|TABLE OF CONTENTS||PAGE|
|ARRIVAL OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR||1|
|SPEECH FROM THE THRONE||1|
|INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:|
|An Act Respecting Oaths of Office, Hon. A. Mitchell||13|
|SPEECH FROM THE THRONE:|
|Moved - Mr. Wayne Fraser||14|
|Seconded - Dr. Edwin Kinley||19|
|ADDRESS IN REPLY:|
|Dr. J. Hamm||23|
|ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Nov. 21st at 10:00 a.m.||27|
[The Sixth Session of the 56th General Assembly was opened with historic ceremony on a cold, sunny day.
The Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable John James Kinley, preceded by his escort and aides and by Mr. Douglas Giles, Acting Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing the Mace, entered the House of Assembly Chamber. The Lieutenant Governor then took his seat on the Throne.
The Sergeant-at-Arms then departed and re-entered the Chamber followed by the Speaker, the Honourable Gerald Fogarty; the Chief Clerk of the House, Roderick MacArthur, Q.C.; and the Acting Assistant Clerk, Arthur Fordham, Q.C.
The Speaker, with the Sergeant-at-Arms on his right and the Clerks on either side, took up his position at the foot of the Speaker's Table.]
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: It is the wish of His Honour that the ladies and gentlemen be seated.
SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: Mr. Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly, ladies and gentlemen, friends and, above all else, Nova Scotians. I am pleased to open the Sixth Session of the Fifty-sixth General Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia's soul is its caring people and caring communities. We wish to pay tribute to Nova Scotians whose actions lie at the heart of what makes this province such a great place to live. Heather Grant, a 16-year-old Yarmouth resident, watched her uncle die of AIDS and then organized a march in her local community raising money for AIDS education.
The Cape Breton relatives of Jessica Whitney rallied together in an effort to save the nine-year-old's life. Their work resulted in more than 400 people from across the island becoming members of the national Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
Melissa Labrador, a Queens County youth, reminded Canadians of the importance of inclusion and reverence for traditional native symbols when she brought an eagle feather to the federal House of Commons. She was recently appointed to Nova Scotia Youth Advisory Council along with 11 other young Nova Scotians.
In Dartmouth, thousands of volunteers and other citizens came together in August to welcome 700 people from 46 countries to the world canoe championships. Visitors returned home with lasting memories of Nova Scotian enthusiasm and warmth.
George Richardson of Halifax was honoured this year for saving the lives of two young sisters whose Halloween costumes had caught on fire.
These are only a few Nova Scotians who have made a difference. They remind us that it is our character, our care and compassion that make Nova Scotia the most wonderful place in the world to live. On behalf of my government and all Nova Scotia, I wish to thank them.
A New Direction
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming you to the first session of this Legislature with a new Premier. We are setting new directions for this province and for our future - directions that are based on the priorities of the people and on the challenges that must be met to secure our future.
My government will measure progress in terms of healthy families, strong local economies, fairness for all Nova Scotians, and vibrant communities. My government will strive to bring stability, security, and a sense of pride and accomplishment to every aspect of our lives.
My government will uphold the values of the people of this province that set us apart as a kind and caring community. We will work hard to: give Nova Scotians, particularly young people, the tools they need to succeed; attract investment and new jobs to all regions of this province; strengthen communities so that they remain safe and vital places to work, live, and raise a family; support children and families; and celebrate our heritage and diversity and support that which makes us unique.
It is government's role to instill pride and build a sense of optimism among Nova Scotians. We have untapped natural resources. We have new opportunities in emerging industry. We have the best educated generation of young people in our history.
My government owes Nova Scotians leadership that listens to and respects the wishes of the people. My government will show leadership by focusing our efforts on key priorities. Those priorities are: a strong economy that advances all regions of our province; an enhanced emphasis on health to strengthen our systems of care and build a more secure society; and a vigorous focus on jobs and education, which are vitally linked and key to our future.
Securing Our Economic Foundation
At the top of the Nova Scotian priority list are local jobs and strong local economies. Our foremost challenge as a government is to ensure that no region of this province is left behind by the prosperity that can be ours as we enter the 21st Century.
We are poised for growth.
Capital investment in Nova Scotia will grow by 18 per cent this year, well ahead of the national average and most G7 countries. Companies like Scotiabank and CIBC have demonstrated their faith in Nova Scotia. Call centres alone are now generating some $70 million in new income for Nova Scotians.
We see tremendous economic performance in industries that reach out, outside urban centres and into the heartland of this province, into our fishing villages, farms, and rural communities. Multi-nationals, including IKEA, Michelin, and Stora, have chosen rural Nova Scotian communities as places to expand or establish new facilities.
The film industry provides jobs in coastal towns from Louisbourg to Shelburne. This new business has expanded dramatically - 600 per cent since 1993 and 50 per cent in the last year alone. The provincial tax incentive that fuelled this growth is now being copied in New Brunswick and Quebec.
The world has already discovered what Nova Scotians have always known. Musicians like the Barra MacNeils from Sydney Mines, the Rankin family from Mabou, and Natalie MacMaster from Inverness County prove we make the best music anywhere. The celebration of uniquely Nova Scotian music, with its roots in Celtic, Acadian, and Mi'kmaq cultures, helped build a record year for tourism. This year Nova Scotia's tourism industry grew by 6 per cent, the fastest growth rate in 25 years.
Nova Scotia remains Canada's leader in quantity and value of fish landings. Fish and value-added seafood remain our number one export. Nova Scotians recognized early, and have since proven, that value-added and new markets are key to survival, growth, and prosperity in this, our most traditional industry.
Our universities are selling expertise in places like Kuwait and St. Kitts. They're adding a surprising new dimension to Nova Scotia's strong export growth - $110 million in new sales over the past year, and 1,100 jobs for Nova Scotians.
Look at what lies ahead.
Exploration and development of the seabed surrounding Sable Island will bring a whole new energy source to Nova Scotia. Industry leaders are investing $3 billion private sector dollars in an underwater "highway" and overland connectors to bring the wealth ashore. The six wells targeted for initial development represent only one-sixth of the known reserve. This project is only the beginning. My government will work diligently in the development of this new resource and will ensure economic benefits stay in Nova Scotia.
