April 24, 1991                  HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS             Vol. XLI  No. 35

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Before proceeding with our routine business, on behalf of hon. Members, I would like to welcome to the galleries today, forty-nine secretaries from Newfoundland Career Academy. They are visiting today in recognition of Secretary's Week, and they are accompanied by their instructors, Gloria Dawe and Regina Edwards.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. On Thursday of last week the Minister confirmed that a consortium of consulting companies, named Newlab Engineering of Newfoundland and -

AN HON. MEMBER: South River.

MR. R. AYLWARD: - South River, as the Minister of Social Services says - and a Nova Scotia company, William Nycum and Associates, were awarded work for the Port Saunders Hospital for design work, contrary to the advice of the officials of his Department. Will the Minister table these proposals for the Burgeo and Port Saunders hospitals? And will he table the recommendations from the officials of his Department concerning these two proposals?

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, the proposals that were put forward by the officials in my Department are part of a Cabinet paper and the Member is aware that they will not be tabled.


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

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I know the Minister is trying to hide what really happened with these contracts but the proposals are public documents. At least the proposals could be tabled in this House - the proposals from this company and the other companies which bid on it, the other Newfoundland companies which bid on it -

MR. SPEAKER: Order. please!

The hon. Member is on a supplementary. Let's get to it please.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, the Minister said in his answer Thursday that the reason that the contract was awarded to the same company for both hospitals was that it will save money for the Province. Will the Minister tell us how much money will be saved by awarding both contracts to the same design person, seeing that the value of the construction is somewhere between $11 million and $12 million? And how much of this money - the design work money - will go to the Nova Scotia firm rather than Newfoundland firms?

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, I will take that and get an answer for the Member.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, maybe the Minister could tell me if his officials agree that the Burgeo and Port Saunders hospital designs are identical designs and would he tell me if his officials suggested to him that it would be cheaper to give the design contracts of the two hospitals to the same company?

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, the two establishments are basically the same design and it was decided that it would be more economical and efficient to give it to the one company. I will get the information which the hon. gentleman is requesting, and present it under Answers to Questions.

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

Oh, I am sorry; not to fall into the trap I did yesterday. Will the hon. Member for Torngat Mountains yield to his friend from Kilbride? The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and my thanks to the Member for Torngat Mountains. Mr. Speaker, will the Minister tell this House or will he confirm that at least 60 per cent of this design work will go to a Nova Scotia company and will he confirm or is he aware that Newfoundland companies cannot bid on proposals for Government work in Nova Scotia?

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the gentleman last week when he asked the question, we were aware when the contract was awarded to the Newlab Nycum company that there were companies in Newfoundland which were capable of doing this work, we had no illusions about that whatsoever.

The thing that we were trying to do was to broaden the base of expertise in Newfoundland, and this company from Nova Scotia had formed a consortium with the company from Newfoundland so that for future work there would be a broader base of companies in Newfoundland that were able to provide this work. Now that was the reason for it and that is the answer to the gentleman's question.

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

Order, please!

I have officially recognized the hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains, and he is the only one who now officially has the floor.

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

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

During the past number of days, and particularly since the Budget came down, we have been receiving a lot of calls from senior citizens in the Province who have been required to fill their prescription drugs, so I have a question for the Minister of Health. One of the restraints in the Budget of 1991 eliminated certain drugs from the drug subsidy program for senior citizens. Could I ask the Minister how much he expects to save annually from this particular measure, and what will be the average increase in the cost of those drugs for senior citizens?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, we did several things with the drug program for senior citizens. One thing we did was change the formulary, where some drugs can be changed for the generic drug which is less expensive than the brand name drug. We are not saying to senior citizens you cannot have the brand name drug, however, if you insist on having the brand name then the senior citizen will be expected to pay the difference between the generic drug and the brand name drug. We are not forcing the senior citizen to do it but in most cases they take the generic drug.

The other item which was taken off the list was the cough medicine, the one which has an narcotic base. I have been advised that it really does not have any therapeutic value and when we were faced with laying off a few more nurses, or closing up a few more hospital beds, we thought it would be less harmful to the people of the Province if we removed this particular cough medicine from the list. Now, how much will it cost the senior citizen, Mr. Speaker? Not one single solitary cent more than it cost before, because the senior citizen does not pay for the drug. The senior citizen pays the prescription cost, Mr. Speaker, and what we do with the formulary or what we do with the drugs has no bearing whatsoever on the cost to the senior citizen.

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

MR. WARREN: I want to ask my question again to the Minister. How much does the Government expect to save by this particular measure?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, it is in the vicinity of $200,000. Whether it is $201,098, I do not know that, I will have to table that information for him. But it is in the vicinity of $200,000.

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. My supplementary is to the Minister. Would the Minister confirm that two of the particular drugs that a majority of senior citizens in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador are obliged to take are the two drugs Inderal and the second drug is Zantac, those two particular drugs go almost together when they are prescribed by a doctor, and those two drugs, besides the pharmacist $7.15, as of last month now senior citizens will have to pay an extra $18.22 for the Inderal drug, and an extra $28.84 for the Zantac drug?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, that question was addressed in the answer to the first question. What we have done is we have made some adjustments to the formulary whereby these two brand name drugs, which the hon. Member referred to, are replaced by generic drugs and before a generic drug is accepted as a replacement it has to be approved by Health and Welfare Canada. It is not just something we dream up. All the other provinces have accepted that there are generic drugs that can replace that. However, as I pointed out, in some cases a senior citizen might wish to have the brand name drug which has no more value than the generic drug. If the senior citizen wants to do that then the senior citizen has the option, Mr. Speaker, of paying the extra money. But it is unnecessary. There is no medical reason to do it because the generic drug is exactly the same drug, Mr. Speaker, and it is less expensive and, of course, we all know what the hon. Member's friends in Ottawa did with the generic drug industry where they are forcing all people to pay ten times as much for their drugs as they should be paying, Mr. Speaker. I have no control over that. I wish the hon. Member would talk to his friends in Ottawa to deal with that very, very serious problem.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains, on a final supplementary.

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I will not say my final supplementary, but another supplementary to the Minister is: The Minister earlier in his comments mentioned the so-called cough medicine drugs. Was the Minister's rationale for removing those particular cough and cold drugs from the subsidy program a means of saving the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador thousands and thousands of dollars, and at the same time putting it on the backs of the senior citizens in this Province?

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

MR. DECKER: No, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: I have indicated a final supplementary, but I will allow the hon. Member one more supplementary.

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Could the Minister tell us what advice he received for changing the system for roughly between 60,000 and 100,000 senior citizens in this Province who have to rely on those particular drugs for their last days living in this Province. Today they rely on that particular drug. Would the Minister advise us what advice he has for the senior citizens in this Province who are living on a mere income of x number of dollars a month? How will they cope with having to pay up to 300 per cent more for their drugs per month.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I have good advice and good news for the senior citizens. The drugs are available. The prescription fee did not go up. There is no extra cost for their drugs, Mr. Speaker. I have good news for the senior citizens. I advised them that when I sent their drug cards out to them last spring. Nothing has changed. However, if they insist on taking a brand name drug when a generic drug is exactly the same, then I would have to tell them that in my unmedical opinion they are wasting their money, but I am not a doctor. But the best advice that I get from the professionals and the experts in their field is that nothing has changed, and that is the wonderful thing about this, Mr. Speaker. We were able to make some adjustments in the drug program, we ended up saving some money in the overall costs, but to the senior citizens in their last days, as the hon. Member talks about, who are on the poverty line, as the hon. Member talks about, who are the people who are less able to pay, I am pleased to be able to say to them that this Government as usual in its care and concern for senior citizens made absolutely certain that they are protected better than they ever have been before.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I think the Minister of Health must have had some of the narcotic cough medicine.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: I would like to ask my question to the Minister of Fisheries. I wonder if the Minister of Fisheries could update the House as to the status of negotiations for the 1991 lobster prices?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, negotiations are still ongoing. In fact, I met with the members of the union and FANL this morning - a long discussion. I had to leave them at 10:00 a.m. to attend a meeting but I got the impression that up until that time things were going very well. I expect an announcement, hopefully, later on today or tomorrow, indicating that an agreement has been reached to establish a price for this year. There have been many problems given the fact that only a small minority of the number of licenced lobster buyers are members of FANL. In fact, a large number of them operate outside of the Province and that aggravates the problem still further. But nevertheless both sides are working hard and I would be very surprised if they do not come to some kind of an agreement later on today or tomorrow morning.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I hope as well as the Minister does that the negotiated price is concluded later on today or early tomorrow. As part of this ongoing lobster price saga, would the Minister be making it clear to buyers that their lot licences for 1992 will not be renewed if they do not abide and pay the 1991 negotiated prices? Will he be making that clear to buyers?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the Fishery Act under which we have to operate, is certainly restrictive in that it does not give us certain powers. Namely that we do not have the authority under the Act as it is now structured to do that. But we have gone as far as we can, I think. We will be attaching a condition to the lobster buyers' licences to the effect that we would expect them to pay the negotiated price, and failing to do that, then we serve notice that we will have to take a hard look at their licences next year when the time comes around to renew them.

That appears to satisfy both the union and FANL. So I guess we will have to leave it at that. But I repeat: we are writing the buyers - and there about 200 of them - indicating that we want them to be fair and at least meet the price negotiated, and failing to do so might very well end up in posing a problem for them next year when they come to us for a new licence.

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

MR. TOBIN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Since this Government came to office the Minister has been going around promising amalgamation, stifling the democratic process by deferring elections in various places and whatever else that could be done, promising to amalgamate certain areas of this Province. That has gone on long enough. I would like to ask the Minister today to give us a precise answer as to when he will be making an announcement as to what Government intends to do in the northeast Avalon area.

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, as I reported to the House last week, I believe it was, we are proceeding with feasibility studies. They have been mostly complete. Of the forty-two groupings we have some thirty-six complete, the rest are in the process of being finalized. I will be reporting as soon as I have those groupings finalized and recommendations made to Government, and subsequent Government approval on the groupings that are being recommended for amalgamation.

Some of the groupings, I might say, Mr. Speaker, are being recommended against proceeding with amalgamation, which is normal, because the feasibility process is entered into to discover whether or not amalgamation is the right thing to do or not. In some of the groupings the commissioners are recommending that we not proceed. But the vast majority, some 80 per cent of the groupings, are being recommended to proceed, and as soon as those recommendations are finalized and Government has approved of them or otherwise I will be reporting to the House.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister then, based on the fact that some people are fearing that there may be another deferral of elections in this Province in the next year or so, let me ask the Minister whether or not - Mr. Speaker, I am asking a question of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, not the President of Treasury Board. I would like to ask the Minister whether or not he will be supporting, and indeed implemening the recommendations of the committee, the feasibility study that recommended that Wedgewood Park not become a part of the City of St. John's?

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, I feel confident that no further deferral of elections will be necessary. In fact, the next municipal elections are three years away and I do not think that is a particular worry at this time. I would hope that the amalgamation process would be substantially complete before this sitting of the House is over. I have stated that publicly, and I still feel we will be able to accomplish that, Mr. Speaker.

As far as any particular groupings are concerned or whether or not a certain community will be joined to another, obviously I cannot comment on that until Government has seen my recommendations, one way or another, but I certainly cannot comment prior to that.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister in my final supplementary, if he is sure the election is three years away? Is he sure that the elections in this Province are three years away? Will the Minister now come clean with the House, and indeed with the people of this Province, and confirm the amalgamation issue in the northeast avalon area is being replaced by the regional service board, the board which strips the power of municipalities and places all the powers in a very dictatorial way in the hands of the Minister and the Cabinet?

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, if he would say that a board that is appointed with municipal representation of elected people from the Member councils is dictatorial in any way, I fail to see his point. I fail to see his point, Mr. Speaker. In fact, the Regional Services Boards, the way the legislation reads, is that it shall be composed of Members from the respective councils served by the board, and in fact sits underneath the councils, not above them. It is subservient to the councils. Now if that is dictatorial, it is a very poor choice of words, Mr. Speaker.

We have no intention of bringing in regional services boards except in areas where they are needed, and as far as the northeast avalon is concerned, we would have to wait and see how the amalgamation process is completed. There may or may not be such a board in the northeast avalon. It indeed depends entirely on the composition of the groupings when the amalgamation procedure is finalized.

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

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, last fall I raised the issue about large outside companies trying to get a foothold in the school busing transportation system in the Province. I wonder if the Minister has any indication that this might be happening now?

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

DR. WARREN: No, Mr. Speaker, not to my knowledge.

