November 19, 2010

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Fall Sitting Nov 19, 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 19, 2010, 21 Government Bills, 9 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 12, 2010 and November 19, 2010, and a table providing the status of legislation introduced since the beginning of the session, current to November 19, 2010.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 93 – Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Hon. Bill Estabrooks M.B.

This Bill amends the Motor Vehicle Act in order to make roads safer for cyclists in Nova Scotia. The amendments will require motorists to leave at least one metre of space when passing a cyclist, mandate that motorists may only drive in bicycle lanes in certain circumstances (for example, if a hazard in the roadway makes it necessary for the motorist to do so), allow motorists to cross the centre line of a roadway in order to pass a bicycle, and make it illegal for motorists to park in bicycle lanes. The amendments also require cyclists to ride in bicycle lanes, or on the far right-hand side of the roadway; and require cyclists riding on highways to ride in single file, and with the flow of traffic. The Bill also makes a host of minor amendments to the Act to ensure that those who ride bicycles are uniformly referred to as “cyclists” therein. Status: Passed first reading on November 15, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 94 – Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Hon. Ramona Jennex

This Bill amends the Motor Vehicle Act to provide more information to people buying used cars in Nova Scotia. Before listing a used car for sale, a dealer will be required to conduct research into the history of the car; will be required to identify cars which are deemed to be lemons or non-repairable, or which are rebuilt or salvage vehicles; and will also be required to pass relevant information (e.g. the history of repairs to the car, whether the car was a manufacturer buy-back, etc.) on to potential purchasers. The Bill also requires used car dealers to report to the Registrar when they sell a lemon, and requires insurers paying claims for damaged vehicles to hire an appraiser to determine whether the vehicle in question should be deemed to be a non-repairable vehicle or a salvage vehicle; the insurer will then be required to report the appraiser’s findings to the Registrar. Used car dealers will also be required to provide purchasers with sale agreements containing specified details (e.g. warranty information, odometer readings, etc.). Status: Passed first reading on November 15, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


Bill No. 95 – Consumer Reporting Act – Hon. Ramona Jennex

This Bill authorizes the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, or another person designated by the Minister, to collect identifying information respecting a consumer from Consumer Reporting Agencies for the purpose of collecting a debt or fine owing by the consumer to the Province. The information could include the consumer's name and address and former addresses, places of employment and former employment and social insurance number. Status: Passed first reading on November 15, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 97 – Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Hon. Bill Estabrooks, M.B.

This Bill amends the Motor Vehicle Act to revoke a driver's licence for a year, for three years for a second revocation within five years, and for ten years for a third or subsequent revocation within five years as a result of a conviction for operating a motor vehicle on a highway in a race, in a contest, while performing a stunt or on a bet or a wager, and allows peace officers to suspend a driver's licence at the roadside if the peace officer is satisfied that the driver is operating the motor vehicle in such a manner. This Bill provides for four points on the record of a person convicted of using a hand held cellular telephone or engaging in text messaging on a communication device while operating a vehicle on a highway, and increases the minimum fines for conviction for using hand held cellular telephone or engaging in text messaging on a communication device while operating a vehicle on a highway from $100 to $150 for a first offence, from $200 to $300 for a second offence and from $400 to $600 for a third or subsequent offence. Status: Passed first reading on November 16, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 98 – Solemnization of Marriage Act (amended) – Hon. Ramona Jennex

This Bill amends the solemnization of Marriage Act to authorize the Registrar General to appoint Deputy issuers of marriage licences. Status: Passed first reading on November 16, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 99 – Conflict of Interest Act – Hon. Frank Corbett

This Bill requires the Governor in Council to appoint a Conflict of Interest Commissioner to whom members of the House of Assembly, including Ministers, remit annual disclosure statements. The statement is a disclosure of the finances of the member, the member’s spouse, and dependent children, and is to include assets greater than $10,000, outstanding debts, debts owing to the Minister greater than $10,000, and gifts exceeding $250. Disclosure statements will be made publicly available. The Bill also prevents members from participating in any decisions that would further the member’s private interests, and from accepting any fees or gifts in connection with the performance of the member’s duties. The Bill extends conflict of interest obligations to ministers, ministerial assistants and public employees. The Bill also restricts cabinet ministers and their assistants from lobbying the government or accepting a contract or benefit awarded by a government decision maker for 12 months after leaving office. The Bill establishes the powers and duties of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, including the power to make inquiries, issue recommendations and refer matters to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for determination. Status: Passed first reading on November 17, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 100 – Labour Board Act – Hon. Marilyn More

