The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD17-09

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/



First Session

MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Health & Wellness - Digby Area Health Coalition: Recommendations
- Endorse, Mr. Gordon Wilson »
635
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 281, Rt. Hon. Julie Payette: 29th Gov. Gen. - Best Wishes,
635
Vote - Affirmative
636
Res. 282, Seniors: Seniors Wk. (Oct. 1-7) - Recognize,
636
Vote - Affirmative
637
Res. 283, Health & Wellness: Walk Across Canada Challenge
- Recognize, Hon. R. Delorey »
637
Vote - Affirmative
638
Res. 284, N.S. Works: Transformation Team - Prem. Award of
Excellence, Hon. L. Kousoulis »
638
Vote - Affirmative
639
Res. 285, Post-Sec. Disability Serv. Team: Prem. Award of Excellence
- Congrats., Hon. L. Kousoulis « »
639
Vote - Affirmative
640
Res. 286, Treaty Day - Embrace,
640
Vote - Affirmative
640
Res. 287, Env.: Ride for Cancer - Team Congrats.,
641
Vote - Affirmative
641
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 16, Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act,
641
No. 17, Solemnization of Marriage Act,
641
No. 18, Congregation of Notre Dame, Saint Joseph Province Dissolution Act,
641
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Northside Sports Hall of Fame: 2017 Inductees - Recognize,
642
Metallic, Naiomi - Dal. Univ. Chancellor Chair in Aboriginal Law
& Policy, Mr. G. Burrill
642
Surette, Jean Léo (Deceased): Plaque Unveiling - Congrats.,
643
Adopt-A-Library Prog.: WOW! Reading Challenge - Congrats.,
643
First Nations Communities - Listen,
644
Special Olympics: 2017 Truck Convoy - Recognize,
644
Mi'kmaq History Month: Treaty Day - Admiration,
645
Shelburne: Whirligigs & Weathervanes Fest. (18th) - Congrats.,
645
Johnson, Ursula: Mi'kmaq Artist - Recognize,
645
MacPhee Ctr. for Creative Learning: Al & Mary MacPhee
- Recognize, Mr. T. Halman »
646
Marshall Jr., Donald: Wrongful Conviction Day - Remember,
646
Lanceleve, Colby: Marseille Spartens - Congrats.,
647
Wrongful Conviction Day: Access to Justice - Recognize,
647
House of Assembly: 259th Birthday - Celebrate,
648
Wrongful Conviction Day - Call for Justice,
648
Cumberland Co. Museum & Archives: Service - Recognize,
649
Wrongful Conviction Day - Viola Desmond,
649
O'Connor, Cyril: Farm Disruption - Compensation,
649
Wrongful Conviction Day: Assoun Case - Example,
650
Leeside Society - Recognition of Service,
650
Savoy Theatre: 90th Anniv. Show - Congrats.,
651
MacIsaac, Lorna: Piping Accomplishments - Recognize,
651
Granger, June: I Scream Ice Cream Shop - Congrats.,
651
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 4:43 P.M
652
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 8:50 P.M
652
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 12, Boxing Authority Act
652
653
654
656
Vote - Affirmative
656
No. 10, Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter
656
658
659
660
Vote - Affirmative
660
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 3rd at 1:00 p.m
661
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 288, East Preston United Baptist Church:175th Anniv
- Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell »
662
Res. 289, Rizkallah, Rudy & Maria: Catering Serv. - Gratitude,
662

[Page 633]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2017

Sixty-third General Assembly

First Session

4:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Chuck Porter, Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please.

The honourable Deputy Premier.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, since we last met on Friday, we have seen terrifying acts of terrorism and murder that have resulted in significant loss of life. Our thoughts are with those families affected in the terrible tragedies experienced in Las Vegas last evening and also those impacted by the incidents in Edmonton.

Mr. Speaker, these horrific attacks and acts of terrorism that have occurred have absolutely no place in our community or in our country. With our neighbours in the United States and around the world, we mourn with those who have lost family, friends, and who have had to deal with these unthinkable situations.

We also pause to think of the many first-responders who have walked into danger while working to help the victims of these tragedies. They remain in our thoughts and in our hearts.

I would ask, after we hear from members of the Opposition Parties, to observe a moment of silence in memory of those who lost their life and in support of those loved ones now grappling with these terrible tragedies.

[Page 634]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Official Opposition House Leader.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for bringing this forward. I think over the last number of hours, watching the news and listening to the news, it is really a hard tragedy to fathom when - I believe the number is over 500 now, people who have been injured; and 58, including two Canadians, who have been killed. It's really hard to fathom the depth of that tragedy. Of course, there are 58 families and 500 families affected by this. Edmonton - of course, anything of terror on Canadian soil is one that I guess is uncertain to any one of us. And then of course, we didn't mention what was going on in Spain today: people fighting for democracy.

Around the world, I think we should be able to stand with our friends and families here and abroad, and commemorate the lives lost. I wish a speedy recovery for those who have been injured.

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

MR. GARY BURRILL: In such moments, we all turn to the most substantial and deepest parts of our own traditions. If I may do that for my own tradition, as we address this present tragedy, there is a place in the biblical tradition where a figure named Nehemiah hears word of an exceptional collective tragedy that has happened and says simply, " . . . when I heard these words . . . I sat down and wept . . ."

We are with the people of the world who are in this very same place, and we stand with heavy hearts with those who are going through and in the midst of these deep waters.

MR. SPEAKER « » : May I ask all members to please rise as we observe a moment of silence for those victims and families affected by the tragedies in Las Vegas and Edmonton.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you.

