December 05, 2011

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Fall Sitting Dec 2, 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 December 2nd, 36 Government Bills, 23 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 28 and December 2, 2011.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 115 - Labour Standards Code (amended) – Hon. Marilyn More
This Bill amends the Labour Standards Code to allow immigrant employees unpaid leave of up to one day to attend his or her Canadian citizenship ceremony.
Status: Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.

Bill No. 116 - Elections Act (amended) – Hon. Ross Landry
This Bill replaces the requirement for the Chief Electoral Officer to disclose the year of birth of a voter with the requirement to provide the age category of the voter (for example, 18-24, 24-34, 35-44). The amendments also require political parties having “held assets” to divest themselves of these funds by March 31, 2012. If funds are not divested by this date, they become the property of the Crown.
Status: Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.

Bill No. 118 - Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Hon. John MacDonell
This Bill proposes amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act that will allow the Registrar to suspend a driver if they fail an examination required by the Act, or if a medical examination indicates that the person is not able to safely operate a motor vehicle. Also, certain decisions of the Registrar may be appealed to a new Motor Vehicle Appeal Board whose members will be appointed by the Minister. This Bill also establishes a Medical Advisory Committee, composed of such medical doctors, optometrists, psychologists and other licensed healthcare professionals appointed by the Minister. The Medical Advisory Committee or a member of the Committee shall, when requested by the Registrar, provide any information, recommendations and opinions required by the Registrar for the purpose of this Act.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 120 - Liquor Control Act (amended) – Hon. Graham Steele
This Bill amends the Liquor Control Act so that the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) would now have the authority to obtain an injunction against someone in violation of the Liquor Control Act. The NSLC may apply to a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia directly if there is reason to believe a person or business is likely to, or is continuing to, commit a violation of liquor legislation or regulations.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 121 - Education Act (amended) - Hon. Ramona Jennex
This Bill repeals the section of the Education Act that allows for independent audits of school board finances and replaces it with a new section that gives the Minister of Education the authority to initiate a review of a school board and establishes procedures for such a review.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 122 - Environment Act (amended) – Hon. Sterling Belliveau
This Bill amends the Environment Act to allow for the establishment of rules and to enforce standards, which are meant to allow for more flexibility to protect the environment. The Bill also clarifies the definition of “adverse effect” to ensure that department staff do not respond to issues that do not impact on the environment or human health, or where they do not have authority. The Bill also changes the mandatory review of the Act to every ten years from five. The Bill will create a duty to report spills and for releases to include those professionals who become aware of spills during their work. Currently, only people responsible for spills have a duty to report.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 123 - Corrections Act (amended) – Hon. Ross Landry
This Bill amends the Corrections Act to bring correctional officers into the civil service. Accordingly, the amendments remove the provisions which establish that correctional officers are employees of the Department of Justice. The changes are necessary to accommodate the contract agreement reached with the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union Local 480 and the Province on Oct. 31, 2011.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 124 - Arts Nova Scotia Act – Hon. David Wilson
This Bill will establish a board known as “Arts Nova Scotia” and formalize the structure and mandate of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council. Arts Nova Scotia is an independent body that will oversee provincial government funding that goes directly to artists and will be established in legislation. The province will appoint an interim board to carry out transition to Arts Nova Scotia early in 2012.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 125 - Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council Act – Hon. David Wilson
This Bill is meant to formalize the structure and mandate of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council referred to in Bill No.124.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 126 - Police Act (amended) – Hon. Ross Landry
This Bill amends the Police Act to allow the appointment of Services Incident Response Team (SIRT) investigators by the Governor in Council rather than pursuant to the Civil Service Act. SIRT, an independent agency, will investigate serious matters such as death, serious injury, sexual assault or other public-interest concerns involving the police. SIRT will include a director, two civilian provincial investigators, seconded police officers, as required, and administrative support. Decision-making authority will reside solely with the civilian director.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILLS

Bill No. 117 - Sales Tax Act (amended) – Harold (Junior) Theriault (Lib)
This Bill provides a rebate of the Provincially designated portion of the Goods and Services Tax in respect of funerals.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 119 - Offshore Safety Standards Act – Andrew Younger (Lib)
This Bill will require the Government of Nova Scotia to enter into negotiations with the Government of Canada to create a federal regulating body for offshore petroleum safety standards. The National Offshore Petroleum Safety Board shall have control over and monitor the safety and environmental management of all offshore petroleum projects within the offshore area as defined in the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act.
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 – Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 72 – Timely Medical Certificates Act – Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 73 – Safer School Zones Act – Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 76 – Civil Forfeiture Act (amended) – Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 78 – Civil Constables Act (repealed) – Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 80 – Constables Act (repealed) – Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 81 – Change of Name Act (amended) - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 84 – Animal Protection Act (amended) - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 85 – Agriculture and Rural Credit Act (amended) – Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 86 – Fair Automobile Insurance (2011) Act - Reported back to the Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 90 - Safe Collection of Scrap Metal Act – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 93 - Education Act (amended) – Reported back to the Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 94 - Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority Act (amended) - Reported back to the Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 95 - Education Act (amended) - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 96 - Pension Benefits Act - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 98 - Fish Harvester Organizations Support Act - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 100 - Municipal Elections Act (amended) and Municipal Government Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 102 - Trade Union Act (amended) – At Law Amendments Committee and is awaiting report back to the Committee of the Whole House.
- Bill No. 104 - Gaming Control Act (amended) - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 106 – Libraries Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 108 – Perpetuities Act - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 109 - Safe Body Art Act - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- 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) - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 112 – Community Spirit Act - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 114 - Consumer Protection Act (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 115 - Labour Standards Code (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 116 - Elections Act (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 118 - Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 120 - Liquor Control Act (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 121 - Education Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 122 - Environment Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 123 - Corrections Act (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 124 - Arts Nova Scotia Act – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 125 - Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council Act – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 126 - Police 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 first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 3 – Modernizing Government Act - Passed first reading, and was adjourned on second reading.
- Bill No. 4 – Tax Review (2011-12) Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 5 – Balanced Budget Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 6 – Finance Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 8 – Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 9 Gaelic College Foundation Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 10 – Electricity Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and was adjourned on second reading.
- Bill No. 11 – Diabetic Persons Support Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 12- Income Tax Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 14 – Agriculture and Marketing Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 16 – Multiple Sclerosis Patient Support Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 18 – Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and was adjourned on second reading.
- Bill No. 24 – Value For Money Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 26 – Sound Recording Tax Credit Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 28 – Public Highways Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 29 – Public Utilities Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 31 – Health Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 32 – Rural Nova Scotia Physicians Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 34 – Newly Trained Nova Scotia Doctors Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 37 - Joseph Howe Day Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 39 – Liquor Control Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 44 – Legislative Internship Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 45 – Wilderness Areas Protection Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 46 – Fair Treatment of Children Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 48 – Income Tax Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 49 – Buy Nova Scotia First Act - Passed first 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 first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 60 – Elections Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 61 – Pension Benefits Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and was adjourned on 2nd reading.
- Bill No. 63 – Concussion Awareness Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 64 –Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 66 – Ratepayer Protection Act - Passed first reading, and was adjourned on second reading.
- Bill No. 67 – Scrap-Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 68 – Elimination of Bonuses in Power Rates Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 69 – Transparency in Power Rates Act - Passed first reading, and was adjourned on second reading.
- Bill No. 70 – Ratepayer Fairness Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 71 – Public Service Act (amended) - Passed first 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. 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 was adjourned on second reading.
- 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.
- Bill No. 117 - Sales Tax Act (amended) – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 119 - Offshore Safety Standards Act - 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 second reading and was referred to the Private and Local - Bills Committee.
- Bill No. 101 - An Act to Incorporate the Halifax Kennel Club (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Private and Local - Bills 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 (902) 491-4107 or coxandpalmer.com 




 


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