April 1, 1993                  HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS               Vol. XLI  No. 18

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, I wish to formally advise the members of the hon. House, that government has reviewed its recent budgetary decision related to Daybreak Parent Child Centre and based upon that review, a decision has been taken on today's date to reinstate the centre's funding -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GULLAGE: - at the level approved for 1992-1993. This funding level may require the Board of Directors of Daybreak to undertake certain budgetary measures to meet its 1993-1994 operating commitments, but I am confident that today's decision preserves intact the programs and services of Daybreak.

Mr. Speaker, throughout the debate that has taken place with regard to this agency, this government has reiterated the position that these types of services, which are preventative in nature, play a very important role in the provision of comprehensive social services to the people of this Province. Our previous decision not to fund Daybreak was one that was made very reluctantly because of the extremely serious fiscal situation confronting this Province. However, upon further analysis, government has concluded that the particular needs of these children and their families cannot be fully met by other services and we are confident that the need is such that we have reinstated funding. Government will also immediately initiate through the Social Policy Committee of Cabinet, a further study of all programs related to similar services which are preventative in nature.

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to be in a position to convey government's decision to reinstate the Daybreak funding and to express our support for this agency's achievements and our admiration for the efforts of Daybreak's families in striving to overcome serious personal and economic difficulties.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me say that I am somewhat disappointed the minister didn't see fit to give me a copy of his statement.

MR. GULLAGE: It just came up.

MR. TOBIN: Well, when you brought it to the House, I am sure you brought two copies. Mr. Speaker, that is not strange for a minister who has admitted that he gave his colleagues bad advice and the government bungled the Budget. How can a minister come back into this Legislature two to three weeks after a Budget is brought in and say, Mr. Speaker, we made a major mistake. We have reviewed our mistake and we are changing our minds. Mr. Speaker, this minister changed his mind and this government changed their minds because it is a government that operates under pressure. Their decision is made by pressure, and I want to commend the group of people who got involved in fighting the cause of Daybreak in this Province, and who convinced this government that they must change their minds. They did a tremendous job, I say to the members opposite, and they are to be commended.

MR. WALSH: (Inaudible) four years.

MR. TOBIN: For seventeen years, we did not do that to Daybreak, I say to the Minister of Tourism and Culture. This minister gave bad advice to his colleagues in Cabinet. He has not been there, Mr. Speaker. He had to say yes, to that cut, and that is what he did. He gave his colleagues bad advice.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I hope he will look at the other issues that are falling out from his Budget, such as the slashing of the VRDP program for disabled students in university, whom this minister and this government are now keeping out of university. I hope he will look at that and make public the list of all the other groups that are under attack.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, it is a good decision, it is the right decision and I commend those people who put pressure on the minister and government to have their minds changed.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Is the hon. the Member for St. John's East, asking for leave of the House?

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to say, first of all, that I am delighted to learn that the Daybreak Parent Child Centre will be able to continue, and I have to give credit to the government for changing their minds

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HARRIS: Because sometimes it is very difficult to change your mind when you have the level of confidence in your own decisions that seems to come from this government. But, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that they had the courage to change their minds on this and I am glad that they have learned through the process that these kinds of services are very, very, very important not only to the people who are directly served by them, but also to society. I also want to congratulate all those who worked so hard - I have another batch of petitions today, Mr. Speaker, to present on this issue, who have worked so hard to convince this government that the people of Newfoundland all over the Province, not just in St. John's, are behind this agency. I also look forward to the government reviewing their decisions to take so much money out of so many other social agencies; we do not know how much and we do not know which agencies yet, Mr. Speaker, because the government has failed, to date, to reveal that, so I look forward to them revealing that information and then listening to what the story is from all those organizations as well, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the House, Sir, that I have received the results of the Judicial Inquiry into the causes and circumstances surrounding the death of Perry Dale Tremblett on July 21, 1992, at the Salmonier Correctional Institute.

The inquiry was done by Judge Woodrow of the provincial court. I have copies here, Your Honour. Judge Woodrow concluded, based on testimony from Dr. Charles Hutton, the Province's Forensic Pathologist, that Mr. Tremblett died from asphyxiation by hanging and that there was no evidence or injuries to reveal a struggle. Judge Woodrow was satisfied that the injury was self-inflicted and that Mr. Tremblett had committed suicide. Judge Woodrow said, and this, Sir, is a quotation from the report: "Perry Dale Tremblett was a person who kept his problems to himself and there were no overt signs or signals that he was depressed or contemplated taking his own life. Under such circumstances, the judge said, it was almost impossible for correctional officers to detect Mr. Tremblett's suicide and to take preventive action."

Judge Woodrow also expressed concern that at the time of Mr. Tremblett's death there was no comprehensive policy in place for inmate suicide prevention. In fact, the judge noted in his reports that this was the first time in the more than 100 years that there have been correctional institutions in this Province that an inmate had committed suicide. He went on to say that staff, in his opinion, were not trained in suicide detection and prevention. Judge Woodrow recommended that Her Majesty's Penitentiary, and by extension the entire correctional institutions, should develop a comprehensive policy and strategy with respect to suicide detection and prevention.

Mr. Speaker, corrections officials had already reviewed and revised their policy in this area before getting the report, as Judge Woodrow notes. The new policy became effective on November 9, 1992 and, of course, is available to members of the general public, as are all policies in the institutions which we run. Judge Woodrow concluded his report, and again this is a quotation: "In my opinion, this policy" - referring to the one adopted in November - "more than adequately deals with my recommendation that Her Majesty's Penitentiary develop a comprehensive policy and strategy for suicide prevention."

Mr. Speaker, I have provided a copy of the report of Judge Woodrow, the complete report, to my friend from Humber East and my friend from St. John's East. There are three copies here which I will ask to lay on the table of the House. If anybody would like a copy of it, please get in touch with my office and copies will be made available.

May I say that we have, as is our practice, before the statement was made, a day or two ago, provided Mr. Tremblett's family with a copy of the report so they would be aware in advance of what was to be said in the House today.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As the minister indicated, he did give me a copy of the Judicial Inquiry Report a few minutes ago, and I will be reading it later today.

I am glad to hear the minister say that he ensured that the family of the deceased inmate was given a copy of the report before today.

Mr. Speaker, to my knowledge this is the second inmate suicide in the last year or two. Mr. Michael Simon Jr., from Deer Lake, took his own life at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's a year or two ago, and I understand that was the subject of another judicial inquiry on which we will get a report very shortly. I'm pleased to hear the minister's announcement that there is now in place in the provincial corrections service an inmate suicide prevention policy.

In addition to a policy though there have to be adequate resources, proper physical facilities and sufficient staff, both numbers and trained personnel. Also I believe there has to be a greater involvement of the community in our provincial correctional centres. The provincial inmate population has increased quite significantly over the past few years. I recall only four or five years ago the population was at a level which prompted some consideration to actually closing one or more of our provincial correctional facilities. But I understand in the last couple of years all the correctional facilities, right across the Province, have been filled to capacity and in some instances to over-capacity.

With that kind of pressure on our resources I would think that there is an added risk of inmates harming themselves or committing suicide so I am glad to hear that there is an inmate suicide prevention policy in place.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave!

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I welcome the changes that have taken place, unfortunately as a result of Mr. Tremblett's death, in that Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's, at Salmonier and other places now have a comprehensive policy and strategy regarding inmate suicide detection and prevention.

It is very unfortunate this was not put into effect until four months after the death of Mr. Tremblett. Even though he had been seen by psychiatric staff and forensic psychiatrists at that time, the staff at the Salmonier Correctional Institution did not know of Mr. Tremblett's previous threats to commit suicide. I think that, although as the report says the history of suicide in Her Majesty's Penitentiary in Newfoundland was unblemished, if you want to put it that way, until about a year previous to Mr. Tremblett's death, it is unfortunate that such a policy was not put in place in fact after the previous death and before Mr. Tremblett's circumstances came about. I am not prepared to say, or not able to say certainly whether it would have prevented the death but certainly the correctional staff would have know of Mr. Tremblett's previous threats and would have been able to watch him more carefully than they were able to do.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, on this anniversary, I suppose, the 44th anniversary, or unless it was just before midnight, depending on which historian you believe, I want to ask the Premier some questions about the fishery, a very appropriate topic. It is particulary related to the document government released yesterday, Changing Tides, I believe it was. The issue is the fishery and one on which the Premier has quite frequently spoken out about. I heard one commentator unkindly describe the document, I guess, or comparing it to the Sears Christmas catalogue that used to be called the Wish Book. His reason for that was because little of it has very much to do with any of the areas of the fishery that are within the control of the Province. I would like to ask the Premier about the processing sector, the sector of the fishery for which the Province does have responsibility. In the document you say you are going to set up an independent fish processing licensing board. Now, the licensing board could do very little without policy so I would like to ask where is the policy?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the document released yesterday is a discussion paper, a discussion document in which we have outlined certain options with respect to the future development of our Province's fishing industry. We are suggesting that in the absence, and until joint management becomes a reality, that the Province will consider establishing a licensing board at arm's length from government, an independent board, and that board will issue licenses or renew licenses on the basis of certain criteria. That criteria, Mr. Speaker, will be established. We are now going to have a series of meetings around the Province consulting with the industry, the union, and the people. Then we will be releasing a White Paper outlining the government's policy on fisheries development, including, of course, the criteria that will be established for the licensing board referred to.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, now that the minister has confirmed there is no policy and there is no criteria on that particular point, let me ask him this question: The Province has jurisdictional responsibility over the processing sector in the fishery, but it appears to everybody in this Province that you've totally ignored it. Nobody knows what the future is with respect to that, what the future holds. Nobody has any idea what the government's plans are. We've been in limbo in this Province for two years with respect to the processing sector of the fishery. Why doesn't this document lay out for discussion some clear policy proposals dealing with the processing sector or the processing side of the fishery? That's what the people want to know. That's what they've been asking questions about. Why are you avoiding that particular issue?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, we're not avoiding any issue. In the document there are thirty-nine recommendations. We deal at length with all aspects of the fishery: harvesting, processing, to some extent marketing, secondary processing. These things will unfold. But first we're going to consult with the people who count, the stakeholders in the industry, principally the fishermen, and that process will be starting almost right away.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, so the minister is now admitting they have no policies with respect to the processing sector, which is what they have responsibility for; they have no policies or criteria dealing with this proposed fish licensing board.

Let me ask the minister this question, switching to another area in this document, the area of fisheries development. The government repeats - the minister indeed just repeated - the ideas that have been contained and outlined in other reports: the House report, the employment and unemployment report done by Dr. House, and their own Strategic Economic Plan, these old ideas that we've talked about for years. Under-utilized species, aquaculture, marketing, as he just mentioned himself.

I want to ask the minister: when are they going to stop talking? When are you going to start doing something? That's the question that people want answered in this Province.

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentlemen opposite, particularly the hon. Member for Grand Bank, keeps talking about the need for secondary processing. Let me remind the hon. gentleman opposite that in an area a gunshot from his own district there's an ultramodern secondary processing plant owned by one of the best companies of its kind in North America, FPI. A company that has probably the best marketing capability of any province in eastern Canada. That great plant, that modern plant dedicated solely for the purpose of doing secondary processing, has never operated more than about 40 per cent of its operating capacity.

Now that I think says it all. Of course there's need for secondary processing, and of course as the tariffs become lower into the U.S. there will be more secondary processing. But to get up in the House or go public and to try to convey the impression that secondary processing is the end-all, it's the panacea, it's going to be the answer for all of our unemployment problems, that, Mr. Speaker, is misleading and they know it.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, the minister says he's not avoiding the question. He certainly is avoiding the question. The point is, what have you been doing about it? You've been the government for four years. You've been talking about all these ideas for each of the last four years. Things need to be done now. That's the question I asked the minister. When are you going to stop talking about it and when are you going to start doing something about it? That was the question.

Now I want to ask him this. How does he expect the people to seriously believe that the government is serious at all about the development of the fisheries in any of those areas that he's mentioned or that's talked about in his document? Most people think that it's really just a lot of talk. It's a big yawn, as a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, and that opinion has been expressed by an awful lot of people.

I want to ask the minister this: if you are so serious about doing these things as you say you are, or you try to give the impression you are, why did you cut the budget in the Fisheries department under aquaculture development by nearly 40 per cent, over $2 million, from $6.8 million last year to $4.5 million this year? Why should people think you're serious about it at all?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, if it wasn't so serious it would be laughable, the way the hon. gentleman gets on. He talks about 'the big yawn' and the fact that our document is meaningless. I believe it was not too many days ago they were criticising government for not taking a position, for not having such a policy paper out.

I don't know where he's getting his information. Maybe he's talking to the wrong people. I suspect that is what is happening.

With respect to the reduction he is talking about, in our Budget, there was some reduction, but I should remind him that the funding under the NIFDA federal/provincial funding arrangement has expired. Hopefully there will be a new agreement, but there has been a considerable decrease in the Budget this year, one by virtue of the expiration of the NIFDA arrangement, and secondly, of course, this year there is considerably less for the salmon buy back program that was initiated last year, and that explains the reduction in the Budget.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have some questions for the Minister of Finance.

This is the first day of our forty-fourth year in Confederation. It is also the first day of the fiscal year. The minister, of course, got his Interim Supply Bill yesterday, so he has some money to spend. We all know that Interim Supply is one-third of a budget which contains $120 million deficit until this government finds $70 million. The clock is ticking at the rate of $200,000 a day. We now have $70,200,000 to find. How long is the minister going to allow this problem to grow before we are going to deal with this $70 million problem?

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We have a budgeted deficit on current account of $51 million, as the hon. member very well knows. Mr. Speaker, my advice to him is to not get too worried about this government's resolve to carry out the plans in this Budget. I suggest he not get too worried. He was in the position himself and that is when he should have started worrying about the budgetary position of this Province. This is a tremendous conversion we are seeing here now, so I advise the hon. gentleman to stop worrying. Things are in hand and will be dealt with in due course.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I say to the Minister, I have to worry. The Premier has terrorized the people of this Province into believing that we are destitute, that the Province is bankrupt, and he has done a pretty good job of convincing the credit rating agencies of that as well, Mr. Speaker.

One hundred and twenty million dollar deficit is what we have on the books. We do not believe the minister when he says: well we will find $70 million at the end of the day.

People are concerned about it, and I remind the minister that we passed him a surplus in 1989 and they quickly turned it into a $130 million deficit - very, very quickly - so we are concerned.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister this: It appears that the minister is still determined to find $70 million in wages and other benefits of the public service sector. Is the minister still determined to do that? Can he tell us how he proposes to do that, in view of recent statements by the public sector union executives that they are not prepared to negotiate the things the minister proposed?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, if it were not so serious it would be really funny. The hon. gentleman keeps talking about the surplus he passed over to us. They were in office and waited until after the time when a budget would normally be brought in to call an election without a budget. They were afraid to put together a budget. They presented us with no budget, and we took over a month into the fiscal year with no budget in place - no nothing in place. So it is kind of laughable about this surplus they passed over to us. Mr. Speaker, if it were not such a serious situation it would be laughable.

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat again for the hon. gentleman that our Budget is firm. The financial community recognizes that our Budget is firm. They recognize that this Province is now seeing proper fiscal management. They recognize that and they understand that they will see that in the future, so the hon. gentleman need not have too many fears.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I wish I could be persuaded that easily not to worry, but I remind the minister that in 1989 the former minister predicted a $5.3 million surplus in his first Budget - a $5.3 million surplus. He ended up with a $38 million one.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister: Since the public sector unions have said they are not prepared to negotiate the kinds of rollbacks that the government has asked for, is the government now looking at unilateral action? Are they now going to come out and legislate these rollbacks, or is the minister and the government going to wait until after the election to do that?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, discussions are ongoing with public sector unions. There have been some things happen in the last couple of days that we are now in the process of sorting out and we will have them sorted out very, very shortly, Mr. Speaker. So we will soon have decisions in place that will account for the $70 million or commitments to achieve that $70-million reduction on the part of the public sector unions, so, Mr. Speaker, we are still working on it and I still have confidence that we can find a way out of this.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Well, Mr. Speaker, I hope the minister is right, I hope he does find his way out of it, but how long is he going to wait? How long does he expect the people of the Province to wait, how long are we going to play this charade in running this Province on the strength of a Budget that is not worth the paper it is written on, how long does the minister expect the credit rating agencies to take him at his word when his record has been dismal?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I invite the hon. gentleman to call around to the financial community in Canada and the United States and to ask them who they have more confidence in, the government that is in place now or the previous government, and he will get a resounding answer to that question. Mr. Speaker, they have confidence that they now have a government in place that is thinking in the best interest of all the people in the Province, and in the best interest of the future of this Province in terms of its credit worthiness, so, Mr. Speaker, that is the reality of the situation. I cannot answer a question that is based on some kind of foggy interpretation in the hon. gentleman's head.

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

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

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I know the minister is aware of the question and I imagine he has good answers today because I mentioned to him in the lobby that I was going to ask them.

Mr. Speaker, under the dark of night last night, there was furniture delivered to this Confederation Building by way of the back loading door, and the government scurried this morning to try to have it hidden away before the workers came in, but somebody did see them hide away some of the furniture. Mr. Speaker, could the minister tell us what this new furniture is to be used for, and which departments in government the furniture is destined for, which offices?

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

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, the furniture to which the hon. member refers, to my understanding was not delivered in the dead of night, it was delivered yesterday afternoon. The furniture was ordered by the Cabinet Secretariat and is to be used by the Cabinet Secretariat. It is furniture for six offices and the people involved, four analysts, one document control officer and one senior clerk.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, Executive Council moved, I guess from the sixth or seventh floor to the tenth or eleventh, is that - they went up to the tenth I believe. Mr. Speaker, all of the floor that they moved from had furniture; those offices were all furnished before they left. There has been a hiring freeze, people have been asked to give up their pensions and roll back their wages, what happened to the furniture that the Executive Council had before they moved to the new offices they have on the tenth floor I believe it is, what happened to that furniture, and will the minister permit me and maybe come along with me to go and visit the warehouse at Torbay Airport to see what furniture is stored there and the condition of that furniture, so that we could determine whether we needed new furniture or whether we did not need it?

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

MR. GOVER: Yes, Mr. Speaker. As the hon. member is aware, the Executive Council now is, I believe moved to the ninth and tenth floors of this particular building from the space that they formerly occupied, and as a result of that move, Mr. Speaker, the offices were compressed and they were substantially smaller and this necessitated a change in furnishings and the purchase of modular furniture to allow for adequate workspace and storage space in the newly reconfigured ninth and tenth floor. Mr. Speaker, it is a fact of life that the hard working public servants of this Province need adequate furnishings and equipment to discharge their duties. It is not the government's intention to shut down the operations of the government for a lack of material to complete their work.

With respect to what happened to the old furniture, Mr. Speaker, it is standard policy that furniture, as it is replaced, is then moved down the line and continued to be used in the complex or elsewhere in the government until such time it reaches a state of complete deterioration, at which time it is auctioned off. To my knowledge, Mr. Speaker, furniture that is in storage now would be furniture which has probably reached the end of its useful life. Any other furniture that is in storage is only in storage temporarily until it can be reassigned to an area which it can be productively used in.

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, the hon. minister went on a bit but I assume he is checking the cost of that new furniture, I think that is what he told me, he is going to get me the cost of the new furniture that is hidden away now down in the old carpenter shop in the basement of this building. He is going to get me the cost of that. Mr. Speaker, while he is at it, there are some photographs, I have some photographs of the furniture as it was being brought into the building. If the minister wants to find out where it is, Mr. Speaker, I can show him. While he is checking the cost of that new furniture, that replaced perfectly good furniture that was there when we left anyway, I do not know if it deteriorated that much in four years, will he also check on the renovations of the Executive Council offices? An office that, one person did not like the colour of the carpet, so they had the new carpet taken up and a different colour carpet put down at a cost of some $4200-$4500 to the taxpayers, Mr. Speaker, because someone did not want to have the same colour carpet as the rest of the offices.

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

MR. GOVER: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the cost of the furnishings that were delivered yesterday for the Cabinet Secretariat, for these six offices which I understand are occupied by, as I said, public servants not ministers, not politicians. The cost of that furnishing, Mr. Speaker, for six offices to allow those six public servants to do their job is $5,862. Mr. Speaker, I will have to check on the carpeting for the executive council. I am not sure what the situation is on that, I will check into that matter and provide the information. I hope that information though, Mr. Speaker, is more accurate than the allegation that there are furnishings stored in Building 907 because, as far as I am concerned, the only furnishings stored in Building 907 is a fine investment by the former government, namely the "Red Trench".

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I would be surprised if the minister pulls down those boards and all he finds in that building is the "Red Trench" I have a funny feeling he may have to eat those words.

MR. MATTHEWS: As long as he dosen't eat the "Red Trench".

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. Some time ago in fact, I do not have the documents in front of me but I believe he might recall it, February 18th I believe it was, I wrote him a letter under the Freedom of Information Act, asking for detailed expense information on travel and so on, of him, his ministers, MHA's and staff that participated last fall, September-October, in the constitutional debates and discussions. Now, under the act, thirty days expired, I believe it is the 18th of March, some twelve or thirteen days ago. I have not bothered to raise it until now because I had anticipated that it was on the way. I wonder could the Premier tell me, is the information coming forth, is it on the way, where is it, what is the penalty for breaking the law, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I chose not to provide it under the Freedom of Information Act, it is prepared to be tabled and I saw it about a week or ten days ago. You catch me unawares. Your second letter came in and I traced it down again. It is all prepared and ready but I do not know where it is. I saw it at least last week sometime. So perhaps I will be able, by permission, to table it later this afternoon. I chose not to deliver it under the Freedom of Information Act because, if I did, there was so much work involved in digging it all out, I would have had to ask the hon. member to pay a substantial sum of money to get it, so I chose to treat it as notice in the House and to table it. It is ready and it will be tabled, probably this afternoon.

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

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

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs knows, organizers for the upcoming Winter Games in Clarenville are concerned that facilities, particularly a gymnasium facility, may not be able to be completed in time for the Committee to host the games. I ask the minister: In light of government's announcement now with the cutbacks to capital funding for schools, as this was sort of a joint arrangement between schools and the Committee, will construction of that new proposed gymnasium now be completed in time for them to host the upcoming Newfoundland Winter Games in Clarenville?

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, I am aware that the group organizing the Winter Games has run into a fiscal problem. The negotiations with respect to the monies agreed to between the Games Committee and the Bonavista-Trinity school board have run into a problem, but the monies that government would formerly put forward under their agreement with such a committee has been forthcoming. I guess, the department officials are now awaiting a proposal of some sort from the committee or from the Town. I understand there has been dialogue between the two to see how this problem can be resolved.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: A supplementary to the minister. Hasn't the committee notified the minister's department that if this matter is not resolved in a matter of days, they may have to make a decision not to host the games, because the facility will not be completed in time to do so. They can't go for redesign work and they have to get on with it soon to get this facility tendered for, or else it won't be finished in time to host the games. So, hasn't the committee informed the minister's department that, indeed, they are working under a very short deadline and that they really have to have an answer within the next couple of days?

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

MR. HOGAN: The committee, in a letter to my office, wrote us to that effect, that if they didn't have a decision by yesterday, they would have to withdraw from holding the games but, by the same token, we have had communication from the Town of Clarenville, with whom the department does business, to the effect, 'Don't panic, we will work on a resolution to this and try to resolve it with the officials and in discussions. I understand another proposal is forthcoming.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am sure the minister is aware that the total budget amount this year for recreation facilities and so on is about $2.5 million less than was spent last year - not what was budgeted last year, but what was actually spent, $2.5 million. Now, we have upcoming Canada Games scheduled for Kamloops, B.C., this summer, where there will be a Newfoundland contingent. We have other communities in Newfoundland preparing to host upcoming Summer Games, and then there are the Corner Brook proposed committed Canada Winter Games. So, what are the implications of this cutback, now, in the minister's recreation department, for future Newfoundland and Labrador Winter and Summer Games, and for Canada Winter and Summer Games?

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

MR. HOGAN: There has been no impact whatsoever on any of the games per se. The only impact, if one wants to call it an impact, is that we have established a level of investment, or a level of commitment, to each of the games as each year passes. We will have a consistent amount there. In the past, the practice was to approve the site, with probably a good guesstimate of the funds that would be needed, and the proponent of the Games would come into the department afterwards, and prepare a budget after the fact.

Now, the message that government is sending to proponents of games is saying that there is an established amount there. For example, this particular set of games that you refer to is the Clarenville Games. I think the established amount was $700,000 or $800,000. I am not sure of the exact figure at the moment. Say, it was $800,000. Well, forever-and-a-day, that is going to be the established amount unless the government of the day chooses to change it from $800,000. Anytime a proponent of games, whether it is in Burin or out on the West Coast, anywhere, if they want to establish games they apply, and they know the set amount is there for them.

With regard to the commitment at Corner Brook, there has been no financial commitment made to the Corner Brook region on the Canada games, because there has been no dollar figure set to it at the moment. As I understand it, there is a committee in place in Corner Brook that is doing very preliminary and exploratory discussions with the department to establish that figure, and, in fact, to see if the Games are affordable to the region, to the Province, and to the Federal Government.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I don't know if the minister is aware or not that today in Rock Harbour, on the Burin Peninsula, parents had to keep their children from school because the roads were in such a desperate state that they feared for the safety of their children and would not permit them to travel on the bus. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if the minister can tell me what plans he has to ensure the safety of these children? Will he today commit to deal with that 2.5 kilometres of road and, hopefully, put paving on it this year?

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

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I was advised before I came to the House today that there was a demonstration in that particular area with respect to the road. My understanding was that the purpose of the demonstration was to have the road upgraded and paved. As the hon. member is well aware, the government took that gravel road into consideration, along with all the other gravel roads in the Province. Based upon the budgetary allocation of $25.5 million that was allocated to my department to look after roads in the Province, unfortunately, this road, as is the case with many other gravel roads, did not make the priority list within that $25.5 million allocation, although I assure the hon. member, that particular road was given every consideration, along with every other gravel road in every other district in the Province.

For the first time - since this administration has taken power the residents of the Burin Peninsula, in particular, the residents of Burin - Placentia West, need not fear that because their member is an Opposition member, the road was not given consideration. But, unfortunately, Mr. Speaker -

AN HON. MEMBER: Why do you emphasize that?

MR. GOVER: The reason I emphasize that is to contrast the way it was done in the past to the way it is done now, so that the people will know a real change has taken place. The point is, Mr. Speaker, the program has been approved and unfortunately, that road did not make the list this year. It will be given every consideration for next year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Question period has expired.

Notices of Motion

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Amend The Election Act And The Public Service Collective Bargaining Act". (Bill No. 21).

My friend, the Leader of the Opposition, that is the one that I have discussed behind the Chair with members on the other side.

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I have some answers. I have been asked some questions the last couple of days. The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation answered in part.

We checked Building 907, and I understand it is a stockroom, carpentry shop and district offices for the Department of Works, Services and Transportation. There is nothing stored in the building other than, as the minister said, 'the red trench' - I am told. I did not go down and inspect it myself. I have no reason to believe that this is inaccurate.

MR. R. AYLWARD: (Inaudible) your love seats.

PREMIER WELLS: The member who just opened his mouth and made some noise also referred to boarded-up windows in this building to prevent people from looking in to see the building's contents. Well, if I had been in the Cabinet and purchased 'the red trench', I would want to board up the building, too.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WELLS: As far as I know, Mr. Speaker, the only windows that were boarded up - last summer the Department of Works, Services and Transportation boarded up some windows of this building as a result of vandalism. Recently, the Department of Works, Services and Transportation boarded up more windows, also as a result of vandalism and to conserve energy. The building - I am sorry, this is Building 910, now. We went and looked at - the only building where windows were boarded up, I believe, is Building 910, so I had them check that out in case the number was wrong.

Recently, the Department of Works, Services and Transportation also boarded up some windows because of vandalism. This building houses modular partitions, and I think the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation just gave the explanation for that furniture.

I have another question. It was asked, I believe, by the Leader of the Opposition, yesterday, when he raised questions about the Strategic Economic Plan, and expenditures on the Strategic Economic Plan. I believe his assertion was that a little over $1 million was sent on personnel and administration, and $530,000 was spent on grants and subsidies. What was this all about?

Well, Mr. Speaker, I had them check the answers for me. The amount spent on salaries, $235,000; $120,000 to hire twenty business and engineering co-op students to help various departments with implementing actions under the Strategic Economic Plan - a very sound expenditure; $10,000 for two preventative mediation officers in the Department of Employment and Labour Relations - the purpose is to carry out a specific objective in the plan; $30,000 for two officers in Environment and Lands to help streamline and make more efficient the environmental assessment process; $65,000 to cover salary costs associated with extending parks opening season to October 31st and one month extension - this falls within the responsibility of Tourism and Culture; $10,000 hiring and training for the meat inspection program with the Department of Forestry and Agriculture. There was $95,000 spent on furniture and equipment. That, as hon. members know, was spent there because carrying out one of the Strategic Economic Plan objectives, the new Department of Tourism and Culture was established and it was in connection with that.

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: I don't know. I assume it was tendered in the usual course.

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: I don't know, but I can try to find out.

Sixty-five thousand dollars was spent on printing for the Strategic Economic Plan; $70,000 for transportation and communications, and there are various subheads - I am going to table it so I don't have to read out all of this.

There was $560,000 in professional services, which seemed to get a lot of attention. I tell hon. members, that was development of a promotional package for business development by the ERC and the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology, also pursuant to the plan; development of a marketing strategy for our centres of excellence -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: I don't know, but I will find out.

Development of our marketing strategy for our centres of excellence program for the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology; $274,000 for the development of the income security -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WELLS: Do hon. members want the answers? - development of the income security project by the ERC; development of short-term job creation strategy through the ERC and the Department of Employment and Labour Relations; $60,000 for the establishment of the Newfoundland and Labrador Conservation Core, through the ERC. That ERC has done some very, very good work.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!


PREMIER WELLS: The results will soon become obvious, I think, to the horror of the members opposite.

There are a number of other things, Mr. Speaker, including grants to Memorial University: a $250,000 grant to Memorial University to initiate a fisheries research program; $80,000 grant to Memorial University to assist in the fisheries symposium held just recently, March 23 to 25. Those are the kinds of things that are there. So I am happy to table this information, Mr. Speaker. Now let's see if there is anything else here. No, I think that pretty well covers everything.

MS. VERGE: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Humber East, on a point of order.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I feel discriminated against, because I have asked the Premier several times in the two weeks since the Budget for the list of third-party organizations the government is cutting. It was one of the top five major Budget decisions announced. He still hasn't provided the list. He has promised it several times but it still hasn't been provided.

