April 10, 1991                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS               Vol. XLI  No. 26

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GILBERT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Members of the House and residents of the Province of my Department's plans to call tenders for highway improvements and construction projects. The Provincial Capital Roads program, totalling $25.5 million, includes the upgrading and paving of gravel roads, the resurfacing of existing paved roads, and the construction of new bridges and repairs to existing bridges throughout the island portion of the Province and Labrador. All these projects are 100 per cent Provincially funded.

Mr. Speaker, the projects to be carried out under the Provincial Capital Roads program reflect the priorities established by my Department to improve the overall transportation infrastructure of Newfoundland and Labrador. The approval of this $25.5 million Capital Roads program brings the total budget allocation for highway improvement to $105.7 million for this fiscal year. The Government realizes that the projects I am announcing today cannot meet every demand for highway improvement throughout the Province. However, given the measures of restraint that the Government has had to adopt, the amount of funds appropriated for this purpose is significant and will be a boost to employment for the highway construction industry this year.

Now, Mr. Speaker, rather than read the long list of the $25.5 million, I am going to table it and let Members read it themselves, so I table the report at this time.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. the Member for Kilbride, seated in the Speaker's gallery today is the Ambassador of Sweden to Canada, His Excellency Hakan Berggren, and the Consul General Karin Ahrland. On behalf of all hon. Members therefore I extend a warm and cordial welcome to both the Ambassador and the Consul General, and his entourage, and trust that their visit to our Legislature, capital city and the Province will be an enjoyable one indeed.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Minister for laying a copy of this on our desk before the House opened.

Mr. Speaker, make no wonder he did not want to read out the list. Make no wonder he did not want to read out the list of 68 project, of which four are in PC districts.


MR. R. AYLWARD: No wonder he did not want to read out the list, Mr. Speaker. Here is some fairness and balance for you, $25.5 million spent in this Province on roads, Mr. Speaker, and at a quick glance at this I can identify four small projects that will be spent on Members districts on this side of the House.

Mr. Speaker, do you not think that the road between Goose Bay and Labrador West deserved a little bit more money than a bit of maintenance money this summer? I think that road deserves much more money than a little bit of maintenance money. Out of 68 projects that are listed in here there will be four in districts that are represented by this side of the House.

AN HON. MEMBER: Four too many!

MR. R. AYLWARD: Four too many says the Minister of Environment, I believe it was.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Four too many!

MR. R. AYLWARD: I am not surprised by that, Mr. Speaker, because the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Social services all think the same way. That is the type of thinking they have. They are too narrow minded to see beyond their noses.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Already, Mr. Speaker?

Oral Questions

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Education, and I wonder if the Minister can confirm that the budget for substitute teaching has been slashed by another $2 million, reduced by 21,000 to 61,000 days, a 22 per cent cut in the amount of substitute teaching days and that substitute training days have declined from 90,000 three years ago, a decrease of 30 per cent since the Minister took office?

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am answering the questions simply because at this precise moment in time, it is a collective bargaining issue and I am in the process of handling it, that is why I am answering the questions. The answer, Mr. Speaker, is quite simple; in the Budget, the amount of money we estimate each year which is used for substitute teachers is in the Budget in an overall amount of some, over $400 million, that is used for teachers salaries and a variety of other purposes, so the budgeted amounts are estimated amounts and all I can say to the hon. Member is, he knows the way the system operates; these are estimated amounts and whether or not there is a reduction or increase depends in large part in terms of the number of days - depends in large part on the work of a committee which we hope will be working throughout the summer preparing a report to present to Treasury Board, Department of Education, NTA before school starts in September so, the upshot of this is that we will guarantee the same level of services as before, however, the exact expenditures over the next few years will depend very largely on the work of this committee.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Certainly, it perturbs me and surely it perturbs the teachers; the same thing was supposed to happen with the teaching aides, last year, if we remember. I will ask the Minister of Education then, if it is factual that these cuts are in place, does he agree with the conclusion of the superintendent of the St. John's Roman Catholic School Board, that only sick leave requirements will be able to be met out of the amount provided - forgetting about anything to be negotiated - that out of the amount provided only sick leave requirements can be met?

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

MR. BAKER: First of all, Mr. Speaker, we -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: Just listen, just listen.

MR. BAKER: - do not agree with that statement. Presumably, there will be money provided for obligatory substitute teacher expenses which include replacing teachers who are sick or off for periods of time; there will be enough money for expenditures in terms of special leave, money for expenditures in terms of bereavement leave and all these other leaves that teachers have access to, so, it is not correct to say that there will be money only for the sick leave. I must comment on the introduction of the hon. Member, who said something about the situation like teacher aids; well, I would like to inform him he is wrong on two counts: No.1. It is students assistants he was talking about, not teacher aides and No.2. The expenditure last year on student assistants went way up over the year before.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Mr. Speaker, I will ask the Minister of Education then, since he was the one who said that the education budget - and I remember the first headlines - will not negatively affect students in the Province. The Superintendent for Humber - St. Barbe says 'Governments commitment is not being met, students will now negatively be affected?' Does the Minister agree with that statement?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the measures taken in the Budget, I will reconfirm, will not have serious effect on the students in the classroom. I cannot answer for a statement made by somebody else. All I can do is tell the hon. Member what the situation is, and I cannot answer as to what the motivations may be for one individual or another individual in the Province making the particular statement that he made. I do not know what his motives are. Perhaps the hon. gentleman would have a better explanation of that than I would.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Mr. Speaker, I just say that the man like the other is an educator.

I will ask the Minister of Education then, how does he propose that the in-service needs of teachers and the extra curricular activities of students, which often require the absence of teachers from the classrooms, will be met? And will he now admit that this cut on top of all other cuts will affect the quality of education provided to the children in this Province?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, all I can repeat is that pending the report of the committee, obviously any decisions we make over the next couple of years are going to be based on the information obtained from this committee made up of, we hope, equal representation from the NTA, the school boards and from Government.

As to how to more - I believe the terminology is: to examine the effect of an efficient use of substitute teacher work force. So the way that the money will be used will depend in a large part on the findings of the committee. In the meantime, things will carry on as normal and we will provide the same level of service as last year.

MR. HEARN: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, a final supplementary.

MR. HEARN: A final supplementary, this time to the President of Treasury Board. Does he expect then, after waffling over the answers to such important questions, the teachers of this Province to sign an agreement when important issues like this are left up in the air?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I suppose in every collective agreement there are some issues that are left up in the air. The hon. Member is quite knowledgeable about the fact that sometimes letters are appended to collective agreements that put issues off to committees and all this kind of thing, so there are issues that are left up in the air. As to whether the teachers would vote to accept this particular collective agreement, it is a very, very complex collective agreement, certainly, and some of the changes are very complex, and as to whether they would vote to accept it or reject it I could not say, and I would not want to interfere with that process of the teachers voting. The hon. Member apparently wants to interfere with that process, wants to create some kind of uncertainty, and is attempting to interfere in that process, but I would not want to do that.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. I wonder if the Minister is aware of the serious occupational health and safety problems that have been experienced at the office of the Social Services Department in Marystown as a result of fumes from a piece of heavy equipment that has been located in the building?

MS. COWAN: (Inaudible)

MR. SPEAKER: In view of the circumstances we ask the hon. Member to start his question over because the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations says she cannot hear the question.

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

I wonder if the Minister is aware of the serious occupational health and safety problems that have been experienced in the office of the Department of Social Services in Marystown as a result of a piece of heavy equipment, a forklift, that has been operating in the building? I wonder if the Minister can confirm that tests conducted there by her Department have on one occasion revealed that pollution levels were six times above acceptable limits, and that on another occasion they were so high that the readings went completely off the scale?

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

MS. COWAN: Excuse me, Mr. Speaker, if indeed I should have stood on a point of order. I thought it would be a compliment to the hon. Member to want to hear his question. I would expect that he wants an answer. I am not aware of the matter that he brings before me but I will check into it at my earliest possible convenience. Now just to continue for a moment, Mr. Speaker, if it has not been brought to my attention then perhaps it is not as serious as the gentleman implies, but I will not say that until I have had an opportunity to look into it.

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

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

I am very, very surprised that the Minister responsible for the Occupational Safety Act is not aware of this particular situation. I am wondering if the Minister could explain why the situation has been allowed to continue for a little more than two years and has really adversely affected the health of workers in the situation, and why no measures have been taken until recently to alleviate the situation?


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

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

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, clearly the question asked is asked to the Minister who has jurisdiction over health and safety, and another Minister is not permitted to answer a question not within his competence.

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, first of all it is very unusual to bring up points of order during Question Period. It is not normal, and the hon. Member should know that. Number two, he also knows quite well that when questions are asked the Minister who has knowledge of that particular incident may answer. There is nothing which says that when you ask a question to the Premier, for instance, that some other Minister cannot get up and answer it. That is normal procedure in every democratic institution in the world, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SIMMS: It is not. It is absolutely not.

MR. BAKER: The other point, Mr. Speaker, is that the Minister of Social Services obviously has particular knowledge. The question centred around why this went on for the last two years. Obviously, this Minister who knows his department extremely well would have the answer.

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible) his department, and that -

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

To that point of order, I refer hon. Members to Beauchesne page 123, clause 418. It says, `The Speaker has stated, "Hon. Members may not realize it but questions are actually put to the Government. The Government decides who will answer." Another one in support of that, 419, `The Prime Minister answers for the government as a whole` - in this case, of course, it is the Premier - `and is entitled to answer any question relating to any ministerial portfolio and matter of policy. Likewise, he is entitled to delegate this responsibility to some other Minister.' So the two together clearly indicates that any Minister who feels confident can answer the question that is put. I refer the hon. Member to Beauchesne's, 123, 418 which says, "The Speaker, has stated, "Hon. Members may not realize it but questions are actually put to the Government. The Government decides who will answer."

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I have full knowledge of what is taking place at the Marystown office. We are presently, Mr. Speaker -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) you are not responsible (inaudible)..

MR. EFFORD: If the hon. Member wants an answer to his question I am willing to answer. If not, I will take my seat.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, for the Marystown office we are renting a commercial building in Marystown. Apparently the basement part is occupied by a business which have been using a forklift in that particular basement. Two weeks ago, some fumes escaped from the forklift - they had some mechanical problems with it - and they got up into the building. We took the workers out of that particular building. Since then we have met with the owners of the building and are now in the process of asking the company which occupies the basement to move out to correct the matter. We are fully aware of the matter. An inspection was done and there were some levels of concern. They were five times higher than normal, the Member was quite right. But measures have been taken by the Department of Social Services with the owner of that particular building and it is now being corrected.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a supplementary to the Minister responsible for the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the Province, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. Is the Minister aware that a number of employees found the situation so bad they found it necessary to refuse to work, under section 43 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act? Does she not support their right to do so? And does she not agree they exercised their right in a very reasonable manner, particularly in view of the fact that remedial action was not taken and this went on over a period of more than two years? Remedial action was not taken until they had refused to work in that environment.

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

MR. EFFORD: In the first place, Mr. Speaker, the Member knows quite well that this has not gone on for two years; it is less than two months since it was first noted in the Marystown office. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, the employees were allowed and were told to leave the building until we found out the source of the problem. That was done by the Department of Social Services, by the ADM responsible for regional operations. There were no employees forced to work in those conditions. After the problem was corrected, the employees returned to the workplace.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A supplementary, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Social Services.

MR. RIDEOUT: This is one that was meant for you!

MR. MATTHEWS: Can the Minister explain why his Department has taken disciplinary action against those employees who took action to protect their health and which was provided for under the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

MR. RIDEOUT: Legally entitled to do it.

MR. MATTHEWS: The action taken is they have been notified they are going to lose one day's pay, and there are letters of reprimand being put in their files. Is the Minister not aware that such discriminatory action is illegal under Section 47 of the Act?

AN HON. MEMBER: It certainly is, too.

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

MR. EFFORD: Let me tell the hon. Member who is either being misinformed or is intentionally trying to mislead the House of Assembly -

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker! Mr. Speaker!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!


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

It is unparliamentary to say that a Member has intentionally or deliberately misled the House, so I ask the hon. Member to withdraw that.

MR. EFFORD: I withdraw, Mr. Speaker, and I apologize to the House. Action has been taken against two employees, quite right. We will not withdraw that action taken. The normal thing for employees to do when asked to return to the workplace is to do so. They were removed from the workplace because of fumes. Two of the employees who have been reprimanded had work - three employees - outside. Social workers do not only work in the building. If they had visitations to a home or a child who needs the service in a community outside the workplace, they must do it. Those workers refused to work outside the building, and a reprimand was given by the Department of Social Services.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I say to the Minister of Social Services that people in that office had visited doctors' offices consistently over the last two years; they were sick, they were dizzy, they had headaches and so on. They regularly consulted a physician. Now I want to say to the Minister that in essence what he has said in this House today is that he is prepared to break his own Government's Occupational Health and Safety Act. Workers have a right to refuse to work in those conditions.

My supplementary is, will the Minister put a stop to this harassment which can only send a message -

MR. WINDSOR: Will the Minister of Labour enforce the Act, is a good question?