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

MR. HEARN: Mr. Speaker, is the Minister aware that some boards are contemplating calling block tenders which would result in a $1 million deal which would eliminate smaller operators from participating in the school bus transportation operation?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, the school bus budget is a fairly substantial amount of money. It is my understanding that boards are looking at every possible way of providing a more efficient and effective service. One possibility is for smaller companies to join together and bid co-operatively on contracts. I gather that some boards are looking at all of these options, and we, as a department, are encouraging them to look at ways and means of improving the effectiveness of school busing.

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

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think we are finally getting the Minister on record as stating that Government is really encouraging large companies or encouraging boards to invite large companies to bid on the bus business. I ask the Minister if he is successful in what he is attempting to do, does he realize that he is going to put out of business almost every small bus operator in this Province?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. Member's premise is that we are encouraging large companies, I would want to reject this. What this Government is doing is encouraging a more effective and efficient school transportation system. Mr. Speaker, there are areas of this Province where we do have perhaps more busing services than are needed to meet the demands of a declining student enrollment. We have a number of areas where we are told the busing systems are not co-ordinated, and this Government intends to, as it does in other areas, to ensure that we get the best possible use of the limited funds that we have available for busing and other services, and we are going to actively promote a more efficient and effective service. This does not, Mr. Speaker, mean that we are going to have larger companies offering all kinds of numbers of contracts.

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

MR. HEARN: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I asked the Minister would he guarantee that, despite the attempts to tidy up the individual bus runs, and nobody is against that, that is good business, will he guarantee that tenders are called in a way that will not eliminate the small independent individual operators from participating in the business that they made a livelihood in for several years, with everything they have tied up in that system?

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, this Government certainly wants to encourage small business as well as big business in this Province. We will do everything possible to ensure that people are treated fairly in the process if any new system is developed, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Health. The Minister will no doubt be aware that the Federal Government has just released a task force report on Weight Loss Control Clinics in the country, included in which is a set of recommendations which Provincial Governments could implement to safeguard the health and well-being of users of Weight Loss Clinics. Mr. Speaker, in view of this being National Consumer Week and because some of the Ministers opposite might need to use Weight Loss Clinics along with many other consumers who are more health conscious, I wonder if the Minister could say whether his Department is at present controlling Weight Loss Clinics, do they have a registry of such clinics, and are they having a look at them?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, we were aware that the study was going on in the Federal Department of Health and Welfare. We have not yet received a copy of the report. I understand it is enroute to us, and any comment I make would have to be on the release that I read in the newspapers and it would be totally inappropriate for me to say that. However, once we receive the report, we will be reviewing it in the very efficient manner that the Department of Health reviews all reports, whether they come from the Federal source or from our own source. After we have reviewed it, if we feel that there is a need for some regulation or to do something about the weight loss clinics then we will be making a recommendation to Government, Mr. Speaker. And in due course if there is a problem it will be dealt with.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if the Minister of Health could indicate whether or not he has any indications of problems of existing operations, and whether licencing of such clinics has been contemplated by his Department already?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, what the hon. Member is suggesting now is that I would prejudge what we are going to do with the report before I have seen it or read it, and that would be totally inappropriate. Once the report is received by Government, and if there is some concrete reason there, then we will deal with it. I cannot discuss on any rumours I might have heard or any off-the-hand remark that someone would have made about health clinics, I would want to do it from a very purely professional basis as the Department of Health operates.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if I could disturb the Minister of Transportation, who is reading his paper, and ask him a straightforward question.

MR. GILBERT: I am sure it will be a good question.

MR. SIMMS: Yes, it will be an excellent question, I can assure you. Mr. Speaker. In January and February of 1989 the Town of Grand Falls then and the then Grand Falls Chamber of Commerce wrote to his Department opposing the Department's plan to install a median on the Trans-Canada Highway through the town, I am sure the Minister is quite familiar with it. The Department wrote back at that time and said it would not be proceeding. Indeed, I believe the Minister himself has said, he would not be asking it to proceed - perhaps a couple of years ago. Can he advise if this matter now is actively being revived once again? And if so, is it at the insistence of the new Town of Grand Falls - Windsor or is it at the insistence of officials in his Department?

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

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the Member for Grand Falls asked that question because I knew he was down to the town council in Grand Falls last week trying to find out the information and they would not give it to him. Back in 1988 there was some concern from the town of Grand Falls about the median, and the then town of Windsor wanted the median, and now that there is a combined town they had a meeting with me and my officials a few weeks ago and at that time the topic of the median came up and officials from my Department, and officials from the new amalgamated town of Grand Falls - Windsor are now investigating what should happen to it. I assure the hon. Member for Grand Falls that he should go down to the town council more often and ask for information because when he does they tell me about it.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, let me tell the Minister of Transportation that whoever is telling him is telling him inaccurately and incorrectly. I was not down to the town council office in Grand Falls last week so I hope his answer is far more honest than the information he has provided. Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, my new question, not a supplementary, is to the Government House Leader.

Can the Government House Leader tell us when the departmental salary estimate details will be published, released, and tabled?

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

MR. BAKER: They have been, at this point in time, printed, so I assume that means they have already been published - I do not know the distinction between the two terms. They will be tabled in the House, Mr. Speaker, as soon as I get a chance. I have not even looked at them yet. I just want to make sure there are no major errors and so on that are obvious to me, and at that point in time they will be tabled in the House, no later than Monday.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island.

MR. WALSH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure I stand once again today to submit the report of the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedure for the House of Assembly. In doing so I would like to acknowledge not only the Members of the Committee who assisted in the report, my Deputy Chair, the Member for Port au Port, the hon. the Minister of Justice, the Member for Bonavista South and the Member for Grand Falls, but I would also like to acknowledge the work which was carried by the previous Committee of the House, who, in themselves carried a great deal of the load for this particular report.

Mr. Speaker, one of the things which we became very conscious of as we went through with our deliberations, was that we found as we made adjustments to one portion of the standing rules, we found that we were affecting others and therefore, we found that the changes which eventually evolved are far-reaching and long-ranging.

I would also like to thank, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Committee, the House of Commons and the Speaker of the House of Commons, for his assistance and for the assistance given by his staff; also the Ontario Provincial Parliament for their assistance; the assistance given to us by the staff of this particular House as well, and I acknowledge the contributions made by you, Mr. Speaker, in assisting us in finalizing this report.

It is with pleasure as I said, once again, that I table this report on behalf of our Committee.

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

MR. GILBERT: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I would like to table the exceptions to the Public Tendering Act, for the month of March.


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

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I was hoping that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation could remain in the Legislature, because this particular petition does have some connection with the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

Mr. Speaker, this petition is signed by 1,347 people, and -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I think I heard a comment from one of my colleagues down this end of her saying: That is more than the number of people in my district. That, in fact, is interesting because it is not from my district, it is from the district of Naskaupi which is represented by my hon. colleague, the Minister of Environment and Lands.

There are 1,345 signatures -

AN HON. MEMBER: Mr. Speaker, I do not mean to interrupt my colleague, but on a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member on a point of order.

MR. KELLAND: We cannot hear what my colleague from Torngat Mountains is saying. There is a high noise level here and I would like to hear him, Mr. Speaker, so I would ask you to exercise control over my colleagues on both sides.

MR. SPEAKER: To that point of order, hon. Members know that whenever an hon. Member on either side of the House asks for order, that request should be obeyed.

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am sure my colleague for Naskaupi is interested in this particular petition, because I am sure if he looked at the names which are on this particular petition, he would find maybe 60 per cent or 70 per cent or 80 per cent of those people were supporters of him during the last election.

The prayer of the petition, and I want to read this because I would think that the House would want to make sure it is in order, but the petition goes as follows:

"We - Selby Mesher, Eugene Mesher, Gerald Hagerty, Ford Mesher - wish to express our concerns to the Minister of Labour regarding our dismissal from Northern Construction and Insulation Limited. We have been concerned" - now, Mr. Speaker, I want to make sure that everybody understands the next part of this. "We have been concerned about the safety of school busing in Happy Valley - Goose Bay, and subsequently advised our employer as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. We are concerned about the safety of the passengers that travel to and from school and other activities. We therefore request the Minister of Labour to initiate a full enquiry into the reasons for our dismissal and the safety of the present busing operation in our area.

"We, the undersigned, support the above mentioned persons and humbly ask that this petition be presented in the House of Assembly at the earliest possible convenience."

Mr. Speaker, I would think that that petition is in order, and I find it interesting that if 1,347 names in this petition are not necessarily - and I want to repeat this, because we have to look at the safety of school children not only in Happy Valley - Goose Bay but all throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, because during the last number of days and weeks I think that the safety of school children has not been looked at attentively enough by this Government. I would suggest that those people who signed this particular petition are concerned about their children and other people's children who are travelling on school buses in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I believe it is high time that this Government, and the Ministers of Education, Labour and Transportation, stand up and make sure that the school children in this Province are transported from home to the school and back again in a safe manner. And this is not happening in this Province.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.



MR. SPEAKER: No leave.

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

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand in support of the petition. It is perhaps a bit of a different type petition from ones we are used to hearing, but the petition itself deals with a crucial issue, and that is the issue of bus safety, and hopefully the Minister of Education in the absence of the Minister of Labour will comment on the petition also.

In recent days we have seen a tremendous increase in activity as it relates to the safety of school busing in the Province. Just listening to part of a phone-in show this morning, I heard one driver remark that he had been stopped four times on the same run yesterday and once again this morning in the same bus, by the police. First you might think, oh, that is overdoing it, it is harassment. But the bottom line is it is certainly a very safe measure. Now, undoubtedly, when there is some co-ordination things will flow a little more easily than that, a little more conveniently for the bus drivers. But having buses stopped and checked and having regular checks done I do not think can happen too often.

Just a few years ago we made several changes in the school busing operation. We limited the number of years in relation to the age of a bus, we eliminated standing on school buses - up until a few years ago a certain percentage of students were allowed to stand on short runs, we eliminated all of that. It was extremely costly for government but safety was of prime importance. We also started a program that saw a number of inspectors go out to different parts of the Province and stop - and the Minister of Transportation knows this because they come under his department and they do a very good job - they just do not go to a garage and have a look at a bus that is on a ramp or whatever, some of them stop buses on the side of the road, put on their coveralls, crawl underneath them, and that is the way to do it if you are going to assure safety with all the possibilities that are out there to avoid safe measures, then that is what has to be done. We are looking at 120,000 students attending school every day, a large percentage of these, I would say, in the order of 80,000 or 90,000 are being bused to school. A tremendous number of school buses of different ages, sizes and conditions are operating on our highways, and unless measures are taken to make sure that these vehicles are safe, then the lives of a number of our children could be in jeopardy, so I have no complaint at all about buses being stopped over and over and being checked. As I say, hopefully with proper consideration, consolidation, and coordination it will not get to the point where it is becoming harassment, but as long as it is a safety measure, I am all for it. I think when some people, whether they be bus drivers, school principals or parents, recognize that there is a safety factor and decide to put their own jobs on the line to do something about it, then this certainly should be taken into consideration. To think that people might be fired because they brought to the attention of authorities the fact that school buses were not safe or the concern that school buses were not safe, certainly, I think, they should be given credit for it and not the pink slip. So hopefully the Minister of Education or the Minister of Transportation will also confirm the need to be extremely safe and vigilant in relation to our school bus operation because as I said, we have 80,000 or 90,000 students every day whose lives depend upon the safety of the vehicles and the individuals who operate them.

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

MR. GILBERT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. GILBERT: The gentleman from Torngat asked some questions concerning the state of school bus safety in Goose Bay, and I tabled it, if he had bothered to read the answer to my question.

MR. WARREN: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

MR. GILBERT: Now I think it is time, Mr. Speaker -

MR. SPEAKER: Order please! Order please!

I would ask the hon. Member for Torngat Mountains to please refrain from interrupting, but more significantly and importantly I would ask him to withdraw the remark that he just made.

MR. WARREN: I withdraw, Mr. Speaker, he did not tell the truth.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

When the Chair asks an hon. Member to withdraw he is supposed to withdraw unequivocally, unqualified.

MR. WARREN: Unequivocally and unqualified.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I also want to remind hon. Members that when the Chair is making a ruling the Chair is not going to tolerate any comments or any shouting from Members on either side of the House. The affairs of this House are supposed to be carried out with dignity and with respect, and Members are supposed to show the appropriate dignity and respect to the Chair. There are all kinds of rules in Beauchesne and in the authorities to deal with that, and this Chair will not be timid in doing so.

The hon. the Member.

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, the gentleman for Torngat raised some questions about school bus safety in the Goose Bay area last week. If he had read the answers to his questions which I had tabled in the House yesterday he would have had his concerns about safety taken away. We, in the Department are not at all concerned about the safety of the school buses that we are operating in Goose Bay. The laws dictate that school buses are inspected three times a year, July, December, and April. This is done in a garage and the mechanical work is checked out by garage operators who are licensed by my Department to carry out those inspections.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains on a point of order.

