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/legislative-business/hansard-debates/
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Gov't. (N.S.): Cancer Treat. - Action,
Gov't. (N.S.): Cancer Treat. - Action,
Gov't. (N.S.): Cancer Treat. - Action,
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 325, Breast Cancer Awareness Mth. - Acknowledge,
Vote - Affirmative
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 31, School Supplies Tax Credit Act,
No. 32, Environmental Racism Prevention Act,
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
PAVIA Gallery: EY Entrepreneur of Yr. Award - Congrats.,
Cameron, Peggy: N.S. Nat. History Museum - Exhibit,
Conrod, Suzanne: Hooked Rug Museum - Congrats.,
Cox, Bill: Birthday (100th) - Congrats.,
Los Primos Proj.: Anniv. (20th) - Congrats.,
Paul, Hannson: MSIT No'kmaq Sail Training - Congrats.,
Gillis, Dave - C.B. Bus. & Philanthropy Hall of Fame: Induction
Fish. Museum of the Atlantic: Anniv. (50th) - Congrats.,
Mason, Leslie (Babe): Street Naming - Honour,
CLC (Atl. Reg.): Women's Leadership Summit - Congrats.,
Castle Hill Drive: 21st Anl. Street Party - Recognize,
Van Zoost, Dr. Colin: Collab. Health Care - Thank,
Dart. North Fam. Ctr.: Commun. Food Ctr. - Gratitude,
Wolfville L'Arche Homefires: Build. Our Dream Proj. - Congrats.,
The Brown Hall: Env. Footprint Red. - Congrats.,
Moore, Rebecca: Ctr. for Local Prosperity - Appreciation,
Yar. Co. Trail Dev. Assoc.: Rail Trail - Thank,
Hewins, Ben: N.S. Cycling Team - Congrats.,
Sarty, Adam/Fraser, Devin: Firkinstein Brewing - Congrats.,
Adams, Marshall: Commun. Leader - Congrats.,
Budget Est.: Pub. Serv. Employees - Thank,
Miller, Robert & Margaret - Anniv. (45th) - Congrats.,
Sydney Mines RCL (Br. 8): Positive Role - Thank,
Harris, Brianna: Sporting Achievements - Congrats.,
Surette, Jacques: Music Career - Success Wish,
Saul, Elayne: Naturally Active for Life (Victoria Co.) -
Can. 150 (Before & Beyond): Organizers/Vols. - Thank,
Amherst & Area Trails Soc.: Commitment - Recognize,
Ogunrinde, Debi: Rhodes Scholarship - Congrats.,
Thanksgiving Weekend: Family/Friends - Gratitude,
Lefresne, Cameron: Lawn Bowling - Future Success,
Creighton, Myles: Golfing Achievements - Congrats.,
Sparks, Cst. Nathan: Crime Prevention Leadership Award
Enactus Saint Mary's: Square Roots Proj. - Congrats.,
Kemp, Valda/SS Atl. Soc.: Dedication - Thank,
MacDonald, Cyril: Commun. Commitment - Thank,
Isle Madame Hist. Soc.: LeNoir Forge Vols. - Thank,
Bayers Westwood Family Res. Ctr.: Efforts - Recognize,
Carr, Sandra/Fall River Hist. Soc.: Presentation - Thank,
N.S. Leg.: Work Acknowledge - Happy Thanksgiving,
Chester-St. Margaret's: Transit Serv. - Acknowledge,
Amherst - Public Meeting: Fed. Tax Changes - Message,
Bebee, Mike/Tara: Commun. Work - Recognize,
Fader's Cove: Official Naming - Congrats.,
MacRae, Andrew: Ottawa Fury (USL) - Congrats.,
Oickle, Peter: Bridgewater Volunteer - Thank,
Proctor, Erika: Commun. Volunteer - Thank,
Antigonish (Town of): Canada 150 Banner - Congrats.,
Fiscal Sustain. Rept. 2017 - Work Continuation,
Meteghan Fire Dept.: Fundraising - Vols. Thank,
Parnell, Neil/Kim: Commun. Vols. - Thank,
Khattar, Charbel: PZZA.CO-HFX Relaunch - Congrats.,
Hfx. Dunbrack Soccer Club: Premier Women's Team - Congrats.,
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 135, Gov't. (N.S.): Cap-and-Trade System - Explain,
No. 136, Prem.: Effective Leadership - Improve,
No. 137, Prem. - Energy East Pipeline: Proj. Cancellation - Intervene,
No. 138, H&W - ER Closures (Glace Bay): Patient Care - Impacts,
No. 139, H&W: ER Closures (Glace Bay) - Ambulance Availability,
No. 140, H&W - Cole Hbr.-East. Passage: CHC Promise - Fulfill,
No. 141, EECD: Pre-Primary Prog. - Daycare Closures,
No. 142, EECD - Pre-Primary: Child Care Ctr. Spaces - Impact,
No. 143, Energy - Cap-and-Trade: Business Impact - Analysis,
No. 144, Environ.: Environ. Trust - Access,
No. 145, H&W: Palliative Care Prog. - Availability,
No. 146, Com. Serv. - Food Bank Usage: Gov. Policies - Harm,
No. 147, H&W: Hiring Practices - Ineffective,
No. 148, H&W: CCA Shortage - Action,
No. 149, Com. Serv.: Income Assist. - Med. Marijuana Coverage,
No. 150, Int. Serv./TIR: Infrastructure Projects - Details,
No. 151, EECD - P3 School Purchases: Maintenance - Continuation,
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 10:50 A.M
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 3:10 P.M
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 10th at 1:00 p.m
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 326, Kerr, David George (Deceased): Commun. Commitment
Res. 327, Flynn, Jimmy - East. Shore: Mus. Talent - Thank,
Res. 328, Drew, Wayne: East. Shore: Commun. Involvement
Res. 329, Sportswheels (Anniv. 70th): Mayhew Fam. - Congrats.,
HALIFAX, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2017
Sixty-third General Assembly
Hon. Kevin Murphy
Mr. Chuck Porter, Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft
MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Just before we begin with the daily routine, a tiny bit of administrative housekeeping. The order paper that was distributed today features the incorrect date. It is dated Friday, October 5th, when in fact as we all know it's Friday, October 6th. With that, we will now accept the order paper as corrected.
We will begin the daily routine.
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS
"We, the undersigned citizens of Nova Scotia, call on the Premier of Nova Scotia . . . Health Minister . . . and the Nova Scotia Health Authority to give your immediate attention to the issue of:
1) providing cancer medication taken orally to all Nova Scotians at no cost
2) providing a full cancer unit in Yarmouth that includes radiation treatment
Let this petition be a representation that we care about the health and welfare of our cancer patients and we expect to have this situation addressed immediately."
I believe there are approximately 5,000 signatures and, Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my signature to the petition as well.
The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington.
"We, the undersigned citizens of Nova Scotia, call on the Premier . . . Health Minister . . . and the Nova Scotia Health Authority to give your immediate attention to the issue of:
1) providing cancer medication taken orally to all Nova Scotians at no cost
2) providing a full cancer unit in Yarmouth that includes radiation treatment . . ."
I know it's very similar to the one that was just previously done. I believe this one has about 3,000 signatures on it as well.
The honourable member for Clare-Digby.
"We, the undersigned citizens of Nova Scotia, call on the Premier of Nova Scotia - Stephen McNeil, Health Minister Randy Delorey and the Nova Scotia Health Authority to give your immediate attention to the issue of:
1) providing cancer medication taken orally to all Nova Scotians at no cost
2) providing a full cancer unit in Yarmouth that includes radiation treatment
Let this petition be a representation that we care about the health and welfare of our cancer patients and we expect to have this situation addressed immediately."
There are approximately 3,600 signatures on this petition, and I affixed my signature to it also.
I just remind all members that even though members of the House may be named by their proper name in the prayer of the petition, it's not parliamentary to actually use those names in the Chamber.
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION
RESOLUTION NO. 325
Whereas one out of every eight women in Nova Scotia will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and early detection improves the chances of cure; and
Whereas the Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program was developed to assist with early detection, offering women information on breast health and mammography; and
Whereas October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Nova Scotia, which aims to increase awareness and raise money for research to find a cure for this disease;
Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and do what they can to support this cause.
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.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
Bill No. 31 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 217 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Income Tax Act, to Provide a School Supplies Tax Credit for Parents. (Mr. Tim Halman)
Bill No. 32 - Entitled an Act to Address Environmental Racism. (Ms. Lenore Zann)
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
PAVIA GALLERY: EY ENTREPRENEUR OF YR. AWARD - CONGRATS.
HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Last night in Moncton, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for Atlantic Canada were announced. Victoria Foulger of PAVIA Gallery was the winner in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry category. Victoria and her partner, Christopher Webb, have built PAVIA into the "go to" destination, not only from their original location in Herring Cove but also in the heart of our capital city's downtown, in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and at the Halifax Central Library.
PAVIA is a special business that brings Nova Scotians together over local products, amazing art, and dedicated staff committed to an unparalleled customer experience. I'm sure all members will join me in congratulating Victoria, Christopher, and the PAVIA team on their well-deserved honour - I can tell you from my own personal experience, Mr. Speaker, how great the food is there, particularly at lunchtime - and on their winning of this Entrepreneur of the Year award.
CAMERON, PEGGY: N.S. NAT. HISTORY MUSEUM - EXHIBIT
MR. GARY BURRILL « » : I'd like to recognize Halifax resident Peggy Cameron on the opening of Peggy's photography exhibit at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History Wednesday evening, an exhibit entitled Corridor Wasting Disease: Robie Street, A Case Study.
Peggy Cameron is a long-time member of the Friends of the Halifax Common and a strong advocate for more environmentally conscious and inclusive community planning. Her photo installation showcases more than 100 homes on the west side of Robie Street, between North and South Streets. By presenting these buildings as living creatures at risk of extinction, Peggy Cameron is raising awareness about the potential risk high-density corridors pose to the makeup and affordability of these communities.
I encourage all members to visit the Museum of Natural History to learn more about this major issue.
CONROD, SUZANNE: HOOKED RUG MUSEUM - CONGRATS.
MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Suzanne Conrod of the Hooked Rug Museum of North America, located in Hubbards in the beautiful riding of Chester-St. Margaret's. This summer I had the pleasure of visiting the museum and was given a tour by Ms. Conrod.