My government will soon be announcing specific training funds and programs to prepare workers for employment in the natural gas industry. Opportunities are here, in the offshore and in other emerging and traditional industries. They must be met by a government with the foresight and leadership to seize the advantage for Nova Scotia.
My government has adopted a forceful position with respect to new industries looking to set up in this province. There must be strong financial commitment to targeted training packages that will guarantee highly skilled and job-ready workers. We will ensure that Nova Scotians fill these new jobs.
My government is currently negotiating with 20 to 30 companies seeking to locate in Nova Scotia. We will ensure that training components are built into the deals we make with new employers.
We will build a Nova Scotia training advantage, partnering with the private sector and with educational institutions, such as the community college, to ensure training matches local workers to jobs.
We will protect the thousands of jobs that depend on a secure forestry by amending legislation to ensure that harvesting does not exceed the capacity to grow timber and that reforestation, environmental protection, and wildlife habitat conservation are practised on Crown and private woodlands.
My government will maintain a strong commitment to silviculture on private woodlots: $4 million will be budgeted in the next fiscal year. We will encourage a similar commitment from the forest industry to safeguard this resource for the next generation and beyond.
My government will review land use policies and farm land taxation and, in consultation with agricultural groups, will develop new policies to better support the agricultural sector.
New wealth will flow to Nova Scotia when we add value to the goods we produce and sell our goods and services in new markets worldwide. Rather than export raw materials for processing and manufacturing, we will attract investment here. The jobs associated with turning Nova Scotia's resources into finished products will be Nova Scotian jobs. A new investment incentives policy will help in this effort.
My government will soon be announcing new call centres throughout Nova Scotia. We are in discussions with companies seeking to locate in communities from Digby County to Cape Breton.
My government will remove obstacles and artificial barriers to business. My government will be introducing legislation to cut red tape and allow industry to get on with creating new jobs.
Over the coming year, we will formalize our partnership with the tourist industry to expand and improve tourism products. A new increased effort will be made to attract visitors from Quebec and Ontario.
We will continue to celebrate Nova Scotia's music through festivals and tourism, and by integrating our music with our trade and investment efforts, to expand the music industry throughout the province.
The new Nova Scotia Tax Equity Credit will promote community investment in Nova Scotia. We will move forward with this program so that Nova Scotians can invest in the business "down the road" and support local jobs.
We will build on our industrial heritage. My government believes there is a future for steel and coal. We will form an industrial commission and ask the federal government to participate with us in developing a common approach to industrial development, a common strategy reflecting our responsibilities for steel and the federal role in coal.
My government is working to ensure a viable future for Sydney Steel, a future with a private sector company with the financial backing and the long-term plan to secure jobs and reach new markets.
Transportation is vital to our economic future. Communities know there is a direct link between infrastructure and attracting investment and jobs. We must have a better partnership with the federal government that recognizes the importance transportation links play in strengthening communities across Nova Scotia.
The federal government must recognize and meet obligations to upgrade facilities as we proceed with the privatization of Halifax International Airport, one of the fastest-growing airports in Canada.
My government will aggressively seek a fair deal on marine navigation fees.
Roads are important when you move raw materials to the manufacturing plant and finished products to the market. We will commit new funds for secondary roads in this fiscal year and increased dollars yet again in the next.
Federal facilities, such as the former Cornwallis military base, are becoming generators of employment and economic activity. We will soon be announcing plans for CFB Shearwater, which is ideally located to participate in a boom in shipping and state-of-the-art port development.
Building a Healthy Nova Scotia
A stable and well-performing economy is the foundation of our collective security. A well-funded, first-class system of health care is the cornerstone of personal well-being.
Medical professionals are here. Hospitals are accessible. Emergency service is dependable, and medicines are affordable.
Our health care system is strong and will get stronger. We have to do better to ensure all Nova Scotians are receiving the same high level of service. Many important new initiatives have taken place in the last year to ensure services are available when and where Nova Scotians need them. A new agreement is in place to secure physician services for Nova Scotia and to attract new doctors to rural areas.
Modern medical facilities are important in our small towns and in rural communities. A new regional hospital will be built in Cumberland County along with new health care facilities in Cheticamp and Neils Harbour. Yarmouth Hospital is undergoing redevelopment. A cancer treatment centre is under construction at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Home Care is helping 18,000 Nova Scotians each year.
The first and largest Telemedicine network in the world is connecting doctors and patients in rural Nova Scotia with the latest in diagnostics and specialist services.
We are proud of new initiatives to combat cancer, including mobile screening clinics and a co-ordinated cancer care initiative linking the Department of Health, academics and hospitals where care is delivered. We will build on these successes.
My government will fund more cancer care, train emergency doctors, and fund critical care simulation and the St. John's Ambulance Chain-of-Survival.
The government has made real progress in emergency health care. The emergency medical helicopter will soon be backed up by a fixed-wing aircraft.
We acknowledge that the health care funding equation needs to be re-examined.
My government will strengthen health care funding. Additional money in this fiscal year will total $100 million, and there will be further increases in 1998-99.
The long-term care sector has made significant contributions to the overall health and well-being of our population. The ministers of Health and Community Services will be convening almost immediately to begin efforts to ensure this sector gets the attention it deserves.
We recognize the anxiety that has been caused by health care restructuring.
To ensure Nova Scotians are receiving the best services, my government will be appointing a panel of health care professionals and community leaders to evaluate the current directions for health care and ensure that services and programs are secure across Nova Scotia. The panel will report back to government in the spring.
Strong, Vibrant Communities
Nova Scotia is a great province because of the strength of our people and our communities. Strong communities have key characteristics - they are safe and healthy places for our families to live and grow.
That means safe streets and safe homes. Nova Scotia is leading the country in taking a tough stand against family violence. We have added victim-support services, trained more than 3,000 justice workers and adopted a pro-arrest, pro-prosecution policy.
Nova Scotia has some of the toughest anti-drunk driving laws in the country. My government will soon be coming forward with more programs to combat drinking and driving.
My government is already taking a leadership role by supporting community participation in matters involving young offenders.
My government will go forward with a Restorative Justice program, which provides communities and victims with more satisfactory justice by giving them a voice in sentencing and alternative measures.
