March 31, 1993              HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS              Vol. XLI  No. 17

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl raised a point of privilege yesterday concerning the failure of Memorial University to comply with a request of the committee pursuant to Standing Order 84(e) to appear at a hearing of the committee. On December 1, 1992, the hon. member reported to the House on behalf of the committee, the refusal of the University to appear. The matter was not raised as a point of privilege at that time.

The facts are the same now as they were then. A point of privilege relating to committee proceedings must be reported by the committee to the House as a point of privilege and must be raised in a timely fashion, this is Beauchesne, paragraph 107. "Even a gap of a few days may invalidate the claim," Beauchesne, 6th Edition, paragraph 115.

The facts which obtained in December 1992 were the same as those reported on by the hon. member yesterday. The matter should have been raised in December, as a point of privilege, in order to comply with the requirement that a point of privilege must be raised at the earliest opportunity. I refer hon. members to a ruling of our Speaker of December 13, 1984, when a delay of a few days invalidated a claim of breach of privilege. I therefore rule that in this instance a prima facie case of privilege has not been established.

Statements by Ministers

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker:

It gives me a great deal of pleasure today to table for this House a copy of "Changing Tides: A Consultative Document on the Future of the Fishery." This comprehensive document encompasses 39 policy framework proposals. Its principal objective is to build a viable fishery that is regionally balanced, one that is stable and competitive in the absence of government subsidies, and one in which highly skilled men and women can earn an adequate income without dependence on income maintenance payments.

As the title of the document suggests, Mr. Speaker, this is a discussion document. We welcome the views of the public at large and of those directly involved with the fishing industry in particular on the proposed policy framework for the future of the fishery. With this in mind, public meetings are being arranged throughout the Province so that as many people as possible will have an opportunity to directly present their views.

The engine of change for the fishery of the future must be driven by a policy framework that is responsive, remedial and responsible. Major public changes will be necessary if the fishery is to emerge as a vibrant and stable sector of the Province's economy as stocks rebuild. These changes, Mr. Speaker, must address the fundamental structural weaknesses which have tended to generate relative instability in the fishing industry. This is the challenge my department accepted, Sir, when we undertook a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of our fishing industry and developed this document which I am tabling today.

Effective and responsive change will not occur overnight. We must ensure that the policy decisions of today will bring about greater stability for future generations. I am confident, Mr. Speaker, that if we reflect carefully on these critical policy decisions, the most appropriate decisions will be taken, and we will successfully rebuild a viable and prosperous fishery.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to point out that there is not a single Newfoundlander or Labradorian who does not have either a direct or an indirect vested interest in the ongoing performance of the fishery. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I invite every Newfoundlander and Labradorian, to avail of the opportunity to study this document and to present their views. I invite all members of this honourable House, Mr. Speaker, both sides, to do likewise and, where possible, attend the public meetings that will be held around the Province very soon. I want to repeat, Mr. Speaker, it is a discussion document, a discussion document.

Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Opposition House Leader and Member for Grand Bank.

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

I would like to give a brief reaction to this, just having received the minister's statement since I came to the House and having seen the new document, "Changing Tides" - a most appropriate title, I say to the Minister of Fisheries. There is no question, Mr. Speaker, that, with the fisheries there definitely are changing tides and I think, politically, in this Province, there certainly are changing tides, so it is most appropriately titled, I say to the minister.

Mr. Speaker, the minister references that there are thirty-nine policy framework proposals and that they are going around the Province to have public meetings so that as many people as possible will have an opportunity to direct and present their views. Now, I want to say that there have been more public meetings and conferences and forums on the future of the Newfoundland fishery in the last twelve months than I guess there ever have been in our history. Now, having said that, we are going through a very serious crisis in our fishery, a very critical stage in the history of our Province when it comes to our most traditional industry, the fishery, and I guess, Mr. Speaker, as with a lot of other government documents that we have seen within the last few weeks in this House, including the Budget, but there is a lot of vagueness and rhetoric contained in between those covers, and I think Newfoundlanders and Labradorians tonight, when they see the news and listen to the news, are going to ask: What plans do this government have for the fishery and for the economy of this Province?

Once again, of course, what do they get? A nicely packaged document full of vagueness and rhetoric. That is what this Minister of Fisheries and this government has given to the people of this Province who are looking for a future in the Newfoundland fishery.

There is nothing in this document that is going to sustain jobs in the fishery, that is going to create new jobs in the fishery, and I say to the minister I think it is time that he made a commitment to the people of this Province that he and his government will look at value-added secondary processing in this Province to sustain jobs and to create new jobs, and not just put rhetoric in a book, hoping to keep the people of this Province happy for another thirty or sixty days.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Premier some questions with respect to the Strategic Economic Plan.

Last year's Budget, I guess, as well as this year's Budget, both were pretty bleak documents, certainly in the opinion of the majority of the people, I think, in this Province. The only ray of hope that at least was touted in last year's Budget was the government's plan to spend $3.1 million, he may recall, to begin the implementation of the government's Strategic Economic Plan.

That $3.1 million last year was the cornerstone of the Budget. It was announced with a lot of hoopla, and in fact in the end, when you look at the revised figures in the Budget, they only spent half of it - $1.5 million.

Now given that the Strategic Economic Plan is supposed to be our salvation, I suppose, for the long-term future of the Province, I want to ask the Premier: Why is it then you were only able to spend half of that money, about $1.5 million?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: The hon. member will, of course, know that the Budget was prepared in February and early March. The Strategic Economic Plan was finalized and filed the middle of June, I think, so three months of the fiscal year were gone by even before, and it was an estimated amount. Besides, last year was a year when we had to be as stringent with expenditures as we possibly could, and that explains the situation last year.

Now I dare say we could have said: Well the money is there, spend it anyway. But we are a more responsible government than that. Where we can avoid expenditures in a year when we are having financial difficulties we have tried to do so.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thanks to the Premier for the answer. A rather interesting response, to say the least. Again if you look at the Budget documents you will see that of that $1.5 million that was spent on page 19 of the Budget document, of the estimates at least, a little over $1 million was spent on personnel and administration, and $530,000 was spent on grants and subsidies.

Now surely a program that costs over two dollars in administration to every one dollar spent on projects can't be the Premier's idea of a prosperous path to economic recovery. Can the Premier tell the House what precisely that money was spent on? How was that money spent? That $1 million in personnel and administration and $530,000 in grants and subsidies.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: The hon. member will of course realize that one of the key things we had to do was some re-organization. We divided the old Department of Development into the new Department of Industry, Trade and Technology and the Department of Tourism and Culture. A good deal of it was re-organization preparing for implementation of the plan. I don't have the actual specifics in front of me at the moment but I will undertake to get them and table them. Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to ask the Premier another supplementary on this same topic. In the Budget documents you will see that $235,000 was spent on salaries. Now at the going rate I suppose that's equivalent to maybe five employees, five full-time jobs. I don't know, the Premier can tell us.

MR. MATTHEWS: Four or five.

MR. SIMMS: Four or five. If so can he tell us this? Why would four or five employees need $70,000 for travel, $95,000 for furniture, and another $10,000 for supplies? Isn't that a bit luxurious even by the Premier's standards?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Absolutely not, so far as I know. I don't know the details but I will get the details and table them for the hon. member. I don't carry all of that information around in my head. See, what the hon. member forgets is the Strategic Economic Plan covers all aspects of government. If they look to the Budget this year they'll see just that. The Strategic Economic Plan covers all aspects of it. So I can't tell him where the figures are or what was involved but I will undertake to get the figures and table them.

MR. SIMMS: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Supplementary, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: I wonder if the Premier would also when he's checking answer this question: is it possible that some of the cost of furniture - that $95,000 and the like for the Premier's office - was actually charged off to this particular subhead? Strategic Economic Plan. Is that possible?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Absolutely not possible. That's one thing I can say with certainty, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: It's interesting that he knows that absolutely for certain but can't answer the other questions. Let me ask him one final question, Mr. Speaker.

This year in the Budget Estimates you will find that you have budgeted now $4.7 million for the same thing, Strategic Economic Plan, but it is all budgeted under purchased services. This year it is budgeted under purchased services. Now, I want to ask the Premier, what happened to the staff, what happened to the furniture, what happened to the supplies and all the other apparatus that was built up during last year's Budget? Can he explain that to us? Where has that disappeared?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I do not know how many million will be spent under the directions of the Strategic Economic Plan this year. There is $4.7 there in block funding but that is only a portion of it. I will get the details and bring it before the House, the exact details of it, but where we knew with certainty a specific action, say action item 49 was going to be implemented and it involved the Department of Employment and Labour Relations, the money was put directly in that department's budget where we knew the specifics and exactly what was going to be done. There is money in that department's budget to do it. The same applies to Tourism and Culture, the same applies to Municipal and Provincial Affairs, to Industry, Trade and Technology and so on, so there is a good deal more than the 4.7.

The 4.7 is there because we had already received a number of requests for expenditures under the Strategic Economic Plan which had not yet received final approval. What hon. members may not know is that there is an implementation committee and none of the money set aside specifically for the Strategic Economic Plan in the bulk amount, like the 4.7, can be spent without going through that implementation committee. It is a committee of senior public servants. There are no politicians on it at all. It is a committee of senior public servants and that money is allocated as the need arises and as the need is justified. There have been numerous requests. Needless to say many departments have found this an ingenious method to look for a little extra money but it has to meet and be used to carry out a specific objective of the 134 specific action items.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Finance. The minister announced that funding was cut off for new school construction in 1993-94 and in his post Budget comments he referred to a study that government is undertaking to determine school construction priorities. I ask the minister what would be the form of that study and when does he expect that the study will get underway?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, it is an ongoing process within the Department of Education where we are having a look at school construction and school construction priorities in the Province. Eventually we'll have to make decisions in terms of the amount of money put into school construction.

I should point out to the hon. gentleman that this year we're experiencing very difficult financial circumstances and we had to have a reduction in capital expenditures as well as a reduction in current expenditures. One of the things we decided was that several major projects, capital projects, in the health and justice field would not go ahead, as well as no new construction in the education field would go ahead. So these are the decisions that we made to meet our budgetary objectives, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Supplementary, the hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I assume the minister is aware that school construction has been the subject of a major Department of Education study for the past two years. An executive director was brought in over the past two years to coordinate the study which has cost several hundred thousand dollars over the past two years. So is he saying now the results of this have been a waste of time the last two years and they do not now know what the priorities are after an ongoing study for two years?

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

MR. BAKER: No, Mr. Speaker, we say no such thing. We have to have a look at what's been done. But in the interim, regardless of the direction that that study has taken - we still had a very serious financial problem. We had to cut capital. We've cut it the only places where we could cut capital. Unfortunately we had to delay many construction projects in this Province during this fiscal year because of our difficult financial times. That's a reality, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So the minister is saying that it's not a matter of having a study to establish construction priorities, because that's already there. So is the minister now saying it's just a matter of dollars they're going to spend? It's strictly a budgetary thing. It's not a school construction priority. The government has said it wants more cooperation among denominations. Is the minister aware that there are several proposals for joint service schools now available and wanting funding to reduce inefficiency within the system? So is the government's action not preventing cooperation and further sharing among denominations?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I'm also aware of many roads that need to be built. I'm also aware of hospitals that need work. I'm also aware of courthouses that need to be replaced and work that needs to be done on many other public buildings in the Province. I'm aware of all these needs.

In the past four years we've put $101 million into new school construction. This year we are continuing the construction that's there. We have decided for one year, because of our financial circumstances and because we need to have a look at, in the process we're going through school construction money, we had decided not to do any new projects in this field. I don't know what the hon. gentleman is so confused about. It's not one or the other. It's a combination of circumstances, not the least of which is the financial mess that you people put this Province in.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. SULLIVAN: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. SULLIVAN: Basically, if I read the minister correctly he's stating that the study that he referred to the government is intending to make and to carry out is already being carried out, and in reality there is no real study going on at all now. It's just an ongoing one for two years and it still hasn't established priorities. Is that what the minister is saying?

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

MR. BAKER: No, Mr. Speaker. We're going through a process in cooperation with the denominations that hopefully will change the face of education in this Province and change the way money is spent in this Province. We're undergoing that process, and that process has not been finished, not nearly finished. We have a Royal Commission report and there are many things in that that we're also looking at that I'm sure the Minister of Education could speak on for hours in great detail.

