Page 9437]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Canadian Lebanon Society of Halifax and all Nova Scotians of Lebanese descent and wish them food health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3942

By: Hon. Lena M. Diab (Immigration)

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

Whereas the Red Cross of Nova Scotia has a long history of helping those in need; and

Whereas the Red Cross of Nova Scotia was one of the first organizations to join the Syrian refugee effort here in Nova Scotia last Fall; and

Whereas the Red Cross of Nova Scotia has played a key role in helping us welcome more than 1,000 Syrian refugees to the province by assisting 211 and the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) with volunteer outreach and management;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature thank Provincial Director Ismael Aquino and Communications Director Dan Bedell and all of the staff at the Red Cross of Nova Scotia for supporting the Syrian refugee effort.

RESOLUTION NO. 3943

By: Hon. Lena M. Diab (Immigration)

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

Whereas people and communities across Nova Scotia have stepped up to support the Syrian refugee effort; and

Whereas two family owned Nova Scotian companies: Armco Capital, owned by the Armoyan family; and Rank Incorporated, owned by the Ramia family, generously donated the building that housed the Refugee Donations Drop-Off Centre at 350 Horseshoe Lake Drive, Bayers Lake Halifax, between December and March, free of charge; and

Whereas our new Syrian families, and other Nova Scotians in need, continue to benefit from the thousands of items that were dropped-off at the centre;

[Page 9438]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature thank the business of Armco Capital and Rank Incorporated for their significant contribution to the Syrian refugee effort.