November 13, 2012

Nova Scotia Legislative Report - Fall Sitting Nov 9, 2012

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The fall sitting of the 4th session of the 61st General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature began on October 25, 2012. As of November 9, 2012, 2012, 12 Government Bills, 20 Private Members Bills and 1 Private Bill have been introduced during this sitting of the House of Assembly.

Below is a summary of those Bills introduced between November 5 and November 9, 2012.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Bill No. 115 - Interprovincial Investigative Authority Act (amended) – Hon. Ross Landry
This Bill allows the Attorney General to apply for a search warrant or an investigative warrant upon receiving a request from a province designated by the regulations to have a search or seizure carried out in Nova Scotia in respect of an offence against an enactment of the designated province. The execution of the warrant is generally governed by the existing provisions of the Summary Proceedings Act relating to warrants. The Bill provides for the issuance of an order to send anything seized to the designated jurisdiction subject to certain terms and conditions. This Bill also adds regulation-making powers in relation to warrants issued in respect of a request from a designated province.
Status: Passed first reading on November 5, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principal by the house.

Bill No. 119 – Cosmetology Act – Hon. Marilyn More
This Bill establishes the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia as a regulatory body for individuals practicing cosmetology. The Bill defines and provides for the enforcement of the objects of the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia, which are to: ensure public safety and minimize the risk to the public and those engaged in the practice of cosmetology; establish, maintain and develop standards of sanitation, hygiene, inspection of salons, schools and other premises where cosmetology is practiced; establish, develop and maintain standards for qualification and entry into the practice of cosmetology; establish, develop and maintain standards for curriculum and occupational training requirements for the cosmetology industry; regulate the practice of cosmetology and govern its members in accordance with this Act, the regulations and the by-laws; promote the interests of the cosmetology industry to government and the general public; and administer this Act and perform such other duties and exercise such other powers as are imposed or conferred on the Association by or under any Act.
Status: Passed first reading on November 6, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principal by the house.

Bill No. 125 – War Amps Key Tag Act – Hon. John MacDonell
This Bill clarifies that Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations may disclose the name and address of persons with a driver’s licence to the War Amps for the purpose of conducting its Key Tag Service program. It also allows persons to have their information withheld if they so choose.
Status: Passed first reading on November 8, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principal by the house.


PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILLS

Bill No. 116 - Environmental Ombudsman Act – Andrew Younger (Lib)
This Bill would establish the Office of the Environmental Ombudsman. The Environmental Ombudsman, as an officer of the house shall be a commissioner for investigations specific to the environment and environmental matters. The Bill provides that the Environmental Ombudsman is to hold office for five years from the date of appointment, unless the office sooner becomes vacant. The Bill indicates that the Environmental Ombudsman may not investigate: any decision, recommendation, act or omission in respect of which there is under any Act a right of appeal or objection or a right to apply for a review on the merits of the case to any court or to any tribunal constituted by or under the Act, whether or not that right of appeal or objection or application has been exercised in the particular case and whether or not any time prescribed for the exercise of that right has expired; any decision, recommendation, act or omission of any person acting as solicitor or prosecuting officer for the Crown or acting as counsel for the Crown in relation to any proceeding; or any complaint filed with or any matter referred to or being investigated by the Ombudsman appointed under the Ombudsman Act.
Status: Passed first reading on November 5, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 118 - Offshore Safety Standards Act – Andrew Younger (Lib)
This Bill provides that the Minister of Energy shall enter into negotiations with the Government of Canada to create a National Offshore Petroleum Safety Board, which will 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 on November 5, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 120 - Education Act (amended) – Hon. Karen Casey (Lib)
This Bill restricts class sizes for grades primary to two to 20 students, and for grade three to 25 students. It allows a class in grades primary to two to exceed 20 students, but not 25 students, if the Minister so orders and if an additional non-teaching adult support person is assigned to that class. It also requires that the Minister ensure that each school board receive sufficient funding so that the class size restrictions do not impair the delivery of the public school program.
Status: Passed first reading on November 6, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 121 - Review to Invest in Student Achievement Act – Hon. Karen Casey (Lib)
This Bill provides that the Minister of Education must to complete a comprehensive review of the funding and delivery of education at public schools in the province. This Bill also provides that a complete report regarding the review must be submitted to the Minister on or before April 15, 2013, which will in turn be tabled by the Minister in the House of Assembly or filed with the Chief Clerk of the House in the event the House is not sitting.
Status: Passed first reading on November 6, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 122 - Trade Union Act (amended) – Hon. Jamie Baillie (PC)
This Bill amends the Trade Union Act to remove the provisions relating to first contract arbitration enacted in 2011.
Status: Passed first reading on November 7, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 123 - Liquor Control Act (amended) – Chuck Porter (PC)
This Bill amends the Liquor Control Act to add a provision that permits persons to import or cause to be imported wine into Nova Scotia from another province if the wine is for their personal consumption and not for resale or other commercial use.
Status: Passed first reading on November 6, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 124 - Multi-Year Funding Act – Kelly Regan (Lib)
This Bill establishes a working group designated to develop a multi-year funding framework for designated non-profit organizations funded by the Province. The working group shall develop and establish on or before September 30, 2013 the qualifications required for receipt of multi-year funding; a funding application process for designated non-profit organizations; service agreement templates; and an approval process for the designation of non-profit organizations.
Status: Passed first reading on November 8, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.

