November 4, 1992           HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS             Vol. XLI  No. 57

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. ROBERTS: It is good of them to clap in advance, Mr. Speaker. I hope they will at the end.

May I make a short ministerial statement and let me say that, in accordance with what I understand to be a well-established practice of the present Administration, I have provided my learned and honourable friend, the Member for Humber East, with a copy of it - in this case, on twenty-four hours notice, but she shouldn't take that as a precedent. Nonetheless, I think it is, if I may Mr. Speaker, a commendable change from my first trip through when the hon. member and her predecessors gave us exactly zero notice of Ministerial Statements, as she will recall.

Mr. Speaker, on May 7, my colleague, the Minister of Social Services, provided the House with a progress report about the review, analysis and implementation of the recommendations contained in the Hughes Commission Report. Government are committed to dealing with the report on a priority basis, and I rise now to report what we have done since May.

When the Hughes Report was made public in April, Mr. Speaker, the portion of Chapter 6, Volume 1, entitled: "Mount Pearl: A Decade of Foster Care" had been removed because it contained material which was the subject of a pending criminal prosecution, the Mary Dinn trial. In the intervening period, this prosecution has been brought to a completion. I should add that Mrs. Dinn has appealed against the sentence that was imposed on her, but the trial portion of the trial level proceedings have been brought to an end. The excised pages, the entire chapter that was excised, were made available on August 7 with the result that as of that date the entire Hughes Commission Report became a matter of public record.

At the same time, I announced that the conclusion of the Mary Dinn trial meant, as well, that the Crown had no further concerns with the unrestricted circulation of "Suffer Little Children", a book written by Mr. Derek O'Brien. It will be recalled, Sir, that the Supreme Court - not the government, the Supreme Court - at the Crown's request, had prevented the sale or distribution of that book on the Avalon Peninsula.

My colleague advised the House that the Deputy Minsters of Justice and Social Services, in consultation with the relevant officials, had been charged by the ministry with ongoing review of all the recommendations contained in the Hughes Commission Report. I am pleased to announce that this work is nearing completion.

The House will be asked, during this session, Mr. Speaker, to consider legislation to implement two of Judge Hughes' recommendations:

(1) New legislation will be brought forward to establish a Police Complaints Commission; and

(2) Legislation will be introduced to revise the reporting provisions of the Child Welfare Act to remove impediments to laying and prosecuting charges under the Act for failure to report suspected cases of child abuse.

Mr. Speaker, the government, on many occasions, have voiced our commitment to a Complaints Commission. It is entirely proper and in accordance with universally recognized standards and with the appropriate checks and balances that those charged with the maintenance and enforcement of public order be subject themselves to reasonable controls. The age-old question: 'Who guards the guards?' puts the matter pointedly. We shall honour our commitment, Sir. The necessary budgetary provisions, I would add, have already been made in the current fiscal year.

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the Minister of Social Services, also indicated in his report to the House in May that a comprehensive report of The Child Welfare Act was under way and that, as part of that review, section 38 of the Act, which deals with reporting of child abuse, would be reformed. The section, as presently worded, Sir, gives rise to two difficulties, both of which were identified by Judge Hughes. The first of these is uncertainty as to the time limit for prosecution, for the laying of prosecution for failure to report abuse, and secondly, uncertainties as to when and by whom reporting is required. Because these provisions play a crucial role in the fight against child abuse, Government has decided that rather than wait for the comprehensive review of The Child Welfare Act, these difficulties should be addressed immediately with specific remedial legislation. We shall introduce amending legislation during this sitting to deal with the issue.

Mr. Speaker, my colleague also referred to joint training in the area of child abuse by the RNC and the Social Services officials. A specialized in-service training module has been developed and delivered in St. John's, Corner Brook and Labrador. These are the three detachments, of course, Sir, where the RNC has direct responsibility for policing. Efforts are currently under way, in conjunction with an approach that has been made to Memorial University, to further enhance this training module by making it more systematic and more comprehensive. The opportunity exists for the Province to break new ground in the development of these kinds of programs.

Co-operative efforts are also underway to deal with the issues of record storage and retrieval and information sharing that were identified by Mr. Justice Hughes. An expeditious and open-flow of information from the police to the Child Welfare Division and from the Child Welfare Division to the police is essential in cases of physical and sexual abuse of children. Procedures, mechanisms and protocols to facilitate and to control information flow, subject to the requirements of security necessary to ensure effective prosecution of offenders, are already in place. These are being monitored to ensure continuing effectiveness.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, the lines of communication would open with both the Law Society and the Judiciary to address the problems of court delays. As well, we remain committed to the Victim Assistance Program which offers support services to all victims who face the prospect of wending their way through the court system.

Mr. Speaker, all of these initiatives evidence in a tangible and concrete way Government's commitment to addressing in a rational and timely fashion the issues that come out of the Hughes Inquiry. More remains to be done, of course, and I have already said that the work of the work of the deputy ministers and their officials is nearing completion. I will report further to the House as soon as this has been done. That will be soon.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you. Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, let me begin by thanking the minister for giving me a copy of this statement yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Speaker, the plans the minister announced in the statement could have and should have been implemented two years ago or more. Remember, Mr. Speaker, this government has had the report of the Hughes Commission for a year-and-a-half. The government kept it under wraps for a year, but the key ministers responsible have had that document for a year-and-a-half.

Mr. Speaker, long before the government received the Hughes Report, the government knew or certainly ought to have known that the Child Welfare Act needed to be reformed. Indeed, work on the revision of the Act had started years before.

Mr. Speaker, the government repeatedly turned down offers of co-operation from the Opposition to have the House of Assembly speedily pass the amendment cited by the minister, as well as another amendment to close the gap in services for young people between the ages of sixteen and eighteen.

Mr. Speaker, as for a police commission, just as the need for an effective commission for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary became apparent, the government disbanded the office of the Ombudsman, an institution empowered to deal impartially with complaints against the police.

For two years there has been no independent agency in this Province with the mandate of dealing with complaints against the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. Shame! This government has brought upon the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador the dubious distinction of being the first jurisdiction in the whole world to eliminate an Ombudsman's office.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, the government, on taking office in May of 1989, scrapped the plan to have a province-wide victim services program. Two years later the government implemented, with the benefit of Criminal Code fine surcharge revenue, a partial victim service program. Now there are victim services workers in only a few urban centres. Most of Newfoundland and Labrador is not being served by victim services workers. Worse than that, Mr. Speaker, the government scrapped entirely the financial criminal injuries compensation program. Now there is no public funding to reimburse victims of crime for their out-of-pocket expenses and losses resulting from crime, or to pay for needed counselling. As for counselling, it is woefully inadequate. The government's Anderson Centre in St. John's is greatly overburdened. The Minister of Health gave me a letter yesterday indicating the government hasn't even tried to recruit new personnel for the Anderson Centre since November of 1989.

Comparable children's mental health services have not been set up in other parts of the Province. People in the Bay St. George area who were promised by three ministers of the Crown four months ago that they would have a community-based counselling service are still waiting.

In recent years many people in this Province have disclosed crimes of sexual assault against them. Many of those people were motivated in part by the hope that their disclosures, as painful as it was for them to report, would result in reforms of the criminal justice and social welfare, child welfare, systems. Mr. Speaker, those people have been badly let down by this Wells' administration.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HARRIS: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask leave of the House to speak to this ministerial statement which the minister so kindly provided me with.

MS. VERGE: By leave.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, we'd be more than happy to hear from him.

I would say to my hon. friend for Humber East, if she took twenty-four hours to prepare that, we should have given her a week's notice.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the minister -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

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

The Chair has recognised the Member for St. John's East.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the minister for providing me with a copy of this ministerial statement on such an important matter. I have no hesitation in supporting the two moves that are being made, particularly with respect to legislation regarding the Police Complaints Commission and the changes in the Child Welfare Act.

I do have to say, however, that the need for these is now so obvious to all that it really points out a failure of leadership on the part of the government in not introducing these measures when it became apparent to those who knew what was wrong with the social welfare system and with the justice system in that regard. There needs to be leadership from government, not following public opinion after it's been jostled about for two or three years.

The necessity for the legislation to change the Child Welfare Act on reporting has been obvious for many year to Crown prosecutors who have not brought one single successful prosecution under the existing legislation for failing to report the abuse of children to the Director of Child Welfare or to a social worker.

The second problem, Mr. Speaker, which is not addressed in this Ministerial Statement, which I ask the minister to consider, is what happens when abuse is reported. The failure that the Hughes Commission uncovered, not only in respect to the Mount Cashel situation but also with respect to child welfare foster homes throughout the Province, was what happened when people did complain. We still have complaints now. There are still cases before the criminal courts of people who had complained some fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years ago who are only now being prosecuted.

So, Mr. Speaker, the second half of that is: What happens when somebody does complain? Do social workers have an independent duty or obligation or right to do something about it, if their supervisors do not intend to follow up? So that is a very important question that I think has to be dealt with. It is not simply a matter of prosecuting somebody who fails to report, it is what happens when they do. Are there enough social workers to deal with it. I invite the minister to respond to that at a later time.

MR. SPEAKER: Oral Questions.

I have called for Oral Questions. I notice there is another minister who did not stand. That has always caused confusion. I waited some time before proceeding to the next item. If hon. members will allow me, I will revert to Statements by Ministers.


MR. SPEAKER: Statements by Ministers, the hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands.

MS. COWAN: Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to rise. I don't have a statement but I want an opportunity to say this. So, please, if I am out of order, give me your direction.

I would like to ask your permission, Mr. Speaker, to place some blue boxes in the vicinity of this Assembly so that we can start to be more responsible about our scrap paper and so on. The Hon. Aubrey Gover, Minister of Works, Services and Transportation and I will arrange how to get it away from here and into a recycling depot. If it is possible, I certainly would like to do that.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS. COWAN: I can't understand the Opposition's attitude. Are they against recycling?

AN HON. MEMBER: Not at all.

MS. COWAN: No? Good!

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Yes, we would be happy to agree with that as long as the boxes are blue - that fits in very well - assuming these blue boxes are going to be placed throughout the entire government bureaucracy as well. I presume that is going to be done as well, not just for the House of Assembly.

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


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. HARRIS: I have no problem with having blue boxes in this House, but I wouldn't want to see us just have a show in this House for the public and not have a program implemented throughout Confederation Building and government offices. We have already asked the minister for this. The minister was asked for this in the Estimates Committee last spring and we haven't had an answer yet.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

Oral Questions

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have some questions I would like to put to the Premier today, fisheries related, constitutionally related. These are questions being asked out around the province by people from time to time. I unfortunately can't provide the direct answers so I offered to bring the questions to the Legislature in the hope that the Premier could respond to the public through the House.

The Premier, no doubt, has read the book written by his former constitutional adviser, Deborah Coyne. Certainly he has heard about it if he hasn't read it. I have the excerpt for him if he would like to have a look at it. She says in that book, her book 'The Roll of the Dice,' that during the Meech Lake talks a couple of years ago the Prime Minister of Canada offered to establish a joint federal/provincial fisheries management board and that the Premier turned the offer down. I would like to ask the Premier, is Ms. Coyne right in what she says in her book? Was the offer made, and did the Premier reject it?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: If that is in fact what Ms. Coyne said, she is dead wrong. I don't recall that that is what she said, but if that is in fact what she said, she is dead wrong. I can tell the House if they want me to take the four or five minutes that it will take to explain what happened, I am quite prepared to do it. But this is Question Period - if you want it I am quite prepared to explain.


PREMIER WELLS: Okay. Members may recall -

AN HON. MEMBER: Will it take four or five minutes?

PREMIER WELLS: Well it will take time. I can answer the question and provide the answer, but I tell the Speaker, it will take four or five minutes.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: But if that is what she said, no, she is dead wrong. That is the only answer.

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

MR. SIMMS: Well, Mr. Speaker, that is fine. The Premier -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) explain why she was wrong.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, the Premier -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Maybe members should leave the question to the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Premier has answered the question and that is fine with me. I wanted to know whether in fact, where she had implied or she had said that the Prime Minister had offered to establish a joint federal/provincial fisheries management board or program of some sort and he refused it, I take his word for it. He says: no, she is dead wrong. He did not.

Can I turn to the current negotiations or the most recent negotiations leading up to the Charlottetown Accord then which was Canada's round where every province in the country, I guess, put various issues on the table to be dealt with? I want to first of all point out, of course, that when the Premier went to Charlottetown to negotiate the new constitutional deal he had at his fingertips, no doubt, the interim report of our own Provincial Constitutional Committee which was chaired, I guess, by his chief lieutenant there, the Government House Leader. In that interim report the Provincial Constitutional Committee recommended that a fisheries agreement should be sought and indeed constitutionalized. That is their recommendation, and I have the excerpt from the interim report here as well which indicates that is the case.

I want to ask the Premier then: why did he not take the advice of his own constitutional committee, the province's constitutional committee, and push to have fisheries included on the agenda during those negotiations?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, those negotiations didn't deal with jurisdiction and we were not seeking jurisdiction in the fisheries.

Now the former government sought jurisdiction and they would, Mr. Speaker, have been like a dog chasing an eighteen wheeler truck. What would they have done with it if they had gotten it? They wouldn't have known what to do with it. They had no competence to deal with it. Jurisdiction is wrong for a variety of reasons because there is a great international element involved; because there are other provinces involved; and because this province has difficulty raising adequate revenue to deal with the jurisdiction it has, let alone jurisdiction over 400,000 sq. miles of the North Atlantic.

Mr. Speaker, we did not say to the Prime Minister and the other premiers: We will agree with a distinct society for Quebec, or a reformed Senate, or aboriginal self-government, if you will enter into a federal/provincial joint management agreement. We are not prepared to turn the people of this province into blackmailers of their fellow Canadians.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, maybe that is their approach, but we recognize that we are Canadian citizens and we have a responsibility to be and act like Canadian citizens, not political blackmailers; and we have no intention ever of performing as such.

