October 29, 1991              HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS            Vol. XLI  No. 62

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the acting Premier, who I presume is the Government House Leader.

I want to return to a question I asked of the Premier yesterday in the House concerning the Government's plan to harmonize the RST with the GST. In an interview following Question Period yesterday and seen on television during the news period last night on newscasts the Premier said, words to the effect at least, that Government would ensure that tax harmonization would not increase the tax burden on individuals nor on business. I would like to ask the acting Premier how the Government proposes to do that?

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

MR. BAKER: To give a complete answer, Mr. Speaker, I would have to first of all say that no decision has been made yet. The options that are open range from leaving things exactly as they are now, to complete or close to complete harmonization. So, the options are still there. I would hesitate to answer a hypothetical question as to: if the decision happens to be this then what would you do?... because, Mr. Speaker, that kind of discussion leads nowhere.

What I can say to the hon. Member is that the intent of our discussions of the many options concerning RST/GST has been a revenue neutral situation and the options range from making no change to pretty close to complete harmonization. So, once the decision is made I can assure the hon. Member that the public will know immediately when Government has reached a decision as to which it feels is the best way to go.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, it is one thing to say that tax reform will be revenue neutral and it is yet another thing to say that it will not increase the tax burden on individuals and businesses, because that is what the Premier said last night.

Let me put a situation, if I might, to the acting Premier. One of the proposals to make tax reform neutral then is to abolish the school tax and to increase RST to replace the school tax revenues. Since many people on low incomes do not now pay the school tax, won't those people be paying more taxes, if the school tax is in fact absorbed into the RST?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, again, I would be crazy to answer hypothetical questions here in this House. All I can do is assure the hon. Member that this Government in making its decision will take into account the effects on the low income people particularly and will make sure that we are not impacting on the low income people in this Province.

These things we do think about and we do consider and we do discuss and we do analyze. It is not a matter of sitting down and throwing a dart at a board and picking an option; we take all these things into consideration and that is all we are saying now, and when the decision is made, everybody will know about it and at that point in time we will be able to discuss the details of that decision, but right now, no decision has been made.

MR. SIMMS: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition, on a supplementary.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, it is extremely ironic that the acting Premier is giving the kind of answer that he is giving, when the Premier last night himself talked about how open this has been and how people have had a chance to participate and get answers to questions and so on. We cannot seem to get answers.

One of the other proposals to expand the RST base, is to collect the tax on the selling price of new homes. He would be aware of this. The Home Builders Association estimates that as a result of the RST, the price of an average new home in St. John's, for example, would increase from $4,000 to $12,000, a 200 per cent increase. What will that do to the sale of new homes and to the home construction industry? Can he answer that question?

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The fact of the existence of this position indicates to everybody the fact that we have been open, and we have indicated to people that we are considering harmonization of RST and GST. In the paper that was presented with the Budget, various options were laid out by the Minister of Finance and one of these submissions that we received, and we received it from several different directions, one of the submissions we received was from the Home Builders Association making that point, and we are taking all of these submissions into consideration, there is no doubt about it. But as to the Leader of the Opposition's comment about not getting any answers, I am simply saying that when there are answers they will be given and that right now no decision has been made. I do not know if the Leader of the Opposition wants us to manufacture things out of thin air that are not there right now and throw stuff across as a sop to the Opposition, we are not going to do that. The reason the answer cannot be given is because the decision has not been made at this point in time, and when the decision is made the answers will certainly be there; it will be an open process. All of the answers will be dealt with at that point in time.

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

MR. SIMMS: I do not wish to debate or argue with the acting Premier, but I still say the Premier himself has said he wants to be open with this process and provide answers, and there should have been lots of opportunity up till now. We are asking questions, we can't get answers. What's the point in asking questions after the decisions have been made? It is better to discuss it beforehand.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I could go on with other questions about it, but obviously he is not going to give any answers that would satisfy the people of this Province. The concerns are out there among the people about the affect the expanded RST is going to have. He should be aware of that. And I ask the question again that I asked yesterday. Considering the fact that this is a poor time in terms of our economy, and not a good time perhaps to harmonize RST with GST, would he - again I ask the question - would he postpone any action with respect to this measure as other provinces have done recently until our severely weakened economy improves somewhat? Would he consider that at all?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I have to give the same answer -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I will have to give the same answer that was given yesterday. No, I will guarantee no such thing. The question of the Leader of the Opposition presupposes that a decision has been made to harmonize. I will say to him again, that decision has not been made, therefore we can't make then the next decision to put off a decision that has not yet been made.

I will also point out to him that all of a sudden he has concern for tax reform and the affect on the citizens of this Province in informing us of it as if this is the first time we have heard of it. Now I know he is new in his job, and I know this is the first opportunity he has had to point these things out, but I would remind him that we have had the same points made to us by at least sixty or seventy presentations that have been made to this Government by groups from all over the Province. Exactly the same points. And I will repeat again, we are taking them into consideration before we make our decision, not after.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Let me remind the President of Treasury Board that we have been asking these questions now for the past seven months. It is about time Government knew what they were doing.

Let me ask the President of Treasury Board to answer some questions on decisions that have been made in the past. Specifically, would the President of Treasury Board tell us, in view of the statement of the Minister of Finance yesterday that the Minister expects to be some $17 million under Budget in his capital account expenditure for this year, and in view of the economy, the employment situation, and the state of the construction industry, in particular, would the President of Treasury Board like to tell us why Government has not spent the money that was allocated this year for the construction industry through the Department of Public Works and Services?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I suppose, the best way to handle that is to say, well, give us the specific examples of amounts that are not spent, and I will have it researched to find out what the answer is in each specific instance. I can point out, for instance, there was one amount of money, I believe, on the Burgeo road, that was not spent, and the reason it was not spent there is because there was a problem with the aggregate, the quality of the aggregate. For each project where the total money allocated this year was not spent, there is a specific reason for that project, why there may be an extension into next year. So, there is no one answer, because there is no great plot, as the member seems to be implying.

MR. WINDSOR: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted if the minister would undertake to get that information. Would he also undertake to check out some information that I have been given through the people in the department that, in fact, government was well aware they are going to be well under the Budget amount, that, in fact, the surplus will be far more than $17 million, and that there have been, indeed, numerous projects that have been dusted off, projects that have been on the drawing boards for years, and new projects inserted into the programme over the past number of months and instituted without proper planning, and, in place of some of the projects that were announced in the Budget, are subsequently announced by government. Would the Minister care to undertake to get that information, to give us a comparison of what was announced in the Budget, what has actually taken place, and where all these mysterious projects came from?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I find it really interesting that the Member for Mount Pearl gets up and makes some kind of general charges about things being dusted off, and money that really was not intended to be spent and all these kinds of things. I guess it is easy for him to make these statements and to refer ominously to some information he is getting from somebody inside the department. I say to the member, you have to do a little better than that. Tell me what projects you are talking about. I cannot investigate some charge like that. You really have to do better than that. The answer to what you are suggesting, of course, is no, Government did not put things in the Budget that we knew were not possible to be done, categorically, no.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would be delighted to tell the minister of some specific projects. Would the minister like to tell me why the Mount Pearl arena, a $5 million project, was delayed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs? Plans and design were completed last spring, the city was ready to call tenders and the Minister of Municipal Affairs deliberately withheld the approval for more than four months. There were seventy jobs that could be in place that would have lasted all through the winter. Not one dollar has been spent and the construction of that arena has been delayed by one year. Would the minister tell me why that is so?

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

MR. BAKER: As far as I know, there was no $5 million in the Budget for Government to spend to build an arena in Mount Pearl. This may have been an arrangement where there was a Government guaranteed loan through Municipal Affairs or something, but there was no amount there for Government to spend $5 million on an arena in Mount Pearl. However, I will look into the specific point the member brings up and get back to him.

MR. WINDSOR: A final supplementary.

MR. SPEAKER: A further supplementary, the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, the President of Treasury Board is quite right, there was not one cent allocated by Government, because there was not one cent requested from Government by the City of Mount Pearl, nor a Government guarantee, simply approval to borrow - the minister's authority has to be given under the act - approval to borrow, so that the citizens of Mount Pearl could build their own arena at not one penny of expense to the Provincial Government. Perhaps the Minister of Municipal Affairs would like to tell us why his water and sewer and road projects were delayed all year? How come tenders were called in late September and early October for millions of dollars worth of water and sewer, when all of those jobs could have been created and all of that economic activity could have been created? Is this just another sham to try to come up with a capital account surplus at the end of the year to make his overall Budget look rosy?

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, it is nice to hear the hon. member complain about $55 million worth of capital works, twice the amount allocated by the previous government in their last year of operation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, capital works was delayed this year and that has been explained to the municipalities. The reason why it was delayed is because we brought in a new Municipal Grants Program. It had to be introduced into the communities to know whether they could afford their share of capital works. It was done properly, Mr. Speaker, by this Government, and he should not be complaining about capital works being allocated in record amounts over the last three years.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. A. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, my question was to be to the Minister of Mines and Energy but, in his absence and the Premier's absence, maybe I will go to the Minister responsible for Employment and Labour Relations.

The minister is undoubtedly aware of the mass of permanent layoffs proposed in Labrador City and Wabush and, of course, he is also aware of the shutdown proposed for next summer. He is also aware, of course, that there is no severence pay involved for most of these unionized employees, or all the unionized employees, and there is no mobility assistance for these affected employees. He is also aware, of course, of the additional layoffs in 1992 which will occur in Western Labrador.

In light of the fact that the regulation of mines is solely under provincial jurisdiction and responsibility, will the minister introduce a program to immediately help the hundreds of displaced workers and their families in Western Labrador?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the member for his question, as well.

Both myself and the Minister of Mines and Energy have, on recent visits and in meetings involving representatives of the companies, the unions and the towns in Labrador West, been dealing with the issue of the pending layoff which has now, of course, become a definite layoff, with the workers notified in the past week or so. We indicated to them in our previous meetings a couple of weeks ago that we would, indeed, look at anything and everything that was possible to assist workers, first and foremost, who are displaced. We have another meeting tomorrow morning with representatives who are in the city now attending the Federation of Labour Convention. Also, now that it is firmed up and finalized as to which individuals in both mines are affected, we will be able to look at the possibilities in terms of what it is the Provincial Government might be able to do to assist those displaced workers, first, and secondly, we also indicated that we would look at anything that was possible and could be helpful to assure the long-term viability of the two mining operations in Labrador West.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the President of Treasury Board, or the acting Premier, in the Premier's absence.

The situation in Western Labrador was very serious and it became even more serious. The Minister of Labour just pointed that maybe he knows about the individuals being affected. Mr. Speaker, the fact is that there are going to be more layoffs in 1992 and he omitted to mention that, of course. There are going to be more layoffs, so it is more serious that was known last week or even yesterday. He is not aware of that yet. In light of that fact, Mr. Speaker, can the acting Premier tell us if he would discuss it with the Premier and have a task force appointed - not a committee of Cabinet - a task force appointed to investigate what assistance these miners should receive and to investigate the long term viability of the mines in western Labrador? A task force, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I may have a faulty impression as to what has gone on in western Labrador. My understanding is that there has been a lot of investment by new owners, Iron Ore Company, I believe that is correct. And that part of the problem is - some of it may be markets - but part of the problem is modernization and a lot of new equipment that is put in there. Now it is my understanding that is part of the problem. There is no need to get upset about it, you can correct me if I am wrong. I understand the plight of the people who are laid off. I understand there are about 143 laid off now with perhaps indications that there are more to come in the new year. I understand this is a very serious situation.

I am certain that we will be getting in Cabinet a report from the Ministers of Mines and Energy and Employment and Labour Relations as to exactly what the situation is, and I am sure that Cabinet will make the right decision - unlike the decision the previous government made to throw to the wolves the 400 miners in Daniel's Harbour.

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: I am sorry.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: It's quite alright again, Mr. Speaker. Grand Bank first, as I said yesterday. I have a question for the Minister of Fisheries. I would just like to say to the Minister that our offices are receiving many calls from fishermen out and about the Province, hundreds of fishermen who are encountering problems meeting their commitments to the Fisheries Loan Board and the chartered banks. I am wondering if the Minister has been made aware of this situation and if he has any plans to help those fishermen make it through these very difficult times?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I have announced publicly the Government's position with respect to the Fisheries Loan Board as it relates to the current crisis in the fishery and the number of people who are affected by it. I have indicated to them that in cases where a fisherman can demonstrate his or her inability to meet their payments to the Fisheries Loan Board that no action will be taken by the Board to collect. I can only tell the House and the hon. gentleman what I have said publicly, that in cases where fishermen have tried and can demonstrate that they have tried, and through no fault of their own just could not make it, then they will have nothing to fear from the Fisheries Loan Board.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The other problem here, it is not just with the Loan Board, it is with the chartered banks. Fishermen are being hounded even though they are attempting to meet their 20 per cent catch assignment. Even if they gave up their 20 per cent it is not enough to satisfy their commitment to the chartered banks. So I want to say to the Minister that what has happened to date is not satisfactory, and by postponing interest payments and so on all that is happening is that you are really compounding the problem for fishermen because they are never going to be able to pay it.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister this supplementary. In light of the resource crisis experienced this year, a very, very difficult year, and the problems experienced the last few years in that there is no ray of light in sight for the fishery of this Province, would the Minister consider immediate relief for those fishermen who legitimately have attempted to make their payments but who cannot because of the crisis. Will he initiate immediate relief with his Cabinet colleagues for those fishermen by way of writing off, forgiving those loans to the fishermen.

