March 22, 1991               HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS             Vol. XLI  No. 14

The House met at 9:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Before moving on with our business, on behalf of Members I would like to welcome to the House of Assembly today forty-five level II students from Ascension Collegiate, Bay Roberts, accompanied by their teachers, Mr. Drover and Mr. Neil.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, as Members of the House of Assembly are aware, alcohol and other drug problems are unfortunately a reality of today's society, and our Province is no exception. Through the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador, Government provides funding in an effort to do its part in combating this major public health and social problem.

I am very pleased to inform hon. Members of a decision by the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission to appoint two regional co-ordinators within the Labrador region of the Province, one to be situated in Labrador West and the other in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

We believe these full-time professional positions will facilitate the co-ordination of existing services, as well as implement programs available through the Provincial Commission. As staff of the Commission, they will also provide the region with greater access to national programs and expertise across the country.

These new positions, which result from a re-alignment of the Commission resources, will work very closely with other organizations in Labrador West and Happy Valley-Goose Bay area in the provision of alcohol and other drug related programs.

The new co-ordinator position of the ADDC will be working very closely with the Labrador West Advisory Committee, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the Councils of both Wabush and Labrador City, and the Iron Ore companies, to maximize all efforts in this important area.

With respect to Labrador West, I would like to pay particular tribute to the work of the Labrador West Alcohol and Drug Advisory Committee, which has been very active in Labrador West over the past number of years.

In Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the position will enable the Commission to focus on working closer with organizations such as the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program, the Labrador Inuit Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program, and related groups, in co-ordinating and implementing services to the area, especially on the North Coast. It will also provide much needed support to the Commission's Regional Office located in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Mr. Speaker, potential solutions to alcohol and other drug problems require a long-term strategy, particularly in the areas of community action, public awareness and professional training. We feel these initiatives in Labrador will go a long way in providing a greater focus on such issues throughout the region and will fill a major role in attempting to impact upon related problems in the years to come.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I say to the Minister, and on behalf of my colleague for Labrador West, we welcome the news of the two new co-ordinators for ADDC. But I find it very ironic that the Minister comes in today and announces those two appointments which will probably cost the Government about $100,000, when only just a few days ago we heard that nearly $900,000 was cut from the Budget for the hospital in Labrador West; the hospital in North West River is being closed down, another $150,000 that the Government has taken away from the people of Labrador.

Nr. Speaker, I want to say that I welcome those two appointments, but at the same time, we must recognize that this is only a drop in the bucket for the wounds that have been inflicted upon the native people in Labrador by our white society.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WARREN: I think it is high time for this Government to address the serious problem with alcohol, but you need more than two co-ordinators; you need people, and a Government that is committed to addressing this problem in a most serious manner. Thank you very much.

Oral Questions

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education. I would like to ask the Minister whether or not the Minister himself would approach the President of Memorial University and ask the President of the University whether or not he would reconsider the decision to totally eliminate the Extension Services Department at the University, the Department, by the way, which provides the uniqueness of the University to rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Would the Minister be prepared to approach Dr. May and ask him to reconsider that decision?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, the University was faced this year with a severe funding problem, as this Government was, as all Governments in Canada are. They face a $7 million to $8 million funding problem this year, and they could only solve that problem through additional revenues from a variety of sources, or cuts. The University is not permitted to have a deficit on its budget, Mr. Speaker.

I understand that Dr. May - the Board of Regents had a Committee first of all, and Dr. May and that Committee went through every possible option. In accordance with the, law they have the right, Mr. Speaker, to make decisions about programs -

AN HON. MEMBER: That was not the question.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

DR. WARREN: - and what programs in difficult times will be cut. They gave every possible consideration to all the options. They made the decision and the Government supports the right of the Board to make that decision and supports the decisions they have made, Mr. Speaker.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. RIDEOUT: Well, Mr. Speaker, that is a great way to say nothing. Absolutely nothing! No commitment to even talk to the President of the University.

Let me ask the Minister this, something that he can do. Will the Minister agree to reconsider the budget for Memorial University and increase it by the amount that is necessary to keep the Extension Services open? Will the Minister do that? Will the Government do that? And then Dr. May will have to do what the Government wants him to do?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

DR. WARREN: The answer to that is no, Mr. Speaker. We went through all of the options. This Government is prepared to face the real problems this Province has.

AN HON. MEMBER: You do not need to say any more.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, we gave a global amount to Memorial University. I am delighted that in the process of dealing with its decision, its difficult problems, it puts students first. It has guaranteed that the impact on students will be minimal. Unfortunately, they had to make some cuts, Mr. Speaker. Unfortunately a tremendous service, the Extension Service, which has served this Province well, and I pay tribute to the Extension Service, in the past they have served this Province well, in the decisions they made, this was one of the unfortunate decisions they had to make.

Mr. Speaker, the Government is pleased, also, that we have other agencies -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Sit down! Sit down!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please!

I would ask the Minister, please, to become more precise. I realize he is into philosophical dissertations, but the onus is on the Chair to ensure that questions are short and answers are short.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, we are pleased that the community colleges in this Province, the rural development associations, Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, and many of the other agencies that serve rural Newfoundland in this Province will expand their services in the future to meet the needs of all people in our Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A supplementary to the Minister.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister said in this House last week that Memorial University Extension was relevant 20 or 30 years ago. The friends of the extension services say that the Minister was relevant 20 or 30 years ago.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RIDEOUT: Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister once more, will the Government reconsider its grant to the university and increase it by the amount necessary to keep the extension services open and prove his relevance today?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I do not want to get personal and political with the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, but I am likely to be here after this fall when the hon. Leader, for various reasons, is not going to be here.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: Chicken.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order please! Order please!

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, this Government has education as a high priority. In these difficult times some tough decisions have to be made. The university and the colleges are making these tough decisions in accordance with the law of the Province, and we appreciate their efforts to deal with difficult problems in these difficult times by making the decisions in the way that they have, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Education as well. The Minister said in supporting the university's elimination of MUN extension, he said: we do not need extension services in Newfoundland anymore because we have community colleges offering all kinds of programs and the Economic Recovery Commission Development Association.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in my particular district, Fogo Island might have been saved from resettlement because of the aid of MUN extension. Does the Minister believe that it is a good policy to abandon an already established program that has a high credibility in this Province, the nation, and even around the world, and disperse those programs among the numerous educational and Government agencies, and will the programs be delivered as efficiently now as was then?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I want to correct the hon. Member. I did not say that Extension Services were not relevant. I did say that the face of this Province has changed in the last twenty years, and there are other services out there now which will meet the needs of rural Newfoundland, as they should.

Mr. Speaker, the Extension Service was and is an important service. I think the hon. Members opposite are really doing a disservice to the other colleges in this Province - the community colleges which are doing outstanding work in community education in this Province!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

DR. WARREN: They are doing a disservice to the hundreds and thousands of people out there who work in communities, who are giving leadership in communities throughout this Province, Mr. Speaker, the community colleges are doing a tremendous -

MS. VERGE: That's why you're cutting (Inaudible)!

DR. WARREN: - performing a tremendous service in rural Newfoundland and will continue to do so in the future. I have every confidence that they will meet the educational needs of rural Newfoundland, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WINSOR: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Since the Minister has again indicated that he intends to transfer responsibility for MUN Extension to community colleges, how does he propose to have the colleges do that since he slashed their budgets even more than Memorial University? How does he propose to offer that program?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Education.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I would hope that my hon. friends would, when they meet their colleagues in Ottawa, tell them. Say the same thing that they are saying in this House, because I do not want to play the blame game, but it is a fact of life. If the Federal Government provided this Province with the established funding programme, the equalization payments that they should, we would not have to make any of these cuts in post-secondary education.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please!

I would ask the hon. Minister to take his place.

Invariably in the last few days when a question is asked, there are people still asking questions, and it is very difficult to answer a question, very difficult for the Chair to know if the question has been addressed properly, because many times the Member speaking will address the question that has been asked. So I please ask hon. Members to restrain themselves and give an opportunity for the question to be answered.

The hon. the Minister of Education.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, we are now in the process of consulting with community colleges. I hope next week we can make some announcements of what the colleges are going to do in these difficult times. It is rather interesting, Mr. Speaker, I heard a report this morning that school boards are doing precisely what the Government is doing, rationalizing their service. I heard last week, Mr. Speaker, that two school boards in Deer Lake have now begun to share, the Roman Catholic school board and the Integrated School Board to put the schools together.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I want to remind hon. Members that the Chair cannot require a Minister to answer a question in a certain way. I have been noticing time and time again during the last few days that Members have been shouting 'not relevant'. I do not want to say there is no relevance but the Chair cannot dictate as to what a Minister says in a question. All I can try to do is to see whether the Minister is dragging out the answer. I am attempting to do that but when hon. Members are shouting it makes it rather difficult for the Chair to make that decision. So, I ask the Minister to please clue up his answer in a very short while.

DR. WARREN: It is unfortunate that the Opposition do not like the answers, Mr. Speaker, but I can assure you that all educational institutions are attempting, in these difficult times, to rationalize their services, including Memorial University, including the colleges, and I am delighted to say, including the kindergarten to twelve system, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WINSOR: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

When is the Minister going to take some responsibility for education in this Province? Because of the important role that MUN Extension has played in the social, economic, and cultural survival of rural Newfoundland, can the Minister not see why the people of rural Newfoundland see this as another chapter in this administration's program to get rid of rural Newfoundland?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I find it difficult to answer that question. The hon. Member knows what this Government has done to promote rural Newfoundland, to promote the future of this Province, to promote equality in this Province. Mr. Speaker, he knows and we will continue to do that.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, a couple of days ago the Minister of Social Services assured me that individuals will receive the same quality of respite care and services as they did in the past, and that the workers would have the same degree of experience and professionalism, and that the continuity between patient and client would be the same. That is what he essentially told us in the House of Assembly a few days ago. Now, Mr. Speaker, is the Minister aware that I have spoken with two families who depend on respite care, one family in the Marystown area and one in the Twillingate area, and they assure me that they are unsure as to where they will get help at the end of this month. As well, Mr. Speaker, I spoke to a laid off respite care worker in Central Newfoundland who is not doing anything right now, just sitting in the office. I also spoke to an individual involved with respite care in the Gander area and none of them have any idea as to what is happening with respite care? Now, I would like to ask the Minister: why is it that the Minister did not see that a replacement service was in place before removing the present respite care service?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. EFFORD: First of all, Mr. Speaker, if the hon. Member would tell me which person is sitting in his office not doing anything I can assure you that he will not be there very long afterwards. Also, let me say to the hon. Member about the respite care we are going to provide: naturally there are people in the Province concerned because it will not change until the end of March. As of April 1 the program will change and I can assure the hon. Member that all people needing respite care in this Province will receive equal or even better care than they have received in the past. It will be by each regional and district office in all areas centred around the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, there will be nobody doing without any service.

As to the family he is speaking about, in Marystown, if he wants to tell that family to call me personally, I will talk to them and I will give them assurance of exactly what is going to be done in the near future. But each regional and district manager is fully aware of the respite service that is going to be provided. As to individuals whose jobs will terminate as of March 31, I am sure they are concerned about their future and concerned about what is going to take place. They are professional people and they should be concerned.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. HODDER: Is the Minister aware that each of those people I have talked to have gone to the offices and talked to their social workers, and the social workers do not know anything either? Is the Minister aware of that? And can the Minister tell the House -

MR. TOBIN: The Minister is not telling the truth. That is the bottom line (inaudible).

MR. HODDER: Yes. And last night, Mr. Speaker, he told us that it was a budgetary measure.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member is on -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) the truth.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please!

I am going to ask the Member for Burin - Placentia West, please, to restrain himself. Our rules are quite clear, that an hon. Member is not to interrupt another Member. And this is what we are getting in Question Period. I do not know where hon. Members get the idea that once the question is asked and the Cabinet Member stands up to answer, everybody can keep shouting. I cannot see how debate can proceed in that kind of a situation, and I am asking hon. Members, please, to restrain themselves. As I have said, the rules are quite clear. No Member is supposed to interrupt another Member, and when a Member shouts across the floor, that is obviously interrupting the Member trying to answer the question.

I would ask the hon. the Member for Port au Port to clue up his question, please.

MR. HODDER: Yes, Mr. Speaker. As I said, is the Minister aware that his social workers are not able to tell these people, either? And can the Minister tell the House when those people who are now without respite care because the Minister fired the twenty-seven - that is why there is somebody sitting in their office. Can he tell us when these people will begin to receive respite care again, under the new programme? Can he tell us that?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. EFFORD: I do not understand, Mr. Speaker. Probably it is my accent, or probably the hon. Member is hard of hearing, but I am telling the people and I am telling the House of Assembly once again that there is nobody in this Province doing without respite work. Absolutely nobody. All the people are in place until March 31. All regional people, all five regional offices, the fifty-two district offices, information has been passed along to everybody on what will take place as of March 31. If there is an individual family not receiving care now, all they have to do is make a call. All social workers have been advised.

And let me tell the hon. Member. I can produce at least seven to eight scrapbooks filled with letters from people across the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador telling me, and telling the people of the Department of Social Service, it is the first time in nineteen years that they have had total access to all people within the Department of Social Services, including the Minister. And they are totally satisfied. Unlike when the former administration was in power.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Table the scrapbooks! Table the scrapbooks!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. HODDER: Fairy tales, Mr. Speaker! The Minister is very good at fairy tales. Mr. Speaker, there is total confusion out there. Now has the Minister considered the possibility of an increased caseload under foster care if the respite care is not provided properly? Now, Mr. Speaker, one mother told me, `I will certainly consider alternate foster home care if I cannot obtain respite care.' Some of these people need respite care badly. And, Mr. Speaker, they are not getting it. And what will the cost be to the Province if they have to provide foster home care rather than respite care? Because that is an option to some of these people.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. EFFORD: I suspect, Mr. Speaker, what is happening is that the hon. Member is out fearmongering among the people of this Province.


MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, when we made decisions within the Department of Social Services we took into consideration the effect of the changes we were about to make on the people of the Province. And we did not do it in isolation. We talked to a number of groups of people - the Foster Parents Association, the people in the MR Rehabilitative Division, and the people across the Province who need this type of service. We just did not make decisions within the executive level of the Department of Social Services without considering all the facts and talking to the groups of people that would be affected.

And I will assure the hon. Members opposite that while I am Minister of Social Services and there is a need out there to provide service to people, all the people in the Province will receive the service. There are no cutbacks in respite care. In fact, there will be an increase. As I pointed out last night, with the budgetary process this year the Department of Social Services got major increases in every programme. In one programme alone, a $15 million increase over last year. An increase to single parents, increase to child welfare allowance, increase to foster parents -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please!

MR. EFFORD: - increase to foster parents clothing, increases all over, Mr. Speaker. There is no change, absolutely no change.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please!

As tempted as Cabinet Ministers might be to give a catalogue of all the budgetary things in their particular Department, I would advise them, please, to again remember that the questions should be brief and answers should be brief. The Chair cannot tolerate or permit quoting all items of increases or decreases in their budgets.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the absence of the Minister of Justice, I will direct my question to either the President of Treasury Board or, perhaps, the Premier. It deals with the very tragic death last weekend of a constituent of mine at a local hotel, under unusual circumstances, to say the least. I realize there are certain issues that are not appropriate to be debated in this Chamber, and I do not wish to. I ask the Minister simply, does Government have the police report on that incident yet? And if so, is Government prepared now to appoint a judicial inquiry into that matter immediately?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the Government as the Government does not answer those questions. The Attorney General is responsible for the administration of justice in the Province. He is the only Minister in the Government who has a special role outside of being part of the political Government, and that is his role as Attorney General, and in that role he must be totally and completely impartial. The Government makes no decisions as to what to do with police reports or anything, that is the particular role of the Attorney General as Attorney General, not in his capacity as Minister of Justice. So the Government cannot sort of stand and answer questions. I do not know where the Attorney General is this morning, but I will see if I can get the answer for the hon. gentleman before the House closes this morning and let him know.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I advise the Premier that I notified the Attorney General yesterday afternoon that I would be asking this question this morning and recommended that he brief either the Premier or the President of Treasury Board. Obviously, this Government does not have their act together.

I ask the Premier, in view of the fact that this Government last year eliminated the Ombudsman's position, which was the only avenue that anybody who has an aggrievement with Government or any agency of Government had to appeal, and in view of the fact that the Attorney General, the Minister of Justice, has said on a number of occasions that he is considering establishing a police commission so that there is an avenue of appeal, will the Premier now stop procrastinating and appoint a police commission immediately?

AN HON. MEMBER: A good question.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, this kind of tragedy points out a deficiency in the way we administer justice in the whole country. Now no other province has a solution, but that does not mean that we should not have one. We have to start to look for one. In circumstances where a possible criminal offence occurs, or a death, as in this case, occurs, where the police have some involvement, it is just an unacceptable situation really to have the police who are potentially involved investigating themselves or their own members. Now we need to find a solution to that.

The Attorney General has spoken to me about that concern, and we have looked at ways in which it might be addressed. In Newfoundland, where we have the good fortune to have two competent police forces, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the RCMP,. even though the area where the event occurred is within the jurisdiction of the Newfoundland Constabulary and they, of course, were involved, we are looking at the possibility that either we will have to appoint an independent judicial inquiry to conduct a full inquiry into this event, or we might look at putting in place a standardized procedure: in any event where one police force is involved, the other police force does the investigation. Now we cannot declare that to be so without working out an arrangement with the RCMP beforehand. But in either case, we must do that.

Now the other aspect of the hon. Member's question was a suggestion about using a police commission to do that. That is another alternative, to put in place a police commission that has a power beyond simply hearing complaints, that would have a power to direct an investigation in this kind of circumstance, and perhaps engage or appoint the other police force to do the investigation. We are looking at it. It is regrettable it has never been put in place in the past. In the year and a half we have been there we have not done so, but I think we ought to get on with it, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I certainly agree with the Premier's last statement, that they certainly should get on with it. A year and a half certainly has been long enough. And I remind the Premier that there is -


MR. RIDEOUT: We had the Ombudsman.

MR. WINDSOR: We had an Ombudsman there. This Government eliminated the Ombudsman, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member is on a supplementary.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier, in view of the fact that the RCMP is covered by a Citizens' Commission which looks into such situations, will the Premier act immediately to appoint either a citizens' commission or a police commission, or whatever mandate he chooses to give it, so that there is an independent group, other than other policemen, to look into this type of situation? And I will say no more about the situation at this point in time.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, in 17 or 18 years in office, they did not do anything.

AN HON. MEMBER: We had the Ombudsman.

PREMIER WELLS: The Ombudsman! The Ombudsman had no jurisdiction.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: The Ombudsman had no jurisdiction to conduct a police investigation. He did no such thing.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order please! Order please!

I am going to remind hon. Members again that when a question is asked, if the answer is not liked that is why we have supplementaries, so that the supplementary can flow from the answer. It is not meant to be a free-for-all, where everybody shouts and responds. Question Period just cannot proceed that way in this small House, so I am asking hon. Members to please restrain themselves and to keep their questions for the supplementary.

The hon. the Premier.


MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible) silence in Question Period.

MR. SPEAKER: I am not going to get into debate with any Member about what should be. I am not allowed to, and I am not going to. The Member mentions there is not supposed to be silence. Quite true. But we are far away from silence.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I was merely pointing out that we have been in office for 20 months, or whatever it is up until now - 19 months - and we have not yet had an opportunity to correct all of the evils and ills of the past. We admit that having a situation where a police force investigates itself is not a good situation and it should be changed, and I have already indicated to the House what the Government intends to do. The Government is looking at putting in place a police commission and giving it powers beyond merely receiving complaints, and hopefully, Mr. Speaker, that will enable the administration of justice in these kinds of circumstances in a manner that can have full public confidence.

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

MR. TOBIN: I want to ask the Minister of Health a question this morning. I have received several complaints from my district, from councils and from residents, regarding the inability to get inspections done by the Health Inspection Department for people who want to construct a residence and councils who want to have work done. I have now discovered that there is a backlog of over one year's requests at the health office. The position of one of the health officials has been frozen, the secretary is now on maternity leave and that position will not be filled. Can the Minister assure me and assure the residents of the Burin Peninsula that he will have the necessary people put in place to ensure that backlog is alleviated immediately?

AN HON. MEMBER: A good question.

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member raises a question concerning a specific case which I will be glad to deal with. However, I should tell the hon. Member that there is a shortage of health inspectors throughout the Province. It is a situation we inherited when we took over. There is a shortage throughout the whole nation. We have ten or twelve health inspectors at this moment being trained at Ryerson College so that they can come back and fill these positions. So it is difficult. It is a problem we have throughout the whole Province, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. TOBIN: Will the Minister give me assurance that the position now vacant in Grand Bank will be filled this year?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to give a Member assurance that a position will be filled, assuming we can recruit a person who is qualified to fill the position, assuming we have the financial, fiscal capacity to pay for the position. There are a whole lot of factors, Mr. Speaker, which we have to take into consideration. But I will assure the Member that we will do everything in our power to make sure that all the health inspection needs of the people of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador are addressed according to the best of our ability and our means.

MR. SPEAKER: The time for Oral Questions has elapsed.


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise to present a petition from a number of students originally from my own district of Green Bay attending the Cabot Institute. As a matter of fact there are seven students from the communities of Springdale, originally, Triton, Robert's Arm and Rattling Brook.

The prayer of the petition says as follows: As a voter and one of many citizens who believes that the Cabot Institute is vital to Newfoundland and Labrador, I strongly oppose any move by Government to reduce programs or cut funding to Cabot Institute. Thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians need Cabot Institute to ensure the economic future of Newfoundland and Labrador; we want quality education and we deserve no less.

Mr. Speaker, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever in agreeing with the prayer of the petition and have affixed my signature as well to that petition.

Mr. Speaker, it must be very frustrating for students in post-secondary institutions right now in the various colleges and institutes and the university to know that they are putting a number of years of their lives through a gruelling course of study, running up student loans - obligations to the bank which they will have to pay off in due course, only to find probably that a course they are into is cancelled in mid-stream or to come out of school and find that there is absolutely no work, Economic Recovery Commission or not, that they can use the course that they took, it is extremely frustrating.

We have a Liberal Party in Government here, Mr. Speaker, and if the hon. Joseph Smallwood will be remembered for anything in this Province, it will be for his commitment to Education, for his commitment to the notion that the people, all of the people had a right to a good education and that was the way, that we, as a poor society, after having joined Confederation, would pull ourselves into the mainstream of the twentieth century, and here we have a Government, a Liberal Government, the second Liberal Government since Confederation, and where is one of the main areas that they are cutting, Mr. Speaker, it is in the area of education, the one area that will allow our people to pull themselves up by their boot straps and better themselves and take part in mainstream North American life.

Mr. Speaker, we have community colleges, the hon. Minister of Education referred to them earlier, with students in them the same as these here at Cabot, I raised in the House last night that there is a front page newspaper story in Green Bay that the community colleges at Baie Verte and Springdale are on the chopping block for next year. Is that the truth? One wonders, and I challenge the Minister to speak to that. With regard to this particular petition, Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that these people from my district originally, are now in school wondering if what they are doing is going to be of any use to them when they get out, wondering if the courses that they are currently into will actually run their course and finish, and like I say, what future is there for our children if we cut back on education; we are a poor place and our greatest resource, probably the only resource that we have left is our human resource, our brain power; we are in the third world in terms of a lot of our public services and our daily living standards but, Mr. Speaker, as we saw in the Gulf War, we have entered a hi-tech information age and if our kids are not out there able to compete in that kind of world, we will continue to be a third world place for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I support the prayer of the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: Is the hon. Member speaking to this petition?

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I would like privilege to rise. It looks like the Minister of Education has now lost it all over there. He will not even rise and speak to the petition. He is playing his games again as he has played now for the last two years with the education system of the Province.

I want to rise today, Mr. Speaker, to support the petition presented by the Member for Green Bay. I think most Members of this Legislature have received petitions from students at the Cabot Institute, particularly those that are from our own districts. I have had a petition myself signed by, I think, thirteen students who are attending the Cabot Institute and who are very concerned about the funding for the Cabot Institute in this year's Budget. They are wondering if programs will be cut, they are wondering if they will be able to continue their studies -those that are involved in multi-year programs. We have not heard too much yet from the institutes about the Province, or from the community colleges. I am sure most of them are still evaluating their Budgets. I understand in the community college budget itself, I think there is $3 million less this year than was given last year in grants and aid. So, that is going to cause some hardship as well and we are going to see about 100 people laid off, as I understand it, in the community college system. I want to rise to support the petition. I want to rise and say that I share the concern of these students who are attending the Cabot Institute and the other provincial institutes in the Province, and all the campuses of the community colleges. What we see happening with the education system, Mr. Speaker, and particularly the post-secondary system, is the same thing we are seeing happen to the health care system, this Government is reducing funding to everyone. They are reducing funding to the three Provincial institutes, they are reducing funding to all the community colleges, yet they are expecting some facilities and some institutions to be able to handle additional pressure. Now, I do not know how they expect that. When we heard Ministers talking about the Budget process since October they in essence were saying that some people might get more money and some people might get less, and I can see in their regionalization if they had seriously given thought to providing those facilities that are going to be under greater pressure, if they had given them more money one could understand the logic, but that is not what has happened. What they have done is cut the budgets of everyone, of every institution and every community college in the Province, and yet they are expecting some institutions to be able to handle more students. The same thing with the health care system, they have eliminated a number of health care institutions in the Province and they are expecting the regional facilities to handle more pressure with less money. Now, I do not know how the Government or the Minister of Education really expects that to happen because how can you expect to do more with less money? That is the question. You cannot do as much with less money.

DR. KITCHEN: That is the challenge.

MR. MATTHEWS: The old mad hatter, the Minister of Finance, said: that is the challenge. Well, I say to him, yes it is a challenge, but it is not much consolation to post-secondary students in this Province who have to wonder if they are going to be able to finish a program they started, because the Cabot Institute and the other post-secondary institutions, such as the University, have gotten less money from this Government. They want a challenge to finish their education. They want a challenge to start a career, and this Minister of Finance and this Minister of Education is denying that. That is why all of those students are sending petitions to Members on this side, I know, and I am sure to Members opposite, asking for their support and calling upon all Members of this Legislature to oppose any reduction in funding to post-secondary education in the Province.

I support the petition, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

DR. WARREN: I always respond to requests and meet with groups. I might tell the hon. Members that I met with students and federation student leaders more often in the past year than the former Minister did during his whole term, and I will put that to the test, Mr. Speaker. I have met with student leaders and student organizations. On Monday of next week, Mr. Speaker, I have a meeting with the Federation of Students.

MR. MATTHEWS: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: A point of order.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister is making false accusations in this Legislature. He does not know how many times I met with them and I must say, Mr. Speaker, in concluding, that if I imposed as much devastation on the students of this Province as this Minister there is no wonder he has to meet with them so often to try and put out the fires.

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I said I would put it to the test and we can do a count.

MR. SPEAKER: To the point of order. I thought the Minister might want to make a few remarks to the point of order but since he does not the Chair has to rule on the point of order. There is no point of order, the hon. Member was making a point. In the meantime I want to tell hon. Members, again, with respect to petitions, that Members should keep themselves to the material allegations of the petition, speak to the material allegations, the signatures, and this sort of thing.

The hon. the Minister of Education.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, I know the concerns of students, I meet with them regularly, and next week I will be meeting with students to discuss the issues raised in the petition. That is the first point.