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

The Minister was referring to a paper he tabled yesterday and I also refer to it, Mr. Speaker. He said the sixteen buses in question were inspected in December, but I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that this is incorrect because two of those buses were not inspected and the company has been charged, therefore what

the Minister said here is definitely incorrect.

MR. SPEAKER: To the point of order, there is no point of order, just a difference of opinion between two hon. gentlemen.

The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, the Member obviously does not want the answer to the question and if he read on he would find that I said further on that the safety inspections, as far as we were concerned, were carried out. The RCMP charged the company that does the inspection with some infractions and they have lost their license to operate for six months. It has nothing at all to do with safety inspections.

MR. WARREN: (Inaudible)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

For the final time I am going to ask the hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains to refrain from interrupting. In petitions we have a procedure to follow and it should be strictly adhered to by all Members. The Member presented his petition and now the Minister is responding. He was given equal time, five minutes to present his petition and the Minister should be afforded the time, without interruption.

I shall not remind the hon. Member another time I can assure you.

The hon. Minister.

MR. GILBERT: Mr. Speaker, you can see what is happening, the Member for Torngat is not at all interested in getting an answer. He is trying to make points on the backs of school children. An alarmist, Mr. Speaker, is what we have there. The inspections were done on those buses in December and our inspectors from the Department were in Goose Bay in February. They did their checks and were satisfied that the inspections were carried out according to the procedure that is outlined for our Department.

Now, Mr. Speaker, this Department is quite happy that the inspection was done properly by our officials. There were minor infractions discovered when our inspectors were there. The Glen Corporation, I think is the name of the company who were doing the inspections, were given their warning tickets, a follow-up was done and they did what they were supposed to do with the inspections. Now, as far as the employees being dismissed, that is under investigation by the Department of Employment and Labour Relations, but it has nothing at all to do with the safety of those buses to operate in the Goose Bay area. Again, it is a blatant attempt by the gentleman for Torngat to raise concerns on the safety of children.

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

The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands.

MR. KELLAND: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask leave of the House to refer to the petition, to make comments on the petition?

MR. SPEAKER: No, the hon. Member does not have leave.

MR. KELLAND: By the leave of the House?


MR. SPEAKER: Before going to the Orders of the Day, this being Wednesday, I thought there were a couple of rulings that I was about to - was there another petition?

AN HON. MEMBER: No, another item.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is rather uncomfortable, this being Wednesday and we are under time constraints. I wanted to move the make up of the Estimates Committee and the Heads of Expenditures referred to each Committee. The Opposition House Leader has a copy and I would want -

MR. SPEAKER: Order now. We are now going back to Notices of Motion, are we?

MR. BAKER: No, Mr. Speaker. I just want to move (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Okay. All right. The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: I want to move that this be the Committee structure, Mr. Speaker, and I do not intend to talk any more about it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Opposition House Leader.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, we will second the motion. The only thing we were hung up on was the printing of the Salary Estimates Details and we have been informed now through Question Period by the Government House Leader they will be available no later than Monday, and the Estimates Committees can finally get on with their work, I guess, at that stage.

MR. SPEAKER: You have heard the motion. All those in favour of the motion, please say 'Aye'.


MR. SPEAKER: Those against the motion, 'Nay'.

Motion carried.

Just before 3:00 o'clock there are a couple of items left standing that the Chair would like to rule on now. They were both raised I believe on April 11, or close to that date. One -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! - related to Oral Questions and the matter of another Minister answering was raised, and the matter of transferring questions was raised and the two of them are separate matters. The question of another Minister answering: before anyone begins, when somebody asks the Government a question, well I dealt with that, any Minister is entitled to rule within reason, as the questions are asked to the Government, although generally when questions are asked the Minister to whom the question is addressed would answer. But again there might be an overlapping of departments, for example, a question could be addressed to the Minister of Education and that could be an overlapping question for the President of Treasury Board or the Minister of Finance. So that has been acceptable in our House.

But the matter of transferring of questions has always caused a lot of confusion. When a Minister gets up and starts answering and sputters and stammers for a minute or so and then says I will refer the question to somebody else, that has always, as I have said, caused some confusion. Houses deal with it in different ways. I understand in the House of Commons that the Speaker does not allow it. In our House it has sort of been neither here nor there. It has been by consent. And when Members said nothing about it, nothing was done. I would prefer that it did not happen - the transfer of a question - because it is unfair, a person starts off and gets a minute or two and then says I will transfer it to somebody else. It is my preference that that not happen.

The other item, and I will not get into it, unless hon. Members insist, and this is the one raised by the Opposition House Leader on April 11, about, Members will recall, when we ran into a problem with rising the Committee. There were two things asked by the Opposition House Leader at the time or we inferred that there were two things: the duty of the Chair at the moment of interruption, that is at the time when the Committee should rise; and no one has given that instruction, and the effect of continuing the proceedings past the moment of interruption, past that time. It is clear that, one, the Chair is instructed to, most of the time, rise the Committee, and when the Chair is not instructed then the Chair ought to do it, the person in the Chair ought to ask that the Committee rise. Now if it goes over, that too has generally been ruled out by the Speaker, if the Chair intervenes, and the Chair will intervene to say that the Committee should rise. So the Chairman of Committee has that authority to rise the Committee. And my final statement on that is if that were not so, of course, if the House were not able to proceed in this matter its wishes could be thwarted or frustrated by a Member who declined to yield the floor at the time appointed for the adjournment. And I refer hon. Members to Erskine May, 17th Edition, 1978, page 663, and a ruling in our own House in 1978 by the Speaker at that time.

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

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

MR. SIMMS: A brief and quick point of order. I wonder, could we be assured by the Government House Leader, that in view of the fact that half the Cabinet is missing here today, there are seven missing, would he be prepared to ensure that they all know of Your Honour's ruling, particularly with respect to transferring answers, because, I think Your Honour has ruled now that, that is not going to be permitted and should not be allowed and it is important that the Premier and other people know it for sure, because they are not here.

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

MR. BAKER: I would like to assure my good friend, who always co-operates with me, the hon. the Opposition House Leader, that Cabinet Ministers avidly read every day, when Hansard comes out, what happened and what rulings were made and so on, so I am absolutely certain that they will be quite up to date on His Honour's rulings.

MR. SPEAKER: It being Wednesday, Private Member's Day, the hon. Member for LaPoile on his private resolution.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RAMSAY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, the resolution put on the Order Paper printed today but put forth yesterday by myself, is one that was re-inforced yesterday, I might add, in my driving down to the Sea-food Outlook conference that was held at the Newfoundland Hotel.

On the way down I was listening to the Fisherman's broadcast and did hear the new hon. John Crosbie, speaking of a more regional approach to fisheries management, and, if you will note, in this resolution that I am about to read into the record, for the sake of Hansard, it really is pushing towards a more regional approach to dealing with fisheries issues, specifically with regard to the winter fishery, which operates down in my area in the district of LaPoile, but also affects other nearby areas.

It affects the Burgeo area, the hon. Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, the area in which the hon. Member for St. Georges and also several other Members on the Northern Peninsula, from their districts, a lot of the fishermen reside, who fish in the winter fishery so, it is pretty well Province -wide, a lot of the companies which are involved in the winter fishery also are from various areas of the Province and have ties to a lot of the variety of other fish plants throughout the Province, so it is a totally Provincial issue and the operation of the winter fishery is of great concern to me and I am sure to all of these individuals as well.

Now for the record, the resolution reads:

WHEREAS the winter fishery on the Southwest Coast is the primary fishery for fishermen and plant workers from the communities of: LaPoile, Petits, Rose Blanche, Harbour Le Cou, Burnt Islands, Isle aux Morts, Margaree- Foxroost, Port aux Basques, Cape Ray and Codroy; and

WHEREAS the winter fishery is utilized primarily by over 100 inshore mobile gear vessels from many communities in the Province, which catch up to 50 per cent of their vessel quotas during the winter fishing season; and

WHEREAS the catastrophic failure of the fixed gear fishery on the southwest coast, this being local vessels, Mr. Speaker, has placed even greater pressure on the mobile gear catch and also on the processing sector to provide employment for the residents of the southwest coast area; and

WHEREAS the winter fishery has seen much difficulty over the past number of years insofar as the orderly progress of the fishery has been repeatedly interrupted by disputes over its management by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House encourage and support the establishment of a regulatory committee consisting of representation from the Provincial Government, Federal Government, Fishermen, Processors and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Federal and Provincial Governments work together to establish an effective mandate for this proposed regulatory committee, the intent of this working together, Mr. Speaker, would be joint management of this important resource.

Now, in preparing for this, there is not really a lot, when you are from a given area that you can prepare, because you deal with it daily; you know the issues, you know what is happening in a given area, you understand the history of it and really, you have to look at the history and for the information of hon. Members who are not totally familiar with the history of the southwest coast fishery, there is a legacy I guess, of hundreds of years with Basque fishing people coming to the Port aux Basques area and Port aux Basque originally was a fishing port and gradually developed. Of course, in the early 1900s with the advent of steamers going across to Nova Scotia, Port aux Basques became the primary port of entry for the ferry terminal which changed the town itself and of course the district itself. I think Port aux Basques was not the main fishing community. LaPoile is very rich in fish, the town of LaPoile itself, the community, and other places down the coast, which is where some of my own ancestors come from, Rencontre West. That was a very sheltered fishing area, down along the south coast. So the fishing industry throughout the Island has a very historical tie to people's reasons for existence in the place where they now live. To bring it a little further ahead we have a legacy in the district of LaPoile over the years of one T.J. Hardy. The T.J. Hardy Company over the years was, as it developed, and I remember having a chat with one of our fishplant operators Mr. Gabe Billard from Margaree, Fox Roost, one time who said that he chased T.J. Hardy once out of the harbour as T.J. was down there trying to sell his catch back when T.J. was fishing. To get beyond that T.J. did build up a huge operation in Port aux Basques and in other places along the coast. He used to broker for fish all the way down the south coast and even possibly as far down as the district of Fortune - Hermitage at some time. I spoke to a gentleman who used to sell construction equipment and he spoke of going down to help them count the cash that they would take on the coastal boat down to those places to buy the fish, counting out hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash that the buyer would put into a suitcase, jump on the coastal boat and go down the coast because this was the only thing that was of any value to the fishermen who they would buy it from. Now, T.J., if we remember correctly, got into an arrangement with Nickersons, the Nickerson group, and that made him part of a larger picture, of course. It gave him markets for his fish but it also did constrain him in his operations and was possibly the eventual demise of Hardy's, that along with the FPI situation, when the whole fishery was restructured. Back then the Hardy fish plant used to buy up and down the coast. He used to buy along the south coast and also up along the north coast, up the northern peninsula, and a lot of the places that ended up developing fish plants, because of the scientific observations of the time, those places were normally places where he would go and buy the fish and have it trucked down to the southwest corner of the Province for processing and eventual shipment to the fresh seafood markets, if the fish could be brought in quick enough in order to be shipped fresh, and also the frozen product with the advent of the large freezing capacity that was developed there. Don Jamieson at the time assisted them with the development of this freezing capacity so that they could buy from all along the south coast and all along the north coast. This was the manner in which the fishery on the whole of the west coast and south coast that was tied into the Hardy fish plant was conducted. It worked very well for a number of years, and then, I think, with the Kirby Task Force out of which developed the FPI situation, FPI did take over the plant there and the plant in Rose Blanche. I use this as an example because other plants in the area were affected in a similar manner to the way that the Hardy fish plants were affected. At that time a large company was trying to run a smaller local operation but with the advent of all those other fish plants the resource was more difficult to get and the fishplant ended up being less viable because of a smaller operation. There was less resource available to keep the thing going for the ten or eleven months of the year that it normally did keep going in previous years.

This really would then allow you to look at fisheries management and how the management of the fishery, notwithstanding the development of plants up and down the coast, but how this actually affected the overall operations on the southwest coast with regards to the winter fishery. We have several peculiarities out in our district as far as the winter fishery goes.

One: Because of the fishery being conducted in the winter you have an unemployment insurance regime which is much more restrictive in hard times now than was originally intended. What happened was, because the fishermen in our area normally would fish in the wintertime they were regularly ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits like other Newfoundlanders because they were fishing at the time in which the unemployment insurance benefits were drawn. So a change was made in the unemployment insurance regulations to allow them to qualify in two different time periods of the year. This would then allow the winter fishery to become a qualifying period, while all other fishermen throughout the Province who did not normally fish in the winter would not be fishing, these guys could qualify and utilize these important weeks of employment as a qualification period, so that they could in effect draw some unemployment insurance benefits when they were in fact unemployed.