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

The hon. member knows that is not a point of order.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I would like just to comment on, you know, the attitude that is out there now.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Are you on a point of order?

PREMIER WELLS: I am responding to the point of order that has been raised by the hon. member.


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


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Does the hon. the Premier have leave?


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, who is there, has been doing it. He is the person to ask. Now, I don't know why - maybe the hon. member has a fixation about me. I can understand that. I know my irresistible nature and I can understand that.


PREMIER WELLS: But, really, she would come closer to achieving her objective if she stopped whining to me all the time and simply asked the minister responsible to provide the information.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, in response to the hon. the Member for Kilbride, a.k.a. 'The Shadow,' I went back to my office yesterday, and the wall is still gone. I checked with the accountants in the department and there was no charge to me by whoever took the wall. Apparently, whoever got it, he got it while I was away and there is no charge in the books, anyway. I checked for the new wallpaper and there is no new wallpaper. The wallpaper is just as dirty as it was when he left it. There are vertical blinds, I think they call them, or venetian blinds upside down, one or the other.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HOGAN: There was no charge anywhere in the accounting department for the blinds. I am pleased to advise the House, or sorry to advise the House, I still didn't get the soap and water from the minister to wash down my wall.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition asked me a few moments ago about the information on the Constitution clause. As I told him, the information had been prepared and I am now happy to table it.

MS. VERGE: What about my list?

PREMIER WELLS: Ask the President of Treasury Board. All the member has to do is ask the proper minister and I am sure it will be provided.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GOVER: Mr. Speaker, just to clarify a point there with respect to the alleged renovations to the suite in Municipal and Provincial Affairs, there may very well be no charge in Municipal and Provincial Affairs. I am checking my own accounts to determine what the information is and when we have acquired the information, Mr. Speaker, I will be presenting that to the House.


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

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I stand to present a petition similar to those presented by many of my colleagues on both sides of the House concerning the protection of our school system. The petition requests that we support our Roman Catholic schools, that people want to keep them, but in so doing, they also recognize the rights of others to have their own school systems, and so on.

Mr. Speaker, even though a number of these petitions have been presented and even though government has responded to the petitions, they still keep coming, and sometimes we wonder why, because usually, when an issue is dealt with, people say, well, you know, that has been brought up and commitments have been made. I think what it shows is that there is a complete lack of trust in the government, that they don't believe commitments even though they are made in the hon. House.

I raised that with some people and I said, 'Well, you know, commitments have been made by government that they will not tamper with the denominational system,' and the reaction was, 'Well, certainly, you don't trust the government any more than we do, and we want the petition presented to make sure that people understand a large number of constituents around the Province do feel strongly about the system,' and when the crunch comes and they realize what all the facts are, the facts and figures I should say, then, they want to stand up for the system that has been there for a number of years, that has served them well and that they will like to keep for a number of more years.

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, in saying that, when you talk to people, they are also very much aware that we must co-operate, we must use the dollars we have prudently, but the bottom line to it all is, the integrity of the denominational educational system must be protected and the people who have some influence within that system must be allowed to carry on their duties to make sure that they are not there in name only, which is probably what the government would like to see, but they also have a very important part to play in the educational system of our Province. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. NOEL: Mr. Speaker, I have a new petition, I am not speaking on that one, my -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, I have recognized the hon. member. He says he has a new petition.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Pardon? The Chair cannot assume that people want to speak to petitions. So, if hon. members want to rise -

Order, please!

On a point of order, the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. I do not have any difficulty with that, if that is Your Honour's ruling, but I was standing up to speak in support of the petition and I saw the Member for Pleasantville standing up and I guess I just automatically assumed -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order. The Chair is just simply asking hon. members to cooperate. When we have these petitions coming from all over the place the Chair does not know whether an hon. member is rising to support the petition or whether the hon. member is presenting a new petition. When the hon. member says that he is presenting a new petition, than the right thing for an hon. member to do is to rise on a point of order and say that they would like to speak to the petition and the matter will be taken care of.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, that was precisely what my hon. friend for Pleasantville was doing. My understanding is, if the hon. gentleman for Burin - Placentia West would like to speak in support of the petition presented by the gentleman for St. Mary's - The Capes, we would be delighted to hear from him. A speech from the gentleman for Burin - Placentia West is always a treat.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to thank the Government House Leader for coming to my rescue and ensuring that my rights as a member were not trampled on. I really, deeply and sincerely appreciate the House Leader for doing that.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the petition as presented by the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, as have basically every member in this House on both sides who presented these petitions in the last couple of weeks. It is a very important issue obviously to people right throughout this Province, not just the people from St. Mary's - The Capes riding but people from all throughout the Province. I believe that the church groups that have gone out and solicited support from their parishioners, and indeed from the constituents of several towns and communities throughout this Province, have done so as a result of a statement by the Minister of Education. I think that statement was the one that caused the people of this Province to become very concerned. Yes, the Minister of Education, when he stated that he would like his grandchildren to remember their grandfather as the person who destroyed the denominational educational system.

Now, Mr. Speaker, that is the statement that the Minister of Education made and it is that statement which has caused a tremendous amount of mistrust in this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: Anxiety.

MR. TOBIN: Anxiety. I would suspect that the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs would know a lot about anxiety.

AN HON. MEMBER: New World Fitness.

MR. TOBIN: Well, he would know more about it if he joins that.

In any case, Mr. Speaker, I think the petitions that have been presented are extremely important. There is one thing that probably should be done, that has not been done as it relates to the circulation of these petitions and that is, I would like to congratulate the Member for St. John's North. I see him over there now soliciting funds again but the Member for St. John's North deserves to be commended because when the Premier sent out for a minister to rescue this piece of business a few weeks ago, because the churches and other groups lost confidence in the present Minister of Education, the Member for St. John's North was readily available, as I understand it, to accept the Premier's invitation, he stepped in and he did a good job. I commend the Member for St. John's North for having to come to the rescue of the government, to give advice on educational matters and again, it makes it very clear to the people of this Province, that not only have they lost the confidence of the present Minister of Education, but indeed the Premier lost his confidence, in order to have to bring in the Member for St. John's North.

I believe the petitions are extremely important, I believe they're useful, and I believe that government today, tomorrow and next week, next month and next year must indeed insist upon the constitutional rights of all of these groups being protected and remaining protected. It is not enough to do it, Mr. Speaker, to say we're going to do it, because we're going into an election campaign, and then hopefully, on their part, they would like to see it changed afterwards. That is not something that we can tolerate; that is not something the people of this Province should tolerate.

Unfortunately, it may be disappointing to the Minister of Education that his grandchildren may not be able to remember him as the person who destroyed the denominational education system, but remember him as the person who was basically trod over by the Premier and the Member for St. John's North, who gave sound advice and the constitutional rights of the denominational system remained intact.

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

MR. NOEL: Yes. Mr. Speaker, I have a petition here that I wish to present on behalf of the parishioners of Mary Queen of Peace parish, which is located in my district. It's a large parish, and they've also provided copies of the petition for the Members for St. John's Centre, St. John's East, and St. John's East Extern, since many of their parishioners also reside in those districts.

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 cooperation between the churches in 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.

Mr. Speaker, the concerns of these parishioners have been reiterated many times in this House over the past few weeks, and most recently by my friend for St. Mary's - The Capes. I've met with the representatives of three parishes so far that I've presented petitions for. I must say, it's not my impression that they are continuing to present these petitions, or to have them presented, because of a lack of trust in the government and what the government is planning.

I've been told that the petitions were inaugurated prior to the statement made by the Premier in this House on March 12, at which time he said: "...church leaders and government have agreed to immediately begin discussions on a proposed model developed collectively by the churches. We are confident that through this process we will be able to address the need for major reforms to the administration and delivery of educational services in Newfoundland and Labrador. The ultimate goal of both government and churches is to enhance the quality of educational opportunities for our children and achieve greater efficiency in the educational system."

My understanding is that most of the petitioners in this case at least, and in the case of the other petitions that I've presented, are satisfied with the position taken by the government and by the leaders of the church. They simply started these petitions before that position was stated. Since they had them in hand they wanted to make sure - and indeed, they want to make sure - that we are aware that they want to retain the opportunity to have religious education in our schools.

They have all made clear to me that they want to have the most efficient, the least expensive, the best quality school system we can afford. They are prepared to share to the maximum extent possible, and they encourage all other Newfoundlanders to do likewise. They believe that the denominational system has instilled some values in Newfoundlanders over the years that have more than justified the system. More than justified, in fact, any cost that it has resulted in in the past.

They realize now that we have to do everything we can in order to ensure that we have the best possible system in the future. They are prepared to support whatever government is able to do as long as government makes sure that there is room for the churches, to ensure that their believers have an opportunity to be brought up in accordance with their values and principles, and those of their parents.

Thank you, very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Port au Port.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition on behalf of 3118 residents of the district of Port au Port. The prayer of the petition is similar to others that have come into this House: We the undersigned are committed to the highest quality education for 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 in education, especially shared service schools where they are needed. We do not want our rights and the rights of people in our Province taken away. We ask you as our representatives not to tamper with the rights we now have under the Constitution of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, the petition was taken up throughout five parishes in the district. They were the parish of Our Lady of the Cape, Our Lady of Lourdes, Maria Regina, Our Lady of Mercy, and Our Lady of Fatima. This is the largest petition that I have delivered to this House of Assembly in the eighteen years I have been here. I think that shows something about the way the people of the area feel about their church/school system. Taking into account as well, I suppose this shows, that with all the hardships in the district, the unemployment, the closure of the fish plant, the poor fishery, the bad roads, and all the other things, people are concerned about spiritual things as well and feel that these things are most important to them.

It is my feeling that we should not always try to be like someone else. Institutions, no doubt, must change and evolve but I think it is a mistake to throw out the whole institution when all that is needed is reform. I think the churches are being very fair about this and I do hope that this government is not putting the issue aside until after an election, and that they do not have a hidden agenda which we will see after a provincial election, if they were to be elected. I would hope that would not be the case. In this Province we have achieved great things under very adverse circumstances. Students who were educated in Newfoundland in our church school system have gone and excelled throughout the whole world, and we have nothing to be ashamed of when you consider our history.

There is no doubt that we should continue to strive to improve the quality of education that certainly can be enhanced. I believe we must build on what we have, and I believe we have a firm foundation. There is no doubt that efficiency can be achieved, costs can be lowered, and there is no doubt that sharing can be accomplished and it can be done within the denominational system. I do hope that government is not marking time. I hope they are not concealing their agenda, as I said, in hope they will win the next election, and I hope they will not carry out those brutal reforms.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Trinity - Bay de Verde.

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

I rise today to present a petition.

MR. SPEAKER: I see again there were two members standing. I assume the hon. Member for Trinity -Bay de Verde was presenting a new petition.

The hon. the Member for Trinity - Bay de Verde.

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

I present a petition today on behalf of 480 constituents from the communities of Grates Cove, Bay de Verde and Red Head Cove. This petition is similar in nature to the ones presented by my hon. colleagues here today. The prayer of the petition though is somewhat a little different: We the undersigned are committed to the highest quality education for the children of our Province. We support denominational education and we support the joint service schools in our area, with the right to have our children taught the religion programs of our respective denominations. In the same way we respect the rights of other denominations to have the schools they desire, 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.

Mr. Speaker, I met with the group and when they presented this petition they pointed out to me there were some changes to the original petition that had been circulating in the area. They added the part where we support the joint services in our schools and the reason for that, Mr. Speaker, is that, these communities came together some years ago. Some fifteen years ago, the Roman Catholic school board in the area and the Integrated school board in that area, formed joint service schools for the area. Prior to that, there was something like, in those three communities seven small schools, one and two-room schools, now there is just one primary and elementary school and one high school, and the people in that area really have seen the value of, and the quality of education improve by having joint services, so they certainly do not want to see any changes in that. They do not want to go back to the system that they had before and at the same time they want to respect the rights of the churches and the individuals around this Province to have a denominational-based education.

This is the system, Mr. Speaker, that my hon. colleague from St. John's North, the former Minister of Education, has referred to on many occasions as the type of system that we should work and move towards in this Province, and I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the committee and the group who are looking at a model for the future education in this Province should have a look at the system that is already in place in the Bay de Verde area. Mr. Speaker, I support this petition and I present it on behalf of my constituents.

MR. SPEAKER: If there is an hon. member who is speaking in support of a petition, they could let me know.

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

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, just a word. I was not going to speak but after hearing the latest presentation I should rise to support my colleague. The Trinity Bay experiment or the Bay de Verde/Old Perlican Accord, which was signed some years ago is, I think, a model that can be looked at, I am sure the Minister of Education will look at it as one of the models for the future restructuring of our school system.

Mr. Speaker, in my visits to the schools I have met with parents and students and I mentioned last week that I have visited a lot of schools over the last three or four years, and I found total support among the parents, the school boards and the students for what has happened in Trinity - Bay de Verde, and if I might give just one little indication of what can happen when people do work together and trust each other, they have one high school that serves as my friend said, all the students in the area, it is operated by the Roman Catholic board.

What they did, Mr. Speaker, in religious education was, they used one year for all students, they used the religious education program developed by the Roman Catholic school system for all students and the next year they used the religious education program developed by the Integrated board for all students. That is how they have shared, they are even sharing the religious education program and I think this is a good example of how, with a spirit of goodwill and co-operation we can move forward, and I am pleased to support the petition presented by the member, and say again how proud I am of the government's agreements with the churches to move forward in this very important area.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. GREENING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise today to present to this hon. House a petition on behalf of 1,129 residents of the communities of Lethbridge, Bunyan's Cove, Cannings Cove, Winter Brook, Brooklyn, Portland, Port Blandford and Jamestown.

The prayer of the petition reads: 'To the hon. House of Assembly: In the interest of tradition and preserving our forests and wildlife for our continued use and enjoyment we, the undersigned, are opposed to clear-cutting within a five-mile, eight-kilometre radius of our communities.'

The forest industry has been a traditional way of living for the domestic cutters and the commercial operators, and I believe it can continue in the same or a similar manner if the hon. Minister of Forestry would agree to meet with both groups and let the residents have an input into the management of the forest industry.

I do understand that the minister did meet with the commercial operators, but the members of the Save Our Forest group and the petitioners are wondering if and when the minister will agree to meet with these people and discuss the future of the forestry as it pertains to a five-mile buffer zone, where applicable, and I do believe there is room for negotiations there if the minister would agree to meet with the Save Our Forest group and with the petitioners.

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. the Member for Kilbride, on behalf of hon. members, I would like to welcome to the public galleries, today, Councillor Bernice Walker from the Norris Arm council in the district of Lewisporte.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

I am pleased today to rise in my place to support the petition so ably presented by the Member for Terra Nova. It is the second time I remember a petition on such an issue being presented in this House of Assembly. There was at least one other that I remember speaking on at the time, and the Member for Green Bay from this side spoke on one - similar petitions. The petitions only express the people of the area - some of the people of that area.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) some.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Well, some, yes. I don't disagree with that. They express what these people feel about the forest management that is taking place on the Bonavista Peninsula. That is legitimate for those people, and quite a few of them actually, with three petitions.

What they are asking is for the minister to go out there, look at the site, look at the area, have a meeting with them, and then let us see if we can find a compromise to save the jobs that are being created out there in the forest industry, the sawmilling industry. It is tough going out there.

I remember when I was Minister of Forestry. There are quite a few mills out there, and there is a diminishing supply of wood. Now, there is no doubt about that - we know that. But what the people of the area are asking the minister to do is - they are telling you first that they have some concerns about what is happening, the clear-cutting that is happening around the Bonavista Peninsula. Then they want you to come out and have a look at it, because it does have a drastic effect on you when you go and look at the areas that are being cut - I won't say being devastated because it is a forest management practice. Clear-cutting is a forest management practice and I am not a trained forester so I cannot comment on whether it is good or bad. I don't think it is the perfect way to go. I know, in the Scandinavian countries they are changing from what they used to have as complete clear-cutting to some clear-cutting, some non-cutting, some clear-cutting. That is what is happening in Scandinavian countries now.

Mr. Speaker, what upsets me even more than this, about the minister refusing to go and meet with these people - a simple request. That is what our job was. When I was Minister of Forestry, or Minister of Agriculture, or Municipal Affairs, if people asked me for meetings and I could possibly get there I would go. I didn't have to bring a pocketful of money with me, I didn't have to promise them the sky. I didn't mind the controversy. I went out to that same area, actually, right in the middle of the Sprung controversy, and I took a lot of heat, but I wouldn't refuse to go out and speak to those people, and that is what the minister should do - go out and see what the problem is.

Now, maybe you can convince them that you are right; that you are going to refuse their request. But what is even more sad than the minister not going out is the Member for Trinity North, who has been given petitions on behalf of his constituents to present in this House of Assembly, and he won't do it; that is even worse.

The Member for Bonavista South, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, has been asked to present petitions in this House concerning that issue and he won't do it. Mr. Speaker, the Member for Terra Nova has been pleading with the minister to go out and meet his constituent. These are the two people who are direct colleagues of the minister. It is they, who should be persuading the minister to go out and meet with them.

I wasn't too fussy about going out to the Member for Terra Nova's district and getting into the middle of a Sprung controversy with all the people who were out there. I don't know but that we had a couple of hundred people from all the development associations that night. But I did it as a courtesy to my colleague, because he asked me to do it, and as a courtesy to the people who had the concerns in that area, Mr. Speaker. I went out there, and certainly, I wasn't considered to be any hero when I left the meeting that night, but I stood up to it because that was my job at the time. I had to do it.

The Member for Trinity North should remember that it is his job to try to get you out there to meet with his constituents, and the Member for Bonavista South should remember it is his job to try to get the minister out to meet his constituents. You do not have to go out and promise them the sky. You can go out and tell them you are not changing your mind - that was what I did with Sprung.


MR. R. AYLWARD: Well, I didn't smile too much that night. I did more sweating than smiling that night. But, Mr. Speaker, I told them I believed in it. I wasn't going to hide away because I was a politician. I wasn't going to hide away by saying the Premier forced me to do it, or some foolishness like that. I supported it at the time - I thought it was a good project. So, that is what the minister should do - go out and take the heat, go out to that area and meet with the people, meet both sides of the issue and see if you, or someone on your staff, can come up with a reasonable compromise. You might be able to address the issues of both sides.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Just to finish up, Mr. Speaker, I plead once again with the minister to go out with his own colleagues, if he won't go out with the Member for Terra Nova, meet with those people and see if there is some kind of a compromise that can be reached.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, as is the wont in presenting petitions, I had intended to stand up here and probably be flippant and to deal with the member with regard to this issue. It is difficult because really, Mr. Speaker, the two speakers made sense. I agree by-and-large with what they are saying, and I want to tell the hon. member this, that shortly after the Save our Forest group came to St. John's, I received an invitation on their behalf to meet with them. I immediately instructed my officials to respond to the letter and indicate to them that I was prepared to meet with them in Clarenville, which I thought was the right place to meet, but that it would have to be - we were into the Budget process and we were all pretty busy, so it would have to be at a time when it would be convenient to me under the circumstances. I asked the officials to identify a time when we could go to Clarenville and meet with them. I might say something else, Mr. Speaker - in the invitation I received there seemed to be maybe a softening as they indicated the Save the Forest group had some concerns for my concerns, and they recognized that there was, indeed, some legitimacy, I think - and these are my words, not theirs - some legitimacy in the fact that the other group who were concerned about the people who make their living harvesting, the local contractors and so on, they indicated in the letter that they wanted me to come to the meeting with an open mind and they would come with an open mind. They were prepared to consider the various things that I thought were very important with regard to forest management on the Bonavista Peninsula, and to the best of my knowledge - I cannot say with certainty, but to the best of my knowledge, my desire to meet with them and my intentions to meet with them has been relayed to them. Now, I cannot say that with certainty because that would have been done at the Assistant Deputy Minister's level. But the meeting has been arranged and will be held in the very near future, I would hope. We will then deal with all the issues.

I might say, so the member will know and so there will be no confusion in the mind of the Member for Terra Nova, that there is just as much concern on the part of the people who make their living in the forestry, the twenty-eight or thirty commercial contractors, commercial operators - they are just as much concerned about any decision I would make as it would affect their way of life, as it would affect their incomes, as it would affect their standard of living. The member had better be careful and not box himself into a corner here where he appears to be supporting one group or the other because he will lose either way.

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

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition from 1,287 residents of the Province of Newfoundland. This is, I suppose, the last of a series of petitions that concern the Daybreak Parent Child Centre. I know we heard the announcement today from the Minister of Social Services concerning the change in government policy; nevertheless, these petitioners have the right to have their petition presented to the House. I take this opportunity to congratulate them and those who are active in trying to convince and to knock some sense into this government with respect to Daybreak.

By my calculations, which aren't directly accurate - I think the statistics aren't necessarily directly accurate, but I suspect that there were almost 6,000 individual petitioners who had their petitions presented to this House over the last number of days since the Budget came down in March.

Now, Mr. Speaker, that is a considerable number. We are talking about 6,000 people expressing their concern about a service that is provided, at the moment, directly provided, to about fifty children but involves indirectly about 200 and some-odd individuals who benefit from the service. Nevertheless, there are 6,000 petitioners, not just from St. John's but all over the Province, who took action to support the efforts of those trying to save the Daybreak Centre, to try to convince this government that they had made a terrific blunder.

I think it is to their credit that they got involved and organized. They were committed. They expressed their intention of sitting in this House every day until the government changed its mind on this issue, and change it they have. I think that they deserve full credit for the way in which they went about it. They had a very fine public meeting held at Mary Queen of Peace hall. It was very well attended by both parents and users of the facilities, by professionals, and, in fact, by five members of this House of Assembly. I think that the members of the House of Assembly who were there were certainly moved by what was said, particularly by the parents, in reflection of their children who had received help from the Centre.

The Members for Port de Grave, Pleasantville, Humber East, and Burin - Placentia West were there, as well as myself, representing St. John's East, where this centre is located. So I want to thank all those on both sides of the House who played any part in supporting the continuation of Daybreak, and those who perhaps provided their support behind the scenes within the Liberal caucus to convince the Cabinet to change this arbitrary, unthinking and stupid decision by the Budget process. I think, as I said in my remarks earlier today, the government is to be congratulated after a fashion for having the courage to change its mind. I think that is commendable, but it should never have been necessary, because this kind of decision should never ever have been made.

It obviously shows the lack of awareness by this government of the kind of people who are dependent upon the government's provision of funds, not just directly through the government, but these third-party services. Now, Mr. Speaker, we still have a big question mark hanging over the heads of hundreds of organizations in this Province - because they don't know, this government hasn't told them, whether they are going to cut the legs out from under them or not, and to what extent they are. We do know that the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation has kicked fifteen agencies out of accommodation in King George V Institute as a result of the Harvey Road fire. We know that. We know they are cutting the legs out from underneath them from rental subsidies over the next three years, phasing it out entirely. We know that. But we don't yet know how much money they are taking out of their direct grants and budgets, because the government has yet to tell them and yet to table in this House the information in that regard.

Perhaps we will have another series of fights by people to try to maintain services that are so desperately needed. It is too bad that is necessary, too bad this government doesn't know better.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

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

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

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I would like to have a couple of words on the petition just presented by the Member for St. John's East, just to say that I am delighted. I am very proud of the people who sent in the letters of support to all the MHAs, who did the lobbying, and worked very hard to change the mind of the Provincial Government on abolishing the Daybreak program.

I do congratulate the minister for doing it but, Mr. Speaker, I do not think that the minister would have even considered reinstating this, or the Premier would have considered reinstating this, if it was not for the effort that was put in by the people who use the service of Daybreak and the people who operate it and all the supporters they have around.

Mr. Speaker, this shows to me once again that if you put enough pressure on this government, they will change their mind, they will cave in. We seen it in the fisheries issue when a group of fishermen from Grand Bank came in and pinned the Premier up against the elevator and the Premier's famous words at that time were: I would if I could but I can't. But, Mr. Speaker, the next day $14 million appeared from out of nowhere to deal for a short time with two or three fish plants that were closing. We also had the same type of an issue with the student aides in our classrooms and the student aide budget was cut quite a bit last year, and quite a few of the student aides got the Premier in Corner Brook after a meeting that he was attending and pressured him into giving them a commitment that he would continue with their funding. Now it never did get completely straightened out but it was not abolished. I suggest to the people who are involved with education, I forget what the initials are now but the - what is it?


MR. R. AYLWARD: VRDP, yes exactly. The people who are involved with that VRDP program, if they want to get that changed they have to go public, they have to get their supporter's to go public, they have to lobby the MHA's in this building, they have to get as many people as they can to point out the value of it. That is what the people from Daybreak did, they pointed out the value of keeping the program in place. We all know that it is cheaper to keep the program, most reasonable people who considered it, say it is cheaper to keep it place than to abolish it in the long term and that is what we are supposed to be looking out for, the long term benefit of our Province. I do not understand why the minister and the Premier, when they were doing their Budget, could not see that in the long term it would save the Province money to continue the program.

Also, the same thing with the program for university funding for people with different disadvantages so that they can - it certainly is a benefit to the Province in the long term to see as many people as possible get as much education as they can. If you look at our unemployment statistic's, when you compare education levels across Canada, people with degrees in Newfoundland, with a Bachelor's Degree, a Doctorate or a Master's Degree, are at about the same unemployment level as they are in the rest of the province's of Canada, a statistic which Doug House, when he was doing that unemployment commission found, which I found surprising at the time but I should not have. If the education level - the reason we have such a high unemployment level in our Province is mainly because of the education level that most of us have acquired over our lifetimes. Mr. Speaker, if we increase the education of the people going through the system, all of them, we will then and only then attack the unemployment problem that we have.

So, Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the people who worked to have the government change their mind and keep the Daybreak program in existence because we all know in this House of Assembly that it is a good program and it is a benefit.

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SHORT: Mr. Speaker, I want to present a petition on behalf of 433 residents of the Codroy Valley, with regards to the educational petitions that have been presented in this House. The last day that I presented petitions there were over 1700 from St. George's and Stephenville Crossing and today another 433 from the Codroy Valley. I did not have these the other day, so it is the third set of petitions and considering, I guess, a district has about 60-100 voters, to have over 2000 petitioners is quite a number in the district. As I said the other day, having taught for eighteen years in the school system, I can certainly appreciate the concerns of parents, students and teachers and so on over the quality of education and what is happening in education.

However, I believe I mentioned this the other day as well, I believe the report that was done last year, the Williams' Report,

is an excellent document, and over the course of time I feel that we are certainly going to see the benefits of the recommendations in that report. It is going to be a slow process and maybe not all of the recommendations are going to be implemented at one time but hopefully, with the churches and the Department of Education and PTA's and school systems and so on, we will see changes brought about in education that are going to be to the benefit of everyone, and more particularly to students.

We certainly have limited dollars at this particular time, but the Budget is certainly still putting a fair amount of that into education, where it should go, because the young people in our Province are our future. So I am very pleased to present to the House another 433 names from the Codroy Valley area.

Thank you very much.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise to present a petition today on behalf of some nearly 1,500 constituents and the members of St. Peter's Parish.

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 in 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.

Mr. Speaker, a covering letter goes on to state: The parish supports the position taken by the Roman Catholic church in Newfoundland and by our own parish council in affirming that our rights to educating our children according to the principles of our faith be retained. We oppose any changes to our educational system which would eliminate those rights.

It is signed by nearly 1,500 constituents of Mount Pearl who are very serious and very sincere in their desire to retain the right of the Catholic church to participate, and all churches to participate, in the educational system. It is a right which I think many Newfoundlanders feel is a basic traditional right entrenched in the Constitution, and which they do not desire to lose.

I might say that St. Peter's Parish is a prime example of co-operation, not necessarily co-operation between religions and different schools, although that does take place, but is a prime example of shared service between the church and the school - very unique. When that building was being constructed, when the original design was produced, the denominational educational committee did not have the funds allocated for the cost that the school was estimated to carry, so the architects were told to go back to the drawing board. It was a very, very active PTA and school and church construction committee there, and what they did is that they combined, basically, the church and the school gymnasium. It is quite unique and I would recommend it to other parishes and other schools and churches.

What you have is, at one end of a gymnasium you have a separate area where the altar is located and it forms, in fact, its own chapel, fully self-contained. Folding partitions separate the chapel from the gymnasium, so during the school week, during any time of the week, the chapel remains intact for anybody who would care to go into the chapel and worship, and indeed services are held there. On Sundays and on other days of the week when services are being held, when mass is being held, the partitions are simply folded back. The gymnasium becomes the body of the church. The altar, of course, remains as it was, so you have a very functional building.

At the other end of the gymnasium there is a stage which similarly can be blocked off or can be opened up, and on the back of the stage at the other end there is the cafeteria, so it is a multipurpose thing. All in a row you have the altar, the gymnasium, the stage, and the cafeteria. Each can be separated and used individually, or they can be combined, and there are many occasions when we have seen the altar section, or the chapel, the gymnasium, the stage and cafeteria all opened to make one larger building.

A very practical, useful and efficient utilization, Mr. Speaker, of space, of resources and of funds. I would certainly commend it. It has worked well. The parish would obviously like to have their own church per se. What they have there now is very functional, has served them well, and the cost is far less than it would cost to operate a school with a chapel and a separate church.

The prayer of the petition is to retain the denominational education system and the rights of the church to participate. It simply asks that although the parish recognizes the need to streamline and to gain efficiencies in the educational system that the rights of the churches to participate in the educational system be retained. Mr. Speaker, I have great pleasure in presenting this petition and I support the petition.

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

MR. HEARN: Mr. Speaker, I stand in support of the petition so ably presented by my colleague, the Member for Mount Pearl. When we talk about preserving our Christian schools and the drive that's on now by all denominations to support the system of education which we have, recognizing the fact that there are weaknesses, and improvements can occur. Or perhaps, should I say, pointing out the fact that over the last few years changes are taking place and people are becoming much more conscious of the need to promote quality education within financial restraints. In so doing they cooperate and use to the fullest the facilities and the overall system that we have.

However, it's only when you're threatened I suppose that people really sit back and take a hard look at the values that we have achieved through the system of education which has been here in the Province for so long. Schools are much more than institutions which turn out children with the three Rs. They also have to prepare our young people to go out into society and fit in as good-living men and women who will do whatever they can to help each other so that we can exist together in this great society of ours.

In our Christian schools a lot more takes place than just offering a religion class for a short period of the day. We have throughout the school day and school year numerous occasions where the opportunity is there for the teachers and for others involved in the system of education which we have to come in and instill in our young people the necessity to look within themselves, to take a hard look at living in society, that it takes a lot more than just education. We must know how to cooperate with our fellow men, we must know how to set examples, we must know how to look after each other, we must have this Christian feeling that is emphasized in Christian schools.