Mr. Speaker, the Boards of Governors and the Board of Regents have been examining - the Board of Regents has made its decisions, the Boards of Governors of the colleges are meeting, and Cabot. And next week we hope to be in a position to hear from them as to the decisions they made with respect to any cuts for next year.

I want to correct something the hon. Members have said. There have been no cuts in funding. Mr. Speaker, there is more money in the Education budget this year than last year, even with a salary freeze. So that is incorrect. There are no cuts in funding, Mr. Speaker. Yes, there is not enough money to meet all of our needs. Yes, the institutions will have to rationalize their system. Yes, Mr. Speaker, they will have to do that.

The third point I would like to make relevant to the petition, is that this Government believes in the importance of education. It is a high priority for us. We are going through a difficult time now, we have to rationalize the service. But I can assure the hon. Members and all the students who signed the petition that we believe in the future of this Province. We believe in the future of our young people, and I am delighted that they are not as pessimistic about the future of this Province - our young people - as the Opposition is. They have given up, they have lost faith in our Province. Our young people have not, Mr. Speaker, and we are going to meet their educational needs.

MR. SPEAKER: Are there further petitions?

The hon. Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: I have a petition that I would like to present on behalf of 479 parents of students in Jamieson Academy, in Salt Pond, Burin.

The prayer of the petition is: we the undersigned, representing the 504 children at the Donald C. Jamieson Academy in Salt Pond, Newfoundland, support the PTA executive sub-committee for no educational cutbacks. Our children need a good quality education in order to help them to become strong and productive leaders of our future society. Let us together send a message to this Government.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Education, just speaking on a petition, spoke about the belief that he has in Newfoundland. I wonder what fantasy land does he figure Newfoundland to be in if he is allowed to continue with his educational cutbacks in this Province? Where do we think the youth of our Province are going to get jobs? When you look at the students today that are to graduate from high school, they have to make a decision as to whether or not they will pursue a profession in education. And if they do, what job opportunities are there, based on the way this Minister has slashed the budget and the positions for teaching the teachers in this Province?

If they want to pursue a career in nursing, what opportunities are there for them when one considers the way the Minister of Health has slashed the budget and cut the positions of nursing professions in this Province? If they want to become doctors what opportunity is there for them to practice medicine in a province where the government is ready to gut the MCP and the health care system, like they are doing throughout this Province, in various hospitals, and particularly my own district, in excess of $1 million this year.

If they want to pursue other professional occupations what is there for them in this Province? I think that is a question we have to ask ourselves, for those of us who are parents, for people who have children who are now ready to graduate from school and post-secondary institutions. I have a young sister who is graduating from University. She just finished off her Phys Ed degree and now she is doing her Education degree. And she is expecting the closest place she will probably find employment is somewhere west of Ontario. Ontario or West. She knows that there is no opportunity available for her here in this Province.

So is that what the Minister of Education means when he says he is proud? Is that why he is proud, because our young people have to leave Newfoundland to go away and find employment? Is that the type of pride that constitutes the front benches of this Government? Is that why the Minister of Education says that he has a commitment to education, despite the fact that nobody in this Province believes him? And he has demonstrated in this House that nobody should believe him. Because the Minister of Education has not been honest since the pressure came on him.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, that is true, the Minister of Education has not been honest with this House of Assembly since the pressure went on him. You have not been honest, sir, with this House since the pressure went on you. Prior to the pressure and the slashes and the cuts I thought that you were a very honest person. But the questions that have gone to you of late, Mr. Minister, you have not given us honest answers. I would suspect that is part of a plan by the Cabinet of this Province to do whatever you can do within the realm and rules of this House not to give right answers. And if we have ever seen a Minister blatantly misleading this House it was this morning with the Minister of Social Services and the Premier laughing and supporting him. I thought it was shameless. As a matter of fact, if I had been in the Chair I would have probably named the two, but I was not there.

But in any case what we want in this House is both Ministers to be honest. And I ask the Minister of Education on behalf of these parents of 504 children in the Donald C. Jamieson Academy, Mr. Speaker: the namesake of that school, a great man, who did much for this Province, if he was only around today to see the destruction that the Liberal Party has caused to the dreams that he had for the educational system, I wonder what would he think. And I beg the Minister of Education to give the necessary funding to education in the Province, not to be freezing positions to the teachers, to let our youth who are going to go to the University have an opportunity to practice teaching school in this Province. We have the greatest teachers in the country here in this Province. And why is the Minister of Education trying to drive them, why is the Minister of Education together with his colleagues developing a plan that is going to drive them away from the Province and to brain drain Newfoundland, why is the Minister of Education behind some sort of a system that is going to drive the best people we have got in the Province to the Mainland?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: A good job.

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

DR. WARREN: A very brief response, Mr. Speaker. As I said earlier these are very difficult times. We do not have all the money we need. I said earlier there are more dollars in the Budget this year, but that does not mean we meet all the needs, Mr. Speaker. We have I think in the education budget this year a total of about $761 million compared with $745 million revised last year and budgeted $733 million. So there are more dollars, Mr.Speaker, but not enough.

I agree with the hon. Member on one thing, I agree that we have excellent teachers. This year I am pleased to inform the House again that the teachers we are losing in the Province are as a result of declining enrolments. We are losing 3,000 students a year on the average. As a result of that the numbers of teachers are declining. And this year the vast majority of the teachers we are losing are as the result of declining enrollment. This Government is pleased with that. This minimizes the impact on the classroom. And many of these units are going to be units from school board offices so that the classroom is going to be even further minimized as a result of our actions. We believe in the future of this Province. We believe in the importance of education. We want to provide for this Province the best possible education. That is our commitment and we will do it, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words in support of this petition so ably presented by my colleague the Member for Burin - Placentia West, who fights like a Trojan on behalf of his constituents time after time, after time, and does not hesitate to speak on behalf of those constituents that he represents whenever he has the opportunity, unlike -

AN HON. MEMBER: Whether the rules allow it or not.

MR. SIMMS: Whether the rules allow it or not, Mr. Speaker, he is prepared to speak out and stand up for his constituents, unfortunately unlike many Members opposite, because as has been pointed out, no doubt Members opposite have received similar petitions with respect to education and cutbacks in education and cutbacks in all levels of education. But you never see anybody standing - the Member over there shakes his head - nobody has received petitions? Well that is not what students tell us, Mr. Speaker. Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, it does not preclude Members opposite from standing and speaking to petitions that we present on this side of the House. They must not forget that.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I only have three or four minutes to speak to the petition so I thought I would take the opportunity to respond to some of the comments made by the Minister of Education in particular.

The Member for Burin - Placentia West used terminology that I would not necessarily use with respect to the Minister's actions but perhaps the terminology I would use would mean the same. I really think a number of Ministers over there, including the Minister of Education, are playing little games or using little tricks in responding to questions, in participating in the debate even; last night we caught the Minister of Social Services talking about last year versus this year in the budgetary process and when we found out and caught him and studied it, we realize the Minister of Education had been doing the same thing.

They were talking about their budgeted figure for last year-

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Yes, you say it now but you were not saying it all the time and we can show you excerpts - we will say to the Minister of Education, we can show him excerpts from Hansard if he would like where he did not always say it. Now they were using this comparison: they talked about the budgeted figure versus the estimates for this year and there is a nice sizable increase, but the truth of the matter is they should be comparing their estimates this year with what they spent last year, that is the reality and the Minister of Social Services was caught and he knows he was caught.

Mr. Speaker, I want to be kind to the Minister of Education, as kind as I can, and you know, comments made by groups, for example the MUN Extension Group, who talk about the importance of MUN Extension to rural Newfoundland are only saying what other people in Newfoundland are saying these days and I am sure the Minister is cognizance of that, he knows that there is a lot of concern out in the Province for rural Newfoundland and for what appears to be happening, what is perceived to be happening.

The Minister might not agree that it is happening but certainly, I do not think you can disagree that that is the perception out there. MUN Extension talks about cutbacks to rural Newfoundland and the effect it will have on rural Newfoundland and they talk about the Minister being relevant twenty or thirty years ago as opposed to being relevant now; well, I -

MR. GRIMES: Who is saying that?

MR. SIMMS: - somebody is saying it, I say to the Member for Exploits. I am surprised he interjected with something other than his usual 'not so' comment, it is nice to know that he has a different vocabulary. Somebody is saying it here, several hundred people participated at a demonstration and protest about MUN Extension and they said, here is the quote: 'Phil Warren says, Extension was relevant twenty or thirty years ago. Friends of Extension say, so were you, Phil'. Now, all I can say to the Member for Exploits, is that there are people saying it,

there are people saying it, there are people saying it, -

AN HON. MEMBER: Mostly students.

MR. SIMMS: - but the Premier is trying to suggest -

PREMIER WELLS: I am saying I am looking across at a lot of irrelevance.

MR. SIMMS: - oh you might be, yes, but not as much as we are looking at from this side, Mr. Speaker, that is the point, that is the point. There is a lot more irrelevance over there I can assure the Premier than there is over here, even if it is simply by sheer numbers. Now, Mr. Speaker, I was not suggesting that the Minister of Education is irrelevant, I was saying that others are suggesting that the Minister is not relevant to today's activities.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, I do.

MR. SIMMS: Then he uses pious words and righteous words in talking about all the great things they are doing in education; education is a high priority with this Government -

MS VERGE: More scholar for the dollar.

MR. SIMMS: - but, Mr. Speaker, the evidence, the evidence is quite the contrary -

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: - the evidence is quite the contrary. Well, the Member for Exploits says it is not, perhaps he will be brave enough to get up in the debate or in presenting petition and argue why, debate why, but until then, I would ask him to let me finish my point.

The point is, all the evidence that is out there with respect to education and cutbacks in education points to the contrary of what the Minister of Education is saying. He talked today about community colleges -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! The hon. Minister's time is up.

MR. SIMMS: Well, that is unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, I will get at it in debate, but I support the petition.

Orders of the Day

MR. BAKER: Order three, Mr. Speaker, Bill 12.

MR. SPEAKER: Motion three.

On motion, that the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole on Supply, Mr. Speaker left the Chair.

Committee of the Whole On Supply

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order please!

The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to have a few additional words in this Motion of Supply. It sounds rather innocuous, but if your average citizen on the street out there realized we were talking about a billion dollars I think they would sit up and take notice.

I wanted to continue on from the line of thought that I was developing there in my address to a petition from the students at the Cabot Institute, students originally from Green Bay who are now attending that institute and hope not only that their courses continue, the course of study that they are into, but that when they do come out they will have something to do with the education they have obtained - east of Calgary or west of Kuwait, Mr. Chairman.

When we entered confederation in 1949, one of the great selling benefits of confederation that Mr. Smallwood used in talking to the Newfoundland people was that we would get certain modern living standards, public services, etcetera, that you could see about, I suppose, in picture books, there was no television at the time, so you could not see what mainstream North America or Europe was enjoying in terms of modern public services and so on. But Newfoundlanders did have some idea of what the rest of the world, the modern world, was involved in, and were certainly enticed because of promises of these things coming from the Canadian Confederation to actually vote in a referendum in due course to join Canada.

So therefore, Mr. Chairman, we did join Canada and that brought with it certain modern living standards, certain modern social programs, certain aspects of municipal and provincial infrastructure like roads, water and sewer, that sort of thing that a citizen of a modern western nation could expect. But unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, because we were sort of dragged into the twentieth century overnight in 1949, entering Confederation did not bring with it automatically a highly literate, highly educated population. As a result, even today, Mr. Chairman, there are experts in the field of literacy who indicate that our population today is somewhere in the 40 per cent range of functionally illiterate adults, and that is a truly sad and tragic circumstance. I am very proud and pleased to say that my wife is a volunteer in this area. She is president of Teachers on Wheels, which is an organization that provides reading and writing training to functionally illiterate adults. Mr. Chairman, the fact that my wife's organization is one of many in this Province including, I do believe, one that the Premier's wife is involved with, bespeaks the need of greater education among our people.

Mr. Chairman, while we might have a population that is not as highly educated as the North America mainstream, most of the communities in my district have cable TV with a dozen channels and they can see what is going on around the world, be it Kuwait or be it down town Canada or down town USA, and they are not a part of that mainstream in many ways.

We have entered, Mr. Chairman, a very high-tech information age. The third world is going to end up doing the heavy industry. Our world, especially the North American Continent, is going to have to move into the area of services, into the area of brain power, into the area of high technology, all of which require a highly literate, highly educated population. It is unfortunate, Mr. Chairman, and it is tragic that at this point in our history that Government would decide to cut back in education. If anything, Government needs to put a special emphasis on extra expenditures in the area of education, priorize education.

There is another island, Mr. Speaker, to the north and east of us which is a small island nation called Iceland. Icelanders are among the most highly literate and educated people on this planet, Mr. Chairman, and that is because 100 or more years ago the Government of the day decided that if Iceland were to ever become anything, given the fact that it had no forests, no mines, a bit of geothermal power and several million sheep, and that was about it, they had to develop their brain power to exploit their fish and their sheep to the best of their advantage because that was all they would have to make it on, Mr. Chairman, because the Government of Iceland, some hundred or more years ago, decided to make that a priority of the government and of the society. We have a small country, half the size of the population of Newfoundland, to the north and east of us, who are relatively well off in terms of their standing among the Scandinavian nations, mainly, I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, because the Government of Iceland, some hundred or more years ago, decided that education had to be a priority of the Government, of the society, of the people as a whole.

Here we sit in this Province, in the 20th Century, in the high-tech age, and we get to sit back and watch it on our cable TV stations, and we get to stand in this House of Assembly and bemoan the fact that our children's futures are being endangered, and the future of our society remaining in the modern world is being endangered because we are cutting back on education. We are becoming in this Province a third world culture, and that is unfortunate. Ourselves and the Mexicans right now are probably third world peoples on a North American continent. The Mexicans, I gather, are entering into a free trade agreement with the United States with the hope of boosting their economy. Hopefully, they will boost their education as well, and they will enable themselves to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, so that most if not all of North America will enter the high-tech information age.

