November 19, 1991          HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS            Vol. XLI  No. 73

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Before going on with the routine business of the day, there are some special visitors that we would like to welcome today. Firstly, I would like to extend a warm welcome to former MHA, Mr. John Nolan, sitting in the Speaker's gallery.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Also in the Speaker's gallery is Maureen Shaw, Chairperson of the Council of Governors of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. We extend a warm welcome to Miss Shaw.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: In the public galleries today, is a group of Grade V1 students from the Roman Catholic School Board. They are engaged in an Enrichment Program. These students, representing approximately ten schools, are accompanied by Patricia Donnelley, teacher, and Mrs. Hickey, parent.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, before I give my statement, I would like to make a brief comment. I was hoping that one of our colleagues, the hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, would be here today to hear this announcement because I know he is anxiously awaiting word on the issue.

Mr. Speaker, the Recreation Capital Grants Program was revised in September of 1991 and among other things the new program stipulated that municipalities and/or incorporated recreation associations could apply for funding to assist school boards with the cost of building schools where an agreement for community use of the building during non-school hours was in place.

This revision was implemented to encourage the co-operation of regional groups to develop regional facilities, to optimize financial resources, to avoid duplication of costly facilities, and to provide residents with a greater variety of better quality, better utilized services.

Today, it is my pleasure to announce that the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs has been authorized by Government to commit a total of $240,000 to increase the size of the gymnasiums in schools at Makkovik and Mount Carmel to facilitate community use of the buildings during non-school hours.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GULLAGE: This announcement today constitutes the first Joint-use Agreements under the revised Recreation Capital Grants Program.

The $240,000 will be committed in the 1992-93 budget of the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs including $100,000 for the Mount Carmel school and $140,000 for Makkovik.

These amounts represent 75 per cent of the total cost of each of these projects and the remaining 25 per cent will be raised by the communities, themselves, through various efforts.

In the case of Mount Carmel, the community representatives are proposing an increase from 4,800 square feet to 6,000 square feet and this change would allow for regulation play to take place with room for spectators.

In the case of the Makkovik project, the community group is proposing an increase from 2,000 square feet to 4,000 square feet.

Both school boards have indicated a willingness to increase the size of the gymnasia on the condition that 75 per cent of the additional costs are guaranteed by the Province and both are willing to sign Joint-Use Agreements guaranteeing accessibility to the school by the general public.

These initiatives, once completed, will allow for much greater community use of schools and, as indicated, they are the first examples of the department's new commitment to funding community/school shared-use recreation facilities.

Mr. Speaker, in recent years, both municipalities and school boards have been hard pressed to find enough resources to respond to recreation needs separately. This new joint approach to constructing and operating sport and recreation facilities offers the opportunity to strengthen existing programs; to maximize existing services and resources and to achieve those desirable objectives at reduced costs.

The Minister of Education, the hon. Phil Warren and I have had considerable dialogue with respect to the development of this new government initiative which is being announced today. I would like to acknowledge my colleague's involvement and also the significant contribution of staff officials within the Department of Education. The new Joint-Use Agreement guidelines will also be included in a School Planning Manual which is presently under development by the Department of Education.

Since 1972, Mr. Speaker, the Recreation Capital Grants Program has been provided to municipalities and sports groups throughout the Province and the inclusion of the Joint-Use Agreements can only serve to enhance this program - the intent of which is to provide needed recreation and leisure facilities to enhance the lifestyle of all residents of our Province.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thank the minister for a copy of his statement prior to coming into the House.

Mr. Speaker, I would, from the outset, have to say without hesitation that this is a very positive statement.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: It goes to show what the minister and his officials, with the Minister of Education, can do when they get their heads together and talk about what will be positive for this Province. I know that the minister is capable of it. If they would leave him alone with respect to the municipalities in the Province, he would do the same I must say, but he does not have the final say.

But, Mr. Speaker, this is very positive; I am cognizant of what the minister is talking about re his joint effort with the Minister of Education. Some municipalities in this Province have no other way of getting recreation facilities. In some cases, the municipalities are not big enough to put in their percentage. In this case, there is a school board that is quite capable of doing it, with, probably, other fund-raising activities and so on. And, the main thing here, too, is that, it is someplace for the students to go. In some of those municipalities they do not have the recreation facilities that they have in the urban centres of this Province, and I think this should be noted.

I say, Mr. Speaker, hats off to the school committees. I understand they did quite a bit of lobbying for those two particular facilities, and I would have to give them full marks as well, for their success in lobbying the department and the Government to come out with such a positive statement.

Also, with respect to the statement, Mr. Speaker, it is one thing to put those programs in place; it is another to ensure the facilities are going to be used as was intended. Use for the general public, as per your second last statement on the second page, is very important. School boards have to be made aware of that, and have to make sure that those facilities are used for the purpose for which they were intended.

The second last paragraph in your statement is very important. It states that you are going to put this into the School Planning Manual, so it will be there for everybody's advantage and can't be taken out tomorrow or the next day. Once again, I would like to thank the minister for the statement and say it is something very positive, something we need in this Province, today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Fisheries. The minister is going into a meeting this week with his Atlantic counterparts and, I understand, with the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Mr. Crosbie, to talk about the 1992 Groundfish Management Plan. The last year, we all know that the Total Allowable Catch was set for three years and the 1992 TAC was set at 185,000 metric tons, 5,000 metric tons less than the 1991 Total Allowable Catch.

I am wondering if the minister can inform the House, whether or not he has consulted with the various partners in the fishing industry, the union and the fish processors and so on, to determine the implications that a lower TAC will have on the fishing industry in our Province in 1992. Has he consulted with these partners, and really, what have they told the Minister the effect of a further decrease in the total allowable catch will have on the Province?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, we have had a number of discussions over the past twelve months, I guess, with the people in the fishery, both the processing and harvesting sectors. Of course, it is no secret that if the total allowable catch is reduced still further then it will have some impact on those sectors, but the degree to which it will impact on them is not quite clear yet because I am not sure if anybody is anticipating a further reduction in the allowable catch. As we all know, last year there was a multi-year quota set: in 1991, 190,000 metric tonnes; 1992, 185,000 metric tonnes; 1993, 180,000 metric tonnes. It was pretty well agreed at that time that barring unforeseen circumstances that those quotas would be obtained.

Mr. Speaker, like I said yesterday, on Thursday we will be briefed by scientists and highly placed officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. They have been monitoring the situation now, and keeping an eye on the scientific data that is coming in. If it is found that maybe the stocks cannot stand a TAC of 185,000 tonnes in 1992, then it might well be that we will have to give some serious thought to reducing that TAC still further. Of course if that happens then there will be some impact on the various sectors. To what extent, I do not know because I do not expect the TAC will be dropped too drastically, but any minor drop, I am sure, will not have too big an impact on them.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I think it is fair to say, and I think the Minister would agree, I think it is pretty certain that the total allowable catch for 1992 will certainly not be any more than 185,000 metric tonnes, and I suppose there are people out and about who expect it to be less.

I want to ask the Minister if he has received any indication from Fishery Products International: with the total allowable catch staying at 185,000 metric tonnes or being a bit less, has the Minister received any indication that there will be increased downtime at any of the plants in their system with the total allowable catch at 185,000 tonnes or lower? Has he received any indication from the company that plants in the FPI system may experience additional downtime this year?

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

MR. CARTER: Replying to the first part of the hon. gentleman's question, Mr. Speaker, I think he is right. It is pretty safe to say that the TAC in 1991-1992 certainly will not exceed 185,000 tonnes. There is not much chance of that happening. Of course, there might be a chance it will reduce below what was set last year. Getting back to the second part of his question, no, we have not really discussed that with FPI, because I have been led to believe by the principals of that company that there is a certain amount of flexibility built into their system, where if there is a moderate decrease in the total allowable catch, that does not necessarily mean that they are going to have to close a plant. I repeat, a moderate decrease.

They can accommodate that and re-adjust their schedules and so on. So if there is a moderate decrease in the TAC I do not anticipate that the big companies - FPI and Natsea - will have to look toward closing some of their plants. Now if it is a major decrease, well then who knows what will happen? But I do not think this kind of a decrease that might very well come will have that affect on the two big companies.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. A final supplementary to the Minister, then. I think I sort of read between the lines of what the Minister is saying, but my final supplementary simply is this: can the Minister confirm for the House today that Fishery Products International will not be looking seriously at closing one or more of their processing plants in 1992?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I cannot, for obvious reasons, confirm or deny any such statement because that is a decision that is made in the boardroom of the company. Now I have no doubt that as a courtesy before any such decision is made the CEO of that company, Mr. Young, will certainly discuss the matter with the Province. I would expect that as a courtesy. In fact I know he will do that. But we have not been so advised and I can only assume from that that no such plan has been even discussed to this date.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DOYLE: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. Could the Minister of Health give any information to the House as to whether or not hospitals in the Province have been able to operate within their 1990-1991 budgets? In particular, could the Minister give us any information as to whether hospitals have been able to operate within their budget for nursing services?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge, all the hospital boards, except three, have been able to operate within their budget over the past years. The three which were not able to operate within budget had some extenuating circumstances. In some cases they were asked to take on extra responsibilities and that sort of thing. So, there has been no significant problem with the operation.

With regard to the nursing departments, it is difficult to break that down because hospitals are given a budget and each hospital decides itself how much of that will go into nursing and how much will go into the backup services and other areas. I am not aware of any special problem as far as nursing goes in any of the hospitals, Mr. Speaker.

I will say, however, that we had anticipated there would be 350 nurses laid off, and we arrived at that figure after we analyzed the information which hospital boards gave us. But when the crunch came, there were an awful lot less than that laid off, Mr. Speaker. There were probably no more than fifty or sixty nurses who lost their jobs.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Harbour Main on a supplementary.

MR. DOYLE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister has indicated that three hospitals have had cost overruns. Would the Minister table the information in the House on any and all of these overruns that have occurred, the amount of the overruns, what hospitals have had these overruns and what the projected cost of overruns will be by the end of the fiscal year for these three hospitals he is talking about?

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

MR. DECKER: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I will be glad to table that over the next day or so. I should tell the hon. Member, though, that it was quite normal in the past, well, since Confederation, I suppose, and maybe before that, for some hospital boards to overrun their budget. I am pleased with the performance of the hospital boards this year. If members were to look at the budgets for the past number of years, you will see that there was always an overrun somewhere in the system.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Harbour Main, a supplementary.

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

I am not absolutely sure of this information as it is information I received only yesterday, but can the Minister confirm that the Janeway Hospital was having a serious deficit problem, or any deficit problem? The Minister will obviously clear that up. The information, as I said I received yesterday, is that the Janeway is in deficit to the tune of approximately $1 million. Is that true? Is that accurate information? If it is accurate can the Minister tell us what the deficit will be by year's end at the Janeway, and what extraordinary measures the Minister is taking right now to bring these expenditures in line with the reality of a very strapped health care budget?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the area of hospital deficits is not a black and white area to deal with. For example, the Grenfell Regional Health Care Services came in to meet with the Department of Health some months ago and they were at that time predicting a deficit in excess of $1 million. After discussions with the Department of Health they are now telling us they are going to reach the end of this year with a balanced budget.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that the Janeway?

MR. DECKER: No, the Grenfell Regional Health Services, just as an example. Now, earlier in the year the Janeway was predicting a deficit of somewhere in the vicinity of $200,000 or $300,000 but they assured us they have sufficient board funds, or they will make sufficient adjustments to their programme so they can handle that magnitude of a deficit. Mr. Speaker, we can take a snapshot of any given day but we cannot say there was a deficit until the year end arrives. However, I will table the information that the hon. Member is asking for.

I should say also, Mr. Speaker, that I am delighted to see the hon. Member back on his feet after having a little bit of exposure to the health care system. I can only hope that they treated him well.

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the hon. Minister of Social Services. The Minister recently had a meeting with representatives of the Foster Parents Association of Happy Valley-Goose Bay regarding a foster child who is to be sent back to his parental home where terrible abuse has been alleged. I understand he is suppose to go back by December 5. Now, that the Minister has had his meeting I would like to ask him if he is satisfied that the matter is being properly dealt with by the Department of Social Services in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and more importantly will the two year old child in question be going back to the environment where the abuse is alleged to have happened?

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, I did have a meeting with an individual who is a resident of the particular area of which the Member speaks. The lady was not representing the Foster Parents Association but she was a concerned citizen who had some limited contact with the case in point. The case that the hon. Member is speaking of is one which I would rather not get into the specifics of because they are confidential to the family and to the case workers. However, I will assure him that I have been closely monitoring this specific case since last Summer and only yesterday the Deputy Minister and Director of Child Welfare did discuss the case with professional workers in the Goose Bay area. Certain conclusions were arrived at which apparently I am going to be briefed on tomorrow when they return. The final decision on whether the child is returned to its natural parents for a temporary period of time or not has yet to be made. I think the final decision will probably be made by the courts, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Supplementary, the hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, first I should say that when I met with the lady in question she was accompanied by an executive member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Parents' Association, so she was not exactly on her own.

Is the Minister aware that the child was removed from his natural parents - there must have been a reason why he was removed - when he was six weeks of age, and that the child has permanent loss of sight and permanent brain damage because of a severe blow on the head? What I want to ask the Minister is will he have this case re-opened? Can we look into this before he is sent back to the situation which he was in before? Will he deal with the concerns of the Foster Parents' Association and of the people in Goose Bay, and will he deal with the fact that this child is being sent back at two years of age?