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if that is the best plan in the world - to write it off. I think the Government has gone quite far in that we have indicated a willingness to defer any payments due this year to those fishermen who can demonstrate they have tried to make it but could not.

With respect to the larger loans that have gone through the banks with a government guarantee, the same thing would prevail, in that we have informed those people that if they have any problems and again can demonstrate that they are unable to meet their payments at the Fisheries Loan Board my officials will be happy to sit down with those people and try and make some kind of an accommodation. I can tell him now, and I have said this publicly on many occasions, the Fisheries Loan Board and indeed the Provincial Government, are not in the business of repossessing vessels or having our marine service centre lots full of vessels that have been repossessed from fishermen who, through no fault of their own, could not make their payments this year, that will not happen.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: I almost forget the question I was about to ask.

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the President of Treasury Board and it has to do with the Morgan Report that was brought into this Legislature some two years ago dealing with compensations to the Members of the House of Assembly.

The first part of my question is very clear to the President of Treasury Board: would he tell this House what that report, and what it detailed, had to do with Members of the House of Assembly employed in other businesses or, better clarified, working on a part-time basis and receiving a full-time salary from the House of Assembly.

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, as far as I can recall the Morgan Report was done on the basis that a job in the House of Assembly was a full-time job and that Members who were not using it or treating it as a full-time job would so inform, I believe, His Honour, the Speaker, as to their working conditions and the pay would then be adjusted on a prorated basis depending upon the percent of time spent at House business and the percent of time spent at the other business. So, the intent was by Mr. Morgan in doing the adjustments in salaries that this would be a full-time job.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Member for Port de Grave on a supplementary.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A supplementary again to the President of Treasury Board. If the Morgan Report dealt with that part of the compensation package in that a member was responsible for reporting it to the Speaker, His Honour the Speaker, and the President of Treasury Board being on the Internal Economy Commission and the House deals with that, would the President of Treasury Board tell me if any Member of this House of Assembly has reported in writing to the Commission in regard to his working conditions and/or working as a part-time Member of the House of Assembly?

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. the President of Treasury Board, the Chair is in a bit of a quandary with respect to that question. Not that the House would not entertain any questions with respect to the Morgan Commission or the operation of the Internal Economy. I realize it is a difficult situation that we are in, but the President of Treasury Board is not responsible for the Morgan Commission or its administration.

It comes under the responsibility of the Chair and, of course, the hon. member is not permitted to ask the Chair any questions. So that, therefore, puts us all in a bit of a difficult position. It is a matter that I would, I think, have the House or the Internal Economy resolve. I do not know what the - I was going to say I do not know what the member is trying to get at, and I do, although it is generalities, although I do not know what his specifics are.

For the want of further consideration of the matter - and I do not want to cut the member off - I would rule that his questioning, at this moment, is out of order. But in this particular example, in the meantime, the Chair is at the discretion of the House because it is a new area in terms of the Internal Economy, and it may be something we should deal with. I do not want to take up the time of Question Period, to the hon. the member, we will go on and maybe after Question Period hon. members might want to make a contribution as to which way we can resolve that, if that is satisfactory to the hon. member. We do not want to cut off Question Period at this point in time.

I will allow the hon. member just a short comment.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I have the understanding, from where I sit as a member of this House of Assembly, that salaries paid out to all members of the House of Assembly would go through the normal budgetary process and have to do with all the taxpayers of this Province.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! Would the hon. member take his place, please?

I cannot allow that to go on into Question Period right now, as I said, and probably it is best that we leave it to the end of Question Period and the hon. member can then express his discontent, or whatever, at the end of Question Period and we can then come up with some manner of resolving this, of dealing with the Internal Economy. So, I ask the hon. member to deal with it after Question Period.

The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. The Minister will know that many householders in St. John's have houses that are on leasehold property and have now the protection of The Leaseholds of St. John's Act which allows them to buy out leases for a formula based on the ground rent.

I want to ask the Minister: In light of the Premier's comments to the House Constitutional Committee last week of his support for the property rights protection in the Charter of Rights, whether his Government is still committed to maintaining the protection for leaseholders in St. John's under that legislation?

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

MR. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Premier's comments to the Constitutional Committee had no bearing whatsoever on the Government's commitment to the question of property rights. My understanding is that the property owners in St. John's who were lessees of lands held by estates in England, for the most part, whose heirs are now well dispersed throughout the world, were in the position of having the right to buy out the remainder of the term from those who owned the land and the residue of the lease, which were often for extended periods of time.

I believe that right, in fact, may expire at the end of this year, and the question that the Government is considering and the Province is preparing a paper on, is whether or not that right should be extended. One of the difficulties is the extent to which it might include areas that were developed in the St. John's Metropolitan area, subsequent to the time period of the great fire when these leases were originally entered into. Certainly, I see nothing in the Premier's comments to the Constitutional Committee that have any bearing whatsoever on Government's consideration of the question of the purchase of the remainder of leasehold interests.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Premier's comments included support for a provision which would say that the right to property also includes the right not to be deprived of property without fair and adequate compensation. In view of the fact that the formula, as applied to the leasehold versus the freehold, is one which is a formula not based on the market value, can he reiterate the Government's support, that despite those comments his Government is fully committed to making sure that all current leaseholders have an opportunity to buy out the freehold within the period of time that is required that the leases will run.

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

MR. DICKS: Mr. Speaker, the Premier's comments with respect to property rights have no more bearing on it than the hon. member's comments with respect to a social charter. It seems to me he has been trying to make an argument on the latter, rather than on the former comments that were made before the Committee.

What I have indicated to him is that the property owners - and there are two type property owners, those who are tenants of the freehold interest and the freeholders; those tenants have the right to purchase a freehold interest. That has been a long standing right. Many people, unfortunately, for whatever reason, seem not to have exercised it either through a lack of awareness or what have you and the Government is giving some thought as to whether or not it should be extended beyond the expiry period, which may be the end of this year. But certainly nothing in the Premier's comments have any bearing whatsoever or prejudicial to a fair consideration of that issue by Government.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

The hon. the Member for Port de Grave, on a point of order.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is my understanding

that the salaries for the legislature go through the Executive Council of the Provincial Government, for which the President of Treasury Board has full responsibility. I borrowed it for a number of reasons, first of all, that the President of Treasury Board is responsible for that area, and, in fact, that the Morgan Report was introduced in the House of Assembly. It is important to the people of this Province that the rules and the laws set down by the House of Assembly are properly followed, and anybody in the House of Assembly who does not follow those rules are breaking them, possibly in an illegal manner. And I, as an MHA representing the people in my area and the people of the Province, a member of this legislature, saw that the only thing to do was to bring the information that I have to the attention of the House of Assembly, and my only access as I understood it, because of the budgetary process that I was used to, would be to go through the President of Treasury Board. I guess what I am really asking for is a point of clarification on what steps I have to follow, because I intend to pursue this much further in the coming days in the House of Assembly.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to help and perhaps provide some guidance to Your Honour in making this decision. The fact that the question is asked is irrelevant. The question has already been asked publicly by the media, by the press, and not too long ago, put to the appropriate person, the Chairman of the Internal Economy Commission. The question has already been asked publicly by the press in the past, and the Speaker, as Chairman of the Internal Economy Commission, has responded to the question publicly, if I recall.

Nevertheless, the question here is whether or not it is proper to ask that kind of question during the thirty-minute Question Period. There are all kinds of references for Your Honour to look at, not the least of which is that questions must be of an urgent and important nature. I am not sure this particular one fits into that category, but that would be for the judgement of the Chair.

But, most importantly, from Beauchesne - I think the fifth edition, probably, it has not changed much from the sixth - paragraph 357, 1 (x), `A question must not deal with an action of a Minister for which he is not responsible to Parliament,' - and there is some doubt about - this minister is not the Minister responsible to Parliament for the Internal Economy Commission. But, more importantly, it says, `or with matters not within his official knowledge.' And the minister, already, in answering earlier said - I mean it was not for him to know, and he does not know. It is up to the Chairman of the Internal Economy Commission, and there are other references, and I am not going to go through them all, but clearly, the question is whether or not this kind of question should come up in Question Period and take up the time of the House for thirty minutes.

If the member wants to ask a question about it or say something about it publicly, he can say it, that is no problem. My point is that this particular question has already been asked, because I remember reading about it, and I believe Your Honour might even remember publicly responding to it before, by the press, so it is really an old question.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Well, it is an old question. All you have to do is check the press and read what the press says, but the question here is whether or not it is an appropriate question to ask during Question Period. That is the only point that needs to be debated, whether the question is appropriate during Question Period; that is what we are debating, not who it is or what it is or anything else because, I mean, the members, themselves have to respond and answer to that.

MR. SPEAKER: I will allow the hon. member to make one final comment. The Chair does not want to delay the procedures of the House unnecessarily on this.

The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I did not hear the Speaker's comments because of people talking on the other side, but I will continue.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition referred to the right of an individual to answer questions in the House of Assembly and determine what the importance of that question is, and I say to the Chair, clearly, this question that I was leading into is of utmost importance and urgency to this hon. House of Assembly, for it represents the people of the Province of Newfoundland. Because, if any member of this House of Assembly is receiving monies from taxpayers, under false pretences, then it certainly is of great urgency and importance, not only to the legislature, Mr. Speaker, but to all the people in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The question is not even so much as to whether the question aught to be asked or whether it is a matter of urgency, but the question is, Who can answer it? I think the Leader of the Opposition quotes some very apropos rulings, or guidance I should say, in this matter, and it is a matter of who the question ought to be directed to. Hon. members will have to be very careful about making a decision on this because it relates to internal economy and it relates to our own benefits, this kind of thing, and we would not want to be seen by the public as not wanting to address those matters, but the question is whether or not it is a matter of order to do it during Question Period because of the fact that there is no minister responsible for internal economy. The member certainly has other avenues in the House to address these, and he can do them publicly. The only question is whether or not - and I think that is what we are addressing - it is appropriate to deal with it in Question Period. The Chair will take that under advisement and come back with an answer as quickly as possible.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Amend The Urban And Rural Planning Act."

I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Establish The St. John's Centennial Foundation."

I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Revise And consolidate The Law Respecting The Prevention of Fire."

I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Facilitate The Amalgamation Of Certain Municipal Authorities And Municipal Services In Relation To The Northeast Avalon Region."

MR. SPEAKER: Are there further notices of motion?

The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce the following resolution: Whereas the geography of Newfoundland and Labrador creates undue cost to our citizens and; whereas many of our people must survive on seasonal employment and; whereas present income support programs do not have components to reflect this reality; be it resolved that both levels of Government work towards a new income support program which will stimulate the work ethic and maintain a reasonable level of income for all our citizens.

MR. SPEAKER: Before going on to the next order, I meant, at the beginning of the day, to point out an error in our Orders of the Day, at least what I received today. On reading them, I find out that we have two resolutions under Motion 5 - I think that is the one I am looking at. If hon. members would refer to their Order Paper, under Motion 5, it says, `The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands to ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Revise The Law Respecting Land Surveyors In The Province.' Now, I think if we look into our second readings, we will find the same one is there, as well. I think it is Order 14. My understanding is, that is the same one. So, if somebody could comment on that. Maybe it is not the same one.

The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

One of two things has happened here and I will check and see which it is. Either, it is an error in terms of when the Notices of Motion were given out or, in fact, that particular bill, "An Act To Revise The Law Respecting Land Surveyors In the Province," that there may have been -

AN HON. MEMBER: I checked this out.

MR. BAKER: I am told, Mr. Speaker, by the minister, that he has checked it out, that it is exactly the same bill, and it was, in fact, an error in terms of the Notices of Motion been given out. I was going to suggest there could have been another reason, that there could have been a change done and the bill that was in the House last session could have perhaps been changed and given another number, because the numbers are different. The minister says it is exactly the same bill, so perhaps it could be left there - I do not see anything wrong with that - and then disappear at the end of the session, or whatever.

MR. SPEAKER: Does the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture want to say something?


