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March 2, 2020



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



Gov't. (N.S.): Canterbury Bridge - Two-lane, Steel Bridge Requested,
Law Amendments Com.,
Res. 1693, Compass Distillers - Unprecedented Awards - Congrats.,
Vote - Affirmative
No. 241, Change of Name Act,
No. 242, Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Act,
Rodenhiser, Patricia - Volun.: Retirement - Best Wishes,
CBRM: Population Growth - Recog.,
Slice of Home Bakery: From Pies to Soups - Congrats.,
Dal. Tigers Women's Volleyball: AUS Champs Again - Congrats.,
Buchanan, Scott/Latwaitis, Eric - Firefighters: Ice Rescue - Recog.,
Stn. 7, Fire Dept.: Selfless Service - Thanks,
Fancy, John Byron - Organist: Death of - Tribute,
Notes2Nature: Jr. Achievement Award - Congrats.,
McBurnie, Mick: 70th Birthday - Best Wishes,
T. Ruston
Luminate: Market and Wellness Ctr. - Congrats.,
Young, Adam: Touring with Còig - Congrats.,
Silver, Trevor: Best Fashion Designer, The Coast - Congrats.,
Lachance Signs: 27th Anniv. - Congrats.,
Chargé de mission: CAPF - Gratitude,
Dartmouth Whalers Hockey: New Hampshire Trip - Recog.,
Atwell, Marina: Velocity Event Mgmt. - Congrats.,
Royal N.-W. Mounted/Dominion Police: 100th Anniv. - Congrats.,
Dal. AUS Men's Basketball Finals: Success - Congrats.,
Wedgeport Boats - Finalists: Design Efficiency Challenge - Congrats.,
E. Hants Com. Rider Prog.: Expansion - Congrats.,
Leo's Pizza: 15 Yrs. of Com. Serv. - Thanks,
Higgins, Stephanie/McNamara, Sean: Birth of Daughter - Congrats.,
Intl. Women's Day: #EachforEqual - Celebrate,
Alspach, Olivia: Gold Diggers Softball, Dugout Repairs - Thanks,
Brown, Jamie - Firefighter: N.S. Firefighters in Australia - Thanks,
Clannon, Joan: Com. Serv. - Congrats.,
Kor-B-Q Korean Grill: New Restaurant - Congrats.,
Hanna, Becky: Acad. All-Canadian - Congrats.,
Beavers, Cubs, Scouts: Kub Kar Rally 2020 - Congrats.,
Jacky's Asian Store: Grand Opening - Congrats.,
Surette, Guy: Retirement - Best Wishes,
PTO Ocean View Elem. - Recipient: Wellness Grant - Congrats.,
Annapolis Valley Musicians: Com. Serv. - Thanks,
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Mar. 3rd at 1:00 p.m



[Page 5559]


Sixty-third General Assembly

Second Session

4:00 P.M.


Hon. Kevin Murphy


Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, Brendan Maguire

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


THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic on behalf of the honourable member for Eastern Shore.

BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for reminding me. I have a petition here:

"We the undersigned are asking that Government of Nova Scotia replace the existing single-lane steel bridge known as Canterbury Bridge, located on Bellefontaine Road Middle Porters Lake with steel bridge with two lanes, which would address safety concerns and allow for better flow of motorized vehicle and boat traffic crossing Porters Lake & sidewalk."

There are 373 names on it, and the honourable member for Eastern Shore has affixed his signature to it.

THE SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.


[Page 5560]

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

KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 220 - Labour Standards Code.

Bill No. 221 - Labour Standards Code.

Bill No. 223 - University Foundations Act.

Bill No. 225 - Elections Act.

Bill No. 226 - Companies Act.

Bill No. 227 - Legal Aid Act.

Bill No. 228 - Housing Nova Scotia Act.

Bill No. 230 - Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 232 - Electricity Act.

The committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

THE SPEAKER « » : Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.




THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Agriculture.


[Page 5561]

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

Whereas Compass Distillers of Halifax, Nova Scotia, currently has 37 awards to their name in just three years of operation, recently adding the biggest win to date; and

Whereas Compass Distillers has added awards in the Best Contemporary Gin in Canada, the Best Classic Gin in Canada, the Best Genever in Canada, using primarily local ingredients; and

Whereas winning these three awards is unprecedented for a Canadian distillery, showcasing that Compass Distillers can compete with the rest of the world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize and congratulate Graham Collins, president; Jill Beis and Josh Judah, owners; Renae Perry, manager of Sales, Events, and Marketing; and Alex Wrathell, for their contribution to the distilling industry of Nova Scotia and helping to grow Nova Scotia's economy.

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.


