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March 2, 2018

  HANSARD17-29

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Kevin Murphy

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

Available on INTERNET at http://nslegislature.ca/legislative-business/hansard-debates/



First Session

FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE
 

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 773, Cdn. Red Cross: Humanitarian Efforts - Apprec.,
2223
Vote - Affirmative
2224
Res. 774, CCH: 2b theatre co. - Congrats.,
2224
Vote - Affirmative
2225
Res. 775, H&W: Pharmacist Awareness Month - Thank,
2225
Vote - Affirmative
2226
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 74, Municipal Grants Act,
2226
No. 75, Support for the Creative Economy Act,
2227
No. 76, Mineral Resources Act,
2227
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Pharmacists: Contributions - Thank,
2227
Women Making Waves Conf./Thompson, Shelley
- Contributions Recognize, Ms. S. Leblanc « »
2227
Chebucto Connections/Kerr, Margo: Fundraising Efforts
- Thank, Mr. B. Maguire »
2228
Blair, Brody: Boxing Career - Congrats.,
2228
Code Critical - Ambulance Availability,
2229
Bay Grandmothers/Commun. Stitchers: Red Scarf Campaign
- Commend, Mr. H. MacKay »
2229
Queens Assoc. for Supported Living (QASL) - Recognize,
2230
Women Making Waves Conf./Women in Film & Television Atl
- Efforts Recognize, Ms. S. Leblanc « »
2230
Marchand, Chase: Hockey Achievements - Congrats.,
2231
Turnbull, Blayre/Cdn. Women's Hockey Team: Olympics
Success - Congrats., Hon. P. Dunn »
2231
Wee Care Developmental Ctr./Hfx. Assoc. for Commun. Living:
Preschool Educ. - Invest, Ms. L. Roberts »
2232
Begin, Lenora: RCL Friendship Award - Congrats.,
2232
Aldershot Elem. Sch./PTA: Fundraising Efforts - Congrats.,
2232
Dikaios, Kalliope/Wiles, Sarah/Khanna, Ishani/Grey, Lauren: Hfx. West
HS Mental H&W Comm. - Recognize, Ms. R. DiCostanzo »
2233
Port Morien Develop. Assoc.: Dedication - Thank,
2233
Maybe, Ross: Retirement - Congrats.,
2234
Burgess, Karlee/Team N.S.: Curling Achievements - Recognize,
2234
H&W: Code Critical - Awareness,
2235
Rofihe's Men's Wear - 90 Yrs. in Bus.: Family Retirement
- Congrats., Hon. M. Furey »
2235
Millwood Elem.: Nourish Your Roots Fundraiser - Thank,
2235
Porter, Ella: 4-H Canada Going Global Exchange - Leadership,
2236
MacDonald, Father Hughie D.: Retirement - Best Wishes,
2236
H&W - Code Critical: Dartmouth Gen. - Innovation,
2237
Aylesford Dist. Lions Club: Commun. Fundraising - Thank,
2237
Walsh, Marieke: Political Journalist - Best Wishes,
2238
Tate, Mike: Provincial Records - Congrats.,
2238
Duggan, Stephanie: Tearmann House (30 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
2239
MacCabe, Douglas: Death of - Tribute,
2239
Lakewind Sound Studios: Achievements - Congrats.,
2239
Burri, Hervé & Lorraine: Enfield Park Contributions - Thank,
2240
Fraser, Maxine: Positive Changes - Admiration,
2240
Clare Firefighters Assoc. - Training Passport: Innovation
2241
Hanson, Aidan - Kreamsicle: Entrepreneurship - Congrats.,
2242
Boutilier, Brent - Duncan MacMillan HS: Strong Work Ethic
- Commend, Hon. L. Hines »
2242
Doggett, Adam - Master Corporal, West N.S. Regiment: Promotion
- Congrats., Ms. K. Masland « »
2243
Hfx. Burger Wk. (6th Anl.): Feed N.S. Donation - Success
2243
Kin Day: Kin Canada Anniv. (98th) - Community Commitment,
2243
Boston Bruins: Stanley Cup - Best Wishes,
2244
Divine, Ann: Top 25 Immigrants in the Maritimes Award - Congrats.,
2244
Barrelling Tide Distillery: Successes - Congrats.,
2245
Wimberly, David: Commun. Contributions - Thank,
2245
African Heritage Month: Halifax Black Film Festival Launch
- Acknowledge, Ms. L. Roberts « »
2246
The Barn Coffee & Social House: Anniv. (1st) - Congrats.,
2246
Gateway Community Church: Anniv. (26th) - Recognize,
2246
Richardson, Steve: Photography Career - Recognize,
2247
Simmonds-Searl, Missy: Charitable Contributions - Recognize,
2247
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 380, Prem. - Legal Cannabis: Policing - Extra Costs,
2248
No. 381, Prem.: Health Care Crisis - Noise,
2250
No. 382, Justice - Legal Cannabis: Legal Age - Advice Ignored,
2251
No. 383, Mun. Affairs - NSHA: Municipalities Pay - Inconsistent,
2252
No. 384, H&W - NSHA: Victoria Co. - Money Owed,
2253
No. 385, H&W - Sacred Heart Hosp.: Debt Pmt. - Ensure,
2254
No. 386, H&W - Dialysis Services: Demand - Estimate,
2256
No. 387, African N.S. Affairs - School Boards: Loss of Reps
- Concern, Ms. L. Roberts « »
2257
No. 388, H&W - Sutherland Harris Hosp.: Service Reduct. - Concern,
2258
No. 389, H&W - Dialysis Service: Kentville Unit - Update,
2259
No. 390, H&W: Hemodialysis Satellite Unit (Barrington Passage)
2260
No. 391, Bus.: Film Techs. - Job Losses,
2262
No. 392, LAE: Elevators/Lifts Safety Course - Alternatives,
2263
No. 393, EECD: Cole Hbr.-East. Passage Schools: Min. Meeting
- Principals Exclusion, Ms. B. Adams « »
2264
No. 394, TIR - Loch Lomond Road: Flooding - Solutions,
2266
No. 395, Energy: Fracking Moratorium - Revoke,
2267
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 72, Education Reform (2018) Act
2268
2274
2279
2288
2293
2302
2304
2307
2316
2321
2324
2326
2330
2337
2340
2350
2352
2353
2358
2360
2362
2363
2364
2366
Vote - Affirmative
2370
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Mar. 5th at 9:00 p.m
2370
Res. 776, Thomas, Karen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2371
Res. 777, Woolhouse, Karen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2371
Res. 778, Young, Karen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2372
Res. 779, Ritcey, Katelyn - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2372
Res. 780, Helpard, Keith - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2373
Res. 781, Allen, Kellie - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2373
Res. 782, Martin, Kent - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2374
Res. 783, Ball, Kevin - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2374
Res. 784, Stover, Kris - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2375
Res. 785, Doucette, Lauren - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2376
Res. 786, Carey, Leandra - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2376
Res. 787, Roberts, Leona - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2377
Res. 788, Pamenter, Linda - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2377
Res. 789, Mills, Lorie - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2378
Res. 790, Ash, Lorna - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2378
Res. 791, Zinck-Gordon, Lorna- Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2379
Res. 792, Boutilier, Lydia - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2379
Res. 793, Zwicker, Lynne - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2380
Res. 794, Leppard, Jackie - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2381
Res. 795, Tupper, Jacqui - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2381
Res. 796, Slaunwhite, Jan - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2382
Res. 797, Flinn, Janet - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2382
Res. 798, Harris, Jean - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2383
Res. 799, Mills, Jessie - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2383
Res. 800, Cooper, Jo - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2384
Res. 801, Redmond, Joan - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2384
Res. 802, Snair, Jodi - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2385
Res. 803, Brodie, Jody - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2386
Res. 804, Bignell, John - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2386
Res. 805, Cascadden, John - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2387
Res. 806, Himmelman, John - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2387
Res. 807, Hubley, John - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2388
Res. 808, McKee, John - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2388
Res. 809, Taggart, Judy - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2389
Res. 810, Dagley, Joyce - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2389
Res. 811, Stover, Julie - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2390
Res. 812, Meade, Gary - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2391
Res. 813, Richardson, Gary - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2391
Res. 814, Seibert, Gerald - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2392
Res. 815, Hicks, Glen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2392
Res. 816, Reynolds, Glen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2393
Res. 817, Davis, Gordon - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2393
Res. 818, Christie, Gwen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2394
Res. 819, Colman, Gwen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2394
Res. 820, Ward, Harry - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2395
Res. 821, Colman, Haste - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2396
Res. 822, Cochrane, Heather - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2396
Res. 823, White, Heather - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2397
Res. 824, Clough, Heidi - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2397
Res. 825, Guderley, Helga - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2398
Res. 826, Brown, Herb - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2398
Res. 827, Elliott, Iris - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2399
Res. 828, Kennedy, Dan - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2399
Res. 829, Trenaman, Daphne - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2400
Res. 830, Baxter, Darlene - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2401
Res. 831, Pentz, Darlene - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2401
Res. 832, Blakney, Darrell - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2402
Res. 833, Hutt-Burgoyne, Dawn- Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2402
Res. 834, Hardy, Delene - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2403
Res. 835, Hicks, Denise - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2403
Res. 836, Ferguson, Donna - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2404
Res. 837, McInnis, Donna - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2404
Res. 838, Tufaro, Donna - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2405
Res. 839, Langille, Doreen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2406
Res. 840, Cody, Eileen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2406
Res. 841, Brooks, Elaine - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2407
Res. 842, Odegard, Eleanor - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2407
Res. 843, Matheson, Eliot - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2408
Res. 844, Isnor, Elizabeth - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2408
Res. 845, Mikaela, Ella - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2409
Res. 846, Malanchuk, Esme - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2409
Res. 847, Marshall, Ethel - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2410
Res. 848, Dolbel, Fred - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2411
Res. 849, Slaunwhite, Candace - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2411
Res. 850, Breckenridge, Carl - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2412
Res. 851, Rowland, Carol - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2412
Res. 852, Wilson, Carol - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2413
Res. 853, Hayward-Ziegler, Cathrin - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2413
Res. 854, Johnson, Chanice - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2414
Res. 855, Pelham-Edwards, Chantal - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2414
Res. 856, Bryson, Chris - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2415
Res. 857, Pelham, Chris - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2415
Res. 858, Hall, Christine - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2416
Res. 859, Comeau, Collin - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2417
Res. 860, Morash, Courtney - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2417
Res. 861, Nightingale, Crystal - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2418
Res. 862, Bauld, Barb - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2418
Res. 863, Matthews, Barb - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2419
Res. 864, Allen, Barbara - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2419
Res. 865, Way, Barbara - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2420
Res. 866, Weickert, Becky - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2420
Res. 867, Kelkman, Ben - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2421
Res. 868, McGee, Beth - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2422
Res. 869, Sherwood, Beth - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2422
Res. 870, Dolbel, Betty - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2423
Res. 871, Carlsen, Beverly - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2423
Res. 872, Hockey, Bill - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2424
Res. 873, MacDonald, Bill - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2424
Res. 874, Roberts, Bill - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2425
Res. 875, MacDonald, Blaine - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2425
Res. 876, Angus, Bob - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2426
Res. 877, Snair, Bonnie - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2427
Res. 878, Boutilier, Brenda - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2427
Res. 879, Scrouton, Brenda - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2428
Res. 880, Hoyt, Brian - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2428
Res. 881, Thomas, Brian - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2429
Res. 882, Ross, Wilma - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2429
Res. 883, Lade, Stephen - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2430
Res. 884, Jakeman, Sue - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2430
Res. 885, Bagley, Susan - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2431
Res. 886, de la Ronde, Susan - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2431
Res. 887, Pelham, Suzanne - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2432
Res. 888, Cochrane, Teri - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2433
Res. 889, Sangster, Terria - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2433
Res. 890, Kidston, Terry - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2434
Res. 891, McClare, Tim - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2434
Res. 892, Smith, Travon - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2435
Res. 893, Moger, Ruth Ann - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2435
Res. 894, Millman, Sally - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2436
Res. 895, Robbins, Shauna - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2436
Res. 896, Chatman, Stephanie - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2437
Res. 897, Channer, Sue - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2438
Res. 898, Kaiser, Sheila - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2438
Res. 899, Morash, Terry Ann - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2439
Res. 900, Milligan, Theresa - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2439
Res. 901, Angus, Anne - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2440
Res. 902, Duperly, Adrienna - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2440
Res. 903, Ziegler, Alana - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2441
Res. 904, Bell, Alison - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2441
Res. 905, Kiceniuk, Andrea - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2442
Res. 906, Stenhouse, Andrew - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2443
Res. 907, Hare, Andy - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2443
Res. 908, Evans, Anne Marie - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser
(St. Margarets Bay): Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2444
Res. 909, Slaunwhite, Ann - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2444
Res. 910, Hall, Anna - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2445
Res. 911, Hare, Anne - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2445
Res. 912, Patrick, Anne - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2446
Res. 913, Delaney, Anthony - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2446
Res. 914, Martin, Ashley - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2447
Res. 915, Hubley, Audrey - Bay Treasure Chest Fundraiser (St. Margarets Bay):
Community Contribution - Thanks, Hon. I. Rankin « »
2448

 

 

[Page 2223]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2018

Sixty-third General Assembly

First Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

 

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Chuck Porter, Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 773

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

Whereas March is Red Cross Month, and the Canadian Red Cross has improved the lives of countless vulnerable people; and

[Page 2224]

Whereas the Canadian Red Cross has assisted thousands of Canadians through community services in times of emergency, including here in our own province; and

Whereas the values of the Canadian Red Cross in its humanitarian actions and efforts is representative of the spirit and empathy and caring that all Nova Scotians value;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly will join Nova Scotians in showing appreciation for the humanitarian efforts of the Canadian Red Cross, and encourage support through volunteer efforts or financial contributions.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 774

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

Whereas 2b theatre company, located in Halifax, is a not-for-profit organization and registered charity made possible by the support from donors, sponsors, and volunteers; and

Whereas 2b theatre company's production, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, will be showcased at 59E59 Theaters, which is the number-one off-Broadway theatre destination located in Manhattan, New York, between March 8 to April 22, 2018; and

Whereas theatre builds identity and pride, leads positivity towards diversity and free expression, and brings a sense of connection to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in acknowledging the terrific work of the 2b theatre company on being showcased off-Broadway and for representing the strength of our Nova Scotia creative communities on the world stage.

[Page 2225]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. DELOREY « » : I direct my colleagues' attention to the east gallery where I'd like to introduce a few special guests here today: Diane Harpell, Director of Pharmacy Operations in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador for Loblaws, and a member of the board of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia - she can please stand - also Jennifer Chafe, the owner of the Shoppers Pharmacy on Spring Garden Road, and a front-line pharmacist. Joining them is Allison White, a co-op student from Mount Saint Vincent who is working on her PR studies and doing her co-op with the pharmacists.

I'd like to request my colleagues to give the guests the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 775

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

Whereas pharmacists are valued and trusted health care providers in communities across the province; and

Whereas pharmacists are able to give vaccines, prescribe medications for minor ailments and refills for regular medications, review medications, provide Naloxone kits and the associated training, and give valuable health information to patients; and

[Page 2226]

Whereas Pharmacist Awareness Month, recognized in March each year, urges us to "think pharmacists" and to call upon our community pharmacists when we need their services;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank pharmacists for the important health care they provide every day in communities throughout Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 74 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 302 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Municipal Grants Act. (Ms. Karla MacFarlane)

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

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction first?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. LEBLANC « » : I would like to draw everyone's attention to the west gallery, where there are a number of esteemed members of our arts community in Nova Scotia.

Please stand and be acknowledged: Sebastien Labelle from the Bus Stop Theatre; Michael Erwin from Neptune Theatre, with his family, Michèle and Adèle; Kayla Borden from Music Nova Scotia; Anita Price from the Association of Nova Scotia Museums; and Amy Grant from the Charles Taylor Theatre and Media Arts Association, as well as a very special guest, my daughter Françoise Labelle. (Applause)

Bill No. 75 - Entitled an Act to Support the Creative Economy. (Ms. Susan Leblanc)

[Page 2227]

Bill No. 76 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 3 of the Acts of 2016. The Mineral Resources Act. (Hon. Margaret Miller)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

PHARMACISTS: CONTRIBUTIONS - THANK

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : It is a pleasure to stand today and recognize Pharmacist Awareness Month and to celebrate the many contributions pharmacists make to our health care system. This year's theme is Think Pharmacists.

A lot of Nova Scotians already think pharmacists. For many people, their local pharmacist is the very first person they turn to for advice and education.

In Nova Scotia, there are more than 1,200 pharmacists who, with an expanded scope of practice, are doing more than ever to improve the health of their customers. They can adapt prescriptions, conduct medical reviews, and conduct assessments for minor ailments. Pharmacists are truly valued health care professionals.

Today I urge all MLAs to join me in thanking Nova Scotia pharmacists for all they do and to celebrate with them as they mark Pharmacist Awareness Month.

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

WOMEN MAKING WAVES CONF./THOMPSON, SHELLEY -

CONTRIBUTIONS RECOGNIZE

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : This weekend in Halifax, women in the film and television industry will gather for the Women Making Waves conference. In honour of that, I would like to pay tribute to Shelley Thompson, who lives in Dartmouth North.

Members may know Shelley as the no-nonsense, cutting Barb Lahey in the Trailer Park Boys series. She has a long resumé as an actor in film, including Thom Fitzgerald's new feature Splinters, in which she plays a leading role; Mike Melski's The Child Remains; and even in the classic film Labyrinth.

[9:15 a.m.]

[Page 2228]

Lately Shelley has been making waves by breaking out of her acting role into screenwriting and directing, to much success. Her latest short film, Pearls, was an official selection at 14 major film festivals, most recently at the Dingle International Film Festival in Ireland. She is currently developing her first feature, Dawn, Her Dad, and the Tractor, which will hopefully shoot this summer.

Shelley is a passionate, funny, and intelligent member of the film community here in Nova Scotia, and as a queer- and trans-rights advocate, she's telling stories of people who have been traditionally left out of mainstream narratives. I am grateful for the work she is making and will continue to make as a woman in film and television in Nova Scotia.

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

CHEBUCTO CONNECTIONS/KERR, MARGO:

FUNDRAISING EFFORTS - THANK

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : January 20th saw the Spatz Theatre roaring with laughter as Cathy Jones took to the stage for her one-woman show Stranger to Hard Work. The show was a fundraising event for Chebucto Connections. A large group of volunteers, led by Margo Kerr, worked hard to organize this fundraiser, and by all accounts, it was a huge success, with over 400 people attending.

Chebucto Connections is a non-profit organization located in Spryfield. Their vision is a community that is actively engaged in making Chebucto a healthy, vibrant place to live and work. They serve as a hub in the community, bringing individuals, groups, and communities together with the purpose of building connections to build communities.

I'd like to thank Margo Kerr and all the volunteers for their hard work putting this event together and making it a smashing success. The funds raised will be used by Chebucto Connections to continue their work of building a strong, vibrant community. Thank you.

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

BLAIR, BRODY: BOXING CAREER - CONGRATS.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : It is a pleasure to rise to recognize Brody Blair of Lyons Brook. For such a young man, Brody has had an extensive career in the ring, and recently became a professional boxer. Last May, with a strong contingent of supporters, Brody travelled to Sydney as part of the first pro-boxing card to take place in Cape Breton since 1988. This was Brody's second pro-boxing win. He won over his opponent, Mr. Garcia of Mexico.

Brody is currently in the planning stages of another card in Sydney, which we anticipate to be very exciting. Mr. Speaker, I extend my appreciation and congratulations to Brody. He is a shining example of how hard work and perseverance can reward you in life.

[Page 2229]

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

CODE CRITICAL - AMBULANCE AVAILABILITY

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Code Critical is a campaign to bring awareness around the lack of available ambulances in our communities across Nova Scotia. Over the last couple of months, there has been an increase in the ability for paramedic crews to transfer care over to hospital staff in our ERs, creating an alarming number of shortfalls with coverage in our communities.

As of approximately 6:40 this morning, for example, there were no units available to respond to calls in the central region. This is alarming. Paramedics and dispatch units or dispatchers are working hard to try to clear up and clear from hospital settings, but there is a critical need to do something to try to ease the amount of time paramedics are transferring care over. Sometimes their whole shift is spent at the ER - and they work 12 hours.

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

BAY GRANDMOTHERS/COMMUN. STITCHERS:

RED SCARF CAMPAIGN - COMMEND

MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : I wish to recognize the Bay Grandmothers and the Community Stitchers, who came together last December to participate in the Red Scarf campaign to raise awareness about the ongoing AIDS pandemic.

The Bay Grandmothers started in 2007, with seven grandmothers from the St. Margarets Bay area. Since then, they have joined with 240 groups of grandmothers across Canada to raise close to $26 million for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which works with grandmothers in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Community Stitchers began in 2005 with 11 members, and now up to 70 women meet weekly in the Fall and winter seasons in Tantallon to knit, crochet, weave, and quilt. This group made 60 red scarves as part of World AIDS Day. The scarves were then distributed to local shelters for the homeless.

I invite the members of this House of Assembly to commend the women of these two groups and wish them well in their future endeavours.

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

QUEENS ASSOC. FOR SUPPORTED LIVING (QASL) - RECOGNIZE

[Page 2230]

MS. KIM MASLAND « » : I rise today to recognize the significant progress and the many successes and contributions of the Queens Association for Supported Living. Better known as QASL, this organization was established in 1969, and in the almost 50 years since, it has helped individuals facing barriers to build the skills required to participate in community life on their own terms. It supports them in vocational and residential settings and is constantly evolving and improving its programs to meet the changing needs of the people it supports.

The dedicated people of the Queens Association for Supported Living believe that everyone has the right to live and thrive in the community and to be regarded as individuals deserving of the opportunity to grow and develop intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. What a wonderful philosophy.

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

WOMEN MAKING WAVES CONF./WOMEN IN FILM & TELEVISION ATL.

- EFFORTS RECOGNIZE

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, this weekend will mark the 8th Annual Women Making Waves conference. The conference is hosted every year in Halifax by the Women in Film and Television Atlantic and serves to promote women creators in the film and television industry. Women Making Waves offers a range of networking events, screenings, panels, and workshops tailored to industry veterans and newcomers alike. Panels are comprised of women and the event showcases a number of films by female creators.

This year there will be a screening of Ava by Sadaf Foroughi, a conversation with Mohawk Girls creator Tracey Deer, and a pitch competition where one filmmaker will win $5,000 in production money to bring her new short film to life.

As someone who is deeply connected to the film and arts community here in Nova Scotia, this conference imbues me with hope for our film industry and the women who have been and will become integral leaders in it.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the members of this House to join me in recognizing the Women Making Waves conference and Women in Film and Television Atlantic for their efforts and invaluable contributions to the film and television industry.

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

MARCHAND, CHASE: HOCKEY ACHIEVEMENTS - CONGRATS.

[Page 2231]

MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize Chase Marchand of Upper Tantallon. He's a sophomore at St. F.X. and the netminder for the X-Men hockey team, ranked second in the country. In statistics released in late January, Chase led the Atlantic university hockey conference in goals against average, save percentages, and wins - the triple crown categories for goalies. He has also just been named the Atlantic University Sport MVP of the year, the first goalie in 22 years to receive this distinction. Marchand was quick to share the credit with his teammates.

Chase has played hockey since he could stand on skates, playing for TASA and then on to major midget, junior A, and major junior.

I would like to ask all members of the House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Chase Marchand for his hard work leading his achievements to date and in wishing him all the best in the future, even though he goes to St. F.X.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Uh-oh, you're in for it now.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

TURNBULL, BLAYRE/ CDN. WOMEN'S HOCKEY TEAM:

OLYMPICS SUCCESS - CONGRATS.

HON. PAT DUNN « » : It's very convenient that I get a chance to stand right now, Mr. Speaker, because that's probably the best move that student ever made, going to St. F.X. (Applause)

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, a great sense of pride spread throughout Pictou County during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Blayre Turnbull, a talented and fast skating forward, was a valuable member of the Canadian Olympic women's hockey team.

Earlier in her hockey career, the 24-year-old Stellarton native received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where she had four outstanding seasons. Turnbull established herself as one of Canada's top penalty killers. She also set up two goals in Canada's 5 to 0 victory over the Olympic athletes from Russia in her semi-final game, advancing them to the gold medal game. Turnbull once again demonstrated her quickness during the U.S./Canada game by setting up the second goal for Canada.

The Canadian squad were amazing and the Pictou County residents were very proud of the efforts of players participating in the tournament, in particular Blayre, who can now tout a silver Olympic medal.

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

WEE CARE DEVELOPMENTAL CTR./HFX. ASSOC. FOR COMMUN. LIVING:

[Page 2232]

PRESCHOOL EDUC. - INVEST

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, because I live so close to Province House, I am able to sometimes attend community events even when we are sitting here in the House. On Tuesday night, I was present for both an open house to mark the 45th Anniversary of Wee Care Developmental Centre and the Halifax Association for Community Living's annual general meeting.

I just want to salute these two organizations that have, for 45 years and 47 years respectively, provided inclusive child care and early learning opportunities for children in our community. I hope that as the province continues to invest in preschool education and also in inclusion, they reach out to these non-profits with so much experience to learn from the best of their experience.

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

BEGIN, LENORA: RCL FRIENDSHIP AWARD - CONGRATS.

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Legionette Lenora Begin has been a long- standing member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 49 in Mahone Bay since 1960. Lenore is a dedicated volunteer for the Town of Mahone Bay and has completed a wide array of volunteer roles over the years.

Recently, Lenora was presented with the Friendship Award of the Royal Canadian Legion. The Friendship Award exists to honour and recognize individuals and organizations that have rendered assistance, service, or co-operation to the Legion beyond that which could normally be anticipated or expected.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you and the members of this House of Assembly please join me in congratulating Lenora Begin on receiving the Friendship Award and thank her for her contributions to our community.

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

ALDERSHOT ELEM. SCH./PTA: FUNDRAISING EFFORTS - CONGRATS.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : In November 2016, the school board maintenance staff deemed the playground structures at Aldershot Elementary School unsafe.

The PTA of Aldershot Elementary School began a year-long fundraising campaign to replace the structure. Money was raised through fundraisers, a 50-50 draw at the Kentville Foodland, and grants from Rotary and Michelin's Waterville plant.

The new playground is designed so all students can play on it, including those with disabilities. The final touches will be completed this Spring, which will include the installation of basketball hoops, park benches, and landscaping.

[Page 2233]

I congratulate Aldershot Elementary School principal Crystal Tracey-Turner and Janice Sanford of the PTA and all of the PTA for their hard work to provide this wonderful space for their students.

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

DIKAIOS, KALLIOPE/WILES, SARAH/KHANNA, ISHANI/GREY, LAUREN:

HFX. WEST HS MENTAL H&W COMM. - RECOGNIZE

MS. RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : I would like to recognize four outstanding young women who are promoting mental health and wellness in their school: Kalliope Dikaios, Sarah Wiles, Ishani Khanna, and Lauren Grey. They are the founders of the Mental Health and Wellness Committee at Halifax West High School.

Now in its third year, the committee promotes wellness around the school and hopes to help end the stigma that exists around mental health. They held their second mental health conference in November and got great feedback. It featured keynote speakers for each grade level, as well as a multitude of workshops taking place in classrooms all over the school throughout the day.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank these young women for helping to break the silence around mental health at Halifax West and in our community. We are all so very proud of them.

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

PORT MORIEN DEVELOP. ASSOC.: DEDICATION - THANK

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : I rise today to acknowledge the Port Morien Development Association, which was formed in 2000 to develop and beautify their village.

In 17 years, members of the association have worked tirelessly with all levels of government to complete projects such as a town square with a memorial wall and landscaping, landscaping for the lookoff and around the firehall area, and installing historic plaques, light standards, and new sidewalks with pavement, and a village sign. For all their efforts, the Port Morien Development Association received an award from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and the Community Spirit Award from the Lieutenant Governor.

I am proud to congratulate and thank all members of the Port Morien Development Association for all their hard work and dedication to their Village of Port Morien.

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

[Page 2234]

MAYBE, ROSS: RETIREMENT - CONGRATS.

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : I rise today to congratulate Ross Maybe on his recent retirement after nearly two decades of exceptional service as the general manager of the Valley Waste Resource Management Authority.

As the authority's first general manager, Ross skillfully guided its growth from three employees in the basement of the municipal building to an award-winning organization at the forefront of waste management in Nova Scotia. Under his leadership, Valley Waste implemented several innovative strategies, including becoming the first in the province to add Styrofoam to the recycling stream and constructing an administration office building that is LEED Gold certified and Passive House certified. His legacy will live on for future generations to continue to build upon.

I invite all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in thanking Ross Maybe for his valuable contributions to waste management in our province, and in wishing him the very best in retirement.

[9:30 a.m.]

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

BURGESS, KARLEE/TEAM N.S.: CURLING ACHIEVEMENTS - RECOGNIZE

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : I'm proud to recognize the achievements of Team Nova Scotia, which captured gold at the New Holland Canadian Junior Women's National Curling Championships, held in January in Shawinigan, Quebec.

I'm especially proud of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley resident Karlee Burgess of Hilden, who had an 85 per cent success rate, was named to the Championship's Women's first-team all-stars, and was the recipient of the Performance Brooms Fair Play Award, for seconds.

Coached by Andrew Atherton, the team consisted of Karlee's cousin, Lindsay Burgess of Truro, throwing lead; Karlee throwing second, Kristen Clarke throwing third, and Kaitlyn Jones skip. We would all be proud to have these four young women competing on behalf of our province. And, just to add, they are four nice young ladies.

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

H&W: CODE CRITICAL - AWARENESS

[Page 2235]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, Code Critical is a campaign trying to bring awareness around the need for the government to act in trying to help paramedic crews transfer care over to hospitals so that we don't have delays. As I stand today, there's one unit in the Central Region available for calls. In the Northern Region, there's one unit available to respond to multiple communities.

Mr. Speaker, this is at a critical point, and I hope the government, the Minister of Health and Wellness, is looking at ways to try to assist paramedic crews in clearing hospitals so that they can do their job, and be ready to respond to emergent calls in our provinces and in our communities.

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

ROFIHE'S MEN'S WEAR - 90 YRS. IN BUS.:

FAMILY RETIREMENT - CONGRATS.

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, for more than 90 years Rofihe's Men's Wear in Bridgewater has been a regular stop for South Shore shoppers. Generations have purchased their work clothes wardrobe, they've purchased their high school graduation and wedding tuxedos from this location.

Beginning with Herman Rofihe in 1926, when he immigrated to Canada from Lebanon, this family business was handed down to son Barry and ends its run with grandson Jim, who has just recently retired after their final inventory sale.

Rofihe's Men's Wear has always been a great supporter of local organizations. Their presence in Bridgewater will be greatly missed. I'd like to congratulate the Rofihe family for all the years they have dedicated to their business and the community, and wish family members the best in retirement.

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

MILLWOOD ELEM.: NOURISH YOUR ROOTS FUNDRAISER - THANK

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the students of Millwood Elementary School on the huge success of their recent Nourish Your Roots Fundraiser. Nourish Nova Scotia wants to help create real change, beginning with children and youth. The program partners with schools and local farmers who have leftover produce. The extra vegetables are then boxed and sold to families.

The school sold a total of 251 boxes and raised over $2,100, the money to be used for a Grab and Go Breakfast Program at the school.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the Student Advisory Council Chair Cathy Williams, for volunteering her time to distribute the boxes, and the families that participated in such a worthwhile cause at Millwood Elementary.

[Page 2236]

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

PORTER, ELLA: 4-H CANADA GOING GLOBAL EXCHANGE - LEADERSHIP

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, 4-H Canada's Going Global Exchange Program is designed to help 4-H youth grow through an intercultural experience, as well as to learn about sustainable agriculture in food production. Some of their goals are for the participants to experience a new country, expand their global perspective, learn about sustainable agricultural practices, and explore issues related to food security.

Ella Porter, an Onslow-Belmont senior 4-H member, was chosen for the program, flew to Finland for a 21-day tour and enjoyed many new experiences, saw many new places. Some of those included a visit to a 4-H farm in Lahti where youth from the city could learn about agriculture through courses and camps offered there. She experienced Midsummer Fest, a large summer celebration in Finland, and visited a dairy farm with robotic milkers.

Porter's personal goals were to experience the country and culture to become more self-confident, well-rounded and independent, and to learn about agriculture and 4-H in a different context. Ella comes from a well-respected farming family in Colchester North, and has already demonstrated great leadership in the 4-H community and beyond.

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

MACDONALD, FATHER HUGHIE D.: RETIREMENT – BEST WISHES

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge an extraordinary man who so positively impacted many lives in Cape Breton. He is a man who dedicated his life and service to others and is a testament of love, charity, and humility. Father Hughie D. MacDonald, now 92 years young, has been in service to his community as a Roman Catholic priest for 66 years. Father Hughie, as he is so fondly referred to, served in many communities throughout Cape Breton-Richmond, including Arichat, Port Hawkesbury, and River Bourgeois. His radiant smile, pleasant demeanor and infectious sense of humour made him beloved by all.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Father Hughie for the numerous contributions he has made over the last six decades in our communities. I would like to thank him for the care and guidance he gave, especially to young Cape Bretoners like myself, many whom have gone on to leadership positions, provincially, federally, and internationally. For myself, and the many people that he served, we wish Father Hughie a well-earned retirement, full of many blessings.

[Page 2237]

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

H&W – CODE CRITICAL: DARTMOUTH GEN. - INNOVATION

MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an innovative program of the Dartmouth General Hospital. In light of the Code Critical conversation that we are having here in this Chamber, I'd like to note that the Dartmouth General has come up with an innovative program whereby ambulances do not wait at the Dartmouth General.

When they saw the backlog of ambulances that were waiting to offload patients, the Dartmouth General came up with their own program, where they could take those stretchers into the hospital, and their own staff could triage those patients. Do those patients wait? Yes. Are the ambulances stuck at the Dartmouth General? No, they're not.

That leaves me to conclude, Mr. Speaker, that the fact that there are no ambulances available in the central zone, means that the great preponderance of those are at the QEII Health Centre, and I would hope, again – I'd echo the statements of my colleagues – that the minister is doing everything they can, especially with the QEII redevelopment, to change this situation and make sure that we have emergency services available in the Central Zone and across the province.

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

AYLESFORD DIST. LIONS CLUB: COMMUN. FUNDRAISING - THANK

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the Aylesford and District Lions Club for their fundraising efforts to provide a local child with autism a specially trained dog guide.

Throughout the following winter months, members of the Aylesford Lions raised $6,000 for the child and the family. A very generous, anonymous donor provided matching funds, which secured a full sponsorship for the child, who will now experience a wide range of benefits with their canine companion. More importantly, a safer and more independent life.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia, I would like to thank the members of the Aylesford and District Lions Club, with special mention to Lions Joy Herbert and Peggy Bennett, for spearheading the fundraising efforts. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the community, and the private donor for their generosity and support for a child in need.

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

[Page 2238]

WALSH, MARIEKE: POLITICAL JOURNALIST – BEST WISHES

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, today I would like to bid farewell to political reporter Marieke Walsh, and thank her for her unsurpassed journalism, and reporting duties in Halifax for the last four years. During this time, she professionally covered elections of all levels of government.

Marieke's journalism career began on Parliament Hill after graduating from Carleton University, gaining a Bachelor of Journalism in 2011. She started as an associate producer, then to producer with various shows, such as The West Block. It was producing that then brought her to the United States for coverage of the 2012 Presidential Election, and all over Canada, covering conferences, leadership races, and conventions.

Marieke's last day here is today, she will be missed by many. So, on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia, I'd like to ask you to join me in thanking her for all of her service to all of us, and for trying to keep us honest. We wish her the very best in her future endeavours.

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

TATE, MIKE: PROVINCIAL RECORDS - CONGRATS.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, a young man from Heatherton, Antigonish County, is setting new records. Mike Tate is a student athlete at Southern Utah University, he is a runner and quite a talented athlete.

During a meet at the University of Washington Invitational in Seattle, Mike set a new provincial record for the Senior Men's Indoor 3000m. The previous record was set by a fellow Antigonisher, Olympic athlete, and current Cross-Country Coach at St. Francis Xavier University, Eric Gillis.

Mike raced to finish the race in 7:56:43. It was a fourth-place finish, and the second-fastest in the history of his school's program.

Mr. Speaker, this is the second time in a year that Mike has broken a record set by Eric. Last March, Mike broke the Provincial Record in the Outdoor 5000m. As an NCAA Athlete, Mike's focus is on earning a spot in the NCAA Indoor National Championships, being held in Texas.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to offer my congratulations to my cousin, and Antigonisher, Mike Tate, for setting two Provincial Records within a year. I look forward to seeing what record he breaks next, and I wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavours.

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

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DUGGAN, STEPHANIE: TEARMANN HOUSE (30 YRS.) - CONGRATS.

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, in Pictou County, Tearmann House is often associated only with women escaping a violent or abusive relationship. The unfortunate truth is, often children are victims.

For 30 years Stephanie Duggan has been providing support for children, starting with assuring them that Tearmann is a safe place. Stephanie is a skilled listener and encourages participation in play, art, or outdoor activities. Calming fear brought on by the violent behaviour is often part of her job.

Always open for conversation, she frames those exchanges in terms of safety - the basics of 911, when to call and what they might be expected to say, basic communication skills, and knowing they have a safe harbour at Tearmann.

I am pleased to congratulate Stephanie on her work anniversary and thank her for all that she does.

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

MACCABE, DOUGLAS: DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize Douglas MacCabe of Lake Echo who passed away on February 15, 2018, at his home.

