March 10, 1992                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS              Vol. XLI  No. 3

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, again this year Newfoundland fared extremely well at the Gemini Awards that were handed out Sunday night in Toronto by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

Actor-Director-Writer Gordon Pinsent was the recipient of the John Drainie Award which recognizes his significant contribution to Canadian Broadcasting. Mr. Pinsent, a native of Grand Falls (now Grand Falls-Windsor) is one of Canada's few film stars and a film star of international structure. He is a man of many talents.

Additionally, on Sunday night, the comedy series CODCO, produced for CBC by Salter Street Films won the Gemini for best comedy series after taking best variety series in 1990 and best comedy series in 1989.

CODCO including Andy Jones, Cathy Jones, Greg Malone, Tommy Sexton and Mary Walsh also won the award for the best writing in a comedy or variety program or series.

I think Mr. Pinsent and CODCO once again brought distinction to themselves and to their Province and as Minister Responsible for the Arts, I would like to move that they receive an expression of congratulations from the House of Assembly.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for sending over a copy of his statement well in advance. I hope other ministers will follow his lead in that regard. Knowing Gordon Pinsent, of course, and hearing of this latest reward is no surprise to me, and I guess it is no surprise to anybody in the Legislature, and indeed in the Province as they would be very aware that Gordon Pinsent is a man of many talents, tremendous talent, and has done a lot, I think, to bring Newfoundland and Labrador's name to the forefront simply by being a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador, but more specifically Grand Falls ward now. Secondly, CODCO has also earned a tremendous reputation for the work they have done over many, many years, and we want to join with the minister in expressing our congratulations to both these groups.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, I might take the opportunity to note that in recent days there have been a number of programs on CBC television for example, in an arts program in the entertainment section of one of their evening broadcasts, talking about the arts and a number of artists have recently been interviewed and talked about the lack of support they seem to be getting from the present Government in particular, so maybe the minister, since he is so delighted to take the opportunity to take advantage of this kind of an occasion and try to somehow align himself with the winners, might also wish to put his money where his mouth is in the future, when it comes to the arts.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

MR. TOBIN: Andy Wells looked after you.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, on Valentine's Day, February 14th, the people of the Province will remember that the Hibernia partners announced a major slowdown of the Hibernia project until they were successful in finding new investors to replace Gulf Canada. We were told at that time that Gulf Canada was required by the partners agreement to continue to bear its share of the costs for eight months after the announcement and after their decision to pull out of the project. I would like to ask the Minister of Mines and Energy, then, when the minister and the Premier met with the Hibernia partners on the evening of February 13th, and again, February 14th I believe it was, in the morning, were they told then that the partners in fact would take the full eight months if necessary to find new investors to replace Gulf? In other words, were they therefore guaranteed that the project was going to continue and to be guaranteed for at least that eight-month period of time?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there are no guarantees. The contractual obligations between the partners require that Gulf continue to pay its share of the costs for 243 days from the date that they served their withdrawal notice, that withdrawal notice was served on February 4th. However, the process then started for what should be done to address this withdrawal and in the finding of new partners and there are decision points along the way. In the end, I would expect that if new partners are found - I would certainly hope that new partners are found - they would come in at the end of that contractual period of 243 days after February 4th, but I would hope and expect that they would find someone to fill that hole much sooner than eight months. My own concern would be that if it is not done within a shorter period that some decisions will have to be made much sooner than eight months.

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

MR. SIMMS: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

I was not asking the minister to explain the contractual obligations of the partners. We understood that very clearly. The eight month period is there, presumably assuming the project continues for that eight month period. That was my question. Did the minister and the Premier get a guarantee at that meeting back on February 14 or 13, or whenever it was, that this project would in fact continue for that eight month period? That is what I want him to clarify. While he is on his feet could he also tell us whether he or the Premier at that time were told that the partners would in fact review their own situation after that sixty day period that we heard so much about the last few days? Were they told that at that time?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, we were told that within a certain time frame they would have to assess what is happening with the marketing, and they would have to look at the various other decisions that might be taken at that time. It is not exactly necessarily sixty days, but it is a time frame in the order of sixty days plus a few more days in which they would have to decide on what options and what happens next. There are various things that would happen next from that date of withdrawal on February 4.

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

MR. SIMMS: Therefore I think I understand the minister. He is now saying that in fact they were aware of this sixty day provision that Mr. Hopper was attacked about a couple of weeks ago. I think that is what he just said. You were aware of it.

I want to ask him this question, because, Mr. Speaker, I can assure you, as your Honour is aware, there is a lot of concern out there about whether or not this Government has grasp of the situation. So I want to ask him this. I want to ask him this. Members can laugh afterwards if they wish. As one of the major investment partners in the Hibernia project, did this Province - did this Government - ask to be represented on the team that is put together searching for new investors? Did the Government ask to be represented? Is the Province an active participant on that particular group? What part in fact is the Province playing in dealing with that specific issue?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, the matter is an owners issue as per the contractual obligations when it comes to the team. However, we are participating the same way that the federal side is participating in dealing with the owners as they make their progress towards the marketing. Last week, officials from my department and others from this government were in Ottawa meeting with federal officials and the company team. This week, today, my officials and other officials from this government are in Ottawa meeting right now at this minute with the company team, reviewing the progress. They expect to be there for another two days.

We are part of the team in that regard, but the companies have two agents. They have Goldman Sachs internationally out of the United States, and Wood Gundy out of Canada. These two agents are working with them to help them in their marketing and to contact all possible targets worldwide. They are keeping us and the federal side advised at the same time in joint meetings like the meetings last week, like the meetings that are going on today. We are there doing everything we need to do, as the federal side is doing everything it needs to do in working with the partners to help make sure it is successful in finding somebody.

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

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

Let me just ask the minister again to clarify one thing. I asked him if the government insisted on and asked to be represented on the team that was being put together to search for new investors. Did the government make such a request? Did the government insist upon doing that, and is the government, in fact, on a team looking and searching for new investors? - not what you are trying to find out about what is going on with respect to the project, but the investors issue.

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, no, we did not insist on being on the company team that is doing the investing, neither did the federal side insist on being on the team that is out there doing the selling. That is the role of the partners in consultation with their investment advisors. However, we are playing the same role as the federal side, and we are regularly in contact. As I said a moment ago, last week, federal and provincial officials met with the company team, and in that sense, we are part of the team in looking at what is being done and what the targets are, who the targets are, and we are doing the same thing again today.

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

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

I ask the minister this: Has the Province, has the government established its own team to help try to find new investors? Is it doing anything like that?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, we have our team in place that has been on this subject from day one, not so much out there doing our own beating of the bushes but we are meeting with the company officials and the federal officials on it and reviewing the targets that are being identified by the investment advisors and the investment bankers. They are the ones who are doing the searching. We are there as a part of it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think I should direct another question to the Minister of Energy and point out to him that we are not in this like the feds. This is just another industry for the feds, but for us it is more than just another industry, it is a new industry -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HEWLETT: - the beginning, hopefully, of an industry that will help diversify our economy, a stated goal of the Wells administration.

AN HON. MEMBER: In 1982 you refused to sign the deal for fear of overheating the economy.

MR. HEWLETT: What deal? Taking welfare from John Chrétien is not a deal!


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

I ask hon. members to my left, please, to restrain themselves as members are asking questions.

The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I apologize for not sitting immediately as you stood.

I ask the minister this, seeing they are monitoring the situation rather than being directly involved. How many people are working right now at Bull Arm, and how many people are working in and around, say, the Avalon or the capital city, with regard to this project now that the slow-down has been announced?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I don't have the exact numbers on the employees working on the project in Newfoundland today. My understanding is that up to now, approximately 500 jobs have terminated, but there are still about 1,000 people working on the project in Newfoundland. There are still more than 600 working on the project doing detailed engineering in Montreal. We are in the 150 to 200 range working on engineering in the Paris office. There are still a lot of people working on this project and the companies are still spending about $1.5 million a day.

Last year, up to December 31, the total expenditures on the Hibernia project were $435 million. This year, the commitment at $1.5 million, approximately, per day is still to spend about $500 million on the project in 1992, which is more than was spent up to December 31, 1991. There is still significant activity going on with Hibernia.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Mr. Speaker, I am surprised the minister doesn't have exact numbers; not being a seller, at least he should be a good monitor. We have people in Montreal, we have people in Paris. I am concerned about people here in Newfoundland working.

I ask the minister this: Let's pretend it is June. How many people would have been out there compared to right now?

AN HON. MEMBER: Let's pretend it's 1982 (inaudible).


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy.

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, if the project had continued at the same scheduled rate of employment as was projected, by this time next year there would have been about 2,000 people at the Bull Arm site, and by mid next year, probably 3,000. Right now, because of the rescheduling, the total amount of work will still have to be done but stretched over an extra year. There is nothing going to be lost to us assuming that a partner or partners are found to fill the gap and the project continues. We will just get work for an extra several months, up to an extra year, on the project. The peak is what would be lower, but the total amount of work would still have to be done.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay, a final supplementary.

MR. HEWLETT: Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of small and medium-sized Newfoundland companies, contractors, literally hanging on by their fingernails for this particular project to move ahead, and all of the sudden, now, the expenditures have been cut in half.

Does the Minister's monitoring expertise have any indication of how many companies have gone under or are about to go under because the expected contracts will not be forthcoming in the near future?

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

DR. GIBBONS: To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Speaker, no companies have gone under directly related to the slowdown of Hibernia which started less than a month ago.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Development regarding the proposed sale of the Marystown Shipyard.

The minister, in the latter part of November, announced in Marystown, and let me say in good faith, that the -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, is that comment parliamentary?

MR. SIMMS: The minister! They are paying him $100,000 a year to interject, that is what they are doing.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair didn't hear the comment. If the member would ask that I make a ruling, then I will check Hansard, but I didn't hear the comment.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, before I was interrupted by the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs I was in the process of asking the Minister of Development a very serious question regarding the Marystown Shipyard.

The Minister announced in the latter part of November, Mr. Speaker, that the yard was to be sold to the Kvaerner Group, and the deadline was February 3 for the finalization of that deal. It was then extended, I believe, to March 3. I wonder if the minister is in a position to give any new information as to when we can anticipate the finalization of that sale.

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, and it is indeed a serious question because it affects the lives of the people on the Burin Peninsula and particularly the Marystown Shipyard. I take it seriously. The situation is, as the hon. member correctly states, that February 3 was the deadline. In the agreement in principle, Mr. Speaker, there were certain conditions precedent that had to be achieved by both parties in order for the agreement to be executed and signed off. Some of those conditions precedent the hon. member is familiar with. Investment Canada would have to be notified. There was a provision for an overrun on the Offshore Development Fund for the expansion of Cow Head which had to be signed off at both levels. There were water lease lot rights that had to be declared, Mr. Speaker, from the Minister of Transport Canada. There was the expropriation of some land and a number of other conditions. These conditions were not met. These conditions precedent were not met at February 3. Both parties agreed mutually to extend it for one month to March 3, and in that intervening time, eleven days later on the 14, as the Leader of the Opposition referred to, the Gulf pull out occurred and that cast a shadow across the project. We were notified by Kvaerner that they wanted to talk about the agreement in principle and that on March 3 the agreement would not be executed at that time and signed off even though 99 per cent of the conditions precedent had been achieved at that point in time. There were one or two, I think, outstanding issues, so as a consequence of that I notified the Chief Executive Officer in Norway. In fact he is in St. John's today and I intend to meet with him at 4 o'clock today to finalize whether in fact we have an agreement or not.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West on a supplementary.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. He stated: whether they would finalize an agreement or not. May I ask the minister then, whether he can give assurance to the House, and indeed to the employees of the Marystown Shipyard in the event that agreement is not finalized, whether or not the Government will continue to operate the shipyard?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I cannot give any assurances. First of all I have to have the meeting. Then I have to determine whether in fact there is an agreement still in place. My own view is that I would like to see the original agreement in principle. They may ask for some further delay as we observe this Hibernia climate, to see in fact whether new investors are brought in to secure that 25 per cent position. You know, and all hon. members know, that Cow Head is being build for the mechanical outfitting, the shaft outfitting, and that is a substantial portion of the fabrication that would be done in that yard. As a consequence businesses everywhere are watching the Hibernia situation to see in fact whether this will proceed, or whether new investment will come in, so from their business perspective, I guess, they are looking and saying: should we carry forward with this agreement in principle or should we delay it for a period of time to observe the Hibernia climate and to see if in fact this project will find new investment and carry forward.