Bill No. 241 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 66 of the Revised Statues of 1989. The Change of Name Act, Respecting the Protection of Communities. (Kim Masland)

Bill No. 242 - Entitled an Act to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care. (Claudia Chender)

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



[Page 5562]

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


TIM HALMAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Patricia Rodenhiser, a Dartmouth East volunteer. For 27 years Patricia has been running the East Dartmouth Christian Food Bank, providing food items for those in need. In December 2019, Patricia decided to retire from her volunteer role.

The East Dartmouth Christian Foodbank, based out of Woodlawn United Church, opens on Thursday mornings. Families are able to attend weekly to get bakery and produce items and monthly for non-perishable foods. Donations come from all over, including five local church sponsors.

Running a food bank takes an unimaginable amount of organization and determination.

I want to thank Patricia Rodenhiser for her community leadership and wish her well in this new chapter.

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

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

THE SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

CHUCK PORTER « » : In your gallery, Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure today to introduce to the members of the House, Chief Sid Peters who is here this afternoon to join us on behalf of Kebaowek First Nation. We just signed our first memorandum of understanding with the Kebaowek First Nation community to look after much-needed housing repair and renovation. We look forward to working with them in the years ahead. With Chief Sid is my associate deputy, Catherine Berliner, who is working very hard with our team, as well, to put this all together.

I want to welcome them, and I ask all members of the House to offer them a warm welcome here this afternoon. (Applause)

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


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HON. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place to talk about home. Statistics released earlier today show that for the first time in 20 years, CBRM's population has begun to grow. (Applause)

The unemployment rate in Cape Breton now is the lowest that it has been in over 12 years. (Applause) Last year was the first time since 2008 that the number of jobs in the workforce grew in the same year. Another very significant statistic was that permanent residents grew last year to 385 calling Cape Breton home. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, there's an amazing story happening at home with all of the newcomers who are coming to study in our community and then eventually staying in the community. This has been a very significant move and positive step for the community, with many more to come.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the time that we construct a new community college in downtown Sydney, the four new hospitals in our community, the hospice, the Horizon, the new schools, and many of the other infrastructure projects that governments are partnering with the community to build.

I rise in my place as a proud Cape Bretoner and somebody who, for the first time in 20 years, can say we're growing. (Applause)

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


KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Pat Cohoon on the opening of her new business, A Slice of Home Bakery and Café, on Abercrombie Road, Pictou County.

Pat has many years of experience in the food industry, working at a variety of businesses, and she decided it was time to take a chance to fulfill her dream of running her own business. It is hard work that sees her in the kitchen at 1:00 a.m. to begin mixing a variety of homemade breads.

Pat learned to bake alongside her mother and continues to use the same recipes. Breads, biscuits, pies, and soups can be found in the bright, cheerful bakery. Tea is served in colourful teapots in a variety of mugs to give the place the feeling of having tea with a friend. In keeping with the spirit of friendship, Pat has even delivered meals to customers who are not feeling well.

Mr. Speaker, I wish Pat much success. Please join me in congratulating her on following her dream.

[Page 5564]

[4:15 p.m.]

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



BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, this weekend the AUS women's volleyball final between Dalhousie and Saint Mary's took place at Dalplex.

The Dalhousie Tigers won 25-17, 25-21, and 25-21 to claim their 8th straight AUS women's title. A well-deserved congratulations to Kristen Bartmann, Kathleen Fougere, Victoria Haworth, Victoria Turcot - a former Ilsley alumna - Vienna Harwood, Julie Moore, Hannah Aldcorn, Catherine Callaghan, Courtney Baker, Micaela Sabean, Myriam Arseneau, Sophia King, Grace Calnan, Cassandra Bagnell, Anika Almero, Sarah Dawe, and Charlotte Arsenault.

Best of luck at the U Sports national championship in Calgary. Go Tigers! Go Judges Alumni!

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



KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm very honoured and proud to stand in my place today to recognize the heroic efforts of two members of the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department.

On February 17th, a Heritage Day hike around a scenic waterfall near Baddeck turned into a tale of survival and selfless heroism for a Whitney Pier family. The family had stopped near the falls when the ice below the daughter gave way, sending her falling about seven feet down into the icy water below. The father tried to reach her, and he also fell into the pool. After being in the icy water for about 20 minutes, a couple walking with their dog put the dog's leash in the water for them to hold on to.

Shortly after, firefighter Scott Buchanan arrived and, without hesitation, took off his firefighter's clothes and got into the water. Then fellow firefighter Eric Latwaitis, who is also an RCMP officer, got into the water as well. Because of the heroic efforts of these two individuals, the people were rescued, transported to hospital, and treated.

Mr. Speaker, I ask all members of the Legislature to join me in both recognizing and thanking firefighters Scott Buchanan and Eric Latwaitis for their heroic efforts and for risking their own lives to save others.

