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March 5, 2019



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

Second Session



Res. 719, Team N.S. - Medallists: 2019 Can. Winter Games - Congrats.,
The Premier
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 720, UN World Wildlife Day: Biodiversity - Recog.,
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 721, Gibson Paris, Doreen: Com. Serv. - Recog.,
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 722, N.S. Immigr.: Successful Recruitment - Welcome,
Vote - Affirmative
No. 92, Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter,
No. 93, Education Act,
No. 94, Defibrillator Public Access Act,
No. 95, Emergency "911" Act,
No. 96, Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act,
Voluns.: Com. Income Tax Prog. - Recog.,
Stanfield Airport Voluns.: Dedication - Recog.,
Watters, Alex/Team N.S.: 2019 Can. Winter Games - Congrats.,
Hudson, Karen - Principal: Innovation/Insight - Recog.,
Relay for Life: Cancer Fundraising - Congrats.,
Richards, Nicholas - Skier: Medallist - Congrats.,
Mulgrave/Guysborough/St. Marys: Bluenose Achievemt. Award
- Congrats., Hon. L. Hines »
Murray, Allan - Recipient: Senate 150 Medal - Congrats.,
Spartans Basketball: NSSAF Champs - Congrats.,
Lent: Season of Christian Preparation - Blessings,
Keddy, Jan: Dedicated Autism Advocate - Thanks,
Dole, Blair - Cst.: Pink Tape Day - Recog.,
Boulton, Josh: Coach of the Mo. - Congrats.,
Marval, Becky: MOSH Team Lead - Best Wishes,
St. Andrew's Anglican Church: 100th Anniv. - Congrats.,
Oliver, Perry - Dist. Gov.: Sackville Lions Club - Recog.,
John's Lunch: 50 Yrs. in Bus. - Congrats.,
CBRM - Host: Tourn. of Hearts - Thanks,
Weisner, Rick: Retirement - Congrats.,
Univ. Tuition Fees: N.S. Student Advocates - Support,
Kayinamura, Chadia: Soc. Just. in Focus - Best Wishes,
Ramey, Julie/Gr. 9 Students: Red Dress Proj. - Commend,
N.S. Athletes: Can. Winter Games Success - Congrats.,
Young Lee, Lisa: Healing Gems at Oscars - Congrats.,
Lobster Crawl: 2nd Anniv. - Congrats.,
Beaton, Malcolm: Death of - Tribute,
N. Germany Enviro Ctr.: Depot of the Yr. - Congrats.,
Coulson, Ray - Recipient: Senate 150 Medal - Recog.,
Bermundo, Gerald: Filipino Assoc. - Thanks,
Hamel, Ashley - Archer: Can. Winter Games - Congrats.,
Broome, Scotia - Swimmer: Big Swim - Congrats.,
Johns, Brad - MLA: Birthday Wishes,
Rodenhiser, Ashton: Afterglow Art Fest. - Thanks,
Song, Mungil: Pictou Lunch Box Fundraiser - Thanks,
Family Twins - Birthday Wishes,
Colchester Food Bank: New Space - Congrats.,
Wife - Birthday Wishes,
Bedford Ringette Athletes: Can. Winter Games - Congrats.,
Recipients, Duke of Ed. Awards - Congrats.,
Newton, Savannah - Hockey: Drafted by Sweden - Congrats.,
Thomas, Terry - Basketball: Joins Hfx. Hurricanes - Congrats.,
Frecker, Temma: GG's Award for Teaching - Recog.,
CHEHA: Guinness World Record, Washer Toss - Congrats.,
Hillcrest Acad.: Finger Puppet Knitters - Commend,
No. 350, H&W - Cob. Com. Health Ctr.: Patient Placement - Crisis,
No. 351, H&W - Buchanan Mem. Hosp.: Lab Techs. - Importance,
No. 352, H&W - Cob. Com. Health Ctr.: Extended Hrs. - Food Serv.,
No. 353, H&W: ER Backlogs - Plan,
No. 354, Prem. - Lobbying Registry: Changes Needed - Respond,
No. 355, LAE - N.S. Universities: Dropout Increase - Explain,
No. 356, Immig. - New Immigrants: Rural Areas - Encourage,
No. 357, Prem. - Northern Pulp Cleanup: Proposal Delay - Failure,
No. 358, H&W - Foyer Pere Fiset Home: Repairs Needed - Respond,
No. 359, TIR - Hwy. No. 289: Needed Repairs - Update,
No. 360, H&W - ER Pressures: Plan to Relieve - Inform,
No. 361, H&W - C.B. Oral Surgery: Inequity - Address,
No. 362, LAE: Tuition Fees - Reduce,
No. 363, TIR - Exit 32 (Hwy. No. 103): Planned Repairs - Update,
No. 364, TIR - Hantsport Aboiteau: Replacement - Update,
No. 90, Boxing Authority Act
Vote - Affirmative
No. 91, Nova Scotia Museum Act
Vote - Affirmative
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Mar. 6th at 1:00 p.m
Res. 723, Webber's Bottle Exchange: Board of Trade Award - Congrats.,
Res. 724, Ellis, Kevin: Board of Trade Award - Congrats.,
Res. 725, Birch Street Seafood: Board of Trade Award - Congrats.,
Res. 726, Hollis, Steve: Maine Pond Hockey Classic - Congrats.,
Res. 727, Droesbeck, Troy: Maine Pond Hockey Classic - Congrats.,
Res. 728, Thompson, Kevin: Maine Pond Hockey Classic - Congrats.,
Res. 729, Boutique, Roger: Maine Pond Hockey Classic - Congrats.,
Res. 730, Wilcox, Tony: Maine Pond Hockey Classic - Congrats.,
Res. 731, Jordan, Damon: Maine Pond Hockey Classic - Congrats.,
Res. 732, McAllister, Dan: Maine Pond Hockey Classic - Congrats.,
Res. 733, Didham, Dan: Maine Pond Hockey Classic - Congrats.,
Res. 734, Martell, Sherry: Accredited Chamber Exec. - Congrats.,





[Page 1759]


Sixty-third General Assembly

Second Session

1:00 P.M.


Hon. Kevin Murphy


Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, Brendan Maguire

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






THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable Premier.


HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas 301 athletes, coaches, and officials from across our province proudly represented Team Nova Scotia in the 2019 Canada Winter Games, hosted in Red Deer, Alberta, under the remarkable leadership of Chef de Mission Cathy Burton; and

[Page 1760]

Whereas the rigorous training, dedication, and talent of these young Nova Scotians propelled Team Nova Scotia to not only compete with the best national athletes in 21 sporting events, but to achieve a record number of personal bests; and

Whereas Team Nova Scotia rose to the podium 11 times to bring home four bronze medals, six silver medals, and one gold medal, with athletes, coaches, and managers demonstrating integrity on and off the playing field while showcasing their competitive spirit;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate all of our athletes, coaches, officials, and medal winners on their amazing accomplishments and, once again, for making all Nova Scotians proud.

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

THE 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 Lands and Forestry.


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

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Sunday, March 3rd, as UN World Wildlife Day 2019 to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild animals and plants; and

Whereas World Wildlife Day 2019 focused on marine species by celebrating the biodiversity of our planet's oceans, lakes, marshes, streams, and other waterways that are home to the marine life essential to our ecosystem; and

Whereas the sustained health of our marine ecosystem supports a wide range of heritage values and opportunities for outdoor recreation, nature-based education, and tourism;

[Page 1761]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly acknowledge the importance of United Nations World Wildlife Day and the need to protect our wild animals, plants, and ecosystems for future generations.

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

THE 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 African Nova Scotian Affairs.


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

Whereas Doreen Gibson Paris, a beloved member of the African Nova Scotian community, recently passed away at the age of 74; and

Whereas Mrs. Gibson Paris from New Glasgow was the recent recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals, the recipient of the New Glasgow Human Rights Awards, a member of several boards and committees, an advocate for women's rights, and an active member of the Second United Baptist Church; and

Whereas Mrs. Gibson Paris will always be remembered for being a strong-willed, warm-hearted, and wonderful woman who has touched the lives of many individuals;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House please join me in acknowledging the extraordinary life of Doreen Gibson Paris and her contributions to Nova Scotian society.

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

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

[Page 1762]

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 Immigration.


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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration has seen a record number of landings in 2018, at 5,970 new permanent residents to call Nova Scotia home; and

Whereas our role in Immigration is under the economic class, and 3,845, or 65 per cent of those permanent resident landings are people who were approved directly through provincial economic programs, including the Provincial Nominee and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Programs; and

Whereas as Minister of Immigration, I'm pleased with the success we're seeing in attracting more newcomers to live and work in Nova Scotia, as this will strengthen our economy, increase our population, and revitalize our communities;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly continue to join me in welcoming newcomers as they settle across the province and congratulate staff at the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration on the success we're seeing in recruiting skilled workers.

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

THE 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.

[Page 1763]


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

HON. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction.

THE SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

CHUCK PORTER « » : In the gallery opposite, I would like to introduce a few members with us this afternoon from the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities: Mr. Waye Mason, the current president; Juanita Spencer; and Janice Wentzell. A couple of folks from the department who have worked hard on this bill as well: Mark Peck, who would be no stranger to this place, having been around and recognized recently for a few decades of service to the Province of Nova Scotia; and also Mico Schwartzentruber. I would ask the House to give them a warm welcome this afternoon. (Applause)

Bill No. 92 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act, and Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008. The Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. (Hon. Chuck Porter)

Bill No. 93 - Entitled an Act to Amend Schedule A of Chapter 1 of the Acts of 2018. The Education Act, Respecting a Council on Gaelic Education. (Allan MacMaster)

Bill No. 94 - Entitled an Act Improving Public Access to Automated Defibrillators. (Tammy Martin)

Bill No. 95 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1992. The Emergency "911" Act. (Hon. Chuck Porter)

Bill No. 96 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 11 of the Acts of 2015. The Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act. (Eddie Orrell)

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



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

[1:15 p.m.]

[Page 1764]


KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As tax season is upon us, I wish to stand to thank all the wonderful volunteers of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program for donating their time and expertise with assisting constituents to submit their returns.

The criteria are straightforward for the free clinic - modest income with a simple return. Whether it is through the walk-in, appointment, or drop-off/pick up method - which are all utilized - the volunteers do it with professionalism, kindness, and accuracy.

Pictou West has two main venues: the Pictou Legion and the Seniors New Horizons building. Both of these locations have volunteers who are ready and willing to help and to take the fear and uncertainty out of the process.

Again, I am honoured to stand to recognize these wonderful people.

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


LISA ROBERTS « » : I happened to be at Halifax Stanfield International Airport last night as my family was arriving - and in fact, they were on the plane that skidded off the end of the runway. I want to express my appreciation for the one gentleman, wearing a tartan vest, who is a volunteer - he was the only one who made it to the airport last night.

I spoke with him briefly at eight o'clock and he'd been on shift since one o'clock and was showing great kindness to an incredible number of frazzled individuals who were being turned back from their expected vacations and those waiting for people to arrive who were diverted mid-flight.

I just want to say how impressed I was and how important that volunteer role is, as many other volunteer roles are, that Nova Scotians are playing across the province. (Applause)

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


BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, Red Deer is the setting for the 2019 Canada Games. I want to congratulate all the athletes who represented Nova Scotia at the Games. It's such a huge accomplishment to be chosen to represent your province and it's a testament to all the hard work and training that they undergo to make it to that level.

[Page 1765]

In particular, I'd like to thank and recognize Alex Watters from Ketch Harbour. Alex was chosen to be the flag-bearer for Team Nova Scotia. Alex also won a bronze medal in the gymnastics artistic team male event and finished just off the podium in several other events. Alex is an outstanding young man who has a very bright future.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the members to join me in congratulating all of our Nova Scotia athletes who participated in the 2019 Canada Games.

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


BARBARA ADAMS « » : Today I rise to bring recognition to Auburn High School Principal Karen Hudson. Karen is the recipient of the Outstanding Principals Award. The recipients will engage in online forums regarding leadership and mentoring colleagues.

Auburn High School has benefited and is actively seeing success with Karen's implemented culturally-responsive Africentric programming. Students are striving and feeling more confident with the increase in academics. Karen's dedication to the school and the entire school body and staff does not go unnoticed.