I expect they will probably ask for an extension in that regard and then the Province has to make a decision. With respect to whether this agreement collapses and what the future of the yard holds, I do not have to tell my hon. friend the difficult financial circumstances this Province finds itself in. I do not have to tell my hon. friend the considerable debt that continues to sit on the books of that yard. What we are continuing to do is, as we move through this agreement in principle towards a final agreement, we are continuing business as usual. It is a very competitive environment out there. There are only three projects that I know of that are on the horizon right now and the direct consequence of work that would be garnered from those projects is very minuscule, so I cannot give any assurances at this time.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West on a supplementary.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I hope one of the projects the minister refers to will be a ferry for Fogo Island, but in any case let me say that in the same announcement which the minister made about the sale of the Marystown Shipyard he announced that approximately 200 employees of the yard would be leaving right after Christmas to go to Norway for training. Funding for that, I understand, was to come from the Offshore Development Fund but this has not happened yet. I am wondering if the minister could tell me if Cabinet has approved the funding for this training program and if he is in a position to tell us when the people will be taking part in this training program?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, my friend is quite right. It was our hope that 100 to 150 workers would be sent to the Norwegian yards at Stavanger and North for on-site training. What happened was we were waiting - and we said, that the company would be able to take advantage of all programs, Federal and Provincial, irrespective of the sale price of the Yard.

One of those programs they were looking at was called the OTTOP program which at the current time has a zero balance. So it would require the Provincial Minister of Mines and Energy and the Federal Minister to divert funds from the offshore development fund, the general fund, into this specific program. We only just, I believe three, maybe four weeks ago, received the actual compilation of the application for that program from Kvaerner Rosenberg. At that time I think they applied for slightly over $4 million in training. After our assessment we determined that the eligibility from that slightly more than $4 million was just over $2 million. So that is being assessed.

There is really no point in asking both levels of Government to proceed to divert funding into that specific program until we hear from Kvaerner at the table this afternoon to see where our deal is. If in fact there is some kind of delay for sixty days or thirty days or whatever the determination is, if we can agree mutually that the agreement of principle will hold true, then I would think that we would proceed with the diversion of that funding and try to execute that particular training component as quickly as possible.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Fisheries. A few minutes ago I saw the Minister reading today's Globe, and I see other Members opposite reading today's Globe. I would like to ask the Minister: what plans do he and the Provincial Government have to counter the very powerful advertising that we see displayed in the Globe and Mail today? "Who had cod for dinner? Not me." By all those seals. What plans does the Minister have to counter this very powerful advertising campaign that is undertaken by the International Welfare group?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to counter lies and this kind of false, misleading advertising. For the benefit of those who have not read today's Globe and Mail there is a two-page ad in the paper showing seals saying "Not me" when they were asked what they had for dinner. "Who had cod for dinner?" Seals saying, "Not me." Now I can only say that the author of the article, the people whom they are quoting, and the seals, are all a bunch of damned liars. I would hardly dignify it by commenting on it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. There are times I am sure when we have all felt like the Minister has expressed himself today. But the situation is that this campaign has begun in earnest and I say to the Minister: we just cannot sit back and let it happen without trying to counter it. Because we will have world opinion on the side of environmentalists, more so outside of Canada than within, and of course that is where our major problems are, with foreign over-fishing, are outside of Canada.

Let me ask the Minister again, because he did not respond: what plans have the Minister, his officials and the Government made to counter this advertising campaign by the International Welfare Organization?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I guess we have done many things in the past number of years, and in fact in the past few years we have spent over $5 million years promoting the seal harvest by seeking out markets for seal meat and other parts of the animal. That is pretty well the pattern that we have been following and will continue to follow. I do not think Newfoundland could possibly call for and defend a wholesale slaughter of seals, as desirable as that might be and maybe as necessary as it might be, but I do not think we could get away with it.

The Province has been trying, working with the Canadian Sealers Association and others - my hon. friend and colleague for Baie Verte - White Bay - trying to develop a seal harvest based on the total utilization of the animal. I believe if we can do that then we can get around the people who would use this kind of propaganda for their own benefit, I suspect, in many cases. Last year the Newfoundland seal harvest accounted for around 60,000 or 70,000 seals, I believe, all of which were just about fully utilized. This year we are hoping that maybe that amount can be almost doubled but again, I repeat, using all parts of the animal. Because while these people would successfully, maybe, get away with putting ads in the Globe and Mail and maybe picketing or threatening to picket or boycott fish from countries that are engaged in the seal hunt, I do not see how they could possibly succeed in raising that kind of protest against a province or a person or a company that is in the business of providing protein for the starving.

It is interesting to note the people in Eastern Europe, for example, are being forced to eat animals in order to stay alive, and it seems rather strange that we cannot find a need for that meat in those countries where people are starving.

So we are working, Mr. Speaker, with the governments, with all agencies of both governments, seeking out ways of being able to accelerate the seal hunt and properly utilizing all of the products therefrom.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I agree with the Minister, that we surely do have to develop markets and we do have to utilize all of the seal so that there is no wastage or as little wastage as possible.

Is the Minister telling me that he and the Provincial Government are going to ignore this campaign that has been started by the International Welfare Association, the International Agency for Animal Welfare? Is he saying today in this Legislature that he has no plans whatsoever, that he did not anticipate this campaign, that once again, as we saw yesterday and have seen for the last number of weeks and the last number of months, that this Minister has no plan to deal with this issue and is just going to sit idly by on his hands again and do nothing? Is that what he is telling the Legislature today?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I do not know what more I can say or do and how more emphatic I can be in trying to enlighten the hon. gentleman as to exactly what we are trying to do.

I might add, Mr. Speaker, that the Province is now about to embark on a public relations campaign across this country, one that the hon. Leader of the Opposition supported on the day the House opened and, in fact, offered his services and that of his caucus. I can tell him now that back about six or eight months ago that idea was conceived and we have since been putting it in place, an idea that came from an advisory council, Mr. Speaker, that had been appointed to advise me on such matters.

We will be, no doubt, in the course of that campaign, focusing some attention on this propaganda being put in the papers by the animal welfare people and others. We are going to be endeavouring to build up our own harvest. But, Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentleman is suggesting that we should go to the Globe and Mail and buy another two pages to counteract that kind of nonsense, well then I can only tell him that not only is the Province not interested, but I do not think we should even consider taking that kind of action. In fact, Mr. Speaker, to even recognize that kind of nonsense and malicious propaganda is to dignify it and I would prefer not to do that.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PARSONS: My question is to the President of Treasury Board, in the absence of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Mr. Speaker, St. John's City Council has asked Government to amend The St. John's Leasehold Act which was implemented in 1977 which gave the residents of St. John's the right to buy back their leasehold property at twenty times the annual rental value. Mr. Speaker, this has been held in abeyance for the longest time and people are wondering just what is happening to it.

I want to ask the hon. Minister what is holding it up. It is only a minor, minor amendment. And would he tell the people of Penetanguishene that he will see to it that this amendment goes through the House immediately? People are out there waiting. There is no need for the delay. I ask the Minister, would he do something about it?

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I will look into the situation and get back to the hon. gentleman.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Fogo. There is time for one short question with an appropriate short answer.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In last year's Budget Speech the Minister of Finance announced deferral of the Fogo Island ferry for one year. Can the Minister of Transportation now confirm that this delay was only for a one year period as was announced in last year's Budget, and that construction will take place this year?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As I explained to the representatives from the Marystown Shipyard when they met with me today, consideration of the Fogo ferry could be given in this particular budgetary process but no commitment can be made that in fact that ferry would go ahead until in fact the Minister of Finance makes his Budget Speech here in the House. We certainly appreciate the significance of the project for the workers at Marystown and for the people of Fogo Island. As I have indicated to them, consideration will be given to it but no commitment to it at this time.

MR. SPEAKER: In view of the lengthy applause, I will give the member one more short supplementary.

MR. WINSOR: At the same time last year in the Budget Speech, the Government also announced the elimination of the two ferry system serving the islands for almost nine months of the year. This system did not work in the past. It has not worked this year. Is it the intention of Government to revert back to a dedicated ferry service for each of the islands for most of the year?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works Services and Transportation.

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Again, this answer is dependent upon the resources which are provided to that particular segment of the department in the budget process. Changes to the Fogo service and Change Islands service will be dependent upon the amount of money provided through the budgetary process.

Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the accounts of Crown Corporations, Boards and Authorities for 1991, and, Mr. Speaker, while I am on my feet, I would like to table two pre-commitments. One is for the purchase and distribution of school textbooks in the amount of $6,500,000.00 and for the printing of public examinations and related materials of $103,000. The other is a pre-commitment for the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, totalling $400,000.00 against its 1992-1993 appropriations, to facilitate the calling and awarding of a contract to Burry's Marine Division for the provision of ferry services between South East Bight, Petit Forte and Little Paradise and, Mr. Speaker, while I am on my feet, I would like to table some special warrants.

The three special warrants, one for the Legislature in the amount of $255,000.00 to provide additional funding for communications and members travel expenses. One for the Department of Justice, a special warrant of $1,350,000.00 to provide for the payment of salary increases for correctional officers as a result of the award of an arbitration board, and to the Department of Social Services, a special warrant of $12,700,000., $6.35 million net, to provide additional funds for social assistance and foster home allowances. Mr. Speaker, while I am on my feet, I would like to table under Section 51, paragraph 3 of the Financial and Administration Act, a list of guaranteed loans paid out by the Province since the spring of 1991.

One for Eastern Ocean Products Limited in the amount of $200,826.42; Oceana Seafood Processors Limited, $1,827,630.56; Vokey's Shipyard Limited, $152,442.16 and another to the same group, $69,326.65; Torrent Fisheries Limited, $88,408.92; Baie Verte Mines Limited, $7,970,854.41; Cote's Mechanical Limited, $219,735.58; Great Northern Seafoods Limited, $1,016,876.24; Sop's Arm Fisheries Limited, $309,273.28; White's Fisheries Limited, $549,541.68; St. Lawrence Flurospar Limited, $3,421,968.09 and another to the same for $42,850.57; Regional Optical Limited, $104,597.19; Newfound Harvesting Limited, $3,142,475.30; Superior Logging Limited,$764,635.09 and, under the Fisheries Loan Board Bank Loan Guarantee Program, on behalf of William Short, $201,561.55. I will be glad to answer any questions related to that.

While I am on my feet, Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the annual report of the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation for 1991, and of the Department of Finance for the same year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to present a petition of approximately 400 citizens of Corner Brook. The petition calls on the Provincial Government to drop the three year old proposal to amalgamate Corner Brook, Massey Drive and Mount Moriah. In the five minutes available to me I will read the petition in its entirety and give a brief background explanation. I hope the new Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs will then respond on behalf of the government.

The petition, the recitals and the prayer are as follows: To the Premier and the Members of the House of Assembly, and to the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Corner Brook:

WHEREAS there has not been a proper study of the cost of the proposed amalgamation of Corner Brook, Mount Moriah and Massey Drive; and

WHEREAS the only independent commissioner appointed by the government to conduct a feasibility study, Hubert Harnett, Chartered Accountant, concluded that the government commissioner did not make a case for amalgamation benefiting the whole; and

WHEREAS the staff of the City of Corner Brook have estimated that amalgamation would result in a net additional cost to the City of Corner Brook after collecting taxes at full Corner Brook rates from Mount Moriah and Massey Drive of approximately $600,000 a year; and

WHEREAS almost all the citizens of Massey Drive and Mount Moriah are opposed to amalgamation;

THEREFORE your petitioners pray that the provincial government not proceed at this time with the proposed amalgamation of Corner Brook, Mount Moriah and Massey Drive, and that the City of Corner Brook ask the provincial government to drop the current amalgamation proposal.

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, this petition is of citizens of Corner Brook. The petition has been spearheaded by a small group of residents of the three municipalities: Massey Drive, Corner Brook and Mount Moriah. It was prepared three or four weeks ago, and these 400 signatures represent just two nights canvassing, one night in Humbermouth in the district I represent, another night in Curling in areas represented by the Premier and the Member for Humber West. What is significant, Mr. Speaker, is that almost all the Corner Brook residents approached signed this petition without hesitation. About 1 per cent did not sign saying that they do not have enough information.

The reasons Corner Brook citizens gave for signing the petition had to do with a concern that amalgamation will drive up taxes in Corner Brook, and also a reluctance to be part of coercing Massey Drive and Mount Moriah to join Corner Brook against their will.

Mr. Speaker, this petition demonstrates, along with other evidence, that the vast majority of residence of all three municipalities affected do not want amalgamation. People do not want amalgamation for good reasons, Mr. Speaker. First and foremost because this amalgamation will result in higher overall costs of municipal government. Now amalgamation is usually advocated when it will result in economies of scale, when the unit cost of providing local services will go down because of elimination of duplication or because of harmonizing the delivery of services.

In this case, Mr. Speaker, mainly because Massey Drive and Mount Moriah have relatively small populations for their territory, and because those small municipalities have a high degree of volunteer service, which after amalgamation would be replaced by paid services, would result in increased cost of municipal government.

Also, Mr. Speaker, the residents of Mount Moriah and Massey Drive believe that amalgamation would dampen the very special quality of life in their communities. Massey Drive, with which I am very familiar, has a great spirit. There is a high degree of volunteer citizen involvement in running the community, including operating a very efficient fire department.

So, Mr. Speaker, the residents of Corner Brook who signed this petition are joining with their neighbours in Massey Drive and Mount Moriah in saying to the Wells Administration: Please recognize facts, recognize that in our case amalgamation will drive up the overall cost of local government, and please leave well enough alone.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words in support of the petition presented by my colleague, the Member for Humber East. I am very familiar, Mr. Speaker, with the communities of Massey Drive, Mount Moriah and the City of Corner Brook, in particular, because I served with them on the Humber Joint Council there for years as a council member. I am very familiar, Mr. Speaker, with the level of volunteerism put into it by all those municipalities.