We, Mr. Chairman, unfortunately, seem to be lagging behind, and there does not appear to be the will or policy on the part of this particular Government to catch up what has to be done in terms of educating our people. We have to do in our lifetime what other societies have taken generations to do. But I say, Mr. Chairman, we cannot afford not to do it. Otherwise, we will be in this swamp of third worldism forever and a day. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to have a few words to say on this Interim Supply Bill. I was hoping the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation would be here so I could ask him a few questions on some of his priorities in his Department. We have seen this Budget brought down which attacks the sick, attacks the young people in the Province, and attacks social service recipients in this Province, and we see what the priorities of the Department of Works, Services and Transportation are when we see that most of the layoffs undertaken in that Department happen to be security guards, who are probably the ones who can least afford to lose their jobs, and probably the ones who will be the least able to get another job in another area. We see a Government putting in electronic security systems in Government buildings here in St. John's, and supposedly in Labrador West and a couple of other areas, which is creating jobs in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in that when an alarm goes off at the Colonial Building here in St. John's because of some problem with smoke, vandalism, water pipe breakage, or a break in, that is going to ring in Halifax, Nova Scotia, creating a job for someone in Nova Scotia who is checking that alarm. They then have to phone back to the few security guards who are left here in St. John's and report it to them, so that these security guards can instruct the police or the fire department to go and check out the problem which was rung in in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Mr. Chairman, over the last two weeks, I know of three occasions on which police and security people have turned up at several buildings - Howley Building was one, and Colonial Building was another, as far as I know - at great expense to find out they were false alarms. Now had we had our security people in these areas, had we had even more security people to check them more often from the outside, we would not have to be creating jobs in Nova Scotia, we could be looking after these buildings with Newfoundlanders in the different Newfoundland communities.

But just to emphasize what the priorities of the Department of Transportation might be, in a week in which was brought down the most devastating Budget this Province has ever seen, there was a press release which came out from the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation on March 15. His priority for that week: The announcement says, `The hon. Dave Gilbert, Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, is pleased to announce a contract, project number such-and-such, to construct a new vestibule and install an elevator in the Howley Building.' Mr. Chairman, they laid off all their security people over there so they could put an elevator in the Howley Building and make a new vestibule. Anyone with these types of priorities, there has to be something wrong.

On the same date there was another press release that came out from the hon. Dave Gilbert, Minister on contract number 7990, Trans-Canada Highway, hydroseeding from Deer Lake to Howley. I am sure it is necessary for this Province to close down hospital beds so that they can do some hydroseeding on the Trans-Canada Highway at a cost of some $56,200. That certainly could have kept on the security guards the Department laid off, a couple of them, for another year.

On the same date another press release came out. `The hon. David Gilbert, Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, is pleased to announce' - the day he is closing the hospital beds in Burgeo -`is pleased to announce a contract for hydroseeding from Red Cliff to Badger, at a cost of $333,000.' I am sure the Trans-Canada Highway, between Red Cliff and Badger, is in such desperate need of hydroseeding that we had to close hospital beds in Burgeo, an operating room in Port aux Basques, a clinic in Come By Chance, and a hospital in Placentia - just so the Minister of Transportation could put in hydroseed along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Just these three announcements on March 15 cost this Government a half million dollars. I wonder what we could do with a half a million dollars for the nurses who are being laid off in our hospitals. And for the sick people who are not going to be able to get the hospital services they so rightfully deserve in this Province. But we are going to spend the money on hydroseeding. The only hope I have is that the best hydroseeding company in the country will get the contract, because they happen to be from my district. But if they were consulted, if they did get the contract, being the compassionate people they are, I am sure if this half million dollars could go into the health care system of this Province, that company would gladly give up the contract to save the half million dollars for the health care system rather than spread seed on the rocks on the Trans-Canada Highway so that we will get grass for two years, then yellow weeds for the next 100 years.

I know it is a problem, transferring money from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Health or Education, but at least they could have looked at this $500,000 in light of laying off the 100 people they are going to lay off in that Department. The forty-seven people from the MOS unit, I guess their average wage, the average cost to Government for these people, might have been $25,000 a year. There are a couple of hundred of those jobs in that half a million dollars. We could have saved a couple of hundred jobs at around $25,000 a watchman just by saving the hydroseeding money that is to be spent on the Trans-Canada Highway. Certainly it looks great, certainly it is a worthwhile project, but sometime in the future, when we have enough money to afford it. But not the same day that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation was shutting down hospital beds in his own district, in Burgeo; not the same day that the hospital in Placentia was gutted and will probably be closed for a couple of years before the clinic that is necessary down there will be put in place.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Gutted is not (inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Gutted, certainly. It is just as bad to the 1,000 people who were out in that lobby. Had we gone out and announced -I think they need about $300,000 to keep it going this year, until the new service is in place. It would have been nice had I had this press release to go out and read out to the 1,000 people out there that the Minister of Transportation was going to spend a half million dollars this summer on hydroseeding on the Trans-Canada and asked those people if they thought that was the priority this Government should have, when they were out here pleading with the Government, pleading with the Premier to come out and meet with them, pleading with the Premier to come and talk to them for a couple of minutes so that they could make their points.

Now the Premier did meet with a delegation of them yesterday, as far as I know, and hopefully there will be some changes. It was interesting to see on television last night the four or five people who happened to be sitting around the table, certain community leaders of the Placentia area, Mr. Chairman. Most of the people who were there I met as Minister of Rural Development, and they are very concerned with what is happening in rural Newfoundland. And I notice that in all the protests that are happening because of what this Government is trying to do to resettle rural Newfoundland, most of the people I see on television making comments on why it is so bad what this Government is doing happen to be people who were involved at one time with the Rural Development Movement, and that itself ties into the Extension Service, Mr. Chairman.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Certainly, Mr. Chairman. The Member for Pleasantville says no.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: Last night, one out of five was a Rural Development co-ordinator.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave!

AN HON. MEMBER: No leave!

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

MR. TOBIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

AN HON. MEMBER: Take up where he left off, now.

MR. TOBIN: Take up where he left off.

MR. MURPHY: Give us your NDP philosophy (inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: That is why we have him sitting up in that end of her.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I said it before and I will say it again, my philosophy on how this Province should be governed is a lot closer to the philosophy of my friend for St. John's East and the ND Party, than it is to the philosophy of my friend for St. John's South and the Liberal Party. Because I do not believe in balancing the books of this Province on the backs of the sick and the suffering and the poor of this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: I do not share that view with the Member for St. John's South. I do not believe that big business and the lawyers, the multi-millionaires in this Province, the crowd down on Duckworth Street, I do not believe they should be able to take advantage of every tax loop in the system, designated by this Government so they can avail of it, when, at the same time, petitions we are representing in this House show how extensively the poor of this Province is being taxed. When we hear tell of layoffs and cutbacks, we do not see too many people affected who are doing business with the Government, we do not see too many effects on some of these people, who are advising Government and holding other positions, while we see the poor of this Province cannot get vision care, while we see people on social assistance not getting an increase. That is the philosophy I share as a Member of this caucus, and I believe that is the philosophy my friend for St. John's East shares as a Member of another caucus.

So, yes, my philosophy on how this Province should be run is not the same as that of the Member for St. John's South or the Liberal Party, okay.

MR. MURPHY: Your friends at the Raddison will be glad to hear you have changed your philosophy.

MR. TOBIN: I never changed my philosophy. Mr. Chairman, all of my working adult life I have been involved in social work in this Province and I can assure you that anyone who has dedicated most of his or her life to that profession, is not a person who has been very cosy with people in big businesses in this Province. I can tell you that the last Premier of this Province was a man with a social conscience. He was a man who had a commitment.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who was that?

AN HON. MEMBER: Mr.Rideout?

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Rideout and Mr. Peckford. The two I served with had a conscience. This is the first time I have seen a Government being led by a person who believes in nothing but big business, with no commitment to health, education or social services of this Province. That is where I am coming from. That is where I have always come from.

MR. MURPHY: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: And the Member for St. John's South over there, Mr. Chairman, keeps interrupting every time I try to speak. Where was he over the last ten years he talks about, when I was Minister of Social Services? Your were in the corporate boardrooms of FPI, that is where you were, going around and not even giving a fair wage to half the people in this Province.


MR. TOBIN: Yes. Tell us about your role with FPI.

AN HON. MEMBER: No problem!

MR. TOBIN: That is where you were. You talk about the poor, and the sick and the suffering, a man who has dedicated his life to the boardrooms of this Province. Now, Mr. Chairman -


Mr. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: There is a man who had a social conscience at one time, Mr. Chairman, until the PCs said farewell to him.


MR. TOBIN: The Minister of Finance. The PCs said farewell to him. Frank Moores said to him -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Until Frank Moores put you in your place and you could no longer function.


MR. TOBIN: You could no longer function. I know it and know it well. The Minister of Fisheries was an active Member of the PC Party at the time. And I know of others. I do not know, Mr. Chairman, but my father was at the same meeting, which I believe was held in Corner Brook. That was a good many years ago.

AN HON. MEMBER: Your father made the motion, did he not?

MR. TOBIN: No, he did not. But he would, I can assure you of that. That is where we are coming from. Now, Mr. Chairman, there are some statements here, as I look through this Liberal Policy Manual. When one reads this you would think -

AN HON. MEMBER: They do not read it.

MR. TOBIN: - this was a Government with a social conscience; when one reads this you would think this was designated and articulated by a Government with a social conscience. But what has happened to the Liberal Policy Manual? What has happened to the Liberal Campaign Policy Manual? There is not one commitment in this that has been honoured by this crowd opposite. Not one! They got elected by fraud, that is what happened. All of these Members opposite who went around and preached the self-righteousness of the Premier, how they were going to create social programs and what they were going to do for municipalities and what they were going to do - there is one here I have for the Minister of Development and I would like to get his attention.

AN HON. MEMBER: Read it up now.

MR. TOBIN: I am sure the Minister of Development will do me the courtesy of listening to this.

AN HON. MEMBER: Go on, read it.

MR. TOBIN: The process of municipal financing will be re-examined by a Liberal Government to ensure that smaller communities with limited commercial tax base receive priority consideration for funding. This is what I want the Minister of Development to listen to: Crown Corporations and Agencies would be required to make financial contributions to municipalities equal to the taxes paid by private corporate sector.

Now having read that, does anybody in this House know what happened to the grant in lieu of taxes the Marystown Shipyard was paying? Does the Member for St. John's South know that?

MR. MURPHY: What is that?

MR. TOBIN: What happened to the grant in lieu of taxes the council was receiving from the Marystown Shipyard? Does the Minister of Finance know that? You promised during the election campaign to have grants in lieu of taxes paid by Crown Corporations to the councils, the same as if it was the private sector. That was an election promise. That is what this Liberal propaganda machine says.

MR. MURPHY: We are working on it.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, you are working on that. Well, then, if you are working on it, why did you take away the grant in lieu of taxes which the Marystown Shipyard has been paying for the last twenty years?


MR. TOBIN: Why? Why? That is the question, if you are working on it. If you are working on it, you are working on it in reverse. And I am not surprised that the Member for St. John's South is working in reverse, because he has been in reverse since he came in here. So it does not surprise me one bit.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: The Minister of Development can tell you, and I have been told, and I have been told by the Mayor of Marystown, who, by the way, is a member of the Board of Directors at the Marystown Shipyard, that Government has instructed the Board to take away the grant in lieu of taxes. What is the Minister of Municipal Affairs saying about that? What is he going to say about it? And I will read it again, Mr. Chairman. `Crown Corporations and Agencies would be required to make financial contributions to municipalities equal to the taxes paid by the private sector.'

Now that is what they promised. They got elected and what did they do? They robbed it. They stole the money the Marystown Town Council and the taxpayers in Marystown were deriving from the Crown Corporation. Yet, you have the Minister of Development, and you have the Minister of Municipal Affairs in particular, because under this section that commitment was made, Municipal Affairs, and he has stood by and watched the Minister of Development and the Premier take $35,000 from the Marystown Shipyard through the grant in lieu of taxes. That is what the Minister of Municipal Affairs has done.

Not a word, Mr. Chairman, from anyone over there. The Member for Bonavista South who lived in Marystown and enjoyed it for a good many years, not a word from him when someone in his Government tries to destroy the fabric of the place where he learned how to practice law - not a word. And I do not know of a better lawyer to have trained him than my friend, Mr. MacBeath, in Marystown. It is unfortunate he did not stay at law, because he is a poor politician; he was a better lawyer than he is a politician. And no doubt, Mr. Chairman, he will be a better lawyer after the next election, because he will not be practicing politics.


MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Speaker, he will not. Any man who stands by and sees a Government close down his hospital - I spent last weekend in Clarenville. My son was down there playing hockey, as a matter of fact. I will not say it in this House, but I am going to tell the Member for Bonavista South something I heard about a meeting we had some time ago regarding the health care system at the Public Accounts Committee. I will not say it here.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member's time is up.

The hon. the Member for Bonavista South.

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We just heard the two previous speakers, the Member for Kilbride and the Member for Burin - Placentia West, criticize this particular Government on the basis of their spending priority. The Member for Kilbride says, how can you be closing hospital beds in the Province when you are out hydroseeding the Trans-Canada Highway? That is your priorities. Your priorities are towards big business. You want to close hospital beds and you want to help big business. Well, Mr. Chairman, before we evaluate how much credibility we can put in their claims, we have to look at what their priorities were when they were in power. I just happened to be going through some press clippings for 1987, and one clipping from the Sunday Express, dated February 22, 1987, the headline: `Peckford says Province facing financial crisis. A financial crisis on the order of magnitude of the crisis the Dominion faced in 1933.' They had documents that showed the financial state of the Province that would blow your mind. That is how serious the crisis was.

AN HON. MEMBER: He was not ruthless enough.

