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October 10, 2003



Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

Published by Order of the Legislature by Hansard Reporting Services and printed by the Queen's Printer.

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First Session


Res. 326, Vet. Technicians Wk. (10/12-10/18/03) - Recognize,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 959
Vote - Affirmative 960
Res. 327, Educ. - Active Readers Prog.: Teachers - Efforts Thank,
Hon. J. Muir 960
Vote - Affirmative 961
Res. 328, Vol. Fire Serv. Recognition Day (10/12/03): Firefighters -
Thank, Mr. K. Morash 961
Vote - Affirmative 962
Res. 329, Annis, James: Atomic Energy of Can. Scholarship - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Muir 962
Vote - Affirmative 962
Res. 330, Snider, Steve - IBTTA Bd. of Directors: Appt. - Congrats.,
(by Hon. A. MacIsaac), Hon. E. Fage 963
Vote - Affirmative 963
Res. 331, Justice - Sunday Shopping (10/04/03): Work Refusal -
Penalty Remove, Mr. K. Deveaux 963
Vote - Affirmative 964
Res. 332, Econ. Dev. - C.B. & Cent. N.S. Railway: Plan -
Lack Acknowledge, Mr. Manning MacDonald 964
Res. 333, Polar Air Cargo: Hfx. Airport Auth. Customer - Welcome,
Mr. G. Hines 965
Vote - Affirmative 966
Res. 334, Bay Rd. FD - Hurricane Juan Aftermath: Members - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 966
Vote - Affirmative 966
Res. 335, Sports - Hfx. Dunbrack Girls Soccer Team (Under-14):
Tide Cup - Participation, Ms. D. Whalen 966
Vote - Affirmative 967
Res. 336, Deveau, Michael: Nat'l. Math. League Contest - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Parent 967
Vote - Affirmative 968
Res. 337, Hfx. West HS - Sch. Yr.: Best Wishes - Extend,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 968
Vote - Affirmative 969
Res. 338, Lynk, Brian: Bravery - Applaud, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 969
Vote - Affirmative 969
Res. 339, Baird, Jared: Track & Field Efforts - Recognize, Hon. J. Muir 969
Vote - Affirmative 970
Res. 340, Hurricane Juan - Gov't. (N.S.): Residents - Assistance Provide,
Ms. M. More 970
Res. 341, McKay, Colin - Lake Echo Commun.: Service - Honour,
Mr. K. Colwell 971
Vote - Affirmative 972
Res. 342, Hurricane Juan - State of Emergency (10/29/03): Employees -
IWK Fairness Recognize, Mr. G. Gosse 972
Vote - Affirmative 972
Res. 343, St. Mary's Anglican Church (Aylesford) -Turkey Dinner:
Anniv. (100th) - Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 972
Vote - Affirmative 973
Res. 344, Boularderie Elem. Sch.: Student Gov't. Reps. - Congrats.,
Mr. Gerald Sampson 973
Vote - Affirmative 974
Res. 345, Longmire, Barb/Land, Chris: IWK Fundraising - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 974
Vote - Affirmative 974
Res. 346, Sports - Routledge, Alan/Hfx. Dunbrack Soccer Team
(Under-14): Tide Cup - Participation, Ms. D. Whalen 975
Vote - Affirmative 975
Res. 347, Sawler, Roxanne - Lake Echo Commun.: Service - Honour,
Mr. K. Colwell 975
Vote - Affirmative 976
Res. 348, Health - Strait Richmond ER: Richmond Co. Residents -
Perseverance Recognize, (by Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay)),
Mr. Michel Samson 976
Res. 349, Agric. & Fish. - Hurricane Juan Aftermath: Fisherman -
Gov't. (N.S.) Assist, Mr. H. Theriault 977
Vote - Affirmative 977
Res. 350, Hfx. Fairview MLA - Party Preference: Demonstration -
Acknowledge, (by Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay)),
Mr. Michel Samson 978
Mr. Gerald Sampson 979
Mr. W. Dooks 986
Ms. M. More 991
Ms. D. Whalen 998
Econ. Dev.: Hurricane Juan - Disaster Relief Program, Hon. E. Fage 1010
Ms. D. Whalen 1017
Adjourned debate 1023
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 14th at 2:00 p.m. 1024
Res. 351, MacDonald, Glenda & Ozzie: Dog Show Performance -
Congrats., Hon. R. Hurlburt 1025
Res. 352, Metro C.B. Jr. Chamber of Comm.: Awards - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 1025
Res. 353, Cape North Commun. Museum - Opening: Project Mgr./Team -
Congrats., Hon. Rodney MacDonald 1026

[Page 959]


Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Session

9:00 A.M.


Hon. Murray Scott


Mr. James DeWolfe, Ms. Joan Massey, Mr. Russell MacKinnon

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We will begin the daily routine.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.


HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:


[Page 960]

Whereas animal health and registered veterinary technologists have practiced in Canada for over 30 years as valuable professionals in the field of animal health and veterinary medicine; and

Whereas the number of veterinary technicians and membership in the Eastern Veterinary Technicians' Association in Nova Scotia continues to grow; and

Whereas other Canadian provinces have recognized veterinary technicians as important team players in animal health as part of a growing movement to honour the vital role of the profession;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize October 12th to October 18th as Veterinary Technicians Week in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.


HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Hurricane Juan shut down schools in Halifax Chignecto and other school boards in the province; and

Whereas while their schools were closed and their homes were without power or even water, 80 teachers from across the province gathered in Dartmouth, as planned, and spent three days preparing to lead the rollout of our Active Readers Program for Grade 8 students; and

Whereas these teachers went above and beyond the call of duty last week to keep this program moving forward and to help young Nova Scotians become stronger readers;

[Page 961]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Nova Scotia's teachers for their tremendous support and work on programs that are helping students excel at reading and writing.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.


MR. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Governor in Council has designated Sunday, October 12th as Volunteer Fire Service Recognition Day; and

Whereas the Volunteer Fire Service now offers many services that enhance public safety throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas more than 7,500 Nova Scotians freely give their time to train for and respond to a broad range of emergencies as members of the Volunteer Fire Service;

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank Nova Scotia Volunteer Fire Service and urge all Nova Scotians to take a moment this Sunday, to say thank you to a volunteer firefighter.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 962]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.


HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas James Annis of Annapolis County, who enrolled in the Heavy Duty Equipment Repair diploma program at the Nova Scotia Community College, was awarded the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited GED Scholarship Award; and

Whereas the $1,000 scholarship award is granted to a GED recipient who is enrolled in a full-time science or math studies program at a Nova Scotia post-secondary institution; and

Whereas the purpose of the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited scholarship is to encourage and assist GED recipients in pursuing a post secondary education;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate James Annis, on receiving the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited scholarship and wish him success as he pursues his education and career.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

[Page 963]


HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Minister of Economic Development, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Steve Snider has recently received a prestigious appointment; and

Whereas the general manager of the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission has been named to the Board of Directors of the International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association for a four-year term, which will commence January 1, 2004; and

Whereas the worldwide affiliation consists of toll operators, government agencies, and service providers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Steve Snider on his appointment to the esteemed post to the Board of Directors of the International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association - their gain is our loss.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.



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


MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

[Page 964]

Whereas stores were permitted to open on Sunday, October 4th, so victims of Hurricane Juan could buy food and other essentials; and

Whereas many stores did not open because owners and managers respected the right of employees to decline Sunday work, especially when so many lacked power and water; and

Whereas the Sunday opening was done in such haste that no steps were taken to protect employees who refused to work on October 4th;

Therefore be it resolved that this House affirms its intention that no employee shall suffer the loss of their job or any other penalty because they refused to work on Sunday, October 4th, and urges store owners to immediately reverse any such retribution that may have taken place.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.


MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the member for Cape Breton North was loud in his contention that the railway section of the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia rail line had a plan; and

Whereas the government has been silent on this issue since the former Minister of Economic Development assured this House that he saved the rail line; and

Whereas Cape Bretoners now know that the member for Cape Breton North had no plan to save the railway, and that it was all pre-election rhetoric to get the member re-elected;

[Page 965]

Therefore be it resolved that all members acknowledge the fact that the member for Cape Breton North and the government have no plan to save the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia rail line.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

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


MR. GARY HINES: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Maritimes seafood exporters now have another dedicated air-cargo option to get their product to European markets; and

Whereas Polar Air Cargo, Inc. of Long Beach, California, has started a service from Halifax to Liege, Belgium that will have 25 tonnes of capacity reserved for the weekly Halifax stop of its 747 freighter; and

Whereas Polar Air will fly lobster and other Nova Scotia seafood into the central European airport that has connections to the Middle East and Asia in addition to a variety of European markets;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge another customer of the Halifax International Airport Authority and welcome Polar Air Cargo, Inc. to Nova Scotia, and wish them much success as they expand their business into the province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 966]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.


MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Bay Road Fire Department in Lewis Lake is made up of volunteers from our community; and

Whereas these volunteers have shown leadership and dedication for many years in our growing area; and

Whereas in the aftermath of Hurricane Juan, the fire hall in Lewis Lake was open and ready to assist residents through this crisis;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the members of the Bay Road Fire Department for their response to Hurricane Juan and thank them for their many years of service to the community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.


MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

[Page 967]

Whereas the Halifax Dunbrack under-14 girls soccer team will play at the Tide Cup Under-14 National Soccer Club Championships; and

Whereas this weekend, their head coach, Roxanne Ashe will lead them as they play against teams from across Canada at the world-class Mainland Common Facility in Clayton Park; and

Whereas Ms. Ashe has gone to eight club nationals with Nova Scotia, including last year when the team won a bronze medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members wish the Halifax Dunbrack under-14 girls soccer team and their head coach the best of luck at the nationals this weekend.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.


MR. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the love of mathematics and science has won a Kentville student significant provincial recognition; and

Whereas Kings County Academy middle school student Michael Deveau has placed first in Nova Scotia in the Canadian National Mathematics League's annual math contest; and

Whereas the Grade 6 student scored 36 out of 40 in the national competition making him the top scorer in the province and tying him for first place among all those who competed from the Maritimes;

[Page 968]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating Michael Deveau on his outstanding showing at the National Mathematics League's annual math contest and wish him much success in future mathematic and scientific endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice for this obviously good Tory.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

[9:15 a.m.]


MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas high school students from the Prospect Road communities now attend Halifax West High School; and

Whereas these students and their many talents will make a positive addition to this high school; and

Whereas Principal Gordon Young and his teaching staff have made these students feel welcome at the new Halifax West;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend best wishes for a successful school year to all of the students, staff and parents of Halifax West High School.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 969]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.


MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Brian Lynk and his band, West Avenue, from Glace Bay have achieved success in the music world; and

Whereas today Q104 radio played West Avenue's song, The Path, on their morning show; and

Whereas Brian is currently in hospital here in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud Brian's bravery, congratulate him and his band on the airing of their song, and extend best wishes for safe travel to all those friends and family visiting Brian from Glace Bay and beyond.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.


HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

[Page 970]

Whereas Jared Baird of Truro recently set a new provincial midget record in the javelin with a throw of 52.52 metres, and also was selected to Nova Scotia's team for the Royal Canadian Legion Track and Field Championships in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario; and

Whereas Jared was part of Nova Scotia's team which captured 25 medals, four better than Nova Scotia's previous best of 21 in 1991; and

Whereas Jared has a keen interest in track and field, exemplified by his record-setting performance in the javelin throw;

Therefore be it resolved that the efforts of Truro's Jared Baird are recognized and applauded by members of this House of Assembly, while wishing him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.


MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Prince Edward Island has already established an emergency assistance fund that is helping residents of that province recover from Hurricane Juan; and

Whereas this Conservative Government has not yet provided emergency assistance for people who don't have adequate food, a warm, safe place to live, or a way to make their living because of Hurricane Juan; and

Whereas this government's response to evidence of the urgent needs was a late afternoon announcement that it will soon start collecting donations rather than an offer of immediate assistance;

[Page 971]

Therefore be it resolved that this government should immediately provide emergency assistance for everyone who cannot afford enough food, who have no safe, warm place to live, or who cannot earn their livelihood because of Hurricane Juan's destruction.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.


MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Colin McKay started volunteering with the Lake Echo RCMP Community Office in 1997; and

Whereas Mr. McKay assisted in forming the Citizens on Patrol in our community and was one of the original members of the Victim Services Unit when it was founded in 1991; and

Whereas Colin first started working with the RCMP in 1991, and retired from the Citizens on Patrol in June of this year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House honour Colin McKay for his dedicated service to the community of Lake Echo and its residents.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

[Page 972]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.


MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the IWK Health Centre informed its employees on September 30th, in the wake of Hurricane Juan and the HRM state of emergency, that only those who failed to report for scheduled daytime shifts would be paid; and

Whereas on October 9th the IWK changed this policy to include those who were unable to report for evening shifts on Monday, September 29th; and

Whereas this is consistent with the policy implemented by the rest of the Capital District Health Authority;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the IWK's efforts to be fair to all its employees in the wake of this natural disaster.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.


MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas St. Mary's Anglican parish located in Aylesford is one of the oldest church communities in Canada, having been established in 1790; and

[Page 973]

Whereas the church community has met many challenges to improve the church and parish hall through fundraising events; and

Whereas the Anglican parish held its 100th annual turkey dinner on October 4th;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate the parishioners and organizers on their 100th annual turkey dinner held at St. Mary's Anglican Church in Aylesford.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.


MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Boularderie Elementary School graduated numerous students who went on to Sydney Mines Junior High School and T.L. Sullivan Junior High School; and

Whereas four of these students succeeded in becoming student government representatives and one becoming an alternate, all beginning their political careers, which was announced to me by one of the students who is my grandson; and

Whereas this is a top-notch example of the value of rural schools in the educational system of this province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate the principal and staff and the former students of Boularderie Elementary School on their accomplishments of becoming student government representatives.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 974]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.


MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas campaign captain Barb Longmire and Chris Land helped organize a Tree of Life in Digby County; and

Whereas this Tree of Life at Shoppers Drug Mart raised close to $6,000 to help the IWK-Grace Hospital in Halifax; and

Whereas this money will help the many children across the Maritimes and in Digby County who must regularly visit the children's hospital;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank Barb Longmire and Chris Land on their fundraising efforts for the IWK-Grace Hospital.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

[Page 975]


MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Alan Routledge is the head coach of the Halifax Dunbrack under-14 boys soccer team; and

Whereas Mr. Routledge will lead his team in the Tide Cup Under 14 National Soccer Club Championships being held in Clayton Park this weekend; and

Whereas Mr. Routledge has also played at the nationals, twice at the senior club level and once with the Saint Mary's Huskies at the CIS finals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their best wishes to Alan Routledge and the Halifax Dunbrack under-14 boys soccer team as they compete at the nationals this weekend.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.


MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Roxanne Sawler started with the Lake Echo RCMP Citizens on Patrol in 1999; and

Whereas Ms. Sawler retired in February at the same time her husband, Gary, did when he became ill; and

[Page 976]

Whereas Roxanne is a great person and has added a great level of experience to the Citizens on Patrol;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House honour Roxanne Sawler for her years of dedicated service to the community of Lake Echo and its residents.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.


MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honouable member for Richmond, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas today marks the first day in 18 straight days where the emergency room at the Strait Richmond Hospital will be open during the weekday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and

Whereas a physician shortage and physician vacation have been the reasons for the weekday emergency room closure;

Whereas for the past 18 days, the residents of Richmond County have once again been familiarized with the fact that the Conservative Government does not do enough to protect the health and safety of the people in the Strait area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House recognize the perseverance of the residents of Richmond County in dealing once again with the Conservative Government's neglect of the health care system.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 977]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.


MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in the aftermath of Hurricane Juan, many Nova Scotian fishermen are looking toward their government for help; and

Whereas there was private disaster relief delivered to fisherman yesterday in the form of donated fishing gear; and

Whereas this government has yet to follow the lead shown by the generosity of these West Nova fishermen;

Therefore be it resolved that all members acknowledge the generosity of the West Nova fishermen and encourage this government to help the fishermen who were affected by Hurricane Juan.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[Page 978]


MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Richmond, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the member for Halifax Fairview should be commended for his debate Wednesday night as he defended the honourable Premier; and

Whereas he clearly demonstrated what Party he truly represents when he thought it appalling that a member in the House should speak his mind in a democratic society; and

Whereas if the member really wants to defend the Premier he should do it from the other side of the House;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the member for Halifax Fairview on showing his true Party preference as he so faithfully defended the honourable Premier.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 979]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be now resumed.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes, you have approximately 41 minutes.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, is it necessary that I use the 41 minutes (Interruption) I ask that, because of my newness in the House and I see the absence of the honourable member for Inverness.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Being a new member, the honourable member may not realize that you are now allowed to either indicate the absence or presence of a member in the House. But the honourable member has 41 minutes and maybe he should get on with his debate before the time lapses.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes has the floor.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, if my memory serves me correctly, I finished off in the vicinity of the lady who had composed a song on my behalf for my success. (Interruption) Yes, I did offer to sing the song with the honourable members who were interested, if they would sing along with me and I would bring the guitar, at the permission of the Speaker, of course. Mrs. Cheryl Canning from Middle River, a very sensitive woman who thought that I had put my heart and soul into the campaign and she wrote a song according to that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Let's hear it.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Well, I'll sing alto if you guys will sing also. (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker, I did touch on Evelyn and Flora Canning from Midway Motors; and Darren Canning, the husband, and Cheryl, his wife, who wrote the song. I move now to Washabuck to a very familiar name in Liberal circles, Vincent W. MacLean from Washabuck and his wife Charlotte, who, during my campaign, campaigned with me, fed me, gave me every bit of advice that I could ever want for the area.

I move into Iona, Dan MacNeil and Liz, a fellow Councillor from Victoria County who came on board and really likes to take an apolitical role but because of my performance as warden and councillor, thought that I would be an okay person to support and he has done that with his friendship and support.

[Page 980]

[9:30 a.m.]

Little Narrows. D.W. Matheson, the man we all call "The Bear", kind of stepped up to the plate and gave me a slap on the back and some advice on what to do and what not to do. Elaine MacNeil from Grand Narrows did the same thing and came on board to give me a hand.

Over to Seal Island - no, I'm sorry, not Seal Island, that's too close to my home. Christmas Island, Cecil MacLellan, a big strapping young man who runs the sawmill there and has his finger on the pulse of that community, was very successful in helping me see the right people at the right place and time.

I move down into Ironville. Donnie V. MacNeil, a gentleman who was on the former executive of Cape Breton The Lakes and came on board with me to give me all his support with signs and campaigning.

In Boisdale, Jim O'Handley and Donna Warren. Now Donna Warren, Mr. Speaker, I have to refer to that lady as the bionic woman because she has had a hip replaced, a knee replaced and I think she's going in for further surgery, yet that woman campaigned with me, and hung in as long as (Interruption) That was previously years ago in a former (Interruption) Thank you, sir.

I will move on from the bionic woman to Bill Nicholson, the man who seconded my nomination, an old school buddy of mine who I probably hadn't seen for 30 years and he stepped up to the plate. We picked up where we left off back in high school.

Kenny Jardine, a man with his own business down in Leitches Creek. He dropped everything he was doing and came out and campaigned with me.

The fire chief from Scotch Lake, Danny MacCormic, he's the Fire Chief in Georges River, but he lives in Scotch Lake and took me around to campaign. His Deputy Chief, Donnie Jessome, who lives in the Georges River area up in Staney Brae, but Donnie, like I said, through his shift work dropped everything and gave me a hand.

I campaigned the new area of Sunrise Drive with a gentleman by the name of Robert Hillman, who actually lives in Florence, doesn't even live in my riding, but was a true supporter and came on board and campaigned diligently with me, day in and day out.

Then I move to my "diamond in the rough" Boularderie Island, where I live, just across the Seal Island Bridge. A long-standing friend and supporter of mine, Joyce Trenholm, campaigned with me in the Boularderie area and gave me a lot of political advice, being in the political realm for a long time. Vince and Brenda MacNeil helped me tremendously. Mark and Gina Ryan came on board with everything from signs, to campaigning, to the

[Page 981]

nomination for the election itself. Ann Marie MacInnis, a long-time personal friend and supporter. An old buddy of mine, Donnie Patterson, I don't want to hear "how old" again this time, Mr. Speaker, from the gentleman across the way.

Frenchvale, Mary and "Big" Harold MacKinnon, two true supporters. You can't go to a Liberal function that they aren't there and they swung their support behind me, 100 per cent.

In the Bras d'Or area, "Big" Jake Lynk and his wife, Martha, who helped me tremendously. It seems when you are in need, these people just come out of the woodwork, true country people and they are true supporters.

Adam MacLean and his wife, Michelle, from Millville. I suppose it would be okay to refer to him as the "gorilla" because that's what I call him on friendly terms, Mr. Speaker, just one of these hard-working, knock down, drag-em-out type of guys, who doesn't give in and if you have his support, it's all the way. Irene and Ed Ross, Irene was my official agent and still continues to do the paperwork and the tidying up, and is still working on my behalf and I'm proud to have them on board.

If I go up around the Boularderie Island, up around Kempt Head, Gordon and Norma Patterson, who are now suffering a lot of health problems but still, were there for me in my time of need and helped me tremendously. Brenda and Duncan MacLeod, they are neighbours up there, who did everything they possibly could to support me.

In Ross Ferry, Dennis and Catherine Sutton, an old retired RCMP fellow, I always refer to him as a real raw-boned Newfoundlander. He did it his way when he retired and they asked him how he enjoyed his career with the RCMP, he kind of tucked up his belt, drew in this breath and said, well I guess I was kind of like Frank Sinatra, I did it my way. And that was the way he did it, the old-fashioned way but he got the job done correctly.

Mr. Speaker, Fire Chief Barry Campbell from Ross Ferry and his girlfriend Debbie MacLean campaigned and brought new members to help me out in my campaign. Over on South Side Boularderie, Roddie and Catherine MacIntyre, lifelong friends - Roddie and I were first introduced to one another way back when we were 15 and had our first game of baseball. You hear the song playing, baseball with sawmill slabs, well, that's what we played with back then. That's before the time of most of the opposite members.

Wagmatcook First Nations, Councillor Norman Bernard and former Chief Mary Louise Bernard - people who are extremely sincere. If they support you, they support you. If they don't, they tell you. They don't go behind your back. Mr. Speaker, I have their support and I am eternally grateful to those people for how they've believed in me and supported me. I can't say enough about them. I will expand a little further on the committee that we have formed.

[Page 982]

Mr. Speaker, I want to just touch on a few issues in my area. I know, surely, there are people there who I've forgotten or I've forgotten to mention, it's a risk you always take, but there again, I'm only human, like anyone else. The issues - I want to touch on the sewage disposal sites in around Hunters Mountain and Crowdis Mountain. I didn't bring that before the House here, because there were complaints lodged and one of the companies is now before the courts. I thought that that's best left to the Department of Environment and Labour, which is handling it, and leave it in the court system where it belongs. If anybody has made any rules and regulations that have been contravened, I'm sure the departments will look after them. I believe in allowing the departments to do their job.

Well, I will expand on it a little bit. What about if these companies got thoroughly disgusted and just said, the heck with it, I can't stand this, and pulled out? Where would this stuff go? There has to be a balance. It has to be deposited somewhere and controlled, and at the same time it's almost a necessary evil, it has to go somewhere. There are rules and regulations, and I would just like to see that they're enforced, Mr. Speaker. From what I understand now, they are following the proper course.

I would like to touch on an area of the Trans Canada Highway that I will be bringing forward with the Department of Transportation and Public Works, it's to see if I can have eliminated the controlled access portion on the Trans Canada Highway in the area of South Haven, just around the base of Kellys Mountain. It's been a controlled access highway since 1958, and it has eliminated economic development in that area. There was a strong government supporter of the day, who had a business there and requested that. It was put in place but it's kind of a protectionist thing because he was the only business in the area - it protected him but he has long since gone and any further development is restricted in that area because it's a controlled access highway. So I will be bringing that issue forward with the Department of Transportation and Public Works.

I want to talk about the RCMP community office in the Boularderie School. We're very fortunate we have the only RCMP community office located within a school in the Province of Nova Scotia. The office is right in the elementary school, the police officers are there, they see the officer during the day, the officer teaches the DARE Program, Drug Awareness Resistance Education. That officer, Constable Glynis Thomas also participates with the children in the karate program that we've started in the Boularderie School for the children, not to make bullies out of them but to stop the bullying, to give the kids some self-confidence, self-assurance and self-respect, that they can either defend themselves if they have to, but if the kids respect one another, they don't bully one another. That program is going over really well.

To complement Constable Thomas, there is new sergeant in the Baddeck office, Sergeant Mark Fury. He is a community-minded police officer, who gives the full support to that position. Not to say that the other persons prior to it didn't do that, but it just that that seems to be his forte. The gentleman who was before, Sergeant Hoss MacKenzie, he has

[Page 983]

gone on to do an excellent job on Highway Patrol. He is now in charge of Highway Patrol of all of Cape Breton. He has officers like Constable Mike Tole and Constable Barry Forest, and they're doing an excellent job, their presence is well felt and you can see the difference in the traffic in our area.

Mr. Speaker, I introduced a resolution this morning, talking about the teachers of Boularderie Elementary School. I have to highlight one teacher in particular who I've always had a real good relationship with because she's from an area of the Northside where I was originally from, Betty Farrell. As kids, there's always segments in your community and we as children in North Sydney were terrified of these Gannon Road-ers. The Gannon Road was the name of the street that went out through that section of town. Of course, there always seemed to be a fear that these guys were rough and tough and we would run from them. I had a conversation with one of them not too long ago, along with a friend of mine, that we went to school with and he said, Gerald, you have to admit one thing, we did teach you guys how to run. That was kind of the way it was back then.

This lady was from the same area and does an excellent job in teaching and she said, Gerald, if you're successful, there's one thing I want from you. I said, Betty, what's that because she's not in my elected area. All I want is a flag for Boularderie Elementary School. I have that at home and I'm going to present it to her on behalf of the school.

The Principal, Judy Jacson, a true supporter of mine and an excellent principal. Mary Emlay who lives down the street from me and teaches my grandchildren - another excellent teacher. Valerie Patterson, a name that would be familiar with the other side of the House here, a lady who I've always asked and received direction regarding school and community events. These people are second to none. As I said in my resolution, the school produced five class representatives in the junior high school system, which I'm very proud to see.

As I said, Brenden MacNeil, my grandson, he is one of them and I said to him, I'll expand on that in a little bit, I said to him, Brenden - he was very proud, he said, Pops, I have something to tell you. I said, what's that? He said, I started my political career. Oh, I said, in what way? He said, I'm the class representative for my school. Well, I shook his hand and I said, how did you accomplish that? He said, being in a new school and not knowing anybody, I went out a day or two ahead and I campaigned all the class and the day the vote came people were going around saying will you vote for me and they were saying, no, we're voting for Brenden, he asked me yesterday or the day before. So, he followed in Pops' footsteps I guess and I'm looking forward to great things from him.

I would be absolutely remiss if I didn't speak and expand on a committee that I suppose in my vernacular, or my way of speaking, we call it the ba-du-ba committee. Well, I was corrected and this is pronounced bee-du-bah, but it's spelled P-i-t-u-p-a-q. What that means is Bras d'Or Lakes in Mi'kmaq. A dream of mine since getting elected - I mentioned it to everybody that would listen until I got accidentally picked out of the hat and became

[Page 984]

warden, I created this committee with the permission of Victoria County Council. I involved the five mayors of the municipalities and I invited the five chiefs of the five First Nations in Cape Breton to come together and remediate the raw sewage in the Bras d'Or Lakes.

Not knowing the protocol, I sent invitations for a year and one-half. I did receive some First Nations response, but nothing from the chiefs for about a year and a half. Finally, one day, Lindsay Marshall, he was the chief then of Chapel Island. He landed at the meeting and Chief Terry Paul was the first one to come on board. We went around and did introductions, and Chief Lindsay Marshall said to me, I'm just here to see if there's any baloney going on and if there is I'm out the door. My instant response was, sir, if you start any baloney, I'm out the door too. We have a problem here and let's resolve it.

That kind of struck a chord with him - I was up front with him and he was up front with me. Today, that man would back me to the wall and I'd back him to the wall. What we did after the last meeting in front of 22 men, it's kind of an ironic thing how things evolve, we've become that supportive of one another that after a meeting in public, we went over to shake hands and congratulate one another, this big, burly, strong articulate gentleman gave me a hug and I returned the hug. For two men to hug in public today is kind of a risky thing, but it was a very heartwarming thing. (Interruptions) Well there go. Mr. Speaker, I mentioned Lindsay Marshall. A name that will be very familiar to all sides of the House, a member of that committee, Billy Joe MacLean. That gentleman, although his area of Port Hawkesbury does not really touch on the Bras d'Or Lakes, because it affects the whole of Cape Breton. Laurie Suitor, who's doing excellent work with the Department of Environment and Labour; Lawrence MacDonald, the manager for the Department of Environment down there; Warden A.J. MacDougall, a great guy, in there with two feet to help out.

[9:45 a.m.]

