November 25, 1991            HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS          Vol. XLI  No. 77

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, when the House last sat in the spring, at that session, the Clerk sitting in the Clerk's chair, as everybody knows, was Miss Bettie Duff. She had been the Clerk since, I believe, 1977 or for some considerable time. In August of this year she retired, and on behalf of the Government a statement was made at that particular time, but we have not had an occasion in the House to acknowledge the contribution that Miss Duff made to the public service of this Province. At the time that she retired, she had more than forty years of service with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, having started in 1950 as a secretary, and she became personal secretary to former Premier Smallwood.

When I was involved in Government in the late sixties, I remember very well the efficiency and proficiency with which Miss Duff worked as a secretary to the Premier. She then became an assistant to Mr. Ottenheimer, a former Minister of Justice who also became Speaker, as one of Your Honour's predecessors, as Speaker of the House, and served him faithfully as well, and was subsequently appointed to be Clerk of the House.

As all hon. members will recall, she has served the entire House, both sides and the middle, quite well, and I believe hon. members have, in the past, acknowledged her tremendous record of service.

On behalf of the public of this Province, I want to acknowledge once again, in this Chamber, the tremendous contribution that Miss Duff made during her career in the public service.

Now that Miss Duff has retired, of course, it has been necessary to find a replacement, so I am pleased to advise the House that Mr. A. John Noel, who, of course, is sitting immediately in front of me, Senior Legislative Counsel, has been appointed to the position of Clerk of the House of Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of The Internal Economy Commission Act.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: I can see that the warmth of the response to the announcement leaves very little more for me to say, except I will add, for edification of those who do not know Mr. Noel, and for the general public, Mr. Noel was born in Twillingate, and lived with his family in Bonavista and Bay Roberts before settling in St. John's. He received an undergraduate honours degree from Memorial University, a Masters Degree from the School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Dalhousie University. He was called to the Newfoundland Bar in 1974, and has practised in Government ever since that time. He was a solicitor in the Civil Division, and later in the Office of Legislative Counsel, before being appointed to the position of Senior Legislative Counsel and Law Clerk of the House of Assembly in 1979. This position became one of the Assistant Deputy Minister positions in the Department of Justice in 1983.

Mr. Noel's background has prepared him well to take on the duties of Clerk of the House of Assembly. His experience at the Deputy Minister level will be valuable in administering the affairs of the House. But significantly for members, his duties as Legislative Counsel and Law Clerk will enable him to make an important contribution to the procedures and processes of the House.

Consequential on the appointment of Mr. Noel, I am also pleased to announce that Mr. Calvin L. Lake has been appointed to the position of Senior Legislative Counsel, in accordance with the provisions of the Statutes and Subordinate Legislation Act.

Mr. Lake received his early education in Fortune, and went on to receive Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Memorial University. He received his legal education at the University of New Brunswick, and was called to the Bar of Newfoundland in 1980. He has served as a solicitor in the Office of Legislative Counsel since that time.

I am sure that all members will join me in congratulating Mr. Noel and Mr. Lake on their appointments.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to be associated with the remarks of the Premier, particularly the remarks at the outset, where he paid tribute to the service given by the former Clerk of the House, Miss Bettie Duff. I had the privilege, of course, of serving with her during the period of time that I was Speaker of the House and while she was Clerk, so I know full well her capabilities and I know what her contribution has been over the years, not only to the House, but in the years prior, as described by the Premier.

Since this is really the first occasion that we have had to publicly say something about Miss Duff's service, I would like to be associated with those remarks and point out, by the way, that I happened to run into her just a couple of days ago. She was here in the building. I think that she was perhaps up to see the Premier, I am not quite sure, or he may have run into her.

Nevertheless, the second part of the statement, and the statement itself, in fact, is something that we also concur with wholeheartedly. I also had the privilege of working with the Clerk-elect, or the incoming Clerk. As a matter of fact, in his statement, the Premier makes the point that he was appointed to the position of Senior Legislative Counsel and Law Clerk of the House of Assembly in 1979, and that coincided with yet another significant happening in the House, that of the election of a new Speaker that year and that was the Member for Grand Falls. So I had the occasion to work with Mr. Noel as Law Clerk. I frequently called him and harassed him for information and advice. He always served the office of the Speaker, I know, well, as he has continued to do. We wish him well in his new duties and we would like to assure him of our co-operation on behalf of the Official Opposition, at least, and, I am sure, of everybody in the House.

Secondly, Calvin Lake is another individual with whom I have been closely associated from time to time in roles that I have had here in the House, as House Leader, and so on. He is a very good advisor, and I think it is an extremely good choice on both counts. As well, I wish Calvin well, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East, on a point of order.

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask leave of the House to address these remarks.


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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to take this opportunity to join with the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition in paying tribute to the former Clerk of the House, Miss Bettie Duff. Although my own service in this House has been quite short, to date, I have found Miss Duff to be a very knowledgable and very helpful Clerk of the House, and I was sorry to see her retire. I made these remarks at the time, and I welcome the opportunity to make them in the House. She served this House well and faithfully, and was very helpful to all Members of the House when called upon to do so. I would also like to congratulate the Government on the appointments announced today. I do not think that one could find a better appointee for Clerk of the House. Mr. Noel is an able and fair-minded individual; he is known to me as such in my dealings with him, and by his reputation. Also, Mr. Calvin Lake is a very capable individual, who, I am sure, will serve this House well. I look forward to working with both Mr. Noel and Mr. Lake in their new capacities.

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, today, I wish to inform this hon. House of changes in the responsibilities of senior officials of my department.

As of November 25, 1991 the branch structure of the department will be reorganized to provide a clear distinction between program delivery and program development. In order to achieve greater organizational clarity, the department will be reorganized in the following branches, each reporting to an Assistant Deputy Minister.

Client and Community Services. The five regional directors and the Youth Corrections Division will be included in this branch. This will streamline service delivery to the regions of the Province. Mr. Noel Browne has been appointed as Assistant Deputy Minister.

Program Development. This Branch will be responsible for all program areas. The program function will be one of policy development, research, coordination and evaluation. The Assistant Deputy Minister position in this branch is vacant due to the resignation of Mr. Beaton Tulk. Finance and Support Services: reporting to this branch will be the directors of Finance, Human Resources, Systems and Internal Audit. Mr. David Roberts has been appointed Assistant Deputy Minister in this branch.

What I am outlining today is the beginning of a renewal of this Department. In the months ahead, with the guidance and support of Treasury Board and the Public Service Commission, it is my intention to streamline and organize the Department to improve the delivery of our services to the people of this Province. First, though, it is of the utmost importance and a main priority of this Department to revive the morale of employees in the Department. This began some months ago and this past weekend, in cooperation with NAPE, a most successful and positive conference was held. It is just the beginning of a consultation process with all employees - and I emphasize all employees - to achieve the aforementioned goals.

The executive and senior management of the Department are meeting today in consultation with Treasury Board and Public Service Commission officials to work out the details to commence implementation of the changes I have outlined here.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. DOYLE: Mr. Speaker, first of all let me thank the Minister of Social Services on behalf of my colleague, the Member for Port au Port, who is the official critic, who will be along a little bit later for an advanced copy of his statement. The first thing I want to do sincerely is to commend the Minister for acting promptly to deal with some of the issues and some of the concerns that have been raised in that report that was prepared for the National Association of Public Employees by Dr. Graham Lowe of the University of Alberta.

One of the problems, I would point out to the Minister, that has been identified in that report - I hope he has read the report - is the need for greater organizational clarity within that Department. This statement that the Minister is making today appears to be a beginning or a start being made in that direction of refining the Departmental structure. But I would say to the Minister that it must go a little beyond restructuring the Department, as the Minister says in his statement, into three administrative units. It must also address the roles and responsibilities of individual employees within the Department of Social Services. Dr. Lowe's report again points repeatedly to a lack of clear goals for departmental employees, and because of that morale is seriously affected.

As an aside, I would say to the Minister as well, if there is one thing that can affect morale, especially within a department like the Department of Social Services, it is the appointment of former politicians to very, very sensitive areas like child welfare and support services. That is a very, very sensitive area within the Department of Social Services and I can see appointments being made to other areas but within that particular department, child services and youth support, that is a very sensitive area and I would imagine that is one of the reasons why morale has been so affected whereas the Minister -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time has elapsed.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. R. AYLWARD: A mistake from day one.

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, last week in the House on Thursday and again I think on Friday, the Premier said that it was up to the people of Corner Brook, Mount Moriah and Massey Drive to decide whether or not they wanted amalgamation; the Government is not going to force it upon them. I think that is what the Premier said; he may begin by correcting me but I am sure, pretty sure this time that is what he said.

I want to ask the Premier this question: Why then does the Government have one set of rules for the people of Corner Brook, Mount Moriah and Massey Drive and another set of rules for the people on the Northeast Avalon? Why the inconsistency?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, there is no inconsistency. If we were not satisfied that the majority of the people in the St. John's capital city area, Mount Pearl, St. John's, Wedgewood Park, Goulds wanted a single capital city, we would not have moved in that direction. We were quite satisfied as to that. Now, if it is marginal or if there is any doubt about it, you can go through the extra trouble if you want to, of holding a plebiscite; we could have done that.

In some cases, maybe the Government or the Legislature should act in any event, but this is not one of them. In the case of Corner Brook, Mount Moriah and Massey Drive, the Government's position is no different. If the people of the City of Corner Brook, together with Massey Drive and Mount Moriah, the majority of them taken together do not want it, the Government will not push through amalgamation of those three communities.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Premier continues to claim that there is no inconsistency, yet the strongest opposition, I think, to amalgamation has come from communities on the Northeast Avalon. May I ask the Premier this question then? How does the Premier know that the majority of people on the Northeast Avalon favour the amalgamation proposed by the minister who, incidentally is not here, but out of the Province for the next ten days?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, it is not me who knows it, the Government is generally satisfied, and I think you can judge these things reasonably well. There are some things in respect of which you do not need a count or a plebiscite in order to come to a conclusion. Now, the Town of Massey Drive and the Town of Mount Moriah have both indicated very clearly what the majority opinion is in their respective towns. If the City of Corner Brook are of the view that the majority in Corner Brook also feel that way, then that is a pretty fair indication -

MR. SIMMS: City council.

PREMIER WELLS: City council. That is a pretty fair indication of what the situation is. If there is substantial doubt about it and the city says, 'No, we think that the majority of people would want it,' we may well have to go to a plebiscite. We may well have to.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Premier for that little bit of new information about the plebiscite. I had not heard him actually say that before.

Now, on Friday past, as well, the Premier said that the City of Corner Brook had originally favoured amalgamation, but was now concerned about it placing an additional financial burden on the city. In fact he said, and I quote from Hansard, "If it is going to place an additional burden on Corner Brook, which the Province is not going to compensate them for, they may well want to think about what their preferences are." In other words, they can decide.

I want to ask the Premier if he will give the same option, then, to the City of St. John's? Would he allow that the people of the City of St. John's may not want amalgamation if it is going to place an additional burden upon them, for which the Province has already indicated it is not going to compensation them for? Would he give the same option to the City?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, one of the motivations for the Government acting was pressures by the city to rationalize the irrational situation that had been allowed to accumulate over a great number of years that predated the time when the former members were in office, but was severely aggravated during the period they were in office. So that that situation had been created and the city, among others, wanted the thing resolved. We took action to do that, we think we have done it in the right way, and we will do the same thing for Corner Brook if that is what the majority of the people in the area want.

MR. SIMMS: A final supplementary.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I had to chuckle when the Premier started talking about the previous administration aggravating the people of the Province. I wonder who is aggravating the people of the Province these days with amalgamation plans, certainly not this party.

I want to ask the Premier directly, will the Premier discuss with the municipalities in the Northeast Avalon - this is their last kick at the cat with Bill 50, I guess, going through the Legislature now - will he discuss with them, and agree if that is their wish, to hold a plebiscite on the Northeast Avalon to determine the will of the people with respect to their amalgamation plans?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: No, Mr. Speaker, the decision is done. We did it at the time on the basis that we were satisfied that that reflected the wishes of the will of the majority of the people, and we are still so satisfied, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is also to the Premier. Over 90 per cent, in fact 99 per cent, of the people of Wedgewood Park signed a petition opposing amalgamation with the City of St. John's. Will the Government listen to the people of Wedgewood Park, in my district, as it has listened to the people of Mount Moriah, in the Premier's district? Will the Premier let the people of Wedgewood Park decide whether or not they want amalgamation?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the people of Wedgewood Park are being treated no differently than the people of Mount Moriah. Mount Moriah is in my district, but I went to the district and I met with the people and explained to them specifically what we were going to do, if that was the wish of the majority of the people in the whole area. The Government would be grossly irresponsible to allow a small cluster of people, whether it is in the hon. member's district or the Premier's district, to hold up the proper management of municipal manners in the Province, and we will not do it.

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

MR. PARSONS: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Amalgamation will double taxes in Wedgewood Park, costing home owners an additional $350,000 to $400,000 per annum. The Premier is apparently concerned about the cost of amalgamation for the citizens of Corner Brook, Mount Moriah, and Massey Drive. What about the cost to the citizens of Wedgewood Park? Is Government concerned at all about the people of Wedgewood Park?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Yes, Mr. Speaker, but we are not concerned with the citizens of Wedgewood Park to the exclusion of the citizens of St. John's who are paying twice the tax rate for the same services. That is fundamentally unfair, and we are not going to allow that kind of unfair situation to continue. Now that was the approach that the former government took, whoever could put political pressure on could squeeze whatever preferential position they wanted. We committed, Mr. Speaker, to govern this Province on the basis of fairness and balance, and that is what will be the order of the day.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

MR. PARSONS: The Government, and indeed the Premier, keeps talking about equality, fairness and balance. If it truly believes in those principles, if he truly believes in those principles, it will give the people of Wedgewood Park the same right to choose or reject amalgamation that he has given the people of Corner Brook, Mount Moriah, and Massey Drive. Will the Premier let the people of Wedgewood Park decide for themselves?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: One of the unfortunate things of having pre-prepared written questions is that once the question is answered, if you have it pre-prepared for a supplementary, you have to ask anyway. Now let me repeat the answer, Mr. Speaker, to the second time that the same question was asked.