MR. GOVER: Well, we will get to how ruthless he was. Here we were facing a financial crisis that was just as serious as the financial crisis which occurred in 1933. And that was the Budget, let us not forget, in 1987, which imposed a three year freeze on all construction and renovations of hospitals and nursing homes in the Province.

Now let us see exactly what the freeze was on. In an attempt to limit overall spending increases, Newfoundland put a three year freeze on construction and renovations of hospitals, nursing homes and public buildings. In addition, it froze at current levels its construction of water and sewer lines, paving and non-shared road construction. So this was a Province that was facing a financial crisis of the magnitude of the financial crisis we faced in 1933, that had imposed a freeze on the construction of new hospitals and nursing homes for not one year, not two years, but three years.

So that was the financial situation we were in. What were their priorities? After that headline appeared in the Sunday Express, in February, which said we were facing a financial crisis, the headline in the Sunday Express a month earlier said, `Premier and staff spent $51,000 in sixteen days, records show.'

AN HON. MEMBER: How much?

MR. GOVER: In sixteen days, $51,000. And around the same time we have another headline: `King Peckford's lavish spending under fire.' So their priorities while they were freezing hospital and nursing home construction were not even to hydroseed the Trans-Canada Highway, they did not even want to spend the money out in the public, no, their priority was to spend the money on themselves. In 1986, for example, the Premier's private dining room cost $1446 a week to operate. While they were freezing hospital and nursing home construction, they were running a private dining room.

AN HON. MEMBER: $1446 a month?

MR. GOVER: No, a week. And while there were going to be no renovations to hospitals, no renovations to nursing homes, no renovations to public buildings and freezes on other capital expenditures, recent renovations to the Premier's suite cost nearly $450,000. Those were their particular priorities. Now I just got through talking about the $51,000 spent in sixteen days. What was that spent on? How did $51,000 get racked up in sixteen days? That amount included a $1000-a-night hotel room, whopping limousine bills - as much as $1400 a day on limousines - plus a tip of $201 to the limousine driver. I think my friend for St. John's East would be interested in what his Leader felt about this spending at that particular time. This is what the Leader of the NDP, Mr. Fenwick, had to say at that particular time. Now I notice he is getting to be pretty good friends with the Opposition over there, but this was what his Leader was saying at that particular time.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible), is it not?

MR. GOVER: Well 1987 is not that long ago. Most of those people over there criticizing us were Members of the Cabinet who approved expenditures on the Premier's office of $450,000 while they were freezing hospital and nursing home construction in the Province.

Now let us see what the NDP had to say, because I think they were on the right sort of line at that particular point in time. Since the new Leader has come on, perhaps they have fallen away from the correct tack. But at that particular point in time they were pretty well right on. This is what he had to say: Peckford and advisors are taking on trappings that belong to, I do not know, perhaps the lifestyle of Louis XV1, the Sun King.

AN HON. MEMBER: He did not mean that, did he

MR. GOVER: Yes, I think he meant that. I think he did. He was right about one thing. Just let me read a little further here. He said that former Premier Peckford was becoming like Louis XV1 and, he went on to say, if Newfoundlanders are not yet ready to stage a revolution, the French reaction to Louis' opulent lifestyle, the latest financial disclosures and Peckford's seeming lack of seriousness in running the Province since last October have set of another round of speculation as to whether or not he is going to resign. Now if the Sun King's opulent lifestyle set off the French revolution, well I would say the former Premier's lifestyle led to the revolution which occurred in April, 1989. When the people saw a government freeze hospital and nursing home construction and yet renovate the Premier's office and operate a private dining room, and -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) the bodyguard?

MR. GOVER: Oh, the bodyguard! Between April 1986 and September 1987, the Province with one of the lowest per capita crime rates paid $101,450 for Premier Peckford's personal bodyguard. So that was the priority of the previous administration when it came to the financial affairs of this particular Province. They did not even bother to go out and spend money on hydroseeding. No, they had to spend the money on themselves.

Now I have a highlight here from the 1987 Budget that the Finance Minister of the day brought down. And what was the objective of the 1987 Budget? The objective was to kick-start our Province out of the deep disparity which has been a festering blight on our people since 1949. Well, I have to say, if that was a kick-start budget, she was really slow in getting off the mark. So that was the kick-start budget. It was such a kick-start that they decided to kick them out of office in April of 1989, two years later. That is how much of a kick-start it was. It was a kick-start to their demise.


AN HON. MEMBER: It is all right. You only won by eighty. Don't get too cocky now.

MR. GOVER: They are over there criticizing us, saying you should borrow more, especially the Member for St. John's East. And I think the Opposition is along that tack, too, because they are saying do not cut health, do not cut education, do not do this, do not do that. Well the only answer, if you are going to -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave! By leave!

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much. Mr. Chairman, I heard it all now. We are in a province where we heard questions from the Member for Humber Valley the other day concerning doctors sending patients from Deer Lake to Corner Brook, when the Corner Brook doctors are saying, do not send them, because we do not have any room for them, and we have the Member for Bonavista South up justifying hydroseeding the Trans-Canada Highway. Well, what a silly, silly thing to be doing. Imagine anyone standing up here today and trying to justify hydroseeding. You know I might say that made a little bit of sense if you could drive your cows out to it, or let your horses and sheep roam so they could feed. But you are not even allowed to do that any more. That hydroseeding on the Trans-Canada Highway, one half million dollars announced March 15, is a complete waste of money when you are closing hospital beds. And the Member for Bonavista South just spoke in this debate for ten minutes and never brought up one concern of his district.

His fisheries is in shambles out there, the health care system is in a shambles in his district, his education system is in jeopardy, and he is justifying hydroseeding the Trans-Canada Highway. You should be ashamed of yourself!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: No, you shouldn't. You should do it on Friday night, when you come on with the Member for Green Bay. Do it on television so everyone in the Province can see that you are trying to justify the hydroseeding of the Trans-Canada Highway when people are sick and suffering and they cannot find hospital beds - they are closing down 450 hospital beds in this Province.

I will give you a concern. You will not believe what I say, because I am an Opposition Member. But while I am at it, I will tell you what the hon. Member should do now, the hon. Member who represents a rural area, and all hon. Members here. To see what is happening, get some advice from an expert on rural Newfoundland. He is here in the gallery today, Mr. Alf Sullivan, a former mayor of the Goulds and former worker for Rural Development. Get him into your caucus room for half an hour or so and he will inform you of what you should be doing in rural Newfoundland.

I have a concern here from people. This is important and I want to read this letter out. It is a letter to me from the graduating class of 1991 at St. Kevin's High School in the Goulds. It is important to listen to these young people, the people who are going to be taking over from us in the next ten years, taking over from all of us in this House of Assembly, all the businesses, and all the health workers. Here is what they have to say about what they see for their future.

The graduating class of 1991, St. Kevin's High School, would like to voice our concerns to the Government about the proposed $1.7 million cutback in education. This is something which directly affects us and our future.' Mr. Chairman, when they said us, I include it to mean the whole province, not only the 117 people who signed this. 'First of all, many opportunities are being ripped from us, from our grasp. Secretarial Studies at the Cabot Institute will be cut back, and what about Medical Laboratory Sciences? If it is taken away from us we will then have to leave our Province in order to take this course. This is a luxury which we cannot afford. We realize many of the courses available from the Cabot Institute could be studied at Memorial University, however the problem is still money. Money is still the issue. If there is an increase in tuition, many of us will not continue our education.'

The Minister of Education should be listening to this because this is what the students of the Province are saying. These are the people who you are responsible for now and this is how they feel, Mr. Chairman. So if there is a different message to be put out there you are not getting it out. These people are concerned, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, they say they will not continue their education, and their prospects for employment after high school are bleak if we do not have a post- secondary education. Anyone in the world, and especially your white knight in shining armour, Doug House, as he said in his report, that the most important thing to emphasize is education or we will never get out of the hole that we are in now, Mr. Chairman, if we do not educate our young people

Mr. Chairman, is that what our Government wants for us? The question to the Minister of Education from the graduating classes of St. Kevin's in the Goulds is, Mr. Chairman, does the Government want them to go away to be educated? Does the Government want them to go away to get jobs? Do they want them to remain uneducated and unemployed? That is what the students in the Goulds are asking, Mr. Chairman.

There are still student loans available, something which the Minister of Education touts as the saviour to the education system of Newfoundland. Here is what the students think; there are still student loans available, but they are not as easily obtained as one would think. This is due to the fact that our family incomes are being a requirement on application.

Mr. Chairman, the students in St. Kevin's elementary have not got the message that the student loan program is going to be the saviour of the education system in this Province as the Minister of Education says, so I would suggest that he would get a message to the schools of this Province to tell them what a great program he has brought in because they do not know about it. They are missing it, Mr. Chairman. A lot of these students have older brothers and sisters who are now involved in the post-secondary education system, Mr. Chairman, and they are getting first hand information as to how great is the system that the Minister of Education has put in. They cannot afford to go there now and you are increasing tuition.

Mr. Chairman, the letter goes on to read: 'It is true that education is the key to employment; however with Newfoundland's unemployment rate so high, the job of the Government should be improving education.' That is what the students in the Goulds are saying to him. I know he does not want to listen to what the students in the Goulds are saying to him, Mr. Chairman, but he says that your job as Minister of Education should be improving the education system, not reducing the education system and reducing the opportunities for these students when they come out of high school next year; 'not destroying education and our futures.' Those are the words that the students in the Goulds are saying, not me, Mr. Chairman. I know you will not listen to me because I am an Opposition Member. Listen to the students that you are responsible to. This is how they feel. They do not know, they did not get the message; you are not telling them what you are doing. There is something -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, you better tell them very shortly, Mr. Chairman, because they only have two months and they are going to be out. They only have another two months, Mr. Chairman. 'The Government should not be destroying education and our future. We are the leaders, the workers and the voters of tomorrow.' This is the important one, Mr. Chairman. 'We are the voters of tomorrow. If we are not properly educated, what will become of our Province?' All these questions are to the Minister of Education and I hope he will answer. 'Isn't it time that our Government took that into consideration?' I agree with them. I say yes, it is time that you take it into consideration, but you have not. You have missed the students in the Goulds at least.

'Mr. Aylward, you are our voice in the House of Assembly,' and proud to be so, I might add, Mr. Chairman. 'You are the one who can express our deep concerns on this passing educational issue. Our parents voted for you in the last election,' and I thank every one of them, Mr. Chairman, and I am sure they will vote much, much heavier in the next one to get rid of this Government. 'However, in the next general election, it will be the students of today who will be the constituents, therefore would you please show us your support on this matter.'

Mr. Chairman, I read this letter into the record of this House not to show them my support, Mr. Chairman, but to try to beat it into the head of the Minister of Education that the students of this Province, and the Goulds high school is only five miles away from the center of Government in this Province, and if they do not know what is going on, if they do not see the great improvements in the education system that the Minister touts every time he gets up, how are people out in rural Newfoundland who are further away from the center of Government, who are further away from the news center of this Province and the information centre, how do they know? The people in the Goulds are well informed and they are close to the center of Government, and if these young people in the Goulds do not know the great benefits that you are offering them for education, how can other people around this Province, other students around this Province, from northern Labrador, from the Port au Port Peninsula or from the Northern Peninsula, how are they expected to know what great improvements you are making. The reality of it, Mr. Chairman, is that there are no great improvements. The reality of it is, Mr. Chairman, that their opportunities are being limited and cut back. That is the reality. And these students are not uninformed, they know that their opportunities are being taken away from them every time this Government brings down a Budget, the opportunities of these young people who want to get educated are being stolen from their future, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

The hon. the Member for LaPoile.

MR. RAMSAY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, we have been using statistics a bit to try to make some points in here over the last number of days. I have a few here that as naked statistics do not really say much but when you look at what they offer to those who look at them and dig through them and try to understand just what those statistics might mean then you can offer to the people a little bit of a capsule of what has happened over the years.

We are talking this year and, of course, last year by virtue of the Federal transfer cutbacks and as well with the decrease in revenues as a result of the economic recession we are in now, the current account deficit on last year's current account of $117 million.

If we look back through the Peckford years we find a lot of current account deficit operation. I will note that, I think it was 1982 that the Peckford Government came into power?


MR. RAMSAY: It was 1979 when Peckford came in was it?


MR. RAMSAY: Okay well he had two years of surplus and then in 1983 a $37 million current account deficit; 1984, $59 million current account deficit; 1985, $87 million current account deficit; 1986, $44 million current account deficit; 1987, $27 million current account deficit; 1988, the year ended 1988, $28 million current account deficit.


MR. RAMSAY: And was there ever a call for a mini-Budget or anything like that? Did they guess wrong?


MR. RAMSAY: The current account deficits, and as well of course the capital account borrowing or deficit was quite high as well in all of those years.

Now the three years of which we have been responsible for bringing in the Budget, there is one year where the surplus is listed as $77 million; one year with $792,000 deficit; and of course last year it was $117 million.

If we look at the numbers as far as the current account deficits go I find in the number of years there are six total Liberal current account deficit years and seven Progressive Conservative current account deficit years.

AN HON. MEMBER: In a row.

