December 12, 2011

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Fall Sitting Dec 9, 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 9th, 39 Government Bills, 26 Private Members Bills and 4 Private and Local Bills have been introduced during this sitting of the House of Assembly.

Below is a summary of those Bills introduced between December 5 and December 9, 2011.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 128 - Public Sector Lobbyists Act – Hon. John MacDonell
This Bill will ensure public sector organizations cannot use their funds to pay external lobbyists increasing accountability and ensuring limited funds don't go to external lobbyists. Organizations such as school boards, housing and health authorities can still lobby government directly through employees and officers.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 131 - Snow Sport Helmet Act – Hon. Maureen MacDonald
This Bill will make wearing ski helmets mandatory for all ages. Anyone 16 years of age or older is responsible to ensure they are wearing a helmet. Parents or guardians are responsible to ensure anyone under 16 in their care is wearing a helmet. Ski hill operators are responsible to ensure signs are posted making users aware of mandatory helmet use. If an inspector sees a violation, the individual could face up to a $250 fine for each offence. The legislation would come into effect November 1, 2012.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Bill No. 133 - Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Investment (2011) Act – Hon. Charlie Parker
This Bill aims to sustain jobs and invest in southwest Nova Scotia's pulp and paper sector by granting Bowater a capital loan of up to $25,000,000 and an additional loan in the amount of $23,750,000 towards the purchase of land and to fund capital assets to achieve productivity gains and energy savings and support enhanced workforce skills. Alternative municipal taxation would also be authorized.
Status: Passed first reading and debate was adjourned on second reading.

PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILLS

Bill No. 127 - Debt Settlement Protection Act– Kelly Regan (Lib)
This Bill outlines the process involved with acquiring a license to operate a debt settlement agency. It also imposes restrictions on the practice of debt settlement. The Director of Consumer Services is appointed Registrar for the purposes of the Act and powers are outlined within. Contravention of the Act by a person is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months. The maximum penalty for contravention of the act by a debt settlement agency is ten thousand dollars.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 130 - Victims' Rights and Services Act (amended) – Diana Whalen (Lib)
This Bill amends the Victims' Rights and Services Act by ensuring all money collected through the victim-fine surcharge is used to directly benefit victims of crime, removing the cap in the regulations on the hourly rate and maximum number of counselling hours, giving an applicant who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Director 180 days to appeal the decision and requiring the necessary funds to be paid out of moneys appropriated by the Legislature.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 134 - Petroleum Products Pricing Act (repealed) – Hon. Stephen McNeil (Lib)
This Bill repeals the Petroleum Products Pricing Act which governs the wholesale and minimum and maximum price of gasoline and diesel fuels in the province.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS

Bill No. 129 - St. Michael's Polish Association and Benefit Society Act (amended) – Hon. Frank Corbett (NDP)
This Bill modernizes the aims, objects and purposes of St. Michael's Polish Association and Benefit Society by removing restrictions on the value of real estate the Society may own as well as the requirement for approval of the by-laws by the Governor in Council. The by-laws of the Society are to be filed with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies instead of the Provincial Secretary and a Polish version of the Society's Act of incorporation shall be enacted.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Private and Local Bills Committee.

Bill No. 132 - Acadia Recreation Club Act – Hon. David Wilson (NDP)
This Bill authorizes the conversion of the Acadia Recreation Club Limited into the Acadia Recreation Club Society.
Status: Passed second reading and was referred to the Private and Local Bills Committee.

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 – Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- 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 – Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- 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) - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- 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 - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 90 - Safe Collection of Scrap Metal Act – Reported back to the Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 93 - Education Act (amended) – Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 94 - Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority Act (amended) - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 95 - Education Act (amended) - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 96 - Pension Benefits Act - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 98 - Fish Harvester Organizations Support Act - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 100 - Municipal Elections Act (amended) and Municipal Government Act (amended) - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 102 - Trade Union Act (amended) – Reported back to the Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 104 - Gaming Control Act (amended) - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 106 – Libraries Act (amended) - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 108 – Perpetuities Act - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 109 - Safe Body Art Act - Reported back to the Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 110 – Residential Tenancies Act (amended) - Reported back to the Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 111 – Equity Tax Credit Act (amended) - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 112 – Community Spirit Act - Passed third reading and is awaiting Royal Assent.
- Bill No. 114 - Consumer Protection Act (amended) – Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 115 - Labour Standards Code (amended) – Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 116 - Elections Act (amended) – Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 118 - Motor Vehicle Act (amended) – Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 120 - Liquor Control Act (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 121 - Education Act (amended) - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 122 - Environment Act (amended) - Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 123 - Corrections Act (amended) – Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 124 - Arts Nova Scotia Act – Reported back to the Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 125 - Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council Act – Reported back to Committee of the Whole House and is awaiting third reading.
- Bill No. 126 - Police Act (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 128 - Public Sector Lobbyists Act - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 131 - Snow Sport Helmet Act - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
- Bill No. 133 - Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Investment (2011) Act - Passed first reading and debate was adjourned on second reading.

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.
- Bill No. 127 - Debt Settlement Protection Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 130 - Victims' Rights and Services Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
- Bill No. 134 - Petroleum Products Pricing Act (repealed) - 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.
- Bill No. 129 - St. Michael's Polish Association and Benefit Society Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Private and Local - Bills Committee.
- Bill No. 132 - Acadia Recreation Club Act - 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 
 


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.