Mr. Speaker, let me tell you one other thing that flows out of that. Where would we be today had we made that part of the Charlottetown deal and it failed? We could never get it back on the agenda, except in a constitutional context, again. Now if anybody wants to know just how wrong that approach is, think about that.

There is one person stopping joint management. His name is the Honourable John C. Crosbie. He could start it tomorrow. He could cause it to happen tomorrow; yet they stand there day after day, pressuring the government to cause it, and work with him to prevent it from happening - work hand in glove with him to prevent it from happening, solely for their own political benefit. What crass political behaviour.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

There are a number of points that the Premier tried to make that are very, very weak points. First of all, we have never suggested control and jurisdiction over the fishery. That is untrue - totally untrue. If he read the presentation we made to his own provincial constitutional committee, he would see we have asked for shared fisheries jurisdiction, Mr. Speaker, -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SIMMS: - shared fisheries jurisdiction.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I bring to hon. members' attention again, as I did yesterday, that Question Period is not a period for debate. It is a period for asking questions, and I ask the hon. the Leader of the Opposition to get on with the question.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Is the Premier not aware of the presentation that our party made to his own constitutional committee? It puts what he had to say a moment ago outdoors, because it is not true. We have never looked for total control and jurisdiction. That is a falsehood which he is trying to perpetrate.

I want to ask this question: Which is more important, the Premier's own personal principles or the interests of the people of this Province? They are the ones who deserve to be treated properly.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: Now he also says -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I take it that the Leader of the Opposition has asked the question?

AN HON. MEMBER: He has asked two now.

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Well the question has been asked. I distinctly heard two questions. The Leader of the Opposition is into supplementary questions now. Is he finished or was it a series of questions?

MR. SIMMS: I was not finished.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Hon. members should realize when we are into supplementary questions we are not into a series of four or five questions. The Chair can only determine when a question has been asked, so I ask the Leader of the Opposition to quickly clue up his question please.

The question has been asked?

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I was just making a note because I was losing track. There were two questions, as I recall. Were we aware of his party's stand? Yes, Mr. Speaker. My understanding of their position is they have been asking for jurisdiction constantly. This has been their basic position. Now it may have changed recently. It may well have changed recently since they have been brought to their senses, but that was the basic position that we have been dealing with all along.

The second is: Do we put my personal interests or the interests of the people of the province first? Unquestionably it is the interests of the people of the province, and thank heavens that is what we did instead of grandstanding on a political basis as they would have done. We put the interests of the province first, and we will seek to have that done on the basis of it being the right thing to do, as the Prime Minister said to me two years ago; and when I explain for the public outside this House, as I will, exactly what happened two years ago, I will explain precisely what the Prime Minister said. I expect that very shortly the Prime Minister will honour his word and see that it is done, because it is the right thing to do - not because the Newfoundland people blackmailed their fellow Canadians into agreeing to it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition on a supplementary.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's all fine and dandy for the Premier to make these great speeches and use these flowery words. The fact of the matter is, the question was: why did he not use the opportunity leading up to the negotiations? And he came back and said it was because it was blackmail, and that would be blackmail.

I want to ask him this: In view of the fact that there were in fact issues dealt with during those constitutional discussions that dealt with specific interests of provinces - like PEI and other provinces who got certain things in there - sixteen of the items agreed to in Charlottetown were to have been put through on political accords in the future, the question still remains that he obviously didn't have any trouble accepting those kinds of things, because he signed on to those kinds of things. Were they all blackmail too? Is that what he's trying to suggest here today? The question is: why did he not more aggressively try to attain some agreement on fisheries management during these negotiations? That's the question that he has not yet answered.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: The answer is fairly simple, Mr. Speaker. I have been trying now for two years - three and a half years, in fact. My big obstacle is the Newfoundland minister in the federal cabinet. He resisted tooth-and-nail. Now if there's no political will to do it, are we going to achieve it by constitutional blackmail? Is that the name of the game? If John Crosbie and Brian Mulroney are not prepared to do it politically, are we going to hold them up by the throat and say: if you don't do this we won't agree to constitutional change for Canada? Is that what he's proposing? Is that the lack of dignity and self-respect he expects of the Newfoundland people, or those who speak for the Newfoundland people? It's a good thing they weren't sitting there.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I don't know what he's talking about when he talks about the things for PEI in the agreement. It's obvious he doesn't know what he's talking about either.

MR. SIMMS: Oh, is that right?

PREMIER WELLS: Yes. You'd better tell us what it is.

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: That's right. Mr. Speaker -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) don't know!

PREMIER WELLS: - we've taken the high road -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) unlike the hon. gentleman opposite.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, we have taken the high road throughout all of these negotiations. I'm confident that the people of Canada will bring pressure to bear on their government to do what's right, what I know the Prime Minister will acknowledge to be right, if we can put enough pressure on Newfoundland's minister in the federal cabinet to cause it to happen. Instead of berating the government, if only they would put some pressure on their cohort in Ottawa with whom they work, hand-in-glove, on a daily basis -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: - to cause pressure to be brought on the Province at the same time that they conspire in Ottawa to prevent it from happening. Mr. Speaker, nothing could be more despicable than that.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair has recognised the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to put a question to the Minister of Finance. The former minister - thank God he is the former minister - but the former minister in his Budget last year predicted a deficit on current account this year of some $29 million. Recently the present minister indicated publicly that that figure may well double in fact by the end of the year, and that by the end of October he should have the six-month figures which will give us a better idea of where we're heading. We can't blame the minister for what the former minister did. Can he tell us: does he have the numbers now, and what does he propose to do to deal with it?

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

MR. BAKER: No, Mr. Speaker, we don't have the six-month figures yet. It seems to me that it'll probably be some time next week before we get the mid-year figures. All provinces of course are waiting with great concern for these figures.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, we look forward to those numbers next week. But assuming the minister was accurate in his projections of a few weeks ago, and that we are in fact looking at somewhere in the range of a $60 million deficit, can the minister tell us if he proposes to follow previous examples? Are we looking at tax increases and spending cuts in order to deal with that tremendous deficit?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, we indicated to the people of this province that there was a shortfall in terms of provincial revenues to a certain extent, that the economy of Canada was not performing to the level that we had expected, therefore there'd be as well a shortfall in federal revenues. That combined with the extra $11 million that we spent in an emergency program for job creation meant that our deficit, because of these extra expenditures, and because of a drop in our revenues, would be higher than expected. This projection was based on that information and that information alone. At the time I said that we were going to be particularly prudent for the remainder of the year to ensure that any monies spent were monies that, indeed, had to be spent, and that, where possible, some expenditures would be delayed, and that it would be particularly prudent to try to bring our deficit back in the range that we predicted in the budget.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes, I say to the minister, we heard on Monday about his $11 million program that fulfilled commitments ministers had made in their own districts but did not create any jobs.

Mr. Speaker, the minister was kind enough yesterday, on behalf of the Premier, to table some information that resulted from questions from the hon. Leader of the Opposition to the Premier as it related to the payroll tax. A little later in the day the Minister of Finance tabled the information on behalf of the Premier. It forecast that, of a total of $67 million in payroll tax to be collected this year, $35.7 million of that is coming from the private sector.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Premier had indicated in questions that the payroll tax simply replaces revenue from the school tax. That is what the Premier had simply said. The fact is, Mr. Speaker, that the business portion of the school tax never collected more than $12 million. Now we find the payroll tax is, in fact, collecting $36 million.

Will the Minister of Finance confirm that, and confirm that at least the Leader of the Opposition was two-thirds right when the Premier said he was saying half-truths?

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I will confirm the following: That the increase in payroll tax brought in in the last Budget was to replace the school tax revenue that was previously collected. That I will confirm. That is exactly true. I will, on second thought, get for the finance critic of the Opposition the figures for the increase in the payroll tax which would equate to the revenues lost from the school tax. He will see that the increase in the payroll tax actually did not even replace the revenue from the school tax that business was paying. In fact, in that process business got a break of several million dollars. So I will get those figures and pass them along to the hon. gentleman a little later.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, we had the figures. The original payroll tax projection was $25 million. We now see it is collecting $67 million. So there is $42 million that had been collected over and above the original intent of the payroll tax, under the excuse of eliminating the school tax which, in total, never collected more than $30 million and, of that, only $12 million from the business sector, Mr. Speaker.

In view of the minister's statement, when he talked about this increase of $30 million in the deficit, and he said: Well, this is not a serious matter at this time. If $30 million is not a serious matter, will he now use $30 million to eliminate the payroll tax or at least reduce the payroll tax on business so that, in fact, he will follow the Premier's great strategic economic plan which says: we will reduce taxation on business in order to stimulate the economy?

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

First of all, some numbers. The total amount that you see collected here on the information that I have provided to the hon. gentleman, included the provincial administration amount which, in fact, is money we are paying ourselves. So the net increase in taxation, in total due to the payroll tax, the original payroll tax plus the increase in the payroll tax, was not the huge amount that the hon. gentleman mentions.

Also, I would like to point out to him, that I am not given to overstatement. I suppose, because I didn't rant and rave and shout and scream, he got the impression that I did not consider that the $30 million overrun, or what looks like a $30 million overrun, is not serious. I say to the hon. gentleman that it is a very serious situation and we are trying to correct it and we are taking steps to try to live at least in the vicinity of our budgeted deficit. These things are underway. It is a very, very serious situation, a very, very serious situation, and one that we find very difficult to live with, but we will try to correct it.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Social Services and concerns the emergency housing repairs for social services recipients. Would the minister confirm that the administration of the emergency housing repairs program has been, in fact, moved out of his department into Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, and can he also confirm that the monies allocated to the project for social services recipients, for this program, have expired as of the end of August, leaving people with desperate housing conditions, unable to get assistance from the government for emergency housing repairs, who are living in deplorable conditions, in fact, in inhabitable housing with no heat?

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

MR. GULLAGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, the program, which was administered under the Department of Social Services, is now being administered under Newfoundland and Labrador Housing because they have the staff available to administer that program and we have an agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador Housing to do just that. That program is under full evaluation right now - because it has been in effect for a year or so - to see how it is going, with the comparison between using the resources in communities throughout the Province, and the staff of the Housing Corporation. So it is under evaluation.

As far as the dollars are concerned, Mr. Speaker, we have expanded the amount of money available in that program and we will continue to monitor it and continue to effect repairs to properties and upgrade properties as the need arises. It is, in fact, an emergency repair program and, of course, if an emergency exists where repairs have to be carried out, we will continue to do so, and money is available to do that.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Would the minister confirm that in the course of this development, we have had contracts for the repair of houses, for example, in Bellevue district, where two brothers, living in a house with no electricity and no heat for two months had a contract cancelled at the last minute because of the lack of funds from Newfoundland and Labrador Housing? Can he confirm that? - and that this is the kind of situation that Newfoundlanders who cannot take advantage of this emergency housing program are left with? Is he going to do something about that? Can he tell us what he plans to do and when?

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, I will have to check that specific case. I am obviously not aware of every case throughout the Province. I will check that out in Bellevue district and see exactly what has happened. But, Mr. Speaker, as far as I know, no case of emergency, a need for emergency repairs or rehab or furnace repairs or boiler repairs, whatever it happens to be, is delayed unnecessarily. As soon as the approvals can be given and the inspection carried out, the work is done, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have questions for the Premier about his government's proposal made in July, 1989, forty months ago, and still not resolved, to amalgamate the municipalities of Corner Brook, Massey Drive and Mount Moriah. Is the Premier aware that a study done this summer by Doane Raymond, paid for by his government, found that amalgamation would result in a substantial increase in overall municipal operating cost and necessitate a general tax increase of 1.4 mils?

Does the Premier realize no one in Corner Brook, Massey Drive or Mount Moriah wants to pay higher municipal taxes and virtually everyone is dead set against the amalgamation proposal? Will the Premier, at long last, admit, as the government's only independent commissioner, Hubert Harnett, concluded, that in the instance of Corner Brook, Massey Drive and Mount Moriah, a case has not been made for amalgamation benefitting the whole?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I am very much aware of the Doane Raymond Report, and what the Doane Raymond Report said was, if you build an extra fire hall here and an extra fire hall there and if you do something else, then you would run in all these expenses, but if you don't, there would be a negligible increase - and they went over it in detail. So that is a gross misrepresentation of what is in the Doane Raymond Report.

I have since talked to Mayor Pollett and to others in Corner Brook about it. I don't think they are at all concerned that it would result in any significant increase in taxes, but I say again, Mr. Speaker, the government is anxious to achieve amalgamation where amalgamation makes sense and where amalgamation is reasonably accepted.

MR. WINDSOR: It didn't make sense in Mount Pearl, did it?


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I have told the people of Massey Drive, I have told the people of Corner Brook and I have told the people of Mount Moriah that if the people of those three areas collectively, not each area individually, but if those three areas collectively want to amalgamate, the government will facilitate it. Not only that, the government encourages them to do so because we think it is the most sensible thing to do. The government will not force it on them if they don't want it.

Secondly, what the government will not do - we will not give the people in that area an unfair extra benefit through government grants and so on because of the fact they have divided themselves up into three groups. We may well have to treat them as though they are a single group - and if they still want to remain that way, that is okay as long as they are not putting an unfair burden on the rest of the taxpayers in the Province. The government doesn't mind. That will be for them to decide for themselves.

Mr. Speaker, if the City of Corner Brook and Mount Moriah and Massey Drive want amalgamation, I can assure you they will find a very, very, receptive government. We are waiting to hear from them.

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

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, this has gone on for forty months. How will the Premier determine what the people in Corner Brook, Massey Drive, and Mount Moriah want? Have the representations made through letters and petitions by hundreds of citizens of those three municipalities not been enough for him? Have the recommendations of the independent commissioner, Hubert Harnett, not been enough for him? Have the findings of the Doane Raymond report showing a minimum net overall cost increase of $115,000 not been enough for him? When will the Premier finally bring a democratic, fair, and just end to this long festering proposal of his?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, if we are told by the City Council of Corner Brook, by the Town Council of Mount Moriah, by the Town Council of Massey Drive, that they do not want amalgamation, the government is not going to force it down their throats. That is okay. There is no problem with that. Let's not have any problem.