Chief Morley Googoo, Chief Lester Peck, Mayor Morgan from CBRM, we're all in there, Mr. Speaker, and what we're doing is, over the last two and a half years we have gotten to a point where we originally signed an agreement with the five mayors and wardens, and the five First Nations' chiefs signed their agreement. I wasn't satisfied with that. What I wanted was one singular agreement. Eventually we moved to the point where we signed one singular agreement, five chiefs on one side, five mayors and wardens on the other, and an elder, Albert Marshall signed the bottom of it. So there are 11 signatures on one single document which Albert Marshall said took 750 years to get to where we are today for all sides to be co-operative. I just had to just mention that, Mr. Speaker.

What that's going to do is remove the raw sewage from Bras d'Or Lakes over a period of time, it's going to be a 15 year or a 20-year plan. It will coincide with the proposed aquarium for the Barra Strait. The Barra Strait has an area out there that's over 1,000 feet deep, where there's life in that deep hole that is only available in other places like the

[Page 985]

Continental Shelf. So it is an exclusive area and it falls into what I believe is the economic development sector.

Develop what we have, never mind bringing something in that's foreign to the area and try to push it and when the money runs out, it fails. So it's an excellent program. It's going to be within eyesight of Highland Village, our world-renowned Highland Village, as well, as we all know, the Gaelic College, which is in my area and that is world-renowned.

Mr. Speaker, we've upgraded the water in Dingwall and we're putting water in Ingonish, down in that area there, in regard to development. That's the Victoria County side of it, but we have the rural side of Georges River, Scotts Lake, Leitches Creek, right up through Grand Narrows, right back again into Victoria County, that section of The Lakes that came in with the new distribution of boundaries. I like that section in with me simply because it coincides with all of Victoria County and the very fact that it's all extremely rural. The first thing that pops into mind is roads and bridges, or bridges and roads, however you want to list it, but bridges sometimes get forgotten when we're talking about roads. So roads, bridges and jobs, Mr. Speaker, are a priority for us down there.

Highway No. 223 travels up through central Cape Breton and that, to me, the very fact that it's central Cape Breton, it's the centre of the Island. That's where the railroad travels through also, the centre of the Island. So when you remove the centre of something, you're removing the backbone of it. So there's fear that that railroad will not succeed and the highway itself is in deplorable condition. That is the backbone of the Island down there which really needs to be looked into.

I had a complaint by a resident when I was campaigning, who was leaving on the weekend to visit her mother and because of the heavy rain didn't see the pothole, broke a tire and cracked a tie rod end on her new vehicle. That was on Highway No. 105, our Trans Canada Highway down there. That was not on a secondary road. You would expect it on a secondary road, but when you're doing 100 kilometres on the Trans Canada Highway, you wouldn't expect that. So that's just to touch on the conditions of the roads.

The Seal Island Bridge area, an area that proves, Mr. Speaker, that you can get things done with co-operation if you take time and you're willing to compromise. Over a period of time I was successful with the help of the different departments in gaining turning lanes off that bridge, which alleviated an awful lot of traffic danger for people entering and exiting the Trans Canada. Over a period of time, through negotiations and co-operation and having the patience to wait, I must compliment the Minister of Transportation of Public Works who verbally committed, I think it was a year or two ago at a Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities' conference to put lights on the Seal Island Bridge. Then the minister changed and we did receive a letter to confirm what the former minister said he would do and now under the present minister we are having those lights progressing. I want to publicly thank him for that, because that's illuminating a very dangerous portion of the highway.

[Page 986]

Mr. Speaker, in the area of economic development in such a rural area, it is such a hard thing to achieve today, but what I must emphasize is the fact and I bring it up again, the mussel farm in St. Ann's Bay, which has been negatively portrayed, but mussels grow in water, they are a filter feeder, there is no fecal contamination as compared to a fish farm, but yet there are an awful lot of people against that. It would create 40 to 50 jobs in the area. After the farm is up and running, they plan to put a fish plant there and the jobs would expand beyond that and 40 or 50 jobs in a very remote, rural area, would be a very welcome sight and they're not minimum wage jobs, they're $10 to $12 an hour jobs, going up as high as $17 if you want to go into management. There are rules and regulations put in place there for that also.

I go back, again, Mr. Speaker, in that area talking about the deplorable condition of the roads. I mentioned about travelling out through Georges River to get onto Highway No. 223, I think I said you needed seatbelts on to keep your head from banging the roof of the vehicle, well, the North Shore leading to the ski hill, how can people go down to ski if the highway is in a deplorable condition? Nobody is going to damage their vehicle on a Sunday afternoon to go skiing. So we have to do something with that. I believe I mentioned yesterday, between myself and the minister from Inverness, that we could probably promote co-operation and maybe begin some paving on the Cabot Trail from Inverness and from Victoria to get around that way.

I, in no way, Mr. Speaker, want to make light of the fact that I am concentrating on Victoria County, over and above the area in the Cape Breton region as I have already mentioned, Highway No. 223 and the roads and bridges in that area. It is no idle boast, I suppose, that people in Cape Breton have more 4 x 4s than anywhere else. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity to get around.

Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, I am very proud to be the first MLA for the new riding of Victoria-The Lakes. I promised the constituents when and if I was successful that I would make them proud, and I am proud to represent them, I intend to make them proud. Hopefully, by standing in this prestigious Legislature, in a suit and tie, dressed as a gentleman and I intend to act like gentleman at all times, Mr. Speaker, with your guidance, I will make the people I represent proud and I intend to do so. It is a pleasure to be here and I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and all the members of the Legislature for welcoming me here and making me feel honoured to be here. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for the Eastern Shore.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to congratulate the new member for Victoria-The Lakes, on an excellent speech today and I am sure you'll serve your constituents well. I had explained to him earlier that I have a bit of history with his riding, as I have said and everyone in the House, I believe, has heard me say over and over that I actually have lived in the community of Ingonish, worked at the Wreck Cove power

[Page 987]

plant when that was taking place, a number of years ago, and enjoyed my time there very much.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on your second mandate as Speaker and I know that you have and will serve this House well. Also, congratulations to all the members who have been elected in the recent election (Interruption) Thank you, very much. But I must say that I speak of those who did not return. Being here the last four years myself, I've known the members, I sat on both sides of the House, and I know that the folks who did not return have to deal with the tremendous emotion that surrounds that. I know the members served their people well, and I hope they will focus on that and one day return to the House again.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to stand today and talk a little bit about the hurricane and how it affected the HRM, but specifically the suffering and the pain which the constituents of the Eastern Shore riding have gone through. I would like to thank the member for Digby-Annapolis for your help, from the fishermen there - it's much appreciated in the constituency of the Eastern Shore, Three Fathom Harbour. Thank you for your assistance.

Mr. Speaker, living in the community of Jeddore, that Sunday evening, I will always remember it well. Even though we were notified by the Department of Environment and Labour that there was a major wind coming, a hurricane, I don't really believe that the people of the Eastern Shore understood the magnitude of the storm. We prepared by simply moving our patio furniture in, battened our garage doors and put our boats away. I want tell you, throughout that night, it was something to experience. For those MLAs who live in areas that have not been affected by it, believe me when I tell you it was a scary evening for most of us.

Mr. Speaker, I remember that night travelling throughout my constituency, seeing the emergency people, the local volunteer fire department, there were RCMP, Ground Search and Rescue, paramedics travelling throughout our community, checking on our seniors, checking on people who lived in low-lying areas. I appreciate them. The next morning when I woke up, Monday morning, there was a certain excitement within our community, an excitement that I've never experienced before.

Many of our neighbours, many of our community folks, they wanted to get out and help the community. They got out and cut the trees, they helped each other. Not that we understood at that time that it was not only going to be for one day or not only for two days, but for the next two weeks there was going to be a certain hardship in our community that we had never experienced before.

Mr. Speaker, as MLA, I, of course, went out and visited certain communities, checked in with the volunteer fire departments, and so on and so forth. The community, being the community that it is, we looked after ourselves for the first three, four, five days,

[Page 988]

neighbour helping neighbour, the volunteer fire departments - as I said, I could say it over and over, the experience that we shared.

As time went on the circumstances grew worse. We realized that we were in a community without resources, we realized that our stores were closed, we realized in certain areas that we didn't have phones, and most of the area, if not all of the area, was without power, and boy, oh boy, what a situation we found ourselves in. At that time, Mr. Speaker, because of a lack of communication, we were in a serious situation. As time went on we were able to make links with Community Services, Red Cross, EMO and so on and so forth, and help and resources started to flow into our community. Our soup kitchens were set up, and the fire departments and neighbours were identifying people who were in particular difficulty.

As a community, Mr. Speaker, we were able to survive by looking after ourselves. We were not prepared - and I will say that - we will be prepared if a situation ever takes place like this again. Some difficulty - I don't truly believe that we received the attention that was necessary immediately. I believe it could have been quicker, but I'm not standing here today to blame anyone. I have to, as a representative of the people, identify the problems that we've had to make sure that these problems never happen again.

I would like to stand here and personally thank everyone who has offered us assistance in our time of need, but I will be truly indebted to our community people for the rest of my life. This is something that will remain, a story that will remain part of our history of the Eastern Shore. There is no way that I can explain the devastation of our area. Now I know we didn't get the proper media attention, I know they focused on the more populated areas, but nevertheless, people are people.

[10:00 a.m.]

I had the opportunity to accompany the Minister of Natural Resources, who was very interested in viewing the riding. I could see the devastation of our forests, of our fishery, of local people scurrying around, and I flew over by helicopter to get a true sense of what had taken place. Later on, our Premier visited with me on the Eastern Shore to make sure he had a true sense of the devastation, and I appreciate that. We visited the fishermen's wharves, we went to the fish plant, we went to some small businesses and, of course, travelled up and down the roads so he could get a true sense of that so, when the Premier went to Ottawa, he would be able to properly reflect the information given to him from the Eastern Shore.

In saying all that, a situation took place, we've handled it and we wait for support now from this government, through the federal government. We will be informing the people as soon as that information arrives.

[Page 989]

I must stand here today and tell this House and the people, we are still experiencing difficulty in the Eastern Shore riding. I have many, many calls coming to my office, to me personally, and to my home, stating there are still people without electricity. Mr. Speaker, you can survive almost anything if you have water and electricity, but I want to tell you the physical and mental strain that is taking place in independent homes today is very disturbing to me. It's important that Nova Scotia Power have these things corrected immediately. We still have seniors being identified who need electrical work, need their services hooked up. We have families that are not only isolated but still on the whole roads; Cottage Cove Road and Jeddore are still without power. I can name pockets of the community that still do not have power. I will tell you, it will probably be to the first of next week before everyone on the Eastern Shore will receive power, and it's bothering people.

The one thing we dealt with was the great pride of people, to identify those who would not ask for help. As much as I appreciate their strength and pride, it saddens me to think that there were some individuals on the Eastern Shore who didn't reach out for the help that was there.

Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to say that I thank all those, once again, who have helped us. I thank the community, neighbour helping neighbour. I will be truly indebted to our volunteer fire departments. The ladies auxilliary, you wouldn't believe the effort they put in, standing day after day serving soup and sandwiches. I must say it wasn't only soup and sandwiches, we call it the soup kitchen on the Eastern Shore, of course, but I want to tell you there were full-course meals offered to our community.

The Oyster Pond Fire Department put on full-course meals; we had Ostrea Lake Fire Department, off Musquodoboit Harbour, putting on breakfast, dinner and supper; the Musquodoboit Harbour Volunteer Fire Department; the one in Chezzetcook; the one in Lawrencetown; and also, community centres. There were comfort stations set up, generators were brought in from outside and, once again, people who had generators were sharing them with their neighbours. I could go on and on and talk about the hundreds of good stories.

Mr. Speaker, I believe, today, even though we went through hell on the Eastern Shore, I want to tell you our community has strengthened, it's brought out real compassion in people and I'm very proud to represent the good people of the Eastern Shore. I am sorry that we had to go through this but I know, as weather patterns are changing, our times are changing, that possibly in the future we could experience some difficulty again. I know the people on the Eastern Shore are survivors and I know we will do well.

As I said earlier, it is with great pride that I represent the good people of the Eastern Shore, from Lawrencetown, Porters Lake East, to the community of Ship Harbour, to Newcombe Brook. I have had over 10 years' experience now in representing people, and I have had an interesting career. I was a county councillor and one pocket of people to represent, then a regional councillor and had the very large area of District 1 in HRM all up

[Page 990]

through Musquodoboit, Dean, and down through Musquodoboit Harbour, down to Ecum Secum, and truly enjoyed that experience at the municipal level. I certainly have built and understand the appreciation of the municipal level of government and what the representatives go through representing their people.

I then decided in 1999 to represent the good people of the Eastern Shore in the provincial election. At that time my boundary went from Lawrencetown to Ecum Secum and I enjoyed that experience - a lot of challenges, there's no doubt about that. In this last election my boundary changed once again and now I represent Lawrencetown, Porters Lake to Ship Harbour.

Mr. Speaker, I've been an active representative. The people have served me well and I believe I've served them well - many challenges, there's no doubt about that. Like most, or all of the representatives of rural areas, our biggest concern, of course, is our highways and our roads. I have identified and have worked with the Department of Transportation and Public Works to make sure that they understood the conditions of our roads and our highways. I have hundreds of kilometres of highways that need paving but, like anything, we know with certain limitations that we only can do so many. I have been an advocate for the paving of roads. I believe if we have good highways, we have good health, we have a good economy, and things flow easier.

I can remember the first road I paved, Mr. Speaker, down in Clam Bay. I have taken great pride in telling the people that I worked very hard paving that particular road and I will only speak now of the roads that I paved within the new boundary. The road that led to one of our famous beaches in Nova Scotia, Clam Harbour Beach, we were receiving calls from outside saying that they couldn't visit the beach because the road was so bad and that was killing tourism on the Eastern Shore. So we identified that and through the support of this government they paved 18 kilometres from Highway No. 7 to Clam Harbour.

Just recently, Mr. Speaker, I've also had the Lake Charlotte area, six kilometres, paved and moving out of Lake Charlotte, the community that hosts Memory Lane, which was an initiative of the community, supported by this government I might add, to help tourism once again; we've just recently paved that to make it better for the highway system. Moving on to the Head of Jeddore from Salmon River, we've chip-sealed that road and I will tell you that has made a difference. That road was paved a number of years ago, but the chip-seal, of course, seals that and will give it more longevity.

Pushing on past that, Mr. Speaker, we addressed the situation that was a serious situation for a number of years, the East Chezzetcook Road. Government after government looked at that road, but couldn't identify the trouble. What we have done is we have rebuilt that road base and put a chip-seal on that and I hope shortly that we will be able to finish that job by paving that. We have paved a section of Highway No. 207 in the Lawrencetown area

[Page 991]

and the people appreciate that. We have done Highway No. 107 from Musquodoboit Harbour in through to the Chezzetcook turnoff, East Chezzetcook, on and on and on.

