May 03, 2013

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Spring Sitting May 3, 2013

Related Services

The Spring sitting of the fifth session of the sixty-first General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature began on March 26, 2013. As of May 2nd, 18 Government Bills, 58 Private Members Bills and 1 Private and Local Bill have been introduced during this sitting of the House of Assembly.

Below is a summary of those Bills introduced between April 26th and May 2nd, 2013.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 62 - Protection for Persons in Care Act (amended) – Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse
This Bill amends the Protection of Persons in Care Act to: (a) authorize the giving of notice in accordance with the Personal Directives Act; (b) allow disclosure of personal health information or personal information for the purpose of an investigation; (c) entitle people who are authorized under the Personal Directives Act to receive notice of an investigation; and (d) require the Minister to provide a written summary of any matter the Minister refers to a professional body to investigate.
Status: Passed second reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee, which is scheduled to meet and discuss this Bill on May 2nd.

Bill No. 66 - Mariners' Day Act – Hon. Sterling Belliveau
This Bill sets aside the second Sunday in August every year for the observation of Mariner's Day, to commemorate Nova Scotian Mariner's who have been lost at sea.
Status: Passed second reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee, which is scheduled to meet and discuss this Bill on May 2nd.

Bill No. 67 - Elections Act (amended) – Hon. Ross Landry
This Bill amends the Elections Act to: (a) expressly authorize the Chief Electoral Officer to collect personal information relating to persons 16 and 17 years old for inclusion in the Register of Electors; (b) amend the definition of "election expenses" to include the cost of attending a meeting of the candidate's registered party held outside the candidate's electoral district and expenses related to closing out a campaign office, and to exclude expenses incurred by a candidate with a disability that directly relate to the disability; (c) to prohibit a registered candidate from representing s/he is the endorsed candidate of a registered party unless the candidate has provided the Chief Electoral Officer with a signed statement from the leader of the party, and not if the registered party has withdrawn its endorsement and notified the candidate; (d) to require a registered candidate to provide written notification to the Chief Electoral Officer of any change in the registered candidate's status as an endorsed candidate of a registered party; (e) to allow an electoral district association to transfer advertising material to a candidate for use during an election and allow such transfer to be deemed an election expense of the candidate; (f) provide that, where a payment on a loan becomes a contribution, the payment is deemed to be a contribution on the date the loan was made, for the purposes of the annual contribution limit by an individual to a party, as set out in s.236; (g) to add things required to be in the annual financial report; (h) to require that contributions recorded by an official agent be recorded on a cumulative basis for the purpose of the contribution limit in s.236; (i) to limit contributions by an individual to an independent candidate to $5,000 per year; (j) to prohibit an organization from purchasing tickets to, or otherwise paying to participate in, a political fundraising event; (k) to provide that, where an individual's contribution through a will exceeds the amount that individual can contribute for the year, the excess contribution must be deposited in an account and held in trust, for the party to draw from annually; (l) to provide that, under certain circumstances, fees paid by an individual for a fundraiser are to be counted towards the individual's contribution limit; and (m) to require an independent candidate to return to an individual donor any contributions in excess of $5,000.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 69 - Statute Amendments (2013) Act – Hon. Ross Landry
This Bill makes mostly administrative amendments to a number of Acts, including: (a) amending the Fatality Investigations Act to permit an investigator, authorized by a medical examiner, to issue the required certificate before a body can be cremated or removed from Nova Scotia and to eliminate the requirement for an additional release by the Chief Medical Examiner; (b) amending the House of Assembly Act by changing the boundaries between the electoral districts of Dartmouth-Preston and Eastern Shore, and between the districts of Inverness and Victoria-The Lakes; (c) amending the Housing Development Corporations Act to change the name of "Nova Scotia Housing Development Corporation" to "Housing Nova Scotia" and to provide that the assets, rights, duties, obligations and liabilities of the Nova Scotia Housing Development Corporation are unaffected by its change of name; (d) amending the Motor Vehicles Act to update the Act with respect to provisions of the Criminal Code (Canada) that are grounds for driver's license revocations and to increase the threshold at which a collision that results in property damage must be reported from $1000 apparent property damage to $2000; and (e) changing the Sea, Army, Air and Navy League Cadets Day from the first Saturday in November to the first Saturday in October.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 70 - Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals Act – Hon. David Wilson
The proposed Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals Act would replace the Medical Radiation Technologists Act, the provincial legislation that guides and regulates medical imaging. As part of the Bill, more medical imaging professionals in Nova Scotia will be regulated by a professional body including technologists who perform magnetic resonance images (MRIs) and diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasounds). The Bill also proposes to replace the Nova Scotia Association of Medical Radiation Technologists with the Nova Scotia College of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House

