May 07, 2012

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Spring Sitting May 4, 2012

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The spring sitting of the 4th session of the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature began on March 29, 2012. As of May 4, 2012, 28 Government Bills and 52 Private Members Bills have been introduced during this sitting of the House of Assembly.

Below is a summary of those Bills introduced between April 30 and May 4, 2012.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 71 - Assessment Act (amended) – Hon. John MacDonell
This Bill replaces the five regional assessment appeal courts with one tribunal, gives the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations authority to appoint Tribunal members and set their terms, and gives Tribunal members authority to compel disclosure and production of documents required for the hearing of an appeal. The Bill also extends various property assessment deadlines.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 73 – Municipal Government Act (amended) - Hon. John MacDonell
This Bill amends the Municipal Government Act to authorize registrars of deeds to publish sale price and related information contained in deed transfer tax affidavits, to authorize the Minister to prescribe related information by regulation, and to provide greater certainty concerning the sharing of information in deed transfer tax affidavits with property assessors.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 74 – Patient Safety Act – Hon. Maureen MacDonald
This Bill requires district health authorities to compile and report hand-hygiene adherence rates in accordance with a protocol established by the regulations. A district health authority shall compile and report other patient-safety indicators prescribed by the regulations in accordance with protocols established by the regulations.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 76 - Personal Health Information Act (amended) – Hon. Maureen MacDonald
This Bill makes clarifying amendments to the Act removing redundancies and errors.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 77 – Medical Society Act (amended) – Hon. Maureen MacDonald
This Bill makes membership in Doctors Nova Scotia mandatory for medical practitioners; allows persons other than medical practitioners to become members of Doctors Nova Scotia; and allows Doctors Nova Scotia to withdraw, suspend, withhold or terminate any right, privilege or benefit of a member upon non-payment of fees.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 78 - Justice Administration (2012) Act – Hon. Ross Landry
This Bill makes clarifying amendments to the Arts Nova Scotia Act, the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council Act, the House of Assembly Management Commission Act, the Liquor Control Act, the Summary Proceedings Act, and the Theatre and Amusements Act. It expands the size of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council and the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 79 - Education Act (amended) – Hon. Ramona Jennex
This Bill makes changes to probationary contracts for teachers. The Bill permits a school board to extend a probationary contract for a third year. It also permits a school board to extend a probationary contract for a second year for teachers who have had or are deemed to have had a permanent contract, if the teacher has had fewer than a total of one hundred forty-five days taught or reckoned to be days taught during the school year. Finally, the Bill permits a school board to terminate a probationary contract at the end of the third year.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILLS

Bill No. 70 – Multiple Sclerosis Liberation Therapy Act – Alfie MacLeod (PC)
This Bill provides for the creation of an advisory panel of experts to advise the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation on Multiple Sclerosis liberation therapy. The Bill also requires the Foundation to issue a call for clinical trials of the liberation therapy. The Minister is required to establish a five million dollar fund for such clinical trials.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 72 - Capital Projects Review Act – Hon. Jamie Baillie (PC)
This Bill says that every capital project proposed by the Provincial government or a public utility, which would cost more than one hundred million dollars, shall be subject to an independent review. The independent reviewer shall conduct a cost-benefit analysis and shall consider other cheaper, more effective options.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 75 - An Act to Provide Greater Flexibility for Nova Scotians' Retirement Savings in Locked-in Accounts – Allan MacMaster (PC)
The Bill requires the Governor in Council to amend the Pension Benefits Regulations to permit the transfer of assets in a locked-in retirement account (LIRA) to a restricted locked-in savings plan. The Bill also allows for earlier withdrawals from locked-in accounts.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 80 - Child and Youth Advocate Act – Zach Churchill (Lib)
This Bill creates a commissioner for the advocacy of issues and interests specific to children and youth to be called the Child and Youth Advocate. The Advocate shall be appointed by the Governor in Council. The Advocate is empowered to investigate grievances concerning children and youth against any government department.
Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS

