March 12, 1992                  HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS            Vol. XLI  No. 5

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, in response to the increased demand for preventive mediation services during 1991, I am pleased to announce that Mr. George Joyce, a conciliator with the Department of Employment and Labour Relations, will assume the position of Preventive Mediation Co-ordinator.

This appointment will enable Mr. Joyce to focus exclusively on the further development and delivery of the Preventive Mediation Program which was first announced in the fall of 1990. Preventive Mediation is a comprehensive program designed to assist labour and management in working together towards a more productive labour relations climate in the Province. It promotes ongoing communication and consultation between both parties to their mutual benefit. Assistance in adoption of this program will be provided by the experienced staff of the Labour Relations Division of the Department.

As Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, I believe the assigning of an individual on a full-time basis to the Preventive Mediation Program demonstrates Government's commitment to fostering a more positive labour relations environment in the Province.

The emphasis in the workplace is clearly shifting toward mutual problem solving. To this end, Mr. Joyce will be meeting with representatives of employers and unions in the public and private sector throughout the Province promoting the use of the Preventive Mediation process.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that greater co-operation between labour and management is more important now than at any other time in our history, since it is imperative to the survival of all of us in an increasingly competitive economy. The Preventive Mediation Program will be of great assistance in the realization of that goal.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We certainly welcome the appointment of the Preventive Mediation Services counsellor. The only thing I have to say is that, at the rate this administration is going, you won't need one because there will be no one left working in the Province.

Mr. Speaker, in this House a few days ago, I am sure the Premier fostered healthy relationships when he suggested that the union has his head stuck in the sand. If the Premier wants to get on with better labour relations in this Province, then I suggest that he set the leadership for this administration. But, Mr. Speaker, we welcome the appointment and we hope, of course, that there is going to be a lot of useful work done in the immediate future as new contracts are signed with the different labour groups throughout the Province.

Oral Questions

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. I was just admiring the photograph of the Member for St. John's South. He is following his colleagues now and putting some ads in the paper.

I have a quick question, if I might, to the Minister of Finance. We have had a considerable amount of time now since the federal Budget was tabled in the House of Commons. We are nearing the end of our own fiscal year in the matter of a couple of weeks. We have heard several dates mentioned as the dates for the Budget - March 12; then we heard March 19; now, we are hearing March 26, which is really near the end of the fiscal year. I am wondering why the government can't seem to make a decision. Could it let all those people, who are awaiting all the goodies in the Budget, know when the Budget will be presented to this House?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I know that the hon. member is very anxious to know about the goodies in the Budget, but he will have to restrain himself as best he can for the next several days, or whatever. We will announce it when we are ready, and as quickly as we can.

Thank you.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I won't pursue that because I can see it won't get anywhere, so I will change my tactic and talk to the Minister of Transportation with some questions.

The Minister of Transportation, no doubt, is aware of the situation at the Wooddale farming community, in that the road out there is impassable and, in fact, deplorable. I have talked to a number of farmers out there. Small business farmers stand to lose thousands of dollars, and jobs could be affected. That road is used to transport hundreds of gallons of milk to the marketplace, thousands of eggs to the marketplace, and the problem is, the truck that does the transportation of those products won't go in over the road. The school bus, today, took an hour and forty minutes to get the school kids to their first school.

I made representation early this morning, myself, to the department out there, and I have been told that they may have a grader out there by now. Hopefully, some time today, they will. But since this problem could easily have been forecast and anticipated, because it happens every year, I want to ask the minister, why wasn't his department ready to move to deal with that critical and crucial situation today?

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

MR. GOVER: Mr. Speaker, with respect to this particular question, I have had some consultations with my officials on the policy for snow and ice control. The information I have received is that the policies haven't varied significantly over the last several years. With respect to this particular matter, it is a matter that stands on its own unique facts. I will have to investigate the matter and report back to the House.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, we have had a thaw now for several days, as the minister would know. It happens every year, as he just said himself. People out there have been complaining, trying to get hold of the Minister of Agriculture, trying to get hold of their own member, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. They are threatening to blockade the roads, and so on. Now, I am told that the depot in Central Newfoundland was delayed in responding because their equipment wasn't ready to address the situation. If that is so, can the minister confirm that, in fact, the depot is short of maintenance staff and that it is unable to respond quickly to the situation because of government cutbacks in the Department?

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

MR. GOVER: Mr. Speaker, with respect to confirming or denying these particular allegations, I am having this matter investigated to determine if, in fact, there have been cutbacks in the snow and ice control budget. I had a look at the budgeted amount for 1991-92 and that certainly wasn't decreased over the amount in 1991. I am having my officials go back over the Budgets to determine if this allegation of cutbacks with respect to the snow and ice clearing budget is well-founded, and, if it is well-founded, which I am not convinced of, whether it is having a detrimental impact on the maintenance of the operations in the Province. My information is that the budget has not been significantly impacted and that the policies and procedures which were in place for many, many years are still in place, and in all the Province and all the roads, we have one particular road out of several thousand kilometres of road, Mr. Speaker, I would assume the Department is doing a very adequate job.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, this is scary because, obviously, the Member for Exploits or the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture have not even talked to the minister about it. It has nothing to do with the snow and ice control shortage. That is not what we are talking about. And this is not the same as hundreds of other roads, this is a road that serves a farming community, the agriculture industry, where thousands of dollars could be affected. Last year the former minister now, the Member for Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir, publicly committed to paving that particular road. Now, why is there any reason to continue to add to the anxiety of those people there who are trying to make a living, by simply putting of their announcement until the Budget, because I am sure that is what they are up to just to make their Budget look good. It has already been promised and why does the minister not treat that issue, the paving of that road as a priority now? Why does he not ease their anxiety and stand up here in the House today and say, yes, tenders will be called to pave that road. That would assist them at least over the short-term, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. GOVER: As I have indicated previously, Mr. Speaker, the nature of the capital program is part of the budgetary process, and the amount of money in that particular vote I would assume will be announced by the Minister of Finance on the day he makes the Budget speech. It is well known you cannot pave roads in the winter.

MR. SPEAKER: Final supplementary, the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: It should be also well known by the Minister of Transportation that we are not talking about snow and ice on the road, we are talking about mud on the road. So can the Minister tell us -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. SIMMS: I would remind Members opposite this is being carried live, by the way, I assure you. Mr. Speaker, can the Minister tell us now will he get on to this issue immediately, treat it as a priority, or are they simply going to sit back and laugh and yell as they have been doing and treat it in that kind of a manner?

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

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I can assure the hon. the Leader of the Opposition that my department will treat this matter with great urgency and great despatch. Everything he has indicated and said is that this road is unique - it is different from other roads in the Province. That is what I indicated in my first answer. I would have to investigate the situation, determine what the problem is, because it is unique. But we will treat it with the urgency it deserves. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, and concerns the amalgamation plans that his government has enacted in the St. John's Metropolitan area.

The minister will know that there have been enormous increases in taxes for certain people. While most have merely doubled in the former Town of the Goulds, for farmers in particular taxes have increased by as much as ten times. Will the minister admit that the plans of his Government as implemented in the amalgamation decisions have resulted in enormous hardship for individuals, and what is he prepared to do about it?

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

MR. HOGAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. No, I will not admit any such thing, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: Well, now that the Minister has admitted that a tax increase of ten times is not a hardship, I suppose he will tell us that what the former minister said before Christmas - the former minister said that he would be prepared to look at any anomalies and if there were special hardships that he would see what he could do about it and devise some plans to do it. Is the minister now saying that he is not prepared to do that? Or is he saying to this House that a tax increase of ten times for farmers trying to make a living is not a hardship and ought to be tolerated?

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

MR. HOGAN: No, Mr. Speaker. What I was saying was, no, I will not admit that the government plans are gone wherever he said they were gone. But I am prepared, as my predecessor was prepared to do, to look at anything that has put excessive pressure on the tax payer, and we will look at any such things that are brought to our attention as they come to our attention. I have followed the particular subject in the media, but nothing has come to our department or across our desk yet that I know of to indicate what is happening, although I can certainly believe what is happening. There is a transition team in place or should be in place that is working with the municipal groups involved and they will report back to the department accordingly, and we will try to do the best we can accordingly.

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. Both the Minister of Fisheries and the Premier have said publicly that the Province recommended a Total Allowable Catch for the northern cod quotas of less than 120,000 tons. I am wondering if the minister would inform the House what the Provinces recommendation was for the Total Allowable Catch?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the recommendation that the Province made to the federal minister was that the Total Allowable Catch be along the lines recommended by scientists, which in technical terms is known as FO.1, and that is about 20 per cent of what is known as the biomass, which would have been about 100,000 metric tons this year, and that was the recommendation made by the Province.

Now, Mr. Speaker, included in that 100,000 metric tons we recommended that there be an allowance made for the foreign illegal fishing that is taking place on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, which in 1991 amounted to something like 47,000 metric tons. So instead, of course, we all know that the minister announced a TAC of 120,000 metric tons without factoring in the potential for foreign - I should not say overfishing - illegal fishing which we have no reason to believe will be any less in 1992 than what it was in 1991.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For all intents and purposes the minister and everyone else in the Province knows that the deep sea fishery is shut down except for the flounder fishery, and there is a few thousand tons of cod left over for a by catch. So let me ask the minister: if you recommended a 100,000 ton TAC then in essence the Province recommended and was willing to accept that the sacred inshore allowance be cut. Can the minister confirm that?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the inshore allowance is a paper allowance. We all know that. For example, in 1991 the inshore allowance was 115,000 metric tons, and we all know that the inshore harvest was around 60,000 I believe.

So, we are as anxious as anybody to maintain the integrity of the inshore allowance, and last year we came out in support of it. But, Mr. Speaker, we are only fooling ourselves to say that the inshore allowance is going to be 115,000 metric tons knowing full well that our chances under the present circumstances of ever harvesting that amount are just about zero. So, it was not a case of recommending that we tamper with the integrity of the inshore allocation. I think common sense, Mr. Speaker, dictated that the allowance would remain where it is, but certainly the harvest would not measure up to it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

For the first time in the history of this Province we have a Provincial Government that has recommended an attack on the sacred inshore allowance of the fishery.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: This is the first time in our history, Mr. Speaker, the first time in our Province's history. This is the first time ever, Mr. Speaker, that this Province has ever recommended touching the inshore allowance.

I want to ask the Minister this. You recommended a total allowable catch of 100,000 tons. That was going to cause a lot of fallout in the fishing industry and create unemployment in this Province. What did the Provincial Government's assessment on a 100,000 ton TAC, what were the numbers of fishermen that would be thrown out of the fishing industry and how many fish plant workers would be unemployed under your recommendation? Can you give us those figures?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, that kind of questioning on the part of the Opposition House Leader is not worthy of the hon. gentleman. I can say that to him now because it is just absolutely ridiculous what he is getting on with, trying now to paint the Government in the corner in that we are recommending that we tamper with the inshore allowance. Mr. Speaker, he is following the same logic that his soul mate in Ottawa has been following, where the set TACs last year, for example, they established -


MR. CARTER: If they want the answer, they can stay quiet and I will give it to them, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, last year the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans came out with a great deal of flurry and fanfare and announced a TAC of 190,000 metric tons. At the time we suggested to him that it was a paper Total Allowable Catch and, in fact, we were right because not only did we not catch 190,000 metric tons, we did not even come close to catching it. In fact, the total harvest for 1991 was about 130,000 metric tons.

So this year the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans could just as easily have set the TAC at 500,000 metric tons, for what good it is. So I do not know what they are getting on with. But trying to suggest that we are in favour of tampering with the integrity of the inshore allocation is not worthy of that hon. gentleman, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Any time you pin the Minister of Fisheries down, or the Premier, that is the reaction you get - it is not worthy of a response. But once again this Government has been caught being too slick by half.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: Now if you recommended 100,000 metric tons, the Province should have done an assessment. You have a Minister of Employment, you have your own department, you have the Minister of Development and so on. How many jobs would have been lost in this Province if the Federal Minister of Fisheries had accepted the Province's recommendation for 100,000 metric tons of fish for northern cod? How many jobs would the Province have lost?

MR. SIMMS: That's the question.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Fisheries.

MR. CARTER: The hon. gentleman should be embarrassed to stand up in this House and talk about job losses. He should be ashamed to stand on his feet, Mr. Speaker. Because thanks to the Government that he is supporting, his soul mates in Ottawa, Newfoundland has lost over 5,000 jobs in the past three or four years.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, he is here now trying to defend the actions of his friends in Ottawa who have stood by these past four or five years and have allowed the fishing industry in Newfoundland to be just about driven into the ground.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, we had a Total Allowable -

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

I want to bring some moderation and civility to the Question Period. I again remind hon. members that Question Period is not a period for debate, but to get information and to hold the Government accountable. I remind all hon. members to my left and right that it is not for debating. I would ask the hon. minister to clue up his answer very quickly, please.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is trying to cover up for his friends in Ottawa who during the past number of years have brought the Newfoundland fishing industry to its knees.

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

MR. DOYLE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Health. The minister has had his investigation completed on MCP. The report has been in his hands now for approximately two weeks, with respect to patients' records being confused with garbage.

We were told by the minister about a year ago that the system was secure, that patients had really nothing to worry about. Obviously that turned out not to be accurate. Now that the report is in, the minister no doubt will want to tell the people what happened, where the system broke down. Would he do that? Would he tell the people what happened, where the system failed? The people who were supposed to have confidence in what the minister told them about a year ago.

