May 18, 1994                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS              Vol. XLII  No. 44

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

On behalf of hon. members, I would like to welcome to the Speaker's gallery, three college officials from the People's Republic of China - Mr. Kuang Shitan, President of Chengdu Electromechanical College (CEC), Mr. Ding Zhenming, Vice-President of the corporation and Mr. Wu Zhangping, project officer.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have some questions for the Premier, as leader of the government, dealing with the current teachers strike. We are now into the third day of this particular strike that's affecting the education of more than 100,000 students and has put in jeopardy, I guess, the final evaluations of students who expect to or hope to graduate this year, and still there doesn't appear to be any sign of any attempt by the government over the past three days to get back to the bargaining table.

First of all, I'd like to ask the Premier, as leader of the government, is his government serious or even interested in finding a negotiated solution to the teachers strike right now? I'm not asking (inaudible).

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, as we have stated many times, we are anxious to get to the negotiating table so that we can put our teams together to try to work out a solution to this problem. At some point in the past three or four months, dating back to January, I only wish we had been able to get our teams of professionals together to try solve this problem; we have not. I hope this will occur in the very near future.

In the past three days, Mr. Speaker, two-and-a-half days - since Sunday night, we've been examining and preparing a response to a position put by the NLTA in response to a meeting that we had the previous Thursday night, a very long meeting. That response will go to the NLTA this afternoon. So the lines of communication are open and there are positions being exchanged.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the President of Treasury Board for his update on the negotiations.

I ask the Premier: Is his government serious about trying to find a negotiated settlement - his government?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I will answer the question again. We are absolutely serious about trying to find a negotiated settlement that is consistent with our position.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, let me try again. Let me ask the Premier. We all know there is only one reason not to negotiate and that is when you don't want to negotiate. Now, it is clear from all the reports - and the Premier commented on it this morning so I don't know why he wouldn't comment in the House - government has been determined from the beginning to try to take $23 million from the teachers' compensation by getting rid of the 2 per cent clause and by reducing pension contributions.

I want to ask the Premier, can he, as leader of this government, tell the people of the Province that you are prepared to sit down now and genuinely negotiate any of those issues with the NLTA?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the NLTA has not been willing to put its negotiating team to work. They feel they have no mandate from their membership to negotiate any kind of a concession, not one single dollar's worth of concession. Their position is, that because of that they cannot put their negotiating team to work. That's what is happening.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I guess it is a wasted effort to try to get the Premier to say anything about it. Let me ask him anyway, and maybe he will comment. This morning, in particular, he is quoted by news reports referring to the negotiations and what might happen in the future. We have heard the concerns of teachers. We all know the concerns of the teachers, and we now have been hearing public reports of the concerns of parents.

Today, my colleague, the Member for Waterford - Kenmount, our education critic, has an important petition containing hundreds of names expressing concerns of students. They want to know if the government has another agenda. So, I want to ask the Premier, based on the news reports this morning, comments he made, has the government already made up its mind to legislate an end to this strike at some point soon and, at the same time, impose a settlement on the teachers that you want by legislation?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, the President of Treasury Board speaks for the government on these matters of negotiation. That is why he is doing it, and he is going to speak for the government on the matter. Now, occasionally, I am interviewed by the news media and they will say, somebody interviewed me in the last couple of days. Are you prepared to introduce legislation? My response was, whether or not we need to introduce legislation will have to be determined in the future, but the government can't be rushing into in the legislation every time that it runs into difficulty in the collective bargaining process. If it were to do that, it would destroy the collective bargaining process, so the answer is no -


PREMIER WELLS: The answer is no, we are not now planning legislation. Will it be necessary in the future? I don't know. What will the future bring? We will make the decision on the basis of the situation at the time.

I read in the paper today that I hinted, I hinted at legislation; I did no such thing. I answered a question from a newspaper reported and my answer was: no, we are not intending to bring in any legislation, whether or not it will be necessary in the future, the future will decide, but it would be inappropriate for the government to seek to bring in legislation simply because it is running into difficulty with collective bargaining. Let the collective bargaining process try and achieve the result that's desired by both parties.

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

MR. SIMMS: Well, Mr. Speaker, the Premier can't have it both ways. Either he is prepared to comment on it publicly and in this House, or he is not prepared to comment on it, one thing or the other, he can't have it both ways. Let me ask him a final question again, the question I asked earlier and did not get a straight answer to as far as I am concerned, and this is a government position that I am asking about.

The Premier of the Province is the leader of the government. On the two issues I referred to earlier, the 2 per cent clause and reducing the pension contributions, is the government prepared to genuinely negotiate either of those two issues?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: The President of the Treasury Board speaks for the government on the matter; he speaks for the government. Now I don't know how much plainer I can make it. He has spoken and answered the question and he speaks for the government on the matter.

MR. SPEAKER: I will give the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, one final question.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Since the Premier is not going to answer the question, I will ask the President of Treasury Board again. I will ask him very directly: Is the government, and you are speaking on behalf of the government on this issue, we now just heard, is the government prepared to negotiate, genuinely negotiate on either of those two issues with the NLTA? Let me ask him that question.

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

MR. BAKER: We have been attempting, Mr. Speaker, to get our teams together to negotiate those and other issues certainly. This is part of the process, certainly, absolutely. I don't know how much more clearly the member wants me to state it; I don't know what I have to say to make him understand, absolutely, clearly, yes, that and other issues as well.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recently the Newfoundland and Labrador Injured Workers Association ran an ad in The Evening Telegram directed to injured workers and the problems they face with workers compensation. In response, Workers Compensation hired a local company, provided them confidential information on some 400 to 500 workers compensation claimants.

My question for the minister is this: Can he explain in this House today why confidential information on some 400 to 500 injured workers in this Province was provided to a local company to conduct a survey without the express written permission of those people?

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

MR. GRIMES: No, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the question though because it is another good opportunity publicly and in this House to explain why I wouldn't be expected to know exactly what the Workers' Compensation Commission is doing on any one day.

Everybody here in this Legislature at least I would expect would know very clearly - because members opposite have been involved with this for years when they were in the government - that the Workers' Compensation Commission itself is an autonomous body appointed by the government under a piece of legislation, but once appointed with employer representatives, employee representatives, and a neutral chairperson or two in that case, then they are given full authority to make policy and operate the Workers' Compensation Commission which is totally funded by employer contributions. No tax dollars, not in any way connected to the government. Everybody by the way really wishes that the government was even further removed from Workers' Compensation so that the Workers' Compensation could go ahead and deliver the service that it is supposed to on behalf of the unfortunate injured workers in the Province.

They do not report to me on a regular basis. We deal with the legislation. If there is something wrong with the legislation this government, or the members opposite if they are ever to return to office again, would deal with it. We do not do operational decisions with respect to Workers' Compensation. Never have since - I don't know what members opposite did when they had people like Mr. Maynard down there as the commissioner and so on. Maybe you called Mr. Maynard and asked him or told him what to do.

We don't do that, never have, and this minister from day to day, other than a problem with the legislation and the framework in which they set policy, operate and make decisions, wouldn't know what they are doing, and if you have a problem with that, ask the chairperson or the CEO of Workers' Compensation.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Supplementary, the hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe the answer I've heard. While injured workers in this Province are being crucified the minister stands up and pretends that he is Pontius Pilate and washes his hands clear of responsibility. That is the problem here.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. E. BYRNE: Let me ask the minister this. The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations is responsible for enforcement of the Workers' Compensation Act. He as a member of the government is responsible for appointing the boards of directors. Will he find out why confidential information which includes, I say to the minister, medical information, personal information, and professional information, was given to a local company without the express written permission of those people, and will he report back to this House why that event took place?

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

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I may very well do that just out of interest or curiosity but I would like to point out in the Legislature that I would not be doing that because there is any responsibility in my role as the minister responsible for the legislation.

If in fact these 400 or 500 injured workers - and I don't know if what the hon. member says is accurate or not, I assume that because he raised it in the Legislature it would be. Many times - most times - when the hon. member raises issues in the House they are verified to be as he says. There have been times when he has raised issues that have had no validity to them whatsoever, so I don't know the validity of whether or not confidential information relating to 400 or 500 claimants was passed over to a private company by the board of directors or the CEO and staff of Workers' Compensation. If those individuals feel aggrieved in that manner, their grievance is with the Workers' Compensation Commission, which is not a government agency. I don't know how many times I can tell the hon. member or the House that.

If any department of government, the department that I have direct responsibility for, had done that and someone felt aggrieved, we would deal with it. They should bring their question to the Workers' Compensation Commission directly and have it dealt with.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Let me remind the minister that he is the minister responsible for the act, and in the Workers' Compensation Act there is a section that deals with confidentiality. I suggest that he read it, maybe for the first time, and he would understand clearly that it is his responsibility and he cannot wash his hands of this - not of some interest by the minister because he will look into it.

Let me ask him again: Injured workers in this Province are being crucified in many ways, shapes and forms by the Workers' Compensation Commission. Will he, as the minister, champion that cause and stand up for injured workers in this Province - stand up and fight for them, and find out why confidential information was given on themselves, without their permission? Will he do that today?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Again, in response to the question, there are two comments I might make. First of all, I have had an extremely good working relationship with the Injured Workers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador since they have been established. Every single time that they have made a request of me, as minister, to provide information, or to assist them, or to attend meetings and answer questions, I have done so. Every time they have requested a meeting, I have had meetings with them. They know that I am aware of their concerns and that they can meet with me and have anything done at any time.

This is the first I have heard of this issue. Normally I would have expected that some representative of those 400 or 500 people, if they are in the Association of Injured Workers, Newfoundland and Labrador, would have contacted myself or the office. I never heard of it until today.

The second issue talks about standing up for injured workers. This government stood up for injured workers in Newfoundland and Labrador in the most meaningful way possible a year ago when we saved the Workers' Compensation Commission from absolute and almost total certain bankruptcy and collapse. That is what we did for injured workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, and we don't have anything to apologize for in terms of saving the system for the injured workers so that they will have some benefits if they are unfortunate enough to get injured in the future.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question today is for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Can the minister confirm that in excess of $100,000 will be spent to upgrade and repair the Premier's private elevator on the eight floor of this building this year?

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

MR. EFFORD: No, Mr. Speaker, I cannot confirm that but I will check into it to see the actual cost of servicing all of the elevators that we have in the building that have been out of service, most of the time for the past ten to fifteen, twenty years. The elevators in the building are very, very old and they need major renovations and we intend to do that. The contracts have been let but I'll get the exact amount for the hon. member.

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

MR. CAREEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Minister, there's a fair amount of money that has been allotted to do work on these four elevators, we know. We also know that the work is not being done for free on the Premier's private elevator. With all the restraints going on in this Province the public servants, what's happening to teachers, money being cut out on the working group for child abuse, my suggestion, Sir, is that the Premier, in these times of restraint, use the other three elevators like us mere mortals.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, they're getting sillier and sillier every day.


MR. EFFORD: First of all, there is no such thing in this building as a private elevator for the Premier.


MR. EFFORD: There is no such thing as a private elevator for the Premier in this building.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I have a question for the Premier. On April 19 and April 20 - April 19 was the day of Mr. Tobin's announcement on the new TAGS program and the following day I questioned the Premier on the mandate of the Fishing Industry Renewal Boards. On April 20, the Premier in a response to my question said: he took the precaution, yesterday, of writing to Mr. Tobin to get a clarification on the mandate of the Fishing Industry Renewal Boards because Mr. Tobin had said in his press conference that the renewal boards only had the mandate to reduce the harvesting of the processing sector to a minimum of 50 per cent. I'm wondering if the Premier could inform the House whether or not he's had a response to his letter from Mr. Tobin?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Yes, Mr. Speaker, and I've had verbal discussions with Mr. Tobin about the matter. I've also had discussions with other federal ministers. Negotiating teams have been negotiating and developing proposals for genuine industry renewal boards that will not have, as their sole function, down-sizing the existing processing capacity; that will have as their function the decisions that are necessary to manage the fishery on a go forward basis. Those discussions are underway.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you. I find the Premier's response quite interesting because he was pretty determined, Mr. Speaker, the days I asked - as a matter of fact, he indeed suggested that perhaps the wording in Mr. Tobin's release and in his documents was a misprint. So obviously the Premier didn't -


MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, it's a typo he said. So I want to ask the Premier, on April 20 he said as well that the Province would not participate in the Fishing Industry Renewal Boards if they did not have a mandate for general renewal, continued operation and development of the fishery. Does the Province's position still remain the same or does the Premier think that by being involved in some form of negotiation, the Province will get its way and indeed the renewal boards will deal with the fishery of the future?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the Province's position remains the same and the discussions are along the same lines. Now let me add something, those discussions are difficult. The hon. member doesn't help it any by taking this position. They're difficult because other provinces want to prevent Newfoundland from having a more effective say. We're trying - we're struggling with it to try and make sure that we achieve that for the Province. I think we will in the end be able to achieve that for the Province if we go about it the right way and if we don't create a great brouhaha about it. If we try and achieve it through a sensible basis of ensuring that what we do in terms of planning for the fishery for the future we do on a joint basis, that the licensing be done on a joint basis in terms of licensing for catching, and in terms of licensing for processing, that is done on a go forward basis so that the fishery is managed with a view to its genuine renewal and not simply its downsizing.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: The Premier should be delighted I asked the question, because at least I have straightened out in his mind that the renewal boards didn't have the mandate that he thought they had. You only have to refer to Hansard. You thought they had a broader mandate, and indeed they didn't, and you have confirmed that because you are now up negotiating a mandate for the boards, so you should be happy I asked the question, or else we would have been taken in again by your federal counterparts.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Mr. Speaker, has the provincial government put a time frame, have you put a deadline on negotiations, because thousands of fishermen and plant workers out and about this Province have been put on hold for two years. They cannot afford to be put on hold for another year, or two or three years. They want to make decisions about retraining either inside or outside the fishery. It doesn't make sense for them to retrain for inside the fishery if there is not going to be a fish plant or they are not going to be involved in the fishery. So has the Province put a deadline on these negotiations, and if these negotiations fall apart, when can the people of this Province involved expect a decision from the Province, which has 100 per cent control over the processing sector, to make a decision for those people so they can plan the rest of their lives?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I have nothing to give the hon. member credit for, as the hon. member read, himself; when we stood up, he read from a statement I made in the House indicating that a letter had been sent immediately; I saw this. I sent a letter to Mr. Tobin and made it very clear. Mr. Tobin knows the positions. Why that press release was stated in that way, I have no way of knowing and I don't see any purpose in inquiring, quite frankly, but the simple fact is, the only discussions that have taken place at all with respect to renewal boards is that they be on a genuine renewal basis. That is the only discussion that the Province intends to have with relation to that matter.

