December 8, 1993            HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS           Vol. XLII  No. 31

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

Oral Questions

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

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

I have a question for the Minister of Fisheries. I am sure by now the minister has familarized himself with the Cashin Task Force Report, Charting a New Course. One of the major concerns expressed in the report by Mr. Cashin is the need to deal with processing capacity reduction and consolidation. The report recommends the establishment of fishing industry renewal boards. It recommends two, actually, one for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador because of the magnitude of the crisis in the fishery here and one for the Maritimes and Quebec. I am wondering if the minister supports the establishment of such boards, which will operate at arm's length from both levels of government to implement processing capacity reduction and consolidation? Does the minister support that recommendation?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I had a long meeting this morning with Mr. Cashin and my colleague, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and others, and we talked about various recommendations in his report, not the least of which, of course, was the recommendation dealing with the setting up of a fisheries renewal board. I am not able at this time to commit the government to supporting it, or not supporting it. I can only tell you, that having discussed the matter with Mr. Cashin this morning, the board appears to be a reasonably good idea. While I am unable and unwilling at this time to commit the government to its support, I can only say it is somewhat along the lines the Province has been suggesting, joint management, although they view the renewal board maybe in a much shorter term. They view the renewal board as something that would cease to function, maybe, after the fishery reopened. It has a lot of merit and we will be looking at it, Mr. Speaker, and, at some point in time, making a decision on it.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: The report, as well, suggests that a joint strategy be developed between the provincial and federal governments, to develop policies and criteria, to determine the processing capacity reduction, so I guess what I want to ask the minister is, will the Province be participating in a joint strategy to develop policies and criteria to implement processing capacity reduction? Will they be participating in that process?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, the whole matter of reducing capacity, both in the harvesting and in the processing sector, is something that has very much concerned the Province, and we will be working with the federal government seeking ways and means of reducing capacity in both sectors. We all recognize the need for, in fact, a drastic reduction in capacity in both areas, and the Province will be doing all it can to achieve that objective. As to how we do it, is another matter, Mr. Speaker, and that is something that will be the subject of, I am sure, a lot of discussion between ourselves and the federal government in the future; but again, that was discussed this morning at length and I think Mr. Cashin knows where the Province stands in that regard.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A supplementary to the minister.

The minister has said, on a number of occasions in the past, that in dealing with processing capacity capability or overcapacity, the market forces should dictate, and I want to say to the minister, I am sure he is aware that Mr. Cashin says, to allow the market forces to dictate and to decide, would really be an ad hoc approach to the overcapacity situation; he said it would be naive, and he goes on to say, `A planned and early approach to capacity reduction also will permit introducing other significant adjustment policies for the affected people in communities. Any meaningful adjustment in terms of capacity reduction and related measures demands full co-operation of both levels of government.' So, I detect from the minister, that he sort of changed his mind and his position on capacity reduction. Is he now saying that he is going to move away from the ad hoc, let the market forces decide the approach to a planned, orderly, processing capacity reduction? Is that what he is saying today?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, if that is the interpretation that the hon. gentleman has put on my answer, certainly, it was not intended. I think the Province is still of the opinion and will continue to be, that market forces should dictate, and I say to the hon. gentleman as I said to Mr. Cashin this morning: Were it not for the fact that in so-called downsizing or consolidation or whatever you want to call it, there will be thousands of people affected. If it were simply a matter, Mr. Speaker, of closing a plant or lifting a licence or a number of licences, without having to worry about the fallout in terms of the people who will be affected, it would be a relatively simple matter. But to talk about closing plants, you have to recognize the problems that will result with respect to the many thousands of people who were employed in those plants, and therein, of course, the federal government must accept responsibility, or certainly, a major part of that responsibility.

Another matter, Mr. Speaker, I hear commentators, politicians and others, in some sense, maybe criticizing the government for not trying to play the part of God, sitting down in an office somewhere and determining what plants will remain open. The fact of the matter is, that all groundfish plants, at this point in time, are closed. And we have no idea - I don't think there is a man on this planet who can say, with any certainty, precisely when those plants will reopen. So we can talk all we like about downsizing and about selecting plants that will or will not operate in the future. The fact of the matter is, that all of the plants right now are closed, just about, except those that are involved in other fisheries. So it just would not make any sense unless and until we have some idea, for example, as to the extent to which the cod stocks will rebuild and what the TAC will be at a given time and that is almost impossible to determine. It is difficult for us to say what plants will be open in the year 2000 or in the year 1997. So it is not as simple, Mr. Speaker, as the hon. gentleman would have you believe it is.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Now, Mr. Speaker, it is not a simple matter, I say to the minister, but unless someone makes decisions - because everyone that is out there now with the fish plants closed are living in hope that someday they are going to be rehired or work at the fish plants. So really we are creating false hope for a lot of those people. How do you expect them to plan the rest of their lives if they don't know what government's decisions are on capacity reduction? But, really, Mr. Speaker, that is just part of the problem. I say to the minister. Doesn't the minister agree that with his approach of letting the market forces dictate, we can have full regions of this Province without any processing kit capacity or capability? That is the real danger, and Mr. Cashin addresses that in his report, because he calls for regional processing presence. So the real danger in the minister's approach is that we can have regions of this Province completely eliminated, all the plants will be closed forever and there will not be any processing capability. Isn't the minister concerned about that and doesn't he believe that every region of this Province should have a processing presence?

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

MR. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, of course, I am concerned about it and I worry about it. I agree that maybe that type of thing could very well happen. Again, Mr. Speaker, it begs the question: Just to what extent should the government intervene in terms of determining which plants will remain open and which plants will be closed? Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that, even as I speak today, there are a large number of plants still operating in this Province, not processing groundfish, but processing crab and other species. I might say that it is ironic in the sense that while the groundfish fishery has literally gone down for the third time, there are plants in Newfoundland this year that will have record earnings, strange as that might sound, in terms of crab and caplin. These plants I hope will continue to operate. Until the codfish rebuilds to the point where we can have a reasonable total allowable catch there is not much we can do about it.

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

MR. J. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Environment and Lands. Over the past several months this government has been spending taxpayers money studying a Newfoundland Power proposal to store PCBs at Chance Cove, even though I understand the Premier indicated to the MHA for Bellevue that the proposal would be rejected by Cabinet if area residents oppose it, which they most certainly have done, notably in a petition to the House of Assembly. Why is the government continuing to spend taxpayers money studying a proposal that the Premier says will be rejected by Cabinet even if it passes the assessment process?

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

MS. COWAN: Mr. Speaker, thank you. I'm just trying to get this straight in my mind. It has been a while since I thought about it. The PCB issue, storage in the Come By Chance area, is being re-examined. I have been meeting with some people from Hydro and talking to them about the possibilities of finding another spot to store those PCBs. I keep in touch with the Member for Bellevue on that particular situation. It is more or less on hold for the moment till we see if there is some other way we can go about approaching this issue.

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

MR. J. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to redirect my supplementary question to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. It was reported in Tuesday's Evening Telegram that the City of St. John's has received verbal permission from the Department of Works, Services and Transportation to store PCBs at the Torbay Airport, according to a memo signed by the City's Director of Engineering. Will the minister confirm that the verbal permission has been granted by his department to store PCBs at Torbay Airport?

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

MR. EFFORD: No, Mr. Speaker, it is not at Torbay Airport.

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

MR. J. BYRNE: Thank you, Minister, for that lengthy answer. I would like to direct my supplementary to the Minister of Environment and Lands. According to the same newspaper story the City has plans to store two tractor trailer size compartments of PCBs at Blackmarsh Road Municipal Depot until next summer, but changed their minds because of public opposition to additional PCB storage at the Blackmarsh Road site.

Does the minister not think that people who live and work around the Torbay Airport might also have some concerns about PCB storage in the area? And why has she not subjected this proposal to an environmental review process, or for that matter even told people that PCB's would be stored in the airport? Is the minister trying to hide something from the people in the area?

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

MS. COWAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to my hon. critic.

I saw that in the newspaper as well, and I am always rather loath to leap to conclusions when I read something in the newspaper. Actually, I put a little message into my computer this morning to have follow-up to that so that I will have some of my officials tell me exactly what the position is at this particular time, so I will be able to let you know that. As soon as I get the information I will certainly pass it along to you.

I think that we have to be extremely concerned about the public attitude toward PCB's, and we must do everything we can not to raise unnecessary concern about the storage of PCB's.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS. COWAN: We have sixty-six PCB storage sites in this Province. We have never had an accident at one of them. We have to do something with them until the time comes that we have a facility somewhere in the Atlantic Provinces to get rid of them in a safe way.

It is always controversial, but I think we have to be very, very careful that we do not unduly alarm the public because, in fact, as I said, they can be stored very safely.

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

MR. TOBIN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Mines and Energy.

The previous government in this Province - and indeed in the beginning of the first term of this government they indicated they would prefer a GBS for the Terra Nova field. It is my understanding that Petro Canada and government have had some discussions in this regard.

Can the minister tell the House today if government is still insisting on the GBS for Terra Nova which would, like the Hibernia project, create jobs in the construction mode of it for Newfoundlanders?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, we have not taken any position at this time as to what the mode of development should be. Right now, as I stand in this House, we do not have a development plan before us from the consortium for Terra Nova, and we are not prepared to make a decision on mode of development until we see the details in that plan and see what the field can support.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I say to the minister that for five years he sat as Minister of Mines and Energy, and as part of the government in this Province, and for some time we have heard that Terra Nova field may even be on stream before the Hibernia field, but I find it strange that the minister has taken no position on the mode of development. Let me ask the minister then, Mr. Speaker, if he is satisfied, or is he going to insist that Petro Canada drill additional oil wells on the Terra Nova field or does he feel that he already has enough information regarding the amount of oil that is out there to make a decision?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Mr. Speaker, it is up to the offshore board to take a position as to whether or not they want another well drilled. One of the licenses on the Terra Nova field has not been drilled, the license that is called the Far East Block. It would certainly help us all if that one were drilled because it would prove whether there is less petroleum or more petroleum in that block than has been estimated based on seismic and geology. I would certainly like to see that well drilled but at this time nobody has given direction to the company to do so.

MR. SPEAKER: A final supplementary, the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I wonder why Petro Canada has not drilled, I say to the minister, and I am sure that he is wondering for the same reason. Let me say to the minister that with the experience that has been gained by the workforce in this Province, particularly at Bull Arm, Marystown, and other places relating to the construction of the GBS, would the minister know if Petro Canada at this point in time, in the past or in the present, are looking at a floating platform that is presently in the North Sea for the Terra Nova field?

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

DR. GIBBONS: Representatives of Petro Canada have stated for some years that they believe the Terra Nova field is not large enough to justify a gravity base. In a presentation by one of their vice-presidents about two and a half years ago they talked about a ship shape floater. In discussions we have had with them they have said they assessed a ship shape floater and concrete floaters, as well as assessments of the gravity base. From where we stand we would like to see a system used that is going to maximize employment to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, so we would love to see this field confirmed as being large enough to justify a gravity base, but if it is not confirmed as large enough to economically justify a gravity base, then another option has to be looked at.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

DR. GIBBONS: Well, this is one of the things we have said, I tell the hon. member, and I stated it publicly some time ago when Mr. Stanford, the President of Petro Canada, was in St. John's giving a speech, that I personally would like to see the Far East Block drilled. I would feel a lot more comfortable with the quantity of petroleum that is in the field but nobody has given any directions to them at this stage. As to the final point he made, that he is aware of a floating system that is available in the North Sea that they are looking at, I am not aware of that. I do not know if that is the case.

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

MS. VERGE: I have a question for the Minister of Education who yesterday afternoon relieved his colleague the Minister of Tourism and Culture of responsibility for public libraries. Over the past year the government worsened a previously inadequate public library service in the Province. Public libraries were opened for fewer days and shorter hours. Public libraries did without new books for most of the year. In Corner Brook library patrons and staff are calling 1993 the year without books. What will people call 1994? What is in store for public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador in the new year?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the jurisdiction for the library board has been put over to the Department of Education and the Department of Education welcomes the library boards with open arms and we look forward to a long- lasting and favourable relationship over the next number of years. My message to all patrons of libraries is to look forward to good things in 1994.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have another question for the Minister of Education. In announcing his new responsibility for public libraries yesterday afternoon the minister referred to the report of the Review Committee on the Public Libraries Board, chaired by Phillip Saunders, completed and given to the government months ago. Why has the government not made public that report and will the minister table the report in the House of Assembly this afternoon?