Rug hooking has flourished in Nova Scotia for generations. Indeed, the first hookers established themselves in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. Through the depictions of pioneer life, the history of rural Nova Scotia has been hooked for rugs that have warmed our floors and adorned our walls. Today, rug hooking is one of the cottage industries that contribute to our flourishing arts and crafts community and that strengthen the bond between arts and enterprise.
The Hooked Rug Museum collects, exhibits, and preserves the heritage of hand-hooked rugs. It researches the history of this fine arts craft and presents it in an accurate manner while also encouraging its future development.
Mr. Speaker, I ask the members of the Legislature to join me in congratulating Suzanne Conrod and the volunteers who make the Hooked Rug Museum one of the many sought-after tourist destinations in Nova Scotia.
COX, BILL: BIRTHDAY (100TH) - CONGRATS.
MS. KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, today marks the 100th birthday of lifelong Shelburne resident Mr. Bill Cox. Mr. Cox, a decorated war hero, hails from a long line of master shipbuilders and is indeed a master builder himself. A former mayor of Shelburne, over the years he has volunteered in support of many community groups, but not limited to, the J.C. Williams Dory Shop, the Shelburne Historical Society, Meals on Wheels, the Anglican Church, and various subcommittees of town council.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Cox is also a lifelong member and generous supporter of the Progressive Conservative Party, and I'm greatly honoured to stand here today and wish him a very happy 100th birthday.
MS. ZANN « » : I'd like to introduce Augusto Enriquez and his wife Klarol, as well as Jeff Goodspeed from the Nova Scotia Community College, all fine musicians here in the House today. Please give them a warm welcome. (Applause)
LOS PRIMOS PROJ.: ANNIV. (20th) - CONGRATS.
MS. LENORE ZANN « » : At the young age of 26, Augusto Enriquez was the head physician at a major hospital in Havana, Cuba, where he specialized in gynecology. Not only is he a physician, Mr. Speaker, he is also a celebrated singer and composer. He has been featured with such outstanding musical artists as Pavarotti, Sting, and Andrea Bocelli, to name a few, as well as many international symphonic orchestras.
Augusto has had invitations to teach master classes, clinics, and to lecture in Cuba, Italy, Mexico, and Canada. In 2011, he was invited to Halifax by Truro's own Jeff Goodspeed to be part of his Los Primos project as a musician, teacher, and Cuban coordinator. Augusto has since taught clinics and master classes to many Nova Scotian students and also the Nova Scotia Honour Jazz Society, various community groups and the community college, along with clinics at St. F.X. University.
Los Primos is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, so I would like to congratulate both Augusto and Jeff Goodspeed for the fantastic work they are doing with the Nova Scotian students in this province.
PAUL, HANNSON: MSIT NO'KMAQ SAIL TRAINING - CONGRATS.
MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize Hannson Paul, a 19-year old resident from Hammonds Plains who had the opportunity to take part in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. Hannson is one of 13 indigenous youth from Nova Scotia who sailed from Canada to France aboard the Dutch tall ship Gulden Leeuw, as part of the Msit No'Kmaq Sail Training and Youth Leadership program.
Hannson said the opportunity was special to him as he does not reside on a reserve so he doesn't have his culture in his every day, so being there and learning about his culture was very interesting. I would like to ask all members of this Legislature to please join me in congratulating him on his participation and the opportunity that he was given.
GILLIS, DAVE - C.B. BUS. & PHILANTHROPY HALL OF FAME:
INDUCTION - CONGRATS.
HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Mr. Dave Gillis of Sydney River for being one of the most community-minded people I know. Dave Gillis, founder of Gillis Building Supplies in Sydney River, was recently inducted into the Cape Breton Business and Philanthropy Hall of Fame. Dave has donated very generously to many local causes over the years. I am proud to acknowledge and thank Dave Gillis for his tireless efforts to help his fellow Cape Bretoners by giving so much to the community of Sydney River and surrounding areas.
FISH. MUSEUM OF THE ATLANTIC: ANNIV. (50th) - CONGRATS.
MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to congratulate the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic on their 50th Anniversary. The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic honours the fishing heritage of the Atlantic coast of Canada by offering something for everyone. Heritage interpreters, including retired fishers and captains, share their experiences through demonstrations and story telling. The museum has a children's play area, an aquarium with enchanting glimpses of fish from the deep, hands-on activities, a theatre, as well as displays of local crafts and culture. On July15th many people gathered to take part in activities to celebrate the museum which includes a heritage schooner race, the ringing of the Theresa's Bell 50 times in honour of the museum's 50th Anniversary, skits and a model boat display.
I would ask that you and all members of this House of Assembly please join me in congratulating the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic on their 50th Anniversary.
MASON, LESLIE (BABE): STREET NAMING - HONOUR
HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, Leslie (Babe) Mason from Stellarton competed for Canada as a welterweight boxer in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. In Montreal to qualify for the Canadian team, he had to fight the Ontario welterweight champion on the first day, the Canadian lightweight champion on the second day, and on the third day the British Empire champion. He beat them all.
A coal miner's son, at the age of 16 Babe joined the Canadian Army in Halifax and was posted with the 1st Highland Battalion at Aldershot. When he was 19 he was sent to South Korea with the 1st Commonwealth Division. The company that Babe commanded was a support company which guarded the 38th parallel and kept watch in case the conflict broke out again.
Babe Mason is an exceptional person who comes along all too infrequently. The Stellarton Town Council recognized this by naming a street after him.
CLC (ATL. REG.): WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT - CONGRATS.
MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition that it's Women's History Month and to invite my fellow members to reflect upon the important role women have played in our province's history, in particular through their involvement in the labour movement. Although the face of organized labour is sometimes viewed as male and white, women, including women of colour, have played a crucial role in advancing the rights of workers in our province.
In addition to fighting for better wages and fairness for all workers, union women have stood up for gender equality and the rights of all women, including pay equity, safety in the workplace, accessible and affordable child care, racial equity as well as disability and LGBQT rights. This last weekend the CLC Atlantic Region held its first women's leadership summit, Sisters Rising Together. It featured diverse voices of women engaged in the struggle for social and economic justice. I would like to congratulate all the participants, as well as the organizers, and echo the time-honoured slogan, "we can do it."
CASTLE HILL DRIVE: 21st ANL. STREET PARTY - RECOGNIZE
For 21 years, Castle Hill Drive has been home to an amazing annual event that brings families from the community together in celebration. This event is named "the longest running street party in HRM" and is spearheaded by two hard-working and dedicated individuals, Andrew MacKinnon and Brad MacLeod.
Children and parents come together to eat ice cream, jump in bouncy castles, and partake in pony rides. Andrew and Brad plan this event for the whole year, ensuring that each party is better than the year before.
Mr. Speaker, I ask that the members of the House of Assembly join me to recognize the residents of Castle Hill Drive, Brad and Andrew, and their annual street party. We hope that this tradition is one that will continue for many years to come.
VAN ZOOST, DR. COLIN: COLLAB. HEALTH CARE - THANK
Dr. Van Zoost is changing the way Nova Scotians receive health care, for the better. The collaborative model that Colin has created is the future of health care and has been a huge benefit to our community of Dartmouth East. I am proud that Colin has chosen Dartmouth East as the place to start this program and I cannot wait to continue to see him and his practice thrive.
I rise today to thank Colin, and wish him the best as he continues to grow his program.
DART. NORTH FAM. CTR.: COMMUN. FOOD CTR. - GRATITUDE
MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, on this day, so near to Thanksgiving when many families in Nova Scotia will gather together to share food, I want to recognize the incredible Dartmouth North Community Food Centre.
The centre, which is a program of the Dartmouth Family Centre, is a place where Dartmouth North residents gather to share delicious food, learn about food and food insecurity, and grow food together. There's a very active community advocacy office, many dedicated staff and volunteers, and an urban farm that is growing bigger each season. The food centre is a very special place to all who gather there and has become an important hub of the sometimes isolated community. The Good Food Market on Fridays, the family suppers on Mondays, and all the activities that happen there have done much to help as people face a serious issue of food insecurity.
It is a warm and welcoming place, and I am deeply grateful for the community that gathers there and the people that make it run.
WOLFVILLE L'ARCHE HOMEFIRES:
BUILD. OUR DREAM PROJ. - CONGRATS.
MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, the remarkable story of L'Arche, founded by John Vanier in 1964, is the story of communities around the world providing community-based homes and support networks to their citizens with intellectual disabilities.
It's a story my home community of Wolfville knows and lives each day. Our L'Arche Homefires community's most recent accomplishment is to successfully conclude a $2.8 million Building Our Dream Project on Main Street in Wolfville. Last month, I was honoured to attend the opening of this impressive, fully accessible building, along with our Premier, and witnessed the pure joy and sense of accomplishment that this new home represents to the L'Arche community.
Mr. Speaker, I ask members of the Legislature of Nova Scotia to join me in congratulating Wolfville's L'Arche community, along with the many citizens and business owners who contributed to realizing this dream.
THE BROWN HALL: ENV. FOOTPRINT RED. - CONGRATS.
MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Beaver Bank's The Brown Hall on going green, in an effort to reduce power consumption. This community-owned and community-operated facility is in the process of installing solar panels which will help to provide heat and electricity for the building.
I just want to take a second to thank Chairman Brian Johnson and other members of The Brown Hall Board for making this important step towards reducing its environmental footprint.
MOORE, REBECCA: CTR. FOR LOCAL PROSPERITY - APPRECIATION
MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : As we approach Thanksgiving, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for the leadership and example of the Mi'kmaq people as we face the challenge of transitioning to a low- or no-carbon future and adapting to climate change.
At the recent gathering of the Centre for Local Prosperity, energy campaigner, Rebecca Moore, centred treaty rights as a way forward. The Mi'kmaq concept of Netukulimk, which is use of natural resources for adequate economic well-being, without jeopardizing the diversity or productivity of the environment, is one we can learn much from.
YAR. CO. TRAIL DEV. ASSOC.: RAIL TRAIL - THANK
MR. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : I'd like to recognize the Yarmouth County Trail Development Association. The Yarmouth County Trail Development Association has redeveloped the old railway bed in Yarmouth County into an 87-kilometre multi-use trail system.
