April 5, 1991                 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS                Vol. XLI  No. 23

The House met at 9:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. A question for the President of Treasury Board. Could the President of Treasury Board explain to the House what conditions must exist for a public sector employee to be eligible for a redundancy pension under existing pension policy? Specifically, are all employees with the necessary service eligible for redundancy pensions even if they are able to bump less senior employees in their bargaining units?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the collective agreements have provisions to handle redundancies, layoffs and so on, and these provisions will be followed. In terms of redundancy pensions the normal conditions apply, that if a person is past the vested period that person is eligible for a redundancy pension.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Does the Minister know that there are many senior employees in redundant positions who are eager to take redundancy pensions but are unable to do so because they can bump less senior employees? Under present conditions I guess the question is, why not make redundancy or similar early retirement pensions available to all public sector employees who wish to take them? - of course, those who have met the necessary service requirements.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have to do what we are doing in a way that has, first of all, the least possible effect on individuals involved, but also we have to try and protect the integrity of the pension plan and protect the taxpayers of the Province. We cannot offer redundancy pensions to all employees in the public service who wish to leave and collect a redundancy pension. We are in the process of straightening up the pension situation, not making it worse. We are in the business of making sure the pension plans are properly funded for the future, we are not in the business of destroying the pension plans. The answer is as simple as that.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I can appreciate that no one would want to destroy the pension plan, but in light of what has happened with the layoffs and so on there is a considerable amount of anxiety.

I would like to ask the Minister is he not concerned that bumping on the scale that is occurring or will now occur will have a serious effect on work performance? In particular, is he aware that nurses, many of them with twenty to twenty-five years experience in one specialty area, are being forced to bump experienced nurses in another specialty area in which they lack qualifications and experience? And this is happening as a result of, again, Budget restraint. A lot of these nurses would prefer to retire, and my question to the Minister is would he consider allow them to retire? And is he not concerned about the quality of patient care in these situations? We will have nurses now bumping into other specialty areas in which they have not trained, are really not qualified, and have no experience.

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, there are about eight or ten questions there where if we had a Question Period of two hours, I suppose, we would have adequate time to answer. I will try to be very brief.

We understand that in the process we are going through there are going to be problems. We are not naive enough to assume there are not going to be problems. We are doing what we have to do. We recognize there are problems, and we recognize there may be hardships in the process. All I can say to the hon. Member is, if bumping is going on in the system so that people who are not qualified and who are inexperienced are getting the jobs where they need certain qualifications and experience then the bumping process is not being applied properly and should be changed. It is as simple as that. The bumping process really does not allow for people who are unqualified to get into jobs for which they require specific qualifications. If that is happening then there is something wrong in the system and I will look into it. I will certainly check into it and find out if these things are happening. I have to say to the hon. Member that we recognize that there may be problems in the system. We recognize that there may be problems developing and we knew from the beginning there would be. This is not a matter over which we had a great deal of choice, I can assure the hon. Member, we are doing what had to be done.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have some questions for the Minister of Education. On March 12th the Minister said, I believe it is almost a direct quote, at least 330 jobs would be lost in the education system as a result of the Budget. He mentioned 100 at MUN, 100 in the colleges and institutes, and 133 teachers' administrators, I believe it was, in the elementary secondary system. Now, that the Minister has heard a sample of layoff announcements from a number, at least a fraction, of the thirty-five educational boards and agencies throughout the Province, I wonder if he would now like to take the opportunity to perhaps revise the estimate that he made on March 12th?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, to clarify the hon. Member's comments I did say, I think, about 350 was our best estimate at that time; 133 from kindergarten to X11, approximately 100 from Memorial, 100 from the other post-secondary institutions, and others from the Department and the boards. I said an estimate of 350. Mr. Speaker, with respect to teachers we are right on because we knew the figure in advance, 133, sixty-six of whom would be units from school board offices and the others would be from the classroom. We did that to lessen the impact on students in the classroom.

I have said in response to a question from the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes that our estimate in the post-secondary system was an underestimate. For a variety of reasons, since we have started to get the final details yes, the estimate is higher than the 100 we indicated.

AN HON. MEMBER: How much is it short?

DR. WARREN: We are not sure. Mr. Speaker, if the hon. Members want the information as far as I can recall, at Memorial I think the figure is closer to 120. But since I got additional information from Memorial a number of the positions were not filled, so the actual layoffs would perhaps be 100 or even fewer than that. So I think we need to look at the data very carefully.

We provide global budgeting to the post-secondary institutions as I indicated in the House before, and they make the decisions. I think at Memorial we are right on; I think in the colleges we may have underestimated the impact and I think the latest figure I have for the colleges would be perhaps 100 from the colleges. I do not know from the two institutes, we do not have the final figures from Cabot yet.

There were figures released yesterday from Cabot, Mr. Speaker, which were not, I do not think, officially released. From Marine we have the figure; I think about twenty-six from Marine. Some of these positions were vacant as well, and people are being taken care of in other ways. So until we get the final figures from all the Boards of Governors and from the Presidents, I hesitate to give more than an estimate, as I did, other than to say I want to tell the House and the people that we may have underestimated the numbers which are coming from the colleges and the institutes.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish the Minister would stop playing games with the people of the Province and give direct answers to the questions being asked. He is playing little tricks this morning by talking about `they are not all layoffs.' Well I never did say he was quoted as saying there would be 333 layoffs; he said there would be 333 job losses, that is the point. So the reality is that he estimated 200 job losses in the post-secondary system. That is what he said, correct? Now is he not aware then that staff reductions already announced by seven of the nine post-secondary institutions in the Province already total 276, and can he tell us how many other job losses are going to come from the two remaining institutes?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I want to correct the misinformation. I have already indicated in the House that at the post-secondary level we underestimated the number. You should have been in the House when the hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes - or you should have listened when he asked the question, What about the figures in the post-secondary system? - and I said, Because we could not project the figures, we had to leave it to the boards to make decisions and to the presidents. Our estimate was an underestimate, and perhaps there will be more than 200 in the post-secondary system. I can tell the hon. Member that I have some figures, position losses: I think Western was about 26; Central 36 - 8 management, 4 support and 24 at the instructor level; Labrador, my best information is about 7; Eastern 19. If you add these figures for the four colleges and speculate about Avalon we would probably, yes, have a larger number in the colleges and the institutes. I do not know the precise figures, but I will give the House the figures as soon as I have the final details. I mean, these figures are coming out in the press releases. I have already said Memorial had 121 I think - 122, forgive me! But, Mr. Speaker, I have been told by Memorial that a number of the positions which were eliminated were vacant positions. I will provide the House with all the information, Mr. Speaker, as I normally do, when I have it.

MR. SIMMS: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: I thank the Minister for that, Mr. Speaker. That is all we are asking, give us the numbers, straight numbers. Everybody else in the Province knows what the numbers are, because they hear the press releases every day. It is amazing the Minister does not have them at his fingertips.

Let me move to another area. The St. John's Roman Catholic School Board recently laid off 22 janitorial and maintenance workers. I ask the Minister, did he include these in his estimate of job losses in the education system and, if so, under which group did he include them, MUN, the colleges and institutes, or the teachers and administrators category? Also, because surely he must know by now, it has been a month since the Budget was announced, could he tell the House how many more support staff workers such as that group, maintenance workers, will be laid off by the remaining 27 school boards throughout the Province?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I want to deal with the St. John's figures in some detail, as I have them. I do not have any estimates for other boards and it is my understanding that with the St. John's number, the layoff is higher than anticipated by the board and higher than it is likely to be by other boards.

Mr. Speaker, in St. John's, the board was faced with the problem the Government is faced with. Operating with basically the same money as last year, we froze the operational budgets to school boards at per pupil grants, and the board had to either borrow money, which they cannot do very easily - and they try to get a balanced budget - they had to increase fees and revenues, or they had to exercise fiscal restraint. I am delighted the boards are taking the request seriously and are doing everything possible to balance their budgets in these difficult times, and to work with the Government.

As I indicated the other day I do not know how many boards are going to lay off how many people, if any. But in St. John's I did check the facts, Mr. Speaker, and they are very interesting. This year the St. John's board will get from Government a little less in operational monies, because we pay on a per pupil basis and the enrolments are going down.

The second thing, Mr. Speaker, the St. John's Board looked at laying off people, closing schools, combining schools, all the options, and one option they seriously looked at, as a fiscal restraint measure, was to close schools. They decided against that. They laid off some people.

Mr. Speaker, the third point that I think the public should know is that the St. John's Board is going to get an estimated 12 per cent increase in school tax revenues. So this year, 1991-92, the St. John's School Board, the Roman Catholic School Board -

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

I wanted to point out to the Minister that he is getting into too much detail in terms of the question asked. I think the question asked was just what the predictions were with respect to layoffs, and the Minister is getting into a very detailed answer. I advise Ministers if they think the answer is too detailed for Question Period they can always take it under advisement for Answers to Questions for which Notice has been Given or a Ministerial Statement, but we should not try to monopolize Question Period and take long periods of time.

MR. SIMMS: On a supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader on a final supplementary.

MR. SIMMS: My final supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I must admit, that was an extremely good ruling. My final supplementary: can the Minister give a straight answer for once please, will he now admit, because surely he must know, he has access to all the information that we have, it is all public knowledge, it has been announced by boards and everything. Will he now admit that there will be at least 300, if not more, job losses in the post-secondary system, not 200 as he suggested, and over 200 most likely in the elementary and secondary system including layoffs from school boards of maintenance people and so on, and that therefore the total loss is likely to be somewhere in the area between 500 and 600 and not the 330 that the Minister said on March 12th in this legislature? Will he admit that?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I have admitted in this House that we underestimated the number of possible layoffs in the post-secondary system. I have indicated the precise numbers for the colleges that have so far announced their decisions. I cannot, before the boards of Governors and the colleges make their final decisions, indicate to this House the exact figures, but yes, the projections are that 200 was an underestimate and it may be an underestimate by - of positions - of 100. That may be so. I have indicated this in the House. It may be so. The actual number of persons laid off however, may be substantially less than the total number of positions lost.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Premier. The Provincial Human Rights Code, which as the Premier must realize is an Act of this Legislature, affirms human rights in areas within Provincial jurisdiction, and specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in employment. The Human Rights Code applies to the Government and its agencies the same as all other employers in the Province and it takes precedence over all other statutes including Bill 16, the rollback legislation.

I would like to ask the Premier if he would promise now not to introduce any legislative amendment or new legislation or any other action to weaken the protections and prohibitions contained in the Human Rights Code, which the Human Rights Commission or the courts may rule supersede the draconian and discriminatory measures in Bill 16? Will the Premier make that promise?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Now, Mr. Speaker, to answer that question is going to take a little bit of time. So I want people to know that it will take time. And I do not mind taking time. The hon. Member does not mind. Okay.

Mr. Speaker, the Government has no intention of introducing any measures to diminish in any way our Human Rights Code, no intention whatsoever. But I want to deal with the last comment in particular about the draconian measures in the wage restraint bill that discriminates against women.

The hon. Member, with great respect to her, I believe is totally wrong. She is suggesting that by reason of the Government cancelling retroactive pay for pay equity we somehow are discriminating against women. What about all the women they discriminated against by providing for retroactive pay equity only for those who were in the hospital sector and hydro? Only for those.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: Well, it appears by their standard, Mr. Speaker, that it is alright to discriminate if you are not asked not to discriminate. Well I disagree. We are going to treat everybody on a fair and balanced basis, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Justice. He will remember that in order to try to avoid nineteen layoffs which he announced last week with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, that the officers now will be required to do some shifts without partners. In addition, all vehicles will be equipped with firearms and all officers will be issued bulletproof vests. Certainly a new development for the policing of this Province, in particular with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

Mr. Speaker, in light of these changes has the Minister instructed the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers any new guidelines on how they might apprehend suspects when we have one officer in a car or one officer on a foot patrol?

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

MR. DICKS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker, just in answer to really two questions posed by the hon. Member. First, is that he suggests that having weapons in police vehicles is a new development. That is inaccurate. The previous Administration knows, and the hon. Member was a Member of that Administration, that Constabulary vehicles on each shift have had a number of vehicles that had weapons locked in the trunk. And those were available - I think there may have been three or four on a shift.

What we have done as a result of the recent arbitration - it did not have anything to do with the settlement involved - was to review police security. And on the basis of some recommendations in the arbitration, one of which was to provide the officers with bulletproof vests and also to increase the number of cars that had weapons available but locked in the trunk, that we should do so. And it is part of our ongoing security assessment both for the public and the police. It was determined that we should in fact increase the number of vehicles that had weapons locked in the trunk.

His second point I think was to do with - or perhaps I could ask the hon. Member what his other point was? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, it is a new development that all RNC vehicles be equipped with fire arms. That is a new development. It was never done when we were there so the Minister can say what he wishes. Is the Minister not concerned that the reduction to one-man patrols, either foot or vehicle patrols, may pose a significantly new risk on the public and on the officers themselves?

