November 5, 1992           HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS             Vol. XLI  No. 58

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier.

One of the central planks, I suppose, in the government's Economic Strategic Plan, is the development of the Lower Churchill River hydro sites which, of course, is then dependent on an agreement between the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Province of Quebec.

Now, in 1990, the Minister of Mines and Energy said he was very optimistic that there would be an agreement in 1991. In 1992, he said he was optimistic there would be an agreement in 1992. Now, of course, we are about to enter 1993. I would like to ask the Premier: Have there been any substantial talks since they broke off last March, as we understand it, seven or eight months ago? Have the governments, specifically, had any talks, to any degree at least, and can he tell us when Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can expect to find jobs on that site at Lower Churchill?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I have to check, but to the best of my knowledge there have been no detailed discussions since March of 1992. The minister nods, that is correct. There may never be an agreement with Hydro Quebec on the development. That may never occur. We were frank and honest enough not to pretend that it was going to be there, that agreement was going to be realized. We didn't go down and start digging tunnels and spend $75 million -

AN HON. MEMBER: $150 million.

PREMIER WELLS: - $150 million. We didn't waste $150 million of public funds putting on a show of digging tunnels and pretending everything was under way. We were frank and honest with people and said, we are going to start these discussions, we hope it will come to fruition, but we were very clear, they may not be realized and I say to people again, there is still a reasonable prospect that an agreement can be reached, but it may well be that it will not be realized.

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

MR. SIMMS: The Premier never fails to take the opportunity, I suppose, to try to somehow divert from the issue, get away from the question. In fact, I think the incident he referred to was done by his successor, the former Leader of the Liberal Party, was it not, when he was Minister of Mines and Energy?


MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is to the Minister of Mines and Energy. Since the Premier doesn't really appear to be up to speed on this very important issue, let me ask the minister. He has lately been playing down the need for an agreement, as well, because he has told the people of the Province that we probably won't need that additional supply of power or electricity as early as they had first thought; in fact it might be another three years, I believe, is what he has said, that it could be moved back to three years. So, I want to ask him, is he preparing us for an announcement now that, in fact, these talks are broken off and there is nothing really about to occur, or is he going to level with the people of the Province and tell them specifically what is likely to happen? In other words, what is the time frame now? When must we have an agreement in place in order to get the power when we will need it?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Yes, in a sense I probably have been playing down the need, because it is real. The need is not as urgent as it was three years ago when we started to negotiate with Hydro Quebec. Presently, in the near term, it seems that there is a very adequate supply of small hydro.

In a tender that closed just a couple of days ago, there were seventeen companies that proposed thirty-three projects totalling 243 megawatts, when Hydro only asked for 50 megawatts for 1996. So between now and the year 2000 there seems to me to be an adequate supply of just small hydro alone, if we wanted to stick to that on the Island. So, in terms of the need, there is no longer the same urgency to have Labrador power by the year 2000, and others don't have the same need to have Labrador power by the year 2000.

In our earlier negotiations, which started three years ago, at that time we estimated that we would like to have Labrador power by the year 2000 to fill the needs that we would have here on the Island, in addition to other needs. The talks have not broken off, but I acknowledge that the last meeting was in March. At that meeting our negotiating team tabled a comprehensive document with the Hydro Quebec negotiating team, and it is their call as to when they want to have a meeting to discuss their response to that.

In terms of time frame, it takes about six years to get first power from the time the construction starts. If there were an agreement this year, with construction four years from now, in 1996, there could have been first power by 2001; 2002, 2003. It is not critical at this time, what time it starts.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, apparently, it has now become a fact that the reality is that the Lower Churchill really now is on the back burner - the minister has practically confirmed that here this afternoon - and that nothing really significant -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Mr. Speaker, the Premier can put the spin on it that he wishes, but it is pretty clear that nothing is happening. You said yourself, earlier today, nothing is really happening; nothing significant has happened in eight months. Now, since that is the apparent situation, that really it is on the back burner, I want to ask him this question: Since the government itself put out its Strategic Economic Plan, one of the major planks here was that we need a portion of that power as a result of the Lower Churchill development to accommodate any feasible industrial activity. Now, if that is one of their major planks in the Strategic Economic Plan, how is this delay going to affect that plan? Does it not mean, therefore, seriously, the economic development of the Province is in jeopardy?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Not at all, Mr. Speaker, because we have an adequate supply of power in the near term, and will continue to have an adequate supply in the near term.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, a final supplementary. I want to ask the minister one final question. Since there appears to be little urgency to these negotiations - I mean, I think he has pretty well confirmed that here today, depending on which point of view you look at, I suppose. But they have certainly been delayed, and nothing significant has transpired over the last eight months. Doesn't the minister think it is perhaps time to give a full accounting to the people of this Province?

The government has been at for three years or more. Would the minister consider tabling in this House details of the Province's position and the Province of Quebec's position in these negotiations? - so that the people of the Province will be able to decide and determine for themselves whether or not anything concrete is likely to happen or whether this is all political - whatever you want to call it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to get something straight. This is the government's Strategic Economic Plan. Here is what's stated in it: 'Under current demand forecasts there will be a need for additional supply, etc.' Then it says: 'one option for meeting the shortfall beyond the year 2000 is the development of the Lower Churchill river sites.' That's one option.

Next paragraph: 'Because of uncertainty associated with the Lower Churchill development, it is necessary to consider a strategy to meet the anticipated supply shortfall in case that development is delayed or does not proceed;

Now, what the Leader of the Opposition is saying is a total misrepresentation, a complete fabrication.

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: I just read directly from the Plan. That's what is in the Plan.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: That's what is in the Plan!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SIMMS: Tell the people (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: Now, Mr. Speaker, I can't say when the corporation of Hydro Quebec will respond to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, that corporation. I can say that in August I was speaking to Premier Bourassa about the matter. I am happy to report to the people of the Province that Premier Bourassa is still very anxious to see the discussions pursued, or so he told me, and is anxious now to get on with it and pursue the discussions afterwards.

I haven't spoken with Premier Bourassa since that meeting in August. So I can't say whether he has changed his mind or not since that time. But I see no reason to think that. Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to make sure that the people weren't mislead by these misrepresentations about what was in the plan or the leader's interpretation of it.

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

MR. WARREN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Mines and Energy. I understand, Mr. Speaker, in the last little while some twelve meters have been removed from homes in Sheshatshit and I understand were delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro today. I further understand that electricity is still flowing into those particular homes. Would the minister advise if those people will be required to pay for the electricity that is going into those homes? If so how will it be evaluated now that there are no meters on those particular homes?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, I have not been informed that meters have been removed from homes and electricity is still running. The Hydro Corporation will do its business as per the regulations given to it by the Public Utilities Board.

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

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Some time ago the minister indicated through media reports, and indeed at the mayors and municipalities convention in Gander, that government had made some mistakes in its dealings with municipalities with respect to municipal operating grants. The minister also said some time ago that any municipality that could demonstrate that it had been impacted in a significant way would be compensated by the government. Has this been done? And how many municipalities in the province have received the compensation as the minister indicated they would?

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

MR. HOGAN: No, Mr. Speaker, I did not say that we made a mistake in giving out the municipal operating grants. What I said was that we erred in recalling them in the middle of a budgetary process, a sort of a clawback because of information that was given us by the municipalities. I don't know the numbers of municipalities that have done so right off the top of my head but what we have done in the past and up to date, at least up to yesterday, is that those municipalities that did experience any hardship because of the reduction in MOG grants were asked to contact our regional offices. They were visited and consulted, and either the repayment was alleviated or in some cases there was a grant issued in lieu of the loss to the municipalities.

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

MR. WINSOR: If I understood the minister correctly, he is saying that municipalities that had these shortfalls have now been compensated due to the changes to MOGs.

AN HON. MEMBER: Received a grant in lieu of it.

MR. WINSOR: Received a grant in lieu of it. Is that right?

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

MR. HOGAN: No, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member misunderstood what I said. What I said was, people and municipalities who had inordinate expenses or an inordinate failure because of the Municipal Operating Grant not being able to assist them or effecting their budget adversely, were visited by our regional people who consulted them and examined their budgets, and we had either alleviated the repayment or in some cases reimbursed the municipalities.

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

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary.

MR. SPEAKER: Sorry! I didn't see the hon. Member for Fogo. I will recognize the hon. Member for St. John's East the next time, if he will concede to the hon. Member for Fogo.

The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am sure municipalities are still not going to be much clearer based on what the minister just said.

Let me ask the minister this, then: Is the minister satisfied with the present system of repayment of debt on capital that municipalities had acquired, whereby each household in a community has to pay $315 per year? Is that a fair method to assess debt charges to a municipality?

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

MR. HOGAN: Yes, generally speaking, Mr. Speaker, it is a fair method. But there are some municipalities that can afford it and there are some that cannot. We try and assist wherever we can.

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

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, the minister didn't answer my question.

Let me ask the minister this, then: In a community where only half the households are serviced, which means they have no mechanism to collect any water and sewer taxes, is it fair that unserviced households are assessed at $315 per household even though the municipality has no chance to collect any revenues? Is that a fair method of assessing debt charges?

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

MR. HOGAN: No, Mr. Speaker, it is not a fair way, the way the hon. member expresses it, but he doesn't know what he is talking about.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Education, and concerns aid for single parents.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question to the Minister of Education concerns aid for single parents who are post-secondary students. Mr. Speaker, in a press release of August 27, 1992 the minister spoke of a new arrangement between social services and the Department of Education as being, and I quote: Satisfactory to the students, administratively clear, and allowing for single parents on social assistance to cover the basic cost of pursuing their educational endeavours.

Can the minister explain why single parents are still getting the runaround; why officials cannot even clarify policies; and why child care allocations under the student aid program do not provide for the actual and realistic cost of child care; and why no provision or allowance is made for single parents with more than one child?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, that question would certainly be more appropriate for an Order Paper, but I will try to address the gist of what the member is talking about.

Hon. members will know that there have been a lot of complaints in the past years from single parents over the problems they are having with the conflict between social assistance and a certain component in the student loans and student aid. Both the Minister of Social Services and myself contributed a considerable amount of time to this issue, and attempted to come to grips with the whole issue; and if there was any problem there that we could resolve, which might have been caused by bureaucratic red tape or something, we endeavoured to deal with it and to improve it. We did that.

Notwithstanding what was done, there might be a few cases which are not totally satisfied. Unfortunately, realistically speaking, there is always the example. No matter what program government comes up with, or anyone comes up with, there will always be the example. Now there is a process in place to deal with the exception and that, to my knowledge, is being dealt with; but if the hon. member has a specific case, I would be most delighted to sit down with him and discuss that case and see if it can be resolved. I cannot assure him that we do have a quick fix for every single problem, but there will be no stone left unturned in our endeavour to deal with each individual problem, if we can.

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

MR. HARRIS: Can the minister explain then, Mr. Speaker, why a senior student from the district of Baie Verte - White Bay, who is a year away from being a qualified teacher, is now being told that she will not get her student grant for another ten to fourteen days, and she is only getting two-thirds of what she was told in writing on two occasions that she would receive. Is this not indicative of the attitude expressed by the Director of Family Services and the Social Services Department, that these students would be better off on social assistance? Is that not the message that the government is sending to these students, by its policies?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the message that we are sending to all of our people in this Province is that we consider education to be one of the most important things that we can give this generation of Newfoundlanders there now. That is the message we are giving. We are also giving the message that we will bend over backwards to do anything we can, within the law, to encourage all of our people to get a university education or some kind of education beyond.

If there is an exception; if there is a specific case, we are more than willing - I will go to Baie Verte and talk to the parent - that is how concerned we are; but I will tell the hon. member this: I will not try to get up and make political grandstanding on the backs of some single parent. This issue should have been brought to my attention three weeks ago if the hon. member knew about it - not to wait until the House opened, to get up and try to make some cheap political points on it, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DECKER: The hon. member should have better sense. He should have brought it to my attention three weeks ago.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If the Minister of Health is going to meet with the parents in Baie Verte - White Bay, it is more than he did for the parents in Labrador West. The Premier had to send you down after you refused to go.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: My question, Mr. Speaker, is to the Minister of Development. I would like to ask him if he can tell me: What are the short-term job prospects for the Marystown Shipyard?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, first of all I should tell my hon. friend that the Member for the Strait of Belle Isle is the Minister of Education now, and I am the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology - Development has changed.

The short-term prospects at the Shipyard are not very good, to be perfectly frank about it. Currently we are doing some repair on a small tug, I believe, for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. The Leonard Cowley I believe is due to arrive at the Shipyard soon. We're preparing some bids for two other boats, the Beaumont Hamel and the Hood.

In terms of ship construction and ship repair the marketplace is completely flat. It's not just flat in Newfoundland, it's flat everywhere. People are bidding. These bids are very competitive. Most companies are walking the margins and in fact taking some losses. The best and brightest hope for the Shipyard at this time is through our joint venture partner, Vinland Industries, for the contracts for Hibernia.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to apologise to the minister because I was not present in the House when the legislation was introduced obviously to set up the new department.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) newspapers or listen to radio (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: I heard the Minister of Development - or the Minister of Trade. The Minister of Development or Trade, whatever he's called it -

MR. MATTHEWS: Industry.

MR. TOBIN: Industry. State on radio some time ago that the federal Minister of Fisheries, Mr. Crosbie, had a moral responsibility to his constituents to look after them in the compensation package. I ask the minister: does he feel the same moral obligation as the - not just the government, but as the owner of the Marystown Shipyard - to put in place a compensation package for the 500 men and their families who are now on layoff notice from the Marystown Shipyard?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, we have a moral responsibility to every single taxpayer in this Province. Hon. members will know that when we attempted to sell the Shipyard and came very close a number of factors entered the equation which we had no control over. We wrote down, I believe, some $14.5 million in last year's Budget to clear that debt off under the assumption that $15.5 million would come for the sale. We're still carrying that debt. In fact, the operating losses for last year and this year are still considerable.

AN HON. MEMBER: What are they?

MR. FUREY: They will be made known very soon. So we have a moral responsibility to everybody in the Province, Mr. Speaker. The people of Labrador are paying taxes so that we can keep that Shipyard open. The people in St. John's, Gander and Port au Choix and all around the place. You can't compare apples and oranges, which is what you're doing when you're comparing the moratorium on the fishery, which affects the entire Province, every single part of the Province. There are people everywhere that are being affected by that.