[Page 5565]

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


RAFAH DICOSTANZO « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize a local fire station in Clayton Park West that is home to some of the most selfless individuals I have ever met.

Station 7 on Knightsridge Drive is home to four different platoons - A, B, C, and D - and has five members per platoon, making a total of 20 firefighters. I had the pleasure of meeting them personally and getting a tour back in November 2019. I learned so much about the inner workings of the fire truck and the latest gadgets firefighters use when fighting a blaze. The most important takeaway is that the supportive resources have come a long way for first responders, as their job is extremely difficult emotionally and mentally.

I ask that this House of Assembly join me in thanking the selfless firefighters of Station 7. Thank you for keeping our community safe.

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


KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, on February 25th of this year, communities throughout Queens County were saddened by the loss of a man who touched the lives of many.

John Byron Fancy was the organist in the Westfield United Baptist Church for 40 years, then played in three Valley churches for 10 years. He was a member of the North Queens Men's Choir and Quartet, was the in-house pianist at White Point, and played for many community events and celebrations. He was a member of BIANS, Order of Nova Scotia, and the Order of Canada.

To me, he was Mr. JB, my Grade 7 homeroom teacher. I remember what an amazing educator he was, and I recall the tremendous impact that he had on the children who went through his classes.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my condolences to Mr. JB's family and assure them that he touched the lives of many in a very positive way.

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


[Page 5566]

KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, it's always inspiring to see how entrepreneurs in our province seek to innovate and expand Nova Scotia products, including young entrepreneurs who develop their ideas through Junior Achievement.

Junior Achievement inspires and prepares youth by developing their financial literacy, workplace readiness, and entrepreneurial skills. A Nova Scotia company from Horton High School in Greenwich recently won Junior Achievement's most innovative and creative idea award for their product, Notes2Nature, a gift tag with wildflower seeds embedded in the paper that can be planted after use. You not only give a gift to someone identified with this tag, but native Nova Scotia flowers will soon grow to remind them of you and your gift.

I invite all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in congratulating company President Sophie Van Exel, Vice-president Cedric Van Exel, and VP of Marketing Quinn Kinsmen, along with their 13 colleagues, for their award-winning product idea.

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


TORY RUSHTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate and wish Mick McBurnie a happy birthday on his 70th birthday. I don't normally stand here and bring birthday wishes to this floor, but four years ago Mick was given a cancer diagnosis that did not look very good.

Four years later, this past January, his friends and family gathered for a huge party to celebrate his health and his 70th birthday, and this past February, he and his beautiful wife, Rae, celebrated their 50th anniversary with another party.

Mr. Speaker, I ask all members of the Legislature to join me in congratulating Mick McBurnie on his 70th birthday and wishing him and his wife a happy 50th anniversary.

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Colchester North on an introduction.

HON. KAREN CASEY » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the members' attention to the gallery opposite, where Barry Cox is joining us this afternoon. Barry has a keen interest in politics. He keeps in touch with me as an MLA.

I would like to welcome Barry and introduce him as a former student - I guess in our better days, Barry. It was great to have Barry as a student and watch him grow. He now tells me he has three teenage daughters, so I told him he has an interesting life ahead of him. Thanks, and welcome. (Applause)

[Page 5567]

THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Bedford.


HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to share some news about a new wellness market and wellness centre that opened in November. Luminate's philosophy can be summed up in four words: natural, organic, sustainable and holistic.

There are two sections to this new facility: the market and the wellness centre. The wellness clinic offers nutrition consulting, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine and other treatments. The market features organic produce and free-range meats. There's an aisle of natural and organic grocery items that allergy sufferers will appreciate, and many of the items are from local and Canadian suppliers. They carry organic bulk products, and customers are encouraged to bring their own containers. The store also features natural beauty products and health supplements.

Co-owner Sarah Gosse says she chose West Bedford because it's a growing area full of forward-thinking people. I would like to congratulate her and the team at Luminate for their lovely, thoughtful facility and I look forward to watching their centre flourish and grow.

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


BRIAN COMER « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Adam Young from Gabarus on his most recent opportunity to tour with one of the Celtic world's most celebrated bands, Còig.

Adam spent his 40th birthday, which fell on February 29th, in the United Kingdom. Adam was asked to tour with the band for the months of February and March throughout the United Kingdom and Australia, temporarily replacing their previous keyboardist. He will be taking a leave from his full-time position as an Internet content and new media officer for Parks Canada to participate in this amazing opportunity.

It's a pleasure to stand here today, Mr. Speaker, to once again congratulate Mr. Young on this challenge and wish him all the best with this experience.

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


[Page 5568]


HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Trevor Silver of North Preston, a third-year management student at Dalhousie University who was awarded Best Fashion Designer by The Coast.