It is going forward, and I am hopeful that it will be quite a successful round of discussion. The Province can't set an arbitrary deadline or time limit. I would hope, however, that there would be a resolution fairly soon. I don't anticipate that it will take a lengthy period of time. I would hope there will be a resolution fairly soon.

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

MR. MANNING: Mr. Speaker, my questions today are for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

When the decision to close several highway depots across the Province was made a number of months ago, the reason given was, it was a cost-cutting measure. I would like to ask the minister: Was the safety and concern of the travelling public taken into consideration when this decision was made?

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

MR. EFFORD: If I understood the question - I didn't hear the last part, but I think it was if safety was a concern? Was that the question? Yes, Mr. Speaker, it was most definitely a concern of the department.

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

MR. MANNING: What a minister.

Mr. Speaker, almost three weeks ago all the equipment and personnel from the depot at St. Bride's, in my district, was moved to Placentia. Since that, none of those people or the equipment has operated in that area and in the Cape Shore since. It is getting close to the last of May, and no work has been done in regards to shouldering or ditching in that area this year. There haven't been any repairs or maintenance carried out with damage to the asphalt during the winter months. Doesn't the minister believe that this lack of attention to this area is placing the safety of the travelling public in jeopardy, and will he see that this work is carried out as soon as possible?

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

MR. EFFORD: No, Mr. Speaker, it will not be done as soon as possible. It will be done in the proper order as set out by the officials of the department. There is a schedule set out by the department to close your depots.

Back after Confederation, before the roads were built around the Island, we needed depots right around this Island to take care of the construction and the building and maintenance of the highways and roads, secondary roads, at that time. We do not need as many depots today as we did years ago, so that is one of the reasons for closing out the depots.

As far as the maintenance on all the roads, one of the things is that people have looked at workers on the roadside from the Department of Works, Services and Transportation over the years, is individual people out on the side of a road trying to replace a culvert. What we are going to do now is put crews of people out. Instead of putting one or two people out, identify an area where the maintenance needs to be done, send a crew out there for that week or two weeks, whatever it takes to get it done, and do it in an orderly fashion, the same as you would run a construction company. So there won't be that intimidation by the general public of people working in the Department of Works, Services and Transportation. When the schedule comes around to your area it will be done but not until then.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. Last year I brought an issue to the attention of the minister and I want to say that I appreciated his efforts at the time, although I wasn't satisfied with the final answer, regarding the admission of students to the medical school at Memorial University.

I've had constituents of mine who've graduated from universities throughout Atlantic Canada, let me say that, with averages for four years in excess of 90 per cent and cannot get admission to the medical school at Memorial University. These students are from rural Newfoundland, they are willing to work in rural Newfoundland, yet all they can get over there are obstacles and blocks thrown in their way. Could I ask the minister what criteria are used, what objective measures are used, in order to award seats at the medical school?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you for that question. Last year I did look into that and satisfied myself that the criteria and selection process was fair. There are certain criteria in place, certain numbers that are from outside the Province, because of the deal we have with New Brunswick, and a certain number from the Province. At that time the criteria were appropriate. If the member has certain questions from people I would appreciate knowing who they are and we could follow up to see in more detail as to what might have happened.

I am concerned, I don't mind saying, about the number of graduates from Memorial who do not choose to practice in rural Newfoundland. I've had, and I'm having, I have scheduled meetings with the Dean of the University medical school to try to come to grips with that question. If the member knows of any particular cases that he feels have been unduly discriminated against then I will have the matter investigated. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. I can tell him that in addition to the one that I had last year I have a similar situation in my District this year. I'm not as satisfied as the minister regarding the process that is put in place at Memorial University. Because I'm somewhat suspicious (inaudible) the first choice of seats over there is not given to the sons and daughters of some doctors in this city. That is one of the concerns that I have, I say to the Minister of Health. The people of rural Newfoundland in all of our districts are being forgotten about.

I will ask the minister: Will he ask the Dean of Medicine when he has the meeting regarding admission to the medical school if he will reassess and give you the information regarding the fact that he has turned down or objected or not accepted - consideration has not been given, let me say to the minister, to those students from rural Newfoundland who are prepared to work in rural Newfoundland. Who are not prepared to get their doctor's degree and go somewhere else to practice. They want to work under the rules as set down by your department. Will you ask the Dean of Medicine to check into that as well?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Yes, Mr. Speaker. That is no problem, in discussing the criteria and the application of the criteria. What I can't do and what I won't do is to say: Put so-and-so in the medical school. That I can't do. I'm sure the member appreciates that. I will certainly try to see that things are fair, because it is our medical school, and that fair criteria are applied. We will have that discussion. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Speaker, I would not ask nor would I expect the minister or anyone else to interfere in a fair system but I'm not convinced that the system of admissions at the medical school is fair, I would say to the Minister of Health. I believe that students in rural Newfoundland are just as important as some of the students from St. John's. I would ask: Would he put in place some criteria - there are some stipulations now as it relates to students from outside the Province, and I'm not necessarily objecting to that - but would he put in place something that would ensure that the students from rural Newfoundland are at least on a fair playing field with some of the elite from the City of St. John's?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, be assured that appropriate criteria are in place. This is what we have to do. We can't bar people who happen to be the children of certain people from entering the medical profession. There is a tendency for people in any profession to encourage their children to enter the same profession - teachers beget teachers, in a sense, and civil servants beget civil servants; they know their ways through the system and they can encourage their children to take the right courses, they can coach them and so on and they do extremely well. So we can't really bar that type of thing from happening, but we can be firm that the criteria used are fair. As I indicated, I did look into this matter last year and I was assured, and I assured myself, in that the process that was in place last year appeared to me to be quite fair. However, I will have another look at it and discuss it with the appropriate officials.

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

MR. J. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

My question is for the Minister of Environment and Lands.

Madam Minister, on April 20, you announced the Spread the Message, not the Mess anti-litter campaign. Well, I believe this was a good, first step. There will be $2 million spent over four years on education and advertising, but with the high cost of advertising in the Province, does the minister believe that this is enough money to be effective and have the desired result?

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

MS. COWAN: I am not sure I heard the question exactly but I think, Mr. Speaker, I have heard the question so many times - is that right, have I heard this question a million times? that I will -

AN HON. MEMBER: The department didn't get the message.

MS. COWAN: My department, actually, is not particularly interested in messages that are of a political nature; my department is interested in messages to the people to encourage environmental responsibility and where it is necessary, will be backed up by the appropriate legislation.

I am anticipating that this education program, along with the other components of it, that look at the waste management program is going to make an impact on the problem that we have with litter here in the Province.

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, because he heard me ask the question at least fifteen times one morning in the Estimates, the department has carefully-built-in benchmarks, we have carefully-built-in - what word do I want?

AN HON. MEMBER: Whatever.

MS. COWAN: Whatever, right. We have carefully-built-in methods of checking every two or three years to see if, indeed, litter is being collected, as we expect it will be. If it is not, then we are totally free, Mr. Speaker, to take a different point of view.

Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period has elapsed.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I give notice that I will on tomorrow move that the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole to consider certain resolutions relating to the raising of loans by the Province.

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

I am still waiting for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to table the documents about Gordon Seabright, the executive director's report and the -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There is no point of order.

Answers to questions for which notice has been given.

The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, this is not Answers to Questions. I am asking leave of the House to revert to tabling reports. I was diverted when it was called.

MR. SPEAKER: Leave given.

PREMIER WELLS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am pleased to table the annual report of the Advisory Council on the Economy.

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible) tomorrow. `All our yesterdays' -

MS. VERGE: `Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow' - What's he, cooking the books?

MR. SIMMS: A point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I was waiting for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to table the information. I was going to raise it then, but since he is not going to table it today as he promised he would, I do have to raise a point of privilege based on false information given to the House yesterday by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. I hope he will take the opportunity under the point of privilege to apologize to the House, and maybe want to apologize to the individual concerned.

I quote from Hansard yesterday, or at least the unedited transcript that we received today, page 1550, where the minister, tabling information concerning the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal said, `The hon. members opposite might like to be reminded that when they were in position the vice-chair' - that is, the Vice-Chair of the Appeals Tribunal, `at that point in time was the President of the PC Association for the district of Grand Falls that represents the hon. the Leader of the Opposition,' and members opposite gleefully clapped and pounded on their desks.

Now, first of all, the person involved - I since found out who he was talking about - was not the President of the PC Association of Grand Falls, was not the Vice-President -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SIMMS: - was a supporter of mine, yes, point number one; point number two, was appointed to the position based on her competence and qualifications, in fact, competence and qualifications that not only did we recognize, but the minister and his government have since recognized, because she has since been appointed as a judge by this government. The little aside that he forgot to mention to all members in the House, the press and anybody who might be interested, is that the individual concerned was also the sister-in-law of the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, so he might want to withdraw that.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations wish to be heard on that point?

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, if there is any apology by virtue of the fact that I may have misnamed the position that the person actually held on the executive of the hon. the Member for Grand Falls, the Opposition House Leader, I render an apology by virtue of the fact that I didn't know the exact position she held with the district association for the Progressive Conservatives of Grand Falls district.

In the meantime, it might also be an opportunity, Mr. Speaker, since they persist with those kinds of talks about patronage, to remind people as well that the very beginning of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal had been surrounded by some controversy even by virtue of the fact of where it was housed, in a building for which the Minister of Finance of the day had some particular interest in holdings. That was a public issue of the day, as members opposite might like to recall.

I am just pointing out that I think everybody in this Legislature knows that I don't bother to get involved in those things, but if I did, by virtue of a position for the person, misname the position that person held in the district Progressive Conservative Association for the district of Grand Falls, I apologize for misnaming the position.

In fact, Mr. Speaker, I would rather that they didn't bring up silly accusations about patronage because if anybody wanted to go back over seventeen years of their history we would be paled and shamed into insignificance by comparison with how they good they were at that very approach.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I think the question raised by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has been clarified for the record.


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Waterford - Kenmount.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased this afternoon to rise and present a petition on behalf of approximately 300 senior high school students in the schools of the St. John's area and Mount Pearl, particularly from Bishop's College, Booth Memorial, Beaconsfield, and Mount Pearl Senior High School.

The prayer of the petition calls upon the government to `work their hardest to come to a quick and fair resolution to the teachers' strike, which is putting our education at risk. We are asking that the government try not only to think of saving money in this matter, but to think also of our education.

Furthermore, we are asking that teachers do their part in helping with these negotiations. We are not asking the teachers to take a cut, by any means, but we are asking that they help us in our fight to save our education.

We hope that there can be some sort of resolution to this problem that will enable us to continue with our education this year.'

Mr. Speaker, this petition is signed by approximately 300 students from the schools that I have named.

Mr. Speaker, there is a great deal of anxiety out in the population of this Province today. The anxiety centres specifically and most poignantly with the students who are about to finish their high school years. In particular, we are talking about Level III students who are eligible to graduate this year. Parents are concerned. Parents are very anxious about what is going to happen to their children's education if there isn't a resolution found to the current labour dispute.

Mr. Speaker, we know what has happened to lead up to this dispute. We know the context. We know about Bill 16 and Bill 17. We know about the use of ultimatums. We know about the issues that were mentioned by the hon. the Premier last year as he gave his announcement about the election. We know about severance pay. We know about the intimidation that has occurred. We know about the efforts of the government, their behaviour showing a confrontational, dictatorial, mean-minded attitude. We know what that has done to really turn off, to poison the collective bargaining process in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, the government cannot say: We can wash our hands of it. They can't all behave as the minister did this afternoon with regard to the Workers' Compensation Board and say: It's not my fault; I didn't have anything to do with it.

Mr. Speaker, the anxiety out there is real. I can tell members now that I will have another petition from another part of the Province to present tomorrow, and I know of one coming into my office for Friday's session, from students. The message they want to communicate to the government is that this year means a lot to them.

Now, we have had the Minister of Education talk about how he is going to give Grade XII examinations in Level III courses. Let me tell the Minister of Education that there are only eighteen courses that will be examined in public examinations. There are some Level III courses for which there are no examinations at the departmental level. In addition to the problems that we know with the marking, we admit to the minister that the exams are made up. They have been made up for weeks and weeks. That has been the pattern for years and years; however, when we start to try to evaluate the progress of Grade XII students, and we are looking around and saying, we will get retired teachers to do it - incidentally, retired teachers have said to me, just this very day, that when they wanted last year to get some time substituting, the minister said, `Be off with you.' Well, they are saying to the minister today, `Be off with the minister.'

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HODDER: They are not going to co-operate with the Minister of Education. They are not going to cut the throats of their colleagues who are in the teaching profession.

