March 10, 1993                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS              Vol. XLI  No. 4

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I have questions for the Premier about the contradictory messages he and his ministers are giving the public about the public sector wage and benefits issue.

The President of Treasury Board announced that there would be layoffs and a reduction in wage rates because the Province has no choice. Then the Premier came on Province-wide television and proclaimed that there had never been a plan to reduce wage rates, but government would find the savings it seeks through unpaid leave. Now, we hear the minister responsible for employment saying there will be no unpaid leave, there will be no reduction in wage rates, there will be no layoffs, because government has found another way.

Will the Premier tell the people honestly what is going on?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, there is no confusion, only in the hon. member's mind, or that which the hon. member is seeking to instill in the minds of others.

The Province's position has been the same from the beginning. We have to reduce the public sector total compensation package. It has never been a proposal of the government to reduce wage rates or salary levels. That has never been.

Now, I saw a document delivered by a civil servant to a bargaining group, at one time, and the way it was phrased it talked about across-the-board wage reduction. That was not government policy and it was made clear immediately after, and everybody knew, including - here is a letter from Mr. Reid, on February 25, directed to me: 'Our approach was to help find a bridge to span a difficult fiscal year. It would appear that the intention of government is to reduce total compensation for the next fiscal year and the fiscal years beyond that.'

So even he knew and understood what we were talking about was not affecting wage rates or salary levels.

Now,I know the hon. member would like to create and sow some confusion, but it is not going to work. The bogeyman has been exposed and you can't recreate that same bogeyman.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Humber East, a supplementary.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I will ask the question again because the Premier ignored it, tried to avoid dealing with it. What is his plan regarding unpaid leave? What is his intention regarding reducing wage rates? What is his plan regarding layoffs? How does he propose to reduce the overall public sector compensation package and by how much?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I am not going to conduct collective bargaining on behalf of the public service through an interchange of questions and answers with the hon. member or any other hon. member, for that matter, nor am I going to conduct it through the medium of the media. It isn't going to be done that way. It is quite important that we stay with the process that is in place and I hope we will have a degree of success. To speak specifically to the question of the government's position with respect to unpaid leave - we have said clearly, unpaid leave, or layoff, or leave without pay, however you want to do it, is one possibility that might be taken into account. It is one of the things that have been put forward. We want to negotiate it with all the public sector unions. Our bargaining position is fairly simple.


PREMIER WELLS: There are a variety of things that add to the compensation, quite apart from the babble that you hear from mindless mouths, uncontrolled mouths opposite, quite apart from that kind of babble, Mr. Speaker. If they want to babble on I am quite prepared to answer the question -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: - or I am prepared to sit down and allow the House to record this constant babble but I am not prepared to have both take place at the same time, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, a supplementary to the Premier.

Is it the Premier's intention to cut $80 million, this year, the 1993-94 Budget year, from public sector wages and benefits?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the number we have been working with in the last week or ten days, has been $70 million and the objective is to try to find a balanced way to deal with these problems. Hon. members will remember that we took measures in this House in December that increased -

MR. R. AYLWARD: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, either remove the hon. member or stuff something in the (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. the Member for Kilbride to please restrain himself.

Order, please!

I was specifically asking the Member for Kilbride to restrain himself, that it sort of interferes with the even flow, the smooth flow of the answers.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to answer questions but I am not prepared to shout against mindless babble. I mean, I don't want the truth confused with mindless, stupid babble. I am prepared to answer the question but I not prepared to stand here and compete for noise level with mindless babble.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

How does the Premier expect people to believe his claim that he is not using the news media or going over the heads of the bargaining table people in trying to confuse people about the government's plans regarding public sector wages and benefits?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, my address to the Province last week dealt with the financial situation of the Province and explained, with the tax increases that were put in place last fall, why it was necessary now to find a solution to the balance of the problem - why it was necessary to find a solution to the balance of the problem through a reduction of that portion of governmental expenditures which consumes 68.5 per cent of the total expenditure that is within the discretion of government.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Are the on/off rollbacks, the on/off unpaid leave, the on/off lay offs part of a deliberate PR ploy leading up to the election campaign? Is this the same kind of scam the government carried out in November and last winter and the winter of 1991?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: For the first time, Mr. Speaker, in twenty years, this Province has had a government sufficiently honest not to run from the issues in the face of an election, to tell the people what it is. For the first time in twenty years, there has been a politically honest government, and the hon. members opposite can't take it.

MR. TOBIN: Why don't you run in Humber East? What changed your mind?


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

When the House comes to order, I will recognize the hon. member, not before.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Is this the same -

MR. SPEAKER: I have not recognized the hon. member yet, I am about to do so. I was waiting for the House to cool down.

The hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Is this the same Premier who promised to build new university campuses in Central Newfoundland and other parts of Newfoundland and expand Grenfell College immediately? Is this the same Premier who promised to bring mothers' sons home from the Mainland for jobs in Newfoundland? Is the same Premier?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, it is the same Premier who led the Liberal party's position that we intend to expand the campus of Memorial University in Corner Brook and build one in Central Newfoundland. But it's also the same Premier who faced the consequences of an economic recession and took the responsible decision to defer and delay that. Now we will be here the next time and we will implement our program in that. Make no mistake about it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: It's not the same Premier who promised to bring every mother's son home, because that's the fabrication of hon. members opposite. The Leader of the Opposition knows that because he very quickly crawled back off the limb and wouldn't put his seat on the line on the issue.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I'm not quite sure if the Premier is now prepared to challenge me in the district of Grand Falls. Is that what he's suggesting? Is that what he wants to do?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: Well if he is, I'm prepared to accept this challenge. If that's what it is I'm prepared to accept this challenge, Mr. Speaker.

MR. TOBIN: You said you were going to bring home every mother's son!

MR. SIMMS: Now, Mr. Speaker, I don't want to be diverted by these petty little remarks of the Premier. I want to ask him some serious questions about the Auditor General's report, which was tabled here in the House the last day or so.

In that report it shows that Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, which is run by the Economic Recovery Commission, as the board of directors, has gone completely out of control, if you read thoroughly through that document. By now the Premier would be aware that 40 per cent, according to the AG's report, of ENL contracts were not tendered. It also says - that's in contravention of the Public Tender Act. Now we also learn that's only half of the story. Because there are also serious doubts about the legality of the other 60 per cent that were tendered. I want to ask the Premier: is he aware that the Auditor General could not find any record of contracts tendered by ENL being opened in public with at least two witnesses present, as is required by the public tender regulations? If he's aware of it, how does he explain it?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I don't know if the hon. -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, the last part of the question, with -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible)!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

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

If hon. members are not happy with the question asked there's another opportunity to do so. The Leader of the Opposition has put a question and I'm having great difficulty trying to listen to the minister answer it because members are still asking questions.

The hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, I'll have to take the last portion of the question under advisement, with respect to the Public Tender Act. This is brand new to me. What the Auditor General did say, Mr. Speaker, was that there were some small contracts which were let that were less than $5,000, or just over $5,000. I think she cited five examples. We've put those controls in place now to deal with that. A form called Form B should have been issued by the corporation to the minister who would issue it to the Minister of Works, Services who in turn would table it in the House for exemption.

Now, with respect to the 42 per cent let us set the record straight, Mr. Speaker. Let us set it clearly straight. There is a $70.2 million investment portfolio out there under the name of Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador. When this government took over and proclaimed the new corporation on January 1, 1991 we combined three divisions. One was called the Rural Development Authority, Mr. Speaker, not set up by this government but set up by the previous government. The next one was their investment house called Newfoundland and Labrador Development Corporation, not set up by this government but set up by that government. Of the accounts that are labelled doubtful or accounts that we believe - we have not written them off - will be difficult to collect, there is an outstanding amount of $29.6 million. This is where the Auditor General, quite correctly gets her 42 per cent of the total $70 million. Now, of the 42 per cent 90 per cent of it came from the former government.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, those questions were asked and answered by the minister yesterday. That was not the question. The question was about tendering and obviously nobody over there is capable of answering the question. Let me ask the Premier another question. There is another area raised by the Auditor General that should cause him as leader of the government some serious alarm. The Auditor General says that Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador does not have a policy or guidelines for hiring consultants, no process to evaluate the qualification of candidates and no committee to review candidates and in effect they can hire whom they want. I want to ask the Premier if he can tell this House whether he or any of his ministers have told any Enterprise Newfoundland managers around this Province to hire certain political friends of theirs?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend is confusing the former government with the current government. This government has been open, it has been honest, it has been transparent. Every single job down to the last job, Mr. Speaker, was advertised publicly, put in papers across the Province, put on the radio. Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian - not a Tory, not a Liberal, not even a Socialist - every Newfoundlander and Labradorian had a shot at these jobs. They were open. They were public. They were honest, and they just do not understand it, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SIMMS: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I do not want to get drawn into that kind of silly debate by the minister. He knows far better than what he is saying. There are at least half a dozen former Liberal members or candidates or executive assistants who have patronage appointments with Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, no matter what he says.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: Let me ask the Premier a question. He is the Leader of the government. I am trying to ask him the question to respond on behalf of the government. I want to ask him about certain patronage practices that he must be aware of that have taken place at Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador. Specifically I want to ask him about the $75,000 consulting contract that the former executive assistant to the minister now responsible for ENL, and then responsible, got after he left his job with the minister - a stroke of amazing good fortune, I might say.

We understand that the individual, Mr. MacKenzie, set himself up as a consultant in Gander - this was all publicly reported - just days before he got a $75,000 contract with ENL.

I want to ask the Premier, as leader of the government and the person responsible for these policies: How can someone, with all of a few days in the consulting business, hook into a contract like that - a $75,000 contract like that? Did he have the job in his pocket before he left his job with the minister?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, every single job and contract at Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador - I know they find this difficult to take - but it was advertised publicly. I can table the newspapers. A board of three vice-presidents interviewed it. It was passed to the president. The board of directors accepted it.

Now I know they do not understand that, and you know why they do not understand it? Because let me tell you about this. Tom Hickey, Young Offenders Board, $65,000 - never advertised; Everett Osmond, the fellow I beat in St. Barbe, $45,000 to count pastures on the Northern Peninsula - never advertised. Andy Wells to the PUB - never advertised; Ed Maynard to Workers' Compensation - never advertised. Steve Delaney to the Royal Commission on Unemployment -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. FUREY: - never advertised. Martin Hammond -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. FUREY: - never advertised.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair does not want the minister -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I can go back with Gordon Seabright - never advertised, Chairman of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal; Ambrose Stoyles, Chairman of the Social Assistance Appeal Tribunal - never advertised.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SIMMS: Roger Simmons, Chairman of the Agriculture Marketing Board - never advertised.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the Leader of the Opposition to take his place.

The Chair stopped the minister for doing the same thing. I can only do the same thing with the Leader of the Opposition and ask him to get on with the question.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I will not get into that game. I will keep putting my questions to the Premier, who continuously refuses. One of these times I will ask him a question that he will have no choice but to answer; but let me ask the Premier this: Can he tell the House who in Enterprise Newfoundland, in the office in Gander, awarded this contract to Mr. MacKenzie? Was it the vice-president for central region, the former campaign manager for the Liberal party, Fraser Lush, who got his $80,000 a year plum job from the Premier? Is that who awarded that particular contract, doing it as a favour for the government in return?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I have a general statement. The specifics I will ask the minister responsible to answer because I simply do not know; but just by way of general comment -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WELLS: Just to quell the mindless babble that comes from the other side, let me deal with it in the way in which I have dealt with it in the past.

Mr. Speaker, this government was determined, and still is determined, to make sure that we fill all of the positions in the public sector with the best people available, without regard to their political background. That has been our credo and we have maintained it.

Now we have been very severely criticized by a lot of Liberals who would like to have seen a little vengeance, but that has been our position. I have stood in this House time and time again, and I will stand as many times as is necessary in the future, to say that we will not refuse to appoint people because they do have a Liberal background, if they deserve it, merely because mindless mouths opposite will continue to babble this kind of unsustainable nonsense.

Mr. Speaker, it is inevitable that a number of people who are appointed will have a Liberal background. It is inevitable that a number of people will have an NDP background. It is inevitable that a number of people will have a PC background. It is inevitable that this will occur, because I refuse to be goaded -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

AN HON. MEMBER: Just a minute now, fellows.

PREMIER WELLS: I refuse to be goaded. I refuse to be goaded into failing to appoint people on the basis of fair and balanced treatment of everybody merely because bigoted politicians would try to make this kind of hay out of it. We're going to do what's right. We've made it and we will continue to do it. I will tell this House, Mr. Speaker, that as long as the government is here we will provide for appointments on a fair and balanced basis without regard to political affiliation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: Caught you again! Guilty again!

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, if ever there was an admission of guilt, there it was. The best example ever.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SIMMS: You talk about skate around. I have a supplementary for the Premier. I was asking him about the MacKenzie story. Surely he's not unaware of this particular issue. Because it does show, I think, how Enterprise Newfoundland does operate. Not only do they ignore the Public Tender Act, as the Auditor General says, they ignore the conflict of interest act.

I want to ask the Premier: is he aware that under the conflict of interest regulations - and this is something the Premier is responsible for - Mr. MacKenzie would not be able to receive a contract from his former employer until one year after his resignation, without first obtaining the approval of Cabinet?

He got a contract in less than six months. So I would like to ask the Premier: given the guidelines under conflict of interest, did Cabinet give approval for that particular contract, $75,000, to be awarded to Mr. MacKenzie?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I can only say we're following the same conflict of interest guidelines. About this specific incident I have no knowledge whatsoever, and that's the specifics that I asked the minister to answer. So I'll now ask the minister who's responsible to do it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

PREMIER WELLS: Not that I know of.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, Cabinet didn't approve it, no.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker -

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

The Chair has ruled before about the transferring of answers. If the Opposition doesn't want to hear the minister well then we won't hear the answer. Does the Opposition want to hear the minister?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Doesn't want to hear the minister.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, yes, the supplementary is to the Premier.