I've described the situation exactly as it is. I've indicated to the hon. gentleman the various pressures that we face in terms of new construction. I've indicated to him the reason why we've decided to stop construction in many areas of government, not just this area of government, Mr. Speaker, and I would hope he could understand that.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Premier. I have been given some information recently that a truckload of furniture was diverted from the Confederation Building to Pleasantville for some temporary storage in one of the buildings in that area of St. John's. Will the Premier confirm that this was some new furniture for his eighth floor offices, or some new floor for the penthouse he is building, some new furniture for the Cabinet room on the eleventh?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: If we were to have all of the furniture they think is going on the eighth floor we would have to triple the size of it, Mr. Speaker. Do they think the people of this Province are so utterly stupid as to accept those kinds of propositions?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: Well, indeed, they must think they are that stupid. Well, Mr. Speaker, the people of this Province know the difference, and know the Goebbels technique when they see it: Throw out the big lie; it doesn't matter that there is no truth in it - throw out the big lie. It is like the $600 doorknob.

Mr. Speaker, I have to say again, if there is a $600 doorknob on my floor, Mr. Peckford put it there, because there isn't a doorknob on the floor that wasn't there when I took office.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I take it from that answer that there is furniture in Pleasantville for his office. Mr. Speaker, I have also been given information that included in that load of furniture were several sheets of plywood to board up the windows of the building in which the furniture is stored - to hide it away until it can be brought up to this building under the dark of night.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: Don't laugh, boys!

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I know there have been new sheets of plywood put up to the windows of Building 907 in Pleasantville. Will the Premier confirm that this is where he is hiding away his furniture until it can be moved up here?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must have it wrong. He is going back to 1979, when they had the Gibbard mahogany bedroom suite ordered for the Premier, when they ordered the crystal and the china, when they ordered the Gibbard mahogany dining room suite for the Premier.

The hon. member has it all wrong. He should come to his senses.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, will the Premier confirm - I take from his last answer that yes, it is in Building 907. He did not deny that. Can the Premier also confirm that there have been huge amounts of excellent quality furniture taken out of this Confederation Building over the past two years and stored in government-owned buildings at Torbay Airport, while the ministers and the Premier continue to buy furniture for their offices?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge, everything the hon. member has said today is a total fabrication. Now, whether he fabricated it or somebody is giving him the information and he sincerely believes it, I don't know, but I can tell the House that everything the hon. member said is a complete fabrication.

You see, they think we are getting close to an election, so they are out there now: throw out the big lie, try to smear as much as you can. That technique is so transparent and so well-known that the voters of this Province are not going to be misled by any such utter nonsense, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, this is not about an election, this is about extravagance, when public servants are asked to give up their pensions.

Mr. Speaker, a final supplementary to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. Will the minister confirm that he spent $10,000 renovating his washrooms over in the new building.

AN HON. MEMBER: The west block.

MR. R. AYLWARD: In the west block. Will he also confirm that he spent $3,500 on new vinyl wallpaper for his office for new decorating?

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

MR. HOGAN: No, Mr. Speaker, I can't find the washroom they spent ten thousand dollars on. I know I moved out of it late last year, and when I came back someone had removed a wall. I don't know if that cost $10,000 or not, but someone had removed it to put a garage door in there, so I could fit in and out of it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HOGAN: I do not know if it cost $10,000, but it is a good garage door. It is invisible. I cannot see the wall; it is gone anyway.

Mr. Speaker, there is no vinyl covering, that I know of, on the walls. As a matter of fact, the last time I had occasion to speak about the walls, I wrote the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation and asked him if he could lend me some soap and water so I could wash the dirt off that was left on them when you were over there. I believe you did put in a new venetian blind since I was there. I do not know if they put that there while I was away or since I have been back.

MR. SPEAKER: A final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, it would be much cheaper for them to send him into New World Fitness than to renovate the office to try to get him in.

Mr. Speaker, will the minister undertake to table in this House of Assembly, the cost of the renovations to his office since he went there, under the 1991-1992 Budget? Will he supply this House with those figures, as soon as he can get them?

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, if they are going to send me to New World Fitness, I hope they use the same truck they used for the furniture so no one will see me going there.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HOGAN: I would suggest, with all due respect, Mr. Speaker, they would have lots to work with, so it might cost the amount of money they are talking about. The cost, I guess, they will have to get from the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I didn't do any work on it, but if there is cost involved I will certainly ask for it.

MR. FLIGHT: It didn't cost $75,000.

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

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

I have a question for the Minister of Fisheries. Several months ago the minister announced an interest relief program for boat owners, fishermen. I wonder if the minister could explain for the House what the status of that interest relief program is now, where it might be and when boat owners may expect to get some things processed?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, yes, we are providing some relief for fishermen who have direct loans through the Fisheries Loan Board and guaranteed loans through the banks. There are a number of applicants, various fishermen from various parts of the Island, applying for the interest write-off, and those people will be contacted within the next day or two. We are going to proceed with it and they will be so advised.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Opposition House Leader.

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

I have been told that there has been a hang-up at Treasury Board, I say to the present Treasury Board, that it has been hung up there for a considerable period of time. There was a while processing the claims and now that there have been forty-seven or fifty processed that is still at Treasury Board. Can either the Minister of Fisheries or the President of Treasury Board explain why it is taking so long to get this through the system and why those boat owners have had to wait so long for that? Because, apparently, there has been a real hang-up at Treasury Board, I am told.

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As with any significant financial measure, Mr. Speaker, it always undergoes a great deal of study in Treasury Board. We believe in making sure of what we do and, indeed, there were a couple of weeks where various aspects of the plan had to be studied, the financial implications and so on. It has recently been finally dealt with and the people will be notified very shortly, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: A final supplementary, the hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A final supplementary to the President of Treasury Board.

I have had a number of calls into my office over the last number of days from fishermen who are expecting to get some relief from the program. I am wondering: Could the minister inform us what the cost of this program will be to the Province and when, specifically, can boat owners expect to receive the relief?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to put an exact figure on it because there are certain conditions attached. However, I suspect that the first run through will result in a cost of somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000 to the Province.

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

MR. PARSONS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Environment and Lands.

Will she stop Newfoundland Power from building and using a PC storage facility near Chance Cove?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands.

MS. COWAN: I don't think we will need too much room for storage of those individuals, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: We'll open up a new jail for them.

MS. COWAN: Newfoundland Light and Power have asked my department for permission to store PCBs in that particular area of the Province. We are looking at the registration and the decision is due tomorrow as to whether or not they could go ahead with this facility, whether it requires a more in-depth look or, if we will have to go for a full environmental assessment.

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

MR. PARSONS: I have to make a comment to those laughing hyenas over there. The only comment I have is, we will see.

Mr. Speaker, will the minister confirm the PCB storage facility was rejected by the City of Mount Pearl and by the Town of Paradise, and would be rejected by every other municipality in the Province, but Newfoundland Power has avoided local governments by building just outside the municipal boundaries of Chance Cove?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands.

MS. COWAN: The hon. gentleman does have one fact wrong there. The proponent, Newfoundland Light and Power actually withdrew their application from Mount Pearl, it wasn't turned down by the town. However, indeed, Paradise did, in fact, refuse to give them the necessary go-ahead that they needed. They are still entitled to an environment registering and, when I look at the registration and make my decision I will take into account any of the concerns that have been put forward to me by the people in that area.

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

MR. PARSONS: My next question is to the Minister of Tourism and Culture.

Is the Minister of Tourism and Culture prepared to take a stand on the issue? There is a provincial park in the area, wildlife and hunting. What is his position? Is he for or against storing hazardous waste in that particular area?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Tourism and Culture.

MR. WALSH: Mr. Speaker, like most members on this side, I believe first and foremost that everybody should be given the opportunity to present their case. We have probably one of the strongest pieces of legislation in the country - not just in Atlantic Canada but in all of Canada - to deal with environmental problems and concerns, and I have all the faith in the world that the system will carry itself through, and that anything that needs to come forward will be dealt with by the Minister of Environment and Lands, in whom I have absolute faith.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. PARSONS: My question now, Mr. Speaker, is to the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

This project can be stopped by the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. It is in the Hibernia impact area and that department must issue a building permit. Will the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs deny Newfoundland Power a permit to build this hazardous waste facility?

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

MR. HOGAN: No, Mr. Speaker, I won't, out of hand -

MR. PARSONS: Answer the question, boy. Don't give a worried answer.

MR. HOGAN: I am not worried. I am just waiting for the conversation to end that is babbling back and forth across the floor.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member has asked the question so let us wait for the minister's answer.

The hon. the minister.

MR. HOGAN: Thank you for your protection, Mr. Speaker.

To the hon. member I would say, no, we will not out of hand deny any permit for that particular storage, however I will go back to the remarks in the petition that was made the other day, that this particular application will be closely scrutinized by the Department of Environmental Affairs and there have been recommendations made by myself as an adjacent member and by the member for the area, and there have been recommendations forthcoming from the various villages and towns surrounding that particular area. I am sure the Department of the Environment will take all those recommendations into consideration when making their decision, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. HARRIS: My question is for the Premier and concerns the problem caused by this government's action against the non-governmental organizations and social agencies that reside in King George V Institute and also resided in the Harvey Road premises owned by the government. Today is the date that these organizations were to be kicked out of the King George V Institute and the government was to implement its policy of removing support for these agencies for accommodations, some of which have had space from the government for twenty years. Is there any hope the Premier is going to reverse this unjust policy?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, before I answer the question I am sure all hon. members will support my extending a most warm and sincere welcome to a former Speaker of this House in the person of Mr. George Clarke.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: He was Speaker of this House when I was elected in 1966 and he served as Speaker during all those turbulent years and I am happy to see the warm welcome that Mr. Clarke received.

Now, to answer the hon. member's question, most of what he said was incorrect. It was a gross exaggeration and distortion of reality but I suppose it serves a political purpose. The hon. member may be aware, I think it was last week, it was one day last week, we meet with a representative group of all the people involved and we took steps at that time to try and deal with a difficult situation. It is totally incorrect to say that the support government gives those agencies has been withdrawn. Government has given a number of agencies some level of support. It would be true to say that the building they occupied on Harvey Road, those who did, was burned-down and government has not given them replacement areas up till now, and it is true to say that the King George V Institute is going to be closed for building quality reasons and the people there, up to this point, have not been provided with definite alternative facilities. Now, whether or not government will be able to do something over the next few weeks only time will tell. I just wanted to make sure that the hon. member's distortion of it does not stand unchallenged.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has expired.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, yesterday there was a series of questions made by my friend for Grand Bank and I promised to get the information back to the House within twenty-four hours.

The first question was: was a loan ever given to Trinity Brick from the provincial government or ENL? The answer is yes. The Enterprise Corporation - I checked the facts out with them, and they did issue an equity investment on May 16 1991. That was approved for the brick manufacturing plant at Milton. It's the only one in the Province. It was provided to maintain the forty-two local jobs that were there. At the time of the approval the principals had equity of $400,000 into it.

The second question -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. FUREY: I don't mind. I'll just quickly - I won't read everything. The second one was: is Trinity Brick up for sale? As far as we know it is. There has been a group of individuals who have approached the corporation and put forward a business plan. That's being analyzed now and it's being dealt with through the banks and through the corporation. I don't think it would be fair to name the company while they're in negotiations so I won't do that.

The next one: what's happened to the loan? The loan was put in place during a low period during the construction period. It was put in place to allow them to build an inventory, which they did. The trigger mechanism was the kick-in repayments on July of this year. There are various securities in place against the loan as well.

The last thing I think the member asked was: was the application put forward twice and turned down twice? I spoke with the senior office from the corporation this morning who dealt with this particular portfolio in May of 1991 and he tells me: no, it was brought forward once and approved by the board.

I'll table this, Mr. Speaker.


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

MS. VERGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise to present petitions signed by 3,048 citizens of the Corner Brook area who reside in three electoral districts - Bay of Islands, Humber West and Humber East. These petitions were initiated by cancer patients who live in Mount Moriah and Benoit's Cove in Humber Arm South in Bay of Islands.

I'll read the petitions first. One petition says as follows: whereas the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has not seen fit to continue funding for a visiting specialists' cancer clinic at Western Memorial Regional Hospital, and whereas Corner Brook and Western Newfoundland medical facilities are not equipped with required health maintenance technology for cancer patients in the region, and whereas in accordance with provincial statistics approximately 50,000 people in Western Newfoundland are directly affected by cancer, we the people here undersigned demand that government address these matters promptly, re-establish the patient services clinic, and provide any equipment necessary to keep cancer care at home here on the West Coast.

The other petition reads: to all residents of the West Coast of our Province, our cancer clinic has been closed out. We are in need of medical help just as the East Coast of the Province is. We have to show the government that they need to listen to us. By signing this petition you will be showing your support to have our cancer clinic re-opened so we also can have a fighting chance at life. If you are a cancer patient please leave your telephone number.