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, no, but he is harassing them. Will he stop this harassment which can only send a message to all Government employees that refusing to work in unsafe and unhealthy situations will result in disciplinary action by this Government? Specifically, will the Minister reinstate the day's pay and will he tear up the letters of reprimand?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Let me take the last part of the question first. No. No. I will not tear up any letters of reprimand. Anybody who works in the Department of Social Services, in the Marystown office, they were not forced back to that particular site. The only people who were reprimanded were people who were asked to do a job they had to do in the community, visiting families.

AN HON. MEMBER: You do not know what you are talking about!

MR. EFFORD: I know very well what I am talking about. I have also visited that office. I sat down with the employees last year, Mr. Speaker, and had a very informal meeting with the them.

AN HON. MEMBER: Last year?

MR. EFFORD: I asked them if there were any concerns but no worker -

MR. MATTHEWS: That is a lie!

MR. EFFORD: - at that particular time brought up any problems to me personally, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: That is a lie! That is a lie!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. Member to withdraw the word "lie", which he just used, please.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, the propane fumes have been in that building for over two years. That is why I made the statement that the Minister is telling a lie, the problem was not there twelve months ago. Having said that, I withdraw.

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I will repeat again that I have visited that office personally. There have been regular visits by the regional operations manager who is situated in Harbour Grace and the Assistant Deputy Minister to all the offices around the Province. When it was brought to our attention we immediately removed the employees from that place of work until the problem was corrected. It was noted that the people who occupied the building corrected it immediately - removed the forklift from that particular building.

But, Mr. Speaker, very clearly people who have a responsibility to work must do their job. Otherwise, we have to reprimand or take action against those employees. Nobody will be forced to work in unsuitable working conditions. Now that is the position of the Department of Social Services, Mr. Speaker.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible) 47, read the Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Harbour Main.

MR. DOYLE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Premier. Just a few months ago the Premier informed the House of Assembly that the Economic Recovery Commission had created 1,535 jobs - created or preserved 1,535 - in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. At the time the Premier said and I want to quote him here directly, `Every one of those jobs is attributable to the Economic Recovery Commission, and would not have taken place merely by the normal routine work of the Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation.' I want to ask the Premier, does he stand by that statement today?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I have not looked at the material or the information on which that position was based since I delivered it to the House. I can only say I believe it was totally and completely accurate at the time I gave it. In order to assess whether or not there is any change in that situation today I would have to go back and reassess the material, and I am quite prepared to do so if the hon. Member feels the matter is urgent enough to do it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Harbour Main.

MR. DOYLE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I believe the Premier should go back and take a long hard look at the statement he made.

Now let me ask the Premier is he aware that eighteen of the thirty-two companies who received funding also received funding from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, ACOA, twenty-six received funding from Enterprise Newfoundland, and only six received financial help from the Economic Recovery Commission, totalling approximately a couple of hundred thousand dollars? Is the Premier aware of that?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: That may not be the case. I will certainly check it and see. But, I mean, that is of no consequence to the issue. The simple fact is, Mr. Speaker, the ERC runs and directs and manages and built up Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador to what it is today. That was done by the ERC and it is under their constant direction on a regular basis.

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, the ERC has a tremendously good working relationship with ACOA. They work fairly well with Mr. Slade who heads ACOA, and they are able jointly through their efforts with ACOA to promote ACOA financing. And wherever they can they certainly do that. So this does not alter the information that I gave the House in any way, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Harbour Main.

MR. DOYLE: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Will the Premier confirm that the companies assisted by the Economic Recovery Commission in actual fact created ten new full-time jobs, thirty-seven part-time jobs, maintained employment in another eighteen jobs for a total of sixty-five jobs, rather than the 1,535 jobs the Premier claimed not too long ago? And in view of the performance of the Economic Recovery Commission let me say to the Premier, which is costing the taxpayers of Newfoundland $3 million a year, over the next fiscal year and the twenty-two or twenty-three months which have gone by, it is going to cost $6.5 million. So it is costing $3 million a year. In view of that, will he now abolish the Economic Recovery Commission and take that money to preserve employment in health and education? $3 million can preserve 100 jobs in health and education instead of feeding that fat monster the Premier has created which is sucking up money like a vacuum cleaner and showing little or no return for the twenty-four or twenty-three months it has been in operation. Will the Premier abolish -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. DOYLE: - that fat monster and put the money in health and education and justice in the Province?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I will reassess those figures and report to the House within the next couple of days just how wrong the hon. Member is. I know now without even having to assess them that he is grossly out of whack and is grossly misleading this House, Mr. Speaker.

But just assume for a moment, Mr. Speaker, that he was correct and the expenditure of about $3 million last year resulted in the creation of sixty-five new jobs. That would be infinitely more jobs than was created by the expenditure of the $22 million they had in Sprung.

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister responsible for Works, Services and Transportation. The Minister said in this House a while ago in debate the ferry fleet owned by the Department was for the most part junk and in need of replacement. If that statement is true, why did the Minister delay the construction of a new ferry for Fogo Island? If the fleet is in such need of repair and given the urgency of the need for fleet repair as witnessed by events of the past few days, does he consider it wise to further delay the construction of new ferries for this island?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works, Service s and Transportation.

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, I am very suspicious every time I am quoted by Members on that side of the House. What I might have said was the fleet that was inherited when we took over was bought by the Members in Opposition and was possibly junk, like the Green Bay Transport we spent a couple of million dollars on and which is now a barge down in Marystown.

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

MR. WINSOR: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Let me ask the Minister this then. Is he aware of the statement made on CBC Crosstalk by the Premier when he said that a new ferry for Fogo Island would only alleviate the situation that presently exists for a couple of weeks? Has the Minister been given this advice by his officials, or is this the Premier taking on the role of a ship designer, a naval architect, a marine engineer along with every other responsibility in Government?

MR. SPEAKER: Is nobody answering?

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Environment and Lands who is responsible for wildlife. I would like to ask the Minister if his Department has made a decision on the issuing of polar bear licenses in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador this year? If so, how many have been issued and to whom?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands.

MR. KELLAND: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That is a timely question and I compliment the Member for putting it forth. I would have liked to be able to give him a specific and definite answer today, Mr. Speaker, but that is impossible. I would anticipate we could answer that question in greater detail either the last day of this week or very early next week. We are currently discussing the matter with some people in the hon. Member's district and with some other Government agencies to determine whether or not we can proceed. The Federal/Provincial allocation, as the hon. Member knows being a former Minister, would be at four bears. Whether or not we can allocate that will be determined over the next couple of days in consultation.

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My supplementary to the Minister. Would the Minister confirm that his Department has suggested that there will be four polar bear licences issued, and also the Department will be issuing those four polar bear licences to a native association in Labrador? However, the licences will be available on a first come first served basis, which means there could be school teachers, RCMP offices, or other people, non-native people, who could get those polar bear licences?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands.

MR. KELLAND: Mr. Speaker, I believe I have answered the question to the level I can at this point in time. I indicated to the hon. Member that we are in consultation with a group, and only one group actually in Northern Labrador. So I would assume if the Member has some information, as I understand it was dealt with in confidential correspondence at this point and we have suggested a number of different ways to approach the problem. As I said, and as the Member well knows, the maximum allocation we could probably make anyway is four bears. It would very likely be in the Torngat Mountains District. We have no mandate to give exclusivity to any particular ethnic group at this point in time, and we may not do so until following the conclusion of any land claims negotiation which may impact on that particular question.

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My final supplementary. Is the Minster aware that all throughout Canada the only people who hunt polar bear are aboriginal people? Therefore, why is the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador opening an avenue that will give people other than aboriginal people the opportunity to hunt polar bear?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands.

MR. KELLAND: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. Member would like me to tell him all about polar bear hunting in Northern Labrador I would be happy to do it. Two years ago, when the hon. Member was a Minister, he put in place such an ineffective and inefficient method of killing polar bear that the Labrador Inuit Association inadvertently, through no fault of their own and based on the incompetence of the Minister's system, ended up killing seven bears when the allocation was four. Further, Mr. Speaker, he issued a permit, it was not a licence, the hon. Member issued a permit on the scientific basis, and the basis of that is that there would be a collection of Polar bears for scientific reasons. He bent the rules, he bent them out of shape in fact, Mr. Speaker. Now, I was ready to answer a question in a straightforward manner and I am trying to do so.

The scientific collection of Polar bears was for scientific purposes and the LIA was given the authority during the campaign, Mr. Speaker, when the hon. Member went up to Torngat Mountains during the campaign of 1989 with an unsigned permit for scientific purposes in his pocket and when he tested the waters in his District and saw his chances to get re-elected, he signed the permit on the spot. Those are the facts, Mr. Speaker.

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

I was about to suggest to the hon. Minister that I thought he was getting into the area of debate. It is also a good opportunity to remind hon. Members that Question Period is not for debate, it is for asking Questions and soliciting information.

Question Period has expired.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, first of all I wish to apologize for the outburst earlier during Question Period - and I did.

Secondly, I realize also that Members do not have the right to question the Speaker's ruling in Question Period, that is also a rule. However, there are times when there are issues and matters that arise, as Your Honour would well know, in the heat of everything that make people upset. And I certainly was upset today with that particular reference and ruling in Question Period, and I think it is important that we know what the rules are, particularly during Question Period.

And one can infer from the ruling today - paragraph 418 that Your Honour used - which says: "'Members might not realize it but questions are actually put to the Government.'" We understand that. But I have a reference here also on page 122, paragraph 410 (16) of Beauchesne, 6th edition, which says: "Ministers may be questioned only in relation to current portfolios." Page 122, Beauchesne, 6th edition, paragraph 410 (16), up on top.

Now my point is this. The question that my colleague from Grand Bank was asking was related to and asking questions about the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, in her capacity responsible for occupational health and safety. Those were the questions. That is truly in relation to that Minister's current portfolio. It is not in relation to the current portfolio of the Minister of Social Services.

So therefore in my view, I mean, there can be all kinds of rulings one way or the other, perhaps, and we find that too from time to time. But it is important that we know, because from Your Honour's ruling I think the inference can be simply - the Opposition need not direct a question to any Minister. Perhaps the Opposition would just stand, ask a question, and whoever wants to answer it could answer it, which I do not think makes much sense. So I think for that reason -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: - well, I mean, why could we not ask the Minister of Municipal Affairs about fishery?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Well, because of the Speaker's ruling today it does not matter who answers the questions and that is my whole point. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I draw it to your attention.

MR. SPEAKER: The Speaker will do further research on this. From my long experience in this House and having asked probably as many questions as any other Member here, I know in my own case I have directed questions to Ministers and other Ministers have answered them - it sort of rubbed me the wrong way, but that is what happened. I can assure the hon. Member that it has happened in the past. I will research it further and if I need to change the rule I will do it.

The hon. the Premier might want to advance - I will listen to an argument from him.

PREMIER WELLS: Just to respond briefly to the comments made by the Opposition House Leader. Mr. Speaker, our rules are clear and fair - both. It is very simple. The Opposition can direct questions to whatever Minister they want but basically the questions are to the Government, as Your Honour has ruled. If the Government feels that one Minister or another has more information or can better deal with or more adequately deal with the question, then that is the Minister who should answer it.

In this case they were dealing with the manner in which the office run by the Minister of Social Services was running. Now, there is an aspect of it that has to do with occupational health and safety, that is quite true. But it is still for the Government to decide which Minister will answer. Now, all the rule - that the hon. gentleman just referred to - all that means is that a Member of the Opposition cannot ask of the Attorney General or ask of the Minister of Finance a question relating to the running of the Attorney General's Department. He cannot do that. He simply cannot ask the question.

But if the question is asked of the Attorney General and the Attorney General says: well, really, that is dealing with the way in which the funds are expended and the number of people we have employed, and the President of Treasury Board is more knowledgeable, I will ask the President of Treasury Board to deal with it. It is for efficiency and fairness and sensible operation and I would ask Your Honour to confirm the ruling you have already made.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Not to prolong this debate but I mean, clearly, the Premier is giving us his interpretation of that reference and I do not think that is important; what is important is Your Honour's interpretation, that is what I am seeking, and since Your Honour has indicated he is going to do some more research, that is excellent, great, that is really what I wanted to hear. But may I take this opportunity to offer him one other reference that he can look at when he does his research, and that is a reference from Hansard of 1984, March 15th.

Just to show how wrong the Premier was, it is that the rules are not clear, that is the whole problem; for example, the Speaker of the day in 1984, who was not me, by the way, said: 'The matter of transferring the answer to a question from one Minister to another: I did have some research done, blah, blah, blah, blah. There has been a ruling that when an objection was made by the Opposition to a second Minister, if you will, giving further information, it was objected to by the Opposition, and the Speaker then ruled in essence that the second Minister could not continue with answers'.

There were rulings, maybe, we could also make some kind of a decision on this and perhaps the best way to do it, would be, if a Minister wishes to transfer to another Minister, which is what happened in this case, then maybe, if the Opposition is not willing to go along with it, so be it, and if not, then it might have to be done by consent, so that Speaker said and implied that if such a situation arose, it should be by consent, so I refer that to Your Honour: Hansard, March 15, 1984, page 325 for whatever it might be worth; and I realize that the Premier or the Government House Leader might not think it is worth very much, but Your Honour is what is important and not the Premier's ruling.