Mr. Speaker, likewise, this idea that we are going to have these students evaluated by students at the university, or university professors - now, there is a recognition that the evaluation must be reliable, it must be valid, it must be consistent, it must be commensurate with the objectives of the course. So we are going to parade in a bunch of people who have not taught the course, have had no participation in setting the goals, have no idea what the objectives are -

MR. SPEAKER (L. Snow): Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. HODDER: - (Inaudible) people that we are not going to go and do an evaluation that reflects their standard of excellence at this stage. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to speak.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise to support the petition of these students who are only asking for what is just. They have a stake in their own education and in their future and they are asking that there be real negotiations.

In order to understand what they are really asking for we have to go back to last fall when the negotiators on behalf of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association approached the government and said that they were well aware of the changes that needed to be made in the education system of this Province. They said that they understood that the Province had plans, or were talking about plans, to decrease the number of school boards. They said that they had promoted change themselves and reform in the school system along the lines of the Williams report, and knew that the government was doing some planning of their own, and that they wanted to be part of the process. Because they knew that there were going to be consequences for the teachers and for the contract that they were operating under and for reorganization of the school system.

They said that back then. They wanted to put on the table all of those issues - the issue of reorganization, the issues that were affected by it - and one of those included the 2 per cent clause and whatever clauses there were that had to with the organization of schools and the organization of classrooms. That was done back in October, before Christmas. What was the response of Treasury Board? They were told by Treasury Board: No, we have collective bargaining over here and we have our own business over here, and what we do over here is no business of yours.

That was the beginning of the collision course that this government set out deliberately and aimed it at the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association. When they said back in October or November: No, we will not discuss these issues, and then in January and February started putting the gun to the teachers' heads, laying out a plan of taking away severance pay, for example, causing dissension in the ranks of teachers, causing concerns amongst older teachers who might qualify for pensions. Blaming the Teachers Association for all of that, refusing in this House to commit themselves to not introducing any legislation that would make the severance clause a part of a legislated solution. Refusing to do all that, and place the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association in a position where they had to act on principle or be regarded as peons, as peasants subject to the whim of the Minister of Finance, the whim of the Minister of Education, the whim of the Premier who has not hesitated over almost every year since he has been elected to legislate collective agreements out of existence.

That is what the teachers of this Province were faced with as a result of this government's approach to collective bargaining, as a result of this government's approach to how negotiations would take place. It is laughable to see the Premier here in this House today say of course he could not talk about legislation because that would destroy the collective bargaining process. He is the Premier who for two years in a row wrote back collective agreements, took away collective agreements, some of which they had negotiated themselves only days prior to the legislation being brought in. This government has done more to make collective bargaining with its own employees a joke than any other government that we've had.

There is an awful lot of comments that this government has made about teaching in the school - how we are going to handle negotiations. Upping the ante every step they can. The Minister of Education coming in and saying: We can run the exams, we can do all this. I don't know who we are going to get to mark them; we will figure that out later. We are going to go ahead with the exams, he says. He says: All the work has been done anyway. Here is the minister who said: All the work has been done anyway. Don't have to worry about the next five or six weeks because all the work has been covered anyway.

Here is the minister who says that the school year is too short. We need to lengthen the school day, lengthen the school year, so we can have a proper education system, and then he says: We don't need to worry about the next month, that is only another month, they should be reviewing now anyway, they've already learned everything.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for bringing the concerns of students to this hon. House of Assembly. This is not an ordinary strike. In an ordinary strike, the employee is a victim; the employee is losing his or her wages. The employer or company is losing its ability to process or manufacture or whatever it is doing. It is running the risk of losing its markets.

In this strike, Mr. Speaker, the real victim, as the hon. member pointed out, is the student, caught square in the middle, Mr. Speaker -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. DECKER: There are no villains, Mr. Speaker. Government has a limit that it cannot go beyond. Government recognizes the reality of the world, the whole world -

MR. TOBIN: $100,000 on elevators.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, teachers are not the victims. My heart goes out to the vast majority of teachers out there in their classrooms.


MR. DECKER: The vast majority of whom, Mr. Speaker -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. DECKER: The vast majority of whom, Mr. Speaker, are hard-working, conscientious people who are out there doing a good job in very difficult times so, Mr. Speaker, they are not the real villains, but the real victim, is the student. Government is doing everything in our power to make sure that the student's year is not jeopardised. If we can in any way, stop this year from being jeopardised, we are trying to do it.

Now I know the process, the hon. member needn't think that he somehow has special knowledge as to the process. In the old days when he and I attended school, the exam was the be-all and end-all, everything depended on the exam. I am the proud possessor of a `B' mark in mathematics in university, Mr. Speaker. I don't deserve a minus F if there is such a thing, I don't know anything about math but I managed to cram the night before and based on that, I was given a `B', and the whole world thinks I am a great mathematician because I got a `B' I don't deserve it, so I know, Mr. Speaker, that when a mark was taken into consideration in the mid-terms, it must take into consideration the year's evaluation, we know that. Times have changed, but, Mr. Speaker, we are now in a very difficult situation.

It is like a house on fire, you have to do something to deal with a specific case, Mr. Speaker, so we are trying our utmost to deal with this specific case. Hopefully, tomorrow or the next day the strike will be over and we will go back to normal and teachers will teach the students and students will learn and government will govern, hopefully that will happen, but in the event that that does not happen, Mr. Speaker, we have to try to help the real victim of this dispute. We have to try to help the student, and yes, we are trying to run the exams. Yes, it is going to be extremely difficult; yes, it is going to be difficult to get people to mark the exams; yes, Mr. Speaker, there are insurmountable obstacles in our way but we are not going to roll over and play dead because we have too much concern for the victims of this through no fault of their own, so we are going to run the exams if it is at all possible.

We are going to have them corrected if it is at all possible, but the hon. member can take back to his constituents or the students who signed this petition, he can take back to them the very real concern of the government of this Province, the concern for the real victim and we are trying to do everything in our power so that that real victim is not the loser, but he or she will have a certificate that he or she can present to a post-secondary institution or to the job market or whatever the case might be, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I guess if you didn't know the minister you would almost be prepared to believe it.

It is my pleasure to rise and present a petition on behalf of some residents of the Goulds area, Mount Pearl, St. John's areas and the prayer of the petition:

WHEREFORE the undersigned, your petitioners pray and call upon Parliament to demand that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador not privatize and sell Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, and ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro remains a Crown corporation.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, you are sick of doing it and the people are sick of listening to government's dictatorial methods. We were in the House last night and for the third time, on the one bill, we have seen closure, unprecedented I would say in the history of this Province, with three closures in the previous seventeen years, we have seen three on the one bill, we have seen several in the past year because the government is not prepared to listen to the people of this Province. The people have spoken.

AN HON. MEMBER: How many names are on the petition?

MR. SULLIVAN: How many names are on the petition? You can gladly read it afterwards. It is not the number that's on the petition. We're had Hydro petitions with several thousand names presented here in this House. Every single name on this petition is legitimate and deserves to be heard. All you need is three and this has many times more than three. So it's not the matter of numbers. It's the matter of what the petition has to say and the people crying out across this Province to be heard. We just passed a bill in this House yesterday - very reluctantly by the Opposition, we voted against it - that's camouflaging the privatization of Hydro. It's there, it's opening the doors to give away, that's right, possibly 100 per cent of a new Hydro can be given to people outside the Province with the utilities board and approval of Cabinet. The minister given virtual powers, the Minister of Finance, under this act.

So we've seen a government being asked by the people of this Province in public opinion polls conducted by reputable firms, reputable companies and the government has not listened. It hasn't listened, it hasn't listened on collective bargaining, it's been a one-way street. They've refused to listen and negotiate. They've refused to listen to the people. They failed to discuss Hydro in the last election. They brushed it off as if it wasn't an issue. They denied in the House of Assembly last winter, the Minister of Mines and Energy denied it back in May that it was an issue and it only surfaced in August. The Government House Leader, yes the Government House Leader admitted that he had shares in the same company, Newfoundland Power.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, sure but you didn't sit around the Cabinet Table -

MR. ROBERTS: Of course not (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, of course. You have absolved yourself from all Cabinet meetings. At the same time the government denied that Hydro was a part of their agenda - if the minister wants to speak when I'm finished, I'm sure he will be recognized and be given the opportunity. I'd like to have the one minute I have left to address this concern because the people of the Province have been ignored and public opinion polls have told the Premier that. The Premier stood in his place, in this House, and he stated on public television on March 24: we will not proceed against the wishes of the majority of the people in this Province. A government should not use its powers of majority to cast something among the people that they do not want and the people do not want it. The government is ignoring it and they're pressing ahead -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

It's now 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday and we move to private members' day.

Private Members' Day

MR. ROBERTS: Motion 6, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Trinity North.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. OLDFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand in my place this afternoon and place before this House, what I call a good news resolution. A resolution of hope, a resolution about action and a resolution about conservation.

Mr. Speaker, as we know, last week the federal parliament passed an important amendment to the Coastal Fisheries Act and, Mr. Speaker, this was made possible because all members of the House of Commons felt that it was an important piece of legislation for Canada, even the Bloc Québécois thought so. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the total time from the first reading to the passing of the bill was about one-and-a-half hours. I think we should be so lucky in this House sometimes to have a record like that but in another way, Mr. Speaker, my private members' resolution reads as follows and I'd like to repeat it if possible:

WHEREAS the restoration of the cod stocks on the Canadian Continental Shelf is essential for the future social and economic development of Newfoundland and Labrador; and

WHEREAS foreign fishing efforts continue to plunder the straddling fish stocks on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks; and

WHEREAS the Government of Canada has imposed a moratorium on the Newfoundland and Labrador cod fishery;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the House commend the Government of Canada for its far-sighted and courageous decision to ask Parliament to adopt legislation to empower the government to enact regulations to protect the fish stocks which straddle the limits of Canada's extended fishing zone; and that the House commend the Parliament of Canada for adopting the legislation with such alacrity."

Mr. Speaker, this private member's resolution is not meant to be a partisan endorsement of the Federal Government's actions, rather, it is meant to encourage the Federal Government to carry on, to use the enabling legislation that they have passed, to put teeth into the regulations that are now being developed. It is my hope that this afternoon the debate will be by-partisan, or rather, I guess, tri-partisan in nature.

We are discussing and debating an important step taken by the Federal Government, a step to ensure, not only the survival of an industry, but the survival of a people, and the survival of a way of life that has existed on this beautiful Island, the Province of Newfoundland and the Labrador Coast for over 500 years. As I said, I view the amendment to the coastal fisheries act as a step, just a step, a very important step, in the renewal of the fish resources off our coast.

I think all members of this House will be in agreement that such a move as this will enable Canada to deal effectively and legally with those fishing vessels that fly flags of convenience, those fishing vessels that are pirate ships. It will help deal with them and it is a good and very progressive step.

Mr. Speaker, before beginning the body of my text, I want to acknowledge the work of the former federal administration. There were times we would have wanted quicker and more decisive action but we knew their heart was in the right place and they were trying to move in the right direction. They felt that diplomacy, given time, would correct the very serious destruction of the straddling fish stocks on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

We all acknowledge, and commend the work of the former Fisheries and Oceans Minister, the hon. John Crosbie. He was working towards a solution, one that would curtail the destruction of our stock. We may not have always agreed with his methods but at least he was working towards a goal we all agreed with. We, too, have to give Mr. Crosbie, of course, and I think it has been said before, credit for bringing into the Province a program to compensate Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and, indeed, Atlantic Canadians for the devastation, and the mismanagement really, over the years -not just the last administration but, I suppose, all administrations can take responsibility for the devastation.

Mr. Crosbie and the former administration brought into effect the NCARP program in tough financial times in this country, and I think we can all appreciate the struggle he went through to secure the funding. I am sure that he had to contend with the fears of the Finance Minister at the time, Mr. Mazankowski, and the Minister of International Trade. They, too, had to consider what would be the consequences of unilateral action by the Government of Canada to stop overfishing by foreign nations? What effects would the action by Canada have on existing trade agreements with European countries? Mazankowski and the other federal ministers, obviously, were concerned, and I am sure that if the shoe were on the other foot we, too, would be concerned about our trade relations with other countries.

I am sure members of the Opposition might be surprised that I would compliment Mr. Crosbie, but I want to convey, in my opening remarks, the nature and the spirit that I hope this debate will take this afternoon, Mr. Speaker.

I say to members opposite, I would like to congratulate them for their efforts over the years, and I know that their hearts were also in the right place. I am sure they pressed a case for Newfoundland and Labrador. I am sure the Member for Burin - Placentia West and the Member for Grand Bank spoke out loud and clear against the actions of foreign countries.


MR. OLDFORD: When they met with Mr. Crosbie in private, and I think they should be commended, too, for their efforts.

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, this legislation marks an important step towards ensuring the survival of both a fishery and the people. I, like all members from fishing districts, have seen the effect the collapse of the fishery has had, both physically and emotionally, on our people.

Mr. Speaker, there is what I would term a paralysis amongst our people, a loss of hope and a loss of confidence in the future.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) a good word, though.

MR. OLDFORD: Thank you, Sir.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is a good (inaudible) at least.

MR. OLDFORD: It reminds me of the dust bowls in the Prairies. You see these old newsreels, farmers watching their livelihood blow away right in front of their faces.

Mr. Speaker, people in Newfoundland, out in the rural areas and the fishing communities, feel a sense of abandonment. Whether rightly or wrongly, they felt they were being abandoned by the very people who were elected to look after their interests. Their livelihood and their identity have been ripped away from them with the collapse of the fishery and the subsequent moratorium.

When I travel out to my district, the district of Trinity North, and I travel up and down the Bonavista Peninsula, and to the community of Catalina that was a bustling fishing community -

AN HON. MEMBER: Every week.

MR. OLDFORD: Every week.