I ask all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature to join me in acknowledging Principal Karen Hudson for her insight and strength to implement a change in order to achieve success. We applaud Karen for becoming a member of the National Academy of Principals.

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


GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the organizers of the Digby Relay for Life for hosting a great event last June and surpassing their fundraising goal of $18,000. This relay was the twelfth time that I was privileged to be a member of the Municipal Millipedes Team.

As in previous years, it was an evening of fun and support for cancer patients and of touching moments of remembering people who are no longer with us. It was inspiring to see the cancer survivors take the first lap of the relay, cheered on by their family and friends. Friends and families have such an important part and supportive role for anyone going through treatments, and their participation in the relay is one more example of their support and the support of the community in their ongoing challenges.

This year's ambassador, Darlene D'Eon, had been a regular participant in the Relay for Life prior to her diagnosis. In the blink of an eye, she went from a supporter to a cancer patient.

[Page 1766]

Her case epitomizes how this disease can affect anyone. Volunteers one year, then needing to lean on friends and families during their ongoing treatment the next. I want to thank the organizers of this event and I look forward to participating again this June.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes


KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, Nicholas Richards, a 13-year-old from Big Bras d'Or, began skiing with his family at a young age and always had a passion for speed. It didn't take long for Nicholas and his family to realize skiing was his sport of choice.

On January 13, 2019, Nicholas won a bronze medal at the 24th Jerry Giorno Memorial held at Ben Eoin competing against race clubs across Atlantic Canada. Just recently, Nicholas travelled to Newfoundland to compete in the Marble Cup Race finishing the event with silver and four bronze medals. Nicholas is currently sixth place overall for boys under 14 in the Atlantic Provinces.

I rise today to congratulate Nicholas on his current medal winnings and wish him all the best in his upcoming competitions. Go Nick Go.

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



HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, annually Recreation Nova Scotia holds its awards event to pay tribute to those exceptional individuals, organizations, facilities and communities who, through their efforts and skills, made outstanding contributions towards the betterment of the recreation movement in Nova Scotia.

One of the awards is the Bluenose Achievement Award. This award recognizes an individual or community group that provides support activities and services that successfully achieves the values and benefits of recreation. This year the recreation departments for the Town of Mulgrave and the Municipalities of Guysborough and St. Mary's, received that award for their group efforts in delivering the very popular Guysborough County 55 Plus Games held at Liscombe Lodge.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend my congratulations and gratitude to Kerri Penney, Heather Brennan, Angie Cleary, and the extended recreation staff for providing our seniors with such a successful and delightful event.

[Page 1767]

THE SPEAKER « » : The member for Pictou Centre.


HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, our communities rely on the generosity of countless volunteers. On January 12, 2019, Allan Murray, a resident of Stellarton, received national recognition for his numerous years of volunteering in his community.

Senator Michael L. MacDonald presented the Senate 150 Medal to Murray at an event in Pictou County.

Murray has been treasurer for a number of societies, as well as a volunteer to assist seniors with their annual tax returns. Allan is well known for his endless examples of assisting residents in need, regardless if it is transporting them to church, a doctor's appointment, or an event in the community.

Please join me in congratulating Allan Murray for being a recipient of the Senate 150 Medal and his countless years of volunteering in our county.

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


SUSAN LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like the House to join me in congratulating the Dartmouth High School Spartans basketball teams. Both the boys and girls teams swept the NSSAF Provincial Championships this past Saturday in Greenwich, with the boys team winning the final game with an 89-73 point lead over Halifax Grammar, while the girls team, who remained undefeated this season, took their final game against Horton in a 72-70 nail-biter.

I want to congratulate all the players on both teams for such an impressive finish this season and to both Jashajaun Downey and Samantha Russell, each team's top scorers this weekend, with 33 points and 17 points respectively. Big kudos go to the two coaches, Lance Sparks and Marika Williams, who have led their teams all season to this victory. They should be very proud of their teams' successes, spirit, and conduct. The teams have done Dartmouth proud. I would like to add that my colleague from Dartmouth South is also super proud of the Spartans. Go Spartans.

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


[Page 1768]

HON. LENA METLEGE DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the start of the Holy Lent in the Christian faith.

Yesterday Maronites celebrated Ash Monday. Tomorrow Catholic, Anglican and other Western churches will celebrate Ash Wednesday. And next Monday the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches will celebrate Clean Monday to signal the beginning of the Lenten Season.

Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian Liturgical Calendar that begins approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday

Over the coming weeks, families and friends will fast from midnight to noon and enter a period of preparation, self-reflection, repentance, and prayer. It's the time to take on new life-giving practices as we prepare for Easter.

A very important element of the Lenten season is becoming aware of not only the suffering and sacrifice of Christ, but also the suffering of others.

I'd like to wish all Christian communities a blessed Lenten season and let us all continue to honour the values that unite us and put into practice what it means to love our neighbours as ourselves.

THE SPEAKER « » : I just want to remind everyone that there is some talking going on and it is kind of hard to hear people's statements.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.


TIM HALMAN « » : I rise today to recognize Jan Keddy, a dedicated advocate for community-based autism services and supports.

Jan is an experienced educator, with specialization for children with autism. Her group, Playing and Learning Together, are committed to evidence-based interventions. Working with parents they provide developmentally-appropriate programming and sensory accommodations, and they promote independence.

Now retired, Jan continues to provide supports and advocacy for these individuals. Jan and her team create a strategy for individual success.

As a former teacher, I recognize the importance of finding an education strategy for all students.

I would ask that all members of this House thank Jan for the incredible work that she does in Dartmouth and in the HRM.

[Page 1769]

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Portland Valley.


HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, for many across the Maritimes spending a morning in the hockey rink is a Canadian tradition, but for Constable Blair Dole it is a passion. Constable Dole is a coach in Cole Harbour for the Bel Ayr Minor Hockey Association.

One day while coaching, Blair witnessed some bullying on his team. Blair came up with the idea of putting pink tape on their hockey sticks for the players so that they could be in support and stand together against bullying.

Pink Tape Day was November 24th and Nova Scotia will continue to celebrate and stand up to bullying on Pink Tape Day.

This is not just a Cole Harbour project anymore. From Cape Breton to Shelburne, pink tape was on the sticks of many hockey players across the province to show their support, and on social media using the hashtag, #PinkTapeCampaign.