AN HON. MEMBER: We don't want to hear (Inaudible)!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

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

Obviously the minister didn't hear -

MR. SIMMS: The Premier (Inaudible) -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. SPEAKER: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: The Premier gave (Inaudible) -

MR. SPEAKER: No. Didn't want the answer, so....

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The answer was given by the Premier. He said he didn't know. The question was: did Cabinet give approval? The Premier said he didn't know. So if he doesn't know, he's the head of the Cabinet, who should know?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the Leader of the Opposition to get on with his supplementary.

MR. SIMMS: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. When this story first broke about Mr. MacKenzie's contract the minister said that the conflict of interest regulations didn't apply because his executive assistant wasn't an employee of Enterprise Newfoundland. Now what hogwash. Because the Premier would know that the individual was the minister's executive assistant. His responsibility encompassed all of the minister's responsibilities, including Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador. Wouldn't the Premier agree that this smacks of conflict of interest and that Enterprise Newfoundland is looking like a patronage trough more and more every day in this Province?

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, it's amazing how far they will reach. How desperate that they really are. Imagine attacking Susan Hollett, Vice-President of the eastern region, a competent woman who went to the London School of Economics, and we appointed out there. Are you against appointing a competent woman to the eastern region to run this entire (Inaudible)? Imagine attacking the good character of Larry Guinchard, a chartered accountant who won the job fairly and squarely.

With respect to Mr. MacKenzie, who is a decent man - and anybody who knows him knows that he's a decent, honourable and hard-working man. A very decent human being. When the hon. Leader of the Opposition, 'Mr. Patronage' himself, raised this out in the public domain, I asked the President of Enterprise Newfoundland, I said: would you please ask your lawyers if this indeed is a conflict of interest? He checked with them and reported back to me and said: no, Mr. Minister this is not a conflict of interest. This is not a conflict of interest.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FUREY: Now, Mr. Speaker, I was about to say, the hon. member stood up and gave a couple of flimsy little - you know, how can he stand there with a straight face, having sat in a cabinet that appointed somebody who was defeated in St. Barbe to count sheep pastures along the Northern Peninsula for four years, at a cost of $45 thousand a year, how can he do that with a straight face? Also, the Member for Kilbride, who was the Minister of Agriculture, appointing the former president of his party to look after the milk marketing board, how can he sit there with a straight face? Mr. Speaker, we do not have to answer to this crowd who are the mothers of all givers of patronage.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you. My question is to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and concerns the situation in the St. John's city council workers strike.

PREMIER WELLS: I would like to hear the question.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair would as well. The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: I would like to ask the minister what discussions, efforts and involvement he had at the time of the amalgamation decisions being made by his government to look after the problems that are created by amalgamation with the City of St. John's workers in the issue of contracting out. I know the minister was very involved in past legislation to look after the situation involving the St. John's Fire Department, why did he, his department and his government not look after that issue as well and avoid the very serious strike that we now have?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair has recognized the hon. Minister and the House should do the courtesy of listening to the question and listening to the answer.

The hon. the Minister.

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I appreciate the question from the hon. member although I am a little bit at a lost as to where it is coming from or what it is supposed to accomplish. I did, even though there was a bit of noise, I did hear it and I think I understood it, as to why did I not have some involvement back when the amalgamation was done to straighten out something about services in the Goulds. At that point in time I can tell the hon. member, clearly and the rest of the House and the public through this particular medium, that I did not have any involvement in the discussions relating to the amalgamation of the City of St. John's. As to what would happen in terms of services, that was never part of the mandate and I had no involvement in it. I had no idea that it was going to become an issue in a contract dispute between the City and it's outside workers, so I do not understand the basis of the question. I had no participation at that time.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, on a slightly different tack, the minister may well be aware of some of the difficulties between the parties in this dispute. I ask the minister whether he is aware that immediately upon the commencement of the strike the City gave notice to the carrier of a group plan, Blue Cross, to cancel existing insurances, life insurance, drug plans and that sort of thing, even though under the Labour Relations Act they would still be considered employees. Is the minister aware of that and would he undertake to consider having a look at changing the Labour Relations Act to prevent employers in such situations from depriving people of continuing benefits that the unions commonly paid for? I know the government itself, when it is involved in strike situations, makes arrangements with unions to look after the continuation of such programs -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. member to please get on with it.

MR. HARRIS: Would the minister look into that issue and consider passing legislation to ensure that this type of thing does not happen again?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you again, Mr. Speaker. I will certainly check Hansard so I can get the details of the issue that the hon. member just raised and see if there is anything to look into because I will openly and honestly admit to the House, it is the first time I have heard it raised, it has not come to the attention of our department, either as a concern of the workers involved or the City or from any other source. This is the first time that I have heard the issue raised. I will check and see if it has surfaced anywhere in the department and has been dealt with, other than through my attention and I will check and see if there is something that we should be looking into in a little more detail.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East. There is time for a quick supplementary.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I wonder if the minister could advise the House what efforts he has made and his department intends to make, to try and bring about a resolution to the situation in St. John's that has been going on for quite some time causing great hardship to people both on strike and the citizens of St. John's?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would just suggest because the time for Question Period has expired I understand, unless the hon. member has been absent from the City or the Province, he would know of the intervention that I tried to be helpful with over the past weekend and that that matter is unfolding as it should, and I wish the parties success in trying to resolve their differences.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table the annual report of the Economic Recovery Commission.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Member for St. John's East asked the Premier some questions relating to four organizations which occupy the King George V Institute and what was the specific situation surrounding the notification of those organizations in that building. Today, I am prepared to table the notifications that have been sent to those organizations. The first notification, dated June 19, 1992, is a letter outlining the government's policy on space, as well as a letter to the tenants of the Harvey Road building and a letter to the tenants of the King George V building, advising them that the King George V building would be closed as of March 31 of this year and advising them of the new government policy.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a letter from the President of the Newfoundland Safety Council to myself concerning the organizations in the King George V building and I would also like to table my response to that letter, dated January 26, 1993, again advising them of the policy and the closure of the building. I would, as well, like to table the same response from the Director of Accommodations to the other three organizations advising them of the same thing. I will table the letter sent to me February 11 from the four organizations and my response to the four organizations, dated March 2, 1993, again advising them of government's policy with respect to the King George V Institute. As well, I would like to table the response to the three organizations which have been sponsored by the Department of Health which outlines the degree of sponsorship the Department of Health is willing to provide.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, in response to a question from the Member for Humber East, on Monday, in my absence, concerning maintenance payments to single mothers: Our policy is that maintenance payments now are consistent to single mothers and the policy has been changed to reflect that. We treat it similar to all other income from other sources. Whether it be pensions or any other income, it is treated equitably across the board. Actually, the question is a very relevant and important one because our highest case numbers are in this area. We presently have some 9000 single mothers in the Province receiving assistance and 30 per cent of our caseload is in this category.

Mr. Speaker, in Corner Brook, as the hon. member knows, we have the enforcement agency which attempts to enforce the regulations and ensure that maintenance payments are made on time. This agency, of course, has been an improvement over previous procedures but we still have situations where maintenance is not forthcoming in a timely way. We are working with the Justice Department now to see that we tighten up those procedures and see that maintenance is paid.

Mr. Speaker, I might add that just recently we have had difficulty with the moratorium package in respect of some thirty-six men, where we can't enforce regulations and garnishee wages because of federal regulations - difficulty in collecting from these sources. It is a very important area and one that we are constantly working on with Justice and trying to make sure that these single mothers who count on these maintenance payments receive their payments in a timely fashion, and therefore we don't have to have them falling back on social assistance as frequently as they do from time to time.


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

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today on behalf of 2,014 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. I will read the prayer of the petition, Mr. Speaker: 'To the hon. House of Assembly in Parliament assembled, the petition of the undersigned residents of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador humbly showeth:

Whereas the Chronic Pain Clinic at the Health Sciences Centre is operational for those on Workers' Compensation only; and

Whereas other chronic pain sufferers in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador must now pay for equivalent services offered within the Province; and

Whereas Newfoundlanders and Labradorians cannot bear the cost of travel outside the Province to chronic pain clinics;

Wherefore, expanding the Chronic Pain Clinic at the Health Sciences Centre to accept all chronic pain sufferers on the recommendation of their physicians and not just those receiving workers' compensation and, as in duty bound, your petitioners will ever pray.'

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to stand in the House today because this petition, even though it contains the names of 2,014 Newfoundlanders, was primarily put together by one individual, who is in the House today after a long period of time and on his own, because of his suffering, not associated with workers' compensation. And I compliment the minister responsible for workers' compensation, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, for putting together this pain clinic, commonly known as the Flynn Clinic, to handle the tremendous amount of back injuries and what have you that have taken place over the years; and this government have taken the initiative to put that in place. However, in doing that, Mr. Speaker, what has obviously transpired is we have learned how to handle those who are injured in the workplace but we have not addressed those who were not injured in the workplace but suffer the same consequences.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I have been affiliated with Occupational Health and Safety for twenty-seven years and I have seen the horrendous amount of pain and suffering that people have gone through. Let me say to this hon. House that this clinic addresses not only the medication associated with pain but it deals with the social, psychological, psychiatric problems associated with those who are in constant pain.

Now Mr. Hubert Ryall took it upon himself because Mr. Ryall was one of those chronic pain sufferers and had nowhere to go, only to one doctor to receive medication. But, on the understanding that each and every other province throughout the country do have these pain clinics in place to support those who are not on workers' compensation, he took it upon himself and not only did he get 2,014 signatures on this petition, Mr. Speaker, but he found sixty-five pieces of correspondence from communities throughout Labrador and throughout the Island part of the Province to support this chronic pain clinic. He found thirty-six unions, organizations, companies supporting the petition, chiropractors, psychologists, general practitioners and, of course, the 2,014. So, if you look at what Mr. Ryall has done by himself to get this petition into the House of Assembly, and to make sure that this government understands the predicament, you are looking at organizations and people who represent over 50,000 people. That is quite an undertaking for any individual and I commend Mr. Ryall for his effort.

I want, also, in respect of this petition, to thank the Minister of Health, who has been very receptive, not only to Mr. Ryall and others, but receptive to me, as the Member for St. John's South. I think this is needed and it is something we can offer all Newfoundlanders, because I am sure most of us are associated with people who have suffered chronic pain and we see them every single day; if we don't see them ourselves, we hear from them, as hon. members. So it is a great privilege for me, Mr. Speaker, to stand and support this petition so ably put together by Mr. Ryall and I would hope that we will have some positive news very shortly.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Just before recognizing the hon. member - the Chair should have done this a little earlier. With respect to welcoming some students we apologize to the hon. member, we won't start timing him out of this time that I am doing.

On behalf of hon. members, I would like to welcome to the public galleries today, thirteen pupils from St. Simon/St. Jude School in François, in the district of Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir. The students are accompanied by their teachers, Mr. Terry Baker and Ms. Tammy Taylor.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. DOYLE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am very pleased to stand today to support the petition presented by the hon. the Member for St. John's South. I am very familiar, as a matter of fact, with the efforts of Mr. Hubert Ryall in this regard. Over the months he has been attempting to secure the services of a chronic pain facility and to get treatment himself for chronic pain. As a matter of fact, I remember speaking to him back a number of months ago on this particular issue.

I want to make two points with respect to this particular issue and this particular petition that the Member for St. John's South presented today, and that is the cost of health care generally, not only in Newfoundland and Labrador, but all across the nation. It is astronomical, as everyone knows, and governments at all levels are attempting to trim costs and what have you in the health care system.

Most of the cost associated with the health care system today has to do with managing pain, and visiting doctors, and buying prescription drugs, in order to manage pain, to help those people who are in pain; but we are told that pain today can be scientifically managed in an effective way, and it is an effective means to reduce the overall cost in the health care system.

So, Mr. Speaker, it would seem to me to make an awful lot of sense for government, for the Department of Health, to invest some of its money in chronic pain facilities across the Province, because not only people who are on workers' compensation deserve the benefit of having their pain managed. There are a whole lot more people out there, as well, who are in pain and cannot secure the services that should be available at chronic pain facilities.

The petitioners draw attention to the fact that the Workers' Compensation Commission are actively involved in that, and the question you have to ask is: Why are they involved in it? Well, quite simply because it helps the recipients of workers' compensation to get back in the work force a little bit more quickly than they normally would, it reduces the cost of medical treatment to the Workers' Compensation Commission, and it reduces the length of time that these people will be on workers' compensation. So the overall benefit to the commission and to the economy generally is easily seen.

Forgetting about that - forgetting about the cost of the health care system, and the cost to governments and what have you, let us think about the compassion that we should all have for people who are suffering pain and who don't have the facilities available to them to have that pain relieved.

Mr. Speaker, hopefully now when the Budget is brought down, some provision will be made within the Department of Health to have a chronic pain facility made available to all people in the Province, not only those who are on workers' compensation.

I support the petition and I support the efforts of Mr. Ryall in this regard, and we wish him well in his efforts to have a chronic pain facility established. He certainly deserves a great deal of credit for the effort he has put into it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I, too, would like to support this petition that has been so very ably presented by my colleague, the Member for St. John's South, and supported so well by the Member for Harbour Main.

I want to congratulate Mr. Ryall and all of those other people who signed the petition and who are instrumental in bringing it to the floor of the House today.