The people of Wedgewood Park are being treated exactly the same as the people of Mount Moriah, no different, no less. We are not going to let any one group of people, any small group of people, whether they are in Mount Moriah or in Wedgewood Park, control the wishes of the majority of the people in the area. That is precisely what I told the people of Mount Moriah and Massey Drive in my district and in the district of the Member for Humber East, and I say exactly the same thing to the people of Wedgewood Park. You cannot create and allow to continue, or even if the former government created it, we cannot knowingly allow to continue, a situation where people living in Wedgewood Park are paying one-half the municipal tax rate and getting exactly the same services and using the same in the surrounding area. Is that what the Member for St. John's East, and the members for all the St. John's seats that are now on this side of the House, is that what they want to continue? Of course they do not, Mr. Speaker. Fairness and balance will be the order of the day.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is to the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture. The Minister recently announced that an agreement was signed between Eastern Harvesters, the Federal and Provincial Governments, and Abitibi-Price so that they would be able to ship approximately 3100 cords of wood from Goose Bay to the mill in Stephenville. Would the Minister now be prepared to table a copy of that agreement in the House?

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

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware that I ever announced in the House that an agreement had been signed between the Federal Government, Eastern Harvesters and the Newfoundland Government with regards to the subject the hon. member is bring up. I read in my statement in the House that Abitibi-Price had purchased 3100 cords of wood from Eastern Harvesters and that the Province intended to support financially the cost of transportation, but I am not aware that I announced there was any agreement signed between the three parties he refers to.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Would the minister then table what it is going to cost the Provincial Government to pay for the transportation sector of this agreement between Abitibi-Price and the Government, the price per cord?

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

MR. FLIGHT: I am not sure it is necessary to table anything. I can inform the hon. members that the cost to the Province is roughly $15.00 per cord. There were 3100 cords and that is roughly $45,000. As a matter of fact I think the exact cost to the Province is between $45,000 and $46,000 and that was to help subsidize, or our contribution to the cost of transportation of the wood from Goose Bay to Stephenville.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Previous to this agreement being reached with the people involved, Abitibi-Price and Eastern Harvesters, did the Minister have any meetings with Abitibi-Price to determine what, if any, adverse effects it would have on the loggers on the West Coast of the Province, in the Northern Peninsula and the Springdale area, what effect this would have on those particular people, people who are just waiting to quality for UI?

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

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, there has been an effort ongoing by the Department of Forestry and Agriculture for two full years now to encourage Abitibi-Price in particular to look at the economics of purchasing wood in Labrador, and for more reasons than one. The Opposition is aware that there is, if not a real a perceived wood shortage problem that will effect Abitibi-Price in particular sometime in the next ten or twelve years. Our ace in the hole to get us over a certain period of time when there would be a real shortage was the Labrador wood supply, which is an almost unlimited wood supply of black spruce, the best pulp wood fibre in the world, Mr. Speaker. As a Department we encouraged Abitibi-Price to purchase one or two boat loads of wood and we agreed to help with the cost of transportation. The idea was to determine once and for all whether or not it was economically feasible to bring wood from Labrador to Stephenville. Now, Mr. Speaker, I admit the timing appeared to be bad, the very time that Abitibi-Price was rationalizing their operations in Stephenville with regard to their loggers and their wood supply, but remember, Mr. Speaker, and hon. members should know this, we are talking about 3000 cords of wood. Abitibi-Price uses close to 200,000 of wood, a very minute part of Abitibi's wood supply in this Province. I will confirm, but I very seriously doubt that that 3000 cords of wood has had any effect on the amount of wood that Abitibi-Price is buying or proposing to buy from private operators, or independent operators anywhere in Newfoundland.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, the member should ask some of the loggers over there what kind of an effect it is having on them and he will soon find out.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: But having said that, Mr. Speaker, then would the Minister now tell the House if there is another agreement or another chance of another shipment of approximately 3,100 cords of wood to come in soon? Especially before Christmas. If so, would the Minister take it upon himself to make sure that it does not, especially at this time of the year? You hit the nail right on the head when you said timing. It is causing severe hardships to the people on the west coast of the Province, and especially the White Bay and Springdale areas.

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

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, when I referred to timing I did not necessarily mean the time of the year. I meant timing on the basis of the rationalization that is going on in the paper industry in Newfoundland today, relative to their wood supply and problems and everything else.

Also I will tell the hon. Member, that when we first started to discuss over two years ago, we talked about, with Abitibi-Price, the possibility of buying two boat loads of wood because I think we were talking in the terms of 10,000 cords of wood, and a boat will normally take about 5,000 cords.

I can not tell the House with certainty that there will indeed be another shipment to Stephenville this year. There may not be. I can confirm that right at this moment I am not sure whether or not Abitibi is attempting to secure a boat. The problem here is finding a boat that will deliver this wood. But in the meantime I can not say with certainty that there will be. I rather think there will not be, because the shipping is getting very late for out of Goose Bay. But I will find out exactly what the intentions of Abitibi-Price are (Inaudible) and so advise the House.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Premier and concerns amalgamation. I wonder if the Premier could describe to the House the process that was undertaken to consult with the various municipalities in and around the St. John's area with respect to the amalgamation. Is he satisfied that there was adequate consultation, particularly with respect to the cost and other financial implications for these various municipalities of amalgamation?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, as to the details of the process of consultation I will take the question under advisement and when the Minister returns, or through his officials, get the information in the meantime. The second part of the question, am I satisfied that there was a reasonable level and adequate consultation? I have no reason to believe that there was not an adequate level of consultation. I assume that there was and I have no reason to think that there was not an adequate level of consultation.

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, perhaps then the Premier can advise why municipalities, such as the Town of Paradise, are unable to make up their budget? The Mayor of St. John's, for example, is saying that they are not certain yet as to the cost of amalgamation. The Town of Paradise has said over the weekend that they could be facing possibly ten or more - fifteen or twenty times - increased cost for fire protection for the Town of Paradise, as a result of the regional responsibilities being given to the City of St. John's.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, if the Town of Paradise is going to be facing an increase in cost of ten or fifteen times what it was before, I can only assume they were being incredibly subsidized by the people of St. John's, Mount Pearl, and the people of the Province generally, and were not paying their fair share. So it needs to be corrected, if that is the situation. But I do not know the detail of it. I will undertake to get the detail when the Minister returns or get it from his officials and advise the House.

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, the Premier would know, or should know, that certain towns have been serviced by volunteer fire brigades, and now with the regional fire services are going to be a full time professional fire fighting service at greater, increased cost. Will the Premier not admit that this amalgamation process that he has undertaken has been haphazard at best, that taking and picking and choosing, and not doing a full job of amalgamation (Inaudible) proper consultation beforehand?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: There is a strong argument to be put, no doubt, for the fact that there should have been a larger amalgamation as the hon. Member may be suggesting in his question. However, by reason of the position taken by Mount Pearl - they wanted some consideration for the fact that they had been a cohesive community - we were prepared to make a concession, and we did make a concession to Mount Pearl. But that does not mean that we should abandon the principles of good municipal management in terms of providing the basic municipal services. Prior to this time, the Town of Paradise obviously had the services of a dedicated group of volunteers. Now, they will have the services available to them on a full-time and regular basis of professional full-time fire fighters. And I believe they will be better off and will have a greater level of protection, so I don't think it is unusual or inordinate that they should pay for that kind of service, the same as other municipalities in the area pay for the service.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have one question for the Premier. It has come to our attention that the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, along with some others including, I think, the acting Minister of Justice, left the Province Friday past, returning next Monday, we are told, a ten-day absence. Now, the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, of course, is the minister responsible for piloting Bill 50 through this Legislature, a piece of legislation that will likely pre-occupy this House for the rest of this week, certainly, maybe longer, who knows. Does the Premier realize that had occurred and does he agree, or does he not think it is rather extraordinary?

AN HON. MEMBER: It is insulting.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I realize that at some time the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs and others were leading a group to meet with the officials in Bristol, England to promote what we consider to be a major event, the development of a program to celebrate the 1997 quin-centennial. Now, this is of prime importance and hon. members opposite have been chasing the Government to get involved in this and do something. Well, it has been done. It takes time.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: Well, one of them was not a minister at the time the commitment was made, but I do not think that it is ten days or something; it is the Member for Bonavista, he has that responsibility, as well. So they are discharging that responsibility.

Now, I have every confidence in the President of the Council, as the House Leader, to pilot legislation through the House. I will make myself available to the committee to answer any question in detail that I can answer, and I am sure other ministers will get any information that members of the House may want with respect to the matter, but they need not worry about the Government getting the bill through the House. It would be preferable if the minister were here, that is true, but the timing of it was unavoidable, I assume.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I have questions for the Premier. Since the Government eliminated the Ombudsman's office just about a year ago, there has not been an independent agency with a mandate or the power to deal with complaints about the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. Over the past several months, the Premier has indicated that he is intending to put in place a Police Commission; I remind him on March 22 past, he told the House of Assembly, 'We are looking at it.' He said, 'In the year and a half we have been there we have not done so, but I think we ought to get on with it.'

I ask the Premier, Why has he not gotten on with it, and why is there not a bill before this House of Assembly, now, creating a Police Commission? If legislation is not passed now, as he can appreciate, presumably, the next chance to put legislation in place is next spring. Are we looking at a two-year hiatus in the presence in the Province of an independent agency to deal with complaints about the Constabulary?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I will undertake to find out, but to the best of my knowledge, the bill is either complete, drafted, getting ready, it is in the process. As hon. members know, it takes time to co-ordinate and get legislation prepared and in the final stages. It is in the process of preparation, but I will undertake to find out exactly at what stage it is, Mr. Speaker, and advise the House.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question which really should go to the Minister of Justice. He is downtown doing legal work for Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, and we understand the acting minister is over in Bristol. 'The Evening Telegram' seems to think that the Member for Humber West is still the minister. Would somebody over there answer a question about the St. John's Penitentiary? Would a representative of the Government confirm that over the past few days, correctional officers at the St. John's Penitentiary discovered ammunition in the possession of inmates? Would a Government representative explain how that happened, and what measures are being taken to improve security policies and procedures to prevent this type of occurrence?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Justice or the acting Minister of Justice, the Deputy Minister advised me, this morning, of these events that occurred over the weekend, advised me of the general nature of them, and that a full police investigation is ongoing, and I am confident the matter is being properly handled.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Fisheries.

On Friday, in response to a question in this House on part-time fishery the minister said, and I quote: "we are going to have to take a hard look at what is happening in the fishery in terms of part-time fishermen. We have as many registered part-time fishermen as we have full-time fishermen, so there is going to have to be some arrangement whereby that number will be decreased."

Is the minister now aware that the proposal put forth by the Federal Government does not call for a decrease in the number of part-time fishermen, it calls for the total elimination of part-time fishermen - not a decrease, with the exception of new entrants into the fishery - that the proposal will eliminate completely the classification know as part-time fisherman?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, on Friday, I also told the member that that matter has been addressed by officials in my department, and by the Fishing Industry Advisory Council, and that would be the subject of considerable discussion, I guess, when the White Paper is introduced in the House, which I am hoping will be in a few weeks.

MR. WINSOR: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WINSOR: Is the minister also aware, then, that in parts of this Province, fishermen hold lobster licenses, but are classed as part-time fishermen. Since they will not now be eligible for any kind of licensing, would this proposed regulation eliminate entirely these people from the fishery?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what he is talking about, quite frankly. I know that considerable discussion is taking place. I know that the union has had considerable discussion with my department and with the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and they are now putting together - in fact they have put together a proposal that we have looked at, and that will be outlined in our White Paper.

MR. WINSOR: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WINSOR: The Minister of Fisheries should know that every fisherman in this Province has been given notification of the change in regulations effective January 1993.

Let me ask him this: Does the minister know that the proposal will eliminate completely part-time fishermen, except for personal use? Does he know how many people in this Province qualify for UIC by increasing the number of weeks of employment through engaging in the fishery? Does he also know the number of people who supplement their weekly earnings with their income from part-time fishing; has he any indication of the numbers?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, yes, of course, I know there are a lot of people who supplement their income by way of a part-time fishing license, but I should remind the hon. gentleman that the matter of licensing is the prerogative of the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. We are working with that department and with the union to ensure that any changes, brought about in the licensing policy will have as little effect as possible on those who depend on the fishery even for part of their income.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I realize there is not that much time left, so I will try to squeeze a couple of questions into one. Last week we asked some questions about the awarding of contracts for hospital clinics and the $6.3 million thrown away by the Government to a friend of the Liberal party, Tom Hickman.

Mr. Speaker, we heard this morning on the radio of another contract that was given to the same person, the person who probably contributed to the 50,000 salary the premier used to get. By Hydro, it also again was not the lowest tender. Because of these very serious things that have come to light in the past couple of weeks, would the Premier ask the Public Accounts Committee to do an investigation into the awarding of the contracts of the hospital clinics?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the Public Accounts Committee is the master of its own agenda, it can do what it pleases. I don't direct the Public Accounts Committee as to what it does.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Orders of the Day

MR. BAKER: Order 14, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order 14, Bill 50, a continuation of the debate adjourned on Friday.

The hon. the Member for Fogo.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to say a few words on this bill, Bill 50.

Mr. Speaker, the implications of what might be accompanying this bill, which was introduced by the minister some five or six days ago, has just this weekend, I think, finally hit home to the people of this Province. Mr. Speaker, I think the Saturday paper said it all. The Premier's explanation of what has actually transpired in some of these areas is a fair indication of what happened, when he said, 'Maybe the people of Paradise, who are only paying $33,000 a year, should be paying much more.' We have said all along that this bill is an attempt to down-load the cost of Government to the municipalities, and the Premier's statement confirms that.

What has been more interesting in this debate in the last couple of days, Mr. Speaker, has been the Premier's insistence and the Premier's stand that the West Coast has a standard or a set of principles that are going to be followed for amalgamation, but the same set of principles cannot apply to the Northeast Avalon. The Premier has not convinced anyone in this Province, not convinced anyone, I say again, that the process he used is one that can be adhered to by the people of this Province.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier keeps talking of how the people of the Northeast Avalon wanted to have amalgamation, wanted to have combined services and everything else. Mr. Speaker, while the Premier might think they do, there are large numbers of people on the Northeast Avalon who thinks the Premier is wrong. Mr. Speaker, we on this side have said many times that it is not amalgamation, it is not sharing of services that we are opposed to, we think that is a good idea, it is a principle that we see here, a principle that is being violated for the people who live in the affected areas, that is the principle of having the democratic right to do here as you do in other parts of the Province.