I wish to congratulate Constable Dole, the players and all, for their support to stand up against bullying.

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


LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, the Bernie Lawlor Memorial Coach of the Month Award is awarded by Hockey Nova Scotia to honour exceptional teachers of the game who have helped to make the sport better.

Josh Boulton, a coach in the South Colchester Minor Hockey Association was honoured with December's award.

Previously playing three years of Junior A hockey with the Truro Bear Cats, the Brookfield native now lends his time to two teams in the South Colchester Minor Hockey Association. He is the head coach of South Colchester's Novice Intermediate team and assistant coach of the Novice Development team. He is the coach of my eight-year-old granddaughter and she loves it.

I wish to extend congratulations to Josh Boulton on receiving this well-deserved honour.

[Page 1770]

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


LISA ROBERTS « » : I rise to congratulate and thank Becky Marval, an occupational therapist who has stepped into the role of team lead of Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH). That role was pioneered by the visionary and leader of MOSH, the Order of Nova Scotia recipient, Patti Melanson, who, as I am sure all members are aware, passed away in December.

Becky is one of many service providers based in Halifax Needham who is both grieving and also striving to continue offering continuous and compassionate service to those vulnerable and marginalized Nova Scotians who experience poverty and homelessness or marginalized, precarious housing.

Because of the way Patti worked, her close colleagues are at many different agencies in Halifax Needham - Direction 180, Mainline, Adsum for Women and Children, Welcome Housing & Support Services, the North End Community Health Centre, and elsewhere. I join with them in wishing Becky well as she steps into these huge shoes.

[1:30 p.m.]

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


HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : I would like to recognize St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Timberlea. This year will mark an historic milestone as the first Anglican church built in Timberlea celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

It is interesting to note the historic founding of St. Andrew's. Mr. W. Simms Lee, a chartered accountant who emigrated from England and was also one of the founding members of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, was instrumental in establishing the church. Mr. Lee, along with Charles and Roland Fraser, is credited with building the church in 1919. The Fraser family donated the land and much of the lumber used in the construction of the church, while Mr. Lee led the community participation in raising funds and donating time and labour to the construction.

Over the many years of serving the community, St. Andrew's has been marked by many moments of generosity, and flourishes today with an active congregation and a plethora of groups within the church family. I would also like to recognize Reverend Mark Pretty and Deacon Rev. Marilyn Hamlin, who have carried on with the long tradition of providing a welcoming home of worship.

[Page 1771]

I ask the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in congratulating St. Andrew's Anglican Church for its long, rich history and success in caring for and serving our community over the past 100 years.

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


BRAD JOHNS « » : Today I rise to recognize the contributions of Sackville Lions Club member Perry Oliver. Mr. Oliver was recently elected district governor of the Lions for all of the Province of Nova Scotia. He has been a member of the Sackville Lions Club for more than 20 years.

During that time, he has been instrumental in raising funds for various causes such as the MS Society of Canada, Sackville's Beacon House Food Bank, and the purchase of dog guides for the blind. This year, he is leading a project to create a treatment room in the oncology unit at the IWK Health Centre.

Mr. Speaker, I ask all members of this House of Assembly to join me in thanking Perry for his decades of charitable service to the people of Nova Scotia.

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


CLAUDIA CHENDER « » : I rise today to recognize the 50th anniversary of John's Lunch. The legacy restaurant opened in summer 1969 and has been serving up famous seafood and - according to the sign - pizza ever since.

With repeat customers who have been dining there for at least 30 years, John's is a community hub and a landmark. It's a family restaurant in the truest sense of the word, and John's has been recognized nationally as having the very best fish and chips our country has to offer. Diners from Canada, the United States, and even Brazil and India have signed the guestbook, touting the delicious food and friendly hospitality Nova Scotians are known for.

Congratulations to John's Lunch, and thank you for being a staple in our community for all these years.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.


[Page 1772]

HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, last month was an exciting time in the CBRM as our community hosted the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Hundreds of residents from the CBRM took part, along with citizens from across the country.

I rise in my place today to thank a few folks: Paul MacDonald, Jennifer Collins, and Mary Tulle, who were the chairs of the organization committee; all the staff from the CBRM; and the over 300 volunteers who participated to ensure that the CBRM hosted a world-class event.

I ask all the members of this House to congratulate the CBRM on hosting the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and thank all citizens of Nova Scotia for participating.

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


JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, our volunteer firefighters are a rare breed. They give up their time and risk their own well-being to ensure the safety of others. At a moment's notice, they drop the comfort and safety of their own lives to answer the call.

Mr. Rick Weisner of the Canning Volunteer Fire Department is one of these men, and after 31 years of service - eight as deputy chief and 10 as chief - he has decided to retire from his role as chief. During his tenure as chief, he oversaw the fundraising for and construction of the new Canning Volunteer Fire Department building. He will, however, continue as a volunteer firefighter.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating and thanking Rick Weisner for his years of service with the Canning Volunteer Fire Department.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.


LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, a rally was held March 4th by student activists outside the downtown Halifax building where university presidents were meeting with provincial officials. The students were calling for a halt to rising tuition fees.

Aidan McNally, chairperson of the N.S. chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students, says that tuition fees have never been higher, and placed the blame on the Liberal Government. Statistics Canada data released in the Fall shows that Nova Scotia tuition fees are among the highest in the country and students are asking for an immediate 10 per cent reduction in fees, plus a commitment to work towards a framework to eliminate tuition fees within ten years.

[Page 1773]

Mr. Speaker, I support the students in their requests and Nova Scotians need to get the education that they need in order to survive in today's economy, where 70 per cent of jobs require some form of post-secondary education. Good luck to the students and we'll be here to fight the good fight for them.

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


HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an outstanding young lady from my community. Chadia Kayinamura has overcome many overcome many obstacles in her 23 years. She was born in Congo but fled to Uganda with her family at the age of seven to escape war. Once there, she and her family lived in a refugee camp for the next 13 years. Two years ago, she arrived in Canada to make a better life for herself.

