November 15, 1991           HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS           Vol. XLI  No. 71

The House met at 9:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

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

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

It is with great pride that I stand before this legislature this morning and ask hon. members, through You, Sir, to send congratulations and best wishes to an historic Newfoundlander, a Newfoundlander whose name will be ever enshrined in Newfoundland's history in the future.

I suppose, Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not remind the hon. legislature, it is because of this man and many others

that we are here today enjoying the liberties and freedoms that we take for granted. I am speaking of Abe Mullett. Mr. Speaker, Abe Mullett will 100 years old tomorrow.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Mullett is the only surviving member of The First Hundred Blue Puttees of the First World War. I want to bring the word to the legislature that he is in excellent health, and very active with the Royal Canadian Legion, which meets the first Sunday of every month. Sir, I ask you to send the appropriate message to Mr. Mullett.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, we would certainly like to be associated with those remarks concerning Mr. Mullett. Abe, of course, as the hon. member said, will be 100 years old tomorrow.

I was fortunate enough this summer to travel with him and visit Beaumont Hamel in France. The gentleman is, indeed, a real veteran in every sense, having participated in both battles, Beaumont Hamel, and Gallipoli in Turkey. He was a fine ambassador, certainly, for this Province, while visiting Beaumont Hamel. Indeed, we should pay tribute to a gentleman of his stature. Only three veterans remain, of course, from the First World War and from the Blue Puttees. In the past few days we had the opportunity to view a film concerning the battles and the conflicts in the First World War. He played a prominent part in that film, which was aired on CTV.

We would certainly like to be associated with those remarks.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, today I want to give the House an update on the financial support being provided by the Department of Fisheries in response to the catch failure of the 1991 inshore fishery.

As you may recall, I announced on October 4 that the department would be providing $2 million for a response program. This funding is allocated equally for two areas: funding in support of specific community fishery-related projects approved by the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission (CEIC); and the other half to enable inshore herring fishermen to achieve higher earnings from the fall herring fishery.

To date, Mr. Speaker, my department has committed a total of $620,000 for 76 community projects. Now, Mr. Speaker, in my statement, I bring forward a report from CEIC to November 1, but I want to amend that now, because ten minutes ago, I got a report from CEIC, a current statement as to exactly what has transpired. I ask those who have copies of my statement to make the necessary changes. In my statement, I say that from November 1, CEIC indicates that more than 2,500 people engaged in the fishery are employed on projects approved to that date, but that should now read, Mr. Speaker, from November 15, CEIC indicates that more than 3,593 people, or 23,000 person weeks of employment, for a total of $9.1 million expended, engaged in the fishery, are employed on projects approved to that date.

In other words, Mr. Speaker, to date, there are 3,593 people, for a total of $9.1 million, people who are engaged in the fishery, now employed on projects approved.

The $1 million provided by my department for community projects, is designed to provide up to $10,000 per project, in the form of grants for the purchase of materials or other related project costs. This funding supplements CEIC funding for the projects, and provides project sponsors with sufficient monies to cover the cost of meaningful fisheries-related projects.

Mr. Speaker, the department's $1 million herring program increases the price paid to fishermen by three cents per pound. The three-cent price supplement is paid directly to fishermen, at the point of sale. Buyers are then reimbursed by the department for the additional payment, but they must provide documentation verifying that fishermen have been paid a minimum of eight cents per pound for herring.

Information from buyers up to November 14 shows that this program has provided assistance to fishermen in the sale of approximately eight million pounds of herring. The overall program will provide a subsidy for approximately 30 million pounds.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased with the effectiveness of our Fisheries Response Program and its income generating impact for those fishermen and plant workers adversely affected by reduced fish landings this year.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the minister for a copy of his statement in advance, but it is too bad I did not get his updated version, because I missed some of the figures that the minister gave out there. Having said that, I thank him for the statement.

I just want to say to the minister that, really, I think once again there has been a misconception placed out and about the Province by the public relations people dealing with this situation for Government because everyone out there thought there was $2 million from the Provincial Government going directly into the Fisheries Emergency Response Employment Program, and now the minister admits here this morning that really we are talking $1 million with the other $1 million going into the herring fisheries subsidy program.

MR. CARTER: It's the same job.

MR. MATTHEWS: No it is not the same job, I say to the minister, and there are, indeed, some problems from different regions of the Province pertaining to the herring subsidy, in that there are accusations of a two-tiered system, with the processors and the fishermen being paid different prices.

Mr. Speaker, the point I want to make this morning is one I made yesterday that, yes, the $10,000 grant to provide materials to the projects, is, indeed, useful and helpful. It is certainly not enough, but my point is, what we really need in this Province today - with the Federal Government's money in the Fisheries Emergency Response Program, and with the $1 million provincial allocation, there are still hundreds and hundreds of fishermen and plant workers who cannot find employment in our Province, for one reason or another, either the federal criteria is so inflexible or there is not enough money. I say to the minister that we need an influx of a few more million dollars, with which we could clear up those outstanding problems in the Province.

Also, this morning, instead of just listing the total figure of $620,000 for seventy-six projects, and then his updated figures, I thought the minister would bring forward a complete list of projects that have been funded up to $10,000 by his department so that we could have a look at it and see where the $10,000 grant allocations have gone throughout the Province. In concluding, I ask the minister would he consider, perhaps next week, bringing in a list for members of the House so that they can see where the money has gone?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, on October 4, I announced a two-fold employment strategy based on the premise that our people are our most valued resource. The first component was designed to assist residents of the Province acquire jobs that will result in a long-term attachment to the labour force, providing challenging and meaningful employment. The second component, Mr. Speaker, was designed to provide immediate labour intensive job creation programs to maximize the weeks of work for unemployment insurance qualification for the coming year.

Mr. Speaker, today, I am providing a status report on these employment initiatives.

Under the short-term, Labour Intensive Program for which $9 million was allocated, the following has been committed: 321 projects have been approved, creating 2,929 jobs and providing 27,155 work weeks in the Province with 98.6 per cent of the allocation of funds committed. Departments participating in the delivery of this program are Social Services, Forestry and Agriculture, Environment and Lands, Municipal and Provincial Affairs, and my Department of Employment and Labour Relations.

Mr. Speaker, jobs that will result in a long-term attachment to the labour force continue to be created. Under the Employment Generation Program, 363 projects employing 476 people for 9,520 weeks of subsidized employment have been approved, with an expenditure, to date, of $1.3 million.

Mr. Speaker, as well, the Linkages Program not only creates jobs, but provides employment counselling and support through community- based agencies working with local employers. In partnership with community-based agencies, my department has approved seventeen projects under the Linkages Programme, employing seventy-six people and creating 1,976 work weeks, exhausting the total $500,000 that was allocated for that program.

The first time pilot employer-based training project is a new concept for this Government. To date, seven projects have been approved employing seven people for a total of 193 weeks.

Ninety-eight point six per cent of the funding for the short-term, make-work initiative and 100 per cent of the Linkages funding has been committed, with my Department continuing to process applications for both the Employment Generation and the Employer-Based Training programmes on a daily basis.

To summarize, in total, from both components of the programme, there have been 708 projects approved, generating 3,488 jobs, both short- and long-term, for 38,844 work weeks created in the Province since the October 4 announcement.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If Shakespeare was alive today I am sure he would write, Much Ado about Nothing, part two. What the Minister has done here is simply rehash what has been already announced in this House. It has been sent out over the wire service a dozen times now. There is not one person in Newfoundland who has not heard this. But what it is is an attempt to convince the people of this Province that this Administration has done something to provide jobs.

What a farce: the premise that our people are our most valued resource. Lip service. People are not at all important. There are still thousands of people out in this Province who are begging this Government to provide some leadership and some jobs. The programme that was put in place was woefully inadequate, it does not address the serious unemployment problem we have in this Province. Much of this money, $5 million in Social Services, as the Minister has already said, a fair portion was money that was already committed and spent prior to its being announced, Mr. Speaker.

This has done absolutely nothing to ease the difficulties that Newfoundlanders are going to face this Winter. If the Minister wants to do something to help the people of this Province, the Minister should have been standing on his feet this morning announcing another job creation programme to help those who have not been able to find any work, because this was far from adequate to take care of the needs of the thousands of Newfoundlanders who needed work.

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, since we are talking about Shakespeare, we could also say: "a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/ Signifying nothing." Might be appropriate.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

It might be an appropriate time for the Chair to bring to hon. members' attention, on both sides of the House, the complete desire of the Chair that when members are speaking they not allude to comments made by a previous speaker, particularly when we are in Ministerial Statements and in Question Period.

I have noticed in Question Period, after a member is finished questioning a particular minister, he then makes a comment made by the last minister when he, indeed, is about to question another minister. Now, we know that Question Period is not for debate, and that promotes debate. The same thing with Ministerial Statements. Ministerial Statements are supposed to be factual and not to create debate, and when we get into that kind of a situation it does so.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I am so impressed and I am no much in love with Shakespeare, whom I did a lot of study on when I was in university, that when I hear his name mentioned I just cannot resist coming forward with a quotation. I apologize to the hon. House.

Mr. Speaker, I want to advise members of the hon. House of Assembly of the fact that November 17 to November 23 is Drug Awareness Week. Each year, the event is sponsored in this Province by the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission, an agency of the Department of Health, to raise public awareness of alcohol and other drug issues. The slogan they have chosen for this year's event is "We Can Make A Difference," which aims to boost community involvement in raising awareness.

During 1989, the ADDC participated with Health and Welfare Canada, in the National Alcohol and Other Drug Survey. Our analysis of the Newfoundland and Labrador data presents a disturbing picture of the problems associated with the misuse of alcohol. Sixty point two per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, nineteen and under, are currently drinking, in excess of 60 per cent of our young people under nineteen, Mr. Speaker. Over a quarter of these young drinkers, 26.4 per cent, reported having health or social problems in the year preceding the survey as a result of their drinking. Over two-thirds, 68.7 per cent, of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians over nineteen are current drinkers and 12.5 per cent of these people have experienced problems with their drinking.

It is obvious that the irresponsible use of alcohol is having a profound effect on Newfoundlanders, especially on our young people. Consequently, it is imperative that we continue to educate Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to prevent the misuse of alcohol and to reduce the problems associated with this misuse. While this is something we should do every day of the year, Drug Awareness Week is a special time when we can focus on these problems.

Mr. Speaker, the ADDC has the responsibility to sponsor, conduct, and promote programmes for the treatment and rehabilitation of persons suffering from alcohol and other drug dependency, and to disseminate information respecting the nature and effects of various types of drug dependency.

Through Drug Awareness Week and many other initiatives, the ADDC is fulfilling its mandate. I would like to briefly outline some of these initiatives, Mr. Speaker.

1. The Humberwood Treatment Centre in Corner Brook is the first inpatient treatment centre of its kind for the Commission. At this ten (10) bed facility, residents from Newfoundland and Labrador can enter the three week programme to seek treatment.

2. The Talbot House Detoxification Centre. A Centre located in St. John's which accepts male and female referrals who require assistance in withdrawing from alcohol and other drugs prior to commencing the treatment process.

3. The ADDC offers individual and group counselling to clients and their family members within its offices throughout the Province.

4. The ADDC offers a variety of professional and community training options to professionals, community groups, and the general public.

5. The Diploma Programme in Clinical Counselling for Addictions is offered in co-operation with the School of Social Work at Memorial University.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I want to commend the staff of the ADDC on their exceptional performance and I look forward to keeping you and my colleagues informed of their future endeavours.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Minister for providing an advance copy of his statement.

Mr. Speaker, we want to join with the Minister in supporting this initiative of the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission. It is more important than ever that we attack this most serious problem which we have in the Province, particularly as it affects the youth. It is rather alarming to see that 26.4 per cent of the young people under nineteen indicated that they were current drinkers and were having health and social problems. If that is to continue into adulthood, then we can see even more ramifications in family life as the trend continues. So it is very important that we address this problem when they are in the youth stage, so hopefully by the time they are mature adults then it will be solved.

Mr. Speaker, we commend the Province on its initiative to provide some treatment centres for people who are afflicted by alcohol and drug problems. It is very important to have this kind of education programme both for our youth and for adults to deal with alcohol and drug abuse.