My government will, in partnership with the federal government, concentrate on crime prevention. Law enforcement officers, social workers, and community groups will recommend measures to reduce crime. Their work will include both preventive measures and recommendations for better enforcement.
Still, there are people in our communities who need our help and support. We will do more for children, especially during early childhood, life's most critical stage.
My government is working on a prevention framework and action plan to direct and co-ordinate government services and services delivered by other publicly funded bodies for children and youth at risk.
A Community Partner's Program will promote children's development programs. This collaborative effort will involve many players such as the YMCA, health organizations, and food banks. There will be new programs in child nutrition, early childhood language development and screening for risk factors and support for families who are overburdened.
The Healthy Start pilot project will focus on home visits and practical support to parents and children at risk. It is modelled after a program in Hawaii that has received international acclaim. Overall, we will work with communities to strengthen programs and services that prevent abuse and neglect.
We are committed to helping families. We will be deciding how best to help low-income Nova Scotians with the National Child Benefit - a new benefit that starts in July.
A new Labour Market Development Strategy is creating new programs involving training, loans and grants to clients of several departments, including Economic Development and Tourism, Community Services, and Education and Culture. In particular, social assistance clients will benefit from meaningful employment supports and experience.
The quality of community life depends upon the quality of our environment. We have the good fortune to live in one of the most beautiful, pristine places on earth. We are leading Canada in our efforts in recycling. This year, we will be putting less garbage in landfills - 50 per cent less.
During this session, my government will introduce legislation to ensure 31 areas of the province are protected today and for all generations to come.
In the spring, we will release a comprehensive state of the environment report. We are committed to keeping our communities clean, healthy, and beautiful for all Nova Scotians.
Better Opportunity through Education
To secure our future we must provide our young people with relevant skills, job-related training and on-the-job experience. Federal and provincial governments are working on a Youth Employment Strategy which will provide access to employment and on-the-job training for 16- to 29-year-old Nova Scotians. First ministers have made this a top priority. In addition my government will:
develop a made-in-Nova-Scotia youth employment strategy. The government will be highlighting and supporting three key areas: education, work experience and information.
provide an internship program within the civil service for students and young graduates seeking employment. My government is taking a leadership role to ensure young Nova Scotians gain that initial job experience so important to launching a successful career.
commit funds through a winter works program to assist young people who are most at risk of not finding meaningful employment. Young Nova Scotians living in rural areas in particular will benefit from this program.
connect education to the job market. In partnership with local businesses and schools, my government will soon announce co-operative education and school-to-work transition programs in our high schools.
A strong vibrant future is before us. The future depends on an education system that supports Nova Scotia's students and its teachers.
We're committed to reducing large class sizes. Studies demonstrate that smaller class size leads to enhanced teacher-pupil interaction and improved student performance.
Dozens of proposals have been received from schools eager to participate in a new program of leadership support and networking in junior high schools. The co-operating schools will be announced soon and will benefit from such initiatives as "team teaching." The aim is to give more teacher attention and adult support to young people during a critical time in their lives.
Our schools must be safe, healthy places to learn. My government will meet the needs for safe, positive school environments. Schools will have access and input into programs in peer mediation, zero tolerance for violence, conflict resolution, prevention of substance abuse, and support groups for both students and parents.
My government will be working with school boards in developing a "healthy schools" program. We will be assisting our education partners in examining air quality standards, air quality testing, and maintenance.
My government is moving forward with new curriculum that reflects black culture and scholarships for African Nova Scotian students. Working with the Afrocentric Learning Institute we will be increasing the number of black teachers.
We will be launching a Grade 7 Mi'kmaq language course and a Grade 10 Mi'kmaq studies course. All schools across our province will have access to these new materials.
Recently Maclean's magazine lauded our education system by designating two Nova Scotia universities, Acadia and St. Francis Xavier, as second and fourth in undergraduate excellence in a nationwide survey.
My government will work with the Nova Scotia Council on Higher Education to address funding levels for the next four years and distribute funds appropriately among universities.
My government recognizes the crisis in tuition fees at post-secondary institutions. Nova Scotia already has a program of debt forgiveness that will be reviewed for further flexibility and at the same time, we will urge the federal government to adopt a similar program.
Increased funding for health and education depends on a strong economy and on government's ability to manage taxpayers' dollars wisely. My government remains committed to prudent fiscal management and will commit new funds to our priority areas: a strong economy, secure health care and education linked with training.
We recognize that some Nova Scotians, especially those with low incomes and little discretionary spending, are disproportionately affected by the Harmonized Sales Tax. My government is examining ways to ease the tax burden on necessities.
All of the above programs, initiatives and new funding mechanisms characterize a government that reflects the priorities of the people of this province. The public is well served by our professional, non-partisan public service. We will renew the public service by continuing to support new skills and management development. We recognize the hard work and dedication of the 55,000 men and women who serve Nova Scotians well.
This is an exciting time in Nova Scotia's history. We stand on the threshold of great opportunities. There is a renewed confidence in Nova Scotia and among Nova Scotians. Our goods and services are finding markets worldwide. Nova Scotia's reputation for excellence is growing. Sable gas is an economic bonus that will result in new jobs and economic opportunity for Nova Scotians and increased resources to fund vital public programs, like health care and education. Nova Scotians and those who view our province from afar, see unlimited potential. My government sees all these opportunities clearly, and is determined to seize them for the benefit of Nova Scotians today and tomorrow.
In every community, my government will champion that which makes this province great. The generosity of spirit, the determination, the courage, the vision and the wisdom of her people.
God Save The Queen;
God Bless Nova Scotia;
God Bless Canada.
[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.
The Lieutenant Governor left the Chamber preceded by his escort and the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Mr. Speaker took the Chair.]
MR. SPEAKER: Please be seated.
Honourable members of the House of Assembly, I wish to thank you for the honour bestowed upon me this day. Special thanks to the honourable Premier for his expression of confidence in me in moving the nomination, and to the honourable Leader of the Opposition for agreeing to second the nomination.
I want to say to all elected representatives who meet in this historic Chamber, considered to be the cradle of democratic government in what is now Canada, that you have my pledge that I will attempt to discharge my duties with fairness and impartiality. My aim is to ensure that parliamentary democracy means, "majority rule tempered by minority rights.".