The name of his business, tREv, which stands for "trust, respect, educate, value," has become a well-known brand in the Halifax fashion industry. He was inspired by his mother to pursue fashion, and his grandfather instilled values of hard work and the importance of providing for your family.

I recognize and congratulate Trevor Silver on his success and for his contribution to the economy of Nova Scotia.

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


STEVE CRAIG « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate and thank Sylvain and Cheryl Lachance of Lower Sackville.

Sylvain and Cheryl host an annual Valentine's Day dance to raise funds for the Claude Lachance ARTS Scholarship Fund in memory of Sylvain's dad. This scholarship is given to a student who is interested in pursuing an arts degree in music, theatre, film, TV production, and photography. Sylvain, along with the other very talented members of his band, Chambermade, provided the live music entertainment for the evening.

Sylvain and Cheryl also own and operate Lachance Signs. They started Lachance Signs in May of 1993 and this year they will celebrate their 27th year as the business owners and operators.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Sylvain and Cheryl Lachance for the contributions to the community of Lower Sackville and congratulate them on their 27th anniversary of Lachance Signs.

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


HON. LENA METLEGE DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this historic Legislature to express my pleasure at my appointment as Chargé de Mission pour l' Amérique, Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (Mission Leader for the Francophone Parliamentarian of the Americas) and to have participated at the bureau's conference in Dakar, Senegal, in January.

[Page 5569]

This provided the opportunity to connect with the three mission leaders for the other regions - Asia, Africa, and Europe - and to present the work and priorities of our section in valuing and promoting the French language.

I also had the opportunity to visit la maison des esclaves - the House of Slaves - and its door of no return, and to reflect upon the toll of the Atlantic slave trade.

Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to this July when we are hosting the Francophone parliamentary delegates of America to our province, particularly as 2020 marks 50 years of the International Organization of the Francophonie.

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


BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Dartmouth Whalers Peewee AA Hockey Team. Recently the team had a chance to cross the border and play in a tournament held in New Hampshire, United States. In between their scheduled games, the team was able to venture into Boston for a couple of visits. They were able to visit museums as well as catch a college hockey game and get a picture with the team.

During the tournament, the team played their hearts out and won a few games but lost some, too. The recent trip brought the team and their families closer together and made memories that will last a lifetime.

I ask all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature to join me in recognizing the Dartmouth Whalers Peewee AA Hockey Team.

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


HON. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize Hubley resident Marina Atwell.

Marina and her husband have been hosting house concerts to showcase touring musicians to help build their careers and grow their fan base. This past Christmas, Marina and her husband decked out their home in a Whoville Christmas theme and invited 75 neighbours to join them for an incredible night of music with an Australian guitarist.

The Hubley house concert was a great success and all the proceeds from the evening are passed directly to the artist. House concerts offer a unique experience for musicians and their audience. The comfortable atmosphere allows the performer and the audience a special sense of intimacy and connection while bringing the community together on another level.

[Page 5570]

A professional in the hospitality business, Marina is a master at hosting memorable events, something she has done for 17 years through her conference planning and event business, Velocity Event Management. She recently had the honour of planning and assembling the decor for the Obama VIP reception held in Halifax.

Mr. Speaker, I would like the members of the House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Marina on her successful business and for her generous spirit to find unique ways to bring her community together, while at the same time supporting the arts.

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


LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Royal North-West Mounted Police and the Dominion Police, which will be celebrated this month. However, according to Colchester District RCMP Staff Sergeant Al Carroll, their real celebration will be in 2023: the 150th anniversary of the formation of the North-West Mounted Police.

Mr. Speaker, both milestones deserve celebration. I'm sure that, like me, members across the province are grateful for the support received from their RCMP detachments. In Colchester County alone, in an area extending from Tatamagouche to Stewiacke, 35 officers are required to deal with an average of 130 cases weekly, and I, for one, am appreciative of the services these officers provide.

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


HON. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, like in most provinces and most workplaces, a gentle rivalry between universities can happen among the best of us. One that is debated frequently on this side of the House is that between Dalhousie and St. F.X.

That rivalry actually took place in a different form this past weekend at the AUS men's basketball finals. Two teams played fantastic basketball, legendary coaches coached at both helms, but at the end of the day only one could be victorious. I'd like to tell the members of the House that this year, going to the nationals will be Dalhousie University men's basketball team. As much as we're excited about that on this side of the province, we know that the member for Antigonish can give the other players solace that at least they'll have their X-Rings.

[Page 5571]

[4:30 p.m.]

