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13 avril 2018

  HANSARD18-50

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/



First Session

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE
 

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1305, Jaggard, Jessie Brown - Nursing Matron: Serv. during WWI
4075
Vote - Affirmative
4076
Res. 1306, Educ. Wk.: Entrepreneurial Spirit - Foster,
4076
Vote - Affirmative
4077
Res. 1307, Correctional Serv. Wk.: Com. Safety - Thanks,
4077
Vote - Affirmative
4078
Res. 1308, Ntl. Pub. Safety Telecom. Wk.: Imp. Work - Recognize,
4078
Vote - Affirmative
4079
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 123, Supporting People with Disabilities Act,
4079
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
New 4-H Bldg. - Com. Support,
4079
Morrison, Grace: Best Buddies & Inclusion - Thanks,
4080
Carver, Autumn: Singer/Songwriter - Congrats.,
4080
Yarmouth Mariners: Division Champs. - Congrats.,
4080
Morris, Sheldon: Boston Marathon - Recognize,
4081
Tourism Indus. Workers: Growing Demand - Congrats.,
4081
Shubie Fun Run: Mental Health Fdn. Partnership - Best Wishes,
4082
John K. MacDonald Mem. Park - Com. Asset,
4082
Dignan, Noah: Soccer Athlete - Best of Luck,
4082
Dillon, Joan: Death of - Tribute,
4083
Trask, Gary: Retirement - Congrats.,
4083
Provo, Daneesha: Commonwealth Games - Congrats.,
4084
Shelburne Thrashers: Gold Medallists - Congrats.,
4084
Tenants' Rights Advocacy - Improve Housing Conditions,
4085
Healey, Patrick: Com. Journalism - Thanks,
4085
Caldwell Health Ctr.: New Bus. - Thanks,
4086
Prov. Volunteer Awards - Faithful Com. Serv.,
4086
Prov. Volunteer Awards - Dedication to Com.,
4087
Brennan, Heather Brophy: 10 Yr. Serv. Award - Congrats.,
4087
Team Pinkney: Cdn. Masters Women's Curling - Congrats.,
4088
Metro W. Force, Girls Hockey: Atl. Champs. - Congrats.,
4088
E. Passage Seafarer's Pub: Srs. Easter Dinner - Thanks,
4088
Chaulk, Bob: Dedication to History - Thanks,
4089
Lewis, Aaron: Inductee, N.S. Country Mus. Hall of Fame
4089
Robertson, Duncan: Liberal Internship - Congrats.,
4090
Rotary Club, Pictou: 75th Anniv. - Congrats.,
4090
Dixon, Kayley: Random Acts of Kindness - Thanks,
4091
Small, Rodney: Role Model - Recognize,
4091
Chester Minor Hockey - Support, Humboldt Tragedy,
4092
O'Connor, Michael: Prov. Volunteer Award - Congrats.,
4092
Hfx. W. Warriors: Div. 1 Champs., Soccer - Congrats.,
4093
Hennessey, Erin - Dentist: Free Dental Care Day - Thanks,
4093
McNair, Patricia: World Drum of Peace - Thanks,
4094
Tony's Meats: Retail Partnership - Congrats.,
4094
Downtown Façade Prog., Digby - Congrats.,
4095
Conrad, Tanya: Com. Leadership - Thanks,
4095
Hantsport Fire Stn.: Limited Space - Funding Needed,
4096
Black, Ellie - Gymnast: Olympian & Role Model - Thanks,
4096
SMU: Open Data Challenge Winners - Congrats.,
4097
Station Six: Burger Wk. Fundraiser - Thanks,
4097
Ntl. Pub. Safety Telecom. Wk.: RCMP Dispatchers - Recognize,
4097
SMBCEC: Econ. & Soc. Well-being - Congrats.,
4098
Dal. Governors Awards: Outstanding Leadership - Congrats.,
4098
HOUSE RECESSED AT 9:55 A.M
4099
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 10:00 A.M
4099
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 682, Prem. - FOIPOP Data Breach: HRP Notification - Timeline,
4099
No. 683, Prem.: Fracking Moratorium - Proclaim,
4101
No. 684, Int. Serv.: Words/Actions - Reconcile,
4102
No. 685, Prem.: Nursing Home Funding - Inadequate,
4103
No. 686, Int. Serv. - Weak Institutional Proc.: Min. - Evasion,
4104
No. 687, Int. Serv. - FOIPOP Breach: Accountability - Admit,
4105
No. 688, Int. Serv. - FOIPOP Breach: Minister - Resign,
4106
No. 689, Justice - Legal Cannabis: Medical Users - Rights,
4107
No. 690, H&W: Strait Richmond Hospital - Palliative Care Plan,
4108
No. 691, H&W: Valley Hospice (Kentville) - Build Timeline,
4109
No. 692, Mun. Affs. - Bus. C.B.: REN Prog. - Replacement Explain,
4110
No. 693, Trade - Digby Ferry Closure: Delays - Impact,
4112
No. 694, Hum. Rights - Chestico Museum & Hist. Soc. (Port Hood):
Student Employ. - Charter Rights Stance, Mr. A. MacMaster »
4113
No. 695, TIR - Mira Gut Bridge: Detour Rds. - Repair,
4114
No. 696, EECD - Island View HS (E. Passage): Skilled Trades 10
Applications - Refusal Reverse, Ms. B. Adams « »
4115
No. 697, Com. Serv.: Child Protection Serv.: Front-line Staff
- Com. Breakdown, Ms. S. Leblanc « »
4116
No. 698, H&W - Cumb. Reg. Health Care Ctr.: Emerg. Beds - Increase,
4116
No. 699, H&W - North Sydney Rally: Min. Attend - Respond,
4118
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 11:03 A.M
4119
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 11:36 A.M
4119
CWH REPORTS
4119
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 79, Property Valuation Services Corporation Act
4120
4120
4120
Vote - Affirmative
4120
No. 82, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter
4121
4121
4122
4122
Vote - Affirmative
4123
No. 84, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter
4123
4124
4125
Vote - Affirmative
4125
No. 87, Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act
4125
4126
4126
Vote - Affirmative
4127
No. 104, Research Nova Scotia Corporation Act
4127
4127
4127
4128
Vote - Affirmative
4129
No. 106, Insurance Act
4129
Vote - Affirmative
4129
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 66, Volunteer Services Act
4130
4130
4130
4131
Vote - Affirmative
4131
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Apr. 17th at 1:00 p.m
4131
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1309, Kerr, Aileen & Thomas: 50th Anniv. - Congrats.,
4132
Res. 1310, Westhaver, Mary: 80th Birthday - Best Wishes,
4132
Res. 1311, Meisner, Kingsley: 90th Birthday - Best Wishes,
4133
Res. 1312, Shaw, Jean: 90th Birthday - Best Wishes,
4133
Res. 1313, Mosher, John & Linda: 50th Anniv. - Congrats.,
4134

 

 

[Page 4075]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018

Sixty-third General Assembly

First Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

 

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Chuck Porter, Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1305

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

Whereas today marks a day of tribute to Matron Jessie Brown Jaggard, a nursing sister serving in the Canadian Army Corps during World War I, and was one of 70 Canadian nurses to be stationed on the Greek Island of Lemnos to treat the wounded and sick Allied servicemen who fought during the Battle of Gallipoli; and

[Page 4076]

Whereas Matron Jaggard was born in Wolfville, Kings County, Nova Scotia, in 1873 to Elizabeth Whidden and John Lothrop Brown; and

Whereas the tomb of Matron Jessie Jaggard is at the Portianos Military Cemetery, and remains a visible reminder of her service and sacrifice and her passing while serving her country at war;

Therefore be it resolved that this House pay tribute to Matron Jessie Brown Jaggard by honouring the devotion and courage she displayed during the Great War.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 1306

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

Whereas next week, from April 16th to April 20th, we will celebrate Education Week, which recognizes the contributions made by administrators, teachers, and education staff to provide our students with a quality education; and

Whereas this year's theme, the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Innovation, and Idea Generation, recognizes the work of educators and education partners in supporting the entrepreneurial mindset in students; and

Whereas we celebrate the work of our teachers and partners to provide our students with the competencies and skills to help our students with success;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the commitment and dedication of Nova Scotia's administrators, teachers, and education staff to foster the entrepreneurial mindset in our students and provide them with the best education possible.

[Page 4077]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I request permission to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, joining us in the gallery today are a number of individuals from our Correctional Services team. As I call their name, I'd ask them to stand: Mr. Chris Collett, executive director; Cathy Richards, director; Paulette Mackinnon, director; Dan Ray, senior probation officer; Amber McDow, senior probation officer; David Mills, manager of policy and programs; Tammy Vella, administrative assistant; Nadine Blair, administrative assistant; and Judith Crosby, our occupational health and safety consultant.

I'd ask my colleagues in the House to bring them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1307

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

Whereas probation officers, youth workers, correctional officers, social workers, teachers, case-management and program staff, support staff, and managers play a vital role in the safety and security of our citizens and our communities; and

Whereas their work focuses on the successful rehabilitation, reintegration, and supervision of youth and adults in custody and in the community; and

[Page 4078]

Whereas the work of all those who provide correctional programs and services is extremely challenging and their services deserve the respect, appreciation, and recognition of this House and all Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that we use this time together in the House to recognize the upcoming Correctional Services Week, May 13th to May 19th, and thank the province's exceptional Correctional Services staff for making a positive impact in the corrections system and directly contributing to the safety of our communities.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1308

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

Whereas access to important health and social services is made possible by the hard work of telecommunication operators across the province; and

Whereas in times of crisis, these dedicated professionals remain calm and collected no matter how stressful the situation is; and

Whereas this week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a time to appreciate and thank the telecommunicators in this province who act as the first point of contact for Nova Scotians seeking help;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize the important behind-the-scenes work telecommunicators do to make sure Nova Scotians get the help they need.

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

[Page 4079]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 123 - Entitled an Act to Support People with Disabilities. (Mr. John Lohr)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

NEW 4-H BLDG. - COM. SUPPORT

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : On behalf of the member for Pictou West, today I rise to provide an update on upgrades being made to complete a new portion of the 4-H barn currently under construction on the Pictou-North Colchester Exhibition grounds. Bonnie Allan and Ruby MacKenzie co-chair the fundraising committee which has raised over $142,000 in monetary and in-kind donations. This group is looking to raise an additional $40,000 to finish the entire building by enhancing the older section. The floor and outside steel of the barn need to be replaced. This new 4-H building will be used more often by groups that have previously gathered elsewhere for meetings, workshops, and other events.

I am so proud with the community coming together for this worthy cause as well as the volunteers to 4-H that are making this a reality. Thank you very much.

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

MORRISON, GRACE: BEST BUDDIES & INCLUSION - THANKS

[Page 4080]

MS. RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize a passionate young woman who is helping build friendship at her school. Grace Morrison is the executive liaison to the best buddies and inclusion committee at Halifax West High School. On Wednesdays, Grace organizes a time for students to make crafts with the learning centre and, on Fridays, they all wear jerseys and play together in the gym. There is no doubt that lasting bonds are created through these activities and Grace loves to see friendships that unfold.

I ask the members of this House of Assembly to join me in thanking Grace for fostering friendship at her school. She is doing a great job. Thank you.

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

CARVER, AUTUMN: SINGER/SONGWRITER - CONGRATS.

MS. KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud 14-year-old Autumn Carver who already has a country music career that would be the envy of many adults. Autumn is a talented musician and songwriter from Middlefield, Queens County, whose goal is to be in Nashville singing and writing country music.

She won the 2017 South Shore Idol contest, sharing the stage with Terri Clark, and also sang at the annual Hank Snow Tribute Festival in Liverpool. This June 15th, she will star as a special guest to warm up the audience at Queens Place in Liverpool for Jason Benoit, who is opening the concert for CCMA winner The Washboard Union.

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Autumn on her musical achievements to date. With her talent, dedication, and determination, I know she'll go far.