This was fine of course when things were going well. But as the number of months of work were made smaller because of poorer resource allocation, lowering of the TAC, and also a failure in the fishery, it constrained these fishermen to a point where they had to qualify and get twenty weeks of work while other fishermen throughout the Province would only need ten. So this was one peculiarity to the area.

Another one would be the overall management of the stock. The problems that are having a direct effect now on the southwest coast fishery in the winter can be traced back to the early 'eighties. The early- to mid-eighties when the Federal Government did change the overall management of the fishery so that the enterprise allocation system would come into being, whereby small - under sixty-five foot, the sixty-four eleven and a half - steel vessels and wooden otter trawl units could come down and catch their share of the quota. Now because of the way that the winter fishery was as far as being a very restricted season, that the fish would be there to catch, it was not something that you could go out and over the course of four or five months catch what you could because you always had time. Weather considerations because of the wintertime and also the fact that the cod stock was always in motion and it also was affected by the ice, meant that there was a very short period of time in which this fish could be caught.

Now, that creates the goldrush mentality. That coupled with the enterprise allocation system would mean that we end up with a goldrush mentality in the overall management of the cod stock. And also now with the redfish becoming a more marketable commodity, you also end up with the redfish being something that has to be managed in the same manner. The goldrush mentality prevails and this has caused a number of socio-economic problems in the area and problems that could I would think be alleviated with this kind of initiative that I have mentioned in the resolution.

Now, I speak of a regulatory committee and I am very specific in suggesting a regulatory committee for the winter fishery. They currently have a winter fishery advisory committee which undertakes to give advice to DFO officials with the assistance and consultation of DFO officials on the overall management of the winter fishery. Now this is a forum in which I have participated at times, and it is a forum where you have a variety of individuals from the different sectors of the industry. They come together and make the recommendations of the committee through the putting of motions and the passage of motions and that. But the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is under no obligation whatsoever to accept the prevailing thoughts and decisions of that committee. It is but an advisory committee. And at times I guess the advisory committee comes up with recommendations that are ignored and do nothing to enhance the overall management of the fishery from a standpoint of its affect on the socio-economic aspects of the area of LaPoile, Codroy, and wherever else the fish might go.

A lot of the problems of course have been relegated to the inception of a monitoring programme. The monitoring programme, which was always being pushed for, there was much talk of over-fishing and mis-reporting down there on the southwest coast. I do know of many instances that have been reported, and very few have ever been I guess carried though the courts to a point, and often they were thrown out for lack of evidence, because it is a very difficult thing. You have to actually catch someone in the act and be able to verify and prove that such was the case. So the regulations are certainly tightened up now in favour of a much more restrictive fishery, very restricted to the point where a lot of fishermen were quite upset this year. But I feel that it is a matter of those who in the past did abuse the system are the ones who are probably the most fearsome of the advent of this new program of monitoring. The monitoring program has proven quite good in assessing the way that things went on in the fishery: what vessels were landing, what fish was being landed exactly, whereas in the past these were guesstimates on the part of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as to exactly what was brought forth in their statistics.

Now the fisheries management: if we wanted to look at what happened as far as why is the cod stock there suffering so much. Well, initially, let's look at what the cod stock and what the effect on the local cod stock out there, the ground fish landings, is as far as the fixed gear sector. In 1985, the fixed gear fleet, the 3PN fixed gear fleet, had landings in excess of 7 million pounds, 1986 is was 9 million pounds plus, 1987 it went up to 11 million, so 1987 was a banner year, but from there the bottom falls out of her. In 1988 it went down to 2.1 million, in 1989 it went down to 1.3 million, and over the last two years it has been less than 100,000 pounds per year. That is the fixed gear, the hook and line vessels, the small boat fishermen who are so severely affected by the management activities that have allowed in excess of 100 extremely efficient otter trawl operators to operate in that area and many thoughts as to what has caused the preponderance of such a, you know, a problem with the fixed gear sector. The fishermen themselves, if we often talk to them, we could probably find out a lot more than we can from the scientists who monitor the stock. They tend to say they have worries about the bottom being torn up. That is seen by fishermen as a possibility of causing problems to the management of the fishery, and, you know, very little vegetation on the bottom for the bottom feeding fish, and they see this as one possibility. Another, of course, is that the fishermen have been driven out near the ice edge, and the Federal scientists feel that they are, and they are just not migrating in close to shore. That is another possibility.

Now the otter trawler fleet has expanded even further this year which is something that was very upsetting to the fixed gear fishermen and other fishermen in the area. There were four new licences granted to fishermen from Quebec, who were fixed gear fishermen from Quebec, and yet the local people who were fixed gear fishermen who have always wanted to be able to get into the otter trawl area were not able to do the same thing, but it was somehow or other done at the higher levels and those quotas were sold over the wharf there in the last few weeks. These people who had these extra quotas would go down and make a deal with the guy there who had his otter trawler, who had his quota of fish already fished and said, 200,000 pounds would you go and catch it for me? No problem. We will give you this much percentage of it. He goes out and catches the 200,000 pounds on someone else's behalf who has little or no investment in the otter trawl fishery. And again it is putting that much more pressure on the Gulf stock because of a transfer from another stock.

Mr. Speaker, I do not have a lot of time left now. I do want to emphasize -

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

MR. RAMSAY: Just to complete.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Yes, by leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. RAMSAY: I just want to emphasize that this regulatory committee, you know, it would have to be developed with the assistance of the Federal and Provincial Governments to see how a good local management committee could work, and it would certainly inter-tie with the new Federal Minister of Fisheries ideas on regional management. And I feel this will be a step in the right direction to gaining the joint Federal/Provincial management that we foresee as being the proper thing for the Province in the future. I will have a bit more to say a little later on, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I take pleasure today in rising to debate the resolution put forward by the hon. Member for LaPoile. I must say that some of the comments that I have heard the hon. Member make over the last twenty minutes or so have been interesting, and I want to respond in some way to his comments and moreso, I guess, to the resolution. I want to say to him from the start he talks about the regional approach and that he has been encouraged by comments made by the new Federal Fisheries Minister about regional approach, about regional management, regional responsibilities and so on. I just want to say to him that from listening to the new Minister over the last twenty-four or forty-eight hours the impression that I have received from listening to the Minister is that the regional approach he is talking about is more or less in the Atlantic region. It is the Atlantic Provinces regional approach. So I do not know how parochial the new Federal Minister is going to want to take the regional approach, and I understand full well where the hon. Member is coming from by putting forward this resolution and the concerns that he has, particularly about the winter fishery on the southwest coast and the communities in his District that have been so drastically affected over the past few years by a decline in the winter fishery and by the, I guess, the snags and wrangles that have developed over the last two winters particularly in that part of the Province.

It is interesting to hear the hon. Member talk about the regional approach, to hear him talk about a joint management committee or a regulatory committee. I would be remiss if I did not go on record as saying, Mr. Speaker, that the party of which I am a Member has continuously sought more say over the management and the control of our fishery. We believe that it is vital to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is our most important industry, our major industry and for that reason we feel that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should have more say over that.

I feel, and I have said a number of times in this legislature and outside, that if Newfoundland and Labrador had more say and control over the management of our fishery that I do not think our fish stocks would be in the state and the mess that they are in today. Being closest to the resource, having taken fish from the sea for however long we have been here, I think we know more about it - I am sure we know more about it than people who live some 2,000 miles away. Now that is an argument that I have made continuously since my time in politics and as a Member of the former Government. I feel if we had more say, more direct input into the management of our most important industry, today our fish stocks would be much healthier. There would be more fish off our shores to catch. Fishermen would be making better livings and landing more fish, there would be more people employed in our fish processing plants throughout the Province, making more money, working longer periods of time per year, there would be more personal income tax and retail sales tax going into the Provincial coffers and consequently as a Province we would be much better off.

Now having said that, Mr. Speaker, I have listened to what the new Government has said over the past two years, and at times I have found the Premier's comments particularly to be contradictory. Upon assuming office, on a number of occasions, the Premier asked out loud in the old Assembly and to the media what would we do if we had more jurisdiction over our fishery? What would we do with more management over our fishery? On occasions he said we could not afford to have more jurisdiction. I remember on one occasion in the old Chamber, I said to the Premier that I would reverse his argument and say that we cannot afford not to have more say over the fishery for the very same reasons that I have just outlined. We all know the problems that we all encounter on a daily basis with our constituents who are involved in the fishery, trying to deal with the Federal Fisheries and Oceans, and the regulations that they place upon fishermen, and on and on it goes. But not if there were more people involved in the fishery, Mr. Speaker, but if the same number of people who are involved in the fishery today could make a better living from the fishery, then our Province would be a much better place in which to live; we would have better services and health care, education and transportation and so on. I think that has to be the ultimate aim and goal of any Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has to obtain and require a greater say in the management of our most important industry.

I listened to the hon. Member for LaPoile as well talk about the fishery restructuring process, the crisis that we went through in the early 80s, the Kirby Task Force report, and I am most familiar with the process and the results of the Kirby Task Force, having been very, very involved in my own area of the Province with the recommendations of the Kirby Task Force which in essence was to eliminate processing capacity in the Province and close up fish plants. Their contention was that the Province had too much processing capacity and consequently fish plants had to close, particularly along the south coast of the Province, and I was very, very involved, Mr. Speaker, with the people of Grand Bank whose plant was scheduled to close at that time and we consequently worked, protested and did all that was in our power and got that decision reversed. The plant, I am pleased to say, is still working today for FPI even though it may only be for another few weeks with Fishery Products International, but hopefully after that it will be a new operator, probably in a new type of fishery.

There is one thing that I want to point out to the Member for LaPoile. Now what we are really talking about here in management is the resource itself. We are talking about the fish in the sea or the lack thereof. I would like for the hon. Member for LaPoile to remember that as a part of the Kirby Task Force report, if my memory serves me correctly, that Michael Kirby, who is now Senator Michael Kirby, recommended the total allowable catch, I believe it was 466,000 tons.

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: 366,000. Okay, I will take the Member for Eagle River's word on that, 366,000 metric tons. The most that we ever took was 266,000 tons or 296,000 tons. I believe the highest we ever took was 266,000 tons. So that was 100,000 tons less, Mr. Speaker, than the Kirby Task Force recommended. Now I say when you look at what has happened to the fish resource, the fish stocks, I say thank God, that we took 100,000 tons less than was recommended by Michael Kirby, because if we and the Federal Fisheries and Oceans had listened to Michael Kirby and gone out and caught 366,000 metric tons then can you imagine what a sorry state we would be in today if we started catching that much fish in the early 1980s when we look at what has happened to our resource now.

Yes, we all know about scientific advice, I say to my colleague for Eagle River. We know just a few years ago they recommended 266, and then came back the next year and wound it down to 150, a variation of somewhere around 130,000 or 140,000 metric tons in a span of less than twelve months. Which of course told me that the validity of the scientific data that we were getting was quite questionable and I still question it, very seriously I question it. And as you know in debates on the fishery in this Legislature that I have consistently argued that we had better be careful about the very drastic decisions we have been making about the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, the lives that we have been affecting of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, both fishermen and processors, that we do not come back and find out in a few years time that the very drastic action, the shutdown of plants and the eliminating of people from the fishing industry was unnecessary.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, well, I say, I am going to go back to the hon. Member and his resolution and say to him, what we are really talking here is the resource from the winter fishery. I mean, there is no question. I think we all can agree that the state of that particular stock is in sad shape, it is not in good shape. And when we get into these kinds of debates the bottom line is, we all say, we put forward our own various arguments - I guess the sobering, underlying thought is that you cannot afford to gamble on the future. And even though some of us may think that we are being a little too conservative - excuse the expression - on conservation, that we really cannot afford not to be, because we do not want to jeopardize the future of the fishing industry, and we want our stocks to rebuild so that our fishery becomes a more viable industry.

So I want to say to the Member for LaPoile who has put forward this resolution, that in essence I have no difficulty whatsoever with him proposing that Federal and Provincial Governments work together to establish an effective mandate for this proposed regulatory committee, the intent of which will be joint management of this important resource. And I say to him quite sincerely that, realizing why he has introduced this resolution - because he is concerned about the communities in his region of the Province just as I am about mine, we have a different problem from his - that we should take this issue further than just the southwest coast fishery.