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



COLTON LEBLANC « » : I rise today to proudly recognize Wedgeport Boats on being one of the three finalists in the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Hull Design Efficiency Challenge. ACOA has been working with Impact Canada to create and deliver the Hull Design Efficiency Challenge, which called for Atlantic region boat builders and designers to develop fuel-efficient boat hull designs that will lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce operating costs for fishing boat owners.

The winner, who will be announced on July 31st, will receive a $500,000 prize from ACOA with the expectation that they continue basic research and development to move their design towards pilot and pre-commercialization phases.

I ask that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Wedgeport Boats on this accomplishment and wish them continued success as they advance in this challenge.

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


BILL HORNE « » : I rise to congratulate East Hants and Area Community Rider on their expansion into the Fall River-Waverley area. The goal of the Community Rider program is to meet the rural transportation needs of residents in these communities. The expansion launch included a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newest van acquisition.

Clients can attend medical appointments, job interviews, classes, shopping, errands, social events, sporting events, and after-school activities. Transportation to services and social activities helps people remain engaged in their community. I invite all members of the House to congratulate East Hants and Area Community Rider on their expansion to Fall River areas.

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


[Page 5572]

TIM HALMAN « » : I rise today to recognize Thomas Chamoun, the owner of a Dartmouth East institution, Leo's Pizza. Thomas opened Leo's Pizza in 2004 and has been treating our taste buds ever since. More than that, Leo's Pizza gives back to the community. Thomas is a proud supporter of many local initiatives, including the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Dartmouth Whalers hockey teams. In 2019, Leo's Pizza passed the 15-year mark and renovated their space to optimize their business. I want to congratulate Thomas and the staff on 15 phenomenal years and wish them many more.

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



BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Better late than never, I'd like to congratulate my good friends Sean McNamara and Stephanie Higgins on the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Molly Jane McNamara, born November 1st, at 2:33 a.m. Sean and Stephanie have become incredibly great and natural parents. They are great at what they do, and now Sean and Stephanie are moving and getting married this summer. To Sean and Stephanie, congratulations, and Sean can no longer make fun of me for going to bed at 9:00 p.m.

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


KARLA MACFARLANE « » : March 8th is International Women's Day. Originating in 1911, it is now a global event, officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975. This year's theme is #EachforEqual and looks at gender equality as a business issue, not solely as a women's issue. It is proven that communities and economies thrive when there is no gender disparity.

We all have a part to play, a responsibility to lift women up, to accelerate gender parity. Women everywhere deserve to be unapologetically ambitious and successful, no matter what they choose to do in life. I ask my colleagues to join me in celebrating International Women's Day and to use March 8th not just to reflect on gender equality, not just to provide lip-service about gender equality, but to use their voices and actions to accelerate the progression of gender equality.

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


[Page 5573]


HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Olivia Alspach of Mineville, who is a member of the Eastern Shore Gold Diggers softball team. She and her fellow teammates, after hurricane Dorian destroyed the home dugout at the Lawrencetown Community Centre, spent the next 10 days completing all necessary repairs. This unselfish work of this group of fine young ladies ensured that the Metro Minor Girls Softball Association playoffs were a first-class event, demonstrating the determination and community spirit of this group of very fine young ladies.

I recognize and congratulate Olivia Alspach and the entire U12 Eastern Shore Gold Diggers girls softball team on their positive contribution to the community.

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



KIM MASLAND « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Queens County's Jamie Brown, one of the brave Nova Scotian firefighters who left for Australia on February 5th to assist in the fight against the most destructive fire in that country's history.

As part of the 64-member Canadian team, Jamie is one of the five firefighters from this province and works out of the Lands and Forestry Office in Milton. A testament to his skills and bravery, he is no stranger to out-of-province deployment, this being his ninth tour.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all members join me in thanking Jamie and all members of the Canadian team for their service and dedication not only to their communities at home but to our global community as a whole.

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


ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the Royal Canadian Legions holding their annual installation of officers, in which their 2019 Legionnaire of the Year Awards were presented.

Mr. Speaker, receiving the award for Branch 150 was Joan Clannon, a very active leader in the community who has extensive lists of contributions to Isle Madame. Serving as secretary-treasurer, Joan serves on the Poppy Trust Fund Committee and the Veteran's Comfort Fund Committee, and as Chair of the Entertainment Committee. She coordinates the Branch 150 bingos and works at the monthly Legion meals, the fish fry, and the community breakfast.

[Page 5574]

Mr. Speaker, Joan is also an active member of the Isle Madame Historical Society and Development Isle Madame Association, both groups highly committed to maintaining and sharing the area's rich history and culture.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank Joan for her continuing service to her community.

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


HON. LENA METLEGE DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, as the city's population booms and we continue to welcome more diverse newcomers into our communities, Halifax's culinary scene is also changing.

