HALIFAX, FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2012
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE ON SUPPLY
Ms. Becky Kent
MADAM CHAIRMAN: Order, please. The Committee of the Whole House on Supply will come to order.
We will now continue with the estimates of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.
We have 51 minutes remaining in the Committee of the Whole House on Supply, with 46 minutes still to be allotted to the Liberal caucus.
The honourable member for Yarmouth.
MR. ZACH CHURCHILL: Madam Chairman, this morning we learned that the cost of education is going up pretty significantly at Dalhousie University. Tuition is going up for professional programs, 5 and 6 per cent; student fees are going up 3 per cent; facilities management fees are going up 3 per cent; student services fees are going up an additional 3 per cent; residence and meal fees are going up 2.75 per cent; and we learned that co-op fees are increasing as well.
Madam Chairman, this is something that we talked about yesterday and how cutting $75 million out of core funding to our education system will put these additional cost pressures on our institutions and those will be downloaded onto the students.
So when it comes to these very specific and significant increases that students and families are experiencing at Dalhousie, I just have a couple of questions for the minister on that. Did the minister know that these rates were going to be going up such a large amount? Were students consulted - I know in the MOU it says students need to be consulted when these fees go up - and how were those students consulted? What did that model of consultation look like?
Dal is only the first institution we've heard from, Madam Chairman, whose fees are going up, and one will worry if these same high fees are going to be experienced at other campuses - so is the minister aware of what's going to take place in other campuses with these sorts of fees?
HON. MARILYN MORE: Dalhousie University has just very recently submitted a list of fee increases and tuition increases, and we are still taking a look at it. Under the memorandum of understanding though the process is a bit different than it was in the earlier MOU in that for fee increases they do not require my approval in order to move forward. What we've tried to do is clarify the process whereby certainly they would be encouraged to consult with those impacted, particularly the students, in terms of the ancillary and auxiliary fee increases, and they would have to present a business case to show that the increases, all that money is actually going to provide that service, and that it is not, as we had talked earlier in budget estimates, a way for them to make up any lost revenue from other revenue streams.
Certainly when we talk about increases in graduate programs, one has to balance that with the amazing opportunity this gives those graduates in terms of well-paying jobs in our economy, both here in Nova Scotia, across Canada, and internationally. We talked last night about the reputation of our university system here in Nova Scotia, and particularly Dalhousie. It has an international reputation and certainly students apply from all over the world. They know that getting a graduate degree from Dalhousie will stand them in good stead. The students often say because they're delaying their years of earning good money that the sacrifice up front is worth it because over their lifetime they make considerably more money and so they feel that it's a good investment to spend that time and that amount of tuition in order to prepare them on the road to success.
I've just been reminded that Dalhousie did consult their students in terms of any increases in ancillary and auxiliary fees, and also students are represented on the board of governors.
MR. CHURCHILL: I just hope the minister is empathetic towards the concerns around costs of education. I know this government talks a lot about ensuring that our post-secondary system is affordable, but here we have another very clear example of how gutting $75 million out of core funding doesn't help us reach that goal. Despite the fact that on the back end students will have a debt cap in the province, the cost of attending post-secondary institutions every day while they're there is increasing.
I know students and their families are having a lot of trouble making ends meet while attending post-secondary institutions in the province and having significant increases like this across the board - I mean it's not just a 3 per cent tuition increase, this is a 5 to 6 per cent professional tuition increase. Student fees are going up; the student service fee is going up; the facilities and management fee is going up; the residence fee is going up; the co-op fee is going up - almost every fee you can possibly pay at the institution is going up, and this is symptomatic of funding issues when it comes to providing necessary funding for post-secondary institutions. We will not ensure our education system is affordable if we take out that core funding - I sincerely believe that.
I will jump to another topic quickly. I know that the NSGEU Health, Safety and Environment Committee has contacted the Department of Labour and Advanced Education to discuss a few very specific issues, and if we can just take some time to talk about those right now.
According to a letter that was dated April 4th, the NSGEU had not heard back from the department on some of these concerns, and so I just wanted to take the opportunity to ask the minister about those today. There were four issues that the NSGEU asked about: finalizing and proclaiming the indoor air quality regulations; expanding the definition of bullying and harassment under the definition of workplace violence; finalizing and proclaiming joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee training regulations; and moving to provide universal coverage for our workers' compensation.
My question to the minister is has the department started to look at these four issues, are they planning to reply to the NSGEU and, if so, what are the minister's responses to these four questions?