When this process was started some time ago we were led to believe that feasibility studies would be carried out into amalgamation of certain communities and certain services, and the sharing of certain services. None of this process occurred. The Minister of Municipal Affairs appointed some of his officials and other people within municipal governments to conduct some studies. None of them were pointed specifically at what we find here in Bill 50. What we see at Section 7, the resolution part of Bill 50, makes it quite clear what the real intent of this Bill is. It is to give to the Cabinet the approval, the power, the authority to amalgamate a town with a town or city and annex areas to a city or town, to establish an area as a town and to disestablish a town.

Why did that have to be included in this Bill? Is there some other plan, is this a part of a greater plan for the northeast Avalon? - one that the Premier really intended to implement when he had his amalgamation process? But because of protests that came from certain communities he backed down on it, the number of councils and people who protested made the Premier back down a little. He tried to do it through his regional services, and now once this is put to bed he will get on with the process that he ultimately feels - now the Premier himself feels it, but not the people of this Province - that we should have sharing of services and amalgamation on the Northeast Avalon.

There is no question that regional services is a concept that should be explored more. But we cannot have it the way it is now. Because this Bill gives the City of St. John's the right to own the Department, to determine how the residents of Paradise, Mount Pearl, Goulds and other outlying areas - possibly Torbay, Pouch Cove and so on down the road - how they are going to be billed for municipal services.

What is interesting in all of this is that is not what the people want. There has not been one person living in these affected communities who has had any say in what goes on. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, in your district this weekend, in the district of Bonavista North, I had an occasion to attend a function with the Minister of Mines and Energy, and there is quite some concern in these areas too about the amalgamation process and what occurred. Major concerns.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Yes, I will do it for him, since His Honour cannot do it. A number of the communities there while agreeing with the principle of amalgamation disagreed with the process that was used. They felt it came too fast, that there was a small number of councils in the area, and perhaps acted against the best interests and wishes of a number of residents of the community. What this is about is municipalities having the right to determine their future. That future now has been taken from the municipalities. It has been passed on to the City of St. John's.

If the residents of the area wanted it then that would be fine. But we have no indication that the residents in the outlying areas want to become a part of St. John's. Some time ago they were given the right by a vote of the community to determine whether or not they wanted municipal government. Every community that had one had to go through some kind of a plebiscite. The residents voted in favour or not in favour of having a council, and so it occurred. Now these same people have had that right taken from them. A right that they have held since incorporations of municipalities came about in this Province.

What we are dealing with here is a loss of democracy. It is very regrettable at a time when most of the residents of the world are looking for democratic rights, and asking for reforms in governments, because people have had their rights trampled on. It is highly ironic that this Legislature sets upon itself a course that is going to take away the democratic right of a community or a group of communities to decide their agenda for the place that they live for the next number of years.

Mr. Speaker, we have heard the arguments many, many times in this Legislature as to why Mount Pearl and other communities should have the right to exist. With regard to the question of regional services, the Town of Mount Pearl I think has made it quite clear, quite clear to the Provincial Government on many occasions, that they are quite willing to share in regional services of water supplies, waste disposal and fire protection if the cost is in line with what they can provide it for themselves. In a meeting which our caucus had with them the issue was not whether they could do it as cheaply but as long as it was within reason. It is their figure that $600,000 of savings could accrue to the Town of Mount Pearl by having their own fire department. Mr. Speaker, they have been asked by the residents of that town to run their town. Any responsible council would have to question: can we afford that extra expenditure of $600,000 per year? The question has to be asked, should the residents of Mount Pearl have to pay for that increased burden? It is fundamentally unfair to ask these townspeople to pick up the cost for someone else.

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the problem that lies with the City of St. John's is that a number of agencies, particularly the Provincial Government, does not pay its fair share. Perhaps the real reason the city has such problems is that there are so many Provincial Government buildings that pay no taxes, that do not contribute to the running of the city, whether it is in snow clearing, waste disposal, or whatever. If that is the case, Mr. Speaker, it is the Province that should have to pay the burden, not the residents of the Goulds, or the residents of Mount Pearl.

The Premier gave some indication the other day that fire fighting: I think the Province was going to pay something like $l.2 million towards it, and he said it was for the protection of property that is owned by the Province in the City. Mr. Speaker, if that is the problem, that the $1.2 million is not enough for the water that comes to Confederation Building and all the other buildings in this city that are owned by the Province, then the Government needs to subsidize the taxpayers of St. John's. That is where the process has gone wrong.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINSOR: My friend and colleague from Pleasantville finally comes to the defence of the city and says it is right, Mr. Speaker. If that is the problem, that the City of St. John's is being unfairly treated by the Provincial Government, then it is unfair to ask taxpayers of the rest of the urban area to have to pay that cost for the entire Province, because it is the seat of Government here. Because I live out in Carmanville I am not going to be asked to pay taxes to the City of St. John's, just because I am here, so why are the residents of Mount Pearl, just by the reason of proximity?

MR. NOEL: Carmanville will if (inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: If the Province pays, exactly.

AN HON. MEMBER: They should.

MR. NOEL: Are the people of Carmanville prepared to do that?

AN HON. MEMBER: They should. They are doing it now.

MR. WINSOR: We do it through the Province, through our taxes.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: Sure you should. You pay taxes on your buildings. The Federal Government does it. Ottawa does it.

MR. WINSOR: The member may know that presently Federal Government buildings pay the city. They pay every town in the Province, which is an incorporated municipality, a sum of money. They pay them taxes, grants in lieu of taxes, or whatever.

MR. A. SNOW: Parasites do not pay - these parasites. Well that is what they are. They are parasites.

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker if that is the problem -

MR. NOEL: Are you saying St. John's people are parasites?

MR. A. SNOW: No, just the one in Pleasantville.

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, am I allowed to speak in this debate?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. A. SNOW: The parasite from Pleasantville.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member may continue.

MR. WINSOR: Now, Mr. Speaker, if I could get on with my remarks. I am saying to the Member for Pleasantville that, yes, if the problem with St. John's, the reason that we have to annex all those areas, to charge them rates that they feel are far in excess of their ability and what they should have to pay - yes, Mr. Speaker, the people of this Province should have to subsidize buildings, and so they should do it for every community in this Province, not only here, but throughout the entire Province.

If we have to provide that level of service, we should give grants to municipalities in lieu of taxes, whether it is for the local department of highways depot or whatever it is, perhaps that is what is needed to be looked at. My colleague for Gander: I am sure his friends on council out there, being a President of Treasury Board, he would say that the Town of Gander would love to have some money given to the town from the Province for the buildings that it has there, similar to the money they get from the Federal Government for MOT, when they get those big windfalls sometimes for various things and I am sure he can even agree with this. So perhaps, Mr. Speaker, the process that we have used is all wrong; trying to balance the books I guess, the budget of the people of St. John's on the people who now live in the surrounding areas. Perhaps we have a flawed system that should have been looked at instead of attacking the small regions that are in close proximity to St. John's.

Mr. Speaker, what we saw going on the last number of days here, when the Premier got up, I think it was the Premier and the minister particularly, accusing the people of Mount Pearl and the city council of playing politics. Mr. Speaker, I find that offensive, to see the minister responsible casting aspersions, because it was not only on the tax payers of the council of Mount Pearl, it was all of the surrounding region. We saw the contempt again when the Mayor of Paradise tried to determine what her town was going to have to pay and, what we have also just discovered this week, is the City of St. John's is now expressing some concerns about the process whereby they are going to be given certain institutions, certain facilities - I think the latest one that came up this week was the Canada Games Park, the Aquarena as it is known.

There is some concern now in city council that the price that is going to accrue to the City of St. John's as a result of acquiring this piece of property is going to be much more significant than initially thought. We hear talks of having to pay higher wages, that the $200,000 that initially appeared to be the amount is going to be substantially higher and the citizens of St. John's will have to pay more. Well, Mr. Speaker, what was even more interesting the other day, was to hear the Premier, say that, yes, perhaps we should make them pay for Arts and Culture centres. If we take it to its logical conclusion, perhaps the next one will be to pay for the total cost of police protection for the area and a whole range of other services that the Provincial Government is now providing. That seems to be the intent of this piece of legislation, to increase the tax base of the St. John's urban area so the Provincial Government itself will have to contribute less to the area by laying the burden, the responsibility of providing the money, the dollars for both infrastructure and services on to the people who live there, by down-playing the role of Government, down-sizing the amount that this Government is going to contribute. Mr. Speaker, what was the rush in all of this? If the Premier is sincere about fairness and balance, why doesn't he conduct a plebescite on the Northeast Avalon and see what people are saying?

Mr. Speaker, this process has been ongoing now for over two years, since this concept of amalgamation came up.

MR. WARREN: Twenty-eight or twenty-nine months.

MR. WINSOR: Twenty-eight or twenty-nine months now, Mr. Speaker, and suddenly, it has to be pushed through. In that twenty-eight or twenty-nine months, the Premier and the minister have had ample opportunity to spell it out, let residents know exactly what is in store, the advantages and disadvantages, and allow (inaudible) the Premier says, the residents of the entire area to have a say.

I am not sure that, at this point in time, if the residents of the area voted, the Premier would get the results that he expects he would get.

MR. NOEL: We would bring in Mount Pearl also.

MR. WINSOR: Pardon?

MR. NOEL: We would bring in Mount Pearl, also, if there were a plebiscite.

MR. R. AYLWARD: No. You wouldn't.

MR. WINSOR: We would see what would happen if there were a plebescite, provided, of course, that the people are told what the real costs are going to be. Now, if we just say a plebescite, and there is a mind set out there that the taxes in St. John's are going to stay the same, and we are going to get this big infusion of money from the outlying areas, perhaps you might be able to sell it, then, to everyone. Many of the residents of St. John's would naturally rush out thinking they were going to get a tax break. Mr. Speaker, with the things that seem to be in store, the plans that this Government has in place, I am not sure that they could get it. If the people of the entire area were told what really was the intent, what it was going to cost each and every individual, what it was going to cost the taxpayers of St. John's to bring the same level of services to the Goulds, to Portugal Cove, and all the outlying areas, to Paradise -

MR. SIMMS: How much would it cost to bring water and sewer out to the Goulds?

MR. R. AYLWARD: Twelve million dollars (inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Twelve million dollars left to do in the Goulds to bring it to the standard in St. John's.

AN HON. MEMBER: Today's figures.

MR. WINSOR: Today's figures, $12 million, Mr. Speaker.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible) find it gross to bring Mount Pearl in without paying for it.

MR. R. AYLWARD: And they might do that.

MR. SIMMS: So, will St. John's pay for it? St. John's taxpayers will pay for it.

MR. NOEL: Yes, I know, that is (inaudible) Mount Pearl.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair has recognized the hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, perhaps if they were told what the cost is going to be - because we see some indications throughout this Province today, we see it out in CBS where water and sewer was recently installed and residents are being asked to pay the cost. Cost recovery has become the big term. That is the new catch phrase in municipalities. We saw some things happening with the municipal grant, and now the new thing is cost recovery.

Mr. Speaker, when these residents are going to have to pay that cost of $12 million, or the only alternative is that the residents of St. John's and Mount Pearl are going to have to pay for it. There is no question, Mr. Speaker, that that will have to happen. Now the question is how much revenue can be taken from the Town of Goulds into St. John's to pay for the cost? Can they come up with $12 million? The answer most likely is no; therefore, we are going to have to subsidize that cost - from where? The areas that make up what is going to be St. John's at some point in time.

Mr. Speaker, if that will not substantially increase the cost to the residents of this city by having these areas annexed - obviously, perhaps the plumb would have been to take Mount Pearl and leave the rest where they are. The Member for Pleasantville agrees.

AN HON. MEMBER: The parasite from Pleasantville.

MR. WINSOR: He agrees that is what they would like to have had, but that does not solve the problems.


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

MR. WINSOR: Once in a while, Mr. Speaker, I enjoy his advantage.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Member for Pleasantville interjects once in a while with a good line that we can have some debate on. I am hoping that he is going to get up in a while and defend this position of Government. I really hope what he is going to do is get up and say, Hold on now, let's look at this again. I think we have moved too fast, that we should have that six-month hoist that the Member for Burin - Placentia West proposed. We should have another look at this, and perhaps see if we can come up with a better solution for financing municipal and regional services on the Northeast Avalon, and perhaps in the entire Province, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps that is what we need to have a look at.

So the six months would give us a fair chance to examine what goes on, to look at the kinds of municipal services that are needed for the entire area and, at the conclusion of that six months, perhaps we will have convinced the people of the Northeast Avalon that we should share certain common services, like water and sewer, waste disposal, fire protection, and the people can live in harmony with each other, believing that their democratic rights have been preserved, because now, they feel they have been trampled upon. No one is quite sure why it is being done. There is a mind set out there. I happen to live in Mount Pearl, too, and I talked to a number of people on the street who feel that the Premier has some kind of an agenda, in fact, they are even feeling there is a spirit of vindictiveness now, to get Mount Pearl. Mr. Speaker, surely, that cannot be the motive behind all this, to get Mount Pearl.

MR. R. AYLWARD: It is now, yes.

MR. WINSOR: If that is the motive, then we are doing all this for the wrong reasons. What should be looked at here is what best we can do for the area and what the people can best support, because I happen to believe there is a better way to do things than to bully it through. Mr. Speaker, there has been no consultation. There has been a one-way dialogue. The Premier or the minister makes some kind of statement, people are forced to respond to it and there are confrontations and hostilities. Every negotiation that has taken place between these communities have all been at the barrel of the gun. It has been forced all the time, instead of sitting down and trying to negotiate, as happened in Grand Falls - Windsor where it took a long period of time to flash out all the ideas, Mr. Speaker. From the number of trips I make through there and in talking to people, I think it is working quite well. There are some bugs in it, but it took a long time to become what it is today. I think the same process could work on the Northeast Avalon, providing that the people have the opportunity to have input, because that is what democracy is all about. That is the process we were elected to do. That is the kind of thing that has to go on if municipal government is going to work. The autonomy of the town has to be protected and they have to feel they have a role.

We saw another example last week with school boards, Mr. Speaker. Whether you agree or disagree with school tax authorities, the process that the Premier used last week was wrong.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you agree with school tax?