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

YARMOUTH MARINERS: DIVISION CHAMPS. - CONGRATS.

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : On April 8th, in front of a sold-out hometown crowd at Yarmouth Mariners Centre, the Yarmouth Junior A Mariners won the Maritime Hockey League Eastlink South Division Championship after winning Game 5 by a score of 4-2 over the South Shore Lumberjacks.

I would like to ask this House to join me in congratulating the Yarmouth Junior A Mariners team: Campbell Balk, Matt Barron, Kyle Bergh, Kaleb Boudreau, Brent Broaders, Ben Chipman, Patrick Daley, Keegan Gauthier, Chris Goreham, Leif Hertz, Derrick Johnson, Lauchie MacDonald, Aaron Maillet, Andrew Martell, Duncan McKie, Noah McMullin, Connor Peveril, Thomson Phinney, Adam Pilotte, Luc Poirier, Matt Smith, Logan Timmons, and Brendan Young, along with Head Coach Laurie Barron; Assistant Coaches Kyle Boudreau, David Ledicote, and John Murphy; Athletic Therapist Tessa Churchill-Morehouse; Head Equipment Manager Ed Coffin; Assistant Equipment Manager Randy Muise; and team owners Mitch Bonnar and Keith Condon.

[Page 4081]

Let's wish the Junior A Mariners team and organization the best of luck in the upcoming Maritime Hockey League Final. They have all made their community very proud.

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

MORRIS, SHELDON: BOSTON MARATHON - RECOGNIZE

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : I would like to recognize Sheldon Morris of Springhill. He will be the only representative of Cumberland County participating in the Boston Marathon.

This will be his fifth time running in the marathon and representing his home. Sheldon is hoping to finish in under three-and-a-half hours. He has persevered through previous marathons and some minor injuries.

We are proud to have a resident of Cumberland County represent us in the Boston Marathon later this month.

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

TOURISM INDUS. WORKERS: GROWING DEMAND - CONGRATS.

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to congratulate the many people throughout Nova Scotia who work in the tourism industry.

Last year, tourism saw a 7 per cent increase in revenue to $2.7 billion; we had 2.4 million visitors, up 9 per cent, with big increases in tourists from Ontario, up 16 per cent; western Canada, up 19 per cent; and the U.S. and overseas, both up over 10 per cent. Our cruise ship traffic to Halifax rose 23 per cent, while in Cape Breton it was up a whopping 42 per cent.

Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt much of the increase is due to the warm reception Nova Scotians give tourists. I first visited Nova Scotia in Fall 1984 and I fell in love with this province, its warm people, and its wonderful vistas. I have been here ever since.

Nova Scotia is well on its way to meeting the goal of doubling our revenue derived from tourism. I want to thank those who work in this industry for their hard work in growing the industry.

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

[Page 4082]

SHUBIE FUN RUN: MENTAL HEALTH FDN. PARTNERSHIP - BEST WISHES

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to recognize the upcoming Shubie Classic 5K Fun Run. Running in Shubie Park has long been one of my favourite parts of living in Dartmouth, and I'm pleased when I see other people using the park.

The 5K Fun Run partners with local sponsors to host a great event, but I'm most proud of their partnership with the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. Spreading awareness and encouraging conversations around mental health while promoting a healthy, active lifestyle have always been priorities of mine, and I am reassured to see these priorities shared at this event.

Mr. Speaker, I'm very proud to have this awesome event in Dartmouth East, and I ask all members of this House to wish the runners well in their race - now we just hope that the weather works in our favour.

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

JOHN K. MACDONALD MEM. PARK - COM. ASSET

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, thanks to numerous fundraisers and donations, the John K. MacDonald Memorial Sports Park in Tatamagouche continues to be a hub of activity.

The park is cared for by volunteers and is in frequent use. During the school months, the school students utilize the park, with the North Shore Recreation Centre programming taking advantage of the park from June through to September. The sports park is used for soccer and ball and has a walking and running track used by all ages.

Mr. Speaker, Tatamagouche and area is a very active community, and outdoor facilities like this Memorial Park are assets they truly enjoy.

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

DIGNAN, NOAH: SOCCER ATHLETE - BEST OF LUCK

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, when Noah Dignan moved with his family to Canada from his birthplace in Scotland at age three, he could have done what many Canadian kids do: play hockey. However, soccer was his passion. This very talented player began kicking soccer balls around before he learned to walk.

The New Glasgow resident joined North Nova United at age eight and immediately reached a top competitive level for his age, playing Tier 1 for XFC U12 boys, based out of St. Francis Xavier University.

[Page 4083]

Presently, 14-year-old Noah is training with the best young soccer players in the province. Hopefully, Noah will fulfill his dream of playing pro soccer. We wish him great success in his pursuit.

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

DILLON, JOAN: DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a wonderful woman and one of the founders of X-Project, Joan Dillon.

X-Project is a student society at St. Francis Xavier University where students volunteer to provide education, recreation, and leadership programs to African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq youth in five neighbouring communities. In its 53-year history, X-Project has had more than 4,000 student volunteers and has worked with over 1,000 children.

Joan's commitment to X-Project knew no bounds, however, X-Project is just one part of Joan's legacy. She was also a Scout leader for 35 years, leading Cub Packs from Antigonish, and in all the X-Project communities. She was given the Silver Acorn Award for her dedication to Scouts, inducted into the African Canadian Heritage and Friendship Centre in Guysborough, inducted into the Hall of Thoughts, and received a Canada 125 medal.

Joan received the Order of Nova Scotia, an honorary X-Ring, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from St. Francis Xavier University, and too many community awards to count, including a road being named after her.

It would be impossible to measure the role Joan played in the lives of so many. She loved to help others and her actions will be deeply felt in our community.

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

TRASK, GARY: RETIREMENT - CONGRATS.

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize Gary Trask of Springhill. He has over 30 years of service with the Golden Opportunities Vocational Rehabilitation Centre.

Gary has worked in the centre's woodshop for those with disabilities. He will be retiring this week after three decades of work. His supervisors and co-workers recognize that he was one of the hardest workers and will be greatly missed. They will continue to work after he is gone, but the place will not be the same without Gary.

[Page 4084]

It's a pleasure to congratulate Gary Trask on his retirement, and we wish him well in this next chapter of his life.

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

PROVO, DANEESHA: COMMONWEALTH GAMES - CONGRATS.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Daneesha Provo, who is part of Canada's Women's Basketball Team for the Commonwealth Games.

She was Canada's second-leading scorer in the basketball game with Australia at the Commonwealth Games. She had 13 points and four rebounds, all on the offensive glass, and was a perfect six-for-six on the foul line. She shot 43 per cent from the floor.

Provo, a six-foot wing from the University of Utah Utes, has been among the leaders in minutes played for both of Canada's games Down Under. Steve Baur, head coach, "expects Provo to play a big role for Team Canada, having already shown she can defend the small forward position at an international level."

I applaud and congratulate Daneesha Provo on her many successes with the University of Utah and at the Commonwealth Games.

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

SHELBURNE THRASHERS: GOLD MEDALLISTS - CONGRATS.

MS. KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a talented team of young basketball players from Shelburne.

The Shelburne Thrashers won gold medals at Basketball Nova Scotia's U12 Championship, held in Cambridge from March 23rd to the 25th.

The team went undefeated in the two-division tournament, defeating the Bedford Eagles 42-33 in the final. The team's coach, Mike Shand, praised the boys for their teamwork, sportsmanship, respect, attitudes, and noted that they displayed qualities and characters that go beyond the scope of coaching.

I applaud both the team and their coach on this achievement, their dedication, and commitment to sport. They should be very proud of this accomplishment.

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

[Page 4085]

TENANTS' RIGHTS ADVOCACY: IMPROVE HOUSING CONDITIONS

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, later this morning, tenant's housing activists and supporters will gather outside an apartment building in Dartmouth to protest the unsafe and unhealthy conditions of the rental units inside. Tenants report that there are cockroaches, broken elevators, roof leaks, window leaks, toilet leaks, no water, and many other issues in the building.

Though the gathering will be focusing on one particular building in Dartmouth, we know that there are similar situations and units all across the HRM and the province. Every single person deserves safe, affordable, and healthy housing options for themselves and their families. It is unacceptable when large corporations come in, buy up apartment buildings, jack up rents, and then leave tenants struggling to get basic repairs done. We must ensure that regulations are in place to protect tenants from these situations.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the tenant's rights organization, ACORN, for the amazing work it does in mobilizing and educating tenants about their rights, and I encourage all members to work so that all Nova Scotians are housed in safe, clean, healthy, and affordable housing.

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

HEALY, PATRICK: COM. JOURNALISM - THANKS

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Today, I would like to recognize a young man who has a true passion for his community - our community, really - and has turned that into a career serving as a journalist for our local news paper.

Pat Healey has been with the Weekly Press since 2008, and in the words of his editor, Pat takes his love of community journalism to the level that's unrivaled in the field. He doesn't just report the news in East Hants and surrounding areas, he goes above and beyond to understand, to participate, and to care.

Pat continually puts in long hours to ensure he gets the best coverage, even when it's not asked of him. He has a genuine tie to all the communities, and knows many people by their first name. He knows who's up-and-coming in sports, he values the volunteers who give tirelessly, and he understands the importance of reporting the tough news as it's breaking.

I ask all members of this House to join me in thanking Pat Healey for his contribution and dedication to our community.

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

[Page 4086]

CALDWELL HEALTH CTR.: NEW BUS. - THANKS

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, today I would like to bring recognition to the new Caldwell Health Centre, a new business in the Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage constituency.

Owners Megan Kavanaugh, a physiotherapist and Krista Murray, a registered massage therapist, are happy to offer our community a health centre offering physiotherapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

The centre strives to accommodate as many people as possible with extended hours and customized treatment plans. Meghan and Krista are so proud to ensure integrity, informative and warm visits with all staff and clients.

Reaching goals as broad as their clients' is something all staff are striving for, and will continue to reach higher and higher, continually growing new goals. Thank you for all that they are able to do for our community, and I would ask everyone in the Legislature to join me in congratulating this new business.

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

PROV. VOLUNTEER AWARDS - FAITHFUL COM. SERV.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, again this year, we honour the volunteers including the following three chosen to represent their communities at our provincial ceremony. Robert Gaudet of the Municipality of Digby has, for the past 25 years, volunteered at the Weymouth Kiwanis Club, the Weymouth Fire Department, and the Canada Day celebrations, to name a few. He still finds time to help assemble the playground equipment at the local cricket field.

Roland Comeau of Clare has, for the last 50 years, been involved in many organizations from the Nova Scotia Kidney Foundation, and the local food bank, to the Lions Club. An avid golfer, he chairs the local committee for the Atlantic Future Links Gold Tournament.

Finally, Pat Potts of Digby has, for the last 60 years, been involved with the Association of the Digby Ladies' Curling Club, Christmas Daddies, as well as the organizers of local festivities. Her service included terms as President of the Atlantic Ladies' Golf Association and on town council. I am particularly proud of this last Volunteer of the Year, who inspired in her children the need to give back to their community.

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

PROV. VOLUNTEER AWARDS - DEDICATION TO COM.

[Page 4087]

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, volunteers devote their time, energy, and often their financial resources to support their communities and individuals in need. Volunteers help to provide programs, services, and activities otherwise not available to them.

Mr. Speaker, over the years hundreds of volunteers have been recognized throughout the municipal units incorporated in Cape Breton-Richmond. Each year, some of these volunteers have gone on to be recognized provincially at the annual ceremony.

Mr. Speaker, in addition to sending my congratulations to all of the recognized volunteers in the constituency, I would like to highlight this year's three provincially recognized volunteers.

Kelly MacIntyre-Haze, representing the Town of Port Hawkesbury, as well as Debbie Samson and Lori Doucette, representing the Municipality of the County of Richmond and the Potlotek First Nation.

Mr. Speaker, these dedicated volunteers deserve recognition in this House, and I take this opportunity to thank them, along with all volunteers in Cape Breton-Richmond.