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

MR. DICKS: Mr. Speaker, the Member's observations are inflammatory. The police in this Province have always had access to weapons, to start with, and all that the Member is trying to make a case of is that somehow because we have increased the number of vehicles that have weapons locked in the trunk, that that somehow either constitutes a danger to the public or that the officers are somehow not trained to use them, and that is patently false. I am surprised the hon. Member would suggest it. We have, down at the constabulary, a regular officer whose sole duty is devoted to training the officers in how to use weapons. I may say with some pride, that I can say as an observation on the constabulary that, that has been a very infrequent recourse of weapons that they have. On the second part of his first question, which I now recall, was whether or not we have given any specific instructions for officers who are now going to be alone in vehicles. It has been the case that it is only the night shift who have had two persons in the vehicle. Officers are often on patrol and come across an individual by themselves when they are on the street, so every police officer, frankly, is trained in how to apprehend suspects, how to carry out an investigation, and how to deal with the public on an individual basis. We do not need two officers to handle every type of offence that may be encountered on the streets of St. John's or elsewhere.

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and it is in connection with the health and safety -

MR. R. AYLWARD: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Member had not stood up so I will go back to the hon. Member for a supplementary.

The hon. the Member for Kilbride on a final supplementary.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I was listening to the Minister's answer and I apologize for not being up fast enough. I made no suggestion that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers are incompetent, as the Minister said, as a matter of fact I hold them in very high esteem, unlike the Minister, Mr. Speaker.

Is the Minister not aware that only yesterday, or the day before, his own Minister, his own colleague in Cabinet, the Minister of Transportation said that we do not now have enough officers to enforce the snowmobile laws in this Province, yet in the new agreement that you have just forced on the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary by threatening layoffs, in the new agreement we are going to lay off seventeen people by the end of this year and forty positions in the next three years, yet your own Minister says that we do not have enough people to enforce snowmobile laws at the present time, Mr. Speaker, and other laws. Does the Minister not see some kind of a contradiction in this, in laying off people when we do not have enough people to enforce the laws we presently have?

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

MR. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I did not hear my hon. colleague's comments but I certainly concur with them and I suspect he did say it, and I suspect what he intended and what I would support is that we would never have enough police officers in this Province to accurately and adequately enforce every particular infraction that would occur, particularly in snowmobile type of infractions, because there are so many roads in this Province. As you know the laws are very detailed and if you drive a snow machine across a highway rather than walk it across that is an offence. Now, if we had 100,000 police persons out there they would not catch every possible violation of the Snowmobile Act so obviously what my colleague said makes eminent good sense. The second part of the question is whether or not the reductions in the constabulary are somehow going to undermine policing in the Province, but that is not the case. The ratio of police persons at the constabulary for the number of persons policed is approximately one to 500 to 550 and the RCMP by comparison have one to now 950, so a function of policing is providing a number of police officers to satisfy the type of crime you encounter in different parts of the Province. It is my frank view, Mr. Speaker, that the requirement to have two persons in the car is not going to, in any way, differentiate the policing in the Province. In fact what I expect to accomplish as a result of these changes we have negotiated is a much better standard of policing in the Province, because what we have had over quite a period of time is an excess amount of overtime caused by police officers having to come back when they were on night shift, for example, when they were not required to be there, but we had to have them there because of provisions of the collective agreement, but not from a policing stand point in order to testify in court and so on like this. What this will do, Mr. Speaker, is give a much greater level of policing to the people of the Province. We will be able to deploy our police forces as and when required and not have to have policemen there, or police women there, when they are not required solely because the collective agreement in that case requires it. It is to the eminent credit of the brotherhood and the management that they came forward with this proposal recognizing the legitimate policing needs of the Province and negotiated this change which they themselves recognized as one that is in the best interest of policing.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, is not the Minister aware that sociologists in this Province and police experts in this Province, expect a rise in the crime rate as the Hibernia activities increase over the next several years and does he not think, as Minister responsible for police protection in this Province, that he should be preparing for such an eventuality in boosting the policing services in this Province rather than laying off some forty people in the next three years?

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

MR. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I suggest to the hon. Member that the experts in this Province as to what to anticipate when it comes to a rise in crime rates are not sociologists, wherever they may be, but rather police officers and their managers. What I would suggest to the hon. Member is that we confer on an ongoing basis with both the RCMP and the Constabulary to determine what the crime rates are, and I receive monthly and sometimes weekly reports of individual incidents, and keep track of general statistics.

There may be some concern that the nature of policing may change, the types of offenses may change, but at this point in time there is no indication and there is no request from the police force that we should increase the number of police officers we have at our disposal, to be available in the event that we might have some increased rate of crime. Frankly, it is the assessment of the police that we have sufficient officers available, but should the need arise, then certainly the Government is open to the prospect of increasing police in accordance with any required incidents or any generalised incidents of a rise in crime.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and concerns health and safety as it relates to the Hibernia project and the fatal accident at Bull Arm, last week. I want to know whether or not the Minister is aware and is as disturbed as I am, by the fact that the individual who died, went up on deck at approximately four in the afternoon, alone, after complaining of illness, and was not discovered missing until seven o'clock.

His absence was not reported to the authorities until 2:00 a.m. The authorities did not show up until 11:00 a.m. the next morning and a search was not commenced until four in the following afternoon. Is the Minister aware of these facts, and is she as disturbed as I am about that, and is she satisfied that the response by employers and authorities is adequate to the situation and what is she doing about it?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MS. COWAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the hon. Member for St. John's East, I am not in a position as he well knows, certainly from his legal background, even if he is very much of a novice in this House, that I would not be commenting on the case, if indeed there are any irregularities, those will come forward as time progresses and we will deal with them at that time. I must say, Mr. Speaker, at this time, we are still not sure if it was a work related incident or not. The investigation by the way, continues.

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, the matter is being investigated by the Coast Guard Marine Safety and that they take some lengthy period of time to make their report, perhaps as much as up to six months. Is the Minister prepared to wait until then, to determine whether or not the safety procedures are adequate at Bull Arm, or is she prepared to have a fresh look now, to ensure herself, that things are going on properly there?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MS. COWAN: On shore, we are treating the Hibernia project, Mr. Speaker, as a large construction project at this time, and all the normal rules for workers safety are being practised; at the same time we are developing a program for when we get into the more sophisticated parts of the project and that, as I mentioned in the House yesterday, is in second draft now.

We have a complete audit of the site going ahead the week of April 15th; that is certainly not the first time that my inspectors have been there but there is another one taking place. As far as the barges are concerned we are still trying to investigate whether the barges and the tug which were there - this is still possibly a matter for the Federal Government, but we are looking into the matter as well. We do not know at this stage whether the accident was, Mr. Speaker, work related or not.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on tomorrow I will ask leave to introduce the following motion: That the debate on Bill 16 shall not be further adjourned with further consideration of any resolution or resolutions, clause or clauses, section or sections, preamble or preambles, title or titles, or whatever else might relate to Bill 16 should be the first business of the House when next called by the House and shall not be further postponed.


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition of residents of the Deer Lake area from people who serve with the Humber Valley Development Association and who have volunteered to launch a number of the projects sponsored by the Development Association. The prayer of the petition is: The petition of the undersigned, the friends of MUN Extension, states that:

WHEREAS MUN Extension has provided and continues to provide an essential service to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador; and

WHEREAS no other agency is capable of providing that service, MUN Extension should be reinstated.

Your petitioners respectfully request that the hon. House take such action as may be necessary to ensure that Memorial University reinstates its extension service and that it be funded and equipped to provide the services that it has traditionally provided.

Mr. Speaker, I support the petition. The petitioners have benefited greatly from the presence of a MUN Extension field worker in Deer Lake. That field worker has served the whole western region. In particular, the worker has co-operated with the Humber Valley Development Association and the President of the Association has been quite outspoken in objecting to the university and Government decision to extinguish MUN Extension service.

In presenting other petitions, I have mentioned that co-operatively the Humber Valley Development Association, municipalities in that area and the MUN Extension field worker have initiated the Humber Valley Strawberry Festival. It is an annual event which has been designed to boost two of the main businesses in that area, two businesses with tremendous untapped potential, and those business are farming and tourism.

Additionally, the field worker based at Deer Lake has been actively involved with the Pasadena Venture Centre in providing programming to inspire entrepreneurial activity. For a few years now the Venture Centre has sponsored a program called Awakening Entrepreneurial Spirit. That program has involved the production of videos and television production, which on two occasions has been transmitted by satellite beyond our local area, and indeed, way beyond the Province. The first telecast was beamed to most of North America over a period of hours, and the second which took place last fall was linked with the United Kingdom.

Mr. Speaker, the petitioners state in their prayer that no other agency is capable of providing the invaluable service of MUN Extension service. Now defenders of the University-Government decision have said that the Economic Recovery Commission and its sub-agency, Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador have been put in place by the Premier to assume the former function of MUN Extension service. One of the Economic Recovery Commission advisory board members made that statement recently to people involved with the Humber Valley Development Association.

Mr. Speaker, that argument is patently false. Why would anyone want to replace an agency with a proven record of success and effectiveness which local people appreciate and cherish with a new empire which is still mushrooming and has yet to prove itself and which in its early stages is undermining rural agencies such as rural development associations?

Why would the Government take away MUN Extension Service and then put in place a new agency, the Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, with a huge suite of offices in Corner Brook and an office in Deer Lake? The people in the area who are doing the nuts and bolts work of developing the economy did not want that change, they were happy with the way things had been evolving before and with the integral contribution of the MUN Extension Service field worker. Lately the Government Ministers have not even been trying to pretend that other agencies will assume the work of MUN Extension Service. They have given up their claim that the Economic Recovery Commission, Enterprise Newfoundland, institutes or colleges, will assume that work.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to rise in support of the petition presented by the hon. the Member for Humber East. Once again we have to remind Members opposite, in particular Members of the Cabinet, of the great importance of MUN Extension to the communities and people of this Province. They do not seem to realize that despite the comments of the Minister of Education MUN Extension is not a passé historical vehicle for work in Newfoundland. We hear some people say that about unions. Unions were alright in the past but we do not need them now.

Well this Government does not seem to need unions or anybody, because they are going to legislate everything into existence that suits them and have closure if they cannot get it through the House fast enough. But that is just indicative of their attitude. This Government has failed to recognize that MUN Extension has a continuing role to play in this Province. MUN Extension which through its outreach facilities, whether they be educative, whether they be related to the Arts and Culture through MUN Extension Arts, or whether they be the community development aspects, are still very, very important in a Province which, as the Premier knows, is still having a functional illiteracy rate so high that the Premier himself has to participate in advertising to try and encourage people to participate in programmes.

We know that MUN Extension through its community development facilities has provided field workers, facilitators, to help people who do not have access to Government, who do not have access to education, who do not have access to the University and to the kind of consultants, to the kind of educated advice they could get. MUN Extension through its field services and its other outreach facilities has brought to the people of this Province, particularly in rural areas where communication with each other must be by word of mouth and by the presence of field workers active in the area, help to get the confidence to fight for the things they need, to recognize their own abilities, to recognize that they do have the right and the ability to fight for the things they need to build their communities: to bring about community development activities, to bring about rural development, agricultural co-operatives, the kinds of things that have been going on through MUN Extension for the past thirty years. And this Government has allowed - and through its policies encouraged - the destruction of this great service and is not prepared to do anything about it.

As long as the people of Newfoundland keep wishing this House to hear its petitions to restore MUN Extension, I will be getting on my feet. And despite the fact that these Members do not want to listen to it - they are happy to sit around and laugh and joke with one another - I will be getting on my feet and making speeches to tell this Government that they are wrong and that they ought to restore MUN Extension. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, the Member raises the same question that was raised last evening and I will respond in a similar way. Casting aspersions and comments about the ERC and their involvement in the development associations throughout the Province I think is a fruitless way to try to address this problem. In fact, the ERC has been very helpful throughout the various regions of the Province in working with the development associations. That is a prime part of their mandate, to see that these development associations are properly working and addressing the needs of the various regions, and they are doing just that. Last evening, Mr. Speaker, I gave an example of how the ERC has been very helpful to my Ministry in that over a year ago now, in discussions with one of the commissioners, we discussed the possibilities of developing our cultural industries, and from that flowed a report which is now available to Government and being examined by Government.

Cultural industries as we know are important - we identified that, and probably previous Governments identified that but did not do anything about it - in developing industry throughout the Province. The ERC has played an important part so far in developing the report, and now will play an important part in helping us implement that report and see that we cannot do more in the various regions of the Province in developing our arts, culture, and other cottage industries which obviously are important.

