December 4, 1991            HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS            Vol. XLI  No. 84

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I had some questions for the Premier with respect to the Government's proposal for the Joint Fisheries Management Board, but I will ask the questions of the Minister of Fisheries. I want to refer him to Section 5 (4) of that proposal. That section outlines the three types of functions that this board will undertake. Firstly it would develop policies to guide the administrative actions of the federal and provincial Departments of Fisheries; that is, issues related to fisheries management, licensing and the loan board. Secondly it says it would make decisions on user group allocations and licences, and thirdly it would monitor federal and provincial administrative actions to ensure that the policies are being correctly implemented. I want to ask the Minister of Fisheries: Does he not realize that giving away such powers simply turns the provincial Department of Fisheries into just another administrative arm of this Joint Management Board. Would he not agree with that?

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

MR. CARTER: Certainly not, Mr. Speaker. In fact, what we are doing in this proposal is harmonizing the respective responsibilities of both the Federal and Provincial Governments. We found out in the past that unless we can harmonize our efforts, and let the right hand know what the left hand is doing, quite often we end up making decisions that are at variance with what the other jurisdiction is doing, and in some cases that can be quite costly. I would like to cite an example. For example where some years ago the Province, of which the hon. gentleman was a member of Cabinet, made a decision to embark on a Scandinavian long-liner type vessel construction program, and that program cost the Province, I believe, in excess of $20 million. There was only one flaw in the arrangement. They did not have licences for the vessels. In fact, they never did get all of the vessels licensed. In fact, one of the vessels is still without a licence, I understand. Meanwhile, they also went ahead and built those vessels at a cost of $20-odd million, introduced a brand new technology and again they missed one rather maybe minor detail. They failed to get a fish quota from Ottawa, the result being that I think the first year they were in operation they had about a 1,200 ton quota, the second year it went up to 4,600 tons, the next year back to 3,300 and then of course in 1990 the Federal Government abolished the program altogether, leaving the program high and dry, leaving the Province with $20 odd million worth of middle distance boats with nothing to do and these boats, Mr. Speaker, are still struggling to survive, so if we ever need an example where we need some kind of a joint management regime, Mr. Speaker, I suppose that speaks for itself.

MR. SIMMS: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, the minister has just given us a very good argument for us as a Province, licensing vessels, which is something that we have been after for many, many years as he would know -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: - and contrary to what he said in his answer about harmonizing powers, what the proposal does in fact is ask for some of the powers of the Federal Government to be transferred to the board, but all of the powers by contrast that we now hold as a Province, would be transferred to this board. And, Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the minister this question. Would he agree that the reason for the existence of a government department is to carry out the wishes and the policies of a government? Policies that are expressed in legislation, by Orders in Council, by Regulations and so on, would he agree with that, and if he agrees with it, since this joint board will now have the responsibility to develop policies to guide administrative actions as stated in his own document, Section 5 (4), what powers exactly will the Provincial Department of Fisheries have? Could he be clear on that?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I should correct the record I suppose and point out that in our Question Period last night, the hon. gentleman opposite quoted from the proposal, when in fact it took completely out of context the meaning of the section to which he referred, and I am referring here to that section on page twenty-two, where, the Leader of the Opposition went through great lengths to explain in some detail what the Provincial Department of Fisheries was losing and he listed here all of the things that would revert to the board.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman mentioned about the licensing of vessels and would that not solve the problem, but he knows as well as I do that is something that has been talked about now for the past - what, ten or fifteen years. There have been representations made to the Federal Government going back to the days when Romeo LeBlanc was the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, when I was a minister, and I know how difficult it was to even get the message through to them. They were not even prepared to listen, and I can go further, Mr. Speaker, and relate an experience I had with Mr. Valcourt, just prior to his being taken out of that portfolio, when we went to Ottawa with an agenda on which we had joint management, Mr. Valcourt point blankly refused to discuss joint management.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not the question.

MR. CARTER: Maybe I have lost the question, Mr. Speaker, but I can only tell you that the powers of the board will be those that will be given to it by the respective ministers, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the provincial Minister of Fisheries. What will be left for the Department of Fisheries of Newfoundland to administer? Very little will change in many respects. The Province will still be responsible for administering the things that are outlined in this paper, by the way, a number of them. We are going to be handing over to that board some responsibility with respect to fish processing licences. We will be handing over some responsibilities with respect to Fisheries Loan Board policies, but by and large, Mr. Speaker, the fishery will be run by the provincial Department of Fisheries. In areas where there is an overlapping of jurisdiction hopefully that will be harmonized and we will have a much smoother, and I believe a much more viable and much more effective Department of Fisheries.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I am a bit reluctant to ask the minister a question because he does not seem to get the drift of the question, and when he does it is about ten minutes later. The question I asked him was what he answered right at the end and it took about ten seconds to answer it. Let me ask him again: Section 5 (4) of the proposal says: one of the types of functions for this new board is to develop policies to guide the administrative actions of both Departments of Fisheries related to fisheries management, and that includes licensing, loan board activities, and all the rest of it. It will also make decisions on user group allocations and the licences.

Does the minister not realize and recognize that really what is happening here is that all of the few powers that the Province now has, and we have very few, are going to be transferred to an independent, unelected board? Does he accept that? Is that what he is saying in his proposal? And if he is, will he say it categorically? Let me then ask him this: does he seriously believe that any Cabinet, or any Legislature in a parliamentary democracy should, or would, give up its responsibilities to an unelected board? Does he think that is what should happen?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, it probably says a lot for the hon. gentleman and his concept of government and politics. If he is interested in de-politicizing some aspects of the fishing industry, which, God knows, needs to be done, then I think this board will accomplish that. Now, if you want the minister to be using as part of his pork barrel the issuing of licences or the awarding of allocations, fine. But we don't believe that is the way it should be. We believe that the fishing industry is sufficiently important to this Province that politics should be kept as far away from certain decision-making processes as possible, and this board will do just that.

There will be vested in this board certain powers with respect to the Province and with respect to the Federal Government. Again, I go back to what I said a moment ago. It is a case of now letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing. So that decisions made by the Province will not be contradictory to statements made in Ottawa. That quite frequently happens, as I am sure the member's former leader, Mr. Rideout, would be able to tell you.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I want to follow up to the Minister of Fisheries, as well. I want to say to him that I think we have seen a lot of cases over the last few years where the Provincial Government has needed to take positions that have been contradictory to the Federal Government. So I don't think we should get too cosy on this issue.

But I want to ask the minister follow up on questions by the Leader of the Opposition. From reading the document we find, or we know, that the Department of Fisheries, Cabinet and the Legislature would be accountable to the board. The question I have for the minister is, To whom would the board be accountable?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the board will be created by both Governments and will be ultimately responsible to both Governments.

I was interested a few nights ago in reading an account of an interview with the Leader of the Opposition when he said we are going back fifty years, and that we are now slipping back into the 1930s in our approach. He has a very short memory, because he was part of the Government that negotiated the Offshore Petroleum Board, a board that is working extremely well, and I commend the hon. gentleman for having come up with the concept. It was a similar operation. Granted, you are dealing with a different resource, but that is no less reason why, properly managed -

AN HON. MEMBER: Answer the question!

MR. CARTER: - properly structured, this fishery board would not work just as efficiently and effectively as the Offshore Petroleum Board.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I just want to remind hon. members that the Chair needs no prompting from hon. members about members going on too long - the Chair will judge that. Members should not be shouting 'Answer the question!' That is only an interference and I ask hon. members, please, to follow the rules.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

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

A supplementary to the minister. I want to say to the minister that the only thing common here, I guess, is oil and cod-liver oil when you are talking about the offshore petroleum board because it is something that the Province had no say over before. Section 5.5 of the Government's proposal does suggest that there may be need for some provision in the Act for joint ministerial review of board decisions in limited circumstances, but beyond those limited circumstances, the board's decisions would be final except for appeals to the courts. I would like to ask the minister: What are the limited circumstances that might require a ministerial review, and could the minister, indeed, amend the decisions of the board?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the board, as I said, will be the creature of both Houses, the House of Commons, and the Newfoundland Legislature. What the Legislatures create, I suppose, they can abolish if it doesn't work. If it doesn't work it can be abolished or changed to make it work.

Mr. Speaker, the ministers will exercise certain authority, and there are cases where a person who is aggrieved will have the right to appeal to the board, and ultimately to the courts. I suppose that is one way of taking it out of the realm of politics, in that if we have a board that is set up, for all intents and purposes, to be impartial and independent and to try to remove it from the realm of politics, then it would hardly make sense if every single decision made by the board could be appealed to the minister or to the Cabinet because then, of course, that would lend itself again to political interference. But there will be public hearings. For example, in cases where there is going to be a policy change there will be a public hearing. In fact, that is something we don't have now, not to the extent that you will under this board, and if a person has a grievance with the board then they will have a right to appeal directly to the board or to appeal to the courts.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The more we question the minister on this proposal, I think it must become obviously clear to members that what we have here is a proposal for a worse mess than we have now in the fishery of Atlantic Canada for Newfoundland and Labrador, a worse mess, Mr. Speaker.

Another supplementary for the minister. The proposal states, any policy directive issued by the board would be gazetted and laid before the Provincial Legislature and Parliament. I ask the minister: Would the policy require the approval of the Legislature, and would the Legislature be able to reject or amend a policy of the board?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, as is the case now, policies of the Department of Fisheries are discussed by Cabinet and ultimately presented to the Legislature, and the situation would not change. That board, Mr. Speaker, is there to serve the best interests of the Newfoundland fishing industry. It is there to remove a lot of inequities that exist in the current system, where the Province does not have any say whatever in the decision-making process. There isn't an industry in Canada that has such far-reaching implications on a Province, where the people who are running the Province have so little jurisdiction, Mr. Speaker.

Now, they can't have it both ways. If they want to support the Crosbie proposal where it will be purely an Atlantic Provinces board, then fine. If they want to wait another fifty years to get the Government of Canada, Mr. Speaker, to maybe enshrine in the Constitution certain changes that they deem necessary, that is something else, but I don't think we can wait that long, quite frankly. I think the time is long gone, Mr. Speaker, when Newfoundlanders are going to sit back and be governed by bureaucrats sitting in an office 2,000 or 3,000 miles inland. Newfoundlanders must have the right to have certain input into the decision-making process and, in our view, this is the way to do it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A final supplementary for the minister. I mean, the minister talks about the Government and a department formulating policies, but I want to refer him again, on supplementary, to 5(4), Functions of the Board. It talks about three types of functions. It said, first it would develop policies which guide the administrative actions. So, really all you would be doing would be administering policies set down by this board, actions of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Provincial Department of Fisheries in areas related to fisheries management, fisheries licensing, plant licensing, recreational inland fisheries, and the Fisheries Loan Board. So I ask the minister, if all his department will be doing will be administering the policies as set down by the joint board.

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the Opposition can possibly have against giving Newfoundlanders the opportunity to have more input into the decision-making process of the industry, by the way, that is probably - I can't for the life of me understand why they would object to it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Now, if they would prefer for Uncle Ottawa to call all the shots, that is fine. If they want to protect their soul mates in Ottawa, and Mr. Cashin and Mr. Crosbie, if they want to protect those gentlemen that is fine too.

But I can only tell you, Mr. Speaker, that under this new proposed regime the Province will have considerable input. We will still be doing just about the same things we are doing now, but except in cases where there are new licences to be issued, or the allocation of TACs - this board for example will be charged with the responsibility of advising the Federal Minister on the overall TAC. Total allowable catch. When was the last time that the Government of Canada came to the Province and said: look, what's your advice, what should the TAC be this year? They ask but they do not listen. Here is an opportunity now where we can harmonize both Departments.

They talk about constitutional change. That would not do a thing. All constitutional change would do is further aggravate the situation between provinces. Somebody asked the question, why is it we did not go to the Feds and say: look, give us the right to issue licences and set quotas? These gentlemen know as well as I do that that has been on the agenda now for the past twenty years. We have gotten nowhere with it. At least now - if we had the kind of support that we should be getting from the Members opposite, there is a good opportunity now we can get some kind of - and it is not going to be perfect, I know that. But we can work at it and refine it and make it as perfect as possible. But instead of bucking it purely for the sake of bucking it, if they wanted to do Newfoundlanders a favour and to do their duty to Newfoundland and to Newfoundland fishermen, they would be supporting this.

Otherwise, I will tell you what will happen. You will end up with the Crosbie version of joint management, where there will be a board established amongst the five provinces and Newfoundland will have one voice.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. CARTER: If they can tell us how we can protect our interest by being one voice in amongst five then, Mr. Speaker -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question was to the Minister of Finance but in his absence the President of Treasury Board. Public Service pensioners have requested a cost of living increase in their pensions for 1990. They are prepared to accept Government's wage freeze for 1991. Can the Minister give them an answer? Will he give them an increase for the year 1990?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, as was announced in the last Budget we are going to start negotiations with the unions to develop an indexed pension plan, some form of indexing within the pension plan, that will then pay for regular increases, not only for the people retiring in future years but the people who have retired in past years.

