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/
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TIR: Meat Cove Road - Repair,
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
N.S. Home for Colored Children Restorative Inq.:
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Gov't. (N.S.): Reflection & Action Task Group - Priority,
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 428, Acad. Affs. - Gran Fondo: Organizers - Congrats.,
Vote - Affirmative
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Bramble Hill Farm: Natural Methods - Acknowledge,
Lun. Yacht Club: Sonar World Championships - Congrats.,
Foster Fam. App. Wk. (Oct. 15-21): Foster Families - Thank,
Walk Against Violence (19th Anl.): Jason MacCullough
Glendenning, Const. Stephanie - Assoc. of Wom. Police: Com. Serv
Barton, Bradford J.: Order of N.S. (2017) Recipient - Congrats.,
Small Bus. Wk.: DeeDee's Ice Cream - Recognize,
Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic: Fall River Gr. Opening - Congrats.,
Squarey, Donald: Neon Swamp Gallery - Best Wishes,
The Sou'Wester: Anniv. (50th) - Congrats.,
Victorian Faire (Amherst): Anniv. (1st) - Congrats.,
Card, Ashley: Kayaking Achievements - Congrats.,
Dewtie, Mallory & Joey: Foster Parents - Thank,
Food Run (5th Anl.): Organizers/Participants - Recognize,
Taylor, Hailey: Duke of Edinburgh's Award: Bronze Standard
Brown, Chet: Country Music Career - Congrats.,
McLean, Heather: Can. Summer Games Golf Team - Congrats.,
Curry, Bill: Outdoor Writers of Can. Award - Congrats.,
Liverpool Legion: Thanksgiving Initiative - Thank,
United Way (Lunen. Co.) - Bikes for Kids Prog.: Vol. Efforts
Hay, Bill/Mastodon Ridge: Success - Acknowledge,
Eric Yeung/May Garden Rest.: Grand Opening (Bedford) - Congrats.,
C.B.-Richmond Sm. Bus.: Econ./Social Legacy - Acknowledge,
Johnson, Cabella: Fundraising Efforts - Commend,
North Sydney BIDA: Front Street Frolic - Salute,
Mental Health Programs - Gov't. Support,
Antigonish C of C - Exc. in Bus. Award: Nominees - Congrats.,
Murphy, Jackson: Goaltending Ability - Celebrate,
Bruce, Jason (J. Bru): Accomplishments - Recognize,
Sam's Restaurant (Pictou Co.) - Recognize,
Privateer Days: Volunteer Efforts - Applaud,
Dart. South: Sm. Bus. Success - Congrats.,
Crocker, Claudia: Divert N.S. Scholarship - Congrats.,
Amherst Ramblers: Successful Season - Best Wishes,
Camsa: Captains & Cooks Fundraiser - Recognize,
Spires, Petra - Valley Harvest Marathon: High Finish - Congrats.,
FRABA: Voice for Small Business - Congrats.,
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 270, Prem. - Cap and Trade Plan: Increased Cost - Explain,
No. 271, Gov't. N.S./Gov. Can. - Health Accord: Bad Deal - Admit,
No. 272, Gov't. (N.S.): Carbon Pricing Plan - Explain,
No. 273, Gov't. (N.S.): Rising Rents - Crisis,
No. 274, Aboriginal Affs.: Little Bras d'Or Indian Vill. Band Assoc
No. 275, Prem.: Leg. Amend. Requests (HRM): Gov't. (N.S.)
No. 276, H&W: Health Care Budget - Inadequacy,
No. 277, Justice: Prov. Court (Truro) - Replacement,
No. 278, EECD - School Review Process: Impact - Discussion,
No. 279, H&W: EHS Changes - Review,
No. 280, H&W - Palliative Care Groups: Submissions - Respond,
No. 281, Environ. - Little Albro Lake: Floating Yellow Heart
No. 282, H&W - Diagnostic Imaging: Wait Times - Solution,
No. 283, H&W - Valley Hospice: Construction - Timeline,
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 12, Boxing Authority Act
Vote - Affirmative
No. 17, Solemnization of Marriage Act
Vote - Affirmative
No. 19, Consumer Protection Statutes
Vote - Affirmative
No. 29, Marine Renewable-energy Act
Vote - Affirmative
No. 33, Gas Distribution Act
Vote - Affirmative
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Oct. 23rd at 7:00 p.m
HALIFAX, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017
Sixty-third General Assembly
Hon. Kevin Murphy
Mr. Chuck Porter, Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS
HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition on behalf of the people of Meat Cove and the operative clause is: "It is in the Strongest we offer our support in this Regard and Implore (Department Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal) that improvements must be made for this Community and their (Well-Being!)"
It is signed by 60-plus residents and I have attached my name, as per the Rules of the House.
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS
HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to table a report to the Legislature called Reflection and Action Task Group. It's regarding the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry.
The honourable Premier.
THE PREMIER « » : I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the east gallery where we're joined today by Tony Smith and Gerry Morrison. Many of you know Tony and Gerry. They are co-chairmen of VOICES, which stands for the Victims of Institutional Child Exploitation Society. They are also members of the Council of Parties and I would ask them both to stand, and on behalf of all members of this House, I want to express my great appreciation to both of you for your continued commitment to ensuring that everyone sees himself in this province. (Standing Ovation)
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, today, I tabled the first report of the Reflection and Action Task Group, outlining government's work to date supporting the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry. In 2015, our government committed to holding a public inquiry into the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. The abuse and neglect suffered by these former residents of the home is one of our province's greatest tragedies and our government has apologized for that.
The Restorative Inquiry represents an important opportunity for us to address the legacy and impact of systemic racism and inequality in our province. The Restorative Inquiry includes three phases of work, relationship building, learning and understanding, and planning into action. The work of the inquiry is ongoing and is in the learning and understanding phase. It is work that will take time to ensure that it is done right. Government's work is supporting this process, and we're actively participating in the learning and understanding phase.
Government's engagement is coordinated primarily through the Reflection and Action Task Group. This group consists of deputy ministers and members of the inquiry, the Council of Parties. The role of the task force is to facilitate collaborative work across government to support the inquiry. The task group is mandated to report to the Legislature on an annual basis. The purpose of this report is to share government's work in advancing the goals, objectives, and impact of the historic inquiry. This is the task group's first report to be tabled and, within, we reaffirm government's ongoing commitment to the restorative process and the work of the inquiry.
It is important to note, this report is looking specifically at government's role in participation to date, not the full body of work that is being carried out by the Council of Parties. This initiative is an example of where the process is equally as important as the outcome. The process of the inquiry provides us with an opportunity, an opportunity to listen, to reflect on our past, and to build a foundation of shared understanding and healthier relationships for a better future.
We must continue to acknowledge as a province, that for generations we did not adequately meet the needs of African Nova Scotians. Government recognizes there is much work to do and is fully committed to restorative process, to learning and planning and acting together with our partners toward meaningful and sustainable changes.
This report summarizes government's engagement in, and support of the inquiry, and is just one step in the journey we are undertaking to understand and address how the legacy of systemic and institutional racism has impacted individuals, families, and communities for generations in our province.
Mr. Speaker, as I table this report today, I want to express my appreciation to the former residents of the home for identifying and sharing what matters from their experiences with the inquiry, as well as their desire for reconciliation. We thank them for their courage and perseverance in this process. Their strength, resilience, and their desire for healing and reconciliation is an inspiration for all Nova Scotians.
We embarked on this journey because we recognized that we must do better. We need to understand our past fully so that we can begin to address what to do next to ensure a better future for African Nova Scotian children and their families.
We recognize how difficult this process is for individuals, institutions, and communities. Government is fully committed to supporting this process. In the words of the residents who helped design this process, it is a journey to light.
While the inquiry mandate examines the story of the home, what happened, why it happened and why it matters for all of us, we know this story will also shine a light on the long-standing systemic racism that exists in Nova Scotia, and we know racism will continue to exist unless we intentionally act to eliminate its causes.
Addressing this truth and working to eliminate systemic racism in its current form is what our government is committed to do. We know this will take time and a collaborative effort; it requires all of us, in this House and in this province, to put aside our differences, to acknowledge the existence of racism and its impacts, and to work together to address and eliminate it.
Our participation, Mr. Speaker, is a priority and will remain one ongoing. Nova Scotia will only be the best province it can be if we work together to ensure all Nova Scotians are treated with dignity, equality, and respect, while having access to the opportunities our province has to offer.
Mr. Speaker, today's report represents one step forward in that journey. Thank you. (Standing Ovation)
HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, let me begin by thanking the Premier for providing me with a copy of his remarks in advance. I also want to join him in welcoming and thanking our friends Tony Smith and Gerry Morrison, the co-chairmen of VOICES, for joining us here in the House today.
Mr. Speaker, members who have been here for the past number of years will recall the journey that Tony and the members of VOICES have been on, both here in the House and across the province, as they decided to confront the story of the Home for Colored Children, the abuse and neglect that happened there, and to seek reconciliation. They showed great courage and bravery to bring such a tragic and personal experience to public light. Their continuing bravery in looking for their voices to be heard, for reconciliation to happen, and for real action to come out of the events at the Home for Colored Children deserves the tribute that the Premier and all MLAs are providing today as he tables the first report.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to say in response that I believe all of Nova Scotia needs to go down that same road, needs to show the same courage and bravery as Tony and the members of VOICES have shown, to also confront the awful story of what happened at the Home for Colored Children, to also seek understanding and reconciliation and commit ourselves to real action. Their story is not just a story of the Home for Colored Children, it is a story for all of Nova Scotia. We are all in this together and I hope that through this process that becomes clear.
Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, and sadly, the story of the Home for Colored Children is not a story of individual abuses and neglect, it is also a story of systemic racism. The residents are confronting that through this process and all Nova Scotians must confront it as well. I know it is a difficult thing for us to talk about but it must happen, and now it is happening.
Nova Scotia has a great history, it has many chapters but some of those chapters are not so great, and it's time that we read those chapters, Mr. Speaker, and learned the lessons from them. This process is a difficult one; it starts with learning and understanding. That is a process not just for the former residents but for all Nova Scotians. It moves on to relationship building. Again, that is a process for all Nova Scotians and it will conclude with planning and action. That, too, should be a commitment of all Nova Scotians.