That goes down to such basics as manners and how we treat others, how we treat older people, like the Minister of Justice and people such as that. We have instilled in the young people a respect for society in general. That transcends perhaps dealing with just people. We can talk about the environment, whatever else.

So there are values to our school system, values upon which we cannot place a dollar value. So consequently, Mr. Speaker, I stand once again only too gladly to support the petition and request that we leave well enough alone. If it's not broke, don't fix it. Our system has worked well. I think with a little more consciousness it can work even better than it has in the past.

MR. SPEAKER: Further petitions?

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

MR. HEARN: I won't elaborate to any extent at all on this one, except to say it's from several hundred more people in the Mount Carmel - St. Joseph's parishes, requesting also that: we support our Roman Catholic schools and that we want to keep them. In asking this, that we also recognize the rights of others to have their schools, et cetera. We don't want to tamper with anybody else's rights but we don't want anybody else to tamper with ours, and we ask government not to tamper with the Constitution, to make sure that our rights to preserve our denominational education system exists. We add to that that not only, in name only, to say: yes, you have the system, it's not going to be disrupted, but that the church leaders who play such an important role in the denominational education system should continue to play such a role.

There is no sense in saying, no, your system is there if the people who have played such an important part and contributed so much to the system over the years, their powers and involvement are taken away from them. I think in school construction in particular, the church has played and continues to play important roles, that it not become a political issue. The worst thing we could have is during election time, members knowing they could run to the Minister of Education and get funds to go out around and build schools. That would be extremely dangerous because that is one area where politicians basically have withdrawn their hands and that is the way we should keep it.

The building of schools has never been a political issue simply because it has been controlled by an independent committee, so the churches should continue to be involved in our system, Mr. Speaker, and we ask once again, that as the people from St. Bride's said earlier today in the petition I presented, St. Bride's parish, that once again we leave the system of education as is and we continue to grow and prosper within the denominational system in this Province.

Orders of the Day

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, two or three matters I would like to deal with under Orders of the Day, if I may. The first is, I wonder if I might have leave of the House to give first reading to the bill of which I gave notice today, and that is the bill to amend the Election Act which is the old act I may hasten to add, and part of the bill also amends the Collective Bargaining Act. May I have leave to give that first reading? The bill is at the printers, it will be distributed as soon as we do.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) leave.

MR. ROBERTS: I say to my friend from Mount Pearl, I have consulted with his House Leader who has a draft of it, what's in it is very straightforward - or if the House wishes - it adopts three provisions that are found in the New Elections Act but they are not in the present Election Act. One is the provision that the names of the parties will be on the ballots, the second is, that non-affiliated candidates, i.e persons who are not party candidates, may describe themselves at their own choice as either non-affiliated or just nothing, you know, no description. The other is one that was adopted at the suggestion of, I think, my friends opposite and we quite concur, the provision that paid advertising cannot begin until twenty-one days before polling day.

The amendment to the public service Collective Bargaining Act as I recollect it, exempts from the ambit of that act the employees of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, and there is one particular employee there, the assistant chief electoral officer, whom, it is our feeling and we hope the House will concur, should not be a member of a bargaining unit. Apparently that person is at present a member, and that is what the bill does as I recollect because I do not have it in front of me, but what I would like to do is give it -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, yes. I am sorry, I thank my friend. Also, any advertising medium that wishes to adopt a special rate card, higher than anything else, is prohibited from doing it. In other words, you can charge the parties the normal but no more. I say to my friend from Mount Pearl, these positions are word for word from the new act, and since the new act may not be in effect if the disillusion comes as quickly as we hope, then we want to bring them into play. So my question is, may I have first reading?...if so, the bill could be distributed as quickly as it is available.

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. member have leave for first reading?


Motion, the hon. the Minister of Justice shall have leave to introduce a bill, "An Act To Amend The Election Act And The Public Service Collective Bargaining Act", carried. (Bill No.21).

On motion, Bill No. 21 read a first time, ordered read a second time presently, by leave.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, let me try my luck again. There is on the Order Paper, it is Order No. 10, "An Act To Amend The Internal Economy Commission Act". (Bill No. 17), which was distributed a day or so past, that is the bill that reduces the salaries of members of the House and elected officers of the House by 4.5 per cent. I would propose to call it if members would be prepared to put it through very quickly and I only put it that way not to restrict debate, but because I have undertaken and we shall in fact be calling the Budget Speech so that my friend from Mount Pearl can make his address in reply -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I am sorry?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I am sorry, I can only -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: We do and we will honour it, there is no problem about that. I am just wondering whether we could put this through, if members are so minded, I will call it but if we wish to debate it, we will call it another time, that is what I am saying.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Another time, alright. You cannot say I did not try. Mr. Speaker, before I call the Budget debate, let me note that it's 3:55 p.m. This is the Late Show day. I want to make sure that my hon. friend for Mount Pearl is not in any way constrained on his Address in Reply. He has unlimited time, according to the rules. We will gladly listen to whatever he wants to say. But in order to make sure that he's not rushed today I move the House do not adjourn at 10:00 p.m. tonight.

MR. WINDSOR: What was that?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member is on a point of order, or...?

MR. WINDSOR: On a point of order relating to that.

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, okay.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I simply point out that the motion is not in order. Our Standing Orders are very clear. Standing Order 8 states very clearly: "At 10 of the clock p.m., unless the closure rule be then in operation, the proceedings of any business under consideration shall be interrupted and Mr. Speaker shall adjourn the House without question put...." So there is no question to be put at 10:00 p.m. tonight. The Standing Orders are clear. The House shall adjourn at 10:00 p.m. Standing Orders can only be changed by unanimous consent, or can be changed by a vote of two-thirds with motion beforehand, but leave can only be given by unanimous consent. Unanimous consent will not be given. The motion is not in order.

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

MR. ROBERTS: To the point of order, Mr. Speaker. That motion, in my submission, has been made and accepted in this House on numerous occasions. In my understanding it is in order and that is why I make it. I would ask Your Honour to rule.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair will take a brief recess to take a look at the matter.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

On the matter of the motion that the hon. the Government House Leader made, although it appears to be against our Standing Orders, that has been a matter of precedent in this House. We've had several occasions when it was done - 1979, 1985, and December, or at another time, in this particular administration. Just on a quick perusal we found at least three occasions - 1979, 1985, and in this year. So obviously it's been a matter of precedent of this House to allow that kind of motion.

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


MR. SPEAKER: Those against the motion, 'nay'.


MR. WINDSOR: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl on a point of privilege.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I just give notice that I will be raising a point of privilege dealing with the issue that was just dealt with at the earliest possible moment when I've had an opportunity to research.

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, could we then proceed into the Budget debate? That's motion number 1. Let me say, we propose that the House - I mean, this happens automatically - it's our understanding the House will rise at 5:00 p.m. for a supper break and come back at 7:00 p.m., and then carry on until the House is minded to adjourn.

MR. SPEAKER: The Chair is not certain. Are we having a Late Show? Are we just going on?

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: I think it is up to the House, Your Honour, to decide if we forgo the Late Show. We on this side will if hon. gentlemen opposite wish. But that's up to them. I don't know whether any notices have been given in, Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: Then I'll advise hon. members what the matters are. The matters are: the Member for Kilbride is not satisfied with an answer from the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture concerning agricultural zone on the northeast Avalon; the member not satisfied with the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs concerning findings to the cutback to the division of community recreation, so on, so sport, recreation. The member is the....

AN HON. MEMBER: Grand Bank.

MR. SPEAKER: The Member for Grand Bank.

Motion 1.

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

Committee of the Whole

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

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

First of all I have to say that the motion that was just passed by the House, moved by the Government House Leader, is clearly designed to be an infringement upon my rights as one member. I will make these points later on in the motion that I have given notice of. It is clearly an infringement. It is tradition. In fact it is clearly protected by our Standing Orders that the Opposition Finance Critic, or whoever the Opposition Leader choses to designate as the first speaker in a Budget debate in response to the Budget, that speaker has unlimited time. Now, clearly the move that was made by the Government House Leader is designed to keep us here well into the wee hours of the morning, to keep me on my feet until I collapse. That is his whole game and I guess we are going to find out now how long I can go without a break. I will see how strong my bladder is later on this evening, Mr. Speaker. I will see how long I can go without sustenance, without sleep. It has to be the most cowardly act of any government.

This is April Fool's Day and the government are the fools if they think this is going to shut us up. It has been two weeks now since this Budget was brought down and this government has not had the courage to bring it before this House for debate. In fact we had a strong suspicion yesterday, strong evidence that the Premier might go to Government House this morning and call an election but he does not have the courage to do that either, Mr. Speaker. We figured he was not going to call the Budget Debate at all, they were so scared of calling the reply to the Budget Debate. We heard a strong rumour the Premier was going to go to Government House this morning and call an election. He has not done that yet but the day is not over, tomorrow is nigh. He might do it the next day. He might do it next week. He may not go until next spring. Who knows?

But I suspect, Mr. Speaker, with the blood that is on that side of the House of Assembly as a result of the last two weeks he is going to lick his wounds and get out of here pretty soon. He is feeling the heat now. Clearly this government is feeling the heat when they do everything possible to stop the Opposition from having their constitutional right, and their rights under the Standing Orders of all parliamentary traditions to respond to the Budget Debate. Now, they have brought in a cowardly motion which I have submitted, Mr. Speaker, and I am not questioning Your Honour's ruling, but I am submitting is totally contrary to the Standing Orders. If it were done before I would submit that it was done in error and that there was an error at the time. Perhaps it was not questioned. Perhaps it was done by consent. I do not know. Mr. Speaker, unless I have a total lack of command of the English language our Standing Orders are very clear. There is no question to be put at 10 o'clock tonight. There is no question to be voted on and the motion that was just made by the Government House Leader, in my view, was totally out of order. I realize I am straying very close to challenging Your Honour's ruling and I do not wish to do that. I have great respect for the Chair, and Your Honour has made the ruling based on the best advice that is available.

Mr. Speaker, the point is that the Government House Leader has now manipulated the rules of the House. He has manipulated the Standing Orders. He has manipulated traditional rulings, be they correct or otherwise. On whatever basis, it is clearly a manipulation aimed at cutting off my traditional, my constitutional, right to unlimited time, and we are going to limit the time now to whatever I can physically stand up to.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well, Mr. Speaker, it is going to be a long night. I tell the hon. members opposite that I am physically fit. I am in great shape. I am in great form - great frame of mind. I have been waiting for this for two weeks, and we are going to be here awhile tonight. I can assure hon. members that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I do not know if I can go all night, but I will find out. If I could have other than water in my glass I suspect I would have a good crack at it, but I cannot, but we will be here a long night.

Mr. Speaker, what a cowardly act from the Government House Leader. It does not surprise me. It is totally in keeping with his character, but what a cowardly act to try to stifle debate in this hon. House. I have never seen it before, a government so scared of what is coming at them from this side of the House that they have to use those kinds of devious tactics to cut off debate in this House - never before.

It took two weeks before they had the courage to come forward with the Budget Debate, under the guise that: Well, we had to have Interim Supply by the end of the month, by today. This being the first day of the fiscal year, this government had to have fiscal supply. They did not need it today. Tomorrow would have been plenty of time. There were no bills so urgent - I do not know if there are any payments to social assistance recipients due today, or whether it is Friday. Perhaps tomorrow they were due a payment. Certainly payday for government personnel is not until next Wednesday, so we did not have that problem, and I am sure none of their bills are so urgent they had to be paid today.

Nevertheless, the Opposition had no intention of holding up Supplementary Supply, not to our advantage. An opposition would only debate Supplementary Supply at length under a circumstance such as this where a government refused to call the Budget Debate. There are so many hours allocated - seventy-five hours, as the House Leader pointed out correctly a few days ago - with so many hours, some forty-eight hours, I think, allocated for the committees, at three hours apiece, and so many hours allocated then for debate in the House of Assembly for those three subheads, I believe it is, that are not debated - not sent to committee. So that leaves a total, I believe, of eighteen hours for debate on the estimates, on the concurrence debates, and on Interim Supply. That all comes out of it, so we were going to have that many hours at any rate, so it really does not make any difference, and it is not to the Opposition's advantage to debate Interim Supply ad nauseam, because the time is simply coming off your time for the Budget Debate anyway. So we would have much preferred to get on with the Budget Debate, and traditionally the Budget Debate begins with a response, on behalf of the Opposition, to the minister's Budget.

Mr. Speaker, I say once again, it was a cowardly act not to call the Budget Debate, but it is even more cowardly, now that they have finally called it, to play these parliamentary tricks - very low level parliamentary tricks, in my view against the rules, but it has been judged otherwise - parliamentary tricks to limit the amount of time that is available to me.

I may well want to sit down in half-an-hour, Mr. Speaker -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology should look in his new briefcase and find some other argument. This is April Fool's Day, but you are not going to fool the people by saying: Oh, the member has unlimited time. He could go all night and all day tomorrow if he wanted to. Who are you fooling? Do not lower yourself. I have too much respect for the minister, as an individual, to allow him to lower himself to that level. He is not going to fool the people. He is really not.

So, it will be very clear to anybody who is observing - I don't know if there is anybody alive up in the press gallery but they normally are very diligent in paying attention from the back room in listening to -

AN HON. MEMBER: Every two hours I will ask if you will take a question - a question at least five minutes long to give you a break.

MR. WINDSOR: I would appreciate that, if the hon. member will give me a five-minute break every two hours; that will keep me going for a long period of time. I can go take a wakey-wakey pill, run to the men's room and perhaps even get a sandwich in the meantime. If I could bring a cup of coffee and a sandwich in here I could stay on for a long period of time. I could last a long while, Mr. Speaker. I can go into hibernation for quite a period of time. I am not about to fade off the face of the earth between now and Easter Sunday, you may rest assured. I can assure hon. gentlemen they will be having breakfast here tomorrow, they may rest assured of that. If this is the game they want to play, I can play the game. If it were permitted for me to take off my coat, I would take off my coat and if I could bring in slippers to wear, I would make myself comfortable, loosen my tie and settle in for a long winter's night of debate.

AN HON. MEMBER: We will ask you some questions.

MR. WINDSOR: We will have a few questions. We will have plenty of time to debate the Budget. But this is April Fool's Day and what a foolish attitude for a government to take. The only fools around here are the government if they think they are fooling the people of this Province into believing that this document, this Budget, is of any consequence whatsoever.

This is a charade, Mr. Speaker, let me make that very clear. This whole thing is a charade so that they can go forward and say: 'We gave the Member for Mount Pearl his opportunity to respond, we gave him unlimited time. Unfortunately, he fell asleep at 10:00 o'clock in the morning, but we did give him his unlimited time.' That is only a charade to cover up the fact that this Budget is a meaningless, worthless document. I wondered why, over the past couple of months I was hearing from public servants, 'There is no great push on doing a Budget. There is no great rush. Maybe we are not going to have a Budget.' Then I began to wonder, maybe we are not going to have a Budget, maybe the Premier is going to go to the polls before he brings down a Budget. I wondered, indeed, if we were going to, in fact, come back after Christmas at all. I had some thought on my mind that he might pull the plug sometime before we came back. When did we come back, late February, early March? I had thought perhaps that was the plan, because people have been around awhile. I know a lot of public servants, particularly those involved in the Budget process. I had a total of five years, I guess, or four years, either in Treasury Board or Finance. So, I am very knowledgeable of the budgetary process and the people who are involved. Mr. Speaker, I was told there was no great rush, no great amount of overtime, no great delving into the Budget, not a great deal taking place.

Well, then I found out what was happening, they weren't doing anything. They basically came back with slight adjustments for this year based on the normal projections but there was no effort this year to go through the Budget and scrutinize each heading, item by item. There was no axe to cut item after item. How come, I asked myself? Why are we not going through the process that has been gone through every year of examining every sub-head in every department? Well, then I found out on Budget day. In came the Budget, Mr. Speaker, that basically contained nothingness. He said we have a problem - now the Premier was telling us that. But he said, We have a problem - we have a $121 million deficit. That is the best we can do.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, government didn't make an effort to look at the sub-heads to see what programs could be cut, what programs could be eliminated if they have outlived their usefulness. Maybe there are three or four programs in a department that could be eliminated and a new program instituted to replace it, a much more effective program for today's situation.

Sometimes we have programs in government that have been there so long that they no longer serve the purpose for which they were intended. Times change and perhaps it is time to re-examine some of these programs with a very critical eye and ask ourselves, do we still need them or can we still afford them? Are these governments still a priority for spending the all-too-few dollars that we have available to us? Well, that didn't take place. They came in with a Budget that basically took last year's figures, made any changes that were obvious, made a few changes that were obvious, made some cuts for appearance sake to third-party agencies that are funded by government. We brutalized them. We had a few areas like that - made a few announcements that are aimed at elections, said how much we are going to spend on water and sewer, roads and municipalities, and all the highway work we are going to do, trying to fool the people - said how much money we were going to spend, $24 million on educational buildings. They didn't say that was far less than was spent last year. They didn't say that last year there was $22 million on schools but this year it is $24 million in total. There is actually only $12 million on schools. These were the kinds of little tricks that the minister had in his Budget Speech. This government has been rather inventive in putting together a Budget document in the past four years. I give them that. They always had something in there that took us a little while to dig out, to find. It was well hidden. Perhaps they are even more inventive this time than ever before. Perhaps I just haven't found it yet, but we will in due course. Every other year there was always something that took a few days or a week before we sort of caught on to the game they were playing before we could expose it to the people of the Province and show the Budget for what it really was. This year there was nothing inventive, everything looked rosy, no cuts to this, no cuts to that, everything was sort of as it was before, status quo, until you get to the bottom line where it says, 'Oops, it didn't quite work; so we are going to find $70 million and we are going to take it off the back of the public service.

MS. VERGE: Just like the asterisk on the Meech Lake document.

MR. WINDSOR: Just like the asterisk on the Meech Lake document. I signed it but it is not worth the paper it is written on. My word is of no value. Just like the reaction to the Meech Lake document the people of the Province do not believe this Budget any more than they would believe if they signed another Meech Lake document and put the asterisk underneath it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do you believe in polls?

MR. WINDSOR: Do I believe in polls? Polls work sometimes but polls are only as good as the person who interprets them. It is like statistics, one can use them.

AN HON. MEMBER: Make some up like I made up last winter.

MR. WINDSOR: Oh, you can make up some, an old political game, Mr. Speaker. If you are losing, make up a poll that says you are winning, then everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon. You will pick up 5 per cent more votes that way. The problem this time, I say to hon. gentlemen opposite, is that 5 per cent is not going to help because you are much further behind than that.


MR. WINDSOR: I have never been 5 per cent behind.

AN HON. MEMBER: Have you ever concocted a poll?

MR. WINDSOR: No, I have never concocted a poll. I will confess to the hon. gentleman that there was a time when I was tempted to concoct a poll because I was dealing with some political games that I thought were below board, very low-level politicking. I have to say that I would not lower myself to that level and I did not. I fought an honourable election. It wasn't a bi-election, I was involved in an election in another area.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, It was not the leadership either. This party is not like the party opposite, Mr. Speaker, long knives are not there. I heard my would-be opponent saying on the radio show yesterday morning that he still has the scars on the centre of his back from the leadership convention back in 1985 or 1986, somewhere around there. I think it was 1986, when the hon. the Government House Leader became the Opposition Leader of the day.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who is your opponent?

MR. WINDSOR: I don't have an opponent yet. The Liberal Party is running around looking for one. We have one who is playing games on his radio show, using his radio show. I suppose I am allowed to use the House of Assembly, therefore. At least, the taxpayers are paying for this one. It is an honourable thing, I guess, to be here, to be talking politics, but free time broadcasting is a different kettle of fish. Anyway, let that be. That doesn't bother me one bit. I am not the least bit concerned about that.

The point I was making to my hon. friend is that the long knives were out back in those days, and he confessed yesterday that he still has the scars in the centre of his back. He was well ahead in the first vote in that one, as I recall - well ahead - until they ganged up and said, 'We have to get him.'

MR. ROBERTS: Are you running again, 'Neil'?

MR. WINDSOR: Am I running again? Why would the hon. member ask me that?

MR. ROBERTS: I don't know, I mean, there is the nomination call.

MR. WINDSOR: My nomination was called and completed in early August. I have been the declared candidate for this party since early August. Wishful think is the hon. member's might. I hate to disappoint you. Yes, I will be running. Let there be no doubt about it; and they can bring in the judge; they can bring in an open line host; they can bring in whoever they want. I will be running and people will decide if I am victorious again.

MR. ROBERTS: But are you definitely running?

MR. WINDSOR: I am very definitely running. Let there be no doubt about it.

MR. ROBERTS: There is no question about it?

MR. WINDSOR: No question about it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Absolutely.

MR. WINDSOR: Absolutely.

MR. ROBERTS: Where are you running?

MR. WINDSOR: Where am I running? Now that might have been a question before the first of August, but it is not. No, there is no doubt, let me say to the hon. member. The people of Mount Pearl have given me the honour of representing them for almost eighteen years now, and I look forward to another four. I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Member of Parliament in St. John's West (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: A new Member of Parliament for St. John's West. The problem is, Mr. Speaker, in St. John's West we have probably the most capable Member of Parliament in Canada, and if I were given the honour of carrying his $800 briefcase I would be glad to do it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, but if he had an $800 briefcase it would be hard to criticize him. Perhaps there is an $800 briefcase over there we have not found yet that we might contribute to Mr. Crosbie. We found a $650 briefcase - that wasn't the one we were looking for.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The hon. gentleman is the only hon. gentleman over there. When my good friend from Kilbride questioned the briefcase, he was up like a bunny rabbit. He got up even faster than the hon. the Member for Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir. He was like a jack-in-the-box in Question Period when they were in Opposition. The minute one member sat down - pop! - up he came!

The hon. gentleman is of great stature. He is a very tall gentleman, and he can come to his taps. I did not know if he thought the Premier was walking into the room or not, but he comes to his taps very quickly. The hon. gentleman jumped to his feet and he confessed - to his credit. I will condemn him for paying $650 for a briefcase and charging it to the taxpayers. We don't forgive him for the fact that he was able to pay it back, and I congratulate him on his good fortune. I don't begrudge him that for one moment. I wish I were as fortunate as he.

AN HON. MEMBER: He was so close to it he thought it was his.

MR. WINDSOR: So close to it, yes.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

It is now 4:30 p.m.

MR. WINDSOR: I will come back to this a little later. We will finish this after dinner.

MR. SPEAKER: It is now 4:30 p.m. and we move on to the Late Show.

Debate on the Adjournment

[Late Show]

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


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

We are now into the Late Show and I call upon the hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, last Friday I believe it was, I had a question to the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture about the agricultural task force - a question that I have right here in front of me. The question at the time was whether the minister was going to release it or not, and obviously, we forced him into tabling it.

MR. MATTHEWS: You bluffed him.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, he thought I had a copy of it, and I suggested to him that if he didn't release it soon, I would have.

Mr. Speaker, apart from all of that, I do want to make a few comments on the agricultural task force or the Review of the St. John's Urban Region Development Area.

Mr. Speaker, this was released Tuesday of this week I believe, and I have had a chance to look at it a bit more now than I did the day it was released. If this report was based on one ounce of agricultural policy, I will eat it. Mr. Speaker, I will eat it and it is a fairly big report. There was not one thought given to this report on the agricultural activity in the northeast Avalon. Anyone who went to these hearings, anyone at all who went to these hearings and complained were given some consideration. A lot of the people who expected to get all of their land removed from the agricultural zone, had small pieces of it removed that will be no good to them because the City of St. John's is going to require five acres for a building lot.

Mr. Speaker, the most important thing that happened with this is that the people in the area who are selling their land to the land consolidation program are the ones who got the biggest shaft. There are pieces of land that the Agricultural Department bought back as many as three years ago, from the people who owned them that have been removed from the zone. Now, Mr. Speaker, if anyone thinks that this had anything to do with protection of agriculture and was based any way at all - I see some of the reasons here, I have pieces of land - it will be on television, it probably will be on this weekend when - I tell the minister to stay tuned to NTV the weekend and we will see recommendation such a number - and I will be reading it out, Mr. Speaker and it will be showing a piece of land, which is a beautiful piece of agricultural land and the reason for removing it, Mr. Speaker, a perfectly green field, not a rock left on it, the reason for removing it is, unsuitable for agriculture because of soil.

Now, Mr. Speaker, that is the kind of thought that went into this report, absolutely ridiculous. Now I can show and you will see at least a half-a-dozen of these pieces of land, you will also see a piece of land right here, a perfectly good piece of green grass, perfect agricultural land right here, good agricultural land both still in the zone and right here, because there were a few trees left on it, because there were trees there and it had not been developed, Mr. Speaker, that was taken out of the zone and it does not make sense at all. If that land is good and that land is good and the reason is that because it is unsuitable for agriculture, the soil condition is not suitable for agriculture.

There is another piece that has been removed, that the minister's department, himself paid money last year, only last year they paid money in a subsidy to a farmer to clear the land. This year it is taken out of the freeze. Now, that is the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard of, there was no thought. The direction that the minister gave the person who did the review, Mr. Scott Simmons, who made a bundle of money off this again, another Bud Hulan, the direction the minister gave was: these people are driving me crazy. I cannot handle it, I cannot take the pressure. Will you get them off my back, and Mr. Simmons said: yes sir, for enough money I will get them off your back and that is what he did.

The job that he had permanent, Agricultural Products Marketing Board Chairman, he -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. R. AYLWARD: By leave, Mr. Speaker?

AN HON. MEMBER: No leave.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Order, please!

The Chair has recognized the hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, let us be clear, what caused the Simmons Report to be done, let us be clear as to what put me in a position that caused it to be done. Let everybody know, Mr. Speaker, that the reason that I was forced to appoint a review commission for the land freeze, was to make up for the abuse, the misuse, the discrimination and the problems caused by fourteen or fifteen years of administration by a previous government and in a lot of cases, by that former minister, Mr. Speaker, who rendered all kinds of land in that zone useless, useless, Mr. Speaker.

Now let me tell the hon. House of Assembly, Mr. Speaker, that last fall some time, forty or fifty people, most of his constituents arrived at Confederation Building to complain about the freeze and the difficulties it was creating for him. He invited me, Mr. Speaker, he asked me if I would come out and speak to them. He went out and spoke to them and I did. On the way back that hon. ex-minister, recommended to me, his advice was that I set up a review committee to review the zone and now he is criticizing the zone.

Mr. Speaker, if ever there was an abuse, it was the way the agricultural land zone, the zone in the northeast Avalon was abused by the former administration, by that government, with no consideration for people. There is just one street, a full street in the Goulds, on one side of the street total development, on the other side of the street, Mr. Speaker, with the same conditions exactly, only one house and that was one that was approved by the previous minister about a month before they were defeated. Now, Mr. Speaker, there were dozens and dozens and dozens of situations in the Goulds, where you had an individual who owned a block of land, call it 50, 60, 70 foot frontage on a main street going back 200 feet to the rear, the ideal building lot.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the previous administration under that minister, allowed houses to go on this side, houses to go on that side, service stations on the back but refused to let that young girl in this case, build on that piece of land, with the argument that it would have an adverse affect on agriculture. Mr. Speaker, the only way you could get access to the land was from the back. You could not get a tractor in there and turn it around because of the kind of developments that this administration and that minister allowed. Had that whole street been left, then it would have been good agricultural land but, Mr. Speaker, I suggested one time to the hon. member that there was a lot of political interference in the Goulds and Kilbride. He said look, there is nothing on the record that can ever associate me with a land transaction in the Goulds or Kilbride and there is not, Mr. Speaker, but do not forget, he appointed all the committee's that made the decision's. He appointed all the committees, Mr. Speaker, that made the decisions.

AN HON. MEMBER: And he told them what to do.

MR. FLIGHT: So, Mr. Speaker, from the time that I became the minister, up until the time that I appointed the Simmons Commission, the most frustrating thing I had to deal with, were the hundreds of people coming in, mostly his constituents complaining about it - it was not a case of pressure it was compassion and concern for the way that certain people were treated. I never did associate the kind of decisions that have been political but a lot of people did and as a result the freeze zone, the agricultural zone, had to be reduced by almost 25 per cent to try to fix and straighten out the mess that the previous administration had allowed to happen in that zone.

So, Mr. Speaker, he should come back to reality, go out to Kilbride, go out to Brookfield Road, go up to the northeast and talk to the people and find out that they are finally relieved that somebody looked at the zone with fairness and balance, as opposed to the minister himself getting in and interfering politically, like was done. I chose not to do that, Mr. Speaker, I chose to appoint a commission whose mandate was to protect the land of agricultural importance and that has happened, Mr. Speaker. The real concern that the -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. minister's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. FLIGHT: So, Mr. Speaker, - eat your heart out Bob. Go out and talk to the people in Kilbride and see how they feel about the report.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Earlier today I questioned -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: God, Mr. Speaker, can we get a couple of those love seats brought down for the Minister of Education so he can stretch out and have a little nap for himself, and he will need a full-size chesterfield by the time we close tomorrow morning.

Mr. Speaker, I question the minister -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. MATTHEWS: We can understand why the Minister of Education finds it boring. He has done such a wonderful job with education and satisfying the teachers, we know why he is bored. There is no excitement in his life.

Having said that, I questioned the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs today about the cutbacks in his department, particularly the community recreation, sport and fitness division, which has some $2.5 million less in this Budget than they spent last year. Now they spent more last year than they budgeted, but in the revised figures they spent a bit more and they are spending this year $2.5 million less.

The host committee for the Newfoundland Winter Games in Clarenville has run into a bit of a problem. They are not sure that they are going to be able to proceed with the facility that they intended to construct to host those games. As I said to the minister, it is my understanding that they have given the department a deadline. They need a response. They cannot go for redesign. They cannot delay construction or else the building will not be completed, and the information I have is that host committee, if they cannot host the standard of games that they proposed to host they will not host any.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: My point is, in conclusion, that host committee who has put so much work into hosting the Newfoundland Winter Games in Clarenville is in danger of not being able to host it, I say to the Minister of Forestry.

Now not being a sporty, gamey fellow, he would not know much about that, but the Minister of Municipal Affairs responsible for recreation is supposed to have a long background - I was going to say a large background - in sport. He has been a great promoter of amateur sport, particularly softball, and how that minister could allow a cut to the Budget, regardless of what department, to interfere with the construction of that facility to host the Newfoundland Winter Games in Clarenville is very disappointing.

Now the other question I asked the minister is: What implications will those funding cutbacks have on future Newfoundland and Labrador Winter and Summer Games? It is my understanding that the next Newfoundland Summer Games will be hosted by CBS, and there is a Canada Games contingent, Summer Games contingent, supposed to go to Kamloops, BC this Summer. So I would like for the minister to tell the House whether or not the Newfoundland contingent will be as large - not as large as the minister - will the Newfoundland contingent be as large as was originally planned?