Bill No. 76 - Adult Protection Act (amended) – Hon. David Wilson
The Bill proposes changes to the Adult Protection Act by adding definitions for "abuse", "financial abuse", "record" and "substitute decision-maker", and amending the definition of "adult in need of protection". Further changes include: (a) permitting the reporting of information that an adult is in need of protection by reason only of being the victim of financial abuse, (b) allowing the Minister to assist an adult in need of protection by referring the adult to services if the adult or the adult's substitute decision-maker is willing to accept the assistance, (c) allowing the Minister to apply for an order for entry for the purpose of making an assessment if the substitute decision-maker of a person being assessed under the Act interferes with or obstructs the assessment, (d) removing refusal of assistance by reason of duress as a ground for an order declaring a person to be an adult in need of protection and as a ground for the Minister authorizing the removal of a person for that person's protection, and (e) allowing a court making a protective intervention order to also make a temporary custody order or a supervision order. In terms of investigative powers and enforcement, the Bill (a) provides for forensic accounting orders, entry and inspection powers, (b) provides for search warrants and property freezing orders, (c) allows the Minister to obtain information, (d) makes records and disclose information and records to a peace officer, (e) provides for the copying of a record inspected under the Act, (f) requires peace officers to give assistance to the Minister, (g) allows the Minister to refer the results of an investigation of an allegation of financial abuse to a police agency for a determination of whether a charge should be laid, and (h) provides that it is not an offence to fail to report that an adult is in need of protection if the adult is in need of protection by reason only of being the victim of financial abuse.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILLS

Bill No. 63 - Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) – Hon. Karen Casey (Lib)
This Bill amends the Maintenance and Custody Act to provide for a definition of "grandparents", to provide for grandparent access orders without leave of the court and to provide that a person who has custody of a child shall not unreasonably deny contact between a grandparent and the child.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 64 – Maritime Link Act (amended) – Hon. Jamie Baillie (PC)
This Bill amends the Maritime Link Act to permit the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to extend the time within which it must render a decision respecting the Maritime Link.
Status: Passed first reading, and is being debated in principle by the House.

Bill No. 65 – Maritime Link Act (amended) – Hon. Jamie Baillie (PC)
This Bill amends the Maritime Link Act to expand the review by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board of the Maritime Link Project to include a review of the development of the Lower Churchill Project and require a consideration of alternatives for providing Nova Scotians with more affordable electricity and for reducing the environmental impact of producing electricity.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 68 - Firefighter Licence Plates Act – Keith Bain (PC)
This Bill allows retired firefighters and retired ground search and rescue workers who have served at least twenty-five years in good standing to keep their volunteer firefighter licence plates.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 71 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Hon. Darrell Dexter (NDP)
This Bill amends the House of Assembly Act to change the name of the new electoral district of Dartmouth–Preston to Preston–Dartmouth.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 72 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Hon. Frank Corbett (NDP)
This Bill amends the House of Assembly Act to change the name of the new electoral district of Sydney to Sydney–Whitney Pier.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 73 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Jim Boudreau (NDP)
This Bill amends the House of Assembly Act to change the name of the new electoral district of East Nova to Guysborough–Eastern Shore–Tracadie.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 74 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Lenore Zann (NDP)
This Bill amends the House of Assembly Act to change the name of the new electoral district of Truro–Bible Hill to Truro–Bible Hill–Millbrook–Salmon River.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 75 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Mat Whynott (NDP)
This Bill amends the House of Assembly Act to change the name of the new electoral district of Sackville to Sackville–Beaver Bank.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 77 – Thinker's Lodge Act – Brian Skabar (NDP)
This Bill proposes to preserve and protect the national historic site of Thinker's Lodge (in Pugwash, NS) by forbidding any seizure or attachment of the lodge to satisfy debts of the body corporate who runs the lodge, and by nullifying any conveyance of any interest in the lodge unless such conveyance is consented to by the Governor in Council.
Status: Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS
N/A