He was a friend to many in the community and really shared his artistic talents with many of his students. He was often first to offer assistance when a neighbour needed help with construction or a landscape project. He was a founding member of the Citizens on Patrol in Lake Echo, and cared greatly about his community. Doug was concerned about the beauty of the community and would often stop his truck and remove unsightly items from our highways.

He, following his retirement, pursued his love of flying kites, which resulted in him making many friends from all around the world. I applaud and recognize Douglas MacCabe for his tremendous contributions to the community of Lake Echo.

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

LAKEWIND SOUND STUDIOS: ACHIEVEMENTS - CONGRATS.

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to recognize the achievements of Lakewind Sound Studios of Point Aconi, Cape Breton.

Owners Fred Lavery and Gordie Sampson established Lakewind Sound Studios with a vision to create a recording space to inspire artists to produce their best music. With award-winning engineer Mike (Sheppy) Sheppard, they continue to strive for the perfect balance of art and technology.

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To date, Lakewind has won eight ECMAs for Studio of the Year and five Music Industry of Nova Scotia Awards and, in keeping with their excellent reputation, Lakewind has once again been nominated in the industry category for the ECMA 2018 Awards as Studio of the Year.

I ask that all members of the Legislature recognize the contributions of this homegrown company and wish them the best in the 2018 ECMAs and beyond.

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

BURRI, HERVÉ & LORRAINE:

ENFIELD PARK CONTRIBUTIONS - THANK

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Enfield will be a blaze of colour this Spring, Mr. Speaker, as 15,000 tulips and daffodils sprout in a stunning outdoor space, thanks to the generosity and vision of a couple from Switzerland who moved into the area four years ago.

Lorraine and Hervé Burri invested $400,000 of their own money to turn a small muddy field between the Catholic church and the fire hall into a gorgeous park. They offered this to the community without motive other than a vision to share the delightful array of thousands of flowers, 25 different types of trees, and the magnificent gazebo for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The generosity has been contagious - four local landscaping companies that usually compete all worked together. Lorraine and Hervé have gone even further and committed to ensuring the maintenance of the park for the next 20 years.

On behalf of the residents of East Hants, I want to extend sincere appreciation to Lorraine and Hervé Burri for the magnanimous gesture and vision in improving their adopted community.

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

FRASER, MAXINE: POSITIVE CHANGES - ADMIRATION

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, in my past profession as a teacher I was fortunate enough to meet some phenomenal young people, many with dreams and plans of changing the world. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to sit down with Dartmouth East resident Maxine Fraser, one of my former students.

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I had an opportunity to speak with her a few days after she returned from working in South Korea, teaching English as an additional language. Whether she is studying in Uganda or teaching in South Korea, Maxine wants to make the world a better place. I admire her for maintaining her integrity and working to create positive change in the places she goes.

My only hope now, Mr. Speaker, is that Maxine sticks around Dartmouth for a while before jetting off to change lives in another corner of the world.

[9:45 a.m.]

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

CLARE FIREFIGHTERS ASSOC. – TRAINING PASSPORT:

INNOVATION - THANK

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : I rise today to recognize the efforts of the Clare Firefighters Association in the development of a training passport, a new innovative training method for firefighters.

As in many fire departments, this association has experienced a decrease in the number of people volunteering. This may be due, in part, to our aging population, but also to the fact that some people want to volunteer, but are not comfortable with the prospect of running into a burning building. Taking this into consideration, the training passport incorporates three levels of certification, from red for the volunteers responsible for equipment and first aid, to green for volunteers certified to fight fires in the interior of a structure. As often several local fire departments are also called to the fire, the training model ensures that all volunteers have the same level of training.

Locally, the training passport and the associated training sessions have all been well-received. The neighbouring Weymouth fire department has asked to participate in training sessions, and the association has received requests for information from across Canada.

I ask members of this House of Assembly to join me in thanking the Clare firefighters for their innovation.

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

HANSON, AIDAN - KREAMSICLE: ENTREPRENEURSHIP - CONGRATS.

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HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge Aidan Hanson, a young entrepreneur from Albert Bridge who created his own online apparel line called Kreamsicle.

Aiden is a 13-year-old who attends Malcolm Munroe Junior High School. He worked with an online design company making alterations to the logo he initially sketched, until he got the look he was striving for. He now owns the rights to the logo, which features a K for Kreamsicle. Aiden credits his dad, Darren Hanson, with instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in him.

I stand today to congratulate Aidan Hanson on his new venture, and I feel confident that we will hear more from Aidan in the future. I ask all MLAs to join me in wishing him the very best of luck.

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

BOUTILIER, BRENT - DUNCAN MACMILLAN HS:

STRONG WORK ETHIC - COMMEND

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : I would like to acknowledge a very driven young resident of Sheet Harbour, Mr. Brent Boutilier, who is a Grade 10 student at Duncan MacMillan High School.

Brent is a producer at Sheet Harbour Radio, where he hosts and produces four different shows. He is the proud CEO of Brent's Minnows and is quite active as an altar server with the Anglican Church. In his free time, he calls bingo at the Mushaboom Fire Hall, plays hockey with the Eastern Shore Midget C Mariners, and in the summertime, goes lobster fishing with his dad.

Brent says that he joined Sheet Harbour Radio for his desire to be part of something that gives his community a voice. I think Brent is that voice. He is a remarkable example of the determination of our youth in Nova Scotia, and I commend him on his strong work ethic. He embodies the hard-working traditions of the Sheet Harbour community.

I wish him the very best with his future endeavours. His perseverance will take him far, I'm sure.

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

DOGGETT, ADAM - MASTER CORPORAL, WEST N.S. REGIMENT:

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PROMOTION - CONGRATS.

MS. KIM MASLAND « » : I wish to recognize a young Queens County man who, in December, was elevated to the rank of Master Corporal of the West Nova Scotia Regiment.

Adam Doggett joined the Army Reserve unit when he turned 17, and received this honour after 11 years of service for his unfailing dedication, loyalty, and devotion, and his considerable leadership skills. Master Corporal Doggett is a husband and a father who manages to balance work, family, and duties. Through his quiet but exemplary dedication, he goes above and beyond, and sets a positive example for his soldier colleagues and friends.

I offer my congratulations to Master Corporal Adam Doggett on his promotion and impressive commendation.

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

HFX. BURGER WK. (6TH ANL.): FEED N.S. DONATION - SUCCESS

HON. LENA DIAB « » : I rise today as we approach a city-wide burger-eating celebration and fundraiser. The 6th Annual Halifax Burger Week is being held this year March 22nd to 28th.

This city-wide culinary celebration dreamed up by The Coast Publishing in 2013 is not just a convenient excuse to indulge, but also an affordable opportunity to check out new restaurants and help raise money for Feed Nova Scotia. This year, a record of 125 local restaurants have created unique burger specials for the week, at either a set price of $6 or a higher price, with the restaurant making a donation to Feed Nova Scotia for every burger sold.

I doubt there's a metro MLA here who does not have a participating venue. In Armdale, residents can stop by the Lakeside Bar & Grill in the Best Western Plus Chocolate Lake Hotel or take in the Big Texan burger at The Armview Restaurant & Lounge. There's no question they'll both be a hit.

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

KIN DAY: KIN CANADA ANNIV. (98TH) - COMMUNITY COMMITMENT

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, Pictou County marked the official beginning of Kin Week, with a proclamation celebrating the numerous ways both the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of New Glasgow serve the communities of the county.

Presidents Brian MacIntosh and Mary Macleod representing the New Glasgow Kinsmen and Kinettes respectively, celebrated February 20th as Kin Day, and the 98th Anniversary of Kin Canada. These service clubs have been invaluable in their community, organizing and hosting events like a summer baseball program, a power-skating program, breakfast programs, helping families in need, running bingos, and providing scholarships.

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MacIntosh and Macleod continue to set a good example for their community, through their leadership and commitment to their organization. Pictou County is very fortunate to have these organizations providing high quality services, and their members who are always willing to give their time to make their community a better place in which to live.

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

BOSTON BRUINS: STANLEY CUP - BEST WISHES

HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize General Manager Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins for their recent key moves as they make another run for the Stanley Cup.

Rick Nash and Brian Gionta, two key veteran All-Star players, will add significant depth and goal-scoring capacity. They join fellow new Bruins, Nick Holden and Tommy Wingels. Wingels notched a goal and an assist in his first game as a Bruin, while Nash has two goals already, bolstering the David Krejci line just in time for the Playoffs.

Krejci completed a hat trick last night and Nash netted his 20th, helping the Bruins topple the Stanley Cup Champions, Pittsburgh Penguins 8-4. I'd like the members of the House of Assembly to join me in wising all the best to these new Bruins, to pray for a speedy recovery to Patrice Bergeron, and hope that Tuukka Rask stands on his head, as the Bruins make another quest for a Stanley Cup.

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

DIVINE, ANN: TOP 25 IMMIGRANTS IN THE MARITIMES AWARD

- CONGRATS.

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Well, it's hard to follow that one. Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Ann Divine of Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development Services for being the recipient of the Top 25 Immigrants in the Maritimes Award.

My Halifax Experience, a local media publishing organization, hosted the 3rd Annual Top 25 Immigrants in the Maritimes Awards this past winter. Recipients of this award display leadership qualities that have made a difference in their communities. Ann is the CEO and Founder of Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development Services, which is an organization founded in 2014, to offer training programs to both individuals and companies.

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Her work has tremendously helped many members of our community strengthen and diversify their skills to enhance their work experience. Mr. Speaker, will the members of this House of Assembly please join me in celebrating Ann Divine, on this well-deserved award.

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

BARRELLING TIDE DISTILLERY: SUCCESSES - CONGRATS.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, the first Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition was held in British Columbia in the Fall of 2017. One Annapolis Valley distillery walked away with many prizes. All spirits were judged by experts from across the country, and a number of distilleries from Nova Scotia entered the competition.

Barrelling Tide Distillery of Port Williams won three golds, two silvers, and Best in Class for their liqueurs. Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate Barrelling Tide Distillery Owners, Colleen and Russell Murphy, and wish them many more successes in the future.

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

WIMBERLY, DAVID: COMMUN. CONTRIBUTIONS - THANK

MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank David Wimberly, a resident of the Head of St. Margaret's Bay for choosing to come to Canada with his family, and to make such a rich contribution to our community, province, and country over the last 30 years.

David's trade is as a master flute maker, and his gold and silver flutes are played in orchestras around the globe. More importantly, David has made an important and lasting contribution in our province as a volunteer. He is a founding member of many organizations, including the Shambhala Centre in Upper Tantallon, the local Transition Bay group, the St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association, and the Centre for Local Prosperity. He is also involved at the Ecology Action Centre on waste resource issues, and the Nova Scotia Environmental Network.

David has been awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award by both Halifax Regional Municipality and the Province of Nova Scotia. I invite the members of the House of Assembly to join me in congratulating David for his many contributions to our community and province, and to wish him well in his continuing endeavours.

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

AFRICAN HERITAGE MONTH:

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HALIFAX BLACK FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCH - ACKNOWLEDGE

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the launch today of the Halifax Black Film Festival, which continues the celebration of African Heritage Month. This festival is dedicated to giving unique voices in cinema the opportunity to present audiences with new ways of looking at the world.

The Halifax Black Film Festival is a dynamic, refreshing, and audacious festival, whose ambition it is to encourage the development of the independent film industry, and to promote more films on the reality of Black people from around the globe. It includes workshop opportunities and will feature as the closing film, Black Cop, by Halifax filmmaker Cory Bowles.

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

THE BARN COFFEE & SOCIAL HOUSE: ANNIV. (1ST) - CONGRATS.

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the owners and operators of The Barn Coffee & Social House in Mahone Bay who recently celebrated their one-year anniversary with an open-mike night on February 16th. Amelia and Mike Bishop have created a warm and welcoming atmosphere by renovating an old barn keeping the original beams and floors wherever possible. They have a loft-style event place for hosting meetings and larger gatherings.

The Barn Coffee & Social House opened in early February of 2017 and quickly became a place of gatherings for both families and friends to get together to chat over a warm beverage. Receiving glowing feedback from customers on the cozy atmosphere, delicious drinks, and friendly staff, The Barn Coffee & Social House also showcases large varieties of preserves that stem from Amelia and Mike's preserves business.

I would ask you and all members of this House of Assembly to please join me in congratulating the owners and operators of The Barn Coffee & Social House on their one-year anniversary and wish them nothing but success in years to come.

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

GATEWAY COMMUNITY CHURCH: ANNIV. (26TH) - RECOGNIZE

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to rise again today to also recognize the Gateway Community Church. It has been providing services to the community of Middle Sackville and surrounding area since 1991 and, after converting an old decommissioned firehall, the church formally was organized in 1992.

Gateway Community Church has shown commitment to improving the community by means such as assisting youth in crisis, operating a food bank, and providing a home for those in need. I'd like to thank and congratulate the congregation of Gateway Community Church for 26 years of helping to serve the Sackville community.

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

RICHARDSON, STEVE: PHOTOGRAPHY CAREER - RECOGNIZE

MS. RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize a constituent of mine who has been creating for the graphic art for over a quarter of a century. Steve Richardson is both a photographer and a cinematographer. He describes his visuals as capturing the imagination challenging preconceptions.

Although fully digital, Steve still creates his work as if he was shooting a film and does everything in camera with little or no postproduction. His approach to creating art is compatible to that of a sculpture spending hours making small changes in light and line until the final image is perfect.

Steve's images have been admired internationally in galleries, magazines, and online publications. He has been invited to teach in major cities like New York, Miami, Chicago, and London. I would like to thank Steve for sharing his beautiful art with the world. He is certainly making us proud.

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

SIMMONDS-SEARL, MISSY: CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS - RECOGNIZE

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize an important member of our community, Missy Simmonds-Searl. This year, Missy's 50th birthday wish came true. She encouraged everyone instead of giving her gifts to donate to various charities.

Over 1,500 items were collected which she donated to the Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre, VETS Canada, Out of the Cold Emergency Winter Shelter, Souls Harbour men's shelter, Phoenix Youth & Community Centre, Barry House, and Adsum House. She received 90 sets of mittens and hats given to Joseph Howe Elementary School and Harbour View Elementary School.

Missy has always helped those in need. She uses social media to generate the giving. Tallahassee Community School in Eastern Passage is one of the many drop-off sites. Missy hopes that giving continues to grow. The outreach for donations commenced in January for the 2018 holiday season.

I ask the House to join me in congratulating Missy Simmonds-Searl because our community is much stronger because of her commitment and generosity.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you very much for those Statements by Members.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM. - LEGAL CANNABIS: POLICING - EXTRA COSTS

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier.

Sometime this summer, or maybe even Fall now, cannabis is going to be legal. I remain concerned that this government has not taken sufficient steps to ensure all the safeguards are in place to make sure legalization happens in a safe and orderly way in our province - and I'm not the only one who has this concern. Municipalities in Nova Scotia are worried about what the legalization of cannabis will mean to their bottom line, especially their policing costs.

What does the Premier expect the extra price tag to be for policing once cannabis becomes legal?

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : I want to thank the Minister of Justice for the tremendous work he has been doing on this file, Mr. Speaker. As you know, every Canadian province is meeting the requirement that was set out by the federal government to ensure that marijuana is legalized this year. We're going to continue to work with our partners to make sure that the costs associated with this will be reflected in the finances they receive from the respective levels of government. It's our belief, quite frankly, that the greatest amount of cost borne by any level of government will be borne by the Nova Scotia Government.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, that was an interesting answer, considering that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimate the annual policing costs associated with the legalization of cannabis will be between $2 million to $3 million per 500,000 in population. That means municipalities in Nova Scotia could be responsible for around $6 million in extra policing costs - and I can table that.

For many, it is an increased cost they can't afford. Many municipalities are facing an increasing number of financial pressures already. How much money is earmarked in the upcoming budget to help municipalities absorb the increased policing costs?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to thank all our municipal partners across the province who have been working very hard with our government over the last four years to continue to make sure that we provide the proper services to our respective constituents. We are going to continue to do that.

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If they have issues around policing costs, we are more than happy to have that conversation with them, Mr. Speaker. But let me be clear, there is no great revenue source here coming in from this product. As a matter of fact, we don't see a level of income that will be there that will reflect the impact.

I have already given word to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, don't spend any money that the Opposition thinks is coming with this product because it just isn't there. We believe the costs associated with this - health, the social ramifications out of it - will be borne by the Province of Nova Scotia.

We'll work with those municipalities that have policing costs, but let me be very clear to those municipalities, as I stand on the floor of this House - and she can communicate it to them - they will have to prove to us that those costs are real.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : I did not hear that there was any money put in the budget for this most important piece of legislation. The UNSM has analyzed the increased police cost they will bear when cannabis is legalized. Some of the costs include drug recognition training, the purchase and ongoing costs associated with roadside screening equipment and supplies, increased court costs, and education regarding the new laws and safety - and these are just to name a few.

We know the federal government has decided to share the proposed cannabis excise tax with the provinces. Will the Premier commit today to sharing the revenue from the cannabis excise tax with our cash-strapped municipalities?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, many of the costs the honourable member just identified were one-time costs associated with upfront costs - preparing those police forces to be ready for when this product becomes legal, whether it's training, ensuring that they have proper equipment, we'll ensure that happens in this province. We'll continue to make sure that cost is shared and that we support them in that journey. That is a very different situation than an ongoing cost associated with implementing this law.

Mr. Speaker, we have breathalyzers in cars today, we will train police officers to operate those. We will also train police officers to operate the devices used to detect marijuana, and we'll continue to work with our partners to ensure that our communities stay safe.

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

PREM.: HEALTH CARE CRISIS - NOISE

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MR. GARY BURRILL « » : Earlier this week the case came to my attention of a senior in Sydney who was admitted to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital last Fall for emergency circumstances requiring surgery. Upon his arrival, because there was no surgeon available, he was rushed by ambulance to Antigonish where, six hours later, he received the surgery. While there was a surgeon in Antigonish, there were no beds available, and so this patient was returned to Sydney by ambulance to be admitted late in the afternoon the next day.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to ask the Premier « » : when our health care system is stretched so thin as to require a senior to travel 434 km in the course of an emergency surgery, does he not understand why people would refer to that as a crisis?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't know all the circumstances associated with the case that the honourable member brings to the floor, but it's unacceptable.

MR. BURILL: Mr. Speaker, paramedics and ambulance services are a lifeline for people in medical crisis. When we call 911 in any community in Nova Scotia it is essential that these people be able to respond. The crisis created by this government in health care has paramedics and ambulances stuck in emergency rooms accompanying the patients who are lining the halls there.

Mr. Speaker, this morning at 6:40 a.m., here in the Central Zone there were exactly no ambulance units available to answer calls - zero. How does the Premier respond to his government's failure to meet even the most basic standard of the availability of ambulance services?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we'll continue to work with our partners across the province. As all members of this House would know, including the honourable member, the fact this is not a new situation in our province. We've had this issue where ambulances have gone into emergency rooms for a very long time where they've been held up for periods of time which in essence, during the ambulance service, causes a domino effect across our province where we are leaving some communities vacant.

It's unacceptable. We recognize that. We will work with our partners to alleviate the challenges and look for new opportunities to see if we can solve that, what is an unacceptable situation. Our highly trained paramedics should not be waiting in hospital parking lots or hospital emergency rooms - they should be in their rigs in communities ensuring they respond to the needs of communities.

MR. BURILL: Mr. Speaker, when the Premier was questioned by media not long ago about some of the criticisms that have been directed toward his government, he said that we are going to govern as we have governed, we won't listen to the noise.

So, here's the question: as the evidence of a health care crisis continues to mount, does the Premier not realize that it is he who has become the noise and that he continues to lose credibility as a steward of the health care of the province?

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THE PREMIER « » : No.

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

JUSTICE - LEGAL CANNABIS: LEGAL AGE - ADVICE IGNORED

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Justice.

As part of the consultation process around the legalization of cannabis, the government called for submissions and they received 107 pages of recommendations. The Canadian Cancer Society recommended that the age be 21; Mothers Against Drunk Driving recommended the age be 21; the IWK Health Centre urged the government to establish an evidence-based legal age, for the consumption, of 21; the Association of Psychologists said 21; the Public Health Association of Nova Scotia said 21; and Smoke-free Nova Scotia said 21 - I'll table all those points, Mr. Speaker. Sadly, this government set the age at 19.

Why did the government ignore the advice of the Cancer Society, MADD Canada, the IWK, the Association of Psychologists? Why, Mr. Speaker?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague from Pictou West. To be quite honest, we didn't ignore the feedback that we received from all those organizations.

The feedback we received was some of, and part of, the factors considered in the larger decision-making process to arbitrarily land on an age. Where we know that the highest consumption in Canada is amongst our youth in Nova Scotia, there has to be a balance between appropriate age, health factors, continued use of illicit market, and a number of other contributing factors.

The other factor we're conscious of is what our neighbouring provinces have done relative to age. We believe that in the best interests of Nova Scotians and the application of the legislation, 19 is the most appropriate age as our provincial partners have identified across the country.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, it's not good enough. Everyone knows better that it should have been 25 and a compromise should have been 21.

Another organization sent a submission to the government. It's an organization that we talk about a lot here in the Legislature, actually. Here's what the nine community health boards had to say about the sale of cannabis to young people: restrict sales of cannabis to those 21 years of age and older - which has also been recommended both by the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Psychiatric Association. I can table that. That's the recommendation of this group this government created.

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When the vast majority of health organizations recommended setting the legal age for cannabis to be 21, how did this government ever come up with the age of 19?

MR. FUREY « » : I want to go back to what I said earlier, Mr. Speaker. The largest percentage of consumers in the country are amongst our youth. To set a legal age at 25 is actually continuing to support the criminal element. Those youth would continue to purchase product from the illegal market. I am not naïve enough to think that those individuals are going to stop consuming because the legal age is 25.

We have struck a balance. We believe the age of 19 is appropriate, and consistent with every other province and territory, with the exception of one.

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

MUN. AFFAIRS - NSHA: MUNICIPALITIES PAY - INCONSISTENT

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : My question is for the minister (Interruptions)

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

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : It's my first question, so I think members should listen. (Applause)

My question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. We have learned this morning that we need to add municipalities to the list of people or groups getting a headache from the centralized Health Authority. Since the Health Authority was created, there has been inconsistency in which municipalities get paid for municipal services they provide to the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Halifax says that the NSHA pays their bill in full, while other municipalities like Cape Breton and Inverness have struggled to be paid.

I would like to ask the minister, what is the minister doing to ensure that municipalities get paid?

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : I would like to thank the member for the question. The situation that he's dealing with was the decision that was made, an interpretation by the old Cape Breton District Health Authority before amalgamation.

I appreciate the work that Minister Delorey has done with his staff and the NSHA. We're learning that this settlement is coming for the CBRM. As we move forward, we're going to open those dialogues with the NSHA to make sure that we don't have this situation happen again.

[Page 2253]

MR. SPEAKER « » : I would just like to remind the honourable minister not to refer to other ministers by surnames.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid has the floor.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Hospitals need sewers. Hospitals need fire protection. Municipalities provide these services, but it's at a cost to them. The legislation is very clear, but the Nova Scotia Health Authority is seeking legal advice and clarity from the minister's department. This is messy and could get messier as we move on.

Will the minister clarify that the Nova Scotia Health Authority needs to pay all the municipalities for their services that the NSHA uses?

MR. MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Under the Hospitals Act, hospitals are exempt from taxes, but under the MGA, they can charge fees for service.

In the situation that took place in Cape Breton, there was an interpretation made by the former district health authority. We have been working since day one, and I have been since becoming minister, to get clarity around that situation. The Minister of Health and Wellness and his staff have been working with the CBRM through this process. We're coming to a conclusion on that, which I'm very happy about.

Moving forward, I made the commitment as Minister of Municipal Affairs to sit down with staff from the Nova Scotia Health Authority to have a clearer path forward.

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

H&W - NSHA: VICTORIA CO. - MONEY OWED

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Since 2014, the Nova Scotia Health Authority has not paid $2.7 million in fire protection and sewer rights to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Now, after four long years, the Nova Scotia Health Authority has finally agreed to cough up most of the money it owes CBRM.

That's great news for CBRM, but what about the other cash-strapped municipalities, Mr. Speaker? The Health Authority owes Victoria County not as much - only $27,000 - in back fire protection rates for the Village of Baddeck dating back to 2014.

My question to the minister is, will the minister direct the Health Authority to immediately pay Victoria County the money owed?

[10:15 a.m.]

[Page 2254]

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question. I think this is an important question to come to the floor because it highlights what we've been saying for several years now about the reason it was important to amalgamate the nine different health authorities, because these organizations were treating and operating differently in different parts of the province. This is just one example in terms of how they responded to invoices from municipalities, but we see the same in the way that care and services are being provided by these organizations.

When this issue was brought to my attention by my colleague, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, that there were these concerns from municipalities about bills being paid, I directed the Health Authority to ensure that they meet their legal obligations.

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, the residents of Victoria County learned in the media this morning that the Health Authority refused to pay fire and sewer fees to some municipalities, like Victoria County, but their bills to other municipalities were paid in full, no problem. I'll table that.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, will the minister explain how and why the Health Authority plays favourites when it comes to paying bills?

MR. DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question. Indeed, the circumstances of this situation and why there appear to be different practices within the Nova Scotia Health Authority in different parts of the region is because the practices were in place when there were nine different health authorities - it was the previous Cape Breton health authority. The members opposite criticize and complain, whether its about the health authorities or the school boards, that the local representation represents the people to their best.

Indeed, because the practices were different, it does take time to ensure that there is consistency in behaviour, appropriately and consistently, across the province. That work has been ongoing since the Fall, and they'll continue to meet their obligations.

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

H&W - SACRED HEART HOSP.: DEBT PMT. - ENSURE

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, that's a ridiculous response and I'll tell you why. Inverness County has been owed $0.5 million since 2012 so it's interesting that the problem never existed until this government amalgamated the health authorities, at least not for Inverness. It's a lot of money, and this issue has been going on for years. I know this government has had months to fix it; it was formally brought to them months ago by the Municipality of Inverness County.

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the municipality can't get a mortgage right now for one of the hospitals - Sacred Heart Hospital - because this outstanding debt is hanging over them, so it's ridiculous. (Interruption) I guess I've run out of time here - I'm sorry.

[Page 2255]

My question is, will the minister commit today to ensuring that Sacred Heart Hospital's debt is paid immediately so that upgrades can be made to that nursing home?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for the question. As I've previously mentioned when this situation was brought to my attention by my colleague, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, when it was brought to my attention I directed staff to provide some information and when that information brought in more details, I made it very clear, and my direction to the Chair of the Nova Scotia Health Authority was, that my expectation was for them to meet their legal obligations in making payments. I directed them to work with the municipalities to make sure that happened in a timely fashion, so that work is ongoing.

We saw today that the agreement was reached with Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and I expect the others to continue that work as well.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, he can forgive me if I don't have confidence in this system. It seems that every time an issue in health care is brought forward, there's no reply for a while, and then you get some kind of a short, inconclusive reply. At the end of the day, I don't think the health system is better since this government took charge.

I want to talk about volunteer firefighters. I was at a dinner in Inverness on the weekend. These are people who every two weeks are going and training, volunteering their time. They are there for us when we need them, and this government - through the Health Authority - has refused since 2012 to pay for those fire services. Is that not insulting to those volunteers?

MR. DELOREY « » : As I indicated previously, I believe the circumstances around the situation stem from the previous Cape Breton health board that was in place, that they changed their practice. They adopted a particular practice based upon the billings they received and the interpretations of the legislation as to what their obligations were.

When we amalgamated the health authorities, other regions saw different practices - some municipalities that billed, some that didn't bill for the services. When the bills were received, some health authorities had been paying, and some hadn't. When the Health Authority amalgamated, Nova Scotia Health Authority continued the practices in those regions as they were in place.

It takes time to amalgamate and standardize those practices. That work is ongoing. We saw today that they came to that agreement with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to make that payment.

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

[Page 2256]

H&W - DIALYSIS SERVICES: DEMAND - ESTIMATE

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness.

Dialysis patients are subject to an intensive treatment schedule in order to manage their condition. Many patients require dialysis treatments multiple times a week. For some, there is no dialysis in their immediate area; for others, the need in the area overwhelms the supply and patients are forced to travel for their treatment. These patients worry about travel, financial burden, and timely access to the service.

My question to the minister, will the minister provide the House with an estimate about how many Nova Scotians require dialysis, and the province's ability to provide that service in a safe and convenient way?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for bringing this important question to the floor of the Legislature. I don't believe those of us who do not require dialysis can truly understand or appreciate the impact that it has on the lives of those who do.

Dialysis treatment, for those of you that don't know, requires a lengthy stay to get the treatment, to have your blood cleaned. This often runs multiple times per week for several hours on each of those days of treatment.

Mr. Speaker, we recognize this challenge and we're working hard. We've made several announcements, and there is work ongoing, to bring additional seats for dialysis to more communities, to reduce the travel time for those who are receiving those services in parts of the province.

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, several dialysis patients in Pictou County continue to find themselves on a wait-list for access to the four units at the Pictou Hospital. Due to the aging population in my area, demand for dialysis services is only increasing. Aging patients, increased distance, and more uncertainty is a dangerous recipe.

My question to the minister is, will the minister commit today to expanding the dialysis services in Pictou County, thereby relieving the stress of patients having to travel to Antigonish, Truro, or Halifax?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I again thank the member for raising this question and the concerns of his constituents in Pictou County. While I appreciate the circumstances for those in Pictou County who aren't able to receive the dialysis services as close as possible in their community, as the member mentioned, those who aren't able to receive treatment in the four seats in Pictou at the Aberdeen are able to travel to Antigonish, about a half-hour or 45 minutes away, for that service.

[Page 2257]

Our first priority is that there are many parts of this province where patients are travelling over an hour, an hour and a half to receive treatment. The locations that we've indicated we're expanding dialysis services as a first priority are to limit the amount of travel time in areas that have the largest travel time right now. Unfortunately, that's not Pictou County at this point in time, but we will continue to try to improve the services available to all Nova Scotians.

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

AFRICAN N.S. AFFAIRS - SCHOOL BOARDS: LOSS OF REPS - CONCERN

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs.

In the Fall, the Commission on Effective Electoral Representation of Acadians and African Nova Scotians conducted extensive public consultations with African Nova Scotians, something community members have said that Dr. Glaze did not do. The commission's report emphasised the importance of African Nova Scotian seats on elected school boards, saying that they served at least five functions, including helping to link schools and the African Nova Scotian community and providing political experience for board members and even unsuccessful candidates.

Mr. Speaker, is the minister concerned that the elimination of African Nova Scotian representatives to school boards will undermine these important functions?

HON. TONY INCE » : No, I'm not. I have all confidence in the minister and what we are doing in that direction.

MS. ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, my next question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. We know that right now African Nova Scotians are underrepresented in government, and now your department is going to tell African Nova Scotians that you're choosing their representatives for them. Do you think that that is appropriate?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'd just like to remind the honourable member not to refer to members opposite directly but to keep your comments through the Chair.

The honourable Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I've had conversations with representatives from the African Nova Scotian community, who are obviously concerned about losing positions on those board structures. But the fact is, even though we have had those positions, which have been a great gain for that community, we still have an achievement gap with African Nova Scotian students in this province that we have not been able to address properly.

[Page 2258]

This is an opportunity for us to be the architects of a new system that provides additional agency to that community and our Mi'kmaq community, that ensures they are better represented within the department, that there are resources focused on that achievement gap, and that we do a better job for our African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq students in this province than we have done.

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

H&W - SUTHERLAND HARRIS HOSP.: SERVICE REDUCT. - CONCERN

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Pictou's Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital has been serving the residents of the Pictou area since 1966. In recent years, however, the services offered at the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital have been reduced greatly. Now Pictonians are hearing that services such as blood collection, restorative care, dialysis, and even our addiction centre might be the next services to go. Naturally this is causing great concern for the residents of Pictou County.

Can the minister indicate if there are any plans for further service reductions, in particular at the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for bringing this question to the floor. It is particularly important, as I can imagine, for her constituents and people within that region. What I can tell the member is of course, the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK are partners on the front line, delivering health care services to all Nova Scotians. They are working hard to ensure they are providing those services as efficiently and effectively as they can.

To the specific question that the member asked, I can also let her know that I haven't seen any specific proposals to indicate that what she has suggested is taking place.

MR. MACFARLANE: I thank the minister for his answer. My colleague from Pictou Centre already raised the issue of dialysis in Pictou County and obviously I echo his concerns. The four units in Pictou County are located in Pictou at the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital, but they are definitely not meeting the growing demand in our community. To add the additional stress of this uncertainty only compounds the problem for our residents. If the four units are taken from the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital, then they should be replaced somewhere else in Pictou County, hopefully the Aberdeen Hospital.

Will the minister commit to preserving and increasing the number of dialysis units in Pictou County?

[Page 2259]

MR. DELOREY « » : I thank again the member for raising this question of dialysis. As I mentioned previous, again, unless you are experiencing the need for dialysis, or have someone close to you, I don't think you can truly appreciate the impact it has on one's life to have a requirement to receive this treatment, lasting several hours a day, to clean your blood, multiple days per week. It's understandable that people would want to have these services as close to home as possible.

As I indicated earlier, plans are in the process for identifying where expansion would take place. We're trying to get areas that are travelling for over an hour or two hours addressed first and foremost, and that's where we've made commitments - Kentville, the Valley, the South Shore I believe, having some in Digby, expanded services and that's a priority right now.

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

H&W - DIALYSIS SERVICE: KENTVILLE UNIT - UPDATE

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : My question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Those on dialysis in the Valley face the daunting challenge of travelling to Halifax three times a week for a four to six-hour dialysis treatment. They cannot drive themselves, they need a driver. When you consider that travel time in that hour to hour-and-a-half, or more, range and the time it takes for treatment, it is exhausting for the patient and for their loved ones.

My friend, who unfortunately needs dialysis, was told by someone in the Department of Health and Wellness to move to Halifax, when he was trying to figure out how to manage the logistics around his dialysis treatments.

My question for the minister is, can the Minister of Health and Wellness tell this House, and the citizens of the Valley, when they can expect the dialysis unit in Kentville, or does the minister also advise to move to Halifax?

MR. DELOREY « » : Again, I appreciate the question. Indeed, the member has highlighted exactly what I've been indicating in my responses to the previous questions. The fact of the matter is that there are parts of the province where they have to travel further. We recognize that in the Valley. That's why the work ongoing there is actually one of the areas further along. They've had their design completed and the work is underway to get that facility up and running for those additional seats to provide the services so that those people in that community won't have to travel as far. They can get those services closer to home.

[10:30 a.m.]

[Page 2260]

MR. LOHR « » : This government committed to dialysis at Valley Regional Hospital in a December 2013 press release, and I will table that. It has also had dialysis on each capital plan since 2013. I will not table the capital plans. In fact, the Premier announced a 12-station dialysis unit for Valley Regional Hospital amid great fanfare on January 13, 2017. He said the work would begin in the Fall of 2017, and I just tabled that. If we had a dialysis chair for every announcement that this government has made, we would already have six or seven in the Valley.

Rather than announcements, I think the people in the Valley would prefer real action. My question is, when will the government finally follow through on all the many promises to the people of the Valley and put dialysis in Valley Regional Hospital?

MR. DELOREY « » : I think what the member needs to appreciate when it comes to capital projects, particularly those in the health care sector, is that these are far more complex than building a home. These require detailed design and analysis and clinic input.

As I have said, the design is completed, the investments have been made, and money has been flowing to ensure that this project continues to get off the ground. As part of that as well, with the designs, you have to identify the location of the site, procure the properties, and so on. All of that takes time.

I assure you that all the people involved in this project have been working diligently, and we'll get those seats up and running there and in other communities like Digby, Glace Bay, and Dartmouth.

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

H&W: HEMODIALYSIS SATELLITE UNIT (BARRINGTON PASSAGE)

- COMMIT

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : It seems the Minister of Health and Wellness is answering more questions about blood than the Russian Olympic team right now.

Dialysis in my area is a question I have asked of him, and numerous members, over the last number of years. The group in Barrington Passage is looking to get a satellite hemodialysis unit in that community. The closest option right now is Yarmouth. It's 54 minutes away when weather is good, and it's further away to go either to Liverpool or Bridgewater. There are 14 people in Shelburne County right now having to travel to receive that service in Yarmouth.

Can the Minister of Health and Wellness commit to creating a satellite hemodialysis unit in Barrington Passage for the patients of that area?

[Page 2261]

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for his question. As I had indicated previously, I know, again, the significant impact that dialysis has on individuals. Requiring the service to require travelling to receive treatment in hospital can take a toll, because you do have to receive this treatment multiple times a week in many cases, and for several hours at a time.

As I have indicted in, I believe, recently responded-to correspondence where he had asked the same and as I have mentioned to his colleagues who have asked this question on behalf of their constituents, we have a review that was done to identify where priority areas were, where the travel times were greatest at the time. That's where we're working on getting those dialysis seats up first and foremost. We'll continue to improve that over time.

The other thing I want to highlight to members is that there are also opportunities to look at and encourage their constituents to look at dialysis at home. It may not work for everyone, but there are opportunities where they can work with the Nova Scotia Health Authority to receive that service.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Like I said, there are 14 people, in Shelburne County alone, who have to travel to Yarmouth County in order to receive that service. There is a pocket of people who need the service of full dialysis rather than home dialysis, so they really can't transfer in it.

A friend of mine, Artie Smith, who lives in Woods Harbour, is getting to the end of his rope. He said, I can't function because of the time it takes out of my day and out of my week in order to do that.