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

MR. BAKER: Just a very brief comment on the case put forward twice by the Opposition House Leader. Mr. Speaker, the reference to which he refers, was a reference whereby a Minister gave an answer to a question and then decided to let another Minister give a further answer to the question. Obviously, I agree, Mr. Speaker, with that interpretation, however, Mr. Speaker, also, the hon. Gentleman has a habit of making a statement that has shades of truth about it, it is partially correct and so on.

He made reference to a Speaker indicating that the rules are not clear and obviously, in our Standing Orders, they are not clear, Mr. Speaker, so, when you leave the Standing Orders, you go to the traditions and customs of the House which, as Your Honour knows, ever since I have been here, the tradition has been that Ministers who are most competent in that particular subject matter can answer a question, that has been the history of my stay in this House.

Also, Mr. Speaker, if that itself is not clear then we go to the House of Commons and Beauchesne. Now Beauchesne, as Your Honour has pointed out, is very clear, is very clear on this issue, and all Members of the House, if they wish to go home and turn on the Parliamentary channel, can look at the Parliamentary Question Period in Ottawa, and they will discover that most of the questions in every Question Period are answered by a Minister other that the Minister to which the questions are directed, so, Your Honour, I think it is very clear; the Opposition House Leader is in a bit of a pique about something, I do not know what it is, maybe he should get back to smoking.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair will do as it indicated.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I failed yesterday to provide an answer to a question on the value of the assets of Harlow, a question directed to me by the Member for Grand Falls.

The university informed me yesterday that the university does not have an appraised value of the Harlow property.

AN HON. MEMBER: It does not?

DR. WARREN: It does not have an appraised value of the Harlow property. I did find out in subsequent research that approximately $380,000, 152,000 pounds, was borrowed back in the late 1960s to finance the renovations to the campus and that is being paid off I think, at about $30,000 a year, Mr. Speaker, over a thirty year period.

I have a lot of other information on Harlow; on who attends and the students from Newfoundland and the fact the hon. Member might want to talk with the former Minister of Education, who arranged major education conferences at Harlow, so there is quite a bit of activity involving Newfoundland students and Newfoundland professors and instructors at Harlow.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I stand to present a petition on behalf of several residents from Branch on the Cape Shore. Actually, I should not say Branch on the Cape Shore. People refer to Branch as being on the Cape Shore but it is not, it is part of St. Mary's Bay actually, but tied in with the communities along the Cape Shore so it is usually lumped in. It is to the hon. House of Assembly in the Province of Newfoundland Legislative Assembly, and it is a petition asking Government to get involved in the reinstatement of Memorial University Extension.

Over the last few days I have been talking about the part that Memorial University Extension has played in the Cape Shore area, and I notice the Minister of Fisheries looking at me, a man who has served the area for quite some time and is well aware of the remoteness of the area, and the involvement, I am sure, of MUN Extension. Undoubtedly, he will support the request of the people from this area to have the university extension reinstated. Now, yesterday, after I presented the petition, the Minister of Social Services responded and gave us a lecture on expecting Government to interfere with what goes on at the University. He talked about academic freedom and everything else. I have no argument with that to a point, as the Premier would say, and the Premier probably has no argument with it to a point, but there comes a time in the affairs of men when certain interferences have to be run, whether it is in accountability for the funding used at the University - an institution which seems to want nobody else to look at how it is spending its money - or to dictate to them how money is spent.

After all it is from the public purse and the buck really stops here in the House of Assembly, so consequently you do not go and say you must do this, that, or the other thing, no, but in consultation and in the power of the purse strings certainly we have to make sure that the services provided by our institutions with Government money, and with public funds, are the best that serve the people of the Province. Consequently, when we talk about interference we are not talking about direct interference we are talking about using our heads in making sure that the institutions that spend our money spend it in the most appropriate way. Maybe one could question why Memorial University decided to axe MUN Extension, and it might be the same reason, or along the same lines why CBC decided to axe Land and Sea. Now, if you want to tie in two institutions that are similar, Land and Sea and the type of work it did throughout rural Newfoundland promoting the fishery, farming activities, mining activities, and what have you, particularly the mining and fishery sectors, Land and Sea was to the average outport Newfoundlander the half hour during the week when he could sit back, relax and look at something that really hit home. Memorial University Extension: the programs that they carried despite the fact that they did not get the splash that Land and Sea got, because of its involvement in prime time and what have you, but through Decks Awash, which they produced for years and years and their general involvement in the areas, they carried the same kind of message to the public of the Province and gave the public of the Province the same kind of a forum. Now, I said maybe the same reason they were cut. If CBC had cut some of the other foolishness they put on there would be nobody upset, there would be nobody going back looking for more money. If MUN had cut some irrelevant programs, or cut out some of the special research that is done in areas of maybe non-importance, then there would be no reaction, but they cut MUN Extension because they knew there was going to be lots of reaction, and there will be lots of reaction, and fortunately, or unfortunately, it is directed towards Government, because as I say the buck stops there really. The same way with land and sea, the reaction is not against CBC where it should be because they made the decision, but yet people opposite, of course, would like for the people who are upset with the action of Land and Sea to direct their hostilities toward Government. Once again the Federal Government funds CBC and consequently has to share in some of the blame. So, it is just not fair for a Minister of the Crown in particular to get up and say, we are not going to tell anybody how to spend their money. Each Minister in each Department is told how the money must be spend, you know the Premier is told how the money in his office has to be spent and he has to live within those rules and laws, but he is responsible to the public for every cent as is every one of us. Other people around the Province, boards and institutions, can travel all over the world, the union members can have the best kind of benefit packages and big cars, way bigger than Ministers, nobody hears a word about it - they are accountable to no one. Anybody over there or anybody over here who buys a hot dog is accountable to the people as is only right, but we are accountable. We will be held up publicly. So there are different rules in the game, but because it is public money consequently the public should get the best bang for the buck -

MR. SPEAKER: Order Please!

The hon. the Member's time is up.

MR. HEARN: - and by axing Memorial University Extension we are not getting true value. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to rise in support of the petition presented by the hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, and I want to say in doing so that I do on behalf of my constituents in St. John's East, a rather urban district for the most part, Mr. Speaker, although it does contain a couple of what might be considered fishing villages, Quidi Vidi and the Battery. But I want to say this because I think it is important to remind hon. Members, particularly the hon. Member for Eagle River and the Minister of Social Services representing Port de Grave who stood in this House and, I suppose, criticized me for being from St. John's and for representing a St. John's district. Well I want these hon. Members and all Members opposite to know that the residents of St. John's East, my constituents, have petitioned me, have approached me, have asked me to support MUN Extension and to ask this Government to do what it can do and has to do to make it possible for MUN Extension to continue. Again, contrary to some of the comments you hear opposite, I know what it is like in Branch in St. Mary's Bay. I have been to Branch and to Point Lance, Patrick's Cove, Gooseberry Cove and other settlements around that area that are isolated, although they are relatively close to St. John's compared to other parts of Newfoundland in the Minister of Health's district. These communities are relatively close to St. John's, but they are very isolated. There will never be a university in Branch, Newfoundland. But I do know that organizations such as MUN Extension have been successful in bringing the knowledge and the facilities and the communication about other communities in Newfoundland to the people of Branch in helping them to organize in agricultural projects, community projects, town council projects. The hon. Member mentions a program that CBC had on, Land and Sea, which was another means of bringing parts of rural Newfoundland to other parts of rural Newfoundland, a method of knowledge about how we in Newfoundland live and make a living.

Mr. Speaker, extension services was a part of that process as well because it, through its communications facilities, through its communications efforts and use of video and television and film projects were able to bring the voice of the people of rural Newfoundland to each other, to enable them to communicate and understand what was going on in other communities and try ideas that they might be successful with.

Mr. Speaker, there is an office of MUN Extension in Placentia. I am told that the University is about to close it down on Friday afternoon. I also hear that there is some hope because I understand that the Premier has agreed to meet with the friends of MUN Extension some time in the next day or so. I understand also that there is a meeting of the Board of Regents that is taking place tomorrow, and I understand that the Minster of Education has also agreed to meet with some of the friends of MUN Extension to discuss what possibilities there might be. Now, Mr. Speaker, we have heard the Premier and the Minister of Education say, quite rightly, that the Government ought not to interfere with the academic freedom of an institution like Memorial University, and I think it is important to remind the public and to remind Members of the House that that is a very important fundamental principle. But that is not what we are talking about here. That principle did not stop the Premier and the Minister of Education and the Liberal Party, when they were campaigning, talking about what they were going to do in terms of putting first year programs in various parts of the Island, having degree granting institutions in Corner Brook, and the Grenfell College was going to be fully degree granting. How could they talk about that if the University was not going to be influenced by this Government? How could they talk about a university in Central Newfoundland if the university was not going to be influenced and directed or assisted by this Government to develop or maintain programs? That is the kind of two-facedness we have been hearing from this Government: oh we cannot do that, because it would interfere with this great principle on the one hand, when it suits them. But on the other hand, when they want to promote themselves, their own policies or their own programs they can do it. All of sudden they can do it.

But, Mr. Speaker, they cannot have it both ways. They know - and they know on that side of the House and on this side of the House -and the people of Newfoundland know that this Government can assist, can influence, can persuade and can support programs of Memorial University to carry on. The University did not say we want to destroy MUN Extension because we have changed our minds, they said we do not have the money.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

I do not think his time is up, but it is Wednesday and it is three o'clock. And when it is three o'clock on Wednesday we have no choice but to call the Orders of the Day. We are into a private member's resolution, but I do not know which one. Yes, it is the Member for Lewisporte.

Orders of the Day

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

MR. PENNEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is my pleasure today to introduce the resolution that appears on the Order Paper under the name of the hon. the Member for Eagle River. In my hon. colleague's absence, I will do the honours for him. I would like to first read the resolution:

WHEREAS all residents of Labrador from Lodge Bay to Nain depend solely on Marine Atlantic to transport all food and supplies to their communities; and

WHEREAS costal Labradorians presently pay the highest cost of living in Eastern Canada; and

WHEREAS 80 per cent of the people are on fixed incomes and employment is seasonal; and

WHEREAS high operating costs prohibit the economic viability of many fish plants;

BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House condemn the Federal Government for allowing Marine Atlantic to raise its freight rates to Labrador by 60 per cent this year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the House demand an immediate freezing of the rates until public hearings are held and a full review of the issue is completed.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I think it is probably appropriate that I be the Member who would introduce this in the absence of my colleague for Eagle River. Although I probably could not display the passion for the coastal residents of Labrador that we have become accustomed to from my hon. colleague, Lewisporte is, in fact, the primary port of supply to all of coastal Labrador and it has been known for many years as the Gateway to the North. That is a title it justifiably carries, Mr. Speaker. Because in 1987 alone, of the fifteen wharf ports from Red Bay to Nain, Lewisporte supplied 50 per cent of all the freight. And in 1987, of the total of 29,000 tons of freight that went to the coast of Labrador, 40 per cent of it came out of Lewisporte. Now that is compared with 24 per cent that came out of St. John's.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give an example of some of the actual increases. Instead of just looking at percentage, I would like to give an example of just how these increases will impact on the coast. For instance, firewood going to Labrador from St. John's has increased from $2.83 to $3.70 for 100 pounds. That is an increase of 31 per cent.

Class B, Mr. Speaker, which includes appliances, chairs, doors, desks, explosives, furniture, glass, gyproc, hardware, heaters, mirrors, panelboard, increased from $2.83 to $3.70. Again, a rate increase of 31 per cent.

Class C: Building materials, cement, concrete blocks, fish meal, grain, an increase of 38 per cent, from $2.68 a hundredweight to $3.70. Now these may be just figures on a piece of paper, but for the residents of Labrador this is very important.

On automobiles, auto trailers, boat trailers, campers, motor homes and vans an increase from $238.14 to $298.75, an increase of 25 per cent. And for any vehicle or trailer over twenty feet in length it has gone up to $424, which is a $94 increase, another increase of 29 per cent.

Now Class A: This is the class that includes fish, fish products, food stuffs, groceries, juice, milk, vegetables. I think this is the one my hon. colleague was most concerned about, and I understand why. In a non-temperature controlled shipment the price has gone from $156 to $248. That is an increase of 59 per cent, a 59 per cent increase in the cost of shipping food supplies. That is just unacceptable. In a temperature controlled atmosphere, and when you are talking about vegetables we recognize the need of temperature control, up to $293 from $191. That is a 53 per cent increase.

And if we look at a temperature controlled shipment in break bulk service - and that is practically all the service that is coming out of Lewisporte to coastal Labrador, it is in what they call break bulk form, it is not containerized - that has gone from $2 to $3.22, for an increase of 60 per cent. So that is all the fish and the groceries and the potato chips and the juice and the milk going to Labrador, increased by 60 per cent.

Allow me to give hon. Members a little background into the coastal marine service in Newfoundland. The coastal marine service in the Province was started in 1899, and it was designed to serve all the isolated communities along the coast of northern Newfoundland, the southern coast of Newfoundland and the coast of Labrador. In 1949 Canadian National Railway assumed the responsibilities - April 1, 1949, when we joined Confederation. In 1950, just a few months after that, the Federal Government began the subsidization of this service.