You can't compare apples and oranges and say that one little place down in Marystown - because of the economic circumstances that we find ourselves in, and the very competitive environment that shipbuilding and ship repair finds itself in - that just because we're the owners and there's no work out there to bid on and we can't win that work in a very competitive environment, somehow we have a moral responsibility to pump all the Treasury dollars down into Marystown to keep this alive and open.

No, Mr. Speaker, we're spending our money wisely, preparing very good and solid bids under our joint venture with Vinland Industries to capture a very large portion of the mechanical shaft outfitting which will put 600 people to work in the $40 million facility that we just built there.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is addressed to the minister responsible for Mines and Energy., I'm sure he's quite familiar with the Change and Challenge, a Strategic Economic Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador. He knows that in that plan, I quote in part: that the relatively high total tax burden on the mining industry is a major constraint to mineral development.

Now let me ask the minister this. If he and his colleagues knew this to be true, and it is, why did they increase the burden of taxes upon the mining industry? Why did they for example place the infamous payroll tax of $3 million on that particular industry?

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

DR. GIBBONS: I have to apologize, Mr. Speaker, I wasn't listening, and I was working here at my desk. So if he can repeat the question I'd appreciate it.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Again I'll address my question to the minister responsible for Mines and Energy. It's concerning the infamous Change and Challenge, the Strategic Economic Plan, the plan that his government has put forward for economic development in this Province and in part, a quote from that plan, says in part that: the relatively high total tax burden on the mining industry is a major constraint to mineral development. Now, if he recognized that, it is recognized in the plan, it is there, it is true, why did they then impose this new payroll tax, a $3 million tax burden on the mining industry if they knew that to be true?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, it also says in the strategic plan that we are reviewing the mining tax regime and looking at that and we are doing a lot of other things that are going to be very positive for the mining industry and we hope to make Newfoundland and Labrador a mining friendly place to work.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, that is fine and well, but I will also ask the minister this: if he agrees that this has constrained the development of the industry, would that not also cause the industry to cut back, have layoffs? Would he agree with that and would he respond to it?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, thank you.

I am pleased to respond and in my opinion it has not affected the industry, it has not caused industry to cut back because that tax is in place.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, I mean, he already recognized it, he said it here in the plan on one side, the industry is saying it on the other and now he says that it does not cost them any money. We know of course that 90 per cent of the mineral production and the payroll of the mining industry is in Western Labrador, 90 per cent of the mineral production in this Province is in Labrador West, as a matter of fact. That $3 million could possible represent as much as a 100 jobs! Now we have lost approximately 600 jobs in Western Labrador over the last year or so, approximately 600 jobs. Some of those jobs, probably up to 100 could have been saved. They could have been saved if this government had not imposed this $3 million tax burden on the mining industry in Western Labrador, so will you now go back to your colleagues in Cabinet and ask them to review this tax burden?

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

DR. GIBBONS: As I said, Mr. Speaker, in my view, the payroll tax is not to the detriment of mining in this Province and is not a big factor in Labrador West in the layoffs that have occurred there.

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

MR. A. SNOW: Mr. Speaker, this minister talks about being mining friendly. I mean that is not being very friendly when you talk about laying off 100 people (inaudible) tax burden.

MR. SPEAKER: I ask the hon. member to get to the question please.

MR. A. SNOW: Now how much will he roll back these fees and how much will he roll back the taxes? I will ask him that then.

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, as I recall the numbers, I believe we cancelled about $400,000 in fees last Spring in the budget. I do not have the exact figure with me, but about that amount province-wide, and that is not significant.

The problems that we are having in Labrador West in the iron sector, are problems relating to international iron and steel and the companies in Labrador West in my view, are doing things they have to do to survive and continue to compete in that world of iron and steel and I want them to continue to survive until every ounce of iron ore has been mined in the Labrador trough.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Humber East, time for a short question and a correspondingly brief answer.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just a short question to the Minister of Social Services.

Will the minister introduce in this Fall sitting of the Legislature, an amendment to the Child Welfare Act to close the gap in services for young people between the ages of sixteen and eighteen? If the minister recalls, we in the official opposition offered in the last sitting to co-operate with the government in ensuring speedy passage of such an amendment.

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, as stated by the Minister of Justice in his statement to the House, that question, along with several others and amendments and changes to the child welfare legislation are being considered right now and if possible will be brought forward in this sitting, but we cannot guarantee that. We are looking at it right now and if possible it will be brought forward in this sitting.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Before moving on to our routine business, on behalf of hon. members I would like to welcome to the galleries today a couple of groups of students. The first group of students is a group of thirty-six Level III students from Holy Trinity Regional High School, Heart's Content, accompanied by their teachers, Mr. Legge and Mr. Peach, and the bus driver, Mr. St. George.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The second group of students if from the District of St. John's South and we have twenty-two Grade VII students from St. John Bosco School, Shea Heights, accompanied by their teacher, Ms. Elaine Shortall and teacher aid, Ms. Mary Wilcox.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table the 18th. annual report of the Newfoundland Liquor Licensing Board.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Amend The Co-operative Societies Act."

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

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Amend The Workers' Compensation Act."

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. GULLAGE: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Yesterday I was asked a question by the Member for St. John's East concerning our emergency housing repair program. He mentioned a case in Bellevue District where, in fact, he suggested work had not been completed. I am happy to report to the House that that case, in fact, has been looked after, I believe a couple of months ago. These two disabled individuals who required heat and electricity added to their house, through the intervention and hard work of the Member for Bellevue and my staff, we were able to carry out that work some two months ago.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Orders of the Day

MR. ROBERTS: Motion 1, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Motion 1. The Chair is momentarily without the Orders of the Day. Is that Committee of Supply?


On motion, that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole on Supply, Mr. Speaker left the Chair.

Committee of the Whole

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

Bill No. 26.

The hon. the Member for Humber Valley.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I think it is ten and ten, is it, ten minutes each in this debate? It is not very long but, then again, I suppose we can go back and forth.

I would like to take this opportunity, Mr. Chairman, to make a few comments. When we are talking about a supplementary supply bill or anything like that I suppose we can talk about anything, as it is fairly wide-ranging.

I have for some time, Mr. Speaker, especially the last three-and-a-half years, and previous to that I might add, had some grave, grave concerns about some of the resource industries in our Province. Just yesterday the Premier, in answer to the Leader of the Opposition pertaining to the fishery in this Province, was talking about joint management and getting jurisdiction over our fishery. I agree wholeheartedly with it, we should have some jurisdiction over it, we should have some say in what is going on out there. We have been long enough in this Province, as far as I am concerned, listening to someone else, whether it is the federal government, whether it is a fish company or whatever it is. We have been long enough.

The question I always asked, Mr. Chairman, is this - and hon. members opposite might be asking themselves the same question over the last three-and-a-half years and previous - Why are we looking for jurisdiction or some say over the fishery out there? We have say over pretty well all the other resources in this Province. We have say over the forestry. We have all the say over agriculture. We have all the say over our service industry. We have all the say over pretty well every other - mining resource industry in this province today, and what are we doing with it? We have control over what I have just talked about, absolute control, and what are we doing with it?

Now, one of the things that comes to mind, and the Minister of Forestry, if he could just - I don't know. He is not going to be here. I don't know who the designate is for forestry here but I would like for him to listen to what I am going to say.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Bud Hulan.

I am listening.

MR. WOODFORD: Maybe Bud Hulan is listening. I don't know. But anyway, Mr. Chairman, the Member for Stephenville is not here either. I have a few comments pertaining to Abitibi Price. Just recently, I have been informed that Abitibi Price in Stephenville is bringing in pulp wood from PEI. That is factual because I checked it out. I think the last load, the third load, is coming in this week or has just come in.

Now this, Mr. Chairman, is a prime example of having control over your resources in the Province. A company, I admit, in eight or nine years time might have a shortfall of raw materials, but why are they bringing in from PEI now when I have people in my district, when the hon. Member for Baie Verte - White Bay has people in his district, the hon. Member for Springdale has people in his district, and there are people throughout Central and Eastern Newfoundland today who are laid off, with absolutely nothing to do. I questioned them, saying, 'This is a reasonable question and I want an honest answer. First of all tell me how much you are paying for the wood from PEI.' 'No, I can't tell you.' I said: You don't have to tell me how much you are paying for the wood on this Island and in my area. They are paying $85 a cord. Those jobbers - I call them jobbers - are private entrepreneurs, small business people in this Province who put up their money, mortgage their homes and their land, put their families at risk, everything at risk, their total livelihood to go and buy equipment, put people in the woods hiring twenty to eighty people and put them to work doing an honest day's work and a hard day's work. And what do they get in return? Friday at noon they got notice. In fact, I had five or six truckers in the yard who were told to go home with their loads, and they would not accept that, They stayed there until they unloaded the wood. And I don't blame them, but that is not a fair way, Mr. Chairman for a large company in this Province to be operated. It is not fair. We got two months, the month of November and the month -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: I also questioned him about the Member for the Straits and the Member for St. Barbe. I questioned him on that particular area down there, because those people are sending a lot of wood to the mill in Stephenville now. And he said, 'We are paying $85 for the wood in the Deer Lake area but I can't tell you what we are paying' - I knew. But the trick, Mr. Chairman is this: The question has to be ask and the answer is going to have to be given because sooner or later,and sooner rather than later, we are going to have to stand up and say to Abitibi or say to Kruger, 'Enough is enough.' Those people have all the men paid. Wages are paid for cutting this particular wood. I have one gentleman with 900 cords of wood in the woods, wages paid, all his taxes paid, his UI, his CPP, all paid, and now he is left holding the bag with 900 cords of wood. That is not fair, Mr. Chairman.

I wanted to mention to the minister today that he is going to have to intercede along with the other Cabinet ministers, and make sure that this never happens again. They knew before Friday how much wood they wanted. They knew before Friday when they were going to cut off the wood supply into Stephenville. They also knew how much was coming in from PEI. That wasn't an overnight decision.

AN HON. MEMBER: 'Rick', how much are they paying for it in PEI?

MR. WOODFORD: That is a debate for another time. They won't tell you the exact price. But they are also getting - anything brought into this Province, as you know, trucked or by boat, they also get the Atlantic transportation subsidy automatically. That's 10 per cent automatically, not counting, as far as I am concerned, subsidies from the PEI government to clear this particular land and selling it into the Province.

I think, if we have to wait eight or nine years down the road for a shortage of wood, then and only then should it brought in here. We are at our worst time in this Province with regard to small businesspeople today. They just can't survive. Mr. Chairman, by the time they pay UI, CPP and all this kind of stuff, RST and stumpage and gasoline tax, the workers have nothing left. They are only surviving as it is, if that.

Only for the generosity of some of their banks and their operating loans - and I always said the banks in this Province and the banks in Canada never did have a social conscience. As far as I'm concerned, they don't. But what do they do? Monday and Tuesday of this week they moved in on a lot of those small operators and said: 'Okay, we want our bucks. You have a $20,000 line of credit signed, you have a $60,000 line of credit signed, you haven't met your commitments, and there's nothing else to come in until the new year.'

When I talked to Abitibi-Price, in this case, they said: 'Yes, sure, we are going to take 50,000 to 60,000 cubic metres of wood in the new year, in January, February and March,' but what's the good of that today? What is the good of that today, for the next two months? What do they do with Christmas coming up, the worst time of the year for their families, to put food on the table for the contractors themselves, and for the individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador who are working for them?

I submit to you, Mr. Chairman, that the social service rolls are going to be swelled over the next couple of months. Because a lot of those people had no notice, absolutely nothing, just an overnight decision to shove them out the door with absolutely nothing. This is factual, this is not something hypothetical that is going to happen. This is something that has happened, and someone, especially the minister responsible for Forestry and Agriculture, is definitely going to have to do something to try to rectify this particular situation.

Now, I would like to comment on another company in this Province and that's Kruger - Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. For some time, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper - and like all members opposite, and members on this side of the House, they all know what I'm going to talk about. You will all know about what I am going talk about. I guess the companies will probably know tonight, if the press take their time to report.

As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Chairman -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. MATTHEWS: By leave.


MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Chairman, I had not intended to get up today and speak but after my good friend for Humber Valley made his opening remarks I thought that I should get up. Because I was sort of shocked at what he said. I understand his concern about the pulp and paper industry, the forest industry, the agriculture industry, and other industries in his area; he has a legitimate right to be concerned, because there are some major problems there, no question about that. I have no argument with all the points he made about that.

But to say that Newfoundland has total control over those industries, and because the job is not being done to his satisfaction, or that he should see it done to his satisfaction, that we should not have control over the fishery, is an unbelievable -

MR. MATTHEWS: He didn't say that!

MR. EFFORD: He did. He said: 'Why should we be seeking jurisdiction over the fisheries when we are doing such a poor job with the resource industry?'

Mr. Chairman, there are ten thousand reasons why we should have control over the fishery in this Province. There are ten thousand reasons why we should have joint management over the fisheries in this Province. We could have at least 40,000 to 50,000 people employed on a seasonal basis in this Province. If we had the control over the industry and the decisions were not being made in Ottawa,where they are being made in such a ridiculous fashion now, we would be a lot better off in this Province, not only in the past two or three decades, but in the future; and that is what we are talking about - the future of this Province.

The moratorium facing this Province now affects - everybody is saying, about 20,000 people. That is so far from the truth it is unbelievable!

AN HON. MEMBER: Direct (inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Direct, 20,000 people, but when you multiply the service industry factor you are talking closer to 50,000 to 55,000 and you can probably go on and on from that right across the Province.

The problem is that it is not getting better.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is getting worse.

MR. EFFORD: It is getting worse. My real concern about it is that these people are still making the decisions to affect the future of this Province and eighteen months down the road, or less, that figure is not going to decrease, it is going to increase. It is going to go further. It will be not only the moratorium on the Northern cod, but right around the Province in every sector of the Province, and it is not only going to be cod, it is going to be all species of fish.

I am saying to everybody in this House of Assembly that we should not be talking about 'Should we get joint management?' Every person in this House should be in Ottawa demanding, knocking on the doors and taking what is rightfully ours, and demanding that we have that put in our laps right now today, not tomorrow and not next week, because we don't have any time to fool around. We don't have time to play partisan politics about the future of this Province. It is now or never. If the fishery goes in this Province, you don't have to worry about anything else happening in this Province, because nothing else will survive. This Province cannot survive without the fishery.