We should take it further than the arguments that the Member for Eagle River consistently puts forward on behalf of the people of Labrador. And some good arguments I might say, the Members for Eagle River, Torngat and Menihek and so on. More fish for Labrador. They consistently argue that. And the people in my area of the Province, particularly from the deep sea fishery, say that they should be allowed to catch more fish, that the northern cod stock is not in as bad a shape as the scientists tell us. And we hear it from the skippers and the trawlermen on a regular basis. I hear it every weekend when I go home, I speak to someone who is involved in the deep sea fishery. Skippers call me on a regular basis and talk about that resource and say: you know, the scientists are all wrong. There are some times I wonder if perhaps they are not more accurate than the scientists.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Precisely. Any time I talk about adjacency and historic dependency, I am talking about Newfoundland and Labrador as a Province. I do not get parochial and talk about one region of the Province because if we start doing that I think we are going to end up losing worse than we have already lost. It has got to be a Provincial effort, and that is my message I guess, what I am saying to the Member for LaPoile. We have got to talk about Newfoundland and Labrador having more say over our fishery.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: There you are, Mr. Speaker. Now you talk about being parochial again. You see, I am trying to make a logical speech on this, now. The Member for Eagle River is telling me now that he does not want any of our people - I suppose Newfoundland Island people - coming to Labrador catching his fish. Well, the Member for LaPoile could say that he does not want anybody from up the northern peninsula going down and tying up in Port aux Basques and catching fish and trucks trucking it out. I could say, if I was so parochial, that I do not want anyone down fishing in 3Ps. That all that should be for the people from Little St. Lawrence, around to Point May and Fortune and down to Garnish, so everyone else stay out of it.

So I mean, the situation is we cannot afford to be so parochial. And we are never going to get anywhere as a people and as a Province if we do not go forward as a Province. And the joint management and the joint regulatory committees that the Member for LaPoile talks about, should be of Provincial scope. And if we are going to have any impact in negotiations with the Federal Government in getting joint management of the fishery that is how it has to be approached. We cannot go going off and say the Burin Peninsula this and Labrador this and LaPoile something else. We would all need our own Minister of Fisheries, each region of the Province.

So that is the approach that has to be taken and I am hoping, I must say, I have been encouraged over the last couple of months by statements that have been made by the Minister of Fisheries, that as a result of the Mahoney Report we are now going after, as a Province, more say, joint management, boards similar to the offshore petroleum board. If it is a board that will be struck similar to the offshore board then I would certainly support it. But the only reservation I have, I say to the Minister of Fisheries - and I expect he will be speaking in this debate - is that the joint management fisheries board needs the same teeth as the offshore board. It needs the same endorsement by the Legislature of Newfoundland, by the Parliament of Canada, that needs to be written into the joint management board act, whatever it will be at the time, so that it gives it some thump. And I really hope that is what the Provincial Government is pursuing in this matter, a board directly similar to the offshore petroleum board because then we will have some real say over our fishery. But until we get that we will not.

So, Mr. Speaker, I do not know how I am doing for time but... a couple of minutes. I will just finish up my remarks by saying that I want to say to the Member for LaPoile that I have no problem with his resolution. Just that I hope that - fully realizing why he has brought in the winter fishery on the southwest coast, that it is more of a constituency matter - I hope the thinking of the Provincial Government is broader than that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: No, Danny - excuse me, Mr. Speaker, I keep referring to him by his first name. I want to say to him that no one is interested in exploiting Labrador. I am certainly not. I hope that our fishery can be managed in such a way that the people of Labrador will truly benefit from the resource off their shores. I sincerely mean that and I hope it happens. But there are going to have to be changes for that to happen. And if you are going to talk about adjacency and historic dependency you have to be sincere about it. And if you look at historic dependency on people who have gone for years to the Labrador to fish that is historic dependency, they have been historically dependent on that resource. They have caught the fish.

And I say to the hon. Member again. And I hope the hon. Member gets the chance to go and talk - or maybe he has already - to the fisheries officials in Portugal and Spain. Because that is the exact same argument that the people from Spain and Portugal will say to us, whether we go as Newfoundlanders or Canadians, that they say they have had an historical dependency upon fish off our shores, particularly the Grand Banks. And they point fingers at us and say that they are not the problem for the resource crisis, it is us. So they have been coming over here for 400 years. The same way as Newfoundlanders have been going to Labrador for how many years. So it is not right to exploit anybody.

But I think if we are going to be rational about this and if we are going to have joint management of our fisheries, we are going to have to do it and come up with a process that is in the best interest of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. There is enough resource out there if we allow it to rebuild that we can have a very viable and healthy fishing industry so that the people of Labrador, the fishermen and fish plant workers, can benefit to make a good living and people on the island portion of the Province can do the same. And that, Mr. Speaker, is what I want to see, and I want to go on record as saying to the Member for LaPoile that I support his resolution.

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

MR. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am very happy to take part in this debate today because certainly the intent of the motion I suppose is somewhat along the lines that we have been talking about now for quite some time. I suppose in simple terms what the motion is saying, is pointing out, is the need for a joint management regime to be put in place to manage the fisheries not only on the southwest coast of our Province, but in my view that resolution could just as easily have been put forward on behalf of the entire Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Because I do not think anybody, given all the facts, can deny Newfoundland the right to have some meaningful input into the decision making process in terms of fisheries development.

It is incredible, it is almost unthinkable, that a Province like Newfoundland, where we depend so heavily on the fishing industry and always have depended heavily on the fishing industry, where the major part of our work force derives a living, either directly or indirectly, from the fishing industry. Where many thousands of our Newfoundlanders who work in fish plants on the shore derive a major part of their income from the fishing industry. That, coupled with the fact that notwithstanding Hibernia and other mega-projects that we are now looking at for future development, I think most people will agree that these projects will come and go. But the fishing industry will be expected to stay on forever and to continue to make the kind of contribution to the social and economic life of this Province that it has made in the past.

I was very interested in the comments of my friend for Grand Bank. I was delighted to hear that he is supporting the concept of shared management. I can tell him now that that support is welcome, and the type of joint management that we have been talking about consists of a board somewhat similar to the offshore petroleum board, a board that would be comprised of seven people: three people appointed by the Provincial Government and three people appointed by the Federal Government, with an independent Chairman appointed. And that board then would be responsible for the management of almost all aspects of the fishing industry in the Province.

The Federal Minister of Fisheries would be expected to transfer his responsibilities, the things that come under his jurisdiction, to that board, as would the Provincial Minister of Fisheries. So the licencing of fish plants, for example - which is a Provincial responsibility - the responsibility for that would be vested in that committee as would certain other regulations that come under the jurisdiction of the Federal Minister.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Pardon? Well, I think it has to be a give and take. I think, as I see it, if you are going to set up that kind of a board, three, three and a chairman, then you cannot just ask them to do things on a piecemeal basis. For example, we would expect that board to have within its jurisdiction most of the powers and responsibilities that are now in the hands of the Federal Minister. But that is not to say that the Federal Minister would abdicate his or her responsibility in terms of having to report to Parliament, on matters pertaining to the fishery, that is that person's constitutional responsibility to report to Parliament, to account to Parliament for the conduct of the fisheries as it relates to the Federal Government and the Provincial Minister would do the same thing. The Province would transfer most of its responsibilities, for example, the licencing and all of these things to that Joint Board, but that still would not take away from the Provincial Minister responsibility for answering to this House, and to the people for the conduct of that area of the fishery for which he is responsible. If a dispute were to arise, and we have not thought this through to any great extent yet, but it is now in the process of being thought through, if a dispute were to arise, for example, in terms of items or matters that would normally come under the Province well then that dispute would be referred to the appropriate Provincial Minister of Fisheries and I would expect him to have the last say. There must be some mechanism in place to settle differences if and when they arise and the same, of course, would apply for the Federal Minister as well. But this is only a broad outline as to what we have in mind. But I have discussed this matter, well in recent years, at least, with two Fisheries Ministers, Mr. Siddon and Mr. Valcourt, and at one point I thought we were getting somewhere in both cases, in fact, Mr. Siddon appeared to be extremely interested in what we were saying and wanted more information, which we supplied, but subsequently he lost interest and that is where it died. At a recent meeting with Mr. Valcourt the matter of joint management came up and again he expressed some interest in it, wanted more information on it which we supplied, and as with Mr. Siddon for whatever reason his interest was lost and that is as far as it got.

Now yesterday morning I had the privilege of meeting our new Minister of Fisheries, Mr. John Crosbie. I have not had a chance yet to discuss joint management with the new Minister, an old stranger, an old friend of mine. Today I spoke to the International Seafood Marketing Organization here in St. John's and I learned that my Federal counterpart performed that job yesterday, and I was told in a good natured way, the Minister was having a bit of fun, and giving those in attendance a rundown as to the extent and the length of time we have been associated in one form or another. I do not have the exact words that he said, but in his usual way he was somewhat humorous, I am just sorry I was not there. Nothing vicious, nothing demeaning, insulting, in a good natured way he said, he thinks that he and I can get along and work well together.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: He gave as his reason the fact that we have been around for about the same number of years, we have served on all levels of government. I succeeded him as Deputy Mayor of St. John's back in the 1960s. He then ran in Provincial politics. I later left that role and ran Federally, and was elected in St. John's West where I spent seven or eight years in the House of Commons. I came back to the Province in 1975 and I was appointed to the Moores Cabinet as the Minister of Fisheries. Lo and behold, my old friend jumped into the seat of St. John's West, so he was following me there.

AN HON. MEMBER: He is following you yet.

MR. CARTER: In the meantime, when I went in Fisheries, lo and behold, he moved out. So we have been sort of moving in and out. So he was trying to relate that experience to the people at the Conference today, as only he can put it, he said that we belonged to many parties together and that we often at times stayed around in the same party and served in the same Cabinet. He said there were times when we were like ships in the night - we just passed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: I too then could not allow the opportunity to pass without having a bit of fun, so I said that Mr. Crosbie and I have done some strange things, maybe, in politics. I said, Sir Winston Churchill one time in describing, in trying to justify how he moved from party to party back and forth, and I think Sir Winston might have moved four or five times -

MR. RIDEOUT: Four times.

MR. CARTER: Four times, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition says.

MR. RIDEOUT: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: I said at least the new Minister can only be accused of ratting. Sir Winston said that when you do it three times you rerat. He said any fool can rat on a party, but it takes a real man to rerat.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Now I suppose having started of as a Liberal and then gone, for all the right reasons I might add, to become a Tory, and then for all the right reasons again to become a Liberal, that would bring me close to Sir Winston and it would probably put me in the category as having reratted.

But seriously, Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged by Mr. Crosbie's appointment, I think he, and I said this publicly, and I have determined to, and I told him this yesterday privately, that I am not going to be out bad-mouthing him or trying to pick a fight or bring on any kind of a confrontation, because I think if we do that, the Province will be the loser.

I think we have an excellent opportunity now to do some of the things we want done in the fishing industry and of course, by virtue of his control of the ACOA funding, then by extension, we can say the same thing in other areas of economic development in the Province where ACOA funding will play such a vital role. But I think we can work together well, and I believe that, even though I do not sense in him now any great deal of enthusiasm in support of a joint management regime, I believe that he is a broad-minded person and a man of common sense and that when it is properly explained to him, I believe he will come around to our way of thinking; because there is no way the present situation should be allowed to continue and think about it, if you will, Mr. Speaker, for a moment; there we have an industry in Newfoundland that is the most important, a most important industry in terms of the employment it creates and its contribution to the economy, it is an industry that brought us to this Province and I expect it is one that will keep us here, where all of the decisions, at least most of the decisions are made a couple of thousand miles inland, in the Ottawa Valley, made by people who, in most cases have never been east of the Ottawa Valley, would not know where to find Newfoundland on the map in some cases, and would not know what a codfish looks like, it just does not make sense.

I can imagine the uproar in the other provinces, especially in the Prairie Provinces. For example, in the Province of Saskatchewan where wheat is important to the economy of that province. Think, Mr. Speaker, for a moment, what would happen if every single decision affecting wheat, where it was growing, how much was growing, who harvested the wheat, where it went, if all those decisions were made in Ottawa without hardly any reference whatever to the Province, it just would not work and, in fact, I think it is to our credit in this Province, we must be a very civilized people that we would allow this sort of thing to continue as long as we have. I think there is going to have to be some changes made in the matter of jurisdiction, that has to come, and I believe that Newfoundlanders and the Newfoundland Government and all others will have to get their backs behind the wheel and do whatever necessary to ensure that we achieve that objective at the earliest possible date.

I recall when the Harris panel, Royal Commission, whatever it was called, was commissioned to undertake a thorough study of the northern cod stocks, I then requested my federal counterpart, to extend its mandate and to include in its study, the problems in the gulf area, because it was no secret even then, four or five years ago, that the fish stocks in the gulf area were in serious trouble and that something had to be done, and it was equally obvious that not enough scientific research had been carried out in that area; in fact, I suppose that probably accounts for a large part of the problem; there was insufficient research. In fact, I am told that their last attempt in trying to put a handle on the amount of fish that is available out there, it was not successful because they actually could not find enough fish to count. That is why their recommendation came back for the management plan last Winter when they recommended that the TAC in the Gulf area go from 5000 tons to 35,000 tons, wide-ranging parameters.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. CARTER: No, 35,000, I think. The best the scientists could do was from 5000 tons to 35,000 tons. That is an admission, of course, that they had no scientific backup whatever for that position. Anyway, the upshot was, Mr. Speaker, that the TACs were announced, they were reduced somewhat, but again they went against their own advice because in a report that was published by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in December of 1990 there was a recommendation in this report, a report commissioned by the Department, and one of the recommendations said that where possible decisions should be taken to increase the fixed gear share of the TAC. They were recommending that the fixed gear share of that TAC be increased, and lo and behold a month or two later when they announced their management plan they did just the opposite, while they reduced the TAC by a few thousand tons, I believe, it was from some 58,000 down to 40-something, I believe of the TAC, from 58,000 to 35,000. They gave 16,000 of that 35,000 to the mobile fleet and they gave 12,500 to the fixed gear which was a total contradiction to what the recommendation contained in their own report.