As presiding officer in a legislative body, the Speaker regulates the debates in accordance with the rules and practices of this House, as well as precedents from other jurisdictions, and that is the way I intend to approach this job.
Honourable members, I have done a little reading and some research in preparing to meet this challenge, and I find that the Office of Speaker is almost as old an institution as Parliament itself. I find that the origin of the Speakership, going back to medieval times in the United Kingdom, is lost in antiquity. But I did discover several recorded anecdotes which, with the approbation of the House, I would like to relate at this time.
However, before we climb into the time machine, I want to say that I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Rod Lewis who is a long-time Clerk in the Ontario Legislature. At one time he gave his prescription for a good Speaker: Mr. Lewis said, a good sense of humour. "When a Speaker takes himself too seriously, he's going to have trouble!".
It was exactly 400 years ago, in 1597, Mr. Speaker Yelverton of the British House of Commons described the qualities necessary for a Speaker this way:
"his voice great
his carriage majestical
his nature haughty
his purse plentiful.". (Laughter)
As a consequence of the growing importance of the House of Commons, Tudor and Stuart sovereigns ensured that the position of Speaker should be filled by a compliant candidate, of their own choosing, to manage the royal business and also to report the attitude of members.
If the Speaker was dispatched to the King bearing news His Majesty deemed unkind or seditious, to be Speaker was not a task which allowed one to sleep well. The more things change, the more they remain the same or, to perhaps put it another way, what goes around, comes around.
In the 1730's, Speaker Cornwall declined to give a reason for a certain decision. He simply said he was too tired. Of that Speaker it was said that he would relieve the strain and the tedium of long hours in the Chair by taking copious draughts of porter beer which, according to one member, "sometimes produced inconveniences". Speaker Cornwall's colleagues were less than kind on the occasion of his death in office. One of them said that, "never was any man in a public situation less regretted or sooner forgotten.".
During the Wars of the Roses, some Speakers had the temerity to align themselves with various political factions. They were executed. Fortunately (Interruption) Wait for it. (Laughter) Fortunately, this practice has died out. (Laughter)
Two of the better known Speakers here in Nova Scotia were Richard John Uniacke and Joseph Howe. Uniacke became Speaker in 1789. Since in those days there was no formal Party structure, Mr. Speaker Uniacke was expected to provide leadership in the Assembly. We are told it was not unusual for him to intervene in debate or to draft legislation.
Joe Howe occupied this Chair from 1840 to 1843. It might be argued that Howe was a political paradox. On the one hand he was the champion of freedom of the press and of responsible government in Nova Scotia, but on the other he sat in Cabinet while holding the Speakership. One newspaper, the Morning Post - certainly not the Novascotian - accused Howe of, "believing himself exempt from the very rules that he wished to see adopted.".
Well, honourable members, this could be the longest speech that I, as Speaker, will have a chance to make since, in this day and age, of course, the Speaker actually does more listening than speaking. So I thought I would make the most of this opportunity.
In closing, it was suggested that perhaps on some occasion nearing the end of the allotted time for Question Period, I could say something like, well, we have just enough time for a short snapper. (Laughter) Well, that could be a little risky because this Speaker would never want to face a charge of plagiarism, considering the expression short snapper, at least in this Chamber, is the exclusive property of the honourable member for Antigonish.
I thank you for your kind attention. (Applause)
The honourable Minister of Justice.
HON. ALAN MITCHELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a bill entitled An Act Respecting Oaths of Office.
MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a second time on a future day.
His Honour the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to make a speech to the members met in General Assembly, of which Speech, for greater accuracy, I have obtained a copy which the Chief Clerk will now read. (Interruption)
The honourable Premier.
HON. RUSSELL MACLELLAN, Q.C. (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I don't blame the Opposition for wanting to hear that Speech again, it was masterfully crafted. It contains volumes of wisdom which would be unknown to the Opposition, but I would at this time like to move that the Speech be adopted as read.
MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the Speech be taken as read.
Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.
The motion is carried.
The honourable member for Pictou East. (Applause)
MR. WAYNE FRASER: Mr. Speaker, Lieutenant Governor James Kinley, Mrs. Kinley, honourable members of this House of Assembly and invited guests, I proudly rise today to move the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.
On behalf of the good people of Pictou East, for whom it is my distinct privilege of representing, I bring the warmest of greetings.
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to begin my address by expressing my sincere gratitude to our Lieutenant Governor James Kinley for his well-delivered presentation of our government's intentions on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia. To both Their Honours, the Lieutenant Governor and Mrs. Kinley, I pledge our continued support for their loyal service to the people of Nova Scotia and Her Majesty.
On this day, November 20th, we wish Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of their marriage. (Applause)
Mr. Speaker, it is with a certain sense of accomplishment to see members on both sides of this House returning to this historic Chamber as together we focus on the concerns and the needs of Nova Scotians.
I am most especially happy to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of this Assembly who now represent Cumberland North and Cape Breton The Lakes. Of course, Mr. Speaker, to my own recently elected caucus colleagues from Halifax Citadel and Cape Breton North, I applaud your campaign victories. The constituents of each of these ridings have rewarded you with the high honour of representing their interests to this Assembly.
Mr. Speaker, it is my honour as well to extend to you congratulations on your appointment as Speaker. As the representative of Halifax Bedford Basin we have gained tremendous respect for the quiet dignity you have exhibited during your memorable career
in the local media, in all aspects of your community commitments and the loving devotion you have shown to your family. In this Chamber, I know you will hold sacred our parliamentary traditions and I am happy to extend to you my sincere gratitude and faithful support.
Through you, Mr. Speaker, to Premier MacLellan, I am truly delighted to extend my sincere congratulations as our newly elected Leader and Premier of Nova Scotia. (Applause)
Our Premier has gained enthusiastic support from the members of our Party as well as recently being elected by the vast majority of the residents living in Cape Breton North. Next spring, Mr. Speaker, he will enjoy the endorsement of the majority of Nova Scotians as the Leader of the dominant political Party in Nova Scotia. (Applause)
Premier MacLellan is a man who respects the past and looks to the future with confidence in our abilities as Nova Scotians to capture opportunity for this province.
