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26 mars 2018

  HANSARD17-39

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

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE
 

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
3209
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1070, Purple Day, 26 March: Epilepsy Awareness - Recognize,
3210
Vote - Affirmative
3211
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 98, Municipal Elections Act,
3211
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Carroll, Julia: Midget AAA Hockey League Award - Congrats.,
3211
United DFC: New Soccer Club - Congrats.,
3212
Van Tassel Lake Assoc.: Innovative Land Use - Congrats.,
3212
Epilepsy Assoc. of N.S.: Providing Support - Recognize,
3213
Spartans AA Boys Basketball Team: Gold Medal - Congrats.,
3213
NSHA Wellness Funds: Recipients - Congrats.,
3214
Mason, Gun: Com. Sports Enthusiast - Recognize,
3214
Choueiri, Brooklynn: Dravet Syndrome - Awareness,
3214
Dart. Pig Dogs Rugby Team: Com. Support - Thanks,
3215
Vaughn, Matt: Racing Award - Congrats.,
3215
Bobby Joe Mem. Hockey Tournament Organizers - Thanks,
3216
Cassidy, Megan: Founder, Purple Day - Congrats.,
3216
N. Sydney Garden Club: 60th Anniv. - Congrats.,
3216
United Way (Hfx.): Building Poverty Solutions - Appreciation,
3217
Purple Day for Epilepsy - Recognize,
3217
Morrison, Alex (St. Peter's): Death of - Tribute,
3218
Midget A S. Shore Ice Sharks: Tournament Winners - Congrats.,
3218
Amherst Ramblers, Hockey: Overtime Win - Congrats.,
3219
Matella Event Concepts/Esonwune, Ifeoma - Thanks,
3219
Johnny Miles Marathon: 2018 Event - Planning,
3219
Start It Up! Competition: HS Students Win - Congrats.,
3220
Walsh, Gina: Support, Bridgewater Jr. Curlers - Thanks,
3220
Sampson, Anne: Com. Serv. - Thanks,
3221
C.P. Allen HS Hockey: Weekend Wins - Congrats.,
3221
Sunset Industries: Bus. Venture - Recognize,
3222
Brophy, Liam: Island Enigmas - Congrats.,
3222
Reducing Poverty Reduces Stress - Recognize,
3222
W. Kings Wolverines: Silver Medallists, Hockey - Congrats.,
3223
St. Andrew Jr. Sch.: Mental Health Initiative - Thanks,
3223
Epilepsy: Coping, Com. Supports - Availability,
3224
The Mercer Report: Dalhousie Univ. Visit - Televised,
3225
Henley House Pub: E. Coast Experience - Recognize,
3225
Grandson Nicholas William - Birthday Wishes,
3225
St. Paul's Anglican Church: Com. Support - Recognize,
3226
Niece Rachel Arab - Birthday Wishes,
3226
Pictou Co. Food Bank: Com. Support - Recognize,
3226
Warr, Jessica: Equestrian Award - Congrats.,
3227
Larder, Susan/Webber, Diane: New Ross Alzheimer Support Grp
- Thanks, Mr. H. MacKay « »
3227
New Germany Lions Club: Best Bulletin Award - Congrats.,
3228
Steele, Geneviève: Merritt Award Nominee - Congrats.,
3228
Copeland, Janet: Keshen Goodman Lib. Volunteer - Congrats.,
3229
Dorey, Angie: Expansion, Hello Handmade - Congrats.,
3229
Gordon, Matthew: 2nd Ann. Men's Clothing Drive - Congrats.,
3230
Wombolt, Nick: Burger Wk. Ambassador - Congrats.,
3230
Wohlmuth, Elijah: Singer/Songwriter - Congrats.,
3231
Demaine, Erik: Dalhousie Univ. 200th Anniv. Sculpture - On Display,
3231
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
3233
3235
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 5:21 P.M
3239
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:27 P.M.
3239
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Mar. 27th at 1:00 p.m
3239
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1071, Newell, Ash-Lee/Atkinson, Brydon: Birth of Child
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont »
3240
Res. 1072, Dulong, Courtney/Anthony, Kris: Birth of Child
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
3240
Res. 1073, Muise, Stephanie and Pierre: Birth of Child - Congrats.,
3241
Res. 1074, Adams, Mackenzie/Harris, Carter: Birth of Child
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
3241
Res. 1075, LeBlanc, Chrissy/Kishbaugh, Jake: Birth of Child
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
3242
Res. 1076, LeBlanc, Jessica and Serge: Birth of Child - Congrats.,
3242
Res. 1077, d'Entremont, Laura and Jean-Michel: Birth of Child
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
3243
Res. 1078, Seymour, Shana/Dulin, Matthew: Birth of Child
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
3243
Res. 1079, Chetwynd, Margaret and Daniel: Birth of Child
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
3244
Res. 1080, Adams, Michelle/Ross, Tyler: Birth of Child
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
3244

 

 

[Page 3209]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2018

Sixty-third General Assembly

First Session

4:00 P.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

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

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

Bill No. 76 - Mineral Resources Act.

Bill No. 85 - Municipal Government Act.

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

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

[Page 3210]

TABLING REPORTS REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. DELOREY « » : I'd like to draw the members' attention to the east gallery, where I would like to introduce two special guests: Cassidy Megan, the Founder of Purple Day, and Debbi Tobin, the Executive Director of the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia.

Cassidy created the idea of Purple Day in 2008, motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy, and in 2009 the Anita Kaufmann Foundation and Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia joined forces to launch Purple Day internationally.

I would ask the members of the Legislature to recognize both Cassidy and Debbi. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1070

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

Whereas epilepsy is a common neurological condition that affects 50 million people across the world; and

Whereas 10 years ago a young Nova Scotian, Cassidy Megan, came up with the idea for Purple Day, to help recognize those affected by epilepsy and let them know that they are supported; and

Whereas Purple Day is now internationally celebrated, helping to spread awareness and increase understanding across the globe;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize March 26, 2018, as Purple Day, to raise awareness about epilepsy.

[Page 3211]

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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 98 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 300 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Municipal Elections Act. (Ms. Lisa Roberts)

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 Sydney River-Myra-Louisbourg.

CARROLL, JULIA: MIDGET AAA HOCKEY LEAGUE AWARD - CONGRATS.

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate hockey player Julia Carroll from Albert Bridge, who recently received the Second Team All Star Award.

Julia is a goalie with the MacIntyre Chevy Panthers. An award was presented to her at the annual Nova Scotia Female Midget AAA Hockey League Awards Ceremony, held recently in New Brunswick. This is Julia's second year on the team, and this award is for her being named the Third Best Goaltender in the league. The Panthers play out of the Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre.

I stand today, Mr. Speaker, to wish Julia all the best, as well as her whole team, as they now start their playoffs for the provincial finals.

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

UNITED DFC: NEW SOCCER CLUB - CONGRATS.

[Page 3212]

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Dartmouth soccer community on the creation of a new united soccer club, United DFC.