What we are not going to do, Mr. Speaker, is have the City of Corner Brook bleat to us constantly about how unfairly the former government treated them by reason of giving everything to Massey Drive, attracting the taxpayers out of Corner Brook because Massey Drive got such subsidized land assembly projects - for which the hon. member opposite is largely personally responsible. We are not going to accept these complaints from the City of Corner Brook if they are not prepared to do something about it. The avenue is there. If the City of Corner Brook wants to redress that difficulty, the government will facilitate it for the City of Corner Brook, and for Mount Moriah, and for Massey Drive, in order to treat all citizens fairly.

I have not heard these overwhelming positions from the people of Corner Brook, that they don't want amalgamation. I have heard it from a community in my own district, in Mount Moriah. I have heard it from a portion of Massey Drive, as well. I have also heard the opposite from people in Massey Drive and Mount Moriah, but the majority in those two communities have clearly indicated they would prefer not to have amalgamation. That is because they get substantial benefit at the expense of the taxpayers of Corner Brook, largely promoted by the policies of the former government, and caused by the member who just asked the question, in the case of Massey Drive.

Mr. Speaker, if the people of Corner Brook don't want to use this as a solution to that problem, well, that is up to them. All the City Council and the Town Councils of Massey Drive and Mount Moriah have to tell us is that they don't want it, and it won't be done.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A final supplementary.

A simple question to the Premier: How much longer is he going to keep the councils and the citizens of Corner Brook, Massey Drive, and Mount Moriah waiting? Is he going to allow the councils to prepare their budgets for the 1993 budget year, not knowing for certain whether the government will allow them to remain autonomous?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: If the councils answer the question next week, they will have their answer next week. If they don't answer until next year, they won't have their answer until next year, and it may be another forty months that the issue is still outstanding. It is up to the councils - not the government. They can provide the answer immediately.

If the City Council in Corner Brook tell the government they don't want amalgamation, the Town Council in Massey Drive say they don't want amalgamation, the Town Council in Mount Moriah say they don't want amalgamation, there won't be amalgamation. But if it is otherwise, there may well be amalgamation. If, for example, the people of Corner Brook - the vast majority of people paying most of the additional cost imposed as a result of it - decide they want amalgamation, and Massey Drive and Mount Moriah do not, the government will have to consider the issue. And I assure you that as soon as we know the precise position, we won't delay any longer, we will make a decision very quickly.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. I am sure the minister is aware of a situation that has developed in Bonavista over the past few days, where we have some nineteen or twenty workers who have staged a sit-in demonstration at the town hall, as I understand it, who fall in between the cracks of the Northern cod moratorium package. They don't qualify there. They don't have enough insurable weeks to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. The minister just recently announced an Emergency Employment Response program, some $11 million from his own department.

I am wondering if the minister has considered, or will he consider immediately, finding enough money to take care of those nineteen or twenty people at Bonavista so that they can go to work and be qualified at least for unemployment insurance benefits to get them through the fall and winter?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the question, because it has been an issue that has been raised publicly in the Province, not only in this particular instance in Bonavista but in a number of instances since we announced our Emergency Employment Response program on September 18.

The difficulty is not in trying to deal with the eighteen or nineteen or twenty people currently in Bonavista, but with the hundreds of other people in similar circumstances in other communities, both in the geographic area covered by the moratorium and then in the rest of the Island and Labrador. What we have clearly is that we have already taken positions on behalf of those people, first of all to try to convince, as they wanted us to, the federal government to make sure that the criteria could allow them to be qualified for compensation under the Northern cod moratorium. That wasn't successful.

We have now gone, at their urging, and with the support of the union that represents them, to try, as well, to make sure that the federal government takes care of its responsibility in terms of making sure, like the federal government did in every other year, and as Mr. Crosbie has said they are now considering, to put response programs in place for people in the fishery. Then, in fact, when those things come to pass, whether or not there will be any kind of federal response for people in the fishery - which they have received every year in the past, and they are only now impatient, and understandably so, because the federal minister again has been so late this year in making a decision.

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

MR. GRIMES: There is nothing, as we announced from the very beginning, that this particular program can do to deal with people in the fishery. We are making sure that the responsibility is placed exactly where it belongs, with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the federal government.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I was trying to give the minister a chance to shorten up his answer there, but we have exceeded the time period in any event.

Question Period has expired.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to table the exceptions to the Public Tender Act for May, June, July, August and September, 1992.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I believe it was, the Leader of the Opposition asked if I would table the correspondence and positions exchanged between the government and different industrial sectors relating to the Atlantic Procurement Agreement, and I am happy to do so. I have two copies to be tabled, so that anybody who wants it can get copies and I have one copy for the Leader of the Opposition, who asked the question. I didn't make copies for everybody. It is extensive and most people probably wouldn't read it, anyway, but anybody who wants it can get copies. There are one to the Leader of the Opposition and two for the Clerk.

I will also table, Mr. Speaker, at the same time, the answer to questions raised as to the numbers of people unemployed and the numbers of people receiving social assistance, as a result of the economic circumstances. I have provided, Mr. Speaker, the numbers for the years 1980 to 1991 and they are available for anybody who wants them. There are some extra copies here, as well.

Orders of the Day

Private Members' Day

MR. SPEAKER: It being Wednesday and there are no petitions, we go to Orders of the Day. I believe it is the resolution submitted by the hon. the Member for Ferryland. Am I correct?


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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It is my pleasure to introduce the following resolution:

WHEREAS it is evident that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has not addressed the impact of the moratorium on the fishing industry;

THEREFORE be it resolved that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador address its responsibility to those directly affected by the moratorium.

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to recognize many constituents from my district and surrounding districts in the gallery today, fisherpersons who are very concerned about the future and the direction in which our fishing industry is headed.

On July 2, we heard the most devastating news ever to be inflicted upon this Province, the shutdown of the Northern cod fishery. With that announcement, there were 25,000 people thrown out of work, fishermen, fisherwomen and plant workers. In addition to that, numerous indirect jobs, thousands of them, were lost.

This Province grew and developed around the fishery, and all around this Province, hundreds of communities grew and the fishery became a part of their livelihood and their lives.

If we are to take responsibility in this government, we must look forward and address the future of the fishery. And, if we are to do that, steps must be put in place today. This government is afraid to support the fishing industry because of backlash from other industries. The shutdown of this fishing industry is unprecedented in this Province's history. In fact, it is the largest single layoff in the history of this country.

While the federal Minister of Fisheries, John Crosbie, was at the Radisson Hotel on July 2 announcing this devastating news, the Premier was in Calgary talking Triple E Senate.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Did he jump on a plane the next morning and come back to address the problems at home? No, he went to Toronto and he discussed Triple E Senate in Toronto. Mr. Speaker, not only on July 2, but for the last four months, he hopped and skipped across this country in pursuit of constitutional solace, dodging bullets on fishery and economic issues every step of the way.

Mr. Speaker, if we are to solve these problems in this government, we must make plans now. It is no secret that the majority of cod swimming in our oceans today are five and six years old and do not reach spawning potential until they are seven. If we think that in two years time our problems are going to be solved is far from fact. In fact it will be another seven years before these young fish that hatch will reach spawning age. So we are talking about nine years before we can develop a highly sustainable fishery for the future.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Provincial Minister of Fisheries on July 2nd said at the Radisson: The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will fully discharge its responsibilities in dealing with the moratorium's impact. We will demand that the Government of Canada discharge it's obligations to the people who have been victims of federal mismanagement of our most basic and vital industry. And, Mr. Speaker, he went on to say on July 17th that he is happy with the federal response. He said: It is unfortunate but essential that there is a moratorium on the harvest of northern cod to ensure the rebuilding and the long-term survival of the stock. Now that an adequate compensation package has been put in place by the federal government for the duration of this moratorium, governments and industries must use the two year period to develop a blueprint for the future direction of the fishery.

Mr. Speaker, one of the major areas - and I hope to address several areas today - is the processing sector of this province. The Premier in his campaign for 'Real Change' said: A Liberal government would be committed to the expansion of secondary processing of fish in this province, particularly the introduction of new products with appropriate support in technology and marketing, particular emphasis would be given to efforts to develop markets for presently underutilized species.

Today with a harvesting and a processing total of 25,000 people it is not unrealistic to assume that 10,000 of these would be displaced from the fishing industry if and when it re-opens within a two year period. This province has a moral obligation to those displaced fisherpersons and plant workers to make plans today for their future tomorrow.

AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Maybe the government wants to sent another 10,000 mothers' sons off to Ontario, Yellowknife and British Columbia to find jobs, the expanded social services has increased by 50 per cent the hon. minister said, maybe they want another 10,000 people on the social assistance payroll.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Mr. Speaker, we, and you as a government have an obligation to identify in the processing sector the plants that are going to close and take this fishery seriously. This government has thrown up their hands and said: Blame the feds! Blame the feds! They were going to diversify the fishing industry in 1989. What have they done to diversify it?

Yes, we have been dozens of years exporting a resource, not exporting the product of our resource. We have been exporting our resource. It is about time that we give incentives to get into value added and secondary processing. Who is to say that the United States and the UK have a monopoly on fish sticks and breading processes on breading fillets in the UK? It is about time that incentives were put in place by this government to employ those displaced workers from the fishing industry, and that is a real thing. If you think they have a problem today, there will be a massive problem on our hands in two years time.

Mr. Speaker, another area of vital concern that this province has ignored is in loans to fishermen and fisherwomen. Of the fishermen and fisherwomen of this province not all have received assistance. In fact the minister on September 25th in his special assistance program said that fishermen who have no landings in 1992 and 1993 will receive 100 per cent forgiveness of interest charged in these two years, provided they have demonstrated that they have made serious efforts to meet their obligations to the loan board. In other words we will pay your interest if you pay your principal. There is no commitment not to demand principal. Even though he responded in the House yesterday to this, there is no definitive statement that principal will be paid.

Also, he said fishermen who continue to have landings will have the amount of assistance reduced by an amount equal to 20 per cent of the value of their catch. Fishermen who continue to fish and get one fifth of their gross dollar value are going to have to pay. In other words government is inflicting a tie-up, encouraging the industry to tie up. If you fish it's going to cost you money. If you stay home we'll pay your interest and possibly - but no guarantee - freeze the principle. I think that's a very callous and uncaring response to the fisherpeople of this Province. I think it's about time that this government got serious and addressed this issue.

Also, Mr. Speaker, there are people in the gallery today who are in the category where they were very eager and ambitious fishermen who didn't go to the Loan Board or get government-guaranteed loans. They themselves went to chartered banks. I went to great lengths to identify numbers, and the number is very small. There are seven in my district, and actually beyond my district. From St. Shotts into Petty Harbour we just identified seven fishermen who went to chartered banks and obtained loans on their own initiative. They wrote the minister and I received a response. He said: unfortunately the loan to which you referred was not provided through the Fisheries Loan Board and you're not eligible for assistance in respect to this loan.

In other words, if a fisherperson develops equity in the industry, they go to a bank and make down payments of $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 or $30,000, they mortgage their boat, their house, and everything they own, some of the most sea-faring and hardest working fishermen in this Province, and they have the catches and their records to show for it, are being told by this government : we're not responsible, we're not going to give incentives or promote people to go out and work, we're going to promote and help people to tie up their boats. There's something drastically wrong with the policies and direction this government is taking. It is a disincentive to work.

On this topic I'd like to just address - and there are three to my knowledge in this category, three fishermen in this category, and I doubt if there are any more in this entire Province - who went out and purchased boats ranging from $75,000 in one case up to $150,000. I'll use the $150,000 example. Used a down payment of $30,000 on a lease-purchase agreement and agreed to pay over a three-year period $40,000 per year, and they would own that boat. They paid their $30,000 down payment; some have paid over half the first year's agreement under the lease-purchase; and some have paid just slightly less than half. These people too are going to be told by this Province that: because you've spent up to now forty-some thousand of your own money on a boat that cost $150,000 in one year, we're going to ignore you and we're not going to give any funding to enable you to continue in the fishery.

AN HON. MEMBER: Only three?

MR. SULLIVAN: Only three people in this category. People whose families have grown and developed around the fishery, whose incomes are dependent on it, who are now being harassed for payments that they cannot pay. They gave their life savings and investments to pay down on these boats, and now the government is going to do nothing about it because they didn't get a loan through the Fisheries Loan Board or a guaranteed loan at a chartered bank.


MR. SULLIVAN: I think it's criminal, not just shameful, that they're turning a deaf ear to it. I hope today that the hon. minister is going to have some solutions to these problems. Because these problems are real.

MR. SIMMS: Blame the feds, that'll be their solution.

MR. SULLIVAN: That has been their solution. Yes, 'real change.' We'll blame the feds. That's the 'real change,' we've seen. The hon. minister acknowledged that the feds have lived up to their responsibilities. He's happy with their response.

In reference to another area I'd just like to address, early retirement. The PWAP program. It has been traditional and precedent setting that fifty-five to sixty-five year olds can retire from the fishery on 70 per cent of basically their UI income. I believe the Province certainly will be shamed into going ahead with that aspect. They have no other choice. They've done it before. I haven't seen anything in writing to that affect. Maybe they haven't done it as of yet. What I find very annoying is that the federal government has been convinced, yes by the provincial governments, maybe not this one but previous governments and by the FFAW and by the union people, they have been convinced, the feds, that we have been crying that they have not been listening, and they have come back and said we will provide a retirement program for people fifty to fifty-four years of age. In fact there are only an estimated 1,000 people under this entire Northern Cod and Adjustment Recovery Program who fit into this category, 1,000 people, and it has been estimated by very informed sources that it will only cost this Province fifteen cents on the dollar, a maximum of fifteen cents, and as low as probably ten cents on the dollar.