MR. RAMSAY: Yes, in a row, and also over the whole period. And look at the number of years that each Government was elected respectively, and the percentage of years that the PC Governments operated on a current account deficit as a portion of their years in power, was quite substantially higher than that of the Liberals. Also, I would like to note that as far as the increases in expenditures: if you talk about how much increases we make in expenditures through the years and what this really means. Well, overall there has only been one year since 1950 that there has not been an increase in expenditures on the part of the Government from one year to the next. The one year there was a decrease was the year 1953 when there was a decrease in expenditures of 13 per cent. I think at that time there was a bit of a row between Ottawa and the Province over Federal transfers. But if we go down through we note that through the Liberal years there were substantial increases, some, of course, due to increases in transfers, and some due to inflation, but the largest years of increases tend to be certain years. I note that in the year 1970 the increase from the previous year was 3.5 per cent, but in 1971 it jumped 19 per cent, that is the increase from the previous year. Now, take note of these years. In 1972 - was that not around the time that there was some internal struggles within the Liberal Party and the PCs, who called themselves PCs but who were really Liberals at the time, but decided to take the moniker PC and went on to form the Government. There was an increase of 30 per cent from 1971 to 1972. The next year when there was a large and very substantial increase was - well for reference let us look at 1974. In 1974 the increase from the previous year was 9.7 per cent and then all of a sudden in 1975 she jumped 21.57 per cent. What happened in 1975 I wonder? Let us look at 1979 the first year of the Peckford administration. In 1978, just prior to that, the increase in expenditure was 2.57 per cent, a very small increase, but in 1979 the increase was 16.54 per cent. Remember the years. Now, let us look at 1981, the year prior to the next election, as I understand, a 4.01 per cent increase, but in 1982 - remember the year 1982, there was a 14.01 increase, quite a substantial difference. Let us look at 1985, l.97 per cent.

MR. POWER: A point of order.


MR. POWER: I believe the hon. Member should table that document that he is reading so completely from.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is his own research, he does not have to.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I can't quote the specific section but we have made rulings on private Members in this House before, that a private member has neither the right nor the obligation to table any documents.

MR. RAMSAY: If the hon. Member wants a copy of this I can provide it for him.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Let us note another year. Well, the year prior was 1985 and the increase in 1985 was 1.97 per cent in expenditures. In 1986 there was a huge jump, 11.49 per cent. Then we look at the next year, 1988, well, the year ending 1988 it went from 2.5 per cent increase in 1987 up to 9.13 per cent in 1988. Now, that was what some could possibly determine, some statistics that would sort of point to election type pork barreling. Election year economics. It is very interesting to look at this and single out these years of largest increases.


MR. RAMSAY: In 1985 it was 1.97 per cent. The promises were made in 1985 but then in 1986 she went to 11.49 per cent. It was a real huge increase, post election increases. Now, there is another thing here I wanted to note, Mr. Chairman. It was noted, I must mention, by my hon. colleague over here, the hon. Member for Bonavista South, as far as what percentage of our gross expenditure are we using to service our debt. And over the years this has grown. There was only one exception in there, and that was the year 1972 where our debt service cost went down as the natural percentage. Every year from 1950 on it increased, and the first year since that it decreased was 1989. It dropped from 16.2 per cent down to 15.4 per cent, as a total of gross expenditure. In 1990 it went down again to 14.5 per cent, and in the year ending 1991 it will go down again to 14.3. So as hard as it is to get this deficit under control, the overall purpose is to create a lower percentage of your overall budget as the deficit service costs go.

There is one other point I did want to make and it concerned the overall current account deficits of the Peckford years versus our years right now. Now if you look at the totals, the total we are looking at is $117 million deficit in 1991; $792,000 in 1989; and $77.8 million surplus in 1990. So you are looking at a total, then, of about $20 million to $30 million deficit since we have been operating. And understanding the fact of the current economic recession, that is a factor that has to be taken into account.

Now in light of the previous Government's activities and the period from 1979 on through to 1989, that ten year span, you are looking at a total of about $150 million current account deficit over that period of time. Now granted that is a longer period of time, but taking into account inflation and the actuality that Government expenditures have increased immensely over that period of time, you are looking at a very severe instance of current account deficit financing and current account deficit operations of Government, and also, as I noted, election time economics, as these statistics will point out. And any hon. Member who wants to have a look at the statistics, I will make a copy available to them if they want. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am delighted to take part in this debate after seeing the Member for LaPoile, who must be trying to get the Minister of Finance's job. Because he spent the entire ten minutes quoting some statistics that provide an immeasurable amount of help to the people of Port aux Basques, who have had their health care system shut down completely. He failed to even acknowledge that in the ten minutes he was up.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I also want to remind the Member for LaPoile that some of that debt he referred to came from the construction of the new hospital in Port aux Basques which his Government has shut down.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINSOR: And it is time for the Member to acknowledge it.


MR. WINSOR: Mr. Chairman, the pattern the Member was trying to establish loses its logic in 1985, which was an election year. And then he went on to say well, the expenditure in 1986 was to live up to promises. That being the case, Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding from the Minister of Municipal Affairs that things committed one year are not spent until the next, and that would make sense for 1985. But that does not explain any of the other years, so there is no logic in the Member's pattern as there is no logic to the Member.

The Member for Bonavista South referred to the 1987 Budget. Mr. Chairman, I will have to say that henceforth, when the Member speaks you will have to give the Member to his right some protection, because he just about got knocked out on fifteen different occasions; he spent his time ducking the barrage of blows that was coming that way. I think the Minister of Health must be educating him into the use of his hands.

Anyway, he makes great mention, or spent most of his time talking about the 1987 freeze. Now he makes no mention of the 1992 cutbacks. Because there is a substantial difference, you see, between a freeze, when things are kept at the level they were, and cutbacks and shutdowns like this administration has put in place in this Province.

MS. COWAN: (Inaudible) definition every time you get up on your feet.

MR. WINSOR: Now if the Member wants to take part in debate, then she should get over to her own seat. We will then gladly entertain any discussion from the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, just as the council in CBS, I am sure, will have a great debate with the Member the next time she meets with them.

Anyway, the Minister of Education has left his place and it is too bad. I really wish the Minister had stayed around. Because, you know, of all the Members on the other side, the one Member whom I thought was going to be straightforward and honest was the Minister of Education. He has presented himself to the people of this Province as being a champion of education.

MS. COWAN: He is!

MR. WINSOR: The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations says he is. Well, I wonder -

MS. COWAN: (Inaudible) one of the finest educators in the nation (inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: I wonder why the teachers and the students and the faculty of Memorial University do not think so, and why the people at MUN Extension, the institution he just left, said Phil Warren was relevant twenty or thirty years ago. I think that is the degree of the Minister's relevance today. I do not think he was relevant then. As a matter of fact, the first time I ever saw the Minister was in 1967, when two small school boards in our area merged and the Minister came out. It was also a speech night, I think we used to call it. And I remember my father and mother coming home and saying, who was that fellow? That was the most boring speech I have ever heard. And we have not heard much more since he has been here in the House. He has not changed very much in twenty or thirty years.

But, anyway, the Minister has been very good at trickery in this last Budget. All of them, in fact. The Minister of Social Services has even caught it now from the Minister. What they are starting to do when they are comparing the increases is use the budgeted amounts instead of the revised amounts.


MR. TOBIN: Sam, tell Wins about when his brother and myself and you (inaudible) the 1969-1970 (inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Oh, I cannot tell them about that. No, I cannot tell him about how his brother was involved in the campaign to get rid of Liberals. That is not the one you are talking about, is it? I think he just got a job with CBC now, a new job. That is the word we are hearing, that the -

MS. COWAN: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Now the Minister can keep quiet or leave the Chamber, if she does not want to hear it. The Minister made a fool of herself yesterday. Does she want to make a fool of herself again? Now, Mr. Chairman, what the Minister of Education did some time ago was send out a press release saying that Memorial University was going to get a $5.5 million increase.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who said that?

MR. WINSOR: The Minister of Education. In fact, I will supply my colleague with a copy of the Minister's press statement if he needs it, which says we were going to get a $5.5 million increase at Memorial University. He had the nerve, the audacity to get up in the house and say yes, but then on Monday he realized the press statement he had written perhaps a month before, did not apply any more because of the freeze. So he said, okay, we were going to give $5.5 million, but we really could not. We only gave $1.1 million because of the freeze. We intended to give $5.5 million. And left an impression out in the community that they were actually giving a $5 million increase.

AN HON. MEMBER: The day after the Budget.

MR. WINSOR: The day after the Budget. And then the Budget -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) all over.

MR. WINSOR: It is not all over, no. The Minister deceived the people of this Province, another act of deceit on the part of this administration. And then the Minister of Finance read from the Budget speech, Government has budgeted an additional $3.4 million to cover additional anticipated demands by students at post-secondary institutions.

Look at the estimates and we find that is not the case. We find that is not the case, that he did not budget $3.4 million, it was just a little over a million dollars. And what the Minister was using was the budgeted figures instead of the revised figures, which are the accurate ones. Now, if we are to use that analogy, that we are going to use the budgeted figures, then we did not have a deficit in this Province last year. There was no deficit. Because we only have to use the budgeted figures, not the revised ones. Now sometimes they apply and sometimes they don not. If you want to let the labour unions think we have terrible fiscal problems, you use the revised figures. If you want to bolster your image in the polls with the people of the Province, you use the budgeted amounts. Now you cannot have your cake and eat it too. You are either going to have the revised figures or the budgeted figures. Now let's stick with them.


MS. COWAN: You should be working for Merrill Lynch, (inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: You should have been working for the teachers of this Province instead of betraying them.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINSOR: You will go down in history as the biggest traitor to the teachers of this Province. Now the Minister should keep quite, or I will tell even more of what the teachers are saying about her.

MR. SIMMS: Open mouth, insert foot.


MR. WINSOR: I voted for her? No, not ever. As a matter of fact, one of the worst times the NTA was ever managed was during her reign. Now, I want to get back to the -

MR. SIMMS: It was under his reign over there.

MR. WINSOR: Let me tell you how he spent most of his time. The year before, the defeated Liberal candidate in Terra Nova was the President of the NTA - I will not mention any names.

AN HON. MEMBER: Goulding.

MR. WINSOR: Goulding. Okay. You said it, so I will have to say it, too. And there was a real confrontation with Government, a real confrontation. Except for the hostilities that are there now, perhaps the worst time in fifteen years, since, perhaps, 1970 I think, when teachers were legislated back by Dr. Rowe. I think it might even go back that far, 1970-71. Anyway, the Member for Exploits spent two years knocking on the Minister of Education's door, seeing if he could get him to take him out to lunch because he was trying to patch up the relationship. He came to branch meetings and told how he was patching up the differences, how the Ministers were taking him out to lunch and wining and dining him, and how good it was.

MR. SIMMS: Loyola.

MR. WINSOR: I cannot say who the Minister of Education was, but I know there are prints left in the door where the Member for Exploits knocked on the door so many times trying to get into the Minister's office to see if he could patch up the relationship.

MR. HEARN: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: What did the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes just say?

MR. SIMMS: He said there were no problems when he was there.

MR. WINSOR: There were no problems when he was there, but there were problems shortly after. Because I think the last president, who is now the Member for Conception Bay South, I think she set us on a path of destruction in education, and then the present Minister of Education -

MR. HEARN: (Inaudible) her away so that they could get the contract (inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Yes. In fact I think they did send her away, and a contract was negotiated with the president out of the Province, I seem to recall.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: I do not know. Well it depends, if it was the suite he was sleeping in in Moncton. Is that the one you are talking about, the $298 a night suite? Is that the one?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: You were the one who brought it up. I did not bring it up, you did.

MR. MURPHY: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: You brought it up, not me.

MR. SIMMS: A point of order, Mr. Chairman. The Member for St. John's South is not even in his seat.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! Order, please!

I have not recognized the hon. Member.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. SIMMS: He is not even in his seat, Mr. Chairman. He should not be interjecting like that from somebody else's seat.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Government House Leader on a point of order.

MR. BAKER: To the point of order raised by the Opposition House Leader. The Opposition House Leader well knows that his interjection is meaningless, that there is no rule anywhere, in any parliament that I know of, or any decision by Speakers or anything else, that indicates that a person cannot sit in some other persons chair. The only rule is that a person cannot be recognized to formally speak unless that person is in his or her own place. So the statement made by the Opposition House Leader is not only meaningless, it probably tends to prolong a false impression that seems to be around here, and that false impression is that interjections are legal, are proper in the House. As a matter of fact, Mr. Chairman, the rules are silent and do not accept the fact that interjections are proper, and interjections can be made from anywhere. It does not matter what seat they are sitting in. I think the Opposition House Leader is thoroughly confused in his point. So, Mr. Chairman, I would like a ruling on that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The rules are very clear in that it is unparliamentary for any Member, whether he is in his own seat or anybody else's seat, to interject and interrupt another Member from speaking.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Fogo.

AN HON. MEMBER: His time is up.

MR. WINSOR: Is it?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Time up, yes.

The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

No, no there is going to be no trickery this morning and not even any intention of doing it because I have to bring a little bit of information to the House of Assembly that -


MR. EFFORD: I just had the opportunity, Mr. Chairman, of speaking to approximately forty-five students from my District, from Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts. If you listen to the Opposition Members, and if you listen to the criticism that is thrown back and forth across the House of Assembly, you would swear that everybody in the Province is totally against the steps that this Government has taken.

On Monday morning I met with a large group of fishermen in my District, because the Marine Service Centre is closing out in Port de Grave, so they were concerned.

But I am going to tell you now how two groups of people, one students and one a large group of fishermen from my District, feel. I just met them up in the Transportation Board Room and they put a lot a questions to me about the cutbacks in education, the cutbacks in health, and all the other cutbacks of the Government, and why we are doing it. And I told them the truth. I said, okay, let me ask you this question, I am your Member, your parents voted me in for the District of Port de Grave -

MR. GILBERT: They did a great job.

