Back to top
March 29, 2018

  HANSARD18-42

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

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE
 

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1092, Vissers, Bert: Retirement - Congrats.,
3389
Vote - Affirmative
3390
Res. 1093, Nutrition Month: Healthy Food Choices - Support,
3391
Vote - Affirmative
3391
Res. 1094, N. Bay Fishermen's Co-op Ltd.: Quality/Commitment
- Thanks, Hon. K. Colwell »
3392
Vote - Affirmative
3392
Res. 1095, World Autism Awareness Day: Understanding/Appreciation
- Recognize, Hon. R. Delorey « »
3393
Vote - Affirmative
3393
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 106, Insurance Act,
3393
No. 107, Labour Standards Code,
3393
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Helping Hand Lodge #34: 140th Anniv. - Congrats.,
3394
Goreham, Etheren: 77th Birthday - Best Wishes,
3394
W. Kings Distr. HS, Dream Team: Humanitarianism - Commend,
3395
Easter: Time of Renewal - Blessing,
3396
MacKeil, Kate MacDonald: Inspiring Young Women in Soccer
- Recognize, Hon. M. Miller « »
3396
Jessome, Robyn: Black Hist. Mo. Essay Award - Congrats.,
3396
Jones, Lynn: African Nova Scotian Activist - Thanks,
3397
Mitchell, Margaret: 100th Birthday - Best Wishes,
3397
Port Morien Dinner Theatre: 20th Anniv. - Congrats.,
3397
Stevens, Pat - E.A., Munic. of Digby: 25 Yrs. of Serv. - Congrats.,
Mr. Gordon Wilson
3398
EPEC: Strong Educ. Com.: Acknowledge,
3398
Naughler, Elmer: 90th Birthday - Best Wishes,
3399
Clifford St. Youth Ctr.: Positive Cheer - Thanks,
3399
Daniel, Edward: Entrepreneur - Congrats.,
3400
Oseil, Shelley - Salvation Army: Com. Serv. - Commend,
3400
Rugby N.S.: Ireland Tour - Congrats.,
3401
Maple Syrup Producers: Outstanding Product - Recognize,
3401
Whitfield, Kyly - Assist. Prof., MSVU: Gates Fdn. Grant - Congrats.,
3402
MacLean, Billy Joe: Com. Serv. - Thanks,
3402
McIntyre, Grace: Skiing/Roller Skiing - Congrats.,
3403
N.S. Prov. 4-H: 40th Anniv. Show Awards - Congrats.,
3403
Hatt, Cherie - First Class Preschool: Dedication - Thanks,
3403
Keough, Alison: U Sports All-Cdn. Gala Award - Congrats.,
3404
Shore Club: Best Venue in E. Can. - Congrats.,
3404
Iyoupe, Herman: Atl. 49 Lottery Win - Congrats.,
3405
Full Gospel Church: Easter Eggstravaganza - Thanks,
3405
Carmichael, Joanne/MacMillan, Kendra: JoKen Products - Salute,
3406
Collab. Fam. Practice Teams: Primary Care Access - Strengthening,
3406
Dart. Skating Club: Rob. McCall Mem. Competition - Thanks,
3406
Hfx. W. Warriors: Girls Soccer Victories - Congrats.,
3407
Fairclough, Clem - Capt., Volunteer Firefighter: 55-Yr. Serv. Bar
- Recognize, Mr. K. Irving »
3407
Grant, Lloyd - Baptist Pastor: Com. Serv. - Recognize,
3408
Kitchen Door Catering: Best Cooking Classes Award - Congrats.,
3408
Rath, Stu: JA Laureate, Bus. Hall of Fame - Congrats.,
3409
MacKenzie, Sasho - Assoc. Prof., St. F.X.: Expert, Swing Mechanics
- Congrats., Hon. R. Delorey « »
3409
Hfx. Contra Dances: Com. Hospitality - Recognize,
3410
H&W: Caregiver Prog. - Com. Support,
3410
Dart. Housing Help: Advocacy & Dedication - Thanks,
3410
Veinotte-Nickerson, Paula: Shave for the Brave - Recognize,
3411
Wright, Dave - HRSB Member: Commitment - Thanks,
Hon. David Wilson
3412
Archibald, Donnelly - Ph.D., St. F.X.: Geology Research - Recognize,
3412
N.S. Sch. Bds. Assoc.: Com. Serv. - Gratitude,
3413
Easter Triduum: Peace and Rest - Best Wishes,
3413
Brown, Natalie: Hfx. W. Sesquicentennial Award - Recognize,
3413
Howell, Cole: Diving Competition - Best Wishes,
3414
Campagna, Yves: Foster Parent - Recognize,
3414
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 554, Prem. - Veterans Walk-in Clinic: Fed. Funding - Lobby,
3415
No. 555, Prem. - Chrétien Visit: Lobbying - Rectify,
3417
No. 556, Justice - Power, Angela: Maintenance Enforcement Prog
- Meeting, Ms. K. MacFarlane « »
3418
No. 557, LAE - Lbr. Standards Code: Intimate Partner Violence
- Leave, Ms. T. Martin »
3420
No. 558, LAE - Loan Forgiveness Prog.: Graduate Nurses
- Eligibility, Mr. E. Orrell « »
3421
No. 559, LAE - Lennox Passage Br. Worksite: OH&S Regs
- Non-Compliance, Ms. A. Paon « »
3422
No. 560, TIR - Hwy. No. 104 (Sutherlands River-Antigonish): Private
Sector Twinning - Cost Savings, Mr. T. Houston »
3424
No. 561, TIR - Hwy. No. 104 Twinning: P3 Deal - Concern,
3425
No. 562, EECD - Cole Hbr.-East. Passage: School Decisions - Inform,
3426
No. 563, CCH - Cumberland Library Grant: Late Notice - Explain,
3427
No. 564, TIR - Abrams River Bridge: Replacement - Concern,
3428
No. 565, Com. Serv.: Income Assistance Rates - Increase,
3429
No. 566, TIR: Boat Hbr. Project - Cost to Taxpayers,
3430
No. 567, H&W: Alternative Drugs - Special Exceptions,
3431
No. 568, TIR - Boat Hbr. Remediation: Taxpayers' Money - Amount,
3433
No. 569, Status of Women: Women's Ctrs. - Struggling,
3433
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 85, Municipal Government Act
3435
Vote - Affirmative
3438
No. 70, Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act
3438
Vote - Affirmative
3439
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 12:08 P.M.
3439
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 4:30 P.M
3439
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Apr. 3rd at 1:00 p.m
3440
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1096, Trask, Matthew: Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce,
Resignation - Thanks, Hon. Z. Churchill »
3441
Res. 1097, Comeau, Samantha: Employee of the Yr. - Congrats.,
3441
Res. 1098, Capt.'s Choice Lobster: Export Achievement Award
- Congrats., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
3442
Res. 1099, Jake's Fam. Rest.: Cust. Serv. Award - Congrats.,
3442
Res. 1100, Pearce, Dean: Young Entrepreneur of the Yr. - Congrats.,
3443
Res. 1101, Randall, Adam: Rising Star of the Yr. - Congrats.,
3443
Res. 1102, McDonald's, Yarmouth: Bus. of the Yr. - Congrats.,
3444
Res. 1103, White, Jennifer: Boss of the Yr. - Congrats.,
3444
Res. 1104, Co-operators Ins.: Com. Impact Award - Congrats.,
3445
Res. 1105, Honey Bee Ice Cream Parlour: Bus. of the Yr. - Congrats.,
3445
Res. 1106, Kennedy, Tassa: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3446
Res. 1107, Parker, Patricia: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3446
Res. 1108, Zwicker, Lavina Parrish: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B
- Thanks, Mr. J. Lohr « »
3447
Res. 1109, Davies, Charlene: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3447
Res. 1110, Foster, Jacqueline: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3448
Res. 1111, Johnstone, Donna: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3448
Res. 1112, Ritchie, Susan: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3449
Res. 1113, Cromwell, Peter: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3449
Res. 1114, Van Zoost, Peter: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3450
Res. 1115, Burrell, Gary: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3450
Res. 1116, Acker, Nancy Bigelow: Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B
- Thanks, Mr. J. Lohr « »
3451
Res. 1117, Fraser, Sandy (Dr.): Annapolis Valley Reg. S.B. - Thanks,
3451
Res. 1118, MacKay, Linda: HRSB - Thanks,
3452
Res. 1119, The Links at Brunello: Ntl. Recognition - Congrats.,
3452
Res. 1120, Shad Bay Dental: Excellence - Congrats.,
3453
Res. 1121, Timberlea Beverage Rm.: Com. Support - Congrats.,
3453

 

[Page 3389]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2018

Sixty-third General Assembly

First Session

10:00 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 Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 1092

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

Whereas Bert Vissers will be retiring after a remarkable 39 years with the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, primarily serving as the manager of the provincial park; and

[Page 3390]

Whereas Bert has dedicated his entire career caring for the many animals in the park as if they were his own, and has also been instrumental in increasing the number of visitors to the park to more than 100,000 per year; and

Whereas Bert is officially retiring at the end of this month and is handing over the reins to Dr. Leighann Hartnett;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Bert Vissers on his extraordinary service to government, to park visitors, and to the wildlife of 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.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Permission granted.

MR. DELOREY: I'd like to draw the attention of the members to the east gallery where we have some special guests: Jackie Spears, the Executive Director for the Atlantic Provinces Dietitians of Canada - you may rise when I acknowledge; Jennifer Josey, Nova Scotia Nutrition Month lead and clinical dietitian for NSHA; Laurie Barker Jackman, Nova Scotia Nutrition Month spokesman and dietitian for Sobeys; and Roberta Jackson, applied human nutrition student at Mount Saint Vincent University.

I'd like to request members of the Legislature to give them the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1093

[Page 3391]

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

Whereas March is Nutrition Month, a time for Nova Scotians to learn about making informed food choices; and

Whereas the food we eat can prevent disease, heal us, bring us together, and fuels healthy communities; and

Whereas programs like Nourish Nova Scotia, the breakfast program, and the mobile food market are working to bring good, nutritious food to children, families, and seniors across Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature show their support for Nutrition Month by encouraging their friends and families to make healthy food choices.

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 Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I'd like to make an introduction if I could.

MR. SPEAKER: Permission granted.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, in the east gallery with us today is Paul van de Wiel, manager of North Bay Fishermen's Co-op. He drove all the way down here in the wonderful weather this morning just to visit us . . .

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : From where?

MR. COLWELL: From your area, from the area of the Minister of Health and Wellness.

[Page 3392]

I wish the House would give him a warm welcome, and thank you for coming. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1094

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

Whereas the hard work of Nova Scotia's seafood harvesters, processors, and exporters has contributed to making our province Canada's largest seafood exporter with $2 billion sold to global markets in 2017; and

Whereas North Bay Fishermen's Co-op Ltd. of Ballantynes Cove has focused on maintaining the premium quality of their catch through initiatives to improve handling and holding practices of live lobster, and their membership has been receptive to all feedback and work to improve practices and conditions; and

Whereas North Bay Fishermen's Co-op Ltd.'s ongoing commitment to improving the quality and value of their lobster product is a critical factor in ensuring the sustainable growth of our seafood industry and securing good jobs for our coastal communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in thanking North Bay Fishermen's Co-op Ltd. and their members for their unwavering commitment to the enhancement of quality of their products and contributing to Nova Scotia's leadership position as Canada's number one exporter of seafood.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 1095

[Page 3393]

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

Whereas autism spectrum disorder is the most commonly-diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada; and

Whereas with education, training, and community support, people with autism thrive and lead fulfilling lives as contributing members of our communities; and

Whereas World Autism Awareness Day is a day to increase understanding and knowledge about autism spectrum disorder and encourages us all to appreciate and accept each person just as they are;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize April 2, 2018, as World Autism Awareness Day.