As I said, Mr. Speaker, these petitions have been signed by 3,048 citizens of the Corner Brook area.

These people are pleading with the government to act. They've seen the government shamelessly neglect services for cancer patients outside St. John's. Since last September, for the last seven months, there have been no visits by the cancer specialists based in St. John's with the foundation in St. John's to outreach clinics in Burin, Grand Falls or Corner Brook. For twenty-one years previous to that, all during the 1970s and the 1980s, cancer specialists visited those outreach clinics regularly and at the clinics gave cancer patients from the respective regions regular checkups and services that they need.

Since September, cancer patients from all over the Province have been expected to come to St. John's, even for routine checkups and, Mr. Speaker, for the most part, the cancer patients and their families have had to bear all the cost of the travel and accommodations in St. John's on their own. Government assistance to defray transportation and accommodations cost is minimal.

Just yesterday, I had an experience with a cancer patient in Corner Brook, a patient who recently had surgery and has to have six weeks of radiation therapy in St. John's beginning next week. That person, a senior citizen, isn't able to afford the travel and accommodations cost. For the first time in her life, she had to go to the Department of Social Services, and despite all the documentation she showed the department, current guidelines would not authorize any more assistance to her other than the cost of her accommodation at the Health Sciences hostel, and a $15-a-day meal allowance. Social services wouldn't cover the $128.50 bus fare for that patient to come to St. John's and return home - shameful, Mr. Speaker!

Not only are cancer patients in Western Newfoundland fighting to regain services we had for twenty-one years, but lost through the neglect of the Wells Administration, they are now seeking radiation therapy in Western Newfoundland at the Western Memorial Regional Hospital clinic.

Mr. Speaker, this is not an unreasonable request. According to experts I have consulted, we can look at the situation in the Maritime Provinces. In New Brunswick, there are radiation facilities and services provided both in St. John and in Moncton. There is a limited amount of radiation service provided in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, nearby - PEI having a population of only about 120,000. In Nova Scotia, Sydney is now getting a radiation clinic. Here, in this Province, the government is embarking on building a $13 million cancer clinic in St. John's, pledging part only of the cost and expecting the Cancer Foundation to raise the balance.

Mr. Speaker, there has to be fairness. There has to be an equitable distribution of services. We should have a decent service in Western Newfoundland.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair was looking at some mail here and the hon. member has gone way over time.

MS. VERGE: In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, let me say that I wholeheartedly support this petition.

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

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, just a few words on this petition.

I appreciate the concerns of people who have cancer and who need cancer treatment in various parts of Newfoundland, but I will say that the hon. member has been distorting the facts and has been doing so all summer. It is really reprehensible what she has been doing, and I wish she would not persist in that type of attitude.

The facts are that the cancer clinics are continuing to operate in all these places that she has mentioned. What has happened is that there is a desperate shortage of cancer specialists not only in this Province but in other provinces of Canada and generally. It is not a matter of funds - the funds are available to the Cancer Treatment Foundation - it is a matter of the unavailability of people.

They have been working quite hard, and visits to these clinics will be resumed shortly, because we have been able to get some new staff. We had someone lined up last December who was supposed to come in in January, but that person, due to a family illness, was unable to come and may not be able to be here at all; but we have been able to get other people and we hope that these clinics will resume. But I do take exception to the manner in which the hon. member has distorted the facts.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Terra Nova.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: I have recognized the hon. Member for Terra Nova. Is the hon. the Member for Terra Nova yielding?


MR. SPEAKER: Yielding - to the Member for Humber Valley.

The hon. the Member for Humber Valley.

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I wanted to have a few words on the petition presented by my colleague from Humber East. I have had the opportunity - it is not very often you get the opportunity - to listen to the minister who is responsible for that particular department, reply before the second person in the Opposition gets a chance to speak in favour of a petition.

I want to say to the minister responsible for health in this Province, and to all hon. members opposite, especially the Premier and any members representing communities and districts on the West Coast and the Northern Peninsula of this Province: if there is any member who doesn't realize - and doesn't get a call pertaining to cancer patients on the West Coast of this Province or haven't had them in the last month, then I say there is something radically wrong.

I am getting them, Mr. Speaker, and it is a very serious situation on the West Coast of the Province. Believe it or not, we are now, as far as I am concerned, on the West Coast of this Province, being treated as second class citizens in no uncertain terms.

A second point I want to make, Mr. Speaker, is this: We are practising what I would refer to as crises medicine on the West Coast of the Province. I know it - I go into the hospital once every couple of weeks and just have a look around. All you have to do is go into the Intensive Care Unit and look at it. All you have to do is talk to your constituents, the people who call you, and see what is happening with cancer. All you have to do, Mr. Speaker, is read your mail, read your correspondence about a lady, forty-nine years old, dead from cancer on the West Coast of the Province - now, granted, I will say, not specifically because there was no chemotherapy treatment in that hospital, not specifically because the specialist here never got in; yes, there is chemotherapy - yes, there is, at the hospital in Corner Brook. The unit is there, some treatment is taking place and there is a lot that is not - no radiation at all, they have to come here for radiation treatment.

AN HON. MEMBER: There never was radiation.

MR. WOODFORD: There never was, that is right. That is what I am talking about - second class. And the other question, Mr. Speaker, is this: If there are three specialists in St. John's, why can't we send one to Corner Brook? If we only have three, why do they always have to be here? Why can't we send one out?

DR. KITCHEN: There is no need of it.

MR. WOODFORD: And for the minister to say there is no need of it -there is need of it. There is, and if the minister wants to contact me afterwards, I can give him some of the names.

Mr. Speaker, the minister might not realize it, but this administration is playing Russian roulette with the health care system in this Province, especially as it pertains to the West Coast of the Province. The only difference in this, Mr. Speaker, is Russian roulette with all chambers loaded. They don't have a chance.

MR. FLIGHT: What happened to the seventeen years (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Never mind the seventeen years, the minister can answer for the last four. I will answer for the previous seventeen years, as well. If the minister can't stand the heat, let him get out of the kitchen.

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious situation, and I say to members opposite, if there are three specialists in the St. John's area, at least send one out. We are not going to save everybody even if we had a thousand specialists, but at least, show that we are making an effort and let one specialist go out until we get the other one, two or three put in place for whatever is needed on the West Coast of the Province.

It is about time we got some recognition. It is about time we started standing up and speaking for our constituents who elected us to come to this House, especially with respect to medicine and health care.

For example, last week, Mr. Speaker, I had to intervene - it took me three days to get a lady with a very serious heart condition, who was on the corridor of the Intensive Care Unit in Corner Brook, out to St. John's. I don't mind, I will go public if the family don't mind going public, if they wanted to, if it is necessary. But finally I got her out. How many more don't call me. How many more would not call their member? And why, really, should I have to intervene to get on Medivac to St. John's, a person diagnosed with a very severe heart condition? I should never have had to do it.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Terra Nova.

MR. GREENING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It is with great pride that I rise today to support the 209 people who signed this petition. It represents the parishes of St. Gabriel's, St. Brendan's and the community of Coles Harbour.

The prayer of the petition reads: 'We, the undersigned, are committed to the highest quality education for the children of our Province. We support Roman Catholic schools and want to keep them. In the same way, we support the rights of others to have the schools they desire. We also support co-operation between the churches and education, especially shared service schools where they are needed. We do not want our rights and the rights of other people in our Province taken away, and we ask you, as our representatives, not to tamper with the rights we now have under the Constitution of Canada.'

These people whom I represent are adamant in their feelings toward denominational education, all of whom fully support sharing, where necessary, and certainly that can be attained within our present system. Also they feel they have a right to send their children to the schools of their choice, in this case, Roman Catholic Schools. Also, Mr. Speaker, they are clear in thoughts and aspiration that no change can be made in their constitutional rights. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I, too, have a petition which is worded in an identical manner to the hon. member's, so I will not read that, just in the interest of saving some time. This is presented on behalf of the parishioners of the Basilica and represents 1,437 signatures here, many of whom are in St. John's Centre, some of whom are in St. John's West, some in St. John's East and a variety of other people who worship at the Basilica.

I want to say a few words on this petition and on similar petitions that have been presented. We know that people hold their faith in a very serious manner in this city, particularly in the area which I represent and in the churches which are represented there. There has been considerable sharing, as I have mentioned earlier, over the years through the Newfoundland Teachers' Association. There has been co-operation in teacher training -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I have to remind the hon. member that it is 3:00 p.m. and it is Wednesday, so the Chair must call the item of business which is the private members' resolution, or call it three -


MR. SPEAKER: By leave, the hon. the Minister of Health.

DR. KITCHEN: I want to say that there has been tremendous co-operation in some areas and there has been quite a bit of co-operation in the primary, secondary and elementary level, and undoubtedly, there will be more co-operation. What it has required, I believe, is leadership. We need leadership to encourage the co-operation where people want it. There hasn't been quite that leadership shown, in my view, in the past number of years. But I believe this gathering of petitions has been a tremendous exercise. It is almost like an article of faith where people sign up and let everybody know that they really believe in the schools to which they send their children. I think that the Province will be all the better for it and religious education will be all the better for this exercise, Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of order, the hon. the Opposition House Leader.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, realizing it is Private Members' Day, and not wanting to take time away from the Member for St. John's South, I will do this now before he gets recognized, and then, I take his time.

Mr. Speaker, pertaining to the Estimates Committees: I say to the Government House Leader, the Estimates Committees were referred on, I think it was last Thursday, March 26, and Standing Order 120, page 38, says: "Each committee shall, at the conclusion of fifteen sitting days following the reference of estimates to it, put all questions, without debate, needed to carry every subhead of each head of expenditure referred to it before making a report to the House."

Now, Mr. Speaker, this is Wednesday, the 31st, so we already have four days gone and there have been no Estimates Committee meetings. So, I want to rise on a point of order and hopefully get a response from the Government House Leader. I mean, it is time, with respect to this Budget that was brought down here - I think it was the 18th of March - that the committees had a chance to scrutinize those Estimates, because time is running out, and fifteen days -

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible) what I am doing.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, what is wrong with the shoe man? The shoemaker - what is the matter with him? This is a serious issue. We want the Estimates scrutinized. We have fifteen sitting days, when the Committees have to report. There are four days gone already, so I just wanted to make the point to the Government House Leader to see what is going on and ask if we are going to get on with this.

MR. SPEAKER: To the point of order, the hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, to that point of order, let me begin by saying, I don't pretend to know what is going on, in the sense that the committees are masters of their own schedule. The hon. gentleman is quite correct when he reminds us that 118(4) or whatever it is of the Marshall rules. The hon. William Marshall, now Judge Marshall of the Court of Appeal, put those rules through. I may say over my strenuous objections. My friend for Grand Falls was in the Chair in those days and presided while this was done.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: My hon. friend didn't know what strenuous is and he shows us this every day. Let me come back to the point made by his colleague the House Leader. Last night, as I said to the House, we understood we might need to sit last evening. Hon. gentlemen opposite eventually decided -

AN HON. MEMBER: To give in.

MR. ROBERTS: No, they didn't give in. They did what they said they'd do. They allowed the Interim Supply to get through -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. ROBERTS: Have I ever said anything to the contrary, Mr. Speaker? I am told that hon. members opposite have told those on this side who are responsible for the organization of the committees that they do not want to sit this evening.

MR. NOEL: And they didn't have anybody last night.

MR. ROBERTS: It's not for me to give 'aye' or 'nay'. These committees have been set up by the House and function. What I must say to my hon. friend opposite is that if his colleagues do not want to sit tonight, then they don't sit tonight. I know I speak for my friends on this side - that if his colleagues opposite wish to sit tonight, I'm sure that the private members on this side will be available. I can assure him - unless the Premier does something (Inaudible) - that the ministers will be available. Whichever ministers are scheduled to appear before the committees tonight will be available.

I have to say, I hope I'm not down, because I'm scheduled to go to Happy Valley - Goose Bay to open a broomball tournament. It's going to be an interesting exercise.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) the ball.

MR. ROBERTS: No, I'm going to be the broom. My friend for Placentia here, he'd say he'd be the ball. We make a good team. I'm glad to be on the same team as he is. But what I say, Mr. Speaker, to my hon. friend is, if the committees want to meet, there's certainly nothing that we've done that prevents them. My understanding, and it may be a misunderstanding, is that members on his side have said: let us not. I would suggest that the vice-chairs, who sit on his side, meet with the chairs, who sit on our side, and the two of them work it out.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Kilbride, a brief point.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I'm one of the members on the Government Services Committee who was asked by the chairman: do we want to sit tonight? I actually said: I don't want to sit if we're not sitting. If there are going to be meetings I will sit. I don't want to sit, but I will sit if there are meetings. So if the Chair calls a meeting we have to go. We have no choice.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There's no point of order. The hon. member raised a concern, and a justifiable one, but no point of order.