Last month I was pleased to stop by Kor-B-Q Authentic Korean All You Can Eat Grill to meet the owners and celebrate their grand opening. Mahitab Hamed and Salah El Sayed are the hard-working innovators behind this new restaurant. The duo emigrated to Canada from Egypt a decade ago and made their first mark on Halifax's culinary scene as the owners of Sushi Nami on the Bedford Highway.

With Kor-B-Q, they bring a truly unique and innovative dining experience to Halifax. The restaurant offers a wide variety of delicious dishes, and the table setup allows guests the option of creating and cooking their own meals tableside, adding a novel dash of fun and customization to the experience.

I want to congratulate Mahitab and Salah on their new restaurant and wish them the best as they prepare to welcome their third child to the family.

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


BRIAN COMER « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Becky Hanna of Howie Centre for being named Academic All-Canadian. To be honoured as an Academic All-Canadian, a student must be a full-time student enrolled at Cape Breton University. The student athlete must have an 80 per cent average or better, must have been a member of the Cape Breton University's U Sports varsity team, and have used a year of eligibility for that sport.

Becky has a passion for sports and is currently the defender for CBU's women's soccer team. In the past, she has competed with Team Atlantic at the U15 National All-Stars. Becky is also enrolled in the BBA program and maintains an above-80 average.

[Page 5575]

It's a pleasure to stand here today, Mr. Speaker, to once again extend congratulations to Becky on her success and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

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


TORY RUSHTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate all the Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts who attended and participated in the Kub Kar Rally 2020 that was held Saturday, February 22nd in Springhill.

Scouting groups from Springhill, Parrsboro, Fenwick, and Amherst raced their buggies, cars, and trucks against one another to compete for trophies. I attended the rally this year as the MC and had a wonderful time. I also had the opportunity to race my own Kub Kar that was built in my younger days.

Mr. Speaker, I ask you to join me in wishing all Scouts all over this country a great year. I hope to see them again next year at the rally.

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


ALANA PAON « » : Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize Jacky Lou Tormis on the official opening of Jacky's Asian Store on September 16, 2019, in Port Hawkesbury.

This specialty store offers food from the Philippines, Japan, and Thailand as well as clothes, accessories, and care products. Jacky also plans to offer cooking classes and host tasting events.

Jacky moved to the area in 2015. She discovered that such a market was in high demand since most of the products were not available outside of Halifax. Approximately 250 families from the Philippines live in and around the Strait area. New businesses such as Jacky's help attract more newcomers to the area, increase employment, and attract investment as well as contributing to the culture and social fabric of the area.

Mr. Speaker, I call upon the members of this House to congratulate Jacky Tormis on her grand opening. May she have many years of bountiful success.

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


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COLTON LEBLANC « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Guy Surette, the owner of Tusket Ultra Mart, who after 45 years in business and with mixed emotions has decided to retire.

Guy started his business in 1974 with one employee and grew to 20 employees, including generations of high school and university students and many in the community.

Guy remembers that when he started, gas was 64 cents a gallon and speedometers were in miles per hour. At that time, the business was a Texaco station, becoming an Ultramar in 1994. No matter the weather, the business remained open every day.

Guy is currently a municipal councillor and Argyle's deputy warden and serves on many committees, including the local parish council.

I would ask all members of the Legislature to join me in thanking Guy for the positive impact that he continues to make in the community and wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life.

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


BARBARA ADAMS « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the parent-teacher organization for Ocean View Elementary School for their exceptional dedication to the students and community.

Recently the PTO received a Southeastern Community Health Board Wellness Fund grant. With these funds, the PTO plan to expand the games and fun activities for their students. Their hope is to have a box in each classroom filled with educational games for students to use during inclement weather, to fix up the painted hopscotch games, and to add new painted games on the schoolyard.

I ask all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature to join me in congratulating all of those involved with the parent-teacher organization of Ocean View Elementary School in Eastern Passage.

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


JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, today I wish to acknowledge the hard work and effort that four Annapolis Valley musicians put into their community fundraising.

David and Lurenda Arenburg, Basil Davidson, and Albert Barkhouse help organize and provide music for many community fundraisers each year. Individuals who have unexpected financial burdens due to house fires or health issues receive the support of their communities at events organized primarily by David and Lurenda.

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I wish to express my gratitude and that of the Valley community for all the efforts each member of the group puts into making these events a success.


THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.


THE SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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

ELIZABETH SMITH-MCCROSSIN « » : Here we are, Mr. Speaker, with another provincial budget tabled with estimates for us to examine, study, and provide feedback to the governing Party.

First, I would like to thank all the people who worked tirelessly to prepare this budget. Our province is built on the people - the people who work day in and day out behind the scenes. On that note, I'd like to also thank the staff who work in our PC caucus office. We are blessed to have so many great people - people like Lisa Manninger, who worked tirelessly to prepare us for the important work of the Legislature.