It is a difficult process, I know, and I want to assure you, sir, and the visitors in the gallery, and all Nova Scotians, that the Progressive Conservative Party is committed to seeing all of those steps through. Indeed, we'll be meeting with members of the restorative inquiry board in the days ahead to make sure we're doing our part, as I know all Parties are, to take this province down this road.
This is the House where the voices of all Nova Scotians come together, or it should be. I know that every member will agree with me that we - members of this House - have more work to do in our political Parties and on the floor of this Assembly to make sure that truly the voices of all Nova Scotians, whatever their background, whatever their religion, whatever their colour are represented on the floor of this House.
For today, I just want to say that for all the voices in this House - government and Opposition - we speak in unison in support of the inquiry into the Home for Colored Children and we commit ourselves together to seeing the process through to the end so that Nova Scotia can finally close that chapter in our history and move forward as one province where all of us are treated equally before the law and before the services of government and we can all strive to be the best Nova Scotians we can possibly be. Thank you. (Applause)
MR. GARY BURRILL « » : Mr. Speaker, in the New Democratic Party we commit ourselves to the path of understanding and to the struggle against systemic racism and to the goals which have been enunciated and articulated by the Premier and by the Leader of the Official Opposition. We would in our Party wish for many positive doors to be opened by the report that has been tabled today and by the ongoing work it reflects and represents. Thank you. (Applause)
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION
RESOLUTION NO. 428
Attendu que le 24 septembre le troisième avait lieu départ collectif de l'événement cycliste Gran Fondo dans la région de Clare; et
Attendu que l'événement de cette année a remporté un succès retentissant avec 917 cyclistes passionnés qui ont participé à différentes courses; et
Attendu que pour cette troisième année d'affilée, cette manifestation sportive et culturelle a permis à des centaines de gens de découvrir la culture acadienne et l'hospitalité de la région de Clare tout en participant à une activité récréative en plein air et bonne pour la santé;
Par conséquent, il est résolu que les députés de l'Assemblée législative se joignent à moi pour féliciter les organisateurs et les 130 bénévoles du troisième Gran Fondo pour leur travail ardu et leur dévouement en vue de créer un rendez-vous unique au succès retentissant.
Monsieur le Président, je demande l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat.
I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the following resolution:
Whereas September 24th was the date of the third Gran Fondo mass-start cycling event in the Clare region; and
Whereas this year's event was a resounding success with 917 cycling enthusiasts taking part in various races; and
Whereas for its third consecutive year, this sporting and cultural event has allowed hundreds of people to discover the Acadian culture and hospitality of the Clare area while participating in a healthy outdoor recreational activity;
Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the organizers of the third Gran Fondo as well as the 130 volunteers involved for their hard work and dedication to make this unique event a resounding success.
Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.
Is it agreed?
It is agreed.
Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.
The motion is carried.
The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic on an introduction.
MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to make an introduction. In the East gallery today, I'd like to introduce Mary-Frances Lynch. Mary-Frances has experience in community outreach including consulting with the Ecology Action Centre and the renewable energy field. I was lucky to actually poach her a couple of years back and she now works as our community outreach officer in Spryfield.
Good to have you here today, M.F. I ask that the House give her a warm welcome. (Applause)
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
NOTICES OF MOTION
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
BRAMBLE HILL FARM: NATURAL METHODS - ACKNOWLEDGE
MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : I stand today to recognize the ingenuity of the Munro family, who own and operate Bramble Hill Farm. The farm's crop core is salad ingredients, mainly fresh greens that are grown using only natural methods and without using any synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Cathy is the farmer in the family, and is no stranger to hard work and dedication.
Because of the value of her product, Bramble Hill Farm is in the process of constructing a year-round greenhouse to accommodate the high demand for her crop. I wish to acknowledge Bramble Hill Farm for providing our community with an alternative, and wish them continued success.
LUN. YACHT CLUB: SONAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - CONGRATS.
MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : I'd like to congratulate the Lunenburg Yacht Club on hosting the Sonar World Championships in mid-September. This event had 25 boats entered, with sailors who travelled from all across Canada, the United States, and Ireland. Participants included Olympians, Paralympians, and world championship sailors.
The event took place over a few days, where many volunteers bonded together to aid in its success. It was an honour for the Lunenburg Yacht Club to host.
The Lunenburg Yacht Club has easy access to some of the best sailing waters in North America, which include both beautiful islands and beaches. They offer sailing programs for various groups, including sessions for women and the Sail Able program for people with disabilities.
Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you and the members of this House of Assembly please join me in congratulating the Lunenburg Yacht Club on the success of the Sonar World Championships.
FOSTER FAM. APP. WK. (OCT. 15-21): FOSTER FAMILIES - THANK
MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Today I would like to recognize Foster Family Appreciation Week, October 15th to October 21st. Foster Family Appreciation Week is a time to thank those who provide loving homes for foster children, many of whom have special needs.
Foster parents are needed in all regions of our province on a part-time and full-time basis. To date, there are over 603 foster families and counting around the province, but we need more of them. They provide loving homes to those who are desperately in need. I would encourage anyone who has the time or the heart to do so to reach out.
Nova Scotia has temporary housing for these children, but they have a different makeup. What children need most of all is love. It is so important that we recognize these special individuals who open their hearts and their homes to children, and thank them for their countless hours of selfless involvement with this province's youth.
WALK AGAINST VIOLENCE (19th ANL.):
JASON MACCULLOUGH - REMEMBER
MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday night the community of Dartmouth North came together in a wonderful, hopeful way for the 19th Annual Walk Against Violence. The walk is to remember Jason MacCullough, a Dartmouth North resident who, in 1999, at the age of 19, was shot and killed walking home early in the morning.
About 200 residents of all ages and many dedicated members of the Halifax police department, including Sarge the police horse and many dogs, walked together for an hour through the streets of north Dartmouth. They made a stop at Jason MacCullough Memorial Park for a short reflection and then gathered at the Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club for poems and thoughts offered by several youth, a candle ceremony led by Jason's mother and brother, and some music and snacks.
Though the reason for the walk is a sad, sombre one, it is a terrific expression of community, where people come together in hope, strength, and solidarity. In a community that does suffer a stigma of being violent and rough, the annual walk brings out people who work actively toward peace by sharing concern, love, and care for their neighbours and community.
I am privileged to live among such incredible people.
GLENDENNING, CONST. STEPHANIE - ASSOC. OF WOM. POLICE:
COM. SERV. AWD. (2017) - CONGRATS.
MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : I rise today to congratulate Constable Stephanie Glendenning. Stephanie was honoured by the International Association of Women Police with the 2017 Community Service Award for the work that she does in Greystone.
Stephanie has served with the Halifax Regional Police for the last 22 years and spent the last three as a community response officer in Greystone. She was invited to the International Association of Women Police conference in Australia this September to receive her award.
Stephanie is a single mother with two young boys, and still manages to look after a family while giving so much to the residents of Greystone. She and her boys are often seen at events in the community, and Stephanie feels that being a single mother helps her understand many of the issues our residents face. She is well known throughout the community and highly respected by the residents of Greystone. They feel comfortable reaching out to Stephanie if they need help. I would like to congratulate Stephanie on her international award and also thank her for everything she does for the residents of Greystone. She certainly is deserving of the recognition that she has received.
BARTON, BRADFORD J.: ORDER OF N.S. (2017) RECIPIENT - CONGRATS.
MR. TIM HALMAN « » : The Order of Nova Scotia is our province's highest honour, and this year, Dartmouth East's own Bradford J. Barton will be a recipient of this honour. He has devoted his career to making Nova Scotia a more vibrant, more equitable province. From teacher to department head to principal to supervisor to senior management, he has pioneered integrating Nova Scotia's schools and creating the foundation for inclusion of African Nova Scotian learners, educators, and curriculum. Mr. Barton has a reputation of giving generously of his time and wisdom. Many of today's African Nova Scotian leaders credit him with giving them the support and confidence to go on to higher education and professional careers. One minute is not nearly enough time to recognize all of Mr. Barton's accomplishments. I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating him.
SMALL BUS. WK.: DEEDEE'S ICE CREAM - RECOGNIZE
MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : On this last day in the House for Small Business Week, I want to recognize a treasure in Halifax Needham and one of my favourite destinations for ice cream and burritos, Deedee's. Founded by Ditta Kasdan, Deedee's is a neighbourhood gathering spot centred around good food. Ditta has shown leadership as a small business owner, intentionally hiring and mentoring local youth of diverse backgrounds, chairing the community committee of the North End Business Association and running a food service establishment where a minimum of waste is created. Many of the ingredients are local, and the food is affordable, healthy, and delicious. I particularly recommend the mango sorbet.
KINETESIS SPINE & JOINT CLINIC:
FALL RIVER GR. OPENING - CONGRATS.
MR. BILL HORNE « » : On behalf of Small Business Week, I'm happy to welcome another new business to the Fall River area Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic of Bedford has opened a second location in Fall River. The multidisciplinary health care clinic has a mission to help people live healthy, active, and pain-free lives. Their team includes three massage therapists, an acupuncturist, and a chiropractor. Last month, the clinic hosted a fun and successful opening for members of the community. I would like to congratulate the new Fall River clinic on their grand opening and wish them every success.
MR. ORRELL « » : Thank you. In the Speaker's Gallery today, we have three young ladies who made the trip from Cape Breton very early this morning. These ladies are members of the Little Bras d'Or Indian Village Band Association. If they would rise as I say their name, we have with us today Nancy Swan, who is the chief; Rita Swan, who is the vice-chief; and Linda Pendergast, who is a director. I ask the House to give these ladies a warm welcome. (Applause)
SQUAREY, DONALD: NEON SWAMP GALLERY - BEST WISHES
MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : I rise today to congratulate Donald Squarey who has been painting abstract art for the last 25 years and always dreamed of opening his own art gallery. Donald has opened the Neon Swamp Gallery in North Sydney to feature his art, pottery by Zitka Zgola and woodcarvings by Donnie White. Now Donald can devote his life to his love of the arts. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Neon Swamp Gallery success as Donald chases his dream.
THE SOU'WESTER: ANNIV. (50th) - CONGRATS.
MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : I rise to congratulate The Sou'wester Gift & Restaurant shop in Peggy's Cove, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary this summer. The Sou'wester began as a small five-table tea room. It has been expanded over the last five decades to a 180-seat restaurant offering traditional maritime and seafood dishes. The Sou'wester is still run by the family of its founder Jack Campbell. Under the leadership of Jack's son John Campbell, the Sou'wester is a must for both locals and visitors. On August 27th, I joined John and dozens of family and friends who came to celebrate the anniversary.