I have often said, if you took the forestry and the lumber industry out of British Columbia, you would have nothing left. Well, if you take the fishing industry out of this Province, then you have absolutely no future in this Province. Not enough people are accepting that reality. A lot of people are playing lip service to it, but very few people are acting as if that is a real factor; but it is real. We are going to find out how real it is eighteen months down the road when the moratorium is left there, because how long can any government - whether it be the federal government in Ottawa or any government in this country - keep up a compensation package such as is being paid out to 20,000 people today? It is impossible for it to go on. Nobody in his wildest imagination could expect it to go on any longer than eighteen months down the road.

My question is: What then? What happens eighteen months down the road, to the 35,000 or 40,000 people who are now unemployed, that will increase up to 55,000 or 60,000 people and more, and more, and more?

MR. MATTHEWS: Walter will take care of us.

MR. EFFORD: Yes, we are all being taken care of right now; but I can tell you one thing, Mr. Chairman, we have a lot of problems in this Province, and they are all related to the backbone of this Province, which is the main industry.

My fear is that we are not going to get joint management, or we are not going to get it quick enough; and if we have to go into the future with the people in Ottawa making the same decisions, regardless of what political stripe they are - and like the Opposition have pointed out many times, and I will admit it and I will agree with it - I have agreed with it publicly many times - the Administration before the present Administration in Ottawa made just as many ridiculous, stupid decisions affecting the Newfoundland fishing industry as has been made today. If not, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today. But as I said, it is time not to be partisan in our politics in this Province. It is time for all of us to sit down and look at the future.

What happened in the past you are not going to change. The cod is gone, the herring is gone, the mackerel is gone, the caplin is gone; and we need to come to a concise agreement, all of us, that we do something about what is taking place out there now.

I love the word moratorium. How we fool ourselves and accept the silliness of a word! Moratorium means everything stops.


MR. EFFORD: A wake.

I have often used the analogy, if you had a box of matches in the center of the kitchen table, and you had four children there and you are concerned that they are going to burn down the house, so you left the key in your house and you took one child with you but left the other three children and the box of matches, the probability of burning down that house is just as real - the fisheries critic shakes his head.

Out there on the Grand Banks, the foreign fishing fleets are still going ahead. There are eight to ten million seals still eating fish, Nova Scotians are still fishing the Grand Banks, the foreigners are still fishing inside the 200-mile limit, FPI trawls are still out there dragging other species of fish, so where is the moratorium? The only people who are not allowed to fish are the Newfoundland fishermen, the small Newfoundland fishermen. All those factors still apply, and you are telling me that the fishery is going to be restored eighteen months down the road? The only way it will be is if the Man above comes down and does as he did with the loaves and fishes, multiplies it with a miracle. It will never come back any other way.

And that is my concern, Mr. Chairman, we are still not addressing the real issue. The moratorium, so-called, is not going to be effective enough in the short term, even if it is on for ten years, and we still get these silly statements coming out from scientists and researchers: seals don't eat fish. Another press release came out a couple of weeks ago: two scientists and nine years of looking into the study of seals, some 3,000 seals - found no content of fish. My God Almighty, what did they find? It is as I said in an interview with one of the press people here in St. John's, now I know how Colonel Sanders made his multimillions, selling Kentucky Fried Chicken to the cod. That is how silly it is!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Chairman, it is alright to bark back and forth across the House of Assembly, but over the next eighteen months, what Newfoundland is going to be faced with in the future is, if we do not demand - and I think the fisheries critic said it last year, and others, I think the Member for St. John's South said it, that every member of this House of Assembly should be on the doorstep of the House of Commons.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's right.

MR. EFFORD: And I agree with that more today than ever I agreed with anything before in this Legislature. Every single member of this House should be up in Ottawa demanding, not next week, not next month, not next year, now we want jurisdiction, not joint management. We want it today because we don't have any time to waste. We do not have any time to waste, and I am telling you, Mr. Chairman -

MR. MATTHEWS: What would it do?

MR. EFFORD: What would it do? What will sitting on our laurels in the House of Assembly do? At least we will have tried.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are we trying in the forest industry?

MR. EFFORD: Can you believe that individual? Can you believe that man? The forest industry is owned by private companies. Is Abitibi a private company or is it a Crown corporation?

MR. HEWLETT: Regulated by the provincial government.

MR. EFFORD: That has nothing to do - everybody is regulated by the law and the governing body of the land. My God, make no wonder we are in the mess we are in - they governed the Province for seventeen years, making statements like that. Dear God Almighty! This is the reason we are into the stupidity, the demise mess that we are into, seventeen years of attitudes like that. What will we do if we go to Ottawa?

MR. WARREN: Why are you sitting in the back benches?

MR. EFFORD: I take full responsibility for sitting in the back benches but, at least, I never lay down and died when I sat up here. I never lay down and perished. That is one thing I have never done. At least I had the courage to stand up and fight for what I believe, in this Province, and I will not go through with the abysmal mess. You people don't have the ability to ask questions in Question Period. You are not concerned about the Province, you don't even know what is going on in the Province. Any member representing a fishing district and in the fishing industry all of his life, to say what he just said - make no wonder we are in the mess we are into, Mr. Chairman. It is absolutely ridiculous.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Chairman, I am not going to get into debate with the member on what I said from the outset. I will say that I did not say it is not important to get - well, I might have said jurisdiction, but to get the joint management of the fishery, I did not say the like, and you can check Hansard for that. I said I was in full agreement with it. But I will make a comment, Mr. Chairman, on a comment from the Member for St. John's East Extern -no comparison, because they are big private companies regulated by the province. No comparison. What is the difference, I ask the member, if Ottawa has management jurisdiction over the fishery and a company like Abitibi-Price or Kruger has management jurisdiction over the forestry? Absolutely no difference. Absolutely none. I will tell the hon. member and members opposite why. I will tell them why.

If people in rural Newfoundland today want to cut a stick of wood - unless the minister responsible for forestry can give them a permit and that is very unlikely because that is very strict, that is gone - who do they have to go to? They have to go to Kruger or Abitibi-Price. They don't go to the government, they go to those two large companies, and if they don't they cannot get the permit.

When they want to build a home and they want to saw 10,000 feet of lumber, where do they go? They go to Abitibi-Price or Kruger. When you want to build a cabin, where do you go? Kruger. Abitibi-Price. If they say no. Build it illegally. That is what people have to do in this Province. And you talk about jurisdiction and talk about joint management. We don't even own the land we are living on. We don't even own the land we are living on except for the Crown acreage in this province, and that to me is a disaster.

AN HON. MEMBER: How old is that?

MR. WOODFORD: That goes well back. I am not pointing any fingers, but what I am saying today is we have to have a different attitude and we have to take control. I say it here - we have to take control over that particular industry. We are used to blackmail. We are used to that. Everybody who ever came to this province yet I am sure said to the Premier - no matter what Premier, going right back to Mr. Smallwood: give us that and we will do this. We have always heard it right back to 1949, and I would say we will still hear it today with the present Premier. Right back we have never had control. You can't even put a boat out in Deer Lake. You can't get a permit to take a boat and put a marina in Deer Lake. It is something as far as I am concerned, Mr. Chairman, that is ridiculous. We talked about getting control. It is hypocritical.

I went up the other day and a fellow wanted to put a marina on the other side of Deer Lake to haul his boat in. He can't do it. He can't get a permit. I had a young fellow the other day from Spillway. He is living on a piece of land and has his house on it, and lucky enough the poor young fellow went and paid for it and paid off the loan. I went and called Kruger, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, and I am going to tell you, you should have heard them. I have been getting it for a few years, but I said enough is enough. When I got the answers I went aboard of him in no uncertain terms. I told him now in no uncertain terms what I thought of what he was going to say, and before I was finished, I don't know - if I had asked him to be my campaign manager he probably would have come. Nice enough, but it is not solving the problem. He said: Does he have any money? The first question was: does he have any money? I said: What for? He said: For lawyers. It is going to cost him a survey, it is going to cost him location certificates, it is going to cost him a mortgage, he has to pay us the fair market value.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: This young fellow is not even working now. He wants to try to get a loan on his house, a mortgage, but he can't get it. I mean they control everything. If today you want to cut a truckload of wood for your furnace for domestic use you have to go to them and beg them for a permit, and I mean beg. Don't go in last. Go in and stay in the waiting room for two hours, and then if they let you in, good enough, if they let you in. It depends on your name and who you are as to whether you get in to try to get a permit to cut a bit of birch - any ordinary Newfoundlander in rural Newfoundland today. Now that to me is ludicrous.

I stand on record today both here in the House and anywhere else to say that as far as I am concerned that should be changed. The regulatory process with regards to Kruger or Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and Abitibi-Price should be changed. Whether it is by this administration or another one, we have to have control over that particular resource. We must have it, and we should start this very day to do it because Newfoundlanders and Labradorians today around this province as far as I am concerned are being crucified, Mr. Chairman, and I mean crucified.

We don't hear it all the time. You have to get out there and get down among them and then you will hear it. They are hurting like they never hurt before. They used to be able to take their power saws and run in and cut a cord of wood and come out and get their fifty dollars, a day's pay for the family. You can't do that anymore. They have you right where they want you.

Mr. Chairman, something else I have to mention - and this is something that the Minister for Works, Services and Transportation has control over, and some members opposite will know what I am talking about and some will not - is the trucking industry pertaining to pulp wood. What does a trucker out there, an independent operator who is trucking the wood to the mill in Corner Brook or Stephenville, do? He leaves the woodlot in Chain Lakes or in Cat Arm or somewhere and goes on out the Trans Canada. What do they do then? The weigh scales nail them. Granted some fellows are trying to get away with it, but this minister and previous ministers have been asked and given an option, and the option is this: Give them a measured load. Give them the option of a measured load. If wood was cut three, four or six months ago, it is drier than something that was cut last week. So once the trucker puts it on his truck twenty miles inland, he has no mechanism to weight it, he has absolutely none. When he gets out on the Trans Canada - he is only making $150 or $200 anyway on the load - what happens, Mr. Chairman? He is ticketed $400 or $500 and that is it, he is finished for the week.

The two members opposite for the Northern Peninsula know exactly what I am talking about because they have been confronted with it I am sure, and a few other members. They are independent operators and they are hurting. It just takes away the bit of dignity that those truckers have. They want to work for a living, and what do they do?... line them up under the overpass in Corner Brook and say: I tell you, now, you either go to the weigh scales, the other side of Corner Brook, fifteen kilometers out, and get weighed or else you forfeit four points. Now, that is something for a man who gets up four or five o'clock in the morning and is trucking three or four loads a day, sixteen or seventeen hours every day. That is ludicrous! That has to stop!

Ministers opposite - it is only the ministers, through the Minister responsible for Works, Services and Transportation, who can change that. They are not asking for anything anybody else hasn't got. They are asking for a measured load so that you put a mark on the machine and if they go over it, ticket them. Proper thing! But if they are on the mark, let their load go through, because it could be the difference between a green and a dry load of wood. The driver has no way of knowing that particular problem.

Now, that is a sensible thing. Does anyone have any problems with that? It makes sense.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is done (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: No, it is not done. Just last week I had six or seven truckers nailed. I mean, it is shocking. One had a $700 fine. I mean, that is not right. That is absolutely wrong, Mr. Chairman, and it is incumbent upon the Minister responsible for Works, Services and Transportation to do something about it. That particular question should be addressed through other members and other ministers that are here today.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is done now.

MR. WOODFORD: Pardon me?

AN HON. MEMBER: That is done.

MR. WOODFORD: No, it is not done. They were hit last week and hit hard, and I am glad I brought it up. Because if that is the case, if it is done -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) it is done by weight.

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, the load, the mark. If, for instance, they have a six-foot back on their truck or something like that, a measured load -

AN HON. MEMBER: There is a (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Well, I am going to have to try to get some answers on that, because, if that is the case, those gentlemen on the weigh scales are really ripping off the truck drivers.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is my understanding that they change the volume (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, to change the height of the load. Well, I better check that one out.

Mr. Chairman, this is something that we have control over, and I go back to what the member said again. I agree -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: His maiden speech (Inaudible)!

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleagues, but I would say to my friend from the Strait of Belle Isle who feels this is my maiden speech, that when I made my maiden speech in this House he was considerably more innocent than he is today.

MR. DECKER: And much, much younger.

MR. ROBERTS: Much younger. I do want to say a few words, Mr. Chairman, about a question raised yesterday by the Leader of the Opposition. I regret he's not here. I sent him a note, because I believe that if one is going to refer to another member - this is sort of an ancient courtesy that I was taught when I was first in the House, 174 years ago, as I recall it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I was also taught, Mr. Chairman, the courtesy of allowing a member to speak without interruption, and the wisdom given to me by an old fisherman in Northeast Crouse, in White Bay North, now Strait of Belle Isle district, who once said - and I would say this to my friends for Grand Bank and Burin - Placentia West - that a politician, this old gentleman said to me, is like a fish. I said: how do you mean? I had no idea what he meant. He said: you only get in trouble when your mouth is open. I would say that to my hon. friend opposite. He should remember the old adage: better to have people think you're ignorant than open your mouth and have them know it.

Now what I was saying is that I sent the Leader of the Opposition a note to say that I'd be having a few words on one of the questions that he raised yesterday, and that he may or may not want to stay. He wrote back a very kind note and said he assured me he had important discussions arranged - probably in the mirror - and he said: as much as I'd like to hear some of the old 'sixties stuff I'll leave it to my colleagues to respond if they feel it necessary.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition is very concerned about the fact that I first came in to this house back in 1966, at which stage he was hoping to tag a job with John Lundrigan. He finally got the job with Mr. Lundrigan and in due course went on from there. But in 1966 the hon. gentleman from Grand Falls was a Liberal. He was a Liberal. He was tagging on to the Liberal Party, and when that tag got him nowhere he tagged on to John Lundrigan, who was briefly the Member of Parliament for Gander - Twillingate in the House of Commons, and then latterly became the Member for Grand Falls for one term.