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. 106 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 231 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Insurance Act. (Hon. Karen Casey)

Bill No. 107 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 246 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Labour Standards Code, Respecting Leaves of Absence. (Hon. Labi Kousoulis)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Page 3394]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

HELPING HAND LODGE $34: 140th ANIV. - CONGRATS.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Thank you. Mr. Speaker, 2018 will mark the 140th Anniversary of the Helping Hand Lodge #34, River John. With a current membership of 19, #34 is dedicated to supporting the community of River John and the surrounding area. The men and women of the lodge have engaged in coat drives, in-house food drives to support the local food banks, provide financial support to the local preschool and heritage society, showcased a scholarship award, and hosted an annual community breakfast, just to name a few. They meet monthly, and even in a very rural community, their attendance is overwhelming.

I wish to congratulate the lodge on its longevity and commitment to truly helping others. Thank you.

[10:15 a.m.]

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

GOREHAM, ETHEREN: 77th BIRTHDAY - BEST WISHES

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give special recognition to Etheren Goreham of Woods Harbour for his dedication to his community. Etheren's passion for politics began in 1978 when he ran for the PC Party. He has since campaigned both provincially and federally, culminating with my campaign, and is still a member of the Argyle-Barrington PC Association today.

Etheren also served on many boards. He is a harbourmaster-at-large, a founding member of both the South Shore Environment Protection Association and the Samuel Wood Museum, and a member of both the Nova Scotia tourism task force and Southwest Nova Tourism, just to name a few. He's been a deacon at the Woods Harbour Calvary United Baptist Church for 30 years and is a past principal and an educator for 20 years.

Join me in thanking him for all his contributions and dedication to his community and beyond and wishing him a happy 77th birthday on April 1st.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to offer a word of introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Permission granted.

MR. BURRILL: I'd like to direct the attention of the House this morning. It is our privilege to be joined in the Speaker's Gallery by Juan Carlos Rodriguez Diaz, a member of the National Assembly of Cuba. (Applause)

[Page 3395]

Señor Diaz is joined by Yamil Martinez Marrero, who is translating for him on a national speaking tour. Yamil is from the Canadian desk of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, where he is director. (Applause)

The national speaking tour is about electoral democracy in Cuba, where Señor Diaz is one of 605 members of parliament. He's speaking at Dalhousie this evening and it is our privilege to have him join us for the proceedings here today. Thank you. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West on an introduction.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure this morning to introduce a fine group of young men and women from West Kings District High School, where I did teach for 25 years. They're here with parents this morning and two of their chaperones who went on a house-building trip to the Dominican Republic. I'd like for all members to give them the warm welcome of the House. Stand up. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

W. KINGS DISTR. HS, DREAM TEAM: HUMANITARIANISM - COMMEND

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I rise today to commend a group of 10 students from West Kings District High School, known as Dream Team 2018, who recently travelled to the Dominican Republic as volunteers, where they helped build a new home for a family in need in addition to assisting at local schools and a community centre.

Dream Team 2018 displayed their commitment by hosting successful fundraising events to cover some of the cost of travel and materials to build a house for the family, reporting that they were moved by the amount of support they received from our local communities.

As the MLA for Kings West, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the members of Dream Team 2018 for their dedication to a successful fundraising campaign, for undertaking compassionate humanitarian efforts, and for displaying their character and bringing credit to the Province of Nova Scotia through their volunteerism. Thank you.

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

EASTER: TIME OF RENEWAL - BLESSING

[Page 3396]

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, we're going to be leaving this place today for a four-day break. In that four-day period, we're going to be renewing ourselves. As part of that renewal, we will go through a dark time we call Good Friday, but a couple of days later, we're going to go through a good time where we get a new spirit on Easter Sunday.

It is my prayer that we will be renewed in spirit and go with that spirit that we have been given. God bless this House and all that enter in. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MACKEIL, KATE MACDONALD:

INSPIRING YOUNG WOMEN IN SOCCER - RECOGNIZE

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to bring your attention to an outstanding young woman of our community. Kate MacDonald-MacKeil has been a participant in soccer since she was 13 years old. She took to the sport like a fish to water, and is currently Captain of the Halifax Dunbrack Women's Soccer Team.

Under her leadership, she and her teammates have won six consecutive provincial championships, and went on to compete in B.C. at the Toyota National Championship in August of 2017. This is the eighth time in nine years that she and her team have gone to nationals, winning a gold medal in 2010.

Kate gives back to the sport she loves by mentoring and coaching. She is an assistant coach with the women's soccer team at Dalhousie University, where she played from 2006 to 2010, retiring as team captain and an academic all-Canadian.

She has inspired many young girls in the sport, and I'd like to offer her our congratulations of this House, and recognize her outstanding accomplishments.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

JESSOME, ROBYN: BLACK HIST. MO. ESSAY AWARD - CONGRATS.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, congratulations to Robyn Jessome, a Grade 12 student at Inverness Education Centre Academy. She was one of 30 winners across Canada in the RBC Black History Month Student Essay Competition.

The competition asked students to tell their stories of how Black Canadians have helped define Canada's Heritage. Let us wish Robyn well at Mount Saint Vincent University, where she will be enrolled in Cultural Studies this Fall.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

[Page 3397]

JONES, LYNN: AFRICAN NOVA SCOTIAN ACTIVIST: THANKS

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to voice my appreciation of constituent Lynn Jones, originally from Truro, who, throughout her lifetime, has both participated in and collected archival material related to the struggle of African Nova Scotians for full, equitable enjoyment and participation in our society and economy.

Last Spring, Ms. Jones presented her sizable collection to Saint Mary's University. The Lynn Jones African-Canadian & Diaspora Collection includes leaflets from when she was the first Canadian-born woman of African descent to run for federal office, which she did in Halifax for the NDP in 1993. The collection also includes 50 years of newspaper clippings, and I couldn't help but think that Ms. Jones must be collecting still, when I saw her in a media photo of the protest in support of SEIU members at Founders Square this week. I thank Lynn Jones for her lifetime of activism.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MITCHELL, MARGARET: 100th BIRTHDAY - BEST WISHES

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate and wish a very happy birthday to Margaret Mitchell, who is 100 years old today.

Imagine the journey, roaring through the 20s, experiencing the hungry 30s, wartime in the 40s, rock 'n' roll in the 50s, swinging through the 60s, flower power in the 70s, disco balls and hip-hop through the 80s, and in more modern times, the World Wide Web, Facebook, and Twitter.

Can you imagine the journey of 100 years, Mr. Speaker? I would ask that all members of this House join me today in wishing Margaret a very happy birthday, and wish her all the very best as she celebrates with family and friends this afternoon at the Manning, where she now resides.

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

PORT MORIEN DINNER THEATRE: 20th ANNIV. - CONGRATS.

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the approaching 20th Anniversary of the first Port Morien Dinner Theatre.

Back in 1998, the first play His Name is Aunt Nellie, was put on by the newly-formed Port Morien Players, and has since become an annual community tradition. The Legion was in danger of closing at the time, so Ed MacLeod had an extensive background in drama, and he offered to help to direct a play, and one of the first to sign on was Paulette MacDougall, who volunteered to manage the production.

[Page 3398]

Ed MacLeod and his family moved away years ago, but crew members act as prompters and operate sound and lights. Paulette MacDougall, who has been the manager since the beginning, has many tasks.

I stand today to congratulate Paulette and the cast members, who put many hours of their own time into making the Port Morien Players the true success that it is.

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

STEVENS, PAT - E.A., MUNIC. OF DIGBY: 25 YRS. OF SERV. - CONGRATS.

MR. GORDON WILSON » : We're fortunate to live in a community whose administration is responsible, conscientious, and hard-working town and municipal employees. Some of these employees are invaluable, not only for the work that they do, but for the fact that they've been working in the town or the municipality for years. In addition to their hard work, they bring their years of experience to their jobs as well as provide continuity for their workplace.

Today, I rise to congratulate Pat Stevens, the Executive Assistant for the Municipality of the District of Digby, for her 25 years of service to the municipality. Ms. Stevens, who started working at the municipality's dispatch centre, was recognized at the municipal council meeting at Christmas. Thankfully, Ms. Stevens has indicated that reaching this milestone does not mean she's considering moving on anytime soon; she plans to continue working for the municipality for some years to come. Thank you, Pat.

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

EPEC: STRONG EDUC. COM.: ACKNOWLEDGE

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : I rise today to bring the attention of the House to our amazing Eastern Passage Education Centre in my constituency. The parents, teachers, principals, and resource staff at this school go well above and beyond the typical course curriculum and programs. We have an incredibly strong student advisory council and proactive social clubs.

Last year, during the provincial election, the students at EPEC invited all of us candidates to the school - to grill us. Mr. Speaker, they were ready. What are you going to do about rising tuition prices? How do you decide how to spend the tax money you collect? What do you think can be done to address bullying? I am so proud of all of our schools, and today in particular, on a day when the teachers value their students enough to bring them to the Legislature later on this afternoon.

We would like to recognize a time when, of 50 women who have ever sat in this Legislature, there are 21 here today sending a message to everyone that anyone can rise to become a politician of the future.

[Page 3399]

I ask all the students at EPEC to reach out to me with their ideas and concerns and I ask all members of the Legislature to join me in acknowledging all of the wonderful students, parents, and teachers, from the Eastern Passage Education Centre.

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

NAUGHLER, ELMER: 90th BIRTHDAY - BEST WISHES

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, a very special celebration was held at the Fairwinds Motel & Restaurant in Sheet Harbour on March 13th. It was a beautiful family gathering for Elmer Naugler's 90th birthday dinner, capped off with a delicious birthday cake.

The gift that his seven children thought most suitable for this momentous occasion was simply the presence of themselves. The last time they were all gathered together was the passing of their beloved mother, Barbara Chittick, in 1996 - 22 years ago. The family was well overdue for a get-together. One of Elmer's sons, John, travelled all the way from Cherry Grove, Alberta, to be there.

Mr. Speaker, celebrating 90 trips around the sun is a blessing that we can all appreciate. I know I can speak for Elmer's children - Lucy, David, Robert, Christine, John, Kathy, and Donnie - when I extend my best wishes to Elmer for many more wonderful birthdays and cherished family moments.

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

CLIFFORD ST. YOUTH CTR.: POSITIVE CHEER - THANKS

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : I rise today to thank Rebecca Walker and the staff at the Clifford Street Youth Centre for their Christmas initiative, Positive Cheer, aimed at positive and community thinking. The initiative was funded through a Mental Health Association of Nova Scotia grant.

Programming included Christmas rock painting, crafting, delivering cards, carolling, and visiting within the community. During the winter months, 30 to 40 children attend the centre daily. Smiles were put on local children living with poverty, depression, and anxiety at Christmastime.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped the less fortunate during the Christmas season.

[Page 3400]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Armdale.

DANIEL, EDWARD: ENTREPRENEUR - CONGRATS.

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Edward Daniel, a resident of Armdale I have known for a long time.

Eddie started his career in the restaurant business, taking on the role of owner/operator of The Mediterraneo after the original owner passed away. There, he jumped between management, cooking, and bookkeeping at what was Halifax's oldest and longest-running Lebanese restaurant. Not surprisingly, his restaurant was recognized numerous times in The Coast's annual Best of Food survey.

His next jump was into insurance and automotive sales, and he quickly found success, ultimately turning City Mazda's used-car sales department into the number one Mazda dealership location in Atlantic Canada. Currently as a sales rep for Atlantic Acura, Eddie has been named the top salesperson numerous times.

I also understand he's a great musician and is the lead singer in EC/DC, an AC/DC cover band.

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Daniel on his success and wishing him and his family great success and good health.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

OSEIL, SHELLEY - SALVATION ARMY: COM. SERV. - COMMEND

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : Since joining the Salvation Army Dartmouth Community Ministries in July, Shelley Oseil has proven to be a force to be reckoned with.

An amazing ally for Dartmouth East, she has provided constant support for the people of Dartmouth. Whether she's driving someone to get a new ID or calling everyone in town to secure funding for people in emergency circumstances, Shelley truly acts selflessly in everything she does.