When the former Minister of Municipal Affairs came out, I believe it was in the Spring of 1989 or 1990, Mr. Speaker, he announced the amalgamation scheme in Corner Brook. In fact, that is pretty well where it was announced although it was at a Humber Joint Council meeting. Just after that the Minister announced it. It never really went anywhere. There was a lot of talk about amalgamating 140-odd municipalities in the Province and so on. Then it went into the Regional Services Board and some of the municipalities looked at that as possibly a way out. In fact, at a Humber Joint Council meeting in Jackson's Arm the former Minister announced some of the terms of The Regional Services Board Act that was being proposed. That has been passed in the House but has never been proclaimed and hasn't been gazetted as far as I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, unless something happened since last term.

This is the type of thing that would help a lot of those municipalities, rather than the amalgamation scheme. People in those municipalities do not want amalgamation. They have shown in their own right that they are determined to show some level of fiscal responsibility. They have proven that, moreso as of lately. They have proven they can run their municipalities in a very efficient way and develop their municipalities in a proper way that is just as good. Big does not mean better, Mr. Speaker. Those municipalities can run their affairs in a very competent and efficient manner.

This is where I think the department is wrong when they look at municipalities in the Province and say that - and I heard the Minister say it at a meeting in Steady Brook - the average mil rate for rural Newfoundland is nine mils. Now, that to me, Mr. Speaker, is wrong. You cannot just take an average. Massey Drive just recently has gone to ten mils.

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: And water and sewer hookups and so on. I mean, those are things that have to be taken into consideration, not look at the overall picture of just putting Massey Drive or Mount Moriah or anywhere else in with a larger municipality.

The thing I find wrong, Mr. Speaker, one of the most basic principles that I find wrong with the larger cities, and I will talk about the City of St. John's and, in this case, I guess, the City of Corner Brook, is that they are not letting their citizens know what it is going to cost the people in their municipalities.

That, to me, is fundamentally wrong. They knew and they know and they should tell the citizens, whom they represent, what it is going to cost them. Because it is lost in the fact that it is Mount Moriah, for instance, in this case, and Massey Drive, that are on the outskirts and should be in the larger City of Corner Brook. That is wrong, because it is going to cost the citizens of Corner Brook. I ask the minister, who is very much aware of the costs to municipalities in this Province, to take a second look at all municipalities in the Province that they have singled out for amalgamation. I am sure that he will find that in a goodly number of cases it is not warranted and he should turn it down, the same as he turned down a lot of other municipalities just in the last couple of weeks.

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. Just to respond very quickly and briefly to the hon. members who spoke on behalf of this petition. I have met with some of the parties involved, and, indeed, the Member for Humber, and have had some brief discussions on the amalgamation of the communities of which they speak. They have put forth very interesting arguments. I have undertaken, in this particular case, to revisit the amalgamation units in question, and if there are any fears that the hon. member or the council or any other interested parties on the subject of this particular amalgamation need addressed, I will address them all. Hopefully, in co-operation with the citizens and with the members who speak on their behalf, a unanimous resolution of the amalgamation subject, not only in their district but in other districts, can be met by more level heads.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


MR. HOGAN: When I am ready.

AN HON. MEMBER: When you're ready.

MS. VERGE: This year?

MR. SPEAKER: Orders of the Day.

The hon. the Member for Fogo.


MR. SPEAKER: I called Orders of the Day. Do hon. members agree to go back to petitions?


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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a petition to present on behalf of 127 residents of Island Harbour, located on Fogo Island. I will read the prayer of the petition.

It is to the hon. House of Assembly of Newfoundland in Legislative Session convened.

WHEREAS the road in the Fogo Island community of Island Harbour is in such desperate need of upgrading that residents served by the road are without proper access to ambulance service, fire protection or the delivery of basic supplies;

THEREFORE your petitioners urge the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to act without delay to provide the necessary funding to upgrade this road, as in duty bound, your petitioners will ever pray.

Mr. Speaker, the road in question is some fourteen kilometres in length. It is a road that serves two communities, Deep Bay and Island Harbour. About six kilometres of the road would serve both communities, and then there is a branch that goes to the community of Island Harbour, some eight kilometres in distance. For the past three years this road has seen a steady deterioration. There is nothing left on the road to grade. If you talk to the local department of highways people they tell you they can no longer maintain that road. It is in dire need of considerable upgrading. They have requested it on several occasions. During the spring and fall it is virtually impossible for vehicles to travel over that road without incurring all kinds of damage.

In addition to that, a number of years ago, a major school was built in the centre of Fogo Island to service the needs of all the students of Fogo Island. These students have to travel by bus often over roads that are certainly not conducive to the travelling public, whether it is a private vehicle or school buses. There is ample material in the immediate area that can be used to service the road, to bring it up at least to a decent gravel road standard. Obviously, the ultimate goal was to pave the road. We realize that cannot be done in a day or two days, but certainly some attention can be given to this road to upgrade it, to at least make it acceptable for the summer, and perhaps in the following year, paving could take place.

In addition to that, this administration in the last two years, has not spent one cent in Fogo district on the upgrading of roads. In 1989 there was some money spent to pave the road from Man of War Cove to Seldom. Since then there hasn't been a dollar in provincial roads component spent in Fogo district.

Mr. Speaker, if that is the fairness and balance that is talked about so much, then I think it is time that Fogo district is entitled to some of the fairness in the roads component, and I ask the minister, when he makes his allocations for roads, to certainly consider the Island Harbour - Deep Bay road as a top priority, since the road is in a deplorable condition.

MR. SPEAKER: Orders of the Day.

MR. TOBIN: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member, on a point of order.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, the Member for Fogo presented a petition, and I don't know if the new minister realizes it or not, but it is basically the responsibility of the minister, if he is concerned. Now, he has to be concerned about the needs of the people in question - if he is not concerned he does not speak about it. If he doesn't accept responsibility he doesn't speak about it, but he should at least have the courtesy to stand in this House -

MR. SIMMS: As his colleague just did.

MR. TOBIN: - yes, as his colleague, the Minister of Municipal Affairs did, just stand in this House and either support or reject the petition that was presented.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Just very briefly, I would like to point out that obviously, there is no point of order. The minister is not obligated to respond to any petition. The minister has not even seen the petition yet. It has not been passed along to the department for any kind of response, so the minister obviously cannot respond.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out the fact that the member has no support on that side. That surprises me.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

To the point of order, there is no point of order. I do not know what it is a point of, but it certainly is not a point of order.

I just want to tell hon. members again that we always run into a difficulty here. The Chair waited ample time for somebody to stand, and nobody stood. Then, obviously, the next duty of the Chair is to call - and that is what I did, I called Orders of the Day, and this is where it is. Orders of the Day.

MR. TOBIN: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West, on a point of order.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would be, indeed, honoured to speak on behalf of the petition presented by my colleague, if the members opposite would extend the courtesy for me to speak on behalf of it. Do I have leave, Mr. Speaker, as the President of Treasury Board suggested? I certainly would be honoured to speak on it. I would be very honoured to support it, and I will now ask the Government House Leader to put his money where his mouth is and to give me leave or not.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: To that point of order, Mr. Speaker, obviously, there is no point of order. Your Honour had already called the Orders of the Day. However, if the Member for Burin - Placentia West has an overcoming desire to speak in support of that petition, and if the only reason that he did not jump to his feet immediately was because he was asleep or something, then I would be happy to allow him the opportunity to take five minutes. I look forward to it.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the President of Treasury Board, the Government House Leader, for giving me the opportunity to speak to the petition. I can say to him that I was not asleep. I was eagerly awaiting the response from the Minister of Transportation so that I could -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact he was not asleep. He wasn't in the Chamber because I had to ask the President of -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I want to remind the hon. member that he is now speaking to the petition, and for the benefit of everybody we want to have the right decorum in this House. Speaking to the petition is not giving explanation now as to why the hon. member didn't stand. The hon. member is now given the permission to speak to the petition, and I read from our old Standing Orders which says: 92. Every member offering a petition to the House shall confine himself to the statement of the parties from whom it comes, the number of signatures attached to it and the material allegations it contains." It is quite clear. So I ask the hon. member, please, to abide by the rules.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. SIMMS: Members over there shouldn't be asking him questions.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Your Honour, I beg your forgiveness for getting carried away.

Mr. Speaker, there is something in the rule book, too, regarding interjections by members opposite.

MR. SIMMS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: But in any case, Mr. Speaker, I want to -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Hon. members know what we are into, we are into a petition. I am assuming hon. members are taking the petition seriously. I know the hon. the Member for Fogo thinks it is serious, and I ask all hon. members to afford it the seriousness and the gravity it deserves.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I sincerely appreciate your ruling, because this is an extremely serious issue, and I am glad that you brought it to the attention of hon. members opposite.

Mr. Speaker, I want to support this petition that has been presented. I think there were 116 signatures.

AN HON. MEMBER: One hundred and twenty-seven.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, this petition from my colleague's district, with one hundred and twenty-seven signatures, requests paving of the road.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Municipal Affairs is interjecting again, old pork barrel.

Mr. Speaker, I think that asking to have their roads paved is a fair request by the people of the constituency of Fogo. I know that the Member for Fogo has had several concerns. I believe he presented several petitions last year regarding the need to have the road in his district upgraded and paved, and most of the time it was met with scorn and contempt from the former Minister of Transportation, which was not unusual. But I ask this minister, who I believe has compassion, or I sincerely hope has compassion for the needs of the people in the Fogo district and other districts of the Province. I ask him, Mr. Speaker, if he would do everything possible to convince his colleagues of the necessity, when they are divvying up the funding, to practice what the Premier preaches: fairness and balance. Because it is important that when the ministers get together to divvy up some of the pies, to divvy up some of the capital works - and the Premier may or may not be there, Mr. Speaker - it is very important that this be done in a way that it not be referred back to the various departments because other people's needs were not considered. That is extremely important.

I will also say, Mr. Speaker, that it is important to people of Island Harbour to have the road upgraded, paved and improvements made.

MR. SIMMS: Island Harbour.

MR. TOBIN: Island Harbour. Now, Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Member for Gander is familiar with that, since he is a minister from that area.

MR. SIMMS: He only goes to Gander once a year.

MR. TOBIN: Seeing he is a minister from that area, I would hope that he would lend his support around the Cabinet table to the people from that community, and lend his support to the colleague from Fogo who has - if any member in this legislature had been standing up, looking, fighting, and demanding improvements to his district over the past couple of years since this government slashed the budget - This government, Mr. Speaker, slashed the road budget from $48 million in 1988, something in the provincial Budget, I believe it was $48 million. This government last year had a capital works budget for $25 million. And not only that, I understand some of that wasn't even spent.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Some of that wasn't even spent. It is not lies, Mr. Speaker, it is not lies! It is the truth! It is not lies I say to the member.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Leader of the Opposition asked an important question. I will ask the hon. member to take his place. The Chair assumed that when we gave leave to the Member for Burin - Placentia West we were then back to petitions. If we were not, the House can direct me accordingly. Is the Chair of the right understanding that when we gave leave to the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West, we came back to petitions?


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

This is the difficulty we get into when we call for Orders of the Day and we go back to Petitions to allow somebody to speak. The Chair can only assume that when I called Orders of the Day and asked, Will I now go back to Petitions? that we would revert to petitions. So the Chair assumes we are back to Petitions.

MR. BAKER: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Government House Leader.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I understand the technicality. I naturally assumed that we were reverting to Petitions and if there were other petitions, that we are still in Petitions. However, if that is not the situation, the ultimate outcome would be no different, because I am sure members opposite, in the spirit of co-operation, would allow the minister to respond, anyway.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, now, that I raised the question, now, but earlier, on the point of order raised by the Government House Leader, you will recall that the Government House Leader got up and explained that the Minister of Transportation didn't have to respond and didn't intend to respond, so we assumed he didn't intend to respond. Then the Member for Burin - Placentia West asked for leave to say a few words to the petition and members of the House granted leave and that was fine. All I simply asked was, Well, does the minister have leave? I didn't know we had reverted to Petitions. But, anyway, to clarify it all - I know the Government House Leader is starting to get up there. He wants to jump up again. Let us just clarify it all and say, if there is leave required, we give leave, and if there is no leave required and we are back at Petitions, then we are back at Petitions. It doesn't really matter. It is no big problem.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I just want to correct an incorrect statement the Leader of the Opposition just made. He is good at that. He did it two or three times in Question Period today, and so on. I did not say -

AN HON. MEMBER: You did so.

MR. BAKER: - that the minister did not want to speak. I just said that the minister did not have to speak and there is a big difference, Mr. Speaker. I wish the Leader of the Opposition would pay a little more attention when things are happening in this House.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair wants to know which it is. The Chair is assuming we are back to Petitions.