The point of what I'm saying, Mr. Speaker, the roads on the Eastern Shore need to be addressed. We're addressing them and I hope I can aggressively pave more within this mandate. I have a plan for the roads for the Eastern Shore riding. I've recently spoken to the minister and will present my plan to him in the week coming with the roads that I would like to see paved within this mandate.

Mr. Speaker, it's not all about roads, we know that - although I like to talk about roads - but our schools, like in other communities, we're in need of educational institutions and I'm pleased to announce that this government has supported my request and the Halifax Regional School Board to bring us by the year 2006 a new middle school in the Robert Jamison area. The people feel very pleased with that, and they anticipate an early opening. But 2006 will be the opening, and there will be great celebrations on the Eastern Shore when that time comes.

Mr. Speaker, as I said, when you're a representative of a specific area, it's necessary for you to have a plan. I believe the plan that I have for the next mandate in this government is a plan that will address the needs and the concerns of the Eastern Shore. I believe that I will be able to implement these plans and be successful in bringing the good things that government has to offer to our communities. There's no doubt that the province has to identify the needs of one's community, and I think this government is doing that. I think it's also possible for a government to move too aggressively or move too quickly and probably not identify the necessary things within a riding, and by doing that they will make mistakes.

I feel confident that we're moving ahead in a way that will be pleasing and acceptable to the people of the Eastern Shore. In saying that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to take my seat now and give someone from the other side of the House an opportunity to talk about their riding. It's a great pleasure to be a part of the Progressive Conservative Government, and it's a great pleasure to represent the people of the Eastern Shore. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, may I begin with an introduction?


MS. MORE: I would like to introduce, in the west gallery, a long-time friend and a much-valued volunteer and resident of my constituency, Susan Lilley. Please welcome her. (Applause)

[Page 992]

Before I start, Mr. Speaker, I want to commend my colleagues in the Legislature for their high level of decorum yesterday as the Class of 2003 began their responses to the Speech from the Throne. I just beg their indulgence, and hope that high level continues at least until the end of my presentation.

I am honoured to be the MLA for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley. I thank my constituents and my many volunteers for their support during the recent election. I do pledge to give my best effort on their behalf. Dartmouth is a unique part of the Halifax Regional Municipality. It has a distinguished history, major accomplishments and a thriving population. My constituency is the core of the Dartmouth community, in terms of having been the seat of government, culture, health services and business for most of its history.

Dartmouth South-Portland Valley stretches from the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge along the harbour to past Imperial Oil, then includes South Woodside and Portland Estates, then comes back in toward the Circumferential Highway, up into the middle part of Lake Banook and then back to the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. So you see it's actually a series of neighbourhoods that radiate out from the downtown core. Those neighbourhoods include such names as Grahams Grove, Penhorn, Manor Park, Southdale, North and South Woodside, and Portland Estates.

The population includes approximately 22,000 people. It's well balanced in that about 29 per cent are 24 years and under, 46 per cent are between the ages of 25 and 54 years, and 25 per cent are 55 years and older; women outnumber men, as they do provincially and nationally; and most residents live in single or semi-detached dwellings, while 39 per cent live in apartment buildings. There has been significant residential construction in both the downtown area and in Portland Estates.

Mr. Speaker, the harbour and transportation routes have been a focal point for the people of my constituency from day one. The Mi'kmaq originally referred to this part of Dartmouth as the place of abundant fir and spruce. They replenished their food supplies from the forest and the harbour, while using the Shubenacadie canoe system. Governor Cornwallis had a sawmill built within my constituency shortly after he arrived in 1749 and late in the summer of 1750, 353 settlers arrived on the ship Alderney. Early life in the settlement was stressful. There was tension between the British and the Mi'kmaq because the Mi'kmaq were aligned with the French. Also, the gathering of the British troops for the assaults on Louisbourg and Quebec made for unsettling times as well. These political events discouraged many people from settling on the eastern side of the harbour during the 1700s and the population actually went as low as 39 people in 1766.

[Page 993]

[10:15 a.m.]

One story that may resonate with my colleagues in the Legislature took place in 1751 when John W. Hoffman was instructed by the Commissioner of Peace, Ephraim Cook, to travel to Dartmouth to investigate charges against an innkeeper by the name of Walter Clarke. These charges included overworking his staff; for example, making them work on Sunday and selling liquor on Sunday. You will be interested to know that when the investigator arrived, the soldiers apparently sided with the innkeeper and paraded the investigator through the streets as though he were a common criminal.

I would suggest that my constituents are more inclined to support fair treatment of workers these days in the New Democratic republic of Dartmouth, and I'm not prepared to guess how they feel about buying spirits seven days a week.

Mr. Speaker, the population grew slowly but steadily over the years as job and housing opportunities developed. Dartmouth was incorporated as a town in 1873. Early industries and services included the Nantucket Whaling Company; Hartshorne-Tremain Grist Mill; Acadia Sugar Refinery; Mott's Chocolate Factory; Lyle Chappell Shipbuilding company; the construction and operation of the Shubenacadie Canal; Symond's Iron Foundry; Dominion Molasses Company; the Nova Scotia Hospital, which was actually built in 1856 and called, in the early days, Mount Hope Asylum; the Starr Manufacturing Company, which began in 1861 and only closed in 1996. This is the company that actually produced the first spring skates from which our figure skating and hockey skates have developed.

There was also the Marine Slips, which was originally called the Chebucto Marine Railroad; ice companies on the shores of Lake Banook; as well as the growing spinoffs from the busy port activities - all of these in the area now covered by Dartmouth South-Portland Valley. Imperial Oil Plant was built in 1916 and the oil refinery was built in 1917. You will be interested to know that 1,500 men worked to clear the land for the refinery at that time. Transportation routes by rail along the harbour, shipping and highways served the area well.

Today, the industrial strength of Dartmouth South-Portland Valley centres around Imperial Oil and South Woodside and the Woodside Industrial Park, which is behind the Dartmouth General Hospital, and also the Ocean Industrial Park. So from the original sawmill in 1749 to the present day, my constituency has provided industrial and manufacturing services to the wider metropolitan area and elsewhere.

Mr. Speaker, 1917 is a significant date for all of the metro area with the Halifax Explosion. There was less loss of life on the Dartmouth side, but considerable damage to many homes and places of employment. This economic slowdown was further affected by the Depression years. The Second World War rejuvenated many industries, the population and an increase in the construction of homes. Many military personnel and their families

[Page 994]

moved into the area. Also, many women started to work outside the home, adding to the skilled and productive workforce.

Currently the retail and commercial areas of the constituency are found in the downtown area, along Pleasant Street through North and South Woodside, and along Portland Street from Penhorn Mall to Portland Estates.

Both the public ferry service and the two bridges made major impacts on the eastern side of the harbour. The ferry service is considered the oldest salt-water ferry service in the world and has celebrated over 250 years of operation. The opening of the so-called "old bridge" in 1955 stimulated significant growth to the eastern side of the harbour. Within five years, 5,000 new residents moved to both the town and the outskirts. In fact, it was the demand from many of these new members of the community living on the outskirts of Dartmouth that encouraged the first amalgamation of Dartmouth in 1961 when the City of Dartmouth was formed. During this amalgamation, my constituency gained the former county areas of North and South Woodside and part of the Woodlawn area. Thirty-five years later, in 1996, the constituency became part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, a more recent controversial amalgamation, but it still maintains its unique character and sense of small-town caring and friendliness.

The motto of the former City of Dartmouth was "Through Friendship We Grow" and I would consider this still a very appropriate theme for my constituency. All three town and city halls were located in Dartmouth South-Portland Valley and there is still a significant government presence in the constituency with departments from all three levels operating there - federal, provincial and municipal.

Mr. Speaker, Dartmouthians have contributed much to the political life of this province. Like the earlier story about workers' rights and Sunday shopping, it's interesting to see various political and community themes appeared over and over again. In fact, Joseph Howe was living in Dartmouth North in his Fairfield estate when he made the following speech in my constituency in 1867. His issue at the time was opposition to Confederation, but many of my constituents share these feelings in terms of their opposition to the most recent amalgamation in 1996. I will table this quote which I would like to read and I've taken it from Harry Chapman's, In the wake of the Alderney, which is the most recent history of Dartmouth. My apologies to women since women didn't vote at this period of time. So, here's the quote from Joseph Howe:

"Men of Dartmouth, a year ago, Nova Scotia presented the aspect of a self-governed community loyal to a man, attached to civic institutions, cheerful, prosperous, and contented. You should look back upon the past with pride, on the present with confidence, and on the future with hope. Now all that has changed. We have been entrapped into a revolution. You are a self-governed and independent community no longer. The institutions founded by your fathers, and strengthened and consolidated by your own exertion have been overthrown.

[Page 995]

Your revenues are to be swept beyond your control. You are henceforward to be governed by strangers and your hearts have been wrung by the reflection that this has not been done by the strong hand of open violence but by treachery and connivance of those whom you trusted and by whom you have been betrayed." Here's the copy of that speech for tabling.

Many residents of Dartmouth South-Portland Valley regret the loss of autonomy and control over their programs, their services and institutions as a result of municipal amalgamation. As some would claim, there have been benefits, but many constituents continue to give me examples of decreased services, loss of identity and the feeling that Dartmouth's traditions and priorities are undervalued.

You may have gathered by now that Dartmouthians feel very connected to their roots and traditions. The history of Dartmouth continues to live and has been well documented, from Mary Lawson's, History of the Townships of Dartmouth, Preston and Lawrencetown; Dr. John Martin's, The Story of Dartmouth; Joan and Pete Payzant's, Like a Weaver's Shuttle, and Joan Payzant's story of education in Dartmouth entitled, Second to None. There have also been several publications published by the Dartmouth Historical Society and I just mentioned also the most recent documentation which is Harry Chapman's book called, In the Wake of the Alderney and it was produced in the year 2000. In fact, many of the historical references that I have mentioned in my Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne are actually from In the Wake of the Alderney by Harry Chapman, and I thank him for his labour of love in documenting so much of our history.

Mr. Speaker, I've described the history of my community in some detail because Dartmouthians have a strong sense of the past, whether they come from families who have lived for generations in my community, or whether they're recent transfers. The people of my community value organizations such as the Historical Society and the Dartmouth Heritage Museum. Both Evergreen House, which is the 19th Century home of Helen Creighton, Canada's best-known folklorist, and Quaker House, originally the home of one of the Nantucket Whalers, built in 1786, are in my constituency and both are open to the public as part of the museum system; in addition, we have the Somme Branch Military Museum.

Dartmouth South-Portland Valley is rich in educational, cultural, sport and recreational, economic and religious history and achievements. There are too many to describe, but some of the highlights would include stories about the Little Brooklyn ball field; the MicMac Amateur Aquatic Club; Senobe Aquatic Club; Natal Days; Christ Church, which was built in 1817; St. James United Church, dating from the 1820s; Helen Creighton's collections, including Nova Scotia's unofficial anthem Farewell to Nova Scotia; Greenvale School, which was actually designed by Andrew Cobb, a well-known Nova Scotian architect, in 1914; the Dartmouth Regional Library; Alderney Landing theatre, market and gallery complex; the Dartmouth Book and Writing Awards; the Peace Pavilion; the Trans Canada

[Page 996]

Trail Pavilion; and many others. These just give you an idea of the various aspects to the culture and life of the people living in my area.

We are a proud, independent, and hard-working community with a passion for water activities whether they take place on the harbour or on one of our many lakes. We also have a vibrant artistic community, including a number of artists such as Susan Patterson, Rose Adams, Dawn MacNutt, Laura Joliecoeur, and Tom Forrestall. In addition, there is a growing list of voluntary sector organizations with headquarters within the constituency. These provide necessary programs and services not only to Dartmouth, but to the whole metro area and in some cases, across this province. They include the United Way of regional Halifax, the Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia, the Self-Help Connection, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Feed Others of Dartmouth, various church food and clothing banks and many others. The voluntary sector in Nova Scotia is an area of great interest and concern to me and I'm sure you will hear me speak many times about that in future debates.

Mr. Speaker, education remains a priority to parents and others in my constituency. Public schools include Bicentennial, Hawthorn, Southdale-North Woodside, Prince Arthur, South Woodside, Alderney and Portland Estates. Also the Halifax Regional School Board administrative building is in the former Dartmouth City Hall, and so is located within the constituency as well. I served on the Dartmouth District School Board for 10 years and so I know first-hand the tremendous contribution that parents, youth, teachers, other staff, volunteers and school board members make to the education in my constituency, and I value that support and will work hand in hand with them to maintain the quality of education in our area.

There are a number of firsts that happened in Dartmouth South-Portland Valley. The first steamship in Nova Scotia, the Sir Charles Ogle, was launched there in 1830. I mentioned earlier that the first spring skates built by the Starr Manufacturing Company were produced in 1863. The first chocolate factory produced candy in Canada from my constituency. The first Women's Missionary Society in Canada started there in 1850. Dartmouth was the first community to incorporate as a town in Nova Scotia in 1873, and it was the first to give women the vote in municipal elections. That passed in 1886 and it took effect in 1887. It was also the first community in our province to have a partially-elected school board in 1978. I'm pleased to say that I was a member of that first school board.

[10:30 a.m.]

Dartmouth South-Portland Valley remains a vital, growing, friendly place to live, work and play, but it's interests need to be recognized, voiced and protected. Madam Speaker, my constituents work hard to support themselves and their families. They value family and friends, fairness, equal access to effective public programs and services, a sense of neighbourhood and community, and sound management, all values of the New Democratic Party. Our NDP vision of "A better deal for today's families" is still being discussed in

[Page 997]

kitchens and community halls across my constituency, because it affects people where they live, work and play every day. People are talking about long-term health care needs of seniors, university tuition freezes, public auto insurance, HST relief and technical aids for people with disabilities and other assistance that the NDP are fighting for.

My constituents are watching the government carefully. They're looking for evidence that the Progressive Conservatives are keeping their needs and values in mind when decisions around budgets and programs and legislation are considered and made over the coming year. Already too many stories about inadequate home care, housing options, educational funding, programs for people with disabilities and mental health needs, and assistance for low-income families and seniors are crossing my desk and those of my colleagues. The announcement about cuts in provincial departments has sent shudders of apprehension and concern to many families and front-line workers. Will these cuts be made on the backs of those most in need of a helping hand? Governments should be protecting those who are vulnerable and providing fair and equitable services for all citizens.

Also, Madam Speaker, many of my constituents feel isolated from the political process. They believe citizens are losing control over what goes on in their community and, consequently, they are losing faith in the political process as a means of protecting family and community interests. Local examples from my constituency include municipal and school board amalgamations, the harbour cleanup process, lake protection, community schools, hospital funding, traffic and many others that are concerns to my constituents. Citizens are questioning the role of government at all levels and becoming disillusioned with the whole political process, including politicians. By listening to citizens, including seniors, and respecting their needs and priorities, my caucus is trying to reverse this sense of isolation.