United DFC is the result of a collaboration and co-operation of the Cole Harbour Soccer, Dartmouth Football, Dartmouth United Soccer, and the Eastern Passage Soccer Clubs. These four clubs are coming together to create a club greater than any of the clubs on their own could be. The newly formed United DFC will provide players with the opportunity to play soccer from age three to senior age groups, at both the community and performance levels, beginning this summer.

I was delighted to take my kids to a "try soccer" event at Newbridge Academy in Dartmouth North this past weekend, put on by United DFC. There I met the honourable members for Dartmouth South and Dartmouth East and their families, and hundreds of young Dartmouthians who were clearly excited to learn about the sport and play until they were told it was someone else's turn.

I look forward to watching the development of this new soccer club, mostly from the sidelines, as a proud United DFC parent this summer. I want to offer my congratulations to all involved, and thank the organizers for their commitment to the children and youth of Dartmouth.

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

VAN TASSEL LAKE ASSOC.: INNOVATIVE LAND USE - CONGRATS.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : I would like to congratulate the Town of Digby, the Municipality of Digby, and the Van Tassel Lake Trails Association for their innovative use of the Van Tassel Lake Watershed Area. Because this site includes the town's backup water supply, the development of the 550-acre property was limited.

Two turbines, another green project in our area, which are located on the site, should produce electricity to power 510 homes. The Van Tassel Lake Trails Association built four kilometres of trails, taking hikers by some old-fashioned foundations, a stone mill ruin, a waterfall, and a reservoir before reaching a look-off. The property's proximity to the Town of Digby will allow people to go out for a short hike and pause during their busy day.

On October 1st, the three partners held an open house at Van Tassel Lake to introduce people to the site. All in all, this is an amazing partnership - the water supply is protected, the turbines are a green source of power, and everyone has a new, beautiful place to hike.

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

[Page 3213]

EPILEPSY ASSOC. OF N.S.: PROVIDING SUPPORT - RECOGNIZE

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : I know the impact of epilepsy on families, so today I would like to rise to recognize the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia. This charitable organization strives to bring communication, understanding, and recognition of this neurologic condition to schools, employers, teachers, and families - just to name a few.

Support is provided for the family members, as well as the individuals living with epilepsy, through group meeting sessions. Many of these sessions include guest speakers. EANS offers scholarships, as well as bursaries, to Nova Scotia students, in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

March 26th is Purple Day, aimed to increase worldwide awareness about epilepsy. There are over 50 million people worldwide who have epilepsy, and that is estimated to be about one in 100 people with this condition; 50 per cent of the diagnosed cases of epilepsy have an unknown cause.

I ask everyone in the Legislature to join me in recognizing Epilepsy Day in Nova Scotia.

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

SPARTANS AA BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM: GOLD MEDAL - CONGRATS.

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, gold has not only been the colour of the team mascot Grrr, but also the colour of the medal winnings for a young boys' basketball team from Dr. T.L. Sullivan Junior High.

The Spartans AA team are having a winning trend, and some credit their luck to both the skilled players and their little mascot Grrr.

Coaches Kristy Macleod and Jason Chapman use the mascot as a symbol to build confidence, teamwork, and growth for these young team players.

I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating the Spartans on their gold medal winnings in the Malcom Tournament on January 12th to January 14th, the Ernie Morrison Tournament on February 23rd to February 25th, and the NSSAF Highland Regional Middle School Boys "B" Championship, and to thank the coaches for building team spirit and confidence in these young athletes. Go Spartans Go.

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

NSHA WELLNESS FUNDS: RECIPIENTS - CONGRATS.

[Page 3214]

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, through the Nova Scotia Health Authority's community health boards, thousands of dollars in Wellness Funds are awarded each year to organizations that work to address priority health issues in our communities.

On March 6th, the Chebucto West Community Health Board held an informative Wellness Fund celebration where applicants presented the projects they will undertake with the board's support. The various projects addressed topics ranging from sexual health and social isolation to community safety and more.

This year's funded project included ISANS and Autism Nova Scotia's Respite Services Database, to assist non-English-speaking newcomer families in accessing respite services for family members with disabilities; the Calvin Presbyterian Church's out-of- school activities for children and mothers from countries experiencing conflict; Halifax Public Libraries' family literacy project, based around the importance of shared learning; and so many more.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in thanking those organizations and their important work.

[4:15 p.m.]

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

MASON, GUN: COM. SPORTS ENTHUSIAST - RECOGNIZE

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, Granville (Gun) Mason achieved numerous things in his hockey, referee, baseball, and softball career. He was simply a natural athlete and was invited to the New York Rangers training camp. However, he began his working career in Pictou County, and played in the senior ranks in several sports. Gun was a community-minded individual. He entered local politics and spent nine years on the Stellarton Town Council. Mason played the sports he loved, and he officiated with as much enjoyment and enthusiasm as he displayed as a player. Gun is simply an amazing person, a very respected and admired resident, who is always available to give a helping hand.

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

CHOUEIRI, BROOKLYNN: DRAVET SYNDROME - AWARENESS

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, today, I wear purple for Purple Day for epilepsy awareness. Also, I wear it for a special little girl, my baby cousin, Brooklynn Choueiri, who started developing seizures at nine months of age and, at 15 months, she was diagnosed with a very rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.

Now, at age seven, she is living proof of what positivity, strength, and the love of family can accomplish. She is an inspiration to each and every one of us. She is an inspiration to her brother and to her baby sister and to her parents. Really, I can't begin to tell you if you ever run across her, she's a pretty remarkable little girl. So, today, I wish her a very happy Epilepsy Day, a happy Purple Day, and I thank her, and send her all my love.

[Page 3215]

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

DART. PIG DOGS RUGBY TEAM: COM. SUPPORT - THANKS

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I have seen and experienced the positive impact sports can have on someone's life. It's one of the reasons my daughters participate in soccer and gymnastics. Because of that, I rise today to recognize an amazing sports club in my community, the Dartmouth Pig Dogs Rugby Football Club.

Rick Kitchen founded the club in 2002 and in 2005 doubled their size with the creation of the Lady Pig Dogs. It doesn't take long for a team to feel more like a family, and the Dartmouth Pig Dogs Rugby Football Club operate that way. When they aren't on the field, they can be found in their clubhouse in Dartmouth East or supporting local charities.

Thank you to the Dartmouth Pig Dogs Rugby Football Club for their continued support and promotion of rugby and sports in our community, and supporting local charities.

MR. SPEAKER « » : It's a good thing that unparliamentary language is all about context, because I'm not so sure "Pig Dogs" would make it much past the list. (Laughter)

The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

VAUGHN, MATT: RACING AWARD - CONGRATS.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Matt Vaughan from Fletchers Lake in winning the Sportsman Division Championship at Scotia Speedworld. This is a historic win as this is the first time a novice has won the championship.

Matt had no expectations when he began, and hoped to go out there and learn. Matt raced his No. 8 hotrod every Friday night from May until late September, never losing a race. This broke the record, and made history at Scotia Speedworld.

Congratulations to Matt Vaughan on this championship, and I wish him good luck in his future.

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

[Page 3216]

BOBBY JOE MEM. HOCKEY TOURNAMENT ORGANIZERS - THANKS

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute the organizers of the annual Bobby Joe Ryan Memorial Tournament in North Sydney.

