March 13, 1992                 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS             Vol. XLI  No. 6

The House met at 9:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Before proceeding with the business of the day, on behalf of hon. members we would like to welcome, first of all, some guests from Iceland, sitting in the Speaker's Gallery. We welcome specifically Commander Helgi Hallvardsson and his wife, Mrs. Hallvardsson. Mr. Hallvardsson is Commander of the Icelandic Coast Guard. Also, we would like to welcome Mr. Arthur Bogason. Mr. Bogason is the head of the Small Vessel Association in Iceland.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: We would like, also, to extend a warm welcome today to fifty-five Grade IX students from the Amalgamated Academy of Bay Roberts, and they are accompanied by their teachers, Mr. Ed Russell and Mr. Harold Stanford.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question this morning for the Minister of Fisheries. Yesterday, the minister told the House that the government had recommended a total allowable catch for Northern Cod of 100,000 metric tons, which included, and I quote from the minister's words in Hansard yesterday: "an allowance made for the foreign illegal fishing... something like 47,000 metric tons."

That translates into a 1992 catch limit of 53,000 metric tons for the entire Atlantic inshore and offshore Northern Cod fishery, a 60 per cent cut from the 127,000 metric tons caught last year. Now, what we have to remember is that there has been approximately 14,000 tons of Northern Cod already caught by the offshore fleets. So 13,000 of the 53,000 has already been caught, which leaves 40,000 metric tons for the inshore. That is devastating.

Having made the recommendation, I want to ask the minister - most surely, the minister must have prepared for the consequences of the Province's recommendation and he has refused to answer the questions before. So I ask him, How did the minister propose that his recommendation be implemented? Did he propose a complete shutdown of the offshore trawler fishery for all fish species, doing away with the by-catch for the flounder fishery? Did he propose to shut down the longliner offshore fishery? And what limits did he ask to be placed on the traditional inshore fishery?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, what I said in the House yesterday, I think, indicated that the Province recommended to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans that there be a total allowable catch this year of roughly 100,000 metric tons, consistent, of course, with the best known scientific advice. We suggested that there would be an allowance made that we factor into that amount an amount for foreign overfishing. I said that last year, 1991, foreign overfishing accounted for some 47,000 metric tons. In our recommendation, in a letter that I will table here this morning, we suggested that the Government of Canada take what action is necessary to put an end to foreign overfishing. We estimated that up until the time when that could happen, say the end of March, foreign overfishing would account for around probably 15,000 tons. So we said you should factor in that amount, which would then leave a substantial amount for the inshore allocation.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in my letter to the Minister of Fisheries, we summarized the discussion that I had with him on February 18, I think it was. I outlined what the inshore harvest has been for the past ten years. In fact, I have the figures here. 'It should be noted,' the letter says, 'that the average landings in the period from 1978-1991 in the inshore was 85,000 tons.' We projected that, given the present circumstances, the inshore landings this year would be in the order of 60,000 - 70,000 metric tons. Now the hon. gentleman can twist all he likes what I am reported to have said. The Government of Canada could just as easily have put a TAC of 300,000 metric tons. The fact of the matter is that the fish just are not there, thanks to the mismanagement -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. CARTER: - mismanagement of the friends and colleagues and soul mates of the gentlemen opposite.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I have to remind the minister that he is getting rather lengthy now, and that ministers are supposed to be brief. I ask the minister to clue up very quickly, please.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, let me point out that from 1988-1992, in a four-year period, thanks to the mismanagement of their friends in Ottawa, the Total Allowable Catch has been cut by 55 per cent; 146,000 tons have been cut from the TAC, and that has cost this Province 5,600 jobs.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Any way the minister tries to cut the pie, with a recommended TAC of 100,000 tons, 14,000 of which has already been caught, leaves 86,000. Factor in the 47,000 tons that he says should be factored in because of illegal fishing by the foreigners, and what does that leave you for the inshore fishery for this Province? - around 40,00 metric tons. Now, if they caught 65,000 last year, this will leave them 25,000 less metric tons to catch this year. That is what it does.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: That is what you recommended.

MR. MATTHEWS: Now, my question to the minister: In his proposal, did he address the issue of the number of people in the fishing industry who would lose jobs or have their earnings significantly reduced as a consequence of his recommendation? Certainly, God, in making such a recommendation, the minister addressed the issue of other impacts on the provincial economy, as well. Can he tell us how many jobs would have been lost and what his plans were to address those losses?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, yes, we did address the consequences of a drastic reduction in the TAC. In my letter, which I will table this morning, we pointed out to the federal minister the kind of action that we felt should be taken and, at the same time, we offered to join with the federal government as we offered to do, by the way, two years ago when the Province offered to pick up the tab for 20 per cent of a $547 million response program, over $100 million.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentlemen opposite are obviously trying to take attention off the real problem, and they are getting up in the House now trying to defend what their friends in Ottawa are doing when, in fact, they should be up condemning their federal soul mates.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I want to remind hon. members that they are not supposed to interrupt members. There are a couple of members who insist and speak rather loudly, and the Chair is going to have to deal with that in the appropriate manner. So hon. members know that they are not supposed to interrupt. That is the key.

The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the history of the present government is an embarrassing one, I am sure, to the members opposite.


MR. CARTER: They have consistently ignored scientific advice. They have gone ahead and set their own quotas, contrary to the proper advice they have been getting from their scientists, and now, Newfoundlanders are paying the price for it. These men opposite, rather than trying to shift the blame to the Province, should be up shoulder to shoulder with the Province trying to get from Ottawa the kind of response program that is going to be necessary to tide us over in this very critical period.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We in no way have ever attempted to defend the actions of the federal government, let me say to the minister.


MR. MATTHEWS: But, having recommended a total allowable catch of 100,000 metric tons -

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: - including that which is now being taken by foreigners. Now, this recommendation might very well be accepted by the federal minister in September, I say to the minister, that certainly, God, he has made plans to provide for those thousands of fishermen, fish plant workers, and trawlermen who will be affected by the minister's recommendation. Where is his plan, and will he table it in the Legislature today?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, this is absolutely incredible, to think that a member of this House, a Newfoundlander, given the circumstances that brought on this crisis in the fishing industry, mismanagement on the part of the Federal Government, total mismanagement, everybody must agree to that, yet they expect the Province with a budget of $3.5 billion to pick up the tab for problems caused by the national government who have a budget of $155 billion, a government that can pour money into the western farmers, into the potato farmers of PEI without batting an eyelash, then they expect us to pick up the tab and to find a solution to a problem of which we are no part whatever, a problem caused by mismanagement on the part of the national government. I say shame on them.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I have a question that I planned to direct to the Minister of Justice but I guess he does not sit in the House. I was then going to ask the question to the Premier but he is not here. The Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs is not here and the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation is not here, so I think I will ask it to the minister who is always acting, Mr. Speaker, and that is to the President of Treasury Board, does the Province use any kind of a local preference guideline in awarding tenders for Government contracts?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, because of the noise I am not sure I got the question right, but I think the question he asked was: are we following local preference guidelines in awarding contracts. The answer, Mr. Speaker, is, yes.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, it was not because of the noise he did not hear me, it was because of the disgust he had for the answer by the Minister of Fisheries that he did not hear me. I asked that question because there is a long list of printing contracts that used to be done in this Province that have now been awarded to mainland firms. I am talking about projects such as the provincial road map, provincial park stickers, information booklets, tourism literature, Department of Education publications, the Hughes Commission. Why are those kind of contracts which once created jobs in this Province and put money in the pockets of Newfoundlanders now being used to help out the people in mainland Canada?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, it is a fairly complex question that was asked and the answer is not going to be necessarily complex. The member should know, he was sitting in Cabinet and was still there then, our local preference policy allows for a maximum of 15 per cent allowance be given to local companies and that varies from zero to 15 per cent, depending on the percentage of local Newfoundland content.

Now, Mr. Speaker, that would take care of instances where tender bids are within 15 per cent. The local preference policy does not say that regardless of price the company with the greatest local content gets the contract, that is not what the local preference policy says. It gives simply a 15 per cent allowance, the maximum of 15 per cent allowance for local preference, and, Mr. Speaker, the local preference policy was applied.

Where a bid comes in that is 20 per cent or 30 per cent or 50 per cent, there is a 30 per cent or 50 per cent difference, then the contract has to be awarded to the low bidder simply to protect the integrity of this Province, to ensure that we get the best value for money because there is another side to it which has to do with increase in taxes if we overspend, so, Mr. Speaker, the local preference policy is being applied and this of course works in reverse. We have a lot of Newfoundland firms getting business outside the Province too, and if they were subject to a complete ban in terms of bidding on outside projects, then a lot of Newfoundland businesses would be in trouble, so I would like to inform the hon. member that there is no such thing as a barrier set up and no business being allowed to be done outside this Province.

The local preference policy is sensible and it allows a 15 per cent preference and that is being applied in these contracts.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, the answer the minister just gave is not going to do much for the twelve union people who have just been laid off and also the non-union people who have been laid off by publishing companies, some of whom are here this morning. That answer is not going too put much bread and butter on their tables -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member is on a supplementary and I want to hear the question.

MR. TOBIN: Does the Government know, Mr. Speaker, what it is really doing? Surely the loss of benefits to the Province more than offsets whatever price break the Government gets from mainland companies, and will the minister and the Government stop acting like penny-pinching bookkeepers and start behaving like government looking after the welfare of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the sheer hypocrisy that we have just witnessed is absolutely amazing. Here we have an ex Cabinet Minister who was part of the government that operated under the same local preference policy that we are now operating under, here is such an individual suggesting that at this point in time we set up total barriers and do no business with anybody outside this Province. It is a disgusting show of opportunism, Mr. Speaker, and that is all it is, to attempt to grab a headline or something.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I had a question for the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs but, in his absence, I direct it to the President of Treasury Board.

It is very clear that many municipalities and property owners, particularly farmers, are finding extreme hardships as a direct result of the amalgamation that took place in the St. John's region. Is the Government prepared to put in place any program to assist these municipalities and individuals with the extreme extra costs that they are being shouldered with, or is Government prepared to admit that the whole thing was a drastic mistake and reconsider the whole issue?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, first of all, there are obviously going to be problems as taxation changes in any area. However, let me say from the outset that the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs has indicated he is quite willing to sit down and talk to these people and see what can be worked out. In the interim, as the hon. member will know, the people involved have had a meeting with the St. John's City Council, which is really where the problem is, and they came away from that meeting, according to the news report this morning, satisfied that their problem was being looked into. The fact that they are sitting on land that is not like other land and is, in fact, land that is frozen and not of commercial value, it is land that is zoned agricultural, is frozen and would not have the same value as ordinary land that could be sold for development and so on, this hopefully will be taken into account by the City Council of St. John's.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl, on a supplementary.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, the Minister has addressed one very small component of the problem that no doubt my colleague from Kilbride will want to deal with, dealing with the farmers over there. My question related more to municipalities. Municipalities in this region have found that their costs have increased drastically as a result of amalgamation.

Let me give the Minister some examples, Mr. Speaker. The fine City of Mount Pearl, a 27 per cent increase in the cost of solid waste disposal at Robin Hood Bay this year, 27 per cent. A 13 per cent increase, $90,000 additionally, for water supplied from the region this year.

The Town of Paradise, $600,000 increased cost for water and sewer. That is what they will be charged by the City of St. John's. Six hundred thousand dollars for fire protection. One point two million dollars additional cost to the Town of Paradise. If I could just take a moment: areas like Topsail Pond, Three Island Pond, St. Thomas', and other areas that do not have water and sewer, and cannot hope to have water and sewer for many years, are being assessed at a rate of $300 per house by the City of St. John's for water and sewer.

Now will the Minister not admit that these are totally unrealistic, unreasonable, and the most stupid amalgamation concept any government ever dreamed up?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, in terms of the affect of amalgamation on communities around the Province - the member started out talking about around the Province, and then he narrows in on a couple of examples right here. In terms of the affect of amalgamation around the Province and the costs, the services that are being provided have to be provided regardless, whether there is one great big municipality in the whole Province or whether there are 5,000 municipalities in the Province. The same services have to be provided and they are going to have a certain cost attached to them. We have to realize that if we are getting a service we have to pay that cost.

Now, if you want to get into some of the details that the member mentions, and he mentioned quite a few, it has been common throughout the Province for a number of years - while the hon. Member opposite was sitting in Treasury Board or in Finance - it has been a common situation around the Province for years that individuals who are part of a community pay part of the total cost of the servicing of that community. If there is a section of the community that did not have water and sewer then they are obligated by the Municipalities Act that the hon. Members operated under opposite, to still pay the same taxes as everybody else, because the total taxes in the community will then provide that water and sewer to the areas that do not have it.