But what I say to my hon. friend - a number of them opposite as well - that I was in this House in the 'sixties and proud to be here; I was in the House in the 'seventies; I was in the House in the 'eighties; and I'm in the House in the 'nineties. I was here before any of them was here, and I expect to be here long after they're all gone.

Now, Mr. Chairman, let me do something that my hon. friends opposite may find strange, because they don't do it. That is, come to the substance of something to say. I exempt my friend for Humber Valley, who I think made some very good points. Another time I'd like to discuss some of his points with him. But the trio here, the terrible trio, I'll find a name for them.

AN HON. MEMBER: At large gang.

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. members who believe that if they make fools of themselves they'll somehow ennoble their political cause.

Yesterday in the House the Leader of the opposition inadvertently - and I have no doubt it was inadvertent - misled this House on a very important point. He got up and he asked the Premier a question. The Leader of the Opposition obviously feels that this is his only way to make a mark so off he went, by asking a question. He first asked, Your Honour may recall, about a remark made by Deborah Coyne in her book about her time with the Premier.

AN HON. MEMBER: "The Roll of the Dice."

MR. ROBERTS: It's called "The Roll of the Dice," my hon. friend reminds me.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I'm sorry?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I have no idea. Does the hon. gentleman know? I know he gets in some pretty low places, but was he there? Was he under the bed?

Mr. Chairman, the Leader of the Opposition went on to say to the Premier, and I'm quoting from page 1966 of yesterday's Hansard:

"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."

When he said "chief lieutenant," eight of my colleagues stood up, of course.

"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 and push to have fisheries included on the agenda during those negotiations?"

Well the Premier disposed of the Leader of the Opposition in one well taken sentence by pointing out that the negotiations at Charlottetown had nothing to do with the issue the hon. gentleman raised, and that was not our decision. But what the Leader of the Opposition does not know - and I say does not know because if he knew and did not say it, he misled the House deliberately and I would not say he would do that. He misled the House inadvertently. He just does not know what he is talking about - that the deal struck at Charlottetown specifically allowed the implementation of precisely the kind of joint management plan that this administration has sought and, were it not for John Crosbie, would have gained by now, specifically.

Now let me just go through this in a little detail. I realize I only have ten minutes under the rules in Committee. When I finish my ten minutes the other side will have at it. We will hear from them. Then, if my colleagues will permit, I will pick up the train and we will carry on. So we will have it sort of like a layer of cake. Layer by layer of the good stuff will be coming out.

Mr. Chairman, first let us make sure that we know what we are talking about. I do not have a lot of copies of this, but I do not need them because the hon. gentlemen opposite have referred to this, but perhaps the Pages would be kind enough to take these up to the press gallery as we come along with them.

First, let us look at the Interim Report of the Constitutional Committee which I had the pleasure and the honour to Chair. We look at Page 23 on resource issues, point five, and it says: the committee agrees that Newfoundland and Labrador needs greater flexibility to plan and co-ordinate the development of the fisheries and other offshore resources in order to achieve the social and economic goals of the Province. Hon. gentlemen opposite surely would subscribe to that.

The committee recommends that the Government of Canada - the Government of Canada - express its readiness to negotiate with any coastal province, management agreements appropriate to the circumstances of that province. Such agreements should be given constitutional force.

Now the Leader of the Opposition did not tell us that, did he? The Leader of the Opposition inadvertently misled the House. The Leader of the Opposition - and I am being kind to him - I am not being charitable, because he did not intentionally mislead the House. I said inadvertently.

For my hon. friend from Kilbride, I apologize. The word has three or four syllables and I realize he has trouble coping with it, but it is inadvertent; in-ad-ver-tent. It means not deliberate. It means not advertent.

Mr. Chairman, I would say to my friend from Kilbride, in words that John Diefenbaker used against Richard Cashin in the House of Assembly when even my hon. friend was not around: When I am after elephants, do not be diverting me with rabbits.

Now, Mr. Chairman, let me come back. The Leader of the Opposition did not say that the committee had recommended the Government of Canada express its readiness to negotiate with any coastal province. Why did the Leader of the Opposition not say that? I do not know. I know what he did say. What he did say was that the provincial constitutional committee recommended the fisheries agreement should be sought, and indeed he just got it bass-ackwards - not unusual for my friend from Grand Falls, perhaps - but he got it completely wrong.

Now I do not know why he said that, but I think it should be on the record of the House that what the committee said was exactly and diametrically different from that which was said by the Leader of the Opposition.

He could have known. The report was signed by his colleagues - not the gentleman from Kilbride - because we have the more sensible members opposite sitting on it; but the hon. member, the lady from Humber East, and the hon. Member for Menihek, and there was another - who was he?

AN HON. MEMBER: St. John's East.

MR. ROBERTS: No, the Member for St. John's East is not a Tory. He has his failings but he is not that bad.

Anyway, there were three of them. I have forgotten the third; however, it does not matter. They signed the report, so they knew. We could only assume the Leader of the Opposition did not know. Now that is point one - he did not even know what he was talking about.

Now let us go on just so that the record is complete, to the final report of the committee, a real best-seller, 110 copies - that was the last report - the sort of thing that people around this province are up nights over. Still, Mr. Chairman, a very valuable report put together by a group of fourteen or fifteen Newfoundlanders and Labradorians after very wide consultation, again representing the unanimous view of all the members with the exception of some dissents registered by individual members on specific points. My friend from Humber East dissented on one or two points, my friend from St. John's East dissented on a number of points, and Dr. Doug May from the university dissented on one or two points.

The interim report I have given you: The conclusion of the interim report -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. ROBERTS: All right, next round.

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


MR. CHAIRMAN: I recognized the hon. Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

It is, I suppose, an honour and a privilege to follow the hon. Member for Naskaupi, a seasoned veteran of this House but a relative newcomer to the benches of the Wells Administration, latecomer, I should say, in that I think the current slogan of the times should now read something to this effect, `Vote P.C. for a real change.' It is about time something of that nature happened, Mr. Chairman.

Today's Globe and Mail had a front page headline dealing with politics in this nation, and it indicated that politicians in governing parties in the country were gearing up for a mood on the part of the voters for real change. The Wells Administration having shot the bolt on that particular slogan some three years ago, Mr. Chairman, is probably ready to move out and let a party that puts the people first have a chance at governing this Province. The Americans have similarly gone through such a change recently. The neoconservative agenda of Mr. Bush, very much like the agenda of our current Premier, Mr. Wells, was rejected by the American people. The Canadian people and, I think, the people of this Province are also in the mood for change. They want their government no longer to stand back and be disinterested in their economic affairs, as the Wells Administration has been. They no longer want a government to let market forces and mother nature rule the day. I think they want a government that has a tendency to take the bull by the horns and wrestle some of these economic problems to the ground.

The Liberal Administration of Mr. Wells really only had two hallmarks. Mr. Chairman, those have been the amalgamation process, that has thrown municipal government back into the dark ages, and the Meech Lake and other constitutional matters that have totally preoccupied the Premier, in which case he spent some time playing lawyer and very little time playing Premier. Being Premier of this Province is a very real, difficult and practical job, Mr. Chairman, and our Premier has spent more time chasing after the niceties of legal nuances in constitutional phrases, etc., and meanwhile, our people and our economy have suffered greatly.

This government, under Mr. Wells, was elected on a change mandate but a change mandate with regard to the economy, to create jobs and to bring home every mother's son. As my colleague from Humber Valley pointed out in speaking earlier, this particular government, even though it has jurisdiction over a number of areas, like mining and forestry, really hasn't dipped its hand into these areas of jurisdiction at all. It has basically let the large companies and market forces, local, national and international, carry the day. As a result, many of our people are far worse off now than they have been, probably since well back in the 1970s certainly.

In my own District of Green Bay, Mr. Chairman, the fishing industry is not a large industry compared to the forest industry. We used to have a mining industry, at least a mineral exploration industry, but over the last few years both forestry and the mineral industry have fallen on hard times under the auspices of the Wells Administration. In particular, with the withdrawal of the federal incentive program in the mining exploration industry that industry in my district has all but died, and the Wells Administration have really done very little, if anything, in that particular industry. Lately, I see the Minister of Mines and Energy is talking about the creation of a chamber of mining in the Province which is, indeed, I suppose, a positive move. But much more practical things should have been done much earlier in bringing in some sort of incentive program to encourage mineral exploration and the development of mines in this province.

Forestry has been totally left alone by this government. We are running out of trees. The reforestation programs are minimal at best. The two large companies basically rule the roost in most of the forestry areas of this province. On the highways of our province there is a set of rules that has basically driven the truckers into bankruptcy. And replying to some comments made by my friend for Humber Valley a little while ago, certain government ministers indicated that the government had brought in some changes to measure wood on wood trucks on a volume basis, but that is certainly news to me. If that is true it is good news, but it is very late, much too late indeed for a lot of wood truckers in the Green Bay and central and western areas who have been literally ticketed off the road into bankruptcy because wood is measured by weight and not by volume. I do hope the changes that they mentioned are forthcoming, but unfortunately as I said for a lot of people it is far too late.

Mr. Speaker, in these very difficult times one expects in a poor province like this that the government would take a direct hand in job creation as well. This government has made certain moves in that regard very reluctantly and only after the pain has become almost unbearable. It has been very partisan in the way it has passed out job creation funds. My district, as is the case with regard to roads, water and sewer has been shamefully treated, and I found as a provincial member I have had tremendous difficulty in finding out even the most fragile or sparse information with regard to what job creation programs are on the go. I read more about them in the paper than I can find out from government offices.

So this particular government, elected on a mandate for economic change, has basically let the world run things over the last little while. They really haven't taken an active hand in the economy of the province. They have restructured government's lending agency, created a paper tiger called the Recovery Commission that seems to have disappeared from our political consciousness these days. But apart from that they have done absolutely very little in managing our economy or trying to boost our economy in any real or significant way. Newfoundlanders are used to having their government intervene in the economy to try and boost things along, to try and get things going, but this particular government really has laid back and done very little over the last three years. We may now, Mr. Chairman, hear some rumblings, with an election, I suppose, growing closer, that the government is going to take a greater hand in the economy, but I would say that in judging this administration such efforts come reluctantly and they come far too late.

People want progressive governments in this nation and, I think, on this continent today, Mr. Chairman. We have had the Reagan/Bush era and the way it has dominated economic thinking on this continent. That has fallen into disrepute as times have gotten difficult, and I think it is time for the government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to take a more interventionist role in managing our economy. Whether or not the Government of Canada finally does such a thing remains to be seen. That is their problem and their jurisdiction, and I certainly hope that they would. But down here I am a member of this Legislature and I can only encourage this particular government to start acting in that direction, but I have my doubts, Mr. Chairman.

The Premier is not the sort, by virtue of his own philosophy, to involve himself in economic matters. He has a tendency to let the large companies and market forces rule the day in what little private sector economy we have. That isn't what he got elected to do. That isn't what he promised to do prior to election, but nonetheless that is what he has done since election. All we have heard from the Premier basically are words, Mr. Chairman. A lot of words, a lot of fancy words, a lot of smooth talking, but very little concrete action in the creation of jobs and the bringing home of mother's sons.

I have my doubts, Mr. Chairman, if the mother is still kissing the Premier's shoes as he indicated during the last election campaign because he was going to bring her son home. Her son, if anything, has been joined by his brothers, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles in a desperate romp across Canada looking for whatever work might be found up there. Heaven help us, Mr. Chairman, that's very little.

So as I indicated earlier, perhaps it's time now for this Party, who put people first, to borrow the slogan of the Liberal Party from the last election. Maybe, if our people are to find any hope from government, hope of a government that cares, they should in the next election vote Progressive Conservative in Newfoundland and Labrador for a real change, Mr. Chairman, thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Once again impelled into the fray. I was making a reference to the interim report and I referred then to the final report of the Constitutional Committee which made a recommendation somewhat different than that in the interim report. But nonetheless, still somewhat different from where the -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. gentleman from Kilbride is having some physical difficulty, I gather. He's erupting, Mr. Chairman. Now if he would be good enough to possess his soul in patience, as his grandmother I hope would tell him, I'll try to get on with it, Sir. Thank you.

Now, Mr. Chairman, the final report of the Committee made a recommendation which was still different from that put forward by the gentleman from Grand Falls, the present temporary Leader of the Opposition. Now let me go on to look at what was done in Charlottetown. Hon. gentlemen opposite supported the Accord, as did my colleagues and I. They, like us, went around the Province and asked the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to vote in favour of it, as they did.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, now if the yaps have yipped, and the yips have yapped, let me carry on. They supported it - one would assume they knew what was in it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: No, obviously my hon. friend didn't know what was in it. But we're quite used to that. My hon. friend has made a career in this House of speaking when he doesn't know what he's talking about. He demonstrates it day after day. But now let me look at what was in it.

I am reading now from the Charlottetown Accord. It's page 9, it's paragraph 26, and it says: Protection of Intergovernmental Agreements. The Constitution should be amended to provide a mechanism to ensure that designated agreements between governments are protected from unilateral change. This would occur when Parliament and the Legislatures enact laws approving the agreement.

If my hon. friends opposite were learned, and they aren't, with the exception of my friend for Humber East - my friend for St. John's East is very learned - they would also be able to look at Section 126A of the legal text which makes the point.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Member for Port de Grave.

MR. ROBERTS: The Member for Port de Grave has proven the wisdom of the Court of Appeal in allowing people not members of the Bar to appear at the Bar and plead in behalf of those who wish to engage persons not members of the Bar to plead in their behalf at the Bar.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I thank my hon. friends opposite. Now, Mr. Chairman, the point I'm making is a very simple one.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. ROBERTS: I realize my friend for Torngat Mountains hasn't grasped it. It's not simple enough for him. But I can only try. You can lead a horse to water, I say to my friend for Torngat Mountains, but you can't make it drink. In the case of my friend for Torngat Mountains, you could lead half a horse to water, but you still can't make it drink. Even though it may not be the end which does the drinking.