MR. WINSOR: I agree with dedicated funding for education. I don't care what the mechanism is.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WINSOR: The Member for Carbonear will have ample opportunity to discuss school tax, amalgamation, and everything else, over the next number of weeks. We will deal with the Member for Carbonear as time progresses on what he agrees with and disagrees with.

Mr. Speaker, what we are talking about here is a process, and that process has fallen by the wayside. It now appears as if Government intends to use the Legislature, because this is not going to be a free vote or anything of that nature. The Premier has already instructed every individual on that side, whether they know it or not, they had better not show up in the House if they are going to vote against it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Ask the Member for Pleasantville.

MR. WINSOR: I will not ask the Member for Pleasantville. He is going to get up and discuss this legislation. I suspect that the Member for Pleasantville liked my idea of the Provincial Government paying a fair share for the services that are around to help municipalities through it. He is keen enough on the idea that I think he is going to get up and say, maybe that is the solution to the problem we have, that the six-month hoist will give him an opportunity to convince his fellow members from St. John's that this is a method we should use. We should not be attacking the people with whom we want to live in harmony. It is a bigger issue, it is a provincial issue. If the member can convince some of his colleagues there on the other side, then we can have this six-month hoist, and he might. He said to the Premier, when he asked him to go on the Constitutional Committee, 'No, I am not going unless I am Chairman,' and he stuck by his guns. He stuck by his guns and he would not go unless he was Chairman.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINSOR: Because he said - and I will tell you what he said - 'If the Chairman is appointed by you from Cabinet, he will be carrying out your directive and your wishes, and that is not the way it should be.'

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, he stood up and said no. So, on occasion, Mr. Speaker - in fact, we saw him on another occasion in the old Legislature when the bill for the Economic Recovery Commission or Enterprise Newfoundland was being voted on and the Speaker had to force him out of his seat and say, 'If you are going to be in this Legislature, you cannot abstain, you must vote.'

MR. SIMMS: Then where did he vote though?

MR. WINSOR: He went with Government, but under great duress and great pressure. He still believes that he voted wrong. He will be the first to tell you that he voted wrong. Mr. Speaker, he might think today when he votes on this bill he is going to be voting wrong, if he votes the way that members on his side want him to.

AN HON. MEMBER: He will not be here.

MR. WINSOR: That is a possibility, but I still think he will, Mr. Speaker. I am expecting him, over the next two or three days, to see if he can put together a lobby on his part to have the Province take a greater share of paying the cost of the services to this area.

MR. SIMMS: The rest of them are not talking to him.

MR. WINSOR: No, they will not do that, Mr. Speaker, because the member would tell us if his colleagues are offended and will not talk to him. Besides that, he had not been on our side very often for companionship, so someone must talk to him over there on occasion.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: No interruption! No interruption!

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, the member is going to have lots of time. I see I only have a minute or a couple of minutes left.

Mr. Speaker, I ask people on the Government side to give some serious thought to implementing this piece of legislation down the road a long ways. The six-month hoist proposed by the Member for Burin - Placentia West is the one we should vote on now, and we should give some thought to allowing people to have democratic rights, to run their towns and their cities as they see fit.

MR. R. AYLWARD: He is over there amalgamating Bristol with that in mind.

MR. WINSOR: With Bonavista, yes. He is amalgamating Bristol and Bonavista today. That is his latest game. He is going to bridge the 2,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean, Mr. Speaker. I think, on this one, Mr. Speaker, never the twain shall meet.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I ask members opposite to give some thought to the six-month hoist. Why the rush? We have had twenty-eight months, Mr. Speaker, of procrastination, doing nothing. What would six months more do to give people the democratic right to do as they see fit?

AN HON. MEMBER: The Member for Exploits agrees with you.

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, the Member for Exploits has some problems out in his own area, too.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, he agrees with you, he said.

MR. WINSOR: He has two or three communities out in his own district, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Be quiet there, please! The Member for Exploits has lots of opportunity to address this, because he has three or four communities that are napping at his heels.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the member's time has elapsed.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak to this particular piece of legislation, which I think will go down in history as one of the most cowardly pieces of legislation ever introduced into a Legislature anywhere.

I have to say, Mr. Speaker, I was amazed at the minister's introduction of the bill. I thought it was the most incompetent, pathetic introduction of a piece of legislation that any minister has ever made. I am still prepared to give that minister, having known him all my life, the benefit of the doubt, that he certainly did it without conviction. I do not believe his heart was in it. I think it is very clear that that minister and, I suspect, a large number of hon. members opposite, are being very much dictated to by the Premier with regard to this particular piece of legislation.

I know too many of them, particularly those who have come up through municipalities, and there are several former mayors and councillors sitting opposite - I cannot believe, Mr. Speaker, that those hon. gentleman really believe in the principle of this legislation, and taking away all democratic rights from municipalities.

Because that is precisely what this bill does. It eliminates the right of self-determination at the municipal level and confirms what we have been saying for some time, that in the minds of this Government, municipalities are mere pawns. They have no authority other than that which the Government chooses to give them as they see fit from time to time.

We have had municipal legislation in place in this Province for many years.

AN HON. MEMBER: Nothing new about that.

MR. WINDSOR: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: There is nothing new about that.

MR. WINDSOR: Nothing new about that. No, Mr. Speaker, as I was about to say, we have had legislation in place for many years and municipalities are creatures of the provincial government. They are created by the provincial government and controlled under the authority of the minister, but under the authority given to the minister by this Legislature by way of a piece of legislation. That piece of legislation, indeed, gives the minister a certain authority, but it also builds in certain rights and privileges to municipalities. It gives them a certain amount of autonomy, as well.

This bill does not change the law. I must be very clear. I do not think this Government would attempt to do that. That would certainly be going one step too far. They would not change the Municipalities Act to take away from all municipalities the rights and privileges that this legislation is taking away from municipalities in the Northeast Avalon. That would be too blatant. So what they have done, in trying to bring forward an amalgamation proposal in the Northeast Avalon - the minister has bungled the whole thing badly to start off with. He has gotten himself into a situation that he couldn't get out of. Because the process that was followed, very clearly, was illegal, was, very clearly, illegal.

The Municipalities Act lays down certain requirements of feasibility studies with public input, consultation with municipalities, financial analysis. The minister, indeed, came forward with a proposal. He appointed a commission. That commission, I understand, received some eighty-four briefs. They held nine public hearings, had numerous oral submissions in addition to the eighty-four written proposals. They studied the studies on this area that were carried out by previous commissions, and they did other research on their own, including hiring some financial experts to do a financial analysis of the proposal, all of this at great cost and taking a great amount of time.

The commission reported but the commission did not report on this proposal that we have before us today. Never, during those hearings, never, in the submission the minister put forward, never, in any of the briefs submitted by any of the municipalities or other groups and individuals concerned, was the question of the City of St. John's being the regional authority ever discussed. That was never an issue that has been debated.

So, when the Premier stands in his place, as he did again today, for the second time, and says: We are confident that we know how the people of the Northeast Avalon region feel on this issue, we are confident that the majority of people in the region support this proposal, he knows that is not true. He knows what he is saying is not true. Because the people of this region have never been given an opportunity to speak. There was no commission that studied this proposal, there were no feasibility studies carried out, and there were no public hearings. That is why municipalities in this region including, I say to the hon. the Member for Pleasantville, the City of St. John's, do not to this moment know the financial ramifications of what is being debated in this House. Because no study has been carried out.

I say to this House that the City Council of St. John's and their senior staff are just now, over the past couple of days, starting to realize some of the problems that they are going to be faced with if this bill is allowed to pass before this Legislature. There has not been study, and that is why the resolution that we are debating now, which is the traditional six-month hoist, is not simply a resolution to delay proceedings. It makes eminent sense in a situation such as this, when proper procedures have not been followed, when there has not been any consultation whatsoever, absolutely none, and any hon. members opposite who think that there has been are only fooling themselves. There has been no consultation on this proposal. There was another proposal, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister put forward; there was a report by his commissioners, chaired by his own Assistant Deputy Minister, but that is not the proposal that came forward, nowhere, was the City of St. John's suggested as being the regional authority.

Now, the Minister stood in his place and I could not believe what he was saying. He said: we are bringing in a regional approach. What he is doing, Mr. Speaker, is destroying a regional approach. We have had a regional approach in this area for many years. We had a regional fire fighting service that was operated by the Province, at least an independent body, and the cost was carried by all municipalities that benefitted. We all paid our share, but it was regional.

What the Minister is proposing now is not a regional fire service and he is being blatantly dishonest when he calls it a regional fire service; it is a City of St. John's fire service that is being forced down the throats of other municipalities against their will. There is nothing regional about it and if it was not that very Minister, who, not a year ago, brought through this House of Assembly, using closure, a regional services bill, I would be prepared to say that he does not understand the concept of regional services, but he must! He brought forward a piece of legislation that we opposed because it gave him a little bit too much power, but the principle of regional government, Mr. Speaker, we did not oppose and that Minister stood here a couple of days ago and said the municipalities of Northeast Avalon did not want regional government.

Well, Mr. Speaker, he should read his own commissioner's reports because they do not substantiate what he is saying. Municipalities in this region do want regional services; they do want a regional authority but they do not want to be dictated to by another municipality and made subservient to them, but that is precisely what this legislation does. It gives the city council of St. John's the opportunity and the authority to dictate the level of taxation that must be assessed in other municipalities, because the City of St. John's will now control most of the major expenditures of those municipalities.

The cost of fire department; the cost of regional water supply; the cost of trunk sewers; the cost of storm sewers; the cost of regional transportation and the cost of solid waste disposal and the cost of recreational facilities; these municipalities are no more than hewers of wood and drawers of water. They have taken away all authority and autonomy from these municipalities, made them totally subservient to the City of St. John's. Now, Mr. Speaker, if that is democracy, then I have got to go back to school; because that is not what I thought was democracy. That is not what I thought this House of Assembly stood for. Mr. Speaker, I am ashamed of this hon. Chamber today; that a piece of legislation that is blatantly as anti-democratic as this, could even get to the stage that it is being debated in this House. I am ashamed, to think that it can happen, and clearly, unless hon. gentlemen opposite realize what they are about, this Government will force it through; they will force it through, they have the majority and when the great one speaks - interesting, Mr. Speaker, nobody opposite is speaking; have they been told not to speak to this legislation?


MR. WINDSOR: They will later.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: They will later. It is time the Member for Mount Scio - Bell Island get on his feet and represented the people of Paradise. The Mayor of Paradise is pretty clear on the position of the Town Council of Paradise; they are starting to find out just what this means to them. It is about time the Member for Carbonear get on his feet as a former mayor, and the Member for Placentia, as a former mayor, and told us how they feel about a piece of legislation that takes away autonomy from municipalities; they are former mayors. I do not believe, Mr. Speaker, that either one of those two hon. gentlemen support this legislation, or the member for Pleasantville, who believes, I think very strongly in Municipal Government in this Province. I think he supports the concept of people in a community having the right to run their own affairs within that community. I cannot believe that he supports this legislation, or the Member for Lewisporte. I ask the Member for Lewisporte to speak on this one. It is time he put himself on record. It is time we hear how he feels and whether he would like to see the municipalities in the district of Lewisporte treated like this. I would like to hear his response to that, Mr. Speaker. The people of Lewisporte will hear his response. He knows that full well, too. I will make sure that they hear his response.

AN HON. MEMBER: What was it?

MR. WINDSOR: We have not heard it yet. He has not been allowed to speak. He has not spoken on very many issues since he has been in this House. I cannot believe that the views of the hon. Member for Fortune - Hermitage, as a former executive member of the Federation of Municipalities, changed so much since he ran from this side to that. He was a great champion of municipalities and very vocal when he stood on this side of the House but now he sits there quietly. I cannot believe that he is going to sit back and let this legislation go through. I say to all hon. gentlemen opposite, Mr. Speaker, they should stand up and be counted, because this Bill is not dealing only with the Northeast Avalon. There are more important issues here than whether this Government steals the Southlands away from Mount Land, or whether this Government takes Mount Pearl's Fire Department and forces it into the City of St. John's and charges us way more than we should have to pay for service. Those are important issues to me, Mr. Speaker, and to the people I represent, but this legislation is important to the whole Province because if municipalities on the Northeast Avalon can be treated in this manner then what chance does Placentia, Lewisporte, or St. Albans, what chance do they have, Mr. Speaker, when this Government decides what is best for them. The Premier stands in the House and says: we know what the people of the Northeast Avalon want. How does he know? Did the great one look in his crystal ball again? Does he not listen to the resolutions, the five resolutions, passed by the Federation of Municipalities? Is he standing here saying they do not know what they are talking about, the Federation of Municipalities, the five resolutions approved at their Gander meeting a couple of months ago? He is ignoring them. Is he ignoring all the submissions that came in from the concerned mayors in the region? Is he ignoring all the comments in newspapers and on open line shows, and everyone else, Mr. Speaker? Is he the only one who knows? Is he not listening to the Mayor of the Goulds, the Mayor of Paradise, and the Mayor of Wedgewood Park?

I know he is not listening to Mount Pearl. He came into Mount Pearl a couple of weeks ago and he gave the sermon from the Mount. He insulted the Mount Pearl Chamber of Commerce who invited him in to speak on the economy, but when he saw thirty young fire fighters sitting in front of him he could not resist an opportunity to give them a lecture like a bunch of school children. He could not resist the chance to give them a lecture and in the process he insulted, not only those fire people, but he insulted the Mayor, the councillors, and all the people of Mount Pearl, Mr. Speaker. He certainly insulted the Chamber of Commerce. He had a great audience that day. There were about twenty people from Mount Pearl who showed up. There were thirty fire fighters and the rest were from St. John's. There were not 150 in total that came to hear him because people knew what he was about. That is how welcome he is in Mount Pearl. I would suggest before this year is over, Mr. Speaker, that is how welcome he will be anywhere in the Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WINDSOR: He was made welcome before. He was made welcome three weeks, or a month earlier by Rotary in Mount Pearl when they gave him an opportunity to come in and present a reasonable case to the people of Mount Pearl. He made the same sermon from the mount then as he did to the Chamber of Commerce, almost word for word. The first time they did him the courtesy of inviting him in to hear his position: let the Premier come in here and tell us why he is so intent on this course of action. They did not need it the second time. They did not need the arrogance and the inflexibility that he has shown, Mr. Speaker. It is amazing.