Mr. Speaker, it is of interest to note, I guess, in trying to focus some attention on this problem, and the severity of it, when one realizes that last Fall we conducted a survey on the southwest coast of our Province, the Fisheries Loan Board and my Department conducted a survey, and it was found that the average earned income by fixed gear fishermen in that area, income earned from the fishery, was less than $5000 per year. I have often said a baby-sitter in Toronto would make more than the fixed gear fishermen who were operating last year on the southwest coast of our Province, and that is a pretty sad commentary.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. CARTER: No, that was earned from the fishery. They could not possibly live on $5000 a year so that was supplemented, I suppose, by welfare, a bit of make work, and some UI. You have probably 5000 fishermen up there, I guess 5000 would be a reasonably accurate number of fixed gear fishermen. Based on wrong scientific advice, and sometimes in the absence of any scientific advice, there has been a proliferation of harvesting effort up there to the point where now it has gone beyond anything that is sensible and sane. You have 108 mobile vessels up there fishing for cod and you have another fifty-eight vessels up there who would in turn fish for shrimp, and then, of course, at the right time of the year they move up and fish for cod. I guess the upshot, Mr. Speaker, is that there is far, far, too much catching effort, and quite frankly I do not know how else you can manage to tackle the problem and to help the stocks rebuild unless we find some way to reduce the number of vessels. If you talk about reducing the number of vessels of course, you must not forget the fact that you have five reasonably large fish plants operating in that area, employing many thousands of people. What happens there? Who will come to their rescue? Bearing in mind that the problem to which I am now referring was brought on by virtue of mismanagement or bad management or poor management, call it what you want, of the Federal Government, then it must follow that they have to accept responsibility for the consequences.

And when I hear people calling upon the Provincial Government to come forward and join in some kind of a response programme, one that would no doubt cost many millions of dollars, sometimes I am surprised at such irresponsibility. Because I am sure most people - and a lot of the people whom I have heard ask that question, I am sure they know - that given the nature of the problem and the cause of the problem and who caused it, certainly the Province should not be expected, even if we could afford it, to make that kind of a contribution towards alleviating the problems that it has caused.

So I suppose, as somebody said a moment ago here, the problems in the Gulf area are far more serious than in the northern cod area. (Inaudible) -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. CARTER: - far more serious.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave!

MR. CARTER: -and they are almost as serious I would think as the serious problems that face the fish stocks on the Nose and Tail of our Grand Banks. I heard an interesting story yesterday. We met with the Premier, the members of the Fishing Industry Advisory Council and the Chairman of that Council, Mr. Gus Etchegary, gave the Premier an overview of the problems on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, where the major part of this over-fishing is now occurring. He was telling us that - and I guess this will be of interest to my friend for Grand Bank - that only a few years ago, before the fishery's crisis came upon us, that all the plants on the south coast depended on fish that they caught on the southern Grand Banks. They were not at all dependent on the northern cod stocks. In fact only a very small percentage of their total production came anywhere north of Cape Bonavista. And in fact, prior to 1977, I am told, there was very little deep sea fishing going on north of Bonavista. Practically all the offshore effort then was concentrated off the southern Grand Banks.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: That is right. It is only a few years back as my colleague says -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: It was almost unheard of. I recall back when I was in this job before that we were hearing then about ice-reinforced vessels, German ships being reinforced- it was unheard of. I mean, you hardly knew what it meant. But a couple of vessels, with some help, managed to get ice-reinforced.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: That is right. So I guess the point I am trying to make is that while now everybody is looking to the northern cod as being the salvation, the saviour of all of our fish plants, including the ones on the south coast, that historically the south coast plants did not fish northern cod and for that reason of course we have to put a lot more effort into finding ways and means of curbing over-fishing on the Nose and Tail. Because therein lies the problem. And this year for example, or last year -

AN HON. MEMBER: It will be hard to do.

MR. CARTER: It will be hard to do but it has to be done. This year, for example, over-fishing on the Nose and Tail, 100,000 metric tons of fish were taken illegally by, apparently, two countries. Now just think for a moment what 100,000 tons of fish could do for the south coast of our Province. Indeed for the Province itself. You would have untold prosperity today in places like Grand Bank, Trepassey, Gaultois, Fortune, and Marystown. Untold prosperity.

Then we found out after the fact that another company, German I believe it was, a foreign company, country, or ship, took 32,000 metric tons of turbot just off the northeast coast, out on the edge of the Continental Shelf. And again, visualize, if you will, what that could do for the plants on the northeast coast. That would provide a year round supply for Twillingate, Valleyfield, La Scie, St. Anthony. It is just mind boggling when you come to think of what is happening out there and the effect it is having on this Province, and that is all the more reason, I suppose, why we have to address that problem and maybe working with the new Minister find ways and means of driving it home to the offenders just how important it is that they cease and desist from what they are doing.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the House for extending me these few minutes to clue up. Again, I compliment the Member on his fine resolution, and hopefully, maybe before too long somebody will bring in a similar resolution in a broader context including the entire Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I want to take the opportunity today as well to make a few comments in support of the resolution put forward by the gentleman for LaPoile. You know, I cannot help but think of when I first became Minister of Fisheries for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1984 or 85, whenever it was, it was in the spring of 85 actually. The norm was to talk about the Newfoundland fishery. You know, Mr. Speaker, I very quickly came to the conclusion that one of the greatest misnomers of all time is to try to talk about the Newfoundland fishery because there is not such a thing as a Newfoundland fishery. In fact, there are a multitude of fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador and they are all distinct and different.

The hon. gentleman brings in a resolution today that deals with what we call basically the southwest coast fishery, the Port aux Basque area and up the western side of the great northern peninsula, 4RS, 3PM, and that fishery is totally distinct from the northern cod fishery which affects the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2J, 3KL. That is the fishery for many, many reasons, I suppose, because it geographically impacts on so many communities. There are so many thousands of people dependent on it. That, unfortunately, in many, many respects is the fishery that gets the most attention. I say to this House today, Mr. Speaker, that despite the problems, and there are very, very serious problems in terms of northern cod stock, I say to this House today and I say to the hon. gentleman who brought in the resolution that I firmly believe that the most serious problem we have in the Newfoundland fishery today is the 4RS, 3PM fishery. That is the most serious fisheries problem facing Newfoundland and Labrador today, because, Mr. Speaker, that fishery, if we are not very, very careful, and I am not convinced that we have not gone past the point of recklessness, that fishery is on the brink of collapse. Now that can be interpreted to be a statement that will scare people, but I mean when you get the scientific community recommending a TAC anywhere from 5,000 tons to 35,000 tons, they do not know what they are talking about. All they are doing is trying to cover, you know what. They want to leave a way open for politicians, for Ministers to be able to do something. They are not sure what to tell them to do or what not to do, but they will leave an opening so that they will not be caught in a bind if the Minister wants to do something. That, Mr. Speaker, is not good fisheries management.

I say to the hon. gentleman today, and I say to this Government, that I believe that this Government should go - and there is an opportunity now with a new fisheries Minister.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: I do not know about that. It might be worse.

But I say to this Government that this Government should go to the federal Government immediately. Go immediately to the federal Government and say, 'we recommend that the 4RS, 3PM fishery be closed, permanently closed to everybody - moratorium, five years maybe. Now, obviously, to do that you have to have a plan, you have to have a plan to compensate the fishermen while they are out of work and the fish plant workers while they are out of work. But I suggest to this House, Mr. Speaker, it is better to do that now then face a total collapse of that stock. And I fear very, very much that is what we are facing.

You know, people will argue with you that look, there is lots of fish out there because we can go out with our otter trawls and we can, you know, with one tow we can fill the trawl. But, Mr. Speaker, what they are not saying to you is that they are dragging during the spawning season. Everybody knows or ought to know or everybody who wants to find out can know that fish congregate to spawn. And the fact of the matter is, and Dr. Templeton for example, wrote about this many, many years ago, the fact of the matter is that you could catch every last fish that is out there and not know that you are doing it because they are all together in that relatively small pool. So it is useless from a scientific prospect to say that the fishery is not in bad shape because the catches are good. It is useless to use that as a yardstick, because it is possible to fish the stock to the point of collapse if you use that as the only yardstick.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there is a very, very serious problem in that southwest coast fishery, and I believe that this Government is going to have to tackle it. Look, if you leave it to Ottawa nothing will happen, and I do not care who is up there Liberals, Tories, and I suspect if it was the New Democrats it would be the same thing because the Newfoundland fishery is a pain in the neck to Ottawa. It has been that way since 1949 through successive Liberal Governments and Tory Governments, and I suspect it will continue to be that way. There are those in Ottawa who cringe when they hear that a Newfoundland Minister of Fisheries is coming up to bring up another problem. I mean it is a social disaster is what the super bureaucrats up there will tell you. And unless you go up with a battering ram and beat down the doors and make the case then they are just not going to listen to you. Now that is what is going to have to happen in terms of the southwest coast fishery. It is going to have to become an environmental issue. You have to raise it about the level of fish. I mean really what we are talking about is a sustained use of the environment, and you are going to have to raise it above that little word 'fish' that they do not want to hear up there.

What we are talking about here is the major collapse of a major cod stock.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. RIDEOUT: That is right. I mean people get upset now, and rightly so, because the ozone layer, the earth is warming up too quickly and so there is going to be major, major catastrophes decades down the road. Well it is in the same vein that this has to be approached. Canadians - and by the way, this stock is totally within the control of Canada - we cannot go ranting and raving, as true as it is about foreign overfishing in 4RS and 3PN, I do not even know if the French have anything there at the moment. So this stock is totally within the hands of Canadians to manage. We cannot blame it on anybody else only ourselves.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. RIDEOUT: Yes, that is 3Ps, that is further up the south coast, what we are talking about here is 4RS, 3PN fishery. So 3PS is a different situations. But the Member is right.

But I mean the point I am making, Mr. Speaker, is that this stock without exception is within the bounds of Canada to manage and if Canada does not manage it properly, we have nobody else to blame it on. If Canada is going to perpetrate and oversee an environmental disaster, the collapse of a major fish stock, then we obviously become the laughing stocks of the world. And I think we can magnify that into a national issue. And that, I say to the Member who brought in this resolution, is a challenge for this Government, it is a challenge for this Minister of Fisheries, it is a challenge for the Premier. Let the Premier take up the cause of a major environmental disaster that is about to happen in Canadian waters off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador in a fish stock that is totally within Canada's boundaries to manage. And there will be people in Vancouver who will be interested in that. There will be people on the Prairies who will be interested in that. There will be people all throughout Canada who would be ashamed to have it said in the international community that Canadians managed a fish stock to collapse. I believe that there would be a lot of sympathy and a lot of understanding if there was a crusade taken on by this Province to get that message out all over Canada that we are facing a major ecological disaster in a major fish stock in Canadian waters, a disaster that cannot be blamed on foreigners, and cannot be blamed on anybody only ourselves. Now, I think if that were to happen I think the Federal Government would be forced to bring in a plan that will very seriously cut back that fishery, if not close it down altogether until the stock regenerates itself. Fish are a renewable resource. As long as you do not take every last one out of the water it will rebuild, it will replenish, but there is nothing more frightening than to have the biologists and the scientists come to you and say, this stock can stand a fishing effort of anywhere from 5000 tons to 35,000 tons. They obviously do not know what they are talking about. It is not worth the paper it is written on. It is a recipe for disaster and we cannot allow it to happen. In many respects that is one of the reasons why this Party, and me personally are so supportive of this resolution. The resolution itself is parochial, and that is the Member's responsibility, it should apply to the fishery in all of Newfoundland and Labrador. Shared management or shared jurisdiction, whatever fancy name you want to put on it, is not a new concept. It is one that we articulated for years when we were Government, and it is one that this Government wisely articulates, and I applaud them for it, but it is not a new concept. The resolution itself, or the intent of the resolution should apply to the whole of the fishery in the whole of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. On any other given occasion I would take the opportunity to amend the motion but I am not going to do that today because it is too important to the cause that the hon. gentleman has tried to have addressed in this resolution. I do not want to make little of it by tampering with his resolution. There might be the odd word in there, the odd tittle, or the odd jot that I do not like, but I am not going to fool around with that because the issue is too important, and it is too important for too many people on the south coast of this Province, Mr. Speaker. I was interested in listening to the Minister sort of expand a little bit on the concept of the joint management board, and I thought it kind of strange that after two years of talking about this particular concept that the Minister would tell the House that it has not all been necessarily thought through yet. I do not want to put words in the Minister's mouth but I think that is in effect what he said. There is still some thinking to do about how this particular board would operate. Well, I say to the Minister, in all sincerity -

MR. CARTER: May I rise on a point of order to clarify what the hon. gentleman just said?