So this is something that has been in the Municipalities Act for years. I operated under it when I was a municipal councillor, and the hon. Member opposite should know, he should be familiar with it, as I am.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: Yes, he says he wrote it. He should be very familiar with these sections of the Municipalities Act that insist that in a community taxation be fair and equitable. So, Mr. Speaker, the answer is that if the services are being provided in an area, in a community, then everybody pays for those services.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the Minister I am familiar with the Act. General property tax is applied across the municipality -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member is on a supplementary. I gave him some leeway the last time. I would like to hear the supplementary.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, Mr. Speaker, by way of a preamble -

MR. SPEAKER: No preamble on supplementary.

MR. WINDSOR: General property taxes are applied across the Province, water and sewer assessments are applied only when service is provided. The cases that I mentioned are not.

Speaking of additional costs, Mr. Speaker. The Government has stolen the Mount Pearl fire department away and given it to the City of St. John's at an additional cost of more than $700,000 from a city that was quite prepared to pay for the services that they could have provided to themselves. Will the Minister tell me. The City of St. John's has just hired six firefighters back that had been previously laid off. What assurance will the Minister give us that the thirty firefighters who were trained by the City of Mount Pearl, highly skilled, highly qualified, will be given some preference in hiring, and that the City will not go and hire untrained people and begin a whole new training program again?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: I can give absolutely no assurance, Mr. Speaker, because they are operating under The City of St. John's Act, and the City of St. John's obviously has control over the City of St. John's. I would also like to remind the hon. Member that these individuals accepted the jobs, on condition - knowing full well that these were very short-term jobs, and this was the condition under which they accepted them.

I would also like to point out to the hon. member that all these things he is talking about associated with amalgamation on the northeast Avalon are subject to a review process. There is a team in place looking at the affects of the amalgamation of the whole northeast Avalon area. If the hon. member, instead of getting all excited and so on, would wait until the proper process runs its course, then we will see what happens.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, and I would just like to say that all these problems should have been addressed in a feasibility study had there been a proper feasibility study done. Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture is aware, I am sure, of the problems farmers who have just been annexed to the City of St. John's are having with the tax problem.

Mr. Speaker, what plans do the minister and his department have to try and help these farmers deal with the City of St. John's in alleviating some of these unreasonable business taxes?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. Yes, Mr. Speaker, we are aware. The minister and the department is aware of the difficulties that are being created or at least appear to be created for the farmers, particularly in the Goulds area. We are monitoring it. We are very concerned about anything that has an adverse affect on farmers or that in any way causes them problems with regard to continuing their present level of business or denies them the ability to expand.

Up to this point in time the farmers in the Goulds nor elsewhere on the northeast Avalon have approached the department or me officially. I know there have been meetings, and I know there was a meeting with the City Council yesterday and there was a meeting prior to that. I have had my officials sit in on those meetings so that we are aware of exactly what is happening. We take some comfort, Mr. Speaker, out of the meeting yesterday of the City Council where the council did indicate to the satisfaction of the farmers, I understand, that they are aware of the problem and the difficulties that will be created if the farmers are overtaxed, and that they expect to get an acceptable resolution to the problem.

So, Mr. Speaker, at this point in time we are watching the process work. When and if the farmers approach the Government or myself as the minister then we will look at what is indeed appropriate for us to do in this situation.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Kilbride on a supplementary.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What came out of yesterday's meeting, Mr. Speaker, was a commitment by the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor to ask the rest of council if they will defer taxes, keeping it on hold for six months.

AN HON. MEMBER: A six month period.

MR. R. AYLWARD: There was nothing resolved, Mr. Speaker. Nothing whatsoever resolved in this issue. They are just going to hold the taxes for six months.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to inform the minister, there have been farms in the City of St. John's before amalgamation. There were several farms: Torbay Road, Blackmarsh Road, and a couple of other areas have farms. They were never taxed this way. It is only since amalgamation that this new tax - this is not an existing tax, this is a new tax on farmers. The farmers that were in the City did not pay before.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The member is on a supplementary and should get to the question.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I ask the minister now is he prepared today to meet with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and prepare an amendment to the Municipalities Act and the City of St. John's Act to deal with this issue the same as the property tax issue is dealt with in the Municipalities Act and the City of St. John's Act now?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, as this particular problem unfolds this Government will do anything that is appropriate. I will meet with any minister if it is appropriate, we are waiting to see, Mr. Speaker. I would prefer the City Council to work out a resolution that is acceptable to the farmers in the Goulds, in particular Kilbride, or wherever on the avalon within the boundaries of St. John's. But, Mr. Speaker, when it becomes appropriate or necessary I will meet with any minister and discuss anything that will help resolve this situation.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Health. I am sure that the minister is aware that he received a letter from a parent in the community of Rigolet. I would ask the minister if he is aware of the fluoride overdosing in the community of Rigolet? Tests have shown that there are high levels of fluoride in the water supply. Was the Minister aware of this before the parent wrote him three weeks ago?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health.

MR. DECKER: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains, on a supplementary.

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Would the Minister advise us why officials with the Department of Health who worked with the Grenfell Regional Health Services knew about this overdosing for the last number of years but never advised the people of Rigolet or the school officials?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, officials in Rigolet were advised.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, my last supplementary. The Minister says the people in Rigolet were advised. They were advised in December of 1991, three months ago. It was the first time they were advised about this overdosing of fluoride in the water supply.

Now, would the Minister do as requested by this parent in Rigolet and have an investigation into why this went on for the last number of years, and what is the effect on the children in the community?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, there was a well drilled in Rigolet in 1983. In 1985 the Grenfell Hospital decided to make fluoride treatment available to the children in Rigolet. Before this treatment was applied it was normal practice to test the water to ensure that there was no surplus of fluoride in the water. So the water was tested in early 1985 and it was discovered that the well did contain an extreme amount of fluoride. The test was so high that it was unbelievable that so much fluoride could exist in drinking water. People at the Grenfell Hospital thought that there must have been something wrong with the way the test was done. So later in the following year, before they gave the fluoride, they did two more tests and they discovered that the fluoride tests were way down. It seems that for some reason the fluoride in this well fluctuates up and down. Quite a few tests subsequent to the first one revealed that the amount of fluoride was indeed not extreme.

After convincing themselves that the fluoride was not extreme they began to give the fluoride treatment to the children in the Rigolet area. Recently it has come to light that the amount of fluoride has indeed gone up in that well in Rigolet. The Grenfell has stopped giving fluoride treatments. They have advised certain age groups not to drink the water, they have advised pregnant women not to drink the water and they have advised children in a certain age group not to drink the water.

Mr. Speaker, over the past months there has been quite a lot of attention given to this, both by officials in the Department of Health and by officials who work with the Grenfell Regional Health Association. The difference between the way things are carried out in the Department of Health and the way the hon. member would like to carry them out is every time we test a well or every time we close a well or every time we do something we do not get up on the rooftops and shout and try to get media attention for it. We try to solve the problem, Mr. Speaker, and not play politics with peoples' lives. We try to deal with the problem.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains. There is time for a short supplementary.

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I guess the Minister is aware that an independent dentist recently went into Rigolet and tested thirty children in the school, and each one of those thirty children had from mild to extreme overdosing of fluoride. Now, would the Minister do the honourable thing and have an investigation into this episode?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I have the results of the tests that were done with the children. It is enamel mottling of the teeth. There were eight students who were questionable, there were fourteen who were very mild, there were three who were mild, four moderate and five were severe. The Grenfell Regional Health Services are taking steps to deal with this problem, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Development.

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the Enterprise Corporation Act, I would like to table the financial statements, covering a twelve-month period from April 1990 to March 31, 1991. It only cover the last three months, though, for Enterprise Corporation as the new corporation. The previous nine months will incorporate NLDC and the transitional period. There is no picture in that one.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the Fisheries Loan Act I table here the annual report of the Fisheries Loan Board for the fiscal year 1990-1991.

Notices of Motion

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce the following resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED that Canada immediately extend management jurisdiction over the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

MR. SPEAKER: Petitions. The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

Order, please!

The Minister of Fisheries is standing on a point of order?

I have two members - I ask one member to sit. I am recognizing the hon. minister, asking if he is on a point of order, because I recognized the Member for Burin - Placentia West. I was on petitions, but the minister wants permission to go back to Answers to Questions for Which Notice has been Given. Does the House agree to do that?


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I want to table here, a copy of my letter to my federal counterpart, Mr. Crosbie, dated February 21, in which we have outlined the Province's position with respect to the 1992 management plan.


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker.

I have a petition that I would like to present this morning. First of all, Mr. Speaker, let me say that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation is very much aware of this petition. I have discussed it both with him and with his deputy minister who have been involved in it. I wish he were here because he is familiar with it in terms of giving me the answers that are needed. Anyway, I will just go through with this.

MR. R. AYLWARD: He is meeting with the council in Goose Bay trying to set up (inaudible) for Ed Roberts.

MR. TOBIN: I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that he is legitimately away, I have no doubt about that. But the minister is very familiar with this. He has been involved in it, as has his deputy minister, because I brought it to their attention. And I must say, I am satisfied with the amount of involvement and support I have seen from the minister and the deputy minister regarding this petition already.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make it clear that this petition was sent in to me from Marystown this week; it was faxed in and we have, here, some of the signatures. Attached to this, I have, Mr. Speaker, approximately 1200 more signatures that I have discussed with the minister, and I will be presenting the additional signatures to him with this petition.

Mr. Speaker, the prayer of this petition is to the hon. House of Assembly of Newfoundland in Legislative Session convened. The petition of the undersigned Marystown fish plant workers and the surrounding areas - those are the people who are employed in it, and rather than getting really into the petition, Mr. Speaker, basically, the concern is that the employees at the Marystown shipyard and the Marystown fish plant change their shifts at 2:00 o'clock in the morning, and the employees of the Department of Works, Services and Transportation do not go to work until 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning. So, what is happening, and has happened quite recently, is that the employees in the fish plant, in particular, when they were ready to change their shift and go home to Red Harbour, Boat Harbour, Baine Harbour and these places, the roads weren't open.

AN HON. MEMBER: And Grand Bank.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, and in Grand Bank, Garnish, and the Frenchmen's Cove area it was the same, they weren't open, and the employees had to stay at the plant and be put up, mull around until 7:30 or 8:00 o'clock in the morning until they could go home.

There is also a touch to this petition, Mr. Speaker, in that there are letters of support from Fishery Products International in Marystown, letters from the Fishermen's Union who employ the union representing the fishermen's groups, dealing specifically and supporting their request. I have also had a letter, Mr. Speaker, that was given to me by the employees. I will just touch on parts of it that basically say, 'We, the employees of the Marystown area, have great concern for our safety while travelling on the Burin Peninsula Highway from Boat Harbour, Parkers Cove, Rushoon, Red Harbour and other areas to the Marystown fish plant at Mooring Cove, and we feel that the snow clearing, salting, sanding and time schedule are inadequate to meet our needs. Under the new regulations, work crews, snow clearing equipment and others do not come -' it would take me too long, Mr. Speaker, to really read the letter, but the complaint that I outlined is that they don't really get out until such time as the employees have been finished work for two and one-half hours. There are some incidents mentioned here: 'On February 26, our shift ended at 2:30 a.m. The road was covered with black ice - frozen slush which fell before 10:30 p.m. the previous evening. No snow clearing attempt had been made to remove the -' the typing on this is not great, and it is hard to read. Anyway, they went through several channels to try to get the matter straightened out, and it was 5:30 in the morning before the road was cleared.

So what happened is that the people - and it is not just on one occasion. This has been going on for the past couple of years. This has been going on since this government decided to lay off people and cut back.

AN HON. MEMBER: The Trans-Canada is in a terrible state.

MR. TOBIN: This problem has been going on since this government decided to lay off people and to cut back -

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not true. Don't be so foolish!

AN HON. MEMBER: It's true. It's true.

MR. TOBIN: It is the truth, Mr. Speaker. this Government cut back, cut funds, fired people who worked for the Government, and created the problem that is now causing the people from down over the road in my district or from Baine Harbour to have to go -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I remind hon. members again from both sides that in presentation of petitions there is supposed to be no debate, but to keep our remarks to the petition, signatures, allegations in the petition. I do not want to take up unnecessarily the time of the hon. member.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. R. AYLWARD: You need to get the Minister of Labour out of here, Mr. Speaker, he is disrupting the House.

MR. TOBIN: I say the words of this petition clearly outline, clearly demonstrate to everyone who sits in this House, that it is because of Government cutbacks that this petition is being presented today, Mr. Speaker.