The Premier spoke earlier today in relation to some questions dealing with Corner Brook and Mount Moriah and he said: Oh, we will have a plebiscite, and maybe we will do the same thing in this area. He said 'no' to that. But he said he might consider it. He had considered it. But he has decided now we will not even do that; we have made a decision. Even if we did do a plebiscite, Mr. Speaker, the Premier says that if the majority of the people of the region of Corner Brook, Mount Moriah and Massey Drive say yes, we want it, then he will do it. The people of Mount Moriah and Massey Drive, if they choose not to, 100 per cent, their voice will not be heard. We will do it anyway. We will decide what is best for them. Yet last year at Meech Lake: why should the majority of Canadians tell Newfoundland what is best for it? It is funny how he is selective in his justice, Mr. Speaker. It is funny how he can apply it one time to suit his own purposes, and not apply it at another. It is funny how the Premier feels that the citizens of St. John's should be given the right to dictate to the 23,000 people in Mount Pearl, and the tens of thousands of people in the other municipalities surrounding St. John's. It is amazing how he feels that they should have that right.


This is the Premier's form of selective democracy, Mr. Speaker, of selective justice. I, for one, am not sure that we should ever confuse justice with this hon. Chamber any more. When I can see a piece of legislation brought forward by this Government, this type of legislation forced through in this manner, then I am not so sure there is any justice left in this society at all. I am not so sure there is one bit, Mr. Speaker.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible) about the businesses in Mount Pearl paying half the taxes of businesses in St. John's (inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: They are more efficient boy; they are more efficient. Are you going to penalize them because they are a more efficient municipality? (Inaudible).

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, this piece of legislation -

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: If the Member for Pleasantville wants to speak, let him stand up and represent the people who elected him to do that. Never mind his interruptions. He will have an opportunity to represent his people if he is ever allowed to get on his feet.

Mr. Speaker, this piece of legislation will go down in history as the 'Notwithstanding Bill'. Five times in this piece of legislation the word 'notwithstanding' comes forward. As I started to say in my opening remarks, all of the existing legislation is in place for good and valid reason, and it provides some safeguards that Government cannot do whatever they choose to do. This legislation takes it away, and it says that notwithstanding all legislation, we will give Cabinet, not the House of Assembly, not subject to feasibility studies or public hearings, we will give Cabinet the absolute authority on any Thursday morning in Cabinet, to eliminate the City of Mount Pearl, to eliminate the Town of Paradise, I say to the Member for Mount Scio-

MR. REID: We will not eliminate it.

MR. WINDSOR: You will not eliminate it? Well you have a lot more confidence in the dictator than I do, I will tell you that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well that will be the death of you. That will be the death of you.

AN HON. MEMBER: Disestablish (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Disestablish, alter, establish, combine, separate, whatever we want; never in the history of municipal government has any government been given this kind of authority over municipalities, and if the Member for Carbonear thinks that this Government will not do it in Carbonear if they choose to, or in Placentia, or in Fortune - Hermitage, they will do it. Whenever they see fit, they will take away from other municipalities. This is discriminatory legislation, Mr. Speaker, that takes away from municipalities in the Northeast Avalon, the protection that is afforded by the Municipalities Act, that requires certain legal procedures to be followed. But this Act, Mr. Speaker, circumvents the law. That which we cannot do legally we will ask the House to approve.

That is the bottom line here. It cannot be done legally. The existing legislation prohibits it. It gives certain protection to people to know that this Government cannot come in, as I think my colleague said, like thieves in the night and disestablish a municipality. There has to be some public input. There has to be consultation with the municipalities. There has to be a commission appointed, and a feasibility study carried out. It has to make economic sense, it has to be desired by the people in the region.

This piece of legislation takes away those rights from municipalities in the Northeast Avalon and treats them differently than any other municipality in North America. Now, how can hon. Members opposite support such a piece of legislation?

Painfully quiet all of a sudden, Mr. Speaker. The Minister is quiet. He did not even have the intestinal fortitude to stay here and support his legislation. The Premier of course, as he always does, takes the cowardly route and disappears upstairs whenever there is a heavy piece of legislation being debated. That is typical. But I am amazed at hon. gentlemen opposite. I thought there was a little bit of backbone over there but it is being well hidden.

To think that this action can be taken without any of the safeguards, without even requiring any debate in this Legislature. The resolution that was approved in May was bad enough but at least they had the nerve to bring it before the Legislature and debate. Now they have a piece of legislation here that says they may do whatever they want without reference to the Legislature. A stroke of a pen on Thursday morning in Cabinet and the whole Northeast Avalon could change.

I do not believe that the Member for Pleasantville supports that. It could work both ways. Government could change, you know, as it will, very soon. Government will change very, very soon. The hon. gentleman needn't kid himself. That legislation will still be in place. With a stroke of a pen on a Thursday morning Pleasantville could be part of Torbay! Does the hon. gentleman realize that? Pleasantville could be part of Torbay, with the stroke of a pen on a Thursday morning.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The hon. gentleman does not consider that. The hon. gentleman for Mount Scio says: ah, but we would not do it. I sat in Cabinet long enough, Mr. Speaker, to learn that what you would not allow somebody else to have the opportunity to do, you should not give to yourself. You should not take upon yourself power that you would not want others to have. In other words, that Government should not today pass legislation that they would not want us to have available when we take office again. The wheels do turn.

Amalgamation is not something that municipalities in this region reject. What they rejected was the Minister's proposal for amalgamation. That is what they rejected. The commissioners' heard all of the arguments and came forward with a proposal that was not ideal but it was a compromise, and I believe most municipalities probably would have lived with it. Because the commissioners themselves recognized that unless there is a willingness at the municipal level, and unless it made financial sense, then it could never work. They also said, by the way, that unless there are some transitional grants to municipalities who are absorbing other areas that it will never work. This Government seems to have ignored that particular recommendation altogether. They do not seem willing to provide any transitional grants.

Well, amalgamation is not something that municipalities have rejected, but this is not amalgamation. Amalgamation is the willing joining together of two or more municipalities for common benefit, for the sharing of common services. Jointly and willingly. This is not an amalgamation, this is annexation. The Town of Wedgewood Park is being annexed, it is not being amalgamated. The Southlands area of Mount Pearl: You could say they were being annexed, I say they are being stolen away.

The Minister talked about good planning, as if the Minister knew anything about planning. Now does it make any sense to have this area adjoined to this area? Do hon. Members opposite know that there are four kilometres between the Southlands area and the developed area of St. John's? Four kilometres! It is just like taking Mount Moria and Massey Drive and making them one municipality. Does that make any sense? Four kilometres between the nearest point in the Southlands and the nearest residential development in St. John's. Now how does St. John's propose to provide them with services?

They will be serviced through Mount Pearl. All services are totally dependent on Mount Pearl. All roads are designed in accordance with the hierarchy of roads in the Mount Pearl system. All water and sewer systems. The educational facilities are designed to deal with it. Institutional facilities, churches, the whole works, designed as one comprehensive community.

So where is the good planning? How can the Minister say that it provides for better planning? It does no such thing. Does the Minister not know that there is a regional plan in place at this point in time that was done on a co-operative basis that had input from all municipalities, that has been adopted by all municipalities and that everybody works within? A great master plan. Another regional service. So where is the benefit from a planning point of view?

The Minister talked about a regional services board. He says that the City of St. John's will be the regional council. Again, it is not a regional council. A regional council is one comprised of representatives of all the municipalities that are participating in various services. This is not a regional council. It is a council to which all other councils are subservient against their will. That is not regional. That flies in the face of the Minister's own legislation. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything that is regional.

Now, the Minister says we will have a regional fire department. We now have a regional fire department, as I said earlier, but it will not be a regional fire department from hence. It will be a St. John's fire department. Why is this Government so intent on not allowing Mount Pearl to operate its own fire department? Why will the Minister not listen to the Fire Commissioner whose report recommends that Mount Pearl operate its own fire department? Why will the Minister not listen to municipalities all across Canada? Does he not know that there is only one regional fire department in Canada? Is the Minister so far ahead of the rest of Canada that he knows that a regional fire department in this area is the best for this area when it has not worked anywhere else in Canada? There is only one anywhere in Canada! Does the great city of Toronto have a regional service? No, Mr. Speaker!

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

The hon. Member's time is up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: By leave! By leave!

MR. WINDSOR: By leave, Mr. Speaker, I have about two hours left yet.

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


MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: I thank hon. gentlemen, Mr. Speaker. I will not abuse the courtesy. But does the Minister not know that there is only one regional fire service in Canada? Only one! The Fire Commissioner's report, which the Minister refuses to release, our own Fire Commissioner has recommended against it. The Ontario Fire Marshall - and I have a report here if hon. gentlemen would care to see it - does not recommend regional fire services in that area, or the city of New York, which was used as an object of study by the Ontario fire department.

Why is this Government so determined that Mount Pearl shall not operate? Is it because Mount Pearl will save some money? We can save $600,000 a year. More than that, I suspect. Because the Minister also has an arbitration report that he has been sitting on for some time, an arbitration report which will no doubt add probably 10 per cent additional cost to the operation of the present St. John's Fire Department. Of course, if this proposal goes through and the Mount Pearl station is activated, that will add an additional cost to the St. John's Fire Department. You are not going to man that station and operate it for no cost.

So Mount Pearl's share of the cost of the regional - I use that term lightly - service will be far more than the $1.9 million we are presently paying. I suspect it will go to $2.3 million or $2.4 million. That means that the City of Mount Pearl by operating its own fire service can reduce taxes by 15 per cent because that saving will represent 15 per cent of all taxes collected in Mount Pearl. That is pretty significant. That is $30 for every man, woman and child in Mount Pearl, $120 on the average per household. That is a few dollars to pay out for something that you do not want.

Let me be very clear. The Minister has misled this House on a couple of occasions in saying that Mount Pearl was not prepared to participate in a regional service. That is absolutely untrue and there is documentation to prove it. Mount Pearl indeed has always been one of the forerunners in recommending regional services and in saying that a regional fire service may be appropriate. Let's have a look at it. But at a reasonable cost. But an additional $800,000, $900,000 or $1 million a year - is not reasonable. That is money that is being paid out for nothing extra.

The Minister came into Mount Pearl and he said Mount Pearl went ahead without authority. Well, they had absolute, every authority. I have already tabled copies of the Cabinet document I think that authorized Mount Pearl back in 1988 to establish their fire department. They had full authority to do that, they had full authority to purchase the equipment. The only thing they have not had is a commitment from this Government that they would cost share the equipment. That happens to be a programme that is in place for every municipality in the Province. Seventy-five per cent of all vehicles and equipment is paid for by the Province.

Now if the Province were to do that then the savings to Mount Pearl would be even greater, wouldn't they? Because right now, in the numbers that I am using, that I have quoted, Mount Pearl is amortizing the full cost of the fire fighting equipment as well as the buildings. The building they must. There is no subsidy on buildings, generally. There have been a couple of exceptions made I am told. Generally speaking the programme does not cover buildings. The 75/25 on the equipment is always covered. Mount Pearl again is being discriminated against. I wish the Premier was here, Mr. Speaker, to answer for himself because on October 12, 1989 the Premier and the Minister - and I want this clearly put into the record - the Premier and the Minister met with Mount Pearl City Council and their senior staff. They said at that time that it was Government's intent to put in place a regional fire service, but that it would be streamlined, the cost of the service would be brought in line through negotiations with the union of the existing fire service. So he said: we will bring it in line, and there will be a regional board that will administer that fire department with equitable representation on it. They made the commitment, Mr. Speaker, the Premier and the Minister in front of the Mayor and all of the councillors, and the senior staff. They said: if we cannot bring it in line we will allow you to operate your own fire department. We will allow you to operate your own fire department if we cannot get the cost within reason. They failed to do that, that is pretty clear. It is pretty clear they were not able to negotiate. That is why the Minister is sitting on the arbitration report, no question about that. That is why they are sitting on the arbitration report.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: That is the negotiation with the fire department. There has been an arbitration report.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: That was months ago given to the Government. The Minister has refused to make it public. He has refused to make it public because it will confirm, as we told him, that he will not be able to negotiate the cost of the existing fire service down to a reasonable level, and he has not, Mr. Speaker, tabled the fire commissioner's report because the fire commissioner's report says that Mount Pearl should operate it's own. St. John's should operate it's own. It should be passed over to St. John's, and that volunteer fire departments should be left alone and allowed to expand because what this Government has done now is destroy that volunteer effort in the Goulds and in Paradise.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: There are no economies of scale here, Mr. Speaker. The cost of fire service in those areas will increase because you will not get those volunteer firemen and firewomen, if there are any. I think we have the only female fire fighter in the Province in the Mount Pearl department, and we are proud of her. I do not think there are any outside, if there are, I apologize to them. But, Mr. Speaker, those volunteers will not make the same effort, and if the people in the Goulds and Paradise are going to pay the same taxes as the people of St. John's, they are not going to accept the volunteer fire fighting service. They will demand full-time fire fighters in their fire stations, and so they should.

The Premier made it clear, and the Minister made it clear, January 1, taxes go up for all of these municipalities. It does not make any difference that their own commissioner said that could never work. There must be transitional grants. Why do we spend the time and the money? Why did eighty-four people take the trouble to present written briefs to this commission? The proposal was never considered. This Government came in with its own proposal that has never been put forward for consultation or debate either outside of this House or inside this House up till now.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister is fooling himself if he thinks there are any economies of scale by bringing those volunteer fire departments under the ambit of the St. John's Fire Department because union agreements, union wages, and union benefits will apply - immediately.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: And so there will be. There will be additional costs. Will there be a saving because the St. John's Fire Department takes over Mount Pearl? Of course not, Mr. Speaker. You will still need thirty fire fighters in Mount Pearl to operate that station. Can we take them from Brookfield Fire Station, Mr. Speaker? Will that decrease the requirement for the Brookfield Fire Station which now services Mount Pearl? Of course not, the Fire Commissioner's report which is locked away in the Minister's draw says that as well.

The area surrounding the Brookfield Fire Station, in Kilbride, in Sesame Park and in Cowan Heights has grown so rapidly that the Brookfield Fire Station now has an area larger than it really should have, so there is no question that not only is the Mount Pearl station needed, but operating the Mount Pearl station will not reduce requirements for any of the stations presently existing in St. John's, none whatsoever. So there is no impact on the St. John's fire department, none whatsoever and there is no saving by joining the two together.