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

BRENNAN, HEATHER BROPHY: 10 YR. SERV. AWARD - CONGRATS.

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Heather Brophy Brennan on receiving her 10 Year Service award from the Town of Mulgrave.

Heather is the Recreation and Physical Activity Coordinator for the community, but her enthusiastic efforts far outreached the expectation of her job description.

Along with her jam-packed recreation schedule of youth, family, and senior programming, she also manages to find time to coach volleyball, organize the Mulgrave School Reunion, lend a hand with Scotia Days activities and Race for a Cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

Mr. Speaker, the Town of Mulgrave is a vibrant community that is only made brighter still by Heather Brennan's warm personality and creative ideas that inspire people to participate in social outings and active living. She excels at her vocation and her many volunteer efforts.

I stand today to join the Town of Mulgrave in thanking Heather for her unwavering leadership and community spirit.

[9:30 a.m.]

[Page 4088]

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

TEAM PINKNEY: CDN. MASTERS WOMEN'S CURLING - CONGRATS.

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, Team Nova Scotia was well represented this past weekend at the Canadian masters women's curling championship in White Rock, B.C. Colleen Pinkney's rink squeaked past Team Ontario to win the bronze. After finishing first in the championship round robin, they lost to Saskatchewan in the semi-final.

The medal-winning foursome consists of Colleen Pinkney, skip; Marg Cutcliffe, third; Karen Hennigar, second; and Susan Creelman, lead.

I wish to extend congratulations to all four members of the Colleen Pinkney Truro rink on bringing home the bronze medal at the Canadian masters.

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

METRO W. FORCE, GIRLS HOCKEY: ATL. CHAMPS. - CONGRATS.

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize the Metro West Force Blue bantam AA girls hockey team, who on March 25th at the Apple Dome in Berwick topped the Fundy-Highland Subway Selects 3-1 and were crowned provincial champions. With this gold, they finished that weekend tournament with a perfect 5-0 record and notched their association its second provincial title of the year.

The team is made up of talented girls from Halifax to Sackville and includes a number of players from the Armdale area.

Last weekend the Metro West Force Girls represented Nova Scotia at the female Bantam Atlantic championships in Charlottetown. Winning four of the five games they played, they won the tournament with an impressive 4-1 victory over the Mid Ilse Wildcats. Armdale's own Jillian Duggan, a forward on the team, was named tournament MVP and was the top scorer. Her teammate Lucy Phillips was top tournament goalie.

I want to congratulate the Metro West girls on their win and wish them the best.

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

E. PASSAGE SEAFARER'S PUB: SRS. EASTER DINNER - THANKS

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, today I rise to bring the attention of the House to the kindness and generosity of Ms. Tanya Naugle, the owner and operator of the Eastern Passage Seafarer's Pub. Over the Easter weekend, Tanya and her Easter bunnies, including myself, hosted a free Easter dinner for the seniors from Island View manor. Tanya did the same thing at Christmastime, and it's my understanding that at special events in the future we will also be doing the same thing.

[Page 4089]

Since she opened up her pub a year ago, Tanya has gone out of her way to support the seniors of our community. I want all the members of the House to join me in thanking her for her kindness.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

CHAULK, BOB: DEDICATION TO HISTORY - THANKS

HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Bob Chaulk, a Halifax writer and historian who has a passion for the ocean around Canada's Atlantic coast. As a scuba diver, Bob has visited the site of many wrecks, one of his favourites being the SS Atlantic, a steamship that sank off Lower Prospect on April 1, 1873, taking with it more than 500 lives. Bob sits on the board of directors for the SS Atlantic Heritage Park Society, a non-profit organization whose intentions are to preserve the resting place of 277 victims of the sinking.

Bob is a natural storyteller. He weaves together the historic tales of how bad weather, bad navigation, and bad luck have resulted in the tragic losses of ships and people, bringing the stories alive. Through his extensive research, Bob has tracked down many descendants of the heroic rescuers, as well as some of the descendants of victims and survivors of this great tragedy.

I would like the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in thanking Bob for his tireless dedication to preserving and telling these stories of tragedy and heroism that have shaped our coastal communities

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

LEWIS, AARON:

INDUCTEE, N.S. COUNTRY MUS. HALL OF FAME - CONGRATS.

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I was excited to learn this week that Sydney resident Aaron Lewis has been inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame. Aaron Lewis has performed and shared the stage with some of the greatest artists in the industry, including Alabama, Tommy Hunter, the Osmonds, Prairie Oyster, and Charlie Pride. He moved back to Cape Breton to marry the love of his life and continued to perform across the island with great artists, including Matt Minglewood, Gordie Sampson, and John Allan Cameron.

Mr. Speaker, I can say that Aaron is an amazing performer, but he is a really great guy. I am honoured to stand in my place today as the MLA in the community, and I ask all members of this House to congratulate Aaron on his success and his induction into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame.

[Page 4090]

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

ROBERTSON, DUNCAN: LIBERAL INTERNSHIP - CONGRATS.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased today to congratulate Duncan Robertson of Fall River on being accepted to the federal 2018 Liberal internship program.

Duncan is currently a student at the University of Toronto, majoring in history and political science. His internship runs from April 30th to August 24th and will provide hard-working students with experience in areas such as communications, media relations, local field outreach, finance and accounting, and many others.

Duncan volunteered much of his time last May working for my campaign in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, and I saw first-hand his professionalism and dedication. I would like to wish Duncan all the best in his summer position and his future as he completes his education.

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

ROTARY CLUB, PICTOU: 75th ANNIV. - CONGRATS.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : I again do this on behalf of the member for Pictou West.

Mr. Speaker, the Rotary Club of Pictou will be celebrating their 75th Anniversary this summer. Along with this momentous milestone, they will also be honouring a dear friend and mentor, Art MacDonald, who has been a Rotarian for the past 50 years.

Art was instrumental in the development of the club's now well-known annual musical at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre, which raises funds for many local groups such as 4-H and the Hector Arena and assists students from Pictou with funding for school trips. Art is a testament to the word "volunteer," and a gentleman. He has had many careers in his life, from teaching to being a familiar face at the Pictou Sears, from which he recently retired.

I would like to thank Art and the Rotary Club of Pictou for such a long period of giving to the community.

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

DIXON, KAYLEY: RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS - THANKS

[Page 4091]

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize an inspiring young woman from Dartmouth North, Kayley Dixon.

Kayley could be honoured for many reasons, but today I want to draw attention to her "random acts of kindness" project. Kayley has offered up her beautiful and fashionable Grade 9 prom dress to someone who will do 10 random acts of kindness in our community and who will document their acts with photos or videos. Examples that Kayley cites are buying someone coffee, creating positive notes and handing them out at school, volunteering at a soup kitchen, and garbage pickup, to name just a few ideas.

After the April 25th deadline, Kayley will choose the person she thinks has made the greatest impact, and that person will be awarded this beautiful dress. If it doesn't fit, then she will offer money towards the person's own dress and pass the dress on to someone else.

Kayley is a student at Dartmouth High School and an active member of the Dartmouth North community. I ask the House to join me in thanking her for her innovative and generous action to encourage much-needed kindness in our community.

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

SMALL, RODNEY: ROLE MODEL - RECOGNIZE

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to recognize an outstanding Nova Scotian, Mr. Rodney Small.

As a youth and young man, Rodney overcame poverty, crime, and racism. Rodney was raised by his grandmother in public housing. His youth took him down many rough paths, including time in Waterville. Rodney faced blatant racism while working at HRM and launched a complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

You would think, Mr. Speaker, that all these obstacles would stop Rodney. But no, they motivated him. Rodney earned a management degree from Dalhousie, and he now works for Common Good Solutions as a community-builder and helps build social enterprises. Though he said he will always call Uniacke Square home, Rodney now lives in beautiful Herring Cove. He is a true inspiration for all.

My only question for Rodney is, who will portray him when a movie is made about his life? What a role model.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

CHESTER MINOR HOCKEY - SUPPORT, HUMBOLDT TRAGEDY

[Page 4092]

MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to read a statement shared with me by the Chester Minor Hockey Association, whose Chester Ravens jersey I wore yesterday.

In the wake of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, my staff and I join the Chester Minor Hockey Association to send our sincere condolences to all those involved. The Chester Minor Hockey Association and all residents of Chester-St. Margaret's extend condolences to the community of Humboldt to say that our hearts are with you during this time of need. Chester Minor Hockey will make a donation to the Humboldt Broncos fund and encourage all minor hockey associations in the province to do the same.

Throughout the Municipality of Chester, hockey sticks have been placed outside our front doors to pay respect to those lost and to those recovering. Yesterday players from Chester minor hockey paid their respects to the Humboldt Broncos team members by wearing their jerseys to school.

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

O'CONNOR, MICHAEL: PROV. VOLUNTEER AWARD - CONGRATS.

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Michael O'Connor, the recipient of the 2018 Provincial Volunteer Award for the Town of Mahone Bay.

Michael is a former mathematics teacher and principal of the Mahone Bay school and continues to offer tutoring services to students for free. He is an initiator and active board member for the Lunenburg County Community Fund, which focuses on sustaining and growing the quality of life in Lunenburg.

Michael has been a 25-year member of the Mahone Bay Legion band as a musician, director, and organizer of performances. Michael was highly involved in the planning of the Mahone Bay bandstand for the town; he has been involved with the Mahone Bay Museum for the past 25 years as chairman, board member and helping the museum with everyday maintenance; and he remains connected to Trinity United Church, being both a trustee and a choir member.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you and members of this House of Assembly please join me in thanking Michael O'Connor for his many years of volunteering in the Town of Mahone Bay, and congratulate him on receiving this Provincial Volunteer Award.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island on an introduction.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, joining us today in the east gallery - and I'd ask her to stand - Nass Suwanamporn is here from Thailand. She is a Grade 11 student at Armbrae Academy. She has come to Nova Scotia for a full year of school and today she has come to the Legislature actually as part of her studies - she is job-shadowing a government member for the morning; she is here to see the workings of the House and to learn more about international governments.

[Page 4093]

I'd like to extend to her the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

HFX. W. WARRIORS: DIV. 1 CHAMPS., SOCCER - CONGRATS.

MS. RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Halifax West High School boys soccer team on their recent Division 1 championship win. The Halifax West Warriors defeated the Citadel Phoenix 4-1 in the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Tournament at Mainland Common. Abdullah Nimer led the warriors with two goals, and Rini Rrahmani and Ayoub Al-Arabi had one each. This is the third straight championship for the Warriors.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the members of this House of Assembly join me in applauding these talented young men for their hard work on the field. Way to go, Warriors.

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

HENNESSEY, ERIN - DENTIST: FREE DENTAL CARE DAY - THANKS

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to your attention a continuing initiative by dentist Dr. Erin Hennessy, of Wolfville, based on a previous AVDS Cares/Henry Schein Dental Day.

Her concerns for negative health consequences for those who can't afford dental care prompted her and her team to offer a free day of dental attention recently in Wolfville. She was joined by a group of 14 caring volunteers, including five dentists, three dental assistants, three dental hygienists, and two technicians.

There's hope that this project will grow and there will be more dentist volunteers and patients involved each year. We thank generous and caring community-minded professionals like Dr. Hennessy who help provide important services to Nova Scotians in need.

I ask all members of the House of Assembly to join me in thanking Dr. Erin Hennessy.

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

[Page 4094]

MCNAIR, PATRICIA: WORLD DRUM OF PEACE - THANKS

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I rise today to recognize Kings West resident Patricia McNair who recently hosted the World Drum of Peace at Province House.

The World Drum of Peace has travelled around for many years, visiting over 80 countries and in 700 locations, carrying forth a simple message - that of peace, unity, and co-operation across all cultures.

The drum arrived at Province House for a reception with elders from Indigenous communities and young children in attendance. The Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs was kind enough to participate and lend his drumming talents to the event. All who attended will remember Patricia's and Pat's grandson, who contributed to the event in his youthful manner.

