The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD17-12

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

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Gov't. (N.S.): Glyphosate Prod. - Ban,
826
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
826
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 314, Status of Women (Adv. Counc.): Anniv. (40th) - Thank,
827
Vote - Affirmative
828
Res. 315, World Teachers' Day: Commitment - Recognize,
828
Vote - Affirmative
829
Res. 316, Nigeria Wk.: Assoc. of Nigerians in N.S. - Commend,
829
Vote - Affirmative
830
Res. 317, Justice - SIRT: MacDonald, Ron (Dir.) - Thank,
830
Vote - Affirmative
830
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 25, Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial Building Walk-in Clinic Act,
831
No. 26, Environmental Bill of Rights,
831
No. 27, Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act,
831
No. 28, Clean Air Act,
831
No. 29, Marine Renewable-energy Act,
831
No. 30, Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth Act,
831
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
West Pubnico: Lt. Gov.'s Commun. Spirit Award - Congrats.,
832
Clarke, Diane: Musquodoboit HS Music Progs. - Recognize,
832
Shay, Ryan: Can. Games Medal - Congrats.,
833
Port Morien RCL (Br. 55): Anniv. (80th) - Acknowledge,
833
Sutherland, Carly: Dedication - Thank,
Mr. C. Chender
833
MacKinnon, Angela: Commun. Dedication - Acknowledge,
834
Pictou Co.: George "Babe" Ruth - Visit,
834
Smith, Wade Holly: Extraordinary Contributions - Honour,
835
MacEachern, Lauchie/Jolene: Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey »
835
MacKenzie, Ralph: World Teachers' Day - Thank,
836
Zinck, David: World Teachers' Day - Thank,
836
MADD Antigonish Chapt. Bursary - MacPherson, Gemma:
Inaugural Recipent - Congrats., Hon. R. Delorey »
837
Acker, Don/Linda: Commun. Volunteers - Thank,
837
World Teachers' Day: Kennedy, Mike - Remember,
837
Adamson, Col. Michael - 14 Wing Greenwood: New Command
- Congrats., Hon. L. Glavine »
838
Village of Canning: Multi-Complex Facility - Congrats.,
838
Sichel, Ben - World Teachers' Day: Commitment - Acknowledge,
839
Skeir-Glasgow, Alexa: E. Preston Daycare Ctr. - Retirement,
839
River John: Riverfront Project - Congrats.,
839
Talbot-Richards, Glenda: Teaching Career - Acknowledge,
840
Enfield Vol. Fire Dept.: NAVR Challenge - Congrats.,
840
Shelburne Hbr. - Tall Ship Regatta: Volunteers - Thank,
841
Mental Health Task Force: C.B. MLAs - Create,
841
Leonard C. Comeau Ltd.: 70th Anniv. - Congrats.,
841
Porter, Chuck: Volunteerism - Acknowledge,
842
N.S. Energy Portfolio - Diversify,
842
Boudreau, Taylor: Fundraising Efforts - Recognize,
843
Barr, Nicholas: Bronze Award - Congrats.,
843
Fitzpatrick, John, Q.C.: SMU Doctorate - Congrats.,
844
Music N.S. Awards (02/11 - 05/11/17): Nominees - Congrats.,
844
C.B. Reg. Hosp. Foundation: Fundraising Efforts - Recognize,
844
Theatre Baddeck - Young Ladies of Baddeck Club: Cast
- Congrats., Mr. K. Bain »
845
Norris Daley, Hannah/Stickings, Andrew: Kid Witness News
- Attendance Recognize, Hon. P. Arab »
845
Fed. Tax: Proposed Changes - Oppose,
846
Can. 150 Pins: Commun. Vols. - Congrats.,
847
Teachers (Cumberland N.): Value - Acknowledge,
847
Mobile Food Market: Pilot Project - Vols. Thank,
847
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 119, Prem. - Veterans Clinic: Fed. Funding - Discussion,
848
No. 120, Prem. - Fmr. Campaign Dir.: Lobbying - Conflict,
850
No. 121, Health & Wellness: Veterans Clinic - Funding,
851
No. 122, Prem.: Doctors N.S. Letter - Offence,
852
No. 123, Health & Wellness - Doctors N.S.: Min. Surprise - Explain,
854
No. 124, Health & Wellness - Doctors N.S.: Contingency Fund
- Explain, Hon. J. Baillie « »
856
No. 125, Gov't. (N.S.) - Doctor Recruitment: Confidence - Lack of,
857
No. 126, Com. Serv.: Income Assist. Rates - Increase,
858
No. 127, Health & Wellness: MS Treatment - Funding Issues,
859
No. 128, EECD - Pictou Academy: School Conditions - Unsatisfactory,
860
No. 129, Mun. Affs. - Rural N.S.: Land-line Serv. - Update,
861
No. 130, Environ.: Environmental Racism - Address,
863
No. 131, EECD - Drug Educ.: Curriculum Supplement - Update,
864
No. 132, EMO: Budget (Fall 2017) - Disaster Assistance Expenditure,
864
No. 133, Mun. Affairs - Port Hawkesbury: PVSC Closure - Consult,
865
No. 134, PC - Staffing: Vacancies/Temp. Service - Directive,
866
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 2:51 P.M
868
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:12 P.M
868
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 16, Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act
868
871
875
878
879
Vote - Affirmative
880
No. 19, Consumer Protection Statutes
880
882
882
883
Vote - Affirmative
883
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Oct. 6th at 9:00 a.m
884
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 318, MacEachern, Lauchie/Jolene: Atl. Outstanding
Young Farmers - Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
885
Res. 319, Barnhill's Superette: Commun. Info. Ctr. - Congrats.,
885
Res. 320, Harris, Brianna - World Winter Games: Gold Medal
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
886
Res. 321, Fletcher, Robert: Duke of Edinburgh Award (Gold)
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter »
886
Res. 322, Wright, Spencer: Duke of Edinburgh Award (Gold)
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
887
Res. 323, Cottreau, Alec - Team N.S.: Can. Summer Games
- Congrats., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
887
Res. 324, Grimshaw-Surette, Hudson - Team N.S.:
Can. Summer Games - Congrats., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
888

[Page 825]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2017

Sixty-third General Assembly

First Session

1:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Chuck Porter, Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft

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

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction first?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. LEBLANC « » : I'd like to introduce Julien LeBlanc, up here in the west gallery - no relation. Julien is from Greenpeace, Halifax. He and a number of volunteers have been working very hard around the issue of glyphosate spraying in Nova Scotia forests, in the forest industry. They are very concerned.

So I would like to welcome him here and ask the members to join me in that. Thank you. (Applause)

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

[Page 826]

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

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition about glyphosate spraying with the operative clause being: "We ask that the government provide a clean and safe environment for the residents of Nova Scotia by banning the use of glyphosate products in the forest industry."

There are several hundred signatures on this petition and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

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

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

Bill No. 8 - Pre-primary Education Act.

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

Bill No. 12 - Boxing Authority Act.

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

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act.

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I beg leave to make an introduction.

[Page 827]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. REGAN « » : I would like to direct the members' attention to the east gallery where we are joined today by a number of significant women in this province. It is a tremendous honour to introduce the members and team of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. I would ask the women to please stand as we mention your name.

From the council: Michelle Kelly, who is chair of the advisory council and the incoming chair of the National Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Advisory Councils; Dr. Felicia Egan; Dr. Louise Carbert; and Maura Ryan. Also joining us today are Mi'kmaw women leaders: Denise John from the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Cheryl Maloney of the Nova Scotia Native Women's Association, and Paula Marshall from the Mi'kmaq Legal Support Network. From the Status of Women team are: Stephanie MacInnis-Langley, Pat Gorham, Heather Ternoway, Leslie Poirier McLernon, and Joanne Bond.

I would ask the members of the House to please give our guests a warm welcome. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act.

RESOLUTION NO. 314

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

Whereas this October is the 40th Anniversary of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and Women's History Month, a time to celebrate women and girls and to remember how far we've come toward gender equality; and

Whereas this year's Women's History Month theme, Claim Your Place, sends a strong message to all women and girls to continue lifting each other up so that everyone has a chance to reach their full potential and leave their mark on the world; and

Whereas October is also Mi'kmaq History Month, and we are proud to stand with our Mi'kmaw sisters to support the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as they hold community hearings in Nova Scotia later this month;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly thank the team at the Status of Women office, the members of the advisory council, and the province's many women-serving organizations, and wish them success as they continue to have an important leadership role to advance fairness, equality, and dignity for all women and girls in Nova Scotia.

[Page 828]

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 Education and Early Childhood Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 315

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

Whereas every year on October 5th, we mark World Teachers' Day, which recognizes the hard work, dedication, and service that teachers provide students and their communities; and

Whereas the theme of this year's World Teachers' Day is Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers, which focuses on empowering teachers to deliver quality education; and

Whereas in Nova Scotia we have more than 9,000 teachers who support more than 100,000 students each year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize today, October 5th, as World Teachers' Day, and also recognize the committed and important work that teachers in Nova Scotia provide our students each and 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.

[Page 829]

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

The motion is carried.

[1:15 p.m.]

The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage on an introduction.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I would like to draw the members' attention to the east gallery, where we have with us members of the Nigerian community in Nova Scotia, and if they would rise as I introduce them: Ngozi Otti, Ijeoma Ejelike, Amarachi Konyeha, and Ignatius Ifeanyi. This morning, I had the opportunity to meet with them together with the Minister of Immigration to discuss Nigeria Week, as well as the work that the Association of Nigerians in Nova Scotia does for the province.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the House give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 316

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the following resolution:

Whereas October 1st to October 7th is Nigeria Week in Nova Scotia, a time to celebrate the culture of Nigerian Nova Scotians; and

Whereas there has been a significant increase in recent years in the number of families from Nigeria who have chosen to move to Nova Scotia and call the province their home; and

Whereas our government has made it a priority to welcome newcomers from around the globe to Nova Scotia, knowing that immigration is crucial in ensuring we build a stronger economy, revitalize our communities, and grow our population;

Therefore be it resolved that on behalf of government, I commend the Association of Nigerians in Nova Scotia for their work in helping us create a more diverse and inclusive province, and wish all Nova Scotians a happy Nigeria Week.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 830]

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. 317

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

Whereas six years ago the Serious Incident Response Team, commonly known as SiRT, was established to provide civilian oversight over the actions of all police officers in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas its first and only director, Ron MacDonald, developed SiRT from a concept to the highly effective civilian oversight body that it is today - a model that is unique in Atlantic Canada and well-respected across the country; and

Whereas Ron MacDonald is retiring after 26 years of public service to Nova Scotians, having accepted a new position as Chief Civilian Director with the British Columbia Independent Investigations Office;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in thanking Ron MacDonald for his astute leadership of SiRT, and congratulate him on his new role.

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 Leader of the Official Opposition.

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to ask your permission to begin with an introduction - and before you decide, a number of them are from the Eastern Shore.

[Page 831]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. BAILLIE « » : I'd like to draw all members' attention to your gallery, sir, where we have a number of members of the Veterans' Memorial Medical Centre present. Not all of them could be here today, but I'm going to recognize each of them. We have the Sergeant (Ret.) Rollie Lawless; Ms. Valerie Mitchell-Veinotte of the Nova Scotia Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion; Lance Corporal Don Landry who, I will add, is a veteran of the Korean War; Karen Brake, an Able Seaman; Lieutenant Colonel John F. Harrison; General Jim Bruce; and Sergeant Jessica Miller.

I would like to invite all members to welcome them to our proceedings today. (Standing Ovation)

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 25 - Entitled an Act Respecting a Walk-in Clinic at the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial Building. (Hon. Jamie Baillie)

Bill No. 26 - Entitled an Act to Establish an Environmental Bill of Rights. (Ms. Lenore Zann)

Bill No. 27 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Unauthorized Distribution of Intimate Images and Protection Against Cyber-bullying. (Hon. Mark Furey)

Bill No. 28 - Entitled an Act Respecting Clean Air. (Ms. Karla MacFarlane)

Bill No. 29 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 32 of the Acts of 2015. The Marine Renewable-energy Act. (Hon. Geoff MacLellan)

Bill No. 30 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Corporation of Halifax-Yarmouth and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax- Yarmouth. (Hon. Lena Diab, as a private member)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

WEST PUBNICO: LT. GOV.'S COMMUN. SPIRIT AWARD - CONGRATS.

[Page 832]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : The Lieutenant Governor's Community Spirit Award celebrates the power, strength, and diversity of vibrant communities across Nova Scotia. This award gives us a chance to thank those who go above and beyond, to make their communities a special place to live.

This year, the community of West Pubnico, my hometown, will accept this award for their exemplary civic and community spirit. Known for its vibrant Acadian heritage, strong citizen involvement, and a flair for innovation, the residents of West Pubnico are all responsible for creating this wonderful place that they call home.

Please join me in congratulating the community of West Pubnico on earning this well-deserved award.

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

CLARKE, DIANE: MUSQUODOBOIT HS MUSIC PROGS. - RECOGNIZE

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : It's a warm privilege on World Teachers' Day for me to recognize Diane Clarke, the music and band teacher at Musquodoboit Rural High School in Middle Musquodoboit.

For over two decades, Ms. Clarke has led one of the most vigorous and compelling music programs in Nova Scotia, despite the very small size of that Grade 7-12 school, and together with the community, she has led the production of biannual musicals which are cultural centrepieces of the Musquodoboit Valley. If a person were to write about how one person, devoting themselves to a community or region, can singlehandedly lift that community up, Diane Clarke would be an ideal subject for such an essay.