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, as the hon. Member points out, the report was received a couple of weeks ago. I read it very thoroughly, examined it very closely, discussed it with officials within the Department of Health. Then I discussed it with the chairman of Medicare and the chief executive officer. Then both MCP and myself and officials from the department met with the Newfoundland Medical Association, and discussed the report very thoroughly. There are some actions which have to be taken. The Medicare Commission will be taking them. There are some further actions which Government will have to take, and in due course, when I have the opportunity to discuss the matter with my colleagues in Government, we will be taking all necessary action.

As to the commitment to the people as to whether or not this thing should happen, in theory such a thing should never happen. But in practice we have human beings who are handling things. I suppose the only way we could be absolutely certain would be if we were to throw out all human beings and replace them with computers and robots. Then there might be some way to guarantee. But as close as it is humanly possible, in as much as it is humanly possible, every single precaution is being taken to make sure that such a thing does not happen again.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

It is the Chair's understanding that the Member for Harbour Main is doing the questioning and the Chair would like to keep it that way.

The hon. the Member for Harbour Main, please.

MR. DOYLE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

That is fine, Mr. Speaker. We will see what action is going to be taken. We will be watching it very closely.

Can the Minister outline for us what action has been taken by him, his Department, and what action has been taken by MCP to date to make sure that the system is secure? People just don't want assurances that he is doing it. The Minister gave that assurance about a year ago, and we know what happened. Will he now give some of the details of what he has been doing over the last number of months and what MCP has been doing over the last number of months to tighten up the system?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, as I outlined earlier, I went through some of the details of what we have been doing. Now, in the meantime the hon. member will be quite pleased to know that in the interim we have asked MCP to shred all paper garbage. So the reality is now that all paper garbage, even envelopes, Mr. Speaker, which we all know do not contain too much confidential information, at this moment is being shredded. We will continue to do that until Government and MCP have had an opportunity to put in place some of the recommendations which the report have made.

The hon. Member will also be pleased to know, Mr. Speaker, that as soon as Government is finished with examining this report I will be tabling in this House of Assembly a portion of that report, the twenty-five or thirty recommendations as to what should be done.

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

MR. DOYLE: Mr. Speaker, is the Minister saying, then, that he can say today with absolute confidence that there will not be another breach of confidentiality between doctor and patient. If he cannot say that, will he change to a different monitoring system for doctors' billings that does not involve the direct use of confidential patient records by MCP?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the only way that I could give that assurance would be if I were prepared to abolish the Medicare Commission and replace it with a group of robots and computers. We would have to stop paying bills, we would have to stop making claims, and the whole system would have to be completely changed and shelved, Mr. Speaker. Under the concept of universal health care which we have in this nation there is always a very slim possibility that due to human error or due to incompetence or whatever, there is always a possibility that there will be a slip-up.

Now, the best we can do is to put in place a protocol whereby the likelihood of this ever happening is very, very minute and very, very slim. That has been done and that will continue to be done, Mr. Speaker. But until I am requested by Government, or whatever, to put in place a bunch of robots or computers who will sit down and do nothing, then I cannot make that claim. But I can assure the people, Mr. Speaker, that this matter has been given a lot of consideration by Government. Government is very concerned that this incident happened, and we are taking all the steps that we can humanly take, considering we are dealing with frail human beings in the system. As far as it can be done, with human beings manning the system, Mr. Speaker, every step is being taken, no stone is being left unturned, because this is a serious matter and Government is attempting to deal with it, bearing in mind the frailty of human nature.

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

MR. DOYLE: Mr. Speaker, I can appreciate what the Minister is saying, but in the interest of doctor/patient confidentiality, which is very, very important, and since this particular incident did occur, which should not have occurred, will the Minister now instruct MCP to obtain patient consent before forcing doctors to break confidence with their patients -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DOYLE: - and ship off their files to MCP which may or may not be in secure, safe hands? Will he instruct MCP to get patient consent now?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the suggestion which the hon. Member makes might sound good in theory, but in its practical application I would suggest it would be somewhat difficult to administer. The hon. Member is surely not suggesting that this Province would shell out $100 million without any audit - without asking any questions? If that is what the hon. Member is suggesting, I can appreciate why this Province is in the mess it is, if that is the way things are going.

In practical terms, the suggestion that the hon. Member is making will not work. One of the prices of having a universal medicare system whereby the individual does not pay for his health care directly is that someone has to be able to call the shots and say: this is a legitimate bill or it is not a legitimate bill. The two go hand in hand. A universal free medicare system must go hand in hand with a system of checks and balances. So what the hon. Member is suggesting sounds all very good in theory, but in practice it could not work. What we have to do is put in place the best possible system we can to avoid such a thing reoccurring as happened just at the end of last year.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

My question is to the Minister responsible for Works Services and Transportation. It is concerning the infamous Ossok Bridge. I am sure the hon. Minister is familiar with the construction of the Ossok Bridge. I wonder if he can tell me and my constituents, and the constituents of Churchill Falls, when this bridge will be finished construction and when people will be able to drive from Labrador City - Wabush area to Churchill, and of course vice versa from Churchill back to Labrador City?

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

MR. GOVER: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure of the exact termination of construction on that particular bridge. I do not have the date at my fingertips, but I will undertake to get that information.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, on my checking with the contractor, my understanding is that the bridge will be finished construction in September or late August, and it will be able to be travelled on in early September.

Now that the Minister is aware that this bridge will be completed by that date, can he tell me if that road will be maintained year-round next year - 1992-1993 year? Will the road be maintained?

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

MR. GOVER: I think it is obvious to say that having invested in a roadway, there will be some maintenance on the roadway. The exact nature of the maintenance on the roadway will depend on the amount of funds provided in the Budget. So we will have to wait for the Budget for that particular decision, and we will cross that bridge - like the other bridge - when we come to it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Menihek.

MR. A. SNOW: I wonder if the Minister would mind being serious. This is very important to the people of Labrador.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. A. SNOW: He may think it is funny, sitting back in his ivory tower here in St. John's, but it is not funny to the people of Labrador.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. A. SNOW: The people on the Island portion of this Province do not have to wait for a budget to know that they can drive from Gander to St. John's. They do not have to wait for the Budget, but the people in Labrador have to wait. Now why is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: Good question!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Works Services and Transportation.

MR. GOVER: I do not know where the hon. Member seems to think that I regard this matter as a humorous matter. As the hon. Member is aware, the Premier met with the Happy Valley - Goose Bay Council to discuss the completion of the Trans-Labrador Highway on Tuesday, and tomorrow morning I will be meeting with the same council to discuss the same issue so that we can accelerate the completion of this particular project which is very, very important for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and which my department regards as a project of the utmost importance. So I do not know where the member gets his attitude, but as far as I am concerned as minister, I can assure the people of Labrador that this project has a very, very high priority.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

I got the fact that he did not treat it seriously because he was flung back in his seat laughing about the question of what maintenance was going to be. That is where I got the attitude, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I remind the hon. gentleman that he is on a supplementary and as I have said before, Question Period is not a time to debate and the hon. member should put his question forthwith.

The hon. the Member for Menihek.

MR. A. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, can he tell me if there has been Budget allocations, will the road be maintained from Churchill Falls to Happy Valley - Goose Bay next year? I do not want to know what the meeting schedule is for the Premier or himself, I just want to know how much work is going to be done?

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

MR. GOVER: Mr. Speaker, I will make every effort and do everything in my power to ensure the maintenance on that particular section of road will be better than the previous administration's maintenance.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

AN HON. MEMBER: Where were you for the last twenty years on that road, Alec?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I do not know if hon. members know the routine business that we are in now, but I have called for Presenting Reports by Standing and Special Committees, and I have recognized the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

MR. HOGAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to table in the House two financial statements including the Auditor General's financial statements of the public libraries board for 1988, 1989, and 1990, and the eleventh annual report and financial statements of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. This council has completed another year of valuable work within the artistic and cultural -

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

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition on a point of order.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I understand we are under tabling of reports.


MR. SIMMS: The practice under tabling of reports is that the minister tables the report with very brief comments, but I know that the minister, in fact, has a very lengthy statement. He should have presented it under Statements by Ministers. So if we can get clarification from the minister, does he intent to read this lengthy statement because if he does that is not the provision of the tabling section of the rules.

MR. SPEAKER: To the point of order, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition is correct that in the tabling of documents the practice is that there only be a very brief comment and that the minister should not get into any lengthy comment. There is a place for statements by ministers. So I would ask the minister to please table his document as quickly as possible, being as brief as possible.

MR. HOGAN: I would have to take direction from the Chair on what is brief, Mr. Speaker. I was just going to cover very briefly two major and important documents, one which has not been tabled for some time. There are three reports, and they do deserve some attention. They are with the Public Libraries Board and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. But seeing the Opposition objects to my giving any sort of a description I will just table the reports and sit down. Thank you.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

AN HON. MEMBER: A big sook.

MR. SIMMS: I do not want the minister to get upset. The point is we were just trying to bring the rules to the attention of the minister. If the minister wants to revert to Statements by Minister, then that is fine. We would be happy to give leave for him to do that. But the point is that under tabling the Opposition does not get a chance to comment. You see we have no opportunity to respond or comment on the statement that you might wish to make; under Statements we do. So we would prefer if you are going to give that lengthy statement that you circulated to us that we revert to Statements by Ministers, let him make the statement, and then we will have a chance to respond. We would be happy to do that.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To that particular point of order.

Mr. Speaker, I would respectfully suggest that Your Honour have someone check back through copies of Hansard and so on, and Your Honour will find many instances where in terms of tabling reports, allowances have been made for 30 seconds or a minute or whatever for some reports to be described in some detail, especially when it is a report of a committee. I remember several instances, Mr. Speaker, where a committee is tabling a report and the chairman of the committee takes a minute or two to do a brief description of the contents of that particular report.

So, Mr. Speaker, this cannot be construed as a ministerial statement. It is the tabling of reports and the minister simply was going to give a very brief description. I think the minister is absolutely right, that the Opposition has objected to him making any comment about this, and I am sure the minister will take the opportunity later to make his own comments to the press about it even though the Opposition insists he not do it in the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair does not need any further submissions. The Chair is quite clear on what it has to do.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, but I must respond to the Government House Leader's last few comments. We are not in any way, shape or form opposed to his making those statements, and that is what he is trying to twist it around to appear. That is silly. We are prepared to let the minister make his statement, but this is more than a 30 second commentary, much more, and the rules are the rules. We have to follow them. I would prefer that the minister make his statement and that we get a chance to respond to the statement because they are two important issues. Now, if they want to be silly about it and not do it, well that is fine too. It does not really matter.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The minister does not have a ministerial statement to make, therefore the Opposition cannot give or withdraw permission for the minister to make any such statement. The Opposition does not control Ministerial Statements, the ministers control Ministerial Statements, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order. The Chair has already ruled on the previous point of order. I want to remind hon. members that there are definite procedures in the House, definite rules and regulations, our own Standing Orders and the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, and other Standing Orders and regulations in other Houses that govern all of these routine matters. There is no question, that with respect to the presentation of reports by Standing and Special Committees it says precisely that. It is the presentation with remarks as brief as possible. Now, I have no doubts that if we look back in the past we could see all kinds of contingencies, all kinds of things happen because the Chair did not call them, I expect, many times, but this Chair is calling them. I am asking ministers, please, to co-operate when we are presenting reports, that they be as they say, a presentation, and in this case, brevity is the soul of wit.

The hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table, in compliance with legislative requirement, the annual Report of the Labour Relations Board for 1991 and also a series of appendices. I invite all members to give it their attention.

Notices of Motion

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow move that the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole on Supply to consider certain resolutions for the granting of Interim Supply to Her Majesty.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In response to a question asked by the Member for Torngat Mountains, the question concerned the holding of a judicial inquiry into the unfortunate deaths at Davis Inlet in a fire. The answer to the question is simply that according to the Summary Proceedings Act, where a person dies and there is reasonable cause to suspect that person died as a result of violence, misadventure, negligence, misconduct, malpractice, or by unfair means, and some other conditions - now, obviously, this is misadventure and would fit under this particular definition - then a judge shall hold an inquiry to ascertain the cause respecting the circumstances surrounding that death, so that is a natural process. However, it goes on to say, Mr. Speaker, that notwithstanding that particular subsection, a judge is not required to hold an inquiry in relation to a death where the Director of Public Prosecutions notifies the judge that an inquiry is not necessary. So, government's part in this, then - the question really would be, Would the government direct the judge not to hold an inquiry? Because it would seem to me that it would be pretty automatic there would be an enquiry. The police report surrounding the deaths is not in yet; when it is, at that time a decision will be made. It is obvious that we wouldn't go out of our way to direct that an enquiry not be held.

Orders of the Day

MR. BAKER: Order 1.

MR. SPEAKER: Order 1, the Address in Reply.

The hon. the Member for Stephenville.

MR. K. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, before I start, I am warning the Opposition not to get me going today. The other day I was going on a very good trend, I was speaking to a number of issues and I got thrown off a little bit and ended up speaking on a number of things that I really didn't want to get into, but it was as good a time as any to do it.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, the Throne Speech is one that sets out a plan for the Province, where this government is going. The Member for Eagle River wasn't here the other day but I commended him in his absence for his reply to the Throne Speech. The Member for Eagle River is a good friend of mine and a colleague and he provides a great deal of energy on behalf of his district and on behalf of Labrador. I think he is doing a fine job and I believe his constituents feel the same. They would have been duly proud to see him here the other day speaking on the Throne Speech. When I meet his constituents I will tell them the same, as a matter of fact. I am sure you will send a copy of my speech to him, and so on. I do mean it. He put a lot of thought into it and I must say, he did quite well.