MS. MORE: Madam Chairman, it's very timely, we actually have been joined by members of the NSGEU Health, Safety and Environment Committee and with the indulgence of my colleague, may I take this opportunity to introduce them to the Chamber?
MR. CHURCHILL: Yes.
MS. MORE: Thank you. So as I call their name, perhaps they could stand and remain standing and then we can welcome them in the usual manner.
So we're joined today by Wendy Williams who is the chairman, Virginia Clarke, Donna Costard, Robert Jordan-Robichaud, DJ MacLean, Karen Peters-Newell, Tanya Jewells, Ian Johnson, and Jason MacLean who is the second vice-president, executive liaison. They do incredible good work and it's unfortunate that actually today, because I'm appearing at estimates, it actually bumped the meeting I was going to have with them downstairs, so we'll re-book that.
I would ask everyone to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)
MADAM CHAIRMAN: We welcome all of our visitors to the gallery today and hope you enjoy today's proceedings.
MS. MORE: Madam Chairman, regarding the issues that were raised by the honourable member - I actually had an opportunity last evening to speak in some detail on this as well, and trying to explain that some of these issues have actually been studied by advisory committees advising various Ministers of Labour, some of them have gone back 8 and 10 years. They're important, but they're complex issues. Some of them actually involve other stakeholder groups, so it's requiring a very slow process of consultation and discussion and partnership.
Are we happy that the outcome is uncertain, that the process has been so slow? No. But some of them are extremely, extremely difficult to deal with as a single stakeholder group, such as government is. So the bullying and harassment, I gave credit last evening to the NSGEU for the booklet they've developed and the anti-bullying workshops they are putting on across the province. We've actually encouraged our inspectors, at the invitation of the union, to attend these workshops.
I get the impression that through scheduling and other work commitments, the uptake has not been perhaps what everyone wanted to see, so I think we're going to be encouraging even more strongly that many of our staff take advantage of these workshops in the regions in which we have department regional offices, as well as within the metro area. They are top quality. I've had the opportunity myself to read through the manual. It's very relevant information and I think very, very important.
Certainly we need to improve our awareness in education on that issue. There are so many different fronts through which we need to work, and I'm sure that everyone appreciates, from the task force that was initiated by the Department of Education in partnership with a number of different groups in Nova Scotia dealing with children and youth, the complexity of the issue was certainly reinforced by the recommendations and length of time and the interest in groups and individuals coming out to various consultations and meetings to deal with that issue.
I think we're looking at taking a multi-prong approach, certainly reaffirming the value of the awareness and education piece that the NSGEU has become a model for across this province, looking at the possibility of modelling it ourselves within government, working, making sure it's a powerful part of our message to employers and employees across this province. So there are a number of different avenues that we're considering.
On the indoor air quality regulations - indoor air quality is not currently addressed under the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act and certainly if we proceed with the development of the Occupational Health Regulations, indoor air quality will, very strongly, be part of that consideration. We're considering forming a technical working group to address the Occupational Health Regulations and we would be addressing the Indoor Air Quality Regulations as part of that proposal. So I'm going to stop there.
I just want to say that I know we've asked time and time again for patience on the part of the labour movement in terms of the slow progress of some of these. They are important and we do take them seriously, but I think it is partly the complexity of the issue, the number of various stakeholders, and the shared responsibility that we all have for many of these issues.
In terms of the suggestion that we didn't respond to the letter, we actually did respond to their letter. As I said, if I wasn't here talking to you during estimates, I'd actually be downstairs meeting with the NSGEU group. We welcome them here to the House today and I thank you for raising those issues and I will be talking face-to-face with them on those very issues. Thank you.
MR. CHURCHILL: Sorry I kept you from that meeting, but at least we got to talk about some of these issues in the House. The NSGEU is a very important union in the province; it represents a lot of employees. I know the issues that they've brought forward here are important to their membership. I just hope that the government takes them into consideration and does take them seriously, as the minister said, as you move forward. Good luck in your meeting this afternoon.
We talked yesterday a bit about NSCAD as well. I know that NSCAD has formally responded to the Windsor report, I believe, and presented a business case to the department. To date, I don't think that the department has issued a response, so my question would be, when can we expect a response to the business case that has been presented by NSCAD? I know that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal had mentioned that an independent NSCAD is important, that the government is supportive of one. Can we be clear - is the government going to support and do what is needed to ensure that an independent liberal arts school will still exist in the province and when can we expect an official response to the Windsor report?