As a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Kings West, I would like to thank Patricia McNair for bringing the World Drum of Peace to Province House, and for sharing her words about the importance of peace in our world.

[9:45 p.m.]

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

TONY'S MEATS : RETAIL PARTNERSHIP - CONGRATS.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : In 2016, Tony's Meats was recognized by the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce for its ability to expand into markets outside of Nova Scotia. They received the Export Recognition Award.

Mr. Speaker, I'm proud to say Tony's Meats continues to expand and to enter new markets. Tony's Meats recently announced a new exciting retail partner, Walmart Canada. Their Heat & Serve Wraps are available in Walmart stores across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Ontario.

Tony's Meats has been a major employer for the Antigonish region since its opening in 1963. In 2013, it became the first federally inspected meat processing facility in Nova Scotia, to achieve Safe Quality Food Certification under the Global Food Safety Initiative.

Mr. Speaker, Tony's Meats and their associated brands continue to expand and show incredible growth. This new partnership with Walmart means even more potential.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my fellow colleagues in the House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Tony's Meats on their new retail opportunity, and wish them the best in their future endeavours.

[Page 4095]

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

DOWNTOWN FAÇADE PROG., DIGBY - CONGRATS.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Over the years I have risen to congratulate the Town of Digby, its organizations and residents, and their continuing efforts to make their community a better place to live, and a nicer place to visit.

This includes organizations such as the events of Wharf Rat Rally and the Digby Scallop Days, the building of the Digby BMX Skating Park, and returning the Digby Pier Lighthouse to its place of prominence at the waterfront.

Digby is a lovely, historical community on the Annapolis Basin, a community often in lists of places to visit. The town is now considering implementing a downtown façade program, to continue their efforts to spruce up the town.

Initial meetings have involved town officials, community leaders, and artists, all discussing ways to improve their beautiful town. They have covered the possibility of adding green spaces and murals to the town, and having a façade program for the area's buildings.

If they decide to go forward, they will eventually complete a multi-year plan to improve the community. To these efforts, I encourage the group, and I can't wait to see the results.

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

CONRAD, TANYA : COM. LEADERSHIP - THANKS

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased today to recognize a notable constituent of Halifax-Armdale, Tanya Conrad.

Tanya is the mother of three beautiful girls, and leads a very active lifestyle. She's a kinesiology graduate and a certified Professional Fitness and Lifestyle Consultant. Her work has seen her performing fitness testing, functional capacity evaluations, and personal training from one corner of the country to the other.

After obtaining her diploma in Pedorthics, Tanya began her present career as a Certified Pedorthist, working with Biotech Orthotic Design Inc.

Her keen grasp of orthotics and balance issues not only helps her clients, but comes in handy in her role as a dance and jiu-jitsu mom. Tanya also serves as the President of the Chebucto Heights Elementary School Advisory Council.

[Page 4096]

I want to thank Tanya for taking on this important leadership role in my community. I'm looking forward to working closely with her and the team at the SAC in the coming months and years.

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

HANTSPORT FIRE STN.: LIMITED SPACE - FUNDING NEEDED

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, this week the Deputy Chief of the Hantsport Fire Department told the Municipality of West Hants that their fire station is overcrowded, and there is limited space for firefighters to dress before getting on the truck and responding to calls.

As well, they're having trucks manufactured to fit into the existing buildings, as opposed to ordering trucks that will do the best job that's required at the fire scenes.

Mr. Speaker, I urge the Department of Municipal Affairs to work with the department to try and find come capital funding that would allow them to build a small centre, where they could host some meals and do some other fundraising activities, as they try to continue to work with the Municipality of West Hants to figure out some alternatives going forward.

Mr. Speaker, the Hantsport Fire Station is literally out of space, and for safety reasons, I'm asking the Minister of Municipal Affairs to try to work with the department to try and solve the problem to support our firefighters.

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

BLACK, ELLIE - GYMNAST: OLYMPIAN & ROLE MODEL - THANKS

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia's very proud of our Olympic gymnast, Ellie Black. This phenomenal young athlete has just competed in the Commonwealth Games, where she earned two gold medals.

Students at George P. Vanier in Fall River were treated to a visit from Ellie in December. She spoke to the students about the journey to where she is today and how hard work will help you reach your goals. It was not only the aspiring gymnasts in the audience who were impressed with Ellie's message, but all students were moved by her passion.

Thank you, Ellie, for sharing your experience and inspiring the students of our community. Much appreciated.

[Page 4097]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

SMU: OPEN DATA CHALLENGE WINNERS - CONGRATS.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, for the second year in a row, a group of Saint Mary's University students have won the top prize for Nova Scotia's Provincial Open Data Challenge.

Students Daniel Arantes, Rodolfo Garia, Mohammad Hameed, Jennifer LaPlante, and Duane Malone took the top prize from 16 other competitors. The winning app that the team created used data from immigration and population statistics to create a program allowing for new Nova Scotians to network and meet based on similar interests.

Congratulations to this team. We wish you all great success in the future.

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

STATION SIX: BURGER WK. FUNDRAISER - THANKS

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize an outstanding business in my community, Station Six Food and Drink. Though barely a year old, Station Six has become a go-to place in our community with great service, food, and drink. During Burger Week, Station Six served up the very tasty Bourbon Legend, which raised $3,020 for Feed Nova Scotia - and that translates into 4,530 meals for Nova Scotians in need.

Thank you to staff and owners of Station Six Food and Drink for believing and investing in our community. Here's to many more years of success.

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

NTL. PUB. SAFETY TELECOM. WK.: RCMP DISPATCHERS - RECOGNIZE

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 8th to April 14th.

The Nova Scotia RCMP is recognizing the vital role of dispatchers as a key lifeline in times of need. Dispatchers answered 93,557 calls related to 911 emergencies in 2017 in Nova Scotia. Dispatchers are on the other end of the line as someone could be experiencing the worst moments of their life, says Inspector Bill Long, Officer in Charge of Nova Scotia RCMP OCC. They are a calm voice during a crisis, a lifeline for those in need, and a fundamental part of police operations.

The dispatchers are the front line support for our first responders 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The supporters of our front line workers make quick, high-stake decisions to ensure that members of the public get the help they need in time of an emergency.

[Page 4098]

I applaud and congratulate the dispatchers on the key role they play in helping to keep all Nova Scotians safe.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

SMBCEC : ECON. & SOC. WELL-BEING - CONGRATS.

MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association, BayRides, Rails to Trails, the Bay Seniors Association, and the Bay Treasure Chest, each of which is a dynamic, local non-profit who joined together to create the St. Margaret's Bay Community Enterprise Centre.

This new initiative was born from reflections on the Ivany report and how community can improve their own economic and social well-being. Located at the site of the old Mariposa Market in the Redmond Shopping Centre, Upper Tantallon, the centre opened its doors to the public on April 3rd, with their grand opening set for April 26th.

The centre will be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will provide offices and a forum where service groups, volunteer organizations, and local businesses can work, meet, and share ideas. The entrepreneurial hub will provide networking and other resources to the existing and emerging small-business community in the St. Margaret's Bay region.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

DAL. GOVERNORS AWARDS: OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP - CONGRATS.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the recent recipients of the 2018 Dalhousie's Board of Governors' Awards. Yaser Alkayale, Leah Carrier, Jeremy Stroud, Martha Paynter, and Jad Sinno all received this prestigious award.

The nominees are selected by peers at Dalhousie and chosen by a committee made up of the president, board, and vice-provost. This year, the winners spanned across the academic field from nursing, international business, computer science, and psychiatry.

Please join me in congratulating these students and we wish them all the best and a bright future.

MR. SPEAKER « » : In the absence of no more Statements by Members, I'll just take a second to remind members that the Statements by Members is not to be used for presenting verbatim remarks of individuals or groups, verbatim statements on community groups, et cetera. So, this is a good chance, while we have a few minutes, to familiarize yourselves with the rules, because I think as I mentioned yesterday, hopefully they are all right handy at your fingertips, in your desks.

[Page 4099]

The House will now recess for a few minutes while we await the beginning of Oral Question Period.

[9:55 a.m. The House recessed.]

[10:00 a.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM. - FOIPOP DATA BREACH: HRP NOTIFICATION - TIMELINE

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, over the two days that we have now been fully aware of the FOIPOP breach, one thing has been clear: the messaging from this government has been to talk first and fact-check later. With regard to the breach, the Premier said on Wednesday: We felt there was technical issues on the site. We brought it down and immediately contacted law enforcement - immediately contacted law enforcement.

By the government's own timeline, Mr. Speaker, the site was taken down on April 5th at 8:15 a.m. The police were notified on April 7th at 9:00 p.m. Did the Premier choose these words because immediately sounds more decisive than 60 hours later and after a conversation with their lawyer?

THE PREMIER « » : No, Mr. Speaker. One of our own employees identified that there was a breach into the site. The minister and her department went through that site to ensure there was an actual breach outside of government. We discovered there was a breach outside of government. When we identified that breach had happened outside of government, the police were called.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Over 60 hours later.

Yesterday, the Premier was asked about an inconsistency in what police may or may not have told the province regarding disclosing this breach to the public. He said: Our security team was talking to the Halifax Police Department. I don't know what the conversation was about, but through those conversations that was how they ended up with the advice, I guess. The advice he was referring to was to stay silent.

[Page 4100]

The Premier claims not to know what the conversation was about but knows that it was about the advice to stay silent. How is the Premier able to simultaneously know and not know about the content of a meeting?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, it comes as a surprise to the honourable member, but there were conversations between the security team of the department and Halifax Regional Police. It is a common practice, when someone reports a crime to the police, that the police come in communication with the people who reported the crime. They have continued over that period of time back and forth in conversation.

As I said on the very first day, they at no time told us not to report that information. What we said back and forth in that conversation - the more time that they could have to execute the law, Mr. Speaker, to ensure they got hold of that hard drive, would ensure there would be no damage done to that.

The fact of the matter is the House Leader of the Opposition Party is asking about the chief of staff. At no time was my chief of staff involved in this.

The minister responsible for this file, I have tremendous confidence in. If the member wants to undermine the confidence of this member and this minister, he can stand on his feet and accuse her. But I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, I have all the confidence in this minister and her department, and we got to the bottom of this.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : The Premier said here yesterday that we know our portal was breached once. The department has since come forward and said they don't know if there are more breaches because they haven't completed their review on the logs. Again the Premier states emphatically things that are later determined to be inaccurate or at least not representative of the full facts.

Mr. Speaker, I believe the Premier is desperate to make this go away. When will the Premier realize that he needs to stop compounding his mistakes and tell the people that there was a vulnerability in the system for more than a year and that he doesn't know how many breaches there actually were and how much more information might be out there?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to assure the honourable member, we know there was a breach. It's why we took the time to call the Halifax Regional Police to go out and execute the law to ensure that we get hold of that hard drive to find out where that information has gone, whether it has left the hard drive and gone anywhere else. We will know whether or not that information has been sent to other individuals or groups of individuals.

[Page 4101]

We're going to continue to make sure not only that we follow the law in this province but that we continue to move this province forward. We're seeing youth unemployment dropping, Mr. Speaker. We're seeing more young people staying in this province. We're seeing our exports grow. We're seeing pre-Primary being delivered across our province (Interruptions)

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

THE PREMIER « » : We're going to continue to move this province forward.

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

PREM.: FRACKING MORATORIUM - PROCLAIM

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : Mr. Speaker, last week a group of 40 organizations and businesses, including the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and P.E.I., wrote the Premier urging the continuation of the fracking ban in Nova Scotia. The context for this is the deep uncertainty the government has created by its failure to proclaim the legislative fracking ban.

Ron Cutler, the Anglican Archbishop, knows that a commitment is not a 99 per cent deal. A commitment is a 100 per cent deal, and a 100 per cent deal on a fracking moratorium would be a fracking moratorium that is proclaimed.