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I really can't tell the hon. member why the report was not made public. I will have that matter checked out. If I can't table it this afternoon I'm sure that some time in the future I will table that report, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Humber East.

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A cover up, I say to the Minister of Education, another cover up.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS. VERGE: A question for the Minister of Tourism and Culture. What plans are there and what timetable to implement the government's stated intention of divesting itself of Arts and Culture Centres and phasing out completely provincial operating funding within three years? Does this intention apply to the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre or just the Centres outside the overpass?

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

MR. WALSH: Mr. Speaker, once again the member tends to lead off with statements that are incorrect and looking to put a spin on something that at this point in time is not even a reality.

There is no determination in terms of the amount of time or whether funding will be over three years, five years or twenty years. There has been no determination with respect to that. As for the devolution of the Arts and Culture Centres, that process has begun and we are at this point in time holding discussions with a number of councils and community-based organizations throughout the Province, following through on plan number 71, I think, in the Strategic Economic Plan.

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

MR. CAREEN: My question is for the Minister of Tourism and Culture. While the decision was made months ago, sir, it was made while the House was closed, the Labour Day weekend announcement to see a number of parks around the Island opened on an experimental basis, and Fitzgerald Park, which accommodates people going and coming on the ferry at Argentia, the M. V. Joseph and Clara Smallwood, passengers were travelling in and scheduled until the end of October. Could you tell me sir how your department made the decision to leave Fitzgerald Park closed and leave other parks, on an experimental basis, open?

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

MR. WALSH: It is a very simple decision, Mr. Speaker.

MR. TOBIN: It would have to be simple for you to make it!

MR. WALSH: No, but it would have to be very simple for you to understand.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WALSH: After doing the verbal I will send over the baby talk explanation so you will know what I said. To get back to the question at hand, the answer is very simple. What we looked at over the last number of years was where we saw the most traffic, not necessarily for those who were travelling. What we find in the fall is that the majority of our tourists travelling are coming on buses and motor coaches and there are not that many who are using travel trailers to travel back and forth across the Province.

One of the main reasons for leaving the parks open for that extended period during the fall, a minute reason, was to do it for the people coming in from outside the Province. The main reason was to take advantage of the parks in strategic areas across the Trans-Canada Highway where our own people in Newfoundland tend to travel and want to use their trailers into the fall. In actual fact we went one step further in keeping, I think, some five parks open. What we also did was we kept open most if not all of the historic sites. Again, that was done specifically to take advantage of and for the motor coaches who were coming through Newfoundland during the fall. I think that helped accommodate some one hundred motor coaches which were coming through. So it was all part of that same plan.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Minister, that answer is clearly not good enough. Fitzgerald Park is in the shadow of Argentia, there only a few miles apart. Making a decision to close that park while leaving others open - it is on the route to and fro. It could have been left open. Obviously the Liberal Party has become the `meet loaf' party, because occasionally they meet, and the rest of the time they loaf.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CAREEN: And another thing, in an agreement that was signed three years ago $1.2 million was allotted for Fitzgerald Park, to date some $90,000 has been spent on it. The first year the provincial government wanted to do more engineering work on it, the following year they wanted to do more consultative work on it and to date $90,000 has been spent on Fitzgerald Park. Now I realize the District of Placentia is being punished. A majority, a small majority if you like, put me in there and they cannot go on, sir, being punished. They cannot go on being punished. I am asking, sir, when will you please put your department up front where it should be to do something about Fitzgerald Park?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Tourism and Culture.

MR. WALSH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We are looking real hard at dealing with that in the near future. Hopefully before or right after the by-election but we will certainly deal with it in the future. Now let me say, Mr. Speaker, if you know how to throw it, learn how to take it. I will tell you that anyone on this side will sit down any day of the week to a meal of meat loaf but will never eat cucumbers again. Also, Mr. Speaker, I think it is only fair to remind the member that he didn't get elected by the majority of the people, he happened to be first past the post. The majority did not elect you, just so you know that as well.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WALSH: Well he didn't get the majority of votes. The majority of people who are eligible to elect - first past the post did not mean a majority. After another five years you will learn that one too.

In the meantime, Mr. Speaker, to deal with the question concerning the parks once again. When we looked at what parks we should keep open - the parks that were kept open were designed not for people who are travelling on the ferries back and forth. That was not the intention. The fall people that we get in Newfoundland are motor coach. They are not travel trailers, campers or tent people. It is not the greatest time in Newfoundland to be sleeping in tents, in the middle of October or late September. The parks were kept open to accommodate Newfoundlanders who wanted to enjoy fall, fall camping and fall travel. That is what it was kept open for. None of the parks were kept open to meet the needs of the tourists who were travelling on the ferries, either through Argentia or Port aux Basques back to North Sydney. That is not what they were kept open for.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Minister, the question has not been answered, what are you planning on doing about Fitzgerald Park? Don't tell me that Newfoundlanders, after Labour Day weekend, do not travel on the Joseph and Clara Smallwood. Hold it, sir - now just what are your plans for Fitzgerald Park?

Thank you.

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

MR. WALSH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Our intention is to leave the park closed for this winter and we will review it next summer.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. I would like the minister to tell the House, if he would, exactly where we are now in the winter schedule for snow clearing and ice-control on the Province's highways. Are we now on full winter alert? Are the standby crews fully in service now?

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

MR. EFFORD: Yes, Mr. speaker, we are on full winter operations.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. speaker, if I were to tell the minister that a number of people have complained to me, and I have also observed myself over the past couple of weeks, several instances when the Province's highways, particularly in the Avalon Peninsula area, were extremely hazardous. Indeed, about a week or so ago there were six vehicles in the ditch between Butter Pot Park and St. John's. Can the minister tell us why, by 8:30 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. that the highway still hadn't had any attention by his crews?

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I don't know where the hon. member is getting his information on the condition of the highway. I drive over that highway every morning at 5:30. I came in over the highway that morning at the same time that those cars were supposed to be off the road and I didn't have any problem - the road wasn't that slippery. Sometimes the trouble is the cause of the people driving the vehicles.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The time for Oral Questions has elapsed.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. member that I drive over that road every morning, as well. I drove over it the night before.

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

Question Period has elapsed.

MR. WINDSOR: Ah, but we were just starting to have fun, Mr. Speaker!

MR. SPEAKER: I should point out to the hon. member, I don't make the rules, I merely provide for them.

On behalf of hon. members, I would like to welcome to the gallery, Mr. David Hiscock, the Town Clerk of Bonavista.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Answers to Questions

For which Notice has been Given

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the Member for St. John's East Extern gave me a piece of paper some time ago with some names on it from the university. I have had this matter checked out and I have been advised that the university has conducted a preliminary investigation into the allegations. The investigation has involved interviews with all the individuals who would have legitimate access to the information which the hon. member brought forward, and as a result of the preliminary investigation, the university is not prepared to accept the assertion that an individual from outside the institution could just walk in and have access to the information. Unfortunately, neither the identity of the individual nor the exact circumstances of the alleged incident have been conveyed to the university, and no one, including the complainant or the MHA, has brought the matter directly to our attention.

In the absence of this information, it is very difficult to proceed beyond the preliminary investigation, which has shown no improper activities on the part of any university employee. Without more specific details provided by the complainant, the university is unable to contemplate corrective action. As to the assertion that the confidential student information is in the public domain, there is no evidence to show that anyone, other than the complainant and Mr. Byrne, has this information.

The university is confident in its policy and procedures -

MR. TOBIN: That is a cover-up.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is shocking!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the minister.

MR. DECKER: The university is confident in its policy and procedures regarding the private and restricted student information. In general, the policy is that the university will not release to outside agencies or individuals, information about a student. University employees with access to this information system are required to sign a confidentiality statement. Any breach of these procedures would result in disciplinary action, Mr. Speaker.


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

MS. VERGE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I wish to present a petition of several citizens of the Province, mostly residents of St. John's and Mount Pearl.


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MS. VERGE: Mr. Speaker, the prayer of the petition is: `We, the undersigned citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador, object to the government's recent action in appointing all men and no women as adjudicators for the Police Public Complaints Commission, and we petition the House of Assembly to take corrective action to ensure that the panel of adjudicators has an equal number of women and men.'

I heartily support this petition and have signed it. Mr. Speaker, women and men in the Province were offended to hear that the Minister of Justice, after having being shamed into admitting that the government made a mistake in appointing all men and no women to the panel of adjudicators for the Police Public Complaints Commission, is now sponsoring a bill to change the composition of the panel from six to nine and is stating his intention to keep all six of the men previously appointed and add, perhaps, three women.

Mr. Speaker, people can see that there are dozens of qualified, eligible women in the Province, women who are lawyers, women who are other professionals, women from a variety of backgrounds, women who are suitable, and willing to serve on the panel of adjudicators for the Police Commission.

Mr. Speaker, women's groups have been promised by the Premier that the government, in making discretionary Cabinet appointments, will alternate between men and women until the percentage of women reaches 50 per cent. He has not only stated that orally, but he has put it in writing.

He wrote the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, after he was Premier for a year, and said, quote - this is a direct quote from a letter written and signed by the Premier - "I assure you, it is government's policy to appoint, where possible, women to alternate discretionary appointments until their representation is at least 50 per cent."

Mr. Speaker, it is perfectly possible for the government to appoint 50 per cent of the panel of adjudicators for the Police Public Complaints Commission who are women - perfectly possible. Instead, the government is proposing to appoint a maximum of one-third women. Mr. Speaker, this is insulting to women, and women are not going to put up with it. This is 1993.

The Premier, unfortunately, is absent today, although for good reason. The Minister of Justice is absent today. I expect the minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Code, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, to speak to this petition. I expect him to indicate that he will work with his colleagues in the Cabinet to revise the bill before the House of Assembly, as recommended by the all-party Legislation Review Committee, to allow the Cabinet to appoint an unspecified number to the panel of adjudicators, and then, that he will work with his Cabinet colleagues to see that there is gender equity - in other words, half women and half men - as well as balanced representation by geography.

This won't cost the government any more money, and if members are appointed from each geographic area of the Province, it should save the government money. As it stands now, there are six men, five who reside in St. John's, one in Corner Brook. There is no member from Labrador West, which is policed by the Constabulary and, as I said, only one from Corner Brook. Unless the number is enlarged so that it is possible to have people from each region of the Province, unless the number is enlarged to ensure 50\50 women and men, people will not be satisfied.

These petitioners are calling on the government, and I join the petitioners, in urging Members of the House of Assembly to take corrective action to ensure that the panel of adjudicators has an equal number of women and men. I will wait now for the minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission to respond.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in support of the petition.

MR. EFFORD: I wonder why.

MR. HARRIS: The reason I rise in support of the petition, Mr. Speaker, is because it needs support from this side of the House. It doesn't appear to get very much support from that side -


MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I can't hear the hon. member.

MR. HARRIS: - including any members of the Cabinet who apparently sat around the table when this decision was being made and didn't recognize that what was being done here was totally contrary to the government's stated policy of making it clear that in boards and commissions that are appointed by the discretion of the government, there should be an equal number of men and women. The Minister of Works, Services and Transportation was one of those people who was sitting around the table when this decision was made to appoint only men to a board looking into the activity and the questioned actions of police officers.

It needs support, Mr. Speaker. It needs the support of the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. It certainly needs the support of the Minister of Environment and Lands, who is responsible for the Status of Women. I am not sure it gets that support or attention, so we have to, only on this side, present petitions and make clear the position that the government has taken - at least given lip service to - in a letter to the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, but seems to ignore in practice.