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

MR. HOGAN: The hon. Member, Mr. Speaker, has some of his facts mixed up but basically he is correct in what he is saying. The child was taken from its natural parents some three years ago and has been in two foster homes over that period. As I said, it is being closely monitored by professionals. It is being closely monitored by the executive of the Department. The case is not closed, it is wide open, and the final decision is not made. The child, as a matter of fact, was with its natural parents for a period of time some months ago and that went well. As I indicated to the Member in private conversation, I have some hesitancy myself with returning the child to its natural parents.

However, the natural parents do have certain legal rights and the Child Welfare Act dictates those rights, and the final decision will be made by the courts. But it will be closely monitored, and if the child if returned to its natural parents for a short period of time that will be very closely monitored. However, utmost and lastly with the Department, the child's safety will be predominant in the final decision.

MR. SPEAKER: Supplementary, the hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, and the child has some rights to. The Minister has not told us whether that child is going back on December 5 or not. That is one thing he has not told us. Now I would like to ask the Minister: would he tell the House why the child - and this is another related situation - was taken away from its original foster parents, who cared for it deeply, and placed in another home? Why is it that a two year old child who has a brain shunt and needs specialized care was taken from the original foster parents, who cared for him, who are trying to get him back through the law courts, and placed into a single parent situation? Could the Minister tell us why that is happening?

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

MR. HOGAN: No, Mr. Speaker, I will not tell the House.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Premier. It has to do with the recent awarding of a contract to Tricity and more particularly -

AN HON. MEMBER: Trans City.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Trans City, is it? More particularly, to a construction company of Marco, Mr. Speaker, who we all know has ties to the Liberal Party in this Province, or certainly the principal of it does. I just have a question that the Premier could probably say yes or no to, I guess, right off the bat. The question is: did Tom Hickman or any of his companies contribute to the salary supplement of $50,000 that the Premier received when he was the leader of the opposition?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I stood in this House yesterday and I told the House that I am prepared to answer any questions that affect the public interest, that bear on it in any way. But I do not want to stand in this House and engage in the kind of personal acrimony and unfounded personal attacks that you see like this, coming from the opposite side. Mr. Speaker, I have greater concern about my reputation for personal integrity than to resort to reciprocal intellectual cowardice, which I see in this kind of thing. It is just too silly to respond to.

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

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

Mr. Speaker, I don't think the question was all that complicated, it was fairly simple: Who paid his $50,000 supplement? The Premier cannot answer that. He did answer it in a roundabout way at one time, Mr. Speaker. Maybe he doesn't know. He told us one time that he doesn't know who paid his salary, that the Liberal Party collected all this money and paid his salary.

Mr. Speaker, maybe the Premier will get some information from the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador - and maybe he will eventually come clean with the people - get the information from the Liberal Party with regard to who contributed to this $50,000 supplement he had. This is very important in light of the way that the last contract, the contract for three hospitals, was awarded in this Province? Mr. Speaker, the people of this Province would like to know if Tom Hickman contributed to his salary and, if he did, doesn't the Premier think that would be a conflict of interest now, when he awarded contracts to this same person who paid his salary while he was Leader of the Opposition?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I have told this House and I have told the people of the Province that the salary paid me as Leader of the Liberal Party while the former Government, of which that Member was a part, deliberately prevented a by-election from taking place for six months in order to prevent the Liberal Party from being able to function effectively, in order to achieve that, while they did that, those same people that the hon. Member is now naming were probably paying the salary then being paid to the Premier of the Province by the Conservative Party, some $6,000 or $7,000 a year, I suspect paid by the same people that he is talking about now.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if that is what he wants to deal with, then deal with it fully and we will deal with it fully.

AN HON. MEMBER: Answer the question.

PREMIER WELLS: I have answered the question totally and completely and honestly. It was paid by the Liberal Party out of its general fund while the Government, of which that hon. Member was an active part, tried to prevent the democratic process from functioning. But, you can see how miserably they failed.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, we might remember that in the last general election, when the Premier ran, when everybody knew he got his $50,000 supplement, he was defeated.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. R. AYLWARD: He did not win his seat yet, Mr. Speaker, in a general election.

Mr. Speaker, I don't think it is unreasonable for an Opposition or for the people of this Province to want to know who paid the supplementary salary. Mr. Speaker, when we see that this Government is going to throw away $6.3 million on a contract for three hospitals and give a contract to other than the lowest bidder, then there is an onus on the Opposition to ask the question: Did the person who is getting this contract pay the supplementary salary two or three years ago? That is a simple question, Mr. Speaker. If the Premier cannot answer it, maybe he would table in this House some information from the Liberal Party of Newfoundland as to whether or not this person paid part of his salary?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I can only say that those who contributed to the general funds of the Liberal Party can be said to have contributed a portion of it. Nobody contributed specifically that I know of, so I cannot say. It may well be that the same individuals contributed to the Tory Party and did the same thing, and paid the supplement that the Premier of the Province, while Mr. Peckford was Premier of the Province, received on a regular basis, while he was also receiving a salary as Premier. The Member sat opposite and allowed all of this to take place with no criticism, and now you see this great surge 'of conscience,' if that is what you can call it, or do you call it hypocrisy.

MR. TOBIN: Tell the truth.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) $100,000.

MR. TOBIN: Peckford never had $50,000 a year in his life. Tell the truth.

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

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the House would know, if they looked at the piece of legislation that was introduced by me yesterday, what we are going to do. We put our money where our mouth is. The hon. members opposite sat and hypocritically participated in this kind of process for all those years.

It took a Liberal Party, Mr. Speaker, with integrity and concern for the people of this Province to bring in electoral reform legislation that will require disclosure by everybody who contributes more than a hundred dollars, and here is the piece of legislation, to any political party. Now maybe the members opposite do not like that, but this is the Liberal Party's commitment, and we are prepared to let our actions speak far louder than our words.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is to the Premier, Mr. Speaker. In response to a question in the House of Assembly on Thursday, October 30, the Premier said the municipal taxes in this Province were the lowest in Canada, approximately 42 per cent of the national average, and that it needs some adjustment so that municipalities take a fairer share of the burden. Would the Premier be able to tell the House the amount he considers municipalities would have to increase their taxes in order to bear a so called fairer share of the tax burden?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, my recollection is that what I said was that property tax is 42 per cent of the national average because that is the way the statistics are kept nationally. I suspect that the overall municipal tax in the Province probably may be a bit higher than 42 per cent, it may be 46 or 47, or it may even be 50 per cent, but it is relatively low by comparison with the rest of the nation. But the property tax in this Province is only 42 per cent of the national average property tax. Now, of course, that also includes school tax collected on property as well.

So exactly what the share is that is borne directly by the municipalities, I do not know. I have been concerned for some time, Mr. Speaker, about the fundamental unfairness in our taking general taxation revenue from citizens throughout the Province and giving it to people in municipalities only, where they alone get the benefit of it. I have some concern about the fairness inherent in that, and we have to take a look at that. I have an even greater concern about the fundamental unfairness in the school tax system, and we are in the process of trying to do something about that. Maybe, Mr. Speaker, when and if we abolish the school tax, it may well be that the municipalities would be able to increase the revenue that they generate and so reduce the burden on the Provincial treasury directly and allow us to have more funds available for schools and other general needs.

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

MR. WOODFORD: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Would the Premier be able to inform the House if the Government has any plan to get municipalities to raise those taxes so that they will be able to bear a so called 'fair share' of the tax burden?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker, we do not have any plan. The municipalities decide for themselves the level of taxation they want. The only thing the Government can do is decide how much money it transfers to the municipalities. Now that is what would have a bearing on what they decide, so we do not have any plan to persuade them to increase the taxes. But if, for example, we abolish the school tax, if we do that we could contemplate diminishing the level of transfers to the municipalities on a gradual basis, perhaps, so that they could increase their taxation to take up the slack. The money would be spent directly in the community where it was collected. That would seem to me to be a fairer and more sensible way of running the taxation system in the Province, and then the people who are getting the benefit of the services within the municipality would, in fact, be paying for it to the level that they were prepared to put it in place, and prepared to pay for it. Another municipality may want to have it to a much lesser level and they would not have taxes, so we do not want to tell them that you have to have a certain minimum level of taxes. We are going to decide how we spend the Province's money generally, and it may have some bearing on the municipalities sometime in the future.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Humber Valley on a supplementary.

MR. WOODFORD: I wonder if the Premier would be able to tell the House if municipal amalgamation was intended to down load to the urban centres the cost of providing municipal services to surrounding rural areas?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker, there was no such intention. Amalgamation was proposed for the various purposes in different areas of the Province that we have already indicated. It has nothing whatsoever to do with down loading as the hon. Member suggests.

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

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

I wonder if the Premier would be aware then of how much it would cost the citizens of St. John's, in other words the taxpayers of St. John's, to absorb and provide the municipal services now that are being recommended under the amalgamation of the northeast Avalon? To put it plainly, is the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs aware of what it would cost the citizens of St. John's themselves, increasing the mil rate, to provide those services?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: To the best of my recollection, Mr. Speaker, it will reduce their overall cost - for a very simple reason. I heard an interview with-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: I heard an interview with the Mayor this morning on CBC Radio, and I heard Mayor Duff saying: we want Provincial funds to provide for a transition. Why? They have all the same tax revenues. They do not change the taxes at all. If they do not increase at all, they have all the same tax revenue, they can continue to provide the same services and so on as was provided before. Now if they are going to provide increased services-

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I want to again remind hon. members about shouting across the floor. The Premier is answering a question. There are other questions coming. There is still time left in Question Period for the other questions to be asked.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, as they increase the services in areas that may have a lesser service than is now provided by the City of St. John's, they no doubt will also increase the tax level. They may well phase that in over a period of time, and I would think that would be reasonable; but I have heard nothing to indicate there is any substantial basis for a transfer of funds from the Province - none whatsoever.

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

MR. PARSONS: My question is to the Acting Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Can the Minister tell this hon. House what is the status of the Outer Ring Road?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the proposed Outer Ring Road is part of a package that was agreed to some time ago by a previous government, the Roads for Rails Agreement, I think it was called. The Outer Ring Road is still on that particular schedule, to be started at some point in time.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

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

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I just want to correct the mistaken impression that the Premier left when he answered a question that I asked earlier today, when he said that his intention was to bring in this Bill for a full disclosure of what monies that MHA's in this House get, and have received during elections. This was what he planned to do. Mr. Speaker, I just want to inform the House and the people of this Province, so that the impression will not be left mistakenly; what this Member did, when nobody had to disclose or nobody had to say what monies they took in and spent, this Member made full disclosure during the last election of what expenses I had during the last election, and I challenge the Premier to do the same thing, but I did not have to do (inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the President of Treasury Board.

AN HON. MEMBER: By law you have to do that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: Check it out.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Obviously, Mr. Speaker, there is no resemblance to a point of order. It is simply - the hon. gentleman is trying to cover up his own embarrassment for serving so long in Cabinet, having made the promise so many times to bring about electoral reform and not doing so, he is simply embarrassed by the fact (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order. The hon. Member took advantage of a point in time to make a clarification.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present to the House the Annual Report of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Service Commission for 1989-1990.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Leader of the Opposition asked me a question and I told him I knew nothing about the letter to which he was referring, and he said that (a) one of the bidders, in connection with the health care facilities in St. Lawrence, Burgeo and Port Saunders, had submitted a further bid or an amendment to the bid within the time limit that would allow it and that was totally ignored.

Mr. Speaker, I have sought the answers to this; I am tabling the letter that was received and the reply, and I would point out that the proposal was received thirty days after the bid was opened, I am told. The day the bids were opened was August 30th and this additional letter was written on September 30th, a month later, and I am also advised that the whole proposal was unacceptable because of the nature of it. From a functional planning point of view, it was inadequate to meet the needs, so I am happy to table that.

Mr. Speaker, I should also advise that another such letter was received from a second bidder, and I am tabling that letter as well. That letter was submitted on October 18. This is the original letter so I should have a photocopy made and I will table the photocopy of it. I will also table a copy of the reply. Mr. Speaker, the additional cost - I am told it was well after the date anyway, but the additional cost would have made it over in any event. Mr. Speaker, this is photocopied so that can be tabled. Would you make photocopies of that and give me back the originals?

Orders of the Day

MR. BAKER: Order 4, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order 4, Bill No. 22. This is the resuming of the adjourned debate.

The hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I spent about twenty minutes on this yesterday so I will just say a few more words. I do not think I have that much time but I will just say a few more words to sum up some of the things I feel about this particular Bill.