The hon. the Member for St. John's South to introduce and proceed with his resolution.

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


MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker. Would my hon. friend yield for a minute?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

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

MR. ROBERTS: May I say two things? One is to advise members that His Honour the Administrator will attend upon the House.... That's not the right phrase. Expects us to be here at 4:30 this afternoon when he will come to give assent to the bills that were given yesterday.

Now I say to my friend for Grand Bank who's aquiver with anticipation over there, there may be more. He'll have to be here at 4:30 p.m. and hear what His Honour the Administrator says. His Honour, I understand, will be here at 4:30 p.m. for an assent ceremony.

Secondly, I wonder if hon. members would allow - this will take unanimous consent, and I hope my hon. friend for St. John's South will concur - to allow us to use today for government business? If so - and I advised hon. gentlemen opposite I would be making this request so as not to take them by surprise - if so, we propose to ask the House to deal with two measures. The first is the bill to reduce our pay, which is Bill 17. The other is a supplementary supply bill for supply which would deal with the current financial year, the year that ends at midnight this night. There's an extra $2.5 million needed for social services matters.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I'm sorry? In any event, I wonder, Mr. Speaker, I have spoken with my friends who sit to Your Honour's left, and they tell me they are prepared to forgo Private Members' Day to allow the government to use it. But I must ask if hon. members opposite would permit that.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I know the amount of work that the Member for St. John's South has put into this resolution. I know that he's very interested in the resolution. I'm interested in hearing what he has to say. So I do not grant leave, Mr. Speaker.

Private Members' Day

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

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

MR. TOBIN: Thank the Member for Kilbride.

MR. MURPHY: I do thank the Member for Kilbride, however I also understand that it is important to do the Province's business, but now that it is Private Members' Day I certainly am prepared to take advantage of the opportunity to speak on what I feel is an extremely important subject, and obviously if I did not I would not have put it on the Order Paper.

I think we see from day to day a tremendous and growing concern about, not only the environment throughout the world, but the environment as it pertains to our shoreline, Mr. Speaker, and how it would pertain to, I suggest, our very fragile resource, our fishery.

Now, in 1989 there was a public review panel put in place by the federal government to deal with the growing public concern for marine environment resulting from bulk movement of oil and chemicals throughout Canadian waters and throughout our fishing zones. This three member panel was given a mandate to review and evaluate initially the measures currently in place to ensure the safe movement of oil and chemicals by tanker and tanker barge throughout Canadian waters, and Canada's ability to respond to marine spills of these products and the Canadian and international legislation and conventions which regulate the movement of oil and chemicals including the provision for compensation for damages resulting from spills.

Now, that particular panel was put in place by the federal government in 1989 and let me tell this hon. House what the major findings were from this panel. The first item they dealt with was capacity. They said that the capacity to respond effectively to a spill of any significant magnitude does not presently exist anywhere in Canada, so in actual fact what the panel told the people of eastern Canada, more specifically the people of this Province, that if we incurred a major spill such as the one that took place recently in the Shetland Islands that we would not have the ability to clean it up. Now, I do not need to remind hon. members, and I do not need to remind people throughout this Province, the situation related to our fishery at this time. We know that 3J+3KL, that whole area, the whole spawning area, is very, very sensitive and very, very fragile at this time.

Let me remind hon. members that the tanker that went ashore on the Shetland Islands was bound from Norway via Newfoundland to the Ultramar refineries in Quebec. That tanker got into trouble in a storm just north of the Shetland Islands and that could just as easily have been, as we know our own environment at this time of the year, and the time that particular misfortune took place to be extreme, and had that oil tanker gone ashore somewhere up in the St. Anthony area and the millions and millions, and millions of tons of crude oil that escaped from that vessel would have solidified in our cold water and went to the bottom in what we know as the last great spawning grounds for the Atlantic cod. That would have been devastating. Not only are we in a precarious position right now, Mr. Speaker, as a result of the over-fishing by the foreign nations and the lack of federal management associated with the fishing, but now we have to worry about these horrendous spills where we have tankers that roam very close to our shores, some 360 tankers each year pass the coast of Newfoundland, in the day and in the night, through all kinds of weather, ice conditions and what have you.

Since I put this particular motion on the Order Paper, I think most members are aware of the Maltese registered tanker carrying 95 million litres of crude oil that was bound for the Come By Chance refinery, and a plate separated somewhere off the Azores, and a slick of some thirty kilometres trailed that particular vessel. That particular vessel was on its way again to the oil refinery in Come By Chance.

Now surely heavens I do not need to tell hon. members here, and the Member for Burin - Placentia West, or the Member for Grand Bank, the devastation that particular tanker, had it ruptured in the mouth of Placentia Bay, would have cost the fisherfolk on the south coast of this Province.

Right now we are suffering from little or no income from fish throughout the Province, and that particular tanker was seen - the spill was seen early and diagnosed early, and of course they towed the tanker into Halifax and removed its cargo; but even when we started the Come By Chance oil refinery, I think the fishermen of Placentia Bay at that time expressed a very deep concern, and rightfully so, because over the years we have seen what minor spills have caused, and the problems they have caused, in Placentia Bay.

Now it is not only Placentia Bay that I am concerned about, or that we all should be concerned about. It is the whole Province, because we sit really at the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and all hon. members know of all the petrochemical and petroleum based products that find their way by our shores to the industrialized centres throughout Canada.

God forbid, and I say to the hon. member for Baie Verte - White Bay, could he possibly imagine what would happen to the lobster fishery and the lumproe fishery - the little bit of fishery that is left in the member's district, if an oil tanker went ashore on the Straits shore or on the french shore somewhere, what devastation if it went down in Bay d'Espoir, down through Sop's Arm and into that area? I say the same thing to the hon. Member for Humber West. It would be catastrophic - devastation. It would finish our lobster fishery for years and years and years.

This review panel on tanker safety also found that each year, based on current levels of tanker traffic, Canada can expect over 100 small oil spills, about 10 moderate spills, and at least one major spill. A catastrophic spill over 10,000 tons, for which we are wholly unprepared, can be expected once every fifteen years.

Now this is why I put this particular motion, this resolution, on the Order Paper. It is to make our federal government aware of the great need, as one of the G-7 countries, to bring to the table the legislation - the world legislation - that is necessary to ensure that the tankers that travel the high seas today are safe and secure.

I think if we look at some other information that is available we find out that the Far East today is the greatest builder of what are commonly known as super tankers, and these super tankers, such as the one called the Nisiki Maru, which is a Japanese super tanker - I just want to remind hon. members of the size and the capacity of this particular vessel. It is the largest oil tanker currently in service. It was launched in 1971, and the mammoth ship is 347 metres, or 1,139 feet long, 179 feet wide, and as high as a twenty storey building. This particular vessel can carry 3 million barrels of crude oil at a speed of fifteen knots.

Some of my colleagues opposite, and especially the Member for Burin - Placentia West, can imagine what would happen if we looked down Placentia Bay, the right-hand side of Placentia Bay, if a tanker of that size ever ruptured down on the rocks where our American friends went ashore during the war. If a tanker of that size got in and the tide was going into Placentia Bay, I would suggest to the hon. member that what is left of the inshore fishery in his district would be gone - if not forever, longer than the member will be around.

So it is extremely important that we ask our federal friends to pay attention to what's going on in the world, Mr. Speaker, as we get what are known as tankers and/or ships of convenience. Ships with Liberian registration, where the rules are no rules. Where the crew is intermingled. We saw with the ship that went ashore in the Shetland Islands that the lack of communication between the crew members was probably one of the most obvious reasons that the tanker got in such serious trouble.

Now they talk about double-lined hulls, vertical storage, not filling these tankers so that the external pressure is greater than the internal pressure to contain the oil. But none of this type of legislation exists in the world today. I think when you consider - and the Member for Grand Bank says it often and says it well, as do hon. members on both sides - that without the fishery this Province has little or no chance of survival. So we must pay attention right now to anything that would disturb the recovery of our groundfish. We have to.

I say to Your Honour, who represents a very formidable fishing district in Bay de Verde - if the inshore fishery and/or the lobster fishery, or the lump roe fishery that's going to take place very shortly, if that was devastated by an oil spill - and it wouldn't take much - he can well imagine what an impact it would have on the little bit of income that's left outside of the moratorium dollars that are passed on to fishermen.

This panel also revealed that we in Canada do not have the capability of cleaning up a major oil spill. The risk of spills is highest in eastern Canada, particularly in Newfoundland. The highest risk for oil tanker spillage exists in this Province. Not only does it exist in this Province, it exists in Placentia Bay. I'm glad the Member for Placentia just returned. Because I know it is of equal concern to the hon. minister as it is to the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

This was a national panel and this is their finding. It is frightening when you think about the consequences. We've seen over the years - and we watched a good friend of mine, Mr. Bill Ryan, with the Canadian Coast Guard - and some of the small spills, some of the people who just blow ballasts, what it has done to our bird life. We've seen hundreds and thousands of birds come ashore in Placentia Bay. We hear wildlife officers every day talk about the deterioration of our turrs, murres and puffin population. Any of these birds that contact this type of oil are doomed to disaster. So it's not only our fishery. Because when heavy crude hits cold water it congeals and goes to the bottom. If it goes to the bottom it impacts and affects the very spawning grounds that we're all hoping will grow and nurture.

So it is extremely important that we send a message from this House to the federal government to go to the G-7 conference and raise the concerns of not only Newfoundland and Newfoundlanders, but any of our marine provinces because a major oil spill would be disastrous for us at any time but even more disastrous for us at this time.

You know, Mr. Speaker, outside of the fact that these tankers are just huge monstrosities of buildings that are built on engineering and design structures, are primarily, primarily designed to carry large amounts of crude oil throughout the world and they are not built with safety in mind. They are not built with safety in mind because if they were built with safety in mind, they would not have to fly the flags of these countries of convenience. They would not mind flying the Canadian flag, but they know that by Canadian standards, they could not transport petroleum products such as crude and finished products throughout the world, they would not be allowed and I think, Mr. Speaker, it behooves us all to pay attention at this time, at any time, when we see what is happening to the environment throughout the world, associated with these spills.

When we see what is going on we must send a message from this Legislature to the federal government to ensure that Canada, this great, peacekeeping, world renowned nation, seen all over the world as being a stabilizer, to pass on to the rest of the world how important it is for us to make sure that the type of ships that are carrying this crude oil are sound, safe and solid.

The panel also found that Canada's tanker fleet is old and in need of replacement. The estimated life span of a tanker is twenty years, Mr. Speaker, but Canadian tankers are, on an average, older than that, much older, five or six years older than that and we see the deterioration of it. Overall, foreign tankers pose a greater threat to our shores the panel found, than domestic tankers. Almost one-quarter of foreign tankers inspected by the Canadian Coast Guard, in the Atlantic region over an eighteen-month period, ending December 31, '89, were found to be defective. So I think what we are seeing here, Mr. Speaker, day in and day out - we know of that horrendous spill on the Alaska coastline, the Exxon Valdez, I think the name of that tanker was.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Valdez, thank you, I thank the hon. member. That particular spill cost, now, listen, $6 billion to clean up, $6 billion just to clean up the crude oil off the Alaskan Coast.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: $6 billion dollars. Not only did it cost $6 billion to clean it up but it also wreaked havoc on wildlife, fisheries, the salmon stocks in Alaska suffered immensely, they are still not back because of that spill, Mr. Speaker, and Exxon, rightfully so, are paying compensation to the fishermen on the Alaskan Coast. So, Mr. Speaker, although we have other pressing matters on our minds and although we have other things that are important, let us all remember that a similar catastrophe for this Province, an island Province, right at the gateway to the Gulf, 300-plus tankers going by our shores every single day, let one of those super tankers come ashore on our ground and we will all, we will all, pay a horrendous price because of that particular situation. So we have to send the message to our friends in Ottawa, loud and clear, that we, the members of this Legislature, are asking them to go to the G-7 Conference on tanker safety and take a lead position to ensure that the fleets that are sailing the seas right now, have a standard and a standard only acceptable by Canadian standards.