I am one of many parents of children raised in the Musquodoboit Valley whose mind rang with a sense of alarm when the government spoke disparagingly and repeatedly of the commitment of teachers in the province, and thought about the particular contribution that was being made by teachers like Diane Clarke, because of course the very opposite is true. I am part of one of the many families who stand in great debt before the commitment and . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time for the member's statement has expired.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. KOUSOULIS « » : In the east gallery, I am joined by my wife, Jill Chisholm, and our baby, Alexandra Marina Kousoulis, on her first birthday. (Standing Ovation)

[Page 833]

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

SHAY, RYAN: CAN. GAMES MEDAL - CONGRATS.

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : I'd like to take a moment to recognize Yarmouth's Ryan Shay. Ryan competed at this summer's Canada Games in Winnipeg, and he won Nova Scotia's first medal of the games: a silver medal in para-discus after throwing 11 and 55 metres. Ryan also placed fourth in the shotput event, just shy of a bronze medal.

Ryan founded Shay's Opportunities for Disabled Youth, a summer camp where kids with disabilities can try sports, with the mission of helping shed light on opportunities for youth with disabilities, building connections, getting people active, and teaching valuable life lessons. Ryan is an inspiration to many and a great source of pride to his family, friends, community, province, and beyond.

I ask this House to join me in congratulating him on his silver Canada Games medal and in recognizing him for his strength, perseverance, and inspirational dedication to others.

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

PORT MORIEN RCL (BR. 55): ANNIV. (80th) - ACKNOWLEDGE

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge Royal Canadian Legion Branch 55 in Port Morien for reaching a milestone of considerable significance. This year marks its 80th Anniversary.

Their charter was received from the Dominion Executive Council on September 27, 1937. At the time, Canada was emerging from the Great Depression. To commemorate the anniversary, the Legion's honours and awards committee recently held a barbecue to honour its members and its community.

I stand here today to congratulate Royal Canadian Legion Branch 55 on this important milestone and to thank everyone for their help and support.

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

SUTHERLAND, CARLY: DEDICATION - THANK

MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : I rise today to mark World Teachers' Day. As last night's Law Amendments Committee is fresh in my mind, I want to mention Carly Sutherland, who presented there last night. Carly is a learning centre teacher in the Halifax Regional School Board. She's also the mother of a wonderful son with autism.

[Page 834]

Carly spoke to us last night with heartbreaking clarity about how stretched our education system is and how poorly it serves students with diverse needs. As a teacher and a parent, Carly understands our education system better than most. Despite constraints, Carly goes to work each day to serve our students - the ones who need the most help. When the workday is done, she advocates for proper supports for her own son, and as a military spouse, she's often doing it quite literally on her own.

I ask the House to join me in thanking Carly Sutherland and all the teachers in this province for their hard work, dedication, and perseverance in the face of challenge.

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

MACKINNON, ANGELA: COMMUN. DEDICATION - ACKNOWLEDGE

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, the MacKinnon Dance group and the student council of Bridgewater Junior-Senior High School, under the instruction and guidance of teacher and instructor Angela MacKinnon, held the 9th Annual Fashion for Our Future fashion show in late June. This show is in support of the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore and raised $2,300 at this year's event, making their nine-year total in excess of $10,000.

This well-organized and well-attended event showcases the ability of our youth and young adults to organize and make a real difference in their community. I ask members of this House of Assembly to join me in congratulating the organizing committee and the student models and dancers for putting such a successful event together. I'd also like to acknowledge Angela MacKinnon for her continued dedication to her students and her community.

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

PICTOU CO.: GEORGE "BABE" RUTH - VISIT

HON. PAT DUNN « » : In July 1936, George "Babe" Ruth, 41 years of age, unemployed and pudgy, came to Pictou County. He was known as the Sultan of Swat, or the Bambino. Ruth was a Major League baseball pitcher and outfielder who played for 22 seasons, from 1914 to 1935. He played with three different teams, Red Sox, Yankees and the Boston Braves.

Ruth attended an exhibition baseball game between the Westville Miners and Liverpool. He proceeded to take his place at the plate and hit several balls while 2,000 fans watched. On July 8th Babe Ruth attended the 3rd annual Lobster Fisheries Carnival in Pictou. He also spent a few days fishing on Cape Breton lakes prior to his return to the United States.

[Page 835]

[1:30 p.m.]

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

SMITH, WADE HOLLY: EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTIONS - HONOUR

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, in honour of World Teachers' Day I would like to remember a beloved and admired member of the African Nova Scotian community, Wade Holly Smith, who passed away on June 2nd. He lived in Halifax Needham. A devoted husband to wife Sherry Jackson-Smith, loving father to Jaydan and Jaxson and brother of RCMP Sergeant Craig Smith. Wade was a mentor, teacher and principal for more than 25 years, serving Weymouth Consolidated, Cole Harbour, Sackville, Sir John A., St. Pats, Halifax West, Highland Park Junior High and, of course, Citadel High School.

Mr. Smith received the 2017 Sport Nova Scotia Chair Award for an extraordinary contribution to sport in the province. He said that giving back was not a choice, it was an obligation.

I would like all members of this House to join me in honouring Mr. Smith's significant impact on the young people of our province.

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

MACEACHERN, LAUCHIE/JOLENE:

ATLANTIC OUTSTANDING YOUNG FARMERS - CONGRATS.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, Lauchie and Jolene MacEachern of Folly River Farms in Debert, Colchester North, worked on the Eisses family farm for seven years to learn the operation. In 2013 they took ownership, introduced new technology, invested in infrastructure, improved the quality of their forage and increased production by 20 per cent.

By maximizing animal health and nutrition programs and carefully managing debt, they realized an increase in revenue every year. The couple have three children under 10 but they still make time to act as 4-H volunteers, coach minor hockey, serve in executive roles with the local pre-school and School Advisory Committee.

The MacEacherns have won the title of Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers. The judges were very impressed with the unorthodox succession planning process used by the couple with no family farm to take over.

The MacEacherns are one of seven regional finalists who will attend Canada's outstanding national event on November 29th to December 3rd in Penticton, B.C.

[Page 836]

I ask members of the House to join me in congratulating the MacEacherns on their accomplishments.

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

MACKENZIE, RALPH: WORLD TEACHERS' DAY - THANK

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today on World Teachers' Day to recognize Dartmouth East resident Ralph MacKenzie for his outstanding teaching career and his generous volunteering and dedication to his community. After retiring from teaching, Ralph became a full-time volunteer. When he isn't serving food at Margaret's House, he is handing out food at the food bank. Other times he can be found driving the Dartmouth North community van which he helped purchase as a board member of the Public Good Society. He can be found volunteering across the city and always with a smile on his face.

Ralph's dedication and commitment to improving the lives of those in his community is second to none. I admire and thank Ralph MacKenzie for the countless ways he positively contributes to the community. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

ZINCK, DAVID: WORLD TEACHERS' DAY - THANK

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Today, on World Teachers' Day, I rise to acknowledge David Zinck, a teacher and friend at Dartmouth High School, who especially recently has been no stranger to this House. During my years organizing Nova Scotia's High School Drama Festival I had the opportunity to see David in action, inspiring and motivating his students to excel and express themselves both creatively and academically as he corralled hundreds of them over the years across the bridge to participate in the province-wide celebration of high school theatre.

During work-to-rule David was relentless in his fight for decent classroom conditions, walking down to the school's Liberal MLA's office every day to convey the severity of the situation. His tenacity and dedication came through even more when, well before an election was called, he began joining me on doorsteps in Dartmouth North to relay the concern of students and teachers to residents.

Today I want to thank David for his immense contributions to the lives of the people in Dartmouth North. He is an inspiration to students, parents, activists and politicians alike. Thank you.

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

[Page 837]

MADD ANTIGONISH CHAPT. BURSARY - MACPHERSON, GEMMA: INAUGURAL RECIP. - CONGRATS.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : The MADD Antigonish Chapter Bursary was created in 2017 in memory of Inspector Tony Perry. Tony was a dedicated member of the MADD Antigonish Chapter, in addition to serving as RCMP Staff Sergeant in Antigonish from 2005 to 2016. He was a reliable ear to listen when someone needed advice, and he was more than willing to lend a helping hand or connect with community partners to help the chapter succeed in its mission. In honour and recognition of the kind of man Tony was, the bursary is awarded to a student who demonstrates good character, promise of leadership, and strong commitment to service in our community. Gemma MacPherson, a recent graduate of Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, was recognized by MADD and the Perry family as embodying all of the aforementioned traits as the bursary's inaugural recipient. Gemma will be using the bursary to support her pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in science and health at St. Francis Xavier University, which began this Fall. I would ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating Gemma MacPherson as the inaugural recipient of the MADD Antigonish Chapter bursary.

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

ACKER, DON/LINDA: COMMUN. VOLUNTEERS - THANK

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Today I rise to congratulate Don and Linda Acker on being named Halifax heroes in the Metro newspaper, for their many years of outstanding volunteer service. Don and Linda have helped to maintain the grass at the Sackville Acadia Park, as well as being committed to all sports for all Canadians. They are heavily involved with Special Olympics, and Don has volunteered at the local NSSAF track and field meets as well as provincial, for over 15 to 20 years. In addition, Don has volunteered for years with the Legion National Youth Track Competitions. Along with her passions for promoting sports, Linda finds time to make dresses for young girls in Africa. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Don and Linda Acker for being cornerstones of our community.

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

WORLD TEACHERS' DAY: KENNEDY, MIKE - REMEMBER

MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : Today I rise in recognition of World Teachers' Day. It is my honour to rise to remember my uncle - more like my brother - Mike Kennedy, who has recently passed away and was a lifelong gym teacher. For the majority of his life, he taught at St. Agnes school, just down the street from his home. During his time as a teacher, he was instrumental in developing and promoting local sports, coaching and volunteering each and every week. This continued well past his retirement, up until his untimely death. He, too, was honoured in June at Sports Nova Scotia.

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Only after his passing did we understand the depth to which he touched the lives of hundreds of students. One student came to us and told us the story of wanting to play basketball but he didn't have sneakers. So Mike took him to Woolworth's after school and then on to the tournament. He was the type of teacher who never made these gestures public. Only after his passing did we hear these stories. I am proud of his accomplishments, proud to remember him today and every day.

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

ADAMSON, COL. MICHAEL - 14 WING GREENWOOD:

NEW COMMAND - CONGRATS.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I rise today to offer my congratulations to Col. Michael Adamson on his appointment as the new Commander of 14 Wing Greenwood, officially taking command of the largest Air Force base in Atlantic Canada on July 20, 2017. Col. Adamson officially assumed command from the former wing commander, during a change of command ceremony on the 20th of July, 2017. While newly appointed to the position of 14 Wing Commander, Col. Adamson is no stranger to the area, having served in Greenwood multiple times as he advanced in his career. Col. Adamson's range of experience will be an asset in a period of continuous operational deployment. I would like to welcome Col. Michael Adamson and his family back to the area and offer my congratulations and best wishes for continuing success as the new Commander of 14 Wing Greenwood.

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

VILLAGE OF CANNING: MULTI-COMPLEX FACILITY - CONGRATS.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : I wish to congratulate the Village of Canning on the grand opening of the Canning Multi-Complex Facility. This facility brings various community resources together in one convenient location. The Village of Canning and a dedicated group of volunteers have worked for the past seven years to complete this community infrastructure project. The multi-complex will bring new opportunities to the Village of Canning and will support community sustainability by providing a central focal point for community events and activities. The 19,000-square-foot facility includes a fire station, training room, community board room, meeting space, municipal administrative office, and an emergency comfort station. I wish to congratulate the Village of Canning, the Canning Volunteer Fire Department and the citizens of Canning for their hard work and dedication to see this dream come into reality.

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

SICHEL, BEN - WORLD TEACHERS' DAY:

[Page 839]

COMMITMENT - ACKNOWLEDGE

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : In honour of World Teachers' Day, I would like to recognize a teacher who lives in my constituency of Halifax Needham. Ben Sichel brings incredible skill, passion, and knowledge to his classroom at Prince Andrew High School every day. He challenges his students to think critically about the world they live in. He works very hard to meet the diverse needs of his students, carefully considering how his methods and materials can be adapted to give everyone in his classroom the best opportunity to learn. Mr. Sichel is a credit to the profession and I am pleased to rise today and acknowledge his commitment to education and the future of our province.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Preston-Dartmouth.

SKEIR-GLASGOW, ALEXA: E. PRESTON DAYCARE CTR. - RETIREMENT

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Alexa Skeir-Glasgow on her retirement from the East Preston Daycare Centre after 42 years of dedicated service.

Alexa has nurtured countless children through her many years of work at the daycare centre. She has made a significant contribution to our community and to our province over the years. Alexa has demonstrated there is no higher calling than working for children to ensure their growth and development.

I applaud and congratulate Alexa Skeir-Glasgow on her many years of service to the children and wish her all the best in retirement.

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

RIVER JOHN: RIVERFRONT PROJECT - CONGRATS.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to represent constituents from the rural village of River John. That old proverb that states that when the going gets tough, the tough get going is meant for them. When they lost their school they did not give up but elected to put their time and energy into something positive: the Riverfront Project.

This project took many years to come to light but by sticking together as a community and changing something negative into something positive, they were able to quickly develop the Bissell Park Waterfront which had its grand opening this summer. I was thrilled to be able to attend the opening and witness first-hand a village bursting with community, togetherness and pride.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to invite all members of the House to visit River John to see first-hand what a community spirit is all about.

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

TALBOT-RICHARDS, GLENDA: TEACHING CAREER - ACKNOWLEDGE

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : In honour of World Teachers' Day and also Women's History Month, I would like to celebrate an amazing woman, teacher and friend from Truro, Glenda Talbot-Richards. As part of Women's History Month, Glenda will be talking about her 32-year teaching career, including being the first Black teacher at Willow Street School in Truro.

Glenda began her career in an alternative junior high school and while there she expressed an interest in teaching at Willow Street, which she had attended as a child. She wasn't offered the position until the community came out in her support. Being the first Black teacher at Willow Street did not come without Glenda experiencing some racism, however, there were many positive experiences.