Finding funds for new ventures is a very difficult task in government, but let me say that April 19, 1993 should be an historic day for people in this Province who have chronic pain and are not covered by workers' compensation. On April 19, that clinic will admit the first people there who are not part of workers' compensation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, let me just indicate who this clinic is for. It is for people who have finished seeing their doctors. After you have seen your doctors and you have everything cured that can be cured, and you are still left with chronic pain - you have pain - this clinic is to manage that pain, to control it, to enable people to be able to fulfil their lives as best they can.

In that clinic there is a team of individuals. First of all, there is a physiotherapist who can perhaps strengthen some muscles, maybe relieve the muscles that are giving pain, or whatever is causing it. That would be one person who is there. Then there is an occupational therapist who perhaps can devise better ways of doing certain things, so again, the pain is not exacerbated by various postures and so on. There is also a social worker who can discuss with some people the pressures that are on people that may aggravate pain. Then there is a psychologist, as well, and a psychologist assistant. These, together with a consulting physician, form the pain clinic.

The procedure is that people will be referred by a physician, with certain criteria, and letters will be going out around the Province to all physicians indicating how this will happen. Then, the physicians will refer people to the clinic, and the clinic staff will assess the individuals to see if they can possibly benefit from what the clinic does. Perhaps not everybody can benefit - maybe because their treatment is not complete yet.

Anyway, the people will be chosen. It is not going to be a very large number of people right now because we are expanding what workers' compensation has there to include one or two people each five-week session. It is a five-week session, where people go all day or most of the day for treatment. The appropriate treatment is designed for the individual. Then, over the next year, we will be evaluating this. We will have an appropriate evaluation to see how effective it is and we will see where we go from there, whether it is something we should expand or whatever. But we will be starting in a small way on April 19.

I want to thank very much, Mr. Ryall, for coming to see me in my office and bringing this to my attention. I first noted it when he was commenting in the press. He came, and then Mr. Murphy, the Member for St. John's South came, and I believe somebody else came to my office, and we had a good discussion. I had previously visited the Miller Centre where this rehabilitation clinic is, and had been very much impressed with what I saw there. So it was very timely when we all got together. The problem from there on in was to try to work to get the funds available to start an expansion in this clinic.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Orders of the Day

Private Members' Day

MR. SPEAKER: It being Wednesday, Private Members' Day, I call on the hon. the Member for Grand Bank to introduce and proceed with his resolution.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise to propose and debate the resolution that I gave notice of on Monday. I will just run through it again for members:

"WHEREAS the processing sector of the fishing industry is within provincial jurisdiction;

AND WHEREAS the restructuring of the processing sector of the fishery to take full advantage of opportunities for the manufacture of higher valued fish products is our best prospect to rebuild the economic value of the fishery;

AND WHEREAS the Provincial Government has done nothing to develop the potential in the processing sector for new investment and job creation;

BE IT RESOLVED that the government immediately determine the amount of excess capacity in our current processing plant inventory, and how much of that capacity can be converted to value-added secondary processing;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that that the government immediately put a plan in place to help primary processors and new investors diversify into the production of value-added products, including the utilization of by-products and other utilized species.

Mr. Speaker, it is a resolution and a thought, that I felt very strongly about for some time now. It is highlighted by the decline in the fish resources off our shores. We all know the state of - not only our northern cod, we know what has happened to our caplin, we know what is happening to the flounder stocks. If you follow the news at all and are in touch with the happenings in the fishing industry over the last couple of months particularly, you see there is a very alarming situation that has developed as well with flat fish stocks. As a matter of fact, where FPI last year finished catching flounder, there was flounder there, this year they cannot find flounder, so it is a very alarming situation.

I guess we should have really took the signal very seriously when we encountered the problem with caplin but of course we said; oh well, that is only the caplin. Then we had the northern cod crisis which we are now going through and now it seems the flounder. So, it leaves one to wonder what is going to be next. What is going to be next? That is three species, three very important species of fish for the incomes of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and very, very important of course to the general revenues of the Province. So that is why, Mr. Speaker, I think that with whatever fish that is left there, we all hope it recovers and we hope it recovers fast. We hope it recovers fast but I am sure that we all are feeling that it is certainly not going to recover very much by the time that the NCARP Program comes to an end. Now hopefully the NCARP Program will be extended but we cannot guarantee that, at least we cannot, not here, but if we are talking about another year, I do not think we are going to see much of an increase or a regeneration of our fish stocks by that time.

So what is the other avenue that we, as a Province, have available to us? To try and generate more employment or to make the most of the fish resources that are there, to bring them to our ports and to create as much employment as we possibly can from that very limited resource. That is why I think we have to get into value-added or more commonly referred to, secondary processing. We have to do that for two reasons; one is the very important issue of saving or creating as much employment as possible; number two is, it will buoy up, financially buoy up and make more viable the fishing industry and of course it all has very important and significant implications for the financial situation that we, as a Province, find ourselves in.

So that is why, Mr. Speaker, I am very, very strong in suggesting to the Minister of Fisheries and government that we should very quickly look at the situation in the Province with the processing capacity that is available. I think we pretty well know where that is, what it does and the traditional species that are processed and look at some ways of seeing if we can value-add to whatever limited amount of resource that are going to come into those plants.

Now I see the Member for Eagle River looking up under his eyes very curiously over there and he made some remarks the other day in the Throne Speech. Of course, Mr. Speaker, there has been a call over the last number of months for the Province to put in a plan to look at the processing capacity, the number of fish plants, where they are located and I guess the processors and the fishing industry have been asking the Province to bring in a plan or make decisions as to what plants should process what, what plants should be left open, hopefully no plants will have to be closed but if you look at what the Premier said last Thursday in his response to the Throne Speech. He said; so, the biggest challenge facing government is how to plan for and manage the fishery of the future. How to cope with the circumstances that will exist a little more than twelve months from now, when supposedly the Cod Moratorium ends.

Now, perhaps the Cod Moratorium will end in twelve months but certainly, I mean I am sure we are all in touch enough with the realities of what is happening out there in our waters, that there is no way that we are going to see a replenishing of those fish stocks in that length of time. So please God, that we will have a government in Ottawa at the time who will extend the Moratorium period but there is no guarantee of that. Hopefully they will extend that compensation period because if not -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: The Minister of Forestry says it may be a Liberal government, well perhaps it will be but even if it is a Liberal government there is no guarantee that they are going to be as generous with NCARP benefits as the present federal government has been. They may not be as generous with NCARP I say to the minister. I hope they are if they are there. I do not hope they are there but if they are there I hope they are just as generous and they extend it, but my worst fears are they will not because it is a significant amount of money.

The Premier went on to say: does anybody in this Chamber believe for one moment that we are going to go back to a 200,000 ton TAC, I say to the Member for Eagle River, because when he read the resolution the other day it was like he took some exception to it, like I was suggesting some bad things which I was certainly not. What I am trying to do with this resolution and with things I said publicly over the last number of months is try to get government to come up with a plan where we value-add to these raw materials that we are bringing ashore and either keep some of the employment that we have, or hopefully, if it got good enough, that we would increase employment, which I think is a long-term dream. We are not going to see that tomorrow either, but at least keep as many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians working as we possibly can with our limited resources. Now, that is what this resolution is about I say to the Member for Eagle River.

Now, the Premier said: does anybody in this Chamber believe for one moment that we are going back to a 200,000 ton TAC? I say that is a very good question. We all hope that we do over time but even with things going very, very well I say to members in this Chamber, with the way things are going to date it is going to be quite awhile before we get anywhere close to that. Then the Premier said: we will be lucky if we get 40,000 to 50,000 tons a year from now. Now, I do not know if they recorded that correctly in Hansard. Maybe he said 50,000 tons a year from now. I do not know, but he said, a year from now, if that means on into the future. It may not even be open in a year for now, he says. It may not even be open, talking about northern cod. What do we do then?.. he said. This is the major challenge facing this government. That is true, it is. It is a big challenge. It is a big challenge for both governments. It is a big challenge for all of us because we can all look in any area of our Province and see fish plants that not too long ago were open that are now idle, that are closed. We have all this great capacity there with no one working there because of a lack of fish.

I think the Premier is right, hopefully in twelve months time we will be able to have a TAC of 200,000 tons but I think we have to be realistic. We will be lucky in ten years, in my estimation, if we get anywhere close to that total allowable catch again. I hope I am wrong on that one but we have to be realistic. We have to try and deal with it in a realistic manner. That is the reason for my resolution, Mr. Speaker. I think that with the limited resources available, regardless of specie, we as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, with some help from the government, have to try to get as much value as possible from those limited resources. We create employment to make it more valuable for sale in the marketplaces. We do not ship the raw materials off to the US to be further processed, to be breaded, or to be put in packages for the microwaves, that we gear up to do that here in Newfoundland and Labrador with whatever species we are talking about.

I honestly do not know how in the name of God we are going to keep the Province together if we do not do those kind of things. I think we really have to look seriously at it. I put this resolution on today because we hear so much about the economy. This probably has more to do with the Newfoundland economy than anything else, our fishing industry, and we have to make the most of what is left now and continue in that vein as the stocks rebuild. Hopefully, at the end of the day with the stocks regenerating and with us more into value-added and secondary processing, that one of these days in the future we will have a stronger fishing industry, certainly than we have today because it is not very strong today, a stronger fishing industry than we had a few years and I think that can happen.

Of course the biggest question is, what is going to happen to our fish resources? If they do not recover then all this I am talking about will help some but it will not help as much as I hope it will help if we put in proper plans and do the things I am suggesting we do. I have to be very sincere and honest, Mr. Speaker. I am very, very concerned today for the fish resources off our shores. There are times and days, particularly these last few months, where I wonder, as Dr. Harris said, if we have not gone too far. When you hear the stories of the FPI boats that I am most familiar with going out and they can't find a fish, or very few fish. When I hear tell of research vessels that are going from one end of the banks to the other, and have difficulty finding enough fish to even put tags on, that tells me just how very serious it is. In areas where you could always go and find some fish.

But now they can't even find it there. So it makes you wonder what's gone on out there. What's gone on out there. I think personally, and I've said it, that there's something above and beyond foreign overfishing, which we all know has contributed. Above and beyond the problems that our own domestic efforts have caused, both inshore and offshore, deep-sea. There's something above and beyond that which has gone on in the oceans. I think there's something above and beyond the problems caused by the seal herds.

Having said that, we all know that those three factors have certainly contributed to the problem. I believe that there's something above and beyond and bigger than all those three that have got us to the problems that we're in in our fishery today. I think there's something seriously environmentally wrong. Of course, if there's something seriously environmentally wrong, first of all finding out what's wrong is no small task when you look at that great ocean and the problems with the world that of course are affecting our oceans as well as other oceans in the world.

So these are the concerns that I have for it all, Mr. Speaker. I really think that there is a role here for the provincial government to put a plan in place to help and assist with value-added products which will hopefully take up some of the slack from those people who've been put out of the fishery now because of the declining resources. Who will take up the slack and keep some of them employed by having value-added products. Hopefully it will make the fishing industry, the processors, a little stronger financially and more viable.

If we can get that on the right track - we do have the capacity there now, there's no doubt about that. There's certainly enough capacity in the Province, without doubt. I would like to see the Minister of Fisheries - he told me in the fall that he had some group looking at the situation and he hoped to have a consultant's report. I think it was in November. I haven't heard tell of it yet. There must be capacity that's out and about now that, with minor modifications and probably some equipment, could get into some secondary processing, value-added stuff, that would buoy up the fishing industry, create a bit of employment and make the processors viable, and keep the industry alive.

Of course, very importantly as well, it will help out the provincial economy. Because as we all know, one of the biggest problems with our economy today is that there are too few people working. There are too many people laid off. There are too many people on social assistance. There are too many people on the unemployment insurance. That's the problem out there today. I'm sure we all look at our own areas and see just how serious it is.

When I look at my district, from St. Lawrence around to Garnish, and I've done this, and I calculate how many people are receiving NCARP benefits, and how many people are receiving unemployment insurance, and how many people are receiving social assistance, it is nothing short of frightening. Very alarming statistics. When you've got full communities - outside of a few government jobs, provincial or federal - that are existing on some kind of support payments, from one source or the other. You go right through the district. Every community there. That's the story. I'm sure most of you are no different than what we are. I know the Minister of Social Services was down some time the fall and we had a quick chat, went down to St. Lawrence when we were unveiling that memorial down there. He told me then about what he expected to happen in our region of the Province in a matter of months. How his case load was going to escalate. That's what's out and about there.

So what I'm saying is, even though the fishery is in trouble, we know there's a resource crisis, let's try and make the most of what's there now. If we can build on that as our resources rebuild and improve, then we won't be just doing the primary processing where there's fewer jobs, where the value is not there for the product that you sell to someone else to value add to it. That's the problem we have with the fishery, is we're primary producers. We're sending our raw materials - we fillet it, we trim it, we pack it, and we freeze it, and we send it off to someone else to their fancy plants who hire hundreds of thousands of people to value add. To make their fish sticks and their t.v. dinners, and all their other stuff.

Think of all the jobs we're losing, and we are supplying the raw material. Why can't we do it here? Can you imagine how many jobs we could create in this Province if we did that? Then with the tariffs coming off the products and so on, it is even more enticing to do it in Newfoundland and Labrador.

So, Mr. Speaker, that is my reason for introducing the resolution, and I look forward to hearing what other members have to say about it. I am sure they must have some interest and some concern as well about it. I just hope that by doing this we can at least engineer some thinking and hopefully get some results from government. I realize that government is not flushed with dollars. I know that, but I think we have come to a stage -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Mr. Simms.