Bobby Joe was five years old when he died in a tragic accident after a hockey puck hit him in the chest. The North Sydney Minor Hockey Association started this tournament, and it has been an annual event for the past 18 years. Teams wear a special shamrock with number 17 on the sweaters to honour Ryan, who was born on St. Patrick's Day.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the individuals of all the organizations of this event, and the players who have pinned on Bobby Joe's shamrock over the past 18 years.

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

CASSIDY, MEGAN: FOUNDER, PURPLE DAY - CONGRATS.

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, today, March 26th, is international Purple Day. This movement was created by a young Nova Scotia girl, Cassidy Megan, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of seven. In 2008, Cassidy wanted to educate people who had epilepsy, and let others that live with this condition know that they are not alone. Through Cassidy's determination, the Purple Day movement was grown worldwide. It has made great strides in bringing awareness and understanding about epilepsy. Lucinda MacLeod, a member of my community, knows the importance of increasing people's awareness of epilepsy. Lucinda has epilepsy, and has lived with the stigma associated with the condition due to people's lack of understanding. She is a productive, active person, and knows that her life is not defined by her disorder. She is a strong advocate of Purple Day in hopes that others take the time to learn about this important movement and help eliminate the stigma quite often associated with epilepsy.

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

N. SYDNEY GARDEN CLUB: 60th ANNIV. - CONGRATS.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute the North Sydney Garden Club as they celebrate their 60th Anniversary.

Year in and year out, the club has planted trees and flowers at the Cenotaph, local guest homes, the Field of Hope, Munro Park, Georges River church, and the Democracy 250 legacy garden at the Northside General Hospital. Years of service to the community and a chance for gardeners to fraternize with one another as they work on various projects have built a remarkable organization.

[Page 3217]

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the garden club, both past and present, for all their efforts at community beautification.

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

UNITED WAY (HFX.): BUILDING POVERTY SOLUTIONS - APPRECIATION

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to express my appreciation for United Way Halifax, which today presented Building Poverty Solutions: Ideas for Action - A Community Report to the Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee of the Halifax Regional Municipality.

There are many ideas and specific proposals for change, and I encourage all MLAs, particularly those on the government side, from the Halifax area to dive into the report and find an idea to champion with the provincial government.

I draw our attention to one sentence in particular: "The assumption that people who are experiencing poverty do not want to work is wrong, unfair, and stigmatizing."

In fact, the report points out that 28 per cent of people working in HRM make below $15 an hour and that a living wage in Halifax is $19.17 an hour. That's the amount that two parents working would need to work full-time in order to meet their needs.

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

PURPLE DAY FOR EPILEPSY - RECOGNIZE

MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : I also rise to recognize today being World Epilepsy Day. We mark the day, as has been said, by wearing purple, an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide.

Epilepsy is one of our most common chronic neurological disorders. An estimated 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, which is approximately 1 per cent of the global population.

Recognizing World Epilepsy Day is important to bring more education about this common disorder. Mr. Speaker, it is not a psychological disorder, nor is it a disease, nor is it contagious. As a neurological disorder, it is a condition of the brain that is characterized by seizures such as convulsions and muscle spasms. If the condition is successfully controlled by medication, a person may be seizure free, but continued and expanded education and research into this disorder is important and will help the millions of people living with this condition.

[Page 3218]

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

MORRISON, ALEX (ST. PETER'S): DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I share with this House the passing of long-time St. Peter's resident, business owner, and political supporter Alex Morrison. Mr. Morrison passed away on Saturday, March 24th, at the age of 96.

As a World War II veteran, Mr. Morrison lived in St. Peter's all of his life. He started the first ambulance service in the St. Peter's area. He was a licensed funeral director. He was the last owner of Morrison's Stores in St. Peter's, which served the people of Richmond County for three generations over 120 years.

Mr. Morrison was very active behind the scenes in local politics for 65 years. He was one of 10 men in Nova Scotia who worked to have the Honourable Robert Stanfield elected Premier of Nova Scotia.

I rise today to extend my sympathy to Mr. Morrison's family and friends and to the community of St. Peter's for losing a generous man who helped to shape the village into a business hub for Richmond County.

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

MIDGET A S. SHORE ICE SHARKS: TOURNAMENT WINNERS - CONGRATS.

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Midget A South Shore Ice Sharks on their recent win at the 2018 Gary L. Wentzell March Break Tournament.

The Ice Sharks played a series of games from Friday, March 16th through Sunday, March 18th during the tournament. The championship game took place on Sunday afternoon, and the Ice Sharks secured a win. Head Coach Jamie Myra and Assistant Coaches Kingsley Collins, Yves Levesque, and Allan Glover are all proud of their players for all their hard work during the 2017-18 season.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and all members of this House of Assembly please join me in congratulating the Midget A South Shore Ice Sharks on their win at the 2018 Gary L. Wentzell March Break Tournament and thank the coaches and volunteers who aided in making this tournament a success.

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

[Page 3219]

AMHERST RAMBLERS, HOCKEY: OVERTIME WIN - CONGRATS.

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : I rise today to congratulate the Amherst Ramblers on their big win last night in overtime. They beat the Bridgewater Bulldogs.

I'm especially proud of local player Lucas Sangster for getting the overtime goal. I wish them all the success in their game seven tonight.

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

MATELLA EVENT CONCEPTS/ESONWUNE, IFEOMA - THANKS

MS. RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize a talented young woman in my riding who is helping people to celebrate important milestones with her small business. Ifeoma Esonwune - or Iphie, as she is known by her friends and colleagues - is the owner and lead event manager at Matella Event Concepts.

Iphie has a passion for helping clients transform their dreams into reality. I have to say she did a fabulous job in helping to organize my first holiday open house at my constituency office. Her areas of expertise include event planning and communications, weddings, event décor, corporate meetings, fashion shows and NGO fund raisers.

Aside from her work, Iphie is committed to causes that concern children globally. She is a volunteer for UNICEF USA and Canada.

I would like to thank Iphie for her passion to create memorable events. She is excellent at what she does.

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

JOHNNY MILES MARATHON: 2018 EVENT - PLANNING

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, in 1975 the Town of New Glasgow celebrated its centennial by creating the Johnny Miles marathon. The marathon was the brainwave of John Miles Williston, the New Glasgow family physician. He had been named after Johnny Miles, the Cape Bretoner who won the Boston Marathon twice in the 1920s.

Johnny Miles himself stood at the starting line watching the runners prepare to attack the long, rugged terrain. It was a marathon that would be held once. There was no plan to continue beyond that one special occasion. However, by 2017, it had been held each Spring for more than 40 years.

The marathon has accepted runners from across North America, and chairperson and director Terry Curley of New Glasgow is presently very busy with his committee preparing for this year's event.

[Page 3220]

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

START IT UP! COMPETITION: HS STUDENTS WIN - CONGRATS.

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, Start It Up! is the fantastic, entrepreneurial pitch competition hosted by the Acadia University Launchbox where teams are given 28 hours to come up with a business idea to solve an industry or community problem.

