May 13, 2011

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Spring Sitting May 13

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The spring sitting of the 3rd session of the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature began on March 31, 2011. As of May 13, 2011, 28 Government Bills, 33 Private Members Bills and 3 Private and Local Bills have been introduced during this sitting of the House of Assembly.

Below is a summary of those Bills introduced between May 9, 2011 and May 13, 2011.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 62 – Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (amended) – Hon. Darrell Dexter
This Bill amends the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter respecting the Dartmouth Common. It states that the Dartmouth Common is held by the Municipality in trust and places a number of restrictions on what the Municipality can and cannot do with the property.
Status: Approved at Law Amendments Committee and reported back to the Committee of the Whole House on May 12, 2011. 

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BILLS 

Bill No. 63 – Concussion Awareness Act – Chuck Porter (PC)
This Bill requires the Minister of Health and Wellness to develop and make available education on the impact of a concussion and the procedures designed to protect players after sustaining a head injury. This education will be available to organized athletic teams in the Province with school-age children and to all minor sports organizations in the Province.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 64 –Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Keith Bain (PC)
This Bill enables the Minister to make regulations allowing retired firefighters and retired ground search and rescue workers who have served at least twenty-five years in good standing to keep their volunteer firefighter licence plates.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

STATUS UPDATES

Status Update on Government Bills
· Bill No. 1 – Motor Vehicle Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 7 – Justice Administration Amendment (2011) Act - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 13 – Pharmacy Act - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 15 – Electricity Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 17 – Fair Drug Pricing Act - Approved at Law Amendments Committee and reported back to the Committee of the Whole House on May 12, 2011.
· Bill No. 19 – Nova Scotia Business Incorporated Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 21 – Public Archives Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 23 – Public Procurement Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 25 – Occupational Health and Safety Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 27 – Financial Measures (2011) Act - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 30 – Land Registration Act (amended) and Registry Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 33 – Court Administrative Reform Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 35 – Body Armour Control Act - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 36 - Energy Saving Roadway Lighting (2011) Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 40 – Liquor Control Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 41 - Dangerous and Unsightly Premises Amendment (2011) Act - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 42 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (amended) and Municipal Government Act - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 43 – Interior Designers Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 47 – Summary Proceedings Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 50 – Appropriations Act, 2011 - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 51 – Public Highways Act (amended) – Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 52 – Government Administration Amendment (2011) Act – Approved at Law Amendments Committee and reported back to the Committee of the Whole House on May 12, 2011.
· Bill No. 53 – Labour Standards Code (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 55 –Medical Act – Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
· Bill No. 56 – Real Estate Trading Act (amended) – Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 57 – Private Ways Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 59 – Elections Act – Passed 2nd reading, Law Amendments Committee met and reported back to the House on May 13, 2011.
· Bill No. 62 – Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (amended) –Approved at Law Amendments Committee and reported back to the Committee of the Whole House on May 12, 2011.

Status Update on Private Member’s Bills
· Bill No. 2 – Hydraulic Fracturing Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 3 – Modernizing Government Act - Passed 1st reading, and was adjourned on 2nd reading.
· Bill No. 4 – Tax Review (2011-12) Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 5 – Balanced Budget Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 6 – Finance Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 8 – Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 9 Gaelic College Foundation Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 10 – Electricity Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and was adjourned on 2nd reading.
· Bill No. 11 – Diabetic Persons Support Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 12- Income Tax Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 14 – Agriculture and Marketing Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 16 – Multiple Sclerosis Patient Support Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 18 – Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and was adjourned on 2nd reading.
· Bill No. 24 – Value For Money Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 26 – Sound Recording Tax Credit Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 28 – Public Highways Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 29 – Public Utilities Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 31 – Health Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 32 – Rural Nova Scotia Physicians Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 34 – Newly Trained Nova Scotia Doctors Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 37 - Joseph Howe Day Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 39 – Liquor Control Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 44 – Legislative Internship Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 45 – Wilderness Areas Protection Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 46 – Fair Treatment of Children Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 48 – Income Tax Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 49 – Buy Nova Scotia First Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 54 – Cemeteries Protection Act (amended) – Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 58 – Multiple Sclerosis Liberation Therapy Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 60 – Elections Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 61 – Pension Benefits Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and was adjourned on 2nd reading.
· Bill No. 63 – Concussion Awareness Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
· Bill No. 64 –Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Status Update on Private and Local Bills
· Bill No. 20 - Trustees of Liverpool United Baptist Church Act (amended) - Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 22 – Public Service Commission of Bridgewater Act (amended) – Passed 3rd reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent.
· Bill No. 38 – Yarmouth North Baptist Church Act - Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.


The Progress of Bills in the Nova Scotia Legislature

The legislative process begins when a Bill is presented by a Member of the House of Assembly and is given First Reading by the House, without debate.

A Bill is given Second Reading after being debated in principle in the House.

Following Second Reading, Bills are referred to one of the legislative committees – the Law Amendments Committee or Private and Local Bills Committee – for detailed discussion in meetings outside the House. Members of the public can attend the meetings of these Committees and make presentations respecting any Bill. Amendments are frequently considered and may be adopted and included in the Bill when it is reported back to the House.

Bills reported back from the legislative committees are debated, clause by clause, by the members of the House acting as the Committee of the Whole House on Bills. The Bill is then reported back to the House.

The Bill receives Third Reading and the final approval of the House. There may be some debate at this stage but usually the Bill is voted on with no discussion.

The Bill receives Royal Assent when the Lieutenant Governor signs the final version. The Bill is then referred to as an Act, and is assigned a chapter number in the Statutes of Nova Scotia.

Commencement is the day on which the Act takes effect. Ordinarily, an Act takes effect when it is given Royal Assent. Sometimes, however, it provides that it will come into effect only when is it proclaimed to take effect by Order in Counsel to be made by the Cabinet.

Government Bills are introduced by the Minister of the department responsible for the legislation. Private Members Bills are generally introduced by a member of the opposition parties. Government Bills have a higher likelihood of becoming law since the largest party in the Legislative Assembly supports the initiative. Except in a minority government, Private Members Bills are unlikely to be brought forward for substantive debate or become law.

If you wish to be informed when a specific piece of legislation is scheduled to be heard by a legislative committee, please contact us and we will make arrangements for you to be so informed.

If you have any questions regarding the legislation summarized above or would like to receive a copy of any Bill, please contact Jennifer Forster at coxandpalmer.com or by phone at (902) 491-4107.


Cox & Palmer publications are intended to provide information of a general nature only and not legal advice. The information presented is current to the date of publication and may be subject to change following the publication date.