Having said that, I want to say that I have met with the Minister of Works Services and Transportation and with his deputy minister, and we have discussed it. I firmly believe that he is genuinely concerned to try to resolve the situation. His deputy minister, I believe, has already been in contact with the person who organized the petition. I will give him credit for that; but for the Minister of Labour to say that it is not because of government cutbacks - no one has been laid off - you fired 3,000 last year, boy. That is the problem! People's lives are being put on the line as a result of it. The people from my district - their lives have been jeopardized because of the actions of this Government, and in particular the Minister of Labour.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, let me conclude by saying that I hope government will act upon this request and provide care and concern for the people who use those roads after their shift change at 2:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Grand Bank.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I thought someone opposite would have stood in their place to at least react to the petition. Whether they will after I finish I do not know. As my colleague has alluded, this is a very serious situation. We have approximately 1,200 signatures on a petition that really is calling for improved snow clearing and safety precautions by the Department of Works Services and Transportation so that they can get to and from work.


The Marystown fish plant is one of the few fish plants left operating in this Province. As a matter of fact, only this morning I heard they are going down now for two or three weeks - closing again. So there is a very serious problem with representing a district of the Burin Peninsula - Grand Bank - where there are hundreds of employees who have to go to the Marystown fish plant for work - more, of course, since the Grand Bank FPI plant has closed. There are approximately 100 from the Town of Grand Bank, itself, now working at Marystown, and road conditions at times are pretty hazardous. There are two reasons for that, I say to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, if he does not know. One is because there were layoffs and there is now only one shift operating the snow clearing equipment, the flyers, and so on, in the area. Their regular shifts start at four o'clock in the morning and as my colleague has said, the employees get off at 2:00, so they either leave and take chances on going off the road or wait until the snow clearing measures are taken.

The other problem, Mr. Speaker, is, quite often the depots put their shifts on and keep them on and work them and work them, until the men on the flyers and snow plows can't work anymore. They have to be taken off for rest. So, there are two problems here, safety problems. And I know full well that many of the snow plow operators are on the road at times when they should not be, because they have been on too long. I have known cases where flyers have gone off the road because the operators have been on too long in bad weather conditions. So there are the two problems, and all we are doing here in presenting this petition and supporting the petition as I am doing, is asking the government to have a look at that particular situation that affects those employees.

There are far too many people unemployed in this Province at present, we all know that and if something can be done, a corrective measure can be taken to at least facilitate those who are left working in our fishing industry, to get to and from work, then I don't think that is asking this government for too much. And that is basically what those employees at the Marystown fish plant are asking for, it is what the Member for Burin - Placentia West, in presenting the petition, is asking for, and it is what I am asking for. I am pleased to hear that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation has at least been made aware of it and it looks as if he is certainly considering some positive action to it. With that, Mr. Speaker, I want to go on record as supporting the petition and ask the government for consideration.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This, obviously, is a problem that is specific to one area of the Province. The petition, I believe, has been delivered to the Department of Works, Services and Transportation and they are now working on the problem. I would like to thank the hon. member and the people who did the petition for bringing the matter to our attention.

Outside of a few comments about the situation, just about everything that both members opposite said is not true. First of all, this situation is not a result of any cutbacks. What happens is, we do have a shift on, but there are arrangements made in the various regions of the Province so that where need exists, workers can be put on to clear roads, and it is up to the local foreman, and so on. So there are provisions made for work at times other than the normal shift time. There are a number of places in the Province where they have the shift changes but normally it is at midnight and at eight o'clock in the morning or something like that, and the usual work shift covers those eventualities. However, this is a special case, I am sure the department is working on it and I am sure there is a solution.

I would like to comment on the fact, now that it has been brought to our attention, we will do something about it, but I would also like to point out that I am very pleased that these people who signed this petition, finally brought this matter to the attention of the two members opposite, because, obviously, this situation has been going on for some time and this is the first they have heard of it. I am very glad that the petitioners finally brought it to the attention of the member for the district so that he can do as he should do, come to Works, Services and Transportation and get the situation corrected.

MR. TOBIN: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West, on a point of order.

MR. TOBIN: That can't go without being challenged. The fact of the matter is that we asked the previous minister; I mentioned it to him but he wouldn't do anything about it. The people became desperate and had to send a petition, and this time we have had a really good, sympathetic hearing from the new Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. During the most of the winter I was acting -

MR. SPEAKER: Is the hon. the President of Treasury Board addressing the point of order?

MR. BAKER: No, Mr. Speaker. I am speaking to the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, the Chair has to address the point of order, simply to say there is no point of order, it was just a point of clarification.

The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: I simply want to point out, Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, that during most of the winter, I was acting Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, and had the matter been brought to my attention by the member opposite, I would have acted in a very expeditious manner. But I would like to say once again, I am glad that the residents of his district have finally pointed out to him that this problem exists.

MR. SPEAKER: Further petitions?

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, prior to Orders of the Day, if I could.

MR. SPEAKER: Prior to Orders of the Day.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Under Standing Order 23, I would like to request leave of the House to make a motion for the adjournment of the House for the specific purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, that of the crisis in our fishery, and the need to have an extension of management jurisdiction, to include at least the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks. So, under Standing Order 23 I request that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, over the last number of weeks this situation has reached the boiling point in our Province and in the country. We have had the Premier of the Province within the last two weeks visit the Prime Minister on the situation; just yesterday and the day before we have had the fishermens' union led by Mr. Cashin in Ottawa addressing the Prime Minister; we have the gentlemen from Iceland in here going through the situation that they went through in trying to deal with their overfishing problems and cod wars; there is diplomatic activity between the Government of Canada and the European Community trying to address the issue of foreign overfishing on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

Mr. Speaker, the only group I guess that has not gone on the record of the Legislature and through the public of the Province and Canada is the legislators who are firstly and mostly responsible for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, namely this House of Assembly.

Now, I ask for leave under Standing Order 23. In doing that I say that if this is not an emergency situation, if this is not worthy of an emergency debate because of the public importance in this Legislature, I doubt if ever there will be an emergency debate allowed under Standing Order 23. What other situation or crisis would be more important to the people of this Province than the one we are presently going though? I think that we should debate it. It means everything to this Province, it means everything to the economy of this Province, and I think that this Legislature should have an emergency debate on it, on the resolution that I put forward this morning calling for the Government of Canada to extend management jurisdiction to include the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if I could have a brief recess, a five or ten minute recess?

MR. SPEAKER: A brief recess.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask members to take their places please.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is an unusual occurrence to ask for the adjournment of the House to be moved to allow for a debate that is of utmost urgency. It is an unusual occurrence in this House, and it is a very unusual occurrence to actually go ahead with such an emergency debate. The reasons are many and varied. Obviously the urgency of the topic is not the matter of point here, it is the urgency of having the debate now. That is the deciding factor Speakers generally take into account when determining whether such a debate is to be held. Obviously in this instance we are debating the Throne Speech, and members can easily express opinions in terms of extending jurisdiction over the Nose and Tail of the Bank in the debate that is ongoing. So there is really no urgency of debate in terms of this particular motion. There are lots of opportunities for members to express their opinions in the Throne Speech debate as well as in the Budget debate that is coming, and so on, the Interim Supply debate, and express their opinions on this very important issue. Normally it is unusual for such a motion to be accepted.

Mr. Speaker, we have decided that we would support such a debate at this time for a number of reasons, but the prime reason being that - I know it is left to Your Honour to decide, and precedence would say that it should not go ahead. That is not what we want to do. Also that has been Government's position for quite some time, and it is not something with which we disagree, extending jurisdiction over the Nose and Tail of the Banks.

So, Mr. Speaker, we would welcome such a debate, and welcome the fact that rather than the Government, which has already stated its position to Ottawa - the Government stating its position - this would then be the House stating its position which is an entirely different situation. So, Mr. Speaker, we would agree to 'by leave' if necessary to have the debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I agree with the comments of the Government House Leader, that the topic is one of most great urgency, although I can understand his remarks about the possibility of debating it at other times, and it appears that it may well be that if Your Honour was asked to rule on this that you would have to rule that an emergency debate could not take place. So it seems that unanimous consent must be required to debate at this time, and I would certainly be prepared to offer that consent. I think it is important that the House express its view on this issue. It is a matter of great importance and urgency that the House be on record in this matter. Therefore I would also urge the Speaker, with unanimous consent if necessary, to have this debate go ahead at this point.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, very briefly. I wonder if we could agree to the time limits: fifteen minutes per speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, Mr. Speaker, we would concur with ten or fifteen minutes. We have to make a decision. What we were basically thinking -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, we were thinking with ten minutes it would allow more people to participate in this important debate, as we thought there would be a lot of members interested. Let's put a maximum of fifteen minutes on it. I am sure some speakers will only speak ten anyway. We will agree with a maximum of fifteen minutes, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is: BE IT RESOLVED that Canada immediately extend management jurisdiction over the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

The Chair is just going to recess briefly, just for a minute.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I just want to say a few words regarding this important matter today. As all hon. Members know, without delaying matters, when we raise a matter for urgency, to debate a matter of urgent importance, the thing the Speaker must consider is the urgency of the debate. Not the urgency of the matter but the urgency of the debate. In looking at that the Speaker should also try to get the general feeling of the House, the general will of the House.

I get the distinct feeling today that there is a general will to proceed under the conditions that we have outlined. But I do want to point out to hon. members that under normal circumstances we would not grant this today because we do have the Address in Reply, which allows Members to debate any matter they want. But considering the matter and the general will of the House to do this, we will allow it to proceed.

I will repeat the motion:

BE IT RESOLVED that Canada immediately extend management jurisdiction over the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

Since it was the Opposition House Leader who made the motion, I call on him now.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. At the beginning of this very important and urgent debate I want to thank the Government House Leader and the Member for St. John's East, and all Members, for giving consent to go ahead with this emergency debate on this critical and important resolution as it affects our Province like none other. We can talk constitutions and we can talk anything else, but there is nothing that means as much to this Province as our fishery. Particularly the crisis that we are going through in our fishery today.

Now in beginning the debate I want to go on record as saying that I do not intend to be partisan in my debate. I intend to talk about the Federal Government, and when I talk about the Federal Government I talk about former Federal Governments and the current Federal Government, and former Provincial governments and the current Provincial Government, because this need to extend the 200-mile limit to include the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, goes back years and years. It did not start last fall when Mr. Crosbie brought down his Total Allowable Catch of 185,000 metric tons, it didn't start a few weeks ago when he announced that he was reducing the Total Allowable Catch to 120,000 metric tons, it didn't start when the provincial Minister of Fisheries recommended that the Total Allowable Catch should be 100,000 metric tons, it started well before that. The problems with our fishery started years and years ago, and the problems with our fishery, Mr. Speaker, started because of arrangements that were made with other countries many years ago, many, many years ago. We have had obligations to other countries, with fishery arrangements dating back to the time when we were controlled by Great Britain, Mr. Speaker. Of course, in an attempt to improve upon those arrangements, to make better arrangements, there were other arrangements made with other countries.

I do not need to remind members what effect the 1972 Treaty that Canada signed with France has had upon the fisheries around our shores. We all know why that is. It is because the Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, French Territories, are located just nine miles off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador. The French Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, particularly the Island of St. Pierre, is nine miles offshore from the Community of Point May. For those who have taken the ferry to St. Pierre, they take it from Fortune which is twenty-two miles, but they are only nine miles off our shore, the French Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. So that is why we have had these arrangements with France. That is why at present there is a boundary decision about to come down on the Canada/France issue in 3Ps involving St. Pierre and Miquelon and Canada. Of course, Newfoundland has a great interest in that.

So this is how complicated and complex the situation is. We, as a people and as a Province, and the Government of Canada for years -we went from three miles to twelve miles, and then the big struggle came to try and get beyond. When we got 200 miles, Mr. Speaker, we thought we had her knocked. We thought we had her knocked, Mr. Speaker. When in 1977 our economic zone, our fishing limits, were extended to 200 miles, we thought we had her knocked. And no doubt, Mr. Speaker, it was a big improvement.

MR. SPEAKER: I wonder if the hon. member would mind if I interrupt just for a brief second. We have some students here and they normally leave. We have here twenty-eight Grade VI students from the Newtown Elementary School in the great district of Mount Pearl, and we would like to welcome these students from the Newtown Elementary School accompanied by their teachers, Mrs. Anstey and Miss Rogers.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I do not mind the interruption at all. I would like to welcome the students and the teachers here.

AN HON. MEMBER: Being a former teacher.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, being a former teacher, having taught students of that age at one time.

AN HON. MEMBER: Not a very good one.

MR. MATTHEWS: Not a very good one? Well, I do not know. I commend the people who arranged to bring them in.

Mr. Speaker, what I was saying is that when the 200-mile limit was implemented and became law how delighted we were, as a people. We thought it would take care of all of our problems, but as we know, Mr. Speaker, it has not taken care of our problems because the spawning areas, the fertile Nose and Tail of the Banks, the Flemish Cap, the nursery of many of our fish stocks, are being plundered by foreigners.