Most of the 43 participants in the recent competition at Acadia were university students. However, it was the team consisting of local high school students from Horton High School in Northeast Kings Education Centre that consisted of Gerald Kaulbach, Max Caplan, Emma He, and Alexander Petkov that wowed the judges and took home the $6,000 top prize. Entrepreneurship is crucial to the future economic success of our province and with amazing young entrepreneurs like these in our communities, I think our future is bright.

I invite all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Gerald, Max, Emma, and Alexander on this impressive achievement.

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

WALSH, GINA: SUPPORT, BRIDGEWATER JR. CURLERS - THANKS

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, our volunteers are the unsung heroes of our community. One such volunteer has been quietly supporting and organizing events within the curling community at the Bridgewater Curling Club.

Gina Walsh has helped advance the Little Rocks curling program and has been instrumental in organizing many of the tournaments hosted at the club for our junior curlers. With Gina's support, her two children have developed into wonderful curlers, competing in provincial tournaments throughout Nova Scotia.

I'd like to congratulate Gina and her volunteer committee for the strong program the Bridgewater Curling Club is able to offer their junior curlers, due in large part to the efforts and dedication of Gina herself. Thank you for all you have done for the community. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'd like to remind the honourable members during Statements by Members, to keep your comments and congratulatory notes in the third person, directed through the Chair, if you could.

The honourable member for Cape Breton-Richmond.

[Page 3221]

SAMPSON, ANNE: COM. SERV. - THANKS

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize Anne Sampson of River Bourgeois, who has dedicated 34 years of volunteer work to the community.

In 2015, Anne was named Maritimer of the Week by CTV. The community honoured "River Bourgeois' Greatest Volunteer" Anne Sampson, who had calculated that she had over 340 years of total service with 22 organizations. She has served as president of the River Bourgeois 50+ Seniors Club and the River Bourgeois Community Services Society, just to name a couple of those 22 organizations.

I would like to thank Anne today for her years of dedication, service, and commitment to her community. Every community needs more Anne Samsons.

[4:30 p.m.]

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

C.P. ALLEN HS HOCKEY: WEEKEND WINS - CONGRATS.

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to share some terrific news about the success of the C.P. Allen hockey teams on the weekend.

In Division 1 girls play, Maddie Gray scored the winning goal on an end-to-end rush, as the Cheetahs edged out the Halifax West Warriors 2 to 1 to capture the girls' title in Newport. Goalie Brooke Bennett made 26 saves, and Sammy Madigan also scored for the win.

I am delighted to see that both schools that serve the Bedford riding made it to the final game.

In boys Division 1 play, the CPA Cheetahs triumphed over the Riverview Redmen by 4 to 3 on the Cheetahs' home ice. While the Redmen got on the board first, CPA roared back and never fell behind again. Denzel Robar, Ben Normandeau, Jakob Wamboldt, and Dylan Patterson all scored for CPA, and Nick Bowers made several heart-stopping saves in the dying minutes of the game. I confess to watching the final moments from behind my hands.

Mr. Speaker, I want to comfort the honourable member for Northside-Westmount, and tell him his Redmen never gave up. I want to commend them and the CPA Cheetahs, the girls' and boys' teams, on a very successful weekend.

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

[Page 3222]

SUNSET INDUSTRIES: BUS. VENTURE - RECOGNIZE

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize Randy Thompson and Julie Matheson of Sunset Industries in Pugwash. They're opening Oxford's first thrift store and laundromat, and it will house a small coffee shop and lunch counter.

It's great to see Randy and Julie and their hard work bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to Oxford. I congratulate them all on this great venture.

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

BROPHY, LIAM: ISLAND ENIGMAS - CONGRATS.

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Liam Brophy of Monastery, Nova Scotia, on the grand opening of Island Enigmas, a gaming store in Port Hawkesbury that is equipped with cards, board games, and skill-testing escape rooms.

Liam, also known as LeeBoy, an ACMA-nominated blues recording artist, has turned his love of gaming into a fun and interactive experience that is cleverly on-trend with youth and adult markets alike. Along with the very sought-after escape room experience, he has a storefront with snacks, a gaming library, and a tabletop gaming area to encourage memorable quality time with friends, family, and even coworkers.

Our current culture of screen-based entertainment, albeit cutting-edge and high-impact, can easily grease the slide of social isolation, and the negative mental health aspects that pairs with that. I applaud Liam for his perceptive business ethos of bringing people face-to-face again, and I wish him much success going forward.

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

REDUCING POVERTY REDUCES STRESS - RECOGNIZE

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, mental health is a frequent subject in this Legislature, and it's also a theme in the United Way report that I just mentioned, Building Poverty Solutions.

People with lived experience of living in poverty, who helped to shape the community report, spoke about the stress of constantly trying to figure out which bills to pay and what to forego. Parents shared how the stress of tight finances robs them of time to enjoy their children.

The authors of the report present various rationales for why we should address poverty: for equity reasons, for human rights reasons, and for economic reasons. Simply put, people of modest means spend additional income from increased wages, or increased income assistance, on things in our community, and generate economic spinoffs. Reducing poverty reduces the cost to our systems - health, education, and justice - by reducing people's stress.

[Page 3223]

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

W. KINGS WOLVERINES: SILVER MEDALLISTS, HOCKEY - CONGRATS.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the West Kings Girls Hockey Team on winning silver at the provincial championship on March 25th in Yarmouth.

The West Kings Wolverines beat Middleton, Par-en-Bas, and the host team, Yarmouth, on their way to the finals, where they battled for the championship with the dominant Dalbrae Dragons, giving the Cape Breton team their toughest match of the tournament.

Brooklyn Bishop of the Wolverines had an incredible tournament performance, scoring eight goals in three games, with additional West Kings goals coming from Leah Aalders and Gracie Avery.

As the member of the Legislative Assembly for Kings West, I would like to congratulate the West Kings Wolverines for the hard work they put in as a team to reach the championship finals and for the completion of an excellent season. Best wishes for continued success in the seasons ahead.

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

ST. ANDREW JR. SCH.: MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE - THANKS

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, there's a great mental health initiative being launched this year at St. Andrew Junior School.

In an effort to help adolescents who struggle with mental health challenges, counsellors at the Junior School are developing wellness boxes. The idea is to give every Grade 8 student a wellness box filled with coping strategies. For the days when they feel like they have no one to talk to or aren't sure how to deal with the anxiety or stress they are facing, the box will be filled with tools to help them.

Mr. Speaker, the counsellors at the Junior School hope to make this an annual mental health initiative. Students will be given a box following a presentation on positive mental health.

[Page 3224]

This is a great initiative and I'd like to thank members of the Counselling Services Team at the Junior School for taking on this project that will support our youth.

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

EPILEPSY: COPING, COM. SUPPORTS - AVAILABILITY

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, as you know, today is Epilepsy Awareness Day - and I forgot to wear purple but I won't forget that day that my daughter was 18 months old and she had her first seizure.

We didn't know it was a seizure that day; we realized that a week later when she had a second one and she was diagnosed with epilepsy. She was such a lovely child and she adapted to epilepsy very well. Her medication took care of it, and the staff at the IWK did an amazing job with her. She grew out of it eventually, or pretty much grew out of it.