I am reassured to know that whenever I reach out to Shelley, I will receive a prompt and thorough answer. She is motivated and determined and a welcome addition to our community of Dartmouth East.

Shelley Oseil has made a huge impact in the short time she has been in Dartmouth and I cannot wait to see what else she achieves.

[Page 3401]

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

RUGBY N.S.: IRELAND TOUR - CONGRATS.

HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : I would like to recognize Rugby Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Keltics U18 men's and women's teams on their goodwill tour to Ireland between March 7th and March 17th.

The teams were comprised of 46 youth from 15 to 17 years of age, coaching staff, and chaperones. While a participant was from my constituency, many of my colleagues have representation, as team members came from 17 different high schools across Nova Scotia.

This goodwill tour offered the Keltics the opportunity for each team to play three exhibition matches against Irish HS and local clubs, a training session conducted by one of the Irish club's professional coaches, a tour of world-class rugby facilities, and the opportunity to watch professional and international rugby matches.

Although a trip like this involves the supportive efforts of many people, I would like to especially acknowledge the efforts of provincial coach Jack Hanratty, and team manager Janice Cougle, in their efforts leading up to the tour and while in Ireland.

Congratulations to the 2018 Nova Scotia Keltics U18 men's and women's and Rugby Nova Scotia for the success of their 2018 Ireland tour. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland North.

MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCERS: OUTSTANDING PRODUCT - RECOGNIZE

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Today I'd like to recognize the hard-working men and women in the maple sugar camps around this province, especially my uncle and aunt, Wendell and Gerry Smith of Cumberland County, who have produced some of the best maple products in the world.

Over the years of his work, Uncle Wendell has tapped over 60,000 trees in one season, and was the largest producer in all of Atlantic Canada.

I wish all maple syrup producers a successful season, and may everyone enjoy a pure taste of the season. Thank you.

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

WHITFIELD, KYLY - ASSIST. PROF., MSVU:

[Page 3402]

GATES FDN. GRANT - CONGRATS.

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Today I recognize Dr. Kyly Whitfield, an assistant professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, who was recently chosen as the recipient of a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Whitfield is an associate professor of Applied Human Nutrition at MSVU, where she focuses her research in nutritional deficiencies. Thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she is able to continue her research in rural Cambodia this April.

Her passion for children is evident through her work, and it is because of people like her that we are able to innovate new technologies to help the growing global problem of hunger.

The students at the Mount are lucky to have the chance to learn from Dr. Whitfield during their studies.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the members of this House join me in congratulating Dr. Kyly Whitfield and her colleagues for being chosen as the recipient of such a prestigious grant. Thank you.

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

MACLEAN, BILLY JOE - COM. SERV. - THANKS

MS. ALANA PAON « » : I rise today to acknowledge a man who devoted five decades of his life to public service. Billy Joe MacLean of Port Hawkesbury served as a member of this Legislative Assembly and as Port Hawkesbury's longest-serving mayor.

Mr. MacLean has never been one to shy away from speaking in public, nor facing controversy or the camera. Whenever he spoke, he could always be heard promoting Port Hawkesbury and the Strait area.

Billy Joe MacLean led Port Hawkesbury through many challenges, like the reopening of the paper mill, and he achieved great successes like the construction of the SAERC high school, the Nova Scotia Community College's Nautical Institute, and the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

Billy Joe MacLean continues to be a resident of Port Hawkesbury, and he has left large shoes to fill. It will take many years to live up to the standard he set for those who come after him.

I ask my fellow members to join me in sending appreciation to Billy Joe MacLean for his years of standing up on behalf of the Town of Port Hawkesbury, the Strait area, and the broader community of Nova Scotia.

[Page 3403]

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

MCINTYRE, GRACE: SKIING/ROLLER SKIING - CONGRATS.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Grace McIntyre of Fall River was recently named to the provincial cross-country skiing developmental team for Nova Scotia and aspires to compete at the 2019 Canada Games in Red Deer, Alberta.

As a way for athletes to stay ready, waiting for the snow to hit, roller skiing has grown into a competitive sport. This off-snow equivalent for cross-country skiing has roller skis with wheels on the ends and are used on a hard surface. The skiing techniques are very similar to those used in cross-country skiing on snow.

Thirteen-year-old Grace took home the gold medal for a recent roller ski race held in New Brunswick. Please join me in congratulating Grace on her win and wishing her the best of luck in future competitions. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

N.S. PROV. 4H: 40th ANNIV. SHOW AWARDS - CONGRATS.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Congratulations to all the winners at the 40th Nova Scotia Provincial 4-H Show. The top overall county at this year's show was Inverness.

Let us acknowledge Monica Van den Hoogen, Hayley Cox, Hayle Johnson, Spencer Van den Hoogen, Alex MacIsaac, Kate MacDonald, Alisha Beaton, Cynthia Campbell, Sarah Wilson, Anja Van den Heuval, and Riley Van den Heuval for their awards. I should also mention the physical prowess of the County of Inverness tug-of-war team. They were crowned champion. Some of the competitors will be heading to the national championships at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

Thank you to the parents and volunteers who ensure these young people get to enjoy these valuable experiences.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

HATT, CHERIE - FIRST CLASS PRESCHOOL: DEDICATION - THANKS

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to thank a very special person in my community, Cherie Hatt. Cherie runs First Class Preschool, and because of her kindness and dedication, hundreds of children in our community have been given a fantastic head start.

[Page 3404]

I want to take a moment to say a big hello to Harper, Brooklyn, Delaney, Jordan, Charlie, and my little buddy Jayce.

Mr. Speaker, there is one student of hers that I am head over my heels for, and that is my son Oliver Fin Maguire. A big thank you to Ms. Hatt for instilling confidence in a once socially shy little boy.

Ms. Hatt, you truly are a treasure. To Oliver, Rufina, and Isla, Daddy loves you.

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

KEOUGH, ALISON: U SPORTS ALL-CDN. GALA AWARD - CONGRATS.,

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Alison Keough, who was recently named a first team all-Canadian for women's basketball at the U Sports All-Canadian Gala held recently in Regina.

Alison Keough is a 22-year-old from Marion Bridge. She led the Atlantic University sport conference in scoring in her fifth and final season, with a 19.2 point-per- game average. She set an AUS benchmark for most career rebounds. Alison also holds the school record for most points as a Caper.

I stand here today once again, Mr. Speaker, to congratulate Alison Keough on her achievements. I am confident that she will continue on with great success.

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

SHORE CLUB: BEST VENUE IN E. CAN. - CONGRATS.

MR. HUGH MACKAY « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate owner Rhys Harnish and the Shore Club in Hubbards for receiving the Reader's Choice Award as the best venue in Eastern Canada from Meetings and Incentive Travel, an organization dedicated to excellence, leadership, and creativity in the meetings and incentive industry. A total of almost 2,000 readers of the organization's magazine voted on this 2017 season's award.

The Shore Club, a renowned lobster supper and dance hall, has been an important part of our South Shore community since 1946 and continues to play a key role in the tourism business community of the South Shore. Now in its 71st year, the Shore Club has earned its reputation as Nova Scotia's last great dance hall. This is where you can be assured of one heck of a great party every summer night.

Any member from any side of this House is welcome to join me for a lobster supper and dance this summer.

[Page 3405]

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

IYOUPE, HERMAN: ATL. 49 LOTTERY WIN - CONGRATS.

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : On December 2, 2017, Mr. Herman Iyoupe, a long-time resident of Eastern Passage, won the top prize of the Atlantic 49 Lottery and claimed $1 million.

He realized he had the winning numbers early Sunday morning, but that didn't stop him from driving to the store to have them checked there. Mr. Iyoupe, a truck driver, showed his commitment to his employer by finishing out the rest of the work season, before enjoying some well-deserved time off with family and his beloved dog, One Cent. He is planning to seek some guidance from a financial adviser and also do some renovations with his winnings.

The winning lottery ticket was sold to Herman by Treaty Gas in Cole Harbour, and you can see him on the Atlantic 49 Lottery commercial. I am pleased to congratulate Herman, and I wish him well in his early retirement.

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

FULL GOSPEL CHURCH: EAST EGGSTRAVAGANZA - THANKS

MR. BEN JESSOME « » : On March 31st, which is tomorrow, the Full Gospel Church is holding their second annual Easter Eggstravaganza.

This is a free community event which, last year, saw over 500 people attending. There will be food and, of course, lots of chocolate. There will be face painting and games to add to the fun. Prizes will include a bike, a camping set, a kid's kayak, a hammock, and many more. Registration for the event is from 10:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. It will be a great, free event for the entire family.

I would ask all members of the House of Assembly to join me in thanking the Full Gospel Church for offering this Easter Eggstravaganza to the community and wish them well on their event.

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

CARMICHAEL, JOANNE/MACMILLAN, KENDRA:

[Page 3406]

JOKEN PRODUCTS - SALUTE

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute Joanne Carmichael and Kendra MacMillan of North Sydney, co-owners of JoKen All Natural Skincare products. During the past two years, these two have developed a range of products that are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and all-natural products that they manufacture. They love what they're doing and, since most of their clients are women, they support organizations dealing with specific needs of women in the community.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Joanne and Kendra success in their future endeavours in business and in community development.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg.

COLLAB. FAM. PRACTICE TEAMS:

PRIMARY CARE ACCESS - STRENGTHENING

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, today I rise to talk about strengthening the collaborative practice teams across the province, and that includes Lunenburg.

I am proud to be part of a government that is working hard to expand access to primary care with our recently-hired 30 health professionals right across the province. In fact, the collaborative family practice team in Lunenburg will have expanded services from allied health care providers, bringing more access to primary care for the people of Lunenburg and the surrounding areas.

New health professionals working in the province, and in particular Lunenburg, is just the right prescription needed.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DART. SKATING CLUB: ROB. MCCALL MEM. COMPETITION - THANKS

MR. TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the accomplishments of the Dartmouth Skating Club who competed at the Robert McCall Memorial Competition. Over 40 years ago, this competition began in Dartmouth East and it has welcomed skaters from across Atlantic Canada ever since.

Originally named Skate Dartmouth, a team of Dartmouth East volunteers renamed it to honour Dartmouth's own Robert McCall, the only Nova Scotian to win an Olympic medal in figure skating. This event has been entirely volunteer run since it started.

I want to thank the Dartmouth Skating Club for starting this competition and for being such amazing hosts for over 40 years. Congratulations to all the skaters, coaches, and parents.

[Page 3407]

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

HFX. W. WARRIORS: GIRLS SOCCER VICTORIES - CONGRATS.

MS. RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Halifax West High School girl's soccer team on their recent Division 1 championship win.

The Halifax West Warriors defeated the Horton girls soccer team 3-0 in the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation tournament in Antigonish. Jayden Boudreau and Joanna Gorski scored superb goals that ultimately led to the win. This is the second straight championships for the Warriors.

I ask that the members of this House of Assembly join me in applauding these amazing young ladies for their hard work on the field. Way to go, Warriors!

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings South.

FAIRCLOUGH, CLEM - CAPT., VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER:

55-YR. SERV. BAR - RECOGNIZE

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, volunteer firefighters contribute so much to our rural communities. They educate us about fire prevention, protect lives and property when fires do occur, are first responders to a medical emergency or accident, and participate in community activities. We all owe these fantastic women and men a great debt of gratitude.

Today, I would like to recognize volunteer firefighter Captain Clement "Clem" Fairclough of Coldbrook. Last December, I was pleased to be on hand to witness Clem receive his 55-year service bar at the Kentville Volunteer Fire Department Award banquet. What a tremendous commitment to his neighbours and to his fellow firefighters.

I invite all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in thanking Captain Clem Fairclough for over five decades of making personal sacrifices to make his community a safer place to live, work, and raise a family.