Mr. Speaker, on the coast of Labrador the LIA runs a programme of its own that is very similar to the programme that is run here, and this week or next week, I think, in Makkovik at it's annual meeting they are going to have a non-alcohol dance. I notice this kind of thing is occurring throughout the Labrador region, and we very much support the LIA and other organizations in attempting to educate people to the problems that are associated with the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

We too want to commend the staff of the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission on their exceptional performance. They contribute a lot to the life of the youth and families of this Province, and we want to wish them well as they get on with their programmes, and encourage the Administration to perhaps place more centres of that type throughout the Province. I see the need for one in central Newfoundland as well now. We have one on the west and one on the east, and maybe one in the central Newfoundland area would be in order.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: I have a question this morning for the Acting Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I want to follow up on questions yesterday about the awarding of three contracts for health care facilities to Trans City Holdings Ltd. for $24 million; $6 million more than the lowest tender bids. Did Government engage a Halifax based company, Hanscombe Consultants, for $35,000 to evaluate all the bids received for the three projects, and what advice did Hanscombe Consultants give the Government?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, first of all let me correct a misunderstanding that the hon. gentleman obviously has. The proposal was for a lease-purchase arrangement, and the total cost of the proposal will depend upon the cost of financing and the final arrangements that are made in terms of the leasing. It was not a tender call that involved simply the construction of facilities; it involved a lease-purchase arrangement, which is totally different, so the hon. Member's introduction is not correct.

Hanscombe Consultants Ltd., I believe, was engaged by the department to help with the analysis after the information was received from the people who submitted proposals. The reason this was done, and there are two reasons, I suppose; one was to get an outside opinion as to what was in the documentation, because an outside opinion, we felt, could help with the departmental opinion. The other thing was that we are in the process of trying to speed up the project so we could get some construction going, and the outside consultants would help speed up the project. Their particular input, I do not have the details of what they said, but the conclusions were that under a least - they examined under two options, I believe, least cost and best proposal in terms of the overall proposal down the road. In one instance the recommendation that I have seen from the department, and that involves the Hanscombe input, was that the best overall proposals were submitted by Trans City; the least cost, I forget the name of the company, but it was one of the wooden building proposals, Mr. Speaker. The general conclusion that I am privy to, and that is all I can tell the hon. gentleman, is that the best overall proposal, and I think the wording was: combining high standard of construction and engineering combined with value for money, was the Trans City proposal.

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

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

Did not Hanscombe Consultants tell Government that it could not really evaluate the bids because Government specifications were too vague, and can the Minister confirm that they advised Government to re-tender with more complete specifications?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I am not privy to any conversations that went on in the process. All I can refer to is the recommendations that come to Government in terms of coming to Cabinet. I have outlined for the hon. gentleman exactly what these recommendations were. I would like to remind the hon. gentleman as well that this process was a different process than has been gone through, than is normal, and that we have been using, okay?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: It is a process that is different from the process that we normally use for the other construction projects, because what we discovered was, and what we found was, that the process that is in place involved escalating costs. Month by month as we went through the process the costs would double, and we were trying to do two things; we were trying to save the Province money, number one, by preventing escalation; save the Province money by preventing escalation of cost, number one; and number two, to speed up an extremely cumbersome process that would result in nothing getting done for the next year or so.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

There is no doubt, Mr. Speaker, that the process is different. There is no doubt about that, and I am sure that everyone in the Province realizes that today. The fact is that the Government's tender call did not specify the type of construction, or the kind of building materials. When Government decided, after the bids were closed, that it wanted a steel and brick building, why did it not re-tender so it could be certain of getting the work done for the lowest price? Why, instead of doing this, did Cabinet decide to award the contract to Trans City Holdings against the advice of Hanscombe Consultants and, indeed, some of their own departmental staff? Why did Cabinet do that, Mr. Speaker, if it was not so that they could make the thing so vague that they could award the contract to someone they wanted to award it to? Is that the real reason?

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The hon. gentleman once again is not correct in what he is saying. I have outlined to him in some detail what the advice was to Cabinet. I had indicated yesterday that I would provide the House today with the kind of information that was given, all bidders on the project, and it will be here momentarily. There was a problem in an elevator this morning and some officials got stuck which delayed me receiving the documentation. I will receive it momentarily and table it for the hon. gentleman.

I have one part of it which I will put with it. This is - I do not know - twenty or thirty pages, and the actual documents that were given were over 100 pages long. So, there was a fair amount of detail given.

I would like to remind the hon. gentleman that this proposal we are now proceeding with will, in the long run, save the Government tens of millions of dollars and also, I would like to remind the hon. gentleman, will create construction activity right now without Government having to put up-front money in place. I remind the hon. gentlemen that they realized at one point in time the significance of going a lease/purchase arrangement when they had a freeze on building construction in this Province. To get around the fact that they had no money in the budget, they went with lease/purchase on the Grand Falls courthouse. So, there is that type of advantage to going lease/purchase as well, Mr. Speaker, to create the activity now and the payments do not start for a couple of years down the road.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister and the Government rejected the lowest bids of three health care facilities, because they said the proposed buildings were going to be made out of tin and wood. He gave the impression that the companies who made up these proposals were fly-by-night operations, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Cheap shot!

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, it is, Mr. Speaker, it is very cheap for a Minister of the Crown to suggest that the construction companies in this Province would build tin buildings for hospitals. It is very cheap for a Minister of the Crown to do that, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, isn't it a fact that the lowest bids for the facilities at Burgeo and Port Saunders were buildings made of structural steel and steel siding? Isn't it also a fact that the Department of Public Works was advised by the lowest bidder before tenders closed that brick could be used instead of steel siding at a minimal extra cost?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, again the hon. gentleman is not correct in his implications and not correct in his introductory statement. Mr. Speaker, I explained yesterday, I believe it was, when the matter was first raised, that there was one proposal that involved structural steel covered with steel sheeting, I believe. That -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible) covered with tin.

MR. BAKER: Well, structural steel covered with steel sheeting. There were some proposals of wood. I could get into all the details, but I do not know if Your Honour would allow me the time in Question Period. Some of the structures were two-story structures and some were one-story structures and so on. After an analysis it was determined that to suit our needs and for the best overall return value for money, combined with construction durability and so on, we chose a particular proposal which was the cheapest.

I would like to remind the hon. gentleman, as well, that in the final analysis, because of the nature of the lease/purchase proposal, that this proposal will, in fact, I believe, end up being cheaper than the wood buildings, all of the wood buildings, that were tendered. Mr. Speaker, this is not a comment on the capabilities or the quality of the companies that did the bidding. I am sure the hon. gentleman realizes, when he was in Government, that they had to reject many bids from companies and that is no indication that the company is a fly-by-night operation. We are quite confident that the bids we received were from companies that were quite capable of doing the work and were legitimate full companies in this Province and could do a good job. Unfortunately, there are some winners and there are some losers.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. When I was in Government, I did not suggest that the construction companies build tin hospitals in this Province like the Minister did.

Since the bids for the projects in Burgeo and Port Saunders were $3 million less than the Trans City Holdings Ltd. bid, why did not the Government go back to the lowest bidder and ask for an estimate of the added cost of adding brick to the structure instead of steel siding, and did the Minister do that or the department do that and what was the difference between the steel siding cost and the brick siding cost?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the latter part is a difficult part to answer. I can say to the hon. gentleman that we have explained - he can wave around all the paper he wants, but we have explained the process that we went through which was logical and sensible at every step. All bidders had an equal opportunity to bid on these particular structures.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: Now, Mr. Speaker, as to the cost, a factor that has not been mentioned is in terms of the financing arrangements and in actual fact -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. BAKER: - in actual fact, Mr. Speaker, the bid that was accepted was really the only bid that had a very definite cost attached to it. They bid on a square foot basis and therefore can be tied to a definite cost, whereas the other bids were not done in that manner. So, Mr. Speaker, we have absolute, in spite of the fact that the tender specifications were more general than normal, we have absolute control to ensure that the costs will not escalate in this particular proposal, whereas we did not in the other proposals.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I guess they have, when they are throwing away $6 million on construction, they would have a guarantee with a $6 million payoff somewhere.

The Government just recently opened a new clinic in Botwood, made from structural steel and wood siding; a very good facility as far as I understand. Could not the Government have saved another $3.3 million if it had accepted the lowest bid on the proposal similar to that for St. Lawrence, and, since the lowest bidder for the project was under $2.4 million, would it have cost $3.3 million to substitute brick for wood?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, obviously the hon. gentleman is either not listening or does not understand. I will help him out a little bit by preparing for him for the next session of the House, hopefully over the weekend, as I did not have time to do it last night, a complete analysis of the costing arrangements and a description of the cost associated with the proposals. I have no problem in doing that, everything is quite open.

There have been a number of wooden buildings built in this Province and they are good wooden buildings; there is no problem with that, except that the life span, and do not forget we are into a thirty year leaseback arrangement now whereby at the end of thirty years we take over the building, it is our building and we then have to consider the cost beyond the thirty years, and in the analysis that we had done, even though wood buildings have a life span, they are good buildings, they have a life span perhaps of twenty, thirty years before maintenance costs start to get high. They are good buildings.

In this instance, the brick/steel in the long-term, was better, cheaper, more value for money than the wooden structures and it was a decision we made to save money both in the short-term and the long-term, Mr. Speaker, and we stand by it.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

The Government threw away, I think it was over $3 million on the first two hospitals, and substituting the brick for the steel siding, according to the contractors who submitted bids, would have cost $250,000, Mr. Speaker. It was $3.3 million thrown away rather than spend $250,000 on the lowest bidder. There is something definitely wrong with that. The only flimsy fly-by-night operation in this whole affair, Mr. Speaker, is the Government, the Department of Public Works, and the Cabinet. Is it not a fact that the Government set up this whole tender call and deliberately used incomplete specifications so it could pick and choose the contractor it wanted to do the job? Is not this whole affair a tricky lawyer's gimmick to get around the Public Tendering Act and use the Public Work's budget as a Liberal slush fund?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. BAKER: I am glad to see the hon. gentleman is back. He made me laugh yesterday, as well. I am sure that the principal in the company, Joe Butler, will be glad to hear that he is now going to start donating to the Liberal Party rather than the Tory Party.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I have been noticing, this morning, the interference from members to my right, particularly the Member for Torngat Mountains, who has been continuously interrupting. I ask the member to restrain himself while ministers are answering questions.

The hon. the minister may continue.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As usual, there is a lot of rhetoric with no substance to it.

Mr. Speaker, we started on a process that would provide some construction, some much-needed jobs, and provide them in the cheapest possible manner to the taxpayers of the Province, giving us the best value for money. I am satisfied we have done that, Mr. Speaker. It would be amusing if it weren't so sad, that comments like that come from a former minister who presided over throwing $4 million into a piece of plastic in Mount Pearl.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Social Services. Is the minister aware of the situation that presently exists in Goose Bay, where a foster child is being sent back to his natural parents in Coastal Labrador? From documents I have read and information I have received, the child is to be sent back to a situation where terrible abuse has been alleged. Is the minister aware of this specific case?

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the specific case to which the hon. member is referring, but I think he has his facts a little in reverse, and I would be glad to let him in on the true facts of the matter. The matter is presently being dealt with in court and probably should be left there for the time being.

MR. HODDER: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port au Port, on a supplementary.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I don't know who has the true facts of the matter but, certainly, the Foster Parents Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a lady who has travelled at her own expense from Goose Bay, who is now in the gallery, certainly feels there is something to be concerned about, here.

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to ask the minister if he would consider, by way of an independent enquiry, having a person outside his department look at this whole situation, because that problem in Goose Bay, from what I can understand, is a conflict between some of the foster parents in Goose Bay and his department in that community. I ask the minister if he will look into these allegations and the problems that exist between various groups in that area.

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

MR. HOGAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have to apologize. With the vagueness of the first question, I got it confused with another matter. There are a couple of ongoing matters in that particular area, Mr. Speaker. As for the situation the member refers to, at the request of his office, I have arranged for a meeting at 12:10 today, with the party in question and the lady he mentions in the gallery. I will be discussing that particular matter with her if, in fact, she has legitimate representation to make on the case. It will be placed under review.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the absence of the Premier, my question will be directed to the Minister responsible for Mines and Energy. Since the Government came to power some two-and-a-half years ago, electricity costs in the Province have skyrocketed, in some cases between 25 per cent and 30 per cent to consumers. Most of the higher costs to consumers was caused directly by the Government when it decided to phase out the PDD system and the 1 per cent surcharge on Hydro loans. Now that Newfoundland Hydro has applied for another 3.9 per cent increase, would the minister, in conjunction with his Cabinet colleagues, cancel the surcharge in order to avoid a large increase to consumers, at this time?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, since the subsidy was cancelled, Hydro has only received one increase, that I am aware of, that was directly related to the cancellation of the subsidy, and that was approximately - I can't remember the exact figure now - I think it was approximately 4 mils, about a year-and-a-half ago. Other rate increases that have occurred since that time have had nothing to do with the cancellation of the subsidy. They have been increases to light and power, they have been changes to the rate stabilization fund, reflecting changes in oil prices, or other matters that affect the rate stabilization fund.

The other major, and most significant, increase to the price of electricity in the last year-and-a-half or two years has been the addition of the GST, last January 1, at 7 per cent.

In the application that Hydro are now making, related to the subsidy phase-out, they are asking for an increase that will be 2.2 per cent at the consumer level for those on the integrated grid on the Island of Newfoundland. That is not a very large increase.

MR. WOODFORD: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Humber Valley.