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible) tell Mr. Simms. Mr. Simms knows that. Mr. Simms knows that. But it is interesting, I was watching something on television last night from the U.S. with President Clinton, and there is a debate there, of course, over budgets these days. There are big concerns in the U.S. that if they cut expenditure any more they are going to further, further, damage and injure the American economy, I say to members opposite.

When I heard that last night it triggered very quickly in my mind and it made me wonder, when you think about the Newfoundland economy, all we have heard the last four years is cutbacks and layoffs. The dollar is not worth as much anymore. What have we done to the Newfoundland economy only shrunk it more?

As soon as I heard that concern being raised in the U.S. last night on the news channels by Democrats and Republicans, I might say, both camps have the same concern, it made me very quickly reflect back to our own situation.

Mr. Speaker, I am just about out of time right now. I will be able to finish up the resolution later on today. I want to put the resolution before hon. members. I know there are some who cannot wait to speak on it, but I would be very interested in hearing the response from members opposite, particularly the Minister of Fisheries, because it is something about which I feel very strongly. I think we have to move on it before much longer or else our situation with our fishery and our provincial economy is going to get even worse.

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. the Premier, I have a note here bringing attention to the presence in the gallery of a long-time elected official of Crow Head who was recently awarded the thirty year pin by the Federation of Mayors and Municipalities, and I refer to Mr. Walter Elliott.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have an opportunity to speak to this resolution because it will enable me, it will provide me, with an opportunity to deal with a broader issue - but first to deal with the specifics of the resolution. Some aspects of it we can agree with. Other aspects of it are dead wrong and we have to say so.

Whereas the processing sector of the fishing industry is within provincial jurisdiction - yes, yes, yes, it is a statement of the very obvious, but what does it have to do with anything in reality? When you look down: the government immediately put a plan in place to help primary processors - primary processors. It goes on to say: and new investors. I understand that - and new investors diversify, help primary processors.

Now, Mr. Speaker, yes, we have responsibility in jurisdictional terms for the processing sector, but why is the processing sector in such trouble today? Why is it closed? Why is it having these problems? Because we did not provide help to diversify? No, that has nothing to do with it. Why is it in the problem? Because it has no fish to process. When are they going to learn that? When are they going to acknowledge that? It has a minimal amount compared to what it should have. It has some, but it has a minor fraction of what it ought to have. Whose responsibility is that? The provincial government? No. It is federal. Then why do the Opposition insist that the poor taxpayers of this Province take the responsibility for relieving the federal government of it's burden? Why do they want to penalize our taxpayers? They have a lot to answer for when we get to an election, Mr. Speaker, if that is their policy!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: This resolution is that the government immediately put a plan in place to help primary processors and new investors diversify into production of value-added products.

Now the minister will deal with the plans and what has been done and the opportunities and everything else and what is being done in place, I will leave that to the minister to deal with in detail, but I want the House and the public of this Province to recognize that this is a federally-caused problem, and why the Opposition keeps insisting that the poor taxpayers of this Province should subsidize the federal government and take them off the hook, I will never understand if I live to be a thousand. Why, Mr. Speaker, why? Is there any kind of an explanation for that? The only think I can think of, is the stalking horse for Mr. Crosbie, the federal Minister of Fishery, the stalking horse is for Crosbie, to take him off the hook.

Now, Mr. Speaker, for five years this party now forming the government but before we were the government, when we sat on the opposite side of the House, stated our position very clearly with respect to joint management. It has been our position declared and outlined for at least five years, spelled out very clearly, Mr. Speaker, that has been our position. Mr. Speaker, we stated it when we were in Opposition, we explained the defects of the then government's proposal, we stated the defects very clearly. Now, Mr. Speaker, for the last three-and-a-half years we have tried to persuade the federal government to come to their senses and recognize the problems in the fisheries of this Province, to recognize, Mr. Speaker, that prior to 1949, this Province, country as it was then, ran its fisheries reasonably well. It did not devastate the stocks as was done, but shortly after Confederation, when administration was transferred to Ottawa, the stocks came under attack both by other Canadian users and foreign users and the stocks were virtually devastated, so that the inshore fishery which used to take 200,000 to 250,000 tons a year, was reduced to 35,000 tons. Okay, that is what happened, under federal management exclusively, do not ever forget that.

We put pressure on and other parts of the world did too, and the Law of the Sea came in and we thought we were going to solve our problems, and, Mr. Speaker, I will give full credit to the former government, they argued strongly and made the case. They put forward a terrific proposal in 1979 to the federal government that warned them: now we are on the way back, for God's sake do not increase the TAC too quickly, increase it gradually so our fishermen will have a chance to expand and catch the fish. The former government was determined and I acknowledge it and I give them credit for it, and they pursued that, Mr. Speaker, they pursued that course of action and then, Mr. Speaker, the federal government, what did they do? They doubled the TAC from 67,000 tons to 130,000 tons, one year, they ignored the provincial government, nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, the provincial government persevered and I give former Premier Peckford and his ministers -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: I am making the speech, the member Opposite can speak in his turn. I ask, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to be heard.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

PREMIER WELLS: Now, Mr. Speaker -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is a procedure that hon. members can speak, there is a procedure to do that; the hon. member will be given his turn and he should allow other members to carry on in a sensible manner.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: There is nothing quite as mindless, Mr. Speaker, as whistling. If babbling is mindless, whistling is even worse and the hon. member makes no impact by doing it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I was giving the former government the credit that I believe they deserve, because, Mr. Speaker, they stood up for the protection of the Newfoundland fishery and I give them credit and acknowledge that, and they kept trying to resist it but the federal government kept increasing it, and it was not just the former Liberal government, I give them full share of responsibility as well, the next government that came in power, of which the present Minister of Fisheries has been a part ever since it was there, they followed on the same course, increased the TAC year after year after year, and the former government in this Province tried to resist.

They did their very best, they put forward the arguments and told them they were wrecking the fishery, told them that they could not rely on the science to the extent in which they were, that it would cause devastating problems and as late as 1988, Mr. Speaker, the government in Ottawa decided they wanted to increase the TAC from 255,000 tons to 295,000 tons, and the former premier, Mr. Peckford, nearly blew a gasket, and I don't blame him. He was absolutely right. He told those minions, who knew nothing about the fishery, not to do it, but they were doing it. Why, Mr. Speaker? - because they were under pressure from Quebec and New Brunswick to provide access to Nova Nord, to the Northern cod.

The members sitting opposite know what I am talking about. They complained about it at the time, and quite correctly, and I give them full credit for it. I acknowledge it, give them full credit. They brought enough pressure to bear, among everybody, that the Federal Government chickened out a bit - they only increased it to 266,000 tons.

Now, Mr. Speaker, lest anybody forget, that was 1988. In 1988, they increased it to 266,000 tons. In four years, they have reduced it to zero. All of the predictions of the prior twenty years were brought home to roost. Now, whom would you trust to manage the fishery - Ottawa or St. John's? Whom would you trust? And it doesn't matter whether it is a Conservative, a Liberal or an NDP, or any other form of government. Whom would you trust to manage the fishery?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: The case for provincial involvement in the management of the fisheries is irrefutable. All of the documents demonstrate it unquestionably. There should be an involvement.

Now, Mr. Speaker, for three-and-a-half years, I tried to achieve this by a civilized means. I tried to do it by negotiation and discussion with Mr. Valcourt. If ever there was a disaster for this Province, it has to be Bernard Valcourt. If ever there was a beaut, it has to be Bernard Valcourt. I got nowhere with him. I then tried to negotiate it with the Prime Minister, talked to him in June of 1990. I talked yesterday in the House about what happened, but the Prime Minister said: 'Don't worry about it, Clyde, we will do it because it is the right thing to do.' I will never forget those words - 'We will do it because it is the right thing to do.' He was quite correct. It is the right thing to do. But now, politics has intervened.

And here is John Crosbie, a minister from Newfoundland, resisting it with all the vim and vigour he can organize. Why? - Why, why, why? It doesn't make any sense, as hon. members agree. Why? - because he doesn't like me? If John Crosbie would give us joint management tomorrow, I would resign, if that's what he wants. If that's what it takes I will do it. The future of this Province is more important. Now, if it is because John Crosbie doesn't like me, give us joint management and he can have my resignation! If that's what he wants he's got it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: If that's what he wants he's got it. If it is for those crass political reasons, I will remove them, I will remove myself. Give us joint management.

I had some hope, as long as the Prime Minister was there. I spoke to him in November with Mr. Crosbie. And while he took Mr. Crosbie's position at the outset and said: 'Well, what would you do with the other provinces?' - and I have explained this in the House, so I won't repeat it. I gave him the answer to it, the obvious answer. He turned to John and asked: 'Why not, John? Why can't we do it on that basis? Why can't we pattern it after the Offshore Board?'

Well, that tells me it is not Prime Minister Mulroney who is stopping this. Who is, and why? Why?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Crosbie.

MR. MATTHEWS: He is not Prime Minister.

PREMIER WELLS: He is the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and there is the one who is calling the shots at the moment. Mr. Speaker, we still tried to do it. Now, Mr. Speaker, I became -


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

The Chair has told hon. members time and time again the procedure for asking questions. The Chair doesn't mind a little bit of commentary back and forth, but when it gets loud - hon. members know what they are supposed to do. They could ask the member speaking if he would accept a question. If the hon. member doesn't accept a question, then the speech goes on without any interference. I ask hon. members to observe those basic rules, please.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, in the last few weeks, we have indicated clearly our position to fight this thing on a national basis. Now, hon. members opposite immediately jumped in with skepticism: 'Oh, it is all an election ploy, you are only doing it because of that.' But, Mr. Speaker, we had heard rumours of the Crosbie proposal - that the Crosbie proposal for management by representatives from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec would be brought down soon. We heard rumours that this was coming. Then, the killer was the Prime Minister's resignation, so I knew the last ally I had there, Prime Minister Mulroney, believe it or not, was gone.

The combination of those two things told me clearly that the only way we are ever going to achieve it is to carry on a national campaign, so we are going to bring it on.

Now, members opposite say: 'Oh, this is an election ploy.' As late as this morning, the hon. John Crosbie, speaking on an Open Line program, I think, told everybody who would want to listen, in his explanation of it: 'Oh, this is the Premier's election ploy.'

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: He was asked specifically.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: No, I have a transcript of it, and I am reading from a transcript of it. He was asked specifically, and Mr. Crosbie said this: 'Well, this is obviously, I think, an election ploy. Clyde has an election that he is apparently going to call in the next couple of months. He doesn't have any kind of record to go on, that I can see, except he wrecked Meech Lake - that is the most significant thing.'

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: Now, this is Crosbie. 'This is an election ploy,' he said, and I gave my reasons for it, one of which is what Crosbie is going to do that will devastate the fishery.

He gets on the news this afternoon and announces his program. Here it is! He released it this afternoon!


PREMIER WELLS: Here it is. He released it this afternoon, and here is what it is - his fisheries management program, just hot off the press, delivered it to me twenty minutes or half-an-hour ago. Here it is. Just listen to it, and if people think it is an election ploy on my part, listen to this: The new boards - one on the Pacific and one on the Atlantic - would take over some key powers currently exercised by the minister in DFO under the Fisheries Act, namely, licensing and allocation of the marine commercial fishery.

The new boards are going to do that. Listen to him: The Pacific Coast board would have five members. The Atlantic Coast board would have seven. There is no Pacific Coast board. There is the BC provincial board - only BC. They have their own provincial board, but Newfoundland can't have its board. Fisheries is infinitely more important to Newfoundland in relative terms than it is to BC. What does Crosbie have against Newfoundland?

AN HON. MEMBER: Shame! Sellout!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: Then he is going to put additional members on the board - would assist the executive board in coping with its workload of allocation, licensing and sanction hearing.

Mr. Speaker, that is bad news. Here is the worst. Here is worse news. The new board is going to follow these policy principles. Remember the old principles on which Canada got access to the 200-mile limit? Remember the fundamental principles? - Conservation and restoration of the fisheries resource, one; two, allocation of fisheries resources will be on the basis of equity, taking into account adjacency to the resource, the relative dependence of coastal communities and the various fleet sectors upon a given resource, and economic efficiency and fleet mobility. Listen to his new ones.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: No, those are the old ones. Those are the standards. Listen to his new policy principles: 'The legislation will specify that allocation orders of the board shall take into account' - conservation, nowhere mentioned. Conservation doesn't even appear in his new policy. Here is the first item: 'The provision to resource users of reasonably secure access to fishery resources.' Listen to that: 'The provision to resource users of reasonably secure access to fishery resources.' Resource users where? Nova Scotia? Quebec? New Brunswick? He is going to take that as his number one principle of the Newfoundland fishery?

Listen to his second one: 'The needs of resource users who are adjacent to a particular resource.' Just listen to this: 'The relative mobility of fleet sectors and the relative dependence of resource users on a particular fishery resource, and the economic viability of users of fishery resource.' Where did that come from? Who are they protecting - National Sea Products? What about the fishermen on the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, in the 300 communities that are devastated?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: Now, that is what I was afraid of. That is why I moved. That is why I announced two weeks ago, because I knew this was coming down, and down it comes today - the same day as the stalking horse resolution appears on our Order Paper here and members deal with -

MR. MATTHEWS: That was a coincidence.

PREMIER WELLS: Well, okay. If the hon. member tell me that, I accept it without question. I accept it and I withdraw any reference to it. I don't attribute any motive to the hon. member in that regard. I think the hon. member is right about secondary processing and I share his point of view.

Let there be no doubt, that this government supports the expansion of secondary processing to the maximum extent that we can do it. Let there be no doubt, but we are not going to divert our attention from Crosbie's effort to devastate the fishery of this Province by a debate on this resolution today. We are going to deal with the real issues in the fishery of this Province.