Will the Premier show himself to be a person of 100 per cent commitment and proclaim the fracking ban?

THE PREMIER « » : As I have said before, Mr. Speaker, there is a ban on fracking in Nova Scotia.

MR. BURRILL « » : This commitment has the character of a non-commitment commitment. This non-commitment commitment is precisely what has led the Anglican church to join 39 other organizations - including the Tatamagouche Centre; the Nova Scotia Health Coalition; the Environmental Health Association; and the Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, KAIROS - in expressing this concern. The root of the concern is very simple: people do not have trust in a commitment from a government that fails to enact that commitment.

Mr. Speaker, if the government's word about the fracking ban is a word that people can trust, why doesn't the Premier demonstrate this by proclaiming the moratorium legislation?

THE PREMIER « » : In 2013, we laid out a very strong plan for the province. We kept every one of those commitments to continue to move the province forward. Mr. Speaker, in 2017, we laid out a plan of commitments to this province, and we're continuing to move down that road to ensure that young people see a future for themselves in this province.

[Page 4102]

Pre-Primary opportunities - regardless of the socioeconomic circumstance they're born into, every four-year-old is going to get a play-based beginning in their play-based educational start in this province. We see now new hope. Our exports are on the rise, and we're going to continue to go. Every commitment we have made to the people of Nova Scotia we have kept.

MR. BURRILL « » : Nothing in the Premier's response, Mr. Speaker, addresses the concern about the non-commitment commitment that has been put forward in this letter. It's totally reasonable that the Anglican Church and the other signatories, out of a deep worry about the dependability of the government's position, have joined together to call for an end to all further investigation into the potential development of shale gas and coal-bed methane in the province. I'll table their letter.

Mr. Speaker, we had a ban on tire burning for fuel in Nova Scotia, and now Lafarge, under this government, has an approval for burning tires. I want to ask the Premier, will he look the people of Nova Scotia in the eye and give his word that his government will proclaim the fracking ban?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank all those hard-working Nova Scotians who work with our government continuing to keep our commitments as we continue to grow this province and move the province forward. We had quite a hole to dig out of, but we have finally seen the light, Mr. Speaker, on moving this province forward.

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

INT. SERV.: WORDS/ACTIONS - RECONCILE

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : My question is for the Minister of Internal Services. On Tuesday in Question Period, the Minister of Internal Services said to my colleague the member for Argyle-Barrington, "I'd like to assure the member that safeguarding the public's privacy is of utmost importance."

She said that here on this floor in this House knowing that 7,000 non-public documents were in the wind. She said the public's privacy is of utmost importance while 250 documents that she knew contained highly sensitive information were not secure. She said this knowing that it wasn't an elaborate hack that exposed this information but simply her department's failure to properly secure it.

Can the minister please reconcile her words with her actions?

HON. PATRICIA ARAB » : Mr. Speaker, we followed the protocol. Police made an arrest. We believe our actions were appropriate. Right now, our focus is on contacting those individuals who have been directly impacted by this incident.

[Page 4103]

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, the protocol says that public notification can be delayed if the government is counselled to do so by law enforcement. The minister claims that Halifax Regional Police asked her to delay. But the police and her own deputy minister say that the conversation didn't happen. We all saw that. It's on TV. In one scrum, she clearly says she was asked. In another, she says she wasn't. The minister failed to protect personal information.

This crime was not sophisticated - the police solved it over the weekend - but this minister doesn't tell anyone until she can point to a kid and say it's his fault, not ours. Will the minister admit that the charges laid in this case are less about punishing an offender and more about protecting her government?

MS. ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, we identified a breach, police were able to make an arrest within less than a week, that is proof that our protocols work. Right now, our focus is on contacting those individuals who have been impacted by this incident.

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

PREM.: NURSING HOME FUNDING - INADEQUATE

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : I'd like to direct my question to the Premier, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish announced that it's reducing staffing hours in all support service departments because of a funding shortfall of $0.5 million. The result will be that instead of a ratio of one CCA to five or six residents, the ratio now is going to be one for six or seven.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier, on behalf of the 136 residents of the R.K., does he understand that the current provincial funding level for nursing homes is not enough to provide the care that's needed?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as he knows, the budget that was passed last September-October, there was a reinvestment back into long-term care. As he would know, the specific question that he raised about this particular nursing home, I don't know the details of it, but I promise the honourable member I will look into it.

MR. BURRILL « » : In the statement that the R.K. issued yesterday, the very point the Premier made is addressed. They said that although they received added targeted funding for food and recreation in the 2017-18 budget, this does not, for them, alleviate the operational and salary pressures that come from the cuts that the government had made over the two straight years before that. In order for them to deal with those pressures, the home says that now they have to announce they've got no choice but to reduce staffing hours and to combine a number of staff positions.

[Page 4104]

Mr. Speaker, will the Premier acknowledge that it's the cutback decisions of this government that are squarely responsible for the reduction in care hours at the R.K. MacDonald Home?

THE PREMIER « » : Again, Mr. Speaker, as I said in my first response, I didn't see the details of the announcement yesterday. I certainly will follow up from the question from the honourable member.

It's my understanding though, Mr. Speaker, through the department, that the changes are not related to nursing staff, or directly to patient contact, but I will, as I said early on, do a follow up and get back to the honourable member.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just before we move on to the next question, I want to remind the honourable member that it's not proper to ask questions "on behalf of" individuals, or constituents, or groups. So, just a wording thing.

The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington.

INT. SERV. - WEAK INSTITUTIONAL PROC.: MIN. - EVASION

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : You know, this government continues to frame the FOIPOP incident as some kind of caper, where they outsmarted an Edward Snowden-type, intent on taking the province hostage.

What Nova Scotians are actually worried about, Mr. Speaker, is they're worried about the weak security framework around critical government programs. If the minister wants to be as forthcoming as she claims to be, she should not be calling it a breach. This is a leak, and this leak was out in the open, for anyone to find, for over a year.

My question to the Minister of Internal Services, why does the minister continue to evade questions about the weak institutional procedures that led to this leak of thousands of documents?

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, the FOIPOP portal is a unique system that is separate from any others. We are working closely with the vendor to have a comprehensive review of the vulnerability, and to assess the proper steps that we need to take to mitigate any further safeguards.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the minister spoke at length of how we would be constantly rethinking security measures at Internal Services. She spoke of more investments in cybersecurity. That's not the problem here, and the minister still doesn't get that. This was a clear failure in quality assurance and testing. That's basic, basic stuff.

[Page 4105]

The only people disputing the simple facts are across from us here in the House. The department didn't do its job for a number of years. That was underlined by the Auditor General last year. Now the minister is saying that we should be thankful for this gross negligence.

Mr. Speaker, will the minister finally take responsibility for the unacceptable procedures in her department that lead to this crisis?

[10:15 a.m.]

MS. ARAB « » : People need to be assured that our systems are safe. In this particular case, we followed protocols, and an arrest was made. We feel that it came to a successful outcome.

I would like to reiterate that, right now, our focus is on contacting those individuals who have been directly impacted by this incident.

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

INT. SERV. - FOIPOP BREACH: ACCOUNTABILITY - ADMIT

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : We are asking basic, important questions of this government about basic security protocols. These same questions are being asked by the media. They're being asked by concerned Nova Scotians.

The talking points from the government are saying nothing about the basic way these documents were obtained. They say nothing about the fluke discovery of the vulnerability, not by a QA tester but by a researcher doing non-technical work. They say nothing of why all these documents were sitting in plain sight for years in the first place. That's not good enough for anyone who has shared personally identifiable information with government.

Will the minister admit that someone in Internal Services will need to be held publicly accountable for this severe breach in trust?

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : We followed protocols. The police were able to make an arrest. We believe that our actions were appropriate. Right now, our focus is on contacting those individuals who are directly impacted by this incident.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Read the talking points, repeat. Read the talking points, repeat.

The Premier and the minister continue to characterize the breach as a malicious actor picking a lock. They say that the burglar was tracked down, thanks in part to the minister's quick actions.

[Page 4106]

But there were no locks to pick. Any Nova Scotian with Internet access, which is not everybody, with a rudimentary understanding of how webpages are indexed could have done the exact same thing. Some may have even done it without even knowing, and it wouldn't have registered as a significant access to locks.

If it took virtually nothing for the freedom of information site to be compromised, what does it say about this government's preparedness for a sophisticated effort to misuse digital assets?

MS. ARAB « » : People need to be assured that our systems are safe, which is why we follow strict protocols and why we look constantly to investigate and to safeguard. Right now, our focus is on contacting those individuals who have been impacted by this breach.

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

INT. SERV. - FOIPOP BREACH: MINISTER - RESIGN

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Perhaps the focus should be on ensuring a safe site.

Citizens accept that they must share some of their most intimate information with their government, but the unspoken contract between citizens and their government is that the government will guard that information and protect the privacy of its citizens. When that contract is broken, and private information is made public, citizens feel betrayed, and their trust in their government is broken. Again, it wasn't an elaborate hack that exposed this information but simply the department's failure to properly secure it.

Does the minister agree that when governments make private information public and when the public trust is broken, ministers must be accountable?

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : We are following protocols that are designed to keep our systems secure and safe. Right now, our focus is on contacting those individuals who have been impacted by this incident.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : The concept of ministerial responsibility is one that most democracies take very seriously.

That is why, in 2011, when he revealed private information about a Fredericton area woman, New Brunswick Minister of Justice Bernard LeBlanc resigned and did the right thing. That's why in January, after a security breach that may have led to the large-scale disclosure of citizens' sensitive personal information, two senior Swedish ministers resigned.

[Page 4107]

The minister chose to protect her government rather than Nova Scotians - the police confirmed that. Will she resign today?

MS. ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I serve at the pleasure of the Premier. Right now, my focus is on contacting those individuals who have been impacted by this breach.

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

JUSTICE - LEGAL CANNABIS: MEDICAL USERS - RIGHTS

MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

In preparation for the legalization of cannabis, the government has introduced amendments to the Smoke-free Places Act. One amendment is to change the definition of smoke to include the use of a vaporizer, defined as a device that burns or heats any substance intended to be smoked or inhaled.

Users of medical cannabis, which will continue to be federally regulated, are concerned that they will not have a safe space to consume cannabis for symptom relief.

Mr. Speaker, has the minister considered providing an exemption for individuals using vaporized medical cannabis with a federally approved medical device?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : During the work undertaken in this particular matter and the consultation that took place around safe spaces and second-hand smoke, we actually expanded the Smoke-free Places Act to put restrictions in place to enhance public safety.

To the point of my colleague's question, there remains what we believe to be reasonable spaces for those who choose to consume recreational cannabis, as well as those who have the legal authority to consume medicinal marijuana.

MS. CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, those aren't the concerns we've been hearing. The changes proposed by the government allow landlords to distinguish between smoking tobacco and smoking cannabis. However, the use of medical cannabis within the definition of smoke has raised the concern that landlords will be able to restrict the ability of individuals to use medical cannabis in rented properties.

Mr. Speaker, individuals with disabilities are often already limited in their available housing options; we don't want to create additional unnecessary barriers. What reassurance can the minister provide that medical users of cannabis will not lose their rights when recreational cannabis becomes legal?

[Page 4108]

MR. FUREY « » : I thank my colleague for the question because it is important to differentiate between the medicinal stream regulated by Health Canada and the recreational consumption captured in the bill we've introduced.

Mr. Speaker, the Smoke-free Places Act provides for that latitude. The expansion of the Smoke-free Places Act that we have addressed is intended to enhance public safety, particularly around our youth. I am confident that there are those opportunities for those who have legal permission to consume medicinal marijuana remains in place in our communities.

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

H&W: STRAIT RICHMOND HOSPITAL - PALLIATIVE CARE PLAN

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, the growing number of people without access to guaranteed palliative care services is not something that is unique to one area of the province - this is the reality at the Strait Richmond Hospital in Cape Breton-Richmond.