Being elected and serving one's community should be the highest calling possible. We need to bring credibility and respect back into political decision making. Seniors, parents, community volunteers, family caregivers, small-business people and youth are demanding that government be more fair, transparent, collaborative and more focused on citizens and communities. These people need to be respected and listened to. They are trusting us to live up to our responsibilities. There is lots of wisdom and experience in my constituency, and I plan to continue to listen very carefully.

In closing, I want to make two tributes. First, to Wendy Lill, who is the Dartmouth Member of Parliament. It's business as usual for this hard-working MP until the next federal election, but I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Wendy and her family on behalf of myself and my constituents for her tremendous service to her riding, all of Nova Scotia, and Canada. Her strength of character and intelligence, her wit and gift of language, and her compassion and caring have been inspirational. I am proud to have Wendy Lill and her family as constituents of Dartmouth South-Portland Valley, and will value her continuing involvement in our community.

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My second tribute is to the residents of Dartmouth South-Portland Valley, who continue to support each other through the aftermath of Hurricane Juan. Some areas of my constituency suffered severe damage, but neighbours, friends and family came together to share food and accommodations, to organize work parties and child care, and to support those in need. I applaud the efforts of both the volunteers and staff working within my constituency.

As you may have gathered, I feel quite passionate about my community of Dartmouth South-Portland Valley, the people, the institutions and values, our past and our future. It's an amazing privilege to serve as the MLA, and I take this responsibility very seriously. I promise to do my utmost to serve my constituents to the best of my ability. Madam Speaker, thank you. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Madam Speaker, it's certainly an honour and a privilege for me to rise today in this House and to address the Speech from the Throne. I appreciate the opportunity. I would like to begin by thanking and congratulating the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers and acknowledging the hard work of the Pages in the House, the Sergeant-at-Arms, the Clerk and Deputy Clerk for all of the hard work they do to ensure that the House functions as well as it does, which is exemplary.

I rise today as the very first MLA for the new riding of Halifax Clayton Park. The riding was formed as a result of boundary changes, really relating to a tremendous increase in population in our area. It formerly rested within the Bedford Basin riding. It certainly now has the same population as the former Bedford Basin riding had in the last election, in 1999, which is an indication of how quickly that area has grown.

I would certainly like to formally thank the residents of Clayton Park for their support that they showed to me during the election and continue to show me today. It was certainly a great privilege, as many other members have pointed out, to go door to door, it's an experience like none other. You certainly learn first-hand what issues are on people's minds, what things are troubling them, and what things they love and value in their communities. I appreciate that very much, having had that opportunity to do it. I think it's wonderful that we do that in an election in order to really hear from the people that we're going to represent.

During the election, I had many wonderful workers who helped to make the whole thing possible. There were especially many young people who helped me, and I appreciate that tremendously. People were giving up valuable time in the summer months and taking many hot days to go out and walk along the streets of Clayton Park with me. As the election unfolded, we actually visited every single street and home in the area, every house and townhouse, and we got into a majority of the apartment buildings, which was quite a feat for anybody who knows the area of Clayton Park. I'm sure we have one of the highest

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concentrations of apartments and condominiums of anywhere in the entire province. Any drive in from the airport will show you that as you come driving between Kearney Lake and the city.

As well, during the election, I would like to thank my husband, Michael for the work he did, and my two children, Caroline and Stewart, and certainly their friends as well, who came out to enjoy the campaign. I think it's really important to note that whatever Party people support and whatever feelings they have or philosophical feelings, I think that having young people engaged in the political process is essential. I think it's wonderful to see them out taking an interest, understanding the issues, following what's going on within our province at different levels of government, whether it's municipal, provincial and the federal impacts.

I think that being involved in an election is a way that they become aware. It sort of opens doors, and I'm sure, Madam Speaker, that you would agree that it is a wonderful thing to see young people take a stand and get involved and learn about the processes that make our government work in this province. It was wonderful for me to see so many young people get involved, and I know that even today they're following what's going on. That, I think, is wonderful, to hear them talk to me about the issues and the bills before the House and so on. It's really quite surprising and gratifying.

In addition, during the election, I would be remiss if I didn't mention my mother, who took time away from her much-beloved cottage in Parrsboro to join me in Halifax for an entire month. She missed that time terribly but she was invaluable. As anybody will know, having the support of your family and certainly having a mother who is behind you 100 per cent is a wonderful thing. It helps, and it certainly makes all the difference. I can't thank her enough.

Elections are, in many ways, a very humbling thing, because we realize how many friends we have, how much we depend on other people. It is not just the candidate alone who sallies forth to carry a cause, it is the many other people who back us up. It's very humbling to rely on old friends and it's also wonderful to make new friends along the way. Certainly, I think you get the impression I enjoyed talking to people on the doorstep, I enjoyed the election process tremendously. I think that many other people benefited as well by being part of that.

Again, I would like to commend everyone who takes a role and gets involved in an election, whether it's even to the point of taking a sign on your lawn and declaring an interest or a support for a candidate. I think that, in itself, is a wonderful thing, because a lot of people are reluctant to do so. Really, in a democracy like ours, you should be free to state your preference and to stand up and support a candidate. I've actually had the experience of living in Jamaica some years ago, between 1985 and 1988, and during that time, it was a real shock to me to find that people would not mention democracy, elections, Party affiliations.

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In Jamaica it was a matter of life and death. If you said that you supported a particular Party, you could be absolutely drummed out of the neighbourhood you lived in, your family could be discriminated against or harmed. During elections, they actually had many people killed. You can understand that I do value the right that we have here today in Canada, and that we enjoy.

I would like to commend and thank the other candidates who ran against me in the election. I know they worked hard, I know they were dedicated, I know that they also care about the neighbourhood that I represent. During the election, I pledged to work hard for the community and I pledged to speak out on issues that will affect the residents in my area. I would like to reaffirm that pledge and say that I will be a strong voice for the community that I live in. It's interesting to look back and think what brought me to an election that would ultimately lead to my being here in the House today. I studied here at Dalhousie University for five years, earned a B.A. and an M.B.A. during that time. Later I travelled extensively around the world. I've mentioned Jamaica in passing.

My husband, who is from Halifax, was recruited into the Foreign Service, and we spent eight years living abroad during the 1980s. We lived in South Korea, another country that was not a full-fledged democracy. We then went to Australia and finally to Jamaica. Living in those different countries gives you a perspective (Interruptions) Clayton Park is a great spot. I will get there. Living in those countries gives you a tremendous perspective on what is good about Canada. You appreciate other ways of doing things. You learn things that are useful. You learn that we don't always have to do things the way we always have, that there are new ways, sometimes better ways that we can adopt but you also learn to value and cherish the things that we do very well, that other people come from around the world to appreciate here in Nova Scotia.

When I returned to Nova Scotia, I had the fortune of moving into the brand new and fledgling neighbourhood of Clayton Park West, where I still live today. That neighbourhood had only begun to be developed. In fact, I moved into the first street in Clayton Park West, which had homes on it. A few of the neighbours have been there, perhaps, six months ahead of us, and that was in August 1990. I had a young family at the time, my children were one and three years old. It gave me an opportunity to be part of a growing and fledgling community that was looking for services, looking for even an identity as it became part of an older, established community around it.

During that time, I became politicized through a number of school issues, which is not uncommon. I began with arguments and often lobbying for French immersion which my children were enrolled in, issues of busing and getting to school because, as a new community, we were far from the existing schools of Grosvenor Wentworth and Rockingham and it was not within busing distance. A lot of us weren't bused and it was difficult. That led directly to a lobby for a new school for the Clayton Park West area. The Clayton Park West

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area between the last two censuses has grown by 75 per cent, so it now is home to thousands of citizens - no question.

[10:45 p.m.]

As a result of that lobbying, we were able to get a brand new school for the area and it is one of the P3 schools that was announced under the previous Liberal Government. I must say that I hear a lot of criticism over time in different forums about the P3 process and the P3 schools, but I can tell you unequivocally that the people in Clayton Park West are delighted that a school was promised and came forth in 2000 and the reason we are is because there was no land left in the community. It was being developed and if the province did not commit and buy the land and build the school, we would have had another few streets of homes. We would not have had a school in that entire large area. There was no other land. By the time the commitment was made, that was the last large block of land that was left for a school. So we're very delighted that the decision was made and that a school opened in September 2000.

That school, today - there was a lot of discussion at the time that we didn't have the population and the way the province plans new schools is that the population has to be in place before the school is promised, and I think that that's something that perhaps the Minister of Education might look at, that often times there's a fear that you might build a school and the population won't materialize, but with the growth we've experienced in HRM, that was a very slight risk to take. In the meantime, the community was held up, waiting to justify the population, when in fact we were exploding. In the meantime, the school is only three years old and it's beyond its capacity almost. There are over 650 students this year in Primary to Grade 9. A lot of the specialist classrooms are now being used for schoolrooms and that is natural, a community will grow and peak and so on. So we understand that, but it has taken only three short years to hit that point where they believe we're at the peak.

I think it is wonderful that the school is there. The fact that it's a P3 school has not been detrimental to the community. I realize there are higher costs to rent the building, but because we're in an urban area, there are other schools available as well. It may be different in a rural area where a community is entirely reliant upon the one school, but it has been nothing but a bonus and a boon for our community.

As you can see, I came to Clayton Park West and, after travelling for many years, we have in fact put down roots which is what we intended to do. I would never have imagined at that time that I would find myself as the elected representative for the area. In the Fall of 2000, I ran for city council and became the regional councillor for District 16 which is Clayton Park West, Rockingham and Princes Lodge. So it also encompassed an area running in towards Bedford. It is a very large area, again the largest in population of any of the city districts, the fastest growing. It's the most demanding I think in many ways.

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I had the privilege while sitting on council of serving with Gary Hines and Keith Colwell who join us today in the House. I can say that the experience of working together with city councillors was wonderful. It was a tremendous learning experience and I think that anybody who has served on municipal government will agree that being a municipal councillor, you never look again at your neighbourhood with quite the same eyes. It gives you a perspective on all of the little things that embellish a neighbourhood, that make it unique, and we certainly see all the little flaws and all the great things. So it's a wonderful grounding and understanding for your neighbourhood.

The Clayton Park area is really typified by a number of issues. Growth is number one. You may gather that I've mentioned the fast pace of growth. We're the fastest growing community in Nova Scotia between the 1996 and 2001 census. What I'm looking forward to now is that that area is just about completely built out. So we're looking now at the maturing process, of being able to become more stable and grow as a community rather than just grow as a collection of buildings. The spirit of community is very much alive and you will see that as I go through my Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, Madam Speaker.

It has been characterized by fast-paced development and at the same time a lot of concerns for environmental issues. Blasting is one of the key disruptive factors for people living in an area that's under a lot of development pressure. Another one is tree-cutting I think we should say clear-cutting because there's been a dramatic impact in the area as new buildings have been built.

Certainly the residents there are asking for more preservation of land, more respect for parkland and trees and even better development rules that will help preserve land. The preservation of trees on private property is a provincial matter; it was outside the hands of the municipal council. I would certainly like to raise the issue here and suggest that be an area that this government might look at because we need stronger rules to protect the trees on private properties in order to maintain character in neighbourhoods.

In relation to the preservation of land for the future, we have seen a number of examples where the community has come together to protect existing land. One of the groups that was formed only last year is called The Friends of Belcher's Marsh Park. Belcher's Marsh Park was actually an unnamed marsh area - we couldn't decide whether it was a pond or a lake, nobody had a name for it, it was a green belt that was left in the centre of Clayton Park and Glenbourne subdivision. The neighbours around there value it tremendously. For the people who live nearby, they've seen osprey and blue herons along the shores of the marsh and at the moment a few too many ducks are making it their home, but we'll work on that. But it's a natural area, people fish there and it is a real gem in the midst of a highly, very densely populated area.

[Page 1003]

The reason the area was named and the group came together as Friends of Belcher's Marsh Park - I should mention that Mr. Belcher was a Chief Justice in the 1800s in Nova Scotia and that was where the name came from. I think it's rather humourous that originally when the development was being laid out, the developers of this area - and it fell primarily within Annapolis Group lands - did not choose to use that name. I don't think they found it very marketable, but the area's really looking for a grounding in its history and when the community members came together they wanted to find a name of a landowner from that area, which had been all trees and woods and a few camps at one point in time. They went back in history and found that particular one.

As I say, it's a small area, it means an awful lot. It has walking trails around it for the people who live in the area and it's valued by all ages - young and old. It's used by runners, people with strollers, people walking their dogs, it's wonderful. That's one of the areas that has been preserved right in the heart of Clayton Park West and only a few blocks from the area that was blasted by rocks from the quarry that had a mishap earlier this year in August. That incident brought a lot of heightened concern about development as well because a lot of residents were not even aware that the quarry was that close to our homes and apartments. Certainly the people were very unsettled by the whole thing or alarmed. They do want answers and they want assurances that the quarry will not be blasting again, which they have not up to this point, but we don't want to see them blasting again until the full reason for the mistake and the accident is known. Again, I think it's worth mentioning here today that it was just an absolute miracle that nobody was killed in that incident. Even if we disregard the fact that there are many homes and apartments nearby, there's still a major 100-Series Highway that runs directly beside that quarry. Safety is of paramount concern to everybody.

In the Clayton Park area we are also characterized by a strong multicultural presence. I'm sure I'm safe to say that there is no other community in Nova Scotia with as many people from as many different cultures. In our school, Halifax West High School, which was mentioned this morning in one of the resolutions, we have over 50 languages spoken by the students attending that school. That's mirrored as well at the lower grades in Duc d'Anville Elementary and Clayton Park Junior High. But you can see that there are people from around the world. Many have come here as refugees, some as economic entrepreneurs, so there's a great variety of background and history as to how they've come to be in our community.

But, as is often the case with immigration, people like to live in an area where there are other people from their country and an opportunity to be accepted and I'm very proud to say that in the Clayton Park area, people have found a warm welcome. In the area, in fact, Arabic is the second most commonly spoken language other than English.

Madam Speaker, immigration is an issue that is particularly of interest to me, again probably directly as a result of my experience of living in other countries and being the person who was the expatriate or not being a native of that country. I have a great appreciation for the difficulties that people face when they come here and try to make a home

[Page 1004]

and a future for their families. I think that there's an awful lot more that the Province of Nova Scotia and the regional municipality could be doing jointly to encourage immigration to our province and I believe very sincerely that immigration does benefit and enrich our communities and our economic life.