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

GRANT, LLOYD - BAPTIST PASTOR: COM. SERV. - RECOGNIZE

[Page 3408]

HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Pastor Lloyd Grant of North Preston who has been a leader of the Beechville Baptist Church since 2011. With his passionate messages each Sunday and inspiring leadership in the community, the pastor has steadily helped grow the church attendance. He is a beacon for the community and often ensures parishioners understand the community and the church go together.

Pastor Grant is often visible at important local community events but has also been called upon as a guest pastor in historic sermons in places such as Africville. He leads groups in prayer before beginning conversations of large importance. He is also there for members of the community who seek spiritual support when experiencing loss or other forms of pain.

[10:45 a.m.]

Beechville Baptist Church was founded by Richard Preston and has played an important part in the community over the years. This continues to this day in large part because of Pastor Grant and the leadership of the church.

I'd like the members of the House to please join me in recognizing the invaluable leadership Pastor Grant has provided for Beechville, their place of worship, and the African Nova Scotian community. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Bedford.

KITCHEN DOOR CATERING:

BEST COOKING CLASSES AWARD - CONGRATS.

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Kitchen Door catering in Bedford for the company's inclusion in Flare magazine's Best Cooking Classes list from across the country. As Flare notes, Kitchen Door has a spacious kitchen where they teach participants about cooking from scratch. Cooking classes focus on a variety of themes, including international cooking or heat for a spicy foods course. Kitchen Door also provides catering and prepared meals that people can purchase.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention their Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers program, which I've spoken about in this House before. Local groups, including businesses, come together once a month to make delicious meals for Byrony House. Each participant pays a fee to help cover the cost of the food, and it's a great team-building opportunity while supporting women fleeing domestic violence.

I want to congratulate the team at Kitchen Door for this latest recognition of their continuing excellence and thank them for assisting those in need.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester North.

[Page 3409]

RATH, STU: JA LAUREATE, BUS. HALL OF FAME - CONGRATS.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, each year Junior Achievement Nova Scotia and the Business Hall of Fame honour individuals who inspire the business community and future business leaders with a record of unparalleled lifetime achievement. Truro businessman Stu Rath has been named as a Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia 2018 Laureate for the Business Hall of Fame.

Rath, one of the most successful businesspeople in Colchester County, has been involved with a variety of business pursuits over the years and is currently the owner of the Truro Bearcats junior A hockey team. Rath has received many prestigious awards, including the Truro Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year, honorary membership in the Kiwanis Club, Paul Harris Fellow for the Rotary Club of Truro, the United Way Outstanding Leadership award, and the Truro Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement award. Congratulations to Stu, a well-known outstanding community supporter, and thanks.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Antigonish.

MACKENZIE, SASHO

- ASSOC. PROF., ST. F.X. EXPERT, SWING MECHANICS - CONGRATS.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a professor at St. Francis Xavier University, a leader in his field of sport biomechanics. Dr. Sasho MacKenzie is known as one of the foremost authorities in the study and analysis of the golf swing. Dr. MacKenzie has been published in the International Journal of Golf Science, is hired by companies like PING as an engineering consultant, and is invited to participate in golf clinics around the world.

As an associate professor at St. F.X., he has spent years studying the golf swing, but recently he had the opportunity to be a consultant for a different swing: the batter's swing. Dr. MacKenzie was invited to Spring training for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent three days in Phoenix consulting with the player development staff, batting coaches, strength and conditioning staff, and some players. The Dodgers looked to Dr. MacKenzie for assistance in analyzing the swing mechanics that allow a batter to be successful at the plate.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to Dr. MacKenzie on the success of his research academically and applied. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

HFX. CONTRA DANCES: COM. HOSPITALITY - RECOGNIZE

[Page 3410]

MS. LISA ROBERTS « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize the organizing efforts and the contribution to community of Halifax Contra Dances, which hosts welcoming, supportive, beginner-friendly contra dances about once a month in a church hall in Halifax Needham. Every dance features live music and a caller who turns strangers into dancers and friends. It is literally impossible to participate without smiling. As my kids get older, I'm thrilled that we can squeeze in some dancing before bedtime.

We talk often about the need to foster welcoming communities in Nova Scotia. To me, Contra is a bit of a model: active, fun, low-tech, and affordable, with no alcohol but enough snacks. I encourage all members to give it a try if you see a contra dance happening near you, or come to Halifax Needham and we may end up dancing together. Thank you.

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

H&W: CAREGIVER PROG. - COM. SUPPORT

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the new eligibility rules regarding caregivers, which will extend the benefits to a significant number of seniors in the Preston-Dartmouth area. The new rules will extend benefits to another 600 individuals in Nova Scotia. The $5.5 million directed to enhance the caregiver program will ensure that more seniors will receive care and remain in their homes longer.

There is no question that this change in eligibility rules will support seniors in their quest to remain independent and in their homes for longer.

[10:50 a.m.]

There is no question that this change in eligibility rules will support seniors in their quest to remain independent and in their homes for longer.

I applaud and congratulate the Department of Health and Wellness on the new caregiver program for supporting seniors to remain in their own home, particularly in my area.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

DART. HOUSING HELP: ADVOCACY & DEDICATION - THANKS

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, finding affordable, safe, and accessible housing in Dartmouth North, and in many places in Nova Scotia, is next to impossible. On a daily basis, there are people in my constituency office who are facing eviction because they are in rent arrears or need to leave their homes because of unsafe living conditions, and they can't find anywhere to live that meets their budget.

[Page 3411]

Nova Scotia needs rent control, needs to invest in new social housing stock, and needs to increase ESIA rates and the minimum wage so that people can afford to pay their rent and put food on the table - it shouldn't be an either/or situation. But, until all of that happens, I am grateful for the work of Darcy and Leigh at Dartmouth Housing Help, who happen to share the bottom floor of our office building.

Dartmouth Housing Help is a project of the Public Good Society and assists people in finding housing and navigating the MRHA system, and advocates for people to landlords to help them land in a safe and healthy renting situation. These days, Darcy and Leigh, who are endlessly patient and knowledgeable, are run off their feet and are booking appointments a month out.

I want to thank the Dartmouth Housing Help for their dedication to the people of Dartmouth North, and to some of the most marginalized members of our community.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

VEINOTTE-NICKERSON, PAULA:

SHAVE FOR THE BRAVE - RECOGNIZE

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to come up with a unique way to create awareness of the many groups of people affected by cancer.

One woman from East Hants is taking on the cause, focusing on the health of young adults with the disease. Paula Veinotte- Nickerson can personally attest to the challenges of receiving a cancer diagnosis as a young adult. She now volunteers for YACC, the Young

Adult Cancer Canada.

To raise funds for the non-profit group, she organized an event called Shave for the Brave, on March 4th. This event is special to Ms. Nickerson, as her 11-year-old son, Tyson, is bravely shaving his head and donating the hair to the YACC for their Wigs for Kids Campaign. Her fundraising efforts raised $1,290 for the organization. The money will be used to help to continue their work in helping young people cope and survive their diagnosis.

I ask all members of this House to join me in offering their congratulations and recognition to Paula and Tyson for their efforts towards this worthy cause.

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

WRIGHT, DAVE - HRSB MEMBER: COMMITMENT - THANKS

[Page 3412]

HON. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, this week brings an end to the work of the elected school board members across Nova Scotia. They've been working for a number of decades to ensure that students' and parents' needs are met.

I want to say that the government has painted that system, or the school board system, as dysfunctional, but that's not the experience I've had over the last 15 years, Mr. Speaker. My office and I relied heavily on our elected school board members over the last 15 years, and I have to say they've always met the challenges and the issues that we brought to them in a professional, respectful manner.

I do want to thank the current school board member, Dave Wright, who has worked extremely hard to address the needs of our students and our parents in the Sackville-Cobequid riding, Mr. Speaker, and wish him success into the future.

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

ARCHIBALD, DONNELLY - PH.D., ST. F.X.:

GEOLOGY RESEARCH - RECOGNIZE

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, today I want to acknowledge the work of Donnelly Archibald, an accomplished geologist from Aspen in the St. Mary's District.

He has a B.Sc. Honours degree in Earth Sciences, a Master's degree from Acadia University, and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Adelaide in Australia, which he is now putting to good use teaching in the Department of Earth Sciences at St. Francis Xavier University. (Applause) Thank you, Mr. Minister.

It is the research for his Ph.D. that I would like to highlight today. Donnelly's passion for geology led him to the Island of Madagascar to study and collect granite rocks, deposited over 600 million years ago, in hopes to unravel different variables of tectonic evolution - he says that knowing the patterns of plate tectonics can help us identify and more easily locate certain mineral assets that could have great socio-economic implications for our province.

Donnelly has more plans to look more closely at rock formations in Canada, and closer to home in Cape Breton, and start his own research program. Mr. Speaker, it is exciting to see this dynamic young man and his strong initiative to bring the knowledge from the past into the possibilities of tomorrow – and, for this, I commend him.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member of Pictou East on an introduction.

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : If I could direct the members' attention to the east gallery, where we have two young students making their first trip to Province House here today, taking in the proceedings. We have Noah Fry, he's a criminology student from Saint Mary's, and Rebecca Yorke, a political science student from Saint Mary's. They are making their first trip but there is a regular beside them - we have the new President for the PC Association in Clayton Park West, Brett Martin, if we can receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

[Page 3413]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

N.S. SCH. BDS. ASSOC.: COM. SERV. - GRATITUDE

MS. CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to say farewell to the Nova Scotia School Boards Association and school boards across the province. Since 1954, the School Boards Association has supported education and governing school boards and today, as we all know, is their last day.

As the minister said yesterday in Committee of the Whole on Supply, education originally emerged in communities, and school boards, in fact, predate much of the regulation and bureaucracy that now governs our education systems.

It is with gratitude and sadness that I say goodbye to all school boards in Nova Scotia today, and the Halifax Regional School Board in particular. Thank you for all of your service, for your dedication to students and families, for the late-night phone calls, and for participating in democracy in this province. You will be missed.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Armdale.

EASTER TRIDUUM: PEACE AND REST - BEST WISHES

HON. LENA DIAB « » : I rise today as we enter a four-day recess from the Legislature to wish my colleagues a very peaceful break. Today is Holy Thursday, also known as Passion Thursday, where we remember it as the day of the Last Supper when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and established a ceremony known as the Eucharist. It is my hope that I will be able to attend with my family tonight at church, at Our Lady of Lebanon, to share in the celebration. Of course, this is followed by Good Friday and Sunday, that day, the holiest day in the year for many people around the globe.

I wish all my colleagues and all residents of Nova Scotia a very peaceful and Happy Easter. Thank you.

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

BROWN, NATALIE: HFX. W. SESQUICENTENNIAL AWARD - RECOGNIZE

[Page 3414]

HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Natalie Brown, the Executive Director of the Fairview Family Resource Centre and a recipient of the Halifax West Sesquicentennial Award. Natalie is the backbone of one of the most welcoming centres in our community, where she organizes countless programs to help citizens in their everyday health and well-being.

The Fairview Family Resource Centre helps both youth and adults develop skills that will help them in the workforce, as well as supports for parents. Natalie has shaped this organization to become the thriving hub of the community that it is today. Without her help, the centre would not have been able to carry out its daily activities which are relied upon by many constituents in Fairview-Clayton Park.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the members of this House join me in recognizing Natalie Brown on receiving this award, as well as her dedication to the people of Fairview-Clayton Park. Thank you.

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

HOWELL, COLE: DIVING COMPETITION - BEST WISHES

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Fall River's Cole Howell has come a long way since trying out diving at the Canada Games Centre at his sixth birthday. Ten years old now, he will be part of the Canadian contingent that will train and compete in Cuba in April. He is excited to compete for the first time in an outdoor pool.

Mr. Speaker, Cole is hoping to make new friends and learn some new dives during the week of training and competition in Cuba, and hopes to bring home medals as well.