Whenever again, in the history of this province or this country, is the province going to get an opportunity to get a ten or a fifteen cent dollar and to retire with dignity 1,000 people who may wish to leave the fishery, which now has an overcapacity and has an oversupply of people in the harvesting sector? Ten to fifteen cents, it will never happen, you can be assured of that and as sure as I say it today and take note that never again in our lifetime, and I would certainly stand any time in the future to be corrected, will we have an opportunity to deal with this, and never, it has never been offered before, been successful in convincing the federal counterparts that the fishery in Newfoundland is a unique fishery. We have permitted it to go beyond in terms of harvesting, we have permitted it to go beyond in terms of processing.

The federal government has taken its responsibility to address the over harvesting aspect but the provincial government has not taken any responsibility, has done nothing to address their areas of responsibility. To the Member for St. John's South, this resolution here, in case he is not informed, is dealing with the provincial government responsibilities and that is the wording of the resolution. If he wants to debate the federal issues, it is outside the realms of this resolution, and I will debate them at any time.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Mr. Speaker, the Premier and this government have taken an uncaring and a nonresponse response to the fishery problems, the same Premier who said that balance sheets will never come before people. He said: balance sheets will never come before people. We have in a priority ranking, constitution, balance sheets and everything else and then people, that seems to be the approach, and fishery is at the very bottom of that heap. What have they done in processing? Nothing. What have they done in addressing people on their own initiative who try to obtain loans? They have done nothing. What have they done on early retirement? I do not think they have responded to the federal request even in the training component, and it is my understanding that the federal government has offered a $200 million training component in an area here, in provincial jurisdiction, training and the provision of facilities and I believe there is a 70/30 offer for a $200 million expenditure. In fact, it has been estimated that the spin-off effects in revenues and other related things, that the cost to this Province is almost no cost in net, real figures, and up to now we have not even got a response; up to this point.

After three and a half years and four months now with a fishery moratorium we have not heard one squeak out of the government and everything we do hear is negative, it is a clawback and basically, maybe they do not realize the impact that this is having on this Province. I heard on the news just a while back that the coal miners in Britain and anticipated layoffs in terms of our population and the coal mines in Great Britain, the effects would be 100 times here in this Province, the shut down of the fishery compared to that, and it was heard all around the world. The government sat up and listened and it almost resulted in the downfall of a government and here in this Province, 100 times the impact and they go on doing things as if the fishery in this Province never shut down at all and as if they do not care if it ever opened up again.

There are numerous areas I will address later in closing, but my time is running short on my opening comments and I will address some aspects of vessel support and requests and also one other specific area is with reference to the 20 per cent deduction to the Fisheries Loan Board.

I would like to just briefly refer to a typical example of the hardships that people are facing today because of this shutdown, and the lack of response that this Province is giving.

Many people have moved from an inshore-fishery out into a mid-distance fishery, and many forty-five foot boats could bring in catches of $25,000. That was prior to the moratorium. As a result, normally with a 60/40 split between crew and boat, the crew would receive out of twenty-five, $15,000. There would be 20 per cent to the Loan Board - that is $5,000 - with five to be split in direct fishing costs and income for the head of the enterprise - roughly $2,500 each as an example. Mr. McCurdy, the union I think, and Mr. Broderick, have made reference to some figures pertaining to this, and ones to which I will now refer.

As a result of what the Fisheries Loan Board is doing, a crew now would be lucky to come in with any catch. They may spend ten or twelve days chasing tuna fish and get no catch. They may come in with an underutilized catch of maybe $10,000 of which the crew takes probably $6,000. The Loan Board takes $2,000; direct fishing costs $2,500 or more, and there is a net loss of $500 before you even talk about clawback.

So people today are tying up their boats because this government wanted clawback and then they did not want clawback. Now I think they want some clawback. I am not sure what they want, they have changed their minds so often on it.

Mr. Speaker, this government has taken away any real pride or dignity in people. They are asking people to tie up their boats and stop fishing. They are saying: We are not going to help anybody related to the fishery, because the resource is a federal responsibility. The hon. minister indicates he is happy with the federal response, but what does this Province have to do, and what are they going to do on these issues?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am very pleased to stand in this debate today and have a few words about this resolution. From the outset I would have to say that I fundamentally disagree with the resolution, and certainly will be voting against it. I will leave the immediate response up to the Minister of Fisheries here to annunciate the provincial government's response.

In the next few minutes I would like to focus on fisheries management, the principles upon which fisheries management is based, and also the record of the present Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Mr. Crosbie.

For the benefit of the hon. member and the other hon. members opposite, I would just like to review that in 1949 when we joined Confederation, under Term 22 we relinquished the Newfoundland Fisheries Board. Now whether we agree with that or not, at the time that is exactly what happened. I will go back to the Newfoundland Fisheries Board a little bit later, but that was there up to 1949. Under Term 22 it was passed over to the federal government.

I would like to talk about two areas of fisheries management, particulary resource allocation and licensing. I would also like to talk about how it relates to the 200-mile limit. For hon. members opposite, the 200-mile limit was brought in in 1977. The principles of management that accompanied that particular initiative have been very, very clear. Apart from the overriding principle of conservation of the fish stocks, the other principle that was applied is the principle of adjacency, and that is the people, the communities, the areas closest to the resource must receive the greatest benefit.

Mr. Speaker, in the next little while I want to outline how this principle of adjacency has not been applied on an international basis; nor has it been applied on a domestic basis. I want to outline for the hon. member how it has affected the communities in his riding as well as the ones in mine and all of Newfoundland and Labrador. I want to tell him exactly how this principle and how fishery management is impacting today upon his communities and upon mine. Mr. Speaker, over the last number of years and even today there are 10,000 jobs being lost to Newfoundland and Labrador and the reason is because the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in Ottawa will not take the initiative to correct the wrongs of the present groundfish management plan and other international fisheries agreements.

On the international agreements, I would just like to point out that at the present time there are agreements with ten countries in the world, between Canada and these other nations, for a total of 100,000 metric tons of fish. We are talking about 6,000 jobs here, 6,000 jobs being lost to this Province as a result of the international fisheries agreements that we have, Mr. Speaker, and they are renewed annually. Every year they go down to the White Hills and pick up their licenses, Mr. Speaker, to be allowed to fish.

I would just like to talk about a couple of them, the species and the quotas I am talking about. Twelve thousand, four hundred metric tons of redfish in 2J, 3KL: This is an agreement that we have with France, Cuba, Norway, Bulgaria and with Russia, the EEC, all of these countries we have these agreements with. We have 12,400 metric tons of squid that we give away while we won't even give our own people a license to be able to get one, Mr. Speaker.

Here we have a situation that I would like to be able to relate to the member's own district. Just a little while ago the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans stood up in this Province and said, `I am going to impose a unilateral deal on the French. They will not agree with the quotas that we proposed to them, so we are going to bring in a unilateral deal.' Now, when he was talking about the unilateral deal, did he think about Fermeuse, did he think about Bay Bulls, did he think about Witless Bay? Did he think about it when he said, `I am going to give you, in perpetuity, 15 million pounds of Gulf cod in 4R, 3PN and 3PS, next door to his district? No, he did not. And that was at the hand of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, John C. Crosbie. That was him, Mr. Speaker. That was enough to keep Fermeuse, Bay Bulls, Cape Broyle and Witless Bay going all year around.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: So, don't talk about having people thrown out of work. I am talking about a specific example here that could have kept hundreds of your people going just by a simple flick of the pen of that hon. minister, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that right?

MR. DUMARESQUE: That is exactly right. What is even worse is it is there now in perpetuity. Ten million pounds of grenadier, 15 million pounds of caplin, all of this going to Russia, Mr. Speaker. Before we had the agreement with France there were 26 million pounds of cod on the table. Now under this unilateral deal there are only 24 million.

Mr. Speaker, this is the essence of the debate. John Crosbie has the right to allocate those resources, and nobody else. He has the right to license these people, and nobody else. It is not this Province, it is not this Premier, it is not this government. If you are talking about jobs, Mr. Speaker, those are real jobs, that is real input into the local economy of our communities.

Now, I want to talk about the domestic situation that we have here within Canada, our own Atlantic groundfish management plan and our Northern shrimp plan and our mackerel plan and others. I talk about the Atlantic groundfish management plan, in particular. Here we have a situation, Mr. Speaker, that in 1977 and for a number of years after we were allocating fish to various communities in this Province through the companies and also, at the time, we were having surplus stocks. We had surplus fish to our needs. So at the time we were being good Canadians and we advocated that some of that be given over to other provinces. So it was and so it should be, if we had surplus fish to our needs. At the time, certainly National Sea Products and other companies - Clearwater Fisheries in Nova Scotia - got access to our resources. Because at the prevailing time, we had enough fish adjacent to our shores to take care of our needs.

At the present time, we do not have that. Before July 2 this year do you know that 25 per cent of the Northern cod was allocated to Nova Scotia companies? Do you know that 11,000 metric tons of redfish was given to National Sea and still is in the hands of National Sea Products, at a time when La Scie and the Baie Verte - White Bay area, are closed down. National Sea says: We are going to close it down. They are going to close down Arnold's Cove. But at the same time, Mr. Speaker, that Minister of Fisheries is allowing 24 million pounds of redfish to be caught in 2J-3KL and taken 1,000 miles back to Nova Scotia to keep their plants open twelve months around.

Now those are jobs! Those are real jobs. Two thousand tons of turbot up in 2J-3KL, they give to Nova Scotia companies, Two thousand tons of Northern turbot that could keep Black Tickle plant in my riding, with 130 workers, going for seven months. Fifty miles from the point in Black Tickle and Domino Run, the companies and the boats are taking it from there back 1,000, 1,500 miles, to Nova Scotia, under the explicit direction and clear permission of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in Ottawa, the hon. John C. Crosbie.

MR. MURPHY: Shame!

MR. DUMARESQUE: Now, that's what is happening out there, Mr. Speaker. Two thousand tons of flounder, 5 million pounds of which, and other types -

AN HON. MEMBER: You are wrong again.

MR. DUMARESQUE: I am not wrong, Mr. Speaker. I would challenge him to look in the Atlantic groundfish management plan. I have those figures there. I can show him the thirty-one instances where we have the zones and the species all lined up and I can tell you exactly what we are doing. We are losing, as we sit here today, 75,000 metric tons of fish. I remind hon. members that there's not only cod in the waters, and it is not only cod that can keep our plants growing. It is no different to have 10,000 tons of redfish go through Arnold's Cove and keep 500 people working than it is to have 10,000 tons of cod and keep the same number of people working.

The same thing applies to the Northern shrimp fishery. At the time when the Northern shrimp fishery is being exploited for the benefit of the people. The northern shrimp fishery, for those who don't know, runs from the top of Cape Chidley up in the Ungava Bay area, down through to 2J, in the Hopedale channel, the Cartwright channel, the Hock channel, and down into the St. Anthony basin. Not one shrimp is caught north of Fogo Island. Yet, at the same time, let me tell you what the hon. Minister of Fisheries is allowing to happen. He is allowing and giving away directly 53 per cent of that shrimp to Nova Scotia, Quebec and New Brunswick companies. Four hundred and fifty jobs at $40,000 a year. They are coming from Nova Scotia, from Lunenburg, from North Sydney. They are going on to these boats, not Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. That's what is happening here today.

Can't we use them? I say to the hon. member: Can't we use these 450 jobs at $40,000 a year, long-term, meaningful jobs? But what we have seen is that the hon. John C. Crosbie in Ottawa is more concerned about the political salvation of the Tory Party in Ottawa than he is about his own people in Newfoundland and Labrador! That's what is happening. He is putting his pure, partisan interest before the welfare of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador - ten thousand jobs being lost now as a result, at the stroke of a pen, by that hon. minister.

I would say to the hon. member, let's be honest. If you're coming into this House for the first time and you want to make a point, then let's be honest about making that point. Let's be honest and look at the real problem, and say that we're going to zero in on where the real problem is, not trying to be propping up a disreputable government in Ottawa and trying to hide behind the Tory flag, Mr. Speaker, for the sake of doing that particular thing.

I say to hon. members, Mr. Speaker, that our own native son is doing the gravest injustice to this Province that any man could ever do because we are not going to get too many opportunities to have a Minister of Fisheries and Oceans from Newfoundland. I had great hopes and great aspirations that he would undo and correct the injustices that were done, not only those of the last eight years, but of the last thirty-five or forty years. I know that the hon. members in the previous Liberal government advocated the same things and created the same kind of mess. I am not saying that it was only the last eight years that it was done, but what we have here is a situation today where we have 20,000 people in this Province who have been thrown out of work, families in turmoil, communities are going to die, and at a time when we could say, we are going to correct this injustice, saying to La Scie that Nova Scotia has to come second, and to Nova Scotia: You cannot take the turbot from 2J-3KL back to your plants, you have to land it in La Scie or in Arnold's Cove. That is where the priority has to be, Mr. Speaker. We have had a fisheries board in the past. The precedent is there, as I said.