And it must be noted that from 1950 to 1979 the freight rates did not change. They did not change one iota, not one cent. Since 1979 the rates were to be adjusted to the consumer price index plus 1 or 2 percentage points. But here is an interesting figure. Bear in mind that the rates were to have been adjusted according to the consumer price index. But from 1979 to 1987 the growth of the consumer price index was 49 per cent, while the growth in the rates was 113 per cent. CPI 49 per cent, freight rates 113 per cent.

Under the Terms of Union between Newfoundland and Canada it is identified that the Federal Government has a responsibility to take over and relieve Newfoundland of the public costs incurred in steamship and other marine services.

So there is a constitutional obligation not to mention a moral obligation, of the Federal Government.

On top of the 113 per cent increase up until 1987, now as of January 1 we find that Labrador is being faced with another 60 per cent increase. I think come May or June, when the service opens to Labrador we will see the impact of that additional 60 per cent increase, on the residents. My hon. friend from Labrador, on the other side of the House, will acknowledge that when the shipping opens in May or June there is going to be a tremendous negative impact on his constituents because of that 60 per cent increase which has been sanctioned by his colleagues in Ottawa. Mr. Speaker, this is indeed an unfair blow for the residents of this country whose cost of living is already 30 per cent higher than the average of Eastern Canada. And I do not believe it is going to stop there; I think you will see an additional increase next year.

Mr. Speaker, the Chief Executive Officer of Marine Atlantic, Mr. Terry Ivany, states in a newspaper article dated March 27, "Marine Atlantic representatives say freight rates were already so low that the 50 to 60 per cent increases will not be high in real dollar terms." Well, that is fine for him, Mr. Speaker. That is not what they say down in Labrador. "There is no question the rates have gone up and rightly so, Mr. Ivany told the Evening Telegram" -the rates will go up and rightly so. "Freight rates will likely go up again next year, he said." Fortunately, the people in Labrador do not get the Evening Telegram. But I am sure if this were sent up, would they not be pleased to hear that?

In 1986 Marine Atlantic and Transport Canada assembled an eight person task force called the Labrador Service Task Force, and the objectives of the task force were to recommend immediate improvements to operational procedures and then to review and update previous studies and make recommendations to meet the forecast long-term needs. Now this was the reason that task force was formed. I have read the report of that task force which has completed over three years of study and I can assure all Members of this hon. House that it is thorough, it is comprehensive, and every member who sat on that task force is to be complimented. One could not read it and see the indepth study that went into it without being impressed.

Mr. Speaker, after they had completed their three years of study this is what they recommended - this is the recommendation of the Labrador Service Task Force.

AN HON. MEMBER: What page are you quoting from?

MR. PENNEY: Page 97. The hon. Member wants to know what page I am quoting from. I quote from Page 97. Recommendation number one: It is recommended that a new vessel be acquired to operate from Goose Bay to the North Labrador Coast. The vessel would replace the MV Tavenor, the MV Marine Packer, and the MV Terra Nova. This would be a vessel with a capacity for 90 twenty-foot containers, capacity for sixty passengers, with forty berths and would be a vessel with a maximum length of 270 feet. The estimated cost of that vessel would be $50 million.

Number two: It is recommended that the MV Sir Robert Bond be replaced, and a new vessel to operate from Lewisporte to Goose Bay would replace the MV Astra. Specifications: capacity for at least 255 twenty-foot equivalent units and trailers, with adequate head room for modern highway trailers, capacity for 600 passengers with 400 berths. The estimated cost by the officials of Marine Atlantic, $120 million. Now this is what was recommended by the people who sat on this task force to improve the services to Labrador.

Recommendation No. 3, and I must support this recommendation, Mr. Speaker. This one is of supreme importance, I suppose, to residents of my District. It is recommended that a new passenger service building be built between Station Road and Main Street in Lewisporte, with a passenger vehicle marshalling area closer to Main Street. It is recommended that a new freight receiving shed be built north of the new passenger service building, capable of accommodating fifty tractor trailers at a time. The total cost of the development is estimated to be $4 million, designed to accommodate the new and improved modified rationalized service from Lewisporte to Goose Bay.

Further recommended the construction of a large new vessel to service Goose Bay directly, and the development of the port as a transshipment -

MR. WARREN: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: The hon. Member for Labrador, Mr. Speaker, will have an opportunity to speak in this debate, I am sure.

MR. PENNEY: The task force is recommending the construction of a large new vessel to service Goose Bay directly -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. PENNEY: - and the development of the port as a transshipment point for north Labrador freight.

Now Goose Bay then would be the primary port of supply for all the coastal communities in northern Labrador, and the cost of performing the necessary renovations and improvements to the facilities at Goose Bay, which would include the passenger building, the ramp, the containing yard and the marshalling yard, will be an additional $2,100,000.

Mr. Speaker, another recommendation was made, and this is the one I would like hon. Members to pay attention to.


MR. PENNEY: Page 108. `It is recommended that in line with the significant improvement and capacity and service levels, changes be made in the freight services provided and the tariffs charged effective with the introduction of the new vessels which could be as early as 1990.' In line with the significant improvements and capacity and service levels I have just outlined, in line with that, the new tariff changes would come into effect as soon as the vessels came on the run, which could be as early as 1990.

Now, Mr. Speaker, what have we seen? We have not seen any of these new vessels. I am sure my hon. colleague will attest to that. Those new vessels have not been put on the run. All these new and significant improvements in capacity and services we have not seen. We have seen some changes in the facilities in Lewisporte, and I believe there has been some improvement in the facilities in Goose Bay. I acknowledge that. There was some dredging done in the harbour at Lewisporte only last year, and the construction of part of the infrastructure will begin in Lewisporte this year.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in view of the other recommendations that were going to so dramatically improve the service from Lewisporte to Goose Bay, I could support the recommendations. And for the most part I could support the increase in the fees,. as well. To a large extent I could support the increase in this fee structure because of what we were going to get. Mr. Speaker, to refuse to provide the vessel improvements but to implement the increases anyway is an absolute insult to the residents of Goose Bay; to have implemented the freight rate increases without providing the additional service is an insult to the people who have to live in Mary's Harbour.

MR. MURPHY: You got that right.

MR. PENNEY: And it is an insult to the people who live in Rigolet and Davis Inlet and Black Tickle.

MR. MURPHY: And Battle Harbour.

MR. PENNEY: And Battle Harbour. And it is an insult to the people who have to service those vessels and stock them and supply them and work them out of Lewisporte. And, Mr. Speaker, it is an insult to everybody who sits in this hon. House of Assembly in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Canada is made up of ten provinces, Mr. Speaker, ten which are equal, and the residents of all ten provinces are to be treated nothing less than equal. This Province is Newfoundland and Labrador, and no resident of this Province should be given less service, a less quality service of transportation of freight or passengers than any other resident in the entire Dominion of Canada. They deserve to be treated equally.


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

There is too much conversation going on in the House. I am having difficulty hearing the hon. Member, and I am sure there are other hon. Members who are having difficulty as well. I would ask hon. Members, if they have to confer with some of their colleagues, to do so outside.

The hon. the Member for Lewisporte.

MR. PENNEY: Mr. Speaker, the Federal Government has an obligation, Marine Atlantic as a Crown Corporation of the Federal Government also has an obligation, a legal obligation, a constitutional obligation, and a moral obligation to the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. And I see what is happening. The attempt to introduce a total cost recovery system, a cost recovery system in marine freight, that is the first step in the total elimination of the service that is so invaluable to the residents of northern Labrador.

Let me quote to you what they say in this report. They say the rate levels for freight to coastal communities are so low as to encourage irrational shipping decisions which, in the long-term, will impact negatively on local industries and the availability of freight services to coastal communities.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. PENNEY: By leave for one minute?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) leave to finish..

MR. SPEAKER: By leave, the hon. the Member for Lewisporte.

MR. PENNEY: I thank hon. Members. I acknowledge I do have another twenty coming. I would like to quote as well from another portion of this same report. Page 75, for my hon. colleague. `The very low tariff results in low cost recovery and a high subsidy which causes difficulty justifying expenditures for needed vessel and terminal improvements.' So what they are saying is they need the tariff increases so that they can justify providing the improvement to services. But they have not given us the improvement to services and they have given us the freight rate increases anyway. Mr. Speaker, that is just unacceptable.

I will have another twenty minutes later in this debate to clue up, Mr. Speaker. I thank hon. colleagues.

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Let me begin by saying I appreciate the Member for Lewisporte speaking on behalf of my friend for Eagle River. I say with all due respect to my hon. colleague that I would just like to know what is happening. Because nearly three weeks ago my hon. colleague brought this resolution into this House. This resolution could have been debated two Wednesday's ago, but the Government decided not to debate this resolution at that time.

Now, unfortunately, my hon. colleague is not here today to present the resolution he brought forward. I know where my colleague is at the present time, and that is understandable.

AN HON. MEMBER: He is having meetings in Ottawa.

MR. WARREN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I just said I understand where my colleague is. I am sure my hon. colleague would like to be here. But I know another thing, too. My hon. colleague could have been here if he had wanted to, because I am sure when he made arrangements for Mr. Rompkey to set up these meeting, the meetings could have been arranged so as to give him an opportunity to at least discuss this resolution in this House.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: Yes, Mr. Rompkey has arranged a meeting with Mr. Lewis for him to discuss transportation issues in Labrador.

MR. RIDEOUT: So they brought this resolution on today so he can put out a press release (inaudible).

MR. WARREN: That is right. Exactly.

MR. RIDEOUT: Well, let us have the question now.

MR. WARREN: I am ready for the question now, if the Members are ready.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague for Lewisporte is missing one very, very important aspect of this whole resolution, because, in fact, I said to my hon. colleague, if he would agree, and this is why I would ask the hon. Speaker's indulgence in this, but this resolution is incorrect. I ask my hon. colleague, would he not agree with this, that there are a lot of irregularities in this particular resolution. I want to go through it, Mr. Speaker. I say to my hon. colleague who introduced it that the resolution is not factual. To begin with, 'whereas all residents of Labrador from Lodge Bay to Nain depend' - the next word, Mr. Speaker, is not correct. They do not depend 'solely' on Marine Atlantic. That is the first thing. 'To transport all' - the word 'all' should not be in there. That is incorrect, so these are two words that are completely incorrect. 'Solely' should be erased from the resolution and the word 'all' should be erased. That is the first whereas, Mr. Speaker.

In the second whereas: 'whereas coastal Labradorians presently pay the highest cost of living in eastern Canada.' That is incorrect, Mr. Speaker. That is completely incorrect. Coastal Labrador residents pay the highest cost of living in Newfoundland and Labrador, but definitely not in Eastern Canada, because northeastern Quebec and Baffin Island pay much, much more, and that is in Eastern Canada. So that is completely incorrect.

Now, the third whereas: 'whereas 80 per cent of the people are on fixed income and employment is seasonal.' That is incorrect, Mr. Speaker. The word 'most' should be added there, most employment is seasonal. So that is three whereas's, and the three whereas's are incorrect. So with those three corrections, Mr. Speaker, I ask for your ruling. I would agree to continue with the debate on the resolution if the hon. Speaker would agree that those three corrections should be made. I leave this to the mover of the resolution before I continue.

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

MR. PENNEY: Mr. Speaker, would the hon. Member for Torngat Mountains now be prepared to continue with the debate and we will give him an answer on this shortly?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Member realizes, of course, that he can amend the resolution.

MR. WARREN: No problem. I just wanted to throw it open. In fact, I would hope that my hon. colleague who will conclude the debate will take the necessary advice that I just gave him because the advice that I am giving him is correct. That is the one thing about it, the advice that I am giving him is correct.

Now, Mr. Speaker, let me continue. I find this most interesting because on March 25th I asked a question of the Minister of Transportation and here is the simple question that I asked the Minister: 'Could the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation table the correspondence he sent to the Federal Minister of Transportation objecting to the 60 per cent increase in ferry rates and freight rates for Marine Atlantic to coastal Labrador.' That was the question I asked the Minister. He went off with his jumble as usual, but the next day on March 28th the Minister tabled this information, and I find what the Minister did most distasteful. In fact, the Minister said, 'Mr. Speaker, we are very concerned with the situation that is involved. My colleague from Pleasantville brought in a resolution and so on, and he said, 'we have been in constant contact with the Federal Government.'

Now, Mr. Speaker, what is constant contact with the Federal Government? So the Minister tabled the letter on the 28th. The Premier wrote to Terry Ivany on December 29th objecting to the 18.2 per cent increase. He objected to the 25 per cent increase and ends off his letter by saying great increases of 18 per cent and 25 per cent are unfair. So the Premier objected to those two increases, but what did the Minister of Transportation do? Mr. Speaker, as of today, unless the Minister has done something since yesterday, the Minister of Transportation has not corresponded either by telephone or by letter to the Minister in the Federal Government about the 60 per cent increase. All he did was write to Doug Lewis on November 23 and what did he say, Mr. Speaker? I find this so interesting. He wrote to Doug Lewis on November 23, and that is dated right here, you can see for yourself.

AN HON. MEMBER: What year is that?