The Speech from the Throne is a reflection, too, of the man who leads the Government of Nova Scotia and, like our Premier, tells us that if we continue to work together the best for Nova Scotia is yet to come. (Applause)
As the representative of Pictou East, it is a pleasure for me to be part of the new MacLellan Government, especially in collaborating with my government colleagues in the creation of a prosperous future for the residents of Pictou East and, ultimately, for the Province of Nova Scotia. I am very humbled to say thank you to the constituents of Pictou East for the support they have shown me over the last four and one-half years. The people I represent, like those throughout Nova Scotia, look forward to a continued restoration of a province that we all can be proud of.
Mr. Speaker, I am proud of this Liberal Government for restoring the credibility of our provincial finances and getting Nova Scotia back on the move again; proud of my colleagues in the Liberal caucus, who have had the courage to stand together and make the difficult decisions that were required to reach our targets. We owe them a debt of gratitude for the tremendous personal sacrifice they make to serve this province.
Yes, I am proud to say that we are making a difference. As indicated throughout the Throne Speech, stable finances and a growing economy are important, as is job creation and economic growth, but this government has also managed to combine the principles of fiscal stability with social responsibility.
Did you know, Mr. Speaker, that Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada that has actually increased family benefit allowances? We have added new subsidized day care spaces, developed a comprehensive Maintenance Enforcement Program, taken a strong stand against family violence and amended the Children and Family Services Act to protect our children. (Applause)
This Liberal Government supports such community-based projects as Kids First in New Glasgow, the Pictou County Help Line and victim services offered at Tearmann House.
Since taking office, this government provided new subsidized day care spaces at the Family Home Child Care Centre for Pictou County.
One of our top priorities as a government has always been families and children. This government has enhanced many of the health care programs and services that reflect this priority including: the now secured Seniors Pharmacare Program; enhanced Emergency Health Services; Telemedicine; breast screening clinics; mental health initiatives; and the Tobacco Access legislation.
I am always proud to remind this Assembly that the new Home Care Program for Nova Scotia was unveiled in Pictou County as an acute care substitution pilot project.
Mr. Speaker, at our Aberdeen Hospital, this government has supported funding of $22.9 million in renovations to the in-patient's units and the refurbishing of the hospital.
Health care in Nova Scotia has turned away from the mere treatment of illness to the prevention of disease and the promotion of healthy lifestyles that will ensure the well-being of Nova Scotians in the future.
This Liberal Government supports the redirection of education dollars back into the classrooms and giving parents an official role in the education of their children. Entrepreneurship education, computers in schools, high-tech schools and restructuring of our community colleges will give our students the advantages they need to compete in tomorrow's workplace.
This government has made further commitments through the Department of Education for the Pictou Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College. New programs and a number of new co-op education programs were added, focusing on economic growth areas to increase the success of graduates in finding jobs.
Under a three year Partnership in Learning agreement with Michelin Tire Canada Ltd., the Nova Scotia Community College operates a computer-based instruction program at Michelin's Granton plant in Pictou County. As well, Westville High School is 1 of 46 schools to receive computer equipment through the $3 million federal-provincial Computers in Schools Program.
Thanks to this Liberal Government and our cooperative efforts with the Friends of the Museum, the doors of the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry were finally and permanently opened last year. (Applause)
This Liberal Government has seen many tremendous achievements for Nova Scotia. We have made a difference to the close to 29,000 Nova Scotians who have found jobs since 1993 . . . (Applause)
AN HON. MEMBER: Hear! Hear! Well done.
MR. FRASER: . . . to minimum wage earners who have experienced a raise, to low income seniors who receive a $300 refundable tax credit and to all Nova Scotians who, for time in our provincial history, will see a cut in personal income taxes. (Applause)
AN HON. MEMBER: Hear! Hear! Well done. Good government.
MR. FRASER: But the event that will have significant lasting benefits for generations to come is Nova Scotia's first fully balanced budget in 25 years. (Applause)
AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, good government, well done.
MR. FRASER: In addition, Mr. Speaker, the combined federal GST and provincial sales tax has dropped from 19 per cent to 15 per cent. This represents the single largest sales tax decrease in the history of Nova Scotia. (Applause)
We can all take pride in supporting a Liberal Government that has made this province a better place to do business. Our balanced budget, community economic development initiatives, trade missions and now the added advantage of the tax harmonization, has made investing in Nova Scotia attractive. (Applause)
In Pictou County, Mr. Speaker, you have all the evidence you need that Nova Scotia is on the move. Earlier this year, this Liberal Government funded a multimillion dollar extension of the Trenton Municipal Airport. As a result, everyone benefits - local businesses, the construction company and its skilled workers. With greater access to our region, people and companies associated with the Sable Island natural gas project will be encouraged to use this airport today and well into the future.
Mr. Speaker, at a critical time, this Liberal Government was there for Trenton Car Works, now owned by Greenbrier Companies of Oregon. (Applause) The sale by Greenbrier has opened up new markets in the U.S. for the quality products manufactured at this plant. Greenbrier has spent over $10 million in improvements since taking over the plant in March 1995 and the workforce has increased dramatically. Today, 900 Pictou County men and women who are working there are happy to take home a well-earned pay cheque. (Applause)
Just recently, Mr. Speaker, the unionized workers at the TrentonWorks railcar plant voted in favour of a tentative contract offer. I believe this speaks well of the loyalty of Nova Scotia workers and their commitment to quality.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to this Assembly that earlier this month Kimberly-Clark signed an agreement with Harmac Pacific to purchase the Abercrombie Point pulp and paper mill. Harmac Pacific is now one of Canada's largest pulp producers. With the wise choice of acquiring a Nova Scotia plant, Harmac has broadened their operating base across Canada and gained valuable access to the European market.