Now, Mr. Speaker, this is an interesting diversion today. Crosbie's announcement is clear. He is in the process of sowing the seeds of destruction. Now, I am prepared to accept that the position and the resolution of the hon. members was taken advantage of by Mr. Crosbie today, and this was announced when this resolution was coming up. I am prepared to accept that. I don't know - or maybe it is a pure and simple coincidence. Maybe it is a pure and simple coincidence but, Mr. Speaker, let us not get our attention diverted from the fact that the Federal Government is now proposing to give the Province of B.C. - listen now - the Federal Government is now proposing to give the Province of British Columbia a major say, its own board with federal-provincial participation. It is prepared to do that for B.C. which has a major fishery but it is not prepared to do it for Newfoundland which brought the whole Northeast Atlantic into the Canadian economy.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: Why, Mr. Speaker, why, why, why? Mr. Crosbie says today: Well, Mr. Wells gave his own reasons, fish swim back and forth. How would you deal with that? They swim from one area of provincial waters to another provinces water. Of course they do, everybody knows that, but the answer is fairly simple, Mr. Speaker, if you have three federal members on the board in Newfoundland, have the same three federal members on the board in Nova Scotia, on the board in New Brunswick, on the board in P.E.I. and on the board in Quebec. It is no big problem - and they have full information of what every board is doing because they are the same members on each board.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Premier's time is up.

PREMIER WELLS: May I just summarize quickly?

MR. SPEAKER: Can the hon. the Premier have leave to summarize?

PREMIER WELLS: I will not be long, I won't abuse it.

Mr. Speaker, there will be other times to deal with this issue because this has to be a major cause for everybody in this Province. What is being proposed is to turn over, to representatives chosen, from Quebec, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, the right to determine the allocation of Northern cod, all around the 300 communities in Northeast Newfoundland that are relying on it. Now, where do you think - and bearing in mind the new principles: the economic viability of fishery resources, of users of fishery resources; the needs of resource users who are adjacent to a particular resource; the provision to resource users of reasonably secure access to fishery resources, without regard to where they are, Mr. Speaker. The old principles of adjacency and historic dependency have fallen by the wayside and priority is given to the needs of the resource users. Now, Mr. Speaker, what about the tens of thousands of people in the 300 communities on the Coast of Labrador and from St. Anthony around to Cape St. Marys? What about the tens of thousands of people who have built and maintained those communities for 300 years? Where is their priority? It was their fishery and their effort that brought this into Confederation in the first place.

Now, I hope the members opposite will stand with us strong and firm on the question of joint management and will tell Mr. Crosbie exactly where he - be polite and courteous to Mr. Crosbie and tell him why this proposal is reprehensible to anybody who has the interest of the Newfoundland fishery at heart.

Mr. Speaker, I thank hon. members opposite for their indulgence, in giving me a little extra time.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: I wonder if the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West -

AN HON. MEMBER: Mr. Speaker, I stand to -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I was just wondering if the hon. member would permit me to welcome a group of students before he begins?

Please welcome to the House of Assembly, twenty-three Grade XII students from Point Leamington, the Central High School, in the district of Exploits. They are accompanied by their teachers, Mr. Mercer, who is also the Mayor of the town, and Mr. (inaudible), and their bus driver, Mr. Burton.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I stand in the Legislature to speak in support of the resolution brought in by my colleague from Grand Bank, but I would like to have a few comments on what the Premier just had to say.

I want to say, for the record in this Legislature, that the first we knew of this program that Crosbie announced today was when the Premier brought it before the Legislature. Let there be no mistake about that. We did not know it, nor do we or have we ever supported anything that is detrimental to the lives of Newfoundlanders!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: Not only that, Mr. Speaker - the last time they brought it in, it was this party that was the first off the mark to condemn the Federal Government for their actions, and I can tell you, we won't be last off the mark to condemn them for anything they do - fisheries-related or anything else - that affects the lives of Newfoundlanders.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Premier just gave us a full scope. He did it today on the Throne Speech, and he went back - and I say this to members opposite - the Premier has gone back to the 1970s when he talked about the fight that the Progressive Conservative Government in this Province put up to try to secure the fisheries.

I would say to the Premier, attack Crosbie, if that is what he wants to do, if that is what needs to be done, but don't just get up and attack John Crosbie on this issue alone. Don't forget George Baker, who was the Member of Parliament who refused, in the 1970s, to let us have jurisdiction. Don't forget Roger Simmons, who sat in Trudeau's Cabinet. Don't forget Bill Rompkey, who sat in Trudeau's Cabinet when we were fighting -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Premier, when we - yes, we fought to have it enshrined in the Constitution. We fought to have it enshrined in the Constitution, and George Baker, Roger Simmons, Bill Rompkey and Brian Tobin, the four of them, were part of a government that refused, day-in and day-out. The Premier knows what I am saying is true.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) jurisdiction?

MR. TOBIN: It was having it enshrined in the Constitution, the right of Newfoundlanders.

What it was, I say to the Premier, was the right for the people in St. John's - for Newfoundland, to rule the fisheries, and not some yahoo up in Ottawa. That is what we were fighting for, the same as you are fighting - and Brian Tobin, Bill Rompkey, Roger Simmons, George Baker -

AN HON. MEMBER: John Crosbie and Ross Reid.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, and include John Crosbie and Ross Reid in this round - no problem. We are not, I can say to this House - as a party we have never stood and never will stand with a Federal Government that does something against Newfoundlanders.

AN HON. MEMBER: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Eagle River, on a point of order.

MR. DUMARESQUE: I have to correct the record, Mr. Speaker. In 1979 when this issue was first raised, the hon. the Member for St. John's East, Jim McGrath, was the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. That is who it was.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Now, Mr. Speaker, the ghost supporter of the fund for animal welfare - the ghost supporter - going around with his picture in the paper supporting the fund for animal welfare, has the right to stand in this House and smile, with what the seals are after doing to the fishery in this Province, and you support that clique that comes around here. You have a right to smile, alright.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I see the hon. member every time I see a horse back on.

I got up to speak to the resolution brought in by my colleague, and I was a bit concerned. Now, there is a point that has to be made and that is that this party, Mr. Speaker, and the former Conservative Government in this Province, have always been consistent.

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible) an endangered species.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, if he had wings he'd be a crow. This party -

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. MATTHEWS: Are you going to shut that up or am I going to shut it up?


MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I don't think we should have to put up, day-in and day-out, with the constant heckling of the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

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

MR. MATTHEWS: I will muzzle that pretty quick if he keeps it up.

MR. TOBIN: Our position has always been consistent as it relates to the rights of Newfoundland for Newfoundlanders. But this government here, their position has never been consistent when it relates to the rights of Newfoundland and Newfoundland waters for Newfoundlanders. We should not forget that it was this Premier, Mr. Speaker, who went to court for the Federal Government to deny us the rights to the offshore resources, the oil and gas. It was this Premier who fought in the courts against Newfoundlanders having the rights to their offshore. We were consistent.

MR. R. AYLWARD: He was one of Joey's fellows, one of Joey's Cabinet ministers, who said: Burn your boats.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Go on, 'Glen', get on with your speech. Don't listen to them. Go on, make your points about 'Clyde'.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, it was this Premier who, in the Supreme Court of Canada, I believe, fought the rights of Newfoundlanders owning the resources that lay in the ocean. The Premier cannot say we should have it in the fisheries today, and a few years ago say we shouldn't have the resource management of the offshore oil and gas. There has to be consistency, and it is time - he is learning. He is beginning to come to our way of thinking on the fisheries. But this Premier cannot have a double standard.

MR. WALSH: Well, he scuttled you in the last election and he will scuttle you again.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I wish someone would scuttle the hon. member.

MR. WALSH: Too fearful for that.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: There's not a Tory (inaudible) enough.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: Puffin? The old puffin?

MR. MATTHEWS: Puffin. The puffin bill.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, any man who would spend his life picking chicken wings for - before he came in here, the best part of his life was picking chicken wings for Mary Brown's. Now, he comes in here and knows everything. Now, he comes in here and the only contribution he has made to this Legislature in this Province is the puffin act. And if you wanted to look at something in the Legislature that resembles a puffin it would be the hon. member.

Mr. Speaker, this government has not been consistent on any issue as it relates to the offshore in this Province. I believe, and I strongly support the belief, that Newfoundlanders should have the say over our resources and Newfoundlanders should manage our resources. But I want to say one thing, that when this crowd took over government four years ago, when you talk about managing our resources, there were mines operating in Baie Verte, St. Lawrence, Long Harbour, Hope Brook - there were seven mines operating in this Province.

MR. MATTHEWS: They don't like to hear this!

MR. TOBIN: And they are all closed, Mr. Speaker.

MR. MATTHEWS: All closed today, boy. You closed them, boy. Don't blame that on John. You closed them up.

MR. TOBIN: That is how this crowd over there manages the mines. The forestry, Mr. Speaker - my colleague from Humber Valley is more qualified to speak about that. But the forest industry in this Province has been cut almost in half since this crowd took over. Steady cut.

MR. R. AYLWARD: On the agricultural land, they are jeopardizing all that protected land.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, What about our other resources? What about our most important resource? Forty thousand Newfoundlanders have gone to the mainland in four years, forty thousand young Newfoundlanders, Mr. Speaker. This Premier got up in the election campaign and said he was going to bring home every mother's son but he has driven 40,000 Newfoundlanders to the mainland in four years. What about our education? What about the education in this Province? They have gutted it.

AN HON. MEMBER: What does that have to do with the fishery?

MR. TOBIN: What does education have to do with the fisheries? No wonder you got 12 per cent of the support in Harbour Grace. No wonder you got 12 per cent of the support in the polls.

Back in 1983, Mr. Speaker, there was an announcement that Fishery Products was going to close the plant at Burin, a primary processing plant, the first by the way. The first deep sea plant in this Province was at Burin and in 1982, the fall of 1982, Fishery Products announced they were going to close that plant and the Premier of the day took on Fishery Products and tried to change their mind. There was a group of people in Burin, an action committee got involved led by Lou Bailey and Cathy Dunderdale and Cathy Dunderdale along with Lou Bailey had a lot of experience in keeping plants open, fighting to keep plants open. They organized themselves and that group, together with a government and a Premier of the day who cared -

AN HON. MEMBER: And Vic Young.

MR. TOBIN: Vic Young had as much to do with Burin as you had. They took on Fishery Products and all of a sudden things started to unfold, I guess, or unravel, whatever the case may be. What happened was the Burin Peninsula Development Fund, in particular, with Brian Peckford went over the heads of a lot of people, upset some people, got the money and said to Vic Young: there is a secondary processing plant going in Burin. Here is the money. I am not sure they were very eager at the time to go to Burin with it. I know the story on it, know it well. They opened up the secondary processing plant and we started to make gains because all the fish from Newfoundland at that time was being cut, filleted, put in cold storage in a big box, taken down to Gloucester, Massachusetts and turned into secondary processing so all the work was being done by people in the United States with our fish. At that time nobody in this Province had put any priority into secondary processing. They opened the secondary processing in Burin. There was some question about whether they could get markets, how they could do it, and what could happen with the tariffs and all that. Mr. Speaker, do you know that today the secondary processing plant in Burin has markets in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and in Japan?

AN HON. MEMBER: How much capacity is it producing at?

MR. TOBIN: This is what I am getting to, Mr. Speaker.

All of that was done, that was established, the move was on, the government was supporting it and then all of a sudden this crowd came into office and bango, there has been no support for secondary processing in this Province ever since.

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

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

MR. MURPHY: Mr. Speaker, it is extremely difficult to sit and listen to the hon. member when I know the difference. The facility at Burin never, ever produced to 100 per cent of capability. Even when the hon. member was a minister in the previous government, so the hon. member should get up and say it like it is, not mislead people.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order. The hon. Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, say it as it is, it never produced 100 per cent? I say to the hon. member that I doubt if it ever produced at 50 per cent, if it did, that was the closest it ever was, but we went from nowhere to 50 per cent. That is the point I am making and then she bottomed off, and, Mr. Speaker, if this government had committed to secondary processing as the previous government had, not only would this plant there be producing, there would be plants in other parts of the Province producing, but this Premier -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would say to the Member for St. John's South, that there is fish enough right now being landed in Marystown -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker the Member for Bell Island knows nothing about the fishery, he knows nothing about anything, so would he keep his big old mouth shut and let me talk to someone who knows something about it.

AN HON. MEMBER: You are a double negative (inaudible) -

MR. TOBIN: Your are a double negative -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: You are a double negative, you are a disappointment to society. Mr. Speaker, what I am saying to the member is that when you look at the fish that is landed in Burin right now, there are draggers as a matter of fact coming in to Burin with full loads, blocked right solid, no problem, full loads from St. Pierre banks, but what is happening is that the markets are not fully utilized.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Wait, I will tell the member what is happening; there is more concern by the companies for primary fillets than there is for secondary processing, that is what I am saying to the member. But if the fish, instead of the primary fillet which is going to the markets now on the back of a truck somewhere, in a box, to be filleted or for something else to happen to it somewhere else, if that was being done in Burin, if that was being shipped from Marystown to Burin instead of being shipped to the States for value-added product, then it would be up to 100 per cent, so there has to be a greater emphasis and that is what this resolution says. There has to be a greater emphasis and a greater priority for the value-added product of fish put by this government and by private investors, there is no question. But while there is a shortage, I mean we all acknowledge that, while there is a shortage, and I know the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay knows what I am talking about.