When she was in Grade 6, we had the option of taking her off her medication or leaving it on. The medication is quite heavy and she hadn't had an episode for quite a long time, so she did go off her medication and then she started having a different kind of epilepsy seizure where she was having hallucinations - she would maybe look at a clock on the wall and see a truck coming at her.

She also, fortunately, outgrew that but what would happen is that occasionally she would, with pain, have another attack. Then, fortunately 15 years later she met her husband one day when she was having a seizure because of pain. It turned out that he was epileptic as well and he knew what to do.

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate both of them for dealing with their lives with epilepsy, and encourage all Nova Scotians to know that there is help.

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

THE MERCER REPORT: DALHOUSIE UNIV. VISIT - TELEVISED

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to mention a visit by a celebrity to Dalhousie University, which happened on March 13th. On that Tuesday morning Rick Mercer, from the show which bears his name, visited Dalhousie for his "spread the net" challenge. Rick visited the local chapter of the Golden Key Society located on campus as part of his friendly school competition to raise funds for bed nets to fight the spread of malaria. He visited the props department at the Fountain School of Performing Arts and, as well, he challenged Dal Tigers men's basketball team to a friendly game.

[Page 3225]

Mr. Speaker, the episode airs April 3rd. I look forward to watching it. I am sure it will be hilarious, like all the other shows.

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

HENLEY HOUSE PUB: E. COAST EXPERIENCE - RECOGNIZE

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of The Henley House Pub and Restaurant in Sheet Harbour. Built in 1916 by Roy (R.B.) and Loretta Henley, it served as an inn and general store, insurance office, and family home for three generations of Henleys.

Dr. Brad Atkinson and his wife Meryl purchased the home in 2008 and with love and respect have fully renovated it, lining the halls with authentic family photos and many artifacts from the original R.B.'s General Store and the East Inn.

Mr. Speaker, Brad and Meryl built a wonderful small business around the history of this beloved local treasure. The Henley House Pub and Restaurant showcases local music, the Sober Island Brewery, and it offers a delicious menu and provides a cultural experience rich with East Coast traditions and heritage - and I commend them for that, Mr. Speaker.

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

GRANDSON NICHOLAS WILLIAM - BIRTHDAY WISHES

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to wish a very Happy Birthday to my grandson, Nicholas William, who turns two this week.

I am very lucky to have two grandchildren, Nicholas and his older brother Anthony. I take my role as a grandparent very seriously and on the rare occasion that I am called upon to "babysit", I consider myself very fortunate to be given the opportunity to care for them, to give them treats that their mother would not necessarily allow if I asked, to tell them stories and to speak to them in a number of languages and, most important, to provide them unconditional love.

Monsieur le Président, je souhaite un très bon anniversaire à mon petit fils Nicholas - and in the Lebanese language, I'd like to say Kil Eid Wa anta be Kheir.

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

ST. PAUL'S ANGLICAN CHURCH: COM. SUPPORT - RECOGNIZE

[Page 3226]

HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : I would like to recognize Shirley and Jim Little and Tina and Ronnie Benoit of Whites Lake for their hard work and dedication to raising funds for St. Paul's Anglican Church in Terence Bay.

These two couples freely give their time to collecting donations and promoting the very popular bingo games that regularly take place in the Terence Bay Firehall. Shirley, Jim, Tina, and Ronnie also prepare the firehall for the big game, welcome players, and ensure that everyone has a good time, then they clean up after the event. The bingo games not only benefit St. Paul's Anglican Church, but many residents really enjoy coming together with neighbours and friends to have fun and a few laughs while supporting a worthwhile cause.

I would like to ask the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in thanking Shirley, Jim, Tina, and Ronnie for all that they do for the St. Paul's community.

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

NIECE RACHEL ARAB - BIRTHDAY WISHES

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, March 26, 1998, was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining, and it was unusually warm. As I drove in my Z 22, with the windows down and Our Lady Peace blasting, there was a song not only on the radio but in my heart because I was going to meet my baby niece Rachel for the very first time.

Rachel is the most remarkable young woman you will ever meet. She is kind and considerate; she is smart, and she is beautiful inside and out. I have been so privileged to be able to watch her go from a baby that I adored to a remarkable young woman whom I admire.

I would ask all the members of this House of Assembly to join me in wishing Rachel Arab a very Happy 20th Birthday.

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

PICTOU CO. FOOD BANK: COM. SUPPORT - RECOGNIZE

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, in Pictou County, the food banks have become a necessity for many, and it is only because of the countless volunteers that these services continue.

Volunteer Ray Haynes knows the difference that the food bank makes in the lives of 650 clients and their families, all stretching from Mount Thom to Antigonish, including the Towns of Westville, Stellarton, Trenton, and New Glasgow. In addition to the board of directors, over 60 active volunteers are committed to serving clients, stocking shelves, and doing whatever it takes to ensure the food bank is all that it can be for those who require this service.

[Page 3227]

I want to express my thanks and appreciation for everything they do. Mr. Speaker. I look forward to a day when food banks are a memory and not a necessity.

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

WARR, JESSICA: EQUESTRIAN AWARD - CONGRATS.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that Jessica Warr has won two junior championships in both the Central District and the Provincial Equitation Junior Division for jumping fences over two feet.

Jessica Warr was looking forward to having fun this year competing with her horse, Ellie, and is happy and surprised with their outcomes and success. Jessica is 13 and is from Fall River. She is coached by her mum, Emma. Jessica will continue to compete in 2018 at high-ranking shows representing Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating Jessica Warr, and wishing her and Ellie much success.

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

LARDER, SUSAN/WEBBER, DIANE:

NEW ROSS ALZHEIMER SUPPORT GRP. - THANKS

MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize Susan Larder, Diane Webber, and other members of the New Ross Alzheimer's Support Group.

It is said that "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." Caregivers are courageous and this courage comes from a place of love, commitment, and kindness. Supporting a friend or family member who suffers from Alzheimer's requires selfless devotion and a great deal of courage and commitment.

In New Ross, the Alzheimer's Support Group meets every second Wednesday at the New Ross Family Resource Centre. The support group offers a caring place where caregivers can find support, sharing, and useful discussion to help them during their caregiving journey.

I ask the members of this Legislature to join me in thanking and encouraging Susan, Diane, and other members of this important group in New Ross.

[Page 3228]

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

NEW GERMANY LIONS CLUB: BEST BULLETIN AWARD - CONGRATS.

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Debra Featherby and the New Germany and Area Lions Club bulletin, New Germany Pride, for recently being named the best club bulletin.

The bulletin is published every four months for the Lions Club membership, which contains a president's message, editor's comment, upcoming activities, and the district governor and international president's messages along with humour, information about the Lions Club Foundation, international activities and "Lionism" in general. Bulletins are judged on the type and quality of the information included.

Debra says the bulletin is a major commitment to complete, but she enjoys her work on it, and receiving this trophy was particularly special for her.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you and all members of this House of Assembly please join me in congratulating Debra Featherby and the New Germany and Area Lions Club Bulletin - New Germany's pride - for being named Best Club Bulletin.