We will now move on to the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents. The operative clause is: "We the citizens of Long Island and Brier Island, endorse the recommendations of the Digby Area Health Coalition. We expect and request uninterrupted service at our medical centre in Freeport and want to see measures made to ensure accessibility and continuity of care."

[Page 635]

There are 309 signatures and I have affixed my signature also. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 281

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

Whereas Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julia Payette - an astronaut, engineer, scientific broadcaster, and corporate director - became Canada's 29th Governor General earlier today; and

Whereas former Governor General, the Right Honourable David Johnston, assumed the role as Canada's 28th Governor General in 2010 and served the people of Canada with distinction until conclusion of his term today; and

Whereas Canada's Governor General represents the Queen in our country, and the office of Governor General is the oldest continuous institution in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly thank the Right Honourable David Johnston for his service and contributions to our nation, and wish Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julia Payette all the best as she begins her new role as Governor General of Canada.

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

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

[Page 636]

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 Communities, Culture and Heritage.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : I would like to draw the attention of the House to the east gallery where Deputy Minister Simon d'Entremont is present today. I want to also speak a little more about Penny MacAuley who is with the deputy minister.

Penny MacAuley attended and spoke at our launch event in March for SHIFT: Nova Scotia's Action Plan for an Aging Population. Penny began her career as a professional singer/songwriter and then worked extensively in television as a director and producer. She retired from her career in TV but says that that lasted only about 30 seconds before she became an entrepreneur.

Penny is an excellent example of how older Nova Scotians continue to contribute in many ways to our communities and challenge age-related stereotypes.

I would ask members of the House to join me in giving Penny a warm welcome today. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 282

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

Whereas older adults contribute in many ways to their communities by sharing experiences, expertise, and knowledge with other generations; and

Whereas we can all think of an older adult who has had an impact in our life as a role model, a loved one, a neighbour, a volunteer, or a co-worker; and

Whereas we recognize that older adults can enrich our lives and strengthen our province by remaining active, engaged, and informed;

[Page 637]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge October 1st to October 7th as Seniors Week, and recognize older adults for their valuable contributions.

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 Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, before moving forward with the resolution I'd like to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. DELOREY « » : Thank you. For this resolution, some employees of the Department of Health and Wellness Investment and Decision Support team are in the east gallery today. I don't think they are all here, but for those who are, if you can rise, when I call out your name, and receive the warm welcome of the House: Jill Casey, Pam Jones, Cathy McPhee, Cathy Starkes, Riea Elder, Maureen Hudson, Isabelle Trider, and Cathie Piercey.

Those members, Mr. Speaker, would be relevant in the resolution I'm about to put forward.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 283

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

Whereas the mandate of the Department of Health and Wellness includes encouraging and supporting Nova Scotians to engage in an active, healthy lifestyle; and

Whereas the Investment and Decision Support team in the department has taken this seriously and led by example when staff recently completed the Walk Across Canada Challenge, a virtual walk across the country, encouraging participants to take more steps; and

[Page 638]

Whereas even small amounts of increased physical activity can improve your physical and mental health;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in recognizing this accomplishment by the Investment and Decision Support team at the Department of Health and Wellness, and encourage all Nova Scotians to live healthy, active lifestyles.

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 Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 284

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Works employment centres provide a suite of employment services under one common brand, to help Nova Scotians understand, prepare for, and attach to employment while helping businesses find, recruit, hire, manage, and develop the talent needed to be more productive in a global economy; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Works Transformation Team played an integral part in the design of Nova Scotia Works employment system and worked hard to ensure it better reflects the needs of the working population; and

Whereas members of the Nova Scotia Works Transformation Team received the Premier's Award of Excellence for launching a new innovative system to provide services to job-seekers, employers, and youth in the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Vicki Elliott-Lopez, Amie Haughn, Dallas MacDonald, Joe Brown, Lucy Ye, Beatrice Croxen, Roger Peters, Neila Fraser, Catherine Casey, Louise Adongo, Danielle LeBlanc, and Jennifer Wagg for rising to the challenge to transform Nova Scotia's employment services system.

[Page 639]

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 Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

[4:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 285

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

Whereas Nova Scotia students with permanent disabilities now have more equitable and timely access to the resources they need to succeed at their post-secondary studies; and

Whereas Nova Scotia students with permanent disabilities now benefit from a more even playing field and are in the position to be more successful, more often because of the supports available; and

Whereas members of the Post-Secondary Disability Services team received the Premier's Award of Excellence for improving an existing system to better support requests for post-secondary disability services in the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Corrine Dillon, Tingting Han, Jody Harris, Linda Higgins, Carolann Hubley, Mary Ann Laba, Brenda Landry, Micheline McWhirter, and Kevin Penny for their hard work in improving accessibility to learning for students with disabilities.

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

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

[Page 640]

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. 286

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

Whereas each year we celebrate Treaty Day on October 1st, marking the beginning of Mi'kmaq History Month in our province; and

Whereas Mi'kmaq Treaty Day celebrations have been taking place for 31 years reflecting the true commitment we have made to build on our mutual friendship; and

Whereas each year we continue to come together because of the significance of Treaty Day and our path toward reconciliation;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in recognizing the importance of Treaty Day and embrace the spirit of Treaty Day not only today but every day.

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 Minister of Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 287

[Page 641]

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

Whereas on September 30th, the Third Annual Ride for Cancer was held on over 130 kilometres of trails from Mahone Bay to Halifax with hundreds of participants raising money and riding in solidarity for today's cancer treatments and tomorrow's cancer cures; and

Whereas a dedicated team from Nova Scotia Environment - Mark Greenwood, Lori Skaine, Lorrie Roberts, Melissa Brayley, Melanie Smith, and Elizabeth Kennedy - stepped up to the challenge to train and fundraise for this year's event; and

Whereas this year's NSE team, through bake sales, vacation draws, and individual donations, raised $5,930;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the team at Nova Scotia Environment for the active role they played to make this year a success, as well as to extend our gratitude to the countless volunteers and participants in this year's Ride for Cancer.