While there is a shortage of secondary processing of fish in this Province, primary fish, because of the cod moratorium or whatever the case may be, well, that is a fact and there is nothing much anyone can do about it, this government, any government, any party, nothing can be done about it, but what I am saying is that, there is fish enough being brought in today but the companies are more involved in supplying the market with the primary processing than they are with the secondary processing, and this government has responsibility for processing. It is not the federal government, it is this government that has the responsibility for processing and this government should have an obligation to the men and women in this Province, that they get the jobs in the secondary processing rather than giving the jobs to somebody in Gloucester, Massachusetts or in some place in Maine or some place in Ontario.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well as a matter of fact, part of the Free Trade Agreement is that some of the tariffs will be relieved. That is another thing you know, you talk about the Free Trade Agreement, if there is a good side to the Free Trade Agreement, it has to be the fact that the tariffs on our secondary processing going into the United States will be gone in 1995, and that is the bright side for places like Burin, Mr. Speaker, and this government should be planning for the day when the tariffs are totally eliminated, because there is a fishery on the south coast. The fishermen today from Cape St. Mary's to the Western, all up to Port aux Basques and other parts of this Province are fishing, there is a fishery, it might not be that great but there is a fishery; as a matter of fact, this winter, in Placentia Bay, they had one of the best fisheries they ever had, they had a good fishery.

But this government and this minister have not done anything to try and attract industry, have not provided any incentives for industry to get involved in the secondary processing of fish in this Province and you know, you could wave your hands, shake your arms, sing out and blame John Crosbie all day for whatever issues you want to. But on the secondary processing in this Province it's this government, Mr. Speaker, that has jurisdiction, and this government has done nothing. This minister has been a total, absolute failure in the fishery portfolio. He has done nothing to encourage secondary processing. As a matter of fact he's been Minister of Fisheries for four years, and I doubt if he has ever gone into the secondary processing plant in Burin yet. I doubt that very much, if he has ever gone into that secondary processing plant in Burin yet. I'd suggest that he not stay too close to anyone who supports Greenpeace, like the Member for Eagle River.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, in conclusion I urge the minister to do what has to be done.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: Mr. Speaker, I had a job to get started off because I stutter a bit, you know. I'm very pleased to rise today to speak to this motion. I must say 'tis a half-good motion. I guess it's like being half-pregnant. It's not much good at all. I think we have some room to do some secondary processing in Newfoundland. I spent a lot of time in the industry. I guess nineteen years after I went back to fishing the last time. I have quite a bit of experience.

What I've seen happen in those nineteen years in unbelievable. When we see our young people sitting up in the audience today and they look and see what our governments have done to our efficient industry, I'm ashamed. When I started fishing up in Labrador in the early nineteen-seventies we were catching turbot up there then, and we were catching cod. They were so big that you couldn't lift them up with your two hands. The last year I was up there fishing, in 1990, they were so small you couldn't catch them in the gill nets.

So it's completely destroyed. I blame a lot of it on our federal government. We had trawlers coming across from Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada. They were constantly going up the Labrador, day in and day out. They were bringing back loads and loads of fish. They depleted our stocks to such a state that they were so sick that they couldn't rebuild. Then they fished out off all of the other banks. The Funk Island Banks. I've been out gill-netting out by the Funk Island Banks when the large National Sea trawlers would come right in (Inaudible) my buoys that I had on the gill net, and she'd drop her drag net and she'd just drag on. That's what has happened to our fish stocks. We've torn up the bottom, we've torn up the environment where the fish spawn.

Then we had our foreigners. It was controlled by the federal government. Because they wanted to make deals with the foreign countries they traded away our fish stocks. Until we get management over our fishery it'll never be any better. What I see Mr. Crosbie come out with today, he's proposing a joint management board between all Atlantic Canada and some other provinces. I think we need a board made up of our Province and our federal government.

Maybe we should have the majority on that board. Because Newfoundland and Labrador once was a country. When we joined Canada we brought our fish stocks into Canada. We should have the most say in those stocks. Newfoundland is not allowed to go up to Alberta and have a say in their oil industry, so why should other provinces be allowed to have a say in our stocks that are off our coast?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: We only have a population around Newfoundland, all Newfoundland, of the population of one large city.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Newfoundland and Labrador.

MR. SMALL: I cannot leave out Labrador. Danny reminds me of that all the time, but I guess I am from the old school where we always said 'Newfoundland', but we only have the population of one large city, and here we are constantly begging to Ottawa to be bailed out, when we had the biggest fish stocks in all the world.

We had our cod; we had turbot; we had red fish; we had herring, flounder, squid, and everything you could mention, and we are set right down in the middle of it. You mean to say today that our whole industry is shut down because we destroyed it - we have destroyed it - and we may never see it come back like it was at one time, because when you get our stocks so sick, there is only a small percentage of the spawn that ever matures. So when you get your stocks down so low, there are all kinds of environment things that have their say into it, and it may never rebound; but when it does rebound, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador must have a say in it. We must have a say in the way that it is managed, and I will back our Premier 100 per cent. We have to defeat this thing that John Crosbie brought out today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: And if it means going to the people and asking them for a mandate, then we should do that!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SMALL: We should do that.

Mr. Crosbie shut down our fishing industry this summer, and he came out like a drunken sailor, throwing money out to whosoever will. People were getting this money for six months, and then they were cut off all of a sudden. There is all kinds of stress caused out in those small communities today because they have to go to welfare. If this is the way we are going to manage our fishery, we are in for trouble.

We might have more people in our fishing industry than should be, and that was caused by the UI system. A lot of our young people left school because they could go fishing for seven or eight weeks and draw UI the rest of the year. Now we have no fish; they have no education, and they have no jobs, and that is poor management.

I think we have a lot of room for secondary processing. We have our herring; we have our mackerel, and we have our lump roe. Imagine the barrels of lump roe that are shipped out of Newfoundland every summer. It goes to Germany, and it goes down to Boston, and it goes down to New York, and it is put in little bottles, and it comes back here to Newfoundland and we buy it - deplorable.

Now there may not be high paid jobs in the secondary industry, because if we do secondary work it is more costly, and we may have to sell it at a bit lower price, so we may have to adjust our wage rates. Maybe there is not money enough there to get $10.00 or $12.00 an hour putting lump roe in bottles. Maybe we have to face reality and work for $5.00 or $6.00 dollars an hour. It is better to be working for $5.00 or $6.00 per hour, being employed and having your dignity instead of going up and sitting down in the welfare office and begging for money to buy some food. We have to put some serious discussions into where we are going after 1994, if not the people of Newfoundland are going to be like they were put out on an indian reserve. They will be giving us money, the people will be just sitting around and their home life will be breaking up, is this what we want for Newfoundland? Do we want to shut down all of our plants around Newfoundland and have people just receiving money from Ottawa? We will be a lost generation.

I think we have to put a plan in place for secondary processing and create some jobs because it is all to easy to catch your caplin. You take our caplin for instance, we catch all of these caplin and they are shipped off to Japan and Korea and it creates hundreds and hundreds of jobs skivering those little caplin on by the eyes, creating jobs over there. Why can we not do this in Newfoundland? I fear for what is going to happen to Newfoundland. What is going to happen to rural Newfoundland? We can shut down our fishing industry but what are we going to have? What can you create than in Harbour Round? What can you create in Branch Cove, where those people grew up fishing and that is all they know and Nippers Harbour and other places all around Newfoundland? Newfoundland was built on our fishery and all of a sudden you are going to shut it down? Can you imagine what impact that is going to have on our people? So, we must put a plan in place for 1994.

When I said it was half right what our member put forth, he said our government has done nothing. I think that is completely wrong and if I was writing up that resolution I would never put those words in there. If you are going to draw up a resolution put the words in there what is right because that takes away the credibility of this resolution.

So, Mr. Speaker, I will clue up by saying this, that we have some tough decisions to make in our fishery but without joint management and the majority of management I mean, I do not mean an equal board, I mean a board where Newfoundland has the majority of say because we brought the fish stocks into Canada. We need our own board and manage it so that we will have a fishery down the road.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: The parrot from Eagle River has begun, the parrot, a trained seal. Now, if he does not stop, Mr. Speaker, I will expose him for what he is. His picture was up in one of the leading papers on the mainland for the animal rights. His picture there supporting the animal rights people who destroyed our seal fishery, a part of our existence.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Point of Order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Eagle River, on a point of order.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is intentionally trying to mislead this House. Mr. Speaker, this is a couple of times that it has been raised in this House today about my support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. If they had heard the CBC news this morning they would know I have had and will not have any part of that organization and everybody in this Province must know that I am out there trying to do what I can to have a sustainable seal fishery and if they want to go and use anything to further their cause they certainly will have no association with this hon. member.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is really no point of order.

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

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, I said what I said and I will say it again, that his name and picture is in one of the national papers in support of the animal welfare associations.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: I say it. When the member got up on a point of order he never denied it. That's all I said, Mr. Speaker. But now, seeing that the hon. member, the parrot, wasn't able to shut up, I want to remind him of something. In his hatred, his dislike, for the Progressive Conservative Party in Ottawa, in his dislike for John Crosbie, he opened his mouth about the $50,000 that was to be spent on some sort of an investigative program about the seal hunt.

The Premier said today that, if because John Crosbie hated him, if he would tell the people that he will accept the Premier's resignation and bring in joint management, then he would resign. So I would say to the hon. member: seeing what a mess you made of it, if your hatred for Crosbie and the Progressive Conservative Party is that great, then because of what happened with the animal - seal welfare fund people, then you should resign. You should stand up and be counted. At least the Premier did it. He stood up and he was counted. I respect him for it. What you should do is the same thing.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Crosbie's parrot.

MR. PARSONS: Look, sometimes I get annoyed. He has a very limited vocabulary. I believe that why he is doing it now, he is going to go across the country with the Premier. I think he's looking for a job. Certainly the hon. Members for Pleasantville and Humber West, they're not going. Because the hon. Member for Humber West, a fine gentleman, he has since left the Cabinet; and the hon. Member for Pleasantville, after what he did yesterday, in chastising the Premier in The Evening Telegram, he's not going to get the chance to go.

The parrot from Eagle River is going to be sitting out in the audience. As the Premier asks: who caused the demise of the fishery? The parrot will speak: John Crosbie! Who killed the caplin fishery? The parrot will say: John Crosbie. Who's responsible for the sinking of the Titanic? He'll say: John, and the Premier will look around and say: sshh. There'll be silence. Whatever happened it's going to be John Crosbie. That's his vocabulary. John Crosbie, John Crosbie.

Who caused the problems as it pertained to all other aspects of the fishery?

MR. DUMARESQUE: John Crosbie. It's John Crosbie (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: John Crosbie. It's John Crosbie. I can foresee this. Let me be a bit of a soothsayer. Let me predict what will happen in the audience. Someone there will say, knowing what has transpired, will perhaps stand up and ask: but Mr. Premier, wasn't it John Crosbie who brought in the $800 million for the program? Wasn't it John Crosbie? You'll hear silence. The parrot will be silenced. The parrot won't have one single thing to say.

MR. MATTHEWS: No, he'll ask for a cracker then.

MR. PARSONS: He'll ask for a cracker. Polly, give me a cracker, Polly, give me a cracker. That's what the parrot will say then. That's the only thing he knows, is to ridicule a good Newfoundlander. That's all he knows, is to backbite. He hasn't got the sense or the decency to go up to the man himself and say to the man's face what he says in here. Or take the man on in a public forum. You haven't got the guts to do it. Only come in here and rattle the desk and get up and almost fall over the desk.

MR. DUMARESQUE: I'm not chicken, I'll -

MR. PARSONS: You almost fall over the desk.

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

MR. PARSONS: That little parrot, Eagle River parrot! That's all he can be classed as. To get up... a parrot. You can sing all you like. You can sing John Crosbie's tone all you like, but the Premier today, let me say to the hon. members, the Premier today gave a good speech. He gave a good speech. He doesn't need a parrot.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: Yes, get a cracker and give him over there, Mr. Speaker. He thinks he's going to get in the Cabinet. Mr. Speaker, the Premier, well let's face it, a fairly smart individual, a good man on his feet, and he says - he did not tell me personally, but I hear overtures; I have heard from responsible people - that he is too immature. He is immature - the hon. Member for Eagle River. The people from Eagle River now realize that the hon. member just does not have it, and as much as he wants to get up and aspire to the Premier's aspirations, the Premier is not taking him in. He is not taking him in.

Now at one time I was going to speak to the Premier privately and say: Look, do not hold that against him.

AN HON. MEMBER: Kevin, had to import a Labrador member. Had to get one from St. John's.

MR. PARSONS: Had to get a member from St. John's - could not find one down in Labrador. Now a fine gentleman; I have nothing to say that he is not a fine gentleman, but they had to import him - a fine gentleman from St. John's. They could not find one down there. The parrot could not sing loud enough to ask someone.

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

MR. FUREY: My point of order has relevance, Mr. Speaker. We are talking parrots, chickens, birds; this is about fish.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. FUREY: Maybe the hon. member would like to talk about fish.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order.

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

MR. PARSONS: Oh, Mr. Speaker, of all the points of order. The Minister of ITT did it again. He did it again.

Mr. Speaker, I did get up to speak on this resolution, but as soon as I rose to my feet I was rudely interrupted by the parrot from Eagle River, and that is why I got off on that tangent. Now I will go back to the resolution.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. Member for Eagle River to restrain himself.

MR. PARSONS: As far as the picture being in the national newspaper, where the Member for Eagle River supports the animal welfare organization, well I always thought that he had a bit of leniency. I thought he was a little soft when he got up as far as the seal fishery was concerned, but there is nothing I can do about that. That is up to the hon. member.

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member today, the House Leader, brought before this hon. House was a good, sound, motion. All it talked about was a value-added product, more responsibility being placed on the Province to act in a responsible manner as far as those products are concerned.