Patients cannot drive themselves, so financial demands, or the demands of their families and friends, will continue to add stress and pressure on top of their condition. I know what I'm asking for is outside the norm because there are no seats in Barrington Passage. But the distance itself should at least allow for consideration.

Can the minister outline what the conditions would be to look at a community like this for the consideration of a satellite dialysis unit?

MR. DELOREY « » : I think the member really hit the nail on the head, that distance and time impact for communities. The unfortunate reality is there are other communities and regions that have an even further distance, and that's where we've been trying to focus on the first round of these expanded dialysis treatments.

We have a number of projects under way for either new or expanded seats across the province. That's our first priority, as his colleague asked in a question earlier about how long it takes. We're really focusing our resources, the project teams and partnership, with the Health Authority, the department, and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to get these projects off the ground, get these seats in place for those who are going to receive them in this first round. We'll continue to look at it over time as resources exist and we get these projects up and running.

[Page 2262]

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

BUS.: FILM TECHS. - JOB LOSSES

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Business.

IATSE Local 849 represents most film technicians in the province. Their members have had their hours dropped by two-thirds since the Premier broke his word and eliminated the Film Tax Credit. Given that the government is so focused on retaining workers in the province, it seems strange that it would be content to see these significant job losses in a viable and important industry, and to watch workers leave the province and go find work elsewhere.

Mr. Speaker, will the minister admit that his government's changes are costing Nova Scotians jobs?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. I've enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Screen Nova Scotia, Mike Volpe in particular. Certainly, Mike and the team at Screen Nova Scotia, and all industry players, have been very open and upfront about their industry moving forward and what the next few years of production look like. Obviously, we are committed to working with them; we do make an investment on behalf of Nova Scotians into that industry. We'll continue to listen to them and to hear their concerns.

I did receive some correspondence from the union group that the member mentioned. Look, film is important. We know that there is a vibrant industry here, and we're going to do what we can to continue to work with the stakeholders and make sure we do everything to support film in Nova Scotia.

MS. LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, Screen Nova Scotia and the film industry are weathering the government's changes, and continuing to show the world that Nova Scotia is a great place to make film and television - and I think all the credit is due to their work. But the bottom line is the change from a tax credit to an all-spend incentive fund is not translating into jobs for Nova Scotian creative workers.

The local hiring promoted by the tax credit had spinoffs throughout the arts and culture sector. It supported our artists to pursue work that results in the innovative projects that make Nova Scotian culture and heritage so rich.

Mr. Speaker, what does the minister have to say to all the creative industry workers, and their families, who have watched their work evaporate?

[Page 2263]

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would tell those individuals to keep doing the great job that they're doing. Screen Nova Scotia, one of the focal points for Screen Nova Scotia, for Mike and Eric and the entire organization, is they continue to share the positive message. They've done a number of marketing pieces in recent months that focus on Nova Scotia in terms of our scenery of course, in terms of some of the financial incentives that are here, but of course the workforce, they've focused on the workforce, the people, who make screen and film so great in this province.

Certainly, moving forward they'll continue to do that. They've got a tremendous network and relationships with film sectors across the province, across the country and, indeed, North America, so they'll continue to do what they can. They'll continue to dialogue with us and we'll work with them to improve screen and film aspects for Nova Scotia.

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

LAE: ELEVATORS/LIFTS SAFETY COURSE - ALTERNATIVES

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

A constituent of mine invested in equipment to start a fun entertainment business involving inflatable bouncy houses. Now, in order to acquire a licence my constituent was informed that he had to take an elevators and lift safety course. He phoned and had his name put on the list - that was six months ago. The course is only administered when there are enough people to take the course, and there aren't enough people right now to take that course. In the meantime, my constituent is paying on that investment.

My question is, are there any acceptable equivalents or alternatives to this particular elevators and lifts safety course that my constituent can take so we can get his business up and running?

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the member for the question. I'm more than willing to look into that situation and see if there are any alternatives. One thing I would like to add though is the safety of our workers is of utmost importance and it's very important that we have these certifications in place, especially when workers are going up high and working at a high level. I do know of one organization I was talking to. They recertify every year, and I know that the time frame that they offer recertification is very short.

I'm surprised to learn that it's a six-month wait to get your initial certification, but I'm more than willing to check with the department and see what the holdup might be there, and if there's anything we can do, we will speed that process up.

[Page 2264]

MR. HARRISON « » : I just want to reiterate the safety and training courses such as this one. They are very, very important and most people are willing to participate in them. There may not, however, be a high demand for these somewhat obscure courses at one time. The question is with the technologies that are available these days, is the minister's department exploring the possibility of converting programs, such as the elevators and lifts safety course, into online programs which could be accessible on demand?

MR. KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the member for the question. In terms of the safety course, I leave the decisions of how they're administered to our professionals, and I don't interfere with those because when you're talking about an online course versus an in-person course, especially when it comes to safety gear, to harnesses, my initial reaction would be, how can you get across the importance of how you put your harness on, how you attach it, all the other safety mechanisms involved if you're doing it through a video, and my reaction is that this is the type of safety course that has to be done in person to ensure that the individuals have the safety they require, so that they don't have a workplace accident or, more importantly, as we've seen in the past, unfortunately, a workplace death. Thank you.

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

EECD: COLE HBR.-EAST. PASSAGE SCHOOLS:

MIN. MEETING - PRINCIPALS EXCLUSION

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. In June 2017, the minister halted the school review process for Auburn Drive High School and Cole Harbour District High School and feeder schools to my constituency and others. These high schools impact all the residents of my constituency.

On October 24th, in this Legislature, I asked the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development if he was willing to meet with me and the principals of the affected high schools and feeder schools. My constituents, parents, teachers, and students were pleased when the minister agreed to meet with us and I was looking forward to that meeting. I was invited to the meeting but the principals were not.

Can the minister explain to my constituents why he chose not to extend an invitation to the principals of these high schools, and let us know if that's possible in the future with the upcoming education changes?

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, as myself and the member spoke, there was confusion on who was sending the invite. I was under the impression that the meeting was at the request of the member, who would send the invite to the principals, and obviously the member was under the impression that the department would invite principals. That said, I'm very happy to meet with administrators in her area.

[Page 2265]

We've just finished a tour across the province where we met with teachers, administrators, and staff from boards. Those conversations have proved to be very helpful. One of the challenges in the current model that we're changing is that ministers actually weren't allowed to have that direct line of communication. There was protocol in place where we were supposed to meet directly with elected board members. Of course, with the change in the system, that allows these lines of communication to be open on a permanent basis.

MS. ADAMS « » : With all due respect, there wasn't confusion on my part. I was told that you were going to invite the principals. When I found out that the principals weren't invited, we contacted your department. We were told that we had to issue the invitation. I personally had to do that, so I did so, sending the invitation to the principals. They responded in an email to me that they were not allowed to come on my invitation. It had to come from your department, so I sent that information to your assistant. I spoke to her several times over the day, and she advised me that your department was not willing to issue the invitation.

My question to the minister is, now we've got it cleared up, will the minister issue that invitation himself since I can't do it, and can you also tell me what's going to happen to Cole Harbour District High School, Auburn Drive High School, and all of the feeder schools because the School Options Committee and the parents are waiting to find out what's going to happen to those schools? They've been waiting over a year and a half.

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, as an MLA, when I was in Opposition before I was Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, I was always allowed and engaged with our principals and our administrators. I met with them as a member. No one's preventing the member from inviting those individuals to meetings. As I mentioned before, a new model will actually allow for a more permanent, open relationship between the minister's office, the department, and the front line. I very much look forward to building that important relationship with our administrators and our teachers as we move forward.

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

[10:45 a.m.]

[Page 2266]

TIR - LOCH LOMOND ROAD: FLOODING - SOLUTIONS

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Many of us know the song "The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond" and its famous chorus. As much as it is tempting to sing it, I am not going to - "You take the high road, and I'll take the low road." (Interruption) I know it's unparliamentary, but we're a lyrical lot in Cape Breton.

Seriously, though, when it comes to the Loch Lomond Road in Richmond, the low road is the only one available, I'm afraid - a road so low, in fact, that it is subject to extreme flooding.

As I am sure the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is aware, on February 5th the road was flooded to the point where it engulfed a pickup truck. I am sure he is aware because the pickup truck was actually a TIR truck.

Does the minister have any details on the conditions that led to the flooding on the Loch Lomond Road and endangered the TIR truck and its driver?

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : I want to take the opportunity to thank all the people who work in the department, all 2,200 of them, who do a tremendous and difficult job across Nova Scotia. When we're challenged with the extremely unusual winter that we've had this year, it puts all kinds of pressure on the system, especially when it comes to rain, because with the frost it runs off and creates all kinds of new challenges.

We are aware of the Loch Lomond Road situation and are looking at some solutions in terms of drainage there.

MS. PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm relieved to say that the TIR staff member driving the truck was able to escape without harm as the freezing water rose up and thoroughly engulfed the windows. The staff member tried to call for help on his cellphone, but of course there's no cell service in Loch Lomond, as there is not in many areas in Cape Breton-Richmond.

He was able to use his radio and call back to the depot just before the rising water shorted out the electronics on the truck. I shudder to think of the predicament a family or a senior - and we have many of them in Cape Breton-Richmond - would have faced in the same circumstance.

Can the minister report whether his department has any actions planned to avoid such a dangerous circumstance from occurring in future on Loch Lomond Road?

MR. HINES « » : I thank the member opposite for the question. One of the things I'm really proud of is our Gravel Road Program that we have brought forward from a capital perspective, which is very successful for rural Nova Scotia. In the member's case, we're doing Sporting Mountain Road, Morrison Road, Grant Road - a total of 10 kilometres of rehabilitation for gravel roads in that constituency and in all the constituencies across the province.

[Page 2267]

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

ENERGY: FRACKING MORATORIUM - REVOKE

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : My question is for the Minister of Energy. Most Nova Scotians don't want fracking. They made it abundantly clear to the Independent Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing, and nothing has changed since. But with the release of the atlas showing possible reserves, the government has muddied the waters and started the conversation all over again.

Mr. Speaker, is the minister ignoring the moratorium and trying to open a back door to fracking in this province?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : I thank the member for the question. No, that's not the case at all. The moratorium is still in place. The status quo for the fracking piece is as it stood back in 2014.

Look, there's nothing wrong with information. If people have an interpretation of putting out the Onshore Petroleum Atlas to figure out where these minerals are, where the gas could be, there's nothing wrong with sharing that.

What we said is that Nova Scotians were clear back when the moratorium was put in place, and if communities had a different idea or perspective on that, then so be it - they would bring that to us. We haven't changed anything. The moratorium is what it is. We haven't considered or talked about changing that legislation. As a competent and responsible government, we committed to that onshore atlas. We'll put that information out there. Let the stakeholders and the public talk about it and see where we land.

MS. ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, if we're going to grow a green economy in this province, we need decisive leadership now, and that's what this government is not showing.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers has expired.

The honourable Minister of Internal Services and Communications Nova Scotia on an introduction.

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : I would just like to take a few seconds to make a quick introduction, if I could draw members' attention to the press gallery. We're joined today by a number of our members of the press corps. One in particular, Marieke Walsh with Global News, is going to be leaving us for Ontario shortly. I just wanted to take a moment to thank her for being such a spirited and strong voice in our press corps. I know that our loss is Queen's Park's gain. I can guarantee she will have a very bright and successful future ahead of her. (Applause)

[Page 2268]

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

MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : I would like to draw the members' attention to the west gallery, where we are joined today, for the lively debate that's about to begin, by a number of members of school boards across the province. We have Dave Wright, Suzy Hansen, Faye Hayley, Wendy Matheson-Withrow, Donna Tidd, Paula Paul, Jennifer Raven, Theresa Griffin, Michael Drew, Sandra Margettie, Chelsea Burke, Nova Scotia School Board Association president Hank Middleton, Halifax Regional School Board African Nova Scotian Representative Archy Beals, and my friend and former colleague Cindy Littlefair. Please join me in welcoming them to this House. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 72.

Bill No. 72 - Education Reform Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : I'm pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 72.

This is a result of an administrative review that was conducted by Dr. Avis Glaze on behalf of the province. This was a part of the platform that we ran on in the 2017 election.

AN HON. MEMBER: No it's not.

MR. CHURCHILL « » : We committed in our platform, and I will refer the members to that platform, to review the administrative structure of our education system.

[Page 2269]

I do want to thank Dr. Glaze for this report. She has challenged us to make some very difficult decisions when it comes to how we administer the system of education in the Province of Nova Scotia. I do want to table this report in its entirety. While the legislation that we are moving forward with today does not cover all of the recommendations in this report, that is because a lot of the recommendations are based on policy changes that can be made within the department, also regulation changes and operational directives as well. For the sake of the House, I will table this report in its entirety, and for public consumption as well.

Dr. Glaze is an international leader in the field of education. She's one of Canada's outstanding educators. She has been recognized for her work in leadership development, student achievement, school and system improvement, character development, and equity of outcomes for all students. She's the first chief student achievement officer and founding CEO of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat. She played a pivotal role in improving student achievement in Ontario schools. She has two Master's of Education and a Doctorate in Education from OISE, and she has taught at all levels of the system, including as a professor at the post-secondary level. She has done work similar to this in various jurisdictions across this country and the world in fact, including New Zealand, Norway, and Scotland. I will table her curriculum vitae for the sake of the House as well, Mr. Speaker.

I think it's important that we recognize that our education system hasn't fundamentally changed in 20 years. In fact, the last time there has been a fundamental change was when Premier Angus L. Macdonald actually developed the Department of Education in the 1960s, and some of us might forget that that happened so recently in the past. Since then, there hasn't been a real look at how we are administering the system.

Mr. Speaker, we know that there are some challenges with the status quo, and we are experiencing that in several ways. One, in student achievement levels that have been at or below the national average, historically in this province. There have also been variances in student achievement from one region to the next, that have varied recently, up to 33 per cent, depending on where you're being educated. This has also led to frustration on the front lines with our teachers, principals, administrators, parents, students who have expressed over the course of our time in government that the system in its current form is not sufficient.

I do want to mention, Mr. Speaker, I know that this report has been looked at in isolation by the public, and by some members of the education community, but I do want to remind the House that this is part of a broader strategy that the government has to improve our education system. We have, under our previous mandate, done work to modernize the curriculum in Nova Scotia, bringing in robotics programming, coding, brilliant labs to make sure that our graduates are able to be prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

[Page 2270]

We have moved forward with Nova Scotia's first universal pre-Primary program, that I think is going to have a significant impact on students in this province, particularly those who might not have the same benefits that the rest of us had when we were starting off in life. The stats around pre-Primary are pretty impressive in terms of their impact on academic outcomes during school, and success outcomes after school.

We've also looked at the issue of classroom conditions. We have a Council To Improve Classroom Conditions, Mr. Speaker, they have come up with several recommendations, including the implementation of a class cap, at every school in the province. As well as looking at the issue of student attendance, we now have the first provincial policy on student attendance, that has been something that the Opposition has called for. I know particularly for the member from Inverness, having an attendance policy has been an important issue for him, and I know that is something that teachers wanted as well. Right now, they are focused on assessments, on reporting, on data collection, to make sure that teachers have less burdens in that regard, and are able to focus on what's most important, and that is teaching our kids.

When it comes to system changes, Mr. Speaker, you can't achieve system changes without looking at the institutions that work within that system. Dr. Glaze has challenged us to look at those systems, and to do better, and it has impacted our institutions. There are recommendations there that challenge the department to look differently at how we operate as a department, doing a better job empowering our front lines - our principals, our administrators - to help them do site-based management. Also, ensuring that we have a way to independently report on assessments, so that the public can believe, and have trust in, what we're reporting.

It has also asked us to play a greater role in addressing the achievement gap when it comes to our African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq students, who have historically, and continue to have, a major achievement gap in this province. We have to do a better job addressing that. So we will be creating executive director positions within the department that will be focused on those key issues, and I really hope that at the end of the day, we will see some positive movement in that regard.

Obviously, we have board members here - these recommendations have impacted boards and the way that we look at that part of the administration of our education system. I do want to say, and I have said this on the record from day one, this is not a commentary on board members as individuals or as collectives. I can personally sympathize with every person that's in this gallery who's been impacted by this government's decision. I understand how hard folks have worked over the years, how committed they have been to their students and their communities. I've gone out and I've met most board members in this province leading up to this, and I've had the great chance to know you, and to work with you for the period of time that we've had together.

[Page 2271]

I also do want to commend the board members. Even during a period of disagreement like this where there is a fundamental disagreement from board members that they have vocalized on this government direction, they have done so in way that I believe is respectful, that lends itself to important public discourse and debate. Throughout all of this, each one of those members has been completely focused on the kids, and making sure that implementation of government's decisions is done in a way that does not have a negative impact on them, and I want to commend them for that.

[11:00 a.m.]

It means a lot. I know this is a tough situation; I know it is. I understand and sympathize with the feelings that are there. There has been a personal toll on myself in relation to these decisions, and impacts important relationships for me.

Dr. Glaze has also asked us to, of course, make decisions that have impacted the union as well in pursuit of a stronger administrative structure for Nova Scotians in this province.

Before I get to that, though, I do want to talk about a really important topic that was brought up in Question Period around African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq representation - that is a very important issue. We have had, as I mentioned, a long-standing challenge when it comes to having an achievement gap in this province with those students.

While I know there is a sense of loss in relation to changing this administrative structure and losing those voices on these boards, I do also see an opportunity here to be the architects of something new that can be more effective, that can achieve what we want, and that is reducing that achievement gap so we're doing better for all our kids.

We are going to work with the Black Educators Association, with the Council on African Canadian Education, and also the African Nova Scotian representatives on our boards, to make sure we figure out the best possible way - and the Mi'kmaq Education Council as well - to work with these communities to figure out the best way we can empower our communities and do a better job of tackling that achievement gap which has plagued this province for far too long.

Mr. Speaker, this legislation also changes the relationship between administrators - from the superintendent all the way down to the vice-principal in the union. We believe, as a government, these are important changes to make for the sake of having stronger schools. There is disagreement out there as well on this one. This is a topic of interest obviously for the union and the membership, but I think it's important that we recognize the conflicts that have existed in that relationship. Some of them have been long standing.

I remember hearing from principals and administrators since I was young - I come from a family of teachers - around the challenge they've had in terms of executing their supervisory roles at times, because of that membership in the union. But, most importantly, we really experienced a challenge last year during the work-to-rule situation during the labour contract negotiation where administrators were really put in a bind where they felt - and many have expressed this, and more have expressed it than perhaps this House is willing to admit - they felt very conflicted by the directives they were receiving by the union and their obligations to the Act and the responsibilities to the children.

[Page 2272]

That led to a situation where we had a very real safety issue. Not to say that our administrators or teachers would let our kids be in an unsafe environment - I'm not saying that - but the directive itself led many to question the safety of our schools during that period.

This eliminates that conflict. By changing the relationship, by removing administrators from the union, it also removes them from taking any work action during a labour situation. We've said that it happens only once in 100 years, but these contracts are negotiated every two years. The financial challenges this province has are not going away any time soon and governments are going to be forced to take tough stances when it comes to labour negotiations.

Also, there were very real conflicts at the board level with some of our administrators being involved in the union where you'd find it's actually common practice that those negotiating regional collective agreements from the employer's side would actually have union members on the employer's side during those collective agreement negotiations. That obviously is a conflict and that does create a moral hazard to the system, not to suggest that that impacted people's decisions during those collective agreements but just the fact that that issue was there is a challenge.

Furthermore, if you look at the factors that impact students' success, teaching excellence is by far the number-one contributor to student success and positive outcomes. That's so empowering, I think, for our teachers to know. It matters even more than other factors at home related to parents, socioeconomic status, teaching excellence matters the most.

The second leading factor that impacts student outcomes is leadership excellence. We have been in a situation, or even in the union belief statements, leadership excellence is not recognized. So, by having administrators in a separate professional association, this will allow them to actually focus on what's needed for them from a leadership excellence perspective.

It's difficult when you make up only 10 per cent of a union membership to always get your agenda on the radar for the union, that's an issue that I have heard expressed acutely by a lot of administrators, from one end of this province to the other, and I think we need to do better to support them, and I think having a professional association that is self-directed, that is also affiliated with the union, so that protects salaries, pension benefits, it allows for a smooth transition back into the classroom, if administrators want that to happen. I think we've achieved the appropriate balance there. Again, the collegial model is something that we do believe in as well, and I think it's going to be up to those folks to ensure that that collegial model remains. It's not up to government, it's not up to the union, it's up to those individuals in our schools, and I have full faith in them to execute their duties in a way that's professional and that is respectful of their employees.

[Page 2273]

You'll note, Mr. Speaker, there's one thing that we are not legislating, this is actually in response to the concerns that have been expressed by teachers and principals when I was on the road meeting with them, as well as by the union. There's a lot of concern around the College of Teachers, and what the implications of that were for the teaching profession.

The purpose of that college was to establish standards of excellence. As I mentioned previously, the number one factor that impacts student outcomes, teaching excellence. We don't have standards of teaching excellence in this province, we've never had them; that's a problem. So the idea that Dr. Glaze asked us to move forward was to establish a college, self-regulated by the profession, for the profession, to establish those standards, and to help members achieve those standards, and keep the membership accountable much like optometrists, nursing, a college, engineers, lawyers - a lot of professions have these self-regulated bodies that support the profession. It's difficult to achieve that when there's not buy-in, however, amongst the professionals.

So, we have to look at how we tackle standards of excellence differently, and we will be moving forward with the union in that regard, and teachers, to make sure that we find the most appropriate model to help us achieve standards of excellence in teaching, and to ensure that all of our teachers have the capacity to do their very best.

Also, we are moving forward with the union in consultations around labour mobility. Right now, if a teacher decides to move outside of a board region to pursue a new opportunity, career wise, if their family is forced to move, their spouse is forced to move, they, right now, will be penalized by losing their seniority in the system. I don't think that's fair, but we recognize there are some risks with having labour mobility. While it's good that the labour force can respond to the needs of the system, where it's required, without penalizing the employees, we also need to recognize that seniority is a big issue of concern for the union, we recognize that, we'll work with them through this. There's also a risk of losing good, qualified people in high-need areas.

Moving forward, we have to be very thoughtful about this goal and make sure that we mitigate the risks of losing good people in areas, particularly in rural parts of this province, Mr. Speaker.

One thing that became very clear to me, in meeting with our front lines, principals, teachers, staff, and community members is that there is a real lack of trust with government right now, and I think that is important to note. That's a challenge that we've had in terms of our teachers actually interpreting Dr. Glaze's report. A lot of the frustrations that I heard from our professionals weren't even necessarily related to the report itself. They were related more to a concern that government was making decisions in a way that would negatively impact the profession, and I think that comes back to a trust issue that we have.

[Page 2274]

We have to continue to build on that relationship. Families go through difficult moments where disagreement happens, and that's going to happen between governments, and I'm sure, our various sectors of employees that work for us. But at the end of the day, we are a family, and we have to remain committed to the kids in the particular instance of education that we all have an obligation to. While I know that the relationship with our teachers and the union has been bent and has frayed, I do not believe it is broken. I believe that so long as each and every one of us remain committed to doing our very best for our kids, that relationship will grow and become more productive as time moves on.

With that said, I do want to allow the members opposite to provide their commentary on this piece of legislation - legislation that I believe will unify the system, will ensure that best practices are employed in every part of the province, and will help us ensure that student achievement levels are consistent from one end of the province to the other, which will ensure more resources are put in the classroom and more empowerment is given to our front lines. Thank you so much.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm always pleased to rise in my place to say a few words - today on Bill No. 72. This bill represents massive legislative changes to the administration of our classrooms. However, the government failed to demonstrate what the plan is for how these drastic changes will actually improve our classrooms.

Most people know I usually don't like to stand in my place without acknowledging the good content in a bill, regardless of what Party introduces the bill. I do want to acknowledge the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development - there are sections of this bill that are good, that are reasonable, and that are doable. I know that in some of the minister's final closing, indicating that the system is broken, that there's no trust, but it can be fixed - I believe that hope springs eternal. I believe in making things better and that we can move forward, but what I want to say is, don't wait. We are in trouble right now. The teachers are screaming for help right now. Let's try to mend that relationship as soon as possible.

One of the things that I do like about the bill - there are numerous, but there are a couple of things I want to say. I think that having funding and responsibility for teaching material selections is really a good idea. I have heard from a few teachers that they like that. So that's a good thing.

[Page 2275]

One of the things that I find is more important, though, is teaching-support specialists. As we all know, they are extremely important to our education system. We're certainly pleased to see some tentative moves on this. We just hope that they definitely move in the right direction.

I guess the big question is, what happens now? I always find that reports are worthy of investment, and we don't like them to collect on a shelf and collect dust. However, when we have a report that doesn't actually tell you how to implement the recommendations, how to implement the changes, and more importantly, what the projected financials are - what is it going to cost for each of those recommendations? - that is probably one of the biggest things that will hold me back from ever endorsing a report or a bill.

We can look at these changes, which are somewhat piecemeal and fail to provide the real reform our students need and, more importantly, deserve; real reform that the Premier and Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development promised; reform that will ensure that our math and literacy outcomes will improve so that we can prepare our students for life after school.

For example, at one school in Pictou County - and this comes from data collected from one of the specialists - 46 per cent of students from Primary to Grade 6 do not meet the literacy and English standards. I need to know what is in this bill that is going to improve that outcome.

[11:15 a.m.]

Another example - and this one is really disheartening - there are 106 autistic children in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board district - 106 that we know of - and another 100 that need to be assessed. So, brace yourselves, everyone, because CCRSB has one autistic specialist, and guess what? They only work 80 per cent of the time. Guess what? One of my teacher friends, who has a son that's autistic, saw that specialist once in the last three years. What's the point? What is the point of having an autistic specialist at 80 per cent for 106 students in CCRSB, if that specialist can't be in that classroom at least once a week to provide the teacher with the tools he or she needs in order to provide the adequate help that that student with autism needs?

Removing elected local voices from the education system only serves to protect the political interests of the governing Party. I'm sure that is not a mistake. You are taking away democratic voices that were voted in. Now I know that in the report, it said that 67 per cent of elected school board members are acclaimed, so there is an issue. There is an issue, but I'll tell you, when Pictou West in the last four or five years that I've been here and we've lost two schools - if we didn't have our elected board representative to be there with us, I don't know what we would've done. They're valuable, they're needed.

[Page 2276]

So, when you remove them, where do us parents actually go? Where do we go when we have concerns about our classrooms? Our school buses? Concerns that affect our everyday lives and the lives, more importantly, of our children. Where do we go? Who do we speak to? Without a plan, there is a huge vacuum and parents are left wondering, who is going to fill it? What are the responsibilities of the school advisory councils versus the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, versus the regional superintendents. What are the responsibilities?

Bus concerns are very, very big in my area because of being a rural area. Literally - especially during the winter months, right up until April - we get calls every other day about busing. We used to call our school board rep. Who do we call now to assist, so that we can help these individuals that are having problems?

AN HON. MEMBER: The minister.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : I hope. If it's not the minister, I'm sure that he'll be able to stand in his place and give me the number that I can call to solve those problems. People want to know, is my local school safe from closure? Who will fight for keeping my school off the chopping block? What's the process? The government can't answer those, or point to who will be making those decisions, and that is a colossal problem. It's a big problem, Mr. Speaker, a very big problem.

You know, one of my brothers once told me that parents in society have no doubt created this expectation that everyone has to win at everything. This is not helpful. It's not a helpful viewpoint, in having to live in reality. People need to fail, they need to fail so they learn how to cope, and tolerate. They need to fail, and they need to succeed, but they need to know what the difference is. I believe that somewhat - this is part of why depressive systems and anxiety is much higher in humans of all ages. We need to be able to tolerate both failure and success, and this is not happening in our school system. Conditions for children and teachers are suffering and when these occur, then they are forced to expend their time and energy to protect themselves from each other and that, Mr. Speaker, inherently weakens the organization. In this case it means the school system.

When we feel respected and we feel valued, we trust. As the minister indicated, there's a huge void of trust right now. But when we trust, we then feel safe, and we combine our talents and our strengths and we work tirelessly to face the challenges within the system. I know that's what we all want to hear. We want to work to make this better - I hope together, collectively.

Teachers are exhausted. They are exhausted with all the diverse learning within the classroom because they don't have assistance, they don't have help. I can't help but remember a teacher telling me a year ago that they felt like a glorified babysitter. They taught at a Grade 4 level, and they thought they were just simply a glorified babysitter, because there were 27 students in their classroom and 14 or 15 of them had to have all different learning systems put in place for them. A couple were allergic and walked around with EpiPens. This is our reality. We can't change it - it is what it is. We have evolved into this and that's okay, but we're not dealing with it. We're not providing the resources to deal with it. We have failed the school system, we truly have. I stand here knowing that it took all governments to do this.

[Page 2277]

Recently I visited my brother in Maine. He turned 50 and I'm just about there too. He has one son. He and his wife are professionals, a psychologist and a nurse. Actually, my sister-in-law is a state nurse where she goes around the state to investigate grievances and claims that are made. However, they want to come back to Nova Scotia. There was no reason why they couldn't come back and work here, to find employment. They are both well-educated.

However, they will tell you why they didn't come back. They didn't come back because of the education system. They didn't come back so their son, Sam, who is the same age as my son, Jack, cousins but at a distance. I'm going to tell you, they are both in Grade 10, but Sam in Grade 10 in Maine is no doubt - and my son does well in school - at least a year, and I sometimes say two years, ahead of my son.

Here's something that's very interesting, what's happening in the State of Maine, just across the border. When my son graduates, he will have the option of whatever he wants to do. If he wants to try university, that's great, we'll figure it out. However, when his cousin Sam graduates, Sam wants to work on Wall Street. He wants to get into stocks or whatever - let him live his dream. However, he will graduate also as an electrician or a plumber, because once you hit Grade 11, you can sign up to ensure that you have a trade before you actually leave the school system. How fabulous is that?

What he does is, he goes to school in the morning - they start early at 7:30 in the morning, lunch at 12:00 noon. At 1:00 p.m., he gets on a bus and he goes to what we call our community colleges, but they are colleges only for students who are at Grade 12 and under. So when he graduates, he is going to have a trade and he will decide if he wants to go to university as well, which I am sure he will do.

We have a lot to think about here, and I appreciate the minister saying that there are going to be other pieces of legislation that can help improve the system. But we really need to start thinking outside the box here if we're going to have families like my brother's. He wanted to live here but wouldn't simply because of the education system.

We know that the race is on. We heard the Premier say that he wants this bill to happen before March break. We have one more week - one more week for all of us to go home and read that piece of legislation and go through it. There's a lot in it. It will take a week to go through and to understand most of it. We had a number of individuals go through it last night in sections, and I'm nervous. I'm nervous because the race is on to get it done, to get it through. I don't think there should be a race for something that is so important. Why? Why are we racing? Why aren't we waiting until the end of March, until the inclusion report comes out, to at least collaborate and look at what that has to say?

[Page 2278]

We in Opposition may not be able to stop this legislation from passing. We will, though, use our collective voices to demand the answers parents and students deserve. What happens the day after this legislation become law? Are our classrooms any better? That's what we have to ask ourselves. Are the classrooms any better? Are our schools any healthier? More importantly, are students better served? Will those with special needs receive more assistance?

". . . while the government has done enough to avert job action, they still have much more to do to improve our public education system. We will hold them accountable." That quote comes from the union president, Liette Doucet, as stated yesterday afternoon, and I want to reassure Nova Scotians that we're going to hold the Liberal Government accountable for this piece of legislation as well.

The government is also creating a Provincial Advisory Council on Education, comprising 15 members representing all regions of the province. Two executive director positions are being created within the Education and Early Childhood Development Department to represent African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq communities.

Local voices will be preserved through school advisory councils, the government said, which will receive funding to respond to local priorities. How much is that funding? I'm sure that you have the project numbers for that, and we would like to hear them (Interruption) Again, I would think you have to project out what this is going to cost. We would like to know those financials.

As part of dissolving the English-language boards, we know that a $2.4 million payout will be made to elected board members. Government officials said that the elimination of elected boards will save $2.3 million annually. I believe it has been stated that it will go back into the school system. Fabulous. How will it go back into the school system? How will that few million be broken down? We want to see that. Where's it going? Right now there's a lot of confusion. We're making headway, but again, I request that we don't do this too quickly.

There's a little funny story I was telling my caucus. I believe it was Tuesday morning I had a text from my son asking, is there school? I said yes. He texted back, and he said, well, Daniel is not going to school because there is a strike. I said, that's not true. I later found out that Daniel woke up that morning and said to his mom, Mom, there's no school. There's a strike. And she said, oh, okay - because she was expecting it. Daniel got to stay home all day (Interruption) Clever, I guess you could say, but parents trust their 16-year-old son, or some do. Here's a situation where they were totally confused. The mother went off to work, and Daniel stayed home.

[Page 2279]

[11:30 a.m.]

So the failure of this piece of legislation really is not necessarily the substance of the bill, it's really the government's inability to answer those important questions with a real plan and to provide the financials.

I received a number of emails, calls - whether you're running down to the post office or Sobeys, people are stopping you about this - and one of the things that was very interesting and pointed out to me was great, so the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development went around the province, said that he met with stakeholders, met with teachers - however, they had to throw their names into a hat and be picked out because the minister could only handle meeting 20 at a time. But we expect our educators to have 30 to 35 students in their classroom at a time and deal with that, with such diverse abilities. Really; really.

AN HON. MEMBER: At least meet with 35.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Exactly, at the least I would have met with 30 to 35 to be on the same page.

So, I just want to say that without any doubt, Mr. Speaker, our education system has been in need of change for many years. We delivered education in an antiquated system with years of amendments intended perhaps to modernize the system, but we have failed. So, we have decades of amendments from our little one-room schoolhouses that many of us actually attended, and I argue that this system's foundation is based on premises of learning, childhood development, and human psychology so primitive that amendments fail to achieve acceptable standards. So, indeed, so much of our system's foundation is in complete opposition to what we know of those three cornerstones to healthy developments.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister to give all consideration to getting back to the basics with our education system. Thank you.

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

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : Mr. Speaker, last week on February 21st, there was a stirring and moving meeting of the Halifax Regional School Board, a meeting at which the lion's share of the agenda was taken up with board members' analyses, criticisms, and reflections on the Glaze recommendations and, in particular, the recommendation that elected, democratic, local-voice school boards in Nova Scotia should be obliterated and eliminated from the landscape of democracy in Nova Scotia altogether.

One after another, members of the board spoke with, I thought, moving clarity, with deeply thought-through senses of principle, with eloquence, and with analytic force. The thought from that meeting, the words from the meeting that stayed with me the most of all the things that were said, or one of the thoughts certainly that has stayed with me is something that was spoken by Suzy Hansen, the member for District 5, Peninsula North/ Fairview.

[Page 2280]

Hansen made a number of observations and then she, as the last speaker, set out a number of considerations, but after her observations and analysis and considerations, she concluded with one very clear, strikingly understated truth. She said in conclusion simply this: I don't think this is the right thing to do.

Certainly this is the case that is what is being proposed - the obliteration of locally elected voices in the way that we constitute our educational democracy in Nova Scotia - it is certainly the case that this is absolutely at its core not the right thing to do.

It is simply not the right thing to do, to take the same super-centralized approach that the Liberal Government has taken to health care since coming to power four and one-third years ago, it is not the right thing to take that hyper-centralized approach to health care and apply it now to the education of the children of the province.

Let's take a short step back and think about where this command and control hyper-centralization ideology comes from, and what our experience has been with it since the Liberals came to power in Nova Scotia. Following the 2013 election, the Liberal Government set out on their priority mission to replace the then-district health authorities with one super-centralized, Halifax-based Nova Scotia Health Authority. The people of the province were told this move from local voices to a centralized authority would yield benefits in terms of streamlining and efficiency. More importantly, the people of the province were told that the move to super-centralization would yield benefits in terms of patient care.

From then until 2015, with the NSHA's inauguration, all the expertise, all the energy, all the policy focus in health care in Nova Scotia, was applied not to the question of emergency rooms, not to the question of ambulance availability, not to the question of expanding nursing home facilities, not to the question of seeing that there's primary care for every person in the province, all of the focus, all of the attention, was brought to bear on the singular matter of the accomplishment of the closing of the district health authorities and their replacement with one super-centralized Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Today, in 2018, we are living with the consequences of the terrible mis-prioritization that this involved. We live today in a province where we do have over 100,000 people without access to primary care. We live in a situation where emergency room closures have become so epidemic, now spreading from Shelburne, Lunenburg, Parrsboro, Springhill, New Waterford, Glace Bay, the Northside, so that the situation of emergency room closures is analogous to where it stood about 10 years ago, prior to the investigation of this, and a new approach being taken with the John Ross report.

[Page 2281]

We're in a situation, as we heard earlier in Question Period today, where Code Census has become our hospital system's middle name, owing to how our hospitals have become so overfilled with people who are not patients at all of hospitals, but rather, are residents waiting for placement in nursing home care. We know we have patients being cared for in emergency rooms, in hallways, in all kinds of places where their care is not optimum, because there are no places for them in the hospital, because no new investments have been made in opening any nursing home beds across the province.

All of these problems have become so common, after only two years of the super-centralized Health Authority which was supposed to give us such advances, particularly since the beginning of the Liberal second mandate, this crisis in the health care system has become so much of an unremitting theme of media reporting across the province, that we're in a situation now where it's practically the case that the only people who will express the view that health care has improved since the centralization of the Health Authority are either Liberals or those constrained by them in some way to say so.