MR. GOVER: By leave, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would assure the hon. member that this particular project will be looked at on the same basis as any other project is looked at. Whether the project comes from Fogo district or Humber Valley or Burin - Placentia West or Bonavista South or Harbour Grace or Carbonear, all these projects will be looked at on the same basis, and the only basis they should be looked at, which is on the basis of need. This need will be assessed in relation to the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of requests that have gone in to the department. And we will evaluate this particular road as it stands in relation to the other roads in the Province, the roads in Twillingate district, in Gander district, in Grand Bank district. The roads will be evaluated on a fair and objective basis, and I can assure the hon. member that if his road rates high enough, within the allocation the Government sees fit to give the department to conduct this particular program, his road will be done. The fact that he sits on that side of the House has no bearing on whether the road will be done or not.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GOVER: I can only assume that when hon. members speak of roads being done on any other basis rather than on the basis of fairness and balance and assessment of need, they must be speaking from their own personal experience, because I have no experience except that these projects are done on the basis of need.

In any event, Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. member that we will assess this project as we assess all others and it will certainly be done on the basis of need, fairness and balance, and I appreciate the importance of this project to the people of Fogo.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Orders of the Day

MR. BAKER: Order No. l, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The Government House Leader called Order No. 1 on the Address in Reply. I believe the Opposition House Leader adjourned the debate yesterday.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

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

I had a few minutes on this debate yesterday. I want to first of all, congratulate the new Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I think he fielded his first question this afternoon and now he reacted to his first petition.

MR. SIMMS: His first one as Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I think we asked him one as Justice Minister.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, but as Justice Minister he had his answer written by someone else, but today, he performed by himself, so I want to congratulate him on that.

I want to say to him that we have all had some experiences with fairness and balance, and I also want to say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation that it is going into the fourth year now, that there hasn't been a nickel spent on transportation in the District of Grand Bank, so if he considers that fairness and balance, sobeit. Not a nickel, Mr. Speaker, and perhaps I might get a chance for some money on transportation initiatives in my district if the Cabinet paper gets sent back, again, because some people didn't think things were as they should be. I might have a chance then, you never know.

But anyway, getting back to the debate on the Address in Reply. I was talking about the fishery yesterday and reacting to some comments made by the Member for Port de Grave, who is not here today. The thrust of his speech was co-operation, the need for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to co-operate on this very, very important fisheries issue, that we should all be together, we should all be going in the one direction to address the crisis in our fishery, and I thought that was, Mr. Speaker, a pretty good thrust and the crux of his speech.

But as I said yesterday when I spoke, I observed that the Member for Port de Grave and the Chairman or President of the Fishermen's Union seem to be at odds and don't seem to be going in the same direction to address this very important issue. Then I went home last night flicking back and forth between two channels and what did I see? anything but co-operation. There was the Member for Port de Grave and the Secretary of the Fishermen's Union in another spat over something else, so, it seems to me that they were sort of hollow words that I heard from the Member for Port de Grave yesterday when he talked about co-operation.

But he was right in his message that we all should co-operate, because we are talking about the future of Newfoundland and Labrador and we are talking about our fishery.

AN HON. MEMBER: Sure we will.

MR. MATTHEWS: Sorry? We will all co-operate? Well, I hope we do, I say to the Government House Leader, but there is something about us as a people that often times doesn't lend itself to us all co-operating with one another, even though this is probably the most important issue to face Newfoundland and Labrador. There is something about us as a people.

MR. NOEL: That's not correct. I don't think we are different from other people.

MR. SIMMS: Well, we are talking about people (inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, I am more familiar with my own people, I say to the Member for Pleasantville, and how they behave and how they react.

MR. SIMMS: You wouldn't understand. Go back and study the Constitution, now.

MR. MATTHEWS: And it ties in with what the Member for Port de Grave said, we tend to blame everyone else, blame this group and that group. It is this one's fault and we had no part of it. But we all have played a part in getting to the problem area that we have today, all of us, including the foreigners who are still overfishing, including our own domestic fleets, including the seals, governments. And the biggest problem with what is happening inside the 200-mile economic zone, the 200-mile limit, Mr. Speaker, is all tied to a treaty that was signed in 1972; that is the biggest problem that we are caused inside the 200-mile limit, and because of that treaty -

MR. SIMMS: Walter opposed that, too.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, the minister probably did oppose it.

MR. SIMMS: You were not there, then?

MR. MATTHEWS: It was the Trudeau Government, I think, entered into that agreement.

MR. SIMMS: Yes, but wasn't Walter a Member of Parliament then?

MR. MATTHEWS: He probably was a Member of Parliament and probably did oppose it. That has caused severe problems for us, because to try to get out of that treaty - of course, the countries who signed the treaty, there are provisions for fish, and they want to hang on to that fish and, indeed, when you try to break an arrangement, quite often they bargain for more, and that is the predicament in which we found ourselves.

For members opposite or members on this side, for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, it would make interesting reading to go back over the history of how other countries came about getting access to our fish stocks. It goes way, way back to the time when we were controlled by Great Britain, I say to members opposite. Once you read it and understand it, then the issue is not as simple as some people in this Province would believe it is today, because there are those amongst us and some, even, who sit in this House, who think this is a simple problem. It cannot be corrected overnight. We are dealing with other countries, it is an international problem, Mr. Speaker, and it is very, very difficult to address.

I want to make a few comments, Mr. Speaker. As I said yesterday, I think the Premier is a little bit late in going on his national tour to try to develop or encourage public opinion in Canada our way. I think it is important that he is doing it, but I think he is too late doing it. It should have been done before, because, as I said yesterday, as important as the Constitution is and as important as it is that this country remain united, because the fallout for this Province will be devastating if the country breaks up, there is no one issue as important to Newfoundland and Labrador as our fishing industry. Nothing!

We can talk about diversification, Mr. Speaker. That is important too, that we look at trying to get other industries. We thought we had at least an industry in Hibernia, and I hope we still have one. But it just goes to show that once you get a downturn in the fishery, everything else in this Province is drastically affected. We look at it now with our unemployment rate, we look at the number of bankruptcies in this Province, companies going bankrupt daily, more and more and more, and the main reason for that is because of the state of our fishery. That is the main reason.

I have small businesses in my own area that have been in existence for years and years, some of them close to 100 years, and I don't know if they are going to get through this spring. The main reason is the downturn and the state of our fishery. I am sure that most hon. members find the situation the same in their areas of the Province and in their districts.

So I want to speak for a moment about the importance of the fishery, and co-operation. I want to speak for a moment about what is happening inside the 200-mile limit, the problems that are inside there or the perceived problems. I want to go on record again - I had hoped that I would have a document with me today, because again people are making false statements about what is happening inside the 200-mile limit. They are quoting figures that are grossly exaggerated, again because they do not know.

It is a very popular thing to say to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, these great amounts of this species and that species are being taken inside our 200-mile limit by foreigners. There is not as much being taken as some people would like us to believe. There is too much being taken, I say to members, because, certainly God, there must be some economic benefit for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and Atlantic Canadians, that if others can come to our waters and harvest these underutilized species, as you refer to them, then certainly there must be some economic value for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. There must be.

Now, having said that, that some of the foreign arrangements inside the 200-mile limit are creating economic benefits for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and other Atlantic Canadians - and I think that is positive - it would be preferable if we were catching and harvesting the fish, but with our own capabilities and our own boats and our own crews to bring it to our ports for processing. But when you look at the harvesting capability of the lack thereof that we, as a people, have, then the few arrangements that we have whereby we benefit, I think, has to be considered to be positive.

I just want to say to the Minister of Fisheries, before I go on to another issue, that maybe he should consider, or the Government should consider, and it is my understanding, that the underutilized species development pool, by large measure, goes to (inaudible) countries because it is said Canadians have no use for the species. I mean, that is basically the understanding, that we cannot utilize those species. One of the main problems we have is harvesting capability of a number of the species, like silver hake, which has to be instantly frozen upon being taken out of the water or else they waste away very quickly. I mean, we had 5,000 tons of silver hake for St. Lawrence five or six years ago and we could not find the harvesting capability. We knew there was no Canadian capability. We tried the Koreans and the Russians but we just couldn't put the package together to do something in St. Lawrence. In St. Lawrence we were thinking about secondary processing for silver hake. But the reason we couldn't get it was that we did not have the harvesting capability.

So I want to say to the Minister of Fisheries, maybe it is something that he and his government should think about. Is there some way that we can develop as a province, promote, encourage, whatever way, financially and otherwise, a harvesting capability, so that at least we can harvest what is now referred to as underutilized species and bring them to our ports for processing. Because all I have heard over the years is talk about underutilized species and that is where it has stopped.

I have been as guilty of that as anyone else. I am not throwing blame around. But certainly, God, there must be value to those species that we can bring to our ports and process, value add if we want, to make it more attractive to consumers. But, certainly, there must be potential to do that. Because with the downturn in our Northern Cod stocks, if we don' do something like that,I honestly don't know how we are going to be able to survive in this Province with anywhere near the number of people who are now living here. I say that quite sincerely, I don't know. It has to be the fishery.

We had the Burin Peninsula Development Fund on the Burin Peninsula a number of years ago when the whole restructuring in the fishery took place - millions of dollars. A condition of the Burin Peninsula Development Fund initially was that it would fund new industry, new job creation, if it was not attached or tied to the fishery. There are communities all around the Burin Peninsula, particularly my district, the toe and the boot, and we have spent days asking: What can we come up with to try and access money from the Burin Peninsula Development Fund?' And everything we came up with in a number of communities - people, town managers, councillors, business groups, interest groups - whenever we came up with an idea it was fishery-related. The only exception was St. Lawrence fluorspar. We re-activated the St. Lawrence fluorspar mine. That is the only exception. Everything else, including the secondary processing plant in Burin -

MR. TOBIN: Cow Head.

MR. MATTHEWS: Cow Head, yes - was fishery-related. When I talked about Fortune, which is now under the cloud of uncertainty because of what is happening to Fishery Products International with the cut to the cod stocks, everything we came up with was fishery-related. We have a quartz deposit up in back of Fortune that is of no commercial value. Grand Bank - we have racked our brains. What do we have in Grand Bank today? A new industry - a new fishery that we hope will take off with the processing of scallops and clams, and other things as it unfolds. But it is all fishery-related.

So, if we are going to stay here in this Province, we are going to have to develop, I say to the Minister of Fisheries, the potential to harvest and process the underutilized species.

Another thing I want to say to the Minister of Fisheries - because I am talking predominantly fishery, I guess, as one would expect - is that looking at what has happened to the people over the last few years in the industry and what is going to happen in the next year or so again with the trawlermen, plant workers, that if ever there was a time to look at income support for fishermen, and so on, in this Province, it certainly must be now. In the last general election there were promises made by the Liberal Party before they became the government that they would move in that direction. We are three years or so after that and there really has not been a concerted effort to look at that problem, I say to the minister. There has been a lot of lip service paid to it. But again, there has been nothing done on it. I would encourage the minister to look at that, as well.

Seals. I want to spend a minute or so talking about seals. As I said, I questioned the minister today on what plans he has to try to deal with this problem. I very seriously considered this problem a number of weeks ago when the announcement was made to reduce the Northern Cod stocks to 120,000 metric tons. Then with the comments that were made that day and days after about seals, what we should do about the sealing problem. I became very, very concerned. What I became concerned about, Mr. Speaker, was that we would either by design or sort of accidentally find ourselves in a fight - we as a people, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians - with the environmentalists over the sealing issue, and the real issue that we are trying to address would be off here sort of diplomatically attended to - I guess that is the best way I can put it - which to date has not gotten any results, and I honestly do not think it is going to get any results with the European community. I really became fearful that we were going to be brought into this conflict, which I think we are, and I think it has started really as a people, with us and the environmentalists squaring off over the seals and the other issue sort of drifting off to the side.

Now I am not convinced, by the way, that this has not been skillfully done. I do not know, but there are times I wonder if there have been people who thought this thing out and said: Well if we can get them in a big conflict now, have a big racket with the environmentalists. I do not know if it has been developed that way. Sometimes I wonder.

I say to the minister: having taken part in Question Period today and getting the way we do sometimes with one another, I mean we are all coming from the same point of view, I hope at least, and the same concern. I wonder if we can go and leave it unnoticed? This is really why I was questioning the minister today. We know what has happened in the Globe and Mail today. What is happening in the major newspapers of other countries today, I do not know, as the campaign is spreading through the European countries. I do not know, maybe it is. I would not be surprised. Can we afford as a people to let it go unnoticed, to let the advertising campaign just go on and escalate, and we sit back as a people? Meantime, people who we are trying to influence on two major issues: one is the foreign overfishing, and the other one being the control of the seal population. What is going to happen to public opinion with them? ... if we sit back and say we cannot advertise to counter this, if we just sit back and let it happen, because I guess that is the judgement call that, as a government, as a minister, you have to make.

But my first reaction is that if we let it go unchecked, if we let it just take place, it will not take those very skilled people who are very good at what they do - they are obviously very influential - it will not take them very long before they will be very successful at what they did once before. So my question to the minister is: can we afford to take that chance of saying we cannot afford to get into the counter-advertising campaign? That was the reason for my question today, and it is one that needs a lot of consideration. I really anticipated that this was going to happen, and about ten days ago I sent out a press release flagging the concern and saying let's go about it right, let's be reasonable because if not we will get sidetracked. I think today that is what has happened, but I did it because I thought someone should say it about two weeks ago because of the other comments that were being made by certain influential people that I sort of anticipated what might come, and I said let's just be careful. Let's put up the flag of caution and let's do it right because if not, today I am convinced that is what we are going to see, and I think it would be really sad if that happens.