First of all, historically this Province, and the people and residents of this Province, have had the right of unrestrained access to our ponds and rivers and that right has been there since time immemorial. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, the act which this Act replaces has been there for the past fifty years, which takes it back before Confederation. As well we have a Minister, who probably as a Member of this House of Assembly, and before he came into this House of Assembly, had taken on an environmental project and was successful in stopping the Lloyds River diversion. He has a tremendous record as a person who cares about the environment and who cares about Newfoundlanders. Mr. Speaker, I find it very strange that this Minister should come into this House of Assembly with a bill that keeps Newfoundlanders and Labradorians away from their ponds and rivers. Mr. Speaker, the question has not been answered at any time, and I expect that pretty soon the Minister will rise to give his concluding remarks. At that time, Mr. Speaker, I want him to tell us why we cannot do it in another way. There are provisions for grants of land where this could be done in other ways. This could be done with leases, permits to occupy, and the Minister would allay the fears of an awful lot of outdoorsmen in this Province if he were to withdraw Section 7 (2). If he would just leave it alone that would be fine with us and fine with the people who enjoy the Newfoundland outdoors. Sections such as Section 7 (2) can lead to other things. I believe it was the Member for Humber Valley who alluded, when he spoke to the House two or three days ago, to the fact that in the early 60s there was a scheme to sell parts of the Gander River and, I believe, Portland Creek. Mr. Speaker, it is not so farfetched in this particular time, with our economy as it is, to perhaps do something of that nature. I think that would be wrong and we should keep the door closed. That Section should not be there. There is no reason for it being there at all. When the Legislation Review Committee travelled this Province, numbers turned out to see the Legislation Review Committee, which they did not expect, on this particular piece of legislation. As well backbenchers on the Government side of the House were also the prime movers. I believe the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island spoke out against this particular provision and, Mr. Speaker, when the vote came around they had changed their minds. Perhaps the minister, when he speaks, can tell me why - because that is the question that I think every member on this side of the House has asked - why is section 7(2) in this particular legislation? Why is it there? Why, if you could do otherwise, would you ever grant land along a river bank? I mean, there can be only two reasons why you would keep that section in there, one, that for stubbornness and pride, you don't want to admit the Opposition is right, or a second, that there is something behind it. Mr. Speaker, I would not want to think that, but I hope there is nobody in this Province who would like to create here a Miramichi River, or to have happen here in this Province, the types of things that happen with some of the rivers in other provinces of Canada.

As I said yesterday, I have fished the Miramichi River. Perhaps other members of this House have, as well. But I did fish there and it was not a very pleasant experience. You can't walk along the paths. They are chained off, with "Keep Out" and "Stop" signs, with little markers along the river saying who owns what. Now I am not saying that this bill is going to do that. Far be it from me to hold that bogeyman up. But once we start granting land - why put 7(2) in there, giving people a way to get grants of land? A grant is forever. A permit to occupy, a lease for thirty years, is a different thing. Mr. Speaker, a grant is forever, and no way, should we ever grant the shorelines of our rivers and ponds privately to individuals.

I note that the Chairman, I believe, of the Prospectors Association has come out against this particular piece of legislation. He said, if I remember his words correctly, that it was a hindrance and restriction to access. All I can say is that I think every member on the other side should question whether we really need to grant land for any of the purposes that are in the particular act. Why do we have to grant land, even if it is an aquacultural project, even if it is not an industrial undertaking, even if it is for water and sewer works or public roads? Why does it have to be a grant? - why not a permit to occupy, why not a lease for a set period, renewable? Why are we starting a precedent in this Province which was never here before, which has not been here since Confederation? Why are we giving grants of land to individuals in this Province?

Every Newfoundlander has a right to rivers and ponds. We have had it for centuries. I say that the minister should change his mind. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Is the House ready for the question on the amendment?

All those in favour of the amendment, which is the six-month hoist, please say, 'aye'. Those against, 'nay'.

I declare the amendment defeated.

Back to the main motion.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PARSONS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have already spoken to the amendment and I want to say a few words now about Bill 22. I want to state again what I said previously, that as far as this bill is concerned, I have no problem with it. "The Act To Revise And Consolidate The Law Respecting Crown Lands", I believe, was outdated and needed to be made relevant to the 'nineties. I believe that most of this bill is good for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

But, again, I go back to section 7(2). Section 7(2) in this new Bill 22 is the same, with a couple of changes, as were Bills 53 and 25. There was such a public outcry at that time about those bills, that the Premier, himself - although he said in the House that he did not speak to the bill; but he certainly did speak to one of the previous bills, as I can remember, either Bill 25 or Bill 53. But, Mr. Speaker, no matter what the amendments are, it has not changed.

Mr. Speaker, I wonder, too, about the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island. During the committee hearings that I attended, the member was adamant. In fact, Mr. Speaker, it was the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island who really brought 7(2) to the forefront, and made people realize that there was something wrong with 7(2). And, Mr. Speaker, 7(2) has not changed, but I don't see the members on the other side, now, showing any great emotion with respect to Bill 22. All we did was change numbers, Mr. Speaker, 53, 25, and 22. The content of the bill is the same. The Premier said he would fix it up, and perhaps, in his own heart and soul, he thinks he has fixed it up. But, from my perspective, Mr. Speaker, it is just the same as it was when it was initially introduced to the House, and I say it is wrong.

I have heard all kinds of excuses, such as, you know, 'The grant will never interfere with access around ponds, waters, rivers, whatever,' but I say to the minister that a grant is a grant forever. I have a grant. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I have three or four grants, grants from my ancestors, from my grandfather and from my father, and I have one of my own. On two of the grants there is a waterway, and provision is made there for the thirty-three foot reservation. I have no problem with that. Never did have a problem. My grandfather didn't have a problem with it, and I don't see why anyone now would want to change. Those people, all their lives, did not seek changes. And I just wonder, why the changes now? I say to hon. members, you know, few of us - there are a few exceptions - can count ourselves among the elite. We are ordinary people who do the things that ordinary people can afford, such as fishing, ski-dooing, or using a four-wheel drive vehicle, or whatever. Mr. Speaker, I have said before and I will say again, that this legislation leaves a loophole, and, as sure as there is a loophole, you will find some people out there who will act upon it.

Mr. Speaker, if there were something wrong with the previous legislation - the Premier shakes his head. You know, this is the Premier's baby, Bill 22. He has tried his best to tell us, 'Okay, if there was something wrong with 7(2) in the first instance then I will fix it.' I think that was on Bill 25. When Bill 53 came in he had it changed, but it was not fixed, Mr. Speaker, so it died on the Order Paper, and now we bring in Bill 22. Mr. Speaker, there is no change. The amendment is to the original 7(2). Section 72 is still there. You can amend what you like, Mr. Speaker.

You know, I have even heard from the minister that there is nothing wrong with this bill. The minister has told me privately - I don't think there was any secrecy to it - the purpose of this bill was that a person would never get a grant again. I don't think that is right either. If it is in the statutes of the land that a grant is permissible, if the opportunity arises and the need is there and there are no exceptions to the rule, why shouldn't the person get the grant? I mean, it has not been taken out of the vocabulary of Newfoundland and Labrador, it has not been taken out of the dictionary. There is still place for a grant, so why not issue the grant if it is legal, if the necessity is there? The minister says the old legislation was flawed, and we are bringing in this new legislation to fix something. Mr. Speaker, I was at every one of those committee hearings - on the Avalon Peninsula, anyway. And the question has been asked, over and over, why fix something if it is not broken? Mr. Speaker, there was nothing wrong with the old legislation.

I am surprised at some of the younger men on the other side, with young families, and I suppose the older ones too, but the younger men, particularly, who have families growing up, young children who will want to have access to lakes, rivers and ponds, or shorelines. The shoreline, Mr. Speaker, is a little different, because in Newfoundland's infancy, people went to the shoreline and built houses, in some instances, not thirty-three feet back from the shoreline, and there is nothing we can do about that. In my own situation, Mr. Speaker, in my own constituency, I have seen, over the years, instances where people did fence to the river - for expediency. Say there were a pond on the side of a great parcel of land that a person owned; rather than fence that land up by the side of the pond, back the thirty-three feet, he put a stake right out in the pond, because the cattle would roam, naturally, and come out of their pound (inaudible); so, he put the fence out in the pond, but, Mr. Speaker, I would like to see someone try to take that fence away now. There was access to that pond for years, but there is no access to that pond now.

Mr. Speaker, the day that this Government or any other government, through Cabinet, or whatever, gives a grant to an individual to build a boat house on a pond - and the reasoning I have heard from several of the ministers opposite is that it will not make any difference. There will still be a reservation to the back of that boat house. Mr. Speaker, let us have a look at it, now. Let us see what we are talking about. If I could afford it and were to look for a grant to build a boat house on a particular body of water, say, I had two acres of land - and again, I could afford it - and I built a thirty foot boat house, which is nothing great, nothing spectacular, there are boat houses a lot longer than that. Over and over again, I have said that I have a little one, four feet high, and about fourteen feet long, for my aluminium boat. That is where my boat house is, and that is the size of it, because it was all I could afford. But the person who can afford it has a two-acre lot, say 400 feet, on a pond, he gets a grant on the land, and the grant goes to the water's edge, because you will have influential people looking for privacy, and he says, okay, the reservation is around the other side of the boat house. The boat house is thirty feet long, and they are going to leave a reservation on the back of the boat house. Now, Mr. Speaker, that will be fine while he is building the boat house, but the next year the fence comes down to the boat house. Now who is going to have the fence removed? The minister hits himself in the chest and says he will. Well, maybe that minister will not be here then. Perhaps this Premier will not be here then. It is hypothetical. Perhaps they will not be here. The Minister of Finance certainly will not be here. There is no doubt at all about that.

Mr. Speaker, say you are an outdoorsman in Newfoundland and Labrador. You go up a pond and there is a thirty foot boat house, especially in winter, if you have a ski-doo; you go up the side of a pond and you have to cut in thirty feet to get around the back side of the boat house. Now, let's face it. Most of the time, right on the edge of the pond or the river, it is accessible to a snowmobile. Perhaps there is a foot a snow, or a couple of feet of snow, but after you go beyond five or six feet inside, there is usually a mountain of snow in there, and you would never make it, anyway. Mr. Speaker, if, at this present time, there is no problem with the boat houses - there is no problem, Mr. Speaker -

I suppose if the Minister wanted, Mr. Speaker, he could go up to nearly every cabin owner tomorrow. Most cabin owners have small boat houses or small wharves adjacent to their land, projecting out on the river or on the pond, they do not have the right to do it, but rules and regulations are meant to be guidelines. They can be bent, not broken but bent, and in many instances no one minds, because the majority of people could not care less if people go out on their wharf or if people drive up on a skidoo. Most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are friendly people and really enjoy visits, but we have a few who differ, and I suppose those few are found everywhere, all over the world.

But if one person in Newfoundland or Labrador is impeded from proceeding up the side of any lake, the side of any river - it was done on the Miramichi, it is done in New Brunswick, it all started from scratch; now, up there you cannot find a place to fish. If you want to go fishing, well you can twiddle your thumbs, there is no such thing. Mr. Speaker, I said before and I will state it again, I have trouted and fished on nearly all the ponds in nearly all parts of Newfoundland and some parts of Labrador, and I hope that I will never see the day that I will come up the side of some lake or some river and see a chain link fence.

I will then have to go back and cut a hole, and I am telling you with my size I would need quite a hole, but the hole would be cut in that fence because I do not think that anyone has the God given right to stop another person in this way.

The Premier can say what he likes, because he knows what I am saying is the truth; we should not take any liberties away from what we have today. Enough has been taken from us. Some of our rights have already been stepped on, because every year we have more regulations coming in. We have regulations coming in on this, regulations coming in on that. I even fear that some time or other soon, and I suppose the Minister of Fisheries can associate himself with this, you are going to need a permit to catch a few trout - I can see it coming. And you know something else, you may think this is hypothetical and foolish, but -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Hold on one second now. Do you know that there have been proposals made to the Department of Fisheries saying that you should not be allowed to go out and jig a fish?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Go out and jig a fish.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, no, never.

MR. PARSONS: There is; there is.

AN HON. MEMBER: You will never (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: You will never see it? Yes, you will see it, because some person who does not understand what it is all about, never did it, had no feeling for it, will do the same thing as the Premier is doing; pushing this piece of legislation, this little paragraph of a piece of legislation down the people's throats.

MR. MURPHY: (Inaudible.)

MR. PARSONS: Look, the hon. Member for St. John's South did as much trouting as I did, perhaps more. I mean you have seen it. I told a story the other day when I was out at Holiday Inn: this young man said he was way up country with three friends; they had two canoes and they came down through the waterways and finally reached the lake after being gone four days. They saw a cabin on the other side of the lake and one of the boys said: look, there's a cabin; let's go over and have a rest and perhaps get a cup of tea or a beer. But anyway, when they headed for the cabin, two speed boats came out and cut up and down on each side of them and they ran for the side of the lake. He said it was a miracle they were not drowned.

AN HON. MEMBER: What has this Bill to do with that?

MR. PARSONS: Because that is the person who is going to impede the other person like you and me. That is the person who wants privacy. That is the person, who no matter what went on, was not going to allow that person to come over near his cabin. That is the person we are afraid of. That is all that Bill does, give that person the right, if he has enough clout, if he has enough money, to buy his way into it. Right now he cannot do it. All he can get on that is a lease, and there is thirty-three feet of reservation. The only people who can protrude, can go out on that reservation, are perhaps town councils, power utility companies, Department of Highways, aquaculture.

