June 1, 1994                  HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS              Vol. XLII  No. 53

The House met at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Dicks): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

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

MR. FUREY: Mr. Speaker, It is my privilege to bring to the attention of this hon. House the fact that June 1 to June 10, 1994, has been declared National Tourism Awareness Week across the country.

Tourism is a major national industry, playing a key role in the vitality of the Canadian economy. It accounted for $26 billion last year, and over 620,000 direct jobs. In Newfoundland, it equated to $470 million in revenues and 12,000 direct jobs, and I should say, Mr. Speaker, that of all the jurisdictions across the country last year, Newfoundland saw an increase, I think, of 6.4 per cent over the year before, when many of the jurisdictions saw a decrease. So I think we're on the right track. As these numbers indicate, the tourism industry is also a major contributor to our economy.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador have scheduled a number of events across the Province over the next week to create awareness for tourism and to update the development of the Association and its new initiatives.

One of these initiatives is a new customer service training program called SuperHost. SuperHost is a seminar that concentrates on interpersonal communications and customer service skills and is targeted at all employees both inside and outside the tourism sector, owners/operators in all types of business, and the general public. Given that we will be celebrating a major international event in 1997, this program is an important step in giving people the appropriate training to improve skills in customer relations in this Province. Seminars are scheduled throughout the Province starting in June and will take us right through the summer.

Mr. Speaker, I would remind hon. members also, they were given an invitation yesterday to join us over at the West Block later today between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador will be hosting a short wine and cheese just to present industry officials to government officials and have a chance to dialogue, meet and chat with each other. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Waterford - Kenmount.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes, who is attending a funeral at this time, I rise to speak on his behalf and to say to the House that we join on this side in doing anything we can do to assist in the promotion of the tourism industry in this Province. We recognize it as a growing economic stimulant and we encourage the ministry to do all that can be done to assure that this industry continues to be a major contributor to the provincial economy. Members on this side will be joining with members on the opposite side later in the afternoon to share with Hospitality Newfoundland and other tourism industry officials the reception that has been planned in the West Block. Mr. Speaker, we give all encouragement to Hospitality Newfoundland -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. HODDER: - and the initiatives are included in the initiative called SuperHost. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. the Member for St. John's East have leave to address the House?


MR. SPEAKER: By leave, the hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am happy to join with the minister and the Member for Waterford -Kenmount to acknowledge the importance of tourism to the economy of the Province. Any industry that generates close to $500 million is very significant, indeed. I take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to suggest that when marketing the Province as a tourist destination, we should perhaps start marketing our weather. Our weather in the summer time is very reasonable, cool ocean breezes, and many of the tourists come from very warm climates, unbearably warm, and we should offer them the great advantages of our summer weather here in the Province as a good thing, as opposed to the negative stance that we always put on it here, but I -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

MR. HARRIS: I offer that as a bit of advice to the minister and join with him in acknowledging the importance of tourism.

Oral Questions

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

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Premier some questions with regard to the proposed educational reforms that have been talked about in the past number of months.

A couple of months ago, the government made some modifications in its original paper, I think, that the minister tabled at one time, and at that time, the way I saw it at least, from the reaction of the churches, they saw the modifications that were proposed to be positive in the sense some of the things in terms of the composition of the school boards, for example, would be positive, but they didn't appear to be substantial enough to get an agreement on the issue.

Now, at that time, as I recollect, there were indications from both the Premier and the Minister of Education, that this was basically government's bottom line on the issue and that they weren't prepared to move any further. I would like to ask the Premier, is this still the situation or, is the government still open to further negotiations, in other words, are you prepared to modify your position to try to address the concerns of the church leaders and those involved in this discussion on behalf of the denominations?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of meetings in the last four weeks, I would say - about the last four weeks, a series of meetings with representatives of the Pentecostal denomination, with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, with representatives of the Integrated group of denominations, and we went over and elaborated on a number of the positions and the alterations that had been submitted publicly, earlier. They wanted to discuss some of the detail, and with some elaboration, different church groups still had views of their own that they wanted to present to the government; and we did, and they asked us then to put our position, our elaboration to them in writing.

We did that, and then there was a further meeting with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and representatives of the Pentecostal Church. The Integrated denominations had indicated generally they felt the government's approach was supportive. There were further meetings, about ten days ago, if I recall correctly, and further meetings are scheduled as soon as the two church groups are ready to meet with me again. His Grace, Archbishop MacDonald has commitments all this week and was unable to meet. We would have been meeting, as a matter of fact, this afternoon had he been able to make it.

Discussions are being pursued with a good deal of understanding and appreciation for the respective positions. I am still hopeful that we will be able to develop a consensus out of it, and for that reason, I would prefer not to engage in any detailed discussion of it until we have more or less completed the discussions that are underway, because I don't want to make matters more difficult. As soon as it is possible, I will report fully to the House of Assembly. I would hope that I will be in a position to report something before the House rises to adjourn for the spring session.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I shall try to approach my questions with a degree of sensitivity. We all would like to see some kind of an agreement but some of the issues I want to ask the Premier about are issues that were publicly discussed before in the Chamber. I would like to ask him, but if he doesn't want to answer that is fine, too, but they are specific issues.

One of the major problems, as I understand it, with the modified proposal that government made a couple of months ago, was the issue of guidelines for determining the viability of uni-denominational schools. You will recall, I guess, government proposed at that time that the schools would become multi-denominational but some of them could revert to uni-denominational if enough parents - and I think the number was somewhere around 90 per cent - petitioned to allow that to happen. Now, I would like to ask: Is government still hung up on that particular position, or is it prepared to modify that position in the hopes of getting some kind of an agreement? In fact, one of the suggestions that has been made to me is, perhaps the more democratic way to do it would be to do it the other way around so that the schools could retain their present status but parents could petition for those schools to become multi-denominational instead of the other way around.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Mr. Speaker, I again point out that the hon. member is really into details of the negotiations between government and the church groups, and I would prefer not to exacerbate a difficult situation by engaging in a debate as to whether one alternative is better than another.

The government has made its position very clear to the churches on that, and the reasons behind its position. Now I don't want to provoke a debate in this House, or in the public generally for that matter right at this moment, until we have had an opportunity to explore the matters more fully with the churches, and I will say no more on that issue at this point.

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

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I respect the position and understand the sensitivity of the situation, but let me ask him this question, since he just raised it himself in terms of public debate or public discussion, I think it is fair to say that everyone in this Province, parents, students, all of us as politicians, and the general public, have a bit of a stake, an important stake, in seeing that all of these issues are being resolved somehow and sometime between the church and the government, but one of the issues that concerns people, I guess, are the viability guidelines that are included in the original presentation. Whenever they are worked out, it could mean that some of the schools in some communities might have to be closed. That is one of the realities of the proposal.

Now up until now, as the Premier just indicated, really the public, aside from the Royal Commission two or three years ago, hasn't been involved in this exercise at all. I would like to ask him this question, and this is one that I think he could answer, or at least consider: If an agreement is worked out with the heads of the churches in the coming weeks, whenever it might be, would the government be prepared to provide an opportunity for public discussion on whatever kind of an agreement is reached before the government proceeds with any final legislation?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: Of course, Mr. Speaker, the government is anxious to have a full public discussion on the issue. I do point out to hon. members that this is a quite different circumstance. These circumstances affect certain constitutional provisions, which are affected by it, and it is not just merely a question of what the majority of the people of the Province want. We have to bear in mind the rights of individual groups that may constitute less than the majority of the people of the Province, so we have to be sensitive to that, and we have to provide for a debate going forward in that context, and a debate that would be understood in that context.

It would be government's thinking that we would want to provide ample opportunity for public discussion of what was proposed, assuming a consensus proposal was developed with the churches we would want to provide for an ample opportunity for public discussion of that proposal prior to taking any legislative sanctioning of it from the House.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Health.

The Burin Peninsula health care board has been ordered by the Department of Health to cut $371,000 from its budget of $17 million. As a proportion of its budget the cuts on the Burin Peninsula are nearly four times as severe as the ones in the St. John's area, and we know the cuts there are bad enough. The day before yesterday the Leader of the Opposition mentioned or brought to the attention of this House similar severe cuts in the Central Newfoundland region. I ask the minister: What is he up to? I ask him: Is he managing health care in rural Newfoundland the same way CN used to manage the railway, to ensure it becomes obsolete?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, it is not this party that sold out our railway.

We are following the appropriate procedure, the same procedure we've put in effect for all boards. We indicate to them what their portion of the savings that we have to make will be and then they tell us that: Yes, we can do this, or we would prefer to do it in a different way, or whatever. That process is not fully completed as yet. I don't know why the hon. member would feel that he should be involved in these negotiations at this point. It is something like the hon. the Leader of the Opposition trying to get involved in the labour negotiations. It is better to stay out of it.

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm sure the people needing health care in this Province are going to find most solace in the statement by the minister that the reason for cutbacks in health care are going to relate for the reason why railway service was eliminated in this Province. That is not a responsible answer.

This government spent millions of dollars to build a forty bed long-term care health care facility at St. Lawrence. Last year this facility could only open thirty beds in the area and they are going to have to close another eight or ten beds this year, even though there are thirteen long-term care patients with no place to stay. That means there are going to be twenty or more -

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. SULLIVAN: - long term care patients with nowhere to go. They can't go to Grand Bank. The facility there is full to the rafters.

Now I ask the minister: What solution does he have for the victims of his budget cuts?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should stop trying to run the health care system. We have a procedure in place. We have boards in place on the Burin Peninsula and the board, if they have any concerns about this matter, will address them through the Department of Health. They have not contacted me on this point yet. I fail to see of any purpose in their contacting the member of the Opposition, or is this just more of those things that he conjures up every single day here to frighten the people of this Province? All those I have investigated on his behalf so far have resulted in nonsense.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Ferryland, a final supplementary.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As long as people keep coming to me with concerns, whether they are doctors, and patients, and people there, I am going to continue to give the minister a wake-up call if he still hasn't answered me.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: Now the minister talks about fundamental changes to the way that health care is delivered in this Province. He talks about a shift to community-based services that will allow people to stay at home.

Now on the Burin Peninsula community health care services are being reduced, not expanded. They had one full-time ADDC worker on the Peninsula, before government cut out the ADDC. Government is now providing that service two days a month.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I would ask the hon. member to get to the question, please.

MR. SULLIVAN: Yes, and in light of the fact that community mental health services -

AN HON. MEMBER: The question.

MR. SULLIVAN: It is part of my question.

In light of the fact that community mental health services are now being served by just a psychiatrist who comes in occasionally from St. John's, and being provided by a social worker, I ask the minister: What is your plan, and where is your plan, to replace institutional based health care with a community health based service in this Province?

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

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, the first thing I think we will do is to assign them to the hon. member, but apart from that we are in constant communication with these health care boards. As I said before, there is a procedure in place by which the boards raise concerns with the Department of Health, and this is how it will continue to be addressed.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

Since 1989 student unemployment levels have risen continuously in this Province. This summer it is estimated that some 40 per cent to 45 per cent of young people in this Province will not find gainful employment.

Let me ask the minister: What steps are his department and his government considering to intervene in this impending crisis on behalf of young people in the Province?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know where the hon. member gets his numbers where he estimates what the extent of the unemployment levels for young people will be in the Province this summer.

It is accurate that consistently the numbers have run somewhere in the 30 per cent range, a little bit higher. I don't know where these new numbers come from. It certainly hasn't been reported to me; however this year, in fact on a couple of different fronts, we are putting in place increased and enhanced employment opportunities for students.

Very shortly now we will be in a position, because applications closed on Friday past, on May 27, for the provincial government sponsored student employment program, in which case there will be some $600,000 this year spent to employ students on a subsidy basis with private sector employers throughout the Province. We are also funding in the range of almost $400,000 in employment opportunities for students through the Newfoundland and Labrador Conservation Corps, which had a very successful pilot year last year and is being expanded and broadened this year. In fact that, combined with the efforts in the challenge program of the federal program, are going to provide more opportunities this summer than ever for students in Newfoundland and Labrador to have employment.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, we may, in fact, dispute percentages, but the reality exists that more students are unemployed this summer, this year, than ever before. The other reality exists that there will be less students finding work this summer than ever before, so let me ask the minister this: He brought up the point about the student employment program. Will the minister consider increasing money for the student employment program which has not increased in three years?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, I think both of the assumptions that the hon. member made at the beginning of his question are both exactly the opposite. As I finished at the end of the answer to the previous question, this year, this summer, will be the greatest opportunity than ever any time in the seventeen years that the previous government was in administration. The numbers of job opportunities for young people in the student category this year will be the highest ever, the exact opposite of what the hon. member would propose to have us believe.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. GRIMES: In fact, Mr. Speaker, between the combined efforts of ourselves provincially and the federal government, which has continued a strong commitment to student employment opportunities, the news is good news. Everybody would like to be in a position where every student could have an employment opportunity in the summer. That would be the ideal. We haven't reached that, we haven't really come close to that, but this summer I think is the exact wrong time for the hon. member to be up saying that it is a disaster. We are making progress, there is improvement, and quite the contrary to the question, this will be the best year in some time for student opportunities.