The Member mentions in her petition the incubator mall in Pasadena which again points to the fact that we are more than willing, Mr. Speaker, to work with the development associations, to work with arts and cultural groups throughout the Province to help fill the void that has been created by MUN Extension's demise. We have space in Arts and Culture Centres, and I am just repeating what I said last night, we also have space in incubator malls, we have space in our industrial parks throughout the Province, and any way we can help in terms of providing space or assisting with staff, whether it be staff of the ERC, of the development associations, of local authorities, community colleges, any way we can help, and heavens knows we have an enormous number of people outside the St. John's area.

We have decentralized Government, Mr. Speaker, more dramatically than any Government before. I think we have Government now in greater numbers and a greater presence in various regions of the Province than was ever the case before. And I can point to almost every Department of Government. We have regional offices now focused in every part of the Province, so that decentralization has taken place. And if we can help by using these regional offices to help with the arts, culture, and cottage industries in any way we can to assist the groups who were involved in MUN Extension, Mr. Speaker, as a Government we will certainly do all we can to encourage our people and our staff in the various regional offices to provide expertise, assistance, office space, and whatever else might be available to us. Mr. Speaker, we will certainly help. Thank you.

Orders of the Day


MR. BAKER: Order 15, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order 15, Bill No. l6, second reading of a bill, "An Act Respecting Restraint Of Compensation In The Public Sector Of The Province."

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker.

The hon. the Minister of Treasury Board would like to have the question today, Mr. Speaker. He would like for us to sit down and be quite, to keep our mouths shut and let this thing roll by so that there will be no controversy created by this Bill. He wants us to do the same as he is forcing his Members on that side to do, to sit there and keep their mouths shut. And when one of them had enough gumption to stand in this House - I am not sure what he wanted to do - to either support the six month hoist or make some rational arguments against the six month hoist, he was told to sit down and shut up. When the hon. Member for Eagle River tried to do his job in this House yesterday, the job he was sent here to do, he was told to sit down and shut up, and that is unfortunate.

Knowing that young, new Member in this House of Assembly, I would say he would have concern for the public servants of this Province. And had he still been in his job with the Marine Institute, he would have been affected by this. He knows personally the hardships this Bill is going to bring on the public servants of this Province, and I believe he was going to stand in this House to support our six month hoist.

MR. SIMMS: Just like he did on Meech Lake.

MR. R. AYLWARD: He did it on Meech Lake, and he has shown in this House that he will stand up to the Premier of this Province, one of the few over there who has ever stood up to the Premier of this Province. I believe yesterday, except that the muzzle was put on him, he would have stood up in this House and told what his former co-workers have to go through because of this Bill 16.

Mr. Speaker, hopefully, now that the six month hoist amendment has been dealt with - I was disappointed to see the hon. the Member for Eagle River stand up and vote for it; but I guess when you have the ambition to get into Cabinet and when you have the ambition to knife the Minister of Fisheries in the back one of these days –

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

What the Member for Eagle River might do or might not have done on this bill has no relationship at all to the essence of Bill No. 16. I would ask the hon. Member, please, to get to the essence of Bill No. 16.

MR. R. AYLWARD: I am sorry if I embarrassed the Member on the other side, Mr. Speaker. I will leave him alone, because I know it is embarrassing for him.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The Opposition House Leader is shouting all sorts of outrageous comments. I think we should get something straightened up here. Yesterday, the Opposition House Leader rose on a point of order to insist that the Member for Eagle River be totally relevant to the debate, and His Honour, the Speaker who was in the Chair at the time, agreed with the Opposition House Leader that the debate should be relevant. At the time I supported the Opposition House Leader in insisting that the debate on this motion be relevant to the motion, and there was agreement on both sides. Now all of a sudden, the Opposition House Leader is making outrageous statements and shouting outrageous comments, as if he disagrees with Your Honour's ruling that the debate should be relevant.

Mr. Speaker, I would really like to make the point that we should impose the rule of relevancy, as suggested by the Opposition House Leader, for the remainder of this debate.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: To the point of order. I do not know what the Government House Leader is all upset about. Members talk all the time in the House. I did not rise on a point of order. I made comments, and the reason I made comments is because we have seen more interruptions in the last two days on the relevance point than I have seen in this House in the last two years. Now that is my point. And every time the relevance issue is raised, it is raised either by the Chair, by somebody on this side, or somebody on that side; but it is happening much more frequently in the last two days, strangely enough while we are debating Bill No. 16.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: Now I am just a little bit concerned that there might be something happening here. That is all I am saying, and that is all I said earlier. I did not rise on a point of order to say anything. The Government House Leader has raised this point. Everybody knows that according to Beauchesne the ruling on relevance is very clear. It says, `Relevance is not easy to define, and in borderline cases, the Member should be given the benefit of the doubt.' I have never seen Members interrupted as much as they have been in the last two days on this particular bill. The Member for Kilbride has talked about Bill No. 16 this morning, and how another Member debated the bill, and everything else. What the Member for Eagle River did yesterday was get up and attack the Member for Torngat Mountains, and nothing else. That was the only point yesterday.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order, just a difference of opinion between two hon. gentlemen. The point of relevancy remains, and when the Chair thinks there is a point of relevancy to be made, the Chair will rise to do it.

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. When you make a point on relevancy I certainly will adhere to it. But I will not be muzzled by the President of Treasury Board. I will not be sat down in this House of Assembly, I will speaker here and speak my mind as the people in Kilbride asked me to. There are not enough over there to shut up someone from Kilbride. I will stand as many times as I want to speak on this bill.

Mr. Speaker, it is almost impossible to be irrelevant on this bill. This bill affects every department, every Crown corporation, every division. Everything Government does in this Province, this bill affects. You could not possibly find some way to be irrelevant on this bill, unless you want to talk about bathrooms that were put in five or ten years ago. That is the only way. If I talk about the Agricultural Products Marketing Board of which the Chairman quit last week and there is no Agricultural Products Marketing Board now in this Province, that is relevant. Because in this Act, in the schedule it says the Agricultural Products Marketing Board. It is mentioned in this Act, so that would be relevant. But I do not want to waste my time on that stuff.

I want to have a few words on this bill, Mr. Speaker, and the attitude of the Government. King Clyde has brought down the whip again. He has told his Government House Leader to bring in closure. These guys must be making a few points that are hurting now. `We have to get rid of this bill. We have to get this out of here, the same as we did on six, seven or eight other occasions in the two years this Government has been governing. Not the most by once or twice, Mr. Speaker, the most use of closure this Province and this country of Canada has ever seen in the history of our whole country this Premier is using. The only ones to use it more was the House of Commons in Ottawa, which used it a bit more often.

Now Mulroney is supposed to be the worst ever created according to our Premier, yet our Premier is following step by step in his tracks. He is doing everything that Brian Mulroney did wrong. He must have read a book about him before he became Premier so he could make wxactly every mistake the Prime Minister of Canada made. Our Premier is doing the same things. I notice the Member for St. John's South is nodding his head in agreement, because he knows this Premier is making major mistakes. Mr. Speaker, he is one of the people in this House who probably has the guts - he is not allowed to get up and say it.

MR. SIMMS: Intestinal fortitude.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Intestinal fortitude, yes. We are not used to these big words where I come from, Mr. Speaker, we just use regular language when we talk.

AN HON. MEMBER: And you are not allowed to use that in the House.

MR. R. AYLWARD: And I am not allowed to say that in here. There are a lot of things I would like to say that I cannot say in this House, Mr. Speaker, but I will have to carry on with it.

MR. SIMMS: It would be unconscionable if you used it in the House.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, I might upset King Clyde if I said what was really on my mind. But, Mr. Speaker, I think I might upset King Clyde anyway. You know there is one thing I cannot mention, that the Premier is not in his seat or is in his seat. That would not be parliamentary so I will not mention that. I noticed today during Question Period, and yesterday - the Premier, I would say, is probably one of the people in this House who regularly attends the House, and even though he is busy he spends a lot of time in his seat. He is in his seat most of the time, except when he has to look in the gallery and look into the eyes of the people he is gutting with this bill 16. The last couple of days he has been extremely uncomfortable in that seat, and has not sat in that seat as often nor spent as much time in the House as he ordinarily would when the galleries are bare and nobody seems to be listening. He does not think the people in the Province will hear what he is doing.

Mr. Speaker, for the last couple of days I noticed that when he has to look in the galleries and look at the people he has fired by bill 16 and by his Budget, people, who after twenty and thirty years of service he has put out on the street with very little or nothing - I know one person who would have been here thirty-three years in May, next month. He is out, put out to pasture, Mr. Speaker, lost his job and he has a $16,000 pension. That is what he has, and he has a family of two young children whom he has to support. So this Premier cannot sit in his seat and look up in the gallery and see that person looking down at him. He knows he has done immense damage to these people. And not only to the person he has fired, but to his family and his relatives. He knows what he has done to the public servants of this Province is not fair, so he will not sit in his seat while people are in the gallery looking at him. He would rather hide away. Hide away Clyde, that should be a new song developed one of these days. We will probably hear it at one of the demonstrations yet. There used to be a sea shanty one time, `Away haul away.' Well we will say, `Away, hide away, hide away Clyde.' It certainly suits him.

Mr. Speaker, we have a name on this bill. I can see the Premier sitting down in his office with his word manufacturers saying, `Now what kind of a nice name can we put on this bill so that people will not really understand what it is about?' He had his spin doctors working overtime. No wonder the Budget for Newfoundland Information Services shot up by some 300 per cent or 400 per cent in the last two or three years. They are set back in the little corners of this building, in the alcoves of this building, trying to figure out other ways to deceive the people of this Province. So they come in with an Act, "An Act Respecting Restraint Of Compensation In The Public Sector Of The Province." Now if somebody read that Act out to me and I was not in here, I would say, well, that sounds fairly reasonable. I do not see much about that. What would be in that Act, I wonder? What is the purpose for bringing in such an Act with a name that does not seem to be hurting too many?

The Act probably should be named - so people could get the understanding of what is in it - the act to roll back the wages of all public servants in this Province. That would be more suitable. You could also name it the act to take away the monetary benefits from public servants in this Province, especially public servants who work in Labrador who had a study done into what monetary benefits and what compensation they should have. The study took some time, and in good faith they signed an agreement which said they would get certain monetary benefits for working in areas such as Labrador. This bill will take that away from them and they will not get those benefits.

But most likely what this bill should read is, an act respecting the abolishment of pay equity. That will probably be the title on this bill that will be remembered, as to why this bill is being brought in. Because pay equity has been scuttled by this bill. Six point five million dollars supposed to be in last year's Budget disappeared somewhere. I do not know what happened to it. It went down the drain with his $250 million deficit which went down the drain somewhere, was wasted.

They say yes, we have some money in our Budget this year for pay equity again. But, sure, who can believe you? You signed agreements for the past two years with every public servant in the Province. That meant nothing. You tore them up, you threw them away. So what good is telling people I have money in the Budget this year for pay equity? You had it last year, but you did not spend it. You will have it next year, again because you are not going to spend it this year. If the Premier gets it in his mind some day when he gets out of bed and steps on a crumb, or a little stone which fell off his shoe the night before and it hurts his foot, that is gone next year. Whatever the Premier gets in his mind when he wakes up in the morning and nobody knows, it is not rational, there is no planning. there is no foresight, there is no thought gone into the decision, whatever takes him in the morning when he gets up, that is gone. So next year, even though the Minister has provided money in his Budget this year for pay equity, that could be gone; if the Premier has a hard sneeze in the common room there after he finishes his coffee, that might be gone. So there is no planning. Now because of this Bill 16, we are going to roll back the wages of all 35,000, or however many public servants we have in this Province. And the reason we are given for having to roll back these wages is that this year, had we not done something - and the Minister of Finance was saying it again today - we would be $250 million in the hole, more than we were last year, even though he predicted a $10 million surplus. I forget what is was, but we were $200 million or whatever it was in the hole and it was total mismanagement on behalf of the Minister of Finance. But this year we would have been worse. So we are going to see some leadership from the Government of this Province because things are so bad. The first thing they do is bring in Bill 16, the first major piece of labour legislation this Government has brought to this House of Assembly, the Government which was going to smooth over labour relations in this Province, because Bob Aylward when he was a Cabinet Minister was a real ogre; you could not put up with him. He could not get along with labour at all. And we did have our problems. I will not hide behind that. But I did not do this to them. I saved their jobs.

I did not lay off 2,000, 3,000 or 3,500. The number seems to be getting closer to 3,500 every day from what we heard today, and will probably be more. But as bad as I was and whatever decisions I made, I did not fire 3,000. I froze their wages after their agreements ran out, yes. I did that I admit, and it had to be done. And it could have been done this time. But the Minister would have ticked off 35,000 people, and he is hoping to get away with just ticking off the 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000 he is going to fire and everyone else will be `happy I have a job left'. That is what they are betting on, Mr. Speaker, that is what their spin doctors are telling them to do.