I give way now, Mr. Speaker, to my colleague from the Opposition side because I know he wants to stand up and support this wonderful motion.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I want to have a few basic words as it relates to the petition presented by the Member for St. John's South. I do not think we can doubt the need to have put in place some sort of a structural system whereby the appropriate inspections of such vessels take place. I think that is extremely important, not just for Placentia Bay but indeed for the entire coast of our Province, and certainly the Eastern Seaboard, because the vessels will be travelling in that direction. I believe that the inspections should be taking place. Not only that, I believe that most of these carriers should all be double-hulled and that is not necessarily what is happening. In terms of the responsibilities of the federal government, I think that that should certainly go in place.

At the same time, Mr. Speaker, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the present Minister of Environment and Lands in this Province has not had the courage to deal with other materials that will be brought to this Province by sea. The present Minister of Environment and Lands has stood by, and if anything, encouraged the transportation of garbage, chemical and otherwise, to this Province. That is where we have a problem, Mr. Speaker. So, it is not just necessarily tankers, I say to the Member for St. John's South, although that is very important and has to be dealt with. But for this Minister of Environment and Lands and the Member for Placentia, I wish he were here, the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, who are encouraging the importation of American garbage into this Province by vessel, Mr. Speaker, to be brought here, does nothing to enhance the type of argument that the Member for St. John's South is putting forth today.

I do not know for the life of me, how this government can go out with two ministers, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations is here but the Minister of Environment and Lands - how can that minister, that is the question that has to be answered, encourage the importation of American garbage, chemical and otherwise, because we do not know what is going to be wrapped up in the car loads that are put on vessels and brought in here? That is another area which we have to get into, not just the oil tankers, we have to get into both of them.

As the Member for St. John's South pointed out, very astutely I must admit, he did a good job, is that the whole southwest coast for example, the whole area, and it would go beyond that, if there is an oil spill in Placentia Bay it may not just come into Placentia Bay, it may not just be on the western side of Placentia Bay or anywhere else, it depends on the wind, it depends on what happens, it depends on the traffic, it could be all over the place. Mr. Speaker, if you were to put in place the tragedy that could take place in this Province and indeed in Atlantic Canada, the whole Eastern Seaboard, if something were to happen in terms of an oil spill in this Province, it would have a very negative effect. Our fishery would be wiped out, no questions asked.

I would also say to the member, Mr. Speaker, that it is not only oil tankers and it is not only the most recent years that we have had a problem with oil spillage off our coast. How many vessels over the years have gone out and emptied their ballast tanks? How many I wonder? Some of them they have been able to track down. Some of them they have been able to track down, others they have not.

I remember back some years ago when I got old enough to carry a gun and to do a little bit of bird hunting out to Mistaken Point, well we did not go out that far at times, we could go out in the spring of the year but certainly out in the (Inaudible) of Trepassey and these places. There would be days and days and days that you would see nothing but oily birds, ducks in particular, and that was long before there was a refinery in Come By Chance. As the member pointed out the stakes are now greater because there is more traffic, a lot more oil tankers are entering our bays and harbours, so I believe that as responsible legislators we have to encourage everyone to put in place a system whereby the necessary inspections are completed. I say to the Member for St. John's South that there are a lot of other issues that are very important.

DR. KITCHEN: Like what?

MR. TOBIN: I say to the Minister of Health, like the way you are trying to close down hospitals in this Province, the slaughter you are putting on hospital boards in this Province, the slaughter you are putting on health care needs in this Province I say to the Minister of Health. That is another issue. If the Minister of Health keeps going in the direction he is going with this government it will not only be the spills from oil tankers we will have to worry about. When I turned on the radio today I listened to constituents and medical doctors down in my district, two from my district and one from Grand Bank, as well as the president of the joint councils and the Minister of Health, by the way, all confirming the greatest fear of the people, and that is the closedown of the obstetric units. And I was told today that the ICU may be in trouble.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is an ice cube.

MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Speaker, it is not an ice cube, I say to the Minister of Health in his fun and jestering.

AN HON. MEMBER: They are in trouble everywhere, the ICUs.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, the ICUs are in trouble everywhere. While we have to deal with health issues and while we have to deal with the issues that put bread and butter on the table to ensure the protection of our fishermen, to ensure the protection of the environment, we cannot do that at the same time you have a Minister of Environment and Lands, a Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, and a Premier of a Province who is encouraging garbage to be brought in by vessel from the United States. We cannot have it, it cannot be done both ways. I do not know if the Member for St. John's South would even consider amending his motion to include the elimination or the cancellation of any thought of bringing additional garbage and chemicals into this Province from the United States.

MR. MURPHY: That is for another day I say to the hon. member.

MR. TOBIN: Okay, well, if he wants to do it another day that is fine with me, but we have to put a stop to the Premier of this Province, and in particular the Minister of Environment and Lands, the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, and the Minister of Health who I understand - I do not know if it is true or not, but I have been told that the Minister of Health is a strong proponent of supporting the importation of American garbage into this Province. Now, I do not know if it is true and I want to make that clear from the beginning, I do not know if it is true, but it has been suggested. What is the government's position?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, there you go. Well, it would be alright for someone to speak for Environment because the minister does not do a very good job of it. Now, you have the Minister of Health supporting the position of the Minister of Environment and that is basically the importation of American garbage. Then you have the Minister of Finance, another prime example, when he was a socialist he was against everything.

AN HON. MEMBER: He was never a socialist.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, he was. He ran five or six times as a socialist. When he was a socialist he was against everything and now that he has become a Conservative he does not know where he is.

AN HON. MEMBER: What we need are Liberals like you.

MR. TOBIN: That is right. I would suspect that I am more of a Liberal than the Minister of Finance. I am far more of a Liberal than the Minister of Finance. I can tell the Minister of Health that I know what a flicked Tory is. It is someone who gets flicked out of the party and has nowhere to end up only over in the benches of the Liberal party.

MR. ROBERTS: It's pretty hard to get thrown out of the Tory party.

MR. TOBIN: Yes it is, I agree. I agree it's pretty hard to get kicked out of this party. But I can tell the Minister of Justice that directly behind him is one person - and probably the only person -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Justice pointed out, he too was a member of the Conservative Party at one time.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: He too was a member of the - yes, you probably did. But the Minister of Health did not leave on his own accord.

MR. ROBERTS: My eyes were opened. I saw the light.

MR. TOBIN: The Minister of Health got the flick. He said - what you call a picked Tory, well that's a flicked Tory, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker -

MR. ROBERTS: Carried.

MR. TOBIN: No, it's not carried. He did get the flick, I'd say to the minister of - and I'm not going to sit down and -

MR. ROBERTS: Relevance, relevance.

MR. TOBIN: If you're dealing with relevance I guess the Minister of Justice would be back on Duckworth Street. In any case -

MR. ROBERTS: No, that's competence.

MR. TOBIN: Oh, well. Who would be so modest as to suggest that, only the Minister of Justice? Who would be so modest to suggest that, other than the Minister of Justice?

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) Water Street lawyer. Located lower than a Duckworth Street lawyer.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I hope your next move is on the edge of the waterfront.

MR. ROBERTS: I was in there, I chaired it.

MR. TOBIN: Is that right?

MR. MATTHEWS: The waterfront?

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) lawyer. Can the hon. gentleman say that? Has he ever been down to the Waterford?

MR. TOBIN: I never said Waterford. I said "waterfront."

MR. ROBERTS: Oh, waterfront!

MR. TOBIN: I said: I hope your next move is to the edge of the waterfront.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: What's that?

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, that's right, so you can practice law looking at the water and the sea, what made Newfoundlanders basically. So you can look out at the waters where you'll probably see the American garbage passing by in container ships that the Minister of Environment and Lands is encouraging to come to this Province.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: That's possible, I say to the Minister of Justice, anything is possible. There's no doubt about that. Anything is possible in life. Whoever thought when you left politics that you would be back? The Minister of Justice certainly didn't. He told enough people that he didn't think he'd ever be back in the Legislature again. So I say to the Minister of Justice, anything is possible.

MR. ROBERTS: Bob Aylward may run again.

MR. TOBIN: Sure he may. He said that. The Member for St. John's North may run again. He ran often enough to get in here, I say to the Member for St. John's North. He ran often enough to try and get in here. So now he may get the itch again. As did your other professor friend run often enough to try to get in here. As a matter of fact, the Minister of Health ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party. That tells you how backward the Conservative Party was in this Province thirty-five or forty years ago when we would even allow his name on the ballot paper, I say to the Minister of Health. When we would even allow him to sit in the same room. Eventually some people came along and the Minister of Health was no longer a member of the Conservative Party.

Mr. Speaker, do you know what happened? The next election in this Province when he got the flick, the Conservatives formed a government. That's the type of affect that can have on forming a government.

MR. MATTHEWS: Now what about the tankers?

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, no, the point that I'm making is that the Ministers of Health, Justice, and Environment and Lands are encouraging the importation of America garbage into this Province by container ship. I'm saying that that is just as bad as the oil tankers off our coast. We've got to ensure that that does not happen, that it is not permitted to happen.

The Member for St. John's South today, no doubt his presentation was a good presentation on the terrible tragedy that could take place off our shores and in our bays and harbours if - if, Mr. Speaker, - there was ever a major oil spill off the shores of this Province, or anywhere in the Eastern Seaboard. I believe there is something we must do to prevent it. I believe there are measures that should be taken, such as ensuring that all vessels are double-hulled, I say to my friends in this Legislature, and if the federal government has responsibility for that, we should encourage them, as provincial legislators, to ensure that happens, but it is not enough. It is not enough for vessels of flags of convenience to do what they like without adequate inspection to ensure that we protect the environment and the lands and the shores of this Province.

We have a great Province. Placentia Bay is one of the best bays that could ever be. Anywhere in the world they cannot beat the shores and the harbours and the coves and the lakes of Placentia Bay.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: As a matter of fact, there are many here who came from Placentia Bay, and there are those of us who are descendants of people in Placentia Bay. Then there are people like myself -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: What is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: Some good people (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: They are all good people. I disagree with the Member for Bellevue. There are not some good people in Placentia Bay. They are all good people in Placentia Bay.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, they are all good people in Placentia Bay.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well I can say to the member that I know where my roots came from, down on the lower end of Merasheen Island in a place called Indian Harbour, and the Member for Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir is very familiar with Indian Harbour. He has been in there many times. That is where my grandfather came from, where my father was born, and where I am proud to have visited; but unlike the Member for Bellevue, I did not leave Placentia Bay. I went back, and for the past twenty-one years have lived in Placentia Bay. That is the difference. I am just about twenty-one years there now, and I can say to the Member for Bellevue, when I went to Marystown some twenty-one years ago I could not even dream that my life would be as fulfilling as becoming part of the great Town of Marystown, the great district of Burin - Placentia West, and the most historic bay in the country, good old Placentia Bay.

As I said, we, as legislators, should do everything possible to protect Placentia Bay and other bays and shores in our Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Farrell.

MR. TOBIN: Well it could be, Mr. Speaker. The Liberals in the district will decide on whether it be Mr. Farrell or whether it be Miss Parsons Popovitch Penney.

The Liberals of that district will decide who it will be, and then the constituents of Burin - Placentia West will decide whether it be one of them, me, or if the NDP have a candidate, and I would certainly be prepared, as all hon. members must be, to accept, in a very modest way, the decision of the voters.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: What is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well, Mr. Speaker, probably it is not, but I can say to the Minister of Justice that there is one word we can associate well with him, and that is 'arrogance', I say to the Minister of Justice - the heights of arrogance.

I have always been and always will remain a very humble individual, I say to the Minister of Justice.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, indeed I have a lot to be humble about. I came from very humble beginnings and I intend to stay that way, I say to the Minister of Justice, and everything I got in life I worked for and nobody gave it to me. I also say that to the Minister of Justice.

When I went to University I went through student loans and everything else. I had no one to give me anything. Like most other people -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I know all about it. As a matter of fact, some of my -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) student loans.

MR. TOBIN: No, the Member for Carbonear would not know anything about it. As a matter of fact, while I hung around with a lot of the boys from Carbonear most of them would have nothing to do with you, to be honest. Most of them had nothing to do with you, to be perfectly honest with you, and there was good reason why they would have nothing to do with you. Some of them wanted to keep their reputations intact. Yes, I can say to the Member for Carbonear that at one time in my life I did make a mistake. I was campaign manager for Rod Moores when he ran for president of the CSU. I don't mind admitting that, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

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

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, in conclusion -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: In conclusion, he did make a good -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: - presentation.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: - very worthwhile presentation.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!