Madam Speaker, many visitors fail to grasp that Peggy's Cove is not a replica of a traditional coastal village; rather, it is a living community, an authentic fishing village that is home to some 40 residents. The Campbell family is one of several families that through the generations have been faithful custodians of this Nova Scotian icon.
Madam Speaker, I ask the members of the Legislature to join me in congratulating the Campbell family's Sou'Wester Restaurant on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.
VICTORIAN FAIRE (AMHERST): ANNIV. (1st) - CONGRATS.
MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Madam Speaker, during this last day of Small Business Week I'd like to recognize a fairly new local eatery called Victorian Faire. This summer they celebrated their first-year anniversary. It has brought diversity and a culinary world and culture to Amherst.
As champions of international cuisine, Wang Li from Asia; Melanie Mountain, a retired Canadian Naval Officer; Donna Gogan, a long-time friend from Jamaica; and Rita Al-Khourly from Lebanon are working together as business owners and entrepreneurs to bring Jamaican dishes, traditional Lebanese food, fine exotic teas, and oriental food to the forefront of this newly owned business.
These women, originating from different parts of the world, have come together to demonstrate diversity and inclusion. They are showing they can work as a team and enhance Amherst's international food network. Not only have they nurtured a new business in Amherst, they have also occupied a space in a vacant building in the heart of the downtown, which has been vacant for many years.
Today I'd like to congratulate these women for all their hard work.
MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to direct the attention of the House to the east gallery where, this morning, we're joined by Ashley Card and her mother, Patty. I'll get into why they're here today in my member's statement, but at this point I'd ask that the House give them a warm welcome. (Standing Ovation)
CARD, ASHLEY: KAYAKING ACHIEVEMENTS - CONGRATS.
MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Today I have the privilege of recognizing Ashley Card of Hammonds Plains, a member of Maskwa Aquatic Club. Ashley represented Nova Scotia at the 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg. She won a gold, three silvers, and a bronze medal, making Ashley the top medal winner for Nova Scotia. (Applause) Hold on a sec, I'm not done yet.
Ashley started kayaking five years ago and represented Nova Scotia in the Junior Nationals in 2015, Nationals in 2016, as well as the Olympic Regatta in 2016. At 2016 Nationals she won five gold, one silver, and two bronze. She just came back from Ecuador at the Pan Am Games where she won a bronze, three silver, and a gold. She has clearly demonstrated her ability to rank with Canada's elite.
Ashley's dedication and hard work is paving the way for a bright future in the sport of kayak, one she hopes will take her to the Olympics.
I would ask all members of the House of Assembly to please join me in congratulating Ashley Card on her achievements and wish her well as she follows her dreams. (Applause)
DEWTIE, MALLORY & JOEY: FOSTER PARENTS - THANK
MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : October 15th to October 21st is Foster Family Appreciation Week. Foster Family Appreciation Week is a time to thank those who provide loving homes for foster children, and I'd like to say a special thank you to Mallory and Joey Dewtie.
Foster parents are needed in all regions of our province on a part-time and full-time basis. To date there are 603 foster families across the province, and counting. Nova Scotia needs more loving, nurturing, and safe temporary homes for children. Families have many different makeups and what children need most of all is love. Madam Speaker, they sure get it from the Dewties.
It's so important that we recognize these special individuals who open their hearts and their homes to the children and that we listen to them when they have concerns as to how the system operates. I'd like to thank the Dewties for their countless hours of selfless involvement with this province's youth.
FOOD RUN (5th ANL.): ORGANIZERS/PARTICIPANTS - RECOGNIZE
MS. RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 5th Annual Food Run, housed this year at the Canada Games Centre. This event has grown dramatically each year and has been a tremendous support for Feed Nova Scotia. It would not be possible without the participants, volunteers, and employees of the Canada Games Centre. In their last event, the Food Run was able to raise over $3,519 in monetary donations as well as 1,538 kilograms of food donations. It is anticipated that this year's Food Run will be the most successful yet.
Will the members of the House of Assembly join me to recognize the organizers and participants of the annual Food Run in support of Feed Nova Scotia.
TAYLOR, HAILEY: DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S AWARD:
BRONZE STANDARD - CONGRATS.
MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Madam Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Hailey Taylor of Middle Sackville on successfully completing the Bronze standard of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. For decades, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award has inspired and transformed the lives of young people from all walks of life. Hailey is a Grade 12 student attending Millwood High School and hopes to continue her studies at Dalhousie taking engineering in the Fall.
I'd like to wish Hailey all the best in her future endeavours.
BROWN, CHET: COUNTRY MUSIC CAREER - CONGRATS.
MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Madam Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House of Assembly a Kings South country music legend, 82-year-old Chet Brown of Greenfield. Chet has won the Sounds Like Hank Snow contest an unprecedented eight times, he has made numerous television appearances, and he was duly honoured by the Province of Nova Scotia in 2003 for his remarkable contributions to charity, having performed in hundreds of benefit shows to raise funds to help those in need. Chet has been inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame and recently released his ninth recording.
I ask members of the Nova Scotia Legislature to join me in congratulating Chet Brown for his tremendously successful country music career and in thanking him for all that he does to improve the lives of his fellow citizens.
MCLEAN, HEATHER: CAN. SUMMER GAMES GOLF TEAM - CONGRATS.
MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Madam Speaker, I wish to congratulate a young athlete in my riding who was chosen to represent Nova Scotia this summer at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg. Heather McLean, a Grade 12 student was one of three who made up the Nova Scotia female golf team. The young women were chosen for the team based on their results from a series of qualifying tournaments during the past two summers. Heather found it to be a difficult course and shot rounds of 81, 76, 79, and 83 - for a total score of 329, leaving her tied for a respectable finish of 17th overall.
I wish to congratulate Heather McLean and wish her all the best in her future in golf and academic endeavours.
CURRY, BILL: OUTDOOR WRITERS OF CAN. AWARD - CONGRATS.
HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Madam Speaker, Bill Curry's photo titled Milky Way over Port Maitland Beach recently earned him first place in the Outdoor Writers of Canada Communications Awards - scenery, landscape, and plants category. He had taken the photo as part of his solo photography show held last Fall in Yarmouth, which detailed the dark skies of the area, which is now designated as the first North American site certified as a UNESCO Starlight Tourism Destination, something we're all very proud of.
Mr. Curry runs Bill Curry Photography out of his gallery and studio in Port Maitland, Yarmouth County, and his work has appeared in tourism promotional pieces, Canadian and European newspapers, The New York Times, the Boston Herald, The Nova Scotian, Saltscapes magazine, and has been used by several universities and NASA to illustrate various articles. His photos have won multiple awards from major photographic organizations and he recently had three photographs included in the National Image Salon of the Professional Photographers of Canada held in Ottawa earlier this year.
I ask this House to join me in congratulating Yarmouth's Bill Curry on his impressive award and in thanking him for sharing the beauty of our region with the rest of the world.
LIVERPOOL LEGION: THANKSGIVING INITIATIVE - THANK
MS. KIM MASLAND « » : Madam Speaker, during Thanksgiving weekend the Liverpool Legion provided the venue for 40 people to enjoy wonderful food, company, and conversation. This gathering was unique in that half of the guests were new to the community; three international students, people from four provinces and six countries, and a vacationing couple from Pennsylvania said they will always remember Liverpool, Nova Scotia, because of that experience.
This idea began when Councillor Heather Kelly registered for Engage Nova Scotia's Share Thanksgiving initiative. She and Councillor Brian Fralic felt that this would further create connections and a welcoming environment in the town. They hoped to stage other events for newcomers in the future.
Madam Speaker, I congratulate all of those involved for taking the initiative to make this event happen.
HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Madam Speaker, in the east gallery we're welcoming here the Grade 9 class of Armbrae Academy. We also have their teachers here, John Stone and Jamie Langille. I would like to offer them the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)
HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : I was going to introduce the same class, Madam Speaker. Welcome, I know there is a member of that class who is the daughter of Kristen Tynes who is one of our incredible up-and-coming public servants who works for CNS and is now on secondment to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, so I'd like to recognize them as well. (Applause)
UNITED WAY (LUNEN. CO.) - BIKES FOR KIDS PROG.:
VOL. EFFORTS - ACKNOWLEDGE
HON. MARK FUREY « » : Madam Speaker, many of us associate learning how to ride a bike as a kind of milestone in a child's life. For some, owing a bike is not possible. This is where the United Way of Lunenburg County comes into play.
For the last six years the United Way of Lunenburg County has run the Bikes for Kids program. Residents who have bikes that are no longer being used donate to the program. A team of volunteers, including students from the Nova Scotia Community College Lunenburg Campus, work to refurbish the new bikes to get them ready for their new owners. To top it off, each recipient is also outfitted with a new helmet.
This past Spring, Madam Speaker, 62 bikes were given away. I'd like to acknowledge the work of the United Way and all its volunteers for their efforts in making sure that all of our youth have the chance to feel the freedom of riding a bike.
HON. PATRICIA ARAB » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. It's the same introduction but I would like to highlight one of the fantastic teachers who is currently with this class, Mr. John Stone from beautiful Chester-St. Margaret's who was the best Education professor anybody could ask for. I'm very happy to have him in the House with us. (Applause)
HAY, BILL/MASTODON RIDGE: SUCCESS - ACKNOWLEDGE
MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, I stand to acknowledge a small business called Mastodon Ridge. This business houses local art, a local brewery, a local market, a local MLA. This business also has a Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell franchise. There is also a miniature golf course and a park for children to explore the age of the mastodon, and an information centre on the property to extol the area.
I acknowledge the entrepreneur, Bill Hay, on what he has put in place and what he will put in place in the future at Mastodon Ridge.
ERIC YEUNG/MAY GARDEN REST.:
GRAND OPENING (BEDFORD) - CONGRATS.
On July 31st Eric had a grand opening of this newest location. It's in the Mill Cove Plaza. It's a lovely dining hall and I was pleased to be there for the opening, along with our Immigration Minister and the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Madam Speaker, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Eric Yeung immigrated from Hong Kong in 1991. He bought a restaurant from his Aunt May and began adding locations - now there are four. Eric gives back to his community, he sponsors scholarships at both Saint Mary's and Dalhousie Universities - pretty good for a young man who arrived in Canada with nothing 26 years ago.