- communities like Bonaventure, that you would be familiar with, I see the despair on the faces of those people. That was back in the days of hope, I contend.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


Mr. Speaker, the fishermen and the fisherpersons in those communities look out to sea, and they realize that they were barred from fishing, but there are these merciless marauders of the high seas, the ships, flying the flags of convenience, searching out and destroying the few fish that remained. These high sea assassins were in the process of delivering a death knell to one of Mother Nature's most abundant gifts - the fish resources on the Grand Banks, especially on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

This federal legislation gives some reason for hope, reason to believe that this slaughter will now stop, and one day, hopefully very soon, the moratorium will be lifted. To quote a former Premier, `One day the sun will shine and have not will be no more.' I hope, with all Newfoundlanders, that day will come very soon.

Mr. Speaker, for those who think that the Federal Government's legislation is a knee-jerk reaction to overfishing on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, I want to quote something. The quote is this: `A Liberal government will implement effective conservation measures immediately, because if the remaining stocks are not conserved now, there will be no fishing industry left on which to build a sustainable development. A Liberal government will deal with foreign fishing outside the 200-mile limit and scrutinize foreign quotas within the 200-mile limit.'

Mr. Speaker, that is a quote from the famous or infamous Red Book about creating opportunities, the Liberal Plan for Canada. It is a good book. That is a commitment to action and a commitment to conservation. Of course, there are many in this Province and, I suppose, in this country, who felt that once the election was over that promise would not be kept, thought it was just an election promise and it would soon be abandoned by the Federal Government, as I said, once the election was over and done with. But, as I said, it was in the famous Red Book and, as the Prime Minister always says, if it is in the Red Book, it will be done. I think he has been true to his word in a number of cases.

There were even those in the media here in the Province who doubted the new Federal Government's resolve. On January 4 1994 in an editorial in The Evening Telegram it was written, and I quote: `It is time indeed to remind federal Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin -

MR. TOBIN: Who was that?

MR. OLDFORD: That is on January 4 1994: It is time, indeed, to remind federal Fisheries Minister, Brian Tobin, that the ninety-day period in which he pledged to begin the process of getting those foreign trawlers out of the Grand Banks, else Canada would assume custodial management, is flying by and in fact two-thirds gone. Is this to be one of the first significant promises broken or shoved aside by the new Liberal Government?

That is from The Evening Telegram. The answer is loud and clear. The answer is that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien stands with us, by us and for us. He stands by his commitments to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

In mid-February, Mr. Speaker, federal minister Brian Tobin - to follow up on some of the actions taken by the Federal Government - Mr. Tobin put NAFO to the test and he won a one-year cod moratorium on the Nose and Tail of the Banks. In late February, the Prime Minister was here. He spoke in the lobby of the Confederation Building. He said he was ready to fight for fish. Do you remember that?


MR. OLDFORD: - and to drive the foreign draggers who were slaughtering the few remaining fish off the Nose and the Tail. That is a quote from the Prime Minister. In a further quote, he said: `I'm not afraid of these people and I will take them on.' Mr. Speaker, even The Evening Telegram had to admit that the Prime Minister's words after the election matched his rhetoric during the campaign. The Telegram observed this: `It was a pledge strikingly similar to Liberal vows made during the October election campaign. Obviously the Telegram was on side at this point. Even the Telegram was.

Of course, people around the Province were asking themselves could this be true. Was the Federal Government finally going to take on the foreign trawlers who were vacuuming up the few remaining fish off the Nose and the Tail? But, of course, those of us on this side, on Your Honour's left, we were convinced, we were confident.

MR. TULK: There was a little smidgen of doubt.

MR. OLDFORD: Some. A little bit. A little doubt. But we had very little doubt, Mr. Speaker, that the Prime Minister would keep his word. We also felt that Mr. Tobin had the necessary clout to get the job done. We knew, we had faith and we had confidence in Jean Chrétien, and we had confidence in Brian Tobin. I think that confidence was the proper thing and it has been well served.

The Prime Minister, of course, `the little fellow from Shawinigan', knows rural Newfoundland, knows rural Canada.

MR. TULK: Used to call himself a pea-souper, remember?


MR. TULK: He wrote on a book for me one time: A pea-souper is the same as a bayman, eh?

MR. OLDFORD: Mr. Speaker, throughout his political career of course Newfoundlanders stood by Jean Chrétien. We knew that in our hour of need that Mr. Chrétien would understand and he would stand up for Newfoundland and stand up for our fishery.

Mr. Speaker, in introducing the legislation Mr. Tobin said the following about Canada's reason for doing so, he said: we propose a bill to give Canada the capacity, authority and ability not to extend our jurisdiction out beyond 200 miles, not to make a territorial grab, not to expand our economic zone and not to pull onto ourselves more territorial water. That is not Canada's nature. It is not Canada's way. It is not part of our history. It is not part of our culture. We propose a measure today to give us the ability to enforce the conservation measures necessary to protect endangered species not just for ourselves but for the world and that's the crux of the matter. It's a conservation measure. It's an interim measure and I ask all hon. members, Mr. Speaker, can there be a more noble cause then this? Then to conserve the fish stocks of the Nose and Tail and the Continental Shelf for the use of Canada, Newfoundland and for the world.

The World Commission on Environment and Development chaired by the Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, issued a report, Mr. Speaker, in 1987 entitled: Our Common Future, which warned about the magnitude of overfishing. A quote from that says this: today the living resources of the sea are under threat from over exploitation, pollution and land base development. Most major familiar fish stocks throughout the waters over the continental shelves, which provide 95 per cent of the worlds fish catch, are now threatened by overfishing, Mr. Speaker.

It was predicted by the food and agricultural organization that world demand at 113 million tons would outstrip supply by at least 20 million tons in 1984. The Brundtland Report offers this very simple but effective warning; the annual depletion of fish stocks must not exceed the rate of regeneration. The problem, Mr. Speaker, was summed up in a treatise concerning the law of the sea and it's in Ordering the Oceans, by Mr. Clyde Sanger, my quote is this: there's probably no country left in the world where hunters outnumber the cultivators but they certainly do in every ocean. I think that bears repeating, there's probably no country left in the world where the hunters outnumber the cultivators but they certainly do in every ocean. I would add that we in Canada have the resolve and we have the ability to become cultivators of the Grand Bank. We can, we shall, Mr. Speaker, and we must.

US President Lyndon Johnson said on the death of Sir Winston Churchill that when the world was at its darkest ebb, a generous providence gave us Winston Churchill. Well, Mr. Speaker, the cod stocks are at their lowest ebb and once again a generous providence has provided us with the leadership necessary to say no to lawlessness, to say no to genocide. Providence has given us the leadership to protect and conserve what is left of the fish stocks on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. member's time is up.

The hon. the Opposition House Leader.

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

I want to have a few words on the resolution put forward by the Member for Trinity North. I find the resolution interesting and to say, I guess, last night we had a very lively debate about the same issue. A debate which I enjoyed very much and a debate about which there was a variance of opinion as to the effectiveness of the legislation brought forward by Mr. Tobin. I have to say that my mind hasn't changed since I went home at twelve-thirty this morning. I've still the same mind set about this legislation but I have to say that I support any initiative that will take any foreign vessels off the Grand Banks, whether it's the vessels flying flags of convenience or what they call stateless vessels or whatever they are, if they get some of them out of there then certainly it's a positive as long as countries like Spain and Portugal don't put their own flags on them and bring them back over. That's a real possibility I say to the Member for Trinity North. That is a real possibility.

There is no guarantee with this legislation, Mr. Speaker, that we are going to see a reduction in the foreign fishing effort on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks of the Flemish Cap. I hope it does but what we have to remember is that since January of this year, there are more foreign vessels fishing outside our 200 mile limit than there have been for years; they are taking more fish than they have taken for years and that's very alarming. It is something that must stop and I support that and I support the minister in his initiative to try and get it done.

I support the diplomatic efforts by Mr. Crosbie when he was federal minister and by Mr. Tobin since he has been the federal minister, but I consistently said that I did not have any faith whatsoever that diplomatic efforts would be successful when you are dealing with the fishing industry in Spain and Portugal, because they just seem to disregard totally the implications of what they are doing out on the Nose and Tail of the banks of the Flemish Cap.

I had an opportunity to go to Portugal and Spain a few years ago and met with representatives of the fishing industry over there, and I couldn't believe, Mr. Speaker, how blatant they were, and how disrespectful they were over what damage was being done out there to our fish stocks; their fish stocks too because they fished it for 400 or 500 years, but they somehow couldn't come to grips that there was any problem and any time you tried to tell them how serious it was, they always said it was our problem, that we had caused the damage particularly inside of 200 because they weren't allowed in there then, so that's the kind of arguments that they put forward, so I don't think, because the federal government and the federal ministers brought forward this legislation that it is going to change their minds too much. I don't think they are going to change their minds too much, Spain and Portugal, I don't think so, but having said that, any effort that promotes getting those foreigners off the banks we have to support. I support any effort that does it but as I said last night, merely passing the legislation in the House -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Okay. He is talking rather loudly too; he doesn't have a hearing problem; he is very close to you. You don't need to shout, you don't need to shout - but just passing the legislation in the House of Commons I was saying before I was interrupted by the Member for Fogo is not going to resolve the problem, not going to resolve the problem and what I find interesting as well, is that, legislation, in order to deal with the NAFO vessels, that, that has to go to the federal Cabinet for consideration, so it is not yet decided that they are going to deal with them. They haven't yet decided, Mr. Speaker, that they are going to deal with the vessels that are under the NAFO organization, which is very, very surprising, very, very surprising. That has to go to the federal Cabinet for consideration to see if the Government of Canada is going to take any action against those vessels, so that tells me just how strong and how much teeth is in this legislation.

The federal Cabinet may decide not to take any action for whatever reason which is most likely to happen. If they were so decisive, if they were so determined they were going to take action against the NAFO vessels, it would be automatically covered in the legislation, but no, what does it have to do before any action is taken? It has to go to the Cabinet so they can have a powwow about it; all sit around, the pros and cons of not only the overfishing on the Nose and Tail of the Banks, but what are the trade, the import and export implications for this country? That's what we are going to find, Mr. Speaker, that's what we are going to find.

I see the Member for Fogo laughs at that but that's exactly what is going to happen here because when you talk about the Government of Canada, they are exactly what it says, the Government of Canada, and they are going to look at all of the implications, trade and otherwise for this country before they go out and interfere with the NAFO vessels. It has to go to the Cabinet for consideration, so the first day, when I reacted to the statement by the Premier, I said I wasn't so sure that the legislation had the teeth that it needed. I am still not convinced that it has the teeth that is needed to deal, to get those vessels out; I hope it does and I hope the minister gets them off the Banks tomorrow.

I have to be realistic, I know that can't happen even if we had the mechanism to do it, it is going to take a while to do that, to get them out of there and I hope in a month, two, three months time we will see some progress and the number of vessels out there will decrease till eventually there is nobody, I hope that's what happens, that's what we want and we support that action. I hope it happens, but they are out there now fishing away, total disregard, total disregard, and I want to say to the Member for Trinity North, but I believe he has left, since it was his resolution, that I do not want to tamper with the resolution, amend it, or in any way try to take away from it, but I think he should have been a little more broad when he says: WHEREAS the restoration of the cod stocks. I think he should have went on a bit. I mean, the flounder stocks are in trouble, and they are out there fishing turbot and redfish. That is what they are doing out there now. There is some shrimp fishing on the Flemish Cap, so I think we should broaden it a bit to cover the other stocks, I guess, for whatever reason.

MR. TULK: I am sure he will have no problem doing that.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I do not want to amend his resolution. I am not saying it for that, but I just thought that when he read it. They are out there now taking turbot and redfish. That is why they are there, and whatever cod they scoop up with that, they quite naturally keep.

AN HON. MEMBER: I do not think I have any problem with that.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I am not suggesting you do. I just wanted to make the point.

MR. TOBIN: You should make an amendment. Don't be so foolish.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: No, I am not going to make an amendment to it. It is the member's resolution.

WHEREAS the foreign fishing efforts continue to plunder the straddling fish stocks. We all know that. How can anybody speak against that? The Government of Canada imposed a moratorium. We know that, and we all know the implications of it. But commending the Government of Canada for its farsighted and courageous decision to ask Parliament to adopt legislation to empower the government to enact regulations. Well, I suppose we could modestly and moderately, I suppose, Mr. Speaker, I might find it within me somewhere if I dig down deep enough.

MR. TULK: If you get over your flu.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Well, I might strongly commend the government then, or the minister.

MR. TULK: If he could provide you with a cure for the cold.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, if he could give me a cure for the cold I would probably go out and drive them out myself, swim out.

I know where the member is coming from. The other side want to applaud their cousins in Ottawa, to get in their good books. That is what it is all about, to try to buoy up their good friend, Mr. Tobin.

MR. TULK: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Where is that? It must be 91 per cent in his family, is it?

MR. TULK: No, not in his family.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: It is 91 per cent of his family who are supporting him. He has done very well. The honeymoon is still on. The honeymoon was on with this government for about five years.

MR. TULK: You will be surprised how long this one will last.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Oh, this one is over I say to the Member for Fogo, long gone.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Quebec and BC. That is true.

MR. CRANE: You will be retired by then.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Maybe I will, I say to the Member for Harbour Grace.

I only hope, Mr. Speaker, that before I retire we have this serious problem dealt with. I do not know how long it is going to be before I retire. It could be tonight, it could be tomorrow, it could be the fall.

AN HON. MEMBER: I have a feeling that if the hon. member could get this fixed he would retire now.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Well, I would not go that far, but I only hope that it happens before I retire. I hope I can see this problem resolved while I am still in politics. I hope I do. Now, that could be another ten years, of course, but if it is resolved in ten years at least it is a positive because for the last ten years it had not been resolved. If we can reduce that foreign effort over the next number of years, or the next number of months, and get them out it will be positive. If I can see that before I go I think that will be great.