Mr. Speaker, the Kimberly-Clark plant has been a viable, well-managed operation, manufacturing a quality product with secure resources. The sale to Harmac Pacific will ensure continued growth and add to the security of employers, employees and suppliers in our local area.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity as well to express my gratitude to Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. for their vote of confidence in Nova Scotia. (Applause) Recently, Michelin announced it will be investing $150 million to upgrade and expand production at their three Nova Scotia plants, one in Pictou County. This announcement is all about commitment by one of the province's largest employers to its workforce and to being an industry leader. This announced investment is about our commitment, as a government, to making sure real employment opportunities exist in Nova Scotia's rural communities. (Applause)
Mr. Speaker, the twinning of Highway No. 104 is reported to be the largest project of its kind in Nova Scotia this year and will become the very backbone of growth in Pictou County. This highway project recognizes the importance of Pictou County as an economic centre, an industrial base and a tourist destination.
Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia is a great place to do business, and although previously mentioned in the Throne Speech, but worth repeating, investment growth in this province is one of the best in the country, well ahead of the national average and most G7 nations. (Applause) Therefore, the continued presence of such industries as Greenbrier, Harmac Pacific and Michelin in rural Nova Scotia will act as a beacon for other corporations looking for a place to invest.
Is this Liberal Government making a difference? Yes, clearly; (Applause) a difference that touches people's lives, eases their burdens and helps people remain firmly on their feet; a difference only a Liberal Government can make.
Mr. Speaker, there is an optimism in the air as Nova Scotians realize the benefits of being a financially stable province and they see the bright future in opportunities like the Sable Offshore Natural Gas Project.
As the representative for Pictou East, I would like to close by expressing my appreciation to the residents of Pictou East and my caucus colleagues, including our Premier, Russell MacLellan. Together, with your unfailing support and encouragement, we will continue to create a legacy that makes Pictou East and Nova Scotia a force to be reckoned with.
Mr. Speaker, if one thoroughly examines the themes outlined in the Speech from the Throne, it is clear that the Nova Scotia Government can secure our economic foundation while building a healthy Nova Scotia, creating better opportunities through education, with strong vibrant rural communities. That is why I am deeply honoured for the privilege to confidently move that the Speech from the Throne do pass, as read, by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.
Mr. Speaker, may it please His Honour Lieutenant Governor Jim Kinley that we, Her Majesty's cheerful and loyal subjects, in this House of Assembly, during the Sixth Session of the Fifty-sixth General Assembly, assure His Honour of our loyal support and affection. May God bless you and keep you well. Thank you. (Applause)
MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel. (Applause)
DR. EDWIN KINLEY: Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to stand before you, the honourable members of this House and the guests in the gallery, to second the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. May I also add my thanks to our Lieutenant Governor for presenting our government's agenda to the people of Nova Scotia.
Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your appointment to the position of Speaker of this House. I have every confidence that you will carry out your duties with dignity and fairness in accordance with the great traditions of your office.
In addition, I congratulate the other new members of the House on their recent election victories. To the new members from Cumberland North, Cape Breton The Lakes and Cape Breton North, congratulations on gaining the honour of representing your constituents in this Legislature. (Applause) I am confident that, like myself, you will take your responsibilities seriously and will work to the best of your ability to justify the confidence placed in you by the people of your riding.
In particular, I want to congratulate the new member for Cape Breton North, the Leader of my Party, Premier Russell MacLellan. He is a man of compassion, a man of vision and the right man to lead this province into the next century. (Applause)
I also thank the constituents of Halifax Citadel for electing me as their representative in this House. The success of our campaign shows the level of respect for the leadership of our new Premier and acceptance of the difficult but necessary decisions of former Premier John Savage.
Mr. Speaker, I also recognize those friends and families without whose support very few of us would be sitting here today. Many of them are sitting in the gallery this afternoon. I want to recognize two of them in particular, first, my wife Sara, and second, Joanne King, my campaign manager. (Applause)
Mr. Speaker, this is my first day in the House of Assembly. I have a sense of personal satisfaction at beginning a new career. I look forward to a positive relationship with all members of this famous Assembly.
It is my honour and privilege to stand before this House as the representative of the people in Halifax Citadel. In the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to knock on each and every door in the riding and I can report that the people in my constituency share the same values and concerns as Nova Scotians across the province. They are committed to the betterment of their province and their community, they care deeply about the future of their children, and they respect the great traditions of our province. Day by day, Mr. Speaker, they are becoming more optimistic about their future.
Today, Mr. Speaker, this government has outlined a vision and a plan that gives every Nova Scotian reason to be optimistic.
The government has demonstrated that its priorities are the priorities of the people of Nova Scotia. The government has outlined a plan to secure the economic future of our province, to build strong communities, to provide better opportunity through world-class education and to ensure that Nova Scotians in all corners of the province and in every financial circumstance have access to quality medical services.
These last two points are of particular interest to me as an individual and as the representative for Halifax Citadel. Halifax Citadel is the home of major portions of our provincial health and education services. My experience as a university teacher, researcher and heart surgeon for many years qualifies me to pass judgment on these areas. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, and all members of this House, that our health and education systems are alive and well. (Applause)
As with all institutions, there is a continuing need to adapt to changing circumstances. This is especially true in our health and education systems. The management of change and emphasis on quality management are needed in these areas and will be a high priority for this government.
Mr. Speaker, all parts of our health and post-secondary education systems must view themselves as part of a larger whole. We are not a big province but our health and education systems are unique. They are not only provincial but they comprise regional, national and often international resources. They are the keys to our success in a complex world, and funding and management must reflect this.
This government has long recognized the importance of research to the quality of our university, health and industrial activities. Research produces jobs, assures quality work and provides Nova Scotia solutions to Nova Scotia challenges.
Mr. Speaker, Liberal Governments in Canada and Nova Scotia have given us access to quality health care. The same goal has now been set for post-secondary education. The recent Maritime Provinces Higher Education Council Report highlights the need for government action to ensure that post-secondary education is accessible to all.
Today this government has made a commitment to press the federal government to adopt a student loan forgiveness program similar to our own. The Nova Scotia Liberal Government is a national leader in efforts to ensure that student tuition, and the debt it often incurs, is not a barrier to post-secondary education.
Mr. Speaker, the multi-racial make-up of our society was apparent during my campaign in Halifax Citadel. Awareness, understanding and tolerance of racial differences must result from our educational experiences.