[4:45 p.m.]

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

STEELE, GENEVIÈVE: MERRITT AWARD NOMINEE - CONGRATS.

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : I rise today to honour my friend, neighbour, and acting colleague, Geneviève Steele. Geneviève has been acting professionally since graduating from Dalhousie University's Acting Program in the early 1990s.

My first memory of her acting was in the early years of Shakespeare by the Sea, and I've been a huge fan ever since. A regular for many years at the Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, and many other theatre and film productions around the province, Geneviève is currently starring as Sugar Mary in Neptune Theatre's production of Half-Cracked: The Legend of Sugar Mary, and her performance has been called "energetic and exciting" by The Coast. Tonight, she gets to enjoy a well-earned night off to bask in the glory of a Merritt Awards nomination for her performance as Miriam in Neptune's production of Snake in the Grass.

A wise person in my life once said it takes being a good person to be a good actor, and if that is true, then Geneviève Steele is the best there is. She is generous beyond description, both on and off stage. She's a loyal friend, a devoted mother and partner, and an incredible baker who can whip up a batch of ginger cookies while memorizing lines and practising dance moves at the same time.

[Page 3229]

I ask all members of this House to join me in congratulating Dartmouth North's Geneviève Steele on her Merritt nomination - fingers crossed for tonight - and on a wonderful career so far.

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

COPELAND, JANET: KESHEN GOODMAN LIB. VOLUNTEER - CONGRATS.

MS. RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Janet Copeland, an active volunteer at the Keshen Goodman Library.

Janet has been a dedicated English tutor to newcomers, both young and old. Over the past nine years of service, Janet has given over 1,000 hours to the cause. Janet is also a dedicated member of the Seniors College of Nova Scotia, another organization in the library. Janet is an active member of the Town Clown Stitchers, a group that teaches the art of stitchery to children and adults.

I ask that the members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Janet Copeland for her dedication to the Keshen Goodman Library.

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

DOREY, ANGIE: EXPANSION, HELLO HANDMADE - CONGRATS.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Angie Dorey on the expansion of her Hello Handmade location in Berwick. In addition to Angie's line of signature bath and body products, the new expansion will better allow for other local entrepreneurs, artisans, and community members to gather, display, and market their unique products.

The new Hello Handmade boutique offers a larger space, a commercial kitchen, a reading area for children, a tea bar, and a room to host workshops with local vendors and the public.

As the MLA for Kings West, I would like to extend my best wishes to Angie Dorey and the team at Hello Handmade for supporting the creative economy in Nova Scotia, and for highlighting and supporting the work of local artisans and entrepreneurs at the expanded location on Union Street.

Best wishes for continued success in business and for your support of a homegrown industry.

[Page 3230]

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

GORDON, MATTHEW: 2nd ANN. MEN'S CLOTHING DRIVE - CONGRATS.

HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize 11-year-old Matthew Gordon of Upper Tantallon. Matthew lost his dad, Ken, in March 2017, in a tragic motor vehicle accident.

As part of Matthew's grieving process, he found a way to honour his father's memory by giving back to others. At age 10, Matthew facilitated his first successful men's clothing drive, which resulted in hundreds of items going to those in need.

Matthew received support from near and far. His story was told in the newspaper and captured the hearts and imaginations of many, including his fellow students at school who learned a lot about the plight of the homeless and were keen to support his worthy cause. Matthew has recently launched his second annual men's clothing drive.

I'd like the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Matthew on his initiative and wish him well in the future.

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

WOMBOLT, NICK: BURGER WK. AMBASSADOR - CONGRATS.

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, this week is Burger Week, where businesses in HRM put forward their best burger creations with a portion of the costs going to Feed Nova Scotia.

The Coast recently ran a competition to name the Burger Week Ambassador. After some stiff competition, Spryfield's very own Nick Wombolt, or Burgicorn as he likes to be known - a cross between a burger-obsessed man and a unicorn - was named Burger Ambassador.

I'd like to congratulate all businesses that will be supporting Feed Nova Scotia, and I wish Nick's waistline all the best of luck.

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

WOHLMUTH, ELIJAH: SINGER/SONGWRITER - CONGRATS.

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, Elijah Wohlmuth, eldest son of Brooke and Ed Wohlmuth of Elmsdale, began formal voice training when he was nine years old. At the age of 12, he formed a rap group with his brother and his best friend and started mixing records in his parents' basement.

[Page 3231]

In 2014, Elijah attended Gordie Sampson Songcamp and while there he co-wrote a track, entitled All the Time in the World, with Kyle Mischiek and Carleton Stone. Gordie's manager shared the song with Enfield recording artist Luke Boyd, whom you remember I talked about, Classified, and his brother, Mike Boyd, and the three have been collaborating ever since. In 2015, he sang on Classified's Beautiful Escapes track and Mike Boyd's track, Street Lights.

Elijah, now known as Elijah Will, released his debut EP, 3AM, in January 2018, and is the first artist signed by Classified's Halflife Records label. He was on a release tour for all of February. The second show was in his home area at Curley's Portables in Enfield.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Elijah Will for his talents, and wish him great success in his musical endeavours.

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

DEMAINE, ERIK:

DALHOUSIE UNIV. 200th ANNIV. SCULPTURE - ON DISPLAY

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, 2018 is Dalhousie University's 200th Anniversary. To commemorate this, alumnus and artist Erik Demaine created an art installation. It is called 200 Circles.

The sculpture uses a variety of pages from the book The Lives of Dalhousie University: Volume I, by P.B. Waite. This unique sculpture was created by using creased and curved paper. Folded in this way the paper creates rings much like a tree showing its age.

This magnificent sculpture will be on display in the heart of the campus at Wallace McCain Learning Commons.

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

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to bring the members' attention to the east gallery where we are joined by Mr. John Grant. He is a student at Halifax West High School and a wonderful constituent of Fairview-Clayton Park - a political mastermind and a little bit of an evil genius. I think you need to remember his name because I feel you might see him on the floor, if not in other places at some point in the future. Welcome, John. (Applause)

[Page 3232]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Barring more members' statements, we'll move on to Government Business.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

The House will now recess while it resolves itself into a Committee of the Whole on Supply.

[4:52 p.m. The House recessed.]

[4:53 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

We had a member stand after the motion was carried to express the desire to speak on the motion going into Supply.

With the unanimous consent of the House, is it agreed that we will let the member speak?

It is agreed.

I will remind all members, if you've got something to say, stand up before the motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned the other day, experience is the ultimate educator, so I thank the honourable members of this House as we continue to learn the unfolding process here in the House of Assembly.

[Page 3233]

I rise this evening to speak on Supply of the Budget Estimates. As all members of this House do, I have no doubt, they start to go through the budget - they start to analyze, look at the numbers, look at the strategic objectives laid out by a government.

Just as I used to teach my students in the classroom, to analyze documents, oftentimes, you're always looking for what's not there - what's lacking, what's missing, in any document, in any strategic plan, which a budget certainly lays out for a fiscal year. Mr. Speaker, as members of this caucus have pointed out - certainly we've indicated to the government we don't see the long-term investments in mental health that we've been advocating for many years for, and we've discussed that in the media; we've discussed that in our messaging with Nova Scotians.