Now, at the core of this startling failure in public policy, which we have experienced with the hyper-centralization of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, as it has paralleled the emerging crisis in health care around the province, at the core of this startling failure of public policy is the essential flaw, the essential fallacy, the comprehensive failing of the hyper-centralizing approach - namely, the failure that is at the root of this approach to understand that competent governance and capable administration in Nova Scotia is never, and can never be, governance or administration based on the exclusion of local voices.

My mind runs back to one of the most compelling protest meetings around public policy that I have ever attended. I have attended a good many of them over the years. Most compelling of them all, however, was the one I attended last May, the doctors' protest that was held in Sydney Mines.

Now, at that meeting, the program was that the full high school hall was to be addressed, and was addressed by a series of local physicians. Doctor after doctor took the stage and described the health care crisis in their area as it appeared from their particular experience within their own practice. Then they spoke about all the unsuccessful efforts that they'd been involved in to try to redress these problems - unsuccessful efforts, because doctor after doctor would then list how, when they had made a call to the centralized Health Authority, no answer had come back. They would outline how, when they had sent an email about an issue and something that was required, no email came in response.

Physician after physician after physician spoke about how the challenges for them, of being able to deliver effective care, had become so exacerbated because the fundamental decision-making authority had been removed to a place at a remove from their situation, and was entirely centralized now in Halifax.

[Page 2282]

One particular grievous example we've seen in recent months were the revelations brought forward a couple of months ago by a group of psychiatrists in industrial Cape Breton. They spoke about how they had developed a means for dealing with the psychiatrist shortage in industrial Cape Breton. They had developed this plan, then submitted it to the Health Authority, but in fact the problem of the psychiatrist shortage moved from being a problem to becoming a debacle, because their proposal was never, ever responded to. As a matter of fact, their proposal was never even acknowledged for 18 months by the centralized Health Authority in Halifax.

I think of a family doctor in Pictou County who once spoke about what it's like now to work under the central Health Authority, as opposed to the old Pictou County Health Authority. He said it's simply that we no longer have anyone here who understands our local circumstances who it is possible for us to call.

[11:45 a.m.]

Now, Suzy Hansen, in my judgment, is therefore absolutely right. To abolish elected local voices in the determining of the education system in Nova Scotia is not the right thing to do. To take this very super-centralized command-and-control approach that we have seen undermine so much of our health care system, and undermine so much of patient care in Nova Scotia - to take this hyper-centralized command-and-control approach and apply it now to the education of the children of the province is a profound and major mistake. It's utterly the wrong thing to do, to eliminate school boards and replace them with a hyper-centralized bureaucracy. In Nova Scotia, so very, very much depends on the clarity and the priority that is provided on the subject of public policy by local voices.

There are before us in Nova Scotia two great and opposing pictures of our province and of the road forward. The first of these opposing pictures of our province and of the road forward. The first of these opposing pictures, which is the one used to guide the formation of the centralized Nova Scotia Health Authority, and is the picture which guides the formation of the Glaze recommendations, and is the picture which is deep in the ideology of the present Liberal command-and-control hyper-centralizing administration - the first of these pictures before us is an approach that could be called the "City State of Halifax."

Now for the vision of the "City State of Halifax", Nova Scotia is Halifax and everything else is small potatoes. Everything else is a nuisance, an afterthought, something to be paved over and painted green, if you happen to get some time later on. That's the first vision which we've seen in operation in our health care, and which we are in the process of seeing operationalized now in our education - the "City State of Halifax."

The other, the second vision is entirely different: that is the vision of the Nova Scotia of 18 counties, and many regions as diverse and distinct as distinct and diverse can be. The total tapestry of which makes up the wonder of a province. A province where within an hour's drive virtually anywhere, without crossing a single border, one certainly can and does change worlds.

[Page 2283]

Now in this second vision of Nova Scotia, which I will call the "local voices" vision - in the "local voices" vision of Nova Scotia, local voices are paramount, because they are understood to be what bring to the fore the local circumstances, the local strengths, the local challenges which comprise the distinctness of the local situation. It's in this second vision, the "local voices" vision, which is really at the heart of the outlook towards our province and our people, which is within the lives and in the culture and in the selves of the majority of the people of our province.

Although our people look at our province in a "local voices" vision, it is unfortunately the case that a "City State of Halifax" vision is the one which dominates at the moment, so that the people of the province are confronting a government so obsessed with command-and-control centralization, as obsessed with command-and-control centralization as the government is obsessed with balanced budgets, and a government which is therefore in the midst of imposing the "City State of Halifax" vision on the entirety of the province.

Now there's a great deal that has been written about this in the past few weeks. One thing I thought was particularly telling was a piece written by a public affairs commentator in Sydney, Tom Urbaniak, who recently wrote this very simple sentence: "The province's planned further centralization of the education system will fail, just like the centralized health authority."

Tom Urbaniak is right, the replacement of local elected voices with centralized appointed bureaucrats will not work. It will not work because it cannot work, and it cannot work because Nova Scotia cannot be constructively governed as though it were all the same, because it is not the same at all.

Let me say what is obvious to those who believe in the Nova Scotia of "local voices" but which is unfathomable to the ideologues of the "City State of Halifax", namely this: what works on the South Shore will not work in Cumberland County, because Cumberland County and the South Shore are not the same. What works on the Eastern Shore will not work in the Annapolis Valley, because the Annapolis Valley and the Eastern Shore are different. What works in Clare will not work in industrial Cape Breton, because industrial Cape Breton is not the Municipality of Clare.

The "City State of Halifax" cannot but lead to incompetence and incoherence, because Nova Scotia is not Halifax. When super-centralization for any reason blocks this truth from view, what you get are not efficiencies or streamlining, but invariably, a hyper-central, un-consultative, closed-off, darkened curtain disaster of a Liberal mess. It is the wrong thing entirely to do and particularly, we should emphasize it is the wrong thing to do from the point of view of the terrible message in civics it gives to the children of our province.

[Page 2284]

I would expect that many MLAs take advantage of their positions to get an opportunity to go to classrooms to speak to kids in our public school system. I certainly would hope that MLAs would take every opportunity to do this - to speak to them about how democracy works and about how our democratic system works in Nova Scotia. What a terrible lesson for the government to give the students of the school, to say that in our view as a government there are some things that have been lacking in the performance of some school boards; there are some concerns about the vitality of the turnout of the population voting for some school boards. We have some issues around the number of school board members that are being acclaimed and therefore, as your government, students of Nova Scotia, what we propose, the kind of civics we believe in, the kind of democracy we stand for, on the basis of these observations we're going to take elected democracy in schools in Nova Scotia and we're going to wipe it off the map altogether.

Of all the absurd approaches to take to the improvement of democratic functioning in a province. Do people in a church say, well, let's close the church because the minister didn't preach a very good sermon this Sunday? I hope not. Do we say, the last couple of ministers have had some problems so let's burn the building down? No, they don't say that.

Do we hear anybody say in the United States today, where there are such profound shortcomings with the person holding the Office of the President, do we hear anybody say we should eliminate the presidency altogether, that we should get rid of all the institutions associated with the White House? Of course they don't say that. We don't hear the Opposition on either side here say, because we have a myopic, self-satisfied and not competent government in Nova Scotia at the moment, that we should get rid of provincial governments in our province altogether.

This is not an approach that has been taken by anybody because we understand the core to democratic functioning, and surely this is what the heart of the lesson that any MLA would want to get across to any school group they spoke to about how democracy works - when there are problems in democracy, we fix those problems democratically.

I don't want to allow the notion that the government has put across to stand, that somehow all the experiences of school boards in Nova Scotia have been tied up somehow with inadequacies or failures because we know that this is absolutely not the case.

I will speak just for a moment from my own personal experience. I came towards this work originally in the context of the movement to keep small rural schools open. There was a very sharp moment in that movement in 2005. In 2005 there were a number of schools, in particular in the HRSB, that staff of the school board had slated for closure.

In the small community where I lived at that time, called Upper Musquodoboit, as people looked at the reasons that were offered by school board staff as to why our schools should be considered for closure, they found that there were all kinds of errors in the calculations. That the calculations, based on how many preschool children there were in the community and what the anticipated enrolment would be, were wrong. The calculations about the state of the capital repair of the building and the last time things had been done there to improve it were wrong.

[Page 2285]

So, a group formulated itself in the community - people with no experience in this kind of work - and said, how does this work? They say they're going to review our school for closure. We were able to say that the way this works is that the bureaucrats in Halifax make a recommendation, but in our democratic system the decision is made not by those who make this recommendation, but by the elected school board for which every citizen electorate has a right to cast a vote for. That board who is responsible to the people that they represent. So the people of the community gather themselves together to make the case towards the school board.

Now at the core of this case was that the school board staff had contended that it would not be very difficult in that small community for the students to be bused to the next community 20 kilometres down the road. But what they had failed to calculate is that students did not move from where the school was in Upper Musquodoboit, to where the new school was proposed 20 kilometres down the road. In fact, they came on buses on a wide periphery from that school that they were proposing to close down, so it meant that the average length of time that it would take for kids to get from the outer end of that periphery to the new proposed school on a bus trip was coming almost close to an hour.

So, the parents of the community said, well, how can we make this case to our elected school board? Someone said, let's simply show them. They are parents, they are citizens, they are people like ourselves, surely, they will be able to understand if we show them. So the school board had a meeting in Upper Musquodoboit, and the parents of Upper Musquodoboit hired a bus and asked the members of the school board if they would come early to the meeting, long enough that they would be able to take a ride on the bus and experience what the morning was like for students in that elementary school. A number of the members of the school board in fact did that.

Now it was the time of year when the roads were pretty rutty, and I don't want you to think that the bus driver avoided all the ruts once the members of the school board were onboard. The playground supervisor stood in the well of the bus and addressed the school board members and said to them one after one: Now, here is the place where such-and-such a child at five minutes to 7:00 a.m. gets on the bus. Then it would go along and then, here's the place where another child at three minutes after 7:00 a.m. gets on the bus. The whole circuitous route was followed through a good many dirt roads, and not all of them in real good shape, until it wound its way to the school, at which point one of the members of the school board said that she didn't feel well enough to stay for the rest of the meeting, because her stomach wasn't feeling very well after the bus trip she had just been on.

[Page 2286]

The recommendation was made from the school board that this is a crazy idea that those kids should have another 20 kilometres added onto their trip, and that particular threat for that community to have their school closed was removed, by the democratically-elected school board. To take that kind of voice, to take that kind of responsibility, to take that kind of accountability out of our system is absolutely the wrong thing to do. I think about some of the words that have been used thoughtfully and wisely in the criticisms of how this is the wrong thing to do. Certainly it has many dimensions that are wrong democratically, from a civics point of view.

I want to mention in particular about those wrong dimensions, the abolition of those dedicated equity seats on the school boards - the seat for Indigenous representative and the African Nova Scotian representatives. I thought that the report of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association response to the Glaze recommendations used language very thoughtfully. The obliteration of the dedicated equity seats is referred to in that report many times, but only ever with one word, every time the elimination of the African Nova Scotian seats is mentioned in that report, every time the elimination of the dedicated Mi'kmaq seat is mentioned in that report the word used is the word "outrage" - and why wouldn't the verb "outrage" be the word that is used?

I think also the public policy commentator Richard Starr in his blog on these issues calls it "reprehensible." These are the exact and precise words to use, "reprehensible" and an "outrage." I think about the fact how, earlier today in the House, the member for Halifax Needham spoke about the Commission on Effective Representation, that commission whose recommendations are going to become very much front and centre to the work of this House in the next few weeks, as the whole question of electoral boundaries in Nova Scotia is going to be raised.

The dedicated African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq seats are mentioned a great deal by the Commission on Effective Electoral Representation. What is said there is that it is very important no matter what happens in Nova Scotia democracy that the principle that is represented by these seats be continued to be honoured because it is one of the most important parts of how democracy is structured in Nova Scotia. This is exactly right, and it is put with exact clarity by the Commission on Effective Electoral Representation.

I began by speaking about the meeting February 21st, where members of the Halifax Regional School Board addressed their reflections about the proposed closure of school boards in all of Nova Scotia. I want to say that one thing that I heard said there has stuck with me. I have repeated it here in this House, and I want to repeat it again now. I was so struck when it became the turn for Mr. Archy Beals to speak at that meeting. Mr. Beals said something - and I think I'm quoting Mr. Beals almost exactly - of the African Nova Scotian seats: we were the last ones to get to the table, and now they're taking away the table. Why wouldn't anybody describe that as reprehensible? Why wouldn't anybody describe that as an outrage?

[Page 2287]

[12:00 p.m.]

It is a reprehensible outrage in this era when so much democratic energy throughout the Western world is focusing on seeing that there is adequate representation for women in electoral institutions. In all the electoral institutions that we have in Nova Scotia, we have one where women are adequately represented - not adequately represented federally, not adequately represented provincially, not adequately represented municipally. There is one forum where there are 57 women elected in Nova Scotia democracy. That is the school boards of Nova Scotia. What is the civics lesson for the children of our province that comes from the government on this front? There's that one front. Let's shut it down. No wonder people are outraged. No wonder people find this reprehensible.

I find also reprehensible the response that the Premier has taken when this view is raised, which is to say, oh well, we have made this advance on African Nova Scotian representation. He speaks about the bench and about other government offices. We are going to continue to see that people are going to be listened to. There are going to be advisory appointments.

But at the core of our electoral system is that an appointment made to an adviser is not to be compared to someone who is elected and accountable to the people for whom they hold that seat. This is at the root of responsible government in Nova Scotia. There is a tablet here on the wall that speaks about how Joseph Howe in 1847 led the first responsible government anywhere in British North America. Here is his portrait looking down across at the government. What was being said there? At the core of responsible government is that we will not have decisions made that govern our people that are made by advisers. We will have decisions made that govern our people made by those who are accountable to the people themselves. That's what representative government is. That's what responsible government is. That's what democracy is.

To cavalierly, superficially, with lightness, set that aside and say, oh, no, we have some reforms in mind - we have some things that we want to focus on. We'll just take those Mi'kmaq seats, and we'll just set that aside for a moment. We'll take those African Nova Scotian seats and we'll set those aside. We'll take those 57 women - we don't need to hear from them at the moment. We'll set all that over to the side because we're going to seek their advice. To do that is to profoundly misunderstand the character of electoral democracy altogether.

For that reason, as for the other reasons that I have outlined, I want to conclude by saying that Suzy Hansen on February 21st had it absolutely right. This is the W-R-O-N-G wrong thing to do.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just before we move on to the next member, I'd like to remind the visitors in our gallery that it is not permitted, as per the rules of our gallery, to express pleasure or displeasure with anything that occurs on the floor of the House. So I'll ask you to refrain from indicating either way, if you wouldn't mind, please.

[Page 2288]

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my responsibility this afternoon to say a few words regarding Bill No. 72, the Education Reform (2018) Act.

I think back early on to my professional career as an educator, and some of the best advice that I was ever given by a great teacher and administrator, Mr. Pat Henneberry. Pat said to me: never forget, you are in the business of building relationships. That observation, that piece of advice, it really resonated with me. I think that no matter what profession you're in, whether it's business or teaching, whether you're a doctor or a nurse, or an elected official, the primary role we have is to build relationships and to make individuals feel included in the process that we are facilitating.

I have great, great reservations with the bill before this House. I look at this bill and I ask, what's the end result of this? The end result of this bill is exclusionary - excluding voices, the voices that are fundamental for the advancement of our education system.

Every society has to ask itself some fundamental questions. How shall we govern ourselves? How shall we educate our children? What type of relationships do we want to see between those who execute public policy and those who develop public policy? The bill before this House reminds me of the growing rift we are seeing, not only in Nova Scotia but throughout many Western democracies, between those who develop public policy and those who have to implement it.

I would like to remind this House that it was only last year that the front-line workers who deliver our PSP - our public school program - came here to the Law Amendments Committee. Thousands of them were outside this Chamber, requesting the government to please take a look at the public policies that we've implemented in our education system for the last decade. Those voices were asking for us to mobilize as elected officials and concentrate on where the rubber meets the road in a school system: the classroom.

We require fundamental supports in order to set up early 21st Century learners for success. Many of the ideas contained in Bill No. 72, I fear, will not address those problems.

Yesterday, when I was at the technical briefing and when I was listening to the minister, the member for Yarmouth, speak on the bill, he actually said something that I agreed with. I have to be perfectly frank: that isn't always the case. But he had said something quite profound. I believe it is important that we give credit where credit is due.

He indicated that what matters in the classroom is the teacher who is in front of the room. I know everyone in this Chamber is united by the desire to ensure that we have the best educators possible in front of our kids, in front of our students. As a parent, that is certainly what I expect of the education system.

[Page 2289]

The minister also indicated that it is imperative that we have strong administrative leadership. Absolutely. Often, in a school, the teacher responds to the tone set by the principal.

Now, in my previous career, I was very fortunate to have been under the leadership, and working in a collegial manner, with the principals that I worked with. We agree on the same end goals. The teacher is the decisive element in the classroom. The teacher often makes or breaks the day of our students. We agree on that end goal, let us work together to ensure that our teachers are prepared, that our teachers feel supported.

My issue with this bill, Mr. Speaker, is I fear that the path set out by this government to achieve that end goal, which I agree with, will not achieve that.

Mr. Speaker, history matters, history is important, history gives us perspective. For over a century, there was not a labour disruption in this province with respect to our educators and the Government of Nova Scotia. Now I'm not going to get into the specifics to rehash old debates, but let us remember that what that dispute amplified was a grey area in the relationship between teachers and principals.

In my experience as an educator, I never found there was a conflict between our administrators and our teachers. I can only speak from my experience, Mr. Speaker. Quite frankly, I was very fortunate and I know thousands of other teachers were, at having a very collegial, professional relationship with their administrators. Why then, why focus on that small grey area when we know that there are profound reforms required in the classroom? Why choose this path?

If the end goal of the government is to maximize teaching excellence, to maximize administrative excellence, I applaud that, but I do not applaud the path in which they wish to achieve that.

Mr. Speaker, a logical conclusion must always be based on a logical premise. That being said, Bill No. 72 does not, I believe, adequately address these systemic problems that plague our education system. I believe the government has the order of operations incorrect when it comes to the reform of our education system.

Imagine for a moment if for the last year, we had devoted our energy to curriculum reform. Many of the attendance issues that we're seeing in our classrooms from Yarmouth to Sydney are a result of students being disengaged. Let's address that. Many in this Chamber would agree that restoring vocational skilled trades training in our high schools would assist in making sure we're able to get students engaged in their learning, ensuring that we set up the right environment for our students. Bill No. 72 doesn't address that.

[Page 2290]

Mr. Speaker, how does taking administrators out of a labour union set students up for success? Many of the recommendations in this bill, what's being put forward, simply misses the mark. Imagine if in the last year, we had devoted all our time and energy to improving mental health supports in our schools, which for some is the health care crisis of our time. Imagine if we had devoted our energies to putting policies in place to respect the professional judgment of our teachers, to ensure our school system is much more authentic.

[12:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, we push a lot of our students through the school system so they do not get an authentic sense of what responsibility is all about. Failure is fundamental to human development. If it is fundamental to human development why have we removed it from one of the key agents of our socialization? School should be one of the safest places to fail, and when you do, resources are mustered to support you and lift you up, rather than for some, give you a sense of reality that is disconnected.

Mr. Speaker, I don't doubt for a moment that all the MLAs in this Chamber desire change in our system. I caution this House, I caution Nova Scotians: be careful what type of change you ask for because the types of changes being proposed in Bill No. 72 do not directly address the source of the problems.

Mr. Speaker, those that we charge with delivering our public school program, we are seeing very low morale among them. You know, when teachers in my community of Dartmouth East reach out - and I know they are excellent at their craft, they are amazing at their art, they build our kids up and set them up for a positive attitude towards life, work hard every day to ensure that they have the skills in life to find success, when they reach out and say, "you know what, I don't think I can do this any more." I say, well, if that's the case, if that's how they feel, we could have the best public policies in place but if they do not feel appreciated and supported by the governments, by the departments, then I say that needs to be addressed.

Let's stop and think, let us be calm, let us be rational. Mr. Speaker, the minister has indicated that he has travelled the province and spoken to teachers - very good, excellent - yet we see a result to a strike vote of 82 per cent. That is revealing. So, let's get past this us versus them, unions versus the private sector. Let's bust through that and get to the heart of the matter. That is an expression of desperation, an expression that not all is right where the rubber meets the road, where it really matters, the classroom.

I suggest we listen, Mr. Speaker. Yet with a result like that, with thousands of our public school teachers marching around Province House last year, 400 that signed up at Law Amendments Committee and only 75 got a chance to speak last year, this is what we come up with? We need to alter our pedagogy, we need to alter the way in which we are educating students, and the most profound reforms in 20 years are, let's vaporize school boards, and let us take administrators out of the union.

[Page 2291]

I think a lot of Nova Scotians when they watched the news last night, a lot of parents, a lot of guardians, a lot of grandparents, they were wondering what is going on here. We have heard a lot of debates, a lot of noise in education. As I was watching the omnibus bill be proposed to our province, it's remarkable; profound changes to our Education Act, yet nothing in here that I think will reassure parents that our schools will be better, that we will ensure better programming for our kids, that we provide more supports for our teachers. We are at the precipice, Mr. Speaker, of I think, seeing real education reform, but it's not in Bill No. 72, I don't see that in this bill. This bill, Mr. Speaker, deals with administration and bureaucracy, which I don't believe sets this system up for greater success.

Quite frankly, in this bill, I see the doubling down of the very policies that brought us a crisis in our health care system. That's something we need to be very cognizant of, very aware of. As I said, we all want change. Be careful of the type of change you're asking for. How is it that by centralizing a system we are going to allow more local decisions to be made on the ground? In point of fact, there is something I agree with this government. I do believe it is far better to let a lot of decisions be made on the ground.

So we wish to decentralize, but in order to achieve decentralization, we're going to centralize. To me, there is a faulty logic to that. To me, there are many other governance models, many other options, that could have been examined. But rather than negotiating, rather than collaborating, rather than working with our school boards - who we know had a desire for governance reform - it appears that the government took the path of least resistance, and the path of least resistance was in vaporizing our elected school boards in our anglophone system.

Let me say this. For those voices that have been silenced in the education debates, let me say to them, as an MLA: I value your voice and I value your contributions to your communities and to Nova Scotia. As someone who worked in the system before being elected to office, I have an appreciation for the work that you did.

Now we are left with a vacuum. We are now left with gaps in the system. I have no doubt parents in our province are wondering, where do I go if I have a busing issue? What new system will be in place? At this present moment, the government cannot answer those questions.

Again, the end result of Bill No. 72 is that many voices are lost. Many voices have been excluded. I do not like the politics of exclusion. Isn't it interesting that we are going down a path to strengthen our inclusion model, yet to achieve the strength of that inclusion model, we're going to exclude voices that are fundamental in the advancement of better education in Nova Scotia? I have to challenge that. We need to really stop and think about the process in which we are going about education reform.

[Page 2292]

The government has indicated that this administrative change will somehow set our classrooms up for success. I don't see the correlation. I don't see the link to that. Rather, I fear that the end result of these changes, as contained in Bill No. 72, will only further agitate an education system that is fragile.

We need to recognize that relationships among one of our key stakeholders in education, our teachers, need to be fixed and need to be repaired. We will not achieve authentic, profound reform until that relationship is dealt with.

We have so many issues in the classroom that are being ignored, whether it's a sub shortage, whether it's a lack of French immersion teachers, lack of mental health supports. We see the programming for our diverse learners often being compromised. We must muster our energy and resources towards those issues, and it is those issues that we must be turning our full attention to.

There's something else we need to talk about, Mr. Speaker, and that is how the teachers of this province have been pushed to the brink. Many teachers in this province have reached out to many MLAs and expressed how they essentially feel provoked by this government rather than being listened to by this government. From their point of view, if they had been listened to, classroom reform would have been the priority - it would've been the priority. I truly believe, when we talk about a student-centred system, if it is student-centred, then it is very much classroom reform-based. Instead, what we get is the vaporization of school boards in Bill No. 72, we get the removal of administrators from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

So, Mr. Speaker, it just appears that this bill doesn't address the identified problems. Our energy, our time, our resources, must be devoted to that. You look back at the Glaze report, and I heard the minister talk about the curriculum vitae, the resume of Dr. Glaze. Many people took exception to this report because a number of the recommendations did not address where the urgent needs are. As the Interim Leader of the PC Party, or the member for Pictou West indicated, there are some ideas in there, that if pursued, I believe have merit and great potential to improve the classroom conditions of our schools, but nine out of the 11 recommendations that the government put out there to the public, that they were pursuing, missed the mark, which resulted in teachers being alarmed with the direction that the government was going in.

So, we need to recognize that the proposed changes in Bill No. 72, they have the incorrect order of operations in terms of how we should go about reforming our education system. The end result of Bill No. 72, as it stands right now, is that voices are lost, voices are excluded at a time when voices need to be welcomed into the debate, when voices need to be encouraged to be expressed. It has resulted, Mr. Speaker, in parents being confused; it has resulted in adding more chaos to an already fragile education system; and it has resulted in a system where our key stakeholders, our teachers, along with our students and our parents are very confused as to the future of our education system.

[Page 2293]

So, Mr. Speaker, you know I look back on my career as a teacher. It was a career that I loved. I cared for it so much that I made the choice to leave the classroom to try to fix the classroom, to advocate for reforms that focused on our students. As contained in Bill No. 72, I just don't see that link between making it better for our students in the classroom and the two key proposals as outlined here in Bill No. 72. So, let's remember, as we are talking about these bureaucratic changes - there are students in our province, and there are a lot of them who are in our schools today not getting the programming they so rightly deserve; there are students today in Nova Scotia who are not getting the assistance they require, because we are not marshalling our resources to ensure that they have program assistants.

[12:30 p.m.]

We know there are students in our schools today disengaged with their learning because we have not had curriculum reform in quite some time. As a matter of fact, I can recall this government talking about curriculum reform yet we're still waiting to see that. Why choose this over curriculum reform? Why choose the ideas in Bill No. 72 over focusing on putting more mental health supports in our schools? Why, Mr. Speaker, has the government made its choice to put all its energy into bureaucratic reforms when the reforms must be focused on the classroom?

I have no doubt, Mr. Speaker, as Bill No. 72 goes through the legislative process, I know it will be challenged by a great many MLAs on this side. I know when this gets to Law Amendments Committee, it is my hope that a great many Nova Scotians - parents, students, and teachers - are able to come out and have their say about the proposed education reforms before our province, but I believe these proposed reforms in Bill No. 72 missed the mark. They missed what we must always be focused on: we must always be focused on the classroom, always focused on the students, always focused on public policy that includes people, it does not practise exclusion.

Mr. Speaker, with those words I close my remarks and take my seat. Thank you. (Applause)

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

MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, the minister and I agree on something. We agree that education, at its heart, is about our kids. It's about children and about what's best for our children, but it's not enough to just say it's about our kids, and hope we all look the other way and let the government do whatever they want to do, because the question I want to ask is, what will this change, this package of changes, do for our children?

[Page 2294]

The parents I've spoken with who have children in the public education system, who believe in the public education system, don't share the optimism of the minister or of this government about these changes. They also don't believe, as the minister said yesterday in this House, that this is the most important change in the history of education in Nova Scotia - at least they don't believe it in the way that I think the minister intended it.

Let's start for a moment by unpacking this very complex piece of legislation, since I and many other members of this House have been inundated with requests for clarity since the introduction of this bill yesterday. This is an omnibus bill, it's 60 pages long. For many of us in this Chamber there is no recollection of a bill of this size being brought before this House, let alone with such speed. It's an omnibus bill that covers four Acts - the Education Act, the Public School Administrators Employment Relations Act, the Teachers Collective Bargaining Act, and the Teaching Profession Act. You know what, if that sounds boring, I'm guessing that's intentional.

I think the whole issue we have right now with this package of reforms is that it's just complicated enough, it's just boring enough, it's just administrative enough that the government is gambling that people won't quite be able to get their heads around it and oppose it in the way that it needs to be opposed. But myself and many of my colleagues, and our guests in the gallery, are here to say we stand in opposition to this bill.

So, what does the bill do? It does a lot of different things, but as others have said today, the key changes are that it dissolves all of the English language school boards, and it removes administrators, principals, and vice-principals and some others from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. These are sweeping changes.

Dr. Glaze delivered her report in January, but as the minister said today, the work on this began long ago. As the minister noted, these changes have been in the works for a long time and have in fact been part of various Liberal Party platforms. He also insists, in response to many of the comments that I just heard from my colleague the member for Dartmouth East and others of us who have been at pains to point out the great needs of children in classrooms, that this is not about classrooms - this is about administrative reform.

In fact, that's not entirely the case, Mr. Speaker. If you look at the Glaze report, Recommendation 5 in fact, "Make all schools 'wrap-around' facilities, where students and families can promptly access support from any government department, not just for education, but also support from mental health professionals, health care providers, justice, family services, and so on."

That's about classrooms. That's about students. That's about what will help children every day as they go to school with the things that face them and the issues that they are dealing with. But that's not one of the recommendations that was chosen to be implemented so quickly. That wasn't thought of as urgent, although I suspect many of my constituents and Nova Scotians across this province would disagree with that.

[Page 2295]

Another recommendation in the Glaze report is to "Establish a dedicated unit in the Department, in collaboration with the Office of Immigration, for emerging immigrant communities in schools, with supports for students, teachers and parents." I can't tell you the number of stories I have heard from educators, parents, and children about the kids who show up in their classrooms partway through the year with no command of English, often traumatized from leaving a war zone, with zero support.

There's a teacher in my constituency who recently retired who is volunteering for two hours a week at Dartmouth High. Those two hours a week are the only time that any of the numerous children at Dartmouth High School for whom English is a second language - and just barely a language at that - get any support. She said, I'm expected to sit in the library for two hours and help all of these teenagers with all of these academic subjects in a language that they don't understand. Mr. Speaker, that's not right, and to me, it constitutes an urgent situation.

But these urgent situations are not the ones that the government has chosen to address with this bill. Instead, they have decided to look at just the administrative aspects, and they are the administrative aspects that make it easier for the department to do what it wants to do. I'll get to that in a moment.

I look forward, Mr. Speaker, to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills next week, where we can go through this legislation line by line. For now, I will stick to generalities.

I want to acknowledge - as my ever-generous colleague the Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party did earlier - that there are some good aspects of this bill, and there was some compromise. There is no College of Teachers coming in, and based on what we have heard about the results of that in other jurisdictions, I believe that's a good thing.

I also want to comment that, to the extent that any consultation was done on this bill, to the extent that any conversations were had - true to form, they were had after the announcement of these changes, after a public outcry, after pressure from those of us here in this Chamber and all of our constituents and the hundreds of letters that we have all received. Why does it have to be done that way? Why couldn't we have consultation before the decision? I look forward to one day seeing a bill come from this Party that truly has behind it robust consultation. But I won't hold my breath. (Applause)

One of the main issues that we have with this bill, Mr. Speaker, is the idea of educational equity. The minister has repeatedly referred to this bill as levelling the playing field. He insists that this standardization will help educational outcomes, that it will help narrow the achievement gap, and that it may help standardized test results. But again, my question is, will it help students? Will it help children?

[Page 2296]

As my colleague pointed out earlier, schools need to be a safe place. Yes, we send children to school to learn. Yes, we send children to school to achieve. But that is not my primary purpose for sending my children to school. My primary purpose, especially my young children, for sending them to school is to be in a safe place where they can be socialized, where they can learn, where they can be safe. Yes, we need to be able to make sure that our students are competitive. But I will say this now, and I will point it out later: no one - up until the introduction of this bill and Dr. Glaze's erroneous assertion that our students are failing - had any deep concerns about the achievement gap or the educational outcomes of our students.

We have great geographical diversity across this province. The Leader of our Party has spoken about it in his remarks, and so have several others. This idea of standardizing all of the policies and the way in which those policies are delivered throughout the province is, I believe, frankly misguided. Do we want equality of resources across the province? Absolutely, we want equality of resources. Should all of those resources be delivered in exactly the same way? No.

There are specific local realities on the ground that those local communities and - up until tomorrow or the next day - the duly-elected representatives of those local communities on the school board should be able to make specific decisions around in order to best serve those communities.

Of course, this bill presents a huge and disastrous change for those racialized or otherwise marginalized students in our community. As has been pointed out in this Chamber already, we are moving from a system where African Nova Scotian communities and other communities can elect their own representatives to the school board to one where the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will appoint those people - and once a person is appointed, what will they do? What will be their task? What will be the power that they have? It's completely unclear.

So to argue that it's tit for tat - yes, we're losing the African Nova Scotian and indigenous reps on our school boards, but it's okay because we're going to appoint a couple of African Nova Scotians and we're going to appoint a couple of Mi'kmaq. Also, that this 15-member board - I still can't figure out from the legislation whether this board is in fact required to meet - will somehow take the place of the elected representation we have now is completely ridiculous, from my point of view.

Not to mention that the reason that has been given in this Chamber over and over for how this will improve the situation of racialized students - the minister has repeatedly referred to the achievement gap, that they are focused on the achievement gap, and that, even with the presence of dedicated representatives on the school board, we haven't solved the achievement gap. Once again, I respectfully argue that the achievement gap is not the biggest issue facing racialized communities in this province.

[Page 2297]

There are a lot of other gaps. There are income gaps. There are service gaps. There are equality gaps. There's rampant racism in this province. If we can get to a place where the only concern that those communities have is an achievement gap, then I think we'll be a lot further ahead than we are right now.

I know in my own constituency I've heard wonderful things about the work that the African Nova Scotian representative on the school board has done for students and their parents who have faced bullying, who have faced racist incidents in their school, who are trying to challenge the school policies around what happens when there are racist incidents in our schools. Those are very sensitive issues. They're sensitive and they're specific and they require specific resources. Maybe the Executive Director of African Nova Scotian Affairs in his office or her office in Halifax is going to be able to respond to those kinds of specific issues from parents across the province, but somehow I doubt it.

For school boards in general, a lot has been said, but I think that many of the points bear repeating. School boards need reform. The Nova Scotia School Boards Association and the school boards themselves have been working hard on that reform. From my understanding, initially some of that reform was blocked by the department, because it's always nice to have a fall guy. It's always nice to have something that's not really working well and that you can offload responsibility on.

But to be fair, in recent years, I think that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has been supporting that effort. I think it's the National or International School Boards Association that is even meeting here in Nova Scotia this summer - funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development - to learn from the model of Nova Scotia's school boards. I'm guessing they didn't know about these changes when they booked the meeting date.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I believe that the government liked that the school boards made the hard choices. Who's responsible for school closures? School boards. Don't talk to us about it, talk to school boards. Who's responsible for staffing Pre-Primary, when it was decided that Pre-Primary would be implemented tomorrow? School boards. Just long enough for all of the controversial decisions to be made, and then out go the school boards.

[12:45 p.m.]

[Page 2298]

I'll draw the members' attention to the fact that when we were debating the pre-Primary bill in this Chamber, and we saw the bill, which only had four clauses, because from my point of view, it didn't really need legislation. I thought, why are we debating this bill? We're talking about introducing pre-Primary. Well, one of the clauses in the pre-Primary bill gave the minister the authority to enter into relationships with all of the different people that the school board currently enters into relationships with, financial and otherwise. I stood up in this House, Mr. Speaker, and I said, call me a conspiracy theorist, but I would guess that minister is thinking of dissolving the school boards. I invite him to respond to me. (Applause) I got some whoops and claps from my colleagues, and I got nothing from the minister, so yes, these plans have clearly been in place for a long time.

So, who's going to be the fall guy for the government now, Mr. Speaker? Will it be the Provincial Advisory Council on Education? Maybe, but as the minister said yesterday, he wouldn't consider that being an elected board, because who would want to join – it's only advisory – insinuating that they wouldn't have much power, anyway.

So, it's hard to say who will be accountable to whom in the coming days, months, and years of the education system. Will the department and the decisions of the department, and that council be transparent? The school board decisions are transparent now. Will the meetings of the Provincial Advisory Council on Education be accessible, open, and public? The meetings of the school board are now. This is the only order of government, Mr. Speaker, where women are represented over 50 per cent. This is unbelievably important. We need more women in politics. We need more women at all levels of politics. (Applause)

When we talk about things like structural misogyny, or structural racism, people's eyes glaze over, and they say, "oh, what is that? That's some kind of academic speak." That is what this is, Mr. Speaker. What gender makes up the predominant amount of the teaching profession? Women. What gender makes up the predominant amount of school administrators? Women. Who holds the preponderance of seats on school boards across this province? Women. So, is it a mistake that this is the order of government, that this is the union, that this is the group, that is being picked on and picked apart by this government? Maybe. Maybe consciously it is, but structurally, Mr. Speaker, it's part of a pattern that has been going on for hundreds of years.

We're being told that things will continue as they currently are. Superintendents will be regional executive directors, staff and offices will remain, we'll have regional education centres instead of school board offices, but here's a key and subtle difference – one which my former colleague, Cindy Littlefair, currently on the Halifax Regional School Board, pointed out – one of the most important, and least interesting to the public, jobs that a school board has right now is to hire a superintendent. The school board hires the superintendent. We elect the school board, the school board hires the superintendent, the superintendent administers the office for the benefit of the public and our children.

Not anymore, Mr. Speaker. The regional executive director will be appointed, hired, by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. So, if we're worried about bloated civil service, if we're worried about too much bureaucracy, I don't see this as being any big change.

[Page 2299]

Speaking of lack of transparency, our Party introduced a bill earlier in the session around school capital decisions. Obviously, this is a very controversial issue across our province. I know my colleague from Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage raised this, there was a paused school review in that constituency, and there have been issues across the province.

