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May 15, 2014
Standing Committees
Economic Development
Meeting summary: 
NEW LOCATION: Room 233A Johnston Building Barrington Street Entrance Corner of Barrington and Prince Streets Halifax, NS   Witness/Agenda Agenda Setting
Meeting topics: 
Economic Development Committee - Committee Room 1 (1334)









Thursday, May 15, 2014




Agenda Setting



Printed and Published by Nova Scotia Hansard Reporting Services







Mr. Joachim Stroink (Chairman)

Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft

Ms. Pam Eyking

Mr. Ben Jessome

Mr. Gordon Wilson

Mr. John Lohr

Ms. Karla MacFarlane

Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse

Ms. Lenore Zann


[Ms. Pam Eyking was replaced by Mr. Iain Rankin.]

[Mr. Ben Jessome was replaced by Mr. Stephen Gough.]



In Attendance:


Mrs. Darlene Henry

Legislative Committee Clerk








9:30 A.M.



Mr. Joachim Stroink


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Good morning, everybody. I'd like to call this meeting to order.


Ms. Zann will appear when she's here, but we're going to start, and with direction from the NDP we have what they have requested so we'll bring that up in discussion. I would like to remind those in attendance to please turn your phones off; also, in the gallery, turn your phones off.


I will now ask the committee members to introduce themselves.


[The committee members introduced themselves.]


            MR. CHAIRMAN: So today's meeting is an agenda-setting meeting for the upcoming months. We do have one request that the committee will not be sitting in July and August - if we're okay with that - the summer months. Most committees are not meeting at that time. Is that correct? Yes, so no committees are meeting in July and August, for the summer break.


Mr. Wilson.


            MR. GORDON WILSON: I believe there were some previous topics that we had agreed on that are listed here and I think realistically that maybe we're looking at four topics - something like that would probably work.


            In saying that, I think the next that was on the list and, maybe for the sake of expediency, if you don't mind, I'll suggest that there were some already that were picked. June, No. 2, from the PC caucus, would be the next one and that was the Economics and Statistics Division; I think that was the next selection you had on there. For September - which would be the one after that - is the Nova Scotia Soundstage for the NDP.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Wilson, they are okay with that and they'd like to keep that on the agenda.


            MR. GORDON WILSON: Back to the Liberal caucus in October, I would suggest the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement and then possibly if we wanted to add one for November, or when it might be if the House is sitting maybe that one wouldn't be there, it would be No. 5 from the PC caucus, the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. We also thought that maybe if it was okay with the PC caucus that we add Tom Traves to that as a witness, along with Simon d'Entremont.


            In saying that, that might cover off some of the other items that were listed which sort of fall in that Traves report under business, procurement, and economic development. (Interruptions) Could I just finish by making a motion to that effect, and then we'll question it?




MR. JOHN LOHR: Thank you. We were reviewing our list of 10, and as a caucus we thought we would like to just rearrange our priorities with that list of 10 and take No. 8, the Ambassatours, the motor carrier industry and the cruise ship season, and have that as our next one. Then the second one after that would be - we were interested in the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. Those would be our No. 1 and No. 2 right now. I realize you had it very neatly all figured out there - we should have had a conversation.


            MR. GORDON WILSON: I guess right off the top of my head, first off, I thought I had the floor making a motion, but I'd like to continue with that if that's possible.




MR. GORDON WILSON: Just to go back to Mr. Lohr's comments, which I think are worthy comments. My first comment would be, wouldn't the Mining Association of Nova Scotia fall under the Resources Committee as a better place to have that presented? I chair that committee and typically we do have people from all the resource sectors come in through that one. I'm thinking more of the timeliness and the importance of beginning to talk about things like the Jobs Fund, the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, and Economics and Statistics - tax reduction is one of the things that we're going through, a tax review and a regulatory review. I personally think that those two would be more pertinent at this time, in timeliness for the Province of Nova Scotia.