Along with that, Mr. Speaker, we've also indicated we don't see a long-term strategy for jobs, or an economic strategy for long-term prosperity for Nova Scotians. It has also been pointed out by other members of this House that we don't see an emphasis on long-term care. We don't see a single nursing home, new nursing home beds for our seniors. Along with all of this, while going through the budget, going through the Estimates, in particular with education, I noticed something that was lacking, something that I believe should be emphasized - and I think if we stop and think and reflect as I'm about to mention this, I think we should be seriously considering what's lacking specifically with the Education Estimates.

Now, last week, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board of our province, on March 22nd during Question Period, indicated that there would be an education component for employees of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation as it relates to the implementation of cannabis and there would also be an education program for all Nova Scotians to get information out there as to the dangers of cannabis use, and that got me thinking - why is it we don't see in this budget an education component in our schools? Let me ask that question again, is the Nova Scotia education system prepared for the legalization of cannabis and, if one looks at the Budget Estimates, one concludes that there is something clearly lacking there and, according to the Estimates, there doesn't appear to be any money allocated for cannabis education in our schools.

So, let me be clear. I believe money does need to be allocated for cannabis education. It's missing; it needs to be included. Why was it excluded? We know that the approach the federal government is taking with the legalization of cannabis has more to do with breaking the black market than it does in promoting, I believe, the long-term health of Canadians and by extension, of course, Nova Scotians, and we see that. If this provincial government had been serious about health, they would have adhered to the recommendations of the Canadian Medical Association and the psychology association.

So, I know we are agreed in this House that if this is happening we need to ensure education for the workers at NSLC; we need to ensure that all Nova Scotians through an advertising campaign need to get information out there - why not in our schools? Why not in our schools? That, of course, is something I encourage. That is something I asked this government to focus on because it is fundamental. The dangers of cannabis, as a former teacher, as this House knows I've seen first-hand. I have no doubt many people in this House have seen first-hand the dangers of that, and there is nothing more tragic than seeing a young person who has caused harm to themselves, cognitive harm, as a result of the chronic use of cannabis.

[Page 3234]

So, of course, if one does a jurisdictional scan, taking a look at jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis and taking a look at their education systems and having, you know, looking at their experience, I think we can learn a lot if we take the case of Colorado which legalized cannabis in 2014. We saw a huge increase in the usage of cannabis in students and, from their experience, we know legalization will remove the stigma of cannabis use. So, we have to make sure if that stigma is now being fully removed within our society, which inevitably will happen with the legalization of cannabis. We must ensure solid education programming within our public school system, along with the necessary supports to make sure they're in place for our students.

[5:00 p.m.]

Again, why hasn't money been allocated in the budget for what I believe needs to be a priority if we are as a society, as a nation, moving in this direction that the federal government is pushing the provinces to move towards? Like anything else, our systems need to adapt accordingly.

If one does some research on the case of Colorado, and you read some of the literature that educators have put out there, they will indicate to you that it is more challenging to educate about the harmful effects of cannabis on the developing brain in the context where the stigma has been removed. Therefore, as a few people in this House know as former teachers, the programming is going to need to adapt. The approach, the pedagogy, the approach may have to change because the social situation in which we will find ourselves after July will be different. Again, Mr. Speaker, I hope that eventually the Estimates will reflect that, that our programming needs to adapt along with the necessary supports, along with the necessary investments.

Mr. Speaker, we know from research from the Canadian Medical Association, the literature that they have put out over the past few months and the past few years, that the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. We know that specifically for our youth, we want to create an environment where they can develop and they can socialize in the healthiest environment possible. I have no doubt that all members of the House want that type of environment for our young people, for our students.

I know, professionally, as a former educator, working as an acting vice-principal, many of the discipline issues, many of the behaviour issues, and some of the learning issues that I encountered can be traced back to chronic use of cannabis and how sometimes a young person's life spirals out of control as a result of that. What supports will be in place? What new policies will we give our educators to help prepare for this new world, I guess, that's coming at us after July?

[Page 3235]

We know from the Canadian Medical Association that we see cardiovascular and pulmonary effects as a result of chronic cannabis use. I believe, Mr. Speaker, we need to ensure that we have that information out to our students, that it needs to be embedded into the curriculum and money ready to be deployed to schools to ensure that we get adequate programming, adequate information, and proper information, to our students.

One of the things that the Canadian Medical Association has indicated, and many in this House are aware, is that we see an increased risk of mental illness, mental health issues. We know often, for some, cannabis can be a trigger to a psychosis, it can be a trigger to a mental state that is very problematic for their development. Just these three things for example are things that could be stressed. These are things that could be openly talked about and discussed in the classroom.

Will we see an increase in drug-related suspensions in our public schools as a result of the legalization of cannabis? Time will tell. Let's be up front, and let's be clear - many know this with their kids going through the school system - it's everywhere. It's everywhere in our public system by the time you get to junior high and high school. These are some key questions: are we going to see an increase in drug-related suspensions? What will be the dynamic after July as a result of this?

Of course, if there is an increase in usage, Mr. Speaker, I challenge this government, what policies will be put in place to ensure a cannabis-free school? How will policies on cannabis be enforced by our teachers and our administrators?

These are some perennial questions. These are some key questions that I hope all members of this House will reflect upon. Certainly, I hope the government begins a process of planning and keeping this in consideration.

Fundamentally, I am challenging the House, is our education system prepared for the legalization of cannabis? If one examines the Estimates in this budget specifically on education, one concludes that no, we are not. Mr. Speaker, I encourage this government to get to work and fix that.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Lucasville.

MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments here today. I represent Hammonds Plains-Lucasville, which is a community made up mainly of young families. The topic of public safety, in particular with respect to the next generation, is of certain importance for myself and for our community.

[Page 3236]

With that said, my remarks here today on Supply are going to focus largely on education as well. I feel it is important, as the representative for a community such as Hammonds Plains-Lucasville, to provide some remarks for the record on my experiences dealing with education as a concept and as a representative of that community.

Just to add a little bit of context for the benefit of the members and perhaps any viewers who are watching today, I grew up in the community I represent. I attended all levels of school in Hammonds Plains. I attended Hammonds Plains Consolidated back pre-renovation, when we still had significant numbers of portable classrooms located in our community. I moved on to be a seventh grader when Madeline Middle School opened. I attended three years there at Madeline Symonds and also went on to attend Charles P. Allen High School.

Mr. Speaker, if the House will indulge me, I will do a quick shout-out to both the boys and girls CPA High hockey teams on their success. John A. is not too happy about that in front of me, but that's okay.

As I said, I represent the community that effectively raised me outside of the walls of my house. When I graduated university, it was a great opportunity that was presented to me through the recruitment of a former candidate. I had some minimal experience with respect to public representation at the university level, at Acadia. I know there's a couple of other members in the room who have had similar experiences.