Now, Mr. Chairman, let me carry on, if I may. The Charlottetown Accord specifically allowed precisely the sort of arrangement that the Constitutional Committee recommended. My friend for Grand Falls doesn't know that. If he knew it he would have misled the House deliberately. He didn't mislead the House deliberately, he's just stunned. He doesn't know what he's talking about. Now that's -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. ROBERTS: I didn't say I'm learned. But before I speak I try to find out whether -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I don't care whether the hon. gentleman is listening or not. I don't expect the hon. gentleman to listen. I don't even expect him to understand.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, all I'm trying to do in my humble way is to explain to the hon. gentlemen opposite, and to the hon. gentlemen on this side, and to the hon. lady opposite, and to the hon. lady on this side, and anybody who cares to know, that the Leader of the Opposition yesterday, got up and launched a vicious attack on the Premier, a spirited attack on the Premier, at least it was like striking the Premier with limp macaroni but for the Leader of the Opposition that is a spirited attack. He did his best and he did know what he was talking about. The very kind of fisheries joint management agreement that we believe this Province needs could have been achieved under the Charlottetown Agreement, so when my hon. friends opposite, as they no doubt will again, launched themselves into this attack that somehow on the constitutional process the fisheries were neglected. I do not expect them to pay attention to the facts, but I will say to them that I will do my humble best - unlike my friend from Kilbride, whose humble best is neither best nor humble - I will do my humble best to point out the facts to them.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I do want to place one other fact on the record. This was not the Leader of the Opposition who got it wrong, it was one of his hon. colleagues over there. I want to point out, Sir, that their charge that the Premier somehow was off talking about the Senate when he should have been here dealing with the fisheries was completely baseless. I simply want to place it on the record. The Premier was in Toronto at a meeting of all of the premiers of Canada, including if memory serves me Robert Bourassa, but I am subject to correction on that, but certainly the other eight premiers, called at the request of the Prime Minister, chaired by Joe Clark, a man who deserves well of Canada in my impression.

Joe Clark served Canada well in the constitutional process, a man who deserves well of Canada. Joe was there, Mike Harcourt the Premier of British Columbia chaired the meeting, that was where the Premier was the day the balloon broke, the day the second shoe dropped on the fisheries, the Premier left at the first available flight at midday and came home and carried on with the work. Some hon gentleman opposite, and I do not know who it was, I did not make a note and Hansard did not record it, but I want to be sure we do not leave any misunderstanding, the Premier was not in Calgary dealing with the Senate at that time, he has never been in Calgary dealing with the Senate, the only trip he has made to Calgary recently has been in connection with Hibernia and that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: - I am sorry?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I have no idea where Miss Coyne is or is not. That is her concern. I do not know what the hon. gentleman is trying to attack the woman for -

MR. TOBIN: I did not attack the woman.

MR. ROBERTS: Well, what does her name have to do with it? The Premier was in Calgary -

MR. TOBIN: I did not attack the woman.

MR. ROBERTS: - what is the hon. gentleman bringing the lady's name into the debate for? I am talking about Calgary, what have I said -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I do not care what the hon. gentleman's name is, in this House I regard him as an hon. gentleman, but why is the hon. gentleman bringing the lady's name into the debate? I have not said anything to raise that. All I am talking about is the Premier was in Calgary and if the hon. gentlemen opposite want to know why he was there, he was there -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I do not know whether Miss Coyne was or was not. The only time the Premier has been in Calgary recently - I do not know whether Miss Coyne was there or not, the Premier was in Calgary and I believe my friend, the Minister of Mines and Energy was also there, some officials were there, they were meeting with the Hibernia group for good and sufficient reason.

Now, Mr. Chairman, the only other point I want to make is - my, how time goes when one is having fun. You know, I had forgotten, the six or seven years I stayed out of the House I had forgotten how much fun it was to deal with hon. gentlemen opposite. Now, Mr. Chairman, the hon. gentleman for Humber Valley, who has temporarily left the Chamber, made a point that I think also deserves an answer. He said: Why are we looking for jurisdiction?... and I noted his precise words: why are we looking for jurisdiction? Well I would like to know the answer to that and all I can say is, he should ask his colleagues because nobody on this side of the House has ever looked for jurisdiction in the fisheries. What we are looking for is a joint management agreement and we will get it if only John Carnell Crosbie, Member of Parliament, Privy Counsellor, Queen's Counsellor - if only John C. Crosbie, the hon. John Crosbie, Member for St. John's West, former colleague of mine, another of those '60s people, he came into the House in the '60s - '66, a vintage year for liberalism in Newfoundland and Labrador, one of many - but if only the hon. John Crosbie would stop his stubborn desire to impose his own will. Now what we do have, as the Premier said yesterday, is the Prime Minister's assurance that the right thing will be done. I know that means that the Prime Minister will honour his word. He will either make John Crosbie change his mind, or he will change John Crosbie. I would rather he made John Crosbie change his mind, but not even the Prime Minister of the country may be able to do that, because you don't know what stubborn is until you have seen John Carnell Crosbie, Member of Parliament, Privy Councillor, Queen's Councillor, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, in full flight. Until you have seen him in full flight you don't know what stubborn is! I know him well. We came into the House together.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.


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

MR. ROBERTS: I gather, overwhelming public demand, but I will draw to a close quickly because there are others - my hon. friend from Grand Bank was saying something and I tried to hear him.

MR. MATTHEWS: I said, there is one other person that is more stubborn, but it is not right to talk about him while he is absent.

MR. ROBERTS: Oh, I see. Well, I don't want to talk about the Leader of the Opposition anymore, I have taken care of him.

Mr. Chairman, the point I want to make is that every Newfoundlander and every Labradorian should, in my view, be seeking joint management of the fisheries. We don't need to underline the obvious, of how important the resource is. My friend from Ferryland, yesterday, in an excellent maiden speech which unfortunately got next to no attention in the media - and I am not here to beat up the media.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I am sorry?

AN HON. MEMBER: All day.

MR. ROBERTS: All day? Then I heard the wrong stations. I am glad that he got the attention he deserves. It was an excellent speech and I commend him on it.

My friend from Eagle River, and my friend from Twillingate, the Minister of Fisheries, we don't need to underline - even the hon. gentleman from Kilbride understands how important the fishery is. It is that penetrating an insight into the obvious, even the gentleman from Kilbride understands it. He is trying hard to be the new John Carter. You will never make it. I say to my learned and honourable friend, you will never make it. Not only did John Carter have a great deal more on the outside of his head than my hon. friend, he has a great deal more inside. I say to my hon. friend that he should just bide his time until he collects the pension. 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant go in peace' - 'Nunc dimittis'- not re-mittis - dimittis. 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace'.

No, I believe the hon. gentleman doesn't understand. It is part of the Roman and the Anglican liturgy.

MR. MATTHEWS: No leave. Withdraw leave.

AN HON. MEMBER: Carry on.

MR. ROBERTS: Just carrying on.

Anyway, Mr. Chairman, the few modest points I had to make I made in my own modest way. Your Honour is trying to say something to me? Anyway, the gentleman from St. John's East Extern, now it is his turn, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I must say, I was delighted to be present and listen to the hon. the Member for Humber Valley give a very fine presentation.

Mr. Chairman, what he said as it pertained to the fishery and our needing jurisdiction or management was a very, very, sound declaration of the truth. He said: Why do we need management when what we already manage we are not managing at all? He was speaking primarily of the industry in the district that he represents, that is all. He did not say, we don't need more jurisdiction.

Let me tell the hon. the Member for Port de Grave, he gets up and rants and raves and says nothing - Go up to the House of Commons, go up to the door. Glory be, Mr. Chairman! No wonder he is back in the third row. If there were another row on the back of that he should be back in that one. Glory be!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. PARSONS: We do have problems in the fishery, and we all can relate in some way, and many of us in many ways. But when I hear that hon. gentleman over there talk about all the problems - Crosbie - thank God, Mr. Crosbie is still in politics, or that group over there wouldn't have one thing to say. The House would close the day after it opened, because all that has been said here in the House is, John Crosbie - what John Crosbie hasn't done. John Crosbie is a saviour for you bunch -


MR. PARSONS: - a saviour for you crowd. Because if not, those 20,000 fishermen that you did nothing for would be up here, not to the doors in Ottawa but right here at the Confederation Building, to lynch you crowd. Lynch you, that's what they'd do.

Let me say this to you. I listened to the rhetoric here yesterday. I listened to the Member for Eagle River. It was vilification. As far as I'm concerned, if I were in the Chair I would have serious reservations about allowing him to continue.


MR. PARSONS: It was slanderous, a slanderous attack on a Newfoundlander who did his best, who represents Newfoundland well. He started talking over there about things that he knew very little about. He's too young. It is very seldom I agree with the Premier, but the Premier was right in saying that he couldn't make him a Cabinet minister, he's wet behind the ears. Yesterday proved beyond a doubt how wet he really is.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Chairman, we all know that the Province plays a role in the fishing industry. Part of the problem with the fishing industry as we know it was licensing, processing. There was more than one problem. Advice from the scientists was the major problem. Our friend from Eagle River doesn't see that. Our friend from Port de Grave doesn't see that. He got up today and lashed out about the Member for Humber Valley, who at least got up on his feet and said something sensible. But the hon. member doesn't understand sense. He doesn't have it!


MR. PARSONS: Let me say to the hon. members in this House, what that member said was very simple. He said, if you are a farmer today, and you go out and apply for Crown land -

MR. MURPHY: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Listen, I say to the Member for St. John's South, listen and learn something. If you go out today and apply for land you can apply for a maximum of 100 acres and you must do something with two-thirds of it. There are companies up there with vast acreage owning half this Province, where you can't go up and build a cabin, you can't go up and get a load of wood. It's time we got off our butts and did something about it. It's time for that government -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Perhaps they didn't do it years ago. They were wrong when they didn't do it. But it is time now for us to realize that we have control of that industry, so let's take control of it and do something about it.


AN HON. MEMBER: They weren't tearing down cabins when we were there.

MR. PARSONS: No, they wouldn't allow them. Mr. Chairman, I'll tell you how much power they have - that now they are forcing this government to increase the number of moose licenses. There aren't that many moose there. Here are our Newfoundlanders, who look forward to going hunting.

AN HON. MEMBER: From 300 to 1,200 (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: From 300 to 1,200 licences - there aren't 1,200 moose out there. But the companies said they need the moose destroyed - nothing about the poor people spending their money, nothing about the poor people applying for licences in the hope - some people go hunting for the pleasure of hunting. A great number of people go hunting combining hunting for pleasure and for the meat. A great number of people go hunting just for the meat because they need it. They're allowed to go out on the West Coast where they get 1,200 licences because that was advocated by the big wood processor out there saying: They're going to destroy the wood so kill off all the moose.

There are 1,200 licences. There are not 1,200 moose out there. That will tell you how powerful those companies are - not only in not allowing you to build a cabin, not allowing you to haul up a boat on the rivers, now they're dictating as to how many people should be out there spending their money, money that some of them don't have, to look for a moose that's not there.


MR. PARSONS: Now, I think I'd be remiss, Mr. Chairman, if I didn't comment on the comments of the Minister of Justice. The Minister of Justice rose today to chastise the Leader of the Opposition for misleading the House. For twenty minutes the Minister of Justice got up there and went on and on.


MR. PARSONS: I'm certainly not one of his learned friends, and I can see now why people don't read the small print. Because all his rhetoric today as it pertained to misleading the House, all of it was rhetoric that you don't even see if you have a document that's the small print. I'd say to the Minister of Justice that he should read Deborah Coyne's book when he talks about joint management of the fishery.

MR. ROBERTS: I have.

MR. PARSONS: Well, okay. On page 126 she said: the present Premier was given a letter and in that letter from the Prime Minister was that agreement for joint management.

AN HON. MEMBER: The Premier answered that letter.

MR. PARSONS: He did not answer it! He said he skimmed through it. Deborah Coyne, I don't know the lady, but I can't see why she lied in the book. Because she was pro-Premier all through it. The point remains is what the Premier said, it would take away from his ego. It would destroy his pride. He couldn't care less about Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. But his pride would have been hurt if he had to accept that letter, which would place the fisheries on the agenda for the First Ministers' Conference every year.

Why don't you people get up and tell it as it is? The Minister of Justice talks about joint management. We have management now of many of our resources, and what are we doing about it? I'm not saying that we should not have some more control. But the Minister of Justice reads from a paper. He says: Oh, well, this is what the PCs said. I've been in the House for six years and all I've ever heard from this side, this group, was that we could not afford jurisdiction. We could not afford complete jurisdiction. We don't have the financial ability to go into complete jurisdiction. All we said, over and over, was that there should be sharing of management to the bays and to the rise and to the inlets of this Province, that we should know more about it than someone in Ottawa. I agree.

I agree, too, with the Member for Port de Grave that it is a serious problem. But I can't see for the life of me how every member from that side gets up and ridicules one man in Ottawa, one man up there. The man has done his best. He won't accept joint management. Do you know why? Because they want the feds to put all the money in there and they will have all the say. I agree with him. If that's the way it's going to be then he shouldn't accept it! He shouldn't accept it! The feds putting in the money, that's the agreement they are looking for - the feds would put in the money and they would have control. They would have a veto on whatever is happening in that joint management.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave?

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to stand to my feet again just to take a couple of minutes. I can't believe what the Member for St. John's East Extern just said, that as a member representing a fishing district in this Province, he agrees that Ottawa should remain in control of all of the decisions made on the fishery in the future. Is that what the member said, That he

doesn't agree with joint management?

MR. PARSONS: I never said that!

MR. EFFORD: But he will only agree with it if Newfoundland pays its share of jurisdiction? Surely, he doesn't expect Newfoundland to pay the cost of surveillance on the Grand Banks?

MR. MURPHY: He's a Crosbie worshipper.

MR. PARSONS: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Well, if you share jurisdiction then you have to share the cost. Joint management is a whole different area from sharing jurisdiction.

MR. PARSONS: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: You have to make up your mind what you're standing for, and that's the problem we are into. Most of the people don't know what they're talking about, Mr. Chairman. It's absolutely unbelievable!

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) managing the fisheries.

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Chairman, there are a couple of points being lost here. The fact that John Crosbie is the Minister of Fisheries is the reason why he is taking the responsibility. If he were not the Minister of Fisheries then he would not have to take the responsibility. But he is in that position today when we are at the worst crisis in the history of the Province. Whether it's good or bad or not is not the fault of people saying that John Crosbie is shocking or John Crosbie did this. John Crosbie didn't cause the problem but he certainly can move in the right direction to correct the problem, and that is what everybody in this Province is saying. The responsibility of the minister is to make the right decisions for the future and make them now. Okay?