Mr. Speaker, this is a serious piece of legislation. As the Minister of Finance tells us, we are in desperate trouble. So the first one who is going to show leadership in this Province, because of the trouble we are in, is the Premier. We will go to the Budget and the Estimates for 1991. In the Office of the Premier, Mr. Speaker, last year's Estimate was $203,100. We had a $10 million surplus when he made up that figure. Because we are really having a rough year this year, obviously, the Premier would show his leadership and there will be a reduction. What do we see here, Mr. Speaker? $209,200.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not less.

MR. R. AYLWARD: That is not less than $203,000 last year. Maybe we were not in such bad shape, Mr. Speaker. The Premier's Office did not think so.

And what do we have here? We heard yesterday that farmers in this Province would like to have a school milk program, we have a task force that recommends we have a school milk program, we have a Minister of Social Services who wants to have a school lunch program I believe, and he has provided for some minimum wage labour to help in a couple of schools. What do we have in the Premier's budget, Mr. Speaker? Last year we had nothing for Allowances and Assistance, this year we have a $20,000 home lunch program for the Premier - $20,000 with which the people of this Province are buying groceries to put in the Premier's house. They did it last year and he did not budget for it; now we have another $20,000, while we have public servants losing their -

MS. COWAN: That is not true, by the way.

MR. R. AYLWARD: We have public servants losing their negotiated wages!

The Minister of Labour should be the last to open her mouth on this bill. It is an insult to the Minister of Labour in this Province. The Minister of Labour of this Province should never open her mouth. She should hide outside, because it should never have gotten through Cabinet.

She is the one responsible for the employees of this Province and she is standing up in this House and saying, `Yes, it is great. Let us do Bill No. 16 again.' And we will do it again next year, if she has her way. Mr. Speaker, she is the biggest disappointment to the labour movement this Province has ever seen. Jerry Dinn had a rough time with labour when I was there, but at least Jerry Dinn told people up front what he was going to do. And, Mr. Speaker, he got into a fight over it. This Minister of Labour we have today came in here to change the world. She came in, Mr. Speaker, on a mandate from the people of this Province, the labour movement of this Province, got a copy of -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Sprung.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, and I will talk Sprung anytime you want, Mr. Speaker. I am supposed to be relevant to this bill, so I will talk labour today.

The labour movement in this Province asked both parties last election, as they do all the time, `What are you going to do for labour? Mr. Speaker, here is what the Liberals said: `In recent years, economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador has been impeded by an unsettled labour climate.' That is what the Liberals said last year. When the labour movement asked them what they were going to do, they said, `Economic development has been impeded by an unsettled labour climate which has resulted largely from the failure of the Government to recognize the essential role of unions in our society.' That is what the Liberals told them, Mr. Speaker.

Now, the Liberals certainly have recognized the essential role of labour in this Province. They went out and negotiated with the nurses; a special case in this Province, the nurses were. One year ago, next month, the nurses were a special case. Are they a special case today? They are going to be basket cases, because there are not enough of them in the hospitals to keep up with the work they have to do. Mr. Speaker, the nurses have certainly become a non-special case with this Government.

Here is what the labour movement was told last year when the Liberals were running: `The record of the Tory Government in dealing with labour has been dismal. Its adversarial approach has created some of the worst moments in this Province's trade union history.' Now, this is certainly going to improve here.

MS. COWAN: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: There she goes again now, the Minister of Labour who deserted the labour movement of this Province, who deserted the teachers of this Province who put her here. Here she is, breaking the rules of this House by shooting off her mouth across the House again. She should learn to keep her mouth shut. Mr. Speaker, you will not shut me up in this House.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I am up speaking, more guts than you have got. You are afraid to get off your seat. You would not get up off your seat and speak. You sit down there like a mope while the people on Bell Island are coming across like cattle on a boat. They are coming across like cattle on a boat while you sit there and do not open your mouth, and not talking about Bill 16 or anything else. Because I have so much to say in this debate I would like to move, seconded by the Member for Fogo, the following reasoned amendment: that all the words after the word 'that' be deleted and the following substituted: therefore, this House declines to give second reading to Bill 16, 'An Act Respecting The Restraint of Compensation In The Public Sector Of The Province,' in order to allow additional opportunity to get input and hold discussions with interested groups, since the Government has publicly said that it will not have public consideration through Bill 16 through the legislative review process. I understand this is a debatable motion and if the Speaker would like to take a moment to research, or I can continue until your ruling is made on the debate of second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This amendment is exactly the same as the amendment that was previously moved and voted on. I think Your Honour will find that it is not in order to keep bringing back the same amendment time after time, after time. I wonder if Your Honour could recess for a few moments to check that out?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Opposition House Leader on a point of order.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I think the Government House Leader is misreading whatever parliamentary reference books he is using to raise this point of order because it clearly says in Beauchesne that there are three types of amendments that can be moved on second reading that are traditional, one is the six month hoist which we have dealt with and another is a reasoned amendment. In fact in the back of Beauchesne it gives you exactly the wording for the amendment which my colleague has used, and also, of course, you can be referred to Sir Erskine May's 20th Edition, Page 531, fourth paragraph, which talks about reasoned amendments and the wordings. You can also refer to a reasoned amendment recently proposed at the British Columbia Legislature in the course of a similar debate we are now into. I think Your Honour will find it, and we certainly have no objection to Your Honour recessing to consider the matter.

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

MR. BAKER: Very briefly further to that. I agree with what the Opposition House Leader is saying, that there are different kinds of amendments, nobody disputes that. My only point, Mr. Speaker, was that once an amendment is defeated that the same amendment should not come back in another form. The hon. Members could make all kinds of other amendments to the legislation changing clauses, and this kind of thing, but you cannot keep bringing back exactly the same amendment no matter what the guise and what form it is in.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I just want to respond to the point raised by the Government House Leader because, again clearly, the Government House Leader did not hear the amendment or did not hear the way it was worded. The amendment that has already been dealt with is: 'six month hoist', the bill not be read for six months, a very specific amendment.

This particular amendment, the reasoned amendment says: ' the House declines to give second reading to Bill 16', a totally different amendment altogether and perfectly acceptable in terms of a reasoned amendment. Anyway, we will leave it up to Your Honour.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair will recess briefly to get some clarification on the amendment.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair has taken some time to research the amendment put forward by the hon. Member for Kilbride and according to the reasoned amendment as outlined in Beauchesne and Erskine May, the amendment seems to fit the reasoned amendment. I refer hon. Members to 670 of Beauchesne, which says that a reasoned amendment: ' It is also competent for a Member, who desires to place on record any special reason for not agreeing to the second reading of a bill, to move what is known as a "reasoned amendment". This amendment leaves out all the words in the main question after the word "That" to add other words. A reasoned amendment is in the form of a motion and it may fall into one of several categories, and that goes on to define the other categories and based on the reasoned amendment, the Chair rules that this motion is in order.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. We did some research on that so I am not surprised at the ruling, so, Mr. Speaker, I will continue to point out the hypocrisy of this Government and the deception that the present Premier of this Province pulled on the labour movement of this Province - and I made a mistake a minute ago when I said that the labour movement came to the two parties and asked what they would do for us, actually they came to the three parties, and I correct that as reminded by my colleague sitting to my right.

But, Mr. Speaker, what the labour movement asked all political people running in the last election, particularly the Leaders of the Parties, would be what policies they would bring in to benefit the labour movement of this Province: that was the general question that the labour movement asked all the parties, particularly the Leaders.

What did the Liberal Government say they would do? What did they say in the Liberal Manifesto that was put out during the 1989 campaign? Campaign 1989 Policy Manual - Liberal For a Real Change - that is what the campaign manual said.

Here is what the Liberal Party said. The Liberal Government will be determined to create an atmosphere of realistic co-operation in the development of labour legislation and in dealing with the public sector unions. Now, Mr. Speaker, if Bill 16 fits into that category, if cancelling agreed upon, signed contracts fits into that category, Mr. Speaker, I fail to see where.

The labour movement, during the last election was lied to; there is no nice way to put it, they were lied to, they were deceived by the present Premier of this Province; they were told one thing and the Province is now, with Bill 16, doing the exact opposite of what they were told. Now if there is some other way to say that is not being lied to, I do not know. But in my vocabulary, the only word I know how to use is that the labour movement was lied to during the last election campaign, and they were lied to by the Liberal Party of this Province and by 'King Clyde,' who has dictated his way into going from creating a cooperative and realistic labour climate in this Province to a situation where we have a bill which will roll back public servants' wages, strip the pay equity agreement that had already been signed even before this Government got in, it will discriminate against women more than any discriminations that have been in our recent history, I would say.

Because this Bill 16 is going to be the bill that will be remembered by women in this Province as much as the bill that gave them the right to vote years ago. This bill is the one that discriminates particularly against women. It discriminates against the poor, against people who cannot afford to be losing their jobs, who cannot afford these rollbacks. It discriminates against people in Labrador, particularly workers in Labrador, who signed an agreement for benefits for working in Labrador - under special circumstances. There was a study done, there was an agreement signed, and this Bill 16 will rip it away from them, it will take away their benefits.

Not only does Bill 16 take away these benefits it does not allow them to make it up in the future.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: All wages and benefits are taken away. Did you read the bill? The Minister of Environment says 'not true.' He is echoing the words now of the Member for Exploits, 'Not True Grimes,' I think is his name, 'Not true, not so,' that is his total vocabulary. But the Minister of Environment now is echoing these words and he has not read the bill, he does not know what is in it. Obviously he does not know what is in it if he does not know that his constituents lose in this bill. They do not gain, they do not get their Labrador benefits they should have this year because they signed an agreement. They will not get them in five years' time and they will not get them in ten years' time, because of a clause in this Act that says that you cannot make up for what you lose in this time.

The bill itself is bad enough. But to put a clause like that in there, I mean it is ridiculous. Talk about betraying the trade union movement, that has to be the biggest betrayal. The trade unions are used to hard knocks, they have gotten their share of hard knocks, and they will come back with their hard knocks when the time comes. They will give their employer as much as the employer will give them, except when the employer is the Government and the Premier of this Province. Because what the Premier of this Province is not willing to do is take his hard knocks with the unions, he is going to come in here and change the legislation so they cannot give out the hard knocks that they would ordinarily do, and rightfully so. Rightfully do too. They should be able to come back here and if economic times improve, if the Minister of Finance is taken out of his Department and someone competent is put in there to manage the money of this Province and to bring in realistic budgets, probably that will happen some time in the future. The Minister of Finance says that our economy is going to grow more than anywhere else in Canada.