To help with fundraising, Cole is selling Magic Bags that his mom creates. I want to wish Cole good luck and best wishes on his future successes.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

CAMPAGNA, YVES: FOSTER PARENT - RECOGNIZE

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take a moment to recognize a true Nova Scotia role model, Mr. Yves Campagna. Born in residential Québec, his professional life took him to the Navy, to CN, and to Dover Mills right here in Halifax.

Mr. Speaker, what makes Yves so special is that along the way he has fostered dozens of children, one of those children being me. This weekend he will be throwing his annual Easter Egg Hunt where the house is filled with those children, who are now adults, who will be accompanied by their own children.

[Page 3415]

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank Dad for all he has done, and we're looking forward to seeing you this weekend at the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. I want to thank everybody for those member statements, and I'll take the opportunity to wish everybody a Happy Holiday Easter weekend with your friends and family in your home community.

[11:00 a.m.]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM. - VETERANS WALK-IN CLINIC: FED. FUNDING - LOBBY

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Veterans in Nova Scotia have worked extremely hard to put forward a convincing argument for a walk-in clinic. After sacrificing and servicing our country, our veterans deserve health care that meets their needs.

The Premier has said that he has admired the idea, and we thank him for that. The all-Party Veterans Affairs Committee supports the idea as well. However, there was no mention of funding for this worthy project in the federal budget.

What concrete steps did the Premier take to lobby his Liberal counterparts in the federal government to fund the worthy project that has the support of all our veterans and all political Parties in this Chamber?

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL (The Premier): As the honourable member said, I have provided my endorsement and support of the idea that was brought forward by the Progressive Conservative caucus. Mr. Speaker, I reached out to our national Party and continue to work with them to ensure that Camp Hill, that walk-in clinic, is made available.

What I did say when I added my agreement is that I believe it is the responsibility of the federal government. I will continue to work with them and my colleagues here to impress upon them the important investment that will be required on behalf of the national government to support the many veterans who call Nova Scotia home.

MS. MACFARLANE: We all should be speaking in support of this. We all know that there are 32 Liberal MPs in Atlantic Canada. Our veterans have never hesitated, Mr. Speaker, to stand up for us. It is disappointing that so few are willing to stand up for them now.

[Page 3416]

I would like the Premier to show real leadership on a walk-in clinic for veterans and request a personal meeting with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Veterans Affairs to make this project a reality, a project that we all agree has to happen.

THE PREMIER » : I do want to thank those 32 MPs who continue to support our government as we continue to move forward to try to grow the economy of the province.

We continue to work with our national government to ensure that the programs that are made available reflect the realities of Atlantic Canadians and Nova Scotians. It's one of the reasons we have been able to partner with them to continue to grow the economy and to create good job opportunities.

As I said to the honourable member in my first answer, we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that the services that veterans require in this province are here in Nova Scotia.

MS. MACFARLANE: Mr. Speaker, there has been no real action taken, but I would love to go with the Premier. Maybe we can lobby the Prime Minister.

The shortage of family doctors in our province coupled with the unique needs that many veterans have means some of our veterans get insufficient health care or worse, no health care at all. The idea of a walk-in clinic for veterans is not a new one. The Premier has had time to discuss it with his federal cousins and to get answers from them. I think we can all agree that we haven't taken enough action on this.

We need to see some progress on this. Since the federal Liberal Government appears to have turned their back on our veterans and their needs, will the Premier please take immediate steps to establish a veterans walk-in clinic without the help of Ottawa?

THE PREMIER « » : Again, I want to remind the honourable member, I have said many times, I believe it is the responsibility of the national government to make those investments.

We're working to ensure that we continue to invest in mental health services in our province. We're continuing to make sure we invest in classrooms in our province. We're going to continue to make sure we attract more health care providers in our province.

But it is the national government's responsibility, in my view, to make that investment that is required. We're going to continue to work with our colleagues across all departments to ensure the national government understands the importance of the investment that will be required here at Kemptville.

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

[Page 3417]

PREM. - CHRÉTIEN VISIT: LOBBYING - RECTIFY

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : I would like this morning to table the following nine dictionary definitions of the word "lobbying": Webster's, Oxford's, Fowler's, Black's, and five other dictionary definitions of the word. Not one of which defines the word "lobbying" in terms of a request for funds. That however is the definition that the Premier has insisted on as he has contended that he was not, in his view, lobbied by Jean Chrétien.

The Premier does not get to invent his own language in Nova Scotia. I want to ask him, why will he not simply admit that what looks and sounds and smells like lobbying, in fact, has been lobbying and then move to rectify the situation?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to tell the honourable member that over the last four and one-half years of the great fortune to govern, we have worked with so many people - not only Nova Scotians but around the world - who want to make sure we have the proper investments in our province.

That's why, over the last two years, we have seen more young people stay in our province than we have in the last number of decades. That's why we have moved back into fiscal health. It's why we continue to make sure we make those investments to attract the young people who want to be in this province.

We have some young people here in the gallery today - I met some of them today - who are very optimistic about the future in our province. We're going to continue to make those investments.

Let me be very clear - anyone who wants to come to this province who want to drive economic development, I'll be more than happy to meet with them.

MR. BURRILL: Mr. Speaker, an open and respect-filled tone is one of the greatest assets a government can have. So it's a serious concern that, when the Nova Scotia chair of the Canadian Federation of Students recently published an opinion piece critical of the government's failure to pass legislation to address sexual violence on campus, the response of the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education was to cancel scheduled meetings and to suggest that these students would not be welcome at future meetings in his department.

I want to ask the Premier if the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education's conduct in this matter is in keeping with his standards of openness and respect?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to tell the honourable member that under successive Ministers of Labour and Advanced Education, we are now requiring our post-secondary institutions to have a sexual assault strategy on campus. The funding that will go to them will be contingent upon that being in place under the leadership of the minister, who is continuing to work with our post-secondary education.

[Page 3418]

I also want to draw the honourable member's attention to the work the minister has been doing with the Graduate to Opportunity program, where we're seeing more young people find their first job in Nova Scotia. We're working with our private sector and working with our universities, providing hope for the very young people he is referring to.

I'm optimistic like many, many young people are in this province. They can finally see themselves building an economic future in this province so that they can help raise their family and build on their own dreams and hopes.

MR. BURRILL: Earlier this week, the Premier derisively characterized those whose opinions differ from his or from the opinions of his government as noise - that was the word he used. I don't think I'm alone in finding this a troubling sign, and not the first troubling sign, of a government that is performing inadequately when it comes to openness and respect and listening.

I want to ask the Premier, what kind of leadership does he think he's providing when he dismisses views other than his own as "noise"?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to remind the honourable member that under our government's leadership, Executive Council members' expenses are all online. Nova Scotians can view them and look at them. We continue to make sure to make ourselves accountable. (Interruptions) I hear some conversation, the beginning of upset from the other side. The fact of the matter is, it was this Executive Council that actually ensured that Nova Scotians have access to their expenses online in a timely fashion, not only ours but also those of the executive team.

I want to remind the honourable member that, under this leadership, we have just tabled our third consecutive balanced budget. I want to remind the honourable member that under this leadership we have continued to work in Nova Scotia so that young people see a future for themselves in Nova Scotia. We're going to continue to make sure that we move this province forward in a positive, optimistic way like many Nova Scotians see us.

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

JUSTICE - POWER, ANGELA:

MAINTENANCE ENFORCEMENT PROG. - MEETING

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : My question is for the Minister of Justice. For a year, I have been corresponding with Angela Power. She has been struggling for a number of years to secure thousands of dollars owed to her by her ex-husband. Ms. Power has been rebuffed in her efforts to have the Maintenance Enforcement Program proceed with the sale of her ex-husband's property, on which the program has a lien.

[Page 3419]

I asked the Deputy Minister of Justice for a meeting between myself, the minister, and Ms. Power. So far, the deputy minister has provided a list of enforcement actions but has ignored my request for a meeting. Today actually marks exactly two months since my second request for a meeting, which has been ignored.

Why has the department ignored these meeting requests, and why has it taken over 60 days to respond to a second request?

HON. MARK FUREY » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not familiar with the correspondence my colleague has referenced, but if she is prepared to share that with me, I am more than willing to engage my deputy and facilitate these discussions.

MS. MACFARLANE: This has been going on for a year and a half, almost two years. I will even table the waiver.

I do know for certain - I know the minister has a lot of people to remember - that we have discussed this.

Ms. Power is now in a very precarious situation. Even though she works extremely hard to provide for her two children, she is faced with having to sell her home this Spring. This is a direct result of the circumstances surrounding the Maintenance Enforcement Program's inability to enforce the maintenance order.

Ms. Power needs more than a vague promise to continue to work with her to enforce the maintenance order. She has waited long enough for some resolution that will help her provide for her children and keep them home.

Will the minister please demonstrate compassion and commit today to organizing a meeting for next week between myself, Ms. Power, himself, and the deputy minister so that she does not have to lose her home?

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my colleague, but my colleague has herself identified that she has been dealing with this matter for two years. This is the first I've heard from my colleague on this specific subject.

I do want the House to know, because I am very sensitive to these types of discussions where single mothers and young families are impacted by these very circumstances, that we have taken significant steps to update and amend the Maintenance Enforcement Program to advance legislation through this House so that we are providing young mothers and young families the opportunity to be successful in our communities. These circumstances are no different.

We'll continue that work. I look forward to enhancing the Maintenance Enforcement Program further.

[Page 3420]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

LAE - LBR. STANDARDS CODE: INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE - LEAVE

MS. TAMMY MARTIN « » : Mr. Speaker, this morning we were looking forward to hearing about the government's commitment to expanding the Labour Standards Code to include provisions for leave from work related to intimate partner violence. However, I must say that the provisions leave a lot to be desired.

I'd like to ask the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education if he can explain why the province will deny a few days of paid leave to survivors of intimate partner violence.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : I'd like to thank the member for the question. We have brought a bill forward today which ensures that any individual who is in a domestic violence situation and has to take time off work will not lose their job.

We're here to support the victims. We're here to ensure that they not only get a period of time off at their choosing but also get intermittent days off. There are 10 intermittent days in the bill and up to 16 weeks of leave so that the individuals can deal with their situation. It's a stressful situation for the individuals to be in and they should not have the added stress of possibly losing their job. That's what we're putting in place.

MR. SPEAKER: Just before we move on to the supplementary question, we're going to let that first question stand, but questions should not anticipate an item that's on the order paper. In this case, the bill is, in fact, on the order paper, and the time to debate that is during debate on the bill. So if you have a supplementary question (Interruptions) Pardon me?

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

MS. MARTIN: Sadly, what I asked the minister was if they would provide paid leave. Although they may be off, they won't be able to afford to eat.

According to the World Health Organization, a lack of alternative means of financial support is a key barrier for those seeking to leave situations of intimate partner violence. Job protection should be the minimum condition. As legislators, we have the power to guarantee survivors more security than that. I am frankly, stunned that this government has not taken the opportunity. As I said, you may be able to go off, but you just won't be able to eat.

[11:15 a.m.]

[Page 3421]

Will the minister agree to guarantee paid leave for survivors of intimate partner violence?

MR. KOUSOULIS: Mr. Speaker, I do agree with the member, and that's why we brought this bill in. This bill should have been brought in a long time ago, the safety net should be there for survivors.

As I said to media just a short time ago, I am more than willing to look at paid leave. We consulted on paid leave. I did not want to hold this bill up because I did not want even one individual who might lose their job because of being in a domestic violence situation. I will add that although we're going to have a lot more opportunity to talk about the bill, we actually expanded what the definition is. It's not only domestic violence, sexual violence, it's not only as the NDP bill that came in that only had a partner relationship, this bill is much broader than what they brought in, and it will help a lot more people than their bill would have.

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

LAE - LOAN FORGIVENESS PROG.: GRADUATE NURSES - ELIGIBILTY

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

According to the Nova Scotia Health Authority, nurses are an integral part of our health care team; in fact, there are 116 job postings for nurses on the Health Authority's website and a handful more on the IWK's. We also have great nursing programs in our Nova Scotia universities, but unfortunately, we have a Loan Forgiveness Program that excludes nurses, and other professional four-year-degree students.