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. 16 - Entitled an Act Respecting Representative Decision-making. (Hon. Mark Furey)

Bill No. 17 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 436 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Solemnization of Marriage Act. (Hon. Geoff MacLellan)

Bill No. 18 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Dissolution of the Congregation of Notre Dame, Saint Joseph Province. (Hon. Kelly Regan, as a private member)

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

[Page 642]

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

NORTHSIDE SPORTS HALL OF FAME:

2017 INDUCTEES - RECOGNIZE

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : I rise today to congratulate this year's inductees into the Northside Sports Hall of Fame. Four athletes will be inducted: Aimee Gordon for speed skating, Stephen Gordon for hockey, Kenny Jardine for baseball and hockey, and Wendell Coldwell for tennis. Harold MacDonald will be added as a builder in minor hockey, and the Sydney Mines Colts hockey team. The 1957-58 Thompson High School curling teams round out this year's roster.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize all inductees and thank the Northside Sports Hall of Fame committee for all their hard work that goes into this ceremony and continues to make this Hall of Fame work.

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

METALLIC, NAIOMI - DAL. UNIV. CHANCELLOR CHAIR

IN ABORIGINAL LAW & POLICY

MR. GARY BURRILL: I would like to take a moment today, the observance of Treaty Day, to recognize the contributions of Halifax resident Naiomi Metallic. Ms. Metallic, who hails from the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation on the Gaspé Peninsula, was installed in 2016 as Dalhousie University's first Chancellor's Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy.

The Chair was created as part of Dalhousie's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action 28. That call to action calls on law schools in Canada to require all students to take a course on Aboriginal Peoples and the law.

When deciding to make the leap from practising law to academia, Ms. Metallic explained that she saw this transition as an opportunity to continue her work, highlighting the issues facing Aboriginal people in Canada through teaching, writing and speaking and demonstrating how the law can be a tool for reconciliation and improving the lives of Indigenous people. Thank you.

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

SURETTE, JEAN LÉO (DECEASED): PLAQUE UNVEILING - CONGRATS.

[Page 643]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Le 8 avril le musée de thon à Wedgeport était parti d'une belle célébration en mémoire de feu Jean Léo Surette. Parmi ça famille et des anciens combattant, ils était à le dévoilment d'une plaque en mémoire de cette homme. Son engagement dans la guerre mondiale a été bien connu dans la région. Une grande nombre de personnes ont assisté, et à leur tour a parlé de Jean Léo. La petite fille, Lisa Courtenay, a commencé la planification de cette événement longtemps passé, après avoir vu une publication de la société historique de la municipalité d'Argyle préparé par Daniel Jacquard.

S'il-vous-plaît, joignez à moi pour félicité tous les personnes responsables de cette Belle événement.

On April 8th, the Tuna Museum in Wedgeport celebrated the life of the late Jean Léo Surette. His family members and some of his comrades were on hand for the unveiling of a plaque in memory of this man. Jean Léo's commitment in the Second World War is well known in the region and a number of people attended and spoke well of Jean Léo. His granddaughter, Lisa Courtenay, began planning this event a long time ago, after seeing a publication in the Argyle Municipality Historical and Genealogical publication of the Argus, prepared by Daniel Jacquard.

Please join me in congratulating those responsible, far and wide, for putting on this event and good luck in the future.

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

ADOPT-A-LIBRARY PROG.:

WOW! READING CHALLENGE - CONGRATS.

HON. PAT DUNN « » : The Adopt-a-Library Program is a literacy-based crime preventive initiative. The program partners with public libraries; they reach out to children and youth in schools, daycares and local communities, to develop and promote good literacy skills. The WOW! Reading Challenge is organized by the provincial Coordinator, RCMP Constable John Kennedy, Chief Librarian Eric Stackhouse and the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library staff. The challenge involves over 15,000 students reading over 1 million books in a friendly, supportive, competition between schools across the province. In a typical year, over $200,000 worth of books are given to children and youth as prizes.

I would like all members of the Legislature to join me in congratulating everyone involved in improving relationships between police officers and children through regular visits and reading.

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

[Page 644]

FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES - LISTEN

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : I`d like to acknowledge Treaty Day, first, by acknowledging that we are standing here on Mi'kmaq territory, unceded Mi'kmaq territory, and I'd like to thank our sisters and brothers of the Mi'kmaq Nation for allowing us to live here with them and to remind everybody that we signed peace and friendship treaties which said that we would be able to work and live beside them but take into consideration their concerns about anything that was done with the land, the water, and the air - which I think that we tend to forget in this House.

It is something that I would like to highly stress is very important, especially when it comes to things like the Alton Gas project. Right now, the members of Sipekne'katik Nation are contemplating and having a referendum on the agreement as to whether or not they would like to see this project go forward.

I think we need to take that into consideration on any major project happening in Nova Scotia. Let's listen to our First Nations brothers and sisters and their desires.

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

SPECIAL OLYMPICS: 2017 TRUCK CONVOY - RECOGNIZE

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : I would like to recognize the 2017 Truck Convoy for once again bringing the Special Olympics the recognition and energy they deserve. The convoy experience was introduced in Nova Scotia in 2012 by Don Mullin. On September 23rd, the convoy departed from 12 Wing Shearwater and continued through Eastern Passage and Cole Harbour.