Now it's time for us in Opposition to provide feedback, to ask questions on behalf of our constituents. In Opposition, it's our goal to help the governing Party to put forth the best budget, the best business plan to build a healthier, better, more prosperous Nova Scotia.

My role is to work with my team in the PC caucus to provide constructive feedback and, most importantly, to speak for the people who elected me, the people of Cumberland North. My mission as MLA is to serve the people of Cumberland North, to influence public policy for the greater good, to promote the people of Cumberland North and the area, to grow our economy and our GDP, to improve population health, and to work toward us having a world-class health care system.

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[4:45 p.m.]

My vision for Cumberland North includes empowering and building up families and individuals, businesses and communities, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, socially, and holistically.

As a provincial government, we have a responsibility to work with a non-partisan spirit with other levels of government, both municipal and federal, to create the ideal foundation for individuals, families, businesses, and communities to thrive and prosper.

When you look at Cumberland North on a map, you will see an area on the east side of Cumberland County which is the most northern county in the province of Nova Scotia. You will see that we are the centre of the Maritimes. Cumberland North has an approximate population of 18,000 people and about 14,450 electors. Those are the people whom I serve here in this House of Assembly.

There are two main centres: the largest is Amherst, a town of nearly 10,000 people; and the village of Pugwash has a population of about 750. We have many strong communities with a rich heritage and culture: Tidnish, Lorneville, Northport, Amherst Head, Truemanville, Shinimicas, Linden, Port Howe, River Philip, Malagash, Pugwash, Gulf Shore, Wallace, Conns Mills, and Wentworth - to name a few.

Amherst boasts a strong manufacturing industrial park with IMP, Emmerson Packaging, Maritime Pride Eggs, Gordon Food Services, C-Vision, and Weston Bakery - to name a few. Many of these industries were brought to our community by former MLA Ernest Fage and former Amherst Mayor Jerry Hallee. Amherst is a retail and service sector that has seen growth of specialty and unique services and shops but a loss of generic franchises due to the slowing in our economy.

Our primary industries have taken a beating. There used to be a large number of dairy, sheep, pork, and beef farms that are now diminished. Blueberry farmers have seen depressed prices four years in a row. Now our woodlots have taken a 30 per cent to 50 per cent drop in asset valuation. Our harvesters are facing a future that may include bankruptcy, selling their equipment for a loss, or leaving Cumberland North and taking their equipment and their families with them to a province that still has a viable forestry sector.

We have the Northumberland Strait and beaches along our entire northeastern boundary. We have seen some tourism strength and a growth of cottagers and businesses along our coast, like the Fox Harb'r Resort.

We celebrate a successful fishery. We have a large salt mine that produces over 1.2 million tons of salt per year. We still have a few dairy and beef farms and have blueberry fields and maple sugar businesses.

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Most importantly, we have the best people in the world. We have people from all over the world, too, 25 different countries and counting: England, Poland, China, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Colombia, Syria, Lebanon, Netherlands, U.S., Germany, Thailand, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Vietnam, Ukraine, Russia, Cuba, and El Salvador - to name a few. You can see I represent some pretty amazing people and places. I take the responsibility of being the voice for the people of Cumberland North very seriously.

Last Tuesday, this government tabled the Nova Scotia budget for 2020-21. I studied the budget, and I asked: Is this a good budget for the people of Cumberland North? This is an $11.6 billion budget. It's a budget that sees an increase in revenues over the last years, but it's from the federal government. We actually have a decrease in revenues from our taxpayers of this province because our economy is worsening. Numbers don't lie. I do not see any efficiencies or significant decrease in expenses of the government, which citizens expect government to do with their tax dollars.

The people I represent want to know: How will this budget help me? The questions that I hear from my constituents are: Why can't I find a family doctor? Why can't the emergency department be open? Why are the wait times so long in emergency? Why is there no one to help my loved one who has schizophrenia and is a danger to society? Why is there no housing available to me? Why am I paying the highest taxes in Canada? Why am I paying the second-highest electricity rates in the country? Why does this province not value my business? I can go next door to New Brunswick and pay less in personal taxes, less corporate tax, and lower electricity rates. Why should I stay in Nova Scotia?

Does this budget help us to attract business to Cumberland North? The answer is no. There is nothing in this budget that instills hope for our economic future. This government is anti-industry. It has a moratorium on natural resources development, sending a message to the mining and energy sectors that we are closed for business. This government has kicked the forestry industry in the teeth with no planning or preparation.