I think that as time goes on - we've had a little discussion here this week about the aging population, the need to let people work beyond 65 - we're going to find skill shortages and, in fact, we already have noted skill shortages in the province, immigration will answer a lot of those issues, but people will not come here and settle unless they have a welcoming community, unless they have the services that help them to assimilate and settle down. I think that there's a very good example in the City of Winnipeg. Winnipeg in the mid-1990s had the same level of immigration as Halifax, as HRM. Nova Scotia received about 3,500 immigrants in the mid-1990s. We're down now to about 1,500 immigrants a year in the province, again, most of them settling in HRM, but in the meantime, Winnipeg is now approaching 10,000 immigrants a year and the difference is they've had a concerted effort from all levels of government, the provincial government working with the municipality to ensure that they have met the needs of people who move to their city and they've done that very successfully. They see the benefit and I think that's something we could learn from.

I would like to see us do more in that way. Even among the 1,500 immigrants that we attract to Nova Scotia, we're not keeping a large share of those. The retention rate is low and they're heading to the main centres of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Those cities are welcoming them because I guess they have the structures in place that encourage newcomers to the country, but I think we could do a lot more. We need to help schools and the school board in areas like English as a second language. I think, again, the demands are different across the province, but where you know there are communities with high immigrant populations, or large numbers of kids who need the ESL, we need to provide that.

There are also social supports that are needed. We need support for groups like the Metropolitan Immigration Settlement Association, MISA. It does tremendous work and, like so many of our organizations in the province, it's a non-profit group. They're always struggling and looking for funding, writing funding grants, and spending a lot of their time and effort on that side of the equation when they could be doing the good work that they're certainly able and qualified to do and have been doing. So I think there's an area there where we could do a lot better and really maximize the benefit to all of Nova Scotia.

Much of the riding of Clayton Park does overlap the area that I represented on HRM Council. The riding begins on Tremont Drive which comes straight up off the Bedford Highway. I note that many of the members of this House, in speaking of their areas, love to say how beautiful they are so I would like to mention that there are beautiful views of the Bedford Basin as you travel along the Bedford Highway which is one of the boundaries of my riding. Going up Tremont Drive, there's a school called Rockingham School. There has been a school on that site for the last 100 years. It has been in fact in the past known as

[Page 1005]

School Street and was renamed when the whole area was annexed to the City of Halifax in 1969.

Rockingham School is an example of a community, I mentioned earlier that we're a very active and outgoing community, Rockingham School had what I would have to say was the worst looking school grounds anywhere in HRM and perhaps in the entire province and shortly after I was elected as the area councillor, I toured that school with the mayor. He couldn't believe the unsafe and unsightly grounds. There were concrete abutments and things that had eroded. Concrete was sticking out and all kinds of dangerous things. There was gravel everywhere, no grass. It's on a very steep hill and the water coursing down the hill continually washed away everything in the yard. It was one of the worst looking areas and the cost to remediate it was going to be over $100,000. Successive years of administration in the school board had turned its back on it. Their concern, and probably rightly so, was to make sure that the classrooms are attended to and the city had said it's not their problem. It was one of the classic examples where nobody would address the problem.

[11:00 a.m.]

I'm very pleased to say that over the last three years there has been a tremendous improvement as a result of some very dedicated individuals. I would like to mention, in particular, that the change really came about beginning with a new Principal and her name is Carmelita Rowe, she lives in the riding of Bedford. She's been very active in that community, helping to get people to see the problem and to start responding to it. Parents and neighbours of the school, including Brian Jessop, Darrell McCallum, Nigel Collinson and Larry Cass, and the Parent-School Association President Janet Gagnier have really taken that school, in terms of its grounds, from the worst to the first. I think they took a little page out of a Liberal term.

The parents have raised money, contributed vast amounts of dollars themselves. Sport Nova Scotia did come to the table and offer funds when they saw that this was community driven and well supported, and the area councillor as well provided funds. Over a phased-in project, they've been able to totally remediate the back of the school, which now has a sport field which can be used by the entire community, they've rebuilt and provided a new playground in the front. So only this year, when the school opened, the front of the school has also been fixed. The total project has come in at $130,000. So it was very ambitious for a community group. Again, individuals doing this in their own time as volunteers, to seek funding from the government, lobby everybody they possibly could, trying to raise money themselves, it was very heartwarming. So, working together, you can see we have an organized and active community.

We're also home to the Halifax West feeder school group, I'm sure that rings a few bells with some people. That group took on the government over the deplorable state of Halifax West High School in the late 1990s. They were a model for community activism and

[Page 1006]

government lobbying. Their Chairman is Jane Davies, and she was supported by many other members, each one representing one of the feeder schools into that high school. Some of those members are Eleanor Power, Debbie Hum, Karen Robinson, Gary O'Hara and others. Again, they tackled a mission, they had a vision and a mission that was very difficult to achieve. They knew the school had air quality problems, they knew it was a sick school.

Even to have the school closed and investigated was a major triumph. Once that was done, the community was not satisfied to see the school just renovated. They really felt it was a school that was almost 50 years old, and that it would not serve the needs of the community, that it was not located in the right place for the growth that we experienced in our community, and that it was a not a school that we would ever feel comfortable in. To return to that school, there would never be a confidence that the air quality was going to be good, so why spend $10 million or $12 million to renovate, when, in fact, people would never feel the school was a safe place to be.

Instead, they continued to lobby and they rejected the government's first offer of a renovation, continued to lobby and ultimately were successful in having a new school built on the Mainland Commons. How did that work? Well, it wasn't entirely the good heart of the provincial government. What they did as well was leverage money from other levels of government. They came during the election of October 2000 and spoke to the candidates for mayor and the candidates for councillor, and looked for commitment that if we were elected, would we support their aims to have a school built in the area? They wanted not only verbal support, they wanted some financial commitments.

What came of that was the donation of 17 acres, which are now leased to the Province of Nova Scotia - 17 acres in Clayton Park West, the value of which I can't really put a figure on. It's parkland, number one, which makes it very hard to say what the value is. We provided that, in my time at city council, because we felt it was the right decision for the community. So now we have a beautiful new school on the 17 acres in the Mainland Commons and, in addition, the municipality paid for the servicing for water, sewer, power and roads to reach that school. That, again, was a tremendous cost that the city picked up, and it's certainly a model for co-operation and partnership in the best interests of the people that we all represent, regardless of what level of government we're sitting at. They are the same people, the same taxpayers, and they have the same concerns.

The school sits now in a park-like setting in the Mainland Commons. The total bill for the provincial government is approximately $26 million. As I said, if you add in the cost of servicing and land, I don't think we would have ever seen a new school. That was a wonderful model of co-operation and partnership.

There is still a commitment left for the school, and that is to fund their auditorium. When the school was built, the provincial standards did call for an auditorium in a high school, that's not mandatory. The community felt strongly that we needed that auditorium,

[Page 1007]

we need it as the centre for arts, community use, and for the school. So, again, the feeder school group came to Halifax Regional Council and asked if we would commit funds to help that happen. We committed $300,000 at that time and from that the auditorium was built into the shell of the building, which means we have it in place, but the fittings and fixtures, the lights and seats, all of the extras that are going to really make it an auditorium are yet to come.

So there's a very active fundraising group in the community which is headed by Ann Cosgrove who's a very active volunteer and hard worker. Ann and her team are now formulating a fundraising plan that will allow us to raise over $1 million to outfit that as a top quality, world-class theatre for 500.

It will serve that community of Clayton Park. There are many people anxious to get into it and use it for their different community groups.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. There's a little bit too much noise occurring in the House. Could we please draw our attention back to our speaker, the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park?

MS. WHALEN: Madame Speaker, Halifax West High School has a unique history itself. It was formerly the county high school and students came in from as far away as St. Margaret's Bay. Gary Meade, who is a Councillor on Halifax Regional Council who represents the St. Margaret's Bay area, actually attended Halifax West High School in the 1960s as well, before a school was built - I think it's Sir John A. Macdonald was built to serve the county.

So, it's interesting to remember that the area of Clayton Park that I represent, which is very urbanized and right in the city now, was in fact part of the County of Halifax not that long ago - really, up until the late 1960s. The school again has returned a little bit to that tradition by this year inviting 300 students from the Prospect area, from Brookside Junior High, to come and be part of the school population, because the capacity was there - the school was built for 1,500 students and it was felt that we had the capacity - we could take pressure off Sir John A. Macdonald, which has had its own problems with air quality and renovations. So we wanted to do what we could in the Clayton Park area to help, so we've broken the tradition and brought students from the county area into a city school, and up to this point it's working very well.

A number of them are French immersion students and that's helping to bolster the French immersion students who have been brought there this year from the St. Pat's High School program. That was something that other members of the community were anxious to have. We felt that with a new high school in the area and with strong enrolment in French immersion from the Mainland North area, of which Clayton Park and Clayton Park West-

[Page 1008]

Rockingham are a part, we could sustain a stand-alone high school program at Halifax West, and the students from Brookside are helping make that a possibility as well.

I mentioned there are a number of other schools in the area - Rockingham school we've touched on Park West, the new P3 school, we also have Duc d'Anville School which is in the original Clayton Park development and it's named after the French armada which was led by Duc d'Anville in the early 1700s, which is part of the history of the area.

We also have a very active Rockingham Heritage Society, which is documenting and keeping track of the stories and information that relates to the history of our area. I think that's tremendously important, because we are a mixture of old and new. Even if you look at the original development of Clayton Park - it's only about 40 to 50 years old - that area has been continually building up and developing for 50 years. That's why, as I said earlier, we're looking forward to this point in time when the final empty lots are being filled in and we're really close to a completion of that rapid stage of development.

What we're doing is forging a community between those older, more settled areas and the brand new areas. The people in the brand new areas, some of them have moved from those adjacent communities, but others are coming from all over the country and all over the province looking for a place where they can put down roots as well.

I also have students in the Clayton Park area who have to walk long distances to school. Some of them walk along Willett Street to Fairview Heights Elementary School and we've had some difficulty this year - as members of the House will know - about access to lunchtime programs and the difficulty it's placing on many individuals. I spoke to one resident in the Clayton Park area who's actually had to stop working in order to be able to pick up her child at lunchtime and look after them at lunch and take them back to school again. The walk is about 30 minutes back and forth, and the child is only in Primary. There was no access to lunchtime programs. That's a real hardship, especially on people whose incomes are not large and who live - I would say that their conditions are close to the bone. We need to give more back to the public, we need to help them so that parents can do their work and look after their families better.

I mentioned that French immersion has always been a very strong force in Mainland North. There is strong and heavy enrolment for the program. We have some concerns about the decimation of the St. Pat's High School French Immersion Program. I think the decision to bring the French immersion students to Halifax West High School was a good one, but in asking for that, the community was very surprised, in fact stunned, to see that the program at St. Pat's was to be split in three.

As I mentioned, the new high school is located on the Mainland Common in Clayton Park, and that is an example of some foresight shown by the municipality some years ago, in the late 1980s before the area had really even come on to people's radar screens as a fast-

[Page 1009]

developing, explosive-growth area. The City of Halifax, it was the former City of Halifax, looked to that area of Mainland North and realized that if they didn't set aside some land at that point for a park that the opportunity would be lost. In the late 1980s they put together a package of land that amounts to about 175 acres. It's known as the Mainland Common.

The area was largely dormant after amalgamation, not much work was done or money spent on it, but the land was there and it was looked after. Since the library opened in July 2001, things have really moved quickly on the Mainland Common. Thomas Raddall Drive has opened, which was named specifically to commemorate the Nova Scotia author, who was a native of Halifax but also lived most of his life in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Our previous library in the community had been called the Thomas Raddall Library. When we were the recipients of a large bequest, we were delighted to have the new library opened on Lacewood Drive, and it's named the Keshen and Goodman Library, after the family who donated the funds that allowed it to be built. Those funds had grown to over $5 million by the year 2000, those were the funds that were used to build the new library.

The community regretted the loss of the name Thomas Raddall, because we had enjoyed that library for many years as well. It was felt very fitting to name the street that runs through the Mainland Common, Thomas Raddall Drive, and it's now the address for the new high school as well. That was done only last year in a ceremony that was attended by the author's son from Liverpool, who is also known as Dr. Thomas Raddall.

In addition to the library which opened, we had the impetus of the building of the new high school, which led to the road going in and other services being improved. We have the site of the Soccer Nova Scotia Training Centre, which is for indoor soccer. It's used heavily by people across the region, and I think across the province. Now adjacent to that, in the month of September 2003, we had the opening of the new artificial turf fields. There's a double artificial turf field built adjacent to the soccer centre. It is really a world-class facility. It is the largest artificial turf field of that sort in Canada, and the fifth largest in the world, I believe. As I mentioned in the resolutions today, it is hosting an under-14 boys and girls national soccer championship this weekend. It's a good example of providing the facilities we need to host national and even international events.

The facility cost $2.2 million. A little bit of that was leveraged as part of the school project, because normally the new high school would have had a field of its own at a cost of about $200,000. That money was added to money from the municipality in order to build the artificial turf field, which gives them a much finer school field to begin with. This school was very happy to go along with that. It's only minutes from their front door, so they're thrilled.

As well, because we wanted to build a double soccer field rather than a single, by doubling the size, it was 40 per cent more cost but 80 per cent more use for the public and for the sports people in our province. So the decision was made to do that, but the money was very short. We came in short. To make it happen, Soccer Nova Scotia themselves came to

[Page 1010]

the table, and it was the soccer clubs in Halifax, ultimately, that have put a levy on all of their players in order to contribute . . .

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Madam Speaker, I wonder if the honourable member who is speaking would permit a reversion to Statements by Ministers with the consent of the House? (Interruptions)

Madam Speaker, I request that the House give its unanimous consent to return to the order of business, Statements by Ministers.

MADAM SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[11:15 a.m.]


MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Madam Speaker, I rise today to make an important announcement, noting the recent crisis we've gone through with Hurricane Juan, and also to acknowledge Nova Scotians, the people of Nova Scotia who have endured so much. As we enter this particular Thanksgiving weekend, it is an appropriate time for all Nova Scotians to pause, first to give thanks and be grateful for the manner in which we weathered the ferocity, destruction of Hurricane Juan less than two weeks ago. Secondly, to reach out with compassion, support and assistance for those who are suffering as a result of the storm damage and losses. For many of us, life is returning to normal. Most power has been restored. Most roads and streets have been cleared. We are back at our jobs and our lives are getting back on track.

As we pick up the pieces and go forward, we offer our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the thousands of dedicated and brave individuals, emergency workers, volunteers, government employees, civic leaders, power crews, military personnel, members of the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Metro Food Bank, along with anyone and everyone who has helped in any way in this ongoing recovery phase. But we must not forget about those whose lives and livelihoods may never be the same, Madam Speaker, the thousands of hard-working Nova Scotians whose lives have been dramatically altered and disrupted because of the hurricane damage, power outages, personal and business losses as well as property damage, in some cases those who suffered personal injury or even death in their families. To

[Page 1011]

them, we offer our heartfelt condolences as well as our commitment for our ongoing support and assistance.