I'd like to congratulate Eric Yeung on opening his fourth May Garden and thank him for providing employment, delicious food, and supporting our young people.
C.B.-RICHMOND SM. BUS.: ECON./SOCIAL LEGACY - ACKNOWLEDGE
MS. ALANA PAON « » : Madam Speaker, small businesses create the basis for a flourishing economy. The motivation and drive of small business owners help to lay the building blocks upon which a community can grow.
I remember fondly as a child growing up in Cape Breton-Richmond, small businesses like Morrison's Store and David's Meat Shop in St. Peter's, U.J. Leblanc's and the IGA in Arichat. I remember Stanley Pettipas, who was a travelling butcher on Isle Madame, who came directly to your door with his panel-sided station wagon. It was absolutely fascinating. There was the Mary Vale store in Little Lance along with the movie theatre in Port Hawkesbury, to name a few.
These businesses helped to shape the core of our communities. The owners were hard-working and dedicated to sustaining their businesses and doing it all for the love of families and their community. Today we see the growth and reshaping of small businesses that are the new pillars of our community.
I am proud of the economic and social legacy that small businesses in Cape Breton-Richmond have left for us, but I am ever more proud of the small businesses and owners who continue to open their doors, and manage to sustain themselves in today's economic climate. I ask the House to please share my acknowledgement as we celebrate small businesses throughout Nova Scotia.
JOHNSON, CABELLA: FUNDRAISING EFFORTS - COMMEND
HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I rise here today to commend Cabella Johnson of Morden. Cabella is a four-year-old girl who is raising money for her friend, two-year-old Josie Forsyth Fleming, who is about to undergo her first stage of chemotherapy treatment for a rare inoperable brain tumour.
To raise funds, Cabella will donate a minimum of eight inches of her hair to an organization that makes wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. Cabella hopes to fill a jar with at least $250 to present to Josie and her family at a benefit scheduled for November 4th.
As the MLA for Kings West, I would like to extend my best wishes to Josie and her family for successful treatment and recovery and commend Cabella Johnson for her compassionate spirit.
NORTH SYDNEY BIDA: FRONT STREET FROLIC - SALUTE
On two evenings during the summer, a portion of Main Street was shut down to accommodate live music, dance, local food, and 25 vendors. This multi-cultural event, which lasted from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. each night, drew thousands of locals and tourists.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all volunteers of the BIDA, and may these events happen and rekindle the feeling of community here in North Sydney.
MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS - GOV'T. SUPPORT
MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Following the death of her son Lucas in 2014, Shelley Austin of Truro continued on with Lead with Your Heart, a mental health program that Lucas and his girlfriend were developing.
October 21st marks the third year of this program, and it has held a special fundraising event each year for mental health programs. It has raised more than $16,000 each year and continues to keep creativity involved, supporting a local CMHA artworks program called Outsider Insight, and local monthly gatherings for people with mental health issues. It also supports programs for children and adolescents at Laing House in Halifax.
I can't stress enough the importance of government supporting and investing in our mental health programs and peer support.
ANTIGONISH C OF C - EXC. IN BUS. AWARD:
NOMINEEES - CONGRATS.
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : During Small Business Week, the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Antigonish Business Gala and Awards Night. The chamber asks for nominations from the community for its five awards.
The chamber's Ian Spencer Excellence in Business Award is in recognition of former St. F.X. University professor Ian Spencer's commitment to bridging the gap between business and the community. Businesses nominated must have demonstrated successful business practices and strong corporate responsibility and community service.
This year, nominees for the Ian Spencer Excellence in Business Award are ALVA Construction, Antigonish Cement Finishing, Antigonish Evergreen Inn, and The Casket. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the nominees for this year's Ian Spencer Excellence in Business Award.
MURPHY, JACKSON: GOALTENDING ABILITY - CELEBRATE
Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of joining the Speaker of the House at the Pictou County Wellness Centre, to watch his son Jackson play his first Pee Wee AAA game for the Cole Harbour Wings. This Ken Dryden lookalike continued to frustrate the opposition with his consistent execution in an efficient, crisp and clear manner. Murphy stood tall, making numerous skate saves, two pad slides, blocker, glove, and stick saves, to pick up his first win at an elite level. Goaltending is the most important position on the ice and often the position most responsible for success.
Murphy's good reflexes, ability to read and react and challenge shooters will keep him playing at an elite level for many years to come.
BRUCE, JASON (J. BRU): ACCOMPLISHMENTS - RECOGNIZE
This Halifax Needham resident is one of the leading figures in Canadian hip-hop having opened for Snoop Dogg and Jully Black, and collaborated with Classified. Jason has received three Nova Scotia Music Awards and two ECMAs. He is also the founder of the Urban Music Advisory Board, which will provide a forum for conversations on the challenges and opportunities faced by urban music artists and entrepreneurs from under- represented communities via a designated seat on Music Nova Scotia's Board of Directors. This is part of an intentional effort by Music Nova Scotia to increase their support to under-represented communities.
I thank Jason (J. Bru) for his leadership and wish him and the urban music community well.
SAM'S RESTAURANT (PICTOU CO.) - RECOGNIZE
HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, Pictou County is famous for its brown pizza sauce - and it all started when George Kouyas opened Sam's Restaurant, the first pizza restaurant in Pictou County back in the 1960s.
Sam's is now run by George's children Yota, Maria, and Spiro. The brown sauce is so famous and, due to such great demand, it is available at Sobeys throughout Atlantic Canada. I have had it many times myself, it's absolutely delicious - and I encourage everybody to go to Sobeys and try it.
PRIVATEER DAYS: VOLUNTEER EFFORTS - APPLAUD
MS. KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, for over 40 years Liverpool has played host to Privateer Days, a festival steeped in history, music and celebration of community. It is a tradition treasured by residents and thousands of visitors who come to the area, bringing the whole community alive in the spirit of celebration. It is also my most favourite time of the year.
This year's Privateer Days were held from June 23rd to June 25th and was deemed a huge success by organizers and participants. The festival has taken many forms over the years and in order to continue growing and provide variety, the Privateer Days Commission has taken to partnering with organizations such as the South Shore Multicultural Association.
The executive and committee and dozens of volunteers are to be applauded for the work they have done and continue to do to make Privateer Days happen each year.
DART. SOUTH SM. BUS. SUCCESS - CONGRATS.
MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, as I've said several times in this House, the backbone of Dartmouth South is its small businesses. After a long, quiet, and sometimes not so quiet, period, and through the hard work of excellent entrepreneurs, a wonderful community, and support from the very active Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, on which I sit, our downtown and areas beyond are alive again.
To name just a few amazing restaurants and cafes: Two If By Sea; The Canteen; Little C; Whiskey's; May Garden; Il Trullo; Just Us!; New Scotland Yard; Battery Park; Portland Street Creperie; John's Lunch; Portland Street Diner; and more. We're also looking forward to the opening of the Watch That Ends the Night, Lake City Cider, and the Brightwood Brewery. We have amazing jewellers like Grund jewellery, florists like KoKo Mod, and Janet's, aestheticians and beauty services like Interlude Spa, and Colours, unique gifts like Kept and The Train Yard, and so much more.
Why list these businesses? So you will all visit them, of course, on the occasion of Small Business Week.
Please join me in offering these small businesses your congratulations and support for all of their hard work. (Applause)
MR. SPEAKER « » : Just before we move on to the next member's statement, I think it is a good time for me to interject that I do realize it is Small Business Week in Nova Scotia and there are lots of great things going on, but I want to remind all members that members' statements are not to be used to promote anything specific for commercial purposes whether they're products, tickets to events, et cetera.
We're pushing the envelope here this week so just keep that in the back of your mind.
The honourable member for Clare-Digby.
CROCKER, CLAUDIA: DIVERT N.S. SCHOLARSHIP - CONGRATS.
MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I think you'll like this one. I rise to congratulate Claudia Crocker a recent graduate of Islands Consolidated School for being named one of the seven of Divert Nova Scotia Champions of the Environment.
The Champion of the Environment Scholarship is awarded to those Grade 12 students who exemplify leadership and have demonstrated a commitment to protecting our environment. Claudia Crocker has often demonstrated this commitment.
She has been involved in the annual Garbage-A-Thon along a 16-kilometre stretch of road in her community. She has also participated in the semi-annual Beach Sweep in the Long Island area. This year, the priority was to rebuild the bridges and walkways to protect the swamp areas. At school, she was involved in a number of environmental initiatives, including helping in the design of the school garden and transporting school refundables to the local environment depot.
It is gratifying to see our youth so passionate about protecting our environment and about having support from non-profit organizations, like Divert Nova Scotia, to foster this passion. I'm sure Ms. Crocker's interest in protecting the environment will continue to grow during her time at Acadia University.
AMHERST RAMBLERS: SUCCESSFUL SEASON - BEST WISHES
MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to honour and recognize the Amherst Junior A Ramblers. The Amherst Junior A Ramblers Hockey Club was founded in 1967 by Amherst lawyer Moe Bent. Historically the Amherst Ramblers have contributed to the strength of our community The Amherst Ramblers promote healthy lifestyles, dedication and unity. They integrate all generations and create opportunities for community outings. The Amherst Ramblers inspire athletes to improve their skills and abilities with the National Hockey League.
The Amherst Ramblers have always been competitive as the fans have been supportive, no matter what the standings are. I especially like their team doctor who happens to be my handsome husband. I am proud of these young athletes and wish to cheer them on to a successful season.
CAMSA: CAPTAINS & COOKS FUNDRAISER - RECOGNIZE
HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, on September 12th I participated in a one-of-a-kind fundraising event, Camsa's third annual Captains & Cooks. This was an unforgettable experience showcasing the best of Halifax's food, scenery and hospitality.
The morning started with a reception at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and a delightful sail from the Northwest Arm to the Halifax Harbour. It was a privilege to be treated to a cruise on a very special vessel aboard the HMCS Moncton, captained by Lieutenant Commander Hodgson and to meet the crew and even don the ship's firefighting gear, to really get a sense of their challenging role at sea. Best of all, the day's fundraising activities helped support three worthy local causes: Wee Care Developmental Centre, Pathways to Education, and Veterans Emergency Transition Services.
I want to thank Camsa, an industry leader in trade finance for over 15 years, and president Carole-Ann Miller for supporting local charities and commitment to the local Halifax community.