STATUS UPDATES

Status Update on Government Bills

  • Bill No. 3 – Support for Parents of Critically Ill or Abducted Children Act – Has been referred back to the House by the Law Amendments Committee, and is awaiting debate by the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 32 - Solemnization of Marriage Act (amended) - Has been referred back to the House by the Law Amendments Committee, and is awaiting debate by the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 36 - Provincial Court Act (amended) - Has been referred back to the House by the Law Amendments Committee, and is awaiting debate by the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 37 - Innovative Transportation Act - Has been referred back to the House by the Law Amendments Committee, and is being debated by the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 42 – Pension Benefits Act (amended) – Has been referred back to the House by the Law Amendments Committee, and is awaiting debate by the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 51 - Financial Measures (2013) Act – Has been referred back to the House by the Law Amendments Committee, and is awaiting debate by the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 54 – Widow's Pension Act– Has been referred back to the House by the Law Amendments Committee, and is awaiting debate by the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 55 – Protection of Animal Welfare and Security Act– Passed second reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee, with meetings scheduled for April 29 and May 1.
  • Bill No. 57 – Language Schools Act– Has been referred back to the House by the Law Amendments Committee, and is awaiting debate by the Committee of the Whole House.
  • Bill No. 58 - Appropriations Act, 2013– Passed third reading, and is awaiting Royal Assent. 
  • Bill No. 59 - Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act (amended) – Passed second reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee, with meetings scheduled for April 29 and May 1.
  • Bill No. 61 - Cyber-safety Act– Passed second reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee, with a meeting scheduled for May 2nd.
  • Bill No. 62 - Protection for Persons in Care Act (amended) – Passed second reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee, with a meeting scheduled for May 2nd.
  • Bill No. 66 – Mariner's Day Act - Passed second reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments Committee, with a meeting scheduled for May 2nd.
  • Bill No. 67 - Elections Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House. 
  • Bill No. 69 - Statute Amendments (2013) Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House. 
  • Bill No. 70 - Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House. 
  • Bill No. 76 - Adult Protection Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


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.
  • Bill No. 35 – Trade Union Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 38 – Trade Union Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 39 – Trade Union Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 40 – Education Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 41 – Child Protection Intervention Act– Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 44 - Ratepayer Fairness Act– Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 45 - Transparency in Power Rates Act– Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 46 – Public Utilities Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 47 – Capital Projects Review Act– Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 48 – Power Rate Reduction Review Act– Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 49 - Revenue Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 50 – Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 52 - Safer Schools Act– Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 53 - Stand Up Against Bullying Day Act– Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 56 – Cyberbullying Intervention Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 60 – Residential Tenancies Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 63 - Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) - Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 64 – Maritime Link Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 65 – Maritime Link Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 68 - Firefighter Licence Plates Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 71 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 72 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 73 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 74 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 75 - House of Assembly Act (amended) – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
  • Bill No. 77 – Thinker's Lodge Act – Passed first reading, and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


Status Update on Private and Local Bills 

  • Bill No. 43 – An Act to Incorporate the Trustees (amended) – Passed second reading, and has been referred to the Law Amendments 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 Gavin MacDonald at (902) 491-4464 or at  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.