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

MR. PARSONS: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I am sure that the President of Treasury Board is aware that many of our - the average income really of pensioners in this Province is below $8,000. Sure, that is a disgraceful amount to be stagnated at. Does the Government have any compassion for those people? If so, what is his immediate remedy to the real problem that faces the pensioners?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I will check into the figures used by the hon. gentleman, but I can assure him that the average pension for pensioners in this Province, people who have the full pensionable years in -

AN HON. MEMBER: Public Service (Inaudible).

MR. BAKER: - I suspect is far - in the public service - I suspect is far higher than $8,000. But I will check into it and get back to the hon. gentleman at some later date.

Mr. Speaker, the pension fund is such that we have to be very careful. We have now just gone through a process of making sure that the pension funds of the public service of this Province get put back on a solid, sound footing so that pensions can be paid to everybody who deserves these pensions. We have now done that. We are now going to the next step which would see, if we can get agreement fairly quickly, some type of regular increase paid, and that is called indexing. But that too, Mr. Speaker, has to be paid for. Whatever we do, at this point in time, because of the excesses of the last twenty years, whatever we do at this point has to be paid for, we can no longer do something that is not paid for.

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

MR. PARSONS: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I am sure the Minister is aware that the pensioners had an increase of 2.5 per cent in 1989 and since the cost of living has risen by 20 per cent, surely the minister knows somewhere down the road their pensions would be worth nil. What is the minister going to do about the problem that is right before us today? They received 2.5 per cent, the cost of living is up 20 per cent over the same period, will the minister give the pensioners some reason to believe that something will be forthcoming from this Government?

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I just announced and it was announced in the Budget that this Government is doing something to ensure that pensions of public service pensioners do not deteriorate over the years. We understand that situation, we know that fixed incomes deteriorate over the years, that is self-evident. We, for the first time in this Province, are attempting to do something permanent to fix that problem and to assure that the pensioners do receive increases from a proper indexed pension plan, Mr. Speaker. That is the only way to guarantee it, and it is something the previous Government refused to even look at.

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Social Services. Would the minister advise this House if the group home in Happy Valley - Goose Bay will be closing within the next six months?

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

MR. HOGAN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, it is tentatively scheduled to be closed over that period of time.

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Before the minister makes such a drastic move, would the minister take into consideration comments made by a physician, who is the medical adviser to the group home? Mr. Speaker, I want to quote what that physician said: 'There is one resident, Mr. Wayne Andersen, at this group home who could never be a participating member of any normal home, he cannot walk or talk nor can he clean or feed himself. His brain is so damaged that he cannot be left to his own devices for an instant, yet he is a full sized man so he cannot be handled by one person alone. His care is such a demanding task that the care givers must be multiple and take turns on a shift.' Mr. Speaker, taking that into consideration, why is the minister determined to move this individual out to a home where he will not be able to get the proper care?

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult to address a question when a person stoops so low as to go into the privacy of an individual and a client of my department, and I do not intend to discuss the specifics -

AN HON. MEMBER: It is unbelievable, distasteful.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. HOGAN: I do not intend to go into the specifics of this particular individual, but I can assure The Speaker, and the hon. House that every measure, every possible measure and care is being taken to ensure that any individuals moved to any group home, will be going into circumstances that are enhanced instead of backwards. Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I assure the minister that I spoke to the family half an hour ago and the family wanted me to bring that name forward in this House. Mr. Speaker, before the minister does take such action and lock the doors on the group home, would the minister consider evaluating the other Labradorians who are in institutions on the island portion of this Province who could be taken back closer to their relatives and placed into this group home along with Mr. Andersen?

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

MR. HOGAN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, that also has been given consideration, and will continue to be given consideration and review. If the movement of people from the island portion of the Province to that particular group home will enhance their living, and improve their lot in life, I will be the first one to be glad to do it.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. The City of St. John's, in light of the increased expenses associated with the cost of amalgamation, not only to itself but also to its taxpayers, its new taxpayers as well, has asked the minister and the Government for a transition grant to help ease that burden. Is the minister prepared to provide such a grant to the City of St. John's?

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, our position is such that we are willing to listen to any situation that is deemed to be unfair. We are not providing transition grants in any of the amalgamated groupings in the Province, the ones that we have done so far, and the ones that we will do in the future. We are willing to look at an unfairness. If a case is presented, in whatever area it happens to be, whether it be a facility, or assets, or liabilities, or deficits, or whatever it happens to be that is deemed unfair - and that is the key word 'unfair' - we will be willing to look at it.

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

MR. HARRIS: My supplementary is fairly simple, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister regard a tax increase of as much as 50 per cent for an individual home owner in one year as being unfair?

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

MR. GULLAGE: Well, firstly, Mr. Speaker, we do not know what is planned in the City of St. John's as far as tax increases are concerned. I presume he is talking about the area of the Goulds and Wedgewood Park, and the Metropolitan Board areas that are coming into the city as well. Until we know what tax increases are planned, it is very difficult for me to speak to the question. What has to be looked at, I would think, from the city's perspective, and I cannot speak for the City Council, not being a member, it is their prerogative to set their tax rates. What has to be looked at is the services being provided in each of those three specific areas.

I understand there are some pockets of residential taxation, residents living in areas where services are not up to the full standard, if you like, of most people in the City of St. John's, and I do not know whether or not City Council plans to provide any easement, if you like, of the tax burden in those cases. That is the sort of thing they are looking at right now, I believe, with the transition team and trying to decide what the taxation level should be. So it is early in the day; we do not yet know what they are going to do with these expanding areas. In other cases, of course, we know that full services have been in place for some time - Wedgewood Park as an example. In that case I would expect, with full services in place, and they have been enjoying a tax break, if you like, for a long period of time - some ten or twelve years since Wedgewood Park has been there - I doubt very much if there is going to be any differential in the tax rate set for Wedgewood Park vis-a-vis the rest of St. John's.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Before we move on to other items - I will recognize the hon. member in a moment but before doing that, I want to welcome to the Gallery today a delegation from the Council of Musgrave Town in the persons of His Worship, Mayor Stokes -

MR. SIMMS: Musgrave Harbour.

MR. SPEAKER: Musgrave Harbour. Sorry! The Town Council of Murgrave Harbour - I wouldn't want to make a mistake there - from the historic district of Fogo, in the persons of His Worship, Mayor Stokes, Councillor Jack Pinsent, and Town Clerk Sophie Mercer.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: I also want to welcome to the House of Assembly today ten Grade VII students from the Enrichment Program here in St. John's accompanied by their teacher, Patricia Donnelly.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: I've had a request from an hon. member wondering if the House would agree to revert back to Ministerial Statements. The Minister wanted to make a Ministerial Statement and he said that I went too fast. I apologize for that. I ask hon. members, as always, if we have the right to revert back to Ministerial Statements.

MR. SIMMS: Depends on which Minister, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: I think it was the Minister of Mines and Energy.

MR. SIMMS: Oh, yes. Okay.


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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I was a bit slow today and you went by me before I realized it. It could wait until tomorrow, but I will do it with leave.

Mr. Speaker, on May 29, 1991, I issued a Call for Postings pursuant to the Newfoundland and Labrador Petroleum Regulations, 1991. All parties interested in obtaining petroleum exploration rights in the Province were asked to indicate those areas of interest before September 13, 1919.

Today, Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the House that the response to the Call for Postings was sufficient to warrant a Request for Bids under the Petroleum Regulations.

Accordingly, I hereby issue a Request for Bids and invite all interested parties to make work expenditure bids for petroleum exploration permits on any of fourteen land parcels situated onshore western Newfoundland (as outlined in the attached map to this statement). If issued, these permits will provide the exclusive rights to drill for petroleum on specified land parcels for a period of five years. Interested parties have until April 30, 1992, to submit their bids.

Mr. Speaker, there is in excess of 500,000 hectares of land available. I am confident that exploration permits will be issued on some of these land parcels.

The successful issuance of permits will be a significant step towards evaluating the petroleum potential of our onshore area, and it will mark the completion of the first land issuance cycle under the new Petroleum Regulations.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I want to thank the Minister for providing me with a copy of the Ministerial Statement prior to his releasing it. We on this side of the House are delighted to see that the minister is responding in allocating land for exploration on the Island portion of the Province. I hope that the industry is fit and is justified in spending money and exploring for more petroleum wealth on the Island portion of the Province. Of course, we all know it is very important for everybody in the petroleum industry and in the mining industry to spend money on exploration. Without exploring for oil or minerals we do not get the opportunities to create more economic development, such as opening new oil fields or mines. I wish them all the best in their bidding.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow move that the debate on Bill 50 entitled "An Act To Facilitate The Amalgamation Of Certain Municipal Services In Relation To The Northeast Avalon Region" shall not be further adjourned, and the further consideration of any resolution or resolutions, clause or clauses, section or sections, preamble or preambles, title or titles, or whatever else might be related to debate in Committee of the Whole House respecting Bill 50 shall be the first business of the House when next called by the House and shall not be further postponed.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to a question from the Member for Port au Port who was asking the status of the incorporation of Fox Island River and Point au Mal. In fact, I signed the document approving the incorporation of this particular municipality in late November and it has been sent to the Queen's Printer for gazetting. In fact, Mr. Speaker, the good news is it has been approved.

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

DR. GIBBONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In response to a question that was raised by the hon. the Member for Menihek yesterday and in earlier days: A few days ago in responding to a question about what products Government or an agency of Government might be buying from Come By Chance refinery I used the word 'crude' instead of the word 'product' in my answer and it created some confusion. I would like to give the details now as to what Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro really is buying.

At the present time, Hydro has two purchase orders for fuel issued to Newfoundland Processing. One of them, purchase order number 2120000 was issued in January 1991 for 12,000 litres of furnace fuel for the Stephenville plant. This order is effective for the period January 3, 1991 to December 31, 1991. The second order, purchase order 2082000 was issued in January 1990 for 1,500,000 litres of gas turbine fuel for Holyrood. This order is effective for the period January 1, 1990 to December 31, 1992. The actual quantity that will be received under this order will depend on the quantity of fuel required for the hydro operation at Holyrood. Hydro is not obligated to receive any particular specified amount but for the term of the contract up to the 1.5 million litres. Both of these purchase orders, as in all purchases of fuels, were done in compliance with the Public Tendering Act of the Province.

Thank you.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: The Opposition House Leader for now, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you, very much.

AN HON. MEMBER: Forever!

MR. MATTHEWS: Forever - well, that is not too terrible, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SIMMS: That is more than you can say about the hon. member. He will not be there forever, for sure.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to Your Honour's attention for your consideration, we are dealing with the private member's resolution as put forward by the hon. the Member for Lewisporte dealing with the issues of joint management of the fisheries. I want to submit to Your Honour that there are two separate issues in this particular resolution that have to be voted on, and I would request, Your Honour, that members be allowed to vote separately. I submit to Your Honour that we are dealing with two issues - 'Be it therefore resolved that the House of Assembly endorse and support the joint management proposal released on December 2, 1991 by the Honourable the Premier and the Honourable Minister of Fisheries' and, as well, 'Be it further resolved that the House of Assembly formally oppose the federal proposal for fisheries management.'

So we have two different proposals, two different issues, and I say to Your Honour that there is adequate precedence in the legislatures in Ottawa and in England that resolutions of this nature that deal with two separate issues should, in fact, be voted on separately, it should be a split vote. I would like to refer Your Honour to Beauchesne's Sixth Edition, paragraph 557, page 172: "A motion which contains two or more distinct propositions may be divided so that the sense of the House may be taken on each separately," and, "The Speaker has a discretionary power," I say to Your Honour, "to decide whether a motion should be divided." So I would like to ask Your Honour to consider this matter and, indeed, suggest that there are two distinct propositions in this resolution put forward by the member.

The reason I rose before you recognized the hon. member is that I did not want to take any of his time in debating this very important resolution.

MR. SIMMS: Hear, hear! What a fine House Leader!

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, this is something that is the prerogative of Your Honour, whether a resolution be split or not split. In this case, the argument has been made that there are two separate proposals here. I think the Opposition House Leader probably read an argument I made some time ago, and followed rather closely the argument I made with regard to a split resolution, Mr. Speaker, so I will leave it to Your Honour's good judgement.

MR. SPEAKER: First of all, I would like to have a moment to address Private Member's resolutions, as I did before I made the previous resolution. Our House has not worked very hard towards tidying up Private Members' resolutions. There are Houses in Canada which have some very strict rules on resolutions, and I say this to hon. members so that in the future they can guide themselves accordingly. I know, for example, in the Nova Scotia House, that a Private Member's resolution is allowed only three 'whereases' and one 'resolve', and many Houses have that procedure for Private Members, just one 'resolve', because it does get confusing when we get into two or three 'resolves'. Many times they are only meant to be political and tricky, and avoid the debating of the proper issue.

The Chair rules that there are two distinct propositions here, and to get the sense of the House, the Chair rules that it will allow two votes on the two resolutions.

Private Member's Day

MR. SPEAKER: I call upon the Member for Lewisporte to proceed with his Private Member's resolution.