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, Newfoundland Hydro, in conjunction with asking for the rate increase, are also asking for $9 million to be taken from the rate stabilization fund to apply against the deficit for this year. The drawdown from the stabilization fund was necessary to avoid an even larger increase of approximately another 11 per cent, or 11 per cent in total. Did the Government discuss with Hydro what it might do to avoid such a large increase at this time? And, did Government advise Hydro to dip into the rate stabilization fund, at this time, to avoid a much larger increase to the consumer?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: No, Mr. Speaker, we had no discussions with Hydro on what they should do. Hydro operates independently and is regulated by the Public Utilities Board. The suggestion has come from Hydro, itself, as to the way to moderate rate increases.

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

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Humber Valley.

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, is the rate drawdown from the stabilization fund not just a temporary manoeuvre so that they wouldn't have to go for a bigger one at this time? And it is obvious, because they said 11 per cent. And won't rates increase after this to try to replenish the stabilization fund? In order to help the consumer, does the Government have any strategy to avoid electricity rate increases that are now spiralling out of control?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I disagree that electricity rate increases are spiralling out of control. I think, this year, we have seen things come under control because of, particularly, the low price that Hydro has had to pay for the Bunker C that it uses at Holyrood. That is the reason for their moderate request here, only 2.2 per cent at the consumer level for a rate increase this year. So I don't think things are spiralling out of control at all.

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. My question also is to the Minister of Mines and Energy. When this Government came into power in 1989, it was on the slogan of Fairness and Balance. If Hydro is allowed what they requested, does the minister realize that communities serviced by diesel generator - for example, I have here a St. John's customer's Hydro bill for a number of kilowatts. That Hydro bill will increase $6.15 here in St. John's on a month, but, for the same number of kilowatts, a person living in Nain will have to pay $46.87 more. Where is the fairness and balance?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I don't have the details of the bills he is comparing. I think it is very unfair to compare a bill in Nain with a bill anywhere on the interconnected grid. I agree with him, that the bills for Nain and other areas that are on remote diesel are the highest rates in this Province. Presently, remote diesel costs three to four times as much as the amount that is being collected in the bills in these particular areas. That is why there was a subsidy, and that is why, right now, there is a cross-subsidization from the other rates around the Province to cover the extra costs in these particular areas.

In this particular request that Hydro has made, they are saying that above 700 kilowatt hours per month, they would ask for a 10 per cent rate increase in the extra, over and above 700. For the average home in this Province that is not using electric heat, 700 kilowatt hours is an adequate amount. That amount is at the same rate as everybody else on the Island pays on the interconnected grid. So anyone who is just having electricity for lights, fridge, television, and ordinary things, without requiring electricity for heating in these remote areas, should be able to get by on the same rate as the rate in St. John's or Corner Brook or Gander, as examples.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance.

A couple of days ago, the minister advised us that his budget deficit now on current account would be some $95 million, which is $41 million more than he estimated in March. His revenues are down by $52 million, $25 million in shortfall and provincial taxes, primarily RST. In view of this drop in RST, is the minister now still considering harmonizing RST with GST? Is he not concerned that to do that would cause a further consumer revolt against RST and cause the revenues from RST to drop even further?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The hon. member is very interested in what we are going to do, and in due time all will be revealed.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Indeed, I am very interested, and so is the rest of the Province. In fact, they are scared to death with that Minister as Minister of Finance.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister claims that his expenditures are $11 million below budget, but that is due entirely to a $28.4 million favourable variance in the cost of servicing the provincial debt due to interest rates. In other words, Mr. Speaker, his whole improvement in expenditures is due entirely to the monetary policies of the Government of Canada.

Is it not true that expenditures on all other headings, other than interest payments, have actually increased by $17.4 million? Would the minister like to tell us which departments have gone over budget, and does the minister expect those departments to continue spending over budget for the rest of the year?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The resultant of $11 million below budget is a combination of a whole series of figures, some up, some down. I just highlighted in my statement the other day, one of the more prominent ones. Some expenditures may be up a bit, as in the job creation program, and others are down. But no one should look forward to any trend in that.

MR. WINDSOR: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl, time for a short supplementary and a short answer.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Is it not true that the minister's budget deficit has increased in six months by 60 per cent over what he projected earlier in the year? Can he tell us that that budget deficit will not increase by even more before this year is over?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot guarantee anything, because a large amount of what we do - and I mentioned that in my statement - depends upon the way equalization works in the next while. There are a couple of points that we are a bit nervous about. We included in our estimates the other day just about everything we knew about. So, I am not worried that the estimate will be off by very much. The main unknowns in it might be what would happen under equalization as a result of possible further re-estimates that the Government of Canada might take. We have tried to estimate, from published figures that are available, what these might be. So I believe that our estimates are as close as possible.

I might add this, Mr. Speaker, that we have been quite prudent in the two or three years that we have been here, very prudent in our operations. Had we been spending money, like the drunken sailors opposite, we would really have a serious problem. Last year, we came to grips with the deficit of this Province. The members opposite did not come to grips with it, and, as a result of that, we are in a very good budgetary position, compared, for example, to Ontario.

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

I said that the hon. member could have a short question and the minister, a short answer. I think both requirements have been fulfilled.

Question Period has expired.

Before moving to routine business, on behalf of hon. Members I would like to welcome to the House today sixty Grade IX students from St. Peter's Elementary School, Mount Pearl, accompanied by their teachers Mr. Arnold and Mr. Duggan.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, yesterday I was asked a question about the tender documents for the health care proposals and I did not have them, and I did not have them earlier today, and I promised I would tell hon. Members exactly what this was.

I am prepared now to table - I just received it a moment ago - the information that was given on one of the clinics. This one has an introductory paper of twenty or thirty pages plus a functional programme for the health care centre of 110 pages. I believe the St. Lawrence one was 145 pages, and the other one was 112 pages. It covers administrative support services, nursing services, getting into a lot of detail in terms of what is needed, diagnostic and therapeutic services, and the allocations made for public health and home care, mental health sections, staff facilities including everything that the staff needs in a building, resident patient situation, exactly what is needed, summary of staffing and a complete summary of the space requirements.

This in fact makes a functional plan. This is what was given to the bidders on the project, and I promised the House that I would table these documents today so, Mr. Speaker, here they are. A similar package was done for the other two as well, in one case much larger.

Orders of the Day

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, Motion 2.

MR. SPEAKER: Motion 2.

Motion, the hon. the Premier to introduce a bill, "An Act Respecting Elections, Controverted Elections and Financing," carried. (Bill No. 55).

On motion, Bill No. 55 read a first time, ordered read a second time on tomorrow, by leave.

MR. BAKER: Order 4, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order 4. Before proceeding with order 4, on behalf of hon. Members again I would like to welcome to the galleries today fifty Grade VI students from St. Edward's Elementary School, Kelligrews, I believe it is, along with their three teachers, Ms. Marilyn Butler, Miss Marie Deacy and Mr. Joe Pumphrey.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order 4.

MR. BAKER: I was wondering if, by leave, rather than going through the same process so many times, we could do orders 4 to 11, they are all third readings?

MR. SPEAKER: Orders 4 through 11? Agreed?

It is moved and seconded that orders 4 to 11, which are third reading of various bills, be now read a third time. All those in favour, 'aye'?


MR. SPEAKER: Those against, 'nay'? Carried.

The following bills read a third time:

"An Act To Amend The City Of Corner Brook Act, 1985, The City Of Mount Pearl Act And The Municipalities Act." (Bill No. 11).

"An Act To Amend The Intergovernmental Affairs Act, 1975." (Bill No. 28).

"An Act To Amend The Newfoundland Geographical Names Board Act, 1974." (Bill No. 43).

"An Act To Repeal The Unimproved Lands (Redistribution) Act." (Bill No. 20).

"An Act To Amend The Queen's Counsel Act." (Bill No. 21).

"An Act To Amend The Status Of Women Advisory Council Act." (Bill No. 35).

"An Act To Establish The St. John's Centennial Foundation." (Bill No. 41).

"An Act To Revise And Consolidate The Law Respecting The Prevention Of Fire." (Bill No. 53).

On motion, bills 11, 28, 43, 20, 21, 35, 41, and 53, read a third time, ordered passed and their titles be as on the Order Paper.

MR. BAKER: Order 12, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order 12.

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

I will not take too much more time on this particular Bill. However, Mr. Speaker, I am quite pleased to see a number of young people in the gallery today, and it is interesting that we are speaking about this particular Bill. This particular Bill, Mr. Speaker, will have some effect on those young people as they begin to grow older because I would say looking at those young grade six students that a lot of them love to go fishing, or as we call it, trouting. But, Mr. Speaker, if this Bill goes through the Legislature, many of those young people who like to take their fishing rods and their thigh rubbers and go out walking around the ponds and rivers in our Province may not be allowed to do so if section 7.2 in this Bill is allowed to stay on the Order Paper.

So I want to say to those students as they grow older: what you are enjoying today, you may not enjoy after this Bill goes through, because this Government is intending to stop people from moving around those ponds because all of a sudden someone will build a cabin on this pond, put a wharf out, and you will not be able to get around it. They are going to stop you from doing what you enjoy best, and that is fishing.

Now, Mr. Speaker -

MR. GRIMES: That is not true.

MR. WARREN: It is true. I say to my hon. colleague for Exploits it is true, and he knows it because he is part of the Cabinet that wants to do this - Section 7.2.

Mr. Speaker, I will say to you, Your Honour, that we would be willing to let this Bill go through very fast if section 7.2 is dropped. If section 7.2 is dropped I will stop right away, Mr. Speaker, and let this Bill go right through, because by dropping section 7.2 of the Bill then at least we are assuring the Newfoundlanders and the Labradorians that their access to the rivers and ponds in our Province will not be obstructed.

Mr. Speaker, let me say to my hon. friends that in New Brunswick, with the rivers and ponds, we saw what happened. Now you have to go and buy a permit and pay all kinds of money in order to go fishing to get a half dozen trout to cook for breakfast, and this is what is going to happen here, Mr. Speaker. You are going to have the people on the Gander River or out on the lakes saying: yes, you can fish here, but you have to pay so much money. That is what is going to happen, and we are not going to put up with it, Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of putting up with it. We are going to stay in this Legislature until every available means is used up by us, as the Opposition, to stop this Bill. We know at the end of the game that you have your thirty-two or thirty-three members, that you people will do as you did with the bills before the Legislature started.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I am going to say what you are going to do. You are going to ram this down the throats of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, that is what you are going to do because as Government, naturally you have the majority and you are going to do so.

AN HON. MEMBER: It was approved by the previous government.

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, this Bill was not approved by the previous government!

MR. GRIMES: That is not true.

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, how could a bill be approved if it never came into the Legislature! I ask my colleague, Mr. Speaker, to look at the Order in Council.

Mr. Speaker, section 11: I would say to the Government, Mr. Speaker, that in our Province of Newfoundland and Labrador we have a number of surveyors, and I believe the surveyors in our Province have to be wary of section 11 because it could happen. There could be adverse claims and the surveyor could be left two or three years down the road with probably having to pay to the Crown a substantial amount of money. Mr. Speaker, we are planning to bring in some amendments to Section 11. There are other sections in this Bill to which we are planning to bring in amendments. In fact there will be fourteen or fifteen different amendments.

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not welcome back my colleague for Bonavista South. I see he is sitting in a chair now that he is keeping warm for somebody. He is actually in the hot seat that he is going keep warm for two months, then he is going to have to move somewhere else. I welcome him back and I want to congratulate him on his temporary appointment.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GOVER: It is only until after Christmas.

MR. WARREN: I am sure, as my hon. colleague said, he is only there until after Christmas so enjoy it while you have the chance.

I am glad my colleague is back because he and I, my colleague for Humber Valley, and the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island went around the Province and at five different locations held public meetings. I believe it is fair to say that my friend as Chairman did a real good job and every submission that was presented to us said: do not take away our God-given right. That was the theme of every submission that was given to us, do not take away what we have enjoyed for years and years. That is to get our fishing pole, to get our thigh rubbers, to go out and walk around the ponds and rivers and fish if we desire to do so. Unfortunately what is going to happen with this Bill, Mr. Speaker, is that this right is going to be taken away.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Wrong! Wrong!

MR. WARREN: That crowd over there says, wrong, wrong. But yesterday when the Minister introduced the Bill the Minister said it only could happen with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council. Now, that is the Cabinet, with the approval of the Cabinet, so whenever the Premier, and the Premier is a one-man show, whenever the Premier wants something done he is going to do it regardless of the other twelve or thirteen sitting around the table. He will do the same thing here as he is doing with the Mount Pearl Fire Department. It is pointless to say it is not going to be done because it is going to be done. If the Premier wants it done it is going to be done regardless of whether the Minister of Social Services likes it or not. There is no such thing as a team approach, it is a one-man approach. It is the same as back in the 60s when Joey Smallwood ran the show by himself and now we have a Premier who is doing it the same way.