Earlier in this week I shared in this House Danny and Linda Latimer's heartbreaking circumstances. I am saddened to announce that Danny's battle with cancer has ended - Danny Latimer died yesterday morning.

In the last week of his life, Linda Latimer found the courage to speak up about the injustice and the indignity of their experience in the final days of Danny's life; I would encourage others to follow her example. In the last year at least seven palliative patients and their families were forced into the indignity of spending their last days with their loved ones in the busy ER at the Strait Richmond Hospital - seven.

I would like to ask the minister, does he believe it is acceptable to have palliative care patients spending the last days of their life in the busy ER at the Strait Richmond Hospital?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for bringing this topic forward today. Of course, circumstances like those that were brought forward last week are a concern for all Nova Scotians, but I want to assure the member opposite and all Nova Scotians, especially if they have a loved one, as they move towards the end of life requiring palliative care services, that we continue to expand these services.

The NSHA is working to ensure that there's standardization in terms of the approach to providing palliative care services in our hospitals across the province, but also recognizing that there are other locations where people choose to make these services available, including in their own homes. That's why we have programs that have physicians and nurses, and even paramedics, to support the families in their own homes going through these services.

[Page 4109]

MS. PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, in the Fall session I asked a question to the minister regarding two years' worth of unanswered correspondence from the Strait Richmond Palliative Care Society - two years. Letters to the NSHA, the deputy minister, the minister, and even the Premier. I will table those letters.

In this correspondence is also included the Strait area and Richmond palliative care program proposal, dated October 2015. I will table that document as well, Mr. Speaker. It is a collaborative approach from the Strait Richmond Community Health Board and the Strait Richmond Palliative Care Society.

The Premiers agreed earlier this week that the circumstances of palliative care patients dying in ERs, and hallways and storage closets is unacceptable. Mr. Speaker, could the minister then explain why two years' worth of correspondence and a plan of action for palliative care services submitted in October 2015, have had no action and have gone unanswered?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to advise the member opposite that in fact, there was a lot of action taking place under the leadership of the former Minister of Health and Wellness, the current Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Mr. Speaker, during that time period, the Minister of the Department of Health and Wellness brought forward a proposal to establish a framework for hospice care in the Province of Nova Scotia. That has come forward. Now there's a framework in place so that when communities come forward, looking for this type of service, we have a framework that the staff can work with them to establish these programs in their communities.

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

H&W: VALLEY HOSPICE (KENTVILLE) - BUILD TIMELINE

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Asking questions about the Valley hospice has been a constant in my political career. I think I've asked the question every session since 2013, and with the great fanfare of last summer's announcement for the hospice build in Kentville, I thought that I was done asking those questions, but sadly not.

Valley residents are concerned that the hospice has not yet put a spade in the ground, although they were promised that the build would begin this Spring. Can the minister tell me if a spade will get in the ground this Spring, as promised, on the hospice build?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member again for bringing attention to this hospice program. That's part of the work that I mentioned in the previous question, in response to the previous question, that indeed, there was work ongoing throughout the province in regard to providing hospice services, and that work was ongoing during the time period the previous member was referring to.

[Page 4110]

Again, the work on the Valley hospice in Kentville is ongoing. A lot of work has been done to date and that project's going to be operating as quickly as possible. The member would refer to the budget. We have the capital money in there to have the work begin this year.

MR. LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, the Valley hospice hasn't yet gone out to tender, yet the Halifax hospice was announced to be up and running in 2018. Kings County has had their money raised for over five years, yet Halifax has not done their fundraising yet. The people of Kings County have been doing their work and they're waiting for government to meet them.

My question for the minister is, why has the government been so willing to move forward on the Halifax hospice, yet move so slowly on the Valley hospice project?

MR. DELOREY « » : I think, as the member has indicated, he's quite aware and quite engaged on the topic of the Valley hospice. Recognizing that, I'm sure the member is aware that this particular project has gone through a few different design iterations. Certainly, you want to make sure in the planning process you get the right design in place to ensure that the proper services are being provided, with also, the best value for that design that's being provided.

While there were some delays at the front end of this work, I believe that's going to be in the best interests of all those people in the community who are going to be making use of this facility on a go-forward basis. I'd like to recognize and thank the many people in the community who have contributed to this initiative, both campaigning for it and contributing financially.

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

MUN. AFFS. - BUS. C.B.: REN PROG. - REPLACEMENT EXPLAIN

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : My question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. This week CBC reported that Business Cape Breton had recently been dissolved. Four employees have been issued lay-off slips, and landlords have been given notice. The switch to an REN for an economic development agency was driven by the province and not the CBRM.

My question for the government is, why is the government trying to fix what isn't broken, and what is an REN going to do for Cape Breton that Business Cape Breton wasn't doing?

[Page 4111]

[10:30 a.m.]

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Essentially, the REN program is the program that municipalities utilize to receive funds from the Department of Municipal Affairs. It's a very transparent way for us to distribute money to municipalities. They work with the private sector. They work with community organizations to stimulate economic development.

I indicated to CBRM almost a year ago that this was the path forward for them, that we would sit down with them and look at the economic tools that they have at their disposal. The REN is the model to do that. That is the most transparent way for us to report to Nova Scotians how money is being spent on economic development. We're more than willing to sit down with CBRM to work through that process to get it done.

MR. JOHNS « » : My question continues, though. Business Cape Breton recently received $400,000 in funding in the last fiscal year; on the website, the agency has claimed that it helped over 134 clients in new business development, between April 2013 and April 2017, with a projected job potential of over 292 people. I'll table that. It seems ending a long-standing economic development organization in favour of a newer model with an unproven history so far in this province does not necessarily look like progress.

My question to the minister is, when will CBRM have a new REN up and running to replace Business Cape Breton and what are the targets that are being set for that REN?

MR. MOMBOURQUETTE « » : I'll say this too. I have had the opportunity to work with many of the economic development agencies, including Business Cape Breton, in my time as a councillor and an MLA. They're a great organization, but we deal directly with municipalities. The REN is the most transparent way for us to distribute funds to municipal units to support economic development in their communities.

I indicated this to the mayor of the CBRM almost a year ago, that this was the process to move forward to make sure the money that we expend is transparent and accountable to Nova Scotians. We are going through that process. Staff have met with the CBRM. We're trying to move as quickly as we can. We are taking everything into consideration to ensure that the CBRM and other municipal units across the province receive all the benefits of the REN and that we can design them in a way that best suits the needs and the strengths of communities across the province.

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

TRADE - DIGBY FERRY CLOSURE: DELAYS - IMPACT

[Page 4112]

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : My question is for the Minister of Trade. The Digby ferry has been shut down for three months now. Trucker Brian Reynolds said it is the longest closure he can remember, and I'll table that.

It means trucks are spending an extra 14 hours on the road going around, through Truro and the Cobequid Pass, and then coming back. That's impacting drivers, and it's hurting seafood exports.

I think people in those industries would like to know, given the importance of our fishery exports, how is this government working with Transport Canada and Bay Ferries to make sure the delays don't continue?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : Obviously, we have had tremendous growth in trade here in the province with some of the looming trade agreements that we have, nationally and internationally. We know that trend will continue, led by fisheries, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and the great people in our all our communities who are driving fisheries' growth and export.

With respect to the member's question, we would be happy to talk to Transport Canada, Mr. Reynolds, and Bay Ferries about these issues that the member certainly believes to be pressing. I haven't heard any specific details on that, so if the member wants to line up a conversation, I would be happy to participate.

MS. ROBERTS « » : This project, this interruption to a crucial ferry link, was supposed to be finished by early March. Then it was late March. Now it's looking like it's going to be late April. The repairs are delayed in part because Transport Canada didn't gather all the materials before it started. The work could have happened in October, when there was less demand for the ferry for transporting seafood products. It all makes me wonder if perhaps the Premier should have taken one less trip to China and maybe one more to Digby.

My question for the minister is, given that we knew repairs would be necessary, what did the province do to make sure that the impacts on fishery exports would be minimized?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, unlike the honourable member and her Party, we believe we have world-class seafood and agri-products in this province. We continue to look for new markets to ensure that we get the right price. We've seen lobster stay at historic highs in rural communities - that money is spinning around on deckhands, car dealerships - and if the honourable member would do her research, the issue is actually in New Brunswick. The national government and the Province of New Brunswick are working on a terminal in New Brunswick. The infrastructure of Nova Scotia is safe and ready to use.

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

[Page 4113]

HUM. RIGHTS - CHESTICO MUSEUM & HIST. SOC. (PORT HOOD):

STUDENT EMPLOY. - CHARTER RIGHTS STANCE

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : I recently asked a question of the Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act about organizations that could not sign the Trudeau Government's attestation policy for student jobs because they believe an unborn person is a child.

When I raised the issue in the House, the minister agreed with the federal government and he stated that the individuals who were being paid taxpayer dollars must not do any work that goes against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter doesn't say anything about reproductive rights and, in fact, the Chestico Museum & Historical Society in Port Hood stated that it does, however, include the protection of the fundamental freedoms of thought, belief, opinion, and expression.

They want on to say denying our application on that basis, on the basis we hold a view that differs from that of the current federal government, is a violation of our Charter rights. So, it appears that the Chestico Museum & Historical Society knows the Charter of Rights and Freedoms better than the minister.

Can the minister explain which part of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms the Chestico Museum & Historical Society is going against?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, the question that my colleague has posed, I believe directed to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, is a federal matter. For the information of the House, the Minister of Justice has responsibility for the Human Rights portfolio and I can't speak to the policies and strategies of the federal government.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I'll direct this question to the Premier. If there is anyone in this Chamber we must count on to see the truth, it is the Premier.

These organizations are not breaking any laws, yet they're being denied government benefits because of what they believe.

Two hundred years ago, in Chambers like this, there were penal laws that we got rid of because they were seen as archaic - and that was 200 years ago. How is this required attestation any different than a penal law? Will the Premier find a few thousand dollars to fund student employment for the organizations who had the courage to stand up for what they believe?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I was going to tell the honourable member to encourage every organization to apply to the student programs here in the province. We'd be happy to work with them to ensure that the optimistic, young Nova Scotians who are applying for jobs and those who are here to go to work, continue to see a bright future for themselves in our province and will use the precious public dollars that we have, that we continue to do to provide them co-op placements, summer job placements, or actually work with employers to find them permanent work here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 4114]

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

TIR - MIRA GUT BRIDGE: DETOUR RDS. - REPAIR

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

Recently, we've heard much about the bridge in Mira Gut and I know the minister is working on a solution there, and part of the solution involves a 20-plus-kilometre detour that's taking place. One of the roads - and I thank the minister for that - the Hornes Road is being redone this year but the other part is the Brickyard Road which leads to one of our finest parks in Nova Scotia, the Mira River Provincial Park. The road is very poor.

My question to the minister is, would he consider adding that road to his list so that when he comes in May we'll be able to take him on a good road?

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, we are well down the road in determining what the solution is for the Mira Gut Bridge. We actually determined that we need a little over six-metre clearance there based on the study that has been done and, of course, that elevates the arc of the bridge and does add to the cost. We don't have a full appreciation yet for what this is going to be.

What the member brings forward will be part of the analysis that we do when we get to the point as to whether or not that bridge will be replaced.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Thank you very much for that answer - I'm not sure I'm happy, but I thank you for the answer.

There's a burning question, Mr. Speaker, that I have to ask the minister, as we seem to be getting into the dying days of this session. Last year, on the New Boston Road, we actually got a portion of pavement, and I thank the minister for that and the former minister as well. My request is, can we get the same amount again this year?

MR. HINES « » : At the member's invitation, I look forward to touring the New Boston Road later on this spring, and we'll see where we're at when we look at the overall picture for that area.

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

EECD - ISLAND VIEW HS (E. PASSAGE):

[Page 4115]

SKILLED TRADES 10 APPLICATIONS - REFUSAL REVERSE

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. As I've said in the past, the new Island View High School in Eastern Passage was deliberately built with the knowledge that the students there would not have access to the IB or skilled trades program.