So what do the unions do ordinarily? If you are in hard times today you come back in two years time - and I am sure the Member for Exploits would recognize this being a former head of the Teachers Association. If you get your knocks this time the next time you come back and give your knocks. That is what the trade union movement does quite often. If I lose today I will come back fighting harder tomorrow. But you cannot do that this time, you cannot come back this time. Because you are not allowed to gain what you lose today, you are not allowed to make up for this piece of legislation which strips public service benefits, that is in the law. The only employer in Newfoundland who can do that, the single only employer in Newfoundland who can do that is the present Government, the Government of the Province, Mr. Speaker. If Newfoundland Telephone wanted to do that they could not, if Newfoundland Light and Power wanted to do that they could not, any of the employers in private industry in this Province could not do it. Even if Newfoundland Hydro wanted to do it themselves they could not do it unless the Government of this Province does it for them. Mr. Speaker, that is not fairness and balance. That is not fair to the unions. To say that you public servant sector unions, when you come deal with me, if I do not like what you are doing, if I do not like what you are asking for, I will put you to arbitration to see if I can get a deal out of that crowd, to see if I can get an arbitrator in there who is as much right wing as I am. I will try that first and if that does not work, if the arbitrator comes back and says the demands by the public sector union that we looked at are very reasonable, and you yourselves have given one sector a certain increase and now you are trying to give another sector a different increase, but the arbitrator, an independent person who looked at that said, the public service unions have made reasonable demands and this is what I recommend to you, this is what I would like to bind this Government into giving, Mr. Speaker, this is the rational independent decision that was made. So the Premier of the Province did not agree with that one so his second last resort is to bring in Bill 16. Now, the only chance that the public servants of this Province have after he brings in Bill 16 is for the two opposition groups - or the one person plus the official Opposition - would have to debate in this House of Assembly to try to change the minds of the Government who brought in such a piece of legislation. That is the last resort. This is the court of last appeal, I guess, you could call it, for the public sector unions, without them going to the courts and spending a fortune of money. This is the last shot they have at reason prevailing before they have to start challenging this legislation. What did the Premier do in this House, Mr. Speaker? He has limited debate on the Bill. Now, how can Members opposite put up with that? Even if debate closure was not called there would be some reason, there would be some way for Members to express their concerns and there would also be ways for Members opposite to get up and support it. If you support Bill 16 do not hide away behind it. I supported the wage freezes and the two and two when I was in Government. I supported it. I got up and said I supported it and I said why. I did not have to sit in my seat like sheep with their mouths muzzled. I did not have to do that. I stood up and supported it because that was the Government and that was what I though was right. I do not believe the backbenchers in this Government think that this legislation is right. I really think they do not believe it is right. I am sure there are a couple of them over there who have doubts about it. I am sure there are a couple of fair-minded people in the backbenches who have doubts about whether this is the right approach. Mr. Speaker, the approach is what is in question. The problem exists. I think everyone knows the problem exists but the way to solve the problem is what is in question. I think there are many, many other ways to solve the problem rather than firing 3500 or putting 3500 jobs out to pasture and eliminate them, and rolling back wages, there are other approaches. One simple approach that would be very easy: on just a cursory analysis of the budget of Work, Services and Transportation, Mr. Speaker, to look at spending items that I say are optional, that you do not really have to spend all of it, Mr. Speaker, in Works, Services and Transportation on supplies alone this year, every supply that you need, tires for trucks, every supply, the Department of Works, Services and Transportation is going to spend $48 million and change on that. Now, Mr. Speaker, if they decided to reduce that by 1 per cent, it does not sound like a big lot, 1 per cent, I do not think it would take away from the great achievements that that Department is going to use this year in supplies, if you take away 1 per cent of that at an average of a $30,000 cost to the Government they could save sixteen jobs in just that one subhead in the Department of Transportation. That is an alternative. That is something that could have been considered. Purchase services is another fairly optional expenditure item. It is not like closing hospital beds or keeping hospitals open. I mean purchase service and the Department of Transportation, certainly there are necessary purchases that have to be made. But, Mr. Speaker, you are going to spend $207 million in purchase services this year. If you reduce that by .1 per cent, by one tenth of one per cent, that certainly cannot inhibit the operations of the Department of Transportation. That cannot completely demolish what good they are going to do in purchase services in the Department of Transportation. For one tenth of one per cent you could save seven $30,000 jobs. Well, Mr. Speaker, if you are talking security jobs they are cheaper than that, so you would save more security jobs, but at a cost to Government of $30,000 a job, by saving one tenth of one per cent of purchase services in transportation you could have saved seven jobs. Would that not be better than laying off and firing seven people? Would that not be more acceptable to Members opposite? It would be more acceptable to me. It would be an alternative that - I know for sure it would not be for the Minister of Finance. I know it would not be for the Minister of Finance because he hates public servants. That is why he is doing it. He has no respect whatsoever for public servants. He is the one who says public servants do not work enough. He is the professor who taught one hour a day at the university five days a week and got $60,000 for it. And you say that public servants do nothing. You taught one hour a day. That is what you worked, one hour a day. You prepared your classes twenty years ago. You have been doing the same thing for twenty years so you had no preparation time. One hour a day and you say that public servants do not do any work. That is the Minister who wanted to fire public servants.


MR. R. AYLWARD: I will keep talking, Mr. Speaker. I will keep talking as long as I can to delay this legislation.

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: I will talk day in and day out if necessary. to show the hypocrisy and the deception of this Government.

Mr. Speaker, here is another one. Here is an option that reasonable people opposite might consider. The Department of Transportation in purchase of property, furnishings and equipment: now, you might do with an old desk for another year, you might do with a desk a little while longer. So in property, in furnishings and equipment the department is going to spend $64 million and change in that department. Now here is an alternative that you could have used by reducing that by one per cent; a couple of desks you would not buy or a chair that you would upholster rather than replace, something like that, one per cent. You would have saved twenty-one jobs. Now I think that was important, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: For one per cent of Sprung you would not have saved one $30,000 job. I am saying one per cent of furnishings and equipment and property. I mean certainly the Department of Transportation will not come to a halt if they stopped this year spending one per cent on furniture. I do not think they will come to a complete halt. So if they did that, that is an option.

Mr. Speaker, in transportation and communications for the travelling of what public servants we have left in this Province including the Minister and his staff, for transportation and communications in that Department we are going to spend $12 million; in that one department, $12 million. If you reduce that by one per cent and each person did not travel once, out of all the times they are going to travel, you get more than one per cent. But just by one per cent, if they reduced it by one per cent they would save three jobs in that one sub-head.

Mr. Speaker, I have looked at four sub-heads in the Department of Transportation, just four. I have reduced them an average of .7 per cent. If you took .7 per cent from those four headings - not even a full one per cent, just .7 per cent of all them you would save forty-seven jobs. Now certainly the Department of Transportation is not going to close if you take four sub-heads and reduce them by .7 per cent. I do not think they would. I do not think you would need this bill here, you would not need to be rolling back wages, signing agreements and tearing them up if you made some rational decisions like that. Just four sub-heads for optional spending. You could have saved forty-seven of the jobs.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I would agree right now at this minute that the opposition, if you agreed to take those four sub-heads and reduce them by .7 per cent and hire on these forty-seven people at $30,000 each, we would say nothing about it, I would congratulate you for doing it. I would say you are great people because you know you made the mistake and you reconsidered, like you were trying to do in the hospital care.


MR. R. AYLWARD: One per cent, Mr. Speaker, in Purchase Services - furniture. No salt comes on the furniture or I hope it does not anyway or you are going to be replacing it pretty quick. There is no salt on furniture, Mr. Speaker, purchasing property, you do not need to purchase the salt with the property, Mr. Speaker. If you have to widen the road, purchase twenty feet wide instead of twenty-five. That is all you have to do. You do not need the twenty-five feet. The other five feet you do not do anything with anyway, you push snow on it sometimes. You do not need it all. That is all you have to do. These are not major changes. These are not going to impair the health and safety of this Province. These are simple little things that your Minister of Finance will not do because he hates public servants. That is the reason, Mr. Speaker, you have thrown away forty-seven, $30,000 a year jobs for no reason whatsoever. Now if you want to talk about Minister's Offices I can do that too. One subhead in Minister's Offices would save five, 30,000 jobs. One part of one subhead, Mr. Speaker, and that is your $8,000 Car Allowance.

Now, Mr. Speaker, during the debate on Interim Supply I mentioned that because we are told we are in such real trouble this year over what we knew last year when we did our Budget, Mr. Speaker, that the Premier's Office will show the leadership and Executive Council will show the leadership and be the first to cut back, at least the 10 per cent that they said - I understood everyone is cutting back 10 per cent. Now, Mr. Speaker, out of thirty-six headings in the Executive Council which includes the Premier and the President of Treasury Board, you would suggest that out of those thirty-six subheads they would show the leadership and cut back many of those subheads. Cut back the ones that affect Ministers. But did they? What did they cut back out of thirty-six subheads? Nine of the thirty-six subheads.

Last year, Mr. Speaker, when we had a surplus of $10 million estimated in our Budget the Executive Council cost $13.8 million, that was their estimates in last year's Budget. Now this year we know we are in a much worse position. We are not going to have a surplus, we are going to have a $250 million deficit. So what does Executive Council do to show leadership in this Province? Certainly logic dictates that they will cut back.

Last year, Mr. Speaker, they estimated $13.8 million, this year they have $14.1 million. That is not a cutback. The public servants in this Province have their wages rolled back, but the Executive Council, Treasury Board and the Premier's Office increased their estimates this year which is the worse year in our history ever over what they did last year and that is not a cutback. But certainly, Mr. Speaker, if the Premier and the President of Treasury Board would not cut back, at least the Department of Finance, the Minister, the Scrooge in the Department of Finance at least had the political smarts to appear to be showing leadership. In the Department of Finance if you just do a cursory review of twenty-seven headings, what would you expect out of those twenty-seven headings in the Department of Finance? I guess you would expect to see at least half of them cut back. I would expect to see in this bad year that he would try to cut back all of them, Mr. Speaker. But out of twenty-seven headings in the Department of Finance, eighteen of them were increased. Nine of them were cut back, Mr. Speaker. Eighteen of them were increased in the Department of Finance.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Eighteen of them were increased and you can show that all you like, Mr. Speaker, but I never faced a $10 million surplus that turned into a $250 million deficit. It never did while I was in there, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Finance is the one who mismanaged last year's Budget, Mr. Speaker. And he tells me that last year we had a $10 million surplus and this year, Mr. Speaker, because we are in such bad shape, the Department of Finance will cut back 10 per cent the same as everyone else. Well last year the Department of Finance estimated that they would spend $43.5 million dollars. That was in their last year's Budget with a $10 million surplus. So this year we have a $250 million deficit, so at least 10 per cent cutback for Finance. No, Mr. Speaker, this year, not $43.5 million does the Department of Finance spend, it will be spending $49.3 million, a $6 million increase. That does not sound to be fairness and balance.

Yes, the Minister of Finance should crawl under his desk and hide. Yes, he should get under there and stay there, because of his incompetence and bungling of last year's Budget. But the public servants of this Province have to share the brunt of the mismanagement of this Minister of Finance. The Minister of Finance who tells us that we have a $250 million deficit facing us unless we make some major moves and he increases his own Department's expenditures by $6 million. That does not sound like restraint to me. That does not sound like cutbacks to me. The public servants who have no choice will have to suffer the cutbacks. But the Minister of Finance's Department will not suffer cutbacks, $6 million increase is what the Minister of Finance will suffer in this Province.

Now, when the public servants of this Province are getting wage rollbacks and pay equity cancelled and no chance of catching up in the future, what does Newfoundland Information Services do in this Province? Newfoundland Information is certainly providing an essential service in this Province. It has to be the most important - especially in times of cutbacks - division of any Government Department. It is certainly more important than 450 hospital beds. Has to be. The only conclusion that I can come to is that Newfoundland Information Service provides such an essential service that it is more important than hospital beds, than teachers, than public servants, because Bill 16 puts a clamp to public servants. And the reason I come to that conclusion, that since this Government took office in 1989 when Newfoundland Information Services had a budget of $168,000 in 1989, much the same as it was in 1988. A budget that we brought down and you presented. So we had prepared $168,000 for Newfoundland Information Services. It was there and it was used but it was not considered to be the most essential service in the Province.

What happened in 1990? In 1990 Newfoundland Information Services went from $168,000 to $335,000, budgeted, $335,000 budgeted. That is more than double in one year. But what did they spend in 1990? They doubled the budget but in 1990 Newfoundland Information Services spent $513,000. Now what is hidden away in Newfoundland Information Services that it has to increase by 400 per cent or 500 per cent in a one year span? What has been hidden away in Newfoundland Information Services that entails an increase from $168,000 in 1989, a one year increase, in a year that we had a deficit, that we finally came up with a deficit of - what was last year's deficit? - $117 million deficit last year, but we could increase Information Services from $168,000, budgeted in 1989 to $513,000.

But that is not bad enough. Last year when we were doing our estimates we had a $10 million surplus. This year Newfoundland Information Services has become more critical a service. It has improved in its necessity to operate in this Province, obviously. Hospital beds close, 450 hospital beds are gone; teachers are fired; public servants are fired, but Newfoundland Information Services, which I am sure the Minister of Social Services uses every day and provides a lot of services to the social service's recipients in this Province, Newfoundland Information Services provides them milk in their school milk programme. And it provides them their lunch programme for which I congratulate the Minister for setting up, yes. Newfoundland Information Services must be doing some of that stuff, because since 1969 you have taken the budget of that from $168,000 to this years's estimate of $560,900. Is that necessary -

MS. VERGE: Ask him what he did with the money he took from the single mothers (inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Is that where the money you stole from the single mothers last year has gone, into Information Services? Is that what you did with the money you stole from single parents?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, is that where the money went? Is that where the money went last year which is being effected by the rollback in Bill 16? Is that where the money is going, into Information Services? Is that the critical service in this Province? Is that the service in this Province which rates a higher priority with this Government than social service recipients? Is that the service in this Province that rates a higher priority than social services assistance, that they could get a 400 per cent increase when social service recipients got nothing? Is that the service that requires a 400 per cent increase when hospitals are closing beds and laying off nurses? Is that the priority of this Government, Mr. Speaker, who cannot feed the people in the Province, who have fired 3,500 public servants in this Province or more?

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Or more. I am not sure of that yet. Or more, not less - or more, as confirmed today by the Minister of Education when he said his estimates were out the door because he did not know half the people who were going in education.

Now, Mr. Speaker, is this the essential service in this Province? Can backbenchers in this Government sit there and support as an essential service Newfoundland Information Services? When Placentia is closing, when Port aux Basques is losing medical services, when Old Perlican is losing medical services, when Come by Chance is losing medical services, we have to increase Newfoundland Information Services by 400 per cent, not a 10 per cent decrease as we were told by the Minister of Finance - not a 10 per cent decrease.

Mr. Speaker, the other big waste of money in this Government -

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

The hon. Member's time is up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave. By leave.

AN HON. MEMBER: No leave.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One of the few things we are allowed to do, which has not been cut back in this House, is take part in debate. And the debate in which we are now taking part is the reasoned amendment put forth by my colleague from Kilbride, in which he is asking that second reading of this bill not take place.