The other point that I asked the minister was: What implications does this funding cutback have for the - I think it is the 1997 Canada Winter Games -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: 1999 Canada Winter Games that the City of Corner Brook is proposing to host, because if the minister is going to reduce funding, not only for facilities but to the sports governing bodies in the Province which, by the way, they are being severely slashed, then that is going to impact very negatively on the preparation for Newfoundland Games and for Canada Games because the sports governing bodies run the sports programs out and about the Province.

The minister shakes his head but he does not know very much about it, because if you take away from the sports governing bodies who run the sports programs around the Province you are going to affect the participation in games because the preparation is not going to be done. I want the minister to respond to that and I look forward to the minister going back and finding those lost funds to enable the host committee in Clarenville to host those games because it is going to be a big disappointment for that region if the minister does not deliver on his word within a couple of days. There is going to be a lot of negative fallout in the Clarenville area if they cannot host those games which they have been preparing for now for a couple of years. I want the minister to respond to that and be honest, admit where the cuts are. There is $2.5 million less than you spent last year for recreation services and facilities. How are the people of the Province going to cope with that at a time when they need sport and recreation more than they ever needed it before?

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

MR. HOGAN: Mr. Speaker, to deal with the Canada Games issue of 1999, the City of Corner Brook and its neighbours, I should say, and the region, have been nominated as the Newfoundland location in which the Canada Winter Games of 1999 will be held if they are hosted by Newfoundland. As far as I know we have met the requirements that have been put on us to date to host them. I do not know if we met the qualifications. There are site examinations. There is a lot more entailed than the hon. Member for Humber East anticipates or expects when she says: what do you mean? At some point in time it has to be said by the Canada Games Council, yes, this is an approved site. If Corner Brook is that approved site this Province will stand behind its commitment that Corner Brook and region will be the site that represents Newfoundland. There is no fiscal, no financial commitment, nothing entered into yet that I'm aware of or the department's aware of or anybody else whom I could find that was aware of.

As I understand it, lately the games council or the federal government or both has designated that there has to be a minimum participation by each participant - federal, provincial and municipal - of $2 million each. As I understand it. That's what has to be committed. I have not seen that in writing. I've been told that in conversation and overheard it in meetings. But we have not reached a stage where that has yet to be decided.

Every assurance that can be given under the circumstances at the moment has been given to the City of Corner Brook, which is the shaker and mover on this proposal, that we will undertake to give the necessary support. The City of Corner Brook in meetings that had been held, and meetings yet to be held, with the Province, with the federal people, and with the Canada Games people, have yet to lay out their final plans and final aspirations in this regard, as far as I understand it. When that done then all parties will come together and a decision will be made.

As I understand it, again, the cost of these games is getting pretty steep. I attended a federal ministers conference a while back and the federal people - they're trying to withdraw. Not from participating in games but in injecting large amount of monies into such undertakings, particularly in the area of sports and... Now I'm not saying that because of partisan politics. It appears to be the situation that would be no matter who was there. I say that with all frankness and objectivity.

That belies what happened in Prince Edward Island for either the Summer Games or the Winter Games, whichever was held over there last, where there was a gross -

AN HON. MEMBER: The Winter Games.

MR. HOGAN: Winter Games? Summer Games. PEI?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HOGAN: Okay. Well, (inaudible) last games that were held in the Atlantic provinces over in PEI. There was $21 million total. That was the cost of the games over there. Half of which was supplied through ACOA. Who came up with the rest, I'm not sure, or how the other $10.5 million was divided. I would suspect there was a good deal of corporate money in there, and that probably minimized the sponsor and the provincial money. So that's the kind of a neighbourhood you might be talking in Corner Brook.

A figure that has been bandied around unofficially in Corner Brook area, that I hear of, is $17 million to $18 million. Now, I don't know how true that is or how much substance there is to it. There is nothing provided for the Province, that I know of, that gives that any substance. That, Mr. Speaker, is my knowledge, off the top of my head. There is probably some more around somewhere that if I had documentation I could provide the House with, but off the top of my head, that is my cursory observation of the Canada Games.

The Games in Clarenville,which are the main concern of the hon. member, and my concern, is that there was an agreement and an approach and a fiscal plan and a business plan and everything put together relative to the Games in Clarenville, and a part of the plan on behalf of the proponents in Clarenville and the committee and the town council, was a scheme whereby there would be a multipurpose building or facility or gymnasium, whatever, that was going to be put together for the benefit and the use of the schools after the Games - a very smart and wise plan.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the minister's time has elapsed.


MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

MR. HOGAN: As I recall, there was $1.3 million of that to be forthcoming from the Bonavista-Trinity - What is the name of the school board?

AN HON. MEMBER: That is right.

MR. HOGAN: - Bonavista-Trinity school board - that would provide their input into the gymnasium, together with whatever the Province was forthcoming. As I understand it, Bonavista-Trinity school board now fulfill their part of the agreement because they have not received the monies that was committed to them from the -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. HOGAN: whoever - education committee. And that is where the situation stands. We have had correspondence from the committee saying, in fact, that they might withdraw by yesterday, and we have also had communication by telephone, the deputy minister talking with the mayor of the community who, in fact, said that is not the case. We can still talk and there might be some things we can do or might not do. As I understand it, the deputy requested that the mayor and the town come forth with something, and that is where I left it, and this was late yesterday.

As far as the troupe that are travelling to - will I fill up the time or will I sit down? The troupe going to Kamloops are not shortchanged on any monies, the next Games in Conception Bay South are not shortchanged on any monies, and the only message that we have sent out to the sports governing bodies in that regard is that from here on in there will be a set amount and a set budget for you to look at. Here is an amount of money, you have $800,000 and that is the way it is going to be. Now, if they come in they can enter a different proposal. That leaves the effect of the Budget this year.

The sports governing bodies, you are correct. They are going to have probably a 35 per cent or 40 per cent cut in the grants and subsidies to the sports governing bodies.

I would move -


MR. HOGAN: I am just to finish up, I am not to move anything. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: It is moved and seconded that the House do now adjourn. All those in favour, please say, 'aye'.

MR. WINDSOR: Can the House adjourn without the question being put?

MR. SPEAKER: On Thursday?

AN HON. MEMBER: On Thursday, no.

MR. SPEAKER: No. On Thursday - that's Wednesday. The hon. member -

AN HON. MEMBER: The motion (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: We are debating the question. That is what Thursday is, to debate the question to adjourn. That is what we are doing. The Chair now puts the question.

It is moved and seconded that the House do now adjourn. All those in favour, please say' aye'.


MR. SPEAKER: Those against, 'nay'.



The Chair will see members back at 7:00 p.m.


April 1, 1993                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS              Vol. XLI  No. 18A

The House reconvened at 7:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. ROBERTS: If I may raise a very brief point of order. The House has adopted a motion which has the effect of allowing us to sit after 10:00 p.m. should the House so decide. I've spoken with my colleagues here and I've had a word with my friend for Mount Pearl so as not to catch him unawares. Here is the situation as we see it. He has, under the rules - and we gladly accept the right to speak at whatever length he wishes in this debate - he's only had less than half an hour, I should think, because the House was late - not late getting started, but other business took us on.

Should the hon. member conclude his speech before 10:00 p.m. - and that's up to him, I'm not saying he has to, that's entirely up to him - then we will adjourn the House at that time and not ask it to consider any other business. Should he wish to go on after 10:00 p.m. that's up to him. But I will say on this side that should he move the adjournment of the debate any time after 10:00 p.m. we shall vote in favour of adjourning the House. It's a bit of a Mexican stand-off. Once he gets the floor, as he will, nobody else can make a motion, unless he yields, and I assume he wouldn't. On the other hand, he could make all the motions he wants. Unless the majority votes to adjourn the House does not adjourn. So we are prepared that at any time after 10:00 p.m. he wishes to adjourn the House to adjourn it.

Tomorrow we shall ask the House to deal with the pay reduction bill, which in our view it's imperative be dealt with as quickly as possible. We shall ask the House to deal with it in the morning. My friend the Minister of Finance feels it's important, the Cabinet agree with him. That will be our procedure. That's my point of order, Sir.

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

MR. MATTHEWS: To the point of order, Mr. Speaker. Not too much to add to what the Government House Leader has said, but just so we fully understand that "tomorrow," in parliamentary sense, could very well be Monday. Tomorrow might be Thursday as it pertains to the House. So I just want to reiterate that tomorrow just might be Monday, or tomorrow might be next week.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Tomorrow could be Good Friday. So that people understand what tomorrow might mean. Tomorrow doesn't necessarily mean Friday.

MR. SPEAKER: To the point of order. There was no point of order. The Government House Leader and the Opposition House Leader were more or less explaining where we are and where we're going.

The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I assure my hon. friend we'll be here well after 10:00 p.m.

AN HON. MEMBER: Carried.

MR. WINDSOR: More wishful thinking from my hon. friend opposite, Mr. Speaker. We waited this long to get our opportunity to respond to the Budget. We're hardly going to carry it. I haven't even gotten into my remarks yet. I was so rudely interrupted by the clock at 4:30 p.m. and I had to stop. There were a couple of hon. gentlemen opposite who missed it so I'm going to have to start again, because I wouldn't want them to miss anything that I said.

AN HON. MEMBER: I have forgotten what you said.

MR. WINDSOR: I'm sure you did. The Minister of Education wasn't paying attention.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Hon. members opposite needn't worry. I was home. My wife prepared me a fine dinner, I had my one martini, I had a shower, changed my clothes. I'm as fresh -

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. gentleman doesn't look any better.

MR. WINDSOR: No. The hon. gentleman has the same problem as I do.

MR. ROBERTS: I agree.

MR. WINDSOR: No matter what we do we can't make ourselves look any better. A sheep in wolves' clothing, or a wolf in sheep's clothing, as the saying goes, Mr. Speaker.

But I'm in top shape now. Much better now than I was this afternoon. I was a little logy this afternoon when I started, I must confess, sitting here all afternoon and finally getting an opportunity to speak, I was starting to get a little drowsy. But now I'm in fine form and ready to go.

I won't go back to where I started but I will try to get back to where I finished. We were talking at the time about the believability of this Budget. The confidence, where we were finally starting to get into the meat of the situation here. I started to talk a little bit - or was about to start to talk, at least - about the believability of this Budget.

The fact of the matter is, we have a Budget that is not worth the paper upon which it is written. I said two weeks ago: it will never see the light of day. I stand by that. I still do not think this Budget will ever see the light of day. I do not think this Budget will ever pass through this House. The Government House Leader has indicated that he wants to shut the House down tomorrow for Easter. I, for one, do not believe we will ever come back. Maybe we will. Maybe I am wrong. I do not know. There is only one person who really knows that. There is a lot of speculation. My record on judging when an election is going to be called is absolutely perfect. I have a 100 per cent failure rate - 100 per cent. I have never yet been right. Even when we were the government - even then I could not predict when the Premier was going to call the election, so I have been consistent. I have been predicting an election to be called every two months for the last ten months, I think. So my record still holds true and I think it is probably a good time for me to give up on that, and sit back and wait until the Premier finally does tell us when we are going to have an opportunity to have a great democratic exercise. Be that as it may, I still believe that it will be soon.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, the Budget is not worth the paper it is written on simply because it is an absolutely meaningless document. As I was saying earlier, if you go through the estimates you will find, in most cases - a few striking examples where some changes have been made - but in most cases most of the subheads are amazingly similar to the amounts that were there last year. It is even difficult to find the percentage across the board cuts that the minister announced - his 3 per cent.

It is very interesting, Mr. Speaker. The minister announced a 3 per cent cut in operating expenditures, I think those were his words, from the budgeted amount of last year. You will find that in most cases the revised amount for last year was less, or was more than 3 per cent less than the budgeted amount. So in fact when the minister says that we are going to budget 3 per cent less than we budgeted last year, that is no great accomplishment. In many cases he is still budgeting more than was actually spent last year. So that is another play on words, another deception.

As you go through the Budget document you will find there are not a large number of variances. There are some that are striking, but in most cases there is not a lot of variance. That is why I could not find any great amount of activity in government departments during what is normally considered the Budget preparation time. People were not hustling about. We did not see people here all hours of the night crunching numbers. The Budget staff at Treasury Board and the Department of Finance did not seem to put in the long hours, and I think those people, or those two departments, should be complimented for the time that they put in every year crunching numbers, putting together a Budget document under extreme pressure. There is a six or eight week period where that is extreme pressure. Those people literally live in this building, putting together the Budget documents, revising, cutting, meeting with ministers and Cabinet, cutting again, meeting with departmental officials, cutting again, trying to come up with the final document. I did not see that this year, and I was told by people in the public service that it was not taking place in the departments, and I wondered why? I wondered why? It finally came to me because there are no great innovative ideas in this Budget document. Basically it is last year's Budget brought forward with normal variances and changes and nothing drastically new.

We can see the increased revenues as a result of the mini-Budget in December, and we said before the minister delivered his Budget Speech that we did not expect any great tax increases. The Premier came out and told us himself: We cannot increase taxes anymore. We have already taxed ourselves far too highly - and that is true. He is quite right for once. Too bad he was not so sure of himself when he increased the taxes last year and on December 4th, Mr. Speaker, when he increased taxes on the people of this Province in an area of $120 to $130 million a year, tax increases as a result of the mini-Budget on December 4th, so we did not expect to see any huge tax increases and certainly we did not, Mr. Speaker, we did not see any great tax increases because the government did not need them, as they have said themselves. Not only have they reached the point of diminishing returns, Mr. Speaker, they have past the point of diminishing returns, and I will demonstrate that a little later on in several areas.

So what we saw is a Budget document that is essentially last year's Budget brought up to date and the bottom line was a $121 million deficit. The only striking thing in it, Mr. Speaker, is that $70 million figure in a bottom line which says: but we shall cut $70 million from the overall compensation package of the public service and, Mr. Speaker, I do not believe anywhere in history has any government come forward with a budget document and admitted in the Budget Speech that this document is not accurate. The minister said, subsequent to his speech in Answers to Questions: We will be coming back with amendments when we find out where we are going to cut the $70 million, we will come back and we will bring in amendments to some various subheads. I think I am quoting the minister reasonably correctly, that is what he indicated, he would come back with amendments and say that we are reducing here and here and here, yet, what he is really saying, Mr. Speaker, is that: here is my Budget Speech, here is my policy, we have not finished the Budget yet but I am going to present it anyway; I know what my target is, my target is $51 million deficit, but at the moment I am at $121 million deficit and in good time, by April 1st, I will find out where.

Well this is April 1st and the minister has not told us yet, because the minister does not know yet, and he told us in Question Period in response to a question that I asked him today, he said: very soon, hopefully we will be in a position to know how we are going to accomplish that $70 million reduction. Mr. Speaker, I ask hon. members to think how incredible a request it is to ask this House to pass a Budget document that the government itself admits is not a valid document. Every single subhead, Mr. Speaker, in that document can be changed, every single one of them. The minister has told us: I will come back and tell you where the changes will be; and I know what he is saying, they will be in salary vote or in benefits vote or something of that nature or in pensions.

That is fine to say, Mr. Speaker, but by the same token, there is nothing stopping this minister from coming back and saying: we are going to take $70 million out of social assistance payments or out of funding for hospitals or funding for schools; nothing is stopping him. He has told us he is going to take $70 million but he has not told us where, and he asks the House, Mr. Speaker, to give him more than $3 billion and believe that he will find the $70 million to bring his deficit down to where he had said it shall be -

AN HON. MEMBER: It is what we call a conundrum.

MR. WINDSOR: It is a conundrum. - it is certainly a conundrum; I can appreciate the minister was in a conundrum because he did not have the answers, so he had-

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Somebody came up with a very brilliant answer, we will just tell them we have a problem and tell them the size of the problem but we won't give them any answers. Mr. Speaker, we all know the problems, but we expect the Minister of Finance, in his Budget, to give us the answers, the government's answers as to how they are going to deal with the financial problems that the Province is facing, to how they are going to stimulate the economy, so that we no longer face those problems, or at least down the road. The minister has not given us any answers. All that he has given us is more questions. Where will you cut the $70 million?

Mr. Speaker, the minister indicated that he was going to do it through negotiation with public sector unions.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: If the Minister of Education was listening, I said the minister indicated he would do it through negotiation.

MR. DECKER: (Inaudible) sorry.

MR. WINDSOR: If the hon. Minister of Education is going to fall asleep he should go totally asleep, so he hears nothing and not just half of it.

MR. DECKER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The fact that the minister doesn't like it is of no concern of mine. He should at least nod off and do me the courtesy of not listening to half what I'm saying. He should go back, Mr. Speaker, with his friend the Minister of Tourism and Culture and try to save his crab plant. There's a story that's not been unfolded yet.

How in the name of goodness - I was for seven years the minister of tourism and for the life of me in those seven years I didn't find one dollar in the tourism vote that I could apply to a crab plant. Not a dollar.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No I will correct myself. I suppose if you stretched your imagination you could put some nice 'Come Home to Newfoundland' labels on the package of the fish. You could do that, I suppose. You could give them some money to put some tourism advertising on the fish packaging. You could do that. Lots of money in the Department of Development for product development and marketing. There was money there for that. There was money in Industry, Trade and Technology as it is now, lots of money for technology innovation, technology transfer, for upgrading of the plant. Could have been loan guarantees to help the plant. Lots of money in Industry, Trade and Technology, but not in Tourism. How can we find a dollar in Tourism to put into a fish plant, as important as that plant might be?

I wish the Minister of Education well in his efforts to help his constituents re-open that plant. It's always been a great contributor to that area. But surely they could use their imagination a little bit more than taking it out of tourism. The whole story will soon be told. I'm just warming up the burner for my colleague.

MR. MATTHEWS: The whole story is soon going to be unfolded.

MR. WINDSOR: My colleagues are going to tell us the story. I haven't yet heard the details from them but our investigative MHAs have been at work.

MR. MATTHEWS: What kind of evidence is it that really does the job? What do you classify that as, the kind of evidence?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Conclusive evidence. There's a good word. We need our computers with a thesaurus in it here. Conclusive evidence, Mr. Speaker. Damning evidence as to how money came from the Department of Tourism and Culture. The Minister of Health, he tells us now he got his check back, it wasn't cashed. Got his cheque back in time. Just made it, I'd say. That close, the Minister of Education says. The mayor was on the way to the bank. The minister's campaign manager was on the way to the bank, I'd say, with the cheque.

Mr. Speaker, let me get back. That was a pleasant diversion but it's not what I was trying to say. I was trying to make the point that the minister should know better than to think that this House would believe, that we would be prepared to accept, a Budget that is not completed, by his own admission. Or that the people would be so gullible as to say: poor Minister of Finance, can't quite balance the Budget, but he's going to do it, and he's going to negotiate with the public sector unions. He froze their wages, he legislated cuts in agreements that were already in place, he legislated those agreements away from them, but they're going to welcome him now with open arms and agree to reduce their salary and benefit package by 5 per cent or 6 per cent.

Who does he think he's fooling, Mr. Speaker, on April Fools Day? It is just not going to happen. I think it is an affront to this House to expect this House to pass a document that is incomplete by the minister's own admission, so I say Mr. Speaker, the minister will never ask the House to pass this document. The real Budget will come down after the election and the minister is not so worried now because the House yesterday approved one third of it, more than $1 billion. You must realize, Mr. Speaker, that now every department in government has their share of that $1 billion. That is the funding they need to operate for the next four months. Every department now has full authority of every subhead that is in that document. They can now spend between them up to $1 billion based on this document. The bottom line that says we are going to find $70 million is the problem of the Minister of Finance. Every department, every minister, every deputy minister, every official in the department now has the legal right to spend up to the limits of the expenditure identified in each and every subhead in this document. That is now, for the next four months at least, a legal document and they will operate on that basis.

If the minister comes back in four months time and says: we now have to find the $70 million, he may find he is in for a shock because there is now only $2 billion left and now he has to spread $70 million over $2 billion and not over $3 billion, and that is quite a bit worse. That is equivalent to having to find $100 million at this point in time and the impact it will have on each and every subhead in the Budget. Mr. Speaker, we all know that. The minister need not think that he is fooling anybody. The people of the Province know. They are just starting to catch on to this hon. crowd opposite. They now know that this Budget will never be the actual Budget. We will have an election in due course, be it next week or next month, or in three months time but it is highly unlikely that it will be that long. We will have a Budget following that election and the Budget following that election will be a different Budget. This government is proposing to come up with a new Budget.

MR. DECKER: Would you guys come in with a new Budget?

MR. WINDSOR: I would do a new Budget. I would very quickly do a new Budget and it won't be like the Budget the minister is planning to bring down. The minister is planning to bring down a Budget the next time that has his $70 million gone. It may not be only in cutbacks and it will not be a one year deal. There will be several thousand jobs gone next time around. There will be less benefits. There will be less holiday pay.

AN HON. MEMBER: In your Budget?

MR. WINDSOR: In your Budget, the one you will bring down after the election. My Budget will be a much more compassionate Budget. It will have money in it to develop the economy of this Province and not just to develop an Economic Recovery Commission. Not just to buy more words, more studies, and to pay more political flunkies to sit in posh offices so you can buy more furniture for them. We will have a Budget that has money in there to develop the resources of this Province, to help the private sector generate the funds and the economy of this Province that will sustain the level of services that the people of this Province demand and deserve. That is what our Budget will have. Our deficit will be controlled, Mr. Speaker. We will have a five year plan similar to the one we brought in, Mr. Speaker, in 1985 when we came into this hon. House and we said: we have an $89 million deficit problem. We went to New York to the credit rating agencies and we said: we will eliminate our deficit in five years, and here's how we intend to do it. We convinced the people of this Province that we could do it, we convinced the credit rating agencies that we could do it. We didn't do it, we did it in four years. We eliminated the deficit. We turned over to the Member for St. John's Centre in his first Budget a surplus. A surplus of $5 million.

But the economy was on the upswing, and at the end of the year he actually had a $38 million surplus. Did he have an $38 million surplus? No. He had a $70 million surplus. Because I recall he made a special $30 million contribution to pay off some of the debt. He actually ended up, the first year that this government was in power, with somewhere in the neighbourhood of a $70 million surplus. The next year he turned that over very quickly to a $112 million deficit. The greatest turnaround in economic history in this Province. We haven't seen the light of day since.

MR. FLIGHT: Neil, wasn't it 1986 we were downgraded in our credit rating?

MR. WINDSOR: We haven't seen the light of day since, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)

MR. WINDSOR: That's the kind of a budget we'll see, Mr. Speaker, after the election. You needn't think that Daybreak will last for long. Won't last.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, it won't last.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes it will.


AN HON. MEMBER: We will make sure of that.

MR. WINDSOR: They buckled this afternoon under the political pressure, when so many thousands of people in this Province told them that Daybreak was right and what they were doing to Daybreak was a sin, an absolute wrongdoing. To their credit they had the good sense, finally, to reverse that decision. Somebody will pay for that. The Minister of Social Services had to eat crow today and put back the money. Had to put the money back. He was the patsy who had to stand in the House. The Premier wouldn't do it. The Minister of Social Services got fingered and he was told: stand in the House, apologize to the people.

We've had a lot of ministers apologizing lately. Go check them out. There's not one over there with the knees left in their pants, been on their knees so much in front of the Premier. They had to apologize and put the money back for Daybreak, as they should. But there'll be more than Daybreak cut after the election. There'll be a lot more than Daybreak. You won't just see wage freezes, you'll see wage rollbacks. They'll legislate it afterwards. They won't get to negotiation. They've lost their chance to negotiate.

So once the election is over then we'll see it. We're going to see some good legislation. The only problem is, they won't get the opportunity. Because they'll be over here having the same pleasure as I have tonight now, of pointing out what's wrong. They'll be over here.

Why has this government been afraid to bring the Budget forward in the last couple of weeks?... this is the question. If it was a real Budget, if they ever intended to have it pass through the House, we should have been debating the Budget these last two weeks, not interim supply. There's nothing in interim supply to debate. It's only one-third the total amount that's allocated in the Budget. We had the Budget document. We could have debated the Budget instead of interim supply. For what difference? You're in Committee, it doesn't make any difference. Except the government didn't want me to have an opportunity to have my unlimited time and really expose this Budget for what it is.

Now today we have all these parliamentary charades, manipulating the rules of the House to keep the House open tonight and get me on my feet. Keep me here all night. As long as I can keep going tonight. They figure that's the best way to shut me up. I will eventually sit down, not for some time yet, but it won't shut me up. We're only warming up yet, telling the people of this Province what is in the Budget.

Mr. Speaker, not only are they trying to keep me from telling what is in the Budget - where are the committees? Where are the House committees, the estimates committees? They were named last Thursday. They have fifteen sitting days to report to the House. Five days, six days, have now gone. They have nine days left, as of tomorrow - nine sitting days left to report to the House. So when are they going to meet? A better question still: Are they ever going to meet? The House Leader tells us that his intention is to close the House down tomorrow. Well, he is not going to have all of his legislation done if he is going to close it down tomorrow, but it is his intention to close the House down tomorrow. I do not know that there is anything on the Order Paper that is all that urgent. Interim Supply has gone through. The rest of it can wait until we come back after Easter - if we are coming back after Easter. So obviously he is in such a rush to get some of this through, it has to tell you that we are not coming back after Easter. Otherwise, what would be the great rush of putting through some of this legislation now? What is the great rush?

AN HON. MEMBER: Cut in salaries.

MR. WINDSOR: Cut in salaries. You know, the minister said he had to -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Interim Supply.

MR. WINDSOR: The amount that the minister is going to cut - you got your Interim Supply. You got that. The amount that the minister is going to save off our salaries now this year is not going to make much of a dent in his $70 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Ah, but that is important Mr. Speaker. It is symbolic. Clean Clyde is going to be able to go to the people and say: But we cut the ministers' salaries and the members' salaries and the Leaders of the Oppositions' salaries, and every Parliamentarian's salary. That is the game. It has nothing to do with saving the few dollars they will save from each MHA. It is so they can go to the people and say: We treated MHA's equally.

Are they going to tell the people that the MHA's automatically get treated equally because our salary is based on public service increases? So what is the difference? We are going to be treated equally anyway. We are, by statute, linked to the salaries of the public service. We might be a year behind. What we get next year is what the public service got this year, so we are linked to it anyway. So if the government is intent on cutting back that much, the question is: How are they going to do it? I guess if they get them to give back some of their pensions, or if they get them to take vacations so that it does not change the salary scales, then it will not impact on us, so I guess the minister is saying that he has to do the same to us.

I wonder will we be given the same opportunity to negotiate? Maybe the minister would like to answer that question. Would we be given the same opportunity to negotiate what components or what aspects of our wages and benefits are reduced by the 4.5 per cent? Are we going to be given some of the choices the minister says he put forward to the public service? It is a good question. The minister has a bill on the table, so I know what he is proposing. Why are we not being given the same options as the public service is being given? A good question, Mr. Speaker. He said in his Budget Speech that he would treat us the same, but is he treating us the same?

AN HON. MEMBER: We do not know what is going to happen to the public service.

MR. WINDSOR: We do not know. We are in a great rush, the day before the House recesses for Easter. We must, as the House Leader just said: We have to get that piece of legislation through, got to have that. Yet we do not know where we are going to get our $70 million. That seems to be a little hypocritical, Mr. Speaker. We ask the people to believe that the minister will negotiate with the public sector unions, that he can get $70 million from them, but he is not prepared to ask the people to believe that as soon as we come back after Easter we will make legislative changes that are required to take the few paltry dollars from the MHAs. There has to be a message in that, Mr. Speaker. Once again, we are not coming back after Easter, there is no question, I am not coming back after Easter.

AN HON. MEMBER: We might be here until fall.

MR. WINDSOR: We might be here until the fall; I might not sit down until the fall, I might keep her going, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: You would lose a bit of weight then.

MR. WINDSOR: Well, I have lost it in harder ways, I say to the Minister of Education, yes, thirty or forty pounds would not fizz on me a bit. I have several notches in my belt I can pull in as the days go on -

AN HON. MEMBER: That is why you wear suspenders.

MR. WINDSOR: It would not hurt me a bit since I do not have the will power to do it myself, maybe that is a good way of doing it.

AN HON. MEMBER: And you are not allowed to eat food in here anyway.

MR. WINDSOR: You are not allowed to eat food, no, you are not allowed anything in the House except water and a cough drop.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, no. It has been ruled the only thing you can have is water but it was also ruled one time that members are entitled to use a cough drop or something of that nature for a sore throat. That was accepted.

MR. DOYLE: Are you allowed to have a recess (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well, you could, by leave, if hon. gentlemen opposite wanted to recess for fifteen minutes for a coffee break, they could do that. I would suggest to my colleague though that he not put a cup of tea on for me yet, because I do not think that they are about to give me a break.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: They will? I should say the only thing allowed is water, but there was one great parliamentarian, hon. gentlemen may know, Sir Winston Churchill, who regularly had his glass filled with the finest of gin.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that right?

MR. WINDSOR: - with the finest of gin -

AN HON. MEMBER: In the House?

MR. WINDSOR: In the House, very few people knew that - until after he retired, yes -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: My friend, the Government House Leader may recall, Sir Winston - I think I am accurate in what I am saying. Sir Winston Churchill, often had gin in his glass instead of water.

AN HON. MEMBER: He was not the only parliamentarian.

MR. WINDSOR: He probably was not the only one at the time.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: And I recall the days when the press gallery used to operate a small bar and I think it was a dollar a shot.

AN HON. MEMBER: You should have been here before.

MR. WINDSOR: We sat regularly in the evenings then.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: Evening sittings were quite common particularly as we got closer and closer to the end of June. The evening sittings were quite common and we always took turns, there were never more than two or three from each side who went up to do press releases; lengthy interviews.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WINDSOR: My friend from St. John's North, Mr. Speaker, was one of the most colourful parliamentarians, a member most knowledgeable. He had a book that he kept in the desk of his -

AN HON. MEMBER: (inaudible) unusual words.

MR. WINDSOR: Okay, I did not know the name but I thank my friend. He did have this hard-covered book that had just absolutely unusual words in it, words that nobody ever heard of, and whenever we got into a particularly dull debate, such as this one, the member would find a very descriptive adjective and say, the hon. gentleman is a such and such, and nine times out of ten the hon. gentleman would say, well, thank you, very much. He did not know he was being insulted up, down, and sideways.

MR. ROBERTS: He called Steve Neary a quagga one night and this was what set me to find a copy of the book. A quagga is a wild South African ass if you want to look it up.

MR. WINDSOR: You could always depend on that hon. member to brighten up the mood, particular when it came to the first Premier of the Province. My friend for St. John's North was not exactly enamoured with Mr. Smallwood. In fact he hated him with a passion. I recall when Mr. Smallwood announced his resignation and the media asked to bring TV cameras into the House to hear his farewell speech to broadcast it to the Province.