            So, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to make the motion, please, that our June meeting be the Economics and Statistics Division; our September meeting be the Nova Scotia Soundstage; our October meeting be the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement; and the next meeting or the November meeting, the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Jobs Fund - the witness added to that would be Tom Traves.


            MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT: I'll second the motion.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Mr. Lohr.


            MR. LOHR: Could you read that again so I can think about that?


            MR. GORDON WILSON: So for the June meeting, which would be the next meeting, No. 2 from the PC caucus, the Economics and Statistics Division; for the September meeting, it would be the NDP caucus, Nova Scotia Soundstage; for the October meeting, it would be the Liberal caucus, Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement; and for the next meeting after that, which would possibly be November or subsequently when the next one would be, the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, No. 5 from the PC caucus, Jobs Fund, with the additional witness of Tom Traves.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Lohr.


            MR. LOHR: Mr. Chairman, I'd like to make an amendment to that motion and have the June meeting be Ambassatours instead of the Economics and Statistics Division. I move that amendment to the motion.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Wilson.


            MR. GORDON WILSON: No, I'm not in favour of that amendment.


            MR. LOHR: Do I need to have that amendment seconded?


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, sorry.


            MR. GORDON WILSON: I think we have a motion on the floor.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Wilson - hang on, one at a time please. Mr. Lohr.


            MR. LOHR: I would like to make an amendment to Mr. Wilson's motion that the No. 1 for June not be the Economics and Statistics Division but be Ambassatours, the motor carrier industry and the 2014 cruise ship season, just on the fact that we know that the bulk of the cruise ship season is in September and October and it would be timely for us to hear their issues. The cruise ship business is a pretty big business in Nova Scotia.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Ms. MacFarlane.


            MS. KARLA MACFARLANE: I would second that amendment. I would also - it's in the media, we know that there are a lot of issues right now with regard to Ambassatours not having the busing. We depend highly on our tourism industry and if we're having these cruise ships come in and we're listening to their comments and they're telling us that there are no buses there to take them out and around beyond the port where they're docked, I think this is a serious issue.


            We're already into the tourism season and I think that we should address it as soon as possible. We know that it will probably be an issue that we will address and not be able to rectify until really next year. I think if we're all considering the importance of our tourism industry here in Nova Scotia that we should put it first on our list right now, since we're steeped in that industry right now.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Ms. Zann.


            MS. LENORE ZANN: I would agree with this amendment, too, and support it.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Wilson.


            MR. GORDON WILSON: I have no further comments. I call for the question, maybe - do we vote on something here? I think we have two motions on the floor.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: I call the question for the motion on the floor for a vote - on the amendment, sorry. We'll have a vote on that.


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


            The motion is defeated.


            Now we will go forward. Mr. Wilson.


            MR. GORDON WILSON: Could I just add that certainly I think your comments about Ambassatours and the problems in the motor carrier industry are valid points, but I'd also like to point out that they are regulated through the URB. Probably, that is an area where I would suggest that maybe somebody getting on the agenda with them to discuss it at that point. Certainly we could use time within this group to do that, but I think the things that we do have on here are more focused and pressing and under our mandate. That's my own comment on that, thank you though.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Wilson. We'll put that motion to a vote. Would all those in favour of Mr. Wilson's motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.


            The motion is carried.


            We will set the next meeting for June 12th, if that works for everybody. Does that work? Perfect - great, thank you. (Interruptions) The one in September - I'll have to check.


MRS. DARLENE HENRY (Legislative Committee Clerk): We usually meet the first week so it will be September 4th.


MR. CHAIRMAN: So the sound studio one would be September 4th. (Interruption) Yes, the sound stage would be September 4th. (Interruptions) I call the meeting to order.


I'd just like to thank everybody for helping get this agenda setting and look forward to seeing you guys next month.


I call this meeting adjourned. Thank you.


[The committee adjourned at 9:46 a.m.]