AN HON. MEMBER: You have another big objective, too.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: What is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: You have to get the federal member down in your area.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I might take care of him, yes. Who knows, I might be the one who has to boot them off the banks. I never thought about that, but that would take some kind of a political miracle, not for me to get rid of Simmons. That would not be a political miracle. That would be a political blessing. It would be a political blessing if that happened.

MR. TOBIN: We got clear of him once before.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: We did, when we puts our minds to it, and we were only on the fringes then organizing. Imagine what we will be when we are really into it?

MR. TOBIN: That is right, and you the candidate.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: And you the campaign manager, look out.

DR. KITCHEN: You should get rid of Simms.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Never mind. I say to the Minister of Health that when he is welcomed into the gallery as the former member and the former minister, it will be Premier Simms over there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Oh, yes, you can count on that, guaranteed, Sir.

Mr. Speaker, basically we don't have a big problem with the resolution. I do have concern about the legislation. I am concerned about it because again, as I said last night, I don't know how they are really going to get at the problem. I really don't. I don't understand that. If someone could convince me, and I could see it happening, if I could see some results of where they go out there and get those vessels out of there, then I will be 100 per cent behind it, but I am a little bit dubious because what I can't understand, for whatever we think about John Crosbie, when we are honest about him, he is not a stupid man. He is a smart, bright, individual, a very bright individual. He certainly had the best interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians at heart. He wanted the foreigners off the Banks; he did, he wanted them off there like any Newfoundlander and Labradorian wanted, the same as Brian Tobin wants them off, the same as the former chairperson of the United Fisherpersons used to want them off.

MR. EFFORD: Always did.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Used to want them off, don't care now, too comfortable now, don't care now if the Spaniards come into the Harbour out where he lives.

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, yes he does.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Couldn't care less. He would probably go down and get a bottle of the Portuguese and Spanish wine, and that is all he would care about it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Jose. He would be calling them Jose. Come aboard, come in and have -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: That is what would happen.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) the Premier's own private elevator. This time last year (inaudible).

AN HON. MEMBER: I tell the truth (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: There is only one other minister uses it, and that's Roberts.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes and a lot of us have seen that. A lot of us have witnessed that - eyewitness to the scene.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: Eyewitness to what?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: The Government House Leader getting aboard the private elevator as well as the Premier. I have never seen another minister get aboard of it, but I have seen him. He uses it quite regularly, and maybe that's why they were thinking about putting a seat in it. There was serious consideration -

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible) throne.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Well, you might call it that, but there was serious consideration given to putting a seat in that, you know?

AN HON. MEMBER: An ejection seat.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: A seat, yes. The member laughs. It's true. They thought about putting a plush seat in the private elevator - yes, Sir. I don't know if there is going to be velvet up around it, because there were people at one time who used chariots. There were people who used to ride in chariots.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Who said that?

AN HON. MEMBER: Two air bags would look good.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Well, I tell you, if the Government House Leader was going to get into it, they would need more than an air bag if he went forward. If he went forward with any speed, the Government House Leader would need more than an air bag, I guarantee you that.

MR. TOBIN: Danny was going to be the air bag.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Danny the air bag. That's pretty good. Did you hear this? You've got a new role.

MR. DUMARESQUE: What's that?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: You're going to be the air bag on the Premier's private elevator. I knew there was going to be a place for you with the Premier; I knew it.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know how I got sidetracked to the elevator. I hate people doing that. I wish people would not interrupt me and distract me.

MR. SULLIVAN: I know how you got sidetracked. You got a rise out of them, see.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: A rise out of the elevator, yes.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: It is so hard, Mr. Speaker, to keep serious in this House. I have to work at it, to be serious. It is a full-time job.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, you will take care of it. I tell you, you took care of the Member for St. George's last night. You finished him. I think that was the best ruling I have seen since - how long have I been here? I don't know, but that was the best ruling. As a matter of fact, we were saying today in caucus that if we could have an election for Speaker you would have all of our votes today, we enjoyed it that much.

AN HON. MEMBER: He was so decisive.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: He was decisive, yes, right to the point. That is what that group is lacking over there, decisiveness.

AN HON. MEMBER: He didn't cite Beauchesne or anything like that.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: No, and I tell you, I respect him more for that.

There was one former member of the House who was, I think, Deputy Speaker when -

MR. TOBIN: From Harbour Grace.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: A former Member for Harbour Grace, when Premier Smallwood was here - got up on points of order, going on, and he lost his patience with Premier Smallwood; and he said, in giving his ruling: This is not according to `Joechesne'.


MR. TULK: He thought it was `Joechesne.'

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Well, it might be, but that is what he said anyway.

Mr. Speaker, to the resolution.

MR. TULK: (Inaudible) don't have to worry about it.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I'm sorry?

MR. TULK: (Inaudible) don't have to worry about that now.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, that is enough, too, I say to the member.

Mr. Speaker, you have to support any initiative that gives our fish stocks a chance to rebuild, and as I've said for I don't know how long, there are three big factors that have to be dealt with - the seal population; our own fishing effort, our own technology has to be dealt with, no doubt about that. There have to be changes. We all recognize that. I'm very worried, by the way, that the last couple of years have slipped by and I don't know if there have been any real improvements or advancements in technology types. I don't know. I say that without knowing. I'm concerned that we will be going through all this time and will get to a point where our fish stocks start to rebuild and find that we haven't done a thing to consider new technology. I wonder will it happen? I hope it doesn't but it just might, you know, and I'm worried about that. Because we will need to have changes.

MR. TULK: May I interrupt for a second?


MR. TULK: One of the things we should be looking at now is the place of science and technology (inaudible) -

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Is what? I can't hear you.

MR. TULK: The place of science and technology in this fishery.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Yes, I agree.

MR. TULK: And we (inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I agree, and it worries me that we will go through another three, four or five years and then at the end of the day, when things improve, we hope, that we will say: My god, we didn't look at the technology. What technology should we be using now to harvest the fish? We will go back to using the same technology. That is possible. I know there is certain technology that will never be allowed to be utilized at certain times of the year. We know that. But, you know, that worries me.

And unless we deal with this foreign fishing effort and get it out of there - it is a very big factor. It is hard to believe that today they are out there catching so much fish and here we are doing nothing, can't fish. And I say, the boats are out there. I went out over there last Wednesday morning and had a lookout with a surveillance crew. I wanted to have a look at the technology, because I didn't fully understand how it worked - how they picked up the vessel and how they tracked it and located it, went down and identified it. It is amazing; really, it is very sophisticated and very effective. I have to say, it is very effective and the money they are spending on it are dollars well spent, I say. Because how else can you cover that big area?

We were out in the Flemish Cap area. Some day I hope to go back again and go to the Nose and Tail and have a look, on the Tail more so, because they say there is a fair bit of effort there - not much on the Nose, but the Flemish Cap area up to an area they call, what is it, the Sackville Spur, which runs out about 120 miles from the Nose, the farthest point of the Nose out. That is where they are concentrated out there - turbot and redfish, they are there scooping it up.

I saw where - they briefed me before I went out and they showed me the board with the names on them and the identification numbers and the country. They are so familiar with them, by the way, that they can almost tell you where they are today if you went out with them. They can name the vessel and say: They are somewhere in this area. They can pick them up.

I was very impressed with it, I have to say that, and that is why I wanted to go. What I hope to find when I go back in four or five or six months' time is that there will certainly be a significant reduction, and hopefully none left there. I certainly would recommend to any member, if you can get a chance, go out and have a look for yourself and understand it. Because I didn't until I went out and saw the equipment in use. I am really impressed with it - it's very sophisticated, very effective. I conclude my remarks.

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

MR. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I want to congratulate the hon. the Member for Trinity North for taking the initiative to introduce this resolution today. Because I believe it is very appropriate in that there is no question about it, the legislation that was recently passed in the House of Commons is probably the most important initiative that Canada has ever taken in addressing the problem of overfishing.

It is certainly a refreshing departure from the approach taken by the previous administration and by the previous minister. I had a lot of dealings with the former minister, Mr. Speaker, and while he was in the position of Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, with his officials, and as I look back on what transpired at the meetings that we had, I can appreciate all the more the accomplishment of our own new federal minister, Mr. Tobin, in what he achieved, because I can tell you now that in my discussions with federal politicians and bureaucrats and diplomats, the mere mention of Newfoundland or Canada declaring custodial management, or extending jurisdiction unilaterally, would not be received too favourably. So for that reason I appreciate - probably more than anybody in this House, because I have probably been closer to it during the past four or five years - I appreciate what the hon. minister in Ottawa has done.

Obviously, Mr. Speaker, the next step now must be for the Government of Canada to proceed with the development of regulations which will allow for the responsible implementation of the recently passed legislation. I am told that work is under way now, on developing those regulations.

Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that by far the biggest offenders in terms of overfishing outside of the Canadian 200-mile limit continue to be countries that are supposedly regulated by NAFO, and members of the European Union. Spain and Portugal, of course, are the two biggest offenders. These two countries are by far the biggest offenders when it comes to foreign overfishing on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

Mr. Speaker, when the Christina Logos was arrested some weeks ago - April, I think it was - I went onboard with some of my officials to see firsthand the size, quality and type of fish they had in their hold. We knew by reports that they had 100 tons of fish in their holds. When we boarded, we went down to the bottom of the vessel and saw firsthand some of the fish that was there. We asked the fishery officer who accompanied us if he would pick at random a couple of cartons of fish. They were in flat boxes, probably twenty-five pounds per box. So he went and picked at random a number of boxes, and he broke the seal and opened them up. I can tell you now, Mr. Speaker, that if ever I needed convincing that action must be taken to put a stop to foreign overfishing, that was the most effective lesson I ever learned.

Let me show you what I saw onboard that vessel. Now, mind you, this was a foreign vessel, supposedly flying a flag from Panama - had its registry mixed up, they weren't sure where it was registered, and luckily it was found that the registry of Panama that they thought was in effect was not, and therefore it gave Canada the right to take some action.

What I have here, and I regret the House is not full to see this, that is the codfish they had in their hold. They had 100 tons of fish -

MR. TULK: How much?

MR. CARTER: One hundred tons.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's not a codfish - that's only a (inaudible).

MS. COWAN: It looks like a sardine.

MR. CARTER: It's about the size of a pan-size trout, not much bigger than a pen. There it is. Now, can you imagine a country or a company or a sea captain - In fact, I don't know if I should apologize, or be ashamed of myself or not, but when we walked onboard that vessel the captain was on the bridge, and I was introduced to him, and having seen this -

AN HON. MEMBER: What boat?

MR. CARTER: The Christina Logos.

- I could not force myself to shake the man's hand. I was introduced to him and I said `hello' and kept on walking, because any sea captain, or anybody else, for that matter - I don't blame the crew, they are there to do what they are told, but the captain didn't have to do it. There is what they were catching.

MS. COWAN: Do you have the picture of the other ones?

MR. CARTER: There is what they were catching - just incredible! It is unbelievable - the ordinary Newfoundlander wouldn't take that out of the water. Let me show you what they were using to catch it with. There is the mesh. Mr. Speaker, they had a trap, a net, and they had two liners like that. So you can imagine, if you take that and put another liner to it, then there is what you get, plus another one on top of that. It is scarcely big enough for the water to go through. A caplin would not escape through that.

By the way, the trawls, or the nets, were still on the deck, rolled up, with the two liners still in them.

MR. TOBIN: That's been happening for years.

MR. CARTER: It is still happening. I suggest to you today that is happening. Now, then, there is a codfish, a Northern codfish at three years old.

MR. BAKER: That is not three years old.

MR. CARTER: No, and just look at it. Pardon me for grabbing it that way, `Winst'. That fish there is not a year old, I wouldn't think - that is three years old; so, you see, about a year-and-a-half old.

MR. TOBIN: What would you use that for?

MS. COWAN: They use it for decoration of plates.


MR. CARTER: For the benefit of hon. members, Mr. Speaker, we all know that it takes a Northern codfish seven years to mature to the point where it can reproduce - seven years for a Northern cod, unlike a Southern codfish, where they grow faster because of certain conditions. Northern cod takes seven years.

There is the size of a codfish, a Northern cod - that is the size it has to be in order to be mature enough to spawn and reproduce. You can imagine the damage that is being done to our fishery by these vessels.

As we talk here today there are probably sixty or seventy vessels fishing on the Grand Banks, the Nose and Tail, and I suspect that if you were to check, they are all using mesh size like this. As I said a moment ago, this vessel was not content, by the way, to use one liner, they had two liners, so there were actually three sets of mesh - hardly enough for water to go through, much less a codfish. In the hold of that vessel there were 100 tons, and I suspect if the vessel hadn't been arrested when it was, it might very well have been 10,000 tons of the same size fish, and we have no reason to believe that other ships are catching anything any different.

So, Mr. Speaker, that is why I view this legislation that just recently went through the House of Commons -

MR. W. MATTHEWS: A moment, if I may?

MR. CARTER: Yes, of course.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Just a little story to show the hypocrisy of these people. When I went out on the surveillance plane last Wednesday, one of the gentlemen handling the computer end of things was reading an article and he showed it to me, from a U.K. News. It was an article on harvesting of anchovies somewhere in Spanish territory, or in disputed territory, in any case. Anyway, the French had gone in and taken too much anchovies, exceeded the limit by so much, and sixty Spanish trawlers went out with their crews and took them over. Yet they feel that they can come over here and do this kind of thing and it is quite alright. You know what I mean? That is what I was saying earlier. I don't know how in the name of god you are going to deal with it, I really don't.

MR. CARTER: I agree, Mr. Speaker. I thank the hon. gentleman for his comments. But, Mr. Speaker, it is worth noting that in 1993 -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: Pardon?

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) get that frozen (inaudible)?