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

MR. E. BYRNE: Mr. Speaker, I didn't indicate that there was any disaster. What I indicated were hard cold facts. That this year there are more students unemployed in this Province than ever before. That is what I said to the minister.

Now I ask the minister, provincially, will he make a commitment today to go to Cabinet and look at finding more money for the student employment program so that more students can find gainful employment so that they can subsidize themselves for post-secondary institutions in the Province? Will the minister make that commitment to this House today?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The correct answer is that we have done exactly that. I believe the hon. member - it was unfortunate, because I do recognize the circumstances at the time - that the hon. member who usually does a good job in the Estimates unfortunately missed our estimates this year, our committee. That issue was discussed at length. I believe the members on both sides of the House who examined that issue of student employment agreed in the committee the exact opposite of what the hon. member is saying today. That they were very pleased that the numbers have increased, that the amount of money being contributed by the provincial program in both student employment and the conservation core, which are both earmarked specifically for the students, is significantly increased this year, and that the available opportunities for students in Newfoundland and Labrador this summer, this season, will be the best they've been for a long, long time.

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

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and concerns the privatization of electrical inspections whereby electrical contractors are allowed to do their own inspections or hire their own inspectors. Can the minister indicate how many electrical contractors have notified the department that they would be using representatives, so-called, to do their inspections, as opposed to the government's own inspectors? Will the government electrical inspection authority still be conducting inspections, and what proportion of them? How does the minister plan to monitor the activities of these contractors' representatives in the interest of public safety and the public interest?

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

MR. GRIMES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the question, which is an old question, I guess. I guess we have to give the same answers again, but it is a good opportunity to provide the information again, because we've dealt with this issue in some detail.

How many of the actual contractors will be using their own representatives because they will have a qualified electrical engineer on staff? I couldn't give you the number. I can certainly check. The registrations finished a day or so ago. There are a number of very large electrical contractors located on the Island, in Labrador, who have these electrical engineers as part of their staff and they are registered. That information is available. I just, for my own purposes, didn't see any need to have that for myself. It is not something that I will be monitoring. The staff does that regularly. I can certainly find out if the hon. member thinks that is an important issue for some reason.

Will we still be doing inspections? Obviously yes. That is why we kept ten inspectors out of the twenty that were there. Because there will still be an inspection role for the government, spelled out in the regulations, the regulations, Mr. Speaker, that I tabled in the Legislature so that all hon. members could see them last week, if they hadn't of personal interest already gone to the department to get them earlier.

There will be inspections. It is expected that about 40 per cent of the circumstances that required inspection prior to today in the old system which was in place up to yesterday will still require inspection, and that time to time, on a spot check basis, even those that have the electrical engineers on staff that do not require inspection, will be monitored from time to time on an occasional basis to ensure that the department, in the interest of public safety, is satisfied that their work is consistently up to standard.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I raise this question because this is the first day of the new system. I also have to bring to the minister the concerns that are still being expressed by people first of all as to the safety of the new system, particularly with home inspections and the potential increase in insurance costs because of the potential increase in safety when the government system is being replaced by companies who are allowed to inspect themselves. Has the minister addressed those concerns? Is he aware of them and can he respond to them?

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

MR. GRIMES: Yes, Mr. Speaker, and I believe in this respect that the hon. Leader of the Opposition is exactly right. If you check Hansard you'll find the exact same questions asked about a month ago by the hon. Member for Grand Bank, the Opposition House Leader and we did answer the questions at that time. Are there concerns on an individual basis from home-owners about safety? In the early goings there were some people who asked and registered some concerns but when they were provided the information they were completely satisfied. There have been no registering of such concern recently that I'm aware of, either to the staff or to myself personally through the minister's office. The issue of insurance costs was raised, it was checked out and there was absolutely no implication for insurance with respect to residents or commercial establishments as a result of a change in these inspection procedures, none at all.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much.

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier, following up on a question I've asked him now on two different occasions pertaining to the fishing industry renewal boards. I understand negotiations are still ongoing. At least the last time I asked the Premier he said there were negotiations between the federal government and provincial government pertaining to the mandates of the fishing industry renewal boards. I am wondering if the Premier could update the House now and to inform us whether or not they are close to an agreement on the mandate of the fishing industry renewal boards because I've heard there are some difficulties being encountered and that's because I guess of the implications and the involvement of other provinces in this matter. Can the Premier confirm that for us?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: I can tell the House, Mr. Speaker, that I met as late as this morning with Mr. Tobin, the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and I have to say that my conversation with Mr. Tobin was most encouraging indeed.

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

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Thank you very much. It's nice to see that the Premier has something to be encouraged about these days.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. W. MATTHEWS: I was just wondering - obviously he doesn't want to be more specific and I can respect that, negotiations are ongoing and probably at a delicate stage.

A question for the Premier or acting Minister of Fisheries, in the absence of the Minister of Fisheries, I'm wondering is the provincial government aware that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are still issuing -

MR. SIMMS: (Inaudible) Minister of Works Services.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: Oh, is he? That's as close as he will get to being minister.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans are issuing temporary fishing licenses. We have, I think it's safe to say, in excess of 10,000 fishermen who are no longer fishing because of the moratoriums around the coast and so on, but I understand the federal department is still issuing temporary fishing licenses. I'm wondering is the Province aware of that and have they taken the matter up with the federal department, federal minister? It seems totally incorrect to me that for all those people to be out there willing to fish and can't and so on, that they're allowing temporary fishing licenses to be issued today, people are fishing with part-time licenses. Is the government aware of that and are they concerned about it or will they do something about it?

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

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries is in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia attending a conference of the Minister's of Fisheries. I'm not sure if it's from Atlantic Canada or from a broader group, so I can't answer the question nor can any of us who are here. I'll take it as notice and we'll get an answer and inform the House as quickly as possible.

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

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Recently the government tendered the lease of 8,148 sq. ft. of office space for offices of the Auditor General. The lowest bidder was placed by Fen Corp. Corporation Newfoundland Limited on behalf of Adelaide Capital Corporation yet that firm was not awarded the tender. I was wondering if the minister could offer an explanation?

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

MR. EFFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes, I am quite aware of the fact and the point that the hon. member raises in the House. We did not award the tender to the lowest bidder because we considered, as a department, that the accommodation was not suitable at the time where it was located in the building; we looked at the building and we brought the matter before government and we did not award it to the lowest tender.

MR. SPEAKER: A supplementary, the hon. the Member for Waterford - Kenmount.

MR. HODDER: I am sorry to say an official of your department, rather than to name the civil servant, confirmed with the lowest bidder on May 17 that there were no building, structural or proposed lay out problems or deficiencies that influenced the decision of your department to reject the bid. I am quoting from a letter here, so, Mr. Speaker, I an wondering as well, because the lowest bidder had confirmed, through an engineering firm, that all of the structural requirements would be made, and yet in spite of the letter and the confirmation from your officials, the lowest bidder did not receive the tender, therefore the minister's statement that he made earlier seems to be very inconsistent.

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, the letter that the hon. member is reading is not from an official of my department. The letter is from an individual I suspect who submitted the tender and who did not get the tender and is making the accusation that an official from my department made those remarks. I suspect that is what is in that letter. I can assure this hon. House that no official from my department sent any letter to anybody, either the individual concerned or the hon. member opposite, so I suggest before the hon. member makes the accusations that an official of my department made those statements, he had better check out his facts.

MR. SPEAKER: A final supplementary, the hon. the Member for Waterford - Kenmount.

MR. HODDER: Mr. Speaker, I did not say it was a letter signed by an official of the department. In this letter it reads and I quote, it reads the gentleman's name and it says: of your department written to the minister, confirmed with us on May 17, 1994 there were no building, structural or proposed lay out problems or deficiencies that influenced your decision; so, Mr. Speaker, I am assuming that the writer of the letter is telling the truth and I say to the minister, it is very difficult for people to be able to submit bids and to meet all the requirements and then to find that they did not receive due consideration and did not get the leasing that was offered by the department.

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

MR. EFFORD: Mr. Speaker, I again say, the letter that the hon. member is reading is repeating what somebody else is supposed to have said and I don't place any confidence in that. I know very well the tender that the hon. gentleman is talking about. It also states very clearly in the Public Tendering Act, that not necessarily the lowest tender would be accepted. There are reasons why, based on location, based on the building itself, based on where the office space is contained in the building and I can assure all hon. members of this House that the Public Tendering Act is followed to the letter of the law.

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

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, it is a question for the Minister of Finance. The Premier was recently quoted as saying that the Province's financial position has improved quite dramatically and we are quite pleased to hear that and we would like to know more about it, and of course as a result of the teachers strike, that no doubt has a very positive impact on expenses for this year so far, could the minister tell us how much of that in the agreement, the tentative agreement, is being given back in one form or another and in what form and what now is the projected deficit for this year, are we on target or are we well ahead of that?

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

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Premier has indicated that over the last four months what has happened in this Province has been a little bit beyond what we had expected at Budget time and we are revising our estimates in terms of growth. In actual fact, Mr. Speaker, in the last month that is available, which are April's returns, there is a slight increase in most provincial revenues. It is better than we had projected earlier in the year, so this is extremely encouraging, and we hope this continues.

However, the hon. member knows full well, having been in the position himself, that until you can get a trend established over a long enough period of time you cannot really go and change your budgetary projections. That point in time will probably come in October when we are informed with greater finality with regards to the transfer payments from Ottawa. At that point in time we will have six month's figures from this fiscal year so we can then make a decision in terms of our budgetary projections, and at that point in time we change them.

As the hon. member remembers over the last three or four years our revenue projections have not been met and we have in October or November had to indicate to the people of the Province that things were indeed worse and certain measures had to be taken. I believe, if things hold for the next few months, it is an indication that this year the reverse situation will be possible and maybe in October or November we will hopefully announce to the people of the Province that in fact our projections are now changed and things are much better than we projected.

This is an approach that we have also informed the collective bargaining agents of our workers. We have also informed them and kept them up to date on what is happening, so it is a revenue increase. With regards to the expenditures, which is the other question the hon. gentleman had put, obviously our expenditures are down, specifically because of the strike, as he mentioned, and we will not be using the strike savings as a windfall to government but they will be used in a specific way.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

Question Period has expired.

Notices of Motion

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

MR. GRIMES: Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Amend The Workers' Compensation Act," Bill No. 27.


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAM ANDERSEN III: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to present a petition on behalf of the community of Postville, Labrador in the district of Torngat Mountains.

I will read the prayer of the petition: `Whereas health care services, which are a Provincial Government responsibility, are below the provincial standard in Labrador as compared to health care services provided on the Island; and

Whereas the Labrador residents are transported by air at considerable expense to health care facilities in St. Anthony and St. John's for most surgery and special care and treatment; and

Whereas the Labrador residents have only approximately 250 of the approximately 800 positions under Grenfell Regional Health Services and obviously are not receiving their fair share of health care tax dollars from government;

Wherefore the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador begin immediate development of a regional health care centre for Labrador residents to be located in Happy Valley - Goose Bay, and government appoint a health care board from amongst Labrador residents separate completely from the Grenfell Regional Health Services board; and as in duty bound, your petitioners will ever pray.' The petition is dated May 18, 1994.

Mr. Speaker, in presenting this petition, I would like to take a few moments to express the concerns of the residents of the Torngat Mountains district. I suppose one can say we have three kinds of residents in the district of Torngat Mountains: the Innu residents, some of who are unilingual Innu-speaking people; Inuit residents, some of whom are unilingual Inuktitut-speaking people; and, as well, the Euro-Canadians of the Torngat Mountains district, who have for 400 or 500 years been living in that environment.

Mr. Speaker, I will relate to you an incident that occurred this winter with one of the constituents who happens to be a unilingual english-speaking person from the community of Postville. A seventy-four-year-old man had to go and see a specialist in St. Anthony, Newfoundland. It took him two days to get there and the appointment lasted for twenty minutes. Then, when he was coming back, he got stranded at the St. Anthony airport, which is forty-five minutes from the hospital. With no recourse, and not knowing anybody in the town of St. Anthony, he had to be stuck there for six hours, not knowing who to contact or what to do. This wasn't so bad for the seventy-four-year-old resident of Postville. That often happens to the unilingual Inuktitut- and Innu-speaking people who don't even know how to communicate with security people at the airports or how to use the technology that is available to them today because they haven't been trained or taught how to use it.

In that regard, I agree with the Minister of Health in that we should be striving toward prevention rather than purely treatment all the time. But if prevention is going to work in the district of Torngat Mountains, then the residents of that region must be able to understand what is happening.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. ANDERSEN: Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I am very encouraged by the beginning of the White Paper delivered by the Minister of Health, but we sure have a lot of work to do in meeting the needs and aspirations of people who don't happen to understand english as a common day language. I think it is something that I, as representative, call upon, not only this hon. House, but my government as well, to consider very seriously in the very near future.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

MR. SULLIVAN: Mr. Speaker, I think what the Member for Torngat Mountains is driving home here is something that we have been saying for some time, and I fully support that. In fact, I have a letter, over one month in my possession, that I haven't brought to this House, and this is a good opportunity to do so. It is from a person who lives in Postville and was diagnosed in November 1992 and needed treatment, and that person needed treatment in the near future. He was flown into Goose Bay, sent on to St. Anthony, and was sent back home again but did not receive any treatment because there was no room, no beds.