In having that experience, I was certainly motivated and felt relatively confident that I could make an effort to segue into the world of provincial politics. Having grown up in that community, I definitely approached it very humbly. I am not necessarily the most experienced young professional in any room, but one thing I am confident in is speaking on behalf of my constituents and my community.

In 2013, I was fortunate enough to be elected to the House of Assembly and, on my 27th birthday, sworn in as the member for Hammonds Plains-Lucasville. After having travelled the riding and more specifically, having conversations with people about their needs and wants - I mean, when you grow up in the area you get a flavour for the many different things that are going on, but when you're wearing that hat as a candidate, and then subsequently as a representative, I know that all members in the House would attest that you become involved in a varying degree of conversations, and people are more, perhaps, pointed and, acknowledging the position that you're in, make a point to be more specific and articulate about expressing their concerns. Certainly, from my perspective, that's a challenge that I've both embraced and appreciated.

I would say that other than health care - which I won't dive into too much today, Mr. Speaker - other than health care, education is certainly the most important component of what we're responsible for as provincial legislators in Hammonds Plains-Lucasville. Having gone through that 2013 experience, I knew that based on conversations with people on their doorsteps, and in their living rooms, and at various community functions, I knew there was an expressed interest on added investment to support our classrooms, a reintroduction of the Reading Recovery and Math Mentorship programs, and there was a distinct directive to stay focused on education as a priority.

[Page 3237]

I'm certainly very proud of the work and the effort, and the prioritization that this government has made with respect to education. It has been a more challenging conversation of late, but since being elected, I've made a sincere effort to be present in classrooms, and not just with respect to showing up for the Spring Fling or to do a meet-and-greet with the kids – which, for the record, is important in terms of expressing the role of civics, regardless of your political affiliations, to ensure that the next generation does get some exposure to what we're doing in here and what varying levels of government are responsible for.

A quick shout-out to Mr. Rod Hasey at Hammonds Plains Consolidated. He has a wonderful ability to engage his students in the world of technology as well, but has made a significant effort to bring me in at various times to speak to his classes and provide that first-hand experience to his Grade 5 students, might I add.

So, I was called to be very intentional about what's going in our schools, and I've made a sincere effort to do that, Mr. Speaker. The conversation over the course of three years was not as intimate as what it has been over the past couple of years, in my experience. Let me get the timelines right, here – in late 2015, a conversation around education certainly took a very different turn. We as a government had taken it upon ourselves to try and bring about some sustainability to the cost of our labour in this province and, by proximity, a new invigorated conversation about the intimate realities of our education system began to take place.

[5:15 p.m.]

The decisions that we've made as a government are ones that I have supported but, make no mistake about it, we have not given up our responsibility to support educators who support our students. It was a great opportunity. At least, that's how I've looked at this very, very frankly. I've looked at this as, we're all here as legislators regardless of the side of the House that we're on. We're all involved in a very public, very direct conversation about the realities of our education system and, from my perspective, that puts us all in a great, great position with great opportunity, with great responsibility.

I've tried to approach every conversation that I've had over the phone, spending weekends in my office meeting with different groups of educators, meeting with people in their living rooms. We have a great opportunity to reinvigorate the education system and I think that, in spite of some of the difficulty that has transpired over the past few years, we are truly in a position now where we, as a government and as an education system, are ready to shift gears and start to truly build on some of the things that we've been given a directive to, from educators, over the past year and a half.

[Page 3238]

I know that probably the most consistent messages that I received from educators had to do with the number of classroom supports that they had. I'll take one quick opportunity to say that I actually had a local teacher break down her classroom. I'm a visual learner, so it helped me, but she actually broke down her classroom and colour-coded it to give me a better sense of the different types of learning abilities that are in a classroom and how much responsibility they have in supporting individual students, and that was a really eye-opening experience for me.

Some things that have transpired over the past year with respect to investment is the initiation of the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions and the ongoing work that they do, at their challenge, to conduct an administrative review. As well, more recently, the Commission on Inclusive Education has produced their report, and initially investing $15 million as a sign to the province that we are going to be very intentional and very bold about the way that we support a new inclusion model in this province. I have to say that I've always tried to approach the conversation about education very humbly. I'm not an educator.

There are things that we as a government have taken a stance on that are required in unison, in parallel, to many of the things that we have to do to improve our classroom conditions and to improve the way that we support our students across the board. Again, I know it's been difficult, but I truly believe that this government, this minister, this Premier, and all members in the House, really, are going to play a role, like I said, in a time where we have such a great opportunity to reinvigorate the education system. That's what we as a government are prepared to do.

In my last couple of minutes I'm going to stick to education, but I wouldn't be doing my community much of a service if I didn't make a point to acknowledge that Hammonds Plains-Lucasville is a community that has been plagued with ongoing enrolment challenges since I was going to school, was in the system. A quick shout-out to my constituency assistant, Cathy Baker, who was on the Hammonds Plains PTA when her kids were going to school.

Mr. Speaker, we've had up to 10 portables at one school, at Hammonds Plains Consolidated. We have continued difficulty, and my hat goes off to all the administrators who represent individual schools in our community. They have a tremendously difficult job in trying to manage the classroom and teaching complement in their schools. I've made an effort to be as available to them, to try to support their cause as much as possible.

Again, I know I've had conversations with government about the responsibility we have to the best of our ability, and to as fairly as possible, deal with the enrolment piece in the Hammonds Plains community.

[Page 3239]

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to seeing a five-year capital plan being produced this summer. There's my spiel on education. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion carried.

[5:21 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft in the Chair.]

[9:27 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft in the Chair.]

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

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

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Sadly, that concludes government business for today. (Interruptions) I know, I know.

The good news, Madam Speaker, is we will be back tomorrow.

I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, March 27th, between 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Following the daily routine and Question Period, we will move to resolve the House into a Committee of the Whole on Supply and, with time permitting, we will consider bills at the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, Bill Nos. 70, 76, and 85.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House rise to meet again on Tuesday between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 9:28 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 3240]

RESOLUTION NO. 1071

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 18, 2017, Ash-Lee Newell and Brydon Atkinson welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ash-Lee and Brydon on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1072

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 14, 2017, Courtney Dulong and Kris Anthony welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Courtney and Kris on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1073

[Page 3241]

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on October 27, 2017, Stephanie and Pierre Muise welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Stephanie and Pierre on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1074

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on September 30, 2017, Mackenzie Adams and Carter Harris welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mackenzie and Carter on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1075

[Page 3242]

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 7, 2017, Chrissy LeBlanc and Jake Kishbaugh welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chrissy and Jake on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1076

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on September 26, 2017, Jessica and Serge LeBlanc welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jessica and Serge on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1077

[Page 3243]

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on October 3, 2017, Laura and Jean-Michel d'Entremont welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Laura and Jean-Michel on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1078

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 19, 2017, Shana Seymour and Matthew Dulin welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Shana and Matthew on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1079

[Page 3244]

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on October 6, 2017, Margaret and Daniel Chetwynd welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Margaret and Daniel on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 1080

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas a new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities, author Eda J. LeShan wrote; and

Whereas on November 23, 2017, Michelle Adams and Tyler Ross welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Michelle and Tyler on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.