People say: Well, why back in 1977 and the years prior, when we were building up to get a 200-mile limit, why didn't we actually get an extension to 200? Why wasn't it put to 300 or 350? There were a number of reasons for that, Mr. Speaker. One of the main reasons is that the continental shelves of the majority of coastal states in the world are inside 200 miles. There are only, I think, five, Canada being one, where the continental shelves extend beyond 200 miles. So the majority of countries in the world have continental shelves of around 200 miles, or 200 miles satisfy their needs. Of course, that is why we were able to accomplish what we did.

To go to the Law of the Sea Convention now, or to go to the world courts, or wherever we would have to go to try to get an extension beyond, what we have to realize is that I think there is a minority of coastal states that have shelves beyond 200. What I am trying to say to members is: realize the battle that is on to try and convince the majority of countries in the world, the coastal states in the world that are already totally accommodated by the 200 limit, the need and the urgency to extend beyond 200.

So, what are we left with, Mr. Speaker? We are basically left with a situation where we are calling upon our Federal Government in this resolution, and we are not the first ones to do that, it has been called upon for years, to extend the management jurisdiction to include the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks. Now, there is no question, Mr. Speaker, that it has to be a federal initiative. The Prime Minister and the Federal Government has to take the initiative, take the ball, and go with it. We as provincial legislators, the Premier, the Ministers, the Government and the Opposition, can scream and cry, and do all we can, we have to do that, we have to go on the record in this Province as being united and together in this Legislature. The Federal Government has to know that and we have to try, Mr. Speaker, and those attempts have to be ongoing, to convince Prime Minister Mulroney and the Federal Government that he has to get himself over to those countries that are pillaging our stocks, to eyeball them, and tell them they have to stop and get out.

Now, that is what has to happen. I think, Mr. Speaker, that as part of that process we as provincial legislators have to go on record as calling for this because to date, over the last while, we have not done that. There is no question that the Federal Government and the Prime Minister has to take that initiative. Now, we have heard all kinds of proposals over the last number of weeks on this issue, some who believe that we can automatically extend to 350 miles. I attended a meeting a few nights ago here with the Icelandic people, who were in the gallery today, and suddenly this thing surfaced, that under the Law of the Sea Convention we can go to 350 miles automatically because Iceland right now is thinking about doing it in one of their areas.

It went on and on and everyone there was beating up on the Prime Minister, on Mr. Crosbie and other people. How come they have not told us about that? I let it go on for awhile, until I could not take it anymore. The Member for St. John's East was there, four or five of my colleagues here, and one or two from over there, the Member for Pleasantville and others. I just could not believe what I was hearing. As I said the Premier is a lawyer, a respected legal mind. We have a new Minister of Justice, Mr. Roberts. We have a former minister, Mr. Dicks, a former minister, Ms Verge, a former minister Senator Ottenheimer, a lawyer in Richard Cashin, a lawyer in Cabot Martin.

MR. SIMMS: The Prime Minister is a lawyer.

MR. MATTHEWS: The Prime Minister is a lawyer, John Crosbie is a lawyer. Kim Campbell as Minister of Justice.

MR. NOEL: That is our problem, too many lawyers.

MR. MATTHEWS: The Member for Pleasantville says that is what is wrong, we have too many lawyers. That could be. I do not know.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: I find it hard to believe, Mr. Speaker, that with all the battles that former Premier Peckford fought on fish, with all the letters that are on record from Premier Peckford, the letters that are now on file from Premier Wells and Minister Carter - the Premier was up last week to meet with the Prime Minister on the issue - that someone out of all those people did not know that we could extend to 350 miles. Now, that is why I find it hard to believe. Anyway, these are the kind of things that have been going on over the last number of weeks, I say to members. Having said that there is no issue as important to the people of this Province today as extending management jurisdiction to the Nose and Tail of the Banks and getting the foreigners out. The minister, in the letter he has written to the Federal Minister, said there was about 47,000 metric tons taken last year in an area that there is suppose to be a moratorium on. There is suppose to be no cod taken whatsoever . They have wiped out the flounder stocks in that area and now they are pretty close to wiping out the cod stocks, in an area where they are not suppose to fish, completely ignoring NAFO quotas, completely ignoring the outcries from Canada and from this Province and other Atlantic Provinces about what they are doing to us.

What really bothers me is that two Falls ago I was over to Portugal and Spain as part of a delegation to talk about this very issue that we are debating here this morning - to talk about overfishing, and the need to stop overfishing, and the need to allow our stocks to regenerate - particularly in Portugal and Spain. They are people who are going through the same thing that we are going through. Their industry is in a downturn. Their fish plants are closed. They are processing less fish. There are less people processing fish. The fishermen are catching less fish. It's the same situation - unemployment rates escalating - but you sit down to talk to them about the problems we, like them, are experiencing, we are willing to take action to reduce our fishing in our own economic zone - our 200-mile zone. Even though they know themselves what they are going through in their own industry, they look you in the eyeballs and say: it is not our problem. They say that - the whole wide spectrum of the industry. It is not our problem; it is yours. Yet their economic fibre is coming apart the same as ours. My point is that they are very, very hard people to convince.

I do not know how bad things have to get before they get out of it and stop it, because if they do not cut back themselves in those areas, there is going to be no fish left there. What do they do then? My point is that conservation, even though they know there are problems, their industry is in trouble, they are not willing to come to grips with the conservation issue. That is very disturbing.

So when you talk about being diplomatic, I do not think it is going to work. I hope it does, but I really don't think it will. We have been years trying the diplomatic route and it has not worked. I think Canada has to be bold. I think the Prime Minister should go over, which I think he has stated that he will, and he should confront the leaders of the European Community and he should tell them: now you either stop it or here is what you can expect. If they do not do it immediately upon his request face-to-face, then we should extend jurisdiction to include the Nose and Tail of the Banks - to at least include the Nose and Tail of the Banks. I think that is our only recourse, and I think all hon. members agree. I think they do.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: Because if we do not, we will have nothing left in this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: What is the old shoe-factory man saying now?

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Whatever. Quick strikes or whatever. The hon. member heard some rather bizarre suggestions just the other night. People wanted to get zodiacs and go by the foreign trawlers and hook explosives on the warps.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, even people suggested that. I could imagine all the Newfoundland heads being blown off now, but then of course people said, well you would hire somebody to do that. You would hire somebody to do that. There are all kinds of suggestions being made on how to go about it, on what to do and how to address this issue. I do not know if a lot of people realize that they are talking 200 to 300 miles out to sea. We are not talking Quidi Vidi Gut or the Lake. We are talking the middle of winter pretty much, with ice.

I think the only solution - and that is why I moved the resolution this morning and I am delighted that the House gave consent to debate it - the only solution is for Canada, for the Prime Minister and his Government, to take immediate action. Get to Europe as fast as you can get there, Prime Minister. Talk to those leaders over there. If they do not concur with getting out, tell them to get out, come back to Canada and do it in your Parliament. If it takes sending out our navy to have a presence out there, send them out as well. What you have to remember in all the debate about what Iceland did in the cod wars, and the most recent one, is that it was the Icelandic Coast Guard that was involved in their last cod war. It lasted for about three years. It was government sponsored, and that is why it could carry on so long. That is why it could carry on so long, because it was government sponsored. To try and get the small boat fishing industry in this Province to go out in the area concerned, how long are they going to be able to afford to stay there to get the results is the point.

So you really have to have government sponsored activity is my point, which Iceland did with their coastguard, and they must have the capability, Mr. Speaker. You must have boats that are big enough and fast enough to do what we want done. But I think the first thing we need is a presence out there so that the foreigners at least realize that we are serious, because they are monitoring what we are doing, Mr. Speaker. They know what all of us are saying, but once they see the presence outside there I think it will bring them to their senses.

So, Mr. Speaker, I am delighted with the opportunity to debate. I realize my time is about up, and I thank hon. members for their concurrence, for their support, and I look forward to listening to other members debate the issues.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased today to have the opportunity to be a part of this very important debate, be a part of the discussion as it relates to the problem of foreign overfishing, and certainly how it impacts upon the fishing industry, and indeed the lifeblood of the Newfoundland economy.

However, Mr. Speaker, before I get to the crux of that matter, I think it is important for us to raise a couple of salient points. First of all, the timing of this resolution. The timing of this resolution and this call for an emergency debate is impeccable because we have had this House open for some time, we have seen the actions of the Federal Government shortly before this House opened, and certainly the crisis has been around us, and the kind of concern has been with us now for some time. But all of a sudden now on Friday morning, Mr. Speaker, here we have this call for an emergency debate.

I wonder, Mr. Speaker, would it have anything to do with the fact that the emergency debate and the issue of extending jurisdiction had been dealt with yesterday in Ottawa, and certainly I guess the Opposition, who did not want to ruffle the political feathers of their cousins in Ottawa, did not want this House to speak as it should, as I am sure it will, and as it has in the Throne Speech. They did not want to be able to tell Mr. Crosbie, for instance, and the Prime Minister of this country that this is exactly how everybody in this Province feels, Mr. Speaker, because I guess they would have thought that would have been all that more embarrassing. It is embarrassing enough as it is to know that yesterday the resolution read in Ottawa: Canada should take immediate steps to extend its functional jurisdiction to the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, by the hon. the Member for Burin - St. George's, Mr. Simmonds. That is the motion that was there yesterday, Mr. Speaker, and debated all day yesterday in Ottawa. But at the end of the day who stood for Newfoundland and Labrador? Who stood? Was it the Member for St. John's West, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans?


MR. DUMARESQUE: No, Mr. Speaker, it was not. Was it the Member for St. John's East?


MR. DUMARESQUE: No, Mr. Speaker. They did not stand for Newfoundland and Labrador.

AN HON. MEMBER: What? Why not?

MR. DUMARESQUE: They did not stand for Newfoundland and Labrador.

AN HON. MEMBER: They should be there.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Mr. Speaker, that is where we are. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition said this is going to help. The opportunity that you take to not say that politics interferes and should be a part of this is remiss on your part because all you are doing is acting as the coward because you are taking the easy way out on this one. It is time that you people stood in this House and said what you have to say about your Tory cousins in Ottawa.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I do not mind the hon. member's oratorical skills. I love listening to him and all that kind of stuff, but we are trying to keep the debate on this particular issue at a certain level, and I hope he will comply with that request made by his own House Leader as well as ours. But in particular I do not like to be referred to as the coward, and I think the hon. member should withdraw that remark.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I can't believe -

MR. SPEAKER: Is the hon. member addressing the point of order?

MR. DUMARESQUE: To the point of order, Mr. Speaker. Obviously I never said that there was any particular member a coward, but if for any reason they feel I have I certainly withdraw that comment, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. DUMARESQUE: As I said, I withdraw that, but, Mr. Speaker, it just galls me. Now to think that I am supposed to come in here as a member of this hon. House knowing what impact this is having on my riding and all rural ridings in Newfoundland and Labrador, and not be emotional, not be able to put forward what I believe is the feelings of every Newfoundlander and Labradorian as I know they want me to, is trying to stage a political game. That is what is happening, Mr. Speaker, in this House today. We have seen an opportunity and given every opportunity for this particular motion to be placed on the order table days and days ago, but it did not come about simply because they did not want to tell

AN HON. MEMBER: Why didn't you put it on?

MR. DUMARESQUE: They did not want to tell. Why did we not put it on? I will tell you what we put on, on page 3 of the Throne Speech, on opening day. This is what we put on. We said that this is not good enough. We said we want to extend and "exert custodial management over the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks...." That was page 3 of the Throne Speech on opening day. Our record is clear, our position is unequivocal, our position is there for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: The position that is not clear, and the thing that is really lacking in this whole debate, is leadership. Leadership by our own native son, John Crosbie, the Minister of Fisheries and the Member for St. John's West. That is where leadership is falling down.

Leadership is also falling down, Mr. Speaker, on our Prime Minister. That Tory cousin over there. Our Tory cousin. That is where the leadership is falling down. Let me recall about a week ago in the House of Commons, when Don Mazankowski was out speaking to the farmers of the country. He said to the people of Canada and to the farmers there on the grounds that day: Michael Wilson is acting right now for you. Barbara McDougall is over now in the EEC right now for you. He said: Bill McKnight is over there right now in Brussels acting right now for you. But when we have the devastation occur in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery and thousands of people displaced, there was nobody - including our own native son - acting when we needed them to act, and certainly not doing what we expect them to do.

Now then. We have another comic, and a very sad display again yesterday, from another native son, our head of the FFAW. Going up there, being part of that charade. Going up there and saying that if we do not do something, he said: I am going to tear this place apart. Apart. Twenty minutes later the lion was transformed into the lamb.

AN HON. MEMBER: What happened to him in the meantime?