A documentary entitled, Glenda Talbot-Richards, the First Black Teacher in Truro, will be shown at the Truro Library on October 17th, at 6:30 p.m., followed by a conversation with Glenda. My hat goes off to Glenda and we send her all our love and support from the NDP caucus.

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

ENFIELD VOL. FIRE DEPT.: NAVR CHALLENGE - CONGRATS.

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, sometime when a motor vehicle accident occurs and a person is trapped inside, it is not possible or advisable to use conventional methods to remove them. In these instances, the vehicle is removed from around the person to minimize injury during extrication.

Every year the North American Vehicle Rescue Challenge provides emergency rescue teams from Canada and the United States, as well as international teams a chance to compete in highly-skilled scenarios. On September 14-16, 2017, this event was hosted by Enfield Volunteer Fire Department and chaired by Cecil Dixon.

The rescue teams get together to share their techniques and discuss new ones, discuss rescuer and patient safety consideration, try new extraction tools and receive information on new vehicle technology. Because of this newly-gained knowledge, all teams are winners, even the ones that didn't receive awards.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank all firefighters for their passion, for contributing their time, for learning new skills, and frequently risking their lives in dealing with times of great emotional stress. We all thank them.

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

SHELBURNE HBR. - TALL SHIP REGATTA: VOLUNTEERS - THANK

MS. KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, I consider myself very blessed to represent the incredible constituency of Queens-Shelburne. On August 14th I was fortunate to have the opportunity to witness the arrival of the majestic tall ships into beautiful and historic Shelburne Harbour. This was part of the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, and Shelburne was one of the outport destinations.

This marquee event was not an easy or small undertaking and I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the organizers and volunteers who worked so hard to make it such a success.

[1:45 p.m.]

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

MENTAL HEALTH TASK FORCE: C.B. MLAs - CREATE

MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : I rise today to recognize Mental Health Week. I would like to draw specific attention to the recent events in Cape Breton that brought forward an inquiry by Dr. Stan Kutcher. Sadly, the results so important to Cape Breton were delivered in Halifax, another disrespectful act to our island.

After attending one of his outreach meetings, I was informed my government colleague, the member for Sydney-Whitney Pier will lead all Cape Breton MLAs on a task force. After several requests on my part, my request to meet to begin this process has fallen on deaf ears. Is it this government's intent to provide lip service to the residents in Cape Breton? One more example of the complete disregard to our mental health system?

I urge my colleague to get this worthwhile committee up and running.

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

LEONARD C. COMEAU LTD.: 70th ANNIV. - CONGRATS.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : I rise to ask members of this House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Daniel and Mira Comeau, the present owner of Leonard C. Comeau Ltd.

The family-owned business, started by Daniel's father, has been operating in Comeauville for the last 70 years, when Leonard C. Comeau opened his business at the present location. At the time, the war had ended and more people were interested in buying a car or a motorcycle.

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Over the last years, the business added new items to their stock which now includes lawn equipment, ATVs, boat motors, snow blowers, generators, and water pumps. As with many family-owned businesses, the client is likely to be served by a member of Leonard's family. Today, this might be Daniel, Mira, or one of their children.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, on their 70th Anniversary this week.

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

PORTER, CHUCK: VOLUNTEERISM - ACKNOWLEDGE

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : I rise today to salute Chuck Porter of Florence. St. Stephen's Cemetery is one of the well-kept graveyards of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and that is due to the volunteering efforts of 79-year-old Chuck Porter.

He began helping his friend Samuel Keeling care for the graveyard, using his own equipment, gas, and time. After Samuel's death, Chuck has carried on doing a spectacular job. Chuck, who just celebrated his 61st Wedding Anniversary, is still volunteering at the local fire department.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all volunteers like Chuck who would like to see more volunteering to make their life better as well as their community.

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

N.S.: ENERGY PORTFOLIO - DIVERSIFY

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : It is high time for this government to get serious about green and sustainable energy. Today the Trans Canada Corporation announced that it will no longer be pursuing the Energy East pipeline. While this debate has been contentious over the years, there is no question that something has to be done to modernize and diversify this province's energy portfolio.

We are seeing sustainable energy achievements around the world while our government at home drags its heels. In fact, when it comes to energy, the only creative solution that the province has seen since 2013 is the awarding of tire-burning contracts. Quite the feather in the cap for this Liberal Government - a solution far from sustainable, far from modern, and most certainly far from green energy.

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

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BOUDREAU, TAYLOR: FUNDRAISING EFFORTS - RECOGNIZE

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker I rise today to recognize a truly remarkable 8-year-old girl from Canso, Taylor Boudreau. Taylor is an inspiration to everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting her. After the devastating loss of her classmate Maddy Hanhams at age six, who was a regular patient at the IWK, Taylor was inspired to help others just like Maddy.

When her birthday rolled around, she received $171 in birthday money and decided she wanted to donated to the IWK Telethon in memory of her friend Maddy. For the last two years, with the help of her family, Taylor has been organizing a walk-a-thon to raise money. Now the walk-a-thon and donations are made in the memory of Maddy and her cousin Morgan, who suffered from the same illness and died when she was only six.

Since starting her fundraising three years ago, Taylor has donated $7,463 to the IWK and she doesn't plan to stop there. There is no doubt that this young lady continues to inspire us to do our best every day, and that we all have the power to make a difference.

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

BARR, NICHOLAS: BRONZE AWARD - CONGRATS.

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker it is with great honour to present Nicholas Barr with his Bronze Award from the Duke of Edinburgh's International Program on Monday night at 12 Wing Shearwater in Eastern Passage. Nicholas is a 14-year-old and he lives in Cole Harbour. The bronze award starts at the age of 14 and must be completed in six months. The sections for the Bronze Award are service, skills, physical recreation, and adventurous journey.

Nicholas is an accomplished air rifle marksman; he participated in cadet sport and sport competitions as well as recreational sport; for his service, Nicholas was involved with the Boys and Girls Club as a senior leader and also volunteered to coach school sports clubs; and Nicholas' adventure journey was an overnight, 28-kilometre hike with all of his gear.

I invite all members to join me in congratulating Nicholas Barr and wishing him well in the future.

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

FITZPATRICK, JOHN, Q.C.: SMU DOCTORATE - CONGRATS.

[Page 844]

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate a resident of Halifax Armdale, Mr. John Fitzpatrick, Q.C., on receiving a Doctorate of Civil Law, Honoris Juris, from Saint Mary's University in May.

John is a senior partner at Boyne Clarke LLP. He was included in the Best Lawyers in Canada published by Best Lawyers. From 2012 onward, he has been a strong literary advocate serving as former member and executive member chairman of the governance committee for ABC Canada Literary Foundation, worked with the Nova Scotia PGI Golf Tournaments for Literacy Society, and is involved as chairman and board member of the World Wildlife Fund Canada.

John is a former member of the Saint Mary's University capital campaign team and a former chairman of the board of governors for Saint Mary's University, and has served as chairman of numerous committees on the university. His dedication to his undergraduate alma mater is remarkable.

I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating Mr. John Fitzpatrick on his recent recognition and his dedication to his community.

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

MUSIC N.S. AWARDS (02/11-05/11/17): NOMINEES - CONGRATS.

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, recently, local artists from my constituency, and a little beyond, have been honoured with nominations for the Music Nova Scotia Awards taking place from November 2nd to November 5th.

Alan Syliboy and the Thundermakers - Hubert Francis, Evan Syliboy, and Lukas Pearce - of Truro have been nominated for Indigenous Artist of the Year; cellist Anne Janelle of Brookfield has been nominated for Folk Recording of the Year for her song, I Didn't Want to Break It; and Dave Bartlett of Hilden has been nominated once again this year for Inspirational Recording of the Year, for Be a Dream For Me.

I wish to extend congratulations to these and all the artists who have been nominated and wish them all the best the first week of November.

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

C.B. REG. HOSP. FOUNDATION: FUNDRAISING EFFORTS - RECOGNIZE

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the hard work and dedication of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation.

For decades, the hospital foundation has helped to raise millions of dollars to support health care in Cape Breton. Some of the projects included in those efforts is the expansion of our cancer centre, a new linear accelerator, renovations to the paediatric unit, and over $1.3 million dollars to support mental health services that will impact thousands of Cape Bretoners.

[Page 845]

Today, is the annual Radio Day and I rise in my place to thank the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, the volunteers, and the businesses that, each year, go out to help raise money for very important causes. This year, it's cardiac care for Cape Bretoners.

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

THEATRE BADDECK - YOUNG LADIES OF BADDECK CLUB:

CAST - CONGRATS.

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, Theatre Baddeck presented its 2017 season with a show entitled, The Young Ladies of Baddeck Club, running from September 8th to September 24th. In 1891, Baddeck women and young ladies gathered at the Bell's home and formed a ladies club. The club still exists today as the Bell Club and still has 40 members. As a result of its formation, the Baddeck Public Library was created in 1891, the first public library on Cape Breton Island. It's only fitting that the 2017 production takes place at the Bell Museum in beautiful Baddeck.

The play is directed by Richard Quesnel with cast members Marguerite McLeod, Christy MacRae-Ziss, Isabel McLeod, Hannah Ziss, Shirley MacInnes, Mary Austin, Bessie Archibald, and Darwin Lyons.

I rise today to ask all members of this Legislature to join me in congratulating the cast of The Young Ladies of Baddeck Club, and wish the members of the Bell Club continued success in their endeavours.

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

NORRIS DALEY, HANNAH/STICKINGS, ANDREW:

KID WITNESS NEWS - ATTENDANCE RECOGNIZE

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today and ask members of this House of Assembly to join me in recognizing Hannah Norris Daley and teacher, Mr. Andrew Stickings, of École Rockingham School, who represented Canada at the Kid Witness News worldwide video contest in Japan.

Hannah, an 11-year-old student, was one of many students at École Rockingham School who researched, scripted, directed, and edited a video to commemorate Canada's 150th Anniversary. The video was comprised of drawings from children of all ages at the elementary school. Hannah's video was chosen as the only Canadian entry at the contest held in Tokyo.

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This project was implemented by Andrew Stickings, the Grade 5/6 English teacher at École Rockingham. Mr. Stickings has been participating in Kid Witness News, the interactive educational video program for the past decade, and believes providing children with the equipment and opportunity allows his students to become more innovative and independent workers.

Hannah and Mr. Stickings were accompanied by Hannah's stepfather, Andrew MacDonald, to the competition in Tokyo. Although they didn't return home with the grand prize, Hannah's family and our community are very proud to have her and Mr. Stickings as representatives not only for our province but our entire country, and we wish them both continued success.

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

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I draw the members' attention to the east gallery, where we are joined today by two of the seven most important women in my life, my daughters Sarah and Victoria, who are visiting from Calgary.

I would ask the House to give them a warm welcome. (Standing Ovation)

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

FED. TAX: PROPOSED CHANGES - OPPOSE

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Today I stand to make a statement that I am strongly opposed to the proposed federal tax changes.

I care deeply about the people of Cumberland North and this entire province. The evidence is clear that these proposed changes will negatively impact our economy and our entire health care system. It is important that our entrepreneurs and our professionals - our chartered accountants, our lawyers, our dentists, and our medical doctors - know that we value them and value their contribution to our province and our communities.

I will work to oppose these changes which threaten the very fabric of our economy and our health care system.

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

CAN. 150 PINS: COMMUN. VOLS. - CONGRATS.

[Page 847]

MR. BILL HORNE « » : I would like to congratulate those in the constituency who were awarded Canada 150 pins at a gathering in Beaver Bank last month by our MP, Darrell Sampson - Pat Healey, for connecting our communities through his coverage of local stories, and volunteering at many local events; Nick Yeomans, for his countless hours as a volunteer firefighter and chairman of the local Keloose Festival; Marni Tuttle, for her involvement with the LWF ratepayers and the Windsor Junction Community Centre; Stacey Rudderham, for her efforts to protect the environment, especially on behalf of the Community of Miller Lake against a proposed quarry; the Honourable Peter Stouffer for his ongoing career in support of veterans and advocating for their rights; and Ken Mallet, president of the Dieppe 90 Waverley Legion.

I would ask that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating and thanking the winners for all they have done for our community.

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

TEACHERS (CUMBERLAND N.): VALUE - ACKNOWLEDGE

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Today I would also like to acknowledge World Teachers' Day.

I would like to acknowledge the teachers who serve in Cumberland North. I know, over the last year, they have not felt appreciated or valued. I would like to acknowledge this and let them know that I value their work in their paid time and in their unpaid time.

I would like to draw special attention to my sister-in-law, Ms. Janice Smith, who has just retired after 30 years of service in the teaching profession, and I would also like to thank our fellow MLA Mr. Tim Halman for his service. I look forward to working with him and his leadership here in the House.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Although I appreciate the sentiment, I have to remind the honourable member not to refer to her fellow colleagues by their proper name.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MOBILE FOOD MARKET: PILOT PROJECT - VOLS. THANK

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : In May 2016, the Mobile Food Market began a 21-week pilot project providing fresh fruits and vegetables to communities with limited access to healthy food. On June 17, 2017, the mobile market was started up again and is now a year-round program.

The Mobile Food Market bus visits north-end Halifax and Fairview communities every second Saturday. North Preston, East Preston, Spryfield, and Harrietsfield are all served by the produce packs that are delivered to various locations in the community for pickup every second Wednesday. This was all done through partnerships with HRM, the Province of Nova Scotia, and the United Way.

[Page 848]

I would like to congratulate Julia Kemp, the coordinator of the Mobile Food Market, for overseeing the pilot project, and Twyla Nichols. I would also like to thank all the market's community partners and volunteers who have made it such a success.