No one finds any problem with that and even that should be screened because there are areas of abuse in that as well. A person will say he wants to start aquaculture. That fails and he now has a private portion of a pond for himself, which no one has the right to take back, because it was leased for a certain number of years. It is forgotten about, and there it goes. That is the way it all starts. I think there are enough people with commonsense in this House on both sides who will say, no, they will have another look at it. They will say: perhaps what they are saying has some credence, perhaps what they are saying has some truth to it, even if there is a little iota of truth in what they are saying, there is a loophole there that did not exist in the old legislation. All we are asking the hon. House to do is take another look at it. You have already defeated the six month hoist, which from my perspective was a good one, to give some time to think it over, because it has to be remembered, you know -

AN HON. MEMBER: Perhaps it will die.

MR. PARSONS: Well, I want to remind the hon. Minister that the other two died, the other two Bills, 53 and 25 died, and this one could, too. Now, we are debating it and there are some people on the other side, I am positive, who feel the same way as I do.

AN HON. MEMBER: Why don't they say it?

MR. PARSONS: Because for obvious reasons they tow the line. The hon. House Leader is from Gander and I am sure as a boy he often travelled around the lakes and ponds in Central Newfoundland. He is a biologist by profession and I am sure that he has seen, not only in his educational aspects of life, but in his own personal adventures, that the waterways around were never restricted to him in any way, shape or form. So, if they were not restricted to him, his ancestors, or anyone else, why change it?

AN HON. MEMBER: Why do we need a grant?

MR. PARSONS: You do not need it. The Minister is saying the grant is going to cure all ills. This is it, Mr. Speaker, the grant is it. He tells us time and time again. I told the Minister the other day that if we keep on getting rules and regulations we will be no better off than our ancestors were when they came over here to get away from them.

AN HON. MEMBER: We will have to go trouting in our (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: I wonder if the poor old Minister of Finance ever had a trouting pole in his hand?

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you know where he is from?

MR. PARSONS: I know where he is from, indeed I do know where he is from. He never spent any time fishing. He does not know what it is. One of my colleagues said he knows all about a bamboo. Well, a bamboo is not such a bad pole.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is a good pole.

MR. PARSONS: It is a good pole and if you really want to flick in a few good ones a bamboo pole is the answer to it.

MR. BAKER: You flick them too far back in the woods.

MR. PARSONS: The hon. Government House Leader says you flick them too far back in the woods. I do not know if the Government House Leader ever went back in the woods and picked up the ones he flicked there. I do not know if the Government House Leader ever went fishing.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of poor people out there who have had many restrictions placed on them over the last number of

years, especially since 1949 when we became part of Canada. It is frightening to me and frightening to a lot of people that those little sentences, those little stipulations, are placed in acts. Because remember, we are a group of men and women here who are legislators, who bring in the laws that govern the other 567,763. We are the people who make the laws that regulate their activities. All we are saying, Mr. Speaker, is that we have enough regulations. We do not need anymore, we do not need any stipulations, we do not need any changes, and we do not need to fix anything that is not broken.

We want to stay with the status quo. Someone said: you want to stay with the status quo, you want to stay with what you are living with now. I said: well, you know, I have no fault with it. I have no fault with some aspects of our livelihood as in today's world. I have no problem with that. Some of the things our mothers and fathers had, I wish we were back to now, but not all of them, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Would you give up water and sewer.

MR. PARSONS: Water and sewer?

AN HON. MEMBER: Would you give that up?

AN HON. MEMBER: That is only a modern innovation.

MR. PARSONS: That is right.

DR. KITCHEN: What do you want a car for? Why don't you go out, get a horse, and shovel manure?

MR. PARSONS: Well let me say this to you, Mr. Minister, I still do some of that, I still shovel some manure.

AN HON. MEMBER: Why don't you use a plough?

MR. PARSONS: I still shovel some manure, and I still have the opportunity to drive a horse every now and then. I find no fault with that either. You see, I told you in the first instance, and I told the hon. the Minister of Finance, that I am not among the elite. A shovel of manure doesn't mean anything to me.

MR. R. AYLWARD: What part of the horse was he looking at?

MR. PARSONS: Yes, what part of the horse were you looking at anyway? I doubt if the hon. Minister would know one end of a horse from the other. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister -

MR. DECKER: (Inaudible)

MR. PARSONS: Oh, the Minister of Health! His speech the other day was something else. He is leaving now, Mr. Speaker, and I cannot do it behind the Minister's back. Some of his statements, the emotion itself - and I said the other day, Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Health was speaking, I almost had motion sickness on this side of the House.

Mr. Speaker, the other thing that my colleague from Kilbride brought up the other day was how the Minister keeps reiterating that this is law. Mr. Speaker, I was the mayor of a small town for ten years, and I saw many people question authority. You would almost think that it wasn't questionable but, Mr. Speaker, you go to a court of law and everything is in question. Mr. Speaker, if some person were to defy that Act, it would take years to straighten out that position, especially in law. The Minister knows that is factual, because grants, leases, and so on are open for scrutiny by the legal profession.

AN HON. MEMBER: How is the fishing in Flatrock.

MR. PARSONS: The fishing in Flatrock is fine, as long as we do not bar off the rivers and the lakes that we have access to at this moment to catch a few freshwater fish. Now, the saltwater fish, well the season down there is pretty well over now.

AN HON. MEMBER: How do you find your breakwater?

MR. PARSONS: The breakwater is lovely. Thank God for the feds! We will have to thank the Federal Government. You know that beautiful grotto is down there and every night the people go up to the grotto and they pray for the Prime Minister and for John Crosbie and Ross Reid and the people who made that breakwater possible. I must say that the Province had very little to do with it. I sought their assistance on many, many occasions, over twenty years, but to no avail, Mr. Speaker. They turned me down flat, said it was not necessary, it was too much of an expenditure, it would not last there, it would not stay there, or whatever. But, Mr. Speaker, it is there now.


MR. PARSONS: The breakwater. We are talking about the breakwater down in Flatrock now.

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, the breakwater.

MR. PARSONS: I didn't bring it up, Mr. Speaker, it was the hon. the Minister of Fisheries who brought it up. I get so uptight when they speak about waterways! I had to sort of explain to the hon. House how the breakwater got to Flatrock, who put it in Flatrock, what this Province had to do with it - nil! - but I should not be really overenthusiastic even in that aspect because I may go to the Minister of Fisheries one of those days to look for a small grant. The Minister of Fisheries comes down to the breakwater every now and then, gets a few fish, buys a few fish. So perhaps I will not be hard or harsh on him, at this place and time. I might be over to him one of those days with a little job opportunity project or something. We cannot say that because of the scarcity of fish down there, because there was lots of fish down there this year, there has been lots of fish for the last number of years.

But the Minister agrees with me that it is a lovely facility, and it should have been there years ago.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: We have sort of strayed from the subject.

Mr. Speaker, what is going to happen as far as this Bill is concerned is inevitable. There are people out there who will abuse a system no matter what system it is, and will abuse laws. We cannot control people on highways, we cannot control people in any walk of life. Neither will we control some of the people as it pertains to this piece of legislation. We say over and over from this side, there is nothing wrong with revamping, changing, "An Act To Revise And Consolidate The Law Respecting Crown Lands...." We knew it had to be cleaned up. I think that our own Party was almost there, and it is argued by the Minister that they were almost ready to bring in the same legislation that we speak about now.

But I say to the Minister, they did not bring it in, that is the point. Because there were people within Cabinet who did not like this clause, who thought that it might impede or endanger the privileges of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. That is why that government had the ingenuity, the foresight, not to bring in this piece of legislation, a piece of legislation that is a step backward in time. I agree with the Minister of Finance when he nods his head, it is a step backwards. I agree with him. I am sure that when we rise to vote on this Bill that the Minister of Finance - and I do not know but the Minister of Education, who is a good old buddy of mine - might say: yes, he does have a point, and I will abstain, or I will not be in the Legislature, for any reason. But I can see over there all the new people in the Government caucus, with the exception of my hon. friend on the left, I can see all those people. They are thinking about it.

The Member for St. John's South is not a bad sort of a fellow, he gets up some times and goes on about foolish, idiotic stuff, but really, he is a fair-minded fellow. I am telling you that he is living up the shore now. He is not a St. John's man any more. He has gone south. If he gets up in this House and votes for that Bill then I am going to spread the word on him up the southern shore.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who's that?

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

AN HON. MEMBER: The southern shore?

MR. PARSONS: Oh well, he is moving. I do not know if has gone up there lock, stock and barrel yet, Mr. Speaker, but he is on his way up the shore. That is an honourable district with a lot of honourable people, and a lot of people up there love to go fishing, and certainly do not want to be curtailed in any way by this Government or any other government.

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how much time I have left but no more than ten or fifteen minutes.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: That hon. young Minister, look, there he is, a young man over there. Here he is, telling me to sit down. I am up here trying to beat a bit of sense into his head, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, it is shocking. I will certainly be voting against -

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. member have leave?


MR. PARSONS: I will certainly be voting against this Bill 22, but I do not want to do it, Mr. Speaker. So I beg hon. members opposite to do the honourable thing, and get up and vote - not with the Premier, not with the Minister of Finance, not with the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, the acting Minister of Environment, not with those people - vote with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, nearly 570,000 of us. Vote for what is right and give Newfoundlanders -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: That will never happen again, and I say to the hon. the Member for St. John's South, in his case it certainly will never happen again if he votes for this bill with 7(2) in there.

I ask the ministers and the members again to consider going to the Government House Leader and saying to him, 'Take out 7(2) and everyone will be happy.' It will be a great day for poor Newfoundlanders like ourselves, and we won't be giving to the elite, something for which some people are pressuring this Government, a number of the ministers and the Premier, to bring in this piece of legislation.

Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day for Newfoundland, a sad day for us fellows who love the ponds, love the water ways, love to go out into open spaces, love to go moose hunting, when someone will put a fence across and stop our access to go wherever we want to go on this island. Our ancestors came over here, Mr. Speaker, for the freedom they could not enjoy in Europe. So, now, don't take it away from them. Vote against this bill.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Moi is it? Okay.

AN HON. MEMBER: A strawberry patch doll (inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: A strawberry patch doll or a cabbage patch doll is it?

MR. TOBIN: That is the potato patch over there.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is this by leave?

MR. R. AYLWARD: I don't think this is by leave. I am speaking to Bill 22. I believe I have the right to speak to it the same as other hon. members.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: No, not the second time.

AN HON. MEMBER: You spoke before.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, I spoke before on an amendment we had to the bill, and I might even be tempted to move an amendment to it again if the minister will not back off a little bit on it - not a big lot, I am not interested in changing the whole bill. Most of it, 99 per cent of it is a pretty good bill. There are a couple of smaller parts, but only one major part that I had trouble with, and I explained it to the minister before.

AN HON. MEMBER: What section is it?

MR. R. AYLWARD: Section 7, generally, all of 7 is the part of the legislation that is most offensive, and would be most dangerous to Newfoundlanders. But I was hoping that maybe the Premier, not necessarily as Premier, but as a lawyer, or the Member for Humber West or the Member for Bonavista South, the acting Minister of Justice, 'the Chair warmer', would speak today and give us some idea of what could happen with this piece of legislation once it goes to court.

Now the Member for St. John's South should be up to speak to this because it is important. He was on parliamentary business the last time I spoke. I am only up this time to refresh his memory on the great speech I made last time, and I am pretty sure I had most over there in the back benches convinced that I was right. I was not being political. I congratulated the minister on the excellent presentation he made, and I am serious about that. He did a good job of presenting what this bill stands for. He was well briefed and he made a really good presentation. But I don't expect the minister to understand the legal details of land surveying. I have the advantage of being a land surveyor, having been trained in that field, but I don't have training in the legal field - legal surveying, yes, but not in law generally - and that is why I was hoping that maybe the Premier or the Member for Humber West or the Acting Minister of Justice would have a few words on what I said last time. Or maybe even the Minister of Justice from Duckworth Street might even have a few words. The Duke of Duckworth, maybe he would have a few words on this.

But I think it is very important to note that while the minister was making his presentation, he was suggesting that with the old act, the minister could grant a Permit to Occupy. Now, he was getting mixed up on the word 'grant'; he thought that because you could grant a Permit to Occupy, that was the same as you can do now, to offer a grant on a piece of land.

If it were explained quickly to a person who was not familiar with it, I can understand getting that mixed up; Being granted a Permit to Occupy from the Government, many people would expect that to mean that they own the land. It is not an unreasonable assumption to make, unless you happen to be a lawyer or you are involved in real estate, or maybe even surveying, as I am.

There is a vast difference between Government granting a Permit to Occupy, which is only a license, and granting a piece of land. Even granting a piece of land, with conditions, does not guarantee that these conditions can be enforced, once the deed goes to court.

AN HON. MEMBER: What happens (inaudible) for aquaculture and he does something else?

MR. R. AYLWARD: If the guy gets a grant for aquaculture and changes his mind? That is a good question. I am glad the Minister of Finance asked that, because that is the exact example. I didn't have an example for aquaculture, because I don't know that it happened. But in the early 1970s, between 1972 and 1975, somewhere in that area, there was a major revision of this Crown Lands Act. At that time it was decided to only lease Crown land to people who had land. After a while, that was not satisfactory because most Newfoundlanders really wanted to own their piece of land. A lease was not what they wanted, they wanted to own the piece of land so they could have security, I would imagine.