MR. WARREN: In 1990, and he attaches a letter written by the Premier on December 29, 1989. Here is the Minister who wrote to Doug Lewis on November 23 and he said: I am enclosing a copy of correspondence the Premier wrote to Mr. Ivany eleven months ago. Now, that is what the Minister of Transportation did about the 60 per cent increase. There it is, Mr. Speaker. He wrote to Doug Lewis in December and sent him a copy of the letter that the Premier wrote eleven months ago. That was his correspondence to Mr. Lewis. Mr. Speaker, while my colleague was going through the Labrador task force I wanted to throw out some interesting figures for all my colleagues on both sides of this House, even my two colleagues for Grand Falls and Grand Bank. I am sure my two colleagues for Grand Falls and Grand Bank will be interested in these statistics. I say to my two colleagues for Grand Falls and Grand Bank, and other people in this House, I want to give a couple of statistics about the freight that goes to Labrador. It is ironic, by the way. Last year 17,457 tons of freight went out of St. John's. Now, of this, as per page 104, commodities shipped from St. John's - now this was in 1987, page 104, now of that 17,457 tons, have a guess what the majority was: soft drinks, 2595 tons, beer 1731 tons, liquor 214 tons, roughly 26 per cent was in these three commodities alone, three luxury items. Mr. Speaker, let me continue because as I keep going it gets most interesting. Last year in this Legislature what the Minister of Transportation did was, he said I will table it for the hon. gentleman, so what he did was go back to his office and pick up a letter he wrote to Mr. Lewis on the 23 November.

MR. SIMMS: Is the Member for Lewisporte happy with that kind of representation from the Minister of Transportation because he did not protest it?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WARREN: On 23 November the Minister of Transportation sent off a copy of the Premier's letter to Mr. Ivany, sent eleven months before that, and that was the only representation that the Minister of Transportation made to the Federal Minister. My hon. colleague mentioned the recommendations and I would hope that the Member for St. John's South were here. The Member for Kilbride is here and the Member for St. John's North, the Minister of Education, the Member for St. John's Centre, the Minister of Finance, the Member for St. John's West, the Minister of Mines and Energy. What other Members are here from St. John's? The Member for St. John's South, of course, and the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island. Do you know that the Member for Lewisporte - I wish my colleagues would listen to this because this is very, very important because I want to show how the events took place. My colleague for Harbour Main, I asked a question there about a year ago to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation and he asked the question which was, would the Minister advise if he supports Marine Atlantic in having their main terminal either in Lewisporte or in St. John's? The question was asked and the Minister got up - I suppose I cannot say it in this Legislature but I will try, and if the Minister asks me to withdraw, I will withdraw. But I have a feeling that that day, when that Minister gave us the answer, it was the most deceitful answer that could ever be given to any Member in this Legislature, it was the most deceitful answer that was ever given because the Minister said no, we are not lobbying for any one particular place.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I find it ironic today that my colleague for Eagle River is not here and my colleague for Lewisporte is here. When my colleague just spoke for twenty minutes, he left off recommendation No. 4. So my colleague for Eagle River is not here but my colleague for Lewisporte is here, and he went through the recommendations but he left off recommendation No. 4. Now, I suppose, a fellow has to look to see what recommendation No. 4 is!

AN HON. MEMBER: Hurry up. You are wasting your time.

MR. WARREN: Oh no, no. I have fifteen to twenty minutes yet. In fact I will have lots of time, because we gave them a leave so -Mr. Speaker, I have too many minutes.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WARREN: Now, Mr. Speaker, what did the task force recommend in recommendation No. 4? And I would hope the media from St. John's to Port aux Basques and from Port aux Basques to Nain is listening, because the task force, in recommendation No.4, recommends the closing of the St. John's Terminal.


MR. WARREN: Recommends the closing of the terminal in St. John's. And what is it going to cost for the Lewisporte terminal? $4 million my hon. colleague said. In fact, my hon. colleague is up on this one as I am - $4 million is right, Mr. Speaker. Now why the increase in the freight rate? Naturally to absorb the cost of building a new terminal in Lewisporte. Now I have to give credit to my colleague for Lewisporte. Because here we see two colleagues fighting, my hon. colleague for Eagle River and my hon. colleague for Lewisporte, and the one who got the most support from this Government was the Member for Lewisporte.

The Member for Lewisporte got this Government to lobby, because missing from this correspondence - it is impossible for the Minister to say on November 23, including a letter from the Premier eleven months earlier, about the Marine Atlantic and not doing one other thing, because the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation and the Premier were, behind the scenes, and I have this from very reliable sources, supporting Lewisporte as the main Newfoundland Terminal for Labrador freight.

Now, Mr. Speaker, recommendation No. 4 recommended it, they are already doing work in Lewisporte as the main terminal, and they are going to close down the St. John's port. I am surprised that the member for Mount Scio - Bell Island, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Mines and Energy, the Minister of Finance, all those St. John's Members, have not been up along shooting and calling and bawling at the Minister of Transportation to make sure that St. John's remains one of the terminals for freight to Labrador. Because, let me say to my hon. colleague for Lewisporte, not only will their freight from Lewisporte to the Coast of Labrador be increased by Marine Atlantic by 60 per cent, not only that, but let us keep one other thing in mind, and my hon. colleague from Carbonear will realize this because a couple of his constituents send a lot of freight to Labrador, to my district, to the Government stores and so on, and they go from Carbonear to St. John's. But if they have to go from Carbonear to Lewisporte, the cost is going to be much greater and it is going to have to be absorbed by the consumers themselves.

So let us forget about - not forget about it, let us keep something else in mind. Besides the 60 per cent increase there is going to be another 10 per cent or 15 per cent, because we have to pay for the freight to travel overland from point A to Lewisporte. And that is the concern I have.

I agree with my hon. colleague - it is too bad I only have five or six minutes left - in that I believe Marine Atlantic has moved too fast. If they are going to increase their freight rates, they increase them when the services are in place. And the services are not in place yet. As my colleague said, there is no new boat on the go this year. But I should say to my hon. colleague I believe there will be, yes. There will probably be one large ship going to the Labrador coast this year to improve services. I believe that will be. But they could have increased it a little less than they have now.

It is going to have a cost effect on many of my constituents. It is going to have a cost effect on many of the constituents of my colleagues, the Membres for Eagle River and Naskaupi. And I would think for my hon. colleagues the Leader of the Opposition, the Member for Humber Valley, and the south coast to a certain degree, there is probably going to be a cost effect.

However, I want to say at the same time I find it interesting that at every opportunity - and I do not usually say this in the absence of a Member, I say it when a Member is here - but I noticed recently, and I think this is a fair assumption, and my hon. colleagues opposite will agree with this, in the last year or so, that my hon. colleague for Eagle River -

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

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. WARREN: One minute, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!


MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I want to conclude by saying that my hon. colleague for Eagle River for the past year or so, and justifiably so, in a lot of instances has condemned, kicked and everything else at the Federal Government. But I cannot remember if he ever got up on one or two occasions and said thank you to the Federal Government for the Labrador Comprehensive Agreement which gave him a new road in Fox Harbour last year. And, on the other hand, not once has he condemned his own Government for the increases in the last Budget which have cost Labradorians.

With those few remarks, Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I will support this resolution because I believe the people in coastal Labrador have been given an increase that is unjustified at this time, until the services are better in each and every community. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Fortune - Hermitage.

MR. LANGDON: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in the debate this afternoon in support of the motion placed on the Order Paper for the Member for Eagle River and presented by the Member for Lewisporte.

There is no doubt that the same concern expressed by the Members for Lewisporte and Torngat Mountains for the people of Labrador is equally applicable to the people on the south coast. I refer specifically to the isolated community of Rencontre East, which is served by CN Marine, along with the McCallum and Grey River and Gaultois and François and Ramea and Burgeo, all up the coast, Petites and Grand Bruit, as well.

As of January 1, 1991 CN Marine drastically changed its rate structure for what it considers freight. There is no doubt that even the word "freight," the terminology, is out of focus. They have initiated a scheme whereby a person travelling on a CN Marine boat who carries more than four packages is charged $28 extra for every additional package put on the boat.

Let us look at what happened recently on the CN boat when a passenger in Rencontre got on with four packages, or suitcases, and was asked by another person in the community to take a package for her son attending a post-secondary institution here in St. John's. When the lady got on the boat she was told by the purser that she had one extra package and if she wanted to take that one extra package aboard the boat, it would cost her an additional $28. Needless to say that package which was meant for a student here in town, who desperately needed the essentials that were in the package, was not put on board because the mother did not have the $28 at her disposal at that particular time. That, to me, is totally unwarranted. And the question has to be asked, how can CN Marine justifiably charge exorbitant rates for these isolated residents in the area?

Let me illustrate another example. An individual who orders a gallon of paint, or four litres of paint I would think, from a Home Hardware store in Harbour Breton or in English Harbour West, would receive the gallon of paint or the four litres of paint for $15. When that gallon of paint is put on the CN Marine boat they are automatically charged an additional $28 freight. So that four litres of paint then becomes $43. That is outrageous, and there is just no way that can be justified.

Recently an individual went to Bay d'Espoir, brought home three beams or three timbers to repair his boat. The three timbers were put on the deck of the boat by his son and when he got to the purser's office he said, $28 freight for the three timbers. I mean, what in the world is CN Marine trying to do to people along isolated parts of the south coast and into Labrador, as well? There is just no way they can justify that.

The suggestion given by CN Marine when one of the residents of the community of Rencontre East complained about the freight charges was, I would suggest you buy co-operatively. Now can you imagine an individual taking his order and going to fifty or sixty houses in the community and saying, do you want a gallon of paint? Do you want a sheet of plywood? Do you want a bolt of blackjack? Then when you get an order you place it so that you can save the freight to the residents coming into the community. To me, no one in their right mind could suggest such a solution to the problem.

The philosophy here I believe of CN Marine is totally unrealistic. I believe what we have is CN Marine saying that the people are not going to use the system. And obviously they are not going to use the system at such exorbitant rates. Then what is CN's rationale for that? They are going to say the need is not there and so we can justifiably eliminate the system. But, again, the question needs to be answered, how can anyone use a system that causes such unfair taxation on these people who are isolated along the coast?

I believe it borders on being morally criminal, if not economically criminal, to use these boats to charge these people exorbitant amounts, over and above what people who have roads pay for transportation. And there is no justification. I believe that philosophy, the concern for the disadvantaged and deprived areas like we have in Newfoundland and Labrador, when decisions are made in Ottawa, these communities are not given their fair share so, therefore, we will see these inequities continue as long as people do not realize where these people live along the dotted parts of the coast.

I was talking to the school principal only recently and he said for every small package we have to order to come into the school - I mean, a small school like St. Stephen's in Rencontre, and there are a number of them - we have to pay $28 freight on every package that comes on the boat, and that package can be one, two or three pounds, or 300 pounds, it is the same charge.

Let's look at, for example, the excessive amount of freight charges that the people who buy groceries in this small community would have to pay. No doubt these excessive rates are built into the prices that are given to these people by Lewisporte Wholesalers, IGA and people in central Newfoundland. These excessive freight charges no doubt are passed on immediately to the consumer. Only recently I was talking to a lady in the community who complained about social services, the fact that she did not have enough money to do the things she wanted to do, and she said: people must remember that here in this small community things are excessively expensive. Two point two kilograms of sugar, she said, costs $2.72. Now if you were to go to any supermarket in any one of the larger urban areas you can get that 2.2 kilograms of sugar for half that price. So really, what we are saying then is that in these small communities these social service recipients would need twice the amount of money in order to be able to share in the same groceries, the same standard of living, that people in the urban and larger rural communities would be accustomed to.

We must remember also the excessive rates that are put on, for example, fuel oil. I will give you another example. I was talking to a person only a couple of days ago who says that they had twenty barrels of fuel oil delivered to the community and 100 cases of beverages. And it cost them $500 in freight over and above the regular price of the fuel and the beverages.

Now that in my opinion just cannot be warranted, is totally unjustified, and I believe that the Minister, who has taken a firm stand and has refused to offer any solution to the problem, just is not in touch with reality for the people in the isolated communities. Their buying power as I said is drastically reduced by the excessive freight charges and totally unwarranted and unjustified.

Now, the people say - and I think the Member for Torngat Mountains said earlier - that these particular increases could be brought in at (Inaudible) steps and increased gradually. The guy said this morning: we could understand $5 or $10 a package, but $28? There is just no question. We just cannot survive with these particular types of rates.

Now, these particular rates as I said were arbitrarily set without any concern for the old or disadvantaged people along the coast. I am sure there are some people in the House who understand what isolation is. First of all we must remember how the people live in the smaller communities. I grew up in a community that was completely isolated, and it is only a person who grows up in an isolated community who can understand the feeling that one had when the coastal boat moves off from the wharf. There is just no way to describe that. When you see the only contact with the outside world move away -

AN HON. MEMBER: Did you feel lonely?

MR. LANGDON: Lonely? Lonely is just not the word for it. There is something here in the pit of your stomach that you cannot really tell, and I experienced that for my whole lifetime. I can remember many times as a young person in school coming out of the three-room all-grade school looking off and seeing the coastal boat and realizing that was the only contact that I would have with the outside world. And it is only isolated people who realize that.