[2:00 p.m.]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM. - VETERANS CLINIC: FED. FUNDING - DISCUSSION

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, during the recent election, the Premier said that he supported the establishment of a clinic for veterans at Camp Hill and he thought the federal government should be the first place to go for the funds.

Mr. Speaker, I know the Premier knows that this clinic has been a project for Sergeant Rollie Lawless and his fellow members of the Veterans Memorial Medical Centre Society and that they worked very hard to make this clinic a reality for all the veterans of Nova Scotia.

I'd like to ask the Premier if he has had a chance to have any discussions with the federal government about funding this clinic.

THE PREMIER » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Leader of the Official Opposition for this question. As we know, this is a very serious question that he has brought and he is absolutely right, in principal I support the concept that he brought forward during the election campaign. Prior to the election campaign, a former Minister of Health was working with his colleagues at the national level around a strategy for mental health issues for our veterans.

Today the federal government announced a program that they are beginning to move forward on, and part of that will be what are the next steps for the national government. I believe the federal Minister of National Defence will be here at the forum that is being held in early November, and that point is my chance to get an opportunity, hopefully, to sit down with him face to face to discuss the possibility of where Nova Scotia fits in that overall strategy.

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MR BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, I know this won't make the news tonight but this is something that I believe the Premier and I, and I'm sure every member of this House, are in agreement on and I just want to make note of that. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, an increasing number of our veterans retire from the Canadian Forces with PTSD or occupational stress disorder. For these brave veterans, waiting in an emergency department can re-traumatize them. This is why a walk-in clinic is so important. Not having a facility that is sensitive to the unique needs of our veterans, puts them at risk and makes it harder for them to get the medical help they need.

I'd like to ask the Premier, if we are unable to secure the funding from Ottawa for this important service for our veterans, will he commit to going forward as the Province of Nova Scotia to make sure this clinic becomes a reality?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The Minister of Health and Wellness is working with our partners across the province to continue to ensure that we have the appropriate mental health services across Nova Scotia. We know the challenges being faced. We've heard about adolescent young Nova Scotians who were impacted by mental health issues. We're responding to those needs and we'll continue to respond to the citizens of our province.

We'll look to the national government for the next step of what they're going to do around providing the proper supports for our veterans, Mr. Speaker. We believe that the national government should be the one that specifically funds the ones related to veterans.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am happy to support the call for the federal government to provide this important service. I do say that it is important to all Nova Scotians that our veterans get the care they need. There are 100,000 Nova Scotians without a family doctor. Primary health care is a big issue in this province. We have many veterans who have unique primary health care needs.

I do want to urge him to consider moving forward and work out the funding with the federal government as step 2, Mr. Speaker, and he'll have our full support if he does that, because of the urgency of the situation.

In the meantime, I would like to ask the Premier what measures the government is taking to ensure veterans receive the primary health care that they need at this time.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The Minister of Health and Wellness is working with our partners to ensure that all Nova Scotians have access to the mental health issues, supports around mental health issues. This budget has an investment into continuing to provide those supports across our province that would deal with the issue of those veterans who are retiring in our province.

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To the point that the Leader of the Official Opposition has brought forward, we do believe the national government has a responsibility to ensure that the men and women who defend our country, who defend the values of this country, deserve to have those supports in the communities where they choose to retire. Mr. Speaker, we believe there should be one here in this province. We're going to continue to make sure that what the national government does, builds on what's already happening in this province for the citizens of this province and, specifically, will address the issues that the men and women in uniform have.

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

PREM. - FMR. CAMPAIGN DIR.: LOBBYING - CONFLICT

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : People across Nova Scotia have been trying to understand since this summer, why this government would have reversed their previous stance against tire burning in Nova Scotia, a position they had held so strongly that a Liberal member had even introduced a bill here to ban the burning of tires.

Yesterday, the Halifax Examiner may have shed some light on this, when they revealed that the Premier's campaign director in a number of provincial elections, was hired by Lafarge in October 2014 to lobby the Liberal Government on their behalf.

So I ask the Premier, does this lobbying arrangement meet his standard of integrity in government?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I have not been lobbied by anyone around tires.

MR. BURRILL « » : After the 2013 election, the Premier's same campaign director was hired by Teranet, an out-of-province firm looking to profit from the privatization of our Motor Vehicle and other registries, so that we have an individual close to the Premier, and to the Liberal Party, paid by out-of-province firms to lobby the Government of Nova Scotia on their behalf.

So I wish to ask the Premier, can he understand why people would find this arrangement troubling, and concerning?

THE PREMIER « » : Again, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The issue he raised around Teranet coming into the province. It's the responsibility of all governments - how do we deliver services in the best possible way, the most cost-effective way for Nova Scotians? We assessed that and chose not to do it.

I'm not sure if he's trying to make a case for himself or if he's actually trying to reassure Nova Scotians that I haven't been lobbied on any file, and will do what's right, in the best interests of all Nova Scotians.

[Page 851]

MR. BURRILL « » : This type of situation is corrosive of public trust. It deepens public cynicism about public affairs, and it undermines public confidence in democratic institutions. The time has come to tighten up rules around lobbying in Nova Scotia.

I would like to ask the Premier, does he share this opinion with me?

THE PREMIER « » : I don't know who has been lobbying the honourable member when he's in government. We continue to do what is in the best interests of all Nova Scotians. We continue to make the decisions that we believe will be respected by all Nova Scotians, with the best interests of all Nova Scotians, the most cost-effective way of delivering services in a sustainable way.

We heard today, from the federal budgetary office, that said there are only two provinces in Canada that continue to control their finances and actually can invest, quite frankly, in programs and deliver tax cuts, and one of them happens to be Nova Scotia. And we'll continue to make decisions that are in the best interests of all Nova Scotians.

Let me be very clear to that member, and anyone outside of this Province House who wants to lobby this Premier, I will make decisions in the best interests of every Nova Scotian.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: VETERANS CLINIC - FUNDING

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : My question is to the Minister of Health and Wellness.

Earlier this week, we heard from members of this House, who stood and discussed the impact a diagnosis like PTSD or an occupational stress disorder can have on a person, and as the member for Sackville-Cobequid pointed out, from his own experience, this is not something that one can anticipate, or prepare for, until it happens.

So many of our brave men and women who have protected our country, have experienced things that leave them with scars that we cannot see, and an impact that we cannot know. Our veterans deserve the best care this country, and province, can provide.

My question to the minister is, does the minister acknowledge the challenges that veterans face, and agree that there should be alternatives for them?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : The work that takes place, recognizing the circumstances and the relationship between the federal Department of Veterans Affairs and the role the provincial Department of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia Health Authority, in providing the health services to our veterans, those men and women who have fought and served this country.

[Page 852]

That's why we work together with the Department of Veterans Affairs. An example of that working together would be in 2016 when we opened the VAC Operational Stress Injury Clinic, over in Dartmouth, and we continue to work with our partners at Veterans Affairs to continue to provide the best services for our veterans.

MR. MACLEOD « » : After many years of losing people to mental illness and stress disorders, finally we are growing more and more aware. This does not mean that we are without tragedies. Those who have put their lives on the line are sadly among the most deeply impacted by the horrors that they witnessed.

In a province that has more than 100,000 people without a family doctor, it should not be surprising to the minister that we want to answer the call from veterans to provide them with the primary health care that is sensitive to their situation. We believe we owe these brave veterans a basic debt of gratitude by providing a medical centre that will not cause them any further strife.

Mr. Speaker, my question is, will the minister commit to funding a veterans' medical centre at Camp Hill so that veterans can receive the necessary medical care that they so dearly deserve?

MR. DELOREY « » : As the member would know, the importance of the role and the service provided by our veterans, those men and women who have served this country to protect our freedoms and the democratic institution that we have the privilege of serving here, is critical.

But as the member would also know, and as the Premier spoke about earlier, we do support working with our federal partners to implement and enhance the services for our veterans to ensure that they get treatment, whether for mental health or other treatments, the best way possible. We'll continue working with the federal government to ensure that that happens.

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

PREM.: DOCTORS N.S. LETTER - OFFENCE

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : The statements made by the Minister of Health and Wellness to media and in this House this week concerning the pending Doctors Nova Scotia lawsuit, led to a letter published in AllNovaScotia today from the chair of the board of Doctors Nova Scotia.

[Page 853]

The letter takes issue with the minister's attempt to distinguish Doctors Nova Scotia from the province's physicians, and reminds the government in no uncertain terms that Doctors Nova Scotia is the province's physicians.

I would like to ask the Premier if he thinks the minister offending Doctors Nova Scotia in the Legislature is a helpful recruitment and retention strategy.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Today someone he would know well, Dr. A.J., was on the radio taking exception with the way government was taking on her union.

I don't know of any other union in this province that the taxpayers pay for. What we fund, quite frankly - medical benefits, dental benefits, services providing maternity leave - the Province of Nova Scotia funds those benefits, and we continue to fund those benefits. (Interruption)

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

THE PREMIER « » : We will continue to pay those benefits no matter what happens. We will continue to deliver those benefits, but what we will not do is allow $4.4 million to be put over into the union.

If the honourable member wants to defend the unions across this province, membership pays for their union dues. This side of the House is going to take tax dollars and deliver services to the people of this province.

MR. BURRILL « » : We hear in this response the very same type of denigration - in this case, of doctors - that earlier this year we heard about teachers, and which brought us to the first-ever province-wide teachers strike in our province's history. At the heart of the disaster of that strike were the Premier's frequent, although thankfully unsuccessful, attempts to separate teachers from their union.

I want to ask the Premier if he thinks it is appropriate for him and his Health and Wellness Minister to be insulting the physicians of the province in a way now parallel to what was attempted earlier with teachers.

THE PREMIER « » : At the heart of all these issues is the fact that an NDP Government rolled over and paid a 7.5 per cent raise in three years - the largest agreement in (Interruptions)

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

THE PREMIER « » : That is fundamentally at the heart of what we're talking about. How can the taxpayers afford a sustainable public service by treating people (Interruption)

[Page 854]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River will come to order.

The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER « » : We will continue to treat people equally. We've been to the bargaining table with every one of the unions the honourable member refers to. We actually have an agreement with Doctors Nova Scotia. But I want to be very clear about this, Mr. Speaker « » : we have paid for the services in there. We have paid for medical benefits, dental benefits, maternity leave. We will continue to do so, but we will not take taxpayers' dollars that we need to deliver surgeries across this province to invest in classrooms that you cut $65 million out of. We will continue to use those precious tax dollars in a sustainable, thoughtful way for all Nova Scotians.

[2:15 p.m.]

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - DOCTORS N.S.: MIN. SURPRISE - EXPLAIN

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I think we're back to the same old Question Period now.

My question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. The issue between the government and doctors really has nothing to do with the contingency fund the Premier is speaking about or with the contract itself, it's with the accuracy of the statements made by the minister and the government with regard to their dispute with doctors. In fact earlier this week Nova Scotians learned that the government is being sued by the doctors of Nova Scotia for breach of contract. The minister said he was surprised at the lawsuit.

Mr. Speaker, that is very odd because in a letter to doctors that was sent yesterday, which I will table, Doctors Nova Scotia confirms that they wrote to the Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness in July, talking about the pending lawsuit, that they met with the minister personally in August to tell him about the pending lawsuit and that they would have no choice but to proceed as long as their contract remained in breach.

I'd like to ask the Minister of Health and Wellness, why did he tell Nova Scotians he was surprised at the lawsuit, when he was told about it at least three months ago?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite, the Leader of the Official Opposition, for the question and the opportunity to explain. The reason I say I was surprised about the release from earlier this week, is because I was. I was surprised because although there were discussions in August, at that meeting it was clear that the Doctors Nova Scotia representatives laid out what their concerns were, what they felt the disagreements were.

[Page 855]

The staff in the Department of Health and Wellness laid out their position; I was there. We had discussions. I thought we laid out very clearly a path forward to move on those items. That included in this particular case with the surplus fund, having the auditors meet. I believe the auditors had the opportunity to meet maybe once or twice in September and then it was played out, Mr. Speaker. That's why I was surprised, because there were only two instances between that meeting in August and now.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I just want to remind the minister that everything he says is being listened to by the doctors of Nova Scotia and checked for accuracy. The minister is accused of making unilateral changes to the APP contracts for doctors, in breach of the agreement that his government reached with them just a year ago.

Now imagine, Mr. Speaker, if a government comes to you, as a doctor, and puts a contract in front of you but doesn't tell you that they, on their own, made changes to the standard contract. I'd just like to table the actual APP contract so people can see for themselves what we're talking about here. This is not a dispute with Doctors Nova Scotia, this is a government that puts a contract of 22 pages with five different appendices in front of a doctor and doesn't volunteer that they've unilaterally made changes. Can the minister tell this House how unilaterally changing a contract and not telling the doctors themselves, is acting in good faith?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. I appreciate that the member tabled the contracts that would be entered into between physicians in the province and the Department of Health and Wellness. I think when the member digs into the concerns being raised - and again, as I said, that meeting in August with Doctors Nova Scotia, laid out the different positions as to what the concerns were with the changes - a lot of that had to do with whether information pertaining to the master agreement was included or not.

The way that we look at it, with having that information available when we provide the contract, the full details of what it would cover with the doctors, the physicians had the meat of the contract immediately available, as opposed to referring or referencing back to the master agreement which, of course, all physicians would be covered by the master agreement because that does cover all physicians in the province.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - DOCTORS N.S.: CONTINGENCY FUND - EXPLAIN

[Page 856]

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the government has been talking about the contingency fund but let's just be very clear, Doctors Nova Scotia confirms that the government conceded the need for a contingency fund at the bargaining table with doctors and signed the master agreement with the contingency fund in place.

It is very odd, Mr. Speaker, that the minister would then drain that fund after he had a signed contract in place. No wonder the people of Nova Scotia are wondering if this government's signature on a contract means anything.