AN HON. MEMBER: You loved Joey Smallwood.

MR. WARREN: Yes, I say to my hon. colleague that Joey Smallwood is a great man. He is a great Newfoundlander. I only wish my hon. colleague for St. Barbe could be as popular as one pair of his shoes were.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

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

In Section 7 (2) of this Bill it does give Government the authority to change anything they want to change. And that is what we are upset about, that, those young people up in the gallery today, who are used to the enjoyment of going with their families for a picnic, a cup of tea around a pond, will have that taken away from them because of the attitude of this Government.

I said earlier that I was willing to stop speaking on this bill if this Government would delete section 7(2) - that is all we are asking, delete 7(2). If Government are not interested in deleting 7(2), I want to move the following amendment, seconded by the Member for Humber Valley:

That the motion for the second reading of Bill (22), which is before the House of Assembly, now be amended by deleting all the words after the word 'that', and substituting the following: 'That Bill (22), "An Act To Revise And Consolidate The Law Respecting Crown Lands, Public Lands And Other Lands Of The Province," be not now read a second time, but that it be read a second time, this day, six months hence.'

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: May I see the amendment, please?

The amendment is in order.

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. WARREN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could you advise me how much time I have left on this amendment?

MR. SPEAKER: We will check from the Table and let the hon. member know momentarily.

MR. WARREN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, all we are asking this Government to do now is take this bill and -

AN HON. MEMBER: Which motion?

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I am speaking on the motion I just presented.

AN HON. MEMBER: He is speaking on the amendment.


AN HON. MEMBER: He is speaking on the six-month hoist.

MR. WARREN: That is right, Mr. Speaker, and, in fact, if Government would agree to a six-month hoist, I would stop now and we could have a vote.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: It is up to the hon. member.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you agree to (inaudible).

MR. WARREN: No, if he would agree to a six-month hoist, I would stop now and we could go ahead and vote. All we are asking this Government to do is put this bill in the garbage can. That is what we are asking, because we feel that this bill is going to hurt Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who want to enjoy their freedom. It is taking away their freedom. Now, for two-and-a-half years they have been trying to bring a bill similar to this into this Legislature.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I just want to answer the question the hon. member addressed about his time. The hon. member has half an hour - a half-hour from when he started a moment ago, because now, he is debating a new question; he is debating the amendment, so he has the ordinary debating time of half an hour.

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

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

I, and I think, our Party, and I am sure the third Party in this House, would like to know why this Government is so determined to bring a piece of legislation into this House, that will not help most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Unfortunately, the only people this bill will help are those who have cabins and small wharves on the ponds and lakes in our Province, who want to stop people from walking around the ponds.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's not true.

MR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, that is true, because it gives this Cabinet the authority to allow those people to put up whatever kind of fence they want. Now, how can a person make it any more clear than that? That is a fact, and that is why we, as a former government, would not bring in this bill.

Mr. Speaker, the old bill in this legislature has been here for fifty years. Why change it? Nobody in the Province is saying, We want to stop other people from coming around the ponds. That is not what we want.

Mr. Speaker, I say to my hon. colleague from Bellevue, down in his district there are many famous ponds and rivers. In fact, I guess it is fair to say that I spend a lot of time in that area. I do a lot of fishing and trouting in that area. But, Mr. Speaker, it would be a sad day when I go down to Gull Pond, if someone has a cabin there and I am not allowed to go around that pond to my favourite fishing hole because he is going to try to stop me. Mr. Speaker, it is going to be a sad day, but that is going to happen with this bill.


MR. WARREN: Yes, it is going to happen. Because all that has to happen, Mr. Speaker, is for the person who owns that cabin to submit a request to Government, and when the request comes to Cabinet, the Premier will say, 'Oh, my goodness, that is one of my buddies who helped our campaign, so we have to help him,' and the Premier decides, and it is done. It is just as simple as that.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's not right.

MR. WARREN: Let me say to my hon. colleague, it is right. This bill does give a person who owns a cabin on a river or a pond, the opportunity to protect not only his own property, but to stop other people from walking around that inland water, and that we do not agree with.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: Exactly right, Mr. Speaker, but it was never, never done. So why change it? Why try to fix something that is not broken? That's what this Government is trying to do, fix something that is not broken, and unfortunately, that is very bad.

AN HON. MEMBER: Potential for abuse is all it is.

MR. WARREN: Well, that is exactly what it is there for. It is a bill to be used for those only who could afford it. That is unfortunate. And I know that my colleague for Bonavista South, when he has the opportunity to speak to this bill, will tell all the stories we heard throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. He will tell you that every person who appeared before a committee, without exception, said, 'We want our freedom.' Mr. Speaker, we know that this Government does not have the word freedom in their vocabulary. Because the people of Mount Pearl want their freedom to have their fire hall, but this Government is saying no, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: Let me say to my hon. colleague that he has only been in Cabinet now a month-and-a-half, and he already knows that the Cabinet is a one-man show, and that person will decide to do what he thinks is necessary, not what the other twelve or thirteen think who are sitting around that table. In fact, yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the Premier was in Mount Pearl and he got upset. He was so upset that he walked out afterwards and would not even talk to the media. Shame, Mr. Speaker!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I am wondering if we have a separate debate going on. I think the House only allows for one. The Chair has recognized the hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains, and now quite clearly is hearing loud debate. If the debate were low one could tolerate it, but it is very loud debate.

The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains, please.

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

Mr. Speaker, if I could have the attention of the minister responsible for this particular bill, I will go back to section 7(2)(a).

AN HON. MEMBER: What's wrong?

MR. WARREN: I want to just go through -

Section 7(2)(a) says: "where an applicant demonstrates that a grant, lease or licence of the land is necessary for the purpose of an industrial undertaking and the grant, lease or licence would not cause undue injury to the rights of others." Now, Mr. Speaker, going to (c): "to enable a municipality to engage in water and sewer works and to permit the construction of public roads;"

Now, I have here in front of me a regulation pursuant to Section 6 of the Environmental Assessment Act for the proposed Swift Current power development, in your district, Mr. Speaker, a power development on the Piper's Hole river. Now, we are talking about Section 7(2) and here we have a proposal for the Piper's Hole river, in a community in the district of Bellevue, where the hon. member, the Speaker, now serves.

Mr. Speaker, do you know that this particular river is one of the few rivers in Placentia Bay that is a licensed salmon river? Here we have a proposal now - and this minister has not called for an environmental study. All he asked is for written comments and then he will decide afterwards.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WARREN: Decide now! Decide now! Don't wait until afterwards! Decide now to do it! Mr. Speaker, this is what is wrong with this Government. Here we are, with one of the few salmon rivers in the Placentia Bay area, and all this Government is doing is putting a little note in the paper. Hopefully, nobody will notice it. But we are talking about a fishery in our Province that is decimated, that is, the salmon fishery. And here they are inviting proposals for the Piper's Hole hydro development.

So we can see how dangerous this bill is in not giving the people of our Province their rights and freedoms. You know, Piper's Hole has a Provincial park, I believe - and my hon. colleague can confirm that - a day park. And let's be realistic, a lot of people visit that particular park. But, for two years, if this construction takes place, we are going to have a piece of our Crown lands, a piece of our sacred territory that people enjoy, once again been taken away from them.

So this Government has one ambition. And it is not what is good for the people, it is what is good for this Government.

Mr. Speaker, I am going to clue up now because I know members on the opposite side -

AN HON. MEMBER: No, no, no, no, no, no.

MR. WARREN: Yes. Mr. Speaker, I am obliged to give up now because later I will be bringing in a number of amendments. However, I want to say that it is going to be a sad day in this Province when I must say to my daughter, or even her family, that they are not allowed to go to a particular pond because so-and-so has a cabin on that pond and he has been given a permit to control that particular pond or river. That is what this bill is going to do.

It is going to be able to give permits to individuals, in our Province or outside our Province, to a particular pond, and all of a sudden, a pond where at one time I went fishing and trouting, I will not be allowed any longer. That is what we are scared about, that Newfoundland and Labrador will be cut up into little pieces, a pond for so-and-so, a lake for so-and-so, and those who want to go out and enjoy themselves will not be able to do so.

I thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: If the hon. the minister speaks now he will close the debate.

MR. WARREN: No, no!

MR. SIMMS: He is speaking on the amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: There is an amendment before the House and if the minister speaks now he is speaking on the amendment.

MR. FLIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I was aware of that. I had no intention or no desire to close the debate. I would not have done it.


MR. SPEAKER: I now recognize the hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to have this legislation debated from now until doomsday. I have to say this, Mr. Speaker: I have know the hon. the Member for Torngat since - I think, we go back to 1979 when we first met. We ran together, we were elected, and we both served in the Opposition. Eventually, the hon. member had a change of heart and felt he would be happier on the other side. I consider the man a gentleman and we have been friends. But, Mr. Speaker, I have to say, and I have to tell the hon. the Member for Fogo, and the hon. the Member for Humber Valley, and the hon. the Member for Port au Port that either one of two things is happening in this House today, as happened yesterday, either the member is incapable of understanding the bill, either he does not understand it, he did not read it, or, with the support of the hon. members I have named, he is deliberately misleading the people of this House and the people of Newfoundland. It is one or the other. Mr. Speaker, that is a dangerous tack.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is probably both.

MR. FLIGHT: Probably both.

MR. R. AYLWARD: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, the minister just suggested that the Member for Torngat Mountains is deliberately misleading the people of this Province and, indirectly, the members of this House. To suggest that a member of this House is deliberately misleading has been ruled many times to be out of order. I ask that you suggest to the minister that he should withdraw such remarks as unparliamentary.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I was not following the debate closely, however, my understanding is that this was an either/or proposition which is perfectly acceptable. If the acting, acting, acting House Leader on the opposite side wants to interpret it that way, then I suppose that is his choice. If that is what he is willing to accept as the meaning of it, then he is quite free to do so. This was an either/or statement and there was no definitive statement made about deliberately misleading the House, Mr. Speaker, so I would suggest to Your Honour that because of that there is no point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: In the estimation of the Chair, the minister did indicate that the hon. member was deliberately misleading the House and I would ask the hon. minister to retract the remark.

MR. FLIGHT: I have no problem with withdrawing. I have no desire to cast aspirations, and I withdraw. However, Mr. Speaker, let me rephrase it: He is inadvertently misleading the House. He does not know that he is misleading the House, but that says volumes about the hon. member, though, Mr. Speaker. The risky part here for the hon. the Member for Humber Valley, who is a well-respected legislator, Mr. Speaker, in his district, in this House of Assembly, and in the Province, if he finds himself in a position where he has to support some of the statements that have been made in this debate by the hon. the Member for Torngat, that credibility is going down the drain, Mr. Speaker. The same thing applies to the hon. the Member for Port au Port, the hon. the Member for Kilbride, the hon. the Member for Fogo, the hon. the Member for St. John's East Extern, and the hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes. Any person, Mr. Speaker, who understands what this legislation is doing, and understands the law as it existed prior to this legislation, who would support the hon. Member for Torngat risks losing every bit of credibility he has, and risks being accused of supporting the revelations or the thoughts of a fool because you cannot see both ways. You cannot read this legislation, and you cannot be aware of what was in the last legislation, and then support what the hon. Member is saying. It cannot be done. So what is going to be interesting, Mr. Speaker, is to see how long the hon. Member for Fogo, and the hon. Member for Kilbride, and the hon. the Member for Humber, and the hon. Member for Port au Port, and the hon. Member for St. John's East Extern are prepared to support this charade. That is going to be the test, Mr. Speaker.

Now let me start again, Mr. Speaker. Under the existing legislation, a minister, without any regard for Cabinet, can issue a permit to occupy or grant or lease anywhere he wants in Newfoundland. Now that is what the existing legislation says, and it is happening. Every day it is happening. My ADM of Crown Lands - Director of Crown Lands - is issuing every day now along the seashore, along lakes, a right to build a boat house, a right to build a wharf - the foreshore, the seashore -


MR. FLIGHT: Yes! Anywhere. It is happening every day.

AN HON. MEMBER: The seashore?

MR. FLIGHT: Yes, the seashore, the foreshore, along the lakes, along the rivers.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, the right to occupy which gives the -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: Pardon me?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: No, but here is the point - the hon. members will appreciate this - here is what it says today. Mr. Speaker, to guarantee, to enshrine forever peoples rights to unrestricted access so people - it does not matter who they are - will not build and restrict, and bar off the reservation we have.

Right now the minister of today, under this legislation, has the right to issue a permit to occupy to anyone to do that - the minister. What this legislation does is - on the basis there may be abuse in that - some minister may decide, in the future, to issue a permit to occupy. That would give that person the right to bar off the reservation. Now it must go to Cabinet. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council now must make that decision. Every applicant must indicate publicly two months prior to making his application.