MR. CARTER: That is frozen now but it is sealed in a vacuum, so even if it thaws out we are all safe.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CARTER: That is right. Just think, if you will, that in 1993 the European Community vessels, flying flags of countries within the European Union, and some, of course, flying flags of convenience, but yet, owned by European countries - because a flag of convenience is precisely what it implies. It's a flag of convenience because the vessels that fly flags of convenience, Mr. Speaker - and by the way I should point out, that when we went onboard this vessel, it now was flying a Panamanian flag supposed to be registered in Panama, supposedly or allegedly having no connection whatever with Portugal. We knew that there was a Portuguese crew onboard, but by a strange coincidence, all of the fish was packed in boxes clearly labelled `Portugal' - a company in Portugal. So this fish, caught by this so-called stateless vessel, a vessel with a flag of convenience, catching the fish, all of it was consigned to Portugal. So that speaks for itself.

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 foreign vessels - vessels flying flags of the European Community, countries and flags of convenience are responsible for harvesting 100,000 metric tons of fish. Now, I have no reason to doubt that a lot of that fish, that 100,000, were fish of that size because this didn't just happen. This size fish just didn't make an appearance on the Grand Banks. So I think that points out - even though, Mr. Speaker, the legislation that our friend in Ottawa recently introduced and had passed in the Commons and in the Senate, even though it might not contain all of the precautions that we would like to see there, I can tell you now that it's a good start.

I commend the minister and the Government of Canada for having the courage to take this action because it does take some courage given the fact that - and I think we would be naive, Mr. Speaker, if we didn't recognize the fact that there must be a very strong and potent lobby in Central Canada against their central government taking any kind of action against their trading partners in Europe such as is envisaged in this legislation. Therefore, the pressure must be great and any government or any prime minister who was prepared to still proceed to take this action, he has my admiration.

Mr. Speaker, as I said a moment ago, there are a number of other important things that Canada must be prepared to do. For example, we have a very healthy turbot stock at the present time that is being ravaged by foreign fishing effort. In fact, I don't have the exact figures here but I'm told that it's quite conceivable that foreign vessels fishing turbot on the Nose of the Grand Banks last year harvested close to 50,000 metric tons. Turbot, of course, is an unregulated stock and consequently it's difficult to control it but obviously, Mr. Speaker, if we're going to avoid having happen to the turbot what has happened to other groundfish or codfish out there, then steps will have to be taken by Canada and by NAFO to put a stop to the plundering that's going on now.

Then, of course, the other problem that, for obvious reasons, is not addressed in the legislation that just went through the House is the stocks on the Flemish Cap. Now, we all know that the Flemish Cap is beyond the Canadian 200-mile limit. In fact, it's not even part of the Canadian Continental Shelf, but it is a very prolific fishing area. And it's said that the groundfish stocks on the Flemish Cap are a discreet stock, they're not part of the overall stock out there. But it is no less important, Mr. Speaker, that steps be taken to protect the stocks on the Flemish Cap, again to ensure that they won't go the way of the Northern cod.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I say that I'm very proud and very happy that our Newfoundland minister and his government were able to introduce and to get passage of this legislation in the House of Commons and in the Senate, I commend them for it, and I only hope now that this will be a beginning, that they are now going to address the problem of ships flying flags of convenience but I believe that there will come a time in the not too distant future when they are going to have to adjust the problem of European Community vessels that continue to fish on the Nose and Tail of our Grand Banks.

Thank you very much.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise to pass some comments on this resolution. Yes, I have to say there are some positive aspects to it; I take a couple of points here: far-sighted decision, I don't necessarily agree with that aspect because there is a major problem overall that's a little farther into the future. It is a short-term thing that is going to happen with boats and ships that are flying flags of convenience and stateless vessels. Now we do know for some time that on the vessels that are flying flags of convenience, over the past couple of years significant progress has been made.

There were thirty-three vessels in 1993 and prior, that were there flying flags of convenience and we will call them stateless vessels, but as of this year I believe, on May 2, it has been reduced to eleven, so since 1993, we have made tremendous strides in trying to eliminate those boats from fishing on the straddling stocks outside the 200-mile limit. Now we realize that there is a much bigger problem here. I guess it is certainly a start, some people might call it, maybe some of the foreign nations might call it territorial encroachment is a term, or we will call it probably creeping jurisdiction on limits. It is a term that will be frequently used to describe what we might be able to do in the future.

I think there are some positive aspects to dealing with this problem here, but overall, we have seen those vessels other than NAFO countries, catch probably 20 per cent of the fish that is there, and I am sure those close to the scene and the ministers are probably quite aware that in the past year or so we have seen some of the nations voluntarily withdrawing their flags of convenience and getting that number down. I think Minister Tobin stated on May 2, I believe, eleven at the time were now fishing out there which is a considerable improvement since the thirty-three over a year ago.

Now numerous have agreed prior to this federal government taking over and since they have continued that, I commend the current government for doing that and the previous for reducing that number to only eleven but it is not even the tip of the iceberg that is there. We have a major problem there, in fact NAFO has the responsibility to establish quotas and to control outside the 200-mile limit, they set a quota last September, established a quota of 6,000 tons of 3No cod outside the 200-mile limit on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

AN HON. MEMBER: Inside that?

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, that's correct, that's right in 3No cod. In February, when Minister Tobin went to Brussels and put forward a case to be able to have the fishery shut down in that area - now our government had been saying, the former minister John Crosbie and the current minister, Brian Tobin have stated that even though we were given I believe roughly 60 per cent of that quota of 6,000 tons, were given to Canadian boats, 40 per cent were given to other NAFO boats. They felt that we shouldn't fish our 40 per cent because we felt there was a problem there, a declining in stocks would be very severe and detrimental to the future recovery of the fish stocks in that area.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, I am getting to that. As a result of that and from pressures being brought on NAFO, Minister Tobin went there in February, they agreed eventually to - and their quota was only 2,200 tons, 2,400 tons - they agreed after that meeting, or at that time, actually, to close it for this year, when they already had caught almost all their quota.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes. How much did they catch?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: They got 900 tons? Fifty percent almost. I understand they had 1,600 tons, is what I heard, out of 2,200 tons. I don't know the exact figure. Let's put it this way. They agreed to stop fishing when they had either close to half or 60 per cent of what they were supposed to catch, and for 1993.

When NAFO agreed to close it - they may set a quota next year, that is quite possible. The big problem here is that 80 per cent of the fish being caught is being caught out there by NAFO countries of which we have no direct control or supervision or enforcement. In fact, what NAFO has out there is a managerial aspect and a supervision but no enforcement regime in place. None whatsoever! NAFO has no enforcement regime in place.

You can put on paper whatever TAC you allow out there, whatever quotas you want to establish. You could board and observe and do whatever you like, but if you do not have an enforcement regime in place to follow up on those violations we are not going to accomplish what we need to accomplish.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).


AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Out there now the cod stocks on the Nose and Tail of the Banks, there is 97 per cent, generally speaking, of the stock is usually within the 200-mile limit. I think they call it 5 per cent outside on the average. At certain points of the year there is about 25 per cent outside the 200-mile limit. That is a very vulnerable position of which we don't have control.

John Crosbie stated on numerous occasions that we do not have the legal right to be able to be able to regulate those. I regard this step that has just been taken is going to address a problem that has been addressed already to a great extent. We've seen a reduction from thirty-three to eleven stateless vessels and flags of convenience, we call them. It is down to one-third what it was a year ago. This legislation will hopefully eliminate the other one-third that is there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, that is correct, that is right. Some countries have agreed voluntarily - Korea and various others, I believe Venezuela - they have agreed. There is an international understanding with those countries, an agreement, not to allow flags of convenience. All we have out there now are like Belize and Honduras and we have Panama. A few countries out there still are not respecting the declining stocks, or they are ignorant of the circumstances, or they don't place a high value on the preservation of stocks that do not have a direct impact on their country, or countries that do not have an ongoing trade relationship with Canada. They have no obligation of an international basis to deal and address that. That could always be a problem.

I sincerely hope that within thirty days, as they've indicated, they will go out and board these and use whatever force is there to get those flags of convenience vessels out of the water. I hope that the avenue could be open to be able to go out and do the same with NAFO, but I can assure you it is not there. The forum is not there in international law to be able to do that, and that is regrettable.

When you see people here - and I see them in my district; twenty-some hundred people directly involved in the fishery in my district, a significant number, the big percentage of the workforce - and they have to stay at home and watch fish six and seven inches long being landed and caught outside the Nose and Tail of the Bank and they in here being given an income. They are frustrated with it. They feel you should go out and blow every ship out of the water that is out there, NAFO countries and otherwise.

The United States is not a member of NAFO and the United States will not be bullied on the international market, I can assure you that. There is a growing movement afoot in the United States to get some degree of protectionism in there. They are facing an onslaught from Japan and there is a period which arose in American politics, in American society now, that we want protection; if we give, we want something in return. There is tremendous pressure on the U.S. administration, and that has been brewing over the past year. We want to protect what we have. If we are going to have a trade off, it is going to be of significant impact. It's not going to be something that is going to drain. There was an anti-government backlash, and they got the message there, and they are not going to succumb to any international agreements that are not in their best interest, I can assure you of that.

Now we have numerous countries out there, and today in The Evening Telegram I was pleased to see one aspect there that they are going to go out, the RCMP, the army, the navy, the air force, whatever you have to go out there, board those stateless vessels and flags of convenience, take them in and prosecute them and do whatever is necessary. I sure hope that will happen, and I will applaud that. We need that. In fact, maybe I would advocate an extreme, maybe go after NAFO countries, the real violators - Spain and Portugal - who wouldn't even sign the agreement in Brussels to shut down the 3No cod fishery on the -

AN HON. MEMBER: But they did not object.

MR. SULLIVAN: They didn't object; they didn't agree. If you don't agree, in my mind, you object. He who is not with us is against us. They sat on the fence.

AN HON. MEMBER: They had sixty days to object; they did not (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: That is right. They didn't object, so they didn't vote for it. They abstained, I believe. They abstained, and if you don't support something, you are against it. You either support this international effort or you are against it. You can't sit on the fence.

The most violent, flagrant abusers of this system cannot sit on the fence. We know where Spain and Portugal are in this fishery. They are out there catching fish and violating international law, not adhering to quotas that are there, and they are not going to go along and participate with it.

The Evening Telegram today outlines a few interesting things. The Evening Telegram said today that most nations registered a measure of objection to the bill. Many nations objected to this bill that was presented in the House of Commons and passed. Minister Tobin admitted that, it said. They disagree with Canada stepping outside established international rules, but I say we should go for the total works out there.

We are on the high moral ground on this issue. We have the support of fair-minded nations out there, like-minded nations out there. It has moral support, and anything that has moral support, you take your knocks on the international community because of it. Who can knock Canada for being aggressive and pushing forward in trying to get established certain protection for a resource that is not given the significance by other countries?

They are pirates out there, not just those ones we are going to pick on now, not just those from Panama, Belize and Honduras, but the Spanish and Portuguese who we are not even touching in this legislation. We are not touching the countries that are pillaging 80 per cent of the stocks out there. We are going to take away those flags of convenience and they will up the amounts they are catching, and the same amount will get caught.

Now there was a theory, and people said that cod disappeared, the Northern cod, 2J and 3K and 3L gradually got scarcer as we moved south, and they said it couldn't move outside the 200-mile limit, it couldn't go out through the deep trenches between the Continental Shelf and the Flemish Cap, but scientists are reporting, and I have heard just recently that they are finding cod in those depths that they didn't expect to find them before.


MR. SULLIVAN: We won't tell the foreigners that, hopefully; we will try to keep it here.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: I can tell you, scientists have been wrong before. Scientists were wrong in their estimation; that is right. Scientists were wrong. The people who are not wrong, the people who have never been wrong, I can tell you, are the people who have fished that resource for fifteen, twenty and thirty years. They said ten years ago what is happening, and it is criminal to have liners in nets. It wasn't just done by those foreigners out there, I can tell you. It is being done by trawlers out of companies operating here in this Province, and it has been done out of boats operating in this Province for many years, and the reason they did it -

AN HON. MEMBER: One of the worst offenders in this Province was FPI (inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: It sure was. I have talked to people in my district. As I went door-to-door in my district - and twice within a year I went to every door in my district - I talked fishery matters in 80 per cent of those conversations, and often up to an hour in group discussions. It took me four weeks to visit every door, 2400 doors, and I asked people who fished on those trawlers for twenty-five years and they said it was just lit up like hotels out there. When they pulled in their nets and reached up they could see almost every mesh with flounder about four inches long, every single mesh was full. They destroyed a young growing resource, they tore up the sea bottom, the sea beds in breeding areas, they fished in the wintertime during spawning seasons, they ignored every conservation rule in the book, Canadians as well as foreigners.

AN HON. MEMBER: And Newfoundlanders.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, Newfoundlanders. It is little wonder we are having a job convincing foreigners, now that the fish is gone, that they should start using some conservation. We lost control of a resource and when we did realize it was slipping away the political leaders of the day said: we cannot throw thousands of people out of work. We have to balance the conservation aspect with the social upheaval by eliminating several thousand people from jobs. And what did they do? They only closed down certain plants, and only cut down certain aspects of the fishery, so we could ease in the social upheaval.

What we have is social upheaval in this Province the likes of which never existed in this country before, the likes that has never existed, I say, in this world before, with the massive unemployment because of a shutdown in the fishery. There is no single industry that has such an impact as the impact this is having on the Newfoundland economy today. From the direct people involved in the harvesting and processing to spin-off industries here it is criminal and there is no real hope in the next short-term until these stocks can rebuild.