Last week, 16 students from Island View High School signed up to take a Grade 10 class called Skilled Trades 10, to give them the prerequisite to apply for out-of-area transfer to Cole Harbour High for Grades 11 and 12.

At the time they did that, they applied to the Department of Education for that one class, and the Department of Education said no to that one class. Will the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development reverse this decision and give the students from Shearwater, Cow Bay, and Eastern Passage a fighting chance to secure the future that they deserve?

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Of course, we want all our students to succeed in this province, in every one of our schools. That's why we've made the important investments we've made, that's why we made the difficult decisions to change our administrative structure, our governance structure. So, at the end of the day, each of those students and all our schools are getting exactly what they need from our education system.

MS. ADAMS « » : As the minister knows - I spoke to him about this on Monday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday, and on Thursday. I'm also aware that when the education bill was brought forward, the minister stated that the goal was to give more authority and autonomy at the local level, and specifically to the high school principals. The request of 16 students was for one class.

The high school isn't even finished being built yet. I would maintain that the time to consider building capacity for the skilled trades program would be now, before the construction is completed.

I'm wondering, will the minster consider meeting with the principal of the high school to discuss this issue, and if the department has any intention of allowing the Grade 10 skilled trades program to ever be offered at the school, would he not concede that now would be the time to do so?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : I'll take the member's comments under advisement.

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

COM. SERV.: CHILD PROTECTION SERV.: FRONT-LINE STAFF -

[Page 4116]

COM. BREAKDOWN

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. The Canada Child Benefit is an important program for reducing child and family poverty. When children are removed from a home by child protective services, the benefit goes with them, and when children are returned to the home, it often takes months before the benefit is restored. When I asked the minister about this in estimates, she indicated she was not aware of the issue. However, we have heard of many cases where front-line child protection social workers say that this has happened.

Mr. Speaker, is the minister concerned about this breakdown of communication between her office and the front lines?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to assure her that we want the best outcomes for the children who come into our care, even if it's briefly, Mr. Speaker. At that time, I committed to her that we would be meeting with our social workers, as well as our federal partners, to make sure that that does not happen.

MS. LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, please thank the minister for her encouraging response, but there is a simple fix here that would make a significant difference to families who are in a very vulnerable stage of reunification. The department already has a system for providing individuals with maintenance enforcement payments upfront and then recovering those funds from the payer. You would think that when the groups involved are two levels of government, that we could have already figured this out.

Mr. Speaker, will the minister commit to developing an agreement with the federal government to ensure families involved with child protection services do not go for months without the Canada Child Benefit amounts they are entitled to?

[10:45 a.m.]

MS. REGAN « » : As I've already communicated to the honourable member, we're happily working on this particular issue. I thank her for bringing it forward.

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

H&W - CUMB. REG. HEALTH CARE CTR.: EMERG. BEDS - INCREASE

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : This week the Collaborative Emergency Centres in Springhill, Parrsboro, and Pugwash were all closed, Mr. Speaker. This leaves the citizens in these communities without close access to urgent care, some of them having to drive over 80 minutes to the regional hospital in times of emergency.

This regional hospital was not designed to serve 34,000 people. Dr. Brian Ferguson of Amherst said this week, "it can't be a regional hospital for 34,000 people and only have 11 beds" in the emergency room. I'll table this document.

[Page 4117]

A question to the Minister of Health and Wellness, will he look at increasing the number of emergency beds and increasing physician staffing resources to handle the increased patient load at the regional hospital?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question. First, I want to assure the member and all Nova Scotians that Nova Scotians do not go without emergency care. We have a top-notch emergency system in Nova Scotia, and in a health care emergency we encourage them to call 911.

With respect to the services and the availability in our hospitals, ongoing work with our partners, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, for emergency rooms and all aspects of our health care system - we're always looking for opportunities to improve those services, and we'll continue that work.

MS. SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I will respectfully disagree with the response that we have top-notch emergency services in this province. You ask the people of Nova Scotia - we do not. There are deficiencies all across this province.

We have a problem in this province with physicians leaving. This month we learned again that we have an internal medicine physician leaving in Amherst, a family doctor leaving in Springhill. When I asked them why, do you know what they said? They said, we're leaving to B.C. to make less money because we're not respected in this province. They said there is an anti-physician culture.

I had someone tell me in the Nova Scotia Health Authority that physicians are the problem. When will the Minister of Health and Wellness take charge of the Nova Scotia Health Authority board and CEO and take responsibility for this ineffective leadership of the Nova Scotia Health Authority?

MR. DELOREY « » : I thank the member for highlighting the fact that Nova Scotia doesn't have the lowest-paid physicians in the country, based on the information she just brought to the floor. We continue to work with Doctors Nova Scotia and our other partners in the health care system to provide the services, to increase access to primary care.

We know more work needs to be done and that's why we announced almost $40 million going towards physician compensation, to encourage them to provide primary care, to be there for Nova Scotians. We know there's more work to be done and that's why we're continuing to work with our partners, Mr. Speaker.

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

H&W - NORTH SYDNEY RALLY: MIN. ATTEND - RESPOND

[Page 4118]

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we hear news of more and more closures of emergency rooms in Cape Breton, more and more services lost, more and more doctors leaving. We hear in this Chamber that over 100 doctors have come, but not once have we heard how many doctors have left.

People are getting very frustrated with the health care system in Cape Breton and the lack of input from this government. The lack of answers from this Health and Wellness Minister is making people more and more frustrated, to the point where they're going to march in the streets on April 28th in North Sydney.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister to please answer my question. I don't want an expansive preamble, how great everything is, how much you are doing.

Please answer the question, will you attend that rally and set the people's minds at ease in North Sydney that health care will be coming back to North Sydney and to Cape Breton? Yes or no?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question. The member asked about the net flow of physicians in the province. That net flow (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, if the member would look at the CIHI reports, it shows very clearly what the net results were for physician flow into the province. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Northside-Westmount will come to order.

Order please. The time allotted for Oral Questions put by Members to Ministers has expired.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

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

[Page 4119]

[11:03 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Suzanne Lohnes-Croft in the Chair.]

[11:36 a.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order please.

The Chair of the Committee of the Whole House on Bills reports:

THE CLERK » : That the Committee of the Whole House on Bills has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 99 - House of Assembly Act.

Bill No. 114 - Gaelic College Foundation Act.

Bill No. 116 - Financial Measures (2018) Act.

Bill No. 118 - Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

without amendments; and

Bill No. 65 - Psychologists Act.

Bill No. 107 - Labour Standards Code.

which were reported with certain amendments by the Law Amendments Committee to the Committee of the Whole House, without further amendments; and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, public bills for third reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

[Page 4120]

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 79.

Bill No. 79 - Property Valuation Services Corporation Act.

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

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 79 - An Act to Amend Chapter 19 of the Acts of 2006, the Property Valuation Services Corporation Act - now be read a third time and do pass.

Mr. Speaker the Property Valuation Services Corporation has requested amendments to the Property Valuation Services Corporation Act to allow Property Valuation Services, or PVSC, to modernize its governance structure. PVSC, which was created in 2008, is an independent not-for-profit corporation which assess every property in Nova Scotia. These legislative amendments will result in a smaller board, increase the length of membership for greater continuity, and allow for the establishment of a board recruitment committee.

Mr. Speaker, PVSC believes these changes will better support its operations and help them better serve the people of Nova Scotia.

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

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : We don't really have a whole lot to say negative about this. We do support this bill, and we do recognize that PVSC is requesting this. We heard that clearly at the Fall session of UNSM when they made a presentation, and we'll support this.

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

The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll just conclude by thanking the member opposite for Sackville-Beaver Bank for his comments and the support of the House for this. This is in partnership with PVSC, and I also believe that this will help strengthen their board and provide greater continuity.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 79.

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

The motion is carried.

Ordered that the bill do pass and the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

[Page 4121]

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

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 82.

Bill No. 82 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

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

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 82 be now read a third time and do pass.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to say again that the government is bringing these Charter amendments forward at the request of the Halifax Regional Municipality to allow for a mandatory hookup to a district energy system in the Cogswell redevelopment area. HRM is contemplating creating a system that uses waste energy in the form of steam from Halifax Water's nearby wastewater facility. These systems can supply heating and cooling to multiple buildings from either a centralized plant or several interconnected and distributed plants.

The district energy system in Cogswell is projected to lead to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by using waste energy to generate heat and cooling for buildings. The district energy system can be found in Nova Scotia, across Canada, and internationally, and they are generally successful in areas of high density. These changes reflect strategic priorities for healthy, livable communities and social development and support the community energy plan. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, the PC caucus will be supporting this one as well. I do want to state for the record, though, that during Law Amendments Committee there was an amendment brought forward. Of course the Halifax Regional Water Commission will be responsible in this case for administering the bills, as well as looking after most of this project.

Our caucus did bring forward amendments during Law Amendments Committee to try to hold the Halifax Regional Water Commission a little bit more accountable by forcing them or at least getting them to follow similar rules that are laid out in the MGA that municipalities across the province have to follow - that is, to have their regular board meetings in general public. Unfortunately, that amendment did not pass through Law Amendments Committee.

I want to state for the record that that's unfortunate. As a caucus, we feel that public accountability is important. We would have liked to have seen that going forward, and we're sorry that it's not. But other than that, we do recognize that this is a unique initiative.

[Page 4122]

I want to take an opportunity to thank the HRM solicitor, John Traves, who did come forward to Law Amendments Committee and talk about this and highlight some of the benefits to this. I felt that his coming was very advantageous to the Law Amendments Committee and it was a pleasure to hear what he had to say.

With that, we will be supporting this. Thank you.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : We, too, support this piece of legislation. It's important that we have an opportunity within our province, especially in HRM, for development to use a kind of district energy system.

I know this amendment to the Municipal Charter is dealing with one project specifically, around the Cogswell Interchange. We hope that this opportunity for other projects will be the norm. If there's a way of ensuring that municipalities can do that without having to come to the floor of this Legislature to change the Charter, then maybe that's an option we should be looking at.

I want to concur with the comments from the previous speaker. One of the top municipal issues in my office is dealing with the Halifax Regional Water Commission and the concern that residents have about really not having a say, not knowing what's going on. There needs to be work on there.

I hope the Minister of Municipal Affairs recognizes that for a number of years now we've left it up to the municipality to try to deal with this. At times the municipality says it's the province that has to mandate it, and the province says no, the municipality can do it.

There needs to be some leadership on it, and I think the province needs to show that leadership, so we do support Bill No. 82.

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

The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank both my colleagues for their comments. I'll just conclude by saying that this has been a discussion that we were having. We had a bit during estimates in regard to the process of continuously coming to the Legislature, looking for approvals. So, that's something that we're working on as we revise not only the HRM Charter, but other charters for the CBRM municipality, and across all municipal units.

[Page 4123]

[11:45 a.m.]

Thanks to all the work involved with this file and this legislation, and thanks to both of my colleagues for their comments.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 82. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 84.

Bill No. 84 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

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

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 84 amendments to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, Respecting Bonus Zoning be now read a third time and do pass.

Government is bringing these Charter amendments forward at the request of the Halifax Regional Municipality to allow for bonus zoning in all areas of the municipality, as part of its municipal planning process. Incentive for bonus zoning is a planning tool that allows municipalities to increase the size of a development in exchange for community benefits, such as sustainable buildings, affordable housing, more green space, or streetscaping improvements.

Currently, HRM can only use incentive, or bonus zoning, in designated parts of the municipality. This change will allow HRM to consider smart growth and development throughout the municipality. Currently, all other municipalities in Nova Scotia are permitted to use bonus zoning anywhere within their borders. These amendments will ensure that the Halifax Regional Municipality has the same opportunity for its citizens.

I look forward to the comments from my colleagues.

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

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish we could say three-for-three today, but with this particular one, I guess we're not going to get that. Our caucus is currently not supporting this, and there are a number of reasons for it.