I'd like to ask the minister if he can tell the House how draining a contingency fund that he had signed an agreement to maintain, is acting in good faith.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I believe, as the member would know, if he had reviewed that contract, it makes it very clear that that surplus fund would be drawn down. I believe the language is explicitly that the fund will be drawn down.

Again, the concerns that the member made as to why we would think that would transpire, is because it is actually in the master agreement, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Since it's the government's signature on the contract, I would hope that they actually know what it says. It says that it will be set at a level as agreed to by auditors for the doctors and for the government. That is very interesting, Mr. Speaker. That's not zero. The minister himself said the other day that the problem was that the doctors' auditors were not forthcoming, that they were slow, they were not coming to meetings, they wouldn't produce a report. That is not correct.

Doctors Nova Scotia confirms in a public letter to all Nova Scotians that their auditors met with the minister's department in February on this very issue, again in May, and again in August, and provided a detailed recommendation on the level for that contingency fund, and it wasn't zero. In fact, it was the government auditors who felt that they were not able to provide an opinion.

I would like to ask the minister, why did he tell Nova Scotians that it was the doctors' auditors that were the holdup, when in fact it was the government itself that was the holdup?

MR. DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question. Again, without going into the details, and perhaps the member has it - I'll leave it to Doctors Nova Scotia, if they want to present all of the information between the auditors out in the public. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I will not tolerate any more disrespect for the Chair. We'll ask the minister to answer the question, and the next time I have to call order, somebody will go.

[Page 857]

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

MR. DELOREY « » : As I said, if they want all the information and the details between both sets of auditors to be tabled, where the concerns were, providing information - if they look closely at the information that was brought forward in the Spring of the year, it will be very obvious that the scope by which the auditors for Doctors Nova Scotia were assessing, goes well beyond the parameters defined in the master agreement. That was the concern. That is the discussion we had in August; that was the concern there.

Effectively, my concern with the delays was from August. Doctors Nova Scotia told me, while at that meeting, that they delivered the updated information that had been requested - at that meeting - that morning to my department. It did not show up for a week later. Talking about good faith and collaboration, one would expect that that information would have been – I was told that it was dropped at my department the day that we were meeting. I would have expected to be given that information so that we could have an engagement at that meeting. It didn't show up until a week later.

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

GOV'T. (N.S.) - DOCTOR RECRUITMENT: CONFIDENCE - LACK OF

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : The Premier has just stated that he will not take taxpayers' dollars to keep a contingency fund. This isn't a question to him, but I'm just wondering if he has asked those very taxpayers if they would mind, because the ones who contacted me wouldn't. They would rather have that $4.1 million there because all they want is a family doctor.

Today our caucus met with Alana Patterson, the director for physician compensation and negotiations. She indicated that Doctors Nova Scotia's ability to assist with recruitment of family doctors has now been harmed by this government's year-long failure to implement their side of the Doctors Nova Scotia agreement that was negotiated in good faith. I'm deeply concerned that their recruitment efforts and mine to get one doctor for my community have become even harder, considering.

The question is, how does the Government of Nova Scotia expect potential doctors we're attempting to recruit to come to Nova Scotia when they don't have any confidence in this government's ability to accept their own contract negotiations?

THE PREMIER « » : How they would expect that, is to ensure that the precious tax dollars they give us are used to ensure that we pay for the benefits of doctors across this province, which our government has continued to do; to ensure that the $4.4 million that the union representing doctors had been taking money that was actually to go to doctors to pay for benefits. If it's not required, it comes back so we can continue to use it to continue to build our plan to recruit primary care health workers across this province.

[Page 858]

MS. ADAMS « » : We were reminded today that that fund is actually called the physician recruitment and retention fund, which seems kind of ironic now.

My question is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. There has been increased action taken by community groups, including my own of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, to generate their own recruitment for physicians. It includes videos, meet and greets, and Facebook postings. We're aware that the government has in Nova Scotia four regional and one provincial recruitment physician recruiters. Although it's not the community's responsibility to find these doctors, we're appreciative of their efforts.

My question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, can he explain to all of us exactly what our doctor recruitment strategy is? Have they thought about committing greater financial resources to improving that strategy?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question. As I've mentioned before, Mr. Speaker, there's a lot of work that is ongoing with regard to recruitment of physicians and other primary care professionals - be they nurse practitioners, family practice nurses and others - who can provide primary care services to the people of Nova Scotia. I think that's an important part - the recruitment efforts are multi-faceted. There are incentives that exist for new graduates in return for return of service contract options which could provide funding and relief.

There are commitments in this budget, Mr. Speaker, to expand our residents' positions and other initiatives going along through the province to help attract family physicians and other health care professionals.

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

COM. SERV.: INCOME ASSIST. RATES - INCREASE

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday when the Premier was asked about the crisis of poverty in our province he pointed to the change in the basic personal amount included in the budget. According to staff in the Department of Finance and Treasury Board, the average amount a person can benefit from this change will be about $160 a year, or $13 a month.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Minister of Community Services is, what does the minister suggest that people buy at the grocery store with that extra $13 a month?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. What the honourable member will know is that we are in the process of transforming Community Services in how we deliver our services and what we deliver to people. At the end of this transformation, Mr. Speaker, more Nova Scotians will be able to keep more money, they will have more money to spend on food and on other priorities that they have, not tinkering around the edges as that Party did when they were in office for four and a half years and they did nothing to transform the system.

[Page 859]

MS. LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, since 2014 this government has spent $9 million on the much-touted and anticipated transformation while clients wait with no information and no improvement in the inadequacy of income assistance rates. Now the government is pledging $2 million to develop a plan to address poverty.

Mr. Speaker, the tens of thousands of Nova Scotians living in poverty cannot wait any longer. Will the minister agree today to increase income assistance rates to allow people to buy their food from a grocery store or is she satisfied to continue to point them in the direction of the nearest food bank?

MS. REGAN « » : I would like to point out to the honourable member that under a Liberal Government, the last Liberal Government, income assistance recipients received the largest single increase in income assistance ever.

Yesterday we heard from the Leader of that Party and he went on at great length about poverty rates. He talked about the number of people needing assistance from food banks. I would like to point out that in 2012, when the NDP were in power, 23,561 people got food from food banks. That's what that Party did.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: MS TREATMENT - FUNDING ISSUES

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Canada has the highest rates of MS in the world. Neurologists in Nova Scotia are working day and night on advancement for care of those living with MS. However, some people living with MS can't afford to travel to their neurologist, which could mean they are not getting the care they need to manage that health problem. There is no funding available to assist these individuals and sometimes the costs for travel can be upwards of $300.

My question to the minister is, does the minister believe that this is fair for those who are facing mobility and transportation issues?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the member opposite. Certainly there are a number of health conditions that have tragic impacts on people in Nova Scotia. MS is certainly one where you see the progression and the impacts on an individual and the severity of those impacts.

[Page 860]

Certainly we want to see that our health care system is providing the best services and care. A member here recently spoke about a tour of the work and the research being done at Dalhousie to help advance improvements in the multiple sclerosis treatments and so on, Mr. Speaker. We're doing a lot of work to help patients in care, both on the ground and through research. Thank you.

[2:30 p.m.]

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge that we're doing a lot of work to help MS but that wasn't the question. The question was, if people need transportation to get services, is it available? That's the question. The government has committed to enhance the level of health care for all Nova Scotians regardless of where they live. Inability to pay should not be a barrier and neither should a person's address. So, the question is, will the Minister of Health and Wellness consider an in-province travel and accommodation policy for people who need to travel for their medical needs, with a province this size?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of the member and perhaps other members who may have constituents in a similar situation requiring support for transportation, there is the OTB or Ostomy Transportation and Board Fund, which does exist to provide some financial relief and supports for Nova Scotians who may need support with their transportation and board or lodging, and I'd like to acknowledge the work of my predecessor for having increased the size of that fund during our previous mandate. Thank you.

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

EECD - PICTOU ACADEMY: SCHOOL CONDITIONS - UNSATISFACTORY

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. This Liberal Government closed two schools in Pictou West in less than two years, one in River John - Pictou Academy. Pictou Academy students, Grade 9 to Grade 12, are now housed in the Dr. Thomas McCulloch Junior High School, renamed Pictou Academy. It's total discombobulation. We were told by CCRSB that it would be the smoothest transition ever, set literally 75 feet from the other school. It's a mess. If it wasn't for the teachers and the students going in and painting that school and cleaning it, it would not even have been ready.

So my question to the minister is, why is he endorsing CCRSB to allow students and teachers in Pictou to work and be educated in less than satisfactory conditions.

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, as the legislator of the House, I know the member will be familiar with the Education Act and its subsequent regulations, which clearly articulate that those decisions do fall under the legal jurisdiction of our boards. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development does not make decisions on school closures. What we do is, we take the recommendations from the board and we work with them to develop a plan for their capital needs. So, that is the process that we go through.

[Page 861]

I do not envy the boards these decisions. These are very difficult decisions that local people make on behalf of their community, and it's never easy to close schools. But, of course, we want those students, those teachers, and in fact every student and every teacher in this province to have the best learning environment possible, and we are committed to doing that.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, may be committed to everywhere else, but not in Pictou. It's a real, real mess and the CCRSB released a press release claiming that they constructed a new functioning lab for Grade 9 to Grade 12 chemistry, biology, physics - they would have a brand-new lab - a press release. On October 2nd, they came out and apologized that they were incorrect, and I will read what Gary Adams said: Our director of operations is working with staff to confirm a plan and timeline for the updates - and I will table that.

There was no time plan. They lied. It was false information. So, my question is, can the minister please tell us how CCRSB is so out of touch with a school that is literally 10 miles away?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate in the follow-up question that the member identified that this is an issue specifically with the board. I will say that this government is endeavouring to have a full and complete administrative review of our system, which involves the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the board structure as well. So, I would encourage that member to participate in that process because we do expect that to be a very meaningful process for the system, that it will yield some positive recommendations and results for our students, our teachers, and our communities.

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

MUN. AFFS. - RURAL N.S.: LAND-LINE SERV. - UPDATE

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I think last week I asked a question about land-line service in the community of Shag Harbour having challenges, and I want to thank the Minister of Municipal Affairs for looking into this on behalf of the side of EMO. I'm just wondering maybe a week later, what have his discussions been with Bell Aliant, and those service providers who are giving such shoddy service to rural Nova Scotia?

[Page 862]

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. I had a conversation with one of the residents and some of the challenges that he faced. Upon getting that question, I talked to an EMO representative, and the situation seemed to have corrected itself. But here we are again today with a similar situation.

CRTC controls the phone lines but of course with EMO we're always concerned when we hear these things, so we will follow up again with the member and with that particular constituent that I talked to, and we'll get some more information and see what we do.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you for that answer, but maybe I'm going to go to the Minister of Business on this one. There's a larger issue happening here. Our telephone service is less than to be desired, our Internet service is less than to be desired in rural Nova Scotia, and quite honestly, the community of Woods Harbour, which is just next door to Shag Harbour, barely has cell service. There are millions of dollars worth of lobster deals being done all over the world and they can't even use their iPhones in their offices because there is no actual service.

I wonder if the minister can bring me up to date. Do we have a unit within his department that could actually take on this issue so that we can have appropriate service and technology available to our community?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. Obviously with respect to broadband service and how we access the Internet in rural Nova Scotia is a pressing issue for the government. It's a significant part of our mandate. This is a problem that's being faced across the country. The national government has put together a plan of $500 million over the next few years to help provinces address this issue. We've identified $14.5 million towards broadband investment, which is one of the most significant per capita of any province in the federation. We take this seriously.

We are developing a plan to have an arm's-length body administer the broadband plan. We're going to do this as soon as possible, it's a couple-hundred-million-dollar issue for Nova Scotia but over time, with the right fiscal management and good investments, we'll get there.

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

ENVIRON.: ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM - ADDRESS

[Page 863]

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, while I would love to address the Premier's derogatory comments on Doctors Nova Scotia, my question is actually for the Minister of Environment. The legacy of environmental racism in this province is not something we can continue to sweep under the rug. It's an issue that requires a commitment to understanding the perspective of racialized people, people whose neighbourhoods have been disproportionately situated next to landfills, waste dumps, and other hazardous activities.

I previously introduced a bill aimed to do just that by establishing an all-Party panel to examine the issue and consult with affected African Nova Scotians, First Nations, and Acadian communities. My question for the new Minister of Environment is, will he support legislation that aims to address issues of environmental racism?

HON. IAIN RANKIN » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the member for the question. The Department of Environment always looks at the science and evidence provided in any application. That way we ensure a full, equitable process for all Nova Scotians.

MS. ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm surprised he just didn't regurgitate that it's a regulatory body. He didn't really answer the question.

My second question is for the Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. The United Nations' Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent visited a number of Canadian cities last year, including Halifax, and wrote a report calling on governments to do more to redress past and present wrongs, including recommending the introduction of legislation on environmental racism. I will table that.

In response to the report, the minister said, "This document gives me some resolve . . . This is a document that I would urge all Nova Scotians to read." I appreciated the minister's comments.

I'd like to ask the Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs in all sincerity, will he agree to join me in supporting legislation that would have all Parties in this House come together to examine issues of environmental racism?

HON. TONY INCE » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to say that we as a government are working on that. We are moving forward and I support anything that our government, the community, and provincial, federal, and municipal organizations will do to work towards correcting any of those long-standing issues.

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

EECD - DRUG EDUC.: CURRICULUM SUPPLEMENT - UPDATE

[Page 864]

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : My question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. On April 3, 2012, 15-year-old Olivia Jollota died as the result of an accidental prescription drug overdose. Her mother, Dale, has become an advocate for drug education and awareness and helped develop a curriculum supplement in 2015, to address drug education from Grades 7 to 9. My question for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development is, with a growing epidemic in opioid-related deaths and addictions, why has this curriculum supplement not been updated to include important information about fentanyl, carfentanyl, and harm-reduction strategies like naloxone?