Members of the association are all volunteers who very generously dedicate their time and effort to care for and maintain the Yarmouth County Rail Trail. Because of this dedication, countless individuals and families are able to enjoy a walk, run, cycle or ride on these beautiful trails.
I ask this House of Assembly to join me in thanking and recognizing the volunteers of the Yarmouth County Trail Development Association for the good work they do, so that their community can continue to enjoy Yarmouth County Rail Trail.
HEWINS, BEN: N.S. CYCLING TEAM - CONGRATS.
MR. JOHN LOHR « » : I wish to congratulate Ben Hewins, a young athlete from Kentville. Mr. Hewins has secured his spot with the Nova Scotia Cycling Team. He is one of three on the mountain bike team, and one of five for road racing.
Mr. Hewins has put his biology degree on hold to free up time, time required for training for competition. He spends the winter in Garneau, Spain, where he spends his time training with other international members. Mr. Hewins trains 365 days a year and often rides 100 to 150 kilometres every Sunday with a group in Halifax.
I invite my fellow MLAs to wish Mr. Hewins all the best in his future endeavours.
SARTY, ADAM/FRASER, DEVIN:
FIRKINSTEIN BREWING - CONGRATS.
HON. MARK FUREY « » : As we all know, the craft beer industry has really started to take off in Nova Scotia. FirkinStein Brewing has just opened a storefront location in the heart of Bridgewater. Owners Adam Sarty and Devin Fraser have worked hard to build their brand and now have a great location, and great products for all of us to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Officially opening their doors on July 1st, I think it's safe to say that FirkinStein's will be a go-to stop for many. Congratulations to Adam and Devin, and I look forward to visiting FirkinStein's again soon.
ADAMS, MARSHALL: COMMUN. LEADER - CONGRATS.
MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : I am proud to stand today to salute Marshall Adams, no relation. Marshall is an enthusiastic 12-year-old boy living in Eastern Passage, who wants to give back to his community by volunteering to tutor young children.
Marshall's math is his unique skill, but he understands the importance of tutoring in all areas, and says he'd love to make a difference in anyone else's life who's struggling. He cannot wait to get started helping others in our community. His passion and sense of responsibility are well beyond his 12 years.
I am always touched with stories of giving back to your community, especially in those so young. I want to recognize Marshall Adams for being a leader in our community, and I ask the House to congratulate him along with myself.
BUDGET EST.: PUB. SERV. EMPLOYEES - THANK
MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : As we approach Thanksgiving, and the end of my first week of Budget Estimates, I'd like to thank all the members of the Public Service who have joined us here at Province House, this week, often working uncertain and late hours. It has been nice to see their faces. I've learned a lot and I truly wish them a good, long weekend.
MILLER, ROBERT & MARGARET - ANNIV. (45th) - CONGRATS.
HON. KELLY REGAN « » : We live in a world today where so much is fast. We have fast food, quickie divorces, even Speedy Auto Glass replacement. So, I'd like to take a moment today to recognize one of our own, who is marking a significant, long-term achievement.
Our colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, the member for Hants East, and her husband, Robert Miller, will celebrate 45 years of marriage this weekend. Now, some of us in this Chamber have experienced wedded bliss. Some of us with more than one person - although I trust not at the same time, but few have reached the 45-year mark.
I would ask all members of this House to join me in congratulating our colleague and her hubby, and wish them a lovely long weekend, and many, many more years together.
SYDNEY MINES RCL (BR. 8): POSITIVE ROLE - THANK
MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 8 in Sydney Mines. To celebrate Canada Day and veterans, the Legion placed 400 Canadian flags in four major graveyards, as well as the local cenotaph. In addition, the Legion flew a special Canadian flag that flew at the Peace Tower in Ottawa. This was just one of the many community events sponsored by the Sydney Mines Legion on Canada Day.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Sydney Mines Legion and all Legions across our great country for the positive role they play in our communities, making them a better place to live.
HARRIS, BRIANNA: SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS - CONGRATS.
HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, Brianna Harris, a 20-year-old from Valley, Colchester North, is a champion athlete. She was a member of Canada's 4x400-metre snowshoe relay team at the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Austria. Her team, which also included Rene Pelletier, Sandra Smith, and Crystal Young, crossed the finish line well ahead of their second-place American team.
Brianna also has won many gold medals at both the provincial and national levels. At the Special Olympics Canada 2016 in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, she received three gold medals in snowshoeing. She attended the World Winter Games with the determination to do her best and to win another gold. I am pleased to say that she did both.
Mr. Speaker, Brianna agrees that dry-land training, uphill on snowshoes, in July was challenging and gruelling, but she did it. On behalf of the members of the Legislature, I want to congratulate Brianna on her excellent achievements.
SURETTE, JACQUES: MUSIC CAREER - SUCCESS WISH
HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, the popularity of a 17-year-old bilingual musician is growing. Jacques Surette attends École Secondaire de Par-en-Bas, where he is in Grade 11. His father Eric Surette and uncle Gilbert Surette are well-known musicians and are pleased that he has followed in their footsteps.
Jacques began writing songs at a very young age, usually in his room with a closed door, on pieces of paper and laying out fragments of his thoughts. A lot of his songs are bilingual and he has created a YouTube channel as well.
Jacques showcases his talent by performing often. He was a member of SARMU this year and played for various venues across the province.
Please join me in congratulating Jacques Surette on this journey and wish him good health and success in his career.
SAUL, ELAYNE: NATURALLY ACTIVE FOR LIFE (VICTORIA CO.)
- RECOGNITION CONGRATS.
MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Elayne Saul of Middle River, Victoria County, on her recognition by Naturally Active for Life - Victoria County, in celebrating female coaches in Nova Scotia. The recognition comes as part of National Coaches Week, September 23rd to September 30th.
Elayne is active in the coaching community in Baddeck, volunteering her time to coach high school girls' soccer and track and field at Baddeck Academy, as well as coaching football for the Victoria County Football Club.
I ask all members of the Legislature to join me in congratulating Elayne Saul and to thank her for her time and commitment to the youth of Baddeck.
CAN. 150 (BEFORE & BEYOND): ORGANIZERS/VOLS. - THANK
HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I rise today to recognize the efforts of many organizations, volunteers, businesses, sponsors, and performers who made the Canada 150: Before and Beyond celebration in Greenwood a great success. As we marked the 150th Anniversary of Confederation on July 1st, Canadians around the world proudly gathered to celebrate this milestone in our national history.
The communities of Greenwood, Harmony, Kingston, and Wilmot joined together for a special collaborative celebration at the Greenwood Civic Field. Several activities were planned with the national Canada 150 themes in mind: reconciliation, inclusion, diversity, environment, and youth.
I would like to extend my thanks and congratulations to the local organizations, associations, volunteers, and community members who helped make the Canada 150 celebration a success, with specific reference to Heather Parker of the Greenwood Village Commission for her leadership role in organizing the event.
AMHERST & AREA TRAILS SOC.: COMMITMENT - RECOGNIZE
MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize the Amherst and Area Trails Society for their commitment to recreation and healthy, active lifestyles. Through their efforts to promote, develop, and maintain trails, they create an opportunity to enhance and promote healthy lifestyles.
I especially would like to thank Colleen Dowe for her leadership with health promotion in our community and her work and leadership with the Amherst and Area Trails Society. Trails are cost effective, as well as sustainable, and I hope our society will remain motivated to continue developing trails and promoting recreation and healthy lifestyles in Amherst and throughout Cumberland County.
OGUNRINDE, DEBI: RHODES SCHOLARSHIP - CONGRATS.
HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Debi Ogunrinde, a graduate of Halifax Grammar School, on her success at the University of Pennsylvania. Debi, daughter of Sandra Ogunrinde, graduated from Penn's Huntsman program with a dual bachelor's degree in international studies from the School of Arts and Sciences and in economics from the Wharton School of business.
Debi recently won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where she will study for a master's degree in social anthropology and a master's degree in public policy.
I'd like to ask the members of this House to join me in congratulating Debi Ogunrinde on her success at the University of Pennsylvania and wish her continued success at Oxford.
THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: FAMILY/FRIENDS - GRATITUDE
MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : I want to take an opportunity - this has been a rough week, with random acts of violence. This morning I had the pleasure of going to the airport at 6:00 a.m. and picking up my daughter from Calgary. It reminded me of how lucky I am. These random acts of violence can affect so many people, and you never know when it's going to affect one of us.
I hope everyone in the Chamber goes home this weekend and has a fabulous Thanksgiving and really takes a moment to reflect and reminisce on just how lucky and grateful we are. Make sure you tell those people who you dearly love - make sure you give them a hug and say it right to their face. (Applause)
The honourable member for Hants East.
LEFRESNE, CAMERON: LAWN BOWLING - FUTURE SUCCESS
Lawn bowling is a precision sport in which the goal is to roll slightly asymmetrical balls called bowls closer to a smaller white ball called the jack than your opponent is able to.
Cameron Lefresne of Enfield, Nova Scotia, has been bowling since he was six years old, and is a member of the second-oldest club in Canada, the Wanderers Lawn Bowling Club in Halifax, established in 1887. Cameron has won many medals over the last several years, and this year was no different. On August 7th, Cameron won gold at the 2017 Canadian Junior and Under 25 Championships and a chance to represent Canada at the 2018 World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, next February.
I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Cameron for excelling in the sport he loves, and wish him success in his future athletic endeavours.
CREIGHTON, MYLES: GOLFING ACHIEVEMENTS - CONGRATS.
MR. GORDON WILSON « » : I rise to ask the members of the House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Myles Creighton, a Digby native and winner of the Nova Scotia Golf Association's MCT Insurance Men's Amateur Championship last July.
In my area, anyone around the golf course knew there was something special about this young golfer, and watched him develop his talent over the years. When it was time for him to go to university, we followed his success. He played for Radford University.
This summer he added the NSGA's MCT Insurance Men's Amateur title to his list of accomplishments. Despite the rain and less-than-ideal conditions, Myles won his first Nova Scotia Amateur title, finishing 10 strokes ahead of the competitors. Myles made the comment that it meant a lot to him to win this title, the men's amateur of the Province of Nova Scotia, where he grew up. It was also very special for the people of Digby and the surrounding area, who have known him all his life and now wait to see what he will achieve in the rest of his golf career.
