N.S. legislature honours seven Barho children as it opens spring session

The Nova Scotia legislature opened its spring sitting Thursday by paying tribute to the seven children killed last week in a house fire in a Halifax suburb.

All members of the legislature observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the children of Kawthar and Ebraheim Barho, Syrian refugees who arrived in Halifax 18 months ago.

The fire that raced through their Spryfield home on Feb. 19 claimed the lives of children ranging in age from three months to their teens.

Statements were given in the house by all three parties.

Speaking on behalf of the government, Liberal MLA Brendan Maguire says the events of Feb. 19 will "forever be etched into our souls, while the Barho family will remain in the hearts of Nova Scotians."

Following the tribute, Finance Minister Karen Casey opened house business by announcing the spring budget will be tabled on March 26.

The Liberals also introduced one new piece of legislation that would qualify volunteer members of the Canadian Coast Guard auxiliary for an exemption of their vehicle registration fee. The exemption includes cars and trucks.

The exemption has been in place for the last decade for volunteer firefighters and ground search and rescue workers.

Casey said the total cost to include about 400 active auxiliary members is estimated at about $70,000.