And I think that can be really further emphasized by the fact that I remember when I was about seven or eight years of age, and we were having supper this night - and I think I might have mentioned this in the House before, I am not sure - and a small fishing boat, a twenty-foot boat, left the community with a lady who was pregnant and had developed complications, and that small fishing boat had to go to Harbour Breton which was twelve miles away. I can remember about a half an hour or three-quarters of an hour after, my mother said something must have happened because the boat had turned around to come back home. I can see now in my mind's eye the people from the community gathered around the gut area, down toward the breakwater, and the feeling was that this lady had died, I was not very old, but I realized the impact of it. And sure enough when the boat came in the mother and the child both had died in the fishing boat on the way to the hospital in Harbour Breton. That is what isolation is all about and I do not want anybody to look at isolation, in a sense that isolation is beautiful, because it is not. The Member for Bellevue realizes also about isolation as he grew up in Woody Island, in Placentia Bay.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. LANGDON: It is all right to go back for a day or two, but to live there is quite a different situation.

Aside from all that, Mr. Speaker, and talking about the problem along the south coast: recently there was a petition delivered, I am sorry, a letter written to Doug Lewis and a letter to the Premier and to the Minister of Transportation supported by all the communities on the Burin Peninsula and the Connaigre Peninsula asking to have the road connected between the Harbour Breton Highway and the Grand Bank Highway, the Burin Peninsula Highway. The letter came back from the Minister of Transportation saying that it was low priority.

All right. Now obviously that means that the people from Rencontre East will continue to be in isolation, along with Grey River and along with MacCallum and along with Ramea and these particular communities. Now then if that is the case and there is no particular plan to put the road into Rencontre East particularly, then I think the Minister should realize the situation that these people are in and should immediately, without any reservation whatsoever, reduce these particular rates so that people can use the dollars and have access to them in the same way that we do.

There is no doubt, as I have said, that these rates are causing extreme hardships to the residents served by CN Marine and they should, as I have said, without delay, freeze them or roll them back until they can be investigated and have hearings to see what affect it has on these people.

Also, when we look at the motion that was presented here today we realize that there are a number of people who go from the Carbonear area of Newfoundland to fish in Labrador during the summer. Looking at the increasing rates since 1988 it has been astronomical, and really I believe it is possible, if I have done my calculations right, that CN Marine has changed the rate from footage to tonnage. And by changing it from footage to tonnage, a fare that was approximately $130 in September 1990 would be in excess of $400 in 1991, and that is a 300 per cent increase in that particular rate.

Also a fare from Lewisporte to Nain in 1989 was $155.10 compared to $197.00 in 1991. So what we have seen, Mr. Speaker, is that there have been dramatic increases in CN Marine's fares both for passengers and for fishermen and for residents along the isolated areas of the Province, and I believe that these people deserve something better. They indeed should be considered to have gradual increases in the freight rates, as the Member for Torngat Mountains suggested earlier, and it would show, I believe, some sensitivity toward these people who live in isolated areas and do not have the access to the outside world or access to the other parts of the urban and city parts of this particular Province.

So, Mr. Speaker, with that I again support the motion put forward by the Member for Eagle River, supported by the Member for Lewisporte and by the Member for Torngat Mountains.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


MR. WOODFORD: My gosh, he has a heart after all!

AN HON. MEMBER: A heart but no conscience.

MR. WOODFORD: I would like to make a few short comments on this particular resolution. One of the things I would like to say from the outset is that both speakers from the other side of the House, the hon. the Member for Lewisporte and the Member for Fortune - Hermitage, dwelled on the fact of what the Federal Government was doing with regard to user pay when it comes under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. While doing that, Mr. Speaker, you cannot have it both ways. In this case I agree with a good part of the resolution, but at the same time, we have to look at what is happening provincially. I rose in this House and spoke on user pay pertaining to airports and I condemned the Federal Government for what they did - or what they are trying to do, because it is not done yet. The decision is not yet made and I hope it will not be, because it is going to be detrimental to Atlantic Canada, and it is going to be detrimental to Newfoundland in particular because of the smaller aircraft we are using in Atlantic Canada and in Newfoundland as a Province.

And we are going to carry it right through when you talk about Newfoundland and Labrador, especially Labrador. It is going to hurt the people of Labrador just as much as this increase will hurt the people of Labrador when it comes to groceries and so on, the basic commodities of life, the things we take for granted on the Island portion of the Province. Mr. Speaker, the philosophy of the Federal Government today demands that all Federal Government Departments pay for their services, and that is what they call user pay. What is the difference in what the Federal Government is doing and what this Provincial Government is doing when it comes to user pay? Let us just draw some analogies and just make some comparisons.

The Federal Government with regard to the fishery: we know what happened with the boats on the coast this year with regards to the payment of fees for fishermen all over the Province, but more specifically on the South Coast because of the Winter fishery. We look at the airports, the user pay for terminals in this Province and the effect it is going to have on this Province as a whole, and more specifically on the communities in which the airports are situated. We can go on and on because of other recommendations made by the different departments in the Federal Government, but let us stop and look at the Provincial Government and what happened in one year.

Just in the last Budget alone, and I will not mention the two previous Budgets, albeit it is only the second year - I think in another couple of weeks we will have the second anniversary of this administration, but it will be the third Budget which will take them through - unless they bring in another one - until the end of the third year. The hon. Member for Fortune - Hermitage dwelled a lot on the small communities in this Province and how people are treated in small communities when it comes to the delivery of services by ferries, small fishing boats and what have you. The same thing applies though, Mr. Speaker, when you talk about health care in this Province. He mentioned the pregnant lady who was left to go on a fishing boat. Well I can mention cases in Corner Brook, at the Western Memorial Hospital, where we have ambulances lined up at the same door waiting to get unloaded because there is nobody inside to handle them. Is that any different? Is the cut in the health care system in this Province any different when you pass the burden and tell the administrators of hospitals that they are not getting any other money? What do they do? They have to cut services. They have no other alternative, because they cannot raise it. And that is one of the differences.

Municipalities: What has the Department of Municipal Affairs done with municipalities in the Province? They told them, Look, you do not get any services unless you start paying. Mr. Speaker, there is no more blatant form of user pay than what was done through the Department of Municipal Affairs when it comes to amalgamation, regional service boards, and especially the new grant system. Absolutely none! In fact, it is catastrophic. The hon. Member mentioned in this debate about having hearings and a full review of the issue before the price increase is instituted. Where was the review on the new grant system? Where was the review on the cuts and increases to health care? Where was the review, Mr. Speaker, on school boards in the Province? It comes right down to the students, and more specifically now with the new cuts when it comes to substitute teachers in the Province and school boards. Where are they going to make it up? How many extra chocolate bars and how many extra calendars will they have to sell in order to make up the short fall in funding for school boards in this Province over the next few years?

Now, Mr. Speaker, just today I was talking with a school board in my area and there is absolutely no way they can have any professional development days this year, none whatsoever, despite what Members opposite say. Absolutely none. Not one can they have because of the cutbacks.

Mr. Speaker, I say this publicly today, I said it when I spoke on user pay. When it comes to the difference in user pay, new terminal fees and landing fees and so on at airports, I spoke against it. I wrote the Federal Minister against it, and I say the same thing today and I say it publicly. When it comes to standing up for something I think is right I will do it regardless of who is in Ottawa and regardless of who is the administration of this Province. I think we have to do that as Members, and today is no exception. But while we do that, I as an Opposition Member can criticize the Government in Ottawa and can criticize the people on this side of the House today, the Government of this Province, I think that should stand on the other side of the House as well. Not only criticize the feds, fed bashing every week and every time we get up, resolution after resolution against the feds for this and against the feds for that. Yes, when it is in place do it, but the same thing is applicable here in the Province. When this Government makes a decision that is going to affect and hurt the lives of each and every individual in this Province, I think every Member regardless of what side of the House they are on should stand up and be counted.

I realize the situation Cabinet Ministers are in. I realize that. They cannot very well get up and criticize a decision which came out of Cabinet. I know all about that. You are either in or you are out, there is no half way. And I can understand some Members opposite coming out of the Cabinet room and having reservations about something. I can see that as well. But, in any case, making decisions is not easy. It is not easy to not only please everybody in Cabinet, but to please the people who elected us. It is not easy. I realize that as well, but I think we should all stand and be counted, especially the backbenchers. When it comes to criticizing something that is going to have a drastic effect especially on the sick, on the elderly, on the students and the young people of our Province, I think you should stand up and be counted.

Mr. Speaker, the Member in his resolution mentioned in one whereas about the high operating cost prohibiting the economic viability of many fish plants and so on. That pertains to pretty well every community in this Province, not only to fish plants. But I can understand why it is there, because of the importance of it to the hon. Member's district.

But in any case, it applies to pretty well every municipality in this Province, on whether a community or a business is economical or not. The so-called vital links in services, and the one that comes to mind, especially so in this case, with those increases, is, as the Member for Lewisporte has already stated and I will not go over it again, the Class A rating, the one that pertains to - well, I agree with the alcoholic beverages. They do not have that up enough as far as I am concerned. They should have put that one up, it would have probably prohibited it from going in there. That is where they make their mistakes. They have that included with fish, fish products, food stuffs, groceries, juice, milk. Potato chips is another. I cannot see why that should be all-important. And vegetables. I mean, the rest of it are the basic things of life, the basic commodities of life and, as I said, the things we take for granted here, when we can run out to a store and get absolutely what we like any time of the year.

I think it is wrong. Not wrong in the sense of increasing the rates altogether, but I think it should be done in a more gradual way. And I think if it was done over a two or three or four year period, this would have been acceptable to anybody, even the people in Labrador, because realistically, Mr. Speaker, Marine Atlantic has some of the lowest rates - the lowest rates - in Canada, if not the world. And we realize that you just cannot operate like that forever. There has to be some recovery.

The options for Marine Atlantic to gain any more money are very few; the Federal Government has told not only airports - the airports in this country, Mr. Speaker, are really subsidizing the other two main modes of transportation, especially the boat when it comes to the sea routes in regards to the marine sector and the rail and road sector.

Approximately 80 per cent of the $1.4 billion that are spent on airports in this country is recuperated by the Department of Transport. If this user pay fee goes in now, by the rates that are recommended they will recuperate any where between 80 per cent and 86 per cent of the total cost of all terminals and airports in this country. But at the same time, when we are talking about the marine sector we are talking about the funding spent on the marine sector. Of the 58 per cent of expenditure in the marine sector in this country, they recuperate and get back only 20 per cent. And when you see another example of what upper Canada and how upper Canada feels about Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, some of the comments made, in particular pertaining to this subject, said that Ottawa has to collect this year at least $25 million from the marine sector. That will only cover a small part of the cost. We realize that. It is only vessels exceeding fifteen net registered tons that will have to pay that.

The comparisons they make are the commercial fisherman and the pleasure boaters; they are not paying enough. That is what they are saying, those people are not paying enough. They took up 80 per cent of the budget in coast guard costs last year, the fishermen and the pleasure boaters in the Province and the so- called - in this particular article (inaudible) from Aviation and Aero Space says that they should pay more.

This is another example. Maybe he is from Ottawa, I do not know, and not in touch with the way of life in this Province, especially the Labrador section. This is another prime example of what happens when we get people who are not close to the source and not close to the situation making decisions which are going to affect all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

But having said that, Mr. Speaker, the people opposite are close to what is going on in Newfoundland and Labrador. They see every day of the week what is happening in this Province, and they realize full well that some of the decisions which have been made over the last couple of years are going to hurt every Newfoundlander and Labradorian - not altogether with regards to food. We talked about the food and the freight rates going into Labrador. We are going to hurt, another prime example, the social assistance recipients in the communities around this Province because of the social services component dropped from the Department of Municipal Affairs.

Who pays now? They may not have to get food shipped into Deer Lake, they may not have to get food shipped into Port aux Basques, or they may not have it come into Port Rexton or anywhere else by water or by sea, but they still have to buy it; they still have to go to that store and buy it, and they have less and less and less to buy it with. The most things those people have and the only things they can buy are their groceries. In this case, where we have as high as a 60 per cent increase to the residents of Labrador who are isolated, away from the main wholesalers in the Province, as far as I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, it is wrong. As I have said, if it could be done gradually, yes, there is no doubt in my mind it could be done.

So what happens to all this when we are talking about the 60 per cent increase on food stuffs to Labrador? Those people down there are also people who are going to be affected by the so-called social assistance component, for instance, from Municipal Affairs. It is not only on the Island. Those people are affected as well, and hit hard. Because before the Department of Municipal Affairs would pay the fees in the municipalities for all social assistance recipients. But not only will the recipient now have to pay his share of the taxes in that particular community, he is also being told by the same Minister and the same department that the councils in the area, who govern the people in the constituencies, were told they have no choice but to raise taxes. So to add insult to injury, we have the burden of responsibility shifted from the department to the recipient to pay the municipal jurisdiction in their area whoever it might be, whether it is a town or community, or whatever. At the same time, that particular council has to put up the rates or else cut the services to those people. Now if that is not user pay, Mr. Speaker, a direct example of user pay, then tell me what is not. Now, if that is not being hypocritical. And any Member opposite, I suppose - on this one they cannot tell me I am wrong, because I am right. It is factual. There have been press releases on it. And I can go on into other areas, but I will not.

I mentioned earlier about the students, about the school boards.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: No, there were the cuts announced last night. I watched television last night, and after a Budget just being brought down, and after numerous statements in the House, I was told by announcers on television that there would be another cut to substitute teachers in the Province.


MR. WOODFORD: It is not the substitute teachers in the Province, it is the school boards which have to deal with it.