MR. EFFORD: Just give me a couple of minutes and I will point out to you why I disagree with a lot of things that are being said. First of all, we have to recognise who has first access to the fish. We don't have first access to any of the fish stocks except the few fish that swim in around our lands. The foreign fleets are fishing on the Grand Banks as we argue our petty differences here in the House of Assembly today, approximately 147 vessels out there now as we are talking, and that has been going on for the last twenty-five, thirty-five, forty years or however long from the time they started coming since Confederation, since Ottawa took over control. Now, if that is not a reality, am I fabricating, am I dreaming that or are they out there fishing? Well, let me give you some figures.

In 1990, FPI landed 200 million pounds of fish and they created 8,000 jobs directly in the fishery, and that same year, the foreign fishing fleets reported taking 800 million pounds, four times what FPI took, that is relative to 32,000 jobs in the stock.

AN HON. MEMBER: Trudeau.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's not (inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: That is not the issue. You are right.

MR. MURPHY: It is not only Trudeau.

MR. EFFORD: But what I am telling you is, that is what caused the demise of the fish stocks in this Province and we are paying the ultimate price for it, and they are still fishing out there today. What I am telling you is, if we should stop fishing they should be stopped whether it is international waters or not, they should stop until the stocks are rebuilt; so let us talk some common sense. Let me give you another example. Let us say there are 8 million seals, for argument sake, let us say they eat only one pound of fish per day of some species, that is 8 million pounds a day and we can't come to an agreement whether there should be a seal hunt. I mean, when are we all going to wake up and talk some reality as to what is going to happen down the road?

The fish stocks are still gone so we call John Crosbie names - is that going to help? I mean, the point is, he is Minister of Fisheries now. He should bring in a seal hunt. He should stop the foreign fishing fleet. Instead of that, this year - and every member on the other side who is representing fishing districts knows - this year as we were arguing about stopping them, foreigners still have access to quotas inside the 200-mile limit, and my hon. friend there, the Opposition House Leader, knows what I am saying is correct. Everybody in this Province knows that the Minister of Fisheries gave foreign quotas this year inside the 200-mile limit. Now, how can you rationalize and say that is right. If there were lots of fish out there, yes it is right, but we have stopped fishing and they are still catching fish, and we say, well, they have quotas for turbot and flounder and herring and mackerel and shrimp, but we know that is all a valuable resource and when you heave the net overboard, don't tell me a whole net of turbot comes up.

Russia, this year, got a cod quota in 3No. The hon. the Member for Ferryland - most of his constituents fish out in that 3Ps - 3No area and they would fish there successfully if they had permission. And how can any minister in this country justify giving Russia 1,600 tons this year in 3No when all of his constituents are up there starving for the want of work? Nova Scotia - how much fish did Nova Scotia catch this year in 3No? I mean, we have to talk reality. We are being set on, gouged, we have been robbed and pillaged on all sides, all over this Province, and it is time to face up to what is happening, but we are still allowing it to go on. And there is only one man who is making that decision, the hon. John Crosbie.

MR. DUMARESQUE: John Crosbie. Hear, hear!

MR. EFFORD: Now, whether your opinion is the right decision or the wrong decision is another issue, nevertheless, Newfoundlanders are not catching the fish and others are. This year, there was a boat down from Port de Grave on the Labrador Coast fishing turbot -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

I wonder if the hon. member could just take his seat for a minute while I announce the questions for the Late Show.

The three questions - No. 1: I am not satisfied with the response by the Minister of Education to my question pertaining to the provincial government's commitment to the Newfoundland Student Aid Program, and that is from the hon. the Member for the Ferryland district.

Mr. Speaker, I was not satisfied with the answer given by the Minister of Municipal Affairs in response to my question on Municipal Operating Grants - that is from the hon. the Member for Fogo.

I am not satisfied with the response from the Minister of Mines and Energy to my question re the payroll tax burden on the mining industry, and that is from the hon. the Member for Menihek.

The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, it is simple enough to understand what the economy of this Province needs - we need the fish stocks back. As I said earlier, the foreign fishing fleets were reported as having taken 800 million pounds of fish - God knows how much they took beyond that, but 800 million in 1990. That would represent 32,000 direct jobs in this Province, the spin-off factor another 20,000 to 25,000, and you are talking about 50,000 jobs.

Now, we know that the Canadian dragger fleet has caused a lot of problems, we know that the inshore people have caused problems with their gill nets and other things, but what I am saying is that it is time to stop all of the factors that cause the problem and look to the future to make the right decisions. That is in the power of one man and one man only today. It may be another minister tomorrow, next week or next month, but today it is the hon. Minister of Fisheries' responsibility and while he is minister he must take that responsibility. And there is only one way to turn back to this Province what rightfully belongs to us.

I said a couple of weeks ago in the press: If we in Newfoundland, the citizens, never mind the politicians, believed in the fishing industry as the backbone of this Province, we should fight for it just as hard as the people in Quebec fight for their language and culture rights. We shouldn't be critical of what they do, we should be taking a lesson from what they are doing and be just as aggressive as they are. I think if we changed our attitudes, everybody in this Province, we would be a lot better off.

I mean, if you would only just imagine - I only spoke about what the foreign fleets took in 1990, and that was outside. That had nothing to do with inside the 200-mile limit, not the quotas we have given. That is only what they took out there in international waters, inside and outside on the foggy and dark nights. The logic of what I am saying is there is a future for this Province if we all think the right way. But what do they do? My hon. friend from Grand Bank asked a couple of minutes ago, 'Did they put another dory out there?'

MR. MATTHEWS: I didn't say that.

MR. EFFORD: Who was it?

AN HON. MEMBER: Burin - Placentia West.

MR. EFFORD: Burin - Placentia West was it? He said: 'I wonder if they would put another dory out there?' I agree with him because he was making a sarcastic remark about what they did and he is quite right. Just imagine, the greatest accomplishment that the union leader and the hon. the Minister of Fisheries made was the deal with the international flotilla on the Grand Banks. They brought a dory out there back three or four months ago and they pulled a grappling overboard, and that is their total contribution to stopping the foreign fishing fleets out there. I mean, it is unbelievable! And they wouldn't have done that only we kicked up such a fuss in this Province. Except for a group of fishermen getting together and demonstrating all over the Province, they wouldn't even have done that. Now, they have gone back in their shell, and what I am saying is they should come out of their shell and start planning what is going to happen twelve to eighteen months down the road when the cod stocks are supposed to be there and the compensation package is over.

There is one awful lot of money leaving this Province, one awful lot of jobs being lost day-to-day. And if it happened in any other province in this country or any other part of the world people would not put up with it. We have become complacent, laid back, we don't care anymore. The average person on the street is satisfied, as you said, with the compensation package and there is nobody fighting except for two or three people speaking out. The union has disappeared and Crosbie has disappeared. They have disappeared, after making the decision that you stop fishing and bring back the cod stocks. While the foreigners are out there, there will be no cod stocks coming back, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! The hon. member's time is up.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thought a moment ago when I saw the Member for Eagle River sitting in the Premier's chair that he had been promoted as a result of his speech yesterday in the House, a speech, Mr. Chairman, which basically nothing other than an attack on the federal minister, John Crosbie. He is not a member of my party, but he does get credit for one thing - on the topic we were discussing yesterday, which was the moratorium, he and his government did increase the compensation package by a significant factor after there was a very strong leadership on that from the elected representatives, the legitimate representatives of the fishermen, the Fishermen's Union,not the pressure from this government.

The topic yesterday - and Mr. Dumaresque, the Member for Eagle River, makes a lot of good points that would do well to be made in the election campaign, Mr. Chairman, if he were to have the courage to run in an election campaign against the federal minister in St. John's West. He has every opportunity to do that, Mr. Chairman, if he were really serious. Both he and the Member for Port de Grave seem to have nothing to say about provincial jurisdiction or provincial matters but are quite happy to talk about things that really should be debated in the House of Commons. So I urge them, Mr. Chairman, in the next federal election to resign their seats here and run in the federal House of Commons to try to change the policies for the people of Canada.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. HARRIS: All of the things that the Member for Port de Grave and the Member for Eagle River were saying were things that should be said and should be brought up and raised in the House of Commons in Ottawa. They don't seem to want to belong to this Chamber because they don't address the provincial issues and the issues of provincial concern.

They should, Mr. Chairman. If they are going to say what the Government of Canada ought to do, they should either go to the House of Commons in Ottawa and say that, or have resolutions passed by their own government which have some influence on that.

There are two issues that nobody on that side of the House addressed yesterday, that are matters of provincial jurisdiction, and they may involve the expenditure of a few dollars. I know the new Minister of Finance, now that he has less to worry about, no longer being Government House Leader, can address these more carefully.

There are two issues that do come up, and I have to remind hon. members, as the Member for Ferryland did in his very commendable opening speech in this House, the resolution that was presented was: BE IT RESOLVED that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador address its responsibility to those directly affected by the moratorium.

It says: Address 'its' responsibility - the Government of Newfoundland's responsibility. What does that responsibility consist of, Mr. Chairman? Because fisheries jurisdiction in this country - even though responsibility for offshore fisheries rests with the federal government, under the constitution of this country, there are a considerable number of matters related to the fishery that the Province does now, indeed, have not only the jurisdiction, but the responsibility for, and these can involve two things with respect to the moratorium, that this government did not address, or addressed to the detriment of the people of this Province.

Number one is the clawback. Now, I listened very carefully to what the Minister of Fisheries said yesterday, and I think if you read carefully in Hansard what he said, there are somewhat sort of weasel words. I will not call the Minister of Fisheries a weasel because that would be unparliamentary, but the words were weasel words. He said that this government did not ask for or support the clawback as it relates to fisheries income. That is what he said. But they did, Mr. Chairman, not only support the clawback, but demanded and insisted upon the provision of a clawback in the overall program - and they are proud of it.

They are just as proud of that, no doubt, as was the Commission of Government back in the early 1940s when the Americans were coming here to build bases, and the Commission of Government told the Americans not to pay Newfoundlanders the wage that they intended to pay - not to pay them a dollar an hour, I think was the figure - but to pay them about half of that, 'because we don't want the Newfoundland economy to be upset by the wages being paid by Americans.' That is what the Commission of Government said, and they were no doubt proud of that. They were no doubt proud of that because they said: Don't pay Newfoundlanders a decent wage because it might upset the economy. That is what they said, and that is the truth. I know the Minister of Finance is ashamed of what he just said, that he was proud that he had told the Government of Canada not to pay Newfoundlanders what they had intended to pay, after changing their plans as a result of the pressure from the Fishermen's Union. That rests on their head just as it rests on the Commission of Government's head, that they told the Americans not to pay Newfoundlanders a decent wage - to cut their wages by about half.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) merchant (inaudible).

MR. HARRIS: Well, it was the merchants who requested it. The merchants wanted that. They didn't want to have to pay the wage rates in this Province that the people of Newfoundland needed in order to have a decent livelihood.

The same thing has happened here, and the Province is responsible for that. I didn't hear one member on that side of the House address that. I didn't hear that from the Member for Eagle River when he was so busy trying to deflect attention on to the federal Minister of Fisheries and attacking him for being a Newfoundlander.

That, Mr. Chairman, is what the other side of this House did,. The Minister of Fisheries did not address that question. He was afraid to address that question. At least the Minister of Finance has the courage to say that he's proud that the Newfoundland government told the feds not to pay Newfoundlanders enough. That he's proud of it. At least he's prepared to stand by it. But that's what they said. Their response was the clawback and they might as well admit it, face the facts, and face the music for it.

The second thing is that there is some leadership being provided in this Province on the issue of what to do during the moratorium, but it's not coming from the government, it's coming in fact from the Fishermen's Union. They're trying to devise plans to assist in sorting out what's going to happen to the fishery of this Province in the future. One of the areas that this government has been approached on - and I don't know if the Member for Port de Grave knows anything about this; perhaps he doesn't - but it was part of the program being put forth by the Fishermen's Union, by the members, the democratically elected representatives of the fishermen through their Fishermen's Union.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible).

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Chairman, one of the parts of that program was to give older workers in the fisheries an opportunity to take part in an early retirement program. What did the Government of Newfoundland say? No. We don't agree with that. They're prepared to accept that an early retirement program can apply to fishermen aged fifty-five and older, but a special program being put forth as part of the adjustment, a program for fishermen aged fifty to fifty-four, the answer of the government was: no, we're not going to support that. Even though the cost to this government - and I want the Minister of Finance to respond to this; if I'm wrong let him deny it - but the cost of this program to the Government of Newfoundland in terms of the dollars that would go into the pockets of these fishermen would be seventeen cents on the dollar.

That's the cost of the program for older workers. The contribution of the Province would be seventeen cents on the dollar. The government said no. They thought it was immoral to assist fishermen, immoral. An issue of morality to assist fishermen who desired to take advantage of an early retirement program.

Maybe the Member for Port de Grave is right. Maybe the problems are not going to be solved in eighteen months. I think he's probably right. They're not. So what's going to happen to these fishermen, these fishermen who could have been supported on an early retirement package? They may end up being looked after by the Member for Waterford - Kenmount, the Minister of Social Services, if he's still here, and the Province will pay fifty cents on the dollar to look after them.

So in the two areas - and this is directly related to the moratorium issue - where money was taken out of the Newfoundlanders' pockets directly by the policies of this government, are number one, on the clawback, which was insisted on by this government. That's the first one. The second one, on their refusal to participate in a program for older workers, an older worker adjustment program - because they refused and said it was immoral to assist fishermen in an early retirement package between the ages of fifty and fifty-four.

Now those two issues are fundamental in terms of understanding what this government's attitude is toward the fishermen of this Province. They're not prepared to recognise that changes have to be made in the way that the fishing is carried out in this Province. That there must be a period during this period of time, of planning. I'm sure the former minister of social services, the Member for Port de Grave, will want to make a contribution to that, and I'm sure it will be welcomed. Whether he makes it in the House of Commons, where he seems to want to be, or whether he makes it out on the stage heads of this Province. I hope he will make a contribution.

We all have to participate in that, but the government of this Province, right now, today, could have done two things for the fishermen of Newfoundland that they refused to do as it relates to the moratorium.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The member's time has elapsed.