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : That is a very important question to ask. I do want to clarify for the House that the healthy living curriculum from P to 12, drug use, opioid use is a part of that curriculum. We are in the process of updating that curriculum, I believe from Grade 4 to Grade 8, if memory serves me correctly. Of course, any subject matter expertise that we can use to enhance that would be greatly appreciated.

MR. HALMAN « » : I appreciate the minister's response. As the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development knows, a curriculum supplement is not required to be taught in our classrooms. It must be mandated as an outcome, to be required teaching. We have evidence of children in our province as young as Grade 5 experimenting with prescription pills. Knowing this, my question to the minister is, why has drug education not been mandated as an outcome in Nova Scotia?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : This is a very important issue. We want our healthy living curriculum to be fulsome and to educate our children in a wide range of areas. That includes the negative impacts of drug use and misuse. We are in the process of reviewing that curriculum right now. I am happy to receive any outside expertise to help us enhance that, so we can have the best product possible for our kids, that will help empower them to make the best decisions possible in school and in life.

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

EMO: BUDGET (FALL 2017) - DISASTER ASSISTANCE EXPENDITURE

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : In the budget documents that were presented, this year's budget documents, the biggest expenditure for the Emergency Management Organization was an unplanned expenditure of $17.61 million for disaster assistance. Last year, 2016-17, was estimated for only $376,000, and for this fiscal year, the estimated budget amount is $302,000. Can the minister please inform this House, if the total expenditures over the $17 million last year, were floods in Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and what amount may still be outstanding? If not for those floods, what was it for?

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : I thank the member for the question. That large increase in the expense reflects the flood that happened in Cape Breton. That reflects the payments that we have given out to EMO, which is approximately $14 million that has been distributed to residents across the CBRM and beyond. That also includes some of the costs associated with hall rentals and other infrastructure that we needed to support the families during the storm. That's the reflection in the budget.

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MR. JOHNS « » : Well, according to the disaster financial assistance arrangements with the federal government, the first $3 million, I believe, does not qualify for federal assistance and cost-sharing. There is no note in the budget document, though, whether or not the department will be going after any of the outstanding $17 million expenditure that was done. Could the minister clarify whether or not the government plans on going after the federal assistance program from Ottawa for the floods in Cape Breton over the $3 million that doesn't qualify?

MR. MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Most of that money is going to be recoverable. We're still going through the disaster financial assistance process. Of the 1,168 applications that we have received, about 85 per cent have been processed at this point to the tune of $14 million. We're still working with some of the small businesses in the community, as we work through various insurance companies to determine their qualifications for the disaster financial assistance. Of course, we continue to tally the total from the flood last year in regard to some of the other expenses that were incurred, through staffing disaster financial assistance folks who were helping go through the over 1,100 applications to support Cape Bretoners.

[2:45 p.m.]

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

MUN. AFFAIRS - PORT HAWKESBURY: PVSC CLOSURE - CONSULT

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to direct my question to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, who seems to be very popular today. This past Tuesday, the Port Hawkesbury Town Council was informed that the Property Valuation Services Corporation would be closing its office in Port Hawkesbury in February 2018. Port Hawkesbury Town Council was only made aware of the closing because PVSC needed to give notice to its leaseholder, which is the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

My question is, will the minister explain why PVSC did not consult with the municipalities it serves, including the Town of Port Hawkesbury, before closing this office, even though PVSC is largely funded by these municipalities?

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : I'd like to thank the member for the question. PVSC is independent of government. It's a stand-alone organization that has its stand-alone board of directors. Any decision to close the office would be a decision of that organization.

[Page 866]

MS. PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, this office serves the communities of Port Hawkesbury, Isle Madame, St. Peters, Louisdale, and L'Ardoise, which are all in my constituency, but they also serve the constituencies within Inverness, Guysborough, and Antigonish. This is a cut, yet again, in a long line of service reductions to rural Nova Scotia and the Strait area in particular.

I'd like to ask the minister to explain to the people of the Strait area, and the other broader area which the PVSC serves, why they will need to travel to Sydney or Truro - over an hour away - to access this provincial service.

MR. MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Thanks to the member for the follow-up. Again, PVSC is independent, so the decision for them to close that office would be the decision of their board. I've seen some media coverage from the mayor of Port Hawkesbury expressing her concerns about the closure. I personally reached out to the mayor of Port Hawkesbury. I haven't had the opportunity to have that conversation, but when I do have that conversation, I will relay that information to the member.

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

PSC - STAFFING: VACANCIES/TEMP. SERVICE - DIRECTIVE

MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : This question is for the Minister of the Public Service Commission. Mr. Speaker, in the Budget Address, the minister referred to our people as our greatest assets. While I would certainly agree with that idea, it is noticeable in the budget this government put forward, not a single department spent the amount that they had budgeted for staff.

My question to the Minister of the Public Service Commission is, has the commission directed departments to leave positions vacant rather than ensuring that good jobs are available for Nova Scotians?

HON. TONY INCE « » : No, we have not.

MS. MARTIN « » : Mr. Speaker, our caucus requested an accounting of the use of temp services within government departments between 2015 and 2017. Across nine departments, the government spent almost $1.5 million. Service Nova Scotia alone spent almost $900,000 on temp services.

Is this minister satisfied to fund short-term, low-wage, precarious work rather than good jobs for the people of Nova Scotia?

MR. INCE « » : We are a government that is looking to support and increase and grow the Public Service. (Applause) As was mentioned before, we've provided a service where we've brought 2,500 young people into the Public Service.

[Page 867]

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

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of questions for the Minister of Community Services, but I'm going to change it to the Minister of Business. This question deals with the railcar plant in Trenton.

In 1995, Greenbrier closed the facility down and moved back to the United States. The government at the time did a fair amount of work in Spain, India, and South Korea looking for a potential buyer. South Korea came along and the windmill plant came into effect.

I guess my question to the minister is, could we have a rough list of companies that PricewaterhouseCoopers had some serious dialogue with over the last few years?

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

I know you're the ultimate authority in this House of Assembly, but during Question Period, there is a long tradition of some kind of banter back and forth. I believe in O'Brien and Bosc on Page 306 - if I'm not mistaken - talks about how, as long as it's not impeding the Speaker's ability to hear the questions and answers - I'm just wondering if the Speaker could explain his decision on clamping down so much on the banter back and forth between the Opposition and the government?

MR. SPEAKER « » : I very much appreciate the question. I believe the answer was right in your question.

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

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 into a Committee of the Whole on Supply.

[Page 868]

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.

[2:51 p.m. The House resolved into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Chuck Porter in the Chair.]

[7:12 p.m. The Committee of the Whole on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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. 16.

Bill No. 16 - Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act.

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

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 16, the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act, be now read a second time.

Earlier this week, Mr. Speaker, our government introduced new legislation to promote the rights of adult Nova Scotians who cannot make some important decisions for themselves. Until 2016, the Nova Scotia law governing this area was the Incompetent Persons Act, which was out of date. It took an all or nothing approach to adult capacity.

[Page 869]

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court was critical of that approach and in 2016 it determined that certain sections of the Act were unconstitutional, and government agreed. The Court at that time gave government one year to replace the Act.

This week, Mr. Speaker, we brought forward modernized legislation in an area that affects some of the most vulnerable people in Nova Scotia. A few examples, Mr. Speaker; adults with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, seniors with age-related conditions like dementia and adults whose injury - perhaps a stroke - impairs their decision-making. This Act will help adults and their families when important decisions need to be made. It does this by stating that an adult has the right to dignity and autonomy and this must be respected. It states that an adult is presumed to have decision-making capacity unless there is evidence that they don't have that capacity. It states that people who make decisions for another adult, must do so in the least restrictive and intrusive way possible.

[7:15 p.m.]

Under the previous legislation, Mr. Speaker - the Incompetent Persons Act - an adult either had the capacity to make important decisions or they did not have the capacity at all. As I mentioned, it was an all-or-nothing approach. However, we know that the capacity to make decisions is not all or nothing. For example, an adult may have the ability to decide where they prefer to live; however, they may not understand the consequences of making financial decisions like investments or credit card purchases. The old Act didn't make that distinction. We had to address that and we believe this bill has done just that.

This legislation represents a major step forward in promoting the rights of persons with diminished capacity. It is also aligned with Canada's interpretation on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Canada recognizes that guardianship is acceptable in appropriate circumstances, when effective safeguards are in place.

With the passage of this bill a representative can be appointed by the court to support adult Nova Scotians who are unable to make decisions in certain areas of their lives. The representative is responsible for making decisions in the area and, Mr. Speaker, I want to clarify - only the areas where the person does not have capacity. The representative must always consider the adult's wishes, values, and beliefs, when making decisions for them. They must also communicate the decisions to them in a manner that they understand.

This is a progressive and modernized piece of legislation that includes elements of both supportive and representative decision making. So, how does this bill work? Where there is a concern that an adult may not have the capacity to make important decisions for themselves, the bill will allow someone, an interested person, to apply to the court to represent the adult in making decisions in one or more areas. An expert such as a health care professional will assess the adult's capacity to make decisions. The court will decide whether the person applying to be a representative is suitable.

[Page 870]

The language in the bill has changed. Now people who are acting as guardians are called representatives. The new Act also clarifies their responsibilities and their duties. One of those duties is to respect the autonomy of the adult they represent. Many of the people who were guardians under the old Act are family members caring for someone they love. That work likely already consumes a great deal of their energy and time. The change from a guardianship model to a representative model does not automatically mean those with current orders need to apply to the court to keep their status as decision makers. However, they may have a guardianship order for an adult who has some capacity to make their own decisions; in those circumstances, they have an obligation to seek a review of their existing court order.

Assessing the capacity of adults will be a key part of this new model. Under the previous legislation, only physicians could assess capacity. We are expanding those numbers of health care professionals who are able to perform these assessments. The new Act gives authority to create standardized criteria for those doing capacity assessments, such as physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and occupational therapists. Some health and social work professionals will require training and qualification. This will become part of the work in the coming months. And also important for families is that the new legislation clearly outlines the duties and responsibilities of representatives - they must make decisions in the least restrictive and least intrusive manner; they must inform adults of decisions and encourage participation in those decisions; and they must always consider the adult's prior instructions, wishes, values, and beliefs, when making these decisions.

In case something goes wrong, there must be avenues to address problems. The new legislation deals with this. Any individual, the adult, or any other person who does not feel the order is warranted, has the right to file a complaint to the public trustee or request that the court review the order. If a representative intentionally causes the adult mental or physical harm, damages their property, or misuses their personal information, they can be fined up to $10,000. It is important to note that the representative will not be held liable if they act reasonably and in good faith in carrying out duties and responsibilities.

This bill is a bill of last resort. It's legislation of last resort. We understand that in many cases these relationships work well - likely in most cases. As an example, many people today have power of attorney.

I'll speak briefly about our process in developing this bill. The new Act will fulfill concerns raised by the court. Government consulted with lawyers, guardians, and organizations representing adults with disabilities. Staff also spoke with adults who themselves may be the subject of a representative order - and I want to take this time to thank the experts and members of the public who took the time to share their experiences and expertise with us. Their input has helped us shape this bill.

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This bill reflects changes in society's understanding of "capacity" and its declaration that an adult has capacity to make decisions unless the contrary is shown. It will bring Nova Scotia a long way forward in this area of the law. This is a piece of legislation that I'm proud of.

We know the bill's progress through the Legislature will continue to interest people. We will work to make Law Amendments Committee accessible for those who would like to take part. We will provide services for people with disabilities, such as real-time captioning and ASL interpretation, plain-language documents to encourage participation from people with disabilities, and communications, as broadly as possible.

This legislation reflects a new way of thinking about how we work with adults with diminished capacity. Before the Act is in effect, we will have materials and information available to families and people with disabilities to help them go through the changes. We will also work with potential assessors to be sure that they have the continuing education they need to fulfill their roles.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, the Act must come into effect and be proclaimed by December 28, 2017, to meet the expectations of the court. We will see that it does.

With those few comments, I look forward to the comments of my colleagues.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for his comments. I want to congratulate him. He should be very proud of this bill. It's something that has been in the works for some time. I'm glad we were able to come to this Fall session, and I'm honoured to stand in my place and say a few words.

Let me first thank the minister and his department for changing the name of this bill. I was appalled, to be perfectly honest, when I learned of the name "Incompetent Persons Act." My jaw actually dropped. I was like, are you kidding me? No disrespect to the lawyers or whoever drafted it, but really, my first thoughts were, where's the empathy and compassion when naming this bill? The name automatically sent a very pretentious signal to me, an unworthiness, so I thank the minister and his department for changing the name.

I was first made aware of this bill two years ago, when we learned of a missing young man from Pictou County, Landon Webb. I'm sure many in this Chamber are aware of Landon Webb. Sadly, at the time, Landon had taken off to Alberta, but did return home to Nova Scotia safely.

To me, Landon Webb is the beautiful catalyst for why this piece of legislation is finally being revisited and given a deadline, too, which is very important. I believe that deadline was for this December. I would recommend to anyone in the Chamber that, if you haven't had the chance to go to Landon Webb's story on The Fifth Estate, you do so this evening. It's an incredible story, an incredible journey, and it swelled my heart and broke it at the same time.

[Page 872]

Landon was just a young man who wanted to be accepted, who wanted to have a sense of belonging in society. He grew up in a very loving family with three other brothers, and he loved to run and bike and swim and play pool, and actually, in his documentary, he stated that he had quite a happy upbringing.