The saving is in allowing Mount Pearl to operate its own fire station because they have shown that they can do so for probably $1 million a year less than an amalgamated service would cost. Why is this Government so intent on spending an additional million dollars of Mount Pearl tax payers money? This is the question. Mr. Speaker, I have gone over my time and I thank hon. gentlemen. Let me conclude this time because I will have other opportunities to speak as this debate goes on.

As I said, this Bill really covers up the Minister's bungling. He handled the issue badly; he has abused legislation and gone outside the authority of existing legislation. The courts will decide that. The courts will decide that. As I said last week, I am not sure if we should be debating this, because the resolution on which this Bill is based is before the courts, and I honestly believe that resolution will be declared invalid because it was not arrived at in accordance with the legislation in place, The Municipalities Act, The City of Mount Pearl Act and The City of St. John's Act, but the courts will decide that and when they decide that, this legislation will also be invalid because it is based on that resolution, so if the resolution is faulty, which, I believe the courts will decide it is, then this legislation is also faulty.

Except for the notwithstanding clause of course, because the notwithstanding clause says it does not matter all of the fair legislation that is already in the books, there are five, by the way, Mr. Speaker, references to the word 'notwithstanding', and that is why I say this Bill will go down in history as the 'notwithstanding Bill', a wonderful clause.

MR. MATTHEWS: I understand Clyde would not (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Notwithstanding all legislation that is deemed to be fair and just in the rest of North America, we will do something different in this particular case and it covers up the Minister's incompetence; it covers up - I cannot say he broke the law, that I believe, Mr. Speaker, you would rule unparliamentary, but it covers up what I believe the courts will decide has been a breach of the law and the method used to arrive at that resolution. I have never seen anything that is as undemocratic and as discriminatory as this piece of legislation.

As I said earlier, I am ashamed that this House would even entertain this as long as we have, and allow it to get to this stage. A piece of legislation that makes such a mockery of democracies in general, but more specifically, that it makes such a mockery and is so insulting to the integrity of municipal politicians across this Province. We are being told by this legislation: you are there only as long as we choose to have you there and when we choose to do away with you, regardless of how you or the people whom you represent feel, then we will do so.

So, it is for no other reason than the fact that this legislation, this proposal, has never been aired publicly; has never been given an opportunity for consultation; there have been no feasibility studies or public hearings; no commission has studied this proposal and brought forward recommendations; then if for no other reason this Bill should indeed be deferred for six months and then we will have an opportunity to find out how the people of this region feel. I do not accept, and I tell this hon. House that the people of this region do not accept the fact, that if the Premier says that is what they want that it is so. The Premier is only fooling himself, Mr. Speaker. He should stop looking in the mirror so much.

Thank you.

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

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, I could not sit here and listen to my hon. colleagues on the other side talk about what we as a Government are doing in 1991 and not sit here and, I suppose, cringe and almost get sick to my stomach thinking back over the years that I served as the Mayor of Carbonear and served as president of the Federation of Municipalities, and I was involved with the Federation of Municipalities. I would come in here and crawl on my hands and knees to try to get in on the eighth floor to see the Premier and he would turn his back on me. How many of us have sat in the Federation for years begging and crying out for help from this crowd over here, and what did we get?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. REID: Talk to me, talk to me! You, who sat in the previous Chamber for seventeen years, talk to me about what the previous administration did to municipalities in the Province! Talk to me about the grant system that was cut out from under us without any consultation, when they cut it back from fifty cents to forty-five cents. Talk to me about the charges to the municipalities around this Province for the assessments that all of a sudden we had to do as communities in the Province that we did not know anything about, until bango! - one day it showed up on our desks.

I cannot sit back and listen to that. I cannot sit back and listen to a Member in this House talking about volunteer fire departments and the rights that they have to serve the community. Every volunteer fire department in this Province, as every one of you know, is today looking for equipment and maintenance that costs this Province millions of dollars. There is nothing wrong with volunteers sitting on a fire department, there is nothing wrong with that. I am living in an area out in Conception Bay North where four or five years ago there was a group of people in Makinsons looking for a bit of decent drinking water. They asked this Province, under the previous administration, for $10,000 for a drop of drinking water. What did you say to them?


MR. REID: Hypocrisy, pure hypocrisy. I am out in Conception Bay -

AN HON. MEMBER: Sure Harbour Main did that.

MR. REID: Yes, Harbour Main did it. I am out in Conception Bay North and just about every day of my life, as soon as I hit Roaches Line, I am faced with a fire department in Brigus, in Clarke's Beach, in Bay Roberts, in Spaniard's Bay, in Island Cove, in Harbour Grace, in Carbonear, in Victoria and a fire department Small Point to Adams Cove. I will bet you that we have more fire equipment in that area than they have in any, I suppose, proportional area anywhere on the North American continent.

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible) done all that since you've been elected?

MR. REID: And you are going to tell me - no, I did not. But you are going to tell me that we, in the state that we are in today in Newfoundland and in Canada, can continue promoting a situation where people are just coming with hands out and expecting to get service? Service for nothing, that is not going to cost us anything?

I stood in this House, Mr. Speaker, the spring this year and I was the only Member on this side that stood up and supported Mount Pearl. I said Mount Pearl should not be amalgamated with St. John's. Because I believed that Mount Pearl was an entity to itself that was put there - it was not, I suppose, the people of Mount Pearl's fault that the previous administration happened to have the right person at the right time in Government that could pump millions and millions and millions of dollars into Mount Pearl.

MR. MATTHEWS: That is why they elected him.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. REID: And people in Makinsons could not get $10,000 for a drop of water!

AN HON. MEMBER: That is right.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. REID: No, Mr. Speaker, I cannot sit here and listen to the hypocrisy of these people, and most of them were ministers - I believe all of them were ministers at the time - when the previous Premier of this Province would not even speak at our annual dinner because Art Reid was labelled as a Liberal, and was President of the Federation of Municipalities.

MR. CRANE: Well you know he could not (inaudible).

MR. REID: Would not go to a dinner; would not come to our annual meeting.

MR. CRANE: You know he could not do that.

MR. REID: I think about it, and I listen to some of these hon. gentlemen stand on the other side and make comments about what we should do as a Government; what we, over here, should do as a Government. Well I say we are doing more, and have done more as a Government to improve the lot of Newfoundlanders in the last two and one-half years than you crowd did in the seventeen years that you were over there - seventeen!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CRANE: How did you get in, Garfield?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. REID: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate what volunteer fire departments are doing in the Province. I appreciate what the paid fire departments are doing in the Province, but there has to be some control over what we are doing. I do not know, maybe twenty years ago we probably had plenty of money to throw around. At least I thought that maybe ten years ago we had a lot more money than we have right now. I do not believe, and I do not mind saying it to you gentlemen who are in the gallery, I do not believe that Mount Pearl should have their own fire department, when there are other places in this Province who have their own fire department because they can afford it. Yes, they can afford it because of the millions and millions of dollars that are going into that. What about me in Lower Island Cove? What about somebody in Bonavista Bay? What about somebody in the West Coast? What about down in Baie Verte district where there is not a decent road for anyone to drive on down there?

AN HON. MEMBER: Not true.

MR. REID: It is true. It is true. I was down there and saw it myself. What about it? What about these people? No, make the people of Mount Pearl and the people of St. John's start paying for some of the services that they are getting. Wedgewood Park is out there stuck right in the middle of St. John's - right in the middle of St. John's.

AN HON. MEMBER: You should be ashamed of yourself.

MR. REID: I am not ashamed of myself. Go out and walk around your district.

MR. CRANE: Yes, you tell him Art. Tell him. There is nothing up there in-

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. REID: No, I do not agree with it. I do not agree with having separate entities spread all over this Province, and everybody off doing their own thing, and everybody coming to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs or to the Premier with their hand out saying: give me this and give me that, and give me something else. I do not agree with it. I do not agree with it at all.

I stood here in the House last year and I must say I was, I will not say condemned, but I had some rude remarks made to me by my own side when I supported Mount Pearl, because there were a number of my colleagues here who did not. I appreciated their comments, and I think that they came to learn and appreciate mine. I supported Mount Pearl and I said, no, they should not be amalgamated. Mr. Speaker, for the record, that was one of the biggest mistakes that I made since I have been sitting in this House - one of the biggest mistakes that I have made.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. REID: And I will tell you why. Last spring, Mr. Speaker, the people of Mount Pearl and Mr. Hodder, the Mayor of Mount Pearl who is a personal friend of mine, lobbied I suppose every single person who is in this House to keep St. John's from swallowing up Mount Pearl, and I thought it was a horrible thing. As soon as this side decided that they were not going to do that, that was not enough for Mount Pearl. That was not enough, to leave Mount Pearl, to have Mount Pearl, and to walk away and say that was it. No. What happened? The next thing they do is go contrary to the wishes of the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, and set up their own fire department; Eastlands or Westlands or whatever you call it, that is the next racket they had over it. They were not happy enough to be left alone. I honestly believe, and I know, because if, at that particular point in time last spring, Mount Pearl had been taken in and amalgamated with the City of St. John's, there would be none of this. It would be gone.

MR. MATTHEWS: It would have gone away, yes.

MR. REID: It would have been gone.

MR. MATTHEWS: Right on!

MR. REID: And we, over here, would not have to deal with it, you fellows over there would not have to deal with it, and these young gentlemen, who have been hired on at the fire department, would not be sitting in the gallery. That would be it, no problem whatsoever.

I just wonder what would happen. I heard the hon. Member for Mount Pearl say, 'Consultation, consultation.' I wonder what would happen if we, over here, or whoever makes the decision, be it the Minister and the Cabinet and so on, agreed to a referendum. There is no way in this world that Mount Pearl is going to win a referendum.

I used to know a little place there in the West End of St. John's called Newtown. Newtown it used to be called.

AN HON. MEMBER: Where is that? It does not ring a bell.

MR. REID: Where is it? What happened to it? What happened to Newtown? I do not remember any great referendum or consultation process or people running around the Province? What happened to it?

AN HON. MEMBER: There was a big (inaudible).

MR. REID: It had what?

AN HON. MEMBER: A reputation for (inaudible).

MR. REID: Yes, I know. Newtown disappeared overnight and no one knew what happened to it. Where did it go? Seal Cove, is that what it is called now, Seal Cove, or is it Portugal Cove? Where is it gone? It does not exist anymore.

AN HON. MEMBER: Where did all the NLHC money go?

MR. REID: Hypocritical, Mr. Speaker, very hypocritical! I am not going to argue, I just wanted to make the point, Mr. Speaker, that we are sitting in this Chamber, and I am listening - I followed Government as closely as anyone else did, and I can tell you stories that happened back in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987. This crowd over here on this side do not hold a candle to some of the things that the previous administration did. But that has nothing to do with the question.

If the City of Mount Pearl, knowing full-well what the wishes of this Government were and what the wishes, I guess, of the general public were, if they hadn't gotten involved in introducing a fire department, then we would not have any problems again, would we?

My friend, the Mayor, had the audacity to come out the other day - I am sure I read this somewhere, where he would make a deal with the fire department and Southlands. I am sure he was quoted last week as saying that if we could get our hands on Southlands we would trade off the fire department. The fire department does not mean very much to him, does it?

MR. MATTHEWS: Did he say that?

MR. REID: I am sure he said it. I read that in the paper somewhere or I heard it on the radio or somewhere.

AN HON. MEMBER: Offered the Premier a deal.

AN HON. MEMBER: Not true!

MR. REID: Offered a deal. No, it cannot be true. I know it cannot be true.

Mr. Speaker, when I travel around this Province and see the disparities that exist in this Province in the outports - and the majority of us represent the outports - and I hear the people living in the outports of Newfoundland saying, 'What is wrong with that crowd in St. John's and Mount Pearl? What have they got to complain about. They are living in the best part of the Province. They have everything they could possibly want, and we are out here with neither road to drive on, neither bit of water and sewerage.'

Go down in Walter Carter's district. Go down and look at the sewerage running in the drains, and you say to someone down in Twillingate or Morton's Harbour, or go down in the Baie Verte district and say to them down there, 'What do you think of the fire department in Mount Pearl and the racket being kicked up in the House now about whether St. John's or Mount Pearl should own the fire department,' and what do you think they are going to say to you? It is a pile of nonsense. The council in Mount Pearl and the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs can sit down and settle this if both of them would only be reasonable enough, I suppose, to sit down long enough and talk and discuss this with each other.

Mount Pearl has to realize that they going to be - there is no point in even trying to fight it - they are being assimilated because they are being enclosed and there is nowhere else for people to go. I am sure, as I am standing here today, Mr. Speaker, that the people of Mount Pearl will not mind being called St. John's men anymore than the people of St. John's will mind being called Mount Pearl men because what are we talking about? We have issues on the table right now that are way more important in this Province than whether or not Mount Pearl is going to have a paid fire department, a volunteer fire department, or no department at all.

Thank you, very much.

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

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

The Member spoke for ten or fifteen minutes and I still do not know his feelings on Bill 50. I do not know what he was talking about in the ten or fifteen minutes. He wanted to get up and make the point that when he was President of the Federation that some former Premier would not meet with him. I remember when he was President of a Federation. I was around at the time. I can tell you one thing, when he was in making representations there was no thought of lack of money being around anywhere, Mr. Speaker. There was no though of the Provincial Government not having money to do anything. All it was, was his hand out, give me, give me, give me. That is all he wanted and not a sound on restraint. It is funny now that he is a member with a Premier who will not let him open his mouth that he is worried about where the money is coming from. He did not worry about it when he was Mayor of Carbonear.

MR. MATTHEWS: He did not have to worry about it when he was Mayor of Carbonear because he got lots.

MR. R. AYLWARD: He did not worry about it when he was President of the Federation of Municipalities, but now that he can do something about it, now that he can help the municipalities of this Province he is worried about the money. Clyde got to you Art, you sold out to him.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I hate to interrupt the hon. Member but I noticed over the last half an hour or so that hon. members keep referring to hon. members by their names and you know that in this House we are suppose to refer to members by the district they represent. I would encourage hon. members to show respect.