I see the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, also a member who from time to time mouths platitudes about equality of women, but when the chips are down, when the time comes for an appointment, is not able to say: Hold it there, `Clyde', just hang on a minute, `Ed', we have a responsibility here to ensure that we are appointing an equal number of women and men.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations is another individual in that government who is supposed to be attuned to the Human Rights Commission needs. He is the minister responsible for that body. They have a mandate to ensure that the equality of men and women and non-discrimination - I would go so far as to say that the appointment of the six men was an act of discrimination contrary to the Human Rights Act, that it was contrary to the Human Rights Act to do that in the circumstance where an existing policy exists, so that by appointing only men they have discriminated against women. And they aren't even going to fix it up. They are given an opportunity to fix it up, Mr. Speaker, by what I would have to call a friendly amendment. I know that the chairman of the committee, the Member for Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir, would regard the amendments proposed by the committee as friendly amendments. It is a friendly amendment to the Minister of Justice, a suggestion that instead of only going from six to nine they can go from six to an unlimited number.

What is the purpose of that? I say to the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, the purpose of going to an unlimited number is to allow the government to follow its own policy. So, if they have six men appointed and they don't want to un-appoint them, and they want to follow their own policy, stated on paper, to appoint equal numbers of men and women to bodies, they will have the ability under the legislation to do that.

I would regard the unanimous proposal - there were no dissenting voices - of the Social Legislation Review Committee as a friendly amendment. I see the Member for Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir agrees with me - a friendly amendment.


MR. HARRIS: Oh, he is shaking his head. Perhaps he is going to speak now when we finish and tell us why he doesn't regard it as a friendly amendment. I think it was a friendly amendment. It was to allow the government, I say to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, to follow its own policy. I would expect that the Ministry, all those members of the Cabinet who have had the benefit of our discussions in the House about this, will now be able to recognize that this is a friendly amendment and convince the Minister of Justice to accept that to change the number from nine to an unlimited number would allow the government to follow its policy and not continue to further embarrass itself in discriminating against women in this fashion.

I support the petition, Mr. Speaker. It is a very fine petition and it represents the full measure of government policy. I see the Minister responsible for the Status of Women on her feet - perhaps she wants to speak, so I will sit down and allow how her to speak in response to this petition. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member was speaking I saw that he had his hands in his pockets. It is nice to see a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets for a change.

I thank the hon. the Member for Humber East for the petition. We heard her comments and those of the Member for St. John's East. We will certainly bring this petition to the attention of the Minister of Justice, who is in Labrador on Her Majesty's business today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Orders of the Day

MR. SPEAKER: Today being Private Members' Day, the motion to be debated is Motion 4.

The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes - Motion 4.

MR. MANNING: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Today, I rise and put forward a private member's resolution:

"WHEREAS the five-year federal-provincial Rural Co-operation Agreement expires on March 31, 1994;

AND WHEREAS funding under this agreement supports, among other programs, rural development associations, co-operatives and local development organizations to plan and implement economic development programs in rural Newfoundland and Labrador;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that this House of Assembly supports the negotiation of a new Rural Co-operations Agreement that will continue to fund Rural Development Associations."

I am pleased, Mr. Speaker, to be given the opportunity to speak and to present this resolution to this hon. House on behalf of the thousands of Newfoundlanders who have given years and years of hard work and commitment to the survival and development of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

Let us begin by reviewing the history of development associations and their impact on this Province. Development associations have been around for about thirty years and have made a significant contribution to the economic, cultural and social framework of this Province. Development associations have to continually justify their existence and try to prove their work to funding agencies in government.

Thirty years ago, the issues facing Newfoundland and Labrador were far clearer than they are today, Mr. Speaker. The resettlement program, more than any other single factor, brought around development associations.

With the resettlement program come memories of our former Premier, the hon. Joseph R. Smallwood. I am a strong believer that Mr. Smallwood's heart was in the right place. Sometimes, the advice he received from others was not the proper advice, but I am sure his heart was in the right place.

For more than two decades, the development associations have provided the framework that has kept many rural communities viable. The Rural Development Council, under funding from ACOA and Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, prepared a twenty-five year regional development project inventory, that is available for anybody to have a look at, and it shows exactly how the Province has benefitted from rural development associations.

Something like $184 million has been brought into the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador under the Rural Development association over the past twenty-five years, Mr. Speaker. Many things have been brought to this Province for the first time, such as; aquaculture development, agriculture, breakwaters, craft shops, you name it and development associations have taken part of it in rural Newfoundland.

The list could go on forever, Mr. Speaker, but all you have to do is drive around the rural parts of this Province, and you can see the work and the commitment that has gone behind the Rural Development Association movement in this Province. Many communities have been put on the road to prosperity by the fact that a grass roots organization, Mr. Speaker - an organization brought forward by the people for the people so that they knew where their own problems were, they knew what the solutions were and they worked together to try to benefit themselves. There is an old saying, `Nothing is as easy as it looks.' Everything takes longer than you expect. If anything can go wrong it will at the worst possible moment. In rural Newfoundland, Mr. Speaker, over the last number of years, things have not been so rosy, but history will show that we have survived before and we will again survive through the current hard economic times.

In my own area, the development association played a major role. A number of years ago, their main objective was to put fishery infrastructure in place. You can go around my district on wharves, slipways and gear sheds - maybe sometimes too numerous, I will admit, but still, that was the focus that they had at the time and that fishermen, plant workers and people, in general, were looking for. Another major role that they played in my own area was when we had a plant closed up for several years, and they came forward with ideas and worked on our behalf to make sure that the plant was reopened so that people could go back to work. I believe that without the development association efforts, in this regard, the plant would be as it is today, closed, Mr. Speaker.

The agriculture development that has been forward by Rural Development Associations, not only in my own area but throughout the Province, is second to none. They have brought in many new ideas, some failed, some were successful, but overall, it was the chance to try something new, which was what we had a chance to do under the development associations.

The tourism potential of this Province, as everybody knows, is something to which we all can attest, and it is important that the development associations know what is available in their regions for tourism development and therefore can work on it at a local level and give it its best shot at being part of the future tourism development of the Province. But, most of all, I think, the major thing with development associations, and maybe the reason why they came into being in the late 1960s, was because of the fact that we wanted to bring areas together. We wanted to develop areas. Instead of each and every small community working on its own, the development associations brought forward a kind of map of areas of development, and it was broken up - it started off with only a dozen or so, and ended up, today being fifty-nine different development associations.

There are many opportunities for growth and development outside of one community. If you look at a whole area, your chances of developing it are much better supported by government departments than if you were operating on your own.

Today, we face what is, I guess, one of the major catastrophes of our time, and that is in the close-down of our fishery. I, for one, live in a community that depends one hundred per cent upon the fishery. It is a major economic collapse that I guess we will be feeling for a number of years, and I believe now, more than ever, that development associations have a role to play in making sure that the future of rural Newfoundland, the future of the small communities - there are over 700 small communities throughout this Province, and over 400 of them depend one hundred per cent on the fishery. And I believe it is important that development associations are maintained so that these communities have someone on the local level who can work on their behalf to bring forward the concerns of the areas to the right government officials to be dealt with in a proper manner.

As well, because of the economic collapse in rural Newfoundland at the present time, we have to worry about the many other problems that come with it, most of all, the social problems, the social impact. As I am sure the Minister of Social Services will attest to, the social problems in our Province, of late, have increased immensely, I say, due to the fact that the people are not fully employed in the fishing industry, in the plants throughout our Province.

People will, over the next couple of years, I am sure, become very upset and frustrated with what they have to face. It is no rosy picture for anybody to think about, but we must think about it and we must plan now for the years that lie ahead, because it is not the generations that have gone before but for those coming behind us. It is very important that we understand the frustrations of the people and why they are upset.

Go back to earlier this year when the hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations had a run-in with some people out on the West Coast. It was not because those people had anything against the minister, I am sure, it is because they were frustrated and upset because of the economic conditions and the future facing them when they are laid off and put out of work.

The question remains: What do we do right now? I refer back to a few months ago when the hon. the Premier was interviewed. He made a comment that I certainly agree with. There are a couple of responses to those who suggest that people move somewhere else to go to work. The question is: Where do people go? There is 10 per cent unemployment in Toronto now. And the Canadian Government has presided over the devastation of the Newfoundland fishery - therefore, we are depending on their help in making sure that we survive.

We need co-operation on all sides. We need it from the federal government, we need it from the provincial government, we need it from the municipal governments, we need it from the people who are out in the areas of the Province, and the people who are involved in the fifty-nine development associations. The Rural Development Corporation agreement will expire on March 31, 1994. In a letter that I received from the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council on November 8 - well, it was wrote on November 8 and I received it a few days after, he advised me, and all MHAs, that they have not been advised by the federal/provincial governments of a replacement agreement or any arrangement to provide continued funding for the Province's fifty-nine development associations, and the Rural Development Council. Nor have we, Mr. Mullett wrote, been advised by either level of government that they support the continued existence of development associations as community development organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I understand that over the past couple of weeks there have been meetings with the Premier and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology with regard to this, as late as last Friday, and the feeling received from the minister and the Premier by the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council was a positive feeling. I have to compliment the minister because at least he made them feel good when they left his office. At least there is optimism in the air and I am sure the minister understands the situation that rural Newfoundland is facing at this time and will do everything in his power. We must remember that we do not expect much even though many people outside Newfoundland think we do. Nobody settled here in Newfoundland because of the untold luxuries of the place. It is a hard place to live. It always has been and it always will be, but still it is the way we like it or we would not stay here, therefore, it is important that we do everything within our power to make sure that we do survive.

Many people have condemned over the past year or so the compensation package which a fair number of rural Newfoundlanders now receive. Some people call it the enjoyment of being on the compensation package. Well, Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to explain the impact that the compensation package is having on rural Newfoundland, because, like I said before, I have a fisherman who lives next door to me and the package now brings him in approximately $20,000 a year, but that man earned $30,000 in July two years ago fishing alone. All they get extra on the package they did not get before is the ten, twelve, or fifteen weeks when they got work in the summer. If we size things up and we ask who is enjoying the $800 million package I have a strong belief that if we sit down and figure it out it is not 100 per cent the fishermen and the plant workers of this Province.

There are schools throughout this Province, the unions, you name it, there are a lot of people who have their hand in the pie, or their hand in the pot, whatever you want to call it, Mr. Speaker, with regards to the $800 million. Now, that there is a possibility of this being cut, or changes being made to the compensation package, this will only hurt rural Newfoundland more, and if ever there was a need for strong representation from the local level such as rural development associations, I believe we need it now in our Province more than we ever did.

Back in the 1960s there were possibilities of growth in our Province such as the Upper Churchill and many other different possibilities where people could get work outside the fishery. As all these developments ran their time many people had to return to the fishery to try to make a living and it is sad to see that that way of life is slowly passing us by. I know in my own community, which I referred to several times, and will do so again, it has changed the way of life. It has totally changed our way of life. People are not the happy-go-lucky people they were. There is concern on their faces. The parents are concerned about their children's future. There is concern in the community as a whole that the future may not be there for them, and the question remains where do we go from here? There is a need, as far as I am concerned, for a new Rural Development Agreement in this Province.

As I mentioned before the Rural Development Agreement will expire on March 31 of next year, and the fundamentals that were brought forward in that old agreement, have no doubt improved the way of life in rural Newfoundland. There are, perhaps, parts of the agreement, and everybody with whom I have talked to, Mr. Speaker, agrees with the restructuring that needs to be done within the development movement in the Province, because there are a number of organizations and associations that are somewhere up around - the Premier answered my question last week - 160, I believe he said, and they need to be looked at and restructured, and I agree with that; I have no problem whatsoever with that, but I would ask the Premier and his Cabinet, when they are putting together their Terms of Reference or whatever the case may be for a new agreement for this Province, that they remember that development associations have been around much longer than anybody else. They have been around now going on thirty years and what they have given to Newfoundland and Labrador, is uncountable with regards to the economic and social development that they have brought this Province. They have been part of tough times and somewhat easier times I guess, in the 1980s as some people refer to them.