MS. MORE: I responded to the NSCAD Board of Governors last Monday, acknowledging the receipt of their sustainability report and also reminding them that some of the issues that had been identified as possible courses of action in the report are issues that are part of the upcoming memorandum of understanding with all universities and that discussion and decision making would result after the MOU treatment of those issues; and also suggesting that the issues that they had direct control over were certainly ones that they could consider and move forward on; and was also asking them to continue their discussions with possible affiliation with other universities in terms of if there are any cost savings.
To be clear, I will repeat what I said last night. This government fully supports NSCAD. Their financial challenges did not develop overnight; they developed over the last 10 years or so and they were significantly triggered by what I would consider - in hindsight, I think we would all consider their early move to the Port Campus as the start of their major financial difficulties. Certainly, the province over the past three years, we've invested $6 million additional new dollars to NSCAD and that's just not sustainable. They are very generously treated under the formula. They have the highest amount per fine arts student provided by the government of any art school across Canada. It's important that for the sustainability of that institution, that senior management, the board, the students, the support staff and the faculty all work together to ensure that their programming, staffing and the way they deliver their fine arts education fits within the amount of money that they are given through the operating grant through the province, but also through their own fundraising, their tuition, their donations and other sources of revenue.
We have a strong commitment to NSCAD, it's their 125th Anniversary, it's a very significant year for them and I think it's incumbent on all of us to work together to ensure its viability and possibly an opportunity to even strengthen what they do. They have an international reputation and that's certainly something everyone wants to safeguard. Like all partially and fully funded public bodies in Nova Scotia, they've been asked to look at operational efficiencies, they've been asked to look at how they provide the programming that they do and to see if there's any way they can still ensure quality but do it in a way that is affordable for the taxpayers of this province and for the students who attend NSCAD.
MR. CHURCHILL: Just a couple of questions on this. Just to be clear, I know the minister has said that the department and the government are being supportive of NSCAD. Does that mean that your department will ensure that NSCAD remains an independent fine arts institution? Or, does it mean something else? That's a key question that I know members of faculty, students and administrators have asked and that's the question I'll ask again today.
Also, the minister mentioned that the funding model does create a very generous scenario for NSCAD. However, in the Hogg report, I don't have a copy now, but I can get one, the Hogg report highlighted the fact that the way the bins were weighted for the funding formula, that NSCAD actually wasn't receiving the amount that was reflective of the actual costs of running those programs. Why is there a discrepancy between what the minister is saying and what the Hogg report identified in terms of funding for those fine arts programs?
MS. MORE: I believe that Bill Hogg had a short period of time and did sort of a snapshot picture of what the financial situation was at NSCAD. Since then we've had the benefit of the significant research and analysis by Dr. Tim O'Neill as well as by Howard Windsor. We have much more information. They were able to do jurisdictional scans and this enabled us to compare bin funding to other fine arts institutions across Canada and actually internationally as well.
I'm quite confident to say that the formula treats them well. They admit that their financial difficulties are mainly as the result of their payments because of the Port Campus. Just to remind you, at the time they were hoping to get one-third of the cost to develop and operate out of the Port Campus from the provincial government, one-third was expected from the federal government and one-third they were planning to raise through fundraising. It was only the provincial government that came through. They were being squeezed because of other circumstances, I believe, at the Granville Campus and so they sort of prematurely moved and the other two-thirds of the funding didn't materialize, only the provincial government funding came through. That was the start of their significant financial problems and they've been attempting to cope with the results of that.
I also want to mention too, the funding to NSCAD has increased 41 per cent since 2008. The amount of funding is not the problem, how it's being spent is the problem. Thank you.
MR. CHURCHILL: From my perspective there are some inherent problems that the current funding formula creates for institutions. I know a lot of people probably aren't aware of how that works and it's confusing for even those of us who have paid attention to it, but just quickly for anybody watching - no, I'm not even going to try to describe the funding formula, but I think one of the fundamental challenges with it is that funding is primarily based on enrolment numbers. Enrolment plays the biggest part in that funding formula when, in fact, costs to our post-secondary institutions are highly fixed and not dependent on enrolment.
So I think that that creates an inherent flaw in the current funding formula. I know I've heard from NSCAD that this has caused a problem for them but I've also heard from other institutions as well, you know, especially the smaller ones in the province that have bigger campuses but smaller student populations and for campuses like Acadia and St. F.X. that don't want to actually grow their populations by a significant amount, they want to keep them at a small number - around 3,000 to 4,000.