The hon. John C. Crosbie says no - no, Mr. Wells, no to the people of this Province - when we advocate joint management of our adjacent resources. He will not entertain the idea. He said: No, you don't deserve it. You can't have it. Well, why can't we have it? The reason, my friends, we can't have it is because the hon. Minister of Public Works, the Elmer MacKays of the world in Nova Scotia and the Gerry Merrithews of the world in New Brunswick and the Benoît Bouchards of the world in Quebec are saying to Crosbie: Let's get your priorities straight, Mr. Crosbie. Take care of the Tories in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec and forget that your first and foremost obligation is to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Also, what is happening, Mr. Speaker, is that Barbara McDougall is playing the biggest part of fisheries management in this country. Barbara McDougall tells John Crosbie when she is going to give more fish to Cuba or to the Faroese or to France or to Russia or the EEC. That's who is running it, and it is about time, Mr. Speaker, that we had the international fisheries (inaudible) eliminated, because until we do, Mr. Speaker, we are never going to have anything more than fish being bartered for other trade priorities of the national government. I say to the hon. member, it is about time that we look at our fishery honestly, openly and clearly and say: Let's take back what we had before. Let's bring back the Fisheries Board for Newfoundland and Labrador that was there in 1949. Let's take back what is justifiably ours because we have the people - the hon. member mentioned the able-bodied people in his riding. I have the same in my riding, and I am sure all hon. members do. All they want to do is fish. All they want to do is work. All they want is to see their communities survive and prosper. But what they have to do, Mr. Speaker, is get permission and be allocated the proper resource to make that a reality. And who is standing -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. DUMARESQUE: How ironic, Mr. Speaker! How ironic! At a time of worst need - at no time since the 1930s, have we seen this kind of crisis - a time when we are on bended knee and begging for an opportunity to do something for our communities and ourselves, we have none other than our own patriot son standing in our way and saying: No! You are not going to get what is justifiably yours. That, Mr. Speaker, is the kind of situation that prevails right now in fisheries management in this Province and, indeed, in this country.

I will conclude, Mr. Speaker, by saying of fisheries management resource allocation and licensing, if you want to get up and argue that that is not totally within federal jurisdiction, and argue that it is not the fact that you can allocate 7,000 tons of turbot or 7,000 tons of redfish to the La Scies, Port au Ports, Port Blandfords or some other parts of the world, if you want to argue that, then go ahead, but you are obviously perpetrating an untruth. Because everybody knows that these aspects of fisheries management are totally within the jurisdiction of the federal government, and presently under the direct pen of the hon. the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

If you want to do something, I say to the Member for Ferryland district, if you want to do something for Calvert, for Bay Bulls, for Witless Bay, ask Mr. Crosbie will he put your communities before the interests of St. Malo, France. Ask him if he will bring back the 15 million pounds of cod that he just gave them in perpetuity. Ask him that direct question and let him answer, because I can tell you that what he is going to have to answer is: I am sorry - I have to take care of the PC Party first.

Well, Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough for your riding, and it is not good enough for this Province, and we will not stand for it. We will do whatever we have to do to see that that minister and that government in Ottawa are taken to full account, and we are getting back the ownership of what is rightfully ours for the future of our communities and the future of our people.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

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

First of all, I want to commend the Member for Ferryland on what I consider to be an excellent speech.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: The Member for Ferryland, I say to the Member for Port de Grave. Now, old Matlock should be quiet, because he wrestled this case before and lost, I say to him.

The Member for Ferryland gave an excellent speech, and he covered his points very, very well. As matter of fact, I would suggest that the Member for Ferryland covered the fisheries issues affecting this Province -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I wonder could I interrupt the hon. member? I was supposed to introduce some students before you started to speak.

MR. MATTHEWS: Go right ahead, Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: I would like to welcome to the public galleries today, on behalf of hon. members, students from the Strait of Belle Isle district, forty-one students from Mary Simms All Grade School, Main Brook, and H.G. Fillier Academy in Englee, accompanied by their teachers, Susan Smith, Carl George, and Oliver Arthur.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am more than glad to give time to welcome visitors to the galleries. I hope they are enjoying what they are seeing and hearing today. I am sure, if you were to ask them afterwards who they feel has the best grasp of fisheries issues in this Province, there would be no doubt about their answer.

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the Member for Eagle River that we are here today debating the resolution which says: THEREFORE be it resolved that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador - and I want them to listen to this - that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador address its responsibility to those directly affected by the moratorium.

Now, if I didn't know the difference, I could have sworn that there was a federal election and that the Member for Eagle River was up representing Labrador and I was up representing Burin - St. George's. I want to say to him that we are not in the House of Commons, we are in the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial Legislature, and this government that was elected three-and-a-half years ago have responsibilities to the Newfoundland fishery. Now, you would never know that by listening to any of them speak, from the Premier down. He has blamed Mr. Crosbie, blamed the processors, blamed the union, blamed the media.

MR. TOBIN: Blamed the fishermen.

MR. MATTHEWS: Blamed the fishermen, blamed everyone; but don't expect me to do anything for you.

MR. EFFORD: Speak for yourself, don't speak for this fellow!

MR. MATTHEWS: I would never dare entertain the thought of trying to speak for you, because I am afraid I would find myself in too much trouble, I say to the hon. member. If the hon. member wants to take part in debate, he can speak afterwards.

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing! John Crosbie - I know we have all had our differences with him. We have agreed with some things he has done, we have disagreed with others. But how one human being could create so much devastation, so much hardship in the Newfoundland fishery in that great big, vast, Atlantic Ocean, since October of 1991, I would like to be able to understand. Even John Crosbie could not be that destructive. The man only became Minister of Fisheries and Oceans last October I believe it was, about a year or little more ago, but can you imagine that this bad, bad John Crosbie has decimated the Newfoundland fishery in just twelve months, and the Member for Eagle River to stand in his place and for people who did not know the difference, who did not understand the fishery, who did not understand the history of the Newfoundland fishery and the problems, and I hope the students in the gallery have followed the history of the Newfoundland fishery because what the hon. member has referred to, the problems with Canada/France, started in 1972, the infamous 1972 treaty that was signed between the Trudeau government and the government of France, and that treaty is binding upon all Government's of Canada, present and future and forever. The Government of Canada, because of that treaty has to allocate fish to France, as much as I detest it, as much as the hon. member detests it, as much as the fishermen detest it and particularly as much as the people in my district, who fish 3Ps detest it. It was Pierre Trudeau, and your George Bakers and your Pierre De Bane and your Romeo LeBlancs who caused the problems in 1972. It is unfair to blame that problem on John Crosbie.

AN HON. MEMBER: He did not have to give them (inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: It is very unfair and we saw what happened just a few months ago, when the world court ruled on the dispute, and a big factor in the world court decision was the 1972 treaty that even the world court could not ignore and we saw what happened. The boundary came down. France has to have access to groundfish stocks and unfortunately the new scallop industry is in jeopardy down my way because most of the scallop resources land inside the boundary.

MR. TOBIN: Thanks to Trudeau.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thanks to Trudeau, and all his cohorts, so do not blame that on John Crosbie. Mr. Speaker, the Member for Ferryland covered some very good points. He talked about the Minister of Fisheries 20 per cent requirement of payment of value of cash landings. The President of the Fishermen's Union called it a disincentive to work and he is correct. It certainly is a disincentive to work. Yesterday I asked the minister to reconsider that but I do not think the minister is willing to reconsider that, which I think is a shame because we have people who are trying to make a dollar, fishing species other than cod, and because of their own initiative they are out and about trying to make a living, trying to maintain an attachment to the fishery, and they are penalized for doing so.

As the Member for Ferryland said when he talked about those people who went and took the risk through their own means and got loans for boats. Things went bad, which they did not know when they borrowed the money. Processors were making all kinds of plans in this province, they did not know the moratorium was going to be announced, and if it was they thought they had more time. So there has been a request to the Minister of Fisheries, to the Fisheries Loan Board to help those people who went out on their own initiative, and again they are being penalized by this government. They should not be penalized because they got up and did something themselves, because they were willing to take the risk, these are the kind of people who should be rewarded. They should be rewarded, these people who go out and take chances and use some initiative to keep working and keep earning, why penalize those, particularly in light of what the member brought forward today that we are talking about so few fishermen in that category. Why would not the Minister of Fisheries reconsider it, and I say to the Member for Eagle River, that the Fisheries Loan Board is a responsibility of the provincial government. Processing is a responsibility of the provincial government.

There are some responsibilities that are provincial. Now when you look at the record of this government in the fishery in the last three and a half years, you would wonder why they would want any more responsibility. If I were John Crosbie in Ottawa, I would have to question myself and say: well, what would they do if I gave them more? What have they done with what they now have, what would they do with more, when all they ever do, the Premier, the Minister of Fisheries and every other minister and member, when every time they stand to their feet: it is not my responsibility. They blame someone else. It is a government that thrives on blame. It is not a government that takes any responsibility for anything.

AN HON. MEMBER: Honesty.

MR. MATTHEWS: No, you are not an honest government, you are a very dishonest government I say to the Member for Eagle River, very dishonest. Just as dishonest as when the Premier stood in his place today and re-acted to a question by the Leader of the Opposition, talking about what our position was on fisheries management, and, Mr. Speaker, if people did not know the difference, they would have believed the Premier, but what we have consistently called for is shared jurisdiction - shared. It goes back to 1980, I say to the Member for Eagle River and the Premier, 1980, then again in 1985 in a document - Managing All Our Resources. The Leader of the Opposition put that position in front of the provincial constitution committee again. But what does the Premier try to do today? Tries to make everyone believe that the position is different. That's what we've called for since 1980, that's twelve years ago.

MR. TOBIN: He's a pathetic (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: We have been consistent as a party in what we wanted in fisheries management.

I want to go back to what the Premier said again today, Mr. Speaker. The Premier was frightened to death that there was an opportunity that Newfoundland and Labrador would get more say over its fisheries. That's obvious. He was frightened to death. What was the Premier preoccupied with during Meech Lake and the latest round of constitutional talks?... appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada.

MR. TOBIN: What fisherman wants that?

MR. MATTHEWS: Do the fishermen and the fish plant workers, and the loggers and the miners, and the nurses and the teachers in this Province, give two hoots about who gets appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada? Is that going to put bread and butter on the table of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians? But that's Clyde's high principles.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Because he wanted to get there himself.

MR. MATTHEWS: It made some difference to Newfoundland who got appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. It was not going to make a lot of difference to the people of Newfoundland whether we had a Triple E Senate. I said to the Premier in debate in the old Legislature, on the Meech lake debate: if you can show me how a Triple E Senate will make life better for the people in Lourdes Cove and Point May and Lamaline I will publicly support your position, and I would have. But what was a Triple E Senate going to do for them?

It was Clyde's principles. All our eggs were in the Triple E basket. What a farce, Mr. Speaker: No, I don't have time, I wasn't going to blackmail Canadians and blackmail the other First Ministers by asking for some compromise on Newfoundland's most important and traditional industry, the fishery. I couldn't bother myself with that. The Supreme Court and the Triple E Senate are what I want.

Clyde Wells doesn't have time to be concerned about the tables and the kitchens of Newfoundland and Labrador. That is the basic problem. He doesn't understand what the fishery means to the future of the people on this side of the gallery today and here, because as I said from Day 1, Clyde Wells, to me - I think he's so far removed from the fishery, he doesn't want to get near it. He doesn't think it's an honourable profession. That's his problem. He thinks we should all be lawyers, premiers, constitutional lawyers. We can't all be that. The future of this Province still, for the most part, relies and will rely on the Newfoundland fishery. Anyone who thinks any differently - you can talk diversification till you turn blue in the face. What are you going to diversify to in most of Newfoundland's rural communities, if it's not something related to the fishery?

That's what we're talking about here. This minister and this government have provincial responsibilities in the fishery, and they are not exercising them, I say to the Minister of Fisheries. You are not exercising your responsibilities. If you don't want to exercise your responsibilities, and are not willing to, then let someone else do it. But if there was ever a time for strong leadership in our fishery it's now.

What do we get from this government? We've seen it here all day. The Premier started in Question Period. The Member for Eagle River has continued. Blaming someone else. Blame is not going to feed the thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are looking for a job. Blame is not going to feed them. Blame is not going to put them to work. If only we could have employed them all on the Constitution, or fed them Constitution, they would have all been working and very well fed. When it comes down to dealing with economic issues in this Province, the most important one being our fishery, we're not getting any leadership from our premier and from our Minister of Fisheries. That is the bottom line in all this.

The Member for Eagle River talked about adjacency. We've all fought the adjacency issue for years. He talked about licensing, he talked about the two-hundred mile limit back in 1977, we all know those battles and most of them were twenty years ago. We're talking about 1992, and we have a very serious situation in our province. Again I want to say to the Member for Ferryland that he was spot on when he said that this Premier and this provincial government are not willing to roll up their sleeves and do anything for fisherpersons and fish plant workers in this Province, because they are afraid of the backlash from other sectors.

Over the next number of days we will demonstrate that. We will demonstrate that one of the main reasons why this provincial government is not out assisting fishermen, fish plant workers, processors who have their life savings on the line, the reason the Premier and the government is not doing anything is because they are saying we cannot make a special class - those are the words - a special class, a priority class out of fishermen and fish plant workers in this Province. That is what Clyde Wells and his government are saying. I assure you that over the next number of days we will demonstrate to the people of the province that what I am saying today is indeed a fact. That is their problem.

Can you imagine? It is like representing a district and saying: well I can't go and try to get your water and sewer program going for you because I have five or six more over there and I can't make them special, so you do without a water and sewer system forever and they will do without one forever. That is the way that argument goes. I mean you can't think that way as a government. You can't think that way as a member. You have to go out, make decisions and help people. If the loggers need help, help the loggers. If the miners need help, help the miners, but there is no one in this province today that can argue that fishermen and fish plant workers don't need help.

MR. TOBIN: Too many meetings going on (inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Now maybe there is some members opposite here who think that fishermen and fish plant workers don't need help. Maybe there are members opposite who think that processors don't need help. I don't happen to be one of them. I think they need a lot of help, and I think it is time that the provincial government honour this responsibility, particularly at the loan board level with assisting the processors, trying to get them through this very rough period of time, the moratorium. They need help. I say to the Minister of Fisheries and members opposite that the resolution that has been brought forward by my colleague from Ferryland today is an excellent resolution, and he worded it in such a way that it talked about provincial responsibilities - the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's responsibilities. Not Ottawa's responsibilities.