Mr. Speaker, one economic matter I would like to touch on, that is part of the discussion when we are talking about the Throne Speech and where we go as a province, as we outline our plans, an industry that is not getting much evaluation, press or debate is the forestry industry, the pulp and paper industry.

There is in Stephenville, in my district, a pulp and paper mill, Abitibi-Price, one of the most modern mills in the world, selling to markets internationally, to Japan, West Germany, England, South America. This pulp and paper mill is doing very good work. The employees are to be commended for the job they do. Abitibi-Price has restructured in the last couple of years, and each mill is now a profit centre or has to make a return on investment for its shareholders. So each mill has to stand on its own as an operation, and I am very pleased to say that the Stephenville operation is doing quite well and their future looks very bright.

But it is a very difficult time in the world market for pulp and paper, extremely difficult. Prices have bottomed out and have caused companies such as Abitibi and Kruger and other companies in the pulp and paper market to really attempt to address cost as much as they can. It is a very difficult market. The price has dropped off over $100 per ton during the past year or so and a number of things have affected the market. Unfortunately, it is going to be a few more months before things start to get better. So, this year, the mills in this Province are trying to make do the best they can in dealing with this market situation, and I wish them the best. This government is working with them to ensure that that occurs.

The Abitibi mill in Stephenville has done superb work and their employees are a committed group. Everybody working together, the employees, governments, federal and provincial, I think we will have a bright future. But it is a big industry in the Bay St. George region and we have to see it is maintained and has a bright future.

I would like to highlight a bit the reorganization of the Western Community College on the West Coast, which is now seeing Stephenville as its the headquarters. It has seen an expansion of the mandate of the college which allows now for three-year programmes to be put into Stephenville and other campuses, as a matter of fact. Not restricted to one year as the previous government had done through its previous restructuring. So Western Community College is a beneficiary of this government's new policy, and they are now able to move ahead with planning and programming for the future, to address the post-secondary needs of the West Coast of the Province.

I am very pleased that they are able to do that, and now they have a mandate with which to do it. The hon. the Minister of Education, with his new policy, I believe, has made a major contribution to post-secondary education, and our region is one of the beneficiaries in that now. The staff at the college can now plan and help develop programming and not be restricted to one year programs. They can build on the base they already have and I think they have a very bright future as they go forward. They have done a superb job over the last number of years and we look forward to better things ahead for the Western Community College.

Stephenville has benefited in the last couple of years in a number of ways. Even though, with the recession, it has been tough, and the government has been strapped for funds, the Stephenville area has done very well, and I am pleased that they have. A lot of our work by the town council out there and by the community futures groups - also the Stephenville Airport Corporation, which has been promoting the Stephenville airport; a lot of good work has been done there to promote our international airport, which has now been designated. A lot of work needs to be done, a lot of planning has been done. The Town of Stephenville has been able to get and to achieve a number of municipal works that they were not able to achieve under the former government, but this government has recognized their needs and has put some funds there to allow them to develop the municipality. It has done that very well.

A number of infrastructure developments have occurred in the Stephenville area. As a matter of fact, I think it is one of the regional growth centres of the Province, and it has a bright future ahead. A lot of planning has been done and this year looks like another very good year for the Stephenville area. Despite the economy, overall, the area seems to be holding its own.

A number of other things have occurred that have allowed the Stephenville area to move ahead. The construction of a new public library is giving a big boost to the area, to the students and to the young people in Stephenville and in Bay St. George, a library that this government has helped fund and build, and they are very proud of that. The official opening is coming up May 2. It is a very fine structure. The Minister of Development was in Stephenville over the last few days and was able to see that structure.

At this time, also, Mr. Speaker, in speaking of the Minister of Development, I want to say that we were out raising some funds for Emile Benoit of the Port au Port Peninsula. Mr. Hodder, the hon. Member for Port au Port, helped arrange a fundraiser and he deserves a great deal of credit for being able to organize this fundraiser. Besides giving him credit, I have to give some of the credit to the hon. the Minister of Development and Tourism, who arranged to have a number of items put up for auction and who attracted a great deal of attention while he was out there, as a matter of fact. The Minister of Development and Tourism did a superb job on the airwaves, along with the Member for Port au Port. I jumped in, myself, once in a while, Mr. Speaker, and I must say, between the three of us, we were able to raise a number of dollars to help the supporters of Emile Benoit with a CD which will now be produced in the very near future, and hopefully, a video. They are looking at producing a video along with the CD.

AN HON. MEMBER: And we will be in it.

MR. K. AYLWARD: And we will be in it. We didn't get that commitment from the Member for Port au Port, but if that is the case, no problem. The Minister of Development and Tourism always likes to get his picture taken and likes being in videos, so I think it would be good to have him in that video. I will bow out, myself, for the Member for Port au Port, and let the Minister of Development and Tourism take over that job.

It was a very nice event. Emile Benoit is a character in this Province who is a promoter of and an attraction for tourism, and now, his music is being put on a CD forever and a day. The Member for Port au Port deserves that credit along with the Minister of Development and Tourism, and we look forward to seeing that CD and that project finalized in the next little while. It was good fun, it was non-partisan and totally enjoyable for all of us to do that.

Getting back to Stephenville, Mr. Speaker, the district, itself, has benefited in a number of ways through this government. A new forty-eight room hotel with a convention center is going to be constructed out there very shortly, this spring. It is getting underway and it is going to be a boost to the area. Again, this government supported that project through ACOA, the first time ever that a provincial government did that. So that is underway and looks very good for the near future.

We also have a tourist chalet, Mr. Speaker. Over $250,000 was allocated from this government during the past two years to build a new regional tourist chalet in Bay St. George, one of the nicest in the Province, and which increased tourism in the area last summer to 15 per cent, and it looks well for the future. The area out there, I think, is one of the most attractive areas of the Province for the tourist industry. A lot of work has been done and I commend the Development and Tourism Department for their work and their commitment to the region. Again, that was a project that had been worked on for about eight or nine years and hadn't gotten too far, but with the new Minister of Development and Tourism it has gone very far. I commend him for his response to those initiatives on behalf of the people of the Stephenville District, Stephenville area and Bay St. George.

Also, Mr. Speaker, last year and this year we were able to get some work done on White's Road, which is a very important road between Stephenville and Corner Brook. Some paving of that road was done, again the first time in seven or eight years that any work was done on that. We are hoping again this year that there will be some paving of that road. That is a very important connection between Corner Brook and the Bay St. George area, economy-wise, and we are hoping that some further work will be done. It is important and it is helping set up the infrastructure for the region. We are hoping that is going to carry on further.

Also, Mr. Speaker, a number of other things have occurred in Stephenville which are very positive. The announcement of a new recreational facility, a swimming pool facility, has been made and the communities out there are now finalizing the agreement for shared maintenance and shared construction costs. This government has provided $1.5 million for that facility to be built this coming year, and that means another major capital project and also a boost for the young people of the Stephenville region, a very important one, as a matter of fact, and we look forward to seeing that occur.

A number of other things on which we are working, Mr. Speaker, I believe Stephenville and Bay St. George are areas that have a lot of potential, a lot of planning has been done, we have a plan for marketing the airport, we have a plan for the first time ever for the industrial park out there, we also have a plan for the port, so we intend on making sure that the area is aggressively highlighted and promoted and I hope to see that occur during the next number of months and I think that this year we will see some successes in the attraction of businesses to the Stephenville region during the next few months. But again, you must have planning done in order for a community to grow and we feel comfortable with that. As I say, the Stephenville area has a very bright future and we are going to continue to work with this Government and work with the Federal Government and the municipal leadership to make sure that occurs.

Mr. Speaker, before I clue up my remarks I want to go back to the economy in general. In order for Government to pay for services for the people in this Province, the economy has to be vibrant and has to be planned. This Government is planning the economic future, it is working hard to develop the economy and one of the major aspects of that economy of course, is a vibrant and healthy fishery. We have to get joint management from the Federal Government as soon as possible, we have to get a fisheries joint management board which will allow us to have some say in what occurs in the fishery, that has to happen in the near future. This crisis has identified that as the major problem I believe, and I think it is time that the Federal Government recognized the need for joint management in this Province.

This Government has been presenting proposals to the Federal Government to see that happen and I hope that will occur. I could support the Government in doing that and I believe that if we were able to achieve that process, the future for this Province and for its fishery and for its people will be very positive and I believe we are on the right track and I look forward to seeing this Government, the Premier and the Cabinet keep putting forward forcibly, the proposals required and the arguments required to ensure the Federal Government listens to us.

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak on the Speech from the Throne and to outline my concerns and my view of where we are heading, I look forward to debate as it continues and the constructive speeches that will follow. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. RAMSAY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, it seems the tide has changed, the Opposition who are always speaking of a Government who choose not to speak at given times because of the foolish games that are played often in Parliament in general by Oppositions. They refuse to stand and speak now and because of that we have to put two up in a row which is almost unheard of, especially on a Throne Speech at a time when Newfoundland is suffering through a very difficult time in its history, that the Opposition would choose to take this kind of silliness and play the little games that are played.

The problems in the fishery: Mr. Speaker, because of the allowance that the Speech from the Throne allows all hon. members to speak about a variety of different topics because it really covers the whole of the Newfoundland economy, it would make one wonder if this was a crisis that just started out here now throughout the Province and we look at the West Coast, and specifically my electoral district on the southwest corner of the Province, the district of LaPoile.

Now the West Coast has been suffering and experiencing the general problems of the fishery for the last four to five years and as hon. members will know, in my many speeches here in this House and the many different resolutions that I have brought forward concerning the fishery matters on the southwest coast, one only has to look at the problems that we have experienced in our area. Currently, again as in the past, the northern cod by virtue of the size of the cod stock and also by virtue of the size of the overall fishing activity that takes place on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and with the smaller Gulf fishery along the west and southwest coast of the Province taking a lower precedence I suppose by the media, but still no less a problem.

It exemplifies the fact that federal management policies in running the fishery has essentially brought us to our knees as a Province and as a people, and the problems with the southwest coast fishery are far reaching and have, although been supported by Federal Government initiatives in the past, this last year they chose not to accept the winter fishery failure of 1990, 1991 as being a failure at all. They denied the people of my district and the people of some other districts: the hon. the Member for Fortune - Hermitage, and the other hon. members affected by this, the hon. the Member for Burgeo - Bay D'Espoir. Their constituents along with my own were denied any federal response whatsoever.

The Province, out of a program which we initiated in October or November of last year, we brought in a program, which I might add was very welcome to the people of the Province. This program, and I looked at some of the figures relating to it, the Federal Government spent I think about $9. some million, the Provincial Government spent in excess of that, near to $11 million, in an emergency response program for the people in the Province. And the hon. Opposition speaks of us not doing anything when, in fact, we at times, although we should not have to, Mr. Speaker, but at times here we are outspending the Federal Government in responding to a matter which was not of our making.

Now granted, our response was not necessarily fishery related. We tried to avoid fishery related matters and allow the employment response aspect to address the problems of the non fishery sector. This was, of course, the case. The only other part of our program where we put monies into the development of infrastructure for fishery related projects, the hon. the Minister of Fisheries and some very capable people in his department were very helpful in providing funds for a couple of projects in our district, which although being worked on by non fishery related people were fishery related projects insofar as the infrastructure that was being developed. This was very welcome to the district and of course it was a response.

Now looking at that to the point where we are now, we have a huge dark cloud looming overhead with regards to the pending economic results and the effect that these economies will have on the overall treasury of the Province, the effect that this situation will have on the people of the Province, and of course our ability to provide services. It is a huge problem and again it is being avoided and dealt with in a manner that is not really the way that it should be dealt with in my mind.

The hon. John Crosbie and the Prime Minister have chosen to say that existing programs will address the problem. Now, Mr. Speaker, existing programs I do not think are going to help us solve the problem. The monies that are already allocated there, we are talking a huge catastrophe in the fishery insofar as the amount of fish that will be caught. That in turn will have a down line in affecting business people in the communities. It will affect the provision of services to the communities, and it is just going to have to be addressed by the Federal Government. They should not be allowed to get away with crawling away quietly and hoping that nobody notices that they are not addressing the problem. Maybe it has to do with the Minister of Fisheries lack of strength in the federal cabinet now. You know it has been written recently that the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has lost some of his support. He has possibly been tossed to the side and seen as a bit of an aberration that they only have to deal with when a problem comes up, and not necessarily the kind of minister that carries a lot of weight with him, and because of that all of Newfoundland is left to suffer.

Mr. Speaker, this just has to be brought out. People do have to realize that the Minister of Fisheries is our man in Ottawa insofar as the person who should have the ability to provide what needs to be provided due to Federal Government mismanagement. This is not the case. The fact of the matter is that the Federal Government is choosing to sidestep the problem. The Federal Government has chosen to say existing programs will do. We will try to address things as we go along.

Currently this Government, as expressed by the hon. Minister of Employment and Labour Relations just yesterday, has given the go-ahead and is ready to roll with a program should the Federal Government come forth, sit down with us and start working on a response program. We have our homework done. We have everything in place ready to go, and the Federal Government still chooses to want to wait until a crisis develops.

There are a few things I was going to mention - one of course being the offshore situation beyond the 200-mile limit with the problems that exist on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks. There is a lot of activity on this front. The Premier was recently speaking on this topic, and as well meeting with the Prime Minister recently where the position of the Provincial Government was put forward very clearly. Also, on Monday I understand a speaking engagement in Vancouver at Globe 92 to hopefully draw more attention. Several colleagues of mine also were involved in a nationwide Newsworld TV show last evening putting forward the position of the Provincial Government - the hon. Member for Baie Verte - White Bay, a man with a lot of experience as a fisherman and as a person with a strong interest and dedication to the sealers of the Province through his past association with the Canadian Sealers Association. All of this information will serve well to get public opinion on our side.