SPARKS, CST. NATHAN:
CRIME PREVENTION LEADERSHIP AWARD - ACKNOWLEDGE
HON. LLOYD HINES « » : In March of this year, the province paid tribute to those who prevent crime and make Nova Scotia communities safer places with the Minister's Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention. The ceremony recognized 11 individuals and organizations who developed partnerships and programs that address the root causes of crime, provided leadership in the community, and supported others in their efforts to make our communities safer.
One of the recipients of this award was Constable Nathan Sparks, Guysborough RCMP, who championed a hybrid hub model for youth intervention in Guysborough County that has been instrumental in helping troubled youth before they end up in court.
I would ask all members of this House of Assembly to join me in acknowledging Constable Sparks for the outstanding work he has done. He is a shining example of how law enforcement can play such a critical role in supporting our communities.
ENACTUS SAINT MARY'S: SQUARE ROOTS PROJ. - CONGRATS.
HON. LENA DIAB « » : As we go into Thanksgiving weekend, I rise today to give thanks and bring awareness to the important work of Enactus Saint Mary's University. Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together students, academics, and business leaders to provide help to people in need through entrepreneurial action.
On September 19th, I was fortunate to join representatives from Saint Mary's University and the Enactus team as they announced the expansion of their Square Roots project. By partnering with local businesses, the group is helping minimize food waste and fight food insecurity through an affordable token system that connects restaurants with surplus food to people in our community experiencing food insecurity. Participating local restaurants now include King of Donair, Basha Lebanese, Ray's Lebanese Cuisine, and Rys Mediterranean.
Please join me in congratulating and thanking Enactus Saint Mary's and their partners.
KEMP, VALDA/SS ATL. SOC.: DEDICATION - THANK
HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : I would like to congratulate Valda Kemp of Terence Bay. On June 10th this year, Valda was recognized at the 3rd Annual Prospect Communities Volunteer Awards, receiving the 2017 Barb Allen Volunteer Award for her volunteer work with the SS Atlantic Society. Valda has dedicated many years to honouring the victims of the tragic sinking of the SS Atlantic on April 1, 1873, near Lower Prospect. She has consistently worked to preserve artifacts in order to share this important community story, and to enhance the visitor experience at the museum, the heritage park, and the craft shop.
I would like the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in thanking Valda for her dedication and service to the SS Atlantic Society and in wishing her well in the future.
MACDONALD, CYRIL: COMMUN. COMMITMENT - THANK
HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Today I rise to recognize the incredible community commitment and volunteerism of Cyril MacDonald of Sydney. I specifically want to talk about Cyril's strong commitment to the Special Olympics in Cape Breton.
In September, Cyril was named the Canadian Male Coach of the Year by Special Olympics Canada. Cyril brings incredible dedication to his programs that include curling, bocce, and speed skating, which resulted in the first-ever Cape Bretoner to attend the world games.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place today to thank Cyril MacDonald for his commitment to Special Olympics in Cape Breton, for his commitment to our community, and how he reflects the very best of Cape Bretoners.
ISLE MADAME HIST. SOC.: LENOIR FORGE VOLS. - THANK
The original forge was constructed by two brothers, Simon and Thomas LeNoir, in 1794. It was a successful shipbuilding enterprise in the 19th Century. In the 20th Century, the LeNoir forge was used to train numerous young men in blacksmithing skills. In 1967, the forge was restored to its original condition after falling into some disrepair. It is an important part of Isle Madame's heritage.
I would like to thank the volunteers of the Isle Madame Historical Society for their continued work in keeping the stories of our ancestors alive and bringing new life to the LeNoir Forge. Due to their tireless efforts, generations to come will continue to have a tangible connection to Isle Madame's past.
BAYERS WESTWOOD FAMILY RES. CTR.: EFFORTS - RECOGNIZE
This summer, the centre hosted several events that gave families an opportunity to reconnect with others, partake in fun games, and learn about other cultures. St. Andrew's Recreation Centre is home to all these events, including the Canada 150 celebration, our annual summer picnic, and an international bazaar. These events provide recent immigrants and refugees of various backgrounds to come together and make important connections. Neighbours become family because of the work that those at the Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre do.
The Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre is an organization heavily committed to those in our area. The employees are dedicated to our families, providing endless resources, including free classes, parenting support groups, and a community garden, making our community stronger and more vibrant.
Mr. Speaker, I ask the members of this House of Assembly to join me in recognizing the Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre and their rewarding efforts to making their surrounding community a place that so many people call home.
CARR, SANDRA/FALL RIVER HIST. SOC.: PRESENTATION - THANK
MR. BILL HORNE « » : I would like to thank Sandra Carr and the Historical Society of Fall River and Windsor Junction for hosting last week the presentation of the history of Fall River and area as part of the Cobequid Past & Future project. Mr. Graeme Stuart, whose family has come to Fall River from Scotland in the mid-19th Century was an engaging presenter and leader of many discussions with guests on the history of Fall River.
This project is a collaboration between the Bedford and Sackville Public Libraries to record milestones and achievements of the past while generating conversation and building a legacy for the future.
N.S. LEG.: WORK ACKNOWLEDGE - HAPPY THANKSGIVING
MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker I would like to take a moment to acknowledge all the work that we do here in this Legislature to make this province a lot better. I just feel that we need to keep things in perspective. When we look at all the things that are happening around the world, we are very fortunate to be where we are. I really want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving weekend and to keep things in perspective. (Applause)
CHESTER-ST. MARGARET'S: TRANSIT SERV. - ACKNOWLEGDE
MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak about an important service that is provided in my constituency and many other constituencies throughout this province. I'm speaking about the local community transportation services in the beautiful constituency of Chester-St. Margaret's, we have two such services.
BayRides provides services from Peggy's Cove to Tantallon and to Hubbards and Community Wheels which covers the area from Hubbards to Chester and New Ross. These community programs fill a void where conventional transportation infrastructure is not available. These local transportation programs are community-based and offer pre-booked door to door service, often accessible rides, for appointments, grocery store visits, family events and such. Without these important programs many of our rural constituents would find it difficult to operate on a day to day basis.
I avail myself of this service every Wednesday when coming to the Legislature. I'm picked up at 6:30 a.m. by the ever-pleasant Mr. Chris Pelham and taken to the Metro X bus stop in Tantallon which then delivers me to Halifax. It is a great way to get some work done and to chat with constituents.
AMHERST - PUBLIC MEETING: FED. TAX CHANGES - MESSAGE
MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday back in my home town of Amherst, I hosted a meeting to discuss the federally proposed tax changes. It was a public meeting, open to all, transparent and fair. We had over 30 entrepreneurs, accountants and physicians attend the meeting and we had two Conservative Members of Parliament, Shannon Stubbs and John Brassard attend and they're going to take our message back to Ottawa.
I want to especially thank Dr. Scott Bowen who has been practising in Amherst for several years who works one in two on call, provides amazing service to our people. He spoke very articulately about the very negative impact these changes will have on our health care system.
I'm very concerned that we're not giving this enough attention and that if we don't speak out more, each one of us even as MLAs, that these changes will bring dire consequences to our health care system.
MR. JESSOME « » : Thank you. I would like to direct members' attention to the East gallery where today we're joined by Mr. Scott Guthrie, a friend and proponent for the community that surrounds the Otter Lake Landfill. He has done some tremendous work for his community and I ask all members to welcome him to the House today. (Applause)
BEBEE, MIKE/TARA: COMMUN. WORK - RECOGNIZE
MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize Tara and Mike Bebee of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Hammonds Plains. This year they took it upon themselves to host a free skate at the St. Margaret's Arena on behalf of St. Margaret's Bay Food Bank.
Tara and Mike are a couple of people from Hammonds Plains who relentlessly reach out and take it upon themselves to do good work for the community. Last year they were significantly involved in the Hammonds Plains Heritage Day.
I just wanted to take a moment to recognize those two, wish them all the best and thank them for their commitment to our community of Hammonds Plains-Lucasville.
FADER'S COVE: OFFICIAL NAMING - CONGRATS.
MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Fader family on the official naming of Fader's Cove in First South. On August 5th I attended the naming ceremony of Fader's Cove, along with 35 members of the Fader family, to honour the contributions the Fader family has made to the founding of Lunenburg and First South. Members of the Fader family travelled from all across Canada, as well as some from as far away as Florida, to partake in this celebration. Seventy people gathered at the home of Peter and Carolyn Matthews in First South, on land that was originally granted to Yohann and Elisabeth Fader. The event began with the Town Crier ringing his bell as he welcomed everyone. Local dignitaries brought greetings and congratulations and the celebration was commemorated with the release of helium balloons as attendees celebrated with cheers.
Mr. Speaker, I would like you and all members of this House of Assembly to join me in congratulating the Fader family on the official naming of Fader's Cove. Thank you.
MACRAE, ANDREW: OTTAWA FURY (USL) - CONGRATS.
MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize Andrew MacRae, a soccer goalkeeper honing his skills now with the Ottawa Fury of the United Soccer League. Ottawa offered MacRae, a Coldbrook native and Acadia graduate, a tryout during the summer of 2015. Team officials liked what they saw and signed the former Acadian Valley United player to a contract. MacRae has emerged this season as Ottawa's number two keeper and an ideal project for goalkeeping coach Bruce Grobbelaar.
MacRae is valued most for his character, which head coach Paul Dalglish describes as first class. On behalf of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, I ask all members to join me in congratulating Andrew MacRae on making the grade as a professional soccer player and wish him all the best in his future career. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
OICKLE, PETER: BRIDGEWATER VOLUNTEER - THANK
HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, last Spring I was fortunate to be able to attend the Provincial Volunteer Awards here in Halifax. Among the volunteers being recognized was Peter Oickle. Peter has volunteered countless hours of his time to many committees and organizations in the Town of Bridgewater, from holding various committee positions with his local church to promoting the history of Bridgewater through his efforts on the Bridgewater Museum Commission and the Bridgewater Heritage Advisory Committee. Peter leads walking tours and chairs the committee who organizes the annual garden party.
Peter was also the chairman of a committee that is making great strides in transforming Bridgewater's downtown. His hard work and dedication to his community are key to the changes we are all enjoying. I'd ask members of this House of Assembly to please join me in acknowledging Peter's efforts and thanking him for all he has done and continues to do to make our community a better place. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
PROCTOR, ERIKA: COMMUN. VOLUNTEER - THANK
HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to tell the House about one of our super volunteers in Bedford. Erika Proctor is a busy woman. She is a realtor and the mum of two terrific children. She bikes and runs and she is a talented artist. Erika also spends a lot of her time giving back to our community. She moved to Bedford 17 years ago and quickly got involved with the Sunday School program at Bedford Baptist Church. When her children began school, Erika stepped up to organize art projects at Sunnyside School and was always on hand to fundraise or chaperone a school trip. Erika also was involved in local minor sports.