SPIRES, PETRA - VALLEY HARVEST MARATHON:
HIGH FINISH - CONGRATS.
HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Petra Spires of Hubley. Thanksgiving weekend Petra joined hundreds of runners in the 25th Anniversary Valley Harvest Marathon in Wolfville. With a time of three hours, 38 minutes and one second, Petra placed third in the women's division and 19th overall.
Petra, a Grades 4 and 5 teacher at Burton Ettinger Elementary School and a busy mom with a large family, sets a wonderful example of discipline and determination to her students and her children. I would like the members of the House to join me in congratulating Petra on her achievements and wish her well in the future.
FRABA: VOICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS - CONGRATS
MR. BILL HORNE « » : In 2012 the Fall River and Area Business Association, known as FRABA, was founded. Community members and small businesses recognized the need for a local association to help promote, support and be a voice for small business in Fall River and the surrounding areas. The growing association has over 150 members now. Through the association, members are provided information on issues involving businesses in this area, marketing, networking, educational opportunities, yearly business expos, meet and greets and opportunities to give back to the community.
This association supports our local businesses and encourages the members and residents to support our local businesses. I would like to congratulate FRABA on their growing success and thank them for their community support.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS
PREM. - CAP AND TRADE PLAN: INCREASED COST - EXPLAIN
HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Premier. Halifax residents pay the third-highest power rates in all of Canada according to a recent survey of Canadian cities - and I'll table that survey for the benefit of the House. Of course, all Nova Scotians pay among the highest power rates in the country and they are wondering if the Premier's new cap and trade system will add even more to the price of electricity.
They deserve a straight answer to a straightforward question, will the Premier's new cap and trade plan add to the cost of electricity in Nova Scotia?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As we've said many times in this House, for over a decade Nova Scotians, through their energy, are continuing to reduce greenhouse gas production, that is part of the reason why we've seen the escalation in the price of electricity in this province. I've been saying now for three years that Nova Scotians already pay carbon tax; it's embedded quite frankly in the cost of electricity in this province. It's why we went and made the case with Ottawa that you need to recognize the hard work of ratepayers and all Nova Scotians, and that's why we have a cap and trade system in our province that will allow those credits that are in this province that belong to Nova Scotians to be used to smooth out across other sectors.
Of course, Nova Scotians know that their power rates are already high because they contain an embedded price on carbon, as the Premier pointed out. Yet the Premier won't tell them if his cap and trade plan will cost them even more - his plan doesn't even tell us if it will actually help the environment in the end. Either the Premier knows the answers to these questions and he won't tell us, or he doesn't know the answer to these questions.
I would like to ask him, why won't he tell Nova Scotians whether his cap and trade plan will add to the price of electricity?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank the honourable member for the question and I want to remind him that through successive governments in this province, under their leadership we've seen power rates increase to over 30 per cent under each of the two Opposition Parties.
For the first time in a very long time, Nova Scotians saw their power rates go down under our government; we stabilized energy prices across the province. But what we've said to the national government, as we as a country play our role in reducing carbon emissions and greenhouse gases globally, that we want the national government to recognize the hard work that had been put forward by Nova Scotians and ratepayers, and that's why we have built a Nova Scotia cap and trade system that will continue to improve our record in reducing greenhouse gases. We'll continue to lead the country in that process but we're making sure that the credits that have been earned by Nova Scotians will be there for Nova Scotians to smooth out through other sectors so we don't see the shock on their pocketbooks.
MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia has a good record on the environment because past governments actually put real environmental reduction targets in the legislation they brought forward. In this case, the Premier puts that in the fine print of regulation. Past governments actually told Nova Scotians up front the path forward to make the environment better; this government puts the cost in the fine print. Well, that is not good enough. That is no way to treat Nova Scotia families who are already maxed out in their pocketbooks from the high cost of electricity, from the high cost of living in Nova Scotia. They want to know if they're going to be asked for even more but the Premier leaves that in the fine print.
So, I would like to know, why is the Premier hiding all of the important information about his cap and trade plan in the fine print instead of showing it to the people of Nova Scotia here on the floor of this House?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. It sounds very much like the honourable member is championing a carbon tax. Well, then, let me be very clear to the honourable member. He may think that he wants to actually put a tax on power and other commodities in this province - that is not something we're prepared to do. We're going to stand with Nova Scotians who, for the last decade, have continued to reduce their greenhouse gas reduction in this province - as a matter of fact, leading the country. Let me tell you that again, leading the country.
We'll continue to reduce our greenhouse gas production. What we said to the federal government though, we want that work recognized, we want to make sure that you fully understand that Nova Scotians have been ahead of the game and we want to use those credits to smooth out across to ensure that we don't see sticker shock in the pocketbook.
I will not endorse the position of the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party who is promoting a carbon tax for Nova Scotians.
GOV'T. N.S./GOV. CAN. - HEALTH ACCORD: BAD DEAL - ADMIT
MR. GARY BURRILL « » : My question for the Premier concerns the Health Accord. A new report from the Nova Scotia Health Coalition finds that the Health Accord negotiated with the federal government last December will end up costing Nova Scotia close to $1 billion over the next 10 years because the Premier agreed to an escalator clause that falls so far short of the 5.2 per cent required to ensure the federal government pays its proper share.
Mr. Speaker, the Premier was adamant at the time that this was a fine and fair deal for our province. Will he now admit that there is mounting evidence that he was wrong?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the honourable member for the question. He would know that when he was in government last, that that escalator clause was negotiated with his Premier and the federal government, the former Conservative federal government.
The starting point when we came in was that very point. We went to negotiate it to ensure that there were hundreds of millions of dollars added, to ensure that we dealt with the escalating costs of home care, which we're very proud, as a province, that we've continued to reduce home care wait-lists in this province.
Mr. Speaker, there's also additional funding in that Health Accord to adolescent mental health. (Interruption)
THE PREMIER « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, I think it's sensitive to them, the fact that the deal that they are referring to is one that was negotiated by their former Leader with the former Conservative Party. What this Party did was went to Ottawa and negotiated for more money for home care, more money for adolescent mental health. We're going to continue to stand up and work with Nova Scotians to ensure they have access to primary health care.
MR. BURRILL « » : We have communities holding Chase the Ace events so they can buy lifts for their hospitals; we have nursing homes making cuts in diet and programming. Just this weekend, we have six emergency rooms across the province that are closed. The Health Coalition reports that the money Nova Scotia failed to negotiate in the Health Accord would have paid for 396 physicians.
I want to ask the Premier, why did he negotiate a deal that put us so far behind the eight ball for dealing with the health care crisis?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the deal he is referring to, the base of that deal was committed to by that government. Thank God Nova Scotians booted them out, because we would have been stuck with that, and on top of that, the fact of the matter is we continue (Interruption)
The honourable Premier.
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows that the deal he is talking about was negotiated by that government with the former Conservative Government. We negotiated on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia to have hundreds of millions of dollars added to that deal for home care, which is a priority for our government, which continues to reduce the home care wait-list, to provide supports at home for seniors where they want it.
Mr. Speaker, we've continued on top of that to ensure that we have funding for adolescent mental health and we'll continue to make sure that we provide those services for Nova Scotians.
MR. BURRILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I do hope that the Premier will not be looking to us to provide him with a reference as a history teacher. Now few, if any, government decisions will have negative consequences as long-lasting in our communities as the Premier's negotiation of a health deal that does not account in its fundamentals for the realities of our older and our rural population.
I ask the Premier, what justification can he offer for the suffering that will be caused by his having left $1 billion on the table in the Accord?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Again, I want to remind the honourable member that the deal he is referring to was one that was negotiated by his Party, that we've enhanced; for the very people he is referring to, there's $150 million additional for home care.
The honourable member should know, I think he would know that Nova Scotians want to receive that care at home as long as possible. Our government has continued to invest in that, in home care. We continue to invest in adolescent mental health, Mr. Speaker. It is important for us all to remember history, remember the fact that our starting point was a $500 million hole that was left to us by the former government, who handed out corporate welfare more than any other government in the history of this province. Where were they when it came to negotiating a health care accord? Where were they when it came to providing health services to Nova Scotians? Where were they when it came to investing in collaborative care? Where were they when we were required to replace the hospital downtown? Where were they? They were silent.
MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Before we move on to the next question, I'm obligated to remind all members that the use of electronic devices is strictly prohibited during Question Period, including the taking of phone calls.
The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.
GOV'T. (N.S.): CARBON PRICING PLAN - EXPLAIN
HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : A few years ago, Oxford Frozen Foods took action to reduce their carbon footprint and help the environment by switching their plant from bunker C fuel to natural gas. This company made a significant investment in that transition, expecting to experience real savings in their heating costs down the road.
The Premier's new carbon pricing plan puts all those savings at risk, even though the company did exactly the right thing for its own self and for the environment. I would like to ask the Premier, how does charging them more under his cap and trade plan for doing the right thing make any sense?
THE PREMIER « » : The premise of the question is completely wrong. The fact of the matter is, we have an internal cap and trade system that we negotiated on behalf of all Nova Scotians. We recognize the hard work of Oxford Frozen Foods and all Nova Scotians over the last decade. The credits that belong to Nova Scotia will be used to smooth out the impact on other sectors in our province.
MR. BAILLIE « » : Actually, the premise of the question is absolutely right because natural gas is one of the 20 industries identified by the Premier's own cap and trade plan to be covered, including the customers of natural gas users like Oxford Frozen Foods.
This company employs 400 people in Cumberland County. It is the largest private employer in the region. It did everything right. When it switched from bunker C fuel to natural gas, it reduced its emissions by two-thirds and secured those jobs in the long run. Now all of that is at risk because the Premier has brought forward a plan. They want to know whether they're going to have to pay more.
Why won't the Premier just tell the people who rely on this company for their employment whether they will have to pay more or not?
THE PREMIER « » : Again, I want to remind the honourable member - this is I think his fifth question. The fact of the matter is, we have an internal cap and trade system that recognizes the hard work of Nova Scotians.
We're leading the country in greenhouse gas reductions. We said to the federal government that we want that recognized. Other provinces are choosing to do things differently than we were here in Nova Scotia, but the results here are working. We want that recognized. We want to be able to build a system internally in our province that will allow us to take those credits and smooth them across other sectors.
The honourable member raises a very important point around natural gas. It's why we're looking to ensure that we have storage in this province for natural gas, so that it can be purchased at a low price normally in the summer, so it can be stored for the very customers he's referring to and other Nova Scotians who use natural gas.