Ottawa can do more. There is no question. But to be very brutally honest, Mr. Speaker, I don't think $800 million is too bad. I don't think $800 million for the northern cod moratorium package is too bad. If only we had another $150 million or $200 million to put with it we could probably get through the moratorium pretty good. But when you have a government here that has not yet put in one nickel, not one nickel, into this very serious problem, it makes you wonder. What do they get up and talk about today? They bash John Crosbie. They curse John Crosbie. For what, $800 million? If it wasn't for John Crosbie, Mr. Speaker, - and as I have said, I have had my differences with Crosbie and I will continue to have them, but I will guarantee you one thing that if it wasn't for the few federal dollars that John Crosbie brings out of Ottawa I don't know what the people in the District of Grand Bank would be doing today because there hasn't been a nickel from Clyde Wells and his government. Not a nickel. All they have done in three and a half years is shut down the works from hospitals to schools to fish plants. That is what they have done, Mr. Speaker. That is what they have done.

AN HON. MEMBER: Be honest.

MR. MATTHEWS: I am honest, I say to the Member for Harbour Grace.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are not honest.

MR. MATTHEWS: I am honest! I am grateful to John Crosbie for $800 million. I am very grateful for it.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: I am grateful for every federal dollar that he puts into federal/provincial agreements. And I say to the Member for Harbour Grace that if it wasn't for John Crosbie a lot more of his people would be going hungry this winter.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: The people in your district can't thank Clyde Wells and Water Carter for not being hungry this winter, as well as all the people along the northeast coast.

AN HON. MEMBER: Nail him.

MR. MATTHEWS: So I say to the member, he can have a chance to debate this as well, but when I stand in this Legislature the one thing I do is tell the truth, and no one here can deny that John Crosbie has put at least $800 million into the moratorium package.

MR. TOBIN: Stand up and debate it like a man.

MR. MATTHEWS: Clyde Wells has put zero dollars in. Now is there anyone who can refute that? Show me what he has put in I say to the Member for Harbour Grace. Mr. Speaker, I think that the Member for Harbour Grace has been here long enough to know that if he wants to take part in debate that at least he should have the energy to stand up. He should at least have the energy to rise.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: He should at least stand up and speak, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: I mean it is sad when someone else has to come in here and speak for the member's constituents. Someone else has to come and ask questions for his constituents and for towns in trouble. Why? Because they are muzzled by the emperor, but they support him on supreme court judges and Triple E Senates. They support him on that because that is going to make a big difference to rural Harbour Grace, I say to the member. They are going to be eating that all winter, Triple E Senate and supreme court judges. They are going to be eating it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to conclude by saying to the Minister of Fisheries before he rises in his place, that I hope today when he rises he will announce that he is going to reconsider the 20 per cent requirement, that he will look at those fishermen, who of their own initiative went and borrowed and put their signature on the line, who want to stay involved in the fishery. I hope he does something for them. I hope as well, Mr. Speaker, when the minister rises in debate he will respond to my colleague's resolution and he will tell processors in this province that he is going to have a package to help get them through the moratorium as well, because that is what is needed in this province, Mr. Speaker. That is provincial responsibility, I say to members opposite. It is a provincial responsibility. So I hope the Minister of Fisheries, when he rises in his place, has the concurrence from his colleague, his seatmate, the Minister of Finance, the President of Treasury, to at least give a few paltry dollars to help get Newfoundlanders and Labradorians through this very serious crisis.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It is not difficult to understand why the province is finding it so difficult to get the federal government to accept its responsibilities to the Province of Newfoundland and to the fishermen of Newfoundland, given the type of statement and speech that the hon. Member for the District of Grand Bank, a fishing district by the way, has just made.

Mr. Speaker, how they can stand in their places in this House of Assembly, people representing fishing districts, and go to such lengths to try and shift the blame from where it really belongs, with the federal government and their federal soulmates, Mr. Crosbie and others, onto the Province is beyond me. It is just incredible! Like I say, it is no wonder the Province is finding it so difficult, Mr. Speaker, to get justice for our fishermen and fish plant workers.

He talks about this grandiose plan, this great scheme that Mr. Crosbie announced, $800 million. Let me tell him, Mr. Speaker, that Newfoundlanders should not feel as though they have to get on their knees and give Mr. Crosbie thanks.

MR. ROBERTS: Well, that is what they are saying.

MR. CARTER: That is what, in effect, they are saying: Get on your knees, Newfoundlanders, and give thanks to Mr. John in Ottawa for this great gift that he is giving Newfoundland. Mr. Speaker, if Newfoundlanders were to get justice, given the fact that the federal government, of which Mr. Crosbie is a part, destroyed our most important industry, yes, I suppose, probably $8 billion would be closer to what we should get, and not $800 million.

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the speech of the hon. gentleman from Ferryland district, his maiden speech. It is regrettable that a member who represents a fishing community and whose family connection in the fisheries is well known to most members in this House, would see fit to rise in his place for his first time, his maiden speech, and make that kind of a speech, to try again to shift responsibility from his friend, John, and to try to blame it on the province. It is just incredible, Mr. Speaker, that a new member in his maiden speech would see fit to do that. It is the hand of Loyola but the voice of John, I think we just witnessed.

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is, the problems that Newfoundlanders are now experiencing, especially people in the -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I wonder could the hon. gentleman for Burin - Placentia West be asked to remain quiet. I did not interrupt the hon. gentleman from Grand Bank or from Ferryland and I expect to be shown the same courtesy.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) of the Province is your problem.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member has asked for quiet.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, sometimes you have to listen to thunder but it is not pleasant.

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is the problems that we are now experiencing in this province in connection with the fishery and the need for the moratorium that was imposed on the northern cod fishery just recently is a direct result of years of mismanagement on the part of the federal government. No ifs, ands or buts about it, Mr. Speaker. The federal government has badly mismanaged our fishery. They have ignored the advice of the Province and others, people in the industry who, for years now, have been telling them to take a more cautious approach to their management plans and their setting of the TACs.

I recall back, I believe it was in 1989, when the then minister, Mr. Valcourt, came to the Province and announced a total allowable catch. I think it was in the order of two hundred and some-odd thousand metric tons. The Province then, based on the best scientific advice we could get, had some - in fact we had strong reservations, as to the wisdom of setting that large a total allowable catch.

We expressed that concern to the minister publicly and privately. I recall in a telephone conversation with him - as usual the advance notice we got of that management plan and that total allowable catch announcement was by way of a conference telephone call about an hour or two before the announcement was made. I recall very well telling him that the Province could not agree to that large a TAC - that we had certain reservations as to the wisdom of setting the TAC that high. I recall the minister saying to me privately what he subsequently said publicly, that he was the minister for fishermen, not the minister for fish, and that he had more concern about people than he had in protecting our fish stocks. Of course, time has proven that Mr. Valcourt was wrong in his approach. Now we are paying a price for it.

I recall very well Mr. Crosbie, the present Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, criticizing the Province because we dared suggest that maybe the total allowable catch being announced by him in the management plan - I believe it was 1991, or it might have been the fall of 1990 - when we said that the allowable catch was too high and would probably cause problems. He came back and criticized the Province for daring to suggest that he was doing anything wrong. Now we are paying a price for it, and we are paying a very dear price.

For the members opposite to suggest that Newfoundlanders should be forever grateful to this great federal government for coming forward with a compensation package, I think is not worthy of the people who sit in this House or who represent fishing districts.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Yes, I recall very well my comments in the Radisson Hotel, the press conference I had and the statements I made concerning the compensation package, given the fact that Mr. Crosbie came down here just a few weeks prior to that time and announced a package that was, in fact, an insult to Newfoundlanders - an across the board compensation package of $225 a week, I think it was. Then, of course, it was received with such concern and alarm on the part of most Newfoundlanders, especially our fishermen, that he went back to Ottawa and returned with a better package. I said then and I say now that it was a vast improvement. The second package that he announced was a vast improvement over that which he announced at the beginning.

AN HON. MEMBER: The first one was an insult.

MR. CARTER: The first one was an insult; of course it was. So I make no apology for what I said, Mr. Speaker.

The fact of the matter is that Mr. Crosbie has acknowledged responsibility for the problem, in a way, by virtue of the fact that he has come up with a compensation package for fishermen. Now, that, in my view, is an acknowledgement that the federal government is responsible for what has happened to our fish stocks. Mr. Crosbie or his federal colleagues and associates are not in the habit of handing out eight or nine hundred million dollars to a Province where they have no responsibility. So I think the fact that they are paying that compensation is an acknowledgement that it is their responsibility.

Where does their responsibility end then, Mr. Speaker? It does not end just with fishermen. It must follow that if, by virtue of their bad management, they feel obligated to provide compensation to fishermen affected, it must follow for people who are in the processing sector, who are suffering the same fate, that surely then, they have some responsibility to them.

Mr. Crosbie, of course, has very skilfully tried to manipulate the Province into the position of having to accept full responsibility for propping up, bailing out - call it what you want - the processing sector. That is not a simple matter to deal with, as you can imagine. I contend - and I have said this to him publicly, and I have supported the efforts of the Fish Trades Association in the Province; I have supported their efforts to get the federal government to acknowledge its responsibility to them. I am hoping that eventually he will do that.

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, and as the hon. gentleman from Eagle River has so well put it, the management of our fish stocks by the federal government, whose responsibility it is to manage that resource, has been nothing short of disgraceful over the years. The federal government has full responsibility. For the benefit of those in the galleries, including the young people, I should point out that the federal government and Mr. Crosbie have full responsibility to manage and control our fishery - full responsibility.

Mr. Crosbie and his officials and associates determine what the allowable catch will be. They determine if the allowable catch is going to be 100,000 tons or 200,000 tons. That is their responsibility. They have complete power. They don't come down and consult the Province and ask: What do you think? Should the TAC be lower or what? They have complete power to set the total allowable catch. Having done that, then, of course, they have full responsibility, complete power, over who gets a licence to catch that fish. It is they who determine who will get a licence to catch that fish.

The federal minister and his colleagues in the federal Cabinet, and his associates and his officials, will determine how much of that fish they will be allowed to catch. They will determine the species, what type of fish they are going to catch, whether it is going to be cod, redfish, turbot, caplin or what. They are the ones who licence fishermen; they determine how many fishermen there will be in Newfoundland. The Province has never issued a licence to a fisherman. We have no authority to do that.

MR. WINSOR: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: The hon. gentleman from Fogo says: Oh, no. If he thinks otherwise it shows just how misled he has been.

AN HON. MEMBER: He's gone next election.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the Province does not have the authority -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) I said!

MR. CARTER: - to issue licences to fishermen.

AN HON. MEMBER: 'Oh, no,' you said. You said, 'Oh, no.'

MR. CARTER: That is the sole prerogative of the federal government.

So all areas of responsibility that have caused the problem and the difficulties through which we are now going have been caused by the federal government - not by the Province, not by the union, not by the industry or the fishermen, but by the federal government. They call all of the shots.


MR. CARTER: Now, I know they don't like to hear this, because, Mr. Crosbie, I am sure, will be getting a report later on what happened during this debate today, and I'm sure they're not going to want to tell him that this point was made.

AN HON. MEMBER: They'll get their instructions then.

MR. CARTER: They have already gotten their instructions.

So, Mr. Speaker, full responsibility for what has happened rests squarely on the shoulders of the federal government, and now, on the shoulders of the federal minister who happens to be a Newfoundlander, Mr. John Crosbie.

So, Mr. Speaker, it must follow then, that any compensation needed to offset some of the problems caused by their mismanagement and the need for a moratorium, surely, that must rest, as well, on the shoulders of the federal government and on Mr. Crosbie. And for a member of this House to get up and to suggest that:

WHEREAS it is evident that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has not addressed the impact of the moratorium on the fishing industry;

THEREFORE be it resolved that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador address its responsibility to those directly affected by the moratorium.

That, Mr. Speaker, is utter and absolute nonsense. It is hardly worthy of debate or comment.


MR. CARTER: Because that resolution - I am not going to amend the resolution. We will let the resolution stand and we will vote on it. But if I were allowed to amend it - I know what I'm going to suggest would not get past Your Honour - the resolution should more appropriately read: Whereas, it is evident that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has addressed the impact of the moratorium of the fishing industry; therefore, be it resolved that the Government of Canada address its responsibility to those directly affected by the moratorium. That would be a more appropriate resolution, but I am not going to bring forward an amendment because he has a right to have his motion voted on as it is presented.

Mr. Speaker, the gentlemen opposite, have talked about what the Province has not been doing and I think the gentleman from Grand Bank said the Province has not done anything at all to help alleviate the problems caused by the moratorium. Mr. Speaker, that is not correct, and he knows it is not correct. I might point out by the way, that the Province has not only tried to help people affected in the moratorium area by recognizing certain problems with respect to their Fishery Loan Board loans, but we have also extended that assistance, Mr. Speaker, to the entire Province.

Now, we have a situation developing in the Province on the West Coast, where the fish stocks are probably worse off than what they are, if that is possible, on the Northeast Coast. We have consistently asked Mr. Crosbie to address that problem and to do the right thing, to impose a moratorium on that area, to pay the fishermen compensation and give the fish stocks there a chance to rebuild, but Mr. Speaker, the minister is not prepared to do that. He is resisting doing what needs to be done and what should be done, and I fear that within a couple of years, conditions in the Gulf area will have deteriorated to a point where it might be too late, Mr. Speaker, to start the process of rebuilding those stocks.

So what we see happening on the West Coast is a repeat of what we have seen happen on the Northeast Coast, where the federal government stubbornly refused to do anything until it was almost too late, until the fish stocks had all but collapsed.

Mr. Speaker, this problem has been caused by many things, not the least of which, of course, is another problem that Mr. Crosbie and his federal colleagues are refusing to address, that of foreign overfishing. We all know the impact that has had on the fish stocks and on the fishing industry of Newfoundland and Labrador, and it is no secret that the Province has been very actively engaged in trying to focus public attention on that problem and trying to get some action. But again, Mr. Crosbie and his federal associates and colleagues have stubbornly refused to do anything about that. They are now trying to go about it the diplomatic way, but we all know that is not working, and we all know that while they are now trying to lull Newfoundlanders into a state of complacency by saying that the EC and others are about to take certain action or about to do certain things that would indicate that they are prepared to cut back on fishing, we all know that Mr. Speaker, is not the way it is going to work.