We have a scarcity of fish - not alone cod fish - but we have a serious problem with other species of fish, and if we do not do something as a Province - the Province already controls - the minister can relate to this. He knows what I am saying is right. The Province, at this moment, controls the licensing of the plants, and I can almost see his point that he is not coming out and saying which plant could close or which plant must close. I think what the minister has stated - I have not heard him now, but I think what is being told he has stated, is survival of the fittest really. The people who can survive this moratorium, they are going to survive, and the people who cannot will not; but I have one feeling about that issue that perhaps really antagonizes me, is how the plant workers out in rural Newfoundland that have plants in their individual communities, who are on this package - if their plant is not going to open, perhaps those people could take the retirement package, because the plants in their communities would no longer be open. At the present time there is doubt in everyone's mind as to which plants will stay open. I think the Province really has an obligation to come out and say which plants will close or which will not.


MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, I can hear from 'tall trees' over there: Crosbie, Crosbie, Crosbie. Well, I suppose, as the hon. Joe Smallwood once said, keep on saying the thing over and over and over and someone is going to believe it. Now, 'the parrot' is at it, and 'tall trees' is at it: Crosbie, Crosbie, Crosbie. Is that going to be your campaign slogan? - Crosbie, Crosbie, Crosbie.

Many of the things the Premier said were true, but I am going to say to this hon. House now that no matter what the Premier says, or what the hon. members on the other side will say, this has been seeped in politics. This is a political ploy. What happened last year? Why didn't the Premier go across and talk about this last year? Why now? Let us face it we are all, I suppose, sensible human beings, men and women, we know you can't confuse Newfoundlanders to that extent. It is a political ploy and I hope the people in Newfoundland won't entertain that ploy, because that is what it is. As I said, as far as wanting management of our own resource is concerned, I am like the hon. member who brought in this motion, in saying that we agree, that we should have more jurisdiction - not jurisdiction, but more to do with licensing, perhaps.

I listened to Mr. Crosbie today on Open Line and what the man said was very simple to me, that there was going to be an individual from each Atlantic Province, the six provinces, on a committee, on a board, but also, within the provinces, themselves, there would be another board, a provincial board which would really set up whatever programs that were to affect the fishery of their respective provinces. Then, the recommendations of that board would go to the other board, which would again be responsible to the minister. It sounds reasonable. The Premier says it isn't reasonable.

Well, I think we have to do something. I think we certainly cannot condone the mistakes we made in the past and that we have to try for improvement some way or other. I don't think that the Province should have the right to veto many things.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. PARSONS: No, but I think that perhaps the Premier now would want that right enshrined there, a right to veto. Now, if the Federal Government are going to finance all the surveillance and any other cost attached to this program, and that is where it ends, then the Province will have a right to veto anything coming from the Federal Government without any involvement whatsoever in a monetary way. Now, that is the way I read it. Perhaps the Minister of Fisheries, when he gets to his feet, will explain to me and point out to me where I am wrong. I again have to say that the Premier made a good speech today. He certainly did, but I think that he should have made that speech many, many months ago.

Now, I am going to have to go back and touch on something really dear to my heart. Before 'the parrot' arrived, when we were up in the old Assembly, Meech Lake was one of the big events in our history. And, Mr. Speaker, if we had signed Meech Lake, if we had signed that document, at least fisheries would be placed on the First Ministers' agenda.

The Premier, with some of his people over there - not all of them - with some of his people over there, said: 'We don't care about that. We are not going to let Meech Lake go through.'

Now, I don't blame the Premier entirely for it because it was some of the people who are in this House today who said, while the Premier of the day signed Meech Lake, that if they ever came to power - and that was their wildest dream; they never meant to say it in the first place - that they would rescind the Meech Lake Accord. The Premier didn't care about the fishery then. Why now? Why? Why did the Premier refuse to sign Meech Lake? It was the only chance we had since 1949 to have the fisheries discussed at the First Ministers' level. It was the only chance we had, but the Premier didn't do anything about it then. He scuttled Meech Lake -himself and 'Elijah'. 'Elijah' has since gone.

AN HON. MEMBER: 'Clyjah', not 'Elijah'.

MR. PARSONS: 'Clyjah', yes.

Mr. Speaker, from the members here, a couple of the members in particular, all you can hear is, it is Crosbie's fault. It wasn't Crosbie's fault, the agreement that was signed in 1972. It was not Crosbie's fault for all the mistakes that were made by previous Liberal Governments.

We talk about the same agreement as was negotiated for the offshore oil. Mr. Speaker, it is oranges and apples. That is a solid resource, a non-movable resource. We are talking about oranges and apples. We are talking about straddling stocks. Fish swim back and forth. There is no comparison and no one could draw a comparison. No one can draw a comparison, Mr. Speaker.

The hon. the Minister of ITT is dictating again to the Chair, but he is not getting away with it, Mr. Speaker.

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, we would like to have our speaker on this side speak now. The member's time is up.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I will check with the Clerk.

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. PARSONS: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. minister would just let me clue up.

Whoever is wrong, or whoever is right, I think everyone in this hon. House will agree that whatever we do to protect the fishery of the future, I think we will all agree on it. Although politics will be used, on occasion, I think it should be set aside, and the right and the good of the people will be first and foremost in all our minds - even 'the parrot' from Eagle River.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, it appears this motion is very timely in that it is being debated in the House of Assembly on what I consider to be a very black day for Newfoundland and Labrador - a black day because of certain actions that are being taken by a fellow Newfoundlander, and somebody from whom you would expect more.

Mr. Speaker, the plan announced by the Federal Fisheries Minister this afternoon, in my view, will have a devastating impact on the fishing industry of our Province, and I think the Premier, in his comments, outlined why.

It is just unbelievable that the Federal Government, Mr. Crosbie, in particular, would see fit to impose that kind of a management plan on this Province, having just forced the fishing industry of our Province, our main industry, into a two-year - or maybe longer - moratorium because of their mismanagement.

I am amused, sometimes, when I hear Mr. Crosbie criticize our Premier for wanting joint management of the fishery. I think there is a comment in the paper today when Crosbie - I am quoting now from an article in today's 'Telegram'. Crosbie said: 'Newfoundland's joint management proposal is simply unacceptable. It would destroy the fishery in no time, it would balkanize the Eastern Canadian fishery into five exclusive federal-provincial zones'. Now there is a man - can you imagine a man who is part of a government that did, in fact, stand by and see the Newfoundland fishing industry destroyed, and now he has the gall to suggest that if the Province were to have a joint management board, we would destroy the fishery. That, Mr. Speaker, I call - I don't know what to call it because it is unthinkable that anybody would even make that kind of statement in these circumstances.

The resolution that we are debating today, criticizes the government for not taking enough action with respect to secondary processing. So, in the course of my few remarks, Mr. Speaker, I will outline some of the initiatives taken by the Province in terms of promoting secondary processing. Now, secondary processing is not the panacea that some people would have us believe it is. It is not going to be the end-all for the problems in the fishing industry. I admit, it will play a role, as it is playing now, and it will employ a number of people, but certainly, it is not going to fill the void, the vacuum that has been caused by the moratorium and by the depletion of our Northern cod resource.

Since 1989, approximately 160 projects have been undertaken with industry which directly relate to secondary processing and underutilized fishery development - 160 projects since 1989, Mr. Speaker. I would suggest, notwithstanding one of the 'Whereases' in the Opposition's motion, there has been more done in the past four years, in terms of promoting secondary processing, than was done in the previous ten years, and I think I have the evidence here to back that up. Mr. Speaker, in 1992 alone, thirty projects were initiated by this government with industry for a total input of over half-a-million dollars. There are currently twenty-six companies involved in value-added underutilized processing and eighteen companies have entered the secondary processing sector since 1989.

In 1992 alone, last year, seven new companies engaged in value-added processing. The Opposition members - I am inclined to believe, by the way, in reading the resolution, that it is the voice of the hon. the Member for Grand Bank, but I think it is the hand of the federal Member for St. John's West, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, because the minister in Ottawa, of course, has been constantly trying to get the Government of Newfoundland to identify plants that, in our view, must be closed and must remain closed. He wants the Province to play the part of the Almighty and to designate plants in various communities for closure.

Now, I believe there is a reason for that. I think the federal minister would be quite happy if he could wake up tomorrow morning and find that all but maybe a dozen or so Newfoundland plants were operating, that would relieve them of a lot of torment, trouble, responsibility with respect to unemployment insurance, various other programs that they have to provide to accommodate the multiplicity of processing we have in the Province, and I can see in the minister's actions, Mr. Speaker, a plot or a plan if you want to call it that, to downgrade the processing sector to the point where, like I said, only the large manageable offshore units will survive.

Now, the minister is critical of the Province, I heard him this morning on the VOCM Open Line Show, briefly, talking about the Province not being capable of making up its mind in dealing with the overcapacity in the processing sector. In fact, he used that in the context of his comments with respect to the Premier's call on opening day in the House for joint management. He said the Province wants joint management when they are not even capable of making a decision on the processing sector, what to do with it. I can tell you now, Mr. Speaker, that we are not going to dance to Mr. Crosbie's tune. Mr. Crosbie should pay more attention to his own responsibilities and God knows he has that messed up enough. He has that messed up enough the Lord only knows. We have a large amount of money, yes, that has been provided by the federal government, I believe there is about $300 million made available for education and training. Mr. Speaker, on the basis of what I am hearing and what I am reading, that fund is becoming nothing more than a massive, gigantic pork barrel.


MR. CARTER: Yes, really. What concerns me, Mr. Speaker, is that the Newfoundland people for whom it was intended will not benefit from it to the extent that they should. I will not mention the names of the people here, Mr. Speaker, but I am sure the member knows some of the people I am talking to, various interest groups have gotten their hands on that money and a lot of it is being siphoned off and going into areas of activity that will have absolutely no long term benefit for Newfoundland or Newfoundlanders. In many respects, Mr. Speaker, it is a bit of a scam and that is unfortunate because properly spent and properly organized that money could have served a very useful purpose in our Province. I am afraid now that because of the way it is being doled out and siphoned off by certain special interest groups that we are not going to benefit very much from it.

Mr. Crosbie continues to criticize the Province for not being able at this point in time, to play the part of God, to designate communities and plants for closure, resettlement, call it what you want, but yet at the same time, Mr. Speaker, there are so many loose ends in the federal plan that it is just incredible, absolutely incredible. In fact, what has been happening of course is that the program was initially announced and since that time I am told the central agencies in Ottawa have gotten their backs up and are now trying to claw back some of the money that has been voted to Mr. Crosbie's department and requiring that certain programs be downsized, to be trimmed, to save some money. Given the fact that announcements were made, commitments were made and peoples' hopes were built up, I think that it is very unfair now that we have to change horses in mid-stream as it were and cut back on the programs.

Mr. Speaker, getting back to secondary processing in the Province, like I said a moment ago, it is not the end-all. I would remind hon. gentlemen across the House that we have probably one of the most modern secondary processing plants of its kind in North America. I am talking about the plant in Burin owned by Fishery Products International, a modern magnificent plant, one capable of almost doing anything in terms of secondary processing. Fishery Products now have a subsidiary company called Clouston's, one of the foremost marketing organizations in Canada, maybe in the U.S., very aggressive, very knowledgeable as to market conditions and what is needed in the marketplace but despite that, Mr. Speaker, and despite the fact that notwithstanding the moratorium, that FPI has been provided sufficient access to enough fish to keep the Burin plant operating if they so chose to do it. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, the plant in Burin is operating at less than 40 per cent of its actual operating capacity. I am told that try as they will, that is about as high as they can get it, they are gradually trying to increase their capacity, gradually trying to identify new markets, new products but that is about the best that they can do. Now, that indicates to me that secondary processing, as desirable as it is and as good as it may sound, it is not as simple as it does sound or as it is made to sound. There are a number of problems, not the least of which of course involves the tariffs on finished product going into the U.S., of course it is just about prohibited to send secondary processed fish into Europe.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. CARTER: Yes, in the States. I know it is reducing on a sliding, gradual basis and I believe it is down now to about 6 per cent where at one time it was closer to 20 per cent, but it is still a factor. Plus the fact, Mr. Speaker, the market demands are changing. Mrs. American housewife now no longer goes straight to the freezer and picks out fish cooked in oil and battered in bread crumbs. That is a product that is rapidly losing favour, I am told, in the supermarkets of the world and therefore it is more difficult to sell. I have been told by some of the secondary processing plant operators that a lot of them are now getting out of that product completely because it is just about impossible today with the emphasis on cholesterol, obesity, and with diet fads and this sort of thing, breaded fish soaked in oil is hardly conducive to a weight loss program. Consequently, of course, Mrs American housewife and others simply refuse to buy it. That is not to say, Mr. Speaker, that there are not opportunities for secondary processing.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. CARTER: The hon. gentleman who spoke before me mentioned all the raw material being shipped out of Canada, out of Newfoundland, and processed in other countries. Of course we know that is true in many respects but I have one piece of good news. I would like to tell the House that there is a very encouraging prospect now with respect to female caplin going into Japan. Last year with help from my department, and encouragement, a company named Breakwater Fisheries identified in Japan a joint partner. They got together and equipped their plant in Notre Dame Bay to do the Japanese product known as (Inaudible). Now, Mr. Speaker, Newfoundlanders export about 20,000 metric tons of female caplin to Japan every year where it is processed into this product, a very costly product in the Japanese supermarkets. It appears now that the labour force in Japan does not provide enough people, or the kind of people that would be involved in that kind of an operation and now the Japanese are more than anxious to identify with Newfoundland companies who will engage in the production of that product. That is only one thing. The other day we had a trade mission go to Japan where a number of very interesting and exciting markets were identified for various products, new products, I might say, secondary processed products.

