November 12, 2010

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Fall Sitting Nov 12, 2010

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The fall sitting of the 2nd session of the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia legislature began on October 28, 2010. As of November 12, 2010, 14 Government Bills, 7 Private Members Bills, and 1 Private and Local Bill have been introduced during this sitting of the House of Assembly.

Below is a summary of those Bills introduced between November 8, 2010 and November 12, 2010, and the status of legislation introduced since the beginning of the session, current to November 12, 2010.


GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 87 – Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act (amended) – Hon. Ross Landry

This Bill makes two minor amendments to the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act: an erroneous section reference is corrected; and additional words are added to another section for clarification purposes. Status: Passed first reading on November 8, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


Bill No. 88 – Summary Proceedings Act (amended) – Hon. Ross Landry

In April 2010, amendments to the Summary Proceedings Act were introduced to establish an out-of-court arraignment scheme for the recipients of ticket summonses for summary offences, and to provide that a failure to appear in response to a ticket summons would result in an automatic conviction. This Bill clarifies that the April 2010 amendments do not apply to young offenders, and also clarifies that the out-of-court arraignment scheme does not apply to tickets served before the coming into force of the April 2010 amendments. Status: Passed first reading on November 8, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


Bill No. 89 – Personal Health Information Act – Hon. Maureen MacDonald

This Bill establishes rules for the collection, use, disclosure and destruction of personal health records. Specifically, the Bill requires consent by the individual providing the information, and restricts the use of the information to the purpose for which it was collected without further consent. Where other information will serve the same purpose, the Bill precludes the collection of personal health information. The Bill outlines the individuals and entities to whom personal health information can be disclosed and for what purpose. It also outlines practices that must be put in place to protect personal heath information, including a record of user-activity for any electronic information system, and mandatory reporting of any privacy breach.

Nova Scotia joins eight other provinces that have comprehensive personal health information management legislation. Currently, personal health information in Nova Scotia is governed by a mix of federal and provincial legislation, health profession codes, and organizational policies and procedures. Status: Passed first reading on November 9, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House


Bill No. 90 – Auditor General Act – Hon. Graham Steele

This Bill will repeal and replace the existing Auditor General Act. In June, the Auditor General released a report in which he expressed concern that he had been denied access to files that he needed to complete an audit of the Industrial Expansion Fund and Nova Scotia Business Inc. The primary goal behind the new Act is to provide the Auditor General with greater access to information. In this regard, the new Act clarifies that the Auditor General has unrestricted access to the records of the entities that he is auditing, including documents that are subject to public interest immunity and solicitor-client privilege. The new Act also clarifies that disclosure to the Auditor General does not constitute a waiver of privilege or immunity, and that the Auditor General must ensure that any documents that he receives which are subject to privilege or immunity are kept confidential. When the Auditor General and an entity that he is auditing are unable to agree as to whether a record is privileged, either party may apply to the Supreme Court for a determination of the matter.

The Bill is intended to clearly delineate the responsibilities of the Auditor General, as well as the scope of his powers. In this regard, the Bill creates a new definition of “auditable entity”, which is intended to clarify which government entities the Auditor General may audit. The Bill is also intended to ensure that the Auditor General is independent of the executive branch of the Provincial government; in this regard, the Bill contains a provision which mandates that a special committee of the House is required to review the Auditor General’s annual budget. Status: Passed first reading on November 10, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILLS

Bill No. 86 – Cemeteries Protection Act (amended) – Hon. Cecil P. Clarke (PC)

This Bill amends the Cemeteries Protection Act by extending its protection beyond cemeteries to other monuments (which are defined as “land or a structure set aside to commemorate an event, an individual, or a group”). The Bill attempts to increase the maximum penalties that may be imposed for a contravention of the Act; however, it should be noted that the Bill references the wrong section number of the Act in this regard. The Bill also enables a portion of the fines collected under the Act to be used to establish a special fund to repair and maintain gravestones and other monuments. Status: Passed first reading on November 8, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


Bill No. 92 – Agriculture and Marketing Act (amended) – Leo Glavine (LIB)

This Bill amends the Agriculture and Marketing Act to require that the advisory committee established thereunder advise the Minister of Agriculture on the development of a policy respecting food purchases by government entities. This policy must establish progressive targets for food purchases by government entities, with the ultimate goal of increasing returns to Nova Scotia farmers over a nine-year period; and must also consider the implementation of a classroom healthy-snack program that is based on locally-grown produce. The policy must be finalized by the Minister no later than January 15, 2011. Status: Passed first reading on November 10, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS

Bill No. 91 – Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron Amalgamation Act – Michele Raymond (NDP)