MR. EFFORD: -when they voted me in they wanted me to make some sensible, rational logical decisions on your behalf and see that we would govern the needs of the Province and protect the future of the Province. Do you want me, as your Member, to continue spending with no thought of the debt of this Province, with no thought of the future of this Province or do you want us to make the decisions we are making now? Every individual student just told me to continue on the path you are going now. We want a future in this Province, and that is exactly what they just said.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: I put the same question to the people in Port de Grave on Monday morning. I am at your disposal. You tell me that you want me to continue on as the former Administration continued on for seventeen years with no thought of the future of this Province, to spend unwisely, to build greenhouses, to throw money out the door, if you want me to do that I will go back and tell the Premier that is the course I am taking in the future. Dismiss me from Cabinet because I am a total failure; because I am at your disposal. And they said, no, no we want a future in this Province. We want some sensible, logical rational decisions made about the future of this Province. We understand for seventeen years we have been driving Cadillacs when we could only afford a Volkswagen, and that is exactly what has been happening in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: We have been driving a Cadillac and only being able to afford a Volkswagen. And I have a great confidence in the intelligence and the ability of these people to make decisions for themselves. And believe me they told me two years down the road they will have the opportunity to let us know if they agree with the decisions of this Government. They will have the opportunity to vote me in or vote me out if they disagree with what we are doing. But the people today in this Province are very intelligent people. They know they have a future in this Province as long as we can survive and give a financial prospect for the future of this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is right.

MR. EFFORD: I told them let us borrow another $400 million. I said, I am satisfied. You tell me as John Efford the Cabinet Minister, you ought to go back to your Premier representing us and tell him that we want to borrow another $400 million on top of the $5.6 billion that we owe now. They could not believe that we owed $5.6 billion. And when I told them the debt per capita in this Province, I mean the students, they just could not comprehend what I was telling them, $11,000 for every man, woman and children in this Province, and you want me to go out and borrow another $400 million on top of that?

And that is not counting student loans. No sensible person in this country could agree with that sort of mentality. I also told them there was no point blaming it on the former administration. I said that politics comes out in the House of Assembly. That is fine in debate, but when you are out there talking to forty-five students at levels l, 11, and 111, who hope to go on to vocational or academic training after next year you cannot talk about the Tories, the NDP, or the Liberals, as they did in the past. You have to talk about the future and when you rationalize the decision you are making towards their future they soon understand what is right and what is wrong. Sure, they are concerned about where they are going to get a job in the Province, sure they are concerned if there are going to be any nurses needed, or if there are going to be any teachers needed, but when I explain to them that the per capita per student is dropping, the enrolment is dropping in this Province, and you do not need as many teachers today, and you will not need as many teachers in the future, when you choose your vocation choose it wisely. Choose it where there is going to be some productivity. The other thing they clearly understand is that they cannot keep asking Government to give them everything. People have to start being productive, people have to start having some entrepreneurship, some development and some independence. Government is not a body to hand out guaranteed jobs for everybody in this Province. That would be the same system as we had last year when the refugees came in, that we take the money from social assistance and pay all the accommodations. The hon. the Member for St. John's East, now the Mayor of St. John's, stood in her seat in the House of Assembly, and said: that is a wise thing to do. We should encourage more refugees to come in. Social assistance should provide the accommodations. That is good for the economy. Can you imagine that being good for the economy? It is good for the economy if some outside resource is paying the money, but not when you have to take it out of taxpayer's money and roll it into that. If that were the case let us go all over the world and bring in two or three million refugees, if that is going to straighten out the economy in this Province. It is absolute nonsense but that is the sort of mentality that the former Government had. You have to have private entrepreneurship. People have to start changing their attitude and get more for themselves and less from Government. Government is here to support industry, in policy and whatever else. Government is here to provide essential services in health and education. It is not here to provide a cadillac system when it can only afford a volkswagen, and not torment people. But be leaders, and that is changing in the Province, and the future of the Province of Newfoundland and labrador is changing. It is changing for the better. I believe in the future of this Province, and I believe that it is going to be a good future, but I cannot believe that anybody in this House of Assembly, outside of playing politics, would suggest that we keep borrowing in this Province, another $400 million this year, another $400 million next year, and next year. There has to be an end to it. If not then tell me why we are making the decisions we are making. If I am a family man and I owe $100,000 on my house, and I cannot afford to meet the mortgage payments what happens? They take my house from me. Is that to say Government is any different? I do not know of any magical way to put my hand down in a pot, nor do I have a money tree in my back yard where I go out every morning and pick bills off it. If the former administration had it, please, show me where it is. The only thing I ever knew they picked over there were cucumbers. I never saw any $100 bills coming off the trees when I visited the place. Hon. Members opposite know full well that there was no other choice but for Government to make the decisions they made today. I know they are going to play their politics. They have to, and I would do the same thing if I were over there, that is the role of the Opposition, but, please, when you ask some questions ask some sensible, rational questions and search the answers, know the answers before you ask questions. Do not get yourselves into such embarrassing situations as you have during the past two or three weeks. The odd Member knows the answers but very, very few. If you need some training give me a call and I will take a couple of hours from my lunch break and come over and have a little chat with you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I cannot resist. When the hon. the Minister of Social Services gets up and goes on in this fashion I feel compelled to get up behind him and make a few remarks. The old country song is, 'What a difference a day makes,' but what a difference two years has made to the Minister of Social Services. What a difference two years has made. It is not the same person that was over here in Opposition. It is a different person. Now, what caused the change, I am not sure. I am really not sure. I think what it is, yes, I think you have probably - he has been leaned on. And for him to get up here this morning and try to convince people here that his constituents really want, really desire the decisions that he as a Minister of the Cabinet has forced on the people of this Province, shutting down hospitals, closing up hospital beds, closing down schools.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Laying off 3,000 people.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: I do not expect you to know, you are only the Minister of Education, I would not expect that. That is too much to expect from you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: That is too much to expect from you. But to hear him there, to hear him talk about it. Knowing full well that he had no say whatsoever in the Budget decisions, the Minister of Social Services had no say in the Budget decisions, none. There is only one person in the Province who had any say into the Budget decisions, one person, the Premier.

MR. HEARN: Two. Doug House.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, that is true. Two people. The only person in Government, elected, who had a say in the Budget was the Premier. The other person was an unelected official. Unelected.

AN HON MEMBER: Doug, is it? Doug House, is it?

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, I am sure everyone knows who I am talking about. The $44 million man this year. We used to call him the $3 million man last year, $44 million man this year.

MR. SIMMS: And that is more deception!

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, I do not know about deception. But when they talk about alternatives. The $44 million that they could have kept the 650 Departmental employees on this year. We pointed out to them the other day that there is only a difference of $1.3 million in the salary allocation this year for those 650 Departmental employees. They could have kept them for $1.3 million. They still had $42 million left for Doug. They could have built the fogo for Ferry Island, for Fogo Island.

The fogo for Ferry Island.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: That will go down in the annals of history.

MR. MATTHEWS: The ferry - what was it? The fogo for Ferry Island. What?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Chairman, they could have - even the gentleman in Hansard finds it funny. But they could have built the ferry for $24 million. It would have left them with $18 million for Doug. They would have kept 300 or 400 hundred jobs going in Marystown Shipyard. They were not -

MS. COWAN: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Because it makes too much sense to you, that is why you do not believe it, that is why you can't believe it. You still have $18 million left for Doug.

Hundreds of jobs kept in Marystown, 650 jobs kept in Departments in this Government, and they would have been providing a ferry to provide a much needed service to the people of Fogo. They were not going to go out and sink the ship after it was built. They were building something by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Still $18 million left for Doug. Four hundred jobs in Marystown, 650 jobs in Departments of Government.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Marystown, a Liberal district? I do not know what that has to do with it. It did not have anything to do with it when I was a Minister.

MR. SIMMS: Right on, buddy, right on, absolutely.

MR. MATTHEWS: I did not care what the politics of Marystown was. If they deserved work they got work.

MR. SIMMS: That is the difference.

AN HON. MEMBER: A people first government.

MR. SIMMS: And compassion for people, that is the difference.

MR. MATTHEWS: Now he still has $18 million left for Doug. Now, if they had taken that $18 million and not given it to Doug they could have kept the 900 health care jobs and they would have still had a few million dollars left for Doug. Because I am going to tell you something, the jobs that Doug is going to create in this Province are not going to take too many million dollars. The millions of dollars that Doug is going to spend is building up his own little bureaucracy.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Let me tell the Minister of Social Services that turrs do not agree with me.

MR. SIMMS: That is how important this issue is to him, now.

MR. MATTHEWS: And turrs did not agree with the Minister of Social Services when he was in Opposition either. Now, he was cantankerous enough before he had the turr supper, but when he got the turrs down in him he really got violent. And he was aided and abetted by old Dagger Decker -

MR. SIMMS: Dr. Decker.

MR. MATTHEWS: - when they knew that their leader was in Boston.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)

AN HON. MEMBER: They lost the fish show (inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: The Boston Massacre.

MR. MATTHEWS: The Boston massacre. There was a Boston massacre. That was the first time ever there was a Boston massacre initiated in Newfoundland.

AN HON. MEMBER: Your leader was in the making (inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Who was my leader?

I have had two leaders, Mr. Chairman, in my lifetime, three leaders really.

AN HON. MEMBER: Leader for a day.

MR. MATTHEWS: Leader for a day. The hon. gentleman try to slough things off when you get to the core; they can't deal with Dr. Doug, they can't deal with the Dr. Doug situation, they can't deal with it, they could have had 2,000 jobs kept in this Province and still had some money left for Doug. The Member for Placentia and the Member for LaPoile, the Member for Trinity - Bay de Verde and others would not be going through the pain they are going through today, if the Cabinet had the wisdom and the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the Premier and say: you are not giving it to Doug House, you are going to keep people working where they are now because Doug House is not going to create the jobs, that is what should have happened.

AN HON. MEMBER: He should have had the courtesy to talk to the backbenchers.

MR. MATTHEWS: That is what should have happened.

MR. HEARN: They are saying it, they are saying it behind closed doors.

MR. MATTHEWS: They are saying it behind closed doors, but they are not saying it behind the right closed door, that being the Cabinet room; that is the problem they have over there. It is a one man show, they had no input into the Budget decisions -

MR. SIMMS: And did not know anything about Budget decisions.

MR. MATTHEWS: Now, the old four-eyed beetle down there should be quiet, the old four-eyed beetle. Now they talk about jobs and the Minister of Social Services comes in talking about what his constituents want and Government has to cut back and Government has to do this. Well I want to say to the Minister of Social Services that I got on the elevator to come up to the fifth floor this morning, and I met a person on the elevator whom I know and got to know very well over the last few years. I did not know that the person was working in this building. And I will tell you something, we have been accused of being very good at giving our own, jobs. We were accused of being very good at it - of giving our own political stripes jobs, but I am going to tell you something, you fellows take the cake, you fellows take the cake and I say to the Member for St. John's South, he should be very quiet-


MR. MATTHEWS: You should be very quiet.


MR. MATTHEWS: Because you should be very quiet and I don't want to say any more -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: - but I do not think I need say any more now that he has put his foot in his mouth. We saw the Premier yesterday, Mr. Chairman -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. MATTHEWS: Too bad. By leave?


MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Minister of Education.

DR. WARREN: I want to be quite serious, I know it is Friday and I want to change the nature of the discussion today. I want to defend myself against this vicious personal attack of the Opposition first of all.

Mr. Chairman, I want to defend myself against this vicious personal attack on me, as a person. Now, I have heard it said that I look much younger than I am and I appreciate those people and there are people who said that some of my ideas are outdated and so on, but, Mr. Chairman, I have never heard such a vicious personal attack as I have heard from the Opposition Members this morning.

Two years ago -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

DR. WARREN: I am a very modest person but I want to tell the truth. Mr. Chairman, I am very modest and I hate to tell this. Two years ago, three years ago, the Government in power went to look for an expert in school finance. They travelled all this country and wherever they went in this country they said: we need someone to study school finance in Newfoundland, they ranged the whole country, they may even have gone to the United States because they wanted to give someone 'up along' a job. Wherever they went they got one recommendation -

AN HON. MEMBER: Who, who was that?

DR. WARREN: Have a guess?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

DR. WARREN: Which recommendation did they get?

AN HON. MEMBER: Dr. Warren.

DR. WARREN: You have, they were told - as modest as I am, I hate to admit it - they were told: you have in your midst a person who can study educational finance, who knows more about educational finance, as my friend from Conception Bay South said, than any person in this country. Go ask him.

Now I was hesitant at that point in time. I must say my good friend from St. Mary's - The Capes, as anxious as I am to help him - and I did help him, I did act as a consultant to the former administration on a whole host of issues over the years - Ministers of Education. I have the highest respect for the Member for Humber East. You know how she has been this morning, how gracious she is in accepting the truth in what we have done in education. I tried to help out my hon. friend from St. Mary's - The Capes, and after some discussions through his officials I said: yes, I will undertake to do a study for the former government. Because I feel I have a contribution.

Now I did have some assistance. A former Deputy Minister, who is an outstanding Newfoundlander, he and I undertook the study, and we just about got it done. But when an emergency occurs and when necessity calls, I felt I had to do my even greater duty. To run and get elected to this House of Assembly.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

DR. WARREN: So, maybe I became outdated in the last two years, but I want to pay tribute, I want to go on the record, I want the press and the people of the Province to know that two or three years ago the former administration looked throughout the country and they found the person to do a study, an outstanding piece of work.

I can assure the people of this Province that in a year or so we are going to be looking at that report and we are going to be examining it and implementing those recommendations which are appropriate, I can assure you that.

Anyhow, as modest as I am, I felt I had to say that, I had to put it on the record. And I want to thank the former administration for paying me that tribute and doing me that service and giving me that opportunity to serve this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: What did they pay you?

DR. WARREN: I got paid, yes, I got paid well for it. I thank them for giving me the opportunity to serve the Province.

Anyhow, Mr. Chairman, as modest as I am, I had to put that on the record. Now, I only have another five minutes to list five or six good things that this Government is doing, and five or six good things that perhaps the former administration, with my assistance, helped to do over the years. You know, I mean, I want to list five or six good things in education that have happened.

Number one, participation rates have gone up tremendously in education in this Province. We now have many more people staying in high school thanks to what the former administration did, and perhaps I contributed a little bit along the way over the years, tremendous improvement.

AN HON. MEMBER: Your advice.

DR. WARREN: It was my advice, me as a consultant.