My question to the minister is, why has the minister blocked graduate nurses from the loan forgiveness that is offered to most other new grads?

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, to actually put the spotlight on what this government did with our Loan Forgiveness Program, the individual is right, the Loan Forgiveness Program does not apply to people at the graduate level. What the loan forgiveness does do, is our undergraduate students, many of whom will be in university, who are here in the audience today, I'd like them to know that as they approach university, they should apply for a Nova Scotia Student Loan. Upon graduation, their full Nova Scotia Student Loan will be fully forgiven - it's a great incentive.

MR. ORRELL: Mr. Speaker, our nursing programs in Nova Scotia are a four-year graduate nursing degree program, undergraduate program, that allows a nurse to fully practise when she enters the workforce.

[Page 3422]

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia has an aging population which makes it very important to keep our bright and young people here at home; it also means the need for trained nurses will only increase. That's why the government's policy of denying loan forgiveness to graduating nurses is so hard to understand.

My question to the minister is, will the minister commit today to re-examining this unfair policy that denies nurses loan forgiveness?

MR. KOUSOULIS: Mr. Speaker, I'm more than happy to take a look at the policy, I'll look at any policy. I have no problem even working with the member in having a look at it.

Mr. Speaker, what I would like to also add, as the member pointed out, we do have nursing programs in this province, and I know in the last few years, every nurse graduating has been hired, and I believe that was the case even under previous governments. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education has the floor.

MR. KOUSOULIS: Mr. Speaker, it's a great program and there are great opportunities for the graduates when they do graduate.

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

LAE - LENNOX PASSAGE BR. WORKSITE: OH&S REGS.

- NON-COMPLIANCE

MS. ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is about the Lennox Passage Bridge, which connects Isle Madame to the mainland.

The Lennox Passage Bridge is a six-and-a-half-metre bascule, or a drawbridge that is powered by electricity. The bridge is manually operated by a provincial employee in an operating booth stationed on the west side of the bridge. The operating booth does not have a toilet, or a sink with running water - no sink, or running water, Mr. Speaker.

Occupational Health and Safety guidelines require that workers have access to both, and I'm going to table the guide to Part 4 of the Nova Scotia Occupational Safety General Regulations.

Is the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education aware that this provincially operated workplace is not compliant with the OHSA Regulations?

[Page 3423]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MS. PAON: I believe I directed that to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

MR. SPEAKER: My apologies, the honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. (Interruption)

MR. HINES: Mr. Speaker, I'd be happy to answer that.

MS. PAON: No, I asked . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. It's the prerogative of the Executive Council to determine who answers the question.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

MR. HINES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I appreciate (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I'd like to remind the honourable member that the rules are not different, the rules are well-established in the handbook. It's the prerogative of Executive Council to determine who answers the question.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has the floor.

MR. HINES: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. I'm more than happy to answer the question. That's a very important link that we have in our highway system in Nova Scotia, and like our nine-ferry system, there are particular circumstances that apply to those particular - this is not a ferry, it's a bridge. We are actually looking at upgrading the availability. There have been some changes from the Department of Environment in how you can handle that sort of thing, so we're happy to take a look at that particular situation.

MS. PAON: Mr. Speaker, I'll try this again. I was actually going to ask about the capital plan, but I would like to ask again to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, I am asking specifically about a violation to OHSA. I am asking the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education - not the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal - to please respond to whether he is aware that there is a violation for a provincial employee on a provincial site, regarding no toilet facility and no running water?

[Page 3424]

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not aware of the situation the member speaks of.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

TIR - HWY. NO. 104 (SUTHERLANDS RIVER-ANTIGONISH):

PRIVATE SECTOR TWINNING - COST SAVINGS

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : I was happy to see an announcement yesterday from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal that they are taking steps to move forward with the twinning of the dangerous stretch of Highway No. 104 from Sutherlands River to Antigonish. For this stretch, I am in favour of the safest road built as fast as possible in the least amount of time. I was interested to see the department has a consultant's report that says pursuing a private sector model can save the province as much as 14.5 per cent on the construction and operation.

Could the minister detail which area saw the greatest cost savings that would allow a private sector company to build the road for 14.5 per cent less?

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : I am very happy to stand on my feet and talk about the outstanding undertaking this government has taken to save the lives of Nova Scotians by twinning 80 kilometres of highway over the next seven years, in particular the 38- kilometre section to which the member refers.

I would also like to point out to the member that really the Mi'kmaq of our province are the original road builders. They travelled well-travelled paths for food, trade, and community. Our roads perform the same function today. We know that twinned highways save lives. Full stop. The quicker that we can bring these twinned highways to our Nova Scotia motorists, the better off we are as a society.

MR. HOUSTON: Come on, Mr. Speaker. I mean, 14.5 per cent of Nova Scotians might think that was actually an answer to the question I asked. I am asking about a 14.5 per cent savings. Now I understand that that number comes from a consultant's report. Perhaps that consultant's report is in a draft format, but it's enough for the minister to quote from it. I wonder if it's enough for the minister to share some details with this House.

I ask the minister, would he table the consultant's report so Nova Scotians can see exactly how this 14.5 per cent in savings can be realized over what the department can do?

MR. HINES: As I'm sure the member opposite would know, in the world of purchasing, bulk purchasing results in much better prices for activities. Think about 38 kilometres of pavement, think about, I believe, 28 structures that are involved in this process, think about consolidating the management of that process cast across the $300 million expenditure, Mr. Speaker, and 14.5 per cent (Interruption)

[Page 3425]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has the floor. (Interruption)

Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

MR. HINES: Fourteen-and-a-half per cent of $300 million is $43.5 million, and I can't wait to redirect that into other areas of our transportation budget.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

TIR - HWY. NO. 104 TWINNING: P3 DEAL - CONCERN

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal announced yesterday this his department is seeking proponents to twin Highway No. 104 in a P3 deal. Such a deal could see a private contractor design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the highway.

Last year this government said they would not pursue toll highways, but now it seems like Nova Scotians will be on the hook to line a private corporation's coffers another way.

Does the minister think Nova Scotians should be handing money over to private corporations for roads?

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : It's incumbent on government to determine the best disposition of the precious budget of this province, the taxpayers' money - what the disposition of that is.

In the instance of our twinning program, we have absolute evidence from the Cobequid Pass experience that money is saved, but more importantly, time is saved and time translates into lives, Mr. Speaker.

MS. LEBLANC: Nova Scotia's experience with P3s is clear. The public pays more and corporations walk away with millions. The private company responsible for the Cobequid Pass provided just $66 million for the project, while Nova Scotians have since paid more than $300 million in tolls. That does not seem like a good deal to me.

Will the minister promise Nova Scotians that he will not syphon our tax dollars to private corporations through another P3 road scheme?

[Page 3426]

MR. HINES: I thank the member opposite for the question. I would like to again reference the Cobequid Pass as a shining example of a P3 process that has put money in the pockets of Nova Scotians, but more importantly, the most recent example is the Nova Centre, and who does not think that is a tremendous project?

It was a P3 project brought forward by the current Third Party when they actually formed the government of this province, and a wise decision they made.

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

EECD - COLE HBR.-EAST. PASSAGE: SCHOOL DECISIONS - INFORM

MS. BARBARA ADAMS « » : I've risen in the Legislature several times to ask the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development to advise my constituents about any planned closures or merging of Cole Harbour High, Auburn High, and their feeder schools. We've all been waiting over nine months.

Initially, the minister delayed the decision because of the introduction of pre-Primary. Then we were told to wait until the Glaze report was done, and then it was the release of the inclusion report this week.

My question to the minister is, will the minister now tell the House what the fate of these schools is?

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : The member is accurate. There's critical data that we need before a decision is made - pre-Primary spacing being one. But also, I remind the member that the Auditor General, along with Dr. Glaze, has told government that we need to enhance our process for school reviews. That work is under way.

We have dedicated $11 million in this year's budget and we will have a capital announcement in June this summer. I want to assure the member and her constituents that the good work they did on the school options committee will help inform the decision in relation to that family of schools.

MS. ADAMS: My constituents do not have a single family doctor. Surprise. We are the only constituency without a library, and . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I'd like to remind the honourable member, I think as I've mentioned before, that supplementary questions are intended to be on the same topic.

MS. ADAMS: It is.

[Page 3427]

MR. SPEAKER: Please proceed.

MS. ADAMS: Our new high school will not have any IB or skills trades and we don't have a public wharf at Fisherman's Cove, so we are hoping for a piece of good news from our Education and Early Childhood Development Minister. The minister has indicated that there may be some news some time in June; I don't know what that news means, but will the minister commit to holding public meetings with the community before any final decision is made on our schools?

MR. CHURCHILL: In terms of the decision that will be announced in June, that will be on the capital plan. That will answer the member's question and the questions that her constituency has.

We have a great skilled trades centre in Cole Harbour, and I think we have seen great success there. We have invested dollars in this budget to expand skilled trades centres across this province and that is very much in line with the recommendations from the Commission on Inclusive Education.

[11:30 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland North.

CCH - CUMBERLAND LIBRARY GRANT: LATE NOTICE - EXPLAIN

MS. ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Mr. Speaker, last month, the Cumberland Regional Library board of directors had to make the very difficult decision to let some staff go and decrease the hours of operation. I made a couple of phone calls and was able to speak with the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Thankfully, the government announced a grant for the library that will allow them to continue their hours and maintain their staff.

While the board of directors and I are very grateful for this last-minute funding, I must ask the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, why did the department wait until the eleventh hour and let the board of directors go through this stress, and is there a long-term plan for funding of our libraries?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. We know that library funding, the current model, doesn't work as it traditionally did - a lot around demographics.

We are now awaiting a report on a new funding model for libraries in the province. They are certainly a major part of our communities - community hubs, welcoming centres, an array of services they offer - and I was pleased that we did give the nine library boards almost half a million dollars, the second year in succession, while a new plan is being developed.

[Page 3428]

MS. SMITH-MCCROSSIN: Thank you for the response. Cumberland's regional libraries are a critical part of education and the cultural life in our communities. They provide essential services and free learning opportunities for adults and children alike, and they play a vital role in promoting local arts and culture. The Cumberland library system saw a 42 per cent increase in program attendance in the year 2016-17, yet in this budget, the provincial libraries have received a 0.1 per cent increase over last year's Estimates.

My question to the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage is, is this increase an appropriate or respectful way to fund this crucial link to Nova Scotia communities?

MR. GLAVINE: I thank the member for bringing this forward. I know it's an issue that all MLAs have had to deal with in their constituencies, but in particular, I'd like to point out the work of my colleague for Kings South. He gave great detail to this issue some time ago and alerted the department to form a committee to look at a new funding formula that will make sure that core services of our libraries, and that we work in partnership with municipal units and the boards right across Nova Scotia. Within a very short time, we'll have that new funding formula that will support public libraries in our province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Official Opposition House Leader.

TIR - ABRAMS RIVER BRIDGE: REPLACEMENT - CONCERN

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The Abrams River bridge on Highway No. 3 in Ste. Anne du Ruisseau is in pretty rough shape, and I was happy to see it on the replacement list for this year.

The current bridge - or actually, it is a box-drain culvert design that restricts the amount of water that can flow through from basically the ocean side to - I would call it the swamp or the meadow side. Residents are concerned, however, that the department is replacing it with a free-flowing bridge.

Can the minister offer some insight into why the department is changing the type of culvert or bridge?

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Of course, in all probability, that structure that's in place is from a different era. One of the guiding principles that we use when we're replacing structures today is to inform ourselves of the environmental impact associated with these kinds of structures that were built in a different time.

Sometimes that will take us to a point where we would redesign the particular structure that's involved - sometimes, again, informed by the environmental assessment that's performed, and sometimes that can result in that type of change. But I can tell you that before those changes are made, we're taking a closer look at what the post-installation implications are. Thank you.