Now that is protection he never had before. The Cabinet itself must decide whether or not he will be given a permit to occupy, lease or grant, and the Cabinet, under this legislation, has identified the kind of structures or the kind of undertakings that even the Cabinet - under this legislation the Cabinet, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council does not have the legal right. They would have to change this legislation. Any future Cabinet would have to change this legislation in order to allow an outfitter, for instance, to put up a structure that would bar access.

Under this legislation, except for the structures and the undertakings identified, there can be no grant, no lease, no licence issued for the underfoot reservation along rivers, ponds, lakes, streams, seashore or foreshore. Now what do you want? What can you have?

AN HON. MEMBER: Leave it alone.

MR. FLIGHT: Leave it alone! If you leave it alone you are running the risk that in five years from now a minister might use the same kind of logic that the hon. Member for Torngat Mountains was using this morning.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: There will be no reservation left in Newfoundland, if he uses the type of logic that the hon. Member has used today. He could chose under this legislation to permit, to grant a permit to occupy every piece of land around every lake in Newfoundland. How stupid. How stupid, Mr. Speaker. This legislation is enshrining forever, protecting forever, the public's right to unrestricted access. Now what else can you have? So, Mr. Speaker, if the -

AN HON. MEMBER: You don't understand the Bill at all!

MR. FLIGHT: Pardon me?

AN HON. MEMBER: You don't understand the Bill at all, do you?

MR. FLIGHT: I do understand the Bill.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: Well, I will tell you, Mr. Speaker. I would hope there are people listening to the hon. Member's debate about this particular Bill. He tells me I do not understand the Bill.

So I am amazed that the hon. Members stand, and indicates anyway - no one has spoken yet - but they indicate that they support the kind of - and I will tell you why! The Member for St. John's East Extern should understand why they have taken this position. When this Bill was tabled in the House of Assembly last year everybody assumed, the Opposition jumped on the bandwagon, they encouraged public opposition, they ridiculed the Bill to a point that Government decided to take the Bill back. But the fact is this. That that was not - this Bill 22, or the infamous Bill 53, was not our legislation. It was their legislation, it was their legislation! It had gone through Cabinet!

AN HON. MEMBER: It is not!

MR. FLIGHT: It had gone through Cabinet, Mr. Speaker! Bill 53 had gone through Cabinet, had been approved by the previous Tory Cabinet, and was going to be tabled in the spring sitting, 1989, and enacted. That is why the hon. Member for Torngat is so exercised now, and that is why he is putting on such a show and such a charade. Because it was their Bill. The hon. Member for St. John's East Extern would have some credibility today, standing up and debating this Bill and making amendments or suggesting changes, he would have some credibility for the simple reason, when the Bill was tabled it was the first time he saw it. No Member sitting on that side that was a Member of that previous government will have any credibility criticising this Bill.

It was their Bill. There was not one change, not a comma, word or letter changed. It was passed by their Cabinet, ready for tabling in 1989, and now and last year they decided to jump up and criticise their legislation. They forgot it was their Bill. They sensed that there would be some - everyone knows that Newfoundlanders are very jealous and very protective of their rights to unrestricted access. Everyone knows that. They recognized that and decided to piggyback on the kind of - and they did it. They were successful to the point that this Government decided to pull back the Bill and to determine whether or not there was any basis for the criticism. The Bill has been subject to full total input through the Legislation Review Committee. The changes were made as a result of recommendations by the Legislation Review Committee after travelling this Province.

So I ask the Member for Torngat, what are you trying to prove? Who are you trying to fool? Who are you trying to bluff? Why are you trying to mislead the House of Assembly? Why are you trying to mislead the people of Newfoundland?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, there may have been some question about the Member's credibility in certain issues prior to this one. There will be no doubt after this particular debate.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

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

MR. WOODFORD: Well, Mr. Speaker, I have heard it all. Yesterday the Minister got up in this House and I have to admit, I do not like to do it very often, that he gave one of the best speeches ever I heard since I came into the House of Assembly in 1985. No question. I am talking about delivery, not content.

You know what they say, your best offence is a good defence, or you can put the reverse. Boy, did he ever go on the attack. He put me in mind of a pit bull with rabies. I mean, you could not go handy to him. He was there at every punch, he was going back and forth. Muhammad Ali had nothing on him. The arms were swinging and the fists were going, and he was grabbing for papers and he was - no doubt about it, he was in full flight!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: But I tell you, Mr. Speaker, if the content was as good as the delivery yesterday, we could sit down today; no need for debate; no need for six month hoist; no need for anything. We could get up today, put this through, and be gone out of here in a few minutes. But every time the Minister opened his mouth this morning, Mr. Speaker, again he started what he did yesterday. He was just like one of those John Deere backhoes; every time it put the digger down, he was digging the hole deeper. Every time he opened his mouth, he was getting in deeper, and deeper, and deeper.

Now, to get to the substance of the Bill, after praising the Minister, one of the things the Minister harped on yesterday was the Opposition did this, and the Opposition did that. Again this morning he said, Mr. Speaker, the Opposition members went around this Province and incited fear in the hearts and minds of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Opposition?

AN HON. MEMBER: He was not paying attention.

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. Minister had to do as much research on the hearings that were held in the legislation review committees as he did on Section 7.2 of the proposed legislation, Bill 22, he would not have had a word to say on that this morning. I will tell you why, Mr. Speaker. I will tell you why. The first meeting that was held down here, in Holiday Inn, St. John's, was attended by my colleague, the Member for Torngat Mountains; the now temporary Minister of Justice, Mr. Gover, from Bonavista; the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island; and the Member for Lewisporte, Mr. Penney. After the opening, Mr. Power from Crown Lands gave his opening statement and so on. After all this happened, who was the first speaker? - I recall - I was not there. That was the first meeting that I missed.

AN HON. MEMBER: Was it an Opposition member that started this all off?

MR. WOODFORD: Was it an Opposition member, Mr. Speaker? Was it the Chairman of the Legislation Review Committee at that time, the hon. Member for Bonavista South? No. Was it the Member for Torngat, Mr. Speaker? No. Was it the Member for Lewisporte, Mr. Speaker? No. There was one other member there, Mr. Speaker, the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island, and what did he do? One of the first questions that he put to Mr. Power, and one of the first concerns raised, was concerning Section 7.2 of the then Bill 53. Now I know there are times when hon. members look and listen to the hon. Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island that they think he is probably in Opposition, because he is almost in opposition to anything over there, being a backbencher. He may not say it in caucus, and he is not the only one at this time, but he did ask the question, and he was the first one who raised the fears concerning Section 7.2 - the very first member. That is not opposition. That is not creating fear, and instilling fear, and I do not know what, into the hearts and the minds of Newfoundlanders. That is fact, Mr. Speaker. That is fact. That is when it all started. That is when the Wildlife Federation got involved. That is when SPAWN got involved. That is when all the rod and gun clubs in the Province got involved. That is when Opposition members, Mr. Speaker, when they had their turn, started to ask some questions pertaining to Bill 53. Every member, bar none on that committee, Mr. Speaker, bar none, from that day on, and I have to give the other members credit on the Government side, bar none around this Province, every meeting they stood fast and said that there is something radically wrong with Section 7; Subsection 2, really, that is the one. There have been other concerns, and I will allude to those as I go on, but that was the main one. Everywhere we went, 100 per cent - 100 per cent of the hearings around the Province - I do not know if other members can recall, but I cannot recall one person getting up and agreeing with this particular section of the bill.

One of the questions and one of the witnesses who appeared before the committee felt that the Government did not need the broad power conferred on it by Section 7 (2), Bill 53, and feared that such power could be used to erode the traditional rights of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to unimpeded access to the freshwater bodies of the Province.

'The following testimony before the committee is representative of the concerns felt by the public'; that is the public position paper on a meeting that was held in St. John's and the Newfoundland Federation of Wildlife, Mr. Rick Bouzan, February 20th, 1990, r-13.

Mr. Speaker, 7 (2): the question I always ask in committee, of Government members, and I asked on several occasions of the Premier himself, is why? Why, Mr. Premier, do you want this section in the Bill? You can do what is necessary and what is needed in this Province with what you already have; you can do with putting in other sections as you had there before. Mr. Speaker, why, the bottom line was, why, that is all. A simple question, why 7 (2) was needed?

AN HON. MEMBER: Have they answered that yet?

MR. WOODFORD: No. This is the problem, Mr. Speaker, I have not had an answer. Nobody can answer it. Why, why did we go on the last 500 years and never had a problem? Why, all of a sudden do we need section 7 (2)? I am not questioning the Act, I am questioning other parts of the Act; they have been addressed, some by the Minister himself and I must say he did a very good job by the Federation of Agriculture and the NLPA, but there is this one underlying question that was never answered.

If there is an answer for it, why can we not be told as Opposition and Government Members, and let this Bill pass. We cannot get an answer, Mr. Speaker, and that in itself is the problem. That in itself lends to suspicion and lends to, I suppose, that something devious has been done. Maybe it has not, but why not tell us why we need section 7 (2). If you can answer that question - I asked the Premier as I said, on several occasions and the last time I asked him he said to me: Rick, he said, we are going to fix up 7 (2), we are going to fix 7 (2) and I said, how, Premier? He said we are going to add some more sub-clauses to it and that should address your problem with 7 (2).

I said, no, Premier, it will not. I said, by adding to 7 (2) you only create more problems; every clause you add, you add a problem. If you cannot address 7 (2), how do you rectify a, b, c, d and e because one addresses the other?

MR. HODDER: The Minister is not even listening, look!

MR. WOODFORD: Currently, from one particular member, and this is very timely I think, because he says: currently the legislation authorizes Government to grant license of ownership to industries which, to exist at all, must have direct and control access to waterfront property. Such enterprises are clearly described within the existing statute and for the current amendments to have been suggested at all - this is very important, Mr. Speaker, this particular statement -

AN HON. MEMBER: Do not deny it.

MR. WOODFORD: - and it was told by pretty well everybody -

MR. HODDER: (Inaudible) conversations going on over there like that, I mean that is -

MR. DOYLE: The Minister is not even listening.

MR. WOODFORD: This particular statement, Mr. Speaker, says it all. For the current amendments to have been suggested at all, we must suppose that non-conforming applications are either extant, not extent, extant or expectant. Now that to me, says it all.

If that is the case, and that is not coming from Opposition, this is not coming from Government Members, this is coming from people, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are respected in their given organizations, who are well respected around this Province, appearing before a committee and telling it like it is, asking legitimate, sound questions, thought out questions, and not getting an answer. All because of one particular section, 7 (2).

Now, Mr. Speaker, this tells me something else as well. How come, if such a small section, one section of an Act, 7 (2), that is causing a Government so much trouble, it must be worth an awful lot. It must be very important. It is supposed to be a little trivial section of a bill that is not going to cause any problems, and no one has to fear, how come it is not left like it was? Even get rid if it!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: You could do that, very simply, with the stroke of a pen, Mr. Speaker. Do not be so stubborn. I mean, you are supposed to be flexible. The reason for the institution of the legislation review committees was to go around this Province and give Newfoundlanders and Labradorians the chance to have some input. A good thing. I respect that decision, it was an excellent decision to have the legislation review committees. In this particular case, I can speak from experience, I was on it, I sat there, I listened, I took part, and it was an excellent exercise. Excellent.

But you can set up all the review committees you like. You can set up a committee for every bill and have someone on it going around this Province. But if we are not as legislators going to take some advice and show some flexibility and take some of the ideas that are being offered by those people - not from me, forget me, forget the hon. Member for Torngat, say to those people: look, we have listened, we are taking your concerns into consideration, and now we are going to try to address it.

Instead of this what they have done - and let's call a spade a spade - is just add clause after clause and made -

MR. FLIGHT: On the recommendations of the review committee!

MR. WOODFORD: Of the review committee? - the Government Members outvoted the two Opposition Members speaking on behalf of the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who spoke before the committee! That is where it came from. And I - never mind the trouble - I will speak for myself. When the time comes I am quite capable of speaking for myself, sir, and I will defend myself on this issue whenever necessary.

Now, Mr. Speaker, you know, talking about - the Minister could give permission to occupy. He is saying he could do it before. The Minister can always give permits to occupy. But he could not give a grant, lease or licence to anybody in this Province on any adjoining lake, pond, seashore or foreshore, or along any bank of the river that is otherwise reserved under subsection (1). Number one (Inaudible) "shall be issued without the prior approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council and only under the following circumstances...."

I mean to me now they can now give a grant, a lease. The Cabinet can give a grant or a lease. Now what is coming next? They will soon be giving - when you come back on Monday this will probably be sold. I do not know. But the Minister, yes, he could always give a permit to occupy - this is what has to be clarified. Let's not get caught up in politics. Let's forget the political part of it. Nothing might ever happen. If it did not happen before, it happened in certain cases, we were going along for 500 years on our own, no problems, everybody was looked after. But now the danger with this is that we are going back to the colonial times. To feudalism.