The fact of the matter is when it comes to the cap and trade system in this province, it's one that reflects the hard work of Nova Scotians and will help smooth it out across other sectors.
GOV'T. (N.S.): RISING RENTS - CRISIS
MR. GARY BURRILL « » : My question for the Premier is about rent control. Each time I have asked the Premier about this issue, he has referred to his government's rent supplement program. But only 1,280 households have been able to access rent supplements in Nova Scotia over the last two years. Relief from rising rents, on the other hand, is needed for more than 50,000 rental households in the province.
Will the Premier acknowledge that there are thousands of working people in Nova Scotia for whom rising rents are a real crisis and whose situations are untouched by a low-income rent supplement program?
THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I know there are challenges facing Nova Scotia families when it comes to the issue he's referring to. It's why we have introduced a rent supplement program. We have enhanced that initiative going forward.
He's very right. We want to make sure more Nova Scotians have access to affordable housing. It's why we took the $40 million that the federal government had sent to the former NDP Government that they left there without spending where it's required. We wanted to make that investment.
Rent supplements are one aspect of that. If he looks at some of our own housing stock out in rural parts of the province, we need to invest in that and improve it to make sure it's available for Nova Scotians. We will continue to provide those options.
We know there's more work to do, and we're going to continue on that journey to reduce that affordable housing wait-list. I want to remind the honourable member again, it has been reduced by 20 per cent and we're committed to reducing it even further.
MR. BURRILL « » : As the Premier and I have exchanged views about this subject, he has suggested that our philosophies are different, and I think that's the case. The Premier is primarily concerned about returns on property investments in the market, and we're primarily concerned about working people in our province being able to afford their rent.
The truth is that in the HRM there are 33,000 households with incomes below $40,000, and that means that they're not able to afford average market rents. I've often heard the speaker say that he is the Premier for all the people, but if this is so, why would he not support these 33,000 households by bringing in a program, at no cost to government, that would control their rents?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the very program he refers to has been tried by other governments across the country. They haven't proven to have the results he predicts they will have. What it's proven is that there are fewer rentals available for low-income families.
While he chases down something that's proven not to work, we've laid out a program around rent subsidies for low-income Nova Scotians. When we had an opportunity to reduce taxes in this province, we increased the basic personal exemption for low- to middle-income Nova Scotians. We took 60,000 more households off the tax roll, leaving more money in their pockets. We took the HARP program and enhanced it, so now there are 5,000 more Nova Scotian families with access to the heat rebate program.
All of those things could have been done four, five, six, seven, or eight years ago. They had an opportunity. They failed to act. They left people behind. We had a presentation earlier today about the Home for Colored Children. They left them behind.
The fact of the matter is, we're acting on behalf of all Nova Scotians in a positive, productive way that proves to drive results.
LITTLE BRAS D'OR INDIAN VILL. BAND ASSOC. - PREM. MEET
Last week we had a group of indigenous people from southwest Nova Scotia in the gallery, and the member for Argyle-Barrington asked the government to meet with those people to hear their concerns. Today we have people from Little Bras d'Or Indian Village Band Association, who are also fighting for their status and their rights to be recognized.
My question is, will the Premier commit to meeting with the members of the Little Bras d'Or Indian Village Band Association to hear their concerns?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The honourable member would know that it would be the national government that would recognize or provide status for communities across the province.
In this province, the Mi'kmaq have treaty rights that are protected. We will continue to respect those rights. We're all treaty people in this place. We will respect the rules and regulations in those treaties. We all have responsibilities for them.
As the honourable member asked the question, as he would know and I said to the honourable member, I myself have not met with them, but I would be more than happy to have my staff from Aboriginal Affairs meet and go over this with your constituents.
I would make available to all members of this House an opportunity to sit down with members of my staff at Aboriginal Affairs to go through what's taking place inside our province, through the courts and the treaties, to ensure that we all understand our rights and responsibilities attached to the foundation of this great country, which were the treaties that were signed with the Mi'kmaq all those centuries ago.
MR. ORRELL « » : I appreciate that answer. These ladies are here in the gallery today, and I would like to be able to tell them when it would be possible to have them set up a meeting with the members of his staff so they can hear their concerns.
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, after Question Period I will make arrangements - I don't know whether that can be done today, but if it is, I will arrange for that to happen. I know they've come a long way, and if we could do that today - I'll try to communicate that. But if not, I will certainly make sure that we get an appropriate time that works for them.
PREM.: LEG. AMEND. REQUESTS (HRM):
GOV'T. (N.S.) - COMMIT
MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier as well. At this week's meeting at Halifax Regional Council, councillors raised frustrations with this government's lack of commitment to legislative amendment requests from the municipality.
Halifax staff were asked to compose a list of outstanding requests, and that list - which I have; it's dated October 18th, and I will table that - was forwarded to councillors yesterday. Of that list, there are 17 outstanding items since 2013, and 12 of those within just the last three years.
My question to the Premier is, could he please explain why the government seems to be ignoring the largest municipality in Nova Scotia?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I know he obviously has great experience as a former member of that council. We are very proud of our record of working with municipal governments across the province and continue to partner with them, large and small, to ensure that we provide the services that are our responsibility and they provide the ones that are theirs. We continue to work with them so we capitalize on the federal dollars that are available, whether it comes to infrastructure - and he would also know that the federal government has a role when it comes to transit within the municipalities. This municipality is looking to communicate and deal directly with the federal government, we'll support them in that. He would also know we're the first government in a very long time that's put additional funding into transit, which is the responsibility of the municipalities.
While I haven't had a chance to review the list that the honourable member has provided, I would dare say there are many examples where we've continued to co-operate with the municipality and we look forward to continuing to build on that working relationship. I've said many times this city is the economic driver for our province, we need this city to be doing well, we need our island to be doing well, we need the Valley to be doing well, the South Shore, and we're looking forward to continuing (Interruptions)
MR. JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, I do thank the Premier for that answer. This week I raised two of the most recent questions on that list to two separate ministers in this House, and both times those ministers beat around the bush and didn't provide any answer. It was a yes or no answer, and both times I got fluff. The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal even stated that the province relies on the fabulous relationship they have with HRM. I'll table that as well.
Given that HRM is the exact same size as the Province of P.E.I., and as the Premier just said the economic generator of this province, I'd like the Premier today to commit that he addresses the requests on that list and at least provides any answer, yes or no, to the municipality. Will the Premier do that?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I'm very proud of the entire members of this caucus, not just those in Executive Council but all members of this caucus, who work very hard to ensure that their constituents and the points of views of all their constituents, are being represented by this government. We'll continue to work with the municipalities to have a look to see the things you brought forward. It's hard for me to say what I can do with those, when I'm not even sure what they are at this point, but I will be happy to review them and talk to them.
I will say this, some people confuse, when you tell them no, that you didn't give them an answer. No is an answer sometimes; we just can't do some of the things that people want us to do and we have to say no. So, we continue to move forward and we'll continue to work with our partners. I think it's important to recognize the fabulous relationship we have with our municipalities and I don't think they can afford to say that or not. I think it's important to say it when working with people.
H&W: HEALTH CARE BUDGET - INADEQUACY
HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. The minister and the Premier are always referring to how they've increased the amount of money going into health care. Actually, it's $6.4 million more to hire specialists, perform additional orthopaedic surgeries, and reduce surgical wait times. But then if you add on the $2.4 million more to support recruitment and retention of doctors, that's less than 0.1 per cent of the overall budget of this province.
That means if you just go with the $6.8 million, that's about $5.79 per person, but if you add the extra $2.4 million, that's still only $9.33 per person that's being invested into health care. You can't even order a pizza for that kind of money. My question to the minister is, how will this investment help those who don't have a doctor today?
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. Indeed, the member opposite talked about only some of the investments being made into our health care system. He made reference to the orthopaedic investments, he works that out as to what it is on a per-person basis across the Province of Nova Scotia. What he failed to recognize was the over 2,000 additional orthopaedic surgeries that have been provided to citizens of Nova Scotia since we took office.
What that member fails to recognize in his calculation is the additional 500 surgeries that are going to be conducted for hips and knees, based upon those investments. He forgets what the value - not the dollars but the value - of quality of life to those people, those extra 500 people, that those investments will provide hips and knees over this year. Thank you.
MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, what he fails to recognize is the very fact that there are thousands of people who don't have a doctor. He is talking about quality of life, then he should be worried about those people who don't have a doctor in this province.
Mr. Speaker, in Sydney alone we need four family physicians, four psychiatrists, three pathologists, one respirologist, a pediatrician, infectious disease specialist, ophthalmologist, a radiologist, and a child and adolescent psychologist.
Mr. Speaker, if he is so concerned about the individuals and the quality of life of the people in the Province of Nova Scotia, how come he hasn't provided 100,000 people access to a real doctor?
MR. DELOREY « » : I thank the member for raising this question. This line of questioning seems to be consistent with the questions yesterday. Indeed yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the member yesterday asked specifically about a news release from back in 2016 asking about the status in his community. The announcement was about additional resources for primary care providers to join a collaborative team.
I'm pleased to let the member know that both of the family physicians who were identified in 2016 have been recruited and are working in Cape Breton right now. (Interruptions)
MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, the nurse practitioner that was identified in that news release that the member referenced yesterday has been hired and is working in his community, and the social worker and the dietitian are expected to start very soon; they have been hired.
Indeed, Mr. Speaker, we've been delivering on our commitment to recruit and provide primary care providers across Nova Scotia and in Cape Breton. Thank you.
JUSTICE: PROV. COURT (TRURO) - REPLACEMENT
MS. LENORE ZANN « » : My question today is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The provincial courthouse in Truro services all the residents in Colchester County. For more than 25 years it has been located in an abandoned grocery store on Prince Street. The resident Provincial Court Judge, Mr. Alain Bégin, recently wrote the Premier expressing his frustration with the fact that plans for replacement and consolidation of the Truro Provincial, Family, and Supreme Courts were well under way before a change of government in 2013 abruptly halted these plans. I'll table that, Mr. Speaker.
My question for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is, what happened to the plans to replace the provincial courthouse in Truro?
HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to answer the question. There's continued dialogue within the justice system around the court facility in the Truro community. There's actually a working group where the judiciary sits on and identifies the priorities for the province, and we continue to work within that environment.