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

I got somewhat carried away. I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. King Clyde got to the Member for Carbonear. That is all I can say, Mr. Speaker. The Member for Carbonear sold out to the king so I suppose that is all we can do with that.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I was not only referring to the hon. Member for Kilbride. There were other members besides and I did not want you to get the wrong impression.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Just a guilty conscience, I guess, Mr. Speaker.

When the Member for Carbonear first got up to speak I do not know what point he was trying to make. He mentioned all the fire departments from Brigus to Carbonear. I think he named off five or six. The only point I can see he was making was he wants to take some of them away from them. He said there were too many, or there was too much equipment, so the only conclusion I can come to when he says there are too many fire departments, too much equipment, or too many volunteer fire departments, is that there should not be any. Now, is he suggesting that Carbonear give up its fire fighting service like Mount Pearl is asked to do? Would he go along with that, I wonder? Mount Pearl only wants the same rights as those of Carbonear which is governed under the Municipalities Act of this Province, I understand. That is all they are asking for, no more, no less, the same rights as Carbonear had when you were mayor. Now, that is a fairly simple request. I do not think that is outrageous. They have been governed by a Municipalities Act. Since they became a city they also have the City of Mount Pearl Act but generally the Municipalities Act is what governs every municipality in the Province, and Mount Pearl wants to be governed by that act the same as Carbonear does, the same as Placentia does, and the same as Dunville does where the Minister of Social Services was once Mayor. That is not unfair. That is not asking a lot.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are not going to give them two.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Two what?

AN HON. MEMBER: Two fire departments in Dunville.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Where?

AN HON. MEMBER: You are not going to put two fire departments in Dunville.

MR. R. AYLWARD: In Dunville. No. You are not going to put two in Mount Pearl as I understand. Mount Pearl does not want two. They want their fire department that they have a right to in the act.

AN HON. MEMBER: If there were a fire today what fire department would go to a fire call from Mount Pearl?

MR. R. AYLWARD: If there was a fire today by the time the fire department got to Brookfield Road, if there was no other fire in St. John's -

AN HON. MEMBER: Where would the call go?

MR. R. AYLWARD: - the call would go to the Central Fire Station

and it would be put out to Brookfield Road if there was equipment there, if they weren't over in Kilbride, up in Shea Heights or in Petty Harbour.

AN HON. MEMBER: If they were.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Okay, if they were. If they were gone, then it would go to probably Kenmount Road. If they were gone to the Northeast or anywhere east of Torbay, then it would go to the Central Fire Department, and if they were gone somewhere else, Mr. Speaker, there is nobody to go to Mount Pearl, so Mount Pearl should have its own fire department.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is right.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: The St. John's Fire Department, right now.

AN HON. MEMBER: They already have a fire department.

MR. R. AYLWARD: No, they do not have a fire department.

AN HON. MEMBER: Well, what is (inaudible)?

MR. R. AYLWARD: They are paying a share of the St. John's Fire Department. What is the fire department called around here? Is it the Mount Pearl/St. John's Fire Department? Is it the Regional Fire Department? What is the name of it? You don't know the name of the fire department. I will tell you, it is the St. John's Fire Department, not the Mount Pearl/St. John's, not the Mount Pearl, Kilbride, Goulds, whatever, not regional fire department. So, if St. John's does not have a need of it when the call comes in from Mount Pearl, one of the trucks will go in and try to put the fire out if they can get there in time before the place is burnt down. If they have to go to Donovan's they might not get there that quickly, I am not sure.

Mr. Speaker, all that Mount Pearl wants, all they have asked for in their fire department is the same as Dunville gets, a right to form a fire department, not a very unreasonable request, to my mind. As a matter of fact, I think it is a very reasonable request, Mr. Speaker, that a municipality that has been established under the Municipalities Act and the City of Mount Pearl Act get the rights that that act gives them. They should not have to worry, nor should Carbonear, or Dunville, or Harbour Grace or any other municipality, that if King Clyde in this Province takes it in his mind to do something to them, another bill will show up in this House of Assembly taking away their rights, the rights they have in the municipalities Act.

AN HON. MEMBER: You don't need a bill.

MR. WINDSOR: That is true. I forgot about that. Well, they would have to have a bill if it were outside the Northeast Avalon. This bill that we are doing now affects the Northeast Avalon, and if they want to do this with any other area they would have to bring in another bill - if I could find my bill - Bill 50.

Bill 50 deals with the Northeast Avalon now, but, Mr. Speaker, Logy Bay could wake up tomorrow and be a part of St. John's - Logy Bay, Middle Cove, Outer Cove - not tomorrow because tomorrow is not Cabinet day - Friday morning they could be a part of the City of St. John's, without feasibility studies, without any consultation, without discussion from anyone. If King Clyde goes to Cabinet on Thursday and says: 'Outer Cove, Middle Cove, Logy Bay are gone,' they are gone. Good-bye. And next Thursday he could come in and do the same for Torbay. The next time he could do the same thing for Torbay.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I know, in this Cabinet there is only one vote as a majority. Sixteen people around the table and Clyde says something, 'Okay, yup,' is all you will hear - a nod of the head, that is it, whatever he says.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Member for Harbour Grace asked me what we did with Kilbride. Now that is the perfect example of the difference of the other government when we were over there and what was here. In 1980-81 was the first time that it was decided to annex Kilbride, not to amalgamate it; it was an annexation in 1981. So I checked around - we had a feasibility study, by the way. We had feasibility studies at the time, very in-depth feasibility studies. We had presentation from quite a lot of people and we got recommendations from a commissioner. We checked and had a petition done, which was good. Ninety-eight per cent of the people in 1982 said Kilbride does not want to go into the city. The Commissioner at that time said that parts of Kilbride probably should be in the city, and parts should not be in the city. That was not good enough, so the government said: 'No, we are not doing it.' In 1982, it was not going to be done. That was fairly reasonable. They had the feasibility studies, they listened to the people, they got the Commissioner's report and said: 'Okay, it is not a go this time.' In 1985 was the next time - in 1984 it started and in 1985 it happened. In 1985 we had another commissioner's feasibility study, another - who was the commissioner at the time? I don't know. I can't remember now.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) a good Tory.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Oh he had to be a good Tory because 90 per cent of the people in the St. John's area, then, were Tories. They just fell apart; they just had a slip the last time, but they are coming back again.

But, Mr. Speaker, we did in 1985, another feasibility study, which included the Goulds, Kilbride, Shea Heights, Airport Heights I believe - no, Airport Heights was done in 1982 - and East Meadows. Now, the feasibility study, done by an independent commissioner, recommended that these areas should go into the city. A poll was taken in the area and 61 per cent of the people who lived in Kilbride said, 'We should be in the city.' Do you know why they said that? Because 61 per cent of the people in Kilbride then were paying the same taxes as the city; it didn't matter to them, they weren't getting as good a service as the city, so what was the difference?

Areas that didn't want to go into the city were the areas of Kilbride not paying the same taxes; that was the main road through Kilbride, Bay Bulls Road, Old Petty Harbour Road, the older areas.

They went in because of the sub-divisions which were the developed areas, but the rest of the areas in Kilbride, Old Bay Bulls Road and the others, are still not in the city, they are still outside the city; they did not want to go in, they were not paying the taxes and it made sense for them not to go in, because they were mostly agricultural land. So that is what happened to Kilbride, and perhaps the Member for Harbour Grace would like to compare that to what this bill is doing.

Was that annexation and amalgamation done up in the Cabinet room on Thursday morning? No, it was done over a four-month period, with consultation with everyone involved; 61 per cent of them agreed with it. Now what would I do, in that case, as the member for the area? Would I say no to it? No, sir, I would say, 'Yes, if you want to go in, we will put you in; you are paying the same amount of taxes so it won't make much difference to you, but for the Bay Bulls Road, Old Petty Harbour Road, the older parts of Kilbride, those of you who are not paying the same taxes, here is what we will do. We will phase in the taxes over a five-year period.'

Is that happening in the Goulds, in this one? I don't think so. 'We will have the Department of Highways phase out over a five-year period their share of snow clearing in the area;' Is that going to happen in this bill? Not that I know of. 'We will guarantee, you keep your school bus system, even though the St. John's Transportation Commission will be moved into that area to take over busing; we will guarantee that you keep your school bus system.' Is that in this bill? No, there is none of that in this bill and, if it were in this bill, or if it were included in a feasibility report, you would not have had half the trouble you have now. I would say pretty well 50 per cent of the people in the Goulds are getting less service than they want to have; they have moved from the City of St. John's into the sub-divisions and they would like more service.

There are those who might, under the right conditions, if you sold it, if amalgamation or annexation is such a good thing as the minister and the Premier keep telling us, go out and sell it to them. That is what I did. I went out and sold it to them and they bought it, and I would say they are better off today for doing it, much better off. There was $1.6 million actually spent on Old Petty Harbour Road which made it a very modern road, whereas it was pretty much a rural road with a skim of a pavement over it. There was a great improvement; all the property values went up and that was done through municipal taxation and provincial taxation. We sold a package to the people that was to their benefit and they could see that it was to their benefit to take it.

Mount Pearl: I don't know how you would go to Mount Pearl and tell them, You pay more taxes for less service. That's what you are trying to do. You can't sell it; you know you can't sell it. It is not possible to go in the Goulds and tell them, You might get some better snow clearing services, but you won't get any other great benefits and services, that I can see, for doubling your taxes. You can't sell that in the Goulds, it can't be done. You might be able to sell it if you had some kind of a phase-in, so that some improvements could be made in that area. There is desperate need of water and sewer in many areas of the Goulds, desperate need of street upgrading, desperate need of a lot of planning in the Goulds.

Now, you could include some of those in the feasibility study if you had one, and have the people of the Goulds say no. 'Is this what I want for the future, do I want the community to be in this kind of shape five years down the road?' Maybe then they would have said, 'It might be worth my while. Maybe it would be worth my while to have the streets in this area upgraded so that they look like East Meadows or Wedgewood Park or somewhere else.' You might have been able to sell your package. You cannot sell this package. It is not possible to sell this to anyone. You have to shove it up their noses, the same as you did with your Regional Services Bill a while ago, that every municipality in the Province said they did not want. So, you have to shove this package up peoples' noses, because you can't sell it.

The main reason that you can't sell it is because you went around The Municipalities Act and tried to do this semi-illegally, I call it. You can change what you like. As long as you have the majority in this House of Assembly, you can make it legal, I suppose. You can do pretty well anything you like and make it legal. That is what the king himself likes to be doing anyway. It's what happens with kings, if a king does not like something, he dictates that it be changed to his liking. That is what is happening in this case.

If you had gone with The Municipalities Act, as it existed, and there was ample opportunity for amalgamations and annexations, there were plenty of rules and regulations in place in that Act to do all that you wanted to do. Had you followed that Act, you probably would have accomplished what you are doing now. There is a good chance you could have accomplished the final goal that the minister wants, which is to amalgamate some of the areas in here. Maybe you wouldn't.

It is not possible to sell this type of package or anything you are doing to Wedgewood Park. Wedgewood Park is a very compact community, very self-sufficient, which offers its residents extremely good service at a reasonable rate, and a low rate I would say, for the services they get. It is because they are a compact community and because they have their own tax base. They are not costing anyone anything. They get their water from Bay Bulls Big Pond, the Goulds, the same as St. John's, Mount Pearl and everyone else gets it. They get it from the Goulds, and the Goulds does not get compensated for that. The resource of the Town of the Goulds, which is Bay Bull Big Pond, the City of St. John's does not pay them anything for taking that resource from them, nor anyone else. That is a sore point.

Kilbride always had Petty Harbour - Long Pond. I always considered that a resource of Kilbride. We have given the city residents water for fifty or sixty years out of there, and we do not mind. We will share our resources, as long as everyone else in the area wants to share theirs. But when you get a bill like this and you get things shoved down your throat, you don't feel like sharing anymore, Mr. Speaker. And I guess Mount Pearl doesn't feel in a very generous mood, when they know that they are being picked on, they are being singled out as the municipality in this Province who cannot operate the same as every other municipality.

When the Premier insulted the fire department and the mayor and town council with trying to do something against the will of this House of Assembly, I think - I forget the wording he used. The mayor and council of Mount Pearl are elected to stand up for the rights of those people. They were not trying to do something illegal like the Premier was. They were standing up for the rights of the people of Mount Pearl, to get the same rights as any other municipality has, the same as St. John's has now, the same as Corner Brook, Grand Falls, or any community. That is all the City of Mount Pearl and its council and mayor were trying to do. That is all that the council and mayor in the Goulds are trying to do.

What they have to do now is go back to Plan B, as I call it. They are on the amalgamation committee now with the city, with the Provincial Government and others, and they are trying to get the best deal they can. They cannot get anything out of the Provincial Government. There is nothing. The Provincial Government will not tell them what is going to happen on January 1. I do not know what the date is. It is November 25. So, thirty-five days from now they will be part of the City of St. John's. They do not even know if the employees who work with the Town of the Goulds now will be employed in thirty-five days. They cannot even get simple information like that out of the department. They do not know if the Goulds fire department, which was put there through some provincial money, but mostly put there and equipped by the residents of the Goulds, through the Town Council and through the Lions Club in the Goulds, most of the equipment, except for one piece of major equipment, the pumper truck, or whatever you call it, was put there pretty well by the Goulds Lion Club. Now who owns that equipment? Who would you say owns the walkie talkies and the two way radio sets and the tanks you put on your back for going into fires, the breathing apparatus tanks? The Goulds Lions Club raised money and bought all of that equipment. The provincial Government did not. Even when I was there I could not get them money for that, because they got their money for the initial piece of equipment, the same as any other municipality could get. They needed more, so the residents of the Goulds, through the Goulds Lions Club, raised all of that. Should they take that back now? I do not know. I really do not know. I know they are upset enough over there, if the fire station and equipment is not left in the Goulds, it is not leaving there. They have only started yet. They may have accepted the amalgamation, but do not try to drive that fire truck out of the Goulds, because then you will have big problems.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) tires.

MR. R. AYLWARD: You will not get flat tires, no. It will be worse than flat tires, and I certainly will not be-

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) a flat nose.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Well, probably I will be there. I will probably be right up in front with them, and the fellow who comes to take it will have to go over me, and that may not be too hard. Send Bill Hogan in, and he probably could, but he would have to go over me.

AN HON. MEMBER: Hulk Hogan.