[Page 3429]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: On the meadow side, there are ducks and wildlife that have maybe over time moved into that area because of the causeway and the box drain, what was basically created artificially when that box drain was put in back in the 1920s or 1930s or whenever - it was put in a very long time ago. The residents feel that they have been well-served by that design. But they're really worried about flooding and other things that might happen because of that change.

Can the minister commit to consulting or having his staff consult with residents of the area to either modify the design or help allay their concerns?

MR. HINES: Mr. Speaker, in terms of going back and rewriting something that was in practice maybe as much as 100 years ago, we strive to find a central ground where we can find a solution that suits everybody.

I'm very appreciative of the fact that in these circumstances, you do have in-fill. People have moved into that area. They depend on the terrain, as it were, that exists in their present circumstance. We're very mindful of what changes could happen, and we will undertake to find out and talk to people in the area about what the best design might be.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COM. SERV.: INCOME ASSISTANCE RATES - INCREASE

MS. SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. The minister may be aware that Springhill High School in Cumberland County has started a food bank in the school - I can table that. A food bank for high school students who cannot afford enough to eat - that's the kind of Nova Scotia this short-sighted budget supports.

Mr. Speaker, before the minister repeats her talking points about the promise of transformation and the small steps she wants Nova Scotians to accept as good enough, I want to know, will the Minister of Community Services admit that this budget is leaving children hungry?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank those students at Springhill who are thinking about their fellow citizens, their fellow students, who may not have enough to eat.

Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member will know, we are rolling out a breakfast program across this entire province. A breakfast program, while it helps students learn, is also an anti-poverty program because it removes the necessity for parents to provide breakfast to their children. There are lots of other things that we are doing as well, which I'll be happy to discuss in my second answer.

[Page 3430]

MS. LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, Nick Jennery is the executive director of Feed Nova Scotia. He knows a lot about food banks and the many Nova Scotians who rely on them because income assistance rates are too low. He wrote this week:

". . . what we didn't see in the budget was an immediate hike in income assistance rates so individuals can access adequate food and shelter. The Department of Community Services has said it's coming, but we hoped government would give it the priority that's urgently needed to make it happen sooner. This is heartbreaking for thousands of Nova Scotians who will wake up hungry tomorrow."

Does the minister find it acceptable that thousands of Nova Scotians will regularly go hungry while they wait another year for this government to raise the rates?

MS. REGAN: As the honourable member is well aware, we are in fact, removing the calculation of maintenance payments to income assistance rates, Mr. Speaker, which is roughly a $270 increase to income assistance for families who receive maintenance, so that's a big change.

As well, we will be introducing a new wage exemption program, Mr. Speaker, which will allow people who are on income assistance to earn more money and to keep more of the money they earn. We have increased the basic personal exemption. We have doubled the allowable assets. We have made a number of improvements, and we're not going to stop there.

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

TIR: BOAT HBR. PROJECT - COST TO TAXPAYERS

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The Boat Harbour Act was passed in Spring 2015, and it promises to close Boat Harbour by 2020. We all realize that remediation can be complicated and can become a multi-phase project. We know that Nova Scotia Lands is managing the project, but three years later, we have made very little progress with remediation.

Can the minister please provide an update on this project and let the taxpayers know how much of their money has gone towards this project?

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question and opportunity to highlight the commitment that this government has made to remediate the Boat Harbour situation. Much like the earlier question, in times past, decisions were made without the information we have now currently to inform us, particularly on environmental impact perspective.

[Page 3431]

This government has set aside $133 million to remediate Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility. If the member were to go down there, you will see there is work being done. Currently there's an area that has been dammed off as an experimental area to get some learning as to how we can get to the larger process. It's a fabulous project, and we are going to take that facility out of commission as the commitment has been on schedule. Thank you.

MS. MACFARLANE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. We have been told, actually, by the Auditor General that the province's liability for this project has gone from an estimated $12 million in 2013 to an estimated $130 million in 2017. For the record, that is a 900 per cent increase and a liability. We also know that by 2020, Boat Harbour will be closed and a new treatment facility will be built. That means we are still two years away on a project where the trend has been that the costs almost double every year.

With only a few months away from beginning the construction of a new treatment facility, can the minister please inform the members of this Chamber the amount of financial commitment that the taxpayers of Nova Scotia are responsible for towards this construction?

MR. HINES: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. As I mentioned, we have set aside at this point, $133 million to address the Boat Harbour circumstance. We are confident that we're in the ballpark, in terms of how much will be required to do that. Whatever it takes to clean that facility up is what we're committed to as a government. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

H&W: ALTERNATIVE DRUGS - SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Due to the rapid growth in research and development in the pharmaceutical sector, doctors may prescribe their patients with the life-saving drug that is not on the provincial formulary. I raise this issue because a doctor, as well as a specialist, prescribed one of my constituents a drug to treat their MS. After he turned 65, a special exception was applied for and signed by both the family physician and specialist, but the drug analyst denied his application.

The alternative drugs suggested by the drug analyst was used for a short period and his condition rapidly declined. He had no choice but to move in with his daughter so he could pay for the original drug that works for him. My question to the minister is, would the minister ask his department to provide special exceptions to those on particular drugs that are proven to help their conditions?

[Page 3432]

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for drawing attention to this very important issue with respect to progress being made around pharmaceutical advancements. That's something we're well aware of. But we do have to also rely on clinical evidence. There's an extensive process that when new drugs come into Canada, before they can be considered to be added to the Nova Scotia formulary, they require Health Canada approval. We go through clinical reviews within a Canadian context. Once all of that is done, then we work nationally to try to negotiate the best prices possible, and then it comes to the provinces to try to make decisions.

When we have clinical evidence, and there are exceptions to be considered, those exceptions are considered, but we do have to have some clinical evidence that shows these drugs do work.

MR. DUNN: Mr. Speaker, when Nova Scotians are diagnosed with an illness with conditions that require regular medication not presently on the Pharmacare formulary, it causes incredible hardship and in many cases, impacts the situation in a very negative way. As we know, patients can apply for special exceptions, however, I am alarmed at the number of people who call my office saying they were denied. Even after having the support of medical professionals who review their files and see them on a regular basis.

My question to the minister is, will the minister provide the House the number of special exception applications his department receives each year, with a breakdown of the number that are denied by a drug analyst, a person who is not a doctor, and has never seen the patient?

MR. DELOREY: Mr. Speaker, what I can advise the member, having seen some correspondence myself, when people do correspond inquiring about special consideration, in the vast majority of those instances where there has been a denial, it's often based upon the fact that although a drug may have Health Canada approval, it hasn't gone through the national clinical assessment in a Canadian context.

So it's often that until we get that level of clinical approval, and oversight, and sign-off, certainly individual physicians may have interest reading material from other jurisdictions and so on, as well as perhaps some advocacy and encouragement from drug companies themselves to physicians. We do have an obligation to the health and safety of patients, to ensure we have a comprehensive clinical review first.

[11:45 a.m.]

[Page 3433]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

TIR – BOAT HBR. REMEDIATION: TAXPAYERS' MONEY - AMOUNT

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : My question is for the Minister of TIR. Perhaps I didn't articulate well enough what my question was when I rose the last time, and I will take that onus on myself. The question is, how much money - of taxpayers' money - has been spent to date on the remediation of Boat Harbour?

MS. HINES: I appreciate the clarification from the member opposite. I don't have that information available to me now, but I will undertake to get that for you. Thank you.

MS. MACFARLANE: I appreciate that. It is probably one of the largest projects happening right now in the minister's department. We all know that come July, we will definitely be starting a new project, a waste treatment facility. We all know that because of an indemnity agreement that was signed by Mr. Bernie Miller that taxpayers are on the hook for all of it.

I'd like to know, Mr. Speaker, how much will taxpayers have to pay for that project, when it begins in July?

MR. HINES: I appreciate the question. In the process that we're involved with in Pictou County at Northern Pulp, there is that confusion over the commitment to close Boat Harbour on the one side, and to deal with the requirement for a new effluent treatment facility on the other. There is a process in place, which will continue the cost sharing process with Northern Pulp on the design of the effluent treatment facility.

An environmental assessment study will be under way shortly. There are liaison committees in place, and we're very optimistic that we'll be able to reach a successful conclusion that will be satisfactory to everybody. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.

STATUS OF WOMEN: WOMEN'S CTRS. - STRUGGLING

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : My question is for the minister responsible for the Status of Women. Women's Centres Connect! represents the nine multi-service organizations in Nova Scotia that provide services and programs to women and adolescent girls. Before the budget came out, they wrote to the minister to say that cuts to services that this government has made in past budgets has meant that more women and girls are coming to their centres desperate for help.

Women's centres are overwhelmed, they need increased support to match the increased demand from women since, thanks to the changing times with movements like #MeToo, NO MORE, Time's Up, women are becoming more aware of their rights, and they need more help. Sadly, this budget does not provide that support.

[Page 3434]

Mr. Speaker, can the minister please admit that women's centres are struggling to meet the overwhelming community need?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member for her question. I know her passion around this issue. I would like to let her know that in this budget, the Nova Scotia Government will spend $1.13 million on direct funding for sexual violence prevention and supports.

What we heard when we went out and consulted was that there were many groups, individuals, who were not being served by the current model. We heard from young people that there needed to be more work done around sexual violence prevention. We heard from marginalized communities . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Time allotted for Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers has expired.

HON. DAVID WILSON: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I respect immensely the rules that govern our debate and pertain to Question Period. During Question Period, the member for Cape Breton Centre was cautioned about her question that could anticipate discussion on a bill before the House. Mr. Speaker, respectfully, paid leave for those who experience sexual violence is not in a piece of legislation that is before the House, and in fact it was the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education who talked about and discussed the bill in front us.

So, I would hope that the Speaker would ensure that government ministers adhere to the Rules of the House, and that they don't answer questions pertaining directly, and mentioning directly, bills before the House.

MR. SPEAKER: I'll take your point of order under advisement and come back.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to respond to the point of order.

Paid leave actually is in the bill, Mr. Speaker. I do realize that the bill was introduced today and the Opposition have not had a moment to read the bill, but the aspect of paid leave, or not paid leave, is actually in the bill. I did say that the bill was unpaid leave, but what they are discussing was actually addressed in the bill.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you for that bit of information, I will come back to the House with a ruling.

[Page 3435]

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 Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 85.

Bill No. 85 - Municipal Government Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 85 be now read a third time and do pass.

Mr. Speaker, in November 2017, CBRM Municipal Council approved an agreement to lease, or sell, a parcel of harbour land to a private business consortium called Sydney Harbour Investment Partners. This agreement would allow the consortium known as SHIP to move ahead with securing international customers for a container terminal.

The agreement between the CBRM and SHIP has the potential to significantly improve the economy in CBRM, and benefit the province as a whole. CBRM has requested amendments to the MGA to allow for the agreement to proceed. CBRM is seeking amendments to Section 70(5) of the MGA, which would allow the CBRM to structure a tax agreement for a commercial entity, and amendments to Section 50(5) of the MGA, to enable the municipality to sell and lease eligible property for less than market value to a commercial entity.

It is important to note, Mr. Speaker, that the legislation refers to eligible property that is defined in regulation. There is a process in place to ensure the municipality cannot arbitrarily use this new power for any property. The land parcel would be defined through regulations that will require ministerial approval based on thorough policy review. This review ensures that the transaction does not create a race to the bottom, but instead creates a significant economic benefit that is low-risk from an international trade perspective.

It is also important to note, Mr. Speaker, that before the regulations are approved, the land transaction requires a public consultation and a vote of council similar to the process in place for the sale of land for less than market value to a non-profit entity.