MR. DUMARESQUE: I do not know. I think the fact that he is going to be a part of this panel or study - I do not know if it is going to be another $800 a day like he got with Keith Spicer, I do not know if that is what happened to him, Mr. Speaker. But obviously when he went in and he got squeezed between the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, St. John's West, and his buddy the Prime Minister of Canada, he obviously got every ounce of integrity, compassion and perseverance for the people of Newfoundland squeezed right out of him. Squeezed right out of his head and into his back pocket for a few dollars from Ottawa and from the Minister of Fisheries. That is what he got and that is what he did get. And that is what he (Inaudible).

The people of Newfoundland and Labrador know that all we are seeing from that man is a charade, playing to his masses in the union, that: I am going to tear this place apart. When we knew that he went into that room and within an hour he talked about the politics of it and he came out for his photo opportunity. Well, the time for photo opportunities is over. The time for charades is over.

It is time that the people of this Province got what they expected from the Opposition in this House and the Tories on the other side of this House, and that is to stand up and say unequivocally that what we got yesterday from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Member for St. John's West - and the Member for St. John's East, and all the other Tories that were up there - what they got was completely and utterly unacceptable, Mr. Speaker, and cannot go tolerated.

If the Members of this hon. House think that you are going to get anywhere cozying up and placating a political agenda, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador will not forget that. I can tell you that. What we have seen here is the most dramatic display of political manipulation and manoeuvring that we have seen in some time.

As I said, our record is very clear. On the day that this hon. House opened on page 3 of our Throne Speech it was unequivocal about our position. It said that we will "exert custodial management over the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks...." That is where it was. We did not just say that and let it lie. A few days after that our Premier went to Ottawa and sat down and told the Prime Minister of this country directly what he thought should be happening and how it should be happening. After that was over we did not come back here again and sit on our laurels and say to the people of Newfoundland that we are going to forget their most vital industry. We are now going to be putting into place a public relations campaign that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Member for St. John's West had a conniption over. He said: you are going to try and give us a bad name. Well my Lord, if there was a person in this Province and in this country and a party and a performance that needed to have a bad name, it is that person. He is failing us miserably in our one important minute of time. The Member for St. John's West.

That I think is what is going to come out of here today. We have seen a party opposite that has never had the fortitude, the gumption, to come in here on Day 1 of the opening of this House and say: we want an emergency debate on the fishery. Because they were playing political games with John Crosbie and Brian Mulroney and it will not be forgotten.

AN HON. MEMBER: And he is still telling them, even today, what to do.

MR. DUMARESQUE: And he is still telling them. He is telling them now: boys, if you are going to have any hope of ever getting one seat in the next election in this Province, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Crosbie said: you are going to have to try and do something. You are going to have to try and be associated in some way with some manner of exercising control, or something to do with the fishery.

But what a weak-kneed and pitiful display to know that after the motion is dead in Ottawa, after the gauntlet was brought down by our own native son, after the Tory cousins that they have over there said what they were going to say, then we have this pitiful whimper coming from them on Friday morning to say that after the horse is gone, after the barn door is closed, now they are going to look for the emergency. The emergency has been there but the will has not been there. Politics is what has always been there with that hon. crowd opposite.

So I will only say in conclusion that yes, I will support this resolution -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, our position is very clear. We are seeing nothing more with this resolution than what has already been articulated by this Government, this Minister, this Premier and this Cabinet time and time again, and is most recent in the Throne Speech. So certainly, I would expect that we will be sending another message. But we sent it when the time was right to send it. We are not sending it for politics ,and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador will not forget you for doing that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the debate. I am not going to take my full fifteen minutes because I know there are members on that side of the House who want a chance to say a few words, and I know there are members on this side who want to say a few words, and if we all take the fifteen minutes it will only mean about four on each side, so I am only going to take about ten minutes to reiterate what I said on opening day when the Throne Speech was delivered, when the Premier and I debated the motion moved by the Member for Eagle River, I think it was the Chairman of the Committee, to draw up the Address in Reply to the Throne Speech.

I was hoping the level of debate on this particular resolution would remain as non-partisan as possible because it is extremely important, as I said on opening day, and the Premier agreed and welcomed my suggestions. It is extremely important that we as members of this Legislature in Newfoundland and Labrador be seen as putting forth a united front approach, non-partisan. In fact I used those very terms in the Legislature and the Premier agreed with me. I also offered whatever assistance we might be able to provide as an Opposition in the upcoming public relations campaign across Canada. If they wanted some members of our party, I cannot speak for the NDP, but for all parties to participate in any kind of a speaking arrangement in different places, we wanted and agreed to do that.

I think it is rather unfortunate that the Member for Eagle River, and I do now want to dwell on it, but I think it is rather unfortunate that he chose to take the approach in this debate that he took. He was totally and absolutely partisan in his approach and that is unfortunate. There are lots of times for that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SIMMS: There are lots of times when members will have the opportunity to do that and to be partisan. That is fair, that is acceptable, there is no problem with it whatsoever. We can also be partisan in our approach on this issue and if that is what his speech was trying to do, to drag us into a partisan debate, he is not going to get it. There have been many people in this House, particularly in this Province, who have said to me time and time again they are sick and tired of politicians trying to lay blame on one another. They are absolutely disgusted and sick and tired of it, Mr. Speaker.

Whether it is blaming John Crosbie, Brian Mulroney, Pierre Trudeau, Len Simms, or Clyde Wells, whoever it is, Romeo Leblanc, or whoever, people are absolutely fed up with it. They are absolutely disgusted with it, so, Mr. Speaker, the sooner that we as elected representatives in this Legislature mature to that way of thinking, members on both sides of the House, the better off the people of this Province will be, let me tell you. That is my own strongly held view. I am not interested in attacking this one or attacking that one, criticizing or condemning. For God's sake, we are all in it together, the Liberals, the Tories, the NDPs, Richard Cashin, John Efford, whoever, we are all in it together, Mr. Speaker. Is that not what this is suppose to be all about? Well, Mr. Speaker, why do we not get down to dealing with the problem? Everybody is an expert on the fishery. I am not and I admit it, Mr. Speaker, but there are many of us who think we are experts in the fishery.

AN HON. MEMBER: And I am not.

MR. SIMMS: I do not know. The bottom line is everybody is entitled -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I believe the Leader of the Opposition is having difficulty following his line of thought, developing his line of thought, and I think the interruptions are coming from both sides of the House.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The bottom line is that everybody is entitled to their opinion and I respect that. If that is what the Member for Eagle River wants to express as his opinion I have no problem with that. I am just saying it is unfortunate that is the only approach he took.

There are many other things to talk about, but the important thing in this debate here today is that we are not going to be seen by the press who cover this debate as simply talking about a partisan attack in the debate, nothing but a partisan attack and forgetting what the issue is. Mr. Speaker, the resolution is that we support unanimously in this Legislature, urging Canada to extend its management jurisdiction to include the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, that is the motion, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: - exactly, Mr. Speaker, but the problem is you have everybody, every man and his dog so to speak, over the last few weeks taking some action, including the Government. I am not criticizing the Government, I know what the Government's position is, I have seen the Minister of Fisheries interviewed on national television on several occasions, in fact just the other night on the seal issue, which was a rather interesting program. I am not criticizing anybody, but the people who are most closely responsible for the well-being and the welfare of the people of this Province are us, the elected representatives, the legislators, we are the ones most closely responsible, yet, as a Legislature, we have not taken the initiative to put our position formally on the record and to formally pass it on to whomever needs it, it might help. It certainly cannot hurt. I think any initiative that we can undertake should be tried, I say to the Member for Carbonear, and I say it sincerely.

So, I am delighted that the Government and the Member for St. John's East have agreed, not because we put forth the motion, we thought about it this morning quite frankly because of the debate that occurred last night, that was all. There was no big deal. I mean, to hear the Member for Eagle River, you would think we were conniving this for political reasons, and all that is nonsense, absolute hog wash. We thought about it this morning because we heard about and saw the debate last night in Ottawa, so we should guard our own house -

MR. REID: We are our own worst enemy (inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: - exactly, I agree with the Member for Carbonear 100 per cent. We are our own-

MR. REID: When I say 'we', I do not only mean we, the Members of this House, I mean all of the other players who are in this game (inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes, well, as I said, everybody is entitled to his view but I think, we are, in this House, certainly our own worst enemies many times. We have some people who are experts in the fishery in this House and we do not hear enough from them. My friend from Grand Bank is very knowledgeable about the fishery, he represents a fishing area. The Member for Fogo, the Member for Burin - Placentia West, to mention some, the Member for East Extern, a former sealer and fisherman and all the rest of them. The Member for Baie Verte-White Bay, I have a great deal of admiration for his background in the fishery and I know he is very knowledgeable about it. The Minister of Fisheries has been involved for decades - I was going to say centuries - but you know, at the Provincial and National levels, as much as we ask questions of him in the House and get mad at his answers and things like that, we have respect for the individual and the gentleman himself because he has a good knowledge of the fishery. There is no question about that. You may not agree with everything he says. For all the criticisms that come forth about the Member for Port de Grave, I think he certainly has his heart in the right place and I think he has a really good understanding because he deals directly with fishermen so he has to have some understanding about what the fishermen feel, so, criticise him if you will, criticise us if you will and if you must, but that has nothing to do with it. We need to show a nonpartisan, united front approach to the Federal Government, to the Federal Parliament, to the European community and to all those who are resisting the sensible, scientific advice which is now coming to us which says that our northern cod stocks are being devastated.

Mr. Speaker, this is not new. Back in the 1970s I guess, something similar happened. I was looking at a commentary made by Bill Barry in the paper and he made the point that back in the 1970s, the inshore catch declined from 172,000 tons in 1956 to 35,000 tons in 1974, so there was a serious situation in those days. I happen to think today's situation is much more serious. But just as a lay person who admits that he does not understand the fisheries in totality, I am trying to learn more and more about it every day.

I have a general knowledge of it obviously from being involved in politics and public life, and I have met and talked to lots of fishermen and so on; but the fishery is so complex and complicated. First of all you would need days probably to try to explain everything that you want to talk about on the fishery. Even at that I am not sure that everybody can profess to be an expert in the field. I certainly cannot, but I am willing to learn and willing to listen. But I want to listen to some people with some knowledge and some expertise, and people who are going to give me some information. I am not interested in listening to personal attacks and that kind of thing in this particular debate. I do not mind it on other occasions.

Mr. Speaker, I will tell you who spoke for me. It was a friend of the Member for Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir no doubt, the Mayor of Burgeo, Gerald MacDonald who said: one of the problems that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have - let alone the rest of Canada and the European Community, I suppose - one of the problems they have, in his view at least, is that the problem with the foreign fishery is that most people do not distinguish between what is going on outside 200 miles and what is happening inside 200 miles. That is what Gerald MacDonald said, the Mayor of Burgeo. You know, I think he is right. I think he is absolutely right. It is difficult to understand the complex situation that exists.

Mr. Speaker, I said I was not going to take my full time, so I will live up to that commitment. I think I am just going to say that we support the resolution and I am glad members opposite will support it. It is not for political partisan reasons. It is to show the rest of the world that we in this House are united, at least, in urging the Federal Government to get on with doing whatever has to be done - whatever has to be done - and we are prepared to support them in that effort. I think that is what we should be saying.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this morning having the opportunity to speak on this motion. I am not speaking as an expert on foreign overfishing, but I am speaking I guess as an expert on fishermen.

I have been involved in fishing, I guess, ever since I was a boy. I started off catching the small tomcods on the stage head. I grew up, and all but eleven years of my life, I guess, I spent fishing. Over those years I have seen a lot of changes in the fishing industry. I may have to talk slowly because I have a stoppage, but at least I will get to the point.

I have seen our fish stocks dwindle away over the years. In White Bay when I was a boy you could go out with eight inch nets, and you could haul up turbot and the biggest kind of cod just a mile from the shore. That is completely gone. I started fishing up in Labrador in the early seventies, and I fished off Black Tickle. Just outside of Black Tickle we have the Hamilton Banks. That is where our codfish were spawned, and grew, and supplied our Labrador stocks. When you would go out in the morning and look out on the horizon, it was just like a forest fire out there. This was the smoke from the foreign draggers that had come in over night. You could see them in the morning and just as it would get daylight they would all move away again. That was going on for years and years until we wiped out our Labrador stocks. Years ago our schooners used to go up to Makkovik, and all up the Labrador, and get load after load of fish. Now we have our Labrador stocks wiped out completely.

Our ocean is a very complex piece of environment. I have observed over the years that our water is getting colder and colder. For whatever reason, it has happened. I have seen fish hauled up in White Bay that when you take them in the boat and rip open their guts, the ice would be in their stomachs. That leads me to believe that something has happened in the environment, in the ocean, that our waters are getting colder and colder, and our fish stocks are moving further and further south. That leads to the point that we don't have full control over our Continental Shelf. It is all very well to put a law in force that we can look after our moose along by the highways and not allow anyone to shoot them, but the minute the moose move back in wintertime, poachers go in and kill them all.