MS. ZANN « » : Well the layout of this building is not conducive to an efficiently functioning courthouse. I've toured it myself, Mr. Speaker. The judges are completely isolated from support staff, there are security concerns, and the parking lot is totally inadequate - in fact, I noticed a bullet hole in the window right beside the judges' desk. Yet in the Fall of 2016 the province actually signed another lease to keep the courthouse in the abandoned grocery store for another seven years, with an option for another five-year extension.
Mr. Speaker, this is extremely disappointing and frustrating for the people of Colchester County, especially those who work at the courthouse, including the staff who have been waiting for a new courthouse for years and years.
I ask the minister, why would the province sign a seven-year lease, another one, to keep the courthouse in an abandoned grocery store when the people of Colchester County need a new courthouse today?
MR. FUREY « » : As my colleague would know, when it comes to the construction of any new facility, whether it's a hospital or a courthouse or a school, there's planning that goes into those requirements and those processes. In order to continue with the work and discussions that are ongoing, it was necessary to extend a lease that was about to expire.
I want to bring my colleague's attention to a point that my colleague referenced, that this courthouse has been on a list for years and years and years. It was on a list for four years when that colleague's government was in power and nothing was done to the courthouse in Truro.
EECD - SCHOOL REVIEW PROCESS: IMPACT - DISCUSSION
MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. As everybody is aware, I have two different communities where we have a new high school coming in Eastern Passage, but we have a school review process that was participated in by hundreds of parents, teachers, students, and community organizers. The school process reached the point of the SOC making its recommendations to the school board. The school board was tasked with producing a report of their own recommendations, but it was stopped at the last minute.
We're concerned that if we have to wait another couple of months for another report to come down, there won't be time to implement any changes or recommendations that the school might have meant to implement. The question is, would the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development be willing to meet with me and the principals of the schools affected to talk about the changes that might need to be made?
HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, it is important to clarify that the important work that the board and the community organizations that have provided this report have done will not go to waste. This is simply putting a pause on school board reviews that don't entail facility replacements, in order for us to ensure that they have a full understanding of pre-Primary impact on spacing in those schools and that we have a full understanding of the administrative structure that we have in our province.
These are key questions that need to be answered before we move forward with decisions that are going to impact facilities that will be there for 30-plus years.
MS. ADAMS « » : I am going to ask the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development again if he will be willing to meet with me, as well as the principals of the high schools and possibly the superintendent. I don't get any other question asked more from the Cole Harbour sets of parents than what's going to happen to their high schools, as well as all of the feeder schools. They're afraid that if they wait until after the report is released in December, since the House isn't sitting until March, there won't be an opportunity to address all of their concerns.
Where all three schools - high schools, especially - offer different programs, will the minister commit to meeting with me and the principals and the superintendent of schools?
H&W: EHS CHANGES - REVIEW
The Pubnico base was one of the last EHS bases to actually transfer into the provincial system a number of years ago. At the time, in the negotiation, it was to maintain its priority status amongst those bases in southwestern Nova Scotia, but residents have now been hearing that it is no longer a priority base for EHS, and local volunteer firefighters are saying that ambulance response times are increasing to as much as 35 minutes.
We know 35 minutes is a very long time between life and death, when seconds count. So my question to the minister is, will the minister review EHS changes that have increased service times for the residents of West Pubnico and surrounding area?
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for raising this important question. Indeed, the response times of our EHS system, our ambulance system, and the critical role that they and our paramedics throughout the province play in providing emergency care to Nova Scotians is very important.
With respect to the work that goes into the planning by EHS to identify what the status level of a particular base is - it's the very concern the member has raised about the response times and the data that they have based on past historic calls, call volumes, and the nature of those calls, that actually leads to the assessments and the recommendations they bring forward for any changes that take place to bases across the province.
MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I think anybody who knows anything about ambulance response times, 35 minutes is getting to be a little long. We need to be able to look at the system as a whole, to find out why this is happening.
Last week we learned that only one regional hospital is meeting the provincial standard for transferring patients from ambulances to hospitals. That means that ambulances and paramedics are too often tied up in emergency rooms, and that problem is made worse because ambulance call volumes are increasing from one end of the province to the other. My question to the minister is, what is government doing to ensure that Nova Scotians have adequate ambulance coverage?
MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, again I thank the member for this important question. I believe the services provided by our EHS paramedics and front-line professionals who provide those services are critically important. Indeed, I believe the services when people receive them, they recognize the quality of service being provided.
The work being done, as I've mentioned to the first part of the question, consistently throughout the process, data is being collected, identified where there are opportunities to improve the efficiency of the system. That work is ongoing on a regular basis. We work to bring the EHS and the NSHA database together to look for opportunities to improve the efficiency of the flow-through of the systems, and that work continues as part of our continuous improvement commitment.
H&W - PALLIATIVE CARE GROUPS: SUBMISSIONS - RESPOND
MS. ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Health and Wellness. It is difficult to believe that the minister's department is concerned for the health and well-being of all Nova Scotians. It is also difficult to believe that the minister's department and the NSHA ensure that those who are ill and most vulnerable are given every opportunity to heal, and that those at the end of their lives can do so with dignity and respect.
On numerous occasions, the Strait-Richmond Palliative Care Society and the Richmond County Seniors Council has submitted a proposal that would see that at the end of their life, people would do so with support and resources that they need either at home or in hospital, something the minister's department promotes. They've even written to the minister himself on numerous occasions for the last two years; the most recent one being September 22nd, which was a hand-written letter.
I ask the minister why the Health Authority, and even the minister, do not feel it necessary to respond to the concerns of my community, to the correspondence sent to both the current minister as well as the previous Minister of Health and Wellness?
The question of end of life care has come up a few times this session, in Estimates Debate and here in Question Period, on a number of occasions. As I've mentioned, there's been a significant amount of work done by my predecessor, the current Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, and the staff across the Department of Health and Wellness, to establish end of life care - which is really in relative terms, a new or emerging area in the health care system - and I recognize that work.
A framework has been established to establish hospice programs to ensure that communities who are interested in this type of service have a consistent approach to be looked at when these discussions take place.
MS. PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, I heard the minister earlier say value not the dollars. These people do not equate to dollars and cents. My father - and I thank the minister for his condolences - my father rapidly progressed through disease that brought him quickly to the end of his life the day before I was supposed to take my seat in this Legislature.
Even though Dr. Robert Martell had resigned as a palliative care physician, he supported my father and our family through this difficult time because he's a family friend. He was able to reassure my father and inform our family the steps that would have to be taken on the days that led to my father's death. I thank the Strait-Richmond Hospital staff for the palliative care my father received outside of any direct support provided by the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the minister's department.
Will the minister finally commit to meeting with concerned groups in Cape Breton-Richmond, who have been trying to get a meeting for two years regarding palliative care? Let's stop with the talking points, let's stop with the rhetoric. A yes or no will suffice.
MR. DELOREY « » : I believe this question came up earlier this week or late last week, and the member on behalf of another member in the PC caucus - I believe there are two or three communities that have this question. Actually, I believe it's the member for Cumberland North who raised this question as well. Indeed, I took the information about them to bring forward.
As far as bringing the meetings together, of course I made mention in my previous response that the framework exists. That's to allow those discussions with the staff and those organizations to allow this to move forward.
Again, that information and those requests are just coming through. So as I've just said, Mr. Speaker, the opportunity to meet and to have those discussions is in place, as well as the framework to allow those discussions to move forward in a meaningful way and an efficient way.
ENVIRON. - LITTLE ALBRO LAKE:
FLOATING YELLOW HEART - ADDRESS
MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : My question is for the Minister of Environment. The floating yellow heart is an invasive plant that has been trying to suffocate Little Albro Lake for several years. It has long, finger-like roots that go down into the soil and continually spread. A community group called the Little Albro Lake residents association is working hard not only to fight the invasive plant in Little Albro Lake but also trying to prevent it from spreading to nearby Lake Micmac and Lake Banook, both of which host national and international rowing and paddling regattas.
I ask the minister if he is aware of this issue. If so, what steps is the department taking to address the situation?
HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : I thank the member opposite for the question. The issue of lakes being impacted by invasive species is an important one. To that end, there are initiatives under way for our government to look at a brand new biodiversity Act that may help inform some of the knowledge based on our findings in that report.
Also, the Department of Environment is always willing to look at testing in local lakes. If the member opposite would like to bring some details to my desk, I would be more than happy to look into that for her.
MS. LEBLANC « » : The Little Albro Lake residents association is passionate about fighting the floating yellow heart. They continue to plan, budget, and work to protect the lake, all on a volunteer basis. The group could use a relatively small amount of funding to help further their efforts.
I have written to the minister asking for his department to provide that funding. I would like to ask him here again today, will he contribute funds to the Little Albro Lake residents association to support their valuable efforts dealing with the floating yellow heart?
MR. RANKIN « » : There is precedence in the department to look at various lakes across the province and work with our post-secondary institutions in terms of doing testing and things of that nature. What I could commit to today is taking a look to see if that falls along that same process that we have within the department.
H&W - DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING: WAIT TIMES - SOLUTION
MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Last May, Christe Purdy-Brander's son Jeffrey, who is 22 years old and has Asperger's, began having headaches. He had to wait five months to be seen by a family doctor in a collaborative care centre in Pugwash. In October he was seen, and a diagnostic test was ordered. Before it was done in December, Jeffrey suffered a seizure and was hospitalized. He was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.
My question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, when is his department going to come up with real solutions to reduce the long wait times both to see a doctor and for diagnostic imaging? It literally makes a difference between life and death.
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question about steps being taken throughout our health care system. As the member would know, having worked in the health care system previously, the health care system is a very complex and inter-related, which means that there's no single solution to address the challenges in any particular area of the health care system.
What I can tell the member, as I've stated before, is that we're taking steps that to improve the performance. One is in terms of looking at our health care system as a provincial system.
Indeed, a member from the member's caucus just earlier this week brought up a situation with a person in Yarmouth about diagnostic imaging. I am pleased to announce that that individual has been contacted and is able to go to another part of the province to receive that work. That's just the way the one health authority system is supposed to work as a single system in the Province of Nova Scotia.
MS. SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : No matter the explanation, it's not excusable, and there are real solutions. Christe Purdy-Brander, the mom herself, has been unable to work due to this overwhelming diagnosis, and she has been caring for her son full time. A few years ago, she actually lost another child. The idea of losing yet another son is paralyzing to her and is heartbreaking.