This year, Reno Ward of Ice Road Truckers, Todd and Tamera Sturgis of Shipping Wars, and Marc Springer of Shipping Wars were the celebrity guests. Our very own Miguel McFeters was asked to be the torch holder for the opening ceremonies. Five-time East Coast Music Awards winner Charlie A'Court performed at the event. A barbecue, children's games, drivers' awards, silent auction, and raffle draws were some of the attractions. To date, 700 trucks have participated in the Nova Scotia convoy, raising over $225,000 for the athletes.

I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing such a wonderful endeavour and all of those who participated.

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

MI'KMAQ HISTORY MONTH: TREATY DAY - ADMIRATION

[Page 645]

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : I wish to also recognize Treaty Day and the beginning of Mi'kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia. As we are all treaty people, even us settlers, we should all learn our history.

Reviewing We Were Not the Savages, by Daniel Paul, this morning, I was reminded that Treaty Day was established in 1752 in the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the Mi'kmaq peoples and Governor Hobson. He replaced Governor Edward Cornwallis in August 1752.

In Cornwallis's last month as governor, he reversed his scalping proclamation. The reversal was prompted by the killing of two Mi'kmaq girls and one boy.

I am grateful to the Mi'kmaq people for offering us settlers peace and friendship, and I am full of admiration for their resilience.

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

SHELBURNE: WHIRLIGIGS & WEATHERVANES FEST. (18th) - CONGRATS.

MS. KIM MASLAND « » : I recently attended the 18th Annual Whirligigs and Weathervanes Festival, held on Shelburne's historic waterfront. This unique two-day festival included whirligigs-building workshops, kite-flying and kite-building demonstrations, a community breakfast, live music, and 11 different categories of competition, including celebrating Canada's 150th. I had the honour of co-emceeing the award presentations with Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatall. I am honoured to acknowledge and congratulate the commitment and hard work of the festival committee in staging yet another successful event which provided a wonderful opportunity for residents and visitors to gather on the beautiful South Shore.

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

JOHNSON, URSULA: MI'KMAQ ARTIST - RECOGNIZE

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Sunday, October 1st marked Treaty Day in Nova Scotia, and it's within this frame that I rise today to acknowledge my inspiring neighbour and friend Ursula Johnson. Ursula is a Mi'kmaq activist and an installation and performance-based artist who is deeply involved in our community not just as an artist but also as an educator, a motivator, and an inspiration.

From the community of Eskasoni and now based in the community of Dartmouth North, Ursula has been twice long-listed for the Sobey Art Award, a selected finalist for the Salt Spring National Art Prize, and has participated in over 35 exhibitions. Her decolonizing presentation of Mi'kmaq basket weaving, Do You Remember, was a finalist last year for the Masterworks Art Award, and this year she's a finalist for the Sobey Art Award. We'll find out in late October how she does. Her work engages and challenges her audience as she shares her cultural perspectives, drawing on Nova Scotia's brutal history of the colonization, oppression, resistance, and resolve of Nova Scotia's indigenous population.

[Page 646]

I want to ask this Assembly to join me in recognizing Ursula Johnson's contribution to Nova Scotia's cultural landscape.

[4:30 p.m.]

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

MACPHEE CTR. FOR CREATIVE LEARNING:

AL & MARY MACPHEE - RECOGNIZE

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : I rise today to acknowledge long-time Dartmouth East residents Al and Mary MacPhee. Their generous financial contribution was pivotal in allowing the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning to open. This centre is doing ground-breaking work to ensure every youth has the opportunity to receive an education.

After visiting the MacPhee Centre myself, I left inspired by the way they approach learning and harness the most creative and talented young minds in the community.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank Al and Mary for their generous contribution and their community support that has had such a positive impact on so many lives in Dartmouth.

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

MARSHALL JR., DONALD:

WRONGFUL CONVICTION DAY - REMEMBER

MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today, on October 2nd, as it is Wrongful Conviction Day. I'd like to honour Donald Marshall Junior who, as a Mi'kmaq man, was wrongly convicted of murder in 1971. His fate was placed in the hands of the Canadian justice system which failed him miserably, as he spent years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Marshall was eventually acquitted by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal - 11 years after his conviction. A Royal Commission developed a number of recommendations as a preventive measure. However, nearly 25 years later, current politics are still failing Aboriginal people in terms of overrepresentation in our prison system.

As Malian Levi, a student of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University writes: "We are hopeful that through adoption of recommendations laid out in the Royal Commission report and increased recognition of systematic racism as a contributing cause, less people will become a victim to the tragedy of wrongful convictions."

[Page 647]

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

LANCELEVE, COLBY: MARSEILLE SPARTENS - CONGRATS

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Stewiacke native Colby Lanceleve on his recruitment to the Marseilles Spartans professional hockey team in France, where he will skate with the second division this year.

This will be the second year of professional hockey for Colby, who played last season for Romania, finishing the season in Europe with 21 points in 30 games. Colby, 22, was forward with the Truro Bearcats Junior A team from 2011 to 2015 and will be joined by former Truro teammate, 23-year-old defenceman Jordon McNaughton on the French team.

Although they are playing professionally for another country, I am proud to say that Nova Scotia has, once again, produced hockey players of this calibre.

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

WRONGFUL CONVICTION DAY: ACCESS TO JUSTICE - RECOGNIZE

MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, I will also speak to Wrongful Conviction Day, which is today.

When people think of wrongful convictions it is most often that the focus is on murders or other major cases. However, it's important to recognize that wrongful convictions also take place with much smaller offences that still have a very damaging impact. For marginalized and impoverished people, including people with disabilities, people with mental illnesses, and non-gender-conforming people, as well as Indigenous and racialized people not having resources and tools to navigate the legal system can result in taking pleas to offences that they did not commit.