Now we do have a lot of different agendas, I suppose you could say. There are a lot of different interest groups who want to make sure that they put the best face on this, and this is the kind of thing that has to come together. We have to unite behind the leadership of Premier Wells, bringing everybody together in a strong concerted approach to garner public opinion here in the Province and as well to help get the public opinion of the people of Canada. I think they are just waiting for the proper explanation of what is going on. They seem to be very sympathetic towards our cause, and also we are hearing nothing but good from most of the people of the country.

I feel that with a strong, consistent, concerted effort on the part of everybody concerned we can turn this thing around. We can put pressure on the Prime Minister, and as well put more pressure on the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to make sure that our concerns are addressed; that the financial requirements of the people of this Province are not denied by the Federal Government - the Government responsible for the management of the fishery - and also to make sure that this kind of catastrophe never happens again; something that joint management of the fishery by the Federal and Provincial Governments working together, bringing about the knowledge of fishermen which, if it had been heeded in the past, possibly this catastrophe would not have happened - the fishermen who have been telling the Government representatives for years and years and years that the decimation of our cod stocks was at hand. I know that out in my own hometown for years and years we were hearing of small fish being caught. The number of fish per 100 pounds was increasing rapidly. For a 100 pound block, the number of fish - of course the fish were getting smaller and smaller and smaller, some of this due to the problems of the gear types that were being licensed. Other problems for other reasons, and of course the decimation of the cod stocks was making fishermen concentrate their efforts on the smaller number of fish that were available. By doing all of this, we will work very hard towards a collective consciousness.

A lot of you may have read the story about a group of animals who gradually learned to do a variety of tasks. It had to do with the chimpanzee. The chimpanzee, of course, has provided the scientific world with the tribal explanation of what collective consciousness can mean. It is happening worldwide now with the environmental collective consciousness that people all over the world are starting to realize that environmentally we do have a problem in the world, and we have to address it. Of course, our efforts insofar as the collective consciousness that is required for the fishery issue, with respect to the environmental aspects of it. We have an ecosystem that is totally out of balance; you have an increase in the number of seals which is very possibly as a direct result of the lack of a seal hunt of any great extent; and as well the depletion of the cod stocks has brought these animals down closer and into areas where they have rarely if ever been seen before.

So it is obvious that the whole system is out of whack. We hope and pray that the preponderance of these animals will not bring about an increase in the parasitic problem that exists in some waters where seals are very abundant currently, to a point where it can cause very severe and serious damage to our fishery now and in the future if this type of infestation would continue and of course grow.

Mr. Speaker, there are a few other things that I did want to say. One of course has to do with the weak international representations made by the Federal Government. I do understand that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is making representations to the United Nations. I wish him all the luck in the world. But I do feel that with the support and the encouragement of the Prime Minister, as someone who stands beside us, fighting for us, we would have far greater ability to make our positions known internationally. The Federal Government has certainly shown a weakness to deal with matters of international concern. Currently we look at the problems of NAFO countries fishing within our Two Hundred Mile limit, and of course outside of our Two Hundred Mile limit, on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

This of course is a concession given to the international community because of Canada's position within the international trade relations forums and the trading of goods and services between the various countries. That is understandable. But still, Canada has to be able to stand tall. It is the custodian, so to speak, of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. It should entertain efforts to seek custodial management of the waters that are being overfished so dangerously by Spain, Portugal and Germany. In doing so I feel we will make sure that we can guarantee the future for future Newfoundlanders - my district constituents, constituents of all hon. Members, and the people of the future who have yet to arrive. Hopefully we can make Newfoundland a better part of Canada for them through some very strong efforts that we would certainly be better off in pressuring the Prime Minister to make.

A couple of little quotations that I have here. One of course is a quotation, and it speaks very much of a disciplined effort on our part. If we undertake to bring everybody together, to bring together the different fisheries' unions, to bring together the various interest groups throughout the Province, and hopefully have them all speak with one tongue, to speak with one common voice, to speak and work through the Provincial Government and through the efforts of the union for fishermen and fish plant workers, and the other unions in the Province which represent some fish plant workers throughput the Province, both the UFCW, the FFAW and as well our Provincial Government, our Federal representation in the Federal Government through John Crosbie and Ross Reid, the two hon. Members, this disciplined effort is something we will have to strive towards, and the quote goes something like this: for every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.

The multiple reward would be a reward only back to what we honestly deserve as Canadians, as Newfoundlanders, and as a people of this earth. Because it is a resource that is a property of the people of the earth, it is a resource that is the property of all of the world, all of the world's people, and this resource is something that we, as Canadians, will have to undertake to manage. Because it appears that economics are wreaking havoc with the overfishing that is happening inside and outside the Two Hundred Mile limit.

Once the custodial management is to be taken then for Canada to exercise its efforts to patrol that properly, the efforts of the armed forces. Currently they are wondering what to do with the defence dividend. Well, I can come up with good things to do with the defence dividend.

The downsizing of the Armed Forces and the re-allocation of efforts that the Forces may need to put into a lot of different areas of the country. Bring them back from Europe. Maybe we have found the ideal function for these people in our Navy. We can put them to work out there patrolling the seas. What a great place to find fisheries observers, Mr. Speaker. If we speak of the problems of finding fisheries observers we have plenty of fishermen in Newfoundland and fish plant workers who are having difficult times, who could be trained to work, and as well that could be supplemented by the people we are already paying through the public treasury, the Armed Forces personnel who may be able to supplement that and provide us with the much needed fisheries observers who can be out there on vessels.

Mr. Speaker, the other thing I wanted to get into a little bit has to do with the overall economic policy of the Well's Government. Our Government has undertaken to try to diversify the economy through the provision of Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador Corporation. This Corporation has attempted to do an inventory of what they are able to do through the Economic Recovery Commission's efforts, and as well, I understand, I think the hon. Minister of Development noted that some 400 small business opportunities were assisted last year alone, 400 or more. This is a welcome thing. This is the kind of job that will last, it is the kind of job that will provide useful and meaningful employment to Newfoundlanders who make efforts to get out there and become an entrepreneur, to undertake efforts, take a bit of risk, and hopefully the assistance that Government can provide in this area will be the thing.

Now, in bringing that into the fisheries argument we have a situation where we are going to have a lot of people out of work in the fishery over the next number of years. Mr. Speaker, this is certainly something that is going to have to be looked at, and a lot of these individuals are going to be seeking assistance from the Minister of Development's Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador. They will be seeking assistance to help in starting their own businesses, they will be seeking assistance to get involved in a variety of activities. I look forward to helping some of my constituents who are interested in getting involved in business, in assisting them with their business planning, in assisting them with some of their ideas, bringing the resources of Government through the library at Enterprise Newfoundland, the resources we can make available with some of the help and assistance that MHAs generally do provide their constituents, and giving some advice, encouragement, and support to these individuals who will undertake entrepreneurial activities to find their way out of the fishery crisis.

Mr. Speaker, I also have a small quotation here that I want to finish with. I am known, I suppose, for interspersing an inordinate amount of quotations with some of my speeches here in the House but I feel this one is one that we will be best advised to follow if we are to be of any benefit to the people of the Province throughout this crisis period. It speaks of commitment and it has to do with an expedition to the Himalayas by W.H. Murray who, when he was on his second Himalayan expedition, was quoted and it starts, 'Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills capitalist ideas and splendid plans. That the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in ones favour all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.'

Hopefully, Mr. Speaker, this is the kind of providence and divine intervention that will assist us in our efforts to help the people of the Province in solving the crisis that effects them so drastically and which will have a negative implication for all Newfoundlanders. Hopefully through hard work, determination and a collective consciousness we can put our efforts forward and help to solve this problem, and encourage those in the Federal Government who are responsible for the mismanagement of the fishery, those in the Federal Government representing this Province, to make sure that they leave no stone unturned in trying to find the resources that are necessary to assist our people through this very dark time.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I do not know what we are going to do with the Member for Placentia. I really do not know what we are going to do with the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. The only problem I have with the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs is I am afraid he is going to indulge heavily in the pork-barrelling of capital grants, Mr. Speaker. That is the problem I have with the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, that he will indulge heavily into the pork-barrelling of capital grants. I would just as soon see him leaving the Chamber while I am speaking, Mr. Speaker, as staying in here.

So I would really like to see if the Minister -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: That is not parliamentary either.

Mr. Speaker, I want to say a few words in this debate. I do not plan on being very long. A half hour, I think, is what I have. Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to do what most people do when they speak in the Throne Speech Debate and that is to congratulate the mover and the seconder. Mr. Speaker, I have to say that the mover and the seconder of the Throne Speech did a fairly good job. There is nobody who can say they did not. The Member for Eagle River, Mr. Speaker, did a good job articulating the problems that his district has been experiencing, when he moved the Throne Speech. The only thing that I saw different this year, Mr. Speaker, is the mover took more time than His Honour did in reading the Speech From the Throne, but there is nothing wrong with that either. The member wanted to state the concerns of his district.

MR. MATTHEWS: He had more content in his speech than there was in the Throne Speech.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, that is right. He wanted to explain the problems of his district and the contents of his speech certainly had a lot more meaning than the Throne Speech itself. The hon. member had more to say and the content of his speech was more significant than that which was contained in the Throne Speech.

MR. BAKER: Are you criticizing His Honour?

MR. TOBIN: No, I am not criticizing His Honour. I have a lot of respect for His Honour, let me say to the Government House Leader. But I doubt very much if His Honour wrote this. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, I would say His Honour had difficulty trying to read it, because there is absolutely nothing in that Throne Speech. It is the worse Throne Speech, Mr. Speaker, that I have ever seen.

Now, if there is any significance in this, the only part that said anything was probably environment. I must say that I have received some calls from my own constituency wondering what all the policies meant on environment, particularly the use of all terrain vehicles.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes. Why?

Mr. Speaker, the Member for LaPoile is up to see what the hon. Government House Leader thought of his speech, and I can tell him, he was over here talking to us and did not even listen to you.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I do want to sincerely and very genuinely express my congratulations to the Member for Eagle River and the Member from Carbonear, who seconded the Speech from the Throne.

There are a couple of very important issues facing the Province today, and one of them, Mr. Speaker, is the fishing industry. There is no doubt that this Province, at this point in time, is being severely challenged, in terms of our main economic base, the fishery. I am sure that those of us who are familiar with the fishery - and to a large extent a lot of us, with the exception of the Government House Leader and some other people, represent fishing constituencies. In my own case I represent I guess a mixture of a fishing district, where we have a deep-sea plant in Marystown, we have a secondary processing plant in Burin, and a sort of an inshore plant in Baine Harbour.

As I have travelled throughout my district in the past few days, and I was basically born in a fishing community, a fishing town, as the Minister of Fisheries readily knows. I come from a background of fishing, I can tell the hon. Member. I remember well when my father was a fisherman. As a matter of fact, my father and my uncle were both fishermen, both of them at a very early age. Both of them at a very early age had tickets.

AN HON. MEMBER: Tobin's Point is called after (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: That's right. Tobin's Point is called after my uncle, down over the Grand Banks. Mr. Speaker, I remember well when my father went on to - in the latter years he went into business - but for many years my father was on the vessels. Both my father and my uncle had their tickets. My uncle spent his entire life as a fisherman. We dealt with fishermen all our lives. As the Minister of Fisheries just pointed out, Tobin's Point was named after my late uncle who spent many years as an inshore fishermen, as a trawler captain, and as, I guess for some time, on these sixty-five footers, gill netting. Or trawling and gill netting.

My brother spent more time out to sea than I did on the draggers and worked with Fishery Products as a chief engineer on some of their vessels. While I did not spend much time involved in the fishery I can say that I have been there when we hauled traps and gill nets, and I have seen - like my colleague for St. John's South - the cod end untied as well. But we are not going to be boastful of any great industrious life in the fishing industry, but we have been around it.

So the other thing that I have is a significant number of friends, and some very close friends, involved in the fishing industry. The fishing industry, let me say to the Minister of Agriculture. Some great friends, good friends, good men, hard working men. I can think of some people whom I talk to a lot about the problems facing the fishing industry today. People like Kurt Mitchell (?), probably the senior captain with Fishery Products for a number of years, all his life. He just retired last year, or a couple of years ago. A great fishermen. I wonder how much fish did he catch over the years. I talked to Captain Byron Adams, another retired fishermen, who spent some time skipper of the research vessels.

The more you talk to these people the more frustrated you can become regarding the fishing industry. For example, they told me back in the late 'sixties, 1968 or 1969, that they could not get a big trip of codfish. If they went to the Grand Banks, they were probably catching other species. Flatfish, haddock, whatever the case might be. But a big trip - a mixture of cod. So, a mixture of cod. If you had 1,500 pounds of codfish during those two years you had an awful lot of cod. As a matter of fact one fellow told me that if you went out on a trip you could not promise someone a feed of codfish coming in because you did not know if you were going to get either one or not.

AN HON. MEMBER: What were they fishing for then? Haddock?

MR. TOBIN: Yes, and flatfish. But 1,500 pounds in two years was as much codfish as they ever brought in in one trip. Mr. Speaker, the next year they told me there was more codfish than you could ever imagine.


MR. TOBIN: There was a two year period where there was none.

MR. MATTHEWS: Where? In the woods, boy. In with the spruce budworms.