[Page 3436]

Mr. Speaker, there are other examples of special legislation, over the years, that have been introduced at the request of municipalities to allow them to structure agreements with private sector entities to support economic development efforts. Ultimately, these amendments enable CBRM to attract business to the municipality and compete on a global scale. The municipality will be able to recoup its original investment, secure future tax revenue, and encourage job creation in an area of high unemployment. I was also encouraged by the comments that supported the depth of consultation for this project with First Nations and the due diligence of third-party experts.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add that I appreciate the many conversations that I've had with groups and individuals who have presented on a variety of thoughts on this matter. These conversations have been informative, and I look forward to continuing to work with municipalities, business community stakeholders, as we modernize the Municipal Government Act and strengthen Nova Scotia's economy.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the minister it will be to close the debate.

The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Very quickly, I just want to thank all for their comments throughout this process, and the comments that were received at Law Amendments. I do want to reinforce what I've been saying through my discussions, that we have been in these situations in the past where municipalities have come forward looking to structure tax agreements to support economic growth in their communities, and this won't be the last time.

My message to all of you, and I appreciate all the comments of my colleagues who sit on both sides of the House, not only towards this legislation but your support for municipal units, the support for that partnership and growth with our municipal partners. My commitment to all of you is that I am a partner with . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I just want to remind the honourable minister not to refer to members directly and to keep your comments through the Chair.

The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

MR. MOMBOURQUETTE: Sorry, Mr. Speaker.

My commitment to this House is to continue to work with all members to support the municipalities they represent.

I'll close by repeating the message that I gave during second reading. We are open to any municipalities that come forward with both social and economic ideas. That is something that has been very important to me, and that is the message I gave to municipalities when I went on tour. We want to hear from you. We want to hear about your economic opportunities. We want to hear about your social projects.

[Page 3437]

My commitment to all of you as the Minister of Municipal Affairs is that I will do whatever I can to support municipalities across the province as we modernize the Municipal Government Act and to look at all projects that come forward to support both social and economic prosperity across Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 85. There has been a call for a recorded vote.

We'll ring the bells until the Whips are satisfied.

[11:56 a.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 members to stand up with a simple "yea" or "nay."

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[12:03 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Churchill Mr. MacMaster

Mr. Furey Mr. Dunn

Ms. Regan Ms. MacFarlane

Mr. MacLellan Ms. Smith-McCrossin

Ms. Casey Ms. Paon

Mr. Glavine Mr. Houston

Mr. Delorey Ms. Adams

Mr. Colwell Mr. Lohr

Ms. Miller Mr. Halman

Mr. Kousoulis Mr. Harrison

Mr. Porter

Mr. Gordon Wilson

Mr. Hines

[Page 3438]

Ms. Diab

Mr. Ince

Mr. Rankin

Mr. Mombourquette

Ms. Arab

Mr. Horne

Mr. Maguire

Mr. MacKay

Mr. Jessome

Ms. Lohnes-Croft

Ms. DiCostanzo

Mr. Irving

Mr. MacLeod

Mr. Bain

Mr. d'Entremont

Mr. Dave Wilson

Mr. Burrill

Ms. Zann

Ms. Roberts

Ms. LeBlanc

Ms. Martin

Ms. Chender

Mr. Orrell

THE CLERK » : For, 36. Against, 10.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 70.

Bill No. 70 - Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 70 be read for a third time and do pass.

I want to thank my fellow MLAs for their remarks on this bill. These changes will give the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency additional tools and authority to enforce certification requirements in compulsory certified trades. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency is already taking measures to improve its enforcement capacity, including collaborating with Occupational Health and Safety, expanding its enforcement team, and introducing certification blitzes and audits.

[Page 3439]

However, industry has told us that more is needed. Our goal is to ensure that legislation meets their concerns head on. We're grateful that most industry stakeholders follow the Act and are committed to growing skilled trades through hiring qualified and certified professionals.

There are always those few who will try to beat the system, and that's what we're addressing today. These changes will help us level the playing field and ensure that there is a fair and safe environment for all apprentices.

The changes are responsive to industry recommendations. They will contribute to a stronger trades system in the province, better protect the skills and safety of those who work in the skilled trades, and support our youth in connecting with apprenticeship opportunities here at home.

I want to thank the members opposite for their comments on the bill. We look forward to developing the regulations with our industry partners over the coming months. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 70. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that these bills do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that these bills be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[12:08 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Chuck Porter in the Chair.]

[4:30 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole on Supply reports:

[Page 3440]

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government business for today. I move the House do rise to meet again on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, between 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Following the daily routine and Question Period, the House will resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole on Supply. With time permitting, the House may consider for second reading Bill Nos. 87, 99, and 104, and third reading of Bill No. 76.

With that, I wish all the members of the House a good weekend and we'll see you on Tuesday. Happy Easter.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for adjournment. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 4:34 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 3441]

RESOLUTION NO. 1096

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas since 2015 Matthew Trask was the Executive Director of the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas Executive Director Matt was the driving force behind almost doubling the chamber's membership, getting the chamber certified, leading it through a new strategic planning process, developing a complete set of office policies and director's manual, dramatically improving communication among the membership with monthly newsletters, and establishing the chamber as a recognized advocate for Yarmouth's business community; and

Whereas Matthew Trask recently resigned as the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly thank Yarmouth's Matthew Trask for the outstanding work he did as Executive Director of the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce and for our community, and wish him all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1097

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas Samantha Comeau of Yarmouth Cleaning Ladies was awarded Employee of the Year; and

Whereas this award goes to an individual who has shown outstanding loyalty and customer service, inspires others, has a passion for their job, and tries to make the workplace better for all employees;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Samantha Comeau of Yarmouth Cleaning Ladies on this award and wish her much future success.

[Page 3442]

RESOLUTION NO. 1098

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas Captain's Choice Lobster was presented the Export Achievement Award; and

Whereas this award recognizes the individual or business that has demonstrated success in exporting goods or services and has expanded its markets;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Captain's Choice Lobster on this award and wish them much future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1099

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas Jake's Family Restaurant received the Customer Service Award; and

Whereas this award is presented to a business and/or individual that raises customer service to a new standard of excellence and is a model for other businesses in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jake's Family Restaurant on this award and wish them much future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1100

[Page 3443]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas Dean Pearce of East Coast Scaffolding was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award; and

Whereas this award recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit of our future business leaders;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dean Pearce of East Coast Scaffolding on this award and wish him much future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1101

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas Adam Randall of East Roofing was presented the Rising Star of the Year Award; and

Whereas this award goes to a locally-owned business that is less than five years old or has had a new owner within the past five years and has shown tremendous growth and success within the area;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Adam Randall of East Roofing on this award and wish him much future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1102

[Page 3444]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas McDonald's Yarmouth was Business of the Year (11 or more employees); and

Whereas this award goes to a business of 11 or more employees that supports the community, has shown growth and innovation in its business area, and has had a positive impact on the local economy;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate McDonald's Yarmouth on this award and wish them much future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1103

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas Jennifer White of White Perkins Associates was presented the Boss of the Year Award; and

Whereas this award recognizes business owners and managers whose management style has differentiated them from the competition while demonstrating outstanding leadership in the workplace that goes above and beyond for their employees while valuing productivity and customer service;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jennifer White on this award and wish her much future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1104

[Page 3445]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas The Co-operators Insurance received the Community Impact Award; and

Whereas this award honours a company or business that has demonstrated exceptional public spirit through active staff participation in community events and shows its support of the community through sponsorships and charitable initiatives and by monetary and/or in-kind contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate The Co-operators Insurance in this award and wish them much future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1105

By: Hon. Zach Churchill (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas the 2017 Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce business awards were recently presented; and

Whereas Honey Bee Ice Cream Parlour was awarded Business of the Year (10 or fewer employees); and

Whereas this award goes to a business of one to 10 employees that supports the community, has shown growth and innovation in its business area, and has had a positive impact on the local economy;

Therefore be it resolved that that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sonia Park and Troy Lawrence of Honey Bee Ice Cream Parlour on this award and wish them much future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1106

[Page 3446]

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Tassa Kennedy has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas she has dedicated her time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Tassa Kennedy for all the hard work she has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1107

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Patricia Parker has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas she has dedicated her time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Patricia Parker for all the hard work she has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1108

[Page 3447]

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Lavina Parrish Zwicker has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board as the chairman; and

Whereas she has dedicated her time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Lavina Parrish Zwicker for all the hard work she has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1109

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Charlene Davies has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas she has dedicated her time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Charlene Davies for all the hard work she has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1110

[Page 3448]

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Jacqueline Foster has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas she has dedicated her time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Jacqueline Foster for all the hard work she has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1111

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Donna Johnstone has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas she has dedicated her time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Donna Johnstone for all the hard work she has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1112

[Page 3449]

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Susan Ritchie has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas she has dedicated her time and energy as vice-chairman to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Susan Ritchie for all the hard work she has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1113

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Peter Cromwell has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas he has dedicated his time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Peter Cromwell for all the hard work he has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1114

[Page 3450]

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Phillip Van Zoost has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas he has dedicated his time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Phillip Van Zoost for all the hard work he has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1115

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Gary Burrell has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas he has dedicated his time and energy to the administration and management of the public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Gary Burrell for all the hard work he has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1116

[Page 3451]

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Nancy Bigelow Acker has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas she has dedicated her time and energy to the administration and management of our public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Nancy Bigelow Acker for all the hard work she has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1117

By: Mr. John Lohr (Kings North)

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

Whereas Dr. Sandy Fraser has served Valley residents on the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board; and

Whereas he has dedicated his time and energy to the administration and management of the English public schools; and

Whereas the Valley Regional School Board will be dissolved;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in offering sincere thanks to Dr. Sandy Fraser for all the hard work he has put in as a member of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board helping students, teachers, and the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 1118

[Page 3452]

By: Hon. Iain Rankin (Environment)

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

Whereas Linda MacKay of Timberlea served as the elected representative for Clayton Park West-Beechville/Lakeside/Timberlea-Spryfield (District 6) of the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) from October 2016 until March 2018; and

Whereas Linda also served as Vice-Chair of the HRSB and sat on a number of other HRSB committees, drawing on her professional and community volunteer experience; and

Whereas Linda, a mother of two school-aged children, has been an active, responsive, and dedicated representative of the families and communities she has served because her strong belief that the children we are educating today will be the leaders of the future;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in thanking Linda for her service and her investment in the education of the next generation.

RESOLUTION NO. 1119

By: Hon. Iain Rankin (Environment)

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

Whereas The Links at Brunello in Timberlea will be one of the eight regional final host venues for the RBC PGA Scramble of Canada golf tournament in 2018, a national series of team events featuring amateur golfers and PGA of Canada professionals taking place at more than 100 golf facilities across the country; and

Whereas when Golf Digest ranked The Best Golf Courses In 206 Countries last year, Brunello made the top 25 in the country placing 22nd in Canada; and

Whereas Golf Digest also gave The Links at Brunello a third-place finish for best new golf courses in 2015;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the accomplishments of what is already a nationally-awarded golf course 20 minutes from downtown Halifax, and congratulate the staff, led by General Manager Miles Mortensen and Superintendent Chris Wallace, for the current and future well-deserved accolades.

RESOLUTION NO. 1120

By: Hon. Iain Rankin (Environment)

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

Whereas Dr. Maud McEvoy opened the Shad Bay Dental practice on the Prospect Road in 1989 and it has been in operation since; and

Whereas Dr. McEvoy is now accompanied by Dr. Jeff Covert as well as Hygienists and Dental Assistants Kathryn, Chelsie, Taylor, Lisa, Laura, and Erica and administrators Dawn and Edie to provide a wide variety of dental services and treatments, assuring all patients, old or young, are comfortable and relaxed; and

Whereas Shad Bay Dental continues to provide excellent and conveniently-located service to residents of the Prospect communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Shad Bay Dental and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1121

By: Hon. Iain Rankin (Environment)

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

Whereas The Timberlea Beverage Room has a friendly atmosphere for friends and family to gather every day of the week; and

Whereas Operators David Gale and Ken Tufts gladly support worthwhile community initiatives, hosting fundraisers for athletic organizations and local charitable causes; and

Whereas The TBR offers some of the best wings in town at an affordable price;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the management and staff for providing a top notch, quality service to the community.

[Page 3453]