Months later that person saw a specialist again and he recommended that surgery be done. It was again delayed, and fourteen months later, when a specialist finally saw this person, it was at such an extreme stage that he ordered him into surgery immediately and had it performed. Now, I didn't release it because I didn't seek the permission of this individual to release it publicly, but that is just one of the many, many volumes of letters I am receiving, and people I am talking to. There is a need to have a community-based health care service sensitive to native needs in the area, and to fly someone by air ambulance into St. Anthony, thirty-five miles from an airport, to bring them into St. Anthony when there is a special community-based need.

Now, I served as chairman of a primary health care pilot project that was going on here in Newfoundland and in Denmark for two years before I got into politics, and we learned there is a need to develop community-based health care and have a community service there to cater to people who are pushed out of hospital probably prematurely. It is very important that we build up community health bases in the area, but this government has done nothing to build up community health care, while at the same time, they are closing hundreds of beds in hospitals across this Province since 1989. Now, it is not the proper way to proceed. It is not done on a rationalized basis. And one of the key movements today is in prevention and promotion, to prevent illness.

The Budget this year has an increase in prevention and promotion of $43,000 when there are hundreds of thousands being spent trying to promote Hydro privatization in this Province that people don't want. It is time for this government to get its priorities straight.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SULLIVAN: With all due respect to health care professionals, it is time to sit down with community people, the people who need that service in the community, and listen to what they have to say, and do something that is rational and cost-effective in terms of people's demands and expectations. If they are a part of the process and have an input into what is happening, they will appreciate the restraints, be a part of it, and accept that. We have to use our dollars better, we have to stop cutting indiscriminately, and we have to start catering to people with our health care dollars in the most efficient manner.

I fully support the member's request here to have a special concern and a special need as it relates to native people in communities that are isolated along Northern Labrador. I support the petition and I hope the Minister of Health will take those concerns to mind and discuss them with his department officials. Now, is an opportunity to do what is best in Northern Newfoundland with the five scenarios, or even the sixth being talked about now, to sit down and listen to the people.

I asked about having public hearings, not just interested groups, but have public hearings to hear the people out, make the right decisions for people in Northern Newfoundland, in the St. Anthony area, Southern Labrador, Northern Labrador, and Central that is served under the Grenfell Regional Health Service right now, and do what is best for the people.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains for presenting this petition. All the points he has made will be taken into consideration. Providing health care services in the North is not an easy proposition. We have a land mass which is huge. We have a transportation system which is basically by air, and there are many problems involved in it, but we must take into account that people who do not speak the language of the people who work in health care have to be attended to very carefully.

I have already had discussions with the Grenfell Regional Health Care Board on this matter. They are aware of some of the problems, and they do their best to accommodate. They have built recently in St. Anthony, I hear, a residence so that interpreters can come and stay there. So there are attempts being made, and other attempts will be made, to cope with this problem.

We are, at the moment, looking at the whole question of structuring health care in the North. We had the hon. Member from St. Anthony -

MR. SIMMS: The Minister of Education.

DR. KITCHEN: The Minister of Education and I had a tremendous meeting in St. Anthony on Saturday, a series of meetings with various groups of people, and a tremendous public meeting we had there, and people had many things to say to us, many of which we knew, but some things we did not know.

I might say, for the edification of the hon. the Member for Ferryland, that Grenfell has probably the best community care system, one of the best, in the world. It is not good enough, but it is certainly better than what we had in Ferryland, with all due respect, and for him to say that that organization is deficient in community care is to give another black name to people who do a good job.

What the hon. member opposite does, as opposed to what this member does, is to distort, to exaggerate, to lead and to frighten people to death. There is no need of that, Mr. Speaker, talking about the volumes of letters that he has. I'll say there is some volume of letters now that he has. You can put them in your back pocket and sit on them.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I will hear the hon. the Member for Ferryland on a point of order.

MR. SULLIVAN: Mr. Speaker, whether it is imputing motives, or what he is doing, I did not say that, and I stand on record. I didn't criticize the community health care in that area. In fact, I realize, because of its geographic isolation, it has a better community health care system than others. I didn't make that remark, and I ask the minister to withdraw that accusation there. That is incorrect.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair is unable to rule on it because we don't have a record. I don't know exactly what the member said, but it is a matter of disagreement as to what was said, and the record will bear out whichever is correct.

I recognize the hon. the Minister of Health.

DR. KITCHEN: Mr. Speaker, we look forward very much to receiving in writing - we have already had a brief from the Inuit, the Labrador Inuit Association, and we look forward very much to having more discussions with them, and indeed with all others in Labrador and in Northern Newfoundland, on this whole question of health care in the North. It is ongoing, and we look forward to it.

Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Does the hon. the Member for Humber Valley have a petition to present?

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I take this opportunity to present a petition on behalf of some thirty-seven residents of the Deer Lake area, Cormack, Reidville, and so on, in the district of Humber Valley.

The petition is against the privatization of Newfoundland Hydro. It is nothing new to the House of Assembly for the last two or three months, that's for sure. In any case, it is incumbent upon me, as the member for the area, to make sure that those petitions are presented - any petitions that are signed by residents of the area.

Mr. Speaker, especially in the last two or three weeks, we have seen some radical changes, I suppose, and it is not public from members opposite, but it is obvious from some of the polls that have been done and so on, that members opposite, especially the backbenchers, must have their heads buried in the sand. I suppose members should realize, especially in the summertime, what happens when you have your head buried in the sand. One of two things can happen, and sometimes both. You can smother, or you can get your backside burned.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: In this case, I would say members got their backsides burned, and if they don't act, and act fast in the next few weeks, and especially the next couple of years, they will smother, and I am talking about politically smothering, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WOODFORD: They were treading water for a long time, Mr. Speaker, and some people around the Province thought for a long time, it was obvious from the polls, that the Premier could walk on water, but I would say today, Mr. Speaker, they are in quicksand; they are in quicksand and there is no way in the world now that they could come out of it - and you know what happens in quicksand; and, Mr. Speaker, it is the `Clyde slide' story and I would say within the next few days, next week, you would probably see the House come -

AN HON. MEMBER: Not `Clyde lied', `Clyde slide'.

MR. WOODFORD: `Clyde slide' story, that's what I said - yes, much like one of those water slides, you know what happens when you come down there.

Mr. Speaker, what is going to happen? Some of the questions the people have been asking me around the Province and especially in the district - and it is no different from what they have been asking me in my district. I live next to the Bay of Islands, I have all kinds of friends and buddies and people in the Bay of Islands, the Premier's district, and next door to the district we have the Member for St. Barbe, I see them all, they come through the airport in Deer Lake, you go into the malls in Corner Brook, you walk around the area, even here, I used to be able to go out to a mall out here, the Avalon Mall or go somewhere like that, Mr. Speaker, nobody would notice you; you would walk through the mall, do what you had to do, sit down and have a meal, go to a movie in peace. Now, Mr. Speaker, you can't do it.

I can't believe that an ordinary member, a low-profile member from the West Coast of the Province could walk through a mall and hear people ask: `What's going on?' `Why won't they listen?' I can't believe it - no matter where you go. Just a few short months ago, someone on the elevator wouldn't say `boo', wouldn't say a word against the government, because you know why, they were afraid. Now, they don't care, the elevator door could be wide-open, they don't care, Mr. Speaker, they don't care if there are microphones, they don't care if there are hidden cameras in there, they are speaking up, and it is obvious, Mr. Speaker, from some of the advertisements that are going around the Province today -


MR. WOODFORD: Facts, the so-called facts - it is funny, isn't it, Mr. Speaker, a few short months ago, Newfoundland and Labrador outlined a privatization act, March 4, 1994, it was sent to every householder in the Province, that was going to be the climax, that was it. A few short days after that, Mr. Speaker, all would be sealed, the deal would be done, second reading went through, we were starting to get into Committee and then we were coming to the next stage which would mean closure on Committee in third reading the one time; one night all over.

AN HON. MEMBER: Done deal.

MR. WOODFORD: Mr. Speaker, a done deal. But when the people read the facts, Mr. Speaker, what happened? It started to get worse, it started to go down.

MR. W. MATTHEWS: The one (inaudible) now and that's the Premier.

MR. WOODFORD: That's the one then, well-cooked, well-cooked now, well-basted, I tell you that, Mr. Speaker, and when they look at one of the - FACT 5, HYDRO REMAINS A NEWFOUNDLAND COMPANY. Now, come on, Mr. Speaker, Newfoundlanders are sick and tired of being talked down to; Newfoundlanders are not that so-called stunned, Mr. Speaker, they are not stunned, they can understand when they have been taken, and it is obvious, Mr. Speaker, from the polls that were done, that they have been taken.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

The hon. the Member for Harbour Main.

I point out that there is not much time left on this petition.

MR. WHELAN: Not at this moment.

MR. SPEAKER: I am sorry. I believe the hon. minister was up on this petition. In any event, it is 3:00 p.m., so I will -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: That will certainly rank as the shortest speech the member gave in this House.

Private Members' Day

MR. SPEAKER: It now being Private Members' Day, which order is being called? Private Members' Day, Private Members' Motion, Motion 6, is it agreed? Motion 6, the hon. the Member for St. John's North.

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

I am happy to have the opportunity today to lead off the debate on Private Members' Day on this private member's resolution. I have had the opportunity once before in this House to introduce and have a private member's resolution debated, and on that particular occasion, the members on the opposite side of the House all got up and left, but I am hoping today that the members on the other side of the House will find it possible to stay with us so that we can have a debate on this resolution that I want to talk about.

The resolution, Mr. Speaker, deals with, essentially, two topics, one being the facts surrounding the situation that we find ourselves in as a Province economically as it relates to unemployment and underemployment in the Province, and to have some debate, some discussion as to what government's responsibility is in terms of seeing that we do what we can to get our people back to work.

There are a number of facts stated in the resolution that we have before us today and I don't want to take any amount of time to deal with some of the things that - the whereases in the resolution. Because I think we are all agreed that we are at the end of, hopefully, what has been a rather difficult downturn in the economy. I'm sure the case has been adequately made many times over the past few years that the 1990s have not been good to us economically. The economy in Newfoundland has followed what has happened in Canada and North America, and that is, we have had a decrease in inflation, which is probably the only good thing that has come out of the recession, but many bad things have occurred as a result as well.

There has been, certainly, increase in business closures, there has been reduction in business investment in the Province and in Canada and, worst of all, I guess, Mr. Speaker, a rise in unemployment. I have listened to the people in the district that I represent for the past year or so and I have heard and received one underlying, main concern by way of a message from my constituents and that is, above everything else that concerns people today and above all of the issues that are out there for public discussion, the most important issue that is before people is the issue of employment - the issue of being able to get a job, to hold on to a job and to be able to provide a decent living for themselves and for their family.

Now, I guess when unemployment becomes a significant factor in our economy, as it has been over the past two or three years, people begin to look at their own circumstance and how it has affected them because, believe me, there are hundreds of thousands of Newfoundlanders either unemployed or underemployed out there in our economy. Some of the groups that have been severely affected by the economic downturn have received what some will consider to be significant attention over and above others. I want to say at the outset of the discussion on this resolution, that I believe it is incumbent upon government, it is incumbent upon the Legislature of this Province, to ensure that all individuals in the Province have their needs, in terms of employment and underemployment, addressed in a fair and equitable manner, consistent with the needs of all other Newfoundlanders around them.

What is it I'm trying to say, Mr. Speaker? Well, I guess I would have to say that one of the most seriously affected groups of people in the Province over the past couple of years, without doubt, has been the fishermen, the people who have been associated with the fishery and they have been affected through no fault of their own. They have been the victims of a circumstance brought about by mismanagement of a resource, a primary resource, and they have found themselves out of the boat, they have found themselves out of the fish plants, they have found themselves dysfunctional in terms of being involved in the labour market of the Province, and that affects some regions of the Province quite severely. Significant steps, billions of dollars in actual dollar terms, have been taken to address with great validity the need that has arisen as a result of the mismanagement of others of the fish stocks. So I would commend the Federal Government and I would commend our own government for the attention we have paid to seeing that these people, who have had the serious economic consequences foisted upon them, are being addressed and taken care of.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I recognize, I believe, as do most of us, that there are a number of people in this Province who have been indirectly put out of work, economically disadvantaged, because of what has happened to the fishery, and for whom no particular provision or program has been put in place to look after or adjust their circumstances. Sometimes this could give the appearance of unfairness or give the appearance of one sector of the economy being looked after moreso than another. I don't think that is the case necessarily. I am confident that it is not the intent of anything that has been done by any level of government to address the problems in the fishery.