When I look into the eyes of these men and women, I see anger, and I see a loss of hope. I see anger because they have employees who have relied on them for jobs. They have employees who have families, and they have to lay them off. I see anger because they have worked in an industry that their parents and their grandparents have worked to build, and now their way of life is being threatened. Personally, I thought about how I would feel as a former businesswoman if government made a decision to push me into bankruptcy or force me to leave my beautiful province. I would be a long time getting over it.

What we need in Cumberland North is support for our entrepreneurs, a business- friendly environment, a lower corporate tax rate - 2 per cent is not enough - a lower small business tax rate, lower personal taxes, less red tape and bureaucracy, lower electricity rates. We are competing in a global marketplace. We're competing with our neighbouring provinces. We can't compete in the current conditions. We can't attract new industry, and we can't retain either.

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We need leadership by government in this new world where we are fighting the impacts of climate change, threatening our sea levels to rise and cause flooding that will destroy our communities. There's nothing in this budget to address the threat of Nova Scotia becoming an island. We see it every day in Cumberland North. When a storm comes, and the waters of the Bay of Fundy rise and break the banks that currently connect us to New Brunswick, we see the impending destruction. There's nothing in this budget to help us.

We need leadership by government to support new businesses that promote shared values, businesses that are driven by a sense of purpose to enhance communities and conserve ecological systems where they operate. There is nothing in this budget to promote that kind of business.

We need leadership by government to increase local food production. We have 30 per cent of the arable farmland in the province in Cumberland, but all we hear about are grapes in the Valley. These last two weeks we have witnessed national rail blockades. We get a glimpse of how vulnerable we are, as we rely so much on others for our food. Yet this government created a marketing plan for Nova Scotia food. We need more than that. We need much more than just pretty pictures of apples on billboards. We need an increase of actual food production.

We need leadership by government to create energy from local, sustainable products made here in Nova Scotia. We have had geothermal with promises for development for years but nothing in this budget. We have an abundance of wood, a renewable resource that could be used to create electricity and create energy. Rather, we seem only to hear about solar panels, which, I might add, are made in China, and we see the profits leaving this province.

We need leadership by government to create a reliable internet and cellphone service. We saw the deficiencies during Hurricane Dorian, when 911 was not accessible. People in life-threatening situations could not call for help. There is nothing in this budget for this.

We need leadership that will make safe roads a priority, roads that are maintained, roads that are safe, and roads and bridges that are fixed and open. There is nothing in this budget for this.

Most importantly there is nothing in this budget to help improve access to health care services to our most vulnerable. We have an illegal drug problem in Amherst. We have too many people struggling and addicted to illegal drugs, struggling to barely survive. Drug and alcohol addictions are preventing our people from working, earning a living, building their self-esteem and their own self-worth, and it is destroying families. We need massive investment in addiction and mental health services in Cumberland North, and from what I hear from my colleagues in the PC caucus, it is needed all across this province.

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We need psychiatrists who specialize in mental health. We need acute care beds for mental illness, and we need chronic care beds for mental illness. Last week I met with an alcoholic. He told me the detox unit in our area used to keep people for 15 to 20 days to detox, stabilize, treat, and then discharge them with a treatment plan to go home with. Now, under this Liberal government, they are kept five days, and they are sent home with no effective treatment plan. They are doomed for failure. He told me a few years ago he was in detox with seven other people, and now two of them have died - two young lives that could have been saved. There is nothing in this budget to help this.

The Cobequid Pass was built in 1996. Tolls were put in place that created a barrier, a financial toll for the people in the rest of the province to come to Cumberland North. The people of Cumberland North feel isolated from the rest of the province. It is time to remove the barriers, both real and perceived. Remove the tolls. Remove the centralized decision making. It's time to start making communities like those in Cumberland North a priority.

It is the responsibility of government to create a positive environment so that individuals, families, businesses, and communities can prosper. It is the responsibility of government to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. We must do better than the same old politics. We must remember that this budget is for Nova Scotians. It is for the people of Cumberland North, and it doesn't make the cut. I know we can do better. I see Nova Scotia as a place where we can achieve greatness, and I will work with my PC caucus colleagues for a better budget with solutions for a better government.

We must work for the kind of province we can be proud of to pass on to future generations that doesn't include giving them more debt. Let's amend this budget and work on presenting one for a healthy, prosperous Nova Scotia.

THE SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

[4:58 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Brendan Maguire in the Chair.]

[9:08 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened. The Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

THE SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The Chair of the Committee of the Whole on Supply will now report.

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

THE SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.

Following the daily routine and Question Period, business will include the continuation of the Committee of the Whole on Supply, followed by Committee of the Whole House on Bills and, with time permitting, second reading of Bills Nos. 233, 234, 236, 238 and 240.

THE SPEAKER « » : The motion is for the House to adjourn, to rise again tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3rd, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3rd, at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 9:10 p.m.]

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