A new agreement has to have the support of all sides, and I am concerned with the fact, that as of now, there seems to be not so much support I should say or movement, I have to be careful about the words used, but there is not so much movement from the federal government on a new agreement. The latest correspondence that I have received from different parts of the Province told me that there is nothing really coming forward on a new agreement except for what the Province has initiated over the past couple of weeks, and again I applaud that. I urge the minister and the Premier to move as quickly as possible with regards to contacting the federal government and putting the Terms of Reference together, so that they can sign a new agreement before the end of March'94, and that the future of Newfoundland will not be held in the balance with regards to dollars, that we will have something that we can put forward and work on.

Several years ago, the development associations were asked to put a five-year plan in place, a plan that would foster tourism, agriculture, fisheries in some cases, the development of the Province and most of them had to put that in place in order to receive the administration funding. I am concerned that some of those associations now are only into about their second or third year of that five-year agreement, and they are now left with the door almost closed in their faces and I urge that we try our best to bring forward a new Terms of Reference as quickly as possible, so that out Province can continue on with the development that has been happening in rural Newfoundland for the betterment of not only rural Newfoundland, because if rural Newfoundland is prosperous, I am sure the cities such as St. John's, Mount Pearl, Corner Brook and all the other places will be prosperous because of rural Newfoundland.

Someone mentioned a few years ago about the parasites inside the overpass living sometimes off rural Newfoundland and that is to some extent true I know, but when you walk around the stores and the gas stations and in the malls here in St. John's, you see many people from out around home, out around the bay, and the bay keeps her all going and I just wanted to put it across that it is important that we continue to keep the rural areas of our Province alive because, only by them we will keep all Newfoundland and Labrador alive and well.

I will close off and let someone else have a few words now.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, that should send shivers down the spine of the Member for Naskaupi, I am sure.

I am very pleased to join this debate today, Mr. Speaker. When I first heard of this resolution verbalized in the House on Monday or Tuesday past, I sort of had visions of the hon. member hunched under a kerosene lamp somewhere reading the final chapters of Machiavelli's, The Prince, but as I read it and as I saw it in print, I realized that we on this side, if you look at it and you are honest about it, can only support the general thrust and tenor of this resolution. We will be supporting this resolution. We will be supporting it, Mr. Speaker, basically because of the hon. member's final comments. I don't know how many heard what he said. He said that he agrees with what the Premier said in response to a question here in the House on the 167 different organizations around the Province. He said he agrees that that ought to be restructured, that economic development ought to be refocused, and we ought to have a new vision, particularly for rural Newfoundland. I accept that and I thank him for it. In that regard we can look at the general thrust and principle and support this resolution fully.

I would also like to align our government's position with the hon. member's comments with respect to the rural development movement generally. He said some very kind things about the movement. It has been around for a long time and in fact it had its roots, I believe, on the Port au Port Peninsula as well as the Great Northern Peninsula.


MR. FUREY: It just so happens that my friend for Eagle River has Machiavelli's The Prince and Other Discourses. Not many pictures in it, but if the hon. member would like it, it is a pretty good read.


MR. FUREY: The blue book, yes. I want to tell my hon. friend that his comments about the rural development movement are very valid. When I think and read the history of the movement, particularly as it relates to the Northern Peninsula, and NARDA, that was in essence one of the first, if not the first, development association. It came about because of isolation, because of a lack of government help, because of a lack of initiative from St. John's, because people felt abandoned in many ways. It wasn't because government came with bags of money and said: here, you set up an organization and we will help you fund it and you can do all kinds of wonderful things.

There would not be, Mr. Speaker, proper negotiations for fishermen with unions with fish companies without the rural development association on the Northern Peninsula. There would not have been a bank, which we all take for granted, on the Northern Peninsula. CBC television and radio would never have been up there except for rural development associations. Power in Brig Bay, electric power that we take for granted, wouldn't be there, except for a rural development association.

So I can only align our government with the general tenor and comments of the hon. member in a positive way that the rural development movement, as a fundamental grass roots organized movement, has been a superb movement in this Province, and one that we can only endorse and support.

Let me just qualify our support for the resolution. Because it is important to qualify it. The member is quite right when he says that over the last number of years, particularly the last ten years, I would say, there has been a great proliferation of economic development structures all around the Province. They have been growing up out of crisis funds, railway closures, one-industry towns shutting down, whether it is Daniel's Harbour or Long Harbour, or Trepassey in the case of a fish plant. There have been crisis funds jumping up everywhere around the Province.

There also have been other organizations and economic instruments in the form of organizations around the Province. You have the Fisheries Alternative Program, FAP offices springing up everywhere. You have Community Futures springing up all around the Province. Springing out of those who have development centres and business development centres and women's enterprise bureaus, along with the rural development movement. Somewhere in the ball game somebody has to stand back and have a good global look at what has cropped up everywhere around the Province. There are, that we can uncover, 167 separate organizations that have sprung up, including the development organizations, all around the Province.

He would be interested in knowing that just the administrative dollars, the operating costs, to hire somebody to turn on the lights, to hook up a fax machine, in all of these organizations around the Province, you will see that the administrative costs alone are over $41 million. Before we ever get a cent into a project or into industry or into small business or into the development association to create economic opportunity there is $41 million being spent.

I named some of the agencies that are spending it. They are the rural development associations, the Fisheries Alternatives Program, the ACOA offices, ENL offices around the Province, and on it goes.


MR. FUREY: You agree. Mr. Speaker, there has been a lot of concern in the rural development movement that somehow the government is going to abandon the movement. I want to make it quite clear, as I made it quite clear in my letter to them of September 30, that nobody in this government or nobody in this Province is about to abandon the rural development movement.

When you ask in the final preamble of the recitals that follow in your resolution, you ask for support to negotiate a Rural Development Agreement and that funds continue into the Rural Development Associations. I can tell you that there will be an agreement from which the rural development movement will have access to funds but I can also tell you - and tell you this quite clearly - let us not be afraid of change. Let's not be afraid to step back and ask ourselves, just how has it been going for ten years? How have these organizations functioned?

Right on the Northern Peninsula, in my own area, we spend nearly - if I count the Member from the Strait of Belle Isle and myself - there are nearly thirty-five employees in something like sixteen different offices, getting sixteen separate administrative budgets, moving in sixteen separate directions. Now surely to God, we have to refocus that. Surely we have to get people to come together in the seventeen economic zones and surely there has to be a restructuring and a new vision given, Mr. Speaker, because I will tell you something, if it were working for the last ten years, if everything were working, there would be zero unemployment. There would be very, very, little unemployment in the rural areas, Mr. Speaker, if the agreements that we signed in the past and the structures that are there in the present, continued forward and were doing their job in the past, there would almost be no unemployment in the rural areas.

We recognize the great burden that has been placed on the shoulders of the rural development movement. We also recognize, Mr. Speaker, that their job has been thinned out with the plethora of organizations that have cropped up throughout the Province. It is time we refocused, it is time we circled the wagons, it is time we questioned what we have been doing and it is time to set it on a new economic vision for the future and that is what this government has set about to do.

Mr. Speaker, while we are doing this, there are four things I want to mention to the House, that I mentioned earlier today to some of my colleagues. The first is that we take this very seriously, so seriously that we have instituted and ordered that the current Rural Development Agreement which is set to expire March 31, 1994, be extended by one year. In order to do that the operating funds required would be $2.3 million. We have frozen project funding, with the exception of the craft development movement and we have rolled the project funding into administrative funding which will give you $1.9 million. The shortfall of $400,000, Mr. Speaker, the government will stand behind so that there is $2.3 million, so that there are fifty-nine organizations, so that they can administer their programs and carry on until March 31, 1995. That is number one.

Number two, Mr. Speaker, Cabinet has ordered that myself and the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, in his capacity as the minister responsible for jobs and employment in the Province, meet with our counterparts in Ottawa. They would be Mr. Axworthy, the Minister of Human Resources currently governing manpower and employment and Mr. Dingwall, who handles all of the cooperation agreements under the umbrella of ACOA. Myself and the minister have sought that meeting and we expect to get it in the very near future.

We are going to ask the federal government, in partnership with the Province, to set up a federal/provincial task force to look at the great explosion and proliferation of all of the agencies that have come about over the last ten years. To take a very serious look over a six month period to see - how can all of these organizations fit into a new agreement which can fit into what the people have asked us to do in the seventeen economic zones, to create these zones and make them cogent, tight and focused? How can we do that? We are not going to do it unilaterally and they are not going to do it unilaterally. So the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and I will meet with our federal counterparts and we will ask to set up this federal/provincial task force to look at all of these agencies that are sweeping across the Province spending huge sums of money just in administration. We will ask that that task force also have representation from the rural development movement and the Federation of Municipalities, and the ACOA people and human resources people, and the ENL people in the Province, and people from my own department.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot see, for the life of me, why the federal government would not acknowledge and accept that very sensible recommendation from both these very sensible ministers. I think that at the end of the day we will see a reshaped, restructured, focused opportunity for small business, for community development, right in the regions, because the way we are going, it is not working. It is just not working, and if you do not believe me, just look at some of the areas that have been really hit hard - that have major funds.

The answer is not to dump bags of cash into Trepassey. The answer is not to dump a railway fund into Port aux Basques. The answer is not to throw bags of cash, because if that were the answer, with all the cash that has rained in here in the last two years, there ought to be no unemployment - if that were the only answer.

I think what we have to do, inside these seventeen zones, is get the people to form themselves into business, municipal, economic development, rural development partnerships, and form boards in these zones where they create their own strategic plans, where they look at the possibilities around them in their own zones, and they come back into that general agreement and draw out the necessary funding to kick-start their own plans. I think that is eminently sensible, because right now it is helter-skelter, a shotgun approach, and it is bags of cash flying everywhere, in all directions. It is not working.

So I tell my hon. friend from St. Mary's - The Capes, we support the general thrust of this resolution. There will be an agreement. It may not take the same form as the status quo, but we cannot be stuck in the status quo. The status quo may have worked in the past; it may work slightly into the future, but there is rapid change happening. Technology is moving at a blistering pace. Our electronic highway around rural Newfoundland shows that, as businesses link up to it and start creating opportunities for themselves. Do not be afraid of change. Rise to the challenge. That is what our document is all about - change and challenge.

Mr. Speaker, I think I have probably said enough. The government stands full square behind the rural development movement. We see them as a very sound opportunity to create economic development, but you just cannot sign an agreement and say: There is your money; everybody run as they are going. Go chase make-work projects when they come out here, or job creation dollars there, or section 22 there. We have to build new partnerships. That is what a new agreement should reflect. It should reflect the partnership at the grass roots level so that rural development is not going in isolation this way, Community Futures going in isolation that way, the FAP offices going this way, business development banks going that way, ENL going north, ACOA going south, Community Futures all over the place.

Look, on the Northern Peninsula, which we represent, just that little area, did you know that there are three - on the Northern Peninsula, where there are 28,000 people - there are three full-time Community Futures organizations - three. Springing out of those there are three full-time business development centres.

Now, for the love of God Almighty, if we cannot get organizations to start talking to each other, and co-operating, how dare us even sign what would be called a `co-operation agreement'.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FUREY: - if we cannot agree to co-operate.

So, Mr. Speaker, I would see, early in the new year, this federal-provincial task force up and running, pending the agreement of the federal government. I would see their mandate to go out, and to dialogue and debate, and make public, and listen to the public, on how the economic zones - the seventeen zones - ought to appear. What should they look like? What ought to be their mandate? What should be their focus? How can we collapse all these organizations down into a more focused, rational, economic vision? And, Mr. Speaker, I would see both orders of government supplying the funding under a newly restructured, a newly enlivened, agreement which will allow the rural development movement to participate 100 per cent.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. CAREEN: It was nice to hear the minister give support for the Rural Development Agreement for which I have total loyalty. I spring from rural development - that is not the proper word here, I have sprung from rural development. It is not perfect. It originated in areas of crisis, isolated crisis, which people took unto themselves because originally in our communities there were one, two, or three people, who spoke for the community.

MR. DUMARESQUE: You are wrong there.