What happened was that in the agricultural industry, they changed for a short time from leased agricultural land to agricultural land. Now, the Minister of Finance asked that question but he probably wasn't serious about the answer. In the 1970s, because Newfoundlanders liked to own their land - agricultural land I am talking about, not aquaculture, as you said - they changed the leased agricultural land to granted agricultural land, with conditions. The person I was familiar with, the surveyor, as it happened to be, of this agricultural piece of land that the family of this person wanted to subdivide, split up into two groups, but the conditional grant said you could not do that. Well, they went on for a couple of years in court and it was quite an expensive battle. But the court ruling that came down gave more weight to other things that probably I do not know of, as a surveyor. The surveyor to me was saying this was the grant. It is the same to me, this is the measurement, 100 feet of land is a 100 feet of land.

Now, a judge might say it is a hundred feet of land but this reads more or less and you might give him another ten feet. I do not know what way a judge rules, but he has other considerations. And what happened on the agricultural land when they went to court, was, the conditional grant said, this land is to be kept for agriculture - you own it; the Minister of Finance owns the land but it has to be kept for agriculture.

You passed away and your five sons had the land but they want to split it up; however, it is said that the land could not be subdivided. When the farmer died, he left some children to whom he passed on the land, but the department, whoever gave out the grant, when these people wanted to subdivide it and build houses and whatever else, something happened where one of them could not build the house that he wanted to because the conditional grant said you could not subdivide and all of that. But it was subdivided for years before this happened; the Crown did not know it was subdivided. If I owned a grant, be it conditional or not, for twenty-five acres and I subdivided it five times, I do not have to go back to the Crown to tell them I subdivided it. If I get a lawyer to straighten this out, if I sold it to you, and you went and got your lawyer, your lawyer would look at this and say, 'This grant says you cannot subdivide it,' but it could have been subdivided twenty years, by that time, between a family. What happened when it finally went to court was the judge ruled that this was a grant. I have been granted this piece of land here non-conditional, I own it, I can do what I like with it, but the piece next to it had conditions on it, but the judge gave more weight to the freehold title of the land rather than the conditions, so this piece of agricultural land that was supposed to be protected indefinitely for agriculture was subdivided and lost to agriculture. That is what I am afraid will happen here if these pieces of land are granted. Then the Crown lands went back to only leasing agricultural land, you do not get a grant, you do not get a conditional grant. And farmers in this Province don't like it. They argued with me every time I met with them. They still want to own their piece of land. I do not disagree with that but what most Newfoundlanders do not realize is that a ninety-nine or a fifty year lease is automatically renewable as long as you continue with the conditions that are in the lease and it is pretty well as good as a granted piece of land, as a freehold piece of land. You can mortgage it, you can transfer it, and you can sell it. As long as the conditions of the lease are upheld there should not be a problem. If the conditions of the lease are upheld and your fifty years run out, and there is an automatic renewal on it, you should be able to continue farming, or whatever that piece of land said you could do with it.

Mr. Speaker, that is what I am concerned about in this bill. The bill has specific reasons as to why the Crown, or the Cabinet, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council can grant a piece of land. There are specific reasons, but that, in itself, is a change, because today you cannot grant that land. The Minister of the Crown, the Cabinet, the Government, cannot grant that piece of land, as I understand it. If that is not so, I hope the minister will stand and tell me it is isn't. Nobody can grant that piece of land today. There is a reservation. If there is a piece of Crown land that is being alienated from the Crown, that somebody has to go get a survey for, a surveyor has to reserve a reservation and nobody can grant that reservation to anyone else. They can put out a permit to occupy on it. I am pretty sure the minister, alone, can do that if there is a valid reason, but I really can't think of a reason why you would want to do it, even with a Permit to Occupy. If you have an aquaculture project in the water just out past the foreshore, say you had a freshwater fish farm and your buildings were back off the ten-meter grant and your fish farm was out in the water, which you cannot own, anyway - I don't think in freshwater, I am not sure if you can get a water lot for it or not. But if your fish are out there, your buildings are back here on your grant, and there is a ten-meter piece of land in between, why would you want it? Nobody can stop you from going over it. The Crown owns it.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, and what is wrong with an easement to do that - to give you an easement to do that? You don't have to give a grant to do it is what I am saying. You can give a licence, you can give a permit to occupy, or you can give an easement.

MR. FLIGHT: Or you can give a grant.

MR. R. AYLWARD: But when he sells it he takes the grant, he takes the piece of land, the freehold title to that, and the works is gone. If he moves out of there tomorrow and he has an easement over that and the aquacultural farm is finished, if he had an easement there, that reservation is still left, and his land behind can still be used for something else. If he has buildings on it he can sell them but he does not have to sell the grant of reservation.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: It could very well, yes.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: You won't because you won't know it has happened.

MR. FLIGHT: Why not?

MR. R. AYLWARD: The Crown will never know that grant has been sold because it never comes back to Crown Lands again. That will go in the Registry of Deeds, Mr. Speaker, and the Crown will never hear tell of that piece of land again, unless, when a lawyer is doing some searches, they go back to the Crown and ask about it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Or Tom Hickman!

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes. I am not quite right, because if you involve a lawyer to search a title twenty years down the road after you sold it two or three times, because we do not always get lawyers to do our title searches, you might have that problem. But it could be so far down the road by that time that if it came up in a court case a judge might just have to rule: Well, boy, this is gone so far, and it is not causing any problem. I don't know what the judge will rule, that is the problem.

My problem is, we are giving the control from this legislature to somebody else outside of our control. That is my main problem with this, and there is no need of it. If there was a need of it, if somebody could tell me a valid reason why this should happen, I could probably agree with it. I am not an unreasonable person. I have some understanding of land tenure and needs and uses for land. I am a surveyor, so I am trained in that. I have surveyed all of these pieces for all kinds of uses for people. I have surveyed land for expropriations, for buildings, for whatever you want to think of, and I cannot think of a valid reason why we would have to give away that reservation. The Crown would have to give it away.

The Crown still owns it. If you need it for public works - for a road, for a sewer line or for a water line - sure, you still own it. They can't stop you from putting that on it. You can tell the town council, which is an arm of government: yes, go ahead and put your sewer outfall there. Well, not in a freshwater pond you wouldn't.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: The minister and the Government keep saying Cabinet might never do that. I am sure this Cabinet would not. I would trust them with my life. The whole lot of you, you are all the best kind in the world, you would never do it. But you are giving someone the power to do it, and you are giving someone the power again, after you do it, if you ever do it, outside of this legislature, which is the judge or courthouse or whatever, to make another decision, a final decision, on what will happen to that piece of land. And there is no need of it.

Again, if there were a need I could agree. If you could explain to me the need to do this probably you would convince me. If someone from that side had stood up since the last time I spoke and given me the reason why it is necessary to do this, probably I would not be here this time, and we would have had this passed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible). Where were you?

MR. R. AYLWARD: I am not sure when it was done. I was probably in Cabinet.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, I was in Cabinet. Now, what is the point?

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible) that you were prepared to bring it into the House and have it enacted.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Did I bring that into this House?

MR. FLIGHT: No, but you intended -

MR. R. AYLWARD: Did our government bring that into this House?

MR. FLIGHT: It was on the Order Paper.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Did we bring it into this House?

MR. FLIGHT: It was destined for the Order Paper.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Ask me! Ask me! Just answer that question. Did we bring it into this House?

MR. FLIGHT: No, because there was an election.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Well, that is the point, we did not bring it into the House!

MR. FLIGHT: But you intended to!

MR. R. AYLWARD: And I say another thing: Had we brought it into the House at the time - and it could slip by, maybe it could have. There might have been a hundred things gone through that I missed. I do not disagree. But I say one thing, that if it had gone through at the time, the Opposition of the day would not have questioned it. It would have gone, good-bye, that would have been the end of it, because the Opposition would not have picked it up, and maybe we would have missed it, I am not sure.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Maybe we would have missed it. Except for the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island, I am not sure if we would have caught it or not.

MR. MATTHEWS: Drove his foot right down to his throat.

MR. R. AYLWARD: The Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island is the one who raised this issue. God bless him for doing it, I am glad he did. If he had been on this side of the House, and I, a minister -and I understand what he was talking about - if he understood what he was talking about, Mr. Speaker, I think we would have accepted an amendment to it.

It is not a big deal, it is not a non-confidence vote in the Government. It is a simple little thing to say, Yes, from now on we are going to protect that ten metres. You have limited it to only ten metres now. That is a change, too. Up until now it could be ten metres, fifteen metres, it could be pretty well what the Director of Crown Lands wanted it to be.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: It could not be zero, no, it had to be at least ten. It is the old act - I have a copy of it there somewhere. It has at least thirty-three feet, and then it went on from there. But most recent surveys that I did on Crown lands, there was a fifteen-metre, a fifty foot reservation, which is better again. You cannot say 100 feet, or you cannot say 300 feet, except for Murrays Pond, and I really do not know - and how bad would it be if all of our ponds and rivers were like this - how bad would we all feel? I know, every one of us, no matter where we live in this Province, unless we were a member of the private club or company or person who owned that pond, we would feel pretty bad if we could not go there. I understand it when you go to Quebec.

If I drive across this Province next summer and I want to stop and haul out a fishing pole and get out and have a flick, I can do it anywhere - whatever road I go to, wherever I want to, whenever I want to, and I may even be lucky enough to catch something. But if a person from Quebec comes down here to visit, they have to buy a fishing licence I think, and then they can do pretty well the same thing within a couple of hundred feet of a main road, if they take a guide and all that, which is good, but I cannot go to Quebec and do that. I cannot go to Ontario and do that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I do not think so. No, I do not think so; not in every pond, river and lake within that couple of hundred feet off major highways.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: No, you have private lakes in Ontario. I could do it in Alberta, maybe. I trouted in Alberta. I did not have a licence though.

AN HON. MEMBER: You didn't get any.

MR. R. AYLWARD: I did not get any, no. It was the wrong season, but in Alberta I did it. I do not know about the rest of them. In New Brunswick I cannot do it. I do not know about Nova Scotia, but in New Brunswick I cannot do it on every river. I know that because the Member for Port au Port told us his experience on the Miramichi. I cannot just go up there and fish where I like, when I like.

AN HON. MEMBER: You cannot walk in the dark up there.

MR. R. AYLWARD: He went and bought his licence alright, but buying the licence was not the only thing he had to do. He had to buy a licence and then get permission from the person who owned his section of water to fish there. I do not think that any of us in this House would like to see that happen.

AN HON. MEMBER: Ask the Member for Placentia. Ask the Member for Placentia, boy. He will tell you the difference.

MR. R. AYLWARD: I do not think that any of us in this House would like to see this happen, except one. There could be one person in this House who would like to see this happen. There could very well be just one person in this House who would like to see some private lakes, and who would like to see some private sections of water; this person who did not want to be bothered by the rest of us; this person who likes to bring in his own elite and put them in Cabinet; this person who does not want anything to do with the backbenchers, the ones that were elected by the people of Newfoundland. Well they are not good enough for this person to put in Cabinet; they are not good enough to be around him while he is salmon fishing. There could very well be one person in this House who would like to see private rivers and private lakes and private little spots of deep holes where there are great salmon. Maybe Devil's Gulch up on the Eagle River might be a good spot for him to block off and save for himself. There could very well be one. He is the only one I can think of. That might be wrong too, I am not sure. It could be wrong, but I doubt it. I doubt it. He certainly would not admit it. He would not admit it to his Cabinet, because I am sure the Minister of Finance would not go along with this - never -if he thought that is what was happening.

Mr. Speaker, that could be the reason. That is the only reason I can see. I see no other logical reason. If that is the case, if the Premier has some grandiose scheme of selling off pieces of our rivers to balance his Budget, or pieces of our ponds to balance his deficit and try to keep the Minister of Finance on track, Mr. Speaker, if that is his plan, that he is going to pay off our past deficit by selling pieces of our great rivers and our great ponds, I can understand that. It is quite possible. I could understand that, but if he would say it I would see some logic in why this is happening. He will not say it. Nobody will say it, so I can only assume that it is pretty farfetched, and I admit it is pretty farfetched. I do not even think the Premier would do that, but I have my doubts sometimes. So, what is the reason for it? As I said before, if you need a public work in this foreshore; if you need to do something between what he has owned, the land that you expropriated from someone else that you could take anyway, and the high-water mark, well you own the land; you can do it. You can build a road there; you can build a bridge there. You could permit someone to use it for aquaculture. You can give a permit to occupy for any use at all. You do not have to grant it to someone. You do not have to lose control of it, and when you grant it, you will probably never see it again. Crown Lands Registry will never see that, once the grant is put in their book and written down there: I wash my hands of that piece of land, as the Minister of Crown Lands. - and it is gone out to private industry or private ownership, and then it is dealt with otherwise. The next time that will be registered with any Crown group it will not be registered as Crown land, it will be registered as private land in the registry of deeds if I sell it or someone buys it, or whatever happens.

So the Crown cannot enforce it. They cannot enforce what is going to happen with these grants which they could issue if they wanted to. They cannot protect this piece of land above and beyond putting some restrictions in a conditional grant that might or might not be ruled the same some years in the future in a court, should we give up our control over that piece of land. So I cannot see or think of any logical reason why we might have this reason.