MR. RIDEOUT: I will just yield if the Minister wishes.

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

MR. CARTER: I may not have used a good choice of words, Speaker, but I certainly did not intend to convey the impression that there has been nothing done on this proposition. In fact I can tell the House now that in our White Paper on Fisheries, which will be ready for presentation very shortly, the whole plan is very well laid out. I guess where some of the problems arise is a matter of just how do we go about attacking this problem? What is the first move? How do we go about taking whatever steps are necessary to make sure that it will be implemented? It might well be that the Premier will have to visit the Prime Minister. He might have to visit the respective caucuses in Ottawa to get their support, I know it is not going to be an easy battle because we are also facing the prospect of a lot of opposition from the other Atlantic Provinces. It was only this morning that my Deputy Minister and I talked about the possibility of he going to Halifax to visit his counterpart, to maybe try to soften them up and allay any fears they might have. The package is together, but it is the process of how we go about getting it in place given all the opposition that there will be to it.

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

MR. RIDEOUT: I acknowledge certainly what the Minister had to say and he is right. I mean, the other Atlantic Provinces, first of all are going to be against this because it might mean something additional for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Federal Government, I can tell you, and again, I do not care what the political stripe is, will be against it in the first instance; I mean, Romeo LeBlanc would not hear tell of it, Pierre de Bane would not hear tell of it, Tom Siddon would not hear tell of it, Valcourt would not hear tell of it, I would be surprised if John Crosbie would hear tell of it, in the first instance, so there is a major, major selling job that is going to have to be done on behalf of this Province and that brings me to my final point, Mr. Speaker, because I know I am running out of time.

It is vitally important for the overall fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, in addition to the problem that my friend is articulating in his resolution, but it is vitally important for the overall management of the fishery in this Province, that the Provincial Government, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, stop sending mixed signals to Ottawa.

Nothing will damage our case more than the Member for Eagle River saying one thing as a Member of the Government, and the Minister of Fisheries saying another and the Premier saying something else. When the Government speaks, Mr. Speaker, it is going to have to speak with one voice; it will undermine the Member for Eagle River, it will undermine the Member for LaPoile, it will undermine the Minister, it will undermine the Province, if there continues to be, mixed signals about how Newfoundland and Labrador want to manage the fishery.

You cannot have it both ways; you cannot have the Minister of Fisheries, as he did a few months ago, saying that the quota should be less than what the Federal Government set it as, and he said it for the right reasons, because the scientific advice was to that effect. You cannot have that and other Members of the Government saying: we want to get in, we want a quota, as right as that is, because that - if you were the Minister sitting up in Ottawa, that would be manna from heaven for you; they would be saying: sure, this crowd do not know what they want; the Minister who speaks for the Government says, we have set the TAC too high, the Premier, who is the Leader of the Government, says that we should follow a 'lifo' principle, Last in, first out, and now we have a Member who supports the Government, saying we want in on top of everybody else with the quota going down, so the signal has to be one signal; the voice has to be one voice and there comes a time when we have to, sometimes for the good, for the overall good of everybody, we have to bite our own tongues, so to speak.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, what a bruising personal attack by the Member for Eagle River: 'I am despicable'. I might not be the best looking fellow in the House, but I thought I was half decent, I might not be able to speak the best, but I can match the Member for Eagle River any day, Mr. Speaker; but what a low blow for a Member of this House to say to another Member, 'you are despicable'; go and call Ron Pumphrey, boy, he is looking for you.

What I am saying to the Member, if he would get his little parochial mind in order, what I am saying to the Member is this: that, my problem as bad as it is, or the Member for LaPoile's problem as bad as it is, and your problem as bad as it is, the overall good of the whole Province is what has to be addressed. Now, get that through your little parochial mind; if you can do that, you might be worthy of a Cabinet post some day, but if you cannot do that, then you are worthy of nothing!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) repeat what the people of Eagle River had to say.

MR. RIDEOUT: Is that right eh? Sure, you are, sure you are, but do you have any responsibility to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador?

MR. DUMARESQUE: You went down and you discriminate against the people of Labrador in your politics when you were Minister.

MR. RIDEOUT: Mr. Speaker, Labrador made great strides in fisheries development during my tenure as Minister, I am very proud to say; very, very proud to say. Native people were given the right to manage their own resource and to have their own way of doing it through their own co-operative, Mr. Speaker, never heard it before, that was not a Liberal initiative.

Who built the plant that this Government allowed to go into bankruptcy the other day, who did that, Mr. Speaker? The Member for Eagle River does not know what he is talking about. My point is, simply this: the Government has to speak as one voice and if it does not speak as one voice, then that is going to erode, to the detriment of Newfoundland and Labrador, it is going to hurt your colleague, it is going to hurt your colleague from Codroy, it is going to hurt other Members of this House, that is the point I am trying to make, Mr. Speaker, and if that upsets the Member, 'tough'!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. RIDEOUT: You see, Mr. Speaker. The Member for Eagle River has one thing going for him, he can use the right buzz words to get a headline anytime. There does not have to be any truth to them. It does not matter whether history proves them right or wrong, but he will use the buzz word to get the headline. Now that will get him re-elected I suspect. I suspect that will get him re-elected. If that is the extent of his ambition, if the Province does not fit into his ambition, then I cannot help it; that is his problem. What I am saying to him is Governments have a responsibility to all the people of the Province. Fairness and balance; his leader preaches fairness and balance. Fairness and balance is what the buzz words are from this Government, and you cannot have it both ways. You cannot argue that on one side of your cheek and argue something else on the other.

Now, Mr. Speaker, this resolution deserves the support of everybody in this House. Those of us on this side are going to join with the Government in supporting it because it is the right thing to do. We have a fish stock in this Province that is on the verge of collapse, and unless this Government takes the leadership in convincing the Federal Government that this is the way it is, then the stocks will collapse, and then we will be the laughing stock of the world, and so we should.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SHORT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would just like to have a couple of comments on the resolution. First of all I would like to commend my neighbouring Member for presenting the Private Member's resolution today. The last comments made by the last speaker, I think, are probably true, that on the southwest coast we are indeed, I believe, on the brink of a collapse in the fishery. Just to bear that out, I want to give you a couple of figures to start off on the fixed gear fleet ground fish landings in 3PM on the southwest coast since 1985.

From January 1 to April 30, 1985 there were 7,062,000 pounds of fish from the fixed gear fleet; in 1986 for the same period, 9,341,000 pounds; in 1987 11,352,000 pounds; but in January 1988 to April 30, 2 million, from 11 million down to 2,158,000; and 1989, 1,300,000, and in 1990, approximately 50,000 pounds; and January to April of 1991, approximately 10,000 pounds. So, when you look at 1987, 11 million pounds, and 1991, 10,000 pounds, then there definitely is a collapse in the fixed gear fishery, and it is on the brink of collapse. It is a disaster.

The reason I want to speak today on the resolution is because it does affect my district. There is a plant in Codroy run by Eric King Fisheries and over the last couple of years since I have been the Member there has been some serious problems in terms of employment for the people of Codroy and surrounding areas, the other communities. The plant last year, I believe, worked for 27 days in total - 27 days, and this year, I have been told in talks with some people today that there were seven insurable weeks this winter in the plant in Codroy. That is not seven weeks work, that is seven insurable weeks, and there is a difference.

There are about eighty people in the plant in Codroy who depend on work from that plant but at the same time that there has been seven insurable weeks for a number of workers out there there have probably been five million pounds of fish pumped out of Codroy to places like Burgeo, Rocky Harbour, and anywhere else up the northern peninsula where it might go. I think the problem is not that there has not been some fish come into the plant, or on the wharf in Codroy, but rather where it has gone since. I think the Member in presenting his resolution today, one of the things that needs to be addressed is this problem of the regulation, the enforcement and certainly the fish distribution. It is the fish distribution that is the problem for the plant workers in Codroy. I see that one of the major problems is the pumping problem, at least in Codroy and I guess in Port aux Basques and other areas, we saw some things on TV with regard to pumping, all the snow being pushed up so that people could not get to pump fish and so on. Last year there was almost a major uprising from the public out in Codroy and they said they were not going to put up with it this Winter, but this Winter it went on again. There was a problem again. Like I said there were another five million pounds pumped out of Codroy this year.

The Member for LaPoile and myself had the opportunity this past Winter, before the Winter fishery started down on the Southwest Coast, to attend the Winter Fishery Advisory Committee Meeting in Corner Brook. I must say I was there for a couple of hours before I completely understood what was going on because there was no semblance of order to the meeting at all. I suppose if you lived through three or four of these then maybe you would get an understanding of how these things work, but the main issue in the meeting we were to, and I am sure Members in the House are aware of this one, had to do with the monitoring program and who was going to pay for the monitoring in the southwest coast fishery this Winter. Of course it delayed the fishery for two or three weeks and in the final analysis it was deemed that the DFO that set how much a fishermen was going to pay for his license this year for the southwest coast fishery. I also saw some of the contracts that were drawn up by DFO that certainly were not very clear as to how much it was going to cost fishermen to fish. For example, you had a phrase that said: you will pay this amount now and we will adjust it later on, and that caused all kinds of problems.

On this same issue, I did talk to people from the plant today, from Eric King Fisheries, and I was told that the monitoring program, as one of the gentlemen put it, was the best thing since sliced bread, that in fact it did work well this Winter, it did get rid of the misreporting of the small fish and all the other things associated with it. Any minor problems were solved right at the beginning and it should have probably been done years ago. It was a move in the right direction. I am not so sure who should have paid for it in the beginning this year in terms of lower quotas, less money to work with in the fishery, and so on. Maybe the Federal Government should have footed the bill for it this year just to see how it was going to work, but it certainly did work well, I think.

On the whole issue of the collapse of the Winter fishery, and the crisis in the Winter fishery on the southwest coast, my personal view is that the Federal Government has not responded properly with any special assistance program to alleviate the impact of the dramatic decline in landings. There have been a number of programs. Last year there were the old make-work projects that went on, and there was also some money put into training allowances and so on for the Western Community College. We got all sorts of other programs out, I believe, like (inaudible) and the IAS Committees and so on. There appears to be all kinds of money, but I am not so sure that money is the only problem that needs to be addressed. There are a lot of other things, and I am not sure if we have not reached the point right now where maybe we need a committee to study all of the committees. And I am not so sure that they are really addressing the real problem.

The Opposition Leader mentioned that maybe there needs to be a complete closure of the southwest coast fishery. And maybe there does. If those figures that I just mentioned on fixed gear are an indication of the problem, then maybe it does. But I think there would certainly have to be a lot of homework go into all the people that are going to be affected if something like that were to happen. How do you address all those thousands of people that will be out of work and, I do not know what they would turn to at the moment, so you just cannot say to people next year we will close that fishery.

There is another problem you have, of course, with the way it exists now, and I guess again the reason for this Advisory Committee, not Advisory Committee, I am sorry, -

AN HON. MEMBER: Regulatory Committee.

MR. SHORT: Regulatory Committee. Is that right now you have a mobile fleet that comes from the northern peninsula to fish on the southwest coast. And how do you control the fish distribution? Because those people have the quota and the southwest coast has the fish. And that I think is the one area that certainly has to be addressed in all of this problem. How do you get around the northern peninsula versus the southwest coast? I believe that the regulatory committee could help address this problem. It would help in terms of the enforcement and it would certainly help in terms of fish distribution.

A couple of speakers opposite mentioned the Province and there should be a Provincial - this particular resolution should really look at the Province as a whole. But my understanding is that there is a Joint Management Board being proposed by the Province which is different from this particular committee that we are suggesting here today.

I would also like to mention in cluing up that I believe, and I was wondering if anybody was going to mention this, that the southwest coast of the Province should not be included in the Gulf region. I personally believe that we should all on the southwest coast be included in the Newfoundland region.