There is no doubt, Mr. Speaker, that the seal population has to be controlled. It has to be controlled, whether the environmentalists or other people agree that seals eat cod or not. It may not be their preferred choice of food in the food chain, it is probably not their first choice of food. That is probably caplin, shrimp or something else, but it is like us, if we get hungry enough and we do not have a steak or a hamburger or whatever, we will eat baloney, I say to the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

AN HON. MEMBER: We will eat seal.

MR. MATTHEWS: We will ignore the diet and have a bit of baloney and chips.

AN HON. MEMBER: And gravy.

MR. MATTHEWS: And gravy. I forgot the gravy. But really that is what will happen. I cannot see seals being that much different. If they are hungry they will eat whatever species they find, and no doubt looking at the area where the seals are most plentiful, looking at where the cod stocks go to spawn, there is no doubt that they are consuming a fair amount of cod. Something has to be done to control that because everyone, I think, concurs that it has to be a two or three pronged approach.

Foreign overfishing has to be reduced. We have to take a reduction, to take it on the chin as we obviously as a people are willing to do. I think we are very willing to do it, and the seal population has to be controlled, and the foreigners and us. Now between us all if we could get that type of a program going I think we have a chance; but if we do not I think we are in for some very, very serious trouble in this Province with our fishery, and then of course our whole economy. I think, Mr. Speaker, that we had better watch what we do about this. We had better go carefully.

I want to wish the minister and the Government the best of luck as they take off in the campaign to try and make the foreigners come to their senses on the issue; as they go about their campaign to try and develop public opinion within Canada; to put pressure on our federal politicians to take actions that we feel are necessary - and maybe the only action that is going to give us any results. It is not going to be easy to do, but I wish the Government all the luck in the world with it, because without it - without these things happening - we are going to be one sorry Province and one sorry place in which to live, as I said earlier, unless we get our fishery back on a solid footing.

But when you see people who just a few years ago were not content -twelve months work was all they wanted. You would have a job to get them to take a week off in the summer. They worked twelve months a year. When you see what has happened to them in the last seven to ten years, where they have gone to ten months to eight months to six months if they are lucky, and now everyone breathes a big sigh of relief if they can get twenty weeks. We have them up in Ramea today that if FPI could give them ten weeks work they would be a very happy people. That is what they have gone from - from twelve months a year down to hoping they can get ten weeks work. We know what that has done to the economy of the Province. The Minister of Finance, and all the ministers for sure are very much aware what the results of that are. So unless we can get our most important industry back on a very solid footing, and it is going to take some sacrifices in the short-term to do that, then this is not going to be a very pleasant Province in which to live, and there are going to be fewer of us living here because we will have to go somewhere else to make a living. I hope that does not happen.

In concluding I would like once again to wish the minister and the other ministers and the Premier all the best of luck. They are going to need a lot of help. I only hope that this issue can be resolved; that it will only be short-term pain that we will experience; that we will have our industry back, and with that we will have our Province back in a good economic mode, and people working productively and making a good living. With that I conclude my remarks.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: I want first of all, Mr. Speaker, to congratulate the mover and seconder of the Address in Reply. I think both young men did an excellent job in laying out the needs of their respective districts. I remember in my introduction to the House of Assembly, going back now more years than I care to remember, that was my first chore.


MR. CARTER: I will never forget how nervous I was, and I believe at that time the House proceedings were televised live. I remember when I was asked to do that important job by the then Premier, Mr. Smallwood, I had mixed feelings about it, because I was not sure if I could carry it off, to stand up in front of live television for half an hour -

AN HON. MEMBER: What district did you represent?

MR. CARTER: White Bay North - a fine historic district.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I did deem it to be an honour and I am sure that the two gentlemen to whom I just referred will likewise deem it to be a great honour that was bestowed upon them.

I would like as well to congratulate His Honour on his maiden Throne Speech. I think, and I told him in person at Government House that night in the course of a short conversation with him, that I thought he did an excellent job and certainly brought honour and dignity to his office. I wish him many more years of happiness and good health in the job which he now holds.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman opposite made a fine speech - the Member for Grand Bank - a reasonable speech and one that I enjoyed and could find very little fault with. He touched on the current problem, that of the seals, and he made reference to an ad that appeared today in Canada's so-called national newspaper, the Globe and Mail. Seals appear to be plentiful, but having looked at this ad I am not surprised that we are being eaten out of house and home. There are so many seals around, everywhere you look there are seals. Of course the ad reads, 'Who had cod for dinner?' and all the seals in unison were saying, 'Not me.' There was one little fellow there who at least had a bit of honesty about him and he said, 'I had some a couple of months ago.' Mr. Speaker, it is obvious from looking at the pictures that they do not appear to be starving and they do not eat hamburgers so I think we only have to assume they were eating fish of a kind. Of course whatever it was, codfish, caplin, scrimp, halibut, or turbot, it is all having an important impact on the food chain, and ultimately, of course, on the cod itself.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman opposite asked the question, what do we intend to do about it? Well, I do not mind telling you that I, quite frankly, do not know what to do about it. I do not think we can hope to counter their argument by buying ads in the Globe and Main that cost, I suppose, $10,000 or $15,000 per ad.

AN HON. MEMBER: A lot of money.

MR. CARTER: I do not think that is the way to do it. I suppose we can embark on a public relations campaign and try to give the lie to what they are saying. I am not sure that will work because I recall, having been engaged in that kind of an exercise some years ago when I held this job before, when the Government of the day then facing a similar situation, mounted a very aggressive, and I might say a very costly campaign that took people from this Province to the continents of Europe and North America. I recall I was very much involved in the campaign, along with an entourage of people who were expert in the field. In my group we had Captain Morrissey Johnson, a well known Newfoundland sealing captain. We had another gentleman who has since made a name for himself as a person very much involved in the oceans. I forget his last name now, and we had another chap from some university in southern Ontario. We had a series of -

MR. BAKER: A Doctor Mercer went along with you, too.

MR. CARTER: Yes, a chap Mercer went as well from federal fisheries, a Doctor Mercer. Anyway, we had press conferences, news briefings and editorial board meetings right across Canada and the United States. I remember very well we would get up at a large meeting and think we were scoring points, and all of a sudden some little old lady in the back would suddenly get the urge to take one of us on and in a second almost the entire effect was gone, because how could we stand there and tackle some little old lady carrying a walking stick who came at us with a vengeance because we were then painted by the international community as being slaughterers of these cuddly little baby seals? It did not only happen in the States and Europe, it happened in our own country.

For example, Captain Johnson and I held a press conference in the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, a place where you would expect some understanding and sympathy. Anyway, there were about seventy or eighty people there and after we made our pitch and gave all the reasons why the seal harvest should be allowed to continue, a little old lady decided to turn on us and it was every man for himself. The last I saw of Captain Johnson he was going one way in the lobby with a couple of ladies following, beating him on the back with their umbrellas. I did not take much time to hang around because there were half a dozen behind me doing the same thing. That was the story and the point I am trying to make, I guess, is that it is a difficult issue to win on. If codfish were as cuddly and maybe had fur on them rather than scales and skin then I suspect we would be able to much more effectively do what needs to be done to save the stocks on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

Mr. Speaker, I was being interviewed by a CBC national television reporter and she told me that the movie stars have now gotten in on the act. Of course, in those days we had Brigitte Bardot and we had Senator Ryan, who later got killed in Guyana, I think it was.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Pardon? I heard that 'Hot Lips Hoolihan' was on last night. Hoolihan, is that what her name was? That is the part she played. 'Hot Lips Hoolihan,' Loretta Swit. Well, my advice to her is she should stick with her acting because there is no place for her out playing footsy with a bunch of old harps or old hoods. Anything can happen.

But, Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that this sort of thing has happened. I said to the reporter this afternoon that it is regrettable that their energies and the money they are spending are not directed in a much better way.

For example, we have a situation developing now on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks where a very important food source is rapidly being destroyed. On the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks we have a pot of protein, something that can be there for the next 10,000 years, and that will feed many millions of people during that period if it is properly managed. But these environmentalists who sort of go to such lengths to save the rain forests or baby seals or something else, they appear to have completely ignored the environmental tragedy that is happening on the Nose and Tail of our Grand Banks. That is regrettable.

The management plan that was announced by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans a couple of weeks ago in our view was not adequate. I say that because the new Total Allowable Catch that the Minister announced in our view is much too high. Too high, because the minister did not make any allowance whatever for one very important factor, and that is of course the presence of foreign vessels fishing within the Canadian Continental Shelf.

Now the 120,000 ton TAC is only 7,000 tons less than the total harvest for 1991. In 1991, notwithstanding a Total Allowable Catch of 190,000 tons, the total harvest, by virtue of the fact that the fish just were not there, not because of a lessening of effort, but the fish were not there, the total harvest for 1991 was 130,000 tons. A mere 7,000 tons higher than what the Minister saw fit to announce as this year's Total Allowable Catch.

Now on top of that 130,000 tons that Canadians, Newfoundlanders, harvested last year on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, foreign fishing effort, flying flags of convenience and other foreign flags, that fished on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, are reported to have caught another 47,000 tons. So it is fair to say I suppose that the total catch for last year would have been 130,000 plus 47,000, which would be 177,000 metric tons. Far too high.

Now then. What is happening this year is that the minister went through the charade of trying to give the impression that he was reducing the Total Allowable Catch but in fact he did not. He did very little to that end. In that in setting the allowable catch at 120,000 tons he did not factor in, for example, the 40,000, 50,000 or maybe even 60,000 tons that the foreigners will no doubt catch on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks. So in effect this year, rather than having 120,000 ton TAC, we have what is more like probably 170,000 or 160,000 TAC, which would include of course the foreign effort just beyond the Two Hundred Mile limit. Fish, by the way, that is being caught illegally. Because in that area NAFO saw fit to declare a moratorium on the fishery. Notwithstanding that moratorium, certain member nations of NAFO - principally Spain and Portugal - saw fit to ignore that moratorium and just kept on fishing as if there was no tomorrow. So foreign overfishing is a very serious matter and one that must be addressed within a very short time frame, otherwise we will have nothing left to worry about.

Now, Mr. Speaker, you might ask: what do we intend to do to focus some attention on the problem and to hopefully find some way of resolving that problem? Some months ago the Advisory Council to the Minister of Fisheries spent a full day deliberating on the problem of foreign overfishing. They got together and spent their entire day discussing the problem and seeking ways of addressing it. I should point out that the Advisory Council to the Minister of Fisheries is made up of probably the most knowledgeable people in the fishing industry in this Province. All sectors of the industry are involved. The men who operate and own small vessels, large vessels, small plant operators, large plant operators, scientists, men from the Marine Institute, men representing the two fishermen's unions in the Province, and others. These people meet on a frequent basis to discuss certain issues that are referred to them. I must say I respect their advice, and more often than not I can depend on it entirely. It is good advice.

Last year, last spring, they deliberated for a day on the foreign overfishing problem and sent me back a five or six page report. One of the recommendations in that report was that Newfoundland should embark on a public relations campaign, one that hopefully would have the effect of focusing the necessary attention on the problems of foreign overfishing and one that would entice our national Government to do what needs to be done to bring that problem to a successful conclusion.

Well, we are now about ready to launch that kind of an initiative. We have engaged a major, internationally known public relations firm, and that company, working with officials of my Department and of other Departments of Government, are now putting together what I think will be an extremely aggressive and I hope successful public relations campaign. Nothing gimmicky. There will be nothing gimmicky like sailing our vessels up to the St. Lawrence River and landing on the landscaped banks of the Rideau Canal. It will be a campaign done with a lot of taste and a bit of class, and I believe it will be effective. So within days now the Premier will be announcing from the environmental conference in British Columbia to which he is attending the details of our campaign.

Most of the ideas will originate in this Province. Because we think that we are probably better able to come up with the ideas that will be necessary to focus some attention on the problem. But this public relations company will use their considerable expertise in dealing with the international media and others that will help us do the job.

We must convince the Government of Canada that there is an urgent need now for action on the part of the national Government. Ottawa is going to have to face up to its responsibility to the people of this Province, given the fact, Mr. Speaker, that the management of that resource, under all headings, is the responsibility of the Federal Government. Now they guard that responsibility very jealously and are hesitant indeed and sometimes I believe, absolutely unwilling to sit down with the Province to discuss joint management or doing anything that would weaken their total jurisdiction over the fishery. So that being the case, Mr. Speaker, it must follow that the remedies for their bad management must be provided by the Federal Government themselves and that is what we are looking to. We all know now that the fishing industry in Newfoundland is in very serious trouble. We know that the offshore harvest has all but been brought to a complete stop -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: I cannot hear you.