We are going back now to the days when Britain - and over in Britain when the kings and the queens controlled the rivers and the lands and the seas and the seashores and the ponds and lakes of Britain. When the peasants were allowed out of their compounds for a day a week, and a few hours a week, they went out around and they fished in little holes and muddied waters and no more and could not touch any more. The lords, kings and queens, they fished, oh yes, but the peasants could not go in. Those people, our ancestors, came over here for freedom. They came over here to get away from that and to get clear of those autocratic and dictatorial ways.

They came to this land and they found freedom, democracy, and lakes, rivers and ponds that they could fish from. That they could walk any shore, and after 500 or 600 years they found Section 7 (2) in a particular bill in this Province that could otherwise be interpreted. I am not saying it will happen, I am saying the potential is there for it to happen. Why have it there? Why with the stroke of a pen should it happen?

Then you can go on and carry that right throughout Canada - I do not have to tell hon. Members. Members here today know what it is like to go to another province, especially the Miramichi, and get a licence. When you walk up the river, fishing, and you have to cut your line because of a fence or a boat house or a wharf out into the waters. Don't walk around here. "No Trespassing" signs up. Stay out, keep out. That started as a very innocent -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) in Newfoundland?

MR. WOODFORD: In New Brunswick, in the Miramichi. But, Mr. Speaker, talking about -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: That's how it started!

MR. WOODFORD: In talking about the past something else comes to mind. The Minister is talking about a Minute in Council that was there the previous administration, and if it was, two wrongs do not make a right. It was not brought to the floor of the House, it was not debated, it did not go to a legislation review committee. But something else that is factual, can anybody remember, I wonder - even hon. Members opposite - the early days of the 'sixties when a premier of this Province, namely Mr. Smallwood, wanted to sell to private enterprise the Gander River?

AN HON. MEMBER: No, you cannot remember either.

MR. WOODFORD: The Gander River! And one other river, Portland Creek on the northern peninsula. To private enterprise. Not so long ago. I suppose a long time, it depends on how old you are. I cannot remember it. But I have been told - and looking at the history books, there is no trouble to see it, looking at some of the papers that were written. And when the people got up against it - can you imagine where we would be today? We would be worse then what they had in Britain with the kings and queens - I know we have another king here, but that does not justify giving everybody the right around any lake, river or pond in this Province. That is what happened then. Gander River specifically, and Portland Creek on the northern peninsula were two of the rivers that were going to be sold to private enterprise.

Well that was stopped, and that was brought to my attention for the third time by - now that the Member for Gander is walking in - Mr. Mike Barron with the Rod and Gun Club in Gander. That's the person who brought that to our attention again and showed that he was very concerned. He says that it appears to be well orchestrated and politically connected. Now I do not know what the man - those are his words. Mike Barron from the Rod and Gun Club in Gander. Those were his words and not mine, they are someone else's.

Comments like hidden agendas. Why is it necessary? Now you can go on on comments and quotes that were made by individuals around this Province whenever we appeared at those particular hearings.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, well that question came up as well. Where did it come from? Did anybody or any organization ask for it? If they did not why is it there, why is it necessary? All those questions, just a few simple questions, that could be answered, that would solve a lot of problems. Maybe it is jumping to conclusions. But you know what it is like, every Member knows what it is like, when an issue becomes an emotional issue. You cannot fight emotion with logic.

MR. FLIGHT: Who's making it emotional (Inaudible)?

MR. WOODFORD: Who made it? Your own Members!

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Your own Members made it emotional, Mr. Speaker. And if the hon. Member does not know the first member who had something to say about it, refer to January 25th, 1990 r-5 of the proceedings of the Resource Legislation Review Committee.

Mr. Walsh: Mr. Chairman, I would like to go to section 7, which is the reservation of shoreline. Am I to understand that the Act currently guarantees that there will be a minimum of ten metres around any pond or lake, that will not and cannot be granted to an individual or any other body corporate. Is that remaining or am I to understand that there will now be provisions that will allow an Order in Council to grant land all the way to the shoreline? Whose comments were those, Mr. Speaker? Jim Walsh, the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island.

The reply, Mr. Speaker, by Mr. -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Yes. I will not read the first part as it is not necessary but I will get to the sum and substance of his answer: Right now, Government cannot grant title to the reserves. Under the new Act, under the Act, the Government can in fact grant title to the reserve with the approval of Cabinet. That is the answer.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is a bit different from what you said.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Well regardless of what he said, I will give the gentleman - okay, I will say that that was wrong, but the point being made is that, we, as Opposition Members, are instilling fear into the hearts of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, but we did not bring it up.

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister rose to speak about comments made by the Member for Torngat Mountains, he used the words, not the Member, incapable, incapable, to the Member for Torngat Mountains and anybody else who thinks so, including me.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: I do not care what you say about me, I have an opportunity; I am sitting as a member in the House of Assembly and I can defend myself. I can take it and I can give it, that is our profession, but that says something else, Mr. Speaker. It is an indictment and it is a slur on every witness who appeared before those committees.

You, by telling us sir, that we do not know what we are talking about, are saying the same thing to the people, the witnesses who appeared before those committees, without exception, 100 per cent of the people who appeared before this committee, not half, not a fraction, not even a whimper of opposition, nothing, 100 per cent were in favour of this particular clause. Now that is saying something to the witnesses and the people who appeared before this committee all around this Province. They had concerns and they thought they were legitimate concerns and it is not coming from the Opposition, and the Minister is going to find that out sooner rather than later, that it is not just coming from the Opposition, and I would be the first one to say, I said it in the House before, I said it today and I will say it again. Maybe there is no need for being worried, but why have it there, we did not want it before, we do not want it today and we should not want it tomorrow.

If someone could answer that underlying question and tell me and every other witness who appeared before this committee around this Province, why it is there, why it is needed, then, Mr. Speaker, I will sit down and in fact I will probably move that this adjourn and we can all take the vote and go home. But this is not the case, the hon. Member for the great district of the Strait of Belle Isle is anxious now, I must have said something that really got to him altogether; he is biting at the bit.

I am not the only Newfoundlander and Labradorian who does not understand it. It is a matter of interpretation I suppose if you really want to get down to it, but when it comes to a matter of interpretation, why is it you have it there? Tell us why you need it? You just said that you always had permission to occupy. Now, you are giving a grant, lease or licence. You have the right now to give a grant, lease or licence. I would venture to bet, Mr. Speaker, that if a poll was taken of each and every member opposite this morning that 90 per cent of the members over there would be in favour of what I am saying.

Why is it in there? I am sure members opposite, the backbenchers and some of the ministers, do not know why it is there, they just do not know, or why is it so important to leave it there? I mean, we can get up and talk for a week or a month on Bill 22, but the bottom line is there is one particular section. The Minister addressed a lot of the other sections, but the only section - and I find this very ironic - in the whole bill that the Premier himself was interested in, is 7 (2). I asked about the other sections that we had concerns with, the Federation of Agriculture, the Newfoundland and Labrador Sawmillers Association and so on, but he always came back to section 7 (2), and that tells me something. That leaves, even in my mind, Mr. Speaker, a reason for concern and a reason to think that there is something devious.

Out of all the changes in this Act, and there are many, Mr. Speaker, some good changes and some bad, nevertheless even some of the bad changes people can live with. The Federation of Agriculture can live with them and the Newfoundland Sawmillers Association can live with them. Even the paper companies, Kruger and Abitibi Price, were asked, the exploration companies and so on, and they had concerns. The Minister of Mines and Energy seemed to be in favour with what the Minister is saying.

Mr. Speaker, Dan MacInnis, Vice-President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Exploration Association, what did he say? Just one short paragraph on what he said. They represent a very sizeable group of people in this Province, and a very influential group of people in this Province. Middle paragraph: (Inaudible) views the legislation as a hindrance and restriction of access, via shoreline, to geoscientists and prospectors in the conducting of routine exploration programs.

Now, is that opposition? That is not opposition, that is coming from very - we do not have to talk about politics. I could get up here and forget what I want to say and just table a wealth of information from witnesses on what they said and what they gave. I do not have to say anything about my opinions. This is all coming from very reputable people, and they are concerned. That was dated February 14, 1990.

So, it is not only me, Mr. Speaker, there are all kinds of questions to be asked and concerns that those people had, and still have today, because those people were asked the same question. This did not come after the addition of new clauses. This was mentioned in the review committees. After the second or third committee this was mentioned. It is not something new. Those same people were asked, 'What if we added different sections?' They said, 'Absolutely not!' They said the same thing that I am saying, adding other sections to it only creates other problems and makes matters worse. That is what happens.

Members are going to say: Well, we did change it. We added certainly sections. But this was told to Committee members and they knew upfront what was being added. They knew after the fact what was added, and they were still against it. There is all kinds of documentation here from organizations around the Province pertaining to this particular problem.

As I said, Mr. Speaker, there are other problems in the Bill, but the Minister has been approached with some of those problems and some of them have been addressed and some have not, but to the point where organizations in this Province can live with them. This is the only really outstanding clause in the whole Act, and that is 7 (2). When it came out first it contained 7 (1) and 7 (2). The ten meters that was in the first one, that is all was ever there. There was nothing else there in 7(1), not a thing. That is all was ever in it, and now there are all kinds of clauses. To do what? Right on down to 7(e) to do what? One underlying question, why is 7(2) needed? That is the bottom line. I can get up and fearmonger, or attempt to fearmonger. The Minister can get up and come back and say you are wrong, but tell me the answer. Tell the people out there in Newfoundland and Labrador today the answer. Why do we want 7(2)? Why does the Cabinet want the approval to give a lease or a licence? It is a very simple question. I can understand why they want one to give it to a farmer over the twenty hectors, or something like that, I can understand that going to Cabinet. I can understand having the say on going anything less with regards to a lease but I cannot, for the life of me, see anything in this that would make me satisfied, and give me the peace of mind that there is nothing wrong. To me there has to be something wrong, Mr. Speaker. The Member for Gander talked about this before, his constituents have talked to him about it, some of the people I mentioned here today. He knows as well as I do that there is something wrong with 7(2). It might go on for another 100 years and nothing will happen, but it is leaving the opportunity there tomorrow for somebody to come in and put Government on the hook by saying, you can do it, it is there, and Cabinet has the right and the approval to do it.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I want to say a few words about this amendment which has been put to this legislation. The reason I want to say something in defence of this Bill and explain why I am against the amendment is because I find it difficult to believe what I have been seeing happening in this House over the last few days. Hon. Members who are normally reserved and logical, for example, the Member for Torngat Mountains, who I have never seen before go off in such a frenzy, and the Member for Humber Valley who is normally very reserved, and when he says something he says it with a logical progression of events. There seems to be an air of emotionalism over there this morning, Mr. Speaker. They are totally carried away with their emotions. They are blinded to all sense of reason. They will not listen to common sense. They are flittering around like a swarm of bees who have had their habitat invaded. They have gone crazy over there. I served in Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition for four years and I was proud of the role that the Opposition had to play. The role of the Opposition has been recognized over the past hundreds of years in the British parliamentary system. The role of Government is to bring legislation before this hon. House. The role of the Opposition is to point out to the population where the weaknesses are, or where the perceived weaknesses are in that legislation. The role of the Opposition, Mr. Speaker, is not to create red herrings and let them become the issue. This is an unworthy role for the Opposition to play. In other speeches we have heard here this morning I have heard red herrings creeping in. For example, the last Member who is normally a very sensible, reasonable Member, started talking about selling rivers, started talking about the access to the Miramichi. Mr. Speaker, these are issues which are good, solid issues but totally irrelevant to this Bill. If there was an attempt made to sell a river in this Province I can guarantee the hon. Member that this is the Government that would be against such a regressive move. When hon. Members over there try to defeat this Bill which is before the House let them do it based on facts, based on truths, and not on emotional frenzies. What we are seeing, Mr. Speaker, is an attempt by an Opposition who has lost sight of its real mandate and is trying to turn this very important issue into a political issue. I probably do not expect much more than that from the hon. Opposition, but the people of this Province certainly deserve better information than that, because what is being fed out to the people of this Province, Mr. Speaker, is absolute total nonsense, it has nothing to do with the Bill which is before us today.

Now, Mr. Speaker, no one in this hon. House is more cognizant of the rights of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to have access to our bodies of water, our rivers, the seashore, and to our ponds and lakes. I grew up in one of the more remote parts of this Province. I am the owner of several shotguns, I am the owner of a rifle, I hunt, Mr. Speaker, whenever I get a chance. I would suggest that at this very minute my brother, who I normally hunt with, has already left and gone down to his camp for the weekend.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you have your licence?