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I have to remind hon. members of some of the fundamental and elementary rules of the House, particularly, again, of the design that speakers are not supposed to be between the Chair and the person speaking, and I found, even today, two or three incidents where members walked between the Chair and the member speaking. So, please, in recognition of the rules of the House and for proper order and decorum, I ask hon. members to abide by those rules.

The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Just in the hope that it will help clarify the situation, yesterday afternoon I received a call from the legislative office, pointing out that what had happened was, a motion had been read twice on the same piece of legislation. It was purely a mistake, I think, out of the legislative office and, in my case, as hon. members will know, the previous motion was read by the previous Minister of Environment and Lands, and when the motion was provided for me to read, I did not make the connection, but simply stood and read it. There is no question it is a simple mistake.

MR. SPEAKER: Okay, that is fine. What we need is to get it off the Order Paper, I think, and the Chair's recommendation is that the House agree to do away with Motion 5, since it is already in second reading. By concession of the House, shall we do away with Motion 5?


MR. SPEAKER: Agreed.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

DR. WARREN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, in my absence, the Premier was asked a question by the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, the critic, with respect to the Government's intention to introduce a schools act and the amendment to the Memorial University Act, providing for affiliation of the Marine Institute with the University.

Mr. Speaker, it is the Government's intention to introduce legislation shortly. I will move a motion - what is the appropriate title? First reading will be in the next few days and it is the hope of the Government that this legislation will be debated and approved by the legislature during this session.

Orders of the Day

MR. BAKER: Motion 2, Mr. Speaker.

Motion, the hon. the Minister of Finance to introduce a bill, "An Act To Amend The Liquor Corporation Act, 1973", carried. (Bill No. 42).

On motion, Bill No. 42, read a first time, ordered read a second time on tomorrow.

MR. BAKER: Motion 4, Mr. Speaker.

Motion, the hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands to introduce a bill, "An Act To Amend The Newfoundland Geographical Names Board Act, 1974", carried. (Bill No. 43)

On motion, Bill No. 43, read a first time, ordered read a second time on tomorrow.

MR. BAKER: Motion 6, Mr. Speaker.

Motion, the hon. the President of Treasury Board, to introduce a bill, "An Act Respecting The Newfoundland Volunteer War Service Medal", carried. (Bill No. 46).

On motion, Bill No. 46, read a first time, ordered read a second time on tomorrow.

MR. BAKER: Order 4, Mr. Speaker.

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

Committee of the Whole

MR. CHAIRMAN (L. Snow): Order, please!

The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is the Committee stage of the new Auditor General's Act. At this time, it is customary to examine, if necessary, in detail, clause by clause, the intent and purpose of some of the clauses in the Auditor General's Act.

First of all, I would like to say that the intent of the bill, itself, as discussed previously, is to provide the Auditor General with his own piece of legislation under which he or she acts. The office of the Auditor General, if this bill passes, will operate under this particular act. It will take the Auditor General out from under the wings of the Department of Finance, the direct supervision, if you will, of Cabinet, and put it at arm's length from Cabinet and from government.

It is very important in the intent, and members of the Opposition supported the intent of this bill. It is recognized by both sides of the House that the Auditor General should not be subject to the direct influence of Cabinet, the direct influence of government, but should, in fact, as a watchdog, be independent and have a certain degree of autonomy from government. After all, the agency or the individual that looks at government spending, that comments on government spending, that checks to see if, in fact, the spending was done the way it was intended by this legislature, that checks and sees that nothing went wrong in the spending of money, that there was no fraud, that there was no overspending, that there was proper authority for every cent that was spent, and that the money was spent in a proper way, that the agency or individual responsible for seeing that government does all that - not only government, of course, but the agencies of government - should not come directly under the control of government, but should be independent and operate in an independent manner.

There is universal agreement in this House that the principle or idea of the bill is acceptable. We have been through second reading, which is the stage that determines whether the principle of the bill is acceptable. Now, we are into Committee of the Whole, where we can get into perhaps a little more detail. This is the point in time where members, if they have a problem with any one section of the bill, can state their opinion and it can be discussed freely back and forth. Amendments can be made to sections of the bill, and so on. We can determine if we are willing to accept how the appointment of the Auditor General occurs, whether we are willing to accept the terms and conditions of the appointment, as set out in the bill, whether we are willing to accept the level of responsibility given the Auditor General, and whether that, in fact, allows the Auditor General to carry out, in an impartial manner, the job that he should be doing.

It is very important in this particular stage of the bill that if members do have a concern about a section of the bill, they express these concerns. Now is the time to express the concerns and make the changes that are necessary to improve on the bill.

I indicated in my introduction, in second reading, of the principle stage, that, obviously, this is not a perfect bill. We have had submissions from many groups, inside, as well as outside the Province, concerning this particular bill. Each group, I suppose, can find something that they would prefer to see written in a slightly different way. It is not a perfect bill, and I would dare suggest that if the bill passes with its current wording, years down the road there will be amendments, because there perhaps will be things that are thought of that should be added or things that should be deleted or wording changes that may be made down through the years.

But, I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that whereas it is not a perfect bill, it is a very good bill. In intent, it is perfect. In structure, there may be some minor problems with it, but it is an excellent bill and will, I believe, give the Auditor General the autonomy that the Auditor General's office should have, and will ensure that there will be proper examination of government and government spending. Of course, that is what it is all about. We have to have accountability in the process.

This legislature gives authority for spending. Cabinet, through the Finance Minister, through a Budget, determines the priorities of spending. The government does. It comes to the House and the House gives approval for the spending. Then, the spending occurs during the year. And, if there were not somebody checking to see that the spending was done properly and report back to the House of Assembly to complete the accountability cycle, then that would most certainly not be proper.

So, this allows the Auditor General to do his or her job, which is to complete the accountability cycle and report back to the House of Assembly, after the people's money has been spent, as to whether that money has been spent properly and within the intent of this hon. House.

Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased to make the few opening comments in the Committee of the Whole stage of this bill and look forward to input from members on both sides of the House.

On motion, Clauses 1 through 36, carried.

A bill, "An Act Respecting The Office Of The Auditor General And The Auditing Of The Public Accounts Of The Province." (Bill No. 1).

Motion, that the Committee report having passed the bill without amendment, carried.

MR. BAKER: Order 5, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order 5, Bill No. 8.

On motion, Clauses 1 through 16, carried.

A bill, "An Act To Ratify, Confirm And Adopt An Agreement Between The Government Of Canada And The Government Of The Province Respecting Reciprocal Taxation Of These Governments And Their Agencies." (Bill No. 8).

Motion, that the Committee report having passed the bill without amendment, carried.

MR. BAKER: Order 6, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order 6, Bill No. 10.

On motion, Clauses 1 through 3, carried.

A bill, "An Act To Amend The Hearing Aid Dealers Act." (Bill No. 10).

Motion, that the Committee report having passed the bill without amendment, carried.

MR. BAKER: Order 7, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order 7, Bill No. 9.

On motion, Clauses 1 and 2, carried.

A bill, "An Act To Amend The Optometry Act, 1981." (Bill No. 9).

Motion, that the Committee report having passed the bill without amendment, carried.

AN HON. MEMBER: Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again.

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

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

MR. L. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, the Committee of the Whole have considered the matters to them referred, have directed me to report Bills 1, 8, 9 and 10 carried without amendments, and ask leave to sit again.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Motion No. 3.

On motion, that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole on Supply to consider Certain Resolutions for the Granting of Additional Supplementary Supply to Her Majesty, Mr. Speaker leaves the Chair.

Committee of the Whole

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

This is a bill that is commonly known as a Supplementary Supply Bill. It is used when governments, while the House is sitting, need money that either was in excess of what was budgeted for, or is extra to what was budgeted for. There are two ways of doing this, of course. You can get money, extra money, through special warrants which go through Cabinet, or it can be done through supplementary supply, which has to go through the House of Assembly, and where possible, and by law when the House is sitting, we would like to do it through supplementary supply, so that everybody gets a chance to debate this particular bill.

Members will notice that there are a number of headings under which supplementary supply is requested, and I would like to go through them one at a time, Mr. Chairman.

First of all, under Executive Council, the Constitutional Affairs Heading, there was $15,000 in the vote. We are planning to increase it - we want to increase it by $185,000 - so an extra $185,000 amount is there. That is for expenses related to constitutional affairs, and one of the expenses of course is the Constitutional Committee. I will get the exact amount before the afternoon is over, but it is close to the whole amount, actually, but I will get the exact amount before the afternoon is over.

Under Environment and Lands, there is $500,000.00 requested and this has to do with the recent program to respond to the unemployment situation in the Province. This is extra money involved with environmental clean-up that will create some extra jobs in the next short while in the Province, albeit short-term jobs.

Under Fisheries, again, it is a more complicated situation here but we need an extra $500,000 even though under Fisheries there is much more than $500,000 going into the program known as a job creation program. This $500,000 is needed because we were able to find the rest of the money somewhere else. We need an extra $500,000 and this involves the cost shared arrangement with the Federal Government I believe.

Under Forestry and Agriculture we are asking for an extra $1.5 million related solely to the work in forestry that has to do with silviculture, thinning, replanting, and this kind of thing, the type of work that will reap great dividends thirty or thirty-five years in the future. I am very pleased that so much of the response money has gone into the forestry sector and into silviculture in particular.

Under Justice there are two headings. Under one there is an extra $315,000 asked for, and there is an extra $225,000 asked for under the other heading. The $225,000 comes under the Commissions of Enquiry and there are a number of Commissions of Enquiry ongoing. This is something that could not have been estimated. You cannot really predict ahead of time, some years you use it all, some years you use none, and some years you need more. We need an extra $225,000 there. The $315,000 under criminal law relates, I am fairly certain, to the Mount Cashel enquiry. There were extra legal bills related to the Mount Cashel enquiry that will have to be paid, so that $315,000 relates to the Mount Cashel enquiry.

There is an extra $500,000 asked for in Municipal and Provincial Affairs again related to the Response Program, and also another $500,000 under Community Sports Facilities related to the Response Program.

Under Social Services we have $4.5 million and that is the Community Development Program, an extra $4.5 million in Social Services for a total extra amount to be voted of $8,725,000.

As you can see, Your Honour, except for a very small amount most of that money is in connection with the Response Program to the high levels of unemployment being experienced in this Province. Remember, Your Honour, that the Federal Government announced a Response Program for Fisheries and we are contributing somewhat to that, but we felt that at the same time there had to be a Response Program that was broader than the Fisheries. Even though the fishery situation is very serious there had to be a Response Program that took in more than simply the fishery so we have concentrated our effort in these other areas and hence the community development projects, the forestry money, the municipal money, and the money put into environment and lands.

Mr. Chairman, that is the Supplementary Supply Bill and I am sure Members opposite will have some comments on it in due time.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Before I begin can we just clarify? I have fifteen and then it is ten and ten. Is that the understanding? Yes.

Mr. Chairman, what this piece of legislation is, first and foremost, an admission of wrong by Government. They are admitting that they were absolutely and totally wrong. When this Government came into power they said: we will not use job creation projects. We will not have short-term employment created, artificially buoying up the economy, and now they are admitting that they have no alternative. Supplementary Supply, Mr. Chairman, as the President of Treasury Board points out, is intended to be a mechanism for Government to gain additional supply for Her Majesty for items that could not have been predicted. I would submit to this hon. House that this Government should have been able to predict that they were going to need these amounts of money to create these jobs. It took no crystal ball to know six months ago when the Budget was being written that a very large job creation programme would be required unless the Government was so naive as to believe their own statements that their great economic development plan was going to create thousands of jobs. If they did they were the only ones in the Province who believed it.

Now it has come to pass, Mr. Chairman, that this Government late in the game, very late in the year when thousands of Newfoundlanders are faced with the most disastrous Winter that they have ever faced in their lives, this Government all too late and with all too little comes forward with a programme to create some jobs in this Province. We can see how they have chosen to do it through the traditional mechanisms, the traditional departments, the bulk of it going to the Department of Social Services, and I will leave the specifics of that to some of my colleagues to deal with. The bottom line here is that this is a job creation programme that should have been in place, or perhaps more correctly, Mr. Chairman, a programme should have been put in place in the Budget to create long-term jobs instead of the lip service that is being paid to job creation and to employment stimulation by the Economic Recovery Commission and all these other foolish groups of people who are running around creating absolutely nothing.