She has applied to use her long-term disability insurance, which she paid into for 28 years. The insurance company told her she doesn't qualify because it took her three months to see a family doctor to get this diagnosis. Now these long wait times are hurting her and her family financially.
My question is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. It is clear that when this government wants to make something happen, like pre-Primary, they can do it. Why will they not take the health of Nova Scotians seriously and come up with real solutions?
MR. DELOREY « » : Again, the situation that the member brings forward obviously is concerning. I think the hearts of all members in the Legislature would go out to the mother, the family, and the children in a situation like that.
I think the member, if she took a moment to pause and reflect - her words and the choice of words that were brought forward here suggest that I and the staff who work in the Department of Health and Wellness, the Health Authority, and throughout our health care system do not take the concerns of individuals in situations like this seriously. I think that is unfortunately very disrespectful to the many hard-working people throughout the health care system.
Of course we take it seriously, and that's why we continue to work. The suggestion that the challenges in our health care system are new is ignoring - if that member suggests that we aren't taking this seriously, that member recognizes (Interruption)
MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would just like to remind honourable members that the clock on the wall there is for the reference of us all, and I will take the liberty to determine when the time is up. I don't need any further reminders.
The honourable member for Kings North.
H&W - VALLEY HOSPICE: CONSTRUCTION - TIMELINE
MR. JOHN LOHR « » : My question is also for the Minister of Health and Wellness. The citizens of the Annapolis Valley can appreciate the success of the Halifax hospice to have their footings going into the ground, as reported recently in The Chronicle Herald.
They are somewhat amazed at the quick turnaround on that project given that their fundraising for the Valley Hospice has been completed for some years now. In fact, the Premier and then-Minister of Health and Wellness announced the build of the Valley Hospice for Fall 2017 on August 18th last year.
While I understand that Fall 2017 is not yet quite over, the fact is it's nearly over. My question is, can the minister confirm the Valley Hospice build will in fact start in Fall 2017 and tell us when tenders on the build will be issued?
But indeed, the work has been progressing on the Valley as it has been up here in Halifax. As far as the specific tender date, I don't have that information on hand, but again, the last time I checked in, the work around the design and site selection was progressing very well. I have had no updates to suggest that that timeline was not going to be met. I'll certainly double-check and get back to the member if there is any deviation from that schedule.
MR. LOHR « » : I would like to thank the minister for that answer. Not only has the Valley community been patiently waiting for the hospice but also for dialysis. It was part of the original MOU with the Health Authority on the hospice project. In fact, dialysis for Valley Regional has been announced a number of times, showing up in the capital plan each of the past four years.
As the minister knows and my colleagues in this House from the Valley know, driving to Halifax for dialysis three or four times a week is a daunting challenge. My question for the minister is, when can the citizens of the Valley expect to have dialysis services at Valley Regional Hospital?
The member referenced that work showing up in the capital plan. The reason projects show up in the capital plan over multiple years is that these projects can take a period of time. The work that gets done for the design as well as the actual construction and implementation, that work takes place and can span over multiple fiscal years. That would explain why it would show up across multiple fiscal plans.
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING
Bill No. 12 - Boxing Authority Act.
I want to thank my fellow MLAs for their remarks about this bill, this Act to provide for the establishment of a Combat Sports Authority for Nova Scotia, is significant because the amendments align with changes to Section 83 of the Criminal Code of Canada made in June, 2013. The Criminal Code dealing with the prohibition on prize fights was amended to reflect the emergence in popularity of mixed martial arts or, as it is more widely known, MMA. Prior to that, boxing was the only prize-fighting exempted under the Criminal Code.
The work of the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority is designed to ensure increased safety for our athletes and provide consistency with approaches across the country. I want to assure the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley that changes to the Act will allow for updating of regulations, where protocols that are in the best interest of the health and safety of contestants are first and foremost.
Like all sporting activity, we all realize the potential for injuries or accidents, but I know the authority has rigorous protocols and, most importantly, years of expertise that make safety the number one priority. It is important to note that the authority appoints a doctor to serve as medical advisor for licensing contestants and carrying out protocols for events.
Separately, Mr. Speaker, sport-related concussions have been recognized as a public health issue and there is ongoing collaborative work being done in this area at the federal, provincial, and territorial level. I also want to congratulate and thank the nine members recently appointed to the new Combat Sports Authority including chairman, Mickey MacDonald, for their ongoing commitment to improving the sport in Nova Scotia.
Changes being introduced will broaden the scope of the new Act to reflect today's changes in combative sport and align with Section 83 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
With those remarks, I move that we close debate on Bill No. 12, the Boxing Authority Act.
HON. PAT DUNN « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about the Boxing Authority Act. I listened with a great interest when the member for Halifax Atlantic spoke about athletes from his area who had successful careers in boxing.
I would like to take this opportunity to inform the House with a brief snippet of the rich history of the Pictou County boxing exploits. Pictou County was home to several successful boxing clubs: the Donnie MacIsaac's Archie Moore Boxing Club in Hillside, the Albion Boxing Club in Trenton, and the Sponagle Club in Westville. A gentleman by the name of Jim Worthen who has devoted approximately 40 years of his life in the field of boxing to the Albion Boxing Amateur Club in Trenton would certainly be pleased to see these safety measures added to the Boxing Authority Act. His club remains very active with both boys and girls participating in that particular sport. The Albion Boxing Club has sent many members to the Canada Games over the past 20 years and they continue to have boxing bouts throughout the Atlantic Provinces.
Mr. Speaker, a personal favourite story that I've read about is the exploits of bare-knuckled boxer Duncan MacDonald who moved away from New Glasgow to the United States when he was 20. He would go on to fight two famous boxers, John L. Sullivan and James J. Corbett, and anyone that did any research in boxing would know those names, Sullivan and Corbett. Both matches, with future heavyweight champions of the world, ended in a draw. MacDonald went on to train Corbett for his heavyweight championship of the world title fight against Sullivan in New Orleans.
We have several very successful and hall-of-fame African Nova Scotian boxers from Pictou County. Hugh "Sparky" Paris, a real gentleman, began his 13-year career at the age of 18, which ended in the 1950s. He was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame. Mr. Paris died in 2014 at the age of 91.
Inducted in 1992, boxer Jo Jo Jackson of New Glasgow began his career in the 1960s. He boxed as a professional in 63 fights and was a contender for the Canadian Championship title several times. His record was 49 wins, 12 losses and 2 draws. I had the pleasure of watching Jo Jo fight in several of his matches.
Norman Paddy Lawrence was inducted in 2009. He joined the military where he was one of the Army's best light-middleweight boxers in the late 1950s. He's also a member of the Armed Forces Hall of Fame.
Joe Borden was inducted in 1998 for boxing. I had the opportunity to play high school hockey against this athlete, who would later be known as Joltin' Joe Borden. He was the Maritime and Eastern Lightweight Champion and had a successful career of 46 wins, 12 losses and 2 draws. Joe's most famous fight was in Montreal in 1977 against Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Spinks. Joe is a member of the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.
Growing up in Pictou County I often heard of Charlie "Bearcat" Jackson, who was inducted in 1991. One of his most famous fights in the 1940s was against a New Glasgow police officer, which drew nearly 4,000 fans.
Another boxer known across the country and beyond was Robert "Bobby" Beaton who passed away in 2007. He was born in Port Hood, Cape Breton Island and moved to New Glasgow - and I keep telling the member for Inverness he moved to New Glasgow to become a real boxer. Bobby played numerous sports including hockey for a team in England in 1938 and they won the European championship.
Bobby Beaton boxed professionally as a welterweight and his record was 12-0 with 9 TKOs. He began refereeing boxing matches and officiated more than 500 boxing matches, including 41 Canadian titles, 5 British Commonwealth, and 1 World Championship. Bobby Beaton is credited with conceiving the three-judge system in boxing. Most people don't know that Beaton lost the sight in one eye in a sledding accident at the age of 3 but became proficient in numerous sports.
Leslie "Babe" Mason from Stellarton represented Canada at the 1956 Summer Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. In 1944 Mason entered the Canadian Armed Forces and served in Canada and the Korean War. In 1954, he won the Armed Forces Commonwealth Championship in Korea as a welterweight. In 1956 Babe Mason won the Eastern Canadian title in the Canadian Army Welterweight Championship. Mason is still active today in his community.
One cannot talk about boxing in Pictou County without mentioning the Hafey brothers from Stellarton. Art Hafey rose to the No. 1 contender in the World Featherweight Division but was never given his deserved shot at the world title. "Irish" Art Hafey was nicknamed the "Toy Tiger" by his opponents. Art stepped into the boxing ring to do battle with the top featherweights in the world during the 1970s, long considered the golden age of featherweights. No one ever possessed more fight in him or stood taller in the ring than the uncrowned Featherweight Champion of the World, Art Hafey. The Ring magazine and other boxing experts in the 1970s picked him as not the best Canadian fighter but the best featherweight fighter in the world while he trained and fought out of California.
Art's brother, Lawrence, won the Canadian Middleweight Championship. In the late 1960s all three brothers – Art, Lawrence, and Ernie - could be seen participating in the same boxing match in the Stellarton rink.
Another Pictou County fighter by the name of Alex Martin won the Canadian Featherweight Championship and, just recently, I noticed in the paper where a 41-year-old mother of two who joined the Albion Boxing Club to join their fitness program, became involved in boxing, and I believe next month she's making her debut in a boxing match hosted by the Albion Boxing Club in Pictou County.
Mr. Speaker, with those few words, I'll take my seat.
The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
The motion is carried.
Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.
The honourable Government House Leader.
Bill No. 17 - Solemnization of Marriage Act.
HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 17, an Act to Amend Chapter 436 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Solemnization of Marriage Act, be now read for a third time and do pass.
The motion is carried.
Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.
The honourable Government House Leader.
Bill No. 19 - Consumer Protection Statutes.
The motion is carried.
Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.
The honourable Government House Leader.
Bill No. 29 - Marine Renewable-energy Act.
The motion is carried.
The honourable Government House Leader.
Bill No. 33 - Gas Distribution Act.
The motion is carried.
The honourable Government House Leader.
Following the daily routine, we will move to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills to consider Bill Nos. 7, 15, and 16. That's it.
MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House adjourn to meet again Monday, October 23rd between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.
The motion is carried.
The House stands adjourned.
[The House rose at 11:05 a.m.]