None


STATUS UPDATES

Status Update on Government Bills

Bill No. 1 – Status of the Artist Act– Status: Passed third reading on May 4, 2012 and is awaiting Royal Assent.
Bill No. 5 - Municipal Government Act (amended) – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 9 – Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act (amended) – Status: Passed third reading on May 4, 2012 and is awaiting Royal Assent.
Bill No. 11 – Nova Scotia Tartan Act (amended) – Status: Passed third reading on May 4, 2012 and is awaiting Royal Assent.
Bill No. 13 – Education Act (amended) – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on April 30, 2012.
Bill No. 17 – Financial Measures (2012) Act – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on April 30, 2012.
Bill No. 20 – Public Trustee Act (amended) – Status: Passed third reading on May 4, 2012 and is awaiting Royal Assent.
Bill No. 22 – Mortgage Regulation Act – Status: Passed third reading on May 4, 2012 and is awaiting Royal Assent.
Bill No. 24 – Purchasing Management Association of Canada Act (amended) – Status: Passed third reading on May 4, 2012 and is awaiting Royal Assent.
Bill No. 30 - Promotion of Respectful and Responsible Relationships Act - Status: Passed second reading, and was referred to Law Amendments Committee, on April 30, 2012.
Bill No. 32 – Securities Act (amended) – Status: Passed third reading on May 4, 2012 and is awaiting Royal Assent.
Bill No. 34 – Matrimonial Statutes Repeal Act – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 37 – Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 39 – Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 41 – Grandparents’ Rights Affirmation Act – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 52 – Conservation Easements Act (amended) – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 55 – Community Easements Act– Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on April 30, 2012.
Bill No. 59 – Fish Harvesters Registration and Certification Act – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 61 – Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act (amended) – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 65 – Consumer Protection Act (amended)– Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 1, 2012.
Bill No. 69 – Appropriations Act, 2012 – Status: Passed third reading on April 27, 2012 and is awaiting Royal Assent.
Bill No. 71 - Assessment Act (amended) - Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 3, 2012.
Bill No. 73 – Municipal Government Act (amended) - Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 3, 2012.
Bill No. 74 – Patient Safety Act - Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 4, 2012.
Bill No. 75 – Medical Society Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 76 - Personal Health Information Act (amended) - Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 4, 2012.
Bill No. 77 – Medical Society Act (amended) – Status: Passed second reading and was referred to Law Amendments Committee on May 4, 2012.
Bill No. 78 - Justice Administration (2012) Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 79 - Education Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


Status Update on Private Member’s Bills

Bill No. 2 – Tax Review (2012-13) Act – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 3 – Sales Tax Act (amended) – Debate was adjourned on second reading.
Bill No. 4 – Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 6 – Fair Treatment of Children Act– Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 7 – Concussion Awareness Act– Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 8 – Joseph Howe Day Act– Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 10 – Blueprint for the Future of Public Education in Nova Scotia Act – Debate was adjourned on second reading.
Bill No. 12 – Petroleum Products Pricing Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 14 – Trade Union Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 15 – House of Assembly Management Commission Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 16 – Affordable Higher Education Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 18 – Agriculture and Marketing Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 19 – Early Development Instrument Assessment Program Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 21 – Sound Recording Tax Credit Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 23 – Day Care Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 25 – Victims’ Rights and Services Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 26 – Stand Up Against Bullying Day Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 27 – Cyberbullying Intervention Act – Debate was adjourned on second reading.
Bill No. 28 – Safer Schools Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 29 – Child Protection Intervention Act – Debate was adjourned on second reading.
Bill No. 31 – Residential Tenancies Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 33 – Diabetic Persons Support Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 35 – Motor Vehicle Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 36 – Income Tax Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 38 – Finance Act (amended)– Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 40 – Labour Standards Code (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 42 – Rural Nova Scotia Physicians Act – Status: Debate adjourned on second reading.
Bill No. 43 – Newly Trained Nova Scotia Doctors Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 44 – Health Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 45 – Ratepayer Protection Act – Status: Debate adjourned on second reading.
Bill No. 46 – Electricity Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 47 – Modernizing Government Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 48 – Balanced Budget Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 49 – Income Tax Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 50 – Next Generation Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 51 – Red Tape Reduction Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 53 – Debt Settlement Protection Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 54 – Power Rate Reduction Review Act - Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 56 – Elimination of Bonuses in Power Rates Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 58 – Transparency in Power Rates Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 60 – Ratepayer Fairness Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 62 – Pension Benefits Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House
Bill No. 63 – Transparency for Homeowners Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 64 – Income Tax Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 66 – Multiple Sclerosis Patient Support Act– Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 67 – Buy Nova Scotia First Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 68 – Value for Money Act– Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 70 – Multiple Sclerosis Liberation Therapy Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 72 - Capital Projects Review Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 75 - An Act to Provide Greater Flexibility for Nova Scotians' Retirement Savings in Locked-in Accounts – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 80 - Child and Youth Advocate Act – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


Status Update on Private and Local Bills

Bill No. 57 – Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act (amended) – Passed second reading and was referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills on May 3, 2012.


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.