It is interesting, Mr. Chairman, the Question Period today was taken up largely with questions relating to projects that have been delayed by this Government. The Government brought forward a Budget that indicated a very ambitious capital works programme. This Government has shouted their own praises loudly around this Province: Look at all the capital works programmes we are going to undertake this year. Far more than any year in history. But we pointed out during the Budget, of course, that most of that capital works money is coming from Ottawa. If we did not have the great highway agreement, the Roads for Rails Agreement, $750 million or $780 million -

AN HON. MEMBER: That they attacked (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: - that they attacked the previous government for, our government when we were in power. If they did not have that there would be very little taking place in this Province. If we did not have construction on the Trans-Canada Highway financed almost entirely under that Roads for Rails Agreement there would be very few construction jobs available in this Province this year. And this Government announced a programme of its own construction both of highway construction, the secondary roads programme, the municipal capital works programme, and let's be very clear, government finances very little of the municipal capital works programme. Water and sewer programme projects are undertaken by the municipalities. They require approval to borrow, they require in most cases a government guarantee and loan, and yes, government has been forces to meet some of the debt charges associated with some of the less well to do municipalities. But many of the larger municipalities, Mr. Chairman, are not only quite able to finance the projects themselves, they were ready and willing to finance the projects themselves.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs, Mr. Chairman, in my view has very deliberately this year delayed the calling and awarding of tenders for construction projects throughout this Province to dozens of municipalities, the net impact of which that money has not been spent, the municipal services have not been provided, those jobs have not been created, and many, many people in the construction industry who traditionally depend on that type of activity in order to gain, unfortunately, enough unemployment stamps to see them through the winter are now faced with a season where they do not have enough unemployment stamps.

Many, many people have called me in recent weeks and said: I have six or seven stamps only and I have no prospects of getting more. Thank God people in the fishing industry, who were facing the same situation, have a programme to help them, as they should. But how about people who traditionally make their livelihood from the construction industry and find themselves this year deficient in a number of stamps to see them and their families through the winter. Hopefully that is what this programme is designed to try to deal with. But I say to the Minister of Social Services that it is all too little and all too late, much too late in the year, much too late. The Minister nods his head, he agrees of course; that is why I say that this is not an unpredictable expenditure. A program should have been in place, or a much more ambitious program with tens of millions of dollars more creating more permanent jobs, so that we do not have to resort to this.

We do not disagree with the Government's problem that they have with creating short-term employment; we do not like it either, but it is better than nothing. If that is all you have to cling to, particularly this year where we are faced with a national recession, and the Premier can stand up and say that people of Newfoundland have not felt the recession as badly as the rest of Canada, he better get out and talk to some of the people of Newfoundland, because there are tens of thousands of them who are facing starvation out there this winter!

He is burying his head in the sand if he does not understand that people of Newfoundland and Labrador, not only in rural Newfoundland let me tell you, Mr. Chairman; thousands of them in urban Newfoundland, right here in St. John's and Mount Pearl are facing very difficult situations this year; situations that need to be addressed. These programs help. They could have been better designed, they could have been implemented more efficiently and effectively, had this Government faced the facts earlier in the year, that they were going to need such a project and such a program to help thousands of people in this Province.

Mr. Chairman, the amazing thing is that there are tens of millions of dollars unspent in municipalities this year, tens of millions of dollars unspent on municipal/capital works programmes that would not have cost this Government one cent. I referred, during Question Period to the Mount Pearl Arena, a $5 million project, financed entirely, 100 per cent by the City of Mount Pearl, which did not require a Government guarantee, simply because the Act says so, required the Minister to give approval tomorrow. The city could show very clearly they could finance it; they did not need any subsidy. They asked for no capital contribution.

You know, I point out that every arena built in this Province has had at least a half a million dollars; most of them now, in latter years three quarters of a million dollars contributed by the Department of Recreation. The City of Mount Pearl did not request it, Mr. Chairman - why not? Because two or three years ago, we had the Summer Games in Mount Pearl and we received capital funding at that time to build the Provincial track and field facility, and when we were in Government, we told the City of Mount Pearl: do not come back looking for major capital funding for at least five years, there is not enough to go around, do not come looking for any more, and the City of Mount Pearl asked for nothing from the Province for this $5 million project.

It is badly needed, nobody in sports, hockey or figure skating questions the need for that facility in Mount Pearl. There is no question at all, it is clearly a self-sufficient project. $5 million worth of construction activity, seventy jobs that could have been in place today. There could have been seventy people working today on that project and working all through the winter if the Minister of Municipal Affairs had not deliberately delayed that project, and I say that because I know on good authority that the approval recommended by his officials sat on his desk for more than a month.

The approval process itself took four months. The Minister, being a representative, being one of the elected members who represent the City of Mount Pearl, you would think he would have moved it through even more quickly than any other, you would think he would have taken a personal interest in it. No, just the opposite. What we have seen is another blatant example of his contempt for the people who elected him. Absolute contempt for the people who elected him and he takes his revenge out on the young people by delaying the arena project and by eliminating seventy jobs over this winter when they are sorely needed. That is only one project.

I venture to say that every one of my colleagues and many hon. gentlemen opposite have projects in their own districts that have been delayed and that could have moved forward and created jobs and economic activity in this Province. The spin-off benefits are tremendous, not only the direct jobs but the activity that takes place in and around those communities and in the construction industry generally. It would not have cost the Province one cent, simply approval to borrow to the municipalities, government guarantees, a contingent liability in the case of failure to be able to pay only. It could have created thousands of more jobs than this $8 million is creating and not cost this Government one cent, not immediately. Yes, admittedly some of those loans would have to be supported by the Province down the road but the majority of them would not, and there is absolutely no excuse for that activity not having taken place this year. There is absolutely no excuse, Mr. Chairman. What this is, this Bill, is an admission of guilt from the Government, guilt because they should have known that this money would be needed either for these projects or for other projects to replace them. Without a doubt this Government should have known it. These are not unusual things that take place during the year. There may be one or two things, the Commissions of Enquiry, we accept the fact that some of these things are perhaps impossible to totally estimate simply because Commissions of Enquiry are given a blank cheque. I am not sure why Commissions of Enquiry are great judicial bodies that are absolutely untouchable. When you get into the courts it seems that nobody, not even Government, can have any control over their own expenditures. Why can we not tell a Commission of Enquiry: here is what you need and if you spend more than that you will come back before the House of Assembly and justify why that additional money is needed. It is about time that we stopped giving blank cheques to Commissions of Enquiry. I have seen some pretty expensive Commissions of Enquiry in my day. Maybe it is time we dealt with that.

Mr. Chairman, I am going to stop for now because there are other colleagues who want to speak. My time is pretty well up anyway and I will have another chance to speak in a few moments.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Chairman, I was anxious to get to my feet because there are a number of students in the gallery and I have always placed a lot of importance on the youth of the Province, the youth of the country, but especially the youth of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, because I say without a doubt they are the greatest and the most valuable resource that we could have for our future. It is interesting today that they are staying during the debate and especially the debate on Supplementary Supply because it has to do with jobs and it has to do with money paid out by your parents, the taxpayers of the Province, and it has a lot to do with the future, a lot to do with the future of these people. Those children, those young people, are in school trying to get an education with the hope and having some confidence that when they finish their education they will have some future in this Province. What is this House of Assembly talking about today? The Opposition critic for Finance gets up. We are talking about social services, make work programs, welfare jobs, get your UI, get ten weeks work, get twenty weeks work so you can go on UI thirty or forty weeks of the year. That is something to be preaching to the youth of our Province. That is something to be arguing back and forth - what is good for the Province today.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is important.

MR. EFFORD: No, it is not important. It should not be discussed whatsoever. This should be the richest little Province in Canada. If we used half our brains in using the resources that this Province has, as we do in making make work programs, social service programs, community development programs, picking up headstones, and cleaning garbage out of ditches. The youth of this Province would have a better future, if we utilized the stocks and the resources on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and Labrador. In Newfoundland and Labrador we employ on a part-time basis some 30,000 people in the fishing industry. We have a quota of approximately 800,000 tons of fish inside the 200 mile limit that Canada allocates every year. Do you realize that we give, each and every year, inside our own waters, inside the 200 mile limit 350,000 tons of fish to foreign countries? All species. I am not talking about cod. It is here in black and white put out by the Federal Government, 350,000 tons. If we took that amount of fish and processed just half of that extra in this Province -

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

I wonder if the hon. Member would mind me interrupting here for a minute? I apologize for having to do this, but we have a number of students who you have been referring to in the gallery and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome them, just in case they might have left before you had finished. So I would like to welcome on behalf of all Members to the gallery nine students from Mary Simms All Grade School, Main Brook; sixteen students from the H. G. Fillier Academy in Englee; and eleven students from the Evely Collegiate, Roddickton. They are accompanied by their teachers Oliver Arthur, George O'Reilly and Fraser Metcalfe.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Chairman, I am sure the students were not going to leave till I was finished. I am sure they wanted to hear what I had to say. Because it is important to their future. I know that anybody - what surprises me, even shocks me, is knowing that the Opposition critic for fisheries would stay in his place here in the House of Assembly today and say that the figures that I just quoted, that the foreigners are fishing inside our 200 mile limit, is wrong.

That is the very essence of what the problem that we have with the fishery today is. Even the people in responsible positions do not understand what is happening on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. I wanted to relate to those figures - whether they are exact; they might be out 1,000 pounds or a few tons, so what? If we are talking 350,000 tons of fish. Let's take the squid alone this year. Canada this year just gave to Japan to fish inside the 200 mile limit a quota of 32 million pounds of squid.

Now let me ask you a question: How many jobs - if those squid were caught by the inshore fishermen of this Province around the coast of Newfoundland - would that provide for the people of this Province? I can assure you one thing. It would be several thousand people who would not be reduced to going to the Social Service's office or going to a make work programme, and being laughed at on W5 and across Canada as the joke of Newfoundland working on 10-42. Your very parents are made fun of because we are reduced to that sort of an attitude because of the way we are being treated by the rest of Canada, and by the central government of this Country.

But we are only talking about one species when we talk about squid. Let's talk about tuna. Fifteen dollars a pound. What did the Federal Government do last week in creating jobs in this Province? Gave Japan a quota last week of 180 tons of tuna to be caught inside the 200 mile limit by the Japanese factory-freezer trawlers while our own boats, our own fishermen, have to beg and hide in the dark of night to try to earn a living. As a result of that we are losing multi-millions of dollars and the parents of the young people sitting in the gallery could be working and earning a decent living. I can go back forty years, and I have never seen a Newfoundlander in my area who if he could get work would refuse work, as much as people say that Newfoundlanders only want ten weeks. It is not right. The majority of the people in this Province are honest, hard-working people and would work with anyone in this country if they had the opportunity. But when you have nothing else then ten weeks then you have no other choice only to do that. It is time for people to put their energies in the right place.

It is like the other day. I was talking to the hon. Member for St. John's East Extern district. Went out cod-jigging this year. Let me tell you this. There was a crew there got in trouble hauling their cod trap. Some tide came up and they needed some help so they sung out: boys, come over, we need help. They went aboard the boat, what happened? To help a man who was in trouble while hauling his trap they were arrested for illegal fishing and have to appear in court on November 7. That is the way we are treated in this Province. People just out - two young men, out jigging cod as a pastime, went aboard to help a man and got arrested. We wonder why we are discouraged, demoralized, why we have the attitude we have. Talk about Quebec!

Newfoundlanders are being kicked at, stomped on and made to suffer the plight of poverty and darkness. And (Inaudible) we stand as Members of this House of Assembly instead of all of us fighting together, banding together, taking our fight to Ottawa, trying to regain what is rightfully ours, trying to make some future for the students - not only the students in the gallery but all people in this Province, all students, all the future of our Province. What have they got to face? Imagine telling those kids: Go get your grade twelve. Spend your time day and night studying to get your grade twelve, go on to vocational school, go to Memorial University, spend $40,000 or $50,000 getting your education. When you come out we will give you a community development programme for ten weeks. We will give you a make-work programme. We have some facilities we need built out in Port de Grave, a wharf and some beach clean up. Just imagine telling those students that, ladies and gentlemen.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) community college (inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: You can talk all you like. Talk sense because the students are listening to you in the gallery. But the fact remains, Mr. Chairman, that as a Province we have to regain what was rightfully ours, and until we all band together we are going to face nothing in the future and we will be arguing fifty years down the road. How are we going to get our community development or are we going to get our make-work programmes this winter? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I would like to have a few words, if I may, to this legislation.

Mr. Chairman, the Member for Port de Grave did a fine job with time to try to play to the students in the gallery. What the Member for Port de Grave forgot to say was that he was part of the Government, he was in the Cabinet as Minister of Social Services, that created in this Province today a climate where the Minister of Employment last week had to go out and announce job creation projects because that Government, Mr. Chairman, the Government that we have in this Province today did not support the projects of the previous administration. They said they were not good projects, Mr. Chairman, and the Minister of Employment campaigned in the last election against the very thing that he brought into this assembly this past week in terms of short-term projects. He worked against it, he campaigned against it. So what we have to do, Mr. Chairman, is be honest with ourselves and be honest with Newfoundlanders, and that is what this Government is failing to participate in, that type of honesty and to be up front.