MR. TOBIN: On the Grand Banks.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, and I say to the hon. member that in the past month or so they have been catching steak cod, the biggest kind of steak cod, out in the gullies (inaudible), all kinds of codfish, Mr. Speaker, the biggest kind, steak cod. This time of the year, the first half of the year, the draggers always went down over the edge of the bank. Always, Mr. Speaker, that was where they got their trip of fish, on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks. But now they can't do it anymore, because when the 200-mile limit came in, Canada controlled what was inside the 200-mile, and control outside the 200-mile, which included the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, was given to NAFO to manage - of which we are a member. But we can't go out there because we drew the line across, basically. Canada was inside and the rest of the world was given the outside of the Grand Banks. I am sure my colleague from Baie Verte - White Bay realizes what I am saying.

The rest of it, Mr. Speaker, was given to the international - to the world. That is the problem we have today. Today, foreign boats are outside the 200-mile limit doing exactly what they want to do with no regard for NAFO, no regard of anyone, Mr. Speaker, except themselves. The problem we are facing is how do you get them out? How do you remove them from international waters? That is the problem.

Mr. Speaker, I have heard a lot of suggestions but I have never heard the answer, and I wish someone would come up with one sooner rather than later because, if not, the fishery in this Province is going to be decimated.

I look around, Mr. Speaker, and think about the area that I represented for the past ten years. Just look back somewhat beyond that. Look back some years ago to the deep-sea fishing industry in this Province. There were plants, Mr. Speaker, Job's had plants in St. John's - I am sure my colleague from St. John's South is familiar with that - with five or six good trawlers. They were old side trawlers, but there was the Blue Wave, the Blue Mist, the Blue Foam, the Blue Spray. And then, Mr. Speaker, you had the other group come in, Ross Steers, I believe it was, who brought in a lot of old side trawlers, as well, until they progressed. And NatSea played a big role. Trepassey was -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, before it there was Fermuse that operated a deep-sea plant, and Trepassey operated a deep-sea plant. Arnold's Cove never had draggers in the last few years. There have been fish landed there, but I don't think there have been draggers or trawlers assigned to Arnold's Cove, as such. And there were Marystown, Burin, Fortune, Grand Bank, Harbour Breton, Ramea, Gaultois, Isle aux Morts, and Catalina, all of these places.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, I don't think Port aux Basques ever had deep-sea trawlers attached to the plant. They processed some. I think some of the Burin boats landed there over time. But, you had all of this -

MR. MATTHEWS: You know more about that than all of them put together over there.

MR. TOBIN: You had all of this, Mr. Speaker, in this Province, in the deep-sea sector, and this week, the plant in Marystown and, I believe, the plant in Ramea, are the two plants that are operating.

MR. MATTHEWS: Fortune is down, I believe.

MR. TOBIN: Fortune is down this week and Marystown could be going down very soon.

But those are the problems. And I wish the Minister of Fisheries were listening to what I have to say, because I listed the fourteen or so deep-sea plants that were operating in this Province, creating livelihood for a lot of people. And this week, the Marystown plant and, I believe, the Ramea plant are the only two plants operating in this Province.

MR. MATTHEWS: Fortune is down, trying to give Ramea ten weeks.

MR. TOBIN: That is right. The people involved in the deep-sea fishery in this Province have been paying a price over the past number of years. They have taken their share of responsibility and their share of disappointments, I guess, while we throw them on the unemployment rolls in this Province. They are hardworking individuals, the people who man these trawlers, hardworking individuals, Mr. Speaker, who are away from home for twelve months of the year. They get in for forty-eight hours. And in the case of some of the draggers now - for example, the Trepassey people who moved to Marystown and are fishing out of Marystown - when you take out their driving time, they probably have a day at home, or a day-and-a-half, if they are lucky; that is what the trawlermen of this Province are doing.

Today, if there is a gale of wind and they are coming in under the land, they are up twenty-four hours, probably, trying to beat through ice and get home safely. There have been men lost - no one knows better than my colleague from Grand Bank, the disasters that have taken place in that community over the years - while they were giving their all for their communities, for their towns, for their people, working hard to survive. That is what the trawlermen of this Province were doing and are still doing.

What about the thousand people in Catalina who just last week got lay-off notices? - men and women who worked in the plants, the trawlers tied up to the wharf. What about them, Mr. Speaker? Have I heard anyone going out and saying - it is not enough to say we sympathize with them. Has anyone said what he is going to do to help out the thousand people in Catalina who worked in the plant and the people who manned the trawlers? - who are not just from the Catalina, Port Union area, but from all over the Province, including my own constituency and my former hometown of Trepassey.

Just recently I saw one of my old classmates, Captain McCormick, and I am sure the hon. the Minister of Fisheries knows his family well, too - they were great supporters of him. It was Captain McCormick who picked up the two pilots from the American plane. I must say, I was extremely proud to see Jack play such an important role. It is nice to see someone you know so well, with whom you grew up and went to school, showing such leadership. He, among others, including Brother Cumben from Grand Bank, and I think, another gentleman from the Port Union area, risked their lives to save two other people.

But that is what the trawlermen in this Province have been doing all their lives and I can tell you, I am proud of them, every last one of them. I was proud of my uncle who made his living in the fishing industry for many years. I am proud that Tobin's Point, a part of the Grand Banks, is named after him. It was called after him because he spent his lifetime, basically, in that area. Mr. Speaker, the Minister of fisheries recognized it, everybody referred to it. It was on the initiative of the Minister of Fisheries, and I will give him full credit - he wrote to the appropriate people and asked to have Tobin's Point, 'charted', I think is the word. It was done as a result of the initiative of the Minister of Fisheries, who knew my uncle very well, by the way. He knew my late uncle very well, and he can tell you that he was a great man.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I don't know what he would have done had he been alive when they named it after him, but I am sure it would have been reason for him to have a party. It would be just cause for him to have a party on the way home from St. John's.

AN HON. MEMBER: Every port, I guess.

MR. TOBIN: He would probably have dropped into every port going.

In any case, Mr. Speaker, that is the type of people I have always known, involved in the deep-sea fishery in this Province. And it is down now to basically two plants open this week.

MR. MATTHEWS: Harbour Breton is open, I suppose.

MR. TOBIN: I am not sure if Harbour Breton is still involved with the redfish. I don't know if they were open or not last week.

MR. MATTHEWS: I would say they are.

MR. TOBIN: Now, the slow-down in the deep-sea fishery in this Province, and the fact that the quota has been cut substantially over the years and trawlers have been tied up, in view of that, one should drive by the Burin plants where they have all the old trawlers tied up. There are probably twenty trawlers from the old Burin operation, from the Trepassey operation, and from the Marystown operation, that are now tied up in Burin - tied on - I guess, basically, ready to go. You have all of the plant trawlers that are in the Catalina operation tied up down in Catalina. In addition to that, five more were just taken out in Marystown. Five more trawlers were just taken out of the Marystown operation.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, they did commission five trawlers in Marystown, but after Christmas, they went back. The TAC was readjusted, the Catalina plant closed and the trawlers were tied up. In addition to that, five more trawlers were taken out of the Marystown operation. They would be newer trawlers, basically, the Claire and the Lindsey; I think these are the ones that were taken out of operation, the five newer ones - they were ice-strengthened and involved in the Northern Cod fishery.

So, Mr. Speaker, what you have is a displaced crew, right now, of probably thirty-five or forty trawlers in the last year.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) NatSea.

MR. TOBIN: NatSea in St. John's - five trawlers in St. John's that have been displaced - the plant closed down in St. John's. The plant closed in St. John's; the plant closed in Grand Bank; the plant closed in Trepassey; the plant closed in Gaultois - permanently, for all we know. Hopefully, it will change. Hopefully, they will find something. But, as deep-sea plants, the traditional deep-sea plants, the wet-fish trawlers as we have known them, have gone, unless the stocks rebuild, and I don't think that is about to happen this year or next year, to put them back in place.

The deep-sea fishery in this Province has, indeed, been drastically affected by the reduction in quotas, as has the inshore fishery, I am sure, because one time the inshore fishery caught the fish. What you have now is an allocation of fish for the inshore fishermen in this Province. I guess they are probably catching a little better than half of what they are catching in terms of the fishery in this Province. So, there is no doubt about it. The entire mess that the fishery is in is affecting the deep-sea fisherpersons and the inshore fisherpersons. There is no doubt about that. The inshore fishery and the deep-sea fishery have been affected.

How do you, tomorrow, close every plant in this Province? What do you do for the people? I have never heard anyone say what should be done for the people of Catalina, who have been displaced. I have heard a lot of people say the plant should have been closed, but I never heard anyone say what should have been done for the people of Catalina and the 1,000 people who work in the plant.


MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Speaker, and I have never heard the member say, either, what should be done for the 1,000 people who have been thrown out on the streets in Catalina.

AN HON. MEMBER: What do you think should be done?

MR. TOBIN: What do I think should be done? I think this government - this Government of Newfoundland and Labrador - are the ones who have the responsibility for the men and women who work in the fish plants and the fishing industry in this Province. For too long they have washed their hands and said it is all Ottawa's fault. It is time that we show more leadership in running this government than running down over some ski slope in the Province. It is time that the leadership be shown for the men and women of this Province rather than the ski slopes -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) downhill now.

MR. TOBIN: No, I am not. I have nothing against - as a matter of fact, the ski slopes are a tremendous benefit for the tourist industry in this Province, but it is not the place for the Premier to be spending his time. Where was he when they announced the reduction in TAC and the closedown of the fish plants in this Province, and the tie-up of trawlers? Where was the Premier? Going downhill. He was going downhill on a pair of skis. That's where he was, not one bit concerned about the men and women involved in the fishing industry, never the one bit - no compassion, no caring - nothing, skiing downhill, sliding downhill, the same as his government is doing in the polls in this Province in the last little while.

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, ho, ho!

MR. TOBIN: Oh, ho, ho! I can tell you, if you saw it you wouldn't laugh either, and you will see it eventually. That is where they are going.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, if it is, it is on one of those buckets. What do you call those things that bring you up to the ski slopes?

AN HON. MEMBER: The ski lifts.

MR. TOBIN: If you are going up, it is on a ski lift.

Now, Mr. Speaker, that is what is going on in this Province. The Minister of Finance over there doesn't know what he is going to do with his Budget. The Province is in such a mess since this group came to office. Who could ever believe that since this crowd came to office, we would have the Trepassey fish plant and the St. John's fish plant closed, and this government doing nothing, absolutely nothing about it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Oh, the Member for St. John's South, I didn't say him, I didn't say he was doing nothing about it; I didn't say that, nor would I, because I know the difference. But this government has done nothing about it, Mr. Speaker, absolutely nothing. The Member for St. John's South knows what I am saying is true. The Trepassey plant - what did they do for Trepassey? They closed it. What did they do for Gaultois? They closed it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, you people sat back and let Gaultois close, Grand Bank, Trepassey, and St. John's, and never made so much as a whimper. What did you do for Long Harbour, for Baie Verte? - went down during the election campaign and lied to the people about opening up -


MR. TOBIN: - lied to the people, Mr. Speaker, about opening up a new chronic care - or whatever - centre down there, and today I heard the Minister of Health on the radio saying: Well, things have changed since the election; the plans are not in place now, we have to make more adjustments. They bought votes, Mr. Speaker - that's what they did. They closed Baie Verte, Long Harbour, Daniel's Harbour. The list goes on since this crowd came to power. Now, Catalina is down, no one knows for how long. One or two fish plants operating in this Province, that is what we have.

The Marystown Shipyard. When we were in government there were 500 people working in the government-owned facility. With this crowd in office in that same government-owned facility, there is anywhere between 35 and 100. That is what they are doing in this Province. They have killed every industry.

What about our mega-project, the one the Conservatives brought to fruition, the Hibernia oilfields? Now, they have almost got the job done on that. The Minister of Energy confirmed the other day -I heard it in the House and I have read it in the newspaper - basically what Bill Hopper said. That is what we have seen in this Province.

Not only that, they haven't done one thing, not one iota, to try to entice new development to come in, to try to get someone to replace Gulf Oil. You have to do it, you have to get out there. If the Premier would get off the ski slopes and the constitutional horse and do something for the people of this Province -

My colleague from Grand Bank said: If only you could eat the Constitution, everybody in this Province would be well-nourished. Because that is all we have heard for the last fifteen months, absolutely nothing except the Constitution.

Where is he today, Mr. Speaker, he and his sidekick? There is no one in this government. Look! There was no one over there who could - he had to go outside to get a Minister of Justice. That would tell you how competent you are.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, and if you had not resigned your seat and let him run there, you would be up in the backbenches, too.

AN HON. MEMBER: He's up trying to talk some sense into your buddies in Ottawa.

MR. TOBIN: He's up on the Constitution! He is doing nothing for the thousand men and women in Catalina! He is doing nothing for the crowd that were home today in Fortune! He is doing nothing for the people who work in the Marystown Shipyard! No, Mr. Speaker, he is up in Ottawa, on the Constitution. That's where he is. It is time for him to get off the constitutional horse and look after the needs of the people of this Province.

Mr. Speaker, I was talking about the fisheries. I was talking about the contribution that had been made to the fishing industry by the deep-sea fishermen and by the inshore fishermen in this Province, and how both sectors have been drastically affected, how people in the inshore fishery this year didn't even qualify for their unemployment insurance.

MR. HOGAN: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Speaker, I take the fishing industry very seriously, unlike the Member for Placentia, I can tell him that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, it is only last week he had to apologize to the Shipyard workers; he should be careful he doesn't have to apologize to the fishermen in this Province.