More recently, Erika has been heavily involved in the committee that organizes Bedford Days every year. It's a big commitment. She has been Chair for the past two years and I can say that many new ideas have come to fruition under her guidance. She has also been involved in the Bedford Business Association for the last five years.
Mr. Speaker, Erika Proctor is a positive, proactive person whose volunteer work has made a real difference in our community. I'd ask the members of this House of Assembly to join me in thanking her for sharing her many talents with us.
ANTIGONISH (TOWN OF): CANADA 150 BANNER - CONGRATS.
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, like many communities across this province, Antigonishers wanted to celebrate our nation's sesquicentennial in a unique way. There were celebrations, concerts, art fairs, sports tournaments; but one commemoration was harder to miss than others. During the annual stroll on Main Street, the Town of Antigonish commissioned the largest Canada 150 banner in the entire country. The banner measured 150 feet long by 12 feet wide and was officially designated as the largest in Canada by the Canada 150 Secretariat. The banner itself was painted in the middle of Main Street, in front of the Town Hall, and while it washed away with the rain soon after the event, the achievement will live on in the record books.
I should mention, Mr. Speaker, that this was not an uncontested record. The banner on Main Street beat out others across the nation, including one in Toronto and the finish line of the Ottawa Marathon. Not bad for a small town in Nova Scotia.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Town of Antigonish on creating the largest Canada 150 banner in the country, and on a variety of fantastic celebrations that have been, and continue to be, held this year.
FISCAL SUSTAIN. REPT. 2017 - WORK CONTINUATION
The report highlights that while the country is financially strong and could be debt free by 2060, all provinces, with the exception of two, face bleak financial futures. Those two provinces, I'm pleased to say, are Nova Scotia and Quebec. Our work is not done. I am honoured to be part of a government that is not burdening our children with more debt and interest payments which, in today's budget, is still $851 million. Although our future is bright, I think we have a lot of work to do and I look forward to continuing that work with this government.
METEGHAN FIRE DEPT.: FUNDRAISING - VOLS. THANK
The group decided to raise much-needed funds through this relatively new and popular Atlantic Canada fundraiser. For the fire department, their fundraising goals have now been surpassed and they'll be able to buy new equipment and renovate their building. This is only possible because of the 150 volunteers and volunteer firefighters who put in long hours to ensure the draw runs smoothly.
I would ask the members of this House of Assembly to please join me in thanking the volunteers for everything they do to protect our communities from danger and the hours they volunteer to make this possible.
PARNELL, NEIL/KIM: COMMUN. VOLS. - THANK
Both Neil and Kim are involved with many of the volunteer organizations in the area. Neil has served as president for the Eastern Shore Ground Search and Rescue for the past 15 years, with Kim helping out with the Annual Fish Derby that is the organization's annual fundraiser. Neil also volunteers with the Joint Emergency Management Organization. Kim has immersed herself in the local multi-sport program which offers programs for elementary school age children and local youth. She also runs the area's floor hockey program.
I would ask members of this House of Assembly to please join me in thanking both Neil and Kim and the volunteers across the province for making our communities and province a better place to live.
KHATTAR, CHARBEL: PZZA.CO-HFX RELAUNCH - CONGRATS.
I provided Charbel with legal advice when he first immigrated to Nova Scotia and purchased the former Pizzatown franchise on Joseph Howe Drive, and I'm proud to see how much heart, effort, and creativity he has put into making the restaurant a new staple for Armdale, Fairview, and surrounding areas.
Pizza is a competitive industry. To stand out, you need to go above and beyond. PZZA.CO-HFX does this through courteous service, high standards, and an accommodating menu. Just a few weeks in from the re-launch, the reviews speak for themselves. Customers consistently note the exceptionally friendly service, quality of delicious food, and the personal touch that Charbel brings as the owner-operator.
Please join me in congratulating Charbel and wishing him continued success, thanking him for the work that he does with all our local charities and non-profits.
HFX. DUNBRACK SOCCER CLUB:
PREMIER WOMEN'S TEAM - CONGRATS.
Over the past 20 years, Halifax Dunbrack Soccer Club has become a staple in the lives of residents in the Fairview-Clayton Park community. This organization promotes a healthy lifestyle amongst players, as well as providing a variety of opportunities to those who belong to the club. Many players in the region have gone on to play for universities and teams on the national level, while also receiving thousands of dollars in athletic scholarships. Most recently, the club can be recognized for their fifth consecutive supreme ranking in Nova Scotia Premier Women's Soccer. In the final game of the season, Kate MacDonald and Leanne Huck are credited for the scoring in the gold-medal game, where they finished with a score of 2-1 over Halifax County United.
I ask the members of this House of Assembly to join me in congratulating the players of the senior women's soccer team and wish them good luck as they head to Langley, British Columbia, in early October. To be continued.
MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you very much. We'll now move on to Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers - and we're going to continue the theme of peace and love that was established in Statements by Members.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS
GOV'T. (N.S.): CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEM - EXPLAIN
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Nova Scotians have already done their bit to clean up the environment and meet our emissions target. Starting 10 years ago with the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, Nova Scotians have paid dearly to reduce our emissions, sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide and mercury, among other targets.
With these strong regulations in place not only have we met and exceeded the great goals set out at that time but we've met the targets already that the national government wants us to meet, Mr. Speaker.
I'd like to ask the Premier, since Nova Scotia has already done its job in meeting its emissions targets, why is he imposing an expensive new cap-and-trade system on the province?
HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I agree with him 100 per cent, Nova Scotians have been doing their part. I think all Nova Scotians know and will continue to work towards continuing to reduce our emissions. The job is never finished but we wanted to make sure, when the national government brought in a price on carbon, that the work that had already taken place by ratepayers and all Nova Scotians to ensure that we continue to reduce our GHGs was recognized. The national government recognized the hard work of Nova Scotians and have allowed us to put in a cap-and-trade system inside our province, Mr. Speaker, so the gains that Nova Scotians have already achieved will actually be able to smooth out across other sectors.
MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I agree with the Premier that, of course, we can always do more to help the environment clean up emissions but Nova Scotians' pocketbooks are not bottomless. That's what the Premier is missing.
Nova Scotia already pays a substantive carbon tax, 15.5 cents excise tax on our gasoline, 10 cents federal excise tax on our gasoline, 15 per cent HST on top of all that. Nova Scotians are paying a lot, including among the highest power rates in the country.
I'd like to ask the Premier if he can tell Nova Scotians today, how much more will they pay as a result of his cap-and-trade system?
THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. That's the very reason we've introduced a Nova Scotia solution to cap and trade, was to protect the pocketbooks of Nova Scotians.
MR. BAILLIE « » : Well, that's not what the CBC and the study they commissioned through Saint Mary's University says. Using the federal Trudeau targets of $10 to $50 a ton on emissions, they have estimated that we'll pay another 7 cents on gasoline, another 9 cents on home heating fuel. I'll table that for the benefit of the Premier.
The fact of the matter is that the Premier is trying to tell Nova Scotians they can have their cake and eat it too, that they won't have to pay more but somehow emissions will magically go down. Well Nova Scotians have a lot of common sense, they know that that can't possibly be the case, but let's take the Premier at his word that there's no additional cost, will he share with Nova Scotians how much emission reductions he expects will come from his cost-free cap-and-trade system?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to tell him that the reason we brought in a Nova Scotia cap and trade is to ensure that we protect the pocketbooks of Nova Scotians. I also agree with him 100 per cent, Nova Scotians are reasonable, common-sense people. That's why they elected us to run this province and not the CBC.
PREM.: EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP - IMPROVE
MR. GARY BURRILL « » : A mark of effective leadership is the ability to unite but time and time again we see this Premier create division. He has tried to set teachers against parents and students, health care workers against the people of the province, and now he's trying to make a new enemy, doctors.
I ask the Premier, will he admit that his record of bringing people together is one that could stand improvement?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Again, I want to thank all doctors across this province who continue to work day in and day out to ensure Nova Scotians have access to primary care. They work in communities across the province to build collaborative care centres to ensure that Nova Scotians have access to primary care from a myriad of primary health care providers.
I want to also be very clear with the honourable member that Doctors Nova Scotia, who he is referring to, is an organization that has $4.4 million that was to go towards paying for health, dental, and other supports for physicians, that the Government of Nova Scotia is currently paying for, about $600,000 a month. We don't believe they should hoard away $4.4 million in their coffers; we believe that money belongs to the people of Nova Scotia and should be used to deliver services.
A question for the honourable member: why does he believe taxpayers should give doctors of Nova Scotia $4.4 million?
MR. BURRILL « » : I would say that the use of the word "hoard" is a perfect demonstration, as was the use of the word "stash" earlier this week, of the very inability of the Premier to create unity towards the object of solving the health care crisis that I'm speaking about.
Doctors are such remarkable people, carrying heavy caseloads, working under heavy pressures, yet, in the midst of it, able to demonstrate compassion and care for all their patients.
Something else that doctors do is they talk to one another. I would like to ask the Premier, when an out-of-province doctor speaks to a Nova Scotia doctor and asks them what it's like to work under this government, what does the Premier think they say?
THE PREMIER « » : I agree with the honourable member about the fact that doctors are a tremendous group of individuals who are working very hard day in and day out; that's why we believe the $4.4 of taxpayers' money that is stashed and hoarded away in Doctors Nova Scotia should be used to help them deliver front-line services to Nova Scotians.
MR. BURRILL « » : A demonstration of the Premier's incapacity to understand the necessity to reach out to groups one works with is his insistence on using the words "stash" and "hoard" now in one sentence.
Respect, which is missing in this formulation, is so critical to building consensus; disrespect, on the other hand, is the fastest way to undermine it. This government disrespected the public sector with Bill No. 148, disrespected teachers with Bill No. 75, and now they have disrespected our doctors to the point that Doctors Nova Scotia is taking the government to court.
Can the Premier answer the question, if he doesn't bring people together, how does he think that he can solve the health care crisis?