Short-term projects are not the answer to the economic woes of this Province, Mr. Chairman. Short-term projects are not the answer, but it is better than nothing at all. It is better than literally the thousands of people who are unemployed in this Province today. Thousands and thousands, 43,000 people as a matter of fact.

AN HON. MEMBER: Fifty-three thousand now.

MR. TOBIN: Forty-three thousand people unemployed in this Province today because of the policies of this Administration. So is it better, Mr. Chairman, to be able to give these people short-term projects where they can go to work and do something meaningful or is it better to keep them on social assistance or something else they do not want to be at?

I would say the Minister of Social Services who had to bring in $5 million this year - well it is a lot less than it was previously - but $5 million was just brought in the other day, and before the Minister was able to do anything whatsoever in terms of looking at the Province and where to allocate the money, it was spent, it was committed. The Minister confirmed that yesterday in the Legislature. I know the Minister would like to have $25 million, but this Government is refusing to put in place the type of funding that was there before. So what can the Minister do? Look at what was spent overnight. That is what we can do.

What we have to have is a government that cares about rural Newfoundland, a government that takes action about all of Newfoundland. We see now travelling around the Province, Mr. Chairman, a group headed by Mr. Harold Lundrigan going around the Province. As a matter of fact they were in my district last night. Doing what, Mr. Chairman? An economic strategy for twenty-five years time. Well, Mr. Chairman, there will be a lot of short-term projects before that twenty-five years comes into place, and the students in the gallery will all have graduated and gone on to hopefully find employment. But what we need is a government that is going to look at creating meaningful, long-term jobs now, not twenty-five years time, and that direction has not been brought into place.

Immediately following the last election, what did the Premier do? He said he was going to put in place the Economic Recovery Commission and it was going to do wonders. Yes, Mr. Chairman, they bought a lot of computers from American or mainland firms and created big plush offices for Doug House and a half a dozen more.

What jobs have they created, Mr. Speaker? What jobs have they created? I do not know of any jobs that have been created. The only jobs that have been created in this Province in the last two and a half years are the ones that ACOA have created.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, and political pork-barrelling by this Government here. Former members, Beaton Tulk, Mr. Speaker, a former Member of the Legislature, and Fraser Lush, a former Provincial Campaign Manager for the Liberal Party, and a few of them, a few of them, Mr. Speaker, found jobs. But the people, Mr. Speaker, in this Province have not found jobs.

When this party came to power, Mr. Speaker, there were 500 to 600 people working in the Marystown Shipyard, 500 to 600 people - highly skilled trades people - working in the Marystown Shipyard. Today, Mr. Speaker, in two and a half years, in two and a half years, Mr. Speaker, they have brought the work force of the Marystown Shipyard to thirty-five people. Now is that the type of jobs that they are talking about? I had a man, Mr. Speaker, in my house the weekend. He worked in the Marystown Shipyard for twenty-one years, twenty-one years. Another man that everybody should know, or heard of, is Gary Brenton, the President of the Union. Twenty years employed in the Marystown Shipyard, and Mr. Speaker, because of this Administration, they are no longer working in the Marystown Shipyard. They are like tens of thousands of other Newfoundlanders. They have been, Mr. Speaker, the victim of the economic curse that the Wells' Administration has inflicted upon the people of this Province. That is what has happened, and it is time, Mr. Speaker, that this Government take some initiative to create meaningful jobs.

What about the 2,500 people they fired from the Public Service last year? Twenty-five hundred people given the boot, Mr. Speaker, given the boot. Go to the Mainland and find jobs. What about every mothers' son that the Premier was going to bring home in the last election campaign? Well, Mr. Speaker, their mothers have joined their sons and their daughters on the Mainland. That is what has happened in this Province. That is what has happened in this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: Out migration.

MR. TOBIN: Out migration. A brain-drain, Mr. Speaker, of young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. A brain-drain of young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to the Mainland, faster, Mr. Speaker, faster than -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Speaker. Well, Mr. Speaker, I can tell you one thing. That is why they sent the Minister of Social Services back home. But that is what we have in this Province, an uncaring Government, that cares nothing about the youth of this Province. To hear the Member from Port de Grave up, Mr. Speaker, talking about the youth of this Province, when he sits over there and supports a Government, who stands up, Mr. Speaker, and votes with the Government, who praises the Premier, who praises the Minister, who praises his colleagues, Mr. Speaker. To see the Member from Port de Grave over there who does all of that kind of thing, stand up and talk about his concern for the youth of this Province.

Let the Member from Port de Grave join -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Speaker, but let him join the people of Newfoundland in opposing the policies and programs of this Government, if he wants to do something meaningful for the youth of this Province. If he wants to see young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians staying home and getting involved, Mr. Speaker, in various trades and professions, working at home, living at home, well that can be obtained. That can be achieved, but it can only be achieved if there is a leadership in this Province, if there is a Government in this Province that are committed, that are committed, Mr. Speaker. But this Government is committed to two things. They are committed to a resettlement program within the Province, and a resettlement program outside of the Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: That is the basis of commitment of this Government, a resettlement program both inside the Province and outside of the Province.

MR. SIMMS: Big is beautiful.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, big is beautiful. We are seeing how they are trying to turn everything, Mr. Speaker, into larger centres, we are seeing how they want to take the northeast Avalon and put it into one big centre, we are seeing how they want to amalgamate the smaller communities in this Province that do not want to be amalgamated, Mr. Speaker. Why should the people of Lewin's Cove in my district become citizens of Burin if they do not want to? Why should they be forced to be part of it?

MR. SIMMS: A good question!

AN HON. MEMBER: They could be saving money.

MR. SIMMS: Closing hospitals.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, closing hospitals in this Province. The Minister of Health should hang his head in shame. As a matter of fact, the Minister of Health should not even come into this legislature.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

MR. TOBIN: By leave, Mr. Chairman?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave! By leave!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No leave! No leave!

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

MR. MURPHY: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Just a few short comments. Because how could you sit in your place and listen to the rhetoric, the gobbledegook, the whatever, from the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West, when deep down in his own heart he knows every single solitary word the Member for Port de Grave said to be the truth? The truth.

We have watched in the last ten years - I suppose the biggest impact on what this Province and this Government has been able to do has been the reduction of transfer payments to the tune of somewhere in the vicinity of $782 million. We see no help from our friends opposite and their counterparts in Ottawa, absolutely no help. They have let the fishery go to a point where there is a good possibility that within another three or four years left - and the hon. the Member for Grand Bank knows what I am saying to be fact. He has watched the demise of 3PS to the point where there is hardly a fish left. And we are seeing it on the Grand Banks, the Nose and the Tail of the Banks.

Now, this Province has no jurisdiction over the fishing industry, absolutely none. We have tried, their administration tried, to put some kind of sense into Ottawa saying: Look, we cannot protect the fishery. The only thing the other government had was the Norma and Gladys and three water bombers. Now, for the life of me, I do not know how we are going to get out and look after our own fishery. We depend wholly and solely on the Federal Government to ensure that foreign overfishing does not take place on the Grand Banks. And what happens? Every time there seems to be - now, I do not know, perhaps this might be a statement that I will have to retract some time - but every time there seems to be a trade deal between Ottawa and Europe or Asia or somewhere else, whether it is tractors or whatever it is out of the Golden Triangle, we see another little piece of a licence sliding off to that country and another bit of fish going, whether it is utilized, under-utilized, or whatever. Slowly but surely we have watched Ottawa, a very highly paid bunch of bureaucrats who understand nothing about the Newfoundland fishery, dishing it away hand over fist, day in and day out.

Now, nobody in this House can deny that. Absolutely nobody can deny it. Hon. members opposite know that it is time, and the time has come, for every member in this House to bring in a Private Member's resolution addressing the unilateral approach to our fishery. We are not going to be left with much else.

Now, my hon. colleague for Burin - Placentia West - and I have to get back to him. I am talking a little bit too much about what we already know, I guess, but a lot of us don't seem to find the courage to be able to address. He talks about the layoffs that are taking place throughout the Province. The hon. member well knows there are layoffs taking place all across Canada, all over the United States. We are in a recession that is very slow to climb out of. He can point and rant and rave and shout and blame this Administration, this Government, when deep down, he knows that a colleague and/or a party that he supports, obviously, for the first time in Canadian history, or the first time in a long time, when Mr. Wilson was the Finance Minister, created a self-made Canadian recession and never waited for our friends down South.

So what happened? The poorest province in this country took a double whammy from Mr. Mulroney and his colleagues - and among his colleagues are two members from this Province - who caused all kinds of devastation for this Government and the administration of funding that we needed to apply to not only pay off a Provincial deficit - and I want these young people to understand the tax burden that is around your neck before you get into the workplace - in excess of $4 billion. Each and every Newfoundlander is responsible for that debt. The interest on that debt is approximately $613 million per annum.

The first thing this Government has to find every single solitary year, year in and year out, up to 1991, is $613 million, of which 74 per cent was borrowed by our friends opposite. So we know, and you should know, who has put the yoke and the anchor around the people of this Province. But we hear rhetoric from over on that side. They do not want to talk about yesterday, they want to talk about now. Well, this Government opened a set of books - it is like getting a store or buying a house - and as soon as we opened them up, we found out that we had a responsibility on behalf of the people of this Province to handle all of this, the deficit, the interest payments, the responsibility of $900 million a year for health care. We hear all kinds of people talking about how health care has gone downhill. Well, find $900 million to look after 600,000 people spread out from Nain to LaPoile to St. John's. It takes an awful lot of hard work by, I would suggest to you and to the people of this Province, the best Government that this Province has ever had, without question.

I also say to you that your bill, the bill for educating the young people in grammar, post-secondary, high school and university is almost $700 million a year. So you need to understand. The hon. the Member for LaPoile knows what I am saying is right. You need to understand the tremendous budget that is needed to at least fulfil what we have today, with a tax base so very, very limited.

Now, we can get up and bawl and shout. The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West and hon. members on this side and that side remember his advice only - the old shrimp boat sinker, do you remember that story? Now, all of a sudden, the workers down at the Newfoundland Dockyard come in with a no-strike clause. But there is no advice turned away the Marystown Shipyard workers. They took the $450,000 worth of work as fast as they could get their hands on it, and rightfully so, because work opportunity is not that available today.

So, Mr. Chairman, all the rhetoric about what this Government has done and what it has not done and what it is doing and how it is putting the people through all this persecution, and whatever! The hon. member knows full well, after the tasks and the deeds of previous administrations, that this Government has finally grabbed the bull by the horns and put in a policy whereby the young people of this Province, when they get ready to go into the workplace, will have a better opportunity without a tax burden around them, without a bill that they inherited the minute they were born, all because of poor management by our friends opposite.

When you consider that the Liberal Government has been in power now, I think, somewhere close to twenty-six years since we joined Confederation, and the Tory Party for seventeen years, and of the provincial debt incurred, over $4 billion, 74 per cent, was incurred by our friends opposite on such wonderful ventures as cucumbers, and I do not want to get into that, I vowed I would never bring that up again -


MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. MURPHY: - to bring it close to $30 million that we could provide the pious member for Mount Pearl -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. MURPHY: - who got up today and talked -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. MURPHY: Oh, and I am in full flight! A few closing remarks, Mr. Chairman.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: That is the best contribution.

MR. PARSONS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I did not really mean to say anything today, but, with the rhetoric from the other side, I just could not stay in my seat.

When I looked up - and I cannot see those young people up there in the gallery. Hearing the Member for St. John's South and the Member for Port de Grave making what comments they had, which were without any body whatsoever, I say, of all the rhetoric I have heard in the years I have been here, this was it!

What I want to say to the young people up there is that there is a future in this Province, but you are the people who will play a major role in our reaching that future. The future is bright. This is the best Province in Canada and Canada is a great country.

Let me go back to the hon. the Member for St. John's South. Every time he rises in his seat, he bashes the feds. This is his philosophy. But I want to go on record today, and say to the hon. gentleman, after what has happened in his district with the close-down of the plant on the Southside, and the near extinction of the dry dock, that only for the hon. John Crosbie and help from the Federal Government, he would have been lynched! He would have been lynched, except for those people having come to his rescue.

What has the Province done for those people? They were going to put a million dollars into a fund to help the people on the Southside who were laid off. Tell me about it. Tell me where that million dollars went which was to have helped the people on the Southside. Was there any money spent?


MR. PARSONS: Where was it?

MR. MURPHY: It was given to NatSea to extended, for a year-and-a-half, the life of the fish plant (inaudible) the Member for Grand Bank.

MR. PARSONS: What fish plant - what is over there now? There is as much work done in some of the stages around the Avalon Peninsula, as is done in that plant at the Southside.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PARSONS: Tell the truth about it.