Now, having said that, there are people in this Province in the inshore fishery who didn't get enough stamps this past year to draw their unemployment insurance. And this government, what did they do? They turned their backs on them, they did nothing for them, not a thing. They forgot about the men and women who are involved in the inshore fishery, the same as they forgot about the people involved in the deep-sea fishery.


MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, let me say to the Member for St. John's South that I take this extremely seriously. I take the men and women in this fishing - I tell you, Sir, that I will not sit back and laugh at you because you have a problem in St. John's with your fish plant, and I ask you not to laugh at me because I have a problem with the people involved in the fishing industry from the South Coast of this Province.

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

The hon. Member's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave, by leave!

MR. TOBIN: Already?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, let me say that -


MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, my time is up? May I have a -

In conclusion, let me say that I hope this government will do something for the men and women who are affected by the reduction in the fish allocation, both inshore and offshore. I encourage them to accept the responsibilities, get off the constitutional horse, throw away the skis and run the Province.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

About fifteen or sixteen minutes into the hon. Member for Burin - Placentia West's speech I really got wrapped up in it. I said: Here he is, talking about his forefathers, their great strength and everything. Then, the last five or six minutes he had to take his speech and turn it right - he accused the Premier and the speech went zunk! downhill. It's too bad.

Mr. Speaker, let me say first of all, before I talk about the Speech from the Throne, just a few words to my hon. colleague, the Member for Eagle River, on his gracious speech in moving the Speech from the Throne. I, like my colleague for Stephenville, thought that the member did a tremendous job. If there was one problem with his speech, it was too short. Now, hon. members opposite accused the hon. member of his speech being too long. But he made so much sense, I thought, that, if anything, his speech might have been a little too short. I would also like to compliment the Member for Carbonear, my colleague, who seconded the motion and did, certainly, an eloquent job, as he always does.

I might say, the Member for Conception Bay South - she was here; I wanted to say to her - and I am sure she is not far away and she can probably hear me - how nice it is to see her back in the House of Assembly looking so well and fit.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MURPHY: And how nice it is to see the Member for Humber East in the House looking so well and fit.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible) Fogo?

MR. MURPHY: The Member for Fogo does not look that fit, he looks well.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MURPHY: Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to spend some time talking about the fishery because I don't know that we have all really examined the ramifications of what will happen to this Province if we are to be forced into a downturn. The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West addressed the problem dead on. I thought he did a good job, until he got into partisan politics, but I suppose he can't help that, and it is all you can do about it. However, he did a good job.

First, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few comments about the Hibernia project. The reason I said that is because my hon. colleague, the minister, is here. And I am glad to see the Member for Green Bay come to the House because when he rose in his place the other day to debate the Throne Speech I thought every glass in the House was going to shatter, Mr. Speaker. He was up in G or wherever that octave goes ranting and raving, and I can understand the frustration from the hon. member why he - High C was it?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Before the hon. member gets into his speech I wonder if I could inform the House of the questions for our Late Show seeing that it is 4:00?

I am not satisfied with the answer given me by the Minister of Development regarding the sale of the Marystown Shipyard - the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

Mr. Speaker, I am not satisfied with the answer to my question to the hon. the Minister of Fisheries regarding the TAC of northern cod. Specifically the Provinces recommendations and its impact on the inshore allocation and the jobs in the Province - the hon. the Member for Grand Bank.

Mr. Speaker, I am not satisfied with the answer received from the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation re: the question of whether the Trans-Labrador Highway will be maintained year round in 1992-93 from Lab West to Churchill Falls - the hon. the Member for Menihek.

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

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

I fail to see why these gentlemen might say they want further information on those questions. I thought they were answered more than adequately.

AN HON. MEMBER: You cannot please them.

MR. MURPHY: Anyway, Mr. Speaker, the Member for Green Bay rose in his place and squealed and got all excited about Hibernia, and what this government was doing or was not doing. Well I want to remind the hon. member that before he was around the now national leader of the Liberal Party in this foyer out here, because nobody in the then government would talk to him, walked in and offered the government of the day an opportunity for Hibernia to go on stream with a situation that would have given every royalty dollar back to the Province until the provincial debt was paid.

Now if partisan politics did not have to get in the way, and the hon. minister of the day was here the other day for the Throne Speech as a judge, His Honour Judge William Marshall, and my understanding is that he recommended to the then Premier to accept the Chretien-Trudeau offer. It was a solid, sound offer that would have eliminated the provincial debt for the Province of Newfoundland without question, and what did they do? They got in the corridor and instead of putting the people of the Province, and instead of putting the project ahead, they played their little partisan game and said: No, we cannot sign. We cannot sign a deal with the Federal Government. They are Liberals and it will look bad. It would be bad for us politically. And they would not sign it.

Now if you think, Mr. Speaker, of what transpired after that, I say to you, Sir, and to this hon. House had they signed it at that particular time the gravity base structure would now probably be looking at the completion of the topside. The GBS would be ready to go out and start producing dollars, and pay the $500 million that we have to pay, this little province, to service this humongous debt. The $4.5 billion debt that is gone around our ears and our hon. friends opposite in seventeen years had the responsibility for 74 per cent of that debt.

Now the hon. member and his boss got elected three times on a little tiny cup of oil. They got elected three times. I can understand how the hon. member feels. He is frustrated. He worked long and hard with his previous boss to bring it in. It started with the former Liberal administration, the drilling, and the deal was brought in by this Liberal administration, and the other was a vacuum.

MR. HEWLETT: We would not sell out.

MR. MURPHY: You did not sell out.

MR. HEWLETT: We did not sell out.

MR. MURPHY: No, you played partisan politics with the people of this Province, and now when we need the dollars they are not available.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MURPHY: He had the gall to get up the other day and try and tell the people of this Province that the decisions and the pullout of Gulf, which this Government had absolutely nothing to do with, we did everything to encourage them and they walked away from us - and your colleagues in Ottawa let them go off with their money to where? To Siberia. And gave them a tax relief to go over there. And you had the unadulterated gall to stand in this House and get on the way you got on. Now, the hon. member should know better.

I can understand why. He spent a lot of time in a lot of places around the Globe with his former boss, having a tough time strutting around trying to find a way to get the consortium together so they could actually start the project.

MR. HEWLETT: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Now, I didn't interrupt the hon. member the other day, so he needs to hear the truth.

You know, Mr. Speaker, perhaps the other fields associated with the offshore will have a different mode, will have a different approach to the extraction of the oil that is on the Grand Banks, and we may not see another GBS. The Minister yesterday, during Question Period, explained and explained very well as to why the GBS is going on the Hibernia structure as it is today. So, sorry if the hon. Member for Green Bay does not want to admit the reality that that previous administration cost the people of this Province untold millions, if not billions of dollars.

You know, Sprung, if you think about it, Mr. Speaker, compared to the rest of what they did may not be that bad. Because of the decision not to sign Hibernia when Mr. Chretien, probably the most honest politician who stands in Ottawa today in shoe leather, walked into this building and offered the then Government the deal he offered them, and they said no because of partisan politics, the people of this Province will pay and pay and continue to pay.

AN HON. MEMBER: They did not want to overheat the economy.

MR. MURPHY: They did not want to overheat the economy. What was the expression? He was going to heap prosperity upon the people of Newfoundland, was it? He was not afraid - that is it - he was not afraid to inflict prosperity. Well! Then eight short years later the man quietly walked away and he said he wasn't ruthless enough. Now, what he should have been ruthless enough to do, Mr. Speaker, was sign Hibernia when that offer was there and today the people of Newfoundland, with the tremendous problems we have in the fishery, we may have had something to fall back on.

AN HON. MEMBER: You would have done with it what you did with Churchill Falls.

MR. MURPHY: Well, let me answer that for the hon. member. Churchill Falls, there is a tremendous number of mature people in this Province today working, doctors, lawyers and everything else. This hon. member worked in Churchill Falls for two years.

MR. WINSOR: Had a job, did not work.

MR. MURPHY: No. Let me assure the hon. the Member for Fogo I worked. There was no chalk dust on me, there was real dust on me, my friend. Not that I have anything against school teachers.

When Churchill Falls was signed, oil was $2.15 a barrel. Nobody in their wildest imagination would have thought or could have thought that Churchill Falls at that time was a bad deal. And if memory serves me right, the Tories of the day thumped loudly and voted in support.

AN HON. MEMBER: Everyone.

MR. MURPHY: Oh, yes, everyone strong. The Tories of the day thumped their desks and pounded loudly that the Premier was on the right track. He had enticed the Rothchilds and Winston Churchill to bring the money to Newfoundland to develop the Upper Churchill. It was great, Mr. Speaker! Now, if you do not have 20/20 vision or you do not have that hindsight, if you look over your shoulder you realize that Churchill Falls 1992 was a bad deal for Newfoundland, but nobody had a crystal ball at that time.

I say to the hon. member that his former leader knew the Chretien deal was a good deal but because of partisan politics he would not sign it. He knew it. It was a lot better than the deal we had with the Atlantic Accord and the hon. member knows it, so let us not talk doom and gloom. Mr. Speaker, you sit here sometimes listening to hon. members opposite and you get the feeling that they are afraid something good is going to happen. It is like they thrive on despair. They want to get up and rant and rave about what the problems are. Instead of getting up and saying, yes, we are going to criticize the Government, that is what we are here for, we are going to be in Opposition a long time and we are going to sit here and criticize this Government, but we are going to do it constructively. But not constructively, just over there thriving on things that are beyond the control of this Government, not only this Government, but ten provincial governments, two territorial governments, and beyond the control of the great Brian, the Prime Minister, totally, totally beyond control.

The recession we are into - we can thank the double whammy of this recession, Mr. Speaker, on the former Minister of Finance, Mr. Wilson, who invented his own recession. Normally, Canada, being such a small country was satisfied to wait for our friends south of the border to have a recession and because of the tremendous investment from the Americans we then followed along with our own recession. But, oh no, not Mr. Wilson, he was not satisfied, he wanted to write his name in history. He had his own recession, homemade, and then when the America recession came along this country suffered a double whammy. Now, all the guns are loaded, there is tremendous outcry in Ottawa about Hondas made in Canada, and softwood lumber, and half of Newfoundland is up on the steps of Ottawa trying to get some reality, some fairness, and some balance to what the Federal Government has let happen to the fishing industry in this Province.

Mr. Speaker, Hibernia will prove, if the effort and the energy of this Government and this minister has anything to do whether or not Hibernia is a success let me assure you, Mr. Speaker, it will be a resounding success. Now, the hon. Leader of the Opposition got up yesterday and asked the minister what this Government was doing, what kind of a team we had in place to ensure that Hibernia was going to be reinvested. Now, surely heavens, the Mobils of the world, and the Chevrons of the world, who are out there in the industry, know a heck of a lot more about oil and gas than this Government. It only makes sense.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. MURPHY: Well, I would agree with the member, but why ask a silly question trying to make brownie partisan points? We are not here all the time. If you mention yesterday, oh, you guys are in three years, you have to backup, Mr. Speaker. They almost come over their desks. You cannot mention the previous administration. You cannot say that we had a clean set of books when we took over.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, they were.

MR. MURPHY: Yes, they were clean alright. I cannot wait for the Member for St. John's East to get up in this debate and talk about Hibernia. I want to hear his views on Hibernia. I want to hear his views because I know, as all hon. members know, that his party, the NDP party in Ottawa, voted against the Hibernia Bill. So maybe the hon. member would want to get to his feet and say: Well my colleagues in Ottawa told you so, and the $1.5 million a day that is now being spent is wrong.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Now, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Port au Port is back in the House. He has his head in the desk where he should keep it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Yes I know you could. I realize that. In understanding the hon. member I fully realize exactly what you are saying. I fully understand what you are saying. As a matter of fact somebody asked me one time: Who is the biggest crackie in the House? and I refused to answer. Crackie. I refused to answer. I would not answer it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: I would not answer it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, you talk about parliamentary. This is the kind of stuff day after day that the hon. member gets on with. He comes in, says nothing, puts his head on the desk and says nothing except for shooting barbs across the floor. He contributes absolutely nothing. And he is over here tapping ministers on the shoulder looking for things for his district, and when he does not get it he jumps up, screams, rants and raves and goes into hysterics.

I saw him one day walking out and he threw all his material all over the place because he was told, no. Now that is foolish. You do not see the Member for Humber Valley getting on with that kind of foolishness.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Coyotes here, there and everywhere.

MR. MURPHY: That is right. The coyote trail is long. Tracking coyotes soon, a new industry. The old coyote tracker.

Now, Mr. Speaker, let me get around to something the hon. member knows absolutely nothing about: the fishing industry. I wanted to pay compliments to the Member for Burin - Placentia West until he got into his foolish partisanship. I said to myself: I am going to get up today and join with the hon. members and talk about the fishing industry, and try along with everybody else in this Province to bring some positive words to an industry that is really in an awful lot of trouble.

We talk about overfishing, Mr. Speaker, and we talk about northern cod. I think that there is something getting lost in the word northern cod. The critic opposite, the Member for Grand Bank, full knows that the word northern cod is an overused phrase because if you look at the balance sheet at the end of the day in the offshore fishery, though the cod is the single biggest item on the ledgers, you better not throw away the flats, the flounders and yellow tailed gray sole, and all the other fish, the red fish, and what have you which are extremely important. That has gotten lost somewhat in the debate that is going on today all across this country.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I heard my friend from St. John's East - Extern yesterday talking about the 200 mile limit and the deal the Federal Government made with France in 1972. I think what the hon. member might have forgotten was that from his bedroom or living room in Flatrock some years ago you could look out the window and see the Hammer and Sickle go by at night. That is how close the fishing vessels were on the grounds, the three mile limit. They were all around taking our fish within three miles. Then we got twelve, and then we got 200. Now how did we get a 200 mile limit? How did we get 200 miles?