There is one reason that might have come up, I suppose, under very exceptional circumstances, somebody could have built a house on a grant, misplaced it on their grant and got the corner of their house out over the reservation, and if they needed a mortgage on it, that could cause a problem because they would not get a mortgage on it unless they have clear title to the works. But if somebody was going to build a house or a cabin or whatever you would build and put it on the lot wrong, you would put probably a corner of it over the lot, you certainly would not put it right out to the water, then probably you could give a lease or a licence or something to that person the same as you would do with a road right-of-way now if a person builds outside it. You could give them a licence to use that piece of land as long as they need it for that specific use, and as long as you do not need it. That would be very reasonable.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: If I get flooded.

AN HON. MEMBER: If your property gets flooded.

MR. R. AYLWARD: That is called riparian rights, there is a problem, yes. If the bank erodes, you mean?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I only have twenty minutes left. If the banks erode - there is one instance that I heard of, down on Water Street there was a building, Campbell's I think it was, and the railway was behind them going down Water Street, and every time the railway wanted to move the track they used to fill in Waterford River and move it out, and move it out. Apparently what used to happen was that Campbell's used to end up with a bigger back yard, and the railway had to one day come back and buy all that land from them because they needed it. I understand it was because of some riparian rights, or whatever it was called. But they made several hundreds of thousands of dollars on work that the railway did but had to buy back because part of their boundary was the bank of the Waterford River, without reservation too on that one.

Mr. Speaker, that is why I have a problem with this Bill again. If there is some reason why you have to give up your title to some part of that reservation, why not do it by permit to occupy or lease? Why not say in this that it can never be granted, not even conditionally granted to anyone or any time? Why not say if it cannot be held by a permit to occupy, maybe we can do it by a lease, under extremely unusual circumstance we could possibly lease this land. I do not think that is unfair. I do not think that is unreasonable. I still do not know the reason why we have to do it at all, but there could be, giving someone the benefit of the doubt that there could be a reason why you might want to alienate title of some part of that ten metre reservation, let's do it by lease. Let's do it first by permit to occupy, let's write something in here and say 99.9 times this will be done by permit to occupy, as can be done today. This is what exists today. If there was some reason, if somebody has an expensive house or somebody has something that they need mortgaged, and the banks will not go along with title - give them a lease over that piece of land. But do not give them a grant. I do not think it is necessary to give them a grant for that piece of land.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Sure, banks give money on leases all the time. Ninety-nine per cent of the land in St. John's is leased by the St. John's -

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Whatever time. A renewable lease, if you stick with the conditions, is as good as gold. But all of St. John's Housing Corporation land, now Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation land, that was given out around St. John's, is ninety-nine year lease or 999 year lease. Most of it. Used to be.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I do not know, maybe not any more. I know when I was surveying the Newfoundland Drive area in Virginia Park they were leasing it at that time, and that was not too long ago. When they did all the northeast area of St. John's, all of Harris Road and all that, that was all leased. All the Churchill Park area in this - now it could be changed - they probably gave freehold title since.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: Did you do all that surveying?

MR. R. AYLWARD: I did most - I did a lot of it, yes. I have been here a long time. I had hair when I started that stuff. I did not do Churchill Park, that is the only one.

But, Mr. Speaker, all of that land was mortgaged, bought, sold and transferred at the time there were leases on it, without problem. It has been indicated to me that the leases might not exist today, and there is probably a reason why they weren't. Why do you need them? I do not know why the Newfoundland and Labrador - well, no, I do know why. Because in those leases were stipulations, and maybe they were necessary years ago, of what types of fences you could put on the land, what types of houses you could build on the land. There were restrictions in that lease. I guess with the municipal bylaws that we have in the City area now, or probably in the Province, you do not need those leases any more. That could be a reason why they are changed. I am not sure.

But I know there was a problem in - several people I know after I surveyed them they could not put - they certainly could not put fences out to the corner of the sidewalk. They still cannot do it, but one reason they could not do it is because they had a lease on that land from St. John's Housing. They could not put a certain height of fence up, that was in their lease, and several other restrictions.

But leases are quite acceptable to financial and legal institutions. They are used worldwide for -

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

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, I will finish it. I will just say to the Minister again, if he has a good reason why, I will vote for this. If he can give me a good reason why, I will vote in favour of this. If he cannot give Members of this House a good reason why, why not bring in an amendment - ask your House Leader to bring in an amendment to say that: let's use permits to occupy, and leases in the extreme, but very unusual, but never grants. That would do for my vote, I do not know about everyone else over here, but, Mr. Speaker, that would do for my vote. Thank you.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, I spoke Friday morning on the six month hoist pertaining to this Bill for half an hour or so. As far as I am concerned, everything that can be said either for or against the Bill can be said and summed up in probably two or three minutes. So I do not intend to take half an hour to be just plainly repetitious, and to say the same things that I said on Friday morning. I do not think any Member has to stand for an hour to try to get a point across if there is someone listening. If there is no one listening you can stand here forever and a day, and you are going to accomplish nothing more or nothing less.

But I would like to reiterate again my problem with this Bill. It is with one particular section of the Bill and that is 7 (2). The Minister said before, and he said it again today, that there is no problem with it. It was in the hands of the Minister before, he had the right to give a permit to occupy. The Minister is exactly right. He did have the right to give a permit to occupy. But under this particular piece of legislation, especially Clause 7 (2), the Cabinet has the power to grant a lot more. And I do not mean for that - I mean a grant versus a lease, versus a licence, or versus a permit to occupy. Not just to give.

There are examples all around the Province today where our land was given away, and it is causing people of the Province, and municipalities in general, an awful lot of problems in the communities themselves with regards to building regulations - where to build, where not to build, and so on. Examples of that are: with Kruger, formerly Bowaters, the Reid lots that were transferred some years ago; Abitibi-Price. We have them all throughout the Province. I had an example just this past summer of an individual in the Deer Lake area who wanted to put a tour boat on Deer Lake. He was at it for almost eighteen months, and to this day he still cannot get a permit to tie his boat up to the wharf there in Deer Lake. Reason? Because it is owned by Kruger, or owned by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper.

They, right up the Humber River, own right to the river's edge. There is a clause put in there years ago that now we cannot seem to get around. If anybody has had any workings or dealings with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper or Abitibi over the years, they know quite well what I am talking about. They have someone sitting in an executive office in Montreal or New York looking at a map that describes a poor old soul down here in Newfoundland who wants to put in a cabin or a remote cottage somewhere in this Province. Because we have such a large area of the Province covered by water, when they see such a piece of water, a little strip on a map, that says my gosh, we cannot give that individual the right to build a cabin there, he is on a lake. I mean, I actually heard an official from Kruger say that.

Here we have such an enormous potential in this Province that will never be realized, we will never be able to capitalize on it, unless there are some changes made. I do not think there is any Member in this House today, on either side of the House, who would disagree with that. Out in central Newfoundland people are being stymied. There on the west coast of the Province, the same thing, and in some other areas where they hold, more particularly, the timber rights. But especially in areas where that can be - Birchy Lake, Sandy Lake, Humber River, Deer Lake, right on through. You just cannot do what you want to do.

But that is an example. What I am trying to do is draw an analogy between what was, what is today, and what could be tomorrow when this Section 7 (2) is passed. What could be tomorrow? I do not know. There is not a Member in this House who knows exactly what is going to happen. But why put something there that gives it the potential to happen? It cannot happen today. This Government cannot grant today before this Act goes in place. Tomorrow, if the Act is passed, it could happen. Why put it there, the possibility for it to happen? Today it cannot, tomorrow it could. My basic underlying question pertaining to this particular clause, and one that I cannot get answered, is why does the Premier want this particular section in that Act? Does it not make sense?

Nobody can answer that question. The only answer I am getting to it is: that we will add. If there is a problem with a certain section of an act, and you have to add to try to rectify it, it tells me that - every time you add you are creating another problem. But I suspect, and I get the impression, that whatever any Member says about this particular clause in the Bill, it is not going to be heard. In the Legislature of this Province today, naturally the Government has the majority, and they can at will, whether by the normal channels and regulations of the House, or by bringing in rules and regulations in the House - in this case I mean closure. Anything can go through if the Government is convinced that it is right.

Mr. Speaker, I would just caution members before they vote on this particular clause. I notice out and about the Province today - I will be the first to admit that in the last few days the debate on this particular subject is not, I suppose, garnering a lot of attention. The people I talked to simply said: well we will throw up our hands. We have thrown up our hands. It is just no good to say anything. But if you mind to go back to some of the comments made over this particular Bill when the hearings were held around this Province, it is no trouble to see, Mr. Speaker, that there was a lot of concern. Comments made by individuals who appeared before the committees; comments made by editorials, for instance in The Evening Telegram and so on, really told what they thought to be the real reason, and the contents of this particular section of the Bill were at that time.

The Rod and Gun Club in Gander appeared before the committee in Gander and stated their strong objections to this particular section of the Bill. Other individuals, just ordinary individuals from the Town of Gander and surrounding areas did the same thing. The Newfoundland and Labrador Exploration Limited went against the Bill. Comments from the Member for Bonavista South, the Acting Minister of Justice, Mr. Gover, he is not in the House today. Don Blackmore, an ordinary individual in that particular district, respectfully submitted his, gave his reasons, and I will not quote them, Mr. Speaker. Another one, Mr. Joe Collins from Ferryland, to Mr. Kelland, all kinds of reasons why. The one from SPAWN, and I quote one of those sections, Mr. Speaker: It appears that no one has come forward indicating that they have urged the Government to make such changes to the act, including the Outfitters Association of Newfoundland. It would seem that the old adage, if it is not broke why fix it, should apply in this instance. They could not get anybody to tell them the reason why.

This particular one strikes closer to home, Mr. Speaker, and I quote one section. It was addressed to Mr. Gover, the MHA for Bonavista South. In the second paragraph it says: Life is full of ironies. My love of fishing is second only to my love of family and of God. Not believing in the policies of the Progressive Conservative Party, I worked both long and hard in the last provincial election on behalf of the Liberal Party, only now to be told by that elected body that my fishing activities could be curtailed. What a beautiful but sad example of irony I can now show my literature class and my children. That was signed by Reg Carpenter from Bonavista South, Mr. Speaker, and I could read paragraph after paragraph from submissions made right across this Province from individuals such as this. That came from the heart -that particular statement in that particular letter to that particular MHA - and if there is reason for concern, why leave it there?

Another one to Mr. Gover from Rick Bouzan, the Executive Director of the Newfoundland Wildlife Federation, and as much is said in the P.S. at the bottom: Regardless of what additions you put there, the amendments do not mean a thing. They are not acceptable to us.

AN HON. MEMBER: Now, did you hear that? (Inaudible) Mr. Minister. Boy, this is shocking.

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, I am going to finish my comments on this particular Bill, and in doing that I am going to quote certain sections from one particular submission. I will just go through a few of those: Currently the legislation authorizes Government to grant licence of ownership to industries which, to exist at all, must have direct and controlled access to waterfront property.

Such enterprises are clearly described within the existing statutes, and for the current amendments to have been suggested at all we must suppose that non-conforming applications are either extant or expected - now that to me leaves a lot of reason for concern - in application reviews and with eliminating the requirement wherever possible of creating new ad hoc legislation there is however one most important caveat. Such desires and the stipulations they give rise to must not unintentionally enable a wider spectrum of activities to proceed simply because where before a detailed process would have been mobilized, now only discretion is exercised.

One of the most important questions we must ask is whether there is a greater likelihood of error with the old system or with the new. I believe there is more security in the old legislation. In the past industries of only specified types were even up for consideration. All of us recognize that most change occurs slowly. It is undoubtedly true that impeded access to rivers and lakes will not overnight be affected. Furthermore, it may never be the case that industries will be so numerous as to occupy large portions of our waterfronts. Nevertheless, vigilance towards even the possibility of such a scenario must be maintained. (A few questions, Mr. Speaker.) Therefore, even if the fears expressed here are exaggerated they must be respectively acknowledged. Indeed, if opponents of the Bill have over-reacted, what is the loss to our Province if Government accedes to their request? (And that question, Mr. Speaker, I ask again this evening.)

What do we have to lose by acceding to their request? Again I ask in which legislation, the old or the new, is there greater possibility for error leading to reduced access? Is it really necessary to change this legislation, and if so, why at this time? Are there a great many requests that must be suddenly dealt with, which are not covered by the existing legislation? Why is it not possible and indeed preferable to develop specific legislation for such applications?

Although this is probably a more cumbersome route, if so many people appear to want it and are willing to accept that slower processing times will result, why should this route not be chosen? (Very legitimate questions.) Expediency in the absence of necessity, particularly when it runs in opposition to public sentiment, must be questioned. That one alone should make hon. Members listen. Of course, those awaiting decisions on such requests will demand quick responses but the basis of our decision must be the majority interest when it espouses sound principles.

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious from some of the comments made by individuals opposite, and especially I suppose coming from the Premier and the Minister responsible, that this particular piece of legislation will probably pass the House this week. But I will just finish on one particular comment made by one particular person to that Committee.

He says: finally, I sincerely believe that if the now amended legislation is approved we will see the day when some of our worst fears are realized. It will not be tomorrow, and it may not be intentional, but all manner of undertakings with any interest in controlling access to our waterways will ride it as its vehicle. It should be clearly understood by all that existing as well as future developments would view such an opportunity as too good to pass up. If we are to err let it be on the side of caution. If we are to revise legislation let it be in our long time best interests.