AN HON. MEMBER: Why (inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Yes, I will touch on that. So, Mr. Speaker, something must be done and must be done very shortly, otherwise there is a danger that we will not have a fishery to worry about in a few years. Canada must be willing to take certain action, and if necessary, it must be willing to back up that action. That is not to suggest that we send out gunboats or adopt gunboat diplomacy, and I do not think anybody in his right mind would expect that to happen. I do not think that will ever happen, quite frankly, if Canada tomorrow, were to unilaterally extend jurisdiction. I cannot for the life of me see or visualize a third war being started by European countries over any action that Canada would see fit to take to protect for mankind, not just for Newfoundlanders or Canada, but to protect for mankind a very important source of food and protein. I do not think you will ever see a war start over that and I think those who hold that threat over us are using it as a smoke screen or maybe an excuse for not really being willing to take the kind of action that is necessary.

The hon. gentleman opposite mentioned the salmon license buy-back. Well, let me speak for a moment about the salmon license buy-back, Mr. Speaker. I think most Newfoundlanders will agree that the salmon stocks are in very serious trouble, I do not have the statistics here but, I believe that landings have decreased considerably over the past four or five years to the point where, now it is almost uneconomic to successfully prosecute a salmon harvest.

So, Mr. Speaker, the Province was faced with the possibility of the entire commercial salmon harvest being wiped out over a given period, without the benefit of compensation. That was the threat that was hanging over us, and has been hanging over us now for quite some time. I recall in my own district of Twillingate, for example; the people of Twillingate had a very lucrative fall salmon fishery, large salmon. The Americans objected because they claimed that these salmon were bound for their rivers, that Newfoundlanders were intercepting them in Notre Dame Bay, consequently the Government of Canada, for peace and quietness, destroyed that fall salmon fishery little by little, not in one fell swoop, but they gradually whittled away at the season until eventually the season became so short and so late in the year that it was not worth the while of the fishermen to partake in that fishery.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I predict that the same thing would have happened with respect to the entire commercial salmon fishery in Newfoundland if we did not go along with what you saw happen last week. I can tell you now that I got very little pleasure out of being part of a news conference where we were putting the axe to an old Newfoundland tradition and I am referring, of course, to the salmon fishery. The salmon fishery has been prosecuted by Newfoundlanders now in rural parts of our Province, I suppose, for hundreds of years. My forefathers prosecuted the salmon harvest from the time they settled in Bonavista Bay, and I get very little pride out of seeing it being abolished, as has been done. Again by the same token we had no choice in the matter, because it was either do that or eventually we would have gotten nothing.

The Federal Government does have the authority to set quotas. They have the authority to set the duration of the seasons, and what has been happening in the past few years, of course, like I said a moment ago, they have been depressing or shortening the seasons to the point where in many cases it has not been worth their while to go fishing. In fact the landings for example in the salmon fishery in the past four or five years have decreased from I believe it is 1,700 tons, yes - in 1988, Mr. Speaker, the total Canadian atlantic salmon harvest was 1,784 tons. Just five or six years later, in 1991, the harvest was 679 tons - 679 tons against 1,784 tons just four years before. I think it is clear to most people now that the commercial salmon fishery is on the way out, and if we allowed it to just go by attrition then we would have denied Newfoundland licence holders the opportunity to at least gain some benefit from the abolition of the commercial salmon harvest. For that reason, and for that reason alone, we found it necessary to support the actions of the Federal Government. That is not to say, of course, that we do not have any interest in seeing the salmon stocks rebuild. Of course we do. We realize too that something had to be done; but again I repeat that we took little joy in having to see it done.

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what else I have to say here except that the Province is now engaged in a number of fronts on behalf of the fishing industry. We are now endeavouring to get some recognition from the Federal Government for the need for joint management of our resource. As most members will remember, a few weeks ago there were presentations - papers released by both governments - having to do with joint management. Each government set out their respective positions on joint management. The Province's position, of course, was what we considered to be the very best possible approach to the problem - that of setting up a Newfoundland/Canada joint management board somewhat along the lines of the Offshore Petroleum Board; a board on which Newfoundlanders would have a presence; where we would be in a position to have some input into the decision-making process.

A federal board in our view was totally unacceptable, in that it was a board that would have been comprised of representatives from all the Atlantic Provinces. Newfoundland would have been one voice amongst many. Of course that raises the question then, how effective would our voice be? For that reason, Mr. Speaker, the Province certainly cannot, under any circumstances, accept the proposal put forward by the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to his joint management proposal. Again for that reason the Province intends to push forward and to try to win acceptance of the plan put forward by the Province where Newfoundland, at least to some extent, would have the opportunity to become the masters of our own destiny. As it stands now we do not have that privilege. Every single decision that is made in the fishing industry originates in most cases somewhere in central Canada. We all know, of course, that it is not working out. In fact, a lot of the problems that we are now encountering in the fishing industry, a lot of the problems that we have encountered in recent months and years in the fishing industry, could have been avoided had the Province been given the opportunity to have some input into the decision making process. So we intend to press forward and hopefully at the end of the day again common sense will prevail and we will have our brand of joint management. Of course once we do that, then I believe we will have a much better managed fishery.

The position that the Province is taking with respect to overfishing again I think needs to be explained, in that the Province is not suggesting that Canada be given the entire resource for its own use. I think Newfoundland's position is that that resource out there can be managed properly for the benefit of all countries that have an historic right to fish there, and that Canada, being the coastal state of course, closest to the resource, is the logical one to have the right to be the custodial managers of that resource.

As it is standing now with NAFO, of course, which is a toothless ineffective organization, responsible for the management of the resource, it is not working. In fact it is not working at all. The sooner we can have NAFO replaced with a proper management regime, hopefully Canada, then I think the sooner our stocks will be on the way back and the fishing industry in this Province will once again be able to play an important part in the social and economic life of our Province.

So I repeat, Newfoundland is not being greedy. We are not saying: give it all to Newfoundland or to the people of this Province. We are saying: give Canada the right to be the custodial managers of that resource. Somebody has to manage and police it. Canada is by far the best able to do it, and we want our Government in Ottawa to recognize that fact and to take whatever steps are necessary to insure that we bring that kind of a management regime together. I do not believe there would be any objections at all. I think the rest of the world would be quite willing in fact to go along with Canada under those circumstances. In fact, they would probably praise Canada for having taken that initiative. Because again, it is a resource that is there not only to serve Newfoundland but to serve mankind. I believe that reasonable people everywhere would be more than willing to laud Canada for taking that action.

But again, Mr. Speaker, until we can find a successful resolution to that problem, cutting back on our own quotas, shortening of the seasons, things of that nature will be of very little value. Because the main cause of our problem is that of foreign overfishing beyond the 200 miles. Unless and until that problem has been addressed and dealt with successfully, then steps that we take within the Two Hundred Mile limit will be for nothing.

Thank you very much.

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. First of all I would like to congratulate His Honour for the magnificent job that he did in reading the Speech from the Throne. Because it must be a hardship on His Honour to be able to read that document for perhaps forty-five minutes when the content was so drab. He did an excellent job, Mr. Speaker. Because again the oratory aspect of it was something to behold, for a person to be able to sit that long and read a document that said nothing. Not a thing that I could see. And I am like a great many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Mr. Speaker, if that hon. gentleman had had a good speech, I believe that it would be precedent setting and that we would all have to rise and give him a standing ovation.

I also want to congratulate the mover and the seconder. The seconder is here; the mover is not. The mover was a bit long-winded, but apart from that he addressed the needs of his district very well. As I know, the hon. Minister of Fisheries sort of brought back old memories. When I first came in the House that was what I had to do also, and I felt awfully nervous. I got up and tried to do my best and tell what was happening in my district. The hon. Member for Eagle River did his best as well, and I think he did a fairly good job. I suppose he was talking to the Premier as well I suppose with hopes and aspirations that perhaps some day he might join the table. Now I do not know; perhaps there is a possible chance. I also have to commend the Member for Carbonear. He was more to the point, I think, and he addressed again the problems of Carbonear, I suppose.

AN HON. MEMBER: There are lots out there.

MR. PARSONS: There are lots out there the same as everywhere else in Newfoundland. I must say, you did a good job in telling this House of the problems - not telling us of the problems - but bringing it to the uppermost in our minds that there are problems right across this great Province.

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that the hon. Member for Port de Grave is not here today because I listened attentively to his speech the other day and in many aspects of his speech I concur to some extent. There are areas that I do have concern about, and some of them were addressed by the Minister of Fisheries.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Well, Mr. Speaker, I think that the Member for Port de Grave advocates very strongly that we go out and take some decisive action on the high seas, and I believe that he is speaking specifically about gunboat diplomacy.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member for Pleasantville slaps his desk, but I think it is only done in a frivolous manner because I am sure that he, the same as I, believe that we cannot do that type of thing. We just do not have the numbers; we do not have the strength, and I am not sure if it is the right thing to do anyway.

MR. NOEL: We have to draw a line in the water.

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, I am not a fearful person, but I think I am a realistic person in saying that it cannot be done that way.

Now if we are going to lay blame, and there is blame that can be laid -

MR. NOEL: The Tory Government in Ottawa.

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member for Pleasantville talks about the Tory Government in Ottawa. Yes, the Tory Government in Ottawa does have to take some of the blame. The Tory Government in Newfoundland of the past seventeen years before this Government came in have to take some of the blame; but as far as I am concerned, and it certainly was touched on by the hon. Member for Grand Bank, when he said there was so little emphasis placed when in 1972 they gave France that quota in 2J+3KL.

If there is any document that should be torn up, I earnestly believe that document should be destroyed. It should be destroyed. Here were our own people - granted they were only able to take a percentage of what the catch is - what the TAC is. I am not sure if it is the TAC. I think it is what actually is caught. Last year there were 127,000 tons caught, and they were allowed to take I think in the neighbourhood of 1,400 tons because the TAC was down to that - the TAC was not down, but that was all we were able to catch. Mr. Speaker, even 1,400 tons in 2J+3KL - in 2J where there isn't any fish; in 3K where there isn't any fish; and if you were to listen to the president of one of the largest fish companies, he says there is very little fish in any of the rest of them, only small, immature fish, perhaps three and four-year-old fish.

Mr. Speaker, how can we give France 1,400 tons? I mean, that treaty was signed by the Liberals in Ottawa in 1972. So don't point any fingers, because fingers can be pointed right back, when very little emphasis was placed on our fishery or the value of it. I remember, and there are a lot of people here in this hon. House who will remember, when there was, even on the Avalon Peninsula, so very little emphasis placed on our fishery.

Mr. Speaker, I asked some questions here perhaps a year ago to the then Minister of Environment. It always worried me about what was happening, not outside the 200-mile limit but inside the 200-mile limit, not by the foreigners but by our own draggers; by our own draggers - let me say it again. Now, I thought myself - not being an expert, but I certainly made a presentation to the government in 1986 which I will table some day here if anyone wants to see it. We told the government then that the TAC was inflated and that they should give some consideration into curtailing the dragging in the area of the spawning grounds.

I asked the question here in the House of the Minister of Environment: Would he take up the cause with his counterpart in Ottawa to see if damage has been done to the habitat of the codfish, of our Northern Cod? And, Mr. Speaker, I saw people laugh when I asked the question. They are not laughing now, because it is reality. We, ourselves, did grave damage to our own stocks. I am not saying that damage hasn't been done by foreigners. Sure it has been done by the foreigners. But we had better not start pointing fingers at the foreigners and saying: You did it all. They played a role, there is no mistake at all about it, and so did we.

And we let our own people do it because we could not see the forest for a few trees in the way. It is only when it came home to roost on a great number of people on the Northeast Coast who saw there was no fish, that reality -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) offshore plants.

MR. PARSONS: No, the offshore plants would have been alright if they had been curtailed. As far as I am concerned, there was room out there to fish in the offshore plants, but not in the area of the spawning grounds during the spawning time. I have thought myself that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Well, anyone who ever caught any fish, anyone who ever went fishing, trouting, when you know yourself, when the fish are spawning that you can go up and catch them out of the rivers in your hand. They are stupid, stunned, just floating along. It is the same way with the cod. When they congregate in certain areas they are there to spawn. They are fish that are stupid. They should be left alone to spawn and if they had been left alone to spawn then we would not have the problem that we have today.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: That's right, they are all together. Mr. Speaker, the other part that has been, and again today.... We saw in our national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, a two-page advertisement from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. We can scoff at it if we like, but I watched last night - I know many people did in this House - saw Loretta Swit -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Oh, I am going back to the draggermen. I never said anything to the contrary. They are hard-working fishermen - most Newfoundland fishermen are hard-working. But the point remains now, we have to look at what is out there to work at.

I saw Loretta Swit last night, out cuddling a seal. Someone said here today that it is too bad she doesn't cuddle the right kind of seal.


MR. PARSONS: Loretta Swit. But I am saying, that little whitecoat, she found it pleasurable. But I wish to God she would catch hold of one of those old dog hoods and we would be minus one thorn in our side. Because the Minister of Fisheries said today - and sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I don't - it is all lies. But how do you counteract lies? How do you do it?

AN HON. MEMBER: Try to (inaudible) with Clyde.