MR. RAMSAY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That thunderous applause makes me feel like its time to start shouting from the rooftops. To get down to the issue at hand, which is the private member's resolution so ably presented by the hon. Member for St. John's South. The hon. member is as we know a very eloquent speaker. He is one who speaks extremely forcefully for the people of his district. He is an hon. member who takes a back seat to nobody in the dealing with matters for the people of the different areas of St. John's South. This is the kind of issue that will affect all people of the Province and will affect the people of St. John's South in a manner which is no different from the way it would affect any other.

The resolution is a very timely one. With the environmental issues that face us all these days, the environmental situation has become a situation of awareness now, while if we look to the past years, no one thought of the environment. It was a commodity that seemed like it - if you looked at it as a commodity. No one really worried about what the pollutants were doing to the air. No one was really concerned about the oil spills. You'd hear about an occasional oil spill and it was an isolated incident. There was not much thought about what it did, other than the changes that it might make to the local eco-systems with the birds and the fish in a given area being affected. It wasn't thought of that problem and how that would then work its way into the food chain.

Eventually with the pollutants that are produced through an oil spill, or through the general pollution that happens with the industrial society that we now live in, gradually changing to an information society - but even an information society has the production of products which in turn, as a by-product and a waste product, we end up with chemicals and agents that are exposed to the atmosphere. That cause problems now as we see with the ozone layer. The pollutants, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and many other pollutants, heavy metals and this sort of thing, that have been brought to the awareness of the public in past years, in the most recent years.

Maybe most brought forward, I suppose, in the past five years. We've seen an awareness growing to a point where students in school systems are coming forward with environmental initiatives. It's a hot property to be an environmentally sound company. It's the kind of thing that we, as hon. members here on the back benches of the government side, and on the Opposition side as well, I might add, can really do something to establish some form of priority in what this government could be putting forward as proposals to the federal government. As well, in our own environmental legislation, a new piece of which has been passed just this session, since we opened the House in the past month or so.

Now to look at an oil spill and what an oil spill would do. I had the unfortunate situation about a year and a half ago to have an oil spill in the Port aux Basques area. There was an oil tanker which was travelling past the southwest corner of the island which experienced a problem with the pack ice which is around about this time of year. With that problem it had a hole carved into the bow of the vessel which then started to release some of the oil into the water.

The cleanup at that time was aided by the natural action of the ice that was there, dissipating it to a point, so that it was not concentrated as much. Through the action of the ice, high waves and the storm that was on at the time, the high waves and that, it did not have as bad an affect, as it might have had but that was the exception rather than the rule, Mr. Speaker. It was the kind of thing when - when this incident came about there was a company which was hired by the insurance company for the vessel concerned, which came to the aid of this company and hired local people to assist in the cleanup. Now, this was the kind of activity that took place and there was very little idea of how to go about it. It was a remote corner of the Province with respect to any oil spill equipment and that. If this had happened at a different time of year, a similar type of spill, I suppose, you would not have a problem with ice cutting a hole in the other vessel but you would certainly have a situation where the oil spill might be very, very detrimental to the local fishing grounds and also to wildlife that are around the shore in the nearby areas.

So, at that time when the oil spill happened with no team being nearby, there was a period of time prior to which there was no activity at all in the cleanup. I spoke with members of the Coast Guard at the time, who went over the area with a Coast Guard helicopter and advised me of the length of the spill and just what the situation was. They were very concerned that it was much worse than it looked because of course there is no way of knowing until such time as you get the vessel to a point where you can examine it and see just how much may have leaked out. Of course, there are no monitors and that on these vessels to determine as to exactly how much oil and/or petroleum products are still in existence in the vessel.

The other thing that I wanted to mention with regard to this, is the situation then, even though it dissipated, there is still some residue left on the rocks in some places and it is a nagging issue for the people of the area that this oil spill has caused this kind of problem. Now it is just luck and I might add, that if there was ever luck I suppose associated with it, it is just one that as far as we know it did not affect the fishing grounds. Fishing there has been pretty good since.

Also, the situation with regards to an oil spill response is something that the Department of Environment, as we understand, is in fact working on. I have a document here, Mr. Speaker, which is concerning an oil burn experiment which is being undertaken by the Department of Environment Canada, federal department, they are a sponsor. As well, we have other sponsors, the US Mineral's Management Service is involved, the Canadian Coast Guard, the American Petroleum Institute, the US Coast Guard, the US Marine Spill Response Corporation and the US EPA, along with the industry the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and there are another twenty industries involved. This is the kind of activity that we are encouraging in this resolution today.

Now, this experiment is called an SITU Oil Burn Experiment. There is a diagram of how they plan to undertake it, doing a burn of the oil in the water just to see if that is an effective method of dealing with oil spills on the water. As well, Mr. Speaker, they plan to activate some remote control sampling vessels at different levels in the atmosphere in order to determine the amount of pollutants that will be released from this burn, in comparison to the situation if the oil were just allowed to dissipate, and there were just the normal fumes and the dissipation, to a point where the concentration of oil in the ocean eco-system is very small and possibly much less damaging to the environment.

So this is the kind of initiative that it is good to see people working on with all of these different groups and government departments in both Canada and the U.S., and other agencies that have concerns in this area.

Let's look at the resolution as put on the Order Paper by the hon. member. I note he says: "...there is a great possibility that a major oil spill will take place off our coast unless changes are made with regard to oil tanker safety." That is very true, Mr. Speaker. I know that the large marine service industries that are producing oil tankers now are using the double-hulled method of construction, which is a much more safe manner of transporting oil in this kind of vessel. Of course, as my hon. colleague did mention, a lot of our vessels are old and are badly in need of replacement. With the economy the way it has been lately we just hope that over the next five to ten years there will be more replacements of existing vessels or more retrofits to improve the safety of the vessels already in use.

To get on to the next 'whereas', the hon. member states that: "WHEREAS an oil spill would have devastating effects on the marine environment and the economy of this Province," I certainly feel that this is possibly the case. We can't say in all instances, but you have to plan for the worst case scenario. When you are looking at issues of safety, either from an environmental standpoint or from a standpoint of the safety of life and property, as far as the people and their livelihoods are concerned, in the bounty of the sea, and how that would have effect on the fish and crustaceans, as well as the possibility of damaging the spawning grounds off the Southwest Coast - I would look at, in my own district, an area there where the fish normally spawned. So these are things we have to take into account, not only in the drafting of this resolution, but also in our own concerns as hon. members.

Also, I would like to comment on the final 'whereas' of the resolution, where it notes that we call on this House of Assembly to, itself, call "...on the Federal Government to take the immediate action to increase inspections of foreign ships...." This is something that would certainly hold true to the hearts of the members of the Seafarers International Union, as well as other unions of people here in the Province who go to sea from time to time for various companies.

I know,in my own family,we have people who are members of the Seafarers International Union who are regularly calling for improvements in the safety standards and inspections of foreign vessels. We only recently have to look at the sinking of a gypsum transport vessel thatt down, and some very horrific photographs of that vessel with an infrared camera as it was being swamped by waves. One has to wonder if, in fact, that kind of marine disaster that occurred could have been prevented with a more vigorous inspection regime by the Canadian Coast Guard, by Transport Canada, and other agencies that may, in fact, establish rules and regulations for the transportation of dangerous and other commodities in our waters.

So, if we look at what happened in a case like that, and the cost of this kind of initiative - the costs of this kind of initiative are first and foremost the cost of the said inspection and the setting up of the program to inspect these vessels. There is a concern about the cost of this kind of setup. I suppose you could look at it as preventive, like preventive maintenance on your own vehicle, trying to prevent people's disease through preventive health care measures and also, in a case like this, the preventive aspects of industry in making sure that vessels are inspected, that people are well trained in the facets of safety and the cost then becomes a preventive one.

If we look at the money that was spent - it is probably very difficult for the families of those people involved in the most recent marine disaster, but just to look at the amount of money that was spent on the rescue efforts that were made, to try to rescue the people of that one gypsum vessel, and compare that to the amount of money that would be needed to set up a program for inspection, I would think that the efforts of Search and Rescue could certainly be made a lot lower, and the cost of said program a lot lower, if, in fact, we put the money into a preventive program of inspection. So we have to look at inspection from a standpoint of just the preventive cost and not the idea of hoping that we have vessels that are safer in our waters if there is a cost in not doing it.

It is like the issue - I was in the life insurance business before I came here to the House of Assembly, and if you look at the cost of not buying insurance, it is the same type of thing, you pay now or you pay later. We as taxpayers, will pay now through supporting a preventative safety program or we will all pay later by virtue of having an incident which would require the safety or the necessity of Search and Rescue and the cost associated with that, so we pay anyway.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are you françois?

MR. RAMSAY: No, the hands are going, though. Yes, I do have some French background.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, to clue up, in my last bit of time here "... that this House of Assembly calls on the Federal Government to take the immediate action to increase inspections of foreign ships, improve emergency preparedness, and to become more aggressive both in areas under our jurisdiction and at the international level to prevent oil spills."

Mr. Speaker, to conclude, this resolution is one which is very timely; it is one which we always have to look at with the number of vessels that have spilled oil throughout the world over the last ten to twenty years. I noticed someone mentioned the Exxon Valdez, a situation which wreaked havoc in Alaska; other incidents such as the one I mentioned off our own coast, and many others throughout the world.

Mr. Speaker, I feel that this kind of resolution is certainly something that we, as hon. members on both sides of the House, should support, and we should probably take some initiatives, as a Province, to establish an oil spill training area. I know there are some that they have been working on throughout the Province. And these are the kinds of things that we should undertake in order to make Newfoundland a leader, not only in the offshore oil sector of our country and probably even the continent of North America, if you exclude the Gulf of Mexico area, but also in looking at what we can do to pave the way for better understanding and, through this kind of experiment that would be going on some time this summer, this is the kind of thing, Mr. Speaker, that I think we should participate in more fully, and consider also that our many, many miles of coastline are very worth protecting and we certainly must keep our coastline in a pristine environment to attract people from all walks of life, all corners of the globe and also, in order to make sure that our people here in this Province are able to avail of a good living from the sea, and to not be fearful of the consequence of damage to our environment, as it has been in the past.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to speak on this motion.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you for the applause. I appreciate that very much.

Mr. Speaker, I want to have a few words on this now.

DR. KITCHEN: The fewer the better.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, the fewer the better, I agree with that. I agree with the Member for St. John's Centre, for one minute - the fewer the better.

I was responsible, I would say - ashamed to say it right now - I was responsible for having this debate started here today. I did not give leave to the Government House Leader to take away the only day the Member for St. John's South had to present his resolution. I figured he did a lot of work on this. He certainly must have done his homework on it. He is supposed to be a safety expert. That was his training before he got in here, but if you talk to people at Fishery Products, it seems he caused more accidents than he prevented. But, Mr. Speaker, he was a safety person.

It is a serious issue, there is no doubt about that. Tanker safety and oil spills is a serious issue in our Province because the Island part of our Province is surrounded by water and Labrador is almost surrounded by water. I expected, by not giving leave to pass up the day, that the Member for St. John's South would stand in his place in this House and inform me, a person who is not as informed as I might be, on this type of safety. I am not as informed as I would like to be on the need for this type of safety. I expected the Member for St. John's South to get to his feet and inform me, inform members of this House of Assembly, give me a reason to vote for this legislation, give me some reason to support him and be delighted that I stopped the Government House Leader from taking away his day, so I could stand in my place and support and vote for him. Mr. Speaker, he got up and spoke for twenty minutes in generalities. He said nothing.

MR. MATTHEWS: He said nothing, as usual.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Well, that is not unusual, but I figured, because we were discussing something that was supposedly within his expertise, that he would give the rest of us here the benefit of his knowledge on this issue, but he spoke in generalities. He offered no solutions. He wanted to blame the Federal Government for something else, which is common practice for anyone on that side. It might be a good issue if it were brought before the House of Commons in Ottawa, debated and passed. Maybe you could get something done with it then.

I don't know what the Member for St. John's South was trying to do. I expected him to come up with some types of solutions to this problem. I expected him to offer some light, I suppose, at the end of the tunnel, ways that Newfoundland could help to solve the problem, that Newfoundlanders could create jobs by attacking this problem. That would have been a good approach for him on his resolution. I expected some of this type of thing, but I heard none of it. I didn't hear about any jobs that were going to be created in Newfoundland. Hopefully, Marystown Shipyard might be able to benefit from this. After we are finished building this huge offshore platform to go out on Hibernia, maybe those facilities could be used to solve this problem.