As I move around the district, it being a totally urban district, where fisheries is not really a significant factor in terms of the day-to-day lives of the people, I have to say - with respect to people who have been put out of work as retail sales clerks because retails sales have been down, people who have not been able to operate their taxicabs and receive the same level of remuneration that they used to have, security workers who have been displaced from their place of employment, and many others who are in the service sector, if you like, of the Province - I would have to say that these people view, and I believe with great validity, their unemployment situation, their unemployment circumstance, as being of equal importance to that of any other person in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

So it is in that context that I felt we should discuss the matter in the House of Assembly this afternoon. I want to be on record certainly as having recognized and having said that everybody's unemployment problem, everybody who is out of work, everybody who is looking for a job, their situation is just as critical and just as important to them as is anybody else's unemployment situation in any area of the Province, regardless of the reason why they all find themselves in these circumstances.

I want to clearly state that there has to be a recognition by all of us - government, in particular - that we have a responsibility to ensure that every person who has a difficulty in the area of employment feels and understands that their need is important, that their situation is serious, and that they need some attention paid to them as well.

Let me tell you about some of the things that I've found up in my district. A gentleman came to me the other day, an individual who had worked for about fifteen years with the City Council in St. John's. As a result of a serious automobile accident, he found himself out of work and unable to return to his traditional employment. The gentleman just happens to be somebody who doesn't have a high level of education. The facts of the matter are in his life that: number one, he can't go back to his old job because he can't do it; number two, there is no other position open to him to which he can gain access; number three, he doesn't have the primary and basic education that will enable him to get into a course whereby some government program would pick him up; and number four, he has no means of his own in which to be able to upgrade his educational requirements.

As best I can determine, after researching what is available, there is absolutely no program, no mechanism, nothing out there that can help this individual in terms of government initiatives or programs to: number one, get his educational skills up to where they should be; and number two, find a job for him at the moment in the event that that is not possible. That individual I would refer to as a person who has fallen through the cracks of no particular program in place to look after him.

Let me tell you about another situation that I've encountered recently in the district, if you will. I had a call from a very fine lady up in the district, as are all the people, of course, in St. John's North - pretty good people, very decent people. This lady said: `I have a problem.' I asked: `What is your problem?' She said: It is like this, Sir. I was a social assistance recipient last year, and the Department of Social Services found a project on which I could go to work so that I could qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. I took the job, and today I am drawing unemployment insurance and my benefits won't run out until next September. That is good to that extent, but she said: I want to take today, and I have available to me today, an opportunity to get into an early childhood development program, and I am wondering if the Department of Social Services can pay for that particular program, to help me get my skills upgraded so that I can do two things. I can come off the unemployment rolls, number one, and secondly, I may never have to go back on the rolls of the Social Services Department. So that would be great for me, and it would be great for the government.

Well, it just so happens that that individual who is striving to get out of the cycle of social assistance, unemployment, and then back into the cycle again, finds herself in a circumstance where there is no program, in no department of government, federally or provincially, that can help that person get the training that she is asking for so that she can become gainfully and meaningfully employed.

Now I say, Mr. Speaker, that is another circumstance of a person who is falling through the cracks of the system of programs that are in place to help people.

Those may be only two circumstances, but I highlight these to emphasize the fact that there are many, many, many - there are tens of thousands of people - who have no access to, have no recourse to, either a program or a training situation that will allow them to get out of the poor circumstance they are in, and to try and get themselves up to a point where they can be employable.

There are programs that are available to certain sectors of the economy - or of society, of our people - but there are more people falling through the cracks because they don't fit into certain programs. Then there are people who are program specific, if you like, in terms of what is available to them.

I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that is, in my view, a situation which to the extent that we can address it as legislators we should try and correct. Everybody should have the ability to move forward under some sort of government assistance if what they are trying to achieve, and what they are suggesting, is sensible and reasonable at all.

We have, as a government, laid out in the Throne Speech that was read here earlier in the spring, a philosophy, if you like, as a government, that really says that government cannot do everything to create jobs for people, but that this government is committed to the principle of invigorating and assisting the private sector to become the primary employer of people in the Province.

So, then, where does the government fit into the whole equation if, in fact, we are not going to be the employer and if, in fact, we believe that the private sector should be the employer? Well I believe that it is the role of government primarily to ensure that we, to the greatest extent possible, facilitate both the employers in the private sector and the employees, citizens of the Province, who want to get in the program, to assist them in getting the training that they want and that they need.

One of the things that I would suggest, having looked at all of the programs that are available through the Department of Employment and Labour Relations, and having looked at some of the very good things that are done through the Department of Social Services, I would first of all say that these departments are making a noble effort to address the needs of training and retraining of the people of the Province, but I would have to suggest that the greatest benefit that we will get for the few dollars we have to spend as a government, both ourselves and in co-operation with the federal government, I think the best thing we can do, or the direction in which we should be moving, is to ensure that, first of all, all of these programs be taken that are available even now through the Department of Employment and Labour Relations, that all of these individual programs should not be operating so much in isolation of each other, as it were, but they should be considered in a global sense or in a big picture. Secondly I would suggest that we have to understand that because so many people fall through the cracks in our system as it presently exists that we have to ensure that there is the maximum degree of flexibility that is possible in terms of administering programs.

I am aware, as you are aware, Mr. Speaker and other members of the Legislature, that from time to time there are some government programs that have every dollar that has ever been put into them spent probably in the first two or three months of the fiscal year, and there are other government programs in a specific department and some in other departments that never have all of the budget spent for them that is allocated. I am suggesting that we need to be flexible in terms of moving funds, in terms of moving dollars, from one program to another, so that people and programs and opportunities that we are promoting with good cause as government become more user-friendly, both towards the people in the Province and toward the businesses and the non-profit organizations, and yes, the educational institutions, that all have to play a part in this whole thing.

I want also to touch on, before I sit down, some of the other things that I've heard and noticed as I go through, and contrary to what I have heard probably even in the House.

It seems to me that as a result of some of the programs that have been put in place to assist certain sectors of the economy educational opportunities have become diminished or limited to young people in this Province who otherwise would want to get into and would be able to get into certain training institutes. I have had too many young people say to me: I cannot get into the trade school to do a certain course, I cannot get into an institute to do a certain program, because all of the seats have been filled by programs that have been designed for certain sectors of the economy, and attached to these programs are significant dollars that these institutions, both private and public, want to access.

So, as a direct result of the way governments - and I say "governments" - have chosen to spend some of the training and retraining money it has worked to the disadvantage and to the detriment of young people who are prepared, willing and should be in educational institutes, and who are prepared, willing and able to go and who are prepared and willing to pay their own way. They can't get in because of government initiatives that are blocking out their opportunities.

It seems passing strange to me that almost anybody with $1,000 or $1,200 in their pocket for a tuition fee, and who has a 65 or a 70 average, can access entrance to Memorial University and get in there without any questions asked. There is nobody as I know who can't get into M.U.N. if they have the average and if they have the dollars; but when it comes to our technical training schools, when it comes to Cabot, when it comes to the Marine Institute, there are people having to wait two and three years to get into very basic programs. People who want to be nursing assistants, people who want to be cooks, people who want to be mechanics. There seems to me to be something fundamentally wrong with that situation when people can get into the highest institute of learning with minimum and basic standard requirements, which is a tuition and the marks, and yet you have people who cannot get into a basic training course or a technical thing that probably is only an eight or a nine month course.

So I would say that there is a situation in terms of access to training and retraining that has to be addressed by this government and has to be addressed also by the federal government.

These, Mr. Speaker, are some of the observations that I have made -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. L. MATTHEWS: - over the past short time.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave?

MR. L. MATTHEWS: If I could have a minute just to clue up. I would say that these are very significant and important, particularly to the people in the urban areas of the Province where I happen to represent people and where a significant portion of the population exists.

I would simply say at this point, and then I will sit down, this, Mr. Speaker, and it is what I said earlier, that I believe we have to be committed to the principle. I believe as a government we are committed to the principle of fairness and equitable treatment for all of our people who find themselves in unemployed situations but I believe, Mr. Speaker, we have to be more than committed to the principle. We have to be committed to the principle - I guess, for want of a better word - of insuring that we correct and fill - if I may say it that way - fill some of the cracks, many of the cracks through which people are falling because of compartmentalized programs and because people do not fit into project specific type of help that is out there for them.

I would say, Mr. Speaker, that we have to consider everybody's circumstance and nobody should ever feel that they are being disadvantaged or prejudiced against, as being unemployed as a result of programs that are in place to help others and not them. Fairness and balance I believe in all respects including, training, retraining and employment opportunities, I believe has to be the hallmark of all of the policies that we annunciate and all the practices that we follow. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

It gives me some pleasure today to rise and speak to the private member's resolution put forward by the Member for St. John's South - North. I miss my friend terribly from St. John's South. Apparently he's on the beat somewhere while the rest of us poor slaves are working away here.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to just take a moment to go through the private member's resolution section by section. The Member for St. John's North read the prayer. He said that: WHEREAS this Province has experienced significant economic difficulties during the past few years due to a general economic recession; and WHEREAS the economic difficulties have been further complicated by the collapse of the ground fish industry and some other sections of the Province's economy have also been negatively affected by the general economic conditions;

Now there's not much chance, Mr. Speaker, that many people in this House would argue with the general spirit proposed in those two paragraphs. Perhaps some may take some exception that due to the recession this government has been placed in serious economic difficulties. Some people may take exception that government hasn't been innovative or creative enough but again that's a debate for a little later on.

He goes on to say: WHEREAS this government acknowledges that the private sector must be the primary engine of economic growth and stimulus in the Province in order to create new jobs for our people.

Again, not many people on this side of the House or I suspect in the House itself, Mr. Speaker, would disagree with the principle that private sector growth and private sector companies stimulate the economy, create jobs and create wealth for individuals. Not many people, Mr. Speaker, would disagree with that principle.

He goes on to say: WHEREAS many unemployed and underemployed Newfoundlanders do not, at present, have their educational and employment needs met by specific government programs.

Mr. Speaker, I can say with certainty that I, as a member of this House, will certainly concur with the Member for St. John's North that many unemployed and underemployed people in this Province needs are not meet by specific government programs and that their present educational and employment opportunities are severely limited. The member goes on to say - and I'm not sure if he really dealt with it in his twenty minute commentary on his resolution that:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this House reaffirm its support for the commitment of the government to pursue the development and funding of programs which will ultimately result in the best chance for long term employment opportunities.

Now, Mr. Speaker, what programs is he speaking about? I had hoped today that the member would outline the very program initiatives offered by the government through the Department of Employment and Labour Relations possibly and initiatives offered by the Department of Social Services, especially some of the new initiatives, like new beginnings, but he didn't and I'll deal with that in a moment.

He goes on to say: BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this House is committed to the principle that all our people have fair and equitable access to meaningful programs and support mechanisms that will assist them in accessing educational opportunities, training and jobs on a fair and equitable basis with all other Newfoundlanders.

Mr. Speaker, there is no hesitation on my part to support principles espoused in this private member's resolution. Support of principles is one thing; but the practical fallout, the initiatives, the work that goes into principles or achieving principles is completely another, and that is where this government has fallen down.

I would like just to take a moment to go through some of the comments made by the Member for St. John's North. He talks about where there are hundreds of thousands of Newfoundlanders who are either underemployed or unemployed in this Province and that their needs need to be addressed in a very serious way. He has also indicated - and he talked about the fishery, and he has commended the federal government and his own provincial government for the way in which they have handled the economic collapse of the groundfish fishery and the employment programs, the compensation package put forward. If I read him correctly he is talking about the other hundreds of thousands of Newfoundlanders who have not been so lucky. The thousands of Newfoundlanders who are employed in the construction season, who are employed in the construction industry, both in the union and non-union sector. I believe those are some of the people that the Member for St. John's North is talking about.

The people who are employed in the mining industry in this Province who have been affected because of the downturn in the economy, and who have found themselves either unemployed or underemployed, people who have been able to count on for a number of years a decent standard of living without having the need to take the opportunity to upgrade and train, that he is talking about these people in that sector of our economy. The thousands also in the forest industry who have found themselves either unemployed or underemployed as a result of economic conditions, I believe that he is speaking about those. Also I would think that the Member for St. John's North is talking about the hundreds or the thousands of people who are employed in the agricultural industry in this Province who have found themselves in the same position, either unemployed or underemployed.

Let me refresh the hon. member's memory so that we can look at a certain government initiative that took place by the federal government recently, where this Province was asked to bear disproportionately the cuts made to the UI system. This Province bore 11 per cent of the cuts in terms of what were to be saved on the unemployment insurance system while only using and utilizing 2 per cent of the total pay outs of UI. To re-emphasize some of the points the hon. Member for St. John's North made, the impact of that will see some $250 million dragged out of this economy this year, next year and each year thereafter, but in real human terms it means this. That there will be 10,000 people who will not access UI as a result of those changes this year. There will be an additional 7,000 people who will receive less benefits. So I suppose the hon. member is talking about those people in that resolution, but yet, when a private member's resolution was introduced in this House that called upon this House of Assembly to condemn the way in which Newfoundland and Labrador was asked to bear disproportionately its share of the burden in reducing UI, not one member on the government side stood to do that.

Yet today we have a resolution from a government member calling for us to commit to the principle of doing something for the unemployed and underemployed in this Province. It is one thing, as I said earlier, to commit to the principle. It is a fine thing to talk but another thing to walk in terms of dealing with the practical situations that people in this Province find themselves in each and every day: the struggle to survive in many cases.