MR. HARRIS: They could have refrained from insisting on the clawback to take money out of the fishermen's pockets, and they could support this program for older workers in the age group fifty to fifty-four. Those two things, Mr. Chairman, the government could have done. The government did not do them. They didn't answer for that yesterday -

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. HARRIS: - and I ask the Minister of Finance to answer for them now.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I had to rise to my feet again after that despicable display of talking about the fishery in this Province and giving the credit where credit is due. Now, it wasn't until halfway through the member's speech that I realized what he was saying and where he was coming from. I was listening to his press conference a couple of weeks ago when he announced that he was going to run for the leadership of the NDP. It was interesting to note that the hon. member, who was running for leadership, was asked a question by one of the press members, and his question went like this: What are your economic plans for the future? His answer, very simply: I don't have any.

MR. WALSH: Not a one.

MR. EFFORD: Not a one. That is exactly what he said in front of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians: I don't have any. This is the kind of an example we have, getting up and talking about the future of this Province. Then all of the sudden it hits. Why is Ricky becoming such a good friend of the hon. Member for St. John's East? It is not hard to figure out. Because this clawback may have some problems with his future campaign funds. Because out of the money that the fishermen are receiving, the Fishermen's Union have already deducted next year's union dues from every fisherman in this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: What! What!

MR. EFFORD: Yes, Sir, every fisherman today in this Province. They have already taken out the 1993 union dues. Now, where do you think the contribution taken from the backs of the fishermen of this Province is going to go? To the NDP. So make no wonder he is good friends with Ricky. That is a fact. The fishermen of this Province have already had their union dues deducted.

MR. HARRIS: That is incorrect.

MR. EFFORD: If the hon. Member for St. John's East says that is not correct, I will bring the fishermen into this House of Assembly and let them tell you themselves. I will fill the galleries, and don't think I can't do it. You challenge me to do it and I will fill the galleries. Every fisherman will tell you that. That is what is done. Make no wonder you are arguing about the clawback and about the compensation package, Mr. Chairman.

MR. HARRIS: A point of order, Mr. Chairman.

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, I thought I saw the hon. member's nose grow an extra foot there when he was speaking. The man is making slanderous comments about the Fishermen's Union of this Province, all of which are untrue and he ought not to be making them in this House.

MR. CHAIRMAN: There is no point of order.

MR. EFFORD: If you want me to make comments about the Fishermen's Union in this Province, it would take me from now to the end of 1993 to finish, what they have done to the fishermen of this Province on the backs of the people and are still continuing to do.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: Anytime in this Province, anytime you want to, Sir.

Let me tell you, it is very hard to sit here and have to listen to the Member for St. John's East, especially when the closest he ever came to a fish was down at Ches's Snacks. I have not seen too many pounds of fish salted down there in the LSPU Hall in St. John's East. So don't go talking about something you know absolutely nothing about. And there is what is supposed to be the potential future Leader of the NDP Party in this Province. We are talking about people all over Newfoundland and Labrador. We are talking about a man getting up here running for the leadership saying that all of the decisions that have been made by the hon. Minister of Fisheries federally have been the right decisions. That is what he is throwing his full support behind.

The member is also saying the same thing about the Fishermen's Union. It makes absolutely no sense for any member to get up in this House of Assembly and make such a statement, saying that the hon. Member for Eagle River was all wrong in saying anything negative about the Minister of Fisheries. It is not a point about the Minister of Fisheries personally. It has nothing to do with any individual. It has to do with the fact that he is the Minister responsible for the decisions that are going to effect the future of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I suggest to the hon. Member for St. John's East that if he knows no more than what he said in the last ten minutes, in the future he should say nothing, the same as when you said you had no economic plan, say you have no idea about the fishery of this Province and you would be a lot better off.

MR. WALSH: He does have an idea. He is getting his campaign funds from the deductions of the fishermen.

MR. EFFORD: Oh, there is no doubt about that. There is absolutely no doubt about that. That is a fact. There are not too many members on either side of this House who knew that the union have already taken 1993 membership dues out of the people of this Province. That is a fact. That is not slanderous, that is fact.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I want you to challenge that statement.

MR. EFFORD: Challenge it?

AN HON. MEMBER: What do you want, swords or pistols? What foolishness!

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Chairman, this is the reason we are in the mess we are in in this Province. Because here we are playing partisan politics again. Here we are not coming down to the reality of what is the most important thing - the crisis that is facing the Province in the future. What was done in the past is done. What was done in 1970 is done, and what was done in 1980 is done. It is what is going to take place in the remainder of 1992 and 1993, and on and on into the future.

I listened to the hon. Member for Ferryland, and I agree with a lot of things he said. I agree that he is concerned about his district, and he has every right to be concerned about the future of his district, because his district totally depends on the fishing industry in the future, the same as 300 plus other communities around the Coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Without it we cannot survive.

That is the reason why people in the influential position that the hon. Member for St. John's East is going to be, possibly in a couple of weeks, or whenever he is going to have his convention, because I doubt very much if there is anybody going to run against him after Linda left and ran away. I doubt very much if anybody else is going to run. So he is going to be in an influential place, and he is going to get attention from the press, and make decisions and make comments like he made here this afternoon in this hon. House of Assembly - make no wonder this Province is headed for a downtrodden area in the future, because when hon. members like him -

MR. R. AYLWARD: A point of order, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member for Kilbride on a point of order.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

(Inaudible) Government House Leader? He seems to be slouched off in a couple of chairs over there. It does not add anything to the decorum of this House. I am not sure that it is even parliamentary, Mr. Chairman.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is not parliamentary.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I do not know if there is anything in Beauchesne or the Standing Orders that the Government House Leader is doing anything unparliamentary, but if he is I would ask him to restrain himself and to sit upright, as we would do in school.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, I have great difficulty restraining myself when the gentleman from Kilbride gets up. That is why he gets up.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Port de Grave.

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We can carry on all of our abuse and our attacks in this House on each other personally and it does not make any difference, because that is the way it is going to happen in this House, no matter what members are here in the House of Assembly. It is just a normal procedure.

I tell you one thing, at this point in time in our history today, if we do not get above the partisan politics - and I implore once again and I will say it for the final time today, but I am going to say it a lot more in the future, that we had all better get together and get our heads together on this one and make sure that whatever decisions are made in the near future, that they are the right ones for this Province. Otherwise our population in all of our districts around the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is going to be a lot less in the future, because there is going to be nothing here to keep people in this Province, regardless if you are involved in the fishing industry or not, because without the fishing industry no business can survive, and the sooner we realize that and the sooner somebody gets a maul and takes the Member for St. John's East in the back somewhere and tries to beat that into his head, then he might have a little better understanding of what is important to the future of this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. EFFORD: No, no. I would not do that. I would just let (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I only have a few minutes to clue up before 4:30, but if one were to draw an analogy between what the Member for Port de Grave said about the association between Richard Cashin and the Fishermen's Union and the NDP, what about the last election when the President of NAPE was sitting down at the nomination table with Gordon Seabright in Mount Pearl district when they said they were going to knock off my colleague from Mount Pearl - no matter what it takes. That is the question. I do not hear -

AN HON. MEMBER: He did not give Gordon his (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I do not know.

MR. R. AYLWARD: He certainly could afford it, if he did.

MR. TOBIN: I do not know that, but I can tell you one thing. When the Member for Port de Grave starts playing, he is playing with a double-edged sword because the comments that were made toward the Member for St. John's East, about his affiliation with the union, I believe were unwarranted.

To make a statement in this House that his election campaign is being funded by the fishermen of this Province is not right. It is not right.

MR. EFFORD: It is so right, and you know it.

MR. TOBIN: I do not know it is right, and you do not know it is right.

Who financed your campaign in the last election?

MR. R. AYLWARD: The fishermen financed yours too.

MR. TOBIN: Who financed the campaign for the Liberal party in the last election, tell us that?

MR. EFFORD: Who financed mine?

MR. TOBIN: Tell us who financed the Liberal party's in the last election. Okay, we have another Ross Perot in our presence.

He spent $100 million of his own.

Now this afternoon we heard a lot of talk about the fisheries, and we heard it yesterday. We heard the Government House Leader get up and say nothing for two or three hours.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: That is Baker's diet, that is Baker's diet. Anyway, what we have here, Mr. Chairman, is a situation that is not conducive to this House of Assembly where one gets up and makes accusations without any proof whatsoever of what you are saying and the House of Assembly provides for those type of accusations to be made. I can tell you that there are fishermen and fishplant workers in my district who do not and will not support the NDP Party. There are fishermen and fishplant workers in my district who will not support the Liberal Party and there are fishplant workers and fishermen in my district who will not support the Conservative Party.

MR. WALSH: Do you think he should have had union dues deducted for the next two years?

MR. TOBIN: What is that?

MR. WALSH: Do you think union dues should have been deducted for the next two years?

MR. TOBIN: I do not know but I understand you make -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I do not know what is going on, I am not associated with the Fishermen's Union, I have nothing to do with the Fishermen's Union and I do not profess to know what is going on in the Fishermen's Union and I have no aspirations to become leader of the Fishermen's Union and I am not prepared to use this Assembly for that purpose. That is what is going on, and the Member for Bell Island, Mr. Chairman, would not know a grenadier from a flounder, would not know a sculpin from a tom cod because this humble member from -

AN HON. MEMBER: Humber Ridge.

MR. TOBIN: - Humber Ridge, he said. I am only the humble member from Humber Ridge. Well I say to the member that there is not too many skates caught in Humber Ridge. Mr. Chairman it is too bad I have only one minute left in this sitting but it is a long day tomorrow I will say to the hon. gentleman and a long week next week and a long week the week after, because we have a lot to say. I can say to the Member for Gander, the Minister of Finance, that if the Premier wanted you to run this House he would have left you in the job, so you are not in the job and now do not be telling me what to do.

Now, I also want to say this evening, and I concur with a lot of what was said here by the way, about the fisheries on both sides of the House, because the fishery is the backbone of all of our districts, whether it is in Eagle River or St. Mary's - The Capes or whether it is in St. John's South or LaPoile or whether it be in the Strait of Belle Isle or Grand Bank or Burin - Placentia West, the fishery is important. Yes, Waterford - Kenmount and Grand Falls and Gander depend on the fishery. The economy of this Province depends on the fishery and we have a Minister of Fisheries and a government of this Province who could not care less about the fishery. No commitment, no understanding and do not have the gumption to do what is needed to be done to ensure that there is a fishery in this Province for the men and women who depend on it.

I adjourn the debate.

On motion, that the Committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again, Mr. Speaker returned to the Chair.

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

MR. BARRETT: Mr. Speaker, the Committee on Supply have considered the matters to it referred, wishes to report some progress and ask leave to sit again.

On motion, report received and adopted, Committee ordered to sit again on tomorrow.

Debate on the Adjournment

[Late Show]

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): Our first question is from the hon. the Member for Ferryland.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Education said that he would go to Baie Verte if necessary to assist single parents with education funding. I would like to ask him if he will go to Memorial University campus, to the Grenfell campus, to Cabot and the Marine Institute and tell the students that he is cheating them out of their just share of funding under provincial assistance grant as specified by his department regulations?

Mr. Speaker, one of the underlying foundations of our Canada Student Loan Program that is funded federally but administered by the provincial government on a shared basis, it states in his regulations, and I see the hon. minister has a copy there, that the first $80 per week in a study period must come from the Canada Student Loan. It states that if a student's needs are beyond $80 per week the next $70 comes from the provincial grant portion to bring it up to $150 per week, and if the student needs more funding the remaining $25 goes back to Canada Student Loan up to a maximum of $25 more for a total of $105 Canada Student Loan and $70 under the provincial grant portion.

When a student applies and is rejected for the amount of funding they need they have the right to appeal. This department, the Department of Education, through the Student Aid Division, recognizes that the table for parental contributions is grossly overstated because in 1984 it was devised and it hasn't been revised since. I agree that is a federal responsibility. I spoke with federal people before I entertained the question and I feel that next Spring it should be rectified, I understand. But that is not the point I made in Question Period, and that is not the point I received an answer to.

Whether we are talking about 1984 dollars or 1992 dollars it is laid in the foundations of this program that the $80 must come first in a student loan. This Department of Education is not following it's regulations. It takes the whole $105 in the Canada Student Loan and it doesn't change, after an appeal, the student grant portion. In other words they are cheating and gypping the students of this province, and I am going to give an example of students. I have dozens, I would advocate there are thousands of students in this province affected and being gypped out of the student grant portion, and I will give an example.

There is a student who attends Cabot with sixteen weeks the first semester and twenty in the second semester, and this particular student's assessed need was $2940. According to that assessed need that student is required to receive $80 per week in Canada Student Loan times her twenty weeks for that semester for $1,600. The next $70 per week for the twenty weeks up to $1,400. The next $1,400 should come from provincial grant. I would like to inform this House that this student received $2,100 all in student loan and not one cent of grant. And according to her assessed need by his division of his department that student should have received the full portion of the student loan, the $80 first, which is $1,600, and that student should have received $1,340 in grant. That student didn't receive $1,340. She received nothing. That is one student, BC I will refer to by name, a legitimate student who was gypped $1,340 out of a grant portion that she wouldn't have had to repay.

Her family has another person attending a post-secondary institution, and the person was assessed the need of $3,060. Now that other person in the family I will refer to by GC, the name, has only received a grant -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please! The hon. member's time is up.

The hon. the Minister of Education.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take hon. members back in time just a few brief years if you will allow me. I want to take the members back to the year 1984 when "Chin Chin" was running around this Province saying he was not afraid to inflict prosperity on Newfoundland and Labrador. Remember that in 1984, going to inflict prosperity? Well, he did, Mr. Speaker. The first thing he did was freeze the transfer payments to this Province from Ottawa. He froze the established program's financing, Mr. Speaker, and then, to top it all off, he froze the Student Loan Program.

I believe in taking a problem back to its source. In 1984 when Brian Mulrony became Prime Minister of this country, in an effort to inflict prosperity on Newfoundland and Labrador he took out from us, since 1989, in excess of $500 million. This little Province has lost $500 million in transfer payments, including the Student Loan Program, since 1989.

Now, Mr. Speaker, that translates into five memorial universities, the operational grant is in excess of $100 million per year. Five memorial universities we have lost in transfer payments, Mr. Speaker, 100 community colleges, one full year to pay for every school from kindergarten to Grade XII. Now, that is where the problem lies.