We also know that despite the fact the school board puts in an inordinate amount of time consulting, having conversations, studying, deliberating about these decisions, those decisions can be wiped out with the stroke of a pen by Cabinet when they decide, as has happened recently, that instead of the list presented by the school board, that new schools should, in fact, be built in the ridings of Cabinet Ministers. While we don't anticipate that that will change any time soon, Cabinet is invested with certain powers and those powers are there, often for good reasons. What we're asking for is transparency about those decisions.

When a minister or a Cabinet makes the decision to override a perfectly sensible, thought-out and consultative list of where to build schools, we should know why because if we don't know why, guess what we're going to think? We're going to think it's getting built because it's in the Cabinet Minister's district. What else are we supposed to think, because we're not given any other information?

That's the issue that we have now, but that issue will only get worse because at least now we have school review processes, at least now we know when those decisions are being made at the outset and so we can track those decisions, and when those decisions do not get implemented, we can question them - we can ask why.

We have no idea what school capital construction will look like now. Open a school? Close a school? Not happy that you can close a school? Well, we know recently that in Petite Riviere they had a judicial review of a decision to close a school and they were successful - but do you know what? If the decision had never been made and made publicly by an elected body to close that school, there would have been no judicial review. That avenue would not have been available to them, Mr. Speaker. It is my very strong hope that we leave that door open for transparency in these decisions as these changes go forward.

The minister has repeatedly said that this change is not about cost savings - and that's good because there won't be any. Yes, we'll save $2 million in stipends, partly because we are going to write off putting all those stipends forward to current board members in this fiscal year. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, I guess.

We are going to have three councils that are going to potentially meet more often. We're going to have the Provincial Advisory Council on Education that will meet, that will presumably get stipends, that will presumably have expenses. There will be two new full-time positions in the department in the form of executive directors, which I hope will, in fact, be hired.

[Page 2300]

The estimate is that we will need up to 30 new full-time teachers to fill the gap for the administrators who are teaching more than 50 per cent now and will be excluded from doing that - and the list goes on and on and on, Mr. Speaker.

There are still folks out there in the public who are crying foul at the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and at us for being fiscally irresponsible. To those people I say, put your feet up, light a fire, spend some time with the 60 pages of this bill and the Glaze report and you will certainly see that there are no cost savings here.

I was glad to see that the minister and the Premier finally met with the union and with other stakeholders last week. It was late, but it was important. We have averted a strike, but I think it would be fair to say that the trust between teachers and government remains broken or, at least, very severely wounded.

The minister has spoken over and over in the days past, and this afternoon in this Chamber, about teaching excellence - that teaching excellence is the key determinant of student success in the classroom. Madam Speaker, I contend that teachers cannot be excellent if they are miserable and disrespected. We know the majority of teachers in this province - 82.5 per cent of those who voted, the last I checked - have described themselves as feeling just that way. So, I would invite, exhort, beg, the government to do something to repair that trust because, I assure you, you will get this bill passed and you will make these changes, but at what expense and at whose?

For all your big plans, if those teachers remain miserable, if those teachers remain disrespected, if those teachers feel bullied, they're going to have the exact same success in the classroom that disrespected, bullied, anxious children have, and that's not much at all.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I've heard directly from hundreds of Nova Scotians on this issue. I've gotten emails, I've gotten phone calls, I've gotten messages over social media. Many are in my district but many more live across the province. Many live in the ridings of members of the government Party whose members either wouldn't respond to their emails, would respond with talking points, or would simply mute them. They all expressed very heartfelt concerns and one out of the several hundred expressed any support at all for the actions of the government.

So, although I said earlier I'm not going to hold my breath for meaningful consultation, I would say a general poll might just do it, actually. You might not need meaningful conversation, you might just need to pay attention, Madam Speaker, to the general sentiment of the public.

[Page 2301]

The other thing I want to say is that these reforms have been tried. When Dr. Glaze presented these recommendations, she called it a "made in Nova Scotia" solution. It's not a "made in Nova Scotia" solution, it's a "made in Ontario" solution, it's a "made in Scotland solution", it's a "made in New Zealand" solution, it's a "made in the United States of America" solution which, respectfully, Madam Speaker, I think is just about the last place we want to be looking for educational reform at this moment. It's a corporate, bureaucratic model that is centralized, that has been tried, and that has failed in almost every place where it has been introduced.

In all these places I mentioned these reforms have led to greater labour disputes, greater teacher dissatisfaction, and a general erosion of the public school system. But it does create an opportunity. Do you know what it creates an opportunity for, Madam Speaker? Private involvement in public education. I won't be the first one to say that these reforms, which again, the government has gone to pains to say have been in the works for a long time, are completely of a piece of the reforms that have been suggested by groups such as Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and other corporate interests in our province.

The private sector is eager to have a part in education and for some, that might seem great. "Oh, I've heard great things about charter schools, aren't those the really good schools that you go to - they are still public schools but they're really good?" "Yes, my kid is smart, I know how to work the system, I'll get my kid into the charter school." "Great, P3 construction, awesome, we can stay in the black, we can balance the budget, we can make sure to have these great, fancy schools."

But what about the kids who aren't in the charter schools? What about the kids who can't get into the charter schools? What about the taxpayers who get stuck with the bill for the P3 schools? What about the other people, Madam Speaker? We are concerned with the other people, with all of the people.

I want to see a system in Nova Scotia that is the envy of the country, that is the envy of the world. The minister accuses us of defending the status quo. Not so. We are advocating for the reforms that will serve our students. I refute the idea, also, that this package of reforms will somehow pave the way to implement the results of the Commission on Inclusion. We've heard the minister and the Premier himself say this. Not once, in the number of months since the Commission on Inclusion was struck, have I heard anyone - not this government, no MLAs, not a single member of the public - lament "oh, I can't wait to hear the results of that commission, but boy, I hope the NSTU and the school boards don't provide big barricades to its implementation."

It was just never an issue. As with many other things in this package of policies, it's a solution to a problem that never existed.

The government has signalled that these things would be barriers. They would not. The teachers are fighting to have resources in their classrooms. The school boards understand better than anyone the challenges of our school system. To scapegoat families, desperate for supports in the classroom, and attempt to silence their criticism by spreading the word, be onboard with these changes and it will help to pave the way for the commission, is a cheap PR tactic, Madam Speaker.

[Page 2302]

[1:00 p.m.]

Make no mistake: this does make things easier for the government and the minister. It makes all things easier. We can be happy about the commission, that's a good one, but what about the bad ones? We've seen that this government is not afraid to ram through its agenda, regardless of roadblocks and public opinion. So, forgive me for not being too excited at the loss of checks and balances in these changes.

Yesterday, the minister called this the single most important educational reform in Nova Scotian history. Is it? Or is it a solution in search of a problem, a solution to exactly none of the myriad issues identified by teachers, administrators, parents, and school board members. This won't save money; it won't make teachers happy; and it won't improve the day-to-day experience of children in the classroom. It disappears, or in the words of my colleague "vaporizes an entire order of democratic governance." It weakens the voice of rural communities, of racialized communities, and of women - but, forgive me for being negative.

Our education system needs reform. It needs reform that puts our children at the very centre - not their test scores, but their whole little beings, their hopes and dreams, their tears and triumphs. Our children are not clients, they are children. Let's start paying attention to what they really need - instead of alienating the people they rely on most, their teachers, and using them as an excuse to weaken our democratic institutions.

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

HON. PAT DUNN « » : I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to stand in my place and say a few brief words on Bill No. 72, and the sweeping changes.

I think it's safe to say that I am slightly familiar with the educational system. I've had 15 years as a classroom teacher and 15 years as a vice-principal and principal of a junior and senior high school. My wife also, a former teacher, taught 32 years in the junior high system and I had six children who went through the system from P to12. So, we've been tied into education for many, many years, Madam Speaker, and I continue to meet and speak about educational topics with many, many retired teachers and administrators, and teachers who are currently in the system.

Confusion reigns in the lives of students, parents, and teachers today. This upheaval and disorder is existing without a lack of clarity. There are so many questions without any answers. The turbulence and demoralization has befuddled the teaching community. Many reports have surfaced over the past few years - the report of the former Minister's Panel on Education, October 2014; Nova Scotia's Action Plan for Education; The 3Rs: Renew, Refocus, Rebuild - created to help improve learning and the teaching environment. Well, Madam Speaker, thousands of teachers would disagree that this has happened over the last few years.

[Page 2303]

Madam Speaker, I believe the government could have made numerous improvements required to enhance our school environment and improve student learning. In my few minutes of speaking I'm going to put the Glaze report to one side, because we do have Committee of the Whole, and Third Reading where one can go back to that. I'd like to take the time and give my opinion of what could have happened over the last few years to enhance the learning environment in our schools.

So, in other words, they could have left the school boards and the administration alone, to be dealt with at another time, Madam Speaker. What could have been done to have the greatest impact on what really matters, which is students and their learning environment, the government's main focus during the past five years could have been, should have been entirely on students - that is recruiting additional specialists, creating a diverse workforce, and creating educational strategies to address the many, many needs of our students

It's no secret that our schools are in need of a lot of specialists. We need behaviour specialists, school psychologists, school psychiatrists, speech language specialists, and mental health clinicians. Most schools across the province are lacking in that. Schools need this assistance to deal with and help students with physical disorders, psychiatric disorders, emotional problems, behavioural problems, and learning differences. Addressing the requirements of children with special needs has been neglected to a certain extent.

Madam Speaker, the department is talking about creating more SchoolsPlus programs. I'm certainly in favour of more SchoolsPlus programs. I think it's a wonderful program. But I would urge some caution. The caution is this - I think there should be a review of the SchoolsPlus program before increasing this initiative. Is this program actually meeting the required outcomes? I believe in some areas of the province, that answer may be no. In other areas, it may be yes. But again, I think a review of the program prior to creating more SchoolsPlus programs in our schools should occur.

Madam Speaker, we need school psychologists for early identification and intervention. Younger students in our school system, through the expertise of front-line teachers, witness children with mental disorders, learning difficulties, and addiction disorders. However, these specialists are not available, and students are falling through the cracks. This has been happening for years and years and years.

Many of our EAs are attached to a child who continues to exhibit severe behavioural difficulties. We need other EAs who are actually working with students, improving their literacy and math skills. Madam Speaker, we need these specialists in our schools. I realize that there is a tremendous cost factor to that, but again, we are in an era where we have many, many students needing that sort of assistance.

[Page 2304]

With reference to the high school level, we have to acquire more teachers who have the credentials to teach courses like calculus, physics, chemistry, French, technology, and business. If we were to take these steps, one would see a significant improvement in student success.

Once the classroom environment is in place, then the government could look at other areas, such as the administrative structure, that are covered in the Glaze report.

Nonetheless, let's listen carefully to presenters at Law Amendments, something that these presenters deserve.

In closing, let's not forget about the Gaelic community. Some Scots actually arrived here in 1621. They established permanent communities beginning in 1773. They have been around for a while and should not be overlooked.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : I recognize the honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : Madam Speaker, I rise in this House today to completely oppose this legislation and changes to the Education Act. As the NDP's health spokesperson, I'm shocked that the government is failing to recognize that their centralization of health care has created chaos and crisis in our public health care system. Local voices have been lost and this is having devastating effects especially in Cape Breton. I am bewildered that the government thinks centralizing the public education system will produce better results for students, especially after what centralization has done for patients in health care. I can guarantee you that I will continue to be a loud, solid voice to keep those voices heard coming from Cape Breton.

As the NDP's labour spokesperson, it's clear that the Premier and this government have learned nothing from their previous attacks on working women and men who make up Nova Scotia's labour movement, a complete disregard once again to the unions of Nova Scotia and their rights.

This legislation continues to attempt to dictate the working conditions of front-line service providers in our province. It also attempts to dictate which union workers can or can't belong to. I can't wait to have that argument in court. The government didn't get to dictate this in health care and they won't get to dictate this anywhere else.

I would think after the fiasco of Bill No. 1 and the Dorsey arbitration decision, which clearly showed the government does not have the power to legislate which union people can or can't belong to, that government would start to pay attention. It's a point of principle that workers should be able to be members of the union of their choice. I imagine that this legislation could result in legal action - yet another bill being sent to the court, costing our province millions and millions more money in legal fees. Have we not learned anything from health care and the Dorsey decision? Why does this government believe that they can dictate these decisions and then take us to court and waste taxpayers' money when we should be investing it or reinvesting that money in health care and education?

[Page 2305]

This government has shown it has little interest in free and fair collective bargaining. I've said this before and I'll continue to say it: when you go into bargaining, that means the entire Christmas wish book is open from Page 1 to the end. It doesn't mean that you get to take things off the table before you even go in, but that's what this government does. It says we'll talk about certain things and we're not talking about the rest. That's not bargaining.

This government has continually used its legislative hammer to take away unions' and workers' rights of this province. Our teachers have been working under a legislative contract for the past year and we all know that this time last February, I know in all the years I can remember, that was the most people I've ever seen at a protest and it was primarily made up of teachers.

One of my colleagues said before that you woke the beast, and you really did. This government has awoken the beast because, in all of my years as a union activist and national rep, teachers have probably been one of the most passive groups because that's their nature. But not anymore. They've taken enough and they're not going to take it anymore, and I believe by the very slim majority that this government got another majority government, you will not see that again and I'm looking forward to the next election. Never in the past 100 years has there been labour unrest like this with teachers. Of course, never before have Doctors Nova Scotia taken the province to court either so, you know, let's connect the dots.

Free and fair collective bargaining is our right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and I have no doubt that when this legislation and others reach the courts the judges will realize that the government made a big mistake and wasted a lot of money. Unfortunately, by the time we see that decision, the damage will have already been done, this will be in place. But hopefully that will take us to the next election and I guarantee you I will ensure that people remember this.

My colleagues and I in the NDP caucus are proud to stand in support of working class people in Nova Scotia - front-line workers, health care workers, teachers, and public servants - because that is what makes up this province.

[1:15 p.m.]

[Page 2306]

Our Party was founded to provide a voice in the Legislature for the working class, and we are committed to standing up for the rights of all those people in Nova Scotia. The workers in our schools - not just teachers, but the cleaners and the bus drivers and the teaching assistants and the groundskeepers and the lunch supervisors - all these people are front-line education workers, and we are taking away their collective voice by dismantling school boards. We are taking away our democratic right to elect school board officials to be the voice of the people of Nova Scotia.

I look forward to hearing from all these people - schoolteachers and any other school board employees who come to the Law Amendments Committee to express their complete and utter disgust with how government is once again legislating collective agreements, using their power to legislate something that clearly is going against our democratic right.

I've heard the minister say that we should trust what the government is doing. As my colleague has said before, I've heard from hundreds of people, and "trust" is not the word I'm hearing, I'll tell you. Trust is so far from what educational professionals feel right now in this government that I don't know - I'll be optimistic, as that seems to be the choice word of the week - I'll be optimistic that it can be repaired, but not any time soon.

Why are we taking away? What are we afraid to know? What are we afraid to learn from these school boards? Why do we have to dictate the people who will be on these advisory councils? Madam Speaker, if the government dictates and picks, whether you are African Nova Scotian, Mi'kmaq, or anybody else throughout the province, the government is going to hand-pick these people. I would dare say, from my experience, they are least likely to voice their concerns and their honest opinion, as opposed to the elected representatives we have now, who are sadly going away very soon.

The other thing I really would - I am at a disadvantage, because I listened to the minister talk about travelling across the province. Well, I attend absolutely everything when I am in my constituency. I pretty much know everything that is going on in my constituency, and I did not hear one person in my constituency, Madam Speaker, who was interviewed or spoken to by the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. I have a large constituency, and I didn't hear from one person that anybody in my constituency was spoken to, and that's disgraceful.

I believe in education, I believe in the public system, and I believe that there may be some things in this legislation that are half decent, I'll say, workable, I'll say, but right now there are things that need our attention. We need to pay attention to the voices of Nova Scotians, and I don't believe that this government is hearing them.

I don't know how they're not, because I'm hearing them. I'm getting the emails, I'm getting the messages, I'm getting the phone calls. So if people on this side of the House are getting them, I can almost guarantee that your side of the House is getting them too. It's just falling on deaf ears.

[Page 2307]

This government, like all others, will come and go. It will be forgotten. But the teachers and the parents and the kids - what are we teaching our kids? At the end of the day, what are we teaching our kids? If you have enough people to vote against the rest of the province, we can do whatever we want, so let's take away our democracy.

I did a lot of back and forth with union negotiations for several years, and coming to an agreement with everybody on the same side makes for much better labour relations, let's say. That's not what has happened with this or this government.

I look forward to continuing to stand and defend workers' rights, teachers' rights, public sector workers, and all the rights of Nova Scotians, and to ensure that we will not go away quietly.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Madam Speaker, as my colleague just said, governments will come and go. This government will come and go, and then there will be another government, and another one, and the kids who are starting school today will probably have three or four governments in the course of their time in the school system, in the public school system. Throughout all that time, they will be impacted by the decisions that this government today makes over the next 10 days, seven days maybe - the decisions made today will greatly impact the lives of our children, of our students, of our family, and of society.

Those in the school system today will be impacted. Those tomorrow will be impacted, and probably we're talking about hundreds of thousands of students, probably millions of students, will be impacted by this legislation that will go through over the next week. We need to stand back and we need to recognize our opportunity to step up, and give those students, today and in the future, to be their hope. We have a chance to step up and be their hope, and we need to ask ourselves as legislators in this Assembly, are we doing that?

Yes, it's time for changes in the education system, and I heard somebody joking that if Ben Franklin came back today and went into one of our classrooms, he'd probably look around and say, yes, kind of like I remember it: student at the front, a bunch of desks facing - and not much has changed. Not much has changed. It is time for things to change in the education system, but I would submit to the members here today, not this way.

There are too many unanswered questions with what is being proposed before us. There are too many questions that are not answered, that the government cannot answer. That's the genesis of the pause campaign. In fact, I had a blog out a couple of weeks ago saying, let's pause and look at all these moving parts. I believe that today as well, that we owe it to all those families, we owe it to Nova Scotians, to make sure that we can answer the questions that need to be answered before we forge ahead.

[Page 2308]

Since the release of Dr. Glaze's report, and the large piece of legislation that we have in front of us today, since those two things, I'm worried that this government is operating without a real fulsome plan as to where we are going in education. I am worried that there's no overarching strategy. Even if we look at this week, at the beginning of the week, the messages from the government were very strong. They were so convinced in their approach, in terms of implementing certain handpicked recommendations from the Glaze report, that they would not budge. The beginning of the week, they were very convinced, and then we heard two days later that there would be some changes, some referred to them as "dramatic" and some have referred to them as "not enough."

Then we saw some changes to the previously declared strategy from just two days earlier, and now we're being told not to worry, we for sure got it right this time. Don't worry, we for sure have it right now. Then, I'm left to ask the question, says who? Says who?

Now, I know the members opposite would say well, that's a compromise, but my issue with that is it was reckless. It was reckless to push things to the brink, as this government has done. We saw an overwhelming vote by the members of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, 80-some per cent, in favour of illegal job action.

Now, stop for one second, Madam Speaker, and think about that. Any time a government proposes an idea or makes a decision that pushes ordinary Nova Scotians to the brink of taking such dramatic action as illegal activity to get the government's attention, any time government does something and pushes Nova Scotians - well-respected Nova Scotians, law-abiding Nova Scotians - to the brink of feeling that they have to do something that dramatic to get the attention of their government, any time that happens, it is a complete and utter failure of government. That is exactly what we have witnessed here over the last couple weeks.

Nova Scotians are confused. They are confused and they are trying to make sense of the approach that this government is taking to our education system. Who can blame them? Who can blame them?

There is a lot of confusion on all sides of this as to what has happened. We might as well be speaking German in this Chamber. We have the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development firing at whatever targets he seems to think might get the buy-in. We have the Council on Classroom Conditions, we have administrative reform, we have the Commission on Inclusive Education. It just appears that this government is doing anything that they think might get the attention of a certain small group without properly articulating what the full strategy is - what is the full strategy? - and explaining to Nova Scotians how all these different initiatives are factually and actually linked. Are they linked? Do they link together? Well, who really knows? Who really knows?

[Page 2309]

The government need not wonder why people are confused. If you look at the government's own website and go to the Frequently Asked Questions section on there, you will see that the government is emphatically stating that all these initiatives are linked. That they are all linked is the terminology on the website. Then you have the minister walking that back when pressed for evidence as to how they are linked, and stating that the Council on Classroom Conditions and the Commission on Inclusive Education are not necessarily connected. They are not necessarily connected to the implementation of the administrative reforms.

The website says they are connected, and the minister says they are not necessarily connected. It's no big puzzle why people are confused as to what is happening here. Are they linked or are they not linked? Does the government know, or have they planned yet, whether they're linked or not linked? These are the types of things that I believe this government doesn't really know. They don't really know. They don't really know what the overarching strategy is.

I hear the minister just informed me that they are linked, so let the record show that at 1:28 p.m. on Friday they are linked, because guess what? Come Monday, quite possibly they won't be, because that's what happens. That's what happens when you have a government that doesn't have a proper strategy. They don't have a proper plan.

We in the Opposition - we're here doing our jobs. We are here to ask for accountability from this government. We are here to hold this government to account, and we asked the minister to specifically detail how these different initiatives are linked. Maybe we'll hear that. How are these initiatives aligned together? How are they linked? We know that at this moment in time, they are linked, and we'll see what the future brings.

It brings us to the bigger question that my colleague for Dartmouth South talked about. It's the transparency of government. It's Nova Scotians having the ability to properly understand what the government is trying to achieve. Then they can agree with it or not agree with it, but they at least have the right to know what the plan is. We are asking for evidence of the plan. We don't expect Nova Scotians to simply believe it when the government stands up and says, now, now, we know best. We know best. Don't worry about the details. We'll figure that out later. It's not good enough.

The question was raised by a colleague as to how could this government possibly not hear what Nova Scotians are saying. How could they not? We all - I'm sure all the members on the Opposition side - get a lot of emails from constituents of government-side members who haven't felt that their MLA has heard them or listened to them, and they don't expect the members to agree with them but they do expect the respect of an acknowledgement and a discussion. But I think the government does hear them; I think the government does hear them. I think the better question is: why doesn't the government care? Why doesn't the government care to assess what's being put before them? That's what should happen.

[Page 2310]

[1:30 p.m.]

We're just asking for some sort of assurances that the government's not just flinging things at the wall to see what sticks, that they're actually operating from a plan, they're keeping track of the cash register and they know how things are going to be funded, particularly when you think of the Commission on Inclusive Education. How will it be funded? These are the types of questions that are out there. We have no assurance on any of these fronts so far, but when we stand up or when our colleagues from the New Democratic Party stand up and ask these questions to this government, to this minister, to this minister's colleagues, we are often not given answers, and often we are attacked as defending the status quo or embracing or not caring for kids. These are the types of things, you hear them when you're in this Chamber.

I was proud of my colleague, I think it was yesterday when the Premier responded to a very reasonable question that she was just being negative. Now, how many times do we hear that in response to a question in this Chamber? We're not being negative; we're being realistic. We're being realistic about what's happening in this province and this type of approach. We raised concerns about the hasty rollout of the pre-Primary. Those concerns are proving to be very well-founded, very well-founded, and if people go around and see what's happening, they will see that those concerns - we're not being negative, they were being reasonable and they were well-founded because we do care. We want changes in this system but we want changes that are well-thought-out and well-planned, and that is what we're not seeing at this stage.

We're responding to the constituents we represent. We're responding to Nova Scotians and, quite frankly, the questions that we raise on behalf of Nova Scotians deserve to be respected, and often we don't see that, and when we go to Law Amendments Committee with this bill next week - maybe on Monday - I would hope and I would think the members opposite probably heard some stories about the last time a piece of education legislation was before Law Amendments Committee. Nova Scotians were pretty disgusted with the way that committee operates once they saw it. Many of them felt disrespected, and maybe this will be an opportunity to change that channel and show a little respect to the Nova Scotians that make their way to this Chamber in this great city to speak about the concerns they have about legislation.

Maybe they'll be listened to; maybe they'll be heard; maybe they'll be respected. Their concerns are real; the questions are very, very real about where we go from here. These are the types of questions we're hearing, hearing questions like the mother in Cape Breton whom I spoke to whose son didn't even make it through one day of pre-Primary because the staff on hand were inadequately trained to provide the inclusive supports that were necessary. We raised the issues at the time. We're not ready for this rollout and this was the very real impact of that. Imagine the impact on that family, sending their child excitedly to the first day of pre-Primary and he didn't even make it through one day because the school, the set-up was not ready - it was not ready.

[Page 2311]

People with concerns like the teacher I spoke to in Dartmouth last week who wonders whether all of this focus on dissolving school boards and all of this talk about the union "shakeup," it was the word he used, if it's all designed to divert attention away from helping our students. And it does seem like very much a big exercise in don't look here at the real issues, look over here. Very legitimate - these are the questions that people are asking. They deserve answers. People like the families in Bedford whose students attend Basinview Drive Community School, the petition was submitted this week by the minister. It's all well and good to bring a petition to this House, but those families are wondering what is going to happen. That school is estimated to be hundreds of students over capacity next year, in September. There are already two portables in the area where the older children play. The options for the next year just came to the SAC now.

There's no real planning. People are asking, who will help them? Who will guide them through the process?

I hear the MLA for the area saying that the Halifax Regional School Board will maybe guide them through the process. Not after today, Madam Speaker. We'll see. These are exactly (Interruptions)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order. The honourable member for Pictou Centre has the floor.

MR. HOUSTON « » : I'm here asking questions on behalf of Nova Scotians, and there are many more questions to be asked. Their concerns and fears are very real. So when the minister stands up at the end of this debate, I hope there are no accusations of fearmongering or being negative. Maybe there will be some actual answers. Maybe we'll hear some actual answers.

Between that time, maybe the MLA for Bedford would stand up and provide some answers to the families who are worried about the overcrowding at Basinview. That would be the type of thing.

The minister brought a petition to the floor. It's hardly answering questions for members of the constituency, but I'll leave that for them to decide.

As I think about these unanswered questions, and the lack of a plan for education - because there is a lack of a plan for education - I'm thinking about something the Premier said after the meeting with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union this week. He said that we do not have the Commission on Inclusive Education's report yet. That was in response to a question - we do not have the report yet. That's what he said on Monday.

[Page 2312]

I found it odd. The submissions closed a few weeks ago and I found it odd. But still more odd was that shortly thereafter the Premier said - after claiming that he had not seen any report - that the funds have been set aside to deal with the report's recommendations. These types of disconnects - haven't seen the report, but then immediately afterwards funds have been set aside to deal with - I hope they are. I really hope they are, but the disconnect is clear.

It's easy to see why people are frustrated. It's easy to see why people are saying, where does it go from here? Where do we go from here? This government will get their wish, they'll get this piece of legislation through, but where do we go from here?

We know that the school board superintendents will remain. They'll remain with another title. Would it be fair to ask to what end? I think that would be fair. What about the school board members? What will become of them? Well, once this little deed is done, over the next week or so, each board member will get sent a cheque for the balance of their stipends. The minister will no doubt be happy with that, happy to see them go, but where will that leave the system? That's the question.

Once that deed is done, the real question becomes, how does that raise the bar on education? Is that good value for money, particularly in light of the alternatives? The alternatives would have been, instead of paying people to go away - people who have added a lot to the system, many of them - instead of paying them to go away, maybe the option would have been to revamp the school board system, to try to come up with a workable one. That was an option. Was that considered? Did somebody cost that out?

There was an initiative that wasn't directly supported by the department. But the minister and presumably the deputy, even the new one, would have been fully aware of an extensive project that was undertaken by the Nova Scotia School Boards Association. That was a project to address pretty much the very issues that Dr. Glaze focused on as the rationale for disbanding the seven English school boards. The school boards already had a report on that. They had already looked at this. They were going to pilot some changes in September. Dr. Glaze was provided with all of the information on that report - everything that they looked at. They had all the information about the process.

Would that plan not have worked? Did anyone do an analysis and come to the conclusion that that doesn't work, and we're going to do this instead? I don't think so. I doubt it. This is not the type of thoughtful government that seems to go methodically through things like that.

Now the plan is to have school councils of local parents. Guess what? That's not a novel idea. In fact, this was tried 25 years ago - 25 years ago, this idea was implemented, and it went nowhere. It didn't go anywhere. The role of the councils never actually got properly defined. Local input from parents is a good idea. It's a very good idea. But I don't think that at that time 25 years ago, it was ever determined how to make their role effective. What was the effective way to provide useful information through to the government? That was back then. Here we are today, with the same idea being recycled, and still we're no further ahead. There's no real indication that it has been thought about, how to make it effective.

[Page 2313]

I'll go you one further, Madam Speaker. We have schools in this province today that don't have a SAC. What happens in those situations? Does the government feel that with this piece of legislation, SACs are magically going to pop up there, and that they're going to grow at other schools, that people in their busy lives who do volunteer will be willing to go on an SAC to take on even more responsibility - those responsibilities that the school board used to do?

This is not well-thought-out. The risk is not more site-based decision making. I'm in favour of more site-based decision making. My concern is that this will not get us there, that this will get us further away from there. If a school that doesn't have an SAC, who's going to make those decisions? Probably somebody in Halifax. There is a risk that it is less and less local decision making. That's the risk.

The question is, what is the minister's plan to ensure effective communication and input between the parents and the schools and the government? I don't think that has been figured out.

What I would say is, if it is worth doing, it's worth doing right. Doing it right doesn't mean rushing a piece of legislation through. It actually means having a thoughtful plan, a prudent plan, a well-thought-out plan that implements things over time. It would also allow for a powerful positive communication plan with the teachers, the very people who need to implement a lot of this stuff.

The pause campaign was well placed. The pause campaign made sense. It made sense because it would have called for time to think these things out. They haven't been thought out. There is no pause. It's full-on play, and away we go.

The government has an opportunity to do this right, to do this right for today's students, for the teachers, for the administrators, for the people of the province. The government has that opportunity. Instead, to forge along, to go forward with the changes from Dr. Glaze's report - there is some good stuff in Dr. Glaze's report, but there is also a lot of stuff that's under dispute, based on the underlying evidence that was used.

[1:45 p.m.]

[Page 2314]

Now, we need to be mindful of the errors of the report. As much as we champion the positive stuff, we need to be mindful of the errors, and the problems created by several of these very recommendations that the government is pushing forward with. Problems that were created by these very recommendations in other jurisdictions - Ontario and Scotland come to mind. A little Google search will show you that there were unintended consequences in those jurisdictions, and we don't need that here, we can't afford that here. So, by not addressing those concerns, the government has done a disservice to Nova Scotians. Those concerns need to be addressed.

The bottom line is that by prioritizing administrative reforms over in-classroom supports, there are so many questions left unanswered. So many questions about where education goes. Real questions like, what are you going to do to help with the substitute shortage that is very real in many parts of the province? What will be done about the substitute shortage? What will be done to help retain new teachers?

New teachers in rural areas are particularly worried about the Glaze report for a number of reasons. I heard from a teacher that said, in her area, they're concerned about Recommendation 11, in which teachers would be able to move freely from board-to-board. I think the minister could maybe speak to that a little bit in his time, but I'm hearing from people who spend 10 years as a substitute, staying to fight it out, staying in an area in their hometown, and are now worried. What does that do to them when this goes on the mobility issue?

These are people who have been putting their time in, in certain areas of the province when they could have moved to the urban area. They could have moved to the city and gotten a job, but they decided to stay in their communities. Now they're worried that those people who did go away will come back and maybe bump them.

So, these are very, very real concerns, they're real questions that need to be answered. One of the big questions that I got asked a lot is, why is so much of the advice and the expertise, imported into Nova Scotia? You know, Dr. Glaze is from Ontario, the new deputy is from Ontario. Why don't we have expertise here in Nova Scotia? It's a question that needs to be asked and answered by the government.

I've heard the minister refer to all the various old reports on the shelves - somebody asked me a common-sense question: why did we do another one? Why don't we pull one off the shelf, like the Freeman report and look at it? If you don't have the answer you think you need to govern, then you go and buy it. You go and buy it with a new report, right? Is that what happened here - $75,000 for a new report?

Has the government done a jurisdictional scan to see what has worked? What of these recommendations has worked? Has that jurisdictional scan been done to see, because I do have concerns about the impact of these very recommendations in Ontario and in Scotland. Has the government convinced itself that the very models that they are now legislating in this province, that the problems in those areas aren't coming here? How are they going to mitigate the risks that those very problems, that actually are happening, aren't coming here?

[Page 2315]

There are good recommendations in the Glaze report. Recommendation 5 was one that a number of teachers raised to me, about the wrap-around schools. The wrap-around schools, that's something that got the attention of a lot of people. That's the concept where students and families can access support from any government department, not just Education and Early Childhood Development, but also get support from mental health professionals, health care providers, Justice, and so on.

This is a very important recommendation, it's a very important idea, because it could help students in classrooms and should be included under the inclusive education study. Maybe it will be, but will that happen? Will we have the money for it? The Premier says we will. I remember in Estimates last year that the minister certainly did not commit to that. So will the money be there? We'll see. No one knows.

These are all questions that nobody really knows the answer to, and yet here we are pushing this along and trying to make these things happen. Outside of a comment from the Premier - maybe a flippant comment - we don't know if there's going to be money to make those changes.

Mental health supports in the classroom are critical. We are seeing how the lack of resources are impacting all the children in today's classrooms. When children aren't able to get mental health support, it impacts their learning, and in many cases it impacts their behaviour. This takes a toll on their classmates as well.

These kids need our help, and I can't even imagine how we can try to move an education system forward without helping them. Every school needs trained professionals to support our kids in the mental health area. We know that behaviour is a communication, and often unexpected behaviour in the classroom is a cry for help.

I listened to a teacher talk at my colleague for Dartmouth East's education town hall. This teacher teaches in a school that went into lockdown over the last few weeks. She teaches high school. She told a very moving story about how she was huddled with a group of Grade 11 and Grade 12 students, hiding in the classroom while her school was on lockdown. She was trying to keep them calm, and they were trying to keep her calm. In the hushed conversation, one of the students said to her, this would not be happening if students could access mental health support.

I believe that's true. We should all believe that's true. We should be talking about that, not the noise that the government has put on the plates of Nova Scotians. You want to have a talk about education? You want to put in extended hours and jam a bill through? Let's make it something that actually speaks to the heart of what's going on in the classroom.

[Page 2316]

Now, the Glaze report made a recommendation: a college of educators. It's a recommendation. It's not going to be happening now. It's a little spin on it now. But in the legislation today we've seen the shift in gears away from that. I've heard from many Nova Scotians that instead of a college of educators, we should be here today talking about a college for politicians to help elected officials understand that they need to listen to what's important to Nova Scotians.

I think that is very true - politics, the only profession in the world for which you need no formal training. It is rarely more evident anywhere in the world than it often is in this Chamber.

With those few words, I'll take my seat. Thank you very much.

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

MS. LISA ROBERTS : Madam Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to address - in fewer words than I am sure we will use next week - this important change to our education system in Nova Scotia. I regret that I wasn't able to speak when people who I really consider colleagues were sitting upstairs in the gallery.

I was so pleased in Fall 2016, just a couple of months after I was elected myself, to cast my ballot for Suzy Hansen, who is not the African Nova Scotian School Board Representative on the Halifax Regional School Board, but an African Nova Scotian and our elected district representative in the Halifax Regional School Board. I have gotten to know Suzy through a number of different involvements and crossing of paths over the last four years. I had heard about her a number of times beforehand as somebody who I absolutely had to meet, and the fact that we are losing her voice, to me, is just so concerning.

In fact, I could wax as eloquently, or more, about Cindy Littlefair, who has just spoken to community needs, and community tensions, and to the importance of schooling, and the context of community for her years on school board. I'm so grateful to both of them for their work, and to Archy Beals and to other members of the school board who I don't know as well.

I think, particularly, what I want to speak to is the value of having those conversations in the public realm, as difficult decisions are being wrestled with, and so I think that's just an incredible loss.

I think this government is turning away from a great resource. I recognize that the system does not always work perfectly. I was here in Halifax, although I didn't have children at the time, that the Halifax School Board got fired. Then we operated without one for a while, but clearly the fact that it happened actually shows that there were resources and mechanisms available to us to resort to in that situation.

[Page 2317]

I'm not trying to judge one way or the other if it was merited at the time, but clearly there was flexibility - there were mechanisms when the school board system did not work. I think that what we are losing is so great, and to me it feels profoundly disrespectful that they've been given their marching orders and this last big paycheque - but we don't need your services - seems insulting to me.

I'm also left mystified at what I see as the impatience of this government. It was only in April 2014 that the then-Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development introduced a new school review process by changing the Education Act. That reform to the Education Act resulted in my community, through the winter of 2016 and, starting maybe even a little bit earlier, a big school options committee process. That process was so rich, and so thoughtfully done, and it resulted in so many enriched relationships, which have been leveraged ever since in a myriad of ways, but it also resulted in very clear recommendations to the department in terms of what school capital investments were needed for the North End family of schools - for the portion of the Citadel family of schools, which involves the North End.

That process only became law in the Fall of 2014. It was this government, previous to the election, but it was this government that brought that in, and they didn't even allow it to go from beginning to end once. That was the process that people were asked to embrace.

I know probably about half of the school options committee members from the North End quite well. They were already community volunteers of the most committed variety. They were already school advisory council chairs. They were already non-profit workers. They were already coaches and board members and so forth, and they added this on top because they were the right people. They were connected to the community, and the fact that they invested their time meant that the community members felt like they should invest their time and come out to those meetings. I think I attended three out of four, and they were very well-attended.

