November 28, 2011

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Fall Sitting Nov 25, 2011

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The fall sitting of the 3rd session of the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature began on October 31, 2011. As of November 25th, 26 Government Bills, 22 Private Members Bills and 2 Private and Local Bills have been introduced during this sitting of the House of Assembly.

Below is a summary of those Bills introduced between November 21 and November 25, 2011.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 106 – Libraries Act (amended) – Hon David Wilson (NDP)
This Bill amends the Libraries Act to reflect recent realignment of government responsibilities and to update names of organizations and committees by replacing “Minister of Education” by “Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage,” changing “National Library of Canada” to “Libraries and Archives Canada,” and changing “Provincial Library Council” to “Funding Review Committee.”
Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 108 – Perpetuities Act – Hon Ross Landry (NDP)
This Bill abolishes the rule against perpetuities and amends the Variation of Trusts Act and the Real Property Act. The rule against perpetuities, which dates back to 1672, was originally intended to protect property from control after death. In place of the strict rule, courts will be given enhanced power to vary trusts and other property dispositions (including a will) so that long-term conditions on the use and exchange of property can be modified or terminated where appropriate. Judges will be given criteria to consider when making these decisions and will be required to consider the intention of the person who made the trust or property disposition.
Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 109 - Safe Body Art Act - Hon Maureen MacDonald (NDP)
This Bill requires operators of personal service establishments who offer body art services to meet standards for infection control and disease transmission. The province will develop a regulatory process and technical guidelines for the industry. The Bill applies to all “body art facilities,” which is defined broadly as premises at or in which body art services are offered or carried out in exchange for compensation. "Body art service," as defined in the Bill, means the act of permanently or semi-permanently altering the body for non-medical reasons for the purpose of cultural, artistic or self-expression reasons by branding, piercing, tattooing, or any other act prescribed by the regulations. It could take up to a year before the regulations are in place.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 110 – Residential Tenancies Act (amended) – Hon John MacDonell (NDP)
This Bill amends the Residential Tenancies Act. The amendments clarify the sales process and upgrade criteria for manufactured homes, such as minihomes, to help ensure a fair and timely process for buyers, sellers and landlords. Landlords renting lots to homeowners will have to respond within 10 days when tenants put forward a prospective buyer. Landlords will be able to request that sellers upgrade their homes, based on municipal by-laws or community guidelines requirements attached to the sellers lease. Additional changes include: updating references to mobile homes and mobile home parks and changing them to manufactured homes and land-lease communities, providing a transition to introduce a new rental increase process for land-lease communities that was passed last fall to help simplify the process, and providing clarification for the new rental arrears process that was passed last fall.
Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 111 – Equity Tax Credit Act (amended) – Hon Graham Steele (NDP)
This Bill extends the equity tax credit to 2022. The Equity Tax Credit (ETC) was designed to assist Nova Scotia small businesses, co-operatives and community economic development initiatives in obtaining equity financing by offering a personal income tax credit to individuals investing in eligible businesses.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 112 – Community Spirit Act - Hon David Wilson (NDP)
This Bill creates a registry of declarations that celebrates unique aspects of the province's culture and heritage. The registry would provide an opportunity for the community to work with the municipality to recognize this aspect of its heritage through a provincially-registered declaration. When the registry becomes active, municipalities will be able to approve declarations about unique qualities associated with their communities and request provincial registration. Once approved by the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, the declarations would be added to the registry, which will be available online.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 114 - Consumer Protection Act (amended) – Hon John McDonell (NDP)
This Bill amends the Consumer Protection Act to provide better protection and more information to people who borrow from payday lenders. The province now licenses payday lenders that operate outlets in Nova Scotia, but not online payday lenders. Proposed changes will require online payday lenders to be licensed and to maintain a physical location in the province. This will help provide better information to prospective borrowers. Online payday lenders that are not licensed will not be able to collect fees, charges, or interest on loans. Another proposed change includes payday lenders already operating in Nova Scotia. They will have to make cash available to people who want it
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILLS

Bill No. 107 – Multi-Year Funding Act – Kelly Regan (Lib)
This Bill establishes a working group consisting of five members of the Nova Scotia Volunteer Advisory Council designated by that Council and the Minister to develop a multi-year funding framework for designated non-profit organizations funded by the Province. When necessary, the working group will consult with the Department of Finance, Treasury Board, Policy and Priorities Committee, and designated non-profit organizations in the development of a multi-year funding framework. By September 30, 2012, the working group will, for the purpose of developing a multi-year funding framework, develop and establish qualifications required for receipt of multi-year funding, a funding application process for designated non-profit organizations, service agreement templates, and an approval process for the designation of non-profit organizations.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 113 – Income Tax Act (amended) – Harold (Junior) Theriault (Lib)
This Bill implements a senior independent living tax credit for costs associated with the installation and maintenance of a life or medical alert system and is only available for persons who have attained the age of sixty years or more.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