You know, we did a departmental briefing, I think last summer, and the minister said that this funding formula was something that the department was going to look at and review but to date I haven't heard that there has been a review or if it's actually happening or if there have been any outcomes because I think there are some challenges in the current funding formula and, in particular, as I mentioned, that it's based on a number that fluctuates when costs to institutions are based on fixed costs. So is the department still considering a review of that formula and, if so, when can we expect it to be conducted?
MS. MORE: Yes, certainly an important part of the memorandum of understanding is agreement on the part of government and all the universities to review the funding formula. Some of the questions you've raised are the very questions that have been discussed at the meetings in developing the MOU. There are challenges when a funding formula is based entirely on enrolment and, as you have clearly recognized, some universities have reached their optimum number and, you know, they have a niche market, they're very pleased with the numbers and their campus, their structure, their faculty and support systems support that number. So forcing universities to grow in order to get more funding doesn't make a lot of sense. So I would fully expect that any future funding formula would recognize both those basic operational costs and also reflect enrolment.
Now, it's interesting, Ontario has gone through a significant review of post-secondary education and I believe their funding formula actually recognizes, you know, sort of specialization of programming within universities. I think it's an attempt to recognize that perhaps there doesn't need to be duplication of all programming across the various universities. There may be some basic entry level courses that we want to make regionally available, or they do, but certainly they've encouraged their universities, through their funding, to specialize in certain areas so that throughout the province students have access to those areas of learning. Whether or not that becomes part of our discussion, I don't know but there are other models of funding formulae within Canada even that I'm sure the group is going to be taking a look at.
MR. CHURCHILL: One more quick question on NSCAD before I move on. How much time do we have left, Madam Chairman?
MADAM CHAIRMAN: You have roughly 17 minutes.
MR. CHURCHILL: Thank you very much. I know in the response to the Windsor report from NSCAD, the administration laid out some specific recommendations around staff layoffs and increased fees to students. Are those measures that the department is going to endorse?
MS. MORE: That's one of the discussion's issues that I was suggesting would be part of the broader discussions under the MOU. In my response to NSCAD it's not an area that I gave a definite direction or it's something that I think we're going to have to look at down the road.
Certainly in terms of staffing it's important that for long-term cost savings, if there are any changes in staffing it should really reflect program delivery. Sometimes people think if we're going to give early retirement packages, severance or whatever, then we'll hire younger, less experienced instructors or professors and it will be cheaper. But when you go through the cycle, that cost saving only lasts a few years until those instructors and facility are at the high end of their pay scale as well. That's not the kind of innovation and transformation that we're looking for, so those discussions are going to be held at a broader level during the memorandum of understanding and it will be very interesting to hear the outcome.
MR. CHURCHILL: Again, I mean the fear is that there is just going to be undue cost pressures put onto students, their parents and their families at a time when we want to be making education more affordable. So again, I don't think this is just going to be an issue with NSCAD, as we have seen today with Dalhousie's announcements. Universities with these deep cuts to the post-secondary system are going to be looking at other ways of increasing their revenues and the only place they can go is to students and their families. That's something that we're going to have to pay attention to and my hope is that the costs don't become so exorbitant that students can't afford the day-to-day life of attending a university.
I know that the Minister of Finance, in particular, talked about the need to cut costs in various departments. So where we have seen $75 million cut out of the core funding of our universities and colleges, just a very direct question, what costs have been reduced in the Department of Labour and Advanced Education?
MS. MORE: We've been asked to do five per cent reductions over three years, so last year we absorbed our three per cent, this year we're looking at another one per cent reduction, and next year we're projecting that we'll be able to reduce by one per cent.
MR. CHURCHILL: Could the minister elaborate on where those cuts are happening within the department because I know that if you look in the estimates, the Communications line item under Administration, that went up by 28 per cent. So if the minister could provide us with some specific reductions that have been done in the department and explain why the Communications line has gone up by 28 per cent, that would be appreciated.
MS. MORE: You are correct. At the same time that we are doing these reductions we are doing major restructuring of our department. You may remember that, actually, one of the initial restructuring critical periods was last year and so we were still in the process of transferring and reallocating personnel and operational budgets from other departments. So, for example, you mentioned communications. It appears in the estimates as though it has gone up $162,000 and the reason is that we consolidated the communications budget from the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and from Immigration into the main Communications team at the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. So that's a reallocation from another budget into our administration budget.