MR. R. AYLWARD: And I will slow him down when he is passing by, Mr. Speaker, because it is serious. But the people of the Goulds, and the people of Mount Pearl are not being treated fairly. They are not being treated the same as all other municipalities. They are not being treated fairly by the laws of this Province, which is called the Municipalities Act. They are being discriminated against. They are a minority in this area.

The Premier gets up and says that yes, we understand that this area wants amalgamation, so he is walking on the minorities rights right off the bat. This great lawyer, this great person who represented Newfoundland, who represented the will of a lot of people across Canada in the constitutional debate, is willing to walk on the rights of the minorities in this region, being Mount Pearl, Wedgewood Park, and the Goulds, that is a minority. That is a minority group, Mr. Speaker, and the City of St. John's that he considers the major group of the area, we will go by their will, or we will forget the minorities will. That is exactly what this Premier is doing, and he is aware that he is doing it.

Mr. Speaker, there is so much wrong with this Bill and this process that it probably could take you a week to go over it all. The fact that you do not have a feasibility study, and the Member for Placentia can laugh all he likes, but when it starts to happen in his area, when Dunville does not want to go in with Placentia some day down the road, when they do not want to go in with Placentia, and King Clyde says yes, they are going, you will leave Cabinet that day.

AN HON. MEMBER: It will not happen.

MR. R. AYLWARD: No, it will not happen. I know it will not happen. It will not happen because you are in Cabinet and the Premier will not let it happen because you are in Cabinet. But it happens now that Mount Pearl does not have a Cabinet representative, and the Goulds does not have a Cabinet representative. It has nothing to do with what is right or what is wrong. It has to do with the Member for Placentia being in Cabinet, and he will not let the Premier do it. He may think he has all that power, Mr. Speaker, but I am sure that he does not have it, because if the Premier gets it in his mind, it will be done.

The only thing the Premier has backed off on, in this whole process, is to leave a small part of Mount Pearl out of this amalgamation, because he thought it might appease Mount Pearl to keep the Member for Waterford - Kenmount elected. That is the only reason he did it. If what the Premier is saying, the amalgamation is right and this has to be, then he has to follow through on that, and Mount Pearl and the whole area has to be amalgamated. I do not believe that what he is saying is right. I believe it is completely wrong. What he did was make a hypocrisy of it all when he left Mount Pearl out just so that the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, and the Member for Waterford - Kenmount, might get a few votes. Well let me tell him that it is not going to work. It is not going to work, because there is not a vote - I cannot say 'a vote' - but there are not very many votes left in Waterford - Kenmount, Mount Pearl area for the member who represents that area now.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier talks about principles. The principle of the thing is that this is right, so he does something opposite. He does something that is completely opposite to what he is saying. This is not the first time. The only one over there who would recognize what I am saying - there is one person over there who recognizes what I am saying and believes what I am saying, and he is the Member for Pleasantville, and probably he will get up and speak on this. I hope he does. Maybe you are not going to speak on this amendment.

MR. MATTHEWS: Some day.

MR. R. AYLWARD: I do not know what the strategy is over there.

MR. MATTHEWS: I do not think so. I do not think he will speak.

MR. R. AYLWARD: I think he might get up and speak.

MR. MATTHEWS: No, he is not -

MR. R. AYLWARD: He will speak and say that Mount Pearl should be included. I understand what he is saying. I understand completely what he is saying. If it is right to amalgamate, that is what is right, the whole system, but the Member for Pleasantville starts his arguments in the middle of the system. What you have to start off with is the Municipalities Act, the process you go to it, the feasibility study, then make your judgement on what is right and what is wrong. That is where you should go, not just sit back and say: 'because I represent Pleasantville, there are no parts of Mount Pearl in that, there are no parts of the outlying areas, Outer Cove, Middle Cove, nobody being affected, so I represent Pleasantville, and I say everyone should be in the city.' You could be right. Maybe the feasibility study would show that. I do not know. You could be right, but the problem is we do not know because there was not an independent commissioner set up to give you these recommendations, and to give you some type of an outline of how it should be done. These are the two things that are missing with this plan.

MR. MATTHEWS: Clyde's plan.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, the fact that there is no feasibility study is the key to this whole process, and this is what makes the whole process completely and utterly wrong, and only for you have a majority in this House of Assembly, it would make it completely and utterly illegal, not only wrong, but illegal according to the laws of this Province. The fact that you have ten, twenty or fifty, or whatever you have, majority in this House of Assembly, you could change that law at will. Change it one way or the other, whatever you like. You could make a community now upstairs. The Premier's big argument against all this amalgamation was: we would not do this in the Cabinet room. The previous administration did it in the secrecy of the Cabinet room.

This is a complete falsehood. It is a down and out lie is what it is because, Mr. Speaker -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: It is a down and out lie that we did -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: I do not think it is illegal. We did not do that in the secrecy of the Cabinet room. If somebody says that we did do that in the secrecy of the Cabinet room it is a lie. Did somebody say that we did do that is the secrecy of the Cabinet room?


MR. R. AYLWARD: Who said it?

AN HON. MEMBER: I said it.

MR. R. AYLWARD: You said it? Well, Mr. Speaker, I did not hear you say it, but I did hear some people say it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if someone wants to say that we did say it in the secrecy of the - this was the Premier's argument of why he is doing all of this. Now he is doing it in the Assembly because he cannot do it in the secrecy of the Cabinet room. It says right here in his Bill in section number 10 - 1, 2, 3 and 4, he can do it in the secrecy of the Cabinet room. You could never do it before even though he is claiming it. You could never do that before, but now this Premier, who says it should not be done, can now do this in the secrecy of the Cabinet room. Now, that is completely against the principle that he annunciates when he is talking publicly. I do not know how you report that. I do not know how people in this Province can understand that the Premier says one thing, quite often, not only once, he says one thing and he does the complete opposite. He says he supports the Public Tendering Act and gives contracts to his buddies. Now, that is very much a contradiction. He says we are in desperate need of money in the Province and he gives out a contract that is costing us $6.3 million more than it should. I do not understand the logic. Yes, I do understand the logic, the Premier is trying to deceive the people of this Province. He did a good job for awhile but you cannot do that forever. It does not work for very long. You will eventually be brought to task for that, and I would say that this Government will not last seventeen years as the last one did. I do not think any other Governments in this Province will last seventeen or twenty years. I believe all Governments will change and if you get two terms you will be lucky. That is what will happen in the future, I believe.

AN HON. MEMBER: Two terms are enough.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Two terms are enough, yes, I agree with that. Two terms would be enough for most Governments, yes, unless you happen to be a really great Government like we were. Two terms is usually enough.

What this legislation is doing, Mr. Speaker, is creating two municipal classes of people in this Province. We have a group of people who happen to be in the Premier's riding on the West Coast who are allowed to decide themselves whether they will amalgamate or not, and we have people who happen to live in my district, in a community called the Goulds who cannot make that decision. They are not allowed to decide. When this started in the first place we had a community called Steady Brook on the West Coast which was to be included in this process. Now, the former Minister of Justice happened to be living there at the time and he went to the Premier and said: this is not satisfactory, I cannot put up with this, so they were let off the hook right away. Now, if he had been where he is sitting now he would not have gotten away with that so easy, but immediately, two or three days after it was announced Steady Brook was off the hook because the former Minister of Justice happened to live there. It was not his district, it was another district. The latest one is Mount Moriah. Is that the area in the Premier's district?


MR. R. AYLWARD: - who kicked up pretty good, and so they should have, and the Premier backed off on that one. He tries to rationalize it but his reasoning doesn't follow very good logic.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I expect some members, at least one member over there, to vote for this six-month hoist. The six-month hoist would make sense. If you want to get the feeling of this region, the whole region, a plebiscite of the whole region I would agree with, although I don't particularly agree with plebiscites, by the way. I do not think a plebiscite or a referendum would solve this but I would agree with one. I would agree to follow it if needs be. The feasibility study is the proper thing to do. A proper, correct, independent feasibility study, is the way to do it and if a six-month hoist could be approved in this House of Assembly to give some time for a feasibility study, I suggest you might be able to sell this package, the same as we did when we were in Government in the Kilbride, Shea Heights, Wedgewood Park area.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, another ten minutes or twenty? I just want to finish.

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


MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I just want to emphasize that the process that you followed in this annexation - it is not amalgamation - this annexation, is wrong. You changed the laws to suit your own agenda, but you ignored the process and the wishes of the people involved, and I am not only saying the people in the Goulds who would be upset because their taxes are going up; I am not only saying the people in Mount Pearl who will not get their fire department, but you are also ignoring the wishes of the people of the city of St. John's, who will be paying extra taxes to pay for this bungled amalgamation deal that the minister has brought on us.

The residents of the city of St. John's will definitely have to pay an extra $800,000 for the Aquarena; that is not something that you can hide away, it is a definite extra cost. They are definitely going to have to pay extra to provide the type of services that the city provides, in its present boundary, to the Town of the Goulds. That will definitely be an extra cost. There are not enough tax dollars in the Goulds to provide that extra service. Even though their taxes will double from 6.5 mils to 11, there are not enough tax dollars in the Goulds to provide an equal level of service which the city now provides.

The Goulds taxpayers cannot pay for nine people to go and put up a stop sign, that is what I am trying to tell you. It takes nine people and three vehicles in St. John's to put up a stop sign. Now that is shocking, but it is a fact.


MR. R. AYLWARD: I am just saying that is what happens, I don't know why. I do not know what the union agreement says. it is probably all part of a city that has been in operation for a long time.

MR. MATTHEWS: What does it cost?

MR. R. AYLWARD: I don't know what the cost is to put up a stop sign, but the last one I saw, there were nine people over a three-day period, and three different vehicles, to put up a stop sign in Kilbride. Now, I mean, it doesn't make sense to me. Maybe it is just one instance, maybe I just happened to see a bad instance. I don't know, maybe I did. But in the Goulds, if you want to put up a stop sign, a fellow will come out with a pick and shovel in a pickup. The one guy, the driver, digs the holes, mixes the concrete, pours it, puts up the sign, screw it on and goes. It will probably take him a day to do it.

So that is why the taxes in the Goulds are a bit cheaper than they are - that's one of the reasons. There are many other reasons, because they don't get the level of service, no doubt about it. They certainly don't get the level of snow clearing service in the Goulds that you do in St. John's. All through Bay Bulls Road, right off the bat, there is no water and sewer from Purcell's Turn, in. The City of St. John's, within the first winter, will ruin every well on that road and they will be delivering water by truck to that area of St. John's, which will be very expensive. The Department of Highways, which does it now, has a mixture of sand and salt which does not pollute the water in the area. The City does pure salt all the time and when they moved into Kilbride they ruined what wells were in there. They are still, to this day, from 1985, delivering water by truck to people in that area.

So for those people who are outside the city of St. John's who say that the city of St. John's has it knocked, well, my part of the city of St. John's - it happens, my mother's and my brother's houses are two that get their water delivered by truck to a tank out in front of their house. When they run out of water, the next day when water comes around they will get water.

So the residents of the city of St. John's who pay $45,000 for lots, fifty-foot pieces of land, one of the reasons why they have a lot of service is they pay 11 mils taxes on very high assessments. They don't have it knocked. They don't all have sidewalks paved in gold, they don't even all have the water and sewer that almost everyone outside the city thinks they have. A lot of people outside the city have better basic municipal service than some residents in the City of St. John's.

When the City takes over the Goulds, then we will have a much bigger problem. A lot of the Goulds, probably half of it, is not equipped with basic municipal services of water and sewer. So that is a big expense on St. John's residents and they can not afford to pay it. The Provincial Government and the Premier have said that they will not put any money into this amalgamation process to help the residents of the city of St. John's who are going to take on these extra responsibilities. It is not helping the residents of the Goulds. They still have to double their taxes. It is not helping residents in outlying areas. It is helping the taxpayers of the city of St. John's, for whom two or three Cabinet Ministers should be standing up speaking; a couple of backbenchers over there should be standing up speaking for them. And the city council, who want this process - I am not sure they want it so much today as they did before. But the city council should be standing - I met with them last Monday night. I went down to see what they thought of all this. I brought down a copy of Bill 50 to them. The impression is that it was written for the City of St. John's. That is what Mount Pearl and other communities think, that the bill was written for the City of St. John's. They did not know, the department did not tell them, what was in it. None of the Cabinet Ministers who represent St. John's thought enough of the City to take a copy of the Act and bring it down to them so they could look at it, not one. I do not mind the backbenchers - I had time that day and I had a copy of the Act. The Cabinet Ministers knew this. They had to know it a couple of week ago. This bill certainly had to be approved in Cabinet. It is their responsibility to help their backbenchers represent the city. If they cannot do it they should have gone to their backbenchers.

MR. MATTHEWS: The first time they saw it was when it was tabled in the House, the whole works of them.

MR. R. AYLWARD: It was probably the first time they saw it. Maybe it was, and that is a bigger shame than anything else, Mr. Speaker. The Cabinet Ministers, who should have seen this, should have helped out their buddies in the back bench - the Member for Mount Scio, the Member for St. John's South, and whoever else is over there in the back bench. Mr. Speaker, they should have taken this Act to the City, told what was in it, asked them if they agreed with it, and pointed out the problems.

I will have a chance to speak on this again - because we are only on an amendment now - and I hope, at that time, when I do get a chance to speak on it, I will be able to tell this House of Assembly what the City of St. John's thinks of this Act. I can tell you what the Goulds thinks of it, and I can tell you what Mount Pearl thinks of it, I can tell you what some of the outlying areas think of it. When I went back to talk to the Mayor about the bill, she was out of town. Only for that, I could have told you today, but I didn't get a chance to go back to see her today. She was gone Friday when I went down.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is she gone to Bristol?

MR. R. AYLWARD: Maybe she is. I don't know if she is gone to Bristol or not. I didn't ask where she was. I don't think so, because she is going to be in council tonight, as far as I know. But, Mr. Speaker, I will find out, and I imagine the Member for Pleasantville will find out also, because he is a good St. John's member. He works hard for the city of St. John's. Mr. Speaker, I will have a chance, and I appreciate the House for giving me some extra time. I would like to adjourn the debate. Somebody else is going to have to speak next time.

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the private member's resolution for Wednesday will be the resolution by the Member for Torngat Mountains. I would like to advise members that tomorrow we will continue on with the piece of legislation we are debating today.

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

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