Secondly, we are now above the Canadian average. Do you know we have more people in high school of age sixteen, seventeen and eighteen, than many other provinces in Canada? Perhaps higher than Ontario. Number two. Pupil-teacher ratios. Got about the lowest in Canada. Pupil-teacher ratio, 15.3 to 1 in 1990.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

DR. WARREN: Oh, the former administration helped to do it. The lowest student-teacher ratio in Canada, and this year, thanks to my colleagues and thanks to the Premier, and thanks to this Government, we are not losing teachers over and above the numbers we lose on declining enrollments.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

DR. WARREN: We are not doing that, we are going to protect. We are losing a few administrators and a few teachers.

AN HON. MEMBER: What a Minister.

DR. WARREN: Thirdly, I am pleased to say that we are doing something about the critical problem of math and science. I have a list of all the studies they had done when they were in power. We have taken one of the studies they did in math and science and we are going to implement some recommendations in math and science, and we have done some things already in that area, and we are going to do more.

This is good news. We are looking at educational output and achievement in the schools, and we are working with schools to provide greater excellence in math, english, reading and all of these things. We are working with schools to focus on output and to improve what is happening. We have tremendous teachers out there. We have the most qualified, or among the most qualified. My friend the President of Treasury Board says we have the most qualified teachers in the country - the most qualified in the country. Ninety-eight per cent with at least a degree or more, tremendously qualified.

A lot of good things are happening. We are doing work in economic education, co-operative education, and entrepreneurship.


DR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I wish the hon. Members opposite would listen. We have just announced that we are going to develop a ten year capital construction plan. It has been asked for for years. We are going to put together that kind of plan very shortly and build schools that meet the needs of the 1990s and the 21st century. Mr. Chairman, we have put in place a Royal Commission. I know scholarships, student aid, and all the other things are important, but the Royal Commission on Education is a major initiative. This is a Royal Commission we have put in place on Education and they are going to come forth with proposals to rationalize the elementary and secondary system. That initiative, the debate that is ongoing, the fact that two school boards in the last week decided to share their services, I paid tribute to them this morning and I again pay tribute to them, the Roman Catholic school in Corner Brook. Leo Whelan send me a memo last week and Graham Blunden, where is my friend for Humber Valley, they have gotten together and they are beginning to do what we have asked them to do, to co-operate and share. The Royal Commission is going to make a tremendous contribution to sharing in this Province, to promote sharing so that we will have better quality. We are not going to save a lot of money but we will have better quality. Mr. Chairman, in the past two years we have done a tremendous number of things in education. We have not done all we wanted to do.

I have a minute left.

We haven't done all we want to do. We need more money. The school system is underfunded. The health care system is underfunded, but we are dealing with that problem and with that reality. We are planning for the future. We are asking people for co-operation. Mr. Chairman, we have done a tremendous amount and they have not even seen the start of it yet. You wait over the next eight to ten years and see what we are going to do in this Province for education and for health, for rural Newfoundland and for all of Newfoundland. I can assure you we have the enthusiasm, we have the ideas, but we need a bit more money. Maybe the Federal Government will give us a bit more money. We need a bit more money but we are going to deal with the problems now. We are planning for the future and I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, that we are enthusiastic about the future of this Province. We believe in our people. We believe in education. We believe in this Province and this Government is going to prepare this Province for the 21st century.

Thank you, very much, Mr. Chairman.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Order, please!

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I listened with care to the hon. Minister of Education. I will acknowledge that the Minister of Education had some good ideas in the past but I do not think that the Minister's speech in the House this morning deserved the bow that he just gave to the backbenchers behind him. I will also acknowledge, Mr. Chairman, that the hon. Minister of Education still has a few good ideas. I will also acknowledge that we are making some progress in some areas of education because I think it is reasonable to be fair about what the Government is doing and what the Government is not doing. I have to take very strong exception to what the Minister of Education has said in this House today about the role of community colleges and replacing the work that is done by MUN Extension. Perhaps the Minister of Education was exaggerating, perhaps he does not know, but I will tell him. Perhaps he does not know about the field services that Extension carry out throughout this Province, that they have field co-ordinators in Mary's Harbour, in Deer Lake, in Gander, Clarenville and Placentia, providing a link between the university and the resouces of the university and the community organizations of rural Newfoundland and the individuals of rural Newfoundland who need the assistance of educated, dedicated resources, such as the Government gets perhaps when they hire the Minister of Education in his former role as a consultant.

Mun Extention gave the same resources that the Government had to pay the Minister of Education for when he was a consultant at the University. Mun Extension provides those resources, the academics, the educated people, to the people of rural Newfoundland through Mun Extension. That is not going to be replaced, Mr. Chairman, by the community colleges that they are changing, they are closing down, shifting about. That is not going to be provided by them.

Some examples of the field work undertaken by Mun Extension, Mr. Chairman, are contained in recent documents issued by Mun Extension. They talked about the organizational support and field work with fisheries organizations, such as the Coalition for Fishery Survival; the Inshore Fishermen's Improvement Committee, the Fixed Gear Fishermen's Association, the Fogo Island Co-operative, the Petty Harbour Fishermens' Producers Co-operative Society. These organizations, Mr. Chairman, are providing services and providing support for the dying industry of Newfoundland, the fishery, trying to help fishermen come to grips with what is going on, trying to get this Government and the other Government in Ottawa, this Crowd's Govrenment in Ottawa, trying to get them to do something about the fishery -


MR. HARRIS: - in this Province.


MR. HARRIS: Mr. Chairman, this is not going to be provided by the community colleges. Support for these organizations is not going to be provided by the community colleges.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HARRIS: The Minister of Education, Mr. Chairman, is totally, totally wrong, if not misleading, when he talks about the fact that Mun Extension work will be done by the community colleges.

Now, Mr. Chairman, education in this Province is one of the few things that many people depend upon for their future. I have heard it said, Mr. Chairman, that things are so bad around here that at least if they can get an education our children can go somewhere else and get work. And when this Government is threatening that quality of education, Mr. Chairman, when they are threatening that education system, then they are threatening the future of our Province and our children. And what we have is a success story in Extension, and this Government is prepared to see our success stories die and concentrate on our failures, on our inability to finance government services. We will concentrate on that. We will throw away the good things.

The Premier was on radio the other day and a woman phoned in and was complaining about the gutting of MUN Extension. And what she said, she said it wrongly. She was quite excited. She said, Moses Morgan would turn over in his grave. Well, when the Premier pointed out that Mose Morgan was in fact still very much alive, catching this woman by surprise perhaps. What she should have said was he was going to send Mose Morgan to his grave. His mentor, who he did not listen to on the Meech Lake vote, and I am sure he did not listen to on MUN Extension, the sentiment of that caller was very true.

She should have said Don Snowden would turn over in his grave, because Don Snowden, as hon. Members over there on the backbenches know, and some of them in the front benches know, too, but they do not want to admit it, helped to create an Extension Service and a community development programme recognized throughout the world. And here is this Government letting it go by the wayside, letting it disappear.

And I have listened this morning to the speeches back and forth and I must say I have to agree with one of the - there was a lot of talk about relevance and irrelevance this morning, and I have to say that the epitome of comments came from the Opposition House Leader when he said, there was more irrelevance over on that side of the House than there was on this side of the House, if only by virtue of sheer numbers.

Well, I have to say that that was one of the most brilliant contributions to the debate in this House. And I actually have to also agree with some of the things that the hon. Member for Bonavista South said, when he criticized the former government. And he was smart enough to quote the former leader of the New Democratic Party in this House, when he referred to the activities of one of the former premiers as having all the trappings of Louis XVI. Well, Mr. Chairman, I think we now have a government that has not Louis XVI, but which has all the trappings of Oliver Cromwell and the roundheads.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HARRIS: We have not seen such heights of sanctimoniousness since Oliver Cromwell in England, in the 16th century.

AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!

MR. HARRIS: We have one after the other getting up and trying -

MR. HODDER: Most of those guys do not know who Oliver Cromwell was.

MR. HARRIS: - trying to talk down to the people of Newfoundland, trying to tell them that we have to run the Government as if it were a cheque book or a piggy bank; not being responsible, making the poor people of this Province pay. We had the Member for St. John's South get up in a speech yesterday and talk about the fact that the days of wine and roses are over. That is what he said.

I want to speak here, Mr. Chairman, not on behalf of the people who drink wine and who grow roses or wear them in their lapels like the former Prime Minister of that party, I want to speak here for the people who are worried about meat and potatoes, not wine and roses.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HARRIS: The thousands of people who are on able-bodied relief in this Province, the peole who cannot get enough fish to make a living, the people who cannot fish long enough even to get unemployment insurance, the people on social assistance who are not getting any increases this year. Thanks to the Minister of Social Services and this Government, no increase this year when we know there is going to be a 6 per cent increase in the cost of living.


MR. HARRIS: That is in the Budget documents. Perhaps he has not read them. A 6 per cent increase in the cost of living, and no increase in social assistance. Those are the people I want to speak for.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. HARRIS: There are no days of wine and roses, Mr. Chairman. Meat and potatoes are what is important here. And this Government has not recognized the fact that they have an obligation to those people. Not just to the bankers in New York, not just to the financiers or the bond rating companies who are going to say triple A or triple B. That is not what makes the difference, Mr. Chairman. What makes the difference is the ability of the people of Newfoundland to live and work and support themselves. This Government, Mr. Chairman of Committees, is turning its back on those people and failing to represent the Province.


AN HON. MEMBER: There is no leave.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member's time is up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to be very specific in the eight minutes I have here to talk about MUN Extension, and I want to let the people of this Province know why I believe, and I intend to in my eight minutes outline in specific detail, why MUN Extension is no longer relevant to the Coast of Labrador. I want to tell you in specific detail exactly what has happened over the last ten or fifteen years and, Mr. Chairman, let there be no confusion about what has happened in Labrador and let not the Labrador side of things be a crutch for somebody's position.

When MUN Extension was put in place in Labrador twenty years ago, at the time it was put in place, Mr. Chairman, it was critical for the human resource leadership development at the local level, working with the community councils to see that they were in place, and to see that there was any kind of co-ordination of Government programs and so forth.

Mr. Chairman, since that has happened, we now have a number of things: we now have four development associations in place, Mr. Chairman, along the Labrador Coast, from L'Anse-au-Clair to Cartwright. Each of these co-ordinators is equipped with $36,000 of Administrative funding, one in Forteau, one in Mary's Harbour, one in Charlottetown and one in Cartwright. Outside of that, Mr. Chairman, we have nineteen community councils which have formed since then, and each one of them has $20,000 in Administrative funding for a Town Clerk who has gone through a thorough process of leadership development and training at the local level in each of these communities.

Also, Mr. Chairman, the latest initiative of this Government, Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador has seen the establishment of full time offices in L'Anse-au-Clair and Cartwright; again, Mr. Chairman, these offices are there to provide the leadership, the co-ordination and the implementation of Government Programs and Educational Programs that happen to come through that particular area of the Province. And as the Minister of Education pointed out earlier, the community colleges throughout the Province have been able to take on a greater part of this role, and Labrador is no exception.

In Labrador, the college there has two satellite offices, one in Cartwright and one in West St. Modeste, which has the two full-time teachers there, and they are doing the adult education role very well, Mr. Chairman. They are doing that very well and, at the same time, they also have a liaison officer now set up with the Marine Institute, which I happen to know something about, Mr. Chairman, because that was a part of my previous role, before I came in here. So, you know, the fisheries related training that was never done on the Coast of Labrador is being done very well in the last three or four years, and I am sure it will continue to be done.

So let there be no misunderstanding, Mr. Chairman, that this Government nor any Government can afford to have things in place simply for the sake of having a label there. You cannot go about your life and ignore the changing world around you. The same thing can be said about the Saltfish Corporation. It is has outlived its usefulness on the Island, but it is still very relevant to Labrador. The MUN extension, thank you very much, they were very valuable and very dedicated people, but at this point in time we have infrastructure in place, human resources in place, and Government programs in place to fill the void and actually build on the work they have been doing on the Coast of Labrador.

Mr. Chairman, I noticed yesterday that the Member for St. John's East indicated that I was approving of what he was doing in trying to get it put back in place. You know, Mr. Chairman, I would be the first one in the world to go out and try to maintain a job and to put a new job in place. But at all times we have to work in reality and we have to be practical, and we cannot just go out and do something for the sake of doing it. When it comes to Extension Services in Labrador, that is what has happened in Labrador and that is the position we find ourselves in today. I think we will go on from here and be able to develop the fishery and other resources with the full co-operation of this Government, and with the resources we have now in place through this Government.

Mr. Chairman, I still have two more minutes to let the people know where I am on this particular issue, and to assure the House that we on the Coast of Labrador worked through the office of the Extension when it was there in Forteau, in the early 1970s, and provided the impetus for the establishment of the Tourism Association and for the development of the community leadership in the community council formations along the Coast, and in Mary's Harbour, certainly, to co-ordinate and help out with the Labrador Resource Council in 1978. That was all assisted and we are certainly very grateful for these types of things and initiatives that the community level got from MUN Extension. But at this point in time, Mr. Chairman, I think that Labrador again has been able to demonstrate that we have risen above the attitude and the resources that have been put to that part of this Province. We have risen to take on a greater role for ourselves and we are proud of being able to show the Province that we do not any longer need that kind of attention. We are very good, thank you, in that area, and we will continue to prosper in developing our programs.

At this point, Mr. Chairman, I would like to move that the Committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again.

On motion, that the Committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again, Mr. Speaker returned to the Chair.

MR. SPEAKER: The Member for Trinity - Bay de Verde.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Speaker, the Committee of the Whole has considered the matters to it referred and has directed me to report some progress and ask leave to sit again.

On motion, report received and adopted, Committee ordered to sit again, on tomorrow.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the next sitting day we will be back to Interim Supply, I would like to advise hon. Members.

I move that the House at its rising do adjourn until tomorrow, Monday, at 2:00 p.m. and that this House do now adjourn.

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