This Bill amalgamates the Saraguay Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, and continues the newly amalgamated entity under the name of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. The Bill repeals the Saraguay Club Act, makes minor amendments to the Yacht Squadron Act, and mandates that this latter statute continues to apply to the Yacht Squadron. Status: Passed first reading on November 10, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


STATUS UPDATES

Status Update on Government Bills
  • Bill No. 1 House of Assembly Management Commission Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 7 Pharmacy Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 10 Cape Breton Island Marketing Levy Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 13 Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 16 Summary Proceedings Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 18 Vital Statistics Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 19 Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 22 Security and Investigative Services Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 23 Sea, Army, Air and Navy League Cadets Day Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 24 Financial Measures (2010) Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent; however, sections 2 to 8 had effect on and after January 1, 2010, and sections 24 and 25 will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 29 Municipal Government Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 33 Securities Transfer Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act was proclaimed into force on September 8, 2010.
  • Bill No. 35 Finance Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act was proclaimed into force on August 1, 2010.
  • Bill No. 36 Engineering Profession Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 38 Voluntary Carbon Emissions Offset Fund Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 41 Volunteer Fire Services Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 46 Appropriations Act, 2010 – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act had effect on and after April 1, 2010.
  • Bill No. 47 Education Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 51 Revenue Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent; however, sections 1 and 2(3) will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 52 Insurance Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act had effect on and after July 1, 2010; however, clauses 4(a) and (c) will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 53 Fur Industry Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 55 Internal Trade Agreement Implementation Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act was proclaimed into force on July 13, 2010.
  • Bill No. 58 Powers of Attorney Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 61 Non-essential Pesticides Control Act – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 62 Nova Scotia Hospital Foundation Act (repealed) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 63 Legal Professions Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 64 Electricity Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act was proclaimed into force on October 12, 2010.
  • Bill No. 65 Homes for Special Care Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent; however, section 1 will come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
  • Bill No. 67 Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent; however, sections 1 and 3 had effect on and after February 17, 2009.
  • Bill No. 68 Public Utilities Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 72 Police Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 74 Land Titles Clarification Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee. The Law Amendments Committee will meet to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010.
  • Bill No. 75 Merchandise Inspection Act (repealed) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee. The Law Amendments Committee will meet to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010.
  • Bill No. 76 Credit Union Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 78 Public Utilities Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee. The Law Amendments Committee will meet to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010.
  • Bill No. 79 Securities Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee. The Law Amendments Committee will meet to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010.
  • Bill No. 81 Oak Island Treasure Act – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee. The Law Amendments Committee will meet to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010.
  • Bill No. 82 Offshore Licensing Policy Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 83 Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 85 Police Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 87 Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 88 Summary Proceedings Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 89 Personal Health Information Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 90 Auditor General Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Status Update on Private Member’s Bills
  • Bill No. 2 Health Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 3 Provincial Finance Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 4 Electricity Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 5 Provincial Finance Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 6 Industrial Expansion Fund Transfer Act – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 8 Multi-Year Funding Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 9 Advisory Council on Mental Health Act – 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 Life-threatening Illness Student Support Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 14 Sales Tax Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 15 Viola Desmond Day Act – Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee. The Law Amendments Committee met on May 4, 2010, and has yet to report to the House.
  • Bill No. 17 Public Highways Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle in the House.
  • Bill No. 20 Health-care Sustainability Advisory Council Act – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 21 Income Tax Act (amended) and Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle in the House.
  • Bill No. 25 Emergency Health Services Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 26 Elections Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 27 Elections Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 28 Fire Safety Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 30 Police Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 31 Employment Support and Income Assistance Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 32 Emergency Management Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 34 Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 37 Workers’ Compensation Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 39 Coyote Control Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 40 An Act to Exempt Tidal View Manor in the Town of Yarmouth from Taxation (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 42 Public Service Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 44 Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 45 Day Care Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 48 Elections Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 50 Correctional Services Act (amended) and Police Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 54 Joseph Howe Day Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 56 Special Places Protection Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 57 Income Tax Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 59 Public Utilities Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 60 Green Energy Promotion Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 66 Liquor Control Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 69 Public Highways Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 70 Wilderness Areas Protection Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 71 Early Development Instrument Program Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 73 Forests Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 77 Tax Review (2010-11) Act – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 80 Multiple Sclerosis Liberation Therapy Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 84 Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 86 Cemeteries Protection Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 92 Agriculture and Marketing Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Status Update on Private and Local Bills
  • Bill No. 43 First Cornwallis Baptist Church Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 49 Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club, An Act to Incorporate (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 11, 2010. This Act came into force upon Royal Assent.
  • Bill No. 91 Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron Amalgamation 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 coxandpalmer.com or 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.