MR. DECKER: No, I do not have a licence this year, but I got my moose last year, I will have the hon. Member know. So I am as familiar with access to the lakes, rivers and oceans around this Province as any other Newfoundlander and Labradorian is, and I am proud of the access that we have to our rivers, lakes, and streams, Mr. Speaker, and I would bemoan the day when these rights were taken away. But let me tell you this, Mr. Speaker, that during the years that I have been hunting and fishing, and that I have been accessing the rivers, ponds and lakes, there are certain things that I have seen which are at the seaside. I have seen wharfs; I have seen slipways; I have seen outfitters on some of our lakes, Mr. Speaker. These things are there. I have seen fallouts from water and sewer projects; I have seen hydro development plants; I have seen dams. These things exist! How in the name of goodness did they get there, Mr. Speaker? How did they get there? Did they grow? Did they fall out of the sky? No, Mr. Speaker, they were put there because there was a mechanism in place whereby permission could be given to the people of this Province to build dams, to build wharfs, to build things which impede access to riversides. It was common sense. It had to be done. But who gave the permission, Mr. Speaker? The power to give this permission was entrusted to the minister; one person, man or woman, one individual had the right to give permission.

Section 7.2, which hon. members are trying to make the emotional debate about, which the Opposition is going at such an emotional frenzy over, Mr. Speaker, to which the Opposition is acting like a swarm of bees because their hive has been kicked over, Section 7.2 will now make it the duty of not one person, not one minister, whether it be a woman or a man or whatever the case might be, this authority now is taken out of the hands of a single individual and put into the hands of a committee. That committee is Cabinet. It is put before a group of men and women duly elected, the cream of the crop in this case, Mr. Speaker. I cannot speak for the past; I cannot speak for the future, but at this moment the people of this Province have chosen the cream of the crop, and have entrusted us with the duty of enforcing the laws and the regulations of this Province, Mr. Speaker. The cream - the very cream which has floated to the top.

Just before this last election we saw the calibre of our Cabinet Ministers go to an all time low, but in the collective wisdom of the people of this Province they turfed such nonsense out, and they said, 'we want nothing short of the best,' and they chose the cream of the crop, and they put us around that table, Mr. Speaker. Not only that, just as an aside, while they picked the cream of the crop they also picked another seventeen or eighteen cream and put them right behind this cream. In moves the other cream, Mr. Speaker!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DECKER: At one time, Mr. Speaker, the minister in his own right could give permission for a dam to go on the Exploits River. The minister in his own right could give permission for a wharf to go on Canada Bay. The minister in his own right could give permission for an outfitter to go up on Lake Benoit or up on one of the lakes back in the heart of the country - the minister in his own right.

AN HON. MEMBER: Down on Eagle River.

MR. DECKER: Now, Mr. Speaker, down on Eagle River the minister could do it in his own right. Just think how things could have happened in some former Cabinet, not in this one, but in some former Cabinet where the minister of - well, let us say the Member for Torngat Mountains has a friend who wants to put an outfitters cabin up on the Eagle River down in the district of my good friend for Eagle River. The Member for Torngat Mountains could go up and say look: poor old Joe up there, boy, he gave the Party a couple of thousand dollars last year, we have to do something for poor old Joe; he wants to put up an outfitters cabin and if this becomes a public issue, there is going to be an outcry, you know how things are and probably Joe will not be able to get his cabin there, so how about just signing this piece of paper?

Pouf! Pass it along there Garfield boy, whack the signature on! That is how it was done and that is always a possibility. Now, the chances of that happening around a Cabinet table where you have fourteen or fifteen people who are concerned about the delivery of people's rights in this Province, the chances of that happening, Mr. Speaker, are an awful lot less than they are when one single individual has the right to make that decision. So, Mr. Speaker, what we are doing, we are correcting a mistake; we are correcting a problem and we are taking this right and this responsibility out of the hands of one and putting it into the hands of a group of people, which fits in so nicely with democracy; which fits in so nicely with the way we do things in this year 1991, since we have had such a change in the Government a few years ago.

Now, for us to vote for this amendment would be to delay the implementation of this bill another six months. Now what is that saying? What that is saying, Mr. Speaker, is, at the moment we have an imperfect system in place, whereby a single individual, one person, can decide to dam the Exploits River; where a single individual can decide to put a network of brothels up and down the Trout River in the Strait of Belle Isle district. That is what is happening right now; where a single individual can make a decision.

This amendment would say let us keep that, Mr. Speaker, for another six months and the hope is that when these six months are up, the hon. Member for Torngat Mountains or the hon. Member for Humber Valley would get up and make another amendment and move for another six months, and the intent is that they could do this by six month intervals for the next ten years and the people of this Province will still be deprived of this progressive legislation, that is what will happen, that is what they are up to; so, Mr. Speaker, I am chafing at the bit as hon. members rightly pointed out. I am indeed chafing at the bit to speak against this amendment and to get up and vote against this amendment.

I do not know if there is a procedure whereby you can vote against an amendment more than once, but if there is, I will be trying to seek that loophole, so I can vote against this once, twice, three times because this has to be defeated in perpetuity. This has to be defeated with such a resounding defeat that it will never raise its head again in this hon. House of Assembly; we cannot allow this to-do. We must defeat this amendment and I call upon my colleagues in the back benches and I call upon my colleagues in Cabinet, stay close to the House of Assembly; do not go to your districts on the weekend because you might not be able to get back here on Monday morning in time enough; stay in town on the weekend and when the vote is called, let us rush in and show the people of the Province that we are not satisfied to stand another minute, when this indignity is being perpetrated upon our fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

We are going to take power out of the hands of the one individual and put it into the hands of a committee, where it can be discussed with reason and rationally, therefore I call upon all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to join with this great Liberal Party and defeat this amendment at the very first opportunity we get because it takes power from the one and it puts it into a committee and that is the democratic process, Mr. Speaker.

Now, I hope that hon. Members on the Opposition will see the folly of their ways and stop this silly debate, stop emotional arguments and sit down and listen to a bit of common sense and reason and defeat this silly amendment as fast as we possibly can, Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

I too, Mr. Speaker, would like a few words pertaining to this Crown Lands Act. I think everyone will agree, the Crown Lands Act had to be revamped, because there were a lot of things in the Crown Lands Act, of old, that were outdated and had to be changed. My prime concern in the whole act, Mr. Speaker, is section 7(2), and I wonder why some of the backbenchers are not speaking on it. Why are some of the backbenchers not speaking on it?

MR. EFFORD: Speak for yourself. (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Listen to him! He got up the other day to give the Minister of Fisheries a big talking to, and when he got up he didn't have the guts of his convictions and never did it. He sat down and never opened his mouth. Now, he is over there shooting off his mouth.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, I ask that gentleman to be quiet, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. PARSONS: Two ministers got up and talked about emotion. Emotion! Well, the Minister of Health, if that wasn't emotion! I almost had motion sickness!

AN HON. MEMBER: Theatrics, I call it.

MR. PARSONS: Theatrics, no, I accused one of the hon. ministers before, of theatrics, and I am not going to do it again.

Mr. Speaker, let me talk about the bill, itself, and the problem I have with section 7(2). I was surprised at the minister who presented the bill when he tried to defend it. I mean, that section 7(2) is indefensible. There is no way you can defend it. The Minister of Social Services says there is.

Apart from the political side of it altogether, I have seen, in my own district, through squatter's rights, where fences have gone right to the water, in fact, out in the water, and over the years those ponds were available, but now they are not, because the people will not allow you in them.

AN HON. MEMBER: It was illegal then.

MR. PARSONS: It was illegal then, exactly. If this bill contained something to tell me that the squatter's rights could be challenged then, I could say, perhaps there is a point to it, perhaps there is some good in this bill, but it doesn't. Before, with squatter's rights, they could never get a grant, they could never get a lease; but section 7(2) now allows Cabinet the right to give that lease or grant.

Now, I want to go back to the Minister of Health, again. The point he was making was that, before, it was decided by the minister responsible, and now the decision is going to be made by Cabinet. Mr. Speaker, glory be to goodness! How many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians know, how many do not know, who speaks for the Cabinet? - one man. You have a one-man Government. One man speaks for the Cabinet. Who will get up in that Cabinet - I was never in the Cabinet, of course, you couldn't gain access to it. But when the Premier brings something up in that Cabinet, I would like to see the minister who says 'no'. I would like to see the minister who questions the Premier's authority. So you still have a one-man deal, because it is the Premier who is adamant about bringing in section 7(2). I spoke to the Premier about it.

AN HON. MEMBER: I see one down the back row there.

MR. PARSONS: One down the back row, yes. As much as I fight with him, yes, I guess he is one.

Mr. Speaker, I have a boathouse, not on a pond, but pretty close to it.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is illegal.

MR. PARSONS: I wouldn't doubt that it is. It was there when I went there. But I guarantee you, no one is going to be stopped from going up the side of the pond I am on, because if anybody comes up and I can see him, I am going to have a talk with him. But there are people in this Province, on this Island, who would not do that. Let me tell you a story. Let me tell the minister a story:

I was at the Holiday Inn during that meeting out there, and a young gentleman there really convinced me that this is wrong. He said he was 'way up in the country - you can say what you like, this is the truth. I think what transpired at those meetings is in book form, is it not? He said, he and his four buddies were 'way up in the country. They had two canoes and they were travelling for four days. Tired, beat out, he said, they finally came to a lake. After they travelled a little way down the lake, they saw a cabin over on the other side of the lake. He said, 'We will go over and have a talk to these people, perhaps get a bit of a rest,' and, seeing they were out of supplies, 'a cup of tea, or whatever.' As they turned their canoes towards that side of the lake, two speedboats came out, and, he said, they were out to sink them. They tried to sink them. There was no way they would allow them to cross that lake to go over to the cabin. Now, that is the sort of person I am afraid of; not me - I am not going to stop anyone from going around a lake. Where I have my cabin there is no one going to be stopped from going around the lake, and no one is going to be stopped by my friend next-door. The individual I am afraid of is the one who would send out a boat to swamp that canoe. He is the one. The minister can say what he likes, that is the truth. I am not a fearmonger. That is not coming from me, it came from that meeting at Holiday Inn.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: That is not true.

AN HON. MEMBER: Legislation will stop (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: No, no. They are a special group that thinks other people don't have rights. We have them in our midst. There are people who believe that the other person does not have a right, that they should control. Let me say this to you: Right now, they have the right in Cabinet. Say, a person is a bagman for the Liberal Party or the PC Party, or whatever party is in power, that he is the backbone of that party. And he comes in and says, 'I want to put a cabin on a lake, I want to have that pond out there. It has plenty of fish in it. I want to control it. I want to have my friends come up and visit me. I think you owe me that.' Do you not think a thing like that could happen? Right now, under the existing legislation it can't happen because you can't get a lease or a grant to cover that pond access, or river access, but under this new legislation, it can be done in Cabinet.

What I get a charge out of, too, Mr. Speaker, is the Lieutenant- Governor in Council. Mr. Speaker, has there ever been a piece of legislation from Cabinet sent to the Lieutenant-Governor that has not been signed? - maybe once in history. Has it ever been done?

AN HON. MEMBER: Back in the 20s, I think.

MR. PARSONS: I think it happened once, back in the twenties. What I am saying, really, and we all know, it is only a formality, so when we say it has to be authorized by the Lieutenant-Governor, it doesn't really mean very much. I am not speaking on this bill as being against the bill that was brought forward by the Government in power. I am saying that if that bill were brought about when the PCs were in power, I would be against that section of that bill. Mr. Speaker, if you put something there than can be misused or abused, then it will happen. It will become reality, Mr. Speaker, and that is the frightening thing about 7(2).

In the old legislation, in all grants, leases, and licences issued under this act, and on all transfer made under section 133, the section that dealt with this reservation around ponds and rivers, a strip of Crown land not less than thirty-three feet wide, which is on my deed that I have for my cabin, thirty-three feet back from that river I do not own. It is not mine. It is a reservation that anyone at all can use. People go up there with skidoos in the wintertime, people go up with bikes, and whatever, and there is nothing I can do about it. Tomorrow, if my little boathouse - and I don't have a big boat, I only have a fourteen foot aluminium boat up there. But the point remains, if someone comes up tomorrow and says, 'Look, that boathouse is in the way,'I am assuming that they could make me move back that boathouse, and rightly so, or my wharf or whatever I have on that little pond. But, still, that thirty-three feet is there that everyone has access to.

Now, it says, 'Not less than thirty-three feet wide around all lakes and ponds and along each bank of all rivers shall be reserved.' Mr. Speaker, let me say this to you: We are all Newfoundlanders, most of us come from outports and rural areas, and even the people who came from St. John's and urban areas, always went out to do a bit of fishing or a bit of hunting or whatever, especially in the wintertime. When you go out to any of the rivers, the center of the river is always down and you have to use the side of the river to gain access to the interior or to wherever you want to go.

AN HON. MEMBER: No (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Oh, yes! I have a bike, skidoo and everything else, and half a dozen guns. Yes, I have been after moose. I never got one this year. Oh, yes, I love the country. That is why I am going to do everything I can to stop this legislation from going through. I know that at the end of the day we will possibly be defeated, but I will guarantee you one thing, that you are going to have to live with it. I am sure, I am positive, it is only for toeing the line that many members on that side will vote for this bill. I am positive. I am sure. Because if this bill was presented when we, on this side, were in government, I would have a problem with it. I would have a big problem with it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: One second now. I am going to tell the minister -

AN HON. MEMBER: It is your bill.