MR. PARSONS: You can't do it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Clyde tells bigger ones.

MR. PARSONS: Clyde tells bigger ones. Well, that might be the case. Let me tell you something. I told hon. members in this House before that I had the pleasure and the privilege - and I certainly feel good about it - of going to the seal fishery. One of the things that these animal rights people are talking about is killing live seals. You know, this is what they produced. These are the pictures they showed with the seal going mad and a fellow out there just - and the only moderator that we have here today said, 'cutting the guts out of the seals'. Well boy, oh boy, oh boy! I mean, imagine the person!

I went to the ice on three occasions. I took pelts in the thousands. I never saw an inside of a fish. I can honestly tell you today that I cannot confirm or deny whether seals eat cod fish. I don't remember ever seeing a codfish because we never cut the bellies of the seals. We never did. All we took was the pelt. I never saw them. Perhaps they could have been eating them, but you do not cut the seal, itself. You don't cut what the fellow said today on open line: 'the gut out of the seal'. You take the pelt off the seal and you take the flippers off and bring them in because they are valuable. But the carcass, itself, didn't mean anything to you. You didn't want it. It was no good to you.

The other thing that amazes me is when I hear people, grown men and women say that the seal was alive when the pelt was taken off. Mr. Speaker, we used to sharpen the knives, hone them, so that they could shave your face. Now, Mr. Speaker, can you see a live seal going mad and you with that knife coming down through that seal? Would you have any fingers left? Just imagine. Just visualize it. The seal going mad and you with a knife, razor sharp, going down through the seal, with it kicking, going mad, flicking around, and you just standing there. It is the most ridiculous statement ever made. I mean, some people here know what I am talking about. The gentleman down to the far right will say the same thing I am saying.

Now granted, there might be movement, but any animal, be it a calf, a pig, any animal that is killed, there is a certain time limitation on it that the animal will move because of the nerve factor, and the muscle factor. But, Mr. Speaker, to take a seal without hitting it or clubbing it and taking the pelt off it is ridiculous. Only the likes of Loretta Swit or some of those animal lovers who are taking in millions of dollars, who are packing their pockets full of money out of it, they are the only people who would listen to those kinds of ridiculous statements.

Mr. Speaker, it is funny how they attack Newfoundlanders and Canadians because we are, I think, susceptible and will accept their behaviour. I heard today that there were 5 million kangaroos killed in Australia.

AN HON. MEMBER: How many?

MR. PARSONS: A cull. Five - what was it?

AN HON. MEMBER: Five hundred thousand.

MR. PARSONS: Is it? I thought it was 5 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: Five hundred thousand.

MR. PARSONS: Five hundred thousand. Okay. But the point -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: They are increasing the cull by a million. But no matter what it is, it is a cull for the benefit of the species. It is a cull.

AN HON. MEMBER: And the farmers' crops.

MR. PARSONS: Right, and the farmers' crops. Over here where our livelihoods are dependent upon it -

AN HON. MEMBER: It seems, everything that is on the water (inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Yes, it seems like if it is on land you can restrict it because you can throw them out of there, you can stop them from coming into your country. But I have seen them when they strapped themselves onto the boats, you know, 'Go ahead and kill us'. I hope someone has enough guts - this time, if they come to St. John's and strap themselves onto the front and sides of those boats that someone is going to cut the ropes, because that's what Newfoundlanders have to do with that tribe, and that is what they are, a tribe to themselves.

Mr. Speaker, the point remains, you can say all that and feel it in your heart because you were a participant and you know how people survived on it. I remember back then - but some of the young men don't remember - when you looked forward to having a meal of seal in the spring when the men came from the ice. It was a nutritious meal, not meal but meals. Mr. Speaker, the seal fishery, to me, means a little bit more. I have stated in this House over and over that Newfoundlanders - I was reminded that the offshore fishermen were good fishermen. Yes, and the sealers were good men. I mean, how many houses in Newfoundland haven't been struck in one way or the other by a catastrophe, by a disaster in the fishery?

I had two uncles who were lost in the seal fishery here, off St. John's, one sixteen and the other fourteen. So this fishery, to me, brings back, not my memories but things I was told about by my father, who spent twenty-seven springs at the ice, firing on the old boats.

When I see someone who can stop this, when I see someone who can take away from us what is morally right, I am amazed, I am flabergasted.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: The minister is right. How do you react? What do you do? If they have enough money - and let's face it, some of those movie stars in Hollywood have so much money they don't know what to do with it. They have billions and billions of dollars to spend on whatever they want to spend it on, and to see this little crying seal, that brings it right to the forefront. This is what I am going to put my money in! How do you counteract that?

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) put it on ice last night.

MR. PARSONS: Oh, she did. Yes, I was talking about that. It is too bad that seal wasn't an old dog hood. I will be like the Minister of Fisheries, you know.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: And more than that.

Mr. Speaker, these are things that we should be able to take care of, but how do you do it? I mean, it is great for me to get up here today and ridicule someone and say, 'Well, this is what should be done,' but what answers do I have to it? How can we stop those people from spending that kind of money to kill an industry that is unique to Newfoundland in this part of the world, in North America?

There is a sealing industry in Norway and a sealing industry in Russia. I don't know if those people are over there. I don't think they would get away with it over in those areas. I don't think they would.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Oh, yes, I was there.

MR. HOGAN: Were you out to the ice?

MR. PARSONS: I want to remind the Minister of Municipal Affairs, there used to be a real old cant, an old saying, you know, at one time, that if a person in a community never went to the ice, it was a disgrace. When the old fellows would get a few belts down in them and they met at a dance or anything, he was singled out. They used to say to him, 'What do you know about it, you were never to the ice.' So, the ice meant an awful lot to an awful lot of people at that particular time, in that era, and rightly so.

Mr. Speaker, coming back to the problem here, what do you do about it? I mean, if they have enough money to spend, our fish products can be boycotted. We have enough sentimentalists in this world not to eat fish just because of this propaganda that we saw today in the Globe and Mail. We do.

I spoke to a fish producer today, and everyone's expectations today are high. The hon. the Minister of Fisheries, I think, will know what I am talking about. Their expectations are very high about the price of fish this year. But the European markets, the English markets, for skin-on cod is at a very low ebb. It is down compared to what it was. Now, perhaps that can revive itself over the winter. The American market: We have a lot of cod in the warehouses in the States today.


MR. PARSONS: Well, I suppose on account of the economy. You can buy chicken for fifty-five or sixty cents a pound and cod is a good bit more expensive.

Now, the point I am making is very simple. If there is that much fish on those markets and this crowd of humanitarians - what are they? - nuisances, if they can get the point across to a greater number of people not to eat the fish, than perhaps the people who are eating the fish now, then the fishery could be in trouble. There are no ifs or ands about it. They have the clout. What do you do about it? I don't know. Perhaps the minister is right in saying that we should fold up the paper and forget about it. I think it has to be addressed somehow, but I don't have the answers to it. I don't have the answers.

Mr. Speaker, I would like, also to touch on the salmon fishery and the sell-out of the licenses. I was also involved in that. I just want to give the Minister of Forestry, 'tall trees', a bit of a lesson. I also was involved in the salmon fishery at one time. Did you know that this was not the first sell-out of the salmon fishery? This was not the first sell-out. We all sold our nets years ago for a much smaller amount than what was offered this time - then, by the Liberal Government.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: I had to work for a living, no one gave it to me. When we sold our nets there was a Liberal Government in Ottawa. I believe I had fifteen sets, and I think I got about $750 for the works. I think it was about $40 or $50 for each unit. When I saw it the other day, I felt sorry, too. I felt sorry about a fishery that was traditional in Newfoundland, a fishery that my ancestors availed of and worked hard at.

But Newfoundlanders are their own worst enemies. I had a call the other day from a gentleman who said, 'Well, they cut the season.' Anyone who was involved in the fishery knows that at one time you could set nets when you liked, you could go after salmon when you wished. For a number of years my father used to put out his nets about April 20 and you would get a good many salmon. It all depended on the run of the salmon. Some years the salmon were late running and some years they were early. There were a great number of people involved in the salmon fishery and they did derive a part of their livelihood from the monies they made from salmon, but this past number of years the salmon stocks have certainly gone down and something had to be done about it.

Now, I heard the hon. the Member for Port de Grave talk the other day about the Danes, and no mistake at all about it, he was right, the Danes did play a major role in the demise of our salmon fishery. They found a great number of salmon up underneath the ice between Baffin Island and Greenland and they sent up the factory freezer trawlers and took a lot of salmon. Now, they took so much salmon that they almost killed the stock in that particular area, and in killing that stock, what salmon came down here and went in our rivers and went back to the shores, were certainly declining, as well. I also learned that now, the Danish fishery is rather small, because the farmed salmon are taking over from that fishery. I think it is widely known, as well, that the reason why they don't catch that many salmon now, and the farmed salmon are taking over, is not because they wanted it that way but because the stocks have decreased to the extent where it is not worthwhile, or not viable for them to fish for salmon up around Greenland.

Mr. Speaker, I had a call the other day from one of the fishermen who said he did not want to sell his license. He said that he should get more than $8000. I asked him if he had any receipts. I told him if he had receipts for the salmon he caught you could perhaps go up to $50,000. He said he had no receipts but he said the point remains that they cut down the season where he could not set a net until June 15 and he wanted to be compensated from the period of time that he was allowed to set the nets in the first instance, May 1 to June 15. Now, I do not know how you would do that but the point remains that there are an awful lot of fishermen who will accept that $8000 because of need, and there are an awful lot of people who will accept it because they did not catch $8000 worth of salmon in the last twenty years.

Now some fishermen who are not stuck for cash certainly will not sell their licence. They will keep their licence in hope that somewhere down the line the stock will come back. I am told that the salmon stocks can come back rather quickly and much faster even than the cod stocks. Now I do not know if that is true or not, but I have been told that it is a fact of life, and perhaps some of the people who do keep their licences - it is a five year moratorium - but after that five years perhaps they will be able to engage in the fishery as well again, and perhaps make some money from it.

I want to say to the Minister of Fisheries that he brought in a program a few days ago, as far as the Loan Board was concerned, and there are some good points to it. The point remains that I want to make a specific point today. I contacted the Minister of Fisheries some time ago about an individual in Flatrock. He was out of the fishery, and he asked for some financial help. It was only about $4,000, he was putting in the rest himself, to get his boat fibreglassed. He could not afford to get a thirty foot trap boat done. He could not afford to get it done, and he could not afford to buy a new one. He was going to get it fibreglassed, which was a good idea. He rose the boat, put it inside on the community stage and applied to the Fisheries Loan Board for $4,000. He was out of the fishery for one year because his traps got torn up, and he went to work to try to keep his six children from starving. They said: You were out of the fishery for 1989, and you cannot get the loan.

Now, in that family there are four sons and the father who are dependent completely, solely on the fishery, and they were turned down by the Fisheries Loan Board because he was one year out of the fishery.

I approached the Minister of Fisheries, and he told me that he called the chairman and told him the plight of the people and did his best, but apparently it fell on deaf ears. I hope the program that you brought in will be looked at not alone on a monetary basis, but on a moral basis as well. I mean there are Newfoundlanders out there hurting, and I think those are the people whose situations should be addressed. I say to the Minister of Fisheries again that in many instances our bureaucrats do things which there are no answers for. It is very easy for me to get up here and say give them a slap on the hand, but that is easier said than done.

Mr. Speaker, the other thing that I saw in the Throne Speech, and I think every one of us in some parts of our constituencies, has to do with the fishery - there is some dependency upon the fishery. But, Mr. Speaker, how about the rest of the people out there? How about the people who were laid off with Coke? How about all the stores that closed in the Avalon Mall? How about the small businesses down in Notre Dame Bay that had to close? How about the loggers? How about some of the logging operations? You do not hear anyone get up in this House and say: How about those people? Let's get money from Ottawa for them. We do not hear a sound because we do not have the mouthpieces. We do not have the Ricky Cashin's of this world. Those people do not have them. There is no one out there speaking for them, and I think that we as legislators in this Legislature should be espousing for those people as well. We should be saying: Look here, there are more people out there than fishermen. Fishermen are the backbone of this Province, and I would be the last one to deny it, but we have more people out than fishermen. We have people right across this country, right across this Province who are hurting.

How about the 3,000 people who the government laid off? They are losing their houses, losing their cars. We do not hear one iota, not a sound. How about the people in Stephenville if Hibernia does not go ahead? I hope to God that I am wrong, but there is some doubt out there, a cloud over the horizon. How about the people in Stephenville who are making those homes and everything out there for this project? Port aux Basques. How about them? How about those people if they lose their jobs? Will we have someone crying? Will we have someone going across Canada and saying to the Canadian people: Look we lost our jobs because Gulf Canada reneged on the Hibernia deal. Most of us are from rural Newfoundland. If there are two people in the one yard when fishermen are unemployed, up comes a program right away. Help the fishermen. If the other poor fellow is a logger, mechanic, or he works in Sobey's in the Avalon Mall and he gets laid off, there is no emphasis placed on his plight, but his plight is just as great as anyone else's.