So, I think, what has happened to our fish stocks now, is they are moving out into deeper water, because our waters are getting colder, and Canada doesn't have full control over our shelf. Then there are foreigners out there just scooping it up, and we have no control over it. And not only cod, we have turbot. Our big turbot lives out in deep water, 450 fathoms of water, and they are being scooped up and we do not know anything about it. Our flounder move off the Grand Bank out over the Nose and Tail in wintertime where the water is warmer. That is all being scooped up.

Now, the mess that we are in today, did not happen since our Liberal Government came to power. We neglected our fishery for the last fifteen years. We have been talking about Hibernia. And because we wanted to get a political deal on Hibernia, we didn't do very much about our fishery. The motion we are debating today should be dated back maybe eight or ten years ago. Now, we have to shut the barn door and we have nothing left.

So what I am saying, Mr. Speaker, is that it is about time we took control over the Nose and Tail of the Grand Bank. And, when all the dust settles, we must declare so many sanctuaries offshore. We must declare the Hamilton Bank off limits to Canadian fishermen and foreigners. There must be an area on the Funk Island Bank declared as a sanctuary. And our Grand Banks - we need at least fifteen or twenty years to bring our stocks back to the state where there is enough fish out there that can swim inshore for our inshore fishermen to be able to catch them.

On the land, we have national parks all over the place. No one is allowed to hunt a rabbit or a moose or anything else. So the ocean is no different from our land. So we must declare certain areas of the ocean as sanctuaries so our fish can spawn, grow and mature and then spread out into the other areas. I could go on for a long time speaking from experience, but I would just like to say that I support this motion, and I do not want to play politics with it, because there are so many lives out there dependent on what people in government do. So, I support the motion. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am, obviously, delighted today to have the opportunity to participate in this debate on the resolution put forth by my colleague from Grand Bank. It is, no doubt, one of the most serious issues that has ever faced the economy of this Province.

I listened with great interest to what the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay had to say, the concerns and the problems.

AN HON. MEMBER: Why (inaudible) bring it up now?

AN HON. MEMBER: Why don't you be quiet?

MR. TOBIN: I listened, Mr. Speaker - no, Mr. Speaker, just let me say, the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay debated this in a very genuine and sincere manner. He didn't get up and make a complete fool of himself. He debated it in a very genuine manner, concerned about the fishing industry in this Province, concerned about the problems that have created the mess in this Province. He was big enough to say that this did not start since the Conservative Government came to Ottawa. He said it started fifteen, or twenty years ago. He has taken the high road. He has chosen not to lay blame. Because, what are we going to achieve by laying blame at this time? What am I going to achieve by standing here and talking about the time when Romeo LeBlanc was the Minister of Fisheries? The same problem existed back then. I remember first when I was elected, in the spring of 1982. In the fall of 1982 I got the first taste of it when the federal government decided on the allocations that Burin plant was to close. So, it is not something that has just happened. I remember back in 1982 when they closed the Burin plant and the people were thrown out of work. But everything was to be solved. The companies were going to move their operations from Burin and consolidate them in Marystown, and all the primary processing people were going to be looked after. Then, we saw just last year again when Trepassey closed the trawler fleet, all moved to Marystown, and had all this put in place.

Mr. Speaker, all of the trawlers that fished from Trepassey are now tied up and five additional Marystown boats are tied up. The Burin boats are just about all finished in the harvesting sector, as well. So it is a problem. It is a problem for the people on the Northeast Coast, it is a problem for the people in Labrador, and it is a problem for the people on the South Coast and East Coast of this Province.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I can go back to 1977, I guess, when the hon. Don Jamieson -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, if the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island doesn't take the problems in the fishing industry in this Province seriously - and to be perfectly honest with you, I have never known the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island to take anything seriously, so I should not expect him to take the fishing industry seriously - but I can remember back in 1977, I believe it was 1977 when the 200-mile limit was signed, when Mr. Jamieson was actively involved in it, and I can remember the late Wallace Hollett, from my own district, was one the people who signed the 200-mile limit. They, Mr. Speaker, and everybody else believed that was going to go a long way to solving the problems of the fishing industry that this Province was experiencing. Do you believe that?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: So did everyone else. But it has not done that. It has not achieved what it was supposed to achieve because today we have -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, the Member for Eagle River gets up over there. I am not going to get up in this House today and tear apart the Minister of Fisheries for his allocation of 100,000 metric tons, giving 47,000 metric tons of that to the foreigners. I am not going to get into that. We said we were not going to be partisan, Mr. Speaker, and I would ask that you keep the Member for Eagle River and the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island quiet so I can debate the real issue, the fishery.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: The problem is, Mr. Speaker -

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: The yahoo from Pleasantville, Mr. Speaker - this is very serious.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: Shut up (inaudible).

MR. NOEL: Is 'shut-up' a parliamentary word?

AN HON. MEMBER: If it is not, it should be, so take it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I am standing up in this debate today because I am concerned about the men and women in this Province who were affected by the fishing industry because we put a resolution today, basically an non-partisan resolution, and I ask members opposite to treat it as a serious issue. If you were the thousand people in Catalina who got laid off last week, and if you heard Mr. Young on the radio this morning announcing that Marystown is going to close on March 23, if you were the 1,200 people employed in that industry you would not enjoy sitting in these galleries today watching the Member for Pleasantville, Eagle River, or Mount Scio -Bell Island laughing and making a joke out of this issue. The men and women, Mr. Speaker, that are affected -

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: The men and women -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. DOYLE: This is terrible. This is absolutely terrible.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I have never seen such action before from members of this House, and I have been here a lot longer than either one of the three of them. Over an issue as important as this, Mr. Speaker, the bread and butter of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians - that is what we are doing, and we are trying to get jurisdiction. We are asking. My colleague from Grand Bank's resolution asks that this House go on record in demanding the federal government to extend jurisdiction to include the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

AN HON. MEMBER: Too late.

MR. MATTHEWS: Give up if it is too late.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, all we are asking in tabling this resolution is to be non-partisan, and we are asking all members, including the Members for Pleasantville, Eagle River and Mount Scio - Bell Island, to join with us and support that resolution that we are about to send off. All we are asking them is to join us and vote for that resolution and send it to Ottawa. That is not asking too much.

We are not asking them to be political in doing it, we are asking them to do it for the benefit of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Because I have seen it in my own district. I have seen my own town where I was born and raised, where my family and friends are, many of them, thrown on the unemployment rolls in Trepassey because the fish plant has closed. The fish plant in Trepassey has closed for one reason, and that is the lack of cod stocks, because, to a large extent, it is what is happening on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

I have seen my district, I have seen the fish plant in Burin, a primary processing operation, close. I have seen the downtime in the Marystown operation that was never supposed to be. This morning, I heard Mr. Young on the radio announcing that come March 23, another 1,200 people will be thrown out of work. I have seen in excess of twenty deep-sea trawlers tied up in my district. I have seen men and women who were involved in the inshore fishery no longer involved because, for the lack of fish coming to their shores, it wasn't worth their while to get involved, and I am sure my friend and colleague knows what I am talking about.

So it is the whole sector, the deep-sea and the inshore fishery, that have been affected by what has taken place, because we, as Newfoundlanders, as Canadians, have not gained control over the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

As my friend from Baie Verte - White Bay said, it didn't happen since this government came to power, nor did it happen since the Conservatives came to power. It has happened in cumulative years, and everyone, forgetting about politics, who has responsibility in the last twenty, twenty-five years, be they Tory, Liberal or NDP, should accept their responsibility and forget the blame. Because the blame is not going to put fish in the water and it is not going to put bread and butter on the tables of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador who need it. Blame will not do anything.

We have to move ahead. The government in Ottawa today, the present Mulroney Government, must show the leadership to move ahead, to tackle the issue, and to demonstrate to the world, to the people who are abusing outside the 200-mile limit, that we are serious and that we want protection and conservation to be part of what is happening out there, and we are going to do it by extending our jurisdiction. That is what we have to do.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, is there any way of keeping the Member for Pleasantville quiet, because he is a complete ... he is doing nothing to show people - the students who are in the gallery do not appreciate, I am sure, the conduct of the Member for Pleasantville, so I ask him to be quiet.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, when we signed the 200-mile limit, what happened? Canada controlled what was inside the 200-mile limit, and beyond the 200-mile limit, it was passed over basically as international waters, to be controlled by NAFO, of which Canada is a member. Who has listened, besides Canada, as a member of the NAFO association?

MR. MATTHEWS: NAFO has some control inside.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, inside as well.

MR. MATTHEWS: The straddling stock.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, on the straddling stock that goes in and out. But therein lies their problem. When we signed the 200-mile limit if we only had been able to go the extra distance - the Law of the Sea Conference and all that was involved - but if we had only been able to take in the entire Continental Shelf. I guess, at one time, when Newfoundland was a Dominion, we owned the Grand Banks of Newfoundland or the Continental Shelf.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: We didn't?

MR. NOEL: We still do. We can't have rights off Newfoundland and still own the Grand Banks.

MR. TOBIN: When the member wakes up he will act like a mature adult and conduct himself accordingly in the House.

Mr. Speaker, we now have a very serious problem.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, there are men and women, tens of thousands in the past number of years, who are unemployed, no longer employed in the fishing industry.

I remember, as a young boy growing up in Trepassey, when from the Southwest Coast - Rose Blanche, Margaree, Fox Roost, down the coast to Francois, all of these people used to come to Trepassey every summer to fish. There were times there used to be as many as thirty longliners from the Southwest Coast down to Trepassey to fish.

AN HON. MEMBER: The western coast.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, and fine men, the salt of the earth. They came in May and left again in September or October, whenever the fish was gone. Fine men - one of the finest groups of individuals you could ever ask to meet. I will say that and I will stand by it forever. One of the finest groups I have ever met were the people of Francois, and I think I knew most of them. But that doesn't happen any more, it hasn't happened for probably the last dozen years. Why? My friend from LaPoile knows what I am talking about, because many of his constituents did the same thing. Why do we no longer see these people? It is because the fish stocks have disappeared, that's why.

All we are asking is that we, this Assembly, this Legislature, to go on record, together with the other groups, including Mr. Cashin who has gone to Ottawa. We know the government's position, and now this House will be on record unanimously, and hopefully, in a non-partisan way, hopefully, we will have no more of this partisan gibberish that we had earlier this morning - in a non-partisan way, that this Assembly, made up of fifty-two men and women, will send a message to the Prime Minister of this country that we, representing the people of this Province, expect from you, Sir, nothing less than to use your position and your government's position to extend and take control and jurisdiction over the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. member, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of all members to welcome to the gallery a group of students from Port aux Basques, visiting to participate in the YBC Provincial Tournament, along with their leaders, Edgar Bailey and Faye Coffin.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir.

MR. GILBERT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, as I stand here this morning - I came in initially and was going to have a few words to say in the Throne Speech Debate, but the order of business was changed. No doubt about it, as all members have said here, this is a very serious problem. I have some concerns as to why it was raised this morning, and my colleague from Eagle River covered them, but the crisis in the fishery is there.

When I first came to this House in 1985 one of the buzzwords and the Bible that was used then for the fishery was the Kirby report, and it is Navigating Troubled Waters: A New Policy for the Atlantic Fishery.

In the front of every paragraph there is a quote by some learned person as to what was happening. Now when I listened this morning as the Opposition House Leader introduced the motion I sort of thought about Chapter 3: The Atlantic Fishery - Myth and Realities. The quote that was used there I am sure my colleague for Eagle River will be conversant with it. Because it is this: 'The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.' Now, that is from Machiavelli.

So when I saw that I wondered why the Member for Grand Bank would introduce that this morning? So I listened to my colleague for Eagle River and he pointed out that yesterday in the Federal House the same motion was put, and was voted down. I would not like to impugn motives on hon. Members. Because I am sure that like everyone in Newfoundland they are very concerned about what is happening to the fishery and what has happened.

As I say, I was going to speak this morning in the Address in Reply to the Throne Speech. I have been here now for some seven Throne Speeches, I suppose. As everybody knows they highlight where the Government is and the course they intend to follow for the rest of the time of their mandate. During my four years as an Opposition Member I saw the course that was set by the Government. I saw two Throne Speeches that came in that were based on oil; and I had two that were based on cucumbers.

The Leader of the Opposition this morning referred to the Mayor of Burgeo as a knowledgeable person in the fisheries. I say to him yes, no doubt he is. But all the people on the coastal part of my district are very conversant with the fishery because over the last ten years they have gradually been starving to death, because their income has decreased because of it.