MR. ROBERTS: Do you remember the theme of that speech by Mr. Smallwood?

MR. WINDSOR: I cannot say that I do.

MR. ROBERTS: It is worth looking up, not that I have recently, but the Province is borrowing itself into bankruptcy, we cannot go on - that was in 1977, I guess.

MR. WINDSOR: 1976, I believe.

MR. ROBERTS: No, 1977.

MR. WINDSOR: I do not remember that particular speech.

I was elected in 1975 and as hon. members know when a member is making their maiden speech it is customary not to interrupt the member. The member is entitled to read the maiden speech, which we are not, of course. We can have notes but you cannot read a speech. You are entitled to read your maiden speech and it is tradition that a member not be interrupted. I wrote five maiden speeches before I got the nerve to get on my feet and actually deliver one.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did you use any one of the five?

MR. WINDSOR: I used the fifth one, or at least parts thereof. I stood on my feet and I was perhaps one third of the way through my speech when Mr. Smallwood rose in his place and said: would the hon. member permit a question? I know this is his maiden speech and we do not normally interrupt but I am interested in what he is saying.

I had made a statement, as I recall, that virtually 50 per cent of the population of Newfoundland lives within 100 miles of St. John's, lives on this end of the Province, and he had never thought about that. I being a representative from urban Newfoundland was making a case because at that time there was a great debate going on in the Province about all of the money that was coming into the urban area and not nearly enough being spent in rural Newfoundland.

I had done some factual research from the estimates and from the departments and found the percentage of funds from all of the various departments that was being spent in rural Newfoundland versus in the St. John's/Mount Pearl area, and I found that only two or three departments, Justice obviously because so much was centered here, the Department of Finance, those types of central government departments, but other than the Department of Public Works which had most of the government buildings in St. John's at the time, of course we have decentralized, but every other department spent by far the majority of their funds in rural areas of the Province.

Well, naturally transportation and highways are outside of St. John's so that is an obvious one. I was making that rather naive and early observation in my career. Anyway Mr. Smallwood interrupted me and asked a question on that, and he put me totally at ease by doing that because I was asked a question by somebody who may not have agreed with many of his policies or many of the things he did, nevertheless I had great respect for him as an individual and as a parliamentarian and I still do. I found the fact that he interrupted my maiden speech and asked me that question settled me right down and I flowed on from there and have not looked back since. I have gone steadily downhill, and I am still talking.

The other story I should relate, and I do not know if my friend the House Leader was there - he was, I am sure - was that we did exactly this same thing to him one night when we were trying to close the House sometime late in June or early in July, as I recall. It was well into early summer. It was a very warm night, an absolutely glorious night, and we came back and he had his unlimited time, and he was the last one to speak. When he finished it was all agreed that -

MR. ROBERTS: The leader of the opposition had unlimited time (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: That's right, he had unlimited time. But he wasn't leader of the opposition then.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You were? You were leader of the opposition. He was leader of the Liberal Reform Party. But he had unlimited time, it seemed.

MR. ROBERTS: In those days under the rules the minister moving a bill, the opposition member replying, and the premier and the leader of the opposition had unlimited time by virtue of their office. Now nobody but Mr. Smallwood ever (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Unless you gave it to him, but he had unlimited time.

MR. ROBERTS: Who knows? I don't remember this, but carry on.

MR. WINDSOR: The rationale escapes me but he did. At any rate he went through the night. He went I think nearly seven hours as I recall.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Yes. He went nearly seven hours before he sat down. So you know what you're in for tonight. I certainly have to make a goal, Mr. Speaker, of trying to exceed the former premier. At any rate, my memories of the former premier, Mr. Smallwood, in the House of Assembly. He didn't stay all that long after I came.

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. gentleman's speeches do have that affect.

MR. WINDSOR: Well, at least one makes one. Mr. Speaker, to get back to the Budget document. As I said, there really isn't a great deal in this particular document. Nothing new, nothing exciting, to talk about. A great deal to look at but nothing that's earth-shattering. In fact all that it really tells us is that not only is the Province bankrupt but the government is bankrupt of ideas of how to deal with it. They're bankrupt of innovative ideas. I was talking a moment ago about the lack of resource development contained in the Budget. Almost forgotten. This government seems to have lost sight of something that was said by the Premier a couple of years ago. They'd probably find it in their great Liberal campaign document of 1989. I never have it far away from me, here it is. I never have it far away from me because I know it contains so much truth and promise and hope. Alright?

Such as: provide for a Public Accounts Committee that cannot be improperly interfered with by government members sitting on the Committee as happens now. That's an interesting one. Here we have before us a bill that says: the University refused to appear before the Public Accounts Committee, but that's okay, because we're going to make legal what was illegal six months ago when they did it. We're going to change the law. That's what was in this great policy manual. To put in place a Public Accounts Committee that's not improperly interfered with by government members sitting on the Committee.

As I said the other day, government members sitting on the Committee, I hasten to add, are not in any way interfering with the work of the Committee. In fact I want to say, without any hesitation, that I, since I've been on the Committee as Chair, have had nothing but the utmost cooperation. I find that those Committee members are as anxious to seek out the truth of what's there as I am. I say again, without any hesitation, that the Committee's work is absolutely non-political, from both sides, absolutely non-political and working extremely well. I wasn't on previous committees. If they work that well then they should be congratulated. It is working extremely well.

It bothers me now that the University will not answer. How does government justify saying to the University: you no longer have to answer to the House of Assembly? Not directly. We can send the Minister of Education along as your mouthpiece but you can't be hauled before the Public Accounts Committee. We're also going to put some severe restrictions on the Auditor General so that he or she can't walk into the University whenever they choose. Now that seems to be odd. The government that is trying to be so fair and honest and open, trying to give the impression that everything is above board. Yet they have refused to allow the University to come before the public accounts committee. They are refusing to give the Auditor General the access that she considers necessary. The public accounts committee issued a special report to this House. The Auditor General issued a special report to this House, and the Government House Leader has failed to act on either one of those reports. So, Mr. Speaker, what good is having in legislation the only remedy available, which is to appeal to the highest court in the land? This is the highest court in the land.

Judge Noel, last week in his decision relating to the university, said that the Auditor General was entirely right in reporting to the House of Assembly. It is the only remedy available to her. He said that he did not have the power, under the act, to order the University to appear before the Auditor General, but he said the University is in violation of the act. It has failed to fulfil an obligation placed on it by the Auditor General's Act, and he said the only remedy available to the Auditor General, therefore, is to appeal to the House of Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, what good is it to appeal to this court if the court will not render a decision? Well perhaps it is. Perhaps the court's decision is the government's decision, which is to introduce legislation which makes those things that were not legal six months ago when they occurred, legal retroactively.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, if I get a speeding ticket on the way home tonight, rushing home to get some sleep, some time in the wee hours of the morning, or tomorrow, whenever I sit down, I hope I can come back next week and ask government to introduce legislation making it not illegal to speed between the hour of 3:49 a.m. and 3:51 a.m. on a particular day. That is about how ridiculous it is to bring before this House a piece of legislation such as we have here now which makes legal something that was illegal when it took place six months ago.

By the same token, Mr. Speaker -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The Government House Leader knows full well the department put policy forward to the legislative draughtsmen and they simply put legal words on it. It is as simple as that.

By the same token, Mr. Speaker, next week we will probably see a bill here making it illegal to speak for more than two hours in the House. I will get thrown in jail for doing something this week that is totally legal. So that is what we are dealing with here.

We tried to get some information dealing with some health clinics. My friend from Kilbride brought up that matter. It was almost two years ago that my friend wrote to the public accounts committee and asked them to investigate, and the committee said: Yes we will. And we asked for the information. Did we get it? Not yet. We have not gotten the information yet. We have been promised it several times - finally, I think, may be getting some action now this week.

I raised it to the Minister of Justice and asked him when he was going to respond in Question Period, and the very next day the Minister of Justice responded. What he told me in his letter - and recall that the day before when I first asked the Minister of Transportation when he was going to get me the information, his answer again that day as contained in Hansard - I have it here if you would like me to quote it, his answer there says - I might just do it anyway later on.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Do it. Do it.

MR. WINDSOR: Maybe the second time through the speech I will quote him. His answer then was the same as he has been giving me for nine months: I have referred the matter to the Department of Justice for advice and when I get their advice I will advise you accordingly.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: There is no problem, Mr. Speaker. I am in no hurry. The hon. gentleman can interrupt me as often as he wants. I appreciate the break. The Minister of Justice responded the very next day apologizing for not having responded earlier, understandable, all busy, but he told me that Justice had responded to the Department of Transportation before I had even written to the Minister of Justice asking him when he was going to respond and five minutes later up popped the Minister of Transportation and said: in answer to the question yesterday we now have the information. We have received it from the Department of Justice. He did not say he had received it six or eight weeks earlier so that the day before when he answered my question and said: we are waiting for the information from the Department of Justice he was either misleading the House or he did not know that he had received the information, one or the other.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did he deliberately do it?

MR. WINDSOR: I would never suggest the hon. gentleman deliberately did it. I suspect the latter answer. He did not even know he had a response from the Department of Justice. Anyway, he immediately popped up and said: you will have it next week. Well, I guess I will get it tomorrow morning or maybe I will get it 5 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, that will be still this week, I suppose, but another week has gone by.

MR. ROBERTS: It could still be this day if the hon. gentleman is still speaking.

MR. WINDSOR: It could still be this day, it could very well. I guess eventually we will get it and we will find out how those three clinics were awarded to one contractor, the same contractor who did the renovations to the Premier's office, the ninth floor, the tenth floor, and the eleventh floor, just a coincidence, Mr. Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not the Premier's office on the tenth and eleventh floors.

MR. WINDSOR: No, the eighth floor.

AN HON. MEMBER: You said the ninth, tenth and eleventh.

MR. WINDSOR: I said the Premier's office, and the ninth, and the tenth, and the eleventh. The hon. gentleman should wake up before he gets out of bed in the morning.


MR. WINDSOR: It is a very interesting question but we will get that, Mr. Speaker. I will take the minister at his word. He promised the Public Accounts Committee the information would be made available this week so we will wait and see if we get it this week. Mr. Speaker, what is happening here in this Province today is very simple, the people have very clearly lost confidence in this government. They are no longer prepared to take this government at their word. They saw the Premier sign his name to the Meech Lake Accord and they saw what that was worth, so they are no longer prepared to accept the Premier's word. Labour leaders in this Province saw the Premier's style of negotiation and they saw legislation brought forward breaking contracts that were signed by this government so they are not prepared to accept the word of the government. People have watched the Minister of Finance come forward with Budgets year after year telling us what a great Budget it is, we are going to have a surplus or we are going to cut our deficit down, and year after year government has been wrong, Mr. Speaker. Their record is abysmal when it comes to Budget deficits, Mr. Speaker.

As I pointed out earlier, in 1989 the Minister of Finance at the time budgeted a $5.3 million surplus, it was a good year thanks to the federal government, Mr. Speaker. The amount of money that came from the federal government that year was far more than had been predicted, but we do not hear anything about that now. Once or twice since then we have dropped by $25 million or $30 million from what was budgeted, but we do not hear anything about the fact that there was $60 million or $70 million in 1989, more that came from the federal government than had been anticipated at Budget time, but the minister went from $5.3 million to $38 million and actually, as I indicated a moment ago it was more like $70 million or $75 million as I recall, there was a special $30-million payment made I believe to the pension plan or something that was made through the following year, to make the following year look a little bit better; the teachers' pension I think it was.

Anyway, the next year, because of that $30-million contribution that was made, the minister came in and I remember so well, Mr. Speaker, how proud he was with his chest stuck out: we are going to have a $10.2 million surplus, we are going to contribute to capital account. How proud was the Minister of Finance, and all of the trained seals around him, Mr. Speaker, were beating their flippers on the tables of the House as fast as they could. Did he have a $10.2 million surplus? No, Mr. Speaker, he ended the year with a $117.2 million deficit.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who was that?

MR. WINDSOR: The hon. Member for St. John's Centre, in his second year took us from a $38 million surplus in the first year to $117 million deficit in the second year - $155 million difference in one year.

AN HON. MEMBER: What happened to the federal monies that year?

MR. WINDSOR: Oh, federal monies that year were very good. I could give you those numbers. They had more that year than they had the previous year, and in 1991, Mr. Speaker, the minister predicted $53.8 million. Well, he was not bad, he ended up with $59.5 million he was only off $6 million, it was not bad in the overall scheme of things, that was not bad on $3 billion, $6 million is reasonable, and certainly I will grant him that, $6 million, $10 million, maybe even $20 million one could live with, but $150 million is a far cry from even $20 million.

Last year, Mr. Speaker, the minister came in and said a $28.9 million deficit, $28.9 million, Mr. Speaker. Well he did not have a $28.9 million deficit he actually ended with $81.6 million, but do not forget that on December 4th, he said: we are going to have a $149 million deficit if we do not do something about it, so that was the real deficit that should be compared with the $28.9 million that was budgeted, because in came the mini-Budget and we quickly cut it from $149 million down to a projected $78.6 million, $79 million. $70 million was cut off it, not bad. So the real deficit last year, Mr. Speaker, based on last year's Budget, was $149 million, which, if the government had not taken the power that they have in the House of Assembly and come back to the people and taken $70 million from them, either in cuts or extra taxation, one or the other or a combination of both in effect, with reduced services, cut backs in the public service, layoffs, reduced operating costs, freezing everything and greatly increased taxation.

Now the minister comes in and one of his headlines in this Budget is: there are no tax increases. I should hope not, Mr. Speaker, because the tax increases announced on December 4 will cause a further $70 million increase in taxation this fiscal year, over and above what they got the last four months of 1992-1993. An additional $70 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The minister says: $63 million. I say more like $70 million. So that's more than - I think it's $112 million on an annual basis of tax increase that were put in place on December 4. Mr. Speaker, that's an incredibly high increase. That's quite a jump in one mini-Budget. The fact of the matter is, we had the Budget on December 4. What we have now is a financial statement. These are the accounts, these are the revised numbers, here's a policy statement for the rest of the year. But there's very little in it except somehow we're going to find $70 million more in savings but we don't know how. But we ask you to believe us. Look at our record of projected deficits and see where we ended up at the end of the year. See how we were off $150 million in one year. But we expect you to believe us. But we will find $70 million from the public service and we will balance our Budget.

How naive does this government think the people of this Province are that they would expect them to believe something like that? December 4 this government came in with their mini-Budget. Since then, just in the Department of Social Services, we've had a special warrant, which was I believe $20 million. The minister can correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it was a special warrant of $20 million. We saw supplementary supply bill brought in here a couple of days ago which has not passed through the House yet of another $2.5 million. I assume that was for last year, not this year. That was for last year.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: We haven't passed that one yet. I'm surprised the House Leader hasn't asked us to do that. Because he needs that.

MR. ROBERTS: It's going to be passed eventually.

MR. WINDSOR: It's going to be passed eventually. I'm surprised you - why would we object? It's not something that we'd care to spend a lot of the House's time debating. It has to be done.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I don't have any problem with it. As far as I'm concerned the Opposition House Leader will deal with it. But my point is I don't have a problem with it, Mr. Speaker. As the hon. gentleman said, it has to be done. Sooner or later it will be done.

MR. ROBERTS: The money's been spent.

MR. WINDSOR: The money's been spent. Mr. Speaker, how does this government expect us to believe that they can find that $70 million when they've slipped $22.5 million on Social Services alone since December? Yet they come back and in this Budget they expect us to believe that they can do this year with $10 million less for social assistance payments. Ten million less than last year. Now how do they expect to do with $10 million less than they budgeted last year if they had to come back for $22.5 million more this year? By their own Budget figures they're telling us there will be 4,000 less people employed this year than last year.

Where are those 4,000 people going to get their living? Are there jobs out there waiting for them? I wish there were. A 21 per cent unemployment rate out there. Where are those 4,000 people going to find jobs? Clearly they're not. They are going to be on either unemployment or social assistance. How does the government think that they're going to make do this year with $10 million less for social assistance payments - in fact, $10 million less than they budgeted? That is $32 million less than they actually spent last year. Can they expect us to believe that, Mr. Speaker? It is just not possible.

In many areas as we go through the Budget we will see, there are considerable areas of overestimation of revenues, where this government is saying they are going to get more revenue this year than they had last year. I will come to some of those a little later, but I think we are looking at retail sales tax. If I am not mistaken they are expecting - I do not have the numbers right in front of me at the moment, but when I come to them I will go through it.

AN HON. MEMBER: It must be in the file there somewhere.

MR. WINDSOR: I am sorry?

AN HON. MEMBER: It is in the file there somewhere, I am sure.

MR. WINDSOR: It is in the file and we will come to it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Piled high and deep, you will get to it.

MR. WINDSOR: Piled high and deep, and I have lots of time and we will eventually come to (inaudible) it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well they know. My colleagues have heard it. We have gone through this so much in caucus meetings and strategy meetings and finance meetings, and debated it in the common room. We have analyzed this Budget in such a way that they know everything I am about to say.

MR. ROBERTS: They tell me you never go to caucus meetings.

MR. WINDSOR: Ah, ha - not true. Not true at all.

MR. ROBERTS: I believe you.

MR. WINDSOR: Well I can assure the hon. gentleman that I do not much care if he believes me or not. It is not going to change it one iota. The hon. gentleman's opinion is absolutely no concern of mine - absolutely none.

So, Mr. Speaker, how does this government expect the people to believe this document? How can they honestly come before the House and put in place a Budget that is not complete - far from complete - grossly incomplete? The bottom line is not there, but they expect the House to pass it, and they are going to give that to the public service and allow them to spend based on $121 million deficit. One hundred and twenty-one million dollar deficit is what we are dealing with now, and by the time they are finished this year, if this is allowed to continue, we will have a $200 million deficit. That is what you will end up with at the end of the year.

So they say they are going to find it. They are going to ask the public service, by negotiation, to reduce by $70 million. How are they going to do it? Are they going to reduce some fringe benefits? They may find some there. They could skip some pension contributions. They tried that. That did not work very well. They can roll back wages. I do not think they want to do that. I cannot see them wanting to do that. Ask them to take time off without pay? Is that not a rollback, Mr. Speaker? What is the difference in taking time off without pay and rolling back wages, other than at least you have some time off? At least you have the time off.

AN HON. MEMBER: You got no money but you got time off.

MR. WINDSOR: You do not get the money but you get some time off.

MR. ROBERTS: The one guy who was listening to you is leaving.

MR. HEWLETT: As General MacArthur said: I shall return.

MR. ROBERTS: We live in hope. (Inaudible) old soldiers fade away.

MR. WINDSOR: Or, Mr. Speaker, we can reduce the number of employees, I suppose. I wonder how the minister's going to negotiate that. Hard to negotiate reduction of jobs. Not easily done.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: They have an agreement to do in BC. You might get an agreement for some job-sharing, perhaps. If you get them in a corner. If you negotiate them in a corner and they don't have any choice. You may get them to agree to some sort of job-sharing. Anyway, that's lost jobs, it's fewer jobs, spread over a larger number of people. Or the same number of people. But it's less jobs, so it's lost jobs, it's lost wages.

Seventy million dollars, Mr. Speaker, this government wants to take out of the economy. Let's consider that aspect of it. Aside of the implications on the employees and their families that $70 million will not be circulating in the economy. There's the dilemma that government faces in trying to decide how to save money. Every time they save a dollar there's a dollar less circulating in the economy and there's less revenue coming back, because a significant share of every dollar that's spent comes back eventually by way of - I'd say 50 per cent to 60 per cent of that dollar will come back through income tax that's paid, through retail sales tax when that salary is spent, through businesses taxes, various forms, eventually. It keeps rotating. It comes back many times, I suppose, if you want to follow it through.

This government's dilemma - when they say there are going to be 4,000 less jobs in the Province this year as the minister said in his Budget - if the minister could eliminate 4,000 jobs he would solve his $70 million problem; but if he eliminates 4,000 jobs he is putting 4,000 people into our social system, depending on social programs, unemployment insurance or social assistance. So you are really moving them from one hand to the other. It is probably better to leave them working and producing something, at least providing services to the people of the Province.

So laying off people is not a good option, but even cutting back in expenditure - the government is cutting back this year in its transportation budget, its capital budget, by $55 million. That is a lot of construction activity, and the construction industry is one of the major industries in this Province - one of the greatest employers. A large number of people depend on the construction industry for seasonal employment, and that gets them through the winter on their unemployment insurance. It is not a pretty picture, but it is one that is traditional. It is an important employer - one of the better ones - one of the better seasonal employers, and those people, of course, have other things that they do, many of them, through other times in the year; but that $55 million will mean quite a few jobs that are not available this year.

Eight million dollars in school construction - the minister announced very proudly, $24 million for construction of educational buildings. It sounded good. When I first looked at it, I said: Very good. They have gone from $22 million to $24 million this year.' - but they did not. Twenty-two million last year was for schools. Twenty-four million this year is $12 million for schools and $12 million for post-secondary educational buildings - you see? So it looked good on the surface.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is still schools.

MR. WINDSOR: It is still schools, but it looked good on the surface to me. At first blush I was about to say: Oh good. That makes sense. There are so many schools needed, so many schools that need expansion, so many that desperately need upgrading. My friend from Fogo had a meeting not long ago with people in Gander Bay, I believe it was -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, my friend from Gander obviously would know, that that school is one that desperately needs to be replaced.

Our caucus, and I know the government caucus, met recently with the Avalon Consolidated School Board where they made a presentation on the state of the schools in the Avalon Consolidated system. I know, in my own district of Mount Pearl, some of the schools in there are substandard. Now we have also some of the best. We have some of the best schools. The educational standards are some of the highest in the Province. We have some of the best buildings in the Province, because they are new; but we also have such a great growth rate.

I had meetings this summer with the Catholic board at St. Peter's School, where they are so grossly overloaded.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: My friend, the Opposition Leader, is right. The school enrolment is declining, but Mount Pearl is an area where it is growing rapidly because we are a growth area, and there are other areas like that.

Morris Academy is one that has just been in the news the last couple of days, and it was part of the presentation made by the Avalon Consolidated School Board to our caucus when we met them a couple of weeks ago. They made the same presentation to the government caucus, I am told.

There are portable classrooms attached to Morris Academy, and I recalled for the board, when we discussed it, I said: I recall my first meeting as town engineer. In July of 1972 I first became town engineer in Mount Pearl, in the very first council meeting, on the agenda at that council meeting was an application from the Avalon Consolidated School Board to extend the permit. They had had, I believe, a five year permit - maybe a three, but certainly no more than that, a three or five year permit, I think five - a five year permit to put these portable classrooms on Morris Academy, and they were to be removed at the end of the five years. The five years had expired, so they were asking for a renewal. I recall council, in its wisdom at the time, said: We will give you three more years and no more. That was in 1972. This is 1993 and they are still there.

Now these are portable classrooms - not prefabs, portables - temporary classrooms, construction shacks - the same kind of units that you would pull to a construction site, do a project, take it back in the fall - and they have been there since the late 1960's. That is much too long. That is more than twenty years, Mr. Speaker. That is more than their expected life. Permanent buildings with such a utilization, such high traffic, are hardly expected to last that long.

So when I saw in the Budget $24 million for construction of educational buildings I thought, well now there is a little bright spot anyway. Maybe we will see some progress; but no, there is only $12 million and these are ongoing projects - no new schools, I am told, no new schools in there at all. So there is not much to look forward to for school boards and PTA's that are very, very concerned, and rightfully so, about some of the school buildings in our Province.

Mr. Speaker, I talked about the amount of money that was going into resource development. I said that I think the government has lost sight of the larger picture here, and I can sympathize with them. I can appreciate the problems they are facing, the dilemma they are in, the financial situation with which this Province is faced. We know that revenue from Ottawa has declined somewhat, partly due to change in policy, but more so due to the economy of central Canada. If the economy of central Canada is strong, transfer payments to this Province and other provinces are strong, and the last couple of years the economy of central Canada has been extremely weak, and if they do not generate the wealth for the Canadian government, the Canadian government does not have it to transfer to us. That is one of the weaknesses, I guess, with the system - that it depends on the economy of central Canada, and when we have a national recession as we have been into now, so that all of Canada is suffering, at a time when we are suffering here from the recession, we get to suffer a second time because we receive less from Ottawa because the economy of central Canada is also weak. So we get hit harder.

Our economy is very fragile - a very small economy by overall standards. It does not take a lot to move us quickly, but it does not take a lot to knock us down either. It does not take a great deal. So I say to the government that I am disappointed they have not done more to try to stimulate the economy, and that is where I think they have failed. You see, they made so much mention, prior to coming into office in 1989, about their social conscience - how much emphasis they are going to put on education, how much emphasis they are going to put on health, how much on housing and social assistance programs, all of these things, our great campaign policy manual, 1989 - Liberal, a real change - is all contained in there. It is good stuff. I would almost vote for it myself, Mr. Speaker. It is all motherhood stuff.

AN HON. MEMBER: You did not vote for it?

MR. WINDSOR: I did not - I was not quite that foolish, because I did not believe it then any more than I believe it now.

Social services, widows incomes must be improved and additional allowances provided in winter months for increased heating costs - whatever happened to those? Did we see those? I did not see anything special. More front line professionals must be added.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You did that, yes, after your welfare officers went out on strike and held picket lines and said: We are overloaded. Then you finally went in and added a dozen or something.

AN HON. MEMBER: Seventy-five.

MR. WINDSOR: Seventy-five. I believe you have added ten more, too, called a SWAT team. You have a SWAT team out there now, to go sneaking around the back rooms and the back alleyways at night to see who is down on George Street drinking beer when they should be home putting their money away to feed their children the next day. Now we have a SWAT team to see if there is any abuse; to see who is living with who; to see if we do, in fact, have single unit families, single parent families or whether we don't. What we have now are vigilantes running around to see if these people who are dependent in most cases, I say, not in all cases, but in most cases through no fault of their own, dependent on social assistance payments. Now the minister has his vigilante team. I would have preferred the minister to say, as was said to us ten years ago by the former Member for St. John's East Extern when he was the Minister of Social Services, he said we do have a problem. There is some abuse of the system and it is not fair. These people are living on a very modest amount of income which they receive when on social assistance. Do not let anybody tell you that anybody who is living on social assistance is living high on the hog because I can tell you that is not true. I think we all know that anybody in this Province who is legitimately living on social assistance is not living very high on the hog.

AN HON. MEMBER: And they have even gotten rid of the hog.

MR. WINDSOR: And they have gotten rid of the hog. There is not even a hog now to be chased around. But when you see somebody who is abusing the system, somebody who is somehow using the system or combining it with other forms of income, then that is unfair to the people next-door who are living honestly on modest incomes. It has to be disconcerting to them when they see their next-door neighbour living so much better because they are being dishonest and getting something for nothing, not something they do not need surely but something more than they are entitled to under the system. Our friend for St. John's East Extern back then came to us and said, we could do a better job of policing that if we had more welfare officers. We do not have enough and they did not. I do not recall the number but I know we did add a considerable number and they documented for us the difference - that those extra people paid their salaries many times over and not only that but those people who were legitimately on social assistance received a far better level of service because they now had greater accessibility to their welfare officer. Those are the sort of things that can make a real difference to those people who need it. I am not so sure the vigilante SWAT team is the right way to go about it.

I want to get back to the economy again. I am surprised because the Premier was quoted at a speaking engagement just a couple of months ago in saying that the private sector has to be the wheels of the economy and government must set the environment. He quoted me almost exactly. I have said it so many times in this House over the years, that government can simply create an economic climate that is conducive for private enterprise to flourish and to create employment.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WINDSOR: That is right, but it is the private sector that creates the employment. Government jobs, Mr. Speaker, are service jobs. Every one of us who are attached to government in any way, shape or form are living off the backs of taxpayers who are working in private enterprise creating economic wealth in the Province. We are no different than those people I was just referring to who are on social assistance or unemployment insurance. We are living off the system. What is happening, Mr. Speaker, is that there are now far to few out there that are producing the wealth in the Province. Now, that is not all government's fault. It is not government's fault that the fishing industry is in crisis, not totally. It is not government's fault that the forest industry has weakened because the market for paper basically in the world has decreased and we are not producing as much paper and other forest products as we have in the past. It is not government's fault totally that the mining industry has fallen off. It is because of the world economy and we are so dependent on iron ore from my friend's district in Labrador West, the district of Menihek, and iron ore, of course, goes into the central US, most of it, and when the economy is weak people do not buy automobiles. If you do not buy automobiles you do not need to make steel and if you do not need to make steel you do not need to mine iron ore in Labrador. It is very simple. So we have suffered; but what are we doing to counterbalance that? It is very simple. We are sliding, and we are sliding backwards.

Mr. Speaker, just in the little pie chart that everybody has on the Budget highlight document - it is also contained in the Budget itself, in the estimates - it shows the percentage of government dollar, the government pie, that goes to various expenditure areas.

I looked at the natural resources area - agriculture, trade, industry and tourism. These are the revenue producing sectors, and in this particular Budget, 4.6 per cent - $145 million, $145.9 - say $146 million out of $3 billion is being directed to the resource sector - 4.6 per cent. Now that compares to what we were doing five years ago. In 1988 we allocated 6.5 per cent of the provincial budget to the resource sector, so it does not take any great genius to figure out if you have reduced your expenditure in the revenue producing areas by almost one-third, that you are heading for trouble. By the same token, social services has grown from $11.8 to $13.3 - more than 2 per cent growth in the cost of social welfare. So there is the story. It does not take a lot to figure out that if you stop investing in the revenue generating sectors, that your costs in the social areas are going to increase, and that is where this government has failed. That is where this government has failed desperately, I say, in this particular Budget. How can this government expect to do the things that are necessary to stimulate the economy if they are not going to put in the investment?

Well we heard all about the great Strategic Economic Plan. It is an excellent plan. I could go through that plan; I could take out each page, with the exception, perhaps, of one or two pages; I could go to reports that are in my files upstairs, that are ten and fifteen years old, and I could find every one of those pages. All they did was dust off the shelves and they have come up with a great Strategic Economic Plan.