Now, she is sharing her experience through art. Through the Social Justice in Focus project, young refugees participated in a series of workshops that showcased social issues through different art mediums. Chadia was one of four presenters at the Social Justice in Focus forum. Chadia hopes to help other young refugees navigate a new language, a new school system, and a new way of life in Canada. In the meantime, she is working as a teacher's assistant at a daycare and studying to be an LPN.

I ask that the members of the House of Assembly join me in wishing Chadia the best in her future endeavours. She certainly inspires us all.

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


KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, this week at the North Queens Community School in Caledonia, students in Julie Ramey's Grade 9 Citizenship class are raising awareness about murdered and missing indigenous women and girls. Inspired by Winnipeg-based Métis artist Jamie Black's Red Dress Project, students have collected and repaired red dresses for three events this week leading up to International Women's Day 2019, this Friday on March 8th.

I would like to recognize and commend both Miss Ramey and her students for their motivation and determination to highlight and start conversation about the tragic crimes that have silenced the voices of so many indigenous women and girls across Canada.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

[Page 1774]


BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate and offer best wishes to the following residents of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank who are representing Nova Scotia at this year's Canada Winter Games in Red Deer: Kai Dwyer of Fall River for trampoline; Scott-Robert Denyes of Beaver Bank for figure skating and silver medalist; Cole Foston of Beaver Bank for hockey; Grace McIntyre of Fall River for cross-country skiing; Rory White of Fall River for badminton; Jillian Langille of Windsor Junction for artistic gymnastics; Michael Sack of Wellington for hockey; Madison Tajaard of Fall River for biathlon; David Kaguchi of Waverly for the coaching-artistic gymnastics; and Cathy Burton, former vice-principal of Lockview High, for chef de mission, Canada Games.

Congratulations to all your success in representing Nova Scotia and good luck to all for the future.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.


EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Lisa Young Lee, a North Sydney jewelry designer who had her healing gemstone pieces distributed at a gifting suite for Oscar nominees and presenters in Los Angeles. Lisa's jewelry is infused with Reiki healing energy and are said to treat stress, anxiety, grief, depression, and sleep disorders. A limited number of gifters are chosen every year to attend this event from around the world.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Lisa Young Lee a great deal of success as she takes her healing gemstones to this rather prestigious stage.

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


HUGH MACKAY « » : Mr. Speaker, those of us fortunate to live on Nova Scotia's beautiful South Shore often say that we have three seasons: summer, Fall, and lobster. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the South Shore Tourism Co-operative created the annual Lobster Crawl celebrated from Peggy's Cove to Barrington to highlight our lobster season.

The second annual Lobster Crawl featuring over 100 savoury events and experiences including art shows, live music events, getaway packages, and lobster-inspired food and beverage events took place this February. Lucy the Lobster crawled out of the ocean to join her groundhog colleagues in weather prediction. Sadly, Lucy forecasted another six weeks of winter.

[Page 1775]

Happily, lobster enthusiasts were treated to a superb afternoon at Oak Island Resort and Conference Centre sampling and voting for lobster chowders from area restaurants, in the Lobster Chowder Chowdown Showdown, sponsored by Tourism Chester, the Golden Ladle was awarded to the iconic Fo'c'sle Tavern of Chester, followed closely by the Rope Loft Restaurant at Oak Island Resort.

Mr. Speaker, we on the South Shore recognize the key role the lobster fishing industry plays in our economy and we thank all participants.

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


ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, today I rise to acknowledge the contributions of former Richmond County Warden, Deputy Warden and long-time Councillor Mr. Malcolm Beaton, who passed away on February 5, 2019. Malcolm served the municipality of Richmond County for almost 30 years. He was instrumental in the development of the Strait Area Transit, as well as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels. He served on the board of the D'Escousse Civic Improvement Society, VON Antigonish, the Strait Richmond Hospital, the Canadian Cancer Society and the East Novability Society.

Malcolm and his wife Martha owned a general store in Poulamon for many years. I remember him best in that setting, always with a warm smile, a calming voice and a gentle demeanor. He served his community with utmost integrity.

Mr. Speaker, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Malcolm's loving wife Martha and their children, Dorothy and John.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Lunenburg.


SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Shelley Zinck, the owner and operator of the New Germany Enviro Centre, for winning the 2018 Enviro-Depot of the Year Award. This award came from Divert Nova Scotia in recognition of the outstanding achievement for a small enviro-depot. It recognizes depots that go above and beyond in customer service and employee relations, engage and support their community and participate in Divert Nova Scotia depot initiatives.

The New Germany Enviro Centre has outstanding customer service and cleanliness. The depot also gives back to the community through donations they collect for the Lions Club and the local elementary school's Hot Breakfast Program. Customers can even use their bottle money to purchase locally-baked goods on their way out the door.

[Page 1776]

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you and the members of this House of Assembly please join me in congratulating Shelley Zinck on her recent achievement.

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

TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction.

THE SPEAKER « » : Granted.

TIM HALMAN « » : In the West Gallery, we have Dartmouth East Community Outreach Coordinator Claire Belliveau. Claire has done an outstanding job for her community of Dartmouth East and I think all members of this Chamber would freely admit that we would be nowhere, absolutely nowhere, without the great work of our staff back at our constituencies.

I'll ask this House to please welcome Claire to the House of Assembly. It is also Claire's 19th birthday, so I'll ask the House to wish her a happy birthday. (Applause)

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


ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Today I'd like to recognize Mr. Ray Coulson, who is a retired Regimental Sergeant Major with the Nova Scotia Highlanders. Mr. Coulson was presented with a Senate 150 Medal by Senator Mike MacDonald on January 12, 2019.

Mr. Coulson started the Regimental Museum in 1986 to help honour 486 North Nova Scotia Highlanders who trained at the Amherst Armouries. They went overseas and lost their lives. The average age of these men was 19. There were 1,044 young men who left the Amherst Armouries who went to England and 486 never returned.

Mr. Ray Coulson has worked tirelessly to keep the museum and the Amherst Armouries part of our community. Ray recognizes the importance of this great part of our history and his commitment over the years is something to be proud of.

Please join me and the many others who have recognized Ray for his valued work in our community.

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


[Page 1777]

RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a man from my riding who has over three decades of volunteering experience. Gerald Bermundo has been with the Filipino Association of Nova Scotia for over 30 years. He was president for five years and recently hosted their 50th celebration gala. He has volunteered his time to many multicultural events in the HRM, such as the Mozaic Festival and Fiesta Filipino which took place at the Bella Rose Arts Centre.