MR. PENNEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: I am pleased and honoured today, Mr. Speaker, to present this resolution to the House, particularly because of the importance of the topic contained therein. It must be recognized as well, Mr. Speaker, that my district is in a noted fishing area of Newfoundland, Notre Dame Bay. For the record, I will read the resolution.

WHEREAS the province has released its proposal for joint management which provides for the integration of federal and provincial responsibility over the harvesting and processing sectors in the fishing industry through a federal-provincial board; and

WHEREAS integration will lead to a more efficiently regulated industry and will eliminate conflict and contradictions between federal and provincial policies, enhance the conservation of fisheries resources, and improve the competitiveness of fisheries enterprises; and

WHEREAS the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has tabled a proposal for fisheries reform which does not seek to integrate federal and provincial management responsibilities, and places the decision-making power over the Newfoundland fishery in the hands of an Atlantic-wide agency where the province's influence would be diluted;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the House of Assembly endorse and support the joint management proposal released on December 2, 1991 by the Honourable the Premier and the Honourable Minister of Fisheries; and

BE IT FURTHER resolved that the House formally oppose the federal proposal for fisheries management.

Mr. Speaker, one thing I would like to establish before I go any further is just how important the fishery is to this Province. I would like to share with hon. members some statistics from 1989. I think these are probably the most current, accurate statistics.

In 1989 there were 48,000 individuals in this Province involved in the fishery or the fisheries industry. That included 15,000 full-time fishermen, 15,000 part-time fishermen, and 18,000 plant workers. Mr. Speaker, that represented almost 21 per cent of the total labour force of this Province. The harvesting and processing of fish in Newfoundland and Labrador accounted for 17 per cent of the gross domestic product in the goods producing sector. So I think it is safe to say that when the fishery is in trouble in this Province the entire Newfoundland economy is in trouble.

Now we have arrived at a very important time in the history of the fishery in this Province. We are at a crossroads, I believe. So I would like to take a few minutes to compare the existing situation of fisheries as we know it today, the status quo, with the proposal recently presented by Mr. Crosbie, compare that to the joint management proposals recently announced by our Government, by the Premier and the hon. the Minister of Fisheries, and compare that, as well, with some of the proposals we have heard from the PC Party in this Province over the last few years.

First, let me say a few words about the procedures that we see in place now, the existing situation. We recognize, I believe, that it is totally unacceptable. Even Mr. Crosbie has recognized that there is need for change. Unfortunately, I believe he has directed his change in totally the wrong direction. But under the status quo the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has wide-ranging discretionary powers, totally unacceptable discretionary powers. Any policy or any accepted procedure can be changed at any time without notice, without consultation with anybody, without accountability to anybody, and the process, of course, is behind closed doors. It is a closed decision-making process.

Now the perception, of course, when it is done that way is that the interest group that has the greatest access is the one that gets the minister's ear and the one that gains favour from the minister's office. Now, I am not suggesting that that is the way it is. Certainly, nobody here would believe that any of Mr. Mulroney's people in Ottawa would do that. But that is the perception. The whole system is suspect of political interference. I do not think we need to think very hard to understand why that is.

Now let's take a minute to dwell on Mr. Crosbie's proposal. That one is unacceptable, as well. As a matter of fact, that is even more unacceptable than the status quo. Mr. Crosbie proposes a regional fisheries management agency with an Atlantic-wide focus of five provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec. That would give Newfoundland one voice in five, provided we had a voice at all. But if we had a voice, if we were permitted an equal voice, that would give us one in five. Now, I do not accept the fact that those other provinces have the same dependency on the fishery that we, in Newfoundland and Labrador, have. I have already quoted you the figures, twenty-one per cent of our labour force. I don't believe that can be said of any of the other provinces that would be involved in this agency.

The other concern I have with it is that it is not joint management. It is nothing more or less than the reorganization of the existing federal powers, taking the powers that the minister already enjoys, reorganizing them a bit, throwing them in a hat, stirring them up and then putting them into an agency.

Mr. Speaker, while we recognize the right of other provinces to the fisheries resource - I say that sincerely - while we recognize the rights of the other provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador will not stand in line with Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Quebec for the right to harvest our fish.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of allowing that to happen, and we will do everything humanly possible to ensure that we are not put in that position.

Let us take a minute to look at the proposals by the Newfoundland Tories. Since I have sat here in the House of Assembly, in two-and-a-half years, I have heard proposals for everything from shared to total jurisdiction in the fisheries. As a matter of fact, in 1981-82 it was the major topic of debate in the constitutional debates. Mr. Peckford was told that if the Meech Lake Accord passed, then shared jurisdiction of the fisheries would be one of the topics for future constitutional negotiations. So the Meech Lake Accord had to pass so that his pet proposal on joint jurisdiction would be one of the topics discussed in the future.

AN HON. MEMBER: Discussed.

MR. PENNEY: Discussed. Discussed in the future.

Mr. Speaker, when Mr. Simms, the now Leader of the Opposition, presented a set of proposals to the constitutional committee a few weeks ago, part of that presentation recommended, as well, joint jurisdiction - shared jurisdiction with the Federal Government over the fisheries resource - so their position really has not changed. But I say to all members, the Opposition seems to equate jurisdiction with power. They think that the more jurisdiction we have, the more power we have. They are on a power trip; it is an ego trip. But I say to members opposite, what is the good of power if we do not have the funds? What is the good of having jurisdiction in the fisheries if we do not have the money for the enforcement? We have total jurisdiction now over education. We have total jurisdiction over health, and unfortunately, this Province does not have the funds required to maintain a proper educational system, or at least an educational system at the level that we would like to have. We do not have the funds now to provide health care at the level that we would like. So what is the good to get total jurisdiction of the fishery? For anybody to think that if we share jurisdiction with the Federal Government we would not have to share the cost is being totally naive.

When Mr. Simms made his presentation, and he proposed joint jurisdiction, I asked him: Who did he propose would be responsible for surveillance and enforcement? He said: Well, the Federal Government, of course. So he is suggesting that the Federal Government grant us joint jurisdiction, but we not be responsible for having to pay part of the cost. Like I said, Mr. Speaker, that is totally naive. Our proposal on joint management-

MR. TOBIN: He is giving a speech.

MR. PENNEY: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not reading a speech. I am reading from notes, and maybe members opposite should take more time to make a few notes before they speak.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: Maybe we would get a little bit better quality speeches coming out of this hon. House.

MR. NOEL: Might make some sense periodically, anyway. A good example last night.

MR. PENNEY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few comments on the proposals that were presented to the House of Assembly a few days ago by the hon. the Premier and the hon. the Minister of Fisheries. It is entitled 'Effective Fisheries Management', and that is exactly what it would provide - effective fisheries management - effective for the first time in many years. It is the most innovative position papers on the fisheries that have ever been presented in this Province I believe. The most innovative ever, but it is not a new idea, Mr. Speaker, it is not a new idea, it has been recommended by federal studies and provincial studies, it has been recommended by anybody who has been asked to do a study into the fisheries crisis. As a matter of fact, the Kirby Report, recommended something like this, joint management. That was a federal report but of course that was ignored.

Then the Harris Review Panel, another federal study. Mr. Harris recommended the creation of a Federal/Provincial Board, to share information, co-ordinate management objectives and to set policy strategy, and for the benefit of the member Opposite, I read that out of my notes, if that bothers him, and I would like to read another of my notes for him one more time, just in case he did not get it the first time. Mr. Harris suggested the creation of a Federal/Provincial Board to share information, co-ordinate management objectives, to set policy and develop strategy.

Now, Mr. Speaker, then there was the Maloney Commission. Now that was a provincial study. Mr. Maloney recommended the same thing, a joint Federal/Provincial Agency or Authority, like we have recommended now. Mr. Speaker, that is the support this proposal, this idea has had in the past, but the support has not stopped, we are still getting the same kind of support. All indications are that the fisheries industries in this Province is totally 100 per cent supportive of this proposal that we have just presented, that the entire fisheries industry will support this position.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. PENNEY: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: How many (inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: Now, it is interesting to note though, Mr. Speaker, and I cannot resist the temptation. When I said the entire fisheries industry, I suppose if we try real hard, we will have to include Mr. Cashin in there? Let me read a quote from Mr. Cashin. Mr. Cashin, from The Evening Telegram, he says - Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request that you do not rule this unparliamentary because I am only quoting from the paper.

Mr. Cashin said that 'the report is a pile of crap, a pile of crap' he said 'and Alice in Wonderland reads better.' This report, our provincial report. He goes on, he says: 'I am quite certain that that view will be held by most people in the industry.' Now, I am quite certain that the man is absolutely wrong, again. Then he goes so far as to say: 'however fish company officials may see things differently because they like to suck around with Government.'


MR. PENNEY: They like to suck around with Government. Well, I wonder who Mr. Cashin has been sucking around with for the last little while. I wonder whom he has been sucking around with.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: The audacity of the man!

AN HON. MEMBER: Who was that, who said that?

MR. PENNEY: That was Mr. Cashin said that.

AN HON. MEMBER: What did he say?

MR. PENNEY: If hon. members had been paying attention you would have heard it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Read it again.

MR. PENNEY: Read it again? Read it again. Mr. Cashin says some fish company officials may see things differently from the way he would because they like to suck around with Government.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is right, The same as you. Maybe you should go up to Ottawa (inaudible) yourself.

MR. PENNEY: Now, Mr. Speaker, all of those recommendations were ignored. The advantages of our discussion paper, first of all, would provide for rational decisions -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Mr. Cashin is not here to defend himself.

MR. PENNEY: - rational decision making process, totally removed from political influence and political intervention. Now Members Opposite would not understand that, I recognize that, but I ask them to pay attention. It would provide for better co-ordination of Federal and Provincial policies. What we have seen in the past are two levels of Government, setting policy in two diametrically opposite directions. As the hon. Minister of Fisheries said earlier, it is basically, let not your left hand know what you right hand doeth, and that is what has been happening in this country. The fishery is too important to allow that to happen.

It would provide greater integration of the fisheries management decisions in the area of economic and social policies within the Province. We have already established the importance of the fisheries to this Province. We have already established the importance of it to our labour force and our gross domestic product.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: I will send my notes over to the hon. Member if he would like to read them, Mr. Speaker. He might need a little bit of background training in pharmacy though to be able to read some of these notes. But I would gladly share them with him. Maybe we could educate him just a little bit.

MR. NOEL: He'll need training in more than pharmacy.

MR. MURPHY: He needs some kind of medical help.

MR. PENNEY: Mr. Speaker, another of the advantages -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. WARREN: (Inaudible)!


MR. PENNEY: We would provide open, consistent management decisions. Now, I wonder is there anybody opposite who understands what open decisions mean? These are decisions that are not made behind closed doors, these are decisions where everybody can have an input. Consistent, where the same kind of decision is made for everybody. Not where you treat your friends differently from the other user groups. That is what we would propose, that is what we would provide under this kind of a setup. Open and consistent management decisions.

We would provide a process of accountability, Mr. Speaker. We would begin to rebuild in this industry, and in the process of governing we would begin to rebuild a sense of pride and confidence. That is something that the people in this country have not had in their government for a long time. We would begin to put that back by eliminating the political intervention and the influence. We would be providing pride and confidence again.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of examples here but time will not permit me. I will get an opportunity to speak again. How much time do I have left?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: I ask hon. Members to just think about what we have done with the industry in the last few years. Let's ask ourselves: how can we expect the public to have any confidence in our system when there is no accountability? How can we expect the public, the voters, to be proud of what their elected Members are doing when the decisions are made behind closed doors? Make no wonder the Tories in Ottawa are so low in the polls. Make no wonder.

The criticism of the Members opposite is that somehow we are giving away something. This proposal is giving away something that is Newfoundland's. As a show of good faith, trying to get approval for a project that we believe in, we must give something in order to get something back.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: The hon. Member for Grand Bank says: don't give anything. That is the kind of an attitude I think that has gotten us in this mess. What we are proposing to give up, Mr. Speaker, we are proposing as a provincial government to give up: policy development for the processing sector; final decisions on granting and transferring fish processing licences; and policy development for the Fisheries Loan Board. That is what we would contribute. It is not giving up, it is a contribution. That is our investment into this process.

In turn we would expect the Federal Government to invest the following. This would be their investment: harvesting and conservation policy development; recommendations to the Federal Minister on total allowable catches; final decisions on granting and transferring licences; and final decisions on resource allocations to user groups. That would be the Federal contribution.

Now if we could get the contribution from both sectors of Government, from the Federal and Provincial Governments, if we could get those contributions, and if we could get that accepted, we would have a much better fisheries management in this Province in the future.

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

MR. PENNEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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


MR. PENNEY: The only thing I would like to say in cluing up, Mr. Speaker, is that our Government is totally committed to this. We sincerely believe this is the way to go, and I believe the industry maintains the same thing. I believe that within the next little while members opposite will understand that the industry supports this.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. PENNEY: Well, that remains to be seen. Anybody who can look at this honestly would support it. I will have time for my other few remarks later so I will turn it over to members opposite.