Madam Speaker, we have come through the storm and its aftermath with the Emergency Measures Organization fulfilling its role to ensure the safety, security and health of Nova Scotians in times of emergency. Four times in less than six years, EMO has been put to the test. Just over five years ago there was the Swissair 111 tragedy. In the fall of 1999 there was major flooding in Queens County and northern Nova Scotia. Two years ago it was the 911 crisis that diverted world airlines to Halifax International Airport, and less than two weeks ago it was Hurricane Juan - the worst storm in at least 50 years.

On each occasion, whether helping others or helping Nova Scotians, EMO has passed the test. As a follow-up to every emergency or disaster, EMO routinely conducts its own debriefing and post-mortem to determine what worked well and what needs to be improved. As Minister responsible for EMO, I assure all members of this House and all Nova Scotians that this will certainly be done with respect to Hurricane Juan and when that review is completed, Madam Speaker, I will report those results publicly.

Now, Madam Speaker, as the cleanup and recovery continues, we move into the next phase and that is the financial assistance mechanisms to help those Nova Scotians with devastating losses. The province is taking the leading role. We fully expect the federal government to honour its commitments of support made by two federal ministers when they visited the province immediately after the hurricane. Accordingly, I am pleased to announce that the province will provide up to $10 million in relief benefits as its share of the Disaster Financial Assistance Agreement. (Applause)

This program will be available to those who have incurred uninsurable losses as a result of Hurricane Juan. This means that if your loss was for property for which you could not have obtained insurance you may be eligible to request assistance. If the loss affects basic habitability of your home or puts your livelihood in jeopardy then you may be eligible. Under this program there is a deductible of $1,000. This means that the individual must cover the first $1,000 of any uninsurable loss. The program also includes a limited degree of financial assistance to help cover the cost of wharf replacements or repairs so we can assist our coastal fishing communities. (Applause)

Details of the Disaster Relief Program are outlined in this brochure that is being distributed to affected areas of the province. Newspaper advertisements have been placed explaining how and where to apply for assistance under this program. With the 10 per cent commitment that I've just announced, our government is prepared to expand the Disaster Financial Assistance Agreement to assist commercial farmers, commercial fishermen and commercial woodlot owners whose livelihoods have been jeopardized, Madam Speaker. (Applause) We expect the federal government to make the same commitment and provide its 90 per cent share for these expanded programs. Now is the time and now is the

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opportunity for the federal government to show it truly cares about Nova Scotia and Nova Scotians.

When a program to assist the resource sector, our farmers, our fishermen and our woodlot owners has been finalized, there will be a detailed announcement next week. As you know, our Premier, the Honourable John Hamm, has been in Ottawa to press the Prime Minister and key federal ministers to provide substantial financial assistance to help Nova Scotians recover from this disaster. I applaud the Premier for his efforts on behalf of all Nova Scotians. (Applause)

Madam Speaker, as you well know, Nova Scotians are inherently compassionate. They are inherently generous, likewise is our corporate community. In fact, encouraged by several good corporate citizens, our government has established a Hurricane Recovery Fund to receive private and corporate donations to assist with the recovery. Donations to this special fund will be accepted by the Royal Bank of Canada. It will be administered by three caring Nova Scotians. The fund will be distributed to community organizations such as the food bank that are not eligible for other assistance or insurable programs. As I stated, the idea for this special fund came from the corporate community and I applaud their initiative and their generosity.

I can think of no better example of corporate generosity than something I witnessed on Wednesday past. I visited the Metro Food Bank to see the great work that they are doing. While I was there, representatives of the Nova Scotia Homebuilders Association and four of its members arrived. The four member companies were Greater Homes, Provident Developments, Kiel Developments and Cresco homes. Each one, including the association itself, brought a cheque for $5,000 - a total of $25,000 for the food bank. (Applause) That kind of corporate citizenship we are grateful to have in this wonderful Province of Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, these past 12 days have not been easy ones for anyone who felt the fury of Hurricane Juan, but at times like this, the true character and spirit of Nova Scotians shines through. We have weathered the storm together. Now, we are ready to move forward and rebuild what has to be rebuilt, whether it be farms, wharves, buildings or lives.

As a government, we make this pledge - we will provide the greatest degree of assistance possible to help restore the lives, the livelihoods and the spirit of those Nova Scotians most affected by this disaster. Thank you, Madam Speaker. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Madam Speaker, I want to take a moment to speak in response to the statement we just heard from the Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act. I will start by saying that his words of kindness to the people of Nova Scotia,

[Page 1013]

with regard to the devastation of Juan, are well recognized, something that Nova Scotians, every Nova Scotian - I must say, I was listening to the member for Eastern Shore earlier, talking about how his communities have rallied. I think we all have stories of our constituencies, of our communities rallying around those without power, those without food, those without water. It has been, in many ways, the silver lining to Hurricane Juan, how our communities have come together. We've always been known as a province where we look after each other, where we are very kind and considerate to our neighbours, while, at the same time, I think Juan has proven that and that's even gone beyond that. We have proven our compassion for our neighbours and our communities. That's important to remember.

That compassion, Mr. Speaker, must also come from the government, because the government is nothing more than what is elected by the people of a province, and if we are compassionate people, then our government must be compassionate as well. I think it's important to recognize in this statement and in this brochure that has been handed out - and let me start by saying, this minister has done a nice job, in his speech, of highlighting the highlights, the positive points of what he is saying. At the last moment, we got the brochure that spells out some of the details. As they always say, the devil is in the details, and I will get to those in a minute.

We do have some concerns with how this will be played out. I can speak specifically about people in my constituency, as I'm sure other members can speak about people in their constituencies who've been specifically and directly devastated by the hurricane and its aftermath. But let's talk about a couple of things first, that the minister noted in his statement.

Let me start by saying that communication towards the people of Nova Scotia, for the people of Nova Scotia has been abysmal since Hurricane Juan struck. That's not all the government. Nova Scotia Power has a lot of blame resting at its feet for how its communication centre operated. That has been acknowledged by Nova Scotia Power themselves. This government has done very little, and it takes almost two weeks for this government to come forward and say, our Access Nova Scotia Centres are available for you to come and talk to us about your concerns. Or, where we don't have one, we will set up another office.

Why couldn't this government, a day or two or three days after Hurricane Juan, have said that the Musquodoboit area Natural Resources Office will be open for people who need or have any concerns, if they have questions about their power supply, if they have questions about where they can get fresh water, if they have questions about their spoiled food? Why does it take almost two weeks for this government to decide that the Natural Resources Office in the Musquodoboit Harbour area is the appropriate place for them to be able to go and get that information? Why does that take two weeks?

[Page 1014]

It shouldn't. Unless this government was not prepared, unless this government that likes to claim that EMO is working, and I don't deny that EMO and the people in EMO have worked very hard since Hurricane Juan, but the fact is that as a government you have to go beyond what EMO is doing. EMO has very specific jobs to do with regard to a crisis like this. The government as a whole has a role to play to provide information to people, because, I would suggest to you, one of the biggest problems around Hurricane Juan - obviously there's devastation, there was a loss of life, those are major components - to most people, it's the anxiety of not knowing, of not having the information, of not knowing where to turn, and to hearing a government that said nothing. A government that did not respond, a government that did not even impose a state of emergency. We left it up to individual municipalities to do it.

[11:30 p.m.]

Well, the fact is, Mr. Speaker, if this was the worst storm in 50 years to hit this province, we should have had a provincial state of emergency and we should have had a government that was ready and willing to utilize all its resources, all its staff, to provide information to the people of Nova Scotia so we knew exactly what was happening. That did not happen; and 12 days after the storm we finally hear that that is something that will happen.

I want to talk about evaluation. This minister says EMO, after every incident, does an evaluation. Well, that's great. I would suggest to you, as a government, that kind of internal investigation is not good enough now. I would even suggest that public hearings or some sort of public input, whether it be using the Internet or having other forms of input, Mr. Speaker, would be invaluable in these circumstances so people can start to tell their stories of how they did not get the information they needed, how they didn't get the support they needed, and then maybe this government will learn from those lessons so that next time we will be better prepared. An evaluation cannot be done in a back room of an EMO office. It must be done in the open where Nova Scotians have a chance to comment, give input and be able to produce legitimate recommendations that Nova Scotians can believe are actually going to result in some changes so next time they have the support, information and assistance they need in a timely manner.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister responsible for EMO talks about support for fishermen on some of the wharves, although there's no information detailed in this for us now. He talks about support for farmers, he talks about support for woodlot owners. We will get more details on that because, let's be clear, according to his statement, farmers, woodlot owners and fishermen are not directly impacted by this announcement today. They will have to wait for a later date to get that information. Their anxiety level will continue to grow because we do not have information. Whether it be the fishermen in my riding, or Halifax Atlantic, or Timberlea-Prospect, or Eastern Shore, they don't have the information they need to know. Let me be clear, at least from Eastern Passage down towards Lunenburg, we have a lobster

[Page 1015]

season starting. It is the most profitable and most important season for most of these fishermen.

May I say I thought it was quite embarrassing to this government to see fishermen from the Digby area coming into this House, coming to Halifax yesterday with equipment. They're able to react more quickly than this government did 12 days after Hurricane Juan struck, and this government still has no answers for these fishermen, or the farmers, or the woodlot owners in this province.

I do want to take a moment to recognize one of the companies that helped donate through the Nova Scotia Home Builders Association, Kiel Developments, the Kielbratowski family. A longstanding relationship in my riding. I congratulate them and the others who did provide a donation. Yes, it is important that we all rally, that we all provide that support that we can, but the fact is that some of the details in this program, Mr. Speaker, are those I have concerns with.

Let me start with the deductible. What does this mean, a $1,000 deductible? If you're a working-poor person who has a job that is barely able to ensure that you can keep a roof over your head, if you still have a roof, Mr. Speaker, what does it mean when you have spoiled food that you had preserved and had stored for the winter because you were able to find deals through the summer, maybe it's $200, $400, $500, $600, $700 worth of food. Well, according to this, you're out of luck. You're not going to get any help from this government.

What about the fact that there are those working poor who have damage to their houses, damage to their mobile homes, maybe that damage is $2,000 or $3,000. They're expected to pay that $1,000 deductible. I would suggest to this government it wouldn't be a bad idea if that $1,000 deductible was waived based on a certain level of income. We already have it. We already have programs so that if you make under $16,000 or $18,000 a year that you can get grants from this provincial government and the federal government through the RRAP program. There are low-interest or no-interest loans for people who make more than that. Maybe those are things we need to be looking at so some of those people who aren't making a lot of money don't have to face a $1,000 deductible. It's something to think about.

I also want to take an opportunity to note a couple of things that were said. Small business, according to this brochure, Mr. Speaker - and I stand to be corrected by those who wrote it and have other information - what it says, and it has been tabled in this House, is that you are only eligible for assistance if your business is one in which you actually are at risk of losing your business. That is not an acceptable rate of support for the small businesses in Nova Scotia that are devastated. Farmers are also impacted by this. There needs to have been quicker information from this government, there needs to be more support, and we look forward to a debate on this in the future.

[Page 1016]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, in the days since Hurricane Juan our caucus has been vocal with criticism of the government. We believe the government was, at times, caught off guard by the impact of Hurricane Juan. In the days immediately following Juan, our Leader stood in this House and questioned the government on what they were doing to ensure that those Nova Scotians who were affected by the storm had the information necessary to cope and keep their families safe.

Mr. Speaker, we were disappointed by the answers and I should say lack of answers given by this government. Yesterday, in this House, local fishermen were criticizing this government and its Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries for not taking the actions necessary to help them get ready for the fishing season, which begins in less than five weeks. For those people, money is not going to help in the short term. All the fishing gear lost cannot be built back in time for this season.

Mr. Speaker, now the government is reporting on the damage caused and it is indeed alarming but not surprising for those who lived through the storm. The government has announced an aid package which will begin to heal the scars left by Juan, and we applaud them for that. What the people of Nova Scotia need from the government is leadership. We hope that with these new monies comes a new understanding of the needs of both urban and rural areas in this province affected by the hurricane. Many of our rural communities have felt neglected in the aftermath of Juan.

Mr. Speaker, these rural communities need to hear and see their government working for them, not only with money but with encouragement to help each other. I will conclude my remarks by reminding the government of those who need our help the most. For many low-income Nova Scotians, Hurricane Juan has significantly altered their way of life. As their elected officials, it is our responsibility to assist them in their time of need, but more importantly to prevent the problem in the first place. Many of the difficulties faced by low-income Nova Scotians could have been prevented with a coordinated, effective response by this government. I thank the minister for his remarks, and I applaud the government for the first steps in rebuilding. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park. You have 22 minutes left.

[Page 1017]

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, one of the main issues that affects our area, in terms of growth and the future, is recreation. The area has increased tremendously in size and population, and yet we're still relying on an old facility, the Northcliffe Centre for recreational purposes. Originally Northcliffe Centre was built as an outdoor pool, just to serve the area of Clayton Park and Rockingham. Over the years a bubble was placed over that, and then beyond that, a few years later again, they did build a structure around the pool. It's never been very accommodating to the community in the sense that it's not really well built, it wasn't well ventilated. It has a lot of problems now with its roof and other structural problems, which means that it's quite often closed during holiday times, like Christmas and in the summer, an inconvenience to the community.

It's also serving a much wider area than just the immediate communities of Clayton Park, Clayton Park West and Rockingham. People come there from Bedford, from Timberlea and Hammonds Plains. So there's been a tremendous growing awareness of the need to expand our recreational facilities for that area, as one of the largest and most significant communities in HRM, certainly in the province.

As a result of that, a committee was formed several years ago, two years ago, the Mainland Common Recreation Centre Committee, whose mandate and job it is to look at replacing Northcliffe Centre with a new facility which would be located, again, on lands in the Mainland Common to allow it to grow. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park has the floor.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, certainly by replacing the facility, we wanted to move it to the Mainland Common because that allows more space, more room to build better facilities, larger facilities. So it will still be very closely located. The current Northcliffe Centre is along Dunbrack Street, this will only be a few blocks away on the Mainland Common. That committee has been very fortunate to have as its chair, Jack Flemming, who is a long-time Clayton Park resident. In fact, in the 1970s, he worked very hard to see the Northcliffe Centre built for his family. Now he is a very active person himself, he is also interested in seeing a better facility for his children and his grandchildren who live in the same area.

His son, John Flemming, who is a resident of the newer area of Clayton Park West, has also been active on the committee as are a few of the other members - Mel Hackett, James MacCormack, who actually called and volunteered his services before any committee existed, he called to say, what can we do to improve recreation. So he came in, actually, out of his own goodwill; Kevin Heisler who is a phys ed teacher, John Dow, Mike Campbell and Wendy MacDonald to name just a few. These people have been meeting on a regular basis with city councillors and staff from HRM to come up with a vision and the blueprint, really, for us to move forward with a new centre for the Mainland Common.