MR. PARSONS: No, it is not our bill. It was never brought before the legislative body here, so it is not our bill. It is the minister's bill, although the draft legislation might have been there. I am not saying he is wrong, I do not know. I am certainly not saying the minister is wrong, but it was never brought to the House because there were people in Cabinet who found problems with it.

AN HON. MEMBER: You should not have drafted it.

MR. PARSONS: Draft legislation, Mr. Speaker, is not the minister's legislation. We all know that. The minister certainly has to read it, but it is his bureaucrats. This legislation is brought to the minister and, in many instances, the Premier's legislation. The Premier's legislation is 7(2). The Premier's part in this new legislation is 7(2). Now, why did the Premier want it? I don't know. It could be that he had some friends who were interested in, down the road -

AN HON. MEMBER: Don't be so silly!

MR. PARSONS: Oh, don't be so silly! I mean, everything is, don't be so silly. But the point remains that down the road somebody is going to take advantage of it. It is not going to be the majority of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, but it is going to be a minority. I hope that I never live to see the time when I am going up the side of a lake and come in front of a chain link fence.

MR. FLIGHT: That is what this bill is going to stop.

MR. PARSONS: The bill is not going to stop that, the minister is wrong.

MR. FLIGHT: That can happen now, but this legislation is going to stop that forever.

MR. PARSONS: It cannot happen now, because you can go up and tear down the fence, because he has no grant to put it there in the first place. He has on grant to put it there or he has no lease to put it there.

MR. FLIGHT: What about the permit to occupy? Everybody (inaudible) will have to have a permit to occupy.

MR. PARSONS: That is a different situation. They do not have a grant. There is no grant or lease issued.

MR. FLIGHT: The permit to occupy will be renewed every five years, the same way as a grant.

MR. PARSONS: A grant! It is not. A permit is not a grant.

MR. FLIGHT: It carries the same weight.

MR. PARSONS: It does not carry the same weight, it is renewable.

MR. FLIGHT: Every five years is the only difference. It gives the same rights for those five years as a grant.

MR. PARSONS: Well, even in the five-year bit, it is still not a grant, it is a permit that can be taken away from that person after the five years.

AN HON. MEMBER: No grant.

MR. PARSONS: There are no grants there now.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I cannot permit this rather generous flexibility that is going on right now. Hon. members ought to know that the way they can make an interjection is by asking a member and simply saying, Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member, in which case he can get up and make his point. But until that is done there is no provision in the rules for somebody shouting across the floor and carrying on debate. There is a place for order and decorum in the House and that is the way we do it. If any Member wants to interrupt another Member, courteously ask if a question is permitted. Because we do get a chance to debate. There is another place for that Member to debate, and all others. Not to have three or four debates going on while a Member is trying to say something.

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am sorry for my part in that shouting match, but sometimes you get carried away and involved -

MR. SPEAKER: You had the floor.

MR. PARSONS: And I had the floor, especially with the Minister, because I know the Minister knows in his heart and soul that Section, 7 (2), should come out. All we are asking is that 7 (2) just be eliminated. We are not asking for any big thing. We are not asking for anything. Right? All we are saying is that it is wrong, that it could jeopardize the right of some people in Newfoundland and Labrador. Apart from what was there before, we had no problems with what was there before. There were no problems. I do not think there was any account of any interference on waterways or anything else in this Province since 1949.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: No, but what I said to the Minister is they have the right to put the fences up once you give them a grant. But it could be stipulated in a permit that the fence not be allowed to go to the water's edge. But it can not be stipulated in a grant. If you have a grant to the water's edge then that is it, it is granted by the Crown. I mean, the Minister is only just shying away from reality, from the facts, and those are the facts.

But, Mr. Speaker, under Section 7 of the proposed new Act Cabinet will have the power to take away the rights of public access to certain shoreline areas. Now I heard the Minister talk today about structures like houses that were built in some communities outside in rural areas and this type of things. So we all know that. We all know that there are houses built within ten feet of a shoreline. We are not going to take the houses out of there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: That is right. Absolutely. It is the only place that you could build them. Many people in the rural areas built houses so close to the shore too because of the fishing aspect. They were close to the fishery and they found a piece of land and they just built close to the shoreline. There is no problem with that. We are not talking about that. All we are saying is that there is a loophole that is non-existent now but will be in existence if this legislation is passed. That is all. It is only 7 (2). I have no problem with the rest of the Bill, none whatsoever.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) sit down (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: I have no problem. The only thing, I will never sit down and I will never stop saying that that 7 (2) is wrong and should come out. The Minister realizes that as well as I do. He is only doing what he has to do. The last time the Bill was changed, when it was Bill 53, it was a public outcry that changed the Bill. The new Bill gives Cabinet the same power but they place minor restrictions on that power. But in essence, Mr. Speaker, it has the same power.

I know all the people on the other side, and I am sure that perhaps with a couple of exceptions, none of those people are happy with that 7 (2). The hon. Member for Humber Valley made a good point when he said that our ancestors came over here and most of them were poor people. Some of them, many of them, were running to get away from the restrictions, to get away from, I suppose, almost from the jails of Ireland, England, Scotland, wherever they came from. Over there the restrictions were so great, most of them being peasants, they were not allowed to have access to anything.

So when they came to Newfoundland they found here a haven. They found here a place where they could do the things that they wanted to do. They brought in rules and regulations, and certainly that I can abide by, that I enjoy, and now we are going a step backwards in saying that some of the elite out there who have the money, who have the capabilities, will now be allowed to have access to our waterways, or to stop me or you from travelling along the side of a lake.

We know what happened in New Brunswick, it all started out the same as this Bill. I mean you have wealthy people in Newfoundland who can buy their way almost through anything, or they will try to buy their way. What I am saying is for the majority of people 7.2 is of no account. For the majority of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians 7.2 will never be infringed upon; but I am saying there is a minority out there who will take advantage of Cabinet, of their ability to pressure Cabinet into doing things - and we know that can happen, not only in this Government but in every government. And once we have the legislation there, there is nothing that can be done about it.

We are the law makers. We are the people who are supposed to come in here and make the laws, rules and regulations for the rest of the people out there. Don't take away their God given right, the right of our ancestors, the rights brought about by our ancestors, because one or two people just cannot see the woods. They cannot see it let alone the few scattered trees on the outside, or they do not want to see it. The Minister does not want to see it. The Minister realizes as much as I do that this brings a loophole in the legislation that will be taken advantage of by some people.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Was there any advantage taken up until now since 1949?


MR. PARSONS: Where? You tell me where. You talk about -

AN HON. MEMBER: Your boat house.

MR. PARSONS: My boat house could be moved tomorrow. I said I am like 80 per cent of Newfoundlanders who have cabins.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


AN HON. MEMBER: But does that restrict your boat house (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: My boat house does not restrict anyone from gaining access up or down to the side of that pond.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes it does.

MR. PARSONS: And I welcome any Newfoundlander or Labradorian who comes up there to -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: No it does not. In fact I built an old wharf, and over the years I would say, and I am being conservative in saying this, 250 to 300 people use the wharf to fish from. Lots of times I was going to go down, but I could not get down because there were too many on it, and they are welcome to it.

I am the same as the Minister of Social Services; I am the same as the Member for Stephenville. I know that both of you would do the same as I would.

But we see what happens when those people with all this money - they want privacy. Mr. Speaker, you will remember sir, and many people here, that can remember back in the 'sixties. I will always remember this old song: 'signs, signs, everywhere a sign, cluttered up the scenery, breaking my mind. Don't do this, can't you read the sign?' If you want me to sing it now I will try to sing it. But I was going to send it over to the Minister of Health. I think that his vocal cords perhaps would be better than mine. But anyway he has left the Assembly now.

But this is what the problem is. This is what the problem was when that young singer saw it in the 'sixties. That was the problem. Signs, fences. They will fence you off. They are out there, they want privacy at any cost. We are not used to it in Newfoundland and Labrador. I do not think that we should have to be used to it, I do not think we should be forced into it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: No, my boat house is fine. I am a Newfoundlander, the same as the majority, with no great things. I do not want any privacy, I love to see people coming. I love to see people like the hon. Member for Ferryland come to visit me, and even to walk up, or us his (Inaudible).

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: But, Mr. Speaker, as I stated before this gives the Cabinet the power. The Minister also said that it was fearmongering. That it was because of the Opposition that people were up in arms over this Bill, over this Section 7 (2). Well, I have never spoke to anyone in my district about it, only what people come and say to me. Everyone out there, like I told you, normal, ordinary human beings, ordinary individuals, are worried about this piece of legislation. They have every right to be worried about this piece of legislation. Because this is an archaic piece of legislation. It had to be cleaned up, there were things that had to be changed in the Act; things have changed over a period of years and it had to be brought up to the 90s; but, Mr. Speaker, 7 -2, was brought in by the Premier; it was attested to by the Premier and I wonder why? And I am like a lot of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Why was it brought in? Why is the Premier so adamant?

The Premier is the one, it is not the Minister. It is not the Minister who brought it in; the Minister who brought it in is only a tool, that is all.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. PARSONS: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible), a busy tool too.

MR. PARSONS: What the Minister is trying to do - he is a spokesman today for the Premier, yes, for the brownbaggers. We were called brownbaggers once. Yes, we were, all of us who lived in the rural areas when we came into St. John's, we were called brownbaggers. I do not know what they thought was in the brown bags, but all it was, was only a little bit of lunch at the time; they said they were not even buying their lunch in St. John's, they were coming in they said, bringing in their food from home.

AN HON. MEMBER: They wanted to tax you.

MR. PARSONS: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: They wanted to tax you.

MR. PARSONS: They wanted to tax us. They wanted to place a tax on us for coming into St. John's to work. Now this has been going on for a number of years -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: No, no. I cannot say that about the Minister of Education. I am sure he would not agree with that tax. The Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs? - I do not think he would go along with that, I am positive he would not.

But now, this is what we are fearful of, this is the brown bag thing; not only for the Government in power today but any government that will be in power today or in the future -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: No, Kevin will not sit down until he does what he wants to do and that is, get across to the members on the other side, not to vote for this Bill until they take 7 (2) out, eliminate it! That is all we are asking; we have no problem with the Bill, all we are talking about is one section.

Let me go back to the brownbaggers. I mean, we are not naive enough or stupid enough not to know that political parties have bagmen; that political parties do not have great support from people with the monies. How do you manage if you do not have people with the cash, with the dollars -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: You do not have the intestinal fortitude to do it. Let me say this to you. Number one, I told you before you are only a mouthpiece, a tool for the Premier. Without the Premier being in his seat you can do nothing. You were told to bring in that Bill, you were told what to say pertaining to the Bill, and now you are over there telling me that you are going to change it. You do not have the ability or the intestinal fortitude, you are just not allowed. You would not be in Cabinet the next day if you did it. Now, the only chance for you to do it, if you were man enough and wanted to be thrown out of Cabinet like the Member for Port de Grave, you do exactly what you just said, take 7(2) out, but you will be a hero with the rest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Will the Minister answer me a question? Who is the Premier trying to please?

MR. FLIGHT: Five hundred thousand Newfoundlanders. He wants to protect their rights forever by providing access.

MR. PARSONS: Well, Mr. Speaker, we have heard it all. The Premier wants to designate, give out grants and leases to the 500,000 people in Newfoundland. That was the only reason why he wanted to bring 7(2) in. How naive is the Minister? How naive does he think all the rest of Newfoundlanders, 500,000 of us are? I am surprised that the Minister could come up with that kind of garbage. I am amazed. I ask the Minister again, who is he trying to please? Will they be a group of these brownbaggers? And, they will not be bringing their lunches in either. They are not bringing their lunches in. They are bringing something else in the brown bags, perhaps the lunch that is needed for any party to progress or to be re-elected. This is going to be perhaps a ploy in the re-election campaign, X number of dollars for a piece of land that you will have complete access to and privacy. Then the Minister says it is going to go before Cabinet, fourteen Members of Cabinet. Well, I can certainly see the Minister standing up to the Premier with his finger pointed, saying, I am not going to allow that. It is amazing! The legs would fall off his chair in the Cabinet room. He would be gone down through it if the Premier said, 'you'. So the Minister would come out of the Cabinet room with the grant or lease already in his pocket for whoever the Premier told him to do it for.

Mr. Speaker, with that said, the time is now 11:57, I will adjourn the debate.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Two things; first of all the hon. Member for Torngat Mountains has a Private Member's Resolution on the Order Paper, a very short one. I understand the situation has since been totally resolved, and by leave of the House I am going to suggest that this now be dropped from the Order Paper.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, on Monday we are going to continue on with Bill 22.

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