We know, and the minister referred to it, that it takes seven years under normal conditions, maybe slightly less under optimal conditions, and we do not have optimal environmental conditions existing anymore out there. We have colder water temperatures. It has been documented, and scientists can tell you. We have the salinity levels affecting the eggs that come to the surface, where the eggs come to the surface and where they hatch, where they feed near the surface of the water. They are not coming to the surface of the water; they are dying on the bottom of the ocean, the ones that are there. The water temperature, too, is affecting the mortality rate and the survival. We only have one in a million that would hatch under normal conditions and now we have a much, much, lower rate.

We are seeing an upset in the food chain there because of overfishing. The ocean is not just a food chain, it is a food web. It is a whole list of intricate, interlocking food chains out there that nobody knows the full impact and significance of the interaction between the different levels of the food chain in the water ecosystem, and scientists are at the embryologic stage in their scientific information. They are far, far, from knowing the intricacies involved in the web in the ocean because it is so huge, so large, so variable, and they have not been able to get a proper handle on it.

We have the impact tied in with foreign overfishing, and we have seals, the population has been allowed to grow unchecked. We have not done anything to increase the harvest, to even allow people to get seals for food. Today with an overfished cod population we cannot even hunt a seal. The Member for Baie Verte -White Bay proposed that everybody who wants to go out and hunt a seal for food should be allowed to do so. What is wrong with it? I say, more power to him and his suggestion. We should be allowed to do that.

All these are impacting and shifting, the food web of the ocean is getting more intricate farther off from the shores because they are moving farther in search of food. In the next three, four, or five years we may be facing in this Province much more difficult times than we are facing now. It is highly unlikely that the northern cod fishery is going to be open in this century. It is a possibility, and it has happened in nature, that more species have died, become extinct in nature, than exist. We have had millions of species that became extinct in time because the levels in the food chain became so low that they were out competed in that food chain by other species and they never could recover to the level where they could carry on a sufficient existence.

Now, that could very well happen today. We have seen numerous other species - and animal rights groups and Greenpeace jump up in arms when a species gets to the point of extinction. Here is something a fish, a cod fish, a groundfish because it doesn't look as beautiful as a whitecoat they don't have the same commitment.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. SULLIVAN: No, it doesn't. If they don't stand up and take notice - what we need to do, the Government of Canada needs to do also, is to use the photographs from the Christina Logos, the films and do a very intensive international public relations campaign. Yes, in NAFO countries especially and other countries more so. In NAFO countries it's important; they got to step it up. We got to get a commitment from the Government of Canada to do something about this desperate situation here. We have been nurtured along as a welfare state for a long time. We have not been given the opportunity to develop an independence here in this Province.

We've been given an ACOA to feed funds in to develop, we gave Western Canada a western diversification fund, we pumped money into Quebec because we don't want to give Western Canada less per capita then we are getting here and don't want to give Quebec less. You'll never eliminate regional disparities in a country if you don't give the more disadvantaged ones a higher share of the money there that's available. We have only a small population. They want us to remain a welfare state. We will never, never get to the point where we get control. In other words, the tail never wagged the dog yet and it probably will never, so we will never. But we need to stand up and fight at least for a renewal of this industry. We need to have an increased focus on stopping this international fiasco that's going on out there.

We haven't, at this point in time, as of today, made any significant progress in addressing the NAFO countries who are out there fishing. We know that NAFO is a toothless organization that sets quotas outside the 200 mile limit in the straddling stocks. Canada gets it share of that based upon our adjacency and our historical rights - and other countries on their history because we know other countries came and fished waters here in Newfoundland before we were settled, before Canada became a nation and many years before. That can't be changed overnight but we did enter into an agreement in 1972 where we gave the French - and that's something that's very regrettable - Prime Minister Trudeau at the time, gave the French the right to fish and catch a certain amount of cod within our 200 mile limit. They're the type of agreements, I say, should never have been made.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: As a matter of fact he's over time.

The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. TULK: Mr. Speaker, let me start off this afternoon - I'm not sure which way to approach this thing this afternoon because the Member for Trinity North has introduced a resolution and I believe there is some hope finally that we're going to get a unanimous agreement that his resolution is a good one. So I want to congratulate him on that. The Member for St. John's East is here, I don't know what he's going to say but it seems that the Member for Grand Bank, Opposition House Leader and the Member for Ferryland seem to be leaning at least in the same direction as the Member for Trinity North and that in itself is a good thing. That is a good thing because it seems now that we've moved away from where we were yesterday evening.

Yesterday evening I had to say across the House and I was about to stand and debate it and say it - I had to say across the House to my friend from Grand Bank, a man that I have a great deal of respect for, and I believe he's usually been on the right side of the issue especially when it comes to fish. But I almost had to stand yesterday evening, and I thought I was going to have to stand today and call him a naysayer but I'm happy today, I'm happy to see that the other side of the House is indeed now looking, now opening up there minds past the political boundaries of their own party and saying, `great' to the Member for Trinity North, it's a great resolution. We should praise the Government of Canada; we should praise the federal minister because this is a very, very positive step in the right direction. One that we've been hoping for for years.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I want also to congratulate the provincial Minister of Fisheries on bringing in front of us the stark reality of what's going on, not only on the Tail and Nose but I suggest to you, in other parts of the Continental Shelf as well. The stark reality of baby fish basically being taken before they have a chance to grow and being taken using the most horrendous methods possible.

I have to ask: Where is the media this evening when you need them? If Brigitte Bardot was down there with a little white cuddly seal standing up you would see them falling over the gallery. They would be falling out of the gallery. But let the provincial Minister of Fisheries come in here and illustrate very vividly what is going on with the livelihood of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and the place is empty.

You have to wonder if we are not our own worst enemies in this country. They practically got themselves frostbit off St. Anthony trying to get a picture of Brigitte Bardot and the seals. Yet this afternoon I saw one person while this debate was going on and while the Minister of Fisheries was up there holding up what to any Newfoundlander has to turn your stomach, and what to any conservationist in this world would turn your stomach. Not a person in the gallery. Not a media person.

The Minister of Fisheries is to be commended for educating us. It is one thing to say that this is happening but it is another thing to see it in front of your face. I want to commend him for that.

AN HON. MEMBER: That is what should be shown (inaudible).

MR. TULK: That is exactly what should be shown.

MS. COWAN: Across the nation.

MR. TULK: Across the nation, yes. It should be shown across the nation. I want to say to the Member for Ferryland that when he says that what is happening with this legislation is the tip of the iceberg I say to him no, that is not correct. I have to say to him, no, that is not correct. I'm going to agree with him on most other things but I say to him now that the legislation - and I want to emphasize that word, "legislation" - the legislation that the federal government, primarily through the efforts of the federal Minister of Fisheries, Mr. Tobin, and the Prime Minister - the Prime Minister is committed. It is amazing the amount of commitment that man has shown to Newfoundland and the Newfoundland fishery.

I want to say to my friends opposite, without becoming too political, that that is the difference between what is happening in Ottawa today and what was happening in Ottawa prior to October 25 of last year. John Crosbie was a good Newfoundlander. There is nobody who is going to stand in this Legislature - or they shouldn't - and argue otherwise.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Pardon me?

AN HON. MEMBER: Good thing Danny's not here.

MR. TULK: No, Danny wouldn't say he is not a good Newfoundlander. The Member for Eagle River would not say John Crosbie is not a good Newfoundlander. He might criticize him in certain regards. I will criticize probably Brian Tobin in certain regards somewhere along the road, but I will not say he is not a good Newfoundlander.

I believe that John Crosbie would have done what Brian Tobin is doing today if he had been allowed by the then-Prime Minister and the then-Minister of External Affairs - I think it was Mr. Mazankowski - but he was not allowed. The trade relationships that that government held with the European countries and with other countries in the world were far too important to them to even think about Newfoundland.

AN HON. MEMBER: Mulroney's ego.

MR. TULK: Mulroney's ego, Mulroney's trips around the world. I say to hon. members opposite that they can believe, and I know they want to believe, that there is a different day in this land called Canada. The Prime Minister is a different person. The Prime Minister is a person who knows what the common person in this country goes through.

I say to my friend for Grand Bank - I'm glad he has come back - that I honestly believe that he can look forward to the day when foreign overfishing of any kind will have ended on Canada's Continental Shelf. I have no doubt that he looks forward to that.

I have to say to the Member for Ferryland -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Yes, it is pretty late. It may be too late. There may be nothing - and that is the fear that the federal Minister of Fisheries has. I don't think it is any secret. He said it himself so I can now say that he admitted it to me in private. That 2J-3KL fish may be extinct. At least on the verge of extinction. As a matter of fact, I think if you read what he said in the House of Commons when he introduced his legislation that is the very point that he did make. That it may be too late, and that is the problem, that's the only one overriding problem that there now is in the situation. I believe, and I believe that Brian Tobin is showing that and I believe that the Canadian government is showing that, that they will enforce the legislation and the regulations that they will now put in place to deal with flags of convenience and stateless vessels. I believe that they will do that.

I mean if you look at today's paper, Brian Tobin is not a fool, he is certainly not a fool and only a fool would say this for short-term gain unless he intended to use it. Officers ready to move on pirates: Tobin. That's what he said. Canada may test its spanking new high seas fishing legislation within thirty days to remove so-called pirate vessels from the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, says federal Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin. We are going to very clearly tell the vessels that we sight or target, that they either move or be moved. We are saying to them move your asset or lose your asset.

AN HON. MEMBER: Get your assets out of there.

MR. TULK: Get your assets out of there, and I say to my friend from Grand Bank that that is a step in the right direction and I am sure that he is proud to see it happen and I say to him that there is a new day in this land, that there is a new feeling in this land, that the Prime Minister of this country, for once in our history is squarely on the side of Newfoundlanders, and I also want to say something else to him, that I believe there is the opportunity in this country for Newfoundland to be finally heard.

I saw it on Sunday and I can say to the hon. gentleman that I don't care whatever his partisan feelings are towards the Premier of this Province, or any hon. gentleman opposite or lady, that whatever your feeling is towards the Premier of this Province, there was no doubt on Sunday morning when he stood as all the people who were there, from the Member for Eagle River who was there and did a very able job on Thursday of steering this thing through to the final plenary session; a very, very, very, very good job of steering it through. When it reached the plenary session however, we felt I think, that it was the proper place for the Premier to put forward Newfoundland's position and he did so, and he did it in the kind of terms that Canadians and the world can understand, did it in terms of maintaining a balance and an ecosystem, and pointed out to the rest of Canada that we are not uncivilized, that we are not blood-thirsty, that we just want to live where we live and do our thing.

AN HON. MEMBER: And he used these words, blood-thirsty too.

MR. TULK: Oh yes, and the strange thing was, that after he was finished, I think I was supposed to speak for the positive side as well, but a lady from Saskatchewan –

AN HON. MEMBER: Alberta.

MR. TULK: - Alberta, got up and said: yes, Mr. Chairman, let those people live and live in their own environment in the way that they choose. They have conserved that resource for hundreds of years, who are we to try to tell them something different?

That was the key here, I say to the hon. gentleman opposite; the key here was the Premier of this Province. The respect that was accorded the man when he stood up was unbelievable. So I believe and I say to hon. gentleman, I believe that, yes, yes I say to the Member for Grand Bank, that the Portuguese and the Spaniards are still out there, that after the regulations are passed here, they are still going to be out there but the legislation itself is broad enough that whenever The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in Ottawa and the Prime Minister so choose, whenever they so choose, they will -

AN HON. MEMBER: They go to Cabinet.

MR. TULK: Oh yes. - they go to Cabinet I say to the hon. member for the regulations, but they don't go to Cabinet for the legislation; the legislation is on the books and the legislation very clearly says that the Government of Canada which is the Cabinet can do certain things, and here is what they can do.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. W. MATTHEWS: They will define straddling stocks, too?

MR. TULK: They define the kind of fish that they are going to save, straddling stocks, yes, but they can list the straddling stocks to be protected under the legislation. Once they are listed, they are protected. They can establish the conservation and management measures that will apply on the high seas, to protect the listed stocks, and they can list the classes of foreign vessels to which these measures will apply.

Now at the present time they have chosen only to say: Alright, we will use stateless vessels and flags of convenience, but I can assure the hon. gentleman that Brian Tobin, the Minister of Fisheries in this country, and the Prime Minister, have shown enough courage to take those vessels on, in spite of the fact that there have been some of the countries to which those vessels are registered, they have had some kickback already, as Tobin says in the paper today, but they will do it, and they will send a loud, clear message, and that is what is important here at this point, that they will send a loud, clear message to the EC countries that if you continue this, our resolve is strong enough to do what we have to do.

Maybe then, I say to my friend from Ferryland, who is right when he says that the NAFO regulations, and NAFO's ability to enforce its regulations and its citations, are wishy-washy, he is absolutely right. A month ago, I became aware of five citations that had been issued by DFO officials to -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Pat him on the back, there.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: He is expiring.

A month-and-a-half ago I came upon five citations that had been issued by DFO officials to NAFO boats, Spanish and Portuguese boats. I decided, after about a month, to follow up and see what had happened. Mr. Speaker, it was amazing; there was nothing that had happened. So I say to my friend from Ferryland that he is right, but I believe that the Federal Minister of Fisheries and the Prime Minister of this country want, first of all... He had a meeting in Brussels, February 13-17; there is a meeting coming up in August in the U.N., and I believe at the time he was right. I believe they have now shown, and they are about to show, that they are serious about those matters, and that we may see very significant agreements in August. I am sure, as I say to hon. members opposite, that it is the hope and the wish of everybody here that that happen.

My friend from Ferryland raised another point.

MR. DUMARESQUE: There will be arrests made before Canada Day.

