April 05, 2013

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Spring Sitting April 5, 2013

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The Spring sitting of the 5th session of the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature began on March 26, 2013. As of April 4, 2 Government Bills, 32 Private Members Bills and 0 Private and Local Bills have been introduced during this sitting of the House of Assembly.

Below is a summary of those Bills introduced between April 1 and April 4, 2013.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 32 - Solemnization of Marriage Act (amended) – Hon. John MacDonell
This Bill amends the Solemnization of Marriage Act by repealing subsection 19(2), which imposes a five-day waiting period from the date the required affidavit is filed, to the date of issuance of the marriage license and which also contains a redundant requirement contained in subsection (1).
Status: Passed second reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILLS

Bill No. 31 – Full Disclosure of Accounting Changes Act – Hon. Jamie Baillie (PC)
This Bill amends the Finance Act to require that the Minister of Finance (a) in any fiscal year in which the Minister adopts new accounting policies, table Estimates for that fiscal year prepared under both the new and the old rules and a report specifying differences between the two Estimates documents with respect to certain calculations; and (b) where the Minister has tabled Estimates for the 2013-14 fiscal year prepared under newly adopted accounting policies, prepare and table in the House of Assembly (or file with the Clerk of the Assembly), the Estimates as prepared under the old accounting policies and a report specifying the difference between the Estimates documents with respect to certain calculations.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 33 - Rural Nova Scotia Physicians Act – Hon. Stephen McNeil (Lib)
This Bill requires the Minister of Health and Wellness to establish a Committee to develop a Rural Integrated Clerkship Program. This program would allow medical students the option to undertake a 36 week placement in a rural community during their third year.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 34 - Ratepayer Protection Act – Andrew Younger (Lib)
This Bill requires the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to order Nova Scotia Power Incorporated to undertake a review of its operations to identify potential cost savings. The Bill would also require Nova Scotia Power to provide a report identifying how its estimates of expenses and revenue compare with current and actual costs. Further, the Bill requires a public hearing be held before any application for rate increase by Nova Scotia Power is heard by the Board.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

STATUS UPDATES

Status Update on Government Bills

  • Bill No. 3 – Support for Parents of Critically Ill or Abducted Children Act – Passed second reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
  • Bill No. 32 - Solemnization of Marriage Act (amended) - Passed second reading, and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.

Status Update on Private Member’s Bills

  • Bill No. 1 – Accountability in Economic Development Assistance Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 2 – Reliability in the Delivery of Electricity Act - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House. 
  • Bill No. 4 – Balanced Budget Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 5 – Elections Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 6 – Next Generation Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 7 – Liquor Control Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 8 – Food Bank Donation Tax Credit for Farmers Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 9 – Review to Invest in Student Achievement Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 10 – Public Utilities Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 11 – Affordable Higher Education Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 12 – Public Service Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 13 – Liquor Control Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 14 – Diabetic Persons Support Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 15 – Education Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 16 – Green Energy Promotion Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 17 – Blueprint for the Future of Public Education in Nova Scotia Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 18 – Life-threatening Illness Student Support Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 19 – Increasing Immigration to Nova Scotia Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 20 – Electricity Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 21 – Supporting All Students' Success in the Classroom Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 22 – Joseph Howe Day Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 23 – Sound Recording Tax Credit Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 24 – Multi-year Funding Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 25 – Health Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 26 – Sales Tax Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 27 – Day Care Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 28 – Tax Review (2013-14) Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 29 – Housing Development Corporation Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 30 – Housing Development Corporation Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 31 – Full Disclosure of Accounting Changes Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 33 – Rural Nova Scotia Physicians Act– Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 34 – Ratepayer Protection Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


Status Update on Private and Local Bills 


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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 Gavin MacDonald at (902) 491-4464 or at gmacdonald@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.