AN HON. MEMBER: He does not know about it.

MR. PARSONS: You don't about it, that's what is wrong. You don't know about it, and you get up telling those young people in the gallery that it was all the fault of the previous Government. Your Government inherited 74 per cent - but that 74 per cent was caused by the previous Government.

AN HON. MEMBER: Apples and oranges.

MR. PARSONS: Apples and oranges, that is not true, either. That is not right.

MR. SIMMS: That was paying the interest on (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: That was paying the interest on the boot factories, on the battery factories and all the other schemes that the Liberal Government came up with from 1949 to 1972. That was paying the money back. We, on this side, had to reach out and get the money to pay off the debts owed by the previous Liberal regime.

Now, I want to have a few comments about the Member for Port de Grave. He spoke about the fathers and the mothers who do not have the monies necessary for their children to attend school and after that, college or whatever. And I say to him, yes, I suppose there are people out there who are having problems as it pertains to financing education, and I am sure that the Minister of Education will readily agree that there are problems within his department.

Anyway, the point is that there is no easy solution, nor has there been over a number of years. But I heard the statistics today, on my way home to lunch, and apparently, we are getting better over the long haul. It didn't come easy. It is very hard to compare the schools that I remember with those we have today. There is no comparison. We have come a long way, and I think, most of the time now, we are our own worst enemies. We are always out there saying, Oh, Newfoundlanders, we know nothing. We are all a stunned bunch and we have no education. We are not up to the national average. I say, poppycock. It is those people who want to put themselves on a pedestal who are coming on with this type of rhetoric. We have come a long way, and we have a great number of educated Newfoundlanders. We can go to any part of the world - any part of the mainland or the United States, this part of the world or any other, and find Newfoundlanders working in responsible positions, educated here in Newfoundland. I don't think we should take one step backwards in saying that our children are not as good and do not have greater potential, perhaps, than many other people in this hemisphere. Where do they get their ability? They have inherited a lot of their ability from their ancestors, a lot of it, natural ability, and with the training we have at hand now, and our expertise, I take no step backwards. I do not shudder a moment when I hear all this old stuff going on, that our education system is being downtrodden, and we don't have this and we don't have that.

We have good facilities, but we need improvements. I have spoken to the Minister of Education on several occasions. We talked at length about sharing facilities, and I agree with the minister, that this has to come about. I think we would have a much better system if we shared the facilities we have, and if new facilities were to be built, then sharing, again, would be the order of the day. I have no misgivings about that.

I think there is a bright future for our young people but we all have to work at it. I think that, in working, we will find the solutions to the problems that exist today. I had the privilege on Saturday of going out to Mosquito Cove and Bull Arm to see the development taking place there. I would love to have seen the place before this construction started, but I could see readily that there was a lot of technology that we did not have years ago that went into the building of that site as it is today. I am sure that within the next couple of years, people like me will be flabbergasted. We will hardly be able to comprehend the depth of what is going to transpire in that particular area, the infrastructure that will be there to encourage other consortiums to come in and perhaps do the same thing that Mobil, and those people, MCDC, are doing now, at the Bull Arm site. Again, we will be, perhaps, first with the capabilities needed for projects to be carried out in this Province.

The Member for Port de Grave also spoke about 3NO, and tuna, and what the feds were doing with respect to offshore rights, and in some instances, I have no quarrel with what he was saying. I think there is a lot of fish out there that perhaps could go to Newfoundlanders and be processed in Newfoundland. I think, after what has happened this year, that perhaps there will be changes made in the Department of Fisheries next year, and an allocation of cod should be made to Newfoundland fishermen from 3NO. I hope there will be, because I think they have a right to some of the fish that is out there. Now, we can get up an use all kinds of tactics and rhetoric and say, every time a trade agreement is made, Newfoundland fish is traded off, but we have to be realistic in saying that is a way of life.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is gone somewhere.

MR. PARSONS: Yes, it is, but Canada is a country, and we are part of that country. We are not out here alone in the Atlantic, we are part of a country. I do n't condone the breaking of the law in 3NO but I can also see the plight of the fishermen out there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. PARSONS: Could I have a minute to clue up?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave! By leave!

MR. CHAIRMAN: By leave.

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Chairman, there are several other topics that I would like to touch on, and I will at a later date, but my hon. friend wishes to have his say, and I will take my seat.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

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

MR. RAMSAY: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I wish to speak for a few minutes to Bill 39, referring to the raising of monies (Mr. Ramsay's mike was not turned on and a portion of what he said was inaudible).

This, in relation to my own district, is of great concern to me, of course. A situation that I understand occurred earlier this morning, by virtue of a news report that I was listening to on the radio this morning before coming in here to work, concerned the Emergency Fishery Response Program which the Federal Government has seen fit to introduce here in the Province. Last year, in the provincial District of LaPoile, the local organizations along with the efforts and support of the Premier of the Province, the Minister of Fisheries, myself and others, made a very strong case to the Federal Government for a special Emergency Fishery Response Package for LaPoile District to counter the devastating fishery we have had there over the last number of years. It is possibly the first place in the Province where a long-term problem was identified with the fish stocks, thereby creating a situation where fishermen and plant workers throughout my provincial district were, of course, suffering greatly in the lack of catch and, thereby, in the amount of work they had available to them. Due to no fault of their own, they, in turn, were affected as such and the Federal Government were convinced, through representations made, that they had to react to this.

This year we see a program which the Federal Government, through the encouragement of the Provincial Government, has seen fit to extend to the whole Province, the various areas where the problems occur. Labrador is, I understand, having a very difficult time, but the problem is no less difficult in the LaPoile District. I would also include in that parts of St. George's District, up into the Stephenville area, some individuals who live there, the area served by a certain employment center in the Stephenville regional area.

What has happened is they have now seen fit, accordingly, that they say there is no problem. I was informed by union representatives that the Federal Government have now seen that there is a winter fishery, they say, in the LaPoile area and, therefore, unless we can really demonstrate a need - in other words, if we do not make a good push or make a good effort in identifying this as a specific problem again this year - they will refuse to fund any emergency fishery response projects in the LaPoile area.

Mr. Chairman, this really concerns me because work last year which was done and carried out through the offices of the Community Futures Committee and through the local Canada Employment Center Office, now seems like it is going to fall on our plate. Now, granted we will put together the work, this is standard work that should normally be done by the employment centers concerned and we have to again turn ourselves inside out in proving to the Federal Government bureaucrats who have seen fit to suggest that some of these people have to be weaned away from their dependency on make work projects - I fully agree that some people may be hanging on. There may be some people who are on the project, as it is often said, just for the sake of qualifying and getting along to the next year and that, but that makes a very small percentage of the situation. That would make up probably 10 to 15 per cent of the total and in some cases much less than that.

These people, this other eighty-five to ninety per cent we have in the district will be left out because of the suggestion by these bureaucrats that ten to fifteen per cent of the people do not need it so therefore we are going to cut the whole thing adrift. Now this is infuriating, Mr. Chairman, and we have to now double our efforts to make these approaches to the Federal Government officials and see to it through Mr. Crosbie, who I am certain has made on the Fisheries Broadcast - if was listening to it and it was not some kind of mistake on my part - he said that no one would be left out. Everyone in need with regards to the fishery, that can be a demonstrated need, will be looked after. And if this is allowed to continue, then that statement of Mr. Crosbie was indeed false. So I want to get that on the record, Mr. Chairman.

I also wanted to mention the problem with my area as being so real. I was home on Friday past just before the weekend and I received a phone call from a fisherman. This fisherman stated to me that he had never called an elected Member of the House of Assembly, his MP, ever before, for anything. And this gentleman was lucky enough to qualify, he was lucky enough to get his ten weeks work. He had no other source of income, no other way of maintaining his family. His wife was having difficulty getting work at the local plant because they were working to a certain amount, but not enough to keep their third shift on, so he had nothing. They went over fishing off of Nova Scotia, not fishing for stamps but fishing for fish, out fishing trying to a make a living for their families and the whole lot of them had to come back home with nothing. The trip probably cost them each $200 or $300 after the cost of the boat was taken out of it, and this fisherman had nothing.

Mr. Chairman, I was on the phone speaking to him and trying to explain to him that the Province was hopefully going to be able to fund some non-fishery related projects in the area and that the Federal Government would, as we had been told, look after the fishermen and fish plant workers who did not qualify. This left him out because he, of course, had the stamps as we call it to qualify for UI starting the fifteenth of November.

People have to understand that on the southwest coast we have fishermen who have to qualify twice a year. They need twenty weeks of work every year unlike anywhere else in the Province, as I understand it, in which they only need ten. But they have two fisheries, they work in the summer, and they also work in the winter, and they require ten weeks work one part of the year, up until November fifteenth they can file a claim, and then on May fifteenth they have to re-qualify again. So they must have ten weeks work in each of those two periods which makes it that much more difficult for them.

Granted, if you look at the problem over the past five years with the devastating fishery on the southwest coast, and this gentleman, of course, was telling me about his plight. The man when he called me on the phone was telling me this and he wanted to know what he could do. He was driven to tears on the phone, and it was very, very touching and very difficult for me, of course, because he was embarrassed by this. He was embarrassed by having to go to a point where he was driven to tears when talking to his MHA, he was somewhat embarrassed. And of course his only place now to turn is to the Department of Social Services. He has nowhere to turn. He's had a difficult time over the last number of years, and if anyone doubts within the federal bureaucracy the sincerity of these individuals who require the Federal Government's assistance because of the mismanagement of the fish stocks, who requires the Federal Government's assistance because there is an emergency response required. It is an emergency for these people. It is not simply to say that these people are dependent upon the fishery response grants year after year, after year, that in and of itself shows a lack of understanding for the problem that these people face. The problem being that the fish are simply not there, that these people do not have the wherewithal to manage from unemployment cheque until such time as they can get their next unemployment cheque. They have a need and this gentleman expressed it to me. It was upsetting to me that this man had to do that in his conversation. It was to the point when my wife walked into the room and noticed that I was a bit upset about this and it brought tears to my eyes as well to have this person brought to their knees because of mismanagement by somebody, I would assume the Federal bureaucracy, in managing the fish stocks. It was something that I have carried with me ever since. It certainly is a point that I want to get on the record because the Federal Government will certainly have to continue to be responsive as they have at times in the past. Mr. Speaker, I want to get it on the record.

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

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

I would like to spend a few minutes also on this particular piece of housekeeping, Bill No. 44. Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that here we are deciding on the spending of Her Majesty's money and I noticed that there are only six of the Cabinet Ministers present when we are discussing financial matters as pertaining to this Government. I notice one of the Ministers just came in. In fact it is interesting that that particular Minister just came in because I want to address a couple of my remarks to the Minister responsible for Municipal Affairs.

Earlier today in Question Period my colleague from Mount Pearl brought up some issues concerning monies not spent in Municipal Affairs and the President of Treasury Board then said name some and we will check into it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is most interesting to note, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs is aware of this, that the $1.3 million that was in the Budget for this year to be spent in the community of Hopedale on the water and sewage project - which by the way is funded 70/30 by the Federal Government and which would have only cost this Government roughly about $300,000. The Minister said a year ago that he would ensure that the project would be advertised early in the year so that we can get the construction under way.

Now, I notice when I am looking across the room here at our newest Member, the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay, is listening very attentively because I listened to his comments on election night. I do not know if I have the comments in the exact context of what he said but I think he left the impression with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that if he does not get some of his questions and some of his promises and some of his concerns answered that he may not be here as long as he would want to be here. I understand from the hon. Member that is what he said, we had better get some of those things done, but I should say to my hon. colleague beware of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, because if there was ever a wolf in sheep's clothing I would compare the Minister of Municipal Affairs to that. I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that this person, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, will promise things today but he will not produce them when he says he will. For example, Mr. Chairman, out of the $1.3 million that was allotted in the budget this year for the Town of Hopedale, only about $350,000 will be spent, and it is carried over into the next year. It is all because of the attitude of this Government and the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Now, Mr. Chairman, I would suggest the same thing is happening all throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Chairman, I wanted to bring up a subject, but I did not want to bring it up in the absence of the Minister, but now I am quite pleased that the Minister of Development - I know the Minister of Development now is speaking to the backbencher from Pleasantville, but at the same time I would like for him to listen to what I am going to say, because it is most important to the Minister. Mr. Chairman, in the Spring sitting of the Legislature I asked the Minister a question concerning a report on the Government stores in the District of Torngat Mountains. The Government operates those five stores, and I understand that the Minister had a report compiled by a consultant from Halifax which cost the taxpayers about $70,000.