The process was also a bit messy. There were some people who didn't think that they should be involved at the beginning, who then realized late in the game that something is happening that's going to affect my interests and then, you know, it got messy, it got difficult, it got tense, but it also, again, created a lot of relationships and it created solidarity because people needed to look at the needs in the North End and for North End schools, not just thinking about their individual school.

[2:00 p.m.]

[Page 2318]

It was bigger than that and so instead of St. Stephen's Elementary School just thinking about St. Stephen's Elementary School and St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary just thinking about St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary, and instead of Joseph Howe Elementary being out there on its own with not enough people thinking about it, they were all thinking about all of them, and they built relationships so that they really understood the challenges in each of those schools and beyond, into junior high.

I think about those meetings. I think about the people who were in the gym at Highland Park Junior High School when we ended up with kind of four different scenarios for where the school capital decisions could be made, what that would look like, and people had to walk to four different corners of the gym to kind of vote with their feet and people started to coalesce around a young person who spoke about a North End junior high and what that would look like and how kids from these communities that sometimes are in quite close geographical proximity but may have all sorts of different things that divide them including economic resources, including race, how they could all come together in a North End junior high and that recommendation went then to the school board.

I'll say right now that I sent a message to my constituency assistant this afternoon and said grab me this audio, because there is audio of the deliberations on the School Options Committee process that is currently on the Halifax Regional School Board from September 2016 and I want that audio, and I'm afraid that with this legislation that's coming down, we might lose it. We might lose the records of democracy at that school board level. Who's going to be hosting that website? Is it going to go down?

But the fact is that I showed up at that meeting, and dozens of parents, maybe even hundreds because every chair was full, we showed up at that meeting to see what the school board would do with this recommendation and, again, the meeting was tense and those School Options Committee members who had volunteered their time, who were not school board representatives, they were sitting to say, you know, like, is the school board going to take our recommendation, are they going to support us after all the work that we did - and there was one vote against it. I don't remember exactly how many seats were at the table. I know one person was absent and everybody else voted for it - and there has been nothing since from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

So, I really understand when my colleague from Eastern Passage talks about the Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage School Options Committee process that was halted in its tracks, why she keeps raising that because it was this government. It was the government opposite me that raised the expectations, that asked people to invest that time, and now we've just turned the page, just turned the page - we don't need your work; we don't need your thoughts; we don't need your investment of hours and hours and hours.

So, I have really profound concerns about this going forward and, particularly, the fact that there is nothing that I can see other than this appointed committee between the department and the school advisory committee and, actually, I have to be frank, maybe I'll figure it out over the weekend but I'm not even sure if that committee is really in between the school advisory committee and the department or if it's kind of sitting inside the department. I'm not sure if I'll be able to see it or I'd be able to go back and look at audio of meetings. Will I be able to read minutes or records of decisions? And my problem with that is, again, really based in my own neighbourhood, that school advisory committees look at a school - and, yes, local decision making is great but what about when there are differences and inequalities between school communities?

[Page 2319]

I'm going to a wine and cheese fundraiser for St. Joseph's-A. McKay shortly. I think I will need that. That school is able to raise upwards of $20,000 a year through parent effort and through partnerships with local businesses. It's wonderful. I love that school community. I know several of the teachers. I read there recently during Family Literacy Day. I knew half the kids in the class. It's not where my kids go to school, but I really know that community well. It just happens to be close to Veith House. The vice-principal of it was one of the founding members of the North End Community Circle, which I used to work for. So I'm tight with that school in particular - love it.

But just a couple of kilometres away, thanks really to the school review process and the school options committee, I'm now also pretty tight with the folks at Joseph Howe School. That school struggles to raise $1,000. Without a board that looks at all of the schools, how is there even a hope of redressing and addressing and speaking truth about the inequalities that exist?

My colleague from Dartmouth South talked about the achievement gap. It's true that the Glaze report contains significant errors in the reporting on the achievement gap between Nova Scotia and the rest of the country. There is no reason across the board to be concerned about how Nova Scotian students are doing.

However, there is an achievement gap between particularly black learners and the rest of the learners in our school system. Who has been raising that? Who has been asking for measures to address it? Who has been asking us to measure it? African Nova Scotian school board members. What is that achievement gap the result of? It's the result of the social determinants - people like to talk about the social determinants of health. I like to call it the social determinants of everything because they are. They're the social determinants of everything - their income, their wage inequality and income inequality, their race.

One of the particular concerns that has been raised to me is not related to how students are doing on the PISA or the other one. I'm going to lose track of the acronyms. It's that a disproportionate number of African Nova Scotian students are not even participating in those standardized tests because they're disproportionately in independent program plans. Parents and the community and African Nova Scotian school board members have raised concerns about why. Again, we need the transparency, where parents can show up at school board meetings and see how those concerns are being talked about, where I can go and listen to the audio of a meeting.

[Page 2320]

There are people, and I know some of them, African Nova Scotians and other people of colour, working within the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development trying to address various issues, working on good policy, working on all kinds of different stuff. But they're not accountable to us. They're not accountable to African Nova Scotian families. We don't get to see their work. If you're close enough, maybe somewhere on a department website, you can figure out that they exist. But they're not accountable to you.

I think all of us, as politicians, understand what it feels like to be held accountable by the people who voted us in. It's very different in how it feels to any relationship I've ever felt of accountability to a boss. So, if we're losing the people who are accountable to the population, when it comes to education, I mean, it does matter whether or not they have power to change things.

I often say to constituents when they contact me about a problem that I don't control a lot of budget, I'm not on the government side so I cannot change a policy, but I can speak about it. I can speak to a minister. Somebody, a deputy minister will call me back or somebody in Metro Regional Housing will call me back. That is the power that school board members have. They have legitimacy because they have been elected and people have chosen them and they are accountable to the people. We are losing the people who are accountable to the people, and that is not nothing.

I'll note that another reason why I am concerned about what is going to disappear off the website of the Halifax Regional School Board is again, that transparency and the Auditor General has singled out a concern around school capital decisions by the government and I fully acknowledge that concern, like the period he looked at included the NDP Government as well as this Liberal Government, but now we have the Auditor General's Report that raised those concerns.

After the last round of school capital decisions were announced, I went on the Halifax Regional School Board site and I listened to the audio of a March 2016 meeting where, for example, there was a discussion about different capital needs, including J.L. Ilsley. I was able to listen as school board members questioned whether it should be on the list of capital requests. I heard them clarify all the repairs and all the investments that had already been undertaken at the existing school - boiler plant, new entrance, renovated cafeteria, the grounds.

Ron Hyman, who is the HRSB Director of Operations, estimated that $2.5 million of upgrades had already been completed of $6.5 million required. He said that the money had not been wasted, and that J.L. Ilsley was in better condition than a number of other high schools. (Interruptions)

[Page 2321]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order. The member for Halifax Needham has the floor.

MS. ROBERTS « » : It is never easy to make decisions, and any government is going to have more demands than there are resources to respond, especially in any given year. But there is a level of transparency because those conversations happened at a different level of governance. Now they are all going to go sucked inside and we will never know. How will we ever know what the considerations were?

The Auditor General raised real concerns and how is the department going to address that?

[2:15 p.m.]

Again, it has been our school board members who have called it out, who have been able to speak to it, who we have been able to reach. I'm sure I'll have more specific things to say next week, based on some processing of this bill, and I'm grateful to my colleague from Dartmouth South who has already processed far more of it than I am sure I ever will.

I just want to make the point that change happens through politics, so if we are concerned about the educational outcomes for our students, and if we are particularly concerned about the educational outcomes of Nova Scotians who have been historically marginalized and given fewer resources, then to me, stripping away a level of politics and a level of governance where they got guaranteed representation, seems to me a very foolhardy way to proceed.

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

MS. KIM MASLAND « » : Madam Speaker, I am happy to rise today from my seat to speak to Bill No. 72. I'm rising today to deliver the voices of so many who have contacted me as their MLA in my constituency, to add voice for children and students of Nova Scotia, and to add voice as a grandmother to a little guy who lives in the Northwest Territories who will hopefully be returning to Nova Scotia someday to be educated.

We need to get this right. For over a year now, teachers have been trying in vain to explain to this government that changes are required in their classrooms. Throughout the Law Amendments Committee presentations last year, Nova Scotians watched in shock as Liberal Government MLAs ignored, dismissed, and showed downright contempt for those educators and parents who are so desperately trying to educate them on the state of our classrooms. Here we are, Madam Speaker, one year later, and what was a very bad situation is now about to get a whole lot worse.

While the government will try to convince Nova Scotians that these changes to administration and governance will somehow magically improve the learning conditions for our children, I believe that the citizens of this province will see through the smoke and mirrors. At the end of the day, none of these changes will see meaningful, positive changes in the classroom. Instead, we are about to enter a period of great uncertainty and chaos.

[Page 2322]

Just a few short years ago, the same government made drastic changes to the administration and delivery of the health care system in this province, and I don't think I need to remind anyone in this room, or at home, how devastating those changes have been. Instead of streamlining and providing more consistent care across the province, nurses and doctors will tell you that things have never been worse. There are grave concerns about the future of health care here in Nova Scotia, and now this government is willing to do the exact same thing to the education system, just as they did to health care. It is very unfortunate that this government will not learn from their past mistakes. Instead, we are now entering a period of uncertainty, where teachers, parents, and students will be trying to navigate through murky waters, while the system continues to crumble.

Mr. Speaker, we've heard the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development say that it is all about the kids. If only this were true. I would argue that this whole process has been all about the government trying to make a concerted effort to centralize control. If Minister Churchill was genuine in his belief that it is all about the kids, then this process would not even be happening until we have all of the pieces of the puzzle in order.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I just want to remind the honourable member not to refer to members opposite with their surnames.

The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne has the floor.

MS. MASLAND « » : I can't even say I am a rookie anymore as an excuse. At this time, we are waiting for the report for the Commission on Inclusive Education. This report, hopefully, will provide the government with the framework to reconfigure the way education is delivered in this province. Why wouldn't the government wait to see the full picture before moving forward with such drastic measures with governance and administration? Why are they insisting on building a new system in such a piecemeal fashion?

At the end of the day, Mr. Speaker, teacher morale continues to be at an all-time low. From speaking with teachers, and trust me, I have spoken with more, and more importantly, I've listened to many teachers, unlike those on the government side. It is clear to me that they are not feeling supported or heard at all by this government, and their challenges and struggles continue to increase daily as they cope to get by. Our children deserve better, and our province deserves better.

Yesterday the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development said that the quality of education will improve because of these changes to administration and governance, but I just don't believe that is going to be the case. The education of students will not improve until this government listens to the teachers and addresses the real concerns in their classrooms.

[Page 2323]

It is a sad but true fact that too many of our kids are going to school hungry. They are living in poverty and not having their basic needs met. Children cannot learn until their basic needs are met. Does this government really believe that by getting rid of a school board or moving administrators from one union to some other type of association, we will suddenly improve the ability of our kids to learn? Children who are hungry or children who are sleep-deprived will never be in a position to learn. These children are coming to school completely ill-equipped to learn about math and literacy. It certainly isn't because of a lack of effort from our teachers.

Today, more than ever, in addition to being educators, teachers are being asked to be parents, psychologists, nurses, counsellors, police officers, and security guards in an ever-changing and challenging classroom.

We have students who are not able to cope in classrooms, yet they are being tossed into a classroom with 25 other kids, with little to no support staff to help them out. The emergence of high complex behavioural and mental health issues is going through the roof, and yet our schools are seeing fewer supports given when there is a much greater need than ever before.

The number of students on modified programs or individual program plans has never been higher. In fact, in many classrooms, 30 per cent to 40 per cent of kids are now on special programming. This means that teachers have to do special programming for up to 10 to 12 kids in every single classroom.

We are asking our teachers to do an impossible job. We are asking them to teach multiple grade levels in every classroom to kids who aren't prepared to learn. We are asking them to teach reading and math to kids who can't yet speak English. We are asking science teachers to do science experiments in labs with children who have yet to learn basic rules of what is acceptable behaviour. Eliminating school boards and changing administrative bureaucracies will do nothing to address these challenges.

Schools in my constituency have seen budgets slashed so much that SACs are now searching for ways to ensure that all kids have food in their bellies at the beginning of the day. They have seen a decrease in custodial hours allotted to their schools. Our schools are dirtier than they have ever been, and that isn't a reflection on the hard-working men and women who do their best to keep our schools clean. Rather, it's a reflection on this government's mixed-up priorities. One of the schools in my constituency has leaks so bad that there are buckets located all over the place to catch the water leaks as school staff try to put Band-Aids on a problem that should be fixed properly.

[Page 2324]

This government really thinks that by eliminating school boards and making administrative changes we'll suddenly see an improvement in classroom conditions. But if this government was serious about improving the classroom conditions in Nova Scotia, then they should start listening instead of dictating. They should start looking at the real problems that this province is facing - high levels of poverty, particularly in rural Nova Scotia; increased behavioural challenges from students who do not have the skills to self-regulate; higher-than-ever numbers of diverse learners with inadequate supports in the classroom; more and more anxiety and mental health struggles appearing at younger ages than ever, with a huge shortage of school psychologists; and little to no accountability for students who fail to pass in assignments and meet outcomes.

Mr. Speaker, if this government was truly interested in making positive changes to the classroom, these are the areas that should be addressed immediately. Instead, they are choosing to throw our children into more chaos and confusion in an effort to appear to be revolutionizing a broken system.

As a final message to any parents who may be listening out there, I would encourage you to stand up for your children to ensure they receive the best education possible. This government has proven that they don't respect what our teachers do.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I want to remind the honourable member that we're not supposed to address anybody who may be listening or watching, just the members of this House and your comments through the Chair.

MS. MASLAND « » : I guess with those words, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

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

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Thank you to everyone who has spoken already to voice opposition to this bill. I'm just going to add my own voice for a few minutes.

Years ago, I dropped into the junior high school where my older brother David was the vice-principal, just to say hello. He was busy with a student, and so he told me to go sit in his office, which I am sure he did all the time to students. But when I was sitting there waiting for him, I noticed on his desk a big bowl of jelly beans. When he came back in to say hello, in my youthful ignorance basically, I said, I thought you were the vice-principal of the school, isn't it you who deals with all the kids who get in trouble? Aren't you the disciplinarian here? Why would you have jelly beans on your desk? Without a beat he said, it's the kids who get in trouble who need the jelly beans. That made so much sense to me.

In that moment, I felt ashamed actually that I hadn't really thought about that, I hadn't really given much thought to that idea. But in that one reply, my brother, who has taught me many valuable lessons, he demonstrated a deep understanding of human nature, and some of the reasons why a kid might show up in his office, having done something or maybe not done anything, to get in trouble. This is just one example of how he knew how to connect with and support the students of his school.

[Page 2325]

Over the last several weeks I have heard from countless teachers and parents in my riding and from all around the province. I think many of us have heard from people around the province, as we've mentioned, whose MLAs refuse to respond to them around this issue. Teachers are worried sick, literally. They are demoralized by the fact that they continue to not be listened to by this government, and that the heart of their worry is the fact that with all these education reforms, there's nothing in them that will help our students. In fact, these changes could cause more chaos in the lives of our children.

Throughout the last year or two, the teachers have become extremely vocal about what they need to help our children be successful. Some of these things are addressed in the Glaze report, but these are not the recommendations that the government is in such a rush to adopt. Instead, they have chosen to remove administrators from their union, and to eliminate democratically-elected school boards, eliminating local voices from around the province and, most worrying to me, the voices of African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq voices.

Even though my riding, Dartmouth North, is part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, and so not really on the outskirts in these rural areas where this could be really concerning, there are parts of my community that have been pushed to the edge of society, and experience significant issues, in terms of poverty, lack of sufficient health care, lack of affordable housing, social exclusion, and food insecurity. In a community like that there are, understandably, huge trust issues.

I've heard time and again that people are tired of politicians and bureaucrats, unconnected to the community, coming in to try to fix things, fix what's wrong, and then often leaving when results cannot be achieved in a timely fashion. For such a community removing local school board voices, in particular the African Nova Scotian representative, is a signal that the voices in Dartmouth North are not important, and that the children's success is not a priority.

The government's answer to this is school advisory committees, but it should be said that in communities where a majority of families can't afford to make ends meet, and parents are struggling to keep food on the table, most likely there are not going to be a whole lot of parents who have time to sit on SACs.

I would also be remiss if I didn't echo my colleagues' deep concern about the silencing of women's voices in all of this. As I mentioned in remarks the other day on another bill, there's a lot of patting each other on the back in this Chamber because we have elected so many women to this House. But still, in this Legislature, our federal Parliament, and our municipal councils all around the province, we have not reached gender parity with our elected officials, and the one place that we have gender parity or more, are democratically-elected school board members. The government has seen fit to axe these positions and to take over the decision-making that those bodies, those women, were in charge of.

[Page 2326]

[2:30 p.m.]

I'm just going to leave my remarks there, in an effort to allow the people of Nova Scotia to get to speak to this bill at Law Amendments Committee. But I will close by saying that I wholeheartedly oppose this bill and the effects it will have on our students in Nova Scotia.

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

MR. BRAD JOHNS « » : Before I start to make comment on this, I do want to recognize the work that the minister has put into this. I do think that every member in this Chamber has one goal, and that is to ensure that we have the best education with the highest expectations and academic achievement. I think it's the one thing that every member in this House will agree on. I do commend him for the work and the consultation that he has done.

That said, though, I also want to thank him for offering the opportunity in his closing statement, when it was mentioned that the minister would allow us to now comment on his remarks. I guess, for me, that demonstrates somewhat of the arrogance that I've heard about from residents, teachers, and people across the municipality, across the province that I have talked to, when talking about the Glaze report as well as this bill. There is a sense of arrogance, and they feel that, although they're listening, they're certainly not hearing.

I have a bit of a unique opportunity to some of my counterparts on this side of the House in the fact that my partner currently sits on one of the SACs. Fortunately, she was one of the chairs that was able to attend one of the meetings that the minister hosted here in Halifax on February 13th. What I will relay is what she said to me. She felt that it was just a sounding board, that they weren't really being listened to, and that they didn't feel that it was a very productive meeting whatsoever. Time and again, these are the comments that I'm hearing from residents and the people I've talked to. I find that that's unfortunate.

On a personal point, I had an opportunity to attend three local meetings within the Halifax regional area over the last couple of weeks and listen to speakers from across Halifax Regional Municipality - teachers, parents, in some cases students, and elected officials from other bodies who all had concerns. Although I recognize that there has been a discussion, and it has been stated that there has been consultation, I was disappointed to note - and I may be wrong - that I did not see anybody from the current government attend any of those three local meetings. I know that my colleague Tim Halman was there as well.

[Page 2327]

I find it hard when we're going out to have consultation and listen. As I believe has been pointed out, Bill No. 72 is a relatively significant piece of legislation. It's actually the amendment of four separate pieces of legislation into one. That's makes it a pretty significant piece of legislation here, and it's a pretty thick document with a lot to go through. In fact, in order to go through this, you need to have the other pieces of legislation so that you can actually refer back in order to see some of the things that they're talking about.

One of those things which I found somewhat interesting, myself, was in regard to what I'm calling a gag clause, I guess. I see it has been put in here specifically around Section 21 to Section 26. I'm surprised that I didn't hear any of my NDP colleagues over there talk about this because this is a relatively significant amendment to this legislation. If my interpretations are correct, basically unions, in the former piece would be fined $10,000 a day as a penalty for illegal action or illegal strike. They're now going to be charged $100,000 a day, if my interpretation is correct.

For me that certainly shows a gag order type thing. I mean, I think that it infringes fundamentally on people's rights to have a strike. We know that last year this time the government mandated teachers back, and took that right away from them. Now, here we see this legislation, which is being amended to actually enforce that by increasing that fine from $10,000 a day to $100,000 a day. So, in other words, if you don't do what we want we want you to do, we're going to bankrupt the union is how I see that.

It reminds me, Mr. Speaker, of a quote I read years ago. It was by a politician down in the States, her name was Pat Miller, and she said that the best way to utterly take control of people is to take away a little of their freedom at a time. I think this legislation is one more "little bit of freedom." We saw this happen last year with the mandate and the work-to-rule, and now we're seeing this in the clauses where fines are increased.

So I have some concerns about where this legislation is going. I guess the other thing I want to talk about here today is a theme that I've seen, and it's been discussed here by other speakers today, that theme of trust. Mr. Speaker, I can certainly say that the one thing that I've heard attending public meetings and consultations with representatives and people across the province has been this uncertainty and this lack of trust towards this current government. People do not trust what is happening.

I guess if we look at the thing I just talked about regarding the fines and how it's been slipped in here, how if you don't have all four pieces of legislation to consult with, you may miss that. I think that is another example of why there is not a real trust out there towards this government and towards this legislation. So, I think that needs to be looked at.

[Page 2328]

You know, I'm very much a collaborative person. I think, and I said this initially, that all the representatives in this House want the best for our children and we do want to have high academic achievement. Having said that, I do want to point out that I was somewhat concerned that in my interpretation of the Glaze report, when I was looking at what it was based on, I noted that it was not based on the highest standards of education and on the highest systems. It wasn't based on Alberta, which I do believe has the highest level of education in the country, or places like Finland, which we all know and right now, I believe, is the second highest in the world for education. It was based on legislation and based on models from Ontario and from other places like New Brunswick, which currently have issues with the way they are doing it.

I guess for me, I want to aspire to the ultimate best that we can get, and I realize that sometimes we're not always going to be best. I think it was John Buchanan who said sometimes good is good enough. I do want to strive to be the best, but looking at something that I think is par, and basing a model on a par model, is not our way to be moving forward. We should be aspiring to move forward by looking at the absolute best that there is to offer and looking towards that as we move forward.

I do want to recognize it did bother me significantly that according to today's paper, the chairman of the Halifax Regional School Board, Gin Yee, had made a comment that the elected members of that school board body were not directly consulted with the minister in moving forward here. I do want to say that as a member formerly of Halifax Regional Council, but as a member who resides here within HRM, I find that somewhat insulting, as does Gin.

Let me tell you why I find that insulting. I find that insulting because the Halifax Regional School Board's annual budget is $528 million - that's a lot of money. In fact, that is larger than any rural municipality or town budget. When I look to see how many students the Halifax Regional School Board is representing, they represent 48,000 students, and I would note that that's also more than any rural municipality or town has within this province. That school board represents more students. They have 134 schools. Not only is the Halifax Regional School Board the largest school board within the Province of Nova Scotia, it is the largest school board in Atlantic Canada, and the minister did not consult those elected representatives? That just boggles my mind. I'm sorry.

I do think the only way to get good legislation is to get out there and consult and talk and listen to what people have to say. When the minister is saying he has consulted, I believe he has consulted a few groups. But what about groups like the Halifax Regional School Board, the largest school board in Atlantic Canada? I just don't think that that's right. I don't think that we can base good legislation on that. So I have some concerns around that.

Mr. Speaker, I have some concerns around what's going to happen in regard to busing. I have read that the educational centres will continue to maintain responsibility for issues like snow days and busing. But I would note that a provincial standard for busing currently is 3.6 kilometres for students Primary to Grade 6 - that's a provincial standard. Halifax Regional Municipality has decided to go with a lesser standard. I believe it's 2.4 kilometres or 2.5 kilometres. I'm concerned that with the dissolving of the Halifax Regional School Board, are we going to be able to maintain that lesser distance? Are we going to be able to maintain some of the freedoms and some of the choices that this municipality has made? I'm concerned about what has happened.

[Page 2329]

I do see where in here it talks about money that the municipalities are paying. I know that the Halifax Regional Municipality pays millions of dollars to the province in mandatory education. I also know that they pay $15 million in supplemental funding to education. Ironically, when you do make a comparison to the $15 million that they pay, and you subtract that, it actually equates to the students in the Halifax Regional School Board receiving lesser funding than students all across this province. Does this legislation mean that students who are in HRM are now going to receive the exact same funding as everybody else and that supplementary funding will go to a side? What's happening with supplementary funding? Is that now going to be incorporated into it? I wasn't able to find out the specifics around supplementary funding.

Recently, Halifax Regional Council has come out with some issues. I had heard a couple of members in the back talking about ferry service to Dartmouth and things like that. I know that they're having some economic challenges right now. I'm sure that they would be really glad to know that they didn't have to pay $15 million a year to the province for supplementary funding and that students within HRM are now going to be funded the same as students across the province. I think that would be a wonderful thing if that comes out of this, but I doubt very highly that that is what's going to come out of it.

I am somewhat concerned, as other speakers have said, about our special needs students. It was somewhat ironic that it was, I believe, back in the early 1990s, under a Savage Liberal Government, that the training centres across this province were reduced and cut. That led to integration, which now leads to some of the problems that we have currently in the school systems because although those training centres were cut, there were certainly no finances that were brought forward to offset the other side at the time. There have been subsequent governments since then, and I'm sure other opportunities were lost. But it was back then that we went through this thing with the training centres being dissolved.

I say to people all the time, Mr. Speaker, that the two things that people talk to me about, that they care most about in this province, are education and health care. It seems to be that those are the two things that this particular government keeps messing with and doesn't seem to have right. I hear that time and again from people.

When we talk about options and things that we have looked at going back to the dissolving of the school boards, I am concerned that I think there are other options. The elected body offers something. I do know that some may say that it's an additional line of bureaucracy, but I do feel that what it offers is it offers the public, it's somebody that people could see at the Superstore, they are accessible and that they can express their concerns to.

[Page 2330]

[2:45 p.m.]

What I'll tell all the members on the other side is, when somebody calls me in regard to busing issues now, instead of being able to tell them to call my school board, who is Dave Wright, he was here earlier, I'm now going to say, well you know what? I'm in Opposition, I can't do too much so call the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank or call the member for - I'm going to tell them to call the members who can do something because I can't and I didn't dissolve the school board. I will be saying that.

But I do also, like I said, I want to get back to this whole thing around other options. There are other options that still provide an elected body, and I've brought this up to a few people but I know that - I don't think all options have been looked at. I think that even perhaps there's an opportunity prior to amalgamation. Some of the Halifax Municipality Councils, in addition to their roles that we traditionally now see as municipal responsibilities, they also took on a school board responsibility. I think that option has been looked at, particularly with some of the smaller municipalities that are across this province. Maybe their role could be expanded.

I know with Halifax Regional Municipality, maintenance of playgrounds and school areas, as well as in some cases, even the actual structures themselves are actually owned by the municipality, so there seem to be some synergies there that I think may actually work as an alternative and still be able to keep that voice of the people at the table.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I thank the members and I do believe that's all the notes I have today so thank you very much.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : A feeling of having already experienced the present situation: the definition of déjà vu, Mr. Speaker - or, if you take it literally, it's already seen, because déjà vu is a French term. But I say this because as an elected official in this Chamber, especially one who has been here for a few years, like I have been, you tend to look at public policy and legislation in a lens of, have we seen this before? Has government tried to address the issue that this legislation is going to hopefully improve a situation or an outcome?

I do get the feeling that we've been down this road before, if I may say, Mr. Speaker. Of course, I know a number of my colleagues have mentioned this when they spoke on Bill No. 72, have we been down this road before? I think what we're referring to and what I am going to refer to, is the attempt of the current government to look at a system or an organization, or a number of organizations and amalgamate them in hopes of a better outcome in the end. Of course, I'm speaking to, and referring to, the amalgamation of the district health authorities throughout the province and the long drumbeat from the government that this will improve, this will solve the health care issues that Nova Scotians – and we all face – in our province.

[Page 2331]

I recall, it would have been probably 2012 when the Liberal Party at the time, the Liberal Opposition Party, started to talk about the need to amalgamate the district health authorities. It's interesting, at the time I said I wanted to really figure out, is that an option that government should be doing? Is that something we should be looking at to improve health services?

One thing you need to do in your government is you need to have an openness to look at outside your political Party on how do we address issues, how do we improve the situation for our citizens here? I've said this before in the House, it was a discussion I had and of course, I was Minister of Health and Wellness at the time - with the minister from Alberta, Minister Fred Horne, who was the Progressive Conservative Minister in the Progressive Conservative Government of Alberta. He had indicated to me, and he knew - you know, most politicians pay attention to what's going on in other jurisdictions - that there was this call for potentially looking at amalgamating our district health authorities here in Nova Scotia.

He had a good discussion with me, and reflected on his experience as a Minister of Health and Wellness in a government that did just that. The Province of Alberta amalgamated their district health authorities - I believe they had 10 at the time - and he said that at the time they thought it was the proper thing to do, because when you say you have 10 things and you should amalgamate it to one, it's going to be better - it's going to cost less, it will be more efficient, and things will get better.

Well, that wasn't the case in Alberta. It's not the case in Nova Scotia. If you look at Alberta now, they didn't go back to having the 10 districts that they had, but they definitely went back to something very similar, and Mr. Horne, Fred - I know he wouldn't mind me calling him Fred - had indicated that it was very costly. It cost the Government of Alberta some $100 million-plus - and I know that wasn't the cost here - just to dissolve the districts there.

So I knew at the time, when the Liberal Party was presenting this to Nova Scotians, that it was not an avenue we should go down. I was talking, and spoke passionately about the fact that to improve front-line health care, to improve services in our province, distracting and putting the tension on amalgamating the health authorities would not achieve that. We held strong on that opinion and that position. I think we as a Party still support the idea that the amalgamation of the district health authorities that happened under this government has not, and probably will not, improve the situation that we have here in the province around health services and accessing health services.

[Page 2332]

When I saw the government's attempt now with Bill No. 72 to take the similar path, the similar road of amalgamating, or dissolving the elected school boards around the province, to hopefully have better outcomes, to hopefully have a better education system, it leaves one to wonder if we're going to repeat what I would say was a mistake by the government around the health authorities, in education.

I say that for a number of reasons. We know that - and it has been said a number of times - by eliminating elected school board members, you're eliminating voices that are intimate with the situation on the ground, in the communities, in the schools, in the districts that the elected members represent. You cannot replace that, I believe, with a 15-member advisory council. I don't think you'll get the same representation. You won't be able to react in a manner that's quick enough to address issues that come up in our schools.

It's not one-shoe-fits-all across the province. I use that analogy because health care is the same. Even though we hear that we need to tear down barriers in health care, and the silos that had existed, we need to tear them down so that we do everything the same everywhere, so that the health care system can run appropriately.

But that's not the case. That's not what we found when we were in government, in the example of the emergency room closures that we've seen rampant across the province. We enlisted Dr. John Ross, who was an emergency room physician, well respected by his peers, by his patients, by many, many in this province. He went around and worked in every single ER in this province, and came up with a report to say, "This is how we need to approach transforming health care delivery, especially in our emergency departments."

The one thing that stuck out, which was a benefit to get the community to buy into a new model, was the fact that it wasn't a one-fits-all. It wasn't one model, Mr. Speaker. It was that a community could adapt and change to make sure that the issues in that community were met. I truly believe that's the same thing that could happen in education.

Yes, we need the overall structure to be the same. Yes, we want all our kids to make sure they have access to the same curricula, and the opportunities that one student in Yarmouth has that a student in Halifax or Sydney has. But there are issues and concerns in each community. We have diverse communities across this province and diverse needs. It's not, I believe, as simple as saying, let's just do it one way, we need only one identity that will oversee the education system.

We talked a lot about I think the school boards and recognizing that truly that's the only elected forum that we see any kind of parity and, if not, surpass a 50-50 parity between males who are elected and females who are elected. Women make up 50-plus per cent, 57 per cent, I think I heard, or maybe 60 per cent, of elected school board members. To me that's something we need to strive to achieve as political Parties, as a government, as MLAs and I'm proud to be part of a caucus that those numbers - that norm is not reflected in my caucus, as I'm surrounded by well-educated, smart, dedicated women MLAs, Mr. Speaker, and the rest of the House, from all Parties. We are well served and Nova Scotians are well served by those who are here in this House. So that's why we do have a criticism of that.

[Page 2333]

I know my colleagues spoke a bit about the designated seats for African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq representatives. There is a fear - people are worried that those voices that are heard strongly from those members now will be silenced, or not as effective. If it's a board of 15, does that mean - how is that made up? I don't believe we know what the makeup of that 15-person provincial advisory board will be. I think the only commitment is up to 15, so we don't know the details of that.

I want to talk a little bit about my own experience as an MLA with my school board rep. I know the previous speaker spoke about Dave Wright, who was the former Chair of the Halifax Regional School Board and has been our representative for over five years. Over my term as MLA - I've been here 15 years - Dave has represented the last five years.

I can tell you today that every single time I've had someone contact my office around an education issue that I passed that on to Dave, and allowed him to try to address the situation, which I fully respect and I always say this, fully respect the levels of government. I've never yet had anybody return a call to my office and say he didn't take care of my issue - not once, Mr. Speaker. I want to commend him and I wish he was here but I'll make sure I tell him personally that I appreciate the work he has done over five years, and this is from a gentleman who has a young family, who works every day but yet is committed to present himself on a ballot to get elected to a school board.

I know the criticism has been that so many of them are acclaimed during elections but in my mind, that's no reason to say let's just get rid of them. Many municipal councillors over the years have been acclaimed. Shall we get rid of Municipal Affairs or municipal councillors? I don't think we have too many MLAs who have been acclaimed. It would be nice to maybe have one election and be acclaimed. It would be a lot of stress off you, but that's truly not going to happen on a provincial level.

On a school board level, and I believe this, I believe it in Dave's case, often people who are engaged in the school system, who have kids going through the school system and are engaged with their local school board members, and know what's going on, a lot of them respect the person who is currently in that position. A lot of respect is given to that individual and often have said, "I'm not running against that person because they do a great job, I don't think I could beat them." It says a lot. I'm not saying that's in every case but I believe, I truly believe it's in many of the cases.

[3:00 p.m.]

[Page 2334]

In Dave's situation, for example, he got involved with his school advisory committee because they were closing the school - and it was a school that was just down the street from where I grew up, Sycamore, or Gertrude Parker Elementary School - which went through the school review process of potentially closing, and he was part of that group with many other parents. The end result is that the school did close. It wasn't an easy thing in our community. I think there were maybe four schools that closed in all of HRM at that time, and two of them were in my constituency - Centennial and Gertrude Parker.

Through the experience that Dave had, and he's said this publicly at some of the meetings and to other people, that he thought, I need to do more. Even though he lost that battle, and you would think he would be totally disgusted with that situation, that he would have just backed off, but he didn't. He chose to put his name forward to run as a school board member.

I will take a break, Mr. Speaker, to allow for an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Antigonish on an introduction.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for giving me the floor for a moment to make an introduction.

If I can direct my colleagues' attention to the east gallery, we have a constituent from Paq'tnkek First Nation, which happens to be within the Antigonish community. It's Chief P.J. Prosper. If you could stand, Chief Prosper, and receive the warm welcome of the Legislature. (Applause)

It gives me great pleasure to recognize and acknowledge the great work that Chief Prosper has done for his community for the last few terms that he's been in office. Thank you.

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

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I also welcome all our guests here today.

Going back to our school board member - Dave decided that it was something he wanted to continue on with, to play a part in our community and to represent more than just the area where his kids went to school, but the full extended area of the region he represents. He's very passionate about it and I have to say that I want to give him credit over the last number of weeks and maybe month about how engaged he has been.

It would have been easy for him just to say, oh well, the government is making a decision and I'm going to walk away. He's been very active on social media. He's been very active at trying to get the word out that this is more than just talking about teachers or their union. It's about people like himself who dedicate a large amount of their time, that takes them away from their families, to the education system here in our province. I think he has done a remarkable job doing that and I wish that this is not - the end result of this bill, unfortunately, will be at the expense of his commitment and his ability to continue the work he has done over the last five years.

[Page 2335]

One of the things that is most important about this whole process is the fact that the government needs to realize that when this piece of legislation is passed, when it passes - it's going to pass, they have a majority, we are trying our best to break down that wall that is in front of all the members of the Liberal caucus right now to say, listen, should we be doing this in the manner that it's been delivered so far? - you are going to need those people who feel disrespected, who feel like they haven't been listened to, they haven't been consulted with, you are going to need those people to implement what is in Bill No. 72.

It goes a long way to try to garnish and gain the respect and mutual trust of our educators and the government. I go back to last year - almost a year last February - when we were dealing with Bill No. 75 and what was this province's very first teachers' strike. Think about that, Mr. Speaker. For 100-some years the teachers have been able to negotiate some contract with whoever was in government. All three Parties have had a kick at the can, and they were able to negotiate a contract. Last year was the first time in 100-plus years that teachers decided listen, this is just not right, we can't come to an agreement, and went on strike. That alone should warrant some appetite from the government to say, let's slow down. Let's see what we can do to garnish that trust between the educators in our province and the government so that true changes to our education system can happen to improve the situation that we have here.

I think everybody has mentioned, and the Teachers Union has, that nobody is against changing the system. We're at a critical point. I think that's probably the first time we have had that happen in the province where everybody agrees that we need change and we need to make improvements, Mr. Speaker.

I have a son in Grade 11, and I'm still baffled from 10 years ago when he came home and learned a new way of math that was just strange. There are challenges. My daughter is in second year university. She has been through the education system, and we have been very fortunate so far that they have been able to get through that process pretty well, but we know that there are challenges.

I think everybody agrees that we need to make some changes. You can't continue to present and deliver education like we did 50 or 60 years ago. Our world is changing so quickly, especially for our youth - how they learn, how they engage, how they talk to people, how they phone home. They don't phone home anymore, they text home.

We understand that, we get that. But it's the teachers and the educators who are living this every day, trying to manage this change in how our kids are growing up. They feel like they haven't been part of this.