The Liberal Government has shown a willingness to innovate in the provision of public services. The public-private partnerships for school construction will provide needed expansion of facilities. Flexible curricula design in college programs is another example. Mr. Speaker, the new toll road in Cumberland County will benefit all Nova Scotians but especially import, export and tourism sectors. A logical follow-up would be the twinning of the rail line from Halifax to Quebec. As a province, we must remain open to new ideas and have the courage to adopt them and to ensure that our province surges ahead instead of being left behind. (Applause)
Mr. Speaker, many of the residents of my constituency are employed in the delivery of health and education services. Like all public sector employees, they deserve and expect fair treatment in the current contract negotiations. As a government, we will aim for settlements which are just but which also reflect what Nova Scotians can afford.
The quality and accessibility of our health and education systems is reliant on the strength of our economy. It is clear, Mr. Speaker, that the economic future of our province has never been brighter. At the beginning of this year, Statistics Canada provided the first
indication that the province was entering an economic boom. They predicted that Nova Scotia would lead the country in new investment in 1997 with a growth rate four times the national average. Indeed, the economic picture is improving. The unemployment rate in Nova Scotia in October was 11.6 per cent compared with a rate of almost 15 per cent when this government took power. (Applause)
The unemployment rate in metro Halifax is now 8.5 per cent compared to 10.8 per cent four years ago. Mr. Speaker, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council is predicting the provincial economy will grow at an even faster rate in 1998.
The economic future is made even brighter by the prospect of Sable Island gas coming ashore. The development of Sable gas will provide an alternative energy source and an economic boost to Nova Scotia. The Premier has vowed that he will do everything in his power to ensure that maximum benefits flow to Nova Scotia. The fact that he has taken personal responsibility for the Sable gas project demonstrates the level of his commitment.
As you may be aware, Mr. Speaker, Sable Island is part of the constituency of Halifax Citadel. Should I have the occasion to visit the Island, I will plant a Nova Scotia flag in the sand. (Applause)
For the people of Halifax, the port has always been of central importance to our lives and to our economy. This government recognizes the port's significance on both the local and provincial level. The activities of the Waterfront Development Corporation are watched closely by myself and my constituents and we applaud the provincial support of the Pier 21 initiative.
Mr. Speaker, Halifax Citadel realizes the importance of federal upgrades to the Halifax International Airport. We appreciate this government's support of the arts. The Neptune Theatre, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design have all benefitted from provincial funding.
Mr. Speaker, it is clear to me that this Liberal Government has done more for Nova Scotia in four and one-half years than the Opposition Parties have even dared to imagine. (Applause) Because of this and because of the strong leadership provided by our new Premier, there is a growing sense of optimism in the province. As we approach the next century, Nova Scotia is on the verge of a golden era. The promise of an economically self-reliant Nova Scotia that for so many years was out of reach, is now within our grasp.
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to serve as a member of this House and of this government. It is with a sense of pride and a sense of history that I second the motion for the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. Thank you. (Applause)
MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.
DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I wish to add my voice of greeting to the friends and relatives of the members in the gallery.
I do wish to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, on your new appointment and your declaration to carry out your duties with fairness. We will hold you to that commitment.
Let me welcome Premier MacLellan, not only as Leader of the Liberal Party and Premier, but as the new member for Cape Breton North. I am looking forward to going toe to toe with the Premier over the many issues of concern to Nova Scotians. I am looking forward to holding this government accountable not only for what is in today's Throne Speech, but now that I have heard it, what isn't in today's Throne Speech.
Let me also say how pleased I am to have Ernie Fage join the ranks of the Official Opposition as the new Progressive Conservative member for Cumberland North. Ernie's massive win on November 4th was not only a repudiation of the Liberal Government, it was a huge vote of confidence in his ability to bring a strong, reasoned and compassionate voice to the floor of the Legislature on behalf of the people of Cumberland County.
I also offer my sincere congratulations to Ed Kinley, whom I have known for a good number of years. Dr. Kinley, I am sure, realizes that he has mighty big shoes to fill in trying to replace his predecessor, Terry Donahoe, who did such an awesome job for the people of both Halifax Cornwallis and Halifax Citadel for 18-plus years.
I also congratulate Helen MacDonald. Ms. MacDonald holds the distinction of being the very first female New Democratic Party member ever elected on Cape Breton Island. I welcome her to the Legislature and wish her well as the newest member for Cape Breton The Lakes.
This is the sixth Speech from the Throne since the Liberal Government was sworn in on June 11, 1993, and it gives me an opportunity to revisit the damage that has been inflicted on Nova Scotians since then.
Huge tax increases, including the blended sales tax and the hated tax on keeping warm. Disastrous health reforms that chased away doctors and created huge cracks in the system, where now taxpayers kick in millions more only to receive a whole lot less. Massive downloading on municipal taxpayers, including a lopsided municipal-provincial service exchange. The first tolls on Canada's national highway, and we now have the honour in this province of having the most expensive drive in the country. A bogus budget that still has the Auditor General seeing red.
It is damage like forced municipal mergers that will cost municipal taxpayers more and that contribute to a loss of community control and identity. A sucker punch to Nova Scotia's public servants with wage roll-backs and an unpaid leave. The elimination of provincial transportation grants for Nova Scotians with disabilities. Remember the shelter allowance? Millions in compensation for fired bureaucrats. The Queen Elizabeth II monstrosity. A new Pharmacare premium that is hurting seniors but saving the federal pension plan and private insurance companies millions.
We have a 911 system that is calling for help and an emergency health system that was working better until the Liberals decided to fix it; invisible, inaccessible, inadequate home care; casino gambling; the Lucy Dobbin affair; the farmland tax; the abandonment of rural Nova Scotia as government services are centralized; and barely passable secondary roads. Misguided education reforms, where some students enjoy Cadillac schools while many more go without basic supplies; the creation of huge, unruly school boards that have left many communities - parents, teachers and students - feeling isolated and powerless; misguided public-private partnerships, where it is clear that the three P's stand for: pay premium price.
Remember the public relations disaster called 30-60-90 and the government's failure to bring forth any long-term economic development strategy in its place? The national embarrassment of the Jim Campbells Barren flip-flop, which Nova Scotians will likely end up paying for, and about which there are still too many unanswered questions concerning legal and ethical behaviour of government.