I expected the Member for St. John's South to be able to show me and other members of this House of Assembly how it would benefit us to support this legislation, where the jobs would come from in other words. We know, environmentally, if we could stop this problem it would be important, although he spoke mostly about tanker breakups. I don't think he did much research because the smallest amount of research you could do, you would know that there are more intentional oil spills than there are accidental ones, so anything he offered couldn't help that. Ship captains who pump out their bilges as they are going from destination to destination spill more oil in the water than the Exxon Valdez and the one lately, over around Scotland, ever did. It is going on continuously, a small bit here and a small bit there, killing more sea birds as they go. It is not the big spills - you can direct an effort towards them and try to clean them up. You could have an emergency plan in place. Each province and each country, I imagine, have an emergency plan in place to attack those.

We saw, in Alaska, that they spent considerable amounts of time and money to attack that oil spill, and in the latest reports I saw, it seems that it worked. They have done massive amounts of clean-up. There is not permanent environmental damage in the Alaskan area because of the Exxon Valdez spill. Nature is rebuilding itself in that area. So, Mr. Speaker, if we have a problem with oil spills, we first have to tackle the intentional oil spills. Somehow, we have to convince people who own and sail large tankers and any vessel using our seas and our coastline, not to be pumping it out intentionally. That is the big problem.

The Member for St. John's South didn't seem to know that when he did his presentation. It would have been better for us - if I had known what the Member for St. John's South was going to do here today in this House of Assembly I would not have given leave. I would just as soon have carried on with something else. If the Member for St. John's South had let this resolution go, I could have brought in a resolution that could have dealt with Daybreak, so that we could find out what members in this House of Assembly feel about re-establishing Daybreak. That would have been a good resolution to discuss here today, and it would have been good before the board of directors of Daybreak met with the Premier, to know individually what members in this House of Assembly felt about that program, and maybe we could get it reinstated, but we did not get that resolution put before the House.

Another resolution that would have been very appropriate in the House of Assembly today, by a private member on that side who had the right to bring a resolution today, probably we could have been discussing some of the labour issues that are - the labour strife - that is starting to build in our Province today. Maybe individual members in this House of Assembly might like to have had some comment on the labour strife that is starting, and it is serious. It is going to be a very serious problem.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: The Member for St. John's South has a comment, but I did not hear it.

If he does not think that the labour strife that is about to hit our Province is going to be serious, well he is in the wrong job because it is going to be serious. I hope that there is no strike. My personal feeling is that I hope there is never a strike of the public service. I hope they do not go out. I hope the teachers do not go out. I plead with this government to try to make a deal before the hardship is inflicted upon all of these people's families and all of the people they serve in this Province.

There was a public service strike only a few years ago and, believe me, it did cause a lot of concern and a lot of things happened that were never made public, that were extremely serious, especially when people from the health sector walk out. So I hope there is no strike. I think the last thing we need in this Province now is a strike. We need jobs, we need work, we need people to stimulate the economy again. That would have been a good resolution to bring before this House today.

If we wanted to talk about environmental issues in the House today, if that was the most important thing we could do, probably we could have brought a resolution here concerning dumps that the government plans to bring to Long Harbour, toxic waste dumps, or whatever type of dump they want, or the one that they want to put in Labrador. Probably a private member on that side might have liked to bring that type of a resolution before the House today so that we could express our feelings on that very important environmental issue.

As important, and probably more important, to our Province than an oil spill resolution which was brought by the Member for St. John's South, I suppose we could have, if we wished, brought before this House of Assembly today a resolution concerning the third party grants that were mentioned in the Budget, where all of our Boy Scouts and Girl Guides and 4-H Clubs and service groups and volunteers in this Province are going to get $1.2 million cut from their budgets. That would have been a very serious issue that we could have discussed here today, and a very important one.

We could have discussed another important issue to me. I do not know how important it is to the whole Province, but the report on the agricultural task force, or the agricultural zone in the northeast Avalon, was released yesterday. It would have been very good to have a resolution put before this House today to get members' feelings on that before the minister makes his final decision. That would have been very important to this Province, to this region.

As important as the resolution is that the Member for St. John's South brought in, there is nothing that we are going to do about it. We will vote in here today, and whatever we decide to do today, it will be put in the garbage, whereas had we talked about Daybreak, or had we talked about Long Harbour dumps, or had we talked about the third party grants that were removed from this year's Budget, we could have made a decision that we, in this House of Assembly, could have affected.

We could have changed people's minds had we all got on the one side and supported a resolution which would have made sure that Daybreak was going to stay open in this area. If we had to, we could have ensured that the program would be expanded into other areas of the Province when the financial ability of the Province allowed it. That would have been a very useful resolution.

We could also have a resolution here today about denominational education. We have had in the last two weeks thousands and thousands and thousands of names in petitions brought into this House of Assembly, asking us as members to support the continuation of the denominational education system. We get conflicting reports, not only from that side of the House but from this side. I had my doubts about denominational education at times. I do not hide away from that. I am not trying to say that I think it is the best system in the world right now because it is not. Mr. Speaker, it would have been good, I would have liked to have seen two or three members in this House of Assembly stand up and all of us come to some type of an agreement of what this Province should do with the denominational educational system, so that we do not have the Premier going out with the church leaders and trying to fool them into suggesting that he will not change it because he writes up an agreement to consult with them before he changes it. He almost admits that he is going to change it. There is almost an admission there, in the report that he did, that he will consult them before - now we know his history of consultation.

We know the history of consultation, all we need to do is ask our public service labour unions about consultation. They were told, every year for the last three years, come in and give us some suggestions and we will see what we can do. We have to save another $50 million, $60 million or $70 million, come in and give us suggestions so that we can work it out and never once yet was one of their suggestions ever accepted. Now there is something wrong with that if only the Premier's suggestions are the right ones. There is something wrong with that. It is pretty lopsided when our Premier is the only one who can come up with a solution when we have people who have been involved in labour negotiations in the Province for quite a few years. I certainly have not agreed with him very often. I have not agreed with him over the years very often but I do recognize that they are experts in that field. They are good negotiators and they are tough negotiators. Eventually a deal can be made if you will negotiate but if you just become a dictator and tell them this is what you get, like it or lump it, then we have what we have now. We have a teachers executive who recommended a certain package and we have the union membership, who by a large majority, say we do not want that. That is not the solution to the problem that we have. It is not the solution for teachers.

Mr. Speaker, we could be doing a resolution in this House of Assembly on education. It would be good to hear the Minister of Education stand in this House of Assembly and explain to us why he said that he wanted to be the Minister of Education. He wanted his grandchildren to remember him as the Minister of Education who abolished denominational education. Now it would be good for him to stand in this House and explain to us, if we had that type of resolution before us, if he would explain to us why he said that. Maybe he has good reasons, maybe he will convince me to support him. I am not sure, maybe he would, Mr. Speaker, but that is the type of resolution we should have before this House today.

A resolution on tanker safety and oil spill safety in the northeast Atlantic, as important as it is, Mr. Speaker, we are not going to change it, in this House of Assembly as fifty-two members. We are not going to effect a major change in that. If we were members of the Canadian Parliament we might be able to do something about it. It should be done, I do not disagree with it, it should be done. There should be improvements in tanker safety. But the problem, as I mentioned when the Member for St. John's South was here, the major problem in oil spills, in our major international waters and our own coastal waters, it is not oil spills anywhere in the world, accidental oil spills, it is intentional oil spills, that is the biggest problem. If you add up the bits and pieces here and there of intentional cleaning out of the bilges, I believe it is called, pumping out the bilges where oil is pumped into the water daily, continuously by larger vessels. That is the major problem of oil pollution in our major waters. That is where most of the aquatic life and the saltwater birds are damaged, in these small oil spills that are spread for miles and miles along. As the ship goes along it is pumping out this oil for miles and miles. We have a big oil spill. It is in an area. You can find it and go and attack it, and try to keep it contained. It is hard to do, I know that, but at least you have an effort to do it - but the intentional oil spills are the big problem, and we are not going to do anything about that.

We should have a resolution here - every Private Member's Day we should have a resolution here - on an issue on which we can make a difference, if we can agree. It is easier to get fifty-two people in this House of Assembly to agree on something than to try to go to Ottawa and get all the countries in the world to try to agree on it. That is what you have to do, or even get all the members in Ottawa. I do not know how many of them - there are 213 of them, I think, is there?

AN HON. MEMBER: Two hundred and ninety-five.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Two hundred and ninety-five. There is some chance on getting them to agree on anything. It is a hard job to get the majority of them to agree on something, I would say.

So I just make a plea to members in the House of Assembly that if we are bringing resolutions here on Private Member's Day, which is an important day - it is not given the importance that it deserves, but it is an important day in this Legislature. Mostly we do government business, routine stuff we have to do with budgets and legislation and everything, but Private Member's Day is the day that we, as individual members, can bring issues before this House of Assembly, and we should be bringing issues that we can make a change - we might never agree on them, but at least we will get individual thoughts on them. Maybe something that our party might not be able to support, individual members over here might be able to support, and vice-versa. It is a free vote. Pretty well Private Member's Days should be free votes all the time, although it happens most often that people vote on party lines, which should not be, I suppose, but I am as guilty of it as much as anyone else.

If we are going to bring Private Member's resolutions to this House of Assembly, let us do it on issues on which we can make changes, if we agree to it.

My time is running short, Mr. Speaker. I had not planned to even speak this long, but I get carried away like a lot of politicians, I suppose, and do not know when to sit down, but that is enough for me.

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

MR. K. AYLWARD: It is a pleasure to rise today to speak for a few minutes on the Private Member's motion put forward by the Member for St. John's South - a motion which highlights, really, I think, the environment, and highlights our Province, its location, the fishery, and the activity that we have off our coast.

We are in an international environment. We are a gateway into North America, very much so, and with recent instances of tanker spills and so on that have damaged the environment, it is a timely motion. We are advocating to the federal government, under its jurisdiction, that they upgrade and change and improve the regulations and the monitoring systems that they have for the shipping activity that goes on within Canadian waters. I think that is important. I think it is important for this Province, and hopefully we will never see the day that we see a tanker spill such as happened off the Shetland Islands recently, or the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Hopefully we will never see that day in this Province.

We are entering into a new economic development phase with offshore oil development. We must be totally aware and cognizant of the dangers that will be present, and we must prepare as much as we can, with the best technology in the world, to protect our environment. Whatever we do with the sea, the one thing we should always be doing is protecting the environment as best we can, given all the physical resources that we have, that we should make available.

We have a fishery crisis right now in this Province, a major fishery crisis, due in large part not to this Province - this Province, because of its lack of jurisdiction or lack of management control over the fishery, but because really it is an environmental problem now where we have allowed, or the Canadian government has allowed, fishing activity to go on for so long, and for the abuse of that resource to occur we now have a crisis. That fishery has to come back. It has to be revived.


In order for that to happen though, we still have to have resources protecting the environment. We have to make sure that as hopefully that fishery comes back and as we develop our other resource based industries such as an offshore oil field that the right mechanisms, the right responses, that the right capabilities are established in order for us to deal with any potential problems that might arise.

We are entering into a phase of development that is going to be challenging for this Province and challenging for all of its people and the oil tanker activity could have a major impact on our resources, on our people if these concerns are not addressed, so it is timely, and I think the Member for St. John's South, who has a great deal of background in safety and who is a backer and has always supported environmental concerns. I think it is timely that this motion is here because it allows us to at least, first off, talk about an address and hopefully get the federal government to listen to the concerns that the people of this Province have.

We have the fishery in the Placentia area and along that coast, the south coast, will be drastically affected should such a spill occur, and what we have to make sure is that we are prepared to deal with any problems that might arise. It is extremely important, Mr. Speaker, for us in the development of our economy to make sure that the environmental concerns that we have are addressed. They are foremost on the plate as we deal with developing our economy. We have to ensure that as we move ahead that we are able to deal with any crisis that comes at us and with the federal state and the system that we have of management and jurisdiction, we have a provincial and a federal government responsible for parts, in this case again, the federal government is responsible in a large part for effecting these changes and making sure that monitoring systems are available. So because of that, this House of Assembly becomes really I think, not only a representative of the people in this issue but it becomes a major advocate in trying to make sure that a potential problem and an issue like this is addressed by the federal representatives in the House of Commons, so as we enter into the phase of Hibernia -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: His Honour, the Administrator.

MR. SPEAKER: Admit His Honour, the Administrator.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Please be seated.

MR. SPEAKER: Your Honour, "It is my agreeable duty on behalf of Her Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, Her Faithful Commons in Newfoundland, to present to Your Honour Bills for the appropriation of Interim Supply granted in the present session."