[Page 2336]

I have talked to some teachers who are welcoming this approach, but the ones that are against it far outweigh the ones who have contacted me who said, give the green light, let's go ahead. Many of them say there are some components of this that they do like. I think I have even heard the leadership of the union say that, Mr. Speaker.

This is why I read the quote at the start about a feeling of having already experienced the present situation, the déjà vu moment. I don't think the teachers, the educators, are in a position today where they feel that they're an important part of this process, that they're going to be the ones who actually deliver the changes that are needed. They have been working hard. Over the last year, even after the strike, I think they were making a good attempt to try to work with the government on ensuring that the issues that they brought up in last year's debate, in last year's negotiations, and in last year's bill are addressed. Many of them are saying that they're not and that Bill No. 72 will not achieve that for their students, Mr. Speaker.

I hope that through this process the government members recognize that there is a lot of work to be done to get that trust that is needed. It's not, do we need to have that trust there? It is needed, to have that relationship, that trust between educators and the government to improve our education system.

At this point in time, I don't have an optimistic feeling that this is going to be achievable. I'm afraid, Mr. Speaker, that in a year or two, we are going to be in the position that we're in now when we're talking about the health system. We can't say that things are a lot better in health when we're post the amalgamation of the district health authorities. I'm not convinced that that has happened, and I'm afraid that we're going to be in that position in a year or two with the education system.

I look forward to the Law Amendments Committee. I know we're going to work hard to listen, and I encourage the members of the Law Amendments Committee, especially from the government side to do so. The unfortunate thing is, when I have been telling people who have contacted me that Law Amendments Committee will be coming up for this, I have gotten a lot of returned responses of, I've been there before, and nobody seems to be listening. I couldn't get into Law Amendments Committee, they cut me off.

I hope that doesn't happen because truly, in the end, we need to make sure that the education of our students and our kids is the top priority here. If we don't listen to the educators who have to deliver the education system, if we don't listen to the parents, if we don't listen to some of the children and students, then this will all be for nothing.

I have a challenge for the government to prove me wrong, that in two years I won't be standing in my place, saying I told you so, or déjà vu, we just relive what we did for health care in the amalgamation. I challenge the government to make sure that that doesn't happen.

[Page 2337]

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

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : I am aware that there are children who have been watching these proceedings because we are talking about them. I want to comment on the language we are using here because we talk about crisis, and we talk about changes that need to be made. It implies that we are failing all over the place and I don't think that's true.

As many of you know, I was in Africa for 10 days and I can tell you that if you want to know what a real crisis is, you go there, where their classroom is lawn chairs - orange ones, for some reason - and they have one blackboard and four pieces of chalk. That's what they have. Their health care isn't any better. As a matter of fact, they don't have any health care, so we are ahead of them.

I want to remind everybody that we have a good system as everyone in this place is trying to make it a better system. Yes, there are things we need to do but we are moving in the right direction. The problem is that we are moving too quickly at the moment in this direction.

We are here to talk about Bill No. 72, an Act to Reform the Administration of the Public Education System. I would rather be talking about an Act to improve classroom conditions in the public education system, but here is where we are starting from.

For those who aren't familiar and haven't seen the document yet, this is Bill No. 72. It is 60 pages long. Here are 20 bills that are the same length of pages. We are trying to do an awful lot in a ridiculously short period of time. I am a very fast reader, but the average reading level in this province is Grade 8 or Grade 9. I would hate to see how everyone in this province is supposed to be able to read this, get to their MLA, get to the leaders of the Liberal Party to give their feedback when I stayed up all night reading this, and I was only able to skim the most important parts.

The question I have been asked is, what is the rush? What happens if we stop and give us two months? Why do we have to pass this and dissolve the school board by the end of March? To that point, on Page 11 of Bill No. 72, it says, "On or before June 30, 2018, the Minister shall consult with the Union on the promotion of student achievement, teaching excellence and professionalism." Then it lists what that consultation will look like.

My question is, why are we getting rid of a school board by the end of March but the minister has until the end of June? Why is his deadline longer than ours?

[Page 2338]

We also have all sorts of wording throughout this document where it says the minister shall or the minister may. We all know if it says the minister may, it means he also may not. One of the things it says is, "subject to the regulations, direct the expenditure of all funds appropriated by the Legislature for educational purposes within the scope of and incidental to this Act . . . make grants . . ." Then it lists a bunch of things that he might do, but it doesn't specifically set out what he is going to do.

It's a concern, Mr. Speaker, when we have too much wording in there for the minister, saying he may do something, or he will do something. One of the provisions on Page 16 says that the minister may establish . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I just want to remind the honourable member that the purpose of second reading is to speak to the general principles of the bill, not to go through the bill line by line. I'll just caution you also to keep that on your desk as opposed to using it as a prop, if you wouldn't mind.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage has the floor.

[3:15 p.m.]

MS. ADAMS « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The biggest part of this is the dissolution of the school boards and then bringing up the role of the SAC. So, when we look at the Act, on Page 18, it has a half a page about the SAC. It doesn't outline their duties at all, so I'm wondering how, by the end of March, we're going to convince people to join in SAC when they have no idea what they're going to get into, what the responsibilities are, or what they're going to be able to have any influence on. I'll use my SAC and my SOC as an example. The SACs in my constituency work ridiculously hard. I've never met a harder working group of parents.

The SOC, we have no mention of in here, so I don't know whether they're still going to have SOCs or whether they're going to be gone, but our SOC worked for an entire year to make recommendations to the school board on what was to happen to the schools in Cole Harbour. Those recommendations went to the school board administration and they were going to come back with their recommendations and, of course, we all know that was stopped. So, we've been waiting since June to know what's going to happen. Going through this Act, I can't figure out who is going to have the ultimate decision in terms of opening or closing the school boards.

So, when we look down to see where that says who's going to do what, we're looking under the minister for the regional centre on education. So, in the provisions, they're going to have some of this responsibility with the approval of the minister. So, it says that the regional executive director shall appoint a regional executive - or, sorry, the minister shall appoint a regional executive director. That director, then, gets to appoint the people on the school facilities. So, it says a public school is deemed to be permanently closed . . .

[Page 2339]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I want to remind the honourable member again that the purpose of second reading is to speak to the general principles of the bill, not to go through the bill line by line or clause by clause.

MS. ADAMS « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I apologize. It's just that this is the only question half of my constituency wants answered: Who's going to make up the decision to close or open or keep open or combine the high schools and the feeder schools going into that community? And I cannot tell that from this Act because it says "may" not "shall" in terms of who has the duty.

So, in terms of other things, it talks about what's going to happen but it doesn't talk about the policies or the procedures. So, again, there are some good things in this legislation. Had we had a longer time, I could have listed a few more of them, but we don't. The issue that I have, that my constituents and parents have, is that this is a massive document of one of the biggest changes in our education history that forced teachers to vote for an illegal strike and we're not giving anybody an opportunity to reasonably go through this in an appropriate way. We're paid to be here, we're paid to address this, and we were not given appropriate time. Therefore, neither were the parents, the teachers, or the students.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, there are issues about inclusion. As a health professional, I know one of the issues in my schools is that the EPAs who are responsible for taking care of the children with special needs, they aren't given any training. And I want to say that again - they're not given any training. They don't know how to help these children. There are people in there with wheelchairs who have to have somebody help them on and off a toilet, and it takes special training to learn how to do that. An occupational therapist has a master's degree to learn these skills and we're putting EPAs in the school for children with special needs without any training except for the non-violent crisis intervention.

But these EPAs are expected to act like health professionals, to somehow intuitively know how to handle children with physical and mental disabilities - and that isn't fair. It isn't fair to the students, to the parents, or those EPAs or the teachers who rely on them to help. So, why we couldn't have waited for the Commission on Inclusive Education report to come out, I don't know why. There is only one reason that the parents and teachers assume, that is to try to push things through without us having an appropriate amount of time to look at them.

So, with that, Mr. Speaker, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.

[Page 2340]

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : I'm pleased to rise today and continue to talk about this bill which now has a number, Bill No. 72.

Last year, Mr. Speaker, we had Bill No. 75, which was a very contentious bill and caused a lot of disruption and upset from one end of the province to the other. Now, at practically the same time of the year, we have another bill, Bill No. 72, which has done the same thing. This time, it takes into its nets not just the teachers and EAs, who were so badly treated last year - I would say treated with complete and utter disrespect - but this year it continues that disrespect, and it widens its net to include elected school board officials.

We had some of those people here today up in the gallery. You could tell from their faces that they felt completely and utterly betrayed. That is the same look we saw on the faces of teachers last year. You look up into the gallery, and you see people looking like their whole lives depend on what is being done down here and what decisions are being made. They see people who don't seem to be particularly concerned, let's say, who seem to be a bit lackadaisical - oh well, this will just affect a few people in the school boards. Well, they're just going to have to live with it. The thousand principals and superintendents, but in particular the principals and vice-principals, were being told that they were going to be forced to leave their union. You go to the rallies and you see the faces of the people who are so sad and so disheartened and so demoralized.

Bills like this make me ask, what are we doing here in this Legislature? Why are we here? What did we sign up for? I know what I signed up for. I certainly didn't sign up for destroying and dismantling the education system of Nova Scotia and the health care system of Nova Scotia. I'm telling you, Mr. Speaker, as my colleagues have said, we feel that this is the beginning of that and that, in fact, it is going to lead to a worse system than the one that we have in place.

I'm coming at this from the perspective of being the daughter of two teachers. My father, Paul Zann, was a teacher of teachers. He started off teaching early childhood - Grades 1, 2, and 3 in Australia - then moved to Canada and became a professor. He taught teachers at the Nova Scotia Teachers College for about 24 and a half years. I know that he took an early package when they decided they were going to close the Teachers College in Truro, which was one of the most stupid decisions a government has ever made. That was again a Liberal decision. They closed it, and to this day, people say that was the best thing we had going, that Teachers College. That was the best way of training our teachers.

My dad didn't quite make it to his 25th year. I know because he likes to tell the story of how when I got in government, he said to me, Lenore, those people never did give me my 25-year pin. They gave me a package and made me go away four months early, so I never got my 25-year pin. Maybe you can get me my 25-year pin now that you're in government. He says that I looked at him and said, oh, Dad, I'm sorry. I can't do that because the NDP believes in a clear playing field. We don't believe in doing favours for anybody just because they're friends or family or Party members. My poor dad still doesn't have his pin, so I know exactly how long he taught. It was for almost 25 years.

[Page 2341]

I have to say, sitting here and watching the shenanigans that have gone on since this government took over, it seems like nothing but nepotism and giving people great jobs just because they're Party members or family members or old friends. It's really disheartening.

I would like to get back to the bill. I have been looking at it for some time. One of the things that bothers me the most is when you look at it from afar - which is what we are doing today - to me, this bill really is about union-busting. I would say it's about union-busting. It's about trying to take a level of management, which we would call the principals, who look after the schools and are the liaisons between the teachers and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development - then there's the superintendents.

Well, it's taking the superintendents, and they still get to keep their jobs - they don't get kicked out. They get to keep their jobs and either make the same amount of money or, who knows, maybe even more. But they are just going to be called something else now. They get switched around and called a different name.

The principals are then starting to be called managers. So you want them to go into the management section, which will divide them from their union and from their fellow teachers. I know a number of them have been wearing buttons that say, "I am a teacher first." They are very proud of that fact. In fact, again, in Australia, where I originally came from, my dad told me that oftentimes the principals were the strongest and staunchest union members. They would also be down there in the trenches and whipping up the fervor of their fellow teachers.

This, to me, is a cold-hearted and coldly-thought-out, methodical way of trying to get teachers separated into a little group, almost like sheep, and then you've got these people who are just management on top, who are now supposed to whip these sheep into shape and make these sheep go wherever you want them to go, instead of being part of the herd, being part of the flock, and all of them working together.

That, for me, is very divisive. That is not very democratic, and it's not the Nova Scotian way. That is definitely not the Nova Scotian way. That is one of the things that bothers me the most about this bill.

The other thing I would say is that school boards - it's a very interesting topic, to talk about school boards. In Australia we don't have school boards; we have the government and we have teachers and the principals. As I said, the principals are very strong unionists, but there aren't school boards. But here we have the seven school boards. I do have to say that I have had an interesting relationship with my school board, CCRSB, because when we first got in government in 2009, I was a backbencher. I didn't have much power within the Party, but I listened and I learned.

[Page 2342]

I was invited to come to my school board for a meeting very shortly after we got in power - another one of the MLAs from the area and I were invited. They took us two at a time. This particular time, what they wanted to talk to us about was why had our government put a moratorium on closing small schools? They didn't like that. They said it's too expensive for them, and they wanted to close the school, and why were we getting in their way?

Well, we said, because we don't believe in small school closures. We believe in keeping small schools in the small communities, especially out in the rural districts, where if you take away a school, it's very difficult to get people to buy houses there. It's hard for them to move to the country because they want the amenities and they have small children and they don't want their small children going on long bus rides. For instance, River John, Maitland, and another one of the small . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Wentworth.

MS. ZANN « » : Wentworth, thank you very much - were in particular up on the chopping block. We managed to put a moratorium on all those closures at that time.

Then later on, I was called into the school board because they wanted to talk to me about the fact that they were concerned that they were being told they needed to do a description of what their jobs were. They had hired somebody to do that - a former principal actually was hired to do that. They said they were concerned because they had heard there were going to be some cuts to education.

As it turned out, they were right. The cuts were approximately 1 per cent of the budget, which worked out to be about $14 million over a period of time. But the superintendent at that time and the board had put together - they took time and money to put together a video, kind of a cartoon video. They started to do a tour of about 22 different communities in the area. CCRSB covers about eight different provincial ridings. It's a large area. They decided they were going to take this little cartoon video on tour to tell people how awful it was that these cuts from the NDP were coming and that they wanted them to fight against the NDP in order to try and stop these cuts that were coming.

I think I even went there with my now-Leader, the member for Halifax Chebucto. We sat in the back of this hall where there were teachers, parents, and other people who were invited. I started to watch this video, and I'll tell you, it reminded me out of something out of the 1950s, like a McCarthy era propaganda film. They showed children in wheelchairs or in classrooms left alone with no care, no education assistants, nobody there to greet their buses. Then they started talking about all of the different programs that were going to be cut. Drama was going to be cut. Music was going to be cut. French immersion was going to be cut. All of the things that people actually cared about were going to be cut, and shortly.

[Page 2343]

[3:30 p.m.]

I was shocked to be honest. I was shocked (a) that they were allowed to do that and (b) that they were so blatantly coming out and really sticking it to the government of the day. We were a brand new government, a brand new NDP Government, had never been in before. It takes a while to turn a huge ocean liner that's going in one direction. It's really hard to try and turn it back towards a direction where you feel that it should be going. I just remember being so shocked.

Then shortly after that, I also found out that teachers were being called in by what they called Family of School Supervisors. The teachers call them FoSS bosses, Family of School Supervisors. There were several of them who made a lot of money. Their job was basically to run back and forth between the school board, the teachers, and the principal and try and keep the teachers in line and pass on word from the school board and from the government. The FoSS bosses were saying, oh yes, it was going to be really bad, and for the principals to tell all the teachers how bad it was going to be and how terrible this government was going to be and how we needed to get rid of these NDPers as soon as possible.

What happened then was, I found out overnight that the school board had decided to cut the music teacher at the Truro Junior High School. Truro Junior High School is known for its music. It's known for having bands. I started off in the school band way back when. We all did - a ton of us went through that, and a lot of us became professionals, famous opera singers who live in Europe. A lot of people who were in the bands and in the band program are teaching students music today. Jeff Goodspeed over at the Nova Scotia Community College, head of the music department, is a Truro boy - Dave Burton, drummer. We have all these incredible people who went through the system - Frank MacKay from the Lincolns. I found out that overnight they had decided that they were going to cut this music teacher, who also looked after the bands.

So I went on Facebook. Facebook was new for me at the time. Twitter hadn't even started yet, and Facebook was new-ish. I went on Facebook, and I just formed a page, Say No to the Music Cuts for Truro Junior High School. I started inviting people, inviting friends and everything. I'll tell you, people were so upset. They said, what do we need to do, Lenore? What do we need to do? I said, call the school board. Here are the phone numbers. Here's everybody's name. Here's everybody's number. You call the school board, and you say no, no way are you going to cut the music program.

Well, the next day, the government started getting calls from the school board saying, why is she doing this? She's getting people to call us to say they don't want to cut music, and that's our prerogative, that's our decision. Even the woman who was working with us who was the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, had not agreed to music cuts, but I knew exactly where they were going to go with this. They were going to blame us. They were going to blame the NDP and say, because of your government, the music teacher has been cut - there's going to be no music at Truro Junior High School. I knew it. I could see it.

[Page 2344]

So, I got ahead of that story and sure enough, over the weekend, they got so many calls and so many emails from all over the world from well-known musicians and people from all over the world - they were inundated. This happened on a Thursday night. By Monday they had changed their minds and they had gone back into remission. They changed their mind and everything was going to be okay.

This is an example of what can go wrong when a whole level of an organization or of a body can take control and try to change a government. Needless to say, I wasn't particularly happy about that.

I also wasn't very happy when they decided after that to cut librarians in our area. That was the next thing that happened. We found out, again, with no consultation. They didn't tell the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. They didn't ask anybody. They just decided they were going to cut librarians. So, all these little kids started to see librarians being dragged out of the school, having to take their possessions with them, crying, and see them taken away. When asking, "What's going on, why is this happening?" "Oh well, it's because of these NDP Government cuts."

That particular time I went to Premier Dexter. I said, Premier, we can't have this. We can't survive this. You've got to do something. We're supposed to be in charge here. He, in fact, did do something. He stopped it. He froze everything, and he said he was going to send a finance expert in to take a look at the books and see exactly where savings could be made without having to cut music, without having to cut programs, without having to cut librarians, but to cut from the top - to cut the superintendents and the assistant superintendents and the FoSS bosses - all the people that were making all of this money who were at the top, who were really just extra weight, and they managed to find savings, and sure enough, in the end, a number of librarians sadly did lose their jobs, but the majority of them were saved, and I was pleased about that.

This is to show that in conjecture - thinking about what's going on now - this is where I am personally coming from. I've seen what can happen when school boards can take action upon themselves to try to direct what government is doing, and as a government that was trying our best, trying to find our way through this system and try to do the best we could for Nova Scotians with a 1 per cent cut right across the boards to all departments, except for the Department of Community Services, it was very difficult.

In the end, the same school board decided to show, in this video that I was talking about, that the cuts that the NDP had proposed, which was about, as I said, $14 million, they chose to add cost pressures onto that. They said, if this happens and if you don't pay for the teachers' rise in pay the next time we do negotiations, and you don't pay for this, and you don't pay for that, then it's all going to stack up and add up to $65 million. That's what it's going to add up to. In fact, that's where that number of $65 million came from. It didn't actually come from the Liberal Party in the beginning. It came from the school board. That's what they said it was going to be if these cost pressures were added in and, over time, if things were discontinued the way that they had started.

[Page 2345]

Then by the time the next election was rolling around, the next thing you know, the Liberal Party had grabbed onto that number of $65 million and started repeating it over and over again, as if it was an actual figure - as if it was actually a true figure.

It's funny because they say the big lie is if you have the cojones to lie really bigly, and you throw out a lie there and you just keep repeating it over and over again, people start to believe it. They start to think that it's true.

In fact, this government - I noticed that they started doing it in Opposition, and then when they moved over into the position of government, they continued to do that. That's where I first learned about that in person. When Donald Trump started doing it, I said, "Oh my God, that's exactly like what the Liberals do in Nova Scotia." I couldn't believe it. That's exactly what they do. They just lie and they spin the numbers and they pull a number out of their hat.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'd like to remind the honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River that implying that the government or any member of this House is lying is extremely unparliamentary. I'll get you to retract that.

MS. ZANN « » : Well, let me talk about unions, then.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I asked the member to retract the statement. Would the honourable member kindly retract the statement?

MS. ZANN « » : Which part of it, Mr. Speaker?

AN HON. MEMBER: Saying "lies."

MS. ZANN « » : Oh, that would be very difficult, because it's actually true.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

MS. ZANN « » : I could leave the House. But it's actually true. I'm not lying. I'm telling the truth, as I always do. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I've asked the honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River to retract the statement, so either you retract it or I'll ask you to conclude your remarks and exit the Chamber.

[Page 2346]

MS. ZANN « » : Does retracting it mean you're saying that it's not true?

MR. SPEAKER « » : My interpretation of your remarks is you are implying the government has lied, which is unparliamentary. So by Rules of this House, which I am trying to follow, I am asking you to retract the statement.

MS. ZANN « » : Okay, Mr. Speaker, I will retract the statement.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.

MS. ZANN « » : Yes, so having gone over the history of what has happened in the last few years in our riding, I have to say that there have been very tough times, and I've had very mixed feelings about what has gone on there. In the end, I've also become friends with a number of people who are newer to the school board, in particular our First Nations representatives and our African Nova Scotian representatives. We have worked very well together to try and save smaller rural schools and to try to do the right thing by the people.

At times, that has been difficult, because what we've discovered is that when a small community doesn't want their community to lose their school, the government - this government now - will say, "Well, it's not up to us. It's up to the school board." But then when you go to the school board and all these parents and grandparents and people like that go to the school board and say, "Please don't close our small schools," then they say, "Oh, no, it's not up to us, it's up to government."

In fact, I was there one day with parents, grandparents, children, all from River John, and they decided they wanted to do a rally in front of the then-Education and Early Childhood Development Minister's office. We gathered there with cowbells, saying, we're not leaving until the cows come home - because it's River John, lots of cows and things like this. They had school packs, like backpacks, all along their river in River John with signs saying, "Please don't drive our students away," with big buses and things like this. They were all lined along the bridges.

These people - I felt so sorry. They went from the minister's office to the school board, back to the minister's office, back to the school board, because nobody would take responsibility for who was actually wanting to close their school.

I've come to realize that, of course, the school board is going on the money they have that they get from government. If they are not getting enough money, then they are going to make decisions that are going to be unpleasant for some people, so there are winners and losers. In fact, in this battle, even though River John and some of these smaller schools had made them wonderful hub school proposals, they fought and they fought and they fought, and they were in the end turned down, and every hoop that they were made to jump through was a higher and higher and higher hoop, so that it was almost impossible. The worst part for them was they were told that they would have to fix the roof of the school themselves, which would have cost about $300,000 to $500,000, which this small community did not have. In the end, it broke their hearts.

[Page 2347]

Working then, with people on the school board, I was made to realize that after the new government took over, the Liberal Government took over, all of the things that they had threatened that the NDP would do, in fact, they started to do themselves. Including, EAs - there were not enough education assistants. It was odd, because when we were in government, I would hear from the teachers, we need more EAs.

I would then go to the Minister of Education and say, we need more EAs, there's not enough EAs. She would go to the Education Department and say, well, they're saying the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, there are not enough EAs and then the Department of Education would say, no, they're fine, they've got enough. Well, that's a mess, Mr. Speaker. If we want to have people on the ground who are fighting for the things that we need in the community, then how are we going to find out about it if they're not there anymore?

In that sense, that was extremely frustrating as well. Now the idea is to just get rid of them entirely, just erase them as if they don't even exist, and hope that parents' councils will be enough. Mr. Speaker, that's not really going to be enough, we need to hear what teachers need in the classrooms, and we need to hear it directly. I don't believe that having superintendents who are now going to be called managers, and having the principals being called managers, and bit by bit, being moved into that managerial position, even though right now they're offering out a carrot and saying, well, they can still be part of the union but just in a separate organization - how long is that going to last? I can see the writing on the wall there. That's probably not going to last, and I'm sure that's partly what the Teachers Union is concerned about.

Now, when you certify a union, you usually do so with a mutual board, and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union would have done that with the province of the day. A friend of mine in Truro, who I am very proud of, her name is Kathleen Hippern. She works for the RCMP, she's a Civilian Member Operational Communications Centre Supervisor, and she let me know today that they're very excited - they just managed to unionize the RCMP. She spearheaded this program, along with her colleagues in Truro, and now she is actually a supervisor - she doesn't actually directly hire, fire, or discipline - she got to unionize with the front line of her colleagues, and she is proud of that fact. She's really proud that she is working with the front line and not separately, held in a separate account or echelon. She explains it that it's really like a construction foreman, so to speak. She jumps in, she covers when the front line is needed, much like the head teacher, who we call the principal. The principal usually jumps in and teaches when needed, but then he becomes a principal again.

[Page 2348]

The NSTU decided when they first organized that they wanted to include principals and vice-principals, and what my dad said is, having vice-principals and principals as part of that whole teaching body is a very unifying thing; it's not like us and them. The teachers can lean on them, they can trust them, they can believe in them, and vise versa. They're in it together.

How can the employer, in this case the province, undo what was already approved way back when that the NSTU had agreed to? I'm sure someone at the union is already looking hard into this issue because, personally, I would issue a complaint to the applicable labour board immediately as soon as this bill passes because it seems like it would be a breach of labour laws for union composition and also for redefining a person's job description.

It's taking the experience of the foreman, or woman, out of the union. This to me - and to my friend in Truro - is clearly union busting. That's what it is - union busting. It's also discriminatory to take locally elected voices out of the school boards. So local, rural and diverse voices, including African-Canadian and Aboriginal communities should have a say, and they're getting removed by March 31st. That seems almost like a human rights issue, my friend said.

I have to also say that with regard to this bill, I feel that the government knew what they were doing before they even started. They went for the whole hog so that they could pull back and offer 80 per cent of it, because that is a technique. That is a technique that people who do negotiations will do, and they put the Nova Scotia Teachers Union in a difficult spot because obviously it would be difficult to strike now.

The thing is, the teachers are so upset and so angry about what has been going on and the way they've been treated over the past two years that the fact that they voted approximately 83 per cent for a strike for the first time in years in Nova Scotia, it really, really tells us something. As I said, my recollections when I was a kid - when I was about 12 - my mum marched up on the Legislature, so it has been quite some time.

They've averted job action, but as Liette Doucet, the president says, there is a lot more to do to improve the system, and they're going to hold them accountable and we're going to hold them accountable too. That's our job. Unfortunately, nothing in this Act really helps the problems of what is going on with education and you only have to look to Norway and some of these other more progressive countries to see how they teach their children. It seems like we're turning them more and more into little robots just ready for the workforce, and it's very sad because children should be allowed to be children as long as possible.

Yes, we want them to have good test results and, in fact, we have some of the smartest kids in Canada here and every time they try to say all these kids are behind or below or whatever, it depends on what you're looking at and which testing you're looking at, because over the years our kids have done extremely well in maths and sciences, and we have a lot of very smart kids taking IB and music. If I had my way, we'd have more music and drama in the classrooms; we would have more time for physical activity.

[Page 2349]

The teachers who teach physical activity say they go to six different schools sometimes and the kids get one hour per week. That's not enough. Then you've got behaviour problems, you've got kids who are having trouble sitting in their seats and then acting up. Why is that? Well, maybe it's because they can't sit down for so long and they need to be up and they need to get their activity - maybe get them to run around when they first get there to the school. Give them another break right after lunch. Let the kids be kids, and let their imaginations soar.

There is a teacher I know in Truro who is wonderful. He has all kinds of things in his classroom to let the kids have a break when they need to. He has these jumping things - you get up on stilts and you're jumping around the room. His mind is so active on what else can kids - you can let them have a little bit of freedom and then bring them back in again, instead of forcing them to sit there for hour upon hour just learning and memorizing things.

As my father used to say in his early childhood development days - proving whether a kid can memorize something is nothing. They could forget it again the next day. That doesn't mean that they have actually learned anything.

He was really upset one year, in Grade 7, when the home ec teacher made us memorize a blueberry muffin recipe. He went, what a waste of time. What a waste of time for somebody to have to memorize a blueberry muffin recipe. Most people have cookbooks out on the shelf, and once you've done it a few times, for God's sake, you can get to know how to do it. But to memorize it, he didn't agree with that.

Again, Dad was somebody who was really ahead of his time. He believes that the child should tell you what they're interested in. You find out what that child is interested in, you feed their little brain, and you give them as much stuff as possible that they can learn about that topic. These days, it's even easier with the Internet. Then you're going to bring up a smart, healthy, happy child rather than trying to take a square peg and put it into a round hole.

I would also like to say that I'm glad that the professional college was dumped. I'm sure they were probably already prepared to do that. Again, anything that they dumped out of this, I'm sure they were already prepared to do so. They would have known it was a hard sell.

The government is now creating a provincial advisory council of education comprising 15 members representing all regions of the province. Two executive director positions are being created within the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to represent African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaq communities.

[Page 2350]

This smacks to me of the same teachers advisory council that they did this past year. The teachers who were on it said it was basically a sham. The teachers that were on it told me - in fact, one of them quit, and she's from Truro. They told me that it was a sham because, basically, they were just told what the government wanted, and they were just supposed to agree with it.

This is not what my idea of democracy is. It sounds very much to me, Mr. Speaker, like the Law Amendments Committee, for instance, when we are sitting in Law Amendments Committee, and it's a foregone conclusion. People have come in there and called it the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber is someplace where governments once brought in their elite. They also talked around each other, and they all knew what the outcome was going to be. That's what people are calling that now. They're calling the Law Amendments room the Star Chamber.

I really feel that this is taking us backwards here in Nova Scotia. I believe that we will live to regret this, some of us more than others. I have to say that I'll fight it all the way. Whenever I get a chance to get up and speak against it, I will.

I know that there are a lot of sad, disgruntled and disappointed Nova Scotians who are out there right now shaking their heads in dismay and saying, how did this government get back in again? Never again.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mass confusion, that's what it seems to be out there right now. I think we have a lot of parents in the province who have been listening to the debate and the media. They are probably confused after seeing the lead up to this legislation and all the consternation that was out there in the public.

Now all of a sudden, things seem to be kind of silent. It makes you wonder whether maybe the government planned it this way, but I don't think they did. (Interruptions) A member said, we're not that smart. That was his joke not mine, and I'm only saying that in jest as well.

But I think it does raise the question, is the government leading based on a vision or based on deciding who to please at any given moment? (Interruption) They say vision, but look at what has gone on in the last number of days and the drastic changes from what was accepted in the report. The government said it was accepting the report and in spirit and that they were looking at doing certain things right away and, now, the legislation we saw introduced yesterday. One has to question that vision and whether it is truly a vision that the government is leading, or if they are trying to please people and changing direction based on who they are trying to please at any given point in time.

[Page 2351]

[4:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, we've heard a lot of people speak today, and there have been a lot of points raised. I think I'm going to save most of my points for the third reading because many points have been made, including points that even I would be bringing up today, but there is one element I am going to raise that my colleague from Pictou Centre referenced, and that is Gaelic and the Gaels.

As Critic for Gaelic Affairs, once again, we see a report issued with no mention of the Gaels. There is an Office of Gaelic Affairs in this province, and I presume the government is supportive of it. They've been supportive with budgets the last number of years, continuing to keep that office. Some people would say why even have that? It's just – but the reality is that the Gaels are one of the founding cultures of the province.

The reality is the education system is certainly partially responsible for the loss of Gaelic, and I can tell you that when I was going to university taking Gaelic, I met with Gussie Campbell in Gussieville, named after him, and I remember him telling me that when he was a young boy going to school, if he spoke Gaelic he would be struck. There was great hate for Gaelic at the time, and a lot of the time the school teachers wouldn't be from the area. They'd be coming from outside the area, and this goes back many hundreds of years.

To me, it is about education Gaelic. It's not about giving grants to Celtic Colours, although there is nothing wrong with that. However, the value in government supporting culture is keeping culture real. I was in Scotland 20 years ago, and may be going again this Spring, and I remember speaking with a gentleman at a library who said whatever you do, don't let your culture become as plastic as ours has become. I thought, wow, that's quite a statement, and we've seen it become plastic in this province. I'm going to give you a couple of examples.

One thing about the Gaels is that we're not a visible minority, and visible minorities have suffered discrimination, as we know. In the case of trying to maintain your culture when you don't have that distinction, sometimes it's harder to maintain your culture. It's harder to justify any investment in it.

I think about years ago when there was a commercial on TV. I remember watching this, and at the time they were saying they had a shot of Citadel Hill and somebody playing the bagpipes on Citadel Hill, and this comment was made, "you don't have to play the bagpipes to have a culture in this province." The great irony of that is the person who was playing the pipes and wearing the tartan - the great irony is that the tartan was outlawed, as were the bagpipes, outlawed in Scotland after the Battle of Culloden in the 1700's.

[Page 2352]

Here on Citadel Hill, you have the fort founded here by the British who had made those rules. They had made laws to try to destroy that culture and those people, and now you have them using the tartan and the bagpipe, appropriating the culture, and using it on Citadel Hill. To me, this highlights why it is important to have that in our education system, because people should know who they are.

In economic terms, if we want to cash in on the Gaelic culture, and things like Celtic Colours - and yes, investment subsidies for Celtic Colours are fine and helpful, but we need to keep Gaelic culture alive so there are actually people who can perform. Perhaps it is selfish of me, but I think of my niece Sarah MacInnis, who took Gaelic in school because it existed for her. When I went to school, it didn't exist. I had it, I think, in Grade Primary and Grade 1, but then it disappeared because there was no support for it. But Sarah can get up on stage and sing in Gaelic.

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, when she sang at the opening of Celtic Colours, I think it was the year before last, she melted a lot of hearts on the stage. To see a young person get up and sing in Gaelic, in a language that has all but died out in this province, is quite an amazing thing. It's a tribute to her ancestors. It's a tribute to her culture.

Our province is a richer place - not only when we have Gaelic culture, but when we have Acadian culture, Mi'kmaq culture, African Nova Scotian culture, and of course all the other cultures that are in the province too.

I want to make this point. Government should be listening to this. They should be aware of it. If they do believe in supporting Gaelic culture, when reports come out like the Glaze report, they should be looking to see if Gaelic is showing up there and not being ignored and left out.

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

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : I'm pleased to be able to stand here today and make a few comments about Bill No. 72. My colleagues in the House have mentioned many things today as they spoke about what's going on and what's happening. The real question and the only question that we should be asking as a House of Assembly is, what is this going to do for our children? How does this affect the students?

Mr. Speaker, we have all come here not with evil in our heart but with a desire to make things better. The question we should be asking ourselves is, how is this bill going to make things better for the young person in the classroom? I would be pleased to give up my time here if somebody could get up and give me a qualified answer - a qualified answer - as to what it would do to help these children, and not to say to make a better environment. I want a real answer and so do the people of this province.

[Page 2353]

What do we need to do? We know that this bill is going to pass. There's nobody surprised about that. It's a democracy. They have a majority government. It's going to pass. I respect democracy, Mr. Speaker. I do question whether or not this government respects democracy when they do away with elected school boards.

You have to wonder how we would feel as members of this House. I'm on the opposite side from the government, and I'm doing things that they don't like. Are they going to say, well, I'm going to pass a law that would do away with you? We don't need you anymore because you're the Opposition. I might even be the reason for it to happen.

But the reality is, it is supposed to be a democracy. People vote. They express what they want. We come into a situation like this. Governments pass laws, and we respect the majority government. For the life of me, I can't understand why we don't respect school boards. If you look at what a school board is, as has been said by many people, it is the place where parents can go to voice their concerns.

I do hope, in the name of democracy, Mr. Speaker, that when we move this through Law Amendments, it is not limited in the time that people can make presentations, as it was last year with Bill No. 75. This is the people's House, as they say. They have a right to come here and pass on their opinions about this piece of legislation.

There has already been much discussion about how combining the health authority boards has not helped. Now we're going to follow the same road for this. Mr. Speaker, we could go on about many different things, and I'm sure we will as we get in to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills and we get into the final reading. But our goal is to get this piece of legislation to Law Amendments Committee so the people who are affected by it can actually have an opportunity to speak their mind as to whether it is a good or a bad thing.

Mr. Speaker, I don't have children in the school system any more. I do have four grandchildren who are in the school system here and I've got two more that are on their way and who knows how many other surprises may come along. But I, as a grandfather and many others, many other grandparents, many parents, many children, many aunts, many uncles and yes, many teachers, want to know what this bill will do for the students in the Province of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

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

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and merci M. le président. I'd like to actually speak in broader terms about this bill so I promise you that I won't go line for line and because as one of my colleagues did mention, the primary focus and I guess we would call it in some aspects the end audience or the end user, are the children. That's why we should all be here and it should be the focus - the children in this province.

[Page 2354]

I thank the constituents of Cape Breton-Richmond for giving me this opportunity to speak to Bill No. 72, An Act to Reform the Administration on the Public Education System. Many people in my constituency know that I usually speak off the cuff more often than with notes. I got some good advice to speak from the heart, speak on their behalf and make sure that all of our collective voices were heard here in the Legislature so I'll try my best to do that today.

I'm a proud Canadian and a proud Nova Scotian but I'm especially a proud Cape Bretoner, born and raised. I certainly believe in this province and I believe in the people of this province. I certainly also believe, most importantly, in our democratic system.

Moi, j'étais une petite fille sur l'Île Madame qui étais née dans une communauté acadienne et puis mes parents parlaient français à la maison lorsque ma langue maternelle c'était le français et quand j'ai commencé l'école je ne pouvais presque pas parler anglais du tout. C'était tout en français mais l'anglais était la langue utilisée pour m'enseigner dans une école anglaise provinciale.

So what I've just said for those of you who maybe didn't understand is that I did grow up in an Acadian community, I am Acadian and my first language is, in fact, French, but I had the misfortune I will say to go to basically a provincial school system at that time that was administered all in English so you can imagine a little French kid who could barely speak English at the time, except for a few words from Sesame Street and Mr. Dressup is put into Grade Primary and basically you quickly become an English speaker. So, I'm very proud to be able to utilize my French language as much as possible but, as you can tell, I don't have a French accent any longer.