MR. CAREEN: Oh, I hear him again, the Member for Eagle River with his waterproof voice. Nobody seems to drown him out. The rural development movement cut short forever one, two, or three people speaking for communities and speaking for areas - made up of individuals who were concerned with their towns and with their regions, and they came together and started to break down barriers. In a moment I will go back to the one that originated in Placentia. It originated in the late 60s with the downturn of the base and the inconceived plan of the Liberal government to resettle the people of Placentia Bay, it's islands, into growth centres.

The first few years of the development associations were spent - because they grew out of a task force, a task force that was put in place by one of the people opposite, the present Minister of Fisheries, who had been the PC Member for St. John's West at the time. The Placentia area development association grew out of the task force and while it was in being for three years it became fully incorporated in 1972. They knew that the Americans still remained in Argentia and held a lease, a ninety-nine year lease on the base properties, so they proceeded to put in a fishery infrastructure. It took them years.

That should have been a reason to have the places done first but it took the volunteers to start putting stuff in place. The associations have done yeoman work across the island. The women have shown themselves to be equally as good or better than men in some cases, but it gave them room to move. We speak of voluntarism ladies and gentlemen. Voluntarism is a due. As someone said we pay for being allowed to exist upon this planet. Development associations take voluntarism to a height. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians working together, meeting together, and learning from each other, breaking down regional area rivalries and pursuing ideas they have on social and economic development. There in to people development. People development is very important, products are great, but we have to develop people as well.

The original development associations were not kindly adhered to by government because they were a new entity and while the minister just a few minutes ago said we should not be afraid of change, originally governments thirty years ago were really afraid of change because of this new movement coming out of certain areas of this island who were concerned that their voices were not being heard. It is too bad that over the years development associations with all their good schemes and ideas were regulated for decades by bureaucrats, some well intentioned, some government people, either side of the political spectrum. They were given lip-service but they were only allowed so much say, ladies and gentlemen, they were treated like youngsters. They were allowed to do stuff, you were allowed to go outside, but only if you had your mittens pinned to your sleeves. That was not good enough. There were some of them out there who wouldn't roll over and take their mittens pinned to their sleeves, some men like the man opposite from Port au Port, or the man here from the Cape shore, or others.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: I never took backwater from any man. Anyway, the thing is they were regulated, and sometimes tried to be suffocated. You can be suffocated by good intentions as well.

The development associations will continue, I'm sure of it. The minister said there will be an agreement. They will talk about downsizing. There will be downsizing, because all indications say there is downsizing. Whether it is going to be a bunch of them wrapped up into seventeen economic bundles, who knows, but it is coming. You can almost smell it in the air. The development associations will continue because in areas where there is the money that they thought might be forthcoming mightn't come, they will continue in a struggle themselves. Money sometimes does not keep people quiet. Lack of money allows them to speak louder and clearer.

Ladies and gentlemen, the rural development movement is special to this Province. It was here before all others, and sure they have shared their share of jurisdiction with others. I have been parts of groups and others around. We took advantage of the Community Futures movement to be able to attract new entities into our regions. Some say that we were going to be gobbled up by Community Futures. Our attitude was that if you can allow yourself to be gobbled up, probably you deserve it. But development associations can stand on their own hind legs and they have done so for thirty years. I'm confident in those people, of all walks, political stripes, different coves, nooks and crannies, of this Province of ours.

I am glad to have the opportunity to speak from a crowd that have accommodated me too, Sir, because I was one of those people who was lucky enough to draw a wage from the development associations. I also put in many days, weeks, and months over and above what you get paid for. I was a kin to it and I'm still a loyal person with regards to the development associations. I know their struggles. I have been with them.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have been through many crises in this Province. Since the first European put his ugly boot on our Island we have been subject to change. For a century or so we weren't allowed to settle here. We were not allowed to settle on this Island until 1749. Probably men like the Island Cove man, a friend of mine, and people - because we were told around that time, 1739, that there were 3,000 illegal European settlers between Cape Bonavista and Cape St. Mary's. So people did struggle to settle this Island. We have a legacy to continue, we have an obligation to carry on and to pass on, and that is the reason I believe - because the development associations are not fraternal organizations. There is no secret handshake, there is no special card. There is a thing here, this is our home, and this is where we chose to stay, and we chose to try to make it bigger and better.

We are also in the rural development association, the one organization that we have taken to task, it is better for us to make our own mistakes than have someone in any government do it for us. Whoever that government is, or whoever those bureaucrats are, well-intentioned though some of them might be.

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. CAREEN: Oh, he is at it again is he? Someone told me that the Member for Eagle River does not listen to his conscience because he never talks to total strangers. Ladies and gentlemen, we are going through a crisis here like we never did before; and it is ironic and strange that the thoughts of downsizing and pulverizing into a nice little package - rural development associations. They should be as the old term, high, wide and handsome and that is the way I look at them. I mean, whether you agree with them or you don't, they are an entity unto themselves because they are the people of this Province.

The crisis that we are facing now, we have never faced before in our history. We are losing our people more steadily than ever. People who are used to slipping their lines, going to work wherever, are looking out through the windows, trying to pass the time of day, trying to do something else; well there are all kinds of stuff out there to be done and this crisis will not go away without the help of every single one of us; and I was glad to hear the words of the minister earlier today. I am glad to be able to be here, because on other occasions we were on the outside trying to get someone else in to speak to past ministers over a period of years and they were of all political stripes, federal and provincial.

On this occasion, Mr. Minister, I have no political alliances when it comes to helping out rural development, or all political alliances trying to get something for them. Ladies and gentlemen, the development associations too, have become speed bumps for governments.

AN HON. MEMBER: Become what?

MR. CAREEN: Speed bumps, for all of them. I mean, we are closer to on the ground delivering packages for governments and we have, because you live close, you live near John or Mary or Tom or Hannah or whoever need their stamps, they need work and we have fallen into a trap because having a conscience and having a heart, and knowing what the other poor devils are going through, you would haul every stop out to be able to get them on a certain type of package so they can qualify for UIC. In addition, you are trying to use short-term monies to get long-term plans or whatever, but probably in the new agreement we might look at something a bit different.

Development associations, instead of carrying on with the new agreement in the same amount of monies, probably there should be an extra incentive in there for development associations. Probably, in the word of people development being one side and a person hired to liaison with other peoples of this Province and in the areas where they live themselves and following the criteria that is set down and agreed upon, probably there could be a second component. A job creation division.

A job creation division of long-term and short-term work that one would not take away from the other. The development associations, the doors are open and they have expressed the winds of change themselves and they are not stagnant, but they want to be helped and they want to be encouraged but they do not need to be patronized by any of us. Ladies and gentlemen, they are not razzle-dazzle associations, but ordinary Joes and Joans of this Province. They have not, many of them, over the years, thirty years, had the opportunity to join overseas junkets. They have heard and read and seen of others who have gone overseas to explore stuff for rural developments, and I think they should have the opportunity to see the stuff up front themselves.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am shortly going to finish up but I have to quote from a person called Douglas Dunne, in the People's Choice From Extension Division of Virginia Polytech: Without local, meaningful participation by citizens, actions seldom take place except where government is willing to bear the full burden of such action. Experience has shown that government initiative is most prone to criticism and often results in ill feeling within the community. Decisions on what is to be done, how to do it and the conditions under which it will be done, require a partnership between local people and governments.

I am trusting that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, and his colleague, will open the agreement up so that the best of what the associations have to offer can be heard so they can put it on to their federal counterparts, because as good intentioned as they are, the federal ministers, the most we ever had to deal with, do not have to live in this Province. This is not their home; this is ours, and anything I can do in my way, any small bit, any time, any place, I am only a phone call away. That is the furthest I will ever be.

I thank the minister for his statements. I thank my colleague from St. Mary's - The Capes for coming up with the idea, so I can get up here and speak about something that I truly support and believe in.

I will end my words by saying: People management is important, and in the process we cannot forget the people development of this Province, because in the development of our people it will make it better for all of us. Lots of times we stand to question, and sometimes you might be able to stand and be able to answer, but we do have to answer to ourselves, and lots of times we have to answer to the people who we are responsible for.

Thank you kindly.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to rise in this debate this afternoon. As most of you would be aware, I am sure, if not prior to my arrival here, certainly in the short time that I have been here, and on the few occasions I have had the opportunity to speak in this House, I have taken great pride in referencing the fact that much of my own involvement in community development has been directly with rural development associations, both locally and provincially.

I would like to state once again, and have the record record and note, that I have been involved for about twenty years in community development, and about seventeen years directly involved with the Port au Port Economic Development Association, which the minister mentioned earlier today was one of the earliest development associations in this Province.

I am also very proud to have served for five years as President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council, the umbrella body of all the development associations in the Province.

So I think in that capacity I certainly do have an understanding as to the concerns of the rural development movement in this Province, and I do have some knowledge from whence they have come, or `from whence they have sprung', to quote my hon. friend across the floor. Also, I think, I do have some sense as to where they expect and would like to go in the years ahead.

As the previous speakers have pointed out, the rural development movement in this Province has now been around for some thirty years, and I think it is well to note, and keep in mind, that this movement is, in many ways, unique. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in this country, and I think it is something that we should well remember, that this is a grass roots movement, something that grew up in the rural areas of this Province, in the earliest instances in response to immediate economic crises, as the hon. Member for Placentia relates to the development of his own association in Placentia, and similarly in Port au Port.

The Port au Port Economic Development Association first came about in response to the imminent closure of the base at Stephenville, when some of the local people got together and tried to devise ways to ensure that there would be a future for that area after the closure of the base which, at that time, was the cornerstone of the economy of the whole of the Stephenville - Port au Port - Bay St. George area. Indeed it is well to note, that association initially did include the Town of Stephenville and the whole of the present District of Port au Port.

The Port au Port Economic Development Association has now been around for about twenty-eight or twenty-nine of those thirty years and indeed is one of the oldest in the Province. The greatest catalyst, bar none, for the development of these associations in the Province was, as my hon. friend pointed out, the resettlement program. If you look at the history of the development associations, where they really got their impetus and where they really took off was back when many communities felt threatened by resettlement and the prospects of having to leave their areas. I could, if time permitted it, speak at great lengths and with great passion on that particular project. While I was not directly involved - most people feel that the resettlement in this Province is something that dates from the sixties. There was indeed a much earlier program going back to the thirties under the Commission of Government, when at that time people from Fortune Bay and Placentia Bay were relocated to the West Coast of the Province. I had the opportunity to experience this first hand since my parents were among the group that resettled from a tiny place in Fortune Bay.

I guess to have a real sense as to how deep the roots of people in this Province run, my mother is now ninety-six years old and is still living, she moved out to the West Coast back in the thirties and she still refers to that tiny little settlement in Fortune Bay where no one lives - no one has lived there now for twenty years - she still refers to that as down home. That is something that has always been with me and certainly gives me a strong sense of the kind of feeling that people have for their communities here in this Province, the kind of identity that they have with their roots and the kind of great pride that they take in where they come from. I think that is something to be admired and something to be preserved.

One of the interesting things as well, that has been alluded to here this afternoon, is that as the movement itself and the earliest development associations did grow up spontaneously, they did not grow up in response to government funding that was made available and that was offered to encourage people to get out and organize. As a matter of fact, development associations existed for a number of years before any government, either level of government, made any offer to provide funding. Indeed, if you were to talk to any of these associations today many of them would say to you that perhaps the biggest mistake they ever made was to accept funding from government, because the first day that they made the decision to accept funding, then automatically they began to develop that dependency. So in time the strength that they had that kept them going early on, began to disappear and gradually they saw themselves as becoming more and more dependent on government and government funding to remain in existence.

The other thing that usually strikes me whenever I have occasion to speak at functions dealing with the Rural Development Movement is the lack of knowledge in many quarters with regards to the development associations, the length of time that they have been around and what indeed they have contributed to the overall development in this Province. I have always been amazed, especially in dealing with the government bureaucracy, at the number of people who express a complete lack of knowledge with regards to the development associations and even indeed beyond that - really lack any kind of sensitivity as to how important these development associations have been to rural Newfoundland over the last number of years.