Mr. Speaker, that was a gentleman who gave, as far as I am concerned, the best submission to the proposed new Bill. Some of the words there, 'maybe not intentionally,' and I say this to the Minister this evening, 'maybe not intentionally,' but why should we put something there that will probably create that problem?

The Minister knows quite well that he could not give a grant, a lease or licence before. If this Bill is passed, he, in conjunction with the Cabinet, can give a grant or lease or license; there is nothing to stop it and, my question is, why put it there? Why create that possibility? If any company in this Province needs it, as was stated by Mr. Power in his submission, just because it is five years the bank would not go along with it - they have to go along with the farmers of this Province. They are issued leases, fifteen and fifty year leases and expect to keep it and work it and go to the banks and try to get the banks to accept it as collateral and say to the banks: listen, I have a fifteen year lease, and the bank will probably look at them and laugh; they are into big business.

AN HON. MEMBER: Give them a fifty year lease (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Give them a fifty year lease. What is the difference? If we are going to change it when it comes to ownership, most of those people after this is passed could conceivably have a grant to that particular piece of land, they could, the same way with a cottage lot today, the same way with a commercial lot and the same way with a residential lot. There is a difference.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: There should not be, but that is in the leases now. In every agricultural lease around this Province there is not one person who owns an agricultural lease, whether it is a fifteen year lease or a fifty year lease, has access or has the right of ownership to that particular piece of land around any river or pond or lake or stream; not even a little stream, not even a trickle, a tributary does he have right to it. You can walk up any piece of land in this Province and as far as I am concerned that should remain as it is.

I would challenge members opposite, the backbenchers to get involved, question it and ask their constituents what kind of concerns they have with it. They will not, and I know why they will not; because when the Premier says he wants it, he gets it, nobody is going to question it and if they do question it and get some feedback on it, they are not going to bring it to this floor and that is wrong, Mr. Speaker.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity of having some final words on this particular Bill and as far as I am concerned, I hope that I am not around when something happens to the rivers and lakes and streams of this Province, because I am not only thinking about myself, Mr. Speaker, I am thinking about my children and their children, and I hope the members opposite will take that into consideration, and even if it is passed, for God's sake, somewhere along the road, do not give anybody a grant to any particular reserve around any lake, river or pond in this Province.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, if he speaks now he closes the debate.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I am tempted to start of the debate by saying that nobody is as blind as he who will not see, but I am not going to close this debate in that spirit. I want to say that when I introduced the legislation in the first instance I said that I expected a spirited debate. Well, we have had a spirited debate and I want to thank the Opposition for their civility in that debate. Obviously, the Members of the Opposition who spoke are genuinely concerned about making sure that people's rights to unrestricted access be protected and assured, and, Mr. Speaker, this legislation will guarantee that.

After this legislation is enacted, it will probably be impossible for anyone to ever get a lease, licence, permit to occupy or a grant to any portion of the reservation around lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. The hon. members are mostly concerned about the word 'grant', but do not forget that Cabinet, the Lieutenant- Governor in Council, in considering an application will probably opt to issue a lease or a licence, and will probably never opt to issue a grant anyway. Remember, they can only consider a lease, a licence, or a grant for the structures or the proposals that are identified in the legislation. You would have to change the legislation in order to give an outfitter the right, or an individual the right. Only the structures and the undertakings that are identified in the legislation can be considered by Cabinet anyway. Mr. Speaker, I suppose in the event that a grant was issued, and in the event that the person who had the grant chose to use it for a different reason than they originally applied, we could expropriate. In the final analysis we could take it back.

MR. R. AYLWARD: You will never know.

MR. FLIGHT: Well, we will know the minute somebody complains that their right to access has been barred.

MR. R. AYLWARD: It would be too late. It would be twenty years too late.

MR. FLIGHT: Then we would know. The question, Mr. Speaker, is why was it necessary to keep 7 (2), clauses (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), in? It was to protect the rights of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians forever from some Minister, or some Government, denying them their rights to free access, or unrestricted access. It is necessary to make sure that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will always have unimpeded, unrestricted access around ponds, lakes, and rivers, and that that right cannot be put at risk. It cannot be jeopardized by a Minister or an official of a Minister like it is now, Mr. Speaker, like it was this past thirty years.

I cannot resist this: The hon. Member for Kilbride stands up, and the hon. Member for Grand Bank, and the hon. Member for Humber, in particular, I cannot speak for all Members who spoke in this particular debate but they were Members of the Cabinet who ratified this Bill. We did not change a line, we did not change a comma, did not change a quotation mark, and it was intended to be on the Order Paper in the Spring of 1989. That is why I sit here and I cannot believe my ears when hon. Ministers, five of them who are sitting there now, and one of them may very well have been the Minister, I can check and see, but one of them may very well have been the Minister who ratified this legislation.


MR. FLIGHT: In 1988, the Winter of 1988. It is really unbelievable, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. FLIGHT: You are probably right.

I intend to close this debate now, Mr. Speaker, but I am going to repeat something I said because I want it in the record in the original debate. There is no better way that a Government can accommodate and allow the type of development that is in the public interest, and I have identified those various developments, yet guarantee the public's right to unrestricted access. The public's right to unrestricted access cannot be guaranteed or protected to any greater extent that is provided in Bill 22. That is the purpose of the legislation, that is the purpose of Clause 7, to do away with the vagueness, to take away the grey areas, to take away the risk that some Minister would abuse his power under the existing legislation and issue grants, leases or permits to occupy Crown land.

Mr. Speaker, out of a desire to go to the limit to protect people's rights I have visited onto future Cabinets a very questionable responsibility, that now every time a Newfoundland fisherman in St. Anthony, or on the south coast wants to build wharf, wants to build a boat house on the foreshore, he has to come to Cabinet, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

I want to say to the hon. Members who questioned the need for a grant. I am going to take some time and consider whether or not any of their arguments were valid, however for the time being the legislation stands as is. I want to say to the hon. House that it was a privilege for me and an honour to have been able to have protected the people's rights to unlimited, unrestricted access to the ponds, rivers, streams, and lakes in this Province. It was something that needed to be done and I am glad to be the person who could indeed do it.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

On motion, a bill, "An Act To Revise And Consolidate The Law Respecting Crown Lands, Public Lands And Other Lands Of The Province," read a second time, ordered referred to a Committee of the Whole House on tomorrow. (Bill No. 22).

MR. BAKER: Order 6, Mr. Speaker.

Motion, second reading of a bill, "An Act To Revise The Law Respecting Land Surveyors In The Province." (Bill No. 29).

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, again it is an honour for me to introduce for second reading, Bill No. 29, An Act To Revise The Law Respecting Land Surveyors In The Province. Now, Mr. Speaker, in the first instance, that is exactly what this is, an act to revise the law respecting land surveyors in the Province, and I might say, Mr. Speaker, that I am really only sponsoring this legislation. This legislation was, in the first instance, drafted by lawyers retained by the Land Surveyors of Newfoundland and Labrador. Obviously, the Legislative Council reviewed the legislation, Cabinet ratified the legislation, and it is merely, I am told, Mr. Speaker, housekeeping legislation. I am told also that the hon. the Member for Kilbride will be very supportive because, as we all know, he is a very respected land surveyor in this Province, and I understand that he has been asking, day after day, where the legislation is and why we have not enacted this legislation. So, Mr. Speaker, without more ado, I recommend Bill 29 to the legislature. I move second reading, and, Mr. Speaker, I am hoping for a very speedy second reading.

Thank you very much.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, there are only 66 clauses that I have to go over here.

Mr. Speaker, I have to declare a conflict first, I believe. I am a licensed member of the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors, and this has a direct effect on me.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I have eleven points, so I might lose one licence, but I can keep that one.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. R. AYLWARD: You can't take that one unless I don't pay.

AN HON. MEMBER: He is laughing away over there!

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say that I believe it was 1977 or 1978, when I was president of the Land Surveyors Association, that this started.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that your bill?

MR. R. AYLWARD: No, it is not my bill. It has been changed. There have been probably eleven presidents since that started.

MR. TOBIN: Not as good as you, though, 'Bob'.

MR. R. AYLWARD: But we recognized at that time, and maybe even a little while before that, that there were a lot of inequities in the present act, and we set to work to try to improve the act that governs the Newfoundland land surveyors in this Province. And there was a lot of hard work put in by many surveyors throughout this Province, not only Newfoundland land surveyors, members of the Newfoundland Land Surveyors Association, and people from the minister's department, people who work for the Crown Lands department, also helped out on this.

Mr. Speaker, I guess many, many dollars of legal fees have gone into this act. I know of four lawyers who worked on it, and I have been away from it for twelve years so there are probably several others who worked on it. But just reading it over briefly and talking to the present executive of the Newfoundland Land Surveyors Association, I find they are pleased. They thank the minister for putting this through. It has been ready for quite some time sitting on desks, and it never did get to the floor of the House of Assembly before. I don't doubt, it was pretty close to being ready when we were there in 1989.

The minister and the Government House Leader have expedited this. It is a piece of legislation that will affect a lot of people in the Province, actually. It has gone through more consultation, I would imagine, than pretty well any other piece of legislation that comes through here, because every professional organization in the Province had a shot at this one: the lawyers, the engineers and the architects had a shot at it before there was a final decision. I think there were geologist groups who had a look at it to make sure that none of their rights were being infringed upon by this new act.

One of the things that this act does is it gives a better definition of what a land surveyor is, Mr. Speaker, and that was one of the main problems that surveyors had for years, defining exactly what a Newfoundland land surveyor was, his responsibilities and what jurisdiction he had over different surveying works around the Province.

Mr. Speaker, I do want to commend the minister and his department for bringing in this bill, and certainly I will be supportive of it if I am allowed to vote on it. I suppose I am. I will be very supportive of this legislation.

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

MR. FLIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This is very obviously an important bill. It is important to the land surveyors in the Province. I do not feel as proud to be associated with this particular bill as I was the previous one, but I know how important it is. I am delighted to have introduced it, Mr. Speaker, and I move second reading.

Thank you very much.

On motion, a bill, "An Act To Revise The Law Respecting Land Surveyors In The Province," read a second time, ordered referred to a Committee of the Whole House on tomorrow. (Bill No. 29).

MR. BAKER: Order 20, Mr. Speaker.

Motion, second reading of a bill, "An Act To Amend The Memorial University Act," (Bill No. 38).

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the Minister of Education, to introduce this particular bill. It is fairly simple, Mr. Speaker, and in the explanatory notes it says: This bill would amend The Memorial University Act to provide that the Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology would become affiliated with the University under the name of the Fisheries and Marine Institute of the Memorial University of Newfoundland. The bill is a two-pronged bill; it also establishes an advisory committee to advise the Fisheries and Marine Institute and the University respecting fisheries and marine related programs offered at the Institute.

Mr. Speaker, this is part of a program to reorganize post-secondary education in this Province. It is an attempt to give the Fisheries and Marine Institute, in effect, a greater role to play in this Province. In bringing it together with Memorial University of Newfoundland, it provides the Marine Institute with the credibility that has been gained by Memorial University throughout this world, in certain fields. It would provide for the development of degree programs specifically related to fisheries and fisheries theory and practice.

So, Mr. Speaker, we consider this to be a very forward going bill, a bill that will mean a lot for the Fisheries Institute, and take it the one step further to establish it as a world class facility.

Mr. Speaker, the board that is referred to is an industry based advisory committee to advise the institute concerning programs and the types of programs to be offered. It will compose of not less than eleven, and not more than fifteen members, but there are some specific designations. The Deputy Minister of Fisheries, or a representative of the Deputy Minister, shall be on the committee; a full-time student at the Fisheries and Marine Institute shall be on the committee; a representative of the administration of the Fisheries and Marine Institute; eight persons from the fishing and marine industries or related organizations; and those other persons that the board itself may determine, once it is constituted in that way. So, Mr. Speaker, this is a wide-ranging board that I am sure will prove invaluable in terms of offering advice concerning the programs and courses offered at this particular institute.

So, Mr. Speaker, I am very, very pleased to bring this to this hon. House for consideration. As I indicated a few moments ago, we regard this as a very forward going and progressive move on the part of this Government to ensure that fisheries and fisheries development remain foremost in terms of our provincial development at this point in time.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

First, I think the bill is improperly named. It is " An Act To Amend The Memorial University Act". I think it probably should be renamed "An Act To Wipe Out The Marine Institute", which is really what this bill does. Now, I cannot blame the Government House Leader, the President of Treasury Board and minister of several other portfolios for the way he introduced the bill. Undoubtedly, he was caught unprepared and said what he thought the bill really was supposed to do, but if he and other members look at the bill closely, they will see very clearly that what this bill does is, it wipes out the Marine Institute. There is no longer a Marine Institute of Newfoundland left after this bill becomes law.

Now, let us just have a look at the explanatory notes. They say, "This Bill would amend the Memorial University Act to provide that the Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology would become affiliated" - and there is the catch word. Even the students were convinced by the Premier a few weeks ago when he went up and spoke to them: All we are talking about is affiliation; you are just going to be affiliated with us, and this, in turn, will make you a world class facility. That is what the House Leader just said. He said, it will take it a step further - 'it' meaning the Marine Institute - towards becoming a world class facility. It will do no such thing, it will eliminate it completely. It will help Memorial University become a better- known facility, undoubtedly, but as far as the Marine Institute goes, there will no longer be a Marine Institute after this bill is proclaimed.