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

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

I am pleased today to rise to speak and debate the resolution put forward by the hon. Member for Lewisporte. I want to go on record from the outset and say to the hon. member that I have problems with both the Provincial Government's effective fisheries management proposal and the proposal made by the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans a few days ago pertaining to an Atlantic regional agency to run the Atlantic fishery. I want to say to the hon. member that up to until last night when we were here in this Legislature and asked questions about this Provincial Government proposal I do not know if there were too many members opposite who had read this particular document. I know there were some last night who started to read it, after we raised questions in Question Period, and they had some problems with it because they did not know what was in it, and I say to members opposite that I am sure most of them over there still have not read it. They should read it because it is a very important document that everyone should familiarize himself with so that they understand fully what the Premier and the Minister of Fisheries is proposing to do with our fishery and how they would like for it to be run. I read it the same day that the Premier made it public. I read it that night.

I say to the Member for Eagle River that he probably has not read it yet. He is probably going to get his notes from the member for Port de Grave who will give him a critique. I say to the hon. Member for Eagle River that the caucus was expected to take a long period of time this morning but it did not take as long as it was suppose to, and maybe it was because the Premier was not there for the members to get their hooks into him about this, those of them who have read it. I have two or three main concerns with this Provincial Government's proposal. We have maintained for the last fifteen or twenty years that the Province should have more say and more control over our fishery. We have all maintained that. I have not heard too many people in the Province, particularly those in elected office, whether it be federal, provincial, or municipal say opposite. Everyone is pretty unanimous that we do not have enough say over our most important and most traditional industry, the fishery.

The few things we do have control over, processing, once fish is landed in our ports it falls under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Government, the processing end of things. The issuing of processing licences falls under the management of the Province. In this proposal the Province is suggesting and proposing to give that processing authority over to a joint management board, a Federal/Newfoundland joint management board. Now, my question is: why would this Province, with the little authority that we have over our most important industry, give that over to a joint management board? Why would we want to do it? Why would we want to give the policy decisions of the Fisheries Loan Board over to a joint federal management board, I ask members opposite? Do not tell me you do not have concerns about that. I am sure most of you do. Those of you who do not have a background in the fishery, and I suppose there are some among you, a minority that do not deal with fishery problems on a daily basis, perhaps I can understand those people not understanding the issue here and not being concerned about it. But if you are dealing with fishermen on a daily basis like I am, and which most members of this House are, then you understand the importance. If you are out in the rural communities of this Province trying to get some small form of processing facility going to create ten, twelve or fifteen jobs, then you know how important it is for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to have control over the processing end of things. But, can you imagine trying to start some little processing facility out in some small community now, and you have to go to the Joint Management Board? Can you imagine it? Especially when that Joint Management Board is setting the policy.

I will tell you what jumped out at me in this document when I read it. I could smell it all the way through it. It is further rationalization of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery. Further rationalization, I say to members opposite. We all know where we have gone in the last eleven or twelve years with rationalization in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery. Well, this document is going to encourage more. It is talking about processing capacity. We will go back to the days of Michael Kirby when he talked about how we had too much processing capacity. Well, hidden in this there are overtones of Michael Kirby.

It talks about availability of resource. You know what it is insinuating? Again, that we have too much processing capacity for the amount of resource available. What does that mean to members opposite? I know what it means to me, that some of the processing capacity is going to have to go. We are going to wipe out another number of Newfoundland and Labrador communities. That is what is hidden in here. And if you give that off to the lap of a bunch of unelected, unaccountable people, joint appointments, by the way, by the Federal and Provincial Governments, they can do the dirty deeds for you.

This Federal/Provincial board is going to have full control over the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery, I say to members opposite, and that is why I have been trying to pin the Minister of Fisheries down on the issue in the last few days. All the Provincial Department of Fisheries will do, Mr. Speaker, is re-issue processing licences where this board says they should be issued. That is basically all it will do. It will administer the loans to fishermen, but the policy will be set, all the policy for the fishing industry, by this Joint Management Board, and that bothers me very, very much, I say, because that is what the Government is elected to do. That is what politicians are send here to do, and governments and ministers and cabinets, to develop policy, and then the departments that the policy relates to carry out that policy. That is why there is a Provincial Department of Fisheries today, to carry out the fisheries policy developed by the cabinet of the government of the day.

Now, if you are going to have that done by a Joint Management Board you have to question, as I have done in the last few days, what, in the name of God, will we need a Provincial Minister of Fisheries for and a Provincial Department of Fisheries, and how that contrasts, Mr. Speaker, with the Liberal Policy Manual of the last general election, when in it - I forget the specific words - it talks about the Provincial Department of Fisheries and how it would become, I think, the key economic development department of Government. I believe those are the words that are used, or something similar to that, in the document on the fishery, that it was going to make the Provincial Department of Fisheries the key department of Government for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

What have we seen in the last two years specifically? We have seen the budget of the Provincial Department of Fisheries reduced by $5.1 million and now the Government proposes to give all of the authority of that Department over to a Joint Management Board. Now, that is what concerns me about it, and I say, Mr. Speaker, that we are moving in the opposite direction, this Government is moving in the opposite direction, to what most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, in particular those involved in the fishing industry, want.

I see the Member for Lewisporte shakes his head. He must be living in a different Newfoundland and Labrador than I have lived in for the last forty-odd years, I say to him. It is a common complaint amongst people, it is a very popular thing to talk about, that we should have more say over our fishery. I say to the member, in the 3No dispute that has been raging on the last five or six months, that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians think it is our fish. Isn't that what you heard? 'What are they doing out there catching our fish?'

AN HON. MEMBER: That is what he said.

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, this is all related to our fish. This is all related to our fish.

MR. PENNEY: (Inaudible) protect our fish.

MR. MATTHEWS: It will not protect our fish, I say to the Member for Lewisporte. It will do anything but protect our fish. If you look into the proposals here to govern stocks where the Government is anticipating that there will be other Federal/Provincial joint management boards, not only Newfoundland/Ottawa, but Nova Scotia/Ottawa. If you look at the tangle that is proposed in here to look after those stocks, it is unbelievable. We think the fishery is in a mess now, Mr. Speaker. Well if we get two or three agreements between any of the Atlantic Provinces and Ottawa similar to this one, if you think the fishery is in a tangle and a snarl now, wait until that happens.

Now I want to go back to what the Premier said in the Liberal document - the general election document.

No, that is not it. That is not the one that I am looking for. The one there where they talk about the importance of the Department of Fisheries and what it will become.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I want to as well, since this resolution is twofold, it talks about the House of Assembly endorsing and supporting the joint management proposal released on December 2, 1991 by the hon. Premier and the hon. Minister of Fisheries, and it goes on to say: " And be it further resolved that the House of Assembly formally oppose the federal proposal for fisheries management."

I want to go on record in the House once more as saying very clearly, very distinctly, and very strongly that I, as well, oppose the proposal put forward by the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with regards to an Atlantic regional agency to control the fishery. I oppose that for reasons that are similar to why I oppose the Provincial position because again that would be very complex, very complicated, and I think, again, will turn into a real mess. Indeed, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would then be directly competing with other provinces for our fisheries resources because even though, perhaps, as a Newfoundland and Labrador Province, we would have more members on the full board, if you add up the members on the board from other provinces in total they could outnumber us. I think that is a very dangerous game to play, and we on this side have notified Mr. Crosbie that we do not support it, and indeed we oppose his proposals to establish an Atlantic agency.

So we are on record. We have written him, he knows it; we have talked to him, he knows it; he does not appreciate it, but I say that is too bad. I say to the members opposite: that is too bad. I, for one, am not willing to agree with any proposal coming from anyone, whatever level of government, whether they are of the same or different political stripe as I am, if it is not in the best interest of Newfoundland and Labrador. On this one I just could not accept what Mr. Crosbie was proposing to do with the Atlantic fishery and that particular agency.

I want to leave this message with members opposite. Those who have read it - this document - those who have it and I hope will, those that may have some problems once they read it of understanding all of it because there are some complicated issues here, there are some complicated suggestions, you have to read it a few times, sit back and think about it before you read it again. But I really think that even if the Federal Government was to accept this, if we were to in six months time enter into an agreement with the Federal Government on this, then I think we are taking one major step backward, Mr. Speaker, one major step backward. I do not think we would be doing one thing positive for the fishermen and the fish plant workers of Newfoundland and Labrador by entering into an agreement such as is proposed here. I do not think so.

I think it is a very backward step because as we have said, if we could discuss with Ottawa, and if they were receptive to allowing us to licence the vessels that go out and harvest our fish, the two key elements that we need on top of the processing, and on top of the fisheries loan board aspect would be to be able to licence the fishing boats, and we would want to have the say over allocating our share of the total allowable catch. Now I think we all agree that the Federal Government has to establish the total allowable catch because we are talking other provinces and other people in Canada. But our share of the total allowable catch, we should be able to decide, as a Province, where it goes, and what user group gets what. If we had the say over that, if we could licence our vessels, we now have control over the processing end of things.

The only thing we could hope for above and beyond that would be that our fish resources, our cod stocks off our shore, would replenish a bit faster. If our cod stocks were in a healthy condition, and we could control processing, we could licence our boats to go out and harvest the fish, we could divvy up the allocation of Newfoundland and Labrador's share of the total allowable catch, then we would not need anything else for the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery. We would have all that we need. What else could we ask for, I say to members opposite who do not pay too much attention to this very serious problem it seems? What more could we ask for, if we had control over all those aspects of the fishery? We would not need a joint Federal/Provincial management board. We, as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, could completely control the fishery - our fishery. That is the real question that members opposite have to ask themselves as they read this, and as they debate this today and over the oncoming days, the ensuing days, and as their Government moves forward to try to get an agreement with the Federal Government on this document. I ask them to think about this.

I appreciate, I say to the Member for Lewisporte, that he has brought forward this resolution. All I say to him, in the resolution, that why I asked the Speaker to rule on splitting the vote is that if it was left together and we voted against the four, particularly if we voted against the two, I am sure the hon. member realizes - I do not know if he does though -

AN HON. MEMBER: You cannot support both?

MR. MATTHEWS: No. How can I support both, because if I vote against the provincial proposal -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: No, but if I do, or if other members do - if I say no to the provincial proposal, I as well say no to opposing the federal proposal, and I am not willing to do that. I want to say no to both. I want to say, no, Mr. Provincial Government, I cannot support your proposal. As well, I want to say to Mr. Crosbie, I cannot support yours either. So that is why I ask - what?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Now that is what I have just been talking about for ten minutes. I say to the minister with all due respect, that is what I have just talked about for the last ten minutes.

Go up to Ottawa and ask them to allow us Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to licence our fishing vessels to harvest our fish, okay, number one. We have control over the processing once you bring it to shore; that is ours now, okay. We can determine where and how that fish is going to be processed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: The minister. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The same way he issues his processing licences, he could issue licences for fishing vessels.

MR. CARTER: How do you feel about Santa Claus, Bill?

MR. MATTHEWS: I still believe in him, I say to the minister. That is what I think about Santa Claus; I still believe in him, because in Newfoundland and Labrador today there is not too much else to believe in. As a matter of fact, I found it hard to believe a few days ago when I saw a Christmas tree being lit outside of the building, because I was not sure that we were going to have Christmas in this Province this year. That is the only thing that has not been cut - Christmas.

In answering the minister, who was asking some sensible questions, I say to him -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Who what?

AN HON. MEMBER: Who would enforce it?

MR. MATTHEWS: Who would enforce it? Well, hopefully in our own waters we would not need to enforce it, but we could put observers on our boats as we have now. There are observers on our own boats now, do not forget. The biggest problem with overfishing, I say to the minister, is not inside the 200 mile limit, even though there is abuse inside, most of it is outside in international waters. The Province agrees, and I agree, that when you are dealing in international waters, it is an international affair.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who would enforce it inside of our waters?

MR. MATTHEWS: Inside of our waters? The Federal Government would enforce it. All we are saying is, let us licence our fishing boats; let us decide amongst us our share of the total allowable catch, that allocation; let us divvy it up amongst our user groups the way we see fit - the minister can do that, or his advisory group can do it for him - licence the boats; we control the processing on shore once the fish comes in, and what else can we want from the fishery, I say to the minister. What else would we want? Only that the stocks would get healthier so that our boats would bring more fish in, so that we process and create more jobs in our plants. We would not need anything more. We would not need anything more. We still need foreign fishing stopped outside of the 200 mile limit, but that is an international issue that we are very concerned about, and it is doing a lot of damage to our fishery, but that is what we really need.

I say to the Member for Lewisporte, there is just one thing he said, by the way, that I took exception to when the Premier said it probably a year and a half ago in the old Chamber - when he said that we cannot afford this, and we cannot afford that when it pertains to the fishery, and I just want to say this to the member, we cannot afford not to because our very survival depends on it. The financial position of this Province is directly linked to the state of our fishery more than anything else. If we had a healthier fishery, more fish landed in Newfoundland and Labrador, more jobs in our processing plants, more taxes paid, then we would not be having the $120 million or $125 million deficit this year, I say to the Member.