AN HON. MEMBER: You cannot believe everything you read in the newspaper.

MR. WOODFORD: I did not read it in the newspaper. I challenge the Minister right now, if the hon. Member does not want to do it for him, to stand up and tell me that there is not going to be any difference between last year and this year with regards to substitute teachers.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Treasury Board said?

MR. WOODFORD: I heard what he said. I will have some more questions for the President of Treasury Board tomorrow, questions which I know are different. That is going to hurt every student in this Province. They have nothing left. They have 14,000 days left after they get their cuts now, all over the Province. You tell me what they are going to do for professional development. What do they do, Mr. Speaker? They send the children home. They have no choice but to send them home. Get out! Get home! We have to have our professional development days and that is it. Now is that not shifting the burden of responsibility right over completely onto the boards and the municipalities and the health care sector in this Province? Mr. Speaker, you cannot get a better example of user pay. They will have to sell some bars and draw up some new calendars this year, I can assure you, if they are going to have extra in the classroom or in the board office.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Pentecostal (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: You are going to see some changes I can assure you, Mr. Speaker.

I just wanted to mention those few things because I said we would go against the Feds when they do something wrong, and if that is every day of the week I will do it. But at the same time I will go against any decision made by this Administration when it is going to hurt each and every individual in my constituency and my District.

AN HON. MEMBER: Will you praise us if we do something right?

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, I certainly will praise you when you do something right.


MR. WOODFORD: When you do that you let me know and I will be the first one to praise you if it is right, right to the hilt.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a few brief comments this afternoon on this particular resolution, because even though the resolution does not name other places in the Province that will be affected by the changes in CN Marine as it relates to charges for fares and for freight in this Province, I do support the resolution. It is too bad I did not have a chance to talk to my hon. colleague for Eagle River before he presented this resolution because I think I would have also, as my hon. friend for Labrador recommended a few minutes ago, have recommended some changes in this particular wording, even though I do support the resolution. I guess everyone in this House supports the residents of Labrador from Lodge Bay to Nain, as it mentions here, but I am sure everyone else in the House also supports those people who are living on the south coast who have to face higher freight rates, as well as people who travel back and forth to Labrador each year.

In the first part of the resolution it talks basically about the residents of Labrador from Lodge Bay to Nain. As I said, what about the other people living along the coast of Newfoundland who travel to Labrador each summer, those are the people I am interested in and that is what I hope I will be able to address this afternoon.

I do agree that Labradorians have probably the highest cost of living in Newfoundland. One Member mentioned a few minutes ago what the cost of living in Baffin Island is, and I do not know what the cost of living is, I guess, outside of the Province, but I really do not see anything wrong with that comment: whereas coastal Labrador is presently paying the highest cost of living. It is basically making a comment, making a statement. It relates to, I suppose, the extra cost that people on the coast of Labrador or anywhere in Labrador have to pay over and above what we pay, say, in St. John's or even in my District, Carbonear.

Whereas 80 per cent of the people are on fixed incomes and employment is seasonal: Well I do agree with my hon. friend who spoke previous to me, when he said: a lot of jobs in Newfoundland are based on seasonal work. Most all of us, I suppose, have fish plants and people who are dependent on the fishing industry in our Districts and we all know that if you are involved in the fishery or almost in any industry in the Province related to the fishing industry in recent years they are basically seasonal, other than those few people who work in the service sector and hold on to their jobs. Most people in my District are, I will not say most, but a large percentage of the people in my District are seasonal workers.

The comment he made about the viability of many fish plants on the Labrador coast, I do agree with that. I want to get into some comments as it relates to the resolution and Marine Atlantic and so on. But I also want to talk a little about, if I am allowed, Mr. Speaker, and I think it is all relevant, about some of the things that are happening as it relates to the demise of the Saltfish Corporation, and I thing the demise of the Saltfish Corporation in Newfoundland has a direct impact on what is happening as it relates to our coastal rates. Now that may sound a little off but it is a feeling that I have, when we look at what has been happening in the fishing industry in Newfoundland over the last few years, and the number of times we have run into roadblocks as it relates to the fishery, I wonder sometimes if the Federal Government does not have a plan to downsize the fishery in Newfoundland, and downsize it to the extent where, I suppose, very few people will be involved. My hon. friend there from Baie Verte looks and laughs because, I guess he well knows that they are trying to downsize the fishing industry in Newfoundland and have been for a long, long time. Anyway, with that said, what better way I suppose to stop two or three hundred fishermen who every year leave in June month from Carbonear, Bay Roberts, and places in Trinity Bay and go to the Labrador, what better way for a Government to stop these people from travelling than to increase the rates they have to pay to get their boats, their gear, their food, and their supplies to Labrador and, of course, back in the Fall, what better way to get them out of the fishery than to jack up the rates. Now, there may be some connection, I do not know, but it makes you wonder with all the things that are going on. I have stood in my place on a number of occasions and have, I guess, condemned the Federal Government, and I may have to condemn my own Government one of these days if I see them, I guess, and the Federal Government working together to downsize the fishery and put the fishery in Newfoundland in such a state that whole communities will be wiped out. Maybe I have said enough on that particular point.

I have some statistics here for you, and I think some of you may be interested to know that these people I am talking about, the Forwards from Carbonear, and the Greens and Penneys that have prosecuted the Labrador seasonal Summer fishery, I suppose, for the last hundred or hundred and fifty years, go on the Labrador each year, and they do not go down for a song, even though the rates are pretty low they still do not travel to the Labrador every year for nothing. Last June, for example, just to get a berth aboard the Northern Ranger out of Carbonear as far as Battle Harbour cost the Green family in Carbonear, a family of four, $410.60 and basically all that was, was their basic fare and their berth. That was not counting their meals. Anyone who travels on the CN boats know that the meals are certainly not cheap. They used to be, I think at one time -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) ticket.

MR. REID: At one time it was. I think at one time, when the costs came in first, you were looking at about $1.00 to $1.50 to get you the best meal in Newfoundland on either one of those boats. I am looking at some meal tickets here now, $12.44 for a meal, for example, $10.76 for a meal, so everything has escalated over the years. The point I am trying to make, Mr. Speaker, is that these people go to the Labrador from Carbonear and other places in the Province every year but it costs them money to go down there, it costs them money to actually get from Carbonear, Bay Roberts, or wherever it is, to get to Battle Harbour, Venison Islands, or wherever they are going. It costs them a lot of money to get there and it also costs them a lot of money while they are down there. I have a freight bill here from last year for June 25 from Carbonear, the Duke of Topsail took some articles to Labrador, and I must say that CN over the years have been pretty good to us, have been pretty good to these people, because when you look at the prices of some of these thing you say, that is pretty cheap, but, Mr. Speaker, if they were any more than that these people would not be able to cope with it. Four bundles of clapboard, for example, sent to the Labrador, that is a fair amount of clapboard, and they charged them $12.25 which is not too bad. Five casks of diesel fuel, now five casks of diesel fuel is about 2000 pounds, a cask of fuel is about 400 or 450 pounds and they charged $23.50 for the five casks, so that is not too bad at all. But there is something that goes on between the fishermen and the pursers aboard the boats. Over the years the purser, I guess, gets to know these people that are travelling and when a boat comes into Carbonear or Bay Roberts, wherever it might be, the fishermen or the skipper will go aboard the CN boat and tell the purser what he has. He will say I have five (inaudible) and the purser will say, what is the weight of those things? He will estimate, and the purser will take his word for it and he will write it in, so that his trip does not cost him all that much.


For example a thirty foot boat last year went to the Labrador for $111.07, my colleague worked it out there a few minutes ago for me, and he told me that that same boat this year will cost almost $600 to send, that same boat. Now that is quite an increase. Too much of an increase when you consider that these fishermen and their families have to survive on the Labrador, in most cases the people from my District have to survive on the Labrador practically all summer without seeing one cent, any money whatsoever. Because what happens, Mr. Speaker, is that they go in around the first of June, and it is usually mid-July before the fish even come in or later in Labrador, and they are there then until maybe October. But in that period of time the fish is salted, if there is any fish to salt, collector boats will come around but by the time, Mr. Speaker, the Saltfish Corporation or the business or the particular fishing firm that is supplying and buying the fish gets around to actually paying them, they are probably back in Carbonear in October or November before they can actually pick up dollars.

I just want to read to you an outline of what it costs, and this is surprising, it surpised me to see the actual cost for a fisherman living on the Labrador during the summer. This is an estimate that I got from Earle Freighting in Carbonear, and I believe what they are saying and they have given me some figures and it is just unbelievable. To take part in the coastal Labrador fishery during the season of June until September the average fisherman, that is not counting what he is going to pay to get down there and what he will pay to get back, the average fishermen will need, this is with an average crew of three people, for fuel alone he will spend anywhere from $2,975 to $4,004; for salt he will spend $1,209 to $1,317; for food he will spend anywhere between $1,200 and $1,400; hidden expenses then, other things that he will need while he is down there, if his motor breaks down, for example, and he has to get a part shipped in, hidden expenses that he cannot predict, is another $1,800, and that comes to a total of an average of, somewhere between $7,100 and $8,500. Mr. Speaker, that is a lot of money for a fisherman to invest in on the Labrador, to prosecute the fishery. And how many times have we heard of the bad fishery on the Labrador? And manys a year, Mr. Speaker, the same families the Greens' and the Pennys' and the Parsons' and the Forwards' from Carbonear manys a year, and I can attest to that because I lived next door to them in Carbonear, I always lived next door to them, manys a year they came out and never made $1,000 between the whole crew. And it is only in recent yeras they are coming back with any amount of money at all, then when they do come back most of these people who fished the Labrador from Carbonear and up the Bay, go on the draggers, on the shrimp boats or the draggers because they have no other choice to supplement their income.

So what I am saying, Mr. Speaker, is basically that I do not think it is a matter of just looking at what it costs as it relates to foodstuff and materials to go to the Labardor each year just for the consumption of people who are inhabitants or natives of Labrador, I think it has to be the whole question, the whole resolution has to be one that deals with increased freight rates for not only the residents of Labrador, but those people from my District and from my friend for Trinty - Bay de Verde District and my friend for Port de Grave District, and all over the Province who travel each year up to Labrador and use these services, as well as all those people that my hon. friend from Fortune - Hermitage mentioned a few minutes ago. I do have to support the petition because I guess I believe in what my friend from Eagle River has put forward, but I wish that my friend would have included not only the people of the Labrador coast, but all those people who will be directly affected by increases, along the south coast, and I guess up the northwest coast in certain areas, as well as people from my area. I do think, Mr. Speaker, in cluing up, it is the plan of the Federal Government to look at, I guess, Crown Corporations, we all know that because we hear it on a daily basis, it is the long term plan of the Federal Government to try, I suppose, and unload the cost of services that they have been providing to places like Northern Newfoundland and Labrador; the cost of these services, the subsidized services that they have been providing to isolated communities. I believe, it is the Federal Government's aim to eliminate those as quickly as possible, I guess to save dollars. and it comes down then, I suppose to a question of the national debt and all the things that go with it.

But, Mr. Speaker, if the Federal Government continues on this particular course, I think what we are going to see, and me particularly, I am going to see all those families who go to Labrador from my district each year, having to give it up because it is just too costly a venture. It may be unnecessary for me to even worry about the cost or the ferry increases because it does not seem like anyone in Newfoundland today, and I am not sure if anyone in the country knows today what is going to happen to the Saltfish Corporation, because if that disappears in the next few weeks, because we are going to have to hear it in the next few weeks, then I am sure that a lot of the fishermen from my district and others who went to Labrador every year are not even going to bother to go down because there is no point and not only that, I just hope and pray that something replaces it, not only for the benefit of the fishermen from my area who go to Labrador, but what is going to happen to all those fishermen on the Labrador, who have relied on the Saltfish Corporation for years?

I will finish up by saying that I will support my hon. colleague's resolution and I hope that this House, if not in the resolution, I hope that this House will agree with all the previous speakers, in fact my friend from Labrador got up and made some fine comments as far as I was concerned about the actual resolution and I hope they will support it and I hope that all of you, at least, now know a little bit more, especially those people who are not directly connected with Labrador and the Labrador fishery, at least now, you know a little bit more about what is going on in Labrador as it relates to people who live in Newfoundland and who travel as well and who have to use the same basic services as the people on the Labrador and I am referring to those people living on the South Coast.

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much, for the opportunity and I will sit down by saying that I congratulate my Member for proposing such a resolution and giving me the opportunity to have a few comments.

Thank you very much.

AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!

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

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I would like to have a few words on this -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: - this resolution as it relates to unions in the Province. There are only a couple of minutes left, I think, and in three or four minutes the hon. Member will close debate and I do not want to say a big lot on this. The only point I would like to make on this, it seems like a lot - I mean the Members opposite, all of those who have spoken, are complaining that CN Marine or the Federal Government or whoever you want to talk about are increasing freight rates on the Labrador Coast by 60 per cent, I think that is the bottom line of what we are saying, but, Mr. Speaker, I just want to make the point that the Federal Government and CN Marine or Terra Transport or whatever crowd runs the Marine Atlantic -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: - who runs this system are doing exactly the same as your Premier. There is no difference in what these people are doing to what your Premier and your own Government is doing in this Province; he is bringing in an user pay system in this Province. Ask the city of St. John's who is going to pay for the Regatta policing this year, is that not a user pay system?