Mr. Speaker, we also heard the other day in debate -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. PARSONS: By leave?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Does the hon. member have leave?

MR. PARSONS: For leave to finish up?

I want to say to the Minister of Fisheries only one thing in closing. Parts of your speech I certainly agree with, but when you said it was the Federal Government's fault, that they should take responsibility, I say to the Minister of Fisheries that I know for a fact that you last year wrote a letter to the feds saying that the TAC should be anywhere between 170,000 and 185,000 tons. If you thought that at that time, and Ottawa was under pressure - not alone from the Minister of Fisheries from Newfoundland, but the Ministers of Fisheries from the other Atlantic Provinces and all the great companies, including FPI and National Sea were pressuring the Federal Government - then they only did really what they were forced into doing.

If all of us had to have the great insight; if they had listened to that little presentation that yours truly made - I did not know anything - but I did feel that I had some justification in going to the Premier of the day and saying that our TAC is overinflated, is gone beyond the realms of sanity, that the fish is not out there. I was not doing it on my own. I did it because the people out there told me. Dr. Keats was one of the people who told us. I, from what he told me, thought the same thing. But I want to say to the Minister of Fisheries that if you say it is Ottawa's fault now that the TAC is too high, then why did you recommend to Ottawa last year that the TAC be anywhere between 170,000 and 185,000 tons?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. CARTER: Last year when the Minister of Fisheries announced his intention to establish a Total Allowable Catch of 190,000 tons, we did object to that amount. We did it because we felt it was too high. In the meantime, the federal minister's scientists - two or three of the scientists - were saying that something had happened and they could not explain what it was, but the fish stocks were in far better shape than they thought they were initially, and that there was a certain increase in the spawning biomass. They were saying then that the TAC could be close to 190,000 without causing any problems. Now on the basis of that new advice from the scientists we said: look, make it 170,000 tons. That was the basis for the Province agreeing to 170,000 metric tons. We supported the Harris Panel Report which asked for a reduction in the TAC. We have consistently fought to have the TAC lowered, but when the scientists advised otherwise, then we felt that we would not be able to justify going any lower with the TAC.

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to thank the Government side for allowing me those few extra moments. In fact what you are saying is that you did suggest 170,000 to 185,000 tons; but what I am saying to the minister is that you, as minister, are only as good as the information that can flow into you. If those scientists are giving you the information and they are basing it on fact, how can you do otherwise? This is what Ottawa has been doing over the years. We had a paper fishery. We had a paper fishery that was presented to the Government of Ottawa every year. Sure you remember when Senator Kirby said in 1986 that our TAC should be 600,000 tons - paper fish.

Mr. Speaker, I have many things to say, but I will have much time within the next few weeks to say it. I thank the hon. members for allowing me this latitude.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. K. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It is a pleasure to rise today and speak on the Throne Speech debate. I congratulate the Member for Eagle River and also the Member for Carbonear on their remarks as they initiated the debate for the Throne Speech. They were very good speeches, very thought out remarks concerning what the Throne Speech had to say and I enjoyed their comments and I congratulate them for their remarks. Also, we welcome back the Minister of Environment and Lands to her portfolio and I would like to do that officially in the House and I look forward to her energies as she tackles the environment portfolio. Also, we would like to pay respects to the hon. J.R. Smallwood on his passing for his contribution to this Province, Mr. Speaker. We all know the real contribution that he made but we have to keep reminding ourselves in these times of the energy that he had in tackling the many problems that he faced when he was Premier of the Province in trying to straighten them out, so I pay respects to that hon. gentleman who was a great Newfoundlander and who has passed on to a greater glory.

Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the remarks of the Member for St. John's East Extern, I always do. As a matter of fact, any gentleman with the same first name as I have, I obviously must enjoy his remarks and he again showed that he had great knowledge in a number of areas. I too have great mistrust and great I suppose, great problems with the way some of the environmental people - because a lot of the environmental people are very good, the ones who are trying to do the right things for the right reasons - but the actresses of the world who come to the ice floes to talk about the seal hunt, you know there are people in this world who need to be fought for, people's rights - they have nothing else better to do than to come to Newfoundland and Labrador and try to find another cause. Well, there are a lot of other causes around for them to be at and I would urge and I would hope that some common sense will overtake these people one of these days.

How to tackle it is a good question, and our Minister of Fisheries tried to explain it today . It is a very difficult problem with which to deal as you are between a rock and a hard place in one way, because, if you go out and you go at it, you are in a fight with them and you are almost giving them credibility, but if you do not do something, then there are people wondering if it is true or not, so you have a real difficult time in dealing with this type of scaremongering and I suppose the printing of facts which are not facts, and the Provincial Government, and I hope the Federal Government, are going to try to deal with it, because it is a problem that we have to deal with one way or the other.

The Throne Speech talked about a number of things, the fishery of course being one of the main items, a problem that we all have to deal with and I think what the fisheries crisis has done is highlight the need for joint management by the Provincial Government and the Federal Government. It is high time the Federal Government and the Federal Minister of Fisheries and the Prime Minister sat down with our provincial Minister of Fisheries and our Premier and said: let us sit down and work out a possible deal to get joint management which will help this Province and its people in the future. I think it is long over due -

MR. HEWLETT: (Inaudible) oil.

MR. K. AYLWARD: Now I hear the Member for Green Bay talking about oil. Now boy, you know, I tell you, it gets me right riled up, it does, it gets me right riled up because he is the gentleman who was over on the eighth floor for about ten years, talking about oil for three elections, and what happened ladies and gentlemen? Nothing. Now, he is over there worried that this might go. I am starting to get concerned. He is frightened to death, as a matter of fact. When I see that, I think you had your say. You had your say for ten years up there on the eight floor and you did nothing about it. You ran on three elections - and I remember them well - when I was a lonely Liberal who was saying, maybe you should talk to John Chrétien. 'No, we are not doing that!' But, Mr. Speaker, they weren't playing politics then, though. God forbid us, no. They were fighting for the Newfoundlander and Labradorian, and if you didn't believe them, well, then, you were against Newfoundland. I can remember it well, I was a lonely Liberal. A number of us were, Mr. Speaker. Well, I tell you, we are not lonely Liberals anymore, I guarantee you that. On the Hibernia issue we are trying to make this thing go, not like some people who would like to see maybe, some people in the Canadian press and everywhere else, who might want to see it die, but we are going to try and make it go, Mr. Speaker. And this government is doing its best.

So, when I hear that it makes me say, Well, you had your chance. We took over the government in 1989 and with the financial mess they left us with, and trying to deal with some major financial problems, we get hit with the recession. The Premier comes into government and says, It is time to get Hibernia moving. He calls everybody together in the one room and within a year we got a signed agreement, within one year we got a signed agreement on Hibernia and they were scared to death again, because we were trying to make it go. We made something get started that they worked on for ten years and they could get nothing done with it.

So, if you are going to refer to Hibernia, refer to it in the right manner and give credit where credit is due. Our government invited all Premiers to the signing of Hibernia, and our Premier gave credit to all the people involved, including the past government, so you should do the same, because this government is trying to do the best it can in these very difficult times. Don't tell me what the hon. the Opposition could do if they were the government. We saw enough of that, Mr. Speaker, and I tell you, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador saw enough of it, too. They saw enough of it and they are not going to have anymore of it for a long time to come, not for a long time to come.

Let us get back to the fishery for a minute. Joint management, Mr. Speaker: they are on side with us now. I wonder why? Do you wonder why? Because - and I can't understand it - because Mulroney and the federal government are against us. Now, they don't want to give us joint management. But they are a little concerned because in the next few months the federal government may not respond the way they should to this crisis. Because if we have seen anything from the past, they haven't responded very well, obviously. Look at the mess we are in now in the fishery, because it is being managed by that crowd in Ottawa.

So they are concerned and they are saying: We are going to extend the olive branch and we are going to help this government try to fight Ottawa. They are going to help us try to fight Ottawa. Well, that is different news, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Disowning their party.

MR. K. AYLWARD: Disowning their federal party, absolutely. we want nothing to do with John Crosbie, nothing to do with Brian Mulroney, and Barbara McDougall - the great defender of Newfoundland's interests, I can see now, about codfish, I can see it now - well, I hope she does. I hope all of them in Ottawa understand what we have to face down here right now. Unfortunately they don't. But I only hope, Mr. Speaker, that they start understanding. Because we have a major problem down here. I think it is starting to click in up there. We have to hope, anyway.

So the Opposition, now, is starting to say: 'We agree with Premier Wells, we agree with the Provincial Cabinet, we agree with the Provincial Liberal Government, we agree with the Provincial Liberal caucus, that yes, you are going in the right direction.' Then I hear: 'Well, he should have gone last year. He should go across Canada, he should have done that last year.' I mean, we have been proposing to Ottawa joint management for a fairly long time. We have significant proposals developed by the hon. Minister of Fisheries, who has been doing a fine job in trying to get joint management.

Our Minister of Fisheries has been working night and day to get the federal government to understand that joint management would help this Province in the long run. We have also given significant proposals on how this government could assist the federal government deal with the fisheries crisis. But all we get from the other side is nothing but criticism.

Now I don't mind criticism, but I wish it would be constructive. The first bit of positive, constructive criticism they have given so far is: 'We like what you said in the Throne Speech about the fishery and we like what the government is going to do on joint management. We also like what you are going to do across Canada now, so we are with you folks, we are with you.' Well, that's great to know. The House is unanimous on that. So we don't have to worry about that one.

So we just hope that because the hon. Opposition have more influence, apparently - well, they may have more influence. Don Mazankowski was down a few days ago. Do you remember this, folks? He came in to Newfoundland, the hon. federal minister. He didn't meet with the government, he just met with the hon. Opposition. So I hope that the hon. Opposition told him -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. K. AYLWARD: I hope it was a good meeting.

So I only hope that the federal government understands the problems that we have down here, and that the hon. Opposition, in its role, will make sure that their colleagues, their compatriots, their side-by-side campaigners in elections, understand that there is a problem down here. Because they have been there long enough now to understand, and should understand, that there is a problem here.

So I say, Mr. Speaker, that what ever influence that the hon. Opposition have, I hope they will take that and use it as best they can to help all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. We only hope they will do that, because we need every bit of help we can get, as a matter of fact, in dealing with the hon. federal government. Because they do have a lot of influence down here in what happens and I think it is time they woke up and listened to the provincial Minister of Fisheries, the Provincial Government, all the way.

If they did, I think we would have a brighter future. Because this Province has a very bright future if we work at it, if we do a lot of work and move on. But we also need the attention of the federal government in doing that, Mr. Speaker, and I think we have their attention now, finally, hopefully, as a matter of fact. So I implore the Opposition to keep doing - keep doing.

I also want to go on a different trend for a minute. I heard one of the members of the Opposition yesterday talking about health care in their remarks. Well, you know, here is the health care of the Opposition when they were in government. Here is what it is called. If you are in a government seat, then we will put health care in that government seat. If you are not in that government seat, then if you need an x-ray machine or if you need this or that in your health care system, then I am sorry, you will have to wait until after the next election. That is a fact. So, when we talk about health care, let's get right. This government is trying to put a reorganized health care system together with limited dollars - and why do we have limited dollars? Why? I don't know why. Do you know why?

AN HON. MEMBER: Five hundred million.

MR. K. AYLWARD: Five hundred million over how many last year's, Mr. Minister?

AN HON. MEMBER: That can't be right.

MR. K. AYLWARD: Five hundred million. That is almost the total; that is about two-thirds of the health care budget in this Province - has been cut out, by whom? By their compatriots, by their people that they go campaigning with side-by-side in elections, provincial and federal, the same people in Ottawa. So they can't be right because they are over here criticizing us about health care, when their hon. colleagues in Ottawa are giving us the gears down here. So I don't understand it, Mr. Speaker. I am having a hard time understanding that logic, I have to tell you. They are over there criticizing us. We are here trying to do a reorganized health care system - which now is starting to be seen, most people start to see it as making some sense - with the limited dollars we have because of their hon. colleagues in Ottawa, and they are over there criticizing us. I am really having a hard time.

I was just reading Bob Rae of Ontario. His government now is starting to reorganize the health care system.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are they?

MR. K. AYLWARD: Yes, and guess what model they are going to start using? Newfoundland and Labrador. I would say they are going to be calling the hon. the Minister of Health for Newfoundland and asking, Can you help us?

MR. BAKER: They already have.

MR. K. AYLWARD: They already have, the President of Treasury Board tells me. So, you know, Mr. Speaker, we have a lot to do. This government has problems to deal with, but thank God, this government is here. Thank God, this government is here, and when we have to make decisions that are tough ones to make and the right ones to make, in this trying time, they will be made, not on the basis of politics, not on the basis of pure politics, but on the basis of good politics for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is time, Mr. Speaker. People out there now understand the reality of the situation and when the government here deals with the problems and listens to the Opposition, all we hope is that the Opposition will give us the credit that we deserve.

Mr. Speaker, I am really getting going, but I will have to wait and adjourn the debate until tomorrow.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Tomorrow is Private Members' Day and I remind hon. members we will be debating the resolution put forward by the Leader of the Opposition relating to the economic climate of the Province.

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

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