The hon. member also, Mr. Speaker, talked about two instances or two personal cases of which he knew, where one, I believe he said a taxi-driver in the City of St. John's who had found himself in a serious car accident, and as a result couldn't get back to work. Was that one of the cases you talked about, was it a taxi-driver who was involved in an accident?

AN HON. MEMBER: A city council worker.

MR. E. BYRNE: A city council worker, I am sorry, who could not get back to work as a result of his accident and how he fell somehow through the cracks, the hon. member pointed out. Now, let me outline probably one of the cracks that that individual found himself falling through. I would say that that individual, using a best educated guess, found himself at the Workers' Compensation Commission due to the accident if it happened in the workplace, and what did he find there, Mr. Speaker?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) accident.

MR. E. BYRNE: It wasn't during work hours?


MR. E. BYRNE: Well, I apologize. I thought you said during work hours he was in an accident. I apologize.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is hard to throw you off.

MR. E. BYRNE: No, you haven't actually. So the member went on to say there was no program to help this individual to retrain. Where do we look, Mr. Speaker, where do we look to see why somebody like that has fallen through the cracks? Was he on UI, I ask the Member for St. John's North? Was he on UI? The Unemployment Insurance Commission could not find him any program UI driven? How many people, Mr. Speaker, do we see in this Province who are in that shape? The member is quite correct. He talked about the social services recipients who had no access to training and that there were literally hundreds of people who found themselves in that boat and could not, because of unemployment or being underemployed, or not having the proper training or access to training, that that person would probably still be on UI, Mr. Speaker, or still be on social services with no chance of getting off it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring some comments, further comments. When we look at the educational initiatives introduced by this government in the last year, and I can really only speak of what educational issues have been introduced by this government in this House since I have been elected, in a first-hand sort of way; what have we seen when he talks about unemployed and underemployed?

Today, Mr. Speaker, there are thousands of university graduates walking the streets of St. John's, walking the streets of Corner Brook, walking the streets of Grand Falls, they are certainly not undertrained, yet they are unemployed. Mr. Speaker, a student was in my office, an hon. graduate in social work, could not find a job for the last two years as a social worker; she was in my office a month ago. She applied for a waitress position at a local establishment where she came up against 350 other applicants; Mr. Speaker, 280 of them were university graduates, so when the member stands up and talks about this House reaffirming its support for the commitment of this government to pursue development of funding of programs which will ultimately result in the best chance for long-term employment opportunities, what employment opportunities is the Member for St. John's North speaking about?

Now the member talked about also, educational opportunities within the community college and Cabot Institute structure, and having worked with some of these colleges in my former profession as an administrator of a local training and rehabilitation trust fund in the construction industry, some of these comments are dead on when he talks about the availability of course space for the general person or unemployed person or underemployed person out there, who does not happen to be the recipient of a compensation program, that they in fact, are coming up against many walls in terms of long, waiting lists and inaccessibility, and let me give you an example, a tangible example in my district.

At the Waterford Hospital, personal care attendants who have been working with that institute for some ten to fifteen years were receiving, Mr. Speaker, really no incentive to do the Nursing Assistant Program because their jobs were good in terms of the hours they were getting, the pay was fine in terms of their take-home, but, Mr. Speaker, about three years ago, many people got by the nursing assistant waiting list and personal care attendants, their jobs, their numbers of hours being worked have been constantly and consistently eroded over the last two or three years, yet they, those employees of that institution did not have the first opportunity to go in and take the Nursing Assistant Program either on educational leave, or to pay for it themselves. As a result many of them, some ten to fifteen, have lost jobs and the hours of many others have been reduced significantly. I understand where the member is coming from, quite clearly, but there are some other interesting things happening that the Member for St. John's North may or may not be aware of.

In the last month the Department of Human Resources and Development cancelled a co-ordinating group option for funding for business and management groups. Some thirteen groups were affected, I say to the Member for St. John's North. I believe it was $28 to $29 million that will not be going into training programs that have been well established, training programs that were developed between the Province, between employers, and between employee groups.

One example, Mr. Speaker, is a group I worked with before, called the Atlantic Labourers Multi - Local Training and Rehabilitation Trust Fund. They have been consistent over the past several years in terms of offering the latest in training for the construction industry and keeping their members as up to date and technically advanced as possible. One of the things about that labour management group, Mr. Speaker, is that the type of training courses they offered, or would be offering next year, was decided by the employer at the table this year, based upon what jobs were coming up and based upon what tenders they would be having.

But, Mr. Speaker, after four years of funding the commitment to that industry was broken, gone. Initiatives were (inaudible), investments were made, but the Department of Human Resources and Development saw fit to cancel those contracts. What are the repercussions? There are eight other co-ordinating groups in the construction industry that were affected and as a result the options they have had over the past four to five years in terms of training dollars and keeping members technically advanced are now lost.

That is a situation, I say to the Member for St. John's North, that deals specifically with your private members' resolution, and something that you as a member of the House, and all members of the House, should be aware of. That is an industry that we have to make a greater commitment to, to ensure that long-term jobs exist and that technical training is available, and that people in this society have the opportunity to have that training that as a result will get them long-term opportunities.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. E. BYRNE: The construction industry I say to the member.

Mr. Speaker, when we talk about the commitment of this government and those who are unemployed or underemployed. The member talked about a social service case and recipients. I would like to backtrack. Maybe the Minister of Social Services would be able to answer a question related to this? Back about two years ago he was visited, as well as other ministers were visited, by a group called Listen. A lady by the name of Mary Ann Fleming, a constituent of mine, who at one time was a social service recipient, but by her own doing got herself off the social service wheel and tried to do something concrete and tangible that would have a net benefit effect for all social service recipients.

As a result of her efforts, and some other social service people she gathered around her, the Province funded, back in October and November, a pilot study for the group Listen that would see them produce a proposal to present to the provincial government, and the federal government, a plan that would get social service recipients off the welfare roles and onto the payrolls. They presented it to the Department of Social Services and to the Premier, and contained within that proposal was a pilot program where over 600 businesses were visited, some 450 willing to hire some social service recipients, right now, today, if that program received funding, with a modest investment, I say to the Minister of Social Services, but they received word recently that their proposal was turned down.

It was a program that, in my opinion, is on the leading edge and that the provincial government should take a serious look at and give serious consideration to, much like the program of the Premier of New Brunswick, Frank McKenna, in a recent pilot program he has put forward dealing with underemployed and unemployed people, to try and get them into society in terms of off the welfare rolls, as I say earlier, and onto the pay rolls.

Mr. Speaker, there is another initiative that we as members of this House of Assembly should give serious consideration to and that is the difference between programs that the provinces fund each and every year and programs that the Department of Human Resources and Development fund each and every year, and the big difference is this: We, as members in this House, are ultimately responsible in a more realistic way, in a more tangible way, for the Province's spending on funding programs, student employment programs, older worker programs, but the Department of Human Resources and Development, in terms of the money transferred to that department, how much say does the Province really have on where that money goes? How much co-ordination really takes place between the federal training arm and the provincial training arm? This is an area that is sadly, sadly lacking, and many politicians, ministers, MHAs, have talked about one-stop shopping, have talked about greater communication, greater co-ordination, less administrative dollars, and more dollars going into the actual training programs and less to administrative expenses, but this is an area that we have not begun to exploit.

I say to the Member for St. John's North, in introducing his Private Member's resolution, support your government if they pursue, if they wish to pursue, have greater control over the funding dollars and training dollars coming into this Province from the federal government so that there will be little duplication where now there is much, that there will be more co-ordination where now there is little, and that in the end there will be more training dollars going to people who desperately need it, and less into administrative costs.

Those, and that is the type of initiative that we should be actively campaigning for in this House, because at the moment, and having had some experience with this, we have little to say over where the Department of Human Resources spends their money. We have little to do, and little say in, who gets it and where, and in terms of the Department of Education, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Employment and Labour Relations, would it not be better, in the interest of all people living in this Province, if we had some degree of control, or some degree of decision making in the millions of dollars that come in from the Department of Human Resources and Development, so that we could have a greater control over where we may offer construction training programs, where we may offer environmental training programs, where we may offer post-secondary educational programs, where little duplication would take place.

I think this is where we must head, and this is where we have no other choice but to head.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. E. BYRNE: May I conclude by saying this, Mr. Speaker. While we can stand up today and talk about any employment initiative, that we must, as the Member for St. John's North said, commit to the principles, and some of them I agree with that he has outlined, but the proof is always in the pudding, that we must do more than commit to the principles outlined in this Private Member's resolution, but day in, day out, week in, week out, we must work to ensure that those principles are achieved.

Thank you.

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

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

I am very pleased today to rise in this debate and support the resolution so ably and eloquently put forward by my colleague from St. John's North.

I want to say a few things about this resolution as it relates to the future of the fishery in this Province, and at the outset I want to say to the people of the Legislature that I do not believe - I do not believe - that the money that is being spent on training of the fishermen and plant workers of this Province over the last two years has been well spent. I believe that the money that has been spent in the fishery training initiatives over the last two years has been verging on a scandal, I would say, and I think that it is wrong and reprehensible, and is certainly not to the benefit of the fishery that we have had millions of dollars wasted over the last two years in the guise of trying to train and educate the plant workers and fishermen of the Province for the future fishery of the Province.

I think it has been wrong for people to come out and believe that they can train 100 hairstylists in one community. I think it is wrong to spend $4 million on talking to people about their futures when everybody knows right in front of them, as clear as their noses on their faces, where their futures have to be. It is wrong to go and spend millions of dollars in putting training money through the FFAW and their union when we already have the work and the basic fundamental aspects of that training already done at the Marine Institute, which is a noble institution and one that we should be encouraging more as a centre of excellence for fisheries and marine training in North America and will serve as an example to the world. So the money that has gone into this institution of the FFAW and through Mr. Cashin and his shenanigans with the previous Minister of Fisheries has been a failure and a farce and it should have ended some time ago. I've said that to our Minister of Fisheries here today, Mr. Speaker.

I believe that there is a tremendous future for the fishery of this Province and that training dollars are needed and required, but they have to be refocused, they have to be re-channelled. There is a tremendous demand right now, first of all to educate the people on exactly what is in the fishery, to let the people know what is there next door to their communities that can offer them some alternative. People in this Province do not know the reality of the fishery that is next door to them because they just can't see it. It happens to be fifteen or twenty miles offshore. Just because it is out there they can't see it and they do not realize the potential. I want to give a couple of examples of where the potential lies in the future fishery of this Province.

Presently as we speak there is a $75 million shrimp industry on the Coast of Labrador, stretching from Cape Chidley in the north down to the St. Anthony basin in the south. Seventy-five million dollars that is coming into that industry but we haven't got one processing job in that industry on the land in this Province. We haven't got one job in the marketing of that shrimp in this Province. As a matter of fact, 600 of those jobs, which are $50,000 at least a year, are going to people outside of this Province. There are endless millions of dollars in that resource that is going to people who have no vested interest and are not committed, like they should be, to the betterment of this Province, and that is where it is wrong. We have to go educate our people and say: This is the resource that is there and we can harvest it and we can process it on shore.

Right now in Greenland there are eight shrimp plants over there with an inshore shrimp fishery of 25,000 metric tons. These plants are operating eight, ten and twelve months each year. They are taking offshore industrial shrimp, they are landing it and they are processing it, and they are creating long-term meaningful jobs in their country. We can be doing the same. It is the same industry, it is the same stock, it is the same people, actually, who are involved in the harvesting through the joint ventures.

We want to see some money put into an inshore shrimp fishery in this Province. We want to be able to go this year and we want to be able to have the experimental shrimp licence so that we can take our inshore people, the smaller vessels, particularly sixty-five foot and under, to train them to go and catch that shrimp, to train them and go and process that shrimp. Here we have a situation in Black Tickle where the future of the community is zero if we do not have something for them in the fishery. We cannot sit by and have the future of the people in Black Tickle dashed. They say that they have no hope while next door to them they have 100,000 tons of shrimp being taken from them. That is wrong.

The same thing is over in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the Esquiman Channel up on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Right now we have a situation where 75 per cent of that shrimp is caught in this Province and harvested in that area but 25 per cent of that shrimp is taken by Nova Scotians and others who have no adjacency to the –

AN HON. MEMBER: New Brunswick?

MR. DUMARESQUE: - New Brunswick - no adjacency to that resource, no historical dependence upon the resource. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, if you look at the other aspects of the Gulf shrimp fishery, the other areas, in the Anticosti Island, up in the Sept-Iles area, and over to the Gaspé and Magdalen Islands and that area there, you will find that not one Newfoundlander is allowed over there to touch one shrimp, not one. Yet we are supposed to sit by and have our people on welfare, no jobs, while these people come in and take the jobs, take the training opportunities, and take the capital that they get from that resource. That's where it's wrong. So we have an opportunity now, we have a tremendous program that's under the auspices of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans but we have to take that money and use it wisely. One of the things we cannot do - and I know that the Member for St. John's North is very sincere in what he says - is that we cannot accept an economy in rural Newfoundland and Labrador that's built around the 10/42 syndrome. It is wrong, it has been wrong - it is wrong now and it will be wrong in the future. We have to look at training opportunities that are going to extend the processing season, extend the harvesting season, use multi-species approach to the fishery and be able to give our people good, solid, meaningful jobs as well as to give the governments of the day less dependence on income support so that we can have people out there working, productive, able to keep their communities secure and able to stand on their own two feet.