So it is all connected. You cannot just say: we cannot afford to touch it. And all the while we go through this 'cannot afford to touch it' bit our financial position in the Province worsens. That is why the economy of this Province has gone downhill the last number of years. Directly related to the state of our Newfoundland and Labrador fishery. I say to Members opposite that it was not too much for the Province to go up to ask the Federal Minister and the Federal Government to let us licence those boats. Was it?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: You have done that, you have done it? When?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible), 1977.

MR. MATTHEWS: I say to the Minister, 1977 he was tied up dealing with the Two Hundred Mile Limit, which was very positive, but again that did not go far enough either.

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

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. MATTHEWS: But having said that, Mr. Speaker, I will just conclude by thanking the Member for putting forward the resolution to give Members the - I think very timely - opportunity to debate a very important issue for this Province. I ask Members opposite particulary to read this document, peruse it very carefully, talk to those you know who are involved in the fishing industry. Because I sincerely believe that this proposal is a backward step for the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery. I cannot support the hon. Member's resolution.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased today to have the opportunity - as a long-time fishermen for the last nineteen years, I think it is very appropriate to be able to speak in support of this motion.

For a very long time here in Newfoundland we have been talking about having more to say in our management of our fishery. The fishing industry in Newfoundland is one of the most important industries that we have. I have seen it used as a political football every since I was a boy. Both in the Federal and Provincial governments. Whenever they want to win politics or win more votes they use our fishery for their own means.

What do we see today? A fishery that, when I was growing up as a boy, I went down on the wharf evening after evening and I saw the boats come in flat on the water. Every day as we go by it gets worse and worse. So that comes to prove that what we have been doing over the last years has not been right. We have had our Federal Government managing the fish stocks and we have had the provincial government managing it this way and that way. All we have done is tear it apart. We have devastated our fishery.

So I think it is about time that we come together and work together to manage the fishery of Newfoundland and Labrador so that we can have a fishery in days to come.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: Not for political gains! Not so the Opposition can get elected; not so the Liberals can get elected. Because we are here today and gone tomorrow, and maybe not so long as that. But I'm telling you that we have to look after our fishery in such a way that it will be there after we are all gone.

I saw down in Labrador like I said here, a few years ago, Nova Scotian trawlers coming day after day and night after night till they cleaned up our turbot stocks. You can go down there now and you cannot catch it in a five and a half inch mesh, because there was no organization to it. The Federal Government was sending down Nova Scotians to catch our fish and we did not know what was going on. We hear it on the news media day after day about all the foreign fishing that is going on and we wonder if it is true. We have planes out there flying around all day long, so why can we not have a video made of just whatever ships are out there so we can show it to our public.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SMALL: Say that again?

MR. TOBIN: I thought the Fishermen's Union were doing it.

MR. SMALL: The Fishermen's Union, is using the fishery for political gains, for their own political gains, so they can get more members to keep the ones at the top employed with the big salaries. I mean I was involved in it for years.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: I saw the fishermen's funds used to try to get the NDP elected and because I was running as a Liberal I could not get any grant from the Fishermen's Union-

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: - we saw the Saltfish Corporation that was set up to give a payback to the fishermen who caught the fish and salted it, that was used as a political football and used until the day it went bankrupt, so what I am saying is both levels of Government need to get their heads together and work out a sensible management plan. Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I would like to say a few words as it pertains to this resolution. I, like other members of this hon. House, have great difficulty with both of those proposals. When I look at what is going to transpire here if either of those recommendations was accepted, Mr. Speaker, it is again a step backward. I mean it is not political, it is like the hon. member who just spoke said, and I think this was his first speech in the House of Assembly and I want to congratulate him.

I want to say to that hon. gentleman that you spoke well and I am sure it was from the heart and I am sure also, that it was through experience that the words came forth, and that in itself is a major step forward in this Legislature.

Mr. Speaker, if we were to go along with the federal proposal, again we speak of a board, a board that would look after the interests of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Mr. Speaker, there has to be politics within any department of government, that is what it is all about, government is politics and if we take the politics completely out of the fisheries - I am not saying that it should not be motivated by some aspect of that, but not to take it completely away from the politicians. What are we elected for? What are our duties in this Legislature, if we have nothing at all to do or say about the industry that is the mainstay of our Province? An industry from whence we came, this is what our ancestors came over here for, this is what they landed on this Island for, to prosecute the fishery.

There is one part of our fishery already gone, Mr. Speaker. The seal fishery which was very, very important to our fathers and forefathers in general. I know my father was a very, very strong fisherman as it pertains to the seal fishery and the cod fishery and I find it heart warming I suppose, in being able to stand here in my place and say I was to the ice myself, three springs, and the experience that I gained from it was something that I could never gain from a book. My father was to the ice twenty-seven springs. I am not here to talk about the seal fishery but I am talking about our dwindling resources, our dwindling partnership in all resources.

This part of our livelihood is gone, taken away from us, Mr. Speaker, by people who did not know what they were talking about. I hear today that in Spain now they are trying to impress upon the economic community, the European economic community, whereby they still could retain some of the sports activities that they have in Spain. Now, those were some of the people who were adamant in destroying our seal fishery. They want to still be able to drive bulls until they die, bash other animals to death with whatever just for the sports sake of it. Those were some of the participants of the European economic Community that destroyed our seal fishery.

Mr. Speaker, if we let this board, if we let the powers to be designate any more aspects of our fishery to some board, members of which have no knowledge of and could not care less about the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, then this would be certainly a step backward.

Mr. Speaker, let us go back to the provincial proposals. The Province proposes to address the situation by saying that we will form this board jointly with the Feds and we will let them take over processing, licensing, and the loan board. But, Mr. Speaker, these are situations basic to the problems within the fishery, licensing, the loan board. How would someone jointly on a board, if the make up of the board was never established, be able to realize or visualize the needs or aspirations of some fellow who needs a boat down in Pouch Cove, or in Trepassey? How would this board work? No one has told us how they intend the board to work. I think this paper that was brought into the House by the Minister of Fisheries, sponsored by the Premier and the Cabinet, I suppose, but I say for the record that the Premier had the most to do with it, but after two and a half years this is a very meaningless piece of work. It does not address the needs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. It does not address the needs of our fishermen, our plant workers, or Newfoundlanders in general, because the spin-offs alone from our main industry affects every individual in this island Province, and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, what the Minister and the Premier are saying is that we will give away what we have had since 1949, we will give away the rights. But from the time of the Premier's predecessors right from the Smallwood years, what we wanted was more influence over managing our stocks. With the proposal that we have here today we are giving away what we had since 1949.

Mr. Speaker, I know there are hon. members on the other side over there who will vote along party lines but this time, for the sake of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, let us be reasonable.

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible)

MR. PARSONS: I would. I am a Conservative and I am saying now that Mr. Crosbie's proposals do not satisfy the needs of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. I am also saying that the Premier of this Province's resolve to the situation certainly does not meet the needs either of the people of this Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, we had one chance and every Member opposite who today is flinging around this paper, waving it and saying: this is the greatest thing, this is the saviour for the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery, this is it, this is the paper that is necessary. Everyone in this House should vote for it.

We had one chance to bring our fishery to the forefront and we fouled it up. We did not foul it up, but you did on that side! I am surprised when the Minister of Justice quit, gave it up, that they did not bring back Elijah to become Minister of Justice. His buddy. The Premier, his high-handed methods, and you are over there, tools of the Premier. That is all it was. When you defeated Meech Lake, which gave the fishery priority for the First Ministers' conference - at least to be discussed.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: At least to be discussed! At least it would be there on the table.

AN HON. MEMBER: What promise have you got?

MR. PARSONS: What promise do we have? What promise do we have now?


MR. PARSONS: None whatsoever. You gave it away! You blew it! A chance for prosperity, the only chance Newfoundland and Labrador had to become part of this great Dominion. With our greatest resource. The Member for Labrador certainly can appreciate the fact that we should not give away any more. I am positive the hon. Member realizes as well as I do that we cannot give away any more or we will have no say in anything. Does he really and truly believe that a board made up of whom we do not know - granted, there will be impartial people on it, I suppose, non-political - does he think that board would serve, would be the answer to the problems within the fishery today?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Well, at least what we have now, at least we have a little bit of control. We have all control over processing. We do, we have control - the hon. Minister of Fisheries smiles. Well, don't we have control over processing?

MR. MATTHEWS: We're supposed to!

MR. PARSONS: We are supposed to, yes. We have control over the Fisheries Loan Board, don't we?

AN HON. MEMBER: We don't have say in all of it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Say in none of it (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: We have say in none of it now if the Minister's proposals are adopted.

AN HON. MEMBER: You don't understand the stuff you read.

MR. PARSONS: I'm not reading anything. All I have there is the resolution by the hon. Member. I am not reading anything. I do not need to read when it pertains to the fishery of Newfoundland and Labrador. I was a fisherman myself, and I realize the plight of the people out there. I realize also that if some drastic steps are not taken where this fishery is going. Down the chute.

AN HON. MEMBER: Thanks to who?

MR. PARSONS: Down the chute. Thanks to who? That's the problem, thanks to who. It did not start with the Conservatives. It stared from the time we entered Confederation, because no one placed very much, if any, stock in our main industry.

MR. MATTHEWS: If Romeo LeBlanc (Inaudible) give away more fish!

MR. PARSONS: Oh, if Romeo had to get another stint at it, boy, we would be gone. We would not be here now. I do not know but Jay Parker was right when he said we all should be moved to the mainland. If we had to leave Romeo here for another four years then I think we would be all gone.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Well, that was true. Mr. Parker said that a great number of Newfoundlanders, that we could not provide for our people. They should be moved to the mainland. But there is not much up on the mainland for to move them for now.

MR. GRIMES: We have enough problems (Inaudible) you were against Confederation, you were against the school tax and now you are against this. You haven't been for anything in your life.

MR. PARSONS: Glory be. No wonder the unemployment statistics are 22 per cent. When I look across at the Minister and hear some of his comments, no wonder why - a big joke. It is a joke. It is not any joke with me, because I live down in a small community where everyone around, practically, are fishermen. When I go up the shore all I see are plant workers and people that are very sad, very sorrowful, as it pertains to the plight.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: I will tell you one thing. No matter what we are doing with the fish we are not in bed till twelve and one o'clock in the day. We are out there working, like all Newfoundlanders had in their heart and soul many years ago, and with some of it is lost today.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's different. (Inaudible) constituents.

MR. PARSONS: I look after my constituents to the best of my ability. That is why I am standing here today. Because there is a number of my constituents who have problems with both parts of this resolution. I have great problems with it. I am not like the Member for Harbour Grace, although I was involved with a union at one time, but I am not like the Member for Harbour Grace who has no experience whatsoever in the fishery, only what someone told him -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: - what someone told him, that is why I said to the member, the newest member in the House, that he came across to me today real well, because I found that gentleman a man who knew what he was talking about, not what someone else told him, who had a physical involvement in what we are talking about here today and that is what we need, more men who were involved in it and know what they are talking about. Not some bureaucrat, not someone who writes down something here, this is what you do and you read it and say is this true? Is this true, is this a good proposal? Are you sure now, you will bring it before the House? That is what we have here, the Member for Lewisporte today, did not have a clue - fine, fine -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) that is good.

MR. PARSONS: Now, we have a Minister of Fisheries who is a good friend of mine -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Yes he is, a constituent of mine, yes a fine gentleman but he has his head screwed on the wrong way when it pertains to the fishery. He wants us to go the other way, you have to take a twist. I mean you have tunnel vision that was given to you by the Premier. The Premier gave you this vision of degrading the fishery, that is what it is, degrading the fishery, reducing the fishery.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) that is why (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: What we do is very simple and it is that we have to go to Ottawa and try our best to get some of the things that we talked about enshrined in the Constitution. That is the answer to it, there is no other answer to it and what I said in the first instance as it pertains to Meech Lake, there was the answer we had. They talked about distinct societies, I do not hear the Premier going around now talking about distinct societies, that was his big beef at that particular time. That was his big beef but he forgot about the people because he was waving a wand to the people on the mainland from cape to cape saying I am the saviour of Canada, because I am anti-French, that is why, but he forgot about the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, he forgot about the people he should be representing -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PARSONS: - what in the hell was the difference to a fellow in Ming's Bight about the distinct society? The important thing to him was to get food for his family, which an awful lot of Newfoundlanders, because of the situations that are occurring now, have a problem with just putting food on the table.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did you support Meech Lake?

MR. PARSONS: Did I support Meech Lake? Yes, I did.

AN HON. MEMBER: What was in Meech Lake that supported the fishery?

MR. PARSONS: It said at least that it would be on the Agenda -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible) have a Constitutional discussion.

MR. PARSONS: You would be having Constitutional discussions on the fishery of Newfoundland and Labrador, but the Premier forgot it. The Premier forgot it; he was on the stage for the rest of Canada, he was performing but he is not performing today, because he knows now that Meech Lake did have some (inaudible)-

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)

AN HON. MEMBER: He knows he is wrong.

MR. PARSONS: He knows now he was wrong -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Order, please!

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, I get excited when I see some of what is written on those resolutions brought before the House, with nothing for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and if you people get up today and say either one is right that this is the right way to go, then you spell the end to our fishery.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not true.