Some reasons people may plea include a fear of receiving a longer sentence at trial because they want to get out of jail, or because they do not understand the legal system. In turn, a guilty plea even to a misdemeanor can result in further cycling through the system, negative impacts on employment, and the social and legal stigma of having a record.

It's important to recognize the many miscarriages of justice that take place on this everyday level, Mr. Speaker. Improving funding to Legal Aid and access to justice helps prevent these wrongful convictions and it is imperative.

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

[Page 648]

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY: 259th BIRTHDAY - CELEBRATE

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to wish the Nova Scotia House of Assembly a happy 259th birthday today. It was on this day in 1758 that Nova Scotia became the first elected legislative body in British North America to ascribe democratic representation. It was an assembly at the time of 22 men, some of whom were from as far away as Britain, Germany, and New England, who came together in a small building on a corner of Argyle and Barrington Streets in Halifax.

Although our system may not be perfect, it continues to evolve while maintaining traditions that keep this province great. Join me in wishing the House of Assembly a happy birthday today.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you very much - and the member can deliver the cake to my office shortly. (Laughter)

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

WRONGFUL CONVICTION DAY - CALL FOR JUSTICE

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, gender often impacts wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice. As NDP Status of Women spokesperson, I'd like to draw attention to the fact that over 80 per cent of all incarcerated women, and over 90 per cent of Indigenous women, are victims of sexual or physical abuse. Many victims of abusive relationships are coerced into criminal activity.

The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies have helped many battered women imprisoned because they fought back against their abuser or pled guilty to offences that they did not commit in hopes of returning to their children. Sexually-exploited women continue to be victimized through incarceration.

Women who are victims of trauma need healing, not criminalization. Prison is not a shelter for battered women, a sexual-assault counselling session, or an appropriate place for women suffering from mental illnesses or addiction. As Poet Laureate and activist El Jones writes: On Wrongful Conviction Day, we call for justice and alternatives to incarceration for abused, exploited, and victimized women.

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

CUMBERLAND CO. MUSEUM & ARCHIVES: SERVICE - RECOGNIZE

[Page 649]

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Cumberland County Museum and Archives have served the community of Amherst and surrounding area well. The museum is located at Grove Cottage, family home of Senator R.B. Dickey, one of the Fathers of Confederation.

I would like to recognize the board and volunteers who have consistently presented the natural and human history of Cumberland County, with an emphasis on its industrial and social history. The beautiful gardens have been visited by many for everything from tea parties to graduations.

It is an honour to applaud the Cumberland County Museum and Archives and recognize their contribution to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and promoting materials documenting the past of Cumberland County for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations.

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

WRONGFUL CONVICTION DAY - VIOLA DESMOND

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : On Wrongful Conviction Day, it's my privilege to remember Viola Desmond. Born and raised in Halifax, Desmond came from a family that held self-respect in high regard.

One day in 1946, her challenge to the enforcement of segregation policies in a New Glasgow movie theatre changed her life forever. She spent the night in jail on the charge of attempting to defraud the federal government, based on 1 cent. Desmond sat upright in a cell, not bowed or broken, and her sense of self-respect still strong. She was sentenced and convicted.

On appeal, her lawyer never addressed the issue of segregation and discrimination. We must recognize that Desmond's experience, too, was a wrongful conviction.

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

O'CONNOR, CYRIL: FARM DISRUPTION - COMPENSATION

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : In August 2015, a military-style helicopter flew very low over Cyril O'Connor's farm in Piedmont. It pushed his sheep across the field, where they took cover under a stand of spruce trees. When the helicopter came back, it pushed the sheep all the way back across the field. It caused a significant amount of stress to the sheep, and nine died over the next couple of months. In the Spring, the mothers only carried for four months of pregnancy instead of the normal five, and then the mothers and the lambs died.

[Page 650]

This type of exercise, which was law enforcement or military, caused significant financial stress to Mr. O'Connor and his farm. There should be some sort of compensation or support for farmers like Cyril when this happens to them.

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

WRONGFUL CONVICTION DAY: ASSOUN CASE - EXAMPLE

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : In 2014, Glen Assoun was released from prison pending federal review of his 1999 murder conviction. He had spent 16 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Brenda Way. The Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, now known as Innocence Canada, believes a terrible miscarriage of justice occurred in this case.

A national non-profit organization that has helped exonerate 21 Canadians does not move forward on a case unless it is convinced that a defendant is truly innocent. His release on bail holds great symbolic and practical significance in the battle to restore his innocence, because it means that sufficient doubt has been raised about his conviction. The new evidence shows that the prosecution's case had no credibility, and it also raises serious, disturbing questions about how such a serious failure of justice came to occur.

Today, on Wrongful Conviction Day, we are urged to think about those still facing a difficult uphill battle to correct a wrongful conviction.

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

LEESIDE SOCIETY - RECOGNITION OF SERVICE

MS. ALANA PAON « » : I would like to acknowledge the excellent work of the Leeside Society in Port Hawkesbury. For 25 years, this organization has provided shelter and support for 2,920 women and children seeking help due to domestic abuse. They have received over 92,000 calls to their 24-hour crisis line.

Marina Martens, who has been the executive director for 19 years, would ultimately like to see such a shelter not be needed. Until then, she and her staff will continue to provide a place of safety and peace, that these families deserve. It is wonderful to have such dedicated staff to help women and children when they are unfortunately at their most vulnerable.

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

SAVOY THEATRE: 90th ANNIV. SHOW - CONGRATS.

[Page 651]

MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : I rise today to make note of the 90th Anniversary celebration at the Savoy Theatre, that I had the privilege to attend last night. The talent that showcased there is nothing short of remarkable, excluding the performance by my colleague. The Savoy has been home to thousands of talented performers and is where many locals got their start, including Rita MacNeil and the Rankins. Congrats to the Savoy. Here's to another 90 years. And Geoff, don't quit your day job.