What are they doing in the Budget for their great Strategic Economic Plan? In last years's Budget it was a highlight of the Budget. The hon. gentlemen opposite could scarcely contain themselves when the minister announced $3 million - $3.1 million - for strategic economic initiatives. What a great thing this was going to be. All of the new ideas in this great plan are going to come forward. We are going to start moving the economy. They thought they were - they were in the right track - $3.1 million. We said: What are you going to do with $3 million? Well, it is just a beginning - and it was, and they only spent half of it. One-and-a-half million dollars is all they actually spent on their great Strategic Economic Plan. I do not know, for the life of me, what even that $1.5 million produced, but it is broken down nicely in salaries, $235,000, Transportation, Supplies, Personal Services, Purchased Services, Property and Furnishings - $95,000 for Property and Furnishings for the Strategic Economic Plan; Grants and Subsidies $530,000. So $530,000, apparently, went out to different groups and agencies, and $560,000 went for Professional Services - more consultants, I presume, Mr. Speaker. We have a great Strategic Economic Plan. We take $530,000, one-third of what we spent, for more consultants.

Well, what are we proposing to do this year, Mr. Speaker? One would think that this year the Budget has increased. And it has, it is up to $4.7 million this year. That is 50 per cent more than they budgeted last year and three times as much as they actually spent. What are they going to use $4.7 million for, Mr. Speaker? The fact is, we have no idea in the world. We don't know. Last year, at least when they spent the money we could see that they spent it on salaries and transportation, these things, but this year, it is all budgeted in one block, $4.7 million under Purchased Services. What are we going to purchase under a Strategic Economic Plan? It is not Professional Services, and therefore, not consultants, so these are contracts of some sort. They are not grants and subsidies to outside agencies or groups that are trying to do something. Nobody can come in and apply for funds, apparently. Nobody can walk in to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology - you can't anyway, because it is under the Executive Council. So it comes directly under the President of Treasury Board - interesting, the President of Treasury Board.

MR. ROBERTS: The President of the Executive Council is also the President of Treasury Board. Our friend, the minister, holds three portfolios.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, he holds three. He is President of the Executive Council. It is in his subhead. Purchased Services: $4.7 million - contracts of some sort, but not consulting contracts or it would be under Professional Services, and they are not Grants and Subsidies to third persons or agencies. They are some sort of contracts. What are we buying for $4.7 million? I wish the President of Treasury Board, the Minister of Finance were here to tell us.

AN HON. MEMBER: He is here - he is down (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: There he is, but he doesn't wish to tell us. I don't suppose he does. Would the Minister of Finance like to tell us what he is going to purchase with the $4.7 million under Purchased Services in the Strategic Economic Plan? These are contracts.

MR. BAKER: Some of it is Aquaculture and must appear under Aquaculture.

MR. WINDSOR: No, that is under another subhead.

MR. BAKER: Some of it is the root crop program. There are a number of those.

MR. WINDSOR: These are grants to other agencies, directly or on contract?

MR. BAKER: They are directly.

MR. WINDSOR: Well, why are they under Purchased Services? Why do we not have any money there for Salaries, Transportation and Communications, or Supplies?

MR. BAKER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well, what happened to the staff who there last year, that the salary of $235,000 was spent on? Who were the personnel? Where are the offices? Where is the $95,000 in Property, Furnishings and Equipment? Where is it?

AN HON. MEMBER: Ask that in the Estimates. You will get that when we get into Committee on the Estimates.

MR. WINDSOR: We will never get the chance to ask about it under the Estimates and the hon. member knows that, in the whole exercise we are going through. The $4.7 million under Purchased Services, the same sort of thing - here is an interesting one. Here is one my friend from Humber East might be interested in, pay equity, a big issue for this government, a big commitment to pay equity. Last year, they budgeted $548,700. My friend recalls, I am sure, we were saying at the time, that is a significant contribution, a good commitment to pay equity, but they only spent $40,500 - interesting. What happened to the commitment to pay equity, in which this government was so interested? - less than 10 per cent of the money that was allocated. Now, they have allocated this year, $200,000 - gone back up a little big again - but it is in Professional Services again. It is not under Supplies and Transportation and all of those things, and distributed again, as it was before, and as it was spent last year. It is now under Professional Services. So, now, are these contracts again, Mr. Speaker? What exactly are they?

MR. ROBERTS: Will you let me know when you are finished, please?

MR. WINDSOR: I assure the hon. the House Leader that I will be the first to let him know when I am finished.

MR. ROBERTS: I understand the hon. member (inaudible) finished, but (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I said one time when I was beginning a speech, 'Having accepted your invitation to speak, it is my responsibility to speak and your responsibility to listen, and if you finish before I do, let me know.' And they did.

MR. ROBERTS: Not a bad line.

MR. WINDSOR: Not a bad line.

Mr. Speaker, I look at the item under Intergovernmental Affairs - Constitution: $536,000 was found last year to spend negotiating the Constitution. I won't dwell on it. I simply want to make the point that we found $536,000 when we needed it for the great constitutional fiasco that was not followed through by the Premier of this Province.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) in this Province.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, I realize that. The only point I wanted to make there - I realize, when you get into those things you have to spend some money on them, but that seemed like an expensive piece of business.

When you look at Hibernia implementation - here is one that concerns me. They had $491,000 allocated last year and $290,000 allocated this year for Hibernia monitoring. Now that the whole project is going full steam ahead - last year it was on slow-down, not on hold, it was on slow-down - now it is going full steam ahead and we have cut back the funds for Hibernia monitoring by nearly 50 per cent.

The Advisory Council on the Economy -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The which?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Oh yes, I appreciate that.

We come to the Advisory Council on the Economy. I meant to mention this one while I was talking about the Strategic Economic Plan - $18 million allocated for the Advisory Council on the Economy to provide for independent advice to government on major economic and social issues. Now, what is the government going to need this year that we need to spend $18 million? We have a great Strategic Economic Plan. We have $4.5 million to implement it, but we have another $18 million for more advice - on Page 28, I say to the minister, if he is looking.

MR. BAKER: You are making a mistake there.

MR. WINDSOR: Am I? Well, if the hon. gentleman could tell me, I would be glad to hear.

MR. BAKER: (Inaudible) exactly $400,000. The $18 million is the total for the department.

MR. WINDSOR: Maybe you are right. Okay, $18 million is the total for the department. I stand corrected. No problem.

MR. BAKER: (Inaudible) $400,000.


Tax Compliance and Audit is one that caught my eye as I just flicked through a couple of these.

MR. BAKER: What page is that on?

MR. WINDSOR: That is on Page 37.

There is nothing new that I can think of in Tax Administration Division, but we went last year from $4.4 million to $7.7 million, an increase of $3.3 million. Now, Tax Administration does not seem to me to be the sort of thing that the minister does not have control of, or that he should not be able to control that kind of an overrun.

What possibly could happen that would almost double Tax Compliance and Audit? It can't be just in salaries, although there was a $1.3 million increase in salaries at a time when we are into a hiring freeze and wage freeze and everything else. How could we double, I ask the minister? Does the minister have any idea?

MR. BAKER: I think that was due to (inaudible) budget, combining (inaudible) with the school tax authority.

MR. WINDSOR: It could be combining the school tax authority with the -

MR. BAKER: Yes. (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Did you not absorb some of the School Tax Authority staff?

MR. BAKER: Yes, but once they were (inaudible). I think that is what it is. I will check it though.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes. Well, it is just that we have $5.7 million this year. You are not collecting school taxes now. You are still hoping to collect some of the back taxes.

So, Mr. Speaker, those are incredible increases.

In Support Services, under Tax Administration, the same sorts of things; Tax Compliance and Audit, gone from $8 million to $10.5 million. Can the minister tell us why that increased so much, from $8 million to $10.5 million. That appears to be an undue increase, as well.

These are subheads, Mr. Speaker, that the government should have some control over.

I mean, we have a lot of sympathy when the Minister of Social Services comes to us and says: My caseload has grown and, therefore, I need an extra $25 million this year more than we thought. All we can say to him is: Well, we told you so. You underestimated, either deliberately or otherwise, in the budget. You made the figures look good to make the budget balance. We told you then you didn't have enough in there - as we are telling him now this year. He has $10 million less this year than he had last year even though he went over by $25 million. So it is $32.5 million less.

So, Mr. Speaker, we can live with that. We don't like it, but you have to face the realities. There are some things that you don't have a tremendous amount of control over. You don't have a lot of control over snow clearing. If snow and ice gathers on the road you have to clear it. If you have any kind of a disaster, you have to deal with it. Those things are beyond government's control, and we can accept overruns. But when you see a 25 per cent increase on Auditing in the Department of Finance and almost a 50 per cent increase on Compliance and Audit, as well, two subheads very similar, you have to wonder what is going on, right in the Department of Finance where the minister should be looking at it, Mr. Speaker.

Legislation Committees: The vote this year has decreased from $117,000 to $71,000. No wonder you don't want the committees to meet!

The great Electoral Office: We have money there for the election. There is not much we can do about that.

Here is one, Mr. Speaker, that escaped my eye - it is just this afternoon that I happened to find it - The Open Doors Program. The hon. member for Humber East must be familiar with that one. This is appropriation to provide for a career development program for persons with disabilities. That one, Mr. Speaker, is cut back. There was $273,000 budgeted last year, and it is down this year to $146,000. That one is cut in half, as well. Now, I don't know the rationale. I know that last year they actually only spent $147,000. So the budget this year is much the same as the revised amount for last year. I would like the minister to tell us, if he ever gets to his feet, why that was reduced by 50 per cent last year, why we didn't spend it.

So these are some of the examples of things you could find as you go through the Budget, Mr. Speaker.

French language program - that one is sort of interesting. Is that to teach the Premier, I wonder? Is that the Premier's french program, so he can prepare himself to take on Mr. Chretien up in Ottawa? Mr. Speaker, those are the types of things that you look at when you go through the Budget, and I could go right on through the Budget document but I do not think it would serve a tremendous purpose to do that. I can go through hospitals, nursing homes, education, tourism and culture, a couple of ones there that I had highlighted that might be interesting to look at, but again I guess we can do that in the estimates.

There is one that I did want to mention, though. There is an interesting little one, one called cottage land - a program that was initiated some years ago to develop cottage land - not a high priority program, obviously, developing cottage land - recreational land, but there is a high demand for it. I do not suppose there is a member in the House who does not have somebody asking them to help them get some Crown land on which to build a cottage.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, everybody wants a piece of Crown land on which to put a little shack up by a pond, to get away on a summer day.

It was a program that we initiated, I would say, ten years ago - highly successful. We gave the minister, at the time, I think it was $200,000 and that is what is there this year - $200,000. The concept is that the minister has $200,000 to develop roads and provide electrical services and so forth to cottage lots, to do the surveys, to sell the lots and recover the cost. It is totally cost recoverable, so there is no bottom line. The total in the subhead is zero dollars, but it is $200,000 in and $200,000 out. Last year they actually only spent $55,000. Now they have budgeted again $200,000 this year.

I guess the point I want to make is that it is counterproductive not to do those sorts of things. That is $200,000 that could have been moving through the economy last summer, but it would move a lot more than $200,000. Those building lots sell for around $2,500 so you are going to produce almost 200 cottage lots. Two hundred families building summer cottages are going to spend more than $2,000 on their cottage. Even if they spent $10,000 that is a couple of million dollars moving around the economy. That is a couple of thousand dollars of economic activity that did not cost the government a cent.

Those are the type of things that government can do that do not cost any money. All it takes is a bit of initiative. Politically, I say to this government, they are very, very popular. Everybody who gets a summer cottage lot gets a letter from the minister congratulating them on getting their summer cottage lot, and how pleased we are to be able to serve you - and why not? But it does not cost government one penny.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do not drink too much water.

MR. WINDSOR: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: I said: Do not drink too much water.

MR. WINDSOR: Oh, do not drink too much ... You need not worry. It is so warm in here I think the Minister of Public Works has turned up the heat. I think he has turned up the heat to try to dry me out, so I could drink all night long and it will never affect me.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that right?

MR. WINDSOR: It will never affect me, no. I am good tonight. It is coming off the top of my head faster than it is going in through my mouth.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, I am in fine form. My friend and neighbour from Mount Pearl - are you still living in Mount Pearl, by the way?



AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, you moved over into Westminster.

AN HON. MEMBER: I have moved over with the big shots now.

MR. WINDSOR: Coming up in the world.

MR. GRIMES: If you promise to sit down now, we will send out a press release saying what a good job you did.

MR. WINDSOR: Wishful thinking.

Mr. Speaker, those are the sorts of initiatives that - and there are many things like that. That is just one example that I happened to come across here. There are any number of things like that that this government could bring forward to stimulate the economy, but that is not what has been taking place.

Well, let us look at the record, Mr. Speaker, and some of the estimates that we have here. Retail sales tax, the government is saying we are going to have a difficult year, we are going to have 4,000 less people working this year, he told us that. Government expenditures are going to be down so government is going to be doing less to stimulate the economy, but they are saying they are going to get this year almost as much retail sales taxes as they did last year, almost as much, interesting.

Let us look at their record, Mr. Speaker. Last year they predicted $562 million from retail sales tax, they actually got $544 million, they were off by $18 million, that may not sound like a lot but retail sales tax is an area where you can normally predict better than that. Actually they predicted $535 I think in the original Budget. In 1989, they were off by $22 million; again they predicted more; in 1990, they were off by $35 million; again, they predicted more. They have never yet, Mr. Speaker, since they came into office, been able to predict accurately the returns from retail sales tax, yet they want us to believe this year that they are going to pick up $555 million when there are going to be 4,000 less jobs in the Province, and the same thing with corporate income tax, Mr. Speaker. Payroll tax is pretty well level, interesting. 4,000 less jobs but it is not going to impact on the payroll tax in spite of the fact that government gave some small relief in their mini-Budget in December, some small relief to new companies just starting out.

Mining tax and royalties, they expect that to go up from where they were. Gasoline tax, Mr. Speaker, they are expecting to rise and I am sure when I turn over now to another one such as tobacco taxes and things of that nature - lottery revenues, there is a good one, that is the only one, Mr. Speaker, that has been favourable to them, lottery revenues. They predicted last year, $20 million or in 1990 rather - $20 million from lotteries they actually got $28.5 million. Last year they predicted $29.5 million and they actually got $44 million, the fastest growing industry in this Province is lotteries, video machines and the bars downtown, Mr. Speaker, are doing a booming business - starting to get some opposition now from those who disagree with any kind of gambling. It is so prevalent, there are people who will go in to those bars, it does not have to be a bar but that happens to be the only place you can get them, they will go in there and they will sit there for hour after hour, until the wee hours of the morning, plugging dollar after dollar into these slot machines, $44 million we expect to raise this year. Mr. Speaker, $44 million, yet, we are going to have 4,000 less jobs; we are going to have less money on capital expenditure, some $50-odd million less this year government is proposing to spend on capital work, so, Mr. Speaker, let us have a look at some of the areas in the Budget that we wanted to talk about.

I said earlier, the minister said in his Budget Speech, the main point, one of the highlights of his speech: No new taxes, no tax increases. Well, we now know of course that that is not accurate. 3 per cent reduction in operating and 1 per cent reduction in salary account, but it is from the budgeted amount of the year before. We can go back and look at the amounts that were budgeted the year before and you will find that we may be budgeting 3 per cent less this year than was budgeted but not 3 per cent less than was actually spent. Contributions to third party agencies have been reduced and my friend for Humber East has asked the question, where are the third party agencies? How much is being reduced and to whom?

MS. VERGE: Is there a fifth Budget highlight in that group?

MR. WINDSOR: It is the fifth highlight right here. The same ones are here, that is right. A major highlight in the Budget yet we cannot get the information. We do not know. I guess Daybreak was one of them.


MR. WINDSOR: No, it is not one of the ones. That is highlighted as well, but what other agencies? We know there are agencies that were housed in the Harvey Road building and in the King George V building that have been displaced, one by fire and one because the building has been sold and taken down. There has been nothing done yet to help them to my knowledge. How many more agencies like that are out there and how many jobs are being lost in these agencies, and how many people are dependent on the services that are provided by these agencies?

MS. VERGE: Do they understand that any better than they understood Daybreak?

MR. WINDSOR: A good point. Would you like to take over here because you are doing a great job? Keep it coming. That is a good question, does government understand the rest of these third party agencies any better than they understood the Daybreak program? My friend for Humber East asked the question, does government understand these third party agencies that are being cut, the funding which is being reduced, better than the Daybreak one? We do not know because we do not even know who they are. My friend for St. John's East says, not likely, and I agree.

MR. ROBERTS: If we make a mistake we admit it.

MR. WINDSOR: You have admitted one mistake in four years and that was Daybreak.

MR. BAKER: Obviously, there were some mistakes there.

MR. WINDSOR: We all make mistakes and we should admit it. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce made a mistake and he admitted it. The Minister of Employment and Labour made a mistake and he admitted it. The Minister of Health made a mistake, he skipped the line, and he admitted it. The former Minister of Social Services made a mistake and he got the boot. There have been a lot of mistakes made. One by one they have been lined up and made apologize for their mistakes. At least they admitted it but will they now admit they made a mistake in cancelling the subsidy to hog producers? Will they admit that is a mistake?


MR. WINDSOR: It is not a mistake? Financially probably it is not a mistake. Here is the dilemma once again that government is faced with. If government is going to act like a business you would act quite a bit differently than you are acting now or than we ever acted because we do not operate like a business because we are not a business yet we are the biggest business in the country but we are not operating like a business. If you were operating like a business you would make decisions a lot more quickly, a lot more clearly, and a lot more definitively. That is one of the problems with business, it takes so long to change anything and to do anything as compared to private enterprise, being able to make a decision. Even ministers, believe it or not, do not make a lot of decisions, not on your own. You go to Cabinet with your recommendations and you announce the decisions but by definition government and Cabinet is collective management, it is collective governing. It is the Cabinet that makes the decision. The ministers have certain authorities delegated to them under their act.

MS. VERGE: Like giving out grants.

MR. WINDSOR: Like giving grants to crab plants, buying briefcases,

and things like that.

AN HON. MEMBER: That was never given as a grant.

MR. WINDSOR: Then what was it given as?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WINDSOR: We caught it just in time, but there was a letter. The minister can say it was never paid but whether it was paid or not the commitment was made by the Minister of Tourism and Culture to put $5,000 of Tourism money into a crab plant.

MS. VERGE: And the Minister of Education.

MR. WINDSOR: You can't justify that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: A good decision. Why? I'll stop and let the minister tell me how that was a good decision.

MR. BAKER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I can see us now down on the marketing trip in California saying: come to Roddickton and see our crab plant. What a great tourist promotion that is.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: He'd thought I'd stop.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: Roddickton is a beautiful place.

MR. WINDSOR: Roddickton is a beautiful place. I've been there many times. But I don't go there to see a crab plant. I enjoyed visiting the crab plant when I went there. I was through the crab plant.

MR. BAKER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The Minister of Finance can twist and turn all he wants. You can't justify taking money from a Tourism subhead and put into a crab plant. You can't do it.

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It's Culture. I could almost be persuaded. A fish plant is definitely part of our culture. If that was an old fish plant, if that was one of the old wooden buildings up in Bonavista, for example. I don't know if they're still there. I think they are. The fish plant up in Bonavista as I recall, very old historic buildings. If we were going to put a fishermen's museum in that plant as a part of that fish plant operation to display ancient fishery artifacts and to preserve the history of the fishing industry in the great historic town of Bonavista, I could live with that.

AN HON. MEMBER: It would be a good idea.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, it might well be a good idea.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No. I should go to Bonavista - I haven't been there for a couple of years now - and give the member more ideas of things that could be done in Bonavista, or down in Elliston, another beautiful little community. A lovely little community. Or down on the beach in Sandy Cove, not yet developed. Or down at the Dungeon, on the way out to the....

AN HON. MEMBER: What about Maberly?

MR. WINDSOR: What was that?

AN HON. MEMBER: Maberly.

MR. WINDSOR: Maberly.

AN HON. MEMBER: Maberly, just down past Sandy Cove.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes. Beautiful area. Tremendous tourist potential up there. But let tourist dollars be spent on the tourist potential, not on crab plants. Mr. Speaker, I mean that's a charade. To try to convince this House or the people of this Province that that money was legitimately being designated for tourism purposes to the crab plant committee. It's just not going to wash.

There are a lot of things that could be done in tourism. There's probably no industry available to us that has so much potential, particularly in rural Newfoundland. Because you can go into every nook and cranny of this Province and you can find something that you can legitimately spend tourism development money on. It's an exciting opportunity here. But you have to get the people here. Again it's a dilemma. You have to have the people here, but you can't bring the people here till you have the facilities to house them when they get here. You have to have both. So you have to spend some money on marketing and you have to spend some money on improving facilities. I would say that over the last ten, fifteen years we've made tremendous strides in the tourism industry in this Province. There's more that we can do, a tremendous amount more that we can do. We're making some progress.

I was about to say to my friend, the Minister of Finance, when I got diverted, the hog industry in this Province, does the minister know that - I think I'm correct; my friend for Kilbride will correct me, because he knows more about it than I do - we have the only disease-free pork in North America.

MS. VERGE: We don't have any swine disease on the island.

MR. WINDSOR: No swine disease at all.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Perhaps in the world. Okay. I said North America, I thought I was right.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: There's lots of swine around but not on four legs, Mr. Speaker. We have the only disease-free hogs perhaps in the world. There has to be something wrong with a decision.... from a business point of view you may well be right. The report that was done a number of years ago suggested that the plant should be closed down, from a business point of view. But there must be some value in having the only disease-free hogs in the world.

MS. VERGE: At least we could continue the artificial insemination breeding.

MR. WINDSOR: I have a question, and I know the minister doesn't have the answer, but I ask the question without expecting an answer. Why have we not been able to capitalize on the fact that we have the only disease-free pork in the world? I mean, obviously it doesn't improve the market. Maybe we haven't tried to promote it. Everybody is aware that pork has a certain risk if it is not cooked properly. Is our pork any different, I wonder?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Why couldn't we develop a market for disease-free pork? I think it would be a great marketing tool.

AN HON. MEMBER: We could charge twice as much.

MR. WINDSOR: We could charge twice as much. I wonder would it sell. I don't know if we have ever tried it, though, that is my question. We are allowing something that we are unique in -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, but I don't think it has been marketed properly. That is the name of the game, marketing. I mean, Cabbage Patch Dolls were not a heck of a lot different than the dolls our grandparents sewed for our brothers and sisters thirty or forty years ago when you couldn't buy a commercial doll.

Somebody came out and created a Cabbage Patch Doll. There was nothing special about it. I actually went through the factory in Hong Kong one time where they make Cabbage Patch Dolls. There is nothing magic about it. It is a bit of material sewn together. It was a marketing gimmick. What is we have now, these ugly little critters? What do they call them?


MR. WINDSOR: Trolls! We have Trolls now in the likeness of hon. gentlemen opposite. I have a daughter who has so many Trolls in her bedroom that if I have a couple of drinks then I won't go in, because I would die of fright. I would think the little green men are coming to take me away. It is just incredible!

I was in a store in Toronto during Christmas searching for some different Trolls for Christmas gifts.

AN HON. MEMBER: For a briefcase?

MR. WINDSOR: Not for a briefcase, no. I was next door to the specialty store where they sold briefcases.

The store I was in sold nothing else but Trolls. They had everything in the world with Trolls on it: Troll t-shirts; Troll pens; Troll pencils; even Troll candies; Troll cookies. You wouldn't believe it, Mr. Speaker. Everything you can imagine was there with Trolls on it. It is a marketing tool. That is where we failed.

I said a number of years ago when Newfoundland Farm Products was marketing under a brown and yellow package, it had to be the single most unattractive packaging of anything I have ever seen. I said several years ago: will somebody tell these people to get some decent packaging? I think it is Country Ribbon that they are marketing under now; a very attractive white package with a nice picture of a cooked product on it, I think, with a blue ribbon, not tied around it, but painted as part of the package. A very attractive package! When you go into the supermarket, as I do regularly once a year, and you look into the freezer, it stands out. It makes you want to pick up that package.

AN HON. MEMBER: I go once a week.

MR. WINDSOR: You go once a week. I can't stand it, the taxes are too high. I can't bear to go in.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, I confess, I do go more than once a year but not much more, no more than I have to. It is not my favourite pastime, but we all must go sometime.

Now, the Department of Social Services, Mr. Speaker -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I am sure your wife is delighted to let you go. I can assure you, I have a wife who would be happy to have you go out and do her grocery shopping for her too.

MR. R. AYLWARD: The only thing (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: She hates it almost as much as I do. I have to tell you this story: About sixteen years ago, my wife, who was ill, in bed, called me here one day and asked if I would, on the way home, stop at the supermarket and get her some lettuce and tomato; she wanted to make a salad and she wanted lettuce and tomato. I arrived home an hour later with some tomato and the biggest head of cabbage you have ever seen in your life, and she never asked me to go to the supermarket after. It works every time.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: (Inaudible) by whom?

MR. ROBERTS: By Mr. Pearson.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Pearson?

MR. ROBERTS: Somebody asked him, When did it really hit home to you that you were retired as Prime Minister? And he said, when Mrs. Pearson called him and said: 'I would like you, on the way home, to get a pound of hamburger for supper.

Mr. Pearson also coined the phrase that behind every successful man there stands the surprised woman in his life.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Pearson was a very witty individual who said many things worthy of note.

The Department of Social Services, Mr. Speaker, is going to reduce transportation costs. Now, it is going to be interesting to see how the Department of Transportation does that. They are going to reduce transportation costs provided to social assistance recipients. That is going to be an interesting one; that is where your social workers, your officers are going to have their hands full in trying to deal with that. Where are the new guidelines? Is the minister going to come forward with a new set of guidelines? Are we going to have an opportunity to see them? Will they be available to us, I wonder?

AN HON. MEMBER: What page are you on? I want to follow your remarks on the portfolio.

MR. WINDSOR: I am only in the Budget highlights yet, I haven't started the Budget.


MR. WINDSOR: You might as well order your pizza.

MR. FLIGHT: You only have another twenty-five minutes.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, no, I don't. We can stop at ten o'clock and come back tomorrow but the House Leader tells me that once I stop, that's it! - he is going to call something else tomorrow.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) in the Cubs.

MR. WINDSOR: I have to correct my colleague, he was never allowed in the Cubs, they couldn't stand looking at his bare knees.

MR. ROBERTS: If a wolf cub came after the hon. gentleman, it would leave him on his bare knees.

MR. WINDSOR: Probably so, the hon. gentleman hasn't changed a bit since.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are you still attending Cubs?

MS. VERGE: Is he cutting the Boy Scouts and the Cubs?

MR. WINDSOR: That is a good question.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: How much is his Budget cut on the grant to the Boy Scouts?

AN HON. MEMBER: That is a good question.

MR. WINDSOR: Is that one of the third party agencies, for example?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) no idea.

MR. WINDSOR: No idea.

MS. VERGE: I don't think they have any. They don't have any idea (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well, that is the whole point we are trying to make. The government really don't have any idea of what they are doing here.

AN HON. MEMBER: The Minister of Justice (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The Minister of Justice doesn't.

Mr. Speaker, here is a good one - my friend from Grand Bank will like this: 'RCMP will devote extra resources to reduce smuggling activity.' Now!

MS. VERGE: I thought we were supposed to be fostering (inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible) to hear that.

MR. WINDSOR: 'RCMP will devote extra resources to reduce smuggling activity.'

I suspect, when my friend from Grand Bank heard that, he said: Thank you, Lord, I have just been re-elected. That is certainly not going to endear the government opposite to my friend's constituents. One or two of them have been known to handle some of that stuff. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I did a little bit of research on that particular topic; I will move over into my second stack now for a moment.

MR. MATTHEWS: They increased the (inaudible) but the overall RCMP budget has been decreased and the (inaudible) decreased.

MR. WINDSOR: Exactly, out of one hand and into the other. Maybe, Mr. Speaker, if they were serious about it - and we have to be serious, we can joke all we want - smuggling activity, although there are many people who enjoy receiving the goods at lower prices, but let's face the fact, Mr. Speaker, it is hardly fair to the majority of the population who are paying full price. Remember that when one goes to a liquor store today, 75 per cent of what you pay is taxes. Seventy-five per cent of that bottle of spirits is taxes.

MS. VERGE: And it just went up again.

MR. WINDSOR: And we had a 2.5 per cent increase announced today. Now, I found that very, very interesting. I found that very, very, very interesting, because when I looked in the Budget, under liquor, Newfoundland Liquor Corporation, I saw that last year, government budgeted $78.5 million. Now, you have to realize that revenue from the Liquor Corporation is not like most other revenues. They are not estimates. It is not something the government says, 'We think we will sell so much alcohol, and therefore, here is what we will get back.' The government tells the Liquor Corporation, 'You will return to us this year $78.5 million.' The corporation then is responsible to set prices that enable them to return that $78.5 million. So that figure is a firm figure - $78.5 million.

Now, the Liquor Corporation announced today, they are increasing prices by 2.5 per cent. (Inaudible). Fifty to seventy per cent.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Not a Budget item, no. It was announced that it was partly due to supplier increases, but only partly, but partly because they had to return so much money to government. Part was an increase put on by the Liquor Corporation.

AN HON. MEMBER: Timing was (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Timing was not good, was it? - particularly when the Budget says we are going to get a million dollars less this year from the Liquor Corporation. Instead of $78.5 million we are going to get $77.25 million. Why are we dropping $1.25 million this year? It is very clear, Mr. Speaker, because the sales were not last year what they thought they were going to be; and the reason they were not what they thought they were going to be is because the cost of alcoholic beverages in the liquor stores is now so high that we have passed the point of diminishing returns. That is exactly what is happening. You are making it so attractive now to smuggle goods into the Province that it is worth the risk to those who are doing it, and the fines and the penalties they are paying are not a deterrent to them anymore. They get fined $1,000 - so what? Some of these people are probably making $100,000 on the sly, and they are not worried about paying a $1,000 fine.

AN HON. MEMBER: All tax-free money.

MR. WINDSOR: All tax free money - not a problem to them.

I would estimate, Mr. Speaker, that we are losing $5 million to $10 million a year, legitimate tax revenue, from liquor sales because of the smuggling activity. Five to ten million dollars a year taxes we are losing - maybe more. That is a lot of money, but that is what we are losing, and as much as those who receive the smuggled goods might enjoy them at their lower price, it doesn't make it right.

MR. MATTHEWS: If you lowered the prices you would probably end up with more over all.

MR. WINDSOR: That is my point. My friend is the only one yet - not the only one, but certainly he helped them out over there. They didn't quite get the quiz. If they lowered the price they would probably actually get more tax revenue, and you would have a lot of happier Newfoundlanders. My friend from St. John's North is nodding his head. I don't know if he is nodding at me or at the Minister of Transportation. But that is a fact.

If you look at tobacco, Mr. Speaker, from tobacco tax, we are expecting $80,100,000 this year, as compared to $64 million last year. I say to the minister, he is dreaming. I know he just increased tobacco tax quite significantly in his mini-Budget on December 4, but it will not generate that much additional revenue for him, because his sales are going down.

I will tell you this, Mr. Speaker: Research that I have indicates to me that we are losing probably $20 million to $25 million a year in tax revenue.