MR. SPEAKER « » : Before we go to the answer here, I just want to remind the honourable member that the previous question, I think, falls under the category of "hypothetical," what does a member opposite think about a perceived situation.
The honourable Premier has the floor.
THE PREMIER « » : Again, I want to thank the honourable member. He alluded to a number of negotiations we have had over a period of time. We continue to support teachers by replacing the $65 million that his government cut out; we continue to work with the hard-working public servants across this province who continue to deliver services to the people of this province; and we're going to continue to work with doctors to ensure that we have access to primary health care. But what we're not going to do is do what that Party did when they were in government, which was roll over the unions. Every taxpayer needs to be respected by their government, and we're going to do so.
PREM. - ENERGY EAST PIPELINE: PROJ. CANCELLATION - INTERVENE
HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : We learned yesterday that the TransCanada Pipeline Corporation has cancelled the Energy East pipeline. This is devastating news to Atlantic Canadians who were counting on that pipeline to be part of this great nation, to be part of creating jobs here, to be part of energy security without having to go to foreign sources. The reason is very clear - there was no political leadership in Ottawa to make this part of Canada part of the greater country, Mr. Speaker.
Atlantic Canadians are realizing now that we have 32 Liberal MPs - and silence across the board. We're now turning to our Premier, and I would like to ask the Premier of Nova Scotia, will he stand up and intervene in Ottawa to try to restart this pipeline project?
THE PREMIER « » : I want to assure the honourable member that I worked with my colleagues here in Atlantic Canada and continue to work with the proponent to ensure that that pipeline came to the East Coast. It is my belief that pipeline should have been extended into the Strait where we already have a transshipment terminal, but the company has made a decision. We're going to continue to look for opportunities. Yesterday we announced opportunities in renewable energy in the Bay of Fundy. We're going to continue to make sure that people recognize that not only is this part of the country a beautiful place to live, it's also a great place to invest, continue to grow good jobs, and an opportunity to live and work with your family.
MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, those are only just words. Right now, Nova Scotians need action. It's one thing to say that these are all great things, but when the Liberal Government in Ottawa actually makes it impossible for a private company with its own money to invest in a national pipeline to make Atlantic Canada part of this country, and our federal Members of Parliament have nothing to say about it? Nova Scotians need the Premier to stand up for them.
I appreciate everything he said to us here in this Chamber. Will he go to Ottawa and intervene with the Prime Minister of Canada and do all he can to kick-start that project again?
THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to assure the honourable member that we continue to put support behind that project. It is our hope, working with our sister province next door, New Brunswick, that we continue to build on that. I want to tell him we're working with Newfoundland and Labrador when it comes to hydro electricity to work and make sure we have access to the large market in the Eastern U.S. and continue to make sure we can backfill some of that renewable energy out of this province that will come back into central Canada.
I agree 100 per cent with him. I believe the natural resources of this country should be shared across the country, and I am as disappointed as he is to see that. But I'm going to tell you we're going to continue to work with all sectors to ensure the resources of this country are shared with Canadians and also have access to a variety of markets.
H&W - ER CLOSURES (GLACE BAY): PATIENT CARE - IMPACTS
MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : Mr. Speaker, earlier this week Stella Freda Young, a 92-year-old New Waterford woman in medical distress, with a history of heart problems, was transported from Glace Bay Hospital to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital by taxi after being told that no ambulances were available.
Freda had been discharged from Glace Bay ER in the early hours of Monday morning after tests showed that she had not had a heart attack, but she began having chest pains and arm pain while waiting outside the hospital for a taxi. Rather than being readmitted to Glace Bay ER, which was closing within the hour for two days due to staffing shortages, Freda was told that she could either go home or go to the regional hospital.
Does the Minister of Health and Wellness believe this is acceptable?
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for bringing this specific situation that's occurred in Cape Breton to my attention. It's not a situation that I'm familiar with, that had been brought to my attention to date. I'd certainly be looking into the specifics around that and what transpired on that date to get the full details of what did transpire.
MS. MARTIN « » : Mr. Speaker, when Freda arrived at the ER via taxi from Glace Bay to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital with her son Joe, doctors there found that she had indeed had a heart attack. She was admitted and put in a private room. She has since had a second heart attack.
While stories like Freda's break my heart, they don't shock me. Had the mobile care team been active, maybe Freda would have been transported to the regional on Sunday night. To be honest, we're very lucky that Freda is still alive, although she did say while sitting in the wheelchair, I think I'm going to die here in this wheelchair. I spoke to her son this morning and they don't know if she will make it.
Mr. Speaker, will the minister take responsibility for this disgraceful incident or does he not see how his decisions and the decisions of this government are impacting patient care?
MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I assure the member opposite that when individuals across this province have health conditions, whether they be conditions such as cardiac issues as the member mentioned in this specific case, be they more chronic-based illnesses and issues that individuals may suffer - indeed, the front-line health care professionals that assess the patients that come through are fantastic, they do a great job. I have every confidence that on behalf of all Nova Scotians that those health care professionals will provide the best service to all Nova Scotians.
H&W: ER CLOSURES (GLACE BAY) - AMBULANCE AVAILABILITY
MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, as was just mentioned, the Cape Breton Post is reporting that on October 2nd a 92-year-old woman with a history of heart attacks was in medical distress and was transported from the Glace Bay Hospital to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital by taxi, instead of by ambulance, because she was told there were no ambulances available.
She had been discharged from the hospital at 4:00 a.m. and while she was waiting, as stated, she had chest and arm pains. She couldn't be readmitted because the Glace Bay Hospital was closing for two days. She went from New Waterford because that emergency room was close to Glace Bay that was closing.
Does the Minister of Health and Wellness believe it's okay to send a 92-year-old woman with a history of heart attacks who was in medical distress between two hospitals in a taxi cab rather than an ambulance?
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : As I previously mentioned, this particular situation, circumstances affecting a Nova Scotian, indeed is one that I will be looking into. It's not one that had previously been brought to my attention, but certainly to dig in to see exactly what transpired in that case is important and I will endeavour to get to the bottom of the details that did transpire on that day. Thank you.
MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, this woman was deserving of much better. The New Waterford emergency room was closed, the Glace Bay emergency room was closing that morning and the doctors and nurses were exhausted and overworked. This is a recipe for disaster.
There's a serious lack of physicians and nurses available to cover even basic emergency room services. They are doing the best they can within a broken system. Will the minister admit there is a doctor crisis in Cape Breton and that people's lives are being put at risk because of this government's failure to act and address it?
MR. DELOREY « » : I appreciate the member's question. I assure the member that we continue to remain committed to addressing, providing and improving primary care access and access to physicians and other primary care providers, like nurse practitioners, family practice nurses, throughout the province - in Cape Breton, yes, but in other communities across this province as well.
We continue to focus on recruitment efforts. This budget that we're debating through the committee, Mr. Speaker, includes investments and commitments to initiatives, new initiatives that we believe will help us continue down the path of improving primary care services and physician access right across this province, including in Cape Breton.
H&W - COLE HBR.-EAST. PASSAGE: CHC PROMISE - FULFILL
MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : As everybody is now well aware, the Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage constituency that I represent, does not have a single family doctor in our constituency. Many families in my constituency are among the 100,000 Nova Scotians without a family doctor and I get calls about this every week.
A May 2017 Liberal campaign promise gave them hope. I'll table the Liberal pamphlet that promised a collaborative health centre for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.
My question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, will the minister commit today to fulfilling the Liberal election campaign promise of a collaborative health centre for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that in our four-year mandate I'll endeavour to achieve each and every commitment that we've made on behalf of Nova Scotians. The work is ongoing. We've made several commitments to investments towards establishing collaborative care teams, as well as some collaborative care centres, infrastructure investments to help facilitate but also support the hiring of nurse practitioners and others to support these collaborative teams across the province, and we'll continue towards achieving those end results.
MS. ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, my constituents can't wait four years. Since there are so many residents in my community who don't have a family doctor and certainly none in the constituency, they all believe that providing front-line care should be a priority, and we're certainly asking the government what constitutes a health care crisis if this isn't it.
During the election, the Liberals promised us that a collaborative health centre had been approved. They said this during the Seaside FM radio debate and on the doorsteps of my constituents, who are now wondering what happened to that approval.
The question is, will the minister commit to providing a collaborative health centre for our community in this year?
MR. DELOREY « » : I appreciate the member's question on behalf of her constituents. Again, as I've stated before, the province continues its efforts through the Nova Scotia Health Authority with recruitments of, not just physicians, but other front line health care professionals to help improve the primary care access services that Nova Scotians not just need, but deserve. Those efforts continue. We have investments in this budget to ensure that we can achieve better results with our recruitment efforts and we're going to continue down that path.
EECD: PRE-PRIMARY PROG. - DAYCARE CLOSURES
MR. TIM HALMAN « » : My question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. Since we've been sitting this Fall, the message from this minister and this government has been that if pre-Primary was not ruled in, in an ambitious way, hundreds of four-year olds in the province would not have the opportunity to take part in an important program.
Mr. Speaker, in an article that was published this morning by CBC Nova Scotia, and I'll table that, it states that a daycare in Chegoggin in the Yarmouth area was forced to close its doors. This is only one of many child care facilities that were forced to make tough decisions. My question for the minister is, will he admit that the rushed rollout of pre-Primary is being implemented at the expense of his own constituents?
HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, in fact I believe our ambitious agenda for pre-Primary has been to the benefit of constituents in my area and constituents in every single area across the province that have benefitted from these programs. In this particular area, there's actually no pre-Primary site in that catchment area and in the Tri-County Regional School Board. They are not taking it out of catchment children.
As well, in this catchment area there was another daycare provider who said she had an overabundance of children, that she wasn't able to accommodate. So, I reached out directly to my constituents to discuss this issue, to better understand what the impacts have been, considering the fact that there is no pre-Primary in that area and other operators in that area actually have more children than they're able to take care of.
MR. HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, all of this could have been avoided if a proper plan was put in place. Had the government consulted before implementation, daycares would not find themselves in this situation. How did this minister, how does this government plan to help the private daycares adapt to pre-Primary that is now in our schools?
MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, in fact, our government has invested year after year, millions of dollars into our daycare sector. We have a vested interest in their success. To date we have heard from five out of 384 providers in this province, that they have experienced some level of anxiety over this. Three said they had staffing issues and we're working with them to help them recruit; one has indicated they're worried about future enrolment; one has said their enrolment has been impacted, despite the fact that there's no pre-Primary in that area.