Gerald helped the Health and Wellness Program for the Filipino Association by receiving a grant from the Cobequid and Chebucto West Community Health Boards.

He's a member of Symcor's Signature Cause Committee, a group that created the Possibilities program, which promotes pathways for education in Canada. Gerald says from a very young age he was taught to help others. After becoming a father last year, Gerald hopes to be a great example of generosity.

Will this House of Assembly join me in thanking Gerald for all he has done for the riding of Clayton Park West. Thank you.

[1:45 p.m.]

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cumberland South.


TORY RUSHTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate 19-year-old Ashley Hamel from Parrsboro who competed in the archery competitions in the 2019 Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta. Ashley is studying to be a teacher at Mount Allison University while keeping up her archery practice of shooting more than 140 arrows a day.

Ashley first became interested in archery seven years ago after a school presentation at a health fair introducing archery as a part of a mentor program. Ashley has also represented Nova Scotia during other national competitions in Truro and has won other youth provincial club titles. She also pioneered a youth archery mentorship program to help shape up-and-coming archers.

Please join me in congratulating Ashley for her representation of Nova Scotia at the archery competition at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

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


[Page 1778]

KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, today I want to highlight a remarkable young athlete from Wolfville. This past August, Scotia Broome, a 15-year-old member of the Wolfville Tritons Swim Club, took on the challenge of 19.9-kilometre swim from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. The Big Swim is an annual fundraiser for Brigadoon Village, an extraordinary summer camp for kids with chronic illnesses. Scotia trained for up to nine times a week with her swim team in preparation for the event. She also actively fundraised $1,670 by picking up roadside garbage and bagging groceries.

Scotia completed the swim in 5.5 hours and as one of the youngest of the 49 swimmers in the challenge, she finished an impressive third place. I ask the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Scotia Broome on this remarkable athletic achievement and thank her for her fundraising efforts for the kids of Brigadoon Village.

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


TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, 50 years ago the world watched in amazement as Neil Armstrong took those first few steps on the moon, the first human steps on the moon. And although at this time of the year, Bryan Adams didn't quite have a chance to sing the Summer of '69; that hadn't happened yet. But somewhere a small group of people on this day 50 years ago, possibly in Woodstock, gathered around and celebrated the birth of our very own friend here, Mr. Brad Johns, the MLA for Sackville-Beaver Bank. (Applause)

Happy birthday, sir. You do a wonderful job for your constituents. Glad to be your colleague.

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


HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Ashton Rhodenhiser. In 2012, inspired by Nocturne Halifax, Ashton brought the Afterglow Art Festival, a free art at night celebration, to Bridgewater's downtown core. This annual autumn event brings over 40 unique exhibits and projects and 150-plus paid artists together to create a magical night for our community and visitors.

Afterglow was born from Ashton's love and passion for the arts and by her desire to support artists and bring the community together. Ashton's drive, and an "if you can believe it, you can achieve it" attitude, is the sole reason this event has taken place over the past seven years. This warm-hearted, free-spirited individual who is also chair of Art Happening, a thriving community art space, is an inspiration to many.

[Page 1779]

I ask all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature to join me in thanking Ashton Rhodenhiser for inspiring the growth of arts in Bridgewater and for helping change the story of our community's future.

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


KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize Mungil Song, the owner and chef at Pictou Lunch Box located in Lyons Brook for her immense generosity and community spirit. An immigrant from Korea and relatively new to Pictou County, Mungil recognized she could make a difference for her new-found church family as well as promote her business. For the first 100 purchases of a take-out or eat-in meal, half of the sales went towards the church organ restoration committee to help them purchase a new organ. This benefited Mungil's restaurant, the committee, and the greater church community.

I would encourage anyone who is a resident or visiting Pictou to sample some of Mungil's authentic and delicious Korean menu. I wish her all the best and success on her endeavour.

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


HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, 1987 has a lot of meaning for most Nova Scotians. The number 87 we pretty much associate that with our famous hockey player Sidney Crosby. But in my family and in Fairview-Clayton Park, 1987 has a different significance.

That is because it was the year our twins were born in our family, Monique and Maurice Fares. From the moment they were born, they have brought us great joy, and the fact that today they are both 32 is pretty remarkable and scary. They are two of the most wonderful, compassionate, dedicated, and motivated individuals I have ever met. Anybody who has come across them, either in pleasure or in work, knows how much fun they can be, how serious they can be when they need to, and how loving they are to all who come across them.

I'm wishing both my M&Ms a very happy birthday.

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


[Page 1780]

LARRY HARRISON « » : Years of planning and preparation, and plenty of community support has paid off for the Colchester Food Bank, as it recently opened the doors of a new permanent location.

The new facility offers more than 6,000 square feet of space, and is entirely wheelchair accessible, making it easier to accommodate the approximately 800 families a month it serves. It is equipped with a large food storage and preparation area, a side entrance and waiting room for clients, a food donation weigh-in and reception area, and a private registration room. A walk-in cooler and separate freezer are also being installed.

Congratulations to the staff and volunteers of the Colchester Food Bank on the successful opening of their new facility.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Antigonish.


HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Not to be overdone by the members for Dartmouth East, Sackville-Beaver Bank, and Fairview-Clayton Park, it does seem to be the day of birthdays.

Given that I had to leave home this morning, we didn't have time to celebrate my wife's birthday. She's not 32, but I won't disclose which birthday it is today. I do wish her the best today and hope she enjoys it with the kids back home.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Bedford.


HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate three Bedford athletes and their coach on competing at the Canada Games held this past February in Red Deer, Alberta.

Bedford residents Elizabeth Welsh, Meredith Tulloch, and Emma Kelly were all on Nova Scotia's ringette team. They were coached by a long-time Bedford ringette coach, Tracey Tulloch. In fact, she coached my children in this sport starting long before she gave birth to Meredith. Tracey was a fantastic coach back then, so I'm not surprised she was Nova Scotia's coach this year.

Nova Scotia came sixth in the country this time, up four places from last year's national championships. Elizabeth plays goal; it's always a tough position. But I must tell you, her friends and family were so excited after they won their first game. Meredith was the second-highest-scoring Nova Scotian, with 12 points. Emma scored twice and assisted twice in her tourney.