Several generations of French children actually in my community were taught in the English language of the provincial school system and so it's very difficult, in fact, for many of these people to speak French. So I really understand the importance of reformed education. Reform was needed in my community and across this province, which came in the way of French immersion in the public school system but it also came in the way of something that I am so proud of, which is le Conseil scolaire acadien provincial. So my generation of people, my generation, my colleagues, my community - for those of us who went to school in English, my son then many generations later was able to go to school in French so he is completely bilingual and for that I am very grateful.

I went to school in Isle Madame, and on Isle Madame we take voting very seriously. I don't think there's any voter apathy actually in Cape Breton-Richmond, period. In fact, I think we have one of the highest voter turnouts in the province, which I'm also very proud of. So, when we talk about school boards and the dissolution of school boards, in my communities in particular, I think perhaps it hits home a little bit differently because we've always had very active school boards in the Strait Regional School Board. Even before that, when I was a child, I remember my school board representatives very fondly.

[Page 2355]

[4:15 p.m.]

I would like to say that as much as I understand that there were a lot of people who were appointed to school board positions - I think it was 67 per cent - a lot of those positions were held by women. We always talk about the importance of gender parity in politics and I just feel that this has really taken away, obviously this legislation has taken away an opportunity for women to actually become involved in politics at a very local level. There are still many barriers, obviously, to women getting involved in politics. Many women are at home taking care of families and so they need to get involved in politics at a much more local level.

I would be remiss not to mention that I believe that an important part of a democratic process has been taken away with the dissolution of the school boards, not to mention the way that the decision-making process occurred to actually dissolve the school boards.

I believe I said the other day that it was kind of done with a stroke of a pen and overnight. I would have preferred to see that perhaps those voices wouldn't have been struck out quite so quickly, and I'm sure that there are others across this province who feel the same.

When it comes to the school boards, we do obviously have a great deal of representation from women and we do have some amazing men. One man who was on the school board recently was a former mathematics teacher in Richmond and was one of my math teachers in high school and had a huge influence on my life, as did many teachers on Isle Madame. They had positions of trust within the community.

I understand as well that the school advisory councils obviously have positions of trust as well. With the advisory councils taking over where the school board really has left off, it's worrisome to me and I think for other people who have come forward to speak with me, that the advisory councils don't really have a set rule of governance and so there is a lot of gray area about how people's local voices are going to be heard on local issues regarding education.

I know that there is a financial challenge, and obviously we have a fiscal responsibility, as elected officials, to make certain that we stretch a penny four ways as much as possible, and so I understand that reform was needed in our education system. The reform that's really being spoken about here today, in the form of Bill No. 72, has come out of a report by a very highly esteemed woman, Dr. Avis Glaze, but it's really, I feel, a made-in-Ontario report. I always find it a bit astounding how we don't seem to have in many cases, or we feel that we don't have, the correct skill set or experience in our own province to be able to hire consultants who are from Nova Scotia and for Nova Scotia. I'd really like to see more of that.

[Page 2356]

With the report as well, having been put forward as basically done - everything was said and done within 11 weeks and with a large price tag of $75,000 - it was an awful quick turnaround to such an important process that will affect teachers, administrators, parents and, most importantly, children for years to come.

It's not often that legislation like this, in the form of 60 pages, comes across our desks. There are a lot of changes here, but a lot of the changes that are being put forth are not really focused on reforms in the classrooms - which I know we're all talking about, and we're all very concerned about - but more reform on an administrative level. I think that the people in this province, particularly in my constituency, really want to see us focusing on reforms in the classroom, positive changes in the classroom.

As much as I know that the government likes to remind us on more than one occasion to try to be more positive as Opposition, our job as Opposition members is to keep the government to account. It's hard sometimes to find ways to actually say those things in a positive manner. I try my best to do so, but it's not always sunshine and roses, as we would say at home.

Obviously, we know that with the new legislation that's coming up, we're looking at an amalgamated school board system. We're looking at an elected democratic process that's really no longer available on a local level. Those elected voices are being replaced with what I think I've heard called independently appointed council members, advisory council members. I don't think that "independently" and "appointed" should ever actually exist in the same sentence, especially not in politics. We know that appointments, unfortunately, usually are not objective, but are usually very subjective. That's why we have democracy.

We have democracy to protect ourselves from just having a one-sided viewpoint. We have democracy so that people can come forward and make decisions about who they feel is best to represent their voice in this House. There's only 51 of us here, obviously, who get an opportunity to do that.

As well, I think that we are in a crucible moment, a very transformative moment when it comes to our education system in this province. I don't deny that we are in need of changes, we are in need of reform, especially in the classrooms, but I would urge the government to really focus in - and please, I don't mean this disrespectfully, but for a lack of a better term, not focus in so much on union-busting, but focus in on classroom reforms and on the children who really need our assistance.

I was one of those kids at one time. We were all one of those kids at one time. If you grew up in Nova Scotia, whether in an urban environment or a rural environment, we all went through the same provincial school system, if you're of a certain age group, like I am. Again, it's lovely that we have choices, especially those of us who are protected now as the Acadian school boards are under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but not all of us are protected under the same system.

[Page 2357]

I don't want to take too much time on this, but what I would really like to say, Mr. Speaker, is that I hope that with teachers being so tired - so tired of being put down, so tired of fighting, so tired of not having the needed resources that they so duly deserve in their classrooms, and really trying to let their voice be heard in extraordinary ways that we've seen them mobilize in the last year - I'm so proud of them all for doing that. That's truly democracy in action, as far as I'm concerned.

I truly wish that we would really focus in on what the honourable minister has said, with teaching excellence, leadership excellence, high standards. I think that those are all very important things to have in our classrooms and in our schools. But with leadership, we all know that it starts from the top. We need to show these children that we're doing what's best for them as a whole. If there are any of them listening to me today, I hope that they can understand in the terms that I'm speaking.

Leadership includes inclusion. It's not about exclusion. It should be inclusive of everyone. It's important to follow through, I understand, on promises that we make to our constituents and in your platform goals. I know it's obviously important for the government to follow through on those, but it's not so important that it should be at the expense of silencing the voices of the people who represent and work with the very children on whom we should all be focused.

It's important not to follow through without fair and completely consultative processes. It's important that government, no matter who is in power, never try to skew the end results. Leadership is about consultation, Mr. Speaker. It's not about elimination.

I was going to talk about the health care crisis, but I'll leave that one alone. I think we'll save that for another day.

I'll close basically just saying I think I'm very familiar with the concept of a decision being imposed on a people. I think in general any Acadian who is in the province probably still has as part of their cellular DNA memories of Le Grand Dérangement, otherwise known as the Expulsion of the Acadians. I agree that our education system needs reform, I'll say it again, but I strongly believe that we do not conform simply because we feel like it is un fait accompli comme on dirait en français.

We must continue to fight for democracy because, through democracy, we decide our children's future. We must continue to fight for classroom reforms because our teachers and our children need our support. We must continue to fight for our administrators because, as much as our government would like to make us believe that administrators are managers, administrators are teachers, too.

[Page 2358]

We must continue to fight and resolve the issues that hold our children back from achieving their excellence in learning and let us all stay focused on empowering our teachers and our children. Let us not break teachers down, as has been the case for far too long now. They are wonderful people. They deserve to be nurtured, valued, and properly supported, as do our children.

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

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to get up to say a few words about this bill. One thing I do want to say that is clear from my meeting with teachers is that teachers have been traumatized by all the activity. It's very unfortunate that February of last year and February of this year, Teacher Appreciation Month, has been the month that we have dealt with this. I don't know who decides what month that happens, but we can probably make that October next year or some other month because this is like déjà vu for our teachers.

I want you to know that I do appreciate our teachers. The teachers that I met with told me about all the winter coats and boots and mittens they provided for their students. We have some very seriously economically disadvantaged areas that our students come from in the Annapolis Valley, and the teachers pour their heart and soul into it. I want you to know that I do appreciate them.

Secondly, I want to say how well-functioning and how respected the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board has been in the Annapolis Valley. We have had a very well-run school board for many years, going back to Dr. Jim Gunn running the school board, Margo Tait, and our current elected school board members. They have the respect of the Valley and have done a very good job. Our AVRSB has consistently met its budgets and its targets and has been very well run.

I had a meeting with them in January, and I believe the member for Kings West was with me at that meeting. We were talking about all these issues. They had already met with Dr. Avis Glaze, and they had a very favourable impression of Dr. Avis Glaze, the board.

I pointed out to them that I felt the school boards had been undermined in two ways by this government, and I proceeded to tell them. I didn't get any feedback. I said that one way the government had undermined these school boards was in the 2013 announcement of five schools that they built which really did not take into account school board priorities, which was later shown by the Auditor General. The school boards have been undermined in that decision by this government. The second way that the school boards have been undermined was in the events of last February when the Commission on Inclusive Education and the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions were formed. The school boards hadn't really been part of that discussion. Those two things were unfortunate.

[Page 2359]

Do I believe there should be no changes to the structure of the school boards? No, I don't believe that. One thing that is certain is that the seven school boards were created I don't know how long ago, 50 years ago or more, when a trip to Halifax was a pretty big deal and probably an overnight event, or maybe it was on the train and when people communicated by mail, and obviously, our geography was different. Clearly, in the 21st Century, there can be different structures that reflect modern transportation, modern means of communication. So did we need to have seven school boards? No, but should we have gotten rid of all of them? I'm not sure about that, and I think that democracy took a hit in the decision, which is unfortunate.

[4:30 p.m.]

I'm not sure what happened with the principals and vice-principals; they're sort of in the union, out of the union right now. Wherever you stand on that issue, I believe that one thing is fortunate, when I met with my principals and vice-principals - and I want to say that my principals and vice-principals in my area certainly have the respect of their colleagues and teachers in those schools. They're highly respected, they're very committed, they work very hard. They're working for their schools, and they've risen up through the ranks, so to speak, and are the leaders in their schools. Their leadership is profoundly good, I believe, in the schools, and deals with a mind-bending variety of issues, as you know.

One of the things that was going to happen, if we reach a compromise - I think I could say the government blinked on that, but I think the compromise was a good compromise, because one of the things that was going to happen was that a certain number of those principals and vice-principals were going to retire. They were looking at their options, and they were either going to have to go back to the classroom, or retire, and some of them were within one or two years of retiring. So some of them were going to retire, some of them were going to go back to the classrooms, and clearly, some of them were going to stay as principals and vice-principals, even if they were out of the union.

What it would have meant was probably a 50 per cent turnover in the senior administration in these schools, exactly at the same time that we are expecting - and clearly there is a mandate from the teachers and the public for changes in the education system. So, we're expecting a mandate, for these committees to give feedback to us on how we can improve our classrooms, and how we deal with inclusion.

We also have other wrinkles in it. We have the SchoolsPlus model, which is being implemented across the province, and one of the things that I've heard is that it's not being put in place in exactly the same way in each area. There are different variations on that SchoolsPlus model, and we need to have it done the same way in every area. Another item in this is pre-Primary.

[Page 2360]

We have these four different things happening at the same time that we were risking losing all of the senior administration - or not all of it, half of it - in our schools, and I think that would have been a mistake. I think that the senior administration is going to need to be there. Administration that the teachers believe in, that have risen up through the ranks, is going to need to be there to sort of shepherd the school through all of these changes, and clearly, there's a mandate for many of these changes, and clearly these are profoundly important. So I do believe that it is the compromise of not having them exactly out of the union, not having them exactly in, and I don't quite have my head around exactly what that looks like, but I know its in the bill, and maybe we'll see that.

Another thing that I think is very positive, is that the College of Educators was disbanded, and I think that was a piece of pure fiction. It didn't work very well in Ontario from everything we've heard, and Ontario is the only jurisdiction that seemed to have it. I don't know if I heard a single teacher who wanted to have it, and I expect that the minister also did not hear a single teacher - maybe there was one, but I doubt it. There was probably nobody who wanted to have a College of Educators, so I think that's a positive step in this.

One thing I would like to say is that we know that last year, Law Amendments Committee was cut short. That was a very unfortunate moment in the debate, and wasn't necessary in my opinion - there wasn't really a particular rush. There seemed to be a rush, so I hope that this year, as I believe Law Amendments Committee will start Monday, that we will take the time to let that go through its process. We get a lot of feedback. This is a very large bill, as some of my colleagues have pointed out, and there are a significant number of changes, so we are looking forward to hearing from Law Amendments Committee.

So, with those words, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

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

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCROSSIN: Mr. Speaker, I'd just like to speak for a few minutes on Bill No. 72. I will say I've thought long and hard about what my comments will be, because I've heard a lot of comments from parents, from business owners, from teachers. My role as an MLA, Mr. Speaker, is to be a voice for all of my constituents, not just one group of people.

So, what have I heard as MLA? I've heard both sides. I've heard, get rid of the school boards, they're not effective. I've heard that we need school boards, that they are our elected representatives. I've heard from parents who are disappointed with the outcomes, saying we need changes in our education system. I've heard from business owners, again, disappointed in the outcomes and people not being job-ready.

I do support that there are changes needed. However, I am concerned about the way these changes are being made. I think we could all agree that administrative changes do not equal better outcomes. We have learned that most recently with the health board changes. We had nine health boards amalgamated into one central and we had an appointed board of directors. We see every day and we hear about it here in the House that it has been a disaster. It has created chaos and definitely worse outcomes. I certainly wouldn't want to see that in our education system, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 2361]

What does create better outcomes? I think when we speak with the stakeholders, when we speak with the teachers and talk to them about what the real solutions in the classroom are, what the real solutions at a ground level are. The stakeholders, the business owners, and the employers, asking them what we need to do to do a better job of getting our students ready for the workforce. Speaking to our post-secondary education institutions and asking what we can do better to get our students ready for university and college. Speaking to parents - what can we do to do a better job with our students in the school system?

I am also of French-Acadian background, and my grandfather - the lineage goes right back to Charles Melancon in Port Royal in the 1700s. I was so excited when French immersion was going to be offered in our schools. It started when our second child was starting Grade Primary, so three out of our four children have been able to go through the French immersion program.

We have to measure our outcomes, and when we actually look at the outcomes, our oldest child, even though he had an average of around 95 going through, he failed the final test that would have given him the certificate that he is bilingual. So even though he went through 13 years of education in French immersion, he didn't get that certification. We need to measure outcomes, so we know we need to do a better job. There are better ways of doing things to get better outcomes. I think that is important.

I do want to mention the importance of empowering our teachers. As an employer for the last 20 years, I wanted my staff - my employees - to do the best job for themselves, but also for the business. My businesses are more profitable if my staff are more productive, and the best way to help them to be more productive and healthy is to empower them and make sure they feel appreciated. They needed to know that I actually cared about them, and that if they were going through a hard time, I was going to be there, and if they needed something for one of their kids, I would be there to help them. It's very important that employers make sure their employees feel appreciated.

In the teacher/employer relationship, the government is the employer. I think we have all heard from our teachers, loud and clear, that they don't feel appreciated or valued. There is no way we are going to get the best out of our teachers for our children when they are feeling that way.

There are many causes of the problems we are seeing in our education system, and a lot of them come back to what's going on in the home - poverty and family breakdown. I go back to when I was five years old, when my mother passed away. She was sick for those five years. I didn't have anyone at home teaching me how to read or reading me bedtime stories every night. It was the teachers who taught me how to read. It was the teachers who gave me the extra help. I remember being taken one-on-one with an extra teacher when I was in Grade 1 and being helped and being taught.

[Page 2362]

I didn't have a lot of family support. Things were pretty dysfunctional, and it was the teachers that saw the potential in me that said, Elizabeth, we see a lot of potential in you. We think you should run for student council. We think you should go to this youth conference, and it was the teachers that really helped me to be all that I could be, and built confidence.

So, Mr. Speaker, I think it's really important that we do everything we can to keep our teachers encouraged and healthy and strong, so that they can continue to empower our students.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : First of all, I just want to look around, look at my Opposition and thank them for their thoughts, their input on this bill. I know when we get to contentious issues in this House of Assembly, I respect the fact that the direction that everybody has taken on this, the things that we have heard from our constituents, and I know that there are probably a number of government members that would have liked to have spoken during this process, to talk about their teachers, to talk about what they've been hearing, because I know they've been hearing some of the very same things that we've been hearing. But again, we're in a process where we're trying to rush something through the House of Assembly, so that at some point in the future, the government hopes, that the population will forget that this actually happened. That's kind of why this has been happening so quickly.

Ultimately in my mind, these things are done quickly so that in the first-year mandate of a government, we'll forget about it in four years' time when elections come around. What we've been hearing from the school board members, and from our teachers, is that they will not forget how they were treated by this Liberal Government and they're equating it to the Savage Liberal Government, and it seems like every 10 or 20 years things like this come along, and it's going to be hard for them to forget.

Many of my colleagues and, of course, the last two will be more important to listen to than any one of us, but will have lots to say - they have great life experience on this one too. But as a husband to a teacher with lots of friends who are teachers, I want to thank them for the work that they do, because they are phenomenal and they work under some difficult situations sometimes, and I do want to thank them.

To those members of the government that are actually teachers, that in their previous lives were teachers, I know they know what we are talking about in this one here. There are some challenges that we all need to work together to try to come to fruition, that we need to work together as a Legislature, as legislators, to get things done and this doesn't happen this way sometimes, that there's an opposition.

[Page 2363]

This was a bit, I believe, of a distraction on the greater things that are wrong with our education system, and maybe the things that are wrong in our health care system, and other issues that we continually bring to the floor of this Legislature.

I do want to say one thing before I sit down and that revolves around the issue of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial. As much as I applaud the idea of bringing a bill forward that enshrines the CSAP - it was one of the good recommendations, of course, in the Glaze report - I do want to make sure that we don't create a two-tiered education system on this one. I know the CSAP is created upon a constitutional right of Acadians, and it was fought for very hard by that community to have.

[4:45 p.m.]

However, when we have one government saying the English board doesn't get something, and the French board does, it creates this illusion of one group getting more than another, and I want to make sure that the government understands they need to be careful with that. For the French community, the Acadian community to move forward correctly, they need the support of all the community of Nova Scotia. Just be careful when you're playing that game, because we all need to work together to make sure that we have those services available for our families, whether it's in the CSAP or in the Nova Scotia School Boards Association. Just be careful on that.

I look forward to seeing the CSAP legislation when it does come forward and, with those short words, I thank you for the opportunity.

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

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : The good news is, there's only Keith and me left. There are two truths that I want to start out with. Number one is that the province gave a mandate to the Liberals to form government. That's a truth. The second truth is, I am no expert. That is a huge bill, and I really don't have the ability to take that bill, tear it apart, and then start criticizing the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Neither do I have the ability to take all this information in and come up with some good suggestions as to what we can do to solve it.

As it stands now, the Liberals bring in legislation, and then we two Parties on the other side do our best to rip it apart. That is just the way of the world of politics. But there are two big issues that are facing this province right now. One is health care, and the other is education. Looking at these two areas, we do see a number of things that aren't working the way they should. I'm going to be the first to say that we do need a lot of changes to take place within those two huge, huge areas - and they are huge.

[Page 2364]

I would like to see change in the atmosphere in which health care workers and educators operate and do their job. There are a number of front-line obstacles certainly that stand in the way of that happening.

As I said before, I don't have all that knowledge that I wish I had. I don't think the bureaucracy has that kind of knowledge either. I really don't think any one of us here has all of the knowledge that is necessary to make the changes. My question is, who has the knowledge? Someone has to have it. If we don't listen to the folks on the front line, then we're not going to be able to make good decisions. They are the ones who have the knowledge we need in this House.

Just a thought here, and I'm going to close with this little thought. On the big issues that affect everyone in this province, there is no family that is not touched by education and health care in this province. We do legislation maybe in a little corner over here, and that's fine, or a little corner over here, but they don't cover the whole province. These two things do. My thought is that we need to gather the information in a different way. We have 51 members here in this Legislature. What would it be like if each one of us went in our constituencies and gathered up all the information that we need in order to make good decisions?

I don't mind the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development designing the criteria as to what we should ask and how we should bring all that information in. Wouldn't it save a whole lot of time? The Department of Education can't do it. They can't go out there and gather all that information up on their own. It cannot happen. But what if all 51 of us did that and brought the information back, and we had a group of Liberals, Conservatives and NDPs take all that information, sit down and go through it and come up with some very good suggestions and bring it in here and have it work? This going back and forth really doesn't work. We need to go this together if it's going to be effective. So that would be my thought for the day.

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

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, everyone in this House agrees that we need to make changes in our education system. Previous speakers have spoken very well about the effects of this bill on parents, teachers, and others within the school system, and what it doesn't do for the children who are in the classroom.

I'd like to, for a few moments, turn the conversation to the topic of school boards in our education system, but first of all, I have to ask the question, what happened to democracy and the democratic process? (Applause) In October 2016, the people of Nova Scotia elected school boards across the province to represent them until October 2020, but that's not happening. Now, that begs the question, why the rush? We know that it isn't for cost savings because board members will be paid for the rest of their term. Then, we have the idea to have a province-wide body responsible for the education system. We already see how well that's working with our Health Authority.

[Page 2365]

Mr. Speaker, prior to my first being elected to this Legislature in 2006, I spent 15 years as a board member of both the former Northside-Victoria District School Board, and the now Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. It was a job I took very seriously.

My job was not only to represent the residents of Victoria County, but everyone within the entire school system. Over those years, I, with my colleagues, heard and dealt with concerns expressed by teachers, other board employees, and parents, heard concerns about busing, classroom assistants, and the list goes on and on. Where does a parent, with let us say, a busing situation go after this bill becomes law? I know that it was important to parents, NSTU members, and CUPE members that they had a person or persons that they could turn to and feel comfortable to say what they had to say and that they were listened to. Where do they go now?

I also remember, in those 15 years, spending many of them on the board/teacher committee, where three of us, as board members, heard in a relaxed atmosphere the concerns of the teachers, whether it related to administration within central office, in the classroom, or wherever the case may be. In most of those cases the concerns were addressed locally, and to everyone's satisfaction, and people were happy. Why? Because there was an element of trust on both sides. Mr. Speaker, we as board members were tasked with the job of reviewing and closing schools. Many under the directive of the department, others because of lack of money - not an easy task at all. Who will make, now, the final decision on school closures?

Mr. Speaker, a question that certainly comes to mind is why we have a deputy minister from Ontario, being one of those responsible for implementing a lot of programs within the department, and implementing the Act that we're talking about today, and it brings to mind another question, do we not have someone within Nova Scotia who is capable of doing this job, or is it part of a larger plan?

With those few short words, Mr. Speaker, I think it's important for us to take into consideration all that has been said here today, all that's been said in the past, and what will be said in the days to come. I encourage the government to take the time to seriously listen to all presenters in Law Amendments Committee, and do what is right for what our education system is all about, the student.

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

The honourable Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

[Page 2366]

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues for their thoughtful words and commentary, and arguments that they've presented in this debate. I have listened for the most part, except for stepping out for lunch, with great interest in the opinions that have been expressed. I do have some thoughts of my own I'd like to share before we move to close debate.

We have spent a lot of time in this House, and I've heard members opposite continually speaking about a broken education system, a system of education that is not functioning to its optimal level, a system that is letting down teachers, that is letting down students.

What I find curious is that now we do find ourselves in a position where that system is actually being defended. I think the challenge for government is, if we are actually going to change the system, that means the structure of the system needs to change. The institutions within the system need to change. If we keep going with the way we're going, with the way it is currently made up, we will continue to face the same challenges that we have faced today.

There have been great questions asked around what these changes will do for students. I think those are critical questions that we need to have answered. In fact, I feel that some members in their comments pointed to some of the concrete areas where we are currently facing challenges in our education system. The Leader of the Official Opposition mentioned the fact that in one particular board, there was one support staff person for autistic students. We are seeing supports for special needs vary from region to region. We are seeing the implementation of the SchoolsPlus program vary from region to region, at different levels of success. We are seeing math and literacy experts being used very differently from region to region, and these are actually impacting various outcomes for students, whether it is mental health outcomes, whether it is being able to cope with their particular challenges, or whether it is actually the grades that they are achieving.

What we have seen consistently in this province, because we've had a system where there are eight independent education bodies that operate very differently, that's the challenge we have. We have eight independent systems that function differently and to different levels of success. We have seen the level of success of our kids vary consistently historically from region to region. To me that seems to be a problem.

I understand that school board members for many community members, have been important. I know how hard they work. I know they have been dedicated to their students and their communities. I have gone and met these people. I've developed personal relationships with them, which obviously, makes this decision in that regard very difficult for me personally, and there's a great personal toll when it comes to making these decisions that you believe are right, but that impact people and their feelings, but we have challenges here.

[Page 2367]

How this will help students is that we will be able to better achieve results for our kids, based on best practices, based on the highest standards in every single part of this province, and no matter where you are living, our goal is to ensure that if you are in our education system, you have the same chances of success as everybody else in every other part of the province because right now, that's not true.

I understand the impassioned arguments around democracy, I do, I understand that and there is something from that perspective that is being lost through this. I recognize that full-heartedly. I have had to deal with my own questions around that particular circumstance. At the end of the day, the system needs to be built to better serve kids. In order to do that, I believe this component of the system does need to change. In fact, if we do believe that this is the best model to deliver departments, and a lot of departments are important to communities - health is very important. Education is, of course, we've got Community Services, we've got Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal - all of which provide critical services to our people.

Why are we not arguing for the same model of local, elected representation for all of those other departments, if that is the best model to implement provincial services? We do function under a democracy here, and constitutionally the province has jurisdiction and responsibility over education. We have abdicated a lot of that responsibility to board members. In all honesty, I think it has been for political reasons, because it's a lot easier to pass on the tough decisions around school closures, or local busing challenges, or the way that special needs supports are being implemented onto school boards. That's a lot easier to do from the minister's perspective.

I can't tell you how many letters I've read that have been sent to me from parents, from students, and from community members that I wasn't able to answer, except to say well that's actually under the jurisdiction of the school board. So when we talk about what's being lost at the school board level from a democratic position, and wonder who, then, answers these calls from parents, from students, from teachers, from principals, well, I would ask all members in this room to look around because it's going to be us. It's going to be us, and we are elected, and we are accountable, and we have been unable as MLAs to actually provide the input that we've needed into this education system that is constitutionally our responsibility. So, there is the answer, folks - get ready for your phones to ring. I'm ready for mine to ring.

For members to say that this makes it easier politically for any member of the government, or any one of us, it doesn't. It's going to make this a lot harder. It's going to make it a lot more challenging, but I do believe these changes are necessary, and I do believe that at the end of the day, we will be judged on the success of these decisions by the success of our students. That is how we will be judged.

[5:00 p.m.]

[Page 2368]

I do want to remind folks also this is about empowering our front lines. There is a decentralization decision making happening through this process where principals and administrators will be given more authority in their school communities, where School Advisory Councils will be given more authority in certain ways in their school community, where their voices will be elevated within our regions in the province, and I've gone out and I've met with school advisory councils and a lot of them view this as being very positive for them, because our school communities are made up of parents, teachers, principals, and broader community members, grandparents - they have felt that their voices have been lost in this system. These are the voices that are closest to the school, and they have felt that their voices have been lost.

We've discussed this issue with teachers, and we've discussed this issue with principals, and, of course, there are different opinions out there as the member for Cumberland North mentioned and there's different opinions even within the teaching community on these changes, and amongst the administrators, many of whom actually feel that this is positive for them because it will give them a structure where they can advance their concerns in a more productive way, where they do have more autonomy and power in the system, the administrators, and teachers have actually felt varying levels of opinions out there in relation to that.

I think the challenge has been that there has not been allowed, in the debate of this, online or in the staff rooms, or wherever you go, for there to actually be an even level of discourse, because as soon as someone has an opposing opinion, they are shut down by the stronger voices either online, or in the staff room, who believe that everyone should have the same opinion. The fact is with a workforce of 9,300 people, we're not going to have the same opinion. So, that's also a challenge that we've had through this. The level of public discourse that these changes lead to is very challenging for us to actually engage in meaningful conversation that's based on facts and information with people.

We have to do a better job on this side and also in the public when it comes to disagreement and how we approach it, and how we discuss it with each other. At the end of the day, we do all have a mutual interest, and that's our kids, and doing better for them. I truly believe that by tackling the administrative, the structural challenges that we have in our education system, we will do better having consistent application of programming, consistent application of special needs supports.

This is important for the implementation of changes to the inclusion because we want to make sure that we're achieving our very best, and that there is consistency in how these changes and supports are applied from one end of the province to the other, and we need to evaluate our success and how well we're doing and that's going to be a big part of this. Dr. Glaze has asked us to have a review period. We will do that. We will develop metrics review so that we can, at the end of the day, or whoever is privileged enough or damned enough to be on this side of the House, to see how this is working.

[Page 2369]

So, Mr. Speaker, I would like to close debate on an optimistic note, because I do believe there are great opportunities here. One opportunity I do want to speak to before I close is the opportunity that has been presented for the union and for the government through this process. Obviously, there is strong disagreement on some of the key recommendations in this report, but the fact that we have gotten to a place where both sides are saying we need to do a better job working together, I think speaks volumes for what we can accomplish moving forward if we just keep at the heart of every decision and every word that we say, in communicating with each other the needs of our kids. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 72.

There has been a call for a recorded vote.

We will ring the bells until the Whips are satisfied.

[5:05 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Are the Whips satisfied?

Before we proceed with the recorded vote, I'll just remind all members to remain completely silent while the Clerks record your vote. I'll remind all the members to stand up with a simple "yea" or "nay." The Clerk will now conduct the recorded vote.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[5:06 p.m.]

YEASNAYS
Mr. Churchill Mr. MacMaster 
Mr. Furey Mr. MacLeod 
Ms. Regan Mr. Dunn 
Mr. MacLellan Mr. Bain 
Mr. McNeil Ms. MacFarlane 
Ms. Casey Mr. d'Entremont 
Mr. Glavine Mr. Dave Wilson 
Mr. Delorey Mr. Burrill 
Mr. Colwell Ms. Zann 

[Page 2370]

Ms. Miller Ms. Roberts 
Mr. Kousoulis Ms. Leblanc 
Mr. Porter Ms. Martin 
Mr. Gordon Wilson Ms. Chender 
Mr. Hines Ms. Smith-McCrossin 
Ms. Diab Ms. Paon 
Mr. Ince Mr. Houston 
Mr. Rankin Ms. Adams 
Mr. Mombourquette Mr. Lohr 
Ms. Arab Mr. Johns 
Mr. Maguire Ms. Masland 
Mr. MacKay Mr. Halman 
Ms. Lohnes-Croft Mr. Harrison 
Ms. DiCostanzo  
Mr. Irving  

THE CLERK » : For, 24. Against 22

THE SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Government House Leader

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : That concludes government business for the day. I move that the House do now rise to meet again Monday, March 5th, between 9:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

The Committee on Law Amendments will also sit on Monday beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Business for Monday will include second reading of Bill No. 76, the Mineral Resources Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for the House to rise to meet again Monday, March 5th, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until Monday, March 5th at 9:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 5:10 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 2371]

RESOLUTION NO. 776

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Karen Thomas for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 777

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Karen Woolhouse for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2372]

RESOLUTION NO. 778

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Karen Young for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 779

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2373]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Katelyn Ritcey for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 780

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Keith Helpard for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 781

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2374]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Kellie Allen for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 782

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Kent Martin for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 783

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2375]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Kevin Ball for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 784

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Kris Stover for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 785

[Page 2376]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Lauren Doucette for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 786

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Leandra Carey for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2377]

RESOLUTION NO. 787

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Leona Roberts for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 788

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2378]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Linda Pamenter for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 789

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Lorie Mills for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 790

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2379]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Lorna Ash for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 791

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Lorna Zinck-Gordon for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 792

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2380]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Lydia Boutilier for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 793

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Lynne Zwicker for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 794

[Page 2381]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Jackie Leppard for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 795

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Jacqui Tupper for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2382]

RESOLUTION NO. 796

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Jan Slaunwhite for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 797

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2383]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Janet Flinn for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 798

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Jean Harris for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 799

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2384]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Jessie Mills for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking

RESOLUTION NO. 800

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Jo Cooper for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 801

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2385]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Joan Redmond for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 802

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Jodi Snair for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 803

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By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Jody Brodie for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 804

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to John Bignell for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

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RESOLUTION NO. 805

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to John Cascadden for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 806

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2388]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to John Himmelman for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 807

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to John Hubley for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 808

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2389]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to John McKee for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 809

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Judy Taggart for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 810

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2390]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Joyce Dagley for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 811

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Julie Stover for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 812

[Page 2391]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Gary Meade for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 813

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Gary Richardson for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

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RESOLUTION NO. 814

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Gerald Siebert for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 815

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2393]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Glen Hicks for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 816

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Glen Reynolds for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 817

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2394]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Gordon Davis for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 818

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Gwen Christie for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 819

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2395]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Gwen Colman for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 820

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Harry Ward for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 821

[Page 2396]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Haste Colman for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 822

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Heather Cochrane for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2397]

RESOLUTION NO. 823

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Heather White for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 824

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2398]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Heidi Clough for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 825

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Helga Guderley for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 826

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2399]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Herb Brown for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 827

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Iris Elliott for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 828

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2400]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Dan Kennedy for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 829

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Daphne Trenaman for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 830

[Page 2401]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Darlene Baxter for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 831

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Darlene Pentz for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2402]

RESOLUTION NO. 832

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Darrell Blakney for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 833

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2403]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Dawn Hutt-Burgoyne for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 834

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Delene Hardy for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 835

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2404]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Denise Hicks for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 836

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Donna Ferguson for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 837

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2405]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Donna McInnis for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 838

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Donna Tufaro for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 839

[Page 2406]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Doreen Langille for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 840

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Eileen Cody for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2407]

RESOLUTION NO. 841

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Elaine Brooks for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 842

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2408]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Eleanor Odegard for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 843

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Eliot Matheson for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 844

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2409]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Elizabeth Isnor for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 845

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Ella Mikeala for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 846

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2410]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Esme Malanchuk for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 847

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Ethel Marshall for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 848

[Page 2411]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Fred Dolbel for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 849

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Candace Slaunwhite for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2412]

RESOLUTION NO. 850

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Carl Breckenridge for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 851

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2413]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Carol Rowland for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 852

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Carol Wilson for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 853

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2414]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Cathrin Hayward-Ziegler for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 854

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Chanice Johnson for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 855

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2415]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Chantal Pelham-Edwards for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 856

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Chris Bryson for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 857

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

[Page 2416]

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Chris Pelham for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 858

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Christine Hall for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 859

[Page 2417]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Collin Comeau for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 860

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Courtney Morash for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2418]

RESOLUTION NO. 861

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Crystal Nightingale for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 862

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2419]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Barb Bauld for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 863

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Barb Matthews for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 864

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2420]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Barbara Allen for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 865

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Barbara Way for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 866

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2421]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Becky Weickert for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 867

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Ben Kelkman for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 868

[Page 2422]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Beth McGee for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 869

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Beth Sherwood for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2423]

RESOLUTION NO. 870

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Betty Dolbel for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 871

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2424]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Beverly Carlsen for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 872

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Bill Hockey for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 873

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2425]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Bill MacDonald for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 874

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Bill Roberts for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 875

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2426]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Blaine MacDonald for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 876

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Bob Angus for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 877

[Page 2427]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Bonnie Snair for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 878

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Brenda Boutilier for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2428]

RESOLUTION NO. 879

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Brenda Scrouton for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 880

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2429]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Brian Hoyt for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 881

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Brian Thomas for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 882

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2430]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Wilma Ross for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 883

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Stephen Lade for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 884

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2431]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Sue Jakeman for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 885

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Susan Bagley for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 886

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

[Page 2432]

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Susan de la Ronde for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 887

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Suzanne Pelham for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 888

[Page 2433]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Teri Cochrane for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 889

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Terria Sangster for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2434]

RESOLUTION NO. 890

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Terry Kidston for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 891

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2435]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Tim McClare for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 892

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Travon Smith for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 893

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2436]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Ruth Ann Moger for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 894

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Sally Millman for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 895

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2437]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Shauna Robbins for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 896

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Stephanie Chatman for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 897

[Page 2438]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Sue Channer for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 898

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Sheila Kaiser for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2439]

RESOLUTION NO. 899

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Terry Ann Morash for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 900

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2440]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Theresa Milligan for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 901

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Anne Angus for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 902

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2441]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Adrienne Duperly for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 903

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Alana Ziegler for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 904

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2442]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Alison Bell for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 905

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Andrea Kiceniuk for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 906

[Page 2443]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Andrew Stenhouse for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 907

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Andy Hare for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

[Page 2444]

RESOLUTION NO. 908

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Anne Marie Evans for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 909

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

[Page 2445]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Ann Slaunwhite for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 910

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Anna Hall for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 911

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

[Page 2446]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Anne Hare for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 912

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Anne Patrick for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 913

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

[Page 2447]

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Anthony Delaney for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 914

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Ashley Martin for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 915

[Page 2448]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin « » (Environment)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the 200th Bay Treasure Chest draw took place, and more than $1 million has been awarded to individual players and the same amount to partner organizations in the community for a variety of community projects; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest was established in 2014 as a community fundraiser and now benefits seven local non-profit partners, is supported by 15 local businesses, and involves more than 200 active and dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Bay Treasure Chest also contributes to other community groups through an honorarium program and a scholarship fund that helps local high school students continue their education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in sending sincere congratulations and thanks to Audrey Hubley for being a part of this phenomenal community undertaking.