MR. ROBERTS: On what, cigarette and liquor?

MR. WINDSOR: On cigarettes alone. We are losing a good $10 million on liquor and $20 million to $25 million on cigarettes.

MR. ROBERTS: Nobody really knows.

MR. WINDSOR: Nobody really knows.

MR. ROBERTS: I think you are on the high side.

MR. WINDSOR: No, I am not on the high side. Those numbers come to me from people who should know, and they may well be conservative, because I don't think government has any idea.

MR. ROBERTS: We don't know.

MR. WINDSOR: No, you really don't know. But the fact is, you have made it so attractive, the high taxes now imposed have made it so attractive. Not only that, sales in the Province are going down. I talked to suppliers just in the last two days who say they can see a noticeable decrease in sales, and they know it is coming in from outside.

MR. ROBERTS: That was one of the reasons (inaudible) last fall (inaudible) passed the point of diminishing returns.

MR. WINDSOR: Well, you have passed it. The point I am making is that you are past the point of diminishing returns.

MR. ROBERTS: There's certainly no tax (inaudible) left (inaudible).

MS. VERGE: Liquor prices just went up yesterday, didn't they?

MR. WINDSOR: Liquor prices went up yesterday.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Two-and-a-half per cent.

MR. ROBERTS: It wasn't anything we did.

MR. WINDSOR: Partly because of suppliers and partly because of the corporation - not something you did. No, you have reduced by $1.25 million what you are asking the Liquor Corporation to give you. I just went through that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Okay, well, I am telling you. I can tell you. I know what it is. You have asked the Liquor Corporation for $1.25 million less. As the Minister of Justice must know, I'm sure, that you tell them how much they are to give you. They must then set their price. Last year you predicted $78.5 million, this year you are predicting $77.25. So you are asking for $1.25 million less. They have told you: We can't give you that much unless we significantly increase prices. Because we are predicting our sales are going to go down. They obviously didn't generate the sales last year to give them the $78 million you had asked of them.

MR. ROBERTS: That figure is in the Estimates. What did we actually get?

MR. WINDSOR: Seventy-eight million dollars. You get what you tell them to give you.

MR. ROBERTS: What are we asking for?

MR. WINDSOR: Seventy-eight million dollars.

MR. ROBERTS: So they gave us what we asked them for.

MR. WINDSOR: That is what you asked them for.

MR. ROBERTS: And they gave us that.

MR. WINDSOR: Oh yes. They must give you that.

MR. ROBERTS: They have (inaudible), they can up their rates.

MR. WINDSOR: They have to, yes. They are not like any other corporation. You tell them: Here is what you will give us. It is their responsibility to set the rates and to manage their corporation in a manner that allows them to return that $78 million. They probably have $2 million or $3 million sitting there in floating account anyway. A couple of years ago, in fact, we found they had $10 million there, and we got it back from them one year. It was a nice little boost during budget time.

MR. ROBERTS: We found a couple of million over in Hydro, I think. It is amazing what is kicking around there.

MR. WINDSOR: You found $50 million over there. It was called subsidies to PDDs.

MS. VERGE: Look at the killing they are making on lotteries.

MR. WINDSOR: I talked about the lotteries a few minutes ago, $44 million there.

MS. VERGE: That is only about (inaudible) two years ago before the video slot machines.

MR. WINDSOR: On tobacco and alcohol, Mr. Speaker, the government would do well - it would have been a popular move if they had said: We are going to decrease by 10 per cent the taxes on those products. Their sales would have gone up and their actual revenues, I predict, Mr. Speaker, would have increased.

MR. R. AYLWARD: I wouldn't start smoking again though - would you?

MR. WINDSOR: Wouldn't start smoking again, but people would stop bringing in as much. You go out - the government could never put the resources out there to stop it. It is very sophisticated right now. It is not only coming in from St. Pierre. A lot of it - cigarettes are mostly coming from the mainland - very difficult to hide. You get a transport truck coming down. He shoves eight or nine cases of cigarettes up in the front. Nobody at Port aux Basques or North Sydney is going to say to him: Unload that truck and let me see what is right up in the front of it - not a truck filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, in a refrigerated truck that is temperature-controlled.

But up in the front of it there is $50,000 or $60,000-worth of tobacco. Not very much. You look at a carton of cigarettes that you can hold in your hand, ten packages of cigarettes is now $60-odd or something, I am told. I gave up when they were $13 dollars a carton, a long, long time ago. I am told now it costs something like $60 to buy a carton of cigarettes, so it doesn't take long to hide $15,000 or $20,000 in the front of a truck. There is no weight to it, Mr. Speaker, easy to hide, easy to handle and easy to move, so we have passed the point of diminishing returns on that, and government could do well to lower those tax rates, and their returns, in fact, would increase.

MS. VERGE: Just look at this as a measure of the economy - 'Vehicle Sales', the bottom line.

MR. WINDSOR: My friend points out to me, if you want to look at the strength of the economy, one of the real early indicators of the economy are your large ticket items such as automobiles. New vehicle sales for 1992 are down by 5 per cent, 19,410 versus 20,384 in 1991. That was a change of 8.2 per cent from the year before and then a change of 17 per cent from the year before that, so we have dropped from almost 27,000 vehicles in 1989, when we were in office, to 19,400. That is a change, Mr. Speaker, of 20 per cent overall, 7460 vehicles since 1989. I know the government is not selling vehicles but they control the economy. They set the scene for what is taking place.

AN HON. MEMBER: If only we did control it.

MR. WINDSOR: If only you did what you were supposed to be doing. Let me correct myself: You are supposed to be controlling the economy but you are not doing what is needed to do that. There is one of the problems, and there is only one example, tobacco and liquor, where I am confident we are losing $30 to $35 million in legitimate tax revenue every single year. That would go a long way to putting aside the $70 million that this government wants to take from the public service, from their wages, benefits and salaries, Mr. Speaker. That is 50 per cent of it right there if they had not taken these measures and were able to pick up all of that. They would not pick up all of it because we know they would never gain total. You will never totally eliminate smuggling of goods into the Province, not once you have a system in place that is as sophisticated as we now have it. So, Mr. Speaker, that is one of the areas they could do well to look at.

Smuggling activity: We have a few more RCMP designated to that but they have lost - how much? - $500,000 in the Budget to the RCMP?

MR. MATTHEWS: Six hundred thousand dollars.

MR. WINDSOR: There is $600,000 less to the RCMP, and the RCMP are saying, 'We will not be able to respond as quickly as we could before.' We have a couple of more fellows down in Fortune trying to catch it and I am told they are going to have to get faster boats if they are going to catch the guys coming over from St. Pierre. They will never catch them. They will never get them, Mr. Speaker.

MR. MATTHEWS: Layoffs in the RCMP (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Layoffs in the RCMP, yes, sure.

So, Mr. Speaker, there are many, many areas where government should be taking some action to try to deal with those sorts of things.

Mr. Speaker, I spoke earlier about Memorial University and their refusal to provide the Auditor General with the information she has requested in order to fulfil her obligation to the House of Assembly. It is not to satisfy the Auditor General's whims, Mr. Speaker. As Judge Noel, in his judgement some time ago, some days ago, said very clearly, the university is obligated and it has failed to fulfil its obligation under the Auditor General's Act to provide the Auditor General with the information that was requested. By the same token the university has refused to appear before the public accounts committee, to answer to the public accounts committee.

The public accounts committee, which is an impartial committee of this House, has very legitimate concerns, as identified in the public accounts of last year - the Auditor General's Report on the public accounts of last year - matters that are of concern to the public accounts committee that they have asked the university to answer for. The university has said: We do not have to answer to the public accounts committee.

Now we can have officials from the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation in; we can have Newfoundland Hydro in; we can have the General Hospital Corporation in; we can have the school boards in, but we cannot have the University in. Yet the University is going to increase their tuition, it says. The President of the University is saying: We are going to have to increase, maybe by 50 per cent - hopefully not - but certainly by 20 per cent, maybe up to $200 a semester -

AN HON. MEMBER: Or downsize the University.

MR. WINDSOR: Or downsize the University. In fact, he is quoted here in one newspaper article as saying: At the end of the day Memorial will have to be a smaller university than it is now.

Increasing tuition, Mr. Speaker, but refusing to answer for expenditures. How do you justify that? How do you justify increasing tuition, reducing the number of students, reducing services, laying off professors? He talks about early retirement programs for teaching staff in the University, yet he does not have to answer for how he is spending his money. Maybe there are ways up there.

He cries about academic freedom. There is nobody in this House or on the public accounts committee who wants to interfere with the University's academic freedom. We did not ask the Board of Regents to come in here.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Oh, indeed there are. I talked to many people in the University who have said to me: You should see some of the waste that is over here. You should see some of the waste. They would love to get an opportunity to tell the story about what is taking place. They would love to have that opportunity, but we are not looking at academic freedom, I say to my friend. The Board of Regents controls what takes place in the University. We are talking about the administration of the University. We are not talking about what takes place in the classroom. We are not telling them what subjects to teach, or what subjects not to teach. We are not telling them what policies to espouse in their classrooms, but we would like to have a look at some of the contracts.

We can look at the public accounts and we will find that in the audits that were done, a very high percentage of the contracts that were looked at were awarded without public tender. We do not think that the University should be over and above any other department of government or any other agency of government and not have to follow the Public Tender Act or the local preference act that was in place, being dismembered by this government.

Why should the University not have to comply with the Public Tender Act? Why can they go out to their buddies and award a contract without tender? How do we know they are getting value for money? That is what the Auditor General is concerned about, and that is exactly what the Public Tender Act is all about, to ensure that every supplier has a fair and equal opportunity to bid on the contract and to ensure that the best prices are received, because otherwise if you do not, you soon build up some incestuous relationships between the purchasing departments and the suppliers that are not in the best interest of the taxpayers. It is taxpayers' dollars we are talking about, hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Are you leaving?

MR. ROBERTS: We may all be leaving.

MR. WINDSOR: I thought you were doing us a favour.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I have not even come to my notes yet. I am only warming up. My reinforcements just came to visit me. I got my cheering section. My family just arrived. They just came from visiting my mother-in-law. My friend from Lewisporte might be interested in knowing that my mother-in-law had a very heavy operation yesterday and is recovering. I am sure all hon. members join me in wishing her a speedy recovery - a very gracious lady and very dear. She is coming through very well.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: So I have my cheering section here now, Mr. Speaker. I am good for at least another seven or eight hours.

Mr. Speaker, while I am talking to my friend from Lewisporte, and the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture is here, we should talk about a little situation out there. Maybe you would like to tell us how you are going to resolve that one.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Have you resolved that one? Why do you not tell the House? The House is waiting to hear how this great government policy of protecting local industry is going to shut down an industry that's been there for years.

AN HON. MEMBER: Give him leave, he'll give you a five minute break.

MR. WINDSOR: I'll give you leave. Would you like to tell us? I'd be delighted to hear.

MR. FLIGHT: No, I'm going to pick the time and the place.

MR. WINDSOR: You're going to pick the time and the place? The election is not far now, Mr. Speaker. We'd better check the Brittany Inn, see if the minister has a room booked.

MR. FLIGHT: This is not an election (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Not election stuff. Oh no, no. Perish the thought that this would have anything to do with the election. The hon. member's campaign manager got to the minister.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Start what?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It's been a very thriving business. Now you may want to have a policy that tries to protect the dairy industry in the Province, but surely you should grandfather an existing industry that's providing a service to the people of the Province. Let the consumer decide if they want to purchase the product. If the consumer doesn't want the product, then so be it.

MR. FLIGHT: Was that the advice you gave the Milk Marketing Board back then when you called for (inaudible)?

MR. WINDSOR: I wasn't asked back then. I don't know what advice my colleague may have given them but I suspect that would have been the advice. By all means we should encourage the dairy industry, but not at the expense of an existing industry. It's also - it's a manufacturing industry.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).


SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. DOYLE: If you don't be quiet he'll speak till tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

AN HON. MEMBER: He will speak till the cows come home.

MR. WINDSOR: I'll speak till the cows come home, and not the hogs. We got rid of all those. We're closing down the hog farms so I can't speak till the hogs come home. But I would be interested in hearing how the minister is going to deal with that. Let me say to him that I encourage him to leave that industry intact out there. There are thirty-odd jobs that depend on that.

MR. FLIGHT: I'll remember that advice.

MR. WINDSOR: You'll remember that advice. I know you'll go home now and right that down right away. I'm led to believe, Mr. Speaker, that it's not detrimental to the industry out there and that in fact there are dairy farmers that are supplying that particular industry with their raw product.

I wanted to move into municipal infrastructure. Now there's an area. Municipal infrastructure. Water and sewer and roads. Alright?

AN HON. MEMBER: We have the committee in place in CBS.

MR. WINDSOR: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: We have a committee in place in CBS.

MR. WINDSOR: Committee in place in CBS. Okay. Let's have a look at - Mr. Speaker, there's a long list all of a sudden that got announced. For the first time in a long time we managed to get the list relatively early in the game. It didn't take very long for us to sit down and look at that list to see which areas, which districts, might be getting some of the money. Take a few. I'm not going to go through the whole list by any means.

Just on the first page. Anchor Point. I think that's up in the Northern Peninsula. That's a good Liberal district. Appleton. Good Liberal district. Badger. My friend for Windsor - Buchans. Badger's Quay - Valleyfield - Pool's Island - Wesleyville - Newtown, Liberal district. Baine Harbour. There's one that's down in Burin - Placentia West. Baine Harbour is in my friend's district from down there.

Baie de Verde. Good Liberal district. Bay L'Argent. Bay L'Argent again. Belleoram. Bide Arm. Birchy Bay, $475,000 water and sewer. Birchy Bay. Bird Cove.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are you suggesting these people shouldn't have these facilities?

MR. WINDSOR: Not at all, no. But I'm not suggesting that some of the districts represented by my friends on this side shouldn't have a share.

Bishop's Falls, Bishop's Falls. Bonavista, Bonavista, Bonavista, Bonavista, and Bonavista. Five times Bonavista, Mr. Speaker. Doing very well up there. Not going to save my hon. friend, the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Not going to save him. Not from us. It's the nomination he's worried about. When is that due? That hasn't taken place yet. Be wary of that. He's got, I'm told, a very capable lady running against him for the nomination. He should be careful.

AN HON. MEMBER: He's a great minister though.

MR. WINDSOR: A great minister. Is the minister going to give the Public Accounts Committee the information he promised us a week ago?


MR. WINDSOR: Yes. He said we would have it this week, we will have it tomorrow? The minister said in the House, I will give it to you next week; the House is closing tomorrow; tomorrow is the end of the week -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You said that last week.

AN HON. MEMBER: I said that last week?

MR. WINDSOR: You said that last week. It was a day after you told me that you did not have the information from the Minister of Justice that you had requested, but when you got a copy of a letter back to me from the Minister of Justice saying that he had given you the information before I had written him six weeks earlier asking for it, you very quickly popped up on your feet and said: I will give it to you next week. You did not apologize for misleading the House the day before.

AN HON. MEMBER: I did not mislead the House.

MR. WINDSOR: You did not mislead the House?


MR. WINDSOR: You said the day before you were waiting for the information from the Department of Justice.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You said you were waiting for the information -

AN HON. MEMBER: Read the Justice's opinion (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I would love to read the Justice's opinion, if the minister would not make it available to me. I would love to hear it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It is not at all what he said. I will read the letter. Very clearly he said, that the information had been given to you before I even asked him for it six weeks ago. Anyway, I trust we will see it tomorrow but we can go right through this list, Mr. Speaker, we can go right through it. Mount Pearl, there has to be some money here for Mount Pearl, Mr. Speaker, I cannot forget that - yes, there you go, $436,000 for paving and road reconstruction; not in Mount Pearl though, Mr. Speaker, it is in Waterford - Kenmount, out in my friend's district, down on Smallwood Drive.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is not going to save him though.

MR. WINDSOR: It is not going to save him, no. That is water, sewer and there is paving and road reconstruction on Smallwood Drive again down there and then there is recapping of Topsail Road, $361,000. Well that is half-and-half, Topsail Road is the boundary; maybe he is only going to pave one side, I do not know, maybe they are only going to pave one side of Topsail Road. I think not.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The Mayor of Mount Pearl is going to pay him very shortly.

AN HON. MEMBER: Will he give you back Southlands?

MR. WINDSOR: No, he will not give us back the Southlands but we are going to give him back something pretty soon. The Mayor of Mount Pearl is going to give him a vacation, an extended vacation -

AN HON. MEMBER: Severance pay.

MR. WINDSOR: - he is going to give him his severance pay, yes, and that is the only reason the Premier did not cancel it, I would say, last week; he threatened to do it so many times but he knows the Member for Waterford - Kenmount is going to need it, he is going to need his severance pay. He cannot even get a job with an insurance company anymore, Mr. Speaker, he has run out of insurance companies that would hire him so he is in big trouble now after the election. So that is the water and sewer, Mr. Speaker, and if I had a look at the provincial highway one, while the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation is alive and awake, we could do much the same thing. We could have a look at some of the programs there. On this first page there are twenty-four items and I have P marked by four of them, that is interesting, that is fair, four out of twenty-four -

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, nonsense! Four out of twenty-four, Mr. Speaker -

MR. GRIMES: That is exactly the way it was for seventeen years (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: - four out of twenty-four -

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: Not true.

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).


MR. GRIMES: That is why the people threw you out, they were sick and tired of that stuff.

MR. WINDSOR: I have all night.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Did I what?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well I was thinking about calling VOCM. You always have to have a Plan B. The problem is, there is not a vacancy and there is not likely to be.

The member should go back to his office. He might get another call from Britain. He would not want to miss this one. He was thirty years waiting for the other one - thirty years late for the other one. He would hate to miss this one this time.

Mr. Speaker, let us have a look at some of the other -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: They must be getting tired now, Mr. Speaker. They are starting to get chatty. Maybe we should just talk about furniture for awhile. It always seems to wake them up - furniture and briefcases.

I was wondering, we saw all of this new furniture coming in for the Cabinet room and everything else. Have any of the ministers ever bothered to enquire - perhaps the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation would like to tell us - where are the old chairs from the Cabinet room? Not the ones that were there when you took office, not the cloth ones. Where are the leather ones? Where are they? Why are we buying new ones?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) down in Torbay.

MR. WINDSOR: Is that them? Is that where they are? They are in Torbay. Beautiful brown leather executive chairs that were bought six or seven years ago - the ones that were there were the white leather ones that were the caribou skin ones that the first Premier had done. They were twenty-five or thirty years old. They were worn out, and we replaced them about five or six years ago with a very good quality leather chair. When we moved to the temporary room upstairs, we did not bother to put them up there. We used the cloth ones that were there for press conferences. They were left in storage until the new Cabinet room was ready, but instead of bringing them back out of storage, we are told they have bought all new chairs for the Cabinet room - interesting. It is quiet all of a sudden over there. Everybody has gone quiet. I must be getting pretty close to it now. Where would we find the answer to that one? Maybe in one of the briefcases.

I started to say this afternoon, when I was interrupted, that we went looking for a briefcase and my friend, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, jumped up and confessed - jumped up like a jackrabbit. He could not wait to get to his feet and confess: I did it. I was in Toronto and my briefcase broke, and I had such valuable documents in it, the papers were so important, I had to have a good briefcase with good locks on it. So he paid $650 for it; but we were not looking for a $650 briefcase. It was an $800 briefcase, I am told, by my friend from Kilbride.

So where is the $800 briefcase, Mr. Speaker? We know it is there somewhere, and the poor Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology took the blame for another one. There is just no justice in the system, is there?

AN HON. MEMBER: You are getting close now.

MR. WINDSOR: Is that right? Somebody over there - somebody has an $800 briefcase. What could be so important that you had to carry around an $800 briefcase?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It could be that. One of these days we will find out, I suppose. Maybe we will find out.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Furniture being moved (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Maybe it's being moved tonight while we're in here. That's why we're sitting tonight. That's what it is.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. WINDSOR: That's why. That's the secret. That's why we're here tonight. That's why they want me to keep talking now, so they can move the furniture while we're here. That's the answer.

Mr. Speaker, I talked about third-party organizations. Public Service Commission and the Department of Finance and the Executive Council will be merged. Now there's a great Budget announcement. Who cares? They're certainly not going to save any money. Not five cents. We might have to do some more renovations now to move some people around, to move the desks around, but that's about all that that will do.

French language program, $400,000. That's a good program. It's a beginning. It's cost-shared with the federal government. It's just a beginning. It'll be good. As I said earlier, the Premier can enroll in that one now instead of having just his own private tutor perhaps. So he can learn his French. More funding for replacement of light vehicles. I assume that's for one year. I assume that's only for one year. I hope it is. Because you can only go for so long without replacing your vehicles before you get to the point where -

AN HON. MEMBER: What about (inaudible)?

MR. WINDSOR: Where did that come from?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Over there. That'd be nice. C. A. Pippy Park cut by $200,000. I suppose nobody's going to bleed to death over that. How many jobs did we lose there? How many summer jobs do we lose, is a good question. Because most of the jobs in Pippy Park are part-time jobs in the summer. How many students will not find jobs there? While I'm on it, I wonder how much money is available here for students. There's a youth strategy program that was announced here somewhere. There's a graduate employment program which has been set at $1 million. Maybe the minister could help me with that. I understood it was more than $1 million last year for the graduate employment program. Is this not less than was in the Budget last year?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The minister doesn't know. Is he awake? Does the minister know?

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: How much?

MR. GRIMES: One million seven hundred thousand dollars.

MR. WINDSOR: One million seven hundred thousand dollars last year.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I thought there was. Yes. If I had looked at my notes in the border here I would have seen it, that you actually spent $1.3 million. You had $1.7 million in the Budget. In the revised estimates there was $1.3 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Lots of time left yet. There are the health centres. We finally have the money in the Budget to open up the health care centres at Burgeo, Port Saunders and St. Lawrence. Those are the same ones that the minister hasn't given us the information on. It's two years now we've been trying to get it. We're going to get it tomorrow, the minister tells us now.

The clinic at Main Brook will be closed, the clinic at Northwest River will only be open two days a week. Are we actually saving anything there?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Not much. That's right. The clinic at Grand Bank and Whitbourne will have reduced hours of operation. I say to the Minister of Finance that I've had occasion to visit the clinic at Whitbourne, at odd hours of the day, late in the evening, and had very high quality service from the medical personnel there. I think it would be a backward step to reduce that service out there.

Here's an interesting one: measures will be taken in consultations with hospitals across the Province to reduce hospital bed utilization by decreasing the average length of stay, and by using measures such as same-day surgery. Do we really know the implications of that? Can we do that safely without endangering the patients?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: We all know that today they try to get people on their feet for medical reasons, more than anything else. Get them out of hospital early and recuperating at home. We have to be very careful when we start tampering with the health care system and nickel and diming, those sort of activities. We are getting to the point now where you are starting to take risks. I hope you are not cutting back - here is a good example, I was told last night that we do not have milk anymore in the General Hospital for patients.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do not have what?

MR. WINDSOR: They are not serving milk to patients anymore unless they are diabetics and must have it. Now is that not interesting? The funds are just no longer available to provide whole milk. That is what we were told. The Minister of Health is not here but I would like to have that checked out and find out if that is the case. Have we actually cut back that much in our funding for hospitals? It is easy enough for ministers to say, no, Mr. Speaker, but when the hospitals are caught without enough funding to provide essential services they are going to start cutting back where they have to.

MR. FLIGHT: We put $50,000 into the school milk program.

MR. WINDSOR: Well, put a few dollars in the hospital milk program. Where are you getting your milk? A dairy in Lewisporte, most of it.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is not true.

MR. WINDSOR: Most of it is chocolate milk going into the schools. It is reconstituted milk from that dairy and it is part of the reason your local dairies are objecting. The minister should have a look at his facts.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WINDSOR: It is not bad. I get around.

Here we are, the RCMP: We have reduced it by $600,000 and added $210,000 to deal with the smuggling, so they have lost a total of $400,000 but they are expected to increase down there. Special assistance, Municipal Affairs: Special assistance funding for municipalities has been reduced by $500,000. That does not sound like a significant amount but if I am not mistaken there is only $1 million or $1.5 million in that vote, so that is a significant reduction and that is the minister's flexibility to deal with special circumstances that arise from time to time. We can stand here and legitimately say that is your slush fund, and it is, but it is a legitimate slush fund to deal with things that arise.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) in the slush fund.

MR. WINDSOR: I am just saying it could well be termed a slush fund but it is a legitimate one. It is special assistance funding for municipalities. It is not designated for any particular purpose. It is money that the minister has available and I do not have a problem with the fact that he has that fund. Being there myself I had it then and you do need it. In fact it was much higher in those days. In fact when I first went into Municipal Affairs it was probably $20 million and you dished out all the funding hand over fist as you felt it was appropriate. We changed that system and put in place the committee system that set the priorities, that assessed all the projects that were submitted by municipalities. We still kept $1 or $2 million there as a fund for unforeseen circumstances. It should be in every department. The problem with having it in every department is that every department is not serving other agencies like municipalities and I am sure it is subject to a lot of political interference.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WINDSOR: You would not put it in other departments. There is the reality of Cabinet coming out, the grinch sits over there. It is very interesting how you change your perspective when you come from a line department into one of the general government departments like Treasury Board or Finance. Whereas when you are in other departments you are out there and your job as a minister, every one of the ministers over there, their job as head of that department is to find every dollar they can get, get the biggest slice of that pie they can get for their department, but once they get in Treasury Board they have to try to keep the pie as tight as possible, an interesting exercise. The real dilemma is when you get ministers on Treasury Board all of whom are from line departments and they are all in there in a conflict of interest situation, every single one of them. It is always very good to get on Treasury Board. I do not know which ministers sit on Treasury Board but Treasury Board is the most powerful committee, from that point of view, other than P and P of course, which makes the major decisions but from an operational point of view and from a political point of view and from a district point of view, Treasury Board is by far the most powerful committee and the most influential committee to sit on and you can have the greatest influence on what is being spent and where. Of course, politics would never enter into it, would it? No, of course not.

Community Sports facilities reduced by $100,000 and recreational grant funding reduced by $1.2 million. Now there is one, Mr. Speaker, that reaches right across this Province; not a lot of money to each municipality but there is hardly an arena in this Province that is making any money, very few. The ones that are, are ones that had significant amounts of money up front, the Grand Falls arena for example was built by the paper mill and so they did not have any capital cost and so they were able to operate fairly economically, but every major recreational facility in this Province is a financial drain on the community, pretty well every one of them, be it an arena, a swimming pool or a recreation complex of any kind, it is a drain on the community and has to be subsidized by the municipality, so all that this is, is downloading again to the municipalities. That $1.2 million will eventually somehow, be picked up by the municipalities and in some cases part of it would be picked up by fee increases but by and large, the larger amount of it will be transferred again to municipalities.

Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, $1.1 million reduced operating subsidy; now that is an interesting one. Again, that will be passed on, that is being downloaded, that will be passed on to tenants. Now as it relates to the public housing program of course, they cannot pass it on but it just increases the subsidy that is necessary there, that is cost-shared with the federal government of course on a 70/30 basis.

Disabled students will be required to apply for Canada student loans. It is interesting how many times, Mr. Speaker, people with disabilities or handicaps of one sort or another have been the target of this particular Budget. The Budget does not do a lot, there are not a lot of items in this Budget, the minister had to stretch his imagination to even put some of these items in his highlights; they are hardly highlights most of them. The only highlight in it is the bottom line at $70 million that he has not been able to explain -

AN HON. MEMBER: Not many goodies in it.

MR. WINDSOR: There are no goodies in it, there is not even a lot of pain in it except for the $70 million. The pain was all on December the 4th, a little bit in there, not a lot being announced. We know there is an extra $63 million or $70 million in tax increases automatically kicking in which did not have to be announced, that is painful but that came in in December. The real Budget was on December 4th -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well, that is right and as much as we all dislike tax increases, it is probably the fairest way of increasing your revenue. The public service of this Province has been the target of cut backs and reductions for many, many years of wage freezes, of layoffs, of hiring freezes, increased vacancy rates, program cutbacks - it did not start with this government. We were into a retrenching mode for many years before this government came to power, but you have stepped it up considerably and taken some drastic action. There is not a lot of room left, as the minister knows, and he said and he knows that I have said -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: That is right, so our problems have not changed all that much, what has changed is the approach, Mr. Speaker. I think while the minister was out, I outlined to him what I believe is the real weakness in his Budget, if I could ever find the 1993 highlights again. The real weakness is that he has changed the focus of the Budget.

Back in 1988 we spent on natural resources, which generate the revenue of the Province, 6.5 per cent of our Budget. That is in the revenue producing sectors, natural resources, agriculture, trade, industry and tourism - 6.5 per cent of our Budget. This particular Budget only allocates 4.6 per cent - almost one-third less. There is the whole crux of the problem. As compared with funds allocated for social assistance it has increased from 11.8 per cent to 13.3 per cent. It tells the whole story of what we are faced with here. We have far fewer people who are generating the revenue that drives the economy. People on social assistance, people on unemployment, people employed in the public sector do not generate revenues to the economy. We redistribute it, but we do not generate any wealth to the economy. It is the private sector, through the natural resource sector particularly, to the service sector to a lesser degree, but the natural resource and industry sector generates the wealth.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) cigarettes.

MR. WINDSOR: Well I suggest you should go get yourself a full pack. You are going to need them.

AN HON. MEMBER: I have a full pack.

MR. WINDSOR: Oh, good.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that a smuggled one?

MR. WINDSOR: Is there a band on those cigarettes - a Government of Canada band?

AN HON. MEMBER: There had better be.

MR. WINDSOR: There had better be.

I say to the minister, and quite seriously, there is the whole problem, that the thrust of the Budget is not aimed at creating economic activity. Things are not going to change in this Province until we do that - until we get more people back to work.

The minister has come in with a Budget that admits failure in two areas. He fails to balance his Budget. In fact he says the most we could possibly have is a $51 million deficit, but at the moment I have $120 million deficit and I do not quite yet know how I am going to deal with it, but we will deal with it.

AN HON. MEMBER: It will be balanced next year.

MR. WINDSOR: It will be balanced next year. Yes, we will bring in a balanced Budget next year. We will bring in a balanced Budget next year, but we will have money in it for resource development too.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I hope the hon. gentleman should live that long that he would see me come over.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: He is dreaming now almost as much as when he asked the people to believe that he would find his $70 million.

AN HON. MEMBER: Cross the floor tonight and (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You are grasping at straws now. You are really grasping at straws now. You really are, but I wish you would stop asking some of my better campaigners to run against me. That really hits below the belt. People who have campaigned with me now for fifteen years, and your people are out there approaching them and asking them to run against me. That bothers me.