[Page 1781]

I want to congratulate coach Tracey Tulloch and players Emma Kelly, Meredith Tulloch, and Elizabeth Welsh on participating in the Canada Winter Games and making their hometown proud.

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


HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award program challenges young people to dream big and empowers them to achieve their goals. Through the bronze-, silver-, and gold-medal levels, participants partake in volunteer service, physical recreation skills, and adventurous journey.

Several young people within the Kings West area have been recognized for completing this award, including Sarah Albert, who received her silver award February 28th at Government House.

Behind every participant is a committed volunteer who contributes to their success and achievement. Don Hyslop is recognized as one of less than a dozen program volunteers to receive a 20-year volunteer recognition award signed by the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Secretary General, which was presented to Mr. Hyslop on February 28th at Government House by His Honour, the Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating Sarah Albert on receiving her silver award, and all Duke of Edinburgh's Award recipients, all award volunteers, and notably, Don Hyslop on his dedication and service to assist participants achieve award success for over 20 years.

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


BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Middle Sackville resident Savannah Newton. The 22-year-old hockey player has signed a contract to play professionally in Gavle, Sweden.

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Newton is believed to be the first Nova Scotia woman to play in the Swedish professional league. She made her professional debut this past September.

I ask all present to join me in congratulating Savannah on this great achievement.

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


[Page 1782]

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Mr. Terry Thomas of East Preston. The six-foot-four shooting guard, formerly of the Moncton Magic, was acquired by the Halifax Hurricanes.

Mr. Thomas played professionally in Taiwan and China, as well as a top scorer for the Moncton Magic in the 2017-18 season. Mr. Thomas is well respected in the NBL Canada league and is a welcome addition to the Halifax Hurricanes.

I want to recognize and congratulate Mr. Terry Thomas on his many achievements and wish him continued success with the Halifax Hurricanes.

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


JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, on January 28, 2019, the 2018 Governor General's Award for Teaching Excellence in History was awarded to Ms. Temma Frecker of the Booker School in Port Williams, Nova Scotia. The Booker School introduces the International Baccalaureate program for children ages 4 to 14.

Ms. Frecker led her Grade 6 to 8 students in a collaborative proposal surrounding the Cornwallis statue issue. The judges were impressed by the work created by her group stating: "Their unique and creative proposal for the Cornwallis statue, reflected their ability to address a complex and relevant issue with maturity and understanding."

Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating Ms. Frecker for the recognition of her excellence in teaching.

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


HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, in July 2017, the Come Home East Hants Association held their inaugural Tide Fest East Hants' Homecoming Weekend, at the East Hants Sportsplex in Lantz.

As part of the event, the association decided to hold a washer toss tournament and tried to break the Guinness World Record set in 2014, in Wise County, Texas, where they had 486 participants. Once their group submitted the application to Guinness and it was accepted, they started the several months of planning that it took to make Tide Fest and the washer toss tournament an incredible success.

Along with the application, Guinness required the association to submit pictures of all 608 participants, videotaped evidence of the entire tournament, witness statements, signatures, and sign-offs from all participants. Eighteen months after the submission, the Come Home East Hants Association received notice from Guinness that East Hants now holds the world record for the largest washer toss tournament.

[Page 1783]

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank and congratulate the Come Home East Hants Association, the community volunteers, and the tournament players who earned East Hants' second world record.

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


KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Grade 6 students of Hillcrest Academy and local volunteers in Shelburne, who have been knitting finger puppets for hospitalized children at the IWK, Yarmouth, Bridgewater, and Roseway hospitals for 20-plus years.

Recently the students had the making of finger puppets incorporated into their art and social studies curriculum and became involved as a way of paying it forward in memory of five-year-old Carmen Faith Huskilson, who sadly passed away in 2016.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the volunteers, teacher Jodi MacMaster, and her students on learning how to make finger puppets and thereby making hospital stays for those children who are hospitalized a little more bearable.

THE SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for Statements by Members has expired.

[2:00 p.m.]



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


TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, the Cobequid Community Health Centre doesn't have any in-patient beds. It's not supposed to stay open all night, but over the last month the Cobequid Community Health Centre has had to stay open 11 times. It has stayed open all night because there was nowhere else to put the patients. Imagine the stress on the health care workers when they're trying to scramble to find places to house patients overnight. It's not a good thing.

[Page 1784]

I'd like to ask the Premier: When health care workers are scrambling to find places to house patients, is that enough to acknowledge that the system is in crisis?

THE PREMIER » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. That's exactly why we continue to make the major capital investments we're making. When it comes to the redevelopment of health care delivery in our capital region, the redevelopment of health care in CBRM, those are all positive investments to deal with the very issues the honourable member is talking about.

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, successive governments ignored the real challenge when it comes to health care infrastructure. These investments, quite frankly, should've been made back in mid-2000s when the Progressive Conservatives actually had an opportunity to make those investments. We've taken it straight on and we're making those investments and we're going to continue to work with our health care providers.

I want to say thank you to the people at Cobequid who are part of ensuring that people access primary health care in the region. When we require support, they're there to step up, as they always are.

TIM HOUSTON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think what the Premier fails to recognize is that this is a successive government and they haven't taken any real action.

Yesterday, Dartmouth General had 60 patients waiting in the emergency room and staff had to go ask people to go home and come back later. Yesterday, there were 14 stretchers tied up for emergency offload at the QEII. Yesterday, a critically ill patient on the Eastern Shore needed to be transferred to the QEII, but there wasn't a doctor to requisition the transfer. These are all things that happened yesterday, and all of these things lead to the need for the Cobequid Health Centre to spring into action and do more than it's currently set up to do.

The Premier talks about his capital investment. I wonder if the Premier can tell us: Is there a plan to give the Cobequid Health Centre the capital improvements that it needs to meet the stresses it's placed under?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, it is certainly part of looking at how we look at the capital region when it comes to delivering health care. There's been a number of times people have suggested in this House that it should be open 24/7. The people who run the organization have suggested that's not appropriate. We're continuing, though, in the conversation - whether that has changed.