Mr. Speaker, I know I have gone beyond my ten or twenty minutes, whatever it is, but I am sure we will have another opportunity later to say more on this. I do want to end up by saying, Mr. Speaker, that the action taken today, by a Newfoundlander, I am ashamed to say, John Crosbie, must be resisted by every single Newfoundlander. I would urge every Newfoundlander who cares for this Province, and most of us do, to rise up and take whatever action he or she can to get the message through to Mr. Crosbie in no uncertain terms that we are not going to put up with that kind of treatment. It is not enough that they ruined our fishery, our most important industry, and reduced us all to people who depend on a government cheque for our survival. Again I ask Newfoundlanders to take a strong stand against this sort thing, rally behind the Liberal Party, stand up for Newfoundland and tell John, Brian, and all the others that we have just about had enough and they are going to have to back away from that plan.

Thank you, very much.

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: If he speaks now he closes the debate.

MR. MATTHEWS: I want to conclude the debate with a few more words on the resolution that I gave notice of on Monday and spoke on earlier today. It is an issue that, I think, Mr. Speaker, is important. It is important to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for a number of reasons, but more important for those who have lost their jobs, or are on NCARP, UI or social assistance because of declining fish stocks. That is the reason why I think it is important, and I want to say to the Minister of Fisheries and to the Premier, that there is fish still being caught and landed in Newfoundland and Labrador. I mean if you listen to the Premier you would not think there is a pound of fish being landed and my point is: Yes, it is very limited, there is not enough, but what is brought into our ports let us get as much employment out of it as we can and there is only one way to do that, and that is to value-add, that is to value-add, not ship it out in raw form, I say to the Minister of Fisheries, and if he is going to stand in his place like the Premier, and say we cannot do that, there is no hope, which is the theme that comes from the Premier, there is no hope; the only hope we had ever since he became Premier, is the Triple E Senate, we lost our hope when we lost that. That is the problem we have.

We always find reasons why we cannot do things, I say to the Minister of Fisheries. He has come up with all kinds of excuses why we, as a Province, which has a raw material that is still landing on our shores even though it is not enough, he is finding reasons why we cannot secondary process that to sustain some jobs, to make that product more valuable, to make the fishing companies more viable, to improve the bottom line of the Province, the financial mess that we find ourselves in, the Premier and the Minister of Fisheries are still coming up with all kinds of reasons why we cannot do it.

MR. CARTER: Why did you fellows not do it when you were in power.

MR. MATTHEWS: We were not good enough. The people cast their decision on us four years ago and you promised real change, and the only thing you have given them is more unemployment, more debt, that is the real change you have given them, more debt, more unemployment, more social assistance and with the attitude of the Premier and the Minister of Fisheries we are in for even more of it. Now I say, you have to give your people hope, so how can anybody be against further processing a raw material whether it be fish or wood or minerals? My God in heaven, how backward have we become? Is that not what we all should be aiming for, to further process our resources in this Province? Is not that what we should be aiming for I say to the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture?

The minister referred to the secondary processing plant in Burin, I tell him that it was not his government who put it there and anything that has gone on in value-added secondary processing in this Province, that this government cannot take any credit for it. Not one ounce of credit, but having said that, I mean I still think it is a worthy cause I say to the Minister of Fisheries. My God, we all know it is going to be a while before the fishery sources regenerate off our shores, if they ever do, which we all hope they do, so why can we not try and sustain some employment by doing something more with that raw material besides cut it and trim it, freeze it and pack it?

A lot of it we do not even do that much with it. We send it away in block form so that somebody in the U.S., I say to the minister, someone in the U.S. where FPI sends the block, get the jobs for processing the fish. It is not only FPI, it is not only National Sea, there are many, many other fish companies still around this Province and I am very worried about Fishery Products International, I say to the minister, with the amount of fish resources that - I do not know how much longer Fishery Products International can last I say to the minister. I am not sure, when I look at what has happened to the cod and when I look at what has happened to the flat fish resources.

When you look at a company that has gone from 350 million pounds of fish just a few years ago, that this year they will say; thank God, if they get 50 million pounds, that is what we are up against. So, we all know we are getting less but lets make the most of what we get. That is what this resolution is about, value-added processing to raw materials. Are we saying as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that we cannot do that which someone else is doing in the U.S. or somewhere else? Are we saying that we are not capable of doing it? Now, if the only reason we cannot do it is because it takes a little bit of training or it takes a little bit of automation or modification to existing processing capacity, which we have thousands of in this Province or a little bit of equipment, than why in the name of God do we not do it? We will never do it as long as we have the Premier and the Minister of Fisheries who continuously say; we cannot do anything about it. Now, as important as joint management is and it is important -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, the board, I would like to secondary process the board I say to the Minister of Fisheries to make it more valuable. I would like to value-add that board but the problem is that we have to deal with it today and we better get on with our act or else the whole reason for this Province being here is going down the pipe.

MR. TOBIN: What is the old dingbat saying over there?

MR. MATTHEWS: Now, Mr. Speaker, that is why I brought this resolution here to the House of Assembly because I believe in it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: You just be quiet now and go try to deal with the problems you have to deal with because you are the great predictor that the NTA would not vote for a strike, so you should be quiet. Steve Neary really summed up, really described you very well on television a week or so ago.

MR. TOBIN: What did Steve say?

MR. MATTHEWS: Dingbat Decker he called him, dingbat Decker, now that is from a former leader of the Liberal party, who called him that.

Mr. Speaker, not to be taken away from the importance of this resolution. I brought this foreword for one reason, that I believe it is the right route to take in this Province. It is the right road to take with the fishery. I say it for all the right reasons because I am concerned about the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are now getting NCARP benefits or on UI, that will run out before too long and if we can create a few hundred jobs at this, Mr. Speaker, than it will be to our advantage. It will be to their advantage; it will be to the fishing industry's advantage. It will be to the advantage of the Minister of Finance, the taxpayers of this Province. That's what it will be.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, if all members opposite want to speak I will agree that we come back next week again and debate this resolution to give other members a chance.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: There'd be no Newfoundland without Crosbie.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you. I wasn't speaking, Sir, I was....

MR. SPEAKER: I remind hon. members that I recognised the hon. Member for Grand Bank. If the Minister of Education and the Member for Burin - Placentia West would like to take part in the debate, probably they could ask the Member for Grand Bank if he would give them a few minutes. I'm having difficulty hearing the hon. Member for Grand Bank.

The hon. the Member for Grand Bank.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, sit down that dingbat!

MR. MATTHEWS: I don't give leave to anyone who's taken leave of their senses, Mr. Speaker, and that's the situation with the Minister of Education.

I want to say to members, I don't know if you believe, by the way, that there's any hope for secondary processing in this Province. I happen to believe there is. I think it's important to create employment in this Province through secondary processing. That's why I brought the resolution forward. I didn't bring it here to be laughed at and scoffed at, to be put down. I didn't bring it here for that. I brought it here because I believe there's some potential in this resolution for people in my area of the Province to find employment. As I've said before, they're either now on the moratorium package, or on UI, or on social assistance. I'd rather have them working at value-added products than at any of that, and so would they. But if we're always going to stand here and say we can't do it, we never will do it. Perhaps there's only one solution, I suppose. Perhaps that's what this government wants Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to do, is to pack your bags and get out. That's what you want us to do.

Now I want to say to the Member for Eagle River, I want to say to him, that I have always supported joint management of our fishery. I have always supported it. I supported it before he did.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: Our Party supported it before your Party did. Always support it. I want to go on record here saying this: we all remember when Mr. Crosbie released the Atlantic agency document months ago. I stood in this House here and I opposed it. I opposed it publicly. I told Mr. Crosbie that I opposed it, that I was not satisfied with it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yeah. Yeah.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, I did, I say to the Minister of Education. Do you know what happened? I will go on the record and tell you that today the first I heard of it was when the Premier spoke about it. I did not have any advanced copy today. Why did I not have an advanced copy today? I think I was prejudged of not being supportive of it. I think that is why I did not have it and I say that sincerely. In my first quick look at the document belonging to the Member for Eagle River which I had for a couple of minutes, in looking at what the Premier had to say, in looking at what I asked them to fax up to me - they could not fax up the brochure thing but they faxed me up this, I would have to say at first look that it is worse than what was first proposed.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MATTHEWS: I had some big problems with what was first proposed. Anything that is not right for the fishery or any other industry in this Province I am not going to support. I do not care who proposes it, I could not care less. Now, having said that I say to members opposite, they remember very well when they released their document, and I as well had some problems with that. I had problems with that as well but I certainly did not support whatever you want to call it, the Crosbie document back then, and what I look at now I do not support. I do not support it but that had nothing to do with the argument here today, Mr. Speaker. What I want to do today is bring forward the issue of secondary processing. I think there is an opportunity here that we have missed. There is some of it we have missed.

MS. VERGE: Who has control over that?

MR. MATTHEWS: Who has control over processing? Not John Crosbie or Bill Matthews. Walter Carter and Clyde Wells have control over processing in this Province. They are the ones that can implement a value-added plan. Now, there is not much product to value-add but the Premier said, well, there is so little, there is not enough fish, but there are still fish being landed in this Province of various species and I say let us value-add it. Let us value-add it in the plants we have now, I say to the minister, that are considered suitable.

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

MR. SPEAKER: A point of order.

MR. CARTER: I do not think the hon. member is deliberately trying to distort what I said, Mr. Speaker, but in the few comments I made in the House I certainly did not give the impression that we were against secondary processing. In fact I gave a list, I did not have time to give it all, of some of the things we have done and expressed a lot of pride. I want to correct the record, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order. The minister is making a clarification.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, I think the minister is being a bit unfair. I gave him leave to finish up. He took four or five minutes of my time. I think that is unfair. What I am saying is let us make the most of what is landed. Let us make the most of it, that is all I am saying, and if your government is not willing to do that, and if you are not willing to make decisions, really processing is your responsibility. It is totally under your jurisdiction. There are some plants there now that are not utilized at all and some of them partly utilized, so let us start to utilize them.

They are suitable with minor modifications to value-add, I would say a little technology training, perhaps a little equipment but let us make the most of it because as I said before, with the US last night, they are afraid in the US that any further expenditure reduction is going to further cripple the American economy and God knows, in Newfoundland and Labrador, we have had too much expenditure reduction, I say to the Minister of Finance, he shrunk the economy too much and that is part of the problem. He can laugh all he likes but that is the problem in Newfoundland and Labrador, you have not created a job, so here is the chance to create a few hundred jobs -

AN HON. MEMBER: You are brighter than that, Bill.

MR. MATTHEWS: Yes, I am a little brighter than you are, I believe that. I believe I am brighter than that, I believe you have cut too much, that you have shrunk our economy, that you should stimulate and create employment and create a few jobs and here is an opportunity for you, it will not cost you -

AN HON. MEMBER: Borrow money.

MR. MATTHEWS: No, not borrow money, it is not going to cost you a lot of money. It is not going to cost a lot of money, but let us create some jobs with raw materials. Members opposite and the Minister of Education opposed to secondary processing, he agrees with shipping out raw products out of this Province to be secondary processed somewhere else?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: I know you do, I know you do and that is why, Mr. Speaker, that is why value-added processing in this Province has never been promoted by this government. You have shrunk the economy, shrunk the economy, Mr. Speaker, so let us get on about it. I look forward to the Minister of Fisheries, by the way, announcing his plan. He promised it last fall, he had a consultant's group who were going to look at it. I know what he said publicly a number of times: let the market forces dictate who survives and who does not. That is what he said, let the market forces dictate.

Well, I reacted to that a couple of months ago and I have one real concern about it by the way, gentlemen and ladies, one real concern, that there just may be regions of this Province that will be left without any processing capacity if the market forces are left to totally dictate. There will be no processing capacity in some regions of this Province, no processing capacity, no processing jobs, so I say to the minister, strategically -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: - strategically, geographically - let us have a look at it. I am talking about Newfoundland plants - I am talking Newfoundland, I say to the Member for St. John's South, look at it sensibly, because if you let it fall where forces dictate, there is going to be a lot of empty communities, a lot of unemployed people, some real serious problems. I know where the minister is coming from in one sense, but in another way I have problems understanding him because I do not want any region of this Province left without any processing capacity at all and that is just what might happen I say to members opposite.

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

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


MR. SPEAKER: All those against the motion 'Nay'.


I declare the motion defeated.

The Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Before your Honour leaves the Chair may I take a minute or two perhaps, to outline the course of business that the government proposes to ask the House to consider in the next few days. Tomorrow we will ask that the House deal with the committee stage on Bill No. 1, that is the conflict of interest bill, and if that should be passed we will go right on through the third reading stage and then should that be passed we will take other legislation and I will have a word with my friend, the House Leader. My present thought is simply to ask the House to deal with the bills in the order of their number, not their order in the motion but their order in the number, perhaps he and I could have a word after the House about that, Mr. Speaker. We will do Bill 2, then Bill 3, then Bill 4 and then Bill 5, okay? Secondly, Mr. Speaker, on Friday we will go back to the Throne Speech and my recollection is that the first speaker Your Honour will recognize will be from the right hand side of the House. Monday is a holiday, Tuesday, Motion 3, that is the interim supply, Wednesday will be private members day, and Thursday will be Motion 1, which is the Budget. We will see what happens next Friday, if we are here. If we are here on Friday we will see. In any event Your Honour that is it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Well, I will say, Mr. Speaker, I think I can go so far as to say that it is very unlikely there will be a dissolution of this House before next Thursday. The House will meet throughout next week and we shall be here, God willing, next Thursday when the Budget will be presented. After that, Mr. Speaker, no bets.

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

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