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12 septembre 2017
Commission de régie de la Chambre d'assemblée
HAMC Hansard
Sommaire de la réunion : 

Location: Committee Room Granville Level One Government Place 1700 Granville Street Halifax NS

Sujet(s) à aborder: 












Tuesday, September 12, 2017



Legislative Committees Office



Printed and Published by Nova Scotia Hansard Reporting Services







Hon. Kevin Murphy (Chairman)

Hon. Geoff MacLellan

Hon. Labi Kousoulis

Mr. Chuck Porter

Mr. Gordon Wilson

Hon. Christopher d’Entremont

Mr. Tim Halman

Hon. David Wilson

Mr. Neil Ferguson, Chief Clerk of the House of Assembly

(Non-Voting Member)



            In Attendance:


Speaker’s Office Adviser

Ms. Deborah Lusby

Director of Administration

Office of the Speaker


Ms. Annette Boucher

Assistant Clerk

House of Assembly


Mr. Gordon Hebb

Chief Legislative Counsel









3:00 P.M.



Hon. Kevin Murphy



            MR. CHAIRMAN: Welcome to the House of Assembly Management Commission meeting for September 12, 2017. Everybody has received the agenda and the materials in advance. Just before we get into the agenda, for the purposes of the record, can we just go around and state your name and your position.


            [The committee members identified themselves.]


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Welcome, everybody. Thank you. We’ll move on to Item No. 1 of the agenda. That’s approval of the April 4, 2017, minutes. Mr. Ferguson.


            MR. NEIL FERGUSON: Mr. Chairman, the minutes were previously circulated for the meeting of Tuesday, April 4th, and unless anyone has noticed any errors or omissions, a motion to approve the minutes would be in order.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Moved by Mr. d’Entremont. Seconded by Mr. Wilson. All those in favour? Contrary minded? The motion is carried. The minutes are accepted as presented.


            Item No. 2 is Regulation No. 52, dealing with the CPI. We’ll throw that over to Mr. Ferguson.





MR. FERGUSON: Mr. Chairman, the regulations provide in Section 52 that every year the fixed amounts of the reimbursables to the members are to be increased by the lower of the CPI for Nova Scotia or Canada. Since these regulations were put in place in 2010, in the first several years, regulations were passed saying notwithstanding that, the amounts were not going to be increased. After that, it was decided to make it subject to the commission’s approval.


This is the third year that it has been subject to the commission’s approval, and in each of the previous years, the commission passed a resolution waiving that.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. MacLellan.


            HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN: I move that, under Section 52 of the House of Assembly Management Commission regulations, there be no increase in members’ allowable expenses equal to the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the 2017-18 fiscal year.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Any discussion? Seconder? Mr. Wilson.


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


The motion is carried.


            Item No. 3 is the House of Assembly Management Commission audit committee appointments. Annette.


            MS. ANNETTE BOUCHER: Mr. Chairman, the House of Assembly Management Commission Act in Section 15 requires that the audit committee of this group consist of two members of the commission selected by the commission, at least one of whom may not be a member of the government Party. Therefore, because we’re reconstituted, a motion would be in order. There is one that has been prepared that someone will need to move appointing two members of the commission to the audit committee.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. MacLellan.


            HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN: Be it resolved that, pursuant to Section 15 of the House of Assembly Management Commission Act, the House of Assembly Management Commission hereby appoints members Hon. Labi Kousoulis and Hon. Chris d’Entremont as members of the commissions audit committee for a term commencing September 12, 2017, to continue until such time as they are replaced by the commission.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Seconder? Seconded by Mr. Porter.


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

The motion is carried.


            Item No. 4, directors’ update, beginning with financials for the fourth quarter. Ms. Lusby.


            MS. DEBORAH LUSBY: We circulated the fourth quarter of 2016-17. I believe a preliminary report might have gone earlier. We have to do a preliminary and then a final because we have to wait until after the end of June, when 90 days have passed, for the members to submit the last of their expenses. There’s nothing unusual to report. You’re all used to this format. However, after you have time to digest it, or at any time, feel free to ask questions.


            We have passed the first quarter of 2017-18, which would be the end of June. However, as you know, the 2017-18 budgets haven’t been approved yet. So rather than present that info compared to 50 per cent of the 2016-17 budgets, I’ll bring the first and the second quarter reports to the next meeting.


            HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: So quarter 1 is not this quarter?


            MS. LUSBY: This is last year’s fourth quarter, today, officially. Then the first quarter, ending June 30th, I will bring to the next meeting as well as probably the second quarter, which will be as of the end of September. We should have the 2017-18 budgets by then.


            Also with respect to the 2016-17 audit update, representatives from the Auditor General’s office are attending the House of Assembly Management Commission audit committee next week to present the 2016-17 audit report and the 2017-18 audit plan. The audit was completed in April, which was early this year, and the report received in May. But we were unable to meet earlier due to the election and then the requirement to have the audit committee members appointed by the commission first, which we are doing today.


            We have seen the 2016-17 audit report, which included a review of the internal controls and compliance to the regulations. I am pleased to report that there are zero recommendations or items for them to report. Their report will be presented and officially received at the audit committee meeting next week, so I can officially report that back at the next commission meeting.


            Risk assessment was asked for to be a standing item on our commission agendas. The item that I’m reporting on is the business continuity exercise that we undertook on April 24, 2017. The legislative managers and our Sergeant-at-Arms gathered in a room at TIR with Emad Aziz, who is the manager of business continuity and disaster recovery, and Matt Dunn, the province’s risk manager, to go through a business continuity tabletop exercise. I’ve given you some clues about this in the prior commission meetings. Basically, it’s pretend, and the pretend situation was a nuclear device was detonated near Peggy’s Cove. Initial news is that it’s a terrorist attack. Non-essential services like governments - whether we call that non-essential or not - and universities, et cetera are all closed, and evacuation orders have been given.


            Through this exercise of several hours, guided through it by Emad Aziz, the management group considered whether we had all the facts, what kind of communication needs to be made, what the message would be, who we were going to give the message to, and whether we are delivering any communication to the public or just to the members. We reviewed decisions such as: if the House is sitting, does it need to be cancelled, or a Law Amendments meeting cancelled? Who would make that call; who would approve that? If we needed an alternate Legislature location, where would that be? I should add that Sid Rahey from TIR also joined our group. Who would be the incident management team in this type of situation? If we are going to an alternate location, how do we communicate to staff? How are they going to receive updates? How are they going to get transported there? It was all very hypothetical, but considering today’s environment, it was a good exercise to go through.


            We have since had a debrief with Emad to review the SWOT, what we saw as our strengths and our weaknesses in that exercise and what threats and opportunities we uncovered. I guess the next step would be to review our business continuity plan and make revisions based on what we learned. We’ll be looking for other opportunities to test our plan and emergency procedures in the House.


            MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Any questions on any of that information? Perfect.


            We’re moving swiftly to Item No. 5. As chairman, I hereby declare the meeting adjourned.


            [The commission adjourned at 3:10 p.m.]