The first time I went to Ramea during the 1985 election there was a man who was very knowledgeable in the fisheries too. Like the Mayor of Burgeo. Only this gentleman works in the fish plant in Ramea, a fellow by the name of Jim Young. He said to me: Mr. Gilbert, if Brian Peckford could squeeze some oil out of codfish we would be all right. That was in 1985. They were recognizing it then. Lester Greene, who was the chairman of the local fishermen in Burgeo, said to me in 1986: Mr. Gilbert, if they catch that fish out on the Grand Banks and outside, the foreigners catch it, and the seals eat it, we are not going to catch it here on the Burgeo Bank where we always fish.

So all those people in that part of my district who had traditionally made their living from the inshore fishery, and there are two or three kinds of inshore fishery in newfoundland. There is an inshore fishery I suppose that could go from Cape St. Mary's to St. Anthony, Cape Bauld. There is one that goes from Cape Chabarou (?) to Port aux Basques. The inshore fishermen in that district were ones that fished - as my colleague for Burin - Placentia West just said - in the wintertime and in the fall they fished off Burgeo, Ramea, and François and McCallum and all those places. Then in the summertime, it is not the traditional time for them to fish there, they came down to Trepassey and Golden Bay and fished in St. Mary's Bay and Cape Pine. So they are very conversant with the fishery and what has happened over the period of time that this erosion has taken place.

Now we talked about my time here in this House and I have heard the Member for Grand Bank this morning. He talked about the nursery and the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks and stuff like that. I can remember my colleague, the former Member for Fogo, when he was the fisheries critic, he raised this issue in 1985 and 1986. About what were we doing with overfishing. It has gone on and on. This is raised continually., What were we doing? In the last ten years I am sure within this House the problem of overfishing has been raised.

Rather than impugn motives on either government, whether it be Liberal or Tory, whoever is in Ottawa, they certainly mismanaged the fishery. The three things that we have - I suppose, you know, when we look at it, there are several things that drove us to the crisis we have in the fishery today. One is the federal mismanagement, the second one is foreign overfishing, then you could say the seals is another one, and too many plants, over which, I suppose, we in this Province have some control. There has been a government in power, either Tory or Liberal, while this was happening.

So now we have a very serious problem, one where people are starving to death. The inshore fishery is destroyed, the offshore fishery is destroyed, and yet we stand here in this House and see a motion put forward this morning, and I do not want to become partisan about it, but I honestly feel in my heart that this motion was put forward to protect John Crosbie. That is where I feel it is wrong. Yesterday John Crosbie had a chance, as the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, to vote for a motion that was put forward to extend the limit, he chose to say: No, I will have to go with my government. Now he to me is not a man of principle, and I have some concern about it. Because in the Throne Speech that we saw put forward here there is no doubt about it, the point that was highlighted was the fishery. We recognized this in the three years that we have been in government, and while we were in Opposition it was the thing we recognized, that we have to have some control over our fishery, otherwise it is all lost and we are going to reach the stage where we are right now.

So for us to get up and grandstand by making a resolution that we want the extended boundary, there is not a Newfoundlander who does not want the extended boundary. We have been saying it for ten years, and this is where the problem is, you see.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GILBERT: When Mr. Cashin went off to that meeting in Ottawa - Mr. Cashin, the lion of the inshore fishermen: I am the man who is carrying the cudgel for the poor forgotten fishermen on the bill of Cape St. George.

This man whom you see perform almost savagely when you see him in front of a t.v. camera here or in front of a group of fishermen. I was utterly amazed to think that here was this same man, this man whom we see leading the charge and the man who will ride on his horse and protect those fishermen, when he came out of that meeting - and I have attended meetings with Mr. Cashin - and I sat there and watched t.v. and I was amazed to think that here was this fellow who was fighting for the fishermen of Newfoundland coming out and saying: Well, I suppose we have to accept it, boy, there is nothing else we can do.... that is not the Richard Cashin that I knew, Mr. Speaker, when I saw him perform in front of his constituents in Burgeo.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GILBERT: It seems to me, as someone said here in the banter back and forth this morning, that we are not all together on this situation. What I think we should do - as Newfoundlanders and as members of this Legislation we certainly have a responsibility to highlight the problems, but we have highlighted the problems in this Legislature. Our Government, over the past three years, has pointed out that every time the Minister of Fisheries and his officials and the Premier have talked to Ottawa the main concern that we have had is control over the fisheries.

Now, this today is motherhood. There is no one who could stand in this House and say he is not going to support a motion that gives us control and asks them to extend the 200-mile limit. That would be madness. Every Newfoundlander knows, everyone is aware that we must have this, otherwise that word `genocide' is going to come in, because we are going to be starved to death. There is no doubt about it, that the inshore fishermen in Newfoundland have gradually starved to death, particularly the inshore fishermen on the south coast, because nothing dramatic happens to the inshore fishermen on the south coast. First of all, there are not a great number of them. Politicians, as we know, only understand numbers. If there are 15,000 like on the northeast coast, all right. If there is a problem there it reaches a highlight. The unions recognize this. But on the south coast where we have the full-time inshore fisherman, the fellow who fishes ten or eleven months of the year - there has been no great crisis. We have not had an ice blockade. All we have had is that because of mismanagement in the offshore, mismanagement to some degree in the inshore, the inshore fishermen along the south coast are slowly starving to death.

So when we stand here and say that we want to extend it - yes, we want to extend it - but there are a few other things that we must do with the fishery in order to see the stock rebuild. When I see members now raise this as a burning issue, certainly it is a burning issue; it has been a burning issue for ten years. That is the whole deal. This is where it is. It has been a burning issue for ten years. We, the politicians got up and made a great noise that we must shoot that or kill that, or do all of that sort of stuff, but the inshore fisherman - the fellow who was really affected, the fellow who was putting his hand in his pocket and finding a lot less dollars than yesterday - he was not listened to. Every one of them had a chance, but nobody - those people who were speaking for him - it is great to say now, let's go out and cut the nets of the people who are fishing. That is a great thing to do, but I do not think it is going to work. We had the chance to do it.

When we asked the Federal Government down through the years, would you please take the case of Newfoundland to the United Nations? Let us make the other nations of the world aware of what is happening in our fishery. We have never had any of the leaders do that. We stand in protected places like this and make hollow statements, but by God, the thing that has happened in the fishery has gone by. The ones that are being most affected, the inshore fishermen, have not been protected. The fishermen have not been protected. The plant workers have not been protected. We are talking about it now that we know there is a crisis. We are asking the Federal Government to extend the limit. Fine, let us let them extend the limit, but remember, there are going to be people starving to death. So the Federal Government has a responsibility to provide a way of living for those people while this stock is rebuilding.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GILBERT: I have not heard hon. members over there talk about what we are going to do, because remember it is the Federal Government who is responsible for the situation we find we are in. We, as secondary politicians I suppose feeding into this, have no control over the fishery. That has been the problem that this Government has maintained in the time that we have been a Government, in the three years, and in the other four years that I was here as a member of the Opposition, it was a point that was raised time and time again. People who had the power to do something about it hid their heads in the sand, and now we are in a situation where it is a crisis.

If I thought it was an honest motion that was put forward here this morning I would feel a lot better about it. But I think it was put forward to protect Ross Reid and John Crosbie - particularly John Crosbie.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GILBERT: I think that is what is wrong with this motion that is put here this morning. We have a serious problem, and we are looking at it in a political and a partisan way.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to speak in this debate this morning on a most important matter for this Legislature. It is not the first time or the first Legislature in which I have had an opportunity to speak on this issue. When I was the Member for St. John's East in the Federal House of Parliament, I then called upon the Government of Canada to extend jurisdiction over the Nose and Tail of the Banks in 1987.

I am disappointed as well that the current Member for St. John's East, and the Member for St. John's West did not support this resolution in the Federal House of Parliament yesterday.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HARRIS: I have to say as well that there has been a sort of an agreement that we would try not to be partisan this morning because we are trying to talk about something that I believe we all agree upon - that a unanimous resolution from this House on this most important issue would be a good thing to have, and not something that would show us to be divisive and fighting amongst each other, looking for excuses to character assassinate people. I must say, I was very disappointed to hear the Member for Eagle River, and I do not doubt his sincerity, Mr. Speaker, in representing his constituents, but I was disappointed to hear the Member for Eagle River abuse his privileges as a member of this House. He is only a young man.

He is only new to this House, but he must know that he has a parliamentary privilege and that is that he can say what he likes about anybody, and you cannot be sued for defamation if you say it on the floor of the House of Parliament or the Legislature. What the Member for Eagle River has done is taken an opportunity to speak on a most important issue of great national importance, but he has taken some of his time to assassinate the character and defame the character of someone who is not before this House and someone who has spent twenty years or more of his life working for the fishermen of Newfoundland. Now, when the Member fro Eagle River has spent twenty or twenty-five years working for his constituents in Labrador perhaps he might have the moral authority to make such an opinion about somebody else, but, Mr. Speaker, what he has done is used his opportunity to assassinate the charter of an individual. I am disappointed in the Member for Eagle River because he has turned a debate which was suppose to be about the importance of the extension of the jurisdiction to this Province into something else.

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the Law of the Sea does provide for an extension of the jurisdiction of a coastal state beyond the 200-limit, it is on, Mr. Speaker, what under the Law of the Sea Conference is called the high seas. Article 116 of the third Law of the Sea Convention says that all states have the right for their nationals to engage in fishing on the high seas subject to - and this is the important part - subject to their treaty obligations and subject to the rights and duties, as well as the interests of coastal states provided for amongst other things in Article 63, Paragraph 2, and Article 64 to 67.

Mr. Speaker, the special interest of the coastal state, in this case Canada, does have to do with the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks. We have a straddling stock which travels inside and outside the 200 mile limit, and in addition we have international bodies such as NAFO, the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization, having made a moratorium on fishing in this section, so we have international treaty obligations at work. We have the special interests of Canada as a coastal state, and we have the special interest of Canada in protecting this fish stock, not only for its own economic interests - and I know that is of paramount importance to the people of this Province, but also as part of Canada's obligations to the world to protect this fish stock on behalf of the nations and peoples of the world, and on behalf of the peoples of the world who need to have protected this vital food resource.

Mr. Speaker, when international support can be gathered for the Peruvian rain forests, or the Amazon rain forests for ecological and environmental reasons, and for other important international considerations, surely, Mr. Speaker, the same people and the same nations throughout the world who can be concerned about the survival of various species, dozen of species of the Amazon rain forest itself, and the good things that are provided by the many species, plants and animals that are found there, that those same nations and people can support the interest of protecting a vital protein source, a vital food stock that is all but disappearing.

Mr. Speaker, I have had occasion recently to come across a book which I was told about a few years ago by another Newfoundlander - which some people on that side of the House may wish to assassinate, as well, I don't know. They seem to have a pension for using their privilege in the House to assassinate people. But another gentleman who has had a great interest in the fisheries of this Province is Mr. Cabot Martin, who told me a few years ago about a book called Distant Water, written by a gentleman named William Warner. And I had occasion recently to come across this book, which details the destruction of the North Atlantic fishery and the North Atlantic fish stocks by the nations of the world, beginning with the development of the factory trawler in approximately 1954.

Mr. Speaker, this gentleman who wrote the book details the invention of the factory freezer trawler by a British company in 1954, the building of several of these trawlers in the next year, and the very soon acquisition by the Russians of the blueprints to this trawler and their immediate building in the next year or two of several hundred of these huge factory trawlers which they proceeded to commence fishing on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the George's Banks off the U.S. - the entire North Atlantic fishery - joined very soon by the West Germans, the East Germans and others, and for a period of twenty years, long before the 200-mile limit, had scooped up 80 billion pounds of fish - 80 billion pounds of fish over that twenty year period, operating in what they called pulse fishing. Travelling throughout the Grand Banks, when a school of fish was found by their very elaborate and efficient scientific equipment they called all vessels onto that stock and fished it until it was gone. They were mining the sea, Mr. Speaker, treating it as if it were a non-renewable resources, taking it once and for all and destroying those stocks. That was before the 200-mile limit was brought into effect.

Now, Mr. Speaker, many members of this House may assume that we have a 200-mile limit because the Law of the Sea says so. Well, that is not the case, Mr. Speaker. The law of Convention on the Law of the Sea, which people were talking about at the meeting the other night called by the Member for Port de Grave. I have to say as an aside on that, Mr. Speaker, if the Member for Port de Grave can welcome me, the Member for St. John's East, to his meeting and extend friendship to me at his meeting because it was an issue of paramount importance, then surely the members on that side of the House, including the Member for Eagle River, can put aside his obvious need for a partisan desk thumping and work with all those who are interested in the fishery to see this issue kept in the forefront for as long as it has to be kept there in order to succeed. And that is not going to be one meeting in Ottawa or one Speech from the Throne, it is going to take two or three years of very serious lobbying, protests, demonstrations, international support, international contacts, and many more things are going to have to be done than having the Member for Eagle River standing up and pounding the table in this House complaining about somebody else.