MR. PARSONS: The end to the fishery. If we give some people from God knows where, the right to control our fishery, leave it with the Minister of Fisheries; try to improve upon his lot, that is what we always said, that is what we always advocated, that more jurisdiction, we do not mean surveillance, we are not foolish enough for that, but for licensing. And for God's sake, do not give away to some foreign, foreign to us board, to say if a fisherman down in Pouch Cove, like I said before, gets money to buy a boat - I mean bureaucracy is bad enough now but at least we have people on that board now who are Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, who understand the plight of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, who know the needs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Don't go set up some board. I mean, you were elected to do a job. We have the ERC now. They are looking after the economic situation in the Province. Now, we are going to set up another board to look after the fishery. Now, we are going to have another board to look after - What are you all being elected for? What are you doing here if you are going to give everything to the boards? Set up a board here, set up a board somewhere else. Let's do it ourselves.

DR. KITCHEN: I am 'board' to death!

MR. PARSONS: The old Minister of Finance says he is 'board' to death. He is bored to death, yes, indeed he is. He is bored to death because he doesn't care. But there are a great number of us in this hon. House, Mr. Speaker, who do care. The hon. minister couldn't care less. You see what he has done, the layoffs, the tax grabs. What does he care about the poor people? Nothing, Mr. Speaker, and that is what we speak about today.

In this resolution we find that both levels of Government have proposed solutions that will fix the Newfoundland fishery, that will straighten everything out. This is God's gift to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Mr. Speaker, I say to the Minister of Fisheries, it is a step backwards. I don't believe the Minister of Fisheries has his heart in this. Because I don't think he would want to sit in his office and have someone else dictate to him from a board that is at arm's length with the minister's department, and that is what it would be. I don't think the Minister of Fisheries would advocate that, in fact, I am sure he wouldn't. I have spoken to the Minister of Fisheries over the years about different aspects of the fishery, and he has a lot of good suggestions the same as everyone else in this hon. House, but the point remains, Mr. Speaker, we have not seen it in this - effective fisheries management is not in it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did you read that?

MR. PARSONS: Yes, I read it, and there is nothing in it. It is a giveaway. It is giving away the rest of our resource over which we have some effective powers. And for God's sake, in closing, Mr. Speaker, I say to the hon. members, don't pass something just because you are Liberals or pass something because we are Conservatives. Let's stand on our two feet. Let's be counted. Let's really show the people why we are here, to represent Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and to protect our greatest resource, which supplies directly or indirectly much of the funding that enables us to be here, the financial aspect, which is part of what Newfoundland and Labrador is all about.

MR. MURPHY: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, in closing, I say to the hon. the Member for St. John's South that he should use his experience, his weight with respect to the fishery, to influence his Government and the members of Cabinet. That is the only way we can go. The only way we can go is through the Federal Government to try to have some of the things enshrined in the constitution that this -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. PARSONS: In closing, I hope that we will all take a realistic look at this proposal, and govern ourselves accordingly, not by political ties. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I want to start off by congratulating my friend and colleague from Baie Verte - White Bay for, I think, one of the finest speeches I have heard on the fisheries since I have been here - no nonsense, no bellyaching, no puffing and blowing, just a good, hard, simple, well thought out, sensible speech. In fact, having listened to the hon. gentleman, and having observed him during the campaign when I had the privilege of attending some meetings with him, it is not difficult to understand why he got elected in that district, and I can tell you now, it is not hard to understand why I am going to be drawing on his advice and his considerable experience as long as we have the privilege to sit together in this House. I have more respect for the member than I do for a lot of other so-called leaders in the fishing industry, because at least he is speaking with authority. That gentleman, I would suggest, has wrung more salt water out of his mitts than some of our so-called leaders in the fishing industry ever sailed over.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: A good line! A good line!

MR. CARTER: I think that bears repeating, Mr. Speaker. The hon. gentleman has wrung more salt water out of his mitts than most of our so-called leaders in the fishing industry have ever sailed over. Now, think about it. I guess that pretty well sums up my feelings towards the hon. gentleman, a good speech, no nonsense, factual. I cannot be so charitable when I describe speeches made by certain other members. With great respect to my friend over there -

AN HON. MEMBER: Your dear, dear friend.

MR. CARTER: Not a dear, dear friend but a good friend. I must say that I was not at all impressed with most of what he had to say. He talked at length about what we gave up in the Meech Lake Accord, and he talked about his former leader having negotiated this big breakthrough, how he twisted arms, and how he cajoled his federal counterparts - imagine, he encouraged them and convinced them to put the role of the fisheries on the agenda. Now, just imagine, after forty years of Confederation, or whatever it was, up to that time, the great fathers in Ottawa consented to include fisheries on their First Minister's agenda. What a breakthrough! Your former leader got the word 'fisheries' on the First Minister's agenda.

MR. GOVER: After senate reform.

MR. CARTER: Yes. On the same agenda, I suppose, was the mover and seconder of the report, a few speeches by somebody, and also that other great revolutionary thought, senate reform. That, too, would have appeared on every agenda in the future of the First Ministers, senate reform, and the roles and responsibilities of fisheries. Now, I can tell you that the fishermen in Crow Head and Herring Neck, when they heard that because of the actions of our Premier, that the Meech Lake Accord had been squashed and that fisheries and senate reform would not appear on the agenda of future First Ministers - I tell you it was a sad day in Herring Neck.

AN HON. MEMBER: And the people wept.

MR. CARTER: Yes, and the people wept. It was a sad, sad, day, not to mention, by the way, what it did to the Dow Jones. I had a few dollars in the stock market in those times and I was frightened to death. The Dow Jones actually tipped bottom up and that, too, of course, caused some concern in Herring Neck, the fact that Dow Jones took a dip.

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder Newfoundland is in the mess it's in. The grandfather of the now Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the late Sir John Crosbie, in a somewhat similar situation in the old House of Assembly, in describing a situation, got up and said that the House and the country was in a state of 'chose'. Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt about it, it is no wonder that Newfoundland is in a state of 'chose', according to Sir John Crosbie. Because everything we do - if we were to bring in a resolution tomorrow supporting motherhood, there would be certain factions within the Province - and we know who they are, the habitual complainers, those that always complain and never have an answer to a problem. Most of them are from the other side, the other party, certain other so-called leaders. They have made a career of criticizing and knocking others who try to do something.

I was amused, by the way, when I read in the press reports here the comments of John Carnell Crosbie, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Let me see, what did he say? John Crosbie was talking to Jacinta Wall of the C.B.C. She was talking about the Newfoundland plan. Crosbie was talking about implementing a Newfoundland plan, and he said: It is not possible to do that without really inciting almost civil war-like situations between these five eastern provinces. You certainly cannot do it unless all provinces are going to agree, and it is quite clear that they don't.

Now just imagine! A few weeks ago, we talked about the need for Canada to extend jurisdiction to maybe assume custodial management of the resource on the Nose and the Tail of the Grand Banks. Mr. Crosbie used the same kind of reaction then, that if Canada would dare go out there and take control of that resource, as legitimate as our actions would be, it would start a third world war. That was Mr. Crosbie' prediction, that any action by Canada to unilaterally extend jurisdiction to the edge and the slope of the Continental Shelf would more than likely cause a third world war. He said the Portuguese and Spaniards would not accept it, indeed, he said, the Americans would not accept it.

Now he is saying that if Newfoundland dares get what it is entitled to, gets justice to which we are entitled, that it is going to cause a civil war in Atlantic Canada. Mr. Crosbie appears to be obsessed with this business of starting wars. But why is it that everything that Newfoundland wants, everything that we need or everything that we deserve, or that to which we are entitled, if we go after it, and if some other province does not agree with it, then we are being accused of trying to start a war? It just will not happen.

Now, then, I ask you, How many of the Atlantic provinces, certainly, how many people in Newfoundland, supported the Federal Government when it gave Nova Scotia practically 100 per cent of its defence dollars? How many Newfoundlanders do you think were offended by that, and how many people from P.E.I., New Brunswick or Quebec? But did that matter? No, of course not, it was Nova Scotia. So they went ahead and poured the defence money into that Province, overrode the objections of other provinces which were have-nots and could use that bit of input into their respective economies.

How sensitive was the Federal Government, for example, when this huge defence contract was given to the St. John, New Brunswick, shipyard some time ago? Did it matter to them that Marystown was going down for the third time and the synchrolift in St. John's was just about gone? How many Newfoundlanders supported that proposition? But did that matter? Of course not.

But it seems that every time we go for something to which we are entitled, every time that we want our rights, if some other province, or interest group in some other province, objects, then we can't have it.

Given that, I suppose the question that one must ask is: What hope is there for this Province? What hope is there for Newfoundland, if we are not going to get anything unless it is something nobody else wants, or something that all of the other provinces agree with? In the case of offshore jurisdiction, we are not going to be able to resolve that problem unless and until every other fishing nation in the world, even those that fly flags of convenience, agree to it. Now, how long will we be waiting for justice?

It is aggravating, it makes one angry, to think that our rights are being treated so lightly, and now especially by our federal minister, a native-born Newfoundlander. I could understand this, I would be much more understanding, if it were Bernard Valcourt or Tom Siddon, or maybe Romeo LeBlanc or Pierre De-Banné, any of those gentlemen, because I can understand that they are not native-born Newfoundlanders, and I would not expect them to have the same kind of affinity for this Province and the problems of our Province as would that other gentleman who is a native-born Newfoundlander, whose roots go back far, probably farther than most of us. Yet, Mr. Crosbie is quite content to use the standard argument that he cannot do that which is right for Newfoundland, his native province, because somebody up there might object.

Well now, what else is new? What else could we expect? How do we expect ever to get Portugal and Spain to agree to a unilateral extension of the Canadian jurisdiction, the result of which would deny them access to our fish? Now, if we are going to have to wait until that happens, well, then, I am afraid we are going to wait until a certain place freezes over.

I think it is nothing short of disgraceful. The gentlemen opposite - I suppose that, being in Opposition, they have a certain role to play. They are inclined sometimes to set aside what is in the best interest of the Province and only promote that which is in their own self-interest. They are now caught between a rock and a hard place, by the way. They can't support the Crosbie giveaway, they can't support the Crosbie sellout, and that is what it is. Crosbie's proposal is nothing short of a sellout. Can you imagine for a moment poor old Newfoundland having to sit in a boardroom somewhere in Halifax - and I can tell you one thing now, that the headquarters of that board that Crosbie is proposing will not be in St. John's. It will probably be in Ottawa, Moncton or Halifax.


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Probably Halifax, Moncton or Ottawa. You can be sure it will not be in St. John's - or in Newfoundland. So can you visualize now, if you will -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. CARTER: - a board meeting, Mr. Speaker, in a large boardroom somewhere in Ottawa or Halifax, where you have seven people. You have three Newfoundlanders, three, more than likely, Upper Canadians, or eastern Canadians, and a chairman. That board will be sitting down divvying up the loot. They will be sitting down, sharing the allowable catch, who gets what and where and when and how.

Now, given the fact that most Atlantic Canadians who have never fully accepted the proposition that Newfoundland does have certain historic rights to northern cod - they have never accepted that proposition. Because they have used the argument that codfish swim around, they don't carry passports, and it is difficult to identify their nationality. They have never fully accepted the proposition that Newfoundlanders have historically earned the right to have first crack at the northern cod.

They have also refused to recognize the well-established principles that even the Law of the Sea conference endorsed, the principles of adjacency, economic dependency, usage, and economic efficiency. There might be one or two others but these are the main ones, the main one, of course, being the principle of adjacency. The fact that the fish stocks are close to our Newfoundland shore certainly would qualify Newfoundland under the principle of adjacency. In terms of our economic dependency on the resource and on the fishery, who can question Newfoundland would have first call on the resource under that principle?

I remember a few years back, and I expect some members can remember, when a certain consortium made up of people from New Brunswick and Quebec, known as Nova Nord - the hon. gentleman from St. John's East remembers, obviously. Out of a clear blue sky they wanted to get their hands on a substantial quantity of Newfoundland fish, northern cod.

AN HON. MEMBER: They spent hundreds of thousands lobbying.

MR. CARTER: Spent hundreds of thousands, indeed, maybe millions of dollars lobbying, buying their way wherever they could find somebody who would be willing to be bought, to try to get access to our precious Northern Cod. I tell you, Newfoundlanders will never know how close they came to getting it. They came within a hairbreadth of getting their 20,000 metric tons to be caught off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador and taken back to their respective communities on the North Shore, or in Quebec, or in New Brunswick, for processing. In so doing then, they would have established historic rights. Now, when we get our new board in place and start establishing rights and divvying up allocations, then I am afraid that Nova Nord could very well have been a key player in the future of the fishing industry in this Province. That is what Newfoundlanders would have had to contend with. One single Newfoundlander sitting in a room amongst four others, representing a province that from a political point of view could buy and sell this Province, a Province like Newfoundland with seven federal seats - seven seats up against four other provinces with a combined total of what, in excess of 100 seats?

AN HON. MEMBER: One hundred and seven.