In spite of all this, Mr. Speaker, we have one of the best student aid programs in the country. We have a student loan program which is supplied by the federal government along with the rules for its administration. We are simply carrying out the administration.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the unfortunate thing about all this issue is this: The hon. member is not talking about the Student Loan Program at all, he is talking about a deferred bursary program. That is what the hon. member is talking about, Mr. Speaker.

MR. FUREY: Condemning it.

MR. DECKER: And he is condemning the deferred bursary program. The deferred bursary program was entered into by the previous administration.

MR. FUREY: Bill Matthews.

MR. DECKER: By the Opposition House Leader. What it does, Mr. Speaker, is it uses the regulations -

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

MR. DECKER: Got em! Got ya!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Opposition House Leader, on a point of order.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, I don't mean to interrupt.

MR. DECKER: Well, you are.

MR. TOBIN: Well, he should to because you did not tell (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. MATTHEWS: Anytime that a minister stands in his place and doesn't tell the truth, Mr. Speaker, I am going to rise and remind him that he is not dealing with the truth. I was not the minister who introduced the program or brought in the program. It was well before my time, I say to the minister. So if you are going to deal with it, tell the truth.

MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order, the hon. the Minister of Education.

MR. DECKER: Exactly! Okay, so it was well before his time.

The point is, Mr. Speaker, the deferred bursary program was brought in by the previous administration in an attempt, in fairness to them, to use the rules to the benefit of the students. That is why it was done. Now, Mr. Speaker, I am prepared, in light of the outburst from the hon. member, to review the way these rules are being administered, and I will assure the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that if we do what the hon. member is asking the students will receive less money than they are now receiving. That is what will happen, Mr. Speaker.

The hon. member is insisting - and let the word go forth to all Newfoundland students. Let every Newfoundland student know what the hon. member is trying to do. He is trying to force us to change the deferred bursary program so that Newfoundland and Labrador students will get less. If that is what the hon. member wants, Mr. Speaker, if that is what hon. members opposite want I will certainly look at it and see if we can do it. But I will try my utmost to ensure that the students in this Province get every cent that we can possibly give to them. So, the hon. member is not talking about student aid, he doesn't know what he is talking about. He is talking about a deferred system which his own administration brought in before their Opposition House Leader was Minister of Education, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The next question for debate - I believe I have them in the right order - is the Member for Fogo stating his dissatisfaction with answers given by the Minister of Municipal Affairs in response to questions relating to operating grants.

The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, since 1990, when the introduction of the new grant system and repayment of debt came in with the former minister, municipalities throughout this Province have had major problems with it. They have been unable to fix a budget because halfway through the year the minister -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As municipalities do a budget they are required to, under law, have them submitted by January 1. Midway through the game the figures changed and municipalities have been given less money, particularly in road components. It has been reduced from $1,900 I think, down to $489 and this year the minister himself admitted that they had not played the game fair; that municipalities in midstream were being subjected to clawback or less grants than they had previously expected to get.

The minister said it was wrong and he was going to deal with it. In fact, I had a council that met with the minister back in May month, I think, and the minister indicated that they were to - because they were losing $12,000 - send it in and the minister would have a look at it. I understand that the minister has said today that some have received some compensation; others have not.

In addition to that the minister is also aware, because we have discussed it recently, he and I, of the unfair system of municipalities having to pay debt charges. Presently it was set at $300 plus the cost of living. That brings it now to about $315 or $317 per household.

The problem with that, when this figure was originally decided upon -

AN HON. MEMBER: Three thirty-seven.

MR. WINSOR: Three thirty-seven now? It was based on the fact that he thought most municipalities should charge $25 per month for water and sewer. You multiply that by twelve and you get your three hundred dollars. That might have been a fair assessment if the entire community was serviced; but what we have now is a number of municipalities that are half-serviced that still have to pay for the entire number of households in the community, resulting in extremely large debt charges.

A household, for example, in a community that has 300 households, would have to pay in excess of $90,000 or $100,000 in debt charges, despite the fact they only receive water and sewer rates from one-half of them. That does not take into account at all the community that does not have sewer services at all - that only has water services - and they cannot charge $25 a month. They only charge twelve or thirteen.

AN HON. MEMBER: What is the question?

MR. WINSOR: No question, Mr. Speaker. It was not a question. The question is: When is the minister responsible for Industry, Trade and Technology going to do something for the Province?

We have a serious problem with MOG's and debt charges. The minister has said that he is going to address it. Municipalities are now preparing budgets for 1993. I ask the minister: What is he going to do to rectify the mistakes the previous minister had made, and bring some fairness and equity to municipalities in this Province?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister.

I, of course, have not recognized him. I am only assuming he is going to stand.

The hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

MR. HOGAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I do not know where to start on an answer. He never asked a question. He never said he was dissatisfied with the program.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HOGAN: I will start again, Mr. Speaker, and I beg the Speaker's protection from that terrible onslaught - a vicious attack - by the Burin Peninsula blunderbuss.

All jokes aside, the hon. member is completely mistaken. My predecessor did not make mistakes in introducing the municipal operating grant. Nor did he make any mistakes in introducing the debt retirement. It is the interpretation and applicability that the hon. member puts on it, because he jumps from one subject to the other and obviously does not know what he is talking about.

What I said was unfair about the debt retirement was not the debt retirement exactly. It was the installation of water and sewer services and not servicing any homes, and that there was unfinished product in the ground; and paying on that was what I said - paying for something that the people did not have. That is somewhat unfair.

I have also talked to him about the municipal operating grant, and he is well aware that this year we did make an administrative error in that we asked municipalities to pay back monies, or advised them that we would not give them monies in mid-budgetary period. This government, and our predecessors, often criticised the federal government for doing it to them, and we should apologise for doing it to the municipalities, which we did.

Having done that, we also advised each and every municipality that those which were inadvertently and adversely affected by this clawback - for want of a better word - and if they were put in inordinate expense because of that, we would visit with them, review their budget, and if we found that their budgetary process was (Inaudible) such that they couldn't do business as usual, that what we would do was alleviate the repayment according to their finances, or, in some cases, we would reimburse them. That was what was done with the MOG program.

The debt retirement program. Yes, I think it's grossly unfair to municipalities to have to pay -

MR. TOBIN: Then why did you put it in?

MR. HOGAN: - on unfinished product in the ground. There are municipalities for example in the Province, Mr. Speaker, that have dried pipe in the ground. Now I think that the problem is incumbent on the Province. We're hoping to address it this year to see that does not happen again and that we do finish the job once we started it, unlike hon. members across who never could get a job done. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The final item for debate is submitted by the Member for Menihek stating his dissatisfaction with the response from the Minister of Mines and Energy on his question re: payroll tax burden on the mining industry.

The hon. the Member for Menihek.

MR. A. SNOW: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Yes, I am very dissatisfied with the answer to my question from the minister responsible for Mines and Energy. When I quoted to him in part a statement from this, the New Testament, that he's supposed to know by heart by now, he's supposed to have it all memorized by now, and apparently he doesn't, from the New Testament it suggests that one of the constraints to the mining industry development, to the mineral development in this Province, is the high tax burden.

Now that's what it says in the New Testament. So I asked the minister if that was true, if the New Testament is really true. The minister says: well, you know -

AN HON. MEMBER: Too bad you didn't bring it in seventeen years ago.

MR. A. SNOW: We'll see now what the New Testament did, what the New Testament also did. It imposed a tax burden of - no, the New Testament didn't do it. One of the disciples, I guess, brought down the $3 million tax burden on the mining industry. One of the disciples did it. The New Testament didn't do it. The New Testament told them to do something different.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I asked the minister why they did it and if they would review it. He told me: The new mining friendly regulations are going to come to be with fees lowered or done away with, taxes done away with, and that is going to come to $400,000. That is what is going to be good for the industry, $400,000 worth of reduced fees. In the meantime they whacked on $3 million on the front end and took out $400,000 on the other end. Now that is some friendly isn't it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, he also stated that this has absolutely nothing to do with employment levels. That is what he stated here in the House of Assembly. The tax burden doesn't have anything to do with it. The problems with the mines in Labrador is all with the price of tea in China, I suppose. It is the international market he talks about. No, Mr. Speaker. Yes, they compete in the international market with Brazil and with Scandinavia, with Germany, with Russia, but, Mr. Speaker, the biggest problem with our mines in Labrador is the heavy tax burden placed upon it by this government. That is the problem, and I asked them if it would have any affect on the manpower levels and it certainly does. It is an extra $3 million worth of taxes that they have to pay to these bunch of people here, Mr. Speaker, to fund their lavish lifestyles, the cabinet ministers. That is what it is doing.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we have had 600 people laid off in western Labrador - 600 people going to be laid off or have been laid off. Approximately 600, Mr. Speaker. Now if the companies did not have to bear the tax burden of the additional $3 million that the New Testament said you shouldn't be doing, then I believe that these mining companies would not have had to make the massive restructuring that they have had to do and lay off almost 600 people, which is tremendously unfair to these individuals, Mr. Speaker. Tremendously unfair. These people are now thrown to the wolves, discarded by this government.

Now, Mr. Speaker, 600 people in a small mining town in western Labrador is a very big figure. Six hundred people laid off this year or early in the next year, a total of 600 over the past year. Now if they didn't have to bear the burden of this infamous payroll tax, the mining companies would have been able to carry more employees, produce iron ore, the good product that they are producing, do it more efficiently, Mr. Speaker, without the tax burden, and keep these people employed, which would again help the economy in Western Labrador; and what is good for Western Labrador is good for this Province. So I would like the minister to respond truthfully this time, truthfully, be honest with the people of this House and the people of this Province and especially the people in Western Labrador who have lost their jobs, I believe, as a direct result of the heavy tax burden that this government has placed on the mining industry itself.

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

DR. GIBBONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, in my view nobody, absolutely nobody in Labrador West lost their jobs because of the tax burden on the industry in Labrador West, absolutely zero. There are many other reasons for it, and nobody acknowledges what the member is saying. Nobody likes to pay taxes, nobody likes to pay taxes at all, but the payroll tax - and he is being specific about the payroll tax - is a very tiny, small part of the burden on any company that operates, and it operates province-wide. Three million is wrong. Three million, maybe your number, but it is also wrong.

AN HON. MEMBER: What is it?

DR. GIBBONS: I know the figure. I know the exact figure for 1992. Now, I would also like you to make some comparisons. Right now there are four provinces in Canada that charge a payroll tax. Ontario is 1.9 -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

DR. GIBBONS: I will tell you later. Ontario's rate is 1.95 per cent, great, big Ontario. Quebec's rate, next door to us, is 3.75 per cent, our rate is 2.0 per cent and Manitoba is 2.25 per cent. There are three iron ore mines operating in Eastern Canada, two are in Labrador and one is in Quebec. The two that are in Labrador pay a payroll tax of 2.0 per cent, the one that is across the border, a few miles away in Quebec pays a payroll tax of 3.75 per cent. Payroll tax has zero effect.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) manpower.

DR. GIBBONS: The manpower may vary but that is affected for other reasons, the payroll tax is irrelevant and always has been irrelevant.

Mr. Speaker, we acknowledge the situation right now with the mining industry. We acknowledge that these are difficult times. Four years ago things were booming, right now things aren't going well in the mining industry, things aren't going well in the iron and steel sector in particular. All companies have had to do things to rationalize and remain competitive and I am pleased that our companies are remaining competitive.

As I said earlier today, I want to see them continue to operate until every ounce of iron ore is mined in the Labrador trough. And we, as a government, are doing lots of things to help the companies in these times of difficulty.

MR. A. SNOW: (Inaudible).


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

DR. GIBBONS: You are reading the Strategic Plan yourself. Just take a look at the dozen things in that plan that we are doing that affect the mining industry. We have said we will - we will - establish a mining infrastructure fund - we will do it - that will help with hydro lines, roads and related infrastructure. We will establish an exploration assistance program to help the industry, particularly the juniors, that need to do some drilling. You, yourself, have talked about examples like that in your own area. We want to set up such a fund to help the industry.

We will amend - and it is a "will" - we will amend the mineral act and regulations to encourage mineral exploration. As a matter of fact, directly applying to Labrador again, I am about to bring in some amendments that will reduce the exploration expenditure requirements in Labrador, to encourage more exploration in Labrador. We already have cancelled some fees that made up the $400,000. That was just the first step, one small tiny thing.

We are also working with the industry to determine and prepare a new mining act. We are looking at appropriate geological programs that are going to help.


DR. GIBBONS: I may tell you that later. We are looking at lots of things that are going to encourage the industry and help the industry in every way that we can, and every way that we are capable of. There are limitations to our capabilities, but where we can, we are going to do it.

There are some things in that plan, if you will look at them carefully, related to taxation, and we are just about through the review of the mining tax alone. We have just about completed the report. I hope to have some positive things come out of that. There is also a statement in that concerning other taxes that will affect the mining industry, reducing, for example, the corporate tax from 17 per cent to 16 per cent.

MR. A. SNOW: (Inaudible) raised two percentage points since you came in office!

DR. GIBBONS: We are looking at GST and RST. A big winner, if harmonization should proceed, one of the biggest winners in this Province will be the mining sector, calculations done in my department show, if not probably the biggest single winner. We are looking at lots of things that are going to help the industry and we will continue to do that.

I am not going to get into the exact amounts because to me that's a private matter between the company and the government, but your figure of $3 million is wrong, it is considerably high. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I will move the adjournment until tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. and, in so doing, inform my colleagues on both sides that we shall continue with this enlightening and illuminating, and enervating and ever-lengthening, debate on Supplementary Supply.

I move the adjournment, Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: Just for future reference for hon. members, I just want to remind hon. members, in case we get in trouble down the road, that on Wednesdays and Thursdays, adjournments are a bit different.

On Wednesday the Chair adjourns the House at 5:00 p.m. without question being put. On Thursday, what we were debating was a motion to adjourn, so the Chair just simply puts the question at this point.

It has been moved and seconded that all -

MR. ROBERTS: I want to say that I think I am aware of the Standing Orders, but I want to take an opportunity to tell hon. members what we propose to do tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair was aware of that.

MR. ROBERTS: I can only say, Your Honour, when we invented this Late Show back in the early 1970s, this was the practice we followed then and, unless you tell me not to, I propose to continue to follow it.

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