The Law of the Sea Convention has not be ratified by Canada, so the Canadian Government, the Canadian people, in Newfoundland the people get nothing from this convention by way of treaty, they only get what the general law of the international community has held down. And, Mr. Speaker, our 200-mile limit was done just as this resolution would have to be done, by unilateral action. The Government of Canada declared unilaterally a 200-mile limit in 1977 and that was done after a number of other countries had done so, some several years before. Iceland, I think, was the first. Iceland, in 1974, declared a 200-mile limit and fought for it. The United States had done it several months before Canada did, unilateral declaration of a 200-mile limit, and Canada did the same.

There is nothing wrong with that international law, that is the way international law develops. Mr. Speaker, international law is developed by states taking action in conformity with the law as they understand it, and the leadership of countries taking that action, Mr. Speaker; and the leadership in this case, was provided by the country of Iceland which had a principal national interest in declaring and supporting the sea fisheries. Some 90 per cent of their gross domestic product in the year that they declared the 200-mile limit was related to the fishing industry, so they had an overriding national interest and they acted upon it.

But they are not the only country and you do not have to have that kind of support for you GNP to do that. Norway, with only 2 per cent of its GNP associated with the fishery, has also been a very active player in international law in protecting sea jurisdiction for its fisheries. Canada should be doing the same thing to protect the fisheries, which is a most important part of Newfoundland's jurisdiction, Newfoundland's GNP although, perhaps to a lesser extent, Canada's.

We have a history, unfortunately since Confederation with this great country of Canada, of a lack of support on the national level for the interests of this Province. We have seen the decline of our salt fish trade, which has been outlined very distinctly and persuasively by Dr. David Alexander, in his book, The Decay of Trade, because of a lack of action and lack of concern on behalf of the federal government. We do not wish, Mr. Speaker, to see our fresh fish fishery destroyed, go to extinction, for the same lack of interest today. Mr. Speaker, this House must pass this resolution and must pass it unanimously and without the kind of divisiveness that we have heard from some of the members here. There has to be a unity on this issue and there has to be support for this issue by all members.

I see that my time is running out, and I will allow someone else to speak before debate closes, but, Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to rise and speak in support this issue and urge all members to not only support this issue in this House today, but to do whatever they can to ensure that this resolution gets put into effect by the Government of Canada. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased to take part in this debate, this morning, I think it is a very important motion and a very timely one. It is regrettable, Mr. Speaker, that the motion that was introduced in the House of Commons last night did not have the kind of support that is clearly evident here today. It makes one wonder, what kind of a bunch of wimps do we have living in this country, when our national leaders, provincial leaders and others refuse to stand up and help defend the youngest and economically weakest member of the Canadian family, Newfoundland, it makes one wonder, Mr. Speaker, just what kind of people we are.

I don't only direct that towards politicians, I hear too many other leaders in church and business, various service clubs. Last week, I had occasion to speak to the Northwest Rotary Club and I put the question to them, When was the last time they introduced a resolution from their international body, calling upon them to support the position that Newfoundland has taken and to stand behind this young Canadian province in our efforts to survive? And that is what it boils down to, a case of survival, because, Mr. Speaker, you don't need to be a genius to figure out that without a vibrant and a viable fishing industry, Newfoundland will find it awfully difficult to survive. And the way things are going now, attaining that viable fishery looks very slim, indeed.

Mr. Speaker, in 1977, when Canada, along with 130-odd member nations of the Law of the Sea Conference, agreed to extend jurisdiction to cover their respective continental shelves, Canada then made a tragic error, a tragic mistake, and to the credit of a lot of Newfoundlanders who took part in that debate, they advocated that in the case, maybe, of Great Britain, Iceland or, in fact, 95 per cent of the other coastal states, 200 miles was more than adequate. Iceland, for example, I am told, has a continental shelf of maybe less than fifty miles. I think there are only four or five countries on the planet that have a continental shelf that extends beyond this coastline more than 200 miles. I happen to have been a member of the Canadian delegation attending the Law of the Sea Conference in Geneva in 1974.

MR. WINSOR: What party were you with then?

MR. CARTER: Never mind what party, my heart was with the right party, whatever it was. Mr. Speaker, you know, that tempts me to become as political as -

MR. NOEL: You don't want to be partisan (inaudible).

MR. CARTER: No, I am not going to, but I was tempted to introduce an amendment to the motion. The amendment would be that this House go on record as expressing grave concerns and disappointments over the decision taken in the House of Commons last night.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: That would have been my amendment.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Then I would have gone on to say, 'Be it further resolved' - I am not going to make the amendment but I probably should have - 'Be it further resolved that this House takes a dim view of the actions of Newfoundlanders sitting in the House last night on the government side, that they would not see fit to support their Province.' I am not going to make that resolution - only if I am antagonized by comments similar to the one made by the Member for Fogo a moment ago.

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that we do have a very serious problem and I think if there was ever a time when Newfoundlanders had to forget politics, petty politics, and join together, I think, we have now reached that stage in our history.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: The part that really concerns me is there appears to be - I guess I can say this here, we are all Newfoundlanders - that we always have a tendency to shoot ourselves in the foot. We can't seem to get together on anything. And I tell you, there are forces at work right now that are helping destroy this Province and make it awfully difficult for this government to achieve what we are setting out to achieve. And I would caution, as much as the idea appeals to citizen Carter of going out on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks to harass, maybe, and certainly to establish a presence there, mostly for public show, public consumption - the thought of that excites me. In fact, I would find it difficult to refuse an invitation to be onboard one of those vessels. I can only caution people who are as well-meaning as they are, that such a plan, if not properly executed, could be a recipe for disaster. Now, let me explain what I mean. We have given notice on the perpetrators of that nefarious crime of overfishing on the Nose and Tail. We have served notice on them through the public media. They are in touch with their embassies and they know what is going on. I have said things in Newfoundland in the morning, and I know it has been on the desk of a certain gentleman in Germany that afternoon. Fax machines, of course, are very efficient and very effective. What I am afraid of, and as much as I support that initiative and wish them well, but I suspect that when our vessels arrive on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks 280 or 236 miles, which would be a four or five day steam I suppose, especially if they encounter ice -


MR. CARTER: Yes, there is a lot of ice between here and there.

AN HON. MEMBER: A lot of ice out there.

MR. CARTER: In fact there is some doubt whether -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Pardon?

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: No, there will be small vessels I am told and large vessels. The larger ones will get there faster with the ice. Anyway it is going to be a considerably long steam.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: I predict that when our vessels get there, and we will have the Polar Storm loaded to the gunnels with national press and television cameras poised ready to get their tips for national news, although what I am afraid of is that the only thing that will be out there will be a few gulls and maybe a few empty Kentucky Fried Chicken boxes and chicken bones floating around. That is the part that bothers me.

AN HON. MEMBER: Or Mary Browns.

MR. CARTER: Or Mary Browns. That worries me. And then we will have blown it, Mr. Speaker, because we will do more damage then to the fight in which we are now engaged than anything else I can imagine. Can you imagine what would happen if the world press were to arrive on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks having been tossed around in a vessel for a day or three only to find that there is nothing there. That could very well happen because they will be notified well in advance, and whatever time it takes us to get from St. John's to out there, they have that same amount of time to get from there further on to the Azores somewhere.

I recall that in 1974 there was a similar incident that caused a great deal of embarrassment, and this is what has I guess alerted me to what can happen. Because it happened then.

At the time I was in the House of Commons. We were almost on a daily basis arguing with the Government for the need to extend jurisdiction to protect the fish stocks within our waters. At that time the Russians were noted for doing some heavy fishing on the Hamilton Banks. They were there in droves. We knew they were there. We had to find some way to prove it. One of my colleagues, John Lundrigan, who's not noted for being backward or shy when it comes to dealing with the press, started to organize a safari, a major initiative.

We arranged to get a DC-6 aircraft from Bill Bennet in Gander. One that was, I believe, about fifty years old when we got it. Lashed up with coat hangers and wire. We arranged to have almost the entire Ottawa press gallery - men like Bruce Phillips, Ron Collister, Charlie Lynch - they were all there. The cream of the crop in Ottawa. So we arranged to invite them to Newfoundland to make this great trip, to see for themselves the devastation of the Russian fleet on the Newfoundland way of life and what a threat it was to our way of life. How urgent it was that action be taken.

So we arrived in Gander on the appointed time.

AN HON. MEMBER: Announced it too, didn't you?

MR. CARTER: Yes. John, of course, being John, and a good fellow, good friend of mine, made a press release about what we were doing, about a week in advance of our departure. We all came to Newfoundland at the time. We also, by the way, dragged along with us screaming and rebelling, none other than Robert Stanfield himself. The most unlikely revolutionary in Canada. Great man. But Bob Stanfield was coming to Newfoundland to take part in the 25th anniversary of Confederation on April 1. So we said: Bob, come down a day early and come out and see what is going on out over the Hamilton Banks.

We all arrived in Gander bright and early and we got aboard the aircraft, went through the procedure of screeching in these foreigners and all that, and I think it was the first time I saw Bob Stanfield drink a full glass of black rum and not bat an eyelash. He was so nervous, I think he would have drunk the whole bottle. But anyway, we left and we started to fly and the further north we went, the foggier it got, to the point where we could not see the ocean. We had to bring the plane down almost on top of the ocean looking for this armada of Russian ships, we flew for six full hours, six hours of flying in a plane that was not fit to be flying, finally we gave up. We saw one ship, that was the cable ship Cabot. The others of course were very conveniently given a week's notice.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: No, no. To his credit I tell you the pilot was about the only one sober by six hours.

AN HON. MEMBER: And you, the pilot and you.

MR. CARTER: The pilot and yours truly. I already had mine, I was sobered up, but anyway, Mr. Speaker, I guess -

MR. TOBIN: That is why you could not find the boats.

MR. CARTER: - maybe I am adding a bit of humour to my speech, maybe it is needed, but the lesson is there to be learned, that we served notice on the Russians, we give them six days notice, and I am told by the way, that had we gone another 200 miles north, we would have hit a cluster of Russians of probably fifty or sixty ships. They were all moored in some harbour in the north waiting for us to go back to Ottawa and then they immediately converged on the fish stocks.

Now I am afraid that is what might happen this time. I am afraid of it, I worry about it and it concerns me because I think notwithstanding what happened in the House of Commons last night, I think that Newfoundland is probably closer at this point in time to getting some action on extended jurisdiction than we have been in the past twenty years.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: I believe that the Prime Minister is going to get more involved. I believe the people of Canada will get more involved, and I believe the people of Newfoundland will become more involved, and to that end, Mr. Speaker, I should tell you without going into any detail that the Newfoundland Government is now undertaking a very aggressive, well planned public relations campaign whose mandate will be to focus attention on the problem and hopefully get the Canadian people to turn their attention to Ottawa and bring pressure to bear on their local MPs and others to entice Ottawa to do what needs to be done. Mr. Speaker, there is one thing about it, we must do something. The fish stocks in our waters are rapidly depleting. We talk about this year 47,000 metric tons. Since 1986, for example, and that is not a long period, there has been 600,000 tons of cod taken of the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks by foreign nations, 600,000 metric tons.

Mr. Speaker, my time is just about up so I cannot add much to what has already been said, except that I think all of us should forget our differences, forget politics, and join together in one voice, and in a loud and clear voice let it be known to Ottawa that Newfoundlanders did not join Canada forty-three years ago in a few days, to become second-class Canadians forever. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I would prefer not to be a Canadian if I have to go through life continuing to be a second-class Canadian.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: That is precisely what is happening, Newfoundlanders are being treated second-class.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Third-class, Walter.

MR. CARTER: Third-class, maybe. We have to put up with the jokes and the snide remarks of other Canadians because we are so dependent on the -

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, we will stop the clock.

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, stop the clock.

MR. CARTER: I will conclude in about thirty seconds, Mr. Speaker, if I may.

Mr. Speaker, I am dead serious about that. I do not think we are getting a fair shake, given the fact that when we joined Canada in 1949 we brought with us and conveyed to the people of Canada 80 per cent of what is now the Canadian east coast Continental Shelf and the immense wealth that it contains.

So when you hear the suggestion that everything from Canada is coming this way, coming from west to east, and that the benefits of confederation are flowing just one way, keep that in your mind. That is by no means the case. Newfoundland did make a very worthwhile contribution to confederation. I think one of the biggest contributions we made was when we conveyed to our new partner that huge Continental Shelf on which untold wealth exists and, if properly managed, will continue to exist.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

On motion, resolution carried.

On motion, the House at its rising adjourned until tomorrow, Tuesday, at 2:00 p.m.