"An Act For Granting To Her Majesty Certain Sums Of Money For Defraying Certain Expenses Of The Public Service For The Financial Year Ending March 31, 1994, And For Other Purposes Relating To The Public Service." (Bill No. 12)

ADMINISTRATOR (Noel Goodridge): "In Her Majesty's Name, I thank Her Loyal Subjects. I accept their benevolence, and I assent to this Bill."

MR. SPEAKER: "May it please Your Honour, that the General Assembly of the Province has at its present session, passed a Bill to which, in the name and on behalf of the General Assembly I respectfully request Your Honour's assent."

"An Act To Amend The Electoral Boundaries Act", (Bill No. 20)

ADMINISTRATOR: "In Her Majesty's Name, I assent to this Bill."

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. member, if hon. members would permit -

Order, please!

Now that the amendment to the Electoral Boundaries Commission Bill is passed, I can now tell hon. members the appointee, so I will proceed to do that. The appointee by virtue of that amendment is Ms Beatrice Watts of Northwest River, Labrador.

The hon. the Member for Stephenville has a few minutes left.

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

As I continue my remarks one of the things about the resolution, but I am not too sure it is going to happen, is that the federal government is going to listen to us. We have been advocating a number of things to the federal government during the past number of months, the past couple of years, as the Member for St. John's South knows, and at least we have it on the record. Thank God for that. We are trying to advocate joint management of the fishery and we are getting about as far with that now as a brick wall, is what you could say. We are trying to deal with getting changes made and to protect ourselves and increase and improve our economy.

We are going to see if the federal government presently, the one that is trying to figure out where it is going while they try to figure out who their leader is going to be, while they are trying to figure out what they are doing we are hoping that the government itself will still operate in Ottawa and will at least listen to some of the suggestions made by the House of Assembly here as to dealing with those potential problems. They are major potential problems and our Province along with other coastal provinces, these are legitimate concerns of these provinces, but again getting the Feds to listen is going to be the question mark.

We have a number of issues on the plate, this government has, including this one and including a lot of others especially when it relates to the marine resources of this Province, be it offshore oil, be it the fishery which we are trying to take back.

The other day I was reading a book that George Baker sent me from Ottawa. I do not know if any other member has read the book but I was reading the book George Baker done up and there were questions and answers about the fishery and the inside the 200-mile limit allocations that have been given out. I read that and I am going to check it out further, but I was appalled to see what the federal government is giving out in allocations to factory freezer trawlers inside 200 miles. It is something else to see. This is our marine environment we are talking about. We are talking about protecting our marine environment and here we are trying to get the federal government to listen to this issue but unfortunately because of the federal structure we have we have to make them listen, but on the joint management issue on the fishery we have a chance here to maybe get it together and try to have some one direction on these concerns.

It is a brick wall and they are not bothering to listen to us and then when you read about what fish allocations are being given out inside 200 miles it really is appalling to anybody from this Province. One you get an understanding of what it occurring it is appalling to see what is occurring. I think that is an issue we are going to have to deal with very shortly. It may even be too late for some species of fish but we have to get it dealt with. It is a marine resource that has to be protected. This issue that the Member for St. John's South brought in today is about protection of the marine environment and I believe it is a worthy resolution and one that is timely. It relates really to our economic development because if something like this occurs it affects all facets of our economic development. So, we have to be very aware of what can happen, we have to be very aware and also bring forward the action items that need to be done to take care of a matter like this. As we progress, Mr. Speaker, hopefully we will, and hopefully we will see a change in Ottawa in the federal government, that will be much more responsive to the aspirations of this Province. Hopefully we will see a change in the federal government which will give us joint management on the fishery, as a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker. So, hopefully we will see that, I think that we will and hopefully we will.

So, I am going to yield to the Member for St. John's South who has brought the resolution, Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. MURPHY: Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. First I would like to make a few comments about - it is sad in a sense, I suppose. It is not hard to understand that the Member for Kilbride sees what is in front of his nose. I am not so sure that he has any great long range vision anyway but -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Whatever. I know there are things that are more pressing and more important today that are more of an issue, a political issue or whatever the case may be, as he sees it. If the hon. member feels that this hon. House has no impact on the federal government than I suppose - it is not for me to concur but if you look at what has transpired and the need and necessity for this Province over the last four years, than I would concur that the federal government does not pay much attention to what goes on in this Province, let alone what goes on in the House.

It is a sad undertaking for any hon. member in this House to brush aside the importance of prevention and this bill is on the order paper today, Mr. Speaker, because of the key word, the buzz word, prevention. If we look over our shoulder, look at our fishery and look at what has happened to our fishery over the last twenty-five to thirty-five years, we will see that we should have paid a lot more attention at that particular time and we would not have the catastrophe that our people are trying to deal with in this Province today. I say to the hon. member opposite and I say to all hon. members, that we have seen devastation caused by large tankers going aground recently in the Shetland Islands, not very long ago in Alaska and the devastation that they caused in that particular area, not only to the birds and the wildlife but also the tremendous impact that it played on fish stocks both in Alaska and in the North Sea.

Now, God help us at this time, as I said earlier, that we, now in a moratorium, and this Province hoping against hope almost, Mr. Speaker, to see the return of the bountiful cod that you, Sir, and your forefathers thrived on for so many years. If that is not important to some members opposite than I do not know what is important because God help us if we do not see the return, of not only the northern cod, Mr. Speaker, but all of the flats, yellowtail flounder, grey sole and all of the species that our people depend on so much.

The hon. Member for Burin - Placentia West is right when he says that those vessels that pass, and if I may use that expression, like ships in the night, and they do pass us, the ships in the night, wash their bilges and cause all kinds of problems to the bit of fishery that is left, what is commonly known as the crustacean fishery, Mr. Speaker, the mussels, the lobsters, the crabs and all the shell fish, the shrimp and what have you. The impact that that has on those particular products, that are worth millions and millions and millions of dollars today, to this very day, in this Province. If that is not important, and we, as legislators in one of Canada's ten provinces, cannot convey to the Federal Government the importance of this type of message, then surely,it is time to change the Federal Government.

Mr. Speaker, in my own district of St. John's South, for years now we have lived - I think the Member for Kilbride today talked about Russian roulette, or somebody over there talked about Russian roulette, and I look at the tanks on the South Side Hills. Let me say, for fifty years we have played a game of Russian roulette with that oil storage, and we have reached a point where the deterioration of those tanks is of grave concern, not only to me, as a member, but to the residents. I am sure the Member for Kilbride, who knows the area very well, understands their concern, because if anything - any type of accident - and 98 per cent of the tanker accidents that take place around the shores of countries throughout the world today, are 98 per cent human error, then you can understand the concern of all residents - not only the residents of Shea Heights and the residents of Fort Amherst, and those who would be working and going along the South Side Road, but let me say, with the amount of containment up there, the effects of it would be felt in Torbay.

MR. R. AYLWARD: You would have to call it the South Side Valley.

MR. MURPHY: Yes. Well, the member makes a good point. He said, if anything happens on the South Side Hills, it won't be called the South Side Hills, it will be called the South Side Valley, because what will happen will be catastrophic, not only to residents on Shea Heights, but all over the city of St. John's. The Mont Blanc disaster in Halifax will look like a firecracker compared to what will take place if anything should happen up there.

So these are the kinds of things that I try to bring to hon. members' attention and you, Your Honour, to convey to the Federal Government the concern of fifty-two members in this hon. House, and the concerns of the people of this Province who depend so much on the fishery and depend so much on a clean, wholesome and healthy environment.

Mr. Speaker, we have seen something that has historically been part of Newfoundland's way of life disappear over the last few years, primarily because of activists. I remind the Member for Kilbride what can and cannot be done internationally when we see groups such as Greenpeace and groups such as animal activists and what have you who came to Newfoundland some years ago and stopped a way of life, stopped the seal harvest as we knew it, brought it to an utter standstill. In doing so, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to you and all hon. members who represent rural ridings - and not only the rural ridings, but many people in St. John's - who look forward to the annual seal harvest, or, as it was known at that time, the annual seal hunt - now, if that annual seal hunt is cause for concern of our friends from Greenpeace, who stopped it, who went internationally and shut it down, they, if they want to really do something for the seal herds, if they really want to protect the seal herds, and they are sincere in their efforts, then they, today, should be here in this House supporting this kind of a private member's resolution, to ensure that oil tanker safety was improved, and much improved throughout the world. Because a disaster off the coast of Labrador or a disaster on the coast of the Minister of Education's district would devastate the harp and hood seals populations, without question, especially at this time of the year.

This is a very hazardous time of the year, when we see all the icebergs, the iceberg alley as we know it, where now millions and millions of seals are whelping pups. A tanker spill the magnitude of the one that took place off the Shetland Islands could almost annihilate half of those seals.

It is sad to hear the comments that I hear from hon. members opposite who are not supportive of this kind of a private member's resolution. Oh sure, there are more topical things, I agree. But when you come in and this hon. House opens, each hon. member has a right to stand in his place, Mr. Speaker, and bring to Your attention, to the House's attention, a private member's resolution and/or a private member's motion that he feels strongly about.

Since that private member's resolution entered the Order Paper, we have seen a first-hand example of ninety million barrels of crude oil that was on its way to the Come By Chance Refinery. We saw what happened to that vessel somewhere off the Azores. Somebody identified a thirty-kilometre trail of crude oil, a mishap that could have easily taken place just as the vessel was ready to dock in Placentia Bay. Can you imagine the destruction that would have caused those who are about to engage in the lobster fishery, and those who are about to engage in the lump roe fishery in Placentia Bay? It would have completely shut it down as it would have impacted also on any of the crustacean fishery that will take place, such as mussels, clams, etc., this summer.

So, it is an extremely important subject, Mr. Speaker, and if was ever an ounce of preventions were worth a ton of cure, it is this kind of message from this hon. House to our friends in Ottawa to ask them, as they represent our country in international meetings, to bring to the table and to the attention of other countries that it is no longer acceptable for countries to use flags of convenience to fly the Libyan flag on the stern of their Korean-made vessel with a Spanish crew made up of a bit of a Polish crew, with a German captain, where nobody understands anything but hand signals and hand signs. We had that kind of a situation, we see it, and we have seen it, and we have seen what it can cause. Look at the horrendous problems associated when our friend, Mr. Hussein, opened up the taps in Kuwait and let the oil run out into the Gulf of Iran. It caused all kinds of pollutants and all kinds of problems and we saw day after day the impact on the wildlife and the fishery in that particular area.

I ask that all members sincerely think about what we are talking about here this afternoon. This is important. It is not only important for what might happen today but it is important for time. Because if we get a load of crude that was bound for Quebec, that ran ashore in the Shetland Islands, to run ashore off of St. Anthony or Battle Harbour, or whatever the case might be, and that particular crude goes to the bottom at this time of the year, when what's left of our northern cod are spawning, then, Mr. Speaker, we'd better depend on the federal government for a moratorium package not for two years but for 200 years. Because our fishery will be destroyed.

Not only will our fishery be destroyed but I say: what kind of a situation would we display to the rest of the world if we are to hope to entertain the tourists that the minister is so adamant about in the upcoming years? That Newfoundland and Labrador is probably the last great resource in North America that will offer the fishing and the hunting, and the skiing that takes place at Marble Mountain, and all the things associated with this Province, and what we publicize day after day.

Can you imagine if we send out a message - and we all know how the international news media picks up on this type of catastrophe - if we sent out the message that our coastline was littered and strewn with crude oil? Then I would suggest to the hon. minister that his task, as difficult as it is right now - he's making, without question, giant steps - it would be next to impossible to encourage those people to visit our Province.

It is important. I think every member in this House realizes how important it is that these free-wheeling tankers, I call them - you know, it should be noted that of all the big major oil companies throughout the world, they only owned - the Exxons and the Shells and all of these companies - only own 30 per cent of the tankers that travel the oceans of the world. The other 70 per cent - which is really frightening - are fly-by-nighters. Those who bootleg crude oil. Those who again, as I said, have ships of convenience that are never inspected, that the average age is now ten years beyond their life expectancy.

Mr. Speaker, it has to be a concern. I'm asking, Your Honour, that you, on behalf of all hon, members of this House, send a message, a loud message to our friends or our enemies or whatever, but to the government in Ottawa which has an opportunity to tell other nations that stricter regulations and stricter enforcement of these regulations must be in place if we are to ensure the environment is protected for our children and our children's children.

With that Mr. Speaker, I adjourn.

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

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


MR. SPEAKER: Those against, 'nay'.

I declare the motion carried.

This House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:00 p.m.