Now, I would like to know from the Minister, Mr. Chairman, in this debate - Mr. Chairman, I want the attention of the Minister. I am willing to sit down and let the Minister answer the question. I am serious, I could probably take my seat and come back again, Mr. Chairman. Would the Minister advise me when he intends to release to the public the report that was commissioned by his Department concerning the Government stores. I am willing to let the Minister answer that question now if he wants to.

MR. FUREY: Ask me in Question Period.

MR. WARREN: Do you want to answer it now?


MR. WARREN: You do not want to answer it now? Okay. I thank the Minister for that, because I am going to release it today.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: No, I am going to release it today. I have it.

AN HON. MEMBER: He has it.

MR. WARREN: Yes, I have the same report. I have given you seven months now to release it and you will not do it. So, therefore, as of today I will release the report. I have it here. The Minister is refusing to release it to the public.

Mr. Chairman, the Minister just said: ask me the question in question period. Mr. Chairman, I have had this report now for five months and the Minister has had it for seven months and he will not release it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, I have the report.

AN HON. MEMBER: Where did you get it.

MR. WARREN: I have the report, Mr. Chairman, and it is going to be released to the public tomorrow, because you will not release it, that is why. It is going to be released tomorrow.

AN HON. MEMBER: Where did you get it?

MR. WARREN: Now, where I got it, I will not tell you, Sir. The media can ask me that question tomorrow and I will answer them.

Mr. Chairman, that report will be released to the public tomorrow because you are refusing to release it, something that you have been asked to do. You have had it for seven months and you will not release the report. I tell you, Mr. Chairman, that this report does condemn this Government and also, at the same time, it does give some answers, some reasons, and also some avenues for this Government to approach. This Government has been sitting back on this report since last February, Mr. Chairman.

MR. TOBIN: You have had it seven months, you cannot be able to read and write either.

AN HON. MEMBER: You have the goods on him now.

MR. SIMMS: Haul in your executive.

MR. WARREN: Mr. Chairman, let me go through some parts of it here, if I can find it, some of the recommendations. Not only that, Mr. Chairman, but let me remind the Minister of his comments back in late May and early June when the Minister said, in a paper, that the report will be going to Cabinet shortly. At the same time the Minister arranged with his staff in Postville, Makkovik and Hopedale to move the stocks off one shelf and put it all on another shelf, and then get a picture and send it to The Evening Telegram. They moved the stock from one side of the shelf to put on another side of the shelf and then send the picture to The Evening Telegram. At the same time The Evening Telegram got the real pictures over there but they will not print the pictures of the real stores in the same condition.

Now, and I will tell the Minister that at the same time in the last two years since he became Minister he is turning a deaf ear on the requests by the people in Labrador. Let me just give you an example of what happened this past weekend in the Government store in Makkovik. Let me tell the Minister what happened. And my hon. colleague for Eagle River was in Makkovik this weekend, and I must say he did a super job, a good job. But meanwhile the people in Makkovik knew that there was going to be fifty-seven other people coming into Makkovik the past weekend for the combined councils. Now, what did the Minister's Department do?

Forgetting about the Government store that was servicing the people in Makkovik. Now, instead of doing that they chartered a plane to bring in turkey, roast beef, chicken and everything else for all the visitors who were going into Makkovik. Yes, they chartered a plane to bring in turkeys, chicken, roast beef and other commodities and fruits and vegetables for the (Inaudible) -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

MR. WARREN: - (Inaudible) at the time of the combined councils.


MR. CHAIRMAN: By leave?

MR. WARREN: Oh, Mr. Chairman, I'm only just started.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. CHAIRMAN: By leave.

The hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

MR. GULLAGE: Yes, Mr. Chairman, just a few brief comments. I cannot let the opportunity pass to rebut a few of the comments of the hon. Member. With reference once again to the hon. Member for Mount Pearl's comments about the arena. I happened to hear the tail end of it when I was outside in the Common Room. About my supposedly holding up approval. I guess, I would suppose that was what he was alluding to. He did not really expand on it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. GULLAGE: No, I was not speaking of you, I was talking of the Member for Torngat. But certainly this Minister did not hold up any approval. I do not know where the Member for Mount Pearl is getting the impression or who he was talking to. Supposedly earlier comments saying that I held up approval. Mr. Chairman, Mount Pearl is no different than any one of the other 500 communities in the Province and the council has to follow a process. If they make -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. GULLAGE: They are stuck with you in a real big way, I would say. In a very large way.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) one year left!

MR. GULLAGE: It ain't over till it's over.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. GULLAGE: Don't bet on it.

MR. WINDSOR: I will bet anything on it (Inaudible). Your seat against mine (Inaudible).

MR. GULLAGE: We'll see.

AN HON. MEMBER: Tell him to behave himself. Decorum! Decorum!

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Chairman, I was about to say before I was rudely interrupted by the Member for Mount Pearl that a process has to be followed, and it was followed for the Mount Pearl arena like it is for any other request that comes into my Department. Approval to borrow $5 million is not just a paltry sum that you would quickly sign, and it was not quickly signed. It was examined and looked at. As every other request that comes into my Department. The fact that I represent a portion of Mount Pearl - a very sizable portion I might say - would certainly suggest that I am not going to delay any approval of a project unnecessarily. And the Member is being ludicrous to even suggest it.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes. Proof is in the pudding. (Inaudible) proof is there. Construction could have begun in June. You deliberately delayed it.

MR. GULLAGE: So, Mr. Chairman, I do not think any more needs to be said about that particular item. I think obviously the people of Mount Pearl are a little more sensible than the Member who represents a piece of their town, and time will tell who is correct on this item.

The other item mentioned by the Member for Torngat was the Labrador Agreements. Most of the Labrador work that we have targeted for this year, Federal-Provincial work, has been held up because of the Federal Government.

AN HON. MEMBER: No way. That is not right.

MR. GULLAGE: Environmental studies have been asked for in almost every case, Mr. Chairman. The hon. Member knows that.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not right. (Inaudible).

MR. GULLAGE: And delays have been caused because of.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are not telling the truth.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes he is.

MR. GULLAGE: Apart from that, Mr. Chairman, every year materials arrival on the sites is often delayed. I stand to be corrected, but I believe in Hopedale we did wait for materials for some considerable time. But the main reason, Mr. Chairman, because I think he was talking globally about the Labrador agreements per se and all of the water and sewer and roads work that we are doing jointly with the Federal Government, and the main delay was indeed environmental studies that were requested by the Federal Government because I was annoyed.

On several occasions when I was told about these environmental studies I questioned the need for going as far as they go sometimes with communities that are far distant, isolated from one another, and they demand very expensive, extensive studies, that in my view, in my limited knowledge of water and sewer and whatever, it is not necessary to go as far as they go. And they did indeed delay a lot of those projects this year.

So I can only apologise for the Federal Government, but no apology for my staff because certainly they are on top of these projects. As a matter of fact a great majority of the management of these projects, if not all the management, is done by officials in my department, not by the Federal Government. Certainly they contribute financially, but they do not contribute, Mr. Chairman, when it comes to the management of these projects and seeing them through to completion.

And the other point that he made that I cannot let pass for sure is the fact that Members of this House of Assembly do not get good treatment in my department and good treatment, I guess, by the Minister. I think that is totally ridiculous, Mr. Chairman. I would say that Members of this House have very little difficulty if no difficulty accessing my office and dealing with a request for their district whatever it happens to be, and I stand on my record, Mr. Chairman, anytime - anytime compared to records of previous Ministers in this department with the previous government. In terms of accessibility I will stand on my record any time.

AN HON. MEMBER: What are you going to do (inaudible).

MR. GULLAGE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

AN HON. MEMBER: What a brilliant contribution.

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

MR. HEARN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

There are a few headings here on which I would like to comment. I will stick now to the one on Municipal and Provincial Affairs seeing that the Minister is here in the middle of the fray. I will not comment on his last statement about accessibility, I will have something to say about that a little later on in relation to some community problems. But I want to talk to him about the section pertaining to community sports facilities.

The Minister of Education was here a while ago and I hope is within hearing distance so that he can also be part of this. I want to comment upon a new programme that the Minister is talking about bringing in or is in the process of bringing in. That is in relation to community sports facilities working closely with school boards to perhaps put some funding into schools. This is a topic which has been talked about for quite some time. I remember when the present Opposition House Leader was the Minister responsible for Culture, Recreation and Youth, and he and I had a number of discussions on just that because I often sited examples of small communities having little money as is, but making use of Canada Works, small capital grants, whatever, were in the process of constructing sports facilities. In some areas you would find on one side of a harbour a soccer pitch, on another side a softball field, in the centre a swimming pool and then you would have the school gym, all scattered around, all basically inaccessible, and in too many cases all of them incomplete because they were all started and there was not enough money found to do anything.

In a lot of cases with the school gym, even though it was probably the best facility in the area, too many boards were closing schools at three in the evening and not making them available in the night time or on weekends. I know the Minister's philosophy on this is much the same as my own, that a school building should be there for the use of the public. We know there has to be some responsibility and control, but that is easily obtained and these buildings that are put there by the tax payers dollar should be used twenty-four hours a day if the need exists.

Unfortunately, sometimes school boards are pretty strapped too in construction and as the gym is the central recreation facility in the area, quite often replacing any extra community effort needed to put in recreation centres, and we have seen that in some areas. A gym, which is a recreation centre, attached to the school but the community trying to build a big recreation centre somewhere else because of the inaccessibility of the gym, and that is wrong. I am glad to see that the Minister is talking to the Minister of Education about trying to use some capital funding in relation to school construction.

Now, the point I am getting at as both Ministers know is the present request, that is on the table, shall we say, from the Mount Carmel area. Here we have a chance to really do something that is worthwhile. Over the years the coming together, the amalgamation -a word the Minister likes - of schools or school boards has been resented quite often at the local level. The Minister of Education has found out as I did and as previous Ministers did that when you say we are going to close a school and move you somewhere else most of the time the red flag goes up because people are really not sure what they are getting into and there is resentment; and with our declining enrolment and everything else the need is there quite often, where the benefits are great, to combine and create better facilities.

Up in the St. Joseph's - Mount Carmel area we found the reverse. The board was basically saying we will build a junior school but we will leave the old high school there for a few years and we will eventually add on. The people said why don't we do it right. Why don't we build one good central high school bring everybody together and solve the problems. Once again, with a lot of spade work that the CEC, the funding agency, and the board and everybody else came on side and decided to go along with the people rather than have to force them as was happening in many other areas. When after a lengthy battle, which never should have existed because the people who should be making the decisions were really the ones dragging their heels, it was agreed that adequate funding would be provided to put the kind of school there that you might find within the environs of St. John's. I still say that over the years the nearer you are to the larger centres the better you are looked upon by the funding agencies.

There was one part of the puzzle that was not satisfactory and that was the gym. That once again is an area that has a good history in sports, they have had a number of provincial teams evolve in that area; it is a chance when you are only one hour from St. John's to bring in good competitive teams and in most of the schools out of town or out of the St. John's area with few exceptions, you will find a little box gym where you do not have room to stand on the sidelines to throw in a basketball, you do not have room to go back to play badminton or you are bouncing off the wall, or where you have no room for spectators. Now, how are you going to draw interest in an area if you do not bring the parents in and the fans and so on.

So, consequently the parents committee involved who were really spearheading all of this and who have done a good job and a responsible job, as the Minister's knows nobody has been tarred and feathered on this, it has been done very responsibly and they have been trying to identify funding to help the board in extending the gym.

Recently it has been discovered that the Minister is talking about perhaps - and I know it is a new program - using some of his money to put into schools and the request has been made. Once again, I know the process and I know the difficulties of rushing through but I realize now we are looking for approval of new funding. The problem is if the construction of the school was starting next spring we would all have time to work together. The construction has already started and the footings are being put in place and it may be even too late now, but it is certainly a matter of knowing, within hours type of thing, if funding can be provided to make sure that the gym in this building is an adequate one for the students in a rural area of the Province, forgetting whose district it is in or anything else. As both Ministers know, we have not played any politics with this one at all. What has been done has been done in a straightforward way and people in all areas have been very helpful. We have almost gotten what we deserve, what we should get. There is this one little piece of the puzzle that is missing. If there was more money locally, had it even been a good year, one of the parishes even agreed to go half way to raise the money. The other just could not afford it.

It has been a disastrous year, so we would not even be looking for assistance, but here is an opportunity perhaps for the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs to implement a new program to do perhaps what should have been done years ago, which has been discussed for awhile, and which is perhaps the best way to go, to zero in on proper facilities for our youth in areas where there is good control and involvement by other agencies, in an area where the people themselves have come together, rather than having to be fought against to bring them together. So it is an ideal example of what can be done, a tremendous time to show how a new program can be successful, and the amount is roughly $100,000 which is not any great amount of money. It would fit within the scheme of things. So, hopefully, something can be done if it has not already been implemented.