AN HON. MEMBER: They are desperate, boy.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes. You will find somebody. You will find a candidate, I am sure, an honourable candidate, and the people of Mount Pearl will decide, and they may well choose.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The hon. Member for Gander had better have a look at some of his supporters. What I am hearing in Gander is that the hon. member is not going to enjoy the support that he had before.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I am sure you have enjoyed it for the last number of years, but you are not going to enjoy it this time - and it is not totally his own fault. He is in a portfolio that is an 'no win' portfolio. Ah, but he should be careful.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I can assure you that I have spoken to a lot more than that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: What'd he say then?

MR. WINDSOR: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: You say what?

He was impartial when he was president of the Newfoundland Teachers too, wasn't he?


MR. MATTHEWS: You and Patt. Dear Morley, Yours in teaching, Roger and Patt.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Was that the time you cried out on the steps?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Signed the contract.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: We negotiated two. One in a hotel room in Labrador City and one in Corner Brook. The Glenmill Inn, yes. We signed the big one at the Holiday Inn over here. I remember that each time that we negotiated a contract we downed a bottle of Scotch in so doing. When we signed a contract the hon. gentleman opposite presented me with two, to replace the ones that we had consumed. We consumed one of those before we left the room.

In fairness, those were good negotiations. But we also honoured the contracts after we signed them. That's the difference in the approach that's been taken by this government. That's why this government has lost the confidence of the public sector. Because they signed contracts with you and you didn't honour them. You rolled them back. We never did.

AN HON. MEMBER: We didn't roll them back. We just didn't pay the money.

MR. WINDSOR: You just didn't pay them. You did not give them the increases that you had negotiated.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: We never, ever did that. We honoured every agreement that we signed. We did legislate a wage freeze but it kicked in at the end of the contract. It came in at the end of the contract only, for the next contract. That's a big difference. We had a financial problem. We said: we have to deal with it, we don't have any money to give you increases. Because we couldn't negotiate it we were forced to impose that. We instituted a wage freeze. But we did not go back on contracts that we had signed. We saw a contract signed here two and three weeks before this government brought in legislation to roll back those contracts.

That does not do anything to instill any confidence in the public sector and that's precisely why the labour negotiators who you're dealing with now do not have any confidence in what you're saying. God help us when Fraser March goes out and says that he can trust me better than he can trust you. You've got to be bad. Because he's certainly not been one of my greater supporters. But that's what's happened here.

You've not only lost the confidence of the public sector and of unions, you've lost the confidence of the people. I would submit that you're losing the confidence of the money market. If the minister doesn't soon come up with his $70 million and tell the money market, the bond rating agencies, where he's going to find that $70 million and how he's going to deal with his deficit problem, then he's going to lose their confidence and we will soon get a downgrading.

Because the real Budget - I mean, you're not going to fool them any more than you're fooling me. That is not the real Budget document that we have here. It's a charade. You have a Budget -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) $70 million is not going to be spent. Everybody in Newfoundland knows it and the bond people know it as well.

MR. WINDSOR: You tell us that. Yet yesterday we passed a bill that gave you more than $1 billion and it's based on these estimates. These estimates, if they're followed by the departments as they are here, will result in a $120 million deficit. Unless and until the minister comes in with his $70 million in cuts. Now he tells us he's going to tell us where he's going to cut that. He's going to tell us the subheads. But tomorrow and today the departments are out spending money under those subheads as if nothing is ever going to be cut from them. So you're losing $200,000 a day -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You're going to cut it later on. It is going to be that much harder.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) President of Treasury Board (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Oh yes. The President of Treasury Board is not going to negotiate with the unions what he thought he was going to negotiate. He may negotiate something else. I hope he does. But he is not going to find his $70 million by any stretch of the imagination. He tried to find it through a pension plan. How is he going to find $70 million by reducing the payments to pensions when there was only $50.4 million allocated in the Budget to pay on pensions anyway, in total? Now he still has pensions to pay. His contribution is far less than that. The best he could have saved was $20 million to $25 million maybe, by not making the payment to the pension plan. You only have $50.4 million in there in total.

AN HON. MEMBER: No, that is wrong.

MR. WINDSOR: Oh, you have more hidden somewhere else. We cannot find it then.

AN HON. MEMBER: If you look at the (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, I looked, but I do not think so. I looked very carefully, and anything I could find for the pension was that $50.4 million.

At any rate, it has been made clear now by the unions that they are not prepared to accept that. The teachers have turned that down, so I assume the minister now is looking at other options.

MR. BAKER: Yes, I would prefer other options, (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You would prefer other options? Yes, I guess you would, because all you were doing was borrowing from the future. You had to pay that back at some point in time.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Oh, sure, at the end of the day.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: The workers? Yes, and they are going to work another six months, so you are going to be paying them for that six months, and you will pay them more in that six months than they would have paid out for pensions. Now you would have their services for those six months.

AN HON. MEMBER: Have you ever seen the details of the proposals? Has any one of the unions every shown you the actual (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I have not looked at the actual detailed proposal, no. My understanding of it, and if I am wrong then fine, what I have been told about it is that is the situation, that somewhere down the road...

MR. MATTHEWS: Neil, tell him to be careful. He is going to say something wrong again over there.

AN HON. MEMBER: He will be eating crow again tomorrow.

MR. WINDSOR: He is used to that now. He is taking a likeness to crow now. He has taken a likeness to eating crow.

How does the minister propose to -

AN HON. MEMBER: How are you doing?

MR. WINDSOR: I am doing very well, thank you.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, you have lots of time.

How does the minister now propose to find his $70 million? There are only a certain number of options. You can reduce wages; you can reduce benefits, pensions; you can roll back; you can lay off; you can do job sharing.

AN HON. MEMBER: Maybe the unions could use you negotiating on their behalf (inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: We would do very well, probably. It might be something that I would consider if I ever get out of politics, but it is going to be interesting to see how the minister can do that.

I want to get back again to my central theme. The point I was making here is that we are not attacking the real problem. The Strategic Economic Plan is not doing anything. We have $4.7 million in there this year and do not know how it is going to be spent. It is for purchased services, so it is not going to be spent by government. It is purchased services. We are hiring contracts of some sort.

It will be interesting to see what we are proposing to do under that. We do not have any details. Hopefully we will get it in the estimate committees from the minister, but what is that going to do? How is that going to stimulate the economy? How many jobs is that going to create? That is one thing that is lacking in this Budget, any program to create jobs, other than the ongoing job creation program for social assistance. The minister had a program last year in social assistance for that. You have a youth strategy program there. You have a graduate program, but they are both reduced from last year.

The minister's own prediction is 4,000 less people working this year. Now how does he expect to turn the economy around when he is already admitting that there will be 4,000 less jobs? Four thousand less jobs, yet the Minister of Social Services tells us he is going to ask for $10 million less this year than he asked for last year, when he actually spent $22.5 million more last year than he asked for. We have 4,000 less people working. We're going to spend $35 million less on social assistance.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: It's a miracle. It must be the same miracle that's going to bring us more retail sales tax when we have less people working. Does the minister expect us to believe these numbers?


MR. WINDSOR: He does. It's April Fool's Day, but it's only April Fool's for him. How does he expect us to believe these numbers?

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible) -

MR. MATTHEWS: Open up his mike, Mr. Speaker, so he's recorded. Because he could have to withdraw this.

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).


MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, can we have his mike opened up, because he should be recorded?

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).

MR. MATTHEWS: Open up his mike, Jack.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: This is new economics we have here now.

MR. MATTHEWS: Open up his mike because we would like to have it recorded.

MR. GRIMES: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: When the minister talks about 4,000 jobs he's not talking about the 20,000 people who are unemployed in the fishery. There's a big difference.

MR. GRIMES: No, but because of that as well -

MR. WINDSOR: Those are not the same jobs.

MR. GRIMES: - there are in each month since the moratorium has been in place in July, the labour market statistics have shown that there have been anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 jobs per month in related industries that haven't been there. The trucking and so on. They don't get any compensation due to the moratorium, but neither are they getting work. So they are people who are out of work because of the moratorium that normally wouldn't be.

MR. WINDSOR: But they're still in the labour force. They're still - they're partly unemployed.

MR. GRIMES: They're still in the labour force. We're saying that on average there'll be about -

MR. WINDSOR: They're partly unemployed.

MR. GRIMES: If you take -

MR. WINDSOR: As compared to somebody who was never employed but takes a part-time job, and works for three or four months -

MR. GRIMES: If you take it through the year it's realistic -

MR. WINDSOR: - joins the labour force, then when they get laid off now they're an unemployment statistic. Four months before they had never worked and they're not on unemployment (inaudible) -

MR. GRIMES: It's realistic to expect - if you project what's happened for the next year, because the moratorium is going to last for another year - then it's realistic to expect that on a monthly average there's likely to be about 4,000 people less employed than there was without the moratorium, so that's what's reflected in the minister's estimates. We figure we might as well be truthful with people and tell them that.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, but the 4,000 are not the same 20,000 that are unemployed in the fishery.

MR. GRIMES: No, no.

MR. WINDSOR: They're not considered unemployed because they're receiving this package.

MR. GRIMES: No, because they're - that's right. But there are 4,000 others who are impacted by the moratorium -

MR. WINDSOR: Of course they are.

MR. GRIMES: - put into a situation where their employment is nowhere close to what it would be. They're not getting compensated.

MR. WINDSOR: No, of course they're not.

MR. GRIMES: So that has to be reflected in the statistics.

MR. WINDSOR: There's probably a lot more than that.

MR. GRIMES: Could be.

MR. WINDSOR: Probably a lot more than that. There may be 4,000 people out of work -

MR. GRIMES: But the numbers for six months showed anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 on average each month.

MR. WINDSOR: Outside of the number of people who are directly unemployed as a result of it there are many companies whose business has dropped substantially because of it. That will not be reflected anywhere. They will probably still survive, many of them. Some of them won't. We have a lot of companies - I have some in my own district, 100 per cent of their business is supplying fishing gear to fishermen, who are virtually out of business. They will have to find other things to be involved in. But the bulk of their business, the core of their existing business, is gone. There's no compensation for them. They're not reflected in the minister's statistics I'm sure,. Because they will get into other areas, hopefully, and try to survive.

There are many other areas where businesses have just - their business has decreased by 30 per cent to 40 per cent. You don't see that reflected either. There may be some layoffs. What you won't see are the summer jobs here this summer. There's your real problem, okay? It's going to be almost impossible for students this year to find a job. Almost impossible. Because there are so many people out there, breadwinners for families, who will take any job, even a short-term job, a part-time job, just to get a job today. The situation is quite literally desperate.

Twenty-one per cent is an incredibly high rate. I think it's approximately 21 per cent today. It might be a couple of points one way or the other but pretty close to 21 per cent, that is staggering.

I remember a couple of years ago the Government of Canada initiated a special response program to a portion of Cape Breton because they were up to 13 per cent unemployment. We pointed out to them at that time that we were around 15 per cent all over Newfoundland, and we can go to areas like Buchans or Bell Island where you are talking 95 per cent unemployment at the moment and no response program for that sort of thing, but students are going to find it almost impossible because there are so many people out there who are searching for anything, they are desperate. I have never had so many people come to my office looking for work from my district. I really am very fortunate, Mr. Speaker, in my district, the unemployment level is comparatively lower than almost any other district in the Province.

We have more people unemployed but now one member of the family employed where we always had two employed, we have quite a large number of families where now only one member of the family is employed. We have quite a number where neither one now is employed, and I am still very fortunate; but I have had more enquiries of people looking for assistance in finding a job in this year than I have had in my seventeen years -

MR. GRIMES: Of course you would acknowledge that between the federal and provincial governments, the students who will get employment in the summer because of government assistance, those opportunities will be about the same, but I think the point you are making is that, others who would have depended on going to companies who would have hired students in the summer, those opportunities would dry up. But the federal government through its challenge seed program is funding about the same level of last year through the CEIC. Our funding level is at the same level so the assisted opportunities will be at about the same level because they are designated only for students, but the problem you are pointing out is that, where there is a downturn in the companies and so on where they used to secure summer employment for students, that there will be adults in the families competing with them for those job opportunities because they need the work.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, that is right.

MR. GRIMES: Yes, understood.

MR. WINDSOR: That is right, and I would think that the employer will look at the adult with the need to support a family and give that person preference. Certainly the community development projects are designed to do that. I think the guidelines state that they must take heads of families first, and so they should. I think that is only fair. So, Mr. Speaker, there is the crux of the problem and there is the real problem today that this Budget fails to address. It does not create jobs, it does not stimulate the economy, it does nothing to attract industry. We can have a strategic economic plan all you want, but until you do something to make this Province more competitive, then you are not going to make a difference. As long as you have a payroll tax in place, that puts us at a decided disadvantage with every other province in Canada, certainly in the Maritime provinces, who are our real competitors and puts us at a disadvantage. Now you have the disadvantage of location, of transportation, of population, of efficiencies of scale; you have all those disadvantages anyway, inherent, but when you put a payroll tax, which is a tax on job creation, that is a direct disincentive to employ people and it is simply something that makes us less competitive with our counterparts in other provinces.

Rather than do that, why do we not take some money and put something in place to stimulate the economy? Now we had some good programs in place, Venture Capital Programs, Stock Savings Plan, Investment Tax Credits that were in place that this government has eliminated, and the minister, if he were here, would say: yes, because there was not a great take up on it. They were only in place a year or two years, and it takes time before those sorts of concepts work into the economy, before businesses fully understand them and start to take advantage of them, before people have confidence and want to invest in them.

People are investing in investment firms that are really taking the money out of Newfoundland and that is what those programs were designed to turn around. What little investment we do have here as individuals is invested in some of the national firms and the money goes out of here. It is being manipulated by downtown Toronto. Why can we not keep some of that investment capital here in the Province? If we need to borrow some money why do we not develop some savings bonds? We have Canada savings bonds so why can we not have Newfoundland savings bonds? Why can we not borrow from ourselves? We borrow from our pension plan. That is what we are doing by not contributing directly to the pension plan the amount that we are suppose to. We are really borrowing from it. That is what we are doing. We are building up a liability.

MR. GRIMES: I have to admit that the hon. member usually is very accurate in what he says and usually knows what he is saying but in this case you have said two or three things about the pension option and you did admit you did not see the details of it because that is not the case.

MR. WINDSOR: I am not talking about that plan.

MR. GRIMES: I am saying that is not even a consideration.

MR. WINDSOR: That is not what I am referring to. I am not referring to the scheme you just had with the unions. I am saying that when we do not contribute to our own pension plan the government does not put into a bank account the money that we owe to pensions. We are paying 50 per cent of the pension and the employees pays 50 per cent. The employees 50 per cent goes into the pension fund but the government's 50 does not go in there. We build up a liability.

MR. GRIMES: That is not true.

MR. WINDSOR: We are only putting in a small portion of what we should be putting in there. We are not meeting our full liability.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) but we are funding current liabilities as we go.

MR. WINDSOR: There is $50.4 million in there. Are you telling me that funds everything that we are liable for this year?

MR. ROBERTS: In terms of the increase in the current liabilities.

MR. WINDSOR: But not the payments out of the pension fund as well.

MR. ROBERTS: Oh, no.

MR. WINDSOR: So we are not decreasing the unfunded liability?

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, we are. It will take fifteen or twenty years to pick it up. I think John Collins was the first minister who was ever able to find any money to pay into the pooled pension fund, or something.

MR. WINDSOR: We put in $10 million actually.

MR. ROBERTS: We are funding current increases in liabilities. That was never done before l979 or whenever it started. In the Smallwood administration we simply took it into general revenue and paid it out of general revenues. That was easy because there were very few pensions.

MR. WINDSOR: There were no contributions before 1979 at all. That is what I meant.

MR. ROBERTS: The first contributions were in 1968. Before that married women could not quality for a pension.

MR. WINDSOR: Times have changed greatly. We are only just learning what pensions are all about and the cost of them. It is only in the last number of years that we actually had actuarial studies with any degree of dependence to tell us what the real cost of a pension plan is.

MR. ROBERTS: Greg O'Grady did a royal commission back in 1966-67 which just horrified the socks off everybody. It was put to one side then.

MR. WINDSOR: The point I was making is there must be schemes, there must be ways that we can develop to keep some of the investment capital here in the Province because too much of it is going outside. We estimated a number of years ago that there was something like $400 million a year that is going out of this Province each year in investment capital through one form or another, through trust funds, income certificates, and so forth. There has to be a way to have some of that money invested here, and that is what the stock savings plan option and tax credits were all about - trying to find a scheme where people could invest in Newfoundland companies here in the Province, instead of our money being sent out at very low interest rates and the businesses borrowing at high interest rates. It is counterproductive both ways. There has to be a way to do that.

There has to be a way to generate a fund to allow us to develop industries in this Province, and the present mechanisms are not there. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, if he were here, would like to tell me all about Enterprise Newfoundland and all of the things that is doing. I could probably go back through the list that was tabled here last year of the sorts of things that were being funded by Enterprise Newfoundland.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that they are not generating ideas. Again, they are reactive rather than pro-active. Enterprise Newfoundland is not coming up with concepts to help people, to attract entrepreneurs. The entrepreneur has to have the idea and then he has to fight like heck to try to get some funding approved to move it forward. That is where they fail.

They are not much different today from a bank or any other standard financial institution. The people are finding, when they go to them, that the assistance is available but it is very difficult to get. Now we have had some examples where assistance was given when may be it shouldn't have been. As I recall, on the list that was tabled here last year - and I have it here, we could go through it, but I don't wish to do that - we had a lot of lounges, pool halls, confectionery stores, chicken take-outs and things of that nature.

MS. VERGE: Any office furniture manufacturers?

MR. WINDSOR: Office furniture manufacturers, yes!

MS. VERGE: How about briefcase manufacturers? Fish-leather briefcases.

MR. WINDSOR: Those sorts of things were funded last year, Mr. Speaker. Those are not the types of industries that were contemplated when Enterprise Newfoundland was established.

MS. VERGE: How about fish-leather briefcases?

MR. WINDSOR: These are types of industries that are competitive industries, they are service industries. They should be self-sufficient. They are competing with other similar establishments down the street. Why would Enterprise Newfoundland, Mr. Speaker, be funding one enterprise to compete with another down the street?

MR. NOEL: Why is ACOA doing it?

MR. WINDSOR: ACOA is not into the service industry - in the tourist industry, but not the service industry - not into retail business.


AN HON. MEMBER: Acan Windows.

MR. WINDSOR: Acan Windows is a manufacturing industry. At least it is manufacturing.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I don't know. I don't know (inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: But, you know, the programs were designed to fund resource-based industries, manufacturing and processing, these types of things, not to fund one retail operation to compete against another.

AN HON. MEMBER: I am getting sleepy now.

MR. WINDSOR: You are getting sleepy? I had better go back to talking about briefcases again and wake you up. It is the only time I can get any life out of you.


MS. VERGE: Why don't we have a little break for refreshments?

MR. WINDSOR: I think that's the problem. I think the hon. gentlemen are going out for refreshments.


AN HON. MEMBER: No, they aren't.

MR. WINDSOR: No? No refreshments out in your common room at all -just pizza and chicken.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I talked about the SWAT team, the ten investigators for Social Services.

MR. FLIGHT: In conclusion, Mr. Speaker.

MR. WINDSOR: Dream on. Once again, we have no increase in funding for social assistance recipients. We have no increase for those who are living on very meagre government pensions. Most people who are on pensions from government at this point in time are people who had very small pensions.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Pensions last year?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Social assistance. If I am not mistaken, pensioners in this Province have not had an increase now since 1990. This is the third year for no increase, but inflation in the last three years, I would suspect, is probably a total of 6.5 per cent or 7 per cent, something of that magnitude. It is pretty steady this year - what, 1 or 1.1 or 1.2 per cent this year? It wasn't great this year, but about 6 to 7 per cent, so those pensioners have had a rollback of 7 per cent, effectively.

AN HON. MEMBER: Like everybody else.

MR. WINDSOR: Like everybody else; but it is different, you see, I say to the minister. It is one thing to have a rollback when you have some disposable income, some flexibility, but when you are on a fixed income like your pension -

MS. VERGE: And they just had a cut in their drug benefits.

MR. WINDSOR: Drug benefits, and transportation to social assistance recipients are all being cut. But when you are on a fixed income and that fixed income, in real terms, is being cut by 7 per cent, you are in real trouble. It is one thing if your salary is frozen for two or three years, but you know it is going to start picking up again at the end of it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Pensioners again. Pensioners have never had an increase, I don't think, that has kept up with inflation - never.

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible) neither one, but they had four years without a raise.

MR. WINDSOR: The lower ones have. Some of the real small ones, actually, five or six years ago, gave them an extra bonus.

AN HON. MEMBER: Gave them a jump.

MR. WINDSOR: Gave them a jump, that is right.

MS. VERGE: That is what we did, but they haven't given them anything.

MR. WINDSOR: We did, yes. They have only had the one increase since they came in, since their first Budget.

MS. VERGE: This is the cost of consumer price index annual average in St. John's, look. It went up 4.3.

MR. WINDSOR: Yes, the consumer price index in St. John's has gone up by 4.3 per cent since 1989.

MS. VERGE: No, more than that. That is the year -

MR. WINDSOR: A change of 4.3 per cent. Well, that was just for 1989-1990; 6.1 per cent in 1991 and 1.1 per cent in 1992. So you are talking 10 or 11 per cent. That is quite a bit. What you are saying is that those people are living on 10 or 11 per cent less today than they were in 1989. It is pretty significant when your income is fixed and your costs are increasing.

AN HON. MEMBER: No doubt.

MR. WINDSOR: No doubt. As I said earlier, people on social assistance certainly don't have a lot of flexibility.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there are a few key points that I wanted to get into. I wanted to talk about the inconsistency in some of the Budget numbers here, and it gets back to this whole question of believability - the whole question of believing the numbers in the Estimates and the projections here.

As we have said over and over again, and I won't say it too many more times, the numbers here are just not believable. How can you expect us to accept some of these numbers? We talked about 4,000 less people, yet you expect to increase the retail sales. Personal disposable income this year is going to go down by 1 per cent. Personal income is going down by almost 2 per cent. Gross domestic product, yet, is going to be up by 1.2 per cent. Those are hardly consistent.

I realize numbers can be generated. You can interpret them in different ways, but there has to be an inconsistency here. Employment is going to be down by 2 per cent. The unemployment rate is going to be up, obviously. The consumer price index is going up. Housing starts are marginal. Investment income is low -lower than previous years. Yet the minister is going to tell us that the economy is going to be weak but the retail sales tax is going to be up and social assistance payments are going to be down. That is hardly very consistent. That is hardly being consistent at all. Our own revenues are only going to increase by 4.9 per cent, and transfers are going to decrease slightly, by one-half a per cent. So, Mr. Speaker, how does the minister expect us to believe the numbers that he is projecting there in his Budget? How does he expect us to believe these things are going to have that kind of an income?

The only thing that we have here to stimulate the economy is a $43.5 million Strategic Investment and Industrial Development Corporation agreement, 70-30 federal-provincial; and a Human Resources Development agreement of $42.9 million, 70-30 federal-provincial agreement.

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely nothing else in this Budget that is going to create jobs. T hat gets down to the nuts and bolts of it. That is really what we are talking about here, that the Budget fails to deal with the problems in the economy, it fails to bring forward anything to stimulate the economy, it fails to bring forward a balanced budget. He doesn't even tell us how he is going to deal with the problem. He tells us he has a $70 million problem. He is going to cut. He expects us to pass here in this House a document that, in fact, has a $121 million deficit in it. That is what he has there, a $121 million deficit, and he expects us to give him blanket approval for that.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: Well, actually no, I don't. Because the real deficit is probably $200 million, if you were to take the numbers, the revenue projections that you have there, that have to be grossly inaccurate, that are overstated, and when you have some of the expenditure items, particularly the Social Services one, the most blatant one.


MR. WINDSOR: You're optimistic. The minister is optimistic. The only one the minister can be optimistic about is the lottery revenues. You will get your $44 million. You might even get $50 million from lotteries this year - the only growth industry the minister has been able to come up with are the slot machines and the bars, Mr. Speaker.

So there's the situation, and I don't know that we need to stay here all night talking about it.

MR. MATTHEWS: (Inaudible) 5:00 a.m.

MR. WINDSOR: Go to 5:00 a.m.? I could go till 5:00 a.m., I say to my friend, but I really don't see the point. I think I have made the point that I wanted to make. There is one thing I was going to mention though. There was a story recently - I know the minister reacted to it.

MR. MATTHEWS: Keep her going. Do you want a few notes to keep her going?

MR. WINDSOR: I have lots of notes. I have pages and pages here if I wanted to go through them.

There was a story recently about the Bank of Canada going to arrange emergency funding, emergency borrowing.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: No, I realize that. No negotiations, I don't think, no formal negotiations, have taken place. But the very fact that it is even being considered, even if it is only by officials - I don't know how much fact this story was based on.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: I would be interested in hearing the story behind that. It was frightening, Mr. Speaker, when I first saw this, when I first got this sent to me, that we might have the financial affairs of the Province managed by the Government of Canada. We are not even quite a territory anymore. We are something lower than a territory if that ever took place. A friend of mine termed it 'Canadian colonialism.' It is frightening to think that we should ever get ourselves in such a position.

Having said that, the concept of having the Government of Canada, if they were prepared to do so, do some borrowing at their AAA rating for us would be very attractive. But I don't know why the Government of Canada would ever do it. Their deficit problem is far greater than ours, much, much greater. They are talking twenty-five cents on the dollar, I think, for debt servicing, maybe more.


MR. WINDSOR: Thirty, about thirty-five cents, whereas I think our numbers are in the range of 14 per cent or 15 per cent, so although it is a serious problem for us we are not nearly in as deeply as the Government of Canada, so I do not know why they would want to borrow for the poorer provinces but it would be nice if they could do that; it would certainly reduce our cost of borrowing, it would certainly open up new markets and make it easy for us to borrow on the open market. So, Mr. Speaker, I have a number of things that I could talk about but I really do not think there is any great point in dragging it on all night. Hon. members seem to be getting restless, pizzas are gone and they are ready to go home.

I say to the minister just this, Mr. Speaker, in summarizing what I have been saying all day that, you have lost the confidence of the people, you have lost the confidence of the money markets. I think you will find that out very quickly. You certainly lost the confidence of the public service, the public sector unions and your employees and once you lose the confidence of the public sector you are in very, very deep trouble, very, very deep trouble; and you have lost the confidence of the private sector now, you have lost the confidence now of business and industry, the leaders who generate the economy. We have heard so much doom and gloom, Mr. Speaker, from this government that we are starting to believe it. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy; when you continually tell us how poorly off we are, we soon begin to believe it. When you tell us that we cannot compete, that we are not going to make it, then we soon believe it and we stop trying, and we have listened for so long.

I have read your economy book. It is interesting stuff. It is not all doom and gloom there, but I recall very clearly the day before the Hibernia announcement was being made, the day before the announcement that a new partner had been found, a new deal had been struck, to replace Gulf Oil - a major announcement. Everybody knew it was coming. The business community, particularly in St. John's, was looking forward to that announcement, and everybody was saying: Boy, this is going to be great now. Things are finally going to start to move. We have been hanging on by our fingernails, but now things are going to start to move a little bit. The day before, the Premier had a great press conference and announced that we have a terrible problem; we are going to have to reduce public sector wages and salaries and maybe have layoffs. That did not do very much for consumer confidence.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) true.

MR. WINDSOR: Maybe it was true, but we do not need to have it told us all the time, and certainly the timing was very inopportune - to come forward at a time when everybody was upbeat; people were looking at maybe going ahead with investments that had been sitting on the drawing boards now for three and four years, thinking maybe it is time to start moving. Instead of that, the Premier comes out and puts a damper on the whole thing, and this great Newfoundland project, as he terms it, and as the Budget terms it - I found that amusing - a great Newfoundland project. It is certainly not a Liberal project, though. Two fish plants the Premier calls it. I wish we had two more like it.

So, Mr. Speaker, there is the situation. Until the government is prepared to deal with that, until they are prepared to put something in place to stimulate the economy, to create jobs, to create economic activity, to attract investors and entrepreneurs to invest in this Province; until they are prepared to instill some confidence in the economy of the Province, to instill some confidence in the people of the Province, in themselves; until they are prepared to do that, and recognize that is what is going to make the economy move, we are not going anywhere and we will be back next year with an even bigger deficit.

I would predict to the minister that his $120 million deficit will be $200 million before the end of the year. It will be $200 million before the end of the year. His record has been dismal.

AN HON. MEMBER: Thirty-five or forty.

MR. WINDSOR: Thirty-five or forty.

AN HON. MEMBER: Remember I said it.

MR. WINDSOR: I will remember you said it. How could I forget? I remember in 1990, too, when your predecessor said: We are going to have a $10 million surplus and we had a $120 million deficit at the end of the year. I remember that well.

I remember well last year when you told us that we were going to have a $28 million deficit and you came back in the middle of the year and said it is up to $149 million now. I remember that very well. So the minister will excuse me if I do not believe him now when we tells me he has a $120 million deficit but I am going to find $70 million and make it a $51 million deficit, and somewhere during the year I am going to cut it down to $35 million. Unless he is going to win another lottery -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINDSOR: You are hoping it is going to get better? I hope the minister is right. I hope the economy gets better. I hope the unemployment situation gets better. I hope investment in this Province gets better. I hope our resources rejuvenate. I hope the fishing industry comes back. I hope we get back to working for a living, instead of finding ways and means of living off the system.

We have become a community of stamp collectors, basically. Simply we have an attitude out there, a mentality now, where it has become acceptable now. There was a time when it was not acceptable - maybe necessary, but not necessarily acceptable - but now it is acceptable to get your ten or twelve weeks work and live on unemployment for the rest of the year. As long as we have that mentality in this Province, that that is good enough, as long as our goals are no higher than that, we will never achieve a higher goal, and the government has to set the scene.

As long as they keep telling us that we are in a terrible situation, that we have a terrible deficit situation, we cannot do anything about it then we will never get out of it. Until this government does something to put some confidence back into the economy and into the people of this Province, Mr. Speaker, we always will have a serious deficit problem and this minister will be back again next year with a Budget that is far more dismal than this one, and he will be back with a revised deficit of $200 million, rest assured of that, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I - Sorry?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) by leave?

MR. ROBERTS: The only leave the hon. gentleman is going to get is everybody walking out of this House in about two seconds I would say to him.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Does the hon. gentleman want to whip through the Pay Decrease Bill now?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Years ago in this House, the Pay Increase Bills used to go through at about this time of the night; do you want to put the Pay Decrease Bill through now?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I move the House at its rising do adjourn until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, Friday and that the House do now adjourn.

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