Things got difficult for Landon when he was around - just before 10. He struggled with some developmental and intellectual delay, mostly with reading, writing, and math, but I would not say socially. At the time, his parents, who cared dearly, felt that it was best to take Landon out of school. Landon came out of school around Grade 5, I believe, for a year or two, then he went back into school, and they took him back out. He tells a story in this documentary. He recalls being taken out and realizing that his only friends were his pony and dog. That really hit me with some sadness because I don't believe he should have been pulled out of school. But that was not for me to decide.

He always seemed to be tested on his IQ but never his social skills, his social abilities, and that is really difficult. It's a jagged pill to swallow, to realize that we always seem to be tested on our IQ but never our social skills. Basically, what happened is Landon felt very smothered. At the age of 22, his parents sent him to King's Regional Rehabilitation Centre, where he went AWOL 240 times; took off, ran away, and went to Alberta; actually held a job down there until his parents were able to get him back here.

I won't give away all the story, I just hope that perhaps you will take a half-hour tonight to go and watch The Fifth Estate. It's a fabulous documentary.

Nova Scotia institutionalizes more people with intellectual disabilities than any other province in Canada. I find that we're a little bit behind here in getting this legislation here, but we're finally here and I think we're making some really good steps. The Nova Scotia Law Reform Commission identified major problems within this legislation in 1995 - that was 22 years ago. Back then, the lawyers who contributed to the commission definitely got it right. Much of what they said two decades ago is contained in this bill.

Sadly, I have to say that I don't believe it goes far enough. There are two or three things that I think are missing from this bill. This group of lawyers saw a problem with the all-or-nothing approach to guardianship contained in the Incompetent Persons Act. To quote the report, "People are labelled as competent or incompetent without recognizing that people may be competent to make some decisions and not others." We heard the minister give examples of this as well.

"People may be incompetent only some of the time. There are of course some examples of people who are totally unable to make decisions, such as a person in a consistent vegetative state. But this is quite rare and most decision-making limitations are partial. In view of the principles of respect and equality, this all or nothing approach is absolutely inappropriate and is not accepted in today's society."

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So here we are, 20-some years later and the court sees the same issues. This legislation that has a profound and everlasting effect on the lives of people, must be addressed and finalized by this December. It must be used, though, as a last resort when all other alternatives have been tried or fully considered or exhausted. So, I will say, this bill is absolutely, definitely a step in the right direction; however, it does fall short to promote the dignity, autonomy, independence, social inclusion and freedom of decision-making adults who have intellectual and other disabilities.

[7:30 p.m.]

There is a colossal imbalance, which is my observation. I feel that, this has also been reaffirmed though, by the Canadian and the Nova Scotia Associations for Community Living who were part of the consultation. I am going to read - they actually met with the - I can't say the minister - but definitely his department as recently as just this Monday and felt that this bill was not ready. They actually sent out a press release as of October 3rd.

If I may just read a statement from this press release: "The Adult Capacity and Decision-Making Act introduced in the Nova Scotia Assembly Monday falls far short of its stated aim to 'promote the dignity, autonomy, independence, social inclusion and freedom of decision-making of adults' who have intellectual and other disabilities. Minister of Justice . . . assures that the Bill finds the right balance between autonomy and protection. However, our closer look finds an alarming imbalance."

I ask that perhaps we go back to this stakeholder and have them clarify and work to get this bill right. I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, also about the existing orders that have to transition into this new system. The onus is on the guardian to apply for a review if they believe there is or has been a substantial change since the order was made. Failing to do so though, the person under guardianship can apply for a review but I believe that most people acting as guardians feel they are acting in the best interests of another adult and that the adult needs their help. They are unlikely then to apply for a review and have the resources and the networks to know how to do that.

I worry that adults under guardianship will not know that this review is available to them or even how to go about launching an application for review. Mr. Speaker, I understand that the province does not know how many of these historical guardianships exist as it was stated at the technical briefing. Therefore, it will be almost impossible to inform everyone of their new rights and responsibilities under this new Act. This deeply concerns me and I wish there was something in the bill that gave more indication that a new position, or under the Department of Justice, could be created to oversee these past and new guardianships. There needs to be more resources around education and awareness. People need to know where to reach out for the help.

[Page 874]

I know that Mr. Archie Kaiser made many worthy suggestions and was also a wonderful stakeholder. Some of his suggestions were accepted but one suggestion that is of most relevance and importance is the ability for the bill to ensure that any supports and interventions required for vulnerable adults are closely monitored to protect their rights and dignity, both as individuals and as members of a vulnerable group. This bill lacks resources for exactly this.

There is no financial investment or attachment to this bill and I just don't know how you can move forward with this bill without having any kind of financial attachment, because who is going to do the support? Who is going to do the monitoring? Are we putting more work on the employees already in the Justice Department or are we creating something new that is going to require new people? I think we have to look at the financial aspect of it too. Not that I would be against that, I am actually promoting that, that I would like to see some type of hub or a couple of individuals named to specifically look after these cases.

Mr. Speaker, one of the most alarming aspects of this bill is that the regulations that go hand in hand with the bill have not been complete. What I mean by that, to all the members in the Chamber, is that we have a bill going forward but the regulations are not complete to be attached to the bill. So once again, why are we rushing this? There's no rush. We know we have to get it done before December and I know that's not far off but why are we introducing a bill without having the regulations actually complete and ready to go along with that bill? To me it makes no sense.

My other concern as I heard the minister speak before that it was just physicians who could do capacity assessments. Well I realize there are a lot of stakeholders that the minister's department have spoken to but I, along with my colleagues, have spoken to lots of stakeholders too. And it's not that OTs and psychologists and psychiatrists and doctors and anyone in the medical field doesn't necessarily want to take on these responsibilities but they have told us that they are not prepared, they are not capable, they have not had any training. So once again, is there going to be some type of financial investment for individuals to go out and get the proper training? I just feel there's a lot of concern around the medical field and the onus being put on them and they're not comfortable with that. They are dealing with someone's life and they're not comfortable making these assessments without any training. So I ask that the minister go back and reconsider whether we can find some resources. Or maybe there's a plan that I'm just not aware of.

We have found, in the past, with other large and important bills, that the people who are most often affected by them are not always happy with the government's approach. In this particular case, the Department of Justice was still meeting with stakeholders, as I've mentioned earlier, just this past Monday.

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Lots of harm can be done with great intentions. I know there are great intentions here from the minister and his department. I'm sure we can work them out. I'm sure that we can make a few amendments and go back and speak to the stakeholders and get this right.

I look forward to other colleagues in the Chamber here speaking on this. I'm particularly interested in my own colleague who will be getting up shortly to speak to this and has a lot of wisdom and input towards this bill. For that reason, I look forward to hearing from the witnesses at the Standing Committee on Law Amendments but, sadly, would not be able to pass this bill at the moment.

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

MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : I'm pleased to rise and speak to Bill No. 16, the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act. I'll start out by saying that I think the member for Pictou West and I spoke to many of the same stakeholders. So many of my comments may be repetitive, but I will say them anyway just for emphasis. Maybe if we say it twice, it will have double the impact.

To start, anyone who has encountered this issue in their own personal lives understands its complexity. This is not a simple area. It's not a simple area of the law. It's not a simple area of life.

The member for Pictou West went into the Landon Webb case in some detail. Of course, that case is, in many ways, the reason we're here discussing that. But it's also a good illustration of the challenges of what we're discussing, which is this all-or-nothing approach that we just heard about. The court's decision to strike the Incompetent Persons Act placed an onus on government to replace this legislation and really afforded government quite a rare opportunity to get it right, to engage the law in the area, to engage stakeholders, to look at the work undertaken by governments in other jurisdictions, and to update the legislation so that it accurately reflects reality and is appropriate in all its areas.

Mr. Speaker, once again we have been told, at the very least on that previous laundry list, that engagement by this government on this legislation has fallen short. Knowing that time is of the essence, nonetheless, there has been time, and we have heard from many stakeholders who are not happy with the way that went. That being said, I know the government has been provided some feedback from a number of stakeholders regarding the redrafting of this legislation. Like my colleagues, we will be listening very closely to see what those stakeholders bring forward at Law Amendments.

As we just heard, many of them were only presented with the final draft of this legislation on Monday. Just to refresh the members' memories, Monday was in fact the day that this was introduced. We have heard that many of the people in that room being presented with this didn't know that the bill was being introduced on Monday and only found that out later through a press release. Clearly, there have been some challenges in that area.

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In the meantime, I am concerned by the initial reaction of the Nova Scotia and Canadian Associations for Community Living, which issued a press release which the member for Pictou West quoted from. The release was highly critical of the bill and called it "An Alarming Violation of Human Rights." I'll repeat the quote as well that the member for Pictou West provided to the House. They state that the bill "falls far short of its stated aim to 'promote the dignity, autonomy, independence, social inclusion and freedom of decision-making of adults.'" These are strong words from organizations that are on the ground working with those who need varying levels of help and guidance making decisions that will impact their lives.

The organization's press release points to a number of ways, and we have heard many of them, that this bill could be strengthened. They highlight the need to recognize a duty to provide reasonable accommodations in the decision-making process. They note that this duty is recognized by international law and in Canada by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. They advise guaranteeing "access to alternatives as a first response where a person's decision-making capacity is questioned by others." They suggest that "This can be done by providing access to rights advisors - whether in the health care system or through community agencies." Stemming from this previous suggestion, they suggest to "Designate community agencies to provide independent advocacy, rights advice, communication intermediaries and other accommodations,. . ." would be a solution.

I also want to speak a little bit to what the member for Pictou West mentioned, which I think is really one of the most alarming aspects of this bill. This bill, Mr. Speaker, deals with marginalized people and so, by definition, these folks don't have access to the same, at the very least, decision-making capacity, if they're under one of these orders but, beyond that, you know, in many cases, are isolated in other ways. There's no dollar amount that goes with this bill, unlike where we landed with the Accessibility Act. There's no position that goes with this bill.

Despite the assurances of the Minister of Justice that there will be education and rollout - I take the government at their word that they'll do that - but, in an ongoing way, it's completely unclear from what's in front of us, how people, both those folks who are representatives, will know what that entails, being a representative; particularly when we're moving to a more complex scheme which is a decision-based representation. It's no longer saying you're the guardian, you make all the decisions. We're saying you make some decisions, and that's not a simple thing, and so we want to be sure that people understand what those decisions are and where the boundaries of that representation order is, and I'm not satisfied at all that those are laid out here.

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They also argue the need to "Recognize supported decision making as a valid legal alternative" - the community groups that we spoke with, whereby a person can have their representative assist in making decisions, without being authorized to have power over the person's decision. So, it's another layer of complexity that these advocates who have been working in this field for decades, feel is absolutely required in order to be supportive of this bill.

Finally, the release that I referenced earlier suggests that the bill should require evidence that reasonable accommodations and alternatives have been exhausted, prior to the court appointing a representative to make decisions. Again, really shifting - you know, I think that the spirit of this bill is absolutely right, but I'm not convinced after talking to stakeholders and to lawyers, that the language gets us there. So, these are all the ways in which stakeholders are telling us that we're not there yet.

Now, through conversations I've had with the NSACL, I know this list of recommendations is not exhaustive but it sends a signal, for sure, that stakeholders have major concerns. In addition to those, some of my concerns are that as we move away from the all-or-nothing approach, more towards a continuum, the bill doesn't insure the necessary supports will be in place to allow those striving for independence to move along that continuum. So, we have heard, you know, I think from the minister tonight and at other times, that that's a very common scenario. So, if we're dealing with someone, for instance, who may have had a traumatic brain injury, you know, those are things from which someone can in fact improve; we want to help people improve. I think that that's underlying all of this, is that we want to help people live their lives to the fullest capacity and we don't see that embodied in this language.

Like the member for Pictou West, I'm also concerned about the provisions regarding the transition away from existing guardianship orders. This is really key, because this bill grandfathers existing guardianship orders and then says that they will be reviewed at the request of the guardian. If you're paying attention to the power dynamics present here, that simply doesn't make any sense. So, we're moving from a model which, just for the record, has been declared unconstitutional - we've struck down the law - but we're taking those orders that existed under that Act that is unconstitutional, and just slipping them into this new Act and saying, oh, no, they're okay now unless the people with the power decide that maybe there's a problem and then they'll come and review it. That's deeply problematic and I suggest that we may end up back in the courts again.

The government's process for developing this bill seems eerily similar to the initial accessibility bill, as I said at the beginning, which the government had to withdraw. Like that process, this one started with government doing some initial consultation before drafting the bill in isolation. Now that this bill has been drafted and introduced to the House, stakeholders are once again scrambling to respond. I am concerned that unlike the accessibility bill, which was initially withdrawn, the government will continue to move forward with this bill to meet the requirements of the court to have the new legislation in place within the time.

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[7:45 p.m.]

That's why I think this legislative process, which includes the ability of the Opposition to put forward amendments and the power of government to make amendments, is so important. So, I would echo the comments of the member for Pictou West, and say we look forward to Law Amendments. We look forward to government listening to stakeholders and ensuring that this law - again the spirit of which, I think, is absolutely in the right place and the right direction - in fact embodies that spirit and serves the people who will be subject to it.

So with that, I look forward to the feedback that will be provided at Law Amendments Committee and reported back on the third reading.

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

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : I just want to add a few comments to those of my fellow colleagues but from a different angle of concern. Primarily, from the concern of those who are going to be charged with doing the capacity evaluations. As a health professional, there is always a need for our colleges and our collective organizations to know exactly what each of our professions is going to be asked to do.

If you are an occupational therapist or psychologist or whoever it is who is going to be doing these capacity evaluations, there is significant training that goes into them. It is not simply enough to say to them, we are going to give you permission to do this. There has to be very clear guidelines and the colleges of each of our professions has to accept those guidelines and be willing to certify that people are able to do them.