We also transferred $281,000 from Education and that included three FTEs and operating costs for the new Student Assistance Division. If you'll remember, Higher Education was part of the Department of Education previously before it joined Labour. We also did a computer refresh and so that accounts for an increase of $130,000. Also, it reflects a reduction of $40,000 because now we only have two injured worker associations in the province that we fund although I have to point out that we've actually given them, each of the two, more money than had been the average grant to the three. There's mitigation with the Office of the Fire Marshal. So that's a reduction of $37,000.
So when you combine those together, it actually does show an increase in administration of 55 per cent estimate to estimate over last year and that's because, again as I said, of the transfer and reallocation of budgets and staff from other departments into ours. I just want to mention, we've only increased one new full-time equivalent this year and that actually is my executive assistant and that's because before I had two departments, Labour and Workforce Development and Education, and only one assistant. The executive assistant showed up under the Education budget so now that I have an assistant at Labour and Advanced Education, that shows as a new FTE when it's actually the same position.
MR. CHURCHILL: I know we're running out of time and the minister would like a couple of minutes to say a few final words so I'll try to be brief here. Also in the budget lines, the safety line item was 12 per cent under-spent, I'll ask why that was, and also the overall budget for universities and colleges was down 62 per cent which seems significant. We know how much was cut from universities over the last few years; there has been about $75 million. We don't know how much has been cut from the college system. So why is the safety line item down 10 per cent and, more importantly, the 62 per cent that is in the line for universities and colleges, why is it down so much and how much have we cut from our colleges in core funding?
So when we answer those questions, it's not about how much has been put into special programming or anything like that when it comes to colleges but at 62 per cent, we know $75 million of that is for universities, how much is reflected being cut from the college education system as well, and why is it down 62 per cent?
MS. MORE: The first reference to the university, that accounts for a change in the accounting methods for the prepayments that we made to NSCAD and to Acadia University, so it reflects as a decrease but it's actually just a change in the year that we accounted for that, and that was on the advice of the Auditor General. That's the university payment. In terms of the Safety Council, Occupational Health and Safety, that decrease is attributed to two things, reduction in travel and reduction in staffing.
MR. CHURCHILL: Sorry, just help me wrap my head around this 62 per cent decrease in funding to universities and colleges. What exactly does that reflect and how much money has been taken out of the core funding to our college system? Sixty-two per cent is a very significant amount, for one looking at the budget to see a 62 per cent decrease in funding to universities and colleges it seems a bit worrisome. So what exactly does that reflect and how much money has been taken in cash terms out of core funding for colleges.
MS. MORE: I think it might be helpful just, it's only, perhaps, six or seven lines to go through the section on Assistance to Universities. So the estimate for 2011-12 was $384,792,000. Now the estimate for this budget is $347,619,000, and that difference is the prepayment and which year it is accounted for.
The other line items under that, though, $35.7 million was the prepayment to Acadia and to NSCAD, and the prepayment was charged to the 2011-12 year. There is also a decrease of $4.6 million, that reflected the KIP funding from the federal government that was available in 2011-12 but that funding program from the federal government has stopped so it wasn't available in 2012-13 so it shows a reduction of $4.6 million.
The three per cent decrease in operating grant from the province is reflected in the $10.4 million reduction. That's what we reduced in terms of the operating grants to universities, $10.4 million. We added in the Excellence and Innovation Program which is going to be $25 million over three years but we have $13.6 million reflected in this year's budget, so that accounts for the difference.
MR. CHURCHILL: I know we're reaching the end of our time here but I want to get one more question in. The $25 million Excellence and Innovation fund for universities, which was announced with the recent MOU. Are universities applying for those funds, is that how it works? Have you received any applications and how much of that money is expected to roll out in this fiscal year?
MS. MORE: Yes, that $25 million, we've allocated $13.6 million for this budget. We've had one application period, I think there have been three, sort of, feasibility studies that most of the universities are working on that have been funded and there is going to be other application periods this year. We are working with the university presidents to clarify the criteria around it and the priorities but that funding is being sent out to the universities based on the best business proposals that they apply for.
MR. CHURCHILL: I guess we're running out of time. If the minister would like to say some quick words in closing, I would be happy to give the floor to her.
MADAM CHAIRMAN: No. You have 20 seconds.
MR. CHURCHILL: How much of the budget was allocated to the LMRC and how much did the FCA consultations cost the department?
MS. MORE: We don't have that information but certainly we can get it for you. It was absorbed within the operational costs of the department but I'm certain we can break out any invoices for hotel or food et cetera.
MADAM CHAIRMAN: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.
