House of Assembly Hansard 17-21 of the 62nd General Assembly, 3rd Session. (The original version is on the legislature's site.)
Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, the topic for late debate tonight as submitted by the honourable member for Pictou Centre is:
Therefore be it resolved that decisions to build new schools must once again be based on the needs of students, not on the needs of the Liberal Party.
The late debate at 5:30 p.m. today, brought to you by the honourable member for Pictou Centre.
We'll now begin the daily routine.
Jamie Baillie Progressive Conservative MLA for Cumberland South
For the past three years, the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has put a new elementary school for Springhill at the top of its priority list for new construction. Deterioration at the two old schools has reached the point where program delivery is being affected, hence the recommendation by the school board for a new school.
Despite this prioritized need, the Liberal Government continues to skip over the needs of students in Springhill, preferring to build new schools in the constituencies of the Premier, the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, and the member for Halifax Atlantic, even though none of those schools were prioritized by their own school boards. Playing politics with the education of our children is shameful - new school construction should be based on students' needs, not Liberal Party needs.
Nova Scotia is better than this; it's too bad this government is not.
Sterling Belliveau NDP MLA for Queens-Shelburne
As we prepare to settle in to yet another long night's sitting, it seems many of us in the House will have time to do a little soul-searching.
However, as I continue to listen to the Premier and his government ignore questions from the Opposition, I worry that I might find myself searching for answers to questions that I may not find. How is it that the current Premier could make such an explicit promise to respect the collective bargaining process and protect the rights of workers and then proceed to walk all over those same workers and the collective bargaining process that is their right?
I will continue soul-searching as this week goes on and report back on what I have and have not found.
Kelly Regan Liberal MLA for Bedford
I would like to mention a group that does excellent work in my riding and other ridings too.
The Sackville-Bedford Meals on Wheels makes fresh meals Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. These dedicated volunteers deliver meals to Bedford, Sackville, Hammonds Plains, Mount Uniacke, and Fall River, on each of these days. That service helps people who have difficulty preparing well-balanced meals but wish to keep their independence and remain in their own homes. They do this at a cost to recipients of $7 a meal, which includes soup, roll, entrée, and dessert.
Imagine this - volunteers have made over 187,000 meals. That's a big impact in our communities. So, I want to thank the Sackville-Bedford Meals on Wheels and its volunteers past and present for providing this important service.
Eddie Orrell Progressive Conservative MLA for Northside-Westmount
I rise today to tell the McNeil Government that my office has never received such a tsunami of emails and calls over this pending legislation before this House. It is clear that sober second thought is required by the government before insurmountable damage is inflicted on the education system of Nova Scotia.
Mr. Speaker, I hope the government allows wisdom and reason to play a role in this momentous decision that is about to be made.
Lenore Zann NDP MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River
I would like to applaud the determination and passion of two high school students from Dartmouth. Kenzi Donnelly and Manuel Moncayo-Adams are the spokespeople for the relentless group, Students for Teachers.
This group was formed in defiance of this government's disrespectful and dictatorial approach to the handling of the education file. When this government refused to stand with parents and teachers across the province, these students stepped up. With over 2,500 members on their Facebook group, Kenzi and Manuel have spent the last two and a half months organizing rallies, meeting with caucuses, and championing their educators.
I'm proud to say I stand with Manuel and Kenzi in their fight for teachers. I know bright futures await them wherever they go. I just want to thank them for all they've done and that they continue to do. Thank you.
Joanne Bernard Liberal MLA for Dartmouth North
Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand in this House and congratulate the Dartmouth Community Food Centre on receiving the Aviva Prize of $100,000 which will go towards expanding and enhancing the existing services offered by this great organization in Dartmouth North. This contest was initiated by the Aviva Insurance Company that for the past seven years has been awarding money to deserving ideas all over Canada. Since awarding its first grant seven years ago, it has awarded over $6.5 million to many groups nation-wide.
More than 37,000 people voted online over 18 days to support the Dartmouth North Food Centre's good market and café project. The weekly food market offers affordable produce every Saturday, fun activities, and is a great place to enjoy coffee with neighbours. The café serves lunches and offers healthy food cooking classes and other educational opportunities. As the MLA, I am thrilled with their achievements.
I would like all members of this House to join me in congratulating the members of the Dartmouth Food Centre on receiving this prize.
Pat Dunn Progressive Conservative MLA for Pictou Centre
Mr. Speaker, this week the Canadian Home and School Federation is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. It's an opportunity to show teachers and school staff from coast to coast that they are valuable, they are helping our children learn and grow.
It is a sad irony that the McNeil Government selected this week to impose a contract on teachers and ignore issues that would help teachers give our kids more productive classrooms and the best shot at success.
Tonight the Progressive Conservative caucus joins with the Canadian Home and School Federation in recognizing the many contributions of Nova Scotia teachers and thanking them for their important role in our children's lives.