Any time we can make investments in infrastructure, we'll continue to do so. It's why we've taken on some of the challenges that people have avoided for decades, quite frankly, in this province. We've gone in to make sure that we've made the appropriate investments in health care infrastructure that meet the needs of our families today. The honourable member raised his concerns. That's why we continue, day after day, to try to work with our partners to provide the quality care that Nova Scotians are looking for.

[Page 1785]

TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, the Cobequid Community Health Centre is able to spring into action and help with some of the patients, but people are worried that there's no real plan. What will happen when Northside is closed and New Waterford's closed and they can't just spring into action? People are waiting to see a real plan from the government.

I've asked the Premier if he would take responsibility for the state of health care in the province, and he wouldn't. We've asked the minister if we're in a crisis. He won't acknowledge that we're in a crisis, yet we have paramedics stuck with stretchers at the hospitals. We have Code Census and no ambulance availability in many parts of this province.

I'd like to ask the Premier: If he doesn't consider this a health care crisis, can the Premier please define for us what he would consider a health care crisis?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Our government actually has taken on this issue. It's why we're going to increase the emergency department at Cape Breton Regional by almost 50 per cent. It's why we're seeing an increase in the emergency department in Glace Bay. The honourable member is standing up and defending the status quo, which has failed Nova Scotians.

Government has to not avoid problems but take them on to solve them on behalf of hard-working Nova Scotians. The honourable member wants to live in the past. That infrastructure doesn't meet the needs of the next 60 years. That's why we're making the kinds of investments in the capital region, in Cape Breton, and it's why we're going to continue to work with communities across this province to provide them with the primary care portal that reflects today's reality, not the one the honourable member is stuck in.

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


GARY BURRILL « » : Every week, front-line health care workers are proposing solutions to the health care crisis, and just as often, these solutions are being overruled or overlooked.

At Buchanan Memorial Hospital in Neils Harbour, Dr. Bernard Buffett has explained recently how it's important to have a lab technologist position there from the point of view of the retention and the recruitment of physicians, but the NSHA is eliminating that position.

[Page 1786]

Dr. Buffett has worked at that hospital for 34 years. His mother was a nurse there, his father helped build it, and he himself was born there.

My question to the Premier is: Doesn't the Premier suppose that Dr. Buffett might know a little something about health care in Neils Harbour that the NSHA does not?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question and I certainly want to thank the physician for his tremendous work he has been doing in supporting that community. Obviously, it sounds like a family that has committed themselves to delivering health care.

I think what the honourable member is talking about is the point-of-care testing when it comes to blood work. This change that is taking place right now actually started under the NDP when they were in power. It started in ridings outside of the capital region.

What's happening is the continuing implementation of their policy. Have they changed their mind at this point? I'm just curious.

GARY BURRILL « » : Unscheduled emergency room closures have more than doubled in the last year and the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union made the suggestion to have nurse practitioners staff emergency rooms as a solution to the problem.

Nurse practitioners, they've said, could work alongside advanced care paramedics under the supervision of doctors to provide the emergency care that's needed.

My question to the Premier is: Can the Premier offer a single, solid reason why his government is not moving immediately to adopt this sensible suggestion?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. He said the very nub of the issue. All health care providers need to practice the full scope of the training they received.

The suggestion has been brought forward. I am sure it will be part of what the Department of Health and Wellness looks at and how can we best make sure all our health care providers are working to the maximum scope of their training to ensure Nova Scotians get access to the primary care in their communities.

GARY BURRILL « » : In January the expert panel on long-term care reported on the difficulties that are imposed by the shortage of continuing care assistants. CCAs themselves, through their union, have suggested an approach to this problem would be for the government to establish a granting program for those going into the CCA field where tuition is around $7,000.

[Page 1787]

These are the people who are talking all the time to people who might be reasonably expected to consider going into this line of work.

My question to the Premier is: Why doesn't the government simply follow their advice?

THE PREMIER « » : We are looking forward to implementing the recommendations of that committee.

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


BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, my office obviously has been hearing complaints for well over a year now about issues at the Cobequid Community Health Centre emergency department. We've heard stories about patients, doctors, nurses, all having to wait for long hours after midnight because patients are either needing to be transported or because of lack of beds at the QEII.

We recently received a call this weekend from Cynthia Conrad, who has given her name to be mentioned here in the House, who had to wait at Cobequid for over 48 hours before being transferred to the QEII where she is at the emergency right now as I speak. According to CBC, she is obviously not alone on this.

Keeping in mind that Cobequid Community Health Care is an emergency department and health care centre - it's not a hospital - with very limited food services.

My question to the minister is: How are patients being fed there? Are we ordering pizza? Are we getting Uber Eats? How are we feeding them?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I thank the member for his question. What I can assure the member in terms of the decisions being made by the Nova Scotia Health Authority to maintain patients at the Cobequid Community Health Centre, the fact is that in their clinical opinion, given the circumstances, maintaining the health care professionals with the patients at that time that that is the best location given the circumstances they were presented with to ensure that their health care needs were looked after. As soon as the opportunity presents itself to move over to the HI or another facility, they complete that task.

BRAD JOHNS « » : Mr. Speaker, that doesn't actually answer the question that I asked. Cobequid is an emergency department, it doesn't have the facilities there required to keep patients more than 12 hours, 12:00 at night. I've asked this, raised this before. I'm serious, I want to know how they're feeding the patients that are there for three days. Are there vending machines, what are they doing, how are they feeding them?

[Page 1788]

RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, as the member noted, the notion of opening or maintaining Cobequid 24/7 facility and designing the site for that type of care is something he has previously asked. As noted in my response then, again, the questions get raised. The decision has been not to do that at this point, in terms of recommendations coming through to government, but obviously we're seeing a situation particularly through February where the use of that facility after the scheduled hours has extended. If we have to re-look at that, we will do so.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.


TAMMY MARTIN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness.

It was reported last night that patients are being kept overnight at the Cobequid hospital, a facility that is not equipped to handle such cases. The Cobequid has no kitchen and can't properly nourish patients if they are admitted for longer than a few hours. The site stayed open overnight 11 times in the last month. There is a direct correlation between the problems of offload delays and lack of availability with long waits in emergency departments and the need for overflow facilities, and Nova Scotians know that they need their government to be committed in solving these issues.