Now, we do have money in this program but it cannot be wasted as it's been wasted in the past. That particular industry, Mr. Speaker, can produce hundreds of jobs - just that one industry alone, hundreds of jobs for the people on the Coast of Labrador and the Northern Peninsula and indeed we can do so in other areas of the Province.

Another species right now that we are looking at being able to get some future in, is the turbot fishery. Right now, Mr. Speaker, we have a situation where the Russian trawlers are being utilized to take millions and millions of tons of that fish away from our shores, away from our people and away from getting good, solid meaningful employment in more communities in Canada, as a matter of fact, more communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. I know they are landing turbot in Port aux Basques and giving the people in Port aux Basques some work and that should continue, and I submit today to this House that that can continue, that if Seafreez wanted to, they could put the people there to work. They could put the boats out there and they could do it economically, no doubt about it, Mr. Speaker. I'm sick and tired of people telling me that they can't do something because it's not economical when we have our own fishermen who've been down there for twenty years when the fish was ten cents a pound making a good dollar at it and they can't make a dollar today. It's not right, it's got to end and I hope that the fisheries minister in Ottawa is going to take the initiative to do that. So, Mr. Speaker, there is tremendous potential in that area.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

On a point of order, the hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. E. BYRNE: Just for clarification. If the Minister of Education would relax for a second, I'm just looking for a clarification that I've just missed. My understanding is that we're speaking about a resolution to support government programs for training and education. I just wanted to know if that's dealing with the resolution?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Justice.

MR. ROBERTS: To that point of order, Burns Secundus should go back and see Ottenheimer Primus and get himself set straight on the rules of the House. There's no point of order there.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

There's no point of order raised by the hon. member.

The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Okay, I take the hon. member at his word, but how much more relevant can you get about training in this Province today if we're not going to talk about training diversification in the fishery to protect the rural communities of this Province?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: And that is a larger issue than any other issue that we have on the agenda of the public in this Province today - a larger issue, and we have to use the money that we have gotten now under the TAGS program, the $2 billion program, and use it wisely. We have to look at these species, we have to look at educating our people and telling them that they are out there, that yes, they can indeed have them, and yes, they can indeed have the support to get the vessels, to get the harvesting capacity and the fishing gear to be able to harvest it. Indeed, we can encourage them by all means possible.

I would like to give the people of this House another good example. Three years ago we went to the community of Cartwright on the Coast of Labrador - in the middle of nowhere, most people would have us believe - and we said: There's a crab industry that can be accessed, about eighty miles off the Coast of Labrador. When I went into Cartwright and said that we were going to put a modern crab processing plant in that community and we were going to educate our people to put out an A-1 product in crab, I was laughed at by officials in the provincial department, as well as the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the time. They said you can't do it; you can't take people who have never touched a crab in their lives and turn them into professional secondary processors in the crab processing industry. Today, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell you, for the second year in a row, we have had over 120 people working in that community. Last year, that plant made $1 million profit because of the tremendous product that the people of Cartwright put out after putting a modern facility in place, after paying the money for training, giving them access to a crab processing plant and access to professionals from the Marine Institute who went down there and worked with the people, and got them up-and-running, and gave them the skills. You give them the tools and they will turn it around. They will make their communities secure, they will make their people in the area proud of them, and that is what I can stand here today and tell the Member for St. John's North that we have done. We have been leading by example; we want to continue that kind of leadership, and that is the kind of thing that must be demanded. We cannot have people sitting around in a circle, saying: Oh, I've got no future. I don't know what is going to happen. You tell me what is going to happen. I don't like the government. We want more money.

That is what they have been doing for the last eight or ten months, putting people in a big circle, $4 million, paying somebody, a union representative, sitting around in a circle, paying them $1,000 a week to gripe at each other and sneer at each other, and demand all kinds of stupid things from government that they know they can't deliver, and pay them $4 million to be able to do that. It is a terrible, terrible injustice to be doing to our people. It is demeaning, and it is wrong.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. DUMARESQUE: The hon. member knows who I am talking about, and the fellow next door to him knows who I am talking about, for sure. The fellow next to him knows who I am talking about.

AN HON. MEMBER: Paying for his car.

MR. DUMARESQUE: The fellow who went up to Ottawa, was going to tear the place apart. All he did was tear his back pocket apart trying to get the money into it that he got from Fisheries and Oceans.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) saw the full clip, the TV, the greasy smile.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Yes, I imagine the greasy smile spread right around his -


MR. DUMARESQUE: His chops, for sure.

There is absolutely no way can we miss the chance that we have now. We have a golden opportunity and, as I said to the Minister of Fisheries a number of times, there is never a cloud that doesn't have a silver lining, and the silver lining in the cloud that we have now is that we do have the opportunity, over the next six months, to work with the Department of Human Resource Development and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations here is working hand in hand with the federal minister, Mr. Axworthy, to make sure that when we put our hand on a training program in the future, it's going to be a good, solid, meaningful training program that will have long-term, meaningful consequences for the future of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

We are going to be able to stand up in two years, or three years time, and say: Yes, this is the kind of project the training money went to. This is the kind of security that it gave to this community, and this is the kind of proper expenditure of public funds that we can be proud to be associated with, and I know that the results are going to be real and they are going to be clear. We have tremendous opportunities in these other species. We have tremendous opportunities in secondary processing.

Mr. Speaker, I went over to England close to ten months ago now, went into a hotel in England, and I still have the card here in my briefcase; I carry it wherever I go. I went into the hotel in England, and I saw on the hotel desk a little card. It said: Take home a gift pack of fine Scottish smoked salmon, the ideal take-home gift for family or friends. This attractively wrapped two-pound side of smoked salmon is vacuum packed, sliced, and ready to serve for just $31 a pound.

I am sure the Member for Torngat Mountains would love to have the opportunity to go to that market with the tremendous product that he has from Northern Labrador, smoked salmon and smoked char, and be able to go in there and say: `This is what we have to offer you,' and with all due respect, I would say, the Scottish could just as well go home, because as soon as they got a taste of what we could produce in Labrador, on that standard, we would beat them out of their trees on the competition because of the product that we have, but not once did you see, and nowhere will you see, in that kind of a way, our own smoked products, our own secondary products.

Mackerel, the same thing; I went to another restaurant over there and I got a product of smoked mackerel for something like $6 a pound - smoked mackerel. We are throwing it over the side. We throw it to the dogs; we throw it to the crabs; we throw it overboard because we can't use it, but there are people in this world not very far away - as a matter of fact, Newfoundland and Labrador is the closest of any country to that nation over there who are willing to pay $6 a pound for it, and it is time that we got more money, more energy, and if we are going to waste our energy on issues like we have over the past few months in this Province, beating our heads against the wall in trying to pursue a political agenda rather than some real change and fundamental vision for this Province through the fishery, if we are going to pursue that, then there is no future. I say, it is about time that we demand that our dollars be used better, it is about time we demand that our energies be used better, it is about time that we said to Dr. Hulan and the people involved in the seal fishery, and the products of the seal fishery, to go ahead, gung-ho, go for it. You have something there that is real and we are going to put the dollars behind you.

Mr. Speaker, I am quite proud today to stand here and support the resolution so ably put forward, and so eloquently written by the Member for St. John's North because he is dead-on, and we in the fishery are not to take second seat to anybody. I say to him that we are looking out and we are the ones, I would hope, who will be able to tell you we want no dollars for nothing and we want no future on a 10/42 basis. We want to stand on our own the same way as anybody else in this Province.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WOODFORD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The resolution by the hon. member is a timely one, no doubt, but then again, it could have been brought in any month in the last five or six years, that's for sure, when you are talking about training and providing something for the private sector in this Province, some kind of a stimulus.

Mr. Speaker, we can talk about all the training we like, and we can talk about all the value-added products we like, and we can talk about all the monies coming from the Federal Government in the different training programs, forever and a day, but if we don't have the climate - the economic climate, the proper climate for entrepreneurs in this Province, either people who are in business today or someone new, who is looking to get into business or start a business, you can do all the training you like but there is absolutely nothing for them to do, nothing.

The only way this country and this Province is going to get out of the mess it is in today, Mr. Speaker, is through the small business sector. That is the only way we are going to come out of it. Governments are not going to take us out, the Federal Government won't take us out, the provincial government won't take us out of it. But having said that I have to say that back in the recession of 1981, 1982, 1983, well, 1983 really, I would have to say we did come out of the recession then based on spending by the Federal Government, and spending by the provinces all across Canada. As far as I am concerned, we would not have come out of that recession only for government spending.

Now, times change, economic conditions change, and so on, and maybe at that time, governments were in a better position. It wasn't a world-wide recession but more or less a local Canadianized recession that was in place at that time, and by government spending, both provincially and federally, we started to come out of it. It gave that kick-start, that stimulus for us to come out of the mess we were in then. Interest rates were up as high as 26 or 27 per cent. How businesses ever survived, I don't know.

When we look today and see the Bank of Canada rate moving again from 6.31 to 6.59, twenty-eight basis points, we still have to be concerned. Although the Bank of Canada rate is 6.59 the prime rate today is 6.75. Now, granted all the other chartered banks have moved a few weeks ago to 6.75, the Bank of Montreal just moved yesterday, I believe, or the day before, on prime rates, 6.75 is awfully low, but everything is relevant, Mr. Speaker, 6.75 today in prime with a recession in this country and in this Province is high for small business people or any other business person. It is high for the Krugers of the world. It is high for the Irvings of the world. It is high for governments of the world. Like I said, everything is relevant.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Everything is relevant to one industry, relevant to the economic times, the agricultural industry, relevant to the times now with GATT, the free trade agreement. The forestry industry today could be going gung-ho in this Province. If we could go in today with our power saws and give our loggers, who are going to be laid off - if the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture could issue twenty-five or thirty commercial licences tomorrow for sawmilling in the Province, we could put them all to work, every one of them to work. Because the price is so high for lumber today in this Province and in this country, Mr. Speaker - over $400 today, $400 a thousand out my way, for studding. A piece of two-by-four-by-eight today, over $400 a thousand. Who would ever think it?

We talk about education and training, we talk about the fishery being down and trying to get the fisherpeople back into the economy. Now we have 355 loggers on the West Coast of the Province who are getting their notice every day of the week, starting to trickle out, and the sad thing is -

MR. FLIGHT: That isn't so - loggers did not get their notice.

MR. WOODFORD: We got 240 union - I said started to get their notice. I just got off the phone now from Hampden - another contractor, with thirty-odd people gone, one from Springdale, another from the hon. member's district, one from Baie Verte.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible) anything to do (inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: It is a contracting system but it also has to do with Kruger. If they are closing No. 4 machine, I mean, they only need I think it is 300,000 cubic metres, is it, 300,000 cubic metres a year in the Kruger mill in Corner Brook. It is obvious that with No. 4 machine down, Mr. Speaker -

AN HON. MEMBER: Eight hundred thousand.

MR. WOODFORD: Or 800,000.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: Yes, well, there you go. So there is an example of what doesn't have to go (inaudible). What I'm saying is, just imagine if the minister could tomorrow even increase the cutting, for instance, the allowable cut for, say, eight or ten sawmillers, for argument's sake - some might be big and some might be small - all those loggers would be put to work tomorrow morning, that's what I am saying. But we can't do that; we can't do it because we don't have access to our resource. Someone else owns our resource. We can't do it. We can't cut on Kruger limits. In some cases we have - and that is only in certain areas - and I said this before. I have to give the minister credit for that, about the 60-40, roughly 60-40. We have the Chouse Brook area and the Bridgers Pond - Whites River area now that is going well. And timely - you can talk about things happening. What timing! Here we have the Whites River area in my district now just about ready to go, Mr. Speaker, and here the lumber prices, some of the best they've ever been in the country. I have one supplier who has four requests from outside the Province to ship lumber out. That is what I'm saying about our economy, about getting out of the recession we are in and so on, and about the help for small business, about training.

The Member for Eagle River brought up a couple of good points there. What are we training people for? I've seen enough money over the last few years, just talk about the fisheries alone, enough money over the last two years, twelve months, bring it down to eight months - it is enough to make you sick - as far as I'm concerned, wasted. Every man and his I-don't-know-what has a school started around the Province. I get phone calls every day of the week, people trying to mortgage their houses, going down to Canada Manpower, can't get in on this program or that program. The private schools want their money up front. The money comes from the Federal Government right to the school.


MR. WOODFORD: The individual - oh yes. The school doesn't touch it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: That is another - I'm getting to that. Mr. Speaker, they don't see it. All of a sudden they find out they owe another $1,000, they owe another $1,500, another $2,000. For what? I have people calling me going into a program where, when I check with CEIC in Corner Brook, there are 475 people on the unemployment roll. Here is another program putting another fifty-five through a private school.