We have a feeling that once the fish stocks are rebuilt, as they will be in time, then we expect to see the European Community and others back there in full force. But what has happened is that by virtue of their announcements we are being lulled into a state of complacency, and that, Mr. Speaker, is very, very unfortunate.

Mr. Speaker, getting back to what the Province has done for the fishery, I think, given the circumstances and given the fact that the Province is not responsible for the problem, as I have already pointed out, I think the Province has done very well. In fact, we have offered assistance to our Fisheries Loan Board programs, we have undertaken to provide assistance to people who have gotten loans through the banks by way of a government guarantee, and in cases where it can be demonstrated that help is needed, then the Province has offered to come forward with that help.

In cases of the direct loans program where we have about six or seven ... well, in fact, about 5,000 clients and a loans portfolio of over $50,000, we have offered, in cases where a fisherman is depending solely on Northern cod - of course, we know now that he isn't able to catch Northern cod, so that person will get complete forgiveness for the interest on his or her loan. A Northern cod fisherman whose boat is tied up and who is not able to fish, Mr. Speaker, that person then will get a total write-off of their interest and there will be a deferral of the principal.

Mr. Speaker, in cases where a fisherman in the moratorium area has licences to fish for other types of fish, or other species, such as lobster, or fishes lump roe in season, or caplin or herring, the Loan Board expects that person to honour the assignment of catch, whereby a fisherman assigns to the Loan Board 20 per cent of the earnings from that fisheries-related income outside of the Northern cod. Of course, if he is unable to meet their principal payments, then payment on that will be deferred.

Mr. Speaker, it might not be a perfect solution to the problem, but hon. gentlemen opposite appear to be less interested in talking about the federal government's clawback than they are in the Loan Board's 20 per cent assignment of catch.

AN HON. MEMBER: Your own clawback.

MR. CARTER: The hon. gentleman says: my clawback. That just goes to prove, Mr. Speaker, to what extent they will go to try to take the heat off their federal friend. The Province did not - I repeat, did not - initiate the clawback on fisheries-related income. In fact, we asked the federal government not to initiate that clawback on fisheries-related -


MR. CARTER: Now, that is a fact. The members opposite are saying it is not true. I tell them now, it is true.

MR. TOBIN: The fishermen (inaudible).

MR. CARTER: The hon. gentleman doesn't know what the fishermen are saying either.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I have documents to prove that the Province specifically asked that fisheries-related income be exempt from the clawback.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: We specifically asked, Mr. Speaker, that that clawback provision be exempt on fisheries-related income. I have since written Mr. Crosbie reaffirming that position, and I have gone public with it in most of the news media to make that point.

Now, I know that members opposite, like certain other people in the Province, would like to tag the Province with that responsibility but, Mr. Speaker, they can't do it because the facts speak for themselves. The Province did not initiate the clawback, we opposed the clawback as it relates to fisheries-related income, and we will continue to oppose it. In fact, as I said a moment ago, we are on record as asking Mr. Crosbie to remove that provision.

So they are not going to be able to tag the Province with that, since we can prove that we are not responsible. It is as simple as that. We make no apology for supporting the clawback provision as it applies to the people who are engaged in the workforce.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I just want to conclude by again saying that the Province did not - I repeat, did not - initiate the clawback as it relates to fisheries income, and we have made that known to the minister.

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

MR. HEARN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It is a pleasure to stand in support of the resolution so ably presented by our new member, the Member for Ferryland. It was also extremely interesting to listen to the speakers from the opposite side, the Member for Eagle River and the Minister of Fisheries. In 90 per cent of what they said, they talked about the federal government, federal responsibilities, lack of action by the federal government, and if we were debating a bill in this House and not a resolution, then Your Honour would have called them to order because they were not sticking at all to the resolution, which talks about provincial responsibility.

In the dying words of the minister in the last minute or two, he talked feebly about the couple of initiatives they have taken, that they take every year when we have had fish failures in the past. They cut down on the interest at the Loan Board, or forgave interest, froze interest. That is the sole contribution of the provincial government.

He says: What are the fishermen saying about it? Let me tell him what the fishermen are saying about it. The fishermen are saying that this provincial government has talked about co-operation and co-management with the federal government. This provincial government has criticized the federal government for not consulting and not allowing them to participate. We heard it again today. We heard it from both of them. They criticized the federal government for everything they did.

The fishermen go on to say: Yet in major policy areas today in the fishery they have undertaken their positions without regard to early retirement, clawback and loans, without consultation with the fishermen's union.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is a lie.

MR. HEARN: They did not even talk to the union.

The Minister of Fisheries says it is a lie. Well the letter is signed by Richard Cashin, so I presume that the members will go back and tell Mr. Cashin that the Minister of Fisheries said he is lying when he says there was a lack of consultation between the Province and the union.

Mr. Speaker, it was incredible to listen to the minister. I do not blame the young Member for Eagle River, he does not know any better, and his knuckles have been rapped over and over and over by his irresponsible statements, by his own Premier as well as by the federal Minister of Fisheries. He just mouths off on history; but the Provincial Minister of Fisheries - to listen to his lame excuses today for not helping out the fishermen and the plant workers and the others affected in this Province is incredible.

It is extremely hard for the minister to take a stand, because after all he was the Minister of Fisheries in the former Tory government. He was a member of the Tory government in Ottawa, and now he is the provincial Minister of Fisheries in a Liberal government; so it is extremely hard to talk about or criticize policy. I suggest to the Member for St. John's East that he had better watch his back because you might be the next one that the Minister of Fisheries will be after.

Mr. Speaker, we might ask the question: Does the provincial government have any responsibilities to the fisherpersons and plant workers, and those others affected by the moratorium in this province? The answer is, yes. Fish plants in this province are the direct responsibility of the province. Licensing of the plants; the provision of funding for boats; the operation of Loan Board - all responsibilities. Now how did this contribute to the moratorium? Well if we ask: Why is the northern cod fishery shut down? The one answer, I suppose - the flippant answer that we will get - is because there has been too much overfishing.

Maybe we should start looking very carefully at what is happening there. I do not want to get off on a tangent as the minister did, but when we look at what is happening to the other stocks in the ocean, above and beyond the northern cod, and above and beyond cod - when we look at what is happening to the stocks generally, maybe it is about time that we started looking for other reasons besides overfishing solely. Some of these we have addressed in the past, and pressured governments to take action upon, such as the seals; and unless that situation is addressed we are not going to correct the problem with the fishery just by stopping the overfishing by foreigners.

Going above and beyond the obvious points that have been raised, and the obvious reasons that have been given, when we see all of a sudden, almost all over the world, stocks being decimated, everyone concerned, we wonder if maybe some other environmental factors are not at work above and beyond those spotted so far by the scientists and the fishermen. As I say, I do not want to get into that right now, but there is something extremely dangerous happening in our habitat offshore.

Mr. Speaker, I mentioned that plants are the responsibility of the minister; boats, basically the responsibility of the minister, because it was he, above anyone else in this province and above anyone else in this country, it was he who encouraged fishermen to go from the smaller boats to the bigger boats. It was he who brought in programs to make it very easy for fishermen to go from smaller boats to bigger boats. If you cannot catch fish near shore, go after them, and fishermen went in the bigger boats from the small twenty-five, thirty-footer to the forty-five-footers, from the forty-five-footers to the sixty-five, from the sixty-five on up, to go further and further to catch more and more fish and because the Minister of Fisheries, the present Minister of Fisheries, in his former capacity and in his present capacity, made money readily available to help fishermen go get those boats, and also, because the same Minister of Fisheries gave out licences to plant owners like he was giving out bubble gum on Halloween.

We have plants all over the place and I have a number of them put there while the very gentleman represented my district and at that time I would say with every good intention. I am not decrying the minister because he encouraged people to get bigger boats or because he built fish plants, it was the thing to do because we were supposed to have lots of fish, but because of these extra fish plants, because of all these bigger boats, we then created a demand for fish. Every fish plant owner wanted fish to put through his fish plant. Every boat owner had to catch fish in order to make a living for himself and his crew, consequently the pressures were then on for increased stock, more quotas, the pursuance of underutilized species and we can go on and on and on. So when we talk about the federal government, and I am not here to defend them at all; we have criticized them just as much or even more, not only as an opposition party but when we were in government and they were in government in Ottawa.

As you know, some of the hardest criticisms that the federal government ever faced came from the Tory government here in the Province of Newfoundland, when we were not afraid to stand up and address the problems of the people of the province, regardless of who was in power in Ottawa; when we did not sit with our tails between our legs, as the former Liberal government did when Trudeau was giving away the shop, mistakes were made that can never be corrected that resulted in the problems we have today, as the Member for Eagle River outlined in the House.

We have the plants, the responsibility of the Province, we have boats and licensing, the encouragement of licensing, the provision of funding for boats, responsibilities of the province and all of these created pressures on the stock, consequently we ended up in the situation in which we are today so we cannot, as a government, we cannot as a province, no more can fishermen, no more can plant owners, none of us can wash our hands of the situation and say it is not our responsibility, that we did not contribute to the mess. We all contributed to the mess, and we cannot on the other hand, turn around and say we do not have some share of responsibility, and the provincial government has a major share of responsibility.

What is it going to do? What is the provincial government going to do for the plant owners who are out there, many of whom this Spring geared up all the crews who sell fish to them, who have put out hundreds of thousands of dollars to crews to buy nets and gear and fuel, to make payments and to buy boats even, how are they going to get any of the money back? Well then, these are areas that can be and should be addressed by the provincial government. The old guaranteed loan program that the former government had could be used to address programs like this with an agreement of assignment of catch when and if we get back into the fishery.

Mr. Speaker, we have numbers, as I said, of plant owners out there right now who may not make it through this year, not to say through the extend of the moratorium, and what is the provincial government saying? What they have said is: we will let free enterprise dictate who stays in the fishery, so if you cannot make it then you go down the tubes, and if everything were equal, that may be the proper approach to use and the good ones would survive and the bad ones would go. Maybe that is the way we should exist in a democratic and free capitalistic society; but unfortunately that is not the way it is, and we are not playing on a level playing field at all.

We have a number of fish plant owners out there who have owned their plants for years, who started their business many years ago -many of them with a lot of assistance from different governments - a lot of assistance from different governments. There are plants out there perhaps that had very little private money in them. Many plants were built by government and passed over to private entrepreneurs for very little money. We have others, however, which have been built by the blood, sweat, toil and tears of the operator and his or her own dollars. We have plants, as I say, that have been owned years ago, and any income this past number of years, any profits made, have been able to be tucked away for rough times - times such as we are facing today.

What about the few operators who in recent years went out and purchased plants; who built new plants so they could provide market for fishermen in areas where they had no market, before these operators moved in; who rejuvenated plants that were closed, wiping out the 100, 150, or 200 jobs of plant workers - jobs that keep rural communities in this province alive? What about the markets the fishermen did not have, when fishermen had to land on the wharf and go to a phone to call some operator in some distant bay to beg him to come up and buy some fish, which he did if he could not get it anywhere else? If he did not have any at home, he then drove the 100 miles into some other place, the Southern Shore or St. Mary's Bay, and picked up what fish was there for whatever he wanted to pay for it? Day after day after day the fishermen dumped their catches.

Because good operators came in and, at their own expense in most cases, bought and rebuilt and rejuvenated facilities, and before they even got their feet solid under them they got whipped out again because of the moratorium. You try to tell me they were playing on a level playing field and that it is fair to say to a good, solid operator who just built a new plant, or who just bought a new plant, or who just put in a lot of new equipment, and geared up his crews, that it is fair to say to him: Survive or perish? When the same time -

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please ask the hon. gentleman if he would allow a question?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. gentleman agrees.

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, he makes reference to the plight of the processors and he talked about cases where - in many cases I will admit they incurred considerable expense in gearing up fishermen and buying packaging material - but I ask him: On whose advice did the processors make that investment? Is it not a fact that most of the investment made, to which he is now referring, was made on the basis of a management plan announced by Mr. Crosbie last January, without reference to a moratorium or a cutback? On the basis of that total allowable catch and management plan a large number of processors did, in fact, incur considerable expense. That is what is causing the trouble. I repeat, will he not agree that they took that action, and made loans, and geared up fishermen on the strength of the announcement made by the federal minister last December, I think, when he announced his management plan?

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

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The minister has a valid point which I will address in a moment, not directly relating at all to what I am saying, because I am not talking about major expenditures that occurred this summer. He talked about the gear up of crews and yes, I agree with the minister there, and I have told the federal minister, in writing and personally and everything else, that fishermen should have been advised in January at the latest, because not only did plant owners tie up a lot of money giving it out to fishermen; what about fishermen who got it? They got it with the responsibility of paying it back. Here you had fishermen after getting their boats ready, buying new parts, buying gear or whatever, to find out that now they could not use it. Plant owners the same way. But the plants and the expenditures that I have talked about have been taking place over the last three or four years, and these operators are out there now operating plants that have, in the past few years, provided that market that fishermen never had. They did it for the sake of the fishermen - of course for their own sakes also to try to make some profits - but they went into areas where no one else would go, and established solid operations; and now, because of the money they spent, they are not on a level playing field.

The minister was trying to say earlier today that the federal government is trying to pressure us into accepting full responsibility for the processing sector. That is not factual and the minister knows it. The federal government is not pressuring the province into accepting full responsibility for anything. The federal government is asking the province to participate in the early retirement plan, a plan which would take a number of people out of the fishery. If we can ever put it all back together again one of the things we have to address would be the numbers, and once we eliminate the numbers that should never have been there in the first place we have to address the realistic numbers that are there. One of the ways to get some people out of the fishery will be to let them participate in the early retirement plan. The fishermen are satisfied to do it. The federal government is satisfied to address it. Who is saying no? The provincial government is saying no.