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

MACISAAC, LORNA: PIPING ACCOMPLISHMENTS - RECOGNIZE

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : I am pleased to rise today to congratulate Pictou resident Lorna MacIsaac for being a part of the College of Piping from Summerside, Prince Edward Island. She recently won the 2017 World Pipe Band Championships, which were held in Scotland. This amazing group was positioned first out of 60 bands in the Grade 4B section.

Lorna has a long history with piping beginning in childhood. She has been involved with many local pipe bands, as well as instructing the well-known Heather Bell Girls Pipe Band. Lorna has been with the College of Piping since 2015 and takes great pride in her musical abilities. I had the opportunity to take lessons from Lorna. I applaud Lorna on such an amazing accomplishment and wish her all the best in future competitions.

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

GRANGER, JUNE: I SCREAM ICE CREAM SHOP - CONGRATS.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : The amount of personal financial risk involved in starting a business is great. It involves long hours and few financial benefits. June Granger has decided these risks were worth the potential gain. She calls herself a purveyor of happy, and states that ice cream makes people happy. She opened her ice cream shop, I Scream, in the village of Canning for its first full season on June 1st. She is proud to operate a mom and pop shop in a day when big box stores are a dime a dozen. I wish to congratulate and wish June Granger every success with her small business.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried. The House will now recess for a few minutes while it resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole on Supply.

[4:43 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Chuck Porter in the Chair.]

[8:50 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole on Supply will now report.

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

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

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 12.

Bill No. 12 - Boxing Authority Act.

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 12 be now read for a second time.

On September 28th, I introduced in the House of Assembly Bill No. 12, an Act to Provide for the Establishment of a Combat Sports Authority for Nova Scotia. While it is more of a housekeeping measure to bring the Act in line with what we have already been practising here in the province, it is significant because the amendments align with changes to Section 83 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

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Mr. Speaker, in June 2013 the Criminal Code dealing with the prohibition on prize fights was amended to reflect the emergence and popularity of mixed martial arts, or as it is widely known, MMA. Prior to 2013, boxing was the only prize fighting exempted under the Criminal Code.

Mr. Speaker, the amendments will also make it clear that the new Combat Sports Authority governs professional boxing and any other professional combat sport that are designated by the regulations. The authority's role in amateur combat sports will be specified by Order in Council rather than legislation and regulations, and will specify whether the authority or a provincial sport organization has authority of each approved amateur combat sport.

Mr. Speaker, the proposed amendments that have been introduced were developed in consultation with the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority and reflect the recommendations from the federal, provincial, territorial working group on safety in combat sport. Their work is designed to ensure increased safety for our athletes and provide consistency with approaches across the country.

Mr. Speaker, the terminology and definitions used within the legislation mirror what is now being used by athletic commissions in Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba. Our approach to managing amateur sport is consistent with practices in New Brunswick, P.E.I., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia. The changes being introduced will broaden the scope of the new Act to reflect today's changes in combative sport and align with Section 83 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

With those remarks, I take my place, Mr. Speaker, and I look forward to comments from the Opposition.

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

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : This is an important bill for a number of reasons. I know it has been the goal for both the sport industry and the athletes to come under one umbrella and be part of this authority. There's only one concern in this bill, not directly related to the legislation that is before us. We know the high potential for concussion and traumatic brain injuries that can occur in this sport. These injuries can certainly change a person's life and, as a province, we must expand what we do for those who are impacted, to properly address and attend to and also help those who are impacted by these injuries.

The brain surgery strategy was first announced years ago. The task force of experts they assembled put together a report. I don't think the public has seen that report yet. I'm not sure where that is, but while this area of sport is highly vulnerable to the traumatic brain injuries, this is not the only sport. There are so many other sports; hockey and football have a great deal of these brain injuries. These athletes are incredibly professional. There's no getting around that, but accidents can happen and things will go wrong. Now, the Boxing Authority of course is responsible for ensuring professionalism in this sport. The government is responsible for ensuring health service to make sure that's available for all who require it.

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We look forward to hearing feedback from all the Nova Scotians about the bill and we will take their opinions very seriously as the bill continues forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : I just want to take a moment to speak on this bill. I was going to filibuster Leo's bill. Oh, the minister's - I'm sorry.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'd like to remind the honourable member not to refer to other members by their first name.

MR. MAGUIRE « » : I do want to speak on a few things and one of the points that was just brought up from the member opposite was about concussions and in particular CTE, which seems to be impacting a lot of amateur and professional athletes. When it comes down to MMA, actually they're less likely to have a concussion or to be impacted by CTE because a lot of the combat events end in submission and, unlike boxing, it's usually stopped before there is a KO or substantial damage.

I just want to also take a moment to recognize the history as someone who is a huge combat sport fan, in particular, boxing, and I had a lot of great conversations with one of the former members, Gordie Gosse, for the few years that he was here with me, around boxing and the great history that we have here in Nova Scotia.

There are a few individuals, if we're going to look at the history of boxing, that I think we should recognize including our former Sergeant-at-Arms who was a very accomplished boxer himself, but George Dixon in particular who was born in 1870 in Africville. He was actually the first Black boxer to ever fight for a world title, and I don't think a lot of people know that. We all see the George Dixon statue but the historical importance of George Dixon is pretty incredible.

Sam Langford, my colleague recognized Sam Langford who was born in 1884. He stood five foot six and weighed 160 pounds, and if you want to talk about punching above your weight, Sam fought over 256 fights in his career and he fought from lightweight to heavyweight. One month, he'd fight a lightweight; the next month, he'd fight a heavyweight - and he actually won a lot of those fights so it shows you the great talent that has come out of here.