I am concerned that we are going to be giving permission to different aligned health professionals without proper training, certification and notification of the colleges, and consultation with them. It is my understanding that several of the colleges have not been consulted; we are concerned about that. Again, restating the fact that we are going to have a bill without regulations, we are not keen on that aspect of it as well.

The biggest concern for us as health professionals is, when we make a capacity evaluation, whether it is for physical or intellectual or mental, that there is some oversight and that whatever decision we make today is not now carved in stone and exists forever. For example, Workers' Compensation, disability insurance, if we write a report, they will request a review in one or two years. Currently, the way I understand the bill, there is no requirement for a review unless somebody thinks there might be a problem, and yet that is not the way we operate with any of the other capacity evaluations that we do. So we are concerned about the lack of oversight and we would like the government to take a look at that prior to going to Law Amendments.

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The second thing is that we have a cost associated with whoever is doing those assessments. I know that there are constituents who have to pay $1,500 to $2,000 to get an autism assessment for their child in order to gain access to resources in their schools. I am just wondering who is going to be paying for all of these capacity evaluations. Because for me to do a functional capacity evaluation for somebody for physical limitations is $1,500 to $2,000. I didn't charge that much but the majority did. And a psychologist is easily going to be that much or more and the other health professionals are equally going to charge that.

For physicians to do this kind of a capacity evaluation, I can tell you if you ask every single one of them, their burden of having to write reports for disability assessments already is astronomical and there are even many who are saying, I don't have the time nor the expertise. So when they are given between six and 15 minutes to see somebody, I wonder how they are going to be given the time and how they are going to be compensated for doing some kind of a detailed capacity assessment that encompasses so many things, financial, social, physical aspects of decision making. So, compensations of physicians and everybody else doing the assessments need to be included in this legislation, or at least in the regulation, which we haven't seen yet.

In closing, the other thing that I do want to encourage is that, I know from meeting with several of the stakeholders and, in particular, the NSACL. They were consulted back in November 2016, that was the initial meeting and then they were again consulted August 17th.

Their feeling and mine is that consultation can't just be lip service and we bring you in for a couple of hours, give you a brief look at a huge bill and then leave and assume that we've heard the last from you. I'm hoping that all of the stakeholders will get another chance to reply to the concerns that we are talking about tonight and that we won't just wait for the Committee on Law Amendments to hear from them.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues in Opposition for their comments and the obvious attention that they've extended this piece of legislation. I too want to identify that I look forward as well to the Committee on Law Amendments meetings on this matter.

I think what's important is we all have the same objective in achieving these outcomes for individuals who have diminished capacity. I remember specifically the interview of Mr. Landon Webb when he first spoke and how impressed I was with his ability to articulate himself and communicate effectively the challenges that he was facing. So that all-or-nothing approach, apparent to me, was not working.

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With those few comments, I rise to close debate on Bill No. 16.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 16. 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. 19.

Bill No. 19 - Consumer Protection Statutes.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 19 be read for a second time.

It's my pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to the amendments that will help ensure Nova Scotians are better protected and businesses are not burdened by unnecessary red tape. Nova Scotia's consumer protection laws span several Acts, many of which are decades old. Updates are required and today is the first step in modernizing these pieces of legislation. Amendments will be made to six Acts - the Cemetery and Funeral Services Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Reporting Act, Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act, Debt Collection and Management Reform Act, and the Mortgage Regulation Act.

First up are proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection Act relating to payday lenders. Our role as the regulator of this industry is to ensure borrowers are treated fairly, are protected and have access to information to make informed decisions. With this amendment, payday lenders will be required to both display and provide each borrower with information comparing the cost of payday loans to alternative credit products.

A recent study by the Financial Consumers Agency of Canada found that only 43 per cent of Canadian payday borrowers understand that payday loans are the most expensive form or credit. With this change, we want to help borrowers make informed financial decisions. This information will help protect consumers who may otherwise be unaware of the cost of borrowing from a payday lender.

The second amendment being made to the Consumer Protection Act relates to online payday loans. Currently the Act states that a payday lender who issues an online payday loan must provide the money within one hour. We know this can be an unrealistic time frame that is not always possible to meet. The requirement of "within an hour" in the Act will be changed to "same day". This bill aligns us with other provinces in this regard. These amendments are in response to the recommendations made in 2015 by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

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We will also correct an inconsistency across the Consumer Reporting Act and the Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act. Currently the Registrar of Credit is authorized to request additional information from permit holders or applicants under some Acts but not others. Amendments will be made to ensure the Registrar of Credit has the same authority to collect additional information under all Acts. Mr. Speaker, having this authority is valuable in cases where an application has other related businesses or if the registrar suspects criminal activity or outstanding judgements.

Another amendment will give the Registrar of Credit the authority to issue compliance orders, demand any lender - including payday lenders - to cease and desist non-compliant activity, and publicize information about non-compliant lenders, including unlicensed payday lenders located overseas, to warn consumers. This change will be a valuable tool in combatting illegal lending. Mr. Speaker, this will ensure the public is aware of known cases of non-compliance or other unlicensed online and in-person lenders.

An amendment is being made to the Mortgage Regulation Act to remove the requirement for mortgage borrowers to obtain independent legal advice before waiving deadlines for disclosure. This will ensure that mortgage borrowers will not face extra expenses or burden by having to consult a second lawyer in order to sign a mortgage on the same day they receive disclosure on the mortgage.

An amendment pertains to the Cemetery and Funeral Services Act and addresses requests from all stakeholders that we received last Fall. The proposed change, Mr. Speaker, would authorize the registrar to allow funeral homes to retain an administrative fee for prepaid funeral plans at an additional time in certain circumstances. While the fee will continue to be only collected once, the registrar could allow funeral homes to collect the fee when transferring the plan to another funeral home.

Other proposed amendments that will be made to the Acts are housekeeping items that correct typographical errors and update outdated references. Mr. Speaker, all these changes are part of Service Nova Scotia's commitment to protecting consumers, cutting red tape for business and modernizing its legislation to better meet the needs of Nova Scotians.

I will conclude my remarks, and I look forward to listening to the comments from my colleagues opposite.

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

[Page 882]

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : I don't want to be too critical tonight when the minister is bringing forward legislation with the purpose of protecting consumers. I think we're all in favour of that. I do look forward to Law Amendments Committee. I know that there's some legislation here that's impacting funeral homes, probably in their favour, which hopefully will also be in the favour of their consumers. I'm sure it will.

We look forward to Law Amendments and hearing from some of the parties who may be affected by the legislation to see what they will have to say. I think about lending, and I'm sure many of us come across this all the time. We have constituents who get into money problems, and oftentimes they've got credit card debt. They might come to us for some other reason, but soon you discover that they have credit card debt, or they have a loan with what may be called a payday lender, and they are paying exorbitant amounts of interest. They can't get caught back up, and really, they are in a jam. If this information helps to educate them before they take out that loan, I think that's a good thing.

I do worry, though, that they are in situations where they want money, and they have no other recourse to get it because oftentimes they don't have good credit. They can't afford to borrow it, but they still need it. So it's not going to fix everything, that's for sure. But I always encourage them if they do have debt, and they do still have some ability - if they own something like their home - perhaps to get rid of the debt, they can remortgage part of the home and get a much better interest rate. Then they can make a real promise to themselves that, whatever it is that has been causing problems with money, they can try to get some control over that.

Sometimes people need a little bit of help and guidance. I hope people get that when they go to the bank, but I know that sometimes they don't. At the end of the day, there's only so much that we in the Legislature can do to protect people. I do think this is something that is helpful. It at least might make them think.

Mr. Speaker, with that I am going to await the Law Amendments Committee and look forward to seeing if anybody from the public, or people who are impacted by the legislation, feel the need to speak up. I look forward to hearing what they have to say.

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

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : Plainly this bill is an amalgam of a series of very minor improvements to a set of six Statutes that are, as they say, being opened up to facilitate these improvements. We in the NDP are broadly supportive of these 38 legislative changes. However, I can't help but point out that Statutes in this bill are being opened up that have other avenues of possible and necessary improvements that are not touched at all by this bill.

[8:00 p.m.]

[Page 883]

This would be the case with the Consumer Protection Act, particularly in the area of payday lenders. Here I would think simply about the most deeply troublesome area of payday lenders, which is the subject of the rates themselves.

This is also true of the Cemetery and Funeral Services Act. The amendment that is contained here, amendment 1 in this series, tightens up in the area of the operation of prearranged funerals and their administration, but there is at least one aspect of this particular area that is unfortunately not being addressed while the Act is being improved. This has to do with the co-operative sector of the world of things that are overseen under the Cemetery and Funeral Services Act.

In the commercial sector of the funeral services industry, there are - and this is an example of them, here at item 1 - very complex and intricate rules about what must be done with monies that are set aside for a person's prearranged funeral. However, in the co-operative sector of the funeral services world, there is no such thing as prearrangement or prepaying. Rather, people purchase shares in a co-op, which are then held in consideration of the future time when a person's funeral expenses are incurred.

In our legislation in Nova Scotia, a great deal of protection is accorded to the monies that are set aside under prepaid funerals, and we have no provisions whatsoever for the monies that are set aside in the parallel co-operative sector. This is an area that I would recommend for the consideration of the next piece of legislation to come here under the title "An Act to Amend Various Consumer Protection Statutes," and I have nothing further to say about this one.

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the comments of my honourable colleagues opposite, and with that, I would look to close debate on Bill No. 19, the Consumer ProtectionStatutes.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 19. 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 « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. With that, we conclude government business for today.

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The House will meet again tomorrow, Friday, October 6th, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Following the daily routine and Question Period, we will move to the Committee of the Whole on Supply, and if time permits, we will call Bill No. 15, the Environment Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for the House to rise and meet again tomorrow, October 6th, at 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until tomorrow, October 6th, at 9:00 a.m.

[The House rose at 8:04 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 885]

RESOLUTION NO. 318

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas Lauchie and Jolene MacEachern of Folly River Farms in Debert, Colchester North, worked on the Eisses family farm for seven years to learn the operation, and in 2013 they took ownership; and

Whereas they introduced new technology, invested in infrastructure, improved the quality of their forage, and increased production by 20 per cent, and by maximizing animal health and nutrition programs and carefully managing debt, they have realized an increase in revenue every year; and

Whereas the couple have three children under 10 but still make time to act as 4-H volunteers, coach minor hockey, and serve in executive roles with the local preschool and School Advisory;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the MacEacherns for winning the title of Atlantic Outstanding Young Farmers and for being one of seven regional finalists who will attend Canada's Outstanding National event on November 29th - December 3rd in Penticton, British Columbia.

RESOLUTION NO. 319

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas Charles Homer Barnhill purchased what became known as Barnhill's General Store in Debert, Colchester North, in 1921, and in 1961 his son, Wendell, bought the store, which still operated in the traditional style of the day when the customer brought the store owner a shopping list and the merchant filled it for them; and

Whereas in 1960 the store was renovated and became Barnhill's Superette, and in 1983 Wendell's son, Randy, took over the business when Wendell retired; and

Whereas under Randy's ownership the store offered groceries, fresh meat and produce, takeout pizza, video rentals, and ice cream, but on August 30, 2017, after 96 years, this family business closed its doors;

[Page 886]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Barnhill's Superette for being the information centre of the community and for their many years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 320

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas Brianna Harris, a 20-year-old from Valley, Colchester North, is a champion athlete and has won many gold medals at both the provincial and national levels; and

Whereas Brianna was a member of Canada's 4x400m snowshoeing relay team at the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Austria, and along with her team, which included Rene Pelletier, Sandra Smith, and Crystal Young, crossed the finish line well ahead of the second-place American team; and

Whereas at the Special Olympics Canada 2016 in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, she received three gold medals in snowshoeing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brianna Harris for having the determination to do her best and win another gold medal at the World Winter Games.

RESOLUTION NO. 321

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award was founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh K.G.K.T., with the award coming to Canada in 1963, running in 130 countries around the world; and

Whereas Robert Fletcher, having already earned his Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh's Awards, has completed the requirements and earned his Gold Award; and

Whereas the goal of the award is to encourage young people's participation in activities which they already enjoy and others they have yet to experience within a non-competitive and fun environment;

[Page 887]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Robert Fletcher on achieving his Gold Award and wish him great success in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 322

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award was founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh K.G. K.T., with the award coming to Canada in 1963 and running in 130 countries around the world; and

Whereas Spencer Wright, having already earned his Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh's Awards, has completed the requirements and earned his Gold Award; and

Whereas the goal of the Award is to encourage young people's participation in activities which they already enjoy and others they have yet to experience within a non-competitive and fun environment;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Spencer Wright on achieving his Gold Award and wish him great success in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 323

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas Yarmouth County's Alec Cottreau plays for the Southwest Fusion volleyball club; and

Whereas Alec Cottreau made the Nova Scotia men's indoor volleyball team which competed at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg; and

Whereas Alec Cottreau, 16 years old, was the youngest player on the squad;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Yarmouth County's Alec Cottreau on the impressive achievement of competing for Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Summer Games, wish him continued success in the sport of volleyball, and thank him for bringing such pride to his community.

[Page 888]

RESOLUTION NO. 324

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas Yarmouth runner Hudson Grimshaw-Surette was a member of Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg; and

Whereas Hudson ran the 800 metres and was part of Nova Scotia's 4x400-metre relay squad; and

Whereas Hudson, a member of Dalhousie University's cross country and track and field program, is a five-time NSSAF provincial champion in both the 800-metre and 1,500-metre events; has broken 11 provincial records over the course of his junior high and high school careers; holds eight records at the junior, intermediate, and senior levels; and is currently ranked first in Canada in the U-20 indoor 1,000-metre and eighth in the U-20 600-metre events;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Hudson Grimshaw-Surette on being a member of Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Summer Games, recognize his many remarkable and historic achievements in cross country and track and field, and wish him much continued success.