So is the federal government asking the province to accept full responsibility for the early retirement plan? No, they are asking them to share. Are they asking them to accept full responsibility for addressing the needs of operators and truckers and others involved? No, the federal government has said: We are willing to participate but show us the color of your money, and we haven't seen anything at all. I ask members opposite, is this the 'real change' that they promised the people of this province, and they now turn their back on them when they are in need. Is this the 'real change'?

People in this province in 1989 voted for 'real change'. In 1979 they got 'real change'. Good change. In 1989 they voted for 'real change' not knowing that the change they got was going to be a bunch of loonies.

Mr. Speaker, you know it is embarrassing to be here in the House representing a fishing district, representing plant workers, representing fishermen, representing plant owners, and to hear a Minister of Fisheries say: Let Ottawa do it. We have been accused today of lauding Ottawa for what it has done. Yes, we are very pleased with what Ottawa has done as far as they went. We have also criticized them for what they didn't do, and we have asked them to live up to their responsibilities. But I say to them, as others have said in the past, we would be pretty bad off today in this province if Ottawa had not come across with the package that they came across with. We would be pretty bad off in this province if we didn't have our own Minister of Fisheries, a Minister of Fisheries that the provincial Minister of Fisheries and other members are dumping on.

You better go out and talk to your constituents before you say very much because I tell you there isn't one of them who won't say: Thank God that we had John Crosbie in Ottawa. Picture if you had somebody who didn't know or didn't care.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: You talk to the people down in St. Anthony, Roddickton and the other places and talk to the people up around the northeast coast and ask them how they would have liked to have had a Minister of Fisheries from Toronto there this year? How would they have liked to have had a Minister of Fisheries from Quebec? How would they have liked to have had a Minister of Fisheries from British Columbia? Or how would they have liked to have this Minister of Fisheries up there and you will find out what they will answer you. Because the fishermen, the plant workers and others associated in the fishery will say to you: We are satisfied with what we have received from Ottawa to a degree, but we are certainly not satisfied with the lack of action from the provincial government in the areas for which they are responsible. Nobody is asking you to pick up the package. All people are asking, all this resolution is asking is to live up to your own, your own, your own responsibility. You have neglected to do it. You can laugh it off all you like.

The Minister of Education responsible for the youth of our province, a province where we have - as was mentioned earlier - we exist because of the fishery. We have survived because of the fishery, and if we are going to survive we have to find ways of living on the fishery.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. HEARN: That is too bad, Mr. Speaker, because I was just starting to enjoy it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. K. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's a pleasure to speak for a few moments on the motion put forward by the new member of the House, the Member for Ferryland. I commend him on his first speech in the House of Assembly. We'll look forward to hearing more.

AN HON. MEMBER: It wasn't factual but it was a good speech.

MR. K. AYLWARD: His concern is duly noted, as is the Opposition's concern, for what needs to be done and for the responsibilities that this government has in dealing with the fishery crisis which we didn't create. A fishery crisis which we have to learn to live with and find the money to deal with.

It is most unfortunate though - I would have wished that the member would have added to his motion that we demand that the federal government also live up to its responsibilities, when it's trying to put off on a province of such limited capacity the financial commitments that they're trying to put off on this province. It's very bad for this Province. In the financial position that we're in it is very unfortunate. But this government is dealing with it on an upfront basis.

I went back and looked through some of the files. The provincial government had meetings with the federal government as far back as August of 1989. The Premier and the Minister of Fisheries for this government met with the federal minister, Valcourt, and the federal cabinet committee, looking at the fishery cod crisis, because it was getting worse and worse. We knew it was coming. We went to the feds and we said: we want to come with a complete package and we'll contribute to that package financially. We went to them and said that. We wanted to work with them, and we did. The problem was they didn't want to work back. They decided on their own to come in with their own program, the Atlantic Adjustments Program, which we are getting piecemeal funds out of and which we've had to live with. Then we end up with a cod crisis.

Mr. Speaker, I still have a minute. I have to say, if anybody wants to find out what happened to our fishery, the hon. George Baker, MP, tells a good story. I think the Minister of Finance's brother up in Ottawa did a good job of it. I have to tell you. I'm sending this one out to a lot of people, because it tells a big story about what happened to the cod fishery off Newfoundland and Labrador, a Canadian resource which our federal government has really just absolved themselves of total responsibility. All we ask - this government is going to deal with it up front, it is going to deal with it in its financial capacity as best we can, and the Minister of Fisheries for this Province, the Premier and the Cabinet are going to do whatever it takes to make sure that people get through it.

Let's be real about it, and let's understand, Mr. Speaker -

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

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. K. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It was a good try. Thank you very much.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The resolution as submitted deals with provincial responsibilities. The focus of this government has been on the past. We are living in the present. We want to ensure that there's a good living there in the future. We should use the past to profit from mistakes, but I haven't heard one thing here today that answers the questions regarding provincial responsibility in the fisheries.

The hon. Member for Eagle River talked about 10,000 jobs lost by the federal government. Over the past three and a half years there have been more transfers of fishing licences and new licences into a processing industry that has over-capacity, all these new people brought into this industry, the inflated number of plant workers, in addition to an overabundance of people in the harvesting sector, is the responsibility of the provincial government.

If 10,000 people are displaced from the fishery, 5,000 from the harvesting and 5,000 from the processing, the provincial government has to accept responsibility for the 5,000 that are displaced in the processing sector. What have they done to give a replacement income to those processors? The federal government has provided an income, and it's rapidly approaching 25,000 people total for the harvesting and processing sector. I did not allude and compliment John Crosbie as the hon. minister indicated, he was the one who made reference to John Crosbie, it was not me. I have not jumped up and started praising John Crosbie, I did not do it in Bay Bulls before July 2nd and I did not do on July 2nd. I indicated to the federal minister prior to July 2nd that if the announcement we heard in the media was any indication he would be in for trouble in this district. If the federal government followed through with the media announcements, I indicated to him on July 2nd that he would have a lot of problems, and the day after the moratorium we had a public meeting with 500 people.

The hon. Member for Port de Grave attended that meeting and he can vouch for it - 500 people. We addressed the fallout for the moratorium and took the federal government to task and we had specific recommendations in letter form from the committee, and we recommended from that meeting that $400 per week - it ended up being a maximum of $406 - we recommended $300 per week for plant workers and the average is around that. We made recommendations from the 500 people there and the committee that was struck and we addressed these and the federal government has responded. The minister of this province said that he is satisfied with the response and he said that on July 17th with the federal government and he also said it on July 2nd: that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will fully discharge its responsibilities in dealing with the moratorium's impact.

The hon. Member for Eagle River talked about federal responsibility. The resolution does not deal with federal responsibility. He talked about turbot and red fish and every part of the harvesting sector, that is not the nature of this resolution. I know and I assume that he does, that the harvesting is a federal responsibility and the issues we are discussing here today in the resolution are provincial responsibilities and you can skate as wide a circle as you like around the issue, but sooner or later, you will have to come home and address the real issues and my greatest fear is that these issues will not be addressed.

The fallout of people in the fishery today, will create massive problems of unemployment and social assistance and exiting from this province down the road in two years time, and one of the underlying problems by the provincial government's inability to respond comes back to the entire philosophy that they do not have a feel for the fisheries and the rural people of this Province. The minister is into an urban train of thought, that is good and the Premier is good to think that way, but it is not good to spend 100 per cent of your time thinking and acting that way. We have to care for people in urban areas and their jobs, we have to care for people in rural areas on the basis of this fishery.

This province grew and developed and the economic base of this province stemmed around the fishery in every little inlet in Newfoundland and Labrador, and over the course of time the industries in the service centres of this province, in St. John's in particular, grew and developed and hired employees, and people came to live here to work in the different supply industries - IMP and Bay Bulls Trading - the supplying of fishing nets and other supplies, the electronic companies, all situated here in the City of St. John's and in the City of Mount Pearl. The carton supplying companies for processing and also the truckers and all related things all have their economic base and supply base here in the city.

The spin-offs and the downside of this is devastating, not just on rural Newfoundland but the impact is going to be felt in urban areas of this province and the government sits by and does not even respond to the particular issues. If the federal government is to blame, I actually do not care who is to blame, federal or provincial government, that is not the issue. We could put forward arguments that blames federal, provincial - I am not interested in debating the blame issue at all, that is behind us. You may convince people to think it is the federal Tories or the federal Liberals, it is not relevant, it is history, and over the course of history we should benefit from mistakes, whoever made them, and if we cannot live up to an acceptance of mistakes of the past and to use them to develop, diversify, expand and create jobs in the future, you, as a government, I know, would have failed. And, on a report card to date, we have failed, but it is not too late. There are numerous different opportunities of which we are about to take advantage and do some real positive things for the future of this Province.

If we would look at the industries in this Province and do a breakdown on numbers of people involved in each of the areas of the Province, the number of people involved in the fishery and the spin-offs is overwhelming. It is the lifeblood and the livelihood of this Province, and we do not have, as of now, an alternative means of economic growth and development in this Province in new industries to compensate for the loss of jobs of workers in the fishing industry.

If this government can't stimulate the economy and create jobs, the least it can do is accept an early retirement proposal by the federal government. At least, let these people in the 50 to 64 years of age group retire in dignity. These people have grown and lived in the fishery for forty to fifty years. They do not want to accept social assistance. I know people in my district over the past four months who had no income, waiting on appeal cases, and wouldn't go for social assistance. And thank God they didn't, with a 50 per cent increase. And the fallout from the (inaudible) program will increase, because there are another 5,000 people yet to be addressed in appeal. These may very well be on the Social Assistance roll before January, and we have no hope that it is going to grow. More money is being spent to care for the welfare of people on social assistance than is being spent on job creation and the economy. It is no wonder that we are going down a road that is getting narrow and there is no end in sight.

In the training aspect, the federal government is committing $200 million to training within and outside the fishery. We need to develop and educate people within the fishery, an issue that is currently being addressed, professionalization within the fishery, if we hope to be able to employ these people in the future. Too many people have been chasing too few fish for too long a time. Something must be done to have these extra people chasing some other type of employment and it is very important to take advantage of the 70/30 proposal of $200 million by the federal government and do something today that is going to save tens of millions of dollars in two years time.

Another indication of what this government has failed to respond to: we have a vessel support program, and granted, yes, the federal government does licence fishing people. The federal government is proposing in the vicinity, I understand, of about $15 million in a vessel support program. The provincial government was asked just to support $4 million or $5 million by the Fishermen's Union.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, Richard Cashin, FFAW, indicated - he asked the Province would they kick in some money and help out in the process. The Province said, like they have been saying to every other request: No, we can't afford it, we want to put balance sheets before people. That was the response.

Basically, they will go it alone - insurance on the boats for fishermen, and maintenance costs and upkeep and tie-up costs. Tie-up costs are certainly going to increase now, because the provincial government has taken steps to make sure that every vessel in this Province ties up. That is the road they are approaching.

I just have a few little questions for the minister, of which, over the next while, I hope, he will take note and make some positive responses to deal with these problems. Is the minister going to participate in the PWAP program for those in fifty to fifty-four age group?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, the answer is no. At fifteen cents to the dollar, that is exactly what it is costing, the upside of it, and it is possible, by estimates that have been done, and reviews presented to this government, that it could be as low as ten cents on the dollar return. But no, they want to make a short-term decision now for long-term pain.

I will also ask, are the government and this minister going to assist fishermen who have private loans from chartered banks? Is he going to assist those three fishermen who have lease-purchase agreements and only seven fishermen with loans at chartered banks?

He is going to confirm, I would assume - he made reference today, unlike his statement on July 17 - that principal will be frozen on all those loans, and that the interest, in the meantime, would be paid and absorbed by the provincial government. I would assume he will not change his mind on that one, too. Is the government going to contribute, not only to training programs, but to other areas that they have a responsibility to serve?

The government is quick to blame Ottawa, and they are responsible, but so is this government and so are we, and every fisherman and everybody involved in the fishing industry have played certain parts in the demise of this fishery, from overfishing to excess workers in fish plants, to excess harvesting capacity, and all other facets of the fishery.

This government is sitting by and they are not going to respond in any way to 10,000 people who, in two years, may be out on the streets without jobs and without support for their families. That is basically what this government is doing. The areas related to the resolution we are debating today are specific areas of provincial responsibility. We are not rambling and skating around with federal issues, and pointing fingers. All I am asking the minister is: Will he do something constructive for the people of this Province, to ensure that in the future there will be a future for these people and food on the tables for their families? That is not too much to ask, if he cares.

I am sure there are some people in Opposition and on the government side, who have concerns, and who do care and do have compassion, and understand the problem. They didn't all grow up in urban areas, I am sure some grew up in fishing communities. Some know what it is like to grow up in a fishing family and understand what the economy and fishing means to the community. And to see this government sit by, uncaring and unresponsive, to see no response whatsoever, I think, is totally disgusting.

I hope the minister, over the next few days, will address the simple issues of provincial responsibility that I have raised and do what is the honourable thing to do for the people involved in the fishery in this Province.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

All those in favour of the motion, please say 'aye'.


MR. SPEAKER: All those against the motion, 'nay'.


MR. SPEAKER: In my opinion the 'nays' have it.


MR. SPEAKER: Division?


MR. SPEAKER: Are the members calling Division?


MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker.

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

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

Moving that, may I say that we shall carry on with the Supplementary Supply tomorrow. We are all having such a grand time with it. We will carry on with Supplementary Supply until the Opposition have finished whatever -

MR. MATTHEWS: Until we are exhausted.

MR. ROBERTS: I would say to my learned and my honourable friend that he is exhausting, if not exhausted.

After that, Sir, we shall carry on with the government's legislative program.

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