MR. CARTER: One hundred and seven seats in the House of Commons. Now I know enough about the way the House of Commons works to appreciate just how important it is to have a lot of seats up there, and to have a majority of seats. So, I guess to make a long story short - my time is running out - Newfoundland would not have stood a snowball's chance in you know where under that kind of a situation. Whatever chance we have, and I am not going to be naive enough to stand here and suggest that the proposal that we have put forward is a perfect document; of course it is not. Of course it has some flaws in it and it needs to be revised maybe in some cases, modified here and there - reworded. Maybe some of the wording needs to be dressed up -

MR. GRIMES: It is a great start for a proposal.

MR. CARTER: But it is a good start.

MR. GRIMES: It sure is.

MR. CARTER: It is a good start, and it is certainly better than the one put forward by the federal minister from Newfoundland in the Federal Cabinet, Mr. Crosbie. It is a good start, Mr. Speaker, and I believe one that is necessary. Now, probably more than any other member in this House, rightly or wrongly, and whether it is for good or bad, I have probably spent more time in the fisheries portfolio than I would say any other Newfoundlander alive today, in my two terms, and I have some idea the level of frustration that we have to suffer in trying to deal with the federal governments.

The Member for St. John's East Extern talked about Newfoundland abdicating its responsibility, handing over jurisdiction to this board. I should remind him, if he does not already know, that we have no jurisdiction right now, except for processing, the issuing of processing licences, the formulating policy on fisheries loan board loans - that is about all we have, and I gave an example earlier, a prime example as to why a board is necessary. In fact, I might have time to give a couple of examples. The Scandinavian long-liner program is a typical example of where the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing, and the end result being that the Province was $20-odd million worse off, in the hole, because of it - another Sprung - a floating Sprung - another fiasco; where the Government of the day, for whatever reason, and I suspect that a lot of it had to do with providing work for Marystown - that was one of the reasons. That thought did not escape the Premier at the time, and I am not against that. I am not against Marystown getting work, but I am suggesting that there were substantial subsidies paid on those vessels that inflated their costs over and above what we could ever hope to get to recover for them by way of a sale.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not true.

MR. CARTER: It is true. Those vessels cost well over $20 million, and I suppose if the Province today even had a fire sale we could not get more than a couple of million dollars for four of them. It is a shame. It is an absolute shame what happened.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. CARTER: May I have leave just to finish my story?

MR. TOBIN: No way, Mr. Speaker, no.

MR. CARTER: Do I have leave, Mr. Speaker?

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

AN HON. MEMBER: To clue up, yes.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member has leave.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I will leave Marystown out of it. I do not mean to be unkind to Marystown or anybody in the shipyard up there or my colleague who represents Marystown. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, that the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing.

The Province, for whatever reason, and I suspect some of it was political, decided to build five mid distance vessels, Scandinavian long-liners for a total cost of about $25 or $26 million. But they made one slight error, one slight omission in their plan. Well, actually two. They forgot to secure a licence for the vessels and they forgot to secure a quota for them, without either of which the vessels just could not operate and the $20 million would be just money down the drain. Do you know something, Mr. Speaker? Even this day there is one of those vessels without a licence, and the Federal Government will not yield, will not give that vessel a licence.

On the question of the quotas, yes they gave them a small quota, 1200 tons back in 1988, 1200 tons divided among five or six vessels, not enough for a good meal of fish and brewis for each vessel. Then they upped the quota one year, dropped it another year, and in the final year abolished it, with the end result being that that was the only user group in Atlantic Canada whose quota was completely abolished. In every other case, consistent with the reduction in the TAC, other user groups took a proportionate loss on their quota. The mid distance boats were just wiped out. Today, Mr. Speaker, we have four left, four beautiful vessels with good fishing technology but not able to make enough money to pay the insurance on them.

That is why we want the quota reinstated for those vessels, not to take it away from these forty-five or sixty-five foot Newfoundland vessels, but to take it back from some of the numbered companies and some of the political hacks in Nova Scotia and Montreal who are operating under numbered companies and who got quotas from their political friends in Ottawa, Mr. Speaker.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible). I do not want to interrupt the Minister, Mr. Speaker, but I would like to hear from the (inaudible). It is now four twenty-two and the Member for St. John's East I think is going to speak in this debate, as well, and to ensure that he gets his twenty minutes - and the Minister can continue, no problem, provided the Member for Lewisporte is prepared to give leave to the Member for St. John's East. In order for the Minister of Fisheries to continue, we have got to get leave from you for the Member for St. John' East, okay.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I will clue up.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. CARTER: I will clue up, as I started, Mr. Speaker, again paying a compliment to my colleague from Port de Grave and to again repeat that he has wrung more water out of his socks than certain gentlemen I know in this Province have ever sailed over.

AN HON. MEMBER: Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. CARTER: Baie Verte - White Bay.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in this debate to make my remarks about the proposal put forth by the Government, a proposal, Mr. Speaker, which abdicates the Government's responsibility to represent the people of this Province in the fishing industry. Mr. Speaker, what we have in the Government's proposal is nothing less than a structure without a policy. All we are talking about in this resolution and in the Government's policy is structure and rules. Where is the substance that would deal with the problems of the fishery in this Province? Mr. Speaker, you would not know but the problem with the fishery in this Province was related to whether or not the Province or the Federal Government had jurisdiction. We have not heard one single word in this document, Mr. Speaker, about how any decisions will be made, in whose interest they would be made, and whether or not, taken into account with all of the issues and all the power that the Government proposes to have on this board, not one word about the social fabric of Newfoundland fishing communities, Mr. Speaker, not one single word. Lots of words about efficiency, lots of words about competitiveness, lots of these Tory words that they probably picked up from Brian Mulroney and his publicist, lots of words about economic efficiency. But let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, what happens when you give boards and bureaucrats the power to make decisions about these kinds of things, because the Government sees it quite appropriate to abdicate to this board, created of supposedly independent people. I do not know what their social goals are going to be. They are not supposed to know anything about the fishery, they are not supposed to have any opinions about the fishery, presumably will not have any opinions about social programs and social needs of the people of Newfoundland either. Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, they will not have any notion whatsoever about the social needs of Newfoundland communities. Mr. Speaker, what they want this board to do is decide all matters of policy.

Now those are not my words, Mr. Speaker, they have said it here clearly that the entire array of existing policies which fall within its responsibility will have to be identified, and any future revisions or replacements of these instruments will be within its exclusive jurisdiction, exclusive purview, Mr. Speaker. As well, the board may choose to create new policies within a set of responsibilities to help achieve the overall goals of joint management. Well there are no goals. There are no goals, Mr. Speaker, of joint management here other than notions of economic efficiency. Anybody who wants to really think about it will have to come to the same conclusion as I have, and I will give this as an example: the operation of the Public Utilities Board. The operation of the Public Utilities Board when it came to the licencing and regulation of buses, trucks, commercial transportation in this Province. A power which has just now recently been taken away from them. I would challenge any member on the Government side of the House to consult with a small trucking company, consult with a small bus operator, consult with anybody who has had to deal with the Public Utilities Board over the last fifteen or twenty years when they had that jurisdiction which was taken away from them a couple of years ago, what their experience was. I know, Mr. Speaker, because I have talked with them, and I have dealt with them, and the experience of a small trucking operation with the Public Utilities Board was a total morass of confusion, lack of power, lack of ability to know what the rules were, whether they were going to get their licences, or whether they were not. I will tell you something else: those who had money, and those who could walk into the Public Utilities Board with a lawyer and be prepared to spend a couple of thousand dollars to fight off somebody else's application –

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HARRIS: Those people managed to get what they wanted, and the people who went in there opposing them without lawyers, and without the money to buy them, without the funds to pay for them, they, Mr. Speaker, did not get the same kind of deal from the Public Utilities Board because they were unable to know what the results were going to be; they did not understand the rules, they did not understand the procedures, they did not understand how decisions were going to be made. What we have here, Mr. Speaker, is a great idea for the Nova Nords, for the FPIs, for the big businesses, the wealthy corporations, and lots of money for lawyers. That would be the result of a policy in a board which the Government proposes because what you will do is you will turn each and every fishing enterprise, each and every fisherman, each and every fisherman and his boat, each and every licence into a combat zone for rules, regulations, and lawyers without any recourse except through the courts. Again, more money for lawyers and intimidating the small fishermen and the individual fishermen. That is what is going to happen, Mr. Speaker. I know.

AN HON. MEMBER: I do not like lawyers.

MR. HARRIS: The Minister of Development does not like lawyers. Well, that is his problem. I do not like giving too much power to lawyers. I do not want to see lawyers and judges running the fishery of Newfoundland. The fishery of Newfoundland should be run by the people involved in the industry, the fishermen and the Government setting policy, and not passing the policy on to somebody else.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. HARRIS: I do not see anything in this effective fisheries management paper that gives anybody the power to deal with the problems of the fishery. There is nothing here except to take policy holus-bolus away from the Governments and pass it over to people, the technocrats.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, I do not mind a little bit of banter but the hon. minister is engaging in some sort of personal attack on, I am not sure if it is me, but on somebody. It is rather annoying and I wonder if I could have a little bit of quiet while I explain my views on this matter?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. HARRIS: The minister is talking about punching out somebody's brains. I do not know if that is parliamentary. It sounds like a threat to me. I do not know whose brains he wants to punch out.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair cannot hear what the hon. members on my left are saying but I do know they have been interrupting continuously for the last few minutes so I ask them to please stop interjecting and let the hon. member continue with the debate. The hon. Minister of Fisheries spoke for twenty minutes and was uninterrupted. I ask all hon. members to accord the same courtesy to the hon. Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The problems of the Newfoundland fishery are well known to the people of this Province and are well known to the fishermen and to the fishing industry. This issue that we have before the House today in terms of the method of management does not address those problems. How does this management plan address the issues of fishermen who are unable to catch enough fish to support themselves even through unemployment insurance over the winter? How is that addressed in this management plan? What powers will this board have other than to decide who is the most efficient fishing enterprise? Those with the briefcases, the people who come in and argue economic efficiency in a particular enterprise will be the ones to get the licences, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of Development talks about the status quo. Well, perhaps the fishermen with $10,000 or $12,000 invested in the fishery, with a trap skiff, some cod traps and perhaps some lobster pots, he may have $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 and he may go in there and say: I want to have a licence. Somebody else will then say: no, I want that quota because I am more efficient. I am Nova Nord, or I am FPI, I want that quota because I can process that better, I can be more efficient in strict economic terms. He will have his economists, they will have their lawyers, they will have their experts to come and testify and this board, which is charged by this Government with the power to look at economic efficiency, the most efficient operation, will be expected by the technocrats to say, no. Obviously, this overcapitalized, or properly capitalized enterprise will have more success in strict economic terms, the factory freezer trawlers, the larger vessels, the ones that are going to be able to deal with the economic arguments, able to deal with these boards, they are the ones who will be given the licences, they are the ones who will be getting the quota and we will be told once again that the poor fisherman, well, it is just not economic for him to be fishing. He should be doing something else. He really should not be in the fishery after all, Mr. Speaker, he should really be doing something else. And the Premier will stand in this House and sanctimoniously say, 'Well, we have given the authority to manage this enterprise to this board and we must let them do it.' That is what he will say. I can hear him saying it now. So, Mr. Speaker, what we have here is once again structure when we need policy and we need leadership and neither this Government, nor the Government of Canada, is providing that.

We have a fundamental problem in the fishery which has to do with the size of the resource, the size of the biomass available for harvesting. It is a fundamental problem in the fishery today and everybody knows that, but what is being done about it? What needs to be done is that there has to be established, a reasonable goal for the appropriate size of the fishery resource, the biomass, and there has to be put into place, a very serious and perhaps strict conservation approach to allow us to reach that goal. And while we are doing that - and the Member for Eagle River will support this, his Government might not but he will - while we are working towards that goal, there must be a massive and political commitment at both levels of Government to ensure that the communities and the fishing families, that is, the fishermen, the fisherwomen, the plant workers and their families, will still be around, that the social fabric of those communities will be protected until that resource is rebuilt to an appropriate size. And that requires - the Member for Eagle River has elements of this policy himself, he really believes, because he put a Private Member's resolution a couple of weeks ago, talking about a guaranteed annual income. That might be a bit hard to sell in this country right now and it might not come in. But, perhaps, if his Government had a policy which was clear and specific about how large the resource ought to be and what is required for a period of perhaps five, perhaps ten, perhaps fifteen years, to guarantee that if the families and communities that are dependent on the fishery are going to be around and be able to sustain themselves during the period it will take for that biomass resource to build up, that is the kind of policy that is required. But this Government has said nothing about that.

The Federal Government - with all due respect to Mr. Crosbie and his efforts, misguided though they may be from time to time, he knows that the Official Opposition's counterparts in Ottawa are not prepared to support that. They are not prepared to support the fishing families and the fishing communities of Newfoundland for a period of time that is required to rebuild that resource, but this Government is not even fighting for it. This Government has not said, Here is our plan for the fisheries. What they have said is, Here is our plan for rules and regulations and lawyers and appeals to courts, put it away from us, take it, we do not want to have responsibility, we are not prepared to make the hard decisions, we want to give it over to some board of technocrats so we can blame it on them when things go wrong. Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I did not hear the speech of the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay. I regret that I did not. I will read it. I promised him that I will read it in Hansard.