I mean, come on. It is time for someone to stand up and be counted. I blame both levels of government. I blame the Federal Government previous to this one and I blame the one that is there today, and I blame the Administration opposite for not speaking up and doing something about that as well. As far as I am concerned, our people both in fishing communities and not only in fishing communities, I am talking about in my area up around the Deer Lake, Reidville, Cormac, Howley areas and I have the fishing sector of White Bay area, Mr. Speaker, besides that, it has a forestry content, it has a tourism potential and so on; people are being misled as far as I am concerned by those private schools, misled into thinking that all of a sudden, after six, eight, nine, ten months, they are going to be out and get a good job out of it, and here it is, 300 people and 400 people, in some cases 600 and 700 people on the unemployment rolls in the office in Corner Brook, there are no jobs for them, yet here we are pumping them out, pumping them out just like a donut factory. Just like a donut factory, you may leave Tim Horton's and you go over to Colemans and still - I mean, it is ridiculous and people are mortgaging their homes to get the balance of the money that they can't get through CEIC or another training program to get into this, I mean it is ridiculous.

Here I had one caller the other day going to a trucking school on Bell Island, $150 a day, Mr. Speaker, to learn how to use a piece of heavy equipment and we have people out walking the streets in my area; I do not have to go outside of that at all and I can pick up the phone and call fifteen or twenty and give them to a contractor tomorrow morning, and here we have them packing them off to Bell Island, packing them off to the school in Stephenville, $150 a day? I mean, come on, Mr. Speaker, the time has come when we have to say enough is enough. We are going to have to tell people we have an illiteracy rate in this Province today of some 43 per cent to 46 per cent.

If we took the dollars and took the individuals in and said: look, have you an idea? Give him a chance, give him the $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000, if you did lose it and they tried something at least they took a risk; it is one thing to take a foolish risk, it is another thing to take a calculated one. Give them a chance but they have no chance by pumping them in those schools and brainwashing them and misleading them into thinking they are coming out into the wonderful world of business and a wonderful chance to get a job. They haven't got it, Mr. Speaker, and you have to be up front and tell them, and I tell them, but do you know what? It is getting to the point not that it is no good to tell them, they don't believe the figures anymore; they don't believe that UI down there have 300 or 400 on their rolls unemployed. They honestly believe that if they had that particular training program that they would go to work tomorrow morning.

Mr. Speaker, when I talked about small business and I talk about the hon. member's resolution, the second last therefore: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this House reaffirms its support for the commitment of the government to pursue the development and funding of programs which will ultimately result in the best chance for long term employment opportunities.

Now the four words are the most important of this whole resolution: the long term employment opportunities; and, Mr. Speaker, the chance of that happening today, the chance of business in this Province, although I will say, right now the time is ripe and it is happening slowly, slowly I might add, but surely things are starting to move a little bit - you look at the Globe and Mail reports the last couple of days, business bankruptcies are down 4.6 per cent, personal bankruptcies are down 7 per cent, that's good, but we still have other things happening, Mr. Speaker, around us and some things that we have no control over such as the situation in Quebec, that's what is driving our interest rates up today; that is why the Bank of Canada rate moved again today, all this silly stuff about the separation of Quebec and so on; that's why you are going to see it continue to rise, Mr. Speaker.

Our dollar went down yesterday 72.19 before it settled back at I think it was 72.33, yesterday evening, and what an effect that has on us. What an effect it has on small business trying to operate, trying to survive and we have the potential, we have the potential out there, Mr. Speaker, and I could talk with some experience of the District of Humber Valley, tourism potential, forestry potential, mining potential, service sector potential; it is there, people are there ready and willing to do what is necessary to put it in place, Mr. Speaker, and they don't need a training program. They do not need to go for another eight, ten, or twelve months into an institution that gives them that false sense of hope. We have some of it, yes. We have people coming out of university today, as my colleague said earlier, with four, six, seven, eight years university, out pumping gas. Out pumping gas this summer, Mr. Speaker.

I talked to a young fellow down there on Elizabeth Avenue the other day with six years university, no hope, no chance. He does not want to leave. He would rather work for his $5.00 an hour and stay home.

MR. EFFORD: (Inaudible)

MR. WOODFORD: They have ambition but there comes a time, Mr. Speaker - he did not want to leave. The minister has them in his district if he would look hard enough I would say. It is not because they do not have enough gumption to go on.

Mr. Speaker, for the minister to say that a person with six or seven years university has no ambition. How did he get his seven years university if he has no ambition?

MR. EFFORD: Well, what is he doing sitting around?

MR. WOODFORD: He is not sitting around. He is trying. He just cannot get it, Mr. Speaker.

MR. FLIGHT: (Inaudible).

MR. WOODFORD: The minister knows full well what happened in Buchans. Anybody who was in Buchans and did not work, there was something else wrong with them, because at ASARCO there were all kinds of jobs and the company provided for them.

Now, I am not going to be misled by comments made by the Minister of Forest, Resources and Lands. He knows full well what I am talking about. We have students coming out of schools today and they cannot write a cheque, they cannot go down and make a deposit at the bank, unless the teller tells them what to do. That is ridiculous.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)

MR. WOODFORD: That is right. Exactly. You ask them to make a deposit, ask them to make a withdrawal, or ask them to write a cheque or something like that, I mean, it is terrible. The very basic skills we need today, Mr. Speaker, they are not getting.

I can relate to a story, Mr. Speaker, about a small - you talk about places where they start early. Here is a little story called, Store, and that means, Students Turn Onto Retail Excitement. They start in a program from K to 3, and what they do - just picture this, Mr. Speaker. Students pushing shopping carts and categorically stocking shelves in a grocery isle, testing a new cereal and creating a packaging box, using a variety of scales to weigh toys and counting money on an authentic cash register. Although this consumer scene seems like it is taking place in a corner grocery store it is not, it is actually phase one of a K to 3 enrichment classroom that has been converted into what they call, Store.

Now, as far as I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, when you talk about skills like analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating we have taken on what they call a real life meaning as they are applied to this so-called real life situation. This goes on into another program where they have restaurant menus and so on, and it called a K to 3, shoppers kit. If you are going to start in K to 3 to give students some sense of responsibility, and some sense of surviving, when they do come out of Level 3, Grade 12 today, then that is the kind of things we need in our system.

We have too much, as far as I am concerned, of the academic part of it and not enough of the practical basic skills of life. We just do not have them. We have our math, science, and so on, that everybody needs, that every student should have, but when they come out they do not have anything to survive on. They leave the confines of home and they go out into the real world, Mr. Speaker, and they have a job to survive. They have a real, hard job to survive.

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the motion put by the member, and more than likely I will be supporting it, but I have some real concerns about that particular `Therefore be it resolved' with regard to the long-term employment opportunities and the commitment by government.

I will say to the member that if, after today, he takes every opportunity he has to try to instill in his Cabinet colleagues some of the things that he would like to see done with regard to small business in the Province, to help us get out of the mess we are in, then I would say, then, the motion would be well indeed a success, because there are things that can be done. We can do things to help small business in the Province, and I don't mean just shove government money or grants into them. If it is a good idea, get them out.

We have people sending in applications all the time to Enterprise Newfoundland and so on, and to other institutions, the Farm Loan Board, the Fisheries Loan Board, and so on, and then we have some person sitting down behind a desk who hasn't got the foggiest idea what it's like to take a power saw in his hand, or to go out and do something else, the real, practical, dirty part of the work that has to be done associated with those applications, and they are making decisions based on that. They should get out into the real world. Some of those people have good ideas, but getting them to put them on paper is a bit hard. They need some help. They need some programs to help them out with that, and to help them carry through so that they would be a success in life. They have good ideas; they have good intentions, and it can be done. The opportunities are there. I always said that I can identify at least two or three projects any day of the week in my area, that you could settle down and start a business and be a success at it. Even if it is only moderate, like I said, the opportunity isn't there, and I think it is incumbent upon government to make sure that they help small business.

The payroll tax is one that came up earlier. As far as I am concerned, the payroll tax is a hinderance to business in this Province. It is a tax on employment. It is a tax on jobs, and I think if there is anything that can be done over the next few months, the Member for St. John's North, if there is anything he can do there to try to convince his colleagues to try to at least reduce, or put something else in place... They are talking about replacing the GST, but we all know that when you replace the GST there is going to be something else replace that. We know that, but maybe we can do something in that area whereby to make it a little bit more lenient on small business in the Province so they would be able to create the jobs that are so much needed to take our Province and our people out of the economic mess that we are in today.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

DR. HULAN: I am very pleased to have the opportunity to stand in this hon. Chamber today and say a few words in support of this resolution put forward by my seat mate and colleague, the Member for St. John's North.

AN HON. MEMBER: As long as you don't call him your bed mate.

DR. HULAN: Yes, he reminded me not to call him my bed mate, but no, I said, indeed, seat mate.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to say a few words, because I would like to once again relate this resolution to an industry that has tremendous potential in this Province for economic work generation, and employment generation in rural Newfoundland - especially in rural Newfoundland - and that is the Agri-Food industry.

I have said in this hon. Chamber on other occasions that I believe there is no industry that Newfoundland could once again develop to its full potential, that has the potential to generate jobs out in rural Newfoundland, and contribute to the provincial economy, as the Agri-Food industry does.

When we speak of the Agri-Food industry, I am thinking not of the days of old when we only saw the development of agriculture at the primary level, and that is to the farm gate only. We will once again draw on the issue of the value added further processing of agricultural products.

When we talk about the further processing of agricultural products, I like to refer to that area as the fifty cent turnip all of a sudden becoming the $4.50 turnip, and that is exactly what happens through the development and in the further processing area.

The agriculture and Agri-Foods in Newfoundland is not only small business but it's very, very big business. It's big Agri-Food business. In this Province right now we have one of the most modern and largest dairy farms for example in all of Eastern Canada. It happens to be in the District of St. George's out in the Codroy Valley and that gentleman is milking around 275 cows daily and is a major employer in the District of St. George's.

If we move then from the District of St. George's into the Humber Valley we have numerous farms, dairy farms, poultry operations and vegetable operations that employ tens and tens and tens, I suppose I could even say hundreds - directly and indirectly, hundreds of people involved in the Agri-Food industry in that area.

If we come on to St. John's we can look at Purity Factories, a further processing industry of the Agri-Food area. It is the oldest surviving business, I believe, in the City of St. John's. It also has a very large payroll, solid jobs there and have been there for many, many decades as most of us know. As long as we as humans require food for sustenance and survival there will never be any downturn in the Agri-Food industry. In fact, as I have stated to this hon. Chamber in days past, the reverse is true as far as the Agri-Food industry is concerned. There's only one way to go and that's up because the markets are there for the taking both here, at home and abroad. The resource base, Mr. Speaker, can be greatly expanded in the form of land and other resources. We do have good soil, not to much of good agricultural soil in this Province, but we have ample for the production needs and even to take to the point of exportation of locally produced products.

Mr. Speaker, I would like now to dwell for just a moment on some of the opportunities that we are missing in this Province. We have in the Agri-Food industry the potential in this Province to be the land capital of Canada. We have an industry there just waiting development and with encouragement from government and the public we can develop an industry here that has tremendous potential not only to add to the economy of the Province but to increase the number of jobs out there in rural Newfoundland.

The Southern Shore of the Avalon Peninsula - on the barrens of the Southern Shore of the Avalon Peninsula it can be easily calculated that we could have 300,000 ewes in that area of Newfoundland. Now you are not going to sell all that lamb and good Newfoundland lamb to Newfoundland people because it's interesting - Newfoundlanders, if they see local lamb in the supermarket they want to buy it for two dollars a pound and if it's above two dollars a pound they won't buy it because it's local lamb in many cases. Yet, they'll pay seven and eight dollars a pound for New Zealand lamb. Why? I'll tell you why. We have never marketed our products. We have never marketed our Agri-Food products either at home or abroad. That's the major problem that we are faced with and I say to this hon. Chamber, Mr. Speaker, that the time is now when we have to increase our attention and pay more attention to marketing our local products and get our local retail stores to support us in the marketing of these products.

The story I told some days ago in this Chamber, Mr. Speaker, about the Cabot produced cucumber that went on the market in Ottawa and sold for two dollars and eighty nine cents while the ninety-nine cent American cucumber sat there, just because the product from Newfoundland had a little tag on it saying that it was grown without chemicals, without pesticides and so on.

We can do the same with lamb grown on the barrens of the Southern Shore of the Avalon Peninsula, and I know that if we were to market that lamb as grown on the barrens of the Southern Shore of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, with the North Atlantic sea breezes blowing over those animals as they grow and develop on chemically-free soil foddered and watered, put that leg of lamb on the market in New York City, and I can assure you, you would be talking about prices similar to what my hon. colleague, the Member for Eagle River commented on with respect to good smoked char and salmon from Labrador.

So, Mr. Speaker, there is a tremendous potential here for us to develop an industry that is just sitting here, waiting. I would also remind members of this Chamber, we have another Agri-Food industry that is a natural product in this Province - two products, actually - partridgeberries and blueberries, and indeed three products, the bakeapple, that we are not exploiting to the extent that we can to increase jobs out there in rural Newfoundland.