One of my all-time favourites and one of the nicest individuals you'll ever meet is Ricky Anderson. Ricky, unfortunately, had a bad knee injury that he sustained during jogging and training. Ricky was notorious for overtraining and working hard and he happened to hurt his knee and he never actually recovered from that.

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Buddy Daye, whom I actually didn't know - Buddy Daye was a boxer who had a 13-year career with 88 fights. And, of course, there are a few that the minister wanted me to point out, but of course the Downey family and I think back to the 1988 Olympics when David Downey's son and David, himself, was a very accomplished boxer, but Ray Downey won the silver medal in the 1988 Olympics - and actually the 1988 Olympics was stacked with talent, amateur fighters who went on to be world champions. And I can still remember the day that Ray Downey came back with that silver medal and I think it was a moment that all Nova Scotians were proud of.

The member from Cole Harbour actually said to me that I had to mention Clyde Gray. Clyde Gray was 69 and 10, and one of the only Nova Scotia fighters to ever fight multiple times for a world title. And, actually, one of the things - and I mean, like I said, I have a lot of boxing books and I have followed the sport for a long time and I didn't realize that Clyde Gray actually fought Tommy Hearns, a young Tommy Hearns, so that's pretty special, and I do remember hearing and seeing old footage of the Clyde Gray-Chris Clarke fights, the trilogy back in the day, here at the Halifax Forum and the Metro Centre, which would be packed with people. And the city would be pumping out excitement when those two fought.

[9:00 p.m.]

Trevor Berbick, Lennox Lewis is another one who used to fight out of Halifax as an amateur. We talked about silver medalist - well, there was David Defiagbon. We have had a lot world class fighters and world class trainers like Wayne and Taylor Gordon from the old Bloomfield on North Street. Gary Johnson who is Kirk Johnson's father, who is still out over there in Dartmouth and he still trains to this day; Tom McCluskey, Rick MacDonald, Mickey MacDonald's brother.

We have deep history and tradition of boxing and, hopefully, that will carry forward MMA, and it was quite a sight in the 1970s and 1980s. The city would be packed with people coming here to Halifax. It really was a mecca for combat sports. We should be proud of all our past and future champions.

We have right now on the world stage, we have Tyson Cave and Custio Clayton. On the MMA side we have Chris Kelades. I actually saw his fight here in Halifax where he fought for the UFC. He was a sub for the UFC and he went on to win his first fight and Chris has gone on to have a very successful career in MMA. And of course, TJ Grant who was a trend setter before he actually - the member talked about concussions. TJ Grant's career was short because of concussions and TJ was a fantastic talent who was actually supposed to go on to fight for the lightweight title in the UFC. He was also from Cole Harbour. It is not just Sidney Cosby and Nathan MacKinnon - there is also TJ Grant.

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I want to thank the minister for bringing this bill forward. As someone who has been a big fan of this sport and who actually played around in some of the gyms in Halifax, was never good but always loved the sport. I appreciate how technical it is. People just think it's two individuals in a cage or two individuals in a ring trying to hurt each other. It really is very technical.

Lastly, I heard a rumour that Mickey MacDonald, Rick's brother Mickey, who most people in this room know, may be one of the people sitting on the new board; so I know that we are in great hands with Mickey, even though those are the same hands that caught the prime minister with a pretty hard right hook, that made the front of the papers.

I think that we are in really good hands with Mickey and the whole gang. Thank you, once again, for bringing this forward and I hope that this revitalizes MMA sports here in Halifax.

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

The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I move second reading of Bill No. 12, on to amendments for the Boxing Authority Act.

MR SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 12. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 10.

Bill No. 10 – Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

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

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 10, 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 now be read for a second time.

[Page 657]

Before I move on the details of the amendments, I again want to take this opportunity to thank our partners: The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, the Association of Municipal Administrators and Villages for their support, collaboration, and guidance as we draft the amendments to the Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Mr. Speaker, these amendments are about enhancing expense policies and hospitality policies for Nova Scotia's municipalities and villages. The Department of Municipal Affairs wanted to involve our municipalities in creation of these changes. To that end, my colleague and former Minister of Municipal Affairs established a Joint Municipal Accountability and Transparency Committee, or JMAT Committee. This committee was comprised of representatives from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, the Association of Municipal Administrators, the Association of Nova Scotia Villages, and the Department of Municipal Affairs.

Mr. Speaker, JMAT was given the mandate to make recommendations which would strengthen local government expense policies and increase transparency and accountability to the public. The recommendations put forward by the JMAT Committee form the basis of these amendments being proposed today.

The changes we're proposing will do a number of things, including strengthening municipal expense policies and practices; requiring municipalities and villages to post expenses online, including hospitality expenses; eliminating alcohol expenses for individuals and limiting municipal alcohol expenditures to approved hospitality events; requiring municipalities to have a code of conduct; and strengthening municipal audits and audit committees.

Specifically, the amendments outline that each municipality must establish an expense policy that does not permit an alcohol purchase by an individual. The expense policy must also identify the officials who have signing authority to authorize the reimbursement of an expense. Each municipality must also have a hospitality policy that establishes rules, restrictions, and procedures regarding hospitality expenses.

Municipalities must post their expense reports on a quarterly basis, at least, and expense reports are expected to be kept online for at least the current term of the council or commission or the most recent term.

I know members of this Chamber understand the importance of accountability and transparency, as we too post our expenses online. I believe it is an optimal model, and I am pleased to propose these changes today.

In addition, municipalities and villages will be required to review and readopt or amend their expense and hospitality policies regularly - municipalities every four years, following a regular municipal election, and villages after each annual general meeting.