MR. REID: A point of order, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Carbonear, on a point of order.

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, I was standing seconds before the Member for Fogo and the hon. -

AN HON. MEMBER: You were over at the door.

AN HON. MEMBER: He was not!

MR. REID: I was standing seconds before the hon. Member for Fogo. I noticed the Speaker was not looking in this direction, and I tried to do everything in my power to get your attention. I guess you assumed no one on this side was going to speak. I hope I am given the opportunity some time before twelve o'clock today, Mr. Speaker, to rise in this House and make a comment on this particular bill.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Order, please

The hon. the Opposition House Leader to the point of order.

MR. SIMMS: To that point of order. I suspect the Member is right, Mr. Speaker. Your Honour probably assumed nobody was going to speak, because that is what has been happening in the entire debate on that side. So the Speaker was probably doing the right thing.

I saw the hon. Member rise, and quite frankly I thought he was heading out. There is no point of order. Your Honour recognized the Member for Fogo.

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

MR. SIMMS: It is no big problem, he can get up the next time.

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

To that point of order, there is really no point of order. The Chair did not see the hon. Member for Carbonear standing at the time he recognized the hon. Member for Fogo. However, if the hon. Member for Fogo wishes to give leave to the hon. Member for Carbonear, that is all right.

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, if it does not cut into my time, then I have no problem.

MR. SPEAKER: No, it will not cut into your time.

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

MR. REID: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the fact that with what is going on in the House here at certain times, it is hard to know in which direction to look when sitting in that particular chair. I have been called some strange things in my day, but I have never, ever been called a sheep. The hon. Member who spoke previously looked over at us and called us all sheep. I am sure some of us, especially some of the Members who sit relatively close to me, if I owned them as sheep I am certain I would get quite the reward down at the abattoir if I were to bring them down and have them processed.

AN HON. MEMBER: The Member for St. John's (inaudible) called you a cow.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, I just want to make a few brief comments on this particular bill. I listened with interest to my hon. colleague, my friend from Kilbride, and I can honestly say yes, he has all kinds of wonderful ideas about what we could do, or what the Minister of Finance could do as it relates to cutting the Budget further to save jobs. I am not of the opinion, Mr. Speaker, that the people of this Province want this Government to put more people back in the public service. When I travel around and listen to comments from some of my constituents, and I am certainly sure from a lot of people in the Province it has been said for the longest time, and the previous Government said and ours, that in a lot of cases the public service is top-heavy. And I tend to agree that in certain areas of Government services, yes, the bureaucracy is top-heavy. I do not believe that laying off certain members of the public sector will have a drastic effect on public services. I do believe these people who are being laid off should be given every consideration because of the fact that they are people and they have been working; and I think Government have to be sympathetic about the fact that they are laying them off, not necessarily eliminating their positions.

I spoke to a friend of mine just this past week, a very close friend, who is being laid off from the public service. His comment to me, basically, was that he was upset over the fact of his being laid off, but he understood and realized that in the particular place where he worked they were top-heavy in employees and top-heavy in management for a number of years, and he congratulated Government for taking the stance they did.

With that said, I do not know where my hon. friends opposite are getting the figure of 3,500 layoffs. I do not know where that is coming from. Maybe in a month or two there may be 3,500 -

MR. SIMMS: Job losses.

MR. REID: Job losses.

- when we calculate it all, I suppose, and when I see the calculations done.

I will just give you a little story. The hospital board in Carbonear, for example, announced last week that there were going to be 18.5 positions lost at the Carbonear hospital. My sister happened to be one of those who fitted into the category of that 18.5, and of course she came after me. My hon. friend from Grand Falls should talk to her, because he might get a few pointers from her. She came after me, of course, being the good Liberal she is, and I, being her brother, and she said a few things to me. I told her I thought there may have been some sort of mistake made and, after the kerfuffle and what went on in the next couple of days, she called me back two nights later and said, `Well, yes, I am going to lose my job, but I am still going to be on practically full-time because there have to be people who fill in for illness and Workers' Compensation and all kinds of things.' So, it is going to mean that we are going to lose some people in the system, but those people are going to find a certain amount of employment even though they are laid off.

MS. VERGE: But other people will not.

MR. REID: Other people will not.

I am amazed that the Opposition will continually talk about the responsibility of Government to provide employment for people in the Province. If we were an employment agency, Mr. Speaker, I suppose that is what our job would be. But I do not look at Government that way, and I did not get elected two years ago thinking that we were an employment agency. If you go back to 1972, when the provincial debt was a miserable or a minor or meagre $800 million, and look at our debt today of $6 billion, one would have to wonder how much of that debt was actually created because of employment, and employment not for the sake of employment, but employment, in a lot of cases, for the sake of appeasing some friend or constituent, or some relative, as it relates to a politician putting a person into a job. That happened in my area, as everybody knows, and I am certainly sure it happened in everybody's district.

I remember being teaching at the time of the wage freeze, the zero and zero. I was an active Member of the NTA and I still consider myself a Member of the NTA, and maybe one of these days I will be back in the classroom. But I remember what the previous Administration did with their wage freeze some years ago, for a two year period, and I also remember hearing Government Members speak to different groups around the Province explaining why the zero and zero was put in place. Basically they were saying that Government could not afford at this particular point in time to give teachers or anybody else a raise and they had no choice because of the economic conditions at the time, and the disparity, I think the word was back then, in the days when we in Newfoundland were, I suppose, considered to be have not, as we are have not right now.

I agree, and I agreed back then and I said we are into rough times, we are into hard times to have to do that. But remember, the previous Administration did not only do the wage freeze for two years. Immediately after the wage freeze was lifted, and if I remember correctly, at the time the cost of living was somewhere around the 6 per cent area, they were gracious enough on the third year to come back and say well, you are all going to be looked after now, you teachers and you public servants, we are going to give you a 2 per cent raise. Remember that? And we took that. What for? Why did we at that particular time, I wonder, accept the fact that Government had to put a wage freeze on for two years?

I appreciated the fact back in those days, and I appreciate the fact right now that we are living in one of the poorest provinces in Canada. We are having one heck of a time trying to balance our Budget. It is almost impossible to do. And apparently it is going to be impossible to do in the next few years. When I hear of cutbacks in Ottawa and I hear about the economic condition of the rest of the country, in other provinces, New Brunswick, Quebec and on the West Coast, I wonder and I say well, we in Newfoundland are not the only ones finding the pinch. And I say to myself when we talk about Ontario and Quebec and we compare them to the Province of Newfoundland, I think you could probably squeeze the life out of Quebec and Ontario and it would not hurt them at all, but if you pinch us we start to bleed.

Mr. Speaker, the whole purpose of the wage freeze or the wage restraint in Bill 16 is to try to catch up with the debt we have, to try to do something with the debt we have, so that maybe in a few years time, because we are doing this sort of thing, we will be able to provide better services to our people and just maybe hire some people back so that more people can actually work in the Province and provide taxes and so on.

I know the Opposition have to stand and do the things they do and say the things they do because that is their job. And the more they say, I suppose, the more it seems to the public that they are doing their job. And I can appreciate that. I do not have any problem with Members getting up and calling the Minister of Finance names and calling the Premier names and so on, because that is all part and parcel of what they are being paid for. If they were not doing that, then I guess the people of Newfoundland would say what is the purpose of having an Opposition in there? Possibly in the next election there will not be one, as happened in New Brunswick.

The only problem I have is sometimes they become so nasty they forget they were governing themselves one time, and they forget about the things they did during the seventeen years they governed. It sort of irritates me, because the only time it happens, Mr. Speaker, is when the galleries are full and there are certain people there. Yesterday afternoon the galleries were full. When the galleries are not full, like today for example, there is very little said. I suppose that is part of the Opposition's right to advertise, to elaborate or whatever, and to criticize Government when people are present, even though I do not really think they are hitting the majority of people in the Province as it relates to press releases or their comments on TV and radio.

Let us talk for a few minutes about not what my party feels, but what I feel has gone wrong in Newfoundland for a long, long time. I can talk about the Sprung greenhouse, I suppose, as we all could, but I guess since 1949 or 1950, Mr. Smallwood was as much to blame as Mr. Moores and Mr. Peckford. For some reason or other, we in Newfoundland had a habit of creating situations where millions and millions of dollars were pumped into communities. My hon. friend for Placentia is going to be upset when I say this, but I will take Long Harbour as an example. The Government of Newfoundland pumped in millions and millions of dollars - and Baie Verte is another one. I think I saw the other day that Baie Verte was into the Government of Newfoundland for something like $45 million. Am I correct? If I am not mistaken, subsidies were paid to Long Harbour over the years, and I have heard this on a number of occasions. I may be wrong, my friend for Placentia, but I am going to repeat what I have heard over the years. With the subsidies that were paid to Long Harbour over the years, if we had kept all hands who were working home and had not opened Long Harbour, we could have probably paid them $20,000 or $25,000 a year - to stay home.

MR. HOGAN: (Inaudible).

MR. REID: I made that comment. Long Harbour and Baie Verte are a prime example of what this Government is faced with today. Are you telling me that the Government of Newfoundland never put any money into Long Harbour?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. REID: They never put a cent?

AN HON. MEMBER: A fortune.

MR. REID: I would say it was a fortune. Baie Verte, for example, $45 million. I have seen where the Government of Newfoundland even today has to pay back something to the tune of $45 million for Baie Verte. St. Lawrence is another example. I do not disagree with the Government of Newfoundland or any Government putting money into a private business to help it produce jobs, or create jobs and employment in a particular area, but when you reach a point where you are putting money into a project to keep it open, a dying concern, I think the Government or somebody has to draw the line and say, no more. How much is it going to cost us for an environmental cleanup in Long Harbour? The point I am trying to make, Mr. Speaker, is that I do not believe this Government or any Government in Newfoundland should be forced to put money into creating jobs in a certain area and keep maintaining a private business so that we can maintain jobs for the sake of maintaining jobs.

I think the Sprung Greenhouse was probably a prime example of that. As I said, the situation as it related to Sprung and Long Harbour and Baie Verte and all the other places around the Province where we have put millions and millions of dollars, that has brought us to a point right now where every year we are liable for millions of dollars. For what? To create employment for a number of workers for a period of years, so that they can eventually be laid off and, I suppose, shipped off somewhere to the mainland.

When I look at the money in the Fisheries Department which has been spent on fish plants in guaranteed loans and outright grants, I wonder if we would not have been better off taking some of that money, as I said to my hon. colleague for Placentia a few minutes ago, and letting these people stay home and paying them their $20,000 or $25,000 a year. A complete waste, as far as I am concerned, of taxpayer's money.

I may be considered to the right here on these particular issues, and I am sure there are a number of Members, a number of my colleagues on this side who would not agree with me, who think we should be pumping millions of dollars into dying industries like Baie Verte. I tend to disagree with them. I do not have any problem standing in my place and arguing that particular point.

Anyway, getting back to the bill. The wage freeze or Bill 16 basically gives the Province the right to hold the line on wage increases in the public sector for a one year period and I agree with the bill. In fact, if the economic condition or situation of this Province does not improve in the next three or four months, I would suggest that the Government go even further and possibly look at a next year freeze as well. And if that has to happen to maintain the services we are providing in this Province as it relates to social services or health or education, I am certainly sure the people of Newfoundland will accept a rollback rather than see further hospital beds closed in the Province or further cuts to social services or any of the programmes we are providing in the Province. I do not have any problem standing today and supporting my Government on this particular bill.

And, Mr. Speaker, the next time I get up, maybe some of my hon. friends on this side of the House - I thank you on this side for at having the decency to listen and be quiet. And maybe some of my colleagues on this side can give me the same decency the next time I speak. Thank you very much.

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My friend from Carbonear gave me lots of ammunition for a couple of hours speech, I am sure. The Minister of Social Services, I am quite surprised he did not perked his ears up that time. Because any time anyone mentions social services in this House he says, What? Did someone say something about my Department?

Now the Member for Carbonear, notice what he said. He said that if we continue to have an economic downturn like we are presently experiencing, we might have to have further cuts in social services. Further cuts! That is what he said. Now the Minister has constantly said there were no cuts. I wish he would straighten out the Member for Carbonear and let him know that there are no cuts in social services, so he will not be out telling the people of the Province there are cuts in social services.


MR. WINSOR: I do not agree. I am only quoting the Minister. Interestingly enough, he too said we might have to have another year of rollback.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, I forgot my glasses this morning and I have great difficulty in seeing across the House. And I cannot read the hon. Member's lips, so if he wants to say something, I would like him to get in his place and say it.

Now I want to correct some of the things the Member for Carbonear said, as well.

AN HON. MEMBER: How can you read your notes if you do not have your glasses?