I guess that credibility crisis, if you may, is something that has plagued the rural development movement for some time. Indeed going back to 1986 when the Royal Commission Report, Building on our Strength - the report on Royal Commission of Employment and Unemployment - one of the things I feel that this document did do - and I was President of the council when this document was released - was, I felt at the time, did lend some creditability to the movement in this Province. There is a whole section in this report that references the rural development movements, the associations and their importance to the overall development in the Province. There are many things that one could quote from that, but one of the things I would just like to quote from the section dealing with community and regional development. I quote as follows:

If the Province as a whole is to achieve economic development and employment enhancement its constituent regions must be strengthened and given greater autonomy in the developmental process.

That whole chapter very well summarizes and highlights the importance of the rural development associations and the movement generally to the development of rural Newfoundland.

Just to underline the credibility crisis, as I referred to it - as a matter of fact the background paper that was produced for the royal commission report was entitled, Rural Development in Newfoundland: A Legitimation Crisis. So obviously the commissioners at the time and the people that they had researching did recognize and in fact did uncover and substantiate the fact that throughout the Province there was a lack of knowledge as to the type of work that was being done by the development associations and of the importance of the role that these development associations were playing on a daily basis in rural Newfoundland.

The greatest and most common criticism that I have over the years heard of the rural development associations - and this was true back in the days when I served at the provincial level, and I still hear it today - is that the rural development associations in this Province are primarily the delivery agents of make-work projects. I really feel that this is an unjust criticism. Development associations basically have relied heavily on make-work projects primarily because there have not been a lot of development funds available to them. I submit to you that if you were to look back and study the kind of innovative ways in which development associations took government funds - which, let us not lose sight of the fact, were designed and earmarked primarily to create employment. Really, at the times these programs were being announced their primary objective was to create jobs, bring down the unemployment rolls.

Basically, what development associations did, showing a little ingenuity, was they were able to take this money and use it towards developing infrastructure which could enhance the long-term development of rural Newfoundland. That is always overlooked. People just focus, the media in particular, on the short-term, the fact that the amount of money was spent to create these short-term jobs. Really, no mention is made of the fact that after these projects were completed there were facilities that were left in place that enhanced the ability of people in the area and in their communities to have long-term employment.

I can reference specifically in my own District of Port au Port, the fish plant. The fish plant at Port au Port, the main section of the building, was constructed by the development association using what we refer to as make-work projects. Once the building was completed, as was the practice and the policy of the government of the day, this facility was then turned over to the provincial Department of Fisheries which administered and maintained the facility.

I submit to you that if the development association did not exist at that time and if they were not able to avail of the existing resources that were there, then this is one instance where a facility that has over the years served the community well would perhaps have never been there. Because I doubt very much the government of the day would have been able to find the resources necessary to provide that particular facility.

In addition to the fact that development associations have shown ingenuity in being able to take these monies and use them to create infrastructure enhancing long-term development, the other question that we have to beg is that in any of these make-work projects, in the absence of organizations like the development associations to deliver these programs, what would government do? Would government then have to go out and create for themselves a separate level of bureaucracy to deliver these programs?

A recent case in point is our own EERP program, which was announced some time ago. From my understanding, I know in my own district, a fair amount of these funds were delivered and administered by development associations, and the fact that these development associations exist, I can certainly speak for myself as a member of this House, is of great assistance to me, because I know the money is well spent and I know that they operate from a long-term plan, and when that money is spent it will be built into their long-term goals and objectives.

Development associations, over the years, have been involved in many and varied developments - many things, I suggest to this hon. House, that perhaps would never have been undertaken if development associations were not there. I think particularly of areas like aquaculture. We have examples of development associations being involved in aquacultural activities involving salmon, trout, mussels and scallops.

Again, speaking from my own experience in the District of Port au Port, the scallop project there has been ongoing for some ten years, being promoted and run by a group of volunteers, and now they have gotten to the stage where the development association is in the process of divesting themselves.

There are thirteen aquaculturalists - fishermen who have become trained as aquaculturalists. They have undergone some training in business management. They have recently formed themselves into a co-op, and are now ready to assume full ownership and control of this development, and to continue it on into a viable commercial enterprise. Mr. Speaker and hon. members of this House, I suggest to you that this is an example of the type of thing that development associations have done, and can continue to do, for this Province.

It is very easy, with any organization, for us to find examples that are less than perfect. The simplest thing in the world is to go out and find examples of things that do not work. I admit - I would be the first to admit - not all associations may be even measuring up. Maybe there is room for improvement, but in recognizing that let us not lose sight of the fact that we have so many development associations, that we have so many dedicated individuals, who give freely of their time to go to meetings, to work and lobby on behalf of the people of their district and, as a result we, in this House, and indeed the whole of this Province, have been the beneficiaries of the long and hard work of these many thousands of volunteers who over the past thirty years have laboured throughout this Province, and indeed the record, I am sure, would suggest that very seldom, if ever, had they been recognized for the contribution they had made to development in this Province.

I think I would be remiss certainly this evening, standing in this hon. House, if I did not reference that fact and, as one who has been directly involved for a number of years, to make sure that the record does indeed indicate that these associations have performed a very valuable service to the people of the different areas of this Province.

Other things that development associations have been involved in, I mentioned aquaculture. Production of peat moss - again a whole new industry of which we are just on the verge. Tourism, agriculture, forestry - here in particular I think of tree nurseries and Silviculture.

One other area that maybe we should mention as well, and we should recognize, leadership development. If you look at the development associations over the years, and if I can just mention the fact that two of the hon. members opposite have come to this House directly from the rural development movement, and over the years many other hon. members of this House have had the opportunity of gaining and weaning many of their skills because of their involvement in rural development.

Let us never underestimate the kind of contribution that has made; that we have, through the rural development movement, provided a forum for leadership development in this Province. I suggest that in the absence of these development associations it is questionable that this leadership would, in fact, have developed.

The way in which development associations have operated is somewhat unique in that their mandate is to experiment with new ideas, to go where no man has gone before, if you will, but the idea being to work with these ideas, to demonstrate that they have merit, and then to turn it back over to the private sector for further development and implementation. I see by the note from the Speaker that I am invited to - I am supposed to be winding down.

I would like to reference, for a few minutes, the concern that has been raised in terms of the overlap with regard to agencies that are now involved in economic development in this Province; and we can't deny this.

In preparing my notes for this afternoon, I was looking at a recent article in this regard. Looking at the provincial and federal, on the provincial side they list the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology, then coming down, Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, locally five regional offices, and seventeen economic zones; on the federal side, industry, science and technology Canada, and under that they have ACOA, under ACOA one Atlantic regional board, seven FAP regions, under CEIC seventeen community futures, four to five local labour force development boards, and then coming from all of this, fifty-nine regional development associations, some 295 incorporated municipalities, and some 396 unincorporated communities. If you look at the map, Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt you cannot but be struck by the fact that there seems to be just one layer on top of the other of bureaucracy, all purporting to deliver economic development to the rural areas of this Province. I think we have to recognize that there is, indeed, a need to consolidate, to revise, and to fine-tune the operation so that at a time when we do have limited resources, this Province is able to avail of the maximum benefit of what limited resources we do have available.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.


MR. SMITH: By leave? Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, hon. members.

If I could, just for a minute, reference the Strategic Economic Plan, which is the most recent document we have dealing with economic development in this Province. In the section referring to economic zones and regions - and this is something that I guess all of us are somewhat concerned about; I do know that the rural development associations, in particular, are concerned as to what the future holds for them within these newly-proposed economic regions. If I could quote from this document, it says, `The division will provide for better co-ordination and integration of economic planning and development activities, including the provision of the infrastructure and services that are needed. More specifically, the creation of these economic zones will facilitate or allow the development of economic plans by the people in each zone, communities within each economic zone, to undertake joint initiatives which will benefit the whole zone; government to strengthen the major centres in each zone to ensure that they have the necessary infrastructure and services to attract new investment and build a strong economic base; the economic zones to work more effectively with the five regional offices of Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure that each zone's economic plan is considered in the policy and program directions being pursued by ENL and other government agencies; the Province to promote more effectively the economic opportunities and strengths of each zone and region, and more regionalization of government administration.'

I do not see within these economic zones that anywhere do we sound the death knell of the rural development associations in this Province. Basically, as the minister has mentioned earlier today, and as the hon. members opposite recognize, what it does call for is that I think, in the face of these changing times, that there is a need for development associations to redefine their roles, to carve out their niche, if you will. And if I could just quote one other passage from that, dealing with a co-operative approach, again coming from the Strategic Economic Plan:

`The people of Newfoundland and Labrador have indicated that they believe all orders of government have a responsibility to contribute to economic development and that partnership among the federal, provincial and municipal governments is essential to future economic growth. It is counterproductive for one order of government to address economic problems in isolation from the others. There has to be a full co-operative effort, involving all orders of government, as well as the private sector and others with particular interest.'

I have no difficulty, Mr. Speaker, in foreseeing a continued and important role for development associations in this Province. I have complete confidence in the ability of the Rural Development Associations to rise to this challenge for change, and our ability to co-operate as laid out in the Strategic Economic Plan. I think we all recognize it is absolutely essential if we are to survive and succeed, first of all, as a community, secondly, as a region, and ultimately, as a Province.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Before recognizing the hon. the Member for Humber Valley, the Chair would like to welcome to the gallery on behalf of all members, the First Torbay Scouts and their Leaders, John Wheeler, Brian Rice and Marion Sharron, of St. John's East Extern.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: Usually, on Private Members' Day, the third speaker, especially from our side of the House, doesn't usually get a chance to get his full twenty minutes in, but the way Question Period went today, and with no Ministerial Statements and so on, it gives me an opportunity to have a full twenty minutes, and I must say, to speak for twenty minutes on a subject such as this, I consider a real privilege.

Having heard the previous speakers so far today - my colleague who introduced the resolution, and especially the last speaker from the government side, who made reference to the fact that his mother was ninety-six years old right now, and she still refers to her home as `down the bay', is it? - or down Fortune, I think he said, back home.

There is a bit of irony, I suppose, in the fact that I am from an area -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: - I hear it, I have two development associations in my district, the White Bay South Development Association and the Humber Valley Development Association. Now, down in the White Bay area of my district, I have heard, time and time again, references made somewhat along the lines of those the hon. the Member for Port au Port just made pertaining to his mother, and people who came from Harbour Deep, up to Jackson's Arm, or from Sops Island into Jackson's Arm - or Sops Arm - Pollards Point, always make references to the resettlement program and so on at that time. But up in the other part of my district - it is funny how the Rural Development movement works. And the reason I mentioned it, is because down in that area I hear those particular comments, but in up in my area, up in the Deer Lake - Cormack - Howley area, Reidville, is a different situation altogether.

If you ask most of them, they don't know anything about it except for references made to it by someone else. So the Rural Development movement - the intent of the Rural Development movement, originally, is really synonymous with the bottom part of White Bay and not so much with the Deer Lake area, and I was trying to draw an analogy between the two, and what the member had said.

He also made reference to the resettlement program. In the submission made by the Rural Development Council, that they call Community Development in Newfoundland and Labrador, on the first page - and I quote two of the headings, Mr. Speaker: Is There Anything Left To Do That We Haven't Already Tried? and secondly, It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times.

In that submission, they stated that the resettlement program, perhaps more than any other single factor, helped to coalesce the forces on both sides of the question, and in the case of rural Newfoundland, led directly to the birth of the Rural Development movement.

Now, that was out of necessity, no question, based on some of the things that were happening at that time and based on the resettlement program. Now, Mr. Speaker, I have in my district, as I said, in the White Bay area, a development association that encompasses the fishery, tourism, forestry.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Well, they just got, I suppose, mainly into tourism right now. Because the fishery in the White Bay area now, all of a sudden, is after gaining some life. Years ago, when that particular organization started, they were involved primarily in the fishery aspect of it. Only for that association in the White Bay area, there would not have been much employment, especially when you go back ten, twelve, fifteen years ago.