But I know, Mr. Speaker, that the individual fisherman in this Province, who has had a problem with a quota or was needing a few extra days of fishing to try to make it through the season because of a particular economic problem, or problems with weather, or a problem with his own individual resource, his own individual enterprise; I know that he and many others in the fishery have had to go the political route, whether provincially or federally, to get special consideration. And they have gotten it, not always, but at least there was a process, some flexibility there that would allow political pressure to be put, and maybe some favouritism. The Minister of Fisheries has talked about this. We all know what goes on sometimes in the back rooms. We saw it when Mr. Siddon was the Minister of Fisheries. We had special licenses in Nova Scotia, we saw special licenses for this and experimental licenses for that, and God knows what went on or how they got them. I understand that. I think I am sympathetic to that, but all that has to stop.

There has to be, Mr. Speaker, some flexibility in the system, not the kind of flexibility or inflexibility that we see in public boards, such as the PUB or the CRTC, which is just another playground for lawyers, Mr. Speaker. We do not need to do that to our fishery. We need to have a sensible policy that we are prepared to go to the wall to fight for, to say, Mr. Speaker, that there has to be a policy, a commitment, to saying the fishery is what makes Newfoundland what it is. If we don't have a policy which supports those communities and guarantees that life in those communities can continue, then we have no policy at all.

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

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. HARRIS: By leave, Mr. Speaker?

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, hon. members have been kind enough to offer me a couple or three minutes -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. HARRIS: - to clue up, so I will use a couple or three minutes to clue up.

I do want to say, Mr. Speaker, that in terms of the -

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

Does the hon. member have leave?

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, he has three minutes.

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

MR. BAKER: Yes, Mr. Speaker, he has the time to finish up, but I do not want him to take very much time.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave, the hon. member may finish up his remarks.


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

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, I understand I have the same amount of leave as the Minister of Fisheries had.

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to take up too much more of the time of the House, but I would want to clue up my remarks by saying I have a grave concern about the absence of a policy for what would be done with the jurisdiction that this Government wants to have over the fishery. I see no account taken of the current reality of the fishery in these proposals, and I see no respect, Mr. Speaker, for the needs of fishing communities and fishing families. When I say fishing families I mean the fishermen, the plant workers and their families who must live in these communities and try to sustain their way of life until a commitment can be made to bring back the fishery to the point where Newfoundlanders can continue to rely on it, as they have tried to do and struggled to do for the past 400 years.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. PENNEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I must apologize, Mr. Speaker, I did not realize that you had already recognized me.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to clue up this debate this evening. I would say to all hon. members on both sides of this House that this is probably one of the most important resolutions that has been debated in this House, at least since I have been a member. I would suggest that it is too important for us to play politics with, and I would suggest to members opposite that when the time comes for them to vote on this resolution, in a few minutes time, that they consider the implications of not supporting what is the best proposal to be brought before this House on fisheries management probably in the history of the fishery of this Province.

As I said, nothing is more important to this Province's economy than the fishery, when we had 38,000 in 1989 involved in the fishery, 15 per cent of the total labour force and, of course, when you recognize that the spinoff will probably represent a multiplier of another 1.5 per cent. That is a large percentage of the labour force involved in the fishery. I was really impressed with the presentation made by my hon. colleague from Baie Verte - White Bay.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: He was speaking with all sincerity about a topic that he knows very well. As the Minister of Fisheries said, he has wrung a good bit of salt water out of his mitts. I respect that. He represents the true experts in the fishing industry, and it is about time we started paying attention to people like him. I would suggest to you that regardless of what Mr. Cashin might have you think or what Mr. Crosbie might have you think, the hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay is more of an expert than either of those other two gentlemen.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: I can remember growing up in the little community of Indian Islands when my dad was engaged in the fishery. I can remember when he would leave with the other five crewmen on that boat morning after morning and come back with the boat loaded with fish. He would be working until quite late at night processing them. We didn't call it processing then, it was just cleaning, splitting, salting them, washing and drying. It was processing, nevertheless. But the fish were there then. They only needed ten or twelve fish to make 100 pounds. Anybody here who has been involved in the fishery in the last few years will attest to the fact that now,in order to make 100 pounds, you probably need 100 fish.

We had a situation around Fogo Island this year. The hon. the Member for Fogo should be able to confirm what I am about to say. The fish did not come to the island until quite late. It looked like it was going to be a disaster for the fishery.

MR. WINSOR: It was.

AN HON. MEMBER: Sure, he doesn't know.

MR. PENNEY: Well, he should know.

MR. WINSOR: It was, I said.

MR. PENNEY: It looked like it was going to be a disaster for the fishery, then all of a sudden the fish struck. In unprecedented numbers the fish struck Fogo Island - unprecedented numbers.


MR. PENNEY: They had not seen the like of it for years and years. But the scientists tell us there was not one that had reached maturity, not one in the entire catch that was old enough to spawn.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: I will resist the temptation to comment on that.

Now, instead of having ten to twelve fish making 100 pounds, we have 112 to 120 fish to make 100 pounds. That is unacceptable, totally unacceptable, Mr. Speaker. But we must recognize the importance of the fishery to this Province. It represents the very backbone of the economy of 600 communities around the coast of this Province, 600 communities that are totally dependent on the fishery. That is why I say that this is probably one of the most important resolutions to be brought to the House of Assembly in two and a half years.

MR. MATTHEWS: Can you make the fish spawn?

MR. PENNEY: No, but we must bring in some kind of a management system where we can properly manage the little bit we have left, and it is about time that somebody recognized that fact. I am quite interested in one of the things that our hon. friend for St. John's East recommended some time ago, that if the NDP formed the Government here Mr. Cashin would be it's Minister of Finance. What a formula for disaster. Can you imagine that? As if we did not have problems enough. I would like to go back and comment on a couple of -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. PENNEY: - the debating issues that were brought up when the hon. Member for Grand Bank spoke. He said, why give policy decision on the Fisheries Loan Board to the joint management board? Why should we as a Government give the - I think he said, policy decisions of the Fisheries Loan Board, to the joint management board? That is not so I tell the hon. member. The board will be responsible for the administration only. All policy must be approved by the ministers. They talk about their being no accountability. That is not so. There will be total accountability because this board will have to answer to two ministers. As a matter of fact what this joint management board would do in the areas of policy is act as a fisheries advisory board, that is what it would be, advising both minsters, the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the provincial Minister of Fisheries. They talk about us turning over responsibilities to an unelected and unaccountable group. I remind hon. members again that is not so. This board would be totally accountable to the ministers, but we recognize as well that simply because an individual is elected to sit here in the House of Assembly does not make him an expert on anything because there are an awful lot of examples sitting over there on the other side of the House, I do not know what they would be expert in but the fact that we have a member elected and we make him a minister of a particular department does not make him an expert.

But there are experts out there who we should be listening to and these are the people who must go on those boards. We should be listening to people like the hon. Member for Baie Verte - White Bay. We should be paying more attention to the experts. We should be making decisions with no political overtones. We should be making the decisions up front in an open manner with a lot more - I like the word in the report, transparency.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: Yes, and I would suggest that the general public sees through what has been happening in the last few years and that is why they are going to welcome this with open arms. The entire industry.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition suggested that: we are abrogating the fisheries responsibility. That is a quote taken from a newspaper article. I would suggest that what we are doing is recognizing our responsibility as a Government, not abrogating our responsibility. We are recognizing our responsibility to the fisheries industry and to those who must earn a living from that resource. We are recognizing our responsibility to manage it properly, and for the first time a proper management proposal has been tabled. That is what we are doing.

This is a board - I must remind hon. Members - that will be comprised of an equal number of members from the Federal and Provincial counterparts. Equal number. There will be a chairman, mutually acceptable to both parties, a neutral chairman. Then they talk about a veto power. How can there be a veto power? That is nonsense.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition says: it is almost a return to the Commission of Government days. I cannot resist the temptation to comment on that one. In 1934 we lost all legislative authority. Isn't there anybody over there who did any kind of political courses at all? Isn't there anybody over there who knows anything about political history? In 1934 we lost legislative authority.

MR. GRIMES: The Leader of the Opposition did but he failed it.

MR. PENNEY: He failed his course, did he? He must have, because he is the person who said this. I would suggest to you that we did not give anything away then because it was taken from us in exchange for paying our bills. Let me remind Members what Mr. Peckford said a little while ago: if proper management isn't brought into this government, if somebody doesn't start to manage this Province properly, it will be 1934 all over again.

That is what we are not prepared to see happen.

The hon. Member for Grand Bank says we must have jurisdiction.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: Yes you did. We must have jurisdiction, and he pointed at me and said: the Member for Lewisporte says that we cannot afford, and then he says, but I would remind the hon. member that we cannot afford not to - cannot afford not to. I wonder does he realize how many dollars it cost to run the program last year? Seven hundred and sixty million dollars. Seven hundred and sixty million dollars.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who paid for that?

MR. PENNEY: Who paid for that? You want an education in that too, do you?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair wants to insist again that all hon. members use proper decorum in the House. If a member wants to ask a question, the proper procedure is to stand and ask the member if he would permit a question, rather than shouting without any discretion across the House.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the member may continue.

MR. PENNEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Seven hundred and sixty million dollars is what it cost. Seven hundred and sixty million dollars. Now the portion of that responsible for surveillance on the east coast of Canada, $500 million. Five hundred million dollars.

Now if members opposite know something that we do not about a pot of money somewhere, I am sure the Minister of Finance, the President of Treasury Board, would love to have you share that information with us.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PENNEY: But he says we cannot afford not to go spend the money we do not have. That was the attitude in the 1920's that got us into the problem. That has been the attitude of the Tories for the last seventeen years, and apparently nothing has changed. Fortunately, the people in this Province had the good sense to change the administration two and a half years ago, and they elected a Government that had the good sense to bring in a management proposal that is going to save the fishery.


Mr. Speaker, I recognize that this position paper is not perfect. I would ask hon. members to pay attention for a second now. I only have a couple of minutes left. If they would just pay attention for just a second. I recognize that this is not perfect. I recognize that there are going to be things that we would have to compromise on and change, but this is the beginning. I would remind members opposite if they want to read the first page, it says: 'The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will use this proposal as a basis for discussion with the Federal Government, Industry, Labour and other affected groups. Out of these discussions we hope a consensus will emerge on the most effective way to build an open, efficient and integrated fisheries management system.' It does not necessarily have to be what is in here, but it is going to have to be some kind of a joint management program, and this is the beginning of it.

By having a joint management board, what we will have done is effectively have taken the ministers out of a position of having to be concerned with day to day administration. They should not have their valuable time taken up signing licenses. They should be able to spend their time more effectively. And I would suggest that emphasis has to be placed on utilization, proper processing of our underutilized species, secondary processing, value added processing, and we have to be very careful that we recognize that we can no longer afford to have our raw material from the fisheries industry being sent out of this Province to be processed so that they can sell it back to us. It is about time that is stopped.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PENNEY: And if we could get this out of the political arena and put it into sound, proper management, I think we could see that.

AN HON. MEMBER: In conclusion -

MR. PENNEY: In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I implore all hon. members on both sides of the House, to support this resolution as read into the record earlier today. Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Is the House ready for the question?

Proposition number one, which is giving its approval to policies adopted by the Premier and the hon. the Minister of Fisheries: All those in favour, please say, "Aye".


MR. SPEAKER: Those against "Nay."


MR. SPEAKER: Proposition number two, which is related to the hon. Mr. Crosbie's and Federal Government's proposition: All those in favour of that particular proposition, please say, "Aye."


MR. SPEAKER: Those against, "Nay."

AN HON. MEMBER: Division

MR. SPEAKER: Call in the members.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Proposition two, which says: "AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the House formally oppose the federal proposal for fisheries management."

All those who agree with this resolution, please stand.

The hon. the President of the Council; the hon. the Minister of Development; the hon. the Minister of Health; the hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture; the hon. the Minister of Social Services; the hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy; the hon. the Minister of Fisheries; the hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations; Mr. L. Snow; Mr. K. Aylward; the hon. the Minister of Justice; the hon. the Minister of Finance; the hon. the Minister of Education; the hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs; Mr. Ramsay; Mr. Crane; Mr. Penney; Mr. Noel; Mr. Murphy; Mr. Dumaresque; Mr. Walsh; Mr. Short; Mr. Langdon; Mr. Oldford; Mr. Small; Mr. Matthews; Mr. Tobin; Mr. Doyle; Mr. Hodder; Mr. Woodford; Mr. Parsons; Mr. S. Winsor; Mr. Warren; Mr. Harris.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Clerk.

CLERK (Mr. Noel): Thirty-four in favour.

MR. SPEAKER: I declare the motion carried.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind hon. members that tomorrow, we are back to Bill 50, this rather interesting debate we are having on Bill 50 in committee stage.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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