April 21, 2011

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Spring Sitting April 21

Related Services

The spring sitting of the 3rd session of the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature began on March 31, 2011.  As of April 21, 14 Government Bills, 21 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 April 18 and April 21, 2011.

GOVERNMENT BILLS
Bill No. 30 – Land Registration Act (amended) and Registry Act (amended) – Hon. John
MacDonell
This Bill amends the Land Registration Act to change the requirement for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia to establish and maintain a land registration office in each land registration district to a requirement for land registration offices to be established and maintained by the Minister as prescribed by the Governor in Council by regulation. In addition, this Bill authorizes the Minister to appoint deputy registrars general. With respect to the Registry Act, this Bill changes the requirement for a registry office in each registration district to a requirement for a registry office in each land registration office established under the Land Registration Act.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 33 – Court Administrative Reform Act (amended) – Hon. Charlie Parker
This Bill authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations assigning to a member of the Executive Council authority to issue under the Land Titles Clarification Act a certificate of release of the Crown’s interest in ungranted Crown land considering the current and historical usage of the land. The authority may only be exercised by the member of the Executive Council if the regulations establish policies and procedures for the issuance of the certificate.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 35 – Body Armour Control Act – Hon. Ross Landry
This Bill requires all persons who possess or sell body armour to hold a permit. This requirement does not apply to police officers, conservation officers, special constables or by-law enforcement officers appointed under the Police Act, sheriffs or deputy sheriffs, correctional services employees, or security agents or agencies. An individual who contravenes the Act is liable to a maximum fine of  $10,000.00, or imprisonment for a maximum of three months, or both. A corporation that contravenes the Act is liable to a maximum fine of $25,000.00.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 36 - Energy Saving Roadway Lighting (2011) Act (amended) – Hon. Charlie Parker
This Bill authorizes regulations restricting or prohibiting the use of a designated appliance that does not meet the prescribed efficiency standard for that appliance.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BILLS

Bill No. 29 – Public Utilities Act (amended) – Andrew Younger (LIB)
This Bill exempts public utilities that produce or provide thermal or geothermal energy to ten or fewer customers from regulatory oversight by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 31 – Health Act (amended) – Hon. Stephen McNeil (LIB)
This Bill authorizes regulations to designate 20 positions at Dalhousie University medical school for students who enter into a contract for tuition support in exchange for serving for five years in an under-serviced area of Nova Scotia.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 32 – Rural Nova Scotia Physicians Act – Hon. Stephen McNeil (LIB)
This Bill establishes a committee to develop a Rural Integrated Clerkship Program. The committee will be composed of representatives of the Department of Health and Wellness, Dalhousie University Medical School and The Medical Society of Nova Scotia. The Program is to consist of a curriculum clerkship option for medical students that enables medical students, upon application to the Medical School, to be placed in a rural community for approximately thirty-six weeks during their third year. The program is to be implemented in 2012.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 34 – Newly Trained Nova Scotia Doctors Act – Hon. Stephen McNeil (LIB)
This Bill establishes a committee to develop a plan for the creation of ten additional residency positions in the Province for medical students originally from the Province who have completed an undergraduate medical degree in a medical school outside of Canada. The committee will be composed of representatives of the Department of Health and Wellness, the Dalhousie University Medical School, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia and The Medical Society of Nova Scotia. The plan will include a mechanism to ensure the residency positions are available and identify the types of residency positions needed and their location based upon provincial and local community need.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 37 - Joseph Howe Day Act – Diana Whalen (LIB)
This Bill creates the holiday of Joseph Howe Day, which shall be the third Monday of February in each year.
Status: Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS

Bill No. 38 – Yarmouth North Baptist Church Act – Zach Churchill (LIB)
This Bill changes the name of the Yarmouth North United Baptist Church to the Yarmouth North Baptist Church.
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 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
• Bill No. 7 – Justice Administration Amendment (2011) Act - Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
• Bill No. 13 – Pharmacy Act - Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
• Bill No. 15 – Electricity Act (amended) - Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
• Bill No. 17 – Fair Drug Pricing Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 19 – Nova Scotia Business Incorporated Act (amended) - Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
• Bill No. 21 – Public Archives Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 23 – Public Procurement Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 25 – Occupational Health and Safety Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 27 – Financial Measures (2011) Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 30 – Land Registration Act (amended) and Registry Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 33 – Court Administrative Reform Act (amended)-  Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 35 – Body Armour Control Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 36 - Energy Saving Roadway Lighting (2011) Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

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 is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• 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 is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• 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 is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• 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.

Status Update on Private and Local Bills
• Bill No. 20 - Trustees of Liverpool United Baptist Church Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 22 – Public Service Commission of Bridgewater Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
• Bill No. 38 – Yarmouth North Baptist Church Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
 

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 jforster@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.