Mr. Speaker, that movement has grown progressively over the last number of years, and I have concerns, as do members who have spoken, with some of the possible changes to that particular movement. Up in my area, I had the Humber Valley Development Association, responsible for - really, they take in forestry, agriculture, tourism - they are involved in pretty well everything, agriculture, especially, in that particular area. If anybody watched television - Here and Now, the Land and Sea show Monday night, they would have seen one of the things that the development association in Humber Valley should be proud of. Because it wasn't the farmers, really, who started it - it was the development association in conjunction with the farmers that started the Humber Valley Strawberry Festival. The Minister of ITT knows full well how the Strawberry Festival in that particular area of the Province benefits the whole area economically and socially. The money that it brings in through tourism, the money spent there during the year getting it ready - and as I said, anybody who watched that show the other night can see what it has done to spawn and nourish and help small businesses grow in the area. I could watch, I suppose, with some sense of satisfaction in knowing that I was involved over the years as a councillor in Cormack, I suppose, and in supporting the Rural Development movement in that area, out of which grew some very good and important businesses in the Humber Valley district.

I hear, as the Member for Port au Port has stated already, people around the Province, people in my own district, ask: What did Rural Development do? What are they doing? They are not doing anything. I have to defend them. As in any other organization, we have churches - we have an R.C. church, we have good R.C. people, we have bad R.C. people; in the Pentecostal movement, you have good and bad; you have good politicians and bad politicians. Everything we go into today, you have good and bad. But we should not, as stated in this particular submission, throw out the babe with the bath water.

We should look at the positive aspects of the Rural Development movement, we should look at some of their history and what they have done over the years. I mentioned the Strawberry Festival in Humber Valley district - a great success. Not only did it help the whole area as it pertains to tourism, to agriculture, to social and economic development - there was also the spin-off, the direct and indirect spin-off from such a movement. For instance, that Strawberry Festival every year - what did it do since it started? It enhanced the growth of agriculture in the area, especially as it pertained to strawberry production. Some of the biggest - if I am not mistaken now, I think, about 80 per cent or 85 per cent of the strawberry production on the Island is in the District of Humber Valley. Now, Mr. Speaker, the potential for that alone is very significant. Members opposite are struggling every day, wondering where to create jobs and wondering what to do. This is an area where it can and should be done.

What is happening, Mr. Speaker, is this: farmers were busy growing and never spent enough time marketing. So, in steps, the Development Association, along with the farmers, finally created the Strawberry Festival where people are coming in - they have U-picks, where people can come in and pick their own berries. The festival goes on for eight or ten days - a very, very successful organization. The spin-off from that - the Development Association last summer had, I think, eighty-five students hired. In the whole District of Humber Valley, eighty-five students - in Howley, Reidville, Steady Brook, Cormack and Deer Lake. That is very, very significant. And although it was CEIC funding, for students it was a must, for students it was a godsend, allowing them to go back to university in the fall to continue their studies - not only that, it was a learning experience. We forget what people learn by getting involved in those organizations. We forget what people remember and take when they do get out of university, like young people and how it can help them when they want to start a new business or if they want to further their careers.

Another example is the abattoir in Cormack which was started by the development association. Now it has taken over, as the hon. member mentioned, the fish plant - I just forget the other thing - in the District of Port au Port, about to be turned over to private enterprise. That has just been turned over to private enterprise. Did anybody watch the show the other night - the young lad, Boyd Gillingham, came back from Ontario after working for Canada Packers for sixteen years, and started a sausage business, took it over and started making sausage. He is selling that sausage all around the Island today, to Dominion, to Sobey's, year-round, twelve months, giving all kinds of steady employment - Countryside Abattoir, it is called.

The minister responsible for Tourism and Culture - talking about spin-off. Outfitters in the Province - he is doing almost all the cutting now for the outfitters in that particular area. You can go down to the airport any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and all the flights are packed, filled with meat, meat cut and packaged, ready to go back to the United States or Europe, all done by this local entrepreneur. And it was spawned by the development association.

They helped the Cormack Pasture Committee, helped with the pastures on the West Coast, they helped in the forestry industry with regards to silviculture and they helped organize and sponsor the golf course. The Upper Humber Valley golf course in Deer Lake was started the year before last. Last year, they ran into some problems with regard to weather, getting the seeding down; next summer, nine holes will be open there. That was sponsored by the development association in that particular area with funding from ACOA, with some funding from Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador, along with funding and help from the development association. Now, we have another industry, as far as I am concerned, because the golf course is situated next to the airport in Deer Lake and is going to be a big attraction starting next summer and it is going to enhance the whole tourism industry on the West Coast of the Province.

They are also involved in a museum. The Member for Port au Port mentioned that there is no trouble to remember the bad things that people and organizations do. Everything I have said so far, Mr. Speaker, about the development association, has been positive. They have a museum started there now, what they call a heritage museum. If someone passes along the Trans-Canada in Deer Lake today can see the new building going up, all log construction. They are still at it there now, and it is going to be a beautiful building come next spring, so people from around the Province can come in and view the Heritage Museum in the District of Humber Valley.

I suppose I could say it is going to be a theme museum, really, because it is going to deal primarily with the logging industry and what really constituted why that particular area of the Province was developed in the first place, because of the logging industry. The Fishers and so on came up the Humber River and went up and logged the area for years, and some of the older people from around the area got together with the development association and now we have a brand new building started there in the Deer Lake area.

Another thing they are looking at is an insectarium. There is neither one in the Province. I do not think there is one east of Montreal. That is in the works now, for a building to go next year, an insectarium for that area, and it is going to be a great tourist attraction. The one they put in Montreal around four years ago, the first year of operation took in $6 million in revenues just from paying customers on the door. The plans and everything are drawn up for it now and, hopefully, if it goes through and passes, that particular building will be put up and that will really, really enhance the whole area.

Aquaculture - remember I mentioned aquaculture. We have an aquaculture Arctic Char. A young fellow there has an Arctic Char operation started in Grand Lake. So far it has been fairly successful and with another little bit of help he can continue to make it a real success.

We have salmon enhancement on North Brook. We have salmon enhancement in the Hughes Brook area - all spawned and nourished and helped to grow by a development association. Now granted, like everything else, an association is only as good as the people involved in it.

The Minister responsible for Industry, Trade and Technology mentioned the fact that we had 167 organizations in the Province, and there is going to come a day when that has to change. I agree. I agree with him wholeheartedly, but I would go along again with the Member for Port au Port in saying this: Be very, very careful not to jeopardize something that has already proven to be a success in this Province. Like I said: Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. We have to be very careful.

We have to have changes. The rural development movement knows and realizes that there have to be changes, but we must be very, very careful. All of those organizations - some of them have different intents. Some of them have different reasons for existing. ACOA does not do the same thing as a development association. FAP I do not agree with. As far as I am concerned, FAP should still be with ACOA, still under ACOA. Never mind another organization; that is ludicrous. It does the same thing. The only difference is that the only people eligible for funding under it, you have to be from an area affected by the fishery, or else someone who has come from an area affected by the fishery can come to St. John's, or Deer Lake, or Port au Port, and they can get funding under the FAP program.

ACOA, as we know, and Enterprise Newfoundland, are different. Now Enterprise Newfoundland, I do not know if - the minister is not here now - but they used to have some sort of a stacking process in conjunction with ACOA where small businesses, when they go in, could use the same application to access funding through Enterprise Newfoundland - use the same application for ACOA. Now there have to be changes.

Community Futures is another one that came into being just a few short years ago. What did we need Community Futures for when we could have funnelled it through another program? All kinds of money being spent - $42 million spent on organizations. If that was put into job creation even, whether it be short-term, or whether it be long-term, it would benefit the people of the Province a lot better than what is being done with it today.

The minister made reference to a couple of suggestions and recommendations that he is going to put in place. He mentioned the fact that they are going to try to extend the agreement to the end of 1995. The minister has said he is going to extend the agreement. He has not got it yet, but he should have no trouble getting it. The minister mentioned that fact, but he did not mention where it possibly came from, because under the document, Community Development in Newfoundland and Labrador, submission to the provincial and federal government September 7, 1993, that is one of the recommendations submitted by the rural development council. They asked for it to be done, in recommendations, that all categories be frozen and diverted to support the continued administration of the various client groups, and I agree with the minister. I agree wholeheartedly and I have to give him a pat on the back for accepting that particular recommendation, because at least it extends the agreement. They are guaranteeing it for another year, but not only that, he also said in the second part of it that he was going to have all those organizations studied.

I do not know what he is going to put in place, whether it is a commission or otherwise based on the recommendations, or a task force, and rightly so. I just stated before the minister came in it is a bloody waste of money, $42 million into organizations. If that were put into job creation, whether short-term or long-term, over the past few years we would have been a lot better off for it.

He mentioned the Northern Peninsula, well, I have the same thing up my way when we are talking about all those organizations. He also mentioned the fact that the Government guarantees that there will be an agreement. You can correct me if I am wrong. He stated categorically that there would be an agreement. We all have crystal balls, I suppose, but we cannot really tell what is coming down the pipe, but if there are changes to the Rural Development Agreement - and I say there are going to be changes. He mentioned the fact that there are seventeen zones. The only thing about those zones that I would be a bit leery about is the fact that, I suppose, we have it now, and I think you also referred to the fact that we cannot get it together. If communities and people cannot get it together why have a so-called co-operative agreement, which is a good point.

That is probably where the trouble will come from because there is a certain amount of parochialism in certain areas of the Province. They will say we do not have this, the headquarters are in Daniell's Harbour and they should be in Cow Head. The headquarters are in Roddickton and they should be in St. Anthony. You are going to get that. In fact I say that one of the reasons why some rural development associations in the Province today are not working is because of that very fact, worrying about my community versus the other fellow's and so on.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention the credit union movement. Again going back a few years ago some changes were made by the minister to the credit union movement, just after he became minister. There were some good moves. Only for the credit union movement in the Province small municipalities around this Province in rural Newfoundland would not have anywhere to do their financial transactions. Just a couple of years ago they came to a point where they were not growing and now they are and it is out of necessity again, because the bigger financial institutions have absolutely no social conscience, I have said it before, and a lot of those communities are left on their own. An example of that is down in Eagle River, down in L'Anse-au-Clair, in the district of the hon. Member for Eagle River. When the bank pulled out down there the credit union took over and some of the leading community leaders in those particular communities went to work and put a successful credit union in place, something they should be proud of. Only for that that area would be without banking today, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I realize that my time is up. I would just like to say in cautioning the minister on any changes that might come to the movement, yes, I would be the first one to say there have to be changes to the whole structure of those organizations, including the development associations, and the way the monies are spent especially by Community futures, ACOA, the whole works all down the system. It can be done in a positive way, it can be done in a way that is going to benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, especially as it pertains to small business and the growth of small business in rural Newfoundland. If we do not do that it will be worse than the days when they started. Resettlement will be nothing compared to what is going to happen if they do not get together and get their act together.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased today to rise in this debate and support the hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes in this motion. I will start by commending the rural development movement for the work they have done throughout the Province over the years. I believe I would be remiss to say that if people did not have the rural development movement certainly we would not have had some of the programs in rural Newfoundland and Labrador that we have today. However, Mr. Speaker, I want to submit, and I want to tell people through this hon. House, that I believe we are now confronting the biggest challenge of our early history as a Province of Canada. I do not know if many people understand this but I do believe that within six months we are going to be confronted with decisions that are going to fundamentally change the way of life, tradition and culture of this Province and I submit that some of the blueprint, some of the writing that is on the wall cannot be tolerated. It cannot be accepted. It must be challenged and it must be aggressively pursued.

I want to also use the few minutes I have here to talk about a couple of things, but basically to talk about the changing role of rural development associations or rural development movements. Also, to talk about the changing role as it should relate to the fishery.

Basically, what we are talking about here is a need to fundamentally change, because I believe some of the lack of progress and some of the reasons why the rural development movement haven't met their objectives that they all set out to do and gave their time and energy to, is because they weren't given the power to do it. They were not empowered, and that is the key word in my view, empowerment. I think that we at this point in time are going to have to look to empower more of the facilities and more of the services that governments - federal and provincial - have to the people at the local level. That has to be done.

I would also say to this hon. House that we happen to have in our point in time today a real opportunity. Lyndon Johnson's father was one who gave him some counsel and said that at any point in time when you see something you grasp the opportunity. I believe that we are in a position today where we have to grasp the opportunity because one thing that we have today for the first time in twenty-one years is we have a government in Ottawa and a government in Newfoundland and Labrador that are committed to doing the right thing for the people, regardless of the political benefit that is going to accrue to either one of the levels of government. That is refreshing and it is absolutely necessary.