[Page 1018]

The vision is much grander than the current Northcliffe Centre. The community wants to see something that really meets the needs of the future so they're looking at a centre that would be more in line with what we've seen at Cole Harbour Place or Dalplex almost. Those are the models we're using, the land footprint that we're looking for would be something that over time would be similar to Cole Harbour Place.

That committee has been working very hard and has had a lot of support from the city because we know that the current Northcliffe Centre is not going to last many more years unless there were a significant infusion of capital which would not be good use of the money. The city is making plans to try to support that new facility, they have, in fact, put the project on the infrastructure list for the HRM as one of their top priorities and are looking for support from other levels of government as well - from the provincial and from their federal counterparts to see that project go ahead within the next two years.

In preparation for that, a survey was done. The area that was surveyed was the area that people could reach the Mainland Common within about a 20 to 30 minute radius. That number of people is as high as 130,000 residents of HRM and the wider area that could reach that. We think it's very well located and it would be a wonderful project for the province to support because it certainly would contribute to the health and fitness of the community, promoting healthy lifestyles and offering opportunities for both young and old to participate in sport and recreational facilities. So we think it's the very best thing that this community needs, it's the top of the list of infrastructure needs right now. That's because the population has overtaken what's there currently.

Another group that's been formed just recently which is also related to the Mainland Common came about as a result of the survey I referenced that that was done to find out what the broader, wider, regional community would like to see in that facility. One of the major things that people requested was more trails. Although that's not within the facility, and although we are were hoping to have an indoor walking track, the idea of trails was mentioned as the primary thing that people wanted.

So a new group has been founded and it's called the Northwest Trails Advisory Group and they will be looking at ways to help HRM and the province map out new trails, connect existing trails and build trails in the Mainland Common, 75 acres of which are still fully treed. We don't want to remove any more trees in that area - I've already mentioned it's a problem for our part of the city that the trees have been lost in such a great number. We'd like to leave that wooded, we'd like to see trails developed through there. For this initiative we can thank Wendy and Bob MacDonald who are residents of Clayton Park West. They're very active in the Halifax Field Naturalists group and very interested in the protection of the environment.

[Page 1019]

They have spearheaded a group coming together to look at connecting our trails that are throughout Mainland North. That would mean connecting to trails in Hemlock Ravine Park which is partially owned by the province - a very historic and beautiful area off the Bedford Highway and also into the new Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea trail system which has often been held up as a model of community effort to build a wonderful trail that's heavily used. It actually finishes almost within my riding on the other side of Bayers Lake Business Park. There's only a short distance really that would allow us to connect through to that, to the trails of the Mainland North. We have a linear trail - we know it more as the powerline trail, which goes for four and one-half kilometres through the area.

We'd like to see all those trails interconnecting, providing a lot more recreational opportunity for all of the residents of Mainland North and even for the residents beyond. That vision, I think, is one that will come to fruition in the next few years as well. It comes because the residents take an interest, because people care about the facilities in our area. I think that the idea of interconnecting and seeing trails throughout the province is one that we should really promote.

[11:45 a.m.]

Within the area of Clayton Park, our riding, traffic woes have to be mentioned. The riding encompasses the Bedford Highway as it heads into the Fairview overpass area. It has the street, Bayview Road, which is well-known and often cited as the worst residential street for traffic in the HRM. It receives 16,000 cars a day and it is designated and defined as a residential street under HRM's rules which should only carry 3,000 cars a day. So they also have an extremely high accident rate. The recorded accidents, the councillor of the area says it is the highest recorded accident rate of any street in HRM and that's in a single year.

Flamingo Drive is paralleling the difficulties of Bayview. It's becoming a problem more recently as the street has now become connected through to the upper part of Clayton Park West and traffic can travel directly down, crossing Dunbrack Street, and reaching the Bedford Highway by using Flamingo Drive. It currently has about 7,500 cars a day using it. It's very twisty and steep.

In both those streets - Bayview and Flamingo Drive - a new initiative was begun in September of this year and it was begun because of an Order in Council from the government. I would like to thank the government for showing some foresight in this regard. The City of Halifax or HRM and, in fact, the UNSM, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, have been asking for a number of years for the authority to control speed limits within their municipalities, to lower them below the 50 kilometres per hour which is at present the lowest speed limit that can be enforced, and there are issues that arise in an urban area where you really would like to lower it below that so that you can help to control the negative impact of fast traffic within a particular street to improve the quality of life for the people on that street.

[Page 1020]

That was not a tool or a mechanism that was available to the municipality and neither is it to any municipalities yet, but on a trial basis, Bayview and Flamingo Drive have been given, or the HRM has given the authority to lower those speed limits on those two streets and two other streets that connect into them - Gateway and Meadowlark - and those four streets now have a posted speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour which are the only streets in HRM that have that. The municipality is responsible for monitoring and enforcing it and they've certainly given it some attention. I think more enforcement would help to ensure that drivers are aware of the need to slow down there, but it is helping to slow down the traffic. The data is being collected. It's going to be, we think, a six- to 12-month trial depending, they're going to do an assessment halfway through to see how it's working.

The residents of Flamingo Drive and Bayview, Meadowlark and Gateway, are really very receptive and welcoming of this initiative and I'm very hopeful that it will show good results so that this can be expanded and the authority can be given to municipalities to do this in more, even if it is case by case, if it can be given to municipalities as the need arises because we don't have enough tools to deal with traffic calming. When we get into the issue of municipalities having to put in speed bumps or chicanes, or other ways to impede traffic, you get a very big backlash in a community. I think all of us have seen that here in HRM, even those members who travel here regularly, but are not residents of the municipality, I'm sure have seen the tremendous backlash from people who use streets and people who feel they have a right to use public streets. They really very often object strenuously to having those other measures brought into play.

We are looking for ways that we can improve the quality of living for people on those busy streets and yet not upset, I guess is the right word, the many people who rely on those routes to get to work, or to school, and other places. So we're not in favour, you know, I'm not in favour personally of restricting access to any streets and I think that lower speed limits is a very positive move and I think that over time, within this year I hope, we will see a good result from that. I do applaud the government for giving it a try. I think it was the right thing to do. It was a good idea.

There is a traffic committee that has been meeting regularly for several years to try to look at the measures that are available to them and members of that committee have been very diligent in raising the issues and really bringing home to their elected representatives, both provincially and municipally, the difficulty they have living on those streets. I would like to mention Gerard Walsh as somebody who has been really fighting this battle for many years - for more than 10 years - and is very eloquent in describing the conditions they have to live with and the accidents that they've experienced themselves. There's scarcely a resident on Bayview who has not been involved in some kind of fender-bender and many of those aren't even recorded in our statistics because we know the difficulty with insurance. They may not want to bring those cases forward.

[Page 1021]

Certainly there's been a very dedicated group and there are members on that committee from the wider community as well - Jim Gumpert and Charles Hopper, and Bill Chappell who lives on Skylark Street in Rockingham. The wider community was invited to participate so that the solutions brought forward would not just represent the interests of the people who are most negatively impacted, that the wider view would also be included. It's been very interesting and, I know, difficult for the committee to try to come to a consensus and work together, but they've done a tremendous job of it, so we thank them for that.

Councillor Russell Walker of District 15, Fairview-Clayton Park, has been very instrumental in bringing that group together and working with them over many years, really since the late 1990s when the traffic-calming policy was adopted. Those issues and the issues along the Bedford Highway remain paramount to the concerns of the community. I know that the provincial government is looking at ways, perhaps through a joint traffic task force or commission, that will help to look at the urban issues that are unique for traffic in the HRM. I think that any assistance that could come in the way of encouraging rapid transit or rail transit between Bedford and the city would be a great help as well, which would help to alleviate the problem of traffic along the Bedford Highway.

Over my few years on the HRM Council, I worked closely with Councillor Russell Walker because the interests of Mainland North are very closely connected. Mainland North is really Fairview and beyond, Fairview to Prince's Lodge. We're lucky in the last few years that we've had a new publication, the Parkview News, which came into being about a year and a half ago. It's published by Chebucto Publishing, the editor and owner is Reg Horner. He publishes a number of community newspapers in HRM, but we're really delighted that that newspaper came into being. It's a monthly newspaper and it highlights what is happening in that whole Mainland North area, which can almost be defined as the communities along Dunbrack Street and perhaps bordered by the Bedford Highway on the east.

It's been a wonderful thing to help, because I referred earlier to the fact that we're a combination of older and newer neighbourhoods and it's helping to knit us together in terms of the news and the events that are happening, and giving us an awareness of what each of those little neighbourhoods is doing, and our schools and churches and active community groups. It's helping to create a stronger sense of identity. I think it's an effort that should be commended very much, as we go forward, groups like the Chebucto Publishing Company.

Again, over time, I've had a chance to work on the traffic-calming issue, the efforts to get us a new high school in the area, the Mainland Common Recreation Centre Committee, and also the Centennial Rink Commission. The Centennial Rink is one of the boundaries of my riding. It is a landmark; it's been there since 1967, and came about, again because of a vision of the community to provide better services in the area of Fairview-Clayton Park.

[Page 1022]

It's run by an exemplary committee, the chair in the last couple of years has been Wendell Crowell, who is somebody who may be known to many of you here. He has done a wonderful job, as has that committee. There are a few members of that committee who have sat on the Centennial Rink Commission from the time of its inception, so really we're looking at 35 years and counting. They've been very committed to sport and to maintaining that committee; in fact it's been a model, and HRM often gets other community groups to come to Centennial Rink to talk to that board, to see how they operate their facility because they do such a good job, so they need to be commended as well.

On one of the other parts of my riding we have Bayers Lake Business Park, which I am sure is known to everybody here and beyond. Bayers Lake business district is amazing in that it has grown up and become such a tremendous force in a very short period of time. In 1991, the first retail store opened in that park, and that was Costco, originally called the Price Club. When that opened, it was followed quickly by Kent and Wal-Mart and every other store you can practically name. It's become large and is often referred to as a big-box shopping area, but there are small and independently owned businesses in that park. I think it's important that we remember that - it's dominated by the big names, but there are a lot of other people operating businesses in the park.

They have an association which represents their interests. A past president of the Bayers Lake Business Association was Jonathan Ross, who is a resident of Clayton Park West. Not long ago, perhaps a year and a half or two years ago, I was at a meeting where Mr. Ross called on the Premier to move faster with Sunday shopping. It was one of the times when I heard the Premier say that we weren't going to talk about it until 2005. So I'm glad to be in the House today and see that we are getting to it in a faster fashion.

The merchants, as I say, some of them being small-business people, are anxiously awaiting the outcome of that bill because there's a lot of demand in both the neighbourhood and in the business community to see that go forward. Millions of dollars of tax revenue are generated for the municipality and the province and the country in that business area. It pays about $6 million a year in property taxes alone. It's certainly an economic engine for the province and an area we want to maintain.

I mentioned there are other smaller service businesses in the area. There's a large daycare called, Kids R Kids, which has over 100 daycare spaces operated in the park and serving the people of the community and a lot of the workers. It's owned by Heather Hansen-Dunbar, who has been an advocate for child care and for the industry, she's served on many committees. She told me that not a day goes by they don't receive calls from parents, particularly mothers, who are often in tears looking for spaces for their children. The spaces are particularly limited for children under 18 months old, and it's really, really difficult for parents to return to work when there are no daycare spaces available. So she's one of the very active lobbyists in that industry and running a successful business in Bayers Lake Business Park.

[Page 1023]

Tucked in behind Bayers Lake business district and along Highway No. 102 is an area known as Birch Cove Lakes. It's one of a number of areas that was identified on a list that the province had of environmentally sensitive locations in the province. I think it's particularly worthy of comment because it is bordered now by high-density residential and commercial development. It really is threatened in the sense that, over time, this area will disappear if it doesn't get proper protection or designation.

Right now, over time, it will be bounded on all sides by development - on the Kearney Lake Road side, on the Timberlea side there's a lot of development and, certainly, in Clayton Park West. So I'd like to draw the government's attention to the fact that the Birch Cove Lakes area, again, has been a very important area deserving of protection.

I'd like to also note that there's a lot of construction work going on at the entrance to Bayers Lake Business Park, which is an answer to a call from the business community and residents across the province that the traffic woes be addressed there. The province and HRM are cost-sharing on widening and increasing the number of lanes under that overpass. The land is entirely owned by the province all around the 100-Series Highways and their ramps, and this is something again where HRM has come to the table with the province and said please help us.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Due to the late hour, would the honourable member like to move adjournment of the debate please?

MS. WHALEN: Alright, I'll do that. I would like to move adjournment of debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn the debate.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member will have about two minutes left when we come back next time.

The honourable Government House Leader on next week's hours and order of business.

[Page 1024]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. the House will sit from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., and the order of business following the daily routine and Question Period will be Committee of the Whole House on Bills, hopefully, and further debate on Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.

Mr. Speaker, with that, I move adjournment of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House is adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

I'd like to wish all members a happy and a safe Thanksgiving weekend, and see you on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 11:59 a.m.]

[Page 1025]



By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Ozzy is a rare blue domino coloured Afghan dog owned by Yarmouth resident Glenda MacDonald; and

Whereas the 10-and-a-half-month old Afghan recently won Best in Show at the New Glasgow Dog Show, besting between 200 and 300 other dogs; and

Whereas a good showing in a subsequent show in Cape Breton brought Ozzy enough points to be designated as a champion in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Glenda MacDonald and Ozzy on their impressive performance and wish them well as they continue their competitive endeavours.


By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas the Junior Chamber National Convention has recently taken place and the Metro Cape Breton Junior Chamber of Commerce walked away with eight awards for its work over the past year; and

Whereas formed in 2001, the Cape Breton Junior Chamber is a non-profit organization of entrepreneurs and community leaders between the ages of 19 and 39; and

Whereas the junior chamber was recognized for the best local project for their annual dinner and awards night, best local program for their youth essay contest, and received first, second and honourable mentions in other areas;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Metro Cape Breton Junior Chamber of Commerce on their success at the Junior Chamber National Convention and wish them luck in next year's ceremony.

[Page 1026]


By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism and Culture)

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

Whereas the Cape North Community Museum has been successfully rebuilt; and

Whereas the opening of the new 2,400 square foot building is the culmination of years of commitment and hard work; and

Whereas built on the site of the old museum, the new structure houses years of accumulated artifacts and a public Internet site, provides opportunities for genealogical study and tourist information;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and commend Project Manager Kevin Chaisson and his dedicated team for bringing the Cape North Community Museum project to a successful conclusion.