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These amendments proposed today will also address the work of municipal audit committees. Going forward, these committees will need to include a minimum of one position for an independent member who is neither an elected officer nor an employee of the municipality or village. The committees must be required to meet at least twice a year. The audit committee will also need to sign off on reports to the council or commission and to the minister.

Details regarding municipal codes of conduct will be included in forthcoming regulations following research and consultation with our municipalities and villages. However, the codes of conduct will be required to include a minimum conduct requirement and a formal process for the reporting of complaints.

As an elected official, I know that Nova Scotians expect and deserve transparency and accountability when it comes to spending public dollars, and I am confident that our municipalities will benefit from uniform, consistent expense policies and practices.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take this moment to thank the members of the JMAT Committee for their due diligence in looking at this important issue. I am a firm believer that the best results come from collaboration, and this committee worked together to identify best practices already existing in our municipalities and make recommendations.

This work formed the basis for the changes that are being proposed today. I am confident in the proposed amendments, and I am pleased to read them here for a second time today.

I look forward to comments from the Opposition.

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

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Minister. It's kind of hard to be a critic to the honourable minister when most of what he's bringing forward, I think - both myself and, I would say, the members of our caucus also agree with the majority of that, particularly given the fact that the member for Pictou West has brought it forward in the past. We do support what's coming forward.

I do think that providing transparency and accountability is both proactive and the way to go, both for municipalities and employees.

There are a couple of questions I want to raise, perhaps some suggestions. I know this will now go to the Law Amendments Committee, which I'm a member of. I will look forward to hearing what the public, as well as speakers with vested interests, bring forward at that time.

[Page 659]

There were a couple of suggestions and thoughts that I would just like to share, through you to the minister. In regard to the list of those who must disclose, I was wondering if the minister had an opportunity to look at CFOs as well as deputy CAOs - I don't know if some of the smaller municipalities have deputies, but I know HRM and, I believe, CBRM have deputies, and perhaps they should be disclosing as well.

The biggest concern that I had - the biggest suggestion that I wanted - was that although it does talk about a code of conduct, it doesn't necessarily lay out the consequences of breaching the code of conduct or refusing to sign the code of conduct, what that entails and what the outcomes of that are.

What I mean by that, for clarity, is that if I was on a regional council or a village or something, I was elected and put there by the people. Therefore, if I refused to sign the code of conduct, what are the consequences of that? As well, if I breach the code of conduct, what are the consequences? This doesn't really delve into that.

I recognize that it's a thin line. We don't want to seem too demanding and too controlling of the municipalities and the municipal units across the province, but at the same time, I think that we do have to provide that guidance to them. I know from my personal experience that numerous times on Halifax Regional Council, we were left where we had to make rules and govern ourselves sometimes, which was very politically inconvenient. It's hard to set some things for yourself, so I think there might be room down the road to look at adding what the consequences are as well.

As I said, I know it does go forward to Law Amendments Committee. I certainly will be there, and I look forward to what comes forward at that time from the public as well.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Interestingly, we as a caucus associate ourselves with some of the concerns that were just mentioned by the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank around accountability and the number of staff who will be covered by this change to the Municipal Government Act and the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. We hope it would be expanded to cover more people and are also concerned about the consequences. If a municipality decides not to do this or fails to meet the criteria within the changes to the legislation, what are the consequences to that municipality?

The other thing to note, Mr. Speaker, is that the government has started a review of the Municipal Government Act. From our understanding, it was supposed to be finished by the Spring of 2017, and that hasn't happened yet. We would like to have seen a more substantial piece of legislation to make changes to update those two pieces of legislation, the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter and the Municipal Government Act, to ensure that we're keeping pace with the changes that are required and that the requests from the municipalities around the province are being heard on a provincial level.

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We, too, look forward to seeing what submissions will be made through the Law Amendments process. We may have more to say as this process goes through.

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

The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : I just want to take the opportunity to thank the members opposite for their comments - the NDP Critic and the PC Critic, who also was a councillor in a previous life, as I was. I can appreciate what role that played in your comments today.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place to close debate on Bill No. 10.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 10. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Much to the disappointment of the members of the House, that concludes the government business for today. The House will meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, October 3rd, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Business will include the daily routine and Question Period followed by the Committee of the Whole on Supply.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise until tomorrow, October 3rd, between the hours (Interruptions)

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : My apologies, Mr. Speaker. Thank you to the members of the Opposition for the correction. The House business will include Bill Nos. 16, 17, and 7.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to sit tomorrow, October 3rd, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

[Page 661]

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 9:15 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

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RESOLUTION NO. 288

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the East Preston United Baptist Church (EPUBC) commemorated their 175th Anniversary on September 17, 2017, and has been the cornerstone of the community and the guiding light for people in East Preston; and

Whereas the EPUBC was founded in 1842 by Father Richard Preston, and today continues to provide faithful ministry and education under the leadership of Pastor LeQuita Porter; and

Whereas the EPUBC is a much-loved institution providing empowerment and education with programs that develop and train leaders for the church and community today;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize and congratulate the EPUBC on 175 years of significant achievements and wish them continuing success for future generations.

RESOLUTION NO. 289

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 Rudy and Maria Rizkallah are the owners of Rudy's Catering at 1681 Granville Street in the Halifax Regional Municipality; and

Whereas Rudy and Maria with their dedicated team have served members of the Legislative Assembly and the public by offering quality food and gracious hospitality since they opened in 1983; and

Whereas Rudy and Maria are hardworking entrepreneurs who exemplify the strength of our local business community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in expressing our sincere gratitude to Rudy and Maria Rizkallah for their ongoing commitment to providing catering services for our businesses, citizens and international visitors to our province.

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