Because whether hon. members opposite want to accept it or not, some of the organizations that we have out there today were set up for political purposes, and it was wrong. It was wrong if they were set up fifteen years ago by the Liberals, it was wrong to be set up five years ago by the Conservatives. What we have here today is a situation where we have two levels of government that are dedicated to using the scarce resources that the taxpayers have to make fundamental change, empower the local people to have some real authority over their futures.

In the fishery we have a real opportunity to do this. One of the things I would like to submit, and one of the things that I have certainly done a lot of work in, is the idea of transferring the fish to the people. What we have to start to look more seriously at is the idea of community quotas and taking the fishing resources that belong to the people and giving them back to the people by virtue of community quotas. They can use their authority then that they would be getting by virtue of the seventeen economic zones that we have to set up community fishing management boards.

Basically, they would not operate much differently than co-operatives work, or they would not operate much differently than some of the other organizations that we have seen - development corporations, like the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation, which have worked. What has to happen is that there has to be a fundamental change in the way that fisheries management has been taking place over the years, because clearly it has not helped rural Newfoundland and Labrador and, at this point in time, more than they ever did, they need security. They need some kind of hope that there is going to be something there for them, and it can happen.

I feel very adamant about this issue because I know that out there right now there are about 200 mayors, 200 councils, and thousands of people in this Province who are scared of what is going to happen six or eight months from now, and they are scared because they want their home, they want their community, they want their education system, as they have always had it, and it can be done.

As I said yesterday, on the news, in reacting to the Cashin Report, it is wrong for us to be here in this House today supporting a policy that is going to take 50 per cent of our people out of the fishery, and out of rural Newfoundland and Labrador, while we have 150 million pounds of turbot and flounder and red fish and other species that are being taken away that we can harvest, that we can process, by which we can give our communities some future, Mr. Speaker.

That is the kind of thing that I submit can be done if the fundamental changes in fisheries management are made to the effect that if we have 10,000 tons of turbot that can be harvested, and the FPIs or the NatSeas of the world can't do it, well, give it to the community; give it to the development corporations, the native organizations that we have in Labrador, or give it to the Fogo Co-operative, or give it to a community development board that may be set up under our new regime, and have them go out then and look for the technology, look for the boats to harvest it, and look for the operator to come in and do it. That is the kind of empowerment that will mean real change and real security for our communities and for our people. Give them a chance to go and prove themselves to the rest of the world, as we did on the Coast of Labrador with our Labrador Shrimp Company. We have proven to the rest of the world that we can make the decisions, and we can put the management plans in place to give our communities more security today than they have had in quite a number of years, from species other than cod.

That is the kind of empowerment that I think has to happen, and I am very happy to be part of a government that has made that fundamental decision to decentralize the decision-making of government. That is the kind of decision-making that is happening in all other parts of the world.

I will just read one quote from Al Gore, the Vice-President of the United States, in his report on the national performance review. What he is saying is that decentralizing the power will make decisions, will energize government to do everything smarter, better, faster, and cheaper.

That is the kind of thing that has to apply, and I am happy to say that we are ahead of the game in this Province, led by a government that has a real plan, a real vision. Today, I am certainly very optimistic that with the government we have in Ottawa, and the commitment they have certainly made to see that the monies we have are put into an organization, and channelled through the local people. Giving them power over the resources they have, I believe that will accrue real net benefit to these communities. And that is the kind of thing that we are sent here for. We are not sent here to play partisan politics. We are not sent here to do anything more than to try to find the scarce dollars that we have, federal and provincial.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: The dollars are no different - a federal dollar is no different from a provincial dollar. It is not a matter of a Liberal dollar or a PC dollar. I certainly am optimistic that the model that we have - and I would say, with all honesty to the people opposite, that I am very, very encouraged by what I have heard from the members opposite today, because I know they are sincere when they say they want change, they believe change is fundamental, and for the Member for Humber Valley to say that change should also come in the Rural Development Association movement, to me, is the real essence of his sincerity in what he is saying, because that is not easy to say.

It is easy to get up and say that we should keep everything as it is, and never should anything change, but they have shown leadership, and I commend them for showing leadership on this particular thing, because I believe this is an area like no other, that can accrue real substantial change and real benefits to our people and will again secure a future for the hundreds of communities and the thousands of people in rural Newfoundland and Labrador who are looking for leadership at this time as they never have before.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

I have to say, for the Member for Eagle River who does not get a chance to speak very often, he comes across loud and clear, and I am glad to hear that he is not here today for partisan politics.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Don't get in a rush.

Throughout the 20th century, Mr. Speaker, Newfoundlanders have constantly found their force of will and character tested. Their history is a saga of endurance, their victories often simply survival itself. They have refused to surrender to the ravages of war, fire and famine, countless economic setbacks and the harshness of the unrelenting climate and geography. Yet, even by those standards, the challenges they now face are immense. The optimists among them say that long, hard years are ahead; the pessimists warn that the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador may be dying, but virtually everyone agrees that the people of the magnificent forbidding land have reached a dangerous turning point. I was delighted today to hear the positive response to the resolution I have put forward, supporting the continuation of development associations in our Province.

From the several speakers from both sides of the House, I was delighted that we laid politics aside for one day and talked about Newfoundland and its survival. I welcome the minister's comments earlier about his assurances that the provincial government is on our side or on the side of the ordinary Newfoundlander. We have come a long way, Mr. Minister, because back in September or June of this year, you informed some members of the development association that the possibility of agreement was nil, and the possibility was that money would not be able to be put into rural development associations. But I guess, through discussions, your government has come to realize the importance of the associations and therefore, you are looking more positively towards their survival. I welcome that here today.

I want to say again, I will report the restructuring of the development associations of the Province and all development agencies of the Province. As long as the rural development associations survive, their history, their record of achievement in this Province speaks for itself. Therefore, when the time comes to restructure, remember the thirty years of service that the thousands and thousands and thousands of volunteers have put into this Province of ours in tough economic times. I, myself, was a member of the local development association in my area as a volunteer and a board member. I served in that capacity as best I could; I took on the responsibility of co-ordinator of the Cape Shore Development Association for three years, Mr. Speaker, before entering politics, and I believe that the experience I had opened my eyes to the problems that we face, and therefore, helped me to try to find solutions, not for my own area, but for our Province as a whole.

Rural development associations down through the years have, in some ways, I guess, received somewhat of a bad name. They had been used to implement make-work projects and when the make-work projects failed, Mr. Speaker, as some of them did, it seemed that the negativity came back on the development associations, themselves, instead of what it should have been back on, and that was the system. The system, Mr. Speaker, was where the problem lay, not with the development associations. The leadership of the development associations speaks well.

The minister speaks of the great job that the rural development associations have done in the past and are continuing to do into the future and he talks about the amount of dollars that it takes to administer all the development agencies in the Province - and I agree, there is an immense amount of dollars put into administration and there are a great many ways that we can save on some of these dollars. But, I would like to remind the minister, in discussing this, that the rural development associations receive $36,500 a year to operate, as I am sure he is fully aware, and as far as I am concerned, it is the best bang for the buck that this Province gets in what they receive back for the $36,500 that they put across this Province into the fifty-nine development associations. I am not afraid of change, Mr. Minister, and I welcome change as long as it is positive. I refer to a Macleans Magazine of April 19, 1993. When you talked about the changes that are coming, you mentioned a task force, and I welcome that, Mr. Minister. I welcome the task force, but I ask you, when you have your part in putting together this task force, that you make sure that the task force include government, rural development people, and the grass roots, men and women. I refer back to the Macleans Magazine article that said, most of our leaders now are men - it says, fearful men - `for they are mostly men.'

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) say that again.

MR. MANNING: It says, men who are our leaders now - they are fearful -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. MANNING: - `instead, we found that in all sectors our lives are suddenly run by fearful people, their attention riveted on the risk of losing what we have rather than the opportunity to create more and share it more fairly.'

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: Order! Don't you hear the Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I am having difficulty hearing the hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MS. VERGE: Say it over again (inaudible).

MR. MANNING: - `fearful men, for they are mostly men who are in charge, afraid to spend, afraid to build, afraid to innovate, afraid to say yes. The poor get poorer, the worker gets less work and the consumer gets less choice.' So I ask that -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MANNING: Oh, I can comment a scattered time.

I ask the minister, when he has his part in forming this task force, that he make sure that all groups are included, that all peoples are included, especially the grass roots that started rural development in this Province, continue to make the Rural Development movement in this Province work, and that they continue to be part of this new task force that will determine the future.

Several speakers touched on the Strategic Economic Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador. There are parts of this plan, I have to say, that I have read with great interest, but I want to speak especially on the plan of seventeen economic zones for this Province, and especially my own area where number sixteen economic zone will include the geography of about 90 per cent of the Avalon Peninsula. I want to make sure that we are not lost in the shuffle, Mr. Speaker, that the whole Avalon Peninsula - and we talk about one growth centre outside of St. John's in the economic zone. I worry about that, Mr. Speaker, and I want to make sure that the minister is reminded of the fact that we are a large geographical area and that there are major differences in the economic climates of our area - major similarities I attest to, but major differences also - and that we must remember this when we are putting together our economic zones. I do not agree with throwing money at the problem. I certainly agree with the minister when he says that throwing money at a problem is not the answer. We need direction, we need consultation, and we need it from ourselves. We do not need it from somebody in Ottawa, Mr. Speaker, we need it from ourselves. We need to talk to each other, learn the problems that we have faced together and try to figure out the solutions, because if the fishermen and the plant workers of this Province had been listened to years ago the fishery would not be in the shape it is in today. If those people had been listened to we would be better off. I ask that the minister makes sure that the grass roots of the rural development movement are consulted before any changes are made to that movement.

There is a meeting planned in January for the rural development movement in the Province, I think it is on January 20 and 21 of 1994, the rural development associations across the Province hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Rural Development Council, and I hope that the minister will announce something positive at that meeting. The mandate of all levels of government is to maintain the dignity and uphold the rights of its citizens, and I want to make sure that we have a right to live in rural Newfoundland. I was born and raised, and as they say at home, I was reared up in rural Newfoundland and I am proud of it, and I have no intention of living inside the overpass.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. MANNING: I will commute back and forth. As my friend for St. John's South is well aware, we commute back and forth and we will continue to do so because we do not want to live inside the overpass. We will continue because we are concerned about our areas, we are concerned about the future of our children and the future of our communities, therefore, Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that I support 100 per cent the new agreement. I support some changes to the present structure but I reiterate that a new agreement is a must. I have a book here that I just came across a few days ago, The Last Codfish, and I hope that someday I do not pick up a book and read the `last rural development association' because I do not want to see that. Rural development has been a part of Newfoundland for a long time. It has benefited all Newfoundland and Labrador and I hope that this government works with their federal counterpart to make sure that we have a new Rural Development Agreement. Some of the speakers here may not be from rural Newfoundland so this may not touch them in the way it touches me, but that is fine, I have no problem with that.

MR. TOBIN: They should not be laughing at it either, the ones from rural Newfoundland, getting on with it over there, like Danny.

MR. MANNING: I have no problem, Mr. Speaker, I can shout when the time comes. I am not here for confrontation, I am here for cooperation. But when the time comes for confrontation, I say to the hon. Member for St. John's South, you should be back in your seat number one, but when the time comes for confrontation I will be here to confront. If the Rural Development Agreement does not come to Newfoundland and Labrador, as it should, I will be here to confront but I am here to cooperate now with the minister.

Mr. Speaker, I thank you, I thank the House, I thank the members who are listening, for the opportunity to speak here today on behalf of the rural development movement in the Province. I wholeheartedly support the movement and support the future development of it. I thank the Speaker and I thank the House for the opportunity to do so.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Motion 4, carried.

MR. SPEAKER: Private members day having ended somewhat early, I think I am entitled to call it 5:00 a.m. and automatically adjourn unless there is further business of the House to be done.

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