The word 'affiliation' is a pure and utter sham. It is not an affiliation that is occurring, Memorial University is absorbing the Institute. 'Affiliation' means, you know, you work closely together with your own Board of Directors and so on. Everything is wiped out - you did not read the bill.

The minister, in his silence, and the Premier, in wanting to push amalgamation in another form, in the educational field, have hoodwinked all of you, even their own members over there. There are people over there who feel very strongly about the fact that we have in this Province a world class facility, a facility that is becoming recognized around the world for the work it does in relation to marine science, and especially in the field of fisheries. That facility will no longer exist, as such. After this bill it will be just another division within the University, controlled completely, in every way by the University, and if you don't believe me, let me give you a few examples.

The bill, as I said, does not provide affiliation. It wipes out the present institute and it creates a new institute within the University, owned, operated and managed by the University. Read the bill. Read the bill closely. And the Minister of Education says, yes, that is correct.

The present Institute disappears completely; it no longer has anything at all left of its own. It has no separate identity left. The name has changed to the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) of Memorial University.

MR. HEARN: Let us look at the bill clause by clause. The University is the successor-in-law to the Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology established by the Marine Institute Act.

Now, the University is a successor-in-law. We will have the minister explain fully what that really means when he speaks.

AN HON. MEMBER: The minister has all the answers.

MR. HEARN: The minister always has all the answers. Where is the Member for Port au Port? The Minister went out to Port au Port a few weeks ago and he came back talking about the lovely meetings he had. He had all the answers, he satisfied everybody out there. What did the newspaper say? Did the Minister read the headings in the newspaper? - Minister of Education offers nothing. People upset with Minister's lack of commitment - these were the headlines from the west Coast. That is what the Minister will give us, his usual diatribe with absolutely no substance. Anyway, I am being distracted by the Minister but I do not have time to talk to him now. We will talk when we go on our trouting trip. I owe the Minister for his delivery today of the funding for the school, which, as I mentioned to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, was a very positive thing, a progressive thing to do. Now, getting back to the Bill: Upon the commencement of this section the Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology shall become the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. So as a unit on its own it is disappearing, gone forever. You might say, what is wrong with that? - we are affiliated. No, we are not affiliated, we are adopted, we are taken over. Oh, yes.

AN HON. MEMBER: Nothing wrong with that.

MR. HEARN: There is nothing wrong with that, but the Bill says affiliation. The Premier talks about affiliation, the Minister talks about affiliation. What exactly does affiliation mean? The former President of the Newfoundland Teachers Association, who is admitting that he played with words to confuse the students and staff of the Marine Institute so that they will go along thinking: we are just going to be affiliated and everybody will be better off. We are still going to be on our own. We will have our own student council. We will have our own board of directors. We will call our own shots. We will have out own budgets.

But they now find out, no such thing. The Minister does not even know. The Premier has not told him yet that everything is wiped out. Clause 3: title to the property and assets of the Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology is vested in the University, title to all property and assets - so you lose all your property and assets. Your wife divorces you and she take all your property and assets. She wipes everything out and she takes away the name that you once gave her, and what have you got? You say I am still affiliated. Number 4: the University is charged with, and assumes all the obligations and liabilities of the Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology. So, now the university is absorbing all the assets and liabilities and we still say we are two separate entities. Do not be so naive. Number 5: the University shall, through the Fisheries and Marine Institute establish under this section, and in accordance with the directions of the board and the senate - which board and senate are we talking about? The Marine Institute does not have a senate. Canada should not have a senate as far as that goes, but the University has a senate, so undoubtedly we are talking about the University. So under this section in accordance with the direction of the board and senate, who is going to call the shots? The board and senate - there is only one board and senate - of the University, and they are going to go ahead and provide degrees, and once again the former president of the NTA says it is the way it should be. So he is in complete agreement with the takeover of the Marine Institute by the University, and I do not blame him because he grew up in central Newfoundland. He does not really realize the importance of the fishery. He never spent any time in a boat. So consequently he has no idea of the importance, not only to this Province, but on the world stage of the facility known as the Newfoundland and Labrador Marine Institute. The Member for St. John's South should be very concerned about this Bill because what it is doing, not unlike what we were led to believe it is going to do, it is completely wiping off the face of this earth the Marine Institute as we know it today.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: I just went through it clause by clause. You could do the same thing. There is nothing left; absolutely nothing.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: Oh, no.

So we have the name change; number one, so the name is gone. As a facility we have lost it. The University acquires title to all the property and assets of the former institute. So there is nothing there. The University takes over all property and assets. The University accepts all obligations and liabilities, so what does the institute do? All courses and programmes are administered by whom? - by the University, not by the college or the Marine Institute. And all courses and programmes are approved by whom now? - by the Board of Regents and Senate of the University.

There is an advisory committee going to be set up, and the Minister will tell them all not to worry because we are setting up an advisory committee, you are going to have your own advisory committee. Everybody has an advisory committee. The Minister has his own advisory committee; he does not listen to it, but he has his own advisory committee. The school of business has an advisory committee, the school of nursing, the school of medicine, all the other schools, every division, the Division of Education over at the University has an advisory committee. They have absolutely no weight; they are consulted sometimes when you are bringing in new programmes or whatever.

So we are going to set up an advisory committee. Who is going to be on it? The Premier told them up at the Marine Institute: don't worry, you will have a say. You will control your own destiny. They will control absolutely nothing. The Minister cannot even control his own destiny. In fact none of the members over there can control their own destiny, as is quite evident. It is all in the hands of the omnipotent.

AN HON. MEMBER: You better be careful now about what you say.


MR. HEARN: On the Advisory Committee - it's so noisy, Mr. Speaker, I have to shout. I hate shouting.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. HEARN: On the Advisory Committee, we have the Deputy Minister of Fisheries. There is nothing wrong with that on an Advisory Committee to a Marine Institute. You would expect him to be there. It's a lot better to have him on it than the Minister.

A full-time student of the Fisheries and Marine Institute: So, you are going to let one student be on the Board. Good stuff! So, you take away their institute, you take away all their powers, you take away their assets, you take away their liabilities, you take away their say in planning programmes, but you allow one student to go on the Advisory Committee.

You are going to be twice as good as that, because you are also going to allow one representative of the administration. So, one of the staff members can also sit on the Board to advise the Minister.

Eight persons from fishing and marine industries or related organizations: Nothing wrong with bringing people in from outside, fishery, marine and related industries, but to do what? To sit on a board to advise whom? - the University, as to what to do in relation to programmes they are now offering that were once offered by a different institute entirely.

Then, other persons who may be determined by the Government, of course, the people that they want to put on the Board. There is nothing wrong with that.

Now, what is this great Advisory Board going to be able to do? This is the only thing that is left of the Marine Institute, an Advisory Committee. What are they going to be able to do? The Board shall establish the terms of appointments of members of the Advisory Committee -

AN HON. MEMBER: The (inaudible) Board?

MR. HEARN: No, this is the Board of Regents, undoubtedly.

- so that there is a continuity in membership. So, it is extremely important that you are not going to kick them all off after one year. You are going to leave somebody on this great Advisory Committee for a couple of years, if he does what you tell him to do. Then we get into the rest of the scheduling.

So, that is the Bill. That is it. This is what you are asking us here in this House to make law. I can see members over there with perplexed looks on their faces. I would suggest you better take this Bill and look at it, the Bill that the House Leader got up and, as I said, with the Minister not being here to enlighten us on what they were trying to do, he has hidden everything so far in relation to the dealings with the institute. He told them: No, don't be so foolish, you are not going to be affected. You are just going to be affiliated. As the Premier would say, there is a lot of difference between affected and affiliated, and there certainly is. You are not going to be affiliated, you are going to be completely absorbed by the University. You are going to be wiped out. The Marine Institute is gone. It is gone completely. There is no more Marine Institute. They have no name, they have no property, they have no assets, they have no liabilities, they have no say in the courses, they have absolutely nothing, except an Advisory Committee that is going to advise the Minister, and we all know what Advisory Committees do. They show up to the Christmas party, and that is about it.

MR. SMALL: That is what you would do.

MR. HEARN: The newly elected Member for White Bay who probably knows as much or more about fisheries then anybody in this House, knows the importance of the Marine Institute and the leadership it has shown in the field of fisheries. All the small courses, pardon the pun, that have been offered over the years to fishermen to improve their lot, where are they going to be?

Is a fisherman from White Bay or St. Mary's Bay going to come in and take an eight week course at Memorial University to get a degree? Unlikely. But they all have benefited from short courses over the years, many, many courses. What is going to happen to all of these? We have not got any answers. We know there are going to be degree or certificate granting programmes from the University. Some of the other courses have been sloughed off to Trade School, to the Cabot. But the Marine Institute disappears. We were led to believe there would be affiliation: we will work cooperatively so there will not be duplication. Nothing wrong with that.

That is not what is happening. We -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: It is not! The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations once again, the former president of the NTA, refuses to acknowledge the fact that here in black and white there is an act which wipes out the college. It says so. It says here, look. It says: we are taking away your assets, liabilities, name, your right to come up with any courses, we are taking away everything. And now you tell me that we are going to be left - what are you left with? - absolutely nothing. Undoubtedly after awhile you will not even be left with a building, because undoubtedly the plan is to finally get rid of the old Cabot Institute and they will move up to the Marine Institute, and we do not even have a building.

In fact, even if we have a building now we do not have a name for it. There is no more Marine Institute of Newfoundland and Labrador. We will now have - it spells it out here - the, what is it? - The Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology shall become the Fisheries and Marine Institute of the Memorial University.

You know, completely controlled. Is the Marine Institute going to have its own board of directors?


MR. HEARN: No, definitely not. Is the Marine Institute going to have its own budget?


SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: No! Now, we have - here, this is interesting. The Minister of Finance, the money man, says 'No'; the Minister of education, the funny man, says 'Yes.' I mean, the two of you sit together, get your acts together - are they or are they not going to have and control their own budget? Let's look at the Minister of Education's answer - he says, yes. The question is, who is going to control the budget? You no longer have a board of directors, and the Minister says: I am. The Minister of Education.

AN HON. MEMBER: The House!

MR. HEARN: Oh, the House is going to control the budget. Who is going to make the decisions as to where the money will be spent? I am glad to see the Minister of Fisheries coming back in because he should be extremely worried about this Bill when he really sees what is in it. We will no longer have our Marine Institute of Newfoundland and Labrador, we will have another division at Memorial University.

It is great for those who can go on to the highly technical courses and get degrees in marine related technology and so on, and in the fisheries, and that is tremendous, a tremendous opportunity for our young people, if there is going to be a fishery left. But what about all the people who are out there right now in the field who cannot afford or are not in the position, maybe educationally or any other way, to come in and take x number of courses for x number of years to get certificates or degrees? What about all the good positive things that they did for the little man out there who has improved his lot because of that Marine Institute? The former president of the NTA says they still would do it - he does not know the difference.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: The Minister of Education does not know what is going to happen. All we know is that a number of the courses will go to Trade School, and a number of them, the degree granting courses, will go to University. There are no answers coming. Where are the answers to all the questions that the students pose?

For instance, the Minister says: oh, I answer all their questions. The Minister has always answered all the questions of all the students around. He says: what is it you want? They say: we want this, we want that. He says: well, I will give it to you. Don't worry, we'll take care of it. Then he comes back and he says to his boss and his Cabinet: can we do this, sir, please? Like, can I have more porridge? The answer is a gruff: get lost, Phil.

People are catching up on what is happening. They are being promised the sky by the Minister of Education, who is trying to deliver, but the Minister is not getting the cooperation he needs.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: The Member - the mouth from the South - should really be listening, and I say this seriously. Because the Member has a big fishing contingent in his district, and a lot of them - I bet if he did a poll tonight - have benefitted from the Institute that we have up on the hill.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: And they won't!

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes they will!

MR. HEARN: You'd be surprised what will happen. Because the decisions that are being made about the running of this Institute and how it relates to outport Newfoundland in particular - and the fishing and marine element in the City - but I am thinking about the small fellow in the small boat with the small problems, who needs small solutions, and the small members who are looking for such solutions.

I am afraid that this is what is going to be lost when we have completely lost our identification. We are now not dealing with a marine institute. Nobody calls it the Marine Institute. What do they call it? The Fisheries' College. It always was. It started on Parade Street in the old university which some of us attended as the Fisheries' College. We went there, we loved it. If there is one institute that people think more about in rural Newfoundland than the University or this institute here it is the Fisheries' College. There will no longer be - we do not have it any more, we are just a part of the University. You have to learn to talk their language even to talk to them about your problems.

We have lost it. This Bill has taken it away from us. The students ask: are we losing Canada's only institution giving the highest priority to fisheries and marine technology? The answer is, yes. Mr. Speaker, there are so many things to be said to this Bill, and there is only so little time left, I move adjournment of the debate.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to remind hon. Members that tomorrow being Private Member's Day we will be dealing with the Private Member's resolution from the Member for St. John's East, dealing with Medicare.

I would also like to inform hon. Members that on Thursday I intend first of all to have Bill 50 proceed to the second reading stage. So Bill 50 is the amalgamation of certain municipalities. So I intend to call that one on Thursday, Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. House.

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