While we've been in office and in part because of these investments, we've actually increased spaces in the daycare sector by 1,000.
EECD - PRE-PRIMARY: CHILD CARE CTR. SPACES - IMPACT
MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. As we have heard many times in this House, there are only enough child care spaces in the province, notwithstanding the additional 1,000, for 25 per cent of children from birth to four years old. We all agree it's critical to maintain and increase the number of quality, affordable child care spaces in the province.
This is why I was deeply concerned this morning, as mentioned, to read about the closure of a child care centre in the minister's home town of Yarmouth. Will the minister please explain what immediate steps this government is taking to make sure the implementation of pre-Primary is not coming at the cost of our already scarce child care spaces?
HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I reached out personally to my constituent to better understand the reasons for this decision. I have not been able to connect with her yet but I know she has experienced decreasing enrolment before pre-Primary. I know that there is another operator in that same area who has more children than she is able to handle, and I would also mention that there is no pre-Primary site in this location and in the Tri-Counties; they're not taking out of catchment children.
I need to better understand the factors that are contributing to this situation. There is a natural ebb and flow in this sector. I think on average we do lose about 18 daycare providers a year, but in total there's been a net gain of 1,000 spaces in this province because of the continued investment year after year by this government.
MS. CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, in Budget Estimates the minister has repeatedly reassured me that there was information collected and analyzed, to determine where the initial pre-Primary sites were to be located. He's told me these sites were in areas where there were no childcare spaces available and that the logical assumption was that the children in pre-Primary were not children who were being removed from existing centres.
Notwithstanding the fact that the minister has repeatedly said that he's only heard from a few child care providers, yesterday it was three, today it was five; what we have seen and heard so far suggests otherwise. Will the minister commit to tabling the data collected and analysis conducted by his department that was used to determine that these sites would not negatively affect existing child care spaces, particularly those for children not eligible for pre-Primary?
MR. CHURCHILL « » : There are two barriers to accessing child care and pre-Primary learning in this province: geographic location - the physical spaces across our province - and financial costs. We are moving forward with a free universal program to improve that access so that not one in four children can access these programs but so that 100 per cent of our kids can access these programs.
We need to do this in tandem with the child care sector because both pre-Primary and child care are needed to have a robust system of support for our youth and our families. That's why we invest year after year - unlike the NDP, who actually cut funding to daycares in this province. We have invested every single year and are continuing to do that.
ENERGY - CAP-AND-TRADE: BUSINESS IMPACT - ANALYSIS
MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : My question is for the Minister of Energy. One would think the purpose of any measure, be it a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, is to reduce consumption to reduce emissions. The end user, the consumer, must be penalized for their consumption so they will use less heating oil, electricity, or gasoline.
My question to the minister is, what Nova Scotian energy companies that provide these goods to Nova Scotians will be hurt, will be penalized, by the proposed cap-and-trade system?
HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : I thank the member for the question. As we discussed in Budget Estimates, there will be a number of companies that will be part of this system. It's certainly early days, and we don't have any specifics on that particular list and a fulsome roster of what companies will be in that conversation.
The good news for us as Nova Scotians and as a province is, we've done so much incredible work. We're so far ahead of the curve with respect to reducing GHG emissions, with respect to protecting the environment, with respect to adding renewables to our renewable retail and all the work we have done to add renewable sources to the grid. We will have a system in place that gives a number of free credits to our heavy users of energy, to industry, so that at the end of the day, we will be in a much better place than many other provinces in the federation.
MR. MACMASTER « » : The minister is correct that Nova Scotians have paid more for their energy in the last number of years. Power rates went up because of these renewable sources of energy. I think about things like LED lights and heat pumps. I think about people shopping locally for locally made goods. Those are real, good, common-sense means that have reduced our emissions and improved the state of our environment.
But, Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the government is bringing forward something so important as this system without having economic analysis. Another question I had asked in estimates was, who will benefit from the trading of emissions allowances? By extension, who will lose? If somebody wins, somebody loses. How can the government put forward something as significant as a cap-and-trade system when there's no economic analysis and no claims it won't hurt anyone - but also claims people will have a reason to reduce their consumption?
MR. MACLELLAN « » : Again, we're playing our part as part of the national efforts and, quite frankly, as part of the global efforts to protect the environment, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to make sure that we are transforming over a number of years to a renewable energy grid and that we're doing our part. Again, we can be very proud - all members of this House - of the work that Nova Scotians have done. The fact remains we're leaders in Canada and we're leaders on the continent with respect to production in these areas. As the Premier said, our government certainly supports it. We're always willing to do more.
We're going to work with our industry here in the province to do more. Because we're in such a good position, we can allow this cap-and-trade system to come in and make sure that those who continue to be efficient and those who continue to protect the environment will not be harmed by the cap-and-trade program.
ENVIRON.: ENVIRON. TRUST - ACCESS
MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Environment, I would like to ask a question today. A few weeks ago, the Eco Connect Nova Scotia meeting was held up in Truro. It was raised by some representatives there of the Nova Scotia Environmental Network that there is currently more than $375,000 in a public environmental trust which is being held by the Department of Environment. That money typically goes to these frontline environmental stewards in order for them to work towards their goals of making Nova Scotia a healthier better place for us to live. It also helps them to leverage funding from other levels.
My question is, are you aware that these requests have been made for the funds? If so, why is it that the department is refusing to release them? Do you know?
HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the member opposite. There is a fund with approximately that value. There are some legal challenges in how we access that funding, so we're looking at that. It's under review. There are a number of options on the table that we're going to look at. The option that goes forward will be the one that protects the environment the most.
MR. JOHNS « » : I'd like to thank the minister for that. Time is ticking and opportunities are passing for this group. As I said, they utilize this fund, these monies, to access various different levels of funding.
What I'm wondering is whether or not there might be an opportunity for you to sit down with some representatives of the group. What I've been told is that staffer telling them that it costs almost what it's in the account to administer the program. That doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. I'm wondering if there might be an opportunity for them to meet with you.
MR. RANKIN « » : You've highlighted one of the challenges. There are a number of them, when the fund was set up and how you access that fund, but certainly I would be willing to meet with the group. I've met with many of the NGOs - the Ecology Action Centre, the Clean Foundation; there are a number of very important environmental groups that do great work.
I can speak with the member opposite in the future, and we can coordinate a meeting.
H&W: PALLIATIVE CARE PROG. - AVAILABILITY
MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : My question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. The palliative care program has grown considerably in the last couple of decades. The doctors and nurses are amazing at dealing with people who are actively dying, and with their families. Many want to die at home, and a number of families are good at doing that.
I found out a couple of weeks ago that there are pockets in the province that this program cannot reach. I'm going to ask the minister if he is aware of these pockets.
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I appreciate the member raising this very important topic in the Legislature today. End-of-life care delivered through our palliative and/or hospice environments is an evolving, emerging process and service. There's a lot of interest being expressed from communities across the province, and that's why my predecessor - now the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage - worked a couple of years ago to develop a framework around developing and bringing forward a hospice program in communities in Nova Scotia.
MR. HARRISON « » : I've worked with a palliative care team out of Truro for many, many years, and I know how important this program is to families who have loved ones actively dying. I realize that money's tight and that doctors are at a premium. The pockets could be filled by qualified nurses if they are attached to a palliative care doctor. It is less costly to keep people out of hospital than in hospital during this very crucial time.
Will the minister meet with a palliative care coordinator to address the pockets that are not being served at this time?
MR. DELOREY « » : I want to assure the member that efforts, as I've mentioned, through the development and establishment of a hospice framework to support people who may not be in a position to go through the end-of-life process at home, but also so they don't necessarily have to go through it in a hospital space as well, but again, recognizing palliative services in some cases are appropriate and necessary. We work with our partners like EMC and the paramedics who do provide services like that to support people who are going through this process.
As far as meeting, any group or organization looking to reach out to the department to have further discussions is welcome to do so.
COM. SERV. - FOOD BANK USAGE: GOV. POLICIES - HARM
MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Minister of Community Services about her department's failure to address the crisis of poverty in this province. Since 2013 - since this government took office - we have 7,500 more people in the province using food banks. That's a 20 per cent increase. The executive director of Feed Nova Scotia told us that we have 44,000 people using food banks in this province as a last resort to address their food insecurity.
Will the minister admit that the policies of her government have forced more people to turn to food banks?
HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member. In fact, the numbers that were provided to us from the Food Bank are significantly different. But that aside, I would like to note that, for example, this year we have money for people in a tax cut - the largest tax cut that this province has ever seen.
We're instituting a breakfast program right across the province so that when students go to school, they are not hungry so that they can actually learn. We are instituting a pre-Primary program, Mr. Speaker, which has incredible outcomes for young people. Not only do they improve in school, but they have better educational outcomes, better health outcomes, and better economic outcomes. They are less likely to come in contact with the criminal system. So yes, I'm proud of what we have done.
MS. LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, while this government has been spending millions on their elusive transformation, families in Nova Scotia are going hungry, and a tax credit that amounts to $13 a month won't help with that very much.
Between 2015 and 2016, Nova Scotia had the largest increase in food bank use of any province in this country. That same year, this government cut funding to Feed Nova Scotia by 50 per cent. In his recent letter to the editor, executive director Nick Jennery described the situation as a crisis that desperately needs political leadership. With all due respect, people can't stock their cupboards with this government's four years of reports.
Mr. Speaker, when will the minister stop talking about plans and take action on hunger in this province?
MS. REGAN « » : We are taking action. What the honourable member's Party has done in the past is nibble around the edges. What we are talking about is transformational change. For far too long, people who rely on income assistance have not been able to participate in their communities. They have not been able to know how much money they are going to get. They have lived precarious lives.
Transformation is going to take time, Mr. Speaker, but we're going to do it right. We're going to do it right.
H&W: HIRING PRACTICES - INEFFECTIVE
MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Mr. Speaker, this question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Day after day, people share their frustrations with our health care system. I would suggest that a major cause of the problems in our health care is ineffective management.
For example, recently a 30-year veteran employee of a local hospital in Cumberland retired. He was asked to stay on as a casual employee so he said yes. He had to apply for the job, he had to prove immunization, and he had to get a criminal record check. Then he had to do a full day of orientation in the hospital that he had just worked at for 30 years.