One thing I have harped on for a number of years is, today, when young high school kids go in picking berries on the West Coast of the Island, or Central Newfoundland, or where have you, they will go in in the morning and they will pick berries, and they will probably leave and come out to the road, to the highway, about 2:30 in the afternoon, because they have to get out to the highway with their thumb out to try to sell the product that they have picked during the morning and part of the afternoon.

What I have been encouraging is the possibility of having a broker in Western Newfoundland, and a broker in Central Newfoundland, who would set up a business whereby they would advertise through the university kids and the high school kids: Go in and pick berries; pick blueberries; pick bakeapples and so on, and whatever you pick during the day, come out at 5:00 in the evening and I will pay you for whatever you have picked.

Now, that is a big difference, because then the young student will know that when he goes in to pick berries in the morning he has a ready market for them in the afternoon.

AN HON. MEMBER: Berry buyers.

DR. HULAN: Berry buyers, berry brokers, as opposed to stockbrokers, in other words.

Mr. Speaker, there are many, many facets that need to be looked at as far as the Agri-Food industry is concerned for the development of a viable Agri-Food industry and a viable further processing industry as far as Agri-Foods are concerned.

We have now started on the West Coast of the Island, through encouragement over the last few years, a further processing dairy industry, and that is to the point that they are now producing a whole variety of cheese products from dairy milk and cream. This is new to Newfoundland. I suppose it is some 200 years since Newfoundland produced any amount of cheese and yogurt products, but we did years ago and we are now coming back to that, and this industry that started on the West Coast has a very, very promising future, and is very innovative in its approach.

The same individuals who are developing the cheese factory are also producing a further processing vegetable plant in the same community where they, this fall, will be producing especially carrots for the provincial market. They will be produced in the frozen state; some will be produced in the canned state, for sale at home, and in future years, abroad.

We have a whole industry to be looked at as far as our dairy industry is concerned. We, in Newfoundland, can produce the best fodder probably in Atlantic Canada for dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep. We have a thriving dairy industry here in this Province with tremendous employment opportunities being created right now, and yet we are consuming only 55 per cent of the national average as far as fluid milk consumption is concerned. We have a long ways to go to meet the 100 per cent consumption of fluid milk, where we should be, and should we be able to, in the next few years, attain that goal, the number of dairy farms will increase, the number of dairy cattle in the Province will increase and jobs on dairy farms will increase.

Speaking of jobs, I might tell you, Mr. Speaker, there is not a small vegetable farm on the West Coast of Newfoundland or anywhere in this Province, that is growing ten or twelve acres of vegetables per year that doesn't employ at least eight people full-time and part- time.

Now, if we were to take 200 farms like that in Newfoundland, we are talking about an additional 1,600 people employed out there in rural Newfoundland. As far as the employment picture is concerned, right now in rural Newfoundland, we have approximately 3,600 people either full-time or part-timely employed in Agri-Foods in the production at the farm-gate level of Agri-Food products, so where do you find in this Province, another industry that employers 3,600 people full-time and part-time? You don't, yet because the Agri-Food industry is spread out over the entire Province, it is not identified, it is not recognized, it has never been recognized by governments or the media or the public because we are spread out all over the Province. That is one of the biggest problems for getting recognition for the Agri-Food industry, therefore without carrying on any further, Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to endorse and support this resolution that was put forward by my colleague, the Member for St. John's North and I am now going to sit down because I could keep on going but I know you want to hear him make his conclusion.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: I recognize the hon. the Member for Bellevue.

MR. BARRETT: Mr. Speaker -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. BARRETT: - I have to thank my hon. colleague, the Member for St. John's North, who has agreed to give me ten minutes of his time to speak in this debate, but I feel urged to make some comments, particularly in this resolution which is talking about training and the availability of training in this Province of ours.

A famous adult educator once said - Roby J. Kidd, who was a famous Canadian educator and adult educator, once said that Kindergarten to XII is schooling and education begins after that, and I can assure you that in this Province today, we have a lot of schooling going on but very little education.

Part of it is because of policies of previous governments. Back in the 1980s, the Federal Government moved away from direct sponsorship of programs in our vocational and technical institutes and went to the private market. One time the need for training in this Province was done by a Manpower Needs Committee, which was made up of provincial, federal officials and private enterprise and these people would get together and determine the training needs,not only in terms of this Province, but also the national training needs.

After the assessment was done by this committee, then the Federal Government and the Provincial Government would sponsor programs in our vocational and technical institutes and they were based on the labour market needs; and back in the mid-1980s, this policy changed from one of to purchase of direct training by the Federal Government, to indirect training, which saw the expansion of the private schools in this Province.

Now, some private schools in this Province have a great reputation and they offer excellent programs, but we have a lot of programs going on in this Province today that have a very Mickey Mouse operation and students are spending a tremendous amount of money.

When the public institutions saw the need to get away from the soft trades - and when I say the soft trades, the business education, the book type learning - and get more into the trades type training, the public schools dropped these particular courses because of cutbacks and for other reasons. Because of the assessment that was being done by the manpower needs committee the private schools picked up those soft trades. We have more people trained in this Province right now in business education and business courses then you can shake a stick at. We have unions involved in these book learning type courses that are of no value whatsoever.

Every day we hear now - and the hon. Member for Placentia will probably identify it quite readily because when I worked with the community college system he was on the Board of Governors of that institution. We hear now that the Marystown Shipyard, the Newfoundland Dockyard, the project in Port aux Basques were bringing welders in from Nova Scotia and PEI because we moved away from the trades training and we moved into the soft trades. All the money was pumped into the soft trades. These private institutions went out and bid on programs - and the greatest profit believe it or not, if you're into a private enterprise and you want to put on training in this Province, if you want to make money you stay away from the trades training and the technology programs, these are very, very expensive programs. They cost a lot of money to put off, a lot of materials involved, a lot of instructional supplies are needed and they're very, very expensive. So you will notice that the private institutions in this Province, very few of them are into trades training and technology training. Most of the trades training and technology training in this Province is done at the public institutions because they are very, very expensive programs.

What we have now in this Province is a great shortage of steel workers. We just recently had to bring in people in the steel industry from Ontario because we didn't have the trained people in this Province. So all around this country we have this great emphasis on the private training schools, the soft trades and people are being trained - there's more people, more nursing assistants, more computer programmers, computer operators, data entry operators and all this money is being wasted. The amazing thing about it is, not only are they being sponsored by Canada Employment or HRD now but students are paying a tremendous amount for these programs. They're paying $6,000, $7,000, $8,000. I recently found out about a student who was getting an average of 30 per cent in a private school. If it was in a public school they would have been dropped at the mid-term exam. That student has gone back for the second term still averaging 30 per cent, but now paying another $4,000 or $5,000.

The interesting things about it is, not only is the student paying, because the way of our student aid system, the way it works, we as taxpayers are paying for it. Because as the cost of tuition is high the level of student aid is high. Indirectly the taxpayers - we took the money from the public institutions, the direct expenditure to the public institutions, and we put it at student aid and gave it to the private institutions through the back door. As a result we have a lot of training going on that is no value to people.

I think we need to really take a handle on this. I think the hon. Member for St. John's North's resolution is a quite timely one. It is time we took this matter into hand and did a real assessment about where we are going. I go around my district and I see all kinds of courses being put on by the FFAW, all kinds of courses in the area that I have the greatest experience, in terms of adult basic education and literacy. We have people in literacy programs, courses being put on by the FFAW, sitting in front of computer terminals day in, day out, trying to learn how to read and write. I question the value of some of these courses and what is happening.

It is my understanding that the hon. Minister of Education pretty soon is going to introduce legislation in this House of Assembly that will set up a literacy council, something that I've been recommending for years. That before any program goes on in this Province it should be assessed. What is happening right now is that anybody right now can go out and start a school. They can be registered under the private training schools act. Just about everybody I know in this Province now who has any experience in education or training is putting on a private school. I think before any of these programs are put on they should be evaluated. They should be determined, the value of the courses, before they are actually sponsored by HRD. Because right now we are doing more damage in this Province to the training system with the kind of programs that we are offering.

I suggest that as soon as we get the legislation in the House of Assembly which will cover the literacy part of the programs the sooner the better. Because it will improve the quality of the programs. Because once an adult comes back to school and has a bad experience you will be sure that adult won't come back any more, and we are going to lose the opportunity to provide. There is lots of money available through the federal government for training and I think we should be utilizing it to the fullest extent possible.

I thank the hon. Member for St. John's North. I wanted to make these few comments, and I will let the hon. Member for St. John's North close the debate.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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

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

I am pleased to take the opportunity now to close off the debate on this private members' resolution. I want to thank hon. members on both sides of the House before I conclude, in saying to them I appreciate their words of support, their indication of support for the spirit of the resolution, and for the foresight, and for the insight they have in being able to support the topic we are addressing, and that is making educational opportunities and retraining opportunities available to everybody to the maximum extent and ensuring that everybody who is unemployed and underemployed feels that this government has equal concern for everybody's situation.

I want to comment on one or two things I believe are worthy of note with respect to some of the things this government is doing in order to, and in an effort to, fulfil the spirit of the resolution before us. I was very interested a few weeks ago when I became aware of the somewhat change, or refocusing of direction that is going on in the Department of Social Services. The minister in the Department of Social Services and his staff have decided to refocus, if you like, a little bit of their training and funding that they have for make-work projects and that sort of thing.

They have embarked on a project called New Beginnings. The thrust and the emphasis of that program as I understand it from reading the material and from listening to the minister, is to ensure to the best that they can ensure, that when money is spent in the future to create employment, that it is spent in a way that will give the best chance to creating long-term, lasting, viable jobs. I believe that is the key, that is the kicker.

My hon. colleague for Humber Valley said that the private sector is absolutely the only way that we will get out of the economic morass we are in, and I agree with him 100 per cent. I believe that long-term jobs will only be created in the private sector. They will not be make-work initiatives of this or any other government.

I'm also interested in the expression of flexibility - and somewhat global thinking in terms of financing make-work projects - that I detected in a recent discussion also with the officials from the Department of Employment and Labour and also with the minister and I would encourage further movement in that direction. I believe, as I said I think earlier on, that we have to be more globalistic in our approach to the various programs. We cannot afford to have programs operating as governments in isolation of each other. I don't think that there should ever be a person for whom there is not something available who have legitimate requirements and legitimate expressions of interest for retraining. I would even be so radical, Mr. Speaker, probably I would even go so far as to suggest that if - after looking at all available programs through government departments - there was nothing there to fit a certain persons needs, whether it be in the rural or in the urban sector or regions of the Province, that there be some sort of a safety-net type of program, some sort of a miscellaneous program, some sort of a special program that could take care of people that I identified earlier when I was speaking. That is people who fit into no particular slot. So I think we need to ensure that everybody has equal opportunity.

One of the other things that I would support and would suggest is that as a Province we probably, to the greatest extent possible, get our hands on and get control of the funds that are being expended here by the feds on programs in the areas that we're referring to. I often wondered and I often had some hesitation about the validity of some of the larger provinces, particularly Quebec, when they were clamouring and they seem always to be clamouring and asking for more control of training and manpower development funds from Ottawa, but I've come around to the thinking that the best place and the best people to control the spending of training and retraining funds are the people at the provincial level as opposed to those at the federal level. So I would support and I would encourage that we get our hands on, get access to and become more directly involved in the expenditure of all funds within the Province, whether they come from the feds or whether they are generated from our own treasury but funds that are directly related to creating job opportunities and training.

I can't help but support also, Mr. Speaker, the concepts put forward by my two colleagues from Eagle River and from St. George's. I believe that there's probably a bit of a contradiction in this type of thinking but I think there are two directions that we have to go, and they are not one opposite or contrary to the other. We know that they are new jobs in the hi-tech industries and in the hi-tech areas, but I fundamentally believe, Mr. Speaker, that a lot of the answers to our problems will be found when we go back to some of the basics in our economy.

I'm referring to the development of probably a more traditional fishery than we have now, the fishery that creates employment as opposed to having the masses of fish dragged by factory freezer trawlers and that sort of thing. I also believe that we need to continue to harp on and dwell on the agricultural development and its potential within the Province. As I said once before in the House, I grew up on a farm and I know a little bit about agriculture. A significant influence has been made on my thinking as a result of listening to my colleague for St. George's.

I believe that if we have enough people putting forward the proposition that we can do things from the traditional types of employment that we once had then we will be better off as a province and we will find the answer to some of the employment needs that we have.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank, as I've said earlier, those who have supported the spirit of the resolution and those who have supported the things we are talking about here today. I would ask that the question now be put with respect to the carrying of this resolution. Thank you.

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.

The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I trust the House will agree to dispense with the remaining private members' notices of motion standing on the Order Paper. Tomorrow we will deal first with the grand concourse authority bill, and if I can restrain my friend, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, that should be a relatively brief debate.

MR. FUREY: Three hours.

MR. ROBERTS: My friend says three hours. He may be here for three hours, Mr. Speaker, I doubt if anybody else will be. Three hours beginning at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow. We will then go on to the Budget debate. Tomorrow is a Late Show day so we don't know whether we will be on the Late Show or not, depending on whether members opposite choose to take advantage of the procedure provided in the rules. If not we will carry on with the Budget.

With that said, Mr. Speaker, I will move the House adjourn until tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

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