[Page 4124]

I think that the bonus zoning, what's being asked for here today, will trump what local MPSs and by-laws already establish, and although there does have to be a public hearing process here, council does not have to listen to that public hearing process.

There is a reason why this - when Halifax Regional Municipality did their regional plan and their subsequent RP+5 Plan, there was significant public consultation at that time - both those times - and there was a reason why this didn't come forward at that time.

You know, I have reached out recently to a number of my former colleagues on council, and I've asked them whether or not they are familiar with this request coming forward. The two that I spoke with both said that they were not; that raises some concerns to me. I am concerned by what the implications of this would be to more suburban parts of HRM than anything. As the minister did recognize, this is allowed in the centre plan and downtown areas. I think that's where it should be.

I also want to say that I have continued to hear, time and again - during first reading, I used this analogy of the donkey and the carrot, and that carrot in this case being affordable housing. It became very clear when the HRM solicitor attended Law Amendments Committee - I did come right out and ask him in what previous case has bonus zoning ever seen an increase in affordable housing in HRM, and the answer was it never has.

I would highlight for members that the one time that it has recently come forward, which is in a current development that's being reviewed, is the Quinpool Road Tower. Although the life expectancy of that tower would probably exceed 50 years, I do believe that there is only a short period of time that would be recognized that the developer would have to have affordable housing. I think it's a 10-year window there that the developer would have to provide an affordable housing component.

So even at that, this is not a long-term fix to affordable housing. I did say during our first time that this was right before the House, I did say at that time that I do believe that this fundamentally benefits developers and it will benefit the municipality in respect to the fact that they gain their money through assessment and the more density, the more assessment they'll have, the more money they'll get.

I do not feel that this is in the best interests of communities and of the public at large. As I said just a minute ago, although there is a requirement for a component of a public information meeting or a public hearing to be held, council is not held that they have to follow what they hear there. They can have a public hearing, listen for four hours, and at the end of it still vote against what the public is.

Based on some of those reasons, we won't be supporting this at this time. I do feel that there will be an opportunity for the municipality to have this reviewed when they do their RP+10, which is coming up in another two years.

[Page 4125]

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

The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : I will be brief. I just want to thank my colleague for the comments. We always strive to work with our municipal partners to develop and design legislation that they feel is pertinent to their communities and that is transparent with the public.

In this case, how this is a request of the HRM council and, again, this is something that - usually you hear the opposite where there are some restrictions across the province, but every other municipal unit has the ability to do this across their municipal borders and Halifax is looking for the same.

I'm happy to stand here and, again, thank our municipal partners in the HRM, staff, and council for helping us design this legislation.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 84. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 87.

Bill No. 87 – Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Spooker - Speaker - I do move that Bill No. 87, the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act, now be read for the third time and do pass.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'll check into that to see if that's a parliamentary term or not.

The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Spooker (Laughter) Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned in Committee of the Whole House on Bills, there are parts of this bill I realize the industry needs, which are very good parts of this bill, and there are parts of this bill that we have some concerns about.

[Page 4126]

We recognize that the opportunity to have institutional licences and research going forward is a very positive step and that is in the bill; we realize that the amalgamation of licences would be helpful for the industry, and is also a positive step in this bill; and we realize that clarifying the process around the 30-day appeal is a positive step in the bill.

However, as I mentioned in the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, I wanted to get on the record again that I have very grave concerns about the amount of power this puts in the hands of the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture in terms of being the gatekeeper on which applications go forward to the Aquaculture Review Board.

The minister appoints the Aquaculture Review Board anyway. In the past, it was an administrator who, again, was appointed by the minister, to make this decision. We brought in some amendments and we believe that this simply puts too much power in the hands of the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

I stated this in the Committee of the Whole House and I will state it here on the record, we believe there is evidence for that - and this is a matter of public record. It's been discussed before in this House and it has been in the media that during the May 2017 election, the minister had a number of campaign donations from significant people in the aquaculture industry around the province. I recognize that the minister said he wasn't aware of who donated to his campaign during that time. We know that the minister is one of the longest-serving ministers, so I'll leave it to you to decide whether he was aware of that or not. I don't know the answer to that.

Anyway, we are concerned about this provision. We realize one of the aspects of that was to give a period of time for applications to have before the Aquaculture Review Board so someone else couldn't jump the queue. We believe there are other ways that that could be solved. Because of our concerns about that aspect of the bill, our caucus is not planning to support this bill.

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

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : I do move Bill No. 87.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 87. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 4127]

Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 104.

Bill No. 104 - Research Nova Scotia Corporation Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 104, the Research Nova Scotia Corporation Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Research Nova Scotia Corporation Bill is probably a good thing as far as making sure that stable funding is available for certain research in the province at any given time.

The only concern we have with the bill is that the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation maintain the funding it gets because of the good work it does, what it provides to health care in the province. It brings in people to do research in the province and keeps good doctors here to do research. We'll be watching to make sure that the funding for research in health care continues to be there and/or grow to continue the good work that the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation is doing at the present.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : I'm glad to stand for a moment to speak on Bill No. 104. I know our caucus supports immensely the capability of research being done here in Nova Scotia. We know how important it is for many services that Nova Scotians have, just by the sheer spinoffs that research can provide, not only economic but what the findings of that research do. It's extremely important on health care and many other fronts.

We know that over the last decade or so, especially on the federal level, Mr. Speaker, research and development has been somewhat under attack by the previous federal government, under Stephen Harper. I know that a lot of work needs to be done to repair and replace some of the lost capacity that we have, not only in Nova Scotia but across Canada.

We did try to move an amendment that would support and recognize the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation and the important work that they do. I know I have turned to them many times over my career, over the last 15 years or so in the Nova Scotia Legislature. They have always shown professionalism in a non-partisan way to make sure that we were properly informed. If it was a policy we wanted to move on, or if it was an initiative that we wanted to support, they were there to support us. It was never a question of no, you are a political Party - it was research, and making sure that policy is founded on good research is a key. That's why we wanted to make sure that they were protected.

[Page 4128]

I hope the government is genuine in their comments around the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation here, that the funding that they have been receiving and the support they have been receiving won't be siphoned off into other avenues and other areas, Mr. Speaker, because we do not want to see that.

We do support the bill, but we are concerned that the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation continues to play the important role that I just outlined, Mr. Speaker.

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

[12:00 p.m.]

The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the members for their questions and feedback. I'm in complete agreement. Nova Scotia Health Research has done tremendous work and I look forward to the incredible work they're going to do under the new research umbrella.

Mr. Speaker, I can pass through you to the House that all of the employees of Nova Scotia Health Research are going to be part of the new organization.

Krista Connell is retiring, and I want to thank her for her service. She has been incredible as the head of the organization. I got to meet her before I ran for politics back in 2012. She does incredible work, and it's no surprise that the member for Sackville-Cobequid has had a great experience with the organization.

One thing I'd like to also point out is that this organization is going to be receiving more funding. In the last 15 months alone, $45 million extra has gone into research in the past two budgets. Within this budget, the $20 million that went in as an increase, $10 million of it is earmarked specifically for health research. If you look at the Nova Scotia Health Research budget - I forget the exact amount. I believe it was between $3 million and $5 million a year. That money will continue, as well as the additional money when government has capacity to input into research.

The money is being leveraged, as the member for Sackville-Cobequid mentioned. I look forward to all the great outcomes that we will have from the research happening in the province.

[Page 4129]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 104. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 106.

Bill No. 106 - Insurance Act.

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

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 106, the Insurance Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

I would like to thank the members opposite for their support for this bill when it was introduced. The amendments contained in Bill No. 106 help protect innocent and vulnerable Nova Scotians. The amendments are of particular importance to women, who are disproportionately affected by domestic violence and abuse.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 106. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, last but certainly not least, would you please call the order of business, Private Members' Public Bills for Third Reading.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

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

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 66.

[Page 4130]

Bill No. 66 - Volunteer Services Act.

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

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 66 be read for a third time.

I am pleased to rise and speak very briefly on Bill No. 66. This bill relieves any liability to individuals or organizations when an AED, or automatic external defibrillator, is used, unless there is misconduct or negligence on the individual's part or maintenance on the organization's part.

Mr. Speaker, AEDs save lives. By removing any concern, we hope to see more in communities throughout the province.

I look forward to any discussion that follows.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to stand on Bill No. 66, the Volunteer Services Act. I want to thank the member for bringing this bill forward. It touches on a very important issue and concern in our communities across Nova Scotia - whatever we can do to put at ease Nova Scotians who might see those automatic external defibrillators in shopping malls, in office towers, in public spaces, that they're not intimidated and they don't hesitate to act when someone may be in cardiac arrest.

I want to thank the member for bringing this forward, and encourage all Nova Scotians not to shy away and to learn about what those automated external defibrillators do. They can save lives, and time is of the essence when someone is in a cardiac arrest situation. I hope Nova Scotians recognize that they should jump in and hopefully play a role in saving that person's life.

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I'm pleased to support Bill No. 66. I thank the member for Victoria-The Lakes for bringing forth this advancement of AED use in our province. I think this is what it is designed to do so that we don't shy away from the AED instrument, as it is lifesaving.

More and more places in our community have AEDs, and the goal, of course, is to get them in all places where there are many people congregating in our communities. This is a valuable addition to the legislation, and I thank the member for his sincere desire to make a difference in the use of AEDs in our province.

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

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The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : I want to thank the government and members on both sides of the House for enabling this bill to proceed to where it is today.

Members have already spoken of the benefit of having AEDs in communities, but in order for an AED to be effective, they need to be registered. So before I close, I'm going to encourage people to register their AED with health services Nova Scotia because it could save a lot of lives.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 66.

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

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes government business for today. I move that the House do now rise to meet again Tuesday, April 17, 2018, between 1:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

Following the daily routine and Question Period, we will move to Public Bills for Third Reading of Bill Nos. 65, 99, 107, 108, 114, 116, and 118, as well as third reading for Private Member's Bill No. 52.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for the House to adjourn to meet again Tuesday, April 17th, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until Tuesday, April 17th, at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 12:08 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(2)

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RESOLUTION NO. 1309

By: Mr. Hugh MacKay « » (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance, and tenacity, but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on December 29, 2017, a very special occasion took place when Aileen and Thomas Kerr of Hackett's Cove celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Rev. Thomas and Mrs. Aileen Kerr on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years.

RESOLUTION NO. 1310

By: Mr. Hugh MacKay « » (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas birthdays are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of an individual; and

Whereas on January 8, 2018, Mrs. Mary Westhaver celebrated her 80th birthday; and

Whereas to have reached 80 years of age and continue to be active and share all the memories gathered over your lifetime with your loved ones is a wonderful reason to celebrate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mary on reaching this milestone in her life, and wish her many more happy birthdays and continued good health.

RESOLUTION NO. 1311

[Page 4133]

By: Mr. Hugh MacKay « » (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas birthdays are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of an individual; and

Whereas on November 28, 2017, Mr. Kingsley Meisner celebrated his 90th birthday; and

Whereas to have reached 90 years of age and continue to be active and share all the memories gathered over your lifetime with your loved ones is a wonderful reason to celebrate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kingsley on reaching this milestone in his life, and wish him many more happy birthdays and continued good health.

RESOLUTION NO. 1312

By: Mr. Hugh MacKay « » (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas birthdays are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of an individual; and

Whereas on March 22, 2018, Mrs. Jean Shaw of Shaw Island in Marriott's Cove celebrated her 90th birthday; and

Whereas to have reached 80 years of age and continue to be active and share all the memories gathered over your lifetime with your loved ones is a wonderful reason to celebrate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jean on reaching this milestone in her life, and wish her many more happy birthdays and continued good health.

RESOLUTION NO. 1313

[Page 4134]

By: Mr. Hugh MacKay « » (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance, and tenacity, but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on September 13, 2018, a very special occasion will take place when John and Linda Mosher of Bayside will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate John and Linda on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years.