I do not know if it is right or wrong -

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: This, Mr. Speaker, is not an user pay system yet, because as I understand it, Marine Atlantic coastal services $35 million operation is subsidized 80 per cent by the Government of Canada and this is not close to being user pay if they are being subsidized 80 per cent, they are going towards it, they are doing exactly the same as this Government is doing, they are moving towards it, but 80 per cent subsidy is not user pay that I can see. The increases sound a lot because they are 50 per cent and 60 per cent, it sounds like quite an increase but it is quite an increase because of the low cost of moving freight.

Mr. Speaker, until 1991 it cost $37.01 for 1,000 pounds break bulk shipment of non-perishable groceries from St. John's to any Labrador port, Mr. Speaker, $37 for 1,000 pounds. Now I cannot move that 1,000 pounds from Kilbride to Topsail Road for that. You cannot produce produce on the farms in Kilbride and sell 1,000 pounds of it and have it trucked around St. John's for $37.01. It is just not possible to do that.

It is 3.7 cents a pound regardless of distance. That sounds pretty good to me. It is not a bad deal I mean, it not something like we would get around here. The Member who introduced this resolution, when he was in the media - I do not mean the Member for Lewisporte now. I am sorry I missed his speech, I was preoccupied.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: But the Member for Eagle River -

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

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Just one second. I just want to say that the Member -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: By leave?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Does the hon. Member have leave?


MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you. I want to make a point for the benefit of the hon. the Member for Eagle River. When he was promoting that there should not be this increase, he was saying they should provide roads in southern Labrador so that people can have the option of getting their groceries or supplies by road. Well it just so happens that road transportation will be more expensive. I am not sure the Member for Eagle River would benefit his people by objecting to this rate and increasing the transportation rates, if they do it by road.

Everyone in this Province should have roads. I do not disagree with that. But by having roads on the coast of Labrador and having their freight transported by road will not save the people of Labrador any money in transportation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. PENNEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would first like to make a few comments about the presentation made by my hon. friend for Torngat Mountains. He asked why we did not introduce this resolution in the House two Wednesdays ago. We were kind enough to relinquish our Private Member's Day to accommodate the Opposition who were playing silly little games over the Interim Supply bill.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, no, no.

MR. PENNEY: We were kind enough to relinquish our Private Member's Day to give them an extra day of debate -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. PENNEY: - so they could accommodate their hon. friend who wanted to get out of here for, I believe, what they were calling Holy Thursday. But they were not prepared to live up to the deal we had made.

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague mentions that not everybody in Labrador is dependent on Marine Atlantic and that not all supplies come by Marine Atlantic. I have to agree with that. That is accurate. But in 1987 there were 72,000 tons of freight carried by Marine Atlantic and everybody on the coast of Labrador will recognize that they are the primary source of supply. And in addition to the 72,000 tons of freight, Marine Atlantic carried 15,000 passengers. In 1988, those figures went up another 15 per cent.

He mentioned as well, and I have to pick up on this, Mr. Speaker, page 104. He is talking about the commodities shipped and he mentioned soft drinks and beer as being two of the primary items. I remind him, first of all, the heading is `commodities shipped to and from St. John's'. This is not simply commodity going into Labrador, this is to and from, first of all. Since he has this report, I assume, over there with him, I draw his attention to page 44. `Approximately 37 per cent of all Labrador freight is handled at the fifteen wharf ports scattered along the coastline from Red Bay to Nain, excluding Goose Bay. There are nine wharf ports in the southern Labrador area. Lewisporte was responsible for shipping 50 and 52 per cent of that freight respectively in 1986 and 1987.'

On the following page: `The commodities shipped to the wharf ports in 1987 are as follows: For the nine ports on the south coast of Labrador 39 per cent of the commodities were construction material, 20 per cent were food products, 16 per cent general freight, 12 per cent heavy equipment. For the six ports on the northern coast: 41 per cent construction material, 21 per cent food products.' Does the hon. Member suggest this is not important to the people who live there?

MR. WARREN: No. But it is important to the contractors in St. John's.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: Do not be so a foolish.

MR. WARREN: It is the contractor you are worried about.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: What do you want, the people to live in the woods?

AN HON. MEMBER: You are not supposed to build anything in Labrador, are you.

AN HON. MEMBER: What do you want them to do, live in the woods? Do not be so silly, boy.

MR. PENNEY: I am just wondering if the residents who live along the coast of Labrador would appreciate hearing his comments.

MR. WARREN: The contractors you are worried about.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: What do you think all the stuff is going to Labrador for boy, to throw in the water? Don't be so foolish.

MR. WARREN: All you are worried about are the contractors going up (inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: Contractors are going up to do work, boy. Don't be so stunned.

MR. PENNEY: The hon. Member mentions a recommendation of the Task Force report that he says I overlooked.

AN HON. MEMBER: Not coming back here. They do not like (inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: He says I overlooked recommendation number four.

MR. WARREN: That is right.

MR. PENNEY: I am glad the hon. Member brought that to my attention. I thank him for that. Recommendation number four, and I would like to read this into the record. `The Task Force recommends transfer of the St. John's terminal operations to Lewisporte and the setting up of one main terminal there for Labrador traffic to support the proposed rationalized fleet.' I support that.

MR. WARREN: You do?

MR. PENNEY: Yes, I most certainly do.

MR. WARREN: Yes, because you are the Member for Lewisporte.

MR. PENNEY: Mr. Speaker, I did not interfere with the hon. Member's presentation. I support that because that is the recommendation of an eight person Task Force which took three years to do a very thorough and comprehensive study.

If you were to study the report you will have noticed that regardless of what Mr. Terry Ivany says - he says here in a newspaper article that 50 per cent of the freight for Labrador originates in St. John's. Well, in 1987 only 24 per cent of the freight to Labrador originated in St. John's and 40 per cent of the freight came out of Labrador. Now, it is very simple mathematics to compare 40 per cent to 24 per cent.

AN HON. MEMBER: Came out of Labrador?

MR. PENNEY: I am sorry, came out of Lewisporte. Twenty-four per cent of the Labrador freight came out of St. John's and 40 per cent of the Labrador freight came out of Lewisporte. Now recognizing that Lewisporte was and is the primary port of supply to the Labrador Coast, then I support the recommendation that Lewisporte be made the only port of supply.

Our friend for Fortune - Hermitage has explained to us that we have the same problems all around the coast. The residents on the Southeast Coast of Newfoundland are having to put up with price increases as well, $28.00, I believe, he said for a single package.

And our friend for Humber Valley says that the rates for alcoholic beverages are too low and they should be increased. Well, that is fine, Mr. Speaker, maybe they should be increased. Then maybe Marine Atlantic should be lobbied by their colleagues over here to have the rate structure changed, to take alcoholic beverages out of Class A. If he thinks the prices in Class A freight should be increased simply because there is some beer in there, I will remind him that it is not all beer: there are eggs, there is fish, there is beef, there are vegetables. But right now under the rate structures of Marine Atlantic in order to increase that he is going to have to increase the rates for everything else, and this is what Marine Atlantic has done, increased it by 60 per cent. He suggests it is only a little bit of fish and everybody is affected. Mr. Speaker, the amount of fish that will be shipped out of Labrador amounts to probably one million pounds. That might be insignificant to some of the Members on the opposite side of the House, but it is very important to the residents of Labrador. They do not want to be treated as second-class citizens. They want the same rights and privileges as everybody else who lives in this great country. And he decides to talk about substitute teachers and the provincial Budget. I do not know what that has to do with the freight rates from Lewisporte, or from Humber Valley. I do not know what that has to do with the freight rates from St. John's or from Lewisporte going up to Red Bay, but for some reason he thinks that is relevant.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. PENNEY: The Member for Kilbride said that everybody should have roads. He acknowledges that everybody should have roads, and he is right, every resident in Canada should have the right to travel on a road, but I would remind him that the roads are not on the Coast of Labrador. Marine Atlantic provides their road for them. Marine Atlantic is as important to the residents of Coastal Labrador as the Trans-Canada Highway is to the residents of Toronto. They do not have four-lane highways around the Coast of Labrador. They do not have two-lane highways and they are as dependent on Marine Atlantic as the residents in Vancouver are on the Trans-Canada Highway. That is the point they seem to have forgotten. I will go back and I would remind you one more time that the Federal Government's mandate for the Newfoundland coastal service goes beyond the somewhat tenuous transportation commitments of the British North America Act. The 1949 Terms of Union between Newfoundland and Canada identifies the Federal Government as taking over and relieving Newfoundland of the public costs incurred in steamship and other marine services, so there is an obligation. There is a constitutional obligation, there is a legal obligation, and a moral obligation, to provide the kind of services equivalent to what are received in the rest of Canada, and at a price that they can afford. A 60 per cent increase in rates is not justified. Mr. Speaker, my colleague suggests that maybe we were not doing enough, and I was asked if I was satisfied with the response and the involvement of my colleague the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

Mr. Speaker, here is the correspondence that has gone up to them, and not a single letter as the hon. Member is suggesting. January 24, I got a letter in response to some questions I asked of the hon. The Minister of International trade, Mr. Crosbie. He said: I am pleased to support any measures that would improve the Marine Services available to residents of Labrador. I am sure the hon. Benoit Bouchard in consultation with Mr. Terry Ivany, President of Marine Atlantic intends, I repeat, intends to implement, subject to the availability of funding and other constraints, any recommendations found to be in the best interests of the Labrador service. The only one they found to be in the best interest of the Labrador service was to increase the freight rates. All of the other recommendations, the recommendation that they put on a large new vessel going from Lewisporte to Goose Bay, and another new vessel from Goose Bay to North Labrador, that was not important. They did not do any of that. They did do some minor modifications to the infrastructure in Lewisporte and Goose Bay, they did do some minor repairs, but what they were suggesting: they said the rate levels for freight to the coastal communities are so low as to encourage irrational shipping decisions which in turn will impact negatively on local industries. So they suggest if they increase the rates they will be able to provide all this new rationalized change in service. So they increased the rates and we did not get any of the rationalization and change of service.

My friend the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation has written to his colleagues in Ottawa on a number of occasions, and here is a reply on April 2 1991 from Mr. Lewis. 'Transport Canada has been closely monitoring coastal service activities. Departmental officials are in regular contact with Marine Atlantic, the operator of the service. I understand that the operation has been going well and that there have been no complaints or problems.'

Well, I can assure the hon. Minister that that is not the case. There have been complaints. There have been some concerns over services.

MR. GILBERT: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: No, that is Lewis' letter, Dave.

MR. PENNEY: No, this is the reply that you got to your concern, sir. I would like to remind hon. Members as well, this is the position that our Government has taken, this is the stand we have taken. I would like to quote a letter, December 29 1989. This is addressed to Mr. Terry Ivany:

I must express serious reservations with respect to your treatment of the Labrador service. Despite the low cost recovery levels on the service the 18.2 per cent increase for personal automobiles brought about by the elimination of the seasonal rate is unacceptable. Goose Bay does not have the same level of roads access as enjoyed by other Canadian communities. Tourists do not comprise a large portion of the summer trade, and residents are already burdened by a high cost environment. Until there exists an effective alternative to the Marine Atlantic service I believe your rate increases should not exceed inflation by more than 3 or 4 per cent.

Your proposal to increase container rates in the Labrador service by 25 per cent is equally unacceptable for essentially the same reasons. Rate increases of 18 per cent and 25 per cent display, I believe, a lack of sensitivity to the people of Labrador. I would ask you to personally revisit these rates and propose a new acceptable rate schedule prior to January 8th.

I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the Federal Government has consistently shown a lack of sensitivity to the people in Labrador.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: I would suggest that this lack of sensitivity that has been shown by the Federal Government in Ottawa has been supported consistently by their colleagues sitting on the opposite side of the House.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: Now, Mr. Speaker, that can no longer be tolerated.

AN HON. MEMBER: Torngat Mountains.

MR. PENNEY: Every Member in this hon. House must support this resolution.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: Mr. Speaker, I move this resolution be now put.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? All those in favour 'Aye'.


MR. SPEAKER: Those against the motion?

I declare the motion carried.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to inform my very good and close friend the Opposition House Leader who always co-operates fully with me, -

MR. SIMMS: Don't go saying that in front of the caucus, boy.

MR. BAKER: - that on tomorrow we will be still at the Committee stage of the Wage Restraint Bill.

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

MR. SIMMS: Just for clarification so we will all understand, does he mean the Roll Back Bill now, I presume, Bill No. 16, is the one he is talking about?


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SIMMS: Since he is always so courtesy and kind to us -

MR. RIDEOUT: And co-operative.

MR. SIMMS: - and co-operative and taking the Premier's advice that it would it not be proper courtesy to let one know, are we going to be sitting tomorrow night?

MR. BAKER: There are two things there, Mr. Speaker. To the first part, no, we are not going to introduce a new bill tomorrow. We are going to go to the Wage Restraint Bill.

AN HON. MEMBER: A good point.

MR. BAKER: That is the one we are going to be debating and I suspect that hon. Members opposite would like to have ample opportunity to debate the bill fully. So, yes I expect there will be opportunity tomorrow evening.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

This House now stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, April 11, at 2:00 p.m.