So, Mr. Speaker, I once again would like to commend the Member for LaPoile. I think it is certainly a resolution that all Members in this House can vote in favour of, and I will certainly be voting in support of the motion because I think we certainly need something more than what we now have in terms of the Advisory Committee that is in place for the winter fishery. And I believe the regulatory committee that is being suggested would certainly be much better to serve the southwest coast than what we now have. So with those few comments I would like to clue up and say that I am supporting the resolution. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. RAMSAY: Mr. Speaker.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. RAMSAY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to start my concluding remarks with a simple statement that this is not something that has just happened. I recall speaking in the House initially on this matter, the matter of the resource crisis in the southwest coast fishery when this House supported my previous Private Member's resolution in calling on Ottawa to address the fisheries crisis because of the severe effect that the people, the most important aspect of the fishery, the people of the southwest coast and the effect that this was having on them, their lives, their family's lives, their ability to feed their families. We could see from the landings of the fixed gear fishermen that there would not be enough fish there alone to feed the families on the southwest coast let alone to produce enough income to support those families of the fixed gear fishermen.

Now the parochialism that was spoken of, we, of course, have a provincial responsibility, but we also do have a district responsibility, and the district philosophy that is often touted or the district responsibility is something that is very serious, I guess. We are elected here to represent the best interests of our constituents, and we have to understand as to whether we can support a long-term plan to hope for better management of resource in the future, or do we, I suppose, sector it and make a very balkanization, you know, balkanize the whole of the fishery. I would love nothing more than to see every fish that is landed on the southwest coast to be processed on the southwest coast. That in turn is something that just is impossible in light of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The freedom of movement of business where people do have the ability to come in an buy this fish, have it processed on the northern peninsula providing employment up there. They do have this right, and it is a right that we have difficulty in meddling with. Maybe if the local harbour authority would be created within the Port aux Basque area, they would then have a licensing right as to who gets to buy the fish. That might be a way to control this from a regulatory standpoint. But then again, we see fish that is landed in Harbour Grace that goes other places, fish landed in Labrador that goes other places, and I do fully understand the Member for Eagle River's contention of the way that area adjacent to the resource should first be addressed. I fully agree. I have concurred with that kind of philosophy initially.

Now the other thing, Mr. Speaker, this year there has been a -


MR. RAMSAY: Could I have some order, Mr. Speaker, please?

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

MR. RAMSAY: The fish that was landed on the southwest coast this year, for some reason or other a lot of it has stayed there unlike other years. This year we have had 75 per cent according to most recent statistics of the codfish that was landed on the southwest coast stay and be processed on the southwest coast.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order please!

MR. RAMSAY: The 80 per cent of the redfish - You know, I do not think the family of that gentleman would take kindly to you using his name in that manner.

Eighty per cent of the redfish that was landed on the southwest coast was processed there as well.

Now, how do we demonstrate, of course, what has happened in so far as the idea that was just espoused by the Member for St. George's that the southwest coast should be run by the Newfoundland region, should be looked after and the Newfoundland region be the manager of that area. We had a recent report done by DFO. It was referred to by the hon. Minister, my colleague and it was called the Marshall report after the regional director there, Jack Marshall, who espoused certain recommendations to DFO in Ottawa as to how the fishery should be run. We know one thing, and that was that report was prepared without any Provincial consultation unlike the Harris Task Force which did consult readily with the Province in what the Province felt about certain things, and also the Dunne Report prepared here in eastern Newfoundland did have some limited consultation with the Province. The Marshall report had little or no official consultation with the Province in its preparation. Subsequently, we saw a case where the Marshall Task Force is one that is, I suppose, totally Federal in its scope, and possibly because, as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition mentioned, of the political influence of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I., and part of the gulf region, why should they consult with the Newfoundland Government? This is possibly the reason why no provincial consultation entered in the Jack Marshall's report.

AN HON. MEMBER: Should not (inaudible).

MR. RAMSAY: Exactly, it should be one Newfoundland region. We have an historic dependency on the fishery, to appoint where I guess - we have the largest single, or, 25 per cent is the figure of the total DFO operation in consideration of what Newfoundland - makes up 25 per cent of the total work-load of DFO Canada, and yet we do not have 25 per cent of their attention in dealing with fisheries related matters.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition suggests the closure of the fishery; it is not new to be mentioned that this fishery, the 4R and 4S and 3PS would be closed, it has been suggested in the past by many that maybe this is the case, but if we see a crisis and even when the fishery is seen as going from 11 million pounds down to a little over 10,000 pounds, in landings, and there is little or no acknowledgement of a responsibility, a financial responsibility to address the problem, then, it has effectively been closed for some people already by virtue of the stock, the cod stock not being there to catch, and yet there is no addressing the need.

Now there is, I would call it tokenism, a total closure, maybe they would, they would have no choice but to come forward, but right now, the way they are managing it and I fully understand them trying to hang on, because the financial consequence of a complete closure that would be thrust upon their shoulders, would possibly be too much for the Federal Treasury to manage; I do not know what the financial consequence could be. Maybe some of the extra GST money could be used for that.

What is happening now, I talked about tokenism, they have effectively tried to address the crisis by starting some new training programmes through Western Community College; they had some make-work projects, as per usual, the Newfoundlanders get a little bit from Ottawa, to get enough unemployment stamps to qualify for UI, so they can further, you know, elongate the process to appoint where they hope that these good people will get back into the fishery, talking about training the people. So you go out and you ask the people involved who have a varied level of education depending on whatever it is they have gotten involved in, the people considered would then be trained to do a variety of tasks. But the variety of tasks that they might be trained to accomplish may very well not be available for them to be employed in light of what industry has been developed in the area with these variety of funding programs. So you have a problem. You have funding in place now through the railway diversification fund, you have funding in the community future's fund to look after that. The IAS Committee has an open ended amount of money that they can use, the fishery adjustment program is there. You have all of these different initiatives there that can be used for fishermen to diversify their own personal base in the economy, and it is functioning like it is all over the place. There is very little co-ordinated effort on the part of all of these different groups.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. RAMSAY: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. RAMSAY: Well, if it dies completely then you are left with nothing. You have no choice then but to address new industry or something different, but it would be a catastrophic failure to a point where the - it may very well be at that point. Like you talk about a 5,000 to 35,0000 ton TAC. Now it may be very well that the fishing that is going on this year could devastate the stock. It may very well be at that point. The DFO scientists think not, but they were wrong in the past and maybe they are wrong now. But I think a more co-ordinated approach - and I will draw an analogy between the co-ordinated approach that should be made with the Federal agencies concerned that are trying to diversify the economy there to what we should be doing with fisheries management. And I speak of an advisory committee type set up, not the advisory committee that is there, the reason why I changed it to regulatory committee is because this advisory committee can go off and say what they want, DFO in Ottawa is going to say here is what we will give you this year, you will get your 35,000 tons, go out and fish, you fixed gear fishermen get 16,000 tons, of which you can catch 10,000 pounds and you will be happy and that is it, and it does not matter what the advisory committee says.

But if with consultation between the Province and the Federal Government we can arrive at establishing some form of a local regulatory committee, and I do not mean this just for the sake of my District, you speak of parochialism, but still there are other interests, international interests that are involved in the fishery there. There are interests from other parts of the Province that

also fish down there and they do have the right to be involved as they are, although I do wonder how we got so many people involved in a fishery that is so near collapse. And with four more Quebec quotas being given out this year you end up with a situation where it is just unthinkable that they have allowed the sector of that fishery to increase that has caused so much in the way of problems for it and brought it to the point that it is at now.

Now it was also mentioned - and I must say I am pleased to hear what I have heard from the Opposition in this regard. I have often said in my district about the House of Assembly that - in speaking to schools and individuals - that fishery matters in the House of Assembly are usually very non-partisan. They are matters of which we usually speak with one voice here in the House. And it is with an element of pride that we as Newfoundlanders, regardless of our political background and our party affiliation, can speak with a solid voice in espousing what we feel should be our right as Newfoundlanders to a share of the resource which we are dependent on.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition did also mention an environmental issue. Maybe we have to elevate the fishery's crisis in 4Rs 3Pn to an environmental crisis in our statements in the press, in what we have to say in trying to get people to understand the solid and devastating effect this is having on the people in the various communities and what it means.

I will refer now in the few minutes I have left to a report that was prepared by the Fishermens' Union. And this report gives some sense of the financial consequence to the district that I represent because of the pending collapse of 4Rs 3Pn. It is an evaluation of what the financial consequence is of such a loss with respect to the quota. It is talking about the Canadian catch of cod in 4Rs 3Pn and its decrease to 31,300. Well, it is 35,000 actually in the quota itself.

The landed value to fishermen of that decrease was $20 million less, approximately. The sales of fillets at the end of it all, based on the yield and everything, was a $49 million loss, so these are the effective financial loses to the companies, and some to the local economy, brought on by bringing it down to 35,000, notwithstanding the loses that were being realized by the fixed gear sector. You are talking 2000 plant worker jobs, the equivalent of that in man hours, the person years per 1000 tons of fish, it works out to about 2000 plant jobs, so it is the equivalent loss of that in wages. The dollar value on that is an $8.9 million loss to the local economy, so it is a wage loss to the local economy of $8.9 million, or the economy wherever that fish would be processed, so we can see the problem. If you compared it to a sustainable catch of 75,000 tons, which the Marshall Report that I spoke of earlier sees as the long-term viable allocation for that cod stock, the shortfall of 43,700 tons in comparison to that would mean a loss of $24 million of landed value to fishermen, $58 million on the processed fillets, or 2250 plant workers jobs at a $10 million loss to the local economy. You cannot combine them, I suppose, and add one to the other, but those are the kind of loses that we are talking about just based on the quota and not based on a complete collapse of the fishery. If those had to be replaced directly by the Federal Government, Mr. Speaker, they would, of course, cost those amounts of money to the component parts of the industry concerned, and even more if we were to try to diversify the economies of those various areas and of any other area that may be so affected. How does the area that I represent manage to garnish a certain amount of federal support and assistance in this manner when other areas equally effected because of their dependence on this resource would require equal federal assistance to assist them in light of their amount of involvement?

With that, Mr. Speaker, I ask hon. Members of this hon. House to support the motion, and I feel it will be a little part of the overall importance that we require in order to get joint Federal/Provincial management of our fishery for the benefit of everyone here and for the benefit of all residents of the Province.

Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker.

On motion, resolution carried.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to inform hon. Members once again, as I have many times in the last few days, that tomorrow my intention is to call Bill No. 15 so that we can finish that one off. And then if we get beyond Bill 15 I would like to call the second reading of Bills 2 and 3.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: Yes, two of the justice bills, 2 and 3. Just the second reading.

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

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, the two bills that the Government House leader just indicated, Bills 2 and 3, are major justice bills that the Social Legislation Review Committee has not finished our work on yet. We are just about finished the work on Bill 2, the new Provincial Court Act. But we have barely gotten into the Juries Act and the Members of the Committee on this side of the House (Inaudible) -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Do Members agree to call it 5:00 p.m.?


MR. SPEAKER: Agree to call it 5:00 p.m.

MS. VERGE: The Members of the Committee from this side of the House would have been quite glad to have completed our work on the new Juries Act weeks ago, but because of the Government's operation of committees the Social Legislation Review Committee has been defunct for about the last two months. Now I understand we are about to get revived again and there is a meeting scheduled for next Thursday.

MR. SIMMS: Which are the two easy ones, Lynn?

MS. VERGE: The two easy ones are The Amendments To The Law Society Act and The Law Reform Act.

MR. SIMMS: So I would suspect the Government House Leader just mentioned the wrong bills, did he? Bills 13 and 5, those are the same two he mentioned to me the other day. Bills 13 and 5 he intends to go to. So it was just a slight error.

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

MR. BAKER: I would like to point out, Mr. Speaker, something that, again, I have pointed out a number of times throughout this process and especially for the Member for Humber East I would like to point it out. That my understanding is - and I will repeat it again - that the committees report back during the Committee stage of the bill in the House. That at that point in time they move any amendments that they might want to move to the bills and all that kind of thing. And that there is nothing to prevent the House from going through first or second reading before we hear the Committee's report. And my understanding is that this will be dealt with fairly quickly, within a couple of weeks or so, I mean, I assume that. If it is not then of course I could simply either not call it for the Committee stage and let it sit there until the Fall or call it and have it out. But my understanding is that we could introduce it into the House, go to second reading, and then the Committee would finish its deliberations before we get to the Committee stage. That was my understanding.

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

MR. SIMMS: Yes, now that is a whole area for a debate, I guess, if we want to debate it at another occasion.

But just to ensure at this point in time, what we are dealing with is advice of the Government House Leader indicating to the Members of the House what he intends to do tomorrow. He intends to do Bill 15. If it is completed before the day ends he intends to call two justice bills, Bills 13 and 5. Is that correct? And the other issue is one that we can debate forever and a day, and we will, no doubt.

MR. SPEAKER: This House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:00 p.m.