Bill No. 126 - Code of Ethics Act – Hon. Stephen McNeil (Lib)
This Bill establishes a Code of Ethics for Members of the House of Assembly. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that members aspire to, and maintain the highest in public-service ethics and preserve the integrity and dignity of the House of Assembly. The Bill provides for the review of best practices and the implementation and periodical review and update of appropriate orientation programs and training respecting public-service ethics laws and principles for members.
Status: Passed first reading on November 9, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principal by the house.


PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS

Bill No. 117 – Anne Murray Centre, An Act to Exempt Property of the Anne Murray Centre in the Town of Springhill from Municipal Taxes – Hon. Jamie Baillie (PC)
This Bill would exempt lands used by the Anne Murray Center, for the purpose of the Center, from municipal taxes levied pursuant to subsection 72(6) or section 75 of the Municipal Government Act, effective the 2012-2013 and subsequent municipal taxation years.
Status: Passed first reading on November 5, 2012 and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


STATUS UPDATES

Status Update on Government Bills

Bill No. 1 – Status of the Artist Act– Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 5 - Municipal Government Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 9 – Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 11 – Nova Scotia Tartan Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 13 – Education Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 17 – Financial Measures (2012) Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 20 – Public Trustee Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 22 – Mortgage Regulation Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 24 – Purchasing Management Association of Canada Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 30 - Promotion of Respectful and Responsible Relationships Act - Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 32 – Securities Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 34 – Matrimonial Statutes Repeal Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 37 – Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 39 – Maintenance and Custody Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 41 – Grandparents’ Rights Affirmation Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 52 – Conservation Easements Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 11, 2012.
Bill No. 55 – Community Easements Act– Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 59 – Fish Harvesters Registration and Certification Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 61 – Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 65 – Consumer Protection Act (amended)– Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 69 – Appropriations Act, 2012 – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 71 - Assessment Act (amended) - Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 73 – Municipal Government Act (amended) - Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 74 – Patient Safety Act - Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 76 - Personal Health Information Act (amended) - Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 77 – Medical Society Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 78 - Justice Administration (2012) Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 79 - Education Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 81 - Gaming Control Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 82 – Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations, An Act to Incorporate (amended) - Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 84 – Dalhousie University-Nova Scotia Agricultural College Merger Act –Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 86 - NewPage Port Hawkesbury Pension Plans Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 87 – Good Forestry Management on Crown Land Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 88 - Maritime Link Act – Status: Received Royal Assent May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 94 – House of Assembly Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee where meetings were held on November 6 and November 8, 2012.
Bill No. 97 – Fairer Power Rates Act – Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
Bill No. 102 – Education Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
Bill No. 105 – Agriculture and Marketing Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
Bill No. 107 – Debt Collection and Management Reform (2012) Act - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
Bill No. 109 – Bee Industry Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
Bill No. 111 – Fur Industry Act (amended) - Passed second reading and was referred to the Law Amendments Committee.
Bill No. 112 – Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 114 – Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 115 - Interprovincial Investigative Authority Act (amended) –Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principal by the house.
Bill No. 119 – Cosmetology Act –Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principal by the house.
Bill No. 125 – War Amps Key Tag Act –Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principal 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: Debate adjourned on second reading.
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: Debate adjourned on second reading.
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.
Bill No. 85 - Workers' Compensation Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 89 - Trade Union Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 91 - Condominium Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 92 - Safe Collection of Scrap Metal Act (amended) – Status: Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 93 – Labour Standards Code (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 95 – Reliability and Accountability in Electricity Act – Debate was adjourned on second reading.
Bill No. 96 – Public Utilities Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 98 – Nova Scotia Power Stranded Asset Disclosure Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 99 – Revenue Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 100 – Green Energy Promotion Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 101 – Public Utilities Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 103 – Accountability in Economic Development Assistance Act (amended) - Debate was adjourned on second reading.
Bill No. 104 – Increasing Immigration to Nova Scotia Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 106 – Education Act (amended) - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 108 – Bluenose Trust Accountability Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 110 – Supporting All Students’ Success in the Classroom Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 113 – Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans Act - Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 116 - Environmental Ombudsman Act –Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 118 - Offshore Safety Standards Act – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 120 - Education Act (amended) – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 121 - Review to Invest in Student Achievement Act –Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 122 - Trade Union Act (amended) – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 123 - Liquor Control Act (amended) – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 124 - Multi-Year Funding Act – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.
Bill No. 126 - Code of Ethics Act – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principal by the house.

Status Update on Private and Local Bills

Bill No. 57 – Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act (amended) – Received Royal Assent on May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 83 – Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, An Act to Incorporate the (amended)– Status: Received Royal Assent on May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 90 - Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission Act (amended) – Status: Received Royal Assent on May 17, 2012.
Bill No. 117 – Anne Murray Centre, An Act to Exempt Property of the Anne Murray Centre in the Town of Springhill from Municipal Taxes – Passed first reading and is awaiting debate in principle by the House.


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.