MR. WINSOR: Oh, I can see. I can look down. I am nearsighted. I cannot see far away, but I can manage to see what is on the paper. I am so glad, by the way, that my colleague from Carbonear did not get in Cabinet and become the Minister of Development. After his economic prognosis for this Province, I am glad he did not get in Cabinet. He advocates that we should never have had a Long Harbour. Now I think what the Member was referring to was the hydro subsidy that was paid. That, I think, started with the Smallwood administration and was corrected by the PC administration.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) know about that.

MR. WINSOR: Oh yes I do. I know quite well what I am talking about. Mr. Barry, your former leader, might have been the Minister of Energy when the hydro deal for Long Harbour was substantially changed so the Province would not have to pay as great a subsidy.

He also said that the mines in Baie Verte should have been shut down, the mines in St. Lawrence should have been shut down.

We should not have given any guaranteed loans to fish plants. Now, Mr. Speaker, the mining industry he wants to shut down, the fishing industry he wants to shut down, and I guess he forgot to mention the subsidies, the grants that we have given to the forest industry in Newfoundland. Now these are the only three major industries we have and he does not want to subsidize or he does not want to help any of these. So I do not know what we are going to do with them. He said that the public out there were in favour of cutbacks.

Now the President of Treasury Board stood in this House last fall and said it was going to be very difficult. There is not much fat in the civil service left to trim. These were his exact words and I can find the quote. Now, Mr. Speaker, if there was not much fat left to trim where does the Member for Carbonear find that people are out there saying we were top heavy, there were too many people to get rid of. We believed on this side, and unless the Member for Carbonear has got some radically different information, the reasons for the layoffs was a cost saving measure, it was not that there were people not doing anything, this is new light, new information that has been revealed to us today that the reasons for the layoffs are not cost saving, it was to trim the fat from the system. That is what Members clearly said and Hansard will record that the Member said that it was top heavy.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if we are top heavy in health care, as you said, and furthermore that the people who were going to be laid off were going to find their way back into the system then how was that going to effect any real savings for that department? His sister is one of the 18.5 to be laid off, but it does not really matter because she is going to be back working full-time, practically full-time I think he said. Now how is that going to effect any real savings? Let me tell the Member for Carbonear that there are in excess of 3,000 people out there. And I know in excess, because the figure is changing every day, as to the number of people who will be severely impacted by the draconian measures of this Budget.

He also spoke at length about the wage freezes that occurred in 1985, I think was the year, and I would like to correct the Member for Conception Bay South, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations who yesterday said that it was announced at ten o'clock in the morning, I seem to recall watching television and the former Premier took to the airwaves during a night session, eight o'clock in the night, I think, when he announced –

MS. COWAN: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: There is not a soul listening to you.

MR. WINSOR: Well the Minister of Social Services says there is not a soul listening. Well he should know that there are not very many people in this Province who listens to him or this Administration any more either.

MS. VERGE: He is the $90,000 a year heckler.

MR. WINSOR: He is the $90,000 a year heckler, that is how we refer to him on this side.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to read into the record again, because occasionally when some Members on the other side are speaking we have occasion to go through our notes. Now, Mr. Speaker, -

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. HEWLETT: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Now, Mr. Speaker, here is what a certain document says: the record of the Tory Government in dealing with labour has been dismal. Its adversarial approach has created some of the worst moments in this Province's trade union history. A Liberal Government will be determined to create an atmosphere of realistic co-operation in developing labour legislation and in dealing with public service unions. Well, Mr. Speaker, we got it in spades what that co-operation is going to be, Bill 16.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if this is going to be the indicator, the yardstick by which we have to measure this Government in its dealings with the public sector unions in this Province, then I fear we are in for some tough times in labour negotiations in this Province. The Liberal policy of fairness and balance will be the basis of negotiations. This is what was said in 1989. In 1991 we get Bill 16, rolling back wages for at least one year and perhaps more. In addition to that, there is a condition attached in section 8 of the bill which says that Cabinet will have the authority to roll back any adjudication award that was made during the year of restraint. So in other words, if you fall behind now you are never going to catch up. There is no provision in this that says that if the economy should improve you will catch up. It says this is going to be the law of the Province, that you are never going to catch up for the years that you have lost.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if we take an average pay increase of 5 per cent - we will take a modest 5 per cent because we know that the Province gave out 8 and 10 and other much more substantial raises. If we were to take the average wage of a person in this Province, it would be $30,000 a year working in the public sector. At 5 per cent that will amount to $1,500 per year. Now, Mr. Speaker, that is $1,500 that is gone forever, so if we were to look at the cumulative effect in the working life of a person then this administration has robbed thousands and thousands of dollars. Mr. Speaker, the worst news, if the Member for Carbonear is even close to correct, is that we could be in for another round of wage restraints next year.

Mr. Speaker, today for the second time in this session the President of Treasury Board stood in his place in Notices of Motion and gave notice that the closure rule will be possibly invoked next week.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: The Minister of Education should not worry about my colleagues. What he should worry about are the colleagues that he betrayed at Memorial University when he, on March 8th, had a press announcement when he said he was going to give them an extra $5 million, and only on Monday morning to say, 'Oh oh, I made a mistake it is only $140,000. I wrote my press release two weeks ago before I knew there was a Budget restraint.'

The Minister of Education is a good one to talk about colleagues. Now the Minister of Social Services is not in his place again, he is gone back to the Minister of Forestry's seat to start heckling.

AN HON. MEMBER: The roving heckler.

MR. WINSOR: He is the roving heckler. That is a good name for him. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, this is the second time that closure has been invoked in this session. We have only been here since March 7th, speaking on the Budget, and that will not be the only time, I am sure of that, because I think it has been used five times or six times so far. So I am sure we will see closure again. The only thing that has not been cut back in this Province is the Member's right to speak for thirty minutes. Everything else has been cut back or frozen.

The Member for Placentia, will have lots of chances to get up and respond and tell us all about the incorrect statements that the Member for Carbonear said about Long Harbour. We are waiting for him to get in his place in a while and tell us about the incorrect statement that the Member for Carbonear made, I think, he was heard to say across the House to him, 'what did you have for breakfast this morning? Foolish pills?' I think this was what the Member said.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the gag rule is going to come into effect, but as I said earlier -

AN HON. MEMBER: The what?

MR. WINSOR: The gag rule on Monday. Cutting off debate on Bill 16, it has been already announced. The Minister of Social Services was not in his place earlier this morning and we were informed this morning that the gag rule is coming in on Monday. Thank God, the Minister said.

Now, Mr. Speaker, yesterday we watched the Government vote against the six month hoist. They stood in their place and said, 'yes, it is all right that this Government can go out and slash 2,000 jobs in the civil service, 600 or so in education, 400 to 500 in health, figures going up every day. The Minister of Education, this morning, refused to confirm the actual number because he was too ashamed, I guess. He is too ashamed that he made another mistake, he does not know what is going on in his department. He announced some 300 jobs and he jumped it up to 350 this morning and we suspect that it is going to be even higher because the figures indicate that it is going to be.

AN HON. MEMBER: You were not in the House.

MR. WINSOR: I was in the House and I also have the Minister's press statement where it said it would be 333, I think, that was the figure he used.

AN HON. MEMBER: An estimate.

MR. WINSOR: The Minister was unable to project, is the term he used this morning. We could not project what it was going to be in the university. We knew quite well what it was going to be in education. By the way, interestingly enough, I see the President of Treasury Board, and perhaps some time he is going to tell us.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We would like the President of Treasury Board to clarify a statement made by him in a press release concerning the NTA - that the formula had changed. Now, whether he said it or not or if the press quoted him incorrectly, he said that the number of teaching positions that would be eliminated, I think, was somewhere in the range of sixty, because we changed the formula. Now the only formula that I know of that was around was the 2 per cent saving clause and perhaps it was the Minister saying to school boards we are going to lay off an assistant superintendent and a program co-ordinator. Perhaps that is the formula he talked about, but there is some mention in the paper of the Minister saying that we changed the formula. Teachers were going to be treated the same as everyone else. There would have been only some sixty-odd but we changed the formula. Now, what formula is the Minister referring to?

AN HON. MEMBER: Fifty add-back.

MR. WINSOR: Fifty add-back? Okay, that is the one where you were going to put ten on a year for the next five years, but I think there was only one or two years left in that was it not? One year left. The Minister of Education does not know what goes on in his Department because he would not have stood in his place in this House and said that Memorial University was going to get an extra $5 million if it had not been for a wage rollback. How silly for the Minister of Education to get up and say you could have had $5 million but we cannot give it to you. Now, Mr. Speaker, last year when we talked of the great potential for layoffs and for cutbacks in the civil service we were told we were scaremongering and fearmongering, you are creating a false sense out there, none of these things are going to happen. Now, Mr. Speaker, we were proven right. We were also told last year, and the Premier was very defensive about it, when we said there were going to be cutbacks he said there were going to be no cutbacks but there were going to be freezes. Mr. Speaker, I suspect the civil service would have liked to be frozen, too, frozen to the same number of positions that it was prior to this Budget coming in place on March 7. No cutbacks? - with 2000 in the public service, another 500 or 600 educators, another 700 or 800 in hospital care, and the list is still going up each day.

AN HON. MEMBER: Tell the truth Sam.

MR. WINSOR: I am telling the truth. It is the Minister who does not like to hear the truth. Interestingly enough in this as well the Minister has also attached a schedule of the certain number of people in organizations that will lose their jobs, have their wages frozen as the result, and he lists Memorial University and several other agencies. But yesterday or the day before, the Minister said, I cannot -

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Oh, boy! The Minister of Social Services, I mean he is getting worse at heckling me. He comes in and he takes the House right over. There was not a sound here all morning until the Minister of Social Services arrived. He has sat in just about every seat in the Legislature except on this side. We do not want him on this side. But he sat in every other seat and he spends his time heckling.

MR. HEWLETT: Remind him of the President of Czechoslovakia's (inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Now, Mr. Speaker, the Government could impose wage restraints on several agencies it deals with at arm's length, but it could not intervene at Memorial University and tell them how to spend their money - `Oh, no, we cannot touch that. We could not save MUN Extension because we have to give them the money and the university decides how it is spent.' But for wage restraint you could tell them how to spend it, that you cannot spend the money.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to know since wages are frozen for employees of Newfoundland Hydro, will the Minister do the decent thing and guarantee that rates will be frozen, that we will not be subject to some rate increase in the very near future? Can the Minister make that kind of commitment? He can freeze their wages, he can roll back wages they have been given, but he cannot impose a hydro rate reduction or roll back. Better still, why does he not introduce some legislation now that will roll back the 25 per cent hydro rates to give consumers of this Province a break. Why does the Minister not do that?

Now, Mr. Speaker, what I find ironic and laughable about all of this is that in 1989 the campaign policy manual offers the sky to Newfoundland.

MR. GRIMES: Say it again, Sam.

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, when King Clyde was in Opposition he had access to estimates, he had access to budget documents, he knew exactly the fiscal situation of the Province; he knew exactly what the fiscal situation of the Province was in 1989, when he made all these promises; Mr. Speaker, he knew what it was in 1990. In 1991, he suddenly discovered there is a deficit problem in this Province and he is going to address it now by laying off 2,000 people in the public service, laying off hundreds in the health care sector, and hundreds in education. That is how he is going to address this problem. And then of course he is going to introduce Bill 16 to roll back wages he had already given.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely incredible that it took this administration three Budgets, two years and a few days to realize that this Province has a debt problem; absolutely astounding that it took so long for this administration to realize we have a serious problem with debt in this Province. How could it be that it took that long for the administration to realize it? Did they not realize it in 1989? Mr. Speaker, they probably did not. And the reason they did not was the election did not occur until April 20th, I think. The Budget came down early in May, a Budget primarily done by the former administration; all the preliminary calculations were done, all they had to do was get the officials to write the document and it came through with a surplus, even more than the Minister had projected. In his first real Budget he did he projected a $10 million surplus and ended up with a $117 million debt.

Now why did that occur, Mr. Speaker? Why did that occur? I think one of the first announcements the President of Treasury Board made was about the first labour agreement he settled, which was with the nurses' union. He stood in his place in the old Chamber and said, `Mr. Speaker, we have this new agreement for nurses', and he waved it around. `Mr. Speaker, this is something the previous administration did not do. They did not recognize the contribution nurses make to the Province and, Mr. Speaker, they were a special case and we had to give a catch-up to keep them here.'

Now, Mr. Speaker, it also says in this campaign document, `doctors and nurses and support staff are overworked and in many cases underpaid. Facilities and services are strained beyond their limits.' Now, Mr. Speaker, that is what was said in 1989, doctors and nurses are overworked and underpaid. Now if they were underpaid, how does cutting the number of nurses and rolling back their wages correct that anomaly that existed? How does it do it? They were underpaid in 1989, and you are now going to roll back their wages; hospitals were overworked and you are laying off hundreds in health care. Mr. Speaker, how can that make sense?