This Bill establishes a unified Labour Board, which is to replace (and thereby assume the powers and duties of) the Labour Relations Board; the Civil Service Employee Relations Board; the Highway Workers’ Employee Relations Board; the Correctional Facilities Employee Relations Board; the Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel; and the Labour Standards Tribunal. The Construction Industry Panel will also be abolished. This is intended to streamline labour relations and simplify how workplace disputes are handled in Nova Scotia, and is also intended to harmonize Nova Scotia’s labour relations regime with the regimes in place in most other Canadian jurisdictions. The Board is expected to be in place next year, and will have a full-time chair and 54 members.

The Bill also establishes a Labour-Management Review Committee. The purpose of this Committee is to improve labour relations and collective bargaining in Nova Scotia by reviewing, reporting and making recommendations to the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development on labour relations issues on an ongoing basis; and by conducting reviews of labour relations legislation. The Committee will have equal representation from management and labour.

The Bill will also require employers to post a deposit before making an appeal from a decision of the Labour Board. This is intended to reduce frivolous appeals of Board decisions. The Bill is also intended to allow government employees to continue to be represented by a union if their work moves to the private sector, and to eliminate lists of terms of employment that may be sent to arbitration if the parties have no right to strike or lock out. Status: Passed first reading on November 19, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILLS

Bill No. 96 – Multiple Sclerosis Patient Support Act – Diana Whalen (LIB)


This Act establishes an Advisory Panel of experts from the Province and other jurisdictions to advise on liberation therapy, a therapy pioneered by Dr. Paolo Zamboni of Italy for the treatment of chronic cerebral-spinal venous insufficiency in persons with multiple sclerosis. The Advisory Panel will advise the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation on the criteria for a call for research proposals on clinical trials and the selection of a research proposal to be funded. The Act establishes that clinical trials of liberation therapy will begin by April 30th, 2011, and that the Minister of Health will establish a Multiple Sclerosis Liberation Therapy Fund with the necessary financial resources to complete clinical trials and observe and track patients who have travelled outside of Canada for liberation therapy. Status: Passed first reading on November 16, 2010 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 101 – Sales Tax Act (amended) – Harold Theriault, Jr.

This Bill amends the Sales Tax Act by providing GST rebates for persons paying for funeral services. The rebate is to be paid or credited by the person supplying the funeral services; if they fail to do so, the person paying for the services may apply to the Minister of Finance for the rebate. The Bill also establishes how an application to the Minister is to be made, and how a supplier may obtain reimbursement from the Minister for the rebates that it pays out. Status: Passed first reading on November 19, 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. The Law Amendments Committee met to discuss this Bill on November 16 and 17, 2010, and reported to the House on November 17, 2010. This Bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole House.
  • 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 was proclaimed into force on November 16, 2010.
  • 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. The Law Amendments Committee met to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010, and reported to the House on the same day. This Bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 75 Merchandise Inspection Act (repealed) – Passed 2nd reading. The Law Amendments Committee met to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010, and reported to the House on the same day. This Bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 76 Credit Union Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading. The Law Amendment Committee met to discuss this Bill on November 17, 2010, and reported to the House on the same day. This Bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 78 Public Utilities Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading. The Law Amendments Committee met to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010, and reported to the House on the same day. This Bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 79 Securities Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading. The Law Amendments Committee met to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010, and reported to the House on the same day. This Bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 81 Oak Island Treasure Act – Passed 2nd reading. The Law Amendments Committee met to discuss this Bill on November 16, 2010, and reported to the House on the same day. This Bill has been referred to the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 82 Offshore Licensing Policy Act – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 83 Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 85 Police Act (amended) – Passed 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 87 Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • 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 2nd reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 90 Auditor General Act – Passed 1st reading; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 93 Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 94 Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 95 Consumer Reporting Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 97 Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 98 Solemnization of Marriage Act (amended) – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 99 Conflict of Interest Act – passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 100 Labour Relations 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; debate was adjourned on 2nd reading.
  • Bill No. 96 Multiple Sclerosis Patient Support Act – Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 101 Sales Tax 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 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.