AN HON. MEMBER: Tell us the history.

MR. MURPHY: You want to know the history. The hon. member might want to know the history of Ossokmanuagan and the bridge and the road.

MR. HODDER: Ossokmanuan.

MR. MURPHY: There you go. The coyote is wailing again, Mr. Speaker. Would you protect me from the coyote? It might have rabies.

MR. HODDER: Ossokmanuan.

MR. MURPHY: That is your pronunciation of it, which does not necessarily mean it is right. You don't even know where it is.

MR. HODDER: I have flown it, I have fished it, I have camped on it.

MR. MURPHY: That was the word we got when you were the Minister, you spent a lot of time fishing, camping and flying around.

MR. A. SNOW: Tell us the history of the 200-mile limit.

MR. MURPHY: I will tell the hon. Member from Menihek about the 200-mile limit. Without the late hon. Don Jamieson it would not be in place right now, without the Liberal Government it would not be in place right now, and hon. members would not be arguing right now about what they are arguing about.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MURPHY: That is the history of this. There is no blue Tory tied to the 200-mile limit, my friend. Let me tell you that now.

MR. MATTHEWS: You only did half a job. Why didn't you put it back to 300?

MR. MURPHY: Well, maybe we could have put it to the continental shelves of Europe.

MR. MATTHEWS: Don't take credit for doing half a job.

MR. MURPHY: It is not half a job. Every Newfoundlander of that day, including the forefathers of the hon. the Member for Grand Bank, thought it was marvellous that we had a 200-mile fishing zone. They thought it was marvellous.

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Oh, now we know, yes! Now we know! Now we know! We all know now, sure we do. Did we know about the spawning that takes place out on the Tail? No, we did not know. We did not know, and the hon. member knows we did not know, anymore than we know anything about the scientific data that we need to know today when it comes to the seals we talk about.

You know, Mr. Speaker, one thing for sure the Federal Government of the day has done and done a good job on, an exceptionally good job on, and that is in dividing the offshore and inshore fishermen in this Province. They have done a good job on it.

We heard questions in the House again today about TAC, and all of us know at one time the Total Allowable Catch was important because the ability to catch it was there. The fish was there and the technology was there. The technology is still there, Mr. Speaker, but the fish isn't. So, it is totally a paper number now.

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Perhaps the Member for Grand Bank wants to - I will sit down if he is really that upset about the silly questions he asked today about the TAC. I mean, the Minister of Fisheries told him, if we get 115,000 inshore this year, boy, I tell you it will be a great year in the inshore fishery of the Province. Let's hope we do.

As the hon. member also knows, if we get 100,000 offshore in the deep-sea fishery, it will not be a bad year.

AN HON. MEMBER: We cannot get that now.

MR. MURPHY: No, we cannot get it because when his hon. colleague in Ottawa put a moratorium on it we had 15,000 in, and now we have 105,000 left, accordingly. No, they reduced it to 90,000. Excuse me! So, we have 75,000 left.

Now we are going to have another look at it at the end of June and if at the end of June the scientists tell us that the stock is still not very healthy or anything else, then we only have the rest of the year, maybe November and December, to get back into the northern grounds, 3J, 3K and 3L, to try and recoup. That is the offshore. So, as the Minister said, really the TAC is paper, it is not fish. It is meaningless. Mr. Crosbie can put a TAC of 500,000 metric tons on it and it is still meaningless. Everybody will say: Well, that is crazy. It's just as crazy to think that we could catch it. It is not out there to catch. The biomass is not out there to catch and the member knows it only full well.

Maybe, just maybe, the inshore fishery will have a chance this year of coming up. The hon. member does not know, the Minister does not know, I do not know and Mr. Crosbie does not know. There is only one individual who knows and He is not among us. I think there are some of them who think they have a direct line to Him, however they do not. So, Mr. Speaker, the fishery is in disarray, but it is not in disarray because of this government or that government. It is time for joint management, it is time for this Province to have more to say about what takes place about the fishery because it is the life and blood of this Province and it does not matter whether you live in St. John's or you live in Battle Harbour or you live in Carbonear or you live in Grand Bank, it does not matter; all of us need to know that the fishery is alive and well. If it is not, this Province will suffer and suffer immensely.

I was going to talk about some other things related to the innovativeness of the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, the good programs with so little funding he has to come up with at the tail end of this year. I am sure that he will come up with the few coins made available to his department throughout the year and to get the most for our dollar. I do not know that we will get the ferry, I would like to see the Member for Burin - Placentia West get some work down there and I would like to see the Member for Fogo have his ferry, but I do not know if that is realistic.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Well, whatever. Perhaps the member would like two ferries, I do not know, and a rink and a Zamboni or whatever. I guess the Member for Menihek and his Ossokmanuan - I fished the Ossokmanuan when the Member for Menihek was in Labrador West I guess, but I do not know if he was even in Labrador West at that time. I fished it, worked on it, walked around it, went up and down with the Montague's from Northwest River and fished all over it. I was one of the first to travel from Churchill Falls to Goose Bay, so I know quite a bit about the area. I have never been west of - what is just beyond Lobstick -

MR. A. SNOW: The overpass, I would say.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Oh, that is shocking.

MR. MURPHY: You two gentlemen look good over there together and I will save it for another day. Perhaps the hon. Member for Menihek has found his real friend in the House -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: That is right. No, no, he is no socialist. Any man who goes to the bank four times a week is not a socialist and that includes both of them. I would say the two most well-off members in this House are now side by side and not really worried a whole lot about what the economy is, because they are alright themselves, and that is fine, both of them have worked long and hard.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Well, whatever, if the hon. minister says rent money, it could be rent money, it could be Saturday night money, it could be dance money, it could even I suppose be Lotto tickets, I have no idea.

AN HON. MEMBER: It could be legal fees.

MR. MURPHY: That is right, it could be legal fees, it could be anything. It could be legal fees from Shea Heights, I have no idea, but anyway, Mr. Speaker, all I want to say before I sit down is, that all of us collectively in this House need to address the fishery, Hibernia and the total economy with some degree of sincerity and there is no need for us to stay partisan on this. This Province, right now needs all the help it can get and, Mr. Speaker, I made a suggestion yesterday to the hon. House Leader on this side and I mentioned it today to the Member for Grand Bank, that I thought it might not be a bad idea if the fifty-two members were up on the steps of Parliament. That is how bad the situation is and maybe we will get enough press and enough media to counteract some of these silly high-priced ads we have seen in the paper in the last few days which are going to hurt a lot of people, a lot of families in this Province within the next couple of years.

I think we do need to look at the overfishing and I say overfishing in all aspects. We obviously need to have a look at the seals and their impact and we need more information in that area and, above all else, we need to look at the will of the people to work and an opportunity to provide that work for them.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: I would suggest if I may, Mr. Speaker, since there is only two minutes left that we move into the Late Show. I am sure the Government House Leader agrees with that.

MR. SPEAKER: Do we have the unanimous consent of the House to call it 4:30?

It being 4:30, I call on the hon. Member for Burin - Placentia West.

Debate on the Adjournment

[Late Show]

AN HON. MEMBER: Now we will hear it.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, and I say to the Minister of Health that he should hear it too. You just may hear it one of these days if I decide to - and he knows what I am talking about.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker -

MR. MATTHEWS: Don't disclose it today. Keep it for another day.

MR. TOBIN: He knows what I am talking about.

There is a more important issue in my district today than debating with the Minister of Health, and that is the situation regarding the Marystown shipyard.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I am not going to do what you did to the hon. members that were in the gallery the other day.

MR. MATTHEWS: The shipyard people?

MR. TOBIN: Yes, the shipyard people. He apologized to them. I must say, he was man enough. He basically apologized to them the next day. Anyway, I do not want to be distracted by the Member for Placentia.

There is a very serious situation in the district of Burin - Placentia West affecting the entire economy of the Burin Peninsula, and probably affecting the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. That is the situation regarding the KVAERNER group not executing the deal on the purchase of the Marystown shipyard that was scheduled for February 3, and they went on.

I have had several meetings over the past several weeks with the Minister of Development who is directly involved, and I might say quite heavily involved in trying to secure the sale of that operation. I believe that the Government has to ensure the viability of that industry. There are several options. Now I understand negotiations are presently under way between a management team from the Government, Marystown shipyard, and the KVAERNER group of individuals. I do not want to say anything here this evening that would do anything to jeopardize that deal. I have discussed it with the Minister of Development a few moments ago, and I am aware what is happening.

But there is one thing I want to say - not just to the Minister of Development, but to the Government, and in particular to the Minister of Transportation. That is, in order for the Marystown Shipyard to move back into operation, we need what the Government has promised on three occasions, and that is the Fogo Island Ferry. If Government announces that in the Budget, it will do much for the people of the Burin Peninsula because, as most people might not realize, under the layoff agreements down there, the steelworkers would be the first to be called back on the ferry. They were the first ones to be laid off, so with their unemployment running out now they would be the first to be called back, and the forty or fifty people would get called back whose unemployment insurance was basically expiring immediately, because the design work is all done. The Government has promised, and the Premier has said it would be delivered within a year. It was deferred for one year.

There are a lot of people down there who have been involved in the shipbuilding industry. Down there they have been involved in the shipbuilding industry as highly trade-skilled people who today had their unemployment run out. There are forty-five more, I believe, within the next two months will have their unemployment running out, and qualify for nothing except social assistance. This Government, if they live up to their word - if what they said was the truth - if what the Premier said last year was true, the ferry will be in this year's Budget. If what the Premier and the Government said last year was not true, then it will not be in the Budget. What we have here is a need for a ferry, but we also have the credibility of this Government on the line because more than once they said the magic word was not cancelled, but deferred for one year, Mr. Speaker, and there are several instances and copies where that was said. I do not want to jeopardize any negotiations that are taking place. I am sure the Minister of Development does not want to jeopardize it. I believe we have all been extremely responsible in the negotiations in that regard. I ask him, Mr. Speaker, if there is anything he can tell me in terms of updating the negotiations, and I respect it if there is nothing he can tell me, but if there are I would appreciate it. I would also like for him to tell me whether or not he can convince his Cabinet colleagues to go ahead and construct the ferry for the Fogo Island run so desperately needed for the people of Fogo Island and for the employees of the Marystown Shipyard.

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, as I said in the House earlier in the week we are all finding this very difficult. It is a very difficult time for the people of the Burin Peninsula and particularly the people who make their living from the Marystown Shipyard. This agreement, as I announced publicly, is off indefinitely. The hon. member is correct in that my officials on the negotiating team are currently talking with the KVAERNER group of companies. That began yesterday at 12:00 and carried on for some five or six hours, and they are back at it again this afternoon. The truth of the matter is I hear numbers being bandied all around the place, Mr. Speaker, of how many employees are currently working at the yard. I can tell the hon. member, and hon. members of the House, that there are 170 union employees working at the yard right now.

AN HON. MEMBER: There are 135.

MR. FUREY: There are 170 workers at the yard now. The staff there is seventy-nine and there are a number off on sick and workers' compensation benefits and group insurance.

Mr. Speaker, currently at the yard is the vessel the Nfld. Lynx. There is a small contract there from Fishery Products International which will be completed soon. The Northern Princess from Puddister Shipping is currently at the yard to be completed mid-April. John T. Hepburn, there is a contract there dealing with top crane girders and that will be finished the middle of May, and there is another 220 ton crane girder that will be finished late April. Another one will be finished mid-May, and the ten building trusses that are there will be finished at the end of this month.

Mr. Speaker, I said during the transition period that the Government would continue to operate this yard. They would continue to pursue whatever tenders became available. I cannot manufacture tenders. I cannot cause tenders to happen. When ships get in trouble and they need repair, when companies or governments, or corporations, require new ship construction, they go out into the international marketplace. That is a very competitive environment, and a difficult environment where many people, currently, Mr. Speaker, are bidding along the margins and in some cases taking losses just to keep their companies alive, to keep the cash flow going through, and to keep their staffs, and skilled workforce in place.

Currently on the books we are bidding three ships. Two are relatively small and one is ship repair, I should say, relatively significant. If we are successful in our bid in the one I have my fingers crossed on to be perfectly honest, that could provide work for eighty to 100 people. Mr. Speaker, in conjunction with that, if we are successful in our discussions with KVAERNER, well, hopefully, we will be able to proceed with the training program - if we are successful. That will look after 100 to 150 workers and will carry us towards Hibernia being reactivated up to 100 per cent capacity and 100 per cent expenditure. Right now, as you know, it is rolled back 50 per cent on the expenditure side and the contract side.

Mr. Speaker, that is the situation we are in. It is a difficult one. If those components come together I see some light at the end of the tunnel. If they do not, Mr. Speaker, I can tell the hon. House and hon. members that we are going to have a very difficult time at the Marystown Shipyard. I cannot manufacture contracts. Mr. Speaker, the Government, as you know, owes in the marketplace over $5 billion. Just to pay the interest, without putting a penny down on the principal, we spend half a billion dollars a year. Just to pay the interest. That is a lot of ship construction that I could put at the Marystown Shipyard, I can tell you. But we do not have it. Everybody has heard the Government, and I think the people of the Province appreciate it. We are telling the truth about the shape of our books. They are not in good shape.