The re-victimization of institutional abuse victims and the victimization of falsely accused workers as a result of never-ending changes to a disastrous compensation process. The wholesale sell-out of Nova Scotia's future as a result of the government's lack of vision, and backbone in dealing with Mobil and its partners. The dismal failure of government in preparing Nova Scotians to take advantage of the jobs and the economic activities and opportunities presented by Sable.
This government managed to inflict damage with its silence. Silence as the federal Liberal Government slashed health, education and social service spending by hundreds of millions, and silence as the federal Liberals cancelled cooperative agreements that supported our forestry and tourism industries. Silence as the federal Liberals cancelled the EH 101 helicopter deal and the jobs that that would have provided here in Nova Scotia.
Silence as the federal Liberals eliminated transportation subsidies for Nova Scotia business and industry. Silence as the federal Liberals changed UI regulations, hitting Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada's seasonal economies harder than any other region in this country. Silence as the federal Liberals closed military bases, transferred military jobs, cut support for ferry operations and withdrew support for Nova Scotia's $10 million sport fishing industry.
Silence as the federal Liberals drive the inshore fishery into oblivion. Silence as the federal Liberals refuse to help Nova Scotia farmers, many of whom face bankruptcy after the worst drought in 100 years. All they are asking for is the same relief that they provide western farmers over and over again.
Silence as the federal government provided urgently needed upgrades at airports in all the major cities in this country except here in Halifax. Silence as the federal Liberals continue to undermine the competitive advantage of the Port of Halifax by refusing to cooperate and prepare the port for Panamax shipping. Silence as the federal Liberals introduced a new gun tax and moved full speed ahead with a new gun registry that will cost Nova Scotia millions of dollars in administration and enforcement, millions that should go towards health, education and job creation. (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order!
The honourable Leader of the Opposition has the floor.
DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, the Premier recently quoted an old Arab proverb, and the Premier said, "An army of sheep led by a lion will always defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.".
Now, the Premier was almost bang on when he described his caucus as an army of sheep. In fact, it is not an army of sheep that he leads but rather, an army of lambs - silent lambs. But, Mr. Speaker, the Premier as a lion, that's hardly what comes to mind given his record in Ottawa. A lion is hardly what comes to mind given his weak approach to Ottawa now that he is Premier. It is hardly what comes to mind when you think of his 11th hour intervention before the Joint Review Panel. A lion hardly is what comes to mind when it comes to his failure to secure Nova Scotia's rightful benefits from the Sable gas development. It is hardly what comes to mind when it comes to his cave-in to ITT Sheraton. And this Premier didn't roar against a single decision that his Liberal Government made in Ottawa, decisions that hit Nova Scotia harder than any other province in this country.
Not once did the people of Nova Scotia hear the Premier, the federal MP for Cape Breton-The Sydneys, speak up for them. Not once did they hear this Premier speak out against any of the federal decisions that I just mentioned. In fact, how could he? He supported each and every one of them. He didn't roar like a lion. He didn't make so much as a squeak. In fact, he was quieter than a church mouse. An army of sheep, yes. A lion, hardly.
Now, Mr. Speaker, the one time that the Premier roared, and the only time that this Premier roared, was during the Liberal leadership race. He roared against the decisions imposed on Nova Scotians by the very government he leads today. He repudiated the
decisions taken by the very people who sit with him today on the government benches. And while he roared in July, he squeaks in November.
He roared he was going to go to court to secure distance-based tolls for Sable gas. He was going to amend a disappointing royalty agreement. He roared he was going to demand a lateral for Cape Breton. He roared he was going to get rid of the tolls on Highway No. 104; and he roared that he was going to fix the HST and negotiate with Nova Scotia a tax system fair to all.
Today, Mr. Speaker, the Premier takes the same bystander, happy-go-lucky approach to the Sable project - the single biggest economic activity that this province has ever seen - as the former Minister of Natural Resources whom he slammed during the leadership race. Nova Scotians will pay the price in lost jobs and lost opportunities.
Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of thoughts I would like the lion to sleep on tonight. The first, has this Liberal Government cut any deal that was good for Nova Scotia: Sable gas, ITT Sheraton, public-private partnering, Highway No. 104, the Sheet Harbour/CeresCorp mess, Pharmacare, TRACC?
A second thought for the lion. Does the Liberal Government know the meaning of fairness in education, in municipal-provincial relations, in dealing with rural communities, in imposing new taxes, in protecting home-grown Nova Scotia companies, in dealing with the disadvantaged or even in building a road? An army of sheep, yes. A lion, hardly.
Now today's Speech from the Throne was an opportunity for the Premier to put his stamp on government. It was a missed opportunity. The Speech is 21 pages of nothing. It is just the same mumbo-jumbo that Nova Scotians have heard throughout the Liberal leadership race. The Premier, now in office for a month, and not a single new idea, not a single commitment to anything in this Speech, it is quite honestly an embarrassing testimony to a government that recognized it created a lot of messes and has no idea how to clean them up. (Interruptions)
Mr. Speaker, I will let the so-called lion across the way curl up in is lair with his army of sheep tonight and consider the Liberal legacy of the last four and one-half years. Tomorrow, I look forward to resuming my remarks. Thank you. (Applause)
MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The motion is that the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be adjourned.
Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.
The motion is carried.
The honourable Premier.
THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment the straw man, the Leader of the Official Opposition, for his speech. (Interruptions) At the conclusion of the session this afternoon, on your behalf, sir, I would like to invite all members of the House and all guests in the gallery to the Hollis Street foyer for a reception.
MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.
HON. GUY BROWN: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would like to indicate to the House what I see happening maybe for the next week and one-half to two weeks for hours. I met with the two House Leaders this morning from the Official Opposition and the New Democratic Party. Tomorrow, we will be meeting from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., one hour earlier than some people think; Monday 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and next Friday, again, hopefully, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
So now, all members (Interruption) Yes, that is what I am saying. That is what we agreed on this morning, but at least it gives all members an opportunity to make their plans available for work in their constituency and so on.
Mr. Speaker, I would now move that the House rise and meet tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.
MR. SPEAKER: Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.
The motion is carried.
We stand adjourned until 10:00 a.m. on Friday.
[The House rose at 3:38 p.m.]