But why I raise it is because it is - you know, the timing is so crucial, and that is unfortunate, and they are aware of Cabinet processes and everything else, but if there is a way, if the Minister intends to implement this program, there was never a better chance to show a regional facility covering a large region where there was a lot of co-operation, where a lot of work has been done, hopefully all in the right way; for the Minister to get in there and say: Look, here is how we can improve the situation in rural Newfoundland, by coming together, and by working together, and by using the few dollars we have.

So, hopefully, one of the Ministers can respond to this, and maybe we can start doing something that all of us can look at, because I assure you that any assistance in this area will not go unrecognized.

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

MR. GULLAGE: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I welcome the opportunity to respond on this particular subject, because it is very important, and the Minister of Education and I are presently looking at the whole programme, and I do not think it is any secret that we would have to agree, of course, that it is important that we co-operate more, community-wise, with education and with the school boards, with the use of facilities.

We certainly cannot, especially from now on, as times I am sure will be difficult fiscally for some time to come, we cannot duplicate facilities throughout the Province, and we have to provide for a gymnasium or whatever it happens to be attached to a school that can be used by a community, a theatre is another possibility. We have some examples right now, and some projects that we are currently looking at that are on the drawing board, about to be commenced, or certainly have been approved, and we want to make sure, as the Member has already said, that we do not put for example, a gymnasium onto a school that is less than regulation size, and that cannot be used by both the youth and adults, because if it is for community use, obviously we have to open it up to not just the youth of the area, but also adult use.

We want to make sure that we have regulation size facilities, whatever they happen to be, and that the school board agrees up front, and the recreation commission or the municipal council, or whatever it happens to be, and it is probably going to be a combination of all of those groups, that they would agree up front that the use of these facilities, if they are going to be cost-shared, would be other than the restricted hours that we see now in a lot of our schools where they are strictly used, mostly used, in school hours, and very limited use thereafter.

So I can say that we are going to be looking very seriously at the existing projects that are about to be started, and I feel very safe in saying that this is the sort of program that Government will want to facilitate in the future. The Minister of Education and I have had numerous discussions about it. It is very important. We have some examples in schools now where it has been done, where we have had facilities put in place that are less than adequate, where school teams and community teams have not been able to participate in tournaments, have not been able to invite tournaments into their area to use their facility because they do not have regulation size facilities. So we want to make sure that does not happen in the future.

With the limited amount of dollars that are necessary, and I think in most cases we are talking with the difference between a regulation size facility and a reduced size facility, we are talking in the neighbourhood of between $100,000 to maybe $300,000 maximum to provide the regulation size facility that is necessary. I think we need to firm up a programme and to certainly recognize that we have some facilities on the drawing board right now, and to make sure that they are not put in place incorrectly. We are looking at that right now. I have to agree with the Member's comment that it is important that we work closely, my Department with the Department of Education and with the Minister, and with the communities, of course, the community leaders, the recreation commissions and the school boards to see that co-operation is there in the first place, and I am sure it will be amongst all the players, and that we put these facilities in place in a proper way so that they better serve the youth in the school itself and, of course, the youth and the adults in the community in a broad sense.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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

MR. WINSOR: I want to take a few minutes and look at some aspects of this bill. I see in the headings, as the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs just spoke, he is looking for -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WINSOR: Did you? Good. I see that he has $500,000 approved for community recreation and $500,000 for community water services. What baffles me in all of this was the method in which this program was put in place. We called the Minister's office and I remember quite distinctly the panic that ensued. We called the Minister's office to find out, I think it was on a Wednesday evening, what the procedure was going to be and we were told that applications had to be in the Minister's office by five o'clock that afternoon. We said: you cannot possibly mean five o'clock today because no one knows anything about the programme, and the response from the Minister, the Deputy Minister, or a secretary was: we will leave the FAX machine on all night and any of your enquiries that come in throughout the night will be able to be considered tomorrow. Mr. Chairman, with in excess of $1 million of the taxpayer's money of this Province to administer a program in the method that this particular program is being administered, is nothing short of ridiculous. Added to that, Mr. Chairman, the Minister talks about how accessible his office is and how easy it is to get information. I have numerous councils who are calling the Minister's office on a daily basis trying to find the status of those programmes and all they keep getting from the Minister's office is: he has gone up to Cabinet.

Well, Mr. Chairman, last week I heard the Member for Eagle River announcing $300,000 when the Minister's office is giving out information that the projects have not yet been assessed. Now, Mr. Chairman, how can we have those conflicting views from the same Minister's office? On one hand he is saying we have not made the decisions and on the other hand we have a Member out announcing $300,000 worth of projects.

In looking at it, I am not sure exactly how - under section 2304, he says Community Water Services, last year it was a budget of in excess of $1 million. It is my understanding that that would basically be in areas serviced by local service districts. That is basically where that money was used.

The heading that this particular Supplementary Supply is under, is Community Water Services again. Now, does that mean that normal municipalities, community councils and town councils are not to be included? Is this to just go to local service districts, as is indicated here?

Mr. Chairman, the other thing in this $500,000 for Community Sports facilities - who got them? I think it is time for the Minister to provide the list of who got these projects because they have been announced. The Minister is going through a routing system so that the people of the Province do not know who got them. It is time for the Minister to tell us exactly how that money was spent.

Yesterday, I started to question the Minister of Social Services about the $5 million in his Community Development Program. My colleague for Burin - Placentia West, discussed it at some length earlier. But, Mr. Chairman, it is very obvious, if the Minister were to check with the officials in his Department - the Member for Twillingate actually - one of his constituents called me the other day to see if I had heard anything on these programmes as well, because they could not get hold of the Minister; I think he was out of the Province at the time. He was a friend of mine and he wanted to know about those Community Development Projects because the office in Twillingate told him the money was all spent; that was two days after the $5 million dollars was announced. Now I am sure the Minister has already had some inquiries on it -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: No, Mr. Chairman, it is not that you are efficient, but that you are devious. Very, very devious in that you announced $5 million dollars worth of projects, from projects that you had approved two months before. Projects were approved two months before and now you get around to looking for the $5 million.

Now, Mr. Chairman, in addition to that the Minister of Labour in his press release said, and I will quote the Minister of Labour now, what he had to say about those projects. He said: not only will social assistance recipients be eligible to apply but many others may avail. Now, we are wondering what other people were eligible to apply and how they were to avail of this programme that already had the money spent? Already had the money spent prior to the Minister announcing the programme. Now we see yesterday the Minister of Labour said: oh no, no, that is not the case. The Minister of Social Services got to his feet and said: yes, we did spend some of the money for overruns in our Department.

Now they try to get together and make it right but they cannot do it. The workers out in the field and all the Members there know because they have all had calls on it. That the money is spent. The Member for St. John's South smiles because I am sure he has had some too. The money has already been spent prior to the Minister announcing it. Now that is no shame. Because there is a terrible problem in this Province today, a terrible employment crisis. Not unemployment because that has gone off the end of the scale. There is a drastic need for this Administration to put some programmes in place. The Minister did not need $5 million, I think the Minister needed $15 million.

Because (Inaudible) only halfway through the year, just halfway through the year, with the worst of the winter yet to come until next March, I think that the Minister of Social Services is going to have to come back looking for another $10 million. At least another $10 million in community development projects to get him through this year. Three or four million dollars will not do it because about 1,000 people will not qualify under the Fisheries Adjustment Programme who think they are going to qualify. They are not going to be able to prove the historic relationship to the fishery and thus they will not qualify, and the Minister is going to have to have these on his caseload, and subsequently he is going to have to make payments to them.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: What's that? Extra money from...?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: No, extra money is going to have to come from the Provincial Government. Perhaps they will pull another trick out of the hat and find that we can cancel some more capital works that we had intended to do last year. We will take that money and apply it to the community development funds.

Now, Mr. Chairman, what we are also interested in finding out from the acting Minister of Environment is, how was the $500,000 and the make-work projects that were announced, applied? Who got the money, when was it awarded and how does the community avail of these services? We have been waiting for the minister to come up with the necessary information but it has not been forthcoming. I hope the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs will get to his feet in a little while and explain what has gone on in his department, how much of the $1 million or so has been spent, how a community got it, what they had to do to qualify, has it all been awarded, and provide a list of all the municipalities in this province that were able to acquire some funding under this make-work programme.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Chairman, we have only a few moments before the House adjourns, but I would like to take the opportunity to just comment briefly on some aspects of the bill. First of all, the number of the bill, Bill 44. I would like to make one comment - that is about all the time I have this afternoon - and it deals with sub 2.4.07 under the current account vote, professional services under Executive Council, which is looked after by the President of the Council, the Government House Leader, the acting Premier and President of Treasury Board -

AN HON. MEMBER: A good actor.

MR. SIMMS: - and, specifically, the item on constitutional affairs. I asked him earlier and he did say he would get the answer for me before the end of the afternoon. Now, I have a sneaky suspicion - with only five minutes left, I do not know if he got the information. If he did, he did not rise in his place to give me the answer, nor did he send me over a note, nor did he come over and speak to me privately, as he often does, and tell me what the answer is. So I will have to assume that he has not yet been able to get the information or perhaps, just perhaps, it may have slipped his mind. It may just have slipped his mind, because I know a man with that many titles must have a lot of things on his mind. But I do want to say this. The amount there for - the estimates showed $15,000. That would be for pretty routine matters, I guess, dealing with constitutional affairs. But the supplementary supply amount, $185,000, let's assume that $170,000 of it is for the Provincial Constitutional Affairs Committee.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Okay. All of it is for the Provincial Constitutional Affairs Committee. Well, I am pleased to hear that, frankly. When I appeared before the Committee this morning, I made the point - tried to make it, in fact, I made it, I think, frequently, that it is important that this committee of ours, the provincial committee, access whatever expert advice it can to do analysis on a lot of those proposals, particularly the economic ones, and try to find out what kind of an effect those economic proposals might have on the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Because, quite frankly, there are too many questions unanswered for my liking. As one individual, I do not have the answers to the questions if somebody asks me what happens if the trade barriers come down. You can talk about the beer or poultry industries and you can talk about processing of raw fish, you know, whether it could happen outside the Province, does that mean that barrier comes down?

You can express all those concerns. On the other hand, who knows? Maybe some ingenious entrepreneur, as I said this morning, might be able to come up with a brand name beer that might take off like lighting, manufacture it here in Newfoundland and market it all throughout the - who knows?

AN HON. MEMBER: Home brew.

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible) brewery, whatever. Or the poultry farmers might be delighted, because they have access now to the large Ontario market, and it might be great for them, or it might, in fact, be a disaster for them. It might ruin businesses. So there are too many unanswered questions.

The point I tried to make to the Committee, this morning, was that I think they should access whatever expert advice they can and they should have the resources made available to them to allow them to do that, so that the experts can at least give our committee some kind of interpretation, or their analysis, of what these proposals might mean economically to Newfoundland, what kind of repercussions there might be. Then, the committee has the responsibility, I think, to make that information available to the public, let the public know what these studies show and what the repercussions might be, so that the public can at least make some kind of an informed judgement on what all of these constitutional proposals mean to Newfoundland and Labrador, really and truly.

In order for that to be done, they need the resources. I don't know if this will be enough for them, but I hope it is, because you would not want to spend an enormous amount of money. But I do think they should be given those resources and I am glad that the minister has now confirmed for me that, in fact, all of the $185,000 is for our own committee.

Mr. Chairman, since it is 4:59 p.m., with only one minute left, I move adjournment of the debate.

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

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

MR. L. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, the Committee of the Whole on Supply have considered the matters to them referred, have directed me to report progress and ask leave to sit again.

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

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, we have to stop the clock now, at 5:00 p.m., for a few moments, by leave of the House.

The private member's resolution tomorrow is the one submitted by the Member for Eagle River, albeit a little late. That resolution has to do with the level of income and the reasonable level of income support for all citizens of the Province, and that will be the private member's bill that will be debated tomorrow. If members opposite have any comment on that there is lots of time, we can stop the clock.

MR. SPEAKER: Members have agreed to stop the clock.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We look forward, tomorrow, to the private member's resolution that will be put forward by the Member for Eagle River, but I want to say to the Government House Leader, when we look at the legislative agenda that has been put before the legislature, we see it is very weak and shows a lack of preparation on the Government's part. Being a day late, Mr. Speaker - it should have happened yesterday -in putting forward the private member's resolution, we expect this will be the last time that we will have to be as co-operative as we are on this matter and that, in future, the notice will be given on Monday.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It is good to see that the new Opposition House Leader has learned some tricks from his predecessor. Obviously, he has had a little bit of coaching. And, no, I do not intend to give him a flick now - this is his first interjection - maybe next time.

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, we intend to continue with Supplementary Supply, so members can prepare themselves.

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

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