Now if we build a ferry at the Marystown Shipyard there is only a number of ways we can do that. Borrow - and we know what the bond markets are saying. And that ferry, by the way, even though it was announced at $25 million, I think the costs now, if you include the docking facility upgrading that would be required at Fogo and on the mainland, if you add in the inflation costs and the operations, it would be nearer to $30 million, $35 million, $32 million. Now we can borrow that and add it to the deficit, and we know what the bond markets are saying about that.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Minister's time is up.


MR. FUREY: We can increase taxes. We are already the most heavily taxed people in the country. But, Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the answer is. I could stand here I suppose and make up some answers, or I could concoct some answers, or I can tell you the truth. The truth is that we are in very difficult financial circumstances. We are in a very difficult position with the Shipyard because of the collapse of this deal. We know what the company said. It is triggered basically because of the 25 per cent pull out and the slowdown in the letting of the contracts. I can only tell the hon. Member that I am hopeful, and I really, truly mean this sincerely, that something can be worked out with KVAERNER which will trigger the training. I am hopeful that we can capture one of those three contracts that we are pursuing. Other than that I do not what else I can say. That is it.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I want to revisit an issue I raised with the Minister of Fisheries earlier today. What I was trying to do was to get the minister on record and to get some information out for Members of the House and to the public as to what the Province recommended to the Federal Minister of Fisheries on the Total Allowable Catch for northern cod.

MR. TOBIN: And you should all listen to this, by the way.

MR. MATTHEWS: What the Minister told me was no surprise. I had known that - a few days, I think, just a few days prior, I believe it was Saturday. The Federal Minister made his announcement on a Monday. I believe the Province probably sent a letter in I believe Friday or the Saturday before, I think, to put something in writing, that is my understanding, on the Total Allowable Catch. They recommended 100,000 metric tons. My point was that that is less than the inshore allowance of 115,000 metric tons per year that has been traditionally allocated for the inshore fishery. So for the first time in our history the Province has gone on record as being willing to tamper with the inshore allowance.

Now in his answer to me this afternoon the minister gave some additional information which I found very, very interesting. Something I did not know before. That not only did they recommend a Total Allowable Catch of 100,000 metric tons - and I would like to read for the Minister -

MR. TOBIN: Listen to this.

MR. MATTHEWS: He said, and I refer to today's Hansard from Question Period. He said: "Now, Mr. Speaker, included -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: I would like for Members who are interested in the fishery to listen to this.

MR. TOBIN: Particularly the Member for Fortune - Hermitage.

MR. MATTHEWS: Fortune - Hermitage and Port de Grave, and all those should listen. In the answer the minister gave me today he said: "Now, Mr. Speaker, included in that 100,000 tons we recommended that there be an allowance made for the foreign illegal fishing that is taking place on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, which in 1991 amounted to something like 47,000 metric tons."

So what the minister in essence is saying is they recommended a Total Allowable Catch of 100,000 metric tons, but factored and included in that 100,000 metric tons was the 47,000 metric tons that is being taken illegally by foreigners. So the fish left for Newfoundlanders, Labradorians and Atlantic Canadians would be 53,000 metric tons if the Federal Minister accepted the Province's recommendation. Now that is what the minister answered today. That is here from Question Period today.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: I am sure the member is as surprised and upset as I was. I cannot believe that. That is what it says. They recommended 100,000 metric tons. Included in that 100,000 tons we recommended - we, the minister and the Province - that there be an allowance made in the 100,000 metric tons for the foreign illegal fishing that is taking place on the Nose and Tail of the banks, which in 1991 amounted to 47,000 tons.

MR. TOBIN: Fifty-three for Newfoundland and Labrador.

MR. MATTHEWS: So what we are saying is a 100,000 ton take, 47,000 being taken by the foreigners, what does that leave for Newfoundlanders and Atlantic Canadians? Fifty-three thousand tons.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: That is right. The Government House Leader says that is right. So I am reading what the minister said and what Hansard has recorded. I did not make it up. I did not answer it. I am only reading because I was not sure what the minister answered today because of noise and other things and trying to listen to the minister and other people who were talking from both sides of the House. I thought that was what he said, but I said I better get Hansard, and I did.

MR. CARTER: (Inaudible) destroy the stock.


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: No, I do not want to destroy the stock, but I mean -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: No, I don't.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: I did not say that. I did not say that. What I am saying is that for the first time - and I know that the Government House Leader is smarting under this - we have a government in this Province who has agreed to take away from the inshore allowance for the first time -

MR. TOBIN: Give it to the foreigners.

MR. MATTHEWS: But to the tune, can you believe - take 47,000 metric tons from 115,000.

MR. WINSOR: Fifteen thousand was already caught, that is what he said.

MR. MATTHEWS: Exactly. Fifteen was already caught. So really we agree that the offshore deep sea fishery for all intents and purposes has ceased except for a bit of flounder fishery that has a small cod by catch. So really even if there is only 65,000 tons of inshore fish caught, if it would have been caught, now they cannot even catch that, they would have caught 53,000 under the minister's recommendation. Is that correct? Is that what you - that is what you said, but I do not know if that is what you meant to say is my point.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. MATTHEWS: Well I look forward to the minister responding because that is what he said in Question Period.

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I have here a copy of a letter that I sent to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans dated -

MR. TOBIN: Table it.

MR. CARTER: I believe I have. If not I will tomorrow, when I get a cleaned up version of it - I have marked this one up - February 21st, and that was the weekend preceding the minister's announcement.

Now I met with the minister during the week and explained where the Province stood. On the weekend I felt we should follow it up with a letter, so I got my officials back to the office on Saturday morning, we drafted this letter and got it into the ministers hands. I do not know what is so shocking about putting something in writing to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, this information was conveyed to the minister a week before he made the announcement. In fact, we took advantage of the opportunity to meet with him at his invitation the day he was invited.

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the minister announced a Total Allowable Catch of 120,000 tons. That was far too high. In fact, it was only 7,000 tons less than the actual fish mortality for the previous year. We felt that was wrong, especially in light of the scientific advice that the minister has been getting - not the least of which of course was the Harris Panel Report which recommended that the allowable catch be along the lines of the FO.1 after, I believe, a two year period.

The member talked about, and is making a great deal of fuss over the - and he is alleging that I suggested that we tamper with the inshore allocation. Now let me tell him what I had to say about the inshore allocation. I said here that we believe that the integrity of the 115,000 ton inshore allocation must be maintained in 1992 and for the future; however, we expect that fishing mortality in the inshore sector will be well below the 115,000 tons. The inshore sector did not benefit through expanded landing from extended jurisdiction in 1977 as did other fleet sectors. In 1978 the inshore sector harvested 80,000 tons. In 1991 the total was down to 67,000 tons. Other fleet sectors experienced a significant increase.

The traditional inshore fixed-gear sector should continue to fish from an allowance of 115,000 tons. This is the key - it should be noted that the average landings in the periods 1978 to 1991 - I am talking here about the inshore landings - 1978 to 1991 were only 85,000 tons, notwithstanding the fact that we had an allowance of 115,000 tons during that period. The average landings in that period from 1978 to 1991 was 85,000 tons.

It is projected that this fleet sector will land approximately 60,000 to 70,000 tons as a result of the extremely low biomass level. This means that a shortfall between the allowance and projected landings could keep the harvest well below the FO.1 level.

Mr. Speaker, what we are saying in this letter is that we want to respect and maintain the integrity -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: This is what is on record. The hon. gentleman can put whatever interpretation he wants on it.

Mr. Speaker, we could just as easily have said, look we are going to be magnanimous and be heroes with the inshore fishermen, and we are going to set a 200,000 ton allocation. We could have said, look Mr. Crosbie, we want you to establish a 200,000 ton allocation for the inshore fisheries, and we will strip to the waist and fight you if you do not do it.

Mr. Speaker, we took a very realistic approach. We wanted to respect the integrity of the allocation, as I have said here, but recognizing too, that in the past ten years the average inshore landing, notwithstanding the 115,000 ton allocation, was around 85,000 tons. Now, let me continue. We suggested that there be a TAC of 100,000 tons. That is consistent with all of the best scientific advice that Canada has been privy to for the past number of years, including the Harris Panel Report. We said, look, we must factor in an allowance for illegal foreign fishing. We said last year they took 47,000 tons but in our letter we said, Mr. Minister, we want Canada, between now and the end of March -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. minister's time is up.


MR. CARTER: We want Canada to do what is necessary to ensure that foreign overfishing will cease on March 31. Up until that time, between January and March, we said we project that they will catch 115,000 tons. Now, if they were allowed to fish the whole year, yes, they would probably take 47,000 or 50,000 tons, but we said, look, address the problem of foreign overfishing, do what needs to be done and by March 31 there should not be a foreign ship fishing on the Nose and Tail of the Grands Banks. However, by that time they will have caught 15,000 so you take 15,000 from the 100,000 and it leaves 85,000 tons, which is what the inshore fishery has traditionally caught for the past twelve years on average. That is precisely the position the Province took, Mr. Speaker.

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: We had no choice. Mr. Speaker, how, how -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Even though the hon. Opposition House Leader allowed the minister to finish there is another member who wants to get to the floor, so I have to ask the minister to finish, unless, by agreement from the other side they will exempt their own member.

MR. CARTER: I invite the member to question me tomorrow morning during Question Period on this. Then we will have a bit more time and maybe then, if I can get a few minutes, I can get it through the hon. member's head exactly what -

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible.)

MR. CARTER: I do not have to go home tonight and study this, or get briefed. Obviously you do not know what you are talking about because to suggest that we increase the TAC, knowing full well that the fish are not there, that does not make sense.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

If hon. members will agree, I think we have seven minutes left. I could do that three and a half minutes each. Is that about right, three and a half for each member, or if members want -

MR. A. SNOW: We will not be long-winded, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Okay, the hon. the Member for Menihek.

MR. A. SNOW: I am never known as one to be long-winded. I was not satisfied with the answer to my question regarding the completion of the road from Labrador City to Churchill Falls. I informed the minister that the bridge basically completes the road construction from Labrador City. This is the infamous Ossok Bridge. The completion of that will occur in September, probably late August, and the actual ability to be able to drive across that bridge, to be allowed, according to the contractor, around sometime mid-September.

I was asking the Minister: because of the impact that this highway, which is basically 200 kilometres, is going to have on the people of western Labrador, and on the people who live in Churchill Falls, if that road will be maintained next year.

Now that is a very important question. The people in Labrador City and Wabush would like to be able to drive over to Churchill Falls next October and November, and January, February and March. And the people in Churchill Falls would like to be able to drive back, and probably go on out to Quebec City or Montreal on their way through Lab City and catch a hockey game. That type of thing. The advantages that people in the rest of the country have is what I was asking of this minister, was going to include that, if that would be done next year. Because people are making plans for next year.

So that is all I wanted was an answer, if that would be maintained next year. In 1992-1993, if that road will be completely maintained as the road is from Baie-Comeau north to Labrador City and Wabush. That road is maintained year round, and we want to be able to have the facility where we can drive, or the people coming in, the tourists who come in and go hunting and fishing, and be able to go from - drive in from Montreal or Boston, wherever, and go all the way to Churchill and spend a couple of weeks hunting and fishing and go back again. That is all I want, Mr. Speaker, a forthright answer from the Minister, and that is what I hope to get.

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

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Basically the question has to do with what level of maintenance is going to be carried out on that particular section of roadway. As the hon. member is aware, summer maintenance is now carried out between kilometre zero in the Lab City area to the Ross Bay junction. That is sixty kilometres of road on which at the present time summer maintenance is carried out. The question is: is winter maintenance going to be carried out on that particular section of the road and on the remaining 140 kilometres of road from Lab City to Churchill?

Obviously, even to carry out winter maintenance on the section from Lab City to Ross Bay junction would involve an increase in resources to carry out that particular amount of maintenance. Certainly a large increase in resources would be required to carry out winter and summer maintenance on the full 200 kilometre section from Lab City to Churchill Falls, either by contract or using the department's own resources. So a significant amount of additional resources would have to be put into this particular project to conduct full year-round maintenance on the entire length. Even to conduct year-round maintenance on the section which is currently maintained in the summer would require additional resources.

Now CF(L)Co has indicated some interest in the maintenance of the roadway, since, certainly, from Ross Bay Junction on to Churchill Falls, they are the primary users of the road. But, as the hon. member can appreciate, whether additional resources are placed on that particular section of roadway for maintenance is a budgetary decision, and the final resolution of that matter will have to await the outcome of the budgetary process. It is under active consideration. We have to weigh the needs and benefits of additional maintenance on that section of the road versus the needs for maintenance in the rest of the Province, and even the needs for maintenance in the Eagle River District and the rest of Labrador. We cannot just sacrifice one area of Labrador against another area of Labrador.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Gander and Grand Falls.

MR. GOVER: Also, I would just like to indicate to the hon. member as I have indicated to him previously, the level of commitment this government has to the Trans-Labrador Highway. The Premier was up there meeting with the council of Happy Valley - Goose Bay. I gather they had very productive meetings this week. The council was satisfied with the meetings. In fact, the council was so satisfied, they invited me to come up on Friday to continue the discussion on the Trans-Labrador Highway. So, obviously, Mr. Speaker, we are making progress in addressing the great need of Labradorians for transportation. We are addressing it from Lab City to Churchill, from Churchill to Goose Bay, in Eagle River District, and in Torngat Mountains. The needs are great. Unfortunately, the quantity of resources the government has to work with are not so great. But we will give it every consideration and a decision will be made in the budgetary process.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

On motion, the House at its rising adjourned until tomorrow, Friday, at 9:00 a.m.