STATUS UPDATES

Status Update on Government Bills

-Bill No. 1 – Motor Vehicle Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 7 – Justice Administration Amendment (2011) Act - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 13 – Pharmacy Act - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 15 – Electricity Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 17 – Fair Drug Pricing Act - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 19 – Nova Scotia Business Incorporated Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 21 – Public Archives Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 23 – Public Procurement Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act except clauses 12(1)(a), (b), (g), (k) and (m), Sections 14, 17 and 18, has effect on and after June 1, 2011. The excepted provisions will have effect on and after June 1, 2012.
-Bill No. 25 – Occupational Health and Safety Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 27 – Financial Measures (2011) Act - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. Section 7 has effect on and after January 1, 2010. Section 10 has effect on and after December 1, 2010. Sections 8 and 9 have effect on and after January 1, 2011. Sections 2, 18 to 20 and 31 have effect on and after April 1, 2011. Section 3 has effect on and after May 1, 2011 Section 17 has effect on and after July 1, 2011. Sections 11 to 16 and 21 to 25 and subsection 27(1) come into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 30 – Land Registration Act (amended) and Registry Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 33 – Court Administrative Reform Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 35 – Body Armour Control Act - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Security and Investigative Services Act comes into force.
-Bill No. 36 - Energy Saving Roadway Lighting (2011) Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 40 – Liquor Control Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 41 - Dangerous and Unsightly Premises Amendment (2011) Act - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 42 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (amended) and Municipal Government Act - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 43 – Interior Designers Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 47 – Summary Proceedings Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 50 – Appropriations Act, 2011 - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act has effect on and after April 1, 2011.
-Bill No. 51 – Public Highways Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 52 – Government Administration Amendment (2011) Act – Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 53 – Labour Standards Code (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 55 – Medical Act – Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 56 – Real Estate Trading Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 57 – Private Ways Act (amended) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 59 – Elections Act – Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
-Bill No. 62 – Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act comes into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 65 – Nova Scotia Jobs Fund Act – Debated by Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
-Bill No. 72 – Timely Medical Certificates Act - Passed second reading and referred to the Committee on Law Amendments
-Bill No. 73 – Safer School Zones Act - Debated by Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
-Bill No. 76 – Civil Forfeiture Act (amended) – Debated by Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
-Bill No. 78 – Civil Constables Act (repealed) – Debated by Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
-Bill No. 80 – Constables Act (repealed) - Debated by Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
-Bill No. 81 – Change of Name Act (amended) - Passed second reading and referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 84 – Animal Protection Act (amended) - Debated by Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
-Bill No. 85 – Agriculture and Rural Credit Act (amended) – Has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee and is awaiting debate in Committee of the Whole House.
-Bill No. 86 – Fair Automobile Insurance (2011) Act - Passed second reading and referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 90 - Safe Collection of Scrap Metal Act – Passed second reading and referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 93 - Education Act (amended) – Passed second reading and referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 94 - Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 95 - Education Act (amended) - Passed second reading and referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 96 - Pension Benefits Act - Passed second reading and referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 98 - Fish Harvester Organizations Support Act - Passed second reading and referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 100 - Municipal Elections Act (amended) and Municipal Government Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 102 - Trade Union Act (amended) – Passed Law Amendments Committee and awaiting debate by Committee of the Whole House.
-Bill No. 104 - Gaming Control Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 106 – Libraries Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 108 – Perpetuities Act - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 109 - Safe Body Art Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 110 – Residential Tenancies Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
-Bill No. 111 – Equity Tax Credit Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 112 – Community Spirit Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 114 - Consumer Protection Act (amended) - Passed first 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 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) – Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act came into force on 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.
-Bill No. 66 – Ratepayer Protection Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 67 – Scrap-Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 68 – Elimination of Bonuses in Power Rates Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 69 – Transparency in Power Rates Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 70 – Ratepayer Fairness Act - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 71 – Public Service Act (amended) - Passed 1st reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 74 – Income Tax Act (Amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 77 – Environmental Ombudsman Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 79 – Green Energy Promotion Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 82 – Next Generation Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 83 – Health Protection Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle in the House.
-Bill No. 87 – Wildlife Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle in the House.
-Bill No. 88 – Code of Ethics Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle in the House
-Bill No. 89 - Sea, Army and Air Cadets Training Recognition Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle in the House.
-Bill No. 90 - Safe Collection of Scrap Metal Act – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle in the House.
-Bill No. 91 - Increasing Immigration to Nova Scotia Act – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 92 - Power Rate Reduction Review Act –Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 97 - Day Care Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 103 - Early Development Instrument Assessment Program Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 105 - Trade Union Act (amended) – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 107 – Multi-Year Funding Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 113 – Income Tax Act (amended) – Passed first 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) - Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. This Act came into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 22 – Public Service Commission of Bridgewater Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 19, 2011. Section 4 has effect on and after November 25, 1999. All other changes came into force on Royal Assent.
-Bill No. 38 – Yarmouth North Baptist Church Act - Passed 2nd reading, and was referred to the Private and Local -Bills Committee
-Bill No. 99 - An Act Respecting the Archdiocese of Halifax - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
-Bill No. 101 - An Act to Incorporate the Halifax Kennel Club (amended) - Passed first 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 (902 491-4107 or at coxandpalmer.com 



 


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