MR. TULK: I would think there would be arrests made before Canada Day, and what a day Canada Day will be for Newfoundland! What a day Canada Day will be for Newfoundland!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TULK: If arrests are made before Canada Day, and our Canadian government has finally pointed out to the rest of the world that we are serious about conserving those stocks - and as Tobin says, we are not conserving them just for us; we are conserving them for all mankind.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: I will tell you what. I don't have time to get into it with the hon. member, but I will tell the hon. member what he should do. I would recommend to him, and I know he is serious when he asked the question, I recommend to him that he read, if he hasn't already, the minister's speech when he introduced the regulations, when he introduced the legislation on Wednesday, May 11 in the House of Commons. His question will be answered.

If you read what he is saying, and if you see his actions in recent days, then you will see that the federal Minister of Fisheries and the Prime Minister of this country is indeed serious in taking care of our stocks.

Let me deal with the scientists. Let me deal with what is happening with the scientists. I have stood quite often in the same position as the Member for Grand Bank, the Opposition House Leader and spokesman on fisheries and everything else over there, and condemned scientists in this country –

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TULK: Pardon me?

MR. W. MATTHEWS: And everything else.

MR. TULK: And everything else, almost, at one point in time - and condemned the scientists in this country for some of the things that were going on, for not listening to fishermen, and they didn't listen to fishermen; there is no denying that, but it is not the fault of the scientific community itself. It is due to the fact that the scientific community in this country has never had the data base that they need and they're guessing far more than the fisherman who goes out in his boat.

Now what have we done in the last two years to alleviate any of that? A little but only a little. One of the things that we have to do in the next little while, and I think one of the things that we should go after the federal government to do, is to see that there is a tremendous amount of effort and resources put into building a scientific data on that vast space, that vast food basket that's out there. That's one of the things that we should do as a Legislature, that's one of the things we should do as Newfoundlanders. So that if somebody comes along to us in two years time and says the resource has recovered, they will know what they're talking about. If somebody comes along and says, no the resource hasn't recovered, they will know what they're talking about. The truth of the matter is, as the Member for Ferryland said, the fish may still be out there. We don't know but we should know and we must know.

Now, Mr. Speaker, my time is just about up. Mr. Speaker, the Member for Grand Bank has on occasion risen to great heights in this House over the years. He has said things that make a great deal of sense. He was awful testy last night; probably the flu is getting him. He will also recall that the Opposition in this House, when he was in government, on certain occasions supported the government in this Province to go after the federal government to do certain things. We also commended his government on certain occasions and we also commended the ministers that came from Newfoundland on certain occasions.

I will ask this afternoon that the Opposition - after the Member for Trinity North has summed up this very worthwhile resolution - I would ask this afternoon that the Member for Grand Bank and his colleagues take a stand that says; yes Tobin, yes Chrétien, even though you put your words in a red book called, Keeping The Promise, even though you do that Chrétien, even though you do that Tobin, we're for Newfoundland, you have taken a courageous step, you have taken a step that deserves to be applauded and the Newfoundland Legislature is going to support you as one.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Trinity North.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. OLDFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I don't think I'll need to take the full twenty minutes that's allotted to me. I think that most of what needs to be said has been said. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleagues for their participation this afternoon and thank the Opposition House Leader, the Member for Ferryland, the Member for Fogo and the Minister of Fisheries. I think while we may disagree on many issues, there are issues such as the one that was debated here this afternoon that I think all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians could agree on and of course that is the need to protect what is left of the fish stocks on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks. The fish stocks have been the lifeblood of our economy for, I guess, 500 years now. I think it's fitting to remember and to repeat that even our colleagues in Ottawa in the House of Commons - who are much more divided than this House will ever be - came together and agreed on a need to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act.

Mr. Speaker, Canada has consistently adhered to the international rule of law. I say without fear of contradiction that Canada has done more then any other nation on the face of this earth to persuade all nations to live up to their international obligations. As I said earlier this afternoon in my first twenty minutes, and a number of the other members have mentioned it in their debate, that Canada does not seek to enlarge its territory or sovereignty. We seek to save a fish stock and we seek to save a way of life in this Province. Our purpose is honourable, Mr. Speaker, and our consciences clear.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is appropriate to take a moment this afternoon to discuss the development of the international law which governs Canada's very reasoned and logical response to the threat that was posed by vessels flying flags of convenience. I want to speak on the outcome of the third conference in the Law of the Sea. The third conference in the Law of the Sea lasted for eight years. It took eight years, from 1974 to 1982, and it was an ambitious undertaking, to say the least.

A Norwegian Lawyer, Jans Evanson, summed up what lay ahead of the conference when it first met in Caracas in 1974. He said this: The United Nations embarked on a gigantic attempt to create a modern international constitution for the world oceans, and these efforts were as much a daring venture of international politics and international relations as an exercise in international law. It is certainly the most comprehensive political and legislative work undertaken by the United Nations in its thirty-nine years of existence.

Mr. Speaker, the Law of the Sea Conference came down, in many respects, to a battle between -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member is concluding debate on the motion. If members wish to speak, perhaps they could take it outside the Chamber.

MR. OLDFORD: Mr. Speaker, the Law of the Sea Conference came down, in many respects, to a battle between maritime and coastal states, maritime states being those countries which fished on the high seas and on the continental shelves of other countries, while coastal states, including Canada, including countries like Canada, fished in waters adjacent to them.

Sanger, in Order in the Oceans, in his book, said this: Canada has one of the greatest concentrations of foreign fleets in the world off its coast, operated in some cases by the most powerful countries in the world, and in all cases by countries determined to resist any takeover of the high seas, and any encroachment on the freedom of fishing recognized by international law for so many centuries, and Canada led the fight to preserve fish stocks, and it has led ever since. The Law of the Sea, which Canada hasn't yet officially ratified, established in international law the 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

In `Our Common Future', Brundtland's report, it says that it put an additional 35 per cent of the ocean's surface under national control with regard to a management of natural resources. It has also provided an institutional setting that could lead to better management of these areas.

Mr. Speaker, the issue which brings us here today is straddling stocks. As one author put it: One of the most important characteristics of fish is their migratory nature.

AN HON. MEMBER: They don't pay attention to boundaries.

MR. OLDFORD: Right. They don't know international boundaries either.

Canada led the charge in 1980 to have the clause dealing with straddling stocks added to the Law of the Sea.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. OLDFORD: I am not sure. I am sure the Member for Fogo knows.

AN HON. MEMBER: It was a federal member.

MR. OLDFORD: In 1980, maybe the existing Minister of Fisheries, provincial minister?

AN HON. MEMBER: He was there.

MR. OLDFORD: He was there? Well, we will have to give him some credit for that.

Canada felt that the 200-mile limit should be extended to the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, and Canada felt it was logical that these straddling stocks above the Continental Shelf, beyond the 200-mile limit, should be in our economic zone.

To the countries, of course, fishing 201 miles off the coast, this was not acceptable, because there is a definition of the Continental Shelf and the Law of the Sea, and the definition is this: It gave coastal states the sovereign rights over mineral resources and the sedentary species to the edge of the margin - that is to say, the end of the Continental Shelf, but not over it, but it did not give control over the fish swimming in the water above. Canada argued a lack of logic in this distinction.

I think it is interesting for hon. members to know who led the charge against Canada, which countries. Among the countries was Spain, and that is one of the reasons why Canada has been forced to bring in the legislation that it brought in a week or so ago. It was also Japan, the former Soviet Union, the United States, and the European countries, among other nations who defeated the resolution on straddling stocks.

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible).

MR. OLDFORD: I am sure they were.

Mr. Speaker, while the new legislation deals with vessels flying flags of convenience I firmly believe that it places the federal government in a strong position to deal with any transgressions of NAFO regulations by the countries of the European community.

As I said in my opening remarks we want to save this resource, not only for ourselves, but we want to save it for the world. I believe firmly that the federal government is committed to rebuilding the stocks, and then to managing it in a way that will make it sustainable for future generations.

Mr. Speaker, no matter how successful Canada is in its efforts to replenish the stocks of fish inside and outside the 200-mile limit, no matter how successful they are, there will probably never be the same numbers involved in the fishery in this Province as there was before the moratorium, and that to me and to all Newfoundlanders is a sad thing.

Mr. Tobin noted when he was introducing his bill in the House, as Minister of Fisheries, he said: I preside over fourteen moratoriums within Canadian waters, and I can think of no more condemning comment about our past sins than that comment.

Mr. Speaker, we do see hope at the end of the tunnel, hope that we can stop the decline in the fish stocks, and hope that the fishery will return for the benefit of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, but we must stop the rape and we must stop the pillage on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

Mr. Speaker, the hope that we find comes from Norway, and Norway showed us that drastic conservation measures can heal a brutalized fish stock. In 1989, the Norwegian Fisheries Department announced that according to their scientific data, the Barents Sea cod had (inaudible). The fishing quota that once topped one million tons per year was cut to 100,000 metric tons. The Norwegians waited and hoped that they had not destroyed this great resource that was supporting their way of life, but I suppose, Mr. Speaker, mother nature can be resilient and in the fall of 1992, scientific research found that fry production, the production of small fish was the best since 1965, and quota levels were set at 248,000 metric tons off the coast of Norway.

Mr. Speaker, what was one of the chief reasons we ask, given for this turn around in stocks?....and the answer is the slashing of the quotas, which permitted the 1984 to 1985 year class to survive and to grow, and this, Mr. Speaker, can happen here as well, but it cannot and it will not happen if foreign fishing vessels continue to vacuum the fish off the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks, pillage the stock, Mr. Speaker, the revival of the fishery will not occur and this is why the legislation was passed, and as we speak today, regulations are being developed and we have been told to look after the ships that fly the flags of convenience, but there is also a problem with European countries who purport to support the conservation efforts and measures of NAFO, yet they go out, set their own quotas and then they proceed to over fish the very quotas that they set.

What is it that they are catching? We saw the evidence as the minister brought into the House today, we saw the evidence on the Christina Logos: flat fish, red fish, the size of my cigarette pack, no bigger some of the fish. But, Mr. Speaker, there was a criticism of the federal government for arresting the Christina Logos; criticisms that I heard here and I heard it on Open Line, on Bas, and the criticism was that the federal government was arresting a Canadian vessel. It was said that the arrest of the Christina Logos was a political ploy, to make it appear that the federal government was doing something about foreign overfishing. But there was one thing that came out of the arrest of the Christina Logos, maybe two things - one is the evidence presented by the Minister of Fisheries today; that evidence was in the hold of the ship.

Now, the world knows, Mr. Speaker, what is left of our once prolific fish stocks. Now, the world knows about the nets that are being used, and not only the nets, but the liner technology that traps every size and species of fish. It was a lesson for the people of the world that not only are the numbers of fish in serious decline but the size of the fish is such that reproduction will not occur in that species in the next four to five years.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I want to commend the Federal Government for taking this logical approach, a very logical approach, to dealing with the rape of the fish on the Nose and Tail. I ask this House to endorse the resolution, and through it, it will show the world that we Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are united as Canadians in ensuring the conservation of this resource for our children and our children's children. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

All those in favour of the motion, `aye'.


MR. SPEAKER: Contrary-minded, `nay'.

Motion carried unanimously.


MR. SPEAKER: Is there any further business? Normally, we automatically adjourn, in accordance with our Standing Orders.

I will recognize the hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Some of my colleagues want to record a vote (inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: I'm sorry?


MR. SPEAKER: Division?

MR. ROBERTS: It may take a minute or two for members to return to their seats. We will just wait a minute or two until the Whips are ready.


MR. ROBERTS: While members are gathering may I remind -

MR. SPEAKER: Just a moment, please. I will recognize the hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: May I remind members that tomorrow we shall be dealing with the third of the Concurrence Motions on the Estimates and that we will ask the House to sit sufficiently beyond 5:00 p.m. tomorrow to finish that Concurrence Debate; I don't know how long that will be, it depends on whether there's a Late Show - if there's a Late Show that's half-an-hour on Thursday and if we get on to Orders of the Day by 3:00 p.m. members can anticipate - about 6:30 p.m. If we skip the Late Show, we will be half-an-hour earlier, of course. That's just to remind members they can be up all night preparing for that.

MR. SULLIVAN: Have you spoken to our House Leader about the Late Show?

MR. ROBERTS: No, I haven't.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Inaudible) check?

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, and let us know. Any individual member can, of course, request on the Late Show. Any member eligible may ask the question i.e. not the members of the Cabinet.

On Friday, we will be doing the Budget Debate. I guess a speaker from this side will be recognized first because the last, most recent speaker was the Member for Mount Pearl.

On Monday, notwithstanding the pleas of my friend, the Member for Harbour Grace, the House will be recessed, will not be meeting on Monday.

MR. CRANE: Well, that's too bad.

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

Put the Bar across the House, Sergeant-at-Arms.

All those in favour of the motion, please rise.

CLERK (Mr. J. Noel): The hon. the Minister of Justice, the hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, the hon. the Minister of Education, the hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, the hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, the hon. the Minister of Social Services, the hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, the hon. the Minister of Fisheries, the hon. the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr. L. Snow, Mr. Barrett, Mr. Crane, Mr. Walsh, the hon. the Minister of Mines and Energy, the hon. the Minister of Health, the hon. the Minister of Environment and Lands, Mr. Anderson III, Mr. Tulk, Ms. Young, Mr. Ramsay, Mr. Penney, Mr. Aylward, Mr. Langdon, Mr. Oldford, Mr. Dumaresque, Mr. Smith, Mr. L. Matthews, Dr. Hulan, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. W. Matthews, Mr. Tobin, Mr. A. Snow, Mr. Woodford, Ms. Verge, Mr. J. Byrne, Mr. Hodder, Mr. E. Byrne, Mr. Careen, Mr. Harris.

Mr. Speaker, thirty-nine `ayes', no `nays'.

MR. SPEAKER: Thirty-nine `ayes', no `nays'. The motion carried unanimously.

The House is now adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:00 p.m.