The institutions must not be understaffed and compassion must always take precedence over business administration. Mr. Speaker, how could these two occur? How can you shut down 438 beds in the hospitals, layoff hundreds of health care workers, roll back their wages and say we are going to improve health care because the previous administration had underpaid them and overworked them? You are laying off nurses, you are rolling back their wages and you are saying, okay, we are improving the system. Mr. Speaker, how hypocritical.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Yes, we keep hearing them blame the feds. Yet, an examination of the estimates reveals quite clearly that $40 million more came in in transfer payments this year. The Province had $40 million more from the Federal Government this year than it had the previous year - $40 million. Now, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Services does not think that is in the Budget. I will have to get it for him again, because he does not believe it. The only thing he knows is that his Department might not have been cut. That is what he says. I will have to get it again for the Minister

AN HON. MEMBER: Can you read it?

MR. WINSOR: I can manage to do that. No glasses; left my glasses at home.

Now last year the Federal Government - 274? Oh, that is the Minister's. (Inaudible) the Minister's only part. I was talking about the transfer payments which came in and the amount is about $40 million more this year than it was last year. So you cannot blame it on the Feds, because the Feds did not do it. The Province did it. And what the Province did which got us into trouble was it did not know how to negotiate with the public sector unions. And I know what happened. In 1989 they convinced all the labour unions in the Province, `we are going to be your friend. We are going to be your buddy. You vote for us and we are going to take care if you.'

In fact, many of them campaigned, some of them even ran. The Member for Exploits, former labour union; the Member for Conception Bay South, former president of the NTA, they actually ran and convinced people `we are going to correct everything that was wrong with the former government by getting involved now.' And the President of Treasury Board is another former teacher. They wanted to correct all the problems that existed.

Now they did not do it, but in the first year they wanted to be buddy-buddy. The Premier was on an ego trip, Meech Lake was going well and everything else, and it took a year and a half in office before they realized the Province was falling down around their ears, they had not done a thing. They had appointed an Economic Recovery Commission that had not got a job. The economy has gotten worse ever since. But what is even worse, once they realized it they still continued to negotiate with labour unions in this Province, giving them exactly the same wage increases they had committed to other groups months before, knowing all the while that there was going to be a roll back of wages, that the restraint bill, Bill 16, which we have in front of us today, was going to be passed.

So on March 1 or 2, I think it was, they signed their last contract promising wage increases for this year. Now that was bad faith bargaining, when this campaign brochure says how there was going to be fairness, how they were going to negotiate in an open and honest fashion with labour unions. Now these words ring hollow. Because there was never any intent to negotiate fairly with these labour unions.

So now what do they do? They roll back wages. And not only that, it is a permanent loss. Section 8 of this bill sets the tone for labour negotiations forever.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations if she were here would know that part of - and I think she might have been the Minister when the contract was signed - their bargaining was we had to have our catch-up years for the years of restraint.

Now suddenly, Mr. Speaker, she is abandoning that principle. That is no longer important. Wages you lost in the past are not important, because section 8 clearly states that is never going to occur again, and the money you will lose as a result of this one year freeze. And yesterday in answers to questions the President of Treasury Board was not very clear as to whether or not we might not have another year of restraint. It could very well be. If the fiscal situation in the Province does not improve, he is saying we might have another year.

Now, Mr. Speaker, he is thinking he can convince the people of the Province it was the former Administration. He said, one thing I can assure the hon. Member is that if we had continued on the way the previous Government was going, the Province would be bankrupt and there would be no jobs in the public service of this Province. Mr. Speaker, I would say they must be awfully slow learners, because it took them three years to realize we had some budgetary problems - three years - and now they are going to correct all the problems in one year.

Mr. Speaker, how can the people of this Province have any trust in an Administration that days ago deceived -

MR. EFFORD: What a statement! How can anybody have trust (inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: Mr. Speaker, can you not do anything with that Minister over there, give him an inoculation or something?

MR. WINSOR: I suspect he would, but they cannot get him into hospital because there is such a waiting list. Beds are closed. They will be lined up in the streets trying to get in hospital, and only anyone serious might be admitted under emergency conditions.

AN HON. MEMBER: He got hoof and mouth disease.

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, three years it took the President of Treasury Board to realize that we were on a path that might lead us to serious trouble. And the problem, of course, is the Minister of Finance. I think my colleague for Kilbride this morning perhaps told it best. The Minister of Education, the President of Treasury Board, The Minister of Finance, the three of them together I suspect, were the ones who sat down and cut out the education budget. The Minister of Education who so piously stands in his place as the great champion of education stood idly by while his colleague, the Minister of Finance -

AN HON. MEMBER: Graded with an F.

MR. WINSOR: Graded with an F. No question. If we had to give him a passing grade for his record in defending education in this Budget, he could not get it. Now I will say to the Minister that in one year he did do something right. One year he found - an extra $7 million for school construction. He upped it from $20 to $27 million. That is the only positive thing he has done in education since he has been there.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Tell the hon. Member for Green Bay to sit down and relax because he will have his opportunity on Monday to speak. It is too bad that the hon. Member for Fogo is going to leave now because I was going to give him ten minutes so that he would have something to listen to. I sat down and listened to the hon. Member for Fogo for twenty minutes and the only thing that caught my attention during the twenty minutes was when he made the statement in the last couple of minutes: how can the people in Newfoundland have any trust for Government? Well, I can understand what he is saying because after seventeen years of the type of Government they had, how can anybody in this Province with any imagination whatsoever have absolutely any trust? There is nobody who can have any trust in an Administration that rambled on for seventeen years. It will take them at least another seventeen years to get away from the mentality of being totally deceived on a daily basis. They cannot have trust for any politician. What I try to do when I go out around the Province, and out around my district, is to speak to the people and tell them to try and forget the Tories. They are gone and they are never going to come back again. They are passed, they are history. They are disoriented. Maybe at some time a new party might develope in the Province, but I do not think it is going to have anything to do with the NDP, because the poor old jumping fellow down there only gets up once in awhile, so he is not going to have a lot to contribute. He is a loner down there. During the next couple of years, the two and a half years before the next election, at some point in time somebody over there may have the wisdom to say it is time to reorganize, it is time to get another party and to get away from the Tory mentality, because this Province lost all confidence in the Progressive Conservative Government.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible

MR. EFFORD: The old severance over there had better be quite because I might direct a few words in his direction. He got up the other day and talked about discrimination against women. He said on this side of the House of Assembly we discriminate against women. Then in his same speech he went on to talk about the secretaries in his office, when he was in the former Premier Peckford's office -


MR. EFFORD: The hon. Member for Green Bay. This was before he got his severance pay. How he had to dismiss the employees in the Premier's office because the former Premier was no longer in politics, and that is understandable, because those employees had to be changed. Now, I ask the hon. Member, did you give any of those secretarial girls when they left any severance pay? Did they get any severance pay? Now, where is the discrimination? You took your severance pay, but you did not give it to the secretarial staff.

MR. SPEAKER: Order please! Order please!

The hon. the Member for Humber East on a point of order.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Social Services in his last outburst just referred to secretarial girls having worked at the Premier's office previously. I would like to remind him, perhaps he did not realize it, that there were never any children working in the Premier's office, there were women and there were men.

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

No point of order.

The hon. the Member for Green Bay on a point of order.

MR. SIMMS: Is it the same one or a new one?

MR. HEWLETT: No, a new one.

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Green Bay on a point of order.

MR. HEWLETT: Yes, Mr. Speaker. The hon. Minister should know that there was a system of severance for all employees in the Provincial service, from secretarial staff on up to deputy ministers. During my tenure in the Premier's office I also included political staffers in a normal severance program.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

MR. HEWLETT: For all political staffers of all ranks.

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

There is no point of order.

The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. EFFORD: Then if that is the case, can I assume that every individual in the former Premier's office got a $100,000 severance package? Is that what you are saying? Treat everybody equal and fair, $100,000 that you got and everybody else got? That is amazing. Make no wonder we are in a financial mess in this Province if that is the kind of mentality that was used, Mr. Speaker.


MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

MR. EFFORD: So the hon. Member for Green Bay just confirmed that every individual in the former Premier's office got a $100,000 severance package. Now isn't that something else? Treating people equal and fair. That is what you said.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: There, Mr. Speaker, this is the kind of mentality, this is the reason why we have an accumulated debt in this Province in excess of $5.6 million. That is the sort of mentality -

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

MR. EFFORD: Now I believe in treating people equal and fair, but I can tell you very clearly -

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Pardon?

MS. VERGE: What did you pay the Deputy Ministers you fired?

MR. EFFORD: The Deputy Ministers that I fired? When I fire I do not give any severance packages, let me tell you that. When I fire no severance package goes with it. I can assure you of that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Yes. You have no worries about me after the next election.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: I will not have to hang my head in shame. Let me say, Mr. Speaker, very clearly, whenever I am defeated in my district, I will be able to walk out with my head high and say that I made the right decisions while I was in Government and treated the people of this Province in a fair and proper manner.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!


MR. EFFORD: I will not be noted in my district as the cucumber king of Port de Grave district.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: I will be able to walk around very proud and it will be very clear that I have represented the people in a fair and proper manner, and they received just decisions made by a Government that had some common sense and not some foolish notions of growing tomatoes and cucumbers in Mount Pearl just to try to make an impression so we could feed the cattle in Kilbride. And that is what happened, Mr. Speaker. That is the utter nonsense.


MR. EFFORD: That is the utter nonsense that went around and around this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Absolutely.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are being underpaid, John, you are being underpaid (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I am quite satisfied with the pay I am getting. I have no complaints about the pay I am getting. In fact if my wages were frozen again for the next five years I would not complain. Because I consider it an honour and a privilege to be able to sit on this side of the House, and know that we on this side of the House put you people over there. That we did the Province one favour. If we never do anything else we did that one thing right, that is one thing that we can be satisfied with.

AN HON. MEMBER: What about the people?

MR. EFFORD: Well, that was for the people of the Province, that was what we did that for. That is the reason when I was on the Opposition I brought out the information, as I did day after day, and always knew the answers. And I did not have to have somebody up there writing them for me so I could read them off and half-stammer, half the way through, as all you hon. Members know full well. We could give you the question and also the answer in the same instance.

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

I do not know where hon. Members got the notion that everybody can shout when a Member is giving a speech. Since my remembrance of the House, the parliamentary thing to do is for the Member, if he wants to ask a question, to ask if he would permit a question. But for all Members to be shouting - it is certainly not the way that things should be conducted in Parliament.

The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that. I was getting -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: We learned it from the Minister of Social Services.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

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

The Chair is not about to take any reflections on the ruling. The Chair was not here previous to what was going on, and the Chair is going to call it equally on both sides.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I realize the hon. Members opposite are upset, and so they should be, because now they have to sit and listen. The mistakes they made for seventeen years are getting thrown back in their faces and they have to listen to it. It is a fact of reality and I am going to continue. As long as the hon. Members keep putting false information across this side of the House when there are some rational, logical decisions being made to protect the future of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, I am going to continue to do that. And if the hon. Members find it difficult to sit in their places and to listen to the things I am saying, then there is a door over there, they can leave anytime they choose, as they did when the Member for Fogo spoke and there was one Member on his side sitting in his seat, so they must be more interesting in listening to what I have to say than they do the hon. the Member for Fogo. And, Mr. Speaker, it being one minute before twelve o'clock I will adjourn the debate.


MR. SIMMS: A major contribution to (inaudible).

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

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

MR. SIMMS: I wonder if the hon. Government House Leader can advise us what Government business will be called on Monday.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do not mind him.

MR. SIMMS: Pardon me?

I wonder if the Government House Leader, as traditionally he has done, being courteous, will he be calling Bill 16 on Monday? Is that what we can expect?

MR. MATTHEWS: He does not know. He has to call King Clyde.

MR. BAKER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, this is rather extraordinary. Can the Government House Leader please tell us what business we will be dealing with on Monday? He always does. Could he tell us that?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, Hansard will -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. BAKER: - record, I believe, that for the last two or three days I have explained in great detail what is going to happen during the next week or so in this House, explained in great detail, I really do not see the need to go over it again, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Let us co-operate now.

MR. BAKER: Hon. Members know there has been co-operation. Hon. Members know what is happening. We are going to continue on with labour legislation on Monday, but I do not think it is necessary, Mr. Speaker. I did not realize they were slow learners over there. I have explained several times now exactly what the Government plans are.

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

MR. SIMMS: The Government House Leader may be trying to play a little power play for his colleagues over there and being coy with us, but I mean he has told us and told the House and told the public what we can expect to be debated the next day, Government business. So he is being been coy. Is Bill 16 going to be the business called on Monday?


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

It is moved and seconded that this House do now adjourn. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion. All those in favour 'Aye.'


MR. SPEAKER: Those against, 'Nay'.


MR. SIMMS: Oh if that is the kind of game you want to play we can (inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: On a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

On motion, the House at its rising stands adjourned until tomorrow, Monday, April 8, at 2:00 p.m.