MR. KEITH BAIN: I realize I do not have a great deal of time here, but through you, Madam Chairman, one question we'll have time for. My question to the minister is concerning Workers' Compensation. I'm wondering if the department is planning a policy change that would increase the death claim benefit and if so by how much?
MS. MORE: I had the opportunity to meet within the last couple of weeks with the Board of Directors of the Workers' Compensation Board. We had a very general discussion on their concern over their unfunded liability. There are a lot of stakeholder groups that want lower premiums, better benefits. There is talk about universal coverage, there are all kinds of areas of possible future consideration for the WCB and working with government.
Because of the seriousness of the unfunded liability, there has been some reluctance to make any changes at all. Employers and employees and other stakeholder groups have, up to this point, been relatively content. We have to focus on the unfunded liability and if you've read the annual report for last year, you'll know that I think it was something like $600 million, it has gone up another $60 million because of the market.
The board is looking carefully at what they can do to reduce the unfunded liability and whether or not they can develop perhaps a kind of long-term plan or strategy to answer some of the unmet needs of both employers and employees and other stakeholders. They're in the very preliminary stages of that discussion and certainly we will await with interest an opportunity to continue the discussion with them but also their recommendations and advice as to how they can do it in a way that minimizes any negative impacts on businesses and at the same time recognizes that injured workers deserve fair compensation because they're living off their benefits.
It's a very sensitive area, they are taking it very seriously. Each of the members of the board of directors was able to speak from their perspective and, as you know, they represent both employees and employers. I was very struck by the caring and the commitment that they have to represent injured workers and employers in this province. I have full confidence they are taking this very seriously. I thank you for that question.
MR. BAIN: I realize I only have one minute left. I think what I'll do is provide the minister the opportunity to have some closing remarks.
MS. MORE: Before I read the resolutions I just want to thank the staff who have joined me here on the floor, Sandra McKenzie and Laurie Bennett. As well we have been joined over the past two days by a significant number of directors from the department who have been adding support from the gallery in terms of providing answers and encouragement and I want to thank them. In fact I'm going to ask them, I haven't got time to name them all, could you stand please and I would like my colleagues to recognize their tremendous work. (Applause.)
I have to say that I feel particularly blessed in that . . .
MADAM CHAIRMAN: Order, please. The time allotted for consideration of Supply has elapsed. That concludes our 40 hours of estimates, thank you for your participation in the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.
The honourable Chairman of the Subcommittee on Supply to report on the subcommittee.
MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Supply, I'm pleased to report that the Subcommittee on Supply has met for the time allotted to it and considered the various estimates assigned to it.
MADAM CHAIRMAN: Shall all remaining resolutions carry?
There has been a request for a recorded vote.
Ring the bells. Call in the members.
[The Division bells were rung.]
MADAM CHAIRMAN: Order, please. The Committee of the Whole House on Supply will come to order.
The motion is that the remaining resolutions shall carry.
Are the Whips satisfied?
[The Clerk calls the roll.]
Mr. Landry Mr. Gaudet
Ms. More Mr. Glavine
Mr. Estabrooks Ms. Whalen
Ms. Peterson-Rafuse Mr. Samson
Mr. Corbett Mr. d'Entremont
Mr. Steele Mr. Baillie
Ms. Maureen MacDonald Mr. Porter
Mr. Paris Mr. Orrell
Ms. Jennex Mr. Younger
Mr. MacDonell Ms. Regan
Mr. Belliveau Mr. Zinck
Mr. Preyra Mr. Theriault
Ms. Zann Mr. Churchill
THE CLERK: For, 28. Against, 13.
MADAM CHAIRMAN: The motion is carried.
There has been a request for an introduction.
The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.
MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Madam Chairman, today is a day for visitors from St. Catherine's School, a French immersion school located in my constituency, and I would like the members of the House to recognize in the gallery opposite a group of 25 students who are accompanied by both parents and grandparents. There's Cathy Murphy, Sharon Akhanyimya, Robin Dorey, Mat Lumley, Jane and Wilson Graham and their teacher, Jill Pike. I would ask the members of the Legislature to join me in wishing them bien venue and welcome to these students. (Applause)
MADAM CHAIRMAN: We welcome all of our guests in the gallery today and we know that you've been patient in regard to your visit today so we hope that you've enjoyed your day.
The honourable Government House Leader.
HON. FRANK CORBETT: Madam Chairman, I move that the Committee of the Whole House on Supply do now rise and report these estimates.
MADAM CHAIRMAN: The motion is carried.
[The committee adjourned at 12:23 p.m.]