I am asking the minister, will he make a commitment to examine how the Department of Health and Wellness is monitoring performance and make changes to make improvements?
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Of course, in the Department of Health and Wellness as well as other departments, we do continue to endeavour to improve our processes and improve how operations are conducted. In this case, Mr. Speaker, I think the member is referring to operations within the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Again, we would indeed expect that the organizations operating on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia look at opportunities for continuously improving the efficiency and effectiveness of those operations.
There does seem to be a consistent problem with hiring practices through the Nova Scotia Health Authority. For example, the president of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union, Janet Hazelton, has told me it takes 78 days to hire a nurse in this province. This is leading to an exorbitant amount of overtime and costing the health care system an unnecessary amount of money - a waste of funds.
The question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, will he make an inquiry into the current hiring practices of the Nova Scotia Health Authority?
MR. DELOREY « » : I appreciate the member's question. Indeed, efforts have been made. In my conversation with Ms. Hazelton earlier this summer she, too, raised that concern. It is my understanding that there have been changes made in the specific case of the process for hiring nurses and that there have been improvements even since then. I look forward to seeing continued improvements.
Again, part of that process includes having dialogues with our partners - like Ms. Hazelton, on behalf of nurses and the Nurses' Union - and learning from their experiences and their concerns, and, implementing changes to improve the process efficiency.
H&W: CCA SHORTAGE - ACTION
MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Another question for the Minister of Health and Wellness. We know the demand to get into nursing homes is high. The clients who are getting admitted to the nursing homes have a high need of care. Over the past number of years, the ratio of clients needing this higher level of care has increased.
Much of this load is being felt by continuing care assistants. The pool of workers is not big enough, especially in rural areas. Overtime is not allowed, in an attempt to save money. This has led to nursing homes operating short of staff, making it difficult for those who are working, and also difficult for their clients. Are the minister's audits of nursing homes picking this up?
HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I assure the member opposite that there are ongoing reviews, and assessments; that is, inspections of our care facilities across the province, being conducted by representatives of the province. To complete that work, when those assessments are complete, there are follow-up actions with the administrators of the facilities to ensure that plans are put in place, and, that actions are taken to ensure that any deficiencies identified are addressed, on a go forward basis.
MR. MACMASTER « » : That is certainly what should be happening, but my fear is that's not what is happening. What I'm worried about, is who is going to fix it. For-profit home operators don't have motivation to fix this problem, except maybe if a lawsuit were to happen. We know that registered nurses are putting their licenses on the line, working in these conditions, with this kind of risk. Some CCAs have actually chosen to quit, and to change careers.
Is this something the minister wants to fix? And I'm sure he does, but we need a plan to fix it. We need some action on this. We need some results, and perhaps, maybe, the minister could report some progress on this activity.
MR. DELOREY « » : I appreciate the member's question, of course. The member may recall that through the election campaign process, some priorities that - if you've reviewed my mandate, if you were really to break down priority areas for my role here - primary care, which we talk a lot about here, mental health, and indeed, continuing care, which this would fall under.
So, of course, it is a priority of the government. It's a priority of my mandate and my role, to continue to work to improve our continuing care. I have staff dedicated, working towards the Continuing Care Strategy improvements, to improve the system. Not just in the short term, but over the long term as well.
COM. SERV.: INCOME ASSIST. - MED. MARIJUANA COVERAGE
HON. PAT DUNN « » : In an attempt to follow your new mandate of more hugs, and less slugs, I wish to ask my favourite Minister of Community Services a couple of questions. Recently, my office received a request from a constituent, who must travel to Halifax for medical care, and is presently receiving income assistance from DCS.
He has recently been prescribed medical marijuana by his specialist in Halifax. This individual suffers from many conditions. Two of his recent appointments in Halifax were connected with regulating his marijuana. DCS would not cover his related expenses because he was attending the marijuana clinic, to do this regulation.
My question is this, why is DCS not providing coverage for this particular individual?
HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member and, assure him, he is one of my favourite members on the opposite side, as well. I'm not familiar with this particular case. I would note that under the NDP government, coverage for medical marijuana was discontinued from the formulary for income assistance clients. I would have to look into the particular case for him, which I am more than happy to do, because we don't speak publicly about individual cases.
MR. DUNN « » : My constituent's physician is somewhat upset that his patient is being placed in a position where he cannot afford to follow his medical advice. With the legalization of recreational marijuana occurring next year, why are these stumbling blocks being put in the way of assistance for this individual? I certainly understand that caseworkers with DCS have to operate within the parameters as set out by DHW, but my question is, why are they questioning, interfering, or not allowing my constituent to receive the prescribed orders of a board-certified physician?
INT. SERV./TIR: INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS - DETAILS
HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Internal Services. Nova Scotia deserves to know exactly who stands to benefit from contracts for huge infrastructure projects. Yesterday we heard from the Premier that his government wasn't being lobbied by anyone.
Will the minister agree to table a list of lobbyists and their respective clients that have been in contact with the government with regard to major infrastructure projects in Nova Scotia?
HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for the question. Our procurement process is a national process that is done by all levels of government, and those are all matters of public record, all matters subject to FOIPOP. Our office is constantly willing and ready to help any proponent who is looking for that information to follow the procedures that are in place.
We've heard continually from the government that when it comes to the QEII redevelopment project for example, they're keeping all options on the table. I'm sure if this is the case plenty of research will have been done already in advance of the groundbreaking on this crucial piece of infrastructure.
I would like to ask the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, would he agree to release all records of the comparison his department has done and has made between a traditional public build and a P3 option for the QEII redevelopment?
HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. We're in the preliminary stages of developing the many options, and we are so pleased as a government to be in charge of this milestone activity that we're talking about in this great leap forward for health care in Nova Scotia by replacing these aging facilities. You can rest assured that this government will provide the best path forward based on value for money for all Nova Scotians to figure out just exactly how we're going to replace these facilities.
EECD - P3 SCHOOL PURCHASES: MAINTENANCE - CONTINUATION
Since announcing the purchase of 37 P3 schools over the last year, this government has been short on details on how this process will take place. P3 schools are currently maintained and operated by the owner for the students and staff, and the technology of some of these schools is much different than older schools operated by the school boards.
My question for the minister is this, can the minister please explain what process his department is undertaking to ensure that the schools they are purchasing are going to be maintained and continue to be operated in a manner similar to how they are currently?
HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, in terms of the process of purchasing, we took the lead from the school boards. They identified as per the contracts for the P3s, whether they wanted to give the asset back to the company or purchase it for needs in their community - the vast majority did want to purchase those schools because it was deemed to be necessary for the student population in those areas. We have budgeted, in our department, funding for technological upgrades and maintenance so that is embedded in our budget and that is per the contract that we have with the P3 schools.
MR. LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, last weekend we were told that in one school a complete air handling system will be too expensive to be operated once the school board takes control of the building, and some schools have security and maintenance personnel who do a whole host of duties that have changed the way the school operates.
Can the minister please reassure staff and students of these 37 schools that life will not be negatively affected when the school boards take over their operations?
MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, of course health and safety and the quality of our buildings are top of mind always. I'm not familiar with these specific concerns, but if the board wants to reach out to our department to discuss potential issues, we're happy to have those conversations.
HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. In Question Period I distinctly heard the member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River suggest that it was a lie when I said that the NDP had cut funding to daycares in the province.
I would just ask that member to refer to the budgets that are actually tabled by previous Finance Ministers of the NDP, and she will . . .
We'll now move on to Government Business.
The House will now recess for a few minutes while it resolves into the Committee of the Whole on Supply.
[10:50 a.m. The House resolved into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Chuck Porter in the Chair.]
[3:10 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Chuck Porter in the Chair.]
Following the daily routine and Question Period, the House will resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole on Supply. We will also call Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill Nos. 15, 27, and 29.
With that, I wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving, have a safe trip home, enjoy, and we'll see you on Tuesday.
Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.
The motion is carried.
Have a great weekend.
[The House rose at 3:11 p.m.]
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)
RESOLUTION NO. 326
I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:
Whereas David George Kerr, a well-respected and liked man in the community of the Eastern Shore, passed away this past September 11, 2017, at the age of 71, after battling cancer; and
Whereas David was heavily involved in his community, having served on numerous boards and committees for community initiatives such as the Old School Gathering Place and the MusGo Rider Transit Service and his involvement in the Coastal Voices Men's Choir; and
Whereas David's commitment to our community will leave a lasting legacy which will be valued by many;
Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in posthumously thanking David George Kerr for his part for making the Eastern Shore a better place to live.
RESOLUTION NO. 327
I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:
Whereas Jimmy Flynn, originally from Marystown, Newfoundland, is a long-time resident of Seaforth on the beautiful Eastern Shore; and
Whereas Jimmy has had a long and successful career sharing his unique brand of maritime comedy and his outstanding musical abilities with thousands of fans across the world; and
Whereas Jimmy is committed to his family and his community as he continues to share his gifts with anyone who will listen;
Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in thanking Jimmy Flynn for his humour and musical talents over the decades.
RESOLUTION NO. 328
I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:
Whereas Wayne Drew, originally from Pictou County, N.S., is a long-time resident of Porters Lake, N.S.; and
Whereas Wayne is the founder of the iconic Golden Clipper and Head Shoppe chain of hair salons; and
Whereas Wayne has been a dedicated family man, a community volunteer, and a music and sports lover;
Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in thanking Wayne Drew for his business commitments to the people of Nova Scotia and his community spirit for the people of the Eastern Shore.
RESOLUTION NO. 329
I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:
Whereas Sportswheels in Lower Sackville is a fourth-generation family business that originated as the Mayhew Cycle Shop in Crapaud, P.E.I., in 1947, moving to Lower Sackville in the 1950s, operated by the late Wendell Mayhew and passed along through his son Ronald to the current owner, his grandson Jeff; and
Whereas Sportswheels - Sports Excellence is well known for their exceptional customer service and for their charitable contributions ensuring that more than 500 deserving children across the province receive a bicycle, hockey gear, or registration fees; and
Whereas 2017 marks a special milestone for the Mayhew family with the 70th Anniversary of Sportswheels;
Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sportwheels of Lower Sackville and the